Friday, November 03, 2006

On why Iran's real "nuclear" weapon is the Euro...

William Clark writing on 27 October 2004:

The Iranians are about to commit an "offense" far greater than Saddam Hussein's conversion to the euro of Iraq’s oil exports in the fall of 2000. Numerous articles have revealed Pentagon planning for operations against Iran as early as 2005. While the publicly stated reasons will be over Iran's nuclear ambitions, there are unspoken macroeconomic drivers explaining the Real Reasons regarding the 2nd stage of petrodollar warfare - Iran's upcoming euro-based oil Bourse.

The Real Reasons Why Iran is the Next Target

And a breakdown by Krassimir Petrov on how he feels the proposed Iranian Oil Bourse will "accelerate the fall of the American Empire".

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The History of Oil by Rob Newman

Informative and relevant history lesson in comedy standup form from the brilliantly funny Rob Newman. Enjoy.

Monday, October 30, 2006

On the Art of Stealing Human Rights

[The following extracts are from a speech given by Gerry Gambill at a conference on Human Rights at Tobique Reserve in New Brunswick, in August, 1958. In this speech, he warned native people about how this society goes about taking away the human rights of native people...]

The art of denying Indians their human rights has been refined to a science. The following list of commonly used techniques will be helpful in "burglar-proofing" your reserves, and your rights.

GAIN THE INDIANS CO-OPERATION - It is much easier to steal someone's human rights if you can do it with his OWN co-operation. So..:

1. Make him a non-person. Human rights are for people. Convince Indians their ancestors were savages, that they were pagan, that Indians were drunkards. Make them wards of the government. Make a legal distinction, as in the Indian Act, between Indians and persons. Write history books that tell half the story.

2. Convince the Indian that he should be patient, that these things take time. Tell him that we are making progress, and that progress takes time.

3. Make him believe that things are being done for his own good. Tell him you're sure that after he has experienced your laws and actions that he will realise how good they have been. Tell the Indian he has to take a little of the bad in order to enjoy the benefits you are conferring on him.

4. Get some Indian people to do the dirty work. There are always those who will act for you to the disadvantage of their own people. Just give them a little honor and praise. This is generally the function of band councils, chiefs, and advisory councils: they have little legal power, but can handle the tough decisions such as welfare, allocation of housing etc.

5. Consult the Indian, but do not act on the basis of what you hear. Tell the Indian he has a voice and go through the motions of listening. Then interpret what you have heard to suit your own needs.

6. Insist that the Indian "GOES THROUGH PROPER CHANNELS." Make the channels and the procedures so difficult that he won't bother to do anything. When he discovers what the proper channels are and becomes proficient at the procedures, change them.

7. Make the Indian believe that you are working hard for him, putting in much overtime and at a great sacrifice, and imply that he should be appreciative. This is the ultimate in skills in stealing human rights; when you obtain the thanks of your victim.

8. Allow a few individuals to "MAKE THE GRADE" and then point to them as examples. Say that the 'HARDWORKERS" AND THE "GOOD" Indians have made it, and that therefore it is a person's own fault if he doesn't succeed.

9. Appeal to the Indian's sense of fairness, and tell him that even though things are pretty bad it is not right for him to make strong protests. Keep the argument going on his form of protest and avoid talking about the real issue. refuse to deal with him while he is protesting. Take all the fire out of his efforts.

10. Encourage the Indian to take his case to court. This is very expensive, takes lots of time and energy and is very safe because laws are stacked against him. The court's ruling will defeat the Indian's cause, but makes him think he has obtained justice.

11. Make the Indian believe that things could be worse, and that instead of complaining about the loss of human rights, to be grateful for the rights we do have. In fact, convince him that to attempt to regain a right he has lost is likely to jepordize the rights that he still has.

12. Set yourself up as the protector of the Indian's human rights, and then you can choose to act only on those violations you wish to act upon. By getting successful on a few minor violations of human rights, you can point to these as examples of your devotion to his cause. The burglar who is also the doorman is the perfect combination.

13. Pretend that the reason for the loss of human rights is for some other reason that the person is an Indian. Tell him some of your best friends are Indians, and that his loss of rights is because of his housekeeping, his drinking, his clothing.

14. Make the situation more complicated than is necessary. Tell the Indian you will have to take a survey to find out how many other Indians are being discriminating against. Hire a group of professors to make a year-long research project.

15. Insist on unanimity. Let the Indian know that when all the Indians in Canada can make up their minds about just what they want as a group, then you will act. Play one group's special situation against another group's wishes.

16. Select very limited alternatives, neither of which has much merit, and then tell the Indian that indeed he has a choice. Ask, for instance, if he could or would rather have council elections in June or December, instead of asking if he wants them at all.

17. Convince the Indian that the leaders who are the most beneficial and powerful are dangerous and not to be trusted. Or simply lock them up on some charge like driving with no lights. Or refuse to listen to the real leaders and spend much time with the weak ones. Keep the people split from their leaders by sowing rumour. Attempt to get the best leaders into high paying jobs where they have to keep quiet to keep their paycheck coming in.

18. Speak of the common good. Tell the Indian that you can't consider yourselves when there is a whole nation to think of. Tell him that he can't think only of himself. For instance, in regard to hunting rights, tell him we have to think of all the hunters, or the sporting good industry.

19. Remove rights so gradually that people don't realize what has happened until it is too late. Again, in regard to hunting rights, first restrict the geographical area where hunting is permitted, then cut the season to certain times of the year, then cut the limits down gradually, then insist on licensing, and then Indians will be on the same grounds as white sportsmen.

20. Rely on some reason and logic (your reason and logic) instead of rightness and morality. Give thousands of reasons for things, but do not get trapped into arguments about what is right.

21. Hold a conference on HUMAN RIGHTS, have everyone blow off steam and tension, and go home feeling things are well in hand.


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Taliban Country

Carmela Baranowska’s “Taliban Country” is a rare and damning insight into what U.S. forces are doing in remote Afghanistan. For three weeks, Carmela was embedded with the U.S. Marines in their remote forward operating Base.

Suspicious of what was really happening, Carmela later became the only person in 2004 to return and independently cover this area. She was reported kidnapped by the Taliban but the source of reports of an abandoned vehicle and Taliban abduction of a Western woman have never been uncovered.

Carmela obtained disturbing testimony from local villagers, some of which echo the sexual abuse documented at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Naval Base.

Four-part documentary can be viewed here
(Very strong language from the start)
(Quicktime required)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Final Solution...

A film by Rakesh Sharma

"Those who forget history are condemned to relive it..."
- George Santayana

Borrowing its name from Hitler's policy towards the Jewish people, the Final Solution is a brave film by award winning director, Rakesh Sharma, on the politics of hate and violence in India. It focuses on the atrocities that took place when the BJP swept to power, and thousands of Muslims were killed, and hundreds of Muslim women and girls raped, by mobs in Gujarat, India in 2002.

Harrowing stuff.

Sonic Boom

Although the phrase "sonic boom" would normally conjure up fond memories of the Street Fighter 2 machine down at the local arcade, I came across it in a quite different context in a blog I happened upon the other day, written by a doctor living and working in the volatile Gaza strip.

Amongst the many oppressive tactics of the Israeli occupation forces, is a technique known as sonic booming. Basically, when an object (in this case an American-built F-16 Israeli fighter jet) breaks the sound barrier, an effect known as the sonic boom is emitted. Not only is the sound very scary but the violent shockwaves which are created as a result of the sonic booms can have a whole range of horrible effects:

Low-flying F-16 fighter jets break the sound barrier above populated areas, creating thunderous shock waves which shake buildings, break windows, blow off doors, and cause widespread panic, fear, and hysteria.

The practice began in late September 2005 after Israeli settlers withdrew from Gaza.
Human rights groups and doctors have condemned the practice, which indiscriminately punishes the civilian population of Gaza, particularly young children:

According to Eyad Sarraj, a Palestinian psychiatrist, the attacks are terrorising the population and resulting in an array of psychosomatic effects ranging from anxiety attacks, seizures and nausea to nosebleeds and miscarriages.

"Although it is not lethal, it can lead to death indirectly, of unborn children, it can lead to highly traumatising effects on children particularly, and adults too," he says.

"Repeated attacks of that kind have resulted in widespread bedwetting and behavioural changes, depression and anxiety symptoms, in both children and adults."

Sarraj says the sonic attacks are particularly traumatising on children below the age of six, who cannot distinguish between real and simulated bombings and perceive loud noises as threats and danger.

"I have seen children who have changed completely after being subjected to sonic booms, from sociable to clingy and anxious, crying all the time.


Here's a very simple model of how a sonic boom works.

Imagine how that would sound amplified, coming from a fighter jet, flying over your home.

Imagine how it would feel, not knowing whether it was a bomb or a sonic boom.

Imagine the feeling of the shockwaves raining down on you... shockwaves that are strong enough to shatter windows, rock buildings, and even shake your internal organs.

Now imagine you're six years old.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Killing of Kashmir

Unreported World: Killing of Kashmir first broadcasted on Channel 4 at 9pm April 8, 2004.

Reporter Sandra Jordan and producer Rodrigo Vazquez

Kashmir is a Muslim majority land split between Muslim-dominated Pakistan and Hindu-dominated India. It has been disputed over for years and civilians have been caught in the crossfire. This video details the crimes committed against the citizens of Kashmir.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

How accurate and objective is the News?

Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land

Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land provides a striking comparison of U.S. and international media coverage of the crisis in the Middle East, zeroing in on how structural distortions in U.S. coverage have reinforced false perceptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This pivotal documentary exposes how the foreign policy interests of American political elites--oil, and a need to have a secure military base in the region, among others--work in combination with Israeli public relations strategies to exercise a powerful influence over how news from the region is reported.

Through the voices of scholars, media critics, peace activists, religious figures, and Middle East experts, Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land carefully analyzes and explains how--through the use of language, framing and context--the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza remains hidden in the news media, and Israeli colonization of the occupied terrorities appears to be a defensive move rather than an offensive one.

The documentary also explores the ways that U.S. journalists, for reasons ranging from intimidation to a lack of thorough investigation, have become complicit in carrying out Israel's PR campaign. At its core, the documentary raises questions about the ethics and role of journalism, and the relationship between media and politics.

View documentary