Mumia Abu-Jamal, the radical Philadelphia journalist convicted of killing a white Philadelphia police officer in a trial fraught with prosecutorial misconduct, witness coaching and judicial prejudice back in 1981, spent nearly three decades in solitary confinement in the deliberately designed hell of Pennsylvania’s supermax SCI Green prison before a panel of federal Appeals Court judges eventually ruled that he’d been unconstitutionally sentenced to death.
He, of course, received no apology for the state’s making him illegally and improperly spend all those years in solitary waiting to be wrongfully executed. Instead, with that ruling (after a few years of legal stalling by the Philadelphia district attorney’s office), he was simply switched over to a sentence of life without possibility of parole and moved to the SCI-Mahoney prison in central Pennsylvania.
Now, it appears the state, which lost its chance to execute him, may be trying to kill him another way, as word comes that this world-renowned political prisoner had to be rushed to the hospital this week, unconscious from an undiagnosed case of severe diabetes.
As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to accuse Iran’s Islamic State of seeking Israel’s destruction – and U.S. neocons talk openly about bombing Iran – the history of Israel’s cooperative dealings with Iran, including after the ouster of the Shah and the rise of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979, seems to have been forgotten.
Yet, this background is important when evaluating some of Iran’s current political players and their attitudes regarding a possible deal with world powers to limit Iran’s nuclear program to peaceful purposes only. In the United States and Israel – for their own politically sensitive reasons – much of this history remains “lost” or little known.
The division inside Iran between leading figures who collaborated with the U.S. and Israel behind the scenes and those who resisted those secret dealings took shape in the early 1980s but remains in place, to some degree, to this day.
Ronald Reagan and his 1980 vice-
presidential running mate George H.W. Bush
For instance, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s current Supreme Leader, was more the ideological purist in 1980, apparently opposing any unorthodox strategy involving Israeli and Republican emissaries that went behind President Jimmy Carter’s back to gain promises of weapons from Israel and the future Reagan administration.
Urgent 'Musts' Needed for Palestinians to Defeat Apartheid
by Ramzy Baroud - PalestineChronicle.com Waiting on Israeli society to change from within is a colossal waste of time, during which the suffering of an entire nation - torn between an occupied home and a harsh diaspora - will not cease. But what are Palestinians and the supporters of a just peace in Palestine and Israel to do? Plenty.
Those who counted on some sort of a miracle to emerge from the outcome of the recent Israeli elections have only themselves to blame. Neither logic nor numbers were on their side, nor the long history laden with disappointing experiences of “leftist” Israelis unleashing wars and cementing occupation.
Despite a few differences between Israel’s right and the so-called left on internal matters, their positions are almost identical regarding all major issues related to Palestine. These include the Right of Return and the status of occupied Jerusalem to the illegal settlements.
But Palestinians are not without options. Sure, the odds against them are great, but such is the fate of the oppressed as they are left between two options: either a perpetual fight for justice or unending humiliation and servitude.
We here in the West, that first among worlds, like to believe ourselves, if not the perfection of creation, then the next thing to it. We are, in our rosy self-imaginings, the smartest, strongest, bravest, and most morally advanced people of not only our time, but of all times. Pity it's all delusion; and worse, a pack of lies designed to "protect" us from the awful truth of our colonial provenance.
The unspoken fact is; we are not a benevolent, progressive, democratic force for good in the World, but are instead, my first guest argues, an avaricious empire, practicing a ruthless form of capitalist fundamentalism that is both battering the poorest of humanity, while destroying the planet's ecology.
Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist who has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries, and lived amongst the humblest people, bearing witness to their daily struggles.
In addition to his countless articles and essays, Some of Andre's book titles include: 'Oceania: Neocolonialism, Nukes, and Bones,' 'Indonesia: Archipelago of Fear,' 'On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare,' 'Fighting Against Western Imperialism,' and his latest 'Exposing Lies of the Empire.'
Andre Vltchek in the first half.
And; Canada's prime minister announced an intensification of the country's warmaking Monday to include bombing inside Syria and unspecified "elsewheres" to be named later. When questioned about the legality of this course of action in the parliament, the bellicose Mr. Harper said he wasn't worried about "lawyers from ISIL taking the government of Canada to court and winning." While the prime minister's little joke brought his side of the House down, it also betrayed a breath-taking ignorance, an astounding callousness and lack of imagination as to what war means for the people in those distant lands where Canada's bombs are scheduled now to fall.
David Swanson is an activist, blogger, labor activist, and former press secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2003-2004 Presidential campaign. He's also founder of numerous websites, including WarIsACrime.org, and has spearheaded many campaigns against war and warmaking. He also hosts Talk Nation Radio, airing on several Pacifica radio stations and their affiliates, and is the author of several books, including: 'War is a Lie,' 'The Military Industrial Complex at 50,' 'Iraq War Among World's Worst Events,' 'War No More: The Case for Abolition,' and his latest, 'Killing Is Not a Way of Life.'
David Swanson and ending war in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what's good to do in and around our town, and beyond there too in the coming week. But first, Andre Vltchek and seeing ourselves in the face of the beast.
Ottawa/Amsterdam - Canadian mining company Eldorado Gold is undermining Greek economic recovery by large-scale tax avoidance according to a new report by the Dutch Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO).
Fool’s Gold reveals that tax avoidance by Canadian mining company Eldorado Gold, using “mailbox” (shell) companies in the Netherlands, has led to tax losses of at least CDN $2.3 million for Greece in the past two years.
There are also serious environmental and human right concerns related to the company’s operations.
Tensions continue to escalate on the waters of the Great Bear Rainforest over a highly controversial herring fishery, as members of the Heiltsuk Nation are now occupying the local DFO office in opposition to a planned gillnet opening.
A group of Heiltsuk youth, elders and chiefs paddled and boated this afternoon from Bella Bella to the coast guard station on nearby Denny Island – headquarters of DFO’s central coast operations – to deliver an eviction notice reminding local representatives that Area 7 is a no-go zone for a commercial herring fishery this year.
The delegation stripped DFO of a ceremonial paddle which had been given to local officers before in good faith.
“You cannot have that,” youth leader Saul Brown told DFO representatives, “because you’re not here in a good way anymore.”
“You’re not conducting yourselves in a way that is sustainable for our future generations, so this is our children and youth saying, ‘We’re going to take that paddle back.'”
Following the demonstration, a conference call between Tribal Council leaders and DFO Regional Director General Sue Farlinger failed to yield a diplomatic solution to the ongoing conflict.
If two major newspapers in, say, Russia published major articles openly advocating the unprovoked bombing of a country, say, Israel, the U.S. government and news media would be aflame with denunciations about “aggression,” “criminality,” “madness,” and “behavior not fitting the Twenty-first Century.”
But when the newspapers are American – the New York Times and the Washington Post – and the target country is Iran, no one in the U.S. government and media bats an eye. These inflammatory articles – these incitements to murder and violation of international law – are considered just normal discussion in the Land of Exceptionalism.
Iranian man holds photo of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Iranian gov't photo)
On Thursday, the New York Times printed an op-ed that urged the bombing of Iran as an alternative to reaching a diplomatic agreement that would sharply curtail Iran’s nuclear program and ensure that it was used only for peaceful purposes. The Post published a similar “we-must-bomb-Iran” op-ed two weeks ago.
Another Week, Another War: The Iron Logic of America's Middle East Madness by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque Another week, another war. And yet another American alliance with the forces of Islamic extremism. Washington is clearly the guiding force between the Saudi-led invasion of Yemen -- a move that will almost certainly lead to a protracted and ruinous conflict, spilling over many borders and, as usual, creating fertile ground for more extremism.
In other words, America's war profiteers and military imperialists have given themselves another rich seam of loot and power.
And in Yemen, as in Syria, the Yanks are fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with their old allies, al Qaeda, once again.
GAZA CITY - In swift but careful movements, Ahmed al-Sawaferi, 25, moves around his tiny apartment. The same hand that places a teapot on the fire then maneuvers his wheelchair as he gets his things ready for the day ahead.
It’s time to say goodbye to his children: Jana, 4 and Motasem 10 months - before he leaves for Safad School in Zaytoun, one of the areas next to Shejaiya, east of Gaza City, a neighbourhood hard hit in last summer’s attack by Israel. He drives to the school determined to be as independent as possible and ensure that his own will should decide his future and not his disability.
As he makes his way around his neighbourhood, he cannot help but remember how drastically his life changed in a split second last year. One minute he was heading home to study for an exam and the next an Israeli missile struck and both his legs and one of his arms were torn from his body, rendering him wheelchair bound.
The recent wave of police repression against the growing anti austerity movement in Québec is shocking.
Last night police launched waves of tear gas against the second massive night protest this week, explosions shook the sky as chemical gases filled the cool spring air.
Thousands did take the streets for over an hour prior to the outright police attack, reclaiming the downtown core with an inspired spirit, chanting against the real emergency that the 2015/16 austerity budget equals for our society, a collective grassroots rejection of an economic program that sees devastating cuts to health care, education and the arts, all while sustaining some of the lowest corporate tax rates in the western world.
In response for these protest call for social justice, police forces are moving decisively to attempt to silence this movement of collective dissent against the contemporary violence of capitalism.
The report slammed the Philadelphia Police Department for its historically flawed use of fatal force, directed primarily at non-whites, underscoring a repeated finding that Philadelphia’s Police Department has long owned one of the worst reputations of any police department in the United States.
The “persistence and regularity” of brutality and corruption in the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) indicate that “the city and its police force are failing to act to hold police accountable,” that report stated.
Philly's finest being cop, judge and gangbangers on 8-year-old in 2012
The almost total failure of officials in Philadelphia to hold errant police officers accountable, the report noted, solidifies a “culture of impunity” that leads to new generations of police officers learning quickly that “their leadership accepts corruption and excessive force.”