Millions in farm subsidies given to dead US farmers

I really felt this needed to be shared

July 31 2013

Millions of dollars have gone to farmers years after their death as part of various farm safety net programs under the US Department of Agriculture, according to a recent government audit.

Federal auditors who poured through the USDA’s crop insurance, disaster assistance and conservation programs have found that $36.6 million were disbursed to deceased recipients, according to the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The GAO report points to the biggest offender as the USDA’s Risk Management Agency, which disburses crop insurance, as having issued $22 million in subsidies one or two years after a recipient’s death.

The report has been released ahead of meetings in the House and Senate to hammer out a farm bill that may expand subsidies like crop insurance, and casts doubts on the Agriculture Department’s ability to weed out waste, fraud and abuse.

The GAO itself states that findings “may call into question whether these farm safety net programs are benefiting the agricultural sector as intended.”

Though the funds improperly doled out to the deceased farmers represent a fraction of the $20 billion in annual federal subsidies for farm incomes, as the Los Angeles Times reports, the report also comes at a critical juncture for Congress as both parties spar over the total cost of a pending $1 trillion farm bill. And if segments such as crop insurance do increase as expected, then the USDA’s inability to detect waste or fraud may only increase accordingly.

For its part, the department of agriculture is not disputing the GAO’s findings, though it has taken exception to claims that it did not have sufficient controls in place to detect improper payments, according to the New York Times.

Environmental activists, who oppose federal subsidies that, for example, encourage an artificially inflated production of corn – with implications into the popularity of GMO crops and the widespread use of high-fructose corn syrup – point to government waste as indicating a need for reforms.

“Not only are unlimited crop insurance subsidies flowing to the largest and most successful farm businesses, they are now going to deceased policyholders,” said Scott Faber, vice president of the Environmental Working Group in a statement issued Monday.

“At a time when some lawmakers want to cut off funding for the hungriest children, we find out today the federal government has spent $22 million over four years to lavish insurance subsidies to individuals who are no longer alive,” added Faber.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) opposes what it deems “bloated” farm subsidies that produce ultimately harmful incentives to plow up wetlands, grasslands and marginal lands, or place any emphasis on soil health. As RT recently reported, corn subsidies combined with a growing deficiency in GMO corn has resulted in greater use of pesticides.

According to a recent report published by the journal Food Policy cited by EWG US farm subsidies ultimately “have negligible impact on the prices paid by consumers for food. EWG cites other evidence that even the total elimination of US farm programs “would have a very modest effect on farm prices and production” of subsidized crops such as corn and wheat.

Though the debate over whether the currently gargantuan sum doled out by the federal government in the form of the farm bill is fair, is ongoing, this latest disclosure of funds making their way to deceased individuals only provides more ammunition to critics of government waste.

Both EWG and a slew of advocacy organizations that are concerned over everything from GMOs to pesticide use argue that crop insurance programs in particular have been transformed from their original intent, which was to compensate farmers from weather-caused crop losses, to a virtual guarantee of farm income.

GAO auditors are now suggesting that the USDA implement use of the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File to identify payments made to dead individuals. According to the GAO, agencies under the department of agriculture are currently utilizing an incomplete version of that data, and thus failing to identify deceased recipients.
Source

If there is one thing the US Government does really well it is waste money. Their accounting is just horrid.

I wonder if they ever found the trillions lost as reported the day before 9/11 and If I remember correctly they lost and\other trillion or so latter, as well as all the money lost on contractors during the Iraq war?

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Hay East donations disappoint Ontario farmers

Farmers need 50,000 bales of hay to make up for drought: Ont. Federation of Agriculture. I can understand their disappointment considering how much hay they sent to the West in their time of need in 2002. Stories are below.

CBC News

Oct 9, 2012

Some farmers in eastern Ontario are receiving hay from Western Canada today, but many say the amount likely won’t have much of an impact after this year’s drought.

The first delivery of 30 bales of hay from Western Canada arrived in Cobden, Ont., northwest of Ottawa, as part of the assistance program called Hay East.

The Mennonite Disaster Service is organizing the deliveries, which are coming via train. They said over the coming weeks, they will ship 200 bales of donated hay from the West to Eastern Ontario farmers.

The 200 bales are far less than what more than 130 farmers in the area say they need — more than 13,000 bales.

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture has also estimated farmers in the province need 50,000 bales of hay from the west to make up for the amount of hay they have lost.

“There’s no way we can meet all the demand, no way at all,” said Hay East chairman Glenn Buck.

Buck said donations were not as high as he had hoped and shipping the hay to the east has been expensive.

“With the cost of transportation, to get it to the various parts of Ontario where it’s needed, we can only deal right now with donated hay,” said Buck.

‘A drop in the bucket’ for farmers

At Ron McCoy’s organic dairy farm in Cobden, the hay supply is dwindling.

McCoy was happy to hear he’d be getting fifteen donated bales this week. But considering he has 60 cows to feed, the delivery won’t be enough.

“It’s really just a drop in the bucket…in terms of how much everybody needs. Fifteen bales will probably last me about fifteen days,” said McCoy.

The drought forced McCoy to cull some of his cattle herd. But on the heels of Thanksgiving weekend, he appreciates the gesture.

“It just makes you feel grateful and thankful when farmers work together and help each other out,” he said. Source

Western farmers may return hay favour to easterners

Ontario farmers could receive deliveries of hay from prairie farmers, returning favour from 2002

CBC News

Aug 30, 2012

Prairie farmers could be sending hay to Ontario farmers to help them through the summer drought, a decade after 110,000 tonnes were sent by easterners to help their western counterparts.

Volunteers have been touring Ontario farmland to find the hardest hit by the unusually dry conditions. They are looking to help them out by bringing hay East, instead of sending these farmers.

“At some point, the cost of hay makes feeding the animals ludicrous, so you’re throwing money down the drain,” said Glenn Buck, chairman of Ontario’s Mennonite Disaster Service.

Buck said money does not help farmers buy hay. The transfer of hay itself is more logical and makes more financial sense.

In 2002, for example, farmers in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan were hit by a devastating drought. But in Ontario, crops were plentiful, so hay was sent to western farmers.

Buck received a phone call from a farmer who used to live in eastern Ontario, but has moved to Western Canada. That farmer said he had excess hay and wanted to help those struggling in Ontario.

Farmer hopes for good karma

Wyatt McWilliams, who owns a farm in Navan, on the eastern outskirts of Ottawa, sent hay West 10 years ago along with his father.

Now, he says the possibility of hay donations from prairie farmers is a heartening proposition.

“Fellow farmers are always trying to help each other,” he said.

“Hay West was the Canadian spirit. A lot of people got behind the initiative and helped out. We certainly appreciate any help we can get because it’s going to be a long winter.”

A meeting was held Wednesday to help co-ordinate shipping costs and how hay would be distributed.

The Hay East campaign is currently in the “investigation” phase, Buck said.

He added the transportation will most likely be using trains and it is still unknown where and how much hay will be transported to the East.

The Ontario Mennonite Disaster Service also said it has been contacted by organizers of a Farm Aid concert for Sept. 16.

More financial help could come via that avenue, as well. Source

Under Jean Chrétien In 2002

More hay headed West

August 11, 2002

CBC News

The Drought of 2002

Prince Edward Islanders taking part in the campaign to get hay to drought-stricken western livestock are optimistic they can get the feed shipped out.

CN Rail has agreed to put on box cars in Moncton, N.B.; Truro, N.S.’ and Quebec City to ship hay west early next week.

P.E.I. officials are trying to arrange to get the hay across the Confederation Bridge. Dozens of farmers and ordinary Islanders have said they will donate money to help defer transportation costs.

In total, rail companies are freeing up nearly 200 cars to bring the hay to the West. The federal government has chipped in $150,000 to the Hay West campaign for the short-term, as well as freeing up money for drought-assistance.

On Friday, Agriculture Minister Lyle Vanclief announced that $10 million will be released immediately and will be used to fund water supply projects in drought-stricken areas in Canada.

But all that may not be enough. Thousands of donated bales of hay won’t feed the million of animals on the prairies. So producers are selling off cattle at rock-bottom prices.

Elaine Boon is trying to give away her prized Arabian horses. She says she can’t afford to feed them and nobody wants to buy them. If someone could take them off her hands, it beats the other option. “If they don’t have feed they’re going to the slaughterhouse,” she said.

It’s all taking a toll financially, and emotionally. Drought-related stress in Alberta has led to calls for a province-wide hotline for farmers.

“Emotional issues, financial issues, farm business issues, drought issues, we need to focus information about all that into one location and disperse it from there,” said Rod Scarlett of Wild Rose Agricultural Producers.

There is a hotline in Saskatchewan and the phones won’t stop ringing. “There can be an impact on relationships. So that’s a factor that falls into place. In addition to that, it’s a look towards what the future holds. People are looking for an alternative source of income job-wise, whether it be training, those sorts of things,” said Ken Imhoff of the Saskatchewan Farm Stress Line.

Big industries are worried about the effect of the drought as well.

Canada’s beer-makers depend on Western barley. This year, the crop is stunted and there’s not much of it.

It’s possible brewers may have to import huge amounts of barley from around the world to make Canadian beer.

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture is touring the Prairies next week, hoping to help governments come up with a disaster plan.

There’s also a Farm Aid benefit concert planned for Thanksgiving weekend. Source

Seems the Western Farmers have forgotten, what the Eastern Farmers did for them. Shame on them. Shame on the Harper Government, for doing little to nothing, to help the Eastern Farmers in their time of need.

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US is lobbying nations to bring Cluster Bombs back “NO” would be my Answer

Ahmad picked up a bright metal object in a park where he was celebrating his 5th birthday in Lebanon. It was an unexploded cluster bomblet, which blew up in his face, killing him slowly in front of his family.

Three years ago, public pressure pushed through a ban of these cruel bombs. But now the US is lobbying nations to quietly sign a new law that allows their use — signing the death warrant for thousands of other children. Most countries are still on the fence on how to vote. Only if we raise the alarm across the world can we shame our governments to block this deadly decision.

Positions are being drawn up now. We only have days until countries meet to send our leaders a clear message: stand up for the cluster bombs ban and keep our children safe. Click below to sign the petition — it will be delivered directly to delegates at the Geneva conference:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/cluster_bombs_ii_b/?vl

Thousands of people — many of them children — have been maimed or killed by these bombs. When they are fired, they spray small “bomblets” over a wide area, many of which fail to explode. Years later, people disturb them in their fields or school playgrounds not knowing what they are, and they explode.

In 2008, over half of the world’s governments outlawed these weapons by signing the Convention on Cluster Munitions. But now, shockingly, countries like France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the UK, who all signed the Convention, are under pressure from the US, China and Russia to run rings round the ban by signing a separate agreement that would allow them to use cluster munitions. Only Norway, Mexico, Austria and a few others are fighting this horror.

Negotiators at the Convention on Conventional Weapons meet in Geneva next week. Most governments don’t really want this protocol and have not said which way they will vote, but they are under severe pressure from the US to comply and will only object if the global public persuades them.

There’s no time to lose — the conference starts on Monday. Let’s call on our governments to reject this deadly and cynical US campaign to legalize cluster killing. Click below to sign the petition and forward this email widely — we’ve done it before, let’s do it again:

Cluster bombs and land mines were banned because citizens raised the alarm across the world — with victims and survivors leading the way. For their sakes and to ensure no more lives are lost, let’s not allow these cruel weapons back and join together now to demand a more peaceful world.

More information:

Fourth Review Conference of the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Weapons:
http://www.unog.ch/80256EE600585943/%28httpPages%29/43FD798E7707CE5AC12578B20032B630?OpenDocument

UK backs bid to overturn ban on cluster bombs (The Independent):
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/uk-backs-bid-to-overturn-ban-on-cluster-bombs-6259139.html

CCW – the potential to cause more humanitarian harm than good (Stop Cluster Munitions.org):
http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/ccw/

The Past and Future of the CCW (Arms Control.org):
http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2011_03/LookingBack

No backsliding on cluster bombs (The Indepedent):
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/leading-articles/leading-article-no-backsliding-on-cluster-bombs-6259009.html

Raed Mokaled and the story of Ahmad (Handicap International):
http://www.handicapinternational.be/en/raed-mokaled

Please pass this on. And do take the time to sign it.
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UN Member States Must Demand Action Against NATO War Crimes

By Shenali Waduge

October 13, 2011

Why & how is it that international laws & international bodies & international public figures paid to maintain peaceful co-existence keep silent while even endorsing repeated NATO bombings that have killed thousands of innocent men, women & children & destroyed public & private property in a show of supremacy & arrogance over the nations they have targeted? NATO war crimes extend from Yugoslavia, to Iraq, to Afghanistan & now Libya. Why are international laws being manipulated to pressurize nations politically less powerful yet bountiful in natural resources or placed in influential economic routes? This simply explains why nations are invaded in the present context & how NATO has become above the law.

Were there terrorists in power plants, electricity grids, water supply networks? Were there terrorists among shops, universities & schools, stores, hospitals, farms & markets? These have been key targets of NATO in its endless bombing campaigns which totally violate its own Charter & the UN Charter. So if Justice is quiet what is the use of the International Criminal Court at The Hague? If the ICC is a tool, a manipulative organism that twists legal principles it is time the rest of the world knew about these duplicities, ambiguities & double standards & demand that it either stops the double standards or these members vote for another alternative.

NATO in Yugoslavia

The International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia formed in 1993 was only a means to justify Western intervention in the Balkans. It has no links to the International Court of Justice based in The Hague. The Tribunal is made up of US influenced appointees so will NATO crimes in Kosovo be investigated? Was it a surprise when the Tribunal branded President Milosevic a war criminal & the US is against the establishment of any international court that can charge US military & political personnel with war crimes?

What NATO is accused of is violating the UN Charter– it is a violation to attack a sovereign nation that was innocent of any aggression. NATO’s Charter Article 1 & 7 has also been violated – NATO is supposed to function as a “DEFENSIVE organization, & only committed to force if ONE or MORE of its members are attacked! NATO Treaty in fact recognizes the UN Security Council to maintain international peace & security. NATO’s violation of the Hague Convention Article 22 & 23, Geneva Convention Article 19, Nuremberg Principle VI a,b,c & the US Constitution Article 1 Section 8, Clause II is for “killing & injuring a defenseless population through Yugoslavia”.

The usual excuse is given as “humanitarian” intervention & that was what the Clinton administration used, incidentally Mussolini used it to invade Ethiopia to save them from slavery & Hitler used it to occupy Sudetenland to save Germans.

If the US used the Nuremberg principles to charge Germany for “starting an unprovoked war” shouldn’t the US be charged on similar grounds?

On 22 September, 2000 in the District Court of Belgrade, the President of the Court handed down guilty verdicts against government leaders of NATO countries for “war crimes”. These defendants were Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schroeder, Robin Cook, George Robertson, William Cohen, Hubert Vedrine, Alain Richard, Gerhard Schroeder, Joschka Fischer, Rudolf Scharping, Javier Solana and Wesley Clark. The sentence was for 20 years in a Yugoslav prison & thus arrest warrants were issued upon all charging each for crimes against humanity & breaches of international law, inciting an aggressive war, war crimes against civilians, use of weapons banned under international law, violating Yugoslavia’s territorial sovereignty & attempting to murder Slobodan Milosevic, President of Yugoslavia between March 24 & June 10, 1999.

Former US President Bill Clinton was sent a verdict on April 18th, 2001 sentencing him in absentia to 20 years in prison for “crimes against civilians”.

The entire West is not as inhuman as we think. The Commission of Inquiry of the International Action Coalition charged in 1999 Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright, William Cohen for violating the Geneva Convention, the UN Charter, the Nuremberg Principles, Helsinki Accords & the US Constitution. The 19 charges included starting a war, deliberate targeting of civilians infrastructure & violating & destroying peacemaking role of the UN. One of the main arguments was that despite the Yugoslav parliament agreeing to NATOs demand of autonomy & armed UN peacekeepers in Kosovo why it was bombed! Instead of the mass graves that was similar to the WMD in Iraq, there were perhaps just 200 dead persons – the 100,000 dead Albanians that NATO & US were promoting as grounds to attack was just a lie.

NATOs air strikes in Serbia killed over 2000 civilians & wounded more than 7500. NATO has owned up to only 460 civilian deaths. The dead included farmers, city dwellers, reporters, diplomats, people traveling in public transport, patients in hospitals, the elderly & even children. That is the human factor – what about the enormous damages to the environment as a result of these NATO bombings – poisoning water supplies, loss of electricity that affects hospitals & other emergency requirements? There is evidence that some Spanish pilots refused to drop bombs on non-military targets.

Another accusation against NATO was the bombing of all bridges across the international waterway through Eastern Europe – the River Danube. Some of these bridges were bombed while civilians were on them. All that NATO leaders said were that the incidents were “accidents”. This clearly violates the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12th August 1949 & the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol 1) – 8th June 1977.

NATO strategy was to destroy the whole infrastructure of Yugoslavia – that was why it targeted public services, rail & road networks, waterways. The objective was always to detach Kosovo.

If one were to read the book (The White Book) published by the Yugoslav Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NATO crimes in Yugoslavia, the book will reveal the damage caused by NATO bombings & lists 400 civilian deaths & over 40 incidents involving civilian fatalities.

If NATOs actions were illegal under its own treaty, in particular since aggressive military action was taken without UN mandate the killings that ensued were war crimes.

What is clear is that the US & UK Governments deliberately waged war against Yugoslavia by building a propaganda campaign that would be internationally welcomed & accepted by their countrymen.

On 5th January 2000, Yugoslav Government stepped up pressure to indict NATO country leaders – US President Bill Clinton & UK Prime Minister Tony Blair for crimes against humanity in Yugoslavia in 1999. This followed a submission for instigating proceeds before the International Court of Justice in April 29, 1999 & ICC setting a deadline for legal action on 30th June 1999 & Yugoslavia meeting that deadline on 5th January 2000. “Yugoslavia demands that the Court declare these countries responsible for the violation of major international obligations, which ban the implementation of force against countries, interference into their internal affairs or the violation of their sovereignty, as well as other international obligations. The indictment also included the demand for confirming the responsibility of these countries for their failure to prevent the genocide against the Serb people and other non-Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija, in which way they violated the obligations stemming from U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244 and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide Crimes . . . Yugoslavia is also demanding that the Court instruct all countries, which are being sued to pay compensation for all the damages inflicted”.

NATO war crimes in Iraq

The Geneva Conventions are clear “Civilians shall not be the object of attack.” According to the UN Security Council resolution, military forces were tasked with expelling Iraqi forces that invaded Kuwait. That task involved 88,000 tons of bombs that killed civilians & killed more civilians through the destruction of power grids, food, water treatment, sewage systems. US soldiers used napalm to incinerate entrenched Iraqi soldiers. US soldiers dropped fuel-air explosives, cluster bombs that use razor-sharp fragments to shred people. Depleted uranium were used to penetrate tanks causing long term health hazards, the economic embargoes have killed as many as 1million Iraqis.

Why did the US & its allies deliberately destroy Iraq’s water supply & not repair it? Why did these western nations repeatedly bomb infrastructures for flood control, municipal & industrial water storage, communication towers, irrigation & hydroelectric power? (8 multi purpose dams, 7 major pumping stations, 31 municipal water & sewage facilities were destroyed). These have nothing to do with Saddam or his supporters – these are services needed for the people of Iraq.

They were bombed to create – waterborne diseases which have killed thousands of Iraqi civilians & the bombs & weapons used have caused radiation poisoning as a result of depleted uranium shells.

Article 54 of the Geneva Convention states “it is prohibited to attack, destroy or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population” – including foodstuff, livestock & drinking water supplies & irrigation works”.

Why were these acts not treated as war crimes under the Geneva Convention & does this not constitute genocide by US & allies?

NATO war crimes in Afghanistan

If NATO has committed war crimes in Iraq & Yugoslavia, should we be surprised to read of NATO war crimes in Afghanistan? Indiscriminate bombings killing unarmed civilians have only been answered with an “apology” by NATO. The presence of US & NATO troops in Afghanistan was similar to that which took place in Yugoslavia – without any proof a country has been taken over. Indiscriminate bombings mean rebuilding projects being handed over to profit-driven private corporations. The irony is that the Afghan government are compromising the welfare of its own citizens for its own financial benefits. This has caused a rise in Pashtun nationalism & indirect support for the Taliban. Thus it has been easy to pass blame for NATO killings on the Taliban while civilian deaths keep piling, infrastructure continues to be bombed & anarchy prevails throughout Afghanistan.

NATO in Libya

NATO’s Libya operation followed the UNSC Resolution which NATO has violated seen through its presence on ground, bombing of civilian structures. Greatest violation is by NATO taking sides which is illegal, illegal too is the murder or attempt to murder government officials with no formal declaration of war. NATO is also using cluster bombs & depleted uranium which is also illegal. NATOs violations in Libya are many & what we would like to know is why is the ICC silent?

In the case of Libya, the ICC has no jurisdiction for Libya never ratified the Rome Treaty nor has the US. However, under international laws a Head of State has immunity. So if ICC does not question the US & its crimes against humanity why should ICC question Libya when the UN Security Council cannot refer to the ICC according to its Statute? ICC has been considering action against Georgia since 2008, against Guinea since 2009 & against Colombia since 2006 but the ICC took just 3 days to find Libya guilty.

The NATO countries participating in air strikes in Libya include France, UK, US, Canada, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands & Italy. What excuse does NATO have for bombing a Downs Syndrome School, the University of Tripoli, the man-made waterway irrigation system which supplies most Libyans with drinking water, bombing a hospital killing over 50 many of whom were children, bombing villages killing civilian population – is this not genocide & can the ICC continue to watch doing nothing?

The sinister campaign to take over Libya was by first projecting to Gaddafi that the US “deeply valued the relationship between the United States & Libya” (2009) This was because British Petroleum, Exxon Mobil, Halliburton, Chevron, Conoco, Marathon Oil & industrial giants like Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Dow Chemical & Fluor signed investments & sales deals with Libya. The US State Dept awarded a $1.5m grant to train Libyan civilian & government security forces in 2009. Many of these “trainees” are now leading the NATO-backed “rebel forces”.

Thus, the pretence of being a “friend” to Gaddafi by the US since 2009 was to get Gaddafi to agree to allow foreign presence in Libya.

For months now NATO has been pounding Libya. Over 30,000 air & missile assaults on mostly civilian infrastructure was expected so too was the “rebel uprising” for they had been already trained to rise against Gaddafi. NATO also bombed Libyan airports, ships, energy depots, ports & highways, warehouses, hospitals, waterplants & civilian homes. NATO was able to garner diplomatic support inclusive of the Arab League, NATO took services of hired mercenaries in Qatar. Libyan assets were frozen amounting billions of dollars. Economic sanctions were imposed by NATO cutting off Libya’s income from oil sales.

International media also controlled by western imperialists were relaying images that portrayed rebels waving rifles & shouting against Gaddafi. These rebels entered towns that had been devastated by NATO air attacks! What these rebels did was to rob homes, banks & destroy public institutions on the instructions of NATO. Going against Gaddafi does not equate to ruining infrastructure & destroying property that is used by one’s own people!

NATO wanted Libya to be destroyed. Like NATO destroyed Yugoslavia & Iraq. NATO wanted to ensure Libya had to be “reconstructed” because all these contracts would eventually go to profit-making western companies!

Incidentally, Libya is a country that had boasted the highest per capita income & standard of living in Africa.

What took place in Libya is a message from the imperialists for other nations in North Africa, Asia & Latin America. US-NATO are already engaged in colonial wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen & Somalia. What about the fall of Mubarak of Egypt & Ben Ali in Tunisia while uprisings in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Morocco, Algeria were all associated with movements demanding end to EU-US & Israeli domination of the region & would have caught their intelligence by surprise.

NATO provided the money to silence the “people’s march to democracy” & the situation in Egypt is far worse than during Mubaraks reign! In Bahrain the West called for “reform” while continuing to arm the Bahraini royal family as seen in the NATO backed Saudi invasion of Bahrain to support the royal dictatorship. In Yemen, the West continued to support the Ali Saleh regime. Nevertheless, NATO is apparently providing support to Islamic fundamentalists in a move to overthrow Bashar Al-Assad.

What did Libya do to anger the West? Did the West not like its pursuance of pro-African agenda which had funded an independent regional bank & communications system designed to bypass IMF & World Bank control?

What has ensued is that like in Iraq & Afghanistan there is likely to be a dominating US-NATO present that is looking towards a military offensive in Iran & Syria. Sub-Saharan Africa may like to remember Gaddafi’s generous aid, grants & loans that helped these nations from IMF, World Bank. Who will remember Gaddafi’s development programs, construction projects that offered many jobs to sub-Saharan African immigrant workers. Despite all these maneuvers, China is still bracing ahead over its western counterparts.

July 22, 2011 is the date when NATO hit the Libyan water supply pipeline. Days later NATO hit the pipeline factory producing pipes to repair it. Both incidents could not have been accidents. NATO went on to target civilian water supply network that supplied water to 70% of Libyan population. Nevertheless, the truth will emerge just like Libya is now revealing how it funded French President Sarkozy’s election campaign & the numerous secret meetings Tony Blair held with Gaddafi & there must surely be more in the Pandora’s box which is why the West is in a haste to bump of Gaddafi as they did to Osama & Saddam – all previous friends of the West.

It is certainly time that UN member states stood up against aggression by Western neo-imperialism. Member states must demand a probe into all the atrocities by NATO & demand that these nations steering NATO be charged with war crimes. Russia & China need to champion this cause.

With only 28 nations making up the NATO alliance, the UN has 53 African member nations & 48 Middle-East & Asian nations & 12 nations in South America. It is opportune for these non-NATO members to make a voice within the UN & demand that NATO be investigated for all of its war crimes & be charged for every war crime committed. Source

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

Now they want to go to war with Iran based on fabricated evidence.

It is time for the world to say no to more War.

Don’t believe the spoon fed garbage being fed to you by the US media. It is all a lie, just like all the other lies they have told you.

The US government and NATO Leaders will lie. They have been lieing to you all a long.

So how gullible are you?

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Land Grab in Ugamda leaves 20,000 homeless

Ugandan farmer: ‘My land gave me everything. Now I’m one of the poorest’

Land tenure in Uganda is a subject of much dispute, and last year’s farming evictions have left 20,000 homeless

September 22 2011

By John Vidal

These people living close to Kicucula village claim to have been evicted from forest land in Mubende district, Uganda. Photograph: Simon Rawles/OxfamFrancis Longoli, a small farmer from Kiboga district of central Uganda, is tearful: “I remember my land, three acres of coffee, many trees – mangoes and avocados. I had five acres of bananas, 10 beehives, two beautiful permanent houses. My land gave me everything. People used to call me ‘omataka’ – someone who owns land. Now that is no more. I am one of the poorest now,” he says.

Longoli and his family of six lost everything last year when, with three months notice, the Ugandan government evicted him and thousands of others from the Mubende and Kiboga districts to make way for the UK-based New Forests Company to plant trees, to earn carbon credits and ultimately to sell the timber.

Today, the village school in Kiboga is a New Forests Company headquarters. More than 20,000 people have been made homeless and Longoli rents a small house in Lubaali village. He says he cannot go back for fear of being attacked.

“I no longer own any land. It’s impossible to feed my children – they have suffered so much. Some days all they eat is porridge from maize flour. When people can’t eat well their bodies become weak – there have been lots of cases of malaria and diarrhoea. Some days we don’t eat anything at all,” says Longoli.

Christine, a farmer in her mid-40s, who lived in Kiboga district before the evictions, says: “All our plantations were cut down – we lost the banana and cassava. We lost everything we had. They won’t let us back in to look for the things we left behind.”

Land tenure in Uganda is frequently disputed, with the government handing out parcels and then trying to take it back. In this case, the land was originally a government forest reserve and some of the people evicted claim they were given deeds by the Idi Amin government because their families fought for Britain in the second world war. Others say they had bought the land legally.

Their land claims were being considered by the Ugandan courts when, they allege, the army and police forced them out in several waves of violent evictions which took place up to last year.

NFC – which is 20% owned by HSBC bank and describes itself as a sustainable and socially responsible forestry company – has licenses to grow trees in Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Rwanda. It strongly denies allegations that they had any involvement in any Ugandan evictions or violence, and told Oxfam: “There were no incidences of injury, physical violence, or destruction of property during the voluntary vacation process that have been brought to the attention of NFC.”

In a series of communications with Oxfam, the company says: “Evictions from government land – which go on in Uganda every day – are solely in the hands of the government and its designated authorities such as the Uganda Wildlife Authority, the National Forestry Authority, and the Ministry of Lands. We are expressly prohibited from dialogue and interaction from any illegal encroachers.”

They add that the company played no part in the evictions themselves. “The land clearances were voluntary and … the company played no role in them”.

Today, the people evicted from the land are desperate, living with relatives or having moved away from the area. They say they were not properly consulted, have been offered no adequate compensation, and have received no alternative land.

An Oxfam spokesman says: “They had schools, health centres, churches, permanent homes, and farms on which they grew crops to feed themselves and surpluses to sell at market. They paid taxes. Theirs were strong and thriving permanent communities.

“Land grabs are going under the radars of existing safeguards intended to protect vulnerable people. The New Forests Company describes itself as ethical and says it follows international standards, yet more than 20,000 people were evicted without meaningful consultation or compensation to make way for their plantations,” says Oxfam director Barbara Stocking.

“It’s not acceptable for companies to blame governments for shortfalls in their operations. Investors, no matter how noble they purport to be, cannot sweep aside the needs and rights of poor communities who depend on the land they profit from,” she says.

NFC responded with a statement saying it is taking Oxfam’s allegations “extremely seriously” and is conducting an “immediate and thorough” investigation.

“Our understanding of these resettlements is that they were legal, voluntary and peaceful and our first-hand observations of them confirmed this,” says the statement.

“This has been corroborated on a number of occasions by meticulous audits of the company by highly respected international organisations including the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and the IFC (International Finance Corporation, part of World Bank). The FSC concluded that ‘officials consider Namwasa one of their most peaceful and successful experiences in encouraging illegal encroachers to voluntarily leave central forestry reserves and would like to use the model for controversial areas in the future’.” Source

So this is how the UK lets their corporations help to cause starvation in Africa.

They should be cutting pollution not stealing land and planting trees in another country.

20,000 more hungry Africans thanks UK greedy, profiteering, inhuman, thieves. Stay in your own country. Stop stealing land in other countries.

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Published in: on September 24, 2011 at 6:56 am  Comments Off  
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The 2nd Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption in south Iceland

Added updates for Sunday April 18 2010 at the bottom. Also there are  useful links for air travelers and train travelers.

Volcano Eruption in Eyjafjallajökull Iceland  April 14 2010:  Photo taken by a man named Ólafur Eggertsson from the farm Þorvaldseyri.

April 14, 2010 — The 2nd Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption in south Iceland for year 2010. It started on 14.04.2010. GPS coordinates of the eruption: 63.629° N, 19.630° W. Video by Icelandic National TV stations RÚV and Stöð 2. Music by Jonn Serrie, The Legacy, Spirit Keepers. Date: 14.04.2010.

March 21, 2010 — Video made by the Icelandic coast guard of the volcano eruption near Eyjafjallajökull glacier, in South Iceland. The eruption started shortly before midnight on Saturday 20th of March 2010.

Ash from Iceland Volcano Will Spread Widely
April 15 2010

According to meteorologist Thorsteinn Jónsson at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, the ash emitted from the volcano in Eyjafjallajökull in south Iceland will continue to drift across Europe and spread to many countries in the next 24 hours.

Scandinavia, the British Isles, the Benelux countries and even Poland will be subject to ash fall in the next 24 hours, Jónsson told ruv.is. He finds it likely that the eruption will continue at the same force and that ash can spread as widely as across the entire northern hemisphere.

In Iceland the Eyjafjallajökull eruption has caused extensive ash fall in the regions east of the glacier today. The situation was worst in the eastern Mýrdalssandur sand plain and in the Medalland and Álftaver districts in Skaftártungur. Ash fall was also reported in Kirkjubaejarklaustur and as far as Höfn.

Tomorrow wind is forecast to blow in from the north and then ash is expected to spread over the districts south of Eyjafjallajökull and to the Westman Islands. Forecasts also assume that ash will continue to drift with upper atmosphere winds in the coming days.

Airports have been closed in Scandinavia and the British Isles today and millions of travelers are stranded.

The British media has stated that never before in peace times has aviation been brought to such a standstill in the UK—after the 2001 terrorist attacks there were still flights to a few destinations while the current ash fall is causing an absolute flying ban.

Ash can prove extremely hazardous to airplane engines. Grains that are carried into the engines can destroy the motors in a matter of minutes. Source

Volcanic ash cloud causing fear among Icelandic farmers

There has not been as much volcanic ash falling in Iceland since the Katla eruption of 1918 and that eruption caused many farmers’ entire stock of animals to die.

April 15 2010

Vilhjalmur Eyjolfsson from the farm Hnausi to the east of Eyjafjallajokull told RUV the ash cloud is darkening the sky and the ash is still falling. He says he has never seen anything like it. If the situation lasts long, he fears there could be trouble with regard to putting his animals out to graze, as they must be protected from eating or drinking volcanic ash at all costs.

Eyjolfsson said his farm experienced ash falls from the Grimsvotn eruption in 1934, but today is much worse. All farm animals in the Medallandi area died when Katla erupted in 1918 and Eyjolfsson says people took many years to get over it.

In other news: work has begun to repair the deliberate damage done to the Route 1 highway yesterday. The digging up of the road appears to have helped the surging flood waters on their way, meaning that bridges have not been damaged. The flood of meltwater caused by the volcano has now subsided significantly. Source

Information on Ash Fall

April 15 2010

There is considerable ash fall resulting from the volcanic eruption under the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. The ash that is falling is composed of both fine and course particles. The wind direction and other meteorological conditions have an impact on where the ash falls to earth.

An examination of the ash particles is in progress but it is known that the ash originated from the volcano and so it can contain the chemical Florine, which is a pollutant and can have harmful short term and long term effects for grazing animals.

Volcanic ash can also effect humans. The most common effects are:

Respiratory effects:
Common short-term symptoms include:
Nasal irritation and discharge (runny nose).
Throat irritation and sore throat, sometimes accompanied by dry coughing.
Breathing becomes uncomfortable.
People with pre-existing chest complaints may develop severe bronchitis symptoms which last some days beyond exposure to ash (for example, hacking cough, production of sputum, wheezing, or shortness of breath).
Airway irritation for people with asthma or bronchitis; common complaints of people with asthma include shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing.
Eye irritation is a common health effect as pieces of grit can cause painful scratches in the front of the eye and conjunctivitis. Contact lens wearers need to be especially ware of this problem.

Eye symptoms:
Common short-term symptoms include:
Eyes feeling as though there are foreign particles in them.
Eyes becoming painful, itchy or bloodshot. Sticky discharge or tearing
Corneal abrasions or scratches.
Acute conjunctivitis or inflammation due to the presence of ash, which leads to redness, burning of the eyes, and photosensitivity.

What to do to protect yourself against volcanic ash,
Use a mask when outside, and it is also recommended to wear protective clothing.
If a mask is not available the use a cloth over the mouth and nose to prevent inhalation of larger particles.
Use protective goggles.
Children and adult with respiratory problems should remain indoors.

Source

More photo’s of Volcanic eruption posted on Flickr

Huge ash plume blanketing Europe may last 5 more days

The unprecedented closure of airspace across Britain and large parts of Northern Europe is set to continue into the weekend, after a volcanic eruption in Iceland sent a massive plume of ash into the atmosphere.

The giant plume also shut airspace in Scandinavia, Germany, Belgium, France and Ireland yesterday.

Dutch airspace closed due to volcanic ash from Iceland

Danish airspace shuts down

More Airports could be affected depending on how far the Fall of ash travels.

Norway, Sweden and Finland are also among European countries that have also been hit.

It is amazing how the ash can travel so far in just one day.  It goes with the wind.

As I was looking at this map it occurred to me Radiation from Nuclear Bombs and DU can travel even farther  as it is lighter, but invisible to the eye.

Something to think about.
Update  April 15 2010
(Reuters) – A volcanic eruption in Iceland, which has thrown up a 6-km (3.7 mile) high plume of ash and disrupted air traffic across northern Europe, has grown more intense, an expert said on Thursday.

The eruption under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier continued to spew large amounts of ash and smoke into the air and showed no signs of abating after 40 hours of activity, said Pall Einarsson, a geophysicist at the University of Iceland.

“The seismographs are showing that since this morning the intensity of the eruption seems to be growing,” he said.

Hot fumes had melted up to a third of the glacial ice covering the crater, causing a nearby river to burst its banks, and frequent explosions on the floor of the crater sounded like bombs going off, he said.

The floods were abating, however, and some of those living in the sparsely populated area near the volcano had returned to their homes.

Another scientist said the eruption was 10 times more powerful than one which occurred last month on the flank of the volcano, though the two were part of the same event.

To the east of the volcano, thousands of hectares of land are covered by a thick layer of ash while a cloud blotted out the sun in some areas along the southern coast of Iceland, local media reported.

The cloud of ash from the eruption has hit air travel all over northern Europe, with flights grounded or diverted due to the risk of engine damage from sucking in particles of ash from the volcanic cloud.

CLOSE WATCH

Scientists picked up the first signs of increased seismic activity at Eyjafjallajokull last summer and had been expecting an eruption at any moment, Einarsson said.

The eruption began in March but subsided earlier this week when a magma conduit became blocked, building up pressure which finally escaped through the volcano’s main crater.

Einarsson, who described the eruption as “reasonably powerful,” said it was the most significant volcanic event in Iceland since a huge eruption in 1996, when an eruption under the Grimsvotn lakes led to widespread flooding.

He said scientists were still concerned the ongoing eruption could trigger Mt Katla, a more powerful volcano nearby covered by a thicker ice sheet, but had not picked up any clear signs of brewing activity.

The volcano under the Ejfjallajokull glacier, Iceland’s fifth largest glacier, has erupted five times since Iceland was settled in the ninth century.

Iceland sits on a volcanic hotspot in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and has relatively frequent eruptions, although most occur in sparsely populated areas and pose little danger to people or property. Before March, the last eruption took place in 2004.

(Reporting by Omar Valdimarsson; writing by Nicholas Vinocur; editing by Robert Woodward) Source

Warning. I was just checking for updates and noticed.

Some News articles are saying that the Falling Ash/particles or whatever you want to call it, will not affect your health. That is not true. It most certainly can harm your health. If the ash is falling stay indoors if possible or wear a mask, especially those with respiratory aliments like Asthma.

Point of interest

If the closures continue for up to three days, the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) estimates some 6 million passengers will be affected – probably forfeiting their flights; as an Act of God, the volcano’s impact nullifies insurance claims for canceled flights. Source

My Advice become an Atheist real quick. Don’t let them rip you off. Act of God my foot. That is just a line they use to  rip people off. They can’t prove God did it. Nobody can.

Update Friday April 16 2010

Ryanair halts flights till Monday

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary tonight announced blanket weekend flight cancellations over safety fears for planes flying in northern Europe.

The budget carrier’s chief said all services to and from the UK and Ireland and about a dozen other regions have been grounded until 1pm on Monday.

Mr O’Leary apologised to customers but said he was acting on advice that stable weather was continuing to push potentially dangerous volcanic ash over the region.

Spectacular pictures taken from a helicopter at sunset on April 14, 2010 show how ash from an Icelandic volcano is severely disrupting travel plans for British air passengers. Photo MARCO FULLE / BARCROFT MEDIA LTD

For the Entire Story and more photo’s go HERE

Some 17,000 flights in European airspace are likely to be cancelled Friday due to the dangers posed by a volcanic ash cloud spreading from Iceland, with experts warning that the disruption could continue into the weekend.

Although some Scottish and Scandinavian airports are likely to resume limited flights Friday, a ban on flights still covers most UK airspace and much of Northern Europe.

Eurostar has also confirmed that it has no availability for trains on Friday, April 16.

More information:

Useful  Links Compliments of the UK Independent

Flightstats
Flightstats tracks aviation delays worldwide, showing the current status of individual airports and flights.
http://www.flightstats.com

Updates on British air space
NATS controls all air traffic over the British Isles and the eastern North Atlantic and has provided regular updates on its website.
http://www.nats.co.uk/

Updates on mainland European air space
Eurocontrol is responsible for air traffic across mainland European airspace and has provided regular updates on its website and on Twitter.
http://www.eurocontrol.int
http://twitter.com/eurocontrol

Updates from main airport operators

BAA (responsible for London Heathrow airport) http://www.baa.com/

Aeroports de Paris (responsible for Paris Charles de Gaulle airport) http://www.aeroportsdeparis.fr

Frankfurt Airport (Frankfurt/Main airport) http://www.frankfurt-airport.com

Berliner Flughafen (responsible for Berlin’s Tegel airport) http://www.berlin-airport.de

Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport) http://www.schiphol.nl/

Crowd sourced updates

The Twitter “ashtag” is being used by major airlines and airport operators to provide micro blogging updates:

http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23ashtag

Train updates

Eurostar operates trains between the UK and mainland Europe http://www.eurostar.com/

General update on the volcanic eruption

By IceNews

April 16 2010

Passengers flying to or from Iceland are advised to follow updated travel information on http://www.kefairport.is/English/

The volcanic eruption in the glacier Eyjafjallajokull in South Iceland is continuing but Icelandic civil protection authorities have the situation as regards public response fully under control. The affected areas have been evacuated and damage has been limited to roads, bridges and other infrastructure that has been destroyed by flooding. Further damage to agricultural land is evident.

Day to day business in Iceland apart from the directly affected areas in the south has not been affected. The ash hurled into the atmosphere by the eruption has however caused serious disruption of air traffic. Icelandic scientists and public authorities, the Meterological Institution (http://en.vedur.is/) and the Icelandic Civil Aviation Administration (http://www.isavia.is/), remain in close contact with their counterparts in Europe in order to monitor the eruption, the weather conditions and the projected path of the volcanic ash cloud.

Travelling in Iceland – safety first

Foreign visitors in Iceland that have had their flights cancelled are advised to contact their travel agents. Visitors coming to Iceland are encouraged to monitor the news and learn about their rights if the flight is cancelled.

Travelers are also urged to take all necessary general precautions while travelling in Iceland and seek the advise of local authorities.

Air traffic

Ash fall from the volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajökull has affected air traffic in North Europe the last few days and therefore traveling to and from Iceland. People are encouraged to monitor the news and learn about their rights if the flight is canceled.

Source

April 16 2010 Update

All of Europe’s three biggest airports – London Heathrow, Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Frankfurt – were closed by the ash, which is a threat to jet engines and pilot visibility.

Eurocontrol, the European air traffic control group, said only 11,000 of the daily 28,000 flights in the affected zone would take off Friday. It said at least half of the 600 daily flights between Europe and North America would be cancelled.

About 6,000 flights to and within Europe were canceled Thursday.

Poland, Britain, Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belgium and the Netherlands shut down all or most of their airspace.

Finland, France, Germany, Russia and Spain experienced major disruption, although Sweden began gradually reopening airspace and Norway temporarily opened up some of its.

“Forecasts suggest that the cloud of volcanic ash is continuing to move east and southeast and that the impact will continue for at least the next 24 hours,” Eurocontrol said in a statement.

Most aviation authorities promised a review on Friday, but the Dutch transport inspectorate set the uncertain tone: no flights “until further notice”.

The cloud now extends from the Atlantic to the Russian capital and from the Arctic Circle to Austria. Thousands of people were stranded in airports around the world as a global flight backlog built up. Source

The prevailing winds, however, allowed Icelandic airports to remain open.

This impressive picture was taken with a special camera on board the Icelandic coastguard’s TF-SIF research plane. The picture shows three craters in the Eyjafjallajokull volcano. The craters are each 200 to 300 metres wide.  IceNews

This is from the Volcano that erupted in March 20 2010. There are three people walking at the bottom of the picture. This give us an idea of just how huge the volcano is.

The eruption on Fimmvörduháls, which has now come to an end. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Both eruptions are extremely close to each other.

More information at Iceland Review

For more information Volcanic eruption, flooding etc. try this Link it is a google translated version to english.

If that doesn’t work try this  One it is the original and use your own translator. The videos below are under the world “Upptökur” Just in case the translated version  below for the videos  does not wok for you.

Some Videos

The videos below  come up in Windows media player. If you do not have High speed let it run through once, then hit the play again and they usually come up second time around a bit slow but better. If it happens that they don’t come up in English just click on “Horfa” = Watch

Myndir af gjóskufalli Pictures of ash falls
Loftmyndir af gosinu í Eyjafjallajökli Photographs of the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull
Magnús Tumi ræðir eldgosið í Eyjafjallajökli Magnús Tumi question eruption of Eyjafjallajökull
Nýtt myndband af öskufalli New video of ash fall
Nýjar myndir af flóðinu New pictures of the flood

Myndir af eldgosinu og flóðinu Photos of the eruption and flood

Update April 10 2010

Videos: Driving Into the Ash Cloud in South Iceland

Watch these videos shot from a car driving into the volcanic ash cloud in south Iceland from Drangshlíd by Skógafoss waterfall towards Skógar. There were 18 kilometers of absolute darkness but on both sides of the ash cloud the sun was shining brightly.

2 Videos below  Shot by by Páll Stefánsson at 1:30 pm on April 17. Copyright: icelandreview.com

Iceland volcano coming to an end?

From IceNews April 17 2010

A University of Iceland geophysicist says there are now clear signs that the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which began erupting on Wednesday, is slowing down. Attention is now turning to the more violent Katla volcano which many fear will erupt next. However, there are no indications that Katla is reawakening at the moment.

AFP reports Sigrun Hreinsdottir, a geophysicist with the University of Iceland, as saying that the lava flow has slowed and that the whole eruption could now slow dramatically as a result.

Hreinsdottir says it appears the lava is flowing from a lava chamber one kilometre deep. She likens the lava chamber to a bursting balloon, adding that nobody knows how much lava is inside in order to accurately predict when the eruption will stop fully.

The pressurised lava always tries to find the easiest way out, she says. That was at Fimmvorduhals in March and is now at the top of Eyjafjallajokull. The build-up of pressure when this eruption finishes will lead eventually to another volcano erupting. History teaches that Katla may well be next, but whether that will be tomorrow, in one year, or never, is impossible to say today. Katla last erupted in 1918.

Click here to see a series of eruption photos, including night time shots where lightning can clearly be seen in the ash cloud. Source

140 mn cubic metres ash spewed from Iceland volcano
April 19 2010

The Iceland’s volcano has spewed about 140 million cubic metres of ash over the past three days, Icelandic scientists have said.

The Institute of Earth Sciences of the University of Iceland estimated that about 100 million cubic meters of ash rose into the air from Eyjafjallajokull volcano and was blown across northern Europe, cancelling thousands of flights. Source

Many flights are still canceled. Some until Tuesday..

Iceland’s farmers try to save herds from toxic ash

April 18 2010

AP Photo – Wearing a mask and glasses against the smoke, dairy farmer Berglind Hilmarsdottir from Nupur, Iceland, looks for cattle lost in ash clouds, Saturday, April 17, 2010. The volcano in southern Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull glacier continued to send ash into the air Sunday.

Berglind Hilmarsdottir, a dairy farmer, teamed up with neighbors Saturday to round up her cattle, some 120 in all, and get them to shelter. In the panic, some of the animals got lost in the fog of ash, and the farmers had to drive around searching for them.

“The risk is of fluoride poisoning if they breathe or eat too much,” Hilmarsdottir said through a white protective mask.

The fluoride in the ash creates acid in the animals’ stomachs, corroding the intestines and causing hemorrhages. It also binds with calcium in the blood stream, and after heavy exposure over a period of days makes bones frail, even causing teeth to crumble.

AP Photo – Farmers team up to rescue cattle from exposure to the toxic volcanic ash at a farm in Nupur, Iceland, as the volcano in southern Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull glacier sends ash into the air Saturday, April 17, 2010.

“The best we can do is put them in the barn, block all the windows and bring them clean food and water as long as the earth is contaminated,” said Hilmarsdottir. For entire story go HERE

Airlines challenge restrictions as 6.8 million passengers affected April 19 2010

The enormous shroud of fine mineral dust particles now stretches from the Arctic Circle in the north to the French Mediterranean coast in the south, and from Spain into Russia.

The cloud is now heading toward Greece and into Russia, weather experts said. For entire story go HERE

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Thailand protesters defy government decree

April 8  2010

Anti-government protesters remained camped out Thursday in the central streets of Bangkok, defying the state of emergency declared by the government after a group of them stormed Parliament.

But the number of protesters, who are mostly rural farmers from the country’s impoverished provincial regions, dwindled to 2,000 or 3,000, compared to the tens of thousands in recent days.

The protesters, who are known as the Red Shirts and characterize their movement as a class war against Bangkok’s elite, continued to call for the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and for new elections.

Residents of Bangkok were already under the strict Internal Security Act. But under the state of emergency declaration, the military authority has more sweeping powers to restore order and security forces can suspend certain civil liberties and ban public gatherings of more than five people.

Most analysts doubt the government will use force to crack down on protesters.

The demonstrations forced Abhisit to cancel a trip to Vietnam for a meeting of Southeast Asian leaders on Thursday. He has also nixed plans to attend a global nuclear summit in Washington on Monday.

Some of the protesters stormed parliament on Wednesday to press their demand that Abhisit dissolve parliament within 15 days and call new elections. He has offered to do so by the end of the year.

Demonstrators have been camped in Bangkok since March 12 and have ignored previous decrees that they end their protests, which over the weekend forced at least six upscale shopping malls to close in Bangkok’s downtown commercial district.

The Red Shirts support ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, whose allies won elections in December 2007. Two resulting governments were forced out by court rulings.

A parliamentary vote brought Abhisit’s party to power in December 2008. The Red Shirts say his rule is undemocratic and that only new elections can restore integrity to Thai democracy. Source

Anti-government protests continue in Thailand

By John Roberts
April 7 2010

The three-week standoff between the Thai government and red-shirted protesters demanding new elections is continuing in Bangkok. The focus of the demonstrations shifted over the weekend to the Ratchaprasong shopping and business area of the capital where many five-star hotels, banks and shopping malls are located. At least 10,000 people took part in Saturday’s rally and thousands have maintained the protest.

The protesters, organised by United Front Against Dictatorship for Democracy (UDD), have defied government efforts to force them to leave. On Monday, they stormed the offices of the country’s Election Commission, demanding it decide on whether to prosecute the ruling Democrat Party for electoral irregularities. The demonstrators left the commission after it agreed to release its decision on April 20—a week earlier than scheduled.

The situation is tense. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva invoked the Internal Security Act in Bangkok and mobilised 50,000 police and troops in response to the protests. On Sunday, the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO), a joint security force set up under the state of emergency, declared the vicinity surrounding the protest as a controlled area under the Internal Security Act and banned demonstrators from moving to other areas of the city. Yesterday CAPO approved arrest warrants for 10 UDD leaders.

UDD leaders insist that the protests will not end until Abhisit steps down and fresh elections are called. The protesters are supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted by a military coup in 2006. Many are from poorer rural areas in the north and north east where the right-wing populist billionaire Thaksin built up a base of support on the basis of limited social reforms.

The government is backed by Thailand’s traditional ruling elites—the military, the monarchy, the state bureaucracy and the judiciary. The army formally relinquished power in 2007 after drawing up a new constitution. However, Thaksin’s supporters won the election and formed the government, resulting in a protracted standoff with the mainly middle class, anti-Thaksin protests. In 2008, the courts removed two prime ministers over alleged corruption and electoral fraud, paving the way for the installation of Abhisit at the head of a shaky coalition.

The latest round of anti-government protests began last month after a Supreme Court decision on February 26 stripped Thaksin of $US1.4 billion of his $2.3 billion in personal assets. The government initiated the case, in which Thaksin was accused of abusing his office to benefit his private business dealings.

As many as 150,000 protesters have taken part in continuous rallies. On March 28, UDD supporters forced unarmed soldiers to leave temples and a government building near their protest site, which up until last weekend was centred at the Phan Fah Bridge. The following day, thousands of demonstrators tried to enter a military base in northern Bangkok where the prime minister had been holed up for two weeks.

In an unprecedented bid to end the standoff, Abhisit met with three UDD leaders in nationally televised negotiations on March 28 and 29. The two lengthy sessions, which were widely watched, produced no resolution. Both sides played to the cameras. The prime minister offered to call elections, not due until December 2011, before the end of year. The UDD negotiators insisted that an election be held within 15 days.

On the face of it, the Abhisit government is in a strong position. The economy is expanding, with industrial production increasing by just over 30 percent in both January and February compared with a year earlier. As a result, it has the support of the media and business groups that have praised its economic management during the global economic crisis. However, the fact that the televised talks took place indicates that the government is aware of its weakness and lack of legitimacy.

The Democrat Party lost the 2001 election to Thaksin amid widespread hostility to its imposition of the IMF’s pro-market agenda that devastated significant sections of the Thai economy. The party subsequently lost elections in 2005 and 2006—a snap poll called by Thaksin to try to resolve the standoff with opposition protests. The Democrats also lost the 2007 election and have only 167 seats in the 480-seat national assembly. Abhisit only came to power in December 2008 after a court ruling dissolved the ruling pro-Thaksin party, and the military pressured its allies to join the Democrats.

The bias of courts, military and police toward the Democrats has only fuelled the anger of anti-government protesters. The police and military, who stood by while anti-Thaksin protesters occupied Bangkok’s two main airports for more than a week, are now preparing to crack down on the current pro-Thaksin rally. The election commission and courts, which helped oust two pro-Thaksin governments in 2008, have been dragging their feet on allegations of Democrat election misconduct that could potentially result in the deregistration of that party.

Behind these political grievances are sharpening social tensions. While the economy is expanding, the social divide between rich and poor is also deepening. Farmers in the rural north east have been hit by falling prices and growing debts. The average family in the region is in debt to 100,000 baht ($3,000).

Abhisit has tried to woo farmers through a program under the Farmers Reconstruction and Development Fund, designed to help 510,000 farmers with a collective debt of 80 billion baht. Under the scheme, if farmers agree to pay back half their debt, they will be entitled to a moratorium on the remainder. But like Abhisit’s other pro-poor measures, the fund provides only limited assistance and has had little political impact.

Thaksin and the UDD leadership are seeking to exploit the widespread social discontent to bolster their own political position in what has been five years of bitter infighting in the ruling elites. Less competitive layers of Thai business, particularly small and medium companies, turned on Thaksin after he continued to open up the country to foreign capital. Neither of the rival factions is capable of addressing the pressing social needs of ordinary working people.

Both the government and its opponents are deeply anti-democratic. As prime minister, Thaksin was notorious for threatening opposition media and for his anti-drug campaign, during which hundreds of alleged dealers were killed by police.

While the UDD leaders are keeping the protests confined to the demand for an election, anti-government protesters are motivated by broader issues. The New York Times noted last week: “The main target of the protestors’ ire seems to be the system: the perception that the bureaucrats and the military serve the elite at the expense of the poor.” Time magazine cited one small businessman in Bangkok as saying: “I don’t even like Thaksin. It’s not about one person. It’s about how the government doesn’t care about people who aren’t rich.”

The UDD leadership is just as concerned as the government that protesters do not begin to voice their own social demands and take more militant action. Last April, large anti-government protests in Bangkok boiled over into violent clashes with the police and military in which several people were killed. The Bangkok Post noted last week that “quite a few” pro-Thaksin politicians were concerned at the economic impact of the ongoing rallies and “how it will all end”, leading to a desire “to wrap up the protest as soon as possible”. Source

March 13 2010: A million Thaksin supporters across Thailand head for Bangkok protest

April 8 2010: Thai protesters defy emergency, opposition media blocked

Thai protesters scuffled with riot police outside a satellite broadcaster on Thursday after the government blocked opposition websites and TV channels on the second day of a state of emergency to quell mass protests.

The protesters see the urbane, British-born, Oxford-educated Abhisit as a front man for an unelected elite and military intervening in politics with impunity.

Internal Security Act. November 2007

Thailand’s revised Internal Security Act October 2007

In view of the protests the Internal Security Act has been extended.

Video April 8 2010

A Small bit of History.

The  United States used Thailand as a major point to wage war in Vietnam.
The Thai Government is till backed by the US.
I guess the people in Thailand are also fed up with corruption as the people in Kyrgustan are.

Kyrgyzstan: Thousands of protesters furious over corruption 40 deaths over 400 injured

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Farm Groups Want Action On Monsanto

A coalition of family farmers, consumers and other critics of corporate agriculture are calling on the U.S. government to crack down on what they see as unfair consolidation of the nation’s food system into the hands of a few multinationals –particularly Monsanto.

From Reuters

Farm groups call on U.S. to “bust up big ag”

98 Organizations Oppose Obama’s Monsanto Man, Islam Siddiqui, for US Agricultural Trade Representative.

* By Dr. Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, Senior Scientist, Pesticide Action Network, and Katherine Ozer, Executive Director, National Family Farm Coalition

February 22, 2010 Straight to the Source

A large coalition of groups – including the Organic Consumers Association – has been fighting since the fall to block Obama’s nomination of CropLife/biotech industry rep and former pesticide lobbyist, Islam Siddiqui, to the position of Chief Ag Negotiator at the US Office of the Trade Rep. The nomination was approved by the Senate Finance Committee, but is stalled in the Senate. It could go to a Senate floor vote any day now. The coalition sent the following letter to the Senate on February 22, 2010. If you would like to send a letter to your Senator, please click here.

Dear Senator:

The following 98 organizations are writing you to express our opposition to the nomination of Islam Siddiqui as Chief Agriculture Negotiator at the office of the United States Trade Representative. Our organizations— representing family farmers, farmworkers, fishers and sustainable agriculture, environmental, consumer, anti-hunger and other advocacy groups—urge you to reject Dr. Siddiqui’s appointment when it comes up for a floor vote, despite the Senate Finance Committee’s favorable report of his nomination on December 23, 2009.

Siddiqui’s record at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and his role as a former registered lobbyist for CropLife America (whose members include Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont and Dow), has revealed him to consistently favor agribusinesses’ interests over the interests of consumers, the environment and public health (see attached fact sheet). We believe Siddiqui’s nomination severely weakens the Obama Administration’s credibility in promoting healthier and more sustainable local food systems here at home. His appointment would also send an unfortunate signal to the rest of the world that the United States plans to continue down the failed path of high-input and energy-intensive industrial agriculture by promoting toxic pesticides, inappropriate seed biotechnologies and unfair trade agreements on nations that do not want and can least afford them.

The United States urgently needs a trade negotiator who understands that current trade agreements work neither for farmers nor the world’s hungry. With farmers here and abroad struggling to respond to water scarcity and increasingly volatile growing conditions, we need a resilient and restorative model of agriculture that adapts to and mitigates climate change and that moves us towards energy-efficient farming.

The most comprehensive analysis of global agriculture to date, the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) states unequivocally that “business as usual is not an option.” We need a new, sustainable model of biodiverse, ecologically-based agriculture that regenerates soil health, sequesters carbon, feeds communities, protects farmworkers and puts profits back in the hands of family farmers and rural communities. Siddiqui’s track record shows that he favors none of these solutions.

We call on the Senate to reject Islam Siddiqui’s nomination and reorient trade policy to serve the interests of family farmers, farmworkers, consumers and the planet.

Sincerely,

98 organizations who signed on to the letter to the Senate:

Alaska Community Action on Toxics (AK)
AllergyKids (CO)
American Raw Milk Producers Pricing Association (WI)
Beyond Pesticides (DC)
Breast Cancer Action (CA)
California Food and Justice Coalition (CA)
Californians for GE-Free Agriculture (CA)
Californians for Pesticide Reform (CA)
California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CA)
Center for Environmental Health (CA)
Center for Food Safety (DC)
Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment (CA)
Central Florida Jobs with Justice Project (FL)
Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach (NE)
Community Farm Alliance (KY)
Concerned Citizens for Clean Air (OR)
Cornucopia Institute (WI)
Earth Justice (CA)
Equal Exchange (MA)
Fair Trade Coalition (MN)
Family Farm Defenders (WI)
Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (TX)
Farm Worker Pesticide Project (WA)
Farmworker Association of Florida (FL)
Farmworker Justice (DC)
Farmworkers Self-Help (FL)
Food & Water Watch (DC)
Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy (CA)
Food for Maine’s Future (ME)
Florida Immigrant Coalition (FL)
Food Democracy Now! (IA)
Food Systems Integrity (MA)
Florida Organic Growers (FL)
Fresno Metro Ministry (CA)
Friends of the Earth (DC, CA)
Greenpeace US (DC, CA)
Grassroots International (MA)
Growing Power Inc. (WI)
Indigenous Environmental Network (MN) Indiana Toxics Action (IN) Innovative Farmers of Ohio (OH) Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy (MN)
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (IA)
Kids for Saving Earth (MN)
Kentucky Environmental Foundation (KY)
Land Stewardship Project (MN)
Lideres Campesinas (CA)
Maine Fair Trade Campaign (ME)
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners (ME)
Maryland Pesticide Network (MD)
Mississippi Association of Cooperatives (MS)
Missouri Rural Crisis Center (MO)
Mvskoke Food Sovereignty Initiative (OK)
National Family Farm Coalition (DC)
National Farm Worker Ministry (MO)
National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association (DC)
New York Environmental Law & Justice (NY)
Northeast Organic Farming Association Interstate Council (CT)
Northern Plains Resource Council (MT)
Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (ME)
Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (OR)
Oakland Institute (CA)
Ohio Conference on Fair Trade (OH)
Oklahoma Black Historical Research Project (OK)
Oregon Fair Trade Campaign (OR)
Oregon Toxics Alliance (OR)
Organic Consumers Association (MN)
Partners for the Land & Agricultural Needs of Traditional Peoples (WV)
Pesticide Action Network North America (CA)
Pesticide Free Zone (CA)
Pesticide Watch (CA)
Physicians for Social Responsibility/Los Angeles (CA)
Public Citizen (DC)
Rochesterians Against the Misuse of Pesticides (NY)
Rural Advancement Foundation International USA (NC)
Rural Coalition/ Coalición Rural
Safe Alternatives for our Forest Environment (CA)
Science and Environmental Health Network (IA)
Sciencecorps (MA)
Search for the Cause (CA)
Sierra Club (CA, DC)
Small Holders Alliance of Massachusetts (MA)
Student Action with Farmworkers (NC)
The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (CO)
The Safe Lawns Foundation (ME)
The Second Chance Foundation Washington (WA)
Washington Fair Trade Coalition (WA)
Western Organization of Resource Councils (MT)
World Hunger Year (NY)

Siddiqui and CropLife: Statements and Positions

Islam Siddiqui was nominated by US President Barack Obama to the position of Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the office of the US Trade Representative. He is currently Vice President of Science and Regulatory Affairs at CropLife America. CropLife is an agricultural industry trade group that lobbies on behalf of Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and other pesticide and agricultural biotech corporations.

Siddiqui’s statements and positions—both as a public official and as an industry executive— coupled with CropLife America’s consistent record on public policy issues demonstrate a narrow and short-sighted view of American agriculture and trade interests. This viewpoint consistently places the special interests of large agribusiness above the health and welfare interests the broader public, the international community and the environment.

WHAT DOES SIDDIQUI’S POSITION ENTAIL?

Enforcing Trade Agreements

According to the Progressive Government Institute, the Chief Agricultural Negotiator “conducts critical trade negotiations and enforces trade agreements… This includes multilaterally in the World Trade Organization (WTO), regionally in the Free Trade Area of the Americas, and bilaterally with various countries and groups of countries. The ambassador also resolves agricultural trade disputes and enforces trade agreements, including issues related to new technologies, subsidies, and tariff and non-tariff barriers and meets regularly with domestic agricultural industry groups to assure their interest are represented in trade.” The industry groups’ interests will be more than adequately represented, as the WTO’s Doha Round will be a perfect opportunity for the agrochemical industry to push for trade agreements that maintain US subsidies, lower tariffs on chemicals, promote GM crops, and unfairly benefit the agrochemical companies that Siddiqui represents.

Source: http://www.progressivegovernment.org/appointee_data4.php?…

Legislative Influence and Defining ‘Sound Science’

Another part of the job description is that “He or she also coordinates closely with the US government regulatory agencies to assure that rules and policies in international trade are based on sound science.” Siddiqui’s background has always favored “sound science” to mean high-cost, high-input (and high profit, for CropLife’s members) agricultural practices being imposed on developing countries, despite their preferences. Many countries have chosen to ban GMOs on the precautionary principle, including the EU, but Siddiqui will be able to use the trade talks as leverage so that CropLife’s member companies can force their way around those precautions. Siddiqui will also be able to influence the results of the Casey-Lugar Global Food Security Act Bill (which mandates government funding for biotechnology research).

SIDDIQUI AN APOLOGIST FOR AGRICHEMICAL AND BIOTECH INDUSTRIES

Siddiqui Claimed EU Rejection of GMOs was “Denying Food to Starving People”

In 2003, Siddiqui applauded the Bush Administration’s decision to seek an end to the EU’s moratorium on approval of imports of genetically modified crops. Croplife America said the EU’s position had “no scientific foundation” and Siddiqui said, “EU’s illegal moratorium has had a negative ripple effect of creeping regulations and non-science-based decisions, which have resulted in denying food to starving people. The WTO requires that international trade rules be based on sound science, and today’s decision will send that strong message to the EU and other countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.” [Delta Farm Press, 5/23/03]

Siddiqui Compared GMO Acceptance to Accepting “Microwave Ovens”

In 2002, Siddiqui claimed biotech foods have been proven to be as safe as traditionally grown foods. He cited a similar distrust of a new technology many people had when microwave ovens were first introduced; eventually, consumer acceptance of the technology became widespread. [State Department Washington File, 11/25/02]

Siddiqui Criticized EU for Insisting On “Precautionary Principle” On GMOs

In 2002, Siddiqui criticized the European Union’s precautionary principle rationale for rejecting the import of GMOs. Widely recognized in the international community, the precautionary principle allows societies to protect people and the planet when there are uncertainties or unknown risks associated with the introduction or use of a product. Siddiqui said the principle didn’t offer any more real protection to citizens than U.S.- “science-based” regulations and was being used by politicians as a non-tariff trade barrier. [State Department Washington File, 11/25/02]

Siddiqui Called for New Biotech Green Revolution

Statement by Siddiqui this year on new Green Revolution: “What we need now in the 21st century is another revolution, which some people are calling the second green revolution… You need to have use of 21st century technologies, including biotechnology, genetic technology, and all the other technologies, which are being (inaudible), in terms of achieving that.”

Source: “Green Innovation: Can Patents Help Make the World a Bett… April 22, 2009

Siddiqui Rejected Consumer Labeling of GMOs While Working at USDA

As a special assistant for trade at USDA, Siddiqui in 1999 warned Japan that if they implemented mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) it could mislead consumers about food safety and disrupt trade. Siddiqui said, “We do not believe that obligatory GMO labeling is necessary, because it would suggest a health risk where there is none.” He added, “Mandatory labeling could mislead consumers about the safety of these products and require segregation of GMO and non-GMO foods. I fear major trade disruptions and increases in food costs to consumers if Japan requires mandatory labeling.” Siddiqui also said Japan, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), is obligated to find the least trade-restrictive way of achieving its objectives. There are a number of ways other than labeling, such as educational materials and public forums, to provide consumers with information on genetic engineering, he said. [Reuters, 7/27/1999]

Siddiqui is a Former Registered Lobbyist

From 2001- 2003, Islam Siddiqui was a registered lobbyist with CropLife America, which spent just over $2 million on lobbying the federal government in 2008, and just under $1.9 million in 2007 on issues like registering pesticides for use in schools, limiting the Endangered Species Act so that it doesn’t inhibit agricultural pesticide use, revision of EPA pesticide registration fees, and fighting the EPA on restrictions to the use of fumigants.

CROPLIFE AMERICA REGIONAL PARTNER TARGETED MICHELLE OBAMA ORGANIC GARDEN

CropLife America’s Regional Partner Targeted Michelle Obama Organic Garden

CropLife America’s regional partner had notoriously “shuddered” at Michelle Obama’s organic White House garden for failing to use chemical pesticides and launched a letter petition drive defending chemical intensive agriculture and urging Michelle Obama to consider using pesticidies and herbicides. Mid America CropLife Association is listed as a regional partner on CropLife America’s website.

Letter: http://susty.com/michelle-obama-letter-mid-america-cropli…

SIDDIQUI OVERSAW FIASCO OVER USDA’s FIRST PROPOSED ORGANIC STANDARDS

Siddiqui Instrumental in Drafting First Proposed Organic Standards that Would Have Allowed Toxic Sludge, GMOs and Irradiated Food to be Labeled “Organic”

As Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at USDA, Siddiqui oversaw the release of the first-ever proposed federal standards for organics, an accomplishment the White House has cited in support of his nomination. However, these rules created an uproar when USDA overruled recommendations of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and permitted the use of GMOs, irradiation and toxic sludge under the organic label. Only after 230,000 comments flooded into USDA were these standards strengthened. It remains one of the highest outpourings of public sentiment on any government regulation in U.S. history. [Mother Jones]

Siddiqui Admitted USDA Overruled Organics Board Recommendations

Siddiqui justified allowing for possible allowance of GMOs, irradiated foods and toxic sludge under the organics by saying, “we know that [the] Organics Board had recommended against those two items in the organic agriculture. There’s a considerable debate on these issues; it’s a public debate issue. So essentially, the department has felt that we want to open it up, we want to seek comments. And it could be any one of the three choices; either it could be allowed, it could be prohibited, or it could be allowed on a case-by-case basis, especially dealing with GMOs. [Federal News Service, 12/15/07]

Siddiqui Admitted Allowing no GMOs in Organics Would Possibly be “Inconsistent” with Forcing GMOs on EU

Siddiqui explained one of the reasons GMOs were not banned under organic label was because ” … some of the agencies within the U.S. government felt that we will be inconsistent in going to the EU and telling them to not require GMO contents being spelt out in ingredients.” [Food and Drink Weekly, 1/19/98]

CROPLIFE AMERICA SPENT HALF-MILLION TO DEFEAT COUNTY-LEVEL ANTI-GMO INITIATIVE

CropLife Spent $500,000 to Defeat County Ballot Banning GMOs

“In March 2004, CropLife poured funding into a campaign to defeat a Mendocino County ballot initiative – known as Measure H – that would make the country the first to ban genetically engineered crops. In the lead up to the vote, CropLife contributed over $500,000 – more than seven times that of the initiative supporters – to defeat the proposal. [1] Despite the massive campaign against the initiative, the bio-tech industry suffered a humiliating defeat. The measure passed by a margin of 56% to 43%. [2]“

Siddiqui Said “Pleased” by Defeat of Ballot Measures

Siddiqui, on behalf of CropLife America, said he was pleased that voters in three California counties had rejected proposed bans on biotech crop cultivation. “I think you’ll see more counties in California try[proposing a ban]the next time they can get it on the ballot,” he said, adding that similar initiatives are unlikely in other states. [Food Chemical News, 1/3/05]

CROPLIFE AMERICA CONSISTENTLY FAVORS AGRIBUSINESS INTERESTS OVER PUBLIC INTEREST

CropLife Lobbied to Allow Children to be Used for Pesticide Experiments

In August 2005, CropLife America met with Bush Administration officials at the Office of Managment and Budget and EPA to allow for children to participate in pesticide experiments. CropLife America urged certain allowances to be made for chemical testing on children.  Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility criticized the meeting for excluding the perspectives of ethicists, child advocates and scientists. EPA one month later adopted a human testing rule in line with CropLife America’s suggestions. Environmental groups sued the EPA for failing to adequately protect women and children. [Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, 5/30/06]

PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruck commented on the backdoor meeting, “These meeting notes make it clear that the pesticide industry’s top objective is access to children for experiments. After reading these ghoulish notes one has the urge to take a shower. For an administration which trumpets its concern for the ‘value and dignity of life,’ it is disconcerting that no ethicists, children advocates or scientists were invited to this meeting to counterbalance the pesticide pushers.” [Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, 5/30/06]

Supported Use of Human Test Subjects

In 2003, CropLife America expressed pleasure that the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned EPA’s moratorium on using human clinical test data in pesticide risk assessment. The court ruled that EPA’s “previous practice of considering third- party human studies on a case-by-case basis, applying statutory requirements, the Common Rule, and high ethical standards as a guide, is reinstated and remains in effect unless and until it is replaced by a lawfully promulgated regulation.” “We are pleased that the court recognized that EPA’s moratorium constituted a binding regulation issued without notice and the opportunity to comment,” said Jay J. Vroom, head of CropLife America. [U.S. Newswire, 6/3/03]

CropLife America Secured Continued Use Of Banned Ozone-Depleting Pesticide, Methyl Bromide

CropLife America supported the continued use of methyl bromide by farmers in the U.S. despite its supposed ban under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Protocol) and the Clean Air Act (CAA). The Bush administration secured an exemption of the highly controversial chemical in 2006. “By no means is there one product that will fit all the critical uses of methyl bromide today,” CropLife CEO Jay Vroom said. The continued exemptions are needed while research continues on the alternative pesticides, he said, adding, “We’re not there yet, and the American farmer needs to have these tools so we can continue to be have viable exports.” Source: Associated Press, Nov 4, 2006. For more information see the website for the UN Environmental Programme Ozone Secretariat. The PANNA website contains extensive resources and fact sheets on methyl bromide’s use for soil fumigation.

·       Methyl bromide, a powerful ozone depleter used on strawberries, tomatoes, grapes and other crops. The EPA has classified methyl bromide as a Toxicity Category I compound, the most deadly category of substances due to causing neurological damage and reproductive harm. Farmworkers in particular have experienced death, birth defects, blurred vision, nausea, and dizziness as a result of direct exposure to methyl bromide. Methyl Bromide has also been listed as a Class I Ozone Depleter under the Clean Air Act. Methyl bromide is a highly toxic pesticide.

·       From 1982 to 1990, at least 18 people in California died from exposure to methyl bromide. The state Department of Pesticide Regulation also reports at least 148 systemic illnesses, 52 eye injuries and 60 cases of skin damage from methyl bromide. Methyl bromide has also caused birth defects in studies required by U.S. EPA and submitted by the manufacturer.

·       Methyl bromide is toxic to the central nervous system and can damage lungs and kidneys and possibly cause cancer. Direct exposure can lead to headaches, blurred vision, nausea and dizziness. Many farmworkers and residents near fumigated fields have experienced these symptoms. [Pesticide Action Network]

Croplife America Resistant to International Regulations Over Toxic Chemicals

Croplife America has been a driving force to weaken the U.S. position on the Stockholm Convention, a critical effort to regulate the use of toxic “persistent organic pollutants (POPs).” These include the well known chemicals DDT, PCBs and dioxins that have been linked to a host of serious human health problems and environmental concerns. Even at very low levels of exposure, POPs can cause reproductive and developmental disorders, damage to the immune and nervous systems, and a range of cancers. CropLife America has argued that “American sovereignty” concerns should override the treaty if the chemical regulations are stronger than U.S. law. CropLife America explicitly calls for the U.S. to “protect export markets for American produce and farm commodities,” even if they use chemicals that may be outlawed by the POP treaties. [CropLife America Website]

CropLife America Argues for Allowing Usage of Toxic Endosulfans

Croplife America and its international counterpart CropLife International, whom Siddiqui has represented in international negotiations, have continuously argued for a legitimate role for the dangerous POP endosulfan.  However in October 2009, scientists declared that: “endosulfan is likely, as a result of its long-range environmental transport, to lead to significant adverse human health and environmental effects, such that global action is warranted.” The finding sets the stage for a global ban under the Stockholm Convention. Endosulfan is an endocrine disruptor, and low dose exposure while in the womb is linked to male reproductive harm, autism, and birth defects. High dose exposures are acutely toxic, resulting in headaches, nausea and vomiting, seizures, and in extreme cases, unconsciousness and death. [Manila Bulletin, 10/20/09]

CropLife America Withdrew from Landmark UN/World Bank Study on Ag Research (IAASTD) that Highlighted Agroecological Science as Promising Way to “Feed the World”

CropLife Upset Industry Viewpoint Not Allowed to Dictate Findings

CropLife International participated in the UN/World Bank-sponsored International Assessment for Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) for 4 years, before withdrawing in the final days of the process. The IAASTD reports—authored by over 400 scientists and development experts from more than 80 countries, and subjected to two open public review processes—remains the most authoritative study to date on agriculture research and technology. CropLife objected to the measured but lukewarm findings of the IAASTD on “modern biotechnology” and genetic engineering. According to the spokesman for CropLife, their decision to withdraw in the final days was prompted by “the inability of its members to get industry perspectives reflected in the draft reports” —a complaint belied by the fact that IAASTD editors repeatedly offered CropLife a “blank page” to present the industry’s viewpoints. Ultimately, industry authors failed to submit text in time for publication.

The IAASTD concluded that an increase in investments in agroecological practices would be necessary to meet 21st century needs, noting that agroecological, organic, biodiverse and regenerative practices represented highly promising and scientifically robust approaches to feeding the world while also meeting social equity and sustainability goals, particularly under increasing stresses of climate change, water scarcity and fossil-fuel based energy limitations. In contrast, the IAASTD observed that chemical intensive and GMO-based practices were unlikely to meet these goals, had in many cases undermined public health and/or contaminated the environment, and posed severe social equity concerns due to industry concentration, IPR and patent rules. [Bioscience Resource, New Scientist, PANNA]

Prepared by Lindsey Schneider and Vera Glavova, PANNA, with contributions from National Family Farm Coalition. For further information on CropLife: http://www.panna.org/resources/popshttp://www.panna.org/resources/treaties

Pesticide Action Network has worked to replace pesticides with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives since 1982. PANNA is one of five regional facilitating organizations serving a global network of more than 600 civil society groups in over 90 countries who share these goals. For more information, see http://www.panna.org.

Source

Millions Against Monsanto Campaign

Join OCA’s Campaign to Mobilize One Million Consumers to End Monsanto’s Global Corporate Terrorism

Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology

Monsanto sues and sues and sues and…

(Monday, July 14, 2003 — CropChoice guest commentary) — Monsanto and President George Bush have one thing in common. Both have a liking for the “walk softly and carry a big stick” form of public relations. Bush uses his big economic stick to gain the support of various nations in his quest to make the world safe for American corporations. Monsanto also uses a big economic stick – the big stick of the courtroom, to beat up those who fall afoul of its litigious nature. And, like George Bush, Monsanto has been pretty successful with these tactics. After all, the effect of a cluster bomb dropping on the home quarter would not be much more devastating than the effect of being sued by a huge corporation that is willing and able to spend millions to gain its ends.

Monsanto is very determined to defend its position that farmers must buy new seed of its patented genetically modified crops each year. Monsanto has built a whole department to enforce its seed patents and licensing agreements. It has 75 employees and an annual budget of $10 million.

An estimated 400 farmers have received threats of legal action from Monsanto over alleged patent infringement. While Canadian farmers will be familiar with the trials and tribulations of Percy Schmeiser, names like Homan McFarling and Nelson Farms should resonate with American producers. Few of these cases ever get to court because most farmers look at the odds of outlasting Monsanto and simply give in. A clause in Monsanto’s licensing agreement allows Monsanto to take such cases in the U.S. before courts in Missouri. This can add a huge amount to the legal bills of farmers who might be thousands of miles away.

Several of the cases that have gone to court are enough to scare farmers into meek submission to Monsanto’s demands. Homan McFarling was fined $780,000 for growing Roundup Ready soybeans without paying Monsanto’s licensing fee. Tennessee farmer Kem Ralph was fined $1.7 million and sentenced to eight months in jail for a variety of offenses that began with a Monsanto lawsuit.

Monsanto must be pleased with the results of its aggressive legal campaign. So pleased, in fact, it has decided to branch out. Monsanto’s latest foray into the courtroom has it suing a dairy in Maine, alleging that Oakhurst Dairy’s marketing campaign that touts its milk as being free of artificial growth hormones is misleading. Monsanto further claims Oakhurst’s ads and labels are deceptive and disparage Monsanto’s products by implying that milk from untreated cows is better than milk from hormone-treated cows.

Monsanto is the world’s only producer of artificial bovine growth hormone (BGH). This product is banned in Canada and elsewhere because of concerns about its impact on humans and the cows that are injected with it. In the U.S., where BGH is legal, some dairy farmers have captured a niche market by declaring that they do not use it on their cows. The Oakhurst Dairy label is simple enough: “Our Farmers’ Pledge: No Artificial Growth Hormones.” Who would have thought that a simple statement of the truth could have such dire consequences?

Oddly enough, it would not be unexpected if Monsanto were to name the state of Maine as a co-defendant. Maine has a program, the Quality Trademark Seal, which can only be carried on dairy products that are guaranteed free of artificial growth hormones.

Monsanto’s latest legal moves have angered farmers and consumers alike. Oakhurst Dairy defends the right of consumers to know what is in the milk they drink. Farmers who currently produce this milk would lose the ability to differentiate their product if Monsanto’s suit is successful. Other dairies, which make similar claims, will be watching.

Monsanto treads on thin ice with its aggressive litigation. However, it need not fear the same consumer backlash that other companies might face. Monsanto does not sell directly to the average consumer. Rather, its customers are farmers who often have no other place to go if they want to grow certain products. Because of this dependency relationship, farmers cannot afford to stay angry at Monsanto forever. Monsanto, on the other hand, can enjoy the exercise of its brute power with little fear of repercussions. It is a situation that could easily get worse. Source

This type of thing is what destroys farmers and farms. This is not protecting Farming Communities.  Monsanto sues anyone they can.

They even sued a Dairy Monsanto didn’t like their label. Turns out however Hormones in milk does cause health problems.

Monsanto seed contaminated a Canadian farmers field and Monsanto sued him, like it was his fault the wind blew seed into his field. That is how low Monsanto will go.

This also happens in the US as well.

Farmers even have been sued after their fields were contaminated by pollen or seed from a previous year’s crop has sprouted, or “volunteered,” in fields planted with non-genetically engineered varieties the following year; and when they never signed Monsanto’s Technology Agreement but still planted the patented crop seed. In all of these cases, because of the way patent law has been applied, farmers are technically liable. It does not appear to matter if the use was unwitting or if a contract was never signed. Source

Monsanto destroys Farmers. The GM foods may not be safe to consume either. Monsanto has a history of creating things that kill you.

Monsanto Roundup is it safe

Probably as safe as Agent Orange., Another Monsanto product.

Thee are tons of stories out there about Monsanto and it’s unethical practices.

Monsanto’s Roundup Pesticide Killing Wheat

Monsanto also produces the most commonly used broadleaf pesticide in the world, glyphosate–or Roundup. In addition to its inherent toxicity as a chemical pesticide, Roundup has now been found to aid the spread of fusarium head blight in wheat. This disease creates a toxin in the infected wheat, making the crop unsuitable for human or animal consumption. Canada’s wheat industry is currently being ravaged by this disease. At the same time, the widespread use of Roundup has resulted in the formation of “super weeds” — unwanted plants that have developed an immunity to these pesticides. Read study linking Monsanto’s Roundup to Cancer.

Monsanto’s Lobbying in 2009

Conflict of Interest: Ex Monsanto Lawyer Clarence Thomas to Hear Major Monsanto Case  March 9 2010

Related

The GM genocide: Thousands of Indian farmers are committing suicide after using genetically modified crops

They have Lied about the Safety of our Food And Still Do

Afghanistan: Troops Guarding the Poppy Fields

Paul Joseph Watson

Friday, November 20, 2009

Not content with savaging American taxpayers with two huge new financial burdens during an economic recession, in the form of health care reform and cap and trade, close allies of Barack Obama have proposed a new war surtax that will force Americans to foot the bill for the cost of protecting opium fields in Afghanistan, paying off drug lords, and bribing the Taliban.

Warning that the cost of occupying Afghanistan is a threat to the Democrats’ plan to overhaul health care, lawmakers have announced their plan to make Americans pay an additional war tax that will be taken directly from their income, never mind the fact that around 36 per cent of federal taxes already go to paying for national defense.

“Regardless of whether one favors the war or not, if it is to be fought, it ought to be paid for,” the lawmakers, all prominent Democratic allies of Obama, said in a joint statement on the “Share The Sacrifice Act of 2010 (PDF),” reports AFP.

The move is being led by the appropriately named House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey, Representative John Murtha, who chairs that panel’s defense subcommittee; and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank.

The tax would apply to anyone earning as little as $22,600 per year in 2011.

The proposal is described as “heavily symbolic” with little chance of passing, but it once again illustrates the hypocrisy of an administration that swept to power on the promise of “change” to the Neo-Con imperial agenda and a resolve to reduce U.S. military involvement overseas. In reality, there are more troops in Iraq and Afghanistan now under Obama that at any time during the Bush administration.

At the height of the Bush administration’s 2007 “surge” in Iraq, there were 26,000 US troops in Afghanistan and 160,000 in Iraq, a total of 186,000.

According to DoD figures cited by The Washington Post last month, there are now around 189,000 and rising deployed in total. There are now 68,000 troops in Afghanistan, over double the amount deployed there when Bush left office.

What precisely would this extra tax be used to pay for? Namely, bribing the Taliban, paying off CIA drug lords, and protecting heroin-producing opium fields.

Numerous reports over the past two weeks have confirmed that the U.S. military is paying off the Taliban with bags of gold to prevent them from attacking vehicle convoys, proving that there is no real “war” in Afghanistan, merely a business agreement that allows the occupiers to continue their lucrative control of record opium exports while they finalize construction of dozens of new military bases from which to launch new wars.

The Afghan opium trade has exploded since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, following a lull after the Taliban had imposed a crackdown. According to the U.N., the drug trade is now worth $65 billion. Afghanistan produces 92 per cent of the world’s opium, with the equivalent of at least 3,500 tonnes leaving the country each year.

This racket is secured by drug kingpins like the brother of disputed president Hamid Karzai. As a New York Times report revealed last month, Ahmed Wali Karzai, a Mafia-like figure who expanded his influence over the drug trade with the aid of U.S. efforts to eliminate his competitors, is on the CIA payroll.

As Professor Michel Chossudovsky has highlighted in a series of essays, the explosion of opium production after the invasion was about the CIA’s drive to restore the lucrative Golden Crescent opium trade that was in place during the time when the Agency were funding the Mujahideen rebels to fight the Soviets, and flood the streets of America and Britain with cheap heroin, destroying lives while making obscene profits.

Any war surtax will merely go straight to maintaining the agenda that Obama inherited from Bush, the continued looting of Afghanistan under the pretext of a “war on terror” that, as revelations about bribing the Taliban prove, doesn’t even exist.

Source

Afghanistan opium poppy cultivation 1994-2007

The Taliban has almost eradicated the poppy fields. No sooner did the war begin and the poppy fields wee reborn.

Children work the poppy fields young as 8 or 9

Narco-Nation Building

By Paul L. Williams, Ph.D

July 7 2009

Hey, guys, don’t pick the poppies.

That’s the order from the Obama Administration to the 4,000 Marines presently engaged in Operation Khanjar or “Strike of the Sword,” an invasion of the Taliban infested Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan.

The Marines of Bravo’s Company 1st Platoon sleep beside groves of poppies Troops of the 2nd Platoon walk through the fields on strict orders not to swat the heavy opium bulbs. The Afghan farmers and laborers, who are engaged in scraping the resin from the bulbs, smile and wave at the passing soldiers.

The Helmand province is the world’s largest cultivator of opium poppies – the crop used to make heroin.

Afghanistan grew 93 percent of the world’s poppy crop last year, with Helmand alone responsible for more than half of the opium production in the country, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Heroin, as it turns out, represents the only staple of the Afghan economy. The country manufactures no domestic products for exportation and the rocky terrain yields no cash crops – – except, of course, the poppies.

The poppies fuel the great jihad against the United States and the Western world. More than 3,500 tons of raw opium is gleaned from the poppy crops every year, producing annual revenues for the Taliban and al Qaeda that range from $5 billion to $16 billion.

Destroying the fields could very well put an end to terrorist activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

But the Obama Administration remains intent upon protecting the poppies so that the Afghan farmers and local drug lords can reap the benefits of what purports to be a bumper crop.

Many Marines in the field are scratching their heads over the situation.

Jason Striuszko a journalist embedded with the U.S. Marines in Garmser, reports that many of the leathernecks are scratching their heads at the apparent contradictions — calling in airstrikes and artillery on the elusive Taliban while assuring farmers and drug lords that they will protect the poppies.

“Of course,” Striuszko says, “those fields will be harvested and some money likely used to help fuel the Taliban, and the Marines are thinking, essentially, ‘huh?’”

“It’s kind of weird. We’re coming over here to fight the Taliban. We see this. We know it’s bad. But at the same time we know it’s the only way locals can make money,” said 1st Lt. Adam Lynch, 27, of Barnstable, Mass.

Richard Holbrooke, the Obama Administration’s top envoy in Afghanistan, says that poppy eradication – for years a cornerstone of U.S. and U.N. anti-drug efforts in the country – has only resulted in driving Afghan farmers into the hands of the Taliban.

The new approach, Holbrooke maintains, will try to wean the farmers of the lucrative cash crop by giving them help to grow other produce, like wheat, corn and pomegranates.

Most of the 33,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan operate in the east, where the poppy problem is not as great. But the 2,400-strong 24th Marines, have taken the field in this southern growing region during harvest season.

An expert on Afghanistan’s drug trade, Barnett Rubin, complained that the Marines are being put in such a situation by a “one-dimensional” military policy that fails to integrate political and economic considerations into long-range planning.

“All we hear is, not enough troops, send more troops,” said Rubin, a professor at New York University. “Then you send in troops with no capacity for assistance, no capacity for development, no capacity for aid, no capacity for governance.”

Staff Sgt. Jeremy Stover, whose platoon is sleeping beside a poppy crop planted in the interior courtyard of a mud-walled compound, said the Marines’ mission is to get rid of the “bad guys,” and “the locals aren’t the bad guys.”

“Poppy fields in Afghanistan are the cornfields of Ohio,” said Stover, 28, of Marion, Ohio. “When we got here they were asking us if it’s OK to harvest poppy and we said, ‘Yeah, just don’t use an AK-47.’”

Source

U.S. soldiers inspect a cache of opium that was seized at a border police station on the outskirts of Herat,  October 23 2007. Afghan border police in the western Afghan city have seized 644 kilograms of opium. Afghanistan accounts for over 93 percent of the world’s supply of opium, the main ingredient in heroin, a lucrative trade whose proceeds in part fund some of the Taliban-led insurgency.    AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

They don’t tell you about this, about Afghanistan’s growing domestic drug problem – an estimated 1.5 million addicts, including 120,000 women, according to the Ministry of Narcotics – all those advocates of legalizing the country’s robust opium crop – a yield that provides some 93 per cent of the world’s heroin. This heroin, which is refined opium, ends up on streets across the globe but also is destroying families here. Source

They also fail to mention the problem now in Iran , Iraq,
Russia, Europe and North America.

There are millions of new heroin addicts around the world.

Karima leaned to one side and rubbed her temples with half-painted pink fingernails. The smile that was wide and infectious for her visitors had now surrendered to the internal darkness that ruled her addiction.

The day had started like most in her life: With an opium tea that she drinks to “feel happy.” On bad days, she needs it three or four times.

Karima is 13.

She is bright, and confident, but left school during fourth grade. From the two narrow rooms they call home in an otherwise abandoned building, she cannot see a future that is either clean or normal — a hard assessment for a girl who is barely a teenager.

“There is no one but me to support the family and we have nothing to live easily,” she said. “I feel sad most of the time and the tea makes me feel better.”

Her mother, Najiba, raised five children on a steady diet of narcotics to ease their hunger pains and winter chills and her own grief from losing a son. The whole family has been through drug treatment — twice — and Najiba claims to be healthy.

Karima is still addicted. She buys the drugs herself with money from her father and boils the opium tea the way her mother long did for her.

Her wild-eyed youngest sister, Raisa, is three years old and clicks her tongue while fidgeting with a red patent purse. Raisa had opium in her veins before she was born. Najiba cut her off months ago, but Raisa remembers the “dizzy” tea and craves it. I asked her why.

“Because I miss it,” she said in the tiniest voice. “I like it.” Source

Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president and a suspected player in the country’s booming illegal opium trade, gets regular payments from the Central Intelligence Agency, and has for much of the past eight years, according to current and former American officials. Source

Opium production is one of the chief sources of revenue for the warlords that occupy the Afghan parliament and is one of the main reasons why the government is seen as corrupt by the Afghan people. As long as NATO continues to bomb civilians in an effort to extend the control of those warlords, the Afghan people will continue to join the resistance to the foreign occupation.

This reality led to the recent resignation of Matthew Hoh, a former US army captain and Foreign Service official in Zabul province. Hoh resigned because he said that the presence of the foreign troops was the main reason why the resistance was growing and he believed that the war needed to end.  Source

They have never connected Bin Laden to 9/11

Bin Laden has been dead since December of 2001

9/11 was just an excuse to go to war in Afghanistan nothing more.

The results of the invasion of Afghanistan is devastating to say the least.

The radiation will have a very devastating impact on Afghans. The testing proved the use of radioactive weapons. Source

The end result will be as it is in Iraq and other countries Nato and the US have invaded.

Doctors report “unprecedented” rise in deformities, cancers in Iraq

Kosovo

Since its dealings with the Meo tribesmen in Laos during the Vietnam era, the CIA has protected narcotics traffic in key locations in order partly to finance its covert operations. The scale of international narcotics traffic today is such that major US banks such as Citigroup are reported to derive a significant share of their profits from laundering the proceeds. Source

CIA Drug  Operations a little history

Bush – Cheney and drugs

Pipelines in the Middle East Afghanistan included/ Maps as well

Drug money used as a geopolitics weapon by CIA-RAW-Mossad

March 12, 2010

By Brig Asif Haroon Raja

US Administration under George Bush senior had formulated New World Order in 1989 in anticipation to assuming world leadership. Among several aspects how to go about harnessing world resources and to micro manage world affairs, Islam was identified as the next threat to US interests after the imminent collapse of communism which by that time was gasping for breath. Afghanistan figured high in US security paradigm. After the Taliban captured power in 1996 and declared Sharia and refused to abide by terms and conditions of US economic tycoons with regard to shipment of oil and gas from Central Asia through Afghanistan, it was circled for invasion in 1997. In August 1998, Osama bin Laden’s camps in Khost province of Afghanistan were struck by cruise missiles. In July 2001, some high US officials declared that Afghanistan would be invaded in October that year. Going by this sequence of events, it becomes evident that neo-cons in connivance with Jews manufactured 9/11 to achieve their global ambitions. Jewish controlled media played a key role in triggering world wide condemnation of 9/11 attacks and in fomenting hatred against Muslims among the non-Muslim world.

9/11 was an excuse to formulate draconian laws and policies of pre-emption and unilateralism. Terrorism became the most sinful and unforgivable offence. Under the buzzword of terrorism, world cooperation was harnessed to fight global war on terror and supposedly free the world from this menace which in their view posed the biggest threat to world security. Freedom movements within Muslim world were converted into terrorism and terrorism became synonymous to Islam. Al-Qaeda was created from nowhere and transformed into a faceless monster that would appear like a ghost in all areas of US interest. Islamic threat was demonized to justify existence of NATO that had lost its rationale and locus standi after end of Cold War and expiry of Warsaw Pact in 1991.

Afghanistan was not invaded to avenge terror attacks allegedly master minded by Afghanistan based Osama bin Laden and those who harbored him. The real intention was to convert Afghanistan into a permanent US military station wherefrom it could promote its strategic interests. These interests included tapping unexplored mineral resources of Central Asia and shipping gas and oil to Europe and USA through Afghanistan and Pakistan; monitoring China and Russia; remaining within turn round distance of Persian Gulf; preventing Iran from going nuclear and affecting a regime change of its choice; subverting and denuclearizing Pakistan; making India the regional policeman; restoring and controlling world largest supply of opium for world heroin markets and to use drugs as a geopolitics weapon against opponents, especially Russia. In pursuit of its multiple objectives Afghanistan was ruthlessly destroyed and till to-date has not been vacated.

CIA has a track record of using drug money to support its covert operations all over the world. It toppled Mossadeq led regime in Iran in 1953. It armed Iraqi Kurds in 1975 to destabilize Iraqi regime. It also used drug money to back Contras movement in Nicaragua in 1980 to bring democracy. Cocaine being the most sought drug became the favorite production of CIA. Unprecedented volume of cocaine trafficking took place in the 1980s but no eyebrow was raised in Washington. Drug money was extensively utilized by CIA to finance Afghan jihad against Soviet troops in Afghanistan from 1979 till 1989. Commercial production of opium began in 1980s, replacing cocaine with heroin and this new product flooded the US and European markets. By the time Afghan war came to an end, Afghanistan had become the second largest opium producing country. Its production rate had swelled to 1350 metric tons.

When the Taliban under Mullah Omar captured power in 1996, the Islamic regime carried out host of social reforms including imposition of ban on opium production. There was steep decline in this practice for the first time. The Taliban during their rule till October 2001 suffered from worst economic crisis due to severe sanctions imposed by USA and western countries but they never used opium to build their economy. Interestingly, this ban became one of the core reasons for the US to invade Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has now become a narco-state and the largest opium producing country in the world. Younger brother of Hamid Karzai Ahmad Wali Karzai in Kandahar has been the main player exporting heroin to Europe through Turkmenistan. Indian Embassy in Kabul has been working as the coordinating centre for drug trade. Countries like Pakistan and Iran lying in the path of drug trade route are the worst affected since drugs destroy social norms and values as they have in the west. It has made a debilitating impact on societal fabric. By 2008, 8000 metric tons had been exported to world markets. Afghanistan is producing 8250 metric tons per year, which makes 90-92% of world opium supply. Illegal opium production is worth $ 65 billions. Afghan warlords involved are deeply involved in enriching their coffers through drug trade.

While international drug mafia is fully controlled by Zionists, CIA is complicit in global drug trade. Without active support of Pentagon and CIA, it is simply not possible to export opium in thousands of tons. Free licenses are liberally issued to drug producers and traffickers. There are credible reports that US military planes have been made use of and even some coffins were filled with heroin instead of bodies. Truckloads of heroin transfer heroin daily. Former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, silenced for years by George W. Bush Administration, testified to the use of NATO planes transporting drugs as well as international terrorists.

Under the pretext of hunting al-Qaeda, CIA has made deep inroads in Pakistan. Drug money is not only used by CIA to finance its illegal operations in Pakistan and elsewhere but also US economy also which because of economic crunch is badly in need of liquidity in its banks that are closing down at an alarming rate. Russia has lashed out at US and NATO for refusing to destroy poppy crops in Afghanistan and not fighting drug production which implies that raw drug sources will remain sacrosanct. The US however puts blame on Taliban for poppy cultivation in Afghanistan for financing insurgency and to snatch this source, it has mounted massive offensive in Helmand, a stronghold of Taliban and major opium growing region.

Under the pretext of hunting al-Qaeda, CIA has made deep inroads in Pakistan. Drug money is not only used by CIA to finance its illegal operations in Pakistan and elsewhere but also US economy also which because of economic crunch is badly in need of liquidity in its banks that are closing down at an alarming rate. Russia has lashed out at US and NATO for refusing to destroy poppy crops in Afghanistan and not fighting drug production which implies that raw drug sources will remain sacrosanct. The US however puts blame on Taliban for poppy cultivation in Afghanistan for financing insurgency and to snatch this source, it has mounted massive offensive in Helmand, a stronghold of Taliban and major opium growing region.

Like the CIA, RAW and Mossad are also heavily involved in narcotic business. Indian drug barons have cultivated close ties with Afghan drug warlords and with Laos which is among the leading drug trading country. India ranks fifth largest illegal opium producing country in the world.  Illicit poppy is being cultivated in large quantity in Himachal Pradesh, Arunchal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Mizoram. India is using profits made out of drug trafficking towards covert operation in Pakistan. Operation aimed at destabilizing Pakistan codenamed CIT X had been jointly conceived by RAW and Mossad for which criminal elements, mercenaries and drug mafia were engaged. 57 training camps were established in East Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Assam, Gujarat, Rajasthan and occupied Kashmir to train and launch terrorists inside Pakistan. Training was imparted to dissident elements from MQM, Jiye Sindh Mahaz, Jiye Sindh Students Federation and Baloch nationalists and other nationalist groups. Source

The so called war on drugs also fuels the US prisons.  The more drugs on the streets the more profit and slaves for prisons.

The Prison Industry in the United States Costs Taxpayers Billions

Just added this November 7 2012

A few facts, new and old.

Afghanistan, Heroin, Addiction, Death

//

New report highlights Israeli exploitation of migrant workers

October 30 2009

Migrant workers in Israel’s agriculture sector are among the most exploited, according to a 28 October report by Kav LaOved, an Israeli NGO campaigning for the rights of disadvantaged workers in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Ninety percent of such workers work more hours than allowed under Israeli law, without overtime payments, said the report, which has been presented to members of parliament.

The report summarizes hundreds of complaints by agricultural workers and dozens of inspections by Kav LaOved volunteers at work sites around the country, and paints a grim picture of systematic exploitation and severe violations of workers’ rights in the agricultural sector.

Hanna Zohar, Kav LaOved director, said the workers, mostly Thai, are completely unaware of their rights.

“Having paid US $8-10,000 to work in Israel, they are prime material for abuse by the farmers, as they are afraid to lose their jobs and not able to pay off the loans taken to cover these payments to the middlemen,” Zohar said.

The launch of the report has been timed to coincide with the current campaign by farmers for additional permits for migrant workers, and is intended to further public debate on the issue.

Farmers have been demonstrating for more permits in recent weeks and there have been violent clashes with the police.

Some 30,000 migrant workers are employed in the agricultural sector, mostly from Thailand, Nepal, Sri Lanka and some from the Palestinian Authority, according to Kav LaOved and official figures from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labour.

The Thai workers come from rural areas after paying middlemen in Thailand and Israel, and most work in remote and isolated locations, unaware of their legal rights, according to Kav LaOved’s research done in the past year.

The report said it is common practice in many agri-businesses to dock leave, and some employers give workers only one day off a month.

Employers who withhold passports – strongly condemned by the legal authorities – are still commonplace, according to Kav LaOved and Moked, another NGO which campaigns for the rights of migrants.

Since the beginning of 2009, 10 percent of agricultural workers (2,950) have been injured, the report said.

Harsh living conditions

Evidence of harsh living conditions and demeaning treatment crop up routinely in Kav LaOved’s inspection reports.

At a visit to one farm, IRIN found some workers living at a potato crop disposal site, in a small, stifling container. Workers told IRIN they cannot leave as they must pay off huge debts in their home countries.

The Israeli Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labour spokespersons’ unit said: “The department of foreign workers has been investigating private manpower and building cooperatives to prevent [the] charging [of] migrant workers sums that exceed those allowed by lawâEuro¦ In 2009, dozens of licenses were revokedâEuro¦ We ask Kav LaOved to work jointly with the attorney in charge of foreign workers’ rights in the ministry, Iris Maayan, and allow the different enforcement factors in GOI [Government of Israel] offices to work more efficiently. The issue is of great importance for the Ministry.”

Source

Migrant caregivers in Israel – report to the UN Migrant Workers Convention
by: Kav LaOved

Migrant caregivers in Israel:

problems and recommendations

General background

All elderly and disabled Israeli citizens who meet disability criteria set by the Israeli National Insurance Institute are allowed to employ a domestic migrant caregiver with National Insurance subsidy. The number of permits available to employ migrant caregivers in Israel today stands at about 55,000. It is illegal to employ domestic migrant workers other than as caregivers. Most migrant caregivers in Israel come from south east Asia (Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal), and some from eastern Europe (former soviet union, Romania). The vast majority of migrant caregivers in Israel are women.

The legal status of migrant workers in Israel depends on their active employment by a person with a migrant caregiver employment permit. Workers who lose their work due to dismissal, quitting or employer death must find new legal employment within at most 90 days or leave the country. As will be explained below, most employers prefer to bring new migrant workers from abroad, rather than employ a worker who is already in Israel. The result is that the number of migrant workers who entered Israel with a legal migrant caregiver visa, and whose maximum period of legal work in Israel (63 months) has not expired, is 10,000-40,000 higher than the number of available permits (55,000). Migrant caregivers who have lost their legal status are usually employed illegally in domestic work.

Since the beginning of 2009 the employment of migrant caregivers must be arranged through a certified Israeli migrant caregiver placement agency, which shares with the employer the responsibility for the rights of the migrant caregiver. These agencies cooperate with overseas agents to recruit workers.

Problems

  1. Brokerage fees

Migrant caregivers in Israel are charged a brokerage fee typically ranging between $6,000 and $13,000 in order to get a legal migrant caregiver visa. This charge is illegal according to Israeli law, but no effective enforcement is conducted to prevent it. This money is shared between recruiters in countries of origin and Israeli job brokers.

Brokerage fees encourage brokers to bring new paying workers from abroad, rather than assign to work migrants already in Israel. This creates a surplus of migrant caregivers in Israel, which enables reduction of wages and exploitation.

Brokerage fees force workers to go into debt. The interest rates are high gray market rates, and many workers mortgage their property to raise the money. Failure to repay the debt puts the life and livelihood of the worker and her family in danger. This debt, therefore, prevents workers from returning to their countries of origin before earning enough money to repay the debt, even if it means working illegally.

  1. The binding arrangement

Migrant caregivers in Israel must be actually employed by a permit carrying employer to retain their legal status. Migrant workers are thus bound to their employer, and work termination means a threat of deportation. This arrangement was declared a “modern form of slavery” by Israel’s High Court of Justice already in 2006, but the State has not essentially changed this arrangement. Last year the State was found guilty of contempt of teh court.

For further information on the legal status of migrant workers in Israel see:

http://www.kavlaoved.org.il/media-view_eng.asp?id=2275, http://www.kavlaoved.org.il/media-view_eng.asp?id=2263

  1. Fraud and labor rights violations

The high brokerage fees are an incentive to bring migrant caregivers into Israel even if there is no work awaiting them. This results in the type of fraud called “flying visa”: a worker is brought into Israel legally, but the broker who brought her does not provide her with work. Given the surplus of migrant caregivers in Israel, the worker is unlikely to find alternative employment, and risks losing her legal status and being deported before repaying her debt.

Another kind of fraud is “open visa”: an employer who has a migrant worker employment permit, but who does not actually require the service, registers a migrant caregiver as legally employed for a fee and/or services, while the worker actually makes a living by other means (usually illegal cleaning or au-pair work for other employers). If authorities expose this fraud, the worker will lose her legal status and be deported. This fact allows employers to extort ever increasing sums of money for the “open visa” they provide, and sometimes leads to debt bondage situations, where migrant workers keep getting into debt to hold on to their visa.

The reality of a surplus of migrant caregivers in situations of debt and threatened loss of legal status forces workers to accept illegally low salaries, withheld pay, non payment of social benefits and forced overtime. Workers are sometimes forced to do work that’s not related to their job description, such as cleaning for family members. In some cases workers must accept poor lodging and food, confinement, threats and violence, and some workers are even forced to provide sexual services. Such circumstances may amount to trafficking and forced labor.

State enforcement mechanisms are usually highly inefficient. Investigations are poorly conducted due to low prioritization and lack of adequate, reliable and objective translation services (this extends to courts as well). Sanctions are rarely set on employers; if sanctions are set, they are usually restricted to fines too small to deter offenders. Confiscation of migrant worker employment permits of abusive and delinquent employers is extremely rare. This means that repeated offenders can continue employing migrant caregivers.

While crimes against migrant workers are not properly tried and sanctioned, Israel invests in a 200 inspector task force to hunt down and deport migrant workers who lost their legal status, including those who lost it due to fraud, exploitation and abuse

This encourages further abuse of migrant workers, as employers can count on the victims being deported, rather than confronting them in court.

For further information concerning crimes against migrant workers and inadequate enforcement see: http://www.kavlaoved.org.il/media-view_eng.asp?id=2337,

http://www.kavlaoved.org.il/media-view_eng.asp?id=2094

1. Suitability for work

Some workers come to work in Israel as caregivers, but speak no English or Hebrew, and are therefore unable to communicate with most prospective employers. These workers are likely to lose their jobs and legal status, and find themselves deported and in debt. Some workers are not physically strong enough to lift and move heavy patients. These workers are also less likely than others to find legal employment, and therefore risk deportation.

2. Work load and overtime

Migrant workers in Israel are usually paid for 8 hours of work per day. In fact, most of them are either employed or on call for 24 hours a day, 6 days a week. The legal status of overtime and on-call hours is not resolved, and the issue is deliberated at the High Court of Justice.

The lack of clear definitions of work, overtime and on-call hours leads to situations where some workers are forced to actively work to exhaustion, caring for several family members and cleaning large households. The situation is aggravated where migrant caregivers have to care for more than one patient who requires constant care (such as a married couple of disabled people in a poor health situation).

3. Health, safety and social security

Most migrant caregivers in Israel are employed or on call 24 hours a day, 6 days a week. The intimate circumstances of domestic work make the boundaries between employer and employee vague. This may result in positive family-like relations, but can also deteriorate to sexual harassment and exploitation.

Migrant caregivers are often left alone with a single care patient, and have no access to friends and community life. Sometimes they are strictly prohibited from leaving the home where they work except to accompany their employer to receive medical care. This puts great mental stress on migrant caregivers. The result is a higher than usual rate of mental problems and nervous breakdowns, which in rare occasions result in violent treatment of helpless patients.

Many migrant workers have to lift heavy patients several times a day, and carry them between the bed, chair, toilet, bath and car or taxi. This puts great strain on the worker’s muscles and back, and leads to severe injuries that may result in permanent damage.

The mandatory health insurance for migrant workers in Israel is far inferior to the insurance provided to Israeli citizens and residents by law, and expires if a worker becomes incapable of working for three months or longer. In such cases insurance companies can send the worker off to her country of origin, where adequate care may not be accessible. Many insurance companies prefer this solution over actually covering costly medical care.

Workers’ right to social security is very limited, and is covered only partially by the National insurance law, even if workers reside in Israel for many years. Pension rights, social security and health insurance are not coordinated in bilateral agreements between Israel and countries of origin. This results in lack of continuity of insurance coverage.

4. Family

Migrant workers in Israel may work in Israel legally for up to 63 months. If they continue working for the same employer, they can continue working indefinitely. Nevertheless, migrant workers do not gain the right for family reunification regardless of their duration of stay.

In fact, if the Interior Ministry finds that a migrant worker has a close relative working in Israel, or has coupled with another migrant worker (whether actually married or not), one of the related workers will lose their legal status and be deported. Relatives of migrant workers can’t even travel to visit the workers in Israel. Migrant workers who have children lose their work permits and must leave Israel within 3 months of giving birth. For further information see: http://www.kavlaoved.org.il/tal/No%20state%20for%20love.doc

Migrant workers require permission from employers to visit their country of origin. Without such permission, the worker might not be allowed to return to Israel, even if she has not completed the maximum period of 63 months of work. Employers sometime refuse, as they would require replacement care. As a result some patients must choose between continuing their work in Israel and visiting a dying relative or attending a family occasion.

5. Residency and citizenship

Migrant workers, even if they reside lawfully in Israel for many years, do not have the right to acquire permanent legal status in the country. As a result, workers may face deportation after two decades or more of lawfully residing in Israel, if their employer passes away or the employment relationship is otherwise terminated.

Israel does not see itself in any way bound to recognize migrant workers’ children right to gain lawful status in the country. As a result, a group of migrant workers’ children reside in Israel without documented status, which severely restricts their access to basic rights.

Recommendations:

1. As long as a worker’s legal status is linked to her active employment, employers can extort migrant workers to accept exploitation and abuse. The legal status of migrant workers must be completely independent from their work situation, and they must be free to choose their employer from among those allowed to employ migrant workers.

2. Exuberant brokerage fees lead to debt bondage and force workers to accept exploitation. The recruitment of migrant workers must therefore be taken away from private brokers and handled by State agents or international agents such as the IOM. Close scrutiny must be taken to prevent corruption and illegal collection of brokerage fees.

3. The State must share in the responsibility to provide workers with employment opportunities. If the number of workers allowed legal entry for work in a specific sector exceeds the number of prospective legal posts, migrant workers must be allowed to work in other sectors, or provided with unemployment benefits.

4. Mass deportation of migrant workers encourages their exploiters to force workers into illegal situations and have them deported, rather than confront the workers’ legitimate claims. Enforcement must therefore prioritize protection of the human and labor rights of migrant workers, severely sanction abusive employers, and revoke the migrant worker employment permits of repeated offenders. Enforcement agents must have access to adequate and reliable interpreters.

5. Work load, overtime and on call time must be well defined for domestic work, so that general work time laws can be applied.

6. Migrant workers’ health and safety must be protected by adequate insurance, which covers extended disability, and subject to social worker scrutiny.

7. Migrant workers must be allowed enough free time and mobility to associate with their friends and conduct healthy community life.

8. Migrant workers’ right to family life must be acknowledged, especially when a worker remains in the country of destination for an extended period of time. Long term migrant workers and their families must have access to permanent residency and citizenship.

9. There must be active and efficient bilateral cooperation between countries of origin and Israel aimed at protecting workers from exploitation and abuse through all stages of their migration, from recruitment to repatriation. In particular, social security and health insurance must be rendered continuous, and the recruitment process must verify that workers can communicate with prospective employers and are physically able to do the required job.

10. Israel must sign and ratify and obey the International Convention for the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and the members of their Families.

Source

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Published in: on May 31, 2009 at 8:02 pm  Comments Off  
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Israel abducted over 5,000 people and put them in prison

February 1 2009

In Palestine, Israeli forces continued to raid towns and villages, arresting more Palestinians. On January 25, Israeli forces seized 334 Palestinians in Israel who were working without permit. They also arrested 16 Israelis for employing them. That same day, Israeli troops stormed homes and restaurants in several neighborhoods in Ramallah and Al-Bireh, but with no reported arrests. However, they did arrest four Palestinians at a checkpoint in Nablus. The next day, Israeli forces Israeli forces raided homes in Husam near Bethlehem, while army bulldozers dug up the main roads linking the village with neighboring areas. Israeli border guards also seized another 250 Palestinian workers in Israel, accusing them of staying in Israel without permits. Most of those detained are West Bank residents. On January 28, Israeli forces imposed a curfew on Zabuba, near Jenin, and seized eight Palestinians in dawn raids. On January 29, another 14 Palestinians were seized in raids in Bethlehem, Hebron, and Beit Suweif. In Beit Ummar, two Palestinians were injured and two others seized when Israeli troops opened fire at a house belonging to 63-year-old Fathi Jamal Al-Alamah, injuring him in the chest. His 55-year-old wife Fahima was injured in the leg. Israeli troops also detained eight men in Hijjah near Qalqiliya before dawn on January 30. That same day, 17 Palestinians were injured when Israeli soldiers opened fire with live ammunition on Palestinian demonstrators in Israeli-occupied Hebron.

Israeli settlers have been busy this week, when on January 25, protected by soldiers, they seized new land south of Hebron. After erecting a metal fence on the land, they prevented the owners and local Palestinian residents from approaching it. This comes as a disturbing new report was published on January 28 by Peace Now claiming that Israel has accelerated construction in illegal settlements in the West Bank during 2008 by nearly 60%. Roughly 1,257 new structures were built within settlements during 2008, compared to 800 in 2007. Building more than doubled in “outposts,” — unauthorized settlements that are not officially recognized by the Israeli government — with 261 structures built, compared to 98 the year before.

Source

In the past three weeks, more than 135 Hamas supporters and members have been rounded up. Among the detainees are journalists, university professors and students and preachers. In some cases, Hamas supporters who were released by the IDF were arrested hours later by the PA security forces.

The crackdown has also included intimidation of reporters and critics. Several Palestinian reporters have been “advised” by Abbas’s top aides not to report on the massive anti-Hamas crackdown. Samir Khawireh, a journalist from Nablus, found himself in a prison cell earlier this week for reporting about the torching of a car belonging to Prof. Abdel Sattar Kassam, a long-time outspoken critic of financial corruption in the PA.

No freedom of Speech allowed.

Israel to release 231 detainees instead of 250

December 08, 2008
By Saed Bannoura

The office of the outgoing Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, issued a press release stating that Israel will release 231 Palestinians detainees instead of 250 after it canceled the names of 19 detainees from the Gaza Strip.

All of the detainees who would be freed are from the West Bank and are members of Fateh movement and other “non-Islamic factions”.

Olmert’s office said that the detainees who would be freed “do not have bloody hands” and that freeing them is a “gesture of good will to the Palestinian Authority”.

Meanwhile, Ziad Abu Ein, in charge of the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees, said that the Israeli Prison Administration started transferring the detainees to Ofer prison in preparation for their release before the end of this week.

The Palestinian Ministry of Detainees and Freed Detainees, in Gaza, said that in November Israel abducted more than 390 Palestinians in 300 invasions carried out in the Gaza Strip.

The Ministry added that the army abducted more than 5,000 Palestinians since the beginning of this year.

Also, the Ministry stated that more than two months ago, Israel released 198 detainees, but none of them were from the Gaza Strip.

Approximately 10,000 Palestinians, including hundreds of women, children and elderly, are imprisoned by Israel. Hundreds of detainees were kidnapped by Israel before Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization singed the first Oslo agreement in August 1993.

Source

Why is is OK for Israel to just kidnap 5,000 people and never be charged with kidnapping. “WHY?” They abduct farmers, fishermen, women, men, and children , anyone they just feel like kidnapping. Then throw them in prison. No reason necessary.  They just do.  They did before and still do it.

How many are in prison today I wonder??????????

Israeli Court Sentences PFLP Secretary-General to 30 Years Imprisonment

December 26, 2008 by Saed Bannoura

Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported on Thursday that the Ofer Israeli military court sentenced the Secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Ahmad Sa’adat, to thirty years imprisonment, even though he was acquitted of planning the assassination of the Israeli Tourism Minister, Rehavam Ze’evi in 2001.

The Israeli court said that Sa’adat was sentenced for other attacks dating, according to claims by the Israeli Army, to the time when he was kidnapped by Israeli soldiers in 2006.

The PFLP claimed responsibility for assassinating Ze’evi at a hotel in Jerusalem.

On Monday, December 1, 2008, the Israeli central Court in Jerusalem sentenced the head of the armed wing of the PFLP, Ahed Ghalama, to one life-term, and an additional five years for the assassination of Ze’evi.

The court claimed that Ghlama supervised the cell that assassinated Zeevi in 2001 in retaliation to the assassination of the PFLP secretary-general Abu Ali Mustafa. Mustafa was assassinated by the Israeli air force while he was in his office in the central West Bank city of Ramallah, several months before Zeevi was killed.

Ghalama, age 40, is from Beit Forik village, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus. He was initially imprisoned by the Palestinian Authority at the Jericho Prison in 2002. The Israeli army broke into the prison, which was guarded by European guards that had fled the scene shortly before the army attacked it.

Ghalama, along with the secretary-general of the PFLP, Ahmad Saadat, and several other PFLP members and the financial official of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), including Fuad Shobaky, were kidnapped by the Israeli Army.

On Thursday Palestinian official, Dr. Saeb Erekat, slammed the Israeli court ruling against Sa’adat, and said that Sa’adat is an elected member of the Palestinian Parliament.

Hamas, the ruling party in Gaza, said that the name of Sa’adat will be among the first names of detainees it will demand to be released in exchange for releasing the captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, Haaretz said.

The PFLP issued a press release denouncing the Israeli court ruling against Sa’adat, and called on international human right groups to intervene for the release of the political leader.

Nasser Abu Aziz, member of the political bureau of the PFLP, said that this ruling is illegitimate as it is a ruling of a court that resembles the occupation, and considered the trial a trial against the human rights of all Palestinians.

Abu Aziz called on the Palestinian Authority to place this file of detainees on the top of its agenda, and called for wide public support for Sa’adat and all political detainees in Israeli prisons.

Source

Why is it if a Palestinian assassinates someone they are charged,  but if the Israelis assassinates someone it is OK and charges are never laid against them? “WHY?” This not a stupid question because as well as the assassination of the Palestinian, more times then not innocent civilians are killed as well. Israels justification for this, is based on lies of course.

These are crimes Israel has been committing for years.

If they Israeli’s assassinate anyone it is just as much of crime, as if a Palestinian assassinates someone.

When one retaliates is it really a crime or self defense. The Palestinians have the right to defend themselves.

Palestinian Detainee Dies Due to Medical Negligence in al-Ramah Israeli Prison

December 24, 2008
By Saed Bannoura

The Palestinian Prisoners Society reported on Wednesday that detainee Jom’a Ismail Mousa, 65, from Shu’fat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, died as a result of medical negligence on the part of the Israeli Prison Services.

The detainee spent most of his time in the al-Ramla prison hospital, which lacks the basic medical equipment.

Mousa was sentenced to one life-term, and an additional ten years. The Israeli Prison Authorities claimed that the police are investigating his death, and that “he died while receiving medical treatment at the prison hospital”.

Fares Abu Hasan, head of the International Solidarity Institution for Human Rights in Palestine, held the Israeli occupation responsible for the death of Mousa because Israel ignored calls by several human rights groups, demanding the immediate release of Mousa in order to receive proper medical attention and treatment.

Palestinian researcher and specialist in detainees’ affairs, Abdul-Naser Farwana, said that the number of detainees who died due to medical negligence since 1967 is now 49, and that a total of 196 detainees due to medical negligence and torture, while some of them were killed by Israeli soldiers after being kidnapped.

Mousa is the second detainee who died in Israeli prisons in 2008. Detainee Fadil Shahin, from Gaza, died in an Israeli prison on February 29.

The Waed Society for Detainees and Freed Detainees slammed the Israeli violations of human rights.

The Society’s head, Legislator Fathi Hammad, said that the Israeli Prison Administration continuously violates the human rights of detainees.

Detainee Jom’a Ismail Mousa was born in 1943. He was kidnapped by the Israeli army on March 29, 1993. He suffered from a heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Currently, there are thirty detainees hospitalized at the al-Ramla prison hospital, and could meet the same fate if they do not receive the needed medical treatment.

Source

He is not the first there have been others.

193 detainees died in Israeli prisons since 1967

December 31, 2007

Abdul-Nasser Farawna, head of the Census Department at the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees, specialized researcher in the issue of detainees, stated on Saturday that 193 Palestinian detainees died in Israeli prisons and detention facilities since 1967.

On December 28, one detainee identified as Fadi Abdul-Latif Abu Al Rob, from Qabatia town north of the northern West Bank city of Jenin died of medical negligence.

Farwana stated that 73 detainees died in Israeli prisons in the period between 1967 and December 1987, 120 detainees died in Israeli prisons during the first Intifada in the period between 1987 and December 1994, eight more detainees died in the period between 1994 and 2000.

70 more detainees died during the Al Aqsa Intifada in the period between September 28, 2000 and December 2007.

Farwana also stated that 70 of the deceased detainees died of torture, 47 detainees died of medical negligence, in addition to 76 were practically executed after arrest; the latest casualty of execution after arrest is detainee Mohammad Al Ashram who was shot and killed while in detention.

Commenting on the geographical distribution of the deceased detainees, Farawna said that 111 (57.5%) detainees are from the West Bank 61 (31.6%) are from the Gaza Strip and 14 (7.3%) are from Jerusalem and Arab cities and towns in Israel.

Farwana also added that among the detainees, who died during the Al Aqsa Intifada, 51 were executed after arrest, 3 died of torture, and 16 died of medical negligence; seven of them died in 2007.

He added that Israeli prisons and detention facilities lack the basic health facilities and equipment and considered the medical negligence policy in Israeli prisons as a policy of slow death and execution against the detainees, especially those who need urgent surgeries or serious illnesses that required ongoing monitoring.

Farwana held the Israeli government responsible for the lives of hundreds of detainees who are in immediate need for medical attention, and called for the formation of a neutral committee to be in charge or probing the deaths of the detainees in Israeli prisons and detention facilities.

He appealed the Red Cross, and other international human rights groups, to intervene and oblige Israel to abide by the international law.

Source

The following interrogation centers, are probably still functioning.

The Russian Compound Interrogation Center “ Mosqubiyeh” located in west Jerusalem. There are solitary confinement cells interrogation section and sections for Palestinian Collaborating with The Israeli Intelligent Service (Asafeer).

Beitah Tikva interrogation section in Beitah Tikva City near Ramleh city inside Israel.

Jalameh Interrogation section located to the south of Haifa City inside Israel.  The section has a solitary confinement wing, interrogation wing and a wing for Asafeer.

Beit Eil located near El-Bireh city in The Palestinian National areas and is considered a temporary lock up for Palestinians pending transfer to other facilities.  It contains solitary confinement sections, and interrogations section as well as a Court and a Police Station.

Hiwarah Military Camp near Hiwarah Village in Nablus district in The Palestinian National areas and is considered a temporary lock up for Palestinians pending transfer to other facilities.  It contains solitary confinement sections, and interrogations section.

Kadomim Military Camp near Kufor Kaddom village in Qalqilya District of The Palestinian National areas and is considered a temporary lock up for Palestinians pending transfer to other facilities.  It contains solitary confinement sections, and interrogations section.

Kfar Atsyoun Military Camp located near El-Aroub Refugee Camp/ Hebron District in The Palestinian National areas and is considered a temporary lock up for Palestinians pending transfer to other facilities.  It contains solitary confinement sections, and interrogations section.


Prisoners’ Needs:

Detainees inside Israeli detention facilities are nearly deprived from family visits. Even if such visits are conducted, then with strict conditions and is limited to nuclear family members.

It had happened that some single detainees have their parents dead, their brothers and sisters are over 16 years of age, thus most likely to be prevented from visiting their brothers for Israeli “security reasons”. Therefore, ending with no family visits.

Usually detainees are in need to the following items:

1- Training suites, clothes and underwear.

2- Medication and medical supporting equipments.

3- Hygiene items.

4- Cantina: – Tea, Coffee, sugar, Sweets and cigarettes.

5- Books

Administrative detention in the Occupied Territories

Israel has claimed that it uses administrative detention only as a necessary security measure and that the decision to administratively detain an individual is made only when normal legal measures or less severe administrative measures will not attain the objective and there is no other way to ensure security. In practice, however, the authorities apply administrative detention in violation of international law. They misuse the powers granted to military commanders in the military order:

  1. Administrative Detention as an Alternative to Criminal Proceedings: The authorities use administrative detention as a quick and efficient alternative to criminal trial, primarily when they do not have sufficient evidence to charge the individual, or when they do not want to reveal their evidence. This use of administrative detention is absolutely prohibited and totally blurs the distinction between preventive and punitive detention. The only legal justification for administrative detention is in exceptional circumstances where a person is deemed to pose an immediate danger and no other measures have proven effective to avert it. Past actions of the detainee are therefore irrelevant, except insofar as they indicate the future danger the detainee may pose.
  2. Detention of Political Opponents: Israel administratively detains Palestinians for their political opinions and non-violent political activity. Following the signing of the Oslo Accords, Israel also administratively detained Palestinians who opposed the peace process. In this way, the authorities expand greatly the meaning of danger to “security of the area” by flagrantly violating freedom of expression and opinion, which are guaranteed under international law.
  3. Lack of Due Process: In some cases, the detainee does not receive the administrative detention order upon arrest and is transferred directly to a detention center. Administrative detainees are not given the reasons for their detention or any opportunity to refute the suspicions against them. In most cases, the only explanation given to the detainee is that he is “a senior activist in the PFLP” (or Hamas, etc.). Although the detainee ostensibly can appeal the detention, in practice he is not given a meaningful opportunity to defend himself because the evidence against him is not revealed to him or his attorney. The general rule is that the evidence is classified, and, to the best of our knowledge, in no case has a military court or the Supreme Court ordered any of the classified evidence to be revealed. The reliance on secret evidence demonstrates a total, unquestioning trust in the General Security Service and its judgment. This trust was not dampened by the many known cases in which GSS interrogators have misled and lied to judges. The systematic and extensive reliance on classified information constitutes one of the most problematic aspects of administrative detention and contradicts a principle fundamental to due process.
  4. Extending Administrative Detention: Military commanders are authorized to detain persons for up to six months. However, the commander can extend the detention for additional six-month periods indefinitely. From the time of the signing of the Declaration of Principles in September 1993 to the middle of 1998, military commanders repeatedly extended the period of administrative detention. Some Palestinians were administratively detained for years. The use of administrative detention has fallen sharply recently, but the law remains in effect, and Israel may theoretically return to its earlier policy.
  5. Holding Administrative Detainees inside Israel: Holding Palestinian administrative detainees inside Israel is a flagrant breach of international law which prohibits the transfer of detainees outside of occupied territory. Prior to the transfer of some of the territory to the Palestinian Authority, some of the detainees were held in the Occupied Territories, but they were subsequently transferred to detention facilities inside Israel. As a result, the closure imposed on the Occupied Territories severely harmed the right of detainees to family visitation and to meet with their attorney.

Source

Many of their prisoners are Children?

Like the prisoners in Guantanamo, I find it hard to believe these people would ever get a fair trial and most that are locked up have not committed any crime whatsoever.

Israel can do anything it wants to the Palestinians and get away with it.

There is no statute of limitations on War crimes or Crimes Against  Humanity.

If Israel had not committed crimes against Palestinians in the first place,  stolen their land, tortured, kidnapped, assassinated, executed, imprisoned innocent victims, bulldozed their homes, pillaged and plundered their natural resources, , murdered, starved, bombed, crippled, humiliate,  forced them into refugee camps, destroyed their lives repeatedly,  from day one, of the conception of the  Zionist State,  the Palestinians would not have retaliated in the first place. “Apartheid 101″

Israel is guilty,  not the Palestinians.  Israel is the cause.

History should be enlightening people of the truth, but they seem to blindly believe everything they are told about  Israel. Well if you go through history you will find the truth but most just believe the lies and propaganda, dished out by the main stream  media. They treat their prisoners the same as those from Iraq were treated by the US. The US as we all well know, committed War Crimes as well. Israel’s crimes are just as horrific.


Interview: Adam Shapiro, co-founder of the ISM/UN Reports: Gaza  destruction/ US Aid to Israel 6. 5 million a day

Spain: Judicial probe looks at 2002 Gaza War Crimes Claims

Letting AP in on the Secret: Israeli Strip Searches are “Torture” “this desrves attention” Israel still Tortures people

Why Americans get a distorted View of the Conflict between

Gaza detainee treatment ‘inhuman’

Israeli troops fire warning shots at European diplomats

Israel Broke Ceasefire From Day One

Information Wanted by the International Criminal Court/ UN: Falk Likens Gaza to Warsaw Ghetto

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Pro-Obama Haitian-Americans want help

Pro-Obama Haitian-Americans want help
December 30 2008

LAUDERHILL, Fla.,

Haitian-American leaders who turned out the vote for U.S. President-elect Barack Obama in Florida say they expect him to help ease crises in their homeland.

Members of a Broward County, Fla., branch of Haitians for Obama, which worked hard to canvass ethnic communities for the president-elect, say that while immigration and the economy are big issues for them, they also expect Obama’s administration to work more closely with Haitian leaders to help their impoverished native country, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Tuesday.

“Our country is in a permanent crisis,” group member Aude Sicard told the newspaper. “We’re not simply asking for humanitarian aid, but we want this country to send technicians and engineers and see a true path for development in Haiti.”

Saying they’ll continue to build on the activism established to elect Obama, the Haitian-Americans have vowed to continue to lobby for temporary protected status, which would grant undocumented Haitian immigrants in the right to work in the United States legally until their homeland becomes more stable, the Sun-Sentinel said.

Source

U.S. Haiti policy senseless, deadly
By Myriam Marquez
December 31, 2008

Two years ago, Louiness and Sheryl Petit-Frere were newlyweds celebrating their good fortune. Both from Haiti, they had found love and each other in Miami.

Today, Louiness, a 31-year-old baker, waits at the Glades detention facility in Central Florida to be sent to a country he hasn’t seen in a decade, where no one waits for him.

His 27-year-old bride in Miami tries to make sense of a senseless immigration law that would deport an otherwise law-abiding, working man because he had an old asylum petition denied.

Never mind that he is married to a U.S. citizen, that he had, in good faith, filed for legal status and had shown up for the interview at the Citizenship and Immigration Services office when he was hauled away like a common criminal.

Petit-Frere’s mother and five siblings are all permanent U.S. residents, including his brother, Sgt. Nikenson Peirreloui, a U.S. Marine with a war injury to show for his two tours in Iraq. But none of that matters.

The U.S. government deems it imperative to deport Petit-Frere, who has no criminal record, to a place decimated by four back-to-back storms this summer, with thousands of starving, dehydrating children left homeless and adults facing no prospects for jobs.

“It seems terrible,” his mother, Francina Pierre, told me Saturday while she waited for her daughter-in-law to get off work as a grocery store clerk.

“He has nobody left in Haiti,” she said. “My mom died, my dad died, my sister died. And my two brothers live here. One is a U.S. citizen and the other is a permanent resident. We have no more family living in Haiti, no more.”

The Bush administration had sensibly put deportations to Haiti on hold after a succession of hurricanes and tropical storms destroyed parts of the island, leaving thousands without work or home. But the president stopped short of granting temporary protected status, or TPS, to Haitians living in the United States without proper documentation.

Natural disasters generally qualify for TPS consideration — as Central Americans with TPS can attest. But Haitians can never seem to catch a break.

U.S. immigration officials decided recently that it would be just dandy to deport Haitians while recovery efforts on their part of Hispaniola proceed in spurts and stops, as children die of malnutrition and mudslides continue to impede reconstruction.

“How can this nation in good conscience send children and families to face the terrible conditions that exist in Haiti?” Cheryl Little, the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center’s executive director, said in a statement. “People could die because of this decision.”

She’s not crying wolf.

The conditions in Haiti cry out for solutions — not asinine deportations that only exacerbate an already untenable situation.

As President Bush looks through his list of pardons to wipe the slate clean for criminals, he should move to do more for the common man, people like Louiness Petit-Frere. Why not grant TPS for Haitians who have no criminal record, so they can stay and work here until conditions improve in their country?

Those who do have family in Haiti can send money and goods back to help the reconstruction and rev up the economy.

TPS was designated for catastrophic situations like Haiti’s. There’s no reason to deny Haitians TPS. Only racist excuses.

Source

Thrice-built house embodies Haiti aid shortfalls
By JONATHAN M. KATZ
December 30 2008

GONAIVES, Haiti

The farmer camps in a crude tent of broken sandbags as he guards the foundation of his destroyed home and his last possessions: a pickax, a hoe and some charcoal.

This is the third time Olisten Elerius is preparing to build his tiny cinderblock house. Four years ago, Tropical Storm Jeanne flooded it and drowned his father, sister and nephew. Then, late this summer, Tropical Storm Hanna swallowed it along with his daughter and another sister. It could happen again.

After Jeanne struck in 2004, more than $70 million in aid went to immediate relief such as food, medical aid and jobs, but little went to flood control, according to an Associated Press review of relief spending. Despite pledges to prevent such devastation in the future, few projects to build drains, fix roads and stop erosion were even attempted.

In other parts of Haiti, U.S. officials launched an ambitious flood control project. But it took 3 1/2 years to plan and was not placed in Gonaives because of a lack of funding.

So when four major storms hit within a month this year, nothing stopped the La Quinte River from roaring over its banks again. It inundated farmers like Elerius on its way to the center of Gonaives, where men, women and children swam for miles through swirling waters to escape. The storms killed 793 people and caused $1 billion in damage.

“The authorities were always coming here to take pictures and measure things,” Elerius said. “The words in their mouths said they would help, but they never did anything.”

Top officials agree that efforts fell short.

“I think we were very successful in getting Gonaives back on its feet,” Alexandre Deprez, an official for the U.S. Agency for International Development, said of the work after Jeanne. “But it is true that we didn’t put the time and the resources to do what needs to be done in the longer term.”

___

Haiti’s floods are not natural disasters, but a direct result of widespread deforestation, erosion and poverty. Farmers cut trees for charcoal and plant shallow-rooted crops. Rains that would be forgotten elsewhere can kill thousands.

In 2004, Elerius was working in the neighboring Dominican Republic when Tropical Storm Jeanne came twisting like a wounded animal out of the northern sky, sending a wall of water through his cinderblock home and sweeping away his father, sister and nephew. Gonaives residents fled to their rooftops as rivers broke their banks, overflowing morgues with bloated corpses.

A horrified world pledged to help. Elerius returned home just as the money and the white SUVs of non-governmental organizations began flowing into Gonaives, in the north of Haiti.

The U.N. appealed for $37 million in flood relief. Washington would donate more than $45 million, first for emergency food and supplies and then through USAID for the two-year, $34 million Tropical Storm Jeanne Recovery Program.

Disaster officials, newspapers and aid workers called for well-planned, well-financed, long-term aid. Haitian officials told the agencies to spend the money on projects that would save lives: secure rivers, fix roads, design better canals, build homes with better drainage to the sea.

But the U.N. member states, distracted by the Indian Ocean tsunami four months later, raised less than half their funding target.

Work was hampered by violence and insecurity. The Inter-American Development Bank provided about $10 million in loans, mostly for construction of a small drainage system. That project was abandoned by Haitian contractors after bandits stole the cement and steel, IDB representative Philippe Dewez said.

Washington sent money mostly for short-term projects: cleanup, restoration and repair of basic services such as schools, health clinics, roads, bridges and homes. In 2005, the U.S. Government Accountability Office reported that U.S. organizations cleared more than 2 million cubic feet of mud and restored the livelihoods of 48,000 people. But the GAO said they failed to meet an already reduced target for houses and completed no roads or bridges.

Elerius rebuilt his family’s flimsy home at Mapou, a flat plain on the outskirts of the city, just 50 feet from the La Quinte River after it descends from barren mountains toward the sea.

On the denuded hillside, USAID said projects to grow plant cover and build terraces have restored 3,700 acres of the La Quinte watershed — 2 percent of the basin. But few trees are visible, and local officials said most saplings were eaten by goats.

Corruption watchdogs with Transparency International said public funds — nobody seems to know exactly how much — were distributed with little oversight by the U.S.-backed interim government.

Soon after Jeanne, USAID commissioned a study of Haiti’s watersheds, which led to an ambitious $18 million effort to reduce flooding. Work did not begin until February 2008.

The report recommended action in high-risk flood areas, including Gonaives. But the U.S. Congress only gave enough money for the agency to start in two smaller, less populated watersheds — Limbe in the north and Mountrouis in the west, both more than 40 miles away from Gonaives. Some money went to a project on a Port-au-Prince river this year.

“With the funding that we were given we said to ourselves, ‘Why go into a place where you’re not going to make a difference?’ ” Deprez told The Associated Press. “Go into a place where you can focus and make a difference and test the approach that was recommended.”

It will take five years to know the effects of the pilot flood-control programs. Officials then hope to replicate them elsewhere.

But the storms didn’t wait.

___

Starting in mid-August, Tropical Storm Fay hit Haiti, followed by Gustav, Hanna and Ike. They destroyed thousands of homes, devastated crops and set the country back decades. Starving families, whose plight had fueled April riots, got even hungrier.

On the dark afternoon of Sept. 2 in Gonaives, there was no warning as mountain run-off began to gather in ravines. Officials were not given orders to evacuate, and in any case no plan was in place. There was nobody to clear fallen trees that had jammed a bridge on the La Quinte River and caused it to divert the day before.

Elerius was in town getting supplies when he heard radio reports about a new storm. Even as rain fell in Gonaives, radio broadcasts in Port-Au-Prince, the capital, repeated predictions that it would veer to the north, away from Haiti.

It was only word of mouth that sent Elerius running home. There he found the river had again become an ocean, his family submerged and his house disintegrating.

He dived into the water and pulled his mother and 4-year-old son Jonslay to safety. Then he yelled for his 6-year-old daughter, Joniska, and his 21-year-old little sister, Jimele.

Neither called back.

This time, without a network of roads that could withstand the flooding, Gonaives was trapped. A Haitian-funded causeway needed to connect it to the capital, 80 miles away across the cactus plain of Savanne Desolee, was left half-finished, denying scores of families a way out. Refugees climbed its scaffolding to escape the rising waters.

Others were stranded on their rooftops. It took four days for the U.N. to bring in ample food aid by ship.

Some development workers say the reduced death toll this year — in the hundreds instead of thousands — validates their efforts. But survivors and local officials say more survived this time because the memory of Jeanne sent them running for higher ground.

Today in Gonaives, homeless families crowd tent neighborhoods. Men scrounge for fish in stagnant floodwaters. Schoolgirls wear sunglasses and surgical masks to block the clouds of dirt that cover the city. The road to Port-au-Prince is still blocked by an enormous lake.

As former Gonaives disaster management coordinator Faustin Joseph said, “Everybody failed.”

The craggy roads of Gonaives are filled again with white SUVs. The U.N. issued a $107 million appeal, of which it has raised about half, and is now requesting $20 million more. The World Food Program has delivered more than 11,000 tons of food. The Haitian government has set aside $198 million for rebuilding roads, fortifying river beds and restoring agriculture.

The U.S. government pledged more than $30 million in immediate relief. Another $96 million from Congress is on its way.

President Rene Preval told the U.N. General Assembly in September he feared that “once this first wave of humanitarian compassion is exhausted, we will be left as always, truly alone, to face new catastrophes and see restarted, as if in a ritual, the same exercises of mobilization.”

Some in Gonaives have become restless.

“If things go like they did after Jeanne again, and it looks like people are doing nothing, we might get up and start burning things down,” said Odrigue Toussaint, 40, who has not worked since he lost his motorcycle to Hanna. “We will let the authorities know it can’t happen again.”

Elerius sent his son, mother and siblings to live with neighbors. He never found the bodies of his sister and daughter.

He sleeps on the dirty ground under the plastic tent. Inside it’s stiflingly hot during the day but cooler at night.

The La Quinte River gouged a shallow canyon through what was once his farmland, where he planted onions, plantains and potatoes. The topsoil washed to the streets of Gonaives, encasing the city in mud.

Haitian construction crews put the river back into its bed a week after Hanna, just as they did after Jeanne, and built temporary levies with gravel and sandbags that Elerius pilfered to make his tent. The bags were falling apart anyway, he said.

The farmer who keeps losing everything is resigned.

“Whatever they do now we’ll accept it,” Elerius said. “I just wish they would have already done more.”

Source

The Rebirth of Konbit in Haiti

Haiti’s road to ruin

Starvation slams Haiti: Kids dying after 4 storms ravage crops, livestock

Haitian children died from severe malnutrition

Barack Obama: Hope for America, but maybe not for the world?

November 7 2008

Barack Obama has run perhaps the best organized and most inspiring of presidential campaigns in US political history. He has risen above sleazy political tactics, challenged stereotypes, eschewed divisiveness, focused on issues that are important to Americans, and maintained his poise and principles in the face of tremendous pressure from his opponents. It has been truly awe-inspiring and admirable.

There is little wonder that almost 53% of American voters and perhaps a larger percentage of the world population have found themselves strongly attracted to Barack Obama. He has become a shining beacon of “hope” and “change” for a country in a crisis of self-confidence, and a world participating vicariously through the blown up “reality-TV” of American presidential elections.

Without taking anything away from the greatness of Obama’s achievement, and the historical importance of this event for American culture and identity, I feel constrained to point out that those who think an Obama presidency will improve the way that the United States has been engaging with the world may need to take a reality-check.

I say this as one who instinctively likes Barack Obama, has tremendous respect and admiration for him, shares with him the same alma mater, has close friends and relatives all across the United States, and has followed the campaign speeches, events and reporting on the US election with pathological interest.

I am addressing this article only to those who are already aware of the many ways in which the United States has been uniquely responsible for undermining international law, stability, peace and prosperity in the World. Those who are offended that I could even make such a suggestion should investigate elsewhere, and read no further.

The insight I share is a simple one: nothing that Barack Obama has done or promised gives rise to the “hope” that an Obama presidency will usher in the “change we need” in the world. The gloomy conclusion comes from asking a series of questions, and for each one recognizing the answer to be “no he won’t”:

  1. Will president Obama allow the United States to recognise the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC)? The ICC is the preeminent global mechanism for holding egregious human rights violators to account, when they are able to escape being held to account by national jurisdictions. It is a mechanism championed by Europe and enthusiastically adopted by much of the world, but almost fatally undermined by the United States formal renouncing in 2002, and keeping a clutch of countries that depend on US support away from it – Sri Lanka being amongst that number.
  2. Will president Obama bring the United States into the Kyoto protocol or at least an equivalent and sufficient compact on responding to Global Warming? The United States with less than four percent of the global population is responsible for more a quarter of the annual emissions that cause global warming – by far the highest per-capita pollution rate. The negative consequences of Global warming will be borne disproportionately by the poor of the world who have benefited the least from the industrial activities over the last hundred years that have brought about the problem.
  3. Will president Obama bring the United States back in to the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty with Russia, or an acceptable equivalent? President George Bush in 2002 withdrew the US from the 1972 ABM treaty, because Russia could no longer compete in the arms race. This withdrawal from the treaty and subsequent plans for missile deployments in countries close to Russia has been the principal reason for souring relations with Moscow. It has begun a new version of the cold war, with attendant threats to the security of the world. (Georgia being the first bit of grass to get trampled as the Elephants position them-selves in the fight).
  4. Will president Obama reverse the longstanding US policy of blindly supporting Israel as it continues to deny the people of Palestine a just return of their lands and the right to a dignified existence in their own territory? Israel routinely receives upwards of 2 billion dollars in military aid alone from the US each year (together with about another one billion in non-military aid, Israel receives one sixth of the US foreign aid budget each year), and at the U.N. Security Council the US routinely exercises its veto power in favour of Israel anytime the rest of the world tries to even voice their concern about the injustice. This unprincipled support has been the chief recruiting sergeant in the Middle East for Al Qaida-style organizations, which are undermining stability and peace in the world.
  5. Will president Obama choke off the still strong political and military support by the US for the utterly corrupt, repressive, authoritarian Saudi Arabian regime? The Saudi regime is amongst the most corrupt and repressive in the world. That regime and US support for it remains the second most important driver of Al Qaida recruitment. It monopolises the massive wealth from oil revenues for the aggrandizement of a small circle of family, friends, and multinational oil companies, denying much of the local population even a semblance of fair share and perpetuates that injustice by repressive laws, restricted freedoms and denial of democracy.
  6. Will president Obama after closing down the Guantanamo Bay prison camp (even McCain would) apologise and pay compensation to those who can’t be charged — the large number of innocent people yanked in there by mercenary schemes, tortured, and denied any semblance of justice for now almost 7 years? Guantanamo Bay prison has — in large screen technicolour, brazenly and shamelessly — flouted numerous international covenants on civil, political and human rights. Since it’s inception in January 2002, Guantanamo Bay prison has shown the middle finger to the universal values of civilised cultures and made these values seem cheap, subservient, and disposable when inconvenient. Such an iconic prison camp that ends with unrepentant impunity will have terribly undermined the power of these values to shape the world.
  7. Will president Obama change the US position in 2001, when it became the only country to oppose the international UN treaty on curbing the flow of small arms? This treaty – spearheaded by Sri Lankan Jayantha Dhanapala, then under-secretary-general to Kofi Anan – aimed to provide some simple global standards and tracing methods to curtail the illicit flow of small arms in the world (much of them manufactured and sold by the US). These weapons expand the power of organized crime, fuel militia gangs, arm child soldiers (including those of the LTTE in Sri Lanka), and are estimated by the UN to kill at least half a million people each year.
  8. Will president Obama withdraw US intransigence at World Trade talks (which have been failing to reach consensus since the Doha round in 2001)? The US (which together with the EU spends more than 100 billion dollars per year on farm subsidies) wants to continue denying farmers from poor countries the same access to the markets of very rich nations, as has been secured for multinationals from those countries into the markets of the poor? Even the global western institutions such as the IMF and World Bank admit openly that this lack of symmetry in trade access is one of the principle causes of poverty in the African continent, the poorest region of the world.

I have considered here only a few of the burning questions of the world. I think they highlight the bleakness of this grand “change” in America, in terms of having a positive effect on the way that American power is wielded in the world. With a George Bush presidency, there was at least no illusion about the selfish abuse of military and institutional power by the United States. An Obama presidency that continues these wolfish tendencies in sheep’s clothing will not make the world a better place.

The election of Barack Obama is shrouded in the illusion that US engagement in the world will now be moral and benevolent. But the time for that has not yet arrived, and is not likely to arrive until US economic and military power diminishes more significantly. For those who were listening, Barack Obama has in fact been threatening the world, by the trade, military and foreign policy positions that he has articulated consistently throughout his campaign – and there is no reason to think he didn’t mean what he said.

Has Barack Obama offered “hope” for Americans? Resoundingly “Yes!” But the hope that President Obama offers Americans is not hope for the world.

Source

Can he stop the war mongering that has become embedded in America?

Can he eliminate the corruption in the American political system?
The American self serving agenda has seeped into every corner of the world. Whether is be Free Trade or the Financial Crisis.  It has seeped into the IMF and World Bank. It has slithered into every aspect of the planet. Corporations are as corrupt as the MOB. They hold too much power over Governments and people.

Free Trade agreements, the IMF and World Bank help promote their agenda of cheap slave labour,  massive profits and the ability to pollute world wide. They promote privatization of services such as water, education and health care. This all for profit and to the demise of the people.  Oddly enough the because of the Financial Crisis many countries have had to borrow money from the IMF and World Bank and are now at the mercy of their dictatorial agenda.

They of course are apparently seen as the good guys helping out those poor countries in need,  when in fact they are just as usual, promoting more  privatization of their resources. How sweet it is to be in their grasp. Well for the corporations that is, not for the people of the country that had to borrow money. I bet their Cooperate mouths are just watering at the prospect of more profits, at the expense of the countries who were forced to turn to the IMF and World Banks.

Farmers in India who have committed suicide or lost their farms may have something to say about the IMF loan given to India. They sure helped them now didn’t they? The International Monetary Fund was promoting an agenda all right. A corporate agenda, not that of “actually helping the country or it’s people”.

Iceland had to raise their Interest rates to a whopping 18 percent, while the rest of the institutions are lowering them. That was one of the stipulations in the IMF loan, they will receive from the IMF. There is something fishy in that, isn’t there? Gorden Brown treating them as a terrorist is just way out there.  There certainly is something rather strange about it all. One has to wonder what the true agenda is?

A few years back it was well known what was going on. Africa is one of the victims. A classic example of IMF and World Bank pretending to be nice.

A little History Lesson on The World Bank and IMF in Africa

The US Government can whine all they want, they don’t have money for Health Care and Social programs but in fact, if the War machine were ended they would have enough and more to lift many out of poverty and fund social programs.
The total of America’s military bases in other people’s countries in 2005, according to official sources, was 737.

The 612 billion war budget is not necessary either.

Instead they have working toward World Domination via  Military Dominance, Free Trade agreements, IMF and the World Bank.  They have pandered to Corperate Greed and Profiteering.  Which in the end causes more poverty, more pollution, more war, more corruption, more death,  more cheap slave labour, more profiteering for the greedy and more hatred towards the United States of America.

NATO and the United Nations have done little to stop the Fascist Agenda.  If anything they have enabled the US.

Should they end the Aid to Israel ? Well much of the aid is earmarked for weapons for one and it destabilizes the Middle East.

Can Obama sort through all of this and find ways to improve the life of US Citizens and the rest of the World?

Sure he could.  It will take time and political will.

Will he and the Government of the US do anything is another story.

The rest of the world also needs to work with Obama to end the War Machine and Cooperate Corruption however.

The Enablers around the world, must also make it clear their agenda of World Domination must end.

Enough is Enough.

If the leaders in the World are to promote anything is should be to improve the lives of it’s citizens,  not the profiteers and war mongers.

Cleaning up the media that sifts out “propaganda” to the American public would also go a long way to helping as well. The American people have the right to know the truth. So does the rest of the world.

The propaganda machine has worked it’s way into much of the media around the world as well.

People want the “truth” not “propaganda” and “lies”.







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