Category Archives: War and Peace

The Great Acceleration….

Our current epoch has now come to be known as the ‘Anthropocene’  for the impacts man has had on our planetary environment. It is also called “The Great Acceleration..”;  being the sixth  event in the life of this  planet  where species loss has become so pervasive and devastating.

A May 2017 study for the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America was entitled “Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines”.  The paper notes in conclusion that: “The massive loss of populations is already damaging the services ecosystems provide to (human) civilization…Thus, we emphasize that the sixth mass extinction is already here and the window for effective action is very short, probably two or three decades at most.. All signs point to ever more powerful assaults on biodiversity in the next two decades, painting a dismal picture of the future of life, including human life. .” In other words, without the survival of significant complex bio-systems of multiple species, each with sustainable population numbers, humans too are rapidly headed towards extinction.

While  we talk  (and talk) about global  warming, what we also ignore is the combined impacts of  man-made emissions into the atmosphere  with the steady  destruction of the biosphere  through human “progress’  –   the literal cancer of inert dead non-organic edifices being  built  over the top and at the expense  of  the natural  world that make up  humans’  cities and towns  and transportation systems,  agribusiness destroying countless wilderness  areas into  single species ‘dead’  environments, the ongoing deforestation of native habitats, increasing  wildfires, needless human consumption,  acidification and over-fishing of the oceans, human over-population,  meat-production, war,   pollution, global  warming, water-loss ..  the list goes on  and on…  Incrementally, humans are destroying the liveability for all species on the planet at an ever increasing rate, with carbon monoxide production being just one aspect of our ongoing destruction of this planet.

Wikileaks notesAt present, the rate of extinction of species is estimated at 100 to 1,000 times higher than the “base” or historically typical rate of extinction (in terms of the natural evolution of the planet)[14][15][16] and also the current rate of extinction is, therefore, 10 to 100 times higher than any of the previous mass extinctions in the history of Earth.

What is urgently needed is a recognition of this fact by humans, and an understanding that the model of human’ progress’ we have espoused for the past few thousand years is killing our planet. An understanding that all life- regardless of species, is inherently sacred and our  mutual survival is intertwined, and that  consequently  human ‘needs’  must be balanced against  the rights of other species. One small step to delay or even possibly reverse this destruction,  is the urgent massive scale planting of native vegetation in every possible locality and an end to our model of human  “progress”.


Links

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/07/05/1704949114.full

Supporting appendix to  Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines

Scientists Say Sixth Mass Extinction Is Under Way

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_extinction

Brothers in Arms – Saudis and Israelis

On July 10th  2017  the U.K. High  Court rejected a bid by  the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) that ‘Britain’s multi-billion-pound arms sales to Saudi Arabia should be halted because they were being used in Yemen in violation of international humanitarian law. ‘

The British  High  Court judges claimed that the Saudis had “sought positively to address concerns about International Humanitarian Law”…..”Saudi Arabia has been, and remains, genuinely committed to compliance with International Humanitarian Law; and there was no ‘real risk’ that there might be ‘serious violations’ of International Humanitarian Law (in its various manifestations) such that UK arm sales to Saudi Arabia should be suspended or cancelled,” the court said. “

One wonders whether judges can be indicted for perjury? Those judges would have known  full  well  that  their legal  judgement  was a total  and outright lie. The Saudis have in  fact  done everything possible to  exacerbate the suffering  of the Yemen population over the past two years,  with  massive starvation and typhoid outbreaks the consequence of  Saudi bombing of civilian  infrastructure and a blockade of aid and food to Yemen (using British  and U.S. aircraft  ordinance, guidance and coordination) .

One might put this ruling alongside the  eagerness of the U.K. to   continue to  pour millions into  the Israeli  military, which  has for the past 60  years engaged in  a war of not-so- slow motion genocide of the Palestinian  people, for whom  it has  legal  responsibilty as the occupying entity . One has only to  read John Pilger’s account  of the horrendous ordeal  of the Palestinian  people, to be shamed  by  our complicity in  Israeli  war crimes. What  do  these two  delightful  pariah  states have in  common?-  firstly an overweaning desire for  expansion and power; secondly the destruction of the Iranian state,  and thirdly the use of religion to  justify  their  expansionist  goals; with  the Saudis using  their  Wahhabist dogma  to  promote sectarian violence against those who  do  not subscribe to  their bizarre version of  the muslim faith,  while the Zionists use the Jewish  religion as a weapon  against  all  those who  defy  their expansionist  policies and  appropriation of other people’s lands.   As the Boycott,  Divestment Sanctions  (BDS) movement gathers steam  against  the  Israeli  entity, having at least some friends  Israel  can  rely on, may prove rather useful…

It is no  wonder then that  the long-standing secret  alliance between the Saudis and Israel  is now becoming visible, as  political  and moral  pressure  continues to  escalate against  both of them. The Saudi ‘princes’ have continued to  publicly preach  their opposition to  Israeli  occupation of Palestinian  lands , whilst  clandestinely supporting Israel. As the article in Investigaction notes: With some exceptions, support for the Palestinian cause in the Arab world is overwhelming. And regimes like Saudi Arabia have happily betrayed the Palestinian cause over and over again because they are aware that key to their survival is subservience to the United States, and that an alliance with Israel may boost their regional hegemony prospects. But because their legitimacy to rule is incredibly thin to say the least, royals and officials need to keep pretending in public that they are defending and fighting for the Palestinians.

As the economic and military  power of Iran continues to grow,  (despite the best efforts of most of the Western world; with sanctions and  attempted coups and assassinations and wars), the  anti-Iran hysteria within  the ruling classes in these two  regimes continues to  escalate. For the Saudis,  Iran , a largely Shi-ite theocracy ( i.e.  decidely more democratic than  the Saudis,  but  with brutal  political  oversight by  its religious governing bodies) is  a complete anathema to  Saudi Wahhabist  Sunni  ideology,  which holds that all  non-Sunni  muslims are in  fact not muslim  at  all.  In addition  Iran’s rapid development of an internal  arms industry (particularly in  missile development) totally unreliant on  Western imports, along with an economic  structure largely  independent  from  the West ( largely as a result of Western  sanctions based on  fraudulent claims of its  development of nuclear weapons) has allowed it to pursue a totally independent foreign policy line-  unlike the Saudis who  remain completely reliant on  U.K.  and U.S.  weaponry  and therefore required to  be  largely compliant  to U.S.  and U.K military   and political  objectives in  the Middle East.

For the Israelis,  Iran  remains the one  major threat   to its goals of a larger and all-powerful  Israel;  the Middle East  country with the largest  military (courtesy  of the United States)  and  a nuclear arsenal . Iran continues to  support fund and train  Hezbollah  in Lebanon,  and to some degree Hamas  in  the Occupied Territories of Palestine itself. Both Hezbollah,  with its devastating victory over the Israeli  Army in  Lebanon in 2006, and to  a smaller degree Hamas, with its ongoing resistance to  Israel’s brutal military incursions into  the West  Bank, have been  a thorn in  the side of Israeli  expansionism, and hence have been deemed ‘terrorist  organisations’  by the West.  Hezbollah  has again  played a significant role  against  Al Qaeda (Al Nusra) and ISIS ( funded and armed by  the Saudis and to  some degree by  Turkey, Qatar   and Israel in  the Syrian  war, with coordination and logistics provided by  British and United States intelligence agencies).  And while Israel  knows that  Iran is not going to  acquire nuclear weapons,  it is fearful  of the increasingly advanced home-grown missile technology  that Iran  posseses which now poses a significant deterrant to Israeli  expansion.

Thus  Israel  and  the Saudi  regimes; both rapidly becoming pariah states,  have  increasingly cosied up to each other, (just  as Israel  did with  apartheid South  Africa in  the 1960s) with Israel  providing overt  support to  the Saudi  war  in Yemen,  along with the British and Americans,  on the premise that somehow/somewhere  the Iranians must  be supporting the Yemenese Houthi forces there.  This most un-holy of alliances will  inevitably be the undoing of both  regimes…


Links

https://www.caat.org.uk/campaigns/stop-arming-saudi/judicial-review

http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-saudi-arms-idUKKBN19V0YR

http://johnpilger.com/articles/palestine-is-still-the-issue

http://wolvestuc.org.uk/index.php/local-campaigns/wolves-palestine-solidarity/256-wolverhampton-link-to-arms-exports-to-israel

Yemen: The War That Isn’t Happening Even as It’s Happening

Israel and Saudi Arabia: a match made in heaven (or in Washington)

 

 

Yemen: The War That Isn’t Happening Even as It’s Happening

Qatari questions…

As Donald Trump  has announced: ‘Qatar has  been funding terrorism  at a very high level”. Trump is of course correct;  Qatar has been funding training and arming  jihadists across the Middle East  and the Western world for many years. However, funding  terrorists is not Qatar’s sin  for the Saudis ,  the Americans and the British.  Qatar’s crime is that they not only support Hamas to    respond to Israeli  terror against  the  Palestinians ,  but they also have a  distant alliance with  Iran promarily via  their shared Pars field gas resource; and,  to cap  it all  off, are  now agreeing to sell some gas  in non-US dollars!

The reality is that   a few  deaths on  London  Bridge  or somewhere else in  Europe are simply collateral  damage;  worth it,  in  the bigger interest of huge kickbacks  from  the Saudis,  and Israel’s backers in  the States  and the U.K. .. This is purely and simply about money. The  festering cesspool  of  British/American  mainstream  politics and their respective ‘intelligence’  units , is all  about money- what’s a few blown-up  innocent citizens compared to  the billions that  can be made through arms deals,   oil  deals and kickbacks?-with  the added benefit of  de-stabilising the one final   disruptor  to  Israel’s’ plans  to  once and for good  ‘solve’  the Palestinian question-  by removing Iran  and their allies Hezbollah and to some degree Hamas.

As Angry Arab notes:  If Western media want to really serve their readers in their (lousy) coverage of the Gulf crisis, they would adhere to those two basic standards of professional journalism:
1) they would tell their readers while interviewing academics, journalists, or “citizens” in UAE or Saudi Arabia or Qatar that opposition the government or disagreeing with the government in tweets or in retweets would land you in jail for up to 15 years with a hefty fine. They would tell them people in those countries are not free to express views different form the government.
2) they would tell readers when they cite “experts” at DC think thanks that those think tanks are all funded by UAE and/or Saudi Arabia (except Brookings which is funded by Qatar).  These are basics.’

 


Links

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/qatar-linked-terror-list-issued-saudi-arabia-allies/

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960320000109

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/391853-qatar-riyadh-plan-backfires/

https://wikileaks.org/saudi-cables/buying-silence

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/iraq-reinforces-border-saudi-arabia-amid-deepening-qatari-saudi-rift-video/

http://angryarab.blogspot.co.nz/

 

The Weirdness of Washington

As Brian Cloughley recently noted

Xenophobia is «the dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries» and has become rampant in Great Britain. It is a sad moral weakness but a powerful weapon for propagandists, and much of Britain’s print media excel in using it against the European Union and Russia. It feeds what Orwell called «primitive patriotism».

While the American mainstream media have been amazingly foolish and laughable in their attempt to ‘prove” Trump ‘collusion with Russia” we see similar attempts in the once authentic and honest U.K. newspapers like The Guardian where Trump is somehow accused of doing or saying something that means ( what, exactly, we can never be quite sure) he is in bed with Putin . The innuendo and leading phrasing smack of pure propaganda. And we must ask the question’ why”? What is all this dishonesty for? Who is intended to benefit? Why is presumably deposing Trump (legally or illegally), the right outcome?. Does the media and the Washington ‘elite’ not understand that they are in effect stripping away the last semblances of an American  democratic state by doing so? It appears not. So what will Washington and the United States be left with after Trump has gone?

It would appear we will be faced with a vice president cum President without any political legitimacy whatsoever, along with  the potential for violent responses on the streets from those unwashed masses the “ Basket of Deplorables” that Hillary Clinton so amazingly arrogantly described . Is that what is wanted ?

Clearly that scenario opens the way for a Washington bureaucracy-run White House which can implement even more stringent powers to restrict freedom of expression and movement in the United States…

And why are we seeing this anti-Trump media deluge exposing day after day clearly absurd and spurious charges against him , right across the Western world? Why do all Western populations have to be indoctrinated into believing that Russia is the evil empire controlling the patently brutish Trump? Where are we being led?

The recent American  attack  on Hizbollah  forces supporting the Syrian Arab Army near Al-Tanf, is yet  one more example of U.S.  forces pushing their agression into  countries where they have absolutely no  mandate to do  so-  but also   pushing the limits of credibility and sanity.  The purported U.S.  rationale for these air atacks on  a small  column of Syrian  forces maneouvering to attack  ISIS,  was that  they  were ‘too  close to  American  support forces’ and an American  base illegally stationed ( according to  international  law) on Syrian  soil.  In  another world;  this would be theatre of the  bizarre. But it pushes the margins of  likely  armed attacks on  legimately  stationed Russian forces in Syria.  It is entirely possible that the attack was designed to  push legally stationed  Iranian  and Hezbollah  forces into  a confrontation with the United States,  and thus give ‘credibility’  to  a full-blown U.S.  invasion of  Syria, with  the  likelihood, intended or otherwise, of an  Russian/American  confrontation.

Why is having a war with Russia so important? We know wars reduce democratic freedoms in both antagonists, we know that they shift essential resources from productive enterprise to war machinery, we know that it requires unhesitating patriotic fervour from the masses, we know that if one side wins the war they can impose their wishes on the defeated.. and destroy the opposition’s economic and strategic influence, we know wars can bleed a country dry….

But we also know in this instance that these two antagonists are major nuclear powers…

The United States would have no capacity to completely annihilate a Russian nuclear counter response in an attack on Russia. Russian nuclear subs, unidentified ICBM silos, the destruction of vital U.S. IT infrastructure including nuclear power plants…

The capacity for indefinite destruction of U.S,. economic infrastructure – let alone the population – is immense..

Why go there?

Who is in charge in Washington, and are they sane?

As is clearly demonstrated  in U.S. State Dept  press releases, Washington is  either entirely  divorced from  reality and has absolutely no  knowledge of what is really happening in the Middle East and elsewhere,  or they (and more probably)  are simply lieing to achieve their own political and economic ends..   As  U.S.  influence continues to decrease globally the flailing dying animal becomes more dangerous…


Links

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/05/17/propaganda-feeds-fear-and-loathing.html

http://time.com/4486437/hillary-clinton-donald-trump-basket-of-deplorables/

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/18/trump-strays-white-house-message-mueller-witch-hunt?

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/05/us-attacks-syrian-government-forces-it-now-has-to-make-its-choice.html#more

Saudi Arabia: the Useful Idiots

As Christopher Davidson makes clear in his 2016 book ‘The Shadow Wars’; the extremist ideology of wahhabism – an ‘offshoot’ of Islam, is deeply imbedded in the Saudi regime. That sectarian brutal regime could not have come to power and retained  its military domination over the Arabian peninsula, without the unconditonal support of first the British and latterly the United States. Their Wahhabist dogma states that all who don’t believe in their version of Islam are heretics and should be forcibly converted or put to death.

This dogma is the foundation of Al Qaeda and ISIS ; and these groups, along with fanatical wahhabist ideology promoted  in many Saudi  funded  Sunni mosques around the world, has been actively promoted by those in power in Riyadh since they were effectively installed by the British in the First World War to counter the Turkish Ottoman Empire’s reach..

As Davidson meticulously notes in his book, the support of the British and then the Americans for this fanatical regime, has never wavered; even after the 9/11 terror attack and now the genocide occuring in Yemen. The ongoing U.S. and British support for wahhabist terror to further Western agendas can be taken as a given.

As Human Rights Watch notes (2017) Saudi Arabia does not tolerate public worship by adherents of religions other than Islam and systematically discriminates against Muslim religious minorities, notably Twelver Shia and Ismailis, including in public education, the justice system, religious freedom, and employment. Government-affiliated religious authorities continued to disparage Shia Islam in public statements and documents.

And now we see a Saudi  attempt to completely eliminate any Shia  influence within the  ‘kingdom’  in  their ongoing brutal  crackdown  of the minority Shia population in Awamiya  on the Arabian peninsula.

Because of the huge amounts of money flowing from the Saudis into Washington and other Western ‘think-tanks’ ( ie propaganda outlets) , both Western media mainstream media and the Washington and London ‘intelligence’ communities are largely  uncritical of this despotic regime and its outpourings of hatred and violence to any Muslims and other Middle Eastern religions who do not espouse their Wahhabist ideology. As long as the Wahhabists remain useful in the cause of eliminating any threats to Israel, countering an independent Iran  or eliminating other Middle Eastern states critical of the United States or the United Kingdom- then that is all good!- regardless of the loss of lives or the devastation left behind…The destruction of the Shi-ite state of Iran is a priority of both the Saudis, Israel, as well as the U.S. and U.K. The re-appropriation of Iranian assets and oil by Western interests is looked upon longingly.

Saudi Arabia funds many wahhabist sect mosques throughout the Western world; whose aim is to preach hate and sectarian discord and promote the killing of others who do not accept their extremist views. Given that this sectarian dialogue is visible open and blatant, how is it that those western mosques have not been closed and the Saudi funnelling of money towards Wahhabists has not been blocked?

Or is this ‘minor’ irritant of localised terrorism and hate in Western states ‘worth it’, when the majority of the mosques’ gullible and disenfranchised indoctrinated young adherents can be shunted off to the Middle East with the assistance of Western intelligence agencies, so that Shi-ite or non secular non U.S. aligned states can be destroyed?

We have reached a rather surrealist situation where the previously hidden long term ‘agreement’ to divide the Middle East according to their respective spheres of influence between Israel and Saudi Arabia has now become completely visible, and now means that ISIS has needed to apologise to Israel for their unintended attack on Israeli ‘Defence’ forces. For many Arabs this apology is a clear signal of the betrayal by the Saudis of the Palestinians and their 60 year brutal occupation of Palestine by Israel military forces. Taken in conjunction with their genocidal war against the impoverished Yemen people by massive Saudi military forces, and with the total support of the U.K. and U.S., Saudi credibility has reached an all time low amongst Arab populations across the Middle East.

Once can only hope that the end of the brutal ‘reign’ of the House of Saud is nigh.


Links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahhabism

https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2017/country-chapters/saudi-arabia

https://off-guardian.org/2015/12/10/saudi-arabia-leads-the-jihadist-nations-u-s-assists-them/

https://www.sott.net/article/308121-Investigating-Saudi-Arabias-sponsorship-of-Turkish-politics-terrorism-and-the-frenzied-conflict-in-Syria

http://intpolicydigest.org/2015/11/29/why-isis-exists-the-double-game/

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/03/05/the-redirection

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alastair-crooke/isis-wahhabism-saudi-arabia_b_5717157.html You Can’t Understand ISIS If You Don’t Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia

Shadow Wars-The Secret Struggle for the Middle East, Christopher Davidson 2016

https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/christopher-davidson-ian-sinclair/christopher-davidson-interview-what-is-role-of-west-in-middle-e

http://thesaker.is/who-are-the-sunnis-a-lamentation/

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line

http://www.unz.com/pcockburn/war-with-iran-seems-likely-as-trump-cosies-up-with-saudi-arabia/


Postcript  Links

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201705201053811797-abu-trump-al-amriki/

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/manchester-attack-salman-abedi-salafi-jihadism-wahhabism-isis-al-qaeda-islam-muslim-suicide-bombing-a7754301.html

I will hold my head up high on Anzac Day..

(a letter to  the editor of my local newspaper) 

I will  hold my head up high on Anzac Day ..

When  our little nation  of New Zealand finally acknowledges its complicity in  the deaths of millions of innocent people in  the many  wars it has fought as a proxy for the power and greed of the  United States and the United Kingdom.

When this nation  pays its fair share  of the necessary billions of dollars in  reparations for those lives lost  and injured ,  environments decimated  and  infrastructure  destroyed.

When this nation determines  never again  to go to war unless our own shores and lives are at  risk and we have no other choice.

Then,   and only then, wilI I know our nation is a courageous, fair and honest one

I wait for that day  to  come.


Links

https://nzhistory.govt.nz/war/anzac-day/introduction

The Rogue State that is the United States of America

As  one more US aircraft  carrier  steams  off to  confront the North Koreans and threaten nuclear war once again , it is timely to  recall  that  60  years ago  the United States and its allies (including a very  compliant New Zealand) began  a genocidal  bombing of every  town  and city in  the north of Korea.  Millions of Koreans died. Since that  war ended,  the largest and nuclear superpower in  the world has refused to  sign  a peace treaty  with  North Korea,  has stationed thousands of troops  and weapons along its South Korean border and has regularly  threatened to nuke North  Korea,  applied  annual  large scale attack  manoeuvres along the border with North Korea, as well  as  implementing  sanctions that in  several years since the war,  caused mass starvation in  the north.   Small  wonder that the North  Korean  regime might be considered  paranoid and unstable!
Ironically, the United States has absolutely no  interest  in  the Korean peninsula and its peoples;  its sole rationale for  maintaining the ongoing conflict  with North Korea is to justify  maintaining the extensive military  bases encircling China, with the support of the Japanese. China has recently  proposed “As a first step, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) may suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the suspension of large-scale U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) military exercises,” but  this eminently reasonable offer has been  once again  refused by  the United States because it would reduce the threat to  China.
While the latest  American  President is  also  considered unstable and unreliable, it is  important to  recognise that every American president’s  foreign  policy  since the 1900s   has almost entirely consisted of  a psychopathic policy of violence and war and repeated acts of genocide:-  in  the Philippines,   at  Hiroshima and Nagasaki,  in  Korea, Vietnam and Laos,   in Iraq,   and Libya,  as well  as support for unspeakable acts of murder and  terror in South  America .  Its  full logistical and weaponry  support for the starvation of millions of Yemen ‘s children by  Saudi Arabia  because they do  not share the Saudi regime’s  extremist  and sectarian Wahhabist views,  (ably supported in  this war of terror by  its sycophantic ally, the United Kingdon),  tells you exactly where the United States’ current moral  and ethical  foreign policy stands.
The old fiction of the “Shining City Upon  a Hill”  –  an American beacon of hope, democracy,  liberty and freedom ,  has been ceaselessly trotted out by American  Presidents  over the years and regurgitated by  the American mainstream  media. Now the facade of that  shining city is falling away;-exposing the house of horrors within.
United States  foreign policy  does not recognise the international  rules of war or human rights obligations;   it stands above any necessity for humanity or compassion or  peaceful  solution to  conflicts.  It is in fact,  a rogue state.

Links

The Genocide that is Yemen

Based on the latest United Nations estimates;   ‘as of 1 November 2016 , health facilities reported more than 7000 people killed and more than 43,000 injured since mid-March 2015, including more than 3,200 children killed or injured. (UNOCHA) (out of an estimated totally Yemeni population of 27,913,984).

Medical materials are in chronically short supply, and only 45 per cent of health facilities are functioning. As of October 2016, at least 274 health facilities had been damaged or destroyed in the conflict, 13 health workers had been killed and 31 injured. 

Saudi intervention in what was till 2015 a relatively low-level civil war between rival Yemen factions, began in March 2015, to support one of the pro-Saudi  factions, and it would appear, to successfully strengthen the hold of Al Qaeda in the south of Yemen.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) states that as of March 2017:

The humanitarian situation in Yemen continues to deteriorate almost one and a half years after the escalation of conflict in March 2015.The escalation amplified an already existing protracted crisis, which was characterised by widespread poverty, conflict, poor governance and weak rule of law, including widely reported human rights violations.

Yemen was already the poorest county in the Middle East when the crisis escalated.  Men, women, and children were already facing a humanitarian crisis, stemmed from years of poverty, poor governance, and instability, including widespread violations of human rights. The situation has only worsened in the past year and the speed and scale of the deterioration is alarming. The economy is near collapse, public and private services have all but disappeared, and Yemenis have lost most of their livelihoods and have depleted most of their saving.  Yemen has turned into a protection crisis where the average citizen is facing tremendous hardships and the most vulnerable populations are struggling simply to survive.

More than 19 months since conflict escalated have left an estimated 18.8 million people in need some kind of assistance or protection in order to meet their basic needs, including 10.3 million who are in acute need. This represents an increase of almost 20 per cent since late 2014 and is driven by increases across key sectors. The 18.8 million people in need estimation is lower than the 21.2 million cited for 2016. These changes do not reflect an improvement in the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Yemen, but rather a further tightening around priorities based on a rigorous analysis of evidence. 

Even Human Rights Watch, a notoriously Western biased “human rights’ organization committed to western ‘human rights interventions’ (read ‘invasions of countries of people who are not white’), has stated that ‘With help from former President Saleh, Houthis, the Zaidi Shia group, took control of the capital and much of the north in late 2014. President Hadi and his cabinet fled to Saudi Arabia in early 2015 and in March, a Saudi Arabia-led coalition launched air strikes against the Houthis. Dozens of the airstrikes appeared to violate the laws of war. Houthi forces laid landmines and used other indiscriminate weapons in unlawful attacks . The UN reported in January 2016 that the conflict had claimed 2,795 civilian lives in 2015.

Not only is Saudi Arabia deploying the largest arsenal in the Middle East  courtesy of the United States and the U.K.) against the impoverished country of Yemen, but it has financed armed and trained their Wahabbhi ‘rebels’ like Al Qaeda and Al Nusra in Syria along with Qatar, to a massive degree over the past few years. The vicious sectarian ideologies of the Saudi ‘kingdom’s’ Wahabbists; long supported and bolstered by the U.K. , are the rationale for killing anyone who does not espouse those extremist Sunni views. The 40-45% of Yemenese who follow the  Zaidi order of Shia Islam- many of whom are supporters of the Houthis, are therefore regarded as apostates for extermination by the Wahabbists. Small wonder that Saudi pilots are clearly under order to attack Shi-ite civilian centres. It should however be noted   that  given  the U.K.’s longstanding  and extensive role in human rights abuses and war crimes in Yemen  (particularly in 1964 supporting the Saudis)  as detailed in  Christopher Davidson’s book “The Shadow Wars: the Secret  Struggle for the Middle East” , as well  as the huge investment by the UK war machine and the incompetence of the Saudi military, it is highly likely that, as in 1964, “retired’  RAF pilots are engaged in the aerial  bombardment of civilians in Yemen and other atrocities.

As supposedly democratic and humanitarian Western governments usually do in times like these, the U.K. government has contracted lawyers to concoct grotesque legal arguments that their massive arms sales to Saudi Arabia and their support of U.S. drone killings in Yemen, do not constitute an equally massive violation of the rule of international law. The U.K. Government, its foreign policy advisors and its hand-in-glove armaments manufacturers are once again undoubtedly guilty of horrifying war crimes.

Middle East Eye notes that The UK government licensed arms exports worth £3.3bn ($4.2bn) to Saudi Arabia during the first 12 months of the Saudi-led conflict in Yemen, a campaign group has revealed. The Campaign Against Arms Trade’s analysis of government figures, released this week, shows the total is at least £500m more than previously thought.

From April 2015, the UK approved exports including so-called smart bombs, components for combat aircraft, armoured vehicles and communications equipment.

The government in Riyadh is the UK arms industry’s biggest customer and the figures show that the Middle East is the UK’s largest overall export market for weapons, including Eurofighter Typhoon jets that have dropped devastating 2,000-lb bombs in urban areas in Yemen.

Note only has the UK been supplying the corrupt regime in Riyadh with massive amounts of military hardware over many many years , but it also has (as do the Americans) personnel on the ground assisting the Saudis in their genocide.

The U.S. involvement in Saudi Arabia however, dwarfs the U.K.’s historical complicity with the brutal Saudi regime. Since 2009, the Obama administration’s has signed Saudi Arabia up to $57 billion worth of arms sales.

Manifestly internationally illegal U.S. drone murders in Yemen have been targeting Al Qaeda there for the past 15 years. Supposedly these drone strikes target Al Qaeda leaders in Yemen, yet mysteriously Al Qaeda has steadily grown in power and influence; particularly and predictably since the Saudis launched their war against the Houthis, supported by the U.S. and the U.K. Now the Trump administration is once again increasing the Yemen drone strikes.

In  addition, the Saudis,  despite their denials,  are enforcing a  naval  and air blockade of Houthi  held areas of Yemen,  further  exacerbating an already  dire humanitarian  situation on the ground. The Saudis  and United States and the mainstream media claim,  without any evidence,  that  the Iranians  are militarily supporting the Houthis.  Should this have been  the case,  we would have seen  satellite imagery  of Iranian  planes and  ships  trying to  break  the blockade, if not Iranian  seized vessels and arms.

The reality is that  the Houthis have more than enough  weaponry  through  the Yemen army that have  largely backed  the Houthis,  and through  seized armaments from the Saudis. While a different branch of Shi-ism,  the Iranian  government is clearly sympathetic to  the  Houthis and is likely to  have at  least supplied  the Houthis with the technical  now-how for their devastating missile attacks on  Saudi  troop deployments.

The sad reality is that Western democracies have cloaked their barbarities in pursuit of profit and power under labels of ‘ bringing the true religion’, ‘civilisation’, ‘democracy’ and ‘humanitarian intervention’, since long before the rise of capitalism. Western governments cannot kill their own populations in large numbers as they would no longer be in power at the next election!: instead they are licensed to kill the ‘other’, the ‘dark races’, the ‘uncivilized’, the ‘un-Christian’ in ‘foreign’ countries. Yemen is the epitome of ‘foreign’ to the West.   For not only are they of significant interest to the West’s pawns in Riyadh, the Saudis; they are also tribal, dark skinned, and at the bottom of the heap in terms of poverty and far away from the gaze of Western publics.  An ‘ideal’  testing ground for Western  weapons.

The Gulf potentates are therefore none better for the West to sell vast amounts of weapons to, and watch their incompetent new owners destroy them in vast numbers in the vicious war with the Houthis and their allies in Yemen. It makes little difference to their Western minders that the Saudis are committing genocide in Yemen; aided with targeting facilities and refueling of aircraft by the United States and U.K trainers..

The current application of the rule of law in international politics and conflict is a complete farce. It is grounded purely in ‘right is might’;  which for this current and previous century at least, has been the prerogative of Western powers against ‘The South’.  That dynamic is now of course changing rapidly with the rise of China and the resurgence of Russian military power.

Should we see the control of the International War Crimes Tribunal pass from Western judges who have been consistently ‘pressured’ by Western governments to take certain political stances, to Russian or even Chinese adjudicators; we may finally see some justice in bringing the long line of Western politicians and military leaders responsible for more than a century of horrendous war crimes around the world, to justice.

Finally, while the removal of suffering of Yemen’s humans should be the priority of our fellow humans; there is no-one and nothing that protects the devastation to the other species that were already struggling to survive before this brutal war erupted.

While we have likely already passed the point of no return in having a relatively liveable climate on this planet; we still, as the sole cause of this destruction in this world, have an obligation to try and save what remains of the other species on this precious Earth. Our constant futile human wars are doing a great deal to speed up that process of planetary destruction.


Links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yemeni_Civil_War_(2015%E2%80%93present)

http://www.unocha.org/yemen/crisis-overview

http://news.antiwar.com/2017/03/10/saudi-airstrike-kills-26-mostly-civilians-in-yemen-market/

https://www.hrw.org/middle-east/n-africa/yemen

https://www.caat.org.uk/resources/countries/saudi-arabia

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-03-03/66440

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/372979-british-collusion-sectarian-violence/

http://energydesk.greenpeace.org/2016/01/15/data-how-guns-and-oil-dominate-uk-saudi-arabia-relationship/

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/uk-approves-33bn-arms-sales-yemen-126867279

http://www.reprieve.org.uk/press/uk-bases-used-targeting-secret-us-drone-war-documents-indicate/

https://richardfalk.wordpress.com/2017/03/11/reading-elisabeth-webers-kill-boxes/

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/09/bomb-the-shstart-out-of-them-trump-drones-yemen-more-in-one-week-than-obama-in-a-year/

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/blowback-americas-disastrous-policy-yemen-will-be-profound-18698

Christopher Davidson:  “The Shadow Wars: the Secret  Struggle for the Middle East” 

http://christopherdavidson.net/BaseHub/2017/01/22/shadow-wars-video-trailer/

The Monster that was Obama

Thankfully the  words of adulation for  ex-president Obama are now dying down and we are instead  now innundated with hate media  (not altogether underserved)  for President Trump.

Obama was above all  things a con-artist. The sweet  honeyed words of the used car  saleman,  masking  sociopathic   intent . A man  who  talked peace and made war. A man  who  preached enviromentalism  and destroyed much  more than he preserved. A man  who  faked humanity while ruthlessly killing  innocents by  drone.

And a man  who  has set  the scene for the  destruction of what little remains of the U.S democratic  process, through  his  persistent undermining of his successor.

By  why  let me drone on?

Please look at this excellent  record of  his legacy by  Samuel Johnson   for yourself,  and decide….


Links

View story at Medium.com

 

Lies, Damn Lies, and Propaganda

My apologies to Benjamin Disraeli for abusing his wonderful quote about statistics in my blog title.
In essence, any information, however factual, can be used to manipulate opinion; and is most frequently used in that manner. The recent barrage of U.S. media reports on ‘fake news’, of Facebook getting mainstream media to, laughably, monitor what is fake and is not fake in Facebook posts, the accusations of Russian (sorry Putin) manipulation of the US media for his  own nefarious ends…. the list of ‘factual’ reports goes on and on.

What we do know as fact is that the media has frequently and knowingly, lied to their respective publics about news; particularly news about ‘foreign’ wars.
For instance, we know the media lied on behalf of the U.S. State Department about the reasons for war with North Korea in the 50s, the Gulf of Tonkin incident which was  supposedly the rationale for war with “North’ Vietnam, the war in Kosovo against Serbia, the war in Iraq, the war in Libya, the war in Syria….and so on..

And U.S. media is not alone in blindly reporting press releases from government agencies- the U.K. media is amazingly compliant for one which espouses a ‘free press’, in reporting as ‘fact’  what  is churned out from  government  reporting channels.
So , one might think that the world public would by now recognize that media tells lies and half-truths, or ‘selective truths’ – incessantly- for political ends. But for some reason; time after time; the public believes the next new set of ‘facts’.
And I am not for a minute suggesting that the Russian media is in any way free of the propaganda and lies that Western media indulge in daily; the difference for western publics, is that they are a new set of lies- or ‘half-truths’, or simply a different perspective. Hence they are extremely valuable in helping Westerners determine what the possible ‘real’ reality might be.

We have seen increasingly hysterical and far-fetched outbursts from Western politicians and their mainstream media (MSM) allies about ‘fake news ‘ because MSM is failing to deliver the goods to them. The public is slowly but increasingly becoming aware of other perspectives on international events;  the  open internet  plays a very  significant role in  this. ‘Brexit’ was a prime example where enormous resources were poured into convincing the UK public that exiting the EU would be the worst possible thing that could ever happen to them-and yes the majority of voters voted for Brexit! In the U.S., the presidential election saw an astonishingly powerful alignment of MSM , politicians, celebrities etc lined up against Trump- and yes- using the archaic electoral college system, he won! The constantly repeated refrain about evil Assad and Putin in Syria  and  Aleppo has become to fray at the edges as many westerners see the Aleppan public dancing in the streets as the rebels are ‘evacuated’ to other places, and the true savagery of the ‘moderate rebels’ unveiled.
There is panic in Western political circles. What if the public really could make up its own mind, using multiple and divergent sources of information?
Russia therefore becomes a convenient bogey-man- haven’t we always feared the barbaric, savage and primitive Russian Bear? The consequence of using ‘external’ bogey-men is that politicians and media therefore imply that if you dont agree with their version of events, you must have been subtly manipulated by Communist (whoops!) I mean Russian, propaganda. The dangerous next implication, is that we have a fifth column in our midst; people who are not ‘true patriots’ because they dont believe the ‘correct’ party line..

This fear-mongering by MSM and politicians is therefore , a deliberate and direct attack on our democratic freedoms and rights.

The other  hugely significant implication of the U.S Intelligence  fear-mongering, is that if a a  foreign  media outlet indicates any  support for one  side or other of a political  debate  or election it is somehow undermining that  country’s democracy. The implication being that  all  foreign media  should have slavishly endorsed the Hilary  campaign ( 99% of which  did so as ordered)

 

Postscript

The recent accusations by  President Obama , the Democrat  Party and others that  Russia (and specifically Vladimir Putin)   hacked   Democrat  emails to discredit  Hillary  Clinton in the presidential  election  are outlined in  the State Department media  release . The very  reputable US based WordPress  IT website ‘Wordfence’    concludes  that  the State Dept information  provided is implausible in its intent to  show that the hacking (if it occurred) , was Russian, and that the sources quoted in the State Dept memo  are in  fact outdated Ukrainian malware)
https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2016/12/russia-malware-ip-hack/

Overall Conclusion
The IP addresses that DHS provided may have been used for an attack by a state actor like Russia. But they don’t appear to provide any association with Russia. They are probably used by a wide range of other malicious actors, especially the 15% of IP addresses that are Tor exit nodes.

The malware sample is old, widely used and appears to be Ukrainian. It has no apparent relationship with Russian intelligence and it would be an indicator of compromise for any website.

Rinf.com argues that Cloudstrike–  the company  contracted by  the Democrat Party to investigate the ‘hacks” ,  and also  the sole source of the State Dept info on  the ‘hacks’,  is  strongly connected to  the Ukrainian regime in Kiev ,  which  is strongly  ant-Russian  for obvious reasons. We appear to  be seeing,  as we have time and time again,  the U.S.  ‘intelligence’  community  being easily or (willingly )  conned  by  hostile vested interests determined to  create hostilities where none are needed:  think   the Kuwaiti  scam  on  Saddam’s Iraqi soldiers bayoneting incubator  babies,  the Libyan  scam on  Ghadaffi’s forces using   viagra to  rape  civilians… the list  goes on  and on. Combine the lack  of inteligence and  analytical  skills of the U.S. intelligence community with  a deeply ingrained  psyche that  considers violence and war as the solution to  everything,  we have a problem….The  current massing of hundreds of American  tanks and other weaponry  in  the Baltic states is signalling that the U.S.  war  machine intends to  strike soon .

The latest   surreal  reports of Trump  being  manipulated and blackmailed by  Putin  get even  more scary. This is now evidence that  the current US administration  under Obama is trying to  subvert the results of the US Presidential  election so  that they  can continue in  the buildup  to  war with Russia ..There is now overwhelming feedback  from  a multitude of specialist  sources that  these accusations by a  ‘former’  MI6 agent are simply  porkies.

Craig Murray provides a very  clear insight into why  the ‘former’  MI6 agents ‘dossier’  is  rubbish.


Links

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/01/the-deep-state-versus-donald-trump-new-smears-and-a-ukrainian-connection.html#more

Trump Sex Blackmail, New Twist in Witch-Hunt  By Finian Cunningham

The Steele Dossier or the Hitler Diaries Mark II

Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections ( Office of the Director of U.S.  National  Intelligence)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/12/britain-dragged-donald-trump-dirty-dossier-row-amid-claims-whitehall/

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_real_purpose_of_the_us_governments_report_on_alleged_hacking_by_russi

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/01/deep-state-35-pages-attack-against-trump-fails-foreign-and-domestic-losses.html#more

http://www.unz.com/pcockburn/the-dodgy-trump-dossier-reminds-me-of-the-row-over-saddams-wmds/

https://theintercept.com/2017/01/11/the-deep-state-goes-to-war-with-president-elect-using-unverified-claims-as-dems-cheer/