Category Archives: Military

Failed US Military Pier Offered ‘Humanitarian Gloss’ as Israel Starved Gaza

“The entire operation was a failed exercise in public relations by the Biden administration,” said one observer.

By Brett Wilkins Published 7-12-2024 by Common Dreams

U.S. troops prepare components of the Gaza aid pier on March 15, 2024. (Photo: United States Naval Institute)

After failing to re-anchor its “humanitarian pier” in Gaza, the Pentagon said Thursday that the much-ballyhooed project—which critics dismissed as a “public relations ploy” that did next to nothing to stop the deadly starvation spreading in the besieged Palestinian enclave—would shut down indefinitely.

Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Patrick Ryder said U.S. troops had failed to reconnect the floating Trident Pier to Gaza’s shore due to “technical and weather-related issues,” according to The Washington Post.

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Britain’s new prime minister has a chance to reset ties with the White House – but a range of thorny issues and the US election make it more tricky

By Garret Martin, American University School of International Service. Published 7-5-2024 by The Conversation

Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria cast their votes in the 2024 General Election. Photo: Keir Starmer/flickr/CC

The new U.K. prime minister, Sir Keir Starmer, will have just a couple of days to settle into the job before facing his first test on the global stage.

Having presided over a landslide victory for his party on July 4, 2024, Starmer will head to Washington, D.C., for a crucial NATO summit starting July 9. Days later he will host over 50 European leaders for the European Political Community meeting.

Amid many global challenges, Starmer has an opportunity to show that the U.K. is back on the world stage. In particular, with many Western leaders facing serious headwinds at home – think Emmanuel Macron in France or Olaf Scholz in Germany – Starmer has a chance to re-establish the U.K. as the key partner for the U.S. in Europe.

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‘Democracy Must Be Respected’: Bolivian Leader Replaces Military Chiefs Over Coup Attempt

Leftists and political leaders around the world slammed the coup effort as Bolivia’s trade union federation called for an emergency mass mobilization and a general strike.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 6-26-2024 by Common Dreams

Military members stand guard with an armored truck outside the government palace at Plaza Murillo on June 26, 2024 in La Paz, Bolivia. Photo: S.L. Kanthan/X

Bolivian President Luis Arce replaced top military leaders on Wednesday in response to an attempted coup d’état in which troops took over Plaza Murillo in La Paz and rammed an armored vehicle into the doors of the presidential palace so soldiers could storm the building.

“We denounce irregular mobilizations of some units of the Bolivian army,” Arce, a member of the Movement for Socialism (MAS) party, said on social media. “Democracy must be respected.”

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‘Julian Assange Is Free’: WikiLeaks Founder Strikes Plea Deal With US

“We thank all who stood by us, fought for us, and remained utterly committed in the fight for his freedom,” said WikiLeaks. “Julian’s freedom is our freedom.”

By Common Dreams. Published 6-24-2024

Free Julian Assange protest in Raleigh, NC April 2021. Photo: Anthony Crider/flickr/CC

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Monday reached a deal with the U.S. government, agreeing to plead guilty to one felony related to the disclosure of national security information in exchange for his release from Belmarsh Prison in the United Kingdom.

A related document was filed in federal court in the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. commonwealth. Under the plea agreement, which must still be approved by a judge, the Department of Justice (DOJ) will seek a 62-month sentence, equal to the time that the 52-year-old Australian has served in the U.K. prison while battling his extradition to the United States.

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Campaigners Decry ‘Dangerous Escalation’ as NATO Chief Floats Nuclear Deployment

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons said both NATO and Russia must “reverse course” and end their nuclear brinkmanship.

By Jake Johnson. Published 6-17-2024 by Common Dreams

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Photo: NATO/flickr/CC

Nuclear disarmament campaigners on Monday implored NATO and Russia to step back from the brink after the head of the Western military alliance said its members are considering deploying additional atomic weapons to counter Moscow and Beijing.

“This is the dangerous escalation inherent to the deterrence doctrine,” the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) wrote on social media, referring to the notion that the threat of catastrophic nuclear retaliation prevents nations from using atomic weaponry.

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‘Unconscionable’: Prosecution of Arundhati Roy Sanctioned Under Indian Anti-Terror Law

“This is horrifying—a clear case of political persecution by an authoritarian government,” one of Roy’s publishers wrote.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 6-16-2024 by Common Dreams

Arundhati Roy at Harvard for a lecture in 2010. Photo: jeanbaptisteparis/flickr/CC

Delhi Lieutenant Gov. V. K. Saxena has sanctioned the prosecution of world-renowned Indian author and activist Arundhati Roy over comments she allegedly made 14 years ago regarding Kashmir, officials from his office said on Friday.

Saxena is a member of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), and Roy has been a vocal critic of Modi and what she has described as India’s “descent… into full-blown fascism” under BJP leadership.

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‘Truly Shameful’: Pentagon Ran Secret Anti-Vax Campaign Against China at Height of Covid Pandemic

“I don’t think it’s defensible,” an infectious disease specialist at Dartmouth said of the clandestine effort.

By Jake Johnson. Published 6-14-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo:Covid-19 vaccination/flickr/CC

Reuters investigation published Friday revealed that the Pentagon ran a “clandestine operation” aimed at discrediting China’s coronavirus vaccines and treatments, a campaign that U.S. public health experts and others condemned as a cynical ploy that endangered lives for political purposes.

According to Reuters, the Pentagon’s secretive campaign was designed to counter what the U.S. “perceived as China’s growing influence in the Philippines,” a country that was ravaged by Covid-19. The virus, which killed millions of people globally, was first detected in Wuhan, China in late 2019.

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US Jury Holds Chiquita Liable for Colombian Death Squad’s Murder of Banana Workers

“The verdict does not bring back the husbands and sons who were killed,” said one attorney, “but it sets the record straight and places accountability for funding terrorism where it belongs: at Chiquita’s doorstep.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 6-11-2024 by Common Dreams

Then-AUC commander Carlos Castaño is seen here with some of his paramilitary fighters. Photo: Carlos Castaño Gil/Facebook

In what case litigants are calling the first time an American jury has held a U.S. corporation legally liable for atrocities abroad, federal jurors in Florida on Monday found that Chiquita Brands International financed a Colombian paramilitary death squad that murdered, tortured, and terrorized workers in a bid to crush labor unrest in the 1990s and 2000s.

The federal jury in West Palm Beach, Florida found the banana giant responsible for funding the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) and awarded eight families whose members were murdered by the right-wing paramilitary group $38.3 million in damages.

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Fresh Calls to ‘Reject AIPAC’ After Analysis of GOP Money in Dem Primaries

“George Latimer in New York and Wesley Bell in Missouri are trying to become Democratic members of Congress off millions of dollars of money from rich right-wing Republicans,” said one group.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 6-9-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: Ted Eytan /CC

Politico reported Sunday that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is “the biggest source of Republican money flowing into competitive Democratic primaries this year,” sparking new calls for candidates and voters nationwide to #RejectAIPAC.

“If you don’t want Republican megadonors to choose your next Democratic congressperson for you, then there’s only one option: #RejectAIPAC,” Naftali Ehrenkranz, digital director at Get Free, said on social media, pointing to the reporting.

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China turns to private hackers as it cracks down on online activists on Tiananmen Square anniversary

By Christopher K. Tong, University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Published 5-31-2024 by The Conversation.

Image: ideogram

Every year ahead of the June 4 commemoration of the Tiananmen Square massacre, the Chinese government tightens online censorship to suppress domestic discussion of the event.

Critics, dissidents and international groups anticipate an uptick in cyber activity ranging from emails with malicious links to network attacks in the days and weeks leading up to the anniversary.

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