Dutch government warned Blair on Iraq war


This video from the USA says about itself:

Rupert Murdoch Pressured Tony Blair Over Iraq

18 June 2012

Rupert Murdoch joined in an “over-crude” attempt by US Republicans to force Tony Blair to accelerate British involvement in the Iraq war a week before a crucial House of Commons vote in 2003, according to the final volumes of Alastair Campbell’s government diaries. In another blow to the media mogul, who told the Leveson inquiry that he had never tried to influence any prime minister, Campbell’s diary says Murdoch warned Blair in a phone call of the dangers of a delay in Iraq…”.* The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks it down.

*Read more here from Nicholas Watt in The Guardian.

Translated from Nu.nl in the Netherlands:

‘Balkenende warned Blair against invading Iraq

December 13, 2015 21:00

Former [Dutch] Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende warned British Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2003 [when they were both Prime Minister] that an attack on Iraq could lead to civil war in that country. …

[United States] President Barack Obama recently said that ISIS is an “unintended consequence” of the United State war on Iraq.

Balkenende is a right-wing politician. Unfortunately, Blair preferred to listen to other right-wingers; more powerful but less realist on Iraq: George W Bush, Dick Cheney and Rupert Murdoch.

Unfortunately, his relative ‘realism’ did not stop Balkenende later from sending Dutch troops to help occupy Iraq. Balkenende did not want Dutch Big Business like Shell oil to miss out on the spoils of bloody war in Iraq.

Rupert Murdoch lies on hedgehogs to advocate killing badgers


This 2014 video shows wild badgers filmed in south Lincolnshire woodland in England.

Ever since British Conservative daily The Times became part of the Rupert Murdoch empire, it is as full of lies as the rest of that empire.

From the Badger Trust in Britain:

7th December 2015

Dear All,

Badger Trust Slams Times Newspaper for “Cynical Political Attack” Over Hedgehog Claims

The Badger Trust has accused the Times newspaper of a cynical, politically motivated attack on badgers contained in a recent article about declining hedgehog numbers.

The Times launched its Christmas charity appeal for hedgehogs on Saturday 28 November, informing its readers it was to help fund the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) in the battle to halt the decline one of the UK’s most endangered wildlife species.

However in the same issue it also printed an editorial entitled “Prickly Subject: More hedgehogs means fewer badgers”. In this article the Times claimed that increasing badger numbers were directly responsible for the collapse of the hedgehog population and that culling badgers in an attempt to lower bovine TB was also justified as a means of protecting hedgehogs.

Responding to the Times editorial Dominic Dyer CEO of the Badger Trust said,

“We welcome any campaign aimed at drawing public attention to the desperate plight of hedgehogs and the excellent work of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. However we are appalled by the cynical way the Times is trying to exploit the public’s Christmas goodwill by falsely claiming hedgehog numbers can only recover if we kill more badgers. This suggestion is not only blatantly motivated by political bias but is also not supported by any scientific evidence. The Times is yet again supporting the government’s badger cull policy but this time is widening the ‘badger blame game’ to include hedgehogs.”

Badger Trust Chairman, Peter Martin added,

“Between 40% and 80% of the badger’s diet is plant based depending on the time of year, the rest being made up of earthworms and beetles. Whilst badgers are capable of killing hedgehogs they very rarely do. Both species compete for the same food and removing one by culling naturally allows the other to thrive. Badgers and hedgehogs have coexisted in ecological balance for hundreds of thousands of years and it is only the destructive intervention of modern farming practices that has altered this balance so disastrously for hedgehogs.”

In a statement the British Hedgehog Preservation Society has said:

“An analysis of the original badger culling experiments, published in April 2014, shows that, at some sites, hedgehog numbers did increase following reduction in the number of badgers. This is not unexpected, considering what we know of the relationship between hedgehogs and badgers. BHPS and Peoples Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) do not consider this sufficient evidence to advocate culling badgers as a means of increasing hedgehog numbers, and believe that culling any species in an effort to conserve another is undesirable given better environmental approaches. Indeed, scientific evidence suggests that culling badgers may make the TB situation worse, a further reason why PTES/BHPS would not advocate culling badgers to benefit hedgehogs.”

Badger Trust Chairman Peter Martin continues,

“The key factors for the collapse in hedgehog numbers are intensive farming, pesticide use, garden fencing and road kill, so it’s disingenuous in the extreme for the Times to attempt to demonise the badger in the minds of their readers. It’s a disgraceful example of playing politics with wildlife conservation and it could lead to an increasing level of illegal persecution of badgers which are a protected species.”

Dominic Dyer CEO of the Badger Trust concludes,

“The Times does not deserve any credit or recognition for helping British wildlife conservation over Christmas and we are therefore encouraging the public to make any donations direct to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society rather than via the Times’ Christmas Appeal.”

Donald Trump, Murdoch and anti-#BlackLivesMatter violence in Minnesota, USA


Jamine Robinson points to the name of his brother, Jamar Clark, on an upside-down flag bearing names of people killed at the hands of police. A shooting erupted last night at that Black Lives Matter encampment.(Photo credit: AP)

From Salon.com in the USA:

Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015 08:11 PM +0100

This is on Donald Trump and Fox News’ hands: Now their war on #blacklivesmatter draws real blood

Minneapolis shooting is no surprise. Trump, O’Reilly and others have ratcheted rhetoric toward violence for months

Chauncey DeVega

The Associated Press is reporting that five people at a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis were shot by a group of white supremacists on Monday evening.

This is not a surprise.

The appeal and power of old-fashioned, overt and transparent white racism is growing in the United States. The prime example of this phenomenon is the rise of Donald Trump, but the GOP front-runner is but one data point in a longer trend. Since the election of Barack Obama, white supremacists have increased their enrollment of new members. To that end, they have infiltrated Tea Party organizations to recruit racially resentful and angry white people who are beginning to think about politics in terms of “white group interests.”

While anxiety about ISIS dominates the American news, the FBI has in fact identified domestic terrorism from white, right-wing Christians as the greatest domestic terrorism threat to the United States since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The right-wing news-entertainment media complex routinely uses eliminationist and violent rhetoric to describe liberals and progressives. There, the implicit (and often explicit) narrative is that those people who are not members of the American right-wing are “traitors,” “un-American” and deserving of whatever violence comes to them. This is not empty talk, hyperbole or “playful” rhetoric designed to cheer on Republicans and build up morale before a presidential election. The right-wing media has actually weaponized its followers. The results are those black folks killed by Dylann Roof in Charleston, the women’s reproductive health doctor George Tiller, and the other victims of right-wing domestic terrorists shot dead at Sikh Temples, Jewish Community Centers, and elsewhere in the United States.

And as I wrote in an earlier essay here at Salon, Republican 2016 presidential primary candidates, as well as Fox News personalities such as Bill O’Reilly, have referred to members of the human rights advocacy group Black Lives Matter as “terrorists” or the new “Ku Klux Klan.”

On Monday, I wrote a piece about how a Black Lives Matter protester was beaten upon by Donald Trump supporters at a Birmingham, Alabama, rally over the weekend. Trump endorsed that thuggery and was proud that his supporters were so spirited. Adding to the grotesqueness of Donald Trump’s embrace of political violence, Robert Kiger, a fundraiser aligned with a group backing Trump, made the bizarre suggestion that he, as a white man, would be beaten up if he went into a black church. Therefore, the violent attack on a Black Lives Matter protester at Trump’s rally was expected, understood and reasonable in Kiger’s twisted, demented and profoundly racist imagination.

Ultimately, when Black Lives Matter’s basic claim for equal human rights and dignity is met by racist slogans such as “All Lives Matter” — what is just a new and more polite version of “White Power!” — the question is no longer “if” white on black and brown racially motivated violence will take place, but rather when, and to what extent?

The 2016 presidential primary season has seen Republican candidates endorse internment camps for Syrian refugees, an enemies list for Muslims, making Christianity the official state religion of the United States, establishing a Gestapo-like force to eject “illegal immigrants” from the United States, and other actions that are unworthy of what is supposed to be the world’s greatest democracy.

Those men and women who seek the office of the president of the United States should be responsible, reflective, and intelligent individuals. While they are members of a political party, these individuals should also be ambassadors of the Common Good who first and foremost want to advance and protect the General Welfare of the United States and its citizens. To this point in the campaign, the Republican 2016 primary presidential candidates, as a group, have not shown that they are capable of honoring that obligation.

The presidential primary season is not over. There is still time for the Republican Party to rise to the occasion.

To that end, will the 2016 Republican primary presidential candidates denounce Donald Trump’s rhetoric and the violence of his supporters or condemn last evening’s shootings of the Black Lives Matter protesters by white supremacists?

Will this crop of potential GOP presidential nominees demand that their peers, as well as the right-wing Fox News propaganda machine, tone down their collective racist, nativist, xenophobic and violence-inducing rhetoric?

The answer is likely to be “no.” Instead, the Republican 2016 presidential candidates will ignore the violence and bigotry they have encouraged or instead play the “victim” of the “liberal media.” The right-wing Fox News echo chamber will also likely spin fictions of “liberal infiltrators” or “agent provocateurs” that are actually committing violence at Donald Trump rallies or shooting Black Lives Matter activists in Minneapolis.

As they have repeatedly done in recent American history, movement conservatives and their media will continue to strike a match in a room full of gasoline vapor and act surprised when it explodes.

This is their version of the American Way. It is an agenda that retreats from normal politics, consensus-building, and an embrace of conservatism not as a reasonable respect for traditions and standing norms, but, rather as an embrace of a radical, destructive, and reactionary behavior that leaves the United States less safe, less secure, less prosperous and weaker than it was before.

City Releases ‘Chilling’ Video Of Cop Shooting Chicago Teen 16 Times. The Cook County state’s attorney said the officer “was on the scene less than 30 seconds before shooting”: here.

Billionaire Donald Trump has increased his lead in the polls among likely voters in Republican caucuses and primaries by making appeals to fears of terrorism and advocating a police-state crackdown on Muslim immigrants in the United States: here.

Trump compared to Hitler: here.

Stop cooperation with Bahraini, Saudi dictatorships


This video from Sweden says about itself:

Human Rights Defender Maryam Alkhawaja Talks about Scandinavian Prisoners in Bahrain
12 November 2013

I filmed Maryam Alkhawaja being interviewed by Gothenburg Post newspaper last week, as part of Maryam’s participation in a talk done later by Amnesty International – Gothenburg office.

According to the Rupert Murdoch empire, phone hacking of murdered schoolgirls and of thousands of others is journalism. And war is peace. And the absolute monarchy Bahrain is a free country.

Well … Bahrain is so obviously unfree, that even some parts of the Murdoch empire have trouble conforming to propaganda lies all the time.

From The Times in London, England, part of the Murdoch empire:

Exam board attacked for making deal with Bahrain

Billy Briggs

Published at 12:01AM, September 21 2015

A human rights activist from the Middle East has condemned the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) for entering into contracts with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain despite their record on human rights.

Maryam Al-Khawaja, the director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, also criticised the UK government saying “Britain is the largest obstacle to human rights being upheld in Bahrain.”

Before a visit to Scotland this week for the human rights film festival Take One Action, she told The Times that the human rights situation was deteriorating in Bahrain and that teachers who spoke out against the government had been detained.

Bahrain’s public prosecutor has charged a high school student and two teachers with insulting Islam in connection with a video showing the student reciting verses from the Koran to musical accompaniment, state news agency BNA reported on Wednesday: here.