Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Popular Resistance:
"In 2017, U.S. Special Operations forces, including Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets, deployed to 149 countries around the world, according to figures provided to TomDispatch by U.S. Special Operations Command.  That’s about 75% of the nations on the planet and represents a jump from the 138 countries that saw such deployments in 2016 under the Obama administration.  It’s also a jump of nearly 150% from the last days of George W. Bush’s White House. ...

'Most Americans would be amazed to learn that U.S. Special Operations Forces have been deployed to three quarters of the nations on the planet,' observes William Hartung, the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy. 'There is little or no transparency as to what they are doing in these countries and whether their efforts are promoting security or provoking further tension and conflict.' ...

'Since 9/11, we expanded the size of our force by almost 75% in order to take on mission-sets that are likely to endure,” SOCOM’s Thomas told the Senate Armed Services Committee in May.  Since 2001, from the pace of operations to their geographic sweep, the activities of U.S. Special Operations forces (SOF) have, in fact, grown in every conceivable way. On any given day, about 8,000 special operators — from a command numbering roughly 70,000 — are deployed in approximately 80 countries.' "

-->The staggering sweep of US military operations in the rest of the world never makes it into our national media. In fact, this vast empire is beyond the comprehension of most of its citizens. 

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Inter Press Service:
"BDS Movement for Palestinian Rights Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize. 

'As a member of the Norwegian parliament, I proudly use my authority as an elected official to nominate the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Nominating the BDS movement for this recognition is perfectly in line with the principles I and my party hold very dear. Like the BDS movement, we are fully committed to stopping an ascendant, racist and right-wing politics sweeping too much of our world, and securing freedom, justice and equality for all people.

Inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement and the American Civil Rights movement, the grassroots, Palestinian-led BDS movement is a peaceful, global human rights movement that urges the use of economic and cultural boycotts to end Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights and international law.' -Bjørnar Moxnes is a member of the Norwegian Parliament

-->No US coverage of this story at all, although it did appear in the Jerusalem Post. The NYT covers up most stores that make Israel look bad.

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The Intercept:
"In a Major Free Speech Victory, a Federal Court Strikes Down a Law that Punishes Supporters of Israel Boycott. 

A federal Judge on Tuesday ruled that a Kansas law designed to punish people who boycott Israel is an unconstitutional denial of free speech. The ruling is a significant victory for free speech rights because the global campaign to criminalize, or otherwise legally outlaw, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement has been spreading rapidly in numerous political and academic centers in the U.S. This judicial decision definitively declares those efforts — when they manifest in the U.S. — to be a direct infringement of basic First Amendment rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

The enjoined law, enacted last year by the Kansas legislature, requires all state contractors — as a prerequisite to receiving any paid work from the state — 'to certify that they are not engaged in a boycott of Israel.' ”

-->Rather than print this major story on free speech rights, our "newspaper of record" put an AP account of the ruling on the NYT website. 

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