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peak4

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  1. Indeed so, as my previously linked Pilger article explains; maybe Geared hasn't read it yet. The Afghanistan coup with its subsequent policy of education for all, a generally popular government, and increased life expectancy, seemed largely irrelevant to the US & UK who recognised the possibility of the using the newly emerging country to destabilise The Soviet Union. From Pilger again, but various other sources available; this article just pulls many of the points together. In August 1979, the U.S. embassy in Kabul reported that “the United States’ larger interests … would be served by the demise of the PDPA government, despite whatever setbacks this might mean for future social and economic reforms in Afghanistan.” Read again the words above I have italicized. It is not often that such cynical intent is spelt out as clearly. The U.S. was saying that a genuinely progressive Afghan government and the rights of Afghan women could go to hell. Six months later, the Soviets made their fatal move into Afghanistan in response to the American-created jihadist threat on their doorstep. Armed with CIA-supplied Stinger missiles and celebrated as “freedom fighters” by Margaret Thatcher, the mujahedin eventually drove the Red Army out of Afghanistan. The mujahedin were dominated by war lords who controlled the heroin trade and terrorized rural women. Later, in the early 1990s the Taliban would emerge, an ultra-puritanical faction, whose mullahs wore black and punished banditry, rape and murder but banished women from public life. Excerpt from Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski U.S. President Carter's National Security Adviser The source Marxists.org might not be to everyone's taste, including mine, but it's about the interview, not the hosting website. Question: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs ["From the Shadows"], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct? Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention. Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it? B: It isn't quite that. We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would. Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn't believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don't regret anything today? B: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire. Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentlaism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists? B: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war? Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated: Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today. B: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn't a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries. Source: Killing Hope, by William Blum. Article translated from the French. I believe his comment "liberation of Central Europe" refers to the rise of Solidarity in his native Poland (amongst other politics in Europe at the time). Maybe the Soviets involvement in Afghanistan did prevent them getting involved in Poland, but at what long term cost to the whole of the Middle East, the rise of al-Qaeda, & ISIS, Islamic fundamentalism in parts of Africa, etc.
  2. Cheers, I'd quite like to read that, but I'm between cataract operations at the moment; maybe I should look for an e-book version I suspect Brandolini's law comes into play here regarding explanations to some folk, as it so often does on internet forums, so I'm limiting this post to one cup of coffee. link from Wiki I touched on some of this in a previous post where I also provided a link to an article by John Pilger The Great Game of Smashing Nations. The 2003 Carlton TV video linked to in the article is hard to find these days, but is still available; I've not viewed it for a little while. From the linked article; The Washington Post reported that “Afghan loyalty to the government can scarcely be questioned.” Secular, modernist and, to a considerable degree, socialist, the government declared a program of visionary reforms that included equal rights for women and minorities. Political prisoners were freed and police files publicly burned. Under the monarchy, life expectancy was 35; 1-in-3 children died in infancy. Ninety percent of the population was illiterate. The new government introduced free medical care. A mass literacy campaign was launched. For women, the gains had no precedent; by the late 1980s, half the university students were women, and women made up 40 percent of Afghanistan’s doctors, 70 percent of its teachers and 30 percent of its civil servants. See also This post on here (291) and note the name Zbigniew Brzezinski. I [John Pilger] quoted to him his autobiography in which he admitted that his grand scheme for drawing the Soviets into Afghanistan had created “a few stirred up Muslims”. “Do you have any regrets?” I asked. “Regrets! Regrets! What regrets?” The Myth of the “Afghan Trap”: Zbigniew Brzezinski and Afghanistan, 1978–1979 article abstract He admitted that the administration had “knowingly increased the probability” that the Soviets would intervene militarily, and maintained that he had no regrets as the “secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap.” He added that on the “day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter, in essence: ‘We now have the opportunity of giving the USSR its Vietnam War,’” and boasted that “for almost ten years, Moscow had to wage an unbearable war for the regime, a conflict that led to the demoralization and ultimately the breakup of the Soviet empire.” Also bear in mind the US led coalition were essentially funding ISIS sympathisers in their efforts to cause problems for Assad in Syria, and also that Bin Laden was initially funded by The US. The US/UK were actively promoting Islamic terrorism to cause problems in the southern Russian states (I'm using "Russian" loosely here) Also Bashir al-Assad wasn't the chosen successor in the Syrian regime, his brother was killed in a car crash, so he had to return home from London. The regime as a whole was never going to kowtow to the US, but I personally believe that had the US come out more in support of Bashir, rather than trying to ferment trouble in Syria, the whole situation in the Middle East could have been quite different to what we have now. Is the world really ready to rehabilitate Bashar al-Assad? Telegraph for some explanation of Bashir al-Assad's history. Syria has seen over a decade of murderous civil war – yet recent overtures suggest a sudden shift in international attitudes to the dictator Who bombed Libya and created the power vacuum there; from where now do so many asylum seekers now set off for Europe?
  3. Well worth booking a ticket if there's any left. Mark's an excellent writer and speaker, as well as being one of the Guardian's "Country Diary" authors for many years.
  4. Looks like the conference in Belgium might be going ahead tomorrow. As Farage spoke, the crowds dashed for the exit – but there was a good reason Telegraph via archive.is Despite a moment of disarray there is an air of confidence that the conference will continue into its second day at the Brussels venue List of speakers here, not sure who's scheduled for tomorrow https://nationalconservatism.org/natcon-brussels-2/
  5. To a degree they already are, but not by threats of military action (for the most part anyway). They are wandering around the globe signing treaties; encouraging less well developed countries to be in debt to them in exchange for infrastructure projects, whilst giving the Chinese the rights to their mineral resources.
  6. Personally, I've no issue with the school being secular; clearly it gets good exam results etc. That said, why did Birbalsingh sign off her response with "God Save The King"? Which god, who's god? Her school may produce high achievers, and for that she should be praised. I would suggest though, that Like Braverman and Calvin Robinson, ex governors there, she uses the religion of others to divide people, rather than unite them.
  7. Longish post, but follow all the links, if you actually want more info on NatCon's background & funding. Having been granted consent to hold the conference in the first place, I'm not convinced it should have been shut down, as it gives the delegates yet another chance to claim they have been cancelled. That said, there may have been specific content which goes beyond Belgium's Free Speech legislation and transgressed in to hate speech or similar; personally I don't know. There does seem to be a bit of confusion amongst some quarters about the group organising the conference. "National Conservatism" does explain what they are about on their website; Look at their Overview & Statement of Principles tabs from this link. National Conservatism ; About National conservatism is a project of the Edmund Burke Foundation, a new public affairs institute dedicated to developing a revitalized conservatism for the age of nationalism already upon us. Re. The Edmund Burke Foundation Note the link to The Atlas Network. [Greenpeace Link, showing Koch funding etc) Sourcewatch The Edmund Burke Foundation is a conservative think tank based in the Hague, the Netherlands. (It is unrelated to the Edmund Burke Institute in Dublin, Ireland). Formed in 2000, it is both fiscally and socially conservative. It supports strong free-market reforms in healthcare and education and is opposed to abortion, euthanasia, and gay marriage. It advocates strong ties between the Netherlands and the United States, and holds that the evidence for global warming is shaky. "The Edmund Burke Foundation seeks to promote conservative philosophy, develop policy proposals, and bring together those interested in conservatism in The Netherlands and to change public opinion in our notoriously 'progressive' country," its entry on the Atlas Economic Research Foundation database states. [DeSmog Link] Funding The pharmaceutical company Pfizer has funded this right-wing think tank with 431.000 dollars ($431,000), starting in 2001. Pfizers aim was to stimulate debate in the Netherlands about a more market driven healthcare sector. In the summer of 2005 Pfizer stopped the funding of the foundation because of it's relation with the right-wing politician Geert Wilders. [FT link] InfluenceWatch The organization was founded in 2019 and says it aims to strengthen the principles of national conservatism in Western and democratic countries. Its co-founders are Yoram Hazony, an Israeli conservative philosopher, and David Brog, former executive director of Christians United for Israel. In August 2022, the Edmund Burke Foundation published a statement of principles declaring the tenants of national conservatism. The statement had 10 principles: national independence; rejection of imperialism and globalism; national government; God and public religion; the rule of law; free enterprise; public research; family and children; immigration; and race. Funding The Jewish Philosophy Fund contributed $174,000 to the Edmund Burke Foundation in December 2019. 22 The Thomas D. Klingenstein Fund contributed $100,058 in December 2019.
  8. I guess Altus knows this, but for others; I would suggest that it's because the conference is a "National Conservative" Conference, rather than a National "Conservative Conference" This isn't a traditional UK One Nation Tory philosophy. Folk may, or may not agree with the following article The growing peril of national conservatism The Economist It’s dangerous and it’s spreading. Liberals need to find a way to stop it See Also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_conservatism
  9. I don't have kids myself, but I can remember being one, rather a long time ago. I personally agree that education should be secular, but think that comparison between religions should be taught as part of a syllabus; as a means to showing that we have more in common than divides us, and should find a way to educate people to respect each others beliefs. Birbalsingh's response is also available here Prayer ban ruling: Katharine Birbalsingh’s statement in full Telegraph via archive.is Head teacher has won a defence against a legal challenge by a Muslim pupil If she truly believes in a secular education herself, why sign it off like this?? Michaela stands for values that provide us with a way of living through the good times and the bad, whether we are rich or poor, with GCSE grade nines or grade fours, whether we are white or black, tall or short. At Michaela we cherish and embrace these values for ALL of our pupils, whatever their race, whatever their religion. Strength and honour. God save the King.
  10. Yes they are a nightmare. I was genuinely concerned about losing my house sale in Crookes because of their shenanigans. Nether Edge Law seem to be specialists in this area, but were unable to assist me due to timescales, through no fault of their own.
  11. But that was previously part of a Corbyn manifesto as I recall; https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/free-broadband-labour-plan-internet-wifi-nationalisation-a9205031.html
  12. Indeed so, for much of the time anyway, though sometimes misrepresented by others. The following tale is now being denied by US, UK, & Israel, but that is understandable for diplomatic reasons, as it could hardly be seen that the US condoned Iran's response. Bear in mind that the majority of the Iranian weaponry were drones, that fly at less than 200mph, with a long way to go, so plenty of time to respond, and easy to intercept, by a whole coalition of countries who seem to have known in advance. Others were slow(ish) cruise missiles, and other older technology. Iran informed Turkey in advance of its operation against Israel - Turkish source Jerusalem Post Iran informed Turkey in advance of its planned operation against Israel, conveyed through diplomatic channels, aiming to limit escalation in the Middle East. The Turkish source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan had spoken to both his US and Iranian counterparts in the past week to discuss the planned Iranian operation, adding Ankara had been made aware of possible developments. The following discussion, taken from Twitter, does seem reasonable in its explanation, but further clarified here in another post, shown here via Threadreader I'm not convinced by his very final conclusion(s) though most of the rest does make sense. https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1779759080103666156.html
  13. True, perhaps "Unelected Bureaucrat", would be a better description, who seems to be absolved from direct questioning by our elected representatives in the House of Commons.
  14. This chap was apparently the victim. There's footage of the assault and the assailant on-line, but I'll not link directly to it. I don't particularly follow this Twitter account, but it's the easiest way I have to linking to one of the Bishop's sermons; worth a listen, I don't know when it was originally recorded.
  15. See Also Dying for a bag of flour: Videos and eyewitness accounts cast doubt on Israel’s timeline of deadly Gaza aid delivery CNN
  16. A Pakistani refugee in Australia from the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, who had fled persecution in his home country. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Ahmadis
  17. Here you go; may or may not be of assistance. Find a pharmacy that offers free blood pressure checks NHS Use this service to find a pharmacy that offers free blood pressure checks. You can get your blood pressure checked at a pharmacy without seeing a GP. Who can get a free blood pressure check You can get a free blood pressure check if you: are aged 40 or over live in England You cannot get a free blood pressure check if you: already have high blood pressure have had your blood pressure checked by a healthcare professional in the past 6 months
  18. I thought you might have, but I quoted you, rather than someone else, to avoid giving further publicity to an allegedly false narrative. Hopefully it might prompt some others on this forum to read further and view the video report, rather than (accidentally??) repeating dodgy stories. The tale of the butchered mother spouted by Zaka, also seems to have a basis in reality, but again, not in Gaza. Remembering the Sabra and Shatila massacre 35 years on Its time to end the Israeli culture of impunity that permitted the Sabra and Shatila massacre to happen 35 years ago. Al Jazeera 2017 A more recent reference Israel’s war in Gaza revives Sabra and Shatila massacre memories in Lebanon AlJazeera 2024 Survivors of the 1982 massacre by an Israel-backed militia in Lebanon say what Gaza is going through is even worse.
  19. True as far as I can tell, but the tales are out there and continue to be repeated unfortunately. The first paragraph provides a link to an hour long video for those who genuinely want to have some idea of the truth, rather than regurgitating propaganda, but be warned, it's not easy viewing/ War on Gaza: Al Jazeera tells the 7 October story that British media will not MEE New documentary reveals how false and inflammatory allegations made their way into the journalistic mainstream Forensic. Sober. Clear-sighted. Scrupulous. Al Jazeera’s investigative unit has produced a film that tells the story of what really happened on 7 October. This authoritative documentary does not flinch from detailing the atrocities and war crimes carried out by Hamas. But it shows beyond reasonable doubt that many of the lurid accounts that emerged from Israeli sources were false. Zaka May Have Cost Israel Its Case Against Hamas Haaretz investigation into Zaka AMERICAN MEDIA KEEP CITING ZAKA — THOUGH ITS OCTOBER 7 ATROCITY STORIES ARE DISCREDITED IN ISRAEL The Intercept Israeli media has debunked the ultra-Orthodox group’s stories, but the New York Times won’t say so. In the case of the butchered mother and fetus, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz concluded the killing “simply didn’t happen.” As for the tortured family, no one killed in Be’eri matches Landau’s account. The one brother and sister to die in the kibbutz were 12-year-old twins, killed when an Israeli general ordered a tank to fire on a house where Hamas militants were holding them hostage. See also "If You Say Anything to Anyone, a Zaka Van Will Run You Over" The Sordid History of the Zaka Rescue Service There's a possibility the burned baby may have happened, but in 1948; difficult to comfirm, though there are various different reports Deir Yassin makes a mockery of Israel’s “never again” pledge The Electronic Intifada 2022; I'm never sure how reliable as a source, but often seems to be correct., My grandmother, nearly 10, and her five younger siblings remained at home. Inside the bakery, my great-grandmother and great aunt witnessed a horrific scene that continues to haunt me. My grandmother often shared this story with us because she believed it was our responsibility to never forget. While holding villagers in the bakery hostage, Zionist soldiers ordered the baker, Hussein al-Shareef from the town of Lydd, to throw his son Abdul Rauf into the burning oven. After refusing, the soldiers knocked Hussein to the ground and proceeded to throw Abdul Rauf into the oven while his father watched. “Follow your son. He needs you there,” said one of the soldiers before throwing Hussein in next.
  20. Upwards of 870,000 people disagreed with you enough to sign this petition, though there were others. Her boyfriend didn't want the prosecution to go ahead, but the press hounded someone in a fragile mental state in order to sell papers. Social media joined in, which can't have helped either. Also from Bylines; Our investigation also reveals the truth behind the worst of the news output that led almost two million people to call for a ‘Caroline’s Law’; legislation – never in the end debated at Westminster – to make it a criminal offence to publish unduly oppressive media coverage that pushed people to suicide. Sources inside The Sun tell how the tabloid bought and published a picture of Caroline’s blood-stained bed – likely to be key evidence in the then-upcoming trial – without explaining it was her own self-inflicted injuries that had caused the scene. https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/flacks-law Why is this important? Sections of the British press & media act with impunity, and more recently there have been a number of cases where they have sought to sensationalise the misfortune of individuals (mainly those already in the public eye, but not always so) to the catastrophic detriment of the individuals' mental welfare. The Jeremy Kyle show, and Caroline Flack being recent examples. We'll never truly know all of the things that were going on in Caroline's mind when she took the decision to take her life. But we do know that sections of the media were quite happy to drag her life through the wringer purely in order to sell a few more papers and it's just not right. What price is a life? This isn't the first time this has happened, and I'm concerned that without a new law, it won't be the last.
  21. I'm hoping you mean does not, but missed the edit window.
  22. A little more here, from Bylines. Caroline Flack’s Lawyer Suggests Decision to Charge her May Have Been ‘Driven by Desire’ to Appease Media as Met Police Probe Case Questioned about the decision to re-examine the case, Flack’s lawyer, Jonathan Coad, suggested the Met Police’s relationship with the media may not be “entirely as it should be”, telling Sky News: “One suspects the reason why police made this decision was to appease the press pressure, which I remember being there… that she should be charged to rebut suggestions, ‘oh, well she’s had special treatment because she’s a celebrity’.” He continued: “So, it may be that this decision, which indeed is unusual to appeal it, was driven by a desire not to fall foul of the press, and be criticised by the press, in which case is an entirely wrong reason for the appeal to be made .”
  23. I've no idea whether it's related to this incident, but I'm not sure hilarious is the right word, though I'm sure you've probably never come across this crowd; For those who've never heard if them, see below. These extreme message boards host some very disturbing content, with overlaps to Q-Anon etc. It's very real, and not new. Elliot Rodger: How misogynist killer became 'incel hero' BBC 2018 Minutes before Alek Minassian allegedly launched Monday's deadly attack in Toronto, Canada, he posted to Facebook: "The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!" Closer to home; Plymouth shooter fascinated by serial killers and ‘incel’ culture, inquest hears Guardian A man who killed five people including his mother and a three-year-old girl was fascinated by mass shootings, serial killers and violent heroes of “incel” ideology, an inquest jury has heard. And a newspaper story of a CDHC report The online incel movement is getting more violent and extreme, report says Washington post, via archive.is No excerpt from me this time, as it's fairly disturbing stuff. The Center for Countering Digital Hate analyzed more than 1 million posts showing a rise in advocacy of rape, mass killings
  24. Clearly I have no idea of the truth in this, but the post makes for an interesting read From Twitter Nicole Minet @mouvement33 via Threadreader https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1778566905881829792.html I've been waiting 29 years to tell this story about OJ and his days at USC. Now that he's dead I have a story that I signed an NDA for that is no longer valid.
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