Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

America’s Wars and the US Debt Crisis

May 23, 2023

To surmount the debt crisis, America needs to stop feeding the Military-Industrial Complex, the most powerful lobby in Washington.

By Jeffrey D. Sachs, Information Clearing House

In the year 2000, the U.S. government debt was $3.5 trillion, equal to 35% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). By 2022, the debt was $24 trillion, equal to 95% of GDP. The U.S. debt is soaring, hence America’s current debt crisis. Yet both Republicans and Democrats are missing the solution: stopping America’s wars of choice and slashing military outlays.

Suppose the government’s debt had remained at a modest 35% of GDP, as in 2000. Today’s debt would be $9 billion, as opposed to $24 trillion. Why did the U.S. government incur the excess $15 trillion in debt?

The single biggest answer is the U.S. government’s addiction to war and military spending. According to the Watson Institute at Brown University, the cost of U.S. wars from fiscal year 2001 to fiscal year 2022 amounted to a whopping $8 trillion, more than half of the extra $15 trillion in debt. The other $7 trillion arose roughly equally from budget deficits caused by the 2008 financial crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Facing down the military-industrial lobby is the vital first step to putting America’s fiscal house in order

To surmount the debt crisis, America needs to stop feeding the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC), the most powerful lobby in Washington. As President Dwight D. Eisenhower famously warned on January 17, 1961, “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” Since 2000, the MIC led the U.S. into disastrous wars of choice in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and now Ukraine.

The Military-Industrial Complex long ago adopted a winning political strategy by ensuring that the military budget reaches into every Congressional district. The Congressional Research Service recently reminded Congress that, “Defense spending touches every Member of Congress’s district through pay and benefits for military servicemembers and retirees, economic and environmental impact of installations, and procurement of weapons systems and parts from local industry, among other activities.” Only a brave member of Congress would vote against the military-industry lobby, yet bravery is certainly no hallmark of Congress.

America’s annual military spending is now around $900 billion, roughly 40% of the world’s total, and greater than the next 10 countries combined. U.S. military spending in 2022 was triple that of China. According to Congressional Budget Office, the military outlays for 2024-2033 will be a staggering $10.3 trillion on current baseline. A quarter or more of that could be avoided by ending America’s wars of choice, closing down many of America’s 800 or so military bases around the world, and negotiating new arms control agreements with China and Russia.

Yet instead of peace through diplomacy, and fiscal responsibility, the MIC regularly scares the American people with a comic-book style depictions of villains whom the U.S. must stop at all costs. The post-2000 list has included Afghanistan’s Taliban, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, Libya’s Moammar Qaddafi, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and recently, China’s Xi Jinping. War, we are repeatedly told, is necessary for America’s survival.

A peace-oriented foreign policy would be opposed strenuously by the military-industrial lobby but not by the public. Significant public pluralities already want less, not more, U.S. involvement in other countries’ affairs, and less, not more, US troop deployments overseas. Regarding Ukraine, Americans overwhelmingly want a “minor role” (52%) rather than a “major role” (26%) in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. This is why neither Biden nor any recent president has dared to ask Congress for any tax increase to pay for America’s wars. The public’s response would be a resounding “No!”

While America’s wars of choice have been awful for America, they have been far greater disasters for countries that America purports to be saving. As Henry Kissinger famously quipped, “To be an enemy of the United States can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal.” Afghanistan was America’s cause from 2001 to 2021, until the U.S. left it broken, bankrupt, and hungry. Ukraine is now in America’s embrace, with the same likely results: ongoing war, death, and destruction.

The military budget could be cut prudently and deeply if the U.S. replaced its wars of choice and arms races with real diplomacy and arms agreements. If presidents and members of congress had only heeded the warnings of top American diplomats such as William Burns, the U.S. Ambassador to Russia in 2008, and now CIA Director, the U.S. would have protected Ukraine’s security through diplomacy, agreeing with Russia that the U.S. would not expand NATO into Ukraine if Russia also kept its military out of Ukraine. Yet relentless NATO expansion is a favorite cause of the MIC; new NATO members are major customers of U.S. armaments.

The U.S. has also unilaterally abandoned key arms control agreements. In 2002, the U.S. unilaterally walked out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. And rather than promote nuclear disarmament—as the U.S. and other nuclear powers are required to do under Article VI the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty—the Military-Industrial Complex has sold Congress on plans to spend more than $600 billion by 2030 to “modernize” the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Now the MIC is talking up the prospect of war with China over Taiwan. The drumbeats of war with China are stoking the military budget, yet war with China is easily avoidable if the U.S. adheres to the One-China policy that properly underpins U.S.-China relations. Such a war should be unthinkable. More than bankrupting the U.S., it could end the world.

Military spending is not the only budget challenge. Aging and rising healthcare costs add to the fiscal woes. According to the Congressional Budget Office, debt will reach 185 percent of GDP by 2052 if current policies remain unchanged. Healthcare costs should be capped while taxes on the rich should be raised. Yet facing down the military-industrial lobby is the vital first step to putting America’s fiscal house in order, needed to save the U.S., and possibly the world, from America’s perverse lobby-driven politics.

Views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.


The U.S. Should Be a Force for Peace in the World

May 19, 2023

𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝑁𝑒𝑤 𝑌𝑜𝑟𝑘 𝑇𝑖𝑚𝑒𝑠, 𝑀𝑎𝑦 16, 2023, ℎ𝑎𝑑 𝑎𝑛 𝑖𝑚𝑝𝑜𝑟𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑡 𝑓𝑢𝑙𝑙-𝑝𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝑎𝑑𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑡𝑖𝑠𝑒𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑜𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑅𝑢𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑎-𝑈𝑘𝑟𝑎𝑖𝑛𝑒 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑓𝑙𝑖𝑐𝑡 𝑠𝑖𝑔𝑛𝑒𝑑 𝑏𝑦 𝑓𝑖𝑓𝑡𝑒𝑒𝑛 𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑑𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑈𝑆 𝑛𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑙 𝑠𝑒𝑐𝑢𝑟𝑖𝑡𝑦 𝑒𝑥𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑡𝑠.

The Russia-Ukraine War has been an unmitigated disaster. Hundreds of thousands have been killed or wounded. Millions have been displaced. Environmental and economic destruction have been incalculable. Future devastation could be exponentially greater as nuclear powers creep ever closer toward open war.

We deplore the violence, war crimes, indiscriminate missile strikes, terrorism, and other atrocities that are part of this war. The solution to this shocking violence is not more weapons or more war, with their guarantee of further death and destruction.

As Americans and national security experts, we urge President Biden and Congress to use their full power to end the Russia-Ukraine War speedily through diplomacy, especially given the grave dangers of military escalation that could spiral out of control.

Sixty years ago, President John F. Kennedy made an observation that is crucial for our survival today. “Above all, while defending our own vital interests, nuclear powers must avert those confrontations which bring an adversary to a choice of either a humiliating retreat or a nuclear war. To adopt that kind of course in the nuclear age would be evidence only of the bankruptcy of our policy–or of a collective death-wish for the world.”

The immediate cause of this disastrous war in Ukraine is Russia’s invasion. Yet the plans and actions to expand NATO to Russia’s borders served to provoke Russian fears. And Russian leaders made this point for 30 years. A failure of diplomacy led to war. Now diplomacy is urgently needed to end the Russia-Ukraine War before it destroys Ukraine and endangers humanity.

The Potential for Peace

Russia’s current geopolitical anxiety is informed by memories of invasion from Charles XII, Napoleon, the Kaiser and Hitler. U.S. troops were among an Allied invasion force that intervened unsuccessfully against the winning side in Russia’s post-World War I civil war. Russia sees NATO enlargement and presence on its borders as a direct threat; the U.S. and NATO see only prudent preparedness. In diplomacy, one must attempt to see with strategic empathy, seeking to understand one’s adversaries. This is not weakness: it is wisdom.

We reject the idea that diplomats, seeking peace, must choose sides, in this case either Russia or Ukraine. In favoring diplomacy we choose the side of sanity. Of humanity. Of peace.

We consider President Biden’s promise to back Ukraine “as long as it takes” to be a license to pursue ill-defined and ultimately unachievable goals. It could prove as catastrophic as President Putin’s decision last year to launch his criminal invasion and occupation. We cannot and will not endorse the strategy of fighting Russia to the last Ukrainian.

We advocate for a meaningful and genuine commitment to diplomacy, specifically an immediate ceasefire and negotiations without any disqualifying or prohibitive preconditions. Deliberate provocations delivered the Russia-Ukraine War. In the same manner, deliberate diplomacy can end it.

U.S. Actions and Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

As the Soviet Union collapsed and the Cold War ended, U.S. and Western European leaders assured Soviet and then Russian leaders that NATO would not expand toward Russia’s borders. “There would be no extension of…NATO one inch to the east,” U.S. Secretary of State James Baker told Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on February 9, 1990. Similar assurances from other U.S. leaders as well as from British, German and French leaders throughout the 1990s confirm this.

Since 2007, Russia has repeatedly warned that NATO’s armed forces on Russian borders were intolerable – just as Russian forces in Mexico or Canada would be intolerable to the U.S. now, or as Soviet missiles in Cuba were in 1962. Russia further singled out NATO expansion into Ukraine as especially provocative.

Seeing the War Through Russia’s Eyes

Our attempt at understanding the Russian perspective on their war does not endorse the invasion and occupation, nor does it imply the Russians had no other option but this war.

Yet, just as Russia had other options, so too did the U.S. and NATO leading up to this moment.

The Russians made their red lines clear. In Georgia and Syria, they proved they would use force to defend those lines. In 2014, their immediate seizure of Crimea and their support of Donbas separatists demonstrated they were serious in their commitment to defending their interests. Why this was not understood by U.S. and NATO leadership is unclear; incompetence, arrogance, cynicism, or a treacherous mixture of all three are likely contributing factors.

The Russia-Ukraine War
The Russia-Ukraine War; Shoe on the other foot

Again, even as the Cold War ended, U.S. diplomats, generals and politicians were warning of the dangers of expanding NATO to Russia’s borders and of maliciously interfering in Russia’s sphere of influence. Former Cabinet officials Robert Gates and William Perry issued these warnings, as did venerated diplomats George Kennan, Jack Matlock and Henry Kissinger. In 1997, fifty senior U.S. foreign policy experts wrote an open letter to President Bill Clinton advising him not to expand NATO, calling it “a policy error of historic proportions.” President Clinton chose to ignore these warnings.

Most important to our understanding of the hubris and Machiavellian calculation in U.S. decision-making surrounding the Russia-Ukraine War is the dismissal of the warnings issued by Williams Burns, the current director of the Central Intelligence Agency. In a cable to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in 2008, while serving as Ambassador to Russia, Burns wrote of NATO expansion and Ukrainian membership:

“Ukraine and Georgia’s NATO aspirations not only touch a raw nerve in Russia, they engender serious concerns about the consequences for stability in the region. Not only does Russia perceive encirclement, and efforts to undermine Russia’s influence in the region, but it also fears unpredictable and uncontrolled consequences which would seriously affect Russian security interests. Experts tell us that Russia is particularly worried that the strong divisions in Ukraine over NATO membership, with much of the ethnic-Russian community against membership, could lead to a major split, involving violence or at worst, civil war. In that eventuality, Russia would have to decide whether to intervene; a decision Russia does not want to have to face.”

Why did the U.S. persist in expanding NATO despite such warnings? Profit from weapons sales was a major factor. Facing opposition to NATO expansion, a group of neoconservatives and top executives of U.S. weapons manufacturers formed the U.S. Committee to Expand NATO. Between 1996 and 1998, the largest arms manufacturers spent $51 million ($94 million today) on lobbying and millions more on campaign contributions. With this largesse, NATO expansion quickly became a done deal, after which U.S. weapons manufacturers sold billions of dollars of weapons to the new NATO members.

So far, the U.S. has sent $30 billion worth of military gear and weapons to Ukraine, with total aid to Ukraine exceeding $100 billion. War, it’s been said, is a racket, one that is highly profitable for a select few.

NATO expansion, in sum, is a key feature of a militarized U.S. foreign policy characterized by unilateralism featuring regime change and preemptive wars. Failed wars, most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan, have produced slaughter and further confrontation, a harsh reality of America’s own making. The Russia-Ukraine War has opened a new arena of confrontation and slaughter. This reality is not entirely of our own making, yet it may well be our undoing, unless we dedicate ourselves to forging a diplomatic settlement that stops the killing and defuses tensions.

Let’s make America a force for peace in the world.



Dennis Fritz, Director, Eisenhower Media Network; Command Chief Master Sergeant, US Air Force (retired)
Matthew Hoh, Associate Director, Eisenhower Media Network; Former Marine Corps officer, and State and Defense official.
William J. Astore, Lieutenant Colonel, US Air Force (retired)
Karen Kwiatkowski, Lieutenant Colonel, US Air Force (retired)
Dennis Laich, Major General, US Army (retired)
Jack Matlock, U.S. Ambassador to the U.S.S.R., 1987-91; author of Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended
Todd E. Pierce, Major, Judge Advocate, U.S. Army (retired)
Coleen Rowley, Special Agent, FBI (retired)
Jeffrey Sachs, University Professor at Columbia University
Christian Sorensen, Former Arabic linguist, US Air Force
Chuck Spinney, Retired Engineer/Analyst, Office of Secretary of Defense
Winslow Wheeler, National security adviser to four Republican and Democratic US
Lawrence B. Wilkerson, Colonel, US Army (retired)
Ann Wright, Colonel, US Army (retired) and former US diplomat


1990 – U.S. assures Russia that NATO will not expand towards its border “…there would be no extension of…NATO one inch to the east,” says US Secretary of State James Baker.

1996 – U.S. weapons manufacturers form the Committee to Expand NATO, spending over $51 million lobbying Congress.

1997 – 50 foreign policy experts including former senators, retired military officers and diplomats sign an open letter stating NATO expansion to be “a policy error of historic proportions.”

1999 – NATO admits Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic to NATO. U.S. and NATO bomb Russia’s ally, Serbia.

2001 – U.S. unilaterally withdraws from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

2004 – Seven more Eastern European nations join NATO. NATO troops are now directly on Russia’s border.

2004 – Russia’s parliament passed a resolution denouncing NATO’s expansion. Putin responded by saying that Russia would “build our defense and security policy correspondingly.”

2008 – NATO leaders announced plans to bring Ukraine and Georgia, also on Russia’s borders, into NATO.

2009 – U.S. announced plans to put missile systems into Poland and Romania.

2014 – Legally elected Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, fled violence to Moscow. Russia views ouster as a coup by U.S. and NATO nations.

2016 – U.S. begins troop buildup in Europe.

2019 – U.S. unilaterally withdraws from Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty.

2020 – U.S. unilaterally withdraws from Open Skies Treaty.

2021 – Russia submits negotiation proposals while sending more forces to the border with Ukraine. U.S. and NATO officials reject the Russian proposals immediately.

Feb 24, 2022 – Russia invades Ukraine, starting the Russia-Ukraine War.

This ad reflects the views of the signers. Paid for by Eisenhower Media Network, a project of People Power Initiatives.

𝐔𝐒 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐉𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐭 𝐌𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐏𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐖𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐈𝐬𝐫𝐚𝐞𝐥 𝐨𝐧 𝐈𝐫𝐚𝐧

May 18, 2023

Officials tell Axios that the idea was proposed by Milley and Austin during recent visits to Israel

by Dave DeCamp, Antiwar. com, May 17, 2023

The US has proposed to Israel to conduct joint military planning on potential attacks on Iran, Axios reported Wednesday.

The report cited US and Israeli officials who said the idea was proposed a few weeks ago during recent visits to Israel by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

Israel is known for conducting covert attacks inside Iran and has stepped up its threats to launch an overt military attack against the Islamic Republic in recent years, although it’s not clear if Israel could pull off such an operation without US support.

The US and Israel have been stepping up military cooperation and held their largest-ever joint military exercises in January. US officials told Axios that the proposal for joint planning against Iran is unprecedented and could significantly boost US-Israel military ties even more.

The report said Israeli officials have taken the proposal with suspicion, worrying that it could “tie Israel’s hands.” A US official said that the idea is “not about planning any kind of joint US-Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear program.”

But a US official also told Axios that the proposal was meant as a reassurance that the US backs Israel and is not meant to tie their hands. An Israeli official said that Israel is looking for the US to clarify exactly what joint planning means.

US-Iran tensions have been soaring since indirect negotiations to revive the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, fell apart toward the end of 2022. The US announced last week that it was increasing its military presence in the Persian Gulf after Iran seized two tankers, which came after the US seized a tanker carrying Iranian oil and stole the cargo.

Author: Dave DeCamp


Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.

𝐔𝐊 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐟𝐢𝐫𝐦𝐬 𝐈𝐭’𝐬 𝐒𝐮𝐩𝐩𝐥𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐔𝐤𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐖𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐋𝐨𝐧𝐠-𝐑𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞 𝐌𝐢𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐥𝐞𝐬

May 12, 2023

The provision of Storm Shadow missiles marks an escalation of NATO support for Ukraine

by Dave DeCamp, Antiwar. com, May 11, 202

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed on Thursday that London is providing Ukraine with longer-range missiles, marking another escalation of NATO support for Kyiv.

The UK is sending Storm Shadow missiles, which are air-launched and can be fired by Ukraine’s Soviet fighter jets. According to CNN, the Storm Shadows London is sending Kyiv have a range of 250km (155 miles).

Wallace said the Storm Shadows are “now going in, or are in the country itself,” signaling some have been delivered. He didn’t specify how many London is sending. “The use of Storm Shadow will allow Ukraine to push back Russian forces based within Ukrainian sovereign territory,” he said.

US officials have welcomed the British move but have said it won’t mean the US will be providing Kyiv with the Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) it has been requesting. ATACMS have a range of up to 190 miles and can be fired by the HIMARS rocket systems.

The current munitions Ukraine has been using with the HIMARS have a range of up to 50 miles, although there have been reports of Kyiv using Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs (GLSDB), which can hit targets up to 94 miles away. The US first pledged the GLSDBs for Ukraine in February.

The provision of longer-range weapons to Ukraine risks a major escalation as they can be used to target Russian territory. Ukrainian officials have insisted they wouldn’t use them for attacks inside Russia, but leaked Pentagon documents have indicated President Volodymyr Zelensky would want to.

Ukraine and its Western backers also don’t recognize Crimea as Russian territory, meaning targeting the peninsula is not off-limits. attacks on Crimea can be just as escalatory, as even Secretary of State Antony Blinken has acknowledged the peninsula is a “red line” for President Vladimir Putin.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave. View all posts by Dave DeCamp

𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐨𝐧 𝐔𝐒 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐰𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐧 𝐑𝐚𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐝𝐚 𝐓𝐥𝐚𝐢𝐛’𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤 𝐝𝐞𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐒𝐩𝐞𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐫 𝐌𝐜𝐂𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐡𝐲

May 11, 2023

— Nasir Khan, May 11, 2023

Thank you, Rashida Tlaib, for stating the facts in commemoration of the crime against humanity that was the Nakba (Catastrophe) when, in 1948, Israel started the ethnic cleansing and systematic destruction of Palestine and its people. We know that the colonial settler state in Palestine came into existence because of the British imperial power. Since its creation, it has received all the material and diplomatic support of imperial powers, especially the United States, to commit crimes against colonized people which are still going on.

It is obvious to many people around the world that the rulers and power elites of the United States fully stand by and defend all the cowardly killings, violence and terror against the Palestinians. Speaker McCarthy is only fulfilling a traditional role to emasculate the voice and memory of the Nakba among the Palestinians and other people who ask for freedom and justice for the colonized people of occupied Palestine.


Lula𝐋𝐮𝐥𝐚’𝐬 𝐋𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐚𝐥 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐀𝐬𝐬𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞’𝐬 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐰𝐬 ‘𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐜𝐥𝐚𝐦𝐨𝐮𝐫’ 𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠, 𝐬𝐚𝐲 𝐜𝐚𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐢𝐠𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐬Lula

May 8, 2023

— Ben Chacko, Morning Star, May 7, 2023

BRAZILIAN President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva’s call for freedom for Julian Assange shows a rising “international clamour” for Britain to release the jailed journalist, campaigners say.

The socialist president spoke out in London during a trip to attend the coronation.

“It is an embarrassment that a journalist who denounced trickery by one state against another is arrested, condemned to die in jail and we do nothing to free him. It’s a crazy thing,” Lula told reporters after the ceremony.

“We talk about freedom of expression; the guy is in prison because he denounced wrongdoing. And the press doesn’t do anything in defence of this journalist.”

Mr Assange continues to languish in Belmarsh prison, where he has now been held for four years, awaiting possible extradition to the United States — and a potential 175-year jail sentence for publishing details of US war crimes committed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Every day the UK detains Julian Assange at the behest of the US, it undermines its claim to be a defender of media freedom,” Tim Dawson of the National Union of Journalists told the Morning Star.

“Government statements on behalf of [journalists imprisoned in Russia] Evan Gershkovich and Vladimir Kara-Murza are rendered hollow. As the world wakes up, the shame on our country grows.”

John Rees of Don’t Extradite Assange said: “Lula’s support for Assange is part of a growing international clamour for his release. Seven South American heads of state have demanded he be freed. So has the Australian prime minister, MPs the length and breadth of Europe and lawmakers in the US.

“It’s time the government woke up to the fact they have made a serious error. Release Assange now.”

NATO to Open Office in Japan, the Alliance’s First in Asia

May 7, 2023

 China warned against NATO’s ‘eastward foray into the Asia Pacific’

 by Dave DeCamp, Antiwar. com, May 4, 2023

 NATO is planning to open a liaison office in Japan next year, the alliance’s first in Asia, Nikkei Asia reported Wednesday.

In recent years, NATO has turned its gaze toward the Asia Pacific region and named China a “systemic challenge” in its 2022 Strategic Concept. As part of its strategy against China, the alliance is deepening cooperation with countries in the region.

According to Nikkei, the purpose of the liaison office in Japan is to “allow the military alliance to conduct periodic consultations with Japan and key partners in the region, such as South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand as China emerges as a new challenge, alongside its traditional focus on Russia.”

The report said NATO and Japan will take more steps to increase cooperation by signing an agreement known as an Individually Tailored Partnership Programme ahead of the NATO summit that will be held in Vilnius, Lithuania, in June. Japan also plans to open an independent mission to NATO, separate from the Embassy in Belgium.

In response to the news, China warned of NATO’s plans to expand into Asia. “Asia is an anchor for peace and stability and a promising land for cooperation and development, not a wrestling ground for geopolitical competition,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning.

“NATO’s continued eastward foray into the Asia Pacific and interference in regional affairs will inevitably undermine regional peace and stability and stoke camp confrontation. This calls for high vigilance among regional countries,” she added.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave. View all posts by Dave DeCamp

Assange letter to King details brutal conditions at Belmarsh Prison

May 6, 2023

Our reporter, W.S.W.S., May 6, 2023

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has written an open letter to King Charles III on the day of his coronation, calling attention to the appalling conditions in which he is being held in His Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh.

Assange has been detained in the maximum security prison for over four years, the vast majority of that without charge, as the UK courts decided on his extradition to the United States. There he faces charges under the Espionage Act for publishing leaked material exposing US war crimes, human rights abuses, anti-democratic conspiracies and diplomatic intrigues.

Julian Assange [AP Photo/Matt Dunham]

Under threat of this fate, he spent seven years prior to his detention in Belmarsh effectively imprisoned in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, claiming political asylum.

On June 17, 2022, then Home Secretary Priti Patel gave the final approval for his transfer to America, but nothing has been heard since.

Assange’s letter was originally published by Declassified UK.


Julian Assange

To His Majesty King Charles III,

On the coronation of my liege, I thought it only fitting to extend a heartfelt invitation to you to commemorate this momentous occasion by visiting your very own kingdom within a kingdom: His Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh.

You will no doubt recall the wise words of a renowned playwright: “The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath.”

Ah, but what would that bard know of mercy faced with the reckoning at the dawn of your historic reign? After all, one can truly know the measure of a society by how it treats its prisoners, and your kingdom has surely excelled in that regard.

Your Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh is located at the prestigious address of One Western Way, London, just a short foxhunt from the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. How delightful it must be to have such an esteemed establishment bear your name.

It is here that 687 of your loyal subjects are held, supporting the United Kingdom’s record as the nation with the largest prison population in Western Europe. As your noble government has recently declared, your kingdom is currently undergoing “the biggest expansion of prison places in over a century”, with its ambitious projections showing an increase of the prison population from 82,000 to 106,000 within the next four years. Quite the legacy, indeed.

As a political prisoner, held at Your Majesty’s pleasure on behalf of an embarrassed foreign sovereign, I am honoured to reside within the walls of this world class institution. Truly, your kingdom knows no bounds.

During your visit, you will have the opportunity to feast upon the culinary delights prepared for your loyal subjects on a generous budget of two pounds per day. Savour the blended tuna heads and the ubiquitous reconstituted forms that are purportedly made from chicken. And worry not, for unlike lesser institutions such as Alcatraz or San Quentin, there is no communal dining in a mess hall. At Belmarsh, prisoners dine alone in their cells, ensuring the utmost intimacy with their meal.

Beyond the gustatory pleasures, I can assure you that Belmarsh provides ample educational opportunities for your subjects. As Proverbs 22:6 has it: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Observe the shuffling queues at the medicine hatch, where inmates gather their prescriptions, not for daily use, but for the horizon-expanding experience of a “big day out”—all at once.

You will also have the opportunity to pay your respects to my late friend Manoel Santos, a gay man facing deportation to Bolsonaro’s Brazil, who took his own life just eight yards from my cell using a crude rope fashioned from his bedsheets. His exquisite tenor voice now silenced forever.

Venture further into the depths of Belmarsh and you will find the most isolated place within its walls: Healthcare, or “Hellcare” as its inhabitants lovingly call it. Here, you will marvel at sensible rules designed for everyone’s safety, such as the prohibition of chess, whilst permitting the far less dangerous game of checkers.

Deep within Hellcare lies the most gloriously uplifting place in all of Belmarsh, nay, the whole of the United Kingdom: the sublimely named Belmarsh End of Life Suite. Listen closely, and you may hear the prisoners’ cries of “Brother, I’m going to die in here”, a testament to the quality of both life and death within your prison.

But fear not, for there is beauty to be found within these walls. Feast your eyes upon the picturesque crows nesting in the razor wire and the hundreds of hungry rats that call Belmarsh home. And if you come in the spring, you may even catch a glimpse of the ducklings laid by wayward mallards within the prison grounds. But don’t delay, for the ravenous rats ensure their lives are fleeting.

I implore you, King Charles, to visit His Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh, for it is an honour befitting a king. As you embark upon your reign, may you always remember the words of the King James Bible: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7). And may mercy be the guiding light of your kingdom, both within and without the walls of Belmarsh.

Your most devoted subject,

Julian Assange


Assange letter to King details brutal conditions at Belmarsh Prison

Russia𝐑𝐮𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐚 𝐒𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐔𝐒 𝐖𝐚𝐬 𝐁𝐞𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐃𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐀𝐭𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐊𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐥𝐢𝐧Russia

May 5, 2023

The US has denied any involvement

by Dave DeCamp, Antiwar. com, May 4, 2023

Russia on Thursday said the US was behind the drone attack that targeted the Kremlin, which Moscow said was an attempt on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s life.

“We know very well that the decisions to carry out such actions, such terrorist attacks, are made not in Kiev. Rather, it is precisely in Washington,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. He added that “often even the targets themselves are not determined by Kiev, but by Washington.”

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova made similar comments. “First and foremost, the creators and handlers of the Kiev regime, who hail from Washington, London and NATO, bear overall responsibility for everything that it [Ukraine] is perpetrating,” she wrote on Telegram.

The comments drew a denial of involvement in the drone attack from the White House. “I can assure you that there was no involvement by the United States in this. Whatever it was did not involve us,” said National Security Council spokesman John Kirby. “We had nothing to do with this.”

The comments from Moscow suggest Russia is considering a major escalation of the war. Peskov said Russia was considering a “wide variety” of responses to the drone attack.

“Naturally, I cannot provide you any details here. In any case the issue may only be about well-thought-out steps that meet the interests of our country,” he told reporters.

Ukrainian officials have also denied involvement in the drone attack, which targeted the Kremlin early Wednesday morning, but Ukrainian attacks inside Russia have stepped up in recent months.

Pentagon documents allegedly leaked by Jack Teixeira show that the US was concerned about Ukraine planning attacks in Moscow and that Zelensky might not have control over his intelligence services.

One leak showed that Ukraine’s security service, the SBU, determined its agents violated orders by attacking a Russian surveillance plane in Belarus. Another leak revealed that Ukraine postponed planned attacks in Moscow that would have coincided with the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion.


Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave. View all posts by Dave DeCamp

𝐎𝐧 𝐊𝐚𝐫𝐥 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐱’𝐬 𝐁𝐢𝐫𝐭𝐡𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝐀𝐧𝐧𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐚𝐫𝐲

May 5, 2023

–Nasir Khan

“All mysteries which lead theory to mysticism find their rational solution in human practice and in the comprehension of this practice.”

Karl Marx

Karl Marx was born on May 5, 1818, in the Prussian province of Rhine, and died in London on March 14, 1883, at the age of 65. He was the most influential socialist philosopher and revolutionary thinker, whose ideas have deeply influenced the course of human history and human thought.

His writings cover philosophy, history, political economy, anthropology, social criticism, history, theory of revolutionary practice, and he himself participated in revolutionary activities. When he was a student at the university, he was deeply involved in the Young Hegelian movement. The members of this group in their articles and pamphlets criticized Christian culture. Feuerbach’s materialism was opposed to Hegel’s idealism. He reduced Hegel’s ‘Absolute Spirit’ to human ‘species being’.

Because of Marx’s critical articles in the Rheinische Zeitung, the government closed this paper. He went to Paris in 1843 where he made contacts with French socialist groups and emigrated German workers. Here he met Frederick Engels, and the two became friends for the rest of their lives. But his stay there was short. He was expelled from Paris in 1844.

After his expulsion from Paris, Marx, along with Engels, moved to Brussels, where they lived for three years. After an intensive study of history, he formulated the theory of history commonly known as historical materialism.

In his theory of history, Marx accepted Hegel’s idea that the world develops according to dialectical process. But the two had different ideas about what the dialectic process entails. For Hegel, historical developments take place through the mystical entity called Absolute Spirit. Marx rejected the notion of Absolute Spirit, and said what moved society was not the Absolute Spirit, but man’s relation to matter, of which the most important part was played by the mode of production.

In this way, Marx’s materialism becomes closely related to economics. Human labour shaped society and material conditions determined the superstructures. The part played by labour, not some mystical Absolute Spirit, formed the basis of social life. Marx’s dialectal view of social change is shorn of Hegel’s idealist dialectics. The two stand on different levels and their philosophies of history differ.

For Marx, man working on nature remakes the world, and in doing so he also remakes himself by increasing his powers. Marx wrote in the German Ideology, ‘Men have history because they must produce their life.’

Marx went to Paris in 1848, where the revolution first took place, and then to Germany. But the failure of the revolutions forced him to seek refuge in London in 1849, where he spent the rest of his life.

He and his family had to face many economic hardships in London. His friend Engels helped him economically, and he also wrote articles as a foreign correspondent for the New York Daily Tribune. However, he and his family lived in London plagued by unending economic woes.

However, the revolutionary thinker devoted much time to the First International and its annual Congresses. The rest of the time, he spent in the British Museum library collecting material and taking notes and analyzing the material for studies of political economy. In 1867, he published the first volume of Capital, in which he discussed the capitalist mode of production. He explained his views on the labour theory of value, the conception of surplus value, the accumulation of capital, and the ‘so-called primitive accumulation’ in the final part of the book. He had completed volumes II and II in the 1860s, which Engels published after the death of Marx in 1883.

The profound analysis of capital, Marx undertook in the nineteenth century is still relevant to our understanding the global capitalism and the forces that control it. He had shown the tendency of capital under the general law of capitalist accumulation. A few own more wealth, but others have little to live on. A recent Oxfam report says that eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity. In the global economy, rich industrialists and producers take advantage of the global workforce that mostly lives in the global South. The abundant cheap labour from poor countries is used to produce goods that are sold at high prices in industrialized western countries.

The problem to end the exploitation of the working class people was a core issue for Marx, and his theory to end this exploitation can only take place when a more equitable form of society is created that stands opposed to the accumulation of capital by a few and the poverty or meager existence of the majority. That objective of a just and humane society is not possible under capitalism.

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