By Doug E. Steil | Aletho News | March 28, 2015
Adverse side effects related to taking anti-depressant pharmaceutical drugs are well known. Numerous mass murders in conjunction with suicides were attributable to people who were under the influence of these drugs, which are being over-prescribed due to industry marketing pressure. (At least one in four women in the US are purportedly taking psychiatric medication.)
Nonetheless, according to Federal Aviation Authority regulations, pilots are not permitted to fly under the influence of such medication due to the harmful and potentially dangerous effects they can cause, including abnormal, self destructive, and violent behavior. This is simply a basic issue of public safety. … continue
By Eileen O’Grady | CEPR Americas Blog | March 27, 2015
Plan Colombia has been on the lips of many U.S. officials lately, who tout the 15-year-old plan as a model to stabilize the country and promote human rights and transparency. This week, two new reports alleged sexual exploitation by U.S. security forces in Colombia, underscoring the detrimental (and hypocritical) role of Plan Colombia and U.S. military and police presence in the region.
A report [PDF]released Thursday by the U.S. Inspector General (IG) investigating the DEA found that DEA agents stationed in Colombia allegedly had “sex parties” with prostitutes bankrolled by drug cartels. This follows last month’s even more alarming report, commissioned to inform peace talk negotiations, that revealed sexual abuse of more than 54 young Colombian children at the hands of U.S. security forces between 2003 and 2007.
According to the IG report, Colombian police officers reportedly provided “protection for the DEA agents’ weapons and property during the parties.” It also states that “the DEA, ATF, and Marshals Service repeatedly failed to report all risky or improper sexual behavior to security personnel at those agencies” and expressed concern at the DEA’s general delay and unwillingness to comply with the investigation. … continue
By Erin Gallagher | Revolution News | March 27, 2015
Yesterday three laws widely criticized by the opposition and human rights groups were approved in Spanish Congress. The Penal Code, the new Anti-Terror Law and the Law on Citizen Safety. The three new texts challenge freedom of expression in the streets and on the Internet. All three laws are scheduled to go into effect July 1, 2015. … continue
Ma’an – 28/03/2015
RAMALLAH – Israeli forces briefly detained the governor of the Ramallah and al-Bireh district, Laila Ghannam, at the entrance of Nabi Saleh village in the northern Ramallah district on Saturday.
Soldiers reportedly threatened the governor of “direct targeting” if she continues to participate in the weekly march organized by the popular committee against settlements and the separation wall in Nabi Saleh.
Ghannam said “we will not be frightened of detention even if we are directly targeted; we will take part in the weekly march and will not be prevented from exercising our rights on our land.”
Ghannam was detained in a similar incident in February last year while travelling from Jericho to Ramallah. … continue
Palestine Information Center – March 28, 2015
Anas Qdeh, 21, had no idea that waving the Palestinian flag and flashing the V sign is a crime for which he will be shot by the Israeli Occupation forces (IOF) which fired explosive bullets directly at his legs while he was with scores of citizens about 10 meters away from the security fence separating Khan Younis from 1948 occupied lands.
Qdeh told the PIC reporter: “On Friday March 20, I headed to our land east of al-Sanati in Greater Abasan where many youths gather every Friday to stress that this is our land and that we will never give up on it even if Israel isolated it. … continue
BRUSSELS – The European Union kept Hamas on its terrorism blacklist Friday despite a controversial court decision ordering Brussels to remove the Palestinian Islamist group from the register.
Brussels has lodged an appeal against a December ruling by the bloc’s second highest court that Hamas should be delisted for the first time since 2001.
“Hamas stays on list during Council’s appeal to December judgement,” Susanne Kiefer, a spokeswoman for the European Council, said on Twitter.
The appeal process is expected to take around a year and a half.
Two other groups have however been withdrawn since the last EU list was published in July 2014: the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, which US officials have accused of funneling money to Hamas, and Al-Takfir and Al-Hijra, an Egyptian Islamist group. … Full article
Ma’an – 28/03/2015
BETHLEHEM – Israeli forces conducted military training exercises in the Ramallah district earlier this week, according to Israeli media.
The Israeli force’s Territorial Brigade allegedly raided the town of Birzeit, just outside the central West Bank city of Ramallah, in what was reported by Israeli news source Haaretz as “preparation for a possible escalation on the ground.”
The forces engaged in a variety of potential scenarios including confronting violent mass demonstrations, shooting attacks, and use of live fire by members of Palestinian security forces.
While Haaretz reported the exercise was planned with the intention to cause “relatively little disruption to the routine of Palestinian life,” the account included a training exercise in the home of a Birzeit University college student, whose house was searched during the night while he stood in his pajamas with an Israeli soldier. … continue
By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | March 27, 2015
The US obsession with manipulating security narratives for political purposes has recently been manifested in Obama’s Executive Order dated 9 March, 2015 in which he declared Venezuela to be “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States”. Alleged threats by socialist governments against the US have been regurgitated throughout the decades – a trend which, although within a different context, has also been absorbed within Israel’s colonial narrative against Palestinians.
While the political scenario is different, both Venezuela and Palestine have faced the application of human rights discourse in an attempt to divert attention away from resistance struggles. As Venezuela battles the US-funded opposition and violence against the Bolivarian Revolution established by Hugo Chavez, Palestine is relegated to oblivion through the US’s and Israel’s collective efforts to raise security concerns above the reality of colonial surveillance and the usurpation of territory. … continue
By Brandon Martinez | Non-Aligned Media | March 27, 2015
When the United States began its so-called ‘war on ISIS’ back in August of 2014, I immediately inferred that the campaign was completely fraudulent.
In an August 2014 article titled ISIS, Israel and US duplicity, I posited that US airstrikes against the terrorist outfit in Iraq and Syria would be deliberately ineffective. I even opined that Washington would aim some of its bombs at Iraqi government and aligned forces fighting against ISIS and then claim these incidents are accidental – a duplicitous but prototypical US strategy of playing both sides against the middle. I asked:
How do we really know what the US is doing in Iraq at the moment? How do we know that they really are carrying out strikes against ISIS? How do US forces know who is ISIS and who isn’t? Do ISIS members wear bright pink uniforms so that they stand out in a crowd and can thus be precision targeted by American fighter jets? For all we know, these air strikes could be targeting Iraqi army and police forces that are fighting against ISIS militants. Maybe the plan is to covertly help ISIS fragment and destabilize Iraq and exacerbate the country’s misery.
Recent occurrences prove me right. … continue
RT | March 28, 2015
Some 100 UN staff and more than 80 foreign diplomats have been evacuated from Yemen, following the night of intensive airstrikes by Saudi-led forces. Twenty-four people were killed and 43 injured over the last 24 hours, the Yemeni Interior Ministry said.
Among those killed and injured were Yemeni troops, police, security forces and civilians, the ministry said in a statement, cited by the state news agency Saba. Fourteen buildings were destroyed, it added.
The deteriorating security situation has led to the United Nations evacuating its estimated 100 staff from the capital, Sanaa, a source within the UN told Reuters. […]
Press TV – March 28, 2015
The United States has to make an “extraordinary climb-down” on the issue of sanctions in order to reach a comprehensive agreement with Iran over its nuclear energy program, an American investigative journalist says.
Gareth Porter, a historian, journalist, author and policy analyst specializing in US national security policy, made the remarks in his article, titled Sanctions and the Fate of the Nuclear Talks, published on Friday by Middle East Eye, an online news portal covering events in the Middle East. […]
Porter said that the fate of the talks hangs on closing the gap between the two sides on removing sanctions imposed against Iran.
He stated that the issues related to Iran’s civilian nuclear program have now been more or less resolved, but the issue of sanctions relief is still very much there.
Porter wrote that “all the evidence indicates that the two sides have not advanced beyond where they were last November, when they were very far apart.”
He said that the Obama administration wrongly believes that Iran is negotiating with the P5+1 because sanctions are seriously hurting its economy.
Porter wrote that Washington “fails to grasp the depth of Iranian commitment to removing the sanctions as a matter of national pride as well as to be able to achieve a higher level of economic development.”
He said the “myopic perspective” of the US and its allies is part of the problem, adding that they “intend to maintain the ‘sanctions architecture’ in place for many years after the implementation of the agreement has begun.”
In adopting such a policy, the investigative journalist said, “the Obama administration is following precisely the course outlined by Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), the neoconservative think tank whose outputs align completely with Israeli interests.”
He revealed that Dubowitz designed the anti-Iran sanctions which were approved by Congress in late 2011 and he “strongly influenced the administration’s sanctions policy for the entire Joint Plan of Action period.” – Full article
Although a conservative estimate, physicians’ groups say the figure ‘is approximately 10 times greater’ than typically reported
By Sarah Lazare | Common Dreams | March 26, 2015
How do you calculate the human costs of the U.S.-led War on Terror?
On the 12th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, groups of physicians attempted to arrive at a partial answer to this question by counting the dead.
In their joint report— Body Count: Casualty Figures after 10 Years of the ‘War on Terror—Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Global Survival, and the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War concluded that this number is staggering, with at least 1.3 million lives lost in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan alone since the onset of the war following September 11, 2001.
However, the report notes, this is a conservative estimate, and the total number killed in the three countries “could also be in excess of 2 million, whereas a figure below 1 million is extremely unlikely.”
Furthermore, the researchers do not look at other countries targeted by U.S.-led war, including Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Syria, and beyond. … continue
Israel has delivered three major body punches to the United States this month, which means it is time to hit back — unless our government wants to be perceived by Americans, Israelis and everyone else in the world as a bad joke as a world power.
The first blow was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu using the House of Representatives as the site of a campaign pep rally for himself, with congressmen and senators as cheerleaders and majorettes. His speech on that occasion just happened to be an attack on a major American project: the achievement of an international agreement with Iran to control its nuclear ambitions and begin the end of 36 years of estrangement.
That agreement, by the way, is being negotiated in coordination with China, France, Germany, Russia and Britain. … continue
By Philip Giraldi | Ron Paul Institute | March 26, 2015
The recent revelation that the Israelis had obtained classified information relating to the P5+1 negotiations with Iran over the latter’s nuclear program should not really surprise anyone. Israel has invested a great deal of political capital in confronting Iran and convincing the American public that it poses a genuine threat. So, it would be a given that its intelligence service, Mossad, would be tasked with finding out what information is not being shared by the White House.
But the truly intriguing back-story to this development is, “how did the Israelis do it and with whom exactly did they share their information?” The information obtained was described by the White House as “eavesdropping,” which would suggest some sort of electronic interception. But as the meetings undoubtedly took place in a technically secured room, which means that it was electronically “swept” before, during, and after meetings, the conversations could not be picked up either from bugs planted inside — which would be detected — or from penetration techniques originating outside, which is possible but would require a major deployment of high-tech gear close to the target. … continue
Funding Illegal Israeli Settlements
By JAMES ABOUREZK | CounterPunch | March 27, 2015
The Minnesota State Board of Investment is honor bound when it invests monies from Minnesota’s public employee pension funds. Each of the Board members, which includes Governor Mark Dayton (Chair), State Auditor Rebecca Otto, Secretary of State Steve Simon and Attorney General Lori Swanson know, or should know, that by investing in Israel Bonds the Board has violated its fiduciary responsibility to only invest public pension funds prudently. Israel Bonds are government bonds issued by the State of Israel.
Earlier this month I appeared before the Board members to urge them not to invest in Israel Bonds. Immediately after I ended my presentation, the Governor handed the other Board members a previously prepared written motion to continue investing the state’s pension funds in Israel Bonds. All of us in the packed hearing room understood that my testimony had been wasted. Facing members of the pro-Israel Lobby who had been seated in the front row, three of the four board members voted to invest. Only the State Auditor, Rebecca Otto, voted against the motion. … continue
RT | March 27, 2015
Moscow has slammed Washington for taking “no practical steps” to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) – despite countless promises to do so – and consequently preventing the important international treaty from going into force.
“The main load of responsibility that the CTBT has not entered into force so far lies on the eight remaining countries from the so-called ‘list of 44′ whose ratification documents are needed to launch the treaty,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The ministry stressed that “first of all, this refers to the US, a country that positions itself as a leader in the sphere of strengthening the regime of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.”
“Unfortunately, despite the repeated statements on the plans to ratify the Treaty, the US has yet taken no practical steps in this direction,” the statement said. … continue
By JOHN LAFORGE | CounterPunch | March 27, 2015
The partial meltdown at Three Mile Island, March 28, 1979, involved the loss-of-coolant, the melting of half its fuel, a hydrogen explosion in the “containment” building,(i) the uncontrolled, frightening buildup of explosive hydrogen in the reactor vessel, the venting of radioactive gases, and the dumping of contaminated water into a major source public drinking water. The accident caused such a scare that it ended the expansion of nuclear power in the US. Today, reactor builds can’t keep up with closures.
Yet the human health consequences of TMI aren’t well known, and official cover-ups, propaganda and ignorance of radiation-induced illnesses have led to trivialization of the disaster. As Gar Smith notes in his 2012 book Nuclear Roulette, public officials issued one false statement after another for days, like: there were no radiation releases; radiation releases were “controlled”; radiation releases were “insignificant”; there was no melting of the reactor fuel; there was never any danger of an explosion; there was no need to evacuate close communities. In fact, TMI’s failed containment released a plume of radiation “about 100 times more significant than the initial estimates offered” by the industry and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission — which still doesn’t know how much radiation was released or where it went. … continue
Amid chaos over defense cuts and strategy, the Ministry of Defense’s newest boss will be paid up to £535,000 (around US$800,000) a year to lead the department’s multi-billion pound equipment program.
Tony Douglas, currently CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports, is the latest high-powered corporate executive to make a move to the public sector.
He will become Head of Defense Materiel at the Defense Equipment and Support (DE&S) agency, which sources and purchases military equipment ranging from boots to jet fighters.
The figures were originally disclosed to the Financial Times newspaper by two senior civil servants.
With a basic salary of £285,000 and the potential to earn another £250,000 in performance-related bonuses, Douglas will become the highest-paid civil servant in Whitehall… Full article
American warplanes have been participating in war games in Poland as part of a training mission for a massive NATO military drill amid tensions between Washington and Moscow over the Ukraine crisis.
Four US A-10 Thunderbolt II warplanes, capable of destroying tanks, are involved in a series of drills in the European country this week, the Associated Press reported.
The warplanes which followed two C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft on Tuesday are temporarily based at the Powidz Transport Air Base in western Poland, Polish army spokesman Lt. Col. Artur Golawski said on Thursday. […]
Earlier this month, US military tanks also arrived in the country to participate in NATO’s Atlantic Resolve operation. … Full article
Press TV – March 27, 2015
An Argentinean appeals court has dismissed charges against the country’s president and foreign minister over an alleged cover-up said to have taken place with regards to a 1994 bombing.
On Thursday, the Federal Chamber voted 2-1 to reject the allegations leveled by late special prosecutor Alberto Nisman.
In July 1994, a car bomb exploded at the building of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association, also known as AMIA, in the capital, Buenos Aires. Eighty-five people died and some 300 were injured.
The Israeli regime accuses Tehran of masterminding the terrorist attack. The Islamic Republic of Iran has strongly denied any involvement in the incident.
The prosecutor had accused a number of high-ranking Argentinean officials, including President Fernandez de Kirchner, Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman, and lawmaker Andrés “Cuervo” Larroqu of trying to “protect Iranians” in the case.
The government has staunchly denied the allegations and insisted that “there is no evidence whatsoever, not even circumstantial in nature,” that Fernandez de Kirchner or her aides committed any crimes.
On February 26, Federal Judge Daniel Rafecas said likewise that there were no elements to justify the continuation of an investigation into an alleged political effort by Kirchner to cover up the role claimed to have been played by Iran in the bombing. … continue
By Adam Johnson | FAIR | March 26, 2015
… Thus far, however, these explosive claims seem to have received zero coverage in the general US press, despite having been reported on Venezuela’s Telesur (3/23/15), the British tabloid Daily Mail (3/24/15) and Russian RT (3/25/15).
But why? These aren’t fringe claims, nor can the government of American ally Colombia be dismissed as a peddler of Bolivarian propaganda. … Read full article
Ma’an - 27/03/2015
GAZA CITY – The Hamas movement on Friday rejected a report by human rights group Amnesty International accusing the group of war crimes during last summer’s war with Israel.
While the report claims that Hamas killed both Israeli and Palestinian civilians using indiscriminate projectiles, Hamas criticized the findings as being unbalanced, adopting “the Israeli version of the story.”
In a statement, the group said that it is the right of Palestinians to defend themselves against both the ongoing Israeli occupation and Israeli military offenses. … continue
The alliance of 60 countries declaring plans to finish off the Islamic State is not serious, Syrian President Bashar Assad told Russian media. Some of its members would prefer to retain the terrorist force to blackmail different countries, he said. […]
The Syrian president said the West does not have a political solution to the crisis in Syria, claiming it is only interested in destroying the government.
“They want to turn us into puppets. I do not think that the West has a political solution. It does not want one. When I say the West, I am primarily referring to the US, France, the UK. Other countries are secondary.”
To put an end to the ongoing armed conflict in Syria between the government troops and international militants, such countries as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and some European countries should stop arming the terrorists, the Syrian president said. … Full article
Pakistan announced it was ready to defend Saudi Arabia’s “territorial integrity” but not to escalate any conflict, the defense minister said Friday, after Riyadh asked Islamabad to join the coalition of countries launching an aggression against Yemen.
Khawaja Asif told parliament Pakistan was not prepared to take part in any conflict that would divide the Muslim world on sectarian lines. “We don’t want to be part of any proliferation, we will try to contain it,” he said. … Full article
Nearly 40 civilians have lost their lives as neighboring Saudi Arabia pushes ahead with its airstrikes against the Houthi Ansarullah movement in Yemen, health officials say.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP on Friday that twelve of the 39 victims were killed when Saudi warplanes struck residential areas close to al-Samaa military base, north of the capital city of Sana’a.
The military base is used by army units believed to be loyal to former Republican Guard Commander Brigadier General Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Three airstrikes also targeted the presidential compound in southern Sana’a in the wee hours of Friday, witnesses said. … Full article
By Sonny Okello | Dissident Voice | March 27, 2015
It seems that a day rarely passes without news of a new atrocity committed by an increasingly notorious terrorist group. And, without fail, this news is accompanied by an increase in U.S. military interventions around the world.
While for many Americans, supporting intervention may come from a laudable sentiment – the desire to ‘do something’ in the face of widespread suffering – the situation on the ground is always more complicated than it appears, with various powerful interests intersecting. Now, under the guise of counterterrorism efforts – the U.S. military’s alibi of choice since 9/11 – the Pentagon is spreading its ever-expanding footprint throughout the African continent despite the understandably lackluster welcome they are receiving from many ordinary Africans on the ground. … continue
By Craig McKee | Truth and Shadows | March 26, 2015
Sometimes it really pays to be persistent.
That’s what Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth found out this week when the organization achieved something truly remarkable. It succeeded in getting a commitment from the largest association of architects in the U.S. to debate and vote on a resolution supporting an investigation into the destruction of World Trade Center Building 7 on Sept. 11, 2001.
The vote will take place at the annual convention of the American Institute of Architects, May 14-16, in Atlanta, GA. (If you’re not sure how much of a big deal this convention is, the keynote speaker is former president Bill Clinton.)
After several failed attempts to get the AIA to even consider looking into Building 7, AE tried a different approach in early 2015. Instead of simply appealing to the AIA leadership, they used the organization’s own rules to create a resolution that, pending approval by the AIA resolution committee, would come to the floor of the convention where it would be debated and voted on by delegates.
That approval came this week. … continue
WSBTV reports that the FBI has arrested and charged a 67-year-old man who they claim placed a backpack containing partially made bombs and a Koran in an Atlanta-area park last November.
The man identified as Michael Sibley told authorities that he placed the backpack bomb in the park because he’s a ‘patriot’ trying to alert people to the threat of terrorism.
The criminal complaint against Sibley outlined his motive:
[Sibley] stated he is a ‘patriot’ and he felt no one was paying attention to what was going on the world. Sibley felt if he placed the package in a Roswell park then people would finally get that this type of activity could happen anywhere.
Authorities found that the backpack contained not just a Koran but “soft targets,” particularly Atlanta’s Jewish community centre.
The attempted false flagger seems to have the neocon narrative down pat: frame Muslims and make Jews out to be the victims.
Students in Quebec City were sprayed with tear gas by Canadian police after holding an ‘illegal’ gathering to protest the provincial budget. A brief scuffle broke out before law enforcement officers began randomly gassing the demonstrators.
Hundreds of students, some traveling from as far as Montreal, had gathered in front of the National Assembly to protest the Quebec government’s budget, which had been tabled on Thursday.
The demonstrators wanted to hold a protest in front of the National Assembly to show their disgust at cuts to services such as healthcare on campus and library hours. They were met by a line of riot police in full body armor.
There was a little pushing between the two sides and after a brief stand-off, the police began firing tear gas indiscriminately at the protesters from close range. … Full article with video
By Matt Agorist | The Free Thought Project | March 26, 2015
Topeka, KS — Drivers as well as their passengers in Topeka Kansas will soon be subject to a new policy requiring everyone to put their hands up during police stops.
Police say they are implementing this policy because “we all want to go home to our families, and this makes it safer for us to approach vehicles to gain that compliance. It gives us a chance to survive these encounters.”
However, the implications regarding this practice are horrid, and many residents are up in arms about being forced to be up in arms. … continue
Newly released police dashcam footage shows the violent arrest of an unarmed African-American during an alleged traffic violation in Michigan. The man claims he did nothing wrong but was put in a chokehold, beaten and Tasered repeatedly.
The incident, which is now under state investigation, happened in January, but the police dashcam video was obtained by Detroit’s WDIV and released on Tuesday. The video shows Michigan State Police pulling over Floyd Dent, 57, for an alleged traffic violation. Dent is seen opening his car door as two police officers arrive, one with his gun drawn, and pull him from the car, forcing him to the ground. One officer put him in a chokehold. … continue
The Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah, has slammed as “unwise” and “illegitimate” Saudi Arabia’s invasion of Yemen.
“Hezbollah strongly condemns the US-Saudi aggression targeting the brotherly people of Yemen and the national army and vital installations,” a statement from Hezbollah’s media office said on Thursday.
The condemnation by the Lebanese resistance movement came after warplanes of the Saudi Air Force bombed the positions of the Ansarullah fighters and launched attacks against the Sana’a International Airport and a nearby military air base early on Thursday. Based on early reports, 18 civilians have been killed in the airstrikes.
Hezbollah further warned of the repercussions of the Saudi invasion, “which lacks wisdom and rationale and legal legitimacy,… [and] is moving the region towards more tensions and risks.” … Full article
Press TV – March 26, 2015
The leader of Yemen’s Houthi fighters has heaped scorn on Saudi Arabia for conducting unjust and heinous attacks on Yemeni people, saying the Arab kingdom is serving as a puppet for the United States and the Israeli regime.
Abdul-Malik al-Houthi made the remarks in a televised address on Thursday in reaction to Saudi Arabia’s “unjustified” deadly attacks targeting Yemeni people in the capital, Sana’a.
Saudi Arabia is a puppet at the disposal of superpowers, the Houthi leader said, adding that Riyadh is putting in action the US-Israeli conspiracy in Yemen.
He noted that the US-Israeli plot in Yemen aims to break up the chaotic country and deprive people of security and freedom.
Al-Houthi said the Saudi invasion of Yemen came after their agents, including al-Qaeda terrorists and the ISIL Takfiri terrorists, failed to execute their plots in Yemen. … continue
By Prof. Tim Anderson | Global Research | March 24, 2015
This article examines and documents the Houla massacre of May 2012, a terrible incident in the Syrian Crisis which came closest to attracting UN intervention. The analysis here seeks to include all relevant evidence, both from witnesses and on the UN processes. A series of appalling civilian massacres during the conflict helped set the tone for another round of ‘humanitarian intervention’ or ‘responsibility to protect’ debates. The killings at Houla deserve close attention. However, because of NATO’s abuse of the ‘no fly zone’ authorisation for Libya and the wider geo-politics of Syria, Russia and China would not allow a similar UN Security Council authorisation of force. Big power intervention therefore remained indirect, through proxy militias. While the Syrian army attacked those militias and many Islamist groups carried out public executions, attempts to blame the Syrian Army for attacks on civilians remained hotly contested.
The context to this was two very different narratives. Western propaganda attacked Syrian President Bashar al Assad, claiming that he, through the Syrian Arab Army, was repeatedly ‘killing his own people’. From the Syrian side this was always a proxy war against Syria, with NATO and allied Gulf monarchies backing sectarian terrorist gangs, with the aim of ‘regime change’. The western line maintained that a peaceful protest movement, after many months of ‘regime brutality’, transformed into a secular (later ‘moderate Islamist’) ‘revolution’. The western popular media reinforced this line, with calls to arm the ‘civilian protestors’. … continue
Belfast Telegraph | March 24, 2015
The state was involved in mass murder on British soil, a lawyer has told a coroner’s court.
The security forces colluded with loyalist paramilitaries in 80 deaths between July 1972 and June 1978 in Northern Ireland’s “murder triangle” in counties Armagh and Tyrone, Leslie Thomas QC said.
He said many were carried out by the Glenanne Gang of gunmen with the alleged involvement of soldiers and police officers. … continue
Press TV – March 26, 2015
The US government has slapped oil services giant Schlumberger with a $232.7 million fine for “violating” its sanctions on Iran and Sudan.
The US Justice Department says the company had admitted “knowingly and willfully conspiring to violate” unilateral American sanctions.
The French-US services company is charged with secretly providing services to Iran and Sudan.
While Schlumberger Oilfield Holdings was allowed to work in both countries, the government says the fine involved the company’s US Drilling and Measurements unit which was not. … continue
By Robert Fantina | Aletho News | March 26, 2015
The genocidal methods employed by Israel against the Palestinians know no boundaries. The degree to which apartheid Israel works to erase Palestine, its people, history and culture is truly extraordinary. One method in use that may not be commonly known is referred to as ‘greenwashing’.
To fully understand this concept, it’s necessary first to understand and appreciate Palestinians’ devotion to, and reliance on, their lands in general, and olive trees in particular. For millennia, Palestinians have farmed the land and supported themselves and their families in this way. The olive tree has a central role in the lives and the very existence of Palestinians.
A newly-planted olive tree takes several years to bear fruit, but most will live for hundreds of years, producing fruit. It is not unusual for such trees to live for 2,000 years. The olives are used in a variety of ways, not only for oil, but in the making of soap, hair treatment and other products, and even to light their homes. Since many Palestinians live on lands that have been in their families for countless generations, there is a strong attachment to olive trees. Some families name their olive trees, indicating the importance the trees have to them.
Israel is not unaware of the significance of olive trees to the Palestinians. … continue
JERUSALEM – France-based utility giant Suez Environnement said Wednesday that, because of political sensitivities, it has decided not to take part in a cable car project linking west Jerusalem to the annexed Eastern sector.
The project, run by Jerusalem city council, has stoked controversy over the Israeli cable car’s planned route, which passes through parts of mostly Palestinian East Jerusalem. … Full article
By Ibrahim Hewitt | MEMO | March 25, 2015
Southampton University is hosting a conference next month which has stirred a whole raft of Zionist anger. “International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism” is, say its detractors, “anti-Semitic” and will, according to one British MP, “de-legitimise the existence of a democratic state”. Ah, is that the same “democratic state” wherein one-fifth of its citizens face official discrimination on a daily basis and the de-legitimisation of their culture, identity and existence in their own land?
Without wishing to pre-empt what the speakers at the conference are likely to say, this issue of “de-legitimisation” of Israel is fascinating, not least because it presupposes that the state has legitimacy in the first place. Accusations that Southampton’s examination of this topic will actually “legitimise anti-Semitism” are part of the usual smokescreen put up by the pro-Israel lobby in order to kill any discussion of Israel’s contempt for international laws and conventions. … continue
People in the restive Sinai Peninsula have been informed of a third phase of evacuations to be made as part of government plans to create a 2,000-meter buffer zone along the border with the Palestinian Gaza Strip.
People in Rafah said they have been notified that the third phase of evacuations will begin in early April. The first two phases involved the evacuation of 3,350 families from land that extended 1,000 meters into Egypt along the 14 km-long border. … Full article
Former police chief Habib al-Adly, who served as Hosni Mubarak’s interior minister, has been released from prison today after receiving clearance from the Prosecutor General’s office. He is the latest figure – and perhaps the most controversial – from Mubarak’s inner circle to be released from detention over the past few months. … Full article
Russia will continue to stay in contact with all parties involved in the conflict to quickly find a way to peacefully settle the conflict, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry urged parties to the conflict in Yemen to cease any military activity, according to the ministry’s official website.
“We believe it is highly important that all parties to the conflict in Yemen and their foreign allies stop any military actions and abandon any efforts to achieve their goals in a military way. We believe that severe contradictions in Yemen can be settled only through a nationwide dialogue,” the ministry said.
Moscow also expressed serious concerns over the latest events in Yemen.
The Russian government will continue to stay in contact with all parties involved in the conflict, including using UN institutions, to quickly find a way to peacefully settle the conflict, the ministry underscored.
Saudi Arabia along with other Gulf states launched late Wednesday a military offensive against Yemen, claiming over 20 civilians.
The Iranian foreign minister has called on Saudi Arabia to immediately cease its military aggression against Yemen.
“We demand an immediate stop to the Saudi military operations in Yemen,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an interview with Iran’s Arabic-language al-Alam news network on Thursday.
Zarif said the military operations constitute a violation of Yemen’s sovereignty and will only lead to bloodshed.
“We will spare no effort to contain the crisis in Yemen,” Zarif said.
He pointed out that the act of aggression will benefit no country, adding that the military campaign will further escalate the tensions in the region.
The Iranian foreign minister also urged the regional and western countries to avoid playing into the hands of terrorists such as al-Qaeda and ISIL in Yemen. … continue
March – 2015
February – 2015