The Delphi Declaration and Grexit

Michael Hudson, economist and historian, records the decision of those who  gathered at Delphi in Greece on 22nd June 2015. The Declaration makes it very clear which  way Greeks need to  vote in their referendum in a  weeks time: to  remain  with austerity and the Euro, or to  depart; to decide whether  to  continue down the dead-end street of community’s lives being ruled by  bankers and economists, or to  choose community collaboration, democracy  and consensus politics…

As Steve Keen  makes it very  clear, the Troika’s ambition is nothing less than the overthrow of an elected (Greek ) government by imposing impossible conditions  that have resulted ,  and will  continue to result, in  the total  impoverishment of all Greeks (barring the very  wealthy) . Leaked IMF documents show clearly that  even  the IMF acknowledges that  its proposed austerity measures will leave  Greece with unsustainable debt  by  2030.

And David Stockman argues, Prime Minister Tsipras’ stand against  the Troika may signal  a long overdue  restructuring of the financial markets globally.

Finally;  it may be useful  to  read William Polk’s very  short outline  of the modern  Greek  nation, to  put things into  some perspective along with  Michael Hudson and William Black’s extremely damning  analysis  from the University of Missouri of the financial situation in Greece leading up to   the Greek referendum on  Sunday July 5th  2015.


Postscript

With more than 60% of the Greek  voting populatoin rejecting further EU imposed austerity, more economists and  political  advisors appear to be coming out of the woodwork  to  reject  the insanity  of further sausterity on  a country already  on its knees.

Read  this proclamation from  Professor Thomas Piketty  and others  here

And, subsequent to  the Greek Government’s further  round of capitulation to  the EU, we have Peter Tenebrarum’s likely accurate assessment of where the sudden EU push for Greek Debt Relief is coming from…

And, subsequent to  the draconian and childishly vindictive response by  the German austerity kings and queens on 14th July , we have Larry Elliott’s analysis of why this new round of debt relief is doomed to  fail.  And here is  a precis of the Greek ex-finance minister Yanis Varoufakis’  take on proceedings in Brussels.

In addition, as Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the Telegraph notes 15/7/15 , the IMF  ( and almost every  significant ecomomist) is again noting the complete implausability and craziness of the  ongoing austerity process imposed on Greece. The complete incompetence of the Eurozone leadership is revealed to  all.  What may  benefit Germany in the short-term, will  inevitably lead to  its downfall in the long-term. The German government is now  70  years later, once more a pariah state.  Total  childish  foolish arrogance and spitefulness once again  dominates the German political  landscape.

As Chris Hedges at Truthdig makes it clear in  the following powerful  paragraph;  the Greeks are not the only ones whose needs are subsumed to the madness of neoliberalism and the ultimate destruction of this planet as it becomes a commodity.

The Greeks and the U.S. working poor endure the same deprivations because they are being assaulted by the same system—corporate capitalism. There are no internal constraints on corporate capitalism. And the few external constraints that existed have been removed. Corporate capitalism, manipulating the world’s most powerful financial institutions, including the Eurogroup, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Federal Reserve, does what it is designed to do: It turns everything, including human beings and the natural world, into commodities to be exploited until exhaustion or collapse. In the extraction process, labor unions are broken, regulatory agencies are gutted, laws are written by corporate lobbyists to legalize fraud and empower global monopolies, and public utilities are privatized. Secret trade agreements—which even elected officials who view the documents are not allowed to speak about—empower corporate oligarchs to amass even greater power and accrue even greater profits at the expense of workers. To swell its profits, corporate capitalism plunders, represses and drives into bankruptcy individuals, cities, states and governments. It ultimately demolishes the structures and markets that make capitalism possible. But this is of little consolation for those who endure its evil. By the time it slays itself it will have left untold human misery in its wake.


Links

Michael Hudson-The Delphi Declaration
http://www.unz.com/mhudson/the-delphi-declaration/

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2015/06/23/delphi-declaration/

http://people.terry.uga.edu/akefalas/delfoi/about.htm

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/06/29/no-austerity-tens-thousands-back-syriza-rally-athens

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/29/referendum-greeks-europe-capitalism-greece-eurozone-economic-system

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/06/29/anger-aimed-troikas-ruthless-neoliberalism-greece-exit-looms

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/06/29/europes-attack-greek-democracy

http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevekeen/2015/06/25/bureaucrazies-versus-democracy/2/

http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/good-on-you-alexis-tsipras-part-1/

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jun/30/greek-debt-troika-analysis-says-significant-concessions-still-needed

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/01/syriza-cave-in-elites-regime-change  –  Seamus Milne

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1507/S00010/currencies-the-rules-of-the-game-applied-to-germany-and-gre.htm   – Keith Rankin

Greece: Only the ‘No’ Can Save the Euro– J. K Galbraith

http://www.unz.com/mhudson/greece-on-behalf-of-europe/  – Michael  Hudson & William K Black

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/07/angela-merkel-must-act-now-for-greece-germany-and-the-world

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/13/europe-greece-pushed-into-further-peril

Mindfulness, Trauma and Suicide Ideation

Recent  emerging research  indicates a strong correlation between  Adverse Childhood Events (ACE) and  risk of suicide (see Links  below)

Current mainstream  interventions  often focus on counselling to  work  through  those childhood traumas  using CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapies) .

However, there is increasing evidence that  mindfulness programmes ( provided the practice is sustained after the initial training), is extremely effective in   reducing suicide ideation in young people at risk.  Part of its success is that  mindfulness training reduces the risk  of uninhibited (spontaneous) dangerous responses to  new adverse events . Research  has indicated that  young people  exposed to  ACEs have reduced inhibition  and higher anxiety, and are more likely to  “wallow” in  historical adverse circumstance, which  in turn increases the likelihood of responding to  further adverse events in  a negative and immediate way, as well  as increasing the likelihood of chronic alcohol  and drug use to   anaesthetise the  psychological  pain. Other researchers believe that  specific  traumatic responses to severe ACE  experiences- eg violence and sexual  abuse,  and the consequent flashbacks and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms  that  subsequently  impact  on  the victim,  are the primary   causes for suicide ideation risk.  Other research  indicates that simply damaging and  dysfunctional family dynamics are sufficient to  result in   brain changes in young children exposed to  that  trauma which  can  result in  increased suicide risk in later life.

Note also  that  exposure to  ACE decreases the capacity to   interact  in positive ways with  peers because of  fear of  further negative social  encounters, and also reduces the capacity to  interact  positively with  people in positions of authority ( those who  have been in  positions of authority with  the child in  the past may  have often been  damaging to  that young person’s physical  or emotional  wellbeing) .  People exposed to  ACE face a double whammy: increased social  isolation combined with increased internal  risks: (the extrinsic and intrinsic impacts).

Interventions that  improve parenting skills, reduce bullying and sexual  and physical  abuse and family violence are therefore  core preventive measures to  reduce suicide ideation in not just  our young people, but people of all  ages.

However, mindfulness training offers  an opportunity to   significantly reduce the risks once negative experiences have occurred.  The core component of mindfulness and meditation is extremely simple: a reduction in random  thoughts by  focusing on an  external  point. In the case of mindfulness, that might be  focusssing on the breathing or doing a body scan or  focussing on sounds or an image.

Meditation techniques tend to use words or phrases repeated repetitively to  increase the “strength” of the mind to  focus and also  the capacity  to  easily move away from negative thoughts or patterns. Meditation may for instance  use  repetitive prayer,  or a mantra  or koan.

While the principle is simple , the challenge is to  achieve that state of focus. Many people for instance say “I cant do  mediation”, which  is a bit like saying ” I cant exercise”.  What  is required is a commitment to  continue the practice in  a meaningful way- never forcing the focus  but always returning (without blaming oneself for the lapse!)-  to  the focus when the mind inevitably wanders . Just  like exercising the body, exercising the mind through  mindfulness  or meditation strengthens the mind to  stay clear and focussed more and more frequently, with  the added bonus that  it becomes possible to  “acquire” moments of simply being in the moment and experiencing that joy ( ‘wherever I go, that’s where I am’).

However  moving from  a state of anxiety to  a state of bliss or even just  a measure of occasional  tranquility, will  obviously be a harder and much longer journey , and require greater tenacity for one who  has come from  a childhood of trauma and anxiety than  a person  who  has come  from   experiences of peaceful  acceptance by  those  who  love them.

There is also  some preliminary evidence that mindulness practice substantially  improves outcomes for people bereaved by  suicide and other traumatic loss. The ATTEND  mindfulness bereavement  programme  is one such  model.

CBT and other similar therapies rely largely on  an assumption that  it is the persons thoughts (their cognition)  that  directly influences their emotions. Work  through  the cognitive processes say  CBT, and you can  change the persons emotions for the better. Mindfulness simply says, increase the capacity to  focus on  whatever the person  wishes to  focus on (rather than their negative mind chatter) and you immensely improve their mental wellbeing.  A  researcher recently quoted one of her   research  clients as saying ” I think  therefore I feel” ( a little ‘play’  on Descarte’s spurious statement  “cogito ergo sum” -“I think  therefore I am”) . What  she meant was; whatever I think  about ,  my emotions follow after.  And this is largely, but not completely true. Our bodies have  for instance  strongly imbedded physiological responses to  threat . In humans (as with other primates), that  imbedded threat  response is strongly correlated to  being alone. To  be part of the group, is to be safe. To  be part of the group  we must  therefore have a meaningful  role in  the group-otherwise we are an  outsider  and  an outlaw who  no-one cares to  protect  and keep  safe.

However , while no-one has as yet  established the  percentage , my guess is that  80% at  least  of all of our emotional  responses relate  to  the things we are thinking  at  that moment.  And the things we think  are entirely and directly related to  what  we have experienced in  the past. Our sense of self is simply  the accumulation of those experiences, and our interpretation of them  based on  earlier experiences!

Lastly  ( being a Buddhist –  but this is not about religion or theology – this is about the nature of our internal  realities);  I would like to  relate  a   simple Zen  metaphor….

Two  Buddhist  monks  come to  a river where a beautiful  young woman  stands, but cant get  across the river safely . These monks  have sworn never to ‘defile’ themselves with touching a woman; yet one of the monks  simply picks up  the woman in his arms and carries her across the river to  safety on  the other side and puts her down. Many many miles later the other monk finally says to  the  “pickup” monk  – ‘you have defiled our monastery and our names with your actions today by  touching that  woman”-and the other monk  turns to  him  and says ” are you still  carrying that young woman?- I put her down  2 hours ago”.

Steady   personal  application of mindfulness and meditation  will enable us all  to  leave aside  all  those memories and experiences    that  our thoughts  tell us defile us.

In summary: thoughts trigger feelings, and feelings communicate vital information on how to best live your life to survive—and thrive.  Developing a stronger mental  focus allows you to  build  your awareness of what emotions and sensations you experience in response to certain thoughts,  and you may develop a stronger understanding of  the intimate connection between your words or thoughts (self-talk) and your emotions and physical sensations and your consequent actions.


Links

Suicide Prevention Links
http://www.changethatmind.com/suicide-prevention-links/

Childhood predictors of lifetime suicide attempts and non-suicidal self-
injury in depressed adults. http://\vww.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25999526

Childhood adversities and risk for suicidal ideation and attempts: a
longitudinal population-based study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16999880

Incidence and course of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in the
general population. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20047721

Association between childhood adversities and long-term suicidality
among South Africans from the results of the South African Stress and
Health study: a cross-sectional study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24919638

Effects of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy on self-reported suicidal ideation: results from a randomised controlled trial in patients with residual depressive symptoms.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25218397

http://oxfordmindfulness.org/wp-content/uploads/WilliamsSwales2004.pdf

Mindfulness tempers the impact of personality on suicidal ideation
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886914002827

Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Reduces Anxiety, Depression, and Suicidal Ideation in Veterans
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886914002827

Between suicidality and self : effects of mindfulness on college students’ entrance into and progression along the continuum of suicidality
http://repositories.lib.utexas.edu/handle/2152/21614

Mindfulness and the Aloha Response
http://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/bitstream/handle/10125/33336/v3i1-03le.pdf?sequence=1

Selah: A Mindfulness Guide Through Grief
https://books.google.co.nz/books?id=q82pyGrilkEC&pg=PA19&lpg=PA19&dq=mindfulness+and+support+for+bereaved+by+suicide+attend&source=bl&ots=Di32bATRQW&sig=fUF1PN_sZ0MOGj4EzR2YUYL123Y&hl=en&sa=X&ei=2deEVbmrE8a2mQX_5Z3ABw&ved=0CDgQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=mindfulness%20and%20support%20for%20bereaved%20by%20suicide%20attend&f=false

ATTEND: toward a mindfulness-based bereavement care model
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24567995

Suicide: Finding Hope/ Mindfulness
http://www.suicidefindinghope.com/content/mindfulness

The Farcical “War on Terror”

Reports are now  coming thick and fast  from  both the Middle East  and from the  United Stated sources of the  role the United States  and its key allies have played in  first  establishing and  then maintaining   ISIS, Al Qaeda and numerous other salafist  affiliates, under the  flimsy  guise of them being  “moderate” jihadists.

As one more instance of this support, the  recent  debacle of a defeat for Iraqi troops against  ISIS in Ramadi points to  the clear decision by United States  forces not to  conduct  airstrikes  against  ISIS  positions, when there was every   opportunity to  do  so., and the US recommendation to  the Iraqi government not to deploy Shi-ite militias in Ramadi The United States is now  aggrieved that Iranian military players are now directly involved in  the re-taking of Ramadi for the Iraqi government .

The consistent intent  for   United States policy  since the Iranian revolution in1979,  has been to  contain and eliminate any potential threat from Shi-ite groups that might negatively impact on the US supported Persian Gulf (Sunni) dictatorships. The Gulf State dictatorships have consistently demonstrated  their unconditional  support  and loyalty  for  US and Israeli  imperial  policies  in  the region; unlike the Shi-ite  states of Iran, Syria and now Iraq, who  foolishly prefer a path of self-determination for their peoples.

The usual   pack of neocon  psychopaths , with John Bolton  snarling in  the lead, has been  to  attempt to  ramp up the non-existent Iranian nuclear weapon threat, to provide unconditional  support for Israeli genocide in  Palestine and to support   anything , regardless of international law or the rights of humanity, that  will extend the United State’s power internationally. If that means  using delusional  Saudi  and Qatari “princes”  to  find and resource even more psychotic ISIS military leaders,who  believe that  all Shi-ites must  be exterminated;  then so be it.

There is clear evidence of an ongoing policy by  the neocons to destroy secular Middle East  governments ( ie not specifically Sunni  oriented governments) like Saddam’s  Iraq, Libya, Syria, which  can lead  on to the ultimate goal  for the US, Israel  and the Saudis; the destruction of Shi-ite  Iran. The  Saudi bombardment of Yemen’s Houthi movement and all  Yemeni  civilians , is  just  a minor diversion  in  the larger game plan.

The recent public announcement by the US that  it wil  be funding training  and arming  “moderate” Syrian opposition forces to  fight the Syrian Assad regime , is one more step  in this bizarre and farcical journey of creating  monsters to  kill them. As has  been clearly demonstrated; there is in fact no  “moderate” opposition fighters. It is possible that  at  the beginning of the fight against  Assad in the “spontaneous” Arab Spring uprising against  him , that  there were a few  secular   and moderate voices, but they have long gone.  As this Department of Defence report for 2012 clearly indicates,   the US knew well  (even 3 years ago) that  the Syrian opposition  fighters that it supported and continues to  support, were  almost entirely composed of extremist jihadists and salafist ( anti-Shiite and anti  any other non-Sunni sect)

Additional  little snippets of the tight connection between Western governments and Middle East  terrorist  groups can  be  found in Seamus Milne’s account here. But even  in these accounts, Western  reporters are  extremely cautious in ascribing  a direct  linkage between  terror and the West ; one  which  now undoubtedly exists. Note how key Western governments are now happy to pay ISIS good prices for their stolen Syrian and Iraqi oil.

Or note ex-President of  Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai’s view that  the U.S is actively taking a two  sided approach  to  creation and  destruction of jihadist  groups to  serve its power interests.

Time and time again  we are seeing reports in  the mainstream U.S. and U.K. media that  ISIS is here to  stay  for  the long term; how hard it will be  to eliminate them; and really, things are such  a lot better for those people in Iraq, Libya and Syria now that  ISIS and its Western  subsidised offshoots are there.  After all  we have “law and order”-never mind that this “law” is an obscene  psychopathic one  As a “delightful ” example of this  obscene  Western view on  that”Isis isn’t really that bad” -read this article in the U.K. Independent by   Richard Barrett (who) was head of counter-terrorism at MI6 before spending nine years as the co-ordinator of the UN’s Al-Qaeda and Taliban Monitoring Team.

What  you sow, so  shall  you reap……

 Postscript

A great  article on where all  that wonderful  hardware comes from  that ISIS  uses at  Antiwar.com http://original.antiwar.com/Dan_Sanchez/2015/06/15/where-does-isis-get-those-wonderful-toys/, which rather begs the question; who is training those little psychopaths in all  this new hi-tech  equipment?

And some additional information from  Andrew P Napolitano  at  antiwar. com brings to  the sunlight  at  least one war equipment  ratline managed by  Secretary  of State Clinton to  terrorists in Libya and Syria .


Links

http://journal-neo.org/2015/05/25/washington-confesses-to-backing-questionable-actors-in-syria/

http://original.antiwar.com/Dan_Sanchez/2015/06/08/the-us-governments-not-so-secret-support-for-al-qaeda-and-isis/

http://rt.com/op-edge/265474-isis-syria-iraq-rebels/

 

U.S. Dept of Defence classified report on Syria 2012

Greatest Threat to Free Speech Comes Not From Terrorism, But From Those Claiming to Fight It: The Intercept

We learned recently from Paris that the Western world is deeply and passionately committed to free expression and ready to march and fight against attempts to suppress it. That’s a really good thing, since there are all sorts of severe suppression efforts underway in the West — perpetrated not by The Terrorists but by the western politicians claiming to fight them.

Read more here

What more do I need to say?

Link

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/05/13/greatest-threat-free-speech-comes-terrorism-claiming-fight/

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/05/us-intelligence-predicted-us-support-for-rebels-in-syria-would-lead-to-fall-of-ramadi.html

Judicial Watch download of State Dept document 2012

U.S. Dept of Defence classified report on Syria 2012
U.S. Dept of Defence classified report on Syria 2012 (page 1)

Oily Euphemisms and Weasel Words

The courageous ex U.N Special  Rapporteur for Palestine, Richard Falk once again notes  the slick cynicism of those in positions of power in the West  and East who  clothe   the evils of Israeli occupation of Palestine  in  what Richard Falk  beautifully describes as “oily eupehemisms”, but which  in  my homeland we would simply call  “weasel  words”: i.e. cloaking evil  in nice words to  ensure  our privileged place is not compromised.

The  murder, theft, torture   and terror that  Palestinians have had to  ensure at  the hands of an occupation  government that has been  wholeheartedly supported  in their  70 years of genocide by  every  Western government, has been  completely unfettered . However just  as with apartheid South Africa, and  the wholehearted Western  support for   a “good”  white government “battling the darkies”; the reality of the despotism  of  this  undisputed pure and simple   rascism, is finally hitting home to  many in  the West.

Now that the tide is slowing turning, and Western populations are progressively becoming to  realise the enormity of these  human  rights violations  by  “poor little Israel”, we have increasing numbers of those governments now cynically attempting  to  divert the tide of public opinion by recognising   Palestine as an independent state. In its current  geographical  boundaries , which  have  been progressively sliced  and walled away by  the Israeli  occupation every  year, Palestine  is a completely nonviable state entity.

Because of the actions of  the Israeli military  and their government  over  this 70  years of depredation,  a single state solution is now the only answer. A single state where all  its occupants have equal  rights, where lands stolen over the past 70  years are restored, where  Palestinians forcibly  exiled have full  right of return and full  compensation from  those who  have destroyed their livelihoods, homes, orchards  and family members.

Maybe then the oily euphemisms can  be replaced with truth  and honesty.

Postscript

Here, we  have  a most wonderful  example ( were it not so  appalling and disgusting) commentary from  an Israeli apologist supreme, a David P Goldman  who argues , with such  authencity, that  all  those Gazan  women and children murdered by Israeli  soldiers in  their last onslaught  against the ghetto of Gaza, did so because Hamas  forced them to  stand up  and be bombed shot and strafed . Oh those Palestinians brought it on themselves didn’t they  Mr Goldman?

Read the account of “Jerusalem Day ” this year from  Electronic Intifada or see the resulting “Death to  Arabs” march  by  Israeli  children

And for those who  may  doubt the  barbarism of the Israeli  ongoing assault on Palestine and its tiny Gaza enclave-it may be useful  to  read the  testimonials of Israeli  soldiers in their recent  “Protective Edge” or “Stalwart Cliff” assault on Gaza here  at  Breaking the Silence

And, let us never forget, there are many  Jewish  voices internationally  resisting the Zionist  agenda of subjugation of occupied peoples- particularly the Jewish Voices for Peace movement

And a further piece of evidence of the  now desperate  responses from  those attempting to shore up  the  sordid reputation of the Israeli  occupation forces, from  the Israeli  newspaper Haaretz, noting among other points that:  A new website is publicizing the identities of pro-Palestinian student activists to prevent them from getting jobs after they graduate from college. But the website is keeping its own backers’ identity a secret. “It is your duty to ensure that today’s radicals are not tomorrow’s employees,” a female narrator intones in a slick video posted to the website’s YouTube account. Called Canary Mission, the site has posted profiles of dozens of students and recent graduates, alongside those of well-known activists like Omar Barghouti, founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement…..

whitepoppy

Lest any of us forget…

When I was at  high-school in my quiet  little New Zealand hometown, the Army came round each  classroom every once in  a while to  show  what a great  job they were doing to defend us from the commies.

Claymore Mine operation
Claymore Mine operation

I  have always remembered one swaggering staff sergeant and his corporal explaining in great detail to  our class how the  anti-personnel mines they used in Vietnam to  fight the  vietcong; or “charlie” as they liked to call them -(short for “victor charlie” or “vc”)  – how  our honourable  soldiers would  park these little  green claymore mines on their scissor legs on the jungle trails with  tripwires for the unwary-be they  “charlie” or local  peasants and their children.

Once detonated  by  the tripwire , the blast shot six hundred  little ball bearings  at deadly velocity in  a 60 degree  arc, shredding anything  and everything in  their path.  Our staff-sergeant explained with  a weary  smile that that those cunning  little charlie used to instead turn the   mines around so  that they sometimes shredded “our ” men instead.

Our staff-sergeant made it oh, so  very clear to us , that this  virtuous war  in Vietnam was not just  a war  against  the evil  commies, but a war against  the ‘yellow peril’ who  would otherwise kill us good white folks in  our beds some day.

A Harvard University study estimates that  up  to  3.8 million Vietnamese people died as a result of that  war. A recent Guardian article  says that:

The US dropped more high explosives on Vietnam than the allies used on Germany and Japan together in the second world war. It also dropped napalm jelly, which stuck to its victims while it roasted their skin; white phosphorous, which burned down to the bone; fragmentation bombs, which hurled ball bearings and steel shards in all directions; and 73m litres of toxic chemicals, including 43m litres of Agent Orange, which killed vegetation and inflicted illness on those who were exposed to it.

Infamously, the US also bombed Hanoi – a city full of civilians with no air force to defend it.

And please, make no  mistake, our New Zealand  government was fully aware of our complicity in  these horrendous war-crimes against  a people who  made the mistake of wanting to kick out their colonial  oppressors; the French.

And  were  our NZ military  commanders also  oblivious to the massive firebombing of every   city and town in North Korea (and some South Korean cities too) during the Korean War that killed,  using wild under-estimations, over one and a half million people? I think  not. Were they  aware of, or complicit in the extensive war crimes committed by  British  troops in  the Malay Insurgency?

And please, let us not forget  our active   involvement  in the capture and torture  and murder of anyone who  might just  look  like the Taleban in Afghanistan.

whitepoppy
The White Poppy of Peace

But of course,  this has all  been in the name of freedom  and democracy, and of course our ANZAC nation-building exercise….

For there to be true honour for our country, we must  both  acknowledge  and compensate for the incredible human  suffering our involvement in those wars have inflicted on other peoples. Are we   a brave enough  nation for that?

 

 


 Links

What’s to Commemorate?
http://werewolf.co.nz/2015/04/whats-to-commemorate/


 

 

This World is not a Commodity: The Planet versus the Trans Pacific Partnership

The latest Wikileaks  release  outlines the secret  deals being conducted by   Western  state  on behalf of international  companies under the Trans Pacific Partnership deal, to  ensure those companies can  engage in whatever malpractice and destruction of the environment they  choose to . If those companies object  to  anything a local  state is doing to  restrict  their trade or profits, that  state entity can be sued in  a  highly partial  court of law without  any  jurisprudence standing (ie i totally biased without safety measures against conflict  of interest  of the legal  agents involved.

If the consequences of the TPP were not so  incredibly damaging for the environment and the future of this planet-this piece of  negotiation would be seen  as pure farce and another mighty demonstration of the woeful  lack of intelligence of the political  parties and individuals involved.

Common Dreams describes the bill  as a “Fast track to Hell”; which  in many respects,  the deal is.

A Hell  of climate hothouse change and  unfettered environmental  and species destruction; let alone  a hell  for human “consumers” of unregulated and unsafe products and significantly reduced capacity to  respond to  public health issues like  rates of tobacco  consumption . But more particularly it is a madhouse.

A truly insane drive to  destroy the planet  with  unregulated commodification before any of us get  the smallest  opportunity to  save  our species and the other remaining species on  this planet  that  are “useful” to us, from  the wholesale destruction of this planet  through  the insanity of  “market forces” .

That   supposedly sane  negotiators from  all  those Pacific countries could seriously  consider this Partnership  deal  as some thing  worthwhile to  even consider for a moment is deeply disturbing, and  is  a spectacularly horrifying litmus test  of how  irrevocably  the human species has departed from  any sense of connection with the planet  it depends upon  to  survive.

The  signing of  the TPP  will surely show that  the human species really  doesn’t deserve this planet.

Postscript

Common Dreams identifies a further draft  international  treaty,  the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), which will  further  strengthen  the power of the international  corporates.

All  of this would make perfect  sense if the only  thing that mattered on this planet was making money  (for the rich)….

And if any of us need a reminder, a Stanford University study,  released June 19th 2015 notes  what  should be blindingly obvious to  any one who  looks around beyond their smartphone; that  we have entered a massive  species loss period which  is likely to  result in  the extinction of our own species . Sawing off the limb we are sitting on,  is the  comment made by Paul Ehrlich , the lead  researcher for the study…


Links

Analysis of the TPP Investment Charter

https://wikileaks.org/tpp-investment/TPP-Investment-Chapter-Analysis/page-4.html

 Fast track  to  Hell-Common Dreams

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/04/16/fast-track-hell-trade-bill-officially-introduced-congress

We’re treating soil like dirt. It’s a fatal mistake, as our lives depend on it– 

The Rise and Fall of BITs
http://www.otago.ac.nz/politics/otago061036.pdf

It’s Our Future
http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/what-is-the-tppa/

A Gunpowder Plot Against Democracy-George Monbiot
http://www.monbiot.com/2014/11/04/a-gunpowder-plot-against-democracy/

Stop TTIP!
https://stop-ttip.org/

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/06/03/wikileaks-strikes-again-leaked-tisa-docs-expose-corporate-plan-reshaping-global

Stanford researcher declares that the sixth mass extinction is here
http://news.stanford.edu/news/2015/june/mass-extinction-ehrlich-061915.html

The Rule of International Law

Richard Falk; ex- U.N. rapporteur for  Palestine, writes another beautifully effective and rational  analysis of the realities of international  law  in his blog entitled   “Opposing Impunity  for Geopolitical  Criminality” .

In this of many similar articles from Richard Falk, he exposes the hypocrisy of state entities who  proselytize about the rule of law in  state conflicts.

The ongoing theme of “victor’s justice” permeates all current   and historical rule of international  law – that needs to  change if we are to  see the end to  wars and  state violence.

Supporting Our Friends in Yemen

Once again we see bombs falling in the middle east; this time on the civilians in Sana the capital of Yemen by Saudi  Arabia and their arab coalition friends, with the full support of the United States. Livingunderthebombs Once more the mainstream media portrays these bombings as some fair and responsible response to evil aggressors. The reality could not be further from the truth. In reality we see the hereditary dictatorship in Saudi Arabia , which holds to extremist wahhabinist Sunni views, providing logistical support for its Al Qaeda affiliates in  Yemen: the home of Al Qaeda, and the original home of the Bin Laden family. The Houthi separatist rebels that the Saudis and their friends are now attacking from the air are no angels themselves, but they in no way equate to the terrorists that the Saudis, and by proxy,the United States and its allies, are supporting in the Yemen. The Saudis and the Arab League have been  touting the bombing campaign  and the preparation for 40,000  Arab league troops to  invade Yemen as the result of Iranian “meddling’  in Yemen to  support their fellow Shi-ite  brethren ( however the Houthi  Zaidi Shi-ite sect is apparently more closely related to  Sunni  practice than it is to  Iranian  Shiites’). In reality there is currently no evidence but much  speculation about Iranian involvement, with  the Houthis themselves  denying Iranian  involvement.

Gareth Porter provides his usual convincing argument to demonstrate the tenuous Iranian arms link. However the spectre of Iranian hegemony is a very  useful  tool for both  the Saudi and Israeli regimes. The reality again  is somewhat  different. It is Saudi wahhabi  extremism and its grand goal of violently eliminating all other “heretical”  Islamic sects,  (including the Sunni Sufis who  form  a large proportion of the Yemen Sunni population) as well as  Israeli fears of  a rising major middle east  power which   (unlike the other Gulf states)  cannot be bought by  the United States, that is prompting this assault on Yemen.

Map  of Al Qaeda in Yemen: 2104 by CriticalThreats.org
Al Qaeda reach in Yemen: 2014

The Houthis have been in danger of fully ousting Al Qaeda from Yemen and therefore had to be forcefully removed as a threat. Be assured that Western intelligence is fully informed of the implications of this invasion, but will not for some months recognise that this new adventure is in fact the beginning of the end of the extremist Saudi regime, with many of their military  composed of Yemen nationals  not so  sympathetic to  Wahhabi  extremism and its  hatred of Shiites and other Muslim sects. The removal of the wahhabist Saudi “monarchy” will remove one of the key drivers for any rationale for the supposed “war on terror” and as such, is something to be feared in Washington and their war industry.

Ironically Iran has proved itself adept in the many middle east  wars initiated by  the United States and its proxies, at using the  confusion and anarchy  so  created to its advantage . The Saudis and their “allies” have undoubtedly already committed a  multitude of war crimes  in their bombings of  Yemen infrastructure and civilian targets. Those crimes will  not be forgotten .

Interestingly the Wall St  Journal is  clearly (and proudly?)  stating that  US Command is providing the intelligence and command for Saudi air-strikes in Yemen.   Once again  this implicates senior US Military and political  figures  in  further war crimes in  just  another Middle East  country. Once again  as Pepe Escobar notes; we see the total  absurdity of this “War on Terra”.

Postscript

The decision by  the U.N  Security Council on 14th April  2015,  by 13 votes to  Russia’s abstention, to  condemn the Houthi invasion of southern Yemen, and impose sanctions on the Houthi leadership, is a sad indictment of international  politics.

While support for sanctions by  the US and UK  for their Saudi  arms and oil   trading partner, was to  be expected, most troubling was China’s willingness to  support sanctions; this presumably  indicates a shift in China’s alliances towards Saudi Arabia as   a major oil  producer  which  will  then  reflect  badly on their  developing relationship  with Iran. This is a serious miscalculation of coming events by  the Chinese.

One has  also to  wonder how  these supposedly educated and informed  security council  members could have failed to  notice that , right from the very  beginning, that this  was a genocidal  war; a war  by  the Saudis that  conformed to  no international agreements to  protect  civilians. But of course;  this was indeed all  known to  those  representatives who  voted to  support the Saudi  airstrikes.  A savage indictment indeed  of our international  processes designed  to  protect  civilians.

And  a lovely lucid article on the role of Iran in all  this  Persian Gulf game playing  from Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett at Consortium News…: the wonderful “turn  facts on  their head and make them lies” type of gambit from the Saudis and Israelis..

And, as of 20th June 2015, a tranche of  top  secret Saudi  Foreign Ministry files  released by  Wikileaks, showing  the  less than  savoury  role played by  the Saudi  hereditary  dictatorship  in the affairs of the Gulf and beyond..


Links

http://rt.com/op-edge/244585-yemen-conflict-saudi-arabia-intervention/

 http://disquietreservations.blogspot.co.nz/2015/03/putting-sanctions-on-saudi-arabia.html

http://atimes.com/2015/03/m-k-bhadrakumar-responds-it-suits-everyone-to-pretend-this-is-a-solo-saudi-act/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/graham-e-fuller/decipher-yemen_b_6965564.html

A Call to Resist Saudi (and US) Aggression in Yemen
http://www.thenation.com/article/203225/call-resist-saudi-and-us-aggression-yemen?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=socialflow#

Al-Qaeda Seizes Yemen Port, Frees Over 300 Prisoners

Is the Whole “War on Terror” a Fraud?


 

 

Fighting with the Big Boys

Note: another letter (below) to  my local  newspaper which  funnily enough, was never published..!
I note that  NZ soldiers   are likely to be deployed to  Iraq to  fight the terrorist  threat, and that their first  port of call will be, where else, Saudi Arabia ,the homeland of jihadist wahhabi  extremism, from  where  Saudi billionaires, if not their  tyrannical inherited dictatorship, fund support and train  their jihadists.
Might I also  suggest  that  our soldiers fly there via Qatar Airways, whose “government” is our next good ally in the middle east  also funding jihadist extremists.
 And to  add to  the satirical  mix, might I also  suggest  that  our soldiers spend some time in  the training camps in Jordan,Turkey  and Libya where Western governments have spent vast  amounts  of money  funding  the training and arming of “moderate” extremists to fight our ‘real’  enemies.
Its such a   shame when “our” terrorists get confused and fight us instead!
Postscript

Appendix:

Peace Movement Aotearoa4 March 2015

Peace vigils calling for increased humanitarian assistance and diplomatic support for Middle East peace processes, and opposing the military deployment to Iraq, will be held around the country from Hokianga to Dunedin at 5pm tomorrow, Thursday 5 March, coordinated by Peace Movement Aotearoa. The details of each vigil are included below and available online at https://www.facebook.com/events/757364991025571 and http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/iraq2015.htm – please share the links, thank you. The details of vigils in other towns and cities will be added to those pages when confirmed.

If there isn’t a vigil in your area, you are invited to gather friends and family at 5pm on 5 March, light a candle for peace, then make your support visible by taking a photo of yourself or your gathering holding the ‘Military deployment in Iraq? Not in our name’ message and posting it on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/PeaceMovementAotearoa The ‘Not in our name’ poster is available in colour at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/nion-col.pdf and in black and white at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/nion-b&w.pdf If you are not a Facebook member, please send your photo to Peace Movement Aotearoa email pma@xtra.co.nz with ‘Peace vigil photo’ in the subject line of your message and we will post it for you.

There is also the opportunity to add your name to the Open letter on military deployment to Iraq at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/iraq-ol15.htm