26 June 2009

US Drug War Money Funded Peru Indigenous Massacre

Great report by the Narcosphere's Kristin Bricker:

"Narco News has discovered that US drug war money is all over the massacre. The US government has not only spent the past two decades funding the helicopters used in the massacre, it also trained the PNP in "riot control."

Court of Appeals: Jewish School's Admission Policy is Racist

The Court of Appeals in Britain has set the cat among the pigeons. In what has already been called "a far-reaching judgment", the UK Court of Appeals has ruled "the requirement that if a pupil is to qualify for admission his mother must be Jewish, whether by descent or by conversion, is a test of ethnicity which contravenes the Race Relations Act".

The case was brought by the parents of a 12 year old boy who was denied a place at the JFS (Jews Free School) because his mother was not a "recognised" Jew. She was a convert who made the mistake of converting "at a Progressive rather than an Orthodox synagogue and therefore not recognised by the Office of the Chief Rabbi (OCR)."

The discrimination against M was direct discrimination and therefore could not be justified, said Lords Justices Sedley and Rimer and Lady Justice Smith.

This basically means that now no faith school is immune from the prohibition on race discrimination, and taken one stage further the same could be applicable to countries, at least in the eyes of British law.

15 June 2009

Angry Arab: Western Primer on elections in developing countries

A definite must-read so will post it in full here, but if you prefer hitch over to the Angry Arab, now!

Some Western principles in assessing elections in developing countries:
1) When the favored candidates win, the elections are free and fair. And when they lose, elections are certainly unfree and stolen.
2) Violent protests against elections that produce winners favored by the west, are to be strictly condemned and protesters are to be called terrorists, hooligans and mobs (can you imagine if Lebanese opposition supporters were to engage in violent protests against the election results in Lebanon), while violent protests against enemies of the US when they win elections (like in Moldova) are to be admired (and the protesters in those cases are called "democracy activists".
3) It is not against free elections to have Western governments interfere in elections and in funding candidates through Western groups for the promotion of democracy.
4) Candidates (or even dictators) who serve Western interests are automatically labeled as "reform candidates" (even the Saudi tyrant is referred to as "reform-minded"), while candidates who oppose Western economic and political interests are to be labeled enemies of reform.
5) Candidates who are not strident in their language about Israel are always favored.
6) Western observers of elections are always on hand to declare an election unfair and rigged if the favored candidates lose.
7) The corruption of pro-US candidates (like the March 14 bunch) is preferred to the non-corruption of, say, Mugabe.
8) The democratic credentials of dictators immediately improve if they change their policies toward the US and if they express willingness to serve US economic and political interests.
9) Countries where dictators do a good job in serving US economic and political interests need not hold elections.
10) If favored candidates can't guarantee electoral victory (like the PA tool, Abu Mazen whose term has expired months ago), they don't need to hold elections and will be treated as if they won an election anyway.
11) It is just not logical to assume that people in developing countries can freely ever decide to make choices that are not consistent with political and economic interests of the US.
12) Elections that are held under American and Israeli occupations are free and fair if the preferred candidates win.

13 June 2009

Real News Network: Video "Inside the Peruvian Amazon"

Shyster squatters up to their tricks again

We hear in Ha'aretz today that J Street (a 'pro-Israel group') "blasted a poll released earlier this week that said a majority of Israelis are against a settlement freeze, calling the poll 'politically motivated and distorted'."

It transpires that the 'quasi poll' was "sponsored by Ariel University Center,
" the only
settlement squatters (!) university, and "published only in the clear rightist Makor Rishon-Hatzofe newspaper and not in any mainstream Hebrew press."

Of course, AP picked up on this and the story went round the world, misinforming everyone. Now how did that happen? How come something like this makes it through all the AP filters and crosschecks? And they call us anti-semites when we question the influence of Israeli hardiners in the western press...

David Halperin Assistant Director of Israel Policy Forum (IPF - NY) gave us a bit more here. Check out more here.

Here is the link to a Dahaf Institute poll following Obama's speech in Cairo which shows that in fact a majority of Israelis actually support Obama's settlement policy.

Meanwhile, the US is keeping up the 'pressure': "The proposals to be outlined in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech on Sunday will not be enough to satisfy the Obama administration, a senior U.S. official was quoted as saying on Friday. "

09 June 2009

What does he mean, that Rory Carroll?

Letter to the Guardian editor, Ombudsman and Mr. Carroll:


In his latest missive on Peru, Carroll wrote the following sentence: "The violence plunged the government into crisis and left a question mark over the fate of billion-dollar deals with foreign multinationals, including the Anglo-French oil company Perenco, to develop the rainforest."

My question is about the use of the word "develop". Which meaning of the word did Mr Carroll have in mind considering that in fact opening up rainforests to oil exploration actually degrades and pollutes?

transitive verb

1 a: to set forth or make clear by degrees or in detail : expound b: to make visible or manifest c: to treat (as in dyeing) with an agent to cause the appearance of color d: to subject (exposed photograph material) especially to chemicals in order to produce a visible image ; also : to make visible by such a method e: to elaborate (a musical idea) by the working out of rhythmic and harmonic changes in the theme

2 a: to work out the possibilities of b: to create or produce especially by deliberate effort over time

3 a: to make active or promote the growth of b (1): to make available or usable (2): to make suitable for commercial or residential purposes c: to move (as a chess piece) from the original position to one providing more opportunity for effective use

4 a: to cause to unfold gradually b: to expand by a process of growth c: to cause to grow and differentiate along lines natural to its kind d: to become infected or affected by

5: to acquire gradually

intransitive verb

1 a: to go through a process of natural growth, differentiation, or evolution by successive changes b: to acquire secondary sex characteristics

2: to become gradually manifest

3: to come into being gradually ; also : turn out 2a

For the life of me I can't find a definition that fits Carroll's use of the word. Perhaps the Ombudsman could help or Mr Carroll could actually answer an e-mail for a change as it appears he believes he is not answerable to his readers.


Check out this video I came across at the Reportaje al Perú blog (where you can find the Spanish version): ¿Por qué desconfían los amazónicos del Gobierno?

Una Muerte en Sion (A Death in Sion) OFFICIAL UPLOAD from Películas Atabamba on Vimeo.

08 June 2009

New Book: Desinformación. Cómo los medios ocultan el mundo, por Pascual Serrano

New book out which is going on my birthday list "Desinformación. Cómo los medios ocultan el mundo" by Pascual Serrano contributor to Le Monde Diplomatique and Rebelión.

Here's the blurb:

"Un recorrido por los principales acontecimientos de los últimos años que nos muestra que lo sucedido no es lo que nos han contando.

La mayoría de los ciudadanos considera que, después de leer la prensa o ver los telediarios, está informada de la actualidad internacional. Sin embargo, la realidad dista mucho de ser la imagen unívoca ofrecida por los medios. Este libro recorre los principales acontecimientos de los últimos años mostrando —mediante entrevistas con expertos, bibliografía especializada y consulta de medios alternativos— que lo sucedido no es lo que nos han contando.

Pascual Serrano
, con una incisiva mirada, desentraña el funcionamiento de los grandes medios de masas para hacernos comprender que la desinformación es una constante. Lo que creemos que está sucediendo en el mundo es sólo una falsa composición al servicio de unos intereses que van, poco a poco, conformando la opinión pública. La obra, además, propone técnicas y hábitos de lectura para fomentar una nueva actitud, independiente, ante la información y promover así una ciudadanía resistente a la manipulación.

"Este nuevo libro de Pascual Serrano establece de modo definitivo, con un catálogo abrumador de hechos, datos y ejemplos, la prueba del ADN de que los medios desinforman".

Ignacio Ramonet

Pascual Serrano. "Desinformación. Cómo los medios ocultan el mundo". Editorial Península. Madrid. Junio 2009 ISBN 978-84-8307-880-8 Páginas 624 pgs. Precio 25,90€. A la venta en librerías a partir del 28 de mayo de 2009


Fuera de España también se puede solicitar a su librería habitual para que lo pidan a la distribuidora en ese país."

Feeling the Hate In Jerusalem ...

"Max Blumenthal's shocking footage of the reaction by some Israelis and American Jews in Jerusalem to Obama's speech to the Muslim world." So says Max. Although it's just not shocking to many of us any more. It's something that's pretty fucking obvious when one considers the crimes that occur every day to some Palestinian or other. These people are moral and ethical zombies - walking dead.

Naturally the Ha'aretz correspondent tries to make light of it "
it's easy to let the beer overtake you". While documentary filmmaker Max Blumenthal rejects this argument ("No amount of alcohol could make me express opinions that were not authentically mine," he says. "If anything, alcohol is a crude form of truth serum that lubricates the release of closely held opinions and encourages confessional talk." Yes Max. In vino veritas. I'm with you on that one.

07 June 2009

Saramago on the Berlusconi 'thing' (La cosa Berlusconi)

Great piece by Nobel Laureate José Saramago: "La cosa Berlusconi". It was about time an intellectual condemned this gangster. (See theEcoLogics blog for a translation)
Note that the piece is published in El País, owned by PRISA, which has also published the photos of corrupt politicians and their 'putas' at Berlusconi's palace.

Now, I don't like El País, as my countless letters to them show (see also my posting on El Pais and its coverage of Latin America), but when they hound capos mafiosos and paedophiles whatever they're motives may be - and believe me they have their motives - well, bully for them!

04 June 2009

Anti-Hugo Chavez Writers Needed! (Washington, DC)

Chavez has just accused the CIA of conspiring to assassinate him and the President of Bolivia: "El Salvador's security minister, Manuel Melgar, said that were "strange movements" and that the visit of the Venezuelan president could not be given "full security"....the Cuban plane that he and President Evo Morales of Bolivia were to travel on was going to be shot down by a rocket as it approached San Salvador airport."

This wouldn't be the first time. Back in 2005, "former CIA agent Felix Rodriguez said that the U.S. government has plans to “bring about a change in Venezuela.” When pressed as to what type of plans these might be, Rodriguez responded that the Bush administration “could do it with a military strike, with a plane.”"

There may be however some circumstantial evidence that points to a DIA operation to discredit Chavez. On the 29 May this year there appeared this ad on craiglist.org (thanks to BoRev for pointing this out):

Date: 2009-05-29, 10:28AM EDT

"Hello there! We are a website dedicated to helping the Venezuelan community fight against Hugo Chavez. This website is a combination of satire, news, awareness, and change regarding the leadership of Hugo Chavez. Please help us in our efforts to save one of the most wonderful countries in the world and remove Hugo Chavez from power!

Here is what we are looking for:

We are looking for writers that can contribute stories, reports, comedic content, cartoons, and more for our website. Looking for political writers, picture up-loaders, personal experiences, personal views, and anything else that will help shed some light on the situation in Venezuela.

That should be about it! We will give you all the credit!

Because we are NOT a company and are not affiliated (yet) with any organizations, this is a non-paid project. But if you would like to help us out, please send us an email.

Thanks for your interest.

Also, if you know any Venezuelan writers, web designers, or anyone else that would like to help out – send them our way!

* Location: Washington, DC
* it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
* Compensation: no pay"

I wrote them an e-mail soliciting information and they sent me this reply:


Yes, we are looking for both styles of writing. We are currently reviewing writing now. Almost everything will get posted, but we are also looking for regular writers. Are you Venezuelan? Do you have a sample article or rant about Hugo Chavez or Venezuela? Also, some people do not feel comfortable with our website name = fuckhugochavez.com. We let everyone know ahead.

Also, we are offering free fuckhugochavez.com email addresses if you would
like one!

Thanks for your interests and we look forward to working with you!

FHC Team"

The website itself is pretty amateur and has a pretty direct message: http://www.fuckhugochavez.com/

The website is registered to one
Clarence Stiehm, and the address is in Arlington.

The location address was indeed bought by a Clarence A. Stiehm for $312,500 in October 2007.

There's not a lot on the registrant himself (which is not surprising) apart from one mention in a National Defence University paper on the U.S. Military Presence in Honduras. The footnotes on p.41 refer to an:

"Interview with Major Clarence Stiehm. Army Defense Attache Office. U.S. Embassy, Tegucigalpa, Honduras. January 14, 1994."

The only other Clarence Stiehl was a student at the Word of Life Academy in Springfield, VA., class of 1998, possibly a son?

Of course, the Pentagon is situated in Arlington and Defence Attachés are nominated and under the control of the DIA.

Conspiracy? You tell me.
Update 08 June:

See BoRev's update here:
"Confidential Msg. To Clarence Stiehm"

03 June 2009

More on illegal Israeli squatters

Squatters, thieves, fascists, racists, childkillers. Settlers they are NOT.

Max Blumenthal dodging tear-gas canisters in the West Bank:

Inside the Occupation 2009 -- Part One:

Inside the Occupation 2009 -- Part Two:

How a neocon casino king from California funds the Israeli settler movement by Max Blumenthal

Democracy Now Interview with Eduardo Galeano

Galeano is the author of the book Las Venas Abiertas de America Latina (The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent) which was given by Venezuelan Pesident Hugo Chavez to US President Barack Obama during a session of the summit of the Americas in Trinidad, and which then became an overnight bestseller in spite of having been published in 1973.

Enjoy the interview.