* NO NATO, NO WAR: U.S. VETERANS OF IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN RETURN WAR MEDALS AT NATO SUMMIT
By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!
* THOUSANDS MARCH WITH VETERANS FOR PEACE AT CHICAGO NATO SUMMIT; POLICE RESPOND WITH BRUTE FORCE
By Allison Kilkenny, Truthout
[…] “I’m here for the Iraq Vets Against the War, which is a group we’ve worked with pretty closely over the last couple of years,” said McIlrath. “We’ve tried to show our fans a different side of the military, a different side of the war, a different side to the stories that they hear in the high-polished thirty second commercials of military recruitments versus the real stories of some of the troops who have been serving in the military. I find these stories so compelling that I want to do anything that I can possibly do to connect the people from these stories to our audience, who are desperately looking for information that is coming from somewhere besides the military.”
McIlrath remains optimistic that dissenters can have an impact on youths’ perspectives even though they’re competing with an enormous force of pro-military propaganda.
“It’s really hard, especially when you have a military that pumps millions of dollars into propaganda, and the collective will of America is sometimes a hard thing to defy. It’s a pro-war, pro-troop bundle in a way. There are some Americans who can’t divorce those two things. But I’m hopeful there is an emerging part of America that can divorce those two things. There are other ways to support the troops than supporting illegal wars,” he said. […]
* CONGRESS WANT THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE TO PROPAGANDIZE AMERICANS
By Juan Cole, Informed Comment
Two congressmen are attempting to insert a provision in the National Defense Authorization act that would allow the Department of Defense to subject the US domestic public to propaganda. The bipartisan amendment was introduced by Rep. Mac Thornberry from Texas and Rep. Adam Smith from Washington State.
Nothing speaks more urgently to the creeping fascism of American politics than the assertion by our representatives, who apparently have never read a book on Germany in the 1930s-1940s or on the Soviet Union in the Stalin period, that forbidding DoD and the State Department from subjecting us to government propaganda “ties the hands of America’s diplomatic officials, military, and others by inhibiting our ability to effectively communicate in a credible way.” And mind you, they want to use our own money to wash our brains!
As Will Rogers observed, “This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.” […]
* “WHY PROTEST?” – LIVE FROM THE NATO SUMMIT IN CHICAGO
By Lee Camp, youtube
The first live on-location Moment of Clarity comes to you from the NATO protests in Chicago. [Get more at LeeCamp.net]
* CHICAGO HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF AS COPS AND PROTESTERS CLASH
By Rick Perlstein, Rolling Stone
[…] Up ahead, from sidewalk to sidewalk, marched another row of cops, walking backward, sometimes joining hands red-rover style. Flying squadrons of riot police in those fearsome security-visored blue helmets, chest-protectors that make them look like black turtles, and massively bulging shiny shin guards sometimes appeared, then disappeared down abandoned side streets. Then, at the march’s culmination at a makeshift stage 800 yards and innumerable eight-foot-tall steel security barriers west of where 65 world leaders were gathering to talk, largely about the course of the war in Afghanistan, they were suddenly among us, en masse: black turtles, row upon row, arrayed on the elevated median strips that afforded them the high ground for whatever battle might ensue.
This was Chicago in May of 2012, where all week citizens have been cordially invited by authorities to savor what it would feel like to live in a police state – 7.5 miles of street closings; several “maritime security zones”; the thwukthwukthwuk of helicopters and the continuous scream of jet fighters overhead; those infamous “Long Range Acoustic Devices” that make it too painful to stand, poised at the ready; and, in one particularly surreal touch in my tranquil Hyde Park neighborhood, a misplaced suitcase that shut down the 57th Street train station as well access to the two adjacent nerdy used bookstores, a full forty blocks from the NATO zone. (An email to every University of Chicago student, staffer, and faculty member: “Police activity 57th Street at Metra. Avoid area. Additional information to follow.” Thirty-nine minutes later: “All clear 57th Street and Metra. Will resume normal operations.”)
Just as intended, the city thrummed with fear, uncertainty, and doubt, the most effective tool the powerful possess to keep the rest of us in line; so pervasive was the dread that people working downtown wore jeans on Thursday (no one showed up to work on Friday), lest they be randomly attacked by “self-described anarchists” – in the news media’s odd formulation – mistaking them for members of “the 1%.” […]
* CHICAGO POLICE ATTACK PRESS, USE BIKES AS WEAPONS
Tracey Pollock, a credentialed photographer for The UpTake, is attacked by police in Chicago during an anti-NATO protest on Saturday. Before the attack, police were using their bicycles as weapons to force back the crowd which was staging a march without a permit.
Police had formed a barricade; as you can see from the video, there was some sort of incident along the barricade. Pollock tried to get closer to see what was happening when a police officer reached up, grabbed her lens and tried to rip her camera away. The officer then pushed her over some bicycles.
Pollock was wearing a large press badge and as you can hear from the audio, even bystanders could tell she was part of the press. Protesters behind the bicycles pulled her to safety.
Pollock was bruised in the incident but not seriously injured. She says she never crossed the police barricade.
* US DESERTER DENIED ASYLUM IN GERMANY
Germany has denied asylum to Andre Shepherd, a former US soldier who deserted his unit in Iraq citing opposition to the war, a spokesman for the federal office for migration and refugees said on Tuesday.
By By Sergei, OpEdNews
“The asylum claim was rejected because there is no evidence to suggest that the asylum seeker could have been involved in war crimes or other crimes during another posting to Iraq,” the office said in a statement.
“He could not cite any concrete crimes his unit committed during his first tour. In addition, as a helicopter mechanic, he was not in danger of becoming involved in fighting and therefore in possible crimes,” added the office.
Shepherd, 33, originally from Cleveland, Ohio, walked off his base in southern Germany in 2007 and spent 19 months on the run before applying for asylum. […]
* THE EUROPEAN STABILIZATION MECHANISM, OR HOW THE GOLDMAN VAMPIRE SQUID JUST CAPTURED EUROPE
The Goldman Sachs coup that failed in America has nearly succeeded in Europe—a permanent, irrevocable, unchallengeable bailout for the banks underwritten by the taxpayers.
By Ellen Brown, Nation of Change
In September 2008, Henry Paulson, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, managed to extort a $700 billion bank bailout from Congress. But to pull it off, he had to fall on his knees and threaten the collapse of the entire global financial system and the imposition of martial law; and the bailout was a one-time affair. Paulson’s plea for a permanent bailout fund—the Troubled Asset Relief Program or TARP—was opposed by Congress and ultimately rejected.
By December 2011, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi, former vice president of Goldman Sachs Europe, was able to approve a 500 billion Euro bailout for European banks without asking anyone’s permission. And in January 2012, a permanent rescue-funding program called the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) was passed in the dead of night with barely even a mention in the press. The ESM imposes an open-ended debt on EU member governments, putting taxpayers on the hook for whatever the ESM’s Eurocrat overseers demand.
The bankers’ coup has triumphed in Europe seemingly without a fight. The ESM is cheered by Eurozone governments, their creditors, and “the market” alike, because it means investors will keep buying sovereign debt. All is sacrificed to the demands of the creditors, because where else can the money be had to float the crippling debts of the Eurozone governments?
There is another alternative to debt slavery to the banks. But first, a closer look at the nefarious underbelly of the ESM and Goldman’s silent takeover of the ECB . . . […]
* EU TREATY OF DEBT (European Stability Mechanism = ESM) STOP IT NOW!