Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Baltimore Activist Alert - November 22 - 23, 2017

21] Pray for the Mayor and the City -- Nov. 22
22] Pray for Peace – Nov. 22
23] Victory for Survivors -- Nov. 23
24] Turkey Drive 2017 -- Nov. 23
25] Community Free Thanksgiving Day Dinner  -- Nov. 23

21] – On Wed., Nov. 22 at 5:30 PM and Thurs., Nov. 23 at 6 PM, Pray For the Mayor And City, hosted by Hug Don't Shoot, at the Baltimore City Hall, 100 Holliday St., Baltimore 21202.  Join the #HugDealers of #HUGDONTSHOOT,  Praying for every Single Person in Baltimore. Stop talking about what someone else is NOT doing let's see what you can do.!!!!

22] –  Interfaith Peace Partners are invited to Pray for Peace at the Chapel of  Church of the Holy Comforter, 130 West Seminary Ave., Lutherville, at noon on Thanksgiving eve on Wed., Nov. 22. Contact the Rev. Charles Cloughen, Jr., Interfaith Peace Service Coordinator, at ccloughen@episcopalmaryland.org  at 410-321-4545.

23] – On Thurs., Nov. 23 at 11 AM, there will be a Thanksgiving Day Service of Victory for Survivors at Saint John African Methodist Episcopal Church, 810 North Carrollton Ave., Baltimore 21217.  Come out Cancer, Stroke, Heart, Kidney, Liver and Transplant Survivors! Also come out Military Service Survivors! Also invited are Substance Abuse and Survivors of any Emotional, Physical or Financial Catastrophes! Call (410) 523-5468. Rev. Dr. Peggy E. Wall is the Senior Pastor.

24] –The Frederick County Progressives and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick present Turkey Drive 2017 on Thurs., Nov. 23 from noon to 8 PM at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick, 4880 Elmer Derr Rd., Frederick 21703.  The Thanksgiving season is one in which we look back over the year to recognize the things that we are thankful for. For those of us with the Frederick County Progressives Team it is that so many, especially here in Frederick, have decided to stand up and be the change that we want to see in our town, country, and world; to show that Frederick is a kind, caring, and welcoming community, not just in our words, but in our deeds.  Help deliver individually boxed Thanksgiving meals to those in need. Enjoy a Thanksgiving meal at the UUCF. Contact the Frederick County Progressives · FrederickTurkeyDrive@gmail.com. RSVP at http://www.frederickprogressives.com/turkey_drive_2017?utm_campaign=wkmem11_20_2017&utm_medium=email&utm_source=progressivemaryland.

25] –– On Thurs., Nov. 23 from 12:30 to 4:30 PM, enjoy a Community Free Thanksgiving Day Dinner hosted by St. Thomas Ev. Lutheran Church, 339 S. Pulaski St., Baltimore 21223. Free dinner to all who come; also get free coats and clothing.

To be continued.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/.


"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Ignoring Washington’s Role in Yemen Carnage, 60 Minutes Paints US as Savior

Ignoring Washington’s Role in Yemen Carnage, 60 Minutes Paints US as Savior

Monday, November 20, 2017



By Adam Johnson

   In one of the most glaring, power-serving omissions in some time, CBS News 60 Minutes (11/19/17) took a deep dive into the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and did not once mention the direct role the United States played in creating, perpetuating and prolonging a crisis that’s left over 10,000 civilians dead2 million displaced, and an estimated 1 million with cholera.

   Correspondent Scott Pelley’s segment, “When Food Is Used as a Weapon,” employed excellent on-the-ground reporting to highlight the famine and bombing victims of Saudi Arabia’s brutal two-and-a-half year siege of Yemen. But its editors betrayed this reporting—and their viewers—by stripping the conflict of any geopolitical context, and letting one of its largest backers, the United States government, entirely off the hook.

   As FAIR has previously noted (10/14/162/27/17), US media frequently ignore the Pentagon’s role in the conflict altogether. Pelly did not once note that the US assists Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign with logistical support, refueling and the selling of arms to the tune of $400 billion.  The US also routinely protects Saudi Arabia at the UN from condemnation—a shield that may have vastly prolonged the war, given that it signals the support of the most powerful country on Earth.

   Meanwhile, Iran’s involvement in the conflict—which, even by the most paranoid estimates, is far less than the United States’—is placed front and center as one side of the “war.” The conflict is framed in hackneyed “Sunni vs Shia” terms, with Saudi Arabia unironically called the “leader of the Sunni world” and Iran the “leader of the Shia world.” A reductionist narrative that omits that Sunnis have fought alongside the Houthis, and the fact that Saudi bombs kill members of the marginalized, mostly Sunni Muhamasheen caste, who are neither “led” by Saudi Arabia nor part of the “Shia world.”

    This cartoon dichotomy is the extent of the context. Saudi Arabia is rightly singled out as the primary aggressor (though a dubious comparative body count of 3,000 killed by Saudis vs. 1,000 by Houthis is proffered that is far lower than the UN’s January 2017 estimates of 10,000 total civilians killed), but who the Saudis’ primary patrons are—the United States and Britain (and Canada, too)—is simply not mentioned. One would think, watching Pelley’s report, it was a purely regional conflict, and not one sanctioned and armed by major Western superpowers to counter “Iranian aggression.”

   To compound the obfuscation, 60 Minutes doesn’t just omit the US role in the war, it paints the US as a savior rescuing its victims. The hero of the piece is American David Beasley, the director of the UN’s World Food Programme, the organization coordinating humanitarian aid. “The US is [the World Food Programme]’s biggest donor, so the director is most often an American. Beasley was once governor of South Carolina,” Pelly narrates over B-roll hero shots of Beasley overseeing food distribution.
Beasley, in his sit-down interview, bends over backwards to downplay Saudi responsibility, insisting at every turn that “all parties” are to blame:

You see it’s chaos, it’s starvation, it’s hunger, and it’s unnecessary conflict, strictly man-made. All parties involved in this conflict have their hands guilty, the hands are dirty. All parties.

   The spin that the crisis is the fault of “all parties” is understandable from a US-funded de facto diplomat, charged with providing some cover for a major regional ally. But the premise that “all parties” are causing the famine is never challenged by Pelley. It’s taken as fact, and the piece moves on.

  It’s part of a broader trend of erasing American responsibility for the conflict and resulting humanitarian disaster. The Washington Post ran an editorial last week (11/8/17) and an explainer piece Saturday (11/19/17) detailing the carnage in Yemen, neither one of which bothered to mention US involvement. American complicity in the war is so broad in scope, it merited a warning last year from the US’s own State Department they could be liable for war crimes—yet it hardly merits a mention in major media accounts. The war just is, a collective moral failing on the part of “all parties”—irrational sectarian Muslims lost in a pat “cycle of violence” caricature.

   As momentum builds in Congress, animated by grassroots anti-war activists, to push back against the war and hold US lawmakers accountable, how the US contributes to the death and disease in the Arabian peninsula is of urgent political import. By erasing the US role in the war, CBS producers obscure for viewers the most effective way they can end the war: by pressuring their own lawmakers to stop supporting it. Instead, viewers are left with what filmmaker Adam Curtis calls “Oh, dearism”: the act of feeling distressed but ultimately helpless in the face of mindless cruelty—perpetrated, conveniently, by everyone but us.
© 2017 Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR)
Adam Johnson

Adam Johnson is a New York-based  journalist, a contributing analyst for FAIR.org, and co-host of the Citations Needed podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @adamjohnsonnyc

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/


"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

A call for a world without nuclear weapons

A call for a world without nuclear weapons
·         By Sara Cate
·          
·         Nov 3, 2017
Republicans and Democrats have agreed on many issues over the years. Reducing the threat of nuclear war was, and I hope still is, an area of common ground. The Nobel Committee just awarded the 2017 Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), for their work in passing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Our current administration dismisses this historic treaty — they are wrong to do so. The U.S., and the people of Washington state, should heed this call and join the movement for a world without nuclear weapons.
As a physician and member of Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility (WPSR), a partner organization of ICAN, this issue is personal. Growing up in the ’60s and ’70s, I felt the risk of nuclear war was frighteningly real. While earning my masters in Public Health in the ’80s, I chose to study radiation health effects. The pictures of the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are etched in my mind — many dying instantly, others through an agonizing death from radiation sickness. Those who survived faced increased risks of cancers and other health issues.
This became very personal when I worked in the Pacific islands. Many islanders were exposed to radiation fallout where the U.S., France and England had tested nuclear weapons. There, I met Darlene Keju, a young woman from the Marshall Islands, also passionate about public health, and we became fast friends. A few years later, Darlene died of breast cancer before reaching 40. I often wonder if she had not been exposed to radiation as a child, whether she would be alive today and we would be sharing stories about our children and future grandchildren.
WPSR has long argued that nuclear weapons are a major public health threat. Prevention is the only answer. There is no such thing as a winnable nuclear war.
The TPNW is the result of a decade-long campaign raising awareness about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. In Washington, we know these consequences all too well. Uranium mining for nuclear weapons on the Spokane Tribe of Indians’ reservation poisoned residents and their land. The Hanford nuclear site is the most contaminated place in the United States.
This treaty is a monumental step, expressly prohibiting nuclear weapons development, production, possession, use and threat of use. Nuclear weapons will join the ranks of other inhumane weapons declared illegal by international law.
The Nobel Committee stated that the “next steps towards a world free of nuclear weapons must involve nuclear-armed states.” This prize is a call for serious negotiations with a view to the careful elimination of the global stockpile of almost 15,000 nuclear weapons.
Current actions to rebuild our entire nuclear arsenal, to scrap the Iran deal, to provoke nuclear weapons states like North Korea, are taking us down a dangerous and foolhardy path. Our members of Congress should show bold leadership in the movement to eliminate our nuclear arsenals. Washington state must be a leader in this campaign.
* Sara Cate lives in Yakima.
© Copyright 2017 Yakima Herald-Republic, 114 N. 4th Street Yakima, WA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs


Experts Warn It Would Take More Than One General to Thwart "Illegal" Nuclear Strike

Experts Warn It Would Take More Than One General to Thwart "Illegal" Nuclear Strike


Sunday, November 19, 2017

"What would happen if a president ordered a nuclear strike, but the commanding general refused, believing it to be illegal? The truth is, no one knows."


https://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_large/public/headlines/ct-nuclear-weapons-20171118-001.jpg?itok=rHWxdKwR

Air Force Gen. John Hyten, shown November 2016, said Nov. 18, 2017, an order from President Donald Trump or any of his successors to launch nuclear weapons can be refused if that order is determined to be illegal. (Photo: Nati Harnik / AP)
While a top U.S. nuclear military commander made global headlines over the weekend after he stated plainly on Saturday that he would resist any order from President Donald Trump that he deemed "illegal," including an unlawful directive to carry out a nuclear strike, experts warn that individual objections such as that could be overcome by a commander-in-chief determined to launch an attack.
Speaking at a security convention in Nova Scotia, Canada, Gen. John Hyten, head of U.S. Strategic Command, said that his role in the event of the president ordering a nuclear strike would be to offer both strategic and legal guidance, but that he would not betray the laws of war simply because Trump ordered it.
"I provide advice to the President," Hyten answered when asked how he would respond to a nuclear attack being ordered. "He'll tell me what to do, and if it's illegal, guess what's going to happen? I'm gonna say, 'Mr. President, that's illegal.' Guess what he's going to do? He's going to say, 'What would be legal?' And we'll come up with options of a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is, and that's the way it works. It's not that complicated."
But is it that simple?

What would happen if a president ordered a nuclear strike, but the commanding general refused, believing it to be illegal? The truth is, no one knows. http://apne.ws/MsGfH4o 
https://storage.googleapis.com/afs-prod/media/media:491ece96cb644d9ca17f3b41ef542ada/800.jpeg


  As reporting by the Associated Press points out on Sunday, a simple refusal by even a top commander like Hyten might not be enough to stop a commander-in-chief bent on having such an attack carried out:

Brian McKeon, a senior policy adviser in the Pentagon during the Obama administration, said a president's first recourse would be to tell the defense secretary to order the reluctant commander to execute the launch order.
"And then, if the commander still resisted," McKeon said as rubbed his chin, "you either get a new secretary of defense or get a new commander." The implication is that one way or another, the commander in chief would not be thwarted.

 Hyten's remarks follow a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing last week in which the president's authority to launch nuclear weapons was held on Capitol Hill. As Common Dreams reported, "Trump's behavior throughout his campaign and presidency has heightened concerns about the threat of nuclear annihilation and has, for monthsprovoked global demands that the U.S. Congress strip Trump of his nuclear authority."

   While Hyten's comments on Saturday likely brought some relief to those concerned about Trump's finger on the nuclear button, Bruce Blair, a former nuclear missile launch officer and co-founder of the Global Zero group that advocates eliminating nuclear weapons, said there's another important caveat that shouldn't be missed: The Strategic Command chief, Hyten in this case, could be bypassed by the president.

  A president can transmit his nuclear attack order directly to a Pentagon war room, Blair told the AP. And from there the news outlet reports, the order "would go to the men and women who would turn the launch keys."

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Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs



Monday, November 20, 2017

#RichPeopleNeedTaxCuts: The Republican Tax Plan


 #RichPeopleNeedTaxCuts: The Republican Tax Plan

Monday, November 20, 2017

By Dean BakerTruthout | Op-Ed

Demonstrators hoist signs as Sen. Jeff Merkley addresses a rally against the proposed Republican tax reform legislation on the east side of the US Capitol November 15, 2017, in Washington, DC. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

Demonstrators hoist signs as Sen. Jeff Merkley addresses a rally against the proposed Republican tax reform legislation on the east side of the US Capitol, November 15, 2017, in Washington, DC. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)


When it comes to tax cuts, congressional Republicans are determined to come through for their wealthy donors, and they don't really care who gets hurt in the process. They want big tax cuts for corporations, rich people who can arrange to have their money come through a pass-through business, and the heirs of the super-wealthy. Everything else is just window dressing, or more accurately, window breaking.
Starting with the House bill, one measure, portrayed as closing a loophole, would end the medical care deduction. The medical care deduction only affects people who spend 10 percent of their income on medical bills.
The people in this situation are typically facing serious medical problems, like cancer or who have children with severe birth defects. The logic of giving the deduction is that if a middle-class family spends $40,000 on health care, they aren't going to have the money to pay their taxes. Medical expenses are already the leading cause of bankruptcy in the country; the Republican tax plan should increase its lead.
Senate Republicans decided to leave the medical expense deduction in place, because they wanted to play their own game with people's health. They propose removing the Obamacare mandate that requires people to buy insurance. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), 13 million people will lose their health insurance within a decade.
Over time, the Republican plan will lead to the unraveling of the individual insurance market. As fewer healthy people sign up for insurance, the remaining pool will become ever less healthy. As a result, insurance in the individual market will become prohibitively expensive.
But this is just the start of the fun. Both the House and Senate bills propose raising the child tax credit from the current $1,000 to $1,650 per child. This is a good policy, except it's not fully refundable. As a result, the people who need it most get little or nothing.
A single mother with two kids, earning $14,500 a year, can look forward to a whopping $75 a year from this tax credit. A couple with two kids earning $24,000 will get $200. By contrast, a couple with two kids earning $1 million will pocket $3,300 a year.
Then we have the Republican's war on college education. Both bills eliminate the tax deductibility of interest on student loans. They also tax the tuition waivers that many grad students get as part of their payment as research or teaching assistants. The value of these waivers can easily be $20,000 or $30,000 a year.
Paying tax on this money will be a considerable burden on graduate students whose pay is often considerably less than the size of the tuition waiver. These are great policies if you think that too many low- and middle-income kids are going to college. 
Then we have the elimination of the tax deduction for state and local income taxes. This is an effort to teach states like California and New York not to vote Democratic or spend money to help lower-income people.
There might be an argument for this pain if it served some important public purpose, but giving more money to the big winners in the economy for the last four decades doesn't fit the bill. According to the Tax Policy Center, the richest 1 percent will get just under half of the tax cut over the next decade.
The Trump administration assures us that ordinary workers will still come out ahead because their corporate tax cuts will lead to a huge surge of investment. There is pretty much zero reason to believe this.
As Paul O'Neill, a former top executive at several major companies and Bush administration Treasury secretary, said: "As a businessman I never made an investment decision based on the tax code. If you give money away I will take it, but good business people don't do things because of inducements."
Perhaps the biggest irony in this story is that the economy is actually doing pretty well right now. Unemployment is at its lowest level since 2000, wages are increasing up and down the income ladder, and we may actually be seeing the beginning of a pickup in productivity growth.
It's hard to see the rationale for the Republican tax cut plan in this picture, even if we accepted their story. But, as the saying goes, #RichPeopleNeedTaxCuts.
Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.
Dean Baker is a macroeconomist and codirector of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC. He previously worked as a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute and an assistant professor at Bucknell University. He is a regular Truthout columnist and a member of Truthout's Board of Advisers.
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Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs



Shame on Steny Hoyer/US steps up aid to Saudi Arabia's slaughter in Yemen

Friends,

Would you be interested in joining a sit-in that would take place in Rep. Steny Hoyer's office? He is a big supporter of Saudi Arabia and is attempting to prevent debate on legislation which would force the U.S. military to stop aiding the Saudi Arabian military's destruction of Yemen. Kagiso, Max


World Socialist Web Site
wsws.org
US steps up aid to Saudi Arabia’s slaughter in Yemen
By Bill Van Auken
20 November 2017
Washington is initiating a series of new policies aimed at building up the military power of the monarchical dictatorship in Saudi Arabia as it carries out a siege that could claim millions of lives in neighboring Yemen.
The Wall Street Journal, citing senior administration officials, reported Saturday that “The Trump administration is looking at ways to quickly strengthen Saudi Arabia's missile defenses and disrupt the flow of advanced Iranian-made weapons across the Middle East as concerns grow over a destabilizing new crisis in the region.”
The so-called “destabilizing new crisis” in the Middle East is one of Washington’s and Riyadh’s own making, flowing from the Trump administration’s attempt to forge an anti-Iranian alliance uniting US imperialism, Saudi Arabia and the other reactionary Sunni oil sheikdoms of the Persian Gulf and Israel in an anti-Iranian military alliance.
Emboldened by unconditional US support, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin-Salman has carried out a sweeping purge of potential rivals within the Saudi regime, while escalating the murderous war in Yemen and carrying out the kidnapping and forced resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri with the aim of destabilizing Lebanon and igniting a sectarian civil war against the Shia-based movement, Hezbollah.
According to the Journal article, the Trump administration views the controversy surrounding Hariri as a “frustrating complication” that is diverting Washington’s drive to “galvanize support for new action against Iran.”
The most criminal of the US-backed Saudi actions has been the imposition of a blockade of Yemen aimed at starving into submission its population and the Houthi rebels who seized much of the western part of the country, including the capital of Sanaa.
Riyadh has justified its blockade by saying it is trying to prevent arms from reaching the Houthis following the firing of a missile from Yemen on November 4 that was shot down near Riyadh’s international airport. In reality, what Saudi Arabia—with the assistance of the US Navy—is turning back are shipments of food, medicine and other vital supplies under conditions of spreading famine and the worst cholera epidemic in modern history.
Iran has denied Saudi charges that the missile was of Iranian manufacture, a position that has been supported by a panel of experts appointed by the United Nations Security council, which issued a statement six days after the missile was fired saying that there has been no evidence of Iranian transfer of short-range missiles to Yemen and charging that Riyadh is exploiting the incident “as justification for obstructing the delivery of commodities that are essentially civilian in nature.”
Washington, which echoed the Saudi propaganda blaming Iran for the attack, has issued no statement condemning the blockade of Yemen, a war crime in which the US is itself complicit. The major European powers have also remained largely silent as a near-genocidal campaign is being executed against the people of Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world. The European arms manufacturers, like their American counterparts, have secured lucrative contracts with the Saudi monarchy.
According to the Journal article, the foremost response of the Trump administration to the crisis in the Middle East is to push more arms on the Saudi regime. Last month, Trump approved a weapons deal that allows Riyadh to purchase $15 billion worth of missiles, launchers, radar and other military technology. “US officials said that deal could be accelerated as a result of the missile fired at Riyadh.”
The newspaper added that, “The US military also could step up its efforts to seize weapons shipments going through the Persian Gulf and across the region,” meaning that the US Navy would escalate operations that are contributing to the blocking of relief supplies and the mass starvation engulfing Yemen.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon has acknowledged that the US Air Force has more than doubled its refueling flights that keep Saudi and allied warplanes in the air, continuously bombing Yemeni hospitals, schools, residential blocks and basic infrastructure, accounting for the bulk of the 12,000 deaths in the two-and-a-half-year-old war. Washington also increased its supply of jet fuel to the Saudis by 140 percent over the fiscal year that ended in September, according to a report on the Al-Monitor web site.
The bombs and missiles that are killing Yemen are also supplied largely by Washington, with $3 billion worth of bombs provided to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates since 2015 and a $500 million sale of precision-guided munitions approved by the US Senate in June.
The latest atrocity made possible by this arms aid took place on Sunday with a Saudi airstrike in the northern province of Jawf demolishing a home leaving eight children and three women, all from the same family, dead under the rubble.
The two-week-old Saudi blockade, however, threatens to dwarf the number of deaths caused by the bombing campaign. Even before Saudi Arabia shut down Yemen’s airports, sea ports and borders, turning away container ships full of food and relief supplies and fuel tankers that had already been inspected and searched for weapons, 7 million Yemenis were on the brink of famine, while 17 million others did not know where their next meal would come from.
The UN and various relief agencies have warned that, with Yemen dependent upon imports for 90 percent of its food, the blockade could rapidly lead to the deaths of millions.
Three Yemeni cities—Hodeida, Saada and Taiz—ran out of clean water on Friday because of the Saudi blockade preventing the delivery of fuel needed to run pumping and sanitation systems, the International Committee of the Red Cross reported. The lack of clean water will place at least a million more people at risk of cholera on top of the 928,000 already believed to have contracted the disease. The capital of Sanaa and other cities will “find themselves in the same situation” within weeks if the blockade is not lifted, the Red Cross said. The lack of fuel will also shut down generators powering hospitals, condemning many patients to death.
Doctors without Borders (MSF) reported Sunday that the Saudi regime is preventing it from conducting flights in and out of Yemen, despite claims from Riyadh that it was allowing the movement of humanitarian supplies and personnel. The aid agency also said it had been warned by Saudi authorities against operating in areas under the control of the Houthi rebels.
The aid group Oxfam issued a blistering statement warning that “A catastrophe of astonishing proportions is unfolding before our eyes as Yemen’s Houthi-controlled territory is sealed off and suffocated ... Absent a rapid turnaround, we are likely to witness in Yemen an extraordinary level of devastation, the likes of which most of us have never lived through.”
The statement continued by noting that “the US government has led its allies in demonstrations of solidarity with Saudi Arabia against Iran, ignoring a ghastly humanitarian crisis. The international community’s unqualified support for Saudi Arabia’s position nearly culminated in the adoption of a UN Security Council Presidential Statement condemning the Houthis and Iran’s malign activity without so much as a mention of Yemen’s dire humanitarian crisis and the steps taken by Saudi Arabia to push it to the brink of catastrophe.”
The systematic extermination of Yemeni men, women and children by bombardment, starvation and disease exposes the real face of US imperialism. It demonstrates that behind the empty rhetoric about the “war on terror,” “human rights” and “democracy,” it is prepared to kill millions to offset the decline of American capitalism through a drive to assert US global hegemony by military means.

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Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs




Update: US Supreme Court clears way to extradite Salvadoran colonel who ordered Jesuits' death


NU
Update: US Supreme Court clears way to extradite Salvadoran colonel who ordered Jesuits' death
Nov 15, 2017

El Salvador Jesuit memorial
A stone bearing the names of six Jesuits massacred in 1989 is seen at Central American University in San Salvador, El Salvador, Nov. 16, 2009, the 20th anniversary of their deaths. The priests, their housekeeper and her daughter were killed at the university by members of an army unit during a military offensive. (CNS/Reuters/Luis Galdamez)
Updated Nov. 16, 8:40 a.m. CT
In a move that seemed timed for maximum effect, the U.S. Supreme Court announced Nov. 15 — the eve of the 28th anniversary of the Jesuit massacre in El Salvador — that it had cleared the way for a former Salvadoran colonel to be extradited to Spain to stand trial for the atrocity.
The announcement came just seven days after U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco filed a brief with the high court, urging it not to block the extradition of ex-Col. Inocente Orlando Montano, a member of El Salvador's military High Command at the time of the massacre.
NCR_11-17.jpg
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Montano has been fighting extradition for some two and half years, denying his role in the 1989 assassinations of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter. 
Montano entered the U.S. in 2002, falsely stating on immigration papers that he had never been a member of the Salvadoran military. In fact, he had been the Vice Minister of Defense and Public Safety, in command of the National Police, the Treasury Police, and the National Guard.
After a human rights group exposed him, he was arrested and convicted in 2013 for immigration fraud and perjury and served time in North Carolina before being brought into federal court in connection with an extradition request from Spain. Five of the six slain priests were Spanish citizens.
In a landmark ruling in February 2016, Federal Magistrate Kimberly Swank ordered his extradition after detailing his role in massacre. Montano appealed to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, which 18 months later upheld Swank's ruling.
Last month, Montano appealed to the Supreme Court for a stay of extradition, which is now pending, but given little chance to succeed by lawyers familiar with the case.
On Nov. 8, Francisco weighed in with a 29-page brief, urging the high court to deny the stay.
Francisco, who supervises U.S. government litigation in the Supreme Court, noted that lower courts have discarded Montano's arguments, adding that "no reason exists to delay extradition" and that Montano can continue to make his arguments to the Spanish court.
He also noted that the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs has signed a surrender warrant authorizing Montano's extradition to Spain — a key point as the State Department has final say on all extradition cases.
Timely compliance with Spain's request "advances the United States' foreign policy and law enforcement interests," Francisco wrote, and "Spain is an important partner of the United States in terrorism."
After Spain indicted Montano for "terrorist murder," Francisco stated, it sent an extradition request to the U.S. along with evidence showing that in the days leading up to the murders, the military-controlled radio station that Montano supervised made threats against the priests; that on the day before the murders, Montano participated in a meeting of the High Command where the order to kill them was given and provided the assassins with the location of one of the priests; and that following the murders, he attempted to conceal the miltary's involvement by threatening the wife of a witness.
The priest whose location Montano supplied to the killers was identified in the Swank ruling as Jesuit Fr. Ignacio Ellacuría.
Ellacuría was the rector of the University of Central America when the U.S.-trained commandos shot the priests in the back of the head with high-powered weapons. They also executed their housekeeper, Julia Elba Ramos, and her teenaged daughter, Celina. Ellacuría and Jesuit Frs. Ignacio Martín-Baró, Segundo Montes, Juan Ramón Moreno and Amando López were citizens of Spain. The sixth priest, Joaquín López y López, was from El Salvador.
At the time, Ellacuría was a key negotiator in peace talks between the U.S.-backed rightwing Salvadoran government and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN). The military radio station that Montano oversaw called Ellacuría "an armed terrorist and an intellectual figurehead for the rebel FMLN."
Francisco noted that Spain classified the Jesuit murders as terrorism under a law that applies the term to those "who acting as members of armed gangs or terrorist or rebel organizations, or collaborating with their purposes and goals, commit any criminal act using fire weapons or other destructive devices."
Spain found that Montano "was a member of a qualifying armed gang" based on evidence that he was "a member of a group of officers" who commissioned the "highly armed and trained Atlacatl Battalion," to kill a group of civilians.
Records show that 19 of 26 officers cited for the Jesuit massacre by the U.N. Truth Commission were graduates of the U.S. Army's School of the Americas, now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. Montano was not only a graduate of the Army school, but also of the Jesuit university where the priests were executed.
He will be the highest-ranking official in recent history to be extradited by the United States for human rights violations. It was not immediately known just how soon Montano will be put on a plane to Madrid. 
One of the arguments Montano used to argue why he should not be extradited was that it would impinge on El Salvador's sovereignty. But not only has El Salvador never sought his extradition, neither has it refused to extradite any of the other officers also indicted by Spain for the massacre.
Law professor Patty Blum, part of the human rights team that brought charges against Montano in Spain, praised Francisco for "cogently rebutting the claims Montano has argued again and again."
Blum, the board chair for Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers, was deeply satisfied by the Supreme Court’s decision and its timeliness, which she said is "a reminder that at the heart of this legal battle is a horrendous crime that long has cried out for full justice."
[Linda Cooper and James Hodge are the authors of Disturbing the Peace: The Story of Father Roy Bourgeois and the Movement to Close the School of the Americas.]  
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