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 Veteran savagely attacked in Manchester

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Dr.Hannani Maya
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الدولة : العراق
الجنس : ذكر
عدد المساهمات : 37598
مزاجي : أحب المنتدى
تاريخ التسجيل : 21/09/2009
الابراج : الجوزاء
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مُساهمةموضوع: Veteran savagely attacked in Manchester    الإثنين 13 ديسمبر 2010, 5:32 am

Veteran savagely attacked in Manchester






A veteran ex-serviceman has been assaulted for wearing a Royal Air Force jacket.

The victim, who was also wearing a poppy, was walking along Sherwood Street, Fallowfield, on 1 November 2010 at 6pm when he noticed two men standing near to the entrance of the Fallowfield Loop, near to the junction of Wellington Road.

One man shouted an offensive remark about soldiers - and when the 69-year-old victim replied, he was approached from behind and punched in the head. He was then headbutted in the face, leaving him with two black eyes and a swollen nose.

The two men escaped on pedal bikes. The attackers are described as being aged 17-20 years old, and Asian or mixed race.One man was of stocky build, 5ft 6ins tall, had thin braided hair and was wearing dark clothing. The second man was of chubby build, 5ft 4ins tall, had short shaved black hair and was wearing dark clothing.

Pc Michael Seddon from Greater Manchester Police's Metropolitan Division said: "This was a mindless and brutal attack on a vulnerable member of the community."The victim was left extremely shaken and he is still recovering from his injuries."

Anyone with any information should call police on 0161 856 4420 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.


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Pensioner wearing RAF jacket headbutted






An ex-serviceman wearing an RAF jacket was attacked by thugs who shouted at him 'Bomb the soldiers! Death to the soldiers!'The 69-year-old was punched and headbutted by two Asian or mixed-race attackers who spotted him in military uniform.

Paramedics took the veteran to hospital after he was left with bruising, black eyes and an injured nose following the early evening attack.The youths, aged between 17 and 20, shouted offensive remarks about soldiers at the white-haired pensioner and then attacked him when he responded.The incident happened in Sherwood Street, Fallowfield, Manchester, police revealed today.

Officers today released a shocking picture of the bruised victim in a hospital bed with two black eyes after the attack.Police Constable Michael Seddon, who is investigating the incident, said: 'This was a mindless and brutal attack on a vulnerable member of the community.

'The victim was left extremely shaken and he is still recovering from his injuries.'One of the attackers was described as of stocky build, 5ft 6in tall, had thin braided hair and was wearing dark clothing.The second man was chubby, 5ft 4in tall, had short shaved black hair and was wearing dark clothing.The two men fled the scene on bicycles.

The ex-serviceman, who was wearing a poppy, was attacked on November 1 but police have only just released information about the incident.In another attack on a war veteran, 90-year-old Geoff Bacon died after a thief beat him for his bus pass and £40.

The Second World War serviceman, who drove General Eisenhower in France, was jumped from behind as he entered his flat in Camberwell, London.He died 11 weeks after the attack as a direct result of the injuries he sustained.

By
Daily Mail Reporter


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Christians in Mosul living in fear






Many Iraqi Christians in the northern city of Mosul have fled mounting violence there, but those remaining say they fear for their lives.There are no exact figures on those who have stayed behind, but most of them are low-income Christians who simply cannot afford to emigrate.

Many Christians have been killed, several churches bombed and houses blown up in the past few months. The main source of fear for the remaining ones is that they have no idea of who is fueling the anti-Christian violence in the violent city.

“We live under a cycle of fear and instability. We are always worried and have no taste for peace. We seriously consider leaving the city,” said Behnam Moayad.Amira Salem says fear and terror have become part of Christian life in the city. “It is the same during the day and during the night. If one of our children goes to school and is late for a few minutes, we get extremely worried and afraid,” she said.

She said Christians lock their doors before it gets dark every day and refuse opening them no matter who is the one knocks on the door.Many Christians have fled the country or left to areas that are relatively safer such as the Kurdish north. But emigrating and leaving is not the solution, according to Nameer Fadi.

“I have thought about it (emigration) a great deal but it cannot be the ideal solution. Foreign (European) countries are making it more and more difficult for refugees to settle down. And there are issues of language, culture and integration,” Fadi said.

The anti-Christian violence has in a sense been a ‘blessing’ to property owners in the Kurdish north, even in villages and towns which are predominately Christian.Saad Atheer says rents skyrocketed in the Kurdish city of Arbil and other towns in the Kurdish north in the aftermath of the latest upsurge in anti-Christian violence.

He cited the case of Ankawa, a predominately Christian town close to Arbil where he said rents have soared astronomically in the past few weeks.He said property owners in Ankawa ask for up to $500 for a two-room flat per month, a massive sum which only a few can afford in Iraq.

By
azzaman


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Iraq Christians mark church carnage






Hundreds of Iraqi Christians attended mass under heavy security on Friday to mark 40 days since dozens of worshippers were killed in an Al-Qaeda siege that sparked an international outcry.

Teary-eyed parishioners, diplomats, and politicians gathered in the Sayidat al-Nejat (Our Lady of Salvation) Syriac Catholic church, seated on plastic garden chairs as priests read aloud the names of the 46 people who died, recited prayers and sang hymns.

Outside, dozens of armed soldiers, policemen and private security contractors stood guard as streets were closed off to vehicle traffic, and men and women alike were frisked on entry.

The head of the Syriac Catholic Church, Ignatius Joseph III Yunan, told the congregation of his "sadness" over the "disaster," while praying for unity to return to Iraq."We came here in order to pray to God for Iraq to be better. God will never give up on you. God will make the sons of this country united," said the patriarch, who came from Lebanon for the ceremony.

Later, appealing to an international audience, he spoke briefly in English, before repeating his message in French and Italian: "Do not consider Iraq the land of (economic) opportunities.""Just remember, it is a nation with living people -- they deserve life."Several people wept as a crowd of more than 500 paid their respects inside the church, which still bears the scars of the October 31 siege.

Large posters of the two priests who were among the dead -- Father Wassim, 23, and Taher Saadallah Boutros, 32 -- adorned the entry gate to the church, and pictures of all 46 victims were put up around the building.Bullet marks were still visible in the building's walls, and shards of wood were broken off its main entry doors, while its wood-panelled columns had multiple chunks broken off.

Outside, a handful of demonstrators held up placards that read "Stop Killing Christians" and called for the results of an investigation into the attack to be published.The siege began, according to witnesses, when heavily armed militants burst into the church during Sunday mass and took about 80 worshippers hostage. It ended with a raid by Iraqi special forces.

The attack, which claimed the lives of seven Iraqi security force members and the five hostage-takers, was claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq, an Al-Qaeda affiliate which has declared all Christians to be legitimate targets.

"We cannot deny the reality that the hands of those who committed this crime were controlled by minds full of hatred," the patriarch said."Their (victims') blood will purify the biggest mistake in the world -- people who kill because of differences of religion."

Hannady Haitham, who worked as a translator for Wassim Sabih, one of the two priests killed, said the community was struggling to cope with the loss."It's very sad for me, for all of us, but as a friend of the priests, I see them in the faces of the people," Haitham said at the church on Friday.

"I miss (Father Wassim), but I still feel him here. He was very caring for the young, the elderly, the sick."One priest announced the robes of the slain clergymen, which were hung on display at the head of the church aisle, would "be given to God."

The attacks against Christians has prompted many to flee Iraq, while those who remain fear for their lives."Now, I feel a great emptiness in my heart because we have lost them," Nada Wadia Dawood told AFP after the mass.

"We, all Christians, are convinced we will be killed because of our religion," the parliament worker added, standing in the church's main courtyard. "All of us are just waiting for this day."The words of Jesus were realised when he said, 'you will be killed because of me'. This is really happening to us now."

Iraqi Christians have frequently been the target of violence, including murder and abductions. Hundreds have been killed and several churches attacked since the US-led invasion of 2003.Between 800,000 and 1.2 million Christians lived in Iraq in 2003 but their number has since shrunk to about 500,000 as the community's members have fled abroad in the face of the violence.

By Prashant Rao for
AFP.


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Blair to face further Iraq questions






Tony Blair is to be recalled before the Iraq Inquiry to answer questions over whether he pressured his Attorney General to change his advice on the legality of the war.

The former prime minister will face a second session before the Chilcot inquiry in the new year – a year after he refused to express regrets over leading Britain to war in 2003. His statement provoked fury in the hearing, with members of the audience calling him a "liar" and a "murderer".

The decision to summon him back will be a blow to Mr Blair, who had hoped his previous six-hour appearance would defuse the continuing controversy over the war.

But it is evidence that the Chilcot team believes there are still significant gaps to be filled as they try to piece together a full picture of the build-up to war. They are preparing to question him over suggestions that he put pressure on Lord Goldsmith, who was then the Attorney General, to alter his advice on the legality of the war. The lawyer's change of heart just before the planned invasion gave a green light for British troops to join the US-led military action.

Mr Blair has denied attempting to influence Lord Goldsmith, but previously classified papers showed he queried the Attorney General's previous view that invasion without a new United Nations resolution would be illegal.

He is also likely to face fresh cross-examination over the commitments he gave to President George Bush that Britain would back an invasion, as well as questions on weapons of mass destruction and whether he allowed proper debate in the Cabinet on the war.Lord Goldsmith has been asked to provide further written evidence to the inquiry, which will hold its new round of public hearings in January and February.

Other witnesses who have been called back include Jack Straw, who was then Foreign Secretary, and the current Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell. But there is no recall for Gordon Brown, who gave evidence in March. Sir John Chilcot, the inquiry's chairman, said: "As we draft our report, it is clear that there are some areas where we need further detail.

"We will, therefore, be seeking further evidence on those matters. I am committed to taking the majority of this evidence in public."Although the issue of Iraq is less toxic than when Labour was in power, Mr Blair's recall means police will have to mount a fresh security operation around the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre, where hearings are being held.

Anti-war protesters are seizing on the disclosure on the WikiLeaks website that Gordon Brown's government secretly promised to limit the extent of the Chilcot inquiry to prevent damage to the United States. The pledge was made last September as hearings got under way.

Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop The War Coalition, said Mr Blair would face another protest demonstration when he appears before the panel again. She said: "I hope this time that Chilcot will take a tougher attitude towards Blair. I really hope his evidence will be part of preparations for further action against Blair, hopefully in a court of law."

No date has been set for his second appearance before the five-strong Chilcot inquiry committee, which has been set down for half a day. But there will again be a public ballot for the 60 seats in the hearing room when he gives evidence. A third of the places will be set aside for families who lost relatives in the war.

What he will be asked

Were promises made to George Bush before the war?

Exactly what was said at a private dinner between Mr Blair and George Bush at the President's ranch in Crawford, Texas, in April 2002 – 11 months before the invasion? Sir Christopher Meyer, British ambassador to Washington at the time, suggested a deal was "signed in blood" that night. Mr Blair rejected the accusation – and was backed up by Jonathan Powell, his chief of staff, and Sir David Manning, his foreign policy adviser.

The war's legality

Much of the inquiry has focused on the belated change of heart by Lord Goldsmith, who was the Attorney General, over the legal justification for invading Iraq. When Mr Blair appeared before the Chilcot inquiry, his interrogators had a memo in which Lord Goldsmith warned of the danger of not having a fresh UN mandate for action. To their frustration, they could not ask about the memo as it was classified at the time, but the ban was lifted in July.

When did Mr Blair start to suspect that Saddam did not possess WMD?

He was robust in his defence of the flawed intelligence that made the case for war, but was not challenged on exactly when he realised no WMD would be found.

By Nigel Morris, Deputy Political Editor for
The Independent


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Why are wars not being reported honestly?






In the US Army manual on counterinsurgency, the American commander General David Petraeus describes Afghanistan as a "war of perception . . . conducted continuously using the news media". What really matters is not so much the day-to-day battles against the Taliban as the way the adventure is sold in America where "the media directly influence the attitude of key audiences". Reading this, I was reminded of the Venezuelan general who led a coup against the democratic government in 2002. "We had a secret weapon," he boasted. "We had the media, especially TV. You got to have the media."

Never has so much official energy been expended in ensuring journalists collude with the makers of rapacious wars which, say the media-friendly generals, are now "perpetual". In echoing the west's more verbose warlords, such as the waterboarding former US vice-president Dick Cheney, who predicated "50 years of war", they plan a state of permanent conflict wholly dependent on keeping at bay an enemy whose name they dare not speak: the public.

At Chicksands in Bedfordshire, the Ministry of Defence's psychological warfare (Psyops) establishment, media trainers devote themselves to the task, immersed in a jargon world of "information dominance", "asymmetric threats" and "cyberthreats". They share premises with those who teach the interrogation methods that have led to a public inquiry into British military torture in Iraq. Disinformation and the barbarity of colonial war have much in common.

Of course, only the jargon is new. In the opening sequence of my film, The War You Don't See, there is reference to a pre-WikiLeaks private conversation in December 1917 between David Lloyd George, Britain's prime minister during much of the first world war, and CP Scott, editor of the Manchester Guardian. "If people really knew the truth," the prime minister said, "the war would be stopped tomorrow. But of course they don't know, and can't know."

In the wake of this "war to end all wars", Edward Bernays, a confidante of President Woodrow Wilson, coined the term "public relations" as a euphemism for propaganda "which was given a bad name in the war". In his book, Propaganda (1928), Bernays described PR as "an invisible government which is the true ruling power in our country" thanks to "the intelligent manipulation of the masses". This was achieved by "false realities" and their adoption by the media. (One of Bernays's early successes was persuading women to smoke in public. By associating smoking with women's liberation, he achieved headlines that lauded cigarettes as "torches of freedom".)

I began to understand this as a young reporter during the American war in Vietnam. During my first assignment, I saw the results of the bombing of two villages and the use of Napalm B, which continues to burn beneath the skin; many of the victims were children; trees were festooned with body parts. The lament that "these unavoidable tragedies happen in wars" did not explain why virtually the entire population of South Vietnam was at grave risk from the forces of their declared "ally", the United States. PR terms like "pacification" and "collateral damage" became our currency. Almost no reporter used the word "invasion". "Involvement" and later "quagmire" became staples of a news vocabulary that recognised the killing of civilians merely as tragic mistakes and seldom questioned the good intentions of the invaders.

On the walls of the Saigon bureaus of major American news organisations were often displayed horrific photographs that were never published and rarely sent because it was said they were would "sensationalise" the war by upsetting readers and viewers and therefore were not "objective". The My Lai massacre in 1968 was not reported from Vietnam, even though a number of reporters knew about it (and other atrocities like it), but by a freelance in the US, Seymour Hersh. The cover of Newsweek magazine called it an "American tragedy", implying that the invaders were the victims: a purging theme enthusiastically taken up by Hollywood in movies such as The Deer Hunter and Platoon. The war was flawed and tragic, but the cause was essentially noble. Moreover, it was "lost" thanks to the irresponsibility of a hostile, uncensored media.

Although the opposite of the truth, such false realties became the "lessons" learned by the makers of present-day wars and by much of the media. Following Vietnam, "embedding" journalists became central to war policy on both sides of the Atlantic. With honourable exceptions, this succeeded, especially in the US. In March 2003, some 700 embedded reporters and camera crews accompanied the invading American forces in Iraq. Watch their excited reports, and it is the liberation of Europe all over again. The Iraqi people are distant, fleeting bit players; John Wayne had risen again.

The apogee was the victorious entry into Baghdad, and the TV pictures of crowds cheering the felling of a statue of Saddam Hussein. Behind this façade, an American Psyops team successfully manipulated what an ignored US army report describes as a "media circus [with] almost as many reporters as Iraqis". Rageh Omaar, who was there for the BBC, reported on the main evening news: "People have come out welcoming [the Americans], holding up V-signs. This is an image taking place across the whole of the Iraqi capital." In fact, across most of Iraq, largely unreported, the bloody conquest and destruction of a whole society was well under way.

In The War You Don't See, Omaar speaks with admirable frankness. "I didn't really do my job properly," he says. "I'd hold my hand up and say that one didn't press the most uncomfortable buttons hard enough." He describes how British military propaganda successfully manipulated coverage of the fall of Basra, which BBC News 24 reported as having fallen "17 times". This coverage, he says, was "a giant echo chamber".

The sheer magnitude of Iraqi suffering in the onslaught had little place in the news. Standing outside 10 Downing St, on the night of the invasion, Andrew Marr, then the BBC's political editor, declared, "[Tony Blair] said that they would be able to take Baghdad without a bloodbath and that in the end the Iraqis would be celebrating, and on both of those points he has been proved conclusively right . . ." I asked Marr for an interview, but received no reply. In studies of the television coverage by the University of Wales, Cardiff, and Media Tenor, the BBC's coverage was found to reflect overwhelmingly the government line and that reports of civilian suffering were relegated. Media Tenor places the BBC and America's CBS at the bottom of a league of western broadcasters in the time they allotted to opposition to the invasion. "I am perfectly open to the accusation that we were hoodwinked," said Jeremy Paxman, talking about Iraq's non-existent weapons of mass destruction to a group of students last year. "Clearly we were." As a highly paid professional broadcaster, he omitted to say why he was hoodwinked.

Dan Rather, who was the CBS news anchor for 24 years, was less reticent. "There was a fear in every newsroom in America," he told me, "a fear of losing your job . . . the fear of being stuck with some label, unpatriotic or otherwise." Rather says war has made "stenographers out of us" and that had journalists questioned the deceptions that led to the Iraq war, instead of amplifying them, the invasion would not have happened. This is a view now shared by a number of senior journalists I interviewed in the US.

In Britain, David Rose, whose Observer articles played a major part in falsely linking Saddam Hussein to al-Qaida and 9/11, gave me a courageous interview in which he said, "I can make no excuses . . . What happened [in Iraq] was a crime, a crime on a very large scale . . ."

"Does that make journalists accomplices?" I asked him.

"Yes . . . unwitting perhaps, but yes."

What is the value of journalists speaking like this? The answer is provided by the great reporter James Cameron, whose brave and revealing filmed report, made with Malcolm Aird, of the bombing of civilians in North Vietnam was banned by the BBC. "If we who are meant to find out what the bastards are up to, if we don't report what we find, if we don't speak up," he told me, "who's going to stop the whole bloody business happening again?"

Cameron could not have imagined a modern phenomenon such as WikiLeaks but he would have surely approved. In the current avalanche of official documents, especially those that describe the secret machinations that lead to war – such as the American mania over Iran – the failure of journalism is rarely noted. And perhaps the reason Julian Assange seems to excite such hostility among journalists serving a variety of "lobbies", those whom George Bush's press spokesman once called "complicit enablers", is that WikiLeaks and its truth-telling shames them. Why has the public had to wait for WikiLeaks to find out how great power really operates? As a leaked 2,000-page Ministry of Defence document reveals, the most effective journalists are those who are regarded in places of power not as embedded or clubbable, but as a "threat". This is the threat of real democracy, whose "currency", said Thomas Jefferson, is "free flowing information".

In my film, I asked Assange how WikiLeaks dealt with the draconian secrecy laws for which Britain is famous. "Well," he said, "when we look at the Official Secrets Act labelled documents, we see a statement that it is an offence to retain the information and it is an offence to destroy the information, so the only possible outcome is that we have to publish the information." These are extraordinary times.

http://www.johnpilger.com/

by John Pilger. The War You Don't See is in cinemas and on DVD from 13 December, and is broadcast on ITV on 14 December at 10.35pm


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الرجوع الى أعلى الصفحة اذهب الى الأسفل
 
Veteran savagely attacked in Manchester
استعرض الموضوع السابق استعرض الموضوع التالي الرجوع الى أعلى الصفحة 
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