Yeaah, It's a Party in the CIA

yeah, we’ve got our backups all over the world,
from Kazakhstan to Bombay;
payin’ the bribes like yeah, pluggin’ the leaks like yeah;
interrogating the scum of the earth,
we’ll break them by the break of day!

yeeeaaahhh, it’s a party in the CIA!

by Weird Al Yankovic

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Which countries are the happiest?

GOOD's World Database of Happiness has tracked down how happy people over the past 30 years.

Check out the interesting infographic on the state of happiness in the different countries, over the past years.

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Video: The Girl Effect

We have covered advocacy campaigns by nonprofit organisations in the past. Here is a very simple non-pretentious video by The Girl Effect.

Simple is powerful.

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US, UN and the Taliban: An invitation to dance.

How many children have you killed today, Mr.President?

There are no coincidences in life. Certainly not if they concern politics. Once again, UN and US politics have only one letter of difference.

KABUL: The United States and other foreign powers are engaged in preliminary talks with the Taliban about a possible settlement to the near decade-long war in Afghanistan, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Saturday. (Source)

and on the very same day:
The UN Security Council has split the international sanctions regime for the Taliban and al-Qaida to encourage the Taliban to join reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan. (Source)

So, all of a sudden, the Taliban is no longer the arch-rival of neither US, UN or the Afghan government anymore...? All of a sudden, they are not the harbour of terrorism anymore? Is it because the Taliban have become good boys? Starting to behave, and wear suits and ties as they are now become devoted Catholics?

Or might we just have another Vietnam and "Black Hawk Down"-Somalia scenario, where the US is trying everything possible, to bail out of Afghanistan, using no matter what means. After all, why not? "If you can't beat them, you might as well join them (again)", the US will be thinking. What the flip to they care what happens to the country after they leave?

So Mr.USA: after a decade of war in Afghanistan, what will you have accomplished? Did the threat of terrorism get any less? Was the Taliban or Al Qaeda eradicated? Any less threat for another 9/11?
What have you accomplished Mr.USA, apart from having plunged yet another country into disarray, pushed it further down into poverty and insecurity, killing tens of thousands along the way, and causing suffering to zillions more? Did the women's right flourish? Burqa's being massively exchanged for bikini's? Every child now goes to school, and is properly fed? Open freedom of speech? Drug fields completely eradicated? None of the above, Mr.USA, so shame on you.

Shame on you.

Picture courtesy Free Republic

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Sri Lanka's killing fields. The video.

Sri Lanka Killing Fields

We have been highlighting the plight of civilians caught up in the Sri Lanka civilian war since 2007. Back in 2009, after the last Tamil stronghold fell into the hands of the government, I published a post called "The killing fields of Sri Lanka".

Channel 4 just released a video, with the same title, documenting repetitive and systematically executed war crimes committed by both the government and Tamil fighters against unarmed civilians, clearly marked medical facilities and other non-combat targets.

It shows a forensic investigation into the final weeks of the quarter-century-long civil war between the government of Sri Lanka and the secessionist rebels, the Tamil Tigers.

Captured on mobile phones, both by Tamils under attack and government soldiers as war trophies, the disturbing footage shows the extra-judicial executions of prisoners; the aftermath of targeted shelling of civilian camps; and dead female Tamil fighters who appear to have been raped or sexually assaulted, abused and murdered.

The film is made and broadcast as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon faces growing criticism for refusing to launch an investigation into 'credible allegations' that Sri Lankan forces committed war crimes during the closing weeks of the bloody conflict with the Tamil Tigers.

In April 2011, Ban Ki-moon published a report by a UN-appointed panel of experts, which concluded that as many as 40,000 people were killed in the final weeks of the war between the Tamil Tigers and government forces.

It called for the creation of an international mechanism to investigate alleged violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law committed by government forces and the Tamil Tigers during that time.

This film provides powerful evidence that will lend new urgency to the panel's call for an international inquiry to be mounted, including harrowing interviews with eye-witnesses, new photographic stills, official Sri Lankan army video footage, and satellite imagery. (Full article)

You can watch the 50 minute video here, but please beware the scenes are horrific and extremely graphic.

Picture courtesy Channel 4.

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Khadaffi's daughter launches law suit against NATO

Aisha Khadaffi

Aisha Khadaffi, "the man's daughter", filed a law suit against NATO. Legal papers were submitted to the prosecutor's office in Brussels her French lawyer.

Ms Khadaffi's four-month daughter, Mastoura, was one of Khadaffi's four grandchildren killed during a NATO bombing raid. (Even though Berlusconi - for one credible news source- alleges this to be propaganda)

The lawsuit is quoted saying "The target was a civil building inhabited by civilians and was neither a command post nor a military control [centre] of the Libyan regime" (Source)

It will be interesting to see how the Belgian court system will react, knowing how fast they backed out of the lawsuit against Bush, Powell, Cheney et al, during the Iraq war. It only took Bush to hint at moving NATO out of Brussels, for Belgium to change the law on war crime law suits.

At least Khadaffi's lawsuit might shed a juridical light on whether NATO steps out of its legal boundaries by providing a tad more than a mere air blockade and safeguarding of humanitarian corridors. Which it grossly does, according to me.

And mean while, we stand by and watch worse happening in Syria and Bahrain.

Picture courtesy Mohamed Messara/EPA

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