War Is a Hate Crime By Chris Hedges

26 October, 2009 — truthdig

Violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people is wrong. So is violence against people in Afghanistan and Iraq. But in the bizarre culture of identity politics, there are no alliances among the oppressed. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the first major federal civil rights law protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, passed last week, was attached to a $680-billion measure outlining the Pentagon’s budget, which includes $130 billion for ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Democratic majority in Congress, under the cover of protecting some innocents, authorized massive acts of violence against other innocents.

It was a clever piece of marketing. It blunted debate about new funding for war. And behind the closed doors of the caucus rooms, the Democratic leadership told Blue Dog Democrats, who are squeamish about defending gays or lesbians from hate crimes, that they could justify the vote as support for the war. They told liberal Democrats, who are squeamish about unlimited funding for war, that they could defend the vote as a step forward in the battle for civil rights. Gender equality groups, by selfishly narrowing their concern to themselves, participated in the dirty game. Continue reading

Student Palestine Solidarity Campaign Conference London 31 October, 2009

28 October, 2009

Saturday 31st October 2009, 10.30am – 5.30pm, University of London Union


Join our high-profile speakers, including:

* George Galloway MP
* Mona Al-Gharbawi, Teaching assistant, Islamic University of Gaza and lived through war and siege on Gaza
* Message from Professor Mohammed A. Asqule, Education Minister in Gaza
* Betty Hunter, General Secretary PSC
* Hugh Lanning, Deputy General Secretary of PCS Union
* Bellavia Ribeiro-Addy, NUS Black Students’ Office
* Kevin Ovenden, Viva Palestina
* Live link with students under siege in Gaza
* Hannah Syed, Action Palestine
* Dan Judelson, Chair Jews For Justice for Palestine
* Prof Haim Bresheeth, Chair of Media Studies, UEL
* Khaled Almudallal, Chair Let Palestinians Study
* Sumaya Almari, FOSIS
* Eye witnesses from Gaza
* And many more…

Israel’s brutal and indiscriminate massacre on Gaza earlier this year outraged an entire generation. Prompting a massive surge in student activism, including a wave of university occupations – we demanded action to support Palestinian students, whose education had been decimated by Israel’s aggression.

As the inhumane blockade on Gaza intensifies depriving Palestinians of the most basic human rights, and as Israel continues to flout international law with the construction of more settlements, displacing many Palestinian families from their homes, our continuing solidarity has never been more urgent.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s Student Conference will be a brilliant opportunity for students from across the country to meet and discuss what can be done to support peace and justice for Palestine.

Themes include:
* Peace and justice for Palestine
* Viva Palestina – Lift the siege of Gaza
* Disband the settlements and the apartheid wall
* Education under occupation
* Leading BDS campaigns
* Building student solidarity with Palestine

To register and secure your place please email students@palestinecampaign.org with your name, University/college and phone number.

Join the event on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/event.php?eid164990545931&ref=ts

Saturday 31st October 2009, 10.30am – 5.30pm
University of London Union, Malet Street, Central London
Nearest tubes are Euston and Russell Square

A History of Failed Press Coverage of Afghanistan By Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, Nieman Watchdog

28 October, 2009 — Media Channel 2.0

Afghan fighters at a camp in Pakistan in 1980,
not long after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. (AP photo)

For decades, the American news media by and large have been simplistic and misleading in reporting U.S. relations toward Afghanistan, write Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould. From 1981 on, they say, the press has kept vital information away from the American people.

For almost 30 years – ever since we got a close-in view of it – American press coverage of Afghanistan has been simplistic, misleading, unexamining, accepting and echoing government propaganda, and just plain wrong. There have been exceptions…but not many.

Beginning in 1981, we have experienced a process that has kept vital information away from the American people.

Following the expulsion of 1,135 western journalists one month after the Soviet invasion in 1979, we were the first to gain access to Afghanistan through diplomatic channels at the United Nations. Contracted to CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, our opportunity to see inside a Soviet-occupied Afghanistan revealed a complex story, and the footage we returned with didn’t conform to an evil empire image that, in our judgment, CBS reporting had been nurturing. Four weeks after our return, a story about our trip was aired, cross-cut with Soviet propaganda – that is, footage done by the Soviets – that in no way represented our experience. But as an anti-Soviet piece, it was masterful.

Continue reading

NATO vs CSTO: The Fogh of war By Eric Walberg

28 October, 2009

‘Regional’ defence organisations are very much in transition, notes Eric Walberg

NATO’s reputation as the guardian of peace on Earth is in tatters these days. Once avowedly an alliance of North America and Western Europe to fight the communist hordes of Eurasia, it morphed into something quite difference with the collapse of the socialist bloc two decades ago. It now pretends to unite all of Europe to fight the Muslim hordes wherever they be found and, of course the Russians, just for good measure.

To do this, it expanded rapidly in the past decade, and now has a Partnership for Peace with ex-Soviet hopefuls. It also has a Mediterranean Dialogue with Western-oriented Muslim states and Israel (of them, Morocco and Israel are further blessed as “major non-NATO allies”) and the GCC+2 — the Gulf Cooperation Council plus Egypt and Jordan. GCC+2 has been optimistically dubbed the “NATO of the Middle East” in Western media, but then once-upon-a-time so was the ill-fated Baghdad Pact, originally called the Middle East Treaty Organisation (METO). The real “NATO of the Middle East ” is of course US+1.

Whatever the US/NATO schemes and their pretexts, the results in recent years have been less than impressive. The communist hordes were soon replaced by the Russian and/or Muslim ones, and, despite the Mediterranean Dialogue and the GCC+2, the Muslim ones are multipying daily. Even NATOphiles realise something is amiss. The newly appointed secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, was so eager to transform the organisation he gave up his job as prime minister of Denmark, making him the highest ranking politician to take over NATO. “I want to modernise, transform and reform so that NATO adapts to the security environment of the 21st century.”

Continue reading

The Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex Pt3

28 October, 2009 — The Real News Network

Lawrence Wilkerson: Will the empire end with good leadership or blood?

This talk by Larry Wilkerson was the keynote speech given at an event sponsored by the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence, American University History Department, American University’s Nuclear Studies Institute on Oct 21,2009 at American University in Washington DC.


Watch Part 2 | Watch Part 1

more about “Lawrence Wilkerson: Will the empire e…“, posted with vodpod
Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence describes itself as “a movement of former CIA colleagues and other associates of former intelligence analyst Sam Adams, who hold up his example as a model for those in intelligence who would aspire to the courage to speak truth to power”.

It’s official, they not only forgot, they don’t give a damn By William Bowles

28 October, 2009

lest-we-forgetThe report on the explosion that blew an RAF Nimrod out of the sky over Helmand Province on 2 September, 2006 in which fourteen people died, was released today and it confirms my view of British military ‘adventures’ that I expressed in ‘Lest we forget?’. The report even names names of extremely high ranking officers as being directly culpable for their deaths.

But chief amongst the ‘shortcomings’ as the BBC describes them, is:

“A safety culture that has allowed “business” to eclipse airworthiness”

Continue reading

Nuke Gaza By Jeff Gates

27 October, 2009 — Palestine Think Tank

avigdor.jpgIsraeli officials are right to worry. Gazans too. Yet Americans should worry even more.

Israel’s “legitimacy” will not last. Of course, that assumes its legitimacy was deserved. That issue also is now called into question in light of the consistency of Israeli behavior over the past six decades. The emerging issues are these:

When and how will the recognition of Israel’s nation-state status be withdrawn? How will Tel Aviv behave in the interim?

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman may have tipped his Masada hand when he reportedly told Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan that Israel may use nuclear weapons against Gaza. The threat to Israel is not the 1.5 million Gazans who reside in the world’s largest open-air prison.

The threat is the fast-growing global outrage at the abuse inflicted on Palestinians, commencing with the ethnic cleansing of 400-plus villages six decades ago.

Continue reading

Fahrenheit 2010: World Cup South Africa, 2010

For four action-packed weeks in June and July 2010, the largest international television audience to ever follow a single event will be watching the football World Cup in South Africa. As the clock ticks down, and the nations of the world anticipate the beautiful game’s showpiece, questions are being asked about what will happen after the trophy is lifted, the caravans move on, and the dogs stop barking…

Fahrenheit 2010 cuts through the hype, with an uncompromising examination of what the World Cup means for South Africans themselves – in particular, who actually stands to benefit from the diversion of millions of dollars to build 21st century sports arenas in a country in which, 15 years after throwing off apartheid’s yoke, millions live in shacks and have no access to water – a South Africa where life expectancy has plummeted beneath that in Ethiopia.

International heavyweights like Archbishop Desmond Tutu, construction workers, FIFA’s Communications Director, street traders, politicians, and sports celebrities wade into the debate. National pride, corruption and even murder feature in this astonishingly candid film which peels back the glossy media veneer to expose the real concerns of ordinary South Africans: hopes about jobs, the eviction of school children to make way for construction company offices, the removal of an inconvenient community, and what traditional medicine and the influence of the ancestors might mean for the local team…