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Hometown: Saskatchewan
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Member since: Sat Jul 9, 2005, 11:46 PM
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Netanyahu’s Wink at History

By Ted Snider

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long called for harsher sanctions on Iran. Recently, in a talk condemning the decision of the one hundred and twenty nations of the Non-Aligned Movement to attend the summit in Tehran, Netanyahu recited some of his charges against Iran. Amongst them, to the charge that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, Netanyahu added the accusations that Iran “brutalizes its own people” and “colludes in the murder of thousands of innocent Syrians”.

Netanyahu’s calls for sanctions go back a long way. Five and a half years ago at the Interdisciplinary Security Conference now tellingly entitled “Still Time to Stop Iran,” which was held in the Israeli city of Herzliya in January of 2007, Netanyahu defended his demand by drawing on the historical precedent of the sanctions imposed on South Africa. “ . . .[W]e are taking action to advance voluntary sanctions on Iran,” Netanyahu told the delegates. “There is no need to wait for the United Nations to impose significant sanctions in the Security Council. A historic example of this is the action take [sic] against the Apartheid regime in South Africa”.

Fortunately, Netanyahu had his fingers crossed when he said this. Or he should have. Because Israel officially and systematically violated those very sanctions that Netanyahu says the world should emulate.

On April 1, 1987, the U.S. congress stated that “Israel appears to have sold military systems . . . and provided technical assistance on a regular basis” despite a mandatory United Nations arms embargo imposed on South African ten years earlier in November 1977. And two years later, on July 5, 1989, the White House confirmed that the CIA had discovered that Israel was still supplying missile components to South Africa after promising to honour the sanctions and cease all military ties with South Africa two years earlier.


The Most Brutal Genocide Money Can Buy

By Andre Vltchek

Source: Counterpunch

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The camp for Congolese refugees in Kisoro is overcrowded, and people keep flowing in. The border between Uganda and DR Congo is just a few kilometers away, and right behind the border the vicious fighting goes on; there is true bloodshed and carnage.

The border is called Bunagana. I drive there, I film, and I talk to a few people. There is tension, everybody is edgy – locals and refugees. One cannot tell who is who. Both Ugandans and Congolese know, but, the outsider cannot tell the difference; it is one region, one area. People were coming back and forth for years and decades, people were mixing, staying at both sides of the border legally and illegally.

Some now say 10 million. It is an unimaginable number. I covered Chile, and the horrors of the Pinochet era. There, 3-4 thousand people died. In Indonesia, during the US-sponsored military coup of 1965, between 800.000 and 3 million people vanished. The Great Lakes genocide was the worst topic I have ever had to cover, and the most complex, too.

One had to look at the colonialism and then move to the Cold War, one had to revisit the IMF practices and then the direct support of the West to potentially murderous but loyal regimes. One had to study the circumstances of the assassination of Lumumba and then to understand how, a few decades later, Paul Kagame was brought to power.


Robert Fisk: The Forgotten Massacre

By Robert Fisk

Source: The Independent

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"The memories remain, of course. The man who lost his family in an earlier massacre, only to watch the young men of Chatila lined up after the new killings and marched off to death. But – like the muck piled on the garbage tip amid the concrete hovels – the stench of injustice still pervades the camps where 1,700 Palestinians were butchered 30 years ago next week. No-one was tried and sentenced for a slaughter, which even an Israeli writer at the time compared to the killing of Yugoslavs by Nazi sympathisers in the Second World War. Sabra and Chatila are a memorial to criminals who evaded responsibility, who got away with it.

Khaled Abu Noor was in his teens, a would-be militiaman who had left the camp for the mountains before Israel's Phalangist allies entered Sabra and Chatila. Did this give him a guilty conscience, that he was not there to fight the rapists and murderers? "What we all feel today is depression," he said. "We demanded justice, international trials – but there was nothing. Not a single person was held responsible. No-one was put before justice. And so we had to suffer in the 1986 camps war (at the hands of Shia Lebanese) and so the Israelis could slaughter so many Palestinians in the 2008-9 Gaza war. If there had been trials for what happened here 30 years ago, the Gaza killings would not have happened."

He has a point, of course. While presidents and prime ministers have lined up in Manhattan to mourn the dead of the 2001 international crimes against humanity at the World Trade Centre, not a single Western leader has dared to visit the dank and grubby Sabra and Chatila mass graves, shaded by a few scruffy trees and faded photographs of the dead. Nor, let it be said – in 30 years – has a single Arab leader bothered to visit the last resting place of at least 600 of the 1,700 victims. Arab potentates bleed in their hearts for the Palestinians but an airfare to Beirut might be a bit much these days – and which of them would want to offend the Israelis or the Americans?

It is an irony – but an important one, nonetheless – that the only nation to hold a serious official enquiry into the massacre, albeit flawed, was Israel. The Israeli army sent the killers into the camps and then watched – and did nothing – while the atrocity took place. A certain Israeli Lieutenant Avi Grabowsky gave the most telling evidence of this. The Kahan Commission held the then defence minister Ariel Sharon personally responsible, since he sent the ruthless anti-Palestinian Phalangists into the camps to "flush out terrorists" – "terrorists" who turned out to be as non-existent as Iraq's weapons of mass destruction 21 years later."


Rule by the Rich

By Jerry Mander

Source: New Left Project

Monday, September 10, 2012

Binghamton University professor emeritus James Petras sums up the new growing problem this way in “Canadian Dimension” (April 7, 2011): “The current concentration of wealth exceeds any previous period in history; from King Midas, the Maharajahs, and the Robber Barons to the Silicon Valley–Wall Street moguls.” Petras argues that in most countries, including the United States, the sudden emergence of a large, super-rich class of billionaires has been significantly promoted by nation-states and lower-level governments, conspiring with the wealthiest classes to serve their interests over all others:

“What is striking about the recovery, growth, and expansion of the world’s billionaires is how dependent their accumulation of wealth is based on pillage of state resources; how much of their fortunes are based on neo-liberal policies which led to the takeover at bargain prices of privatized public enterprises . . . that the state—not the market—plays the essential role in facilitating the greatest concentration and centralization of wealth in world history . . . The sources of billionaire wealth are, at best, only partially due to ‘entrepreneurial innovations.’ ”

All GDP per capita figures in poor countries are actually misleadingly high. A small handful of the richest people have skimmed most of their wealth off the top by controlling wealth-producing mineral resources or land or the government itself. So the poorest half of society really has nearly nothing.

In internal correspondence from IFG, Santa Barbara reports, “The oligarchs are smart. They have realized that the global economy is starting to die. It’s short on resources, and the costs for what remains are skyrocketing. The prospects for rapid economic growth in the real economy, and for sustained high-level “surplus value,” are sharply diminished. So, many of the wealthy are coming to the view that they will no longer seek business growth, per se. More and more of them are seeking political control as a way of gaining economic expansion. They can squeeze out more by controlling the political process—toppling unions, gaining subsidies, cutting their taxes, gaining offshore havens—and, perhaps most of all, by privatizating services like education, transportation, the military, security, Medicare and Social Security, health services, and many aspects of the natural commons, like fresh water. That’s their big new market: commodification of the commons.”


Myths About Industrial Agriculture

By Vandana Shiva

Friday, September 07, 2012

Reports trying to create doubts about Organic Agriculture are suddenly flooding the media. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, people are fed up of the corporate assault of toxics and GMOs. Secondly people are turning to organic agriculture and organic food as a way to end the toxic war against the Earth and our bodies. At a time when industry has set its eyes on the superprofits to be harvested from seed monopolies through patented seeds and seeds engineered with toxic genes and genes for making crops resistant to herbicides, people are seeking food freedom through organic, nonindustrial food. The food revolution is the biggest revolution of our times, and industry is panicking. So it spins propoganda, hoping that in the footsteps of Goebbel, a lie told a hundred times will become the truth. But food is diiferent. We are what we eat. We are our own barometers. Our farms and our bodies are our labs, and every farmer and every citizen is a scientist who knows best how bad farming and bad food hurts the land and our health, and how good farming and good food heals the planet and people.

Small farms of the world provide 70% of the food, yet are being destroyed in the name of low “yields”. 88% of the food is consumed within the same eco-region or country where it is grown. Industrialization and globalization is the exception, not the norm. And where industrialization has not destroyed small farms and local food economies, biodiversity and food are bringing sustenance to people. The biodiversity of agriculture is being maintained by small farmers. As the ETC report states “peasants breed and nurture 40 livestock species and almost 8000 breeds. Peasants also breed 5000 domesticated crops and have donated more than 1.9 million plant varieties to the world’s gene banks. Peasant fishers harvest and protect more than 15,000 freshwater species. The work of peasants and pastoralists maintaining soil fertility is 18 times more valuable than the synthetic fertilizers provided by the seven largest corporations” (ETC Group, “Who Will Feed Us”).

When this biodiversity rich food system is replaced by industrial monocultures, when food is commoditized, the result is hunger and malnutrition. Of the world’s 6.6 billion, 1 billion are not getting enough food; another billion might get enough calories but not enough nutrition, especially micro nutrients. Another 1.3 billion who are obese suffer the malnutrition of being condemned to artificially cheap, calorie rich, nutrient poor processed food.

Half of the world’s population is a victim of structural hunger and food injustice in today’s dominant design for food. We have had hunger in the past, but it was caused by external factors – wars and natural disasters. It was localized in space and time. Today’s hunger is permanent and global. It is hunger by design. This does not mean that those who design the contemporary food systems intend to create hunger. It does mean that creation of hunger is built into the corporate design of industrial production and globalised distribution of food.

more: http://www.zcommunications.org/myths-about-industrial-agriculture-by-vandana-shiva

In doing a search for duplicates, I came across this thread from way back: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x556691

Are the Water Wars Coming?

Al Jazeera / By Chris Arsenault

Almost half of humanity will face water scarcity by 2030 and strategists from Israel to Central Asia prepare for strife.

August 28, 2012 |The author Mark Twain once remarked that "whisky is for drinking; water is for fighting over" and a series of reports from intelligence agencies and research groups indicate the prospect of a water war is becoming increasingly likely.

In March, a report from the office of the US Director of National Intelligence said the risk of conflict would grow as water demand is set to outstrip sustainable current supplies by 40 per cent by 2030.

"These threats are real and they do raise serious national security concerns," Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, said after the report's release.

Internationally, 780 million people lack access to safe drinking water, according to the United Nations. By 2030, 47 percent of the world’s population will be living in areas of high water stress, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Environmental Outlook to 2030 report.

cont'd: http://www.alternet.org/water/are-water-wars-coming

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