My Journey to Antiwar.com

August 9th, 2018 was the day I had to do something. On that day, the US-Saudi coalition dropped a bomb on a school bus in North Yemen, killing 40 children.

And nobody cared.

This horrific war crime received more media coverage than most atrocities in Yemen do, and plenty of Yemenis and antiwar activists certainly cared. What I mean is – nobody in my life cared. None of my friends, family, or coworkers even knew about the war in Yemen. And who could blame them?

The lack of mainstream media coverage is staggering. A study from the media watchdog group FAIR showed that between July 2017 and July 2018 MSNBC did not devote a single segment to the war in Yemen.

For that reason, I decided to get involved with independent media, since that’s how I learned about the war in Yemen and other atrocities. But where to start? No experience, no journalism school, just a lot of passion and anger towards the war machine. Around the same time, I met my wife. On our first date, we bonded over our shared opposition to US wars and imperialism – not something you would expect on a first date in New York (so naturally, I had to marry her).

I used to fancy myself a leftist because of my anti-imperialist views, but my wife introduced me to the antiwar libertarians, and perhaps the most important antiwar voice of our time, Scott Horton. Listening to Scott’s show brought me back to Antiwar.com, a website I read in my high school days.

Reading Antiwar.com and combing through Justin Raimondo’s endless masterpieces inspired me to submit a story of my own to the site. I sent a short piece about a brutal execution of Shia protesters inside Saudi Arabia, and Antiwar.com published it.

Getting that first article published was the motivation I needed. Soon, I was sending in a piece or two every week. One day, Eric Garris called and asked if I would like to be more involved and contribute to the news sections that Jason Ditz has been tirelessly working in since 2003. I was thrilled to get the offer, and I dove in headfirst.

It is an absolute honor to be a part of Antiwar.com’s staff as the assistant news editor. I’ve never felt so passionate about something in my life, and it still feels surreal that I found such a great website to work for. I certainly owe a lot to Eric for taking a chance on me and to Scott Horton, who took the time to help me edit my first articles, with all of their grammatical errors.

That’s what you get with Antiwar.com. A small group of people who care so much about one thing – ending war. We might not all be perfectly polished journalists, but we are dedicated, and we will work tirelessly to expose the War Party and provide our readers with the truth.

But no matter how much dedication and passion we have, we need our readers for support. Some major donors pledged up to $34,000 for our current fundraiser, but in order to secure these funds, we need our smaller donors to match that amount.

Please help me continue my journey with Antiwar.com!

Please make your tax-deductible contribution today.

Help Chelsea Manning Pay Her Court Fines

The heroic Chelsea Manning was released from jail yesterday after spending almost a year behind bars for refusing to testify against WikiLeaks in front of a grand jury. For every day she refused to testify, the judge ordered Manning to pay $1,000 in fines, which added up to $256,000.

Help ease Manning’s suffering and contribute to this Go Fund Me to help pay her fines. As of the writing of this post, the page has already raised over $75,000!

Journalist Abby Martin Sues State of Georgia Over Israel Loyalty Oath

Journalist and filmmaker Abby Martin agreed to speak at a media conference that was set to take place at Georgia Southern University on February 28th. The university sent Martin a contract for the event that included a clause not to boycott Israel. Seeing it as a clear affront to her constitutional rights, Martin refused to sign, and the speech was canceled.

In response, Martin filed a lawsuit against the State of Georgia with the help of two civil rights groups, The Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund.

In 2016, Georgia passed a law that prohibits the state from contracting with individuals or companies that boycott Israel. The legislation is an effort to thwart the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. BDS is an international campaign that calls on people to pressure Israel over its human rights violations through various boycotts. Last month, South Dakota became the 28th US state to pass anti-BDS legislation.

The clause in the contract Martin was sent by the university read, "You certify that you are not currently engaged in, and agree for the duration of this agreement not to engage in, a boycott of Israel."

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Author of Leaked OPCW Engineering Report on Douma Speaks at UN Security Council

The UN Security Council met in New York on Monday to discuss the investigation by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) into an alleged chemical attack that was said to have taken place in April 2018 in Douma, Syria. The alleged attack was blamed on the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and the US, UK, and France responded with an airstrike against Syrian government targets.

A former OPCW employee spoke to the UN Security Council and accused OPCW management of ignoring and suppressing findings of the investigative team that was deployed to Douma.

The OPCW released their final report on the Douma attack in March 2019, the report concluded that a chlorine chemical attack likely occurred. Two cylinders were found at two separate locations in Douma that were said to be the source of the chlorine gas. The idea that these cylinders were dropped from an aircraft is central to the allegation that the Syrian government was responsible.

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Rep. Adam Smith Backtracks on Support for NDAA Amendment to End War in Yemen

One of the leading co-sponsors of an amendment to the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would end US support for Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen appears to be withdrawing his support.

Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) spoke at an American Enterprise Institute event on Thursday. When Smith took a question about his efforts to end US support for the war, he said, "There is nothing we are going to pass in Congress that’s going to stop the war in Yemen." Smith said Iran’s involvement in the war cannot be ignored and that he does not want to "cut off Saudi Arabia’s and UAE’s ability to deal with Iran."

In April, President Trump vetoed a bipartisan effort to end US support for the war in Yemen. In June, Trump vetoed resolutions that would have blocked arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Experts agree that the best way to end the war in Yemen is through this amendment to the NDAA.

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New Poll Shows Americans Favor Non-Intervention

A new poll conducted by the Eurasia Group Foundation shows Americans are losing their belief in American exceptionalism, and tend to favor a more non-interventionist foreign policy. The participants were asked a range of foreign policy questions.

Over 1,200 people across the country were surveyed for the Eurasia Group poll. Here are some of its findings:

Most of the participants believe that America is an exceptional nation. 42.4 percent believe America is exceptional for what it represents, and 18.2 percent believe the nation is exceptional for what it has done in the world. 39.5 percent of the participants believe America is not exceptional, just another country acting on behalf of its own interests. That number is up 6.1 percent from the previous year.

Looking at the different age groups shows younger people do not think America is anything special. In the 18-29-year age bracket, just 45.1 percent find America to be exceptional. Those who are 60 and over find America to be the most exceptional, at 75.2 percent.

The participants were asked how peace is best achieved and sustained by the US and were given the choice of four responses. The most popular response was "keeping a focus on domestic needs" which was chosen by 34.4 percent. The second most popular choice "establishing, encouraging, and reinforcing global economic integration" came in at 28.3 percent. Third was "promoting and defending democracy" which received 19 percent of the vote. The fourth and most hawkish sounding response "maintaining overwhelming strength" came in last with 18.3 percent.

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