As if you need more inspiration …

"They made a wasteland and called it peace," Tacitus famously said. It was left to the United States, champion of freedom, to update the formula: They made a wasteland and called it democracy. (Jonathan Schell)
  • OPEN LETTER TO CONGRESS ON VETERANS DAY 2010 (From: United for Peace and Justice Afghanistan) Working Group
    We write to you on Veterans Day 2010, and just weeks before the expected appearance of a report from the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, to urge you to consider a change of course from the skyrocketing military spending that is driving our federal budget and our economy into the ground, while producing ever more veterans from America's wars who need postwar care.
  • Toxic Legacy of US Assault on Fallujah 'Worse Than Hiroshima' by Patrick Cockburn, Published on Saturday, July 24, 2010 by The Independent/UK.
  • Dramatic increases in infant mortality, cancer and leukaemia in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was bombarded by US Marines in 2004, exceed those reported by survivors of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, according to a new study.
  • Iraq littered with high levels of nuclear and dioxin contamination, study finds (Martin Chulov, The Guardian)
    Areas in and near Iraq's largest towns and cities, including Najaf, Basra and ­Falluja, account for around 25% of the contaminated sites, which appear to coincide with communities that have seen increased rates of cancer and birth defects over the past five years. The joint study by the environment, health and science ministries found that scrap metal yards in and around Baghdad and Basra contain high levels of ionising radiation, which is thought to be a legacy of depleted uranium used in munitions during the first Gulf war and since the 2003 invasion.
  • Vanity of Vanities: The Iraq War Seven Years Later by truthout, Staff Editorial.
  • Surely, the Iraq war's only obvious "successes" - the enrichment of the military industrial complex at the expense of ordinary citizens, the implementation of an ever more pervasive and intrusive "security" regime at home and the insurance of a second Bush term - could have been achieved without dragging the long-suffering people of Iraq into it. People - it may still need to be pointed out - who had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11 and harbored no weapons of mass destruction.
  • The United States Needs a Broad-Based Anti-War Movement by Kevin Zeese.
  • There has to be a better way to stop wars and reduce military spending. Polls show U.S. voters at worst divided on current wars and more often show majority opposition to them. Yet, when Congress debates war the widespread view of Americans is muffled, not usually heard.
  • The Lobbying-Media Complex by Sebastian Jones (The Nation) who describes the Failed Fourth Estate.
    President Obama spent most of December 4 touring Allentown, Pennsylvania, meeting with local workers and discussing the economic crisis. A few hours later, the state's former governor, Tom Ridge, was on MSNBC's Hardball With Chris Matthews, offering up his own recovery plan. There were "modest things" the White House might try, like cutting taxes or opening up credit for small businesses, but the real answer was for the president to "take his green agenda and blow it out of the box." The first step, Ridge explained, was to "create nuclear power plants." Combined with some waste coal and natural gas extraction, you would have an "innovation setter" that would "create jobs, create exports."

    As Ridge counseled the administration to "put that package together," he sure seemed like an objective commentator. But what viewers weren't told was that since 2005, Ridge has pocketed $530,659 in executive compensation for serving on the board of Exelon, the nation's largest nuclear power company. As of March 2009, he also held an estimated $248,299 in Exelon stock, according to SEC filings. Moments earlier, retired general and "NBC Military Analyst" Barry McCaffrey told viewers that the war in Afghanistan would require an additional "three- to ten-year effort" and "a lot of money." Unmentioned was the fact that DynCorp paid McCaffrey $182,309 in 2009 alone. The government had just granted DynCorp a five-year deal worth an estimated $5.9 billion to aid American forces in Afghanistan. The first year is locked in at $644 million, but the additional four options are subject to renewal, contingent on military needs and political realities.

    In a single hour, two men with blatant, undisclosed conflicts of interest had appeared on MSNBC. The question is, was this an isolated oversight or business as usual? … more

  • Sustainable Energy -- without the hot air by David MacKay:
    At last a book that comprehensively reveals the true facts about sustainable energy in a form that is both highly readable and entertaining.
  • Hold Onto Your Underwear This Is Not a National Emergency by Tom Engelhardt
    In 2008, 14,180 Americans were murdered, according to the FBI. In that year, there were 34,017 fatal vehicle crashes in the U.S. and, so the U.S. Fire Administration tells us, 3,320 deaths by fire. More than 11,000 Americans died of the swine flu between April and mid-December 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; on average, a staggering 443,600 Americans die yearly of illnesses related to tobacco use, reports the American Cancer Society; 5,000 Americans die annually from food-borne diseases; an estimated 1,760 children died from abuse or neglect in 2007; and the next year, 560 Americans died of weather-related conditions, according to the National Weather Service, including 126 from tornadoes, 67 from rip tides, 58 from flash floods, 27 from lightning, 27 from avalanches, and 1 from a dust devil. … more
    And we are supposed to agonize about terrorists?