Friday, July 29, 2011

The REAL reasons

Why Gaddafi Must Die!

Video


Do you believe that Gaddafi is killing his own people? Continue


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Gaddafi is Stronger Than Ever in Libya

By Richard Seymour

The fact Gaddafi has survived the rebellions and Nato bombing undermines the simplistic view of a hated tyrant clinging on. Continue


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The Anti-Empire Report
Arguing Libya

By William Blum

On July 9 I took part in a demonstration in front of the White House, the theme of which was "Stop Bombing Libya". The last time I had taken part in a protest against US bombing of a foreign country, which the White House was selling as "humanitarian intervention", as they are now, was in 1999 during the 78-day bombing of Serbia. At that time I went to a couple of such demonstrations and both times I was virtually the only American there. The rest, maybe two dozen, were almost all Serbs. "Humanitarian intervention" is a great selling device for imperialism, particularly in the American market. Americans are desperate to renew their precious faith that the United States means well, that we are still "the good guys".

This time there were about 100 taking part in the protest. I don't know if any were Libyans, but there was a new element — almost half of the protesters were black, marching with signs saying: "Stop Bombing Africa".

There was another new element — people supporting the bombing of Libya, facing us from their side of Pennsylvania Avenue about 40 feet away. They were made up largely of Libyans, probably living in the area, who had only praise and love for the United States and NATO. Their theme was that Gaddafi was so bad that they would support anything to get rid of him, even daily bombing of their homeland, which now exceeds Serbia's 78 days. I of course crossed the road and got into arguments with some of them. I kept asking: "I hate that man there [pointing to the White House] just as much as you hate Gaddafi. Do you think I should therefore support the bombing of Washington? Destroying the beautiful monuments and buildings of this city, as well as killing people?"

None of the Libyans even tried to answer my question. They only repeated their anti-Gaddafi vitriol. "You don't understand. We have to get rid of Gaddafi. He's very brutal."

(See the CNN video of the July 1 mammoth rally in Tripoli for an indication that these Libyans' views are far from universal at home.)

"But you at least get free education and medical care," I pointed out. "That's a lot more than we get here. And Libya has the highest standard of living in the entire region, at least it did before the NATO and US bombing. If Gaddafi is brutal, what do you call all the other leaders of the region, whom Washington has long supported?"

One retorted that there had been free education under the king, whom Gaddafi had overthrown. I was skeptical of this but I didn't know for sure that it was incorrect, so I replied: "So what? Gaddafi at least didn't get rid of the free education like the leaders in England did in recent years."

A police officer suddenly appeared and forced me to return to my side of the road. I'm sure if pressed for an explanation, the officer would justify this as a means of preventing violence from breaking out. But there was never any danger of that at all; another example of the American police-state mentality — order and control come before civil liberties, before anything.

Most Americans overhearing my argument with the Libyans would probably have interjected something like: "Well, no matter how much you hate the president you can still get rid of him with an election. The Libyans can't do that."

And I would have come back with: "Right. I have the freedom to replace George W. Bush with Barack H. Obama. Oh joy. As long as our elections are overwhelmingly determined by money, nothing of any significance will change."

Postscript: Amidst all the sadness and horror surrounding the massacre in Norway, we should not lose sight of the fact that "peaceful little Norway" participated in the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999; has deployed troops in Iraq; has troops in Afghanistan; and has supplied warplanes for NATO's bombing of Libya. The teenagers of those countries who lost their lives to the US/NATO killing machine wanted to live to adulthood and old age as much as the teenagers in Norway. With all the condemnation of "extremism" we now hear in Norway and around the world we must ask if this behavior of the Norwegian government, as well as that of the United States and NATO, is not "extremist".

The Berlin Wall — Another Cold War Myth

The Western media will soon be revving up their propaganda motors to solemnize the 50th anniversary of the erecting of the Berlin Wall, August 13, 1961. All the Cold War clichés about The Free World vs. Communist Tyranny will be trotted out and the simple tale of how the wall came to be will be repeated: In 1961, the East Berlin communists built a wall to keep their oppressed citizens from escaping to West Berlin and freedom. Why? Because commies don't like people to be free, to learn the "truth". What other reason could there have been?

First of all, before the wall went up thousands of East Germans had been commuting to the West for jobs each day and then returning to the East in the evening; many others went back and forth for shopping or other reasons. So they were clearly not being held in the East against their will. Why then was the wall built? There were two major reasons:

1) The West was bedeviling the East with a vigorous campaign of recruiting East German professionals and skilled workers, who had been educated at the expense of the Communist government. This eventually led to a serious labor and production crisis in the East. As one indication of this, the New York Times reported in 1963: "West Berlin suffered economically from the wall by the loss of about 60,000 skilled workmen who had commuted daily from their homes in East Berlin to their places of work in West Berlin." 1

In 1999, USA Today reported: "When the Berlin Wall crumbled [1989], East Germans imagined a life of freedom where consumer goods were abundant and hardships would fade. Ten years later, a remarkable 51% say they were happier with communism." 2 Earlier polls would likely have shown even more than 51% expressing such a sentiment, for in the ten years many of those who remembered life in East Germany with some fondness had passed away; although even 10 years later, in 2009, the Washington Post could report: "Westerners say they are fed up with the tendency of their eastern counterparts to wax nostalgic about communist times." 3

It was in the post-unification period that a new Russian and eastern Europe proverb was born: "Everything the Communists said about Communism was a lie, but everything they said about capitalism turned out to be the truth." It should also be noted that the division of Germany into two states in 1949 — setting the stage for 40 years of Cold War hostility — was an American decision, not a Soviet one. 4

2) During the 1950s, American coldwarriors in West Germany instituted a crude campaign of sabotage and subversion against East Germany designed to throw that country's economic and administrative machinery out of gear. The CIA and other US intelligence and military services recruited, equipped, trained and financed German activist groups and individuals, of West and East, to carry out actions which ran the spectrum from juvenile delinquency to terrorism; anything to make life difficult for the East German people and weaken their support of the government; anything to make the commies look bad.

It was a remarkable undertaking. The United States and its agents used explosives, arson, short circuiting, and other methods to damage power stations, shipyards, canals, docks, public buildings, gas stations, public transportation, bridges, etc; they derailed freight trains, seriously injuring workers; burned 12 cars of a freight train and destroyed air pressure hoses of others; used acids to damage vital factory machinery; put sand in the turbine of a factory, bringing it to a standstill; set fire to a tile-producing factory; promoted work slow-downs in factories; killed 7,000 cows of a co-operative dairy through poisoning; added soap to powdered milk destined for East German schools; were in possession, when arrested, of a large quantity of the poison cantharidin with which it was planned to produce poisoned cigarettes to kill leading East Germans; set off stink bombs to disrupt political meetings; attempted to disrupt the World Youth Festival in East Berlin by sending out forged invitations, false promises of free bed and board, false notices of cancellations, etc.; carried out attacks on participants with explosives, firebombs, and tire-puncturing equipment; forged and distributed large quantities of food ration cards to cause confusion, shortages and resentment; sent out forged tax notices and other government directives and documents to foster disorganization and inefficiency within industry and unions ... all this and much more. 5

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, of Washington, DC, conservative coldwarriors, in one of their Cold War International History Project Working Papers (#58, p.9) states: "The open border in Berlin exposed the GDR [East Germany] to massive espionage and subversion and, as the two documents in the appendices show, its closure gave the Communist state greater security."

Throughout the 1950s, the East Germans and the Soviet Union repeatedly lodged complaints with the Soviets' erstwhile allies in the West and with the United Nations about specific sabotage and espionage activities and called for the closure of the offices in West Germany they claimed were responsible, and for which they provided names and addresses. Their complaints fell on deaf ears. Inevitably, the East Germans began to tighten up entry into the country from the West, leading eventually to the infamous Wall. However, even after the wall was built there was regular, albeit limited, legal emigration from east to west. In 1984, for example, East Germany allowed 40,000 people to leave. In 1985, East German newspapers claimed that more than 20,000 former citizens who had settled in the West wanted to return home after becoming disillusioned with the capitalist system. The West German government said that 14,300 East Germans had gone back over the previous 10 years. 6

Let's also not forget that Eastern Europe became communist because Hitler, with the approval of the West, used it as a highway to reach the Soviet Union to wipe out Bolshevism forever, and that the Russians in World War I and II, lost about 40 million people because the West had used this highway to invade Russia. It should not be surprising that after World War II the Soviet Union was determined to close down the highway.

We came, we saw, we destroyed, we forgot

An updated summary of the charming record of US foreign policy.

Since the end of the Second World War, the United States of America has ...

  1. Attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments, most of which were democratically-elected. 7
  2. Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries. 8
  3. Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries. 9
  4. Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries. 10
  5. Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders. 11

In total: Since 1945, the United States has carried out one or more of the above actions, on one or more occasions, in the following 69 countries (more than one-third of the countries of the world):

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Australia
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia
  • Brazil
  • British Guiana (now Guyana)
  • Bulgaria
  • Cambodia
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Congo (also as Zaire)
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • East Timor
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Fiji
  • France
  • Germany (plus East Germany)
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Kuwait
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Mongolia
  • Morocco
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • North Korea
  • Pakistan
  • Palestine
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Portugal
  • Russia
  • Seychelles
  • Slovakia
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Soviet Union
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Syria
  • Thailand
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam (plus North Vietnam)
  • Yemen (plus South Yemen)
  • Yugoslavia

(See a world map of US interventions.)

The occult world of economics

When you read about economic issues in the news, like the crisis in Greece or the Wall Street/banking mortgage shambles are you sometimes left befuddled by the seeming complexity, which no one appears able to untangle or explain to your satisfaction in simple English? Well, I certainly can't explain it all myself, but I do know that the problem is not necessarily that you and I are economic illiterates. The problem is often that the "experts" discuss these issues as if we're dealing with hard and fast rules or laws, not to be violated, scientifically based, mathematically sound and rational; when, in fact, a great deal of what takes place in the real world of economics and in the arena of "expert" analysis of that world, is based significantly on partisan party politics, ideology, news headlines, speculation, manipulation, psychology (see the utter meaninglessness and absurdity of the daily rise or fall of stock prices), backroom deals of the powerful, and the excessive power given to and reliance upon thoroughly corrupt credit-rating agencies and insurers of various kinds. The agencies like Moody's and Standard and Poor's are protection rackets — pay our exorbitant fees or we give you a bad rating, which investors and governments then bow down to as if it's the result of completely objective and impressive analytical study.

Then there's the exceptions made for powerful countries to get away with things that lesser countries, like Greece, are not allowed to get away with, but all still explained in terms of the unforgiving laws of economics.

And when all other explanations fail to sound plausible, the experts fall back on "the law of supply and demand". But that law was repealed years ago; just try and explain the cost of gasoline based on it, as but one example.

So there's a lot to cover up, many reasons why the financial-world players can't be as open as they should be, as forthright as the public and investors may assume they are.

Consider the US budget deficit, about which we hear a great deal of scare talk. What we don't hear is that the most prosperous period in American history occurred in the decades following the Second World War — from 1946 to 1973. And guess what? We had a budget deficit in the large majority of those years. Clearly such a deficit was not an impediment to growth and increasing prosperity in the United States — a prosperity much more widely shared than it is now. Yet we're often fed the idea of the sanctity of a balanced budget. This and other "crises" are typically overblown for political reasons; the current "crisis" about the debt ceiling for example. Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Reagan, now an independent columnist, points out that "regardless of whether the debt ceiling is raised the US government is not going to go out of business. ... If Goldman Sachs is too big to fail, certainly, the US government is."

In economic issues that occupy the media greatly, such as the debt ceiling, one of the hidden keys to understanding what's going on is often the conservatives' perennial hunger to privatize Social Security and Medicare. If you understand that, certain things become much clearer. Naomi Klein points out that "the pseudo debate about the debt ceiling ... is naked class war, waged by the ultra rich against everyone else, and it's well past time for Americans to draw the line."

Consider, too, the relative value of international currencies. Logically, reasonably, if the British pound is exchangeable for two dollars, one should be able to purchase in Washington goods and services for two dollars which would cost one pound in London. In real life, this of course is the very infrequent exception to the rule. Instead, at places called "exchanges" in New York and Chicago and London and Zurich and Frankfurt a bunch of guys who don't do anything socially useful get together each day in a large room, and amidst lots of raised voices, busy computers, and numerous pieces of paper, they arrive at a value for the pound, as well as for a barrel of oil, for a pound of porkbellies, and for various other commodities that affect our daily lives. Why should these speculators and parasites have so much influence over the real world, the real economy, and our real lives?

As a general rule of thumb, comrades, as an all-purpose solution to our economic ills, remember this: We'll keep going around in crisis circles forever until the large financial institutions are nationalized or otherwise placed under democratic control. We hear a lot about "austerity". Well, austerity has to, finally, visit the super-rich. There are millions (sic) of millionaires and billionaires in the United States and Europe. As governments go bust, the trillions of dollars of these people must be heavily taxed or confiscated to end the unending suffering of the other 95% of humanity. My god, do I sound like a (choke, gasp) socialist?

Notes

  1. New York Times, June 27, 1963, p.12
  2. USA Today, October 11, 1999, p.1
  3. Washington Post, May 12, 2009; see a similar story November 5, 2009
  4. Carolyn Eisenberg, Drawing the Line: The American Decision to Divide Germany, 1944-1949 (1996); or see a concise review of this book by Kai Bird in The Nation, December 16, 1996
  5. See William Blum, Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, p.400, note 8, for a list of sources for the details of the sabotage and subversion.
  6. The Guardian (London), March 7, 1985
  7. http://killinghope.org/essays6/othrow.htm
  8. http://killinghope.org/bblum6/suppress.html
  9. See chapter 18 of Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower – add Palestine, 2006 to the list
  10. http://killinghope.org/superogue/bomb.htm
  11. http://killinghope.org/bblum6/assass.htm

William Blum is the author of:

  • Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2
  • Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower
  • West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir
  • Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire

Portions of the books can be read, and signed copies purchased, at www.killinghope.org



Monday, July 25, 2011

Another war crime:

NATO Bombs Libyan Water System

By Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

July 23, 2011
Libya / Brega: NATO bombed "Great Man Made River" factory, war crimes

VIDEO:
http://tinyurl.com/3d5whvk


NATO war crime: Libya water supply



A NATO terrorist attack has hit a water pipes factory in al-Brega, murdering six guards, this being the factory which makes pipes for the great man-made irrigation system across the desert which brings water to seventy per cent of Libyan homes, according to sources in Libya. The factory was hit after the water supply network was destroyed on Friday.


July 22 2011. A date for humanity to remember. NATO hit the Libyan water supply pipeline. It will take months to repair. Then on Saturday they hit the pipeline factory producing pipes to repair it.

Since when is a water pipes factory in al-Brega a legitimate target to impose a no-fly zone to protect civilians? Since when is the water supply pipeline itself a legitimate target?

NATO has committed another war crime, targeting a civilian water supply network which brings water to 70% of Libya's population, according to Pravda.Ru sources in Libya.

The general manager of the Man Made River Corporation which controls the pipeline reports it was hit in a NATO strike on Friday.

In another clear violation of the law, a consignment from Italy of 19 000 AK-47's was caught in Ajdabiyah by the Libyan authorities, according to Libyan military sources.

The international community has two choices: to turn a blind eye like cowards and allow NATO to murder Libyan children, murder Libyan civilians and support terrorists with their strikes - we have received information that white phosphorous is being used against Libyan government positions now that NATO is getting desperate - remember Napalm anyone??

The second option is for the international community to use the proper channels to bring pressure on NATO itself and on the politicians in its member states to stop this murderous atrocity, this outrage against civilization and international law, now.

You vote for this campaign? Then you are a child murderer, or sympathise with child murderers. Cameron, Obama and Sarkozy have the blood of hundreds of innocent people on their hands.

If NATO's contribution to protecting civilians is bombing their water supply then the international community will respond to this heinous war crime, whether or not the politicians do.

Will anyone please do something about this horrendous war crime? Or will we all sit back while NATO destroys water supply lines, a civilian structure? Is this protecting civilians or is this an act of revenge because NATO is losing?


Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Pravda.Ru

:: Article nr. 79861 sent on 24-jul-2011 03:01 ECT
www.uruknet.info?p=79861

:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.



Show Up Or Shut-up
Video: "Stop the Machine! Create a New World!"

Take the pledge @ www.October2011.org

Spread the word and help make history.

People's Protest: DC's Freedom Plaza on October 6th.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28675.htm




Sunday, July 24, 2011

Compensation for war victims is long overdue
By Al Burke

The Agent Orange issue is about much more than scientific evidence

An Agent Orange victim carries food for lunch at a hospice in Vietnam's central Da Nang City. The US and Vietnam launched the first concrete step toward cleaning up contamination from Agent Orange last month, in what the top US diplomat in the country said was one of the most significant developments in the history of the two nations’ bilateral relations.

The long struggle to win compensation for suspected victims of Agent Orange has, with few and recent exceptions, met with stubborn resistance from those responsible for poisoning the land and people of Vietnam.

The main excuse has been the lack of scientific clarity about the connection between Agent Orange and human health. While it is true that questions remain about the health effects of Agent Orange, it is likely that they would have been resolved by now if a long-term epidemiological study had been launched at the end of the military war in 1975.

Instead, Vietnam was subjected to the continuation of the Vietnam War by economic means, an invasion from the north, and a war in Cambodia against a homicidal regime supported by the United States and its allies (one that continued long after the grisly crimes of the Khmer Rouge were exposed).

Thus Vietnam, shattered by decades of war and further impoverished by the economic embargo, lacked the scientific and financial resources for a systematic study of Agent Orange and its effects. The moral responsibility to conduct such a study has always lain elsewhere, of course.

Consequently, no one – and least of all the United States – is entitled to complain about the lack of indisputable scientific evidence for postulated links between dioxin and various medical conditions, including birth defects.

RELATED OPINIONS

Those who committed ecocide must pay up
Act now on Agent Orange

It is against this background that the Agent Orange/dioxin issue ought properly to be understood. For a variety of reasons, it has become the only war-related issue through which the Vietnamese have channeled their bitterness and sorrow, and it has therefore acquired enormous symbolic weight. In that context, it is not primarily a question of science: It has to do with a longing for justice, and for acknowledgement of the terrible suffering to which Vietnam and its people have been subjected.

There has been some improvement in the attitude of the US government, in recent years, although that may have more to do with geopolitical than with humanitarian concerns. But the disparity between the vast consequences of the war and the “aid” (not “compensation”) is enormous – especially if one considers such factors as the heavy debt of the puppet regime in Saigon, which Vietnam was forced to assume as a condition for ending the economic embargo.

It should also be kept in mind that the legacy of Agent Orange is only one of several war-related issues, and regarding most there is little or no dispute, scientific or otherwise. According to Robert McNamara, one of the key US officials responsible for conducting the war, the number of Vietnamese who were killed was the equivalent of 25 million citizens of his country. The number of wounded was several times greater, of course; and the emotional scars were and are so many and so deep as to defy calculation.

To that can be added the destruction of forests and farmland, the millions of landmines and other unexploded ordnance left hiding in the soil, the disruption of normal family life, hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese MIAs, the effects of malnutrition, etc., etc. The list is long, and the consequences will continue to be felt long into the future.

One may well ask: What level of compensation would the United States demand for death, misery and destruction on that scale? Some indication is provided by what has transpired since the death of 3,000 office workers in New York in September of 2001 (0.0001 per cent of 25 million).

By comparison, the amount of compensation being asked for suspected victims of Agent Orange is a very small thing. Not even a hundred or a thousand times the amount requested would begin to compensate for all the terrible consequences of the Vietnam War.

Why, then, quibble over a lack of scientific certainty on the effects of Agent Orange, for which the victims of the war are surely not to blame?

The most likely answer is that it has never been about the science, but rather the avoidance of responsibility: Great powers are not in the habit of compensating their victims. Among other things, that would set a very expensive precedent and perhaps even make war too costly to contemplate.

All the more reason, then, to continue the struggle for compensation of the victims of the Vietnam War. It is the very least that can be demanded of those responsible.


By Al Burke

Al Burke grew up in the United States, but emigrated during the Vietnam War and eventually became a citizen of Sweden where he organized the Stockholm conference on the war’s long-term environmental and medical consequences.

CHECK OUT HIS EXCELLENT WEBSITE: www.nnn.se/vietnam.htm

The opinions expressed are his own.

http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20110723131807.aspx


Saturday, July 23, 2011

The mass media, by reporting lies and distorting the truth, shares the guilt of criminal US / NATO aggression against Libya.


Libya War Lies Worse Than Iraq

By Thomas C. Mountain

...Only 110 dead in Benghazi? Wait a minute, we were told thousands had died there, ten thousand even. No, only 110 lost their lives including pro-government people...

July 23, 2011 "Information Clearing House" ---

Asmara, Eritrea: The lies used to justify the NATO war against Libya have surpassed those created to justify the invasion of Iraq.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch both had honest observers on the ground for months following the rebellion in eastern Libya and both have repudiated every major charge used to justify the NATO war on Libya.

According to the Amnesty observer, who is fluent in Arabic, there is not one confirmed instance of rape by the pro-Gadaffi fighters, not even a doctor who knew of one. All the Viagra mass rape stories were fabrications.

Amnesty could not verify a single “African mercenary” fighting for Gaddafi story, and the highly charged international satellite television accounts of African mercenaries raping women that were used to panic much of the eastern Libyan population into fleeing their homes were fabrications.

There were no confirmed accounts of helicopter gun ships attacking civilians and no jet fighters bombing people which completely invalidates any justification for the No-Fly Zone inSecurity Council resolution used as an excuse for NATO to launch its attacks on Libya.

After three months on the ground in rebel controlled territory, the Amnesty investigator could only confirm 110 deaths in Benghazi which included Gadaffi supporters.

Only 110 dead in Benghazi? Wait a minute, we were told thousands had died there, ten thousand even. No, only 110 lost their lives including pro-government people.

No rapes, no African mercenaries, no helicopter gun ships or bombers, and only 110 ten deaths prior to the launch of the NATO bombing campaign, every reason was based on a lie.

Today according to the Libyan Red Crescent Society, over 1,100 civilians have been killed by NATO bombs including over 400 women and children. Over 6,000 Libyan civilians have been injured or wounded by the bombing, many very seriously.

...the reasons for the Libyan war have no merit in any form....

Libya under Col. Gadaffi hasn’t invaded their neighbors. Gadaffi never used WMD’s on anyone, let alone his own people. As for Gadaffi being brutal, in Libya’s neighbor Algeria, the Algerian military fought a counterinsurgency for a decade in the 1990’s that witnessed the deaths of some 200,000 Algerians. Now that is brutal and nothing anywhere near this has happened in Libya....

The majority of the Libyan people are rallying behind the Libyan government and “the leader”, Muammar Gadaffi
, with over one million people demonstrating in support on July 1 in Tripoli, the capital of Libya.

Thousands of Libyan youth are on the front lines fighting the rebels and despite thousands of NATO air strikes authentic journalists on the ground in western Libya report their morale remains high.

In Egypt the popular explosion that resulted in the Army seizing power from Mubarak began in the very poorest neighborhoods in Cairo and other Egyptian cities where the price of basic food items like bread, sugar and cooking oil had skyrocketed and lead to widespread hunger. In many parts of Egypt's poor neighborhoods gasoline/benzene is easier to find then clean drinking water. Medical care and education is only for those with the money to pay for it. Life for the people of Tunisia is not that much better.

In contrast, the Libyan people have the longest life expectancy in the Arab world. The Libyan people have the best, free public health system in the Arab world. The Libyan people have the best, free public education system in the Arab world. Most Libyan families own their own home and most Libyan families own their own automobile. Libya is so much better off then its neighbors every year tens of thousands of Egyptians and Tunisians migrated to Libya to earn money to feed their families, doing the dirty work the Libyan people refused to do.

When it comes to how Gadaffi oversaw a dramatic rise in the standard of living for the Libyan people despite decades of UN inSecurity Council sanctions against the Libyan economy honest observers acknowledge that Gadaffi stands head and shoulders above the kings, sheiks, emirs and various dictators who rule the rest of the Arab world.

So why did NATO launch this war against Libya?

First of all Gadaffi was on the verge of creating a new banking system in Africa that was going to put the IMF, World Bank and assorted other western banksters out of business in Africa. No more predatory western loans used to cripple African economies, instead a $42 billion dollar African Investment Bank would be supplying major loans at little or even zero interest rates.

LIbya has funded major infrastructure projects across Africa that have begun to link up African economies and break the perpetual dependency on the western countries for imports have been taking place. Here in Eritrea the new road connecting Eritrea and Sudan is just one small example.

What seem to have finally tipped the balance in favor of direct western military intervention was the reported demand by Gadaffi that the USA oil companies who have long been major players in the Libyan petroleum industry were going to have to compensate Libya to the tune of tens of billions of dollars for the damage done to the Libyan economy by the USA instigated “Lockerbie Bombing” sanctions imposed by the UN inSecurity Council throughout the 1990’s into early 2000’s.

This is based on the unearthing of evidence that the CIA paid millions of dollars to witnesses in the Lockerbie Bombing trial to change their stories to implicate Libya which was used as the basis for the very damaging UN sanctions against Libya.

The government of the USA lied and damaged Libya so the USA oil companies were going to have to pay up to cover the cost of their governments actions.

Not hard to see why Gadaffi had to go isn't it?

Add the fact that Gadaffi had signaled clearly that he saw both Libya’s and Africa’s future economic development linked more to China and Russia rather than the west and it was just a matter of time before the CIA’s contingency plan to overthrow the Libyan government was put on the front burner.

NATO’s war against Libya has much more in common with NATO’s Kosovo war against Serbia. But one still cannot compare Gadaffi to Saddam or even the much smaller time criminals in the Serbian leadership.

The Libyan War lies are worse than Iraq.


Thomas C. Mountain - Asmara, Eritrea - thomascmountain at yahoo dot com - Thomas C. Mountain is the only independent western journalist in the Horn of Africa, living and reporting from Eritrea since 2006. He was a member of the 1st US Peace Delegation to Libya in 1987 .

Click to read the complete article, and read / post comments


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Act now on Agent Orange
By Len Aldis

Agent Orange victims are seen at a hospice in Vietnam's central Da Nang City.

When I land at the airport in Ho Chi Minh City on July 29, I know I will be met by friends who have suffered a great wrong. They are the victims who have fought an ongoing battle against one of the world’s most egregious crimes: the dumping of 80 million litters of toxic defoliants over southern Vietnam.

I look forward to meeting them each time I visit this great country.

They are children saddled with crippling deformities and life-threatening illnesses. But they are also parents and grandparents who must provide round-the-clock care to these children. Let us not forget the brothers and sisters of the victims. They too must grow up amidst the painful struggle that this legacy has spawned.

In my 22 years of visiting this beautiful country, I have come to befriend thousands of victims. I think, particularly, of the youngsters, born years after the spraying and the war ended. In my opinion there cannot be a greater crime than to ignore such a legacy.

The evil legacy of Agent Orange has entered into the fourth generation and casualties have run into the millions.

But now, as the 50th anniversary of the dawn of the chemical campaign nears, I believe it is time to act.

On August 8, 9 and 10 stake-holders will meet in Hanoi to discuss the future of this terrible chapter in history.

Advocates, who continue to push the American chemical companies and the US government to accept responsibility for the indiscriminate production and use of Agent Orange, will be at the meeting.

So far, we have failed, and we have to admit it.

But we have a unique chance to make a statement now.

As a long-time friend to Vietnam and its victims, I can only recommend that the people of Ho Chi Minh City should petition the local authorities to close down the offices of Monsanto and Dow Chemical. I would ask that these offices remain closed until the companies compensate the victims, and their families.

During my visits to Vietnam and to it many provinces, I have met countless victims of this dastardly poison who are living in abject poverty. Many of these communities lack adequate hospitals, clinics and care centers.

Vietnam cannot solve this problem alone. It needs international support and aid to overcome this terrible legacy.

What can we, as friends of Vietnam, do outside of the country?

We can, and should demand an international embargo on all products created by the companies that manufactured Agent Orange. Monsanto and Dow Chemical reaped unimaginable profits from churning out this poison. It is time they paid that money to the victims.


By Len Aldis

Len Aldis is Secretary of the Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society. He has worked for years to spread awareness about the plight of Vietnam’s Agent Orange victims.

http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20110709133146.aspx



There is no evidence that Iran's nuclear programme is for weapons, despite the anti-Iran propaganda of the war mongers who lied us into Iraq. The real reason they have falsely labelled Iran as part of the "Axis of Evil" is somewhere else. This move by Iran against the power of the US$ is perhaps the real reason the imperialists seek regime-change in Iran - and it has nothing to do with concerns for ordinary people.

Iran Opens Oil Bourse

Harbinger of Trouble for New York and London?

By John Daly

Iran is working a program, that, if it succeeds, could help undermine the dollar’s preeminence as the world’s reserve currency more effectively than a Republican filibuster. Continue


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'West Ignoring Rebel War Crimes

Claim Civilians Fleeing To Tripoli' In Libya

By Sky News:
Video Report Continue


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Is NATO Arming the Libyan "Rebels"?

By Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

...How do the Americans feel about their President supporting terrorists who have connections to Al-Qaeda?...

July 20, 2011 "Pravda" -- -

Reports are coming in of a vessel carrying weapons, some fabricated in the United States of America, together with 500 mercenaries, sailing through the Suez Canal towards Libya. Certainly, western mercenaries have been captured. After a number of western lies have been uncovered, we see the truth coming out of Libya as we expose NATO's lies.

It is by now obvious that NATO is desperate. The more desperate its plight, the more questions are raised: How many children did they kill last night? Do the British, French and American populations sit back while their countries' armed forces bomb Libyan people daily because of oil and act in support of terrorists? How do the Americans feel about their President supporting terrorists who have connections to Al-Qaeda? Has David Cameron made yet another monumental misjudgement? Now we have reports of illegal arms being shipped through the Suez Canal. Where is the truth?...


In this column I am not going to get involved in spreading rumours I cannot back up because I have no way of confirming the information. What I can do is to continue to work diligently and with humility behind the scenes reporting the truth about Libya using my sources in the country, using the people I know personally living in Libya.

We have already established ... that Muammar al-Qathafi is not hated by his people, he is not a dictator, Libya's Jamahiriya is their form of democracy and is far more representative than western Parliaments, Colonel Gaddafy has done a tremendous amount for Africa and for his people and NATO started this episode by arming and aiding and abetting the "rebels", namely Islamist terrorists, separatists, racists and opportunists mixed with the worst form of scum from the dregs of Libyan society.

Their military leader al-Hasidi himself boasted about having links to Al-Qaeda, their civilian leader Mahmoud Jibril was the one who twice voted for the death penalty for Bulgarian nurses working in Libya, a penalty overturned by Muammar Gaddafy.

Enter NATO on the back of false flag events staged by themselves and by their pet terrorists, massacres committed in the streets and blamed on the Libyan Government Forces, which denied the accusations from the outset and which invited the international community to see the truth for itself.

Now, as I said I am not going to engage myself in peddling any old rumour I glean from the Net, but let us examine some of NATO's lies and see where the truth does not reside.

Firstly, it was the stories that the Libyan Air Force was bombing civilians. The Russian authorities claimed that their satellites disproved this as a lie. Lie number one.

When SKY News was asked by Saif al-Islam al-Qathafi to take him to areas which they said had been bombed, he proved them wrong and the answer was an embarrassed admission he was right. Lie number two.

So much for the beginning of the conflict. Then there were stories of atrocities committed by the Libyan Armed Forces, which then turned out to be the opposite - time after time, areas liberated by the Army found civilians with open arms welcoming them from the scourge which had terrorised them, raped them, torched buildings, killed people in the streets and pillaged. This scourge is what NATO calls the rebels and what everyone else calls terrorists or "rats". Lie number three.

There followed allegations of rape because condoms had been found in the mountains along with Viagra pills.... International NGOs derided this rape story also as poppycock. Lie number four.

Then there were stories that the Libyan Armed Forces attack civilians at will.

Quite the contrary, the ones massacring civilians and slitting their throats are the terrorists which NATO's Cameron, Obama and Sarkozy support (why are they siding with terrorists?), the ones dropping bombs on homes and slaughtering kids are NATO. Lie number five. The Libyan Armed Forces are careful to call to their adversaries to lay down arms and to give the civilians time to clear out of the area before they begin to sterilise it. Where is this in the international news?

And now, the claims in the international press - on July 18, that Brega has fallen. There is video evidence that it has not.

There are reports on the ground that up to 500 terrorists were slaughtered as they tried to take it, there are reports that this massive defeat has sparked off pitched battles among Islamist clans in Benghazi itself. Such reports we cannot confirm because we are not on the ground but after the lies NATO and their terrorist friends have produced...? I have just received first-hand evidence from a Libyan officer on the front line saying the terrorists have been cleared way out of Brega to the East.

Finally, allegations that mercenaries from France, Britain and Qatar have been captured by the Libyan Armed Forces. These are boots on the ground which is illegal under UNSC Resolution 1970 (2011) and allegations that a vessel full of equipment and specialist troops is on its way through the Suez Canal to Libya. Again, these are as yet allegations but would anyone be surprised?

It is illegal to take sides in an internal conflict, it is illegal to aid and abet terrorists. Therefore, the evidence weighs heavily against Messrs. Cameron, Sarkozy and Obama, three sickening protagonists who along with their whores in the Middle East, goats who allowed themselves to be drawn into slaughtering fellow Arabs by foreigners, are violating international law.

NATO's exit strategy is to claim the no-fly zone (which was never necessary in the first place) has been implemented and to allow the African Union to mediate, allowing the Libyan people to decide what to do. Colonel Gaddafy himself proposed a democratic election which NATO refused. It is obvious, then, that this is not about democracy, now, is it?

Click to read the article, and read/post comments


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10 Questions The MPs Will Not Ask Murdoch

By Robin Beste

What was it about the relationship with Murdoch that made Tony Blair feel it was appropriate to take a phone call from a newspaper proprietor just hours prior to - ordering the country's armed forces to war?

Continue


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Tender Explosive Kisses Of Democracy

Declaration of Thingamajig

Satirical Video - By Mark Fiore

Barack Obama holds forth on the legality of various conflict thingamajigs.

Continue


Monday, July 18, 2011

Those who committed ecocide must pay up

Destruction of the environment is no small crime, and Agent Orange is no small culprit

From Thanh Nien News
http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20110716170252.aspx


The view over a tropical forest in central Vietnam's Thua Thien-Hue Province. The weeds seen in the foreground are Pennicetum polystachyon, also known as "American grass", which have taken over many formerly lush lands sprayed by Agent Orange. Photo courtesy of Hatfield Consultants

A July 8 post by Stephen Messenger on the Food Freedom blog, titled “Monsanto’s Agent Orange being used to clear Brazil’s rainforest” has given rise to hundreds of comments in just a few days. The post has been picked up by many other sites and has quickly gathered international attention.

[Read it here: http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2011/07/08/monsantos-agent-orange-being-used-to-clear-brazils-rainforest/ ]

Most comments express indignation at the destruction of the planet’s vital lung.

The story has also prompted many to remember the deadly results of ten years of defoliant rain dropped over southern Vietnam by the US military. People are asking questions about the liability of those who produced Agent Orange, and about the US army’s responsibility in the matter, and about the lack of compensation for the victims.

And they are right to do so.

Half a century after the first sprayings, not only are there still millions of victims whose health has been ruined, and not only are the children of a third generation being born with severe health and mental problems, but Vietnam’s economy and development are still suffering the injuries wrought by a decade of ecocide committed against the country.

More than 2.5 million hectares of land have been contaminated by the spraying of 80 million liters of defoliants, mainly Agent Orange, which contains dioxin, the most toxic and longest-lasting poison in the world.

Woodlands, which covered 60 percent of South Vietnam – including 5.8 million hectares of tropical forest and half a million hectares of rainforests – have been extraordinarily damaged by the toxic chemicals. This attack on biodiversity is still serious, especially as many species of flora and fauna endemic to Vietnam are now endangered.

Vietnam’s vast mangrove forests have long acted to protect the country from salt water penetration, and the forests are host to a rich animal kingdom that includes rare fish, shellfish, birds, crocodiles and many mammals. This landscape is particularly fragile and 150,000 hectares of mangroves were destroyed during the war. Today, thanks to the relentless courage and skill of the mangrove regions’ inhabitants, much has been restored and cranes of good omen are back.

This is an immense achievement, born of immense hard work, which deserves respect and congratulations.

The tropical forest is a complex ecosystem consisting of tall trees that provide cover for smaller trees, bushes, and a variety of plants. It is inhabited by elephants, tigers, rhinoceroses - the rare Java rhino - antelopes, snakes, birds, butterflies and many other insects. When the taller trees die, the system collapses. The people who lived in the forest, which had fed and protected them for generations, had to flee when the American poison rained down upon them. These communities lost not only their subsistence, but have also struggled to maintain their cultures.

One million hectares of tropical forest have been destroyed. The forest does not regenerate spontaneously. Watershed river basins have been changed and unpredictable floods cause severe damage, putting at risk the success of the country’s life-saving “Living with Floods” initiative. Unprotected soil is washed away by the monsoon rains. Landslides occur and bury roads and houses. The deforestation has worsened the effects of climate change.

Serious environmental restoration and reforestation projects, such as the Ma Da Forest Farm project, are thankfully being carried out. After cleaning the areas invaded by the pernicious grass (“the American grass”) left behind by Agent Orange, one has to establish a cover of fast growing trees underneath which indigenous species can be replanted after a few years. Within a century or two, one can hope to see again the slow-growing precious trees that provide the beautiful dark red wood columns to temples and pagodas.

Restoration of the war-ravaged environment is an enormous task that requires substantial resources and long term commitment. Vietnamese have the know-how, they need the funding. Monsanto, Dow and other Agent Orange producers made an enormous profit selling poison to the US army. They must give back the money to this wounded country.

By Marie-Hélène Lavallard.
Marie-Hélène Lavallard is a member of the French -Vietnamese Friendship Association. The opinions expressed are her own.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

". . . it's highly likely that everything you know
about Gadhafi [and Libya] is probably bullshit! . . . "


After five months of torrential lies and destructive war against Libya -


". . . the public has been mesmerized by the propaganda portraying Gadhafi as a bloodthirsty ogre whose only desire is to 'kill his own people'. Since most people in the West know absolutely nothing about Libya, anything goes." - Diana Johnstone

As always, the truth is available to anyone who seeks it, but usually well outside the mainstream corporate media.


Libya: The State Of The Masses
Video
Understanding the Libyan political system:

Click to view, and read or post public comments


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Video: The Truth Behind the U.S./NATO War on Libya
Including eyewitness footage

By ANSWER Coalition
Help break the media blockade by sharing this video with friends, family and co-workers via email and social networking websites. Continue


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NATO will be Defeated in Libya


By Gerald A. Perreira

There is now a glaring truth confronting the North Atlantic Terrorist Organization (NATO) – Muammar Qaddafi has handed out over one million kalashnikovs to the Libyan people. Continue