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Gold Star mom says ‘Bush was no better’ than Trump after her son was killed in Iraq

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A Gold Star mother who famously protested former President George W. Bush said he was “no better” than President Donald Trump.

Cindy Sheehan, who became an anti-war activist after her son, Casey Sheehan, was killed in 2004 while fighting in the Iraq War, told The Daily Beast that the former president offered no comfort to her grief.

“I think that in 2017 presidents having to comfort grieving families who had loved ones killed in war is barbaric, because war is barbaric,” Sheehan said. “Trump has proven himself to be a loose cannon who doesn’t seem to have very many social graces. But Bush was no better. I wish the conversation was about the barbarism of war and, in this instance, why are there special ops forces in Niger? Where is the movement to oppose U.S. wars, instead of liberal handwringing over botched messages of condolence?”

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Sheehan said she had no words of comfort for Myeshia Johnson, but could only offer a hug “because I know words are not adequate.”

“First of all, we never received a ‘call,'” Sheehan said. “We got a letter from Bush, which we later found out was signed by a signature machine. What can a president say, ‘Sorry your loved one was killed so the U.S. could make sure that we had complete control over all of (fill in the blank name of country)’s natural resources and so that Boeing, Halliburton, and Raytheon could have massive profits?’ Better that the barbarism of wars for profit ends.”

She said her son was not told exactly what he was signing up for in the military, although she couldn’t know what the late Sgt. La David Johnson believed.

“As far as I know from personal experience and talking to other vets, particularly since 9/11, recruiters promise all kinds of benefits and promise young people that they won’t have to go to war at all,” she told The Daily Beast. “That’s what Casey’s recruiter told him in 2000. ‘Tell your mom, even if there is a war, you won’t see combat, because you are such a high-value recruit.’ Casey was killed in combat a few days after arriving in Iraq.”

Sheehan protested outside Bush’s ranch in Texas in 2005 and became a target of conservative hate, but she said many of her old opponents came around to her view of the war.

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“I still get my fair share of hate messages,” she said. “But the messages from people who outright apologize to me for ‘hating’ me and who tell me they have since changed their minds outnumber those.”


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Trump hammered by ex-intel officials for sucking up to the Saudis after Florida naval base shooting

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President Donald Trump is taking heat from former U.S. intelligence officials for taking a very soft tone with the Saudi government after Friday’s shooting at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida.

Not long after the shooter was identified as a second lieutenant in the Saudi Arabian military, the president tweeted out words of sympathy from the Saudi king after a phonecall, writing, "The King said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter, and that this person in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people."

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Former right-wing presidential candidate scamming Americans with toxic bleach cure

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Former diplomat and Reagan adviser Alan Keyes is a well-known gadfly who has run multiple times for president and for Senate, most famously against future President Barack Obama in 2004.

But lately, according to The Daily Beast, he has been involved in a different pursuit: the promotion of a dangerous pseudoscience scam known as the "Miracle Mineral Solution," or MMS.

The substance, which is actually just the powerful bleach chlorine dioxide, is supposedly a cure for everything from viral infections to infertility, and there was even a cultlike church known as the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, that promoted it as a gift from God. MMS has particularly taken root in developing countries like Uganda, but it also has a following in the United States, and many autistic children have been forced to drink it. Versions of this scam have even been promoted on Amazon.

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American exceptionalism is killing the planet

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Ever since 2007, when I first started writing for TomDispatch, I’ve been arguing against America’s forever wars, whether in Afghanistan, Iraq, or elsewhere. Unfortunately, it’s no surprise that, despite my more than 60 articles, American blood is still being spilled in war after war across the Greater Middle East and Africa, even as foreign peoples pay a far higher price in lives lost and cities ruined. And I keep asking myself: Why, in this century, is the distinctive feature of America's wars that they never end? Why do our leaders persist in such repetitive folly and the seemingly eternal disasters that go with it?

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