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Barbara Lee Interestingly Declines to Address U.S. Arms to Saudi Arabia

Sam Husseini | November 18, 2015

I generally feel that the questioning by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now could be a lot stronger, but today, she did ask a good question of Rep. Barbara Lee: “The U.S. has just sealed, the Obama administration, yet another arms deal with Saudi Arabia, in the last year signed the biggest arms deals in the history of the world with Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia behind a lot of the militant activism from al-Qaeda to ISIS. Do you condemn these sales?”

This is Lee’s full response: “Well, first, we need to reduce the sale of arms throughout the world. Also, I think when you look at the—for example, trying to rid Iran of the ability to develop nuclear weapons, we engaged in a strong, robust diplomatic effort. Many years ago, I introduced the first resolution calling for the end of no contact policy, for a special envoy and for us to begin to negotiate with Iran the elimination of their program of developing nuclear weapons. So far, those negotiations and that Iranian deal has worked. And so I think that we need to move in that direction in terms of diplomacy, in terms of trying to seek global peace and security without selling arms to all countries, because what you will have is an arms buildup throughout the world, and then weapons will be pointed at—each country will have weapons—of course, a nuclear weapon is the ultimate weapon—pointed in all directions. And so, we need to determine ways, as the president has done with regard to Iran, ways in which to engage to reduce the threats and to reduce the sale and the use of force and armaments and military weapons, because these can only make the world more dangerous.”

Notice Lee does not condemn the weapons sales to Saudi Arabia. Indeed, she doesn’t utter the word “Saudi”. Instead, she talks about alleged Iranian nuclear weapons designs — a total staple of officialdom — and speaks generally against arms sales.

Nor do the hosts highlight this. Juan Gonzalez, who I think often asks more probing questions that Goodman, immediately proceeded to ask a somewhat fawning question: “And I’m wondering what advice you might have to parliamentarians in France now, as France is going through the same kind of crisis that this country went through after the attacks of 2001. The president is now seeking authorization from the French Parliament for extraordinary measures in his country. What advice might you give to the parliamentarians of France?”

We’re not going to get very far if we’re looking to politicos for leadership who can’t condemn policies like the U.S. government has to the Saudis. And we’re not going to get very far if presumably tough, independent programs like “Democracy Now” can’t keep officials accountable about that.

November 18, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

EIKE Meteorologist: Climate-Refugee Claims “Invented Stories” … Even Refuted By IPCC

Puls, K.E. EIKE

German Meterologist Klaus-Eckart Puls. Photo: EIKE
By P Gosselin | NoTricksZone | November 18, 2015

At the Germany-based European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) veteran, retired meteorologist Klaus-Eckard Puls flatly dismisses the assertion made by many leading officials that climate change is a driving force behind the wave of refugees now sweeping into Europe from the Middle East and Africa.

Germany Minister of Environment Barbara Hendricks recently blamed the refugee crisis on climate change, and urged countries to commit themselves to a binding Treaty in Paris with renewed vigor. Puls responded at EIKE.

Puls reminds us that even the IPCC has found no basis to support the claim. A number of skeptics view the claim as a desperate stretch designed to divert attention away from the real reasons: abject social and foreign policy failure. Recently the IPCC backed off from the speculative claims of climate driven refugees.

Puls writes that the “UN IPCC took back its analyses and prognoses on climate refugees in its last 2013/14 report” and that “the steppes and deserts are in fact ‘greening’”. At EIKE he provides the following chart which clearly shows that Africa is greening and that it is all part of a natural cycle:

Chart depicting Sahel Zone June-October precipitation from 1950 to 2010. Source K.E. Puls

Last weekend meteorologist Joe Bastardi showed that also in Syria precipitation has been on the rise over the past few years.

Puls cites Spiegel, where in 2011 the UN took back its earlier 2005 projection of 50 million refugees by 2010. Spiegel writes:

The UN told SPIEGEL ONLINE that it is backing off its prognosis – in countries of the alleged danger zones populations are in fact growing. The corresponding prognosis has been removed from the UNEP site.”

That particular UN backpedaling incident took place back in 2011. Puls also writes that the latest UN IPCC 2013 report also distanced itself from the projections, seeing no scientific relationship. The claim that climate change is driving the refugee waves appears totally baseless and highly speculative.

The seasoned German meteorologist also cites a recent paper by Colorado University-Boulder geography professor John O’Loughlin on the subject. The paper concludes:

While a new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder shows the risk of human conflict in East Africa increases somewhat with hotter temperatures and drops a bit with higher precipitation, it concludes that socioeconomic, political and geographic factors play a much more substantial role than climate change.”

Puls summarizes in his commentary:

When Ms. Hendriks makes up stories of climate refugees, it is all about her private Weltanschauung. It has nothing to do with reality – and also nothing to do with the statements of the IPCC because the IPCC finds no climate refugees, and even writes this (AR5 2013/14). The UNO/UNEP deleted such claims (made in 2005) from its website! The waves of refugees have many reasons – climate is not among them!”

November 18, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | Leave a comment

The London 7/7 Mock Terror Drill: What Relationship to the Real Time Terror Attacks?

Global Research – August 8, 2005

A fictional “scenario” of multiple bomb attacks on London’s underground took place at exactly the same time as the bomb attack on July 7, 2005.

Peter Power, Managing Director of Visor Consultants, a private firm on contract to the London Metropolitan Police, described in a BBC interview how he had organized and conducted the anti-terror drill, on behalf of an unnamed business client.

The fictional scenario was based on simultaneous bombs going off at exactly the same time at the underground stations where the real attacks were occurring:

POWER: At half past nine this morning we were actually running an exercise for a company of over a thousand people in London based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened this morning, so I still have the hairs on the back of my neck standing up right now.

HOST: To get this quite straight, you were running an exercise to see how you would cope with this and it happened while you were running the exercise?

POWER: Precisely, and it was about half past nine this morning, we planned this for a company and for obvious reasons I don’t want to reveal their name but they’re listening and they’ll know it. And we had a room full of crisis managers for the first time they’d met and so within five minutes we made a pretty rapid decision that this is the real one and so we went through the correct drills of activating crisis management procedures to jump from slow time to quick time thinking and so on.

(BBC Radio Interview, 7 July 2005)

In response to the flood of incoming email messages, Peter Power –who is a former senior Scotland Yard official specializing in counterterrorism– responded in the form of the following “automatic reply”:

“Thank you for your message. Given the volume of emails about events on 7 July and a commonly expressed misguided belief that our exercise revealed prescient behaviour, or was somehow a conspiracy (noting that several websites interpreted our work that day in an inaccurate / naive / ignorant / hostile manner) it has been decided to issue a single email response as follows:

It is confirmed that a short number of ‘walk through’ scenarios planed [sic] well in advance had commenced that morning for a private company in London (as part of a wider project that remains confidential) and that two scenarios related directly to terrorist bombs at the same time as the ones that actually detonated with such tragic results. One scenario in particular, was very similar to real time events.

However, anyone with knowledge about such ongoing threats to our capital city will be aware that (a) the emergency services have already practiced several of their own exercises based on bombs in the underground system (also reported by the main news channels) and (b) a few months ago the BBC broadcast a similar documentary on the same theme, although with much worse consequences [??]. It is hardly surprising therefore, that we chose a feasible scenario – but the timing and script was nonetheless, a little disconcerting.

In short, our exercise (which involved just a few people as crisis managers actually responding to a simulated series of activities involving, on paper, 1000 staff) quickly became the real thing and the players that morning responded very well indeed to the sudden reality of events.

Beyond this no further comment will be made and based on the extraordinary number of messages from ill informed people, no replies will henceforth be given to anyone unable to demonstrate a bona fide reason for asking (e.g. accredited journalist / academic).

[ signed ] Peter Power”

(quoted in London Underground Exercises: Peter Power Responds, Jon Rappoport, July 13 2005)

Mock Terror Drills

There was nothing “routine” in the so-called “walk through” scenarios. Visor’s mock terror drills (held on the very same day as the real attack) was by no means an isolated “coincidence”. Power’s email response suggests that mock drills are undertaken very frequently, as a matter of routine, and that there was nothing particularly out of the ordinary in the exercise conducted on July 7th, which just so happened to coincide with the real terror attacks.

There have indeed been several documented high profile cases of mock terror drills in the US and the UK, held prior or on exactly the same day and at the same time as the actual terror event. In the three previous cases reviewed below, the mock drills bear a canny resemblance to the real time terror attacks.

 1. CIA Sponsored Exercise on the Morning of 9/11

On the morning of September 11 2001, within minutes of the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the CIA had been running “a pre-planned simulation to explore the emergency response issues that would be created if a plane were to strike a building”. The simulation was held at the CIA Chantilly Virginia Reconnaissance Office.

The Bush administration described the event as “a bizarre coincidence”. The matter was not mentioned by the media.(AP, 22 August 2002)

The CIA sponsored simulation consisted in a “scheduled exercise” held on the morning of September 11, 2001, where “a small corporate jet crashed into one of the four towers at the agency’s headquarters building after experiencing a mechanical failure.” (Quoted in Associated Press, 22 August 2002.)

The news concerning the 9/11 Chantilly aircraft crashing simulation was hushed up. It was not made public at the time. It was revealed almost a year later, in the form of an innocuous announcement of a Homeland Security Conference. The latter entitled “Homeland Security: America’s Leadership Challenge” was held in Chicago on September 6, 2002, barely a few days before the commemoration of the tragic events of 9/11.

The promotional literature for the conference under the auspices of the National Law Enforcement and Security Institute (NLESI) stated what nobody in America knew about. On the morning of 9/11, the CIA was conducting a pre-planned simulation of a plane striking a building. One of the key speakers at the National Law Enforcement and Security Institute conference was CIA’s John Fulton, Chief of the Strategic War Gaming Division of the National Reconnaissance Office a specialist in risk and threat response analysis, scenario gaming, and strategic planning.

(The National Law Enforcement and Security Institute website is: http://www.nlsi.net/ See also The Memory Hole):

On the morning of September 11th 2001, Mr. Fulton and his team at the CIA were running a pre-planned simulation to explore the emergency response issues that would be created if a plane were to strike a building. Little did they know that the scenario would come true in a dramatic way that day. Information is the most powerful tool available in the homeland security effort. At the core of every initiative currently underway to protect our country and its citizens is the challenge of getting the right information to the right people at the right time. How can so much information from around the world be captured and processed in meaningful and timely ways? Mr. Fulton shares his insights into the intelligence community, and shares a vision of how today’s information systems will be developed into even better counter-terrorism tools of tomorrow. (Ibid)

 2. October 2000 Mock Terror Attack on the Pentagon

In late October 2000 (more than ten months prior to 9/11), a military exercise was conducted which consisted in establishing the scenario of a simulated passenger plane crashing into the Pentagon. The Defense Protective Services Police and the Pentagon’s Command Emergency Response Team coordinated the exercise. According to a detailed report by Dennis Ryan of Fort Myer Military Community’s Pentagram, “the Pentagon Mass Casualty Exercise, as the crash was called, was just one of several scenarios that emergency response teams were exposed to on Oct. 24-26 [2000]“:

The fire and smoke from the downed passenger aircraft billows from the Pentagon courtyard. Defense Protective Services Police seal the crash sight. Army medics, nurses and doctors scramble to organize aid. (…) Don Abbott, of Command Emergency Response Training, walks over to the Pentagon and extinguishes the flames. The Pentagon was a model and the “plane crash” was a simulated one.

On Oct. 24, there was a mock terrorist incident at the Pentagon Metro stop and a construction accident to name just some of the scenarios that were practiced to better prepare local agencies for real incidents.

(Dennis Ryan, “Contingency planning, Pentagon MASCAL exercise simulates scenarios in preparing for emergencies”, MDW NEWS 3 Nov 2000.)

3. Britain’s Atlantic Blue, April 2005

In Britain, there were several documented exercises of terror attacks on London’s underground system.

In addition to the 7/7 exercise conducted by Visor Consultants, a similar mock terror drill on London’s transportation system entitled “Atlantic Blue” was held in April 2005, barely three months prior to the real attacks. In 2003, a mock terror drill labelled OSIRIS 2 was conducted. It consisted, according to Peter Power in testing the “equipment and people deep in the Underground of London”. It involved the participation of several hundred people. (Interview with Peter Power, CTV, 11 July 2005).

“Atlantic Blue” was part of a much larger US sponsored emergency preparedness exercise labelled TOPOFF 3, which included the participation of Britain and Canada. It had been ordered by the UK Secretary of State for the Home Department, Mr. Charles Clarke, in close coordination with his US counterpart Michael Chertoff.

The assumptions of the Visor Consultants mock drill conducted on the morning of July 7th were similar to those conducted under “Atlantic Blue”. This should come as no surprise since Visor Consultants was involved, on contract to the British government, in the organisation and conduct of Atlantic Blue and in coordination with the US Department of Homeland Security.

As in the case of the 9/11 simulation organized by the CIA, the July 7, 2005 Visor mock terror drill, was casually dismissed by the media, without further investigation, as a mere “coincidence”, with no relationship to the real event.

Foreknowledge of the 7/7 Attack?

According to a report of the Associated Press correspondent in Jerusalem, the Israeli embassy in London had been advised in advance by Scotland Yard of an impending bomb attack:

Just before the blasts, Scotland Yard called the security officer at the Israeli Embassy to say they had received warnings of possible attacks, the official said. He did not say whether British police made any link to the economic conference.(AP, 7 July 2005)

Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was warned by his embassy not to attend an attend an economic conference organized by the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) in collaboration with the Israeli embassy and Deutsche Bank.

Netanyahu was staying at the Aldridge Hotel in Mayfair. The conference venue was a few miles away at the Great Eastern Hotel close to the Liverpool subway station, where one of the bomb blasts occurred.

Rudolph Giuliani’s London Visit

Rudolph Giuliani, who was mayor of New York City at the time of the 9/11 attacks, was staying at the Great Eastern hotel on the 7th of July, where TASE was hosting its economic conference, with Israel’s Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as keynote speaker.

Giuliani was having a business breakfast meeting in his room at the Great Eastern Hotel, close to Liverpool Street station when the bombs went off:

“I didn’t hear the Liverpool Street bomb go off,” he explains. “One of my security people came into the room and informed me that there had been an explosion. We went outside and they pointed in the direction of where they thought the incident had happened. There was no panic. I went back in to my breakfast. At that stage, the information coming in to us was very ambiguous.” (quoted in the Evening Standard, 11 July 2005.)

Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Rudolph Giuliani knew each other. Giuliani had officially welcomed Netanyahu when he visited New York City as Prime Minister of Israel in 1996. There was no indication, however, from news reports that the two men met in London at the Great Eastern. On the day prior to the London attacks, July 6th, Giuliani was in North Yorkshire at a meeting.

After completing his term as mayor of New York City, Rudi Giuliani established a security outfit: Giuliani Security and Safety. The latter is a subsidary of Giuliani Partners LLC. headed by former New York head of the FBI, Pasquale D’Amuro.

After 9/11, D’Amuro was appointed Inspector in Charge of the FBI’s investigation of 9/11. He later served as Assistant Director of the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters and, Executive Assistant Director for Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence. D’Amuro had close links to the Neocons in the Bush adminstration.

It is worth noting that Visor Consultants and Giuliani Security and Safety LLC specialize in similar “mock terror drills” and “emergency preparedness” procedures. Both Giuliani and Power were in London at the same time within a short distance of one of the bombing sites. While there is no evidence that Giuliani and Power met in London, the two companies have had prior business contacts in the area of emergency preparedness. Peter Power served on the Advisory Board to the Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness (CCEP), together with Richard Sheirer, Senior Vice President of Giuliani and Partners. who was previously Commissioner at the NYC Office of Emergency Management, and Director of New York City Homeland Security. (See CCEP)

Concluding Remarks

One should not at this stage of the investigation draw hasty conclusions regarding the mock terror drill of a terror attack on the London underground, held on the same day and at the same time as the real time attacks.

The issue cannot, however, be dismissed. One would expect that it be addressed in a serious and professional fashion by the police investigation and that the matter be the object of a formal clarification by the British authorities.

The issue of foreknowledge raised in the Associated Press report also requires investigation.

More generally, an independent public inquiry into the London bomb attacks is required.


Update [Aletho News adds]

Hours Before the Terror Attacks, Paris Practiced for a Mass Shooting

By Carol Matlack – Bloomberg – November 17, 2015

… Since the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January, from which 16 people died, Paris-area ambulance crews and emergency personnel have taken part in regular exercises designed to test their readiness for possible attacks. One such exercise was held on Friday morning, the day of the latest terror attacks. In a twist of fate, the simulated emergency was a mass shooting, according to Dr. Mathieu Raux, emergency room chief at the Pitié-Salpetrière hospital in Paris. … Full article

November 18, 2015 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ill-informed first words on Ukraine by Canada’s new prime minister

New Cold War – November 17, 2015

Canada’s new prime minister is sounding not-so-new when it comes to the civil war that has devastated the lives of millions of people in eastern Ukraine. CBC News reports that Justin Trudeau directed critical and ill-informed words to Russian President Vladimir Putin two days ago during the G20 summit meeting in Antalya, Turkey. Trudeau’s words portend badly for the people of Ukraine if continued.

CBC cites Trudeau speaking of his exchange with Putin: “I pointed out that although Canada has shifted its approach on a broad range of multilateral and international issues, we remain committed to the fact that Russia’s interference in Ukraine must cease; that we stand with the Ukrainian people and expect the president to engage fully in the Minsk peace process.”

The reference to the Minsk ceasefire agreement of Feb 12, 2015 (‘Minsk-2’) is ill-informed or malevolent. Russia was a key international sponsor and negotiator of the agreement, along with Germany and France. Canada and the United States were nowhere to be seen or heard from. The agreement was effectively a refutation of the aggressive egging-on of Kyiv’s civil war in which the U.S., Canada and Britain have engaged ever since Kyiv launched its civil war–‘Anti-Terrorist Operation’–in eastern Ukraine in April 2014.

Minsk-2 sets out 13 very specific clauses which must be met by the governing regime in Kyiv and the rebel, pro-autonomy forces in Donetsk and Lugansk. Kyiv has violated every single one of those clauses. Today, only the first two of the clauses are close to being met by Kyiv–a ceasefire, and a withdrawal of heavy weaponry from the front line of the conflict which runs through the heart of the Donbas region (Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts).

Clause four requires the holding of local elections in Donetsk and Lugansk which would recognize principles of local autonomy. Clauses 11 and 12 require constitutional changes that recognize autonomy for Donbas. None of this has happened. On the contrary, Kyiv has crafted new political measures which block and deny said autonomy.

Clauses five and six require Kyiv to provide amnesty to combatants who resisted its civil war and to conduct a full prisoner exchange with the rebel side. It has failed on the first count, and Kyiv continues to hold many combatants and political prisoners it refuses to exchange.

Clause eight requires Kyiv to end its economic sanctions (cutting of social payments) against the population of the east which it implemented in the summer of 2014 and to end its obstruction and blocking of economic transactions. This has not occurred. Indeed, in the the latest in a string of human rights reports critically examining the situation in Ukraine, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe Nils Muižnieks admonishes Kyiv for failing to end its economic blockade of eastern Ukraine. His report was issued on November 3.

Clause ten of Minsk-2 reads, “Pullout of all foreign armed formations, military equipment, and also mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine under OSCE supervision. Disarmament of all illegal groups.” Yet Canada, the U.S. and Britain dispatched soldiers to Ukraine in the months following February 12, under the guise of launching “training missions” of the Ukrainian army. And as for the disarming of “illegal groups” (referring to the extremist paramilitary battalions fighting alongside the Ukrainian army), Kyiv has solved that little problem by incorporating the battalions into its National Guard. This effectively worsens the situation by legitimizing the battalions and giving them more formal access to training and weaponry, including from the aforementioned NATO countries.

So if Ukraine has violated the clauses of Minsk-2 so widely, and if the human rights commissioner of the European Union(!) effectively acknowledges much of this, what is Justin Trudeau talking about when he blames a foreign country, Russia, for violations of the agreement?

Trudeau is either being played by the governing regime in Kyiv, or he and his government have decided to play along.

Last summer, Kyiv began to face up to the fact that it could not longer openly flout Minsk-2 and continue its shelling of Donbas. The military setbacks it suffered during 18 months of civil war cannot be easily fixed. Polls of Ukrainians show very high numbers of people wanting an end to the fighting. Kyiv’s economic and social disaster at home is looming ever larger, including an impending default on its foreign debt. And Berlin and Paris decided last summer that a continued war in Ukraine was not in their interest; they had bigger problems requiring their undivided attention. So as of September 1, Kyiv largely ceased its shelling and it began to match the withdrawals of heavy weaponry already begun by rebel forces. This was and remains a significant political setback to Kyiv’s efforts to crush resistance to its pro-Europe, anti-Russia and pro-austerity program.

The one card that remains for Kyiv to play in order to avoid its obligations under Minsk-2 and obfuscate the real situation is the enduring myth of a Russian invasion and occupation of eastern Ukraine. This is what Trudeau is talking about when he speaks of Russian violations of the agreement. He is parroting the wording to this effect that was begun by Kyiv as it faced its forced climbdown on September 1.

Trudeau can get away with uttering nonsense about Russia violating Minsk-2 because the Canadian population has been deeply misled and misinformed about the situation in Ukraine. Parliamentarians of all parties in Ottawa and the country’s corporate media are 100 per cent united behind a hostile, anti-Russia policy that blames all the ills in Ukraine on its large neighbour to the east. Much of the Canadian population knows of no other story of Ukraine than the one it has been aggressively fed for two years now. But the unfolding disaster of U.S., Canadian and European policy taking place in Syria and the Middle East, and the contrast to that of the apparent, early achievements of Russian diplomacy, have growing numbers of Canadians on full alert against more foreign policy deceptions and misadventures.

Justin Trudeau and his government, not to speak of the people of Ukraine, have nothing to gain and much to lose by a continuation of Stephen Harper’s aggressive and hostile policy towards Ukraine and Russia.

The Toronto Star report on Justin Trudeau’s encounter with Vladimir Putin explained, “Trudeau’s brief chat [with Putin] is in contrast with the lengthy discussion that unfolded here between Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama on the crisis in Syria.”

November 18, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Transdniestria says its relations with Chisinau keep on deteriorating

TASS – November 17, 2015

TIRASPOL – Relations between Moldova and Transdniestria keep on deteriorating, Transdnieastria’s acting Foreign Minister Vitaly Ignatyev said on Tuesday at a meeting with Special Representative of the acting OSCE Chairman-in-Office for the Transdnistrian settlement process Radojko Bogojevic.

“The Moldovan side is seeking to evade contacts with Transdniestria,” he said. “Osipov [Moldova’s negotiator – TASS ] keeps on refusing to take part in talks in the bilateral format citing Moldova’s having no government as a reason. The dynamics of meetings of joint expert groups is very low as well.”

He said the two sides have accumulated a lot of problems in their relations. The most pressing of them, in his words, were Moldova’s and Ukraine’s decision to install joint customs control at the border with Transdniestria and criminal prosecution of Transdniestria’s officials.

Moldova’s acting Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Osipov said on Monday the talks between Moldova and Transdniestria were failing to yield any progress due to a gap in the parties’ positions. “Chisinau invited to discuss political issues, including a future status of unrecognized Transdniestria within Moldova, whereas Tiraspol says a certain atmosphere is needed for that,” he said after talks with Bogojevic. “We consider it as a violation of our earlier agreements. It is inadmissible to lay any conditions for the beginning of talks.”

Bogojevic, for his part, noted that Germany, which takes over presidency in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2016, will be tasked to get Moldova and Transdniestria back at the negotiating table in the 5+2 format. He admitted that despite all the efforts, the Serbian presidency in the OSCE had failed to resume the settlement talks. He said he had arrived in Moldova to prepare an OSCE ministerial meeting due in December and to prepare the ground for Germany’s presidency, which would have to deal with that problem.

Talks in the 5+2 format, involving Moldova and Transdniestria as parties to the conflict, the OSCE as a mediator, Russia and Ukraine as guarantors and the European Union and the United States as observers, have been stuck for the second year. Only two out of five scheduled meetings were held in 2014. Earlier, Transdniestrian leader Yevgeny Shevchuk said that Tiraspol could resume the talks in the extended format only on condition relevant documents were prepared. “I don’t see perspectives for holding a meeting in the 5+2 format unless expert groups prepare solutions that might ease the situation,” he said, adding that Moldova’s policy of pressure and economic sanctions “exerted jointly by Moldova and Ukraine” were hampering the negotiating process.

November 18, 2015 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

El Salvador’s New Anti-Corruption Crusaders

A right-wing rally on Sept. 5 in San Salvador (Contrapunto/ Jessica Orellana)

A right-wing rally on Sept. 5 in San Salvador (Contrapunto/ Jessica Orellana)
By Hilary Goodfriend – NACLA – 11/16/2015

Over the summer, news out of Central America seemed to take a positive turn. According to reports worldwide, the streets and plazas in several countries had filled with empowered citizens, united under the banner of “anti-corruption.” In Guatemala, a president notorious for the genocidal atrocities he helped wage against indigenous communities during the U.S.-backed civil war was toppled and disgraced. In Honduras, thousands marched against a repressive regime with a dubious mandate, stained by a 2009 coup d’état against democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya. In neighboring El Salvador, strategists of the political opposition looked on longingly as pundits enthusiastically heralded a “Central American Spring.”

Unlike in Honduras and Guatemala, in El Salvador, the political Left has governed the country since 2009, placing the Salvadoran Right in the unfamiliar role of the opposition. Hoping to capitalize on the trending currents next door, El Salvador’s elites are now hastily hoisting the banner of anti-corruption politics. Theirs is a cynical, if clumsy, effort to foment a tide of popular opposition against the current FMLN administration of President Salvador Sánchez Cerén. The conservative Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) party is leading this charge, desperate to recover executive power and, with it, unbridled access to the state coffers it once ransacked. This movement is acting through a handful of small but well-funded right-wing civil society organizations, such as the Movimiento de 5 en 5, Grupo 300, and Democracia Limpia, as well as powerful economic groups like the National Association of Private Enterprise (ANEP) and the right-wing think tank FUSADES, ARENA, and its private sector allies. They are convening marches, filling headlines with empty accusations against the FMLN, and flooding social media with snappy civic hashtags like #YoTambiénEstoyIndignado (“I’m Outraged, Too”) and #NoALaCorrupción (#NoToCorruption).

The hypocrisy of this tactic is hard to overstate. From 1989 to 2009, the ARENA party oversaw the disappearance of more than $3.9 billion in public funds. The extent of such corruption only came to light after ARENA lost the presidency. Former president Francisco Flores (1999-2004), the poster boy for the ARENA party’s legacy of corruption, is now on trial for misappropriating at least $15 million in Taiwanese aid for earthquake victims. Even the U.S. State Department, historically a loyal supporter of ARENA politicians, admitted in a cable released by Wikileaks that the Salvadoran party’s finances were dependent on its ability to “hand out” government “patronage.”

Since unseating ARENA in 2009, the FMLN administrations of Mauricio Funes and Salvador Sánchez Cerén have made unprecedented efforts to investigate and prosecute many high-ranking former officials, like Flores, for acts of corruption. At the same time, the Salvadoran government, under the FMLN’s leadership, has completed several important public works projects, such as major highway constructions and hospital repairs, that languished unfinished, in part due to the rampant theft and embezzlement that occurred under ARENA. In addition, the FMLN has enacted new policies aimed at improving government transparency, such as the Access to Public Information Law; the establishment of a Secretary for Citizen Participation, Transparency and Anti-Corruption; the creation of a digital open government platform; and the establishment of a new policy forcing government institutions to present and publish annual reports of their activities. The Foundation for the Study of the Application of the Law (FESPAD) has observed that since the election of a leftist government in El Salvador there have been “important advances oriented towards honest and transparent public administration based on accountability, access to public information as well as the prevention and investigation of State corruption.”

For months now, the Salvadoran opposition has recklessly thrown corruption allegations at the FMLN administration. Thus far, however, they have been unsuccessful in making such allegations stick. As a result, conservative efforts to rally the public against the government have floundered. In a country accustomed to large protests, the Salvadoran Right has failed to bring more than a few hundred people into the streets – despite significant efforts on social media. The demonstrations have consistently featured an elite “who’s who” of ARENA party leaders and allies. Even government detractors have dismissed these events as partisan political theater.

This is not to say ARENA’s efforts have been wholly unsuccessful. While street mobilizations have faltered, ARENA’s diplomatic maneuvering has gotten significantly more traction. Its latest instrument of choice is the so-called CICIES, or International Commission against Impunity in El Salvador. And it’s here that ARENA has encountered its old ally: the United States.

The CICIES proposal is modeled on the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), the United Nations-run body whose investigations recently toppled President Otto Pérez Molina and his vice president, Roxanna Baldetti. The CICIG was founded at the behest of human rights organizations to address the activities of paramilitary security groups that undermined the fragile achievements of Guatemala’s peace accords. Today, these groups defend the CICIG as the only feasible means of imposing justice in an utterly compromised judicial system.

At the same time, significant U.S. financial backing for the CICIG has also served to justify ongoing U.S. assistance to abusive Guatemalan security forces and neoliberal economic agreements with corrupt Guatemalan administrations. As the U.S. promotes the Alliance for Prosperity in the Central American Northern Triangle, a controversial economic and security strategy modeled on Plan Colombia, the CICIG has emerged as a key player. During a March visit to Guatemala, Vice President Joe Biden himself stressed that “the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala should be extended” as a condition of the Alliance.

In 2011, then Salvadoran president Mauricio Funes considered the implementation of a commission similar to the CICIG. The ARENA party, however, strongly opposed the proposal. At that time, former ARENA presidential candidate Rodrigo Ávila declared that in El Salvador there were sufficiently capable police, jurists, and lawyers. “To come and say that we need foreign attorneys […] who do not know the reality of the country” was, Ávila argued, “a blow to the capabilities of Salvadorans.”

The idea of creating an anti-corruption commission in El Salvador did not resurface again until this year – this time as a suggestion from the U.S. State Department. During a visit to the country in July, State Department Counselor Thomas Shannon hailed the CICIG, and recommended the implementation of a similar model throughout the region. “It would be intelligent for El Salvador and Honduras to seek the support of the international community” in combating impunity and corruption, Shannon told a group of Salvadoran reporters.

ARENA, in a sudden change of heart, quickly echoed Shannon’s call. “The scourge of corruption and high levels of impunity are affecting our country and democracy,” ARENA legislator David Reyes told the media in late August. “With this type of independent international body, many of the problems can be solved, and [it will] help recoup trust in our institutions.” On October 12, ARENA party representatives held a press conference announcing the delivery of a letter to the president calling for the establishment of CICIES. The conservative organization Allies for Democracy, a USAID-supported group whose membership includes the powerful National Association of Private Enterprise, has also since come out in favor of CICIES.

The fact that the U.S.’s statements regarding the CICIES come at the same moment that the U.S. is pushing the Alliance for Prosperity suggests that State Department concerns about corruption in the region are less than altruistic. While recognizing the gains of Guatemala’s U.N.-backed anti-impunity commission, historian Greg Grandin noted in The Nation that under other circumstances, CICIG might “easily be dismissed as a neocolonial imposition meant to press order on a country so that it could continue to participate in the ‘international community’ as a ‘responsible’ free-trade partner.” The fact that the U.S.’s statements regarding the CICIES come at the same moment that the U.S. is pushing the Alliance for Prosperity suggests that State Department concerns about corruption in the region are less than altruistic. As Thomas Shannon told Salvadoran media, “It is strategically important for us to have a successful Northern Triangle in terms of our regional policy.” If the State Department has its own interests in mind as it pushes for an International Commission against Impunity in El Salvador, its recommendations have played nicely into the hands of El Salvador’s right-wing opposition.

To be sure, the Salvadoran Left is not blind to ARENA’s opportunism. Despite the rampant corruption during two decades of ARENA governance, the U.S. never pushed for an International Commission against Impunity in El Salvador until the election of a left-leaning administration. Most former ARENA officials have little to fear today; the ten-year statute of limitations for crimes of corruption in El Salvador now protects most ARENA officials from prosecution, leaving only former President Tony Saca (2004-2009), who since defected from the party and is therefore of small concern to his former colleagues, and, of course, the FMLN.

The Salvadoran government and other transparency advocates contend that unlike in Guatemala, the very institutions created by the 1992 Peace Accords would fight corruption and impunity. “After the armed conflict, the intervention of international institutions like ONUSAL [the United Nations Observer Mission in El Salvador] was justified because there wasn’t institutionality in the country […] The Truth Commission report even said that the judicial system was complicit in systematic human rights violations,” explained Abram Abrego, director of the respected legal aid non-profit FESPAD. “The judicial branch was questioned, and an international organization was necessary to verify its conduct […] But after more than 20 years, institutionality has developed in other ways. There’s more to do,” Abrego says, “but the country now has better laws than after the Peace Accords; it has better guarantees.”

Because of this history, Salvadoran progressives have thus far dismissed the need for an international commission to investigate corruption and impunity, calling instead for judicial reform to ensure justice within the country’s existing institutions. “The bourgeoisie is asking for it, not the people,” says Margarita Posada of the National Healthcare Forum, in reference to the proposed Commission. “What our people want is justice, and for the judicial system to work.”

In a recent editorial, Luis Cruz of the youth organization Progre expressed similar sentiments. “Salvadoran institutionality is still weak,” Cruz notes, “and the response should be to solve our problems by strengthening ourselves without appealing to foreign institutions.” In a rally outside the Supreme Court, Francisco Garcia of the Popular Coalition for a Peaceful Country without Hunger (CONPHAS) declared that, “The issue of purging the judicial system is an urgent necessity in order to guarantee the democratic transformations in this country.” Groups like CONPHAS, the National Healthcare Forum, and Progre have rejected the proposed Commission as a political smokescreen. Instead, they are focusing on critical measures like the election of a new Attorney General, the creation of an internal body to investigate corruption within the judicial system, and the dismissal of compromised judges from the bench.

The fact that ARENA’s calls for an international anti-corruption commission have no resonance with the country’s popular movement organizations has not deterred El Salvador’s elites in their crusade. Indeed, the U.S. State Department has bolstered their message. In this respect, their charade reveals the disturbing underside of the anti-impunity movements that have taken hold in other parts of Central America, often unseen to the international community.

There is much work to be done in El Salvador, and all of Central America for that matter, to claim victory in the battle against corruption and impunity. That is precisely why it is imperative to see this right-wing anti-corruption discourse in El Salvador for what it is: a cynical strategy to return to the status quo at a time when the powerful interests who have historically run the country are being challenged.


Hilary Goodfriend is a researcher in El Salvador. A graduate of New York University in Latin American Studies, she is currently completing a master’s thesis at the Central American University (UCA) in San Salvador.

November 18, 2015 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , , | Leave a comment

Cuba Blames US for Cuban Migrant Crisis in Central America

teleSUR | November 18, 2015

Cuba blamed the U.S. on Tuesday for the situation of more than 1,000 Cuban migrants in Central America, pegging the crisis on U.S. Cold War-era immigration policy put in place during the early years of the U.S. blockade on Cuba.

“The Foreign Ministry wishes to emphasize that these citizens are victims of the U.S. government’s politicization of immigration issues,” said a government statement on a Cuban news broadcast.

The Cuban government statements come amid a recent spike in number of Cuban migrants crossing Central America en route to the U.S. Many Cubans, some wishing to reunite with their families, fear that the renewal of U.S.-Cuban relations could bring an end to a decades-old policy allowing landed Cuban migrants to stay in the U.S.

But more than 1,000 Cuban migrants have become stuck in Central America, facing challenges of tightened borders first at the Panama-Costa Rica crossing, then at the Costa Rica-Nicaragua border. Nicaragua tightened its borders Sunday and accused Costa Rica of fomenting a “humanitarian crisis” in the region.

Under the U.S.’s 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act, any Cuban who enters the U.S. is able to gain permanent residency after being present in the U.S. for one year. The act, amended in 1995 to not admit to the U.S. any Cubans found at sea, became known as the “wet-foot, dry-foot” rule.

The Cuban government considers this rule a provocation, while critics say the policy not only promotes dangerous forms of travel, but is also an incentive for human trafficking by criminal groups.

“This policy stimulates irregular emigration from Cuba toward the United States and constitutes a violation of the letter and the spirit of migration accords that are in force and through which both countries assume an obligation to guarantee legal, safe and orderly emigration,” said the Cuban government statement.

Cuba said it has been in contact with Central American countries on the Cuban migration route to discuss how to best remedy the migrant situation.

November 18, 2015 Posted by | Corruption | , , | Leave a comment

Orwell’s Razor: All of 21WIRE’s predictions come true days after ‘Paris Attacks’

21st Century Wire | November 18, 2015

How predictable is the globalist imperial agenda? We are now witnessing the final stages of a long-term plan to induce another economic recession and erect a new high-tech police state throughout Europe and beyond. All they needed was a pretext.

While the mainstream media performed its normal routine of emotive reporting, stoking general fear and spreading mass hysteria, some smaller independent media outlets were busy plotting the establishment’s latest crisis agenda.

When the Paris Attack news broke last week, 21WIRE’s Patrick Henningsen went on television late Friday evening to comment on the unfolding drama, and also to analyze what was was likely to happen in the coming days and weeks in the wake of this event.

As it turns out, his quick predictions were incredibly accurate…

1-france-police-state-emergency

1. Declaration of a State of Emergency

France declared its first nationwide state of emergency since 1961 (when it attempted a coup d’état during the Algerian colonial war). Initially, this week’s snap passage of the emergency powers law only provides for a 12 day period, but on Monday French ministers confirmed this would be extended to 3 months because they believed that French citizens “had a right to a safe Christmas.” It gets even worse. After closing French borders, President François Hollande then proceeded to accelerate new police state measures after declaring publicly that, “We are a nation at war”, and then called for suspending normal due process by canceling search warrants, imposing curfews, traffic bans, and even authorizing local governments to impose a ban on public demonstrations. It seems the President has traded in his nation’s liberty for security theatre. In addition, over 100,000 police and soldiers have been deployed throughout the country. France is now under Martial Law.

2. Airstrikes by Monday

In predictable knee-jerk fashion, the French government seized upon this opportunity in order to insert more of its military assets into the Syria conflict by launching airstrikes on Sunday night in the area surrounding Raqqa, Syria, allegedly striking a multitude of “ISIS targets”, including command centers, weapons depots, and ISIS ‘Oil Assets’ – all thanks to supposed intelligence provided by the US. However, reports suggest that the impressive display of French air power didn’t actually net any real ISIS casualties. One can only wonder how so many ‘high value targets’, especially ISIS oil assets (we’re told this is so crucial to ISIS funding), could suddenly be made available to the French by a US military that claims to have been conducting round-the-clock airstrikes over this same region… for the last 14 months. This only reinforces many people’s suspicions that the US-led Coalition “Anti-ISIS(ISIL) Campaign” has been nothing more window dressing for a covert agenda, where the US and its allies have actually been working in concert with both ISIS and al Qaeda in Syria in order to achieve a long-held policy of toppling Syria’s government, ala regime change in Damascus.

3. Invoking the Article 5 ‘Mutual Defense’ Clause

To date, Washington’s multi-lateral proxy, NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), has not been able to legally wiggle its way into Syria to help the thousands of foreign fighters and terrorists (like NATO did in Libya in 2010-2011) who have been allowed to flood into that country since 2011. Currently, the US and its allies are engaged in an illegal, undeclared war in Syria, and the US are desperate to find some legitimate avenue to pursue their military ambitions after having failed to cheat their way into Syria via a staged false flag ‘chemical weapons’ event in Aug 2013. According to NATO article 5, an attack on one member state is deemed an ‘attack on all’, and thus automatically triggers a joint military action (war) by the NATO collective against their declared enemy. Already, a number of political figures have cried out for ‘Article 5’ war powers, including former NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen who claimed that, “I do believe that the attacks on Paris qualify for an invocation of Article 5.” He added, “It was an attack on an ally and we know who the attacker is.” (certainly, they know the attacker much more than they are letting on). Eager to see a wider military deployment from Washington, US Senator Marco Rubio has called for ‘an Article 5’ too. Absent of any official NATO route, however, France has simply gone ahead and invoked an obscure ‘Mutual Defense’ pact hidden within the EU charter. The clause is called Article 42.7 of the Treaty on European Union which states that, “If a member state is the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other member states shall have toward it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power.” Job done. Bombs away.

4. Calls for No Fly Zone

As 21WIRE first reported last year, the ‘No Fly Zone’ meme has been coming out of every available orifice in Washington since 2013, and this popular US tool for military intervention still draws the affectionate gaze of Democratic Party war hawks like Hillary Clinton, as well as the endless column of Republican war hawks who are in the pocket of the military industrial lobby. Whether its Jeb Bush, John McCain, or Lindsey Graham, they never get tired of the No Fly Zone.

5. US Republicans pushing for ‘boots on the ground’

Just like the No Fly Zone, ‘Conservative’ Republican war hawks have been desperate to implement another old chestnut – by throwing thousands of young US men and women at a problem which the US has actually created. War hawks in Washington DC have predictably seized on the Paris Attacks as an opportunity to reignite calls for “boots on the ground” in Syria. Amazingly, they are now claiming that massive deployment of troops “worked really well” in Iraq and Afghanistan.

6. Call for closing freedom of movement across European borders

Early Saturday morning, Hollande’s first move was to ‘seal’ France’s borders, supposedly to catch the terrorists. This ’emergency’ move also comes at the height of Europe’s co-called ‘Migrant Crisis’ (a crisis that’s actually been engineered by the US and Europe). Rather conveniently, one of Friday the 13th’s said ‘suicide bombers’ was allegedly carrying a fake Syrian passport, which somehow led the French government and the western media to conclude that the Paris Attacks were a result of the ‘Migrant Crisis’, claiming the terrorists has sneaked into the country as refugees. To date, this only an official conspiracy theory, but that hasn’t stopped politicians and ‘security experts’ from using this crack-pot theory as justification for a European lock-down, prompting some European leaders to call for an end to freedom of movement across Europe.

7. Debate on Govt Spying and Privacy Rights, now off the table

As expected, politicians looking to appear ‘tough on terror’ and the growing gaggle of security lobbyists, and other assorted corporate fascists, have called for something akin to a ‘European Patriot Act’ – an end to the ‘Post-Snowden’ debate over bulk data collection and privacy – covering issues like NSA and GCHQ blanket spying on all citizens, and imposing more regulations and government monitoring of mandatory manufacturer ‘back doors’ for computers, mobile phones, gaming consoles, and also calls to make encryption illegal (except for government of course).

8. Calls for mandatory ID’s, biometric IDs

This hasn’t hit the headlines yet, but you can be sure that the usual gang of security contractors are putting the final touches on their proposals from a new regime of biometric ‘real IDs’. Expect announcements before the week’s end.

The last one is wasn’t very difficult to predict, but it has now been proven accurate nonetheless…

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9. Cameron using Paris to Push for Syria War Vote

Back in August 2013, British MPs rejected Cameron’s call for bombing Syrian government forces in a close vote. It turns out that MP’s made the right choice as that war would have been waged on false pretenses. As predicted on Friday last week, David Cameron has now promised a new “comprehensive strategy” to win MP’s Parliamentary votes for an open-ended UK bombing campaign ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Cameron claims he wants to, “do the right thing for our country” (fancy that), and hit the “head of the snake” of ISIS in Raqqa, Syria. What military impact the UK would make in a multi-nation war in the region is debatable, with an air force of about a dozen Typhoon fighters and a handful of operational naval vehicles. Make no mistake about it – the British defense industry would like nothing more than to see this happen tomorrow – along with increased defense spending and procurement. Job done. Bombs away.

We’d rather none of these had come true, especially this quickly, but it only goes to show just how transparent the new world order agenda really has become.

Watch 21WIRE’s Patrick Henningsen and his original analysis from Friday evening, Nov. 13, 2015 on RT International…

November 18, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

Most Police Training is Simply Learning to Kill – It’s Leading to a Deadly ‘Epidemic’

By Justin Gardner | The Free Thought Project | November 18, 2015

South Carolina — The Free Thought Project has been covering the murder of 19-year-old Zachary Hammond by Officer Mark Tiller since the incident occurred on July 26th. Three weeks ago the heartbreaking dashcam video was finally released, which shows a maniacal Tiller ruthlessly take the life of this teenager over a suspected bag of weed.

According to the Post and Courier, “the Hammond case was far from unusual” in South Carolina.

A campus cop at Spartanburg Methodist College shot to death an unarmed college student driving a car—including twice in the head—after responding to a report of a vehicle break-in. Of course, the cop claims that 20-year-old Delvin Simmons was trying to run him over, but there is no bodycam or dashcam video to refute that claim.

The Post and Courier found that South Carolina is set to break its current record of police shootings, and that 1 in 4 shootings involved officers who fired at moving vehicles. Criminal justice experts say this practice is “ineffective and risky to officers and bystanders.”

The paper’s investigation, titled Shots Fired: Mining lessons from tragedy, looked into the use of deadly force by the state’s police officers and how they learn from these encounters.

What they found was that the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and the Criminal Justice Academy do literally nothing to learn from past mistakes. For instance, there was no evaluation of the case of Walter Scott to glean lessons in avoiding the use of deadly force, even though Officer Michael Slager was charged with murder.

“They don’t want to admit mistakes,” said Philip M. Stinson, a former police officer who is a criminologist at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. “In some agencies there is an erroneous perception that if they were to discuss and learn from mistakes, any advancement would be viewed as an admission of guilt that could result in civil liability.”

Decades-old tactics of escalation and use of deadly force are firmly entrenched in police training,

“A survey that Wexler’s group recently completed showed the continuing emphasis placed on force over persuasion. Among the 281 police agencies that responded, the average number of basic training hours devoted to firearms was 58, compared to eight hours spent on de-escalation techniques and 10 hours on communication skills.”

The paper contrasts this to typical European approaches of law enforcement that emphasize keeping their distance, buying time and de-escalating the situation.

However, learning de-escalation tactics is an “elective” course for cops training at the academies. Instructor John McMahan sums up the extent of South Carolina’s current police training programs:

“Our main job is basic handgun fundamentals. Really all we are trying to do is to get them to where they can draw from a holster, site a line and pull the trigger.”

This was certainly on display when Mark Tiller so callously took the life of Zach Hammond.

Stinson, the criminologist and former cop, is taking aim at the unwillingness of police departments to learn from past incidents in order to reduce the violence being carried out upon he citizenry.

“It’s not second-guessing to say, ‘What can we do in the future to prevent these shootings from happening?’ That’s not second-guessing. That’s taking advantage of good policy and practice,” said Stinson.

As Chuck Wexler, director of the Police Executive Research Forum, points out, police shootings say a lot about “the training officers receive and the policies their departments adhere to.”

“So much attention is placed on the oversight issue, which is important, but you really have to look upstream at the policies and training that are in place,” said Wexler.

Instead of desperate attempts to blame victims, bystanders taking video, or journalists helping to expose police brutality, it’s time for law enforcement to take the blinders off and study their past actions.

After the Post and Courier exposed South Carolina law enforcement’s penchant for deadly force and shooting into moving vehicles, SLED chief Mark Keel is announcing they will change their ways.

He wants the Criminal Justice Academy “to start reviewing these cases and start looking for lessons learned, good and bad.” Keel says he is looking at policies and training practices in other states and may take specific actions next year.

They should not limit their research to other states in the U.S., as the ready use of brutality and deadly force is standard operating procedure across the country.

Time will tell if these announcements bring meaningful change, or if they are mere lip service to the increased scrutiny.

November 18, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment

Mass Arrests After #BlackLivesMatter Protesters Shut Down Minneapolis Road

Sputnik – 17.11.2015

On Monday evening, 51 people were arrested in Minneapolis after shutting down a busy highway for over two hours in protest of an unarmed black man who was killed by police on Sunday.

Among those arrested were at least two reporters, one of whom was doing a live broadcast for the local Fox Affiliate as he was handcuffed.

Jamar Clark, 24, was shot in the face by a still-unnamed police officer and died on Monday after being taken off of life support.

“A man shot in an officer-involved shooting incident early on November 15, 2015, has died,” Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said in a statement. “Jamar O’Neal Clark, 24, of Minneapolis, died Monday evening. Clark’s body has been taken to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy.”

Witnesses have maintained that he was handcuffed when the single bullet was fired, though the police have stated their initial investigation has determined he was not.

Police had arrived at the scene of an assault after Midnight on Sunday morning, officers claimed that Clark was interfering with paramedics who were treating the victim, when a “scuffle” ensued.

The outrage in the community lead to protesters marching to the police department and forcing their way inside. Many protesters have been occupying the lobby of the station, refusing to leave until the officer’s name is released as well as surveillance footage.

On Monday evening, Clark was taken off of life support and died shortly after.

Later in the evening, another group of hundreds of protesters marched onto I-94 and shut down traffic in both directions. The interstate was backed up for miles as demonstrators linked arms and refused to move.

Eventually, 43 adult protesters and 8 juveniles were arrested and charged with misdemeanors. All have since been released.

The Minneapolis Police Department has placed the two officers involved in Clark’s death on paid leave and has requested a federal investigation into the incident.

Their police department remains occupied, and a list of demands has been released by the Black Lives Matter protesters:

1. Footage from the incident

2. An independent organization to investigate

3. Media to cover witness testimony, not just police point of view

4. Community oversight with “full disciplinary power”

5. Officers to live in the communities they serve

November 18, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment

Corbyn Accuses Turkey, Saudis of Undermining Anti-ISIL Coalition

Sputnik – 17.11.2015

British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has taken aim at the Western-led anti-ISIL strategy, criticizing Turkey and Saudi Arabia’s input in the conflict, while raising questions over the legality of the overall Western approach.

The Labour leader accused Turkey of acting in its own self-interest and undermining the campaign against ISIL through its bombing of Kurdish groups, who have previously been considered to be some of the most effective fighters against ISIL.

Corbyn, who strongly favors a political solution to the conflict, also questioned whether some Saudi organizations were involved in the funding and supporting of ISIL through the supply of weapons and sales of oil. The Labour leader told Sky News:

“I also think we have to ask some questions about the way in which ISIL has received weapons, has received money, has been able to sell oil, has been able to export it and the role that other countries have played in this. [This includes] the way in which Turkey has been bombing Kurdish positions on the border and the way in which Saudi Arabia, maybe not at government level, but certainly at aid-level, has been providing support to ISIL.”

‘At the End We’ll Need a Political Solution’

Instead of boosting military efforts, Corbyn called for greater diplomatic efforts to improve the political situation in Syria.

“In the long run there has to be a much wider political settlement in the whole region and in the Middle East, otherwise we’re going to get more of this as time goes on,” he said.

“At the end of the day, all wars have to end by a political discussion and political solution to it.”

Following the Paris terrorist attacks and France’s decision to increase its bombing campaign on the ISIL stronghold of Raqqa, Corbyn said he was doubtful the attacks alone would bring about a solution.

“I don’t think that bombing is necessarily going to bring about the solution that they believe it might.”

“There’s going to be civilian casualties from the bombing of Raqqa,” he added, noting that a combined international diplomatic approach involving the West, Russia and other regional powers would be the most effective way of coming to a resolution in the conflict.

“I think far more hopeful are the talks that took place in Vienna over the weekend, including Russia, the United States, European Union and of course the neighboring countries. I think the solution actually lies in creating some kind of acceptable government in Syria that can in turn then hopefully deal with the problem with ISIS, or ISIL.”

The opposition leader has refused to back British military intervention in Syria, arguing that he would not support such an action without a UN mandate, while he also raised questions over the legality of the UK’s shoot to kill drone program, which has been credited with killing infamous ISIL figure Mohammed Emwazi, also known as Jihadi John.

November 18, 2015 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment