British Blairites plot wrecking Labour to help Conservatives


This video from the USA says about itself:

Part 1: Tariq Ali on Chilcot Iraq Report: Tony Blair is War Criminal for Pushing Us into Illegal War

6 July 2016

While Iraq is marking a third day of mourning, a long-awaited British inquiry into the Iraq War has just been released. The Chilcot report is 2.6 million words long—about three times the length of the Bible. Using excerpts from private correspondence between former Prime Minister Tony Blair and U.S. President George W. Bush, the report details how Blair pushed Britain into the war despite a lack of concrete intelligence.

For example, eight months before the invasion, Blair wrote to Bush: “I will be with you, whatever.” Then, in June 2003, less than three months after the invasion began, Blair privately wrote to Bush that the task in Iraq is “absolutely awesome and I’m not at all sure we’re geared for it.” Blair added, “And if it falls apart, everything falls apart in the region.” For more, we speak with British-Pakistani writer, commentator and author Tariq Ali.

By Robert Stevens in Britain:

As Labour rises in UK polls, Blairite breakaway party plans gather pace

29 May 2017

Ahead of the June 8 snap general election, former Labour Party leader Tony Blair and his supporters are brazenly advancing plans to establish a new right-wing political formation.

The Blairites have openly outlined their agenda through a series of deliberate leaks to the Telegraph, [Rupert Murdoch‘s] Times and Daily Mail—longstanding Conservative-supporting newspapers. Corbyn’s office dismissed the plans as “silly” stories from “Tory papers,” but this week the Blairites continued airing their intentions via the pages of the Observer, the Sunday edition of the anti-Corbyn and staunchly Blairite Guardian.

Amid poll results showing Labour under Jeremy Corbyn cutting the Conservative (Tory) lead to just 5 percent, from a high of 20, the Observer ran comments from Jonathan Powell, described as Blair’s “most trusted adviser.” The Blairites are committed to opposing the Tories’ plans for a hard Brexit that would result in the British bourgeoisie losing access to the European Union’s Single Market. The Observer reported that Powell “said that there was no pro-European party capable of commanding significant support and that ‘a different party’ could fill the vacuum if Labour opted not to do so.”

Powell declared, “We will wait to see what happens in the election, but… there is a yawning chasm in the middle of politics at the moment that is not represented and the [Liberal Democrats] are incapable of filling that space. At some stage, someone is going to fill it. Whether it is the Labour party after the election or a different party, who knows?”

Just hours after Corbyn launched Labour’s manifesto, veteran Blairite MP Frank Field became the first to call openly for a split. Speaking to the Conservative-supporting Sun, owned by Rupert Murdoch, Field said if Corbyn refused to go in the aftermath of a Tory win, the right wing had to break away and form a caucus in parliament, possibly as “People’s Labour.”

Such a plan could only be enacted “if we get a majority of like-minded Labour MPs back in parliament.” It would require access to taxpayer funded “Short money,” which opposition parties require to function in parliament. To receive the money, a party must have at least two MPs or one MP and more than 150,000 votes. Labour, with 232 elected at the 2015 general election, receives at least £6.2 million a year through 2020.

Nothing is being ruled out by the Blairites, including taking Corbyn to court to seize control of millions of pounds in assets and being declared the official opposition. They calculate such moves could be supported by up to 172 MPs—if they retain their seats—who opposed Corbyn in a vote of no confidence after last year’s Brexit referendum.

This plan had already been formulated by the Blairites in the Telegraph, with a report that 100 prospective Labour MPs were considering resigning the Labour whip and become independents after the general election.

Commenting in the May 21 Sunday Telegraph in a piece headlined “After defeat, Labour must split or die,” Simon Heffer wrote, “The uprising may not happen the weekend after the election, but… the breakaway will come, and it will be far more seismic than the formation of the [right-wing] SDP [Social Democratic Party] in 1981.”

Blair, the architect of Britain’s illegal invasion of Iraq, is widely hated and forced to plot behind the scenes. The Blairites have concluded that he and his immediate circle are too toxic to openly front a new formation, with Heffer stating that, “Many names are [instead being] floated—Yvette Cooper, Chuka Umunna, Clive Lewis, Dan Jarvis or even Sir Keir Starmer.”

In their efforts to ensure the Labour Party remains pro-war and pro-austerity, the Telegraph et al. are resorting to naked propaganda. Last week the Telegraph published a survey claiming that a quarter of Labour voters supported a split from Labour if it did not win the election. However, faced with the loaded question of whether “Labour should formally split and a group should breakaway and form a new party if it does not win power at this election,” three quarters of voters were still opposed.

To facilitate their plans, a merger with the pro-EU Liberal Democrats—who are committed to a second referendum but who have just nine MPs in parliament—is being mooted. Earlier this month, the Times cited a “Blairite” who revealed, “One of [former Liberal Democrats leader Nick] Clegg’s mates said: ‘You moderates in the Labour Party, if you wanted to just take us over you could just join, it would be yours.’” Clegg is known to be meeting regularly with Blair.

The Sunday Times, earlier this month, reported, “Allies of [current Liberal Democrat leader] Tim Farron have indicated that he might be persuaded to rename the party.” It revealed that some Labour MPs and Tory pro-Europeans met last year, “in which a party called the Democrats was discussed, a title that has previously been advanced by Lord Ashdown, the former Lib Dem leader.”

The Blairites, with the war criminal himself estimated to be worth £80 to £100 million, have lined up a number of multi-millionaire backers.

Details of the fundraising have been revealed in the Times and Daily Mail. Yesterday’s Mail on Sunday reported that Blair and Lord Levy—Labour’s main fundraiser in Blair’s period in office—are working closely together. Between 1994, when Blair became Labour leader and 2007, when he stepped down as Prime Minister, Levy raised more than £100 million for Labour.

Dr. Assem Allam, a British-based Egyptian businessman worth £250 million, previously donated £720,000 to Labour. The Mail reported that he met Blair and Levy on April 23 and “offered to fund moderate Labour MPs who want to leave Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour and set up a new ‘centrist’ party.” According to the newspaper, Allam pledged to give Blair several million pounds at the meeting. However, with initial election polls showing a large Tory lead, he reportedly changed his mind.

The Times said property developer Sir David Garrard, who has given Labour £1.6 million, would “willingly support” a new party “if a majority of centrist Labour MPs broke away to join it.”

Another multi-millionaire ready to move is Peter Coates—the owner of Premier League football team Stoke City FC. Coates has donated £200,000 to Labour, with the Times stating “he was ‘interested’ in the idea of a new party.”

The Blairites’ plans were summed up by a “source who used to work for Blair,” who told the Sunday Times two weeks ago that the result of the election would be central to the plotters next move. The source said, “[S]ome people have already come to the conclusion that it [the Corbyn wing’s control over the party] can’t [be reversed] and therefore something else will have to be born.”

The open plotting of the Blairites is a devastating rebuttal of Corbyn’s central claim that Labour can be refashioned as a vehicle through which to end austerity and curb the danger of war. The very forces which he has refused to move against, in the name of maintaining party unity, are intent on preventing him from ever forming a government—and are still pursuing this goal without a finger being raised against them.

The author also recommends:

Blairites declare UK Labour party unelectable
[20 April 2017]

As Tories slip in the polls, British media goes on the offensive against Corbyn: here.

Dutch government returning gay refugee to his death in Iraq


This video says about itself:

9 October 2016

Sarjon, a gay Syrian refugee, reacts to commentary by Donald Trump and Fox News.

From Dutch regional broadcaster NH Nieuws:

Homosexual asylum seeker from Alkmaar must return to Iraq: “I will definitely be killed”

Thursday, May 18, 2017 | 07:19

ALKMAAR: Sahir, a homosexual asylum seeker from Iraq living in Alkmaar, will be returned to his country of origin. At the end of 2015, he fled to the Netherlands with his boyfriend. That boyfriend may still remain, but Sahir supposedly is ‘not gay enough’.

At the end of 2015 Sahir and his partner Mushtak fled Iraq, because Mushtak’s brother had violently attacked him after discovering the relationship between Sahir and Mustak. …

The Dutch refugee housing organisation COA sent them together with a number of other homosexual refugees to a joint apartment in the refugee center in the Picassolaan in Alkmaar. There the men felt safe in anticipation of their asylum application.

Bad news

But then Sahir got bad news. After waiting for eighteen months he must return to Iraq. …

Sahir now fears the worst: “I will definitely be killed in Iraq”. …

“The decision was that I’m not a homosexual and that I can live in Iraq,” says Sahir. He suspects that the IND does not believe him because of his appearance. “If men do not wear makeup or nail polish, they are [supposedly] not gay”.

LGBT Asylum Support has launched a petition to request attention for homosexual asylum seekers whom the government threatens to return. Also during the boat parade of Alkmaar Pride on 27 May attention will be paid to this refugee group.

If Sahir, returned forcibly, will not be killed by Iraqi homophobia (which increased disastrously after George W Bush 2003 ‘humanitarian’ regime change invasion of Iraq); then he may well be killed by ISIS (a result of Bush’s invasion), or by Donald Trump‘s, or the Turkish government‘s, or the Dutch government‘s, or other NATO governments’ bombs on Iraq; all of them killing civilians whatever their sexual orientation.

Chelsea Manning, free at last


This video from the USA says about itself:

Chelsea Manning Finally Free! Whistleblower’s Prison Sentence Commuted

18 January 2017

Barack Obama commutes Chelsea Manning‘s 35 year prison sentence for whistleblowing.

Jimmy Dore breaks it down.

Glenn Greenwald: Ever since Chelsea Manning was revealed as the whistleblower responsible for one of the most important journalistic archives in history, her heroism has been manifest. She was the classic leaker of conscience, someone who went at the age of 20 to fight in the Iraq War believing it was noble, only to discover the dark reality not only of that war but of the U.S. government’s actions in the world generally: war crimes, indiscriminate slaughter, complicity with high-level official corruption, and systematic deceit of the public: here.

By Kate Allen in Britain:

Chelsea Manning is free at last

Wednesday 17th May 2017

The release of this honourable whistleblower closes a disturbing chapter, writes KATE ALLEN

CHELSEA MANNING has said that when she’s released today she’s looking forward to “breathing the warm spring air again.”

In fact, the weather in Leavenworth County in Kansas is topping 30 degrees celsius this week, so after seven years in military detention, this now famous whistleblower will finally step out of the disciplinary barracks at the US army’s Fort Leavenworth base on a rather hot and sultry day.

The 29-year-old will be free at last, closing a painful chapter on what has been an extraordinary and thoroughly disturbing saga. This brave, principled — but also vulnerable — person has been put through the wringer.

While Manning is “fortunate” enough to have received a commutation of her crushing 35-year jail sentence, she has still spent seven long years behind bars, with extended periods of solitary confinement so harsh that the UN’s torture expert Juan Mendez considered it tantamount to torture.

Manning has been branded a traitor — not least by current president Donald Trump. There were calls for her to receive the death sentence. As it was, she was charged with numerous serious offences, including the extremely grave “aiding the enemy” (of which she was acquitted).

Yet despite all of the vitriol poured over her by members of the US military and political Establishments, Manning is nothing less than an honourable whistleblower who felt compelled to tell the world about apparent US wrongdoing in its military conduct in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Working as a US intelligence analyst in Iraq, Manning began to see documents that convinced her that the US military was committing war crimes overseas and doing nothing to bring the perpetrators to justice. Worse, it may well have been deliberately covering up such conduct.

The best-known example was the attack by two US Apache helicopters on a group of civilians in the al-Amin al-Thaniyah district of Baghdad on July 12 2007.

At least 12 people were killed, including two Reuters reporters, Saeed Chmagh and Namir NoorEldeen.

While it was far from the only occasion when US military conduct in Iraq was highly dubious, here was vivid cockpit video and audio laying bare the callous behaviour of the US pilots. Some of their cockpit commentary includes language like: “Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards … nice. Nice. Good shootin’.”

Was this disclosure in the public interest? Like the Abu Ghraib torture photos or the Pentagon Papers on the Vietnam war, it’s hard to see how it wouldn’t be.

Reuters had previously tried — and failed — to obtain the helicopter footage through a freedom of information request. Manning — via WikiLeaks — provided the material.

What happened to Manning as a result of her whistleblowing is well-known.

The revelations over wrongdoing (including the Baghdad helicopter attack) went un-investigated, while Manning herself was court-martialled and given the longest sentence in US history for leaking information.

This low-ranking, twenty-something was punished in such a way as to send an unmistakable message to other would-be whistleblowers.

Ahead of Manning’s court martial in the summer of 2013, Edward Snowden had exposed a previously unknown global apparatus of surveillance being run by the US’s National Security Agency.

If the US authorities couldn’t get Snowden (who was granted asylum in Russia), they could certainly punish Manning.

You might think the US military authorities wouldn’t stoop to vindictiveness when punishing one of their own, but you’d be wrong.

During eight months of pre-trial solitary confinement at the US marine corps base Quantico in Virginia, Manning was kept in a windowless 12-feet-by-six-feet cell containing only a bed, a toilet and a sink.

After putting Manning on suicide watch, the Quantico authorities subjected her to a regime of draconian and demeaning rules: clothing and glasses confiscated, required to observe strict verbal commands and replies, even at one point having to sleep and stand to attention completely naked.

In an Amnesty podcast from last year, Manning recounts how: “The conditions in my cell were far beyond what is normally associated with solitary confinement. I needed permission to do anything in my cell. I was not allowed to move around the cell to exercise. I was not allowed to sit down with my back against the wall.”

It was all clearly designed to break Manning down ahead of her court martial, and the UN believed it was part of “an effort to coerce her into ‘co-operation’ with the authorities,” possibly to pressure her into implicating others.

Post-conviction the vindictiveness continued. Having announced immediately after receiving her swingeing sentence an intention to transition to a female identity, Manning has had to fight a long and arduous battle for recognition of her right to do this.

On top of being an embattled military whistleblower, she’s had to become an embattled trans campaigner struggling within a rigid and deeply unsympathetic environment.

Despite bleak periods, Manning has come through. Against the odds, she’s survived. And now she’ll regain her freedom on a warm summer’s day in Kansas.

In so many ways Manning is the epitome of a human rights defender — someone who takes personal risks to stand up for the rights of others. At Amnesty we have a word for people like that.

It’s called being brave.

Kate Allen is Amnesty International UK director.

This video from the USA says about itself:

OBAMA WILL FREE CHELSEA MANNING IN MAY: Big Win for WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, and Whistleblowers

7 January 2017

My name is H. A. Goodman and I’m an author, columnist, and journalist.

Obama Will Free Chelsea Manning, a Final Ceasefire in His War on Leakers.

By Genevieve Leigh in the USA:

Whistleblower Chelsea Manning to be released from prison today

17 May 2017

Army private Chelsea Manning, the military intelligence analyst who made public evidence of US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, is scheduled to be released from military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, today after completing more than 7 years of her 35-year prison sentence.

Chelsea Manning was arrested by the Army in 2010 after providing WikiLeaks with hundreds of thousands of internal Army “incident logs” and about 250,000 diplomatic cables from American embassies around the world. In August 2013, she pleaded guilty to 20 of 22 charges against her and was sentenced to 35 years in prison, a sentence 10 times longer than any previous punishment imposed on a federal employee, military or civilian, for leaking classified information.

After receiving the sentence, Manning announced that she was transgendered and took the name Chelsea Manning (previously she had identified as a man and was known by the name of Bradley Manning). She later began hormone therapy and requested gender reassignment surgery, which the Army repeatedly denied.

The release of Chelsea Manning is a politically significant event. Manning is rightfully a hero in the eyes of millions of workers and young people around the world who recognize what extraordinary courage it took to inform the American public about the criminal actions being carried out by the US military.

The number of crimes exposed by the material provided by Manning is staggering. Included in the leaked material was the infamous video that went on to be published on the Internet by WikiLeaks under the title “Collateral Murder,” showing an American helicopter attack on civilians in Baghdad that killed 16 people, including two Reuters journalists.

Other documents including “after-action reports” describing US soldiers’ experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, proving that civilian deaths were far higher than officially acknowledged. The cables revealed damning evidence of official US lying, including dossiers on the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay proving that most of them had no significant role in terrorist operations.

Despite the massive evidence provided, not a single person was jailed, arrested, or even charged for any of the documented crimes. Instead, the military brass together with the Obama administration ruthlessly persecuted Manning for what is a far greater “crime” in the eyes of the ruling class: exposing the murderous nature of the US war machine. The US political and military establishment, seething with anger, used Chelsea Manning to set an example for any other potential whistleblowers.

The retaliation was merciless. Immediately following the revelations, Manning was forcibly detained in an outdoor cage in an attempt to break her psychologically. From July 2010 to April 2011, she was held under atrocious conditions at Quantico Marine brig in Virginia, much of that time stripped naked as a “security” measure. All told, Chelsea Manning spent nearly a year and a half in solitary confinement, 23 hours a day, a form of detention classified as torture by human rights groups.

After sentencing, conditions would continue to worsen for Manning, leading to two separate attempts to take her own life, for which she was threatened with more severe treatment. Just last year, the Army considered sentencing Manning to indefinite solitary confinement for possessing unauthorized reading material and an expired tube of toothpaste.

President Obama commuted Manning’s sentence to just over seven years, in one of his final actions before leaving office January 20. This was no great humanitarian action, as some sought to characterize it at the time, but rather a calculation that the global image of US imperialism would suffer if, as appeared likely, Manning had been driven by her ordeal to carry out a third and successful suicide attempt.

It was Obama and Hillary Clinton, in particular, who spearheaded the persecution of Manning and other whistleblowers. The class hatred of the Democratic Party toward Manning is demonstrated by their silence as she reaches her final day in prison. Moreover, under conditions where the Democratic Party is lining up with the military-intelligence apparatus to indict the Trump administration for handing over “secrets” to Russian envoys, the Democrats wish to distance themselves as much as possible from the example of Chelsea Manning, who offended the CIA and Pentagon by handing over evidence of their crimes to the American people.

Manning has kept in touch with her supporters and the outside world throughout her experience mainly through Twitter. Recently, she wrote of her pending release: “I want that indescribable feeling of connection with people and nature again, without razor wire or a visitation booth. I want to be able to hug my family and friends again. And swimming—I want to go swimming!”

It has recently been reported that Manning, who is now 29, will remain an active duty soldier in the U.S. Army after today’s release. She will be placed on voluntary excess leave rather than being discharged. While it is technically possible, it is highly unlikely that she will be called to actual military service. Under this status she will be unpaid, but will have access to health care and other benefits that will allow her to complete her gender reassignment surgery. It should be noted that these benefits are not guaranteed. If Manning’s appeal of her court-martial conviction is denied, she could be dishonorably discharged and lose her health benefits.

Manning has not publicly announced any plans for what she will do after today beyond her surgery. Her ACLU attorney, Chase Strangio, told NBC News, “She is waiting to experience life outside of prison before declaring any future plans. … After so many years of government control over her body and gender, I know she is eager to grow her hair, express her gender and negotiate decisions on her own terms.”

While Manning’s release from prison will grant her physical freedom, she will still be restricted in many ways. One important aspect of the voluntary excess leave status is that it makes her vulnerable to new military retribution if she “steps out of line” in the eyes of the military establishment. Manning’s military defense counsel, David Coombs, told NBC News that “Chelsea is still subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). … She wouldn’t be charged again for the same offenses, but if she committed a new crime, the military would still have jurisdiction over her.”

An offense warranting military action includes things such as a fistfight, speaking or writing critically of the political or military establishment, or revealing previously unreleased classified information. “You would want to be careful in terms of what you want to write or say if you’re still under military control,” Coombs warned. “Let’s say you write something critical, now you run the real chance of being called on the carpet for that.”

Nonetheless, Manning has voiced some critical political views through Twitter since her commutation. In a guest column in Britain’s Guardian, Manning wrote that “after eight years of attempted compromise and relentless disrespect in return, we are moving into darker times.” Additionally, Manning has said former president Barack Obama left a “vulnerable legacy,” noting that he had achieved “very few permanent accomplishments.”

The persecution of more whistleblowers than all other administrations combined, including Chelsea Manning, will forever be a hallmark of the Obama administration. This policy was embraced by all prominent members of the Democratic party, including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who in December 2011, while Manning was being tortured and persecuted, defended the campaign against her on the grounds that “some information which is sensitive, which does affect the security of individuals and relationships, deserves to be protected and we will continue to take necessary steps to do so.”

For its part, the Trump administration, determined to outdo the reactionary policies of the Obama administration in every way, has recently escalated the witch-hunt and persecution of other prominent whistleblowers—Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, and Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower now in forced exile in Russia.

Snowden, in a recent comment, expressed his solidarity with Manning’s ongoing struggle, saying, “I’m grateful that Chelsea will finally have a chance to enjoy the freedoms she gave so much to defend. Courage to her—and volume to her voice.”

The increasingly vicious crackdown on whistleblowers reveals most openly the immense fear within the ruling establishment of growing opposition within the working class. The true face of US imperialism has again and again been exposed with the help of brave individuals like Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden. The defense of these individuals, and an end to the crimes that they have risked their lives to expose, can only come from the mobilization of the international working class.

A 25-year-old contractor for the National Security Agency, Reality Leigh Winner, was arrested Monday and charged with leaking a top-secret NSA document to the Intercept. The arrest came barely an hour after the on-line publication posted an account of an NSA report sent in anonymously, summarizing NSA findings about alleged Russian hacking during the 2016 US elections: here.

Whistleblower Chelsea Manning freed, worldwide celebrations


This video says about itself:

Collateral MurderWikileaks – Iraq

3 April 2010

WikiLeaks has obtained and decrypted this previously unreleased video footage from a US Apache helicopter in 2007. It shows Reuters journalist Namir Noor-Eldeen, driver Saeed Chmagh, and several others as the Apache shoots and kills them in a public square in Eastern Baghdad. They are apparently assumed to be insurgents.

After the initial shooting, an unarmed group of adults and children in a minivan arrives on the scene and attempts to transport the wounded. They are fired upon as well. The official statement on this incident initially listed all adults as insurgents and claimed the US military did not know how the deaths occurred. Wikileaks released this video with transcripts and a package of supporting documents on April 5th 2010 on http://collateralmurder.com.

This video material on war crimes in Iraq was given to WikiLeaks by whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

LGBT groups to celebrate Manning‘s release

Wednesday 17th May 2017

THE release of WikiLeaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning will be celebrated this evening at an event to mark International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

Ms Manning, who will complete her transition out of prison, was handed a 35-year sentence in 2013 after sending classified information on war crimes and corruption to WikiLeaks.

Over 100,000 people had signed a White House petition calling for transgender US army private Ms Manning to be released.

Former US president Barack Obama heeded the call and commuted her sentence to May 17 just before he left office in January this year.

Events to mark Ms Manning’s release will take place in at least 15 cities across the world including Berlin, Dublin and San Fransisco.

Campaign groups Queer Strike and Payday have called on supporters to gather at St Martin-in-the-Fields in London at 5.30pm this evening to celebrate “the ultimate victory of a seven-year campaign.”

Peace News will be holding a party from 7pm at Housmans bookshop in London.

The FBI has arrested a federal contractor suspected of leaking a NSA report. [The Intercept]

NSA WHISTLEBLOWER’S PARENTS: WE FEAR FOR HER SAFETY “My biggest fear in all of this is that she’s not going to get a fair trial, she’s not going to be treated fairly, she’s going to be made an example of,” Billie Winner-Davis, Reality Winner’s mother said. And here’s what we know about Winner. [HuffPost]

‘Stop Erdogan’s wars in Syria, Iraq’


This video says about itself:

Cüneyt Özdemir and Kenan Taş Report From Sinjar, Liberated from ISIS Terrorists

7 December 2015

Kenan Taş and Fatih Öztürk have entered Sinjar, a city recently liberated from ISIS terrorists, in the northern part of Iraq. 5N1K producer Kenan Tas reports from the front lines of Iraq, Sinjar, a small city in Northern Iraq where battles between ISIS militants and Kurdish Peshmerga forces where prominent for a long time. Recently, peshmerga forces liberated the town from ISIS militants and 5N1K team was one of the few journalists to enter the tumultuous city.

By Steve Sweeney in Britain:

Activists demand end to Erdogan’s killing of Kurds

Thursday 27th April 2017

PROTESTERS gathered outside the Turkish embassy in London yesterday to demand an “end to murderous attacks” and violations of international law by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.

The emergency demonstration was called by the British-based Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign as part of a Europe-wide day of action following Turkish air strikes on northern Syria’s Rojava region and the Iraqi town of Sinjar on Tuesday.

Fighter jets attacked People’s Protection Unit positions in the Syrian city of Derik, bombing a radio station and media centre and killing 18 people. Six more were confirmed killed when Kurdish Yazidi positions were targeted in Sinjar.

In an online statement published on Tuesday, the Turkish armed forces said “terrorist targets” had been hit with “complete efficiency.”

But Syrian Democratic Union Party co-chair Salih Muslim warned that the “Turkish attacks support Islamic State [ISIS]” and sources suggested that the air strikes could not have been conducted without the knowledge of the coalition of countries bombing Syria, including Britain.

Protesters urged people yesterday to join them in working for a peaceful solution to the “transnational conflict” and to condemn the murderous attacks and violations of international law by Turkey.

They also condemned the sale of fighter jets to Turkey in a £100 million “deal of shame” struck by Prime Minister Theresa May during a recent meeting with Mr Erdogan in the capital Ankara.

Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign spokesman Zinar Demeni told the Star: “This is the first time we have people from all parts of Kurdistan, in particular from Basur in Iraq.

“I think we haven’t seen unity like this for some time. People are shouting: ‘Turkish state out of Kurdistan,’ ‘terrorist Turkish state.’”

The Foreign Office was not available for comment by the time the Star went to print.

By James Tweedie:

The [Kurdish Syrian women’s anti-ISIS militia] YPJ argued that the raid by Nato member Turkey could not have occurred without the knowledge of the US-led Operation Inherent Resolve coalition.

“The coalition’s silence is proof and approval of this,” it said, adding that Turkey’s aim was to disrupt the SDF offensive against the Isis stronghold of Raqqa.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavosoglu confirmed that suspicion yesterday, telling reporters: “We told the US, our ally, directly that we would conduct the operation. We told them to move their forces 20-30 km to the south.”

But on Tuesday, US State Department spokesman Mark Toner claimed that Turkey had bombed Syria and Iraq “without proper co-ordination either with the United States or the broader global coalition to defeat Isis.”

“These air strikes were not approved by the coalition and led to the unfortunate loss of life of our partner forces in the fight against Isis that includes members of the Kurdish Peshmerga,” he said.

KURDISH leaders accused Turkey of collaborating with Isis yesterday after the country’s air force killed dozens of militia in Syria and Iraq: here.

SCOTTISH trade unions have vowed solidarity with over 100,000 public-sector workers sacked by Turkey’s right-wing Erdogan regime and have pledged to raise money to support them: here.

United States filmmaker Laura Poitras persecuted for being smeared in Iraq war


This video from the USA says about itself:

Citizenfour” | Oscar winner Laura Poitras on Edward Snowden

18 February 2015

Citizenfour” has won the Oscar for best documentary. Director Laura Poitras talks about her subject Edward Snowden.

By Natasha Hakimi Zapata in the USA:

Director Laura Poitras Learns Why She Was Being Detained at Airports

Posted on Apr 24, 2017

For six years, “Citizenfour” filmmaker Laura Poitras was stopped at airports without an explanation. Recently, a lawsuit uncovered the startling reason.

From The Associated Press:

[Poitras] was stopped without explanation more than 50 times on foreign travel, and dozens more times on domestic trips, before the extra searches suddenly stopped in 2012. Only now is Poitras beginning to unravel the mystery, which goes back to a bloody day in Baghdad in 2004. … On Nov. 20, 2004, Poitras was in Baghdad filming “My Country, My Country.” The film depicts Iraqi elections from the perspective of an Iraqi doctor, who criticized the U.S. occupation yet hoped democracy would take root in his homeland.

Members of a U.S. Army National Guard unit from Oregon reported seeing a “white female” holding a camera on a rooftop just before they were attacked. David Roustum, 22, an Army National Guardsman from West Seneca, New York, was killed. Several troops were wounded. Some guardsmen who saw Poitras suspected she had a heads-up about the attack and didn’t share that information with American forces because she wanted to film it. If true, Poitras would have broken U.S. criminal law.

Poitras called the allegation false and said she didn’t film the attack.

Read more.

In a win for government-transparency advocates, the FBI has agreed to turn over records it created when it spied on two anti-war journalists and pay $299,000 to settle their attorneys’ fees: here.