Media Lens: Children Of Darkness – Killing ‘Them’ – Part 2

Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

31 March, 2009

To be fair to the BBC, Rageh Omaar’s observation generalises: the whole of British journalism is a “white man’s club” dominated by the “class thing”.

In March, media magnate Rupert Murdoch received the American Jewish Committee’s National Human Relations Award. The plaudits heaped on Murdoch recalled the words of the 4th century Buddhist poet, Aryasura:

“When virtue is given as a name to one devoid of virtue, it has a harsh and grating sound, as if it were contempt instead of praise.” (Aryasura, The Marvelous Companion, Dharma Publishing, 1983, p.127)

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COHA: Francisco Caamaño Deñó, Presente

COHA is pleased to release the first in what will be an ongoing series of articles on forgotten Latin American heroes. Today’s commentary on a celebrated Dominican constitutionalist will be followed in the coming weeks by features on a revolutionary Colombian priest, the father of Barbadian independence and a persecuted Dominican democrat.

  • Francisco Caamaño Deñó was a nationalist and Constitucionalista revolutionary during the 1965 U.S. intervention in the Dominican Republic’s civil conflict
  • He struggled to help restore the democratically-elected government of Dr. Juan Bosch after he had been pushed out by the military

All war comes at some cost. The loss of human life, damage to infrastructure and sagging national morale are often among the most painful consequences of armed combat. The Dominican Republic’s Civil War of 1965 was no exception. During the 1960s, Dominican citizens found themselves embroiled in both internal and external conflicts. Within the country, they found themselves faced with growing political discord. It was during this spreading conflict that the revolutionary military officer Francisco Caamaño Deñó came to national prominence.

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Global Recession: Protectionism and Diversification in the U.S. and South America

  • Peru and Chile maintain free market principles and diversification of trading partners
  • Brazil, Chile, Colombia and the U.S. implement huge stimulus packages
  • Argentina, Paraguay, and Ecuador attempt to protect their economies by imposing new tariffs
  • The G-20 summit this April could offer global solution to the crisis

As the G-20 meeting is about to begin in London, the outlook for Latin American growth in 2009 is grim, as the tempo of foreign direct investment (FDI) and loans stand-by credits and development funds plummet, the demand for commodities diminish, and foreign remittances plunge.The World Bank vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean, Pamela Cox, is forecasting 0.3 percent growth for Latin America this year, down from the originally 2.7 percent predicted in January. Cox anticipates that countries most closely linked with the U.S. economy will be hit the hardest. Thus, NAFTA, CAFTA and the U.S.-Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) may prove particularly harmful for Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean in the foreseeable future.

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Media Lens: Children Of Darkness – Killing ‘Them’ – Part 1

MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

30 March, 2009

Al-Qaeda – Who Else?

On March 23, BBC online reported another bloody day in Iraq:

“It was the second bomb attack in Iraq on Monday, with an earlier explosion near the capital. Baghdad, killing at least eight people.

“The BBC’s Hugh Sykes, in Baghdad, says al-Qaeda have launched several attacks in Diyala since losing support in other parts of Iraq.”

The foe, naturally, was the global bad guy, “al-Qaeda”. Thirty years ago the BBC would have declared them “Communists” or “Marxists”. We wrote to the BBC’s “man in Baghdad” the same day:

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Shame on us!

29 March, 2009

What will happen next? Will Palestinian kids be duped into playing music to Israeli pilots who exterminated Gaza children with White Phosphorus?

By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied East Jerusalem

gaza-violins.jpgIt is really hard to write on this subject without getting angry. We all know the extent to which Israel can be evil and satanic. After all, we Palestinians have been on the receiving end of Israeli savagery for decades.  

In fact, being thoroughly tormented and killed by the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the holocaust has always been and continues to be “the” Palestinians’ way of life.

However, for some Palestinians to allow themselves to be duped to sing and play music to their oppressors and child-killers is simply beyond the pale of human dignity.

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Aftermath (6) “The only BMW shop in Gaza.”

29 March 2009

In this new series of personal testimonies, PCHR looks at the aftermath of Israel’s 22 day offensive on the Gaza Strip, and the ongoing impact it is having on the civilian population.

Text and images by Malian/PCHR.

Nasser Al ‘Amoudi, with his biker’s jacket and sunglasses, embodies the essence of a car enthusiast. For years he has been the proud owner of the only BMW spare parts shop in the Gaza Strip. People would travel from every corner to purchase second hand parts from his shop. Now Nasser’s workshop and garage, which were worth $300,000 before the Israeli army destroyed them during their latest offensive, lie in tatters, and his financial security has gone.


Nasser Al ‘Amoudi on his motorbike outside the remains of his BMW Spare Parts shop. © Malian/PCHR

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British MP George Galloway barred from Canada under the Canada Israel “Public Security” Agreement By Michel Chossudovsky

26 March, 2009 – Global Research

British MP George Galloway was refused entry to Canada on the pretext that he supported Hamas, which is categorized by the Canadian government as a “terrorist organization.”

Contrary to what has been reported in the media, this was not a unilateral decision by the government of Canada.

In all likelihood, the decision was taken in close consultation with Israel under the terms of a farreaching agreement on “public security” signed in Tel Aviv on March 23 2008. The ”Declaration of Intent” establishes a framework of bilateral cooperation between Canada and Israel in the area of “Public Security”. The agreement has not been the object of debate in the Canadian parliament, nor has it received media coverage.

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Housmans Radical Books (London) NEWSLETTER APRIL 2009  




1. Housmans sale continues…
2. Meeting room available for up to 12 people


3. (book event & talk) Nick Davies – ‘Flat Earth News’
Wednesday 1st  April  – 7pm
4 (book event & talk) Nawal El Saadawi – feminist trailblazer
Saturday 4th April – 5pm
5. (talk) Elevator Gallery presents: Derrida and Deconstruction
Wednesday 8th April – 7pm
6. (zine launch) Savage Messiah zine launch: The Olympic Zone
Saturday 11th April – 3pm walk, 7pm launch
7. (exhibition launch) Sonalle: Ethnic Minority Domestic Violence Survivors
Saturday 18th April – 5pm
8. (talk) Elevator Gallery presents: Debord and the ‘Society of the Spectacle’
Wednesday 22nd April – 7pm
9. (film screening & talk) Reel News & Smash EDO film night
Saturday 25th April – 5pm
10. (talk & performance) Elevator Gallery presents: The Postmodern Condition Wednesday 29th April – 7pm
11. Forthcoming in May 2009


12. ‘The Dirty Thirty: Heroes of the Miners’ Strike’
by David Bell

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Azmi Bishara: New US Thinking

26 March, 2009

Azmi Bishara analyses the direction of Washington’s diplomatic offensive across the region

We had thought that the train of events from the Israeli invasion of Lebanon to its invasion of Gaza, the impression these events created in people’s minds and the growing disillusionment with forces favouring the current settlement process offered sufficient inspiration and impetus to revise official Arab approaches to that process. However, one remains compelled to wonder just how prepared the forces opposed to this approach are to seize the historic opportunity to put an end to that process, rather than to succumb to the current drive to contain them. After all, the US and its allies in the East and West are haunted by this very spectre — the fear of losing the settlement legacy — for which reason they have been waging a sustained diplomatic assault on the region since the Sharm El-Sheikh conference on the reconstruction of Gaza.

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“There is no respect for the grieving” Barghouthi shocked by the Israeli assault on the press conference with injured American’s parents

Tristan Anderson

25 March 2009

Ramallah: Mustafa Barghouthi, the Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative condemned heavily yesterday Israeli aggression consisting in shutting down and beating Palestinian activists and journalist during the press conference held by the parents of Tristan Anderson, the American peace activist who was shot in Ni’lin last week.

‘The boundaries of minimum respect for the victims have been crossed once again. We feel that there are no limits in the Israeli troops behaviour, no respect for the grieving of Tristan’s family’, the deputy said, shocked.

Tristan Anderson, 37 years old, an American citizen and peace activist, had an Israeli high velocity gas canister shot at his head in Ni’lin on the 13th of March. His skulls shattered several injuries and he was left in a very critical state at Tel Aviv hospital.

On Monday, during a press conference held by Tristan’s parents, a woman and a journalist were beaten by the Israeli troops. 11 persons were detained including 3 foreign peace activists.

The press conference was held in a very symbolic place, known as the ‘protest tent’, in Sheikh Jarrah, where the Al Kurd family has taken up residence for months after being evicted from their home.

Several journalists were reported being prevented to attend the conference. The Israeli army demanded that the event will be shut down. As several refused, they assaulted the audience, beating and detaining activists, media crews and officials.

‘Such a raid leaves me speechless’, condemns the Deputy. ‘But we have to stand up loud. The Anderson family has the right to tell the world what Tristan has endured and express solidarity and their indignation and feelings regarding the shooting of their son. America is a country where freedom of speech is a core value. But once entering the Israeli controlled territory, nothing prevails anymore. Israeli soldiers have no shame and this should be reported. Loudly.’

Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi: 0599/ 201 528
Or: 0599/ 940 073


Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s shame By Neve Gordon

26 March, 2009

Thanks to Binyamin Netanyahu’s overweening ambition, Israel is to be saddled with a foreign minister who is a national disgrace

Imagine a country that appoints someone who has been found guilty of striking a 12-year-old boy to be its foreign minister. The person in question is also under investigation for money-laundering, fraud and breach of trust; in addition, he was a bona fide member of an outlawed racist party and currently leads a political party that espouses fascist ideas. On top of all this, he does not even reside in the country he has been chosen to represent.

Even though such a portrayal may appear completely outlandish, Israel’s new foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, actually fits the above depiction to the letter.

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The Criminalization of Everyday Life By Robert Neuwirth

Welcome to the ugly underside of the zero-tolerance era, where insignificant rule violations get inflated into criminal infractions.

I spent 24 hours in the slammer the other day. My crime? Well, the police couldn’t tell me when they locked me up. The prosecutor and judge couldn’t either, when I was arraigned the following day. I found out for myself when I researched the matter a few days after being released: I had been cited for walking my dog off the leash – once, six years ago.

Welcome to the ugly underside of the zero-tolerance era, where insignificant rule violations get inflated into criminal infractions. Here’s how it worked with me: a gaggle of transit cops stopped me after they saw me walk between two subway cars on my way to work. This, they told me, was against the rules. They asked for ID and typed my name into a hand-held computer. Up came that old citation that I didn’t know about and they couldn’t tell me about. I was immediately handcuffed and brought to the precinct. There, I waited in a holding cell, then was fingerprinted (post-CSI memo: they now take the fingers, the thumbs, the palms, and the sides of both hands) and had the contents of my shoulder bag inventoried. I could hardly believe it: I was being arrested without ever having committed a crime.

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Gazan family cut to pieces: Report

24 March 2009


A Palestinian boy stands next to his family's house in Gaza, destroyed during Israel's offensive

A new report details the gory killing of a family by Israeli unmanned drones, which can allegedly differentiate civilians from combatants.

While Tel Aviv claims that its unmanned aerial vehicles are able to clearly distinguish fighters from women and children and other civilians, more than 48 Palestinian civilians were killed in Israeli drone attacks in Gaza, a new report by the Guardian reveals.

In one of the most heartbreaking cases, a Palestinian family of six was killed in Gaza City while sitting around and having tea in their courtyard.

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Who’s the popinjay? By Eric Walberg

Barring British MP Galloway puts Canada in a shameful light, rues Eric Walberg

 Who ever thought that Canadian politics could be so interesting? First there was the attempted coup last December, when the fractious opposition Liberals, socialists and separatists stunned the nation and joined together, almost ousting the ruling Conservatives. Now the intrepid British MP George Galloway, fresh from bringing the walls of Gaza tumbling down, is launching a land invasion of Canada from the US in a replay of the war of 1812.

The world was shocked — or rather embarrassed — this week when Canadian Immigration and Citizenship Minister Jason Kenney announced he was banning Galloway from entering Canada, as a “security risk”. Well, sort of. Kenney’s Director of Communications Alykhan Velshi explained that it was really the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Kenney merely chose not to overturn their decision, taken, no doubt, after long and costly sleuthing by Canada’s ace security forces. No official reason was given.

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Pakistan’s Democracy Movement Flexes its Muscles By Tom Burghardt

In an apparent, but by no means guaranteed, victory for pro-democracy forces, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari was forced to reinstate Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry and other judges dismissed by the Musharraf regime in 2007.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, a lightning-rod for opposition to military rule, resumed his duties March 22, when supporters ‘of the reinstated jurist raised the Pakistani flag at his residence, in keeping with a vow made by former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto before her assassination 15 months ago,’ the Los Angeles Times reports.

Last week’s announcement by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was a major climb down for the Zardari administration and followed an escalating revolt against his authoritarian rule. The move however, came after intense behind-the-scenes pressure by the United States and the Army’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.

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United States Pressure Detainees to Hide Torture at Guantanamo

Binyam-Mohamed.jpg As a condition for his release, the U.S. government lawyers told Binyam Mohamed to plead guilty, deny torture, and not to talk to media about his ordeal.

HAVANA, Cuba, Mar 24 (acn) With the most underhand methods, the devotees of the empire are trying to hide the torture committed by US guards against prisoners at its illegally occupied Guantánamo Naval Base.

On this occasion, it is known that lawyers from the US government tried to force a British resident imprisoned in the base -which it maintains against the will of the Cuban people and government- to sign a document saying he had never been tortured there.

Likewise, the aforementioned prisoner had to agree not to speak to the media about this ordeal – a commitment he rejected. These conditions were imposed on him in order to be released, Granmanewspaper reports on Tuesday.

The lawyers also wanted Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian citizen who was imprisoned for over four years, to plead guilty to terrorism charges in return for his freedom, although he was never charged with any crime, according to the documents formulated by two judges that participated in the case in the British Supreme Court.

The documents, related to a ruling announced by the magistrates in October, reveal that the US Army wanted Mohamed to agree never to sue either the Americans or any of its allies to force disclosure of his mistreatment.

‘The accused accepts not to participate or support, in any way, litigation or challenge, in any forum, against the United States or any other nation or official from any nation, whether military or civilian’, established a draft agreement prepared by lawyers from the White House in 2008.

The text adds that ‘the accused assigns the United States all legal rights to sign and present any document, motion or speech necessary to implement this requirement on behalf of the accused’, read a key clause of the agreement.

The proposed agreement was included in documents presented before the Supreme Court in October, when the body ruled that the files related to Mohamed’s case could not be published because they could jeopardize the national security conventions existing between Great Britain and the United States.

Mohamed’s lawyers rejected the agreement and the detainee was, eventually, released last month, unconditionally.

Source: Cuba News

Middle East Report Online: The Hazy Path Forward in Sudan by Sarah Washburne

24 March, 2009

[Sarah Washburne is a doctoral student at the University of Exeter. She contributed this article from Khartoum.]

For another view on the ICC decision, see Khalid Mustafa Medani, ‘Wanted: Omar al-Bashir — and Peace in Sudan,’ Middle East Report Online, March 5, 2009.

On the day after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, the wanted man addressed a pre-planned rally of thousands in front of the presidential palace in Khartoum. Bashir was defiant, denouncing the warrant as ‘neo-colonialism,’ and praising his supporters in Martyrs’ Square as ‘grandsons of the mujahideen,’ a reference to the participants in the Mahdiyya uprising against Anglo-Egyptian rule in 1885. The atmosphere was almost one of jubilation; one might have mistaken the crowds for soccer fans celebrating a win. As Bashir condemned the ICC and the West from the microphone, the protesters waved the Sudanese flag and held aloft pictures of Bashir, as well as posters depicting the face of Luis Moreno Ocampo, the ICC prosecutor, superimposed upon the body of a pig. There were sporadic outbreaks of drumming, dancing and singing.

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