In Ukraine, Fascists, Oligarchs and Western Expansion Are At The Heart Of The Crisis
The story we’re told about the protests gripping Kiev bears only the sketchiest relationship with reality
Seumas Milne | The Guardian (UK)
January 29, 2014
We’ve been here before. For the past couple of months street protests in Ukraine have been played out through the western media according to a well-rehearsed script. Pro-democracy campaigners are battling an authoritarian government. The demonstrators are demanding the right to be part of the European Union. But Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has vetoed their chance of freedom and prosperity.
It’s a story we’ve heard in one form or another again and again – not least in Ukraine’s western-backed Orange revolution a decade ago. But it bears only the sketchiest relationship to reality. EU membership has never been – and very likely never will be – on offer to Ukraine. As in Egypt last year, the president that the protesters want to force out was elected in a poll judged fair by international observers. And many of those on the streets aren’t very keen on democracy at all.
You’d never know from most of the reporting that far-right nationalists and fascists have been at the heart of the protests and attacks on government buildings. One of the three main opposition parties heading the campaign is the hard-right antisemitic Svoboda, whose leader Oleh Tyahnybok claims that a “Moscow-Jewish mafia” controls Ukraine. But US senator John McCain was happy to share a platform with him in Kiev last month. The party, now running the city of Lviv, led a 15,000-strong torchlit march earlier this month in memory of the Ukrainian fascist leader Stepan Bandera, whose forces fought with the Nazis in the second world war and took part in massacres of Jews.
It’s hard to know how much of the bad news consists of new problems, and how much is long standing trouble just now being revealed. In any case, the site itself is deteriorating- new leaks abound. The area around Unit 4, where the precarious operation of removing spent fuel rods from the damaged spent fuel pool, is so radioactive that lead plates have to be put on the ground to protect the workers. Unit 3 also has a spent fuel pool; it is so damaged that Tepco hasn’t even addressed the problem of removing the rods.
Spread of radiation within Japan is being acknowledged more and more- one physician recommends removing all children from Tokyo. Spread outside Japan is also worrisome- evidently the radioactive plume in the Pacific doesn’t disperse, but moves in a confined narrow band toward the West Coast of North America.
The third anniversary of the original disaster- 3/11/11- is coming up. Sign the petitions above, and look for an event near you at http://fukushimathirdanniversaryevents.blogspot.com/
Situation at the devastated nuclear power plant continues to deteriorate. TEPCO experts are still striving to contain radioactive water that has been trickling between the seams. It emerged earlier that the previous estimates were doctored to underplay the threat [...]
Bob Dylan and the Ethics of Market Fascism
Saturday, 15 February 2014 09:29By Tony Kashani, Truthout | Op-Ed
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he who gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.
Bob Dylan – “The Times They Are A-changin’,” 1964
The Culture of Spectacle
On Sunday, February 2, 2014, according to most reliable news sources, 111.5 million people (mostly US residents) participated in viewing the imperial spectacle known as the Super Bowl XLVIII. To be sure, this Super Bowl was not dissimilar to its predecessors; a made-for-television event of commodification, showcasing a package of mediocrity with a mind-numbing violent team sport to be utilized for selling useless junk. According to Bill Wanger, executive vice president for programming and research at Fox Sports, “Big-event television is a great way for people to have a communal event, to talk about it socially and to talk about it as a group.”
The risk of reporting US drone strikes
Yemen researcher says he received a death threat after investigating deadly wedding-convoy attack.
Hyder Iftikhar Abbasi Last updated: 12 Feb 2014 14:17
The disturbing phone call came after Baraa Shiban investigated a drone strike on a wedding party that killed 12 people in central Yemen in December. A clear message was delivered to the human rights researcher over the phone after a major news network reported the story based on his research.
“The caller refused to identify himself and threatened my life if I continued my investigation of the strike,” Shiban told Al Jazeera, noting he conducted similar studies of US drone operations in the past, but had never before received death threats.
Shiban works for the UK-based human rights group Reprieve and interviewed survivors two days after the attack. His investigation ascertained that 12 people were killed after four missiles were fired at the convoy. There were also 14 victims with severe wounds; some lost limbs, others their eyes.
A new book claims that Nazi scientists who produced chemical weapons for Adolf Hitler were recruited by the United States following WWII to help the CIA carry out atrocities against Soviet spies from LSD testing to nefarious interrogation techniques, Raw Story reported .
It has been long known that hundreds of Nazi scientists were given citizenships between1945-1955 and helped Americans fight the Cold War. However, it has largely remained a mystery to what extent and exactly how Nazi scientists assisted the Americans until the release of Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America by U.S journalist Annie Jacobsen.
The book follows 21 former Nazis – many who worked along side Hitler – who then joined the U.S fight against the Soviets. Jacobsen details the perverse behavior and techniques the scientists carried out under U.S orders in a safe house in Oberusel, Germany, such as giving dosages of hallucinogenic drug LSD coupled with hypnosis to “incapacitate, not kill” Soviet spies.
“Operation Paperclip left behind a legacy of ballistic missiles, sarin gas cluster bombs, underground bunkers, space capsules, and weaponized bubonic plague,” Jacobsen writes in an excerpt. “How did this happen, and what does this mean now? Does accomplishment cancel out past crimes? These are among the central questions in this dark and complicated tale.”
If Obama Orders the CIA to Kill a U.S. Citizen, Amazon Will Be a Partner in Assassination
The online mega-retailer has a little-known $600-million contract with the CIA.
By Norman Solomon
President Obama is now considering whether to order the Central Intelligence Agency to kill a U.S. citizen in Pakistan. That’s big news this week. But hidden in plain sight is the fact that Amazon would be an accessory to the assassination.
Amazon has a $600 million contract with the CIA to provide the agency with “cloud” computing services. After final confirmation of the deal several months ago, Amazon declared: “We look forward to a successful relationship with the CIA.”
The relationship means that Amazon — logoed with a smiley-face arrow from A to Z, selling products to millions of people every week — is responsible for keeping the CIA’s secrets and aggregating data to help the agency do its work. Including drone strikes.
Coal Ash: The Dan River Spill and the Power Industry’s Toxic Legacy
Wednesday, 12 February 2014 09:10
By Mike Ludwig, Truthout | Report
Duke Energy’s coal ash pond in Eden, North Carolina, was a ticking time bomb. For more than 50 years, Duke Energy dumped ash and other wastes from a power plant in two unlined ponds next to the Dan River. The plant shut down in 2012, but the company just left the ash waste sitting in the ponds, the larger of the two measuring 27 acres across. On February 2, a busted stormwater pipe under the primary pond released millions of gallons of toxic sludge into the Dan River, which provides drinking water for communities downstream.
It took Duke Energy, the nation’s largest electricity producer, more than 24 hours to publicly report the spill and an additional six days to permanently plug the leak as an estimated 82,000 tons of ash turned the Dan River grey and contaminated its waters with dangerous levels of arsenic and other heavy metals. Duke Energy is currently working to contain and remove a 300-cubic-yard deposit of ash from the river.
The spill sounds like an unprecedented environmental disaster, but it’s not. In December 2008, coal ash impoundment maintained by the Tennessee Valley Authority in Kingston, Tennessee, burst open and 1.1 billion gallons of toxic sludge flooded out, destroying homes, streams and wetlands. Another TVA pond in Alabama leaked 10,000 gallons of coal waste sludge into a stream a month later. In August 2005, a coal ash pond at PPL’s Martins Creek Power Station in Bangor, Pennsylvania, failed, spilling 100 million gallons of ash across 10 acres of land and into the Delaware River. And the list of accidents and spills goes on.
Elizabeth Kolbert: “Humans Will Eventually Become Extinct”
In the meantime, says the acclaimed New Yorker writer, we’re causing the greatest mass extinction since dinosaur days.
By Benjy Hansen-Bundy | Tue Feb. 4, 2014 3:00 AM GMT
Things have been pretty boring, extinction-wise, since an asteroid killed off the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. Until humans came along, that is. Most folks might not know it, but there’s an mass extinction happening right before our eyes, and guess who is causing it? To better understand this madness, The New Yorker’s acclaimed climate journalist and author Elizabeth Kolbert clomped through the tropics, crawled into the caves at Lascaux, and emerged with a new book, The Sixth Extinction, which will be published by Henry Holt & Co. on February 11.
Kolbert’s book brims with the fascinating and harrowing details of humanity’s brutal and pervasive impacts on other species. Did you know, for instance, that “before humans finally did in the Neanderthals, they had sex with them”? Well, they did. And as a result, Kobert writes, most of us are part Neanderthal—up to 4 percent.
No matter what Donald Trump says, it’s clear that global warming is rapidly changing conditions on our planet. But there are other large-scale effects at play. For instance, acidification of the oceans and rampant deforestation, both human-caused, are putting serious strain on ecosystems, and some of them are on the verge of crashing. As one ecologist put it, “We’re busy sawing off the limb on which we perch.”
Suspicious Death of JPMorgan Vice President, Gabriel Magee, Under Investigation in London
By Pam Martens: February 9, 2014
London Police have confirmed that an official investigation is underway into the death of a 39-year old JPMorgan Vice President whose body was found on the 9th floor rooftop of a JPMorgan building in Canary Wharf two weeks ago.
The news reports at the time of the incident of Gabriel (Gabe) Magee’s “non suspicious” death by “suicide” resulting from his reported leap from the 33rd level rooftop of JPMorgan’s European headquarters building in London have turned out to be every bit as reliable as CEO Jamie Dimon’s initial response to press reports on the London Whale trading scandal in 2012 as a “tempest in a teapot.”
An intense investigation is now underway into the details of exactly how Magee died and why his death was so quickly labeled “non suspicious.” An upcoming Coroner’s inquest will reveal the details of that investigation.
The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination
“While We Were Sleeping”
Orwell Rolls In His Grave, featuring MCM – Buy the DVD
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