Trump's Secretary of Defense Presided Over Slaughter of Civilians in Fallujah
With the likes of Mattis, Flynn and Pompeo advising him, is Trump likely to increase US military interventions?
By Marjorie Cohn

President-elect Donald Trump has selected retired Marine General James Mattis to exercise civilian control over the Department of Defense. Originally known as the Department of War, it was renamed Department of Defense in 1949. But war is precisely what Mattis, known as “Mad Dog,” has enthusiastically done throughout his career.

In 2005, Mattis declared, “It’s fun to shoot some people.” That was one year after he oversaw the Battle of Fallujah in Iraq, which began in April 2004, after four Blackwater Security Consulting mercenaries were killed and their bodies mutilated. In retaliation, US forces attacked the village and killed 736 people. At least 60 percent of them were women and children, according to independent journalist Dahr Jamail, who interviewed doctors at Fallujah General Hospital and at other small clinics inside the city both during and after the April siege.

Trump has also chosen notorious hawks Michael Flynn for National Security Advisor and Mike Pompeo for CIA Director.

Trump frequently makes contradictory statements about foreign policy. During the campaign, he insisted that he opposed the Iraq War and Libya regime change, when in fact he supported both. In fact, Trump called for all US troops in the Middle East to overthrow Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi.
Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group
With the help of uncritical journalists, a story about “fake news” ended up disseminating far more than it exposed.

The Washington Post on Thursday night promoted the claims of a new, shadowy organization that smears dozens of U.S. news sites that are critical of U.S. foreign policy as being “routine peddlers of Russian propaganda.” The article by reporter Craig Timberg — headlined “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say” — cites a report by an anonymous website calling itself PropOrNot, which claims that millions of Americans have been deceived this year in a massive Russian “misinformation campaign.”

The group’s list of Russian disinformation outlets includes WikiLeaks and the Drudge Report, as well as Clinton-critical left-wing websites such as Truthout, Black Agenda Report, Truthdig, and Naked Capitalism, as well as libertarian venues such as and the Ron Paul Institute.

This Post report was one of the most widely circulated political news articles on social media over the last 48 hours, with dozens, perhaps hundreds, of U.S. journalists and pundits with large platforms hailing it as an earth-shattering exposé. It was the most-read piece on the entire Post website on Friday after it was published.

Yet the article is rife with obviously reckless and unproven allegations, and fundamentally shaped by shoddy, slothful journalistic tactics. It was not surprising to learn that, as BuzzFeed’s Sheera Frenkel noted, “a lot of reporters passed on this story.” Its huge flaws are self-evident. But the Post gleefully ran with it and then promoted it aggressively, led by its Executive Editor Marty Baron.

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Mohammed Tuaiman al-Jahmi was 13 years old.

He lived in al-Zur village in the Marib province of Yemen, and in 2011 an American drone strike killed his father and older brother while they were herding their camels.

Since then, as he told The Guardian last September, he lived in constant fear of drones. They even appeared in his nightmares. “I see them every day and we are scared of them,” Mohammed said. “A lot of the kids in this area wake up from sleeping because of nightmares from them and some now have mental problems. They turned our area into hell and continuous horror, day and night, we even dream of them in our sleep.”

The drone’s indiscriminate killing—remember, it’s official US policy to count any military-aged male killed as a terrorist, regardless of (the absence of) actual evidence)—was particularly concerning and confusing to him: “They tell us that these drones come from bases in Saudi Arabia and also from bases in the Yemeni seas and America sends them to kill terrorists, but they always kill innocent people. But we don’t know why they are killing us.”

The elders told us that it’s criminal to kill the civilians without distinguishing between terrorists and innocents,” he added, “and they kill just on suspicion, without hesitation.”

Just a couple months after the Guardian interview, Mohammed’s confusion would cease—not because of a reformed American drone policy, but because he himself was killed in a drone strike on January 26.

Predictably, Mohammed and the two men who were also burned to death in the car the missile struck were labeled terrorists. But he “wasn’t a member of al-Qaida,” Mohammad’s brother Maqdad says. “He was a kid.”

The family is so dedicated to proving their brother’s innocence that they’ve vowed to sue if need be. “After our father died,” Maqdad continues, “al-Qaida came to us to offer support. But we are not with them. Al-Qaida may have claimed Mohammed now but we will do anything—go to court, whatever—in order to prove that he was not with al-Qaida.”

Maqdad is equally determined to get the American government to admit its crimes against his family: “We live in injustice and we want the United States to recognize these crimes against my father and my brothers. They were innocent people, we are weak, poor people, and we don’t have anything to do with this.

Though he still rejects allegiance to al-Qaida, after seeing his brother’s body “completely burned, like charcoal,” it is no surprise if Maqdad is no friend to the United States.

Mohammed Tuaiman al-Jahmi was 13 years old.

“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No, I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over.

This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here….. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people, they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow.

I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.” - Muhammad Ali, convicted in Houston of violating Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted on June 20, 1967.

Let’s tick them off: Iran (1980, 1987-1988), Libya (1981, 1986, 1989, 2011), Lebanon (1983), Kuwait (1991), Iraq (1991-2011, 2014-), Somalia (1992-1993, 2007-), Bosnia (1995), Saudi Arabia (1991, 1996), Afghanistan (1998, 2001-), Sudan (1998), Kosovo (1999), Yemen (2000, 2002-), Pakistan (2004-) and now Syria. Whew.

Andrew Bacevisch, as quoted by Glenn Greenwald in “How many Muslim countries has the U.S. bombed or occupied since 1980?”

If you don’t feel like counting, it’s 14 countries.


Oct. 20-21, 1967. The March on the Pentagon begins.

100,000 people arrive in Washington on Friday and convene Saturday morning at the Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool on the Mall. The weather is sunny and pleasant, and so far the mood is calm. 

LBJ Library photo 7051-33, and 7051-35, public domain. 


Stonewall Means Fight Back!

Don’t believe the hype!

U.S. imperialism tries to use Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Trans/Queer rights as a bludgeon against other countries.

But Stonewall was a rebellion of the most oppressed, people of color and working-class youth against police brutality, the racist, sexist capitalist state and the imperialist war in Vietnam.

That’s why communists celebrate Pride. That’s why LGBTQ workers are an essential part of the U.S. working class!

Leslie Feinberg interviews Sylvia Rivera: ‘I’m glad I was in the Stonewall riot’