German police accused North Africans falsely


This video says about itself:

5 January 2017

German police in Cologne apologise after referring to North Africans as “Nafris” in a tweet. The police department has, however, defended racially profiling them during New Year festivities.

Translated from Judith van de Hulsbeek, Dutch NOS TV correspondent in Germany:

Hardly any North Africans in Cologne at New Year

Today, 16:31

Among the large groups of men who went to the New Year celebration in Cologne this year came, there appear to have been hardly any North Africans. This is in contrast to what the German police said before. …

After the New Year events there was commotion about a tweet by a policeman, in which he labeled a large group of men as ‘Nafris’, abuse for supposedly criminal North Africans. …

The police investigated whether among the men were persons accused of the assaults on New Year a year ago. But there is no evidence for that. “None of the suspects of Cologne in 2015-2016 and none of the 75 persons who had then received an exclusion order have been reported this year,” said Police Chief Mathies in a press release.

Filipina ‘comfort women’ protest Japan’s Abe


This video says about itself:

Comfort Women Survivors Protest Against Japanese Prime Minister’s Visit

12 January 2017

Some surviving comfort women in the Philippines rallied on Thursday to protest against the Japanese prime minister’s visit to the country, asking for apology and compensation for the crimes the Japanese invaders committed against humanity during World War II.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Philippines: Comfort women lead protest against Abe

Friday 13th January 2017

PROTESTERS led by four World War II Filipino sex slaves gathered in front of the Japanese embassy in Manila yesterday against a state visit by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Left-wing umbrella group Bayan, which is among the organisations supporting the “comfort women,” said Mr Abe’s trip was not a mere “social visit.”

Comfort women and girls were forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army in occupied territories before and during the second world war.

Bayan said: “The visit of the Japanese PM is another step to slowly establish its military presence” through regular naval port calls and joint military exercises with US forces.

Japan wants to flex its military muscle in the region as a junior partner of the US. It has passed security legislation that goes against the spirit of its peace constitution.”

Saudi government kills Yemenis, British government helps


This 16 August 2016 video is called Yemen: deadly Saudi-led coalition airstrike on MSF hospital kills at least 11.

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

CAAT: investigate British complicity in Yemen war crimes

Friday 13th January 2016

PARLIAMENT must support an independent probe into the government’s complicity in war crimes in Yemen, campaigners told MPs yesterday.

Labour international development select committee chairman Stephen Twigg said such an investigation is “long overdue” as he bemoaned the “glacial” progress made by Saudi Arabia on its own investigations.

Britain has licensed over £3.3 billion worth of arms to Saudi forces since the bombing of Yemen began in March 2015.

Committee on arms exports controls chair Chris White said there is an “urgent need” for Britain to suspend sales of weapons to Saudi Arabia until a UN investigation into alleged breaches of humanitarian law is completed.

The Tory MP warned that if ministers fail to do so, Britain risks damaging its international reputation.

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) said: “The UK government has been complicit in the destruction of Yemen and the humanitarian catastrophe that has been forced upon the Yemeni people.

“Parliament must stand with those caught in the middle of the devastating conflict and support an international investigation into the human rights abuses that are taking place.

“For any investigation to be credible then it must be independent. The government has relied on investigations and evidence provided by the Saudi-led coalition itself.

“This is a regime that has a proven contempt for human rights. If it cannot be trusted to hold free and fair elections then how can it be trusted to investigate itself for war crimes?”

British arms sales to Saudi Arabia are currently subject to a judicial review which will be heard in the High Court between February 7 and 9 following an application by CAAT.

The claim calls on the government to suspend all extant licences and stop issuing further arms export licences to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen while it holds a full review into whether the exports are compatible with British and EU law.

British government helps whitewashing Saudi war crimes in Yemen: here.

No food, no medicine, no money, no world support: Yemenis faces mass death by starvation: here.

Canadian Afghan war veteran kills family, himself


This video from Canada says about itself:

‘Lost my mom and my niece were gone too’

5 January 2017

Lionel Desmond’s sister Cassandra describes how she found out members of her family had been killed.

Read more here.

Not only does the bloody Iraq war come home to the USA as bloodbaths at Fort Lauderdale airport and elsewhere.

The bloody war in Afghanistan comes home to Canada as well.

By Laurent Lafrance in Canada:

Canadian Afghan war veteran commits suicide after killing family

11 January 2017

A tragedy that took place at the beginning of January in Upper Big Tracadie, a small and isolated town in northeastern Nova Scotia, has shed light on the consequences of the increasingly aggressive domestic and foreign policies of the Canadian ruling elite.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) confirmed last Friday that 33-year-old Afghan war veteran Lionel Desmond shot himself after killing his mother, Brenda, 52; his wife, Shanna Desmond, 31; and their 10-year-old daughter, Aliyah. The murder-suicide has left the community, located some 200 miles from Halifax, in shock.

Relatives confirmed that Desmond suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after he came back from Afghanistan, where he was deployed from January to August of 2007 as an infantry soldier in the Royal Canadian Regiment. He joined the armed forces in 2004 and was released 18 months ago.

This latest tragedy is an indictment of the entire ruling class and military apparatus that have used young men as cannon fodder to advance Canada’s imperialist interests around the globe. When these men come back home, usually traumatized by the cruelty of war and the atrocities inflicted on the civilian population—often with their own participation—they are left with inadequate health care and other vital services due to decades of budget cutting by all of the establishment political parties.

Desmond wrote on his Facebook page last month that he had hit his head on a light armoured vehicle and suffered back spasms after falling off a wall while in the military. He said he had been told he had post-concussion disorder as well as PTSD. Desmond’s sister-in-law explained that he recently decided to stay at his grandparents’ house because he was “getting so out of control,” and that he was verbally aggressive with his wife.

Rev. Elaine Walcott, another relative, said, “Lionel loved his mother, his family, and he was a victim of post-traumatic stress disorder and the memories he didn’t want to have.” Lionel’s sister, Cassandra Desmond, told CBC News: “My brother suffered in silence for 10 years fighting demons that we don’t even know, seeing things, replaying events in his head…”

According to Shanna Desmond’s aunt, Catherine Hartline, when Lionel Desmond returned from Afghanistan he sought treatment in Montreal but did not get the adequate assistance. “The poor guy needed help and they sent him up to Montreal and put a little Band-Aid on him and sent him back.”

It was also revealed that Desmond tried to check himself into a mental health facility at St. Martha’s Regional Hospital in Antigonish the day before the tragedy, but he was apparently told there were no beds and that the hospital did not have his files.

This revelation prompted Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil to claim that his government, in conjunction with health authorities, would find out “what may or may not have happened” at St. Martha’s. In another token gesture, the Canadian government announced that it would pay the costs of the funeral of Desmond and his family members.

The government is clearly seeking to wash its hands of the situation and cover up the fact that the lack of services at St. Martha is the result of years of austerity measures imposed on public services by successive Liberal, Conservative and NDP provincial governments.

An emergency room doctor who works at the hospital, Dr. Maureen Allen, told CBC how budget cuts had impacted the services provided. Allen said emergency rooms “are inundated” with people struggling with mental health and addiction issues, and that the facility no longer has a dedicated budget for mental health services.

Under both the previous Harper Conservative government and the current Liberal Trudeau government, Veteran Affairs Canada has slashed millions of dollars, translating into hundreds of job cuts, closed offices that previously provided assistance to veterans and cut back on medical marijuana. In power, the Conservatives eliminated lifetime pensions for Afghanistan veterans and clawed back benefits. The number of VA employees shrank 21 percent between 2008 and 2014, resulting in the department’s smallest workforce since 1998.

Many ill and injured ex-soldiers must wait for months to find out if they qualify for benefits. Documents obtained by The Canadian Press show that just over half of the 6,000 veterans who applied for disability benefits between April and July last year received a decision within 16 weeks.

Veteran services have also been targeted for privatization. The most recent job cuts imposed by the Liberals will now force veterans to deal with Medavie Blue Cross, a for-profit private insurance company, for their benefit claims.

According to reports, Desmond received treatment from a joint personnel support unit for a year prior to his release from the military in July 2015. The JPSU, which is meant to provide support to physically and mentally ill soldiers, is severely under-funded.

The horrific event in Upper Big Tracadie is the latest in a string of similar tragedies involving war veterans. According to a Globe and Mail investigation, at least 72 soldiers and veterans have killed themselves after serving on the dangerous Afghanistan mission. The most recent reported case took place in 2015, when Robert Giblin, a veteran of two Afghanistan tours, repeatedly stabbed his wife before they fell from a high-rise apartment in Toronto.

Nearly one in 10 Canadian military personnel who took part in the mission in Afghanistan (about 3,600 out of 39,000) are now collecting disability benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder. However, experts say the prevalence of the illness is likely much higher among Canada’s combat troops. There are probably many ex-soldiers who have not reached out for benefits, and others who have never been diagnosed.

Calls by the media and politicians for better help for veterans are highly hypocritical. Above all, they seek to obscure the real cause of the Upper Big Tracadie tragedy: Canada’s participation in imperialist carnage in Central Asia and around the globe. In fact, after wiping their crocodile tears, the Canadian ruling class and the media will continue to push for a more aggressive foreign policy.

The Afghan war played a critical role in the reassertion of aggressive Canadian militarism. It marked the definitive end of a period in which, for their own geopolitical interests, the Canadian ruling class presented itself on the global stage as a “peacekeeping” nation.

Military strategists and government advisers celebrated the Afghan intervention, which saw the Canadian Armed Forces assume the leadership role in counter-insurgency operations in Kandahar. In the words of one official, this was a “revolution” in Canadian foreign policy. The ruling class is not about to allow what it views as collateral damage to the lives of veterans and their families to get in the way of the ruthless assertion of its interests.

Desmond’s fate—and the high number of soldiers suffering from PTSD—points to the real character of the Afghan war. Launched in 2001 shortly after September 11 as part of the US-led so-called “war on terror”, the Afghan war has revealed itself as a neocolonial war in which the major powers sought to destabilize and dominate the entire energy resource-rich region.

The Conservatives and the liberals both supported Canada’s participation in the war. For its part, the union-backed New Democratic Party, which made the withdrawal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan one of its main “progressive” policy planks, made an about-face in the 2008 election campaign when it sought a coalition with the Liberals and pledged to back Canada playing a leading role in the conflict through 2011.

Since then, the Canadian government has joined every military adventure led by the United States. Far from backing down from this war drive, the Trudeau government will soon announce a new deployment of Canadian troops in Africa to join US and French-led counter-insurgency missions and has already sent Canadian forces to Eastern Europe to menace Russia.