Monday, 23 December 2013

Inventor of AK 47 Mikhail Kalashnikov dead at 94

The inventor of the AK-47 also known as the Kalashnikov has died at the age of 94. Mikhail Kalashnikov has witnessed both the birth, usefulness and the destruction of the most infamous and yet popular automatic weapons in modern times. His AK-47 has been and continues to be used literally  around the world from United States to Asian countries to Chechnya and Syria to name a few places. For millions of people who were either victims or witnessed their family members killed by the AK 47 many do not mourn his death.



Mikhail Kalashnikov, the pioneer of the legendary automatic assault rifle

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Devyani Khobragade, Indian Consul General to U.S. strip searched by NYPD

Story from the Times of India, article link here
Generally every diplomat regardless of country in the world has diplomatic immunity that protects them from being humiliated or treated as a criminal in the countries they serve. However, diplomatic immunity was denied to Counsler General Devyani based at Consulate General of India in New York, US. 

Diplomat Devyani strip-searched, India snubs US team


Diplomatic row: India-US standoff escalates

Diplomatic row: India-US standoff escalates
NEW DELHI: India's deputy consul general inNew York Devyani Khobragade was strip-searched and confined with drug addicts after her detention in a visa fraud case. She was also subjected to DNA swabbing.

On Monday, India retaliated against the US for the humiliation of diplomat with Speaker Meira Kumar and NSA Shivshankar Menon refusing to meet a Congressional delegation on Monday.

Sources confirmed that the government made it a point to convey to the delegation that the Speaker was not going to receive them because she had been deeply troubled by the manner in which Khobragade, who is accused of visa fraud, had been dealt with by the US authorities.

The 1999-batch IFS officer, working as India's deputy consul general in New York, was detained from near the school of her children and later handcuffed.

Menon too chose not to meet the delegation because of the same reason. Like Kumar, Khobragade also is a dalit IFS officer.

Khurshid meets team

Foreign minister Salman Khurshid did meet the delegation though keeping in mind the seniority of the Congressmen. The five-member delegation was led by Congressman George Holding, Representative for North Carolina's 13th congressional district, who serves on the foreign affairs committee and judiciary committee.

The four other Congressmen are Pete OlsonDavid SchweikertRobert Woodall and Madeliene Bordallo.

India has been deeply offended by the manner in which Khobragade was treated by the US authorities who chose to ignore her status as a middle-level diplomat from a friendly country. It has continued to emphasize before the state department that the treatment meted out to Khobragade was in complete violation of Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR).

As a consular officer, Khobragade had certain privileges — even if she did not have diplomatic immunity — which New Delhi believes were denied to her. She had limited immunity as a consular officer and could be arrested only if her crime was grave. The government is backing Khobragade's lawyer's contention that if her crime was indeed grave, why she was released on bail just two hours after her arrest.

The state department earlier responded to the summoning of envoy Nancy Powell by foreign secretary Sujatha Singh by declaring that the consular officer did not have immunity under VCCR. India, however, sees this as an attempt to deflect attention from the real issue — the humiliation in public of an Indian diplomat.

New Delhi has highlighted how the US authorities had violated Article 41 (Section 3) of VCCR which says that proceedings against a consular officer "shall be conducted with the respect due to him by reason of his official position."

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Israel guilty of genocide

On November 25, 2013, The War Crimes Tribunal Court in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia has found Israel guilty of genocide against the Palestinian People and by extension charged two Israeli military leaders with war crimes. Israel denies it has used genocidal methods towards the Palestinians in what remains of occupied Palestine: Gaza, West Bank and Jerusalem. However, the definition and criteria of genocide seem to be parallel to how the Israeli military and government has collectively punished Palestinians (since 1948) while expanding illegal settlements or colonies, at times limiting water supplies or creating an apartheid system all in the name of fighting terrorism and defending  national security. The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal has also tried in absentia both former American President George W. Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair with war crimes for their invasion and subsequent destruction of the country of Iraq. The KLWCT is an independent tribunal that is opened to the general public and free from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. Other independent tribunals on addressing the violation of International Law by Israel in Palestine is Russell Tribunal on Palestine.

Israel's Genocidal War on Palestinians-Black Agenda Report

RT News: Israel guilty of genocide by War Crime Tribunal Court


Israel Charged with War Crimes and Genocide. Complete Judgment of Kuala Lumpur Tribunal


Article via LKWCT Foundation, reprinted at Global Research
palestineflag
“The perpetrators had committed acts against the Palestinians, with intent to kill, cause serious bodily or mental harms and deliberately inflict conditions of life calculated to bring about the physical destruction of the Palestinians as a whole or in part.”
“The Tribunal recommends to the War Crimes Commission to give the widest international publicity to this conviction and grant of reparations, as these are universal crimes for which there is a responsibility upon nations to institute prosecutions.
The Tribunal deplores the failure of international institutions to punish the State of Israel for its crimes and its total lack of respect of International Law and the institutions of the United Nations.” 
..
THE KUALA LUMPUR WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL
20 – 25 NOVEMBER 2013
Case No. 3 – CHG – 2013
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission
Against
Amos Yaron
Case No. 4 – CHG – 2013
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission
Against
The State of Israel
..
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal (Tribunal) reconvened on 20 November 2013 to hear two charges against Amos Yaron (first Defendant) and the State of Israel (second Defendant). The first Defendant was charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, whilst the second Defendant was charged with the crime of genocide and war crimes.
The charge against the first Defendant is as follows –
“The Defendant Amos Yaron perpetrated War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and Genocide in his capacity as the Commanding Israeli General in military control of the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Israeli occupied Lebanon in September of 1982 when he knowingly facilitated and permitted the large-scale Massacre of the Residents of those two camps in violation of the Hague Regulations on Land Warfare of 1907; the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949; the 1948 Genocide Convention; the Nuremberg Charter (1945), the Nuremberg Judgment (1946), and the Nuremberg Principles (1950); customary international law, jus cogens, the Laws of War, and International Humanitarian Law”
The charge against the second Defendant [State of Israel] is as follows –
“From 1948 and continuing to date the State of Israel (hereafter ‘the Defendant’) carried out against the Palestinian people a series of acts namely killing, causing serious bodily harm and deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction.
The conduct of the Defendant was carried out with the intention of destroying in whole or in part the Palestinian people. These acts were carried out as part of a manifest pattern of similar conduct against the Palestinian people.
These acts were carried out by the Defendant through the instrumentality of its representatives and agents including those listed in Appendices 1 and 2.
Such conduct constitutes the Crime of Genocide under international law including the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide 1948 (‘the Genocide Convention’) in particular Article II and punishable under Article III of the said Convention.
It also constitutes the crime of genocide as stipulated in Article 10 of the Charter of the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War.
Such conduct by the Defendant as an occupying power also violates customary international law as embodied in the Hague Convention of 1907 Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
Such conduct also constitutes War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity under international law.”
The charges (together with the particulars of the charges) had been duly served on the Defendants, and were read in open court by the Registrar as these proceedings commenced.
Neither Defendant was present in these proceedings, but both were represented by the Amicus Curiae-Defence Team.
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (KLWCC) versus the State of Israel
The proceedings directed against the State of Israel were led by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission.
Members of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (KLWCC) are:
Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad (Chairman), Prof. Michel Chossudovsky, Dr. Denis Halliday, Mr. Musa Ismail, Dr. Zulaiha Ismail, Dr. Yaacob Merican, Dr. Hans von Sponeck.
Working in liaison with their Malaysian counterparts,  commissioners Dr. Denis Halliday, former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations and Prof. Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization were present in Kuala Lumpur throughout the proceedings.
This important judicial process has received very little coverage in the Western media.  Global Research will be publishing several reports following this historic  judgment against the State of Israel.
***
Selected Excerpts
2 Prosecution’s Case
The Prosecution’s case against the first Defendant is that the first Defendant had committed War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and Genocide in his capacity as the Commanding Israeli General in military control of the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Israeli-occupied Lebanon in September of 1982 when he knowingly facilitated and permitted the large-scale Massacre of the Residents of those two camps. These crimes were in violation of, inter alia, the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, the 1948 Genocide Convention, jus cogens, International Humanitarian Law; and Articles 9, 10, and 11 of the Charter of the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War.
The Prosecution’s case against the second Defendant is that from 1948 and continuing to date the State of Israel had systematically carried out against the Palestinian people a series of acts namely killing, causing serious bodily harm and deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction – with the intention of destroying in whole or in part the Palestinian people.
These acts constitute the Crime of Genocide under international law including the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide 1948 (‘the Genocide Convention’) in particular Article II and punishable under Article III of the said Convention. It also constitutes the crime of genocide as stipulated in Article 10 of the Charter of the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War.
In his opening statement, the Chief Prosecutor Prof Gurdial Singh said that the Prosecution will adduce evidence to prove the counts in the indictment through oral and written testimonies of victims, witnesses, historical records, narrative in books and authoritative commentaries, resolutions of the United Nations and reports of international bodies.
6. The Defence case
Mr. Jason Kay Kit Leon of the Amicus Curiae-Defence Team submitted that in the charges against the two Defendants, the Prosecution had listed war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes against peace. Apparently the Prosecution had abandoned these charges, concentrating only on genocide.
He said that the offence of genocide is defined in Article 2 of the Genocide Convention 1948, whilst the OED defines it simply as “the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular nation or ethnic group”.
He submitted that the charge of genocide is unique; it means that you don’t like a group, you kill them; you kill them in a grand manner. Genocide means that at the end of the act, you have a lesser number of victims than before the genocide started.
He further submitted that when one talks of “massive killing”, it is many hundreds of thousands to millions of people. To suggest that an isolated event, the unfortunate murder of 3,000 people (Sabra and Shatila) is the same as massive killing is almost disrespectful of the true horror of massive killing (as in Rwanda, where 800,000 people were killed in 100 days).
With regard to the Kahan Report, the Amicus Curiae-Defence Team said that it also identified other people as being responsible, with two other names other than Yaron still alive. The question is why only Yaron was charged? Why was Defence Minister Ariel Sharon spared?
He also submitted that the PLO had repeatedly violated the July 1981 cease-fire agreement. By June 1982, when the IDF went into Lebanon, the PLO had made life in northern Israel intolerable through its repeated shelling of Israeli towns.
On Cast Lead, the Amicus Curiae-Defence Team submitted that the IDF had come out with two reports. The point is if you are going to kill people nilly willy, you do not report it.
On the issue of the wall, the Amicus Curiae-Defence Team submitted that the primary consideration is one of security of the Israeli settlers. The State of Israel has a duty to defend their lives, safety and well-being.
On the issue of checkpoints, the Amicus Curiae-Defence Team said countries have a right to immigration laws. With regard to Plan Dalet, the Amicus Curiae-Defence Team said that it is subject to divergent opinions, with historians on one side asserting that it was entirely defensive, while other historians assert that the plan aimed at an ethnic cleansing.
4. Prosecution’s closing submission
In his closing submission, the Chief Prosecutor said that he had called 11 witnesses (some of whom had testified through Skype), tendered 15 exhibits and furnished several documents and reports to the Tribunal during the course of the proceedings.
He urged the Tribunal to bear in mind that this is a Tribunal of Conscience and the case before it is an extraordinary case, which Winston Churchill used to call as a “crime without a name”.
He said that the Prosecution had provided evidence of facts which, examined as a whole, will show that the perpetrators had committed acts against the Palestinians, with intent to kill, cause serious bodily or mental harms and deliberately inflict conditions of life calculated to bring about the physical destruction of the Palestinians as a whole or in part.
From the testimony of Prof Pappe (PW8) the Prosecution had shown that before 1948, before UN Resolution 47, there was already a plan in place to take over the Palestinian territory, and this plan would be activated the moment the British relinquished its mandate over the territory.
At that point in time, the Palestinians were on 94% of the land, with the Jewish population settling over a mere 6% of the land. Under the UN partition plan, more than 50% of the land was to be given to the Jews.
Plan Dalet might not legally be genocidal in form at its inception, but as it took shape the ethnic cleansing metamorphised into killing, massacre and creating impossible conditions for life for the Palestinians – either they leave or they die. The Prosecution submits this is genocide within the meaning of Article 2 of the Genocide Convention.
On Sabra and Shatila, prosecution witnesses (PW1 and PW6) had testified that the Palestinian refugees in those camps had been killed by the Phalangists, aided and abetted by the Israelis who were in complete control of the two camps.
According to the Kahan Report, all of Beirut was under Israeli control, and there was clear symbiotic relationship between Israel and the Christian forces (the Lebanese Maronite Christian militia or the Phalangists or Keta’ib).
On Operation Cast Lead in 2008, the Chief Prosecutor said that the Israeli Defence Force had used all kinds of weapons, including white phosphorus – which is an incendiary weapon. The use of incendiary weapons is prohibited under Protocal III on the Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Incendiary Weapons.
As a result of the Israeli occupation of Gaza, nowhere in Gaza is safe for civilians. 1.5 million Palestinians are now trapped in despair, their fragile economy ruined. Under the Dahiya Doctrine (October 2008), the complete destruction of Gaza is the ultimate objective, the whole place must be flattened.
The Prosecution submits that the cumulative effect of the actions taken by the Israeli government, as shown by the Prosecution witnesses and the several documents tendered to the Tribunal, have shown beyond reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of the crime of genocide under the Genocide Convention and the Charter of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (The Charter).
Co-Prosecutor Tan Sri Abdul Aziz, submitting on the first charge against Amos Yaron, said that Amos Yaron was the commanding officer in charge of the Israeli Defence Force, in charge of the area of Beirut, and camps Sabra and Shatila. He said there were two issues which he has to deal with – first, whether or not there was a large scale massacre of the 10 residents of the two camps, and second, whether or not Amos Yaron facilitated and permitted such massacre, in violation of international law and Articles 9, 10 and 11 of the Charter?
On the first issue, he submitted there was a large scale massacre, as testified by PW1. She was there, and she saw the massacre with her own eyes. There was corrobating testimony by PW6, and further acknowledged in the Kahan Report.
On the second issue, Amos Yaron was in charge, to ensure that there would be peace and law and order. The Kahan Report itself concluded that anybody who knew about Lebanon would know that by releasing the Phalangists into Beirut, there would be massacre. Surely, Amos Yaron, the General in charge, must have known that by allowing the Phalangists to go into the two camps, the massacre would take place. But he decided to do nothing.
He received the reports of the killing of women and children, but he did not check the report. He did not pass the report to his superiors. The co-prosecutor submits that by ignoring all this despite knowing the circumstances, he himself had the intention of causing the death of the people in the two camps.
10.3 Commission’s Register of War Criminals
Further, under Article 35 of the same Chapter, this Tribunal recommends to the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission that the names of the two convicted parties herein be entered and included in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals and be publicised accordingly.
10.4 The Tribunal recommends to the War Crimes Commission to give the widest international publicity to this conviction and grant of reparations, as these are universal crimes for which there is a responsibility upon nations to institute prosecutions.
10.5 The Tribunal deplores the failure of international institutions to punish the State of Israel for its crimes and its total lack of respect of International Law and the institutions of the United Nations. It urges the Commission to use all means to publicise this judgement and in particular with respect to the Parliaments and Legislative Assemblies of the major powers such as members of the G8 and to urge these countries to intervene and put an end to the colonialist and racist policies of the State of Israel and its supporters.




Saturday, 7 December 2013

In Honor of Nelson Mandela, Madiba

Still strong after so many years. Compliments of Carlos Latuff

Live everyday like its African Liberation Day!


On the iconography of radical revolutionaries who don't take no for an answer


U.S. glorified Mandela in Death but treated him as a Terrorist in life



Thursday, 5 December 2013

A Giant has passed RIP Nelson Mandela



Once and forever a revolutionary, imprisoned for 27 years on Robin Island and released at the age of 75 in 1990. A people's leader, who became president of South Africa while the society was under ethnic and sectarian tensions. A politician who showed the world humility to his enemies and life challenges, Nelson Mandela has departed our world at age 95.

The World is both crying and celebrating his life.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Resource island wars


Senkaku Islands relative to Japan and China, Taiwan also staking a claim to the islands

Japanese, Chinese and Taiwanese nationalists ranging from college students to elderly have joined their governments' claim to the islands. Protests have been held on the islands with each country waving their flag the international symbol of territorial claim to new lands.

The troublesome islands from an aerial view from Guardian Newspaper

Citizens' protests over Senkaku

Once again China and Japan are flexing their military might and muscles over the resource rich islands Senkaku Islands known as the Diaoyu Islands in China. The island is vacant but is rich in oil, gas and other minerals that both Japan and China need for their respective peoples and economies. Instead of sharing the island as would seem to the practical solution to the unending nationalistic and now air defense show of force, both countries continue to scramble to claim their piece of the rocky territory. Taiwan has joined both countries in claiming the heavily disputed island for its own nationalistic ambitions. In addition to the Sekaku Islands, all three countries including Phillipines and Vietnam are now claiming more resource rich islands located in the South China Sea for their own respective countries. China insists that the islands in South China Sea belong to mainland China. The islands are closer to the mainland and Taiwan when compared to the other countries making a claim to it. Chinese officials have refused to give up their claims for the Senkaku islands also well as the South China Sea islands. It is nearly a hundred years since the start of the First World War and once again countries are flexing their military muscles warning their neighbors to back off. Its also been 105 years since the Sino-Russian War, another precursor that was much about each country having immediate and equal access to water ways and trade without competition from other nations in the region.

Japanese Air force above the island

Monday, 11 November 2013

Haiyan flattens whole towns across the Phillipines

News Report on Haiyan in Philippines from India's Zee News

Whole towns and villages have been flatten across the Philippines from Manila to Cebu since Haiyan touched down on the Phillipines last Thursday killing 10,000 people. Although Philippines have experienced 20 typhoons this year alone, the typhoons destruction caught millions of people off guard and with nowhere to hide. Infrastructure such as housing, schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, parks and electric stations have all been ripped apart and pummeled by Haiyan's brutal winds which is the largest and deadliest in modern history. No doubt fueled by global warming and climate change. The Philippines is made up of over 1000+ islands like Japan, searching for survivors and delivering necessary aid in forms of food, medicines and clothing for survivors and the non affected people who managed to escape, will be difficult. Some tens of thousands of Filipinos are currently homeless and are missing loved ones who were caught in the eyes of the storm. Sadly, the devastating typhoon will become more common in the future and there is a chance that typhoons of this magnitude will wreck havoc over other neighboring countries. Thousands of bodies are being recovered across Philippines and buried in mass graves as Filipino emergency forces and agencies scramble to reach people impeded by large debris in now isolated destroyed towns or remain trap under the debris. Haiyan's aftermath is reminiscence of Haiti's post earthquake recovery and survival. In a cruel twist of fate, Haiyan's destruction coincides with another incoming typhoon. It also comes as the Climate Change Summit is occurring in Poland. Filipino Chief Yeb Sano, (whose hometown of Tacloban lost 1,000 people out of a population of 220,000) attended the summit delivering a heart felt address to summit gathers to take the dangerous of climate change as a necessity to safeguard the lives of billions of people at the mercy of terrifying typhoons, tsunamis, earthquakes and fires that literally devouring nations directly exposed to Mother Nature's unforgiving wrath each month and year.

Climate Change Chief Yeb Sano mourns for his hometown Tacloban and country will go on a hunger strike for climate change


The Phillipines borders Malayasia to its South, Japan to its Northeast, China to its Northwest and Indonesia to its far south. It is a Tagolog, English and Spanish speaking country home to 1000+ islands and millions of citizens. It is also one of the largest Catholic countries in Southeast Asia.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Typhoons and floods in Phillipines

ring.of.fire.gif

Typhoon Haikan has killed 10,000 people women, children and men across the Philippines. The Filipino people are no strangers to climatic changes and the reoccurring typhoons annually. Philippines and most of the Asian island and mainland nations in the Pacific Ocean live in the Ring of Fire. Its where the tectonic plates and its deadly fault lines meet creating choatic earthquakes every decade. It is also where volcanic eruptions have simmered and erupted without warning. Alongside the typhoons, millions of people also face the path of giant freak storms and catastrophic Tsunami as witnessed by Japan and 2004 Asian Tsunami that killed 220, 000+ people in Indonesia, Thailand, India, Malaysia, Bangladesh. The aftershock of the Tsunami was felt all the way in South Africa, Yemen, Seychelles and Tanzania.  Philippines like other tropical countries have only two seasons dry season lasting from October-March and the Wet Season from April-September. After the typhoons often comes flooding that lasts for days and sometimes weeks destroying infrastrucutre and lives in cities, towns and villages. Over the past year, typhoons and floods have become more frequent not only Philippines but also in China where the country recently witnessed an unannounced but expected typhoon flood across villages and towns which left hundreds of people homeless and several people missing. Bangladesh has battles floods and typhoons for most of its existence. Mother nature and water has become an existential threat since the country is one of the world's most low lying countries who can face receeding into the sea if the polar icecaps were to melt completely. Even if the ice caps do remind, Bangladesh still faces being washed away over time by strong and less mild typhoons, earthquakes and floods that affect the capital Dhaka. Numerous people have gone missing as Haikan continues to move from Phillipines and head towards Vietnam.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Turkey's newly built Borsphous Tunnel connects 2 continents

Turkey has done the impossible and necessary, Turkish construction companies recently completed one of the world's deepest and transcontinental tunnels that will allow the underground flow of traffic between Istanbul's European and Asian sides. The world's largest city now has an underground passageway to ease its famous congested bridge Borsphous and roads crisscrossing the city. The Borsphous Tunnel now joins the Transsiberian Railroad in Russia, English Channel, Transcontinental railroad in the US and Burj al Arab in Dubai as one of the world's architectural feat and marvels. It is also fulfilling a 150 year dream of a sultan.

Turkish tunnel links to continents

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Migrants' hell isn't over in Europe

African migrants who survived death and detention still continue to face legal limbo. Their requests for asylum and calls to be allowed to stay in Europe have been ignored as politicians debate how to handle migration and review border policies. The Italian government has reiterated as its done for years that other European governments step in to help manage migrant arrivals and stranded boats in the Mediterranean Sea. For most Africa and Arab migrants, their nightmare is not over. Many migrants face huge debt from human smugglers and anxiety in a new environment. They continue to face exploitation at the hands of scrupulous businessman working in the shadows. Unable to gain access to lawyers or having to wait weeks if not months just to process their documents, many san papeles (illegal immigrants) who have left the detention camps in Lampedusa now found themselves literally on the margins of Italian society. The migrants live in rundown makeshift refugee camps in old crumbling buildings or parks as they dodge the police. All this causes stress and leads to further health problems. Many migrants who have critical health problems either rely on local medical NGOs or charity works for medical examines or must improvise when the NGOs are not in reach.



No home, No Hope: Refugees in Rome reeling from austerity, anger and economic recession and limited housing