Yemen’s New Ways of Protesting Drone Strikes: Graffiti and Poetry

Originally posted on Citizen Media at Manchester:

Street artists and poets in Yemen campaign against American drone strike

US drone attacks in Yemen

A Yemeni boy looks at graffiti depicting a U.S. drone at a street in Sana’a, Yemen, Nov. 6, 2013.

An American drone hovers along a main thoroughfare in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a. Not a real drone, but rather a 7 foot-long rendition of an unmanned aircraft spray-painted near the top of a whitewashed city wall. Below it, a stenciled-on child is writing: “Why did you kill my family?” in blood-red English and Arabic script.

Painted by Yemeni artist Murad Subay, the Banksy-esque mural sits beside three others also admonishing the United States’ use of drones in Yemen to track and kill terrorism suspects. This drone art is part of Subay’s latest campaign, “12 Hours”, which aims to raise awareness about twelve problems facing Yemen, including weapons proliferation, sectarianism, kidnapping and poverty. Drones are the fifth and arguably most striking “hour” yet…

View original 707 more words

Juan Cole: John Kerry acknowledges Israeli apartheid and 5 ways he is understating it

Juan Cole: John Kerry acknowledges Israeli apartheid and 5 ways he is understating it

“Israel itself was ethnically cleansed of 750,000 Palestinians in 1948, and was designated ‘Jewish,’ such that the expelled Palestinians (now millions strong) were denied the right to return to their homes.  Some 70% of the residents of the Gaza Strip are from southern Israel, and cannot return to their nearby homes in cities such as Sderot, where Israelis have settled Ethiopians and Thai guest workers.  In the Palestinian West Bank, some 600,000 Israeli squatters have usurped significant amounts of land from Palestinians, for which they paid nothing to the original owners, and their squatter settlements are off-limits to Palestinians, who cannot live in them.”

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Saudi Arabia joins the killer drone arms race

Saudi Arabia joins the killer drone arms race

The US is still responsible for the vast majority of drone strikes, but that may have more to do with politics than capability. A GAO report from 2012 found that more than 75 countries have some form of drone system. Most are unarmed but some, like the systems used in Australia, Japan, and Singapore, could be retrofitted for military purpose. More importantly, the US’ use of drones — more than 50 strikes in 2013 alone— seems to have whetted a global appetite for combat drones. ‘If you think of this as part of a broader trend of the proliferation of military robotics, then the idea that we were going to have a monopoly on this kind of technology was always a bit far-fetched,’ says University of Pennsylvania political scientist Michael Horowitz. ‘The American monopoly on drones is over and probably never really existed.’”

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

US senators remove requirement for disclosure over drone strike victims

US senators remove requirement for disclosure over drone strike victims

“At the behest of the director of national intelligence, US senators have removed a provision from a major intelligence bill that would require the president to publicly disclose information about drone strikes and their victims.

The bill authorizing intelligence operations in fiscal 2014 passed out of the Senate intelligence committee in November, and it originally required the president to issue an annual public report clarifying the total number of ‘combatants’ and ‘noncombatant civilians’ killed or injured by drone strikes in the previous year. It did not require the White House to disclose the total number of strikes worldwide.”

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

CIA’s Pakistan drone strikes carried out by regular US air force personnel

CIA’s Pakistan drone strikes carried out by regular US air force personnel

“Brandon Bryant, a former US Predator operator, told the film he decided to speak out after senior officials in the Obama administration gave a briefing last year in which they said they wanted to “transfer” control of the CIA’s secret drones programme to the military.

Bryant said this was disingenuous because it was widely known in military circles that the US air force was already involved.

‘There is a lie hidden within that truth. And the lie is that it’s always been the air force that has flown those missions. The CIA might be the customer but the air force has always flown it. A CIA label is just an excuse to not have to give up any information. That is all it has ever been.’”

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dallas: “Support Our Public Schools” Does Not Mean Support Our Public Schools

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

In Dallas, billionaire John Arnold is supporting an initiative to turn the whole district into a “home rule district” or a “charter district.”

The organization that is collecting signatures has a typical reformer name: “Support Our Public Schools.” When today’s reformers say they want to “support our public schools,” it usually means the opposite. Buyer beware.

But what is a home rule district?

Wade Crowder, a veteran Dallas teacher, explains that the goal is to remove the elected school board and replace it with an unaccountable appointed board. As is usual with today’s corporate reforms, the prelude to a sweeping plan for deregulation is claims of failure, failure, failure.

Actually, the supporters of the home rule district have been vague about their goals.

But Julian Vasquez Heilig says that what is happening is a “hostile corporate takeover.”

If you open the link in Julian’s blog, you will see the names…

View original 331 more words

Tagged , , , , , ,

Hobby Lobby retirement plan invests heavily in contraception manufacturers

Hobby Lobby retirement plan invests heavily in contraception manufacturers

Redden examined documents filed with the Department of Labor three months after the company’s owners filed the lawsuit challenging the contraception provision of the Affordable Care Act and found that the Hobby Lobby 401(k) ‘held more than $73 million in mutual funds with investments in companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions.’”

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

GM saved $1 per faulty car

GM saved $1 per faulty car

According to an internal document given to U.S. congressional investigators, in 2005 General Motors did not change the ignition switch in cars that have been linked to at least 13 deaths, because it would have added roughly a dollar to the cost of each car.”

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 506 other followers

%d bloggers like this: