A report by Jeremy Scahill in The Nation revealed that the largest mercenary army in the world, Blackwater (later called Xe Services and more recently “Academi”) clandestine intelligence services was sold to the multinational Monsanto. Blackwater was renamed in 2009 after becoming famous in the world with numerous reports of abuses in Iraq, including massacres of civilians. It remains the largest private contractor of the U.S. Department of State “security services,” that practices state terrorism by giving the government the opportunity to deny it.
If one man has a dollar he didn’t work for, another man worked for a dollar he didn’t get.
For those of you who didn’t see it, the USA tried to use the Organization of American States (traditionally a US-puppet organization) to promote intervention in Venezuela. Instead, an OAS resolution passed supporting President Maduro’s peace initiative by a 29-3 margin; Panamá was the only Latin…
White privilege is being the #1 consumers of welfare, food stamps, general government aid, and illegal drugs, but STILL blaming POC for all of those things as well as incarcerating them at an exponentially higher rate.
Mar. 3 2014
The Washington Post’s Feb. 19 article about the recent spate of unrest in Venezuela took a breathlessly laudatory stance towards the opposition against President Nicolás Maduro. The opening paragraphs offer a good indication of its tenor:
Leopoldo López, the defiant Venezuelan opposition leader taken into custody Tuesday in front of thousands of anti-government protesters, spent last night in a prison on a military base.
But even there, the government couldn’t shut him up….
It was the kind of passionate, personal appeal and call to action that showed exactly why the Harvard-educated López has been at the center of the most serious challenge yet to the struggling Maduro, successor to the late Hugo Chávez.
The piece continues in a similarly effusive manner throughout; but what’s most interesting about it are the sources which the authors choose to cite as impartial experts. Not only do they appear hostile to the Venezuelan government and supportive of the opposition, they also appear to have serious, unstated conflicts of interest that cast doubt on the integrity of the Washington Post‘s entire reportage on this issue.
At one point, the article quotes Michael Shifter “president of Inter-American Dialogue, a think-tank in Washington”, as giving the following analysis of the situation: “López is saying, ‘this is intolerable, let’s not be resigned to it.’… He felt this wasd his moment to act, to take to the streets.” Going further, the piece also quotes Moisés Naím – omitting to mention that he too is a member of the Inter-American Dialogue – excoriating the previous opposition leader for not going far enough in challenging Maduro when he had the opportunity.
What the authors failed to explain is that the Inter-American Dialogue is a think-tank whose members happen to include several officials from Venezuela’s previous government – the same one deposed by Hugo Chavez’s Bolivarian Revolution. Even more distressingly, the Dialogue counts among its funders organizations such as Exxon Mobil, Chevron, the U.S. government through USAID, and the embassies of Canada, Mexico and Guatemala among others.
That these groups have distinct political and financial interests in Venezuela casts some doubt on the impartiality of the viewpoints their funded analysts produce. Indeed, a 2006 diplomatic cable revealed by WikiLeaks uncovered the fact that U.S. officials were planning to implement a “5-point strategy” to undermine the Chavez government, specifically using USAID as a means to accomplish this. That USAID also happens to be a prime funder of the Inter-American Dialogue raises some serious questions about its unstated mission in the country.
A Health Ministry inspector poured bleach over pots full of food in a Sudanese restaurant in Tel Aviv Sunday night.
The inspector, from the ministry’s district office for Tel Aviv, was participating in a raid by police and municipal inspectors on illegal businesses owned by African migrants. Altogether, the raid shut down 10 businesses in the city’s Neveh Sha’anan neighborhood, confiscating their equipment and welding the doors shut. The equipment was then loaded onto vans by other African migrants who had been hired as contract workers.
Many diners saw the inspector pouring bleach on the food, and one, asylum-seeker Aladin Abaker from Sudan’s Darfur region, posted photos of the incident on his Facebook page. He also described his feelings of humiliation.
“Everyone − except the destroyers − was in tears from the humiliation,” he wrote. “The waitress told us, ‘I’ve seen very harsh things in my life, like torture in Sinai, but this humiliated me more than what happened to me in Sinai.”
Abaker accused the inspector of “insensitivity to people and their culture, which sees food as a sacred thing that must be respected,” and said the raid was aimed at “embittering our lives so we’ll return to Africa ‘voluntarily.’”
Altogether, he said, more than 200 kilograms of meat, chicken and fish and over 500 prepared meals were destroyed.
The inspectors said they didn’t know where the meat came from and therefore feared for the diners’ health, Abaker wrote. “We told them: But this is the only place we’ve eaten all our meals for four years now, and none of us ever had stomach problems. Even whites eat here.”
The Health Ministry responded that inspectors had discovered “deplorable sanitary conditions, food stored under unsuitable conditions and temperatures, and food from unknown sources. In order to preserve the public’s health and that of the diners themselves, it was decided to destroy the food immediately. As part of the process of destroying the food, chemicals suitable to this purpose are used. It should be noted that this was a routine process of food destruction that is no different from other destructions of food/meat.”
Tel Aviv’s deputy city manager, Ruby Zelof, said the raids were carried out “to eradicate the undesirable phenomenon of businesses operating illegally, with sanitation and safety problems and illegal connections to electricity and water, and sales of alcoholic beverages without permits.”
Haaretz | Photo credit: Aladin Abaker
Knesset Member Miri Regev — a member of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud Party — called the refugees “a cancer in our body” and Danny Danon — also a Likud Knesset Member — wrote on his Facebook page referring to the Africans as “infiltrators”. Interior Minister Eli Yishai said the African asylum seekers threaten “the Zionist dream,” adding, “Jobs will root them here.”
- Why is the birth rate in Israel’s Ethiopian community declining? Ethiopian women who immigrated to Israel were coaxed into agreeing to injections of long-acting birth control drugs, or told they would not be allowed into the country
- Israeli woman has her photo taken with Africans, titles the Facebook album: “Late night tour of the Tel Aviv Safari”, captions the photo: “There are no signs forbidding taking pictures with the animals. There were no signs that forbid feeding, but we passed on that.”
For my foreign policy class, I have to read “Nation Building: The Inescapable Responsibility of the World’s Only Superpower” by James Dobbins and serve as a discussant.
Apparently, Wisconsin wants to start putting “choose life” on their license plates. I am so fucking disgusted. I just started getting over my offensive bumper sticker road rage (mostly; I still get really pissed when I see a swastika) and now I have to deal with seeing this shit on every other car. I can’t wait to get out of here.
The violence epidemic: Half of women in Britain admit they have been physically or sexually assaulted according to shocking new figures
Around one in two women in Britain have been physically or sexually assaulted, according to the world’s biggest ever report into abuse suffered by women.
Mar. 6 2014
The top Army prosecutor for sexual assault cases has been suspended after a lawyer who worked for him recently reported he’d groped her and tried to kiss her at a sexual-assault legal conference more than two years ago.
Two separate sources with knowledge of the situation told Stars and Stripes that the Army is investigating the allegations levied against Lt. Col. Joseph “Jay” Morse, who supervised the Army’s nearly two dozen special victim prosecutors — who are in charge of prosecuting sexual assault, domestic abuse and crimes against children.
Attempts to reach Morse via phone and email for comment have thus far been unsuccessful.
Morse was removed from his job when the allegations came to light, one source said. To date, no charges have been filed in the case.
The suspension comes at a time the military is dealing with rising reports of sexual assault.
Morse, chief of the Trial Counsel Assistance Program at Fort Belvoir, Va., was responsible for Army prosecutorial training and assistance worldwide. He also was lead prosecutor in the case against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who pleaded guilty to the mass murder of 16 Afghan civilians in 2012.
Sources told Stars and Stripes that the Army lawyer alleged that Morse attempted to kiss and grope her against her will. The alleged assault reportedly took place in a hotel room at a 2011 sexual assault legal conference attended by special victims prosecutors in Alexandria, Va., before he was appointed as chief of the Trial Counsel Assistance Program.
The lawyer reported the incident in mid-February, and Morse was suspended shortly thereafter, according to one source.
An Army official who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter confirmed an investigation was underway.