Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for March 18th, 2014


As the US and the European Union impose sanctions on 21 officials from Russia and Ukraine for helping the people of Crimea to make a democratic choice to become a part of the Russian Federation, one specific question arises – where were all the sanctions when the West was carrying out genuinely illegal wars and interventions that resulted in destruction and thousands of innocent civilians being killed?

Unlike Russia, which has not fired one single shot in Crimea, nor has been seen as an invader by the people of Crimea, the West, primarily the United States and NATO countries, have caused havoc and destruction all over the world with little or no repercussions. Below are just three examples which warrant toughest sanctions to be imposed on Western powers.

The Iraq War 

The Lancet journal in 2006 published an estimate of 654,965 excess Iraqi deaths related to the war of which 601,027 were caused by violence. In terms of financial costs, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service estimates that the US will have spent almost $802bn (£512.8bn) on funding the war by the end of fiscal year 2011, with $747.6bn (£478bn) already appropriated. The dire consequences of Western invasion continued way beyond 2003. Sectarian violence in the conflict began to grow from early 2005. But the destruction of an important Shia shrine in February 2006 saw attacks between Sunni and Shia militias increase dramatically. This caused many Iraqi families to abandon their homes and move to other areas within the country or to flee abroad. The International Organization for Migration, IOM, which monitors numbers of displaced families, estimates that in the four years 2006-2010, as many as 1.6 million Iraqis were internally displaced, representing 5.5% of the population.

 Libyan Bloody intervention 

The intervention in Libya was supposed to be about saving lives and protecting civilians from the murdered Colonel Gaddafi. Instead it quickly became a catastrophe. Firstly, it is important to note that NATO acted completely outside its mandate. Secondly, just as currently in Syria, the West supported vile and blood thirsty rebels who took it upon themselves to create massacre after massacre. Amnesty International has produced compendious evidence of mass abduction and detention, beating and routine torture, killings and atrocities by the rebel militias Britain, France and the US have backed. Throughout that time African migrants and black Libyans have been subject to a relentless racist campaign of mass detention, lynchings and atrocities on the usually unfounded basis that they have been loyalist mercenaries. What is now known, is that while the death toll in Libya when NATO intervened was perhaps around 1,000-2,000 (judging by UN estimates), eight months later it became more than ten times that figure. Estimates of the numbers of dead range from 10,000 up to 50,000. The National Transitional Council puts the losses at 30,000 dead and 50,000 wounded. Currently, Libya continues to be in a state of anarchy with frequent assassinations, complete lack of security and towns controlled by aggressive militia.

 US Drone Strikes 

The impact of President Barack Obama’s drone strikes has been devastating to many communities in Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan. In Pakistan alone, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) reports that from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562-3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474-881 were civilians, including 176 children. TBIJ reports that these strikes also injured an additional 1,228-1,362 individuals. Where media accounts do report civilian casualties, rarely is any information provided about the victims or the communities they leave behind. Furthermore, current US targeted killings and drone strike practices undermine respect for the rule of law and international legal protections and may set dangerous precedents. There is clear doubt on the legality of strikes on individuals or groups not linked to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and who do not pose imminent threats to the US. The US government’s failure to ensure basic transparency and accountability in its targeted killing policies, to provide necessary details about its targeted killing program, or adequately to set out the legal factors involved in decisions to strike hinders necessary democratic debate about a key aspect of US foreign and national security policy.

Typical double standards and hypocrisy 

The above three examples clearly illustrate that the West, and especially the United States, has engaged in actions which undoubtedly warrant severe sanctions and even trials in the International Criminal Court. However those involved, such as George Bush, Tony Blair and current British Prime Minister David Cameron have been left untouched. Meanwhile these leaders have been the first to condemn and criticise the actions of Russia that cannot be compared to the atrocities committed by the West. The hypocrisy and double standards are perhaps cliché terms regularly attributed to the West, nevertheless, it is crucial to point out once again the lack of moral ground that the West can stand on when condemning Russia. Until sanctions are imposed on the Western countries that have engaged in atrocious and illegal activities over the last decade, Western powers have no right to speak out against the current crisis in Ukraine.

original link

Advertisements

Read Full Post »


The GOLDEN RULE

This article from Sott.net, by  Donald W. Miller, Jr., MD    LewRockwell.com , is the best comprehensive article on fats and related health issues I recall ever reading.

I consider it to be most impressive and well worth the reading of the whole article. All of the relevant subjects are mentioned in an easy to understand and educational way.

It is suggested that much of the current theory and practice in the cardiovascular health arena has not kept up with new findings and is, to some extent, based on imperfect research and reporting.

I would be grateful if any qualified medical professional, particularly a cardiac specialist, would comment on the credibility of the information.

This article is taken from a talk I gave at the 29th Annual Meeting of the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness in Albuquerque last week, on the controversial subject of saturated fats. Some of the slides that…

View original post 5,350 more words

Read Full Post »


Illo

Intelligence agency ASIO is using the Snowden leaks to bolster its case for laws forcing Australian telecommunications companies to store certain types of customers’ internet and telephone data for a period of what some law enforcement agencies would like to be two years.

The federal spying agency is supported by the Northern Territory Police, Victoria Police, Australian Federal Police, Australian Crime Commission and Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, who all say they are in support of a data-retention regime.

[Web history] as important to capture as telephone records.

Northern Territory Police

What type of data should be stored by internet and phone providers is another question. Although storing “content” data has been ruled out under a retention scheme, at least two agencies – the Northern Territory Police and Victoria Police – want web-browsing histories stored.

In its submission to a parliamentary inquiry into potential changes to telecommunications laws, ASIO argues that more people are encrypting their web communications after revelations made by US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden about widespread data collection programs by governments.

This has hastened the need for changes that would force providers to keep all customers’ “metadata” for a prescribed period, it says.

Metadata stored about a phone call could include the parties to the call, location, duration and time of the call, but not what was said. Metadata stored about an internet activity could include your assigned IP address and the IP addresses of web servers you visit, or uniform resource locators (URLs) you visit and the time at which they were visited, while email metadata might include addresses, times, and the subject.

Agencies accessed metadata 330,640 times during criminal and financial investigations in 2012-13. Access to such data, if it is currently stored by a provider, is able to be retrieved by many state and federal agencies, and a small number of local councils, as well as the RSPCA, Australia Post and the Tax Office, without a warrant.

Privacy advocates are wary of changes to the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act, but intelligence and law enforcement agencies say they are vital to keep the law up to date with modern technology now that so much communication is done online.

“These changes are becoming far more significant in the security environment following the leaks of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden,” ASIO states in its submission to the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.

Mr Snowden, a former contractor for the US National Security Agency, has thrown the intelligence world into turmoil in the past year by revealing sweeping data-gathering programs by the NSA.

“Since the Snowden leaks, public reporting suggests the level of encryption on the internet has increased substantially,” ASIO said.

“In direct response to these leaks, the technology industry is driving the development of new internet standards with the goal of having all web activity encrypted, which will make the challenges of traditional telecommunications interception for necessary national security purposes far more complex.”

The Northern Territory Police said in its submission it wanted telcos to store not only basic metadata but browsing histories for two years.

The policing agency went on to say that a shift away from traditional telephony services to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and others meant that data may be included in browser histories and was “as important to capture as telephone records”.

Victoria Police said it “strongly” supported the implementation of a data retention regime, and recommended among other things that URLs be stored “to the extent that they do not identify the content of a communication”.

Storing URLs is the same as storing a customer’s web-browsing history.

The Australian Crime Commission said the loss of data due to the absence of a mandatory data retention scheme has had a “detrimental impact” on its investigations, in terms of availability of data and certainty as to the period it will be retained.

The Australian Federal Police said it wanted to see a data retention regime in place “to ensure a national and systematic approach is taken to safeguarding the ongoing availability of telecommunications data for legitimate, investigative purposes”. It did, however, acknowledge that further work needed to be undertaken to examine the appropriate types of data stored and timeframes for retention.

The Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity said requiring telcos to retain data was needed to police the police.

Digital rights group Electronic Frontiers Australia lobbied against the changes, saying retention was “an ineffective method to curb terrorism”.

“The ease with which data retention regimes can be evaded is grossly disproportionate to the cost and security concerns of the data retention regime,” it said.

The Attorney-General’s Department said further exploration of options was “necessary” and that detailed consultation needed to occur with key stakeholders before providing detailed advice to government to support any decision.

George Brandis, who was shadow Attorney-General at the time, said in July, 2012, that he would “examine the issues carefully”.

Now the Coalition government’s Attorney-General, Mr Brandis said on Monday that the government was “not currently considering any proposal relating to data retention” despite the push from law enforcement agencies and the fact it hasn’t yet responded to an inquiry that examined data retention.

Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said Labor was awaiting for the Coalition’s response to the previous inquiry before it would state its position.

“There was insufficient time while Labor was in office to formulate a considered response to the matters discussed in the Committee’s report, including the merits of a data retention scheme,” Dreyfus said.

Read Full Post »


World’s most pristine waters are polluted by US Navy waste

15 Mar 2014 The American military has poured hundreds of tonnes of human sewage and waste water into a protected coral lagoon on the British-owned base of Diego Garcia over three decades in breach of environmental rules, The Independent can reveal. The Indian Ocean base on the Chagos Islands has been one of the world’s most isolated and controversial military installations since Britain forcibly removed hundreds of islanders in the early 1970s, abandoning them to destitution, to make way for US forces including nuclear submarines and bombers. It has emerged that US Navy vessels have been discharging waste water, including treated sewage, into the clear lagoon ever since a naval support station was established on Diego Garcia in the early 1980s.

Read Full Post »


Malaysian Flight 370 Hijacked by US Navy to protect ‘Suspicious Cargo’ – Russia

15 Mar 2014 A new report circulating in the Kremlin prepared by the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces (GRU) states that Aerospace Defence Forces (VKO) experts remain “puzzled” as to why the United States Navy “captured and then diverted” a Malaysia Airlines civilian aircraft from its intended flight-path to their vast and highly-secretive Indian Ocean base located on the Diego Garcia atoll… Interesting to note, this report says, was that Flight 370 was already under GRU “surveillance” after it received a “highly suspicious” cargo load that had been traced to the Indian Ocean nation Republic of Seychelles, and where it had previously been aboard the US-flagged container ship MV Maersk Alabama. What first aroused GRU suspicions regarding the MV Maersk Alabama, this report continues, was that within 24-hours of off-loading this “highly suspicious” cargo load bound for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the two highly-trained US Navy SEALS assigned to protect it, Mark Daniel Kennedy, 43, and Jeffrey Keith Reynolds, 44, were found dead under “suspicious circumstances.”

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: