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Monday, July 12, 2010

A real American hero

Soldier charged over leak of botched air strike video
With his custom-made "humanist" dog tags and distrust of authority, Bradley Manning was no conventional soldier. Ostracised by peers in Baghdad, busted for assaulting a fellow soldier and disdainful of the military's inattention to computer security, the 22-year-old intelligence analyst styled himself a "hactivist." On Tuesday, the US Army charged him with multiple counts of mishandling and leaking classified data and putting national security at risk.

At last, a real American Hero in the US Military, a man who was so concerned by his conscience he made sure wikileaks got to see how corrupt the decisions to fire on civilians in a war zone really were. It's nice to finally have a war hero worth respecting.

5th April 2010 10:44 EST WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad -- including two Reuters news staff. Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-site, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.

Murdering unarmed civilians, journalists and children, this is how the West wins Freedom and Democracy is it? The Iraq war was illegal and was an outright act of aggression, regime change never made the war legal. The perpetrators of the Iraq War should be treated like war criminals and put on trial.

What I love about this is that the US Army 'investigated' this and found the soldiers acted properly - how can that be? Innocent unarmed fucking civilians were killed, as were two Journalists (and let's be honest this story would have never seen the light of day if it weren't for the fact that two Reuters Journalists were killed in this event) and children, bloody children, were seriously wounded! How the hell can the death of innocent civilians, journalists and the severe wounding of children EVER be considered proper actions by soldiers?

If I seem to be harder on America, I am. They are supposed to be the example, if we allow them to butcher and murder civilians under the guise of 'freedom and democracy' we can't criticize China for propping up Zimbabwe or Sudan or Burma. If the West won't follow human rights during conflict, how on Earth can we demand less Democratic countries follow them?


At 12/7/10 2:17 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many tyrants have committed war crimes, but Slobodan Milosevic was the first to be put on trial for them. He was a grey apparatchik who would never have attracted international attention had he not exploited the disintegration of Yugoslavia by advocating a ferocious Serbian nationalism. His devastating campaign of ethnic cleansing finally attracted a military response from the West and he ultimately had to face an international tribunal, but died in prison before he could be brought to justice.

Pre-emptive war is the BUSH DOCTRINE not Obama. Saddam’s murder was a war crime, but some say his execution was his own fault as he was a butcher; literally. Saddam may have committed gross human rights violations as a Sovereign head of state in the past 3 decades, during his 24 year leadership from 1979-2003. He did crush the Kurds uprising after the first Gulf War with the President’s father the first Bush in the Oval office. For the Iraqi people the worst of all possible world’s has been realised from the illegal invasion and ongoing occupation by foreign power’s as recorded recently on Tumeke of this War. I am very critical of a form of Green-zone-puppet-regime-politics after the illegal hanging of Saddam by Bush, Blair and Howard. We are still following a Cold War foreign policy of the ALL-LIES from WW2 in much of the world. The ongoing state of emergency against terrorism in its illegality does not grant them broad powers to lock all radicalised opponents up indefinitely. During the Cold War the U.S decided they needed these guys’s on their side. Otago University Professor and Newstalk ZB commentator with Larry Williams on the Drive show 4-7pm weekdays Robert Patman claims that Phil Goff told him we have spent somewhere in the region of over $2 Billion dollars

At 12/7/10 2:18 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

North Korea is the only true Stalinist state left on earth and stands beside her only real ally China and Iran. Meanwhile, in Fiji, some people having been calling the Indians weeds that must be expelled and rooted out have ceased as the so-called threat of Indian domination numerically and politically seems a distant memory for Fiji after 4 coups. Together with Australia we have sent troops to the Solomon’s and Tonga and East Timor (Timor Lest) only recently to sure up support for the powers that be in the pacific region now known as the Asia Pacific (APEC) rim. We are performing the role of a "deputy sheriff" according to our Australian Muslim friends and neighbours like the Grand Mufti of the South Pacific. Our ongoing support for the other War by the West in Afghanistan and several rotations of troops in their hundreds now shows that our Nationalism based New Zealand First, United Future, the Progressives and Labour led Coalition Government support the murderous and ongoing slaughter of so-called Insurgent forces in the Middle East. So in conclusion the war on terror is really just a continuation of the Cold War. Obama made a controversial choice of location for his place to reach out to the Muslim world in Cairo in Egpyt under Mubarak. The ongoing state of emergency grants him broad powers to lock opponents up indefinitely. During the cold war the U.S decided they needed this guy on their side.The thin cigar smoking president on the balcony in Baghdad with General Casey whom he later replaced. At the presidential level it’s a strongman dictatorship, much like Saddam Hussein, the assassination lead to a former air-force officer who had been his vice-president and who took over under a state of emergency still in force today. Twenty five years later the state of emergency was still in place.He ran unopposed in 3 elections, then he finally ran for re-election under pressure from the $2 billion dollars aid from the U.S (Israel gets the other $3 billion for F-16’s etc and the rest up to $5 billion for the whole region). Seventy percent of American aid is tied to buying back their weapons. In 2005 in an ostensibly open race against 2 opponents he banned the main opposition the radical Halmas styled brotherhood and arrested them during the elections. The police, said to be commonplace brandishing machine guns on every street corner virtually, beat protesters and jailed journalists and civil-rights advocates who spoke out too loudly for democratic reforms. In the end he ended up with a 90% approval in a rigged election. The ongoing state of emergency grants him broad powers to lock opponents up indefinitely. This is to keep a lid on Islamic extremists, like the Muslim brotherhood whose members are constantly being harassed and arrested by the government. During the cold war the U.S decided they needed this guy on their side. Following the end of the Cold War, the U.S is not totally dominant as some at the international courts of justice make out. People and nations are not divided into George W Bush’s good and evil or with us or against us view-point of the world. There is a bit of both in two competing and complimentary and major ideologies left still in the modern world, Capitalism and Communism. North Korea the only true Stalinist state left on earth stands beside her only real ally China. It is not wholly evil, but the U.S is hardly virtue personified when you take a good hard look at the track record of 30 interventions worldwide since World War 2.The U.S fares

At 12/7/10 2:18 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

supporting the U.S, Britain and Australia, our once traditional wartime Allies war efforts. This amount includes over 100 light armoured vehicles for the army and 7 new ships from project protector for the navy. Nearly another billion dollars worth of French nh90 helicopters are on their way as well even before the white paper on defence is complete. They are remembered every year on Anzac day by the young being indoctrinated into the power of being victors unleashed on the oppressed through an often jingoistic-nationalistic-fervour designed to make recent arrivals like political refugees from their Wars unsure of their place in this their new country. The U.S indifference of U.N. instructions for peace and the U.S and Britain vetoes of Security Council resolutions against War are a travesty of justice mostly for the unsuspecting and downtrodden Iraqi people. The worst of all possible worlds has been realised from the illegal invasion and ongoing occupation by foreign powers as recorded recently of this War. The sheer brutality of the period after the war was won supposedly still haunts us today, with the massacre of some 800 civilians, 308 or roughly half of the civilians killed total between 572 and 616 were women and kids in Fallujah, (APRIL 2004 SEIGE.) A much lower and fallacious total of 280 dead came from the aptly named Iraqi Health Ministry (IRAQ BODY COUNT) No wonder the beheadings captured on the internet sent a wave of terror flooding through the west as the very self same outcome had been unleashed from 10,000 feet on them. It’s nothing personal at that distance from your target. You don’t get to see the dead you’ve killed from afar face to face or look into the eyes you’ve taken the life out of.

At 12/7/10 2:20 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dismally on this count. The most notable examples are Vietnam and Iraq twice. But also an unlawful Iran-Contra deal with Oliver North and Reagan with Daniel Ortega ruling twice in Sandinistan Nicaragua. Also Guatemala, Cambodia which was illegally bombed during the cross border incursions and support of Pol Pot. Korea, Grenada, and Afghanistan and the symbolic bombing of the Chinese embassy by Clinton in Bosnia. The U.S enjoys unprecedented freedom doing what comes naturally but that may be coming to a sharp close as Iran and North Korea go nuclear. Meanwhile, in Fiji, some people having been calling the Indians weeds that must be expelled and rooted out. In 1970 they were roughly half the population, but that has fallen quite suddenly to much lower levels as a percentage of the population since the exodus after the coups. In 2007 census they had dropped to 37.5% of population projected to fall as low as a quarter in the next years. The question remains will there be any subsequent coup’s now they are no longer a threat numbers wise to indigenous Fijians. More concerning however for us the implications of so many political refugees coming here from Fiji on such a massive scale. A trickle has turned into a flood, and they reckon every Fijian Indian with the means to do so will come here probably. It is anyone’s guess how many are here already, and whether they are equipped education wise to handle the move from basically a very primitive culture to quite a sophisticated one. The so-called threat of Indian domination numerically and politically seems a distant memory for Fiji after 4 coups. The Indian community however remains ‘hobbled and divided’ and has a very appeasing attitude to their oppressors. Basically they have become apologists for the dictatorial regime, and are probably concerned for those they have left behind not wanting to aggravate the already tense situation any further. Radio Tarana stands out as one noticeable example interviewing the Commodore frequently on air. They can no longer condone in all good conscience what is now fast becoming our problem to deal with also for their sakes. For now, they are out of power. Meanwhile, helicopters earmarked by the Ministry of Defence to help British troops in Afghanistan will not be able to fly on combat operations because they are not armour-plated, senior RAF sources have disclosed. Pilots say a failure to equip the 6 Merlin helicopters-which will go to Helmand province in December-without proper protection from bullets and rocket-propelled grenades will endanger the lives of passengers and crew. Secretary for defence Bob Ainsworth needs to get his act together and ensure the troops have the necessary equipment to stay safe. Massive troop carrying Chinook and the two seater Prince Harry (who misses his mother) controlled Apache helicopters remove the need to worry about hidden roadside bombs set by the Taliban and which have accounted for 2/3rds of all casualties so far. 207 in total with 22 in July, it’s bloodiest month and it’s highest casualties this year; 1 dead for every 15 votes in Helmand after panthers claw, which involved 3000 troops routing 500 insurgents in a 5 week offensive to secure the province for the elections. 150 locals out of 80,000 were brave enough to vote in an otherwise dismal turnout in a dozen stations between the towns of Lashkar Gah and Gereshk in Babaji district. Don’t mention the war says Bob while eschewing a pleasurable ride on Blackpool’s

At 12/7/10 2:20 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

rollercoaster. Serco, it already helps to train armed forces to use Britain’s fleet of aircraft, such as the Chinook and Apache and Merlin helicopters on the front line in Afghanistan. They are responsible for failing to deliver an extra 8 mothballed helicopters after cost cutting on building their own software for Boeing made Chinooks that would take the numbers moving troops from somewhere in the region of 7-10 already operational to 15-18.At 62 million pounds each they languish in a bunker somewhere at a cost of 259 million pounds wasted for cutting corners. It will cost half a billion pounds to make them fully operational in time to serve in this ongoing and protracted conflict.

(300 dead British troops so far.)

Shari a, Islam, Muslim’s, Wahhabi and its followers shun alcohol, cigarettes, music and naughty videos like porn on the internet. This, it is said; in Australia is choosing a violent and austere lifestyle in direct opposite to the Ocker binge drinking and footy and bar-b-q of the silent majority set on sport and other trivial weekend so-called leisure distractions. Then we should get out of Afghanistan today. As a matter of fact, I believe that is what we should do in New Zealand. Documented civilian deaths in Iraq; 93,040-101,537; 213.President Bush doesn’t like Blacks according to a singer who stole the show at the M.T.V awards. He has even described the person who took over from him as a Cat. But the attribution of Katrina to Climate Change was also overlooked and people opted instead to blame the war in Afghanistan and IRAQ on missing national guard troops the equivalent of our territorials a part time force with jobs deployed to the pacific and equipment and money that should have been spent on America’s poor. Where was the patriotism so evident overseas to help out in their own backyard when really needed? Following the attacks on the twin towers on 9/11 new divisions emerged. The 2nd Bush presidency matriarch pointed the finger at the undeserving poor claiming that they were better off in Houston, Texas than they had ever been before. They even described them as refugees as if their very own country of birth or citizenship had forsaken them as unwanted flotsam and jetsam. Where were the values of defending freedom and democracy then or your poor tired huddled masses yearning to be free? Patriotism saw the wars being sold on a tissue of fabrications, and as casualties grew the support dwindled and the media and subsequently the public lost interest in Iraq’s fortunes. You don’t help a country on the path to peace and prosperity making it awash with guns and weapons of mass destruction. Cash also came into play, buying off support and bribing the unsuspecting poor who were displaced, disposed and vulnerable. The non existent sovereign government’s replaced by regime change could not protect the country from further attacks and public safety was put in serious jeopardy. We sent troops but only after U.N resolutions to proceed, and no troops from N.Z have died so far in the war of terror’s small mercy to be thankful for, for us for sure. Due in most part to our leaders’ decision at the time to oppose the war in Iraq no doubt. Now the puppets of capital like John Key, and John

At 12/7/10 2:21 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Banks and Rodney Hide and Michael Bassett and Mike Moore, left over retreads from the rogernomes era are trying to re-write history, on talkback and in the paper in their favour. It has been mooted by an admiral of the U.S Navy no less to scrap the sacrosanct nuclear free zone ban on their ships nuclear propulsion only, a separate issue now that the weapons have been retired. The new Key administration has no quarrel with our former ANZUS partners sending a ship without nuclear weapons despite their ongoing warmongering. The meltdown of their credit card with no limits branding of global capitalism is a direct result of two wars fought in the name of civilian death toll terror. The terrorism of the State APPARATUS against the meek and ordinary people going against the grain of global catastrophe in the Middle East from reckless consumerism and bulk buying in the back of an SUV. People who live within their means in a cash based society in markets and on buses and gathering or mingling together and being charged for plastic bags to carry home their shopping are being penalised while elsewhere they are being blown apart overseas. President Obamas words at the UN General Assembly this week don’t ring as true like Gaddafi’s or Ahmadinejad don’t really sound convincing as telltale-prompter auto-cue delivery or ad-libbing doesn’t do the job properly either. To respect international law one does not need to attempt like Gaddafi did to rip up the U.N Charter. This goon has been running Libya for 40 years.Ahmadinejad presides over detainees still locked up for protesting the recent election results.Obama must press ahead with an inquiry into the previous regimes use of torture in 2 justice dept. memo’s which sanctioned it’s use. Reports that this was outside the rules at the time are wrong. There were no rules and its his job to fix that!To his credit he did say only recently that, “It is clear to me that this (need for a comprehensive) review into the use of torture is the only responsible course of action to take. “Importantly for him it seems that the momentum from 9/11 seems to be getting lost. He is being egged on by the short-sighted Bush regime. Socialist taunts do them no credit, as if that is supposed to be a dirty word when we refer to our trading partner in the singular of late.Econo-speak for China. Opposition to free healthcare cannot be taken seriously. A virulent campaign alongside that issue is where he was born. Why should that matter. Surely an immigrant in an alien nation is no barrier to success. After all Obama keep hope alive brand of a martyred style preacher man teacher talk pulls the crowds but fails to satisfy somewhere like the words of a Robert Fisk or Noam Chomsky and their sanguine summation of global disorder. Like Gordon Brown using paratroopers to rescue a New York Times reporter who took too close a look at the stolen tankers where the Taleban were blown sky high.Obama has been satisfied that the use of deadly force to oppose so called highly organised and co-ordinated global terror networks is entering into the realm of pure fantasy and high spectacle or dramatis personae. Twice now he has supervised the slaying of Somalians. Fellow Africans said to be the descendants of slaves like his wife Michelle, and his father from Kenya.In South EAST Asia in Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia Noordin Top estranged from his wife for 8 years and Beitullah Mehsud betrayed by the whereabouts of a family member seeking medical

At 12/7/10 2:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

assistance have been assassinated for their opposition to globalise western sponsored terror which now includes us within the security council. David Lange’s postscript states that he sees no new threat emerging for us as America will be the sole superpower. What about them. In ‘My Life’ he goes further and states that in the future there really won’t be any foreseeable threat, because they would have worked something out like Matthew Hooten Danish Solution. This is the neither confirm nor deny fallacy that they no longer possess nuclear weapons on their nuclear powered ships. This from someone who has booted us out of our defence security arrangement with our closest neighbours the Australians. Should we trust them? John Howard invoked Anzus after 9/11, and was commemorating the 50th anniversary of the treaty, although our membership ‘fell into abeyance’ in 1986 when we refused to accept them. David Lange said he did not want to be defended by totalitarian nuclear weapons. If we couldn’t say no and stay friends, what use was that? Good friends should disagree on occasions otherwise the friendship is merely fair weather friends of the type Pamela Anderson takes to bed with her. He said a friend had been attacked and he was actually in the country at the time. Neither of the two crucial premises in Howard’s argument for war can be relied upon. That supporting the Americans and not us was vital to Australians security was wrong headed. There were no weapons of mass destruction like in Qoms holy city right now either. American and Australian and British and Canadian first world English speaking democracies actions in Afghanistan have eroded their authority, prestige and credibility. The threat posed by weapons of mass destruction, in hindsight has proved to be a mirage, a dangerous so-called legal Security Council type pretext of the five permanent veto rights members that Iran wants changed. It sets out a dangerous precedent for their unilateral “international community” attacks. Pre-emptive war is the BUSH DOCTRINE not Obama. The diplomacy leading up to this possible all out assault on Iran is undermining the contribution they want to make to the U.N, a vital if flawed institution if Gaddafi throwing the rule book back over his head at them is to be believed, and why shouldn’t it? First you change an unpalatable election result for Hamas in Gaza. Then you do the exact same thing in ‘the Afghan’ when things aren’t going your way in the war for democracy. Is their any cause for hope? No, not really! In today’s world they no longer prop up dictator’s to halt the spread of Communism, but rather; the threat to secular Islam as Christopher HITCHENS points out. The alternative is not the chimera of secular dictatorship, but the defence of secular pluralism and of the right not to believe (in HOPE) or be compelled to believe in anything if you so choose. This defence has now become an urgent and inescapable responsibility; a matter of survival. They no longer prop them up to do their dirty work for them like with Saddam and the gas and Iran. Arab on Jew, Jew on Arab? The vacillating British, still lending their passports out for killing, were virtually giving Palestinian land away right in front of their eyes. Like the Palestinians would try later on when desperate with suicide vests , and digging tunnels to Egypt the Zionists in the Irgun and Stern gangs pursued a Jewish homeland as they attacked the British. It was this Jewish underground that started deliberate civilian

At 12/7/10 2:23 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

official attention to questioning our reading, writing, and our canon.

At 12/7/10 2:23 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

attacks on the crowds. Arab’s replied with the knife and bludgeon and Molotov cocktails, but the Zionists had already mastered the rules or lack of them of modern warfare or terrorism as they would later label their enemies. The camouflaged I.E.D in the marketplace and bus station and the car and truck bomb and drive by shootings with automatic weapons. In 1945 once the Holocaust against the Jews was uncovered, the horror of this atrocity and supreme war crime became apparent. The Nazi’s had subjected the Jews at great length, so they went for broke with a campaign for a homeland of their own, demanding all of historic Palestine carved up through the newly organised UN resolution that made Jerusalem an international city of three different faiths and called for the rest to be divided between 2 peoples. Imagine Tuhoe realising self determination and recent political refugees and asylum seekers or immigrants in Auckland not paying taxes to support the heartland? In 2006 there were riots for democracy in Tonga, a country ruled by the monarchy since 1875, even though the last 30 years have seen occasional unrest. The capital Nuku’alofa was severely damaged. There is now a stronger movement for real; and not proportional representation, with either list M.P’s for a false democracy or first past the post with true representation and ultimate accountability with the ballot , and 17 electorates with an equal number of new M.P’s will be well and truly sought after. Nine members will be chosen by “the nobles” and all 26 members including another 4 appointed by the P.M, who apparently will also vote for the P.M? In other words the King will retain control through the courts and a veto power over legislation, even though self appointed M.P’s will still be in the minority. Tonga has a population of 130,000 with 7650 for each M.P across 36 islands, and reform has been brewing since the last century.

Human thought, language and action are never truly under total control and never monolithically determined by the status quo. The opposite to this discourse that sets the agenda from the top down is dialogue from the ground up and human agency is rarely erased in even the most controlling of settings because people will inevitably find ways to cope and push against and sabotage those in power as these are the weapons of the weak. Think of the canon and all the books written from this perspective of maintaining those already in control indefinitely. They reflect traditional values and encourage the status quo. But we know our literacy is for questioning society and protest is a rich cultural activity and expresses complex social activity through a truly critical spirit. This is a form of social action; it is a part of the way in which some people in the world live permanently and thus when we are truly thinking we are thinking about the way that other people live like us. Our education increases our ability to perceive and act on meaningful dialogue in our society, and demonstrates success through practicing resistance that seeks to reduce the deafening silence of the majority’s inequality. Our work per se is seen thus as an act of résistance. That is why the authorities devote their time and

At 12/7/10 3:46 pm, Anonymous John B said...

Christ, when's the book coming out?
The point needs to be made that incidents of this type - the slaughter of civilians intentional or not is bound to happen in war. there were many incidences of rape and murder by allied troops in WW2 but this does not either A. make them the moral equivalent of Nazis or B. invalidate their cause - to overthrow fascism. Likewise with the war to liberate Iraq.As to the illegality of the War that seems a weaselly lawyerly way of allowing oppression to be rewarded. Just because the U.N can't agree on action doesnt mean its not vital to do it - just ask the Rwandans.

At 12/7/10 5:20 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The perpetrators of the Iraq War should be treated like war criminals and put on trial.

At 12/7/10 5:29 pm, Anonymous Richard A said...

There were armed combantants in the 'Wikileaks' footage. 2 RPG tudes with several Grenades as well as a AKM or AK74 were recovered from the scene. A fact not contested by wikileaks nor mentioned either....just thought I'd add that.

At 12/7/10 8:15 pm, Anonymous 420 said...

Richard A, that is a flat out lie, either by you or your good friends - the US military. Nowhere in the video are any weapons seen. Remember the resolution we see is lower than what the gunners were viewing. The telescopic lens's from the cameras the Reuters employees were carrying were "mistaken" for RPGs by these trigger happy, blood thirsty gunners (just listen to them joke and laugh about it and beg their senior officers to engage). There was also extra zoom available to them but they chose not to use it. Most moral people would want to be dam sure before they ended someones life. The group was also in no way exhibiting any threatening behaviour.

Wikileaks did not contest weapons left at the scene because there was no "fact" to contest. The only facts are that these Reuters journalists and the rest of their group were innocent civilians, as where the unarmed family in the van that stopped to help out their fellow dying countrymen. The children are now orphans and have not received any financial assistance or compensation from the US. They didn't even take them to the superior military hospital, just dumped them off at the mediocre Baghdad clinic and washed their hands of it.

But it's ok right? Because they speak funny and look different to us. They're probably all terrorists anyway who hate us for our freedoms.


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