Monday, April 30, 2012

SEALs slam Obama for using them as 'ammunition' in bid to take credit for bin Laden killing during election campaign

Taking credit: President Obama has used bin Laden's death as a campaign tool
Taking credit: President Obama has used bin Laden's death as a campaign tool

Serving and former US Navy SEALs have slammed President Barack Obama for taking the credit for killing Osama bin Laden and accused him of using Special Forces operators as ‘ammunition’ for his re-election campaign.

The SEALs spoke out to MailOnline after the Obama campaign released an ad entitled ‘One Chance’.

In it President Bill Clinton is featured saying that Mr Obama took ‘the harder and the more honourable path’ in ordering that bin Laden be killed. The words ‘Which path would Mitt Romney have taken?’ are then displayed.

Besides the ad, the White House is marking the first anniversary of the SEAL Team Six raid that killed bin Laden inside his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan with a series of briefings and an NBC interview in the Situation Room designed to highlight the ‘gutsy call’ made by the President.

Mr Obama used a news conference today to trumpet his personal role and imply that his Republican opponent Mr Romney, who in 2008 expressed reservations about the wisdom of sending troops into Pakistan, would have let bin Laden live.

FOR THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: SEALs slam Obama for using them as 'ammunition' in bid to take credit for bin Laden killing during election campaign

BAD NEWS: 'Terminator' takes DR Congo towns

Troops loyal to Bosco Ntaganda, wanted by the International Criminal Court, have taken two towns in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

A BBC reporter in the area says thousands of people are fleeing the fierce fighting towards nearby Goma.

Hundreds of heavily armed soldiers loyal to Gen Ntaganda recently defected from the Congolese army.

Known locally as the Terminator, Gen Ntaganda has denied the ICC accusation that he recruited child soldiers. 

'A lot of shooting'The Congolese army has admitted its troops were defeated and pushed out of the towns of Mushake and Karuba by Gen Ntaganda's men.FOR THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: 'Terminator' takes DR Congo towns



In search of Putin's money

Five arrested in Benghazi over court bombing tied to Gaddafi Old Guard | Libya Herald

Five arrested in Benghazi over court bombing | Libya Herald

A Child of the North Korean Gulag

Because I am surrounded by good people, I try to do what good people do. But it is very difficult. It does not flow from me naturally. . . . I am evolving from being an animal. But it is going very, very slowly.” Shin Dong-hyuk was speaking to Blaine Harden, a reporter for Frontline and a contributor to The Economist who has served as the Washington Post’s bureau chief in East Asia. Harden has recently authored the gripping memoir Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West.

As Harden recounts, Shin was born in 1982 in Camp 14 in North Korea, a “no exit” political camp largely populated by entire families. It is one of six camps that may hold a total of 200,000 prisoners, the biggest of which occupies an area larger than Los Angeles. These camps are clearly visible in satellite reconnaissance photos, but North Korea denies that they exist.

RFK Assassination Witness Makes Bombshell Claim

Rfk Assassination 
Nina Rhodes-Hughes, a key witness to the Robert F. Kennedy assassination at the Ambassador Hotel in 1968, is making bombshell claims in a CNN interview, suggesting that convicted murderer Sirhan Sirhan didn't act alone.

"What has to come out is that there was another shooter to my right," Rhodes-Hughes, who was feet away from RFK in a hotel service pantry during the crime, told CNN. "The truth has got to be told. No more cover-ups."

Rhodes-Hughes, now 78, claims the FBI "twisted" her statements to investigators after the incident in order to come up with the conclusion that she had only heard 8 shots, an account that was used as evidence that Sirhan carried out the act without an accomplice. 

Detained Syrian human rights defenders report torture | Amnesty International

The fresh reports of torture come as UN observers witness a surge in violence across Syria.
The fresh reports of torture come as UN observers witness a surge in violence across Syria.

Until now, very little information has been available about the well-being of these human rights defenders held since February’s raid.
Ann Harrison, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Programme Director at Amnesty International
Fri, 27/04/2012
Concern is growing for three human rights defenders being held incommunicado at a military base near Damascus, amid reports they may be facing ongoing torture, Amnesty International said.

Hani Zitani, Abd al-Rahman Hamada and Mansour al-Omari are being held in the town of al-Mo’damiya outside the capital, at a base run by the Fourth Armoured Division, under the de facto command of the Syrian president’s brother Maher al-Assad.  

Another three of their colleagues detained with them there from 19 March until 22 April were brought before a military court on Sunday, where they alleged that Fourth Armoured Division officials had tortured, including by beatings, all six men during that time.

The six men – prisoners of conscience accused of “having an illegal recording with a view to distribute banned publications” – were among 14 men and women arrested in February during a security forces raid on the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression in Damascus.

U.S. and Ugandan soldiers go after Joseph Kony

Rodney Muhumuza / AP - For Ugandan soldiers tasked with catching Joseph Kony, the real threat is not the elusive Central Africa warlord and his brutal gang. Encounters between Ugandan troops and Lord's Resistance Army rebels are so rare that the Kony hunters worry about other things when they walk the jungle: Armed poachers, wild beasts and honey bees.

OBO, Central African Republic - In a bare concrete room in a far-flung corner of Central African Republic, U.S. special forces and Ugandan soldiers map out the hunt for one of Africa's most wanted rebel leaders hiding in an area the size of California.

The building belonged to the town of Obo's doctor until he was murdered last year by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) while transporting medicines by road. Now it serves as an operational center in one of America's latest military ventures in Africa.

The mission is clear.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Often Attacked, it Doesn't Hurt to Recognize Israel's Positive Accomplishments

Recognize Israel's Accomplishments

Uganda: 'Sudan supporting Kony'

US special forces officer with Ugandan and Central African Republic forces in Obo, 29 April 2012  
US special forces are advising the Ugandan army in their hunt for Joseph Kony

The Ugandan army says the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) led by Joseph Kony is being supported and supplied by the Sudanese government.

The LRA is accused of rape, mutilation, murder and the recruitment of child soldiers.

A Ugandan Defence Force colonel told the BBC they captured a member of the LRA who was wearing a Sudanese uniform, and carried its weapons and ammunition.

FOR THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: Uganda: 'Sudan supporting Kony'

China: Protect Chen Guangcheng From Extrajudicial Violence | Human Rights Watch

 New York) – The Chinese government should immediately guarantee blind human rights defender Chen Guangcheng’s safety, end its persecution of him and his family, and ensure that he is not returned to any form of detention or subject to any restrictions on his rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch has been calling for Chen’s release since 2006.

Chen, a blind legal activist, is reported to have escaped from his home village of Dongshigu in Shandong province on April 22, 2012, after 19 months of unlawful detention. According to activists, Chen is reportedly in a “100% safe location” in Beijing. Chen described his escape in a video circulated on the Chinese-language website Boxun earlier today. In the video, Chen appeals to Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to “personally intervene” by opening an investigation on Chen and his family’s confinement and “those who ordered county-level police and officials to break into my house, beat and hurt me, refused me medical attention – without any legal foundation or officers wearing uniforms.”

“The central government has for years condoned, abetted, and possibly directed the human rights abuses visited upon Chen and his family,” said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch. “We’re well past the time when the government should focus on the conduct of officials in Shandong, and cease persecution of someone whose activism is wholly legal.”

In June 2005, Chen filed a class action lawsuit accusing officials in Linyi, Shandong Province, of seeking to enforce strict population control laws by subjecting thousands of people to forced abortions and sterilization.

Uganda: Investigate April 2011 Killings During Protest | Human Rights Watch

Uganda: Investigate April 2011 Killings During Protest | Human Rights Watch

Actors in Cuba escape film say they're seeking US asylum

Rhona Wise / REUTERS Javier Nunez, right, and Analin de la Rua in Miami.

MIAMI - Two lead actors from a prize-winning film about escaping Cuba have emerged from hiding to confirm they are seeking political asylum in the United States.

The young Cuban actors went missing last week while en route to the Tribeca Film Festival in New York where they were due to appear at the movie's U.S. premiere.

Actress Anailin de la Rua and actor Javier Nunez, cast members of "Una Noche" ("One Night"), broke their silence Friday night in a TV appearance on the Miami-based Spanish language channel America TeVe.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Beijing’s Cyber Warfare Battle Plan

Beijing’s Cyber Warfare Battle Plan

Hundreds of Syrian troops defect near Damascus, Latakia, as clashes flare

During the 13-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, Syrian forces have killed more than 9,000 people in shootings and bombardment of rebel areas, the United Nations said. (Reuters)
During the 13-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, Syrian forces have killed more than 9,000 people in shootings and bombardment of rebel areas, the United Nations said. (Reuters)

Hundreds of soldiers defected from the Syrian armed forces on Sunday in the outskirts of Damascus and in the port city of Latakia, where large explosions were heard near the presidential palace, the Syrian Media Center reported.

Sima Malaki, spokesperson of the center, which represents the Syrian opposition, said dozens of soldiers defected from an army unit that was positioned near the presidential palace in Latakia.

The official news agency SANA reported that “one of the military units stationed off the coast of Latakia thwarted an attempt by an “armed terrorist group” trying to infiltrate from the sea,” quoting an unnamed military source.

The Syrian Observatory for Human rights and activists confirmed that clashes broke out between Syrian troops and armed opposition forces in the village of Borj Islam near a presidential palace early Saturday morning.

Activist Sema Nassar said the fighting began as “officers and soldiers of a military base near the presidential palace ... deserted with their weapons.”

While Syria Burns

While Syria Burns

The Pen Proves Mightier than the Chicotte: Assaulting Leopold's Castle Walls/Forward to the Past in the DR Congo, Part 5

The Pen Proves Mightier than the Chicotte: Assaulting Leopold's Castle Walls

by Mac McKinney
Forward to the Past in the DR Congo, Part 5

For Part 1, LA Progressive Post: Le Roi-Souverain of the Congo Free State
For Part 3, LA Progressive Post: The Horror Crescendos 

Photo-montage by Mac McKinney

When George Washington Williams died on August 2nd, 1891 in Blackpool, England after his fiancee and mother had taken him there from London in the desperate hope that Blackpool's fresh sea air might cure his worsening tuberculosis and pleurisy contracted during his travels in Africa, simultaneously a young lad by the name of Edmund Dene Morel was trying to make ends meet in nearby Liverpool for both himself and his ailing mother. 

That same year young Edmund took a job in Liverpool as a clerk with the steam shipping line Elder Dempster, which, notably for our story, served ports in West Africa. Ironically, Elder Dempster would become the catalyst through which Edmund would carry on Williams' efforts to expose King Leopold II's horrors in the Congo Free State, because this very shipping line held the monopoly contract with the king to ship raw materials and supplies between Europe and the Congo, a contract that would gradually lead to  shocking revelations for and consequent outrage from the idealistic, highly moral young Englishman.

Edmund Morel (source)
Over time, Edmund, whose intelligence and hard work quickly brought him increasing responsibilities within the company as well as a better vantage point as to its workings with the Congo Free State, became quite inquisitive about certain discrepancies between the latter's shipments and "the company books", and like a young Sherlock Holmes, whose creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would actually rally to Morel's cause some years later, began to thoroughly investigate.  To quote from Adam Hochschild in King Leopold's Ghost:
At the dockside at Antwerp, Morel saw what the Elder Dempster ships were carrying. But he soon noticed that the records he carefully compiled for his employer did not conform with the trade statistics that the [Congo Free State] announced to the public. As he studied the discrepancies between the two sets of figures, he began to uncover an elaborate skein of fraud. Three discoveries shocked him (p. 179 - Mariner Books edition of King Leopold's Ghost, henceforth referred to as KLG).
These three discoveries were that 1) massive amounts of weapons and ammunition were regularly being shipped TO the Congo; 2) that much more rubber and ivory were being imported from the Congo than the state's profit returns indicated; and 3) that although indeed ivory and rubber were coming out of the Congo in copious amounts, few normal trade goods were headng back to the Congo that would indicate any purchasing power by the Congolese populace. 

From these discoveries, made in the late 1890s, Morel deduced that the Congolese were not being paid at all for their obviously copious labor. "How, then, was this rubber and ivory being acquired?" he wrote. "Certainly not by commercial dealing. Nothing was going in to pay for what was coming out" (KLG, p. 180). He would further deduce, correctly, that what he was really facing across the seas in the Congo was a massive forced labor-slave state. That explained all the shipped weapons and the dearth of regular supplies.

Meanwhile, insignificant as though it might seem at first, Morel in his early days at the shipping line was chronically short on funds, so, among other things, he took to freelance writing for business-related journals. He thereby began honing the very journalistic skills with which he would subsequently do battle with Leopold. 

But at that point in time Morel was still as mesmerized as anybody with the deceptive proclamations on the glorious benefits of the Congo Free State. It would be left to others, largely the missionaries, to fill in the historical gaps between George Washington Williams' death and Edmund Dene Morel's sobering epiphany. Central among these was an African-American Southern Presbyterian missionary, the Reverend  William Henry Sheppard.

The Good Shepherd

William Sheppard (source: Wikimedia Commons)
William Sheppard was born free in Waynesboro, Virginia  in 1865 just as the American Civil War was ending. Possessed of a great drive to better himself from an early age, he worked his way through one of the first black colleges, The Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute in Virginia, later the Hampton Institute (now Hampton University), where the soon-to-be-great Booker T. Washington was one of his inspiring teachers.

Upon graduation, William, who had developed a strong inclination towards a spiritual vocation, opted to enroll in the Tuscaloosa Theological Institute (now Stillman College) in Alabama, where he met his future wife Lucy Gantt. After graduation he went on to become a Presbyterian minister in Montgomery, Alabama as well as Atlanta, Georgia. All the while, however, a growing desire to do missionary work in Africa enveloped him, driven in part at least, by the suffocating nature of segregated urban life in the South. Eventually this urge led him to petition the Southern Presbyterian Church in the late 1880s to send him to Africa.

The church however, still part and parcel of the patronizing racial bias of Southern culture, demurred from sending William unless they could find a white missionary to supervise him. After some two years long search, the "overseer" finally appeared in the form of a descendent of slave-holding Southern plantation owners, the Reverend Samuel Lapsley, whom, despite their diametrically opposed backgrounds, actually hit it off quite well with Sheppard. 

Soon they were en route, the promising Free Congo State their grand destination, Lapsley being allowed the prestigious honor of gaining audiences with first President Harrison in Washington DC and then King Leopold himself in Belgium as they traveled (Leopold, of course, immediately pondering how he might manipulate the missionaries to his purposes). Sheppard, ironically, was not allowed to meet either - so much for American emancipation and Belgium’s enlightened civilizing canon of the times. Finally in May, 1890, they reached the Congo, the same year that George Washington Williams had begun his investigative travels there as well. Shepperd, by the way, was one of the first black missionaries in Africa.

They initially stayed in a mission at the seaport of Matadi near the foot of the Congo River to assemble a supply caravan for the challenging trek upriver, at, coincidentally, the same time that the soon-to-be-famous author Joseph Conrad was doing the same thing. Lapsley would cross paths with the great writer twice in the Congo.

Not surprisingly, the two missionaries bounded onto African soil with their minds full of the standard Western stereotypes of the time about Africans, that they were uncivilized savages, cannibals, ignorant, backward, childlike and lazy to name a few, but both of them would soon modify these views, growing in admiration for the tribal peoples they met as time went on. Sheppard would eventually call them “my people” and wax poetic about being in “the country of my forefathers” (KLG, p. 155). In one diary entry he wrote:
I grew very found of the Bakuba [tribe] and it was reciprocated. They were the finest looking race I had seen in Africa, dignified, graceful, courageous, honest, with an open smiling countenance really hospitable. Their knowledge of weaving, embroidering, wood-carving and smelting was the highest in equatorial Africa. (KLG, p. 157)
While Lapsley worked hard and not too successfully to "convert the natives", Sheppard soon realized that he was not merely a missionary but also an explorer, adventurer and hunter, and found himself constantly trekking into the bush to fulfill these roles. This intrepid energy, courage and wanderlust is what would eventually lead him to discover, deep in the rainforests, many of  the horrors going on in the Congo Free State behind the propaganda facade of  Leopold's "civilizing mission", and to report on them. 

Tragically, in early 1892 Reverend Samuel Lapsley died of biliuous hematuric fever while on church business back on the Congo's west coast, one of the many hazards missionaries faced, so Sheppard was temporarily the de facto head of the mission until the Southern Presbyterians could send another "supervisor". However, the replacement they eventually sent was, it would appear, chosen more by fate than mere churchmen, for that man, William McCutchan Morrison, was the perfect compliment to Sheppard's growing efforts to convey the truth about the Congo.

Enter William Morrison

William McCutchan Morrison (source)
Morrison, a deeply religious Virginian, was himself immediately horrified by the Rubber Terror atrocities and the countless victims that he began to both hear about and witness upon and after his arrival, reacting with as much moral outrage and sense of ethical duty as Edmund Morel. Indeed, Morel and he would become good friends over time. But equally, if not more importantly, Morrison and Sheppard forged a deep partnership to expose the crimes of King Leopold's entire, sordid enterprise, first by sending reports back to the Presbyterians in America, who would publish them in their missionary magazines, not a very large circulation of course, but enough to stoke the growing fires of resistance against Leopold, because word continued to spread. 

Eventually their reports, and then speeches whenever they went abroad to speak on the Congo, would stir the great cauldron of truth, reform and justice that Morel, they themselves and soon others were slowly forging. Perhaps more than anybody, they were the eyes and ears on the ground of the international movement that would soon develop.

Morel Goes on the Attack

By the end of the 19th Century Edmund Morel had learned enough and become enraged enough about what he called "a secret society of murderers with a King for a croniman" (KLG, p.181) that he began to take action. First he confronted the head of Elder Dempster, Sir Alfred Jones, with his findings, though to little avail, because the company stood to lose its heady shipping contract if it confronted Leopold at all forcefully. Instead the shipping line began to pressure Morel to drop the subject, eventually even attempting to bribe him into silence, all, in turn, to no avail. 

By now Morel could see that the handwriting was on the wall at the business he had served all too adroitly for a decade, since he was not about to compromise his principles. Thus he resigned in 1901 to become, in a few short years, one of the greatest humanitarian crusaders of all time, his key weapons the power of his pen, his boundless energy and dauntlessness in the face of strident opposition, and his tremendous ability to build a strong solidarity movement against the depredations of King Leopold and his absolutist colony. He was determined, he wrote with the pen that he would wield like a rapier against King Leopold, "to do my best to expose and destroy what I then knew to be a legalized infamy" (KLG, p. 186). And he roared out how "Blood is smeared all over the Congo State, its history is blood-stained, its deeds are bloody, the edifice it has reared is cemented in blood—the blood of unfortunate negroes, spilled freely with the most sordid of all motives, monetary gain." (source)

Edmund had already begun writing a series of anonymous articles called "The Congo Scandal" while still employed with Elder Dempster in 1900, and now he began writing and editing full time for the new journal 'West Africa'. However his superiors, yet again, tried to put restrictions on what he could say, so to remain unfettered, he boldly decided to establish, in Liverpool in 1903, his own newspaper, the 'West African Mail', through the financial aid of shipping merchant John Holt, close friend to Mary Kingsley, famed writer and explorer of, as well as scholar on Africa. 

Soon word began to spread in the Congo, and beyond, that here was a man with a weekly, illustrated journal who was eager to tell the world the truth about the Congo Free State. Quoting from an article by Kenn Taylor for Nerve:
As the news of his actions spread, Morel received letters, reports, documents and photographs from employees of Leopold and many Christian missionaries frustrated with the failure of church leaders to act on their reports. Their leaders were apparently more concerned with 'saving the souls' of the natives than preventing their suffering in this life. (source)
Of course Leopold had not been sitting by idly for the past decade as the reports of missionaries surfaced here and there in various church publications and other periodicals in England, America and Europe. Leopold himself had eyes and ears everywhere, plus the resources and manpower to defend his assets and prerogatives. We have already seen how his agents defamed the dying George Washington Williams in 1891. He was also threatening William Sheppard and other missionaries with taxation, deportation, even arrest and imprisonment for "slandering the state" and other such tripe. He managed to completely silence the Swedish missionary E.V. Sjöblom, who had, in 1896, published a detailed condemnation of the Rubber Terror in the Swedish press and beyond, even speaking out publicly. As recounted in Wikipedia, "Congo State officials counterattacked with newspaper articles, letters, and comments from Leopold in the Belgian and British press, and quickly silenced Sjöblom. The missionary never spoke up again." (source)

But with Morel, Leopold was facing a much more formidable character, an ethically incorruptible, fearless and tirelessly relentless foe who acted for all the world like a one-man army. One can almost imagine Shakespeare's King Edward V urging him on with his martial exhortation to:
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews , summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage; (source)
Adam Hochschild counts, in King Leopold's Ghost, Edmund's prodigious onslaught of journalistic and literary assaults on the Belgian King's castle-walls of lies and deceit:
....he [Morel] produced a huge, albeit sometimes repetitive, body of work on the subject: three full books and portions of two others, hundreds of articles for almost all the major British newspapers, plus many written in French for papers in France and Belgium, hundreds of letters to the editor, and several dozen pamphlets....He did all this while continuing to edit the "West Africa Mail" and to write much of it. Besides the articles under his byline, many columns by "Africanus" or "An Observer" seem the work of the editor himself. Before long, Morel was also editing a special monthly supplement to the newspaper, devoted solely to exposing injustice in the Congo...
Morel's writing combined controlled fury with meticulous accuracy. Every detail in his books came from careful research, the evidence amassed as painstakingly as in a lawyer's brief. Over the years both admirers and detractors have searched his work for factual errors, with scant success.... (KLG, p. 188-189)
Morel's frontal assault on the criminal workings of the Congo Free State only encouraged leakers and whistle-blowers, who included even veterans of Leopold's Congolese Army, the Force Publique, to secret more and more valuable information his way, despite Leopold and his cohorts' best efforts to plug these leaks. Time and again the King's spokesmen suffered embarrassment when their denials, protestations and assertions were quickly countered, undermined or debunked by Morel's rock-solid facts, revelations and rebuttals.

Most valuable among his informants were American, British, and Swedish missionaries, who could often evade the Congo Free State's growing web of heavy censorship because they had their own steamboats and couriers. Some of Morel's most damaging evidence were the photographs of burned villages, rotting bodies and the chopped-off hands and feet of children that these missionaries managed to provide. Because the West African Mail was an illustrated journal, the British public and beyond were subsequently exposed to these shocking images.
One of the countless child victims of the Rubber Terror, where mutilation was punishment for failing quotas or rebellion (source)
Public awareness and outrage were growing monthly, and Morel was picking up allies, men such as Fox Bourne, secretary of the Aborigines Protection Society, which had originally elected King Leopold their honorary president, but had by now begun to repent of that mistake, Bourne himself crafting damning articles against the Belgian king, to the latter's heavy chagrin. Meanwhile, even socialist parliamentarians in Belgium, not to mention various members of the British Parliament, were inspired to take up the struggle against Leopold's increasingly exposed depredations.

European missionary societies, despite the heroic efforts of some of their individual members in the Congo, were still loathe to attack King Leopold publicly, especially after he began to counterattack, but not so with American societies such as the Presbyterians, who had no qualms about allowing William Morrison, whose reports detailing crimes perpetrated in Kasai and Luebo in the Congo they had dutifully made available, to also speak abroad, adding yet more fuel to the international fires that by 1903 had begun to heat up debate in the all-important British House of Commons. Author Ruth Slade explains how: 
In May of 1903 Herbert Samuel proposed that the British Government should confer with the signatory powers of the Berlin Act with the idea of ending the abuses which existed in the Congo State. With modified wording, the motion was passed unanimously. This marked a decisive stage in what came to be known as the Congo reform campaign, for the motion had committed the British Government to action, and to the thesis that the Congo State was not a fully autonomous state, so that its ruler was answerable to the signatory Powers of the Berlin Act for the way in which he exercised his authority. In August a circular note was sent to these Powers on the question of the treatment of Africans in the Congo State, and at the same time the British consul at Boma, Roger Casement, was sent to tour the interior and to make a report on the conditions which he found there. (King Leopold's Congo: Aspects of the Development of Race Relations in the Congo Independent State. Ruth Slade - author, Oxford University Press)
The author underplays the significance of Roger Casement's assignment to investigate the interior, which should perhaps be announced with horns and bodhráns, for this was a bit like sending mythical Cú Chulainn off on his legendary raid against the Cattle of Cooley, for Casement was a provocative Irishman, and he was going to raise Hell with his report and in the aftermath. 

Next time:

Part Six: Full Scale War

Khamenei uses fatwa to disguise Iran's nuclear intentions - HUMAN EVENTS

Khamenei uses fatwa to disguise Iran's nuclear intentions

Thursday, April 26, 2012

WASH POST: Where U.N. monitors go in Syria, killings follow

Where U.N. monitors go in Syria, killings follow

Haaretz exclusive: A visit to the war-torn heart of Syria's struggle for independence

Haaretz exclusive: A visit to the war-torn heart of Syria's struggle for independence

Sierra Leone: Landmark Conviction of Liberian Ex-President | Human Rights Watch

Street vendor watches live broadcast of verdict being delivered by United Nations-backed court in the Hague convicting former Liberian president Charles Taylor in Freetown.

(The Hague) – The conviction on April 26, 2012, of Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia, for serious international crimes during Sierra Leone’s brutal armed conflict provides justice for victims and shows that no one is above the law, Human Rights Watch said today. Taylor was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity before the United Nations-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone on charges that stemmed from his support for rebel groups there.

“Powerful leaders like Charles Taylor have for too long lived comfortably above the law,” said Elise Keppler, senior international justice counsel at Human Rights Watch. “Taylor’s conviction sends a message to those in power that they can be held to account for grave crimes.”

FOR THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: Sierra Leone: Landmark Conviction of Liberian Ex-President | Human Rights Watch

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

AT THE DRIVE IN give their first interview together in 11 years to advocate for Invisible Children

ARTICLE HERE: AT THE DRIVE IN give their first interview together in 11 years to advocate for Invisible Children

Rubio says U.S. should do more to protect Syrians

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) gives an address on American foreign policy at the Brookings Institution on April 25, 2012 in Washington, DC. Rubio is widely considered to be a possible running mate for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) gives an address on American foreign policy at the Brookings Institution on April 25, 2012 in Washington, DC. Rubio is widely considered to be a possible running mate for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Photograph by: Brendan Hoffman , Getty Images

WASHINGTON, April 25 (Reuters) - U.S. Senator Marco Rubio said on Wednesday the United States should create a “safe haven” for the Syrian opposition but stopped short of urging Washington to arm the rebels, suggesting they were not yet organized enough.

The potential Republican vice presidential candidate gave a lengthy foreign policy speech that stressed a more active U.S. role in the world but that echoed U.S. President Barack Obama’s positions in some respects, notably on Syria and Iran.

Rubio had tart words for Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying he “might talk tough, but he knows he is weak,” and for China, saying that “for now, it would be foolish to be confident in the idea that China can be counted on to defend and support global economic and political freedom.”

Speaking at the Brookings Institution think tank, Rubio urged a more muscular U.S. response on Syria, saying others see it as a test of U.S. leadership and will conclude Washington “is no longer a reliable security partner” if it does not step up.

“The most powerful and influential nation in the world cannot ask smaller, more vulnerable nations to take risks while we stand on the sidelines,” he said.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Opinion : The Election Fever - By Gada Mahfud

Opinion : The Election Fever in Libya - By Gada Mahfud

Why Arab women still 'have no voice'

Why Arab women still 'have no voice'

Why Do They Hate Us? - By Mona Eltahawy

In "Distant View of a Minaret," the late and much-neglected Egyptian writer Alifa Rifaat begins her short story with a woman so unmoved by sex with her husband that as he focuses solely on his pleasure, she notices a spider web she must sweep off the ceiling and has time to ruminate on her husband's repeated refusal to prolong intercourse until she too climaxes, "as though purposely to deprive her." Just as her husband denies her an orgasm, the call to prayer interrupts his, and the man leaves. After washing up, she loses herself in prayer -- so much more satisfying that she can't wait until the next prayer -- and looks out onto the street from her balcony. She interrupts her reverie to make coffee dutifully for her husband to drink after his nap. Taking it to their bedroom to pour it in front of him as he prefers, she notices he is dead. She instructs their son to go and get a doctor. "She returned to the living room and poured out the coffee for herself. She was surprised at how calm she was," Rifaat writes.

In a crisp three-and-a-half pages, Rifaat lays out a trifecta of sex, death, and religion, a bulldozer that crushes denial and defensiveness to get at the pulsating heart of misogyny in the Middle East. There is no sugarcoating it. They don't hate us because of our freedoms, as the tired, post-9/11 American cliché had it. We have no freedoms because they hate us, as this Arab woman so powerfully says.

Yes: They hate us. It must be said. 

FOR THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: Why Do They Hate Us? - By Mona Eltahawy

THE FIGHTING PARLIMENTARIAN: NATO in Afghanistan - Defending the Afghan Parliament

NATO in Afghanistan - Defending the Afghan Parliament

Libya bans religious parties under new law

Libya bans religious parties under new law

Ramallah dance festival draws thousands

Ramallah dance festival draws thousands (WITH VIDEO)

Monday, April 23, 2012

ABBAS THE REVISONIST: History Lessons from Abbas

History Lessons from Abbas

FPI Bulletin: Does the President Have the Will to End Assad’s Atrocities in Syria? | Foreign Policy Initiative

FPI Bulletin: Does the President Have the Will to End Assad’s Atrocities in Syria? | Foreign Policy Initiative

Shell’s wildly inaccurate reporting of Niger Delta oil spill exposed | Amnesty International

23 April 2012

Shell’s wildly inaccurate reporting of Niger Delta oil spill exposed

A major oil spill in the Niger Delta was far worse than Shell previously admitted, it has been revealed.
A major oil spill in the Niger Delta was far worse than Shell previously admitted, it has been revealed. © Amnesty International - The difference is staggering: even using the lower end of the Accufacts estimate, the volume of oil spilt at Bodo was more than 60 times the volume Shell has repeatedly claimed leaked. - Audrey Gaughran, Director of Global Issues at Amnesty International 

Mon, 23/04/2012
A major oil spill in the Niger Delta was far worse than Shell previously admitted, according to an independent assessment obtained by Amnesty International and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD), which exposes how the oil giant dramatically under-estimated the quantities involved.

The spill in 2008, caused by a fault in a Shell pipeline, resulted in tens of thousands of barrels of oil polluting the land and creek surrounding Bodo, a Niger Delta town of some 69,000 people.

The previously unpublished assessment, carried out by US firm Accufacts Inc. found that between 1,440 and 4,320 barrels of oil were flooding the Bodo area each day following the leak. The Nigerian regulators have confirmed that the spill lasted for 72 days. 

FOR THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: Shell’s wildly inaccurate reporting of Niger Delta oil spill exposed | Amnesty International

Libya honours Tunisians for help during revolution. | Libya Herald

Afghan Journalists Strain Against Gags - IPS

Afghan Journalists Strain Against Gags - IPS

Obama extends deployment of U.S. advisers in LRA-affected region

Obama speaking at Holocaust Museum April 23Photo credit: Carolyn Kaster, AP

Today, President Obama announced that he would extend the deployment of 100 advisory troops to the LRA-affected regions of Central Africa. He was speaking at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum this morning when he made the announcement.

FOR THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: Obama extends deployment of U.S. advisers in LRA-affected region

INVESTIGATING PUTIN: In search of Putin's money


Assad’s forces kill 80 nationwide despite presence of U.N. monitors

Assad’s forces kill 80 nationwide despite presence of U.N. monitors

Muammar Gaddafi: Tony Blair's 'wrong judgment' on dead Libyan dictator

Muammar Gaddafi: Tony Blair's 'wrong judgment' on dead Libyan dictator

Sunday, April 22, 2012

MORE SHAMEFUL INSIGHTS: British press claims UK intelligence worked with Qaddafi | Libya Herald

British press claims UK intelligence worked with Qaddafi | Libya Herald

Germans at odds with Gunter Grass on Israel

Germans at odds with Gunter Grass on Israel

Israel declared the Nobel Prize literature laureate Gunter Grass “persona non grata” last month after he published a poem saying it threatened world peace. (File photo)
Israel declared the Nobel Prize literature laureate Gunter Grass “persona non grata” last month after he published a poem saying it threatened world peace. (File photo)

FOR THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: Germans at odds with Gunter Grass on Israel

Afghanistan and US agree on strategic partnership document

Afghanistan and US agree on strategic partnership document

Human Rights Watch: LRA attacks in Central African Republic escalate

Ida Sawyer_CAR_2 sistersTwo sisters in Agoumar who were abducted on their farm by the LRA on February 27, 2012. They were released, but their brother and nephew are still missing. Photo credit: Ida Sawyer. 

On Friday, Human Rights Watch wrote about the recent surge in LRA activity–53 attacks between January and March. The article recounts interviews with recent LRA abductees and calls for immediate action to protect civilians and disarm the Lord’s Resistance Army. The article includes specific recommendations for the 100 U.S. advisory troops currently stationed in the region.
“The increase in LRA attacks shows that the rebel group is not a spent force and remains a serious threat to civilians,” said Anneke Van Woudenberg, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The African Union, United Nations, and governments in the region should take urgent steps to implement comprehensive civilian protection measures and put real muscle into making them work.”

A day before this article was published, civil society, human rights and religious groups from the currently-affected regions of CAR and DR Congo released a letter that very clearly calls for international support and solidarity with the communities in Central Africa that are threatened by the LRA. 

FOR THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: Human Rights Watch: LRA attacks in Central African Republic escalate

455 Candidates File to Run in Benghazi including 22 Women | Libya Herald

455 Candidates File to Run in Benghazi including 22 Women | Libya Herald

REVOLUTIONARIES REMAIN STEADFAST: UN team tours Syria amid reports of violence

UN team tours Syria amid reports of violence

Damascus suburb reportedly stormed by government forces, as envoy Kofi Annan urges both sides to "put down weapons".

Last Modified: 22 Apr 2012 16:22

Syrian troops backed by tanks have stormed a Damascus suburb, activists said as an advance team of UN ceasefire observers continue their tour of flashpoint areas to lay the groundwork for an expanded monitoring mission.

Activists said that explosions shook the town of Douma early on Sunday as soldiers launched an operation there to crush an armed rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad.

"Regime forces backed by tanks stormed Douma under heavy gunfire," Damascus Revolutionary Council, an activist network, said in a statement.

Activist video posted online showed columns of smoke billowing into the sky over Douma, 10km north of Damascus. Three people have reportedly been killed there.

The reports of violence comes as Kofi Annan, the Arab-UN envoy, asked the Assad government and the opposition to immediately halt violence and the use of heavy weapons.

"I urge all forces whether governmental, opposition or others to put down their weapons and work with the United Nations monitors to consolidate the fragile cessation of violence in all its forms," Annan said in a statement.  


Saturday, April 21, 2012

UN Monitors, Sent in to "Protect", End up Being Protected

 The Syrian people had to protect UN Monitors from the Syrian army.

اطلاق نار على المراقبين والمنديين لمنعهم دخول البياضة ورؤية المجازر

ANOTHER GADDAFI SYCOPHANT GONE: Daily Kos: Coup topples pro-Qaddafi Regime in Guinea Bissau

Follow clayclai on Twitter
The regime that famously told Libya's Mummar Qaddafi what he was welcome to flee to Guinea Bissau in September has apparently been overthrown in a military coup as another African country feels the winds of change that are following the Libyan revolution. Reuters is reporting:

BISSAU (Reuters)- - Heavy weapons fire echoed through the capital of Guinea-Bissau on Thursday, witnesses said, and soldiers surrounded the residence of former Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior, the frontrunner in a presidential election in the small West African state.

The reason for the military action and Gomes Junior's whereabouts were not immediately known. Armed soldiers stopped journalists from approaching the residence, which is located almost opposite the Angolan embassy in the capital Bissau.

Witnesses said the firing later subsided.

FOR THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: Daily Kos: BREAKING: Coup topples pro-Qaddafi Regime in Guinea Bissau

Daily Kos: Good News from Libya

KONY 2012: What's Next

COVER THE NIGHT to STOP KONY IN 2012 Spans the World

Some photos of the global Cover the Night project sponsored by Invisible Children, Resolve, the Enough Project and others:

From Uganda itself, where Kony started his carnage decades ago

Covering the Night in Benghazi, Libya, where Libyans launched their own struggle against a mass-murderer.
 My shots of Covering the Night in the Ghent section of Norfolk, Virginia:


From Ballinamore, Ireland.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.