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

Journal Archives

With Another Approach, We Would Have a Deal with Iran Today

by Jan Oberg / June 30th, 2015

There could have been a deal with Iran today – to the benefit of everybody – if the nuclear issue had been approached in a fair, principled and visionary manner from Day One.

On the day of no deal, perhaps the Five Ps + Germany should spend a moment on self-reflection: What could we have done differently?

To the trained conflict- and peace-making eye, 99% of the Western commentators have failed to point out the benefits of a deal and, instead, devoted their creativity to find all kinds of possible negative aspects, details and – of course – on how the West should demand even more. They’ve suggested “red lines” at absurdum.

At the table sit the five largest nuclear weapons powers which have, de facto and de jure, for decades completely and systematically ignored the provisions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, NPT, and have repeatedly broken international law and conducted wars. They would never allow the type of inspections on their own territory that they demand of Iran. The U.S. issues threats – and plan a war – Iran has never threatened the U.S. And so on and so forth.

Complete article: http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/06/with-another-approach-we-would-have-a-deal-with-iran-today/#more-58975

Solidarity for Venezuela and Struggles at Home

By Preeti Kaur
Source: teleSUR English
June 10, 2015

President Hugo Chavez’s voice calling for a free and integrated Latin America reverberated loudly through the halls of the National Union of Teachers London premises on Thursday June 4, 2015. Channeling Chavez, Marti, Bolivar and Sandino, Guisell Morales-Echaverry, the first resident Nicaraguan ambassador to the UK since 1998, echoed demands for one voice against poverty. She called for continued resolve to walk down the avenues of new realities and new ways, first opened by Chavez, towards freedom and fraternity, equally.

The event celebrated ten years of the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign’s work diligently defending Venezuela’s sovereignty and independence, to support the right of the Venezuelan people to determine their own future free from external intervention. Medea Benjamin, founder of the human rights group Global Exchange & the women-led peace group CODEPINK, and journalist Seumas Milne, expressed incredulity at President Obama’s March 2015 executive order declaring Venezuela a threat to the U.S.’s national security. Indeed, the mirror opposite is true. The U.S. has supported destabilizing efforts in Venezuela for nearly fifteen years.

Who is the U.S. to question Venezuela’s human rights record?, asked Benjamin and the Argentinean ambassador to the UK, Alicia Castro. The U.S., a country which promoted UN sanctions in Iraq which led to the deaths of half a million children, a country which later occupied Iraq – illegally and hungry for oil – which separately led to the deaths of an additional one million Iraqis.

The proponents of neo-liberal ideology, from the Telegraph to the Cato Institute, have been insistent on labeling Venezuela’s economy a “basket case” in recent months. No doubt, there are problems in Venezuela; U.S. imposed sanctions, reductions in oil prices, and a belligerent anti-democratic opposition have imposed social and economic strife. Yet, the Venezuelan government remains committed to reducing poverty, initiating further social housing developments, and hastening access to medical services, all while promoting human-centered regional integration and international solidarity, avoiding the stupidity of economic austerity and cuts to social spending.

Venezuela fiercely fought against the expansion of NAFTA type free-trade agreements in the region. Instead, promoting visions of regional integration based on solidarity, where doctors and teachers are provided in exchange for oil, and where Latin American countries seek to support themselves and each other in the quest for a good life for the peoples of their countries. This principle has been extended to countries in need, including Ebola hit regions, Haiti, and Palestine.

Full article: https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/solidarity-for-venezuela-and-struggles-at-home/

Greece Over the Brink

By Paul Krugman
Source: The New York Times
July 1, 2015

It has been obvious for some time that the creation of the euro was a terrible mistake. Europe never had the preconditions for a successful single currency — above all, the kind of fiscal and banking union that, for example, ensures that when a housing bubble in Florida bursts, Washington automatically protects seniors against any threat to their medical care or their bank deposits

But the situation in Greece has now reached what looks like a point of no return. Banks are temporarily closed and the government has imposed capital controls — limits on the movement of funds out of the country. It seems highly likely that the government will soon have to start paying pensions and wages in scrip, in effect creating a parallel currency. And next week the country will hold a referendum on whether to accept the demands of the “troika” — the institutions representing creditor interests — for yet more austerity.

Greece should vote “no,” and the Greek government should be ready, if necessary, to leave the euro.

This is, and presumably was intended to be, an offer Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, can’t accept, because it would destroy his political reason for being. The purpose must therefore be to drive him from office, which will probably happen if Greek voters fear confrontation with the troika enough to vote yes next week.

But they shouldn’t, for three reasons. First, we now know that ever-harsher austerity is a dead end: after five years Greece is in worse shape than ever. Second, much and perhaps most of the feared chaos from Grexit has already happened. With banks closed and capital controls imposed, there’s not that much more damage to be done.

So it’s time to put an end to this unthinkability. Otherwise Greece will face endless austerity, and a depression with no hint of an end.

Complete article: https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/greece-over-the-brink/

Greek Referendum on IMF Ultimatum

by James Hall / June 30th, 2015

This is a test. Will the internationalist banksters force extraction of their ill-gotten interest payments to bail out their reckless derivative trades gone wrong, or will a sovereign country abandon the chains of financial elite coercion and renounce their IMF and ECB debt? Make no mistake about it, Greece has lived high on the hog for decades and has serious internal problems. There is no free ride. However, the pain from the coming default is necessary to shed the yoke of a failed European Union construct.

So when “Greece Invokes Nuclear Option: Tsipras Calls For Referendum” ordinary peoples in every sector should have a voice if the financial deal being imposed upon Greece must go forward.

Well, is this not novel? Allowing citizens to voice their agreement or disapproval has the financial establishment in a tizzy. “PM Tsipras lashes out, and Lew urges a deal” reveals that stamping out any rebellion against the banksters orbit of dominating individual countries, covering counter party losses and keeping the debit enslavement system intact.

So when the NYT reports that “Cash Withdrawals and Hoarding as Default Looms Over Greece” the hysteria hype is simply designed to scare the daylights out of world markets. Drops in equities have not induced panic at this point since only an ostrich did not see the Greek confrontation with the EU coming.

The big difference is that the IMF banksters think of themselves as the creditor of primary claims. Now that Greece is in technical default, take the next needed step and exit the EU altogether. Break the strangle hold on the continental loan shark scheme and return to a Greek Drachma free of the illicit debit contrived by financial extortion.

Complete article: http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/06/greek-referendum-on-imf-ultimatum/

Yes, there is life after, though I wish Greece would have fought harder for its war reparations. Russia has offered aid - http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2015/06/19/greek-debt-crisis/28973733/ , as well as China. Greece has been offered an invitation to join BRICS, although it hasn't asked from help yet from anyone.

Tunisia attack: Gunman 'was in Isis sleeper cell and had terror training in Libya', student says

Source: The Independent

Tuesday 30 June 2015

The gunman who massacred 38 tourists at a Tunisian hotel had been part of an Isis “sleeper” cell for several years despite not being known to authorities, it has been claimed.

Police admitted they had no idea that Seifeddine Rezgui, a 23-year-old network management student was a terrorist threat.

But a man who knew him at l’Institut Superior des Sciences Appliquees et de Technologie (Issat), in Kairouan, claimed Rezgui was part of a five-man cell and had been a jihadist for at least four years.

He added that the student trained in Libya with a terrorist group called Ansar al-Sharia, which has partly pledged allegiance to Isis and also has links to al-Qaeda, and believes Rezgui was taught to “disguise” his radicalisation.

Around 17 British and Irish victims of the attack have so far been named and the death toll for the UK could rise to 30, making it the deadliest terror attack on the country’s citizens since the 7 July bombings a decade ago.

Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/tunisia-attack-gunman-was-in-isis-sleeper-cell-and-had-terror-training-in-libya-student-says-10354930.html

Greece's euro-referendum: 100 Greeks give their view

After five years, three elections, two bailouts worth $240bn and one ever deepening crisis, Greece is heading for a crunch point on Sunday with a referendum on accepting the austerity measures proposed by its creditors. We asked Greeks for their view on the troika, the tumult - and whether they want to stay in the eurozone.


Very sad.

UN at 70: “Foxes in Charge of Global Chicken Coup”?

June 24, 2015

The United Nations Charter was signed on June 26, 1945 — 70 years ago this Friday — in San Francisco. [Note: IPA has a new online calendar — a tool for journalists and others: accuracy.org/calendar.]

The Charter states: “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state…”

JAMES PAUL, james.paul.nyc at gmail.com. Paul was executive director of Global Policy Forum, a think tank that monitors the UN. He just wrote a two-part piece “The UN Disappoints on its Seventieth Anniversary,” the first part of which will be published today by Inter Press Service. (Part 2).

He said today: “From time to time, it has seemed that the UN might have a breakout moment, that it might take the lead in a transition to what used to be called ‘global governance’ — more participatory, more just, more peaceful. But it never happened — certainly not in the ‘post Cold War’ world dominated by the United States and its Western ‘allies.’ The UN effort to control transnational corporations collapsed by the mid-1990s, initiatives to make the Security Council more responsive to international law failed, the promising global conferences came mostly to naught. Washington forced Kofi Annan to purge his senior staff and toe the line, once the Iraq War was well under way. The White House crudely forced out UN ambassadors that did not conform to its wishes. And Congress threatened to pull the plug on funding. The foxes were in charge of the global chicken coop.

Full article: http://www.accuracy.org/release/un-at-70-foxes-in-charge-of-global-chicken-coup/

Before the Dawn

by Kathy Kelly / June 29th, 2015

"I didn’t nap – I was fitful and couldn’t, my mind filled with images from a memoir, Guantanamo Diary, which I’ve been reading since arriving here. Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s story of being imprisoned in Guantanamo since 2002 rightly disturbs me. In all his years of captivity, he has never been charged with a crime. He has suffered grotesque torture, humiliation and mistreatment, and yet his memoir includes many humane, tender accounts, including remembrances of past Ramadan fasts spent with his family."

Mohamedou Slahi (Photo Credit: International Committee of the Red Cross)

"I’ve never heard Muslims complain about being hungry and thirsty as they await the fast-breaking meal. Nor have I heard people brag about contributions they’ve made to alleviate the sufferings of others, although I know Islam urges such sharing during Ramadan and aims to build empathy for those afflicted by ongoing hunger and thirst. Mohamedou relied on empathy to help him through some of his most intense anguish and fear."

I was thinking about all my innocent brothers who were and still are being rendered to strange places and countries,” he wrote, describing a rendition flight from Senegal to Mauritania, “and I felt solaced and not alone anymore. I felt the spirits of unjustly mistreated people with me. I had heard so many stories about brothers being passed back and forth like a soccer ball just because they have once been in Afghanistan, or Bosnia, or Chechnya. That’s screwed up! Thousands of miles away, I felt the warm breath of these other unjustly treated individuals comforting me.

"From 1988 to 1991, Mohamedou had studied electrical engineering in Germany. In early 1991, he spent seven weeks in Afghanistan, learning how to use mortars and light weapons, training which would allow him to join the U.S.-backed insurgency against the Soviet-backed government in Kabul. He was one of Ronald Reagan’s celebrated “freedom fighters.” In early 1992, when the communist supported Afghan government was near collapse, he again went to Afghanistan and, for three weeks, fought with insurgents to overtake the city of Gardez. Kabul fell shortly thereafter. Mohamedou soon saw that the Mujahedeen insurgents were fighting amongst themselves over power grabs. He didn’t want to be part of this fight and so he went back to Germany, then Canada and, eventually, home to Mauritania, where he was arrested and “rendered” to Jordan for questioning, at last arriving in Afghanistan’s Bagram Air Force Base on his way to Guantanamo."

Full article: http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/06/before-the-dawn/

Defense Attorneys Demand Release of Thousands of CIA Black Site Photos

Published on
Monday, June 29, 2015
byCommon Dreams

"Who knows what is still out there?" defense attorneys ask. "What else is there? That’s what is appalling."

by Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Images reportedly depict black sites in Afghanistan, Thailand, Poland, Lithuania, and Romania, as well as torture devices. (Photo: Prachatai/cc/flickr)

A recently unearthed cache of photographs of CIA black sites is threatening to further complicate the proceedings of the 9/11 military commission as attorneys for the men detained at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility are demanding the release of the documents as evidence of the U.S. torture program.

U.S. officials told the Washington Post that the roughly 14,000 photographs were discovered earlier this year by military prosecutors reviewing documents on the intelligence agency's interrogation program ahead of the Senate Intelligence Committee report.

The classified materials reportedly depict "external and internal shots of facilities where the CIA held ­al-Qaeda suspects after 9/11" —including the infamous "Salt Pit" in Afghanistan—as well as sites in Thailand, Poland, Lithuania, and Romania. While the images don't explicitly show the interrogations, there are pictures of naked detainees stripped naked for transport, as well as of torture devices, such as a waterboard and confinement boxes.

Full article: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/06/29/defense-attorneys-demand-release-thousands-cia-black-site-photos

'No to Austerity': Tens of Thousands Back Syriza at Rally in Athens

Published on
Monday, June 29, 2015
byCommon Dreams

'We believe that this ultimatum to the Greek people and democracy should be rejected,' write international academics

byDeirdre Fulton, staff writer

Protesters participate in a demonstration calling for a "No" vote in the referendum on bailout conditions set by the country's creditors, in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on June 29, 2015. (Photo: AFP)

Tens of thousands gathered in Athens on Monday night, adding their voices to the ranks of the Syriza government officials and international observers who are urging Greek citizens to act boldly and reject the terms of an aid deal offered by Greece's austerity-loving international creditors.

While numerous governments and financial institutions warned Monday that the referendum vote could determine whether or not Greece stays in the Eurozone, other critical implications loom.

A 'No' vote would be a clear rejection of austerity measures as well as other regressive and punitive policies being foisted on Greece by the so-called Troika.

On the other hand, notes Reuters, "a 'Yes' vote would pile pressure on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to resign—given his adamant resistance to opening the door to new elections and possibly a return to the negotiating table with creditors."

In fact, getting Tsipras out of the way appears to be a major goal of the European leaders and lenders, economist Joseph Stiglitz wrote on Monday:

Full article: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/06/29/no-austerity-tens-thousands-back-syriza-rally-athens


That is it exactly. We've seen it time after time after time - democratically elected leaders who are passionate about improving the lives of their people so damaged by the IMF, EU and World Bank's devastating austerity programs, are gotten rid of, one way or the other. The powers that be - the 1% of the world who run these brutal programs, cannot have a nation so indebted to them (or as in the case with Libya - not yet indebted to) by their predatory loans - breakaway nations, able to run their own economies and social programs and being successful at it. They want to own completely these indebted nations. My heart is with Greece. They need to do whatever it takes to end the brutal austerity and function free from the demands of their financial overlords as a genuine democratic nation.
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