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19 Mar

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

Damn The War Criminals,

Bush,Cheney,Rice,Rumsfeld,Wolfowitz, Powell and Blair from England

War News

Since the Stockholm deal in December, airstrikes on Hodeidah have decreased but casualties have doubled elsewhere

A funeral for people killed by an airstrike in the north-western province of Hajjah earlier this month

A funeral for people killed by an airstrike in the north-western province of Hajjah earlier this month. Photograph: Mohamed Al-Sayaghi/Reuters

Yemen is continuing to experience a steady stream of violence, claiming at least one life every eight hours – despite the agreements reached between the internationally recognised government and the Houthis at talks in Sweden just over three months ago.

According to figures compiled by two international aid agencies, in some areas of the country the number of casualties, far from falling, had doubled where the conflict was flaring up.

Figures show three people have died in Yemen every day since the agreements were signed in mid-December. More than 231 civilians have been killed across the country, by airstrikes, shelling, snipers or landmines. A third of those fatalities were in Hodeidah governorate, despite the ceasefire there – 56 of those were children.

According to figures collected by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), civilian casualties in Hajjah and Taiz alone have more than doubled since the Hodeidah ceasefire and Stockholm agreement came into effect, with 164 and 184 people killed in each city respectively.

“The reduction in violence seen in Hodeidah through recent months has been counteracted by escalations in other parts of the country,” said Mohamed Abdi, country director for NRC in Yemen.

“While airstrikes on Hodeidah city have reduced significantly and a semblance of life has resumed, the fighting is intensifying in other parts of the country, with a devastating impact on civilians.”

According to the NRC, significant clashes have resumed in parts of Hodeidah city, threatening to reverse any fragile gains.

Commenting on its own figures on the death toll, Muhsin Siddiquey, Yemen country director for Oxfam, said: “Every day that passes without concrete progress towards peace, more Yemenis lose their lives and the suffering deepens for those struggling to find food and shelter amid the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.

“The backers of the warring parties are complicit in this manmade crisis,” he said. “We call on them to stop arming the belligerents. They and the rest of the international community need to do all they can to help bring about a lasting peace in Yemen.”

The conflict has left millions of Yemenis on the brink of famine.

Siddiquey also criticised the UK government for its decision to continue to license the export of military equipment to Saudi Arabia, part of a coalition giving military support to the internationally recognised government. The policy will be challenged in the Court of Appeal in April, after the High Court ruled the arms exports could continue.

Siddiquey said: “The international leadership [that] UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has shown both by visiting Yemen recently to witness the disaster for himself, and by holding talks with the warring parties to urge compromise on all sides, is commendable. But this willingness to broker peace is being fatally undermined by the UK government’s insistence on continued arms sales to some of the warring parties.

“UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other coalition members are prolonging and deepening a conflict that is causing immense human suffering, and they need to stop.”

REU: U.S.-backed forces capture Syria suspects tied to American deaths: sources

The bombing killed Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan Farmer, Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician Shannon Kent and Scott Wirtz from the Defense Intelligence Agency. It also killed Ghadir Taher, a naturalized U.S. citizen working as a civilian interpreter for a U.S. contractor.

One of the officials told Reuters the number of people detained was in the “single digits.” A second official said there were several “initial detentions” made in February, without offering a specific number. The detentions have not been previously reported.

“Those initial detentions have provided some leads and opportunities that we are continuing to exploit,” the second official said, speaking on condition of anonymity and declining to offer additional details.

The attack was the worst single incident involving U.S. personnel in Syria since they deployed on the ground there in 2015 and took place at a cafe in the town of Manbij, which was controlled by a militia allied to U.S.-backed Kurdish forces.

The bombing occurred nearly a month after President Donald Trump confounded his own national security team and allies with a surprise decision on Dec. 19 to withdraw all 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria, declaring Islamic State had been defeated there.

Read Full Article>>

REU: U.S.-backed SDF detains hundreds of wounded Islamic State fighters

QAMISHLI, Syria (Reuters) – The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) detained hundreds of wounded Islamic State militants on Tuesday when they captured a camp where the jihadists had been holed up in their final enclave in eastern Syria, an SDF official told Reuters.

Mustafa Bali, head of the SDF media office, said the wounded IS militants were being transported from the enclave at Baghouz to Hasaka province in northeastern Syria. He said they had been treated humanely.

NYT: ISIS Kidnaps and Kills Truffle Hunters in Iraq’s Western Desert

Mourners in a mosque in Najaf, Iraq, gathered around the coffins of six people who were abducted and killed as they collected truffles.CreditCreditHaidar Hamdani/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

BAGHDADI, Iraq — As he hunted for a seasonal delicacy, Mohaned Salah Yasseen scanned the ground intently, searching for places where the soil is cracked and slightly raised — the telltale sign a desert truffle lies below.

So he failed to notice the two pickup trucks, driven by men in military uniforms, until they were almost upon him.

“They ordered me to get into the truck,” said Mr. Yasseen, a 31-year-old pharmacist. “I thought about saying no, but they were armed.”

As he climbed in, he became the latest victim in a new campaign by the Islamic State.

Driven out of most of the territory it controlled in Iraq and Syria, the group has gone underground, its remaining fighters in Iraq carrying out sporadic attacks.

Since late January, they have been kidnapping and, in some cases, executing Iraqi truffle hunters, mostly in the deserts of western Anbar Province. The Iraqi security forces confirmed the kidnapping of 44 truffle hunters this year, and more have probably gone unreported.

The abductions are only a fraction of the Islamic State attacks now taking place in Iraq, where every day brings one or more reports of a checkpoint shooting, skirmish or kidnapping. But the attacks on truffle hunters reflect a renewed emphasis on inciting sectarian tensions.

While Sunni Muslim truffle hunters typically pay a ransom to win release, as Mr. Yasseen did, Shiite Muslim truffle hunters never get that chance. They are killed.

Read Full Article>>

NYT: Kabul’s Expanding Foreigner ‘Bubble’ Trades Safety for Isolation

KABUL, Afghanistan — Kabul’s green zone is a place where diplomats fly in cheesecake from New York and cases of wine from Europe, but many of those residing inside the heavily fortified enclave are not allowed to walk without an armed guard even for a distance of 100 meters.

The walled-off compound of embassies and newsrooms, which is set to expand dramatically, imposes extreme limitations on its sheltered residents and stokes resentment among Afghans living outside.

“The best possible argument to be in Afghanistan is to be a sort of introvert,” said Czech Republic Ambassador Petr Stepanek. “You don’t expect a blossoming social life.”

Kabul’s central green zone is set in the affluent Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood. Trees pre-dating decades of war still stretch above the razor-wire topped walls that line once-tony streets patrolled by police and private security.

It grew from a cluster of fortified embassies after the Taliban’s 2001 overthrow by U.S.-led forces. In 2017, a truck bomb near the German embassy, one of the green zone’s entry points, killed or wounded hundreds, prompting further enlargement.

Its rapid expansion reflects the Taliban’s increasing attacks on Kabul in recent years, in a strategy shift to counter its disadvantages against U.S.-backed air power outside the capital.

Kabul police commander Sayed Mohammad Roshandil said in an interview that the green zone has been a major success.

Since the Germany embassy attack, there have been no security breaches of the zone, which spans three police districts, he said. A maximum of 150 trucks are allowed inside per day, with drivers verified by biometric scanners.

Read Full Article>>

Bush’s Five Big Lies That Led to the Iraq Quagmire

These are the five lies Bush told that Ralph Nader documented to impeach him.

  • Weapons of Mass Destruction. The weapons have still not been found. Nader emphasized, “Until the 1991 Gulf War, Saddam Hussein was our government’s anti-communist ally in the Middle East. We also used him to keep Iran at bay. In so doing, in the 1980s under Reagan and the first Bush, corporations were licensed by the Department of Commerce to export the materials for chemical and biological weapons that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney later accused him of having.” Those weapons were destroyed after the Gulf War. George W. Bush’s favorite chief weapons inspector, David Kay, after returning from Iraq and leading a large team of inspectors and spending nearly half a billion dollars told the president We were wrong. See: David Kay testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee, 2004-01-28.Tyler Drumheller, the former chief of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) ’s Europe division, revealed that in the fall of 2002, George W. Bush, Vice President Cheney, then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and others were told by CIA Director George Tenet that Iraq’s foreign minister — who agreed to act as a spy for the United States — had reported that Iraq had no active weapons of mass destruction program.

  • Iraq Ties to Al Qaeda. The White House made this claim even though the CIA and FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) repeatedly told the Administration that there was no tie between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. They were mortal enemies — one secular, the other fundamentalist.

  • Saddam Hussein was a Threat to the United States. In fact, Saddam was a tottering dictator, with an antiquated, fractured army of low morale and with Kurdish enemies in Northern Iraq and Shiite adversaries in the South of Iraq. He did not even control the air space over most of Iraq.

  • Saddam Hussein was a Threat to his Neighbors. In fact, Iraq was surrounded by countries with far superior military forces. Turkey, Iran and Israel were all capable of obliterating any aggressive move by the Iraqi dictator.

  • The Liberation of the Iraqi People. There are brutal dictators throughout the world, many supported over the years by Washington, whose people need liberation from their leaders. This is not a persuasive argument since for Iraq, it’s about oil. In fact, the occupation of Iraq by the United States is a magnet for increasing violence, anarchy and insurrection.

Civilian casualties in the war in Afghanistan (2001–present)

During the war in Afghanistan (2001–present), over 31,000 civilian deaths due to war-related violence have been documented;[1][2] 29,900 civilians have been wounded.[2] Over 111,000 Afghans, including civilians, soldiers and militants, are estimated to have been killed in the conflict.[1] The Cost of War project estimated that the number who have died through indirect causes related to the war may be as high 360,000 additional people based on a ratio of indirect to direct deaths in contemporary conflicts.[3] These numbers do not include those who have died in Pakistan.

The war, launched by the United States as “Operation Enduring Freedom” in 2001, began with an initial air campaign that almost immediately prompted concerns over the number of Afghan civilians being killed[4] as well as international protests. With civilian deaths from airstrikes rising again in recent years,[5] the number of Afghan civilians being killed by foreign military operations has led to mounting tension between the foreign countries and the government of Afghanistan. In May 2007, President Hamid Karzai summoned foreign military commanders to warn them of the consequences of further Afghan civilian deaths.[6] The civilian losses are a continuation of the extremely high civilian losses experienced during the Soviet–Afghan War in the 1980s, and the three periods of civil war following it: 1989–1992, 1992–1996, and 1996–2001.

Casualties, Exclusive of Civilians

Recent Casualties:

Color Denotes Today’s Confirmation

None

Cost of War in Iraq>>

Cost of War in Afghanistan>>

Care for Veterans:

PTSD: National Center for PTSDPTSD Care for Veterans, Military, and FamiliesSee Help for Veterans with PTSD to learn how to enroll for VA health care and get an assessment.All VA Medical Centers provide PTSD care, as well as many VA clinics.Some VA’s have programs specializing in PTSD treatment. Use the VA PTSD Program Locator to find a PTSD program.If you are a war Veteran, find a Vet Center to help with the transition from military to civilian life.Call the 24/7 Veteran Combat Call Center1-877-WAR-VETS (1-877-927-8387) to talk to another combat Veteran.DoD’s Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE) 24/7 Outreach Center for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury provides information and helps locate resources.Call 1-866-966-1020 or email resources@dcoeoutreach.orgMilitary OneSourceCall 24/7 for counseling and many resources 1-800-342-9647.Need further assistance? Get Help with VA PTSD Care

Save The Children Organization

Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organisation for children and has been working with families, communities and local authorities in Iraq since 1991, leading NGOs in general relief and development programs.Save the Children is currently responding to the needs of internally displaced persons (IDP) and the Syrian refugees in Iraq, in camps and non-camp settings. Our goal is for children in Iraq to be supported in raising their voices and attaining their rights, especially the right to participate in decisions affecting their lives. They should have access to quality education, health and protection services. We are increasing access to community based services that protect, educate and improve quality of life for children. We are ensuring that there is an increased participation of boys and girls in age appropriate activities and services. We are ensuring that children benefit from government actions that create an environment of awareness and accountability to uphold child rights. We are also developing new resources and innovative practices that support our work for children and youth.In Iraq, Save the Children’s interventions include Child Protection, Education, Food Security and Livelihoods, Shelter and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), reaching vulnerble children and families in northern and central Iraq. Save the Children’s programs are implemented through field offices in Erbil, Dohuk, Sulaymaniyah, Kirkuk and Kalar, with a country office located in Erbil.

Visit Save The Children Organization>>

Syria War Children

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18 Mar

A Foreign Perspective, News and Analyses

A Foreign Perspective, News and Analyses

 

English Online International Newspapers

Nearly all of these are English-edition daily newspapers. These sites have interesting editorials and essays, and many have links to other good news sources. We try to limit this list to those sites which are regularly updated, reliable, with a high percentage of “up” time.

Recommended:

Irish Examiner>>

France 24>>

Spiegel>>

Le Monde>>

View All>>

Officials in Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria examine Brenton Tarrant’s travels before attack

A police officer stands guard near Al Noor mosque in Christchurch after the attack.

A police officer stands guard near Al Noor mosque in Christchurch after the attack. Photograph: Carl Court/Getty Images

Authorities in Europe are working to establish whether the man suspected of carrying out the most deadly terrorist attack in New Zealand’s history had any links to far-right groups on the continent.

Since Friday, officials in Turkey, Bulgaria and Greece have begun formal investigations into the alleged gunman’s extensive travel through Europe in the years before he moved to New Zealand.

Brenton Harrison Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian, appears to have travelled extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia, including to Turkey, France, Pakistan, Bulgaria, Hungary and North Korea.

The “manifesto” published online in the minutes before Tarrant’s alleged attack on two mosques in Christchurch on Friday, which left 50 people dead, claimed that it was while travelling through western Europe in 2017 that his views on immigration “dramatically changed”.

Tarrant wrote that while traveling through France, Portugal and Spain he was horrified by the killing of Ebba Åkerlund, an 11-year-old girl, when an Uzbek man, Rakhmat Akilov, rammed his truck into a group of pedestrians in Stockholm in April 2017.

Two of the rifles used in the Christchurch shooting had references to Åkerlund scrawled on them, among other messages.

Brenton Tarrant appears in court on a murder charge in Christchurch on Saturday.

 

Brenton Tarrant appears in court on a murder charge in Christchurch on Saturday. Photograph: Mark Mitchell/AAP

The manifesto also referenced the 2017 French elections, saying he felt “despair” at the defeat of the far-right Front National leader, Marine Le Pen.

The manifesto gives the impression of being particularly aggrieved about immigration in France. He wrote that he felt “fuming rage and suffocating despair” at “invaders”, claiming French people were “often in a minority themselves”.

While Tarrant was not on the radar of intelligence agencies in Australia or New Zealand, experts believe it is likely he had been influenced by the far-right “identitarian” movement.

Formed in France in 2016, the movement features common tropes about what adherents claim is the replacement of European culture with a non-European one, many of which were echoed in the document, titled “The great replacement”.

The counter-terrorism expert Greg Barton, from Deakin University in Melbourne, said it appeared Tarrant shared a number of ideas with the movement.

“It’s just speculation of course, but it would make sense in that context that he has picked up on those ideas while travelling in Europe at that time,” he told Guardian Australia.

The manifesto also expressed environmental concerns, something Barton said was a tenet of the “dominion movement”, a group he described as “a New Zealand manifestation of European identitarianism”.

The dominion movement took down its website after Friday’s shooting, and put out a statement saying it “categorically and without reservation condemns the events in Christchurch”.

“[Neither] our movement nor any of its members have ever had any communication or association with the perpetrator,” the group said in a note on the closed page.

Its website previously stated that “Europeans are the defining people of this nation”.

The document claims its author made money on the cryptocurrency Bitconnect, which was widely described as a Ponzi scheme before it was shut down in 2018. Reports have also stated that in other social media posts Tarrant indicated he used inheritance money after his father’s death to fund some of his travel.

Greek officials said on Sunday that Tarrant had visited Greece briefly in 2016.

A statement from the ministry of citizen protection said he flew in from the Turkish city of Istanbul on 20 March and stayed a few days on the islands of Crete and Santorini.

Tarrant also had two stopovers at a Greek airport in November and December that year. A Greek police source told Agence France-Presse that investigations into Tarrant’s movements were continuing.

He also made two trips to Turkey in 2016 for a total of 43 days, according to the Turkish state broadcaster TRT World. He visiting the country from 17-20 March and arrived back on 13 September before leaving on 25 October.

The broadcaster quoted a Turkish official saying authorities were “currently investigating the terrorist’s movements and contacts within the country”.

The manifesto contained many explicit references to the Ottoman empire, Turkey and its president, Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, stating Muslims should be driven out of the part of Turkey that lies west of the continental divide between Europe and Asia.

On Sunday, Erdo?an used an edited version of Tarrant’s video of the shooting to galvanize support before local elections at the end of the month.

According to Bulgaria’s chief prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov, Tarrant visited Bulgaria from 9-15 November last year, claiming he wanted “to visit historical sites and study the history of the Balkan country”.

Local media quoted Tsatarov as saying the country would investigate whether this was “correct or if he had other objectives”.

Investigators said Tarrant arrived in Sofia from Dubai on 9 November and hired a car the following day to visit historical sites in 10 locations. He left on 15 November on a flight bound for neighbouring Romania’s capital, Bucharest, where he hired a car to travel to Hungary, Tsatsarov said.

The Australian also travelled by bus across Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, and Bosnia-Herzegovina from 28-30 December 2016.

In the livestream of the attack on Friday, a Serbian nationalist song could be heard playing through his car speakers.

According to radio reports, Tarrant also visited Spain last year. The Cadena Ser network said he spent one night in a hotel in the southern city of Jerez in February 2018. Hotel staff told the local station that Tarrant’s behaviour had been that “of a normal man – a little reserved”.

Spanish police said they had no information on Tarrant or his stay.

‘We can’t afford to stand by and do nothing’: 10 everyday heroes fighting to save the planet

Schoolchildren around the world are joining a global strike against climate change this week. But they’re not the only everyday people inspired to take action. We talk to 10 UK activists on the frontline of our most serious environmental issues

by , , , , , , and

‘We should be told more about air pollution – we have a right to know’ … Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah.

‘We should be told more about air pollution – we have a right to know’ … Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah. Photograph: Martin Godwin/The Guardian

Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, London
Air pollution advocate

Founded the Ella Roberta Family Foundation, in memory of her nine-year-old daughter who died in 2013. She is campaigning for a new inquest into her daughter’s death, which she believes is linked to air pollution.

My daughter suffered terribly – she would stop breathing, have seizures and I would take her to A&E – but no one could explain why it was happening. When she died, I wanted answers. I wanted to know how she became so ill, so quickly; how she died so quickly.

She died of an asthma attack, but all the doctors could come up with as a trigger was “something in the air”. She was allergic to pollen, but the consultant said there was no way that her seizure was an allergy to pollen. The first inquest did not come up with any answers.

I did not think of air pollution. This was new to me. If you’re a scientist and this is your specialist area, it might not be surprising, but I didn’t know about particulates and nitrogen dioxide.

Awareness is key, and so is education – I would say that, as I am a teacher. We should be told more about monitoring air pollution. We have a right to know. So many children are at risk – we believe that the deaths of 16 children in the past 18 months are linked to air pollution. Children continue to get ill, to die. Voices are not being heard. If parents could speak about their experiences – telling a politician not just, “I am worried about my children”, but that “My child had to be resuscitated in A&E last night” – it might make a difference.

Two weeks ago, my friend went to buy a new car, and they tried to sell her a diesel car – they told her it was “green”. Who is allowing people to say this in 2019?

I continue to be devastated [by Ella’s death], it is still unbearable. What I am learning is how I can use what I have been through to help other young children. I don’t feel like giving up. I feel very strongly that people should shout about this. FH

Holly Gillibrand (centre) leading a climate protest in Fort William.

Holly Gillibrand (centre) leading a climate protest in Fort William. Photograph: Iain Ferguson

Holly Gillibrand, Fort William
School striker

It took about a month to persuade my parents that striking was a good idea. I’m 13 and I had seen a video of Greta Thunberg on Twitter, and I thought that was something I could do too. I asked some of my friends, but only one joined me; now we’re averaging about four students and 15 adults .

At the first strike, it was quite scary because I didn’t know what people’s reactions would be. It really helped having my friend there. We tried to ignore the people in cars, sitting and pointing at us, but there were a lot of people beeping in support.

My mum phoned my headteacher about a week before I started. He can’t support it and he says my school has a lot of climate and environmental education, but I don’t think it does. I get laughed at quite a bit. I’ve met quite a few climate-deniers in school. It makes me really annoyed because people don’t understand, or they don’t care when you try to explain it to them.

I’m surprised at how the movement has taken off. Education is valued and if children are sacrificing that, it must be important. The government’s response has been pitiful. At the climate change debate, 610 MPs skipped it – that’s a shocking representation of how little our political leaders care about the very existence of life on this planet.

I think there will be hundreds of thousands [of children striking on the 15th]. I wish people knew that we can’t change this unless everyone is working together. ES

‘People forget that we are animals, too’ … Mya-Rose Craig.

‘People forget that we are animals, too’ … Mya-Rose Craig. Photograph: Handout

Mya-Rose Craig, Somerset

Wildlife and environmental diversity campaigner

A birder and activist from the Chew Valley, she campaigns for endangered wildlife and organises nature camps for inner city minority ethnic teenagers

I’m 16 and my parents have taken me birdwatching since I was a baby. It has always been part of my life. When I was seven, my parents heard that the first ever eastern crowned warbler had been seen in Britain. Luckily, I had a day off school, and we drove five hours to see it. It was around the edge of a huge quarry like an amphitheatre and I was amazed to see so many people cared about this little brown bird.

I’ve been very lucky to travel around the world. During half-term in Spain recently, I saw my 5,000th bird species in the world. It was a rock bunting, which is a brilliant bird.

My parents have always been very open about what is going on in the world. I was 12 or 13 and had built up a relatively large online following when I started campaigning. The first proper campaign I launched was to save the spoonbill sandpiper in Bangladesh, where my mum is from. I also campaigned over the 2014 oil spill in the mangrove forests of the Sundarbans.

In 2015, I read an American Birdwatching Association article about how the environmental sector is incredibly white. It made me stop and think. I knew I was the only one like me as a kid. I just felt sad because others should have that opportunity. Since then I’ve campaigned to bring diversity into wildlife conservation. In three-and-a-half years, I’ve seen so much change.

People forget that we are animals, too. The NHS has started prescribing going out into nature because it is good for our mental health. If we care for nature, it’s not entirely altruistic. We get benefits, too. PB

Read Full Article>>

World Politics

United States

From Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal to universal healthcare, the Democrats’ goalposts are moving, with consequences for the whole planet

Sunrise Movement occupies Nancy Pelosi's office

‘Days after the Democrats reclaimed the House, activists occupied Nancy Pelosi’s office, forcing their demand for a Green New Deal into the spotlight.’ Photograph: Michael Brochstein/Zuma/Rex/Shutterstock

A generational battle is taking place in US politics that could have profound consequences not just for the global left but also for the future of the planet. Ever since the freshman class of Democrats entered Congress in January, many of them young women of colour and supported by a young activist base, they have met resistance from more established members of the party. When the newly elected representative Rashida Tlaib, from Detroit, called Donald Trump a “motherfucker”, hours after being sworn in, she was the subject of finger-wagging from politicians and pundits. “I don’t really like that kind of language,” house judiciary chairman Jerry Nadler said. CNN’s Chris Cillizza wrote that Tlaib’s choice of words was a gift to the president.

When 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez surprised everyone by seeing off an established Democratic rival and going on to win a seat in Congress, her triumph – after a shock primary victory in New York over the longstanding incumbent, Joe Crowley, who was the third most powerful House Democrat – was played down by the House of Representatives Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, who chose to emphasise that voters had merely “made a choice in one district”. Since then, Ocasio-Cortez, who has become an internationally recognised figure, has faced a backlash from an array of party insiders – some of whom seem to resent her public profile and Twitter-star status – for her refusal to play by the normal rules of Washington politics.

‘A better world is possible’: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez elected to Congress – video

One member of the Democratic caucus told Politico: “She doesn’t understand how the place works yet”, while another suggested, somewhat condescendingly: “There’s a difference between being an activist and a lawmaker in Congress.”

The message is clear: the new, young politicians – and the activist movements that put them in office – need to sit down and learn how things work in the grownup world of Congress. But the new politics is conquering the old. However uncomfortable the style and tactics of this radical crop of young Democrats make the party’s elite feel, the truth is that young activists are successfully remaking the Democratic party from the bottom up.

Take, for example, the Justice Democrats, a leftwing grouping who are backing radical, diverse challengers to more established Democrats. Ocasio-Cortez’s New York triumph demonstrated their growing influence; and putting an unapologetically leftwing, working-class candidate in office is a sign of how times are changing. The issues Ocasio-Cortez and others like her are raising – the abolition of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, Medicare for All, a federal jobs guarantee – are starting to shift the party’s goalposts.

Nowhere is the influence of young activists more evident than in climate change. Days after the Democrats reclaimed the House, in the November midterms, activists from the Sunrise Movement occupied Pelosi’s office, forcing into the spotlight their demand for a Green New Deal – a radical plan to convert the country to renewable energy over 10 years. In February, it was the turn of the 85-year-old senator Dianne Feinstein to be confronted, again underlining the stark contrast in urgency between the generations. Bolstered by a new UN study that showed that the world has until just 2030 to head off climate catastrophe, Sunrise activists demanded politicians address the issue with the gravity that it deserves.

In Congress, Ocasio-Cortez has helped roll out the Green New Deal resolution, which sets goals that include transitioning to renewable energy by 2030, guaranteeing green jobs and overhauling the country’s transportation and buildings. So far 11 senators – among them the presidential candidates Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand – and more than 80 House members have become co-sponsors of the resolution. This is a dramatic ideological shift, and one that can be traced directly to young activists who have refused to settle for incremental change. As one Sunrise Movement board member told the New Republic magazine: “Young people are the most politically liberated force in our country right now. We have less to lose than any other generation, and everything to gain. We can be radical. We can be visionary.”

The renewal of the US left, driven by youthful energy and activism, has been coming. Over the past decade, young people from movements such as Occupy and Black Lives Matter have drastically shifted the way we think about inequality and race. The latter is one of the most successful campaigns in recent history. For example, police brutality and mass incarceration have become such integral issues to the Democratic party platform – in large part thanks to Black Lives Matter activists – that having a career as a prosecutor has become a liability, rather than a strength, for 2020 candidates like Harris.

Young activists, and the politicians they have helped put in office, have blown open the ways in which politics is supposed to work. The question now is not whether or not they have succeeded in remaking the Democratic party but rather how fast and how far they will be able to go. All our futures depend on that answer.

  • Absence follows furore over comments about Ilhan Omar

  • President: ‘Fox must stay strong and fight back with vigour’

Jeanine Pirro speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in March.

Jeanine Pirro speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in March. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

Before attending church on Sunday, Donald Trump defended a Fox News host who was taken off air after she questioned whether a Muslim congresswoman’s religious beliefs were compatible with the US constitution.

“Bring back [Judge Jeanine] Pirro,” the president tweeted from the White House, before a trip across Lafayette Square for a St Patrick’s Day service at St John’s Episcopal church. Fox should “be strong and prosper”, he added, rather than “be weak and die”.

Ilhan Omar, the subject of Pirro’s remarks, came to the US from Somalia and is one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress. Her remarks about Israeli influence on US politics have caused controversy on both sides of the aisle.

Pirro is an ardent supporter of the president on a channel with close links to the White House that are the subject of growing criticism.

On her show on Saturday 9 March, the former New York judge and district attorney said of the Minnesota representative: “Think about it. Omar wears a hijab, which, according to the Qur’an 33:59, tells women to cover so they won’t get molested.

“Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States constitution?”

Fox must stay strong and fight back with vigour. Stop working soooo hard on being politically correct

Donald Trump

Amid outcry, Fox News said it “strongly condemned” the comments and had “addressed the matter with [Pirro] directly”.

In her own statement, Pirro said she had not called Omar “un-American” and said her intention had been to “ask a question and start a debate”.

“Of course because one is Muslim does not mean you don’t support the constitution,” she said, inviting Omar to appear on her show.

For her part, Omar thanked Fox and tweeted: “No one’s commitment to our constitution should be questioned because of their faith or country of birth.”

A week later, Pirro’s show did not appear. Citing an anonymous source, CNN reported that Pirro had been suspended but not fired. Fox repeated that it was “not commenting on internal scheduling matters”.

On Sunday, the president called for Pirro to be brought back and claimed “Radical Left Democrats working closely with their beloved partner, the Fake News Media” were working to “silence a majority of our country”.

“They have all out campaigns against Fox News hosts who are doing too well,” the president wrote. “Fox must stay strong and fight back with vigour. Stop working soooo hard on being politically correct, which will only bring you down, and continue to fight for our country. The losers all want what you have, don’t give it to them. Be strong [and] prosper, be weak [and] die! Stay true to the people that got you there.”

The president also defended the Fox host Tucker Carlson, who is under pressure over offensive comments made on talk radio beginning in the mid-2000s. Advertisers have said they will withdraw from his show and the show hosted by Pirro.

“Keep fighting for Tucker,” Trump wrote, “and fight hard for Judge Jeanine. Your competitors are jealous – they all want what you’ve got – NUMBER ONE. Don’t hand it to them on a silver platter. They can’t beat you, you can only beat yourselves!”

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17 Mar

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

The McGlynn: Up The Rebel!

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16 Mar

Bernie Sanders For The People

Bernie Sander is the only candidate who truly fights for the people! He has been consistent, and the first to stand up for what’s right. He is the one who knocks. He listens to the people, and thinks carefully morally and methodically about his decision. He has fought for us and it time to let him lead us!

The McGlynn:

Trump supporters,  Sanders never advocated for pure socialism, just as he never advocated for pure capitalism. It’s not a jab to say, do you like your roads, Fire dept, police, schools, social security, unemployment when you’re looking for a new job, etc etc. Not to mention our military. Do you want someone who is actually looking to keep the big money, special interest groups out of our government and giving we the people our rights to what legislation is being written?

You sure are supporting the wrong one. Trump the Dump is a vicious dictator.

Right now we have corporate lobbyist literally writing legislation up and handing it to our legislators to sign along with a fat check to help them get re-elected. This is not a government of, by and for the people. Sanders knows this.

Trump lied to ALL of us about what kind of people he would appoint to his cabinet. Some of them the same people who caused the 2008 recession and got the bailouts.

The EPA was first established because of a major oil spill and has since tried. before Trump,  to protect our rights for clean air, water and earth. Fossil fuels are not going to be here forever and the sickening dependency on Saudi Arabia to keep fuel prices low, have an evil hand in thwarting America from actually being a true leader in human rights and not having any sway of the greed that keeps our true identity from shining.

The  America’s biggest goal in securing our future for generations to come is to defeat climate change. We stand to make billions of jobs with a federal program pushing for it. Our health, from the air we breathe to the water we drink and the earth we live on, AND our economic livelihood depends on it. Think of our children and grandchildren. Please wake up!

The greed of the big corporations and their steady power grab of our government over decades, has been wanting to destroy all of what we the people have a right to, only to further their bottom line.

Overseas tax havens and the corporate loopholes to slave labor abroad, have decimated our economy. There is no such thing as free. It’s about fair representation, checks and balances and the rights of the American worker, where there is an equal voice in government. Bernie is fighting for it. He was never against capitalism. He’s against the imbalance of corporate power over our government.

We need to end Citizens United keeping big money special interests from bribing our elected officials, Reinstall a modern day Glass Steagal Act, keeping the banking system from screwing us over. Invest in our economy from the bottom up with green jobs tied in with our infrastructure, instead of giving the already wealthy and big corporate more money to do nothing but buy their own stock back and not increase the wages of the common folk. I

And do much more.

The Senator

The McGlynn

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