Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Obscenity of War in a World of Need and Suffering

By Adnan Al-Daini

"...We are too readily manipulated and outraged into diverting our resources into wars that cause death, injury and destruction. The suffering to millions of fellow human beings is kept from us by mainstream media too ready to play its role...

The vast majority of us individually can see that there is something seriously wrong with the way our priorities are perceived. It is beyond comprehension that with so much poverty and need worldwide, that so much wealth is spent on wars and weapons of death and destruction...

As a species we have tremendous talents. Our scientific achievements are incredible; our advances in medicine and technology are stunning. Our social development however is still almost at Stone Age level."

Adnan Al-Daini (PhD, Birmingham University, UK) is a retired University Engineering lecturer. He is a British citizen born in Iraq. He writes regularly on issues of social justice and the Middle East.        

“Crimes Against Peace”: Historic Class Action Law Suit Against George W. Bush

By Inder Comar

"An Iraqi single mother and refugee now living in Jordan, filed a class action lawsuit against George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz in a federal court in California.

She alleges that these six defendants planned and waged the Iraq War in violation of international law by waging a “war of aggression,” as defined by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, more than sixty years ago...

In its famous judgment in 1946, the Tribunal wrote,
“War is essentially an evil thing . . . to initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”
The case against Bush is based on the conduct of members of the administration prior to coming into office as well as conduct taking place on and after 9/11. 

Years before their appointment to the Bush Administration, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz were vocal advocates of a militant neoconservative ideology that called for the United States to use its armed forces in the Middle East and elsewhere.

They openly chronicled their desire for aggressive wars through a non-profit called The Project for the New American Century (or PNAC)...

We need your support and attention to this case. We cannot let the crime of aggression disappear into history...

For most of the post-war period, this notion — that leaders must be held accountable for their decisions to go to war — has gathered dust. This must change, or else the legacy of Nuremberg, and its foundation for the post-war international legal regime, will be tossed aside in favor of the state of anarchic international relations that led to the Second World War itself. 

It is time to fulfill Jackson’s dream of a global order governed by law, not war. And it is time for accountability over the Iraq War and for the millions of people who lost their lives or who were affected by it.

Inder Comar is counsel of record for Sundus Shaker Saleh in her case against members of the Bush Administration. The case is Saleh v. Bush, Case No. 3:13-cv-1124 JST (N.D. Cal. March 13, 2013). The firm is providing case updates at witnessiraq.com and is representing Saleh pro bono.


Ukraine and the Grand Chessboard

By Pepe Escobar 

Still the Kremlin won't be dragged into a military quagmire. It's fair to argue Putin has identified the Big Picture in the whole chessboard, which spells out an increasing Russia-China strategic partnership as crucial as an energy-manufacturing synergy with Europe; and most of all the titanic fear of US financial elites of the inevitable, ongoing process centered on the BRICS-conducted (and spreading to key Group of 20 members) drive to bypass the petrodollar. 

Ultimately, this all spells out the progressive demise of the petrodollar in parallel to the ascent of a basket to currencies as the reserve currency in the international system. The BRICS are already at work on their alternative to the IMF and the World Bank, investing in a currency reserve pool and the BRICS development bank. 

While a tentative new world order slouches towards all points Global South to be born, Robocop NATO dreams of war. 

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War(Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).                     


Harper on Russia: America's Useful Idiot?

By Murray Dobbin

Stephen Harper's acutely embarrassing behaviour regarding the crisis in Ukraine -- demonizing Vladimir Putin and upping the rhetoric -- must be welcomed in the U.S. which created the crisis in the first place and apparently believes it still has something to gain by isolating Russia. But it is not clear that Harper even realizes -- or cares -- what the larger game is.

And that game may include a Russia-driven shift in global currency allegiance that could devastate the economies of the U.S. and Canada...

In the meantime, the demonization of Putin and Russia is having a major influence on an issue that has barely been mentioned in the media: Putin's plan to create the petro-ruble and decouple Russia's energy exports from the dollar.

Abandoning the petro-dollar

It is arguable that this global issue is many times more important to the U.S. than anything that happens in the Ukraine but American efforts to isolate Russia is actually accelerating the process. 

It is also driving Russia to look to the East instead of Europe for its future prosperity -- aligning with China as both a market for its gas and a partner in undermining the petro-dollar. China is already headed there -- its yuan is the second most used currency, ahead of the euro, in international trade settlements...

The prospect of the U.S. dollar losing its status as the world's trading currency is far and away the greatest threat to U.S. hegemony in the world as it would turn the country's $17-trillion (not counting unfunded liabilities) virtual debt problem into a real one. 

Until now, the huge external demand for U.S. dollars has allowed it to accumulate enormous debts without defaulting. 

With Russia, China and the rest of the BRICSA countries (Brazil, India, and South Africa) moving in this direction the U.S. is panic-stricken...

Indeed, plans to decouple from the dollar was a common feature of three countries which experienced the wrath of U.S. foreign policy and military intervention. 

Libya's Muammar Gaddafi was planning a gold-standard currency for all of Africa; Iraq was planning to quit using the dollar for its oil exports, as was Iran. Sanctions against the latter had as much to do with this plan as any other issue.

But Russia, China, Brazil and India are countries of a whole different order and out of reach of the Pentagon's threats. There is virtually nothing the U.S. can do to stop this movement, provoked in part by the massive printing of money in repeated "quantitative easings" and accelerated by NATO's adventurism...

A New Silk Road between China and Europe

If that were not a big enough headache for the U.S., Russia is well placed to detach Germany from the EU and U.S. efforts to isolate it. While Russia will suffer economically in the short term from sanctions, the longer term looks brighter. 

At the same time that BRICSA is planning its new international payment system, China and Germany are negotiating another initiative that guarantees Russia a prominent role in one of the world's most ambitious economic development schemes: the New Silk Road linking China and Europe...

So the Russian president, at record highs in public approval and now fully justified in facing East after being provoked by the West, doesn't have to act: everything is in motion for advantage Russia. 

And our war-mongering prime minister will continue to aid Mr. Putin by demonizing him and justifying his eastern "pivot." 

Murray Dobbin has been a journalist, broadcaster, author and social activist for 40 years. He writes rabble's State of the Nation column, which is also found at The Tyee.           


US-NATO Build-up to Cold War 2.0

By Peter Koenig

"...As the credibility gap is widening and people in Europe and even in the US are increasingly seeking alternative news media  to find out the truth, the lies are becoming progressively more brazen.

The American-European public has been drilled for decades by the corporate lie-media that the world must dance to the canons of the United States of America...

Well the wind is changing. Increasingly people in Europe and even in America are watching, listening to and reading alternative news sources...

While John Kerry’s showed-off in Geneva with his ridiculously conceited threats, President Putin broadcast a four-hour televised Q&A session, where people from all over Russia and even from of the Russian Federate States could call in with questions and comments. 

Most of them were referring to Ukraine and Crimea. Mr. Putin answered them frankly, without teleprompter – no pre-conceived replies.

Mr. Putin uses facts when he refers to the ‘Kiev Nazi government’ as an illegal mob put in place with the help of Washington and its European puppets, fomenting unrest and killing in the streets. 

The 5 billion dollar investment for ‘regime change’ in Ukraine, at that time a sovereign country – Ms. Nuland’s admission – is not reported in the western media. 

No wonder, Mr. Putin’s rating at home is way above the steadily faltering popularity of Obama and his European cronies.

Since WWII, Washington has been sowing unrest and death around the world – death in the millions, all for reasons of expansion, of global hegemony – Korea, Vietnam, Argentina, Chile, Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Central Africa, Venezuela, Thailand, Syria – and now Ukraine — to name just a few. 

Some of these countries were subdued by direct US military / NATO action. In others, Washington’s Assassin-in-Chief is fighting ‘proxy’ wars, using personally approved drone killings and other willing allies, like Hollande and Cameron, to do the dirty work – meaning murdering tens of thousands of people to achieve ‘regime change’, to further the emperors global dominance – dominance over resources, people and their economies.

When it doesn’t work in a first go, there is temporary media respite, so people may forget; just to be picked up again later by the presstitute corporate information outlets to give global brainwashing no rest. – To the point, where the constant US meddling in other countries’ affairs has become an order of the day and an order of value for the Western world. It is not only accepted – it has become the norm...

The corporate mass media, all financed with mickey-mouse dollars, printed at will, achieved from the 1960’s onward an American- European mindset that serves Washington today to continue demonizing Russia and its President, Vladimir Putin, with the objective for the West to invade Ukraine with its western destructive, debt-ridden financial system and put NATO at  Moscow’s doorstep.

Mr. Putin’s non-aggression, diplomacy and international statesmanship is certain to attract more support than do the ever twisted fork-tongued lies of Washington’s Nobel Peace Prize winning warrior.

Besides, Russia has a huge economic leverage on the west, particularly on the US. In addition to supplying 50% of Europe’s energy, Russia and its allies, China and the other BRICS and associates could destroy the dollar by a click of the mouse. 

Russia and China have already declared they will trade hydrocarbons in the future in their own local currencies, a measure already being carried out for general trading among the BRICS and associates. 

In addition, the BRICS are preparing to issue a new currency, an alternative to the dollar, and an international monetary transfer system that will bypass the notorious privately owned BIS – Bank for International Settlement, under which all international payments have to transit through US banks.

 ‘Times they are a-changing…’ according to Bob Dylan– and he is right.

Peter Koenig is an economist and former World Bank staff. He worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources.   


Antisemitic Flyer 'by Donetsk People's Republic' in Ukraine a Hoax

By Alec Luhn in Donetsk

City's chief rabbi states pamphlet is fake, claiming it is meant to discredit pro-Russian protesters or Jewish community. 


What the 1% Don't Want You to Know 

By Bill Moyers 

Economist Paul Krugman explains how the United States is becoming (or has become already) an oligarchy - the very system our founders revolted against.


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