Monthly Archives: October 2010

I Rescind Your Medal of Honour

So, the new “Medal of Honour” game allows you to fight as the Talibans or some other insurgent types, but after long discussions (probably two hours), they have been rebranded as “Opposing Forces”.

A lot of politicians made a huge issue about this a while back, including Dr. Fox, reason being it’s wrong to glamorise the Talibans by having them kill British soldiers….funny that it’s an American game….American soldiers….contractors….mercenaries….good guys….eh….bad guys?

Anyway, it got me thinking if the Afghan people had any say on the matter or are they the invisible families in the homes that the programmers at game developer Electronic Arts felt it’s OK to blow up?

Whether you’re a politirician or games developer, you’re a war profiteer who is propagandising and exploiting the war – this time the battlefield is for your childrens’ minds.

This is a perfect example of the double standards that prevail within the corporate media industry.

There’s no uproar when games are made where you get points for blowing up mosques.

So you can take your medals and shove ’em where the sun don’t shine, this soldier ain’t having none of it, war is no video game….word to Rambo.

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Filed under Afghanistan, Arts & Media, British Soldiers, Great Britain, Western Hypocrisy

Caught on camera: BBC’s Nick Robinson losing it

Cameraphone video of the BBC’s political editor trashing an anti-war protester’s sign on College Green yesterday.

Nick responded with;

“I am a great believer in free speech but I also care passionately about being able to do my job reporting and analysing one of the most important political stories for years.”

Really Nick?

You may have convinced your self in your own mind that you are “reporting and analysing one of the most important political stories for years”. But this is delusional; you are essentially a propaganda mouthpiece reporting what those in power say and do.

You’ve admitted as much:

“In the run-up to the conflict, I and many of my colleagues, were bombarded with complaints that we were acting as mouthpieces for Mr Blair. Why, the complainants demanded to know, did we report without question his warning that Saddam was a threat? Hadn’t we read what Scott Ritter had said or Hans Blix? I always replied in the same way. It was my job to report what those in power were doing or thinking. Elsewhere on our bulletins we did report those who questioned the truth of what we were being told.

“That is all someone in my sort of job can do. We are not investigative reporters. We do not have expertise in weapons systems or intelligence. We report on politics. Yet we are imbued – rightly or wrongly – with authority to speak on a vast range of subjects. Now, more than ever before, I can see why my reporting angered those who opposed the war. Now, more than ever before, I will pause before relaying what those in power say. Now, more than ever, I will try to examine the contradictory case.”

Reporting and analysing huh Nick?

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Filed under Free Speech, Great Britain, Humour, Media Unspeak, UK politics, War

Israel declares war on its people – The result of the “Citizenship” oath.

I reported on how Israel was forcing it’s Muslim, Christian and all non Jewish citizens to undertake an oath to the Jewish nation. I followed this up yesterday with the dire consequences this so called “law of citizenship” would have.

I want you all to see exactly what happens when the people refuse to abide by these fascist laws.

Israeli forces have razed the Bedouin village of Al Arakib in the north Negev five times since last July, sparking cries of ethnic cleansing and leaving more than 300 Bedouin homeless.

But determined residents, along with a handful of Jewish activists, continue to rebuild.

The government claims that Al Arakib was abandoned and, as such, belongs to the state. Israel calls the Bedouin squatters who “infiltrate” the area and settle it illegally. According to the state, these people must be removed to make way for a forest to be planted by the Jewish National Fund.

It calls the Bedouin “squatters” who “infiltrate” the area and settle it illegally.

Villagers, some of whom hold Ottoman-era deeds to the property, say that the Israeli army asked them to leave temporarily in 1951. Believing that they would be able to move back, they left.

But the Bedouin continued to cultivate the village land, harvesting pomegranates, olive and other produce. And more than a decade ago, they rooted themselves in Al Arakib once again, building houses and families.

Just days before the village was destroyed for the first time, Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, spoke of his fears of the Negev becoming “a region without a Jewish majority”.

Oren Yiftachel, a geography and urban studies professor, says the plight of the residents of Al Arakib “serves as a reminder that citizenship in Israel is very unequal”.

This story is emblematic of the Palestinian struggle; it also touches on questions about Israel’s treatment of it’s non-Jewish citizens.

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Filed under Islamophobia, Israel, No Justice No Peace, Palestine, Racism, Zionism

Israel’s “law of citizenship” will have dire consequences

The definition of Israel as “Jewish and democratic” already means that the ethnically cleansed Palestinian minority are confirmed as being second-class citizens under the apartheid regime in Tel Aviv. Following on from last weeks’ piece “I declare loyalty to the Jewish state, its leaders & commanders of the Jewish army” I decided to see what the real consequences of this loyalty oath would mean.

On Sunday 10 October, the Israeli cabinet voted in favour of an amendment to the country’s “Law of Citizenship”, supporting a proposal that would require non-Jews seeking to become citizens to swear allegiance to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic” state. This comes at a time when the Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, continues to insist that Palestinians must “recognise Israel as a Jewish state” in the context of the faltering negotiations.

One of the reasons for the Palestinian rejection of this demand is the situation of the Palestinian minority in Israel (around 20 per cent). By coincidence, just two days before the cabinet vote, Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a press release on the plight of Dahmash, an “unrecognised” Palestinian village 20km from Tel Aviv, sandwiched between Lod and Ramle. Here in microcosm is what Israel “as a Jewish state” has always meant for its Palestinian minority.

Dahmash has been inhabited since at least 1951, and its residents are Israeli citizens. Yet Israeli authorities “refuse to rezone the land as residential” — despite doing so for land nearby — and “refuse to provide basic services such as paved roads, sewage, health facilities, kindergartens, and schools”. Moreover, “the authorities consider almost every one of the 70 houses ‘illegal’, and 13 are under threat of demolition”.

The people in Dahmash are thus faced with the same daily emergency as the tens of thousands of Palestinians living in “unrecognised villages” in Israel, as I saw for myself when I visited in July.

Ironically, some of Dahmash’s residents were given the land by the state “as compensation for lands from which they had been displaced” in 1948 “to which the Israeli government prohibited them from returning”. Since then, however, officials have refused to “zone Dahmash for residential construction”.

“Many towns and neighbourhoods in central Israel, including the new residential development bordering Dahmash, were also originally zoned for agricultural use, but authorities rezoned those lands to allow them to expand and created plans that permitted residential construction. Neither regional nor national authorities have provided such a plan for Dahmash. In the last few years both Ramle and Lod have constructed residential complexes restricted to military career personnel and religious Jews.”

The case of Dahmash highlights the important role played by both national and local planning mechanisms in maintaining Israel’s regime of control and segregation. In the words of HRW’s deputy Middle East director, “the 600 people of Dahmash are treated as if they don’t exist, while Jewish towns are developed nearby in a way that threatens Dahmash residents’ access to their homes and lands”.

Nor is Dahmash is an isolated case. In a recent Ha’aretz article on the Galilee, we read how “the goals of the hilltop Jewish communities” in the region — according to a member of the Jewish Agency hilltop planning team — are “to prevent Arabs from ‘taking over’ government lands, keep Arab villages from attaining territorial continuity and attract a ‘strong’ population to the Galilee”.

Twenty-nine Jewish communities, most of them cooperative, were built in Misgav from 1978-1988. The regional council also includes six existing Bedouin communities, whose conditions are light years removed from the Jewish ones. The Arab towns in the area do not belong to the council.

But it’s not just a problem of land zoning for existing communities: as HRW describes, since 1948 “more than 900 Jewish villages and cities have been established in Israel, while the only new Arab towns allowed in 60 years have been seven towns that the government planned and constructed for Bedouin residents of the Negev”. In a country that presents itself as the region’s only democracy, the only new Arab towns in 60 years are half a dozen townships built as part of a “relocation” drive.

Ramle’s mayor, Yoel Lavi, “who sits on the planning committee that rejected Dahmash’s [alternative zoning] plan, told Israeli television in 2004 that the Maccabi District was not meant for Arabs because allowing Palestinian-Israeli citizens to live there would ‘harm the ability to market the project since people won’t want to live there’.” In 2006, Lavi explained his own “solution” to the unrecognised village of Dahmash:

“take two D10 bulldozers, the kind the IDF uses in the Golan Heights, two border police units to secure the area, and go from one side to the other […] when you give the first shock with the crane everyone runs from their houses, don’t worry.”

That day has not come for Dahmash — but it is rather reminiscent of scenes in Al-Arakib in the Negev, where just last week the village was destroyed for the sixth time this year. While the current trends in the Knesset are certainly troubling, the example of Dahmash highlights what “Jewish and democratic” has long meant for Palestinians living as second-class citizens in their own land.

Source: Ben White, New Statesman

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Filed under Israel, Palestine, Zionism

Did the CIA pay new Liverpool Football Club owner to use his jet for torture flights?

Just when it couldn’t get any worse for Liverpool supporters, it has, a jet owned by co-owner of NESV, Philip H Morse was chartered by the CIA & used in it’s illegal renditioning – kidnapping & torturing programme of “terror suspects”.

Philip H Morse is vice chairman of New England Sports Ventures, which has recently bought Liverpool Football Club in the UK.

A jet owned by Morse was chartered by the CIA and used in flights linked to the kidnapping and torture of ‘terror suspects’.

Mr Morse confirmed the arrangement with the CIA. He said: ‘Yeah, that’s true.’

But he insisted he had stopped renting the plane to the CIA after he became aware of the rendition flights.

He said: ‘The plane is still chartered. It’s just not chartered to the CIA.’

How the hell did that get past the “fit & proper” test of ownership the Premier League is supposed to have in place?

I’ve never had any love for the Daily Mail and await to see if the sources of this news are proved to be reliable, at least more reliable than the photo-shopped picture the rag are using to headline this story.

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Filed under Football