Media Lens – ‘Damning Evidence’ Becomes ‘No Clear Evidence’: Much-Delayed Report On Congenital Birth Defects In Iraq


In a 2010 alert, ‘Beyond Hiroshima – The Non-Reporting Of Fallujah’s Cancer Catastrophe’, we noted the almost non-existent media response to the publication of a new study that had found high rates of infant mortality, cancer and leukaemia in the Iraqi city. The dramatic increases in these rates exceeded even those found in survivors of the atomic bombs dropped by the United States on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The Independent’s Patrick Cockburn was a lone exception in reporting these awful findings. 

The War Is Responsible – ‘No Other Explanation’

The new WHO/MOH report was originally due to be published in November 2012, but it was indefinitely postponed with no satisfactory reason given. Months passed. Meanwhile, in March 2013, the BBC included areport on its World News channel about birth defects and cancer in Iraq. BBC reporter Yalda Hakim interviewed Dr Mushin Sabbak at Basra Maternity Hospital. He told her that he believed that ‘mercury, lead, uranium’ from the war were responsible for a 60 per cent increase in birth defects there since 2003. ‘We have no other explanation than this,’ he added. (An edited version of the World News segment appearedhere on BBC News.)

Chemical weapons use. Let’s prosecute!

Oh wait a minute it seems that it may have been America and Britain…

*silence and tumbleweed*

It must be nice being The Good Guys. Can’t do any wrong.

Media Lens – ‘Damning Evidence’ Becomes ‘No Clear Evidence’: Much-Delayed Report On Congenital Birth Defects In Iraq

Media Lens – ‘Damning Evidence’ Becomes ‘No Clear Evidence’: Much-Delayed Report On Congenital Birth Defects In Iraq


In a 2010 alert, ‘Beyond Hiroshima – The Non-Reporting Of Fallujah’s Cancer Catastrophe’, we noted the almost non-existent media response to the publication of a new study that had found high rates of infant mortality, cancer and leukaemia in the Iraqi city. The dramatic increases in these rates exceeded even those found in survivors of the atomic bombs dropped by the United States on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The Independent’s Patrick Cockburn was a lone exception in reporting these awful findings. 

The War Is Responsible – ‘No Other Explanation’

The new WHO/MOH report was originally due to be published in November 2012, but it was indefinitely postponed with no satisfactory reason given. Months passed. Meanwhile, in March 2013, the BBC included areport on its World News channel about birth defects and cancer in Iraq. BBC reporter Yalda Hakim interviewed Dr Mushin Sabbak at Basra Maternity Hospital. He told her that he believed that ‘mercury, lead, uranium’ from the war were responsible for a 60 per cent increase in birth defects there since 2003. ‘We have no other explanation than this,’ he added. (An edited version of the World News segment appearedhere on BBC News.)

Chemical weapons use. Let’s prosecute!

Oh wait a minute it seems that it may have been America and Britain…

*silence and tumbleweed*

It must be nice being The Good Guys. Can’t do any wrong.

Media Lens – ‘Damning Evidence’ Becomes ‘No Clear Evidence’: Much-Delayed Report On Congenital Birth Defects In Iraq

Does the BBC not trust US intelligence on Iran? | openDemocracy


The basic facts omitted included.

  • – That US intelligence assesses that Iran has no active nuclear weapons programme today and hasn’t had one for a decade.
  • – That, according to President Bush, the emergence of this assessment in 2007 made it impossible for him to justify taking military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
  • – That Israel largely agrees with the US intelligence assessment that Iran has no active nuclear weapons programme.
  • – That Russia agrees with the US intelligence assessment that Iran has no active nuclear weapons programme.
  • – That Iran’s leaders have repeatedly denied that they intend to develop nuclear weapons and the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has declared the possession of such weapons a “grave sin”. 
  • – That all of the nuclear sites declared by Iran to the IAEA (including its two enrichment plants) are operating under IAEA supervision and according to the relevant design specifications supplied by Iran to the IAEA.
  • – That the IAEA has never detected any diversion of nuclear material from Iran’s declared nuclear facilities for possible military use.
  • – That US intelligence assesses that Iran could not produce enough highly enriched uranium in its enrichment plants for one bomb (assuming it wished to do so) before this activity was discovered by the IAEA.
  • – That there is no evidence that Iran has other nuclear sites, which it has not declared to the IAEA.
  • – That the US refused to assist the Islamic Republic acquire nuclear technology after 1979 (as it had done for the Shah’s regime prior to 1979) and did its utmost to prevent other states from doing so, forcing Iran to turn to AQ Khan to develop a nuclear power programme.
  • – That by refusing to assist the Islamic Republic in acquiring nuclear technology the US and its allies were in breach of Article IV(2) of the NPT.
  • – That Iran did not breach its agreement with the IAEA by not declaring its Natanz enrichment plant to the IAEA prior to its existence being “revealed” to the world by the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) in August 2002.
  • – That, under Article IV(1) of the NPT, Iran has a right to uranium enrichment for peaceful purposes providing it is under IAEA supervision.
  • – That, in negotiations with Britain, France and Germany in 2005, a settlement could have been arrived at, a settlement with enhanced safeguards against the diversion of nuclear material for military purposes, had the EU states been prepared to accept that Iran has a right to enrichment on its own soil.
  • – That in early 2005, according to the IAEA Director General at the time, there were “only a few remaining inspection issues” with regards to Iran.
  • – That in an agreement, brokered by Turkey and Brazil in 2011, Iran agreed to swap nearly 50% of its stockpile of low enriched uranium for 20% enriched fuel for its Tehran Research Reactor, only for the US to block the implementation of this agreement.
  • – That Iran could, if it wished, legitimately withdraw from the NPT and be free to develop nuclear weapons (like non-member Israel), legitimately because its near neighbour Israel has acquired a nuclear arsenal since Iran signed the NPT in 1968.

This does throw up a lot of questions. Is that a media led drumbeat of war I hear? Surely not…

Does the BBC not trust US intelligence on Iran? | openDemocracy

Does the BBC not trust US intelligence on Iran? | openDemocracy


The basic facts omitted included.

  • – That US intelligence assesses that Iran has no active nuclear weapons programme today and hasn’t had one for a decade.
  • – That, according to President Bush, the emergence of this assessment in 2007 made it impossible for him to justify taking military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
  • – That Israel largely agrees with the US intelligence assessment that Iran has no active nuclear weapons programme.
  • – That Russia agrees with the US intelligence assessment that Iran has no active nuclear weapons programme.
  • – That Iran’s leaders have repeatedly denied that they intend to develop nuclear weapons and the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has declared the possession of such weapons a “grave sin”. 
  • – That all of the nuclear sites declared by Iran to the IAEA (including its two enrichment plants) are operating under IAEA supervision and according to the relevant design specifications supplied by Iran to the IAEA.
  • – That the IAEA has never detected any diversion of nuclear material from Iran’s declared nuclear facilities for possible military use.
  • – That US intelligence assesses that Iran could not produce enough highly enriched uranium in its enrichment plants for one bomb (assuming it wished to do so) before this activity was discovered by the IAEA.
  • – That there is no evidence that Iran has other nuclear sites, which it has not declared to the IAEA.
  • – That the US refused to assist the Islamic Republic acquire nuclear technology after 1979 (as it had done for the Shah’s regime prior to 1979) and did its utmost to prevent other states from doing so, forcing Iran to turn to AQ Khan to develop a nuclear power programme.
  • – That by refusing to assist the Islamic Republic in acquiring nuclear technology the US and its allies were in breach of Article IV(2) of the NPT.
  • – That Iran did not breach its agreement with the IAEA by not declaring its Natanz enrichment plant to the IAEA prior to its existence being “revealed” to the world by the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) in August 2002.
  • – That, under Article IV(1) of the NPT, Iran has a right to uranium enrichment for peaceful purposes providing it is under IAEA supervision.
  • – That, in negotiations with Britain, France and Germany in 2005, a settlement could have been arrived at, a settlement with enhanced safeguards against the diversion of nuclear material for military purposes, had the EU states been prepared to accept that Iran has a right to enrichment on its own soil.
  • – That in early 2005, according to the IAEA Director General at the time, there were “only a few remaining inspection issues” with regards to Iran.
  • – That in an agreement, brokered by Turkey and Brazil in 2011, Iran agreed to swap nearly 50% of its stockpile of low enriched uranium for 20% enriched fuel for its Tehran Research Reactor, only for the US to block the implementation of this agreement.
  • – That Iran could, if it wished, legitimately withdraw from the NPT and be free to develop nuclear weapons (like non-member Israel), legitimately because its near neighbour Israel has acquired a nuclear arsenal since Iran signed the NPT in 1968.

This does throw up a lot of questions. Is that a media led drumbeat of war I hear? Surely not…

Does the BBC not trust US intelligence on Iran? | openDemocracy

Zenpolitics: To BBC Trust (updated correspondence) on selective use of Iraq war death figures


Stats are important.

Zenpolitics: To BBC Trust (updated correspondence) on selective use of Iraq war death figures

Zenpolitics: To BBC Trust (updated correspondence) on selective use of Iraq war death figures


Stats are important.

Zenpolitics: To BBC Trust (updated correspondence) on selective use of Iraq war death figures

Culture of Illusion – One Day Your House Will Kill You.


Because they have nothing better to do at Microsoft these days they have designed The House of the Future:

The BBC went along to take a look. They were given a guided tour by the good people at Microsoft. I say good because I hope they are good because if they are not good then I think we’re screwed:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21632855

It's a TRAY with a FUCKING BRAIN.
It’s a TRAY with a FUCKING BRAIN. [Photo credit: Shane O’Neill]
It seems that, quite by accident, I’m becoming a massive technophobe. This House of the Future seems to take the idea of the inactive life to a new extreme. I like being inactive but I appreciate that activity and interaction with real things in the real world, and taking responsibility for that interaction, is important to maintain a sense of humanity.

This House of the Future is a lazy persons wet dream:

  • Unable to readjust your desk? Simply lurch towards it and it will reshape itself for your needs.
  • Want to do some crafts? Don’t like pottery but want to do pottery? Why not take a premade piece of art and then scan it into your computer. After you’ve done that you can stand, alone in your room as, hands stretched out, you stroke the air reshaping a pot that you just scanned into your computer for no fucking reason at all. Doing real pottery is hard. Doing fake pottery is fun. Fake Pottery fun. Must eat.
  • Don’t know what to have for dinner? Can’t remember recipes? Don’t have a recipe book? Forgotten how to speak? Simply hold food up to the screen and make ape like noises of sadness and hunger. Don’t worry dear creature, the computer recognises the food in your clenched paw and it will give you a list of recipes and then instructions on how to combine the foods together. It will watch impassively, recording every move you make, as you proceed to ruin the perfect recipe it set out for you. It will plot your destruction slowly, each human mistake you make adding fuel to its fire.

The next stage will have the robot spoon feeding you a mashed up slurry because by now all you will need is fuel to keep you going so that you can go to work and get enough money to get the loan that pays for the credit card that allows you to pretend that you own all this shit. You will have forgotten how to speak. You will have to be wiped and cleaned by the robot house, like a helpless baby, before it guides you into the travel tube that takes you directly to the cubicle that you rot in for the duration of your working day.

Clearly none of these people have watched Demonseed:

Why does my Doom Sensor feel like it’s on the verge of exploding? I always thought the Future was going to be better, but living in it now, I’m not so sure.

Must get some fresh air. You can buy that in cans now can’t you?

Fuck.

Culture of Illusion – McRobot Overlords.


Robot The Bruce. I love this pun. It is my favourite pun ever.
Robot the Bruce. I will never get tired of this pun that I just believe I made up. And no, it is not okay to fuck him in his mouth. Whatever you, as a man or a lady with a strap-on appendage, may be thinking.

This story makes it look like robots have taken over Scotland and the only people who are left are those who have to make sure that their Robot Overlords still function. I am sure that this is not the case, but a lot can happen in four months, so I can’t back up that statement 100%. Oh yes, click on the picture above or the word story at the beginning of this paragraph for the story. Also that story. And that one.