Tag Archives: US

Ukraine and the Holy Triumvirate

Ever since I read one of his books, William Blum has continued to astonish me. In his latest post he makes it possible to see clearly and simply what has been happening in Ukraine.

Read and wake up.

ANTI-EMPIRE REPORT #126

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Lack of Logic Behind Dropping Bombs to Save a Population

Lack of Logic Behind Dropping Bombs to Save a Population

Will we ever know the truth? Misinformation on all sides. Meanwhile, those who are directly affected are practically helpless. 

The term “terrorist” should include huge corporations and powerful nations that profit on grief and destruction.


Vampires that do not Fear the Light

Read two articles from the Mail & Guardian online that should scare all those who think international law can protect sovereign countries and their population from a special breed of Vampires.

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Mbeki: We should learn from Libya’s experiences

Recent events in Libya should raise alarm bells about the threat to Africa’s hard won right to self-determination, former president Thabo Mbeki said on Saturday.

Addressing the Law Society of the Northern Provinces in Sun City, Mbeki said it “seemed obvious” that a few powerful countries were seeking to use the council to pursue their selfish interests.

They were also determined to behave according to the principle and practice that “might is right” and to sideline the principle of self-determination.

“I must state this categorically that those who have sought to manufacture a particular outcome out of the conflict in Libya have propagated a poisonous canard aimed at discrediting African and African Union (AU) opposition to the Libyan debacle.”

He said this was done on the basis that the AU and the rest of “us” had been “bought by Colonel Gadaffi with petro-dollars”, and felt obliged to defend his continued misrule.

He said all known means of disinformation was being bandied about, included an argument that Gadaffi’s Libya had supported the ANC during the apartheid struggle.

“The incontrovertible fact is that during this whole period, Libya did not give the ANC [African National Congress] even one cent, did not train even one of our military combatants and did not supply us with even one bullet…

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE.

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West rushes to grab its Libya reward

Britain’s new defence secretary, Philip Hammon, announced that British companies should “pack their suitcases” and head to Libya to snap up lucrative reconstruction contracts.

It all sounds disturbingly familiar. Think of the American companies streaming into Iraq to aid the “reconstruction effort” after the invasion. If there was any doubt, this modus operandi may soon define what seems no more than a new form of neocolonialism in the Middle East. American, Nato (or both) armies will destroy your country under the guise of ushering in democracy, and Western companies will assume the lion’s share of contracts to build it up again.

And with Libya’s National Transitional Council having already announced it would “reward” those countries that were in its corner during the “revolution”, it’s anyone’s guess who will be the biggest of the war profiteers.

Whereas in the past Gaddafi’s Libya was only dealing with China, Russia and Italy, the playing field has now been levelled, in a manner of speaking. Though it has portrayed itself as having had only a “back-room” role in toppling Gaddafi, the United States wants to be the number-one oil buyer from Libya, to compensate for its decades of deprivation of Libyan oil. There can be no doubt that in due course we will see that the US will want a far bigger cut of Libyan oil supplies than it is currently letting on.

It will be said in the future that the end justified the means: the removal of a hated dictator who terrorised his own people for four decades. This may be so, and nobody in their right mind could endorse what the colonel did to Libya. But there are some questions to be asked about the selective morality at play here.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE.

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Please proceed to the nearest toilet to throw up.  Now pull yourself together and fight the propaganda machine of these Vampires.


Not the Fluffy Chair


Three Colours: Red

If my foggy memory serves me right, the title I use here comes from Monty Python.  Tell me if I’m wrong.  In one hilarious scene someone is being whisked away to be tortured to death, apparently.

The person shouting orders goes “Take him to the fluffy chair!”

The victim begs “No!  Not the fluffy chair!!!!”

Imagine the rest of the sequence for yourselves.

This morning I was asked by Avaaz.org to sign a petiton to stop the stoning to death of a woman in Iran.  Here is part of the text:

Yesterday an Iranian woman, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, was saved by global protests from being stoned to death.

But she may still be hanged — and, meanwhile, execution by stoning continues. Right now fifteen more people are on death row awaiting stoning in which victims are buried up to their necks in the ground and then large rocks are thrown at their heads.

–Avaaz.org

Back when I was still giving lectures to university students, the matter of the death penalty came up.  I think it was around the time it was being debated by lawmakers.  The government through the years had been pressured by various differing lobby groups to either abolish it or have it reinstated – a number of times, if I remember correctly – like it was a game of table tennis, with the rules changing as the game went on it seemed.

One of my students posted the question: what if you were the child of a person set to be killed by the state?  What would you feel towards the government?

In the film Three Colours: Red (the final part in the magnificent trilogy) by the late Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski, one of the main characters is a former judge who monitors his neigbour’s secret conversations.  It asks us how much do we know the people around us, or the people we may encounter very briefly?  In the end, how do we, indeed, how can we judge another person to a certain fate?  By appearance, police records, media, religious stands?  Yes, all of us tend to weigh each person’s worth, each person’s relevance to our lives.  Often it is a matter of perspective.

Here is a leap.  Why feel horrified by a pile of stones reserved for a person buried in the ground up to the neck?  Is lethal injection or the electric chair a more humane option?  (bitter laughter please)  How about torture (yes, I see that as slow killing) in a secret detention centre – no, what about a known detention centre, say Guantanamo and others like it in other countries?  Would that be more palatable?

Let us not forget that it is not just the act of stoning someone (a mere head protruding from dry ground, apparently) that should be seen as disgusting, but the very notion of capital punishment (which, in historical and literal fact, means severing the head!).

If you sign the petition, keep these thoughts in mind.  And be surprised at this list of countries that continue to impose the death penalty.

Yes, I did sign the petition.

Now, can someone tell me what that Monty Python movie is called so I can get it out of the video shop?  Please?


Egypt Covers for Israel

Press Release from VIVA PALESTINA

Egyptian Police attack Humanitarian Gaza Aid Convoy

Last night Egyptian police again delayed the Viva Palestina aid convoy carrying much needed aid from reaching the people of Gaza.  Having agreed to Egyptian demands whilst being stranded in the port of Aqaba some seven days ago, convoy leaders agreed to re-route their journey after receiving guarantees from the Egyptian authorities of a safe passage to Gaza.

Humanitarians from all over the world transporting the aid were attacked by riot police in the port of Al-Arish last night (5th January). And it is now reported that some of the activists were hospitalised overnight for their injuries. They have since returned back to re-join the convoy members in the port and thankfully have no life threatening issues.

British and national embassies are being kept informed of the situation.

Protests broke out when Egyptian authorities at Al – Arish ordered some lorries to use an Israeli-controlled checkpoint. The activists preferred the goods to be transported via Egypt’s Rafah crossing as agreed.

George Galloway who is leading the convoy said Israel is likely to prevent it entering Gaza – This morning he told Sky News. “It is completely unconscionable that 25% of our convoy should go to Israel and never arrive in Gaza.”

Following Israel’s horrific attack on Gaza, people all over Britain worked for months raising funds for aid and aid vehicles for the Palestinian people.  Those taking the aid are humanitarians from all walks of life, who have given up a month to bring the much needed medical aid in a gesture of solidarity with their continuing oppression under Israel’s illegal siege.

Betty Hunter, General Secretary of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign said, “It is shocking that the Egyptian government is behaving in this way.  There can be no justification for preventing this aid and the people who have worked so hard to provide it from reaching Gaza.  The Palestinians are waiting for this well publicised international convoy to arrive and these actions of the Egyptian government, and the building of Egypt’s  steel wall signal that Egypt is colluding with the Israeli government’s illegal siege of Gaza.”

Viva Palestina ‘The Return to Gaza’ is partnered with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and departed London on 6th December bound for Gaza.

For further information on the Viva Palestina convoy visit www.vivapalestina.org

Press information from Alice Howard on Tel:07944 512 469 or viva email: alice@vivapalestina.org

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News item from Al Jazeera.


“The Disneyfication of War” – George Monbiot

I read this article years ago and just recently bumped into it again.  Thought it was a good read then and hopefully it still is  now.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE

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The Disneyfication of war allows us to ignore its real savagery

By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 24th October 2006.

Most of our memorials sentimentalise war. Few commemorate the horror. But now we have a new category, whose purpose seems to be to trivialise it.

Last week a vast bronze sculpture was unveiled in Montrose on the east coast of Scotland by Prince Andrew. It depicts a hero of the second world war, wearing a seaman’s cap, who was decorated with “the equivalent of the George Cross”. It’s a bit late, perhaps, but otherwise unsurprising – until I tell you that the hero was a dog. The statue depicts a St Bernard called Bamse, which reputedly rescued two Norwegian sailors. It is the latest manifestation of the new Cult of the Heroic Animal.

The Imperial War Museum is currently running an exhibition called “The Animals’ War”. It features stuffed mascots, tales of the “desperate plight” of 200 animals trapped by the fighting in Iraq, and photos of dogs wearing gas masks. It tells us about the “PDSA Dicken Medal – the Animals’ Victoria Cross”, which has been awarded to 23 dogs, 32 pigeons, three horses and one cat for “acts of conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in wartime.” The museum resounds with cries of “aaah!” and “how sweet!”. War is now cute.

Last year, Disney released an animation called Valiant, about the heroics of a group of messenger pigeons in World War Two. In 2004, a vast sculpture was unveiled by Princes Anne in Park Lane in London, called “Animals at War”. It cost £1.5 million, and it is dedicated “to all the animals that served and died alongside British and Allied Forces in wars and campaigns throughout time … From the pigeon to the elephant they all played a vital role in every region of the world in the cause of human freedom. Their contribution must never be forgotten.” In Liverpool there are now two statues commemorating a dog – Jet – used to find victims of air raids in the Second World War.

I have no objection to remembering the suffering of animals. If someone started a subscription for a statue of a battery pig or a broiler chicken (conveniently forgotten by almost everyone) I might even contribute. But the emphasis given to animals’ suffering in war suggests a failure to acknowledge the suffering of human beings. The tableau in Park Lane carries the justifying motto “They had no choice”. Nor did the civilians killed in Iraq, the millions of women raped over the centuries by soldiers, or the colonial subjects who died of famine or disease in British concentration camps. You would scour this country in vain for a monument to any of them.

Bamse has been dead for 62 years. Both the Park Lane memorial and the exhibition at the Imperial War Museum were inspired by a book by Jilly Cooper – the patron saint of English bourgeois sentiment – called Animals in War(4,5). But it was first published in 1983. It is only since the invasion of Iraq that this disneyfication of war seems to have become a major industry.

READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE


Monsters 2: Cluster Bombs

They come in a rain of flames and screams.
They seek the softness of flesh,
cracking points of bones.

But many of them unleash the horror
of their intent when all is quiet.

In silence they lurk
among the bushes. Still. Sinister.
Patient. Someone will walk
past them one day. Perhaps
someone who collects metal
scraps for a living.

Or maybe a child
will notice just one of them
with a bright yellow tail
playfully beckoning in the wind:

Take me. Take me.
Take me that I may be
One with your tender flesh.
Take me…

Sometimes there will not even be a scream.
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Abdullah Yaqoob - DCA Archive

Abdullah Yaqoob - DCA Archive

What are cluster bombs?

More information

What Human Rights Watch says about cluster bombs

Who has them?