Yaffle! In my garden!
Activists pushing investors to drop shares of Coca Cola stock scored a victory Tuesday when a segment of the nation’s largest pension fund divested from the beverage giant.
Activists had been putting pressure on the educators’ retirement fund TIAA-CREF to drop Coke stock from its Choice Account, a fund set up to cater to socially conscious investors.
Groups like Stop Killer Coke and the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood had hoped to send a message to Coca Cola over the beverage company’s marketing to children and its alleged human-rights and environmental abuses abroad.
Workers for Coca Cola Colombia say the company has teamed up with paramilitaries there in an attempt to stem union power through kidnappings, tortured and even murder of labor organizers there. Coke has denied the allegations.
In India, communities near Coke plants have seen their water dry up as the company pumps millions of gallons to make its beverages. The communities have also suffered the destruction of their farmland from lack of water and pollution from the bottling plants.
(Source: The New Standard)
One year after the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, his relatives and friends have gathered at the south London Tube station where he was killed.
A hot and humid Saturday at Stockwell Tube station was the backdrop for an intensely emotional display of grief, one year on from the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes.
The presence of Abul Koyair and his brother Mohammed Abdul Kahar – who was shot and wounded by police at his east London home last month – served as a reminder of the case’s wider importance.
The Forest Gate pair, along with Mr Menezes, have become rallying points for critics of the government’s perceived heavy-handedness in the so-called war on terror.
(Source: BBC News)
A year gone by and still no justice for de Menezes.
Foreign Office minister Kim Howells has criticised Israel’s bombardment of Lebanon, while on a visit to Beirut.
He said Israel had not carried out “surgical strikes” and attacking the Lebanese nation was not the answer.
Speaking in Beirut, Mr Howells said: “I very much hope that the Americans understand what’s happening to Lebanon.
“The destruction of the infrastructure, the death of so many children and so many people. These have not been surgical strikes.
“And it’s very difficult, I think, to understand the kind of military tactics that have been used.
“You know, if they’re chasing Hezbollah, then go for Hezbollah. You don’t go for the entire Lebanese nation.”
(Source: BBC News)
Look at the sentence I’ve highlighted: “The destruction of the infrastructure, the death of so many children and so many people. These have not been surgical strikes.”
Think of the horror that sentence covers, imagine your neighbourhood bombed flat because of the actions of lunatics who you don’t even support. What gives Israel the right to bomb cities in other countries flat? Basically, the support of the UK and US. And, in the US’ case, expedited shipments of weapons to help the slaughter along.
But before we get on our moral high horses, listen to what this man is saying:
But Lt Colonel Yishou Efroni, of the Israeli Army, defended its tactics saying: “We told them to leave the towns and villages. We gave them notice of when we were going to attack.
“No army in the world is doing that. I didn’t see the British or Americans doing that in Iraq warning the people to leave and then bombing.”
(Source: BBC News)
In a horrible, disturbing way, he makes a valid point. One that I’m guessing won’t be repeated on our TV news or by Butcher Blair.
Above, definitely not Israeli terrorism.
Israeli warplanes have struck at suspected Hezbollah sites in Sidon and the capital Beirut.
In Sidon, 14 people were injured and a mosque was destroyed in the first strikes on the southern port city.
The UN’s humanitarian chief Jan Egeland has been touring shattered districts of Beirut, and said the devastation was “a violation of humanitarian law”.
(Source: BBC News)
People often email me, asking, “Jyoti, as a professional musician and songwriter, can you explain to me what terrorism is? Because I sure don’t want to inadvertently support it!”
So, here you go, folks!
* When the USA and UK launch an illegal invasion of Iraq and rocket attacks against Iraqi civilians, killing up to 100,000 non-combatants, that isn’t terrorism. That is liberation.
* When Hamas and Hizbullah launch rocket attacks against the Israeli army, that is terrorism. You can’t shoot at Israeli soldiers shooting at you, that simply isn’t fair.
*If any Israeli civilian is killed as a result of a bomb or rocket attack, that is terrorism. If the Israelis kill Palestinian, Lebanese or any other Arab civilian (or, indeed, bulldoze US citizens to death) that isn’t terrorism.
Have you got it now? It’s simple:
Anything the UK, US or Israel does is not terrorism. Doesn’t matter how many children we blow up, it’s all very fine and moral.
Anything an Arab individual or nation (or North Korea) does is terrorism.
A rough rule of thumb here is that one Israeli life is worth maybe 100 or 500 Arab lives. And one American or British life is worth, say, 10,000 Iraqi lives. Once you understand this, you can see how justified we are in
murdering Iraqis and stealing their oil our grand liberation. Also, it’ll help explain why our television spends so long on the death of US, UK and Israeli citizens while Arab deaths never get mentioned. Not enough have been killed.
There you go, simple! Who said politics was complicated!?
The torture of prisoners in US custody in Iraq was authorised and routine even after the Abu Ghraib scandal came to light, a US-based rights group says.
Soldiers’ accounts show that detainees routinely faced severe beatings, sleep deprivation and other abuses for much of 2003-2005, Human Rights Watch says.
Soldiers who tried to complain about the abuse were rebuffed or ignored.
But a Pentagon spokesman said 12 reviews had found there was no policy condoning or encouraging abuse.
“The standard of treatment is and always has been humane treatment of detainees in [Department of Defence] custody,” Lt Col Mark Ballesteros told Reuters news agency.
John Sifton, author of the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, said the accounts given to the group by former US soldiers revealed the opposite.
“These accounts rebut US government claims that torture and abuse in Iraq was unauthorised and exceptional – on the contrary, it was condoned and commonly used,” he said.
(Source: BBC News)
Is there anyone left on this planet who still believes the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq was about WMDs or the liberation of the Iraqi people? Certainly not most Americans who are now hugely against Bush’s Iraq slaughter.
Look at the picture above, from three years ago now, and the pictures in this previous post. According to the HRW report, those types of abuse continued up to at least last year.
What would you call an occupying army that carried out these kind of atrocities against civilians? Would you call them “liberators?” I suppose you could, in the same way that the German army liberated the people of occupied France in WWII.
If you’re a British citizen reading this, remember that our government supports these war crimes. Our government and our glorious leader spout slogans about freedom and liberation while innocent Iraqis are disappeared into prisons like Abu Ghraib, never to appear again.
No-one is ever brought to account because, to the grand liberators, Iraqi lives are worthless. Just label the people you kill “insurgents” and then you can literally get away with murder.