Anne Frank Gets On YouTube

The Anne Frank House Wednesday released the only existing film images of Frank, showing the young Jewish girl, whose famous diary detailed her family’s two torturous years spent in hiding from the Nazis, in a more carefree time as she watches a bride and groom from her apartment balcony in Amsterdam. In the grainy black and white YouTube video, Frank is shown leaning over the balcony to watch an eager young newlywed couple as they walk past the sidewalk adjacent to the Amsterdam apartment Frank lived in before she and her family moved into the annex behind father Otto’s office to escape Hitler’s regime. The July 22, 1941 video is the first-ever released film image of Frank. It was given to the Anne Frank House from the married couple, who lived on the same floor as the Franks.

I think it’s very effective, ties her into the here and now which will hopefully help keep the message alive, the lesson of the Holocaust is that this must never happen again to anyone. The need to remain vigilant is as pressing as ever, contemporary Nazis & sympathisers are going to be on Question Time, the BBC apparently finding their ideas compelling and speaking at the Tory party conference.

B-52’s Can’t Commit Genocide, Only The Khmer Rouge Can Do That

Yet again US bombing of Cambodia escapes scrutiny, but China’s role might be seen-

Analysis by Marwaan Macan-Markar PHNOM PENH, Mar 30 (IPS) Excerpt- Already, Noam Chomsky, linguist and trenchant critic of Washington’s foreign policy has fired a salvo ahead the opening session of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), as the tribunal is formally known.

On Monday, Kaing Khek Eav, or ‘Duch,’ took the stand at the ECCC to mark the beginning of the tribunal, which comes 30 years after the extremist Maoist group was driven out of power by Vietnamese troops.

Duch was the chief jailor of Tuol Sleng, a former high school in the Cambodian capital, which became the largest detention and torture centre of the Khmer Rouge.

Between 12,380 to 14,000 men, women and children were tortured and then killed under Duch’s watch. Many victims were accused of having links with the U.S. spy agency, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Only 11 people survived.

In all, the Khmer Rouge was responsible for the deaths of 1.7 million people, nearly a quarter of the country’s population at that time, as they sought, between April 1975 and June 1979, to create an agrarian utopia.

But, as Chomsky asserts in the ‘Phnom Penh Post’, an English-language daily, the Khmer Rouge’s brutality against fellow Cambodia citizens did not emerge out of a political vacuum.

Chomsky points a finger at leading figures of the U.S. political establishment like Henry Kissinger, a member of the late president Richard Nixon’s administration, who should also be held accountable for creating the conditions that paved the way for the rise the Khmer Rouge.

‘’It (the trial) shouldn’t be limited to the Cambodians,’’ says Chomsky in an interview that appeared on the weekend. ‘’An international trial that doesn’t take into account Henry Kissinger or other authors of the American bombings and the support of the KR (Khmer Rouge) after they were kicked out of the country, that’s just a farce.’’

‘’The records say that the US wanted to ‘use anything that flies against anything that moves’ (during the bombing of Cambodia), which led to five times the bombing that was reported before, greater that all bombings in all theatres of World War Two, which helped create the Khmer Rouge,’’ he asserted.

Washington began flying sorties over Cambodia in the mid-1960s to crush parts of the country being used by North Vietnamese troops. These bombing raids using B-52 planes were kept a secret from the U.S. public for years.

During the Nixon years, from 1969 to 1973, an estimated 500,000 bombs were dropped, resulting in the deaths of close to 600,000 Cambodian men, women and children.

But the relatives of these victims will not have their day in tribunals such as the ECCC.

It stems from the limit of ‘’territorial jurisdiction’’ and ‘’temporal jurisdiction’’ written into the language of the laws to establish the special tribunal.

Washington, in fact, had a role in a placing such limits on how far across geography and time the war crimes tribunal could reach when a law to deal with the genocide in Cambodia was being shaped in the early 1990s.

‘’It is the policy of the United States to support efforts to bring to justice members of the Khmer Rouge for their crimes against humanity committed in Cambodia between April 17, 1975 and January 7, 1979,’’ Washington declared at the time as it threw its weight behind the effort to investigate a grisly period of Cambodia’s past.

China, however, may have more to worry, given its direct role in assisting the Khmer Rouge during the period the ECCC is examining. Beijing reportedly pumped in a billion U.S. dollars to help the Khmer Rouge, in addition to providing other material and diplomatic support.

The Asian giant wanted to draw Cambodia into its orbit to counter the growing influence of its communist adversary, the Soviet Union, and its Vietnamese ally.

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Remembering Genocide

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day, in Remembrance of…well here it is people, numerous genocides. Get it, no one offs, not accidents, it’s something we do.

They just keep happening! Still it must be like the weather, who knows why!

That, I think, is the sentimentalist denial of the truths that lay the groundwork for genocide, then the othering begins and it’s a hop, skip and a jump to over a 1 million dead Iraqis… for example. Truth is people, it seeps into being every second of every day, so must our resistance to it be ongoing and constant.

The way our Border agency operates, that’s laying the groundwork.

The way ‘terrorist’ is used to label people, that’s laying the groundwork.

The denial of language when torture becomes interrogation and war crimes are not prosecuted, that is laying the groundwork.

The denial that within all of us to some degree or another lies the potential for absolute evil, that is laying the groundwork.

The reduction of human existence to profit & loss, that is laying the groundwork. That is an ongoing genocide never mentioned, the millions killed because to enable them to live would not have made financial sense, clean water, food, shelter, medicine, a healthy environment. Fuck it, I want a fifth house.

Not thinking for yourself, critically questioning authority and challenging prejudice on a daily basis, that is laying the groundwork.

As for WWII, hatred exterminated Jews, Roma & Sinti, Black and Mixed Race Europeans, GLBT, Mentally & Physically Disabled people, Communists, Socialists, Social Democrats, Trade Union leaders, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Dissenters & Activists, Poles & Slavic Prisoners of War-

Donald Niewyk suggests that the broadest definition, including Soviet civilian deaths, would produce a death toll of 17 million. [1] Estimates of the death toll of non-Jewish victims vary by millions, partly because the boundary between death by persecution and death by starvation and other means in a context of total war is unclear. Overall, about 5.7 million (78 percent) of the 7.3 million Jews in occupied Europe perished (Gilbert, Martin. Atlas of the Holocaust 1988, pp. 242-244). Compared to five to 11 million (1.4 percent to 3.0 percent) of the 360 million non-Jews in German-dominated Europe. Small, Melvin and J. David Singer. Resort to Arms: International and civil Wars 1816-1980 and Berenbaum, Michael. A Mosaic of Victims: Non-Jews Persecuted and Murdered by the Nazis. New York: New York University Press, 1990

Mass Graves In Canada

Via Mahatma X Files & the Indigenist Intelligence Review

Hidden from History– At a public ceremony and press conference held today outside the colonial “Indian Affairs” building in downtown Vancouver, the Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared (FRD) released a list of twenty eight mass graves across Canada holding the remains of untold numbers of aboriginal children who died in Indian Residential Schools.

The list was distributed today to the world media and to United Nations agencies, as the first act of the newly-formed International Human Rights Tribunal into Genocide in Canada (IHRTGC), a non-governmental body established by indigenous elders.

In a statement read by FRD spokesperson Eagle Strong Voice, it was declared that the IHRTGC would commence its investigations on April 15, 2008, the fourth Annual Aboriginal Holocaust Memorial Day. This inquiry will involve international human rights observers from Guatemala and Cyprus , and will convene aboriginal courts of justice where those persons and institutions responsible for the death and suffering of residential school children will be tried and sentenced.

Eagle Strong Voice and IHRTGC elders will present the Mass Graves List at the United Nations on April 19, and will ask United Nations agencies to protect and monitor the mass graves as part of a genuine inquiry and judicial prosecution of those responsible for this Canadian Genocide.

Statement excerpts– We are gathered today to publicly disclose the location of twenty eight mass graves of children who died in Indian Residential Schools across Canada , and to announce the formation of an independent, non-governmental inquiry into the death and disappearance of children in these schools.

We estimate that there are hundreds, and possibly thousands, of children buried in these grave sites alone.

The Catholic, Anglican and United Church , and the government of Canada, operated the schools and hospitals where these mass graves are located. We therefore hold these institutions and their officers legally responsible and liable for the deaths of these children.

We have no confidence that the very institutions of church and state that are responsible for these deaths can conduct any kind of impartial or real inquiry into them. Accordingly, as of April 15, 2008, we are establishing an independent, non-governmental inquiry into the death and disappearance of Indian residential school children across Canada .

Today, we are releasing to this Tribunal and to the people of the world the enclosed information on the location of mass graves connected to Indian residential schools and hospitals in order to prevent the destruction of this crucial evidence by the Canadian government, the RCMP and the Anglican, Catholic and United Church of Canada.

List of sites at link.

PS. Dodging the Potato (Bullet)- This did make me think that if my ancestors had left Ireland (some potato/lack of related incident apparently) and gone to North America/Canada they would have been part of the invading mass that did these things. In fact while they wouldn’t have been the bosses, maybe lower middle class at best, they would of been among the footsoldiers, the workers who were set against indigenous people. Instead they took the shortest boat trip to Britain where they were filthy immigrants for a generation or two but of course being white assimilation to the English was not impossible (although they remained catholic dammit). So they got to be pretty low on the social order initially but if they had gone across the Atlantic they would still have been a rung higher than the actual owners of the land simply by default racist invader Genocide logic. For the few who may have realised the crimes and sided with the indigenous owners of North America, well it’s unlikely they are the people who have big homes going back generations shall we say. And that ‘opportunity’ the North American continent offered will have played a role in European’s decisions, just as corporations profiting off low paid workers around the world see an ‘opportunity’. People doing this, seeing a chance to profit from exploitation or outright theft from others are still celebrated for their success. So while the initial stages where genocidal programs are utilised may be over in some territories (not though for example Iraq) the underlying values are unchanging. The relatively wealthy corporate apparatchik jetting around the globe is the same as the settler/invader telling themselves how their hard work gave them this great house and life (shall we say lifestyle), except that accumulation of capital to themselves is made out of other peoples suffering. That their ‘success’ remains lionised explains how these past crimes and current ones occur. The praise of riches is the praise of exploitation, and worse.

Suharto Posthumously Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize

Well not quite and hey after Kissinger…anyways, I am genuinely disturbed by this, in both the UK & US corporate mainstream media Suharto and our roles in his murderous reign have been whitewashed. A complete and thorough use of the memory hole. What disrespect for his victims, the raped, beaten, killed and tortured, they have been disappeared yet again, exactly how is this any different at all from morons denying the Holocaust? I am fucking disgusted.

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The Future Will Be Paved With Genocides

Because even in the midst of one we deny it and even 90 years is not enough for the guilty to be made contrite, even 1 and a half million murdered can’t make a politician tell the fucking truth

Bush 2000-  “The Armenians were subjected to a genocidal campaign that defies comprehension and commands all decent people to remember and acknowledge the facts and lessons of an awful crime… If elected President, I would ensure that our nation properly recognizes the tragic suffering of the Armenian people.”

Bush 2007- “I urge members to oppose the Armenian Genocide resolution now being considered by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. We all deeply regret the tragic suffering of the Armenian people that began in 1915. But this resolution is not the right response to these historic mass killings and its passage would do great harm to our relations with a key ally in NATO and in the global war on terror.”

The US political establishment has previously been bribed by Turkey to deny the Armenian genocide and zionists wish to deny it as…erm they have a monopoly? And as for the Congo? Not as strategically important as war on terror relevant Sudan. Problem is, it’s a human failing hard wired in-

Humans cannot be trusted to deal decisively against genocide, new research showed, indicating that mounting death tolls are usually mirrored by rising indifference.

Paul Slovic, a psychologist at the University of Oregon, said his research found that mankind is less likely to intervene in cases of mass slaughter than in cases where only one victim was involved.

Slovic, who specializes in human judgment and decision making, presented his findings in an address at the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences’ annual conference in San Francisco.

In the research carried out in Sweden, participants were shown a photo of a starving African girl and were given details of her individual story and the conditions of the nation in which she lives. Another photo contained the same information but for a starving boy. A third photo showed both children.

The feelings of sympathy for each individual child were almost equal but dropped when they were considered together.

Donations followed the same pattern, Slovic revealed, being lower for two needy children than for either individually.

“The studies just described suggest a disturbing psychological tendency,” Slovic said. “Our capacity to feel is limited.”

Accordingly, people were less likely to react when genocidal atrocities erupted. If humans saw a collapse of feeling at just two individuals, “it is no wonder that at 200,000 deaths the feeling is gone,” Slovic said.

Civilisation would require we mitigate against this flaw, rather than encourage it.
(h/t fitness for the occasion)

War Pimps, Like Paedophiles, Love To Fuck Up Children

And so it was I spent some time earlier today playing with my two youngest nieces, for a while we drew some pictures on a device not unlike this-

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Then upon returning to my secure-undisclosed-secret-under-volcano-hideaway my HAL 9000 supercomputer (which while state of art in 2001 is a tad ‘struggly’ these days, new 24″ imac anyone??) facilitated my perusing of various web ‘sites’ (as I believe they are called) from which I gleaned various information. Two separate blogs provided a collision of sorts with my earlier activities. Along with a report from the march in London, Lenin had a post about the pimping of an attack on Iran, it linked to a story that read-

Gordon Brown has agreed to support US air strikes against Iran if the Islamic republic orchestrates large-scale attacks by militants against British or American forces in Iraq, according to senior Pentagon officials. Washington sources say the Prime Minister has been informed of US plans to launch limited air and special forces raids against Revolutionary Guard bases. After talks with President George W Bush in July, Mr Brown left US officials with the belief that Britain was “on board” for a military response — but only if Iran was proved to be behind a big militant attack or another stunt similar to the kidnapping in March of British sailors.

Now this is in a Murdoch rag and uses Vincent Cannistraro a ‘former’ CIA spook who is not the most trustworthy/agenda-less person in the world, so it is another entry (to some extent) into the -‘encourage’ the PM into being obedient by publicising he has agreed thus making any dissent even harder- they look to seal the deal in the public arena with stories like this, to normalise the concept of the attack simply by repetition of talk about it in the media. It is part of the new drive for war that concentrates on attacking Iran is protecting our ‘brave boys & girls’ in Iraq from those dastardly Johnie foreigner types coming over the border and helping Iraqis…resist the invaders. Yeah, the moral high ground crap kind of runs out when even your dreamt up scenario has to paint people resisting a genocidal invading force as the bad guys. Ahem, so the casus belli/excuse is set, Iran is attacking our forces, thus an attack is virtually self defence!…Of an invading force that travelled thousands of miles and has killed over a million people and is already facilitating terrorist attacks within Iran, y’know, that kind of ‘self defence’. You know the sort, where you select a house because it looks nice and would be full of shiny things then break in rape, torture and kill the occupants haul off the gear and when a neighbour intervenes you knife them, that kind of ‘self defence’.

The other blog post was by Naj who posted some pictures made by Iranian children under the banner ‘Imagine Peace’, this is my pick-
iran008.jpg

And the others also carry quite a punch. So while in peril of falling into ‘won’t someone think of the children’ mawkishness, one has to ask if maybe our forces weren’t occupying Iraq then just maybe (d’you think?) we wouldn’t be looking to slaughter more people based on their bloody minded pursuit of being uppity and not gratefully accepting our introduction of ‘free & democratic’ bullets into their homes, bodies and children.

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Spot The Difference- Congo Edition

Ndumba said techniques employed include: stripping inmates and beating them on the buttocks with an electric cable; bludgeoning them with a rubber baton until the skin becomes raw on the back and the soles of the feet; leaving prisoners in handcuffs so tight they cut into the skin, with hands tied either in front of them or behind their backs for up to three days; and forcing prisoners to drink large quantities of water before beating them on the stomach until they vomit blood.

Or-

The UK government has argued DRC is a safe place to return failed asylum seekers and other migrants despite a warning on the Foreign Office website of a range of human rights abuses which include ‘frequent reports of summary executions, widespread rape and sexual violence, banditry and forced labour’.

The thing is Ndumba would be the one to know, he used to a secret policeman who perpetrated the torture!

Tomorrow will see the resumption of a court case, heard in camera at the immigration appeal tribunal, to determine whether it is safe to remove failed asylum seekers to DRC or whether all removals should be suspended because of the dangers to them.

The decision to hear the case in private was taken because of the perceived danger to witnesses who will be giving evidence about their experiences of torture. Three of the witnesses have received anonymous death threats since agreeing to give evidence. The Home Office, however, remains upbeat about the prospects for returnees to DRC although they acknowledge some individuals can demonstrate the need for greater protection.

All to please racist voters shitting themselves over immigration, bet they all have mobile phones, guess where the essential cobalt for batteries in those came from? A demand that has enriched the oppressive wealthy few and helped fuel a huge war costing 3 million lives. Ain’t ignorant consumerism grand?

The Banality (& Stupidity) Of Evil

Upon his arrival in Sydney Wednesday, Deputy Australian Prime Minister Mark Vaile “inquired politely” about his stopover in the war-torn country.

“We’re kicking ass,” Bush said.

Casualty counter today stands at 1,028,907.

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Milestones Of Tombstones, Iraq Invasion Has Killed 1 Million

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I have been generally using the 1 million figure for a while, but the figure based on the method detailed below should become widely accepted and if people want to gasp in horror over other genocides it is time to stop ignoring the one we are intimately responsible for. If they want to dispute it, it is time we put the burden of proof on them, prove me wrong or shut up. As I have the counter in my sidebar I have been watching it crawl up to the 1 million mark which it reached tonight, a while back I worked out how long it would take if you alloted a 1 second silent commemoration for each death. The time needed now is 11 days and 14 hours, it is a little over 1 hour for coalition casualties.

Just Foreign Policy accepts the Lancet estimate of 601,000 violent Iraqi deaths attributable to the U.S. invasion and occupation as of July 2006.
To update this number, we need to obtain a rate of how quickly deaths are mounting in Iraq. For this purpose, the Iraq Body Count (IBC) provides the most reliable, frequently updated database of deaths in Iraq. (The IBC also usefully provides a database of all violent Iraqi deaths demonstrable through press reports and thus relatively undeniable.) The IBC provides a maximum and minimum. We opted to use the midpoint between the two for our calculation.
We multiple the Lancet number as of July 2006 by the ratio of current IBC deaths divided by IBC deaths as of July 1, 2006 (43,394).
The formula used is:
Just Foreign Policy estimate = (Lancet estimate as of July 2006)x( (Current IBC Deaths) / (IBC Deaths as of July 1, 2006) )

Update: And remember Nagasaki-

The city observed a moment of silence at 11:02 a.m., when the B-29 bomber Bock’s Car dropped its atomic payload in 1945, killing about 74,000 people. The attack on Nagasaki came three days after the Enola Gay dropped a bomb on Hiroshima in the first atomic attack in history. That bombing killed at least 140,000.

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Empire- Colombia, Venezuela, Ethiopia, Rwanda & Tory Wankers- Edition

The Colombian army installed its third military base with 1,000 troops on the border with Venezuela, the Colombian government said on Monday. Governor of northeastern department Norte de Santander Luis Morelli said the base, the third to be established this year, will begin operations in October in the Catatumbo border region.

One brigade is based in Cucuta city and is already operating in Norte de Santander and a mobile base is patrolling across Ocana province. Colombia and Venezuela share 2,219 km of border that is often illegally crossed by armed groups who extort, kidnap and smuggle drugs and gasoline.

Somehow this isn’t getting the attention the RCTV issue got. Meanwhile the Empire’s Ethiopian proxies are accused of stealing aid and using starvation as a military tactic-

the Ethiopian government is putting hundreds of thousands of people at risk of starvation by blockading emergency food aid and choking off trade to eastern parts of the country. The area affected is home to the Ogaden National Liberation Front – a rebel group that has opposed the current government. One humanitarian official accused Ethiopia of trying to starve out the population. He said “If something isn’t done on the diplomatic front soon, we’re going to have a government-caused famine on our hands.” The official refused to be quoted by name because he feared reprisals against aid workers. The New York Times also reports the U.S.-backed Ethiopian military and its proxy militias have been siphoning off millions of dollars in international food aid and using a UN polio eradication program to funnel money to pro-government fighters. 

Will the conservatives condemn this from their genocide PR HQ in Rwanda? Will noted humanitarian and man of compassion Peter Lilley-

Lilley’s remarks at that party conference took the form of a pastiche of a Gilbert and Sullivan song. He said he “had a little list” of people he wanted to “root out” including “young ladies who get pregnant just to jump the housing list”.

demand transparency in that process? Oh and just one question in regard to that Mr. Cameron, which party was in power when the Rwandan genocide happened? Hint- You’re now it’s leader.

John Major’s government was most definitely warned, because during the build-up to genocide, the violence, hate propaganda and militia increased in scope and power. In the weeks before the genocide, the Belgian ambassador to the UN tried desperately to persuade the permanent members of the security council that it was five minutes to midnight in Rwanda and that their mission urgently needed reinforcing and a stronger mandate. But the warnings were to no avail. The US and the UK were against a stronger mandate. 

A Stormtrooper’s Testimony

A Marine corporal testifying in a court-martial said Marines in his unit began routinely beating Iraqis after officers ordered them to “crank up the violence level.”

Cpl. Saul H. Lopezromo testified Saturday at the murder trial of Cpl. Trent D. Thomas.

“We were told to crank up the violence level,” said Lopezromo, testifying for the defense.

When a juror asked for further explanation, Lopezromo said: “We beat people, sir.”

Within weeks of allegedly being scolded, seven Marines and a Navy corpsman went out late one night to find and kill a suspected insurgent in the village of Hamandiya near the Abu Ghraib prison. The Marines and corpsman were from 2nd Platoon, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment.

Lopezromo said the suspected insurgent was known to his neighbors as the “prince of jihad,” and had been arrested several times and later released by the Iraqi legal system.

Unable to find him, the Marines and corpsman dragged another man from his house, fatally shot him, and then planted an AK-47 assault rifle near the body to make it appear he had been killed in a shootout, according to court testimony.

Four Marines and the corpsman, initially charged with murder in the April 2006 killing, have pleaded guilty to reduced charges and been given jail sentences ranging from 10 months to eight years. Thomas, 25, from St. Louis, pleaded guilty but withdrew his plea and is the first defendant to go to court-martial.

Lopezromo, who was not part of the squad on its late-night mission, said he saw nothing wrong with what Thomas did.

“I don’t see it as an execution, sir,” he told the judge. “I see it as killing the enemy.”

He said Marines consider all Iraqi men part of the insurgency.

Lopezromo and two other Marines were charged in August with assaulting an Iraqi two weeks before the killing that led to charges against Thomas and the others. Charges against all three were later dropped.

Thomas’ attorneys have said he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury from his combat duty in Fallouja in 2004. They have argued that Thomas believed he was following a lawful order to get tougher with suspected insurgents.

Prosecution witnesses testified that Thomas shot the 52-year-old man at point-blank range after he had already been shot by other Marines and was lying on the ground.

Lopezromo said a procedure called “dead-checking” was routine. If Marines entered a house where a man was wounded, instead of checking to see whether he needed medical aid, they shot him to make sure he was dead, he testified.

“If somebody is worth shooting once, they’re worth shooting twice,” he said.

h/t Bob Kincaid, Headon Radio Network.

The Bravery Of Being Out Of Range: Reaper Drones For Iraq Air War

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The airplane is the size of a jet fighter, powered by a turboprop engine, able to fly at 300 mph and reach 50,000 feet. It’s outfitted with infrared, laser and radar targeting, and with a ton and a half of guided bombs and missiles.

The Reaper is loaded, but there’s no one on board. Its pilot, as it bombs targets in Iraq, will sit at a video console 7,000 miles away in Nevada.The arrival of these outsized U.S. “hunter-killer” drones, in aviation history’s first robot attack squadron, will be a watershed moment…

You see the thing is- machines save lives, not the Iraqis, they kill them, it means imperial soldiers don’t have to be at risk-

The Reaper’s first combat deployment is expected in Afghanistan, and senior Air Force officers estimate it will land in Iraq sometime between this fall and next spring. They look forward to it. “With more Reapers, I could send manned airplanes home,” North said.

But someone ain’t planning on leaving-

the Air Force is building a 400,000-square-foot expansion of the concrete ramp area now used for Predator drones here at Balad, the biggest U.S. air base in Iraq, 50 miles north of Baghdad. That new staging area could be turned over to Reapers.

It’s another sign that the Air Force is planning for an extended stay in Iraq, supporting Iraqi government forces in any continuing conflict, even if U.S. ground troops are drawn down in the coming years.

The estimated two dozen or more unmanned MQ-1 Predators now doing surveillance over Iraq, as the 46th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, have become mainstays of the U.S. war effort, offering round-the-clock airborne “eyes” watching over road convoys, tracking nighttime insurgent movements via infrared sensors, and occasionally unleashing one of their two Hellfire missiles on a target.

The MQ-9 Reaper, when compared with the 1995-vintage Predator, represents a major evolution of the unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV. At five tons gross weight, the Reaper is four times heavier than the Predator. Its size — 36 feet long, with a 66-foot wingspan — is comparable to the profile of the Air Force’s workhorse A-10 attack plane. It can fly twice as fast and twice as high as the Predator. Most significantly, it carries many more weapons.

While the Predator is armed with two Hellfire missiles, the Reaper can carry 14 of the air-to-ground weapons — or four Hellfires and two 500-pound bombs. “It’s not a recon squadron,” Col. Joe Guasella, operations chief for the Central Command’s air component, said of the Reapers. “It’s an attack squadron, with a lot more kinetic ability.”

“Kinetic” — Pentagon argot for destructive power — is what the Air Force had in mind when it christened its newest robot plane with a name associated with death.

Also reminiscent of Naomi Klein’s piece where she shows how various occupied lands become laboratories to test out the newest ‘kinetic’ technology. All those dystopian Sci-Fi nightmares? Bang on the money, humanity is so predictable in its capacity for cruelty…and shiny new gadgets.

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Jobs For Evil People

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Intelligence Technician (Interrogator) SALARY RANGE: 129,702.00 – 160,804.00 USD per year. U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) Various Locations Within Afghanistan, Djibouti, Iraq, Kuwait, and Qatar.

Ain’t capitalism grand?

Japan’s Govt. Extends Air Force Deployment In Iraq

Japan’s cabinet on Tuesday approved a plan to extend to July 31, 2008 an air force support mission for Iraq, the top government spokesman said. Japan withdrew its 600 ground troops from Iraq last year after a non-combat mission lasting more than two years, but has kept about 200 air force personnel in Kuwait to airlift supplies to the U.S. military in Iraq.

A law passed earlier this year allows that mission to be extended for two years. “As the government, we are showing our stance to steadily support efforts to rebuild Iraq,” Chief Cabinet Minister Yasuhisa Shiozaki told a news conference, adding Japan would continue to cooperate with efforts by the United Nations and involved countries to support Iraq’s reconstruction.

The troop dispatch, which was welcomed by the United States, Tokyo’s closest security ally, stretched the limits of Japan’s pacifist constitution and was opposed by many voters. But approval rates rose after the soldiers came home without having fired a shot or suffered any casualties.

Such is the fruit of a conservative govt. who are also busy keeping history false and patriotic:

Four local assemblies in Okinawa filed protests Thursday against descriptions in new Japanese high school textbooks of World War II mass suicides. Hundreds of civilians took their own lives as U.S. forces took control of Okinawa. The protests accuse the Japanese government of de-emphasizing the part played by the Japanese military in encouraging the suicides, Kyodo News Service reported.

It is an undeniable fact that ‘mass suicides’ could not have occurred were it not for an order, coercion, manipulation or other acts by the Japanese military, the Tokashiki assembly said.

The protest was addressed to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister Bummei Ibuki. More than 300 civilians are believed to have died in Tokashiki — either killing themselves or being killed by relatives using grenades and even farm implements.

Even to the point of recently showing their craven need for power and Empire approval by stating Nagasaki was a justified use of an atomic bomb, as well as the continuing denial of wartime sex slavery and the death camp unit 731. Such are conservatives, always covering up for their crimes while professing to own the moral high ground, no wonder Shinzo Abe gets on so well with Bush.