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Member since: Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:13 PM
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"It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have." James A. Baldwin

Journal Archives

"The enemy of my enemy . . ."

It would seem though the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is still on our State Department's list of Terrorist organizations, they have become our ally in fighting the Islamic State. We have gone so far as to coordinate airstrikes with PKK fighters resisting IS forces in the Syrian town of Kobane.

Female fighters of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) sit down for lunch in the PKK's mountain stronghold of Qandil in Iraqi Kurdistan.

After repelling ISIL, PKK fighters are the new heroes of Kurdistan

ERBIL, Iraq — The body of Zanyar Kawa is making its final journey to Sulaymaniyah, in northeastern Iraq. The slain fighter died 500 miles from his hometown battling the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, in Kobane, a Syrian town near the Turkish border.

Though an Iraqi Kurd, Kawa did not die serving the Iraqi Kurdish security forces, known as the peshmerga. Rather, he was killed fighting alongside guerrillas associated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which seeks self-determination for Kurds in Turkey and across the region. Both Turkey and the United States consider the PKK a terrorist organization. Nearly a hundred people have gathered on a grassy plaza in the city’s center to receive Kawa’s body and accompany it home. PKK flags are flying, along with banners of Abdullah Öcalan, the group’s founder. While most in the crowd are Turkish Kurds who live in exile, there are Iraqi Kurds, too.

In the past, the PKK has not counted many Iraqi Kurds among its members, nor has the separatist group been a critical player in Kurdistan’s internal affairs. But since ISIL fighters swept through northern Iraq this summer, that has changed. Increasingly, Iraqi Kurds are embracing the PKK fighters as heroes, lauding them for recapturing the northern Iraqi town of Makhmour and its surrounding villages and for rescuing thousands of members of the Yazidi ethnic group who were trapped in nearby Sinjar.

Halkawt Sami, an Iraqi Kurdish carpenter, has come to fulfill what he says is a national duty to welcome his “comrade” home. In August, as ISIL threatened to overtake Erbil, Sami enlisted to fight the extremist group. Like Kawa, he signed up for the PKK, not the peshmerga. “It was the PKK that came down from the mountains to protect us,” he says, referring to the fighters’ descent from their camp in the Qandil Mountains, along the Iran-Iraq border. Sami says he was among at least 100 new recruits from Erbil who received basic training at the PKK camp.


Read more at: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/10/17/pkk-s-rise-in-iraqikurdistan.html
Posted by another_liberal | Fri Oct 17, 2014, 07:21 AM (0 replies)

Demonstrators want Kiev to make Ukrainian fascists national heroes.

Ukrainian fascists and ultra-nationalists are demonstrating in Kiev to force the Rada Parliament to elevate WWII Nazi collaborators, such as Stephan Bandera, to the status of national heroes of Ukraine. They include many of the "volunteers" who have formed far right battalions which were active in the fighting in eastern regions of the country.

Just so no one has any doubts about the matter, this is the kind of thing Bandera's boys helped the Nazis do in Ukraine:


Radical protesters (R) clash with Interior Ministry and law enforcement members on the Day of Ukrainian Cossacks, marked by activists and supporters of the All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda (Freedom) Party and far-right activists and nationalists to honour the role of the movement in the history of Ukraine, during a rally near the parliament building in Kiev, October 14, 2014.(Reuters)

Tense stand-off btw far-right march and police at Kiev parliament building

Kiev police are deploying additional forces around the parliament building after a group of demonstrators started throwing smoke and stun bombs at guards in an apparent reprisal over MPs’ failure to honor past nationalists. Streaming video from the scene showed officers in riot gear standing in tight formations near the building, as occasional bangs from exploding stun grenades were heard in the distance.

The protesters launched their offensive shortly after Ukrainian MPs voted against considering a bill, which would treat Ukrainian nationalists, who fought against Soviet troops during World War II, as war veterans.

Tuesday is the anniversary of the UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army), an armed Ukrainian nationalist organization that at one point during the war sided with the Nazis to fight against Russian troops. The organization was accused of war crimes, including the killings of Jews and Poles in Ukraine, and was hunted down after Moscow fought off the Nazi invasion and took control of Ukraine again.

Modern Ukrainian nationalists from the Svoboda party are celebrating the anniversary with rallies across the country. The party's flags as well as those of the radical Right Sector movement can be seen in the crowd of people encircling the parliament building. The bill, which MPs decided not to consider on Tuesday, would grant surviving UPA members benefits similar to those given to war veterans. The bill was submitted by the Svoboda party.


Read more at: http://rt.com/news/195796-nationalists-protest-kiev-ukraine/
Posted by another_liberal | Tue Oct 14, 2014, 07:48 AM (3 replies)

Pentagon says airstrikes didn't work because of Press coverage.

Recently, a major anti-terrorist operation, involving fifty cruise missile attacks on "Khorasan" targets in Syria, produced only disappointing results. This was due to Press coverage of the story, or so the Pentagon wants us to believe.

F-15E Strike Eagle.(AFP)

US blames news reports for air strike failures

American intelligence officials are trying to blame news reports for failed military attacks against shadowy jihadist groups, arguing that the articles alerted a new terror group to impending air strikes.

Last month, the United States fired 46 cruise missiles at eight locations in northern Syria to target the Khorasan group’s training camps, a munitions center and other sites. However, the attacks only killed one or two key militants, US officials told the Associated Press. The strikes near a compound in Aleppo didn’t cripple the group because members were able to scatter – something they blamed on news reports highlighting US missile plans. This led to the escape of a French-born jihadi with military skills that officials say they were interested in targeting.

The US-led airstrikes are attacking two sets of enemies in the region: the Islamic State, a growing movement of jihadists seeking to create their own caliphate in the Middle East, and the Khorasan group – a shadowy organization affiliated with Al-Qaeda that’s said to be plotting against Europe and the US.

“The strikes were certainly effective in setting back the Khorasan Group, but no one thinks they were a permanent solution or a death blow to the threats that come from this cell,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, the AP reported. One of the cruise missiles, however, killed a dozen civilians in a town west of Aleppo, according to local activist Mohammed Abu Omar.


Read more at: http://rt.com/usa/195060-intelligence-air-strike-failures/
Posted by another_liberal | Sat Oct 11, 2014, 08:13 AM (8 replies)

Pro-fascist protesters try to disrupt Madrid University lecture hall.

A faculty-led discussion on the May 2 Odessa massacre that left dozens of anti-government activists dead was just about to begin when several protesters burst into the lecture hall, waving flags of the Ukrainian Svoboda (Freedom) Party and chanting the name of pro-Nazi WWII partisan leader, Stepan Bandera. They were not well-received, to say the least.


'Fascists, get out!' Spanish students eject protesting Ukraine nationalists

Students at the Complutense University of Madrid kicked out several radical Ukrainians who stormed into a lecture, trying to provoke a fight. Posters reading, 'Ukraine besieged by fascism will not happen,' appeared in campus halls after the incident.

The university faculty of political sciences and sociology is currently hosting an exhibition titled, "Humanitarian crisis in southeastern Ukraine and its consequences for Europe," which features photographs from Odessa, and the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. The display is part of a series of lectures and roundtables on the situation in Ukraine. While students were gathering for one of the discussions, on the subject of the May 2 Odessa massacre, that left nearly 50 anti-government activists dead, several radicals carrying Ukrainian flags and banners of some of the country's nationalist parties stormed into the hall, not letting professors begin the lecture.

According to Spanish newspaper La Republica, the protest was carried out by a group of supporters of the neo-Nazi Svoboda (Freedom) party. Chanting the name of Stepan Bandera, leader of Ukrainian nationalist movement during World War 2, the protesters threatened and assaulted several students who had gathered to remember the victims of the events in Odessa.

"At first professors asked them to leave the room, but they wouldn't do so, saying they would not let the lecture begin. Students were outraged by that and started shouting 'Fascists, get out of here!' Almost half the faculty got involved," one of the exhibition's organizers, Sergey Markhel, told RIA Novosti news agency.


Read more, and see videos of the disturbance, at: http://rt.com/news/194864-madrid-university-ukraine-nationalists/

Posted by another_liberal | Fri Oct 10, 2014, 12:59 PM (0 replies)

Spanish students eject fascist supporters from lecture hall.

Complutense University of Madrid faculty of political sciences and sociology were about to begin a discussion on the May 2 Odessa (Ukraine) massacre that left nearly 50 anti-government activists dead, when several protesters burst into the lecture hall, waving flags of the Ukrainian Svoboda (Freedom) Party and chanting the name of a pro-Nazi WWII partisan leader:

Posted by another_liberal | Fri Oct 10, 2014, 12:44 PM (7 replies)

Drought-striken California has less water remaining than it thought.

Due to the fracking boom, severely dry central California has a new threat to those water reserves it still can draw on. The fracking industry's practice of reinjecting used fracking liquids into deep "waste water wells" has caused serious, wide-spread contamination of ground water with dangerously toxic chemicals. The full extent of this contamination is still yet to be established.


California aquifers contaminated with billions of gallons of fracking wastewater

Industry illegally injected about 3 billion gallons of fracking wastewater into central California drinking-water and farm-irrigation aquifers, the state found after the US Environmental Protection Agency ordered a review of possible contamination.

According to documents obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity, the California State Water Resources Board found that at least nine of the 11 hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, wastewater injection sites that were shut down in July upon suspicion of contamination were in fact riddled with toxic fluids used to unleash energy reserves deep underground. The aquifers, protected by state law and the federal Safe Water Drinking Act, supply quality water in a state currently suffering unprecedented drought. The documents also show that the Central Valley Water Board found high levels of toxic chemicals - including arsenic, thallium, and nitrates - in water-supply wells near the wastewater-disposal sites.

Arsenic is a carcinogen that weakens the immune system, and thallium is a common component in rat poison. “Arsenic and thallium are extremely dangerous chemicals,” said Timothy Krantz, a professor of environmental studies at the University of Redlands, according to the Center for Biological Diversity, “The fact that high concentrations are showing up in multiple water wells close to wastewater injection sites raises major concerns about the health and safety of nearby residents.”

The Center for Biological Diversity obtained a letter from the state Water Board to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that said the Central Valley Regional Water Board discovered the health violations. Following the July suspension of the 11 injection sites, the EPA ordered a review of aquifers in the area to be completed within 60 days. The state Water Board also said that 19 more injection wells may have also contaminated sensitive, protected aquifers, while dozens more wells have been the source of wastewater dumped into aquifers of unknown quality.


Read more at: http://rt.com/usa/194620-california-aquifers-fracking-contamination/
Posted by another_liberal | Thu Oct 9, 2014, 06:26 PM (11 replies)

UN Human Rights Commission questions Kiev's ability to control its military.

What has long been obvious to even casual observers is now being admitted by the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights: Kiev no longer completely controls elements of its military and paramilitary forces still fighting in eastern Ukraine.

A man reacts near a house damaged by recent shelling by multiple Grad missiles in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, October 7, 2014. (Reuters)

UN: 3,660 killed, 8,756 wounded in Ukraine conflict since April

Kiev doesn’t have full control of its military and paramilitary forces, who continue to violate the principles of international humanitarian law, highlights the latest UN report on the human rights situation in Ukraine.

The UN has stated that at least 3,660 people have been killed in eastern Ukraine since April – including 330 since the ceasefire brokered on Sept. 5. A total of 8,756 people have been wounded since April, the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said. The UN statement notes in particular that, despite the ceasefire, “in some areas artillery, tank and small arms exchanges have continued on an almost daily basis, such as in Donetsk airport, in the Debaltseve area in Donetsk region, and in the town of Shchastya in Luhansk region.”

“While the ceasefire is a very welcome step towards ending the fighting in eastern Ukraine, I call on all parties to genuinely respect and uphold it, and to halt the attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure once and for all,” Zeid said in the report. “For almost half a year, residents of the areas affected by the armed conflict have been deprived of their fundamental rights to education, to adequate healthcare, to housing and to opportunities to earn a living. Further prolongation of this crisis will make the situation untenable for the millions of people whose daily lives have been seriously disrupted,” he added.

The 37-page report covers the period from August 18 to September 16 and contains testimonial evidence of cases of violation on behalf of Ukrainian military units. “During the reporting period, international humanitarian law, including the principles of military necessity, distinction, proportionality and precaution continued to be violated by armed groups and some units and volunteer battalions under the control of the Ukrainian armed forces,” the report reads. Specific evidence of “beatings, poor nutrition and lack of medical assistance” are also mentioned in the report, RIA reports. The UN expressed special concern over the “enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention and ill-treatment allegedly perpetrated by members of the volunteer battalions,” in particular Aydar, Dnepr-1, Kiev-1 and Kiev-2.


Read more at: http://rt.com/news/194052-ukraine-human-rights-violations/

Posted by another_liberal | Wed Oct 8, 2014, 08:12 AM (13 replies)

Fourteen dead in clashes between ethnic Kurds and Turkish police.

The long simmering hostility between ethnic Kurds and Turkish authorities has exploded into street violence that has claimed more than a dozen lives. The immediate cause for the clashes is Turkey's reluctance to become directly involved with supporting Kurdish forces fighting in the Syrian civil war, raging just across the border.

Kurdish protesters are pictured in a street on October 7, 2014 in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir during a demonstration to demand more western intervention against Islamic State militants (IS) in Syria and Iraq.(AFP)

Kurdish rallies in Turkey turn bloody, up to 14 killed

Up to 14 people have reportedly been killed and scores others wounded as pro-Kurdish demonstrators clashed with police in eastern provinces as well as in Istanbul and Ankara, AP reported, as people demand action against the Islamic State.

Clashes with police in Diyarbakir, the largest Kurdish city in the southeast, resulted in eight deaths, Hurriyet Daily Newsreports. Another protester died in clashes in Varto, in the province of Mus, where at least half a dozen people were wounded, local media reported. Two people died in south-eastern Siirt province, CNN Turk Television reported, while another died in Batman.

The violence led to the introduction of curfews in six provinces. “Violence is not the solution. Violence triggers reprisals. This irrational attitude should come to an end immediately,” Interior Minister Efkan Ala said, calling for an end to the protests. The minister accused the pro-Kurdish protesters of “betraying their own country” and warned them to disperse or face “unpredictable” consequences.

In Istanbul's Gazi neighbourhood, police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse a protest by several hundred Kurds, an AFP correspondent reported. Elsewhere in Istanbul, one person was seriously injured after being shot in the head from close range. Violence also erupted in the Turkish capital Ankara, with several police injured in clashes. Demonstrators shouted "ISIS murderers!" and accused Turkey's authorities of collaborating with the Islamic State.


Read more, and view videos of the violence, at: http://rt.com/news/194020-turkey-kurds-clashes-isis/

Posted by another_liberal | Wed Oct 8, 2014, 07:32 AM (0 replies)

World Health Organization says Ebola will spread to Europe.

Due to the ease of air travel to the EU and open travel within Europe, Ebola will inevitably spread in Europe, according to WHO European director, Zsuzsanna Jakab. She added that the EU's medical establishment was fully prepared to deal with the appearance of Ebola cases there.

Health workers attend a protest outside La Paz Hospital, calling for Spain's health minister Ana Mato to resign after a Spanish nurse contracted Ebola, in Madrid, October 7, 2014. (Reuters)

WHO: Ebola spread 'unavoidable' in Europe due to extensive travel

The spread of Ebola in Europe is "unavoidable", the World Health Organization said shortly after the contraction of four new cases was announced in Spain.

“Such imported cases and similar events as have happened in Spain will happen also in the future, most likely,” the WHO European director Zsuzsanna Jakab told Reuters.

On Monday scientists predicted that there was a 75 percent chance that Ebola would reach France by the end October and a 50 percent chance for the UK. The most dangerous contributor to the spread is the behavior of the virus. Its symptoms catch people unawares and normally follow a 21-day incubation period, during which there’s literally no visible sign the person has contracted Ebola. This is further complicated by the EU’s free movement system – one can literally infect anyone they come into contact with in the space of a few days if they were to drive or fly from one country to another.

“It is quite unavoidable ... that such incidents will happen in the future because of the extensive travel both from Europe to the affected countries and the other way around,” Jakab said.


Read more at: http://rt.com/news/193900-ebola-spread-inevitable-wto/

Posted by another_liberal | Tue Oct 7, 2014, 12:38 PM (44 replies)

Turkey's President says Kobani about to be taken by IS fighters.

I hope the fall of this strategic town is not used to stampede the American people into approving yet more involvement in the lost cause that is Iraq/Syria. We have been there, and we know we can not do that. It's time to give up our Imperial pretentions and admit there are limits to the reach of even American power.

Kobani is 'about to fall' to jihadists - Turkey's president

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said the besieged Syrian-Turkish border town of Kobani is about to fall into jihadist hands, as it's in the midst of a fierce battle with Islamic State terrorists, numbering around 9,000 heavily-armed fighters. The next 24 hours could see 5,000 people dead, according to Kurdish intelligence reports.

Fighters from Islamic State (also known as ISIS, or ISIL) advanced into the southwestern part of the town located on the border of Syria and Turkey. They reportedly occupied several buildings at opposite ends of the town in order to carry out attacks, according to Reuters and local border forces. Heavy weaponry and shells are being used. One senior Kurdish official told Reuters that last night saw “a violent clash. We have fought hard to keep them out of town,” adding that the main flashpoints are “on the outskirts and toward the center.”

Even Turkey, who until very recently has been on the sidelines of the fight happening on its doorstep, has positioned tanks on a hilltop overlooking the Syrian town.

Taking the strategic town would allow the Islamic State militia to link up its forces more easily in Syria and northern Iraq, which they aim to turn into an Islamic Caliphate. The forecast that Kobani will fall comes amid a realization by both foreign and Kurdish forces that airstrikes on the border have not been enough and led to urgent calls for speedy deployment of boots on the ground.


Read more at: http://rt.com/news/193760-isis-islamic-kobani-border-syria/
Posted by another_liberal | Tue Oct 7, 2014, 08:13 AM (16 replies)
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