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2012 - The Year that was
national | miscellaneous | feature Monday December 31, 2012 18:28 by various
The "Arab Spring" began in Tunisia (the "jasmine revolution"), fuelled by increasing social oppression, revelations by Wikileaks of rampant corruption in the government and by the increasingly difficult economic circumstances amongst the citizens of the country. It was finally sparked off by an incident whereby a desperate vegetable merchant set fire to himself. After 28 turbulent days, Ben Ali fled the country, no doubt his ill gotten gains secured in a Swiss bank account. Buoyed by the apparent success of their Arab brothers in ousting their corrupt leader, the "revolution" then spread and infected Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and others. Initially the west was caught somewhat off guard by all this, but after consultation with think tanks such as NED and the Albert Einstein institute and others, it was realized that the west could take full advantage of the situation by working closely with the Muslim brotherhood to rid itself of some troublesome strongmen and better secure access to natural resources and strategic control across the whole of North Africa in preparation for the longer term push across the whole of Africa and into Syria in the middle east with an eye towards the further isolation and future invasion of Iran. In return for this alliance, all that seemed to be required was political support for the Muslim brotherhood and turning a blind eye to the imposition of islamic law in any countries that happened to fall in the process. And since when did the west ever care about what restrictions were being imposed on citizens once it was getting what it wanted?
Allying with strongmen had been a somewhat convenient compromise in the past for the west but such men were inclined to play hardball with the west over resources and money. Who knows, perhaps they reasoned that islamists might be conveniently less concerned with such earthly matters and could accordingly be more easily separated from them.
For example, Gadaffi was attempting, amongst other things, to create a gold backed currency for Africa. With shrewd operators like him attempting to strengthen Africa's hand at the negotiating table, and in the background the quiet opportunism of China in securing present and future resource deals in return for fiat dollars and for building infrastructure, the future exploitation of African resources was beginning to look somewhat more complicated. What was needed was to oust the likes of Gadaffi, make an example of them, destroy infrastructure and break up any fragile alliances that might be taking hold and replace all this with a corrupt sectarian religious weapon soaked witches brew which could be easily divided and conquered in the best western tradition.
Of course this "Arab spring" process could not be allowed to infect other vassal states such as Bahrain where the US 5th fleet is located. Gene Sharp and his manual of destabilization, strategic advisors coordinators, materials communications technology, weapons and willing jihadist mercenaries to help implement destabilization strategies were only available in selected oppressive Arab regimes. The rest would have to suck up the clouds of UK supplied tear gas until they choked and cower from the UK supplied armored cars and rubber bullets, and wonder why the media never seemed to cover their struggle against their oppressors like the heroes of Tahir. Western sponsored colour revolutions are not allowed for everybody!.
Related Links: The Arab Spring and the Seduction of the Western Left | Activist Education at the Albert Einstein Institution: A Critical Examination of Elite Co-option of Civil Disobedience | Unmasking the Muslim Brotherhood: Syria, Egypt, and Beyond | Accepting funds from the CIA - Yassamine Mather
As a prelude, Mubarak was getting on in years and it was a good PR move to support his removal and replacement by a younger leader backed by the muslim brotherhood. Western media fell over themselves to support the "revolution". Al Jazeera gushed propaganda 24/7 and no amount of western expense was spared setting up technological fixes after the internet was shut down by Mubarak. The "twitter revolution" was hailed across every PR mouthpiece of the west. The Emphasis being on "twit" if you actually believed what the likes of Al Jazeera were saying about what was going on! In the end after a few nasty skirmishes blown up to huge proportions worldwide by the power of the internet and world media, Mubarak in the end left rather tamely and everyone believed it was some sort of victory for grassroots activism. However one election and one islamist constitution and an attempted Authoritarian power grab later and the penny is starting to drop for the idealists that rallied in Tahir square. They've been had!
Related Links: Unmasking the Muslim Brotherhood: Syria, Egypt, and Beyond | Muslim Brotherhood Unleashes Bloody Crackdown In Cairo | Ongoing protests in Dublin in solidarity with the Egyptian people
Libya is now in chaos, awash with weapons and with armed militia roaming the country and sharia is on it's way. And of course there was no "no fly zone" to protect the civilians of Bani Walid from the cruel wrath of the "rebels"
Related Links: Siege of Bani Walid, Day 20: ‘Militia committing genocide’ | Communist Party of the Irish Republic Statement on the Ungoing Massacre of Civilians in Bani Walid, Libya.
It's ongoing at this time.
Related Links: What Has Been Happening In Syria? | Washington floats chemical weapons charge as pretext for Syria buildup | Yet Another Horrifying Amateur Video From Syria Of Fsa Atrocities Emerges Online | Syrian "rebels" Massacre 11 Prisoners in Saraqib, Syria | Free Syrian Army Targets Innocent Civilians For Supporting The Government | Iranian TV reporter Maya Nasser is killed while on air by Syrian rebel sniper in Damascus | Turkey attacks Kurds, threatens military action against Syria | Syria: Islamists gaining ground | Human Rights - Syria STOP Imperialist War against Syria
Related Links: Stratfor Hacked Emails Reveal the TrapWire System run by Private Corporations run by ex-CIA/NSA people | FBI begins installation of $1 billion face recognition system across America
The Wikileaks saga continued to rumble on and the media have decided to make Julian Assange the public face of Wikileaks. In February the released the Global Intelligence Files which consisted of of more than 5 million emails hacked from the Texas-headquartered "global intelligence" company Stratfor giving an insight into the corrupt and underhand techniques of governments and corporations worldwide.
Related Links: Feb. 27 WikiLeaks press conference: The Global Intelligence Files | Interview with Julian Assange of WikiLeaks
American Autumn - A full length documentary on the occupy movement | Video: After Eviction, Outraged Occupy Dame St activists March on Pearse St Garda Station | Occupy Galway Forcibly Evicted In The Dead of Night by Gardai. | Occupy Galway (and friends!) Occupy the Labour Party Conference in Galway
Obama was re-elected for a second term.
Not that it makes a sod of difference which imperialist corporate puppet gets to lie to the American people while their armies maintain bases in 130+ countries all over the world, their financial terrorist institutions on wall street lay waste to the economic futures of all of us to line their own pockets and their vacant selfish cultural paradigm is propagated to the detriment of richer more thoughtful cultures through televisions across the world. Not all of us were fooled by the pointless theatre that constituted the latest US election cycle. But perhaps it would have been better if the silver tongued puppet had lost and the less competent liar wingnut puppet had won. It would probably make our job at indymedia trying to wake people up to their reality a little easier. Sigh! :-(
CPIR Statement on the Re-election of Barack Obama
Shell report: Boring machine
People should bear in mind that the gas processing terminal being built will be used for other gas fields also given away for free to Shell and other corporations but the government doesn't like to advertise that fact because then the penny might really drop about how comprehensive and utterly criminal the oil and gas giveaway has been. God forbid people might even rise up but then we're not like the Greeks so it is okay.
1,600 billion - Massive scale of oil giveaway revealed in Shell to Sea report | Shell's Tunnel Boring Machine Fiasco | 'Rape Tape' Sergeant's retirement party turns sour | 17th Anniversary of Ogoni Nine marked at Shell HQ, Dublin
The threat of permanent pollution damage to the water tables over a wide area of the central North West midlands continued to loom as the Ponzi scheme that is fracking which its exponential falling production rates within 6 months of startup of a given well, continued to hang over Ireland. The famous investigator reporter Greg Palast came over to tells us Fracking is a fraud on the people and we would be mad to let it go ahead. Some of the stories from Indymedia on the issue this year were:
Greg Palast On 'Fracking' Plans For Ireland | Poland and Fracking - Lessons to be Learned - Ban Fracking In EU | Counties and Townlands in the Fracking Zones - Are You Living in a Facking Zone? Find Out Here. | Response to the article 'Frank Convery, Yvonne Scannell, Fracking and Local Credibility in Ireland' | Local Fracking Talk Brings Revelations | Open letter to the members of the 31st Dáil Éireann. Hydraulic Shale Gas Fracturing - Tamborans claims - Chemicals involved in the fracking procedure | Presentations: "The Realities of Hydraulic Fracturing" and "Fracking Inhumanity"
This supreme court ruling only dealt with a narrow range of scenarios where the life of the mother was clearly at risk. It was not even remotely attempting to grasp the nettle of allowing women the right to decide what happens to their own bodies. Clearly, in our eyes, once pregnant, a woman is nothing but a glorified incubator. Even in the case of rape or incest, the woman is still expected to carry the child of her rapist to termination.
Meanwhile, thousands of women each year will continue to travel to get their terminations in England, thus making this "ethical position" merely nothing more than a punitive tax on poorer women who cannot afford the cost of travel, accommodation and the operation. Rich women, on the other hand, will continue to view their unfortunate trip to England as a minor inconvenience. They book a first class flight online, book into a plush hotel room, and maybe catch a show in the west end and make a weekend of it. I'm sure the supreme being will be very happy with our "Irish solution to an Irish problem". However, you better all pray that the supreme being is not a woman otherwise we're all definitely going to hell!!
Woman dies after being denied a termination
Other events of note in 2012:
Fiscal compact treaty
The government very successfully using scare tactics like they did famously for the Lisbon Treaty by saying it was about "Jobs" when in fact no jobs were created, achieved victory with the Fiscal Treaty earlier this year. Through the state propaganda apparatus and with help from the government friendly capitalist media they managed to get it over the line. If you were hood-winked into voting Yes you might want to re-read some of the issues raised around this were in the article below. Of course had we voted No the government prodded by the EU would have got us to vote again just like they got us to vote twice for the Nice Treaty and Lisbon Treaties. Article 136 TFEU amendment, the ESM and the Fiscal Compact Treaty
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Comments (10 of 10)Jump To Comment: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
What's with all the "Communist Party" press releases being treated as "news"?
If Indymedia is now merely reduced to being a mouthpiece for the CPIR it REALLY has lost all credibility
No "alternative media" outlet that aims to have any integrity should allow themselves to be used as a mouthpiece for ANY political party, let alone one that does not represent more than a minuscule number of people in Ireland - since the CPIR has no representative in Dail Eireann, or anywhere else to my knowledge, it cannot be said to represent anything other than the tiny number of people that make up it's membership - therefore it has no democratic mandate whatsoever
If this is how Indymedia.ie intends to continue then it will shortly lose the greatly reduced readership it currently has left
For the umpteenth time...
This is meant to be a self publishing website.
It's up to the public to write the articles.
What appears here is whatever is self published by them.
Indymedia is as good or as bad as the articles published.
If you think there should be a story here then WRITE IT.
Wageslave, if I am correct you have been with Indymedia for over a decade now.
The previous posting makes a good comment but what this site lacks at present is that diversity of writers at other times on the site.
Do we know what the readership of Indymedia is?
Indymedia took a direct hit when people started up their own blogs and talk about town was the like of Indymedia had little or no future. But contrary to opinion - it exists, people write, ok it may lead to narrow interests but there are views expressed and people read and respond. Blogs are fine but after a while they become demanding on the bloggers, they need to be updated with discipline frequently and are often one dimensional, ie about the person's subjective view. There is a great kick getting the added dimension of pure difference of opinion which Indymedia and sites like it often provide. Indymedia could have the diversity of citizen journalism spread that you find in the Phoenix or Private Eye.
Google gains massively from exposure to Indymedia articles written in the past, as we all know. Google in Tara, the Peace Process, Health Service, Mental Health, Suicide, Corruption, CAB, Corrib, Brian Rossiter, Police Corruption, Cronyism and the old articles are there and it is citizen journalism at its best - it is the person who walks the streets and takes time to notice what is really happening and then takes time to write it up.
Paula Geraghty was a great contributor to Indymedia Ireland. The final programme in the series of Vincent Browne TV3 dealt with awards for citizen journalism but for some unknown reason Indymedia was not mentioned, as is always the case. However, Paula was commended for her work and rightly so.
Data mining is the new industry on data that is about to hum. Is there a way to clean up existing printed articles on Indymedia similar to entering data on wiki-pedia. Given that this is January and is often assigned as the organisation month, it might be a good place to start and then actively encourage people to join Indymedia and write as you say.
I hope sincerely that Indymedia can encourage people to continue to write, can enhance their readership, and continue without the snide comments that it is on its way out. Diversity is essential to the spectrum surely.
All the best for 2013
Paula Geraghty would probably have a pure difference of opinion with you regarding the usefulness of this site . Paula actually proposed the closing of Indymedia Ireland in August 2010 . She said that it was a "corpse that died a long time ago" ,called it a" crappy indymedia without activist involvement"and "an albatross on the left" that was of "no use to anyone" .
This didn't of course stop her from continuing to censor comments and stories from other people , banning posters who didn't agreee with her point of view and generally exercising her rights as an indymedia editor.
This makes the Indymedia position and lack of profile so clear. There quite evidently has been considerable dissent and your comments about Paula Gerraghty's view of Indymedia and yet her continued interference suggests to me that we need the collective to develop policy, to put to bed that little Green Monster called jealousy and get Indymedia back in shape.
Bullying is the topic of social media these days. It concerns children in schools and ministers in Government. Indymedia cannot plead innocence on this. People given control over what get's published inherently have a power over others and what is essential is an awareness from within the collective to stamp out unfair practise. Many talented writers left the site because their postings were judged not on merit but with hostility and bullying commentary in the Hidden List.
Jesse Jackson once said 'Never look down on anyone, unless you are helping them up'. It is 2013, a new day dawns and Indymedia the 'beast' has the makings of a Rolls Royce engine in citizen journalism if only the organisers, the writers, the contributors can work together.
Ireland is deep in recession. Media is on the floor be it RTE or TV3 fighting the competition from the US to the UK from Bloomberg to Time magazine.
What can we do to preserve this open channel. This month the Oireachtas are to put in place a special committee to oversee social media. This will no doubt jeopardise freedom of expression and the right to free speech which are core to democracy and the Rule of Law and we need the diversity that Indymedia provides to add to the flow of information in our society.
The contributors, the writers after all, are giving time and not asking for money but then this creates its own jealousy from 'paid' journalists who feel that their ability to earn money is being undermined.
Jonathan Swift could not write in his own name as Dean of St Patrick and Provost in Trinity College in the 1600's. However he knew enough to know that his ability to write and the poverty and injustice that surrounded him gave him the moral and ethical impetus to write using pseudonyms.
Again it is 2013 and there is a job to be done.
Is there a way forward? Blogs are fine but interaction and diversity is limited. The personal discipline often falters and you find peoples annual blogs incomplete stopping in say April of the 2012 year. Indymedia and search Tara Corruption CAB Peace and the North of Ireland Syria Iraq Shannon Corrib and the embers are always there to light up the fire again because human rights, civil rights morals are core components of what non paid citizen journalism is all about.
An old Chestnut
Good points from Chestnut - a genuinely independent media is surely needed now more than ever, especially in light of the report carried here today:http://www.indymedia.ie/article/103046?comment_limit=0&...93978 .
But the indymedia ireland collective itself is far too narrowly based at the moment ; the site needs to turn outwards if it is to reflect the diversity of opinion that Chestnut demands. When writers like Brian Clarke are actively discouraged from contributing , for instance, it's no wonder that this feature article makes no mention of the continued incarceration of Marion Price. Why are there never any appeals for people to join the collective ?
Time and availability of people to write prevented much of what we would have liked to include appearing in this article. It is far from complete or perfect.
Anyone wishing to supplement the above article with relevant material from 2012 we did not manage to cover, can freely post an introductory paragraph or two on the topic and some related indymedia links here in the comments section.
Joe, we welcome an introductory paragraph and a few decent links to indymedia articles highlighting the predicament of Marion Price. Care to actually write one here instead of just using your energy and writing skills to criticise and undermine?
I know that you are busy and that you have your own priorities . You should then have asked readers to contribute to the 2012 news round-up -that's the point I was making in my last comment. Here are a couple of paragraphs .
Marian Price remained in prison throughout 2012.. In February the 58 year old republican was transfered from Maghaberry prison to the female wing of Hydebank Prison. Human rights activists say that her continued detention amounts to internment by remand .
Several marches and pickets calling for the veteran republican's release were attended by republicans,
socialists and those concerned with human rights during the course of the year. Marian Price is currently gravely ill both physically and psychologically, and confined to a hospital bed under 24 hour guard by prison officers.
Thanks for that Joe.
Any other important topics from 2012 we may have missed that people would like to post a paragraph or two on and some related indy article links to like Joe just did, please feel free to do so. We welcome it. ( However we're NOT interested in more criticisms of the site or editorial comments!! )
EDIT: or pro / anti zionist bunfights!
rather than hiding as off topic, I've moved those comments to a better home here:
How to lie for Israel
it has some top tips for Contrarian to read in between commenting. Probably seen them already though! ;-)
"Our failure (ongoing!!) to put into practice the 1948 United Nations "teaching and education" recommendations made in the final paragraph of the PREAMBLE at: http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml ?"
"Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction."
"Humanity's biggest blunder to date?, Human Rights Ireland"