Archive for June, 2011

NATO Admits Killing Babies

Monday, June 20th, 2011

(Warning: Video contains graphic imagery.)

Well, bad news if you wholeheartedly support the US-led armed conflict in Libya, because now you have to rationalize the death of two more babies. Yes, sadly two infants were amongst the nine killed in an air strike on a Tripoli suburb.

So, war-supporters, tell us how you can justify their deaths. The old omelet/broken egg line? Are they just casualties of war? Maybe you can somehow blame Gaddafi or Muslims or something other than the forces directly responsible.

Or perhaps you just don’t give a shit, seeing as these babies weren’t white and weren’t from your country, just like other 800 other people who’ve been torn to pieces since the air attacks began three months ago.

I tell you what, even if you don’t care and can somehow flip the thoughts in your head to lend support to a campaign that kills babies, I DO CARE. Just like a growing percentage of the world’s people.

Pretty soon, there will be enough people so sick of war that we will rise up against the military industrial complex and dismantle it forever. Then, all you unwavering war-mongers will need to find some other way to satisfy your blood-lust. A video game, perhaps?

 

Dropping Bombs No Longer Deemed Hostile Act

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

By law, the United States President needs congressional approval to go to war. Yet no such approval was sought prior to bombing Libya. Now, should the bombing campaign continue, the Commander in Chief might find himself to be breaking the law.

To get around the tiresome trivialities of constitutional law, the Obama administration has drummed up in-house lawyers willing to argue that a bomb dropped from a drone is not ‘hostile’.

Talk about Orwellian doublespeak. Don’t they know that bombs explode the same regardless of whether the pilot is in the cockpit or perched in front of a computer screen?

In a semi-ironic twist, the Pentagon recently announced that computer hacking can be considered an act of war.

This means it is no longer a hostile act to slaughter Libyan families from across the ocean via computer, but if someone hacks into that computer to prevent further atrocities, that would be the act of aggression.

Absolutely absurd! It just goes to show how ridiculous the arguments surrounding institutionalized war can be.

It’s almost as silly as a Nobel Peace Laureate having to use lawyer-speak to weasel his way into perpetuating another armed conflict. But it’s not quite as inane as the utter lack of dissent coming from the left – dissent that would be coming in droves were Obama a republican.

Caterpillar Complicit in War Crimes

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

(Imagine the terror of seeing this beast crash through your bedroom wall at 3 in the morning.)

Creating a world of peace will take many steps, one of which is to hold war-profiteers accountable for their actions. Once these large corporations are held financially responsible for the pain and suffering they’ve enabled, we’re likely to see a sharp drop in businesses willing to create death machines. And a great way to do this is to expose the atrocities caused by a company’s product line, which is precisely what Russ Greenleaf has done.

Greenleaf, a member of the Jewish Voice for Peace, addressed the Caterpillar Corporation’s CEO and board of directors, urging them to review their policies related to human rights and to conform more fully with international human rights standards. Greenleaf’s specific issue pertains to Caterpillar’s sale of D9 bulldozers (pictured above) to Israel, which have become Israel’s weapon of choice for ethnic cleansing.

The brutal nature of the machines are highlighted by the words of an Israeli D9 operator: “I had no mercy for anybody. I would erase anyone with the D9. They were warned by loudspeaker to get out of the house before I came, but I gave no one a chance. I didn’t wait. I didn’t give one blow and wait for them to come out. I would just ram the house with full power, to bring it down as fast as possible.”

Atrocious, I know. What justification could there be to bulldoze homes full of families in the middle of the night? Of course there is none. At least nothing that stems from a sane rationalization. Deliberately demolishing a building full of civilians is a blatant crime against humanity.

It’s only a matter of time before more of the world’s eyes awaken to the reality of the Israel-Palestine conflict, recognizing that it’s not a two sided battle. Israel has long been the aggressor, showing no signs of relenting. Only with mounting pressure from the world’s people will the plight of the Palestinians finally come to an end.

Saudi Women Defy Driving Ban

Friday, June 17th, 2011

In a bid for greater freedoms and equality, many Saudi women are participating in bold acts of defiance – driving a car. While the law doesn’t specifically forbid female drivers, local traditions prevent women from being issued licenses.

Today’s protest came in response to calls on social networking sites urging women to begin a mutiny against the male-only driving rules.

Senior clerics claim the driving ban protects against the spread of vice and temptation because women drivers would be free to leave home alone and interact with male strangers. (Yea, ’cause they can’t do that on foot!)

Really, the driving ban is about subjugating women and treating them as second class citizens.

Sexist, patriarchal nonsense like this cannot be tolerated if we want to bring peace to our planet. The actions of these brave Saudi women are bringing us one step closer to a more just global civilization.

Vancouver Riots Give Mobs a Bad Name

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

By now you’ve heard about the disgusting display of humanity known as Vancouver’s post-Stanley Cup riots.

While unjustified damage to random property is bad, what’s worse is these drunken hooligans have tarnished the reputation of people amassing in large numbers. Now, whenever massive groups of dissenters congregate in the same area, police and authorities will anticipate violence and preemptively crack down with force.

At least in the Arab World the uprisings are part of a greater struggle for democracy, but the Vancouver riots had no higher purpose. It was just boozed-up buffoonery run amok, and it just made it that much harder to demonstrate against just causes in Vancouver.

Canadians Join Gaza Flotilla

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Freedom Flotilla II: 30 Canadians aboard the Tahrir are set to sail alongside 22 other ships, all on a humanitarian mission due for Gaza.

9 activists were killed last May during a similar Flotilla which sought to bring food and supplies for the beleaguered Palestinian people.

The Israeli Defense Force have begun preparations to stop the Flotilla, running drills that focus on intercepting and boarding large ships.

The hundreds of protesters taking part in this protest are very brave. They know full well the likelihood of making it to Gaza is slim, and that they might be arrested or killed just for trying. But to them, it’s a worthy cause.

As soon-to-be-Tahrir-passenger Kevin Neish says “the illegal blockade of Gaza is still in place.” Neish states that no matter what happens to him, the Palestinians have gone through “much, much worse, for years and years on end.”

Multilateral actions like these, even if they don’t prove immediately fruitful, still play an integral part in bringing attention to the plight of the Palestinian people.

Much as Apartheid came to an end in South Africa, Israel will be forced to stop their atrocities when the international community mounts enough pressure.

Here’s wishing these freedom fighters a Bon Voyage!

Canadian MP’s Vote to Extend Libya Air Bombing

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

(Yea, it looks cool, but that doesn’t make it right.)

Members of Canadian Parliament voted 294-1 to extend the military mission in Libya. What a disappointment. The one and only member willing to stand against the war was Elizabeth May from the Green Party.

Taking action to increase profits for the war machine is to be expected from the Conservative Party. And the Liberals went off track years ago, which is why they got the boot last election.

But even the NDP??? Every single one of them voted to continue drone strikes on Libyan soil? Shame.

The longer this war drags on, the deeper NATO forces will be digging themselves in, which, non-coincidentally, is exactly what the war-profiteers want.

But it’s not what Canadians want… at least not this one. There has got to be better ways to help the people of Libya besides dropping bombs on them.

Afghan War 2014 and Beyond

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Secret talks between the United States and Afghanistan could see American troops stay for decades, well beyond the scheduled 2014 withdrawal.

While Secretary Clinton was reluctant to use the term ‘permanent’, there’s really no better way to describe the bases to be left on Afghan soil for an undetermined period of time.

What really bothers me is this 2014 date for pulling out. That’s like, what, 3 years from now? You mean the American people and the world are prepared to accept another 3 full years of this nonsense?

What’s the point? The conditions for withdrawing the troops will be the same now as they will in a few years, and the same as if they had pulled out years ago.

It’s time for the war to end, NOW. Osama is dead, Al Qaeda has fled, but they still need three more freaking years??? If that doesn’t tell you there’s more behind war than just making America safer, then what will?

Hey Government… Hands Off Our Internet!

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Infamous hacking group Lulzsec has just compromised over 50 adult-orientated web pages. This follows the black-hat group’s other high-profile breaches of Sony, Fox and PBS.

Meanwhile, cyber-activist group Anonymous has continued their online protests, disabling government web pages, like those of Spain and Turkey, whose authoritative actions warranted scorn from the loosely connected freedom alliance.

All these cyber-demonstrations highlight the force of an unfettered internet. The balance of power is shifting away from institutions and governments, and into the hands of the masses.

And this is precisely what the oligarchs and dictators fear the most. Feeling their tenuous grip over the population slipping away, they’ll do anything to prevent the new cyber-democracy from developing.

They’ll tell us that we need to crack down on hackers and cyber-activists to protect us. They’ll try to pass broad regulatory bills that give certain government bodies sweeping control over the Internet.

Once they discover that there is no effective way to stop the free flow of information, they might even try to kill the Internet completely.

But we cannot let them succeed. We won’t let them. The Internet is too vital a tool for the creation of a more just civilization. Social media and instant interconnection are giving humankind the power to reclaim control of the planet.

Pretty soon, thanks to the advent of anonymous browsing, decentralized currency, and decentralized networking, the Internet will function beyond the fearful reach of authorities and governments.

Until then, it is up to us to tell our politicians and lawmakers to keep their grubby paws off our beautiful Internet.

Peace Activism Takes Courage

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Former soldier Clancy Sigal shares an inspiring piece called In a War-Loving Society, Peace Activism Takes a Lot of Guts and Bravery. In it, the author describes his newfound affinity for peace activists, writing:

Over time, my attitude to conscientious objectors and deserters has shifted. Once, I held them in contempt. But the Vietnam war, when I came into contact with war resisters, changed me. I saw then, and see now, that often it takes a different kind of moral and, yes, even physical courage to resist a call to serve your country in a war you believe is a crime, when all your family, friends, teachers and the vast American majority support joining up.

But what about those “cowards”, “traitors” and “slackers” who don’t want to kill other people? They’re an odd breed who count among their number such as Muhammad Ali, Mahatma Gandhi, Sergeant York, David Hockney, three US weapon-refusing combat medics who won the medal of honour, and the 27 Israeli air force pilots who refused orders to “track and kill” civilians in Gaza and the West Bank.

I continue to be amazed at the stupendous bravery of any currently serving soldier or marine… but what kind of guts does it take for war objectors, who simply don’t want to kill?

Sigal offers a refreshing perspective. All too often, individuals who stand against war can be labelled pussies, cowards and traitors. But really, if the majority of the people around you are beating the drums of war, it is actually courageous to go against the grain and stand up for one’s beliefs, knowing full well you might face the scorn of your peers.

The road to war is well worn, so oft traveled by us humans. The path to peace, on the other hand, is rough in some areas and uncharted in others. This means that those of us who dare to wage peace must act as pioneers, beating the way towards a brighter future that, right now, exists only in our heads.