vrijdag 6 april 2007
71 procent van de jongeren tussen 16 en 29 is zich wel bewust van de risico's van het luisteren naar harde muziek, maar ze ondernemen geen actie om gehoorschade te voorkomen. Dat blijkt uit een onderzoek onder vijfhonderd jongeren in opdracht van de Gezamenlijke Audiologische Industrie Nederland.' Lees verder in de Volkskrant.
Op een mooie lentedag drie jaar geleden begon het, een hoge piep in beide oren, in het rechter oor hoger dan het andere. Ik had er wel eens eerder last van gehad, maar na een minuut of tien verdween het weer. Nu bleef de hoge piep, ik werd er knettergek van. Om er minder last van te hebben, fietste ik overdag naar de fonteinen op het Frederiksplein, want het geruis van het vallend water onderdrukte het geruis en gepiep in mijn oren. Urenlang zat ik daar, hopende dat mijn gepiep uiteindelijk weer zou verdwijnen. Na een week raadpleegde ik mijn huisarts die me doorstuurde naar een specialist. Zijn diagnose was simpel, een pittig geval van tinnitus, (Tinnitus Aurium, wat 'gerinkel in de oren' betekent). Kan het genezen worden? Nee! U zult er totaan uw dood last van hebben. Is er geen enkele oplossing? Alleen een hoortoestel dat het gepiep maskeert levert enige verlichting op. Hoe is die tinnitus veroorzaakt. Bij u doordat u al 30 jaar met koptelefoons werkt. En inderdaad soms had ik als ik programma's van de VPRO presenteerde een hele dag een koptelefoon op. En als ik opnamen moest afluisteren had ik ook hele dagen zo'n ding op. Nooit bij stilgestaan dat ik er tinnitus van kon krijgen. De kwaal was toen nagenoeg onbekend. Niemand had mij ooit gewaarschuwd dat de consequenties zo ernstig konden zijn. Ik loop nu drie jaar met zo'n hoortoestel in mijn oren. Het eerste wat ik bij het wakker worden merk is gepiep, het laatste wat ik merk voor ik in slaap val is gepiep. Overdag heb ik er minder last van, alleen als ik druk bezig ben merk ik het gepiep niet. Het allerergste is dat als het stil is ik gepiep hoor. Twee dagen geleden stond ik te wachten bij de kassa van Albert Heijn op de Nieuwmarkt en hoorde hoe de oordopjes van een jonge vrouw die voor mij stond keihard geluid produceerden. Toen ze moest afrekenen, trok ze een dopje eruit om te horen hoeveel het bedrag was. Ik waarschuwde haar voor de gevolgen van het harde geluid. Ze keek me een beetje wantrouwend aan, zo van wat moet die oude vent van me. Ze deed het dopje erweer in. Ik ben blij dat nu de media hier aandacht aan besteden. Onze oren zijn na 3 miljoen jaar evolutie niet aangepast aan de mechanische herrie die de afgelopen honderd jaar wordt geproduceerd. Let op, als je een piep in je oren krijgt, is dat een ernstige waarschuwing!
donderdag 5 april 2007
'Deir Yassin Remembered April 9th. This massacre is one of 33 massacres (not
the largest but one of those publicized by the Zionists to scare the
remaining population) that helped the systematic cleansing (term actually
used by Zionists) of Palestine. Al Abbasiyya (4 May ‘48), Abu Shusha (14 May
‘48), Ayn az Zaytun (2 May ‘48), Balad ash Sheikh (25 April ‘48), Bayt Daras
(11 May ‘48), Beer Sheba (21 Oct ‘48), Burayr (12 May ‘48), Al Dawayima (29
Oct ‘48), Deir Yassin (9 April ‘48), Eilaboun (29 Oct ‘48), Haifa (21 April
‘48), Hawsha (15 April ‘48), Husayniyya (21 April ‘48), Ijzim (24 July ‘48),
Isdud (28 Oct ‘48), Jish (29 Oct ‘48), Al Kabri (21 May ‘48), Al Khisas (18
Dec ‘48), Khubbayza (12 May ‘48), Lydda (10 July ‘48), Majd al Kurum (29
October ‘48), Mannsurat al Khayt (18 Jan ‘48), Khirbet, Nasir ad Din (12
April ‘48), Qazaza (9 July ‘48), Qisarya (15 Feb ‘48), Sa’sa (30 Oct ‘48),
Safsaf (29 Oct ‘48), Saliha (30 Oct ‘48), Arab al Samniyya (30 Oct ‘48), Al
Tantoura (21 May ‘48), Al Tira (16 July ‘48), Al Wa’ra al-Sawda (18 April
‘48), Wadi ‘Ara (27 Feb ‘48).
Here is a video on Deir Yassin worth viewing
(32 minutes) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14676.htm
see also http://www.deiryassin.org/
Early in the morning of April 9, 1948, commandos of the Irgun (headed by Menachem Begin) and the Stern Gang attacked Deir Yassin, a village with about 750 Palestinian residents. The village lay outside of the area to be assigned by the United Nations to the Jewish State; it had a peaceful reputation. But it was located on high ground in the corridor between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Deir Yassin was slated for occupation under Plan Dalet and the mainstream Jewish defense force, the Haganah, authorized the irregular terrorist forces of the Irgun and the Stern Gang to perform the takeover. In all over 100 men, women, and children were systematically murdered. Fifty-three orphaned children were literally dumped along the wall of the Old City, where they were found by Miss Hind Husseini and brought behind the American Colony Hotel to her home, which was to become the Dar El-Tifl El-Arabi orphanage.
Visit http://www.deiryassin.org/ En: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14676.htm
'Three, the careers of the murderers. The commanders of the Etzel and Lehi gangs, Menahem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir eventually became Israeli prime ministers. None of them expressed any remorse, and Menahem Begin lived the last days of his life with a panoramic view of Deir Yassin from his house. No Nuremberg judges, no vengeance, no penitence, just a path of roses all the way to a Nobel Peace prize. Menahem Begin was proud of the operation, and in his letter to killers he congratulated them for fulfilling their national duty. "You are creators of Israel’s history", he wrote. Yitzhak Shamir was also pleased that is helped to achieve his dream: to expel the nochrim (non-Jews) from the Jewish state.'
Lees verder: http://www.mediamonitors.net/shamir12.html
That night, Brian Ross of ABC News reported that, since 2005, the U.S. has "encouraged and advised" Jundullah, a Pakistani tribal "militant group," led by a former Taliban fighter and "drug smuggler," which has been launching guerrilla raids into Baluchi areas of Iran. These incursions involve kidnappings and terror bombings, as well as the murder (recorded on video) of Iranian prisoners. According to Ross, "U.S. officials say the U.S. relationship with Jundullah is arranged so that the U.S. provides no funding to the group, which would require an official presidential order or 'finding' as well as congressional oversight." Given past history, it would be surprising if the group doing the encouraging and advising wasn't the Central Intelligence Agency, which has a long, sordid record in the region. (New Yorker investigative j! ournalist Seymour Hersh has been reporting since 2005 on a Bush administration campaign to destabilize the Iranian regime, heighten separatist sentiments in that country, and prepare for a possible full-scale air attack on Iranian nuclear and other facilities.)
The President also spoke of the Iranian capture of British sailors in disputed waters two weeks ago. He claimed that their "seizure… is indefensible by the Iranians." Oddly enough, perhaps as part of secret negotiations over the British sailors, who were dramatically freed by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday, an Iranian diplomat in Iraq was also mysteriously freed. Eight weeks ago, he had been kidnapped off the streets of Baghdad by uniformed men of unknown provenance. Reporting on his sudden release, Alissa J. Rubin of the New York Times offered this little explanation of the kidnapping: "Although [Iraqi foreign minister, Hoshyar] Zebari was uncertain who kidnapped the man, others familiar with the case said they believe those responsible work for the Iraqi! Intelligence Service, which is affiliated with the Central Intelligence Agency." The CIA, of course, has a sordid history in Baghdad as well, including running car-bombing operations in the Iraqi capital back in Saddam Hussein's day.
And don't forget the botched Bush administration attempt to capture two high Iranian security officials and the actual kidnapping of five Iranian diplomats-cum-Revolutionary-Guards in Irbil in Iraqi Kurdistan over two months ago -- they disappeared into the black hole of an American prison system in Iraq that now holds perhaps 17,000 Iraqis (as well as those Iranians) and is still growing. As Juan Cole has pointed out, most such acts, and the rhetoric that goes with them, represent so many favors to "an unpopular and isolated Iranian government attempting to rally support and strengthen itself."
In addition, just this week, the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and other ships in its battle group left San Diego for the Persian Gulf. Two carrier battle groups are already there, promising an almost unprecedented show of strength. As the ship left port, U.S. military officials explained the mission of the carriers in the Gulf this way: They are intended to demonstrate U.S. "resolve to build regional security and bring long-term stability to the region."
And stability in the region, it seems, means promoting instability in Iran by any means possible. So, the President's Global War on Terror also turns out to be the Global War of Terror. No one has dealt with the way "state sponsorship of terror" works, when it comes to our own country, more strikingly than Noam Chomsky, who considers the larger Iranian crisis below. His latest book, Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy, is just out in paperback and couldn't be more to the point at the present moment. Right now, if the U.S. isn't already a failing state, it's certainly a flailing one. Tom
What If Iran Had Invaded Mexico?'
'VVD-blad: verspreiden Koran misdrijf
DEN HAAG - Verspreiding van de Koran in de huidige vorm is een misdrijf. Dat stelt een auteur onder het pseudoniem 'H.S.M. Frankenvrij' in een artikel in het partijblad Liberaal Reveil. VVD-senator Heleen Dupuis, voorzitter van de redactie van het blad, schaart zich er grotendeels achter. In het blad stelt 'Frankenvrij' dat het verspreiden of openlijk ten gehore brengen van de Koran discriminatie en opruiing inhoudt. Als oplossing stelt de auteur voor om 'islamitische redacteuren' een legale versie van de Koran te laten maken. Alle oproepen tot haat en geweld moeten daaruit verwijderd zijn. De Bijbel is volgens de auteur een stuk verdraagzamer.'
Lees verder: http://www.parool.nl/nieuws/2007/APR/05/p1.html
Er is maar 1 conclusie mogelijk, de VVD kent de bijbel niet en zeker niet de oud-testamentische god der wrake. Vooruit dan maar jongelui, enkele voorbeelden. De eerste beschreven en door een hogere macht gelegitimeerde genocide in de geschiedenis staat in Deuteronomium hoofdstuk 7: 1 - 2 waarin de luchtgod de joodse nomaden laat weten dat ze de inwoners van het beloofde land moeten uitroeien om plaats te maken voor het uitverkoren volk: 'Wanneer u de HEERE uw God u in het land heeft gebracht dat u in bezit gaat nemen, en Hij vele volken voor uw aangezicht verdrijft... 2 en wanneer de HEERE uw God ze aan u overlevert zodat u ze verslaat, dan moet u ze totaal vernietigen.'
En Deuteronomium 20:16 'van de steden dezer volken, die u de HEERE uw God ten erve geeft, zult gij niets laten leven dat adem heeft, 17 maar gij zult ze totaal vernietigen: de Hethieten en de Amorieten en de Kanaanieten en de Jesubieten, gelijk als u de HEERE uw God geboden heeft.'
We hebben dan nog niet eens over het nieuw-testamentisch laatste oordeel waarbij al degenen die niet in de joods-christelijke luchtgod geloven zullen worden vernietigd tijdens een groots opgezet armageddon, rechts onder Haifa.
We moeten hierbij niet uit het oog verliezen dat de aanhangers en politici van de grootste politieke partij in Nederland hier rotsvast in geloven. Ze geloven dus dat hun god zijn uitverkoren volk het recht gaf om andere volkeren uit te roeien en het land etnisch te zuiveren. Het zijn uitermate gevaarlijke opvattingen die al twee millennia lang hun stempel drukken op de geschiedenis van de mensheid. Het is eeuwenlang voor Europa de geestelijke basis geweest waarop het kolonialisme was gebaseerd, de uitbuiting van heidense volkeren en zonodig de uitroeiing van die volkeren zodra ze zich niet bij de macht van de blanke christen konden of wilden neerleggen. De geest van de VOC zal ik maar zeggen.
Meer voorbeelden van geweld in de bijbel.
'Overview of some biblical genocides:
Biblical scholar Raymond Schwager:
"... has found 600 passages of explicit violence in the Hebrew Bible [a.k.a. Old Testament], 1000 verses where God's own violent actions of punishment are described, 100 passages where God expressly commands others to kill people, and several stories where God irrationally kills or tries to kill for no apparent reason. Violence ... is easily the most often mentioned activity in the Hebrew Bible." 6
Of the many passages in the Hebrew Scriptures that describe major loss of life, most were conventional wars. Four of these events would probably qualify as genocides under most current definitions of the term. They were:
The worldwide flood at the time of Noah as described in Genesis, chapters 6 to 8. From the description, it almost completely wiped out the human race, with the exception of Noah, his wife and sons and their wives.
The Passover incident described in Exodus chapters 11 and 12, in which all of the firstborn of all Egypt were slaughtered.
The conquest of Canaan, in which God ordered the Hebrews to completely exterminate the Canaanite people -- from the elderly to newborns and fetuses. This is described throughout the book of Joshua.
The near extermination of the entire tribe of Benjamin by the remaining 11 tribes, triggered by the serial rape and murder of a priest's concubine by a few Benjamites. See Judges, chapter 20.
The first three of the above genocides have at least three factors in common:
The Bible explains that God was primarily responsible.
Many liberal Christians, liberal Jews, historians and biblical archaeologists believe that all three are religious myths -- stories of great spiritual significance about events that never actually happened.
Jewish and Christian conservatives generally believe in that the authors of the Bible were inspired by God and thus their writings are inerrant. They believe that the genocides happened exactly as described in the Bible.
Lees verder: http://www.religioustolerance.org/god_cana.htm
Kort samengevat: of de VVD bestaat alleen nog uit van die bolle lege pompoenhoofden of ze zijn bij die partij collectief gek geworden. Ik denk dat we met het eerste te maken hebben, maar ik sluit niets uit. Het is de VVD kennelijk ook ontgaan dat de holocaust een product was van de christelijke cultuur en dat joden eeuwenlang tot aller tevredenheid in islamitische landen hebben geleefd. Tot na de holocaust toen voorop de christenen uit schuldgevoel voor de vervolgingen het land van de Palestijnen aan de joden gaven. Ook het anti-semitisme was een christelijk fenomeen. Dat christelijk anti-semitisme richt zich nu tegen de arabieren, dat andere semitische volk.
Kijk, in tegenstelling tot de Volkskrant brengt een kwaliteitskrant het nieuws onafhankelijk, en het is notabe nog een Britse krant ook, de Independent:
'Both sides claim victory as Iran frees hostages
By Angus McDowall in Tehran and Colin Brown
Published: 05 April 2007
The Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was basking in triumph yesterday as he announced that the 15 British sailors and marines captured in disputed waters of the Persian Gulf two weeks ago would be freed.
The surprise decision, announced by the President after he awarded medals to the border guards who seized the UK service personnel, was presented as a gesture of magnanimity. But it also reflects a success for British diplomacy conducted under enormous public pressure.
The first Tony Blair knew of the release was when it was announced on television by Mr Ahmadinejad during a press conference. Downing Street and the Foreign Office had hoped for movement over the next few days, but expected nothing so sudden as an immediate release.
By the time they were presented to the world press, they had still not met British consular officials, who were kept waiting outside the presidential palace for the press conference to end.
"Iran has every right to put these people on trial but they have been pardoned," Mr Ahmadinejad said as he announced the face-saving solution in which neither side backed down from its position of principle. "They will be set free as a gift from the people of Iran to the people of Britain. And I ask Tony Blair's government not to punish these soldiers for having told the truth. I also ask him to be concerned with truth, justice and service to the British people."
Mr Ahmadinejad denied the release was part of a quid pro quo deal involving Iranians taken captive in Iraq, but Iranian reports yesterday suggested the country would be given access to five Revolutionary Guards officers detained by US forces in Arbil in January. On Tuesday, an Iranian diplomat, who was abducted by uniformed Iraqis in Baghdad in February, was released. Iran had accused the US of involvement in his detention.'
Toch heel anders van toon en strekking dan de Volkskrant-commentaar kop: 'Iran haalt bakzeil'
Waarom schrijft de Volkskrant dit? Simpel, omdat het Iran al als de foute partij had aangewezen, zonder dat men wist wat er allemaal op de achtergrond meespeelde en zonder dat men daar onderzoek naar verichtte. Integendeel, de Volkskrant had al een journalist naar het 'front' gestuurd om gecensureerde berichten vanaf een Amerikaans oorlogsschip te kunnen afdrukken. En nu de krant er helemaal naast zit, moet iemand de schuld krijgen. Iran dus, waardoor het lijkt alsof de Volkskrant niet volledig fout was. Ze hebben toch maar mooi bakzeil gehaald, want anders was het oorlog geweest, die gedachte dus.
Waarom krijgen de Volkskrant-lezers deze context niet voorgeschoteld? Waarom krijgen ze deze achtergronden niet? Een andere vraag: waarom laat de krant Iraanse bronnen niet even vaak aan het woord als de Amerikaanse dan wel Britse? In de onafhankelijke journalistiek is het een van de belangrijkste regels dat de journalist beide partijen aan het woord laat.
Voor mijn collega's bij de Oorlogskrant een bericht van Media Lens:
'MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media
April 4, 2007
MEDIA ALERT: A MENACE TO US ALL - MAX HASTINGS AND IRAN
When the big fish of British journalism enter the much bigger pond of the American prestige press, they understand that success requires a willingness to massage elite American prejudices.
This kow-towing to claptrap is received all the more warmly because it represents an independent, second opinion from beyond America’s shores, thus confirming everything that is understood to be true about the world. This “truth” revolves around two key intellectual propositions. First, “we” are the good guys. Second, “they” are the bad guys.
Masters of the art include Niall Ferguson, Michael Ignatieff (Canadian-born but formerly a British media star), and of course Christopher Hitchens - keen supporter of US-UK war crimes, notably in Iraq.
Thus, also, in a recent New York Times article, Max Hastings - former editor of the Daily Telegraph and Evening Standard - works hard to push all the right anti-Iranian buttons.
Almost exactly echoing US-UK media commentary on Iraq in 2002-2003, Hastings gives the nod to the “people in Washington” who describe Iran as “one of the most reckless and erratic regimes in the world“, a country run by the “wild men of Tehran“, headed by “the Holocaust-denying President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad“.
With Iraq ablaze, Hastings is happy to repeat the kind of incendiary propaganda that set the fire:
“Iran represents a menace to the security of us all, not to mention what it must be like to live under that reprehensible regime.” (Hastings, ‘Iran, the vicious victim,’ The New York Times, March 30, 2007; http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/30/opinion/30hastings.html?th=&emc=th&pagewanted=print)
Journalists have been demonising other countries in this way for so long, it seems they cannot stop. Always it is the 1930s, always Hitler is plotting our destruction, always we need to recoil in fear, disgust and horror. Is this the real world? Or is this journalism as pathology?
Objectivity and neutrality are not serious concerns. As discussed, the realities of career progression demand that journalists side with “us” against “them”. Thus Hastings observes of the latest “them”, Iran:
“The game they play with considerable skill is to project themselves at once as assertive Islamic crusaders, and also as victims of imperialism.”'
Lees verder: http://www.medialens.org/
Brendan wees me op de Volkskrant -commentaar van vandaag, dat inderdaad ronduit absurd is gezien de eerdere berichtgeving van de krant. zie:
Onder de kop: 'Iran haalt bakzeil,' staat onder andere: 'Maar duidelijk is al wel dat de affaire niet los kan worden gezien van de eerdere ontvoering van een Iraanse diplomaat en de aanhouding van vijf Iraanse gardisten in Irak. Dinsdag werd bekend dat de diplomaat wordt vrijgelaten en dat een Iraanse consul de gardisten mag bezoeken.' Wie haalt hier nu bakzeil? Dit is een compromis tussen twee partijen die in conflict met elkaar zijn. In de diplomatieke wereld is dit goddank een heel normaal verschijnsel. Alleen levensgevaarlijke idioten dreigen meteen met oorlog, alleen propagandisten steunen deze oorlogspolitiek. Vanwaar de kop van de Volkskrant? Vanwaar die onjuiste kwalificatie? Waarom stelt de krant zich niet onafhankelijk op? Dit is toch iets heel andere uitkomst dan de Volkskrant had verwacht. Inmiddels had de krant al een journalist naar het front gestuurd om de lezer te laten weten wat de embedded journalist op een Amerikaans oorlogsschip allemaal had gehoord, althans mocht vertellen van de Amerikanen. Zonder de achtergronden van de - volgens de Volkskrant - dreigende oorlog te kennen, zoals nu blijkt, werd er propaganda bedreven. Zonder bronvermelding neemt de redactie nu de primeur van de Independent over, eigen onderzoek doet de krant niet. Precies een week geleden stond in de Volkskrant:
''De verhouding tussen het Westen en Iran is, ook militair, nu uiterst gespannen. De VS hebben hun troepen in de regio de laatste tijd flink versterkt en zijn dinsdag grootscheepse manoeuvres begonnen, inclusief ''luchtaanvallen''.'
Naderhand zag de Volkskrant lezer op de voorpagina onder een maar liefst zes kolommen brede foto van een Amerikaanse patrouilleboot op het punt te worden 'gelanceerd',' zoals de Volkskrant dit noemde. Eronder stond: Eén vonkje en het is oorlog in de Golf. Een uitspraak van een Amerikaanse marineman die de Volkskrant klakkeloos zonder aanhalingstekens overnam. Zie: http://stanvanhoucke.blogspot.com/2007/03/iran-154.html
Voor de bezetting van Irak nam de Volkskrant zonder eigen onderzoek alle leugens van de Bush-regering klakkeloos over, van massavernietigingswapens tot aan het brengen van de democratie. En opnieuw gaat de krant mee in de oorlogshetze van de VS en het Verenigd Koninkrijk.
woensdag 4 april 2007
(Majid Saeedi / Getty Images)'
Een week geleden schreef de Volkskrant-opiniemaker Henk Muller het volgende:
En zoals gebruikelijk is bij de Nederlandse commerciele massamedia kreeg ik er geen antwoord op. Wat nu wel duidelijk is, is dat de Volkskrant het conflict presenteerde als een conflict tussen Iran en het hele Westen en op zijn minst suggereerde dat het conflict op het punt stond in geweld te eindigen. Een mogelijk bombardement van Iran leek als het ware vooraf gelegitimeerd te worden door de Volkskrant. De krant deed het voorkomen alsof een aanleiding de oorzaak van een gewapend treffen zou zijn.
He said the captives, who were seized while on patrol in the northern Persian Gulf on March 23, would be taken to the airport following his news conference, but Iranian state television reported they would leave Iran on Thursday. An Iranian official in London said they would be handed over to British diplomats in Tehran.
After the news conference, state television showed Ahmadinejad meeting with the British crew, dressed in business suits, at the presidential palace. He shook hands and chatted with them through a translator, and a caption to the video said the meeting was taking place as part of the "process of release."
"We appreciate it. Your people have been really kind to us, and we appreciate it very much," one of the crew could be heard telling Ahmadinejad in English
Another said: "We are grateful for your forgiveness."
Ahmadinejad responded in Farsi, "You are welcome."
Iranian TV said the British captives had watched Ahmadinejad's news conference live and were ecstatic when a translator told them what the president had said.
Their release would end a 13-day standoff between London and Tehran that was sparked when the crew was seized as it searched for smugglers off the Iraqi coast. Britain denied Iranian claims the crew had entered Iranian waters.
In London, the office of Prime Minister Tony Blair said it welcomed the news. President Bush, who had condemned the seizure of the Britons and referred to them as "hostages," also welcomed the news, said his national security spokesman, Gordon Johndroe.'
With Truth Comes Awakening
By Manuel Valenzuela
The suppression of truth has long been among the highest priorities for the upper echelons of power and authority. For a minority elite that clings to power by the manipulation of the masses using an omnipresent cocktail of lies, deception, mass-produced ignorance and ingrained propaganda, the destruction of truth is an essential method of control. It is a formula that has worked to unmitigated success for the elite throughout history, whether the shadows of power stretch from ancient pyramids, marble temples, castles, mansions or halls of governance. Those holding the levers of power and control understand, better than most, that the dissemination of truths to a blind majority could spell the end of their reign, for truth brings sight to the blind.
These entities understand that truth is like a massive breath of fresh mountain air, pure and energizing, refreshing and invigorating, and that once inhaled by the masses, the balance of control can easily be disturbed and seriously threatened. Revolution of the many against the few oftentimes results, mostly to the enormous detriment of the powerful. They know that widespread circulation of the truths of what they have done in the past and are at present doing to the majority could light a flame onto a massive cauldron overflowing with dry kindling, sparking an enormous inferno of anger. Truth, in short, could lead to an awakening of hundreds of millions of human beings who for too long have had their minds held captive by the instruments of control used by those in power.
It is for this reason that truth is hidden, fought, ridiculed, destroyed and suppressed, why it is emaciated and torn to bits, why its advocates and defenders are smeared, ostracized and silenced, their reputations purposefully shattered, their lives picked apart and criticized. Truth must never be allowed to gain momentum or be exposed, which is why truth seekers must be made examples. Those in power will fight tooth and nail to destroy the messenger of truth, yet will never answer the questions or investigate the proposition presented by the message itself. Better that truth remain a microcosm of darkness in the American subconscious rather that it be allowed to sprout from the fertile soils of free-thinking minds.'
Lees verder: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article17475.htm
By Bill Gallagher
DETROIT -- Iraq is lost militarily and politically. Even the Mormons are now abandoning President George W. Bush's mad war. That's akin to the Swiss Guard deserting and leaving the pope to fend for himself with the Vatican under siege.
Other than his own greedy family members, oil barons and military contractors, no group of Americans has stood so steadfastly behind the Bush administration than the members of the Church of Latter-day Saints.
Voters in Utah, the Mormon theocracy, have supported Bush with loyalty they usually reserve for the Brigham Young football team. In 2004, Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney's criminal enterprise got 71 percent of the vote in Utah.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported that a two-year compilation of Gallup polls showed staunch support among Mormons for the war in Iraq and Bush's handling of the violence: "American Mormons, more than any other religious group over that period, believed the United States was right to invade Iraq."
But a recent survey found "just 44 percent of those identifying themselves as Mormons said they backed Bush's war management." Mormon support for the war has plunged 21 percentage points in just five months.
The defection of the Mormons is a seismic political event, and you can bet Bush's political brain, Karl Rove, turns pale when he sees those numbers. The head of the Church of Latter-day Saints is expressing doubts about war, and the mayor of Salt Lake City is leading the charge to impeach Bush.
LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley may have set the stage for the precipitous plunge in Mormon support for the war. Speaking to students at Brigham Young University last fall, Hinckley spoke of "the terrible cost of war."'
Lees verder: http://www.niagarafallsreporter.com/gallagher308.html
dinsdag 3 april 2007
By Dean Baker
t r u t h o u t Columnist
In today's hyper-competitive market economy, we all know what happens to businesses that can't compete: they run to the government for help. That is exactly what Viacom did last month as it became concerned about its future prospects in the Internet age.
Viacom is one of the world's biggest media companies. It owns MTV, Comedy Central, Showtime and Paramount Pictures in addition to many other cable networks. Its gross revenue was almost $10 billion last year and its profits were $1.26 billion. It also manages to write very healthy paychecks for its top executives. Three years ago, it split $160 million in compensation among its top three executives, enough to support almost 15,000 workers for a year at the minimum wage.
But all is not well at Viacom. Its stock price is down by close to 10 percent over the last year and a half, the period since it decoupled itself from CBS, reversing an earlier merger. Apparently the markets question Viacom's ability to prosper in a world in which web postings of video clips, produced spontaneously by millions of people around the world, take up an increasing portion of the time of its potential audience.
The point is fairly simple: if people are watching video clips that college students or frustrated office workers produce in their spare time, they will have less time to watch the latest Britney Spears MTV clip or the newest third-rate comedy flick from Paramount Pictures. To deal with this problem, Viacom wants the government to shut down the competition. It sued YouTube last month to require it to get advance approval for any copyright-protected material that gets posted on its site.'
Lees verder: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/040307K.shtml
Michael F. Brown,
The Electronic Intifada,
2 April 2007
The Arab League peace initiative is back in play after an Israeli and American-imposed five-year hiatus. The return to the previously shunted aside proposal comes only because the Bush administration has utterly fouled the region -- from the bloody sectarian turmoil of Baghdad to the tsunami of human waste that recently swept through part of northern Gaza -- and has evidently concluded there is now a better hope of "fixing" Israel and Palestine than Iraq.In an ironic twist, the Bush administration claim that the road to Middle East peace runs through Baghdad has been inverted by the total collapse in Iraq. Now Jerusalem, borders and Palestinian refugees are on the agenda. Only the growing strength of Iran and desperation for some success in the region could lead the White House to its current position and the risk of failure similar to that of President Clinton in the final days of an eight-year run in office.The administration, represented by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, reaches this juncture out of weakness and not strength. They have been cornered by the shortcomings of their own belligerence. Washington's weak Middle East hand actually provides a better-than-usual opportunity for positive peacemaking headway -- though the chances of success remain exceedingly slim. With Iran strengthened, the Bush family and its allies are reluctant to undercut Saudi Arabia. And the Saudis have started to handle changing circumstances with some adroitness. The Saudis' success in pushing through the Hamas-Fateh unity government/authority has evidently led to their recalibrating what the Bush administration will tolerate and to a testing of the fracture lines running between the United States, Europe and Israel. "It has become necessary," King Abdullah noted on the principal economic fault line, "to end the unjust blockade imposed on the Palestinian people as soon as possible so that the peace process can move in an atmosphere far from oppression and force."It remains to be seen, however, what the repercussions will be of King Abdullah's comment at the opening of the Riyadh summit that the American presence in Iraq constitutes "an illegal foreign occupation." To date the administration's public response has been quite restrained. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack stated, "... We want to understand more clearly what it is exactly that he had in mind when he talked about an illegal occupation." McCormack also stressed the excellent personal relationship between President Bush and King Abdullah. Others, however, in Congress and think tanks are certain to be vociferous in their condemnation of King Abdullah and Saudi Arabia. Already, The New York Times notes that Simon Henderson, director of gulf and energy policy at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), claimed that King Abdullah's remarks legitimize attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq. Defenders of an expansionist Israel are likely to try injecting 9/11 reminders into any discussion of Saudi involvement in Middle East peacemaking.'
Lees verder: http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article6764.shtml
Renowned investigative reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh said the ongoing media war between the West and the Arab region would continue for long.
Describing himself as an anti-government journalist, he said the US was squeezing Iran through sanctions and putting the supreme leaders of the world under frequent pressures. The US government has imposed a collective censorship on the world. It is glad to note that Al Jazeera is breaking this censorship on and off, he said.
“Holding our leaders to account is one of the fundamental roles of journalism. We all do this because we believe we can make a difference. We are in a struggle….waging a war between truth and propaganda. This is the noble cause that we journalists are all motivated to”, Hersh said.
The session on “Parachute Journalism and Journalism of Depth” juxtaposed discrepancy and disagreements on the perspectives of the West and Arab journalists, while covering socio-political issues.
BBC-fame Martin Bell wanted journalists to get down to ground level, instead of standing on the roof-top. “If you are a journalist who have never been arrested or punished, you should think that you are doing something else and not journalism”, he said.
Is it possible for a journalist to remain himself as an in-depth journalist and at the same time be part of mainstream journalism? How deeply reporting is possible from a war-front area? In the emerging market-driven economy, to what extend print and visual media can face the challenges of ‘time and space’?”, were among other focal points of the day one debate at the annual Forum.
Dahr Jamail, Samir Aita Abdelh Wahab Basdrakhan were among other eminent journalist who joined the discussion. Titled as “Media and Middle East: Beyond the Headlines”, the third Al Jazeera Annual forum was formally opened by Sheikh Hamad bin Thamir Al Thani, Chairman of Al Jazeera. Wadah Kanfar, Director General of the Network delivered the opening speech.'
How the administration marketed the war to the American people has been well covered, but critical questions remain: How and why did the press buy it, and what does it say about the role of journalists in helping the public sort out fact from propaganda?
In this clip from the premiere of Bill Moyers Journal on PBS, Bob Simon of 60 Minutes, who was based in the Middle East, talks about the reporting he was seeing and reading out of the Beltway, and John Walcott and Warren Strobel of Knight Ridder newspapers (now The McClatchy Company), discuss their work burrowing deep into the intelligence agencies to determine whether there was any evidence for the Bush Administration’s case for war. On Wednesday, April 25 at 9 P.M. on PBS (check local listings), watch “Buying the War,” a 90-minute documentary that explores the role of the press in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq, which includes interviews with Dan Rather, formerly of CBS; Tim Russert of Meet the Press; and Walter Isaacson, former president of CNN.
Two days later on April 27, the Bill Moyers Journal airs its regular timeslot on Fridays at 9 P.M. with interviews and news analysis of underreported stories across an array of beats, including: the environment, media, politics, the economy, arts and culture, and social issues.'
'British MOD Issued Two Different Coordinates for the Gulf Incident.
The UK Ministry of Defence website still contains their widely quoted press release, issued on the 28th March, which attempts to clearly establish that the arrest of the fifteen British sailors and marines by Iran took place in Iraqi waters. Unfortunately for the MOD, it appears that they have used two different sets of position coordinates to fix the site of the incident. One of these coordinates is quoted in the text (para 4), another is pictured in their photograph taken from a helicoptor. Furthermore, the data was presented in the same press briefing. Assuming that both sets of data were expressed using the same coordinate system this is, at the least, an embarrassing over sight.
"As shown on the chart, the merchant vessel was 7.5 nautical miles south east of the Al Faw Peninsula and clearly in Iraqi territorial waters. Her master has confirmed that his vessel was anchored within Iraqi waters at the time of the arrest. The position was 29 degrees 50.36 minutes North 048 degrees 43.08 minutes East. This places her 1.7 nautical miles inside Iraqi territorial waters. This fact has been confirmed by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry."
We have submitted the following Freedom of Information request to the MOD to try and clarify what was going on:
I am writing regarding the press release "MOD briefing shows Royal Navy personnel were in Iraqi waters" March 28th 2007, published online at http://www.mod.uk/...
It can be observed that the coordinates on the Garmin GPS handset photo on the MOD site are different from the coordinates quoted in the text of the same press release (N 29 50.174 vs. N 29 50.36 and E 48 43.544 vs. E 48 43.08).
It therefore appears, that according to the GPS data, the ship was actually 0.5 nautical miles further east (towards Iran) than stated and 0.2 nautical miles further south.
My questions for the FOI request are:
(1) which of the 2 coordinate data published by the MOD should be taken as indicating the position of the incident?
(2) are both sets of coordinate data expressed in the same geographic coordinate system and what is the system used?
De Amerikaanse Heather Wokusch schrijft:
'What do captured British sailors, fake water boundaries, a botched US raid in Iraq and a UK political corruption scandal have in common? Read on…
Tension mounts between Britain and Iran over the 15 British sailors seized on March 23. While many US media outlets dutifully repeat the claims that: 1) the sailors were in Iraqi waters at the time they were taken captive, and 2) the incident came completely out of nowhere, a closer examination of the facts indicates otherwise.
Here’s a quick overview of recent articles providing important context -
1. The map showing the captured sailors were in Iraqi waters is "fake" and "has no legal force."
Craig Murray was the Ambassador to the Central Republic of Uzbekistan from 2002-04 and "helped expose the vicious human rights abuses by the US-funded regime of Islam Karimov."
He also headed Maritime Section of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1989-92. In other words, Murray knows a thing or two about maritime borders.
Here’s an excerpt from Murray’s March 28, 2007 blog entitled "Fake Maritime Boundaries" (www.craigmurray.co.uk):
The British Government has published a map showing the coordinates of the incident, well within an Iran/Iraq maritime border. The mainstream media and even the blogosphere has bought this hook, line and sinker.
But there are two colossal problems.
A) The Iran/Iraq maritime boundary shown on the British government map does not exist. It has been drawn up by the British Government. Only Iraq and Iran can agree their bilateral boundary, and they never have done this in the Gulf, only inside the Shatt because there it is the land border too. This published boundary is a fake with no legal force.
B) Accepting the British coordinates for the position of both HMS Cornwall and the incident, both were closer to Iranian land than Iraqi land. Go on, print out the map and measure it. Which underlines the point that the British produced border is not a reliable one.
None of which changes the fact that the Iranians, having made their point, should have handed back the captives immediately. I pray they do so before this thing spirals out of control. But by producing a fake map of the Iran/Iraq boundary, notably unfavourable to Iran, we can only harden the Iranian position.
2. According to the UK’s Independent, "A failed American attempt to abduct two senior Iranian security officers on an official visit to northern Iraq was the starting pistol for a crisis that 10 weeks later led to Iranians seizing 15 British sailors and Marines."'
Lees verder: http://www.heatherwokusch.com/
By George Monbiot.
Published in the Guardian 3rd April 2007.
To Ransom A. Myers, who died on March 27th.
If these animals lived on land there would be a global outcry. But the great beasts roaming the savannahs of the open seas summon no such support. Big sharks, giant tuna, marlin and swordfish should have the conservation status of the giant panda or the snow leopard. Yet still we believe it is acceptable for fishmongers to sell them and celebrity chefs to teach us how to cook them.
A study in this week’s edition of Science reveals the disastrous collapse of the ocean’s megafauna. The great sharks are now wobbling on the edge of extinction. Since 1972 the number of blacktip sharks has fallen by 93%, tiger sharks by 97% and bull sharks, dusky sharks and smooth hammerheads by 99%(1). Just about every population of major predators is now in freefall. Another paper, published in Nature four years ago, shows that over 90% of large predatory fishes throughout the global oceans have gone(2).
You respond with horror when you hear of Chinese feasts of bear paws and tiger meat. But these are no different, as far as conservation is concerned, from eating shark’s fin soup or swordfish or steaks from rare species of tuna. One practice is considered barbaric in Europe and North America. The other is promoted in restaurant reviews and recipes in the colour supplements of respectable newspapers.
In terms of its impact on both ecology and animal welfare, shark fishing could be the planet’s most brutal industry. While some sharks are taken whole, around 70 million are caught every year for their fins(3). In many cases the fins are cut off and the shark is dumped, alive, back into the sea. It can take several weeks to die. The longlines and gillnets used to catch them snare whales, dolphins, turtles and albatrosses. The new paper shows that shark catching also causes a cascade of disasters through the foodchain. Since the large sharks were removed from coastal waters in the western Atlantic, the rays they preyed on have multiplied tenfold and have wiped out all the main commercial species of shellfish(4).'
Lees verder: http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2007/04/03/feeding-frenzy/
Exclusive Report: How a bid to kidnap Iranian security officials sparked a diplomatic crisis.
By Patrick Cockburn
Published: 03 April 2007
A failed American attempt to abduct two senior Iranian security officers on an official visit to northern Iraq was the starting pistol for a crisis that 10 weeks later led to Iranians seizing 15 British sailors and Marines.
Early on the morning of 11 January, helicopter-born US forces launched a surprise raid on a long-established Iranian liaison office in the city of Arbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. They captured five relatively junior Iranian officials whom the US accuses of being intelligence agents and still holds.
In reality the US attack had a far more ambitious objective, The Independent has learned. The aim of the raid, launched without informing the Kurdish authorities, was to seize two men at the very heart of the Iranian security establishment.
Better understanding of the seriousness of the US action in Arbil - and the angry Iranian response to it - should have led Downing Street and the Ministry of Defence to realise that Iran was likely to retaliate against American or British forces such as highly vulnerable Navy search parties in the Gulf. The two senior Iranian officers the US sought to capture were Mohammed Jafari, the powerful deputy head of the Iranian National Security Council, and General Minojahar Frouzanda, the chief of intelligence of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, according to Kurdish officials.
The two men were in Kurdistan on an official visit during which they met the Iraqi President, Jalal Talabani, and later saw Massoud Barzani, the President of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), at his mountain headquarters overlooking Arbil.
"They were after Jafari," Fuad Hussein, the chief of staff of Massoud Barzani, told The Independent. He confirmed that the Iranian office had been established in Arbil for a long time and was often visited by Kurds obtaining documents to visit Iran. "The Americans thought he [Jafari] was there," said Mr Hussein.'
Op de voorpagina onder een maar liefst zes kolommen brede foto van een Amerikaanse patrouilleboot op het punt te worden 'gelanceerd',' zoals de Volkskrant dit noemt, staat: Eén vonkje en het is oorlog in de Golf .
Dat is de boodschap van de Volkskrant, maar wanneer we het artikel lezen, dan blijkt het een uitspraak te zijn van een Amerikaanse marineman, een mening die klakkeloos en zonder aanhalingstekens door de Volkskrant wordt overgenomen. Het zijn altijd mensen die nooit een oorlog van dichtbij hebben meegemaakt en nooit burgers hebben zien sterven, die de geesten rijp maken voor een of andere oorlog.'
Lees verder: http://stanvanhoucke.blogspot.com/2007/03/iran-154.html
Vervolgens schreef ik:
'Anoniem heeft een nieuwe reactie op uw bericht "Iran 156" achtergelaten: Uit een interview dat Gen. Wesley Clark had bij Democracy Now:So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” -- meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office -- “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!”'
maandag 2 april 2007
The British are refusing to concede the possibility that their Marines may have crossed into ill-charted, Iranian-claimed waters and are ratcheting up the confrontation. At this point, the relative merits of the British and Iranian versions of what actually happened are greatly less important than how hotheads on each side - and particularly the British - decide to exploit the event in the coming days.
There is real danger that this incident, and the way it plays out, may turn out to be outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair's last gesture of fealty to President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and "neoconservative" advisers who, this time, are looking for a casus belli to "justify" air strikes on Iran. Bush and Cheney no doubt find encouragement in the fact that the Democrats last week refused to include in the current House bill on Iraq war funding proposed language forbidding the White House from launching war on Iran without explicit Congressional approval.
The Israel lobby has been crowing about its success in getting House members to excise that language, and similar pressure has been applied to senators. Why does this matter? Because the reluctance of most lawmakers to apply the brakes to the president increases chances for "pre-emptive" US or US/Israeli air attacks on Iran and a major war that will make the one in Iraq seem like a minor skirmish.
The impression, cultivated by the White House and our domesticated media, that Saudi Arabia and other Sunni-majority states might favor a military strike on Iran is a myth. But the implications go far beyond the Middle East. With the Russians and Chinese, the US has long since forfeited the ability, exploited with considerable agility in the seventies and eighties, to play one off against the other. In fact, US policies have helped drive the two giants together. They know well that it's about oil and strategic positioning and will not stand idly by if Washington strikes Iran.
Perfidious Albion/Tamed "Poodle"'
By Paul Krugman
The New York Times
I have a theory about the Bush administration abuses of power that are now, finally, coming to light. Ultimately, I believe, they were driven by rising income inequality.
Let me explain.
In 1980, when Ronald Reagan won the White House, conservative ideas appealed to many, even most, Americans. At the time, we were truly a middle-class nation. To white voters, at least, the vast inequalities and social injustices of the past, which were what originally gave liberalism its appeal, seemed like ancient history. It was easy, in that nation, to convince many voters that Big Government was their enemy, that they were being taxed to provide social programs for other people.
Since then, however, we have once again become a deeply unequal society. Median income has risen only 17 percent since 1980, while the income of the richest 0.1 percent of the population has quadrupled. The gap between the rich and the middle class is as wide now as it was in the 1920s, when the political coalition that would eventually become the New Deal was taking shape.
And voters realize that society has changed. They may not pore over income distribution tables, but they do know that today's rich are building themselves mansions bigger than those of the robber barons. They may not read labor statistics, but they know that wages aren't going anywhere: according to the Pew Research Center, 59 percent of workers believe that it's harder to earn a decent living today than it was 20 or 30 years ago.'
Lees verder: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/040207L.shtml
With more than 650,000 civilians dead in Iraq, our government must take responsibility for its lies
Our collective failure has been to take our political leaders at their word. This week the BBC reported that the government's own scientists advised ministers that the Johns Hopkins study on Iraq civilian mortality was accurate and reliable, following a freedom of information request by the reporter Owen Bennett-Jones. This paper was published in the Lancet last October. It estimated that 650,000 Iraqi civilians had died since the American and British led invasion in March 2003.
Immediately after publication, the prime minister's official spokesman said that the Lancet's study "was not one we believe to be anywhere near accurate". The foreign secretary, Margaret Beckett, said that the Lancet figures were "extrapolated" and a "leap". President Bush said: "I don't consider it a credible report".
Scientists at the UK's Department for International Development thought differently. They concluded that the study's methods were "tried and tested". Indeed, the Johns Hopkins approach would likely lead to an "underestimation of mortality".
The Ministry of Defence's chief scientific adviser said the research was "robust", close to "best practice", and "balanced". He recommended "caution in publicly criticising the study".
When these recommendations went to the prime minister's advisers, they were horrified. One person briefing Tony Blair wrote: "Are we really sure that the report is likely to be right? That is certainly what the brief implies?" A Foreign and Commonwealth Office official was forced to conclude that the government "should not be rubbishing the Lancet".'
Lees verder: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,2044345,00.html
As we continue to look at the issue of Iraq and the US occupation, we turn to the acclaimed author and journalist, Naomi Klein. Naomi is a widely read columnist for the Nation magazine and the London Guardian. She is the author of the international bestseller "No Logo" and more recently of "Fences and Windows." She visited Iraq in 2004 and published an article later that year for Harper's Magazine titled "Baghdad Year Zero" in which she detailed the privatization of Iraq's state-dominated economy. She has continued to cover the issue and her forthcoming book on disaster capitalism is due to be published in the fall.
Naomi Klein recently spoke at an event here in New York celebrating the launch of Jeremy Scahill's first book, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army." In her talk, Naomi Klein spoke about the privatization of the state.
NAOMI KLEIN: This drive to the privatize every aspect of the state of government is about a 35-year-old campaign. Many people date it, many historians date it to the 1973 coup in Chile, which is something that is interesting in terms of Jeremy’s research, because he talks about how Blackwater are now hiring Chileans to go to Iraq, and I’ll let him do that. But the first example of the attempt to build a fully privatized corporate utopia was in Chile in 1973 after Pinochet’s coup, when he joined up with a team of economists from the University of Chicago to engage in that experiment.
It is a different kind of colonial project. In Latin America, this project, which is often called neoliberalism, is referred to as neocolonialism. The first stage of colonialism was the opening of the veins of Latin America, as Eduardo Galeano describes it, the pillaging of raw resources, the exporting of raw resources. The second stage of colonialism -- and, of course, that first stage never fully goes away -- was pillaging the state. What had been constructed in the aftermath of the Great Depression and during the post-war boom years -- the construction of healthcare systems, education systems, roadways, railways -- but this is really what was launched in Chile with the help of the Chicago boys: the strip mining of the state itself.'