Archive | January 3, 2016

Cover-up of U.K.’s Role in Iraq Atrocities*

Cover-up of U.K.’s Role in Iraq Atrocities*

By Felicity Arbuthnot

“Nothing justifies killing of innocent people.” Tony Blair, CNN, 15th January 2015. (GR Editor: “In your face”, Tony Blair)

A little over three months short of the thirteenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq (20th March 2003) now widely accepted as unlawful even by the former U.N. Secretary General, Kofi Annan, it has emerged that the Unit in the British Ministry of Defence established to investigate “allegations of torture and unlawful killings” by members of the 46,000 U.K. armed forces originally deployed has been “overwhelmed” with cases.

The Independent reports that:

“British soldiers who have served in Iraq may face prosecution for crimes, including murder”, according to Mark Warwick, the former police detective heading the Unit, the Iraq Historic Allegations Team. (IHAT.)

In his first major interview, Mr. Warwick told The Independent he “believed there would be sufficient evidence to justify criminal charges.”

The “serious allegations” which “include homicide”, could lead to “significant evidence” being laid before “the Service Prosecuting Authority to prosecute and charge.”

Allegations of torture, rape and unlawful killing by British armed services personnel between 2003 and 2009 – after which they slunk out of Iraq under cover of darkness – has increased tenfold, since the Unit was established, in November 2010:

“In 2010 (there were) cases involving 152 victims.” There are now: “more than 1,500 victims”, according to recent update.

“Of these, 280 are victims of alleged unlawful killing by British forces in Iraq, but more than 200 of these cases have yet to be investigated, with just 25 under investigation.”


“Of 1,235 alleged cases of ill-treatment, including accusations of rape and torture, only 45 are under investigation.”

Cases are to be reviewed over the coming twelve to eighteen months with “significant cases” being studied with “the war crimes threshold” in mind. Five years after IHAT’s establishment there have been no prosecutions.

To the cynic IHAT seems to have all the hallmarks of a typical British sweeping under the straw operation with the fox in charge of the henhouse brooms.

Yet the 4,800 British soldiers who died were honoured for their bravery on the front page; somehow over a million Iraqi civilians seem to fade into the background

The organization was set up by the Ministry of Defence to investigate the armed services’, employees of the Ministry of Defence, alleged misconduct. Though it was established under Mark Warwick, a civilian detective, he was originally assisted by the Royal Military Police (RMP) until a ruling in the U.K. Court of Appeal in November 2011that their involvement “substantially compromised” proceeding since they had been involved in detentions in Iraq – which were what were being scrutinised.

Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey responded by replacing the RMP with the Royal Navy Police. Birmingham, U.K’s Public Interest Lawyers who represent many who claim to have been tortured, challenged the new den of advocate foxes, since the Naval Police had also taken part in interrogations, alleging: “that abuses were so systemic and widespread that only a public inquiry will satisfy the UK’s human rights obligations.”

The judgement handed down on 24th May 2013 was that: “IHAT has now been structured in such a way that it can independently carry out its investigative and prosecutorial functions.” (2) RIP independent British judiciary.

The Ministry of Defence has one last, well, defence – and defiance. The funds it gave to the “Inquiry” were due to be cut off in 2016. They have been extended to 2019. Were there any will hidden somewhere in those handpicked from the ranks of those which includes alleged perpetrators to deliver justice, in such a time scale, given such a massive, meticulous legal task, it would be between Herculean to impossible to achieve.

Incidentally the Royal Navy still had a contingency in Iraq until May 2011, even after the Inquiry had been established into the horrors of Britain’s £9.24 Billion lawless onslaught (2010 figure.)

The savagery will surely haunt the U.K. and “allies” for countless decades to come. What an age since Tony Blair’s Christmas visit to Iraq on 23rd December 2005 when he crept in to the country, his visit kept a secret until he appeared, helicoptered in from Kuwait.

He told the troops:

 ”The importance of this is probably greater today than it has ever been” and that Iraq would now mean that: “ … the region is more safe, our own country is more safe, because international terrorism will have been dealt a huge blow.

“If we manage to defeat the terrorism here, we will have dealt it a blow worldwide.”

Of course before the invasion there was no terrorism, car bombs, suicide bombers in Iraq, Syria or widely elsewhere, they manifested and multiplied with the arrival of the invaders.

Tony Blair is pursued globally by those aiming to try him for war crimes, crimes against the peace, or crimes of aggression. Events have displayed his delusional mendacity not alone in his hand in the unimaginable horrors of the destruction of Iraq and that inflicted on the people, country and poisoning of the region by the chemically toxic and radioactive weapons used – but the totally predictable blowback it has wrought in terror alerts and acts in the West and against Western interests.

The least that is owed, minimal as it is, given the enormity of Iraq’s victims, is independent, honest investigations and justice from Britain’s IHAT. It is very little, very late. It will not quell the grief, the rage, home the dispossessed, the orphans, widows, or bring back the dead, but it would be a start.

Charles Antony Lynton Blair, QC, in the Dock with his cohorts in this  tragedy, which will be recorded amongst history’s great crimes, would also serve as a warning that Nuremberg’s great Principles still apply, as expressed then by Chief American Prosecutor Robert H. Jackson:

“To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”


Related Topics:

Blair’s Role Stands as he Continues to ‘Play in the Middle East*

The Brothers who Funded Blair, Israeli Settlements and Islamophobia*

Tony Blair FINALLY apologises for Iraq War and admits in TV interview the conflict caused the rise of ISIS*

Radiation from Iraq War Detected In U.K. Atmosphere*

“Official” British Intel Report on Iraq Copy-Pasted from the Internet*

Long time Coming: Blackwater Mercenaries Found Guilty for Crimes against Iraqis*

Eight Years on Former Blackwater Guard Gets Life for Iraq Genocide*

Veteran Who Raped and Murdered Iraqi Family Commits Suicide*

Cheney to Face Trial for Crimes in Iraq *

International Legislators and Activists Seeking Justice for Iraqis*

British Queen Profiting in Depleted Uranium*

Bacteria Resistant To ALL Antibiotics Now In the U.K.*

Bacteria Resistant To ALL Antibiotics Now In the U.K.*

By Julie Fidler
First it showed up in China, then Denmark and now it has reared its ugly head in the United Kingdom. Bacteria resistant to all forms of antibiotics are making their way around the globe.

Chinese health officials announced in late November that bacteria containing the MCR-1 gene had been discovered in livestock as well as 1,322 hospitalized patients. Then, the same pathogen was discovered in Denmark when a patient in one of the nation’s hospitals was diagnosed with an untreatable form of salmonella.

The superbugs were also detected in Africa, and are believed to have travelled to Laos and Malaysia. Experts say they likely got to Britain via global travel and food imports.

The bacteria have since made their way into England on 3 farms and in samples of human infections.

The MCR-1 gene is “mobile DNA” that can be easily copied and transferred between different bacteria, making it easy for it to spread and diversify between bacterial populations, Scientific American explained in a December 19 article.

The gene makes infections resistant to all polymyxin antibiotics, including colistic, which are the last line of defence when all other antibiotics have failed.

The fear is that MCR-1 could transfer to other bacteria and turn them into superbugs, too.

Experts have been warning that untreatable infections could create an “antibiotic apocalypse” that would plunge medicine back into the dark ages. Scientists said humanity was on the brink of just such an era when the drug-resistant bacteria were discovered in China, not knowing how quickly it would cross oceans and infect more animals and people.

Scientists in the U.K. say that the danger to humans is low, for now, but they also thought they had 3 more years before colistin-resistance would spread from China to England, not just a single month.

Professor Alan Johnson, from Public Health England, said:

“Our assessment is that the public health risk posed by this gene is currently considered very low, but is subject to ongoing review as more information becomes available.
The organisms identified can be killed by cooking your food properly and all the bacteria we identified with this gene were responsive to other antibiotics, called carbapenems.

We will monitor this closely, and will provide any further public advice as needed.”

Out of 24,000 bacterial samples kept on record from 2012 to 2015 by Public Health England, 15 of them tested positive for colistin-resistant bacteria, including samples of salmonella and E. coli. The E. coli bacteria were also found to be resistant to cephalosporin antibiotics. The bugs were also discovered on 3 pig farms by the Animals and Plant Health Agency.

Colistin is heavily overused in livestock, namely pigs and chickens, where it is given to animals to promote growth and prevent them from getting sick. Scientists believe the MCR-1 gene has spread from farm animals to humans because it is used far more frequently in veterinary medicine than in human medicine.

Cóilín Nunan, Scientific Adviser to the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics, said:

“‘Despite scientists saying that resistance to this last-resort antibiotic is likely to be spreading from farm animals to humans, it still remains completely legal in the U.K. and in most E.U. countries to routinely feed colistin to large groups of intensively farmed animals, even when no disease has been diagnosed in any of the animals.

We need the government, the European Commission and regulatory bodies like the Veterinary Medicines Directorate to respond urgently.

The routine preventative use in farming of colistin, and all antibiotics important in human medicine, needs to be banned immediately.”

Fortunately, colistin isn’t given to livestock in the United States, but about 80% of antibiotics sold in the U.S. go to livestock farms, and 60% of those drugs are considered crucial to human medicine. We are far from safe; the MCR-1 gene could just as easily transfer to penicillin.

Antibiotic resistance kills some 700,000 people globally every year, and that number is expected to rise to 10 million by 2050.


Related Topics:

Food Poverty in the U.K. Causing Soar in ‘Victorian’ Illnesses*

Super Salmonella Bug Spreading Across Europe

Monsanto and Bill Gates: More Superbugs in the Making!

Investors Demand that McDonald’s Ban Antibiotics in its Meat*

Scientists Warn “Supercharged” GMOs Could be Used as Bio-weapons*

Where Did All Your Creativity Go to?*

Where Did All Your Creativity Go to?*

By Dana Asher

This week I got a call from my son’s school, informing me that he’d thrown a chair. He’s four years old.

He hadn’t hurt anyone, and he’s never done a thing like this before. He was chastened, but his father and I were alarmed. By the end of the day, we had also grown curious as to what had inspired the incident.

It turned out that our son had been drawing when his teacher tried to get him to transition to another, more tactical task. What was so upsetting about putting down the crayons?

On the drive home, our son described the happy, creative place he’d been in when his teacher invited him to shift focus. His was a typical description of what we tend to call “right hemisphere” brain functioning, the space of big-picture thinking. There’s no judgment there—it’s free and open, and time disappears.

It’s something that many grownups have largely forgotten how to do. For all the talk in the business world of creative innovation and fostering more creative work cultures, the truth is that we approach most common work-related tasks with the more tactical parts of our brains. And since we do less and less immersive, big-picture thinking as we grow up, recovering it as adults isn’t easy. Fortunately, there are a few ways to tap back into it.

Creativity and Focus
Creative thought helps us innovate, make connections we hadn’t seen before, break open problems, and create not just works of art but “arts of work”—work-related products and ideas that don’t just solve strategic problems but also surprise and delight.

Much of the time, our little boy seems rather rule-bound. So I could see how, for him, getting lost in this other space would be a welcome departure—and how being called back to task-oriented functioning might be jarring for this typically gentle child, even inspiring outrage.

For many of the clients I work with, the type of absorbed creative focus available to the typical preschooler, armed with a box of crayons, is rare to say the least. They flit from task to task. When they do focus deeply, it’s in order to work tactically—that is, narrowly.

Leaving the Big Picture Behind…
One chief executive I worked with was so accustomed to this style of thought that he responded with outright anger when our team introduced a drawing exercise meant to demonstrate flexible focus. In almost every session, a handful of participants quit before completing the exercise. (So far, none have thrown chairs.)

In another session, the head of design for a major home goods retailer acknowledged that she is paid to “be creative.” But when my colleague asked how often she finds herself in the big-picture zone, her answer was still, “These days, never.”

To use our whole brain, we have to learn to move more fluidly between tactical and big-picture thinking. In his best-selling book Orbiting the Giant Hairball, Gordon MacKenzie explains why this is so hard for many of us to do. He observes that we’re all artists in kindergarten. Around second grade, we begin to doubt our creative abilities. By sixth grade, almost no one identifies—or wants to be identified—as an artist.

…And Getting It Back
During her last two years at day camp, our daughter’s favourite activity has been dressing up for “Halloween-in-Summer” with a costume of green and pink hair chalk, a full sleeve of temporary tattoos, a paint-splattered smock, and her great-grandmother’s palette, covered with oils.

Already—at ages 6 and 7—”creative” had become for her a persona to be tried on, no longer where she naturally lived. So how can we expect ourselves, as adults, to be at home there? As a parent, I want my children to feel it’s okay to be an artist. More than okay, in fact—to know that feeling creative isn’t a luxury to be indulged in only periodically.

My colleagues and I try to coax our clients and peers back into the space that many of us were made to vacate (perhaps kicking and screaming) long ago. In our office, we’ve set up art stations—areas with sketchbooks and pastels, watercolours, scissors, glue. At a recurring meeting that regularly pushes some of us out of our comfort zones, my colleagues have taken up a self-soothing practice of colouring on pages like these from adult colouring books. Late one recent afternoon, feeling fried, a colleague and I cut out and pasted and cardboard figures for a community art project. It felt like were knitting our minds back together.

Companies eager to unleash creativity in employees should consider more sensory design—think texture and colour, symbols and images, and works of art inspired by the matter at hand. See for instance what Dolby has done in its new headquarters, where artists recently took up residence completing commissioned installations.

Open spaces, configurable furniture, and expansive surfaces, like the big desk at The Barbarian Group, invite the mind to play. But so do much less expensive solutions, like these cards by the Center for Creative Leadership, which come with a helpful users’ guide and can help spark big-picture thinking if you whip them out at your next meeting.

Of course, doing art at work still requires both an emotional and a time investment, and creating artful workspaces requires a financial one. Both entail lesser and greater degrees of risk for which we stand to reap huge rewards. But we humans are creatures of habit, and we’re nesting animals, too. The sooner we step out of our comfort zones, the sooner we’re able to craft new ones.


Related Topics:

Creating Art Out of Life

Create an Economy of Generosity

When giving creates more …………..

Biology Proves Our Thoughts Create our Well-Being!

Transition to a More Creative Life

Your Creativity and Non-conformity a Threat to the NWO*

Creatively Conscientious Solutions: An Apartment Complex for the Homeless*

Learning New Artistic Skills Develops Creative Thinking that Leads to Creative Solutions*

Like Bob Marley, We Must Create our Own New Songs of Freedom*

Courage to Create Good in the World*

Saudi Arabia $135bn in Deficit*

Saudi Arabia $135bn in Deficit*

Saudi Arabia on Monday said this year’s budget deficit amounted to $135 billion (367 billion riyals) as lower oil prices cut into the government’s main source of revenue, prompting the kingdom to scale back spending for the coming year and hike up petrol prices.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz heading the Council of Ministers meeting

A royal decree announced that petrol prices would go up by 50% effective Tuesday. Even with that jump, Saudis will pay just 33 cents (0.90 riyals) for a litre of 95 octane gasoline, less than a dollar per gallon. The Saudi-based Jadwa Investment estimates the government spends around $84 billion on energy subsidies annually, almost $15 billion of that on gasoline alone.

For two consecutive years the kingdom has posted a deficit, and it is planning for another budget shortfall next year, projected at $120 billion (326 billion riyals).

The deficits represent a sharp turnaround from just a few years ago, before oil prices tumbled in mid-2014. Instead of cutting oil production to drive prices up, Saudi Arabia has aggressively kept its production levels high in what analysts say is an attempt to keep its market share and stymie the reach of U.S. shale producers in the global market.

The Saudi government has been digging into its large foreign reserves, built up during years of higher oil prices. To cover the difference between its spending and revenue over the past year, Saudi Arabia has drawn its reserves down from $1 trillion at the end of last year to around $880 billion.

The Saudi fiscal budget is being watched closely by investors to see how the kingdom plans to consolidate after years of heavy spending when oil prices were more than double what they are now. Benchmark U.S. crude was trading Monday at $US37.46 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

One area where the government is not cutting back is defence and security, where it allocated $78 billion (213 billion riyals) for 2016. Saudi Arabia has been leading a coalition against Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen since March and is a member of the U.S.-led coalition battling ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

The government said it is anticipating $189 billion (513 billion riyals) in revenue for the coming year, around $35 billion (95 billion riyals) less than the total for 2015. As is typical for the published version of the budget, it did not include a projected oil price.

Saudi Arabia projected a deficit of $135 billion as it issued its 2016 budget.

Next year’s budget suggests Saudi Arabia is basing its revenue on an even lower price of $US40 a barrel for export crude, if production remains at 10.2 million barrels per day, said Fahad Alturki, chief economist and head of research at Saudi-based Jadwa Investment. That’s less than the $US56 per barrel priced into the projected 2015 budget.

In the 2015 budget, oil revenues accounted for 72% of total revenue as opposed to 87% in 2014. Coinciding with that drop, non-oil revenues rose by almost $10 billion from 2014.

Saudi Arabia and its Arab Gulf neighbours have been working to diversify their economies and decrease their dependence on oil, and to support the private sector to absorb the millions of young people coming into the workforce.

Saudi Arabia says it expects to spend $309 billion (840 billion riyals) in 2016, which is $7 billion (20 billion riyals) less than what had been projected for this year. However, the government has also put aside $67 billion (183 billion riyals) in discretionary spending to use on infrastructure projects if oil prices improve.

Nearly half of this year’s spending, or around $166 billion (450 billion riyals), went to wages, salaries and allowances. The budget revealed that the kingdom spent $41 billion more in 2015 than it had initially planned, reaching $359 billion (975 billion riyals) in total expenditures largely because of financial handouts King Salman doled out to the public when he ascended the throne earlier this year.

“There hasn’t been any major overspending, which shows the government’s determination to rationalise spending,” Alturki said.

“I think it’s a positive signal.”

The London-based research consultancy Capital Economics said in a report issued this month that the Saudi budget takes on additional prominence because it is the first under the new monarch. The budget is also being heavily scrutinised as it was prepared under the guidance of a newly-formed Council of Economic and Development Affairs, which is headed by the king’s 30-year-old son, Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman.

This is not the first time for Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing Gulf countries to run budget deficits. When oil prices steeply dropped in 1986, Saudi Arabia ran a budget deficit for some 15 years, significantly increasing public and external debt until oil prices finally recovered in the 2000s.


Related Topics:

Plunging Oil Prices, ISIS and the Secret U.S – Saudi Deal*

U.S. – Saudi Deal to Destabilize Russia and Syria Backfires*

India Permits Free Energy Technology Despite Threats from U.K., U.S., Saudi Arabia*

Saudi Arabia Faces Collapse as Oil Revenues Decline*

Unholy Trinity United States-Israel- Saudi Arabia Sowing Discord amongst Muslims*

Saudi Arabia Providing anti-Tank Missiles to Rebels in Syria*

Saudi Prepares to Remove Prophet’s Tomb*

Disclosure of Close Ties with Israel During Hajj Raises Saudi Concerns*

Zionist-Saudi Onslaught Reveals Civilian Casualities*

Saudi Blood Money for Mass Slaughter in Yemen*

Princes Fleeing Saudi after Yemen Missile Attacks*

Saudi Set to Implode*

Saudis and Israeli’s Stage Hajj Stampede*

New Leaked Document Shows 7,000 Hajjis Killed in Mina*

Britain is arming Saudi Arabia in Yemen Conflict*

Saudi Pilot Kills himself for Massacring Yemeni Children*

Saudi Commander and Soldiers Join Yemeni Forces*

US-Saudi Man-Made Famine Threatens 20 Million Yemenis*

Saudi Arabia to allow Israel Airspace to Strike Iran*

Wahhabism on Trial? How Islam is challenging Al Saud’s Custodianship of Mecca*

How Saudi Arabia is Sponsoring Religious Eugenics*

Saudi Invasion of Syria Blocked by Putin*

Saudi Arabia Farming Arizona Land after Depleting its Own Water Sources*

Eyewitness Discloses Saudi Embassy’s Role in Masterminding Recent Massacre in Nigeria*


Revolución Alimentaria



By Revolucion Alimentaria

On June 4, 2015, the Presidential Council on Communes, representing communal councils across the country, approved a SEED LAW bill for submission to a second debate by the National Assembly, a further step towards the promulgation of the historical proposal into law.

This SEED LAW proposal was developed by a partnership between the communal spokespersons and the legislative and executive branches of government. This example of the “People as Legislator” represents the organized expression of popular power in its push back against competing stealth legislation that would open the door to transgenic seeds. See for a detailed discussion of the battle over transgenic seeds in Venezuela.

The following unofficial translation of some of the articles of the popular version of the SEED LAW indicates the clear agro-ecological and democratic socialist direction of the proposal.

Unofficial translation by William Camacaro and…

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