Iraq: Security Forces Abusing Women in Detention

“The abuses of women we documented are in many ways at the heart of the current crisis in Iraq,” Stork said. “These abuses have caused a deep-seated anger and lack of trust between Iraq’s diverse communities and security forces, and all Iraqis are paying the price.” 

Truthloader- “A report released today reveals that Iraqi security forces have illegally detained thousands of women and subjected many of them to torture, ill-treatment and even sexual abuse in order to extract confessions from them. These confessions have then been used against them in court and resulted in the execution of at least one woman.

We spoke to Joe Stork from Human Rights Watch who explained that these women are being used as kind of “hostages” against male relatives wanted by the state, and that many of them face long-term stigma as a result of their ordeals.”

Read the report from Human Rights Watch Here

Human Rights Watch – The 105-page report, “‘No One Is Safe’: Abuses of Women in Iraq’s Criminal Justice System,”documents abuses of women in detention based on interviews with women and girls, Sunni and Shia, in prison; their families and lawyers; and medical service providers in the prisons at a time of escalating violence involving security forces and armed groups. Human Rights Watch also reviewed court documents and extensive information received in meetings with Iraqi authorities including Justice, Interior, Defense, and Human Rights ministry officials, and two deputy prime ministers.

“Iraqi security forces and officials act as if brutally abusing women will make the country safer,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “In fact, these women and their relatives have told us that as long as security forces abuse people with impunity, we can only expect security conditions to worsen.”

In January 2013, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki promised to reform the criminal justice system, beginning with releasing detained women who had judicial orders of release. A year later, the brutal tactics of security forces remain essentially the same and hundreds of women remain in detention illegally.” Full Article Here

The Square

I watched the documentary, “The Square” on Netflix today and was absolutely blown away by it.  It is a very complex documentary and it touches on issues that every one fighting to make a change in this world can probably relate to: Disorganization, facing overwhelming odds, risk of imprisonment, death…renewal and hope for a better world. I will give fair warning tho – this isn’t for the faint of heart or those who can’t focus on subtitles. It is POWERFUL in so many ways...it is sickening, discouraging, harsh, beautiful, terrifying uplifting, inspiring…what an emotional roller-coaster. I get chills all over again even now as I am sifting through the YT clips to share.

The one thing that struck me more than anything as I was watching, was just how right the ideas behind the Common Ground movement are. No matter what some of our differences may be, it is absolutely imperative that we start learning to look past them and turn our focus to what we have in common with each other. The whole world seems to be edging towards a roaring, revolutionary period as more of US, the peons of the world, get fed up with being stomped on by more and more of THEM – the current power-system holders. As things stand worldwide, THEY can stomp us with sheer force in 2 heartbeats…WE can only stand strong and “win” if we stand arm in arm, tight…Together…

“The Square movie is a documentary about the Egyptian revolution behind the headlines. Follow a group of activists in Tahrir Square, risking their lives to build a new society of conscience…”

“If you take out people & put people just like them from the same circle, from the same regime, then you didn’t take down the regime, you took down people…”

“Our main problem as revolutionaries, most of the time we only object and say, “No” and we never offer alternatives…”

Filming “The Square”

Peru: Gas Expansion in Amazon ‘Indigenous Reserve’

The Ecologist - “The Peruvian government is pushing ahead with plans to expand gas operations in a supposedly protected reserve in the Amazon despite calls by the United Nations to suspend them. 

The company leading the operations, Pluspetrol, moved one step closer to proceeding with the expansion of the Camisea gas project – Peru’s biggest ever energy development – following a report by the vice-ministry of inter-culturality (VMI) last week.

Pluspetrol’s plans include drilling 18 wells and conducting seismic tests in an ‘intangible’ reserve for indigenous peoples living in ‘voluntary isolation’ and ‘initial contact’.

The reserve is also part of the buffer zone for the Manu national park, where Unesco says the biological diversity “exceeds that of any other place on Earth.”

UN special rapporteur visited in December

The VMI, Pluspetrol and the energy ministry are continuing to push ahead with the expansion plans despite recommendations made by the UN’s special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, during a visit to Peru in December.

“As if the UN’s special rapporteur didn’t exist or hadn’t made an official visit”, was how Servindi, a Peruvian news website, responded to the VMI’s report.

Anaya made his recommendations in a formal, 2,714 word statement read at a press conference in Lima. One recommendation was that the government perform an“exhaustive study” of the indigenous peoples in the gas project region.

Another that it “shouldn’t proceed with the proposed expansion without previously and conclusively establishing that their human rights will not be violated.”

“It’s obvious that these groups are extremely vulnerable”, Anaya said at the end of his eight day visit.

Violence can be expected

Pilar Cameno, from Peruvian NGO DAR, told the Guardian that the expansion could lead to“violent encounters” between gas project workers and indigenous peoples, “increased mortality rates”, the loss of land and access to resources, and environmental contamination.

“The Peruvian state must heed the UN rapporteur’s recommendations and implement them”, Cameno says. “What’s at stake here is the survival of the indigenous peoples in isolation and initial contact – not just as individuals, but as whole cultures.”

Full Article on The Ecologist

PERU FINES PLUSPETROL FOR DAMAGE TO AMAZON POND

Nov. 27, 2013

AP – “Peru’s environmental protection agency has levied a $7 million fine on the Argentine oil company Pluspetrol for damage in the Amazon jungle to a pond in the country’s biggest oil concession.

The fine follows a total of $13 million in other sanctions against the company imposed this year by the agency for oil contamination. Those included the largest single fine ever levied in Peru against an oil company.

Pluspetrol did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

The company produces 15,000 barrels of oil daily in a lot in the northern state of Loreto where the environmental agency says the Shanshococha pond disappeared due to production activity.

Peru produces 62,000 barrels of oil daily.”

Staging the Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria

Published on Sep 19, 2013
Global Research TV

“In the wake of the Syrian chemical weapons attack, shocking footage of the victims of that attack were widely circulated in an effort to raise the ire of the public and spur support for military intervention. Now, a new report on that footage finds troubling inconsistencies and manipulation with the video that calls the official narrative of the attack and its victims into question.”

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Demolition and Eviction of Bedouin Citizens of Israel in the Naqab (Negev) – The Prawer Plan

Excerpts from Occupied Palestine “On 24 June 2013, the Israeli Knesset approved the discriminatory Prawer-Begin Bill, with 43 votes for and 40 votes against, for the mass expulsion of the Arab Bedouin community in the Naqab (Negev) desert in the south of Israel. If fully implemented, the Prawer-Begin Plan will result in the destruction of 35 “unrecognized”Arab Bedouin villages, the forced displacement of up to 70,000 Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel, and the dispossession of their historical lands in the Naqab. Despite the Arab Bedouin community’s complete rejection of the plan and strong disapproval from the international community and human rights groups, the Prawer Plan is happening now.

The Prawer-Begin Bill is an unacceptable proposition that entrenches the state’s historic injustice against its Bedouin citizens. Adalah and our NGO partners have been challenging the Prawer Plan before courts, government authorities and the international community, but we need your help to stop what would be the largest single act of forced displacement of Arab citizens of Israel since the 1950s! 

What is the Prawer Plan?

Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel, inhabitants of the Naqab (Negev) desert since the seventh century, are the most vulnerable community in Israel. For over 60 years, the indigenous Arab Bedouin have faced a state policy of displacement, home demolitions and dispossession of their ancestral land. Today, 70,000 Arab Bedouin citizens live in 35 villages that either predate the establishment of the State in 1948, or were created by Israeli military order in the early 1950s. The State of Israel considers the villages “unrecognized” and the inhabitants “trespassers on State land,” so it denies the citizens access to state infrastructure like water, electricity, sewage, education, health care and roads. The state deliberately withholds basic services from these villages to “encourage” the Arab Bedouin citizens to give up their ancestral land. If Israel applied the same criteria for planning and development that exist in the Jewish rural sector, all 35 unrecognized villages would be recognized where they are.

In September 2011, the Israeli government approved the Prawer Plan, the brainchild of former Deputy Chair of the National Security Council, Mr. Ehud Prawer. The Prawer Plan will result in the destruction of the unrecognized villages and the forced displacement of up to 70,000 Arab Bedouin citizens. This plan was completed without consultation of the local community, and is a gross violation of the constitutional rights of the Arab Bedouin citizens to property, dignity, equality, adequate housing, and freedom to choose their own residence.”

(Video available in other languages at the link below)

Please take time to read the full article and the full text of the Prawer Plan on Occupied Palestine

Please sign our petition and visit our Facebook page to find out what you can do to Stop the Prawer Plan!

 

 

War Dividend: Arms Firms Ready To Cash In

“War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.”

- George Orwell

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Published on Sep 16, 2013

RT “US military forces remain in position to strike Syria, if Damascus fails to comply – with France backing up Washington’s threat. An attack would bring huge risks. But also stellar profits for US arms firms, as Lindsay France reports…”

~$~

war-is-money

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“Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor…” 

Potential US ConsequencesOf the Trans Pacific Partnership

I’ve not yet had time to dig into all of this information and cannot vouch for the accuracy of all of it but I thought it was worth sharing so that others can start doing their own searches and decide for themselves whether or not this latest partnership is good or bad. So far I’m leaning towards thinking this is not a good thing but I need more time and information before I make up my mind 100%. ~Reb

“The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a secret trade agreement that is nearing the end of negotiations as of Fall 2012. It has been negotiated solely between participating-nation Presidents,their chief trade advisors, and some 600 corporate advisors, who have been working together to craft this more than 25-chapter agreement: only five, it is said, of which have to do with actual trade.Despite international trade being a Constitutional right given to Congress.

Congress has not only been closed out of the negotiations process, but has been denied full access to the agreement’s text. The media and citizens at large are also denied access to the text, until several years after the agreement has passed.

Some readers will want to dig into this document in its entirety, while others may want to choose select categories of interest from the table of contents on the following page. However, I recommend taking the time to read it in full since it is written in a connect-the-dots fashion that documents these proven patterns of free trade consequences in America. In addition, each section has morsels of eye-opening information and/or statistics, which you will want to be aware of.”

Photo via Expose the TPP – USA on Facebook

This document will highlight:
• General US consequences of trade agreements: rising trade deficits, lost American jobs
•Impacts of NAFTA, the World Trade Organization and KORUS
•State and national laws and policies which impede corporate “lost potential profits” already going to global tribunals of corporation vs. offending nation under trade agreement “barriers”
•Exporting of blue and white collar American jobs: growing threats under the TPP
•Food safety: likely to be less safe under the TPP
•Environmental consequences of free trade and the TPP
•The TPP and medications: extended drug patents, less generics, higher prices
• Internet Freedom: tighter regulations than the Congressionally rejected SOPA, PIPA

READ FULL DOCUMENT HERE ON SCRIBD

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Below is a link to a very disturbing animated infograph of all confirmed US drone strikes in Pakistan alone…

Out Of Sight,Out Of Mind

via Out of Sight, Out of Mind – “Because the US Government does not disclose strike information, the data must be manually collected on the ground by reporters. The challenge is that stories and estimates vary between sources. In cases where there are inconsistencies, a minimum and a maximum number of possible fatalities are recorded. We take the average whole number between these estimates for each attack. In a few instances there were fatalities confirmed, but the estimated number of fatalities was not obtainable. In these cases, we simply omitted the fatalities. The list of high-profile targets (the white squares) comes from the New America Foundation.”

ESTIMATED TOTAL FATALITIES - 3149

 

“Since 2004, the US has been practicing in a new kind of clandestine military operation. The justification for using drones to take out enemy targets is appealing because it removes the risk of losing American military, it’s much cheaper than deploying soldiers, it’s politically much easier to maneuver (i.e. flying a drone within Pakistan vs. sending troops) and it keeps the world in the dark about what is actually happening. It takes the conflict out of sight, out of mind. The success rate is extremely low and the cost on civilian lives and the general well-being of the population is very high. This project helps to bring light on the topic of drones. Not to speak for or against, but to inform and to allow you to see for yourself whether you can support drone usage or not.
Attacks and Victims View
The first view you see illustrates the attacks by the drones. We also wanted to give an emphasis on the victims. By clicking on the Victims link you can see an expanded view of the actual victims with the total number of attacks and fatalities for each month.
Important Notes
The category of victims we call “OTHER” is classified differently depending on the source. The Obama administration classifies any able-bodied male a military combatant unless evidence is brought forward to prove otherwise. This is a very grey area for us. These could be neighbors of a target killed. They may all be militants and a threat. What we do know for sure is that they are targeted without being given any representation or voice to defend themselves.” Learn More Here

An Open Message To Congress On Syria

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War Is A Racket

War is a Racket by Smedley Butler is a famous speech denouncing the military industrial complex. This speech by two-time Congressional Medal of Honor recipient exposes war profits that benefit few at the expense of many. Throughout his distinguished career in the Marines, Smedley Darlington Butler demonstrated that true patriotism does not mean blind allegiance to government policies with which one does not agree. To Hell with war.

– Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag…

I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents…

The Syrian War: What You’re Not Being Told

The latest post from StormCloudsGathering.

What’s really going on in Syria? Let’s look at the evidence.

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WWIII – The Choices We Make

Mead

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Wargasm

HT – The Internet Post

“Mesmerized as if by the nastiest pornographic abyss stare into TV news each night waiting to see a new war in full throated hell.  Even more than with the usual not so subliminal sexual and obedience programming America observes with barely repressed excitement the rulers Satanic desires unfold on TV. A wet, wonderful Syrian wargasm is only an image away. Economies fail to remain erect so the rulers of the Patriarchy go on TV and ritually chew and swallow an economic performance enhancement pill of dung called war…” 

Full Document by Publius Here

No War With Syria Rally & March – El Paso

We are launching a global rally on Saturday August 31st in every city and town in the world.

No War With Syria, El Paso, TX Event. We’ll Rally at Mundy Park and March downtown.
Click Image To Learn More

The following notice has been posted all over the internet, please help to pass the word along.

!blackZz Collage