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Reflections on the Citizen?s Assembly (3): The Presentation of Dr. Joan McCarthy Tue Feb 14, 2017 14:01 | GuestPost
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Human Rights in Ireland >>
For lefties too stubborn to quit
Dublin Left Alphabet Soup Quizarama for Mags 15:24 Mon Feb 27, 2017 | guestposter
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Left Archive: Comment, Fortnightly, Vol.3 No.4, 1974 British & Irish Communist Organisation 02:17 Mon Feb 27, 2017 | WorldbyStorm
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Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting
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NAMA Wine Lake >>
Imperialist War Rages On.
Civilian deaths have risen by 28% in Afghanistan, In Yemen and Pakistan Drone attacks increase, not just Al Qaeda and Taliban die, many civilians perish in these far from surgical strikes. Ironically the miltants killed by the US in Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan hold the exact same beliefs as the Jihadists backed by the US in Syria, Egypt and across North Africa. Even more bizarrely the US arm Jihadists in Iranian Baluchistan while they fight another branch of the same organisation in Pakistani Baluchistan! Did it ever cross the minds of the CIA that weapons supplied in Iran work just as well in Pakistan?
In the US, Obama has signed into law the bill which continues the operation of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp and allows for indefinite Military internment without charge for US citizens.
Time for the good news: The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has awarded damages to a CIA torture victim who was subject to extraordinary rendition.
New US drone attacks in Pakistan and Yemen
Marking the first US drone attacks of 2013, the Obama administration ordered two separate missile bombardments in Pakistan and Yemen on Wednesday and Thursday.
The latest attacks demonstrate that the drawdown of US-led occupying forces in Afghanistan will be accompanied by an expansion of illegal drone operations across the Middle East. At least 16 people were reported killed, all alleged Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters, though details of each incident are still emerging and Washington routinely covers up the killing of civilians in drone strikes.
Afghanistan: Sharp rise in civilian deaths
While the US and its allies claim that the situation in Afghanistan “stabilised” in 2012, in preparation for a security handover to Afghan forces in 2014, increasing civilian casualties, daily drone strikes and a mounting social crisis reveal the real situation after more than a decade of US occupation.
According to a report released by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan on December 14, at least 967 civilians were killed, and another 1,590 were injured in the third quarter of 2012. The figures indicate a 28 percent rise in civilian deaths between August 1 and October 31, compared to the corresponding period in 2011.
Statistics released by the US in early November showed that the US military had carried out 333 drone strikes in Afghanistan in the first 10 months of 2012. The average of 33 drone strikes per month was reportedly far higher than at any time in the 11-year US occupation. The monthly average in 2011 was 24.5.
Obama signs Pentagon bill maintaining Guantanamo and military detention
For the second year in a row, President Barack Obama has signed into law a Pentagon funding bill that allows for the indefinite military detention of anyone, including American citizens, without charges, while barring the shutdown of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.
The signing of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 Wednesday puts paid to the predictions by the administration’s liberal and pseudo-left supporters that Obama, freed of re-election concerns, would pursue a more “progressive” political course in his second term. As in 2012, this legislation enshrines a sweeping assault on core constitutional principles and democratic rights.
The legislation’s provisions underscore the link between the eruption of American militarism abroad and the lurch toward police-state measures at home.
European Court orders damages for CIA torture victim
In mid-December 2012, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg awarded damages of €60,000 to Khaled El-Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese origin. The judges accepted that Macedonian security services had illegally seized El-Masri at the end of 2003, subjected him to abuse and finally handed him over to agents from the CIA.
The CIA then transported El-Masri to a secret prison in Afghanistan, where he was tortured and mistreated for months. The court saw this as a serious violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, to which the Republic of Macedonia has acceded.
Although only representatives of the Macedonian government were accused, the verdict has broader significance. For the first time the brutal intrigues of the US government and its European accomplices in the so-called “war on terror” have been condemned by an international court for breaching international laws.