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...


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)


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.


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.


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