Thursday, August 30, 2012

PAKISTAN: Barbarity in the name of religion at its height

Pakistan is known in the international community and declared in the country’s Constitution as an Islamic nation where Islam is glorified as the superb religion and its followers are pious Muslims. There is no doubt that Islam teaches tolerance, love, respect for other religions, and that life and death are in the hands of Allah. The killing of any human being is forbidden and in the Quran it is the highest form of sin.

But how Islam is defined in practice is yet a big question in Pakistani society. In the absence of any clear definition about the implementation of Islam a strong perception has been widely spread that it can be implemented only through the violence and exemplary punishment to those who do not properly follow its precepts. Saudi Arabia, being the role model of Shariah and a real Islamic country, demonstrates its commitment every Friday by handing down death sentences that are then carried out by beheading. At the same time thieves have their hands removed.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Are Human Rights Becoming a Tool of US Smart Power?

By Coleen Rowley,  Veterans Today, Aug 27, 2012

Some nonpartisan commentators finally recognize that current US foreign policy continues to escalate militarily as though on steroids. It has become evident that use of deadly force by a US-dominated NATO is not only outside the parameters of international and constitutional law, but also in some cases outside basic legal principles that have stood the test of time not only for decades, but for centuries.  One explanation, however, for why American civil society, in general, has not pushed back is the “better rhetoric” now being used to sell war. 

What is this better rhetoric and newly minted impetus for US-NATO’s same dumb (actually insane) war agenda, what used to be blurted out as “We must bomb the village to save it”? Constantly flitting through the revolving doors of their official appointments, foreign-policy think tanks and directorships of “human rights” organizations, proponents of  ”Smart Power” make their compelling case for more (endless) war in successfully urging us to “recast the fight against terror and nuclear proliferation… from a dark, draining struggle into a hopeful, progressive cause aimed at securing an international system of liberal societies and defeating challenges to it.”

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Saudi destruction of Islamic heritage and Islamic symbols

A mini documentary on Al Saud’s systematic destruction of Mecca and Madina.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

John Pilger: The pursuit of Julian Assange is an assault on freedom and a mockery of journalism

John Pilger, Aug. 23, 2012


The British government’s threat to invade the Ecuadorean embassy in London and seize Julian Assange is of historic significance. David Cameron, the former PR man to a television industry huckster and arms salesman to sheikdoms, is well placed to dishonour international conventions that have protected Britons in places of upheaval. Just as Tony Blair’s invasion of Iraq led directly to the acts of terrorismin London on 7 July 2005, so Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague have compromised the safety of British representatives across the world.

Threatening to abuse a law designed to expel murderers from foreign embassies, while defaming an innocent man as an “alleged criminal”, Hague has made a laughing stock of Britain across the world, though this view is mostly suppressed in Britain. The same brave newspapers and broadcasters that have supported Britain’s part in epic bloody crimes, from the genocide in Indonesia to the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, now attack the “human rights record” of Ecuador, whose real crime is to stand up to the bullies in London and Washington.

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

11 Years old Pakistani Christian Girl Falsely Accused of Burning 10 Pages of The Quran

Editor’s remarks:  When Pakistan was transformed into a gutter of barbarism by the ignorant mullahs in the name of pure ‘Islam’ and their political bosses, both old and the new ones, the people of Pakistan have been killing each other on sectarian grounds. The seeds sown by Maududi have wrought havoc in Pakistan. In this vicious cycle of violence and inhumanity, the Sunnis have specially targeted Shias, Ahmadis, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, etc.

The Christians of Pakistan have been the most oppressed and marginalised socially, economically and politically. They are also the most vulnerable people in Pakistan and they become an easy prey of the rage of ignorant Muslim masses, who are always provoked by their preachers and mullahs to commit crimes against the Christians. Now in the name of the so-called blasphemy laws, any Muslim mischief-monger can accuse a Christian of insulting the Prophet Muhammad, the Quran or Islam. As a result, innocent Christians are victimised and penalised by the Muslims. It is high time for the democratic forces and all people of good-will in Pakistan to stand for the equal rights of all religious communities in Pakistan and call for the abrogation of the blasphemy laws. Instead Pakistan should have laws against those people who preach hatred against any religious sect or religious minorities and provoke violence in the name of a pure ‘Islam’. What is happening in Pakistan in the name of pure ‘Islam’ has nothing to do with Islam; it is barbarism, pure and simple.

                                     Nasir Khan, Editor

11 Years old Pakistani Christian Girl Falsely Accused of Burning 10 Pages of The Quran

August 18, 2012   Christians in Pakistan
We have received news of another very unfortunate event in Pakistan. A 11 year old Christian girl with Down syndrome named Rimsha daughter of Misrak Masih, resident of Umara Jaffar, sector G12/0 Islamabad, has been falsely accused of burning 10 pages of the Quran. She was arrested on August 17 by the women police station with the FIR no as 303/12 at 6:45 pm. The complainants name is Alsyed Muhammad Ummad.

The whole community is now threatened by extremists wanting to burn down the village. 2-300 people have left their homes and are in hiding due to threats from mobs declaring that they will soon attack the village. APMA has been providing for their food expenses since many have left their residence. Dr. Paul Bhatti along with APMA members have so far controlled the situation by reporting the incident to the police.

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Gareth Porter: Cover-Up of Civilian Drone Deaths Revealed by New Evidence

Gareth Porter, truthout, Aug 17, 2012
  • Drone 
    An aerial drone launches from the guided-missile frigate USS Thach. (Photo: U.S. Navy / Flickr)
    Detailed information from the families of those killed in drone strikes in Pakistan and from local sources on strikes that have targeted mourners and rescue workers provides credible new evidence that the majority of the deaths in the drone war in Pakistan have been civilian noncombatants – not “militants,” as the Obama administration has claimed.

    The new evidence also shows that the statistical tally of casualties from drone attacks in Pakistan published on the web site of the New America Foundation (NAF) has been systematically understating the deaths of large numbers of civilians by using a methodology that methodically counts them as “militants.”

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Stephen Lendman: Drumbeat for War on Iran

by Stephen Lendman, Veterans Today, Aug. 16, 2012

Haaretz knows better. Still it misreports on Iran. On August 12, its editorial headlined “Netanyahu’s dangerous demagoguery on Iran” saying:

“Iranian nuclear weapons are a threat to Israel – but its leaders’ demagoguery is just as dangerous.”

Haaretz, Israeli officials, US and other Western ones know Iran has no nuclear weapons program. It likely has no intention of pursuing one. It abhors them and wants a nuclear-free Middle East.

Israel alone in the region is menacing. It has a powerful arsenal and declared intention to use it if threatened. Instead of pointing fingers the wrong way, Haaretz editorial policy should report responsibly.

Iran threatens no one. It hasn’t attacked another country in over 200 years. Israel is nuclear armed and dangerous. No one in the region and beyond is safe.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Stephen Lendman: Israeli Crimes Against Humanity

by Stephen Lendman, Veterans Today, Aug. 12, 2012

Israel commits daily crimes against humanity. Intermittently, crimes or war are committed.

For decades, Palestinians have been ruthlessly persecuted and denied justice.

Dozens of incidents occur daily. Media scoundrels suppress or ignore them.
On July 30, Israel placed 10 International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activists in administrative detention uncharged. ISM resists Israeli repression nonviolently.

Activists are frequently arrested, detained, mistreated, then deported. Israel considers supporting right over wrong illegal.

Palestinian Authority (PA) officials enforce Israeli lawlessness. Collaborationist leaders betray their people. Maliciously they accuse internationals of anti-PA incitement.

Al Haq said the PA’s “persistent disregard for international law, combined with recurring abuses committed by several Palestinian security agencies in the West Bank have done nothing to appease the frustrations of Palestinian people.”

Abbas and prime minister Salam Fayyad lack legitimacy. So do those around them. “Palestinians have come to expect little more than the suppression of freedom of expression, arbitrary arrest and even worse from their governing authority.”

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

51 Years After the Chemica51 Years After the Chemical War Began in Vietnam, Be Silent, Then Take Action

by Marjorie Cohn and Jeanne Mirer, Common Dreams, Aug. 9, 2012
There are images from the U.S. War against Vietnam that have been indelibly imprinted on the minds of Americans who lived through it. One is the naked napalm-burned girl running from her village with flesh hanging off her body. Another is a photo of the piles of bodies from the My Lai massacre, where U.S. troops executed 504 civilians in a small village. Then there is the photograph of the silent scream of a woman student leaning over the body of her dead friend at Kent State University whose only crime was protesting the bombing of Cambodia in 1970. Finally, there is the memory of decorated members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War testifying at the Winter Soldier Hearings, often in tears, to atrocities in which they had participated during the war.

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

‘Humane’ Drones Are the Most Brutal Weapons of All

An Essay by Dirk Kurbjuweit, Speigel Online International, Aug. 9, 2012

Photo Gallery: The Future of War
The German military is considering the purchase of combat drones. But we should not allow ourselves to be seduced by the idea that an unmanned aircraft is a humane weapon. On the contrary, they expose the true nature of war in all its brutality.
 A suicide bomber needs to be 100 percent willing to sacrifice his life. With a drone pilot, on the other hand, the risk of pilot death drops to zero percent. The West’s war on Islamist terror is currently being waged between these two conflicting priorities. Nothing is more indicative of the asymmetry of the war, and nothing is as symbolic of the cultures that are waging it. It’s a war between those who are willing to sacrifice everything and those who are unwilling to give up anything — a war of sacrifice versus convenience, bodies versus technology and risk versus safety.
Like no other weapon, the drone stems from the needs and strengths of the West. Aside from convenience, technology and safety, it also represents a moral claim. In the world of weapons, the drone is a good weapon, at least at first glance. It claims no victims on one side and relatively few on the other, because it fires precision missiles.

Friday, August 10, 2012

US Drone Strikes Very Much a Human Rights Issue

By Martin Khor,, August 8, 2012

The use of drones by one state to kill people in other countries is fast emerging as an international human rights issue of serious public concern. This was evident in the recent session (June 18-July 6, 2012) of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, both in the official meetings and in NGO seminars.
The use of drones, or pilotless aircraft operated by remote control, by the government in one country to strike at persons and other targets in other countries, has been increasingly used by the United States, in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia.

Instead of following clear legal standards, the practice of drone attacks has become a vaguely defined and unaccountable “license to kill”, according to a 2010 report of a UN human rights special rapporteur.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Joseph Lewis: The Philosophy of Atheism

by Joseph Lewis, Positive Atheism

(Address Delivered February 20, 1960,
Over Radio Station WIME, Miami, Florida)

Good evening ladies and gentlemen.

This is Joseph Lewis speaking.

Although as a child I was instructed in the religion of my parents, I never came under the spell of religious training long enough to so warp my mentality as not to be able to see any other viewpoint.

I was never trained to espouse the cause of Atheism. I came to accept Atheism as the result of independent thought and self-study.

I came to my conclusions after a full analysis and an impartial consideration of the various religious creeds and the different systems of philosophy. In my study of the different fields of thought, I found no philosophy that contained so many truths, and inspired one with so much courage, as Atheism. Atheism equips us to face life, with its multitude of trials and tribulations, better than any other code of living that I have yet been able to find. It is grounded in the very roots of life itself. Its foundation is based on Nature, without superfluities and false garments. No sham or shambles are attached to it.

Atheism rises above creeds, and puts Humanity upon one plane. There can be no "chosen people" in the Atheist philosophy. There are no bended knees in Atheism; no supplications, no prayers; no sacrificial redemptions; no "divine" revelations; no washing in the blood of the lamb; no crusades, no massacres, no holy wars; no heaven, no hell, no purgatory; no silly rewards and no vindictive punishments; no christs and no saviors; no devils, no ghosts, and no gods.

Atheism breaks down the barriers of nationalities and, like, "one touch of nature makes the whole world kin." Systems of religion make people clannish and bigoted.

Atheism is a vigorous and a courageous philosophy. It is not afraid to face the problems of life, and it is not afraid to confess that there are problems yet to be solved. It does not claim that it has solved all the questions of the universe, but it does claim that it has discovered the approach, and learned the method, of solving them.

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Paul Craig Roberts: The Dispossessed Majority

Paul Craig Roberts,, August 8, 2012

The bumper sticker on the beat-up pickup truck read: “Friends don’t let friends vote Democrat.”

The driver was obviously not affluent. Yet, despite all the news about mega-trillion dollar bankster bailouts, mega-million dollar bonuses for financial crooks, and unimaginable compensation packages for corporate CEOs who have moved middle class jobs out of America, something made the down-and-out pickup truck driver associate with the political party of the super-rich.

As I wondered at this strange alliance of the dirt poor with the mega-rich, I remembered that in 2004 Thomas Frank wondered about how the Republicans had managed to convince the poor to vote against their best interests. Frank’s answer, or part of his answer, is that the Republicans use “social issues,” such as gay marriage and Janet Jackson’s exposed nipple to work up indignation over the threat to moral values posed by liberal Democrats.

The working poor have been convinced by Republican propaganda that voting Democrat means giving the working poor’s tax dollars to the non-working poor, to providing medical care and schooling for illegal aliens, and being soft on terrorism.
To the pick-up truck driver, standing up for America means standing up for bankster bailouts and the military/security complex’s multi-trillion dollar wars.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Francis A. Boyle: The Criminality Of Nuclear Deterrance

By Francis A. Boyle,, August 5, 2012

The human race stands on the verge of nuclear self-extinction as a species, and with it will die most, if not all, forms of intelligent life on the planet earth. Any attempt to dispel the ideology of nuclearism and its attendant myth propounding the legality of nuclear weapons and nuclear deterrence must directly come to grips with the fact that the nuclear age was conceived in the original sins of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki constituted crimes against humanity and war crimes as defined by the Nuremberg Charter of August 8, 1945, and violated several basic provisions of the Regulations annexed to Hague Convention No. 4 Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land (1907), the rules of customary international law set forth in the Draft Hague Rules of Air Warfare (1923), and the United States War Department Field Manual 27-10, Rules of Land Warfare (1940). According to this Field Manual and the Nuremberg Principles, all civilian government officials and military officers who ordered or knowingly participated in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki could have been lawfully punished as war criminals. The start of any progress toward resolving humankind’s nuclear predicament must come from the realization that nuclear weapons have never been legitimate instruments of state policy, but rather have always constituted illegitimate instrumentalities of internationally lawless and criminal behavior.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Chris Hedges: The Science of Genocide

Chris Hedges,, August 6, 2012
Illustration by Mr. Fish

On this day in 1945 the United States demonstrated that it was as morally bankrupt as the Nazi machine it had recently vanquished and the Soviet regime with which it was allied. Over Hiroshima, and three days later over Nagasaki, it exploded an atomic device that was the most efficient weapon of genocide in human history. The blast killed tens of thousands of men, women and children. It was an act of mass annihilation that was strategically and militarily indefensible. The Japanese had been on the verge of surrender. Hiroshima and Nagasaki had no military significance. It was a war crime for which no one was ever tried. The explosions, which marked the culmination of three centuries of physics, signaled the ascendancy of the technician and scientist as our most potent agents of death.

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Saturday, August 04, 2012


Published by: ATHEIST CENTRE Vijayawada — 520 006 India.
Printed at: INSAAN PRINTERS Benz Centre, Vijayawada — 520 006.


Gora propagated atheism as a positive way of life. He toured extensively in India and went round the world in 1970 and again in 1974.

He undertook many practical programmes to fight against social, economic and political inequalities and injustices. He conducted satyagraha campaigns before and after Independence and went to gaol many a time. As a social revolutionary, he took up programmes for the eradication of caste and untouchability and fought against superstitions and blind beliefs. Gora’s life was a saga of struggle for the propagation of atheism.

Gora was a prolific writer. He wrote extensively in Telugu and English on atheism for more than four decades. In this book we are publishing a collection of his articles written in The Atheist, between 1969-75. They deal with diverse aspects.

Atheist Centre intends to publish the select writings of Gora in English and Telugu. Already more than twenty books have been published. With the cooperation and support of innumerable friends, we wish to publish all other writings soon.

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Thursday, August 02, 2012


 Excerpts from ‘The Myth of Indian Claim to JAMMU AND KASHMIR ––A REAPPRAISAL’

by Alistair Lamb

The formal overt Indian intervention in the internal affairs of the State of Jammu and Kashmir began on about 9.00 a.m. on 27 October 1947, when Indian troops started landing at Srinagar airfield. India has officially dated the commencement of its claim that the State was part of Indian sovereign territory to a few hours earlier, at some point in the afternoon or evening of 26 October. From their arrival on 27 October 1947 to the present day, Indian troops have continued to occupy a large proportion of the State of Jammu and Kashmir despite the increasingly manifest opposition of a majority of the population to their presence. To critics of India’s position and actions in the State of Jammu and Kashmir the Government of New Delhi has consistently declared that the State of Jammu and Kashmir lies entirely within the sphere of internal Indian policy. Do the facts support the Indian contention in this respect?

The State of Jammu and Kashmir was a Princely State within the British Indian Empire. By the rules of the British transfer of power in Indian subcontinent in 1947 the Ruler of the State, Maharajah Sir Hari Singh, with the departure of the British and the lapsing of Paramountcy (as the relationship between State and British Crown was termed), could opt to join either India or Pakistan or, by doing nothing, become from 15 August 1947 the Ruler of an independent polity. The choice was the Ruler’s and his alone: there was no provision for popular consultation in the Indian Princely States during the final days of the British Raj. On 15th August 1947, by default, the State of Jammu and Kashmir became independent.

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On the 10th Anniversary of Yoo and Bybee’s “Torture Memos,” Col. Morris Davis Reminds Americans About Justice and the Law

Andy Worthington,, August 1, 2012

Exactly ten years ago, two memos written by John Yoo, a lawyer in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, were signed by his immediate boss, Jay S. Bybee. In these two memos, Yoo, also a law professor at UC Berkeley, attempted to redefine torture so that it could be used on Abu Zubaydah, an alleged “high-value detainee” seized in the “war on terror,” even though the US is a signatory to the UN Convention Against Torture, which prohibits the use of torture under any circumstances.

These two memos, generally known as the Bybee memos, but forever known to anyone with a conscience as the “torture memos,” marked the start of an official torture program that will forever be a black mark on America’s reputation — as well as providing cover for torturers worldwide, and turning America into such a dubious and lawless nation that President Obama and his administration have shied away form holding any of their predecessors accountable for their actions, and have swallowed the Bush administration’s rhetoric about a “war on terror” to such an extent that, although torture has been officially repudiated, the administration has presided over a massive increase in the use of unmanned drones to assassinate those regarded as a threat, without any judicial process, and in countries with which the US is not at war, including US citizens.

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