Hillary Clinton emails and Saudi Arabia

This video from the USA says about itself:

Clinton Emails Admit Counterrevolutionary Role of Saudi Arabia in Middle East

15 October 2016

Saudi Arabia is known to have facilitated the 9/11 attacks and fund ISIL [ISIS], but why does the monarchy get so much leeway from the US? Souciant.com’s associate editor Zenab Ahmed takes up this question.

WAS THERE A QUID PRO QUO WITH THE FBI AND STATE OVER CLINTON’S EMAILS? A new Washington Post report alleges a State Department official argued for a lower classification of one of Clinton’s emails in return for the approval of more FBI personnel in Iraq. [WaPo]

Picasso, doves and peace

This music video from Britain says about itself:

The making of “Dove of Peace: Homage to Picasso”

In May 2010 Ensemble 10/10 performed the world premiere of the new Clarinet concerto, “Dove of Peace: Homage to Picasso” by the acclaimed Spanish composer Benet Casablancas. Watch this short documentary about the work’s relevance and background, and links to Picasso: Peace and Freedom at Tate Liverpool (21 May to 31 August 2010). This video include interviews with the key representatives involved with the commission, including Benet Casablancas, Andrew Cornall, Artistic Director of Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Christoph Grunenberg, Director of Tate Liverpool.

You can watch the entire performance by RLPO Principal Clarinet, Nicholas Cox, with Ensemble 10/10,in two parts here.

From BirdLife:

Flight of Fancy – Picasso and the dove called Peace

By John Fanshawe, 14 Oct 2016

When the author, Louis Aragon, chose Pablo Picasso’s lithograph, La Colombe (The Dove), for a poster commemorating the Paris Peace Conference in 1949, he was building on the artist’s complex relationship with both doves and peace. Picasso’s father, José Ruiz y Blasco, was an artist in Malaga, and specialised in paintings of doves and pigeons.

The birds had featured in Picasso’s work since childhood when he often took his pet pigeons to school and drew them. An early Parisian work, Child Holding a Dove, 1901, was painted when the artist was just 19. For many people, however, it is Picasso’s deceptively simple line drawings of doves that are the most memorable and symbolic celebrations of peace, and their genesis lies in an infamous act of war. On 26 April 1937, Picasso had been living in Paris for almost 40 years. Late that afternoon, German and Italian aircraft attacked the Basque town of Guernica – a frontline of republican resistance to Spanish dictator Franco. Crowded both for market day, and with throngs of refugees from the civil war, the aerial bombing devastated the town, and killed a large number of non-combatants.

A year before, Picasso had been commissioned by Spain to create a work for the country’s pavilion at the Paris International Exposition. As reports of the outrage circulated, notably from George Steer, the Times reporter, the bombing caused an international uproar. Within a fortnight, Picasso began a painting that has become an iconic symbol of war protest. Until then, though his work invariably provoked powerful reactions, it had not been outwardly political. With its scale, Guernica is a devastating black, grey and white work full of fractured ruin, fire, and figures, both people, and the totemic domestic symbols for Spain, the bull and horse.

Picasso remained in Paris throughout the Nazi occupation, and though Guernica was safely in the US, it was the painting that crystalised his involvement in the post-war peace movement. In the spring of 1949, his then-wife, Françoise Gilot, gave birth to their second child, and they called her Paloma, Spanish for dove, perhaps responding to the numerous peace posters bearing Picasso’s first ‘peace dove’. The bird itself had been a gift from his friend, Henri Matisse, who is shown in a photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson clasping one of his own birds. From that first figurative lithograph, a wealth of line drawings grew of doves, often carrying sprigs of leaves, or surrounded with flowers, or alongside faces, often mantling them with their wings. In 1950, Picasso visited the Peace Congress in Sheffield, UK. Asked to speak there, he recalled how his father had taught him to paint doves, and finished with the words, ‘I stand for life against death; I stand for peace against war’. Even now, the World Peace Council has a Picasso dove as its emblem, a legacy built from childhood, from war, from friendship, and the simple gift of a bird from one great artist to another.

Comical clowns, ‘killer’ clowns, political clowns

This video says about itself:

10 October 2016


By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

Beware of the real clowns in public office

Saturday 15th October 2016

The Paddy McGuffin column

Right, I’m back! What did I miss?

I jest of course because even in the lead-lined, sea bed-located bunker into which this column inters itself on such infrequent occasions the madness could not be prevented from seeping through.

Basically it’s all been about clowns, right?

As if that was in any way different to every other two-week period in the annual schedule.

But no, the media have whipped themselves and everyone else into a frenzy over the so-called prevalence of marauding killer clowns, apparently terrorising people both in the US and, as with so much else of their junk “culture,” copied in Britain.

At first I thought this was a serious news story.

Quite right, I thought.

The ridiculous hair, the ludicrous outfits, the nonsensical gibberish and the constant levels of outrageous and wildly inappropriate behaviour.

It’s about time they did something about the continued travesty that is Donald Trump and his mentally defective cheerleaders.

But it gradually dawned that this was not the angle the hysterical mainstream media was taking.

And then this column got angry. You see, since childhood it has inadvertently gone against the prevailing orthodoxy and really liked clowns.

Far from being coulrophobic it would class itself as firmly in the “philiac” camp.

Clowns teach us valuable life lessons such as: “Don’t go up to strangers, especially if they’re wearing grease paint and particularly if they are in possession of an abnormally large hooter.”

They also teach us, from an early age, about the pain and pathos that life inflicts, particularly if a Tory or Republican government gets in.

Clowns, in the main, are a noble breed who sacrifice themselves to help others if only to forget their troubles for an hour or two, and who hold up a sometimes painful reflection of our baser selves.

Who reading this can honestly say they have never wanted to smack someone in the mouth with a custard pie or round the back of the head with a plank of wood? Or much, much worse.

A classic case in point, when it comes to the artistry of the form, is that of Joseph Grimaldi, often described as the king of clownery.

Grimaldi’s life on the stage started at around the age of three and, despite the physical and mental agonies he suffered for his art, he remained on it almost until his tragically early death as a crippled wreck of the man he used to be, carried to and from performances because his brutally abused body would no longer allow him to walk.

Making people laugh is a serious business, as any decent comic will tell you, but by anyone’s standards Grimaldi was hardcore.

He suffered for the audience’s amusement.

In most settings that would be heroic.

The original role of the clown was, while in some ways similar to that of their latter-day equivalent, much more philosophical and dare I say it profound, at the same time as providing light relief and yes also spectacular acrobatic and mirth-inducing skill.

The fact that certain individuals appear to have been donning the guise for allegedly nefarious purposes (no-one at time of writing has actually been convicted of anything) is of course a cause of concern but if, as the press seems intent on suggesting, they are seeking to lure and therefore one supposes entrap or abuse children, there are far less terrifying yet insidious outfits they could have worn.

Jesus or the Easter Bunny for a start.

Meanwhile our hacks are so “concerned” about the potential of another John Wayne Gacy (no, I hadn’t forgotten about him) that they are letting the real fools — in Westminster and Washington — literally get away with murder.

Let us take as an example our current Home Secretary Amber Rudd who basically used her party conference speech to brand all immigrants as scum. And then furiously denied that she was in any way racist.

To employ a phrase I have used previously, much like Tory policy, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, stick an orange up its arse and whack it in the oven.

And then of course there’s Boris… I struggle to recall a time when Britain had a minister purportedly in charge of foreign affairs who had such little grasp of international politics.

But never mind the fact that his global knowledge stops somewhere around the end of the Peloponnesian war. This week he took hypocrisy to a whole new level by calling on the public to protest outside the Russian embassy in London over the country’s involvement in Syria.

This would be the same Johnson who, as mayor of London, spent hundreds of thousands of pounds of tax-payers’ money to try to evict peace campaigner Brian Haw from his perfectly legal position in Parliament Square over his sustained opposition to the war that started all of this.

The same Johnson who sneeringly ignored two million people opposing the illegal invasion of Iraq.

You can’t have it both ways just because it suits you now, you fatuous arriviste.

It is becoming increasingly apparent to all but the most slavish and dim-witted in our society that Johnson’s sole “qualification” for the role of foreign secretary appears to be that he played Risk when he was an over-privileged pre-pubescent.

Give him a couple of weeks and he’ll be announcing the invasion of Kamchatka.

Here, as with the ongoing game of mutually assured destruction being waged on the other side of the pond, when it comes to elections the gullible public gets what it deserves and most assuredly deserves what it gets.


We must resist Amber Rudd’s divisive immigration proposals if we are to build unity and solidarity between migrants and the wider working class, writes DON FLYNN: here.

‘United States government helping butchery of Yemeni civilians’

This video says about itself:

Rising anger in Yemen after deadly funeral attack

10 October 2016

The single deadliest attack in the 19-month war in Yemen left 140 people dead and 515 injured, after an airstrike on a funeral. Anger is now rising in Yemen … ITV News Correspondent Neil Connery reports.

By James Tweedie in Britain:

US navy joins Saudi blitz on Yemen

Friday 14th October 2016

Cruise missiles fired in alleged ‘revenge attack’

US FORCES attacked Yemen with cruise missiles yesterday, adding to the Saudi blitz on the impoverished Middle Eastern nation in what the Pentagon claimed was “self-defence.”

Three Yemeni Republican Guard radar installations on the country’s Red Sea coast were hit with cruise missiles launched from the US destroyer USS Nitze.

US President Barack Obama ordered the attacks on the recommendation of Defence Secretary Ashton Carter and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Joseph Dunford.

In Britain, Stop the War Coalition convener Lindsey German said the US attack on Yemen was “another escalation of the war there.”

She warned: “Obama is risking a much wider war and the incident may be used as a pretext for this, as we saw in the 1960s with the Gulf of Tonkin incident in Vietnam.

“This is a very dangerous time in the Middle East, with growing tensions over Syria between the US and Russia.

“The end of a US presidency is often an uncertain and unstable period in this respect. Whoever becomes president, intervention in the region is likely to grow.”

The pretext for the military intervention was alleged missile attacks from Yemen on two other US warships, the destroyer USS Mason and the amphibious assault ship USS Ponce, on Monday and Wednesday, neither of which actually struck the vessels.

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook claimed the attacks were “limited” and in “self-defence.”

He said they had been ordered “to protect our personnel, our ships and our freedom of navigation in this important maritime passageway,” between the Suez Canal and the Indian Ocean.

But, ominously, he warned that Washington would “respond to any further threat to our ships and commercial traffic as appropriate.”

The missile strike came just days after the US pledged to “review” billions of dollars of arms sales to Saudi Arabia and logistical support to the nine-nation invasion coalition.

That announcement followed the coalition’s bombing of a funeral in the capital Sanaa, which left 155 people dead in a scene of horrific carnage and wounded more than 500.

The Saudi-led coalition is fighting to restore ousted president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to power in a civil war against the Houthi movement and allied elements of the Yemeni armed forces.

Yemeni Republican Guard spokesman Sharaf Ioqman called the attack an “American farce to find a reason to interfere in Yemen directly after failure of the Saudis.”

Mr Ioqman said that the army never targets ships outside Yemen’s territorial waters — only vessels that enter them come under attack.

An unnamed military officer told Yemen’s Saba news agency that the US claims were unfounded and that the popular committees — set up by the Houthi rebels — had nothing to do with such actions.

He added: “Such claims are part of the general context of creating false justifications to escalate assaults and cover up the continuous crimes committed by the aggression against the Yemeni people, along with the blockade imposed on it, and after the increasing condemnations to such barbaric and hideous crimes against Yemenis.”

Communist Party of Britain general secretary Rob Griffiths said: “This direct military intervention is obviously intended to clear the path for the murderous bombing campaign by Saudi Arabia to intensify.

“This violation of yet another country’s sovereignty by US forces highlights the utter hypocrisy of the sermons delivered by Obama and Kerry against Russia’s assistance to the Syrian government.

“Yesterday, the US was supposed to be reviewing arms sales to the vile Saudi dictatorship and now it’s helping them to murder yet more Yemeni civilians.”

This video says about itself:

Yara, a child from Yemen

29 August 2016

Yara, a child from Yemen talking about the forgotten war and Saudi terror against her poor country.

With the US Navy’s firing of Tomahawk cruise missiles against targets on Yemen’s Red Sea Coast early Thursday, Washington has embarked on another major escalation of a spiraling campaign of military aggression aimed at imposing US imperialist hegemony throughout the Middle East and around the globe: here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Yemen strikes show US hand

Friday 14th October 2016

WASHINGTON’S destruction of three coastal radar sites in Yemen puts the US firmly in the camp of the Saudi-led coalition blitzing civilian targets there.

The Pentagon claims that it put the radar facilities in the province of Taiz out of action with Tomahawk cruise missiles because of rockets launched this week against two [of] its warships in the Red Sea.

Whether such attacks took place is disputed by the Shi’ite Houthi popular committees and their allies, … but, in any case, no US vessel sustained damage.

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook’s claim that launching these raids was limited and in self-defence is pitiful.

The knocked-out radar facilities are said to have been central to recent missile strikes from Yemen onto targets in Saudi Arabia in retaliation for its raids on the region’s poorest country.

By neutralising them, Washington is not only supporting Riyadh’s efforts to reimpose the rule of ousted president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi but joining in militarily.

The carnage inflicted by Saudi Arabia and its allies in Yemen has not received the wall-to-wall political and media coverage of civilian casualties in Syria.

The weekend obliteration by Saudi warplanes, using US-supplied weaponry, of a funeral ceremony in the capital Sanaa for Interior Minister Gala al-Rawishan, which killed 155 people and wounded 500 more, initially drew expressions of concern from the White House.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said that Washington would review its assistance to the Saudi-led coalition, reporting “candid and forthright” expressions of its concerns to Riyadh over attacks on civilians and emphasising that it did not offer a “blank cheque.”

New York-based Human Rights Watch urged an independent international investigation, noting that human rights groups have documented Saudi-led coalition bombings that have hit weddings, markets, schools, and hospitals.

Secretary of State John Kerry, however, contented himself with voicing “deep concern,” while welcoming Saudi ministers’ promise “to launch a thorough and immediate investigation of the strike.”

Yesterday’s cruise missile attacks on the Republican Guard radar facilities indicate how shallow this professed concern is.

Washington values its billions of dollars worth of arms sales to Riyadh above any worries about Yemeni civilians being killed.

Saudi Arabia has cast itself as the Arab military powerhouse in the region and the most reliable US ally, replacing Egypt and, before that, Iraq.

It has organised and armed, along with its Qatari and Emirati acolytes, the jihadi extremists battling to overthrow the government in Syria.

But the ability of the Houthi-Saleh alliance in Yemen to maintain resistance, even without aerial support, to the invasion by Riyadh and its regional allies and to take the war into Saudi territory leaves such self-praise quite dented.

It also explains why the US feels it necessary to become directly involved in the Saudis’ squalid military intervention.

President Barack Obama has indicated that he has no wish to embroil the US in further overseas military quagmires, but he has little more than three months left in office.

Likely successor Hillary Clinton is hawkish in foreign affairs, backing military interventions and welcoming the lynching of overthrown Libyan dictator Muammar Gadaffi, giggling: “We came, we saw, he died.”

The current international situation is far too dangerous for such light-hearted disregard for the consequences of imperialist interventions that benefit only the arms dealers.

Politicians have a responsibility to move beyond easy recourse to bombing as a first option and recognise the need for negotiated solutions.

Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize In Literature

This music video from the USA is called Bob Dylan – Masters of War – lyrics. The song is about the military industrial complex in the USA.

On the same day that Nobel Prize In Literature winner Dario Fo has died, a new prize winner…

From Reuters news agency:

2016 Nobel Prize In Literature Awarded To Bob Dylan

10/13/2016 07:02 am ET

STOCKHOLM, Oct 13 – Bob Dylan, regarded as the voice of a generation for his influential songs from the 1960s onwards, has won the Nobel Prize for Literature in a surprise decision that made him the only singer-songwriter to win the award.

The 75-year-old Dylan – who won the prize for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition” – now finds himself in the company of Winston Churchill, Thomas Mann and Rudyard Kipling as Nobel laureates.

The announcement was met with gasps in Stockholm’s stately Royal Academy hall, followed – unusually – by some laughter.

Dylan’s songs, such as “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and “Like a Rolling Stone” captured a spirit of rebellion, dissent and independence.

More than 50 years on, Dylan is still writing songs and is often on tour, performing his dense poetic lyrics, sung in a sometimes rasping voice that has been ridiculed by detractors.

Some lyrics have resonated for decades.

“Blowin’ in the Wind,” written in 1962, was considered one of the most eloquent folk songs of all time. “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” in which Dylan told Americans “your sons and your daughters are beyond your command,” was an anthem of the civil rights movement and Vietnam War protests.

Awarding the 8 million Swedish crown ($930,000) prize, the Swedish Academy said: “Dylan has the status of an icon. His influence on contemporary music is profound.”

Swedish Academy member Per Wastberg said: “He is probably the greatest living poet.”

Asked if he thought Dylan’s Nobel lecture – traditionally given by the laureate in Stockholm later in the year – would be a concert, [he] replied: “Let’s hope so.”

Over the years, not everyone has agreed that Dylan was a poet of the first order. Novelist Norman Mailer countered: “If Dylan’s a poet, I’m a basketball player.”

Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Nobel Academy, told a news conference there was “great unity” in the panel’s decision to give Dylan the prize.

Dylan has always been an enigmatic figure. He went into seclusion for months after a motorcycle crash in 1966, leading to stories that he had cracked under the pressure of his new celebrity.

He was born into a Jewish family but in the late 1970s converted to born-again Christianity and later said he followed no organized religion. At another point in his life, Dylan took up boxing.

Dylan’s spokesman, Elliott Mintz, declined immediate comment when reached by phone, citing the early hour in Los Angeles, where it was 3 a.m. at the time of the announcement. Dylan was due to give a concert in Las Vegas on Thursday evening.

Literature was the last of this year’s Nobel prizes to be awarded. The prize is named after dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel and has been awarded since 1901 for achievements in science, literature and peace in accordance with his will.

This Nobel Prize for Dylan is not that surprising, the prize being Swedish. Carl Michael Bellman, arguably Sweden’s most famous poet, was a musician as well.

United States Navy attacks Yemen, helping Saudis killing civilians

This video, by the (Conservative) Daily Telegraph in Britain, says about itself:

Video shows moment ‘double tap’ air strike hits Yemen funeral

9 October 2016

Warning: contains footage some may find distressing.

Footage shown by Al-Masirah TV in Yemen shows the moment a Saudi-led coalition air strike bombed a funeral hall in Sanaa on Saturday. More than 140 people were killed and at least 525 others were wounded in the “double tap” air strikes. Double tap refers to a practice where one strike is launched and as people rush to help the wounded at the scene, a second strike hits.

From Reuters news agency today:

By Phil Stewart | WASHINGTON

The U.S. military launched cruise missile strikes on Thursday to knock out three coastal radar sites in areas of Yemen controlled by … Houthi forces, retaliating after failed missile attacks this week on a U.S. Navy destroyer, U.S. officials said. …

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said U.S. Navy destroyer USS Nitze launched the Tomahawk cruise missiles around 4 a.m. local (0100 GMT). …

The official identified the areas in Yemen where the radar were located as: near Ras Isa, north of Mukha and near Khoka.

The failed missile attacks on the USS Mason – the latest of which took place on Wednesday – appeared to be part of the reaction to a suspected Saudi-led strike on mourners gathered in Yemen’s Houthi-held capital Sanaa. …

The Houthis … denied any involvement in Sunday’s attempt to strike the USS Mason.

This is a dangerous escalation by the Pentagon of the bloody war in Yemen, which kills mainly civilians and has caused a humanitarian catastrophe. This escalation makes the US government even more of an ally of the Saudi absolute monarchy‘s cruel aggression against the poorest Arab country than it already was.

Washington threatens military intervention in Yemen following reported missile attacks on US warship: here.