Whale of a Kangaroo Court

A Whale of a Kangaroo Court
by Captain Paul Watson
The Japanese government has requested that the Australian government pursue charges against my self, my crew and our ship the Steve Irwin. Japan has accused us of deploying a propeller entanglement system to shut down their harpoon boats and is accusing us of deliberately colliding with the harpoon vessel Yushin Maru #3.

For this reason, the Steve Irwin was met by Australian Federal Police with a warrant to seize our logbook and hundreds of video tapes. This despite the fact that none of the documentation recorded was obtained in Australian territory or on an Australian vessel.

No arrests were made but the question now is where is this going to go? Will I, or any other Steve Irwin crew be arrested and by whom and for what exactly? Will we get our property back, or will it be sent to Japan from where it will never return? Will any of us be sent to Japan from which we may never return - at least anytime soon thereafter.
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Canadian Calls to Arrest War Criminal at Large, George W. Bush

Canada's Duty to Arrest George W. Bush for War Crimes
by Lawyers Against War
Dear Prime Minister and Ministers Nicholson, Van Loan, Kenney and Cannon;
Legal duties triggered by news of visit:
Bar George W. Bush from entering Canada or prosecute him for torture. George W. Bush, former President of the United States of America (U.S.) and Commander in Chief of the Armed Force, is reported to be coming to Calgary Alberta on March 17, 2009.1

George W. Bush is a person credibly accused of torture and other gross human rights violations, crimes against humanity and war crimes. This fact triggers two branches of Canadian law: first, the Minister of Immigration is legally bound to prevent Bush’s entry into Canada at any time and for any reason; second, if Bush enters Canada, the Attorney General of Canada must prosecute him for torture or provide consent to private prosecution.
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Cohen Charges: "Lefties Made Me a Jew!"

Hatred has turned him into a Jew - Deconstructing Nick Cohen
by Gilad Atzmon
In an article published by the Jewish Chronicle, Observer columnist Nick Cohen argued that ‘Hatred turned him into a Jew’. Initially, I was rather amused by the revealing confession. Cohen must have a lot of hatred in him. 
Brit Press Drives Observer Columnist Nick Cohen Kosher
He was one of the very few supporters of the illegal war against Iraq within the British media. He really believed that liberating the Iraqis was the way forward.  Incidentally he also possesses an incredible record of Islamophobic ranting. Hence, I at first tended to interpret Cohen’s declaration as an acknowledgment that it was the loathing towards others which he finds in himself that made him into a Jew.  

I was obviously wrong, Cohen was quick to clarify that it is actually other people’s hatred, specifically that of the ‘British Left’ that  ‘indulges antisemitism’, which made him ‘feel Kosher’. 
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Gaza Caravan: Waiting for the Can Go in Rafah

FRUSTRATIONS AT RAFAH CROSSING - Viva Palestina Convoy Update 15.30 (GMT) Sunday 8th March
by The Yvonne Ridley Reports
The Viva Palestina convoy is still stuck 40km from the Rafah border crossing at Al Arish after it was being prevented from progressing through the border gates to Gaza. During the day new obstacles have been placed in the path of the convoy passing into Gaza via the Rafah crossing. However, the whole convoy is determined to stay united in purpose and in one piece - and that all vehicles and equipment including the convoy's mascot, the red fire engine as well as the boat and the Bolton generator will enter Gaza together.

George Galloway and other convoy leaders have been involved in lengthy negotiations all day with the Egyptians to find a solution and remove these new obstacles. Negotiations will carry on for the rest of the day but it does look likely that the convoy will not cross into Gaza today. Indeed, Yvonne Ridley reports, from the Viva Palestina compound in Al Arish, there is now a football match taking place between the British and Libyan drivers

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Bottomless Bailout: Buttless Chaps

The Bottomless Bailout
by Ralph Nader
Does anybody in the federal government know or could know “who, what, where and when” of the massive, complex, vertical, horizontal, global collapse of Wall Street and its planetary tentacles in over 100 countries abroad? Step forward if you exist! Uncle Sam needs you!

Is the multi-million dollar bailout of this financial mess and house of cards, this phantom wealth mummy hitting air beyond the federal governments’ salvage capability? It is relatively easy to announce hundreds of billions of dollars of corporate rescue programs here and hundreds of billions of dollars of guarantees of corporate recklessness there and trillions of dollars of assorted stimulus, loan availabilities and foreclosure prevention initiatives in all directions.
Now comes the rubber hitting the road
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Past and Present Betrayals: Remembering Ophira

Remember Ophira?
by Uri Avnery
This week I had a nostalgic experience. I met a parliamentary delegation from one of the European countries. What turned this meeting into a special occasion for me was its location. The “Pasha Room” of the “American Colony” Hotel in East Jerusalem is a beautiful square hall, decorated in traditional Arab style. I was in this hall at the moment Yitzhak Rabin held out his hand to Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn at the Oslo agreement signing ceremony.

We gathered there spontaneously, Israeli peace activists and Fatah leaders, to celebrate the event together. We watched the proceedings on TV and cracked bottles of champagne. I still have one of the corks. Just an hour before, I had witnessed a no less exciting meeting. A group of young Palestinians, delirious with joy, marched through the streets, olive branches in their hands and a large Palestinian flag fluttering over their heads. At the street corner, a unit of the Border Police – the most aggressive anti-Arab force in Israel – was waiting. At the time, even the simple possession of a Palestinian flag was a crime.

For a moment, we held our breath. What is going to happen? The Palestinians ran towards the policemen and thrust olive branches into their hands. The policemen did not know what to do. They were obviously in a state of total disorientation and did not react at all. The enthusiastic youngsters continued on their way through the streets of East Jerusalem, singing and rejoicing.
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The Coming Storm in South Asia

Taliban Truce and the Coming Storm in South Asia
by Tom Burghardt
With growing instability and political turmoil inside Afghanistan and Pakistan, due in no small measure to American efforts on both sides of the "Afpak" divide to "stabilize" the region for multinational energy companies, this spring will see the rise of combat operations inside both countries. Pakistan is already feeling the heat generated by the imperialist Dracula and the jihadi Frankenstein.

Despite promises that the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) would lay down their arms once the Army ceased operations in Swat Valley, the state's capitulatory compact has instead provided militants with an excuse to exact vengeance on their opponents whilst establishing new training camps for pressed-ganged "recruits." Call it Pakistan's "Year Zero" when "everything changed." Not that the Americans, the state or the corporate grifters who preside over IMF-dictated privatization schemes and debt payments to foreign banks give a hoot.

The New York Times reported March 6, that just days after the truce was signed "a member of a prominent anti-Taliban family returned to his mountain village, having received assurances from the government that it was safe. He was promptly kidnapped by the Taliban, tortured and murdered."
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Siegelman Convictions

Siegelman Convictions Upheld
by Scott Horton
The Court of Appeals in Atlanta today upheld most of the convictions delivered against former Governor Don Siegelman, rejecting only two of the counts. In particular, the Court sustained charges that Siegelman behaved corruptly when, after a foundation received a contribution from insurance executive Richard Scrushy, he appointed Scrushy to a regulatory board. The Court found that the jury in the case was within its rights when it found that Siegelman’s appointment was a quid pro quo in exchange for the contribution to the foundation.

The Court also concluded that there was no clear evidence that Judge Mark Everett Fuller, in sentencing Siegelman, retaliated against Siegelman for arguing that the prosecution was politically motivated. They overturned two of Siegelman’s convictions and are therefore sending the matter back to Judge Fuller for resentencing.
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The Imperial Unconscious

The Imperial Unconscious: Afghan Faces, Predators, Reapers, Terrorist Stars, Roman Conquerors, Imperial Graveyards, and Other Oddities of the Truncated American Century
by Tom Engelhardt
Sometimes, it's the everyday things, the ones that fly below the radar, that matter. Here, according to Bloomberg News, is part of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates's recent testimony on the Afghan War before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

"U.S. goals in Afghanistan must be 'modest, realistic,' and 'above all, there must be an Afghan face on this war,' Gates said. 'The Afghan people must believe this is their war and we are there to help them. If they think we are there for our own purposes, then we will go the way of every other foreign army that has been in Afghanistan.'"

Now, in our world, a statement like this seems so obvious, so reasonable as to be beyond comment. And yet, stop a moment and think about this part of it: "there must be an Afghan face on this war." U.S. military and civilian officials used an equivalent phrase in 2005-2006 when things were going really, really wrong in Iraq. It was then commonplace -- and no less unremarked upon -- for them to urgently suggest that an "Iraqi face" be put on events there.
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'SOUAD VIVA PALESTINA' - Viva Palestina Convoy Update

'SOUAD VIVA PALESTINA' - Viva Palestina Convoy Update 19.00 (GMT) Friday 6th March 2009
by The Yvonne Ridley Reports
After a long rest at Matruh, the Viva Palestina convoy started the day late by heading east. Apparently, some were so exhausted that they slept on till late morning.

Divided into groups to make the drive and escort manageable, they were planning to stop for Friday prayers along the way. Some groups were delayed and could not make it. They are driving to JEMSA (GEMSA) on the coast, their next location for the night. I am told that it is looking like midnight by the time the last vehicle reaches the coastal town. A reception and dinner is being organised by the local authorities.

On that note, Akhbar Elyom newspaper reported today that the General Secretariat of the National Party is overseeing the reception and monitoring the progress of the convoy across various provinces. Working groups have been set up to ensure the various services are provided to the convoy such as accommodation, food and fuel. Young guides and helpers will be on hand to assist convoy members when they stop in their cities.

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American Slavery: Then, Now and Forever

Modern Slavery in America
by Stephen Lendman
This is the plight of America's vulnerable and those we exploit abroad, whether in restaurants, hotels, agriculture, domestic work, the sex trade, or on US offshore military bases, and seldom do courts provide justice.
It's America's dark side along with an appalling record of crimes and abuses, including imperial wars, torture, and looting the national wealth for criminal bankers and the rich at the expense of growing millions in need left wanting at the most perilous economic time in our history.
America's long and disturbing legacy, not at all one to be proud of.
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Iraq: Medical Care at a Premium

Medical Care At Last, At a Price
by Dahr Jamail
Prompt medical care is at last on offer in Iraq, for those who can find the dollars for it.

“Why would I want to go to government-run hospitals where there is no care, no functioning instruments, long lines, and in the end the same doctor who treats you there can treat you at a private hospital,” says Mohammed Abbas, 35, an employee at Iraq’s Ministry of Oil.

Abbas, speaking at the private Saint Raphael Hospital in the Karrada area of Baghdad, wanted treatment on time, and was prepared to pay for it. Like him, many are coughing up money for private treatment. When they have money, that is, in an economy with more than 50 percent unemployment.

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