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Comeback – Awakening Tempest

It’s been a while.  I’ve not been present here for a very long time – and by my own standards – this time I have well and truly taken the biscuit.

When urgent matter press in life, a type of filter begins to operate where it separates the urgent matters from the important ones, and, important matters from the not-so-important ones.  This leaves the not-so-important matters on a shelf collecting dust.  Unfortunately Awakening Tempest was that not-so-important matter and hence remained on a shelf collecting dust.

A couple of nights ago for no reason what so ever, this very blog was on my mind.  It was that night when I decided enough is enough and Awakening Tempest needed to be revived and revolutionised, and so I set about rediscovering this blog, re-reading some of my earlier posts and pondering how I might restart and re-energies this platform.

..and so, with careful thinking I’ve initiated the first few important steps.

Step One – Take this blog off the shelf and clean off the dust.

Step Two – Change the theme to something a little different – a little different from the last, and

Step Three – Continue to plan improvements and start to draft some posts.

Step Four – …still thinking…

So, if you stumble across here, somehow (or maybe you have subscribed) then please remain engaged with me for I shall be updating this blog with regular content and well thought-out topics.

Thank You

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chinese Media Reports Pakistani Forces Killed Bin Laden, Then Retracts

Once again, like anything linked to Osama Bin Laden – the news coming out now seems to paint a different picture from what was said when the news initially was broadcasted.  It appears (according to Chinese news reports) that Pakistan after all where involved and in fact it was the Pakistani operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.

ISLAMABAD, May 2 (Xinhua) — Pakistani Urdu TV channel Geo News quoted Pakistani intelligence officials as saying that the world’s most wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden was killed in a search operation launched by the Pakistani forces after a Pakistani army helicopter was shot down in the wee hours of Monday in Abbotabad, a mountainous town located some 60 kilometers north of Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad.

At about 1:20 a.m. local time a Pakistani helicopter was shot down by unknown people in the Sikandarabad area of Abbotabad. The Pakistani forces launched a search operation in the nearby area and encountered with a group of unknown armed people. A fire exchange followed between the two sides.

When the fire exchange ended, the Pakistani forces arrested some Arab women and kids as well some other armed people who later confessed to the Pakistani forces they were with Osama Bin laden when the fire was exchanged and Bin Laden was killed in the firing.

Local media reported that after the dead body of Bin Laden was recovered, two U.S. helicopter flew to the site and carried away the dead body of Bin Laden.

Initial reports said that at least one was killed and two others were injured in the crash. At least two houses were engulfed by the huge fire caused by the crashed chopper.

Rescue team rushed to the site shortly after the crash was reported and the armed forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation there.

Sources of Xinhua said they tried to enter the area after the incident took place, but no media people were allowed inside.

“No one knows in that helicopter crash Bin Laden was killed,” said the sources.

[source]

Celebrating 2000th Visitor

It wasn’t long ago that I wrote a post celebrating my 1000th visitor, and here I am again writing yet another post in celebration of my 2000th visitor.  Some point over this weekend my 2000th visitor made it to my blog.  Rest assure – I won’t be writing one of these every time the count goes up by a 1000, but this time I didn’t expect to reach this milestone so quick – just surprised me.

So for that 2000th person and all the people who have added to the count and visited this blog, a Big Thank You.  I hope you continue to visit, engage and share your views with me and other readers.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Humanitarian Intervention

Masquerading as “humanitarian intervention,” Washington launched full-force barbarism on six million Libyans, all endangered by America’s latest intervention. More on how below.

Beginning March 19, it was visible. However, months of planning preceded it, including US and UK special forces and intelligence operatives on the ground enlisting, inciting, funding, arming and supporting violent insurrection to oust Gaddafi and replace him with a Washington-controlled puppet like in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

The scrip is familiar, playing out now in Libya – full-scale “imperial barbarism,” a term James Petras used in a September 2010 article titled, “Imperialism and Imperial Barbarism,” saying:

“The organizing principle of imperial barbarism is the idea of total war,” including:

— use of mass destruction weapons, unleashed on Libya as explained below;

— targeting the entire country and society; and

— dismantling “the entire civil and military apparatus of the state,” replacing it with “colonial officials, paid mercenaries and unscrupulous and corrupt satraps” – puppets, figures As’ad AbuKhalil calls “useful idiots.”

Moreover, as Petras explains:

“The entire modern professional class is targeted (and) replaced by retrograde religious-ethnic clans and gangs, susceptible to bribes and booty-shares. All existing modern civil society organizations are pulverized and replaced by crony-plunderers linked to the colonial regime. The entire economy is” disrupted by “shock and awe” bombings and ground attacks, affecting essential civilian infrastructure on the pretext of destroying military and “dual use” targets.

As a result, mass casualties follow, many post-conflict from disease, homelessness, starvation, depravation, and environmental contamination. All wars are ugly, especially modern ones Washington wages, unleashing full force human and overall destruction, mostly affecting noncombatant men, women and children – imperialism’s hidden victims.

Already, unknown hundreds of Libyans have been killed, wounded, or disabled, besides countless numbers affected overall. Expect much worse ahead, including violent, US-backed proxy insurgence, perhaps later joined by Pentagon troops if current air and ground attacks don’t accomplish “Operation Odyssey Dawn’s” objectives.

UN Resolution 1973

Claiming authority under the UN Charter’s Article VII, it, in fact, violates Article 51, stating:

“Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defense shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.”

Effectively, UN Resolution 1973 authorized war, not peace. Moreover, it denied a sitting government, despotic or otherwise, the right of self-defense. A Western-backed insurgency initiated attacks, permitting a head of state to respond.

Further, the UN Charter explains under what conditions intervention, violence and coercion are justified. None exist in Libya.

In addition, Article 2(3) and Article 33(1) require peaceful settlement of international disputes, not “shock and awe” attacks. Article 2(4), in fact, prohibits force or its threatened use, including no-fly zones that are acts of war.

Further, Articles 2(3), 2(4), and 33 absolutely prohibit any unilateral or other external threat or use of force not specifically allowed under Article 51 or otherwise authorized by the Security Council – that may not violate its own Charter. In fact, Washington bullied enough members to do so, planning naked aggression in response.

Ostensibly to protect civilians, Resolution 1973’s paragraph 4 authorized Member States “to take all necessary measures….” As a result, a giant interventionist loophole was created they knew Washington would exploit.

Under paragraph 6, moreover, “establish(ing) a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians,” in fact, harms them by US “shock and awe” attacks.

Further, paragraph 7’s authorization for “flights whose sole purpose is humanitarian” denies them because Pentagon-controlled airspace will destroy any encountered Libyan aircraft, claiming it hostile, not delivering food, medical or other essential supplies or personnel.

In addition, supplying insurgents with weapons and munitions violates paragraph 13, “Call(ing) upon Member States, in particular States of the region, acting nationally or through regional organisations or arrangements, in order to ensure strict implementation of the arms embargo established by paragraphs 9 and 10 of resolution 1970 (2011), to inspect in their territory, including seaports and airports, and on the high seas, vessels and aircraft bound to or from” Libya.

In fact, besides covertly supplying its own weapons, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and perhaps other regional and/or NATO countries are arming insurgents, at the behest of Washington – violating Resolution 1973.

As a result, Libyans are at the mercy of US imperial aggression, disdaining all international laws, principles and standards. At war, Washington causes mass casualties and destruction. Now begun, expect much more ahead.

In addition, “coalition” participation is fig leaf cover for US aggression. AFRICOM’s General Carter Ham has full command authority, directing UK, French and other belligerent partners, besides America’s full air, sea and ground might.

Expect protracted conflict, perhaps “boots on the ground,” putting a lie to Obama’s promise for “humanitarian intervention” to end in “a matter of days, not weeks.” Already, insurgency has been ongoing for weeks, perhaps months covertly, the worst yet to come, but already conditions are bad. They always are when Washington arrives.

Weapons of Mass Destruction Used

Since the 1991 Gulf War, Washington used nuclear weapons covertly – in depleted uranium (DU) form. Contaminating exposure is deadly. All US missiles, bombs, and shells have solid DU projectiles or warheads in them. Even bullets because in all forms, DU-tipped munitions easily penetrate armor, irradiating air, ground and water when used. DU, in fact, painfully kills from later contracted illnesses and diseases, including cancer and many others.

When weaponized DU strikes, it penetrates deeply, aerosolizing into a fine spray which then contaminates wide areas. Moreover, its residue is permanent. Its microscopic/submicroscopic particles remain suspended in air or swept into it from contaminated soil.

Atmospheric winds then carry it far distances as a radioactive component of atmospheric dust, falling indiscriminately to earth and water. Virtually every known illness and disease may result from severe headaches, muscle pain and general fatigue, to major birth defects, infection, depression, cardiovascular disease, many types of cancer and brain tumors. As a result, permanent disability or death may follow.

Moreover, DU use is illegal under international law. Although no specific convention or treaty bans radioactive weapons, including DU, they’re, in fact, illegal de facto and de jure under the Hague Convention of 1907, prohibiting use of any “poison or poisoned weapons.”

In all forms, DU is radioactive and chemically toxic, thus fitting the definition of poisonous weapons Hague banned. America is a signatory. As a result, DU weapons use for any purpose violates international law. Moreover, all DU weapons meet the U.S. federal code WMD definition in 2 out of 3 categories:

The US CODE, TITLE 50, CHAPTER 40, SECTION 2302 defines a Weapon of Mass Destruction as follows:

“The term ‘weapon of mass destruction’ means any weapon or device that is intended, or has the capability, to cause death or serious bodily injury to a significant number of people through the release, dissemination, or impact of (A) toxic or poisonous chemicals or their precursors, (B) a disease organism, or (C) radiation or radioactivity.”

As a result, commanders up the chain of command, including civilian ones to the highest level, authorizing DU weapons use for any purpose are war criminals.

Moreover, under various UN Conventions and Covenants, weapons causing post-battle environmental or human harm are banned. Nonetheless, Washington uses them indiscriminately, including DU. As a result, millions of Iraqi, Serbian/Kosovar, and Afghan nationals, as well as belligerent US troops have been gravely harmed, yet Pentagon and administration authorities deny all responsibility.

Libyans will now be victimized by DU poisoning. Wherever it strikes and spreads, it’s unforgiving, disabling and deadly. If enough is used, a future cancer epidemic will follow, too late to help those harmed.

Helen Caldicott calls radiation a “Destroyer of Worlds,” doing it by killing people silently, painfully, illegally, and at times genocidally.

In 2005, before his death, no wonder Nobel laureate Harold Pinter condemned US aggression saying:

“(T)he United States no longer bothers about low intensity conflict. It no longer sees any point in being reticent or even devious……It quite simply doesn’t give a damn about the United Nations, international law or critical dissent, which it regards as impotent and irrelevant.”

Under Bush, Obama or anyone else, it does what it pleases – the law, human welfare, and environmental considerations be damned.

A Final Comment

On March 21, Reuters said missile and air attacks on Libya continue. The New York Times headlined, “Allies Target Qaddafi’s Ground Forces, but Resistance Continues (unconfirmed) Reports Say.” The Washington Post said, “Libyan rebels launch offensive; coalition pounds Gaddafi forces,” that may be observing a ceasefire. Al Jazeera reported “Rejoicing in Libya’s Benghazi,” continuing its biased war reporting, siding with anti-Gaddafi forces.

In contrast, independent web sites, analysts, and on-air programming offer detailed, truthful information, including the Progressive Radio News Hour this writer hosts on the Progressive Radio Network.com, featuring distinguished guests, dominant media sources spurn.

Middle East/Central Asian analyst Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is one of many reliable sources. On March 20, his Global Research.ca article headlined, “BREAKING NEWS: Libyan Sources Report Italian POWs Captured. Additional Coalition Jets Downed. Qatar has joined the War,” saying:

— unconfirmed “(i)nternal Libyan sources reported….the capture of an Italian vessel and military personnel, who were detained;”

— Gaddafi’s government “started supplying (Libyans) with food rations, medicine, and weapons to defend themselves;”

— unconfirmed “Libyan sources reported” downing two more “coalition” jets, “identified as Qatari military planes;” and

— unconfirmed Libyan sources claim five “coalition” jets downed, three attacking Tripoli, two others over Sirt.

March 22 marks day four of a protracted conflict. It’s certain to cause widespread deaths, injuries, disabilities and destruction. It’s assured when America arrives – on cruise missiles, bombs and shells, not white horses promoting peace and democratic values, what all US administrations disdain.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

[by Stephen Lendman]

TARIQ ALI: “Obama’s Afghan-Pak Syndrome”

Few days ago I wrote a post about ‘The denial of democracy to the Arab World’ and I was impressed with Tariq Ali’s explanation of what role USA and UK play in the current uprising in Libya and mainly in the Middle East.  If you haven’t seen it yet then click here to see the interview.

Tariq Ali impressed me with his straight forward talk which happens to be both accurate, knowledgeable and well informed, something which I find to be increasingly rare occurrence by commentators who address the public about global affairs.  Soon after my first post about Tariq Ali’s interview I received an email from a reader who pointed me to another talk by Tariq Ali on “Obama’s Afghan-Pak Syndrome” – after watching this talk I was once again over-impressed by Tariq Ali, so impressed that I decided to share this here with you.

The reason why I find this talk interesting and believe to be ‘a must’ watch is because, Afghanistan seems to be a strategic battle ground for all great empires.  It is here where we have seen great world dominant nations like Russia fall and where in history military conquests have collapsed – instead of learning from history we find our countries involved in a war in the same geographic location where no military has succeeded.

Tariq Ali is author of more than 20 books, including history, politics, and fiction. His most recent books are Protocols of the Elders of Sodom (2009) and The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power (2008). He is a regular contributor to The Guardian, New Left Review, and the London Review of Books.

British-Pakistani writer, journalist, and historian Tariq Ali spoke at Hampshire College on November 17 for the the Twelfth Annual Eqbal Ahmad Lecture. The annual Eqbal Ahmad Lecture honors the teaching, scholarship, and activism of the late Eqbal Ahmad, who was a longtime Hampshire College professor.

Jack Straw – Pakistani Men vs Easy Meat – I smell an election close by..

..and by doing a quick search on the Internet – there is a crucial by-election only days away.  I mean is this guy for real, playing the racial card now when an election is just around the corner?

I’m sure most of you have heard by now the comments by Jack Straw, if you haven’t then click here.

Jack Straw this really is your last straw, as his party wavering support from the Pakistani Community in reduces even more – his new tactic is to give them the boot and play the racial card in the hope of gaining White votes in this by-election.  This is a cheap publicity/political stunt and a stunt which will cost his dearly both with his party election results and his reputation (or what was left of it).

Instead of dealing with the breakdown of our society, detachment of children from their parents due to many factors we demonise an entire race group.  Our society has been collapsing for decades and factors such as binge drinking, drug abuse and increase in drug dealing in the street as added a layer of detachment from our family values – values which should hold families together, neighbours together and whole communities together.  Jack Straw has simplified this social problem into a racial one few days before a by-election.

Is he really saying that white people and people of other ethnicity do not traffic in White Women or take advantage of vulnerable white girls – who Jack refers to as ‘Easy Meat’?  That this problem exists just in Pakistani communities and we should all watch out for this or even better get their communities to deal with it?

This guy needs a reality check, and quickly too.  Politicians need to behave responsibly and with accountability.  If Jack Straw was so sure of his views then I’d like to see some statistics to back up this claims but I guess Jack Straw hasn’t gone that far, as doing so would take valuable time away from his party by-election campaign – so a cheap racial political motivated publicity stunt might just give him them result they need – he then can apologise later.

Pakistani Men vs White Girls

Jack Straw has made this to be a ‘them’ vs ‘us’ again.  A decent politician who has a good head on his shoulders would stand up for all vulnerable people (boy and girls, white or black, and people of different colour) against people who take advantage of them.  But Jack Straw is not standing up for vulnerable people against sex offenders.

Instead, Jack Straw is standing up for ‘White Girls’ against ‘Pakistani Men’ and if you’re not a white girl but are vulnerable then there is no hope for you.  As many critics have put it – he is turning this into a question of race when we have no evidence of race playing any part in this.  It’s similar in saying ALL Catholics are paedophiles, because child abuse is rampant within the priesthood.

A social problem not a racial problem

While I don’t deny that men of different ethnicity can carry out such crime at the same time I cannot see how Pakistani men can be singled out here.  The crime which is committed is terrible, horrific and cannot be justified – but some social elements have contributed to this.  In such cases these criminals are stronger people because their victims have poor support networks, poor relationships and little or no security and help from their parents or guardians, or good role models.

One obvious problem is the reason why it is possible for poor, insufficient social systems to continue and not improve.  Why no effort is made in educating families in improving ties with their children, try to reduce the gap between vulnerable people and their families.  The social systems have set the mindsets of many who say ‘Children who take drugs, or who are prostitutes, or who have behavioural problems’ are the reasons why we are having a social collapse and getting worse.

But if you step back for a moment and take a fresh look at it all again – you will realise that too often, people simply do not stop to realise that Children have no say in where they are born, or how they are raised – but by the time they are old enough and wise enough to choose ‘who or what they want to be’ their choices are limited or shaped by their life experiences.

These are causes of a poor social system and not root causes, and while people continue to have such mindsets vulnerable people will continue to be exploited by anyone not just Pakistani Men, and they will continue to be mistreated and badly let down by poor social systems which we do not have the will power to change.

The Pakistani parents in England are part of your society much like everyone else is – they  share the same concerns as their white counter parts and instead of driving them apart (like Jack Straw is trying to do for political gains) we should bring the two communities together and united under a common cause – to protect all children from drugs, alcohol abuse, crime and other evil.  The use of words by Jack Straw such as ‘easy meat’ is vile and offensive to white people – I’d hope he would show more respect in describing the problem.  Jack Straw contradicts himself by also stating that the sex offenders wings of most prisons are “overwhelmingly white” – Can you elaborate on that a little more Mr Straw?  Let’s not forget Jack Straw belongs to a party who gave us the Story of WMD in Iraq and the ability to assemble such technology in 0.45 minutes – some duff information which took us into a war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So in the interest of climate change I think Jack Straw is letting our too much hot air.