Archive for November, 2011

Gassing the revolution: The US origins of Tahrir’s tears

November 25, 2011

The liberal use of US-manufactured tear gas on protesters in recent days has raised questions about its public health effects – and who is actually ordering its use

Ahmed Feteha, Michael Gunn, Ahram Online, Thursday 24 Nov 2011
Tear gas

A protester displays gas canisters as tears stream down his face on Saturday, 19 November (Photo: Mosa’ab Elshamy)

Egyptian security forces are digging deeper into their budget with each volley of increasingly fatal US-made tear gas they launch at demonstrators.

The human cost of the violent crackdown in central Cairo is increasingly clear — among the 39 fatalities reported to date, several are said to have died of asphyxiation caused by tear gas.

But the financial background to the use of crowd control weapons raises questions about the extent of Washington’s financial assistance to Egypt’s military and how this might filter down to the ministry of interior.

The USA is the biggest arms supplier to Egypt, providing an average of US$1.3 billion in military and law equipment every year since 2000.

Records from the US Department of State show the US supplied $1.7 million of “toxicological agents” — “including tear gases and riot control agents” — to Egypt in 2010.

This was the largest dispatch of such agents in at least 10 years.

In 2009, the US supplied 33,000 units of ‘tear gas and riot control agents’ worth $460,000. It did not supply in 2007 nor 2008, but gave 17,000 units worth $240,000 in 2006, documents show.

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Fallujah Remembered by a US Marine who Helped Destroy it in 2004

November 25, 2011

By Ross Caputi,, Nov 24, 21011


Fallujah, Iraq – December 2004

It has been seven years since the 2nd siege of Fallujah — the American assault that left the city in ruins, killed thousands of civilians, and displaced hundreds-of-thousands more — the assault that poisoned a generation, plaguing the people who live there with cancers and their children with birth defects.

It has been seven years and the lies that justified the assault still perpetuate false beliefs about what we did.

The American veterans who fought there still do not understand who they fought against, or what they were fighting for.

I know, because I am one of those American veterans.

In the eyes of many of the people I “served” with, the people of Fallujah remain dehumanized and their resistance fighters are still believed to be terrorists. But unlike most of my counterparts, I understand that I was the aggressor, and that the resistance fighters in Fallujah were defending their city.

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Stephen Lendman: Another New York Bomb Plot: Real or Fake?

November 25, 2011

By, Nov  25, 2011

 This accusation smells as bad as previous ones that were spurious.

Post-9/11, America waged war on Islam. Innocent victims are targeted for political advantage. They’re called fundamentalists, extremists, terrorists and fanatics.

Why Muslims when, in fact, Islam teaches love, not hate; peace, not violence; charity, not selfishness; and tolerance, not terrorism.

Who knows though in today’s climate of hate and fear at a time America wages global wars on Islam, including at home.

Perhaps Jose Pimental (aka Muhammad Yusaf) is the latest entrapped Muslim in a plot he never planned or intended. So far, it’s unclear.

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Bush/Blair Convicted of War Crimes at Tribunal That’s Symbolic But Still More Than We’ve Accomplished

November 24, 2011, Nov 22, 2011

George Bush and Tony Blair have been found guilty at the symbolic Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal of committing “crimes against peace” during the Iraq war. An initiative by Malaysia’s former premier Mahathir Mohamad, the ruling came after a two-year investigation and four-day hearing. The tribunal is also expected to later hear torture and war crimes charges against seven others, including Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.

“Unlawful use of force threatens the world to return to a state of lawlessness. The acts of the accused were unlawful.”

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HRW: Egypt: Protesters’ Blood on the Military Leadership’s Hands

November 24, 2011

Violence, Delays in Transfer of Power Fuels Protesters’ Rage

Human Rights Watch, November 22, 2011
  • Bodies on ground after military police break up a peaceful sit-in on Sunday, November 20.
    © 2011 Anjali Kamat
Related Audio:
  • Human Rights Watch’s Heba Morayef reports from Tahrir Square, where violence has erupted as protesters oppose Egypt’s military rule.

With parliamentary elections a week away, the military rulers are facing a serious crisis of confidence because of their management of the transition. It has not yet learned the most basic lesson of the January uprising: that Egyptians have and know they have a right to peaceful protest, which repressing a demonstration with brute force cannot take away.

Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch

(New York) – Egypt’s military rulers should immediately order riot police to stop using excessive force against protesters and to reduce their presence in the areas surrounding Tahrir Square to a level that allows for the maintenance of security while permitting free assembly, Human Rights Watch said today. Riot police and military officers have shot live ammunition and rubber bullets into the crowd, beaten protesters and otherwise used excessive force in the demonstrations that began in Cairo on November 19, 2011, according to numerous accounts from witnesses.

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Slanting the Case on Iran’s Nukes

November 24, 2011

Special Report: The U.S. news media shows no skepticism as it accepts the toughly worded report by the International Atomic Energy Agency on Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program. Ignored is the fact that the IAEA’s new chief appears to have joined the U.S./Israel camp, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry, Consortium News, Nov 21, 2011

As Washington’s political/media class rises up in arms over new WMD allegations against Iran, it might be worth recalling how a similar process played out nearly a decade ago when the U.S. public was drawn into a war with Iraq. It wasn’t just that George W. Bush told some lies; it was more complicated than that.

In 2002-2003, Official Washington professed a deep faith in the professionalism of the CIA’s analytical division, which accepted enough of the bogus intelligence being pushed by neocon war hawks to create a basis for Bush’s invasion of Iraq. Only later did it become clear how politicized the CIA’s analysis had become.

Today, a similar role is being played by the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency, which – during the run-up to war with Iraq and under different management – was one of the few international bodies with the courage to reject some of Bush’s claims about Iraq.

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Israeli desert plan would uproot 30,000 Bedouin

November 24, 2011

By Allyn Fisher-Ilan,,  Nov 23, 2011

AL-ARAKIB, Israel (Reuters) — Bulldozed by Israel more than two dozen times, a village known by Bedouin Arabs as al-Arakib is one of many ramshackle desert communities whose names have never appeared on any official map.

If Israel’s parliament adopts proposed new legislation, it never will.

The plan to demolish more Bedouin homes in the southern Negev region and move 30,000 people to government-authorized villages connected to power and water lines has been hailed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “historic opportunity” to improve Bedouin lives.

But Israeli Arab leaders, who have long complained about discrimination against their community in Israel, call it “ethnic cleansing,” and aim to thwart the project with protests, a general strike and appeals to the United Nations to intervene.

I will never leave here, I intend to stay until I die,” said Abu-Madyam, 46, a farmer from al-Arakib.

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The All-Out Hypocrisy Of Arab League And The West

November 24, 2011

By Kourosh Ziabari, Veterans Today, Nov 23, 2011

After the Arab League hypocritically suspended the membership of Syria amid the mounting pressures of NATO and the United States, the resurgence of violence in Egypt and the increasing use of excessive force in Bahrain and Yemen and the unrelenting massacre of innocent civilians by the barbaric regime of Al Khalifa and Ali Abdullah Saleh once again attracted the attention of conscientious observers in the international community.

According to official figures released by the “Bahrain Center for Human Rights” website, so far 44 Bahraini citizens were killed at the hands of the mercenaries of Al Khalifa regime. The Bahraini martyrs include the 6-year-old Mohammed Farhan, 14-year-old Ali Jawad Alshaikh and 15-year-old Sayed Ahmad Saeed Shams. The Bahraini organization has reported that many of these martyrs were killed while in custody. The Center has also published documents indicating that more than 1,500 Bahrainis including about 100 women were incarcerated since the eruption of turmoil in the Persian Gulf country on February 14, 2011 and that more that 90 journalists face life threat.

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THAILAND: Twenty years in prison for four SMS messages

November 24, 2011

AHRC, Nov 24, 2011


Statement : The Asian Human Rights Commission wishes to express grave concern over the latest conviction and sentence of a person in Thailand for a crime of freedom of expression. On 23 November 2011, in Black Case No. 311/2554, Ampon Tangnoppakul (also known as ‘Arkong’), a 61-year-old man, was sentenced to twenty years in prison for four alleged violations of Article 112 of the Thai Criminal Code and the 2007 Computer Crimes Act. Ampon’s crime was to allegedly send four SMS messages to Somkiat Klongwattanasak, personal secretary of the former prime minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva. iLaw, a Thai legal NGO, reported that the four SMS messages were alleged by the authorities to contain vulgar language and to defame the Thai queen and to insult the honor of the monarchy. . .

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Israeli Settlers Attack Palestinians with Impunity

November 24, 2011

By ,, Nov 23, 2011

Israeli authorities do nothing to stop settler attacks.

Palestinians are doubly cursed. Israel’s military attacks them regularly. During the past week alone, Israeli air strikes killed four Gazans, wounding another 14.

Al-Nabi Saleh village residents participating in a peaceful demonstration were assaulted. Two injuries were reported, including a child. Israel’s navy arrested three Palestinian fishermen, confiscating their boats.

Their security forces conducted 91 incursions (13 a day on average) into Palestinian communities, arresting 14 civilians. One injury was reported.

Israeli security forces raided homes of recently released Palestinian prisoners. They were ordered to appear for questioning to harass and perhaps re-incarcerate them.

 In addition, Palestinian property was attacked, bulldozed, otherwise destroyed or damaged.

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