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Archive for October, 2008

Georgia targeted civilians

Posted by feww on October 29, 2008

Georgia committed war crimes in its attack on South Ossetia in August 2008

There are no ifs, no buts, no maybes. Georgia attacked South Ossetia in a war of aggression and committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Overwhelmed by besieged by incontrovertible evidence, the BBC has finally admitted that “Georgia may have committed war crimes in its attack on its breakaway region of South Ossetia in August [2008]”

Eyewitnesses told BBC that “tanks fired directly into an apartment block, and how civilians were shot at as they tried to escape the fighting.”

Human Rights Watch also told BBC that Georgian military used indiscriminate force, and possibly targeted civilians deliberately.

Alan Tskhurbayev, Institute of War and Peace Reporting)
Dr Marina Kochieva says her car was targeted by a Georgian tank. Source: BBC. Image may be subject to copyright.

“Indiscriminate use of force is a violation of the Geneva Conventions,” BBC said,  “and serious violations are considered to be war crimes.” [As if that has stopped George Bush’s corporate military from committing war crimes and heinous crimes against humanity in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria …]

British Foreign Secretary David [how the heck did you get here] Miliband who called on the EU and Nato to initiate “hard-headed engagement” with Russia in response to its actions in Georgia, has now made a u-turn calling Georgia’s attack on South Ossetia as “reckless”.

David [how the heck did you get here] Miliband said “he had raised the issue of possible Georgian war crimes with the government in Tbilisi.” [BBC reported. But he didn’t state what Tbilisi rplied.]

Alan Tskhurbayev, Institute of War and Peace Reporting)
They went on firing all the next day without stopping. At some point there was a pause, and we saw Georgian soldiers going along the street in their Nato uniforms
Taya Sitnik

Source: BBC. Image may be subject to copyright.

Georgia unleashed an indiscriminate barrage of heavy artillery,  rockets and ground-to-ground missiles on the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali, on 7 August 7,  2008.  Tbilisi first said that it was responding to attacks on its own villages by South Ossetia militia, which of course was untrue. Georgia later changed its story and said the attack was provoked by an earlier Russian invasion, which of course was also a lie.

Eye-witness account (from the BBC report)

Georgy Tadtayev, a 21-year-old dental student, was one of the Ossetian civilians killed during the fighting.

His mother, Taya Sitnik, 45, a college lecturer, told the BBC he bled to death in her arms on the morning of 9 August after a fragment from a Georgian tank shell hit him in the throat as they were both sheltering from artillery fire in the basement of her block of flats.

Mrs Sitnik said she subsequently saw the tank positioned a few metres from the building, firing shells into every floor.

Extensive damage to the five-storey block appeared consistent with her version of events.

She said she and her son were watching television when the Georgian attack began.

“They started firing not from rifles, but from heavy weapons. Shells were exploding.”

“We jumped up straight away, switched off the lights and ran down to the cellar.”

“And we sat here on boxes. We thought it would end, but the firing got heavier and heavier,” she added.

We’re very concerned at the use of indiscriminate force by the Georgian military
Allison Gill
Human Rights Watch

“They went on firing all the next day without stopping. At some point there was a pause, and we saw Georgian soldiers going along the street in their Nato uniforms,” according to Mrs Sitnik.

“Then they started firing again, even more heavily. The Grad rockets were coming over all the time.”

“How can you trust those people now? What possible friendship can there be? Let them all be cursed, cursed for the deaths of our children.”

Neighbours said another resident of the block, Khazbi Gagloyev, also died of wounds received during the attacks.

‘Basements targeted’

The Russian prosecutor’s office is investigating more than 300 possible cases of civilians killed by the Georgian military.

Some of those may be Ossetian paramilitaries, but Human Rights Watch believes the figure of 300-400 civilians is a “useful starting point”.

That would represent more than 1% of the population of Tskhinvali – the equivalent of 70,000 deaths in London.

Allison Gill, director of the Moscow office of Human Rights Watch, said: We’re very concerned at the use of indiscriminate force by the Georgian military in Tskhinvali.

“Tskhinvali is a densely populated city and as such military action needs to be very careful that it doesn’t endanger civilians.”

“We know that in the early stages there were tank attacks and Grad rockets used by Georgian forces,” she added.

“Grad rockets cannot be used in densely populated areas because they cannot be precisely targeted, and as such they are inherently indiscriminate.

“Our researchers were on the ground in Tskhinvali as early as 12 August.

“And we gained evidence and witness testimony of Grad rocket attacks and tank attacks on apartment buildings, including tank attacks that shot at the basement level.

“And basements are typically areas where civilians will hide for their own protection.

“So all of this points to the misuse, the inappropriate use of force by Georgia against civilian targets,” according to Alison Gill.

Human Rights Watch will talk only of the “possible” deliberate targeting by Georgian forces of individual civilians, a still more serious charge, though some Ossetians the BBC spoke to in Tskhinvali claim to have witnessed such cases.

Alan Tskhurbayev, Institute of War and Peace Reporting)

Many Tskhinvali buildings were damaged during the attack. Source: BBC. Image may be subject to copyright.

Wreckage

Marina Kochieva, a doctor at Tskhinvali’s main hospital, says she herself was targeted by a Georgian tank as she and three relatives were trying to escape by car from the town on the night of 9 August.

She says the tank fired on her car and two other vehicles, forcing them to crash into a ditch.

The firing continued as she and her companions lay on the ground.

She showed the BBC the burnt-out wreckage of the car on the town’s ring-road, riddled with bullet holes and with a much larger hole, apparently from a tank round, in the front passenger door.

Ms Kochieva says a nurse from her hospital was killed while fleeing Tskhinvali in similar circumstances.

She says she counted 18 burnt-out cars on the ring-road on 13 August, at the end of the war, suggesting there may have been more casualties.

Asked if, at night, Georgian soldiers might not have suspected her car of carrying Ossetian fighters, Ms Kochieva said: “Fighters wouldn’t have gone away from town, they would have gone towards town. We were escaping like other refugees.

“The Georgians knew this was the ‘Road of Life’ for Ossetians. They were sitting here waiting to kill us,” she said.

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Posted in civilian targets, crimes against humanity, David Miliband, Geneva Conventions, Grad rockets | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

War starts from Europe!

Posted by terres on October 28, 2008

14-15 November 2008: European day of action against military infrastructure.

Europe is at war!

The bombs are not falling in Europe. They are falling several thousands of km away in Iraq and Afghanistan. But still war is waged from Europe. Europe serves as a launch pad for military interventions worldwide. The frameworks differ: NATO, EU, US coalition of the willing, UN. The targets also vary: Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Chad, etc. But the departure points don’t: military bases and civilian airports and harbors in Europe.

Europe hosts a large military intervention machinery.

The Iraq war made this very visible. The US and the UK waged war from their European bases. In 2003, there were 54,000 Europe-based US military personnel who were directly involved in the war against Iraq. For example, the US Army was deployed out of Germany and Italy., Bombing flights departed from UK bases and aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean. Marines were inserted into northern Iraq from Crete and Bulgaria. And this is still going on. In 2006 two-thirds of the Europe based US military were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, preparing to depart or had just returned. Since January2003, over 1 million US troops have passed through Shannon Airport in Ireland en route to Afghanistan and Iraq. Airports across Europe have been used for ‘rendition’ flights. Without Europe the Iraq war was impossible.

European countries themselves are participating in the ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. More than 25,000 European soldiers fight under NATO command in Afghanistan. EU forces are intervening in Africa. Both NATO and the EU are developing rapid intervention forces. Several European countries have military bases outside Europe to support their interventions.

We make war under the labels of ‘military humanitarian intervention’ and ‘war against terrorism’. Behind these PR labels, the military intervention machinery protect economic interests and sustain the existing global order.

War Starts from Europe. Let’s Stop War from Europe.

We call for a European day of nonviolent direct action against war on 14-15 November 2008. This day of action is not being organized by any one organization ― the idea is that anti-militarists across Europe can adapt the action day to their local context. This call originated in discussions amongst anti-militarist activists from across Europe at the ‘NATO GAME OVER’ action in March 2008.

It is important that we encourage and support each other. It can also be useful when doing media work to be able to say how widespread the day of action is across Europe. Log in to http://europeanpeaceaction.org to be inspired by others ideas and to post your planned action in advance (unless the action is a ‘surprise’). After the action day please post reports/pictures/videos.

Take action at your local military bases and installations used for military interventions! Let’s resist military globalization together!

Would your group be interested to participate in the “War starts from Europe” action day on 14-15 November 2008? This is a European day of action against military infrastructure. Aim of the action day is to make visible that Europe hosts a wide infrastructure for military interventions worldwide and that wars thousands km away are waged from Europe.

You find the call on http://europeanpeaceaction.org/european-day-action-against-military-infrastructure in several languages and pasted below.

Would your group be interested to participate? We hope to have groups all over Europe to organize an action or manifestation at their local military base or infrastructure. At this moment we are aware of actions being planned in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the UK. And probably more are still to be announced.

A lot of groups are struggling anyway against their local base. The “War starts from Europe” action day is meant to give local groups an opportunity to add their voices in one common message. By grouping a lot of local actions into one action day with a common message, you have more chance to get both the common message spread widely and the local message in the local press. It also gives the opportunity to show that a certain base is not an isolated problem but part of a military network of bases. And that the resistance is widespread all over Europe.

This day of action is also useful as preparation for the mobilization against the NATO summit in 2009.

Please react to international@bombspotting.org and announce your action (if possible) or report on http://europeanpeaceaction.org.

Greetings,

Hans Lammerant
Bombspotting – Vredesactie
www.bombspotting.org www.vredesactie.be www.mcmilitary.org

Related Issues:

Sign ANTI-WAR Petition

Click here >> Stop the War Racket; Demilitarize the World!

Posted in GENOCIDE, human rights, Shannon Airport, US troops, war racket | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

URGENT! No Execution of Troy Davis!

Posted by terres on October 24, 2008

UPDATE: The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals granted Troy Anthony Davis a temporary stay Friday afternoon, October 24, 2008

Act NOW to STOP THE EXECUTION OF TROY DAVIS!

Execution is scheduled for MON OCT 27

Troy Davis

TELL THE GEORGIA GOV., LEGISLATURE, PARDONS AND PAROLE BOARD, BUSH, OBAMA, MCCAIN, CONGRESS AND THE MEDIA:STOP THE EXECUTION OF TROY DAVIS!

Please join the online campaign to STOP THE EXECUTION! FREE TROY DAVIS NOW!
YOUR EMERGENCY ACTION IS NEEDED NOW! Click HERE to Fill in Online Form

Tell Gov. Perdue and the Georgia Pardons and Parole Board:

STOP THE EXECUTION! FREE TROY DAVIS!

On Monday, October 27, Troy Davis, an African American on death row in Georgia, is scheduled to be legally lynched by the state of Georgia. Davis was convicted in the 1989 killing of a police officer despite what Amnesty International calls “overwhelming doubts about his guilt.” No physical forensic evidence was presented at Davis’ trial, and 7 of the 9 witnesses have recanted their testimony, with at least two saying they were pressured by police to finger Davis as the killer. Yet on October 14 the Supreme Court refused to allow a new hearing in his case. TAKE ACTION NOW using the link below to let the Georgia Parole Board, Governor, Legislature, and congressional delegation as well as President Bush, Senators Obama and McCain, U.N. Secretary-General Ban, Congressional leaders and members of the media know you demand No Execution of Troy Davis!

To fill in the online form, go to:
http://www.iacenter.org/troydavis

Your messages will go to hundreds of public officials, including the Governor of Georgia, the entire Georgia legislature, each member of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, the full Georgia Congressional delegation, as well as President Bush, Senators Obama and McCain, Congressional leaders, U.N. Secretary-General Ban, and national and local media representatives.

The text of the message reads as follows (you will have the opportunity to edit it if you wish):

To: Governor Perdue, Georgia Pardons and Parole Board, Georgia Legislature, Georgia Congressional Delegation, Senators Obama and McCain, President Bush, Congressional Leaders, U.N. Secretary General Ban cc: members of the media

On Monday, October 27, Troy Davis, an innocent man, is scheduled to be executed unless you act to prevent it. He was convicted solely on witness testimony, and 7 of the 9 witnesses have since recanted, many alleging that police coerced them into making false statements.

I join with millions in the US and around the world in demanding that you Stop the execution of Troy Davis. Innocence matters to me. Justice matters to everyone.

I urge you to act now.

———–

International Action Center
c/o Solidarity Center
55 W 17th ST #5C
New York, NY 10011
www.iacenter.org
iacenter@iacenter.org
212-633-6646

Posted in African American, coaching witness, forensic evidence, lynching, no evidence | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Elementary Wedgwood, it’s the exponential growth economy!

Posted by terres on October 23, 2008

submitted by a reader

Red Alert: What went wrong in the capitalist casino

Stating the obvious, Tony Benn argues the banking disaster is the result of too much economic power being exercised by too few individuals. He prefers the socialist version of the exponential growth economy.

In his capacity as a prominnet member of the establishment [it would be too unkind and unnecessary to call him a “gatekeeper,”] he neither criticizes nor highlights root cause of the banking problems, the exponential growth economy. He never mentions the need for a ‘radical’ change to the system of political economy that is driving humanity and most other species toward oblivion.

The following excerpts are from Benn’s article Red Alert: What went wrong in the capitalist casino, which first appeared in the Tribune Magazine:

“THE great inter-war slumps were not acts of God or of blind forces. They were the sure and certain result of the concentration of too much economic power in the hands of too few men. These men had only learned how to act in the interest of their own bureaucratically-run private monopolies which may be likened to totalitarian oligarchies within our democratic state, They had and they felt no responsibility to the nation.”

These words are from the 1945 Labor manifesto Let Us Face The Future which brilliantly identified the very same crisis which is now described as a “credit crunch” as if it were a mere hiccup in an otherwise wonderful neo-liberal globalized world which could be corrected with a vast subsidy from the taxpayers to put the Wall Street casino and its partners worldwide back into profit. It reminded me of the fact that when slavery was abolished it was the slave owners, and not the slaves, who received compensation from the government of the day.  Read more …

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Posted in environment, human rights, McCain, Obama, politics | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rich get richer, violence grows more deadly in NZ and Finland

Posted by terres on October 22, 2008

submitted by a reader

Greed, Ignorance and Violence Grow Hand in Hand in Finland and New Zealand

Income inequality increased significantly in New Zealand and Finland in the last two decades, a report on inequality trends in OECD countries said.

Inequality went up in more than 75 percent of OECD countries, the report shows. The rich got richer, and the poor were Buffetted.

Most young Finnish women are generally more successful than their male counterparts [and therefore increasingly more arrogant and disdainful of them,] a fact that is deeply resented by most Finnish men.

The Finnish male resentment of their female counterparts and their urge to reassert their “natural dominance” may well lead to many more killings!


Finnish gunman Matti Juhani Saari a 22-year-old misogynist Finn shot 11 people dead, including 9 women, and burned their bodies beyond recognition using incendiary grenades at the Kauhajoki School of Hospitality. (Photo: AFP/Handout).

Meanwhile, as Finland hurried to wipe off the memory of its second school mass killing in less than a year, and New Zealand attempted new dodges to hide the number of Asians murdered in its amidst in 2008, the body of a S. Korean tourist who was beheaded with a spade was finally unearthed.

In New Zealand, as the rich get richer, the poor get much poorer. The Asians are blamed for growing poverty in New Zealand.

Asians are conveniently blamed for growing poverty in New Zealand. Many Asians have been murdered in New Zealand recently.


The body of S. Korean tourist,
Jae Hyeon Kim, who went missing in 2003 was finally unearthed last week. His murderer, New Zealander Shannon Brent Flewellen, 29, had described  to a court witness how he beheaded Mr Kim with a spade. Asians are blamed for the growing poverty. He wanted to keep New Zealand “free of Asians!” Mr Kim was the second S. Korean whose body was found in the last two months.

Related Links:

Posted in Asian murders in NZ, Hyung Jun Cho, Jae Hyeon Kim, Matti Juhani Saari, OECD | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What Presidential Debates?

Posted by terres on October 21, 2008

In the Public Interest

Debatable Debates
By Ralph Nader

The three so-called presidential debates—really parallel interviews by reporters chosen by the Obama and McCain campaigns—are over and they are remarkable for two characteristics—convergence and avoidance.

A remarkable similarity between McCain and Obama on foreign and military policy kept enlarging as Obama seemed to enter into a clinch with McCain each time McCain questioned his inexperience or softness or using military force.

If anyone can detect a difference between the two candidates regarding

  • belligerence toward Iran and Russia,
  • more U.S. soldiers into the quagmire of Afghanistan (next to Pakistan),
  • kneejerk support of the Israeli military oppression,
  • brutalization and colonization of the Palestinians and their shrinking lands,
  • keeping soldiers and bases in Iraq, despite Obama’s use of the word “withdrawal,” and
  • their desire to enlarge an already bloated, wasteful military budget which already consumes half of the federal government’s operating expenses,

please illuminate the crevices between them.

This past spring, the foreign affairs reporters, not columnists, for the New York Times and the Washington Post concluded that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are advancing foreign and military policies similar to those adopted by George W. Bush in his second term.

Where then is the “hope” and “change” from the junior Senator from Illinois?

Moreover, both Obama and McCain want

  • more nuclear power plants,
  • more coal production, and
  • more offshore oil drilling.

Our national priority should be energy efficient consumer technologies (motor vehicles, heating, air conditioning and electric systems) and renewable energy such as wind, solar and geothermal.

Both support the gigantic taxpayer funded Wall Street bailout, without expressed amendments. Both support

  • the notorious Patriot Act,
  • the revised FISA act which opened the door to spy on Americans without judicial approval, and
  • Obama agrees with McCain in vigorously opposing the impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.


Photo: Reuters. Image may be subject to copyright.

What about avoidance? Did you see them speak about a comprehensive enforcement program to prosecute corporate crooks in the midst of the greatest corporate crime wave in our history? Did you see them allude to doing anything about consumer protection (credit card gouging, price of medicines, the awful exploitation and deprivation of the people in the inner city) and the ripoffs of buyers in ever more obscure and inescapable ways?

Wasn’t it remarkable how they never mentioned the poor, and only use the middle class when they refer to “regular people?” There are one hundred million poor people and children in this nation and no one in Washington, D.C. associates Senator Obama, much less John McCain, with any worthy program to treat the abundant poverty-related injustices.

What about labor issues? Worker health and safety, pensions looted and drained, growing permanent unemployment and underemployment, and outsourcing more and more jobs to fascists and communist dictatorships are not even on the peripheries of the topics covered in the debates.

When I was asked my opinion about who won the debates, I say they were not debates. But I know what won and what lost. The winners were

  • big business,
  • bailouts for Wall Street,
  • an expansionary NATO,
  • a boondoggle missile defense program,
  • nuclear power,
  • the military-industrial complex and its insatiable thirst for trillions of taxpayer dollars, for starters.

What’s lost was

  • peace advocacy,
  • international law,
  • the Israeli-Palestinian peace movement,
  • taxpayers,
  • consumers,
  • Africa and
  • We the People.

The language of avoidance to address and challenge corporate power is spoken by both McCain and Obama, though interestingly enough, McCain occasionally uses words like “corporate greed” to describe his taking on the giant Boeing tanker contract with the Pentagon.

Funded by beer, tobacco, auto and telecommunications companies over the years, the corporation known as the Commission on Presidential Debates features only two corporate-funded candidates, excludes all others and closes off a major forum for smaller candidates, who are on a majority of the states, to reach tens of millions of voters.

In the future, this theatre of the absurd can be replaced with a grand coalition of national and local citizen groups who, starting in March, 2012 lay out many debates from Boston to San Diego, rural, suburban and urban, summon the presidential candidates to public auditoriums to react to the peoples’ agendas.

Can the Democratic and Republican nominees reject this combination of labor, neighborhood, farmer, cooperative, veteran’s, religious, student, consumer and good government with tens of millions of members? It will be interesting to see what happens if they do or if they do not. END

Related Links

Posted in George W. Bush, national priority, Patriot Act, renewable energy, spy on Americans | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Did ‘Canada’ pay …?

Posted by terres on October 20, 2008

The following excerpts are from

GrannyRantsON:
My Canada includes rights of Indigenous Peoples. Love it or leave it eh? Peace.

Did Canada pay …?

I sold my land, we signed all the papers, but the buyer never paid me! Now he’s building on my land saying he has the ‘papers’ and claiming he owns it!

Ridiculous! you say? Not in Canada! you say? Wait …

The settlement of any land claim involves establishing the validity of historical documents – proclamations, treaties, surrenders, sales, leases, etc. Sometimes, wandering around in these discussions and the fancy words in the documents, people lose sight of the big picture:

What if the documents are all in order but Canada simply did not pay the costs associated with the agreements?

Read the rest of this interesting post at: http://grannyrantson.blogspot.com/2008/09/did-canada-pay.html

Posted in GENOCIDE, human rights, politics | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Big Blockade of Britain’s nuclear bomb factory

Posted by terres on October 20, 2008

Anti-nuke news from the UK

Campaigners to disrupt illegal work on weapons of mass destruction in Big Blockade of Britain’s nuclear bomb factory

Wednesday, 1 October 2008 – For immediate release

Trident Ploughshares [1] has called a major non-violent blockade of Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Aldermaston, near Reading on Monday 27 October 2008 , from 6:30am. The event, which is supported by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) [2], Block the Builders [3] and the Aldermaston Women’s Peace Camp [4], is aimed at disrupting work on existing Trident warheads and their successors.

Hundreds of peace campaigners from around the country and beyond are expected to converge on Aldermaston in what is likely to be the biggest day of direct action against Trident nuclear weapons since the Faslane Big Blockade on 1 October 2007 . On that occasion, 171 arrests were made as campaigners celebrated the end of a year-long peaceful blockade of the naval base in Scotland , which resulted in 1150 arrests of concerned citizens from all walks of life resisting nuclear weapons. [5]

On Easter Monday 2008, an estimated 5,000 people surrounded AWE Aldermaston as CND marked the 50th anniversary of the historic first London to Aldermaston march. It was the biggest demonstration seen at the site for two decades. [6] Trident Ploughshares are keen to build on these recent successes.

In March 2007, Westminster voted in principle to retain nuclear weapons and to build new submarines from which to launch them. To date, there has been no vote in parliament on the future of warheads. However, Ministry of Defence (MoD) documents obtained by CND in July 2008 confirmed that contrary to repeated ministerial denials, the government has already made the decision to replace the warheads. [7].

The MoD has already committed billions of pounds to a massive ongoing construction and recruitment programme at AWE, where Britain ’s nuclear warheads are researched, developed and maintained [8]. AWE first outlined its expansion proposals, which it claimed would be on the scale of Heathrow Terminal 5, in its 2002 Site Development Strategy Plan [9]. Building work commenced – on the Orion laser – in 2005 and continues to this day.

A spokesperson for Trident Ploughshares says, “We are unsurprised but nevertheless disappointed at the level of dishonesty and disingenuousness of ministers. The expansion of AWE, continued deployment of Trident and plans to replace it contradict and undermine the government’s stated support for global abolition of nuclear weapons. This is hypocritical, destabilising and breaches disarmament obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which Britain signed 40 years ago. There can never be a lawful or moral use for Trident, so the whole system must be taken out of service immediately. We would rather see AWE used for warhead decommissioning as part of a global Nuclear Weapons Convention, in line with government proposals.”  ends.

Notes to Editor:

1. Trident Ploughshares is a campaign to disarm the UK Trident nuclear weapons system in a non-violent, open, peaceful and fully accountable manner.

For press enquiries, contact: aldermaston_blockade_media_team@yahoo.co.uk Mob: 07506 234 091

2. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe ’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 35,000 members in the UK . CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere. Contact Ben Soffa, CND Press Officer: 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859 http://www.cnduk.org

3. Block the Builders http://www.blockthebuilders.org.uk

4. Aldermaston Women’s Peace Camp http://www.aldermaston.net

5. Faslane 365, a year-long blockade of Faslane naval base, Scotland http://www.faslane365.org

6. CND The Bomb Stops Here event, Easter Monday 2008 http://www.cnduk.org/aldermaston

7. CND press release http://www.cnduk.org/index.php/press-releases/trident/secret-plan-to-replace-nuclear-warheads-parliament-misled.html

8. Atomic Weapons Establishment official site http://www.awe.co.uk

9. AWE site development strategy plan (2005 update) http://www.awe.co.uk/Contents/Publication/1567930Site%20Development%20Strategy%202005.pdf

10. Other relevant links:

The UK ’s secret warhead programme was reported by Ian Bruce in ‘The Herald’, 4 September, 2007

http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/news/display.var.1661681.0.0.php

However, the existence of such a programme was denied in a written answer to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Defence, Des Browne MP in response to a question by Dai Davies MP (12 September, 2007)

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2007-09-12a.155195.h

See also: ‘So, minister, are we developing new nuclear weapons or not? –

Scientists say they are designing a new warhead design, despite government denials’

by Marie Woolf , ‘The Independent’, 29 October, 2006

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article1938370.ece

Some links providing background to the ongoing developments and recruitment drive at AWE:

Posted in Bomb Stops Here, CND, Faslane naval base, nuclear weapons, UK ’s secret warhead program | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

October 24: March on Wall Street

Posted by terres on October 18, 2008

OCTOBER 24-27: BAIL OUT THE PEOPLE, NOT THE BANKERS!

Friday, October 24 – 3-6:30 pm
Federal Hall – 26 Wall Street

Nationally Coordinated, Local Mass Actions

October 24 – 27

A CALL TO ACTION

endorse volunteer/list local activity
donate to help with organizing expenses

The stock markets are crashing, the world economy is headed into a deep recession or even depression, and the U.S. government and its top bankers, along with their counterparts around the world, are giving what’s going to amount to trillions of dollars to bailout the richest 1 percent of the people WHILE DOING NOTHING TO RESCUE ORDINARY WORKING AND POOR PEOPLE!

We must stand up and say no to this injustice! NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT.

With that in mind, we are calling for Nationally Coordinated Local Days of Action on the weekend of October 24-27.

During October 24-27, organize marches and demonstrations in front of banks, especially JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citibank, or at your local Federal Reserve Bank. Organize a teach-in or a public hearing on the Wall Street crisis, etc.

IT’S TIME FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO DECLARE AN ECONOMIC STATE OF EMERGENCY AND GIVE DIRECT HELP TO THE PEOPLE–NOT THE BANKS

The following are some of the growing list of emergency measures that people across the country will be raising at protests during the Days of Action:

  • Emergency moratorium on home foreclosures and evictions
  • No budget cuts in education, healthcare and all social services
  • No layoffs, extend unemployment benefits
  • No utility shut-offs
  • Debt relief for students, poor and working people
  • Protect public and private pensions
  • Jobs at a living wage

We are asking for grassroots, community and youth organizations, trade unionists, anti-racist forces, the anti-war movement and everyone who’s just mad as hell about the “bailout” to both endorse this call, and take ownership of it. Plan actions during this period of time in your cities across the country.

Partial List of Initiators:

  • Ad-hoc National Network to Stop Foreclosures and Evictions
  • Moratorium Now Coalition To Stop Foreclosures and Evictions (Michigan)
  • Labor/Community Coalition to Stop Foreclosures and Evictions (California)
  • Service Employees International Union, Local 721
  • Latino Caucus, SEIU Local 721
  • Gloria Saucedo, Hermandad Mexicana Nacional
  • BAYAN USA
  • NYC Councilmember Charles Barron
  • The Harlem Tenants Council
  • NY May 1 Coalition For Immigrant and Workers Rights
  • Chris Silvera, Secretary Treasurer, Teamster Local 808
  • Brenda Stokely, New York Solidarity Coalition with Katrina/Rita Survivors
  • La Peña Del Bronz
  • Trabahadores Por La Paz
  • Rebel Diaz
  • Queers for Peace and Justice
  • Women’s Fight back Network (Massachusetts)
  • Frantz Mendes, President, USW local 8751 (Boston School Bus Union)
  • Action Center for Justice (North Carolina)
  • FIST (Fight Imperialism, Stand Together)
  • Troops Out Now Coalition

…and hundreds more

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Closing the Courthouse Door

Posted by terres on October 18, 2008

In the Public Interest

Closing the Courthouse Door
By Ralph Nader

“Real change comes from the bottom up, not the top down. The genius of the American system has been to let that change flow upward, from neighborhoods to cities to states and then to the federal government.” George W. Bush February 26, 2001.

Unfortunately, the difference between words and deeds in Washington is often shocking even to those who think they have seen it all. Alicia Mundy in the October 15, 2008 edition of the Wall Street Journal reports: “Bush administration officials, in their last weeks in office, are pushing to rewrite a wide array of federal rules with changes or additions that could block product-safety lawsuits by consumers and states.”

What President George W. Bush should have said is that he believes in states rights when they are in the interest of Big Business and their lobbyists in Washington. Mr. Bush and his cronies would like to forget about those harmed by dangerous products or reckless conduct. Indeed, Bush & Company seem to regard the civil justice system as a nuisance that threatens to destroy our economy and way of life. In reality, America’s civil justice system plays an indispensable role in our democracy. When the rights of injured consumers are vindicated in court, our society benefits in countless ways: compensating victims and their families for shattering losses (with the cost borne by the wrongdoers rather than taxpayers); preventing future injuries by deterring dangerous products and practices and spurring safety innovation; stimulating enforceable safety standards; educating the public to risks associated with certain products and services; and providing society with its moral and ethical fiber by defining appropriate norms of conduct.

The Center for Progressive Reform has in painstaking detail chronicled the attack on the civil Justice system by the Bush Administration. In “The Truth about Torts: Using Agency Preemption to Undercut Consumer Health and Safety” legal scholars William Funk, Sidney Shapiro, David Vladeck and Karen Sokol write: “In recent years, the Bush administration has launched an unprecedented aggressive campaign to persuade the courts to preempt state tort actions…. Widespread preemption of state tort law would significantly undermine, if not eliminate, the rights of individuals to seek redress for injuries caused by irresponsible and dangerous business practices and to hold manufacturers and others accountable for such socially unreasonable conduct.” (See: http://www.progressiveregulation.org).

And, Les Weisbrod, the President of the American Association for Justice (formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America) hit the nail on the head when he said: “In effect the Bush administration made the safety of Americans secondary to corporate profits.” Mr. Weisbrod added: “Big business lobbyists have been on a crusade to destroy state consumer protection laws, and further stack the deck against American consumers.” The American Association for Justice has just published a report titled: “Get Out of Jail Free: A Historical Perspective of How the Bush Administration Helps Corporations Escape Accountability” – this report is available at: http://www.justice.org/getoutofjailfree.

Tort deform comes in many shapes and sizes – but the common theme is that tort deform severely damages Americans’ cherished constitutional right to trial by jury. It ties the hands of jurors, preventing them from doing justice as the case before them requires. Only the judges and juries see, hear, and evaluate the evidence in these cases. But it is the politicians, absent from the courtrooms, who push bills greased by campaign cash that send a perverse message to judge and jury.

Tort law has produced decades of slow but steady progress in state after state respecting the physical integrity of human beings against harm and recognition that even the weak and defenseless deserve justice. Instead of seeing this evolution as a source of national and global pride, a coalition of insurance companies, corporate defendants’ lobbies, and craven politicians, led by George W. Bush, want to destroy our civil justice system.

When Georgetown Law School Professor David Vladeck testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 12, 2007, he noted that the Bush Administration has “seized on regulatory preemption as a way to cut back dramatically on State law remedies for those injured by products and services Americans depend on every day for their health and well-being — medicines, medical devices, motor vehicles, the mattress on which we and our children sleep, and the commuter trains millions of us take to work every day.”

Let us hope that Congress and the Supreme Court stop Mr. Bush from once again trampling the Constitutional rights of citizens throughout the land and preventing victims of corporate violence from obtaining justice in a court of law.

Safety of Americans must not be secondary to corporate profits!

Posted in Big Business, George W. Bush, justice for victims, product-safety lawsuits, special interest | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Politics of ‘Grimorium Verum’

Posted by terres on October 17, 2008

Sarkozy’s Rituals Of Black Magic: “Adultery, wife-swapping, drug abuse and North African sex tourism”

Sarkozy sues top cop over tell-all diaries

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is suing a former head of police intelligence after allegations about his private life appeared in a news magazine.

Excerpts of the private notebooks of Yves Bertrand, who was head of the General Intelligence (RG) service, were published this month in Le Point in a report dubbed “a journey under the skirts of the Republic”.


New French President Nicolas Sarkozy pledged to shake up and renew France when he took office. And he started with his cabinet, which includes 11 women — three of them from minority backgrounds. They’re women, they’re from minority backgrounds and they’re feminists. Until recently, those weren’t exactly trump cards for someone striving to build a political career in France, even less so when they were trying to build that career in the conservative UMP party. Caption and Photo: Free Republic. Image may be subject to copyright.

The notebooks cover the period from 1998 to 2003 when Sarkozy was interior minister, and include allegations about the private lives of several leading politicians.


Sarkozy and the Bushes. Source: NYT. Image may be subject to copyright.

Sarkozy is linked to the wife of a member of parliament now serving as a government minister, according to Le Point.

Le Point’s report said the diaries include potentially explosive claims about adultery, wife-swapping, drug abuse and north African sex tourism allegedly indulged in by senior French political figures.


Sarkozy and Blair. Source: RFI. Image may be subject to copyright.

Sarkozy’s lawyer Thierry Herzog said the suit accuses Bertrand of malicious falsehood, forgery and invasion of privacy.

The notebooks were seized during a raid carried out as part of an inquiry into an alleged smear campaign targeting Sarkozy when interior minister. They were later leaked to Le Point.

Sarkozy abolished the RG political police this year and merged its staff and intelligence files with the former DST domestic security service to form a new FBI-style national police agency. © 2008 AFP


The above image has been removed by an unauthorized third party. Moderator

 

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Posted in black magic, carla bruni, French Politics, Le Point, Sinagogue of Satan | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

McCain: The War Criminal!

Posted by terres on October 16, 2008

Just How Sick is John McCain?

ROBERT RICHTER is an Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker and was political director for CBS News from 1965 to 1968. He says, “McCain cites his military experience as of prime importance, now is the time to focus closer attention on a facet of the Arizona Senator’s … character.”

The following is about his 23 combat missions for Operation Rolling Thunder – the Pentagon’s name for U.S. bombing of North Vietnam.

“McCain: War Hero or War Criminal?”

“I will never forget how stunned I was when Gen. Telford Taylor, a chief U.S. prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials after World War Two, told me that he strongly supported the idea of trying the U.S. pilots captured in North Vietnam as war criminals — and that he would be proud to lead in their prosecution.


Rolling Thunder: The US bombing of North Vietnam. Source: Vietnam War. Image may be subject to copyright.

“An ardent opponent of the Vietnam conflict, Taylor spoke with me in the fall of 1966 when I was looking into producing a documentary on this controversy for CBS News, where I was their National Political Editor. While he did not mention any pilot’s name, then U.S. Navy Lieut. Commander John McCain, who was captured a year later, would have been among the group Taylor wanted to prosecute. …


John McCain is pulled out of a Hanoi lake by a mix of North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and Vietnamese citizens in this October, 1967 file photo. McCain was shot down by a Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) and had broken both arms and his right knee upon ejection, losing consciousness until he hit the water. Source: Sen. McCain’s office / February 23, 2000. Image may be subject to copyright.

“Taylor’s argument was that their actions were in violation of the Geneva conventions that specifically forbid indiscriminate bombing that could cause incidental loss of civilian life or damage to civilian objects. Adding to the Geneva code, he noted, was the decision at the Nuremberg trials after World War Two: military personnel cannot defend themselves against such a charge with a claim that they were simply following orders. …

“Anti-war critics at the time claimed that despite the Pentagon’s assertion that only military targets were bombed, U.S. pilots also had bombed hospitals and other civilian targets, a charge that turned out to be correct and was confirmed by the New York Times’ chief foreign correspondent, Harrison Salisbury.

“In late 1966 Salisbury described the widespread devastation of civilian neighborhoods around Hanoi by American bombs: ‘Bomb damage … extends over an area of probably a mile or so on both sides of the highway … small villages and hamlets along the route [were] almost obliterated’. …

“In one of his autobiographies McCain wrote that he was going to bomb a power station in ‘a heavily populated part of Hanoi’ when he was shot down. …

“When I passed along Gen. Taylor’s comments to my network superiors the program was scrapped: too hot to handle. Instead Air War Over the North was telecast, about “precision bombing” North Vietnam military targets by U.S. pilots. A few years after that broadcast, a Pentagon public information executive gleefully told Roger Mudd in The Selling of the Pentagon that he, the Pentagon official, not only had persuaded CBS to produce Air War Over the North, he even chose those to be interviewed and coached them about what they should say. This unethical collaboration and intercession by the Pentagon in the news media is sadly all too familiar a tactic repeated in the Bush-Cheney years.” Source: IPA

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Posted in Bush-Cheney years, Hanoi Hilton, U.S. pilots, US War Crimes, war crimes | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Rolling the Dice on Derivatives

Posted by terres on October 14, 2008

Moderators hope that Mr Nader is NOT attempting to promote Mr Buffet’s type of capitalism as one preferable to ‘casino capitalism’ because the two types are one of the same. TERRES

In the Public Interest

by Ralph Nader

The derivatives markets of today have become a high stakes casino of unimaginable magnitude. Wall Street’s bets have gone bad, and now the whole financial system is in peril. In a best-case scenario, it appears, the taxpayers will be required to rescue the system from itself. This is why Warren Buffet labeled derivatives “weapons of financial mass destruction.”

Amazingly, there seems to be some lingering sense that current-day derivatives properly perform an insurance function.

Case in point: Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve Chairman. Greenspan says the world is facing “the type of wrenching financial crisis that comes along only once in a century,” but, reports the New York Times, “his faith in derivatives remains unshaken.” Greenspan believes that the problem is not with derivatives, but that the people using them got greedy, according to the Times.

This is quite a view. Is it a surprise to Alan Greenspan that the people on Wall Street — said to be ruled only by the opposing instincts of greed and fear — “got greedy?”

This might be taken as just a bizarre comment, except that, of course, Alan Greenspan had some considerable influence in driving us to the current financial meltdown through his opposition to regulation of derivatives.

A series of deregulatory moves, blessed by Alan Greenspan, helped immunize Wall Street derivatives traders from proper oversight.

In 1995, Congress enacted the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) of 1995, which imposed onerous restrictions on plaintiffs suing wrongdoers in the stock market. The law was enacted in the wake of Orange County, California’s government bankruptcy caused by abuses in derivatives trading. An amendment offered by Rep. Ed Markey would have exempted derivatives trading abuse lawsuits from the PSLRA restrictions. In defeating the amendment, then-Representative and now-SEC Chairman Chris Cox quoted Alan Greenspan, saying “it would be a grave error to demonize derivatives;” and, “It would be a serious mistake to respond to these developments [in Orange County, California] by singling out derivative instruments for special regulatory treatment.”

The New York Times reports how the Commodity Futures Trading Commission aimed for some modest regulatory authority over derivatives in the late 1990s. Strident opposition from Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Alan Greenspan spelled doom for that effort.

Senator Phil Gramm helped drive the process along with the Commodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which deregulated the derivatives market.

Defenders of deregulation argued that sophisticated players were involved in the derivatives markets, and they could handle themselves.

It’s now apparent that not only could these sophisticated players not handle themselves, but that their reckless gambling has placed the entire world’s financial system at risk.

It seems to be then a remarkably modest proposal for derivatives to be brought under regulatory control.

Warren Buffet cut to the heart of the problem in 2003: “Another problem about derivatives is that they can exacerbate trouble that a corporation has run into for completely unrelated reasons,” he wrote in his annual letter to shareholders. “This pile-on effect occurs because many derivatives contracts require that a company suffering a credit downgrade immediately supply collateral to counterparties. Imagine, then, that a company is downgraded because of general adversity and that its derivatives instantly kick in with their requirement, imposing an unexpected and enormous demand for cash collateral on the company. The need to meet this demand can then throw the company into a liquidity crisis that may, in some cases, trigger still more downgrades. It all becomes a spiral that can lead to a corporate meltdown.”

That is to say, our current problems were foreseeable, and foreseen. There is no excuse for those who suggest that present circumstances –what many are calling a once-in-a-hundred-years event — were unimaginable during earlier debates about regulation.

Some ideologues continue to defend derivatives from very strict government control. As Congress moves to adopt new financial regulations next year, hopefully the proponents of casino capitalism will be given no more credence than those insisting that the sun revolves around the earth. [End.]

It would be interesting to see Alan Greenspan nominated for the 2009 Nobel Prize for economics!

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TRS

Posted in Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Phil Gramm, PSLRA, Ralph Nader, Warren Buffet | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

And the Nobel War Prize for 2008 goes to …

Posted by terres on October 10, 2008

The dreaded Olympics comes every four years; the agony of Nobel Pe*ce Prize is annual!

Martti Ahtesaari won the prize for 2008. It really makes sense, in a perverted sort of way, when you think about it!

Martti Oiva Kalevi Ahtisaari (born on June 23, 1937) is a former President of Finland (1994–2000) and a United Nations diplomat and mediator, who thought the Iraqi invasion was a good thing!

Henry Kissinger won the prize 35 year ago today. Like Martti Ahtisaari, he, too, was a warmonger and a member of the Bilderberg group.

And his award of Nobel Peace Prize was just as controversial as Ahtisaari’s. In fact the award was so contentious two disgusted Nobel Peace Prize Selection Committee members resigned.

Wikipedia entry for Ahtisaari has a section under the the heading of ‘Criticism.’ It reads: “The Finnish intellectual and the professor of history, Juha Sihvola, who thinks current Iraq’s war was not justified, criticized Ahtisaari’s conclusions about the morality of the war saying that they were ‘astounding’.[15]

“Norwegian founder of peace studies, Johan Galtung, has criticized heavily Ahtisaari’s way to handle peace processes. Galtung claims that ‘Ahtisaari does not solve conflicts but drives through a short-term solutions that please western countries’. He further says that Ahtisaari ‘let’s EU to abuse himself’. According to Galtung Ahtisaari does not hesitate to favour solutions that bypass United Nations and international law.[16] [Emphasis added.]

“The Finnish branch of Friends of the Earth and Finnish intellectual and philosopher Thomas Wallgren have criticized Ahtisaari’s actions in Finnish companies that were chopping rain forests in Indonesia.”

Unfortunately references [13][15] and [16] point to documents that are written in Finnish.

In another section of Ahtisaari entry Wikipedia says: “Ahtisaari strongly defended the actions of United States at the crisis that preceded the current war of Iraq.[13] After the war had started, Ahtisaari issued a statement in November 2003: “Since I know that about million people have been killed by the government of Iraq, I do not need much [of] those weapons of mass destruction”.[14] (Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction were the primary reason the USA gave to justify its attack).”

But you don’t have to learn Finnish to understand what’s happening.

The Next time a Finn packs his Walther P22 and incendiary grenades in a rucksack and heads toward school … you know where the confusion came from!

Posted in bilderberg, bush, environment, human rights, Iraqi genocide | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Blame it on the Chicken!

Posted by terres on October 7, 2008

Image of the Day: Jerusalem Chicken Ala Sinful


An ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman in Jerusalem performs a ceremony with a chicken – a way of casting off one’s sins – as the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, approaches. Photo: AFP. Caption: BBC. Image may be subject to copyright.

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