Iraq

Julian Assange has done us all a service. He needs support

EAMON MCCANN - BELFAST TELEGRAPH

Sympathy seems in short supply for Julian Assange, the Australian-born founder of WikiLeaks currently holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

Swedish authorities want to talk to Assange about allegations of sexual assault in Stockholm. He says he fears that, if he travels to Sweden, he might be extradited to the US on charges of espionage arising from WikiLeaks' publication of 250,000 classified diplomatic documents.

Assange's supporters insist the allegations are spurious. The robust feminist and anti-war campaigner Naomi Klein says: "Rape is being used in the Assange prosecution in the same way that women's freedom was used to invade Afghanistan. Wake up."

Whatever the truth of what happened in Stockholm, Assange's apprehensions about what might happen in the US are far from fanciful.

The head of the US Senate's intelligence oversight committee, California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, told the Sydney Morning Herald last weekend that, "I believe that Julian Assange has knowingly obtained and disseminated classified information which could cause injury to the United States ... He has caused serious harm to US national security and should be prosecuted accordingly."

In light of that, and given seemingly permanently heightened US anxieties about 'homeland security', Assange's nightmare glimpse of himself shuffling in a jump-suit in Guantanamo Bay can hardly be dismissed as an invented ploy for evading the Swedish police. So it's puzzling that few in the mainstream media seem concerned about his plight.

Assange's team worked for almost a year, with others, sifting through and annotating the leaked archive prior to launching publication in November 2010.

His partners were the New York Times, the Guardian, Le Monde, El Pais and Der Spiegel - publications held in the highest esteem, not least by themselves. (Hundreds of the leaked State Department cables have since been published in the Belfast Telegraph.)

The Largest Single Protest in the History of the Earth

Iraq war criminals line up to wage war on Iran

Marina Hyde - The Guardian

The creatures of the US military-industrial complex, have somehow managed to pick themselves up from what should have been career-ending humiliation in Iraq and call for more of the same.

The thing about a supertanker is that at least you can turn it round. It takes a while, by all accounts, but you have to think any such vessel has the turning circle of a London taxi compared with the US war machine, which – like its erstwhile willing passenger Tony Blair – appears to relish its lack of a reverse gear.

Are we moving inexorably towards a strike on Iran? There is "a smell of fresh chum in the waters" again, as the rip-roaring journalist Matt Taibbi put it recently.

This week, not a decade after the Iraq invasion, several former officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency accused its head of mishandling the Iranian crisis. They levelled charges of western bias, relying on dodgy intelligence, and sidelining sceptics.

This may sound vaguely familiar. In fact, the situation has all the charmless nostalgia of those I Love 1982-style shows, which saw "expert" talking heads such as Vernon Kay and Kate Thornton reminisce about everything from deely-boppers to the Falklands with no modulation of tone.

Free bus to shannon for Iraq war anniversay demo

11/03/2012 - 10:30
11/03/2012 - 23:59
PANA & the IAWM have hired a bus (free, but a donation will be requested) to travel to Shannon from Dublin on March 11th. It leaves Heuston Station at 10.30am. The size of the bus depends on the number that confirm they wish to come by emailing info@pana.ie.

Demonstration to Mark Anniversary of Iraq Invasion

11/03/2012 - 14:00
13/03/2012 - 00:40
Shannon Demonstration on March 11th to Mark Anniversary of Iraq Invasion
 
Shannonwatch (www.shannonwatch.org)
 
On Sunday March 11th at 2pm Shannonwatch and other peace/anti-war groups from around the country will gather at Shannon Airport to mark the 9th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Since Shannon was handed over to the American forces, over 2 million armed troops have passed through. Following 12 years of crippling sanctions, their presence in Iraq resulted in up to 1 million people dying and over 2 million refugees.

Shannon has also played a significant part in the occupation of Afghanistan over the last decade. There the results are equally appalling.

Not content with supporting the Afghan and Iraq wars, the Irish political elite have now given a clear signal that they will actively support the US/EU/Israeli war on Iran. By closing the Irish embassy there, they shut the door on dialogue. Shannon is continuing to operate as a US military hub, and if Iran is invaded it will almost certainly play a part.

This war must be stopped because if it goes ahead the consequences will be even worse than those in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The demonstration at Shannon on March 11th will remember all those who have died in the wars that Shannon Airport has been part of. It will also call yet again on the Irish government to end the US military use of the airport.  

Fallujah babies: Under a new kind of siege Doctors and residents blame US weapons for catastrophic levels of birth defects in Fa

Fallujah babies: Under a new kind of siege
Doctors and residents blame US weapons for catastrophic levels of birth defects in Fallujah's newborns.

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