Posted by: quiscus | November 4, 2010

November 4, 2010

1.  “British troops use torture – even if it is by another name

Shady practices used by the military breach the Geneva conventions and undermine any claim to defending human rights


Since Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, the US has been under scrutiny for its use of torture and the efforts of senior officials to legalise it. Yet there is a widespread assumption that the British are less prone to these murky practices. Last week’s Guardian report on British military interrogation manuals refutes that. British armed forces explicitly encouraged techniques similar to those for which the US has been repeatedly condemned. Unless the British armed and security forces abandon torture, Britain cannot claim to defend universal human rights.


The British manuals advocate a series of humiliating practices: threats, sleep and sensory deprivation, use of blindfolds, enforced nakedness for prolonged periods, physical examinations of the rectum and behind the foreskin. None of this affects security. The reasons given are to humiliate prisoners and provoke fear, insecurity, and disorientation. These practices are outlawed by the Geneva conventions and UK law

. In an implicit acknowledgement of their illegality, the British manuals insist these techniques be used in secret and “away from the media”.

2.  “Why does distance ameliorate a war crime?

When it comes to the slaughtering of human beings, the question is this: Why make a distinction between the killings on the ground and the killings from the air? Why let the users of aerial means, be it a manned bomber, a missile or a drone manipulated thousands of miles away, go scot-free? Whether a soldier on the ground takes body parts of the murdered as a trophy is irrelevant. That’s what a soldier was expected to do until recently. A bomber pilot or a drone operator behind a computer console simply doesn’t have the chance to do the same.


A war crime is an artificial construct hatched in the “advanced” Western mind. Take a look at the Hague Convention of a century ago and consider the weapons described. For a war crime to have any meaning, no distinction should be made between the means of killing.”

3.  All these old, scared Whites should be ashamed of themselves:

“Oklahoma bans Sharia law”

4.  “Federal Reserve Policy IS Working … Just Not For America

In fact, the Fed has been using our money to bail out foreign countries for years. See this, this, this, this, this and this.*

Nasiripour also documents:

  • Big corporations have gotten wealthy from Fed policies like quantitative easing, while Main Street hasn’t seen a cent (see this for background)
  • Banks won’t lend out extra cash sitting around, but will just deposit their excess reserves at the Fed or buy treasuries. “Dumping another trillion dollars into the system now will most likely mean they will follow the same path into excess reserves, or government securities, or ‘safe’ asset purchases,” Kansas City Fed president Thomas Hoening said Oct. 12. (see this for background)
  • Jeremy Grantham, chief investment strategist at Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo & Co., told clients last month that “lower rates always transfer wealth from retirees (debt owners) to corporations (debt for expansion, theoretically) and the financial industry.” “This time, there are more retirees and the pain is greater, and corporations are notably avoiding capital spending and, therefore, the benefits are reduced,” Grantham, whose firm manages more than $104 billion, wrote in his latest quarterly newsletter. “It is likely that there is no net benefit to artificially low rates.” (see this for background)

*In reality, as Michael Hudson shows, the hot money flows into emerging economies do not really help the people in those countries. Only the giant banks and mega-corporations are benefiting from quantitative easing.”

5.  “Fake Anti-war Activism. The “Humanitarian Road” Towards an all out Nuclear War? ”


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