Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ethnic Kurds file class action in Baltimore against chemical makers

From the Maryland Daily Record :

Ben Mook
Daily Record Assistant Business Editor
9 Apr, 2009

Five survivors of the 1988 poison gas attacks of ethnic Kurds in Iraq have filed a class action lawsuit in Maryland claiming three American companies and the government of Iraq violated the Geneva Convention by using mustard and nerve gasses to kill tens of thousands of people.

Filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, the lawsuit says the companies supplied the regime of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein with the chemical precursors and compounds needed to make the poison gases used in the six-month long “Operation Anfal.”

One of the companies, Alcolac Inc., was headquartered in Baltimore at the time of the attacks but is now defunct. Some of its assets were acquired by a French firm, Rhodia Inc., which is mentioned in the complaint but not named as a defendant.

A spokesman for Rhodia, David Klucsik, said Alcolac was not acquired until 1989 - by a predecessor to Rhodia called Rhone-Poulenc. Rhodia, the chemicals arm of Rhone-Poulenc was spun off in 1998.

"Rhodia did not exist until 1998," Klucsik said. "And, Rhone-Poulenc had no awareness of the allegations against Alcolac because the acquisition didn't occur until 1989."

Kenneth McCallion of New York, the lead attorney in the case, told The Associated Press he filed the complaint in Maryland because all three companies have operations there and because Alcolac pleaded guilty in 1989 to knowingly violating export laws by shipping a mustard-gas ingredient that ultimately went to Iran.

The lawsuit accuses the companies — Alcolac; West Chester, Pa.-based VWR International LLC; and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. of Waltham, Mass. — of selling lab materials and chemicals used in the manufacture of chemical weapons. Valerie Collado, spokeswoman for VWR International, said the company does not comment on pending litigation.

The plaintiffs claim the use of mustard and nerve gases during the attacks is a clear violation of the Geneva Convention of 1925.

“The ban on the use of chemical weapons in warfare was respected even during the depths of World War II, when only Nazi Germany had sarin nerve gas,” the complaint says.

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Israel created 'terror without mercy' in Gaza

The Israeli military attacked civilians and medics and delayed - sometimes for hours - the evacuation of the injured during the January war in Gaza, according to an independent fact-finding mission commissioned by Israeli and Palestinian medical human rights groups.

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and the Palestinian Medical Relief Society yesterday said their findings showed Israel's military committed serious violations of international humanitarian law. In their 92-page report, compiled by five senior health experts from across the world, they documented several specific attacks, with interviews from 44 separate witnesses.

Human rights groups have accused Israel's military, as well as Palestinian militants in Gaza, of war crimes. "The underlying meaning of the attack on the Gaza Strip, or at least its final consequence, appears to be one of creating terror without mercy to anyone," the report said.

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Is a civilized and enlightened military possible?

From Middle East Online :

8 Apr, 2009

Has the US created a permanent war economy and de-enlightened warrior culture? Now that the US is ready to lead the world on nuclear disarmament, will it show the way and reform its army into a civilized and enlightened military? Asks Dallas Darling.

 
Years ago at Fort Riley, Kansas, home of the Big Red One, I can still recall having long discussions with a sergeant from the Vietnam Era. Since he was familiar with massacres and atrocities committed during the Vietnam Conflict (on both sides), we often discussed the Just War Theory and the differences between fighting an Offensive and Defensive War. Most of all though, we discussed if it was possible to be a soldier-indoctrinated and trained to kill and destroy the “enemy”-and still maintain a sense of humanitarian values and feeling in time of war. (In thinking back to Vietnam and the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, maybe the most important question was not in asking how would they greet us, but how would/did we greet them!)

I was reminded of our conversations for three reasons. First, three Iraqi brothers were recently killed in Mosul in a botched military raid. Several months ago a female editor for Iraq's Biladi TV was critically wounded when US troops opened fire. Again, US forces just killed a 12-year old girl in Hurriyah in northern Iraq when the driver of the car did not stop at a check-point. In Afghanistan, hundreds of innocent civilians have been killed due to faulty intelligence or being mistaken for suspected terrorists. Over the past several years, there have been other crimes like executions, stealing and rape committed by US forces against the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Second, the newly signed Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between Iraq and US military forces states that US forces are not supposed to do anything in Iraq without first coordinating with the Iraqi government or provincial leader. In other words, occupation forces can no longer have contact with Iraqi civilians, such as arrests or personal and home searches and seizures, until applying for an Iraqi court issued warrant. At the heart of the SOFA agreement is who has final jurisdiction over US troops and their behavior and actions: Iraq or the US? And what does this agreement mean for US forces?

Third, and since the United States prides itself on being founded on the principles of the Age of Enlightenment, remember that critical thinkers examined the military and concluded in an enlightened and civilized society a professional or standing army would be disbanded after a war was over. They also rejected the professional army in favor of a natural army composed of all able-bodied citizens, equal in arms and used only for defensive purposes. Enlightened thinkers too imagined militaries and war, along with their propaganda of killing, would eventually come to an end for a new peaceful and humanitarian way of thinking and living. (1)

Furthermore, reasoned individuals objected to monarchies in which kings held absolute power and used armies to preserve their power and suppress democratic dissent. They also denounced kings that continually enlarged their forces by grinding the people down to poverty and starvation. (Montesquieu advised the legislative body to be in complete control of the military versus a king or executor.) Other thinkers, like Voltaire, called soldiers hired thugs, murderers and the scum of the nation. (2) Philosophers believed militaries and wars impoverished people, leveled democracies, and depopulated the world.

Even Adam Smith, author of 'The Wealth of Nations', wrote that “Among the civilized nations of modern Europe…not more than one hundredth part of the inhabitants of any country can be employed as soldiers, without ruin to the country which pays the expense.” (3) He believed military budgets should equal only one percent of a nation's productive output. Smith considered large armies as the most unproductive organizations and their conquests as the greatest crimes. In truth, Smith believed large standing and professional armies would create enormous debts and bankrupt nations. (Today, for example, the US devotes 42 percent of its total product and employs some 12 percent of its labor force directly or indirectly to the armed forces and military production.)

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Greek 'Culture and the Left in the 20th century'


From MICHAEL :

Title of collection
Culture and the Left in the 20th century

Description

The digital archival collection “Culture and the Left in the 20th century” attempts to portray the relation between Greek left and art and culture during the 20th century (1900-1974): ideological trends, art movements, discussions on art and culture, literature, fine arts. The main objective of this archive was to focus on the discussions on culture and not on the works of art themselves. The vast majority of the selected material comes from newspapers, journals and books. The digital material is divided in three categories (publications, archival material, photographs), is incorporated in the database in a chronological order and is available to the public.

Legal status
Owned by the institution

Subject
Cultural anthropology; Cultural creation; Cultural differentiation; Cultural identity; National cultures; National history; Local history; Military history; Contemporary art; Fine arts; Photography; Plastic arts; Graphic arts; Cinema; Dance; Films; Music; Musical styles; Theatre; Museums; Leisure time activities; Clubs; Entertainment; Play; Sport; Tourism; Historical events; Cultural events; Migration; Black and ethnic minority groups

Time
Modern Greek period (19th – 20th century)

Places
GREECE

Culture
Western European; Νεοελληνικός

Language
Greek, Modern; English; French; Italian; German

Digital format
JPEG

Collection size
70.000 images


* Online database
Culture and the Left in the 20th century
Audience : academic research; formal education; general public; life-long learning; professional
Access conditions : Free access

Could the Greek gunman be part of an unfolding black op?

Without comment:

Greek society shocked at Renti shooting

A teenage gunman stormed into a vocational school at Renti, shot a fellow student seriously injuring him and went on to shoot two passers- by. After the shootings, the 19 year-old, Abkhazia national turned the gun on himself and later succumbed to his wounds. According to reports, two hand guns, a knife and bullets were found in his bag as well as a handwritten note indicating the reasons that led him to this action. The Greek society and the political world are shocked at the incident. The teenage student from Sokhumi, in Abhasia was determined to kill. He stormed into Renti vocational school holding two handguns shortly before 08:00 when all students were in the classroom and after having a short chat with his fellow student fired at him. Then he crossed to Renti industrial zone where he shot two passers-by after short talk with them. Next he went to a near by park where he turned the gun on himself. Both the gunman and the injured student were taken to hospital and were immediately operated.
The gunman succumbed to his wounds during surgery while his fellow student is in critical condition at the intensive care ward. The two passers (a 47 year old Albanian national and a 30 year old Greek national by are in hospital but their life is not at risk.
A hand written note in his pocket said that he would indiscriminately shoot at anybody whom he would meet on April, 10. He also says that he was tired of being mocked by fellow students.


Greek society and political world shocked at incident

The tragic incident naturally shocked public opinion in Greece and gave rise to reactions from the political world.
His fellow students portrayed him as a lonely and melancholic person while a psychologist, who spoke with his mother and brother, stressed that his relatives maintained that he had never faced a mental problem.
Employment Minister Fani Palli Petralia, who visited the school at noon, expressed her grief over the incident, stressing that such incidents are foreign to Greek youth and society.
International mass media has given extensive coverage to the tragic incident.



Breaking the Greek Example: Gunmen fire on police in Athens

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars
January 5, 2009


In order to break the back of the non-violent Greek resistance, an Operation Gladio false flag attack is unfolding in Athens. “Unknown gunmen shot and seriously wounded a policeman in Athens on Monday, the second such attack since police shot dead a teenager last month prompting Greece’s worst riots in decades,” reports MSNBC. “At least two assailants repeatedly fired weapons at a group of riot police guarding the Culture Ministry in the central Athens Exarchia district where the 15-year-old was killed on Dec. 6.”



stock market


The political and social rebellion in Greece, directed primarily against the neoliberal bankers and their race to the bottom globalist agenda and known popularly as the "Greek Example," is proving to be an immense embarrassment for the elite.




Although no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, the Greek government said “it bore the hallmarks of a Dec. 23 attack on a police bus which a new leftist group said it staged to protest the teenager’s killing.” In that attack, an unidentified man shot at a bus carrying 19 police officers near a university campus in eastern Athens, according to Al Jazeera. “A police official, who asked not to be identified, said the shots were believed to come from the campus.”

Police are forbidden from entering the Athens Polytechnic University. On November 17, 1973, military dictator Georgios Papadopoulos sent the army to crush a demonstration on the university. A tank crashed through the university gates, killing 24 students.
The Greek military junta of 1967 was engineered by the CIA and NATO. Following a NATO plan to supposedly neutralize a communist uprising, the Greek military seized the government, declared martial law, and rounded up students, politicians and public figures.”Martial law, censorship, arrests, beatings, torture, and killings are all part of the cure the colonels have in mind for Greece,” writes the History of Greece website. “The police and soldiers who do the actual torturing do it with impunity, declaring to their victims that they have the USA and NATO behind them.”

The Greek police and their globalist taskmasters would like to re-enter the university and break the back of the resistance. “Conversations with those inside the university revealed a mix of students, older anarchists and immigrants protesting everything from police brutality to globalization to American imperialism,” the International Herald Tribune reported on December 14. “Administrators say that evicting the anarchists now, especially after the protests of the past week, would entail a police operation they are unwilling to undertake for fear of instigating further violence or destruction.” The police are forbidden to enter the university under an asylum law unless invited by administrators.

The political and social rebellion in Greece, directed primarily against the neoliberal bankers and their race to the bottom globalist agenda and known popularly as the “Greek Example,” is proving to be an immense embarrassment for the elite.
In order to contrive an excuse to enter the university and destroy the rebellion, it appears agents provocateurs are being dispatched and are now firing on police.

NATO and the CIA carried out similar covert operations during Operation Gladio. “First revealed by Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti in 1991, Gladio (from the Latin for “sword”) is still protected to this day by its founding patrons, the CIA and MI6,” writes Chris Floyd. “Originally set up as a network of clandestine cells to be activated behind the lines in the event of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe, Gladio quickly expanded into a tool for political repression and manipulation, directed by NATO and Washington. Using right-wing militias, underworld figures, government provocateurs and secret military units, Gladio not only carried out widespread terrorism, assassinations and electoral subversion in democratic states such as Italy, France and West Germany, but also bolstered fascist tyrannies in Spain and Portugal, abetted the military coup in Greece and aided Turkey’s repression of the Kurds. ”

From Wikipedia:
When Greece joined NATO in 1952, the country’s special forces, the LOK (Lochoi Oreinōn Katadromōn, i.e. “Mountain Raiding Companies”) were integrated into the European stay-behind network. The CIA and LOK reconfirmed on March 25, 1955 their mutual co-operation in a secret document signed by US General Trascott for the CIA, and Konstantinos Dovas, chief of staff of the Greek military. In addition to preparing for a Soviet invasion, the CIA instructed LOK to prevent a leftist coup. Former CIA agent Philip Agee, who was sharply criticized in the US for having revealed sensitive information, insisted that “paramilitary groups, directed by CIA officers, operated in the sixties throughout Europe [and he stressed that] perhaps no activity of the CIA could be as clearly linked to the possibility of internal subversion.”
LOK was involved in the CIA engineered military junta of 1967 and a Gladio program known as Operation Sheepskin operated in Greece until 1988, a fact admitted by the Greek defense minister after Gladio revelations by Italian politician Giulio Andreotti.
Of course, the CIA and NATO do not simply close up shop on successful operations. A latter day Gladio covert operation is obviously required in Greece due to the success of the rebellion in that country — a popular rebellion against the New World Order and its neoliberal agenda. The Greek Example will not be allowed to spread across Europe, in particular to Macedonia, Italy, France, where large protests against the WTO and the IMF are gaining momentum and glean inspiration from the rebellion in Greece.

It is particularly crucial at this moment for the banking elite to roll out the tanks and unleash paramilitary police. In December, the IMF warned of impending economic riots and the U.S. Army War College released a report suggesting the Pentagon would be required to deploy troops inside the United States. “Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security,” said the War College report.
In other words, priorities “in extremis” will need to be reoriented as millions of people react to the globalist plan to reduce the planet to a slave labor gulag.

Counterrevolution: the Greek example

- response to John Newsinger, author of "Counterrevolution: The Malayan Example", Monthly Review, Feb 94

Monthly Review ,  Oct, 1994   by Andreas P. Contogouris 

Dear Professor Newsinger:

I read with great interest and no little emotion your article "Counterrevolution: The Malayan Example" in the February 1994 issue of Monthly Review. I was struck by a number of similarities between the events in 1945 (British return to Malaya) and events in Greece in late October 1944, when the German occupation army left the country; similarities between the attitudes of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) and the Communist Party of Greece (CPG); and between the subsequent British policies in the two countries.

In Greece, during the Second World War, the British had to some extent, allied themselves with the National Liberation Front (NLF), which was created, organized, and directed mainly by the CPG. With the end of the German occupation the NLF (and thus the CPG) was the undisputed master of the country, its prestige among and support by the people was immense. It would have been a trivial matter for the CPG to seize power and prevent the first British units from landing. Instead, in the big demonstrations organized by the CPG that flooded Athens in October 1944, the British soldiers were cheered and carried on the shoulders of the demonstrators, and there were as many British flags as there were Greek, Soviet, and American flags. I was an eyewitness (then a young child) to these events, and I challenge anyone to deny them.

During November 1944 a number of aggressions by Greek rightists took place. At the end of the month there was a clear violation of agreements with the NLF. The violation was committed by the overwhelmingly center-to-right government; apparently Leaper, the Ambassador of England in Athens, bears a heavy responsibility.(1) The culmination of rightist aggression came on December 3, 1944, in Athens with an attack by the rightist police against unarmed NLF demonstrators who were protesting against the violation; many were killed.(2) Subsequently the NLF militia took certain limited steps toward resistance. In the meantime the British were bringing reinforcements. Nevertheless, the rule of the government and the British was still confined in a small part of the center of Athens; in the rest of the city and the country the NLF was the absolute master. At that time (beginning of December 1944) a more decisive action by the NLF could have easily thrown the British and their collaborators into the Aegean Sea. This action never came. Then at the order of the British commander General Scoby, the British tanks (Sherman) and Spitfire airplanes started attacking the NLF militia in Athens. And on the evening of December 27, 1944, after a general onslaught on the eastern suburbs of Athens, no less than three blocks of slum houses were burning in flames in Kaissariani, one of the poorest districts of the city.

Subsequently, as in Malaya, the British allied themselves with some of the most reactionary elements of Greek society, including several former collaborators of the Germans.

Among the several lessons one can deduce from your article I would like to point out the following: Suppose for a moment that the Malayan left was aware of the October-December 1944 events in Greece (I am well aware of the then practical difficulties for such and awareness). Then I could reasonably expect that their policies in Malaya would have been less naive. Thus the lesson is that awareness of significant events on an international scale is a must for any left-wing movement. To cite another example, the 1967 putsch of the colonels in Greece took place after the 1965 putsch in Indonesia (of course, Suharto had to be far more bloody) and a similar putsch in Brazil against Goulart. To anyone who was aware of major international events it was plausible that the then U.S. policies were not unfavorable to military dictatorships. Unfortunately, part of the Greek left (and much of the Greek political spectrum) was not aware at all.

Being granted that such an awareness is a must, our gratitude should be expressed to the editors of Monthly Review. At least in this respect, the journal consistently plays a very useful, major role; and, as a rule, in its pages, accounts of events are accompanied by a careful and deep analysis. "History does not repeat itself exactly, but it has a way of recurring";(3) and it severely punishes those who ignore it.

With friendly regards, Andreas P. Contogouris

NOTES

(1.)For a thorough and well-documented account of the events see N. Stavrianos, Greece: American Dilemma and Opportunity.

(2.)Ibid.

(3.)Ronald Frazer, Blood of Spain (New York: Pantheon Books, 1979).


COPYRIGHT 1994 Monthly Review Foundation, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group


Andreas P. Contogouris "Counterrevolution: the Greek example - response to John Newsinger, author of "Counterrevolution: The Malayan Example", Monthly Review, Feb 94". Monthly Review. FindArticles.com. 10 Apr, 2009.

Top 25 censored stories for 2009

From Project Censored :


Green Porno


Actor/director Isabella Rossellini talks about her short films GREEN PORNO premiering at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.
http://www.sundancechannel.com/festival



Isabella Rossellini's bizarre and hilarious look at sex in the natural world, as she explores the mating habits of snails. FIND OUT WHAT KIND OF GREEN PORNO STAR YOU ARE AT:
http://www.sundancechannel.com/greenporno

Athens Airport: death, redundacies, corruption and the pretext of economic crisis

An athens indymedia article, translated roughly by clandestinenglish.

The J&P-ΑΒΑΞ Α.Ε. business group operating at the Eleftherios Venizelos Airport has sacked 42 people, both Greek and immigrants, who had been employed by the company in cleaning services. They were dismissed with summary procedures on the pretext of the economic crisis, of course.  They all had completed three years at the job and were all anticipating the increase in wages  the law foresees. Instead , they were made redundant en masse.

Now the German holding company, which is infamous for bribing officials to undertake the project of cleaning services at the airport, Hochtief, is about to make recruitments of new unspeacialised workers from the pool of unemployed. So much for the pretext of the economic crisis making people redundant.

At the same airport, 7 people have lost their lives in the construction site for the new shopping mall. At the same airport workers are intimidated and humiliated by corporate bosses. For those who do not know it, one day before the criminal assault against Kuneva, a worker from Albania lost both his legs, his left hand and his genital organs, because J&P-ΑΒΑΞ Α.Ε. forced him to clean up the suburban railway lines at the airport without first turning off the power line. The company prevented workers by reporting the incident through intimidation and blackmail.

At the airport everyday crimes are commited.

We must not leave our fellow workers alone.

Solidarity.


~ clandestinenglish ~


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