Essential history I should have learned in high school but didn’t. I must have been absent that day. This documentary gives me a new understanding of how European colonial powers totally wrecked the Arab world – a process that continues to the current day.

World War I through Arab Eyes

Al Jazeera (2014)

Film Review

This is a three part documentary in which Tunisian journalist Malke Triki interviews European, Turkish and Arab journalists and surviving families about the role of Arab forces – on both sides – in World War I.

Part 1 concerns the forcible conscription of Muslim troops by both the Ottoman Empire and the Allies. Two-thirds of the soldiers who defeated England, Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli weren’t Turkish, but Syrian, Lebanese, Jordanian, Iraqi and Palestinian. As these countries were still part of the Ottoman Empire, they were subject to a mandatory draft.

I was unaware that England and France, who had occupied large swathes of North Africa since the end of the 19th century, also forcibly conscripted Muslim troops. England forced more than 1.2 million Egyptians to fight for the Allied cause, while France forcibly drafted 100,000 Algerians, 80,000 Tunisians and 45,000 Moroccans.

The French were widely accused of using these colonial forces as cannon fodder to protect French soldiers.

Many colonial troops rebelled against being compelled to kill fellow Muslims. This, as well as their abominable treatment by Europeans, was the spark that inflamed the North African independence movements that arose after World War I.

Part 2 tells the story of the decline of the Ottoman Empire during the 19th century and the Ottoman-German relationship which led to their Treaty of Alliance in August 1914.

In 1830 the Ottoman Empire stretched from Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) to the Red Sea and encompassed most of North Africa and the Balkans. It was under continual attack by European colonial powers. In the late 1800s, the British military seized Egypt and the French military Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. In 1912, Italy seized Libya. In the 1912-13 Balkan Wars, the Empire lost its European territories.

This episode also describes the Ottoman leadership’s brutal suppression of Arab nationalism in the Middle East, particularly in Syria/Lebanon. In 1915, one third of the Lebanese population died of starvation and another third were permanently displaced when their villages were decimated.

It also provides important background on the Armenian genocide carried out by the Ottoman leadership in 1915-17.

Part 3 covers the secret Sykes-Picot agreement between Britain and France and the way the two imperial powers carved up the former Ottoman Empire between them, regardless of promises made to nationalist movements across the Arab world.

Despite the Egyptian Revolution and the Iraq Uprising, Arab subservience to Ottoman rule was replaced by a series of mandates across the region in which Britain and France seized control of the areas they prized most – to satisfy their own ambitions, interests and ultimately to gain access to region’s valuable oil resources.

World War I gave birth to the Turkish nationalist movement, which led to the founding of the modern Turkish state; and to Zionism, aided greatly by the Balfour Declaration of 1917.

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Was Pat Tillman killed for blowing the whistle on US involvement in Afghan heroin trafficking?

RIELPOLITIK

Source: http://truedemocracyparty.net

– “The War on Terror is a sham. We are just here to guard Drugs for the CIA and Bankers. The American People need to be told” – Pat Tillman – two days later Pat Tillman was dead, executed by 3 shots to the forehead at close range, from a NATO rifle.

If you are guarding (Opium) Poppy Fields, and you complain, you are “Suicided”

The Taliban Destroyed all the Poppy fields. It was corrupting their country and their youth.

This caused the US Bankers and New York Bankers, to lose $300 million a month in Drug Money.

The rumors are true. United States soldiers guard poppy fields in Afghanistan

Our soldiers are guarding poppy fields in Afghanistan. It’s no secret. Back in 2006, a friend of mine in the Army sent me pictures of British troops doing that exact same thing. Here is one of them:


British…

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Two days ago, Obama announced he was redeploying  several hundred more troops to Afghanistan as “advisers” to the Afghan army, while grossly minimizing the reality that the Taliban controls most of the country outside of Kabul. 

This is Taliban Country

Al Jazeera (2014)

Film Review

In This is Taliban Country a Danish journalist visits Afghanistan to examine the ongoing campaign by the Taliban to win the “hearts and minds” of the civilian population in the regions under their control.

It’s an open secret that the US lost their 14 year war on the Taliban, even before Obama’s partial draw down of US troops in 2014-2015.* The Taliban, which controls large swathes of territory outside of Kabul, generally enjoys the support of civilians under their rule. They provide the security and stability most Afghans crave after decades of civil war. Moreover they do so far more benevolently than either the corrupt Afghan government with their network of warlords or US occupiers.

For civil complaints (land disputes, unpaid bills, etc), most residents prefer the Taliban courts to the corrupt government courts (the verdict always depends on who you know). The interpretation of Shariah law varies depending on locale, but most inflict “cruel and unusual” punishments (stoning, chopping off hands and occasionally heads) for serious “crimes” such as adultery.

The Taliban is currently engaged in an ambitious PR campaign to improve their public image as they consolidate their power in Afghanistan. They have allowed some state schools to reopen, including a few primary schools for girls. There is little support for girls’ secondary education, as most Afghan girls marry when they reach puberty.

Taliban leaders claim to have learned from past mistakes. It’s no longer a crime for men to shave their beards or women to appear in public without a burqa. Unlike fifteen years ago, when they first took power, they now allow smoking cigarettes and marijuana and watching TV. Music is still banned.


*Obama halted the withdrawal of US troops in October 2015, when he announced five to ten thousand troops would remain in Afghanistan through 2017.

The forensic evidence establishes pretty clearly that Robert Kennedy’s alleged assassin wasn’t a lone nut gunman (to begin with there were too many bullets). So why is he still in prison after 48 years?

By Bill Simpich, Reader Supported News

08 February 16

Source: Reader Supported News

obby Kennedy was shot to death 48 years ago. Sirhan Sirhan, the man convicted for his murder, doesn’t remember anything about that night. But he does know things about the past. His parole hearing is February 10. What can he say?

If he had shown remorse, he might have been freed a long time ago. Arthur Bremer, the man who shot George Wallace, was freed several years ago. How can you show remorse if something is wrong with your mind?

(photo: Bettmann/Corbis)

After Bobby was shot, the Los Angeles coroner, Thomas Noguchi, conducted what has been called “the perfect autopsy.” Noguchi was praised by everyone. After a string of controversial assassinations, he couldn’t be too careful.

After ballistics tests, Noguchi concluded that the fatal shot was one inch away from the back of Bobby’s head. There was a problem. Everyone agreed that Sirhan shot him from the front, and never got anywhere that close. That meant there was a second gun.

There was another problem – too many bullets for one gun. Sirhan’s gun held eight rounds. Seven were removed from the victims alone. LAPD determined that an eighth bullet was embedded in the ceiling.

No one accounted for the bullet holes in the doorframe where RFK’s party had entered the pantry. Photographs taken by the FBI, LAPD, and AP show apparent bullet holes, which were circled and initialed. The story was that these were “ricochets.”

Two police officers depicted in the photos reported an actual bullet embedded in the wood of the center door frame. Hotel waiter Martin Patrusky said that police officers told him that they had dug two bullets out of the center divider. FBI agent William Bailey, in the pantry within hours of the shooting, said he could see the base of the bullet in the center divider.

(LAPD crime photo)

Why would law enforcement cover up this evidence? It goes back to a longstanding relationship between the LAPD and the CIA. The CIA had a big conflict of interest in the RFK case, as we will see. The investigating team, Special Unit Senator, was run by a former CIA officer and embedded with this conflict of interest.

Sirhan’s court-appointed lawyer was Grant Cooper. He had the biggest case of his life. But there was the biggest problem of all. Cooper was fatally compromised.

Cooper was on one of the defense teams in the Friar’s Club scandal case. One of the defendants was Johnny Roselli, a mobster deeply linked over the years to the death of JFK. The CIA had relied on Roselli to assassinate Fidel Castro during the early sixties, but he wasn’t able to get it done.

When Jack Kennedy was killed, the CIA went to great lengths to hide from the Warren Commission the plans to kill Castro. That was a door that the Agency wanted to keep shut. They knew it might lead to close scrutiny. Johnny Roselli was already trying to beat the rap with a little blackmail. He was letting high government officials know that “Kennedy tried to get to Castro, but Castro got to him first.” The Castro story didn’t go public until 1975.

Bobby wanted to solve Jack’s murder, but knew he’d need the powers of the Presidency in order to do it.

One day grand jury papers were found on Cooper’s desk at counsel table, possibly planted there, perhaps by Roselli himself. Release of grand jury documents without the permission of the court is a felony.

Cooper was looking at a possible indictment. He could have lost his license to practice law. The matter was left pending for the duration of the Sirhan trial.

Cooper was not about to be a hero. He convinced Sirhan to not challenge the events in the pantry. The door frames were not admitted into evidence. Cooper based Sirhan’s defense on “diminished capacity,” arguing simply that Sirhan’s mind was weak.

No one wanted to cut the man caught alive any slack. Sirhan got the death penalty, later reduced to life with the possibility of parole. The door frames were destroyed. Cooper got a $1000 fine.

But a lot can still be learned about what happened in the pantry. Modern day acoustics tests indicate thirteen shots. Who was Sirhan with in the weeks before the shooting? It is not too late to determine his accomplices, or how Sirhan lost parts of his memory.

In the last few years, Dr. Daniel Brown of Harvard Medical School spent over sixty hours with Sirhan trying to recover his memory of the shooting. Dr. Brown concluded Sirhan’s amnesia for events before and during the shooting was real. Brown’s findings were ignored by the parole board. Sirhan has a strong case for parole. No prison violations since 1972. An excellent work record.

Although the politicians finally seem to agree that it is time to drastically reduce the prison population, those eligible for parole have an incredibly difficult time getting out. Isn’t it time to release him, so we can put together the story for ourselves before it’s too late?

Sirhan’s next parole hearing is Wednesday, February 10. For more on the campaign for his release, visit www.sirhanbsirhan.com.

Inside Story – What’s Behind the Falling Oil Prices

Al Jazeera (2015)

Film Review

A most revealing documentary. Unlike western pundits who speculate about conspiracies to wipe out shale oil producers (ie fracking) and the oil  economies of Russia and Venezuela, these Middle East analysts stick to economic fundamentals.

The three analysts identify three main factors behind the present oil glut: shale gas production, a big increase in renewable energy production and dropping demand by emerging economies such as China.

They maintain Saudi Arabia’s primary motivation for current output levels is fear of losing “market share” if they unilaterally cut oil production.

There’s also an interesting discussion about the Saudi plan to introduce taxation to help reduce their $98 billion deficit.

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Update of ongoing cover-up regarding health problems of Navy personnel exposed to Fukushima radiation aboard USS Ronald Reagan. For more background on this sordid maltreatment of US military personnel see

YOUR PERCEPTION IS NOT REALITY

US NAVY JAPAN

NaturalNews) U.S. Navy sailors exposed to radioactive fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster have been falling ill, even as the Defense Department insists that they were not exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. Many of the sailors have now joined in a class action lawsuit against Fukushima operators and builders Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), Toshiba, Hitachi, Ebasco and General Electric.

Even if they wanted to — which many do not — the sailors would be unable to sue the Navy. According to a Supreme Court ruling from the 1950s known as the Feres Doctrine, soldiers cannot sue the government for injuries resulting directly from their military service.

Mocked and attacked

On March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. It was the worst nuclear disaster in history, releasing twice as much radioactive material as the 1986 Chernobyl…

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