Saturday, October 31, 2009

Nazi New Labour Sack Nutt For Refusing to Spin

This neocon, neofascist, pseudo-Christian New Labour government in the UK is getting more and more like Hitler sitting in his bunker refusing to surrender while Germany was bombed, battered and burned around him. Brown clings on to the last vestiges of power his absurd government has, while issuing directive after ridiculous directive to the already battered and utterly frustrated British People.

Now the Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, has sacked his drugs adviser, Professor David Nutt, head of the government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. His heinous crime is advising Johnson on the misuse of drugs! The purpose of this council, when it was set up in 1971 was to provide key advice on what Class A drugs should be, and to ensure that policy is based on evidence. New Labour, of course, are too fascistic to listen to advice. They are only interested in pursuing the doctrinaire free market policies that Blair and Brown intended when they took over the Labour Party on behalf of neoconservatism and their own brand of Christian fundamentalism. Beguiled by Blair's charm and promise of government at last, Labour Party members let him gnaw away the socialist heart of the Labour party like a parasitic wasp eating a defenceless caterpillar. And what did the trades unions do? They stood by! Just stood by doing nothing!

In the same news programme on BBC TV we heard that New Labour will finally privatize the National Health Service, by allowing private patients to be treated with the help of a public subsidy. This will ensure that waiting lists do not get longer when they apply the forthcoming cuts on public spending necessary because of all the public money given to fat cat bankers. New Labour continuously kicks sand into the eyes of its supporters who are too feeble or dim to respond.

This government is utterly discredited, and New Labour will be lucky to get into power ever again. Certainly, it is time the unions either withdrew support immediately, or threatened to withdraw it if New Labour does not revert to Labour by reinstating the old consititution, whereby members could actually influence policies, even if they had no way of ensuring that elected Labour governments acted on them. Because the membership are just fodder for getting Blairite selected MPs elected, and the members have no say in what their MPs do, they might as well accept they are slaves to the greedy neocons Blair approved as flunkeys and yes men—and yes women too, plenty of them! Blair is now being rewarded. Having given away $ trillions, Brown is looking forward to his own rich pickings.

The whole of the scientific community ought now to be up in arms at the complete disdain Brown and Johnson show they have for science. There can be few people in Britain who do not agree with Professor Nutt that alcohol and cigarettes are far worse than cannabis, and the public are making a judgement merely on impression. The scientists have the concrete evidence, and it confirms the general impression. Nutt has also pointed out what everyone, certainly most of our young people, know, and that is that ecstasy is pretty harmless too. Deaths have occasionally been attributed to ecstasy, as an anaphylactic reaction, but deaths are attributed to the same sort of shock from peanuts, and they are not classified as dangerous drugs. Similarly, the professor said smoking cannabis created only a “small risk” of psychotic illness. There is unquestionably much more psychoses generated by alcohol. Many still die annually from the physiological effects of smoking cigarettes. He is right!

Professor Nutt rightly accused ministers of devaluing and distorting evidence and said drugs classification was being politicized. Prof Nutt is standing by his judgement based on the scientific research that cannabis should be reclassified as only a Class C drug based on its effects. He said science can help the government. It could give them excellent advice. And that was the very purpose of the Drugs Council he chaired. But he thought it would be simpler, and one might add more intelligent, if they took the advice rather than sending messages that confuse the public. Twice in the last few years, once with cannabis and then with ecstasy, ministers ignored the experts because of “public perception”. Former Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, still talks of the “need to send out a message”. Parliament's Science and Technology Committee has criticised such propaganda:

The government's desire to use the class of a particular drug to send out a signal to potential users or dealers does not sit comfortably with the claim that the primary objective of the classification system is to categorize drugs according to the comparative harm associated with their misuse.

Using the classification system to send messages again amounts to saying, “feed the public lies—that is all they understand”. It is the neocon method of giving the public myths they can accept and believe. These myths are just lies. But Professor Nutt is saying also that it does not work. It is no deterrent. The classifications are “to provide the public with an evidence-based and rigorous appraisal of relative harms”, and from it they can make their own comparisons and judgements.

His sacking from a none paid, entirely honorary and voluntary job is an insulting and demeaning challenge to the value of science. What did the Home Secretary have to say? He had “lost confidence” in Nutt's advice. Well that means that Johnson and the New labour set of dummies want their adviser to join them in their habit of “spin”, another modern euphemism for lying. It does not suit them to have objective advice, true advice, they want sycophants around them who will say just what the want to hear. But that is not surprising. Blair was quite a sociopath, incapable of knowing the difference between truth and lies, probably a good reason why he was accepted into the Catholic communion, and recommended as President of Europe—an absolute slap in the face for almost everyone in Britain, if it happens.

The real conservatives, the Tories, supported New Labour on this, just as they did over the Iraq war. But on this occasion a voice of reason came from the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne. He said the decision to sack the adviser had been “disgraceful”:

What is the point of having independent scientific advice if as soon as you get some advice that you don't like, you sack the person who has given it to you?

Mr Huhne added that the government might as well have “a committee of tabloid newspaper editors to advise on drugs policy”. Prof Colin Blakemore, professor of neuroscience at Oxford University and former chief executive of the Medical Research Council, said:

I worry that the dismissal of Prof Nutt will discourage academic and clinical experts from offering their knowledge and time to help the government in the future.

New Labour ministers might think drug taking is immoral, but then so is smoking and drinking, especially to excess, the norm among many people, especially the young, today in Britain. Professor Nutt is pointing out hypocrisy, something New Labour just cannot grasp. So, an independent scientist has been removed for reporting sound scientific advice. Let us hope that scientists for once will rally behind one of their own, and in favour of science. The very top scientists should howl in rage, not that others should not, but the top ones have a chance of being heard. These AskWhy! pages have said before that scientists, who could be a powerful force in the world for good, should be more prepared to open their mouths in protest, and to act in defence of their findings. Rage, rage, you lot!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

US Morality? Ignoring Israeli Atrocities

The UN Resolution on the Goldstone Report

US ambassador Douglas Griffiths, opposing the human rights resolution at the UN, said the Goldstone report written by South African Judge, Richard Goldstone, was unfair towards Israel. But Goldstone investigated both sides of the conflict, Israel and Hamas. The 575 page document concluded that, during its incursion into the Gaza Strip, on 27 December 2008, to root out Palestinian rocket squads, Israel:

  • used disproportionate force
  • deliberately targeted civilians
  • used Palestinians as human shields
  • destroyed civilian infrastructure.

It also pointed out that Palestinian armed groups, including Hamas, deliberately targeted civilians and tried to spread terror through years of rocket attacks on southern Israel. In fact, the report required both Israel and Hamas to look publicly and fairly into their respective human rights failings in the conflict, and, if they failed to conduct credible investigations within six months, recommended a reference of the offending party to the International Criminal Court prosecutor in The Hague.

So, the report itself is balanced, but the UN resolution emphasized the Israeli part because far more innocents were killed by Israeli professional soldiers than by Hamas fighters. The three week conflict in Gaza left 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead. It was the continuation over decades of such one sided “defense” of the territory that until 1948 had been the Palestinians’ for twelve centuries that has caused the hatred of Moslems worldwide. Consequently, the resolution agreed in Geneva called for the UN General Assembly to consider the Goldstone report, and then for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to report, on Israel’s adherence to the resolution, to the Human Rights Council.

For Washington, justice is a “distraction from the peace process”, according to the US ambassador. Naturally, Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, Yigal Palmor, claimed the resolution “provides encouragement for terrorist organizations worldwide and undermines global peace”. Israel is not the terrorist organization he meant. Meanwhile Ambassador Griffiths continued with the usual pro-Israeli stance of all US administrations:

We had worked for a resolution that recognized the right of a state to take legitimate action to protect its citizens in the face of threats to their security while also condemning violations of international law regardless of the actor.

Read this carefully. “A state has the right to take legitimate action to protect its citizens.” It is true, and is enshrined in the Human Rights Act, but the US ambassador means Israel has the right, not the Palestinians who are actually fighting for the life and land of its people, yet always suffer completely disproportionally in the one sided war going on between Israel and Palestine. Numerous UN resolutions have been directed against Israel, but they lead nowhere because of US intransigence and veto.

In 40 years, Israel has featured in 65 Security Council UN resolutions, passed by two thirds majorities or better in the 15 nation Security Council—often 14 to one, the US! These resolutions have censured and deplored Israel’s actions and policies in respect of massacres of Palestinians, land grabbing since the 1948 partition, destroying Palestinian buildings including homes, making them refugees in their own land, restricting their access to water and electricity, illegal imprisonments, deliberate harassment and settling Israelis in illegal settlements. These are all violations of human rights, yet The US and Israel justify them by the fact that Palestinians protest against them! If someone did it to you, what would you do? Tip your cap in gratitude? Something is seriously wrong with the world when people wronged for half a century are treated as if they are criminals for trying to assert some sort of justice themselves.

For international justice for them is a joke, through US protection of Israel. It is impossible for them to find justice wherever they turn. Insurmountable obstacles are constantly placed in their way, legal channels are blocked, and their human rights are mangled in the interest of US oil imperialism. They have lost their own land, and are promised a share of it, as a Palestinian state but the never get even to share what was theirs sixty years ago. In the end, they only have one course open to them— to fight for their rights—then they are called terrorists.

Is it any wonder that Arab and African countries can only see US double standards in this, and try to use the UN for its proper purpose. The Israelis do all the damage, and the Palestinians get all the blame. Those who believed President Obama would act differently have already been disappointed. Change? He talks the talk but no longer walks the walk, in this key issue of foreign affairs. Typically and especially typical of his predecessor, he insists on a nuclear free Middle East, except for Israel, whose 60 nuclear bombs, though held contrary to the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty never meet any US disapproval while Iran gets threatened with nuclear attack just for enriching uranium for legitimate reasons.

How can the leaders, and indeed the general population, of this immensely powerful superpower, the US, claim to be a moral nation, or even understand what morality is, when they have such an immoral attitude to some of the most ill treated people in the world. The Palestinians are treated as less than dogs. So much for the respect the meretriciously Christian Americans have for God and His creation, and Christ’s famous saying that to mistreat anyone is to mistreat himself in the same way!

At the root of the US hypocrisy is the unqualified protection America gives its Middle Eastern colony, Israel. The US can veto anything brought before the UN Security Council blocking any call to bring Israel to justice before the International Criminal Court. Israel therefore knows it stands above international law. It can therefore act just as it likes to its Arab neighbours, launching attacks wherever it fancies. The illegal segregationist wall stretches through the West Bank to protect the illegal Israeli settlements being expanded there—Arab land—and Gaza is still being illegally blockaded.

As the US ambassador said, countries have the right to self defense, and that is what the Palestinians have been doing, but the US has its own agenda behind its immoral attitude to foreign policy. It is the agenda of the magnates and militarists who make megabucks out of other people’s distress, and so have a permanent policy of causing it, not just in Palestine. It is time for American liberals and the genuinely Christian American, if any exist, to speak out against the criminality of their own leaders serving those who sacrifice human beings to the insatiable Moloch of greed and war bucks, America’s caste of robber barons.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Gaza: Israeli Criminals let off the Hook Again

In a special session, 25 members of the 47 nation UN body voted in favor of the resolution that chastised Israel for failing to cooperate with the UN mission led by South African jurist Richard Goldstone. Another 6 voted against—the US and Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Slovakia and Ukraine—while 16 others abstained or did not vote. Britain, France and three other members declined to vote. Russia and China, two permanent members of the UN Security Council, were among those voting yes.

Britain, which used to pride itself on its respect for law and for human rights did not vote, according to David Milliband, the UK's Jewish Foreign Secretary, because it had not finished discussing the issue, effectively colluding with Israel to keep its generals and officials from prosecution. The British Foreign Office prevaricated last month, over a private visit to London of Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and his wife until they had immunity from prosecution.

Moreover, the United Nations itself ignores Israel's flouting of Security Council Resolutions and has shelved the report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, its own careful investigations into Israel's crimes.

Israel says focusing on its actions in Gaza could derail the start of talks toward a peace deal and the establishment of a Palestinian state, objectives Israel has consistently opposed in every way practical. “Any action against Israel in this area is incompatible with negotiations and concessions”, said Eytan Gilboa of Bar Ilan University.

Goldstone, a noted judge, who is a Jew and has been under strong pressure from Zionist Jews and Israelis, concluded that both Israel and Hamas, the militant ruling party of Gaza, elected by the Palestinian people, committed war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during the conflict.

So the responsibility was evenly divided between Israelis and Palestinians. The Palestinian people, having been consistently failed by international bodies and the international legal system, it can scarcely surprise anyone that they have tried to take matters into their own hands. Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto did the same—they fought back even though against the odds. why is it right for Jews to fight fascist oppression but it is not right for Arabs to do it against Israelis, Jewish colonists in the US colony of Palestine.

Israel is portrayed as the minnow even though it has nuclear weapons and every modern WMD it wants from their protectors the USA. The Palestinians have almost nothing, though Israel launched its vicious attack in response to some rockets fired from Gaza in late December 2008. These rockets were not professionally made military hardware, but are ingenious home made contraptions, little more than self propelled mortar bombs, and quite untargetable. They have caused some casualties and damage to property, but no fair judge can compare it with the full scale professionally equipped onslaught of the Israeli army last January.

And who can doubt the injustice looking at the figures of casualties from the three week long invasion of Gaza by the Israeli troops and their tanks. Almost 1,400 Palestinians—400 children—were killed during conflict, and just 13 Israelis, half by friendly fire! What is moral or defensible about professional soldiers killing defenseless women and children in their homes?

How can the US justify such immoral behavior? How can Obama especially justify it? It is not moral in the least to beat up and murder helpless people, and it is the Palestinians who are helpless not the Israelis. Obama in less than a year has been corralled by the military clique in Washington, yet has won a Peace prize. So too did Kissinger, but he at least gave his back. Why doesn't Obama change? Change was his slogan. Why not try it in foreign affairs as well as in health care? And even there he is struggling. We have to conclude that the Christian-Zionist military axis ruling the US is too strong for anyone. The US people themselves need to respond.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Republican Rambo Rednecks Don't Like the US to be Liked

Patricia Reaney of Reuters Life! reported that the United States is now the most admired country in the world, thanks to President Barack Obama, according to a new poll of 20,000 people in 20 rich and developing countries, asked to rate 50 nations in categories such as culture, governance, people, exports, tourism, landscape and education. The US rose dramatically from seventh place last year, after the eight G W Bush years, to go ahead of France, Germany, the UK, and Japan, the current top five nations in the Nation Brand Index (NBI). During the monstrous foreign policies of the Bush administration, the US declined in image globally, pleasing his Rambo supporters, but, despite the turmoil in world economics, its status has risen under Obama. Iran came in last at number 50.

The US right wing was not pleased. An apparently oxymoronic Republican website entitled American Thinker, seemingly a cover for a cabal of Zionists, responded:

Of course the world loves Obama. After all, he loves the world, right?… there might be some question about how much he loves the part that he lives in—but that’s beside the point. Once again, the USA is on top, kicking butt and taking names and… What the people of the world love about Obama is that… the US will be a good little world citizen and kow tow to the United Nations, that we will embrace our enemies and kick or friends in the teeth, and that he will subsume American interests in favor of the interests of other countries… The thug nations of the world are satisfied.

Readers’ comments to the article included:

Since when does any real American give a rat’s a$$ about what anyone else thinks about us?
If everybody is happy, you’re doing something wrong…
Of the 130+ nations fully 100+ are dictators or totalitarian regimes that hate democracies and especially the US.
Another reason they hate us is because most of those countries have dictators and dictators don’t allow their people to know the truth about America and her greatness. The people just believe what they are told. But if they had a taste of our Freedom they would no doubt overthrow their dictatorship governments and join us!
So a bunch of tyrants, thugs, dictators and totalitarian whack-jobs dearly love us now?

Well, there you are, the American Thinker! These are the pious Judeo-Christian supporters of Bush and Cheney thinking deeply. These are the people who are proud to display their utter ignorance and bigotry in public, then think the world was ungrateful to dislike them. They are the people who seem utterly unable to consider that most of the world’s dictators are actually supported by the USA. “They just believe what they are told” and “the thug nations of the world are satisfied” are hilariously oxymoronic… or are this simply hilariously moronic? Republican wing nuts like these like to kick ass, as they put it, but don’t like it when some little kid kicks the bully back. He’s a dictator then, little tyrant.

Obama has done a little, very little so far, to get sanity back into US foreign relations, but getting brains into US rednecks is a lot more difficult.