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Over 1100 dead, 3500 wounded in Ukraine Civil War; Drumbeats for War Against Russia Intensifying

By: wendydavis Friday September 21, 2012 1:40 pm

From RT:

Some 1,129 people have been killed and nearly 3,500 wounded in eastern Ukraine since the start of the Kiev’s military operation in April, according to UN estimates.

The report also states that these are the minimum casualty toll estimates by the UN monitoring mission and WHO.

The report says that the cause of the rising death toll is intensified artillery shelling of the civilian residential areas and the so-called “collateral damage” of the armed actions in the heavily-populated areas.

Also, 100,000 people were forcibly displaced in eastern Ukraine.

The Kiev authorities are using heavy weaponry and artillery in strikes on residential areas, while the armed rebels are firing back, the report states.’

On Friday, Human Rights Watch alleged that Kiev is using indiscriminate Grad missiles to attack densely populated areas in Donetsk, which violates international humanitarian law, and also blames the militia for taking cover in the same areas.

This admonition comes from the same HRW that blamed hideous deeds by those groups that had staged a coup against Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and have attempted to overthrow Maduro…on the Maduro government.  It is the same organization that received a letter from several Nobel peace prize laureates, and 100 human rights activists, and scholars, urging independence from the US government, so you be the judge.  But from all I’ve read, those folks fleeing the carnage headed for Russia.

The bombing and shelling of citizens in Eastern Ukraine has been bloody and ugly; people have been burned alive in buildings, whether under the uniforms of the Ukrainian military, or Right Sektor/Svoboda nazis.  No matter how you come down on Lugansk and Donetsk declaring their independence from Ukraine, Kyiv’s many atrocities should be tied as war crimes.  But of course they won’t, not least because the US and several deep state NGOs full back, and partially funds these fiends in the name of Democracy for some™, apparently.

From Veterans Today’s Jim Dean, bless his heart: ‘The People of Donbass have something to say: “Why?  What did we do to you to deserve this, America and EU?”

The general use of artillery and bombing attacks on civilian areas has been met with total silence by the Kiev Junta’s Western allies. It gets even worse for the towns captured from the East Ukraine resistance, atrocities and summary executions have take place.

Even the UN says nothing, not even about investigation or having monitors with the Kiev units to stay on top of what they are doing. The Oligarch funded units, formal terror brigades, are fighting behind a Western approved “anti-terror” smokescreen. This stain will never wash off, of them or us, as it has not on all those who have preceded those doing it now.

Videos showing the results of these bloody deeds abound, but are difficult to verify, given language barriers, questions of dates, and the potential for propaganda. The Saker has a team of translators dubbing in English for many of them, and I do hope they are straight up with their translations; given what we’ve seen live-streamed, I tend to credit their translations.

RT’s ‘250 civilians killed in Ukraine’s Lugansk during last two months – OSCE’ highlights the organization’s death toll numbers from June and July, and provides videos that require warnings for the brutal carnage depicted. My guess is that again, actual numbers were higher.

Clearly the teeth-gnashing rhetoric from the US State Department, Obama himself, and the loudest neo-cons in Congress has blamed Russia for the downing of MH 17 from the start, but have provided no evidence, just anonymous ‘intel reports.’

This is the State Department flack Marie Harf on July 22, fielding questions as to the veracity of those claims, and especially as opposed to statements made by Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov.  The dialogue is funny on its own, but this op-ed from washingtonsblog.com has great art to go along with it. He characterizes it this way:

 

NBC Changes Story on Israeli Bombing of Hospital

By: Siun

This morning Israeli forces bombed Al Shifa hospital in Gaza. As reports began to circulate via twitter, several tweets referenced the above tweet from NBC News.

The same account was included on the NBC website report as of 11:04 AM Central time:

The report reads:

The Israel Defense Forces told Haaretz that a “preliminary investigation has found that Israeli army did not fire at the Shifa Hospital, and the fire is believed to have been Hamaz.” The IDF could not immediately be reached to clarify that account on Monday. However, a NBC News journalist witnessed the attack on the hospital and said it had been fired by an Israeli drone.

Israel has been criticized for several strikes which hit hospitals in the Gaza Strip during its recent offensive.

Only about 20 minutes later, NBC had changed its story to delete the mention of the NBC journalist’s report and insert:

Early reports from the ground had said an Israeli drone appeared responsible for the attack.

The story has been changed now once again to include both an IDF statement and a Hamas statement but no mention of their own reporter’s witness though they do mention their presence on the scene:

The explosion near Shifa Hospital around 5 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET) caused some damage to the outpatient clinic, according to witnesses including an NBC News crew on the ground in the area.

No mentions are made in the story or on the site that the report has been changed or updated. The report is now credited to Ayman Mohyeldin, Paul Ziad Nassar and Alexander Smith with contributions from Hasani Gittens and Reuters. Note that Ayman Mohyeldin is the reporter NBC has removed from Gaza for being a bit too truthful and just recently reinstated.

So what’s the real story NBC?

Heartbreaking Eid in Palestine

By: Siun

If you have been following the war on Gaza via twitter, you are probably aware of a new web initiative called Humanize Palestine. It’s a collection of photos and notes about many of the men, women and children who have fallen to Israeli bullets and bombs over the past few days – and it is heartbreaking.

The anonymous site organizers note:

Why is it that when an Israeli goes missing or is killed, the media presents images of them from a happier time? They are usually smiling in these images or posing next to their family and friends. This helps create empathy in our hearts and connect with the person in the image on a deeper, more personal level. But when a Palestinian child is killed, images of their burned and mutilated bodies is circulated, and we immediately connect brown and Palestinian bodies with death and disposability. That person is stripped away from an identity, a family and loved ones, and a story.

Humanize Palestine attempts to honor the deceased as martyrs by bringing them back to life through their pictures, stories, art, and poetry. Humanize Palestine reminds us, that contrary to Western bias, a Palestinian life is no less valuable than the life of another, by giving the life the respect and dignity that it deserves.

Humanize Palestine includes the dead from the West Bank, nine of whom have been killed so far by IDF and by Settlers, as they protest in support of Gaza.

Today is Eid, the day when Muslims finish the fast of Ramadan. It should be a day of celebration but this year, it is a day with so much sorrow. For Eid, Muslims gather together, visit friends and family and share meals and gifts. I hope that today we can take a few moments to honor Eid as well.

There is much we can say, much we want to say about this war on Gaza, about our country’s role in the attack on Gaza and about what must be done. Yet today I hope we can find the time to simply pause and remember each who has died. Take a moment to look at the photos and stories of Humanize Palestine, read and pray or meditate in your own way about the individuals whose eyes greet you in the photos and do not let them be forgotten.

Over Easy: Monday Science

By: BoxTurtle

Venus, as seen by radar

Greetings!

Fukushima Update:

Another scientist moves off the reservation: We must do radiation testing of people outside Fukushima prefecture.   Government official: “I don’t want to discuss the issue.” They then proceed to “analyze” the data based on their intentionally flawed methodology, which has the effect of wildly underestimating the actual impact. Though in their defense, we really don’t know what the impact of this kind of radiation exposure is. But we will.

While officially there is little impact to people, Bad things are happening to our close relatives. Monkey blood in the area is showing abnormalities that could lead to plagues amongst them.

The ice wall ain’t gonna help much, just delay the day of reckoning. And I can make the case that the wall will actually make things worse by reducing cooling to the melts and/or turning the entire worksite into a swamp of radioactive water. Speculate on what the ground inside the wall will do when saturated.

Still, TEPCO seems determined that the laws of physics will not apply when they conflict with the press releases. They seem to think that they can order water to freeze at 5 degrees C.

The JG would really like to restart their NPPs, despite citizen opposition. In hopes of restarting Sendai, they are giving iodine tablets to the local residents. Two each. Which is about a half days supply in the event of an accident.

Since Fukushima, Westinghouse has developed a SFP monitoring system that keeps an eye on water level and temperature and has installed the first one at Watts-Barr in Tennessee. This is good, but it DOES raise the question of why it wasn’t done sooner.

But US Nuclear Energy is safe! This story will tell you what the Nuke industry would like you to believe. Please. Be sure to note that the source of this story is the Nuclear Energy Institute.

There is not a lot of news about WIPP that we don’t already know, but here’s something. I do not put much stock in a criticality event. For that to occur, there would have to be at least 11lbs of weapons grade Pu in the barrel. But that 11lbs assumes a perfect sphere of weapons grade metal. IMO you’d need a LOT more Pu in a barrel to have any chance of starting something.

Now this is scary and stupid all at once. A very simple design flaw that could have had catastrophic consequences. I’m torn between blaming this one of having people design radioactive waste storage who do not understand radiation and radioactives and blaming it on administrators pretending that the radiation will never leak. H/T bgrothus.

We polluted the South Pole before we even got there!

The space station is getting a new clock. It’s a pretty special clock, accurate to 1 second every 300 million years and will enable them to prove/disprove some of Einsteins theories.

Can we terraform Venus? Should we?

We made a sponge that will turn solar energy into steam at 85% efficiency. Somebody explain to me again why we need nukes.

Boxturtle (Trouble is trying to earn getting declawed. On my workbench, with pliers)

The Grey Lady Turns Green

By: patrick devlin Sunday July 27, 2014 10:52 am

cross posted at mLaw

The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana

On the day after the day the NYT finished its internal discussions about the failures of cannabis prohibition the Grey Lady comes out as a green lady.

We at mLaw can’t disagree with the NYT’s reasons as stated and welcome this opinion maker to the world of compassionate and sensible people who abhor unequal application of the law, though it did take time to do all of that internal discussing. The NYT themselves report in their editorial that more than 600,000 US citizens were arrested as criminals in 2012 due to the war on cannabis.

We are reminded on the occasion of the grey turning green of all the years that have passed since Jimmy Carter said to the American people nearly 40 years ago in 1977:

Marijuana continues to be an emotional and controversial issue. After four decades, efforts to discourage its use with stringent laws have still not been successful. More than 45 million Americans have tried marijuana and an estimated 11 million are regular users.

Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself; and where they are, they should be changed. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against possession of marijuana in private for personal use. We can, and should, continue to discourage the use of marijuana, but this can be done without defining the smoker as a criminal. States which have already removed criminal penalties for marijuana use, like Oregon and California, have not noted any significant increase in marijuana smoking. The National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse concluded five years ago that marijuana use should be decriminalized, and I believe it is time to implement those basic recommendations.

Therefore, I support legislation amending Federal law to eliminate all Federal criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana. This decriminalization is not legalization. It means only that the Federal penalty for possession would be reduced and a person would received a fine rather than a criminal penalty. Federal penalties for trafficking would remain in force and the states would remain free to adopt whatever laws they wish concerning the marijuana smoker.

Today the grey lady becomes green and exclaims with mLaw and all who call for an end to cannabis prohibition: “The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana (cannabis),” and we go further with a call for amnesty for the victims of the war on cannabis.

Your Mother Needs You! Bristol Bay, Alaska

By: KateCA Sunday July 27, 2014 8:03 am

Aerial view of braided wetlands and tundra that is typical of the Bristol Bay watershed in Alaska.

Alaska’s Bristol Bay contains “an extraordinary ecosystem that supports an ancient fishing culture and economic powerhouse.” That extraordinary ecosystem is atop the Pebble deposit which “holds copper, gold and molybdenum . . . valued at an estimated $300 billion a few years ago.” And, as you no doubt suspected, there’s an outfit—Pebble Partnership, which owns mineral rights to the Pebble deposit—chomping at the bit to begin extraction in the Pebble deposit that lies beneath the pristine Bristol Bay (here, here and here).

At the moment, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is “proposing protections for . . . Bristol Bay that would restrict plans to develop a mine nearly as deep as the Grand Canyon” and imperil “‘one of the world’s most valuable salmon fisheries’” to say nothing of all the other fauna and flora in the local eco-system. Pebble Partnership’s CEO is having a hissy-fit over the EPA’s proposal, particularly since his corporation is involved in litigation right now concerning the EPA’s “underlying authority” over the Pebble Mine.

But there might be other developments also of concern to Pebble Partnership’s CEO.

In reverse Russian-doll order, the Pebble Limited Partnership is owned by the Northern Dynasty Partnership which is owned by Northern Dynasty Minerals Limited. And there’s more: “The corporate officers and executive board members of Northern Dynasty Minerals Limited are all executive board members and corporate officers of Hunter Dickinson Corporation” of Vancouver, BC.

Major Northern Dynasty Minerals stockholders have recently been divesting from the Pebble mine project. Among them, Rio Tinto, which said in April “it would contribute its 19% holdings in the project equally divided between the Bristol Bay Native Corporation, which had opposed the mine, and the Alaska Community Foundation” which has ties with Northern Dynasty. Rio Tinto’s divestiture follows that of Mitsubishi Corporation and Anglo American, a mining company based in London.

The EPA is now inviting public comment on their Proposal to Protect the Bristol Bay Watershed. The time is ripe to strike, so do take advantage of this opportunity to help protect Mother Earth.

Who Shot Down MH17 over Ukraine?

By: williamboardman

– Reader Supported News

U.S. Government Backs Some War Crimes, Not Others

Amsterdam Airport: Flight MH17 Memorial (Explored)

Amsterdam Airport: Flight MH17 Memorial

Are Ukraine and Gaza both part of the same war? 

The same day that Israeli tanks crossed into Gaza, to continue killing civilians and the occasional Hamas fighter, MSNBC  decided to ignore the Israeli invasion in favor of wall-to-wall coverage of the presumed shoot-down of Malaysian Airliner MH17 over eastern Ukraine. Why would MSNBC make a choice that looks so much like propaganda?

The last time the Israelis invaded Gaza, in 2009, more than 100 Palestinians died for each Israeli killed. The 13 dead Israelis were soldiers on the attack, the 1,400-plus dead Palestinians were mostly civilians with nowhere safe to go. That hasn’t changed much.

The last time someone in Ukraine shot down a civilian airliner, on October 4, 2001, the Kiev government killed 78 people on a Russian plane flying in an international airway to Russia from Israel. Kiev denied the shoot-down for nine days before acknowledging that it was probably responsible for “an accidental hit from an S-200 rocket fired during exercises” in Crimea. Ten years later, Kiev issued a report denying this explanation, without offering a new one.

What’s happening these days in both Ukraine and Gaza shares some ugly and dangerous aspects. In both places, quasi-proxies of the United States are on the offensive. The Kiev government’s assault on separatist-held areas has been as lethal for civilians as Israel’s assault on Gaza (but the war in Ukraine goes almost unreported). Both the governments of Ukraine and Israel prefer to use force against weaker opponents, rather than mediating long-standing, legitimate issues on both sides. Both Ukraine and Israel are protected by the same patron, the U.S. government, with its apparent determination to dominate both regions, at whatever human cost is necessary to those who live there.

Even the propaganda spinning through much of the media is the same for both, focusing on a demonized caricature of an enemy, whether Hamas or Putin/Russia.

What do we know, and how do we know it with any certainty?

The MH17 shoot-down story broke with a quote from Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko calling it a “terrorist attack.” Any time someone uses the word “terrorist” to characterize anything, it’s a red flag signaling manipulation. In Poroshenko’s mouth, “terrorist” is also routine Kiev propaganda that always refers to the Ukrainian separatists as “terrorists,” and usually “pro-Russian” as well. Despite the obvious unreliability of accepting any Kiev version of events as accurate, the U.S. government (including president Obama and vice president Biden) and American media ran with unconfirmed and unconfirmable formulations.

MSNBC especially reiterated the Kiev story about Russian missiles and how the Russians must have either done it or trained the separatists to do it. As MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and others presented it, there was no other possibility. Not even asked was the question: does the Kiev government have the same surface to air missile capability? That seems like a pretty basic question to go unasked in the midst of a story developing with little reliable evidence. Especially since the answer is that Kiev has the same missiles.

Why hasn’t Kiev released air controller conversations with MH17? Kiev released dubious tapes of purported Russians taking credit for the shoot-down. Why hasn’t the U.S. (or anyone else with satellites) released satellite coverage of the shoot-down?  One reason, posed by Robert Parry, might be: