Poison Bullets: Birth defects in Fallujah ‘on the rise since U.S. operation’

4 January,  2010 — Russia Today

Many American and British soldiers who have returned from Iraq are complaining about Depleted Uranium-related illnesses. They accuse both the Pentagon and the UK Ministry of Defense of covering up. Poison Bullets follows doctors and experts as they voice their opposing views in the DU controversy and travels to the US, Great Britain, Jordan, Iraq and Spain, where we meet many of those who are victims of both DU-related diseases and the indifference of government officials.


Army Intel ACORNing WikiLeaks? Web Publisher Under Attack By Michael Collins

30 March, 2010 — www.uruknet.info

acron-twit-1.jpgU.S. Army Counterterrorism issued a report that said WikiLeaks is a threat to U.S. security, particularly in Afghanistan. The report says that the organization should be destroyed and offered a plan. Does the government really think it can destroy WikiLeaks or is the leaked report part of a plan to smear the organization so badly, it will lose supporters and money?

Since its launch three years ago, WikiLeaks has produced more scoops than the Washington Post has in the past thirty years according to a report by The Guardian. The web based service was ‘founded by Chinese dissidents, journalists, mathematicians and start-up company technologists, from the US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa’ according to their ‘About’ page. WikiLeaks targets oppressive regimes throughout the world, as well as regimes seeking to repress information on illegal and unethical government actions and policies.

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Talal Shihadeh – Palestinian Land Day

30 March, 2010 — Palestine Think Tank

land-day.jpgOn 30th March each year, the Palestinian people commemorate the anniversary of Land Day, the day in March 1976 on which the Zionist occupation government confiscated thousands of dunums* of Palestinian land in the Galilee, leading to the displacement of the Palestinian people living inside the 1948 occupied territories (so-called Israel).  A general strike and peaceful demonstrations ensued in various villages as the Palestinian people began to defend their confiscated land.  Six Palestinians were killed, 100 were wounded [and hundreds of others arrested].

The strategic plan of all Zionist governments has been to confiscate the land, isolate the Palestinian people into limited zones and complicate their situation in an effort to force them to emigrate.

In east Jerusalem, 34% of the land was directly confiscated, 52% was considered a green zone, an area in which it was forbidden for Palestinians to build, even as they were forced to pay high annual taxes to the Zionist municipality for their unused land.  If they failed to pay the required taxes, the municipality sold it.  The buyers, of course, were always Zionist settlement organizations.

  • If you are a Palestinian in East Jerusalem, you must pay a fee of over $25,000.00 to the Zionist municipality to obtain permission to build your home.  If this fee isn’t paid, or if you build without permission, bulldozers stand ready to demolish your home.
  • If you are a Palestinian in East Jerusalem, you do not have the right to repair or redesign your house.  If you do, it would have been cheaper to buy a house in the West Bank than to pay the violation fees.
  • If you are a Palestinian in East Jerusalem, close your shop; you will not be able to pay the required taxes to the municipality to keep it open.  Twenty-five percent of the shops in East Jerusalem are now closed.
  • If you are a Palestinian in East Jerusalem, and married to someone from the West Bank, your spouse will not be allowed to live with you in East Jerusalem; if you want to live with your husband or wife, you must move to the West Bank.
  • If you are a Palestinian living in West Bank, Gaza or abroad, you are not allowed to work in or visit Jerusalem.
  • If you are a Palestinian in East Jerusalem, you can go to the hell… this is the Jewish Promised Land.

Thirty-four years have passed since the first Land Day event, and the confiscation of Palestinian land continues, and an independent state for the Palestinian people remains a dream.

* A dunum (or ‘dunam’) of land equals 1000sq. meters.

Another worthless UN donor pledging session set for March 31st in New York

31 March, 2010 — HLLN

Recommended HLLN Links: The Quake – PBS Frontline Watch it on-line to.pbs.org/aFRNYT

The PBS series FRONTLINE airs The Quake to.pbs.org/9jXGvB

In this post

– Ezili Dant Note: On the March 31st UN pledging session

Another worthless UN donor pledging session set for March 31st in New York

It is the big world charity industry and security consultancies that make out like fat rats in every Haiti crisis, not the little Haiti town mayor who wants a cut of the trickle down…

If one just looks back at the flooding of Gonaives, Haiti in 2004 and 2008, just at that one Haiti example, and calculate how much money was raised by the World Relief Organizations, the NGOs, the UN, US State Department consultancies, the European Union, Canada, et al, in the name of rebuilding and bringing relief to the people of Gonaives, in those two instances combined, you’ll see that conservatively more than $3 billion dollars were collectively raised by these Internationals, their NGOs and private US charities to reconstruct and provide hurricane relief, flood rebuilding, food, water, medicine and shelter to the people Gonaives, Haiti. Today, the people of Gonaives are still walking on muddy roads. Little was rebuilt and the people will tell you they mostly got no help other than food and water in the first couple of weeks when the media cameras where on. (HLLN To-Tell-The-Truth-About-Haiti Forum (Excerpt – bit.ly/cSpvDp)

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Solidarity Economy's Role in Haiti's Survival By Beverly Bell

26 March, 2010 — Solidarity Economy

Solidarity as Economic System for Dealing with Social Crisis


“If it weren’t for solidarity, Haiti wouldn’t be alive today,” is an expression commonly heard here since the earthquake of January 12.

Haiti’s history is based on sharing and cooperation—expressed with gifts and solidarity toward those surviving on the margins. These displays usually go unnamed and unnoticed.

Some are formalized systems. One is called konbit—collective work groups in which members of the community labor without any expectation of compensation or even return. Konbit is the equivalent of a barn-raising, an option for those without enough hands to accomplish the task by themselves or enough money to hire labor. The cooperation of konbit has allowed farmers to harvest their fields and engage in other major work projects from time immemorial.

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Free Gaza Movement to Launch Cargo Ship from Ireland

31 March, 2010 – www.freegaza.org

Yesterday the Free Gaza Movement bought a 1200 tonne cargo ship at an auction in Dundalk, Ireland.

The vessel had been impounded a year ago following an inspection by the International Transport Federation (ITF) which found that its owners had exploited its Lithuanian crew members- not paying their wages and subjecting them to humiliating treatment.

ITF Inspector and SIPTU organiser Ken Fleming said, We are pleased to announce that this vessel which was used to subject workers to modern day slavery, will now be used to promote human rights for the people of Palestine.

The Free Gaza Movement now owns four ships including three passenger vessels.

Free Gaza’s ships will take part in an international flotilla taking humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza strip this May. Passenger and cargo ships are also being organised by the Turkish humanitarian organisation I.H.H., and by groups in Greece, Sweden, Malaysia and Belgium.

Free Gaza has launched eight missions to Gaza over the past two years. Five were successful. The last two were violently stopped by the Israeli Navy.

The Irish ship will be taking 500 tons of cement, as well as medicines, medical equipment and educational materials to the people of Gaza.

Derek Graham of the Free Gaza Movement said, We have international law and the conscience of the people of the world on our side. We know the Irish people will not stand by and let the people of Gaza be starved and punished by Israel any longer.

In preparation for the launch of the Irish ship, hospitals, trade unions, churches, mosques, families and community groups are being invited to sponsor bags of cement to help the people of Gaza to rebuild.

Caoimhe Butterly of the Free Gaza Movement said We call upon the Irish people and government to support the safe passage of our mission. The siege is a form of collective, sustained and devastating punishment. Supporting the flotilla is a way for the people of Ireland to show direct solidarity with the 1.5 million Palestinians trapped in Gaza as they attempt to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives.

The vessel, the MV Linda, will be re-named the MV Rachel Corrie, in memory of the 23 year old solidarity activist crushed to death in 2003 by an Israeli bulldozer as she attempted to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home in Gaza. The Free Gaza Movement pays tribute to Rachel and the thousands of Palestinian men, women and children killed, wounded or imprisoned under Israeli Occupation.


The crisis of neoliberalism Pt.2

31 March, 2010 — The Real News Network

Duménil: Neoliberal trends setting up a terrible future of inequality and exploitation for the workers


Dr. Dumnil is one of the worlds foremost theorists of neoliberalism and economic crisis and is the author of numerous influential books, many of which have been translated into several languages. These include Capital Resurgent: Roots of the Neoliberal Revolution (2004) and his forthcoming The Crisis of Neoliberalism: from the subprime to the great contraction.

Transcript follows

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Re: Jerusalem Quartet – Update – ‘But it’s not political’

31 March, 2010 — http://azvsas.blogspot.com/

Below is a link to a further article on the disruption of the Jerusalem Quartet concert.

It focuses on an argument which was prevalent at the time of the Anti-Apartheid Boycott (South Africa version) and is going to be heard increasingly from faint-hearted liberals who would like any struggle to be conducted within the bounds of normal, polite discourse (i.e. don’t mention the Arabs). I have therefore dug around a little regarding the antecedents of the JQ, just in case we had been unfair to them. In fact, if anything, we’ve been too kind by half. They are almost-certainly paid ambassadors on behalf of the Israeli Occupation Forces and as such are eminently suitable targets for boycott.

And just to emphasise once again – we didn’t carry out this action because we aimed to win the minds and hearts of those inside. A minority have undoubtedly been affected and one woman came over to us to give us her support but as with all Apartheid, if you wait for the consent of the beneficiaries you will be waiting forever.

It should also be emphasised that despite this having been Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s Week of Boycott, they lent no support whatsoever and didn’t even know the concert was happening!

Tony Greenstein

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Statewatch News Online – 31 March 2010 (06/10)

Home page: www.statewatch.org/
Statewatch European Documentation Centre (SEMDOC): www.statewatch.org/semdoc/
Sitemap: www.statewatch.org/sitemap.htm

1. EP: Surveillance of the sea external borders with the involvement of Frontex
2. MALTA: Grupp29: Stop the criminalisation of art Maltese authors and artists
3. EU: Council: rights to interpretation and to translation in criminal proceedings
4. EU-ISRAEL: Should the EU subsidise Israeli security?
5. EU: ECRE: European Commission Proposal to recast the Qualification Directive
6. Belgium: Ministry of justice and prison service under fire for arbitrary refusal
7. EU: Data Protection Supervisor: Guidelines on Video-surveillance
8. ITALY: Amnesty International report argues that the “nomads plan” is the wrong answer
9. DENMARK: Danish Rebellion Spokesman Convicted in Terror-Liberation Case
10. ITALY: GENOA: G8 appeals: longer prison terms for demonstrators, more officers convicted
11. Fighting anti-Muslim racism: an interview with A. Sivanandan
12. EU: Rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for implementing powers
13. EU-JAPAN:Customs Cooperation: European Data Protection Supervisor: Opinion
14. UK: Undercover policeman reveals how he infiltrated UK’s violent activists
15. EU: Commission proposal: right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings
16. EU-USA: Presidency wants EU-USA agreement on digital health-care
17. EUUSA: Question: MEP (ALDE): Council pushing for healthcare records share with the US?
18. ECJ: EDPS welcomes strengthening independent position of data protection authorities
19. EU Security Research: BAE Systems awarded EU contract to develop organised crime database
20. Italy: NGOs criticise Italian government stance on harm reduction drug policies
21. UK: Home Affairs Select Committee report: The National DNA Database
22. Italy: Harassment against migrants and Roma people
23. Spain/France: In-depth reports on the situation in detention centres for foreigners
24. UK: Home Office: What perceptions do the UK public have concerning the impact of counter-terrorism?

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US-Russian START treaty: A comprehensive flicker By Eric Walberg

30 March, 2010 — ericwalberg.com

Two floundering presidents grabbed at a chance to show some results. No one will be happy, as always with compromises, says Eric Walberg

The US administration is preening itself on finally clinching a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with Russia, President Barack Obama calling it the most comprehensive arms control agreement in nearly two decades. It is to be signed in Prague 8 April, where Obama launched his campaign for a nuclear weapons-free world a year ago, and which was supposed to get a US missile defence base. Obama axed this, at least for the moment, to mollify the Russians.

Despite it being the only flicker of peacefulness out of Washington in nearly two decades, the reaction in the US is one of indifference or hostility as the right now latches on to each and every Obama initiative to show its displeasure over healthcare and other Obama-inspired liberal policies.

In Russia the reaction is sullen caution and hostility. Obama’s announcement was greeted officially only by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who warned that Russia reserved the right to withdraw from the treaty if it deems American missile defences a threat. Yes, Obama backed down a bit on the original Bush bases in the Czech Republic and Poland. But then all of a sudden, out of the wild blue yonder, Romania and Bulgaria said they would be getting them instead by 2015, and Poland invited the US to station troops there on a new base. What a coincidence. Despite the last minute addition of a few words as a sop to the Russians, US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs Ellen Tauscher was quick to emphasise there would be no constraints on the expansion of interceptor missile deployments.

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National Security Archive Update, March 30, 2010: Uraguay – BORDABERRY CONDEMNED FOR 1973 COUP

Becomes First Latin American President Successfully Prosecuted for Attacking the Constitution

National Security Archive Posts Declassified Evidence Used in Trial

U.S. Documents Implicated Bordaberry in Repression


Washington, DC, March 30, 2010 – For the first time in Latin America, a judge has sent a former head of state to prison for the crime of an “Attack against the Constitution.” In an unprecedented ruling last month in Montevideo, former Uruguayan President Juan María Bordaberry was sentenced to serve 30 years for undermining Uruguay’s constitution through an auto-coup on June 27, 1973, and for being a participant in nine disappearances and two political assassinations committed by the security forces while he was president between 1972 and 1976.

Declassified U.S. documents provided as evidence in the case by the National Security Archive show Bordaberry as justifying his seizure of extra-constitutional powers on June 27, 1973, by telling the U.S. Ambassador that “Uruguay’s democratic traditions and institutions… were themselves the real threat to democracy.” Another document, written within days after the coup, shows that the police were ordered to launch, in coordination with the military, “intelligence gathering and operations of a ‘special’ nature”–references to death squad actions that ensued.

“These declassified U.S. documents,” said Carlos Osorio, who heads the National Security Archive’s Southern Cone project, “helped the Court open the curtain of secrecy on human rights crimes committed during Bordaberry’s reign of power.”

Follow the link below for more information:


En Espanol

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The crisis of neoliberalism By GERARD DUMENIL

30 March, 2010 — The Real News Network

Dumenil: Neoliberalism imposed a new discipline on worker, cutting the progress of purchasing power.

Dr. Dumnil is one of the worlds foremost theorists of neoliberalism and economic crisis and is the author of numerous influential books, many of which have been translated into several languages. These include Capital Resurgent: Roots of the Neoliberal Revolution (2004) and his forthcoming The Crisis of Neoliberalism: from the subprime to the great contraction



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Haiti versus Chile: Earthquake Olympics by John Feffer

30 March , 2010 — Foreign Policy in Focus

The survivors of the devastating earthquakes in Haiti and Chile are still scrambling to deal with the damage. Here, however, pundits are still scrambling to explain the dramatic difference in impact. Haiti’s quake on January 12 came in at 7.0 on the Richter scale, leveled the capital city, and left more than 200,000 dead. Chile’s earthquake on February 27 registered a magnitude of 8.8, which means it was 500 times more powerful than the Haitian shock. But fewer than 1,000 Chileans died, and the damage to buildings was considerably less.

This significant disparity in impact has generated a thousand theories. The proliferation of theories has established a kind of competition between the two countries, in which Haiti must suffer twice: by comparison as well as by earthquake. Here are three of the more unlikely arguments for why Chile fared better than Haiti in the Earthquake Olympics:

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Media Mutes General’s Afghan Admission

30 March, 2010 — Media Channel

‘We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat,’ says top American commander.

President Obama’s sneak visit to Afghanistan this weekend, although shrouded in secrecy, still received lots of prime press coverage.

At the same time, an astonishing open admission of possible US war crimes by Obama’s man on the ground in Kabul, senior American and NATO commander in Afghanistan General Stanley A. McChrystal, was reported by Richard A. Oppel Jr. in the New York Times… and then promptly ignored by the rest of the mainstream media.

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Media Disinformation regarding America’s Afghan War By Prof. Marc Herold

28 March, 2010 – Global Research

Examining a microcosm can shed light on the larger reality. I have chosen to analyze a small mountain hamlet, Chagoti Ghar (Chergotah), located some forty kilometers east of Khost city in eastern Afghanistan in a time frame separated by eight and a third years – November 23rd 2001 and March 24th 2010. Both times, two Afghan civilians perished as a result of foreign occupation fire. In both instances, the U.S corporate media was silent. Both times, to pierce the veil of silence spun by the American military industrial media information complex (MIMIC) a person had to turn to independent, regional media; in November 2001 to the Peshawar-based Afghan Islamic Press news agency and in March 2010, to the Kabul-based Pajhwok Afghan News.[1] Those killed in 2001 perished during morning prayers and those obliterated in 2010 succumbed after sundown. A women and girl were martyred in November 2001 and a teenaged couple was killed in March 2010. A Bush air strike killed two in 2001 and an Obama ground attack did the same in 2010. Continue reading


30 March, 2010 — MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

In November 2008, the historic importance of Barack Obama’s presidential victory was a relentless theme across the media spectrum. Even the pretence of a mainstream commitment to balanced reporting vanished from sight in deference to the self-evident Truth. The Guardian led the way, gushing almost exactly as it had over Blair in 1997:

They did it. They really did it. So often crudely caricatured by others, the American people yesterday stood in the eye of history and made an emphatic choice for change for themselves and the world… Today is for celebration, for happiness and for reflected human glory. Savour those words: President Barack Obama, America’s hope and, in no small way, ours too. (www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/nov/06/barackobama-uselections2008)

The former Europe minister and arch-Blairite, Denis MacShane, sounded a rare, unwitting note of caution:

“I shut my eyes when I listen to this guy [Obama] and it could be Tony. He is doing the same thing that we did in 1997.” (Tom Baldwin, Blair team look in mirror of history, The Times, November 8, 2008)

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Israel has Breached Peremptory Norms of Humanitarian Law By Kawther Salam

29 March, 2010 — Palestine Think Tank

Phil Shiner, Supervisor of Public Interest Lawyers, United Kingdom, said during the panel discussion on the Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People that the Advisory Opinion was extremely helpful as it had identified three different pre-empting norms Israel had breached, explaining that peremptory norms or jus cogens norms were actions recognized in international law that no State was ever permitted to commit, such as genocide, slavery and denial of the right to self-determination. The opinion was crystal clear that Israel was in breach of international law and set out the obligations of third States.

He said that customary international law was part of the common law of the United Kingdom and part of the jurisdiction of other European States. He had unsuccessfully brought two cases to Court where the United Kingdom was in violation of international law through, for instance, permitting the sale of arms to Israel, which had then been used in the Gaza offensive, and suggested that civil society, should identify EU States where legal actions in that regard could be brought.

The EU-Israeli Association Agreement is also in breach of jus cogens norms, as the Agreement includes a provision which says that relations between parties must be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles. That clause requires parties to respect customary international law and the principles of the United Nations Charter which prohibits acquisition of territory by force. He was working on a court challenge in that regard and suggested that what was being done in the UK could be done elsewhere.

Phil Sheiner Speech at UN 26.03.2010 from Kawther Salam on Vimeo.

Speech delivered by Phil Sheiner of Public Interest Lawyers in Birmingham, UK, at the UN Civic Society Meeting for Palestine held at the UN Vienna on 26.03.2010.


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