Hint, it’s not the lead story.
Hint, it’s not the lead story.
Craig Murray (h/t Lenin) has some interesting thoughts on the incidents in London. Cui Bono- To whose benefit he asks. (also read his post on Lockerbie which ties in with the investigations in Private Eye that point to Syria, Libya was blamed out of political expediancy).
While these incidents will be played for all they are worth by the war on terrorism industry I hope most people are made of more sense and see this as a price of an iniquitous foreign policy and demand change. Otherwise it is ID cards, cameras, authoritarianism and endless fucking war.
Quite cheap too, so Chiquita pay Colombian AUC (right wing paramilitaries funded by the US and coordinating their killings with President Uribe and the Colombian military) terrorists to keep their banana plantations safe and productive and to keep workers under the gun.
Chiquita finally gets taken to court, they are found guilty, no one goes to prison, instead they pay $25 million to the US Govt. hush money.
Profits from their operations are at least $49 million, so overall they get away with murder and make $24 million in profit and their shares go up (ain’t Wall Street grand?).
So do not under any circumstances buy their shitty bananas.
“Chiquita gives a lot of money to both political parties in the United States, has huge political influence, and the administration is petrified by the spectacle of this company,”
Which ranting lefty said that? erm UK Conservative politician Leon Brittan actually. Noreena Hertz used the influence Chiquita wields as an example of how our democracies have been replaced with corporatocracies-
“the ability of big business and its representatives to sidestep the controls imposed by governments is already apparent, as evidenced by the growing dominance of free trade interests in international decision making…In Geneva nations more or less owned by corporations are pitted against each other in the WTO arena, unable to decide for themselves how they and their citizens would like to live and trade. This is not good because the businesses will be thinking about what is in the best interest for them rather than the country and the citizens. The example she gave to describe had to do with Chiquita. The EW was trying to protect small producers of bananas; Chiquita persuaded US trade representatives that the policy was unfair and harmful to the interests of the US. The US administration then began to support Chiquita which also had to do with the fact the corporation donated so much money to both the major political parties in the US.
Now hearings are revealing the extent of the financial and moral corruption
The United States shares the blame for Colombia’s suffering, a top Democrat said Thursday at a congressional hearing focusing on allegations that U.S. companies funded illegal right-wing militias that have killed hundreds of union activists in the Andean nation. “We are complicit in the devastation of that society,” said Rep. Bill Delahunt, a Democrat. “So it is a moral imperative that requires us to help Colombia end that cycle of violence”
Delahunt, who chairs the House Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight, spoke during a hearing in which Chiquita Brands International Inc. and the Alabama coal company Drummond Co. Inc. were singled as having close ties to Colombia’s paramilitaries. Chiquita has acknowledged having paid paramilitaries $1.7 million (€1.3 million) in protection money over six years.
The president of Colombia’s national mining union, Francisco Ramirez, claimed not just Chiquita and Drummond but also Coca-Cola, Occidental Petroleum, BP Amoco and Exxon Mobil were complicit in the killing of union activists in Colombia — either by paying paramilitaries or indirectly through the U.S. military aid for Colombian army units that he said committed the murders.
Korova reported recently on a lawsuit by families of murder victims of AUC paid by Chiquita on Chiquita plantations-
The Florida lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for families of 22 AUC victims, who lived on Chiquita plantations or in nearby villages in Colombia, plaintiffs’ attorney William Wichmann said. The victims died between 1997 and 2004 in the banana-growing region of Uraba in northwestern Colombia.
“They were all murdered, including a teacher, a student and an 8-year-old child who was hit by a stray bullet, but nonetheless was murdered,” Wichmann said.
Some have called for the executives to be extradited and tried in Colombia, but Uribe is part of the mechanism of business and death squads with US and corporate slush funds that runs the client state of Colombia. Terrorism used to maintain and protect trade and profits for US corporations does not get treated as such in the ‘war on terror’, so justice might be a while coming yet.
h/t to Kyle at Immigration Orange
A foreign military air strike in southern Afghanistan killed 30 civilians, including women and children, a district mayor said Saturday, citing initial investigations.
“Our initial investigations show that 30 civilians, including women, children and men, have been killed,” said Dur Alisha, the mayor of Girishk district in the southern province of Helmand.
Detectives hunted Saturday for suspects who abandoned two explosives-packed cars in the heart of London’s nightlife district, reviewing closed circuit television footage and scouring the vehicles for clues.
Counterterrorism officers at Scotland Yard briefed Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Saturday, and the British leader later chaired a meeting of top spies, police and senior officials in COBRA, the government’s emergency committee, his office said.
Detectives said they were keeping an open mind about the suspects, but terrorism experts said the signs pointed to a cell linked to or inspired by al-Qaida. Police would not comment on an ABC News report saying police had a “crystal clear” picture of one suspect from CCTV footage.
Now I’m sure the flight logs will also give a crystal clear identification of the pilots and the chain of command will show who ordered the strike, so will detectives be swooping on these perpetrators? I mean this mob actually succeeded unlike the moron and his car bomb. Now then if only someone could find out why people are driven to attack us in any way they can…clearly I’m nowhere near intelligent enough to work that one out. Hey wait a minute I just read those reports again, you don’t think…nah couldn’t be.
On the down side it is the Daily Mail, but anyways-
The music industry has reacted angrily at a decision to give away the new album by US musician Prince with a tabloid newspaper. Planet Earth will be given free with a future edition of the Mail on Sunday. The 10-track CD from Prince – whose hits include Purple Rain, Sign O’ The Times and Cream – is not due to be released until 24 July.
Now look at the attitude of corporate bully boys, they have absolutely no comprehension of an artist creating and distributing their work on their terms, the sheer sense of entitlement by the music industry to own and control all rights of an artist’s work is psychotic-
Paul Quirk, co-chairman of the Entertainment Retailers Association, said the decision “beggars belief”.
“The Artist formerly known as Prince should know that with behaviour like this he will soon be the Artist Formerly Available in Record Stores,”
The deal has also led to the UK arm of Sony BMG pulling out of the distribution agreement. “Given the sheer number of copies we are talking about here it seemed the right thing to do for retailers to become exempt from the deal in the UK,”
And to show what authoritarians they are, the BPI have our police working for them:
The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) is investigating allegations of an extensive illegal music filesharing ring at a Honeywell plant in Scotland.
Investigators from the BPI raided the plant in Motherwell with police officers at 0840 BST yesterday morning. The investigators made copies of the contents of computers for detailed forensic analysis.
This is the first time that the BPI has raided a business in pursuit of illegal music filesharing. Previous such raids have concentrated on domestic filesharing.
Check that last part, ‘the BPI has raided’ it was with police but I think that tells more truth than it meant, here is a private industry body using our tax funded police to pursue it’s commercial objectives. Ever see the Police raid Downing street based on a million people’s charge they are lying us into war? Government for and by the corporations. Meanwhile Rolling Stone magazine has a two part series that declares these corporate dinosaurs and their idea of the music ‘industry’ dead, and by their own hand. They are like an abusive parent desperately trying to control a grown child who has woken up to the abuse and is moving out. They pretend they are there to protect the artist from exploitation while actually being the main exploiters themselves, now technology has bypassed them they can find nothing better to do than be belligerent. Much as our govts resort to authoritarianism then admit their responsibility for our dissatisfaction. Because they do not serve us, they are an occupation force for the rich -and their crap music. Prince fucking rocks!
Off the second album Second Toughest in the Infants, its full title there in three parts: Juanita/Kiteless/To Dream Of Love.
This is a live clip from the Everything Everything DVD. It forms some of the parameters of my soul.
On the day before it is due to be shut down, the U.N. unit that found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq but failed to stop the U.S.-led invasion said on Thursday time had justified its methods and work.
In a voluminous report detailing the history of Iraq’s banned weapons programs and U.N. efforts to dismantle them, it said the episode had shown that on-the-ground inspections were better than intelligence assessments by individual countries.
The report by the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, or UNMOVIC, did not name its targets but several of its conclusions appeared aimed at the United States and Britain, which invaded Iraq in March 2003. Washington and London said despite UNMOVIC’s inability to find evidence, they were acting in the belief that Iraq was pursuing chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs begun in the 1970s. No such weapons have been found.
“The UN’s verification experience in Iraq also illustrates that in-country verification, especially on-site inspections, generate more timely and accurate information than other outside sources such as national assessments.” UNMOVIC was in Iraq only from November 2002 until it was pulled out on the eve of the invasion, but its predecessor, UNSCOM, spent seven years there scrapping Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and facilities after the first Gulf War of 1991.
It said that during its brief stay in Iraq, UNMOVIC carried out 731 inspections covering 411 sites, but it implied that U.S. and British anxiety to invade Iraq had hampered its work. “Had UNMOVIC not been under such a stringent time constraint, the inspections could have been more detailed and thorough and many issues which emerged could have been pursued to a conclusion allowing greater confidence in the inspection process,” it said.
Not exactly news, and I question how many of the agitators really believed their own propaganda about WMD. That is the lie we must always contend with, the mistaken belief framing, the myth of good faith. Various paranoiac ideologues may have, but for the most part the ‘dark actors’ in the invasion coolly and deliberately lied to achieve their desired objectives. The people who chose this war go unpunished and that is news of our civilisation failing every day until they face trial.