Thursday, July 24, 2014

Why has Yatsenyuk really resigned?

Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the Ukrainian prime minister, who was leading the fascists, Pravy Sector and Svoboda party coalition, that ousted Yanukovich in a coup d'etat, resigned yesterday, Thursday. His ostensible reason for resigning was, he said, due to the breakup of the coalition and the non-adoption of certain bills he had backed. Yes, well, you have to say something when you go. So what is the real reason behind his resignation?

While at this stage nobody properly knows it has been a week of intense activity in Ukraine, not least due to the shooting down of the MH17 Malaysian passenger plane which killed all the passengers on board. This has overshadowed most other news worldwide. It is an odd time to resign, when an investigation into who brought down the plane is ongoing. The time to resign would have been before the plane was downed.

Reading between the lines does Yatsenyuk know something the rest of us do not? Radar tracking images presented by Russia indicate a military jet was accompanying the passenger plane until shortly before MH17 was attacked. Satellite images raise many questions too. Is Yatsenyuk's real reason for resigning because he is a lawyer and knows that those responsible for this deliberate act of criminality are quite likely to face justice and the full measure of international law when the truth emerges?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

MH17 Russian satellite evidence released Monday - not mentioned yet in our media

Russia has released evidence from its satellite and radar images which ask serious questions about the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. The US, UK, Australia and other western governments have repeatedly accused Russia of everything from shooting down the airliner to supplying BUK systems to the independence fighters in Eastern Ukraine. One of the latest articles, in The Guardian no less, relates to a story released by Kiev that has been on the internet for days, accusing Russia of providing a BUK missile launcher which was allegedly passing through the town of Torez, close to the crash site with one of its missiles missing. But the Russian evidence tells a different story which would discount The Guardian report. What makes this particularly bad journalism from the Guardian's man in Torez, Shaun Walker, is that the Russian evidence was available at the time he penned the story.

At 27 minutes 30 seconds into this presentation this same video that Kiev apparently released is examined using a frame from the video and puts the town as being Krasnoarmeysk on Dneproetrovskaya Street according to a roadside advertisement about a car-show. To prove its point the presentation zooms in on the advertising hoarding. So was it Torez, as the Guardian article claims, or was it the Krasnoarmeysk which is 843 kilometres from Torez? Krasnoarmeysk has been occupied by the Ukrainian military since May 11 when a number of residents were killed by Petro Poroshenko's armed forces. The Russian presentation earlier shows its evidence of what it claims are BUK II systems in Ukrainian-held territory one of which is missing from its site on the day Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was brought down, killing nearly 300 passengers. The presentation, which is a lot more convincing than Colin Powell's presentation of weapons of mass destruction, shows satellite images of what is apparently a fighter plane in the vicinity of the Malaysian passenger plane just before it was shot down. Here is a clip from the presentation showing the hoarding.


Regarding the missile systems transporter video frame Russia asks, without making allegations:

"What kind of lauching sytem is it? Where is it [being] transported? Where is it now? Why is it loaded with shot missile ammunition? What was the last time it launched missiles?"

These are fair questions. The release of the video by Kiev may well have been an attempt to point the blame elsewhere, but like the apparently fabricated evidence released by Kiev intelligence regarding what it claims was an admission by a Russian major to shooting down the passenger plane, it appears to be a fake concatenation of intercepts which did not relate to Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 but the downing of a military plane the day before. The time stamp of that video, according to experts, shows it also to have been cobbled together and released the day before the disaster.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Something sinister in the heart of government

In February this year Moazzam Begg was arrested and has been detained in police custody to appear on terrorist-related charges in October. Anybody with an ounce of reason knows this is a trumped-up charge to protect the secret services from allegations of torture against them. Begg was collecting evidence to go with that he already has collected. What is even more sinister is that since his arrest some unknown sources have prevented Cage (formerly Cage Prisoners) from accessing their money or receiving donations.

Thankfully, there are still some good honest journalists, and Peter Oborne, chief political commentator of the Telegraph, together with Alex Delmar-Morgan, has questioned who has this power to stop a legitimate organisation from accessing its own money and continuing to operate in an unimpeded manner. At a time when civil liberties have been, and are being, severely challenged by an uncaring government, when mainstream media concentrate on mundane stories in preference to the real news, it is heartening to know that some journalists like Peter Oborne, Robert Fisk, Glenn Greenwald, John Pilger and a few others pursue the real stories.

The prime minister, David Cameron, Michael Gove (when he was education minister) and Theresa May have all in one way or another demonstrated their hatred of Islam in an attempt to create an enemy that did not exist before on behalf of their US masters. All this hatred of Islam started long ago and a series of Acts has been introduced to remove the rights of, almost exclusively, Muslims. Thus Muslims can be imprisoned without charge or trial, and extradited or deported without evidence. The Gibson Inquiry was halted on Cameron's instructions because it showed our secret services in a bad light. The most recent act, the Justice and Security Act, allows for those complicit in torture to have their identities concealed and for hearings to take place in secret. It is the latest in a cynical set of acts designed to further erode civil liberties and keep the secret services unaccountable.

We need a People's Parliament. Most of those there now are not fit for purpose.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Out of the mouth of babes - the racism of Michael Gove

It was a heartening evening on Thursday night to hear so many committed souls speak to a packed audience of 700 on the Trojan Horse hoax letter. The Bordesley Centre became standing room only. Well that was all right because when seven year old Ben finished his speech the whole assembly was on its feet. You must watch this short video.


Monday, June 16, 2014

The hypocrisy of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs

Support for Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder, has been consistent over time. But where you would expect the most enthusiastic campaign, from his native country, Australia, the government has been least inclined to offer assistance. Dilatory is a word that comes to mind. Myself and two colleagues in Sweden, Okoth Osewe and Rafik Saley have co-written letters to Bob Carr, when he was Minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the most recent foreign minister, Julie Bishop, about the plight of Mr. Assange, and to inform the government that the ambassador from Sweden to Australia, Sven Olof Petersson, has knowingly been involved in handing individuals to the CIA to be rendered and tortured abroad.

We did not expect much from Bob Carr because of his known ties to America and all things American but Julie Bishop, at least while in opposition and while seeking to resonate with public Australian sentiment, suggested she was ashamed of Australia's neglected treatment of Assange by Carr.

Julie Bishop says as Foreign Minister she would re-examine the government’s conduct towards WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who remains unable to meaningfully exercise his right to asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

Bob Carr's memoirs published this year show that Mr. Assange was right in criticizing the lack of meaningful assistance by the Gillard government. Like the previous government, the current Australian administration has not made any representations to Sweden and the United States in order to uphold Mr. Assange's rights. Carr in fact admitted to misleading the public with his false statement that Assange had received more assistance than any other Australian abroad.

It is a fact that the United States is seeking the prosecution of Mr. Assange, most recently confirmed by the Department of Justice in a submission to the court in the EPIC case (April 2014).

Julie Bishop said that, if elected to office, she would take advice on whether anything should change in the government’s position towards Julian Assange:

“We have differed with the government in a number of respects, particulary when Prime Minister Julia Gillard said that Julian Assange was guilty of an illegal act. I took issue with that at the time for he has not been  charged with any breach of laws in Australia and it was irresponsible for the prime minister to make such a prejudicial claim particularly given the circumstances he was in overseas. So, I would look at the matter carefully at the time, but in January 2013 it is hard to say what the situation will be at the time of the election, should we be privileged enough to be elected by the Australian people.”

In our letter to Julie Bishop we reminded her of her commitment in opposition and expected at long last a positive response. Instead we got a very similar reply to the one we received from Bob Carr's letter writer. Although the reply did not actually say so the interpretation was that the Australian foreign office does not mind if Sweden sends over ambassadors with a record for the approval of, and complicity in, torture and rendition. And rather than the challenging words she made as a potential Minister of Foreign Affairs, now she is in office the whole tenor is one of acceptance that Australia does not care about one of their most influential citizens.

Here is the response:







Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cowboys

The wild west is still wild. Cowboys are still ruling the roost. They have mostly done away with the chaps, gun-belts, neckerchiefs and hats (except in Texas) but they still have the guns and still put up bounties "Wanted, dead or alive" but mostly alive, because how else would they be able to torture their quarry? All revealed here.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Better vote YES together

Barack Obama endorsed a better together campaign yesterday for Scotland. Not that Scottish affairs have anything to do with the US, or do they? Well yes they do. Scotland is home to Trident nuclear weapons at Faslane, as far away from London as possible. US naval ships long used Holy Loch for their nuclear submarines and would not doubt like to know those facilities were still available in times of conflict.

Here is an idea for bringing the YES campaign to the forefront using adverse publicity created by the BetterTogether campaign, a London-funded attempt to scupper independence.

I believe in unity, I also believe anybody should be able to travel freely and live anywhere in the world they choose, like the grey necked phalarope which nests in Scotland and winters in Chile. So why do I support the Yes vote? Scotland is more progressive than England. In Scotland education, particularly higher education is still free, and of a high standard. England is fast becoming a tool of US economic as well as military policy and all the sacred institutions like the NHS, rail, and public utilities have been stolen from the people to make a few people exceedingly rich. Scotland gave us Keir Hardie, Alexander Graham Bell, John Logie Baird and a whole host of other pioneers. But the important thing today is with the success of a progressive government it gives the rest of these sceptred isles something to look up to, an exemplar of how elected representatives of government can work for those who elected them, instead, like in Westminster, for themselves.

Good luck Scotland! We can all benefit from your initiatives.