Monday, May 29, 2006

Bush 'planted fake news stories on American TV'

Federal authorities are actively investigating dozens of American television stations for broadcasting items produced by the Bush administration and major corporations, and passing them off as normal news. Some of the fake news segments talked up success in the war in Iraq, or promoted the companies' products.




Investigators from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are seeking information about stations across the country after a report produced by a campaign group detailed the extraordinary extent of the use of such items.

The report, by the non-profit group Centre for Media and Democracy, found that over a 10-month period at least 77 television stations were making use of the faux news broadcasts, known as Video News Releases (VNRs). Not one told viewers who had produced the items.

Continue reading Here

US: Universal National Service Act of 2006 (Introduced in House)

109th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 4752






To provide for the common defense by requiring all persons in the United States, including women, between the ages of 18 and 42 to perform a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes.

Note: The source for this article seems to vary. So to see the document, first click Here and then enter ' H. R. 4752 ' (without the quotes) into the search field. It is the first result in the list.

Afghan riots

Riots and gunfire broke out in the Afghan capital on Monday with people feared dead in violent demonstrations that erupted after US troops shot dead at least four civilians, witnesses said.




Several volleys of gunfire over about two hours were heard near the diplomatic quarter as around 1,000 people marched toward the US embassy chanting "Death to America" and "Death to [President Hamid] Karzai", an AFP reporter said.

Mohammad Shoib, an eyewitness, said that he had seen Afghan soldiers shoot dead two rioters trying to break through a police cordon and move into an area that includes the presidential palace and UN offices.

Troops apparently opened fire into the air to stop the demonstrators but later shot into the crowd, he said.

Source Here.

The children of Guantanamo Bay

The notorious US detention camp in Guantanamo Bay has been hit by fresh allegations of human rights abuses, with claims that dozens of children were sent there - some as young as 14 years old.






Lawyers in London estimate that more than 60 detainees held at the terrorists' prison camp were boys under 18 when they were captured.

They include at least 10 detainees still held at the US base in Cuba who were 14 or 15 when they were seized - including child soldiers who were held in solitary confinement, repeatedly interrogated and allegedly tortured.

The disclosures threaten to plunge the Bush administration into a fresh row with Britain, its closest ally in the war on terror, only days after the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, repeated his demands for the closure of the detention facility. It was, he said, a "symbol of injustice".

Continue reading Here.

Iran Pledges $1b for Iraq Projects

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Saturday his country was ready to help Iraq with an economic investment plan totaling $1 billion, according to Turkish Press.






“We are planning seven projects in the fields of oil, electricity, hospital construction and other services,“ he told reporters during his visit to the Shiite holy city of Najaf, south of Baghdad.

“The Islamic Republic has set aside nearly one billion dollars to help Iraq,“ he said, adding that the Iranians were ready to implement the projects.He said the projects could be implemented in the southern Shiite provinces or in the northern Kurdish ones.

While in Najaf, Mottaki prayed at the Imam Ali shrine, one of Shiite Islam’s holiest sites. He also met a number of religious leaders, including Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani and radical cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr, who are influential on Iraqi politics.

Source Here.

Civilian deaths could fuel Taliban support

Afghan officials and human rights activists say a U.S. airstrike that killed at least 16 civilians this month — possibly as many as 34 — undermines President Hamid Karzai and boosts support for the resurgent Taliban.




It's damaging for the dignity of the government," said Noorulaq Homi, a lawmaker from Kandahar province. "The people distance themselves from the government and move toward the Taliban. It is a positive message for the enemy."

The deaths came May 21 in an airstrike on Azizi village in Kandahar province. Although the strike killed up to 80 militants by U.S. military estimates, the accompanying civilian casualties can be used as a recruiting tool Taliban-led rebels.

They also place Afghanistan's U.S.-backed president, Hamid Karzai, in a political fix. He remains reliant on the U.S.-led coalition to protect his government but can't ignore the public anger stirred by military mistakes. The latest incident came just five weeks after the killings of seven civilians by coalition military in eastern Kunar province that also drew Karzai's ire.

Source Here.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

No posts

My apologies to you all but I am unable to update Terrorism News tonight. Meanwhile why not check out these links.

Get your hands dirty over at Djebs Permaculture Reflections

Also why not check out the wonderfully creative Poetic justice

Hopefully normal service will resume tomorrow.

Papers Show U.S. Courted Arabs in Mid-70s

The United States reached out to hostile Arabs three decades ago with an offer to work toward making Israel a ``small friendly country'' of no threat to its neighbors and with an assurance to Iraq that the U.S. had stopped backing Kurdish rebels in the north.

``We can't negotiate about the existence of Israel,'' then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger told his Iraqi counterpart in a rare high-level meeting, ``but we can reduce its size to historical proportions.''

A must read : Here.

From the archives : A trip down memory lane (video)

A brief history of Saddam . A must watch video for those that wonder how Saddam became the Dictator of Iraq and if we helped him do that.

Saddam captured ? well not quite , we have always had him.

Here

This post was first published in October 2005

photos claim to show Marines 'executed' Iraqi civilians

Photographs taken by a Marine intelligence team have convinced investigators that a Marine unit killed as many as 24 unarmed Iraqis, some of them "execution-style," in the insurgent stronghold of Haditha after a roadside bomb killed an American in November, officials close to the investigation said Friday.


The pictures are said to show wounds to the upper bodies of the victims, who included several women and six children. Some were shot in the head and some in the back, congressional and defense officials said.

One government official said the pictures showed that infantry Marines from Camp Pendleton "suffered a total breakdown in morality and leadership, with tragic results."

The case may be the most serious incident of alleged war crimes in Iraq by U.S. troops. Marine officers have long been worried that Iraq's deadly insurgency could prompt such a reaction by combat teams.

An investigation by an Army general into the Nov. 19 incident is to be delivered soon to the top operational commander in Iraq. A separate criminal investigation is also underway and could lead to charges ranging from dereliction of duty to murder.

Read the full 2 page article Here.

When US turned a blind eye to poison gas

America knew Baghdad was using chemical weapons against the Kurds in 1988. So why, asks Dilip Hiro , has it taken 14 years to muster its outrage?






When it comes to demonising Saddam Hussein, nothing captures the popular imagination in America better than the statement that 'he gassed his own people'. This is an allusion to the deployment of chemical weapons by Iraq's military in the Iraqi Kurdistan town of Halabja in March 1988 during the Iran-Iraq war, and then in the territory administered by the Tehran-backed Kurdish rebels after the ceasefire five months later.

As Iraq's use of poison gases in war and in peace was public knowledge, the question arises: what did the United States administration do about it then? Absolutely nothing. Indeed, so powerful was the grip of the pro-Baghdad lobby on the administration of Republican President Ronald Reagan that it got the White House to foil the Senate's attempt to penalise Iraq for its violation of the Geneva Protocol on Chemical Weapons to which it was a signatory. This made Saddam believe that the US was his firm ally - a deduction that paved the way for his brutal invasion and occupation of Kuwait and the 1991 Gulf war, the outcomes of which have not yet fully played themselves out.

Nothing new and plenty missing but a most interesting read nonetheless.

Continue reading Here.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

From the Archives : Dictatorships for dummies

As we are now within a hundred of our 1000th article here at Terrorism News. I have decided from time to time to pull out a few of my favourite posts and recycle them. This little post has been dragged out of the archive from August 2005.

Here is a question for you...



Who made the following three statements ?

(1) "We will not continue to tolerate the persecution of the minority, the killing of the many , and their forcible removal under the most cruel conditions. I should despair of any honourable future for my own people if we were not , in one way or another , to solve this question".

(2) "He had a reign of terror. He hurled countless people into the profoundest misery. Through his terrorism he has succeeded in reducing millions of his people to silence. The maintenance of a tremendous military arsenal can only be regarded as a force of danger. I am no longer willing to remain inactive while this madman ill-treats millions of human beings".

(3) "It is impossible to stand by and watch millions belonging to a great, an ancient civilized people be denied rights by their government . I have determined therefore to place the help of our country at the service of these people".

Any Ideas ?

Sure sounds like one of the good guys doesn't it...

George Bush maybe ?

Tony Blair ?

These three statements were all made by that famous member of the human race called...

ADOLF HITLER

Isn't it funny what a leader is willing to say to get the people to support his war on Ter.. ooops i mean Blitzkrieg .

Wouldn't happen these days would it ?

Friday, May 26, 2006

Iraq Says It supports Iran's Nuclear Program

Iraq supports Iran's right to use nuclear technology for peaceful means and wants a diplomatic solution to the standoff between the Islamic Republic and the U.S. over uranium enrichment, the Iraqi foreign minister said.






"In our view the Islamic Republic has the right to have nuclear technology as long as it is for peaceful means" Hoshyar Zebari said today in a press conference from Baghdad broadcast live by Dubai, United Arab Emirates-based al-Arabiya television station.

Zebari was speaking after meeting Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, who ruled out holding direct talks with the U.S. to resolve the standoff over the Iranian uranium enrichment program.

Continue reading here.

Top 10 Signs of the Impending U.S. Police State

From secret detention centers to warrantless wiretapping, Bush and Co. give free rein to their totalitarian impulses.

Is the U.S. becoming a police state?



Here are the top 10 signs that it may well be the case.

Russia to Sell Anti-Aircraft Missiles to Iran

Russian defense minister Sergei Ivanov Friday reiterated Moscow’s commitment to supply Iran with sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles, Interfax news agency reported. “If there are no extraordinary circumstances, it (the contract) will without doubt be fulfilled,” Ivanov was quoted as saying.


Defense Ministry officials have previously said Moscow would supply 29 sophisticated Tor-M1 air defense missile systems to Iran under a ˆ546.5m contract, according to Russian media reports.

The move was likely to upset the United States, which last month called on all countries to stop all arms exports to Iran and to end all nuclear cooperation with it to put pressure on Tehran to halt uranium enrichment activities, AP added.

Tehran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but the United States and some of its allies suspect Iran is trying to develop weapons.

Source here.

Afghan civilian casualties (case study)

A growing disconnect exists between the daily reality of war experienced by the common Afghan and how this war is represented to the American general public by the corporate media.

A must read case study (pdf file)

Here.

George : My regrets

George Bush now admits his "tough talk" rhetoric was among the biggest errors made during the conflict in Iraq





Whilst at a news conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair Bush said he regrets using phrases like, `Bring it on' - kind of tough talk, you know, that sent the wrong signal to people," Bush said somberly, in response to a British reporter's question.

"I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner. You know, `Wanted dead or alive,' that kind of talk. I think in certain parts of the world it was misinterpreted. And so I learned - I learned from that."

He could have 'decided' to stop with that little admission , but oh no, the Deciderinator just kept on going...

"I think the biggest mistake that's happened so far, at least from our country's involvement, is Abu Ghraib. We've been paying for that for a long period of time."

So what about the Blair. Loyal sidekick of the Decider. How did he score on the well lets try being honest for once and see if that makes them like us routine. (Seemingly taken from the book of Failed Political techniques to out stay your welcome in office. )

Well Blair said that the way the international coalition embarked on the "deBathification" of Iraq after the ousting of Saddam Hussein as president had been the biggest mistake he had seen.

Tony Blair went on to say that in retrospect, he may have underestimated how long it would take to establish a democracy in Iraq. "I'm afraid, in the end we're always going to have to be prepared for the fall of Saddam not to be the rise of democratic Iraq, that it was going to be a more difficult process,"

Blair finished his confession by noting that the allies seriously underestimated the strength and determination of the insurgency."It should have been very obvious to us" from the beginning, Blair said.

Isn't amazing how differently they speak once the popularity polls start reaching the kind of numbers where Siberians start to assume your talking about their weather and penguins start visiting the empty sacks once used for your fan mail to cool off from a hot day in the sun.

Well this little list of regrets is way too short and considerably too late to be of use to anyone . but I still want to know who gave these two the truth serum. If only to ensure that next time they are both given a much higher dose. Maybe it's just the romance of seeing each other after all this time. Its made their heads go all giddy.

Isn't it great that these two leaders of powerful nations are still hanging about on a horizon of understanding that the rest of us could see all along. It would be funny if it wasn't so true

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Jumping the fence (video)

While doing an interview with Bush about border patrol, If you look closely in the background, you can see a people going over the wall.

Millions of Afghans could go hungry as lack of funds forces UN food agency to cut aid

Due to a critical shortage of funds and resources, the United Nations World Food Programme will soon be forced to abandon plans to provide around 2.7 million of the poorest and most vulnerable Afghans with vital food aid to help them through the winter, the agency said today.


“The last thing WFP wants is to cancel our winter aid programme because this will leave millions of Afghans with no hope of food assistance for months – from the onset of winter until the snows start to melt in spring,” said Anthony Banbury, WFP Regional Director for Asia, who was on a visit to Afghanistan.

“But unless donors come forward quickly, we will soon be forced to take this tough decision because we have so little wheat in our warehouses and almost none in the pipeline.”

Continue reading over at the UN

Putin Criticizes Cheney

President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Russia wants good relations with the United States but he objected vigorously to Vice President Dick Cheney's recent criticism of democratic backtracking by the Kremlin.


"We see how the United States defends its interests, we see what methods and means they use for this,'' Putin said at a news conference following a summit meeting of Russia and the European Union in his most direct criticism of Cheney's remarks.

Read the full article here

Lamp lifters

Mark Fiore is back again with his latest animation.

Watch it here.

UK War legality advice to be disclosed

The Attorney General's office has been ordered to disclose information leading to his advice on the legality of invading Iraq in 2003. Information Commissioner Richard Thomas upheld requests for an explanation of Lord Goldsmith's statement to Parliament on March 17 in that year.



In a letter to the Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers, Mr Thomas said the Attorney General's confidential advice to the Government, on March 7, had been "significantly more equivocal in nature". He added: "There is a public interest in establishing the extent to which published statements are consistent with fuller advice that had been given."

Source here

Bush's China Syndrome: Hypocrisy, History and Twelve Kinds of Hell

But sometimes a particularly choice piece of hypocrisy comes along, a wrenching juxtaposition between reality and sham righteousness so sublime in the totality of its horse-hockeyness that it cries out for special recognition

Yet another excellent article by Chris Floyd. Read it for yourself here

U.S. is urged to stop paying Iraqi reporters

A Defense Department investigation of Pentagon-financed propaganda efforts in Iraq warns that paying Iraqi journalists to produce positive stories could damage American credibility and calls for an end to military payments to a group of Iraqi journalists in Baghdad, according to a summary of the investigation.


The review, by Rear Admiral Scott Van Buskirk, was ordered after the disclosure last November that the military had paid the Lincoln Group, a Washington-based Pentagon contractor, to plant articles written by American soldiers in Iraqi publications without disclosing the source of the articles

He also faulted the military for failing to examine whether paying for placement for articles would "undermine the concept of a free press" in Iraq, according to the summary.

Full article Here

European Muslims aim to fight negative view of Islam

Muslim academics and community leaders from 25 European countries are gathering in London this weekend for a three-day conference to discuss ways of countering the negative images portrayed of Islam in the wake of the US-led war against terrorism.



The meeting, which starts on Friday, is being organized and hosted by the Kuwaiti government's ministry of Islamic affairs (Awqaf), which is seeking to act as an intermediary to improve understanding and relations between the Islamic world and Western nations.

Read the full article Here

Please remember to read our Posting policy if you wish to leave a comment on this or any article.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Kurdish group claims it caused huge Istanbul airport fire

A radical Kurdish group said it was responsible for a fire at the cargo section of Istanbul's Ataturk airport, the hub of international air travel in Turkey, which slightly injured three people and caused delays in air traffic.



The claim, which could not be confirmed, was made by a group calling itself the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) in a message to Firat, a pro-Kurdish news agency based in Europe. The Turkish authorities have identified an electrical short circuit as the probable cause of the blaze.

"The sabotage is a response to the policies of massacre followed by the Turkish state towards the Kurds," the message said. It added that its actions would continue "as long as the extermination policies of the Turkish state against the Kurds are in force."

The Turkish government says the TAK is an offshoot of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) regarded as a terrorist organisation by the United States and the European Union.

Source Here

Presidential Outtakes

Warning! Do not view while consuming any food or beverages.

LINK

Iraq doctor brings evidence of US napalm at Fallujah

EVIDENCE to support controversial claims that napalm has been used by US forces in Iraq has been brought to Australia by an Iraqi doctor.

Dr Salam Ismael, of the Baghdad-based group Doctors for Iraq, said the evidence pointed to the use of napalm on civilians during the second siege of Fallujah in November 2004.



It is contained in film and photographs that doctors took of bodies they collected when they were finally allowed to enter the city after being barred for three days of the military operation.

"We said that napalm had been used, because napalm is a bomb which is a fuel bomb that burns only on the exposed part of the body, so that the clothes will not be affected," Dr Ismael said from Perth at the start of a speaking tour.

Doctors For Iraq, an independent group founded in 2003, is calling for an international investigation that would allow the bodies to be exhumed for autopsies "because we want to know the truth of what happened".

Dr Ismael said the napalm was a modification from the 1990s of the wind-driven napalm chemical bombs used by the US in Vietnam in the 1960s.

The US Government admits using white phosphorus in Iraq but denies using napalm. Dr Ismael said the pattern of burns on bodies collected in Fallujah suggested otherwise.

Asked to respond to the napalm allegations, a Pentagon spokesman said only that the US did not target civilians. It was up to the Iraqi Government to decide if international investigators should be allowed into Fallujah.

Source : Here

Yet another claimed war crime. If confirmed , the hypocrisy of attacking a country to remove its claimed chemical weapons and then using such weapons against civilians areas is beyond words. As is so many other actions brought down upon the Iraqi people in the name of democracy.

We have already had many try to claim that the use of white phosphorus inside the city of fallujah was not a 'chemical weapon' . Nobody denies that when used as intended (to light up the battlefield ) it is clearly not. But common sense says that if you are using it at ground level to burn people alive inside a city then it certainly is a chemical weapon . Now Napalm has been mentioned and that is much further up the scale . I hope for people of Iraq and the innocents in Fallujah that this claim is false. We will have to wait and see.

Note the photograph above shows the use of white phosphorus on Iraqi civilians / not Napalm for I have not yet seen any photographs of this claim.

Alleged Bin Laden Tape Slams Moussaoui

A message claiming to come from Osama bin Laden says confessed terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui was not part of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack plot, CNN reports.



The audio message was posted in Arabic with English subtitles on a Web site that normally carries such items, CNN said, and was addressed to the U.S. people. The voice on the message says Moussaoui made a "false confession." CNN said it was unable to verify whether the voice was bin Laden's.

A federal jury in a Virginia suburb of Washington earlier sentenced Moussaoui, a French national of Moroccan descent, to life in prison for failing to tell investigators about the pending attacks. Moussaoui was in U.S. custody on an immigration charge in August 2001 after the FBI became suspicious of his attendance at a flight school.

Source Here

Well if it really is Bin Laden (I have my doubts) what is the point of this little rant apart from to show he is keeping up with reading the Newspapers. We already knew Moussaoui had nothing to do with 9/11 for there is zero evidence to connect him.

Amnesty attacks US & UK for war crimes

The United States' reported use of secret CIA-run prisons for terrorism suspects amounts to a policy of "disappearances", human rights watchdog Amnesty International said today in its annual report.



In a sometimes scathing assessment of Washington's rights record, the London-based group also raised serious concerns about detainees held without trial in Guantanamo Bay, Iraq and Afghanistan. Washington had failed to bring to account those potentially guilty of war crimes or crimes against humanity, it added

Britain also faced condemnation, with Amnesty saying the government had "continued to erode fundamental human rights" through new anti-terrorism laws and the possible use of evidence obtained through the torture of suspects in other countries.

The 238-page report for 2005 carries a lengthy catalogue of abuses in dozens of countries, with some of the most-criticised including China, North Korea, Zimbabwe and Russia.

While Washington traditionally dismisses such complaints - President Bush labelled last year's Amnesty report "absurd" for likening Guantanamo Bay to a gulag - it remains embarrassing for the US to be bracketed in such company.

The latest document considers widespread reports that the CIA has run a network of secret detention centres in countries including Afghanistan, Poland and Romania, transporting suspects via unlisted 'rendition' flights.

"Such facilities were alleged to detain individuals incommunicado outside the protection of the law in circumstances amounting to 'disappearances'," Amnesty noted, saying it had spoken to three Yemeni detainees held in secret locations for up to 18 months.

"Their cases suggested that such detentions were not confined to a small number of 'high value' detainees as previously suspected."

Amnesty also warned of increasing evidence of torture and ill-treatment of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and the US-run prison in Guantanamo Bay, which the rights group has repeatedly demanded be closed.

"Despite evidence that the US government had sanctioned interrogation techniques constituting torture or ill-treatment, and 'disappearances', there was a failure to hold officials at the highest levels accountable, including individuals who may have been guilty of war crimes or crimes against humanity," Amnesty said.

In an almost equally lengthy entry for Britain, Amnesty condemned the Prevention of Terrorism Act passed by Tony Blair's government last year, saying it "allowed for violations of a wide range of human rights" such as control orders against terrorism suspects. "The imposition of 'control orders' was tantamount to the executive charging, trying and sentencing a person without the fair trial guarantees required in criminal cases," Amnesty noted.

It also raised concerns at the death last July of Jean Charles de Menezes, the young Brazilian electrician shot dead by police at Stockwell Underground station in south London after being mistaken for a suicide bomber.

"Evidence emerged giving rise to suspicion of an early attempt at a cover-up by the police," Amnesty said. There were also harsh words for the US and Britain over the actions of their troops and allies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Both the US-led Multinational Force (MNF) and Iraqi security forces committed grave human rights violations, including torture and ill-treatment, arbitrary detention without charge or trial, and excessive use of force resulting in civilian deaths," Amnesty said, while noting that insurgents were "responsible for grave human rights abuses".

Full source here

Isn't it sad that we are now judged alongside north Korea, Zimbabwe, Burma, Russia and China for our human rights record. Who let go of the standards of decency, morality and justice for all mankind. Well I guess that is not a tough one to answer....

Iraq violence kills 2500 March/April

ACTS of violence have killed nearly 2500 people and forced more than 85,000 to flee their homes in Iraq, the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq said today in a March-April report on the human rights situation.




The fatality count was comprised by death certificates issued by the Baghdad morgue, the report said.

"The Medico-Legal Institute in Baghdad issued 1294 death certificates in March and 1155 in April", the majority of which had been deaths caused by gunshot wounds, it said. "As a result of the pervasive violence, Iraqis continue to leave their areas of residence, either voluntarily or as a result of violence or threats by insurgents, militias and other armed groups," it said.

Citing the International Organisation of Migration, the report stated 14,302 families had been displaced since the February 22 destruction of a Shiite shrine in Samarra that precipitated a rash of sectarian killing.

The report further noted the destinations of the displaced families break along sectarian lines, with Sunnis from the south heading to Anbar, Salaheddin and Diyala provinces, and Shiites heading from Baghdad to the southern provinces.

The report expressed dismay over the legal and judicial system in the country, noting the security situation has diminished the power of the judiciary.

"Judicial authorities would not appear always able to exercise their power independently or effectively and enforce Iraqi laws in their relation with police forces and militias," said the report.

The report also noted the many cases of murder, torture and abuse were investigated inadequately or not at all, adding that "such a situation may encourage further acts of violence and crime".

"The number of detainees held in the country continues to remain high," said the report, noting that multinational forces hold 15,387 detainees while the justice ministry has 7727. The Interior Ministry has another 5077, with Defence holding 333, the report said. The Labour and Social Affairs Ministry has 176 minors in detention, it said.

Source Here

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Easily Dispensable: Iraq's Children

Cherishing children is the mark of a civilized society.- Joan Ganz Cooney If, as I would like to believe, this quote suggests all children and not merely those born in Western democracies, I am no longer certain that we live in a civilized society.



That women and children suffer the most during times of war is not a new phenomenon. It is a reality as old as war itself. What Rumsfeld, Rice and other war criminals of the Cheney administration prefer to call "collateral damage" translates in English as the inexcusable murder of and other irreparable harm done to women, children and the elderly during any military offensive

Read the full article Here

Monday, May 22, 2006

Albright 'Iran big beneficiary of US-led Iraq war'

Iran has benefited most from the US-led war in Iraq and would make further gains if the daily bloodshed ended up dividing the country, former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright said Sunday.



As for the Iranian nuclear row, a "high level" member of the administration should respond to a letter from Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to US President George W. Bush and also engage in direct dialogue with Tehran, Albright told the BBC in an interview while on a visit to London.

The former top US diplomat welcomed the formation on Saturday of Iraq's first permanent government since the ousting of Saddam Hussein, but reiterated her concerns about the situation.

"The main problems that I see are the unintended consequences of this war, the biggest one frankly being at the moment is that the country that gained the most out of this war is Iran so I am very worried about it," she said.

Albright, who served under former president Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001, highlighted the dangers of an internal conflict between Iraq's Shia Muslim majority and the Sunni minority.

Asked what she thought about the risk of the country being divided into three parts -- the Kurdish north, the Sunni-dominated centre and the Shia south -- Albright said this would be a dangerous development.

"It would have deep implications obviously on Turkey and the Kurdish issue. It would give additional power to Iran in the south with the Shia . Then the centre, which is primarily Sunni, is not homogeneous either, and one is unclear as to what role the Saudis might play or Jordanians," she said.

Source Here

If only that kind of intelligence was listened to before we invaded Iraq. It is not like she is saying anything new. Albright's thinking matches exactly what British and American think tanks have been stating for years.

A perfect example being that during the mandate period (as defined by the league of nations in 1920) and much repeated in further high level thinking within the Intelligence field.
The British had always supported the traditional, Sunni leadership with all it's might. For 'common sense' shows that the creation of a huge Shiite power base that crosses the national borders of Iraq and Iran would be a huge danger to middle east stability.

Hence supporting the Sunni minority was the only way known to hold the three separate factions within Iraq intact. Preventing any eventual destruction of the country and possibly the middle east.

Failing to learn from history seems to be the common rhetoric coming from the war supporters head office these days. But failing to learn the history of the Iraq and why we spent the whole of the 2oth century trying to keep it as it was seems to be the only lesson they themselves are not learning. Or in the case of president Bush can we simply assume that he failed to learn any history at all ?

Maybe he just 'decided' not to learn any.

An Iraqi Mother's Most Dreaded Mission

Search for Missing Son in Baghdad Only Adds to Loss and Uncertainty





Six p.m., and 27-year-old Riyah Obeid hadn't come home. Fahdriya Obeid kept watching, waiting for the dark silhouette of her eldest son to loom in the doorway of the simple home he and his brother had built with her out of bricks.

Daylight came, spilling into the single room where she slept alongside her youngest son, Saffah. There was still no sight or word of Riyah, and Baghdad under curfew, under control of armed militiamen rolling through the streets at dark, wasn't a place where young men -- especially poor ones -- stayed out all night. There were anxious consultations with 23-year-old Saffah, then with Fahdriya's brothers. Calls went out over the telephone of a helpful neighbor to family members across Baghdad.

Riyah had set out the day before, May 11, on an unavoidable errand: replacing his lost ID card. The law required Riyah to do it where he was born, in Sadr City, a busy but impoverished quarter of Baghdad where 2 million Shiites and a relative handful of Sunnis live. Now, in her neighbor's house, clutching the telephone, 50-year-old Fahdriya made arrangements to go to Sadr City with Saffah and meet relatives at the home of one of the boys' cousins to start looking for Riyah.

Searching for missing loved ones has become a common mission -- especially for Sunni families -- in Baghdad in recent months as sectarian violence has surged. Fahdriya and family members agreed to let a reporter accompany them for parts of their search. Other events were recounted in interviews....

Continue reading Here

Guards Remove (yet another) One of Saddam's Lawyers

Guards grabbed Saddam Hussein's only female defense attorney and pulled her from the courtroom Monday, and the chief judge shouted down the deposed Iraqi leader — a raucous start to a new session of his trial.



Defense lawyer Bushra Khalil had been removed from an April trial session for arguing with chief judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman. Monday's shouting began after the judge told her she was now allowed back in court, but she insisted on knowing why she had been removed in the first place.
"Please, I want to know what procedures have I broken," Khalil said, but Abdel-Rahman snapped at her, "Sit down."

"I would like to know what they are so that I do not repeat them," she said. "Sit down," the judge shouted again, then yelled at the guards to take her away. Khalil pulled off her judicial robe in anger and threw it on the floor, then tried to push away guards who grabbed her hands, yelling, "Get away from me."

So how long did it take for the judges foolish action to be thrown straight back in his face ?

Well only about ten minutes it seems....

monday's first witness was a former staffer of the Revolutionary Court, Murshid Mohammed Jassim. He testified on behalf of defendant Awad al-Bandar, a judge accused of convicting the 148 Dujail residents without a proper trial.

Jassim, an elderly man who shook his cane at times as he spoke, acknowledged that he did not work at the court at the time of the Dujail trial in 1984. But he insisted the court was "the most fair, the most just ... (Al-Bandar) is a quiet, polite, fair man."

He said the Revolutionary Court always ensured that defendants had lawyers and that Saddam's regime never intervened in its proceedings. Referring to the ejection of al-Khalil, al-Bandar asked Jassim, "Were defense lawyers ever thrown out of court when they tried to make an argument?"

No, Jassim said, "lawyers were always treated with respect in accordance with the law."

Read the full article Here

Nobody is arguing that Saddam should not be put on trial for his barbaric actions. However this trial has already past it's sell by date, if it claims to represent any kind of fairness and justice.

Of course many people say that Saddam does not deserve a fair trial as he was far from fair and just when he was the President. Well the reply to that is simple. We are not Saddam. We claim to be better than people like Saddam as we claim to have freedom, democracy and justice. How people will judge the actions in court today will certainly not be helped by the knowledge that
the judge is an alleged victim of the defendants crimes. That alone would never be allowed to happen in any modern democratic court of law.

Surely it is time to put this circus to bed and for Saddam to be judged by an international court set up to judge the dictator and his actions under International law. Of course we all know that such a fair trial would never happen as Saddam could easily show how much support ( military, financial and chemical) he had from Western governments and companies whilst he was openly committing his sickening crimes. We could for example ask Mr Rumsfeld about the now infamous picture of him with Saddam. Sadly, the honesty of his reply would be somewhere east, west, south and north of the truth.

UK Soldiers to get life in jail for refusing to act as occupiers

British soldiers who object to taking part in a military occupation of a foreign country will face life in prison under measures due to be rubber-stamped in the House of Commons on Monday.



The little-noticed Armed Forces Bill will have its third reading in the Commons on Monday and left-leaning MPs are alarmed that it will legitimise pre-emptive military strikes. It will change the definition of desertion to include soldiers who go absent without leave and intend to refuse to take part in a "military occupation of a foreign country or territory".

Anti-war campaigners claim the change means it would expressly legitimise occupation and force soldiers to contravene the Nuremberg Principles, limiting their right to becoming conscientious objectors.

Ben Griffin, a former SAS soldier who quit the army without facing punishment after being "appalled" at what was happening in Iraq, accused the government of changing the law ahead of any possible action in Iran.

"The government are kicking themselves in the teeth," he said. "Currently the British Army is a volunteer force, but using this sort of stick to beat soldiers into doing what they are told is turning it into a conscript army."

Full article Here.

Conscientious objector now equals life in prison it seems . If there is a scale for crimes then I can only presume not eating your breakfast now equals ten years hard labour. As for dirty socks well death by firing squad could be an option maybe.

I think we can safely watch this one be overturned at the European court of human rights. Life in prison for having a moral or ethical reason to reject to fight is so draconian a law that it is beyond a sensible response. What if part of your family still lives in Iran or Iraq, does the choice then become bomb your own family or spend your entire life in jail.

Of course if you sign on the dotted line then you have to abide by the rules. But when those rules inform you that life in prison is the cost to you if you object, you do have to wonder if the very concept of a moral and decent society is being ripped up in front of our faces by the very people elected to protect them .

How much longer do we have to wait for the return of conscription as the final nail in the coffin to the concept that you own your own soul.

Iraq is Disintegrating

Across central Iraq, there is an exodus of people fleeing for their lives as sectarian assassins and death squads hunt them down. At ground level, Iraq is disintegrating as ethnic cleansing takes hold on a massive scale.


The state of Iraq now resembles Bosnia at the height of the fighting in the 1990s when each community fled to places where its members were a majority and were able to defend themselves.

Read the full article Here

Spain 'ready to begin Eta talks'

Spain's prime minister says he will announce in June the start of direct talks with the armed Basque separatist group Eta.
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said he would go to parliament to announce "the start of the process of dialogue to achieve the end of violence with Eta."

Eta declared a permanent ceasefire on 22 March. It has been engaged in an armed campaign for more than 30 years.

Mr Zapatero was speaking at a Socialist party meeting in the Basque region.

He said: "Just as I announced, next month I will communicate to the political forces the start of the process of dialogue to achieve the end of violence with Eta."

Read the full article Here

Sunday, May 21, 2006

You're talking nonsense, Mr Ambassador

All the while, new diplomatic archives are opening to reveal the smell of death - Armenian death

By Robert Fisk


A letter from the Turkish Ambassador to the Court of Saint James arrived for me a few days ago, one of those missives that send a shudder through the human soul. "You allege that an 'Armenian genocide' took place in Eastern Anatolia in 1915," His Excellency Mr Akin Alptuna told me. "I believe you have some misconceptions about those events ..."

Oh indeedy doody, I have. I am under the totally mistaken conception that one and a half million Armenians were cruelly and deliberately done to death by their Turkish Ottoman masters in 1915, that the men were shot and knifed while their womenfolk were raped and eviscerated and cremated and starved on death marches and their children butchered. I have met a few of the survivors - liars to a man and woman, if the Turkish ambassador to Britain is to be believed - and I have seen the photographs taken of the victims by a brave German photographer called Armen Wegner whose pictures must now, I suppose, be consigned to the waste bins. So must the archives of all those diplomats who courageously catalogued the mass murders inflicted upon Turkey's Christian population on the orders of the gang of nationalists who ran the Ottoman government in 1915

Read the full article Here ( from the Independent via ICH )

Snuggly (animation)

Mark Fiore is back with his latest Animation.

Here

Iran's new badge law is simply slanderous fiction

Several experts are casting doubt on reports that Iran had passed a law requiring the country’s Jews and other religious minorities to wear coloured badges identifying them as non-Muslims. The Iranian embassy in Otttawa also denied the Iranian government had passed such a law.




A news story and column by Iranian-born analyst Amir Taheri in yesterday’s National Post reported that the Iranian parliament had passed a sweeping new law this week outlining proper dress for Iran’s majority Muslims, including an order for Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians to wear special strips of cloth.

According to the reports, Jews were to wear yellow cloth strips, called zonnar, while Christians were to wear red and Zoroastrians blue.

Hormoz Ghahremani, a spokesman for the Iranian Embassy in Ottawa, said in an e-mail to the Post yesterday that, “We wish to categorically reject the news item. “These kinds of slanderous accusations are part of a smear campaign against Iran by vested interests, which needs to be denounced at every step.”

Sam Kermanian, of the U.S.-based Iranian-American Jewish Federation, said in an interview from Los Angeles that he had contacted members of the Jewish community in Iran — including the lone Jewish member of the Iranian parliament — and they denied any such measure was in place.

Read the full article Here

As per usual the story is out there now and people will believe it. It doesn't seem to matter anymore whether a story is true or false. Some people are so desperate to attack Iran they are willing to stoop way below the gutter in their search to justify military action against the Iranian people.

Propaganda can be a dangerous tool when repeated by those with no memory. Or in simple terms, when contemplating war, beware of babies in incubators. I am sure that many still believe that story too !

On a separate note I was not aware that Iran had a Jewish member of parliament. I suppose I should know better than to expect to read about that in the western press. Doesn't fit the vision of evil we are all supposed to get whenever the discussion turns to Iran.


And it seems Iran is not alone in such a praise worthy practice. Israel has a couple of Muslim's within positions of power in their government . (HT to Ben who left the first comment) So from the web of lies comes something positive at least.

As for whom is behind this latest batch of twisted propaganda , well nobody knows, but I am sure I can just see a badge with the words 'war pimp' left rather hurriedly on the counter at Canada.com.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Iraqi resistance: 'Why we fight'

Call them terrorists, call them resistance fighters. By whatever their name, they have their own reasons for fighting the Americans in Iraq. Abu Ayoub, a 35-year-old living in Baghdad, is a member of the Islamic Army. He spoke in the Adhamiya neighborhood about why he joined the fight.


Read full interview Here

Pentagon report said to find killing of Iraqi civilians deliberate

A Pentagon report on an incident in Haditha, Iraq, where U.S. Marines shot and killed more than a dozen Iraqi civilians last November will show that those killings were deliberate and worse than initially reported, a Pennsylvania congressman said Wednesday.





"There was no firefight. There was no IED (improvised explosive device) that killed those innocent people," Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said during a news conference on Iraq. "Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them. And they killed innocent civilians in cold blood. That is what the report is going to tell."

Read the full Article Here

Friday, May 19, 2006

4 attempted suicides and a riot ( Guantanamo )

Four detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre attempted suicide on Thursday, a US military spokesman has said.In a statement on Friday, the spokesman also said that inmates clashed with guards trying to stop a prisoner hanging himself.





The three other inmates took overdoses in attempting suicide.

Robert Durand, a spokesman for Joint Task Force (JTF) Guantanamo, which runs the camp in Cuba, said on Friday that all four were being treated and their lives were not in danger. Durand said in a statement that JTF guards had responded to a disturbance in a medium-security part of the camp late on Thursday. "A detainee in Camp 4 was preparing to hang himself," he said.

He said that when the guard force entered the compound to intervene, some inmates "attempted to prevent them from rescuing the detainee by using fans, light fixtures and other items as improvised weapons. Minimum force was used to quell the disturbance and prevent the suicide".

The statement also said that, earlier in the day, "three detainees ingested prescription medications that apparently had been hoarded for this purpose".

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United Nations : US 'must end secret detentions'

The US should close any secret "war on terror" detention facilities abroad and the Guantanamo Bay camp in Cuba, a United Nations report has said. The UN Committee against Torture urged the US to ensure no one was detained in any secret facility.




The report followed the first US appearance before the committee since the 11 September 2001 attacks. During the hearing in early May, the US neither confirmed or denied the existence of secret prisons.

The US has been holding hundreds of terror suspects arrested since 11 September at facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan and Cuba. It has been accused of operating secret prisons and transporting some detainees to states which use torture.

The committee also recommended in its 11-page report that the US should:

Register all those it detains in territories under its jurisdiction
Eradicate torture and ill-treatment of detainees
Not send suspects to countries where they face a risk of torture
Enact a federal crime of torture
Broaden the definition of acts of psychological torture
'Investigate and disclose'

The committee said it recognised that the 11 September attacks had caused "profound suffering" to the US and welcomed the US statement that officials from all government agencies were prohibited from engaging in torture at all times.

But it told the US its no-comment policy on the secret facilities was "regrettable" and asked for more information

Source BBC

UN report in full Here (pdf file)

105 Killed In Afghanistan yesterday

Some of the fiercest violence since the Taliban's ouster in 2001 erupted across southern Afghanistan, with militants battling coalition forces, detonating car bombs and attacking a small village. Up to 105 people were killed, officials said Thursday





The violence occurred in Helmand and Kandahar provinces, where 9,000 NATO-led forces are scheduled to deploy this summer to suppress the stubborn insurgency.

The Taliban death toll from fighting Wednesday night and Thursday ranged up to 87, U.S. and Afghan officials said. Also, 14 Afghan police officers, one American civilian, a Canadian soldier and an Afghan civilian also were killed in the fighting, officials said.

Read the full report here

Immigration Plan is Crony Pork Bonanza

Bush is limbering up the federal checkbook to funnel even more millions to masters of war like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, still feasting sumptuously off the bloated corpse of conquered Iraq.






These fine purveyors of contemporary "defense" (who says irony is dead?) will soon string the border with all manner of hugely expensive high-tech gizmonics designed to keep the hemisphere's most desperate and vulnerable people from crossing over to take the slave-wage, no-benefit, no-protection jobs offered to them by, well, Bush's cronies and benefactors in big business and among the wealthy elite (whom he has recently larded with more tax-cut largess).

It's a neat scam, really, a win-win situation: your corporate cronies get even more loot from the public treasury – and they still get the cheap Latino labor that keeps them in clover.

Read the full article Here

So will the Musicians of Pink Floyd live long enough to perform at the destruction of this wall ?

Loose Change 2nd edition (video)

This is the entire controversial movie. I present no opinion on this film. I simply show it for those who wish to see it. Much analysis has been done on this film and one or two of the claims made within it have had their accuracy disputed. However other claims within the film can not be disputed and are clearly accurate.

The film was designed to be a work of fiction. But fiction often draws upon real life for it's inspiration. A perfect example of an equally one sided production would be the TV news station Fox. In essence there is no doubt that this film is well worth watching and if you check out much of the history quoted within the film then a frightening understanding of how far a government is willing to stoop becomes most apparent.

Watch it Here

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Real Libya Model

Here is the real story on Libya. A country which the US announced this week has been removed from its list of 'terror states'. Kaddafi cut his deal in 2003 only after the British and Americans assured him that Bush would settle for "policy change"—that is, giving up his nukes—rather than regime change.




Significantly, the agreement went forward only after the British, who took the real lead in the negotiations, insisted to the White House that Bush administration hard-liner John Bolton be barred from the talks.

Bolton, who was then U.S. under secretary of State for arms control, had wanted to add Libya to the "axis of evil," but Jack Straw, British foreign secretary at the time, and David Manning, a top adviser to Prime Minister Tony Blair, prevailed on Rice and Secretary of State Colin Powell not to do so. Bolton also refused to reassure Tripoli that the United States did not intend regime change—in other words, he sought to take essentially the same uncompromising tack the administration is now pursuing with Iran and North Korea.

The British again resisted, and the White House, which was then (as now) consumed with Iraq, didn't care enough to defy Blair on this one. Reason, for once, prevailed over ideology.

Read the full article here.

Maybe I should rename this article : We have found a formula for how to stop countries like Libya trying to build Nukes and supporting terrorism.

The answer is not hard to work out.

(a) Dump John Bolton along with anyone else who believes they can solve the worlds problems by simply speaking without listening.
(b) Talk to them.
(c) Remember to keep the man named in (a) well away from any such talks.
(d) Cut out all the rhetoric , That includes fictional concepts like 'axis of evil'
(e) Work with the country towards finding a joint solution.
(f) Remember the wise words of Theodore Roosevelt when he said "Speak softly and carry a big stick".

Finally try to remember that you are supposed to be representing freedom, maturity and justice. Not showing the same childish anger as the very countries you want to try and calm down. Such behaviour simply makes you another child and leads us all to a world of rogue nations where being the bully of today is no guarantee that you won't become the bullied of tomorrow. The method that has worked with Libya could work just as well with Iran if we stopped behaving almost as badly as they do.

Of course force is sometimes needed and that is why we have the 'big stick' but you will find the world much more willing to support and join in any such action if your behaviour up to that point is one of a civilized desire for democratic process.

Saying that, we could always revert back to the John Bolton method. Which is to act like the bully boy college kid who has had too much to drink at the party. Shout your mouth of all over the place and then complain the next morning that the party(United Nations) was pointless because nobody ever listens to you and does exactly what you want. (which seems to consist of wanting permission to go round beating up and threatening everyone else at the party).

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Chavez asserts America is trying to kill him (video)

In an exclusive UK channel 4 television interview, Hugo Chavez asserts that America is trying to kill him. Other subjects covered in this fascinating video include the Venezuelan leader telling the US that it could have its arms back - and stating he will cut off oil supplies to the US if more sanctions are Imposed on his country.

Watch the video Here.

US releases 9/11 Pentagon video (watch it here)

The US justice department has released the first video of the plane crashing into the Pentagon on 11 September 2001.



The release of the video, taken from a Pentagon security camera, comes after a Freedom of Information Act request by legal watchdog Judicial Watch. The group said it hoped to dispel conspiracy theories about the crash.

"Finally, we hope that this video will put to rest the conspiracy theories involving American Airlines Flight 77," president Tom Fitton said. Some theorists have suggested the aircraft was shot down in flight, and that the Pentagon was struck by a missile.

The conservative group Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act request in December 2004, which was denied a month later, the group says.

The Pentagon said it could not release the videos in question because they were part of an ongoing investigation against al-Qaeda plotter Zacarias Moussaoui, according to Judicial Watch.
Judicial Watch sued the government over its refusal, saying there was "no legal basis" for it.
Government resistance collapsed after a court sentenced Moussaoui to life in prison for his role in the 9/11 attacks, and they agreed to release the video, a Judicial Watch spokeswoman

Now we can watch the video for ourselves and continue our search for the plane . (windows media player required. Video source : BBC)

I have always stated that I am open minded on this a particular aspect of 9/11. I certainly see no real evidence (as yet) in this video to show that this was flight 77 hitting the Pentagon. Neither do I see any evidence in the time lapsed video that it was not flight 77 . So in my view nothing changes and the angle on this tape is even worse .Where is the tape from the garage across the road ? Surely the angle there is perfect and is capable of satisfying the skeptics the believers or those whom sit on the fence (such as me) .

This issue won't go to sleep with 'evidence' like this ....

Btw if anyone does spot the (or any) plane in the video , let us know for all I can see at first glance is smoke.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Haloscan

We are in the process of switching over to haloscan for comments on this site. Sorry for the delay in new posts but it will take a while to transfer all the previous comments over to the new system (yikes) . It is my aim to transfer all the comments left on this site so if you notice your comment is missing then be assured that they are simply being moved to the new system

If you wish to leave a comment then please do so on Haloscan as when we turn off the old comment system all comments left on blogger will be removed by the haloscan software automatically.

Iraq Sunnis accuse US of "atrocity" over raids

Iraq's main Sunni religious grouping accused U.S. forces on Monday of killing 25 civilians in raids near Baghdad in the past two days, rejecting the U.S. account that only suspected insurgents had died.



"We hold the Iraqi government and the occupiers responsible for this brutal atrocity," the Muslim Clerics Association said in a statement.

The U.S. military earlier on Monday said its forces had killed more than 41 insurgents in and around the villages of Latifiya and Yusifiya, south of the capital, on Saturday and Sunday. It also said a U.S. helicopter was shot down, killing two soldiers.

Two separate U.S. statements on the air and ground raids did not mention any civilian deaths, but said several women and children were wounded.

The U.S. military says al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, uses the area as a staging ground for suicide attacks in Baghdad. It says he aims to incite a sectarian civil war between majority Shi'ites and minority Sunnis.

The Sunni association accused U.S. forces of attacking civilian houses and killing people as they tried to flee.

Read the full article Here.

U.S. Imposes Arms Ban on Venezuela

The United States is imposing a ban on arms sales to Venezuela because of what it claims is a lack of support by President Hugo Chavez's leftist government for counterterrorism efforts, a State Department official said Monday.





The official said Venezuela has been providing a safe haven for the two main leftist guerrilla groups in Colombia. The official spoke only on the condition of anonymity because the arms sale ban had not yet been announced.

We can only assume they mean the US definition of counter terrorism , maybe Chavez should have gone on Television and said 'bring em on' that could have brought him on side.