#PublicInterestDisclosureAct: Send this letter to your #MP to help protect #UK #Whistleblowers!

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Send this letter to your MP to help protect UK whistleblowers

By Minh Alexander and Clare Sardari @SardariClare, NHS whistleblowers, 18 May 2018

 

Whistleblowers speak up to protect other people’s rights and to prevent harm to the public.

It is up to parliament to pass good enough law to protect UK whistleblowers, and ensure that they are not silenced or victimised.

The current law, the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, has been in place for twenty years. It has failed to effectively protect whistleblowers. Whistleblowers are united in calling for the current law to be replaced

There many reasons why current whistleblowing law does not work, but here are three key changes that whistleblowers are asking for:

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If a better law is passed, it should help discourage mistreatment of whistleblowers. This would help reduce the need for costly legal action, which in many cases involves a waste of public money by employers who try to cover up.

This is some of the campaign work that is taking place, and some more reasons why whistleblowers are asking for the law to be improved:

A Whistleblower-Led Event on UK Whistleblowing Law Reform: The Public Interest Disclosure Act Needs to be Replaced

This a short summary  by the European Centre for Whistleblower Rights of an extensive report by Blueprint for Free Speech, which shows how UK whistleblowing law has fallen behind that in other countries:

Protecting Whistleblowers in the UK: A New Blueprint

If you would like to help to protect whistleblowers, please take a few minutes to look at the following brief letter. If you agree, please email a copy to your member of parliament.

You can search for your MP by following this link: Find My MP

A Word version of the letter can be downloaded here.

Please copy your letter to the UK Law Commission, which is responsible for conducting reviews of flawed law. The Commission’s email address is email address communications@lawcommission.gsi.gov.uk

We’d love to know how you get on. It would be great if you could drop us a line through the contact page on this website.

Thank you!

Minh Alexander and Clare Sardari, NHS whistleblowers

 

LETTER TO MPs:Dear [INSERT MP’s NAME],

I write to ask if you will kindly support the introduction of better legislation to protect UK whistleblowers.

The current legislation, the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) has failed to protect countless UK whistleblowers when they have protected others by bringing wrongdoing to light.

All that PIDA does is allow workers to sue for compensation after they have been seriously harmed as a result of whistleblowing. For example, if they are unfairly dismissed. That is too little too late, and most whistleblowers are unsuccessful when they attempt legal action under PIDA, because the Act is so weak and poorly written.

Our society should make it easier for citizens to act in the public interest without fear of victimisation. Whether it is about ensuring safer care in our hospitals, protecting vulnerable older people from abuse in care homes, exposing fraud or any other risks to the public, whistleblowers must be allowed to speak up. Many scandals would be hidden if were not for the actions of whistleblowers. They are essential to democracy.

For a fairer, more open society I ask you to support replacement of PIDA. Any new legislation should:

1)   Make it compulsory for whistleblower’s concerns to be investigated

2)   Ensure that there is a legal duty by employers and regulators to protect whistleblowers from the point at which they whistleblow

3)   Include meaningful penalties for individuals who victimise whistleblowers, including criminal sanctions for serious reprisal.

I would be grateful if you would raise this matter with the government by writing to the Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to champion the case for reforming UK whistleblowing law.

Yours sincerely,

[SIGNATURE]

 

cc Law Commission communications@lawcommission.gsi.gov.uk

 

via Send this letter to your MP to help protect UK whistleblowers

#Whistle-blower withdraws offer to help #police reopen probe into #autistic abuse scandal! #NAS #MendipHouse

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NAS-MENDIP HOUSE

“It appears, that unless it suits the government purpose, abuse in residential care will not be even revealed, let alone prosecuted and care provision ended.

See here how nothing happened and a whistleblower was silenced and abuse worse than Winterbourne and Whorlton Hall ignored by all in NAS MENDIP HOUSE

The abuse was in a home owned by NAS ‘the voice of autism’, paid at least £6,000 a week per resident, equal to 9,000 as tax free, for this abuse.

CQC ignored abuse, as did the local safeguarding authority for years.So there are no checks, no safeguarding and can be no whistleblowers.

The carer whistleblower will not now speak out to reopen the investigation for fear she will never work again.

So abuse can continue in NAS and everywhere with impunity, making huge profit out of public money, and this is the only funded care for life for our autistic and learning disabled.

They have been made cashcows without protection from anyone or state agency..”

via Whistle-blower withdraws offer to help police reopen probe into autistic abuse scandal  

#Xenophobia v #Multiculturalism: Archie #Windsor Isn’t the Symbol You Think He Is!

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ARGUMENT

Archie Windsor Isn’t the Symbol You Think He Is |  | Foreign Policy | 26 

The newest royal baby represents his country’s future identity: not multicultural, but overwhelmingly mixed-race and entirely British.

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose for a photo with their newborn baby son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London on May 8, 2019.

Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose for a photo with their newborn baby son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, in St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London on May 8, 2019. DOMINIC LIPINSKI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The recently arrived royal baby, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, is seventh in the line of succession to the British throne, but he is destined to earn more than the share of public attention that status would suggest. All royals serve as public symbols—it is, to some extent, their job—but especially so the son of Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, who is a mixed-race American. The problem is that this symbolism has been deeply misinterpreted.

Archie’s birth is considered a landmark occasion: the admittance of a person of color into the British royal club, a symbol of today’s increasingly diverse Britain. But this gets the royal baby’s significance backward. In reality, Archie represents the success of ethnic assimilation in Britain. He is destined to be an emblem of the United Kingdom’s future de-diversification, the emergence of a new mixed-race majority that closely identifies with its British ancestry.

The common interpretation is that Archie, like Meghan, whose mother is African American, represents multicultural Britain. This narrative holds that Archie’s arrival is of a piece with the rapid increase in the nonwhite British population of England since 1981, from 4 percent to over 15 percent. The royal couple’s wedding, which featured an African American gospel choir and preacher, fits the narrative of a radical break with the monocultural past.

Cultural narratives, however, tend to collapse unless they are supported by underlying societal trends, and Britain’s demography doesn’t indicate a grand narrative of an increasingly diversifying nation. Rather, Britain’s ethnic dynamics are developing in the direction of assimilation—a reduction of difference as newcomers melt into an existing ancestral memory. The English ethnic group is in the process of adapting its idea of who can be a member to encompass a wider range of colors, even as English memory and identity—like that of the royal line—largely remains the same.

Consider a few facts from the censuses of England and Wales (Scotland and Northern Ireland have separate surveys). First, almost half of people of Afro-Caribbean ethnicity form unions with white people. Second, nearly eight in 10 of their mixed-race offspring partner with white people and other mixed-race people. While marriage across racial lines is lower for South Asian groups, at current rates of intermarriage, the projections run by the demographer Edward Morgan for my book Whiteshift show that 30 percent of the country will be mixed-race by 2100, rising to nearly 75 percent by 2150. This is because the offspring of a mixed-race person can only be mixed-race, but the offspring of an “unmixed” person has a rising chance of being mixed-race. Why? Because the nonwhite share of the U.K. population is on the rise, increasing the chance that a partner of a white person will be nonwhite. Firing on both these cylinders, simple mathematics tells us that the mixed-race population will take off late this century.

Mixing also means that the not mixed-race nonwhite share of the population will peak sometime in the 2090s, when it will be overtaken by the surging mixed-race group. This is not speculation—demography is the most predictive of the social sciences. Unless social mores drastically shift against intermarriage (our projections assume interracial marriage continues at its current rate), it’s hard to envision any other outcome. Immigration levels make little difference to the long-term picture.

How will those of mixed-race identify? How will others see them? Scholarship tells us the two processes strongly influence each other, because identities are formed through social interaction, not just subjective choice. Unmixed whites are a clear majority in today’s Britain, so those of mixed-race see themselves—and are often considered by whites—to be minorities. Some may pass as white, such as the one-eighth Japanese former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith or the one-quarter African American Steven Woolfe, a former UK Independence Party Member of the European Parliament. Others may be viewed as distinctly mixed-race, such as the half Afro-Caribbean soccer legend Rio Ferdinand. The current English soccer team contains seven mixed-race players, some of whom are widely considered black, some white, and some mixed.

By the time Archie Mountbatten-Windsor reaches his grandparents’ age, however, not mixed-race white Brits will be a 40 percent minority of the nation’s population. Those under 20 will be overwhelmingly mixed. The changed racial context means that the rising mixed-race group is less likely to view itself, and be viewed, as a minority. The question this begs is how this new majority will identify, given the multiple ancestry lines it can select from.

Ethnicity is fundamentally about a subjective belief in common descent. Even if there are multiple bloodlines, people may exercise their ethnic option to focus on certain lines at the expense of others. As Britain’s mixed-race population becomes a majority it is likely to assign more importance to its European ancestry. In part, that’s because, as not mixed-race whites become a shrinking minority of both Western Europe and North America, European roots will cease to be a bland backdrop to the mixed-race identity. By abdicating its demographic hegemony, European ancestry will gain in cultural appeal and salience among those of mixed race.

The European lineage of the new mixed-race majority will also take on greater meaning than its polygenetic immigrant provenance because it will bind the community in ways that other identities cannot. English heritage will have longer historical roots and connections with founding moments in the collective memory of Britain’s new multiracial majority. (In the United States, this unifying identification with a founding group doesn’t apply because there are three founding groups with a long pedigree: American Indians, white Anglos, and African Americans. This makes a hybrid group, like Mexico’s mestizos, more likely.)

In adulthood, Archie may come to immediately identify with his English ancestry the way most Turks identify with their Central Asian Turkic ancestry (a minority of their DNA) or Jews focus on their maternal Israelite lineage despite centuries of demographic mixing. In the United States, most American Indians and Native Hawaiians similarly forget their considerable nonaboriginal genetic makeup to concentrate on their preferred indigenous roots.

That future is still some way off. Today, the British elite still views Archie through the lens of a majority-white society: as something exotic and different. Outlooks that stem from a period of overwhelming white dominance still hold sway. Thus the BBC Radio presenter Danny Baker tweeted an image of a couple holding hands with a well-dressed chimpanzee beneath the caption: “Royal baby leaves hospital.” Baker swiftly deleted the tweet, apologetically explaining that he was trying to lampoon privilege and the news cycle and did not intend to be racist—a claim that seems plausible given the fact the tweet had the predictable outcome of costing him his job. Either way, the furor reflects a sensibility that may not survive the large-scale race mixing destined to occur by the time Archie is an old man.

Without a dominant unmixed white group, and with a rising and confident mixed-race majority, today’s racial sensitivities will likely fade, and few will consider Archie anything other than a member of the English majority. In that case, Baker’s tweet would either pass without comment or never be written in the first place.

Trevor Phillips, the former head of Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission, who is of Afro-Guyanese descent, wrote an open letter to Archie describing him as the “poster boy for this new world.” He adds that, unlike when he was young, “I can’t see that anyone in your family is going to be in the least bit bothered about your colour,” and race is likely to lose its meaning in the future.

Phillips is almost certainly correct, which means the ethnic English—like other Western ethnic majorities—are likely to become multiracial, as are today’s Turkmen or Hawaiians. Far from heralding an era of multiculturalism, Archie’s birth points to the success of Britain’s melting pot. Indeed, he prefigures a long-term decline of the country’s ethnic diversity that will result, like his absorption into the royal line, in a renewed sense of genealogical and historic continuity.

Eric Kaufmann is a professor of politics at Birkbeck College, University of London, and the author of the forthcoming book Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration and the Future of White Majorities.

via Archie Windsor Isn’t the Symbol You Think He Is — Foreign Policy

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ALSO SEE: How Europeans evolved white skinAnn Gibbons

 

Common European traits like pale skin evolved relatively recently in central and southern Europe. 

BRUCE MCINTOSH/ISTOCKPHOTO

 

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI—Most of us think of Europe as the ancestral home of white people. But a new study shows that pale skin, as well as other traits such as tallness and the ability to digest milk as adults, arrived in most of the continent relatively recently. The work, presented here last week at the 84th annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, offers dramatic evidence of recent evolution in Europe and shows that most modern Europeans don’t look much like those of 8000 years ago.

The origins of Europeans have come into sharp focus in the past year as researchers have sequenced the genomes of ancient populations, rather than only a few individuals. By comparing key parts of the DNA across the genomes of 83 ancient individuals from archaeological sites throughout Europe, the international team of researchers reported earlier this year that Europeans today are a mix of the blending of at least three ancient populations of hunter-gatherers and farmers who moved into Europe in separate migrations over the past 8000 years. The study revealed that a massive migration of Yamnaya herders from the steppes north of the Black Sea may have brought Indo-European languages to Europe about 4500 years ago.

Now, a new study from the same team drills down further into that remarkable data to search for genes that were under strong natural selection—including traits so favorable that they spread rapidly throughout Europe in the past 8000 years. By comparing the ancient European genomes with those of recent ones from the 1000 Genomes Project, population geneticist Iain Mathieson, a postdoc in the Harvard University lab of population geneticist David Reich, found five genes associated with changes in diet and skin pigmentation that underwent strong natural selection.

First, the scientists confirmed an earlier report that the hunter-gatherers in Europe could not digest the sugars in milk 8000 years ago, according to a poster. They also noted an interesting twist: The first farmers also couldn’t digest milk. The farmers who came from the Near East about 7800 years ago and the Yamnaya pastoralists who came from the steppes 4800 years ago lacked the version of the LCT gene that allows adults to digest sugars in milk. It wasn’t until about 4300 years ago that lactose tolerance swept through Europe.

When it comes to skin color, the team found a patchwork of evolution in different places, and three separate genes that produce light skin, telling a complex story for how European’s skin evolved to be much lighter during the past 8000 years. The modern humans who came out of Africa to originally settle Europe about 40,000 years are presumed to have had dark skin, which is advantageous in sunny latitudes. And the new data confirm that about 8500 years ago, early hunter-gatherers in Spain, Luxembourg, and Hungary also had darker skin: They lacked versions of two genes—SLC24A5 and SLC45A2—that lead to depigmentation and, therefore, pale skin in Europeans today.

But in the far north—where low light levels would favor pale skin—the team found a different picture in hunter-gatherers: Seven people from the 7700-year-old Motala archaeological site in southern Sweden had both light skin gene variants, SLC24A5 and SLC45A2. They also had a third gene, HERC2/OCA2, which causes blue eyes and may also contribute to light skin and blond hair. Thus ancient hunter-gatherers of the far north were already pale and blue-eyed, but those of central and southern Europe had darker skin.

Then, the first farmers from the Near East arrived in Europe; they carried both genes for light skin. As they interbred with the indigenous hunter-gatherers, one of their light-skin genes swept through Europe, so that central and southern Europeans also began to have lighter skin. The other gene variant, SLC45A2, was at low levels until about 5800 years ago when it swept up to high frequency.

The team also tracked complex traits, such as height, which are the result of the interaction of many genes. They found that selection strongly favored several gene variants for tallness in northern and central Europeans, starting 8000 years ago, with a boost coming from the Yamnaya migration, starting 4800 years ago. The Yamnaya have the greatest genetic potential for being tall of any of the populations, which is consistent with measurements of their ancient skeletons. In contrast, selection favored shorter people in Italy and Spain starting 8000 years ago, according to the paper now posted on the bioRxiv preprint server. Spaniards, in particular, shrank in stature 6000 years ago, perhaps as a result of adapting to colder temperatures and a poor diet.

Surprisingly, the team found no immune genes under intense selection, which is counter to hypotheses that diseases would have increased after the development of agriculture.

The paper doesn’t specify why these genes might have been under such strong selection. But the likely explanation for the pigmentation genes is to maximize vitamin D synthesis, said paleoanthropologist Nina Jablonski of Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), University Park, as she looked at the poster’s results at the meeting. People living in northern latitudes often don’t get enough UV to synthesize vitamin D in their skin so natural selection has favored two genetic solutions to that problem—evolving pale skin that absorbs UV more efficiently or favoring lactose tolerance to be able to digest the sugars and vitamin D naturally found in milk. “What we thought was a fairly simple picture of the emergence of depigmented skin in Europe is an exciting patchwork of selection as populations disperse into northern latitudes,” Jablonski says. “This data is fun because it shows how much recent evolution has taken place.”

Anthropological geneticist George Perry, also of Penn State, notes that the work reveals how an individual’s genetic potential is shaped by their diet and adaptation to their habitat. “We’re getting a much more detailed picture now of how selection works.”

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ALSO SEE: New gene variants reveal the evolution of human skin colorAnnGibbons |  | 12 O

Most people associate Africans with dark skin. But different groups of people in Africa have almost every skin color on the planet, from deepest black in the Dinka of South Sudan to beige in the San of South Africa. Now, researchers have discovered a handful of new gene variants responsible for this palette of tones.

 

Researchers have identified genes that help create diverse skin tones, such as those seen in the Agaw (left) and Surma (right) peoples of Africa.

ALESSIA RANCIARO & DR. SIMON R. THOMPSON

 

The study, published online this week in Science, traces the evolution of these genes and how they traveled around the world. While the dark skin of some Pacific Islanders can be traced to Africa, gene variants from Eurasia also seem to have made their way back to Africa. And surprisingly, some of the mutations responsible for lighter skin in Europeans turn out to have an ancient African origin.

“This is really a landmark study of skin color diversity,” says geneticist Greg Barsh of the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Alabama.

Researchers agree that our early australopithecine ancestors in Africa probably had light skin beneath hairy pelts. “If you shave a chimpanzee, its skin is light,” says evolutionary geneticist Sarah Tishkoff of the University of Pennsylvania, the lead author of the new study. “If you have body hair, you don’t need dark skin to protect you from ultraviolet [UV] radiation.”

Until recently, researchers assumed that after human ancestors shed most body hair, sometime before 2 million years ago, they quickly evolved dark skin for protection from skin cancer and other harmful effects of UV radiation. Then, when humans migrated out of Africa and headed to the far north, they evolved lighter skin as an adaptation to limited sunlight. (Pale skin synthesizes more vitamin D when light is scarce.)

Previous research on skin-color genes fit that picture. For example, a “depigmentation gene” called SLC24A5 linked to pale skin swept through European populations in the past 6000 years. But Tishkoff ’s team found that the story of skin color evolution isn’t so black and white. Her team, including African researchers, used a light meter to measure skin reflectance in 2092 people in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Botswana. They found the darkest skin in the Nilo-Saharan pastoralist populations of eastern Africa, such as the Mursi and Surma, and the lightest skin in the San of southern Africa, as well as many shades in between, as in the Agaw people of Ethiopia.

At the same time, they collected blood samples for genetic studies. They sequenced more than 4 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)—places where a single letter of the genetic code varies across the genomes of 1570 of these Africans. They found four key areas of the genome where specific SNPs correlate with skin color.

The first surprise was that SLC24A5, which swept Europe, is also common in East Africa—found in as many as half the members of some Ethiopian groups. This variant arose 30,000 years ago and was probably brought to eastern Africa by people migrating from the Middle East, Tishkoff says. But though many East Africans have this gene, they don’t have white skin, probably because it is just one of several genes that shape their skin color.

The team also found variants of two neighboring genes, HERC2 and OCA2, which are associated with light skin, eyes, and hair in Europeans but arose in Africa; these variants are ancient and common in the light-skinned San people. The team proposes that the variants arose in Africa as early as 1 million years ago and spread later to Europeans and Asians. “Many of the gene variants that cause light skin in Europe have origins in Africa,” Tishkoff says.

The most dramatic discovery concerned a gene known as MFSD12. Two mutations that decrease expression of this gene were found in high frequencies in people with the darkest skin. These variants arose about a half-million years ago, suggesting that human ancestors before that time may have had moderately dark skin, rather than the deep black hue created today by these mutations.

These same two variants are found in Melanesians, Australian Aborigines, and some Indians. These people may have inherited the variants from ancient migrants from Africa who followed a “southern route” out of East Africa, along the southern coast of India to Melanesia and Australia, Tishkoff says. That idea, however, counters three genetic studies that concluded last year that Australians, Melanesians, and Eurasians all descend from a single migration out of Africa. Alternatively, this great migration may have included people carrying variants for both light and dark skin, but the dark variants later were lost in Eurasians.

To understand how the MFSD12 mutations help make darker skin, the researchers reduced expression of the gene in cultured cells, mimicking the action of the variants in dark-skinned people. The cells produced more eumelanin, the pigment responsible for black and brown skin, hair, and eyes. The mutations may also change skin color by blocking yellow pigments: When the researchers knocked out MFSD12 in zebrafish and mice, red and yellow pigments were lost, and the mice’s light brown coats turned gray. “This new mechanism for producing intensely dark pigmentation is really the big story,” says Nina Jablonski, an anthropologist at Pennsylvania State University in State College.

The study adds to established research undercutting old notions of race. You can’t use skin color to classify humans, any more than you can use other complex traits like height, Tishkoff says. “There is so much diversity in Africans that there is no such thing as an African race.”

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The Western Media is Key to Syria Deception — Counter Information

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By Jonathan Cook May 25, 2019 “Information Clearing House” –

By any reckoning, the claim made this week by al-Qaeda-linked fighters that they were targeted with chemical weapons by the Syrian government in Idlib province – their final holdout in Syria – should have been treated by the western media with a high degree of scepticism.

That the US and other western governments enthusiastically picked up those claims should not have made them any more credible.

Scepticism was all the more warranted from the media given that no physical evidence has yet been produced to corroborate the jihadists’ claims. And the media should have been warier still given that the Syrian government was already poised to defeat these al-Qaeda groups without resort to chemical weapons – and without provoking the predictable ire (yet again) of the west.

But most of all scepticism was required because these latest claims arrive just as we have learnt that the last supposed major chemical attack – which took place in April 2018 and was, as ever, blamed by all western sources on Syria’s president, Bashar Assad – was very possibly staged, a false-flag operation by those very al-Qaeda groups now claiming the Syrian government has attacked them once again.

Addicted to incompetence

Most astounding in this week’s coverage of the claims made by al-Qaeda groups is the fact that the western media continues to refuse to learn any lessons, develop any critical distance from the sources it relies on, even as those sources are shown to have repeatedly deceived it.
It is bad enough that our governments and our expert institutions deceive and lie to us. But it is even worse that we have a corporate media addicted – at the most charitable interpretation – to its own incompetence. The evidence demonstrating that grows stronger by the day.This was true after the failure to find WMD in Iraq, and it is now even more true after the the international community’s monitoring body on chemical weapons, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), was exposed this month as deeply dishonest.

Unprovoked attack

In March the OPCW produced a report into a chemical weapons attack the Syrian government allegedly carried out in Douma in April last year. Several dozen civilians, many of them children, died apparently as a result of that attack.

The OPCW report concluded that there were “reasonable grounds” for believing a toxic form of chlorine had been used as a chemical weapon in Douma, and that the most likely method of delivery were two cylinders dropped from the air.

This as good as confirmed claims made by al-Qaeda groups, backed by western states, that the cylinders had been dropped by the Syrian military. Using dry technical language, the OPCW joined the US and Europe in pointing the finger squarely at Assad.

It was vitally important that the OPCW reached that conclusion not only because of the west’s overarching regime-change ambitions in Syria.

In response to the alleged Douma attack a year ago, the US fired a volley of Cruise missiles at Syrian army and government positions before there had been any investigation of who was responsible.

Those missiles were already a war crime – an unprovoked attack on another sovereign country. But without the OPCW’s implicit blessing, the US would have been deprived of even its flimsy, humanitarian pretext for launching the missiles.

Leaked document

Undoubtedly the OPCW was under huge political pressure to arrive at the “right” conclusion. But as a scientific body carrying out a forensic investigation surely it would not simply doctor the data.

Nonetheless, it seems that may well be precisely what it did. This month the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media – a group of academics who have grown increasingly sceptical of the western narratives told about Syria – published an internal, leaked OPCW document.

A few days later the OPCW reluctantly confirmed that the document was genuine, and that it would identify and deal with those responsible for the leak.

The document was an assessment overseen by Ian Henderson, a senior OPCW expert, of the engineering data gathered by the OPCW’s fact-finding mission that attended the scene of the Douma attack. Its findings fly in the face of the OPCW’s published report.

Erased from the record

The leaked document is deeply troubling for two reasons.

First, the assessment, based on the available technical data, contradicts the conclusion of the final OPCW report that the two chemical cylinders were dropped from the air and crashed through building roofs. It argues instead that the cylinders were more likely placed at the locations they were found.

If that is right, the most probable explanation is that the cylinders were put there by al-Qaeda groups – presumably in a last desperate effort to persuade the west to intervene and to prevent the jihadists being driven out of Douma.

But even more shocking is the fact that the expert assessment based on the data collected by the OPCW team is entirely unaddressed in the OPCW’s final report.

It is not that the final report discounts or rebuts the findings of its own experts. It simply ignores those findings; it pretends they don’t exist. The report blacks them out, erases them from the official record. In short, it perpetrates a massive deception.

Experts ignored

All of this would be headline news if we had a responsible media that cared about the truth and about keeping its readers informed.

We now know both that the US attacked Syria on entirely bogus grounds, and that the OPCW – one of the international community’s most respected and authoritative bodies – has been caught redhanded in an outrageous deception with grave geopolitical implications. (In fact, it is not the first time the OPCW has been caught doing this, as I have previously explained here.)

The fact that the OPCW ignored its own expert and its own team’s technical findings when they proved politically indigestible casts a dark shadow over all the OPCW’s work in Syria, and beyond. If it was prepared to perpetrate a deception on this occasion, why should we assume it did not do so on other occasions when it proved politically expedient?

Active combatants

The OPCW’s reports into other possible chemical attacks – assisting western efforts to implicate Assad – are now equally tainted. That is especially so given that in those other cases the OPCW violated its own procedures by drawing prejudicial conclusions without its experts being on the ground, at the site of the alleged attacks. Instead it received samples and photos via al-Qaeda groups, who could easily have tampered with the evidence.

And yet there has been not a peep from the corporate media about this exposure of the OPCW’s dishonesty, apart from commentary pieces from the only two maverick mainstream journalists in the UK – Peter Hitchens, a conservative but independent-minded columnist for the Mail on Sunday, and veteran war correspondent Robert Fisk, of the little-read Independent newspaper (more on his special involvement in Douma in a moment).

Just as the OPCW blanked the findings of its technical experts to avoid political discomfort, the media have chosen to stay silent on this new, politically sensitive information.

They have preferred to prop up the discredited narrative that our governments have been acting to protect the human rights of ordinary Syrians rather than the reality that they have been active combatants in the war, helping to destabilise a country in ways that have caused huge suffering and death in Syria.

Systematic failure

This isn’t a one-off failure. It’s part of a series of failures by the corporate media in its coverage of Douma.

They ignored very obvious grounds for caution at the time of the alleged attack. Award-winning reporter Robert Fisk was among the first journalists to enter Douma shortly after those events. He and a few independent reporters communicated eye-witness testimony that flatly contradicted the joint narrative promoted by al-Qaeda groups and western governments that Assad had bombed Douma with chemical weapons.

The corporate media also mocked a subsequent press conference at which many of the supposed victims of that alleged chemical attack made appearances to show that they were unharmed and spoke of how they had been coerced into play-acting their roles.

And now the western media has compounded that failure – revealing its systematic nature – by ignoring the leaked OPCW document too.

But it gets worse, far worse.

Al-Qaeda propaganda

This week the same al-Qaeda groups that were present in Douma – and may have staged that lethal attack – claimed that the Syrian government had again launched chemical weapons against them, this time on their final holdout in Idlib.

A responsible media, a media interested in the facts, in evidence, in truth-telling, in holding the powerful to account, would be duty bound to frame this latest, unsubstantiated claim in the context of the new doubts raised about the OPCW report into last year’s chemical attack blamed on Assad.

Given that the technical data suggest that al-Qaeda groups, and the White Helmets who work closely with them, were responsible for staging the attack – even possibly of murdering civilians to make the attack look more persuasive – the corporate media had a professional and moral obligation to raise the matter of the leaked document.

It is vital context as anyone tries to weigh up whether the latest al-Qaeda claims are likely to be true. To deprive readers of this information, this essential context would be to take a side, to propagandise on behalf not only of western governments but of al-Qaeda too.

And that is exactly what the corporate media have just done. All of them.

Media worthy of Stalin

It is clear how grave their dereliction of the most basic journalistic duty is if we consider the Guardian’s uncritical coverage of jihadist claims about the latest alleged chemical attack.

Like most other media, the Guardian article included two strange allusions – one by France, the other by the US – to the deception perpetrated by the OPCW in its recent Douma report. The Guardian reported these allusions even though it has never before uttered a word anywhere in its pages about that deception.

In other words, the corporate media are so committed to propagandising on behalf of the western powers that they have reported the denials of official wrongdoing even though they have never reported the actual wrongdoing. It is hard to imagine the Soviet media under Stalin behaving in such a craven and dishonest fashion.

The corporate media have given France and the US a platform to reject accusations against the OPCW that the media themselves have never publicly raised.

Doubts about OPCW

The following is a brief statement (unintelligible without the forgoing context) from France, reported by the Guardian in relation to the latest claim that Assad’s forces used chemical weapons this week: “We have full confidence in the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.”

But no one, except bloggers and academics ignored by the media and state authorities, has ever raised doubts about the OPCW. Why would the Guardian think these French comments worthy of reporting unless there were reasons to doubt the OPCW? And if there are such reasons for doubt, why has the Guardian not thought to make them public, to report them to its readers?

The US state department similarly came to the aid of the OPCW. In the same Guardian report, a US official was quoted saying that the OPCW was facing “a continuing disinformation campaign” from Syria and Russia, and that the campaign was designed “to create the false narrative that others [rather than Assad] are to blame for chemical weapons attacks”.

So Washington too was rejecting accusations against the OPCW that have never been reported by the state-corporate media.

Interestingly, in the case of US officials, they claim that Syria and Russia are behind the “disinformation campaign” against the OPCW, even though the OPCW has admitted that the leaked document discrediting its work is genuine and written by one of its experts.

The OPCW is discredited, of course, only because it sought to conceal evidence contained in the leaked document that might have exonerated Assad of last year’s chemical attack. It is hard to see how Syria or Russia can be blamed for this.

Colluding in deception

But more astounding still, while US and French officials have at least acknowledged that there are doubts about the OPCW’s role in Syria, even if they unjustifiably reject such doubts, the corporate media have simply ignored those doubts as though they don’t exist.

The continuing media blackout on the leaked OPCW document cannot be viewed as accidental. It has been systematic across the media.

That blackout has remained resolutely in place even after the OPCW admitted the leaked document discrediting it was genuine and even after western countries began alluding to the leaked document themselves.

The corporate media is actively colluding both in the original deception perpetrated by al-Qaeda groups and the western powers, and in the subsequent dishonesty of the OPCW. They have worked together to deceive western publics.

The question is, why are the media so obviously incompetent? Why are they so eager to keep themselves and their readers in the dark? Why are they so willing to advance credulous narratives on behalf of western governments that have been repeatedly shown to have lied to them?

Iran the real target

The reason is that the corporate media are not what they claim. They are not a watchdog on power, or a fourth estate.

The media are actually the public relations wing of a handful of giant corporations – and states – that are pursuing two key goals in the Middle East.

First, they want to control its oil. Helping al-Qaeda in Syria – including in its propaganda war – against the Assad government serves a broader western agenda. The US and NATO bloc are ultimately gunning for the leadership of Iran, the one major oil producer in the region not under the US imperial thumb.

Powerful Shia groups in the region – Assad in Syria, Hezbullah in Lebanon, and Iraqi leaders elevated by our invasion of that country in 2003 – are allies or potential allies of Iran. If they are in play, the US empire’s room for manoeuvre in taking on Iran is limited. Remove these smaller players and Iran stands isolated and vulnerable.

That is why Russia stepped in several years ago to save Assad, in a bid to stop the dominoes falling and the US engineering a third world war centred on the Middle East.

Second, with the Middle East awash with oil money, western corporations have a chance to sell more of the lucrative weapons that get used in overt and covert wars like the one raging in Syria for the past eight years.

What better profit-generator for these corporations than wasteful and pointless wars against manufactured bogeymen like Assad?

Like a death cult

From the outside, this looks and sounds like a conspiracy. But actually it is something worse – and far more difficult to overcome.

The corporations that run our media and our governments have simply conflated in their own minds – and ours – the idea that their narrow corporate interests are synonymous with “western interests”.

The false narratives they generate are there to serve a system of power, as I have explained in previous blogs. That system’s worldview and values are enforced by a charmed circle that includes politicians, military generals, scientists, journalists and others operating as if brainwashed by some kind of death cult. They see the world through a single prism: the system’s need to hold on to power. Everything else – truth, evidence, justice, human rights, love, compassion – must take a back seat.

It is this same system that paradoxically is determined to preserve itself even if it means destroying the planet, ravaging our economies, and starting and maintaining endlessly destructive wars. It is a system that will drag us all into the abyss, unless we stop it.

via The Western Media is Key to Syria Deception — Counter Information

#Brexit Deception and Failure: #Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa #May Resigns. What Next?… — Counter Information

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By Stephen Lendman Global Research, May 25, 2019

Tory leader Theresa May’s days have been numbered for months,  her nearly three years as UK prime minister a colossal failure by any standard.

She’s been ridiculed and reviled as “mean…crude…stupid (and) the prime minister of humiliation.”

Since majority Brits voted for Brexit on June 23, 2016, she lied expressing support, while privately working against Britain leaving the EU.

Despite losing multiple parliamentary votes on her no-Brexit/Brexit deal from January to April this year, she hung on, delaying her departure until announcing it on Friday, saying she’ll end her turbulent premiership on June 7.

The end of the line drew near after announcing another version of her no-Brexit/Brexit deal on Tuesday. It fell flat for amounting to old wine in new bottles, parliamentarians overwhelmingly against it without a vote taken.

Tory House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom resigned on Wednesday, refusing to present May’s last-gasp deal for a floor vote.

Four more Tory ministers resigned. On Wednesday, former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith suggested her husband, known as her “rock,” advise her to step aside and end what’s going on, adding:

“(T)he reality is that she has no confidence any longer, not just in her party but in the cabinet as well. So the best thing for her and the best thing for everybody else is to break away and say it’s time to find a new leader, somebody who campaigned for Brexit, who is committed to Brexit in any form.”

Greatly understating how widely she’s reviled by Tories and opposition MPs, the BBC said she’s “unlikely to join Margaret Thatcher in the annals of leaders who left an indelible mark on their country.”

A London Guardian readers section headlined: “Good riddance,” saying as well: “Don’t let her failure to deliver Brexit overshadow her many other failures.”

Following her resignation, Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn called for a general election, saying:

“She has now accepted what the country has known for months: she cannot govern, and nor can her divided and disintegrating party,” adding:

“The Conservative Party has utterly failed the country over Brexit and is unable to improve people’s lives or deal with their most pressing needs.”

“Parliament is deadlocked and the Conservatives offer no solutions to the other major challenges facing our country.”

“Whoever becomes the new Conservative leader must let the people decide our country’s future through an immediate general election.”

As of now, a Tory leadership contest is scheduled for June 10 to choose her successor. She’ll stay on until a selection is made.

Vowing for nearly three years to deliver Brexit, she covertly worked to undermine what majority Brits voted for.

Her scheme to leave Britain half in and half out of the EU angered most parliamentarians, along with Brussels and most Brits.

Months earlier, her days looked numbered, UK media reporting that virtually all her cabinet members urged her to step down voluntarily.

She angered fellow Tories and opposition MPs alike, blaming them for her ineptness and arrogance over the Brexit impasse.

Former MP George Galloway slammed her, saying her Brexit scheme “surely cooks the goose of the plan but also bastes her ready for roasting,” adding:

“In any normal polity the leader at least would already be gone…(It’s) obvious (that Tories) must get rid of” her.

An unnamed EU official said

“there is a complete lack of confidence (by Brussels in May) to deliver on this deal.”

She colluded with US hardliners against Russia, falsely calling the Kremlin a threat to UK security, a diversionary tactic, shifting attention from her disastrous no-Brexit/Brexit deal, overwhelmingly opposed by parliamentarians, including fellow Tories.

In response to her hostile anti-Russia rhetoric and actions, Moscow’s London embassy said she “can only bring all sorts of negative consequences for the UK and the state of Russian-British bilateral relations.”

In the US and UK, they’re ruptured beyond repair, Cold War 2.0 raging more intensely than during the Soviet Russia era, risking East/West confrontation. The ominous possibility of nuclear war is real.

May’s tenure will be defined by Brexit deception and failure, breaching the public trust, and militant hostility toward Russia based on Big Lies — a nation threatening no one.

She got Brussels to extend the March 29 Brexit deadline twice, October 31 the latest deadline, perhaps to be extended again if major differences aren’t resolved.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said

“(w)e are closely monitoring (events in Britain) because the European Union is our main trading and economic partner. For this reason we are naturally interested in a predictable, stable and developing partner,” adding:

“Regrettably, I cannot recall offhand any landmarks that might somehow illustrate a contribution to the development of bilateral relations between Russia and Britain. It is rather the other way round. May’s premiership was a very complicated period in our bilateral relations.”

Russian upper house Federation Council International Affairs Committee chairman Konstantin Kosachyov slammed her, saying

“(t)he further march of events in bilateral relations will depend on who will take the vacant seat of the prime minister,” adding:

“Rumors vary but by and large they inspire little optimism, if at all. The outgoing prime minister will be remembered mostly for her scandalous ‘highly likely’ style rhetoric – in other words, groundless charges against Russia which a number of European countries interpreted as a reason enough to expel Russian diplomats.”

May is an example of leadership “not bother(ing) to present solid proof when it comes to Russia. So I believe nobody in Russia will be too much aggrieved over (her) resignation.”

via Brexit Deception and Failure: Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May Resigns. What Next?… — Counter Information

#Anonymous Takes Down #Ecuador After #Assange Arrest!

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What people don’t understand is #Anonymous can bring a country to it’s knees in a matter of a few hours. People don’t realize how much they depend on computers until they don’t have them.

 Angel Fox’s blog

Breaking News: The group called anonymous is taking down Ecuador in a move for their illegal eviction of Assange. Rumor had it Assange had a “panIc button” if he was taken that would take down Ecuador. Little did they know the panic button was Anonymous. Sources say the book he was holding may have been the trigger and his yelling #UKResist may have been him pulling the trigger. Regardles it has just begun.

via Anonymous Takes Down Ecuador After Assange Arrest

#WarCriminal: 20 Years Since Destroying #Yugoslavia + 16 Years Since Destroying #Iraq, #Blair’s still Menacing #Peace!

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When it comes to the art of deception, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is a genius worthy of the worst nightmares of Eric Blair (known more commonly by his pen name George Orwell). But while Eric Blair once wrote that “war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength”, as a warning to future generations about how the manipulation of langue can be used to create a numbing of critical thinking among the masses, Tony Blair not only took the fiction of Eric Blair and turned it into real life, but he did so with even less resistance than that portrayed in the Orwell novel 1984.

At its fundamental core, Blairism is neither a coherent nor an intelligent ideology. It is merely an avaricious lust for power that is cloaked in liberal sloganeering designed to trick people throughout the world into thinking that Blair’s declaration of war was somehow a declaration of a new kind of peace. In spite of his infamous dishonesty, Blair was actually quite forthcoming about his own doctrine for world domination in a post Cold War era. At a time when the wider world knew little if anything about George W. Bush, Tony Blair spoke in Chicago in April of 1999 and outlined his vision for how the western powers could not just economically, but militarily and politically dominate the world as never before.

Like most of Blair’s rhetoric, in his Chicago speech there is more fluff than substance, there are contradictions disguised as linear thinking and there are more grandiose adjectives than in an American Super Bowl commercial. But if one is willing to take the journey through the heart of darkness that is Blair’s rhetoric, one can clearly see that in his famous Chicago speech, Britain’s then Prime Minister advocated a doctrine of hegemonic military domination that would have made the warriors of the Cold War blush – either with envy or with shock.

During Blair’s speech, in the section headed international security, Blair presents a typically pontificating argument in which he seems to outline both the pros and cons of military invasion (aka intervention) against a sovereign nation that had not threatened Blair’s own nation, nor the safety and security of Britain’s allies (the US in particular). Yet in his cunning way, by daring to question the long established concept Westphalian sovereignty, Blair’s meandering words had already opened Pandora’s Box when it came to the concept of imperialism with liberal justifications.

Yet in spite of the jargon, Blair did not ultimately conceal whether he thought that the doctrine of Westphalian sovereignty was fit for the scrap heap of international legal history or whether he was merely engaging in a pseudo-intellectual thought exercise. In the following sentences, he made his intentions all too clear:

“No longer is our existence as states under threat. Now our actions are guided by a more subtle blend of mutual self interest and moral purpose in defending the values we cherish. In the end values and interests merge. If we can establish and spread the values of liberty, the rule of law, human rights and an open society then that is in our national interests too. The spread of our values makes us safer”.

Thus one sees that far from simply adhering to the old imperial idea of invading nations for self-declared economic self interests, let alone adhering to the old Cold War idea of competing ideological spheres of geopolitical influence, Blair admits that while the US and its NATO allies were not under any direct threat in 1999, it was the duty of the US, UK and NATO more widely to make war upon other nations in order to spread so-called western values – perhaps better defined as liberal values as defined by late 20th century westerners.

Furthermore, when Blair says that “the spread of our values makes us safer“, by that he meant that it makes the victors of the old Cold War safer from future geo-economic competition at the hands of both the vanquished power of the Cold War, let alone the emerging markets of the members of the Non Aligned Movement, as well as China.

In this sense, Blair’s seemingly ultra-modern doctrine of so-called “humanitarian intervention” (often called “right to protect”) was actually an updated version of a school or warfare that not only predated the Cold War and the imperialism of the 19th century, but one which predated the 17th century  Westphalian system. Blair’s ideology is fundamentally that of the crusader and the Mujahideen (aka the jihadist). The system involves waging war in order to cultivate or otherwise co-opt the resources of other clearly defined sovereign entities under the guise that it is justified by a power greater than man. But instead of justifying this new jihad on holy doctrine, Blair justified it based on the unilateral worship of liberal values – a pagan deity by any other name.

While Donald Trump’s personal style and seemingly somewhat anti-war attitudes contrast sharply with that of Tony Blair, in many ways, the current US led Twitter Coup against Venezuela is the crowning achievement of Blairism. Blair once famously said that “it is not a day for soundbites” before delivering a classic soundbite in which he said that he felt the hand of history was on his shoulder.

Thus, as society becomes more numb to the narratives once used to justify Blair’s own wars (aka the fake news regarding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq), today’s Twitter Coup in Venezuela is one where blood may soon flow as the result of banal sound bites being Tweeted across the world.

The US and European attempt at fomenting regime change in Venezuela is as Blair would put it “all about values”. In this case, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro does not value being a classic Latin American puppet president whose strings are pulled by policy makers in Washington. Since this clearly clashes with the “values” of Blairism, the US simply found a Venezuelan who putatively shares Blair’s values and after such a man declared himself to be president of Venezuela, rather than laugh at him in the way that a man proclaiming he is Jesus would be laughed at on the streets of New York City, the pretender president has been recognised by the US and its allies as the legitimate leader of Venezuela.

The moral of this story is that it is no longer national sovereignty that matters, it is now just a question of using soundbites to install a leader in a foreign land who shares one’s values. Respecting sovereignty as defined in the Westphalian system is out and the selection of leaders in foreign countries based on “shared values” is very much in. It naturally helps that the spreading of such values is backed up by the threat of unilateral military aggression. Thankfully for Blair however, those with antithetical values to him are not yet so keen on enforcing their values at gun point.

The world is going through a period far darker than the original Cold War. This is because the Cold War had a set of half written and half de-facto rules. Today there are no rules, there are only values. These values have killed civilians from Yugoslavia to Libya, Ukraine to Iraq, Syria to Afghanistan and now Venezuela may be next.

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https://www.globalresearch.ca/yugoslavia-iraq-tony-blair/5672576


via 20 Years Since He Destroyed Yugoslavia and 16 Years Since He Destroyed Iraq, Tony Blair Remains a Menace to Peace — Counter Information

Justifying a Massacre: White #Supremacy and #Islamophobia!

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Justifying a Massacre: White Supremacy and Islamophobia — Centering the Periphery | 16 March 2019

Friday is a sacred day for practicing Muslims. In every corner of the globe, Muslims have their rituals around the Friday prayer. In Dhaka, the routine is as familiar and comforting as a cup of tea. Breakfast in the morning. Reading the paper. My father preparing to walk to mosque in his white kurta/pajama smelling of attar–musk, oud. My mother preparing for prayer at home. Lighting a stick of incense. The household quietens. The air breathes softly even while rickshaws, people, and cars carry on outside.  A peace enfolds us. Once prayers are done, we wait for my father to return so we can sit down to a family lunch. The household sighs and comes back to life. The rest of the day continues at this relaxed pace with people visiting, chai and chats, and meals.

Forty-nine people in Christchurch will never participate in their own rituals around Friday prayer ever again.

Why? Because a white man from Australia found their presence so enraging that he went to their mosque and shot them at point blank range.

Men, women, children.

A man, standing on stolen land, a settler whose ancestors dispossessed the indigenous people of Australia and New Zealand with unbridled barbarism, found the existence of Muslims on this land intolerable.

He was greeted with acceptance and he shot dead the one who welcomed him. How fitting. That is white supremacy and settler colonialism in a nutshell.

While the Muslims and allies reeled from the news, one Fraser Anning, elected from Queensland, immediately blamed the victims for being massacred. He starts with a condemnation of violence. Two sentences. Not concern for Muslims or condolences, just a general sentiment, a pro-forma nod to peace.

What follows is truly remarkable. The shooting death of 49 people in video-game-like progression is blamed on “fear” of the growing Muslim “presence” in his land.

Second, it is not the presence of guns or white nationalism, vitriolic Islamophobia or xenophobia that has led to this incident. That’s just “cliched nonsense.” We all know his forbears never hurt a hair on anyone’s head before black and brown immigrants started invading the country. Just ask the aboriginal and Maori peoples.

Third, we are told that the real cause of bloodshed is the immigration policy that allows “Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place.” Here we see the inversion that is so common in white nationalist/supremacist propaganda. The people praying peacefully are the fanatics. The man doing the mass murdering is the victim. It is a twisted provocation defense.

Fourth, Anning tries to cling to reality yet his tenuous grasp fails him. He claims that Muslims may be today’s victims but they are usually the perpetrators and they are killing people in the name of their faith on an industrial scale. It’s the Muslims, after all, who are dropping thousands of tons of bombs, cluster bombs, white phosphorus, using drones, because they own all the arms factories and companies and have huge armies, we can safely call this “industrial-scale” violence. Perhaps Queensland isn’t quite such a hot bed of industry. Perhaps his familiarity with scale is limited to cottage industries? Anyway, these Muslims were just time-bombs waiting to go off. Best we kill them now before they “go Muslim” on us as Tunku Varadarajan (another mouth-frothing Islamophobe at NYU no less) tells us.

Fifth, he tells us who the Prophet was and lets us know that Islam is a violent ideology. It calls for the murder of unbelievers and apostates so he says. And this is why  no Hindus or Christians have survived to tell the tale in Muslim ruled lands. I wonder if he read the manifesto left by the mass murderer? Anning claims that Islam calls for the murder of nonbelievers. It only takes him another two paragraphs to call for the murder of Muslims.

Sixth, he fights fire with fire so he says. Islam is fascism and so we must fight it with… fascism. Just because the Muslims who died were not the killers (his brother-in-ideology has that distinction), they are not blameless. If they are not blameless, then they are to blame. They exist. That is enough.

Finally, he quotes the Prophet of love, Jesus, to say that those who live by the sword will perish by the sword. If you follow a violent religion, you can’t be surprised if you’re killed. (Has this man read the Old Testament?). This is the most common move of all. Muslims are interchangeable. Someone a world away kills someone, I can hold you responsible here. Muslims are the Borg. One organism seamless functioning together no matter where they are. That the people who lost their lives did nothing is irrelevant because someone somewhere did and is doing something. No Muslim is blameless not even children. That’s reserved for white Christians, liberal individuals. And that explains why for centuries Muslims along with other black and brown peoples have been killed on an “industrial scale” by white supremacist, settler-colonialists like Anning with impunity. Just how many have they killed in Iraq alone? Or is that just another inconvenient fact?

Muslims will continue to gather at mosques on Fridays. They will continue to greet each other in peace, to wish peace on the Prophet, and to take leave with peace. Because at the heart of Islam is peace. And the Fraser Annings of this world will never change that for those of us who believe and submit.

via Justifying a Massacre: White Supremacy and Islamophobia — Centering the Periphery

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#May’s tweet re #Christchurch #mosque attack made no mention of #Muslims or #Islamophobia!

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May’s tweet re Christchurch mosque attack made no mention of Muslims or Islamophobia — The SKWAWKBOX | 15 March 2019

 

Astonishing omission by Tory PM accused of ‘head in sand’ over Islamophobia by Muslim peer Just ten days ago, Tory peer Baroness Warsi accused May of putting her head in the sand about rampant Islamophobia in the Conservative party: This morning, Theresa May’s tweet of condolence over the attack on Christchurch mosques that took the…

Astonishing omission by Tory PM accused of ‘head in sand’ over Islamophobia by Muslim peer

Just ten days ago, Tory peer Baroness Warsi accused May of putting her head in the sand about rampant Islamophobia in the Conservative party:

This morning, Theresa May’s tweet of condolence over the attack on Christchurch mosques that took the lives of forty-nine innocent worshippers and injured others did not mention Muslims, or Islamophobia – nor the fact the attack was on mosques:

New Zealand’s PM, Jacinda Ardern, by contrast, spoke movingly in solidarity with her country’s Muslim citizens and their freedom to practise their religion and culture – and proudly about New Zealand as a place of refuge for people from hundreds of ethnic backgrounds:

A significant number of ‘mainstream’ journalists also failed to mention Islamophobia in their social media output.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

This blog stands in solidarity with the Muslim victims of this attack and with all the people of New Zealand, whatever their religion – and with those facing hate and discrimination in this country.

Hate in the UK is increasing, driven by cynical media and politicians – and Islamophobia is one of its chief forms. Theresa May failed not only the Muslim citizens of New Zealand and the UK this morning, but all of us.

via May’s tweet re Christchurch mosque attack made no mention of Muslims or Islamophobia — The SKWAWKBOX

#InternationalLaw: American #Exceptionalism, Doorway To #Fascism

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By  | Santa Cruz Sentinel

With all due respect to Secretary Albright, her belief in American exceptionalism is in conflict with anti-fascism. Exceptionalism is an ideology based on the premise that one nation is superior to others; that one race is more worthy than another; that “God is on our side.” Exceptionalism justifies the theft of other nations’ land and natural resources. American exceptionalism is based on the chauvinistic white supremacy that led to the genocide of Native Americans, the enslavement of African Americans, the overthrow of elected foreign leaders whose policies are unpopular with the US corporate oligarchy, and many other crimes against humanity. As a nation, we must once and for all reject a foreign policy based on perpetual war and violence, simply to enrich ourselves at the expense of others. We cannot continue to support fascist regimes such as Saudi Arabia, based solely on America’s selfish economic interests. U.S. exceptionalism must be replaced with the idea that all human beings have evolved as equals and should be treated with respect.

— Robert deFreitas, Santa Cruz

via American Exceptionalism, Doorway To Fascism
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