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The $110 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia is fake news

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None of the deals identified so far are new, all began in the Obama administration.

Bruce Riedel, Brookings

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader/contributor Jay Kvale for this contribution.

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Bomb%20with%20US%20Flag.jpgMonday, June 5, 2017 | Last month, President Trump visited Saudi Arabia and his administration announced that he had concluded a $110 billion arms deal with the kingdom. Only problem is that there is no deal. It’s fake news.

I’ve spoken to contacts in the defense business and on the Hill, and all of them say the same thing: There is no $110 billion deal. Instead, there are a bunch of letters of interest or intent, but not contracts. Many are offers that the defense industry thinks the Saudis will be interested in someday. So far nothing has been notified to the Senate for review. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the arms sales wing of the Pentagon, calls them “intended sales.” None of the deals identified so far are new, all began in the Obama administration.

https://i1.wp.com/www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/riedelb.jpg?crop=0px%2C0px%2C2198px%2C2198px&w=120&ssl=1 Bruce Riedel: Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence; Center for Middle East Policy Director, The Intelligence Project

 

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The Forgotten History of Cinco De Mayo

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This image depicts the Battle of Puebla between Mexican forces and invading French forces that took place on May 5, 1862.

It's not about beer. It's about rich countries strangling poor ones. 

Jon Schwarz, the Intercept

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Dave & the Crew



May 5 2017 | Today is Cinco De Mayo, May 5. To the degree most Americans think about it all, it’s as a day to drink lots of Mexican beer.

But the forgotten history behind Cinco de Mayo is fascinating and remains extremely relevant today. In fact, it’s so relevant for small countries around the world that it’s hard not to believe that’s exactly why it’s been forgotten.

Cinco de Mayo celebrates the victory of Mexican troops over the invading 

French army at the Battle of Puebla southeast of Mexico City on May 5, 1862. Because the Mexican soldiers were badly outnumbered and outgunned, the unexpected triumph was a watershed in forging the country’s national identity. (Militarily it wasn’t that significant — the next year France captured the Mexican capital and installed a member of the Austrian nobility as Maximillian I, “Emperor of Mexico.”)

https://prod01-cdn04.cdn.firstlook.org/wp-uploads/sites/1/2015/04/Jon-Schwarz_avatar_1429549467-350x350.jpgBefore joining First Look, Jon Schwarz worked for Michael Moore’s Dog Eat Dog Films and was Research Producer for Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story. He’s contributed to many publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, Mother Jones and Slate, as well as NPR and “Saturday Night Live.”

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Russia-Baiting Pushed Trump to Attack Syria—and Increases the Risks of Nuclear Annihilation

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(Screenshot: NBC News)

  • The anti-Russia bandwagon has gained so much momentum that a national frenzy is boosting the odds of unfathomable catastrophe.
  • Related: Special Report | Syria debate

Norman Solomon, Common Dreams 

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Bomb%20with%20US%20Flag.jpgMonday, April 10, 2017 | Vast efforts to portray Donald Trump as Vladimir Putin’s flunky have given Trump huge incentives to prove otherwise. Last Thursday, he began the process in a big way by ordering a missile attack on Russia’s close ally Syria. In the aftermath of the attack, the cheerleading from U.S. mass media was close to unanimous, and the assault won lots of praise on Capitol Hill. Finally, the protracted and fervent depictions of Trump as a Kremlin tool were getting some tangible results.

At this point, the anti-Russia bandwagon has gained so much momentum that a national frenzy is boosting the odds of unfathomable catastrophe. The world’s two nuclear superpowers are in confrontation mode.

It’s urgent to tell ourselves and each other: Wake up!

Norman Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death” and "Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America's Warfare State".

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Related: 

Special Report | Syria debate, Ruth Conniff <>, the Progressive 

On the anniversary of U.S. entry into World War I, we should be wary of arguments for war.

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What a policy of real solidarity with the Syrian people looks like

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New York, NY - April 07 | People participate in a protest against a recent American missile strike in Syria in Union Square on April 7, 2017 in New York, United States. The strike, on Syrian military Air base, came days after it is suspected that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against a rebel held town. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Even a strong shift on issues like the International Criminal Court won’t suffice unless the United States begins to change its alliances among the Syrian people.
  • Related: Because Passover is a refugee story, one synagogue invited refugees to Seder

James Trimarco, YES! Magazine / Waging Nonviolence

April 10, 2017 | After the release of horrifying images of Syrian civilians killed by chemical attacks on Tuesday, there were predictable demands that the United States should “take action” against the regime of Bashar Al-Assad. Indeed, hawkish voices in both the Democratic and Republican parties have been calling for U.S. military engagement in Syria at least since March 2013, when more than two dozen people were killed in a sarin gas attack in the country’s north. In this context, Trump stands to benefit politically from Thursday’s missile strikes against a Syrian airfield.

In his address to the nation, Trump said the goal is “to end the slaughter and bloodshed.” But many Middle East experts say airstrikes won’t stop the violence. Assad’s regime and its allies have already weathered more than 100,000 casualties in a civil war that has killed or injured more than 11 percent of the country’s population. Assad immediately responded to Trump’s missiles with a promise that the attack “does not change the deep policies” of the Syrian government. As if on cue, the town that suffered the chemical weapons on Tuesday was bombed again on Friday and Saturday—presumably by the Syrian government.

James Trimarco is a senior editor at YES! Magazine

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Because Passover is a refugee story, one synagogue invited refugees to Seder, Eric March, Upworthy 

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  • This year, Beth-El is preparing to host over 100 congregants and some special first-time guests: about 50 refugees, most from Afghanistan.
  • "There’s a saying in Judaism that a little light dispels a lot of darkness," Knopf says. "So even though we’re just one little community in one little city, I think we’re doing a lot of illuminating for at least this group of people."
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