War on Iran has already begun. Act before it threatens all of us.

Seumas Milne - guardian.co.uk - twitter.com/seumasmilne

Escalation of the covert US-Israeli campaign against Tehran risks a global storm. Opposition has to get more serious.

They don't give up. After a decade of blood-drenched failure in Afghanistan and Iraq, violent destabilisation of Pakistan and Yemen, the devastation of Lebanon and slaughter in Libya, you might hope the US and its friends had had their fill of invasion and intervention in the Muslim world.

It seems not. For months the evidence has been growing that a US-Israeli stealth war against Iran has already begun, backed by Britain and France. Covert support for armed opposition groups has spread into a campaign of assassinations of Iranian scientists, cyber warfare, attacks on military and missile installations, and the killing of an Iranian general, among others.

The attacks are not directly acknowledged, but accompanied by intelligence-steered nods and winks as the media are fed a stream of hostile tales – the most outlandish so far being an alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the US – and the western powers ratchet up pressure for yet more sanctions over Iran's nuclear programme.

The British government's decision to take the lead in imposing sanctions on all Iranian banks and pressing for an EU boycott of Iranian oil triggered the trashing of its embassy in Tehran by demonstrators last week and subsequent expulsion of Iranian diplomats from London.

It's a taste of how the conflict can quickly escalate, as was the downing of a US spyplane over Iranian territory at the weekend. What one Israeli official has called a "new kind of war" has the potential to become a much more old-fashioned one that would threaten us all.

Amnesty International - Urgent Action Syrian Activist at Risk

Amnesty International USA

Syrian activist, Anas al-Shogre, who has been detained incommunicado since May, apparently for calling for and leading protests in the coastal city of Banias, is now believed to be held at a State Security branch in the capital Damascus. Reports suggest that he is in poor health and may have been subjected to torture or other ill-treatment.

One of Anas al-Shogre’s brothers, who is living outside Syria, has told Amnesty International that the family have learnt from an apparently reliable source that Anas al-Shogre is currently held at the State Security branch in Damascus, that he is unwell and “has lost a lot of weight”. This has heightened concern that he may have been subjected to torture and other ill-treatment. The source reportedly provided no further information.

Anas al-Shogre, a 23-year old student, was arrested during a security forces operation that began in Banias on 7 May. He was in hiding at the time. The Syrian authorities have not disclosed the reason for his arrest or where he is being held although, according to his brother, his family have made relentless efforts to obtain information about him.

 

Anas al-Shogre’s family and local human rights activists believe that his arrest is related to his involvement in calling for and leading popular protests in the city of Banias, and for informing the media, including the BBC’s Arabic Service, about human rights violations committed in the city by Syrian security forces. Amnesty International believes that Anas al-Shogre may be a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of expression and assembly, and is concerned that he is being held in conditions that amount to enforced disappearance. 

Take Action - There's no safe place left in Syria - not even hospitals

Note: This article is not written by the Irish Anti-War Movement and the views in it do not necessarily represent the Irish Anti-War Movement we do however agree that any and all pressure must be used to stop hospitals being used in this way.

Syrian death squads are killing protesters in their hospital beds, whilst Russia arms the regime and blocks international action to end the carnage. But pressure is building in the region, and if enough of us speak out now, we could persuade Turkey and Germany to use their leverage to get Russia to stop propping up this murderous regime. Join me, sign the urgent petition and tell everyone:

Sign the petition

The Most Powerful #OccupyWallStreet Clip You Will See This Month

Remember Eamon, 'Not knowing is not good enough' - Shannonwatch, 19/09/2011

Remember Eamon, 'Not knowing is not good enough'

Shannonwatch, 19/09/2011  

Over the years Eamon Gilmore has spoken passionately about the lack of inspections of US aircraft suspected of being involved in renditions. In March 2006 he highlighted a Council of Europe statement that the European Convention on Human Rights can be violated through an omission to act. "Not knowing is not good enough" said Mr Gilmore. And a few months later he demanded to know if the Irish government was going to start inspections at Shannon.

Video: What is the true cost of the Afghanistan war?

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