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polly7

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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

Which Side Are You On

- Dropkick Murphys:



So many great versions of this classic song!






Which Side Are You On (again!)

Thanks to this thread and the amazing video there for making me check out youtube:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/12511103495



I love this one too.

Pentagon to release almost 200 photos of tortured Afghan, Iraqi prisoners under court order

Published time: 28 Jan, 2016 12:37
Edited time: 28 Jan, 2016 13:50



The Pentagon will publish 198 photos of tortured detainees in the US prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan on Friday, a top American civil rights group has said. The release comes after a decade-long lawsuit ended in the group’s favor in March.

Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU’s Center for Democracy, announced on Wednesday that the US Department of Defense (DoD) would provide public access to previously disclosed images of prisoners being tortured in US detention centers after more than 10 years of staunch resistance to do so.


However, only 198 images out of some 2,100 pictures will be released on Friday. The major part of the evidence comprising approximately 1,900 photos will remain concealed after US Defense Secretary Ash Carter had invoked his authority under 2009 exemption provision last November.


The still-classified images consist of collection of photographs taken by the DoD in the period from September 11, 2001 to January 22, 2009 and relate to the treatment of “engaged, captured or detained individuals”, according to the court documents.


https://www.rt.com/news/330444-pentagon-torture-photos-release/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

It's about time.

How Canadian Health-Care does not suck.

https://www.cihi.ca/sites/default/files/document/nhex_trends_narrative_report_2015_en.pdf

Cheese Sandwich (4,130 posts) "Canada's Single-Payer Healthcare System Explained"



http://www.democraticunderground.com/1017301919


http://www.democraticunderground.com/10027521337



http://www.democraticunderground.com/10026727625 - "THIS is what Healthcare is all about ..."

I don't want to use NanceGreggs' tragic loss for anything detrimental, but feel her thread and what she and Jeff went through is exactly typical of all I've seen of our system, having worked in it for a long while, used it all my life and been an advocate for a huge family and friends who've gone through some very complicated and serious health issues. And again NanceGreggs, I'm very sorry for your loss.

Just a few more discussions with informative posts from a very quick search just here on DU debunking the 'horrific wait times and limited care' myths (proclaimed in the first link):

Ichingcarpenter (35,626 posts) "Canadian doctor schools U.S.Republican Senator on public health care"

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024655743

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=4658292



This video was both infuriating and interesting. Please do have a look at the 3:59 mark.

Re Premier Williams surgery in the U.S. Burr was gloating about:

17. The Peter Munk Cardiac Centre in Toronto, pioneers of the surgery he received:

PMCC FIRSTS IN CARDIOLOGY
​​For more than 75 years, we have been leading the way in innovative cardiac discoveries:


1935: First clinical use of heparin

1950: First pacemaker

1955: First successful valve transplant

1965: First coronary intensive care unit

1980: First prospective study of iliac angioplasty

1985: First mitral valve chordal replacement with expanded olytetrafluoroethylene

1986: First stentless aortic valve

1987: First aortic valve replacement using the Toronto Heart Valve

1988: First aortic valve-sparing operation

1990: First viral heart disease genetic test

1999: First sleep apnea clinical trial

2006: First discovery of the “SOS distress signal”

2009: First heart monitor recorder – CARTO 3 System

http://www.uhn.ca/PMCC

He also said he would inevitably have been seen as a queue-jumper if treated in Canada. But Dr. Jeanmart in Montreal said prompt care is available when the individual case is acute. The Peter Munk Cardiac Centre in Toronto said it has no extensive waiting list for any heart surgery at the moment.

"This is my heart, it's my health, it's my choice," Mr. Williams said. Of course it's his choice, but it reflects on the quality of medicare. The message he has sent by word and deed is that Canadian medicine is stuck in the past century.


http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/editorials/a-choice-that-belittles-canada/article4388327/

More on that surgery:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/williamss-heart-surgery-choice-was-based-on-ignorance/article1365308/

Please keep this in mind re watching Sally Pipes' testimony and who she is and what she stands for:

TrollBuster9090 (3,005 posts)
69. SALLY PIPES SHILL ALERT: (Just FYI)

Every time I see Sally Pipes spreading her anti-healthcare garbage I want to barf. But I'm not surprised the Republicans invited her. She's part of the wingnut welfare crowd.

Just FYI, there are two paid shills who Republicans usually invite to these dog and pony shows. One is Sally Pipes, who runs a paid, right-wing 'think tank' (aka Propaganda outlet) whose soul purpose is to put out propaganda trashing single payer healthcare systems with cherry picked data. No surprise she appeared here.

The other standard paid shill the Republicans usually invite is Dr. David Gratzer, who was trained as a psychiatrist in Canada, wrote a (self-published) book about how shitty the Canadian healthcare system is WHILE HE WAS STILL A MEDICAL STUDENT, and had no experience of it; and (like his commrade Charles Krauthammer) soon discovered that there was a lot more money to be made as a paid propagandists than there is as a doctor; and moved to NY to do that before ever having seen a single patient.

Gratzer is usually their token Canadian doctor that they always invite to trash the Canadian healthcare system. I don't understand why they didn't invite him! They must be slipping.

I can only conclude that Gratzer is affraid to show up at any hearing where Sanders is present, because the last time he was invited to a hearing with progressives present, Dennis Kuchinich ripped him a new asshole.

Watch this video of Kuchinich taking the little turd apart. It'll make your day. http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=4660362



http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/4/5/488434/- Sally Pipes is an unethical hack

Top Obamacare Critic's Op-Eds Drafted by PR Firm That Reps Drug, Health Care Clients - Meet the magic PR elves fueling Sally Pipes' pro


http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/sally-pipes-pacific-research-institute-keybridge-communications



eridani (48,829 posts) "Why do Canadians so strongly support their single payer system?"

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10026223948





National Health Expenditure Trends, 1975 to 2015:
https://www.cihi.ca/sites/default/files/document/nhex_trends_narrative_report_2015_en.pdf

https://secure.cihi.ca/free_products/trends_in_income_related_inequalities_in_canada_2015_en.pdf

So really ...... those who are trying so hard to make it appear what it isn't, will just have to try a bit harder - there are actually people on here who know the truth of what we get and wouldn't trade it for anything. Period.





8 facts that explain what’s wrong with American health care

Updated by Sarah Kliff on January 20, 2015, 9:58 a.m. ET

If the health-care system were to break off from the United States and become its own economy, it would be the fifth-largest in the world. "It would be bigger than the United Kingdom or France and only behind the United States, China, Japan, and Germany," says David Blumenthal, executive director of the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund.

Or here's another way to put it in its (ridiculous) perspective: The US, which has a mostly private health-care system, manages to spend more on its public health-care system than countries where the health-care system is almost entirely public. America's government spends more, as a percentage of the economy, on public health care than Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, or Australia. It spends even more than that on private health care.





3) Half of all health-care spending goes toward 5 percent of the population

Americans are not equal health-care spenders. There are a handful of patients who use lots of medical services — and tens of millions of people who barely go to the doctor at all.


http://www.vox.com/2014/9/2/6089693/health-care-facts-whats-wrong-american-insurance


Canada's health plan doesn't cover certain services. Non-cosmetic dental care is covered for children up to age 14 in some provinces. Outpatient prescription drugs are not required to be covered, but some provinces have drug cost programs that cover most drug costs for certain populations. In every province, seniors receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement have significant additional coverage; some provinces expand forms of drug coverage to all seniors, low-income families, those on social assistance, or those with certain medical conditions. Some provinces cover all drug prescriptions over a certain portion of a family's income.

Private Health Insurance

While the health care system in Canada covers basic services, including primary care physicians and hospitals, there are many services that are not covered. These include things like dental services, optometrists, and prescription medications.

Private health insurance plans are usually offered as part of employee benefit packages in many companies. Incentives usually include vision and dental care. Alternatively, Canadians can purchase insurance packages from private insurance providers.

The main reason many choose to purchase private insurance is to supplement primary health coverage. For those requiring services that may not be covered under provincial health insurance such as corrective lenses, medications, or home care, a private insurance plan offsets such medical expenses.

While private insurance can benefit those with certain needs, many Canadians choose to rely exclusively on the public health system.

http://www.canadian-healthcare.org/page4.html

We've always had private/third party insurance plans that, depending on the province and what the consumer chooses, covers what our health-plan may not (keeping in mind the above services already expanded for low-income families and individuals and children as well as seniors), including: certain out-pt. prescription drugs/medicines, semi-private or private hospital accommodation (though I've seen many/most times those without any insurance placed in semi-private or private rooms - most in my family even without insurance have always been placed in semi-private rooms, if not private - especially in the smaller hospitals), special nursing services, regular ambulance services, artificial limbs, prostheses and medical appliances, wheel chairs and other durable equipment, specified medical or paramedical services that fall outside government plans (ie., chiropractors, physiotherapists, podiatrists, osteopaths and optometrists) and vision care (eyeglasses and contact lenses). Dental services are often covered under a separate supplementary insurance plan.

And, more ..... disability insurance, critical illness plans, living benefits, long-term care insurance, additional travel insurance, etc.


Many of the above additional expenses are reimbursed or partially reimbursed through allowable personal income-tax deductions.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1251&pid=1030919

http://www.taxtips.ca/filing/medicalexpensetaxcredit.htm

It works for us, and every day each province/territory is looking for ways to improve it.




Canada Health Act:

The Canada Health Act (CHA or the Act) is Canada's federal legislation for publicly funded health care insurance.

The Act sets out the primary objective of Canadian health care policy, which is "to protect, promote and restore the physical and mental well-being of residents of Canada and to facilitate reasonable access to health services without financial or other barriers."

The CHA establishes criteria and conditions related to insured health services and extended health care services that the provinces and territories must fulfill to receive the full federal cash contribution under the Canada Health Transfer (CHT).

The aim of the CHA is to ensure that all eligible residents of Canada have reasonable access to insured health services on a prepaid basis, without direct charges at the point of service for such services.

The Canada Health Act is federal legislation that puts in place conditions by which individual provinces and territories in Canada may receive funding for health care services.

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hcs-sss/medi-assur/cha-lcs/index-eng.php

There are five main principles in the Canada Health Act:

Public Administration: All administration of provincial health insurance must be carried out by a public authority on a non-profit basis. They also must be accountable to the province or territory, and their records and accounts are subject to audits.


Comprehensiveness: All necessary health services, including hospitals, physicians and surgical dentists, must be insured.


Universality: All insured residents are entitled to the same level of health care.


Portability: A resident that moves to a different province or territory is still entitled to coverage from their home province during a minimum waiting period. This also applies to residents which leave the country.


Accessibility: All insured persons have reasonable access to health care facilities. In addition, all physicians, hospitals, etc, must be provided reasonable compensation for the services they provide.

http://www.canadian-healthcare.org/page2.html


Federal transfers are allocated to each province to manage and deliver health services.

Canada's national health insurance program, often referred to as "Medicare", is designed to ensure that all residents have reasonable access to medically necessary hospital and physician services, on a prepaid basis. Instead of having a single national plan, we have a national program that is composed of 13 interlocking provincial and territorial health insurance plans, all of which share certain common features and basic standards of coverage. Framed by the Canada Health Act, the principles governing our health care system are symbols of the underlying Canadian values of equity and solidarity.

Roles and responsibilities for Canada's health care system are shared between the federal and provincial-territorial governments. Under the Canada Health Act (CHA), our federal health insurance legislation, criteria and conditions are specified that must be satisfied by the provincial and territorial health care insurance plans in order for them to qualify for their full share of the federal cash contribution, available under the Canada Health Transfer (CHT). Provincial and territorial governments are responsible for the management, organization and delivery of health services for their residents.

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hcs-sss/medi-assur/index-eng.php



Making Medicare - The History Of Health Care In Canada 1914-2007

http://www.historymuseum.ca/cmc/exhibitions/hist/medicare/medic00e.shtml


The poor who cannot afford dental, ect. not paid for by the health care program can get help:

Here's a quick look at who is eligible for what:

http://www.fptdwg.ca/English/e-access.html

http://www.caphd.ca/programs-and-resources/government-dental-programs

http://www.health.gov.sk.ca/supplementary-health-program

.............................

In some provinces any child under 14 is eligible under the Canada Health Act for full dental coverage that is not cosmetic.


Canada spends 11.2% on health care versus 17.7% in the U.S.- with better outcomes in both infant mortality rate and life expectancy. I don't know much at all about your taxes, but I would rather pay mine knowing that most of it goes to ensuring quality health-care for all, than paying to mainly support the MIC while watching millions of people die without access to health services other than the E.R.

http://www.vox.com/2014/9/2/6089693/health-care-facts-whats-wrong-american-insurance



Btw ......... how about your wait times and quality of care, does everyone there get diagnostics and specialist appt's, treatments as promptly and with the high quality as we do? I hope so! I've never had to wait more than three days to see a doctor anywhere I've lived. Here it's usually that afternoon or the next day and if it's something serious the doctor quite often calls the specialist while I'm sitting there and books an app't., usually within days or weeks ... depending upon the illness. If I've heard something about a specialist I'd rather see ....... I'm perfectly free to ask for her/him.

I have never had to pay one single penny out of pocket nor has anyone else unless they've wanted a private room (which very few people I know even care about - the rooms in our smaller hospitals are all private anyway). We keep our gas and hotel receipts for driving, parking and staying in the city to claim back at income tax time. I've worked in health-care in different positions much of my life and been an advocate for members of a huge family and group of friends for many more, and have never seen otherwise, except for cataract surgery and hip replacements for older family members --- those did have wait times.

What about elective and non-emergent issues - is everyone there assured of the same high-quality treatment and care even if they have to wait for it? I hope so!



Absolutely, our system is far from perfect ....... but we are always working on ways to improve it. Committees made up of physicians, nurses, First Nations representatives, social service representatives, etc, - province by province and territory. It is an ongoing process and always will be.


Final comment from the first video: "Those in the United States who are concerned about health-care spending and what it means to the economy might respect that course of action. But instead, we attack. That's our problem, not theirs."

I'll just keep reposting this whenever you trot out yet another of your hit-threads.

How the West Creates Terrorism

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/01/22/how-the-west-creates-terrorism/

Read this and then talk to me about Human Rights.

Faking History

JANUARY 26, 2016

by LUCIANA BOHNE

Singing “The Internationale” today in Ukraine is punishable by up to ten years in prison. The Kiev Rada passed a law in December making it a crime to deny the “criminal nature” of the Soviet regime (1917-1991). From selling a Soviet-era postcard, to membership in the communist party, to singing the Soviet national anthem, the law penalizes all symbols and activities connected to the USSR.

Volodymyr Chemerys calls attention to the law’s violations of human rights in a recent article in CounterPunch:


“History is being invented in vast quantities … it’s more important to have historians, especially skeptical historians, than ever before,” said Eric Hobsbawm in 2002. Dutifully, professionally, as it happens, seventy international historians, experts on Ukraine, wrote an open letter to Petro Poroshenko urging him not to sign into law the bills proposed in April 2015. They wrote:

The potential consequences of both these laws are disturbing. Not only would it be a crime to question the legitimacy of an organization (UPA) that slaughtered tens of thousands of Poles in one of the most heinous acts of ethnic cleansing in the history of Ukraine, but also it would exempt from criticism the OUN, one of the most extreme political groups in Western Ukraine between the wars, and one which collaborated with Nazi Germany at the outset of the Soviet invasion in 1941. It also took part in anti-Jewish pogroms in Ukraine and, in the case of the Melnyk faction, remained allied with the occupation regime throughout the war. . . . Any legal or ‘administrative’ distortion of history is an assault on the most basic purpose of scholarly inquiry: pursuit of truth. Any official attack on historical memory is unjust. Difficult and contentious issues must remain matters of debate. The 1.5 million Ukrainians who died fighting the Nazis in the Red Army are entitled to respect . . .. Those who regard victory over Nazi Germany as a pivotal historical event should neither feel intimidated nor excluded from the nation.


Indeed, historical truth is more urgent than ever. Clearly, raping the past means forcing an illegitimate and unwanted future—one not in the interest of the majority of people.

The new century promises bleak, as Hobsbawm noted:

A tentative forecast: war in the 21st century is not likely to be as murderous as it was in the 20th. But armed violence, creating disproportionate suffering and loss, will remain omnipresent and endemic – occasionally epidemic – in a large part of the world. The prospect of a century of peace is remote. 2002 Counterpunch article


Faking history is a form of burning books. Where books are officially burned, people follow. It’s already happened— on 2 May 2014 in the Hall of Trade Unions in Odessa set on fire by Kiev-junta-related neo-Nazi thugs. Over one hundred people died, including women and children. This was real history and real terrorism happening. The media ignored it.


Full article: http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/01/26/faking-history/

Somehow, I don't believe all those dead children and the many innocent men and

women were ISIS (but I get your point. Sorry, I didn't mean to be rude).

Watch: Drone Pilot Whistleblowers Describe Devastating Impacts of Targeted Kill Program

Published on
Friday, November 20, 2015
byCommon Dreams

Democracy Now! interviews four whistleblowers risking prosecution to speak out against ongoing drone program

byNadia Prupis, staff writer

Four former drone operators who are speaking out against the U.S. military's ongoing targeted killing program—and risking federal prosecution for doing so—appeared on Democracy Now! Friday morning, alongside renowned human rights attorney Jesselyn Radack, for their first extended interview on air.

"We have seen the abuse firsthand, and we are horrified," former Air Force Staff Sgt. Brandon Bryant said at a press conference Thursday.

As Common Dreams reported earlier this week, the Air Force pilots-turned-whistleblowers issued an open letter to President Barack Obama warning that the drone program "is one of the most devastating driving forces for terrorism and destabilization around the world."

"We witnessed gross waste, mismanagement, abuses of power, and our country’s leaders lying publicly about the effectiveness of the drone program," the operators wrote in their letter. "We cannot sit silently by and witness tragedies like the attacks in Paris, knowing the devastating effects the drone program has overseas and at home."

Watch their interviews below:


http://www.democracynow.org/2015/11/20/exclusive_air_force_whistleblowers_risk_prosecution
http://www.democracynow.org/2015/11/20/numbing_horrible_former_drone_operator_brandon
http://www.democracynow.org/2015/11/20/exclusive_2_air_force_vets_speak
http://www.democracynow.org/2015/11/20/from_console_to_trigger_how_pentagon

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/11/20/watch-drone-pilot-whistleblowers-describe-devastating-impacts-targeted-kill-program


Former Drone Operators Say They Were “Horrified” By Cruelty of Assassination Program

By Murtaza Hussain
Source: The Intercept
November 21, 2015

U.S. drone operators are inflicting heavy civilian casualties and have developed an institutional culture callous to the death of children and other innocents, four former operators said at a press briefing today in New York.

The killings, part of the Obama administration’s targeted assassination program, are aiding terrorist recruitment and thus undermining the program’s goal of eliminating such fighters, the veterans added. Drone operators refer to children as “fun-size terrorists” and liken killing them to “cutting the grass before it grows too long,” said one of the operators, Michael Haas, a former senior airman in the Air Force. Haas also described widespread drug and alcohol abuse, further stating that some operators had flown missions while impaired.

In addition to Haas, the operators are former Air Force Staff Sgt. Brandon Bryant along with former senior airmen Cian Westmoreland and Stephen Lewis. The men have conducted kill missions in many of the major theaters of the post-9/11 war on terror, including Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“We have seen the abuse firsthand,” said Bryant, “and we are horrified.”


Full article: https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/former-drone-operators-say-they-were-horrified-by-cruelty-of-assassination-program/



'You Have a Choice': Veterans Call On Drone Operators to Refuse Orders

Posted 19 June 2015 10:18 GMT

Joint statement signed by 45 US military veterans urges drone operators to follow their consciences and say 'no' to surveillance and assassination missions

bySarah Lazare, staff writer

?itok=TSOUZ_5N
Drone operators at Balad Camp Anaconda, Iraq, August 2007. (Photo: Air Force/public domain)

Dozens of U.S. military veterans released an open letter this week urging drone operators to "refuse to fly missions" or support them in any way—and letting them know that if they say "no" to surveillance and assassination orders, there is a whole community rooting for them.

"At least 6,000 peoples' lives have been unjustly taken by United States drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, the Philippines, Libya and Syria," states the letter, which was organized by the education and advocacy organization KnowDrones.com.

"Those involved in United States drone operations who refuse to participate in drone missions will be acting within accordance of Principle IV of the Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and the Judgment of the Tribunal, The United Nations 1950," states the letter. "So, yes, you do have a choice—and liability under the law. Choose the moral one. Choose the legal one."


Former drone operators, including Heather Linebaugh, have testified to the horrors inflicted by the remotely operated lethal weapons. This reality is confirmed by civilians and reporters, including the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which tracks the high number of civilian drone killings in Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, and Afghanistan.


Full article: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/06/19/you-have-choice-veterans-call-drone-operators-refuse-orders




Reaper Madness: Counterproductive Drone Wars


By Doug Noble
Source: Worldbeyondwar.org
November 10, 2015

Our entire Middle East policy seems to be based on firing drones,” Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told The Intercept. “They’re enamored by the ability of special operations and the CIA to find a guy in the middle of the desert in some shitty little village and drop a bomb on his head and kill him.”

Now government documents leaked to the Intercept show conclusively that the US drone program kills thousands of innocents on bad intelligence and careless targeting while being falsely portrayed as a program of impeccable planning and precision execution. The recently leaked “Drone Papers” reveal the extent of willful ineptitude in US drone operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, which rely on systematically faulty intelligence and astonishing inaccuracies in identifying targets. These revelations only further confirm what many of us already knew about the appalling failure, relentless deception and criminal lethality of the US drone program.

But it’s even worse. Careless execution and public distortion are one thing. If the US were in fact relying on a proven military technology and strategy to defeat terrorists and “keep America safe,” despite setbacks and innocent lives lost, there are those who could justify the cost.

But what is perhaps most insidious of all is the fact that many studies long available to military planners have shown decisively that the use of weaponized drones in counterinsurgency and counterterrorism efforts is both ineffective and counterproductive. Even more, the historical record and recent research shows quite clearly that the “decapitation” strategy driving such drone use – the assassination of high value targets – has itself been both unsuccessful and counterproductive in defeating insurgent or terrorist organizations.

So the drone warriors have known all along it wouldn’t work: that killer drones and kill lists would slaughter thousands of civilians but never defeat terrorists. They’ve known this conclusively from decades of military experience and volumes of research studies. Yet they continue to do it anyway, ever more expansively, ever more mindlessly. Why? Because they can (and because they have no Plan B).


What I’ve tried to show here is something more: that these military miscreants have also known all along that their drone technology and targeting strategy are militarily bankrupt. They could not but be aware from military history and doctrine that these approaches have absolutely no possibility of defeating terrorist groups or keeping America safe. They must know that in fact the opposite is true, that their nefarious enterprise only further endangers us all. And yet they will continue ever more brazenly their Reaper madness, the scholars here all agree, until we find some way to stop them.


Full article: https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/reaper-madness-counterproductive-drone-wars/


Do drone strikes create more terrorists than they kill?

Journalist Glenn Greenwald debates Professor Christine Fair on the effectiveness of the US drone programme.

23 Oct 2015 19:51 GMT

VIDEO

Do drone strikes create more terrorists than they kill?

Journalist Glenn Greenwald debates Professor Christine Fair on the effectiveness of the US drone programme.
23 Oct 2015 19:51 GMT | United States, Afghanistan, War & Conflict, Drones

Nearly 90 percent of people killed by US drone strikes in Afghanistan during a five-month period were civilians. That is according to an investigation of leaked documents, published by The Intercept, called, The Drone Papers.

US President Barack Obama said in May 2013, "Before any strike is taken, there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured." But, the cache of secret documents suggest strikes are often carried out based on thin evidence and the majority of those killed are not the intended targets.

The government defends the programme, saying it is needed to "act against terrorists who pose a continuing and imminent threat to the American people", but some, including Robert Grenier, the former head of CIA counterterrorism center, argue the US is "creating more enemies than [it is] removing from the battlefield".

So, do drone strikes create more terrorists than they kill? In this week's Arena, Glenn Greenwald, co-founder of The Intercept, debates Georgetown University Associate Professor Christine Fair.


http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/upfront/2015/10/drone-strikes-create-terrorists-kill-151023152321140.html

Drones and “what makes us different”

by Joseph Nevins / January 25th, 2016

Seven years ago this month and three days after Barack Obama assumed the presidency on January 20, 2009, the first drone strike of his administration took place–in a small village in the region of Pakistan known as North Waziristan. It targeted the family compound of Faheem Qureshi, fracturing the young teen’s skull and destroying one of his eyes, while killing, among others, two of his uncles and a 21-year-old cousin. The White House’s intended target, it was later revealed, was not, nor had he ever been, present at the site. About ten months later, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced its decision to award Obama the annual Peace Prize “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

In his speech at the Oslo City Hall upon accepting the prize on December 10, 2009, Obama insisted that “the United States of America must remain a standard bearer in the conduct of war,” suggesting that U.S. war-waging is somehow superior, more ethical, than those of the country’s adversaries. “That is what makes us different from those whom we fight,” he proclaimed. “That is a source of our strength.”

No doubt there are many things that distinguish the United States—not least the enormity of its military budget, and its global network of military bases. But as the documentary Drone (which premiered in the United States and Canada in late November and which includes footage from Obama’s speech) makes painfully clear, it is the U.S. government’s ability to kill at a distance—with impunity and with widespread support, or at least resignation, of the citizenry—that also “makes us different.”


U.S. airstrikes carried out in northeastern Afghanistan between January 2012 and February 2013 (as part of Operation Haymaker), for example, killed more than 200 people, only 35 of whom were the intended targets. During one five-month period of the operation, according to the documents, nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets. In Yemen and Somalia, where the U.S. has far more limited intelligence capabilities to confirm the people killed are the intended targets, the equivalent ratios may well be much worse.



Clive Stafford Smith, the director of the London-based human rights organization Reprieve, offers a similar analysis while speaking to a crowd of Pakistanis during the film Drone: “Until America sees your children as they see my children, we will never get justice in the world.”


Full article: http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/01/drones-and-what-makes-us-different/

Saudi Arabia Is Killing Civilians with US Bombs

January 25, 2016

Saudi Arabia has engaged in war crimes, and the United States is aiding and abetting them by providing the Saudis with military assistance. In September 2015, Saudi aircraft killed 135 wedding celebrants in Yemen. The air strikes have killed 2,800 civilians, including 500 children. Human Rights Watch charges that these bombings “have indiscriminately killed and injured civilians.”

This conflict is part of a regional power struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are bombing Yemen in order to defeat the Houthi rebels, who have been resisting government repression for a long time. Iran has been accused of supporting the Houthis, although Iran denies this. Yemen is strategically located on a narrow waterway that links the Gulf of Aden with the Red Sea. Much of the world’s oil passes through this waterway.

A United Nations panel of experts concluded in October 2015 that the Saudi-led coalition had committed “grave violations” of civilians’ human rights. They include indiscriminate attacks; targeting markets, a camp for displaced Yemenis, and humanitarian aid warehouses; and intentionally preventing the delivery of humanitarian assistance. The panel was also concerned that the coalition considered civilian neighborhoods, including Marra and Sadah, as legitimate strike zones. The International Committee of the Red Cross documented 100 attacks on hospitals.


snip ~


In an interesting twist, the Saudis contributed $10 million to the Clinton Foundation before Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State. In 2011, the year after the State Department had documented myriad serious human rights violations by Saudi Arabia, Hillary oversaw a $29 billion sale of advanced fighter jets to the Saudis, declaring it was in our national interest. The deal was “a top priority” for Hillary, according to Andrew Shapiro, an assistant secretary of state. Two months before the deal was clinched, Boeing, manufacturer of one of the fighter jets the Saudis sought to acquire, contributed $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation.

Hillary now says the U.S should pursue “closer strategic cooperation” with Saudi Arabia.


Full article: http://marjoriecohn.com/saudi-arabia-is-killing-civilians-with-us-bombs/

Yemen is being purposefully and systematically destroyed, its people are suffering unimaginably, it's proud history deliberately obliterated ..... while the rest of the world does nothing.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1017295153

No, it wasn't a joke. But I understand why you need to make it one.

For the same reason we all needed to believe Hussein dumped babies out of incubators and Libyan Gov't troops were using Viagra as a weapon of war to rape women. It never ends .......... these western sponsored bloodbaths are all the same and have been for decades.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1016114130

German Sociologists on Crimea’s Choice

by Konstanin Kosaretsky / February 11th, 2015

The attitudes of Crimeans were studied in January 2015. This representative sample included 800 respondents living on the peninsula, from all age and social categories. The poll had an error margin of 3.5%.

In answer to the most important question: “Do you endorse Russia’s annexation of Crimea?” 82% of the respondents answered “yes, definitely,” and another 11% – “yes, for the most part.” Only 2% gave an unambiguously negative response, and another 2% offered a relatively negative assessment. Three percent did not specify their position.

We feel that this study fully validates the results of the referendum on reunification with Russia that was held on March 16, 2014. At that time 83% of Crimeans went to the polling stations and almost 97% expressed support for reunification.

Ukrainians continue to question whether this was a credible outcome, but it is now backed up by the data obtained by the Germans. The 82% of the respondents who expressed their full confidence in the results of the Russian election make up the core of the electorate who turned up at the ballot boxes on March 16, 2014.


And now the moment of truth: “What is your opinion of what is being written by the Ukrainian media about Crimea?” Who could be a more objective judge on this issue than the residents of the peninsula themselves? Who else but they – who have been fated to experience all the pros and cons of both Ukrainian and Russian citizenship – could better evaluate the accuracy of the information being published? Perhaps no one.


Full article: http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/02/german-sociologists-on-crimeas-choice/

"Who could be a more objective judge on this issue than the residents of the peninsula themselves?" Who indeed?


"Did they poll any Tartars?" - "Why yes, they did".

These figures are also relevant in terms of another important question. The former chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars, Mustafa Dzhemilev, has repeatedly stated that all Tatars on the peninsula are opposed to reunification with Russia. Dzhemilev’s statements have been widely quoted by the media, which present them as entirely authoritative and undisputed.

But let’s think about that – Crimean Tatars make up 12% of the Crimean population, yet only 4% of those polled conveyed disapproval of Crimea’s reunification with Russia. And that 4% very likely includes not only Tatars, but also Ukrainians and citizens of other ethnicities. There’s an inconsistency here. Of course, further study is needed on this issue, but the results obtained by GFK cast doubt on whether Mustafa Dzhemilev or the entire Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars is an accurate barometer of the feelings of the Crimean Tatar community.

Those few respondents who disapproved reunification were then asked “Why do you fully or mostly disapprove annexation?” Only 20% of them (i.e., less than 1% of the total sample) claimed that they preferred to live in the state of Ukraine. The most common response, offered by 55% of those who opposed reunification, was “Annexations was not fully legitimate, it should be brought into accord with the international law.” Which means that, in theory, they do not object to the idea of living in Russia, but rather question the legitimacy of the transition.




So. no, Crimea wasn't 'taken' by Russia.


The people voted, overwhelmingly to leave Ukraine. They were immediately threatened by the brutal coup-sponsored 'gov't' with the loss of their native language, what other fears do you think they might have had, a people predominantly of Russian culture suddenly confronted with that kind of hatred and threat???

The fascist right-wingers handed them to Russia on a silver platter ..... they went willingly.

There were picture after pictures of them lined up to vote, ordinary people wanting to get the hell of a place they were being treated as the enemy right from the start of the brutal coup.

?w=736&h=491&l=50&t=40
Two women hold flags reading "Crimea is with Russia" as people wait for the announcement of preliminary results of today's referendum on Lenin Square in the Crimean capital of SimferopolReuters

Crimea parliament has formally voted to declare independence from Ukraine following an overwhelming outcome from the referendum to secede from Kiev rule and join Russia, according to reports.

A formal application to join Russia was sent after 93% of Crimea residents reportedly voted in favour of the split, in a referendum that the US and the EU say violates the Ukrainian constitution and international law.


http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/ukraine-crisis-crimea-votes-join-russia-eu-us-eye-sanctions-1440572


With Crimea's electorate composed mostly of ethnic Russians, the referendum was widely expected to support a split from Ukraine. While the Kiev government called the vote illegitimate and other countries saying they won't recognize the outcome, exit polls cited by officials reported that 93% of Crimean voters supported joining the Russian Federation. That number increased to 95% once half of the ballots were counted. As voting concluded, huge crowds gathered in the Crimean capital of Simferopol to celebrate the outcome.

Evgeny Feldman, a staff photographer for the Russian publication Novaya Gazeta, spent the day in Crimea's main cities, Simferopol and Sevastopol, as the vote progressed under the watchful eyes of masked soldiers aligned with Russia.



People celebrate in Lenin Square, in the Crimean capital of Simferopol, after a reported 95% of people voted to make the peninsula a part of Russia.


The crowd celebrates, waving Russian flags, in front of a statue of Lenin in Simferopol.


Local residents, including a police officer, show identification to get their ballots from election commission members in Simferopol.


A woman votes in Simferopol: Little tension could be seen in the voting booths, where most voters appeared to choose to make Crimea a part of Russia.



A Simferopol voter lets her son cast her ballot during the first hour of voting.

http://mashable.com/2014/03/16/crimea-votes-the-day-in-pictures/




by Joshua Tartakovsky, August 16, 2014


In his essay for the New York Review of Books, titled ‘Ukraine, the Edge of Democracy’, historian Timothy Snyder praises Ukrainian democracy which of course does not include the referendum practiced by its ethnic Russian citizens. Written before the Ukrainian presidential elections, Snyder praised in his article the upcoming elections, that eventually saw the victory of oligarch Petro Poroshenko, as a marvelous display of democracy, despite Russian federalist rebels’ alleged and unproven attempt to disrupt them. Although it was clear that Poroshenko, a major oligarch, is likely to win, Snyder sees these elections as a bright new page in Ukrainian history, while not addressing the obvious question of whether the goal of the Maidan protests were to replace one corrupt politician, Viktor Yanukovych, by another. For him, these elections were an event in which "Ukrainians stand up for their rights". Equally significant is the fact that Snyder mentions nowhere in his essay the referendum that took place in Donetsk and Luhansk in East Ukraine just several days earlier, that received, according to British newspaper.

The Independent, a 90% turnout. If one is concerned with democracy, as Snyder claims to be, one would expect him to mention as well the popular referendum in which very large masses participated only a few days earlier. Snyder goes on to argue that in the presidential elections, the separatists’ "only hope to stop elections is intimidation" while not only failing to prove his accusations but also failing to mention that during the referendum in Donetsk and Luhansk, it was the National Guard of the Ukrainian Government that killed at least one civilian, in a crude attempt intimidate residents from voting. A video of the event makes leaves little room for doubt that random citizens were selected and fired at by Ukrainian forces in order to prevent the referendum from taking place.


One should expect at least a mention of these facts, especially when the article is concerned with democracy and the dangers of intimidation yet Snyder apparently deemed these events irrelevant. Snyder wrote that Ukrainian citizens must have elections that are not "imposed by violence" but apparently this does not apply to residents of East Ukraine.

With this in mind, it is not surprising that Snyder said that President Yanukovych "presided over the murder of protesters" while he also disingeniously referred to the Maidan coup as "weeks of peaceful protests". The Telegraph points to growing evidence that hired snipers fired on the protesters, and the violence undertaken by Right Sector at Maidan was raised by congressman Dana Rohrabacher in his questioning] of Victoria Nuland at the US Congress.


While Snyder claims that "Russian propaganda quite effectively shrouds the real issues by shunning political discussion in favor of fantastic stories about a fascist takeover in Kiev", the fact that extremist elements now form part of the Ukrainian Government, has been confirmed by respected voices such as Anatol Lieven.


http://original.antiwar.com/joshua_tartakovsky/2014/08/15/mass-killing-in-east-ukraine-and-the-failure-of-liberal-intellectuals/


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