What is the true cost of the Afghanistan war?

Published: Sep. 14, 2011 –

Britain is spending tens of billions waging the unjustified war in Afghanistan, with horrific costs in the deaths of thousands of Afghan civilians, and of soldiers sent to kill and be killed. This video, narrated by Tony Benn with music by Brian Eno, dramatically conveys the cost of wars which are opposed by most people in Britain. It ends with a call to join the Antiwar Mass Assembly in Trafalgar Square on 8 October: http://www.antiwarassembly.org

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0Bkg8zgoYQ&feature=player_embedded


Daylight Robbery, Meet Nighttime Robbery

by Naomi Klein
Published: Aug. 16, 2011 – The Nation

I keep hearing comparisons between the London riots and riots in other European cities—window smashing in Athens or car bonfires in Paris. And there are parallels, to be sure: a spark set by police violence, a generation that feels forgotten.

But those events were marked by mass destruction; the looting was minor. There have, however, been other mass lootings in recent years, and perhaps we should talk about them too. There was Baghdad in the aftermath of the US invasion—a frenzy of arson and looting that emptied libraries and museums. The factories got hit too. In 2004 I visited one that used to make refrigerators. Its workers had stripped it of everything valuable, then torched it so thoroughly that the warehouse was a sculpture of buckled sheet metal.

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UK banks fund deadly cluster-bomb industry

by Jerome Taylor
Published: Aug. 16, 2011 – The Independent

British high-street banks, including two institutions that were bailed out by taxpayers, are investing hundreds of millions of pounds in companies that manufacture cluster bombs – despite a growing global ban outlawing the production and trade of the weapons.

How cluster bombs work: click here to download graphic (71k)

The Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB, Barclays and HSBC have all provided funding to the makers of cluster bombs, even as international opinion turns against a weapons system that is inherently indiscriminate and routinely maims or kills civilians.

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Perfect Storm: The England Riots Documentary

Published: Aug. 14, 2011 – Wide Shut

“If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth.” — African Proverb.

This mini-documentary film looks at the initial causes and wider context surrounding the recent England riots. Politicians refuse to acknowledge their role in creating a deeply unfair and failing society, a perfect storm of police brutality, city poverty and austerity measures, that will only get worse unless the root problem is addressed.

Did you know for the rioters to be on par with the looting by the financial bailouts, corporate tax avoiders and Libyan invasion, they would have to repeat the same level of damage……4,320 times?

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IMvuoGji3yU#at=1287


The war against Libya in historical perspective

From the Berlin Conference of 1884 to the London Conference of 2011

by Brian Becker
Published: Mar. 30, 2011 – Liberation News

The leaders of 14 capitalist powers in Europe plus the United States met for a conference in Berlin 126 years ago to decide how all of Africa’s land and vast resources would be divided as colonies and zones of control among themselves. No Africans were invited to the conference.

The 1884 Conference of Berlin, more than any other single event, became emblematic of the dynamic transformation of capitalism into a system of global imperialism.

By 1902, 90 percent of Africa’s territory was under European control. African self-governance was wiped off the map in most of the continent. Only Ethiopia remained an independent state. Liberia was technically independent too, but it was in fact under the control of the United States.

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Big Brother is DEFINITELY watching you: UK has one CCTV for every 32 people

Published: Mar. 03, 2011 – Daily Mail

It’s an astonishing statistic that is sure to send chills down the spines of freedom campaigners.
In Big Brother Britain there is an incredible one CCTV camera for every 32 citizens, a study has revealed.

The revelation that 1.85 million cameras are watching our every move confirms the shocking extent of surveillance in 21st century Britain.

Coming a day after it emerged tiny drones could be used to spy on Britons, the CCTV study is sure to add fuel to the debate that we have become a Big Brother state.

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The “Gestapo” Revives: Mind Control In US and EU

by Anders
Published: Mar. 29, 2010 – Euro-med.dk

Summary: A U.S. congressman has had a slip of tongue about Obama’s new health legislation, saying it has taken many years and will still take some time to get the necessary legislation through in order to control people. Behind this is that this legislation requires the implantation of a chip with information abouti.a. individual medical data, to be implanted in everybody, thus enabling the regime to control and influence every one. Obama has recruited 16,500 armed officers to ensure that each rule is observed. Now the Europol has become an EU agency and has been given enlarged and vaguely defined remit to go after heavy internet crimes such as racism, xenophobia, criticism of the EU’s false claims about global warming caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions. The Europol will take note of people’s behavioural data, including lifestyles and routines, movements, places visited, tax positions, DNA, political, religious or philosophical beliefs, union memberships and data concerning health or sex life. “This reminds creepily about the Gestapo. Nottingham, England, has just undergone a massive police raid on youngsters aged 13-24 years – with nude scanners, etc. to combat knife criminality. British researchers have now developed the nearly perfect lie detector that can read brain currents and thereby study people’s memories – having us all arrested for precrimes not committed. Politicians have explicitly wanted mass immigration to “radically change our societies.” They have certainly done so – and achieved what they wanted: an excuse for a European police state after Gestapo´s pattern.

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Mossadegh and Ahmadinejad

Iran faces almost the same dilemma as 1953

by Ardeshir Ommani
First Published: Feb. 01, 2010 – Iranian

There is a stark similarity between some aspects of the political atmosphere dominant over Iran today and those under Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh right before the U.S.-led coup of 1953 that resulted in the overthrow of the legitimate government of Iran and the establishment of a U.S.-puppet government of the Shah. In the period between 1951-53, the U.S. in a close collaboration with the British colonial power through their channels within Iran’s military and political apparatus, particularly the Shah’s court, was able to contrive division within the ruling circle and as a result the society at large.

The U.S.-U.K. sanctions of Iran’s oil export at the time pursued a multitude of purposes: political instability, economic hardship, and international isolation. In the final year of Mossadegh’s rule, the government was unable to pay the salaries of the civil servants in full, which had resulted in resentment towards the Prime Minister’s policy of oil nationalism and his capability to rule. Secondly, Iran could not import consumer and industrial goods necessary for maintaining the normal course of economic and social reproduction. Thirdly, a layer of the ruling class whose interests were the extension of the U.S.-U.K. domination over Iran’s natural resources and political system, made every effort to turn the wheels back or make the political system unmanageable. As a result, during the first eight months of 1953, Iran was in constant political turmoil and the ground was being prepared for a coup d’etat by the forces hostile to Iran’s nationalization plan, as well as to its independent direction in its domestic and foreign policies.

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Attempt at citizen’s arrest as Blair leaves inquiry

“Blair doesn’t have the decency or honesty to face up to the public, military families, and Iraqis who will be here today. He does not have the integrity to come and face the people. Sliding in by a back door entrance is typical of his lies, deceit and evasion.”

by Alan Jones
First Published: Jan. 29, 2010 – The Independent

Tony Blair was accused of being a “coward” and a “war criminal” today as anti-war protesters and military families vented their fury against the former prime minister as he gave evidence to the Iraq inquiry.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the QEII conference centre in Westminster to chant anti-Blair slogans and call for his arrest for war crimes. But they did not have the chance to confront the ex-premier as he gave them the slip by arriving via a back entrance more than two hours before he was due to be questioned by the Chilcot Inquiry.

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Wanted: Tony Blair for war crimes. Arrest him and claim your reward

Chilcot and the courts won’t do it, so it is up to us to show that we won’t let an illegal act of mass murder go unpunished

by George Monbiot
Published: Jan. 25, 2010 – Guardian

The only question that counts is the one that the Chilcot inquiry won’t address: was the war with Iraq illegal? If the answer is yes, everything changes. The war is no longer a political matter, but a criminal one, and those who commissioned it should be committed for trial for what the Nuremberg tribunal called “the supreme international crime”: the crime of aggression.

But there’s a problem with official inquiries in the United Kingdom: the government appoints their members and sets their terms of reference. It’s the equivalent of a criminal suspect being allowed to choose what the charges should be, who should judge his case and who should sit on the jury. As a senior judge told the Guardian in November: “Looking into the legality of the war is the last thing the government wants. And actually, it’s the last thing the opposition wants either because they voted for the war. There simply is not the political pressure to explore the question of legality – they have not asked because they don’t want the answer.”

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The Surveillance Society: Trading Freedom For The Illusion Of Safety (With Videos)

by Giordano Bruno
Published: Jan. 18, 2010 – Neithercorp Press

Governments, regardless of their political structure or historical background, have always striven to not only control information, but also to gather it from the people by covert means. Often, this secretive observation of the citizenry escalates into a completely open and full-fledged surveillance state. The U.S. in particular stands on a precarious edge: the line between abhorring invasion of privacy, and embracing invasion of privacy as necessary for the “greater good.” Many people assume that such a mindset is forced on the masses by the elite, that strength of arms is somehow required to make them accept the conditions of a police state, but this is not always so. It is very difficult for governments, despite any technological developments or resources they may have, to enforce and maintain a fascistic political construct. In order to retain control, they must build a “Surveillance Culture;” a society in which the people watch each other, and where individuals censor themselves instead of being censored by the authorities. In the end, a police state cannot exist without the help of the people it means to dominate. By spying on each other, we destroy ourselves.

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Iran says US, UK, Canada assist Afghan drug trade

Jan. 14, 2010 – Press TV

A senior Iranian anti-drug official has accused the US, Britain and Canada of playing a major role in Afghanistan’s lucrative drug trade.

On the sidelines of an anti-drug conference in Tehran, deputy head of Iran’s Drug Control Headquarters Taha Taheri said that Western powers are aiding the drug trade in Afghanistan.

“According to our indisputable information, the presence of the United States, Britain and Canada has not reduced the dug trade and the three countries have had major roles in the distribution of drugs,” IRIB quoted Taheri as saying on Thursday.

Iranian officials have always criticized Western countries over their policies towards Afghanistan, where poppy cultivation has drastically increased since the US-led military occupation of the country in 2001.

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The ‘false’ pandemic: Drug firms cashed in on scare over swine flu, claims Euro health chief

by Fiona Macrae
Published: Jan. 11, 2010 – MailOnline

The swine flu outbreak was a ‘false pandemic’ driven by drug companies that stood to make billions of pounds from a worldwide scare, a leading health expert has claimed.

Wolfgang Wodarg, head of health at the Council of Europe, accused the makers of flu drugs and vaccines of influencing the World Health Organisation’s decision to declare a pandemic.

This led to the pharmaceutical firms ensuring ‘enormous gains’, while countries, including the UK, ‘squandered’ their meagre health budgets, with millions being vaccinated against a relatively mild disease.

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Gaza and the path to accountability

by Sunera Thobani
Published: Jan. 05, 2010 – The Electronic Intifada

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs David Milliband acted swiftly to withdraw the warrant for the arrest of former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, one of the architects of last winter’s Israeli attack on Gaza. A British magistrate issued the warrant under universal jurisdiction laws in response to allegations of war crimes committed by Israel in Gaza. This prompted Brown to phone Livni and assure her she was “welcome” in Britain, and Milliband stated his government’s intention to remove the power of UK magistrates to issue any such future warrants against Israeli politicians.

As foreign minister, Livni used the Israeli-dubbed “Operation Cast Lead” to brand herself as an astute politician who would ride to power on the bodies of dead Palestinians. She became a media darling in the West, and the Gaza attack was to be the ticket to her rise to prime minister. However, although the attack killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and wounded thousands more, Livni’s political ambitions did not materialize quite as planned. Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman out-hawked her, and the Palestinians are still paying the price for the invasion. Gaza remains under a murderous siege, enforced by the Israelis and backed by its Western allies and Egypt.

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Gordon Brown promises full body scanners at UK airports

Sun. 03, 2010 – BBC

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has given the go-ahead for full body scanners to be introduced at Britain’s airports.

BAA, which runs six UK airports, said it would now install the machines “as soon as is practical” at Heathrow.

Read more…


UK to follow US intervention in Yemen

Jan. 03, 2010- Press TV

The British premier’s office says that Prime Minister Gordon Brown and US President Barack Obama have agreed to fight what they call terrorism in Yemen and Somalia.

The UK and the US have agreed to fund a counter-terrorism police unit in Yemen to tackle the rising threat from the country.

The British premier’s office says that Prime Minister Gordon Brown and US President Barack Obama have agreed to fight what they call terrorism in Yemen and Somalia.

The UK and the US have agreed to fund a counter-terrorism police unit in Yemen to tackle what they deem the rising threat from the country.

Read more…


Documentary – The Real Big Brother (2006 – 28 mins.)

Is Big Business The Big Brother Controling your Life. A glimpse of the things to come about the surveillance society


“Why we fight”: The Nature of Modern Imperialism

Aggressive and exclusive military alliances like NATO should be disbanded

by Alan Mackinnon
First Published: Nov. 17, 2009 – Scottish Left Review

The world of war is today dominated by a single superpower. In military terms the United States sits astride the world like a giant Colossus. As a country with only five per cent of the world’s population it accounts for almost 50 per cent of global arms spending. Its 11 naval carrier fleets patrol every ocean and its 909 military bases are scattered strategically across every continent. No other country has reciprocal bases on US territory – it would be unthinkable and unconstitutional. It is 20 years since the end of the Cold War and the United States and its allies face no significant military threat today. Why then have we not had the hoped-for peace dividend? Why does the world’s most powerful nation continue to increase its military budget, now over $1.2 trillion a year in real terms? What threat is all this supposed to counter?

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NEWS (Last Updated: Thu. Nov. 05)

Obama’s Wars (Last Updated: Thu. Nov. 05)

NATO strike kills nine civilians in Helmand, Afghanistan
Thu. Nov. 05 – LASHKARGAH: Artillery and mortar shelling by the NATO-led international troops killed nine civilians in southern Afghanistan, locals said.

Two Pakistanis killed in US drone attack
Thu. Nov. 05 – Two people have been killed as a result of a US drone missile attack in the tribal region of North Waziristan bordering Afghanistan.

US soldier killed in Afghan attack
Thu. Nov. 05 – An American soldier serving under NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has been killed in an attack in eastern Afghanistan.

Iraqi colonel killed in Baghdad blast
Wed. Nov. 04 – A senior Iraqi police officer has been killed after being hit by a bomb left outside the door of his house at Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad.

5 British soldiers shot dead in Afghanistan
Five British soldiers have been shot dead in Helmand Province, in an attack the UK military blamed on a “rogue” Afghan policeman.

US military suffers first casualty of month in Iraq
Tue. Nov. 03 – A non-combat incident in the Karadah district of southeast Baghdad has claimed the life of a US soldier.

Taliban denounce ‘puppet president’ Karzai
Tue. Oct. 03 – The Taliban has questioned the legitimacy of the Afghan administration after the cancellation of a planned run-off following the fraud-stained August presidential vote.

 

Mysterious Virus Hits Ukraine (Last Updated: Thu. Nov. 05)

Panic in Ukraine over swine flu
Thu. Nov. 05 – Officials in Ukraine have closed schools for three weeks, imposed travel restrictions and are limiting public events as the country battles to stop the spread of swine flu.

Ukraine Cases Double To 478,000 In 2 Days – 81 Deaths
Wed. Nov. 04 – The above numbers are from the latest update from Ukraine. The number of infected patients has almost doubled to just under ½ million, compared to the report two days ago (see map).

NATO providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine
Wed. Nov. 04 –  NATO member states have started to provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine, the press service of the NATO department of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry reported on Tuesday.

Tymoshenko says all Ukrainians will be provided with gauze masks in a week
Wed. Nov. o4 – Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has ordered regional state administrations and city administrations to produce gauze masks within a week.

Yushchenko called on to help Ukraine: Unknown virus is killing people
Tue. Nov. 03 -In last 24 hours, an unknown virus (presumed pneumonic plague) infected another 37 thousand and killed 12 more people. The authorities deny that this is pneumonic plague, and insist that people die from influenza, pneumonia and ARI.

 

 

Israeli Apartheid (Last Updated: Thu. Nov. 05)

Iran welcomes Israel war crimes probe
Thu. Nov. 05 – Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations Mohammad Khazaee has welcomed an investigation into Israeli crimes during the Gaza war.

Israel destroys 2 more Palestinian homes
Tue. Nov. 03 – Israeli forces have demolished two more Palestinian-owned homes in Jerusalem Al-Quds as part of Tel Aviv’s efforts to increase the number of Jewish settlements there.

 

 

Totalitarian Tiptoe to the New World Order (Last Updated: Wed. Nov. 04)

Czech president signs EU reform treaty
Wed. Nov. 04 – Czech President Vaclav Klaus says Prague has finally committed to the European Union’s reforming Lisbon Treaty, hours after a top court ruled that it was in line with the constitution.

 

More News (Last Updated: Wed. Nov. 04)

Iraq signs major oil deal with BP, CNPC
Wed. Nov. 04 – Iraq has signed its biggest oil deal since the US 2003 invasion with Britain’s BP and China’s CNPC to develop the giant Rumaila oilfield.

One fifth of mammals near extinction
Wed. Nov. 04 – Over 17,000 species assessed in a major international biodiversity study are threatened with extinction, a leading environmental group has warned.

Poll: Obama’s popularity below average
Tue. Nov. 03 – US President Barack Obama’s approval rating continues to decline nearly one year after his arrival to the White House, a new poll shows.

UK graduate unemployment soars 44%
Tue. Nov. 03 – Graduate unemployment in the UK has soared 44 percent, reaching the highest level for more than a decade, a recent research has shown.

Poverty indicator targets large number of US children
Tue. Nov. 03 – A new study has shown that nearly half of all US children and 90 percent of black kids will eat meals at some point during their childhood paid for by food stamps, an indicator of poverty.


Surveillance Societies

by Sarah Meyer
Published: Oct. 31, 2009 – Index Research

In the name of “National Security“, one of the biggest lies is “making you safer .” This absurd promise applies to surveillance as well as to the reason for prisons, torture, rendition (kidnapping), etc. But “Making you safer” is really about making money for corporations.

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