Chest Doc In Palestine

The internet is bountiful indeed, Dave at Complex System of Pipes led me to Chest Doc in Palestine- when a UK doctor spent a fortnight in Palestine he wrote up his experiences day by day creating a compelling travelogue that becomes a bruising indictment of Israeli policies towards Palestine. And you can read it right here, right now for free, just click here- Day 1: Ben Gurion Airport and Jerusalem. I started reading it and couldn’t ‘put it down’ and read the whole record of his trip and branched off to sites he linked to that coloured in even more details. It is essential reading and I’ll have more to write about it in time but I mention it now because…You can hear him talk about his experiences tomorrow 7pm on 14th November at the Geoffrey Manton Building at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: , , . 4 Comments »

Burma Potemkin

Even as special rapporteur Pinheiro visits (recent itinerary)-

He met Tuesday with the religious affairs and national planning and economic development ministers in the isolated capital Naypyidaw,

…police arrested prominent labour rights activist Su Su Nway as she distributed anti-government leaflets, a source with knowledge of the matter told AFP.

And monk’s leader is caught after the junta held his family hostage-

U Gambira, the leader of the All-Burmese Monks Alliance and one of the organizers of the public protests in September, has been arrested in Singaing township in Mandalay division, according to a family member. He was arrested on 4 November in Singaing, having been on the government’s most wanted list for his part in instigating the demonstrations. U Gambira is 27 years old and is also a spokesperson for the People’s Movement Leader Committee. Burmese authorities have detained U Gambira’s mother, sister and two of his brothers in the past month when they were unable to arrest him.

They are doing their utmost to present a Potemkin nation-

The Burmese authorities had swept under the carpet its military presence in Rangoon prior to the arrival of the UN rights expert so as to show case the situation in Rangoon as normal, said the source, who wished to remain unidentified. About 20 truck loads of soldiers were seen leaving Rangoon on Sunday morning before the UN envoy’s arrival in the former capital, the source said…the UN envoy is being closely watched by plainclothes police, junta-backed civilian organization Swan Are Shin and USDA, and Township chairmen, added the source.

Which perhaps explains this recent film making-

Around 200 members of the Union Solidarity and Development Association, Swan Arr Shin and township police have taken part in the filming in the grounds of Prome airport in Bago division, according to a source who had access to those involved in the shoot. A number of people posing as monks have also been involved in the filming.

“The film looks like it’s about the monk protests, but it shows the township police trying to suppress the violence initiated by monks. Then they have to call in the military when they can’t overpower the monks,” the source said. “So the military arrive, and first they fire rubber bullets into the crowd and some people get hit, but they made it look as though they had not choice but to fire as the monks were really getting out of hand,”

Jotman is doing some on the ground citizen journalism talking to Zawn Yein Latt, Burma Political Prisoner’s Union (BPPU) and Myint Oo, member of the Central Executive Committee of the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF). The official 2007 mid-year gem and jewelry show will be held tomorrow-

The gem show is the third to be offered this year. The government fist scheduled the gem and jewelry show in October but postponed it because of the September pro-democracy demonstrations. According to Myanmar Gems Enterprise, the government receives about US $300 million from the sale of gems in fiscal year 2006-2007. Burma jade sales alone is one of the country’s major sources of foreign exchange ranking fourth in exports in fiscal year 2005-2006, with sales of US $205million.

“Burma’s rubies and jade are prized for their beauty, but the ugly truth is that the trade in these stones supports human rights abuses,” Arvind Ganesan, the director of the business and human rights program at HRW, said in a statement. “The sale of these gems gives Burma’s military rulers quick cash to stay in power.”

So that ruby necklace you were thinking of buying me? Think again.

Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , , . Comments Off on Burma Potemkin

Brown Commits To War Poodlism

Gordon Brown declared last night that Britain “will lead” the international campaign to stop Iran’s nuclear programme, calling for new sanctions on oil and gas investments in the Islamic republic if it fails to comply with UN resolutions. In his first set-piece foreign policy speech, the prime minister described his approach as “hard-headed internationalism” and said that if Iran continued to ignore UN security council demands to suspend uranium enrichment, Britain would call for tighter sanctions.

It’s déjà vu all over again, maybe it’s just the confluence of war pimping filth but I feel like something has shifted a gear and we are in 2002 again with naught but the letter Q changed to N. Is there an emoticon for despondent or ennui? Live journal my arse.

The Oil Man’s Burden

The U.S. Navy is building a military installation atop this petroleum-export platform as the U.S. establishes a more lasting military mission in the oil-rich north Persian Gulf. While presidential candidates debate whether to start bringing ground troops home from Iraq, the new construction suggests that one footprint of U.S. military power in Iraq isn’t shrinking anytime soon: American officials are girding for an open-ended commitment to protect the country’s oil industry.

As this is a Wall Street Journal piece just savour the imperial entitlement here-

Now, amid rising prices — oil futures finished Friday at $96.32 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 86 cents — and new vulnerabilities in the world’s stretched oil-supply chain — from militants in Nigeria to occasional Iranian threats to disrupt Persian Gulf shipping — the Navy finds itself with an additional, much more specific role: playing security guard to Iraq’s offshore oil infrastructure.

Such is the white man’s -imperial- burden, alas! Protecting Iraq’s oil platform (how kind, if only those lazy Iraks would stand up and run their own country under that fine constitution kindly written for them) against Iranian threats (how brave, and the corporate press says they are so very threatening, why can’t they just welcome an invading army that’s traveled 3,000 miles, already killed a million people next door and is backing cross border terror attacks and special forces operations?) not to mention those pesky Nigerians (bloody militants not content with poverty while nice shiny corporations get rich, whining reds). Good job the Pope is visiting the pre-election homeland, he could canonise all of Washington and Wall Street as well as attending to his actual purpose of pimping conservative values (while of course acting all ‘what me? political? never….’). Such saintly perseverance to help the world.