Showing posts from June, 2009

Two top Honduran coup leaders trained in the School of the Americas

This blog entry was originally posted at AllVoices.

Two important military leaders of the coup are graudates of the School of the Americas: Gen. Romeo Vasquez head of the armed forces and Gen. Luis Suazo head of the Air Force. Zelaya had earlier clashed with Vasquez over distributing ballots for a referendum and ended up dismissing him.
As this article notes the School of the Americas as it used to be called was infamous for training Latin American dictators. Several graduates of the School had earlier been military dictators of Honduras responsible for many human rights abuses.
I notice that so far there has not been much coverage on CNN and Fox news of demonstrations against the regime. On CBC the one shot I saw of a demonstration was of a pro-coup crowd! There have been a number of injuries as the pro-Zelaya demonstrations have been broken up but very little is being reported and certainly there is not the twittering that one heard during the demonstrations in Iran.

This is from Southe…

Afghan anti-terrorist group act like terrorists!

This entry has also been submitted to AllVoices:

The group that killed the police chief of Kandahar and other officers was a US trained unit that was employed by the US in counter-terrorism work. The song and dance performed by US authorities is truly pathetic. Everyone wants to distance themselves from the group but clearly the US hired them and trained them. One would expect that the Afghan government should have been aware of the unit but perhaps not. The guards were actually arrested and disarmed on a military base just outside of Kandahar according to another report. One wonders if they operated out of that base.
Surely these criminals should be handed over to Afghan authorities. If they have no connection to the operation of coalition forces why on earth would they face a military trial. They should be handed over to Karzai authorities immediately. In this case Karzai is right and h…

Rafsanjani makes peace with Khameni

While Mousavi continues to challenge the establishment and demand a new vote altogether, Rafsanjani one of his richest most powerful supporters has distanced himself from him and even moreso from the protesters. Some of Sanjani's relatives were involved in the demonstrations and were even briefly arrested. The family patriarch has no doubt laid down the law rather than joining them in a direct confrontation. None of the defeated candidates have chosen to bring their complaints before the official body.

These quotes are from PressTV.

"The developments following the presidential vote were a complex conspiracy plotted by suspicious elements with the aim of creating a rift between the people and the Islamic establishment and causing them to lose their trust in the system," Rafsanjani said Sunday. "Such plots have always been neutralized whenever the people have entered the scene with vigilance."


Hashemi-Rafsanjani urges f…

Over one third of Americans think that Jews are partly responsible for the economic crisis.

It would seem that even though the US political establishment bends over backward to support Israel and Israel receives lots of US taxpayer money, over a third of U.S. citizens see Jews as partly causing the economic crisis. Pro-Israel groups spend a lot of time and effort in providing positive information on Israel and criticising critics but a lot of Americans still hold views which one can only describe as not just critical of Jews but anti-semitic prejudices. One thing is sure Madoff is responsible for the financial crisis of many Jewish organisations that invested with him! Although it could very well be that many Jews are involved in institutions that were partly responsible for the crisis this does not mean that Jews as a group were responsible for it.

This is from the jewishweek.

An online poll on anti-Semitic attitudes in the wake of the Bernard Madoff scandal suggests more than a third of Americans blame “the Jews” to some degree for the economic crisis.The poll, by two profe…

Iran claims FBI blocking Web Sites.

This is from UPI.

I have tried to find other articles about this with little success. Any search seems just to bring up articles about the Iranians blocking web sites! However, it is quite possible that the Iranian claims are true but it would be good to get some confirmation or disconfirmation.

Iran claims FBI blocking Web sites
Published: June 26, 2009 at 3:25 PM
Iranian broadcasters claim the FBI ordered the disruption of Internet servers that host Iranian Web sites in the wake of Iran's election fallout.The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting network claims the FBI ordered Washington to disconnect 80 news, social networking and other Web sites, including the Beirut bureau of Press TV, because of depictions of government protesters.IRIB claims the FBI disconnected the servers because one of the Web sites had published photos of demonstrators in a manner that those involved were readily identifiable.IRIB counters that this comes as amateur Web resources and unverifiable accoun…

Manila selling land to foreigners: Philippines

Unlike many countries the Philippines has long reserved the right of land ownership to its own citizens. However with the rise of globalisation and integration of the Philippines with the world market, many of the Philippine business and governing elite such as Arroyo the president would like to remove those restrictions. She would be well rewarded no doubt. This article shows how the Arroyo govt. is already at work trying to please foreign investment by alienating Philippine land.

This is from this site:

Manila selling land to foreigners
By Gerry Albert CorpuzColumn: Politics in Command
Published: June 22, 2009
Font size: Manila, Philippines —
Last week Philippine President Gloria Arroyo announced that her government will allow the Japanese investor Pacific Bio-Fields Holdings to acquire 400,000 hectares of land in northern Luzon for the production of biodiesel products intended for the Japanese market in the next five years.
During her state visit to Tokyo, Japan, Arroyo confirmed that the…

Obama moves to Fund Iranian Dissidents..

This just confirms the postion of the Iranian government that the protests are generated by western interference in Iran. The policy negates any positive effect that Obama's earlier attempts at neutrality might have generated. Of course as this article points out the funding of dissidents has been going on for some time under Bush. As is the case with many other US policies Obama is following in Bush footsteps.

Obama Moves to Fund Iranian Dissidents
Posted By Jason Ditz On June 26, 2009 @ 8:09 am
Despite President Barack Obama’s persistent claims that the United States is not meddling in the post-election furore in Iran, the administration is moving forward with plans to subsidize Iranian dissident groups to the tune of $20 million in the form of USAID grants.
The program is not new, and the solicitation for the grant applications actually came under the Bush Administration. But with the deadline for submissions just four days away, the administration has a convenient excuse to subsid…

Daniel Pipes: Eating your cake and having it too..

Daniel Pipes is a well known so-called expert on the Mid-East. He is usually on the right. In the case of the Iranian elections he takes a position that supports boldness in criticising the Iranian govt. and also supporting the demonstrators and even the MEK who are on the US terrorist list:

Instead, flux in Iran should invite boldness and innovation. It is time, finally, for a robust U.S. policy that encourages those yelling "Death to Khamene'i" and that takes advantage of the hyperbolic fear the MeK arouses in Iran's ruling circles (first step: end the MeK's preposterous listing as a terrorist organization).
As Rep. Peter Hoekstra (Republican of Michigan) notes, regime change in Iran becomes the more urgent if the mullahs will soon deploy nuclear weapons. The vital and potentially victorious movement building both on the streets of Iran and in the halls of Europe better represents not only Western values bu…

The debates about Iran vote rigging.

Those who have been following the debate on the evidence for vote rigging should find this article interesting as it is critical of the analysis of Chatham House which has been at the forefront of those providing evidence for vote rigging. Of course most of the media never bother to look at so sophisticated a source as Chatham House, they can do with sound bites from the protesters and supporters or simplistic bits such as that concerning voting of over 100 per cent in some areas. As if the Iranian authorities themselves would admit this if it showed in itself that there were vote rigging!

This is from AsiaTimes

Jun 26, 2009

COMMENT Crunching the numbers
By Kaveh L Afrasiabi
A few days ago, just as the "color" movement's ferocious struggle to overturn the results of the 10th Iranian presidential elections was fading, it received a new lease of life via the publication of a British study [1] that casts serious doubt on the official results that saw President Mahmud Ahmadinejad…

Sectarian Strife in Iraq

The entire article is here.

Since the US stopped paying the Awakening militias it would seem some of the Sunnis have returned to opposition and the remnants of Al Qaeda are probably able to survive and even prosper in some areas. Statements such as this going unchallenged in Sunni countries such as Saudi Arabia can only make the situation worse.

BAGHDAD (AFP) — Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Thursday criticised Arab and Muslim countries for their silence on calls by a senior Saudi cleric for Shiite scholars to be killed.
The Iraqi leader made the remarks a day after a massive bomb in the predominantly Shiite neighbourhood of Sadr City in northeastern Baghdad killed 62 people and wounded 150.
"We have observed that many governments have been suspiciously silent on the fatwa provoking the killing" of Shiites, Maliki, who is also Shiite, said in an e-mailed statement.
He was referring to comments made by Mecca Mufti Sheikh Adil al-Kalbani last month to the BBC that "Shi…

Iran claims US-backed MKO fingermarks in riots..

The MEK or MKO is a Marxist group that has a very long history of trying to overthrow several Iranian govts. During the Iran war they aided Saddam Hussein and amassed a considerable array of weapons. After the US invasion they were disarmed but have been protected from the wrath of the Iraqi govt. by the US even though the group is on the US terrorist list. The group are very good international lobbyists and have managed to get themselves off the European terror list. They renounce the use of violence a number of years ago. However, some think that they are still recruited by the US and others to carry out clandestine sabotage in Iran.
The group is more or less like a sect and totally committed to their goals. An interesting account is found here:

The MEK has a front website at:

The Website looks rather professional. The group has supporters among US politicians some of whom want it removed from the terror list an…

Netanyahu and head of Mossad at odds on Iran

I suppose Netanyahu must take the moral highground while the head of Mossad takes the realistic low ground! Apparently being frank has not made Dagan any friends among the politicians. He in effect concedes that Ahmadinejad won and downplays any effect of cheating.

This is from Fox News.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that the Iranian regime's repressive nature has been "unmasked" by the turmoil over the country's disputed election last week.
He spoke as the official death toll in Iran rose to at least 17, as protesters continued to march in the streets and clash with regime forces.
"You see a regime that represses its own people and spreads terror far and wide," Netanyahu said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "It is a regime whose real nature has been unmasked and it's been unmasked by an incredible act of courage by Iran's citizens. ... You see the Iranian lack of democracy at work."
Israel considers the Iranian…

Philippines Posts Budget Deficit as Spending Rises

This is from Bloomberg.

The Philippines is facing the same sort of problems as the US and Canada but on a smaller scale and it still is not in recession. However growth is approaching zero. Interesting that the government will be issuing bonds in Japanese yen. I wonder why that is?

Philippines Posts Budget Deficit as Spending Rises (Update1)
Karl Lester M. Yap [] and [bn:PRSN=1] Max Estayo []
June 23 (Bloomberg) -- The Philippines posted a budget deficit in May as the government increased spending and revenue faltered amid slowing economic growth.
The shortfall of 11.4 billion pesos ($234 million) widened the five-month deficit to 123.2 billion pesos, Finance Secretary Gary Teves told reporters in Manila today. Spending increased 15.8 percent in May from a year earlier and revenue fell 2.5 percent, Teves said.
Economic growth slowed to a decade low of 0.4 percent last quarter, hurting businesses and consumers and crimping tax collection at a time when the government is trying to spend it…

Iran: The Over 100 per cent voting phenomenom.

This is from presstv. Some bloggers and news media pick this up without explaining the context. On the face of it the fact over 100% voted shows fraud but as the article explains people can vote in areas other than where they are registered or eligible. As a result some areas may have considerable numbers of voters who would be registered elsewhere. As the Guardian Council put it for this to happen is normal. With the added voters the tally can easily go over 100 per cent of those eligible in an area particularly when there is a very high turnout-- as both sides agree there was. Nevertheless over 100 per cent in 50 cities seems a lot but the number of votes involved is not sufficient to give Mousavi a win. But all this assumes the Guardian Council is not fudging the figures itself or the alternative explanation could be that there was over 100 percent because the ballot boxes were stuffed! In fact both could be true. My own view of the election is that there was no doubt some cheating…

Two contrasting viewpoints on Iran.

These two viewpoints are both from Asia Times.

Bhadrakumar has from the beginning downplayed the significance of the demonstrations and seen the whole affair as a tempest in a teapot and as a fractious bit of infighting between members of the Iranian elite. His viewpoint will be found wildly different from most of the commentary and reportage in most western mainstream media.
The US media for example does not find it even worth taking notice of what Saudi Arabia might be saying about what is happening! What is significant is its own reactions to all the twitterings from Iran.
Bhadrakumar looks to Israeli commentary to confirm his view that the "twitter revolution" as he calls it has fizzled. The head of Mossad obviously has decided that Ahmadinejad is winning and is quite ready to deal with him. As a matter of fact his winning is a plus for Israel because he is already demonised and Israel can argue even more strongly for an attack on the madman dictator's nuclear pr…

Iranian Communist Party statement on the Iranian protests..

This is from this website.

This is pure rhetoric completely lacking in any analysis of the social forces behind the two opposing groups. Rafsanjani does not enter the picture just the '''people''. There is no US meddling or anything of that sort no struggle among the mullahs just the heroic people being drenched in blood with all the bad guys on the other side.l
The Tudeh party should know about being drenched in blood since it was bloodied by the Shah and then by the mullahs. There is very little left and it is banned in Iran. But the remnants can now at least comfort themselves by being on the side of democracy and US imperialism. This should make all those western liberals and conservatives applauding the protesters take note. You are all commie sympthasizers it would seem;)
The party no doubt thinks that it can join in the protest and push it in a progressive direction.
If they had bothered to look at the forces behind the protest they should see that they …

Philippine appeals court overturns US Marine's rape conviction, orders his immediate release..

This was long a cause celebre among many activisits in the Philippines. The alleged victim managed to completely ruin any case against the US marine by changing her testimony. Now conveniently she emigrated to the good old USA. The court claims however that it was not influenced by her change of testimony. All along the Arroyo govt. did whatever the US wanted as is shown by the details in the article.

Philippine appeals court overturns US Marine's rape conviction, orders his immediate release

By: TERESA CEROJANO Associated Press06/20/09 7:10 PM EDT
MANILA, PHILIPPINES — A Philippine court overturned the rape conviction of a U.S. Marine whose case became a rallying point for activists demanding American forces leave the country. Protesters said the decision underscored their government's subservience to an old colonial master.
Three years ago, Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for raping a Filipino woman after a night of drinking. The emotiona…

Beijing's Cautions US over Iran...

This is from the AsiaTimes.

Obama's first reactions were almost exemplary even though it is clear that behind the scenes there was much support probably being given by the US for the opposition. The State Dept even asked Twitter not to close down for maintenance in the interests of advancing the opposition. Former US officials, such as Brzezinski, have also warned the US to lay low. Of course in the US media what China might have to say about Iran is of no interest. It is twitters and liberal experts on Iran who count.
However events have forced Obama's hand to some extent. Clinton and Biden for example want him to intervene on the right (opposition) side in the confrontation. Meanwile the media is almost an official voice of the opposition about as neutral as the Tehran Times.

Beijing cautions US over Iran
By M K Bhadrakumar
China has broken silence on the developing situation in Iran. This comes against the backdrop of a discernible shift in Washington's posturing t…