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Topics - Phil Talbot

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For Your Information / Brian Eno: Why We Need Stop the War
« on: August 22, 2017, 02:17:27 PM »
Brian Eno: Why We Need Stop the War

Written by Brian Eno on 21 August 2017

[Stop the War's new President on the importance of the anti-war movement.]

Stopping wars isn’t something that happens when hostilities have already begun. It starts much earlier than that, in the very fabric of society. Our society is increasingly built around war - or the threat of war - and a lot of people have an interest in keeping things that way.
Who are they?
First there are the ideologues, those so certain of their moral (and military) superiority that they’re ready to force it down another’s throat. In their minds, war is supported with the excuse that it’s ‘for the good’ of the other side: to liberate them from ignorance and tyranny. The intellectuals behind the Iraq War, for example, were convinced that, bristling with guns and bombs and chewing gum, they would be welcomed as saviours. They predicted a ‘cakewalk in Iraq’ which would be ‘over in weeks’. Such sunny predictions are always part of the recipe.
Then there are the weapons manufacturers. Britain is the 4th biggest weapons exporter globally. BAE systems, for example, one of our largest companies, makes over 95% of its (huge) income from defence contracts. We sell weapons indiscriminately, to almost anybody who’ll pay: and our biggest clients are the Saudis, who in turn fund extremist groups like Isis. The world is awash with lethal weapons, many of which we built, and these often end up being directed against us….and then we spend even more on weapons to defend ourselves.
Beyond the technology of war - the weapons systems and the materiel - there is the science. Advanced weaponry systems employ lots of scientists and technologists, people who could be doing something useful in the world. A climate of endless war has to be maintained, otherwise people might start to wonder why we spend so much of our national resources building generations of jets and tanks and ships that never see action, and why all that expensive brainpower is being squandered while the world is melting.
Think also of the media: they relish the prospect of war, and talk it up relentlessly. They know that alarm sells papers and gets clicks, and that’s often all they want. It’s the rubberneck syndrome: we can’t help looking. Most of the media business is about turning attention into money, holding your attention so that you can be advertised to. On the other hand, peace talks are a bit dull by comparison, so nobody bothers reporting them. So, intentionally or not, the media nurture and perpetuate the climate of continuous war.
And think of the politicians, anxious to advertise their ‘strength’ and ‘determination’, shoring up failing popularity by rattling sabres. Think of Blair and Bush swaggering about the White House as though setting fire to a whole nation was some kind of laddish game. Or think of Trump with his ‘Fire and Fury’ tough guy talk. Again, the media revel in this. It’s what editors call ‘great copy’.
And then there’s the ‘security’ business - one of the only growth sectors on the British employment scene. As ‘security’ increases, society becomes tighter, more paranoid, more spied upon and suspected, than ever before. It shouldn’t be called the security business: it’s the insecurity business. The business is to create insecurity, to make you scared, to make you believe that war is the only option.
How did all this happen? Why are we where we are now? The truth is that the economies of both the US and the UK (and lots of other countries) have become so centred around military production that they have grown to need an ongoing threat of war. America emerged from WWII as a very wealthy country, having learned that the people who really win wars are the people making the weapons.
But they learned something else too:
Societies can be made coherent - can be held together - in two broad ways. One is through hope; the other is through fear. But for a society to be held together through hope there has to be a credible sense of promise in the future: a majority of people have to believe that things will get better. Until perhaps 25 years ago that majority existed, but, with neoliberalism rolling back post-war social arrangements like the welfare state, unions, free education and job security things started to look different. The prospect of automation, which ought to have liberated us, instead translates into even bigger profits for the elites. As a result, working people now look forward to a much more precarious and uncertain future than they have done for decades.
You can't have a hopeful society if its elites prioritise aggressive foreign wars and 6 billion pound floating bombing platforms over social spending. You can’t have a hopeful society focused on fighting aggressive foreign wars which in turn flood your shores with refugees.
What we now have instead of hope is rising unemployment, a surfeit of both overqualified and underqualified young people, the gig economy, zero-hour contracts, and automation. Our politicians could be working on that problem, on rethinking our future prospects, and throwing off the disastrous market fundamentalism of neoliberalism.but by and large they are timid minds who live in mortal fear of the press and run a mile from anything that might conceivably be called socialism, so they don’t. Instead they default to option two…fear.
Fear is a great paralyser. A frightened population is easy to govern. In a climate of fear, people are willing to allow their rights and freedoms to be limited. They’re willing to follow orders and penalise resisters. They’re willing to fall for easy, quick and ill-conceived military ‘solutions’. They’re willing to serve as defenders of the state without asking why that state needs defending, or from what.
So it’s fear that keeps the hamster-wheel turning; but it’s hope that will get us out of the cage.
Stopping war means building a society based not on relentless consumption and profiteering but instead on sustainability and conservation and sharing. It means making a world that is worth saving for everybody, so that the idea of war - of destroying all that - becomes unthinkable, ridiculous.
It means breaking up those entrenched hierarchies that regularly produce over-privileged halfwits - con-artists who know how to talk but not how to think, and who exist in some eternal public-school-of-the-mind*. Their unshakeable sense of natural superiority fosters a hubristic arrogance with which they ride into war after war, certain that they couldn’t possibly be wrong.
And Stopping war entails, perhaps beyond anything else, distributing the wealth of the planet so it doesn’t automatically accrue in the hands of the already-powerful but instead is used to build a world where more people get better chances.
We live in the wealthiest societies in history. The creativity and ingenuity and labour of generations of humans has produced enormous wealth. With that wealth properly deployed, a world of peace is more feasible than ever before.
Stop the War Coalition is part of a big, wide movement to change the way we think, and what we think about. Instead of making destructive wars, let’s think how we make a creative peace. Instead of thinking how we get more as individuals, let’s think how we can better share what we already have as a society. Instead of thinking that our role in life is to keep our heads down and be obedient shoppers, let’s stand up straight and proud and create something new together.
Brian Eno 2017
*I remind foreign readers that ‘public school’ in English means ‘least public of all schools’

2
South Tyneside Stop the War / Silence Is Shame, Number 14, July 2015
« on: July 14, 2015, 04:08:18 PM »
Click the link below to download the latest volume (pdf format) of our 'Silence Is Shame' pamphlet series:

http://www.northeaststopwar.org.uk/southtyne/sisno14.pdf

+

pdf versions of Volumes 1 to 13 of 'Silence Is Shame' are still available via:

http://www.northeaststopwar.org.uk/southtyne/html/publications.html

3
South Tyneside Stop the War / Open emails ...
« on: March 03, 2015, 02:59:57 PM »
28 November 2014

Dear Mr Talbot

Thank you for your recent email regarding the Trident nuclear weapons system.

I want to see a world free of nuclear weapons, and I believe the UK should do everything it can to work alongside international allies towards the goal of multilateral disarmament.

However, Labour’s position is that the uncertainties of the UK’s position in a complex and constantly changing world mean a credible deterrent is still a necessary part of Britain’s defence policy. Labour is therefore committed to a minimum, credible independent nuclear deterrent. Last year’s Trident Alternatives Review concluded that there is no realistic alternative to maintaining an at-sea deterrent, and so Labour will continue to support this approach while continuing to pursue international cooperation towards eradicating nuclear weapons. I agree that this policy should be kept under review, and would encourage a Labour government in 2015 to consider every possibility when deciding on the future of the UK’s nuclear policy.

I hope this reply is useful, and thank you again for contacting me about this important issue.

Yours sincerely

Emma Lewell-Buck MP
Member of Parliament for South Shields

House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA

Parliamentary Office: 0207 219 4468

Ede House
143 Westoe Road
South Shields
NE33 3PD

Constituency Office: 0191 427 1240

Email: emma.lewell-buck.mp@parliament.uk
Website: http://www.emma-lewell-buck.net
Twitter: @EmmaLewellBuck

________________________________________

From: Philip Talbot
Sent: 17 November 2014 14:08
To: LEWELL-BUCK, Emma
Subject: Will you vote to Scrap Trident if elected?

Philip Talbot
65 St Cuthbert's Avenue
South Shields
NE34 7LN

philtal_uk@yahoo.com

Dear Emma Lewell-Buck,

I am writing to you to ask your views on the UK's Trident nuclear weapon system. I am particularly concerned because a decision on whether or not to replace Trident - at a cost of £100bn - is due in 2016 and successfully elected Members of Parliament will have to vote on this.

It is therefore important to me that you set out your views on Trident.

I believe that maintaining Trident is irrelevant to modern security threats; runs counter to our Non-Proliferation Treaty commitment to nuclear disarmament; and is not the best use of tax payers' money given the cuts deemed necessary in other areas of public spending.

In particular, before deciding how I will vote, I would like to know your views on the following four questions:

The UK's submarine-based Trident nuclear weapon system is approaching the end of its operational life. Do you think the UK should replace its nuclear weapon system?
The next government will conduct a Strategic Defence and Security Review. Do you think that should consider the possibilities and implications of scrapping and not replacing Trident?
The next government will need to attend the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in New York. Do you think it should support a nuclear weapons convention or ban, similar to those for chemical or biological weapons?
The next government will have to decide whether to carry out the current coalition government's projected austerity programme. Do you think spending £100 billion on Trident replacement can be justified?

I hope you can set out your responses, either in a simple yes or no form, or in greater depth if you have time.

I look forward to discussing this with you further on the campaign trail.

Yours sincerely,

Philip Talbot

UK Parliament Disclaimer: This e-mail is confidential to the intended recipient. If you have received it in error, please notify the sender and delete it from your system. Any unauthorised use, disclosure, or copying is not permitted. This e-mail has been checked for viruses, but no liability is accepted for any damage caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.

4
Why the rise of fascism is again the issue, by John Pilger

http://johnpilger.com

26 February 2015

The recent 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz was a reminder of the great crime of fascism, whose Nazi iconography is embedded in our consciousness. Fascism is preserved as history, as flickering footage of goose-stepping blackshirts, their criminality terrible and clear. Yet in the same liberal societies, whose war-making elites urge us never to forget, the accelerating danger of a modern kind of fascism is suppressed; for it is their fascism.


"To initiate a war of aggression...," said the Nuremberg Tribunal judges in 1946, "is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."


Had the Nazis not invaded Europe, Auschwitz and the Holocaust would not have happened. Had the United States and its satellites not initiated their war of aggression in Iraq in 2003, almost a million people would be alive today; and Islamic State, or ISIS, would not have us in thrall to its savagery. They are the progeny of modern fascism, weaned by the bombs, bloodbaths and lies that are the surreal theatre known as news.


Like the fascism of the 1930s and 1940s, big lies are delivered with the precision of a metronome: thanks to an omnipresent, repetitive media and its virulent censorship by omission. Take the catastrophe in Libya.


In 2011, Nato launched 9,700 "strike sorties" against Libya, of which more than a third were aimed at civilian targets. Uranium warheads were used; the cities of Misurata and Sirte were carpet-bombed. The Red Cross identified mass graves, and Unicef reported that "most [of the children killed] were under the age of ten".


The public sodomising of the Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi with a "rebel" bayonet was greeted by the then US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, with the words: "We came, we saw, he died." His murder, like the destruction of his country, was justified with a familiar big lie; he was planning "genocide" against his own people. "We knew... that if we waited one more day," said President Obama, "Benghazi, a city the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world."


This was the fabrication of Islamist militias facing defeat by Libyan government forces. They told Reuters there would be "a real bloodbath, a massacre like we saw in Rwanda". Reported on March 14, 2011, the lie provided the first spark for Nato's inferno, described by David Cameron as a "humanitarian intervention".


Secretly supplied and trained by Britain's SAS, many of the "rebels" would become ISIS, whose latest video offering shows the beheading of 21 Coptic Christian workers seized in Sirte, the city destroyed on their behalf by Nato bombers.


For Obama, David Cameron and then French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Gaddafi's true crime was Libya's economic independence and his declared intention to stop selling Africa's greatest oil reserves in US dollars. The petrodollar is a pillar of American imperial power. Gaddafi audaciously planned to underwrite a common African currency backed by gold, establish an all-Africa bank and promote economic union among poor countries with prized resources. Whether or not this would happen, the very notion was intolerable to the US as it prepared to "enter" Africa and bribe African governments with military "partnerships".


Following Nato's attack under cover of a Security Council resolution, Obama, wrote Garikai Chengu, "confiscated $30 billion from Libya's Central Bank, which Gaddafi had earmarked for the establishment of an African Central Bank and the African gold backed dinar currency".


The "humanitarian war" against Libya drew on a model close to western liberal hearts, especially in the media. In 1999, Bill Clinton and Tony Blair sent Nato to bomb Serbia, because, they lied, the Serbs were committing "genocide" against ethnic Albanians in the secessionist province of Kosovo. David Scheffer, US ambassador-at-large for war crimes [sic], claimed that as many as "225,000 ethnic Albanian men aged between 14 and 59" might have been murdered. Both Clinton and Blair evoked the Holocaust and "the spirit of the Second World War". The West's heroic allies were the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), whose criminal record was set aside. The British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, told them to call him any time on his mobile phone.


With the Nato bombing over, and much of Serbia's infrastructure in ruins, along with schools, hospitals, monasteries and the national TV station, international forensic teams descended upon Kosovo to exhume evidence of the "holocaust". The FBI failed to find a single mass grave and went home. The Spanish forensic team did the same, its leader angrily denouncing "a semantic pirouette by the war propaganda machines". A year later, a United Nations tribunal on Yugoslavia announced the final count of the dead in Kosovo: 2,788. This included combatants on both sides and Serbs and Roma murdered by the KLA. There was no genocide. The "holocaust" was a lie. The Nato attack had been fraudulent.


Behind the lie, there was serious purpose. Yugoslavia was a uniquely independent, multi-ethnic federation that had stood as a political and economic bridge in the Cold War. Most of its utilities and major manufacturing was publicly owned. This was not acceptable to the expanding European Community, especially newly united Germany, which had begun a drive east to capture its "natural market" in the Yugoslav provinces of Croatia and Slovenia. By the time the Europeans met at Maastricht in 1991 to lay their plans for the disastrous eurozone, a secret deal had been struck; Germany would recognise Croatia. Yugoslavia was doomed.


In Washington, the US saw that the struggling Yugoslav economy was denied World Bank loans. Nato, then an almost defunct Cold War relic, was reinvented as imperial enforcer. At a 1999 Kosovo "peace" conference in Rambouillet, in France, the Serbs were subjected to the enforcer's duplicitous tactics. The Rambouillet accord included a secret Annex B, which the US delegation inserted on the last day. This demanded the military occupation of the whole of Yugoslavia - a country with bitter memories of the Nazi occupation - and the implementation of a "free-market economy" and the privatisation of all government assets. No sovereign state could sign this. Punishment followed swiftly; Nato bombs fell on a defenceless country. It was the precursor to the catastrophes in Afghanistan and Iraq, Syria and Libya, and Ukraine.


Since 1945, more than a third of the membership of the United Nations - 69 countries - have suffered some or all of the following at the hands of America's modern fascism. They have been invaded, their governments overthrown, their popular movements suppressed, their elections subverted, their people bombed and their economies stripped of all protection, their societies subjected to a crippling siege known as "sanctions". The British historian Mark Curtis estimates the death toll in the millions. In every case, a big lie was deployed.


"Tonight, for the first time since 9/11, our combat mission in Afghanistan is over." These were opening words of Obama's 2015 State of the Union address. In fact, some 10,000 troops and 20,000 military contractors (mercenaries) remain in Afghanistan on indefinite assignment. "The longest war in American history is coming to a responsible conclusion," said Obama. In fact, more civilians were killed in Afghanistan in 2014 than in any year since the UN took records. The majority have been killed - civilians and soldiers - during Obama's time as president.


The tragedy of Afghanistan rivals the epic crime in Indochina. In his lauded and much quoted book 'The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives', Zbigniew Brzezinski, the godfather of US policies from Afghanistan to the present day, writes that if America is to control Eurasia and dominate the world, it cannot sustain a popular democracy, because "the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion... Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilisation." He is right. As WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden have revealed, a surveillance and police state is usurping democracy. In 1976, Brzezinski, then President Carter's National Security Advisor, demonstrated his point by dealing a death blow to Afghanistan's first and only democracy. Who knows this vital history?


In the 1960s, a popular revolution swept Afghanistan, the poorest country on earth, eventually overthrowing the vestiges of the aristocratic regime in 1978. The People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) formed a government and declared a reform programme that included the abolition of feudalism, freedom for all religions, equal rights for women and social justice for the ethnic minorities. More than 13,000 political prisoners were freed and police files publicly burned.


The new government introduced free medical care for the poorest; peonage was abolished, a mass literacy programme was launched. For women, the gains were unheard of. By the late 1980s, half the university students were women, and women made up almost half of Afghanistan's doctors, a third of civil servants and the majority of teachers. "Every girl," recalled Saira Noorani, a female surgeon, "could go to high school and university. We could go where we wanted and wear what we liked. We used to go to cafes and the cinema to see the latest Indian film on a Friday and listen to the latest music. It all started to go wrong when the mujaheddin started winning. They used to kill teachers and burn schools. We were terrified. It was funny and sad to think these were the people the West supported."


The PDPA government was backed by the Soviet Union, even though, as former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance later admitted, "there was no evidence of any Soviet complicity [in the revolution]". Alarmed by the growing confidence of liberation movements throughout the world, Brzezinski decided that if Afghanistan was to succeed under the PDPA, its independence and progress would offer the "threat of a promising example".


On July 3, 1979, the White House secretly authorised support for tribal "fundamentalist" groups known as the mujaheddin, a program that grew to over $500 million a year in U.S. arms and other assistance. The aim was the overthrow of Afghanistan's first secular, reformist government. In August 1979, the US embassy in Kabul reported that "the United States' larger interests... would be served by the demise of [the PDPA government], despite whatever setbacks this might mean for future social and economic reforms in Afghanistan." The italics are mine.


The mujaheddin were the forebears of al-Qaeda and Islamic State. They included Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who received tens of millions of dollars in cash from the CIA. Hekmatyar's specialty was trafficking in opium and throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to wear the veil. Invited to London, he was lauded by Prime Minister Thatcher as a "freedom fighter".


Such fanatics might have remained in their tribal world had Brzezinski not launched an international movement to promote Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia and so undermine secular political liberation and "destabilise" the Soviet Union, creating, as he wrote in his autobiography, "a few stirred up Muslims". His grand plan coincided with the ambitions of the Pakistani dictator, General Zia ul-Haq, to dominate the region. In 1986, the CIA and Pakistan's intelligence agency, the ISI, began to recruit people from around the world to join the Afghan jihad. The Saudi multi-millionaire Osama bin Laden was one of them. Operatives who would eventually join the Taliban and al-Qaeda, were recruited at an Islamic college in Brooklyn, New York, and given paramilitary training at a CIA camp in Virginia. This was called "Operation Cyclone". Its success was celebrated in 1996 when the last PDPA president of Afghanistan, Mohammed Najibullah - who had gone before the UN General Assembly to plead for help - was hanged from a streetlight by the Taliban.


The "blowback" of Operation Cyclone and its "few stirred up Muslims" was September 11, 2001. Operation Cyclone became the "war on terror", in which countless men, women and children would lose their lives across the Muslim world, from Afghanistan to Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria. The enforcer's message was and remains: "You are with us or against us."


The common thread in fascism, past and present, is mass murder. The American invasion of Vietnam had its "free fire zones", "body counts" and "collateral damage". In the province of Quang Ngai, where I reported from, many thousands of civilians ("gooks") were murdered by the US; yet only one massacre, at My Lai, is remembered. In Laos and Cambodia, the greatest aerial bombardment in history produced an epoch of terror marked today by the spectacle of joined-up bomb craters which, from the air, resemble monstrous necklaces. The bombing gave Cambodia its own ISIS, led by Pol Pot.


Today, the world's greatest single campaign of terror entails the execution of entire families, guests at weddings, mourners at funerals. These are Obama's victims. According to the New York Times, Obama makes his selection from a CIA "kill list" presented to him every Tuesday in the White House Situation Room. He then decides, without a shred of legal justification, who will live and who will die. His execution weapon is the Hellfire missile carried by a pilotless aircraft known as a drone; these roast their victims and festoon the area with their remains. Each "hit" is registered on a faraway console screen as a "bugsplat".


"For goose-steppers," wrote the historian Norman Pollock, "substitute the seemingly more innocuous militarisation of the total culture. And for the bombastic leader, we have the reformer manque, blithely at work, planning and executing assassination, smiling all the while."


Uniting fascism old and new is the cult of superiority. "I believe in American exceptionalism with every fibre of my being," said Obama, evoking declarations of national fetishism from the 1930s. As the historian Alfred W. McCoy has pointed out, it was the Hitler devotee, Carl Schmitt, who said, "The sovereign is he who decides the exception." This sums up Americanism, the world's dominant ideology. That it remains unrecognised as a predatory ideology is the achievement of an equally unrecognised brainwashing. Insidious, undeclared, presented wittily as enlightenment on the march, its conceit insinuates western culture. I grew up on a cinematic diet of American glory, almost all of it a distortion. I had no idea that it was the Red Army that had destroyed most of the Nazi war machine, at a cost of as many as 13 million soldiers. By contrast, US losses, including in the Pacific, were 400,000. Hollywood reversed this.


The difference now is that cinema audiences are invited to wring their hands at the "tragedy" of American psychopaths having to kill people in distant places - just as the President himself kills them. The embodiment of Hollywood's violence, the actor and director Clint Eastwood, was nominated for an Oscar this year for his movie, 'American Sniper', which is about a licensed murderer and nutcase. The New York Times described it as a "patriotic, pro-family picture which broke all attendance records in its opening days".


There are no heroic movies about America's embrace of fascism. During the Second World War, America (and Britain) went to war against Greeks who had fought heroically against Nazism and were resisting the rise of Greek fascism. In 1967, the CIA helped bring to power a fascist military junta in Athens - as it did in Brazil and most of Latin America. Germans and east Europeans who had colluded with Nazi aggression and crimes against humanity were given safe haven in the US; many were pampered and their talents rewarded. Wernher von Braun was the "father" of both the Nazi V-2 terror bomb and the US space programme.


In the 1990s, as former Soviet republics, eastern Europe and the Balkans became military outposts of Nato, the heirs to a Nazi movement in Ukraine were given their opportunity. Responsible for the deaths of thousands of Jews, Poles and Russians during the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, Ukrainian fascism was rehabilitated and its "new wave" hailed by the enforcer as "nationalists".


This reached its apogee in 2014 when the Obama administration splashed out $5 billion on a coup against the elected government. The shock troops were neo-Nazis known as the Right Sector and Svoboda. Their leaders include  Oleh Tyahnybok, who has called for a purge of the "Moscow-Jewish mafia" and "other scum", including gays, feminists and those on the political left.


These fascists are now integrated into the Kiev coup government. The first deputy speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Andriy Parubiy, a leader of the governing party, is co-founder of Svoboda. On February 14, Parubiy announced he was flying to Washington get "the USA to give us highly precise modern weaponry". If he succeeds, it will be seen as an act of war by Russia.


No western leader has spoken up about the revival of fascism in the heart of Europe - with the exception of Vladimir Putin, whose people lost 22 million to a Nazi invasion that came through the borderland of Ukraine. At the recent Munich Security Conference, Obama's Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, ranted abuse about European leaders for opposing the US arming of the Kiev regime. She referred to the German Defence Minister as "the minister for defeatism". It was Nuland who masterminded the coup in Kiev. The wife of Robert D. Kagan, a leading "neo-con" luminary and co-founder of the extreme right wing Project for a New American Century, she was foreign policy advisor to Dick Cheney. 


Nuland's coup did not go to plan. Nato was prevented from seizing Russia's historic, legitimate, warm-water naval base in Crimea. The mostly Russian population of Crimea - illegally annexed to Ukraine by Nikita Krushchev in 1954 - voted overwhelmingly to return to Russia, as they had done in the 1990s. The referendum was voluntary, popular and internationally observed. There was no invasion.


At the same time, the Kiev regime turned on the ethnic Russian population in the east with the ferocity of ethnic cleansing. Deploying neo-Nazi militias in the manner of the Waffen-SS, they bombed and laid to siege cities and towns. They used mass starvation as a weapon, cutting off electricity, freezing bank accounts, stopping social security and pensions. More than a million refugees fled across the border into Russia. In the western media, they became unpeople escaping "the violence" caused by the "Russian invasion". The Nato commander, General Breedlove - whose name and actions might have been inspired by Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove - announced that 40,000 Russian troops were "massing". In the age of forensic satellite evidence, he offered none.


These Russian-speaking and bilingual people of Ukraine - a third of the population - have long sought a federation that reflects the country's ethnic diversity and is both autonomous and independent of Moscow. Most are not "separatists" but citizens who want to live securely in their homeland and oppose the power grab in Kiev. Their revolt and establishment of autonomous "states" are a reaction to Kiev's attacks on them. Little of this has been explained to western audiences.


On May 2, 2014, in Odessa, 41 ethnic Russians were burned alive in the trade union headquarters with police standing by. The Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh hailed the massacre as "another bright day in our national history". In the American and British media, this was reported as a "murky tragedy" resulting from "clashes" between "nationalists" (neo-Nazis) and "separatists" (people collecting signatures for a referendum on a federal Ukraine).


The New York Times buried the story, having dismissed as Russian propaganda warnings about the fascist and anti-Semitic policies of Washington's new clients. The Wall Street Journal damned the victims - "Deadly Ukraine Fire Likely Sparked by Rebels, Government Says". Obama congratulated the junta for its "restraint".


If Putin can be provoked into coming to their aid, his pre-ordained "pariah" role in the West will justify the lie that Russia is invading Ukraine. On January 29, Ukraine's top military commander, General Viktor Muzhemko, almost inadvertently dismissed the very basis for US and EU sanctions on Russia when he told a news conference emphatically: "The Ukrainian army is not fighting with the regular units of the Russian Army".  There were "individual citizens" who were members of "illegal armed groups", but there was no Russian invasion. This was not news. Vadym Prystaiko, Kiev's Deputy Foreign Minister, has called for "full scale war" with nuclear-armed Russia.


On February 21, US Senator James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, introduced a bill that would authorise American arms for the Kiev regime. In his Senate presentation, Inhofe used photographs he claimed were of Russian troops crossing into Ukraine, which have long been exposed as fakes. It was reminiscent of Ronald Reagan's fake pictures of a Soviet installation in Nicaragua, and Colin Powell's fake evidence to the UN of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.


The intensity of the smear campaign against Russia and the portrayal of its president as a pantomime villain is unlike anything I have known as a reporter. Robert Parry, one of America's most distinguished investigative journalists, who revealed the Iran-Contra scandal, wrote recently, "No European government, since Adolf Hitler's Germany, has seen fit to dispatch Nazi storm troopers to wage war on a domestic population, but the Kiev regime has and has done so knowingly. Yet across the West's media/political spectrum, there has been a studious effort to cover up this reality even to the point of ignoring facts that have been well established... If you wonder how the world could stumble into world war three - much as it did into world war one a century ago - all you need to do is look at the madness over Ukraine that has proved impervious to facts or reason."


In 1946, the Nuremberg Tribunal prosecutor said of the German media: "The use made by Nazi conspirators of psychological warfare is well known. Before each major aggression, with some few exceptions based on expediency, they initiated a press campaign calculated to weaken their victims and to prepare the German people psychologically for the attack... In the propaganda system of the Hitler State it was the daily press and the radio that were the most important weapons." In the Guardian on February 2, Timothy Garton-Ash called, in effect, for a world war. "Putin must be stopped," said the headline. "And sometimes only guns can stop guns." He conceded that the threat of war might "nourish a Russian paranoia of encirclement"; but that was fine. He name-checked the military equipment needed for the job and advised his readers that "America has the best kit".


In 2003, Garton-Ash, an Oxford professor, repeated the propaganda that led to the slaughter in Iraq. Saddam Hussein, he wrote, "has, as [Colin] Powell documented, stockpiled large quantities of horrifying chemical and biological weapons, and is hiding what remains of them. He is still trying to get nuclear ones." He lauded Blair as a "Gladstonian, Christian liberal interventionist". In 2006, he wrote, "Now we face the next big test of the West after Iraq: Iran."


The outbursts - or as Garton-Ash prefers, his "tortured liberal ambivalence" - are not untypical of those in the transatlantic liberal elite who have struck a Faustian deal. The war criminal Blair is their lost leader. The Guardian, in which Garton-Ash's piece appeared, published a full-page advertisement for an American Stealth bomber. On a menacing image of the Lockheed Martin monster were the words: "The F-35. GREAT For Britain". This American "kit" will cost British taxpayers £1.3 billion, its F-model predecessors having slaughtered across the world.  In tune with its advertiser, a Guardian editorial has demanded an increase in military spending.


Once again, there is serious purpose. The rulers of the world want Ukraine not only as a missile base; they want its economy. Kiev's new Finance Minister, Nataliwe Jaresko, is a former senior US State Department official in charge of US overseas "investment". She was hurriedly given Ukrainian citizenship. They want Ukraine for its abundant gas; Vice President Joe Biden's son is on the board of Ukraine's biggest oil, gas and fracking company. The manufacturers of GM seeds, companies such as the infamous Monsanto, want Ukraine's rich farming soil.


Above all, they want Ukraine's mighty neighbour, Russia. They want to Balkanise or dismember Russia and exploit the greatest source of natural gas on earth. As the Arctic ice melts, they want control of the Arctic Ocean and its energy riches, and Russia's long Arctic land border. Their man in Moscow used to be Boris Yeltsin, a drunk, who handed his country's economy to the West. His successor, Putin, has re-established Russia as a sovereign nation; that is his crime.


The responsibility of the rest of us is clear. It is to identify and expose the reckless lies of warmongers and never to collude with them. It is to re-awaken the great popular movements that brought a fragile civilisation to modern imperial states. Most important, it is to prevent the conquest of ourselves: our minds, our humanity, our self respect. If we remain silent, victory over us is assured, and a holocaust beckons.




6
There will always be someone there to remind him ...

or ...

one day he will [really] "feel the 'hand of history' on his shoulder" ... and ...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2542868/Cheeky-barman-tried-Tony-Blair-citizens-arrest-crimes-against-peace-former-Prime-Minister-dined-family-trendy-east-London-restaurant.html

['cheeky'] barman tried to put Tony Blair under a citizen's arrest for 'crimes against peace' while the former Prime Minister dined with his family in a trendy east London restaurant

Tony Blair was 'dining with friends and family' at Tramshed, east London

DJ and barman Twiggy Garcia attempted arrest for 'crimes against peace'

Was [reported as saying that he felt himself] inspired to do so after reading site http://www.arrestblair.org

By Lizzie Edmonds

PUBLISHED: 20:10, 20 January 2014  | UPDATED: 10:16, 21 January 2014

6,431 shares
 
A barman tried to put Tony Blair under a citizen's arrest while the former Prime Minister was out having dinner.

[Mr] Blair was eating at Tramshed in east London when Twiggy Garcia approached him.

The [(multi-tasking) bar-person/waiter, DJ and ...]part-time producer said he put his [Mr Garcia's] hand on his [Mr Blair's] shoulder and said [:] 'Mr Blair, this is a citizen's arrest for a crime against peace, namely your decision to launch an unprovoked war against Iraq.'

Mr Garcia told Vice magazine how Blair then attempted to engage in a debate before one of his sons went to get security. The worker then left the restaurant to avoid any [further] trouble.

Mr Blair's office said today there 'was nothing to report' about the incident.

Mr Garcia was inspired to approach the former Prime Minister after reading [the] website http://www.arrestblair.org

This site encourages people to try and arrest Blair for 'crimes against peace'.

The arrests are largely symbolic, but a bounty is offered to those who attempt it should it be reported in the media.

The website says the intention of the campaign is to encourage attempts to arrest the former prime minister, to remind the public justice has not yet been done and to 'show the mass murder he committed will not be forgotten'.

It adds [that] campaigners wish to put pressure on the authorities to prosecute [Mr] Blair for [a] crime against peace.

Mr Garcia said he had not planned to approach Blair[,] but decided to take the opportunity when he [Mr Blair] walked into the trendy east London eatery [where Mr Garcia then worked].

Speaking with Vice, he [Mr Garcia] said: 'My heart rate increased when I found out he was in the building; there was a eerie presence, which some of the other staff noticed too.

'I went on the http://www.arrestblair.org website to see how to perform a citizen’s arrest.

'I went over to him, put my hand on his shoulder and said: “Mr Blair, this is a citizen's arrest for a crime against peace, namely your decision to launch an unprovoked war against Iraq. I am inviting you to accompany me to a police station to answer the charge.

'He said, “No, shouldn’t you be worried about Syria?” and I replied that I can only address things that are within my grasp at any one time.

'Then he asked me, “But don’t you agree that Saddam was a brutal dictator and he needed to be removed?” and I replied “Not by an illegal war.” Then he started talking about how lots of people died in the 1980s.'

A spokeswoman from Blair's office said today: 'There is nothing to report here apart from fact that Mr Blair did offer to discuss the issue that offer was declined and the individual walked off.

'Nothing else happened. Everyone is fine and they had a great time at the restaurant'

Mr Garcia is the fifth person to have tried to bring the former Prime Minister to justice after reading the arrestblair.org website.

Mr Garcia is [reportedly] on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/Twiggy_Garcia



7
War On Iraq Claimed Almost Half a Million Lives, Study Finds

Some critics of previously controversial survey methods praise new approach, while others remain skeptical

By Joseph Brownstein

October 16, 2013 "Information Clearing House - "Al-Jazeera" - The number of deaths caused by the Iraq war has been a source of intense controversy, as politics, inexact science and a clamor for public awareness have intersected in a heated debate of conflicting interests. The latest and perhaps most rigorous survey, released Tuesday, puts the figure at close to 500,000.

The study, — a collaboration of researchers in the U.S., Canada and Iraq appearing in the journal PLoS Medicine — included a survey of 2,000 Iraqi households in 100 geographic regions in Iraq. Researchers used two surveys, one involving the household and another asking residents about their siblings, in an attempt to demonstrate the accuracy of the data they were collecting. Using data from these surveys, researchers estimated 405,000 deaths, with another 55,800 projected deaths from the extensive migration in and emigration from Iraq occurring as a result of the war.

The researchers estimated that 60 percent of the deaths were violent, with the remaining 40 percent occurring because of the health-infrastructure issues that arose as a result of the invasion — a point they emphasized in discussing their research, since the figure is higher than those found in previous studies.

“I hope that one of the takeaways from this paper will be that when we invade a country, there are many health consequences that aren’t directly related to violence,” said study author Amy Hagopian, program director of the community-oriented public-health practice at the University of Washington School of Public Health. She said approximately half those deaths were attributed to inadequate treatment for cardiovascular disease.

To conduct the household surveys, researchers worked with volunteer Iraqi scientists and improved on the methods used for similar surveys in the past. Because the survey was conducted in mid-2011, researchers were able to access more areas of the country safely. The households surveyed were chosen by a grid placed on Google Maps, and a home was selected by a quadrant in that grid from randomly generated numbers. Ultimately, the researchers were able to survey twice as many areas as previous studies and had a more random selection of homes, avoiding the past problems of home selection by the survey takers on the ground, who may have been more likely to approach homes along more-traveled streets.

The more thorough investigation may negate some of the criticism levied against past studies on Iraqi mortality after the invasion, which were published in the medical journal The Lancet in 2004 and 2006. The 2006 study in particular was a subject of scrutiny because it estimated a toll of 655,000 excess deaths, mostly violent, at a time when other surveys had five-digit death tolls.

New access, new method
The central criticism of that study focused on the number of areas surveyed, with 50 clusters instead of the 100 in the new study, which may have distorted the numbers but was the result of safety concerns at the time.

“The problem in conflict is you’re putting researchers at risk, interviewers at risk in these areas,” said Dr. Gilbert Burnham, a co-director of the center for refugee and disaster response at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who was an author on both Lancet studies and the new one.

Researchers who were critical of earlier work by Burnham and his colleagues praised the new study for improvements in the methods but said there was still something lacking.

“I can see that over the years in this type of research, they made an attempt to be more rigorous, and that is very good,” said Beth Osborne Daponte of Social Science Consultants, who was involved in tallying mortality in Iraq during the first Gulf War. But, she added, “there’s a tremendous amount of uncertainty here.”

“This one is very much better than the last one because they’ve actually eliminated quite a bit of the methodological shortcomings. The result is the numbers plummet,” said Michael Spagat, head of the department of economics at Royal Holloway University of London. “There’s huge vindication for the critics here — the fact that the numbers have gone down so much.”

For his part, Burnham defended the results of both studies.

“From a statistical standpoint, the numbers are not really different from each other,” he said. “These represent estimates, and that’s what we’ve always said.”

Spagat said that while the numbers have become more accurate, he does not feel the authors have done much to address past criticisms, changing methods without acknowledging the flaws of past work. An analyst for the Iraq Body Count, which tracks violent civilian deaths in Iraq using confirmed violent deaths and therefore should be considered a low-end estimate, echoed those sentiments.

“Hopefully, the widespread reporting of this study can contribute towards a more mature and reflective attitude among those who may have too easily latched onto conveniently massive round numbers as political footballs,” said Hamit Dardagan, an analyst for Iraq Body Count, in an email to Al Jazeera. “It might also help if the authors were a little more forthcoming in acknowledging and perhaps exploring the discrepancies between the earlier work and the new study, whose results are much less of an outlier amongst the various existing estimates for deaths from violence.”

Spagat, who was a vocal critic of the 2006 Lancet paper, said that too much of the discussion in the media criticizing the study focused on funding sources (the 2006 study was funded in part by a group funded by left-leaning billionaire George Soros) and that it was not focused where it should have been: on methods in the study that could have been done better and would have made the numbers more accurate.

“I’m sure Soros’ people there would be … pretty happy if the results would come out with a high estimate, but that doesn’t mean instantly the survey is wrong,” he said.

The new study says support “came from pooled internal resources by the American and Canadian researchers without external funding. No funding bodies had any role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript.”

Public misperception
Spagat said the public should be largely aware of the death toll from the Iraq war by now, but it’s not clear that that is the case. While even the most conservative estimates of mortality in Iraq — including the Iraq Body Count — have reached six figures, polling in the U.S. (PDF) and U.K. (PDF) have shown public perception to be that the civilian death toll from the war is in the neighborhood of 10,000.

Although the Lancet studies may have resulted in a high estimate, others in the field who have conducted similar research have defended them.

“(The Lancet study from 2006) was too high, and the others were too low,” said Dr. Paul B. Spiegel, deputy director of the division of program support and management at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, who has conducted similar research in refugee populations and examined mortality after the war in Kosovo. “In my view, the other surveys that they did should not be discredited, because the methods they used were accepted at the time.”

“They were countering the other, too-low studies. The public may not have been aware of the magnitude of the deaths going on at that time if not for those studies,” Spiegel added.

While the decision to go to war in Iraq and the exact nature of that decision’s consequences are likely to remain a topic of debate for some time, the new study’s editor said the emphasis should be moved to how to lessen the war’s toll going forward.

“We’ll never know the true number of people who died as a result of the war,” said Edward Mills, Canada research chair in global health at the University of Ottawa. “You just can’t come up with a number that’s going to be the absolute number.”

He said at this point the focus should be on rebuilding Iraq, calling on Canada and European nations not involved in the war to become involved in this effort.

“I think that the period of contention is over, and the focus now should not be on putting the blame on anyone,” he said, “but on how do we figure out rebuilding the health structure in this environment.”

8
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article35228.htm

Rewriting History _ Iraq and the BBC Glove Puppets

By Matt Carr

June 10, 2013 "Information Clearing House -  I watched the first part of the BBC's 'History of the Iraq War' series, and I have no intention of watching any more, because it won't do my blood pressure any good.

I don't think I've ever seen such a shallow and essentially reverential piece of telehistory. Within ten minutes I was ready to scream with frustration at the tv set, which is really a very futile activity.

The first problem was the content. Watching Cheney, Hadley, Blair talk about their conspiratorial plotting was a deeply depressing and quite disturbing experience, which confirms my view that these are men without even the semblance of moral conscience.  Not one of them showed the slightest sign of regret or remorse or any sense of having done anything wrong.

They chatted about their part in the Iraq disaster with a kind of pride, as though they were talking about how they laid down guitar tracks on Classic Albums, rather than a war in which hundreds of thousands of men, women and children were killed and maimed, and a country shattered – all thanks to their sleazy and moronic machinations.

Not one of them showed the slightest capacity for insight into or reflection. Listening to their slick blather made it clear that they didn't care then and they don't care now.  Evil would be too strong a word to describe men who are so essentially banal and hollow, and so devoid any moral compass except power.

It was sickening to hear Blair talk about how "we decided we were going to remake the Middle East".  Disgusting to listen to Paul Wolfowitz uttering the cliche about Saddam "using WMD against his own people" – the same Wolfowitz who once declared that he only used WMD to justify the war "for bureaucratic reasons".   

Horrible to hear Blair's ghastly apparatchnik Sally Morgan say that the anti-Iraq war demo was a "difficult day for us" and talk about how angry her boss was when he was raked over the coals on tele shortly before the war by a group of anti-war women – probably the only time in his political life when Blair was ever treated the way he deserves.

But the worst thing about the programme was that the BBC let them say whatever they wanted without challenging them. The journalist never asked a single penetrating question, never offered any real alternatives to what Blair & Co were saying. The programme was about as forensic as a banana, and made the Chilcot Iraq inquiry look positively inquisitorial by comparison.

It wasn't even history from the top down – just the official story told by the "key players" – for the BBC the only people worth hearing – in the way they wanted it told. The journalists who made the programme were clearly so awed by their privileged access that they let them get away with it.

Journalists aren't supposed to do this, but the people who made this programme are not journalists, but scribes of power, gutless sycophants and glove puppets who shame, not just the BBC, but journalism itself.

All in all a pathetic display, which says a great deal about the state we're in.

9
South Tyneside Stop the War / 'Silence Gives Consent'
« on: May 07, 2013, 01:00:33 PM »
The Truth Is That After Israel’s Air Strikes, We Are Involved

By Robert Fisk

May 06, 2013 "Information Clearing House" -"The Independent" -  Lights in the sky over Damascus. Another Israeli raid – “daring” of course, in the words of Israel’s supporters, and the second in two days – on Bashar al-Assad’s weaponry and military facilities and weapons stores. The story is already familiar: the Israelis wanted to prevent a shipment of Iranian-made Fateh-110 missiles reaching Hezbollah in Lebanon;  they were being sent by the Syrian government. According, at least, to a ‘Western intelligence source’. Anonymous, of course. And it opens the old question: why when the Syrian regime is fighting for its life would it send advanced missiles out of Syria?

But the Syrians themselves have officially confirmed that military installations were hit by the Israelis. And not for the first time during the rebellion. The Fateh-110 – the new version, at least – has a range of perhaps 250km. And it could indeed reach Tel Aviv from southern Lebanon. If the Hezbollah has actually acquired any. But why would the Syrians send them, as US sources were also claiming last night, when the Americans themselves claimed only last December that the Syrians had used the same ground-to-ground missiles against rebel forces in Syria.

In other words, the Syrian regime was prepared to dispense with their rockets to Lebanon when they were already using them in the brutal war in Syria…  Now there are other questions to be asked. If the Syrian air force can use their MiGs so devastatingly – and at such civilian cost – against their enemies inside Syria, why couldn’t they have sent their jets to protect Damascus and attack the Israeli aircraft? Isn’t the Syrian air force supposed to be guarding Syria from Israel?  Or are the MiGs just not technically able to take on Israel’s state-of-the-art (American) hardware? Or would that just be a step too far?

Much more important, however, is the salient fact that Israel has now intervened in the Syrian war.  It may say it was only aiming at weapons destined for the Hezbollah – but these were weapons also being used against rebel forces in Syria.  By diminishing the regime’s supply of these weapons, it is therefore helping the rebels overthrow Bashar al-Assad. And since Israel regards itself as a Western nation – best friend and best US military ally in the Middle East, etc, etc – this means that “we” are now involved in the war, directly and from the air.

Let’s see if the US and the EU condemn Israel’s air attacks. I doubt it. Which would mean, if we are silent, that we approve of them. Silence, to quote Sir Thomas More, gives consent.

So now the Iranians and Hizballah are accused of intervening in Syria – true, though not to quite extent we are led to believe – and Qatar and Saudi Arabia funnel weapons to the rebels – true, but not quite enough weapons, as the Syrian rebels will tell you – and the Israelis have joined in. We are now militarily involved.

10
South Tyneside Stop the War / Silence Is Shame 'Volume 13' - Draft Pieces
« on: February 05, 2013, 03:37:06 PM »
March of the Millions

by Alan Trotter

February 15th 2003 was the day when decent folk all over the world came together in unison to say NOT IN MY NAME over the imminent invasion of Iraq.

In London an estimated 2 million kindred spirits marched through the streets to voice their opposition to the threat of war speaking for the majority of the population in Britain.

Sadly we did not manage to persuade our leaders to change course and within five weeks of this march the missiles rained into Baghdad at a horrifying rate killing indiscriminately and the bloodshed continued with the death count climbing higher on a daily basis.

Looking back on the last ten blood stained years many horrifying things have taken place, the atrocities of Falujah and the carnage brought about by cluster bombs, the use of banned chemical weapons, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people both civilian and military, routine torture of prisoners, the practice of extraordinary rendition, the hypocrisy of the media frenzy over ‘little’ Ali Abbas, the abuses of Guantanamo Bay and our government willing to sacrifice our children by sending 17 year olds to fight in a unjust and illegal war, as well as the manipulation and lies to cover up abuses and outrages throughout these ten lamentable years.

We have seen the creation of the war on terror and the establishing of Islamaphobia to create divisions between people.
 
Our government continues to finance Trident and is spending billions of pounds on wars all over the globe and yet at home we are watching the destruction of the NHS (it’s fair to say military spending is killing us), the education and welfare system and the reduction of benefits to the most vulnerable in our society, while £700million is wasted on subsidizing arms exports every year (CAAT).

At what point are we going to say enough is enough?.

Who if anybody will be held to account?
Where are the guilty ones now?
Who’s next…………...?

Alan Trotter 

+

by Les Barker

The good guy with a gun
is still killing people
and he still thinks
he's a good guy with a gun.

January 2013

Les Barker is a poet best known for his comedic poetry and parodies of popular songs, however he has also produced some very serious thought-provoking written work.

for more of his work visit
www.mrsackroyd.com

+

The Great Escape

by Barry Clark

How often have we seen it?
How many times?

We know the story
We know the end, Don’t we?

It doesn’t get any better.
Does it?

Steve McQueen, The Great Escape, alpha male, actor
Hollywood star, recruiters dream.

Steve McQueen, writer, director, producer
War artist, designer of stamps.

When will The Great Escape be?
10 years? 20 years? More?

Still, we’ll always have the same old story
Same inevitable outcome

Are we not sick of it yet?
Has it not past its sell by date?

Steve McQueen, every soldier
Steve McQueen, conscientious campaigner

Lets end the war
Lets bring them home

Lets honour the dead
Lets make The Great Escape

January 2013

+

by Colum Sands

On Rathlin, just a few miles off the County Antrim coast, archaeologists have discovered the remains of what might be called a stone-age munitions factory. Porcellanite, a kind of flint stone unique to the island, was once quarried here for the making of axe heads and there is evidence to suggest that these weapons were exported to many parts of Europe from as far back as 4,500 years ago.
 
So, nothing new about the arms trade then, but wouldn’t it be good to think that humankind has moved on from the days when Neolithic man walked the earth. No matter how sophisticated a bomb or war machine might be, it is nothing more than an updated version of the club or axe once wielded by the caveman.

Have a look at what arms exports are worth to your country each year and ask yourself what kind of people are in power today. If the answer gives you the impression that modern day cavemen are still in charge, you have a right to feel concerned.

But there is hope. Think of around two million people taking to the streets of London ten years ago, raising a voice against the invasion of Iraq. Think of the power of online petitions like avaaz.org and the platform they provide for us to make change. They, and those of us all over the world who continue to take a stand against war, represent the development and progress of the human mind.

We all inherit the riddles of history and we all can work to solve them. We can change things for the better if we apply human intelligence and feeling rather than primitive brute force. That’s something to bear in mind not only in our everyday lives but also at the next time we approach the ballot box.   

January 2013

Colum Sands is a universal storyteller who draws on a long Irish tradition of poetic musicality to weave songs for the world.

for more of his work visit
www.columsands.com

11
For Your Information / 'British Have Invaded 90% of Countries'
« on: November 08, 2012, 02:28:07 PM »
'Britain has invaded all but 22 countries in the world in its long and colourful history, new research has found.'

By Jasper Copping

November 05, 2012 "The Daily Telegraph"

'Every schoolboy used to know that at the height of the empire, almost a quarter of the atlas was coloured pink, showing the extent of British rule.

But that oft recited fact dramatically understates the remarkable global reach achieved by this country.

A new study has found that at various times the British have invaded almost 90 per cent of the countries around the globe.

The analysis of the histories of the almost 200 countries in the world found only 22 which have never experienced an invasion by the British.

Among this select group of nations are far-off destinations such as Guatemala, Tajikistan and the Marshall Islands, as well some slightly closer to home, such as Luxembourg.

The analysis is contained in a new book, All the Countries We've Ever Invaded: And the Few We Never Got Round To.

Stuart Laycock, the author, has worked his way around the globe, through each country alphabetically, researching its history to establish whether, at any point, they have experienced an incursion by Britain.

Only a comparatively small proportion of the total in Mr Laycock's list of invaded states actually formed an official part of the empire.

The remainder have been included because the British were found to have achieved some sort of military presence in the territory – however transitory – either through force, the threat of force, negotiation or payment.

Incursions by British pirates, privateers or armed explorers have also been included, provided they were operating with the approval of their government.

So, many countries which once formed part of the Spanish empire and seem to have little historical connection with the UK, such as Costa Rica, Ecuador and El Salvador, make the list because of the repeated raids they suffered from state-sanctioned British sailors.

Among some of the perhaps surprising entries on the list are:

* Cuba, where in 1741, a force under Admiral Edward Vernon stormed ashore at Guantánamo Bay. He renamed it Cumberland Bay, before being forced to withdraw in the face of hostile locals and an outbreak of disease among his men. Twenty one years later, Havana and a large part of the island fell to the British after a bloody siege, only to be handed back to the Spanish in 1763, along with another unlikely British possession, the Philippines, in exchange for Florida and Minorca.

*Iceland, invaded in 1940 by the British after the neutral nation refused to enter the war on the Allies side. The invasion force, of 745 marines, met with strong protest from the Iceland government, but no resistance.

* Vietnam, which has experienced repeated incursions by the British since the seventeenth century. The most recent – from 1945 to 1946 – saw the British fight a campaign for control of the country against communists, in a war that has been overshadowed by later conflicts involving first the French and then Americans.

It is thought to be the first time such a list has been compiled.

Mr Laycock, who has previously published books on Roman history, began the unusual quest after being asked by his 11-year-old son, Frederick, how many countries the British had invaded.

After almost two years of research he said he was shocked by the answer. "I was absolutely staggered when I reached the total. I like to think I have a relatively good general knowledge. But there are places where it hadn't occurred to me that these things had ever happened. It shocked me.

"Other countries could write similar books – but they would be much shorter. I don't think anyone could match this, although the Americans had a later start and have been working hard on it in the twentieth century."

The only other nation which has achieved anything approaching the British total, Mr Laycock said, is France – which also holds the unfortunate record for having endured the most British invasions. "I realise people may argue with some of my reasons, but it is intended to prompt debate," he added.

He believes the actual figure may well be higher and is inviting the public to get in touch to provide evidence of other invasions.

In the case of Mongolia, for instance – one of the 22 nations "not invaded", according to the book – he believes it possible that there could have been a British invasion, but could find no direct proof.

The country was caught up in the turmoil following the Russian Revolution, in which the British and other powers intervened. Mr Laycock found evidence of a British military mission in Russia approximately 50 miles from the Mongolian border, but could not establish whether it got any closer.

The research lists countries based on their current national boundaries and names. Many of the invasions took place when these did not apply.

The research covered the 192 other UN member states as well as the Vatican City and Kosovo, which are not member states, but are recognised by the UK government as independent states.

The earliest invasion launched from these islands was an incursion into Gaul – now France – at the end of the second century. Clodius Albinus led an army, thought to include many Britons, across the Channel in an attempt to seize the imperial throne. The force was defeated in 197 at Lyon.

Mr Laycock added: "One one level, for the British, it is quite amazing and quite humbling, that this is all part of our history, but clearly there are parts of our history that we are less proud of. The book is not intended as any kind of moral judgment on our history or our empire. It is meant as a light-hearted bit of fun."

The countries never invaded by the British:

Andorra

Belarus

Bolivia

Burundi

Central African Republic

Chad

Congo, Republic of

Guatemala

Ivory Coast

Kyrgyzstan

Liechtenstein

Luxembourg

Mali

Marshall Islands

Monaco

Mongolia

Paraguay

Sao Tome and Principe

Sweden

Tajikistan

Uzbekistan

Vatican City'

13
For Your Information / Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal
« on: May 10, 2012, 01:29:57 PM »
Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

'BUSH AND ASSOCIATES AUTHORISED TORTURE'

KUALA LUMPUR, 9 May 2012 - The third day of the Kuala Lumpur war crimes tribunal hearing saw the prosecution present its submission to establish that the accused parties are indeed guilty as charged for the Crime of Torture and Crimes Against Humanity.

In the last two days, three witnesses namely Abbas Abid, Moazzam Begg and Jameelah Hameedi gave their testimony of the tortures they had faced during their incarceration. Two additional Statutory Declarations (Ali Shalal and Rhuhel Ahmed) were read out and submitted to the tribunal.

The witnesses were taken prisoners and held in prisons in Afghanistan (Bagram), in Iraq (Abu Gharib, Baghdad International Airport) and two of them namely Moazzam Begg and Rhuhel Ahmed were transported to Guantanamo Bay.

The prosecution submitted that it didn’t matter where the location of the detentions were, the techniques used to torture the prisoners were brutal, remained constant and were ‘migrated’ from one location to other rather seamlessly.

According to the prosecution, the testimony of all the witnesses shows a sustained perpetration of brutal, barbaric, cruel and dehumanizing course of conduct against them. These acts of crimes were applied cumulatively to inflict the worst possible pain and suffering.

These acts of crime included:

a. Hooding for incredibly long hours;
b. Short shackling where the hands and legs of a detainee are tied together, for prolonged periods of time, up to 7-8 hours;
c. Shackling of the feet, body and hands for prolonged periods;
d. Chaining in physically impossible postures, including to the floor of a cell, for prolonged periods;
e. Shackling and chaining for long periods such as to cause severe and prolonged physical pain;
f. Depriving sleep;
g. Blasting loud noises continuously for prolonged periods;
h. Beating continuously causing severe pain;
i. Confining in solitary and (often while hooded) for prolonged periods;
j. Subjecting to extreme and physically unbearable conditions (extreme cold or hot, humid, devoid of sunlight);
k. Overcrowding prisoners in small cells;
l. Disallowing normal bodily functions in decent conditions (not allowing to go to toilet, have a bath, defection in full view of others, abruptly ending prisoners when carrying out such functions);
m. Withholding food and/or drinks;
n. Where food was provided, providing atrocious and terrible food;
o. Humiliating: including by women officers;
p. Using dogs to threaten and intimidate;
q. Using electrocution, including of sensitive areas such as genitals;
r. Threatening to harm family members;
s. Simulating torture of family members;
t. Threatening to shoot with gun pointed at the head;
u. Securing confessions through coercion and inducements;
v. Denying medical treatment;
w. Dispensing hallucinating drugs;
x. Suggesting suicide.

Testimony showed that Abbas Abid had his fingernails removed by pliers. Ali Shalal was attached with bare electrical wires and electrocuted and hung from the wall. Moazzam Begg was beaten and put in solitary confinement. Jameelah was almost nude and humiliated, used as a human shield whilst being transported by helicopter. All these witnesses have residual injuries till today.
After the testimony of the witnesses, the court was shown footage of the prisons, of prisoners being tortured and the conditions described by the witnesses in the documentary Taxi to the Dark Side. This documentary also highlighted the cavalier attitude of some of the accused of their actions.

The prosecution stated that the treatment meted out to the prisoners disclosed torture and inhumane conduct. These acts amount to:
a. Torture under the Torture Convention 1984; as well as
b. Cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment in violation of Geneva Convention III and IV, 1949; and Common Article III to the Geneva Conventions.

According to the Torture Convention 1984 of which the US is a party, the prohibition against torture is absolute. Torture by public officials is “without doubt … regarded by customary international law as an international crime” per Lord Hope, Ex-Pinochet. Nobody is immune from its reach – not even heads of states as the Pinochet case decided.

The Torture Convention defines ‘torture’ as ‘the intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, by or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official’.

Through legal contrivance the accused lawyers, in justifying the use of torture, the US redefined the meaning of torture to ‘actual organ failure and cause long lasting harm’.
This position was advanced in a memorandum by the Attorney General’s office to President George W. Bush, dated August 1 2002 and was given by the Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee.

The Prosecution submitted that the testimonies of the witnesses made it clear that the acts inflicted such as pain and harm could only be described as torture. This means that even if the threshold is raised in the manner suggested by Bush and his legal advisors, the acts were in violation of the Torture Convention.

Under the Geneva Conventions, which promise a minimum of humane treatment in “armed conflict not of an international character” to all civilians and non-combatants. Geneva Convention III protects all persons – whether they are captured or surrendered, whether in uniform or not.

Liability may also arise under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, 1998 (ICC). Although the US is not a party (though a signatory), Afghanistan is. It became a party on 10 February 2003. The ICC can exercise jurisdiction over any person who is a national of a state party, or who has committed a crime on the territory of a state party: article 12.2.

The manuals (Army Field Manual 34-52: Intelligence Interrogation (1992) referred to colloquially as FM 34-52) of the US FBI and the Army relating to the handling of prisoners during interrogation and confinement incorporate Geneva Convention constraints. From about September 2001, there was a distinct move to seek ways to avoid the obligations under the Torture Convention as well as the Geneva Convention III.

There was a proliferation of legal opinions to the President and the Defence Secretary that the Geneva Conventions were inapplicable to the prisoners. These were acted upon Executive orders and other directives issued that were incompatible with the Geneva Convention III and the Torture Convention.

The prosecution submitted that the inevitable conclusion is that the US Executive branch, as represented by the President, the Vice-President and the Defence Secretary, intended by a conscious and wilful act not to treat the prisoners in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.

The prosecution stated that the totality of the evidence established that President Bush issued executive orders to commit war crimes. As Commander-In-Chief of the US military leading the conduct of the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, he intended these orders to be acted on. In this capacity, he received reports from the battlefields as well as other sources that pointed clearly to these violations. He did nothing to stop these war crimes from being committed. The fact that his executive orders were based on legal opinions is an issue that does not absolve him. Indeed, it makes those giving advice equally liable for war crimes.

President Bush issued a memorandum on February 7 2002 declaring that al-Qaeda prisoners were outside the protection of the Geneva Conventions as they were ‘enemy combatants’ not prisoners of war. This was a prelude to subjecting them to torture and inhumane acts.

He also detained the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay at the Southern tip of Cuba with the aim of taking them out of the jurisdiction of any legal system – “a legal black hole”.

Donald Rumsfeld, the then Defence Secretary, issued a Memorandum for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff dated 19 January 2002 approving the ‘advice’ given to him by legal counsel John Yoo and Robert Delabunty by a Memorandum dated 9 January 2002 that the CIA was free to ignore the Geneva Conventions as they did not apply to suspected Al Qaeda and Taliban detainees.

Rumsfeld denied knowledge of the abuses. Rumsfeld knew or should have known of the abuses and torture at Iraq and Afghanistan. He and his department were repeatedly warned of the abuse of detainees.

Rumsfeld established the ‘aggressive’ torture techniques programme and authorised these techniques, created an environment that promoted torture and inhumane acts by sending an unequivocal signal demanding ‘more actionable’ intelligence, and failed to prevent or punish acts of torture and other violations.

The Prosecution further submitted that Dick Cheney was the Vice President of the US at all material times when the complainants were subjected to violations of the Torture Convention and Geneva Convention III. It is logical to infer that he was privy to the policies and the orders issued by the president and Rumsfeld.

Cheney, for example, played a key role in opposing the amendment proposed by Senator John McCain to pass an amendment to the 2006 National Defence Authorisation Bill to prohibit “cruel, inhuman and degrading” treatment of detainees in US military custody.

Cheney had knowledge of what was going on and in particular that the orders issued by Bush and Rumsfeld were issued and acted upon. He was part of the policy makers in this regard. He plainly knew that there were violations of the Torture Convention and/or the Geneva Convention III and failed to intervene to prevent such activity.

During the afternoon session, the prosecution submitted on the liability of Alberto Gonzales, William Haynes, Dick Addington, John Yoo and Jay Bybee. The prosecution stated that these lawyers gave advice that the Geneva Conventions and the Torture Convention did not apply; and that certain interrogation techniques were permissible.

The accused (lawyers) have suggested that there is no connect between the interrogation techniques employed and the legal opinion justifying these techniques, as the latter were merely to explore the “outer limits of the legal landscape”.

Prosecution submitted that the lawyers knew that their advice was being sought to be acted upon; and in fact was acted upon. And further that the advice paved the way for the violations of international law and the Conventions. The President and the Defence Secretary are clear that they would – and did - rely upon, and act, in accordance with advice of the lawyers.

Bush nails the lie that there was no connect between the techniques employed and the legal opinion justifying these techniques. He states categorically, in his memoirs:

‘Years later … many lawmakers became fierce critics. They charged that Americans had committed unlawful torture. That was not true. I had asked the most senior legal officers in the US government to review the interrogation methods and they had assured me that they did not constitute torture. To suggest that our intelligence personnel violated the law by following the legal guidance they received is insulting and wrong.’

Others who relied on these legal opinions were former CIA Director, Tenet, in his memoirs recounts that the CIA had to wait until legal opinion before they could embark on aggressive interrogation techniques.

Diane Beaver was in charge of Guantanamo acknowledges that there was never any question in her mind that Washington was closely involved as the lawyers for Rumsfeld, Bush, Cheney and the CIA visited Guantanamo before the list of the techniques was compiled. The lawyers had said they should do “whatever (was) needed to be done”,

The techniques in Guantanamo ‘migrated’ to Iraq, as the testimonies of the several complainants in this case bears out so lucidly. The report by the former Defence Secretary James Schlesinger attests to this fact.

The Nuremberg trial in the Altstotter case (Altstotter was Chief of the Civil Law and Procedure Division of the Ministry of Justice) pronounced that:
“… legal advisers who prepare legal advice that is so erroneous as to give rise to an international crime are themselves subject to the rules of international criminality”.

The Nuremberg Tribunal highlighted the fact that as a lawyer he knew of the crimes that were being committed and found him guilty of giving his name as “a jurist of note and so helped to cloak the shameful deeds…” “The cloak of the assassin was concealed beneath the robe of the jurist”.

The prosecution further submitted that the cumulative evidence establishes a joint enterprise to carry out acts that are war crimes.

The decision-makers at the highest levels – President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, Secretary of Defence Rumsfeld, aided and abetted by the lawyers and the other commanders and CIA officials – all acted in concert. Rumsfeld wanted more aggressive techniques, the lawyers advised on how this could be accomplished and provided legal arguments to circumvent the law, Bush approved, and the techniques were transmitted and applied right down the chain of command. The torture was systematically applied and became an accepted norm.

The prosecution concluded their submission by stating that they have proved beyond reasonable doubt that all the accused persons were instrumental in inflicting torture and cruel inhumane and degrading treatment that violated the Torture Convention and Geneva Convention III. These are war crimes. The lawyers advising the administration played a decisive role in subverting the system of international rules that should have protected all the detainees, a system that the US did so much to put in place after the Nazi atrocities in World War II.

The charge against the accused here is very similar to the charge for which the Nazi war criminals were convicted at the Nuremberg trials: “the charge of conscious participation in a nation-wide governmentally organized system of cruelty and injustice, in violation of the laws of war and humanity, and perpetrated in the name of law by ... authority”: Alstotter case.

This is because after 9/11, all the pronouncements from the top made a conscious decision to set aside international rules constraining such treatment. A combination of factors account for this: fear, ideology and almost visceral disdain for international rules and norms. There are others who have also committed war crimes but those that have been charged are the key players. Against them there is overwhelming evidence and they bear direct responsibility for war crimes.

The court was adjourned for the day to resume tomorrow at 9am.

ends




For further information, please contact

Dato’ Dr Yaacob Merican
Secretary General of the KLWCC Secretariat
Tel: +6012-227 8680

Ms Malkeet Kaur
Media Representative of KLWCC
 malkeet@dbook.com.my
Tel: +6012-3737 886


The Tribunal Members
Tan Sri Dato Lamin bin Haji Mohd Yunus,
Mr Alfred Lambremont Webre
Tunku Sofiah Jewa
Prof Salleh Buang
Mr Alfred Lambremont Webre
Datuk Mohd Sa’ari Yusof.

The Prosecution
Prof Gurdial S Nijar
Prof Francis Boyle
Mr Avtaran Singh
Ms Gan Pei Fern

Amicus Curiae (appointed Defence team)
Mr Jason Kay
Dr Mohd Hisham
Dr Abbas Hardani
Ms Galoh Nursafinas

The Charge
Crime of Torture and War Crimes against former U.S. President George W. Bush and his associates namely Richard Cheney, former U.S. Vice President, Donald Rumsfeld, former Defence Secretary, Alberto Gonzales, then Counsel to President Bush, David Addington, then General Counsel to the Vice-President, William Haynes II, then General Counsel to Secretary of Defence, Jay Bybee, then Assistant Attorney General, and John Choon Yoo, former Deputy Assistant Attorney-General.

The Tribunal will adjudicate and evaluate the evidence presented on facts and law as in any court of law. The judges of the Tribunal must be satisfied that the charge is proven beyond reasonable doubt and deliver a reasoned judgement. The verdict and the names of the persons found guilty will be entered in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals and publicised worldwide.

About Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (KLWCC)
The KLFCW established the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (The Commission), to investigate cases of war crimes that have been neglected by established institutions such as the International Criminal Court. The Commission seeks to influence world opinion on the illegality of wars and occupation undertaken by major Western powers.

The aim of The Commission is thereby to hold perpetrators of war crimes accountable for their actions especially when relevant international judicial organs fail to do so.

The Commission
The commission’s function is to:
i) receive complaints from any victim(s) of any conflict on:

(a) Crimes against peace
(b) Crimes against humanity
(c) Crimes of genocide
(d) War crimes

ii) investigate the same and prepare a report of its findings. To further call for more evidence or where The Commission is satisfied to recommend prosecution

The Legal Team
The legal team’s aim is to present the complaints of victim(s) of any conflict and to act on the recommendation of The Commission’s report and to frame charges and prosecute accused person(s).

The Tribunal
The Tribunal shall adjudicate on the charges filed against the accused person(s) The applicable standard of proof shall be beyond reasonable doubt.


About the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War (KLFCW)
Malaysia’s fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad founded the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War (KLFCW), a non-governmental organisation established under the laws of Malaysia on 12 March 2007.

The main objectives of the Foundation, as stated in its Statutes are, inter alia:

1. To undertake all necessary measures and initiatives to criminalise war and energise peace;

2. To provide relief, assistance and support to individuals and communities who are suffering from the effects of war and armed conflict wherever occurring and without discrimination on the grounds of nationality, racial origin, religion, belief, age, gender or other forms of impermissible differentiations;

3. To promote the education of individuals and communities suffering from the effects of war or armed conflict;

4. To foster schemes for the relief of human suffering occasioned by war or armed conflict;

5. To provide for mechanisms or procedures in attainment of the above purposes.


“WHY is it that the murder of one man is considered a criminal act whereas the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent people committed in wars, is not considered so?"
-Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad


BERNAMA, Malaysia


15
For Your Information / GlimpsesOfThe[BehindTheScenes]Watchers
« on: March 05, 2012, 11:58:40 AM »
'...

We are in the Gold Command Suite of the Metropolitan Police’s Special Operations Room (SOR) [[as if] looking
over the shoulder of] ... Commander Simon Pountain, who’s in charge of the Met’s public order
operation today.

From the claustrophobic and cramped confines of the squat, square room we watch multiple CCTV
screens as events unfold during the Day Of Action march and rally taking place in central London.
 
This is the first time access has been given to the Gold Command Suite and to Gold Command meetings,
and it took eight months of [']negotiation['] to get this far.

Locked away in the basement of a brutal concrete block close to Lambeth Palace and within sight of
Westminster Bridge, the SOR is geared up to deal with Britain’s biggest public sector strike since
the Seventies.

If the SOR is the nerve centre for the police operation, then Gold Commander Pountain is the brain:
trained and tasked to deploy nearly 5,000 officers and [']to maintain the peace['].

The commander has a lot on his mind right now, with another screen showing several hundred
protesters attempting to close off one of the main arterial roads in central London by marching
across the Strand.

He watches as, in the shadow of Charing Cross Station, lines of yellow jacketed police begin to
bisect the protesters, with one police line feeding through another at right angles to try to hem in
the crowd.

Two fast-response police cars containing Forward Intelligence Teams (FITs) – who act as the eyes and
ears of the commanders on the ground – race up to the scene of the confrontation to help coordinate
operations.

Within minutes the protesters are pushed into a side street, freeing up traffic on the Strand and
allowing the police to deploy reserves who can eventually contain or ‘kettle’ the crowd if it is
deemed necessary.

Two [']armed['] police units are on call and nearby – they can use baton rounds (rubber bullets) should
police feel they have no other option to restore [']order['] in the face of a [']sustained attack['].

These armed units deploy in armoured vehicles, and include specially trained firearms officers, TSG
minders to protect them and a snatch squad to run in and grab [']leaders['] or [']troublemakers['] who have been
‘shot’. It’s decided they are not required today.

One of Pountain’s staff officers then takes a call on his mobile: a senior official from the Cabinet
Office is demanding a briefing within the next ten minutes about the events unfolding in London.
Pountain takes counsel from another aide before sitting down to watch the ‘Heli Tele’ again. He
feels relieved.

...

There’s a quiet hum inside the Special Operations Room with around 150 staff spread across 28
‘pods’, each with multiple computer screens. The open-plan space has three giant multi-screens, made
up of 32 screens in total. CCTV cameras can be accessed from across London.

This was the centre of police operations during last summer’s riots, and it will be the Met’s
Olympics operation room this summer. You enter from the left-hand side of the rectangular room and
on your left are three suites, with the furthest for the communications team.

The first and second suites house the Silver and Gold Commands and both comprise an ante room
looking onto the SOR and a suite at the back for meetings.

Gold Commander Pountain sets the overall strategy; straight-talking Yorkshireman Peter Terry is the
Silver Command for the day and is responsible for police tactics, with minute-by-minute control of a
team of Bronze commanders beneath him.

Three Bronze commanders deal with the march route: each responsible for a sector, each of which is,
in turn, broken down into ‘sub-bronze’ quadrants, each with a ‘sub-bronze’ commander.

Perhaps the most important Bronze commander today is Bronze 1, Julia Pendry. The 46-year-old chief
superintendent commands 250 level 3 ordinary bobbies on the beat and another 200 level 2 riot-
trained officers.  

Gearing up in her New Scotland Yard office for a ‘recce’ along the march route, Pendry looks on as
her colleagues don the full gear of groin and body armour, shin pads, ‘hooves’ (feet protection) and
flame-proof overalls.

‘It is hugely important to have the right look and feel for the march,’ she says.
‘It is important that people can exercise their democratic rights but it is difficult to get the
balance right. The level 3 officers will wear yellow jackets and helmets and the public order
trained officers will have flat caps.’

This ‘soft’ policing extends to having level 3 officers in front of the barriers and keeping riot-
trained  officers behind the barriers for the duration of the march through central London. Only
when the TUC stewards, [']who have a well-established rapport with the police['], cannot [']manage['] a
situation will the police  be called in to deal with it and any action is governed  by [']strict police
protocols['].

‘Anything within my footprint or bubble immediately around the march is down to me,’ says Pendry, as
she walks down the Strand.

‘If anyone or any group deviates off the march it goes to a geographic bronze. Eagles 1 and 2 – the
helicopters – have public order commanders on board and if we see any [']spontaneous movement of people[']
they can move resources from other commands to deal with the [']problem['].’

...'

From an article by Adam Luck
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-2108745/Law-public-disorder-Inside-secret-bunker-Mets-men-work-rioters-control.html

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