Facebook censors Norwegian Prime Minster on Vietnam war


Kim Phuc with baby in 2005

This photo shows Ms Kim Phuc, who became well-known from a photograph, taken when, as a nine-year-old girl in Vietnam in 1972, napalm bombs injured her. As this 2005 photo of Kim Phuc shows, the napalm scars are still visible and still hurt.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Vietnam photo also deleted from Facebook page of Norwegian Prime Minister

Today, 15:14

The historical photo of the “napalm girl” from Vietnam has not only been removed from the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten‘s Facebook page, but also from the page of the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

She placed the picture, like many other Norwegians, on her page in protest of Facebook’s removal policy. The company believes that there is too much nudity in the photo.

Solberg has posted a new message in which she expresses the hope that Facebook will change its policy. She writes: “I want our children to grow up in a society where they can learn history as it really was.”

Ms Solberg is a member of the Norwegian conservative party.

But, apparently, not conservative enough for Facebook. Apparently, to Facebook one is only a ‘real’ conservative if, to quote George Orwell’s 1984, one believes that ‘War is peace‘. And if one censors the crimes of the Vietnam war and other wars out of ‘history as it really was’.

UPDATE: after many protests, Facebook gave in and restored the photo.

Facebook whitewashes Vietnam war atrocities


Vietnamese children injured after napalm attack, AP photo

This 8 June 1972 photo shows children wounded by napalm bombs fleeing during the Vietnam war. Among them then 9-year-old Kim Phuc. Ms Kim Phuc, an adult woman now, still hurts from the napalm injuries which United States warplanes flown by the Saigon puppet regime then inflicted on her.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Norwegian newspaper after removal of Vietnam photo: Facebook abused power

Today, 10:38

The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten has criticized Facebook sharply. In an open letter to their CEO Mark Zuckerberg, chief editor Espen Egil Hansen says that the platform has abused its power. Following the removal of a famous photo from the Vietnam war. Aftenposten is one of the largest newspapers in Norway.

The photo was used by the Norwegian writer Tom Egeland, in a story about iconic war photos. The newspaper reported this story on Facebook. On Wednesday, Facebook told Aftenposten that it would delete the photo.

Then that deletion happened within 24 hours and before the chief editor could respond, he writes. The image was removed according to Hansen because it showed a naked girl, Kim Phuc. When Egeland responded on Facebook to the deletion the platform decided to make it impossible for the writer to post any messages, says Hansen.

“This is serious”

“Listen, Mark,” Hansen writes. “This is serious. First you decide to make no distinction between child pornography and famous war photos and apply your rules without thinking properly. Then you censor criticism and debate about the decision and also punish critics.”

Hansen calls Zuckerberg the most powerful editor of the world. “I am convinced that you abused your power”, says Hansen. “I also think you have thought insufficiently.” Hansen also points to the role of the media in the Vietnam War: they made sure Americans did not get to see the true face of the conflict.

The Norwegian editor asks Zuckerberg what he will do if again terrible images turn up.

Guidelines

Hansen is not the first person criticizing Facebook’s policies. The platform often removes photographs and critics say that is against freedom of expression. Known in the Netherlands is an example of cartoonist Ruben L. Oppenheimer. A drawing by him was removed and then put back.

The guidelines of Facebook say that pictures of naked people will be removed.

Including on famous ancient paintings. Somewhat like Rupert Murdoch and Silvio Berlusconi.

The company always says they do that based on reports from users. The decision to remove a photograph is then taken by an employee of the company. In the case of the Vietnam picture this is startling, because this is a very famous photograph which has been published worldwide on countless occasions.

One of many reasons why I am not on Facebook, including this one and this one and this one, etc.

Meanwhile, eg, the Dutch neonazis of the Nederlandse Volksunie are welcome to spew their racist hatred on Facebook.

Pentagon Vietnam war bombs still killing thousands of Laos people


This video says about itself:

US Cluster Bomb Legacy Costing Lives In Laos

4 August 2014

The Legacy: The Vietnam war‘s dark legacy is still costing lives in Laos. Meet the brave women trying to clear the bomb fields.

Laos is the most heavily bombed country in the world. In the Vietnam War the US dropped 2 million tonnes of explosives there. Now, a brave band of women are finding and destroying the ‘bombies’ left behind.

The women walk slowly through the undergrowth, scanning the ground with metal detectors. Given there are up to 80 million unexploded munitions in Laos the women are doing a job that will take more than a lifetime to complete. “I was excited as well as frightened”, says 46-year-old Phou Vong, recalling the first time she found a ‘bombie’. “I hesitated a bit, but thought I should be glad to see it, because in a sense I was helping my people.”

Phou joined the team 3 years ago, after her husband was killed in a road accident. “There was no-one to help me but myself, and I had no money to support my children’s education.” She now earns $250 a month, that’s better than the average wage in Laos. It’s a special empowerment programme to give much-needed opportunities to local women. But the de-miners are worried their funding will run out. “We won’t be able to clear them all, there are just so many of them.” More than four decades after the American campaign ended, undetonated explosives still contaminate forests and fields. And it’s Lao civilians who are risking their lives to clean them up.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

In the Asian country Laos millions of balls are scattered throughout the country. They look a bit like tennis balls. So, children pick them up to play with, until the balls explode suddenly.

The balls are remnants of cluster bombs which the US American air force has thrown over the country during the Vietnam War. Between 1964 and 1973, the US threw two billion kilos of bombs – more than half of the total number of bombs dropped during World War II. …

Some 80 million of these US bombs have not exploded and are still somewhere in the country. The Laotians have been working for forty years to make them harmless, but only 1 percent of the bombs have been cleared so far.

The unexploded cluster bombs have so far claimed about 20,000 lives. Most victims are children, who mistook the bombs for toys.

Take a look at a map of the millions of bombs still left to be cleared. [Reuters]

Turkey’s Erdogan not speaking at Muhammad Ali’s funeral


This video from the USA is called NBC News – Muhammad Ali on not going to war [in Vietnam].

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Ali family deletes Turkish President Erdogan from list of speakers

Today, 17:31

The Turkish president Erdogan will not speak at the funeral of Muhammad Ali. He has to cede his place in the scheme to another speaker, a spokesperson of the Ali family told The Associated Press. The same applies to the Jordanian King Abdullah. …

A correct decision by the Ali family. Someone who, like Erdogan, wages war against his own people, in Iraq and in Syria is not a good eulogist for an opponent of the Vietnam war.

The family of the deceased boxing champion had spent years organizing Ali’s funeral. The details are set out in a lengthy document that according to the family has become known as ‘The Book’. It says, among other things, that the funeral should be public and that the service should be preceded by a procession in Louisville.

Both desires will be fulfilled. The service is Friday at a stadium where some 15,000 people can go. Tickets are free; from the morning on they can be picked up at the stadium.

3 Day Quote Challenge, third day


3 Day Quote Challenge

Paul of wwwpalfitness blog has been so kind to nominate my blog for the 3 Day Quote Challenge. Thank you so much for this kind gesture!

Rules: Post three quotes for three consecutive days, and nominate three new bloggers to take on the challenge each day and thank your nominator.

My quote for this third and final day is:

Power is wonderful. Total power is totally wonderful.

Contrary to many other quotes on my blog, this is not a quote with which I agree. I quote it as a warning about how the mindsets of dictators work.

The quote is by Madame Nhu (Trần Lệ Xuân). She was the First Lady of the puppet dictatorship in South Vietnam from 1955 to 1963. She was the wife of Ngô Đình Nhu, brother and secret police boss of dictator Ngô Đình Diệm. A fanatically right-wing Roman Catholic in a mostly Buddhist country, she made the laws conform to religious anti-women rules of ‘decency’; making her the only woman allowed to wear ‘sexy’ clothes. She rejoiced in violent deaths of Buddhists.

My three nominees of today are:

1. Joëlle Jean-Baptiste – Author

2. Denisa Aricescu

3. natycalinescu

Boxer Muhammad Ali, RIP


This 1960s video from the USA says about itself:

Muhammad Ali on the Vietnam war draft

“My conscious won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, or some poor hungry people in the mud for big powerful America. And shoot them for what? They never called me nigger, they never lynched me, they didn’t put no dogs on me, they didn’t rob me of my nationality, rape and kill my mother and father… Shoot them for what? …How can I shoot them poor people, Just take me to jail.”

Muhammad Ali’s passing at the age of 74 on Friday night shook the sports world. Athletes from all corners of the world weighed in on the icon’s impact, talking about how Ali affected their careers and the world at large: here.

The death of former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, who, in his day, was a symbol of protest and resistance, has prompted the inevitable and instinctive effort by the establishment to appropriate his legacy for their own cynical uses: here.

Kent State killing of US peace demonstrators, 1970


This video says about itself:

United States: Kent State Shooting

4 May 2016

In 1970 [on 4 May], the Ohio National Guard killed 4 students at Kent State University during protests against the Vietnam War.

Bloody Thursday: Today marks 47yrs since Battle For People’s Park in Berkeley, California: here.