The Venus Project
The Venus Project, founded by Jacque Fresco, is both a vision and a movement for the creation of a post-capitalist society based on life values run by cybernetics.
Although the architecture and design in the videos look as if they are straight out of a Thunderbirds animation the concept itself is worthy of serious consideration --especially so at a time when capitalism is entering yet another crisis which, coupled with global climatic change, could prove to be final.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Posted by Rory Winter at 10:09 pm
Russia backs return to Gold Standard to solve financial crisis
Russia has become the first major country to call for a partial restoration of the Gold Standard to uphold discipline in the world financial system.
Arkady Dvorkevich, the Kremlin's chief economic adviser, said Russia would favour the inclusion of gold bullion in the basket-weighting of a new world currency based on Special Drawing Rights issued by the International Monetary Fund.
Chinese and Russian leaders both plan to open debate on an SDR-based reserve currency as an alternative to the US dollar at the G20 summit in London this week, although the world may not yet be ready for such a radical proposal.
Posted by Rory Winter at 7:27 pm
G20 - Make or break?
The question in the EU is - will they go down with the dollar system or find their own way?
As the G20 is set to begin on April 2 in London, and as protests to it spread throughout Europe, Paul Jay speaks to Wiliam Engdahl about the significance of the summit. Engdahl says that, "the problem is that the G20 is an arbitrary construct that was hammered together largely by Washington in a vain attempt to keep the globalized system that they had created ... to keep the rules of the game intact." He says that, "the basis of consensus doesn't exist among the G20," because China, Russia and Europe have different interests right now than to bail out the dollar.
Posted by Rory Winter at 7:02 pm
Monday, March 30, 2009
Geithner’s ‘Dirty Little Secret’: The Entire Global Financial System is at Risk When the Solution to the Financial Crisis becomes the Cause
US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has unveiled his long-awaited plan to put the US banking system back in order. In doing so, he has refused to tell the ‘dirty little secret’ of the present financial crisis. By refusing to do so, he is trying to save de facto bankrupt US banks that threaten to bring the entire global system down in a new more devastating phase of wealth destruction.
The Geithner Plan, his so-called Public-Private Partnership Investment Program or PPPIP, as we have noted previously is designed not to restore a healthy lending system which would funnel credit to business and consumers. Rather it is yet another intricate scheme to pour even more hundreds of billions directly to the leading banks and Wall Street firms responsible for the current mess in world credit markets without demanding they change their business model.
Posted by Rory Winter at 8:35 pm
Engdahl: Obama must confront the oligarchical power of Wall Street to solve crisis
F Wiliam Engdahl, economist, author, and risk consultant speaks to Paul Jay about Geithner's plan to rescue the financial institutions in the United States. Engdahl says the plan doesn't address the concentration of financial power in the United States, that is based in five major financial institutions. He says his plan is like a "band aid for a bad hemorrhage"
Posted by Rory Winter at 6:47 pm
'The World at Crossroads'
Franck Biancheri's Open Letter to the G20, 25/03/2009
We discuss Franck Biancheri's open letter to the G20, "Last Chance Before Global Geopolitical Dislocation", which advocates for three strategic recommendations:
(1) the creation of a new international reserve currency
(2) the control of banks on a global scale
(3) an independent assessment of the three national financial systems at the heart of the current financial crisis - the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland
If radical action is not taken within six months, it is anticipated that the opportunity to shorten the crisis to a 3 to 5 year duration will no longer be possible, and the world (particularly the U.S.) will be in for a very harsh geopolitical dislocation lasting for a decade or more.
According to LEAP/E2020, there are only two options left for the G20 leaders who gather next April 2nd in London: either they rebuild a new international monetary system, creating the conditions for a new global system that involves all the main global players, and reducing the crisis to a maximum of 3 to 5 years; or they strive to prolong the current system, thrusting the world into a decade long tragic crisis starting at the end of 2009...
Posted by Rory Winter at 4:35 pm
Russia wants to start debate on new reserve currency at G20
Russia is proposing that discussions into the possibility of creating a new world reserve currency are initiated at the upcoming G20 summit in London, a government source said on Wednesday.
Chinese central bank backs Russian idea for new reserve currency
The chairman of the People's Bank of China has spoken out in support of Russia's proposal to create a new global reserve currency as an alternative to the U.S. dollar, Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.
China suggests switch from dollar
China's central bank has called for a new global reserve currency run by the International Monetary Fund to replace the US dollar.
Posted by Rory Winter at 10:39 am
Noam Chomsky on the Economy and Democracy
Chomsky: Plan is recycled Bush/Paulson. We need nationalization and steps towards democratization
Chomsky: The best way to move forward is support unionization
Posted by Rory Winter at 7:56 am
Sunday, March 29, 2009
G20 protesters face police with Tasers
SCOTLAND YARD is to deploy officers armed with 50,000-volt Taser stun guns to deal with violent demonstrators planning to disrupt this week’s G20 summit in London.
The centrepiece of the security plan will be hundreds of officers from the Metropolitan police territorial support group, who are routinely armed with speedcuffs, extended batons and CS gas spray.
Posted by Rory Winter at 10:41 pm
UK Government finally admits to receiving Intelligence from Torture
Craig Murray, ex-UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan who was fired from that post for blowing the whistle on that country's use of torture, has now produced a Foreign Office document which admits to the UK's use of evidence obtained through torture. This flies in the face of continued denials by UK Government officials that such evidence is never used:
Tucked away at Page 15 of its annual Human Rights report, the FCO has finally made a public admission of its use of intelligence from torture. Despite the Orwellian doublespeak about "unreserved condemnation of torture", this is the clearest statement the government has ever made that it, as a policy, employs intelligence from torture.
"One example is the question of the use of intelligence provided to the UK by other countries. The provenance of such intelligence is often unclear – partners rarely share details of their sources. All intelligence received, whatever its source, is carefully evaluated, particularly where it is clear that it has been obtained from individuals in detention. The use of intelligence possibly derived through torture presents a very real dilemma, given our unreserved condemnation of torture and our efforts to eradicate it. Where there is intelligence that bears on threats to life, we cannot reject it out of hand. What is quite clear, however, is that information obtained as a result of torture would not be admissible as evidence in any criminal or civil proceedings in the UK. It does not matter whether the evidence was obtained here or abroad."
Let us take this apart ...
Spanish judge accuses six top Bush officials of torture
Posted by Rory Winter at 11:38 am
From Populist Rage To Revolution
Americans clearly are capable of being outraged. Missing, however, is a sustained, vibrant demand for deep reforms of our political and government system. You hear a lot about populist rage these days, especially connected to the AIG bonus debacle. But populist rage as a reflection of class conflict and anger about our economic meltdown does not necessarily make a political revolution. The saddest thing about Obama winning the presidency was that his change message drained what might have been sufficient national energy for true revolutionary political reforms.
What is Happening to Our Country?
Posted by Rory Winter at 11:09 am
Gerald Celente on The Coming Collapse and Webster Tarpley on the Russophobe, Zbigniew Brzezinski
Posted by Rory Winter at 10:58 am
Obama: Yup, We're at War in Pakistan
Now Obama confirms that he intends to extend the spurious 'War on Terror' into Pakistan, thus satisfying the needs of the US Military-Industrial-Political machine:
Perhaps you were wondering whether or not the U.S. was really at war in Pakistan, as well as Afghanistan. Well, President Obama just put those questions to rest.
With everyone from Hillary Clinton to Robert Gates to General David Petraeus at his side, Obama announced this morning "a comprehensive, new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan." Not Afghanistan, with an occasional cross-border drone strike. Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Obama Announces Escalation Of War In Afghanistan, Pakistan
Posted by Rory Winter at 10:16 am
Saturday, March 28, 2009
The seeds of globalisation’s informal empire in Britain’s formal imperialism
Days prior to big anti-capitalist demos in London at the G20 meeting, David Wearing presents the first draft of a research paper on his blog, The Democrat's Diary, tracing the origins of contemporary globalisation in the imperialism of the old British Empire:
Under twenty-first century globalisation, a transnational class of investors, bureaucrats and opinion-formers work together to shape the global political economy to serve their interests, in a process that frequently involves evading or thwarting democracy and the popular will. This international governing class is bound together both by shared material interests and by a shared legitimising ideology that it characterises as favouring mutually-dependent free-markets and liberal democracy.
Posted by Rory Winter at 4:18 pm
Al Qaeda -- the Database
Shortly before his untimely death, former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told the House of Commons that "Al Qaeda" is not really a terrorist group but a database of international mujaheddin and arms smugglers used by the CIA and Saudis to funnel guerrillas, arms, and money into Soviet-occupied Afghanistan. Courtesy of World Affairs, a journal based in New Delhi, WMR can bring you an important excerpt from an Apr.-Jun. 2004 article by Pierre-Henry Bunel, a former agent for French military intelligence.
Posted by Rory Winter at 1:16 pm
The Mega-Lie Called the "War on Terror": A Masterpiece of Propaganda
The fraudulence of the "War on Terror" is clearly revealed by looking at the pattern of actions that preceded and followed its launch.
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the state can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie ... The truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the state." --Joseph Goebbels, minister of propaganda in Nazi Germany, 1933-1945
Since Sept. 11, 2001, the administration of George W. Bush has told and repeated a lie that is "big enough" to confirm Joseph Goebbels' testimony. It is a mega-lie, and the American people have come to believe it. It is the "War on Terror."
Posted by Rory Winter at 12:34 pm
Friday, March 27, 2009
Obama shows the usefulness of the al-Qaeda propaganda myth
Once again the Al Qaeda myth is rolled out to justify the imperialist ventures of the USUK and NATO in Afghanistan. We are reminded that it was Al Qaeda which was behind 911. But where is the evidence to show that it was, let alone that such an organisation really exists?
We know that the term 'Al Qaeda' (or the Database) was coined to describe a motley group of Mujahideen and others on the payroll of the CIA. Are these, then, the same groups that Obama, Brown and Co. refer to? Has the CIA-sponsored Al Qaeda morphed into something else? Or is the CIA now using Al Qaeda as agents provocateurs to justify USUK propaganda and their imperialist activities in the Afghanistan area?
These are all questions that the anti-war movement should be asking. They should have, a long time ago, challenged the warmongers' Al Qaeda myth. But they didn't and they haven't and so give the warmongers an easy ride.
"The current speech shows how useful the al-Qaeda myth remains. Few progressives have the courage or will to challenge the myth, so naturally the corporate media simply passes it on as fact, as self evident as the rising of the sun. A great failure, in my opinion, of war critics. If even the critics of the war machine accept the key propaganda premise, then how can any antiwar movement have a strong foundation?"
So how is it that the critics of the war machine accept the key propaganda premise? Have we become so damned lazy and incompetent that we are incapable of some free thinking? Or is it just fear of challenging 'the experts'?
Robin Cooke, after having resigned his ministerial post in protest at the Blair government's support of the Bushco war, went onto expose Al Qaeda in a speech in the House of Commons. Not long after he met a mysterious death on a hill-walking tour of the Scottish Highlands on Ministry of Defence land.
Is it perhaps a fear of a similar fate that keeps the anti-war people silent?
Posted by Rory Winter at 7:00 pm
Gordon Brown: "The devalued Prime Minister of a devalued Government."
Tory Member of the European Parliament, David Hannan, recently made this attack on Britain's unelected Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, in the European Parliament during Brown's recent visit to Brussels.
What is unusual about it is that it makes a credible attack on Brown's lame duck administration at a time when no other politicians in Westminster appear to have the courage to do the same:
Posted by Rory Winter at 4:44 pm
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Once beaten for stating the obvious, our time has come
Ten years ago, the anticapitalist movement predicted this recession. Now it must envisage an alternative global future
It was 1999 and the summer of corporate love. Many pundits - now talking of "bad apples" and applauding bailouts - were predicting the stockmarket would go up forever. Not coincidentally, it was also a decade ago that the anticapitalist movement emerged with a rambunctious "carnival against capital" in London's Square Mile; the contagion spread to the streets of Seattle where the World Trade Organisation meeting was shut down by protesters later that year.
Posted by Rory Winter at 9:54 pm
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Mohawk 'Splitting the Sky' Arrested While Attempting Citizen Arrest of War Criminal Bush
A gross violation of constitutional and international law occurred this week heralding a dark day for Canadian governance and society. The credibly accused war criminal George W Bush was allowed entry into Canada in violation of Canada's ratified...
Posted by Rory Winter at 2:13 pm
Five reasons why Americans won't resist
Protest (American, definitely not a verb): Wait for UFPJ or ANSWER to stage a parade (I mean, demonstration) on a weekend afternoon so no one misses work or school or in any way disrupts the flow of commerce. Don’t make a sign; the organizers will make one for you. March in an orderly fashion, be polite to the occupying army (I mean, cops), and be sure to stay in designated free speech zones. Blame the Republicans. Wear costumes. Make puppets. Exclude anarchists. Hold a candlelight vigil. Sign a petition. Chant. Vote for a Democrat and hope for change. Need I continue?
Rory's Note: All of this applies equally well to Brits, Australians and many others too...
Posted by Rory Winter at 8:10 am
Iran responds to Obama
Obama's unprecedented greeting to Iran is met with an unprecedented response by Grand Ayatollah Khamenei
Investigative historian and journalist, Gareth Porter, speaks to Sharmini Peries about President Obama's Nowruz greeting to Iran. Noting the significance of this unprecedented move by the US government, and [that] saying that this is the first time the Iranian leader himself has responded directly to the US, Porter said, "Obama was displaying atmospherics here far more than substance," adding that, "there really is nothing in the address that gives you a clue as to what change is going to be made in the US posture when they actually sit down with Iran."
Posted by Rory Winter at 6:48 am
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The American way of War, Part Two
Posted by Rory Winter at 8:29 pm
Gordon Brown's lies about Terrorism
Britain's unelected Prime Minister has just announced a £3.5 billion package to boost the 'War against Terrorism'. Imported to Britain, courtesy of the war-criminal Blair, straight from the propaganda mills of the CIA, that 'War' was nothing more than the excuse created by the Bush junta to justify its murderous attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq and for its sustained attacks on the US Constitution to bring about a police state. Everything that Bush did to destroy the rule of law in the US was assiduously copied by his puppets in the UK, first Blair and now Brown.
The UK PM really means: We Are About To Take The Phoney War Against Terror To A New Level of Deceit and Crime by Our Covert Actions
Both the US and Britain have never been more close to a form of 21st Century state-run fascism than they are today. The intention to spend billions more on a phoney war has nothing to do with an external threat and everything to do with the consolidation of oppressive, police state measures.
Here is what one Guardian reader had to say to Brown about it: "Lies, spurious lies. I, like many others reading this, feel patronised by the arrogance of your arguments. The presumption of our allegiance to your cause. You have kidnapped and tortured foreigners. You have overthrown governments to secure strategic advantages. You have destroyed entire countries only to seek profit from their reconstruction. You have lied to your own population to encourage a war of aggression. There isn't a damn thing you can say that will redeem you. ~ indrossi, 22 Mar 09, 1:17am"
We are about to take the war against terror to a new level
Posted by Rory Winter at 7:56 pm
‘A political attack from both sides of the Atlantic’
In an extraordinary move, the Charity Commission in Britain has issued a hostile briefing about the Gaza solidarity campaign inspired by Respect MP George Galloway, just before he arrived in North America for a speaking tour.
The Viva Palestina campaign, which organised a convoy of over 100 vehicles bringing aid to the besieged population of Gaza, has been in contact with the Charity Commission over the last week and sent it a substantial letter today in response to letters only received this morning.
Before receiving that letter, however, some officials at the Commission have issued a statement to the media to say they are launching a “statutory investigation”, even though the Viva Palestina campaign has sought to co-operate with all relevant authorities throughout. As Galloway touched down in the US to begin his speaking tour he made the following statement:
“If anyone needs investigating, it is the Charity Commission itself. There is no good reason why the Commission should jump the gun and issue a statement that it is launching an investigation when, in fact, it was about to receive the information and correspondence it had asked for. But there are plenty of bad reasons for this outrageous behaviour.
“Let the facts speak for themselves. On Friday, Rupert Murdoch’s Sun reports that a right wing, pro-war, Bushite in Canada is stamping all over free speech and seeking to ban me from the country. On Saturday, Hazel Blears wrote to the largest Muslim organisation in the country calling for the head of its Deputy Director General Dr Daud Abdullah, because of his support for the Palestinian cause.
“On Monday morning, I set off to the US and Canada for a sell out speaking tour on the issue of Palestine. While I’m in the air the Charity Commission decides not to wait for a letter it had asked for and which will reach it tomorrow, Royal Mail permitting, but instead launches a public attack on the aid convoy I led.
“This isn’t the first time the Charity Commission has intervened in a blatantly political way. It did it over the miners strike a quarter of a century ago and against other solidarity movements. It did it over my campaign against sanctions on Iraq, when it repeatedly went though the books of a political campaign despite the fact it never found anything untoward.
“In truth, I expected this kind of attack. So, I’m sure, did the millions of people whose support for the people of Palestine is an affront to the establishment and its organs. Doubtless supporters of the Iraq war and Israel’s aggression against the Palestinians will hope that this will damage solidarity efforts. They are deluded.
“We won’t be intimidated. Viva Palestina will continue to campaign. And if the reaction in Canada to these kind of attacks is anything to go by, I anticipate an even greater outpouring of support for our campaign – moral, political, financial and in every other way.”
from Viva Palestina website
Posted by Rory Winter at 2:14 pm
While the MSM and the BBC keep on spewing bollocks about Al-CIA-duh I found this:
Al Qaeda Doesn't Exist is the forthcoming documentary by The Corbett Report. It interrogates the theory that Al Qaeda is a centrally-operated terrorist organization run by Osama Bin Laden that perpetrated the attacks of 9/11. The documentary looks at Al Qaeda's roots, its ties to western intelligence agencies and the fictions that have been created to enhance its myth in the corporate-controlled media.
Posted by Rory Winter at 1:32 pm
Monday, March 23, 2009
Why are we in Afghanistan? Part Seven
This is the 7th segment of a multi-part series on the Afghan war. Sunil Ram, Tariq Amin-Khan and Paul Jay discuss the premises and impact of the US and NATO war in Afghanistan. Other segments will follow throughout the week.
Posted by Rory Winter at 8:01 pm
Chavez says Obama an 'ignoramus'
Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez said today his US counterpart Barack Obama was at best an "ignoramus" for saying the socialist leader exported terrorism and obstructed progress in Latin America.
"He goes and accuses me of exporting terrorism: the least I can say is that he's a poor ignoramus; he should read and study a little to understand reality," said Mr Chavez, who heads a group of left-wing Latin American leaders opposed to the US influence in the region.
Posted by Rory Winter at 7:50 pm
The American Way of War
Obama is moving towards traditional Washington view of defense:
Posted by Rory Winter at 1:03 pm
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Our South Africa Moment has Arrived
As Israel shifts steadily to the fanatic, racist right, as the latest parliamentary election results have shown, Palestinians under its control are increasingly being brutalized by its escalating colonial and apartheid policies, designed to push them out of their homeland to make a self-fulfilling prophecy out of the old Zionist canard of "a land without a people." In parallel, international civil society, according to numerous indicators, is reaching a turning point in its view of Israel as a pariah state acting above the law of nations and in its effective action, accordingly, to penalize and ostracize it as it did to apartheid South Africa.
Posted by Rory Winter at 9:18 am
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Millions take to the streets of France in protest
Millions have taken to the streets of France as part of a nationwide demonstration against the government's handling of the economic crisis.
Unions claimed the number protesting was near three million while police admitted the figure was expected to beat the two million who took part in similar protests at the end of January.
Schools, courts, post offices, universities and even hospitals were closed, with public transport severely disrupted, as up to 200 marches were organised to protest against President Nicolas Sarkozy's approach to the global financial crisis.
Posted by Rory Winter at 11:12 pm
The Fed Did Indeed Cause The Housing Bubble
"... The Federal Reserve and its long standing partner, the US Treasury, engineered the housing bubble, including the fraudulent inducement of America as part of a financial coup d’etat. Our bankruptcy was not an accident. It was engineered at the highest levels."
Posted by Rory Winter at 1:07 am
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Likewise, I say unto you ...
.. there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth (Luke 15:10).
“Let’s today step out of the normal boundaries of analysis of our economic crisis and ask a radical question: What if the crisis of 2008 represents something much more fundamental than a deep recession? What if it’s telling us that the whole growth model we created over the last 50 years is simply unsustainable economically and ecologically and that 2008 was when we hit the wall - when Mother Nature and the market both said: “No more.”
We have created a system for growth that depended on our building more and more stores to sell more and more stuff made in more and more factories in China, powered by more and more coal that would cause more and more climate change but earn China more and more dollars to buy more and more U.S. T-bills so America would have more and more money to build more and more stores and sell more and more stuff that would employ more and more Chinese …
We can’t do this anymore.”
Posted by Rory Winter at 5:35 pm
Monday, March 16, 2009
The Totalitarianizing of Britain: All travel plans to be tracked by Government
Anyone departing the UK by land, sea or air will have their trip recorded and stored on a database for a decade.
Passengers leaving every international sea port, station or airport will have to supply detailed personal information as well as their travel plans. So-called "booze crusiers" who cross the Channel for a couple of hours to stock up on wine, beer and cigarettes will be subject to the rules.
Posted by Rory Winter at 11:28 pm
Republic Day, Oxford
On 17 March 1649, Parliament voted to abolish the office of king, and England became a republic until 1660. We will be marking the 360th anniversary of that historic occasion, and reaffirming the current relevance of the issues raised then – the monarchy and House of Lords, democratic rights and civil liberties – with a rally in Oxford town centre.
Professor David Norbrook to speak
We are delighted to confirm that amongst the speakers will be Professor David Norbrook, Merton Professor of Renaissance English literature at Oxford University, and author of such works as Poetry and Politics in the English Renaissance and Writing the English Republic: Poetry, Rhetoric and Politics, 1627-1660
Also speaking will be city councillors John Tanner (Labour) and David Williams (Green Party), as well as Bill MacKeith on behalf of Oxford and District Trades Union Council, and representatives from a variety of left and progressive organisations from the city. We will also read out a message of support we have received, from the Society for Robespierrist Studies, an association of French scholars who specialize in revolutionary history.
Please support this very important event. Come along yourself and bring all your friends. Pass this message on to any interested contacts you may have, forward it to any relevant email lists you may be on, and publicise it to everybody you can. All welcome
Date: Tuesday, 17 March 2009
Time: 18:00 - 19:00
Location: Carfax end of Cornmarket St, Carfax, Oxford, United Kingdom
See Facebook for more
Posted by Rory Winter at 8:04 pm
How the world pimps America
And how the US is shifting the crisis into the rest of the world
The US Treasury will borrow no less than one trillion dollars from the developing world in 2009. It will need even more in 2010. Pepe Escobar argues the US is indeed in a privileged position: not only it unleashes a global financial crisis, it then sucks up money from all over the world, based on the fact that the US in fact remains the "manager" of choice of global capitalism. As if this was not hardship enough for the developing world, it now also has to cope with the resurgence of the discredited World Bank and IMF. A certain Tim Geithner has been through this before - during the Asian financial crisis in 1997/1998 - and then he got it all wrong.
Posted by Rory Winter at 6:54 pm
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Latest Viva Palestina Update from Gaza
A DEVASTATED COUNTRY – A NATION UNDEFEATED
That was the verdict of the members of the Viva Palestina convoy and support team left behind to evaluate the damage and the urgent needs of Gaza.
They split into groups and some headed for the Palestinian Hydrology Group to assess the damage to the water tanks cause by the pounding of the IDF artillery. Plans were made for Viva Palestina to help in the funding of a desalination plant and freshwater wells. Money will be dispersed to funding these projects, as water is so essential to a normal life.
Some members visited the Zakart Foundation in Zeitun. Here widows spoke of their plight and their desparate needs, some of whom are now living in makeshift homes in a cemetery. Amongst the other places visited by Viva Palestina were a bakery, one of the few still operating on a shoestring budget to keep the children and the sick fed.
Other Viva Palestina activists also visited a fish farm where they witnessed the process of fish incubation, so essential as the IDF prevents Palestinian boats from fishing in their territorial waters. More orphanages have been visited today including the Islamic Association Orphanage.
One of our teams spent time with Majed Adallah Alathmna. Majed lost most of his family in a 2006 Israeli assault. Attempting to re-start his life he moved to a new area to the south of Gaza only to have his house blown to pieces by the Israeli army in January.
The members also inspected the Nasser and Yaffa hospitals where they spoke to badly wounded and burns patients and recorded some harrowing tales of slaughter, bravery and, equally, of resistance. Many medical clinics were on the agenda to be inspected.
The whole of Gaza seems to be a hospital, as not one Palestinian was spared in the onslaught. Every soul has been affected - especially the younger generation. Yet the amazing thing a member of Viva Palestina told me was that 'Everyone manages a smile - a true genuine smile in the face of death and a barbaric siege.'
On a happier note, some activists today were invited to a Palestinian engagement party and shared the celebrations of the families involved. Above were the Israeli reconnaissance drones and F16s, in the distance could be heard the dull thud of bombing and the crack of gunfire. From out at sea the IDF were shelling once again, while above them hovered a huge barrage balloon festooned with cameras. But the party went on - sending a message to the murderers above, which says simply, ' You will never kill our way of life and our spirits will never die!'
Farid Arada and Clive Searle
Posted by Rory Winter at 9:08 pm
Why are we in Afghanistan? Part Four
Posted by Rory Winter at 8:30 pm
Thursday, March 12, 2009
US Army Contemplates Redrawing Middle East Map to Stave-off Looming Global Meltdown
In a little-noted article printed in early August in the Armed Forces Journal, a monthly magazine for officers and leaders in the United States military community, retired Major Ralph Peters sets out the latest ideas in current US strategic thinking. And they are extremely disturbing.
Posted by Rory Winter at 9:42 pm
Why are we in Afghanistan? Part Three
Posted by Rory Winter at 9:30 pm
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Posted by Rory Winter at 7:16 pm
Why are we in Afghanistan? Part Two
Part Two of the discussion below:
Posted by Rory Winter at 6:44 pm
Monday, March 09, 2009
The Totalitarianizing of Britain:
Britain 'nation of form fillers watched by quarter of world's CCTV cameras'
Britain has become a bureaucratic and authoritarian state watched over by a quarter of the world's CCTV cameras, a study of Labour's decade in power claims.
"A new form of centralised government and authoritarian government has been created that is worse than ever in Britain's recent history."
Posted by Rory Winter at 8:23 pm
Why are we in Afghanistan? Part One
The Real News Cafe: Recorded live at the Gladstone in Toronto, a Real News panel takes on the Afghan war.
The Real News has provided a very useful venue on the Net where the Afghanistan War can be discussed more openly and widely. A lot of time has been devoted to Iraq and Afghanistan almost forgotten. Hence the importance of discussions such as these which ask the obvious questions and questions the Emperor's clothes anew:
THE REAL NEWS CAFÉ
This is the first segment of a multi-part series on the Afghan war. Other segments will follow throughout the week.
Posted by Rory Winter at 8:07 pm
Bush may follow Bashir to The Hague
Former US President George W. Bush could possibly stand trial at the international Criminal Court in The Hague, says an ex-UN prosecutor.
David Crane, an international law professor at Syracuse University, said similar to the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, Bush could be an ICC target.
George Bush could be next on the war crimes list
George W. Bush could one day be the International Criminal Court's next target.
David Crane, an international law professor at Syracuse University, said the principle of law used to issue an arrest warrant for Omar al-Bashir could extend to former US President Bush over claims officials from his Administration may have engaged in torture by using coercive interrogation techniques on terror suspects.
Posted by Rory Winter at 12:01 pm
Viva Palestina Convoy approaches Gaza crossing
The Viva Palestina Convoy is approaching Rafah.
The convoy has started to move out of the two car parks in Al Arish and onto the road to Rafah. At 7.55 (GMT). It took 90 minutes for all the vehicles to leave. They are now waiting for the second group of vehicles to get on the road.
Negotiations with the Egyptian authorities have continued. Some non-medical aid was unloaded, in line with the outcome of the negotiations, and has been handed over to the Egyptian Red Crescent for delivery by them to Gaza.
The convoy expects to cross later today into Gaza.
Swedish riot police attack Gaza activists
Posted by Rory Winter at 11:28 am
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Some Things Never Change
The ascension of Barack Obama, it is widely believed, will restore the world's perception of America as a nation which no longer leads by force, but through example. Such represented just one of the many benefits Americans would enjoy with the end of the Bush Presidency and commencement of an Obama Administration. The change people were clamoring for had finally come. However, as far as the Middle East is concerned, it took only a week for Obama to prove that change was a mere fallacy.
Posted by Rory Winter at 1:26 pm
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Viva Palestina Aid Convoy Update: A Smooth Crossing into Egypt
The convoy was over 3 miles long and contained about 220 vehicles. So it was an awesome sight when finally, at about 1.00pm local time, the first vehicles rolled into Egypt, where they were met at the borders by officials and a jubilant crowd.
The Egyptians organised the convoy into smaller groups and set off towards the town of SALUM, their first stop. The convoy was handled with military precision by the army and the police. I am told and everyone was relieved at the speed of the crossing.
In Salum they were met by children, who handed them flowers, and they were warmly welcomed by the people. Then they were taken to a huge tent where a press conference was held and a reception ceremony took place.
Lunch was on the menu, before being whisked away to continue their journey towards the beautiful coastal town of MATRUH.
A lavish reception awaits them in this picturesque part of Egypt where they are expected to enjoy the sea breeze after experiencing the beauty and quietness of the desert.
Overall, a good start to the final leg of the journey. Gaza is getting ever so close and the mission is close to being accomplished.
The Gaddafi Foundation for Charity and Development sent a message to Viva Palestina expressing its sorrow and offering its condolences for the family of the deceased Journalist Souad Abu Shiba and wish a quick recovery for her colleagues Ibrahim Hania, and the photographer Salah Nejm after the tragic car accident which occurred yesterday.
Prepared and translated by Farid Arada
Posted by Rory Winter at 7:17 pm
Iraqi Massacre Ignored By Media
"Indeed the ABC is merely the very tip of the tip of the iceberg of lying, racist, holocaust-ignoring reportage by the US Mainstream media of the Western Murdochracies. Tell all your friends to eschew the racist, lying, Zionist-beholden Mainstream media and to get factual and balanced reportage from the likes of AlterNet, Bellaciao, Democracy Now, Information Clearing House, Countercurrents, Counterpunch and MWC News."
Posted by Rory Winter at 6:44 pm
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
The Totalitarianizing of Britain: War comes home to Britain
In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger describes the basic freedoms being lost in Britain as the "national security state", imported from the United States by New Labour, takes effect.
Freedom is being lost in Britain. The land of Magna Carta is now the land of secret gagging orders, secret trials and imprisonment. The government will soon know about every phone call, every email, every text message. Police can wilfully shoot to death an innocent man, lie and expect to get away with it. Whole communities now fear the state. The foreign secretary routinely covers up allegations of torture; the justice secretary routinely prevents the release of critical cabinet minutes taken when Iraq was illegally invaded. The litany is cursory; there is much more.
Posted by Rory Winter at 9:56 pm
Why is Obama leaving 50,000 troops in Iraq? Pt 2
Paul Jay speaks with Gareth Porter, an investigative historian and journalist about the, "pressure and persuasion" that the generals are putting on President Obama to retain military forces in Iraq beyond 2011.
Posted by Rory Winter at 7:24 pm
US Plans For Military Intervention In Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka's Sunday Times has revealed plans for a US-led military mission into the island's northern war zone in the guise of evacuating civilians trapped by intense fighting between the army and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ...
The long-term geo-political significance of the Indian Ocean, and therefore of Sri Lanka, was underscored by an article entitled "Center Stage for the Twenty-first Century: Power Plays in the Indian Ocean" in the latest issue of the US magazine Foreign Affairs. Veteran journalist Robert Kaplan identified three related geo-political challenges facing the US in Asia: "the strategic nightmare of the greater Middle East, the struggle for influence over the southern tier of the former Soviet Union, and the growing presence of India and China in the Indian Ocean." ...
The need for greater strategic focus on the Indian Ocean is undoubtedly a major motivation behind a US military intervention on the island. The last consideration of any US military operation in Sri Lanka will be the plight of Tamil civilians trapped in the North. Like the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, which have led to disasters for the Afghan and Iraqi peoples, an intervention in Sri Lanka would seek to advance the strategic and economic interests of US imperialism and must be opposed by the working class in Sri Lanka, South Asia and internationally ...
An Interview With Siritunga Jayasuriya
Siritunga Jayasuriya, a trade unionist and leader of the United Socialist Party is best-known for being a high-profile Sinhala dissenter against the war on the Tamils in Sri Lanka. A fierce critic of the current regime and an ex-Presidential candidate, Jayasuriya has survived several attempts on his life. His unwavering voice of dissent cannot be silenced wherever he is. During a recent visit to India, he spoke to Meena Kandasamy about the situation in the war-torn island and bravely answered questions on India's role in the war.
Posted by Rory Winter at 10:18 am
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Why is Obama leaving 50,000 troops in Iraq?
Number of troops left in Iraq after Aug '10 throws into doubt the withdrawal itself
Gareth Porter says Obama's speech at Camp Lejeaune, which was supposed to explain the Presidents' plan to end the war in Iraq is "not doing what it said it's doing." Porter says the speech creates the, "rationale for a longer term U.S. engagement in Iraq." Responding to Obama pledging a residual force of 35,000-50,000 non-combat troops, Porter says that, "they are combat troops to a great extent... What we're really talking about is what has been referred to as a "rapid reaction force," says Porter, explaining it will consist of, "one, maybe two or more combat brigade teams."
The Real News Network
Posted by Rory Winter at 8:22 pm
Monday, March 02, 2009
Viva Palestina Convoy Update
23.30 (GMT) Sunday 1st March 2009
GAZA VILLAGE IS BORN IN MISRATA
The convoy is in Misrata. The hospitality of the Libyan people, government and the Gaddafi Foundation has left the convoy members in tears.
After the the public rally in Tripoli today, they set off with an additional 60 Libyan vehicles loaded with humanitarean aid and medecine towards the coastal town of Misrata. They were met with jubilant ordinary Libyans who hold Palestine and Gaza close to their hearts.
The organisers and the Gaddafi Foundation are ensuring the smooth and safe passage of the convoy through Libya by providing everything the convoy needs - from free fuel to accomodation and repairs, etc.
This evening, our drivers and their passengers were being driven in coaches to the newly built and inaugurated GAZA VILLAGE on the outskirt of Misrata. It is a tribute to the memory of the fallen martyrs of Gaza and a message to the children of Palestine from a long standing staunch ally of their just cause.
According to Libyan TV News this evening, the convoy could reach 300 vehicles by the time it reaches the border. I have just seen the size of some of the HGV's going to Gaza lined up with ours. It is an awsome sight, a mammoth task only made possible by some legendary men and women.
In one of the speeches today in Tripoli, one of the convoy leaders said to the crowd that this convoy was not just a Viva Palestina, British, Islamic, Christian, Arab and European but it was first and foremost humanitarian - where all humanity in all its diverse cultures, languages and religions contributed to it.
One of our convoy members said to the Arabic newspaper Libya Elyoum today "This is the best welcome we received. What is different this time is that the authorities did not try to stop the people mingling and getting close to us, nothing was orchestrated, it was natural and spontaneous."
Tomorrow is a big day as Libya celebrates the creation of the Republic (Jamahiria).The convoy will head for SIRT where they will savour Libyan hospitality once again.
Posted by Rory Winter at 8:10 am
Sunday, March 01, 2009
The New Totalitarianism
The depraved international cabal that has a stranglehold on American and British political and financial power constitutes a new type of totalitarianism, pillaging the world through barbaric annihilation and creating a World Police State.
American and world citizens have not fully awakened to the monstrous, diabolical nature of this totalitarian regime; they assume it must have some modicum of concern for its people, its nation, and human decency. Wrong!
Unless we arouse ourselves from this deadly self-imposed stupor of ignorance, these homicidal maniacs will destroy us and the world.
Posted by Rory Winter at 9:26 am