RSS

The Long Ordeal of Whistleblower Chelsea Manning 

In April 2010, a classified U.S. military video was released through the website WikiLeaks, recorded from a camera aboard an Apache helicopter. It shows the massacre of civilians on a street in Baghdad, Iraq. The video, which WikiLeaks called “Collateral Murder,” documented in graphic, grainy black-and-white detail a helicopter gunship attack on July 12, 2007. The helicopter opens fire with machine guns on a group of men, including Reuters news agency photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen and his driver, Saeed Chmagh. Most of the men are killed instantly. Noor-Eldeen runs away, and the crosshairs follow him, shooting nonstop, until he falls dead.
http://m.truthdig.com/report/item/the_long_ordeal_of_whistleblower_chelsea_manning_20170119

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Tags:

We could’ve avoided President Donald Trump. Now, we must learn the lessons 

The road to President Trump was long and bumpy. There were many turns not taken, countless alternative routes that would have spared us this outcome. Instead, we kept going, corruption, infighting and sheer obliviousness stopping us changing course.

What could have been different? There are a thousand possibilities. You could start with the long decay of the US news media into a branch of the entertainment industry, primed to seize on Trump’s celebrity. A wiser society would have demanded better, resisted more vocally, criticised more intelligently.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/20/president-trump-learn-lessons-republican

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 22, 2017 in North America

 

Tags:

“You are not You anymore”: On the Torture of Theon Greyjoy 

I finally managed to get around to reading A Dance with Dragons, the fifth book in the Game of Thrones series. For those not familiar with the books, the character of Theon Greyjoy is captured and tortured, badly, by Ramsay Snow (later Ramsay Bolton).

Although the detention and torture starts in the previous books, it is in A Dance with Dragons that it takes on a completely new meaning and effect. Theon Greyjoy is tortured to such a degree, that he takes on a completely new persona, the character of Reek, one that has been entirely constructed in the mould set by his suffering:

https://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/you-anymore-torture-theon-greyjoy/

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Tags:

The Issue Isn’t Trump—It’s Us 

On the day President Trump is inaugurated, thousands of writers in the United States will express their indignation. “In order for us to heal and move forward,” say Writers Resist, “we wish to bypass direct political discourse, in favour of an inspired focus on the future, and how we, as writers, can be a unifying force for the protection of democracy.”
http://m.truthdig.com/report/item/the_issue_is_not_trump_it_is_us_20170118

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 22, 2017 in North America

 

Tags:

Notorious Mercenary Erik Prince Is Advising Trump From the Shadows

Erik Prince, America’s most notorious mercenary, is lurking in the shadows of the incoming Trump administration. A former senior U.S. official who has advised the Trump transition told The Intercept that Prince has been advising the team on matters related to intelligence and defense, including weighing in on candidates for the Defense and State departments. The official asked not to be identified because of a transition policy prohibiting discussion of confidential deliberations.


On election night, Prince’s latest wife, Stacy DeLuke, posted pictures from inside Trump’s campaign headquarters as Donald Trump and Mike Pence watched the returns come in, including a close shot of Pence and Trump with their families. “We know some people who worked closely with [Trump] on his campaign,” DeLuke wrote. “Waiting for the numbers to come in last night. It was well worth the wait!!!! #PresidentTrump2016.” Prince’s sister, billionaire Betsy DeVos, is Trump’s nominee for education secretary and Prince (and his mother) gave large sums of money to a Trump Super PAC.

https://theintercept.com/2017/01/17/notorious-mercenary-erik-prince-is-advising-trump-from-the-shadows/

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 22, 2017 in North America

 

Tags:

Fake news sells because people want it to be true

When is a lie not a lie? Recently, the Daily Telegraph reported that university students had demanded that “philosophers such as Plato and Kant” be “removed from [the] syllabus because they are white”. Other outlets followed suit, wringing their hands over the censoriousness of today’s uninquiring young minds. The article generated an extraordinary amount of consternation click bait. Angry responses were written and hot takes were quick-fried and served up by outlets anxious  to join the dinner rush of  ad-friendly disapproval.

It’s a story that could have been designed to press every outrage button of the political-correctness-gone-mad brigade. It has students trying to ban things, an apparent lack of respect for independent thought and reverse racism. It seemed too good to be true.

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2017/01/fake-news-sells-because-people-want-it-be-true

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 22, 2017 in Reportages

 

Tags: ,

What I’ve witnessed in Turkey is an assault on democracy itself 

Democracy is a bundle of rights and freedoms wrestled from the powerful. Our rulers only surrender their power when compelled to – when the cost of resisting pressure from below becomes greater than the cost of giving ground to it.

But it is naive to regard these concessions as permanent. Elites are always waiting for opportunities to seize back their power. The ideal excuse is a national crisis, contrived or otherwise, normally involving an alliance of internal and external threats, all requiring drastic measures to defeat. The authoritarian rightwing populism sweeping the Western world skilfully exploits fear to drive back the borders of democracy.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/18/turkey-democracy-erdogan-trump-authoritarians

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 22, 2017 in Middle East

 

Tags:

Moderates are the real tough guys

As you know, it’s mandatory these days that the Anglophone world be obsessed by one Scandinavian lifestyle concept or another. In 2016 it was hygge, a Danish word that somehow simultaneously is a) untranslatable and b) means “cosiness” – and which last year was the topic of approximately two billion different coffee-table books (along with a splendid takedown in this newspaper by Charlotte Higgins, from which it should never recover). In 2017, the signs are that the Fashionable Scandinavian Concept will be lagom, a Swedish word meaning just the right amount; not too much, or too little. This moment in history – days before the inauguration of an unstable US president who rode to power on a wave of anger and conspiracy theories – might not seem hospitable to the spirit of moderation. But maybe that’s exactly why we need it.

Source: Moderates are the real tough guys | Life and style | The Guardian

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 20, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: ,

Obama’s Last Big Cuba Move

On Thursday, President Obama announced that he was scrapping the long-standing policy by which Cuban migrants arriving at U.S. borders were granted automatic access to the country, and eventual permanent-resident status. The measure, which had immediate effect, was in keeping with a dramatic series of executive actions that Obama has taken to solidify as many of his policies as possible, or to at least hinder their reversal by Donald Trump. The end of open-door entry to the United States for Cubans, called “wet foot, dry foot,” is intended both as a buttress to Obama’s historic rapprochement with Cuba—which Trump has recently threatened to tear up—and as a brake on the surge of Cubans flooding into the United States since a restoration of diplomatic relations was announced, in December, 2014.

Source: Obama’s Last Big Cuba Move – The New Yorker

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 20, 2017 in North America, South America

 

Tags: ,

Building the Institutions for Revolt

Politics is a game of fear. Those who do not have the ability to make power elites afraid do not succeed. All of the movements that opened up the democratic space in America—the abolitionists, the suffragists, the labor movement, the communists, the socialists, the anarchists and the civil rights movement—developed a critical mass and militancy that forced the centers of power to respond. The platitudes about justice, equality and democracy are just that. Only when power becomes worried about its survival does it react. Appealing to its better nature is useless. It doesn’t have one.We once had within our capitalist democracy liberal institutions—the press, labor unions, third political parties, civic and church groups, public broadcasting, well-funded public universities and a liberal wing of the Democratic Party—that were capable of responding to outside pressure from movements. They did so imperfectly. They provided only enough reforms to save the capitalist system from widespread unrest or, with the breakdown of capitalism in the 1930s, from revolution. They never addressed white supremacy and institutional racism or the cruelty that is endemic to capitalism. But they had the ability to address and ameliorate the suffering of working men and women.

Source: Chris Hedges: Building the Institutions for Revolt – Chris Hedges – Truthdig

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 20, 2017 in North America

 

Tags: