A familiar sight is taking place across Iran tonight and it has been for the last three days. Protests are taking place in numerous cities citing grievances and demanding that the Ayatollah and Iranian President step down. For a few days, the protests remained non-violent but now violence has indeed flared up as protesters have laid waste to a number of government properties and those belonging to “pro-government militias.”
Neo-cons in the American media and the U.S. President are all demanding that Americans stand with the “Iranian people” and the “protesters” in their “fight for freedom.”
The reason this sight is familiar is because we have seen it in Egypt, Libya, and Syria in the past as well as in Iran itself in the late 2000s. Protests that turn violent, a subsequent crackdown that either is violent or is reported as such, and the weight of American propaganda against the target government are all “Arab Spring” repeats that are themselves nothing more than the color revolution/destabilization apparatus that has been used by the West in countries all across the world for decades, particularly in the last twenty years.
What Do The Protesters Want?
The alleged demands of the protesters seem reasonable and legitimate enough. The Western media has, up until this point, been reporting that the main argument being made by the demonstrators center around economic concerns, i.e. falling living standards, unemployment, and rising food prices. However, as the third day of protests took place, the Western media began reporting that the protesters are demanding an end to religious dictatorship and policies of both the Ayatollah Khamenei and President Rouhani. According to some reports, female protesters have gone so far as to shout “death to Khamenei” and shed their hijabs in order to construct makeshift flags. Others say the protesters are focused on government corruption.
However, there is much question about these protests. The first question is “Are they organic Iranian protests?” This question has yet to be answered fully. Iran is most certainly a religious dictatorship and many Iranians want freedom from religious rule. However, it should be remembered that the United States and Israel have openly stated a desire to see Iranian influence broken and as recently as 2009,
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When Donald Trump ran for the U.S. Presidency, his biggest foreign-affairs promise (which he copied from Ted Cruz) was to defeat “radical Islamic terrorism”; but, on December 27th, the Russian Government publicly accused Trump’s military of backing ISIS terrorists to fight against Syria’s Government (which is allied with Russia). Russia’s RT international television network headlined “US lets militants train, mount attacks from its Syrian bases – chief of Russian General Staff”, and opened:
The US is hosting training camps for militant groups in Syria, including former ISIS fighters who fled from Raqqa, said the head of Russia’s General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, citing data obtained by aerial surveillance.
The US forces have effectively turned their military base near the town of al-Tanf in southeastern Syria into a terrorists’ training camp, Gerasimov said in an interview to Russia’s Komsomolskaya Pravda daily on Wednesday.
“According to satellite and other surveillance data, terrorist squads are stationed there. They are effectively training there,” Gerasimov said. …
Barely over a month earlier, the BBC had headlined on November 13th, “Raqqa’s Dirty Secret: The BBC has uncovered details of a secret deal that let hundreds of IS fighters and their families escape from Raqqa, under the gaze of the US and British-led coalition and Kurdish-led forces who control the city.” One lorry driver told BBC, “We took out around 4,000 people including women and children — our vehicle and their vehicles combined. When we entered Raqqa, we thought there were 200 people to collect. In my vehicle alone, I took 112 people.” The reporter noted, “Another driver says the convoy was six to seven kilometres long.” Furthermore: “IS fighters took everything they could carry. Ten trucks were loaded with weapons and ammunition. The drivers point to a white truck being worked on in the corner of the yard. ‘Its axle was broken because of the weight of the ammo,’ says Abu Fawzi [a lorry driver].”
So: America’s ISIS training camps might have thousands of extremely well-armed fighters to pay (by the Sauds) and train (by the Americans) to fight against Bashar al-Assad’s forces — prolonging the war against Syria, continuing the Syrian carnage.
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Featured image: Satellite image shows damage at Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant (via ecowatch.com).
Dr Helen Caldicott explains recent robot photos taken of Fukushima’s Daiichi nuclear reactors: radiation levels have not peaked, but have continued to spill toxic waste into the Pacific Ocean — but it’s only now the damage has been photographed.
Recent reporting of a huge radiation measurement at Unit 2 in the Fukushima Daichi reactor complex does not signify that there is a peak in radiation in the reactor building.
All that it indicates is that, for the first time, the Japanese have been able to measure the intense radiation given off by the molten fuel, as each previous attempt has led to failure because the radiation is so intense the robotic parts were functionally destroyed.
The radiation measurement was 530 sieverts, or 53,000 rems (Roentgen Equivalent for Man). The dose at which half an exposed population would die is 250 to 500 rems, so this is a massive measurement. It is quite likely had the robot been able to penetrate deeper into the inner cavern containing the molten corium, the measurement would have been much greater.
These facts illustrate why it will be almost impossible to “decommission” units 1, 2 and 3 as no human could ever be exposed to such extreme radiation. This fact means that Fukushima Daichi will remain a diabolical blot upon Japan and the world for the rest of time, sitting as it does on active earthquake zones.
Robot image of Fukushima Daiichi Unit 2 reactor (Source: tepco.co.jp)
What the photos taken by the robot did reveal was that some of the structural supports of Unit 2 have been damaged. It is also true that all four buildings were structurally damaged by the original earthquake some five years ago and by the subsequent hydrogen explosions so, should there be an earthquake greater than seven on the Richter scale, it is very possible that one or more of these structures could collapse, leading to a massive release of radiation as the building fell on the molten core beneath.
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Politics & Elections
Deported by Trump, Migrants Press Mexican President-Elect for Support
Prisons & Policing
Oklahoma Could Execute Potentially Innocent Prisoners With Nitrogen Gas
Prisons & Policing
Myths About “Violent Offenders” Compromise True Safety
Economy & Labor
Can a Cap Be Placed on the Incomes of the Super-Rich?
Politics & Elections
A Win for Net Neutrality Activists: First House Republican Backs Effort to Reinstate Protections
Economy & Labor
ICE and Border Patrol Unions Cheer Trump’s Immigration Crackdown
Attorney General Jeff Sessions listens during a news conference at the Justice Department November 29, 2017, in Washington, DC. (Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images)
One day after President Donald Trump invited Republican lawmakers to the White House to celebrate the historic tax cuts they passed for corporations and wealthy business leaders, his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, quietly reinstated a draconian policy that effectively serves as a regressive tax on America’s poorest people.
A symbol of Victorian England’s inequitable nature made infamous by Charles Dickens, debtors’ prisons were banned in the United States in 1833. The Supreme Court has affirmed the unconstitutionality of jailing those too poor to pay debts on three different occasion in the last century, finding that the 14th Amendment prohibits incarceration for non-payment of exorbitant court-imposed fines or fees without an assessment of a person’s ability to pay and alternatives for those who cannot. “Punishing a person for his poverty” is illegal, the Court said. Yet in recent years the modern-day equivalent of debtors’ prisons have returned, as cities have grown to rely on a punishing regime of fines and fees imposed on their own residents as a major stream of revenue.
Routine traffic tickets or even overdue student loan payments can set off a cycle of debt that also includes the suspension of a driver’s license or professional license and, in some cases, jail time. A suspended driver’s license makes it nearly impossible to get to work. When a person can’t pay, courts add more fines on top of the original. If those fees aren’t paid, a jail sentence is imposed. Incarceration is also often meted out to low-income defendants facing misdemeanor charges who cannot afford to pay bond ahead of a court date.
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REWIND: The complete acTVism Video Series on the Military Industrial Complex
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VIDEO: The Military Industrial Complex with Jeremy Scahill
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VIDEO: The Military Industrial Complex with Media Benjamin – P1
VIDEO: The Military Industrial Complex with Media Benjamin – P2
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ABOUT JEREMY SCAHILL
Jeremy Scahill is one of the three founding editors of The Intercept. He is an investigative reporter, war correspondent, and author of the international bestselling books Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield and Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. He has reported from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, the former Yugoslavia, and elsewhere across the globe. Scahill has served as the national security correspondent for The Nation and Democracy Now!.
Scahill’s work has sparked several congressional investigations and won some of journalism’s highest honors. He was twice awarded the prestigious George Polk Award, in 1998 for foreign reporting and in 2008 for Blackwater. Scahill is a producer and writer of the award-winning film Dirty Wars, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award.
ABOUT MEDEA BENJAMIN
Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of the women-led peace group CODEPINK and the co-founder of the human rights group Global Exchange. She has been an advocate for social justice for more than 40 years. Described as „one of America’s most committed — and most effective — fighters for human rights“ by New York Newsday,
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