Thursday, March 29, 2018

Assange

Julian Assange is under attack and has been.  But now he’s also having his contact with the outside world restricted. 
 
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Ecuador’s government has cut off all WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange’s communications and contact from inside its London embassy, on the grounds that he posted a tweet condemning the arrest of former Catalonian regional president Carles Puigdemont.
WikiLeaks yesterday confirmed: “WikiLeaks editor @julianassange has been gagged and isolated by order of Ecuador’s new president @Lenin Moreno. He cannot tweet, speak to the press, receive visitors or make telephone calls.”
The Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site denounces the new restrictions on Julian Assange’s ability to communicate with his innumerable supporters throughout the world.
Ecuador’s move, announced on Tuesday, came after Assange tweeted on Monday challenging Britain’s accusation that Russia was responsible for the alleged nerve agent poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury earlier this month.
The Ecuadorian decision is a dire threat to Assange. He faces total isolation as a virtual prisoner in the tiny embassy and the increased danger of being extradited to be put on trial in the United States for espionage and treason, crimes carrying potential death penalties.
 

 
 
The Ecuadorean government has cut off Julian Assange’s internet access in the Ecuadorean Embassy of London, accusing Assange of breaking an agreement not to issue statements that might interfere in the politics of other countries. The suspension of his internet came after Assange challenged Britain’s accusation that Russia was responsible for the poisoning of a Russian spy and his daughter earlier this month. In a statement, the Ecuadorean Embassy said Assange’s social media statements “put at risk the good relations Ecuador maintains with the United Kingdom, with the other states of the European Union, and with other nations.”
 
 

 
 
AMY GOODMAN: Just a small excerpt from the “Collateral Murder” video, as it was so called, released by WikiLeaks in 2010, that showed this group of people killed—I believe it was 12 in all—two of them from Reuters. Namir Noor-Eldeen was an up-and-coming videographer, 22 years old. His driver, Saeed Chmagh, was a father of four. Reuters attempted to get this video for several years. It was only, Chelsea, when you had this released that they were able to see what happened to their staff.
CHELSEA MANNING: Yeah. The video stands on its own. It explains an enormous amount of not just this moment, but of what the reality of warfare looks like. And, I mean, I’m going to talk about this more, in much greater detail, in my book. But it’s clear in this video. It doesn’t need an explanation. You just have to watch it.
AMY GOODMAN: And what was it like for you the day—do you remember the day you first saw this video? Where were you sitting?
CHELSEA MANNING: I mean, it was among hundreds of other similar ones. It’s just that there’s more—there was more information about the aftermath of this incident because there was an investigation following it. But—
AMY GOODMAN: Because the Reuters journalists were killed?
CHELSEA MANNING: I mean—yeah. So, apart from that, it’s just routine—it’s just a routine incident. Just another day.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And was part of your decision to try to get this out that there were so many of these—I mean, this is a publicized incident, but there were so many others that never got any kind of publicity outside of Iraq at all, if even in Iraq. Part of that, your sense that this needed to get out to the world?
CHELSEA MANNING: Right. And I’m going to talk more about that in my book, but yeah. I would say that the video stands on its own. And, you know, I can try and explain it, but—and, yeah, this is not—this is not unusual. This is not a freak incident. This is what war is, in a nutshell.
 
 
 
 
 
 

She’s running for the US Senate. 


Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"


Thursday, March 29, 2018.  The feel good nonsense or the reality of death and destruction?


RT reports:

The US-led coalition fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) on Wednesday admitted to killing at least 855 civilians in airstrikes in Iraq and Syria in the past four years. “To date, based on information available, CJTF-OIR assesses at least 855 civilians have been unintentionally killed by coalition strikes since the start of Operation Inherent Resolve,” the US Central Command said in its monthly civilian casualty report. The coalition conducted a total of 29,225 strikes between August 2014 and the end of February 2018, and during this period the total number of reports of possible civilian casualties was 2,135. The total number of credible reports of civilian casualties during this time period was 224, according to the statement. It said that 522 reports are still open.

That's what they are now admitting to.  You can be sure the actual count of civilians killed in airstrikes is much higher.



All across the nation, people are protesting against "violence," and yet not one demonstration about the government's violence in , , , , , . Millions have died since 2003 and it doesn't even register on the outrage meter.




Not that I think the gun violence march in America was irrelevant but the children of Iraq, Syria, and Palestine would like to be safe in school and at home. Where are the marches for these children? Why is the world so silent when it comes to them?




Yes, we're back to the issue of does violence only matter when effects White kids in the US?  Do the lives of Iraqis -- including Iraqi children -- not matter at all?

Ajamu Baraka (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) observes:


So, it was a good week for both bourgeois parties. The Democrats didn’t get called out for their collaboration with Trump and the Republicans on the budget. The Trump folks have more ammunition to use to mobilize their supporters in opposition to what they will frame as efforts to violate the constitution and take away their guns and give more power to a repressive government. Even the intelligence agencies benefited from the week’s events with attention being shifted away from the FBI scandal that is threatening to blow the cover off of official criminal activity to undermine the electoral process, not by the Russians, but unelected forces in the U.S. state.
But for those of us from the colonized Black and Brown zones of non-being, we can never allow ourselves to be distracted by the diversionary and accommodationist politics of the latest carefully crafted spectacle, especially one that purports to be advancing a superior moral politics.
We must always remind ourselves that some can march with the confidence that “their” government might be trusted with regulating weapons and protecting their lives but that the protection of our fundamental human rights rest with our ability to defend our collective rights, and no one else.
Through our painful lived experiences, we understand and must live by the insight provided by our dear brother, James Baldwin, who counseled us that we must be vigilant when our oppressors speak of morality and the sanctity of life:
“The “civilized” have created the wretched, quite coldly and deliberately, and do not intend to change the status quo; are responsible for their slaughter and enslavement; rain down bombs on defenseless children whenever and wherever they decide that their “vital interests” are menaced, and think nothing of torturing a man to death; these people are not to be taken seriously when they speak of the “sanctity” of human life, or the conscience of civilized world.”
Distraction can be deadly, let’s us get and stay woke.
Saturday's look-at-me-look-at-me tantrum accomplished nothing and was never going to accomplish anything while rubbing elbows with the likes of Senator Dianne Feinstein and others.  It was an effort to release some steam from the system, a moment to distract from reality.  When elements of Congress and the press stroke themselves to stroke the event, you know it was meaningless.  As Glen Ford (BAR) points out:

There is “movement” afoot in the U.S., but it does not “arc towards justice.” Ever since Trump’s electoral victory, the collective national consciousness has been smothered in a maddening fog of manic, industrial-scale propaganda, spewed non-stop by corporate communications conglomerates working hand-in-glove with the most aggressive elements of the surveillance-intelligence “community” and the bi-partisan War Party. We are enveloped in a toxic miasma of Russia-hate that, by sheer weight and repetition, has infested every aspect of American political thought, distorting and subverting even the most progressive-minded “movements” struggling to find a way towards human dignity under late stage capitalism in a profoundly racist country. Voices for peace and social justice are asphyxiated in the pestilential plume -- unless they find their own air.
Damn right, there is a conspiracy -- possibly the loudest one in history! -- megaphoned by a billionaire-owned media screaming “War, War, War” day and night, fouling the public mind with pure reactionary malice. The duopoly contest has devolved into a dance of death between Donald Trump’s raw white supremacist nationalism and Democratic Party corporate imperial warmongering. Only fools claim there is space for progressive maneuver in the interstices between such forces.



We've been "Down So Long" Jewel notes but doing for-show and feel-good fauxtests won't change a thing ("Down So Long" first appears on Jewel's SPIRIT).

The realities of faux 'protest' and real protest were addressed when Ann Garrison interviewed Riva Enteen (BAR):

AG: Some March for Our Lives supporters are likely to get defensive and ask whether you're refusing to support their cause. What would you say to them?


RE: Of course we support the cause of protecting lives, but there is an exceptionalism to believing it only applies to American lives and especially white lives. In a promotional video that Democracy Now played repeatedly during their broadcast of the Washington, DC March for Our Lives, former US soldiers said that they’d learned how to put assault rifles to good purpose in US wars, but didn’t want them aimed at US citizens.
Isn’t it time to stop aiming those guns—and our missiles, fighter jets, and drones—at the rest of the world? My mother was a member of Women Strike for Peace, founded in 1961 with the slogan “Stop the Arms Race, Not the Human Race,” and that has never been more true.
Women, the givers of life, are confronting the Pentagon in Washington, DC, October 20-21. We hope that all peace-loving people will consider this a chance to make a stand for peace. There will be local antiwar actions springing up, as they did during Occupy, so keep your ear to the ground, and watch for updates on our websiteand our Facebook page .
The action in DC is the Women's March on the Pentagon.  This is the event Cindy Sheehan is one of the organizers of and that we've been noting here:


An Open Invitation:
Women's March on the Pentagon
UPDATED ENDORSER'S LIST:
CLICK HERE
***

UPCOMING LOCAL ORGANIZING MEETINGS FOR
THE MARCH
(CINDY WILL BE LEADING):
NATIONAL ORGANIZING CONFERENCE CALL
WED, MARCH 21 (COMPLETED)
  CLICK HERE FOR SUMMARY AND RECORDING OF CALL
*
April 5th in Washington DC

CLICK HERE FOR WDC MEETING INFO
*
April 9th in Boston  
*

April 12th in Long Island
 

APRIL 13TH: LANCASTER, PA



 



JUNE: CHICAGO, IL


 contact Cindy Sheehan for

more info, to organize a meeting/action
in your area or ??
CindySheehan@MarchonPentagon.com






TAX DEDUCTIBLE 


 People are dying.  Don't expect kids raised on media fawning to tell you that.  Certainly don't expect the corporate media to tell you that.  All the corporate media does is lie.

Iraq has defeated IS and avoided the wave of Shia-on-Sunni violence that many thought would follow





Things are great in Iraq!

If you forget the fact that people are protesting in the streets because there are so few jobs.  Or that the medical situation in Iraq is actually worse now than at any point in the history of this wave of the Iraq War.  The brain drain got a big kick in the last six months but no one bothers to notice that -- the flight of needed professional from Iraq.  There are enough beds for the orphans but Iraq did open a cat hotel this year so I guess that's the 'great' that THE ECONOMIST sees taking place.


B-b-b-but ISIS is defeated!  Except they are not.  ANADOLU AGENCY reports that yesterday saw 5 Iraqi soldiers killed when ISIS ambushed them at "a fake checkpoint on the road linking Mosul and the Tal Afar district."


But the corporate press can't stop their waves of Operation Happy Talk.  It's been going on for years now and it's never turned out to be true.  Hayder al-ABadi, for example, has promised to get the trains running.  When I saw that a few days ago, I rolled my eyes as I remembered when we were sold that lie -- in THE NEW YORK TIMES, among other places.  The trains were working, running and doing great!  It took Deborah Haynes (TIMES OF LONDON) to expose that as a lie.  But here we are, about twelve years later and they're trying to re-sell that failed talking point.



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