Friday, July 22, 2016

Australia, UK, US Complicit in Indonesian Massacres, International Judges Say

By Samantha Hawley

July 21, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "ABC" -  

A non-binding international tribunal at The Hague has found Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States were complicit in facilitating the 1965 mass killings in Indonesia.

Key points:

  • 500,000 Indonesians killed in anti-communist purge at height of Cold War
  • Report found Australia continued to back army despite knowing about the killings
  • President Joko Widodo has refused to apologise for historic murders

An estimated half a million people perished in what was one of the worst massacres of the 20th Century. The killings were triggered by a failed coup that led to the deaths of six army generals, followed by the mass targeting of communists.

The International People's Tribunal at The Hague has now ruled that Indonesia committed crimes against humanity, but the finding is non-binding and carries no legal weight.

The judges found allegations of "cruel and unspeakable murders" and the "unjustifiable imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of people without trial" was well founded.

"It has also been demonstrated that sexual violence, particularly against women, was systematic and routine, especially during the period 1965 to 1967," the report said.

The judges found Indonesia responsible for the crimes and called for the current administration to apologise and to institute investigations and prosecutions of those perpetrators who are still alive.

"Furthermore, the archives should be opened and the real truth on these crimes against humanity should be established," the judges said.

The tribunal's report found Australia, the US and the UK complicit by using propaganda to manipulate international opinion in favour of the Indonesian army.

The report said Australia and the UK, " … shared the US aim of seeking to bring about the overthrow of president Sukarno."

"They continued with this policy even after it had become abundantly clear that killings were taking place on a mass and indiscriminate basis. On balance, this appears to justify the charge of complicity," the report said.

The report detailed horrifying details of rape and torture...

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has said he will not apologise for the historic atrocity, but the report argued it was his duty to do so.

Watch the documentary:

Death of a Nation: The Timor Conspiracy

READ MORE and public comments:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Nice Brings To Mind Operation Gladio
By Paul Craig Roberts

Nice Brings To Mind Operation Gladio

By Paul Craig Roberts

Western peoples whose democracies have degenerated into plutocracies are inoculated against the belief that the government would kill its own citizens. Clearly they need to learn about Operation Gladio. Is Operation Gladio still alive and well? The terror events of today are blamed on Muslims instead of on communists. Is it possible that the terror attacks in France and Belgium are Gladio operations?...  - Dr. Paul Craig Roberts 

Some extracts from his article:

“Commentators who have learned to distrust official explanations, such as Peter Koenig and Stephen Lendman have raised questions about the Nice attack…branded a terrorist one when the alleged perpetrator’s family says that he was not at all religious and had no religious motivation. We will never know. Once again the alleged perpetrator is dead and conveniently left behind his ID.

It looks like a permanent state of martial law in France will be one consequence. This shutdown of society will also dispose of the protests against capitalist puppet Hollande’s repeal of France’s labor protections. Those protesting the take-back of their hard-earned rights will be closed down under the martial law…

Questions raised by Koenig and Lendman call to mind Operation Gladio. Gladio is the codename for a secret NATO operation set up by Washington after WWII as a result of fear that the Red Army would overrun Western Europe…

Instead of a Soviet Invasion, the threat that emerged was the popularity of the Communist Party in France and especially Italy. Washington was fearful that communist parties would win enough votes to form a government and that Washington’s Western European Empire would be breached as these communist governments aligned with Moscow.

Consequently, Gladio was turned against the European communist parties. The Italian intelligence service together with the CIA began bombing public places in Italy, such as the Bologna train station in which 285 people were killed, maimed, and otherwise wounded.

Gladio operative Vincenzo Vinciguerra first revealed Gladio’s existence during his 1984 trial for the bombing of the Bologna train station in 1980… It was not until 6 years later, 1990, that the prime minister of Italy, Giulio Andreotti, officially acknowledged the existence of Gladio… There were many bombings with many civilian casualties from the 1960s through the mid-1980s. Vinciguerra said:

“You were supposed to attack civilians, women, children, innocent people outside the political arena, for one simple reason–to force the Italian public to turn to the state, turn to the regime and ask for greater security. . . . This is the political logic behind all the bombings…

In 1984 Judge Felice Casson reopened a 12 year old case of a car bomb in Peteano, Italy. The judge found that the case had been falsified and blamed on the Red Brigades, but had actually been the work of the military secret service, Servizio Informazioni Difesa (SID) in conjunction with Ordine Nuovo, a right-wing organization created or co-opted by Gladio.

The police official who falsified the investigation was sentenced to prison. Judge Casson’s investigation concluded that the Peteano bombing was part of a series of bombings carried out by Gladio including the Milano Piazza Fontane bombing, which killed 16 and injured 80, and the 1980 Bologna railway station bombing, which killed 85 and injured 200…”

Read more, including public comments:

- - -

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy under U.S. President Reagan, and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. He is a prolific critic of U.S. government foreign policies, writing with the insights of a former "insider".

Saturday, May 28, 2016

John Pilger: 

From Vietnam to Hiroshima:
America’s Blood-Soaked Footprints

May 23, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |

On May 22, President Obama will have arrived in Vietnam, and on May 26 or 27, he’ll visit Hiroshima, Japan. But he’s not going to apologize for the towering crimes the U.S. committed in both places. Instead, he’s touring Asia to firm up U.S. alliances with Vietnam, Japan, and other countries in the region in order to contend with the U.S.’s rival, China, and maintain U.S. imperialism’s dominance of the Asia-Pacific region.
While Obama is covering up U.S. crimes, in this issue we’re highlighting two of America’s most towering crimes: the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the My Lai massacre, part of a war of massacres in Vietnam. And we’ll pay tribute to one American soldier who courageously repudiated the Vietnam War, Green Beret Master Sergeant Donald W. Duncan, and the role played by Bob Avakian in bringing Duncan’s story to light.

American Crime

American Crime is a regular feature of Each installment will focus on one of the 100 worst crimes committed by the U.S. rulers—out of countless bloody crimes they have carried out against people around the world, from the founding of the U.S. to the present day.

Case #97:

August 6, 1945—The Nuclear Incineration of Hiroshima

THE CRIME: At 8:15 am, on August 6, 1945, a blazing, million-degree fireball suddenly appeared just above the Japanese city of Hiroshima, instantly killing, burning alive, or vaporizing tens of thousands. Firestorms engulfed the city. Shockwaves and winds over 1,000 miles an hour came next, shattering bodies and buildings, hurling men, women, and children through the air. Nearly all structures were destroyed over a mile from ground zero... 
Mushroom cloud over Hiroshima
Mushroom cloud over Hiroshima.

Case #96:
Vietnam, March 16, 1968—
The My Lai Massacre

My Lai massacre
My Lai massacre. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
THE CRIME: On Saturday morning, March 16, 1968, 100 soldiers from Charlie Company, U.S. Army Americal Division, entered and took over My Lai, a small hamlet in Vietnam’s countryside. “We met no resistance and I only saw three captured weapons... It was just like any other Vietnamese village-old papa-sans, women and kids,” a soldier said... 

Remembering Donald W. Duncan:
From Gung-Ho Green Beret to Outspoken Opponent of U.S. Crimes in Vietnam

The death of Donald W. Duncan, a former Green Beret turned outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War, at 79, was noted on May 6 in a major New York Times obituary, which called him “one of the first returning veterans to portray the war as a moral quagmire” and a “fierce critic of the war” which he called barbaric and illegal. Duncan actually died in 2009, but his death only came to national attention recently...
The fact that Duncan died in obscurity is itself a condemnation of this system. Duncan should have been celebrated for his contributions. What should also be known, as a critical part of his story, is the role played by Bob Avakian (BA) in helping to make this happen.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

More than just the death of fish
Authorities collects fish samples for test in the central region. — VNA/VNS Photo Trần Tĩnh

"...What I witnessed was a wave of anger (which is understandable)... Finding the cause of the massive fish death and imposing strict punishments if violations of environmental regulations are discovered is definitely important. It must be done. But it needs to be done in a professional way, with the participation of those specialised in that field..."

More than just the death of fish

Update: April, 28/2016 - 10:42
By Thu Vân

Over the past three weeks, the incidents of massive fish die-off along Việt Nam’s central coastal provinces, and the reactions from concerned parties have been pretty upsetting to me. Of course, I have to say that what is happening to nature and its consequences for local residents whose livelihoods depend so much on the sea is a disaster. But as a reporter, I tend to first take a look at how the incident has been reported to readers.

What I witnessed was a wave of anger (which is understandable), and then, something almost like an accusation of the Taiwanese conglomerate Formosa for causing the incident, even before any official scientific proof is provided.

Local media coverage has been making guesses about the possibility of a 1.5km wastewater pipeline that runs directly from Formosa’s multibillion-dollar steel plant in Hà Tĩnh Province discharging untreated wastewater into the ocean.

Some reporters tried diving under the water to take a look at the wastewater pipeline. Others conducted tests to show people that fish died some minutes after being put into water taken from the sea near the factory.

Stories on Facebook were shared, liked and commented on with rapid speed. Everybody is talking about it, blaming Formosa for it, and asking the company to leave Viet Nam. It also seems to me that everybody has decided that Formosa is the culprit in this case.

This reminds me of my education in journalism. I remember well the words of one of my professors who said, “The true calling of the job is to simply to inform without bias or favour.” It is a constant search to arrange the varied aspects of an argument and present them, not according to your own judgment of right or wrong, but for the consideration of others.

Finding the cause of the massive fish death and imposing strict punishments if violations of environmental regulations are discovered is definitely important. It must be done. But it needs to be done in a professional way, with the participation of those specialised in that field.

In a meeting yesterday between relevant ministries and scientists, which was the first meeting about the case between central and local managing bodies and scientists, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment told the media that they had identified two possible groups of causes for the massive death of fish recently. 

The first potential cause is the impact of poisonous chemical substances discharged by humans from the mainland or in the sea. The second possible cause is an abnormal natural phenomenon combined with human impacts, resulting in a phenomenon called "water bloom" or "red tide". They also said that to date, there’s no evidence to prove that there’s a connection between Formosa and other factories and the massive fish death.

That might be a disappointment for those who have been waiting for the promised conclusion. But I agree that before we can come to a conclusion, we need to know exactly what poisonous heavy metals, if any, caused the fish to die? Where did these factors come from? Who is responsible for it? All these questions need to be answered with scientific tests and evidence, not guesses and suspicion. In the meantime, what reporters can do is report in a balanced and unbiased manner, and not act as opinion makers.

What else I see is that while the cause still remains unknown, the spreading of such suspicions has already had sad consequences. Fishermen are not going offshore to fish during this time because no one will buy their fish, and tourists have been canceling their trips to these provinces. You can all imagine how difficult it is for them now. Now what caused this, if not for the unproven guesses that the mass media has been spreading over the past weeks?

A friend of mine, a Vietnamese scientist who is living in the US, said while warnings to people are essential, only specific data can be used as evidence.

Government reaction

What upsets me more about this is the reaction from the Government. In fact, we didn’t see any reaction at all in the first two weeks after information about the massive fish death went public.

As the fish started dying, the Government had no reaction, and thus the mass media has been “guiding” public opinion. However, fish have been dying in massive numbers in many other countries since March this year. Sixty-five tonnes of fish have died in the waters of Kampong Thom, Cambodia, 40 tonnes of fish have died in a lake in Nalgonda district, India, 70 tonnes of dead fish were found in a river in Magdalena Department, Colombia, 4,000 tonnes of sardines washed up in Araucania, Chile, and the list goes on. These countries have been working to find out the cause, as well.

When the fish died, the local authorities did not act promptly enough to clean up the beaches. It was only until April 24 that the Government started to call on scientists to work on the case, and called for support for affected local residents. Too much time has been wasted.

Only until yesterday, Thừa Thiên-Huế Province became the first to announce the cause of mass fish deaths in its area - but still not the specific one. Local authorities blamed a strong toxic substance in water.

Deputy director of Thừa Thiên-Huế Province’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment , Nguyễn Hữu Quyết, said at the meeting that the water samples taken from local sea showed that the level of Ammonium and Chromium all excess legal levels. ​This is an incident that should ring alarm bells for both the Vietnamese Government and the people in other aspects.

Throughout the proceedings of this case, we realised that the Government has a rather loose management of wastewater treatment. Reports showed that while Formosa did have a wastewater treatment system, local authorities had no way of ensuring the system was working properly. All we have is a commitment to do good for the environment! As much as I protest the environmental problems that multinational companies like Formosa cause their host countries, I truly hope they have been acting according with their commitments - because if not, the consequences might be terrible and mind-blowing.

We also need to take a look at the capability of our domestic scientific institutions. Why does it take so long for results to become available? Why don’t we have an independent institution that can act promptly without waiting for permission or for proof that they have the right idea? After all, what we all need is to find the cause of the fish death so that we can figure out our next steps – not simply the wish to punish someone for our own satisfaction.

After all, if Việt Nam wants to grow green, its leaders really need to sit back and consider what Chou Chun-fan, Formosa Hà Tĩnh’s external relations manager, told the State-run VTC14 television channel: “You cannot have both. You need to choose whether to catch fish and shrimp or to build a state-of-the-art steel mill.”

After all, we shouldn’t have to wait for such a massive fish die-off to raise the problems of environmental degradation. We should have been tackling it long before. But it’s better late than never. Balancing between economic development and guarding the environment has never been easy – our leaders need to choose. They can choose to be brave enough to address an arising problem before it becomes a true crisis.

And the people also need to make a choice today. Have you been teaching your children to use reusable bags and love nature? Have you been switching off the lights as you leave a room? Have you been classifying your waste? It all starts with the small stuff. — VNS

Vietnam's environmental disaster has killed at least 100 tons of fish: official
Thanh Nien News, HANOI - Friday, May 06, 2016 16:40

Taiwanese firm still under scrutiny as Vietnam tries to solve fish kill disaster
Thanh Nien News HANOI - Wednesday, May 04, 2016 15:23…/taiwanese-firm-still-under-s…

A working team of the environment ministry inspects the wastewater treatment facility of Formosa steel company in Ha Tinh Province on April 28, 2016. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre

Sea turns red in Vietnamese province where fish died en masse
TUOI TRE NEWS, UPDATED : 05/04/2016 16:10 GMT + 7…/sea-turns-red-in-vietnamese-provinc…

The red seawater is seen at a beach in Quang Binh Province, located in north-central Vietnam, on May 4, 2016.  Tuoi Tre

Taiwanese chemical spill thought to cause mass fish die-off in Vietnam
3rd May 2016 / David Brown. The incident is shaping up as a classic conflict between industrialization and the environment, a catastrophe for tens of thousands of fishermen and their families, and a test of the management skills and political acumen of Vietnam’s new leaders.…/taiwanese-chemical-spill-thoug…/

A villager shows dead sea fish he collected on a beach in Phu Loc district, in the central province of Thua Thien Hue. Photograph: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Vietnam investigates mass fish deaths
Authorities are looking into whether pollution is to blame for a spate of mysterious mass fish deaths along the country’s central coast…/vietnam-investigates-mass-fish…

Taiwanese firm exec makes shocking remarks over Vietnam's environmental disaster
Thanh Nien News, HA TINH - Tuesday, April 26, 2016 13:13…/taiwanese-firm-exec-makes-sh…

The sewage pipe from Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Company going to the sea. Photo: Nguyen Dung/Thanh Nien

DEVELOPING: Something Is Killing Life All Over The Pacific Ocean… 
March 27, 2016
(by Michael Snyder, ACTIVIST POST) — Why is there so much death and disease among sea life living near the west coast of North America right now? Could the hundreds of tons of highly radioactive water that are being released into the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima every single day have anything to do with it?... 
…Right now, massive numbers of fish and sea creatures are dying in the Pacific Ocean. In addition, independent tests have shown that significant levels of cesium-137 are in a very high percentage of the fish that are being caught in the Pacific and sold in North America. 
Could this have anything to do with the fact that the largest nuclear disaster in the history of mankind has been constantly releasing enormous amounts of radioactive material into the Pacific Ocean for more than two years? I don’t know about you, but to me this seems to be a question that is worth asking.…/developing-something-is-kill…/