– Killings highlight epidemic of police violence in US

“In Cleveland, Ohio on November 29, Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell, both unarmed, were killed in a hail of 137 bullets fired by 13 officers. On December 15, Chicago police shot and killed Jamaal Moore, who was unarmed, after they struck him with a police car. On August 11, police chased down and executed Darrius Kennedy in broad daylight in New York City. The back-to-back killings of Manuel Diaz and Joel Acevedo on July 21 and July 22 in Anaheim, California prompted angry protests and a police crackdown in which nine people were arrested.

These recent shootings are particularly savage examples of a broader social trend. Largely hidden from public view, police kill an average of between one and two people in America every day. Since the Cleveland, Ohio shootings on November 29, at least 14 people have been confirmed killed by the police in the US…

…Under circumstances where the national government has openly carried out thousands of extra-judicial killings in recent years, it should come as no surprise that a culture of impunity and indifference to democratic rights has developed among the local police forces.

Among those sections of the mainstream US media that do not present even the most egregious police shootings as entirely justified, the criticisms are inevitably framed in terms of a few “bad apples,” “rogue officers,” “racist cops,” and so on. On the contrary, the participation of some 13 officers in the Cleveland, Ohio shooting, which had all the markings of a military combat operation, points to a far more grave situation…

…The FBI does release annual statistics for a category entitled “justifiable homicide by weapon, law enforcement,” defined as “the killing of a felon by a law enforcement officer in the line of duty.” This figure remained around 400 per year from 2007 to 2011. The number of such killings so far in 2012 is estimated at 525 or more.”

Posted in News and politics | Leave a comment

History Lesson

Posted in News and politics | Leave a comment

Africa Re-enslaves Itself

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Fifty-five years after Kwame  Nkrumah’s Ghana won its independence, the military force that counts most in
Africa is the United States. Increasingly, the African Union has been  transformed into a vassal of AFRICOM – the U.S. Military Command on the continent. The war in Somalia, which now involves the whole of the Horn of Africa, is, on paper, an African Union military operation. But the AU is just a front for the U.S., which provides all the training, weapons, equipment – everything the 15,000 African soldiers from five different nations need except their salaries, which are paid for by the European Union and the United Nations. The recolonization of Africa is well underway, but it will not require a huge American or NATO occupation force. The nations of the African Union will provide the troops for their own subjugation.

Posted in News and politics | Leave a comment

U.S. is the driving force behind the fighting in Somalia

Washington has been quietly equipping and training thousands of African soldiers
to wage a widening proxy war against the Shabab, the Al Qaeda ally that has
sparked alarm as foreign militants join its ranks.

By David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times

July 29, 2012

“Officially, the troops are under the auspices of the African Union. But in
truth, according to interviews by U.S. and African officials and senior military
officers and budget documents, the 15,000-strong force pulled from five African
countries is largely a creation of the State
and Pentagon,
trained and supplied by the U.S. government and guided by dozens of retired
foreign military personnel hired through private contractors.”,0,1483366,full.story

Posted in News and politics | Leave a comment

Syria conflict destabilizing Iraq

By Vivienne Walt | July 13, 2012

Will Syria’s Conflict Spill Over into War-Weary Iraq?

“…the “spillover” from the Syrian crisis might already have begun, as the
devastating violence next door deepens Iraq’s existing sectarian divisions,
including those between Shiites and Sunnis. Earlier this week, al-Qaeda’s Iraqi
affiliate claimed on its website that it was responsible for several bombings last
month, which targeted largely Shiite sites, and in which hundreds were killed.
“There are those who support the [Syrian] regime and those who don’t,” says
Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Institution’s Doha Center. “There is a
real scenario here whereby the two conflicts [in Syria and Iraq] will feed off
each other,” he says. “The Syrian conflict will expose Iraq’s divisions more and
more, the longer this goes on.” That scenario, says Shaikh, is already at work
in Lebanon, where ethnic conflicts have revived by the chaos within

Read more:


9 killed as Iraqi forces clash with militants


The Associated Press

“The fighting around the town of Hadid, about 10 kilometers north of the Diyala provincial capital of Baqouba, follows a warning last weekend from al-Qaida’s leader in Iraq to push back into areas the group was driven out of by the U.S. military after sectarian fighting peaked in 2007. A day after al-Qaida issued the threat, shootings and bombings killed 115 people in Iraq’s deadliest day in more than two years — an assault for which the terror group claimed responsibility.”

Posted in News and politics | Leave a comment

Pwned in Paraguay

July 25, 2012

Multinational Corporations Reap Benefits from Coup Government

Paraguay’s Bitter Harvest

“The RTA deal for a $4 billion dollar aluminum plant on the shores of the Paraná River had been stalled by the Lugo administration due to concerns over the plant’s environmental impact, as well as how much the  company would pay for electricity from Paraguay’s Itaipú and Yacyretá hydroelectric power plants. Yet shortly after taking office, Franco fast-tracked the RTA negotiations, pressuring his new Minister of Industry and Commerce to swiftly move forward with the deal…
In the lead-up to the coup, Lugo and his administration resisted the use of Monsanto’s GMO cotton seeds in the country. Yet just after taking power, the Franco administration threw government critics of the plan out of office, and moved ahead to approve the use of the controversial seeds in the country.”

WikiLeaks: Washington and Paraguay’s ‘Quasi-Coup’

In an unbelievably suspicious development, Weekly News Update on the Americas reports that even as Congress was moving to impeach Lugo, a group of U.S. generals met with legislators to discuss the possibility of building a military base in the Paraguayan Chaco region. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has failed to back Lugo’s reinstatement, preferring instead to issue a couple of tepid and non-committal responses to the political crisis.

Posted in News and politics | Leave a comment

William Blum: Iraq. Began with big lies. Ending with big lies. Never forget.

“It is pretty exciting,” said another young American soldier in Iraq.  “We are going down in the history books, you might say.” (Washington Post, December 18, 2011)

Ah yes, the history books, the multi-volume leather-bound set of “The Greatest Destructions of One Country by Another.”  The newest volume can relate, with numerous graphic photos, how the modern, educated, advanced nation of Iraq was reduced to a quasi failed state; how the Americans, beginning in 1991, bombed for 12 years, with one dubious excuse or another; then invaded, then occupied, overthrew the government, tortured without inhibition, killed wantonly, … how the people of that unhappy land lost everything — their homes, their schools, their electricity, their clean water, their environment, their neighborhoods, their mosques, their archaeology, their jobs, their careers, their professionals, their state-run enterprises, their physical health, their mental health, their health care, their welfare state, their women’s rights, their religious tolerance, their safety, their security, their children, their parents, their past, their present, their future, their lives … More than half the population either dead, wounded, traumatized, in prison, internally displaced, or in foreign exile … The air, soil, water, blood, and genes drenched with depleted uranium … the most awful birth defects … unexploded cluster bombs lying anywhere in wait for children to pick them up … a river of blood running alongside the Euphrates and Tigris … through a country that may never be put back together again.

Posted in News and politics | Leave a comment