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polly7

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Hometown: Saskatchewan
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Member since: Sat Jul 9, 2005, 11:46 PM
Number of posts: 20,582

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Photos: Stark Scenes From the Guantanamo Hunger Strike

→ Human Rights, Military, Politics

Photos: Stark Scenes From the Guantanamo Hunger Strike
Military photographs show guards throwing away uneaten food and the "feeding chair" where detainees are force-fed.

—By Dave Gilson | Sat May. 4, 2013 3:00 AM PDT
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A "feeding chair" in the Guantanamo medical wing where hunger-striking detainees are force fed. Sgt. Brian Godette, Army 138th Public Affairs Detachment



For more than two weeks, 100 detainees at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba have been on hunger strike to protest conditions at the prison and their indefinite confinement. First denied and downplayed by the military, the strike has now become a full-blown emergency, as the Huffington Post's Ryan J. Reilly reports:

Twenty-three detainees are currently being force-fed. At least twice a day, guards in riot gear tie each detainee to a chair or bed, and medical personnel force a tube up his nose and down his throat, and pump a can of Ensure or other dietary supplement into his stomach. There are so many detainees being force-fed that Guantanamo's medical personnel are working around the clock to keep up with the demand, and approximately 40 additional medical personnel just arrived in Guantanamo to help deal with the growing crisis.

Though they do not show any of these frantic scenes, recently released military photos offer a window onto how Guantanamo has been dealing with the unprecedented protest: A "feeding chair" where detainees are force-fed sits next to a tray of feeding tubes and a bottle of butter pecan Ensure; guards deliver meals through "bean holes" in detainees' cells, only to throw away the uneaten food; hospital beds behind chain-link fences with rings for shackles beside them.

Other images in the series, taken in early April by Sgt. Brian Godette of the Army 138th Public Affairs Detachment, depict scenes from Camps V and VI, where most prisoners are held: a sign asking soldiers to respect praying detainees, a stuffed recliner in the "media room" that looks almost normal until you notice the ankle restraints. Original photo captions are in quotes. (h/t Public Intelligence)


http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/05/photos-hunger-strike-guantanamo-force-feeding

Obama and U.S. Military Divided Over Syria

By Shamus Cooke

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Excerpts:


"The Islamist character of the [rebel] opposition reflects the main constituency of the rebellion...The religious agenda of the combatants sets them apart from many civilian activists, protesters and aid workers who had hoped the uprising would create a civil, democratic Syria."

Thus, yet another secular Middle Eastern government — after Iraq and Libya — is being pushed into the abyss of Islamist extremism, and the shoving is being done by the United States, which The New York Times discovered was funneling thousands of tons of weapons into Syria through U.S. allies in the region, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. We now know that these weapons were given to the Islamist extremists; directly or indirectly, it doesn't matter.

Even after this U.S.-organized weapons trafficking was uncovered, the Obama administration still has the nerve to say that the U.S. is only supplying "non lethal" aid to the Syrian rebels. Never mind that many of the guns that the U.S. is transporting into Syria from its allies were sold to the allies by the United States, where the weapons were manufactured.

Now, many politicians are demanding that Obama institute a "no fly zone" in Syria, a euphemism for military invasion — one country cannot enforce a no fly zone inside another country without first destroying the enemy Air Force, not to mention its surface to air missiles, etc. We saw in Libya that a no fly zone quickly evolved into a full scale invasion, which would happen again in Syria, with the difference being that Syria has a more powerful army with more sophisticated weaponry, not to mention powerful allies — Iran and Russia.


Full Article: http://www.zcommunications.org/obama-and-u-s-military-divided-over-syria-by-shamus-cooke

George Monbiot - Beware The Rise Of The Government Scientists Turned Lobbyists

By George Monbiot

Source: The Guardian

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Excerpt:
What this illustrates is that these trials have taken place far too late: after the toxins have already been widely deployed. The use of neonicotinoids across Europe was approved before we knew what their impacts might be.

Experiments in laboratory or "semi-field" conditions, free from contamination, suggest that these toxins could be a reason for the rapid reduction in bee populations. We still know almost nothing about their impacts on other insect pollinators, such as hoverflies, butterflies, moths, beetles and midges, many of which are also declining swiftly.

Walport went on to suggest that the proposed ban would cause "severe reductions in yields to struggling European farmers and economies". Again, this is simply incorrect: in its exhaustive investigation, published last month, the House of Commons environmental audit committee concluded that "neonicotinoid pesticides are not fundamental to the general economic or agricultural viability of UK farming". In fact they can prevent a more precise and rational use of pesticides, known as integrated pest management. The committee reports that all the rape seed on sale in this country, for example, is pre-treated with neonicotinoids, so farmers have no choice but to use them, whether or not they are required.

He then deployed the kind of groundless moral blackmail frequently used by industry-funded astroturf campaigns. "The control of malaria, dengue and other important diseases also depends on the control of insect vectors." Yes, it does in many cases, but this has nothing to do with the issue he was discussing: a partial ban on neonicotinoids in European crops. This old canard (if you don't approve this pesticide for growing oilseed rape in Europe, children in Mozambique will die of malaria) reminds us that those opposed to measures which protect the natural world are often far worse scaremongers than environmentalists can be. How often have you heard people claim that "if the greens get their way, we'll go back to living in caves" or "if carbon taxes are approved, the economy will collapse"?

But perhaps most revealing is Walport's misunderstanding of the precautionary principle. This, he says, "just means working out and balancing in advance all the risks and benefits of action or inaction, and to make a proportionate response". No it doesn't. The Rio declaration, signed by the UK and 171 other states, defines it as follows: "Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation." This, as it happens, is the opposite of what his article sought to do. Yet an understanding of the precautionary principle is fundamental to Walport's role.


Full Article: http://www.zcommunications.org/beware-the-rise-of-the-government-scientists-turned-lobbyists-by-george-monbiot
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