Iraq: The Resistance Returns

The Return of the Resistance
by Dahr Jamail | t r u t h o u t
At least 20 US soldiers have been killed in Iraq in May, the most since last September, along with more than 50 wounded. Iraqi casualties are, as usual - and in both categories - at least ten times that number.
 
image by Mykeru

Attacks against US forces are once again on the rise in places like Baghdad and Fallujah, where the Iraqi resistance was fiercest before so many of them joined the Sahwa (Sons of Iraq, also referred to as Awakening Councils), and began taking payments from the US military in exchange for halting attacks against the occupiers and agreeing to join the fight against al-Qaeda in Iraq. In early April I wrote a column for this website that illustrated how ongoing Iraqi government and US military attacks against the Sahwa, coupled with broken promises of the Sahwa being incorporated into the government security apparatus or given civilian jobs, would likely lead to an exodus from the Sahwa and a return to the resistance.

Slowly, but surely, we are seeing that occur. While US liaison Col. Jeffrey Kulmayer has called this idea, along with the ongoing controversy from the Iraqi government - led by US-pawn Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki - not paying most of the Sahwa members, while continuing government arrests of and attacks on Sahwa members "overblown," this does not change reality. Let us recall the telling words of the reporter Caud Cockburn, father of journalist Patrick Cockburn, "Never believe anything until it's officially denied."
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America's Third Front: Obama and the War on Drugs

HOW SERIOUS IS OBAMA ABOUT ENDING FAILED “WAR ON DRUGS”?
by Sherwood Ross
Efforts by President Obama to put an end to the nation’s failed “War on Drugs” can’t come an hour too soon---if that’s his intent. From his actions, it’s hard to know.

Drug offenses account for about half the 200,000 Federal prison inmates behind bars, compared to just 15% of prisoners convicted of violent crimes involving weapons, explosives, or arson. If America leads the world with 2.3 million prisoners in all its prisons, jails, and assorted lock-ups, it is largely because we have criminalized drug addiction, not treated it.
 
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President Richard Nixon first declared a “War on Drugs” in 1969 to dramatize his fight against drug addiction. Nixon---who had a knack for waging wars he could not win---got the country headed down a wrong road from which it may only now be just turning around.

Gil Kerlikowske, Obama’s new head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, has renounced even the use of the phrase “War on Drugs” on grounds it favors incarceration of offenders rather than treatment. But talk is no substitute for action.

To his credit, Obama has long appeared to be open to a fresh approach. In an address at Howard University on September 28, 2007, then Senator Obama said, “I think it’s time we took a hard look at the wisdom of locking up some first time nonviolent drug users for decades.”

“We will give first-time, non-violent drug offenders a chance to serve their sentence, where appropriate, in the type of drug rehabilitation programs that have proven to work better than a prison term in changing bad behavior,” he added. “So let's reform this system. Let's do what's smart. Let's do what's just.” And as overcrowding spurts and governors currently whine they can’t balance budgets, the public might get some real relief.
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The Depth Of Corruption

Britain: The Depth Of Corruption
by John Pilger
The theft of public money by members of parliament, including government ministers, has given Britons a rare glimpse inside the tent of power and privilege. It is rare because not one political reporter or commentator, those who fill tombstones of column inches and dominate broadcast journalism, revealed a shred of this scandal. It was left to a public relations man to sell the “leak”. Why?
 
British PM's Blair and Brown: Crooked is as Crooked does.

The answer lies in a deeper corruption, which tales of tax evasion and phantom mortgages touch upon but also conceal. Since Margaret Thatcher, British parliamentary democracy has been progressively destroyed as the two main parties have converged into a single-ideology business state, each with almost identical social, economic and foreign policies. This “project” was completed by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, inspired by the political monoculture of the United States. That so many Labour and Tory politicians are now revealed as personally crooked is no more than a metaphor for the anti-democratic system they have forged together.

Their accomplices have been those journalists who report Parliament as “lobby correspondents” and their editors, who have “played the game” wilfully, and have deluded the public (and sometimes themselves) that vital, democratic differences exist between the parties. Media-designed opinion polls based on absurdly small samplings, along with a tsunami of comment on personalities and their specious crises, have reduced the “national conversation” to a series of media events, in which the withdrawal of popular consent – as the historically low electoral turnouts under Blair demonstrated – has been abused as apathy.
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Vancouver Island Chemtrail Tracking Action

Vancouver Island Chemtrail Tracking Action
by C. L. Cook
Below is a video I was sent from a friend. It's more than a year old, but the contamination of the skies over Vancouver Island, and all that lay below them, continues apace.
 
Image: Chemtrails over Victoria, B.C. April 24, 2009
 
The Vancouver Island Chemtrail Tracking Action (VICTA) is in the formative stages, and we're calling out to all Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands, and Mainland observers to send your comments, videos, and organizational ideas to this website at: editor@pacificfreepress.com.
 
It is our intention to discover exactly who and what this secretive aerial campaign is about. 
 
Pacific Free Press generally republishes only with permission of article and video creators, but occasionally we do take liberty in what we consider to be the overriding public good. Pending official permission from the folks that shot the video below, here are Celia and Bill Abrams of Maple Bay, Van. Isle with their story. See more below the break, and don't forget to look up! - ape
 
 
 


 

 
 
 
 
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American Samizdat

American Samizdat
by ddjango
In the post-Stalin Soviet Union, "samizdat" was the practice of dissident activists, artists, and writers literally mimeographing their works and handing them around hand-to-hand to avoid arrest, suppression, and prosecution. If anything could be termed "underground", this was it.
 
For dissenters, samizdat was life and the community blood of truth. It took courage. Over the long run, samizdat was the true reason for at least the spiritual collapse of centralized communism and totalitarianism in the USSR - certainly not Reagan, probably not even Gorbachev or Yelstin. Under the crush of totalitarianism, samizdat was freedom.

Totalitarianism is become a thinly guised reality in America. We think we have freedom of speech, but its suppression is subtle. Personally, every time I post, I know that the post is scanned by security programs and wonder if I'll get a knock on the door some black morning for expressing my thoughts and dreams, for exposing the truth, or for postulating conspiracies that may or may not exist.

American Samizdat
has been around since early in the millenium. Created by the inimitable Dr Menlo, for a decade it has for me been like the dark, smoky coffeehouses in Cambridge, Boston, New York, and San Francisco that nurtured my radicalism. I feel safe there, even though contentious conversations sometimes erupt in post comments or even among the group that writes there. It is a stimulating place, where ideas and challenges to the putrid status quo are thrown like sparkling gauntlets.
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Saving the Madrona Farm

Protect Madrona Farm
by FoMF
The newly formed Friends of Madrona Society (FoMF)has entered into an agreement with The Land Conservancy of BC (TLC)to purchase Madrona Farm, located near Victoria. FoMF must raise $2,500,000; of which a substantial amount will be donated by the landowner. TLC’s mission is to ensure that the agricultural productivity and ecological values of Madrona Farm are protected forever. This fundraising campaign for the purchase of the farm by the community it serves, and the placement of the farm in the hands of a land trust, will be the first of its kind in BC, and part of the solution for local food security.

Once TLC holds title, the property will be inalienable and can never be sold. The farm, its uses for local, sustainable food production and conservation of biodiversity, will be protected by the Constitution of TLC. This will ensure the purposes of the FoMF are met in perpetuity.

Community purchase of this farm is a test of our collective desire to protect farmland for farming. Madrona Farm is an extraordinarily productive and biologically diverse 27-acre piece of urban farmland on Blenkinsop Road in the Capital Region, a rich agricultural area increasingly under pressure from residential development. For those who believe in supporting small farms and farmers, Madrona Farm tells why: it is a prime illustration of successful local, sustainable food production.
 
 
 


 
In this world gone wrong, full of almost universally bad environmental news,
it is a shining example of what’s gone right.


 
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(Re) Dawning of the Dread: B.C. Zombie Election Returns Campbell

Smug Liberals Need a Smack Down
by Diane Walsh
The Liberals may have won 45.9 percent of actual votes cast, with 42.1 going to the NDP and 8.1 to the Greens but that in no way assigns them the fat medal that they think they deserve.  Quite the opposite in fact – people across the board are disgusted. However, not all of them bothered to say so on Election Day.  Simple as that.  Everybody agrees voter turnout was atrocious.  The people motivated to go to a polling booth, as their preferred way to be heard, dropped since the last election from 58 percent voting in 2005 to only 47 percent coming out this year.

On what planet is a majority when only 22 percent of the electorate actually voted for the winner? (Oh right – pillaged planet Gordo*).

At one time, long ago in our history, political theorists wrote about a majority as intending to mean a majority of the whole of the people.   
 
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American Sodomite: Official Videos of Torture and Rape Remain Sealed

Taguba Saw "Video of Male Soldier Sodomizing Female Detainee"
by Jason Leopold  | t r u t h o u t
In 2007, shortly after he was forced into retirement, Army Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba made a startling admission. During the course of his investigation into the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, Taguba said he saw "a video of a male American soldier in uniform sodomizing a female detainee."

Taguba told New Yorker reporter Seymour Hersh that he saw other graphic photos and videos as well, including one depicting the "sexual humiliation of a father with his son, who were both detainees."

That video, as well as photographs Taguba saw of US soldiers raping and torturing Iraqi prisoners, remains in the possession of the Army's Criminal Investigation Division (CID). Taguba said he did not discuss details of the photographs and videos in his voluminous report on abuses at Abu Ghraib because of the Army's ongoing criminal probe and the photographs' "extremely sensitive nature."

Taguba's report on the widespread abuse of prisoners did say that he found credible a report that a soldier had sodomized "a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick."

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Mohawk Declare Weapons Free Border Law - March Against Militarized Crossings

AKWESASNE UNITY MARCH TODAY - MOHAWKS FREE INDIGENOUS AT BORDER
by MNN May 30, 2009
The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne passed resolution #318 on February 28, 2008 forbidding firearms to be carried by Canada Border Services Agents CBSA on the territory of Akwesasne.  That's the law.  No guns.  They also demanded a commission of inquiry and an emergency meeting with the Minister of Public Safety and other ministers and senior officials no later than April 1, 2008. 
 
Canada refuses to discuss this.        

On Friday May 29 2009 the council and the people walked over to the border and served these documents on the agents.  Inside the building were four young Indigenous guys from Oklahoma who were in Akwesasne for a boxing tournament.  They said, "They pulled us over and we don't know why".  They could have been thrown in jail and held for 30 days for no reason.  The building became full of Mohawks who freed our Oklahoma brothers.    

Prime Minister Stephen Harper must have been planning to wait us out and put guns in the hands of his agents on Monday, June 1.  By the time we got our act together, it would be too late to do anything.  Instead on May 28th we served a complaint to the UN Security Council and the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 8th Session.  They promised to send delegates to Akwesasne to observe and report on Canada's plot to violate our human rights and commit ethnic cleansing.

March Sat. May 30 2009.  Contact Chief Nona Benedict 613-551-5421 613-938-8145 nbenedict@akwesasne.ca, go to www.akwesasne.ca.  Chief Wesley Benedict 613-551-2573; Larry King 613-551-1930; Chief Joe Lazore 613-551-5292.  Meet at 10:30 am the tent, Canada Customs cross roads on Cornwall Island.  March from U.S. into Canada starts at noon.  
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Sri Lanka: UN Estimates Over 20,000 Dead Civilians

Sri Lanka: '20,000' civilians killed
by TRNN
 
 
 

 


Twenty thousand civilians were killed in Sri Lanka's final push against Tamil Tigers, claims UN report
 
 
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Bush's Second Coming in Canada: Out of the Law's Reach

Law group asks for legal action against G. W. Bush
by LAW
A lawyers' group has again demanded the Canadian government to bar former U.S. president George W. Bush from Canada, citing the well documented involvement of Bush and other members of the Bush administration in torture and other war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.  Mr. Bush is scheduled to speak in Toronto May 29.
 
In a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and top ministers, copied to other MPs, Lawyers Against the War - LAW advises that G. W. Bush is inadmissible to Canada, under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act - IRPA, due to the fact that evidence of Bush' involvement in torture and other crimes meets (surpasses) the "reasonable grounds to believe" test.

LAW says if Bush is allowed into Canada, Canadian law and the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Punishment of Treatment- CAT require Canada to either investigate and prosecute him for torture or extradite him to a country that is willing to do so.
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Amnesty International Annual 2009 Report on Israel/Occupied Territories

Amnesty International Annual Report on Israel and the Occupied Territories 2009
by AI
Israeli forces launched a military offensive on an unprecedented scale – code-named “Operation Cast Lead” – on 27 December in the Gaza Strip, killing many civilians and destroying homes and other civilian property. Earlier in the year there had been a marked upsurge in killings of civilians and others by both Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) before a ceasefire was agreed in June (see Palestinian Authority entry).
 
Image: Screen capture, Al Jazeera - January 1, 2009
 
Some 70 children were among the 425 Palestinians killed in the first half of the year. In addition to the large-scale destruction of homes and property in the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces also destroyed scores of Palestinian homes in the West Bank and in Bedouin villages in the south of Israel. Throughout the year, the Israeli army maintained stringent restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in the OPT, including a blockade on the Gaza Strip, which caused an unprecedented level of humanitarian hardship and virtually imprisoned the entire population of 1.5 million. This was further exacerbated by the Israeli offensive launched on 27 December.
 
Hundreds of patients with serious medical conditions requiring treatment not available in local hospitals were refused passage out of Gaza; several died.
 
Hundreds of students could not travel to their universities abroad because they could not leave Gaza, where many fields of study are not available. Most of Gaza’s inhabitants depended on international aid, but the Israeli blockade hampered the ability of UN agencies to provide assistance and services.
 
In the West Bank the movement of Palestinians was severely curtailed by some 600 Israeli checkpoints and barriers, and by the 700km fence/wall which the Israeli army continued to build mostly inside the West Bank. The expansion of illegal Israeli settlements on seized Palestinian land increased to a level not seen since 2001.
 
Israeli soldiers and settlers who committed serious abuses against Palestinians, including unlawful killings, assaults and attacks against property, enjoyed impunity in most cases.
 
Hundreds of Palestinians were arrested by Israeli forces; reports of torture and other ill-treatment were frequent, but investigations were rare. Some 8,000 Palestinians remained in Israeli prisons, many after unfair military trials.


 
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