Saturday, June 30, 2012

Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.
Q. What do these seven countries have in common?
A.  They have all been targeted for "regime change" by the imperialists, since at least 2001.  In the case of Syria and Iran, since 1991. 

Refer to this excellent article by Glenn Greenwald:
Obama Fulfilling the Neocon Dream
Mass Regime Change in Muslim World?

The U.S. & Syria: Facts You Should Know

[But you will not learn from the mainstream media which is promoting the imperialist agenda for war and regime change! - Bruce]

By Joyce Chediac

The following timeline reviews the progression of U.S.-NATO intervention in Syria and counteracts the Big Lie in the corporate media aimed at preparing open imperialist military aggression against the Syrian people.

Sanctions follow establishing opposition

• Washington has funneled money to a right-wing Syrian opposition group since at least 2005. (Washington Post, April 16, 2011)

• The U.S. reopened its embassy in Damascus in January 2011 after six years. This was no thaw in relations. The new ambassador, Robert S. Ford, who served until October 2011, is a protégé of John Negroponte, who organized death squads in El Salvador in the 1970s and in Iraq while ambassador there in 2004-05. There terror squads killed tens of thousands. Ford served directly under Negroponte at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

• Ford “played a central role in laying the groundwork within Syria as well as establishing contacts with opposition groups.” Two months after he arrived in Damascus, the armed insurgency began. (Global Research, May 28) . . . 

Saturday, June 09, 2012

The Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr, and many other governments, acted disgracefully in expelling Syrian government diplomats in the wake of the Houla massacre, immediately blaming the Syrian government even before any independent investigation, and without any evidence of who was responsible. 

When it is proven that it was actually the foreign-supported armed "rebels" who did the Houla and other massacres, not the Syrian government, will people like Bob Carr apologize, and call the Syrian diplomats back?! 

I doubt it, as they are fully implicated in the imperialist strategy for destabilization and yet another criminal war, this time against Syria.

The mainstream media is a disgraceful propaganda mouthpiece for the war mongers.  It is about time that journalists showed some integrity and challenged people like Bob Carr when they act so irresponsibly "in our name". 

By Doug Mataconis

Germany’s leading daily newspaper reports Syrian rebels involvement in the massacre of some 90 civilians in the city of Houla, a massacre that many in the West have used for a renewed round of denunciations of the Assad regime:

June 09, 2012 "Information Clearing House" --  

It was, in the words of U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan, the “tipping point” in the Syria conflict: a savage massacre of over 90 people, predominantly women and children, for which the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad was immediately blamed by virtually the entirety of the Western media. 

Within days of the first reports of the Houla massacre, the U.S., France, Great Britain, Germany, and several other Western countries announced that they were expelling Syria’s ambassadors in protest.

But according to a new report in Germany’s leading daily, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), the Houla massacre was in fact committed by anti-Assad Sunni militants, and the bulk of the victims were member of the Alawi and Shia minorities, which have been largely supportive of Assad. 

For its account of the massacre, the report cites opponents of Assad, who, however, declined to have their names appear in print out of fear of reprisals from armed opposition groups.

According to the article’s sources, the massacre occurred after rebel forces attacked three army-controlled roadblocks outside of Houla. The roadblocks had been set up to protect nearby Alawi majority villages from attacks by Sunni militias. The rebel attacks provoked a call for reinforcements by the besieged army units. Syrian army and rebel forces are reported to have engaged in battle for some 90 minutes, during which time “dozens of soldiers and rebels” were killed.

“According to eyewitness accounts,” the FAZ report continues,
the massacre occurred during this time. Those killed were almost exclusively from families belonging to Houla’s Alawi and Shia minorities. Over 90% of Houla’s population are Sunnis. Several dozen members of a family were slaughtered, which had converted from Sunni to Shia Islam. Members of the Shomaliya, an Alawi family, were also killed, as was the family of a Sunni member of the Syrian parliament who is regarded as a collaborator. Immediately following the massacre, the perpetrators are supposed to have filmed their victims and then presented them as Sunni victims in videos posted on the internet.
The FAZ report echoes eyewitness accounts collected from refugees from the Houla region by members of the Monastery of St. James in Qara, Syria. According to monastery sources cited by the Dutch Middle East expert Martin Janssen, armed rebels murdered “entire Alawi families” in the village of Taldo in the Houla region.

Already at the beginning of April, Mother Agnès-Mariam de la Croix of the St. James Monastery warned of rebel atrocities’ being repackaged in both Arab and Western media accounts as regime atrocities. 

She cited the case of a massacre in the Khalidiya neighborhood in Homs. According to an account published in French on the monastery’s website, rebels gathered Christian and Alawi hostages in a building in Khalidiya and blew up the building with dynamite. They then attributed the crime to the regular Syrian army.

“Even though this act has been attributed to regular army forces . . . the evidence and testimony are irrefutable: It was an operation undertaken by armed groups affiliated with the opposition,” Mother Agnès-Mariam wrote.

— John Rosenthal writes on European politics and transatlantic security issues. 
You can follow his work at or on Facebook.
This article was first published at National Review

Vietnam Joins Protest Against Dow Chemicals

Vietnam joins the protest against Olympic sponsor Dow Chemical, accused of “green-washing” its Agent Orange sins.

Len Aldis
Len Aldis, Secretary of the Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society is a staunch advocate for Viet Nam's people living with the U.S. manufactured nightmare known as Agent Orange.

(HANOI, Viet Nam) -   The organisers of London’s 2012 Olympics call them the Green Games — a monument to best sustainable practice within the sports world. 

The Vietnamese government says the organisers should tell that to the hundreds of thousands of children born with cleft palates, mental disabilities, hernias, lung, larynx and prostate cancer, missing limbs and extra fingers and toes. 

Vietnam joined the growing chorus of protest against Olympic sponsors accused of “green-washing” their past sins earlier this month. 

In a letter obtained by GlobalPost, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism castigated the Lausanne-based International Olympic Committee (IOC) for green-lighting Dow Chemical as a major Olympic sponsor.

Dow produced about one-third of the 80 million liters of Agent Orange defoliants sprayed over southern Vietnam, during what the Vietnamese call “The American War.” 

The Vietnamese Red Cross estimates that up to 3 million Vietnamese have been affected by Agent Orange, including at least 300,000 children born with birth defects. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs estimates are much higher. 

It says 4.8 million people were exposed, resulting in 400,000 deaths and injuries and about 500,000 children born with defects, many of which are still being born to this day — some four generations later.

 “Agent Orange … destroyed the environment, claimed the lives of millions of Vietnamese and left terrible effects on millions of others, who are now suffering from incurable diseases. Hundreds of thousands of fourth generation children have been born with severe congenital deformities,” wrote Hoang Tuan Anh, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism to the IOC.

“Dow Chemical has expressed indifference and refused compensation for victims of Agent Orange, as well as their responsibility to clean up contaminated areas. Dow also continues to destroy the environment. In 2010, US EPA listed Dow as the second worst polluter in the world,” the letter said.

Vietnam has unsuccessfully brought legal action against Dow and other Agent Orange producers in US courts...The producers of Agent Orange blame the US government for its use, while sovereign immunity shields Washington from prosecution in American courts.

US helicopters and planes sprayed about 20 per cent of southern Vietnam with the defoliants over a 10-year strip the...Vietnamese of jungle cover and limit access to food supplies.  A less reported aim was to drive rural Vietnamese...into US-controlled cities in what was then South Vietnam. 

“It’s ironic that Dow is allowed to sponsor sporting events including Paralympics athletes when it is responsible for creating generations of severely disabled children and refuses to do anything to help them,” wrote a Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin spokesman in an email.

Dow, the IOC and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games ignored repeated requests for comment. Dow Chemical inked a 10-year deal with the IOC in 2010. Dow envisioned a global sales bump of about $1 billion by promoting, ironically enough, a raft of environmentally-friendly products.

But it was the $11.25 million contract doled out to Dow for the 336 giant panels that will make up the decorative wrap that first sparked controversy. The Commission for a Sustainable London 2012, a watchdog body charged with overseeing the Games’ environmental credentials, was rocked when commissioner Meredith Alexander resigned last month in protest over Dow’s awarding of the stadium contract.

Campaigners believe that Dow also has ongoing liabilities relating to the 1984 Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, India, that led to an estimated 20,000 deaths and serious injury to tens of thousands more. 

“But the Olympics is big business. There is an expensive machine behind the Games that is funded by corporate sponsors. Sadly when these sponsors are selected, money talks much more loudly than values,” said Alexander to The Guardian. Big business indeed. 

Dow’s Olympic stable mates also include BP and Rio Tinto, two resource extraction behemoths that rights groups say have woeful environmental and human-rights track records.

“Dow refuses to accept responsibility. They state they were told to make the chemicals by the US government and will not and have not paid one cent in compensation,” writes Len Aldis, secretary of Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society, in an email to GlobalPost. 

“Despite their record, money talks. The IOC should cancel Dow’s sponsorship of the Games.”

This article was originally published by Noon Post

Full text of letter from  Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for green-lighting Dow Chemical as a major Olympic sponsor.

(Official translation)

International Olympic Committee (IOC)
Chateau de Vidy, 1001 Lausanne, Switzerland
Fax: +41 21 621 6216

Ha Noi,  2 May 2012

Dear Mr. Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee and other members of the Executive Board,

First of all, on behalf of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, I would like to extend the best compliments to Mr. President and other members of the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee.
It is with regret that I have to express profound concerns of the Government and people of Viet Nam about the decision of IOC to accept the Dow Chemical Company as a global partner sponsoring the Olympic Movement from now to 2020.
The Dow Chemical Company is one of the major producers of the Agent Orange, which have been used by the US Army with the amount of 80 millions litres to spray over villages in the South of Viet Nam over 10 years, from 1961 to 1971, destroying the environment, claiming the lives of millions of Vietnamese people and leaving terrible effects on millions of others, who are now suffering from incurable diseases and some hundreds of thousands of children of the fourth generation were born with severe congenital deformities. 
What is worth condemning is the fact that, despite of international opinions, Dow Chemical expressed their indifference and refused compensation for victims of the Agent Orange produced by the company, as well as their responsibility to clean up contaminated areas. Spending zero effort to recover their mistakes in the past, Dow continues to destroy the current living environment. In 2010, US Environmental Protection Agency listed Dow as the second worst polluter in the world.
Since the ultimate goals of the Olympic Movement are to promote good health, equality and progress of the mankind, we think that the acceptance of IOC for Dow sponsorship is a hasty decision. Therefore, we call upon IOC to reconsider your decision and stand up for millions of Agent Orange victims in Viet Nam and over the world, asking Dow Chemical to fulfill their responsibilities for victims of the Agent Orange and spend the adequate financial resources to solve these problems, only by then they could be eligible  to sponsor the Olympic Games.
On this occasion, I would like to reaffirm our support and commitment of Viet Nam to activities of the Olympic Movement in general and the Olympics/ Paralympics in particular. The sports delegation of Viet Nam would try their best in the spirits of sportsmanship to contribute to the success of the Olympic Games.
Thank you very much for your attention.
Yours sincerely,
(Signed by)

Hoang Tuan Anh

Copies to:
- The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games
- Vietnam National Olympic Committee

Woman in Iconic Vietnam War Photo to be Honoured 

Pulitzer Prize-winning picture shows a 9-year-old Kim Phuc fleeing a napalm attack

The Canadian Press - Posted: Jun 8, 2012 8:08 AM ET - Last Updated: Jun 8, 2012 10:06 AM ET

In this June 8, 1972 file photo, crying children, including 9-year-old Kim Phuc, centre,
run down a road near Trang Bang, Vietnam after an aerial napalm attack.

(Nick Ut/Associated Press)

A woman who came to symbolize the horrors of the Vietnam War is being honoured today on the 40th anniversary of the photo that made her famous.

Kim Phuc Phan Thi was only a child when she was photographed fleeing a napalm strike on her village in South Vietnam on June 8, 1972.

The image of her running naked down a road captured worldwide attention and later won a Pulitzer Prize.  She now lives in the Toronto area and is set to spend today's milestone looking back at how the iconic photo changed her life.

Kim Phuc, who was photographed fleeing a napalm attack in the iconic
1972 Vietnam War picture, now lives in Toronto and is a goodwill ambassador
for UNESCO. (Jae C. Hong/Associated Press)

She'll share the stage at a special event tonight with Nick Ut, the award-winning photographer behind the image, and others who helped her survive the conflict.  The event's organizer says the woman who garnered worldwide fame "can't even describe the emotions" stirred up by the anniversary.

"She would never have been alive if it wasn't for these people," says Liesa Cianchino, who is also a close friend of Kim Phuc's.

Cianchino says the date should always serve as a reminder of the atrocities of war and their impact on children.

Kim Phuc and her husband came to Canada in 1992.  Five years later, she founded the Kim Foundation International, which provides free medical assistance to children who are victims of war and terrorism.

She is also a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO.

© The Canadian Press, 2012