Do you believe in a better world? A world that addresses climate change before we've completely destroyed the planet?
I don't see Joe Biden getting us there. Do you?
Green Party of the United States
For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
WASHINGTON — The Green Party of the United States said that President Biden at his upcoming international Earth Day summit should commit the U.S. to a 100% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. It also wants the President to formally declare a climate emergency, embrace a robust carbon tax, and increase U.S. funding for the climate mitigation fund for developing countries and Global South.
“We know how to do it. What we lack are politicians willing to stand up to the political power and campaign donations of the fossil fuel industry,” said Mark Dunlea, co-chair of the Green Party’s EcoAction Committee.
Green Party members are helping to organize events from Earth Day to May Day to highlight the urgent need for climate change, and to make the connection to the need for overall system change including environmental justice, labor rights and grassroots democracy.
The Greens, who started calling for an ecosocialist Green New Deal in the U.S. in 2010, recently called for Congress to pass a $4.1 trillion a year (for 10 years) green economic stimulus to create 30 million jobs and accelerate the transition to 100% renewable energy from all sources by 2030. Biden is reportedly considering a one-time, $3 trillion green infrastructure stimulus, though only about $400 billion for direct climate measures.
“At the world’s present rate of greenhouse gas emissions, we have 7 years left before we deplete our carbon budget if we want to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees C. The U.S. needs to declare a climate emergency to launch an all-out mobilization of our nation’s resources to give generations to come a chance for a decent future,” said Dunlea.
“Who led the industrial polluters to fight the rest of the world in Paris, five years ago, against lowering the climate target from 2 degrees C to 1.5 degrees? The United States, under Obama, Kerry and Gore. And the U.S. defeated requiring countries to set firm emission reductions,” said Green Party National Co-Chair Trahern Crews.
“It is time to repeal the powers that Bill Clinton gave to the World Trade Organization to support corporate globalization. We must strip corporations of the power to veto national laws, especially those dealing with the environment and fair trade. We need the world to impose sanctions on any company and country that fails to take effective action to curb global warming,” said Hillary Kane, who serves on the Green Party’s Steering Committee.
The Global Greens are mobilizing Green Parties worldwide to win their agenda at the “last chance” COP26 meeting in Glasgow in November; many Green Party members will be voting delegates representing their respective countries.
In addition to mandatory greenhouse gas emission cuts, the Green Party supports imposing financial penalties on polluters with a robust carbon fee (not cap-and-trade or carbon offsets) combined with a significant dividend to low- and middle-income households to offset the regressive nature of any energy tax. The International Monetary Fund estimates that worldwide fossil fuel companies receive more than $5 trillion annually in subsidies, primarily due to governments failing to make them pay for the damages caused by their emissions.
The Green Party promotes public and worker ownership of the energy system. It supports democratic planning of the economy to focus on the public good rather than maximizing private wealth.
“The U.S. and the rest of the world must act immediately to address the climate emergency. We must halt fracking for oil and gas and new fossil fuel infrastructure, including gas and oil pipelines and gas-fired power plants. Climate recovery requires a ten-year plan to phase out fossil fuels as we phase in clean renewables. We must replace fossil fuels to heat buildings with heat pumps powered by clean electricity. We must reject false climate solutions, including carbon capture, biomass, natural gas, and nuclear power, while embracing natural means to draw carbon out of the atmosphere and into the biosphere with regenerative agriculture and reforestation,” said Howie Hawkins, the 2020 Green Party presidential candidate and the first candidate to campaign for a Green New Deal in the United States, in 2010.
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This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Thursday, April 1, 2021. Iraq finally passes the 2021 budget, attacks on protesters continue, and much more.
March 20 marked the 18th anniversary of our war on Iraq. It’s time for Americans to ask how our empire and its wars are working. We prefer to talk about protecting vital interests, nation-building, human rights, anything but empire. But empire is what our endless wars and our 800-plus military bases are about, and why though Iraqis have voted for them to leave, 2,500 troops remain.
Has sending most of our taxes to the Pentagon to maintain an empire worked for us? Our communities feel the drain. Only a few profit from war and weapons production.
Are we safer for attacking others? The State Department’s advisory against travel to Iraq due to “terrorism, kidnapping, armed conflict and Mission Iraq’s limited capacity to provide support to U.S. citizens” just scratches the surface.
Is our democracy stronger? Empire wars have brought illegal spying, government by executive orders, extraordinary rendition, denial of habeas corpus and secrecy. The Constitution put war decisions with Congress, not the president, to guard against the urge for foreign domination.
Will the Biden Administration pull back from empire? Secretary of State Anthony Blicken, an avid supporter of the Iraq War, announced that the world doesn’t organize itself without American leadership and that he wants to reclaim that leadership. Images of millions displaced, cities in rubble and Abu Ghraib come to mind as the continued hype of Russia and China as enemies and the bombing inside Syria signal the empire will continue.
And it will, unless we pressure Congress to repeal the blanket Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) and to cut the Pentagon budget. Congress must insist on its responsibility to check the use of war. We can be a great country or be an empire. Our founders knew we could not be both.
Waiting On Biden Tweets:
The Iraq War. Arwa Damon filed a report for CNN this week and noted, "Each neighborhood, each street, each family has a story of pain and suffering. The violence was so widespread here that I, in my 18 years covering the war in Iraq, do not know a single person who has not somehow been impacted by it.
18 years and the war still drags on and it's accomplished nothing worthwhile.
The Iraqi people are no better off and suffer at the hands of kleptocrats who steal from the people over and over again.
Iraq finally approved this year's budget yesterday. MIDDLE EAST ONLINE notes, "Iraq's parliament on Wednesday approved a 2021 budget of 130 trillion Iraqi dinars ($89.65 billion) as the country wrestles with an economic and financial crisis due to low crude prices." Abeer Abu Omar and Khalid Al-Ansary (BLOOMBERG NEWS) note that this budget is based on the belief that oil will sell for at least $45 a barrel. While the Iraqi people suffer -- approximately 25% live in poverty -- don't worry about the officials, they'll keep getting their big checks. Dilan Sirwan (RUDAW) explains, "Article 20 of the budget bill, which concerns cuts to the salaries of the three presidencies, the ministries, and employees, was rejected, according to Iraqi state media. "
Iraqi protesters on Thursday closed three oil facilities in the southern province of Dhi Qar, protesting against the federal budget.
Late Wednesday, the Iraqi parliament voted to approve the annual general budget, with total expenditures amounting to 129 trillion dinars (about $88 billion).
The new budget did not include articles to guarantee protesters' job opportunities, a move that they responded with disruption of oil facilities.
The approval of the budget comes after the lapse of three months of the current fiscal year and it will be applied retroactively.
Eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency that "protesters with certificates specialized in the field of oil sector closed the entrances to the Dhi Qar Oil Company, its oil refinery, and the Oil Products Distribution Company, in an escalating step."
The eyewitnesses said: "Protesters set fire to the tires of vehicles in front of the entrances of the three oil companies and demanded urgent intervention to including them in the budget by providing them with job opportunities."
We'll note this Tweet:
Protests have been going on, the current wave of protests, since the fall of 2019. Not even the pandemic has prevented the protests. The protests succeeded in forcing the resignation of one prime minister. The response from the government has been to attack the protesters, to stalk them outside of protests, to kidnap them, to kill them. Suadad al-Salhy (MIDDLE EAST EYE) reports:
Jaseb Hattab al-Hiliji never noticed the motorbike carrying two young men. It was just another bike, squeezing between pedestrians in the crowded, narrow streets of Amara’s al-Sinaaiyah district.
Hiliji didn’t notice either, when one of the men got off and walked slowly but purposefully towards him.
According to eyewitnesses, that is when the man took out a gun, pointed it at Hiliji’s head and fired a bullet that silenced the 57-year-old forever.
Less than an hour later, the local police announced that they had arrested the murderer, and that the crime was triggered by a tribal dispute.
"Hiliji is a cousin of the killer, and they had major disputes and mutual lawsuits. The killer made this clear in his confessions," a senior local police officer told Middle East Eye.
"The killer said that he was returning from work and he found Hiliji in front of him while passing through the al-Sinaaiyah area, so he took out his pistol and shot him dead."
Official statements and videotaped confessions by the killer were explicit: this was a non-political crime, a family dispute. But the exact nature of the dispute was never presented, nor why the killer carried a gun in the first place.
To many in the southern city of Amara and Iraq in general, there was a different story. Hiliji was the victim of an assassination epidemic.
And like killings before, the motives given by the authorities just did not wash.
A son's disappearance
Hiliji’s tragedy stretches back further, to 7 October 2019. That’s when his son, lawyer Ali Jaseb Hattab al-Hiliji, received a phone call from a woman who said he had been assigned as her representative in a divorce case.
CCTV footage of that evening shows Ali waiting by his car in central Amara, when a woman in a black gown approached him. The footage shows him speaking to the woman, whose face cannot be seen, for several minutes before a black Chevrolet Tahoe stopped 10 metres from the two. Three masked men got out of the Tahoe and forced Ali to get into their car.
As the black Tahoe left, a modern Toyota pickup appeared. The woman voluntarily climbed into it. The pickup left behind the Tahoe.
Soon after Ali’s disappearance, rumours began to fly that he was disappeared because of links to the October 2019 anti-government protest movement that was raging in Amara and across southern Iraq and Baghdad.
Yet according to several prominent activists in the city who spoke to MEE, Ali was not a demonstrator or an activist. He had, however, participated with a number of lawyers in defending some of the youths who were arrested because of their participation in the 2019 anti-government demonstrations in its first week.
Amnesty International Iraq Tweeted about Ali Jaseb Hattab al-Heliji back in December of 2019:
The violent attacks on protester continue. Sura Ali (RUDAW) reports:
Protesters have called for demonstrations in the city of Samawah, in
al-Muthanna governorate, after activist Haider al-Khashan was kidnapped
and threatened on Thursday.
A close friend of Khashan, who asked not to be named, told Rudaw English that a car with four masked people intercepted Khashan's car while he was driving with his mother at one o'clock on Thursday morning. He was then taken to an unknown location and threatened to stop protesting before being released late in the morning.
“The kidnappers took his mother's phone as she had filmed the incident,” the source said.
“The kidnappers investigated Khashan on accusations of insulting Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, which are absolutely false,” said activist Haider Ali.
"The militia’s ways of kidnapping and threatening Samawah protesters will never stop us,” he added.
Activists launched the ”al-Muthanna rising up” Twitter hashtag after Khashan’s abduction, calling for mass demonstrations on Friday in response to his kidnap and demanding the dismissal of the local government.
While the US media continues to largely ignore the Iraq War, Iran's PRESS TV did offer a segment on it this week.
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