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Welcome to the Violent World of Mr. Hopey Changey by John Pilger —

Welcome to the Violent World of Mr. Hopey Changey

by John Pilger, May 28, 2011

When Britain lost control of Egypt in 1956, Prime Minister Anthony Eden said he wanted the nationalist president Gamal Abdel Nasser “destroyed … murdered … I don’t give a damn if there’s anarchy and chaos in Egypt.” Those insolent Arabs, Winston Churchill had urged in 1951, should be driven “into the gutter from which they should never have emerged.”

The language of colonialism may have been modified; the spirit and the hypocrisy are unchanged. A new imperial phase is unfolding in direct response to the Arab uprising that began in January and has shocked Washington and Europe, causing an Eden-style panic. The loss of the Egyptian tyrant Mubarak was grievous, though not irretrievable; an American-backed counter-revolution is under way as the military regime in Cairo is seduced with new bribes and power shifting from the street to political groups that did not initiate the revolution. The western aim, as ever, is to stop authentic democracy and reclaim control.

Libya is the immediate opportunity. The NATO attack on Libya, with the UN Security Council assigned to mandate a bogus “no fly zone” to “protect civilians”, is strikingly similar to the final destruction of Yugoslavia in 1999. There was no UN cover for the bombing of Serbia and the “rescue” of Kosovo, yet the propaganda echoes today. Like Slobodan Milosevic, Muammar Gadhafi is a “new Hitler”, plotting “genocide” against his people. There is no evidence of this, as there was no genocide in Kosovo. In Libya there is a tribal civil war; and the armed uprising against Gadhafi has long been appropriated by the Americans, French, and British, their planes attacking residential Tripoli with uranium-tipped missiles and the submarine HMS Triumph firing Tomahawk missiles, a repeat of the “shock and awe” in Iraq that left thousands of civilians dead and maimed. As in Iraq, the victims, which include countless incinerated Libyan army conscripts, are media unpeople.

In the “rebel” east, the terrorizing and killing of black African immigrants is not news. On 22 May, a rare piece in the Washington Post described the repression, lawlessness and death squads in the “liberated zones” just as visiting EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, declared she had found only “great aspirations” and “leadership qualities.” In demonstrating these qualities, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the “rebel leader” and Gadhafi’s justice minister until February, pledged, “Our friends … will have the best opportunity in future contracts with Libya.” The east holds most of Libya’s oil, the greatest reserves in Africa. In March the rebels, with expert foreign guidance, “transferred” to Benghazi the Libyan Central Bank, a wholly owned state institution. This is unprecedented. Meanwhile, the US and the EU “froze” almost US$100 billion in Libyan funds, “the largest sum ever blocked”, according to official statements. It is the biggest bank robbery in history.

The French elite are enthusiastic robbers and bombers. Nicholas Sarkozy’s imperial design is for a French-dominated Mediterranean Union (UM), which would allow France to “return” to its former colonies in North Africa and profit from privileged investment and cheap labor. Gadhafi described the Sarkozy plan as “an insult” that was “taking us for fools.” The Merkel government in Berlin agreed, fearing its old foe would diminish Germany in the EU, and abstained in the Security Council vote on Libya.

Like the attack on Yugoslavia and the charade of Milosevic’s trial, the International Criminal Court is being used by the US, France and Britain to prosecute Gadhafi while his repeated offers of a cease-fire are ignored. Gadhafi is a Bad Arab. David Cameron’s government and its verbose top general want to eliminate this Bad Arab, like the Obama administration killed a famously Bad Arab in Pakistan recently. The crown prince of Bahrain, on the other hand, is a Good Arab. On 19 May, he was warmly welcomed to Britain by Cameron with a photo-call on the steps of 10 Downing Street. In March, the same crown prince slaughtered unarmed protestors and allowed Saudi forces to crush his country’s democracy movement. The Obama administration has rewarded Saudi Arabia, one of the most repressive regimes on earth, with a $US60 billion arms deal, the biggest in US history. The Saudis have the most oil. They are the Best Arabs.

The assault on Libya, a crime under the Nuremberg standard, is Britain’s 46th military “intervention” in the Middle East since 1945. Like its imperial partners, Britain’s goal is to control Africa’s oil. Cameron is not Anthony Eden, but almost. Same school. Same values. In the media-pack, the words colonialism and imperialism are no longer used, so that the cynical and the credulous can celebrate state violence in its more palatable form.

And as “Mr. Hopey Changey” (the name that Ted Rall, the great American cartoonist, gives Barack Obama), is fawned upon by the British elite and launches another insufferable presidential campaign, the Anglo-American reign of terror proceeds in Afghanistan and elsewhere, with the murder of people by unmanned drones – a US/Israel innovation, embraced by Obama. For the record, on a scorecard of imposed misery, from secret trials and prisons and the hounding of whistleblowers and the criminalizing of dissent to the incarceration and impoverishment of his own people, mostly black people, Obama is as bad as George W. Bush.

The Palestinians understand all this. As their young people courageously face the violence of Israel’s blood-racism, carrying the keys of their grandparents’ stolen homes, they are not even included in Mr. Hopey Changey’s list of peoples in the Middle East whose liberation is long overdue. What the oppressed need, he said on 19 May, is a dose of “America’s interests [that] are essential to them.” He insults us all.



Four low-cost devices that chlorinate water at the source | News | Engineering for Change

man holding phone

This prototype of a manual ball valve chlorine doser is a cheap and effective way to chlorinate jugs of water. Photo credit: Erik Hersman (whiteafrican/Flickr)

By the numbers, we’ve seen the devastating effect that untreated water can have on developing communities. Worldwide, 2.2 million people die from waterborne illness, and most of them are younger than 5 years old, the World Health Organization reports. Small doses of chlorine can save lives and reduce a disease burden of parasites that keep people home from work and school.

Dosing water with chlorine at a well or stream or wherever it is collected is a low-cost fix for communities that don’t have treated tap water in the home. In communities where women gather water in buckets, however, measuring the proper chlorine dose can be a challenge and a nuisance. In response, a handful of innovators around the world have developed working prototypes of low-cost, automatic chlorine dosers.

Here, we report on some of those designs. Like the designs themselves, this article is a work in progress. We’ll update it as we gather more information.

Ball-valve chlorinator
In rural Kenya and Guatemala, two similar manual chlorine-dosing devices are in use. The non-profit organization Innovations for Poverty Action developed the concept.

IPA’s doser holds a chlorine supply that is protected from the sunlight to keep the chemical from breaking down. The residents place their bucket or jug under a spigot on the device and turn a valve to release a measured dose. The dosers cost $60-90, which, along with monitoring, IPA finances through donations that it collects. According to IPA’s research, people are using them.

Cheaper ball valves
IPA’s device is affordable and effectively doses water at the source. But, apparently, the design could be cheaper and more durable. In 2009, Engineers at the International Development Design Summit in Ghana tested IPA’s design and looked for ways to improve it. They found that IPA’s metal stands rusted and broke down within one year, and that tweaking the valve design could make it cost less.

Instead of metal stands, the IDDS team experimented with bamboo. After three weeks, they found insect holes bored into the bamboo stands. We don’t have longer-term test results, yet.

The IPA device’s valve is an import from the United States and costs more than $20. The IDDS team replaced it with a cheaper, modified PVC ball valve made from locally available materials.

To make it, they glued a 3/8″ sheet of dense rubber to the inside of a normal, 1/2″ PVC ball valve. The rubber sheet divides the valve’s central chamber in half, and each half has a volume of 1ml. Then the team cut off the lock on top of the valve so that the handle can rotate a full 360°. Chlorine in a plastic bag funnels into the valve’s chamber so that each turn of the handle releases about 1ml of chlorine. The DIY valve costs less than $2, plus some elbow grease, the IDDS team reports. Meg Harper, a student at Humboldt State University in California, was on the IDDS team and reported the findings to IPA.

Another member of the IDDS team, Ruben Sanchez-Fernandez, continued to field test the ball valve in Guatemala. He left a prototype in a village and has plans to follow up on its performance, he told E4C.

Now, a third member of the IDDS team, Killian Deku, is producing educational materials about the ball-valve doser in two languages for Ghanaians. Some examples are online: Making Safe Water with Chlorine and Producing Chlorine to Make Safe Water. He makes and sells the devices for communal or private use.

siphon doser

The automatic level-sensing doser chlorinates varying amounts of water, without electricity or many moving parts. Image courtesy of Killian Deku

Automatic Level-Sensing Doser
In their field research, the IDDS team saw that people collect water in containers of different sizes. In response, they developed a device that can measure appropriate amounts of chlorine for each quantity of water. They called the prototype the Automatic Level-Sensing Doser. We’ll give a brief explanation of it here. However, it “was a rough prototype, and we’ve since evolved past it,” says Laura Stupin, a member of the IDDS team who is working on a different design, the automatic siphon doser, below.

To operate the ALSD, the user pours water from their bucket into a reservoir in the device. A container of chlorine is above the reservoir, and a narrow tube descends from the reservoir’s bottom up into the chlorine container. As the water fills the reservoir, it pushes air up the tube into the chlorine container. That pressurizes the container and forces chlorine out of a nozzle and down into the water reservoir. The chlorine drip shuts off when the pressure equalizes in the container. That way, each dose is tailored to the exact amount of water in the reservoir. The user then turns a valve in the reservoir to drain the now-chlorinated water back into the bucket. The IDDS team’s prototype demonstrated the concept, but it was imperfect, the team reported.

siphon doser

The automatic siphon doser chlorinates a continuous flow of water, like that found at a borehole, without electricity or many moving parts. Image courtesy of Killian Deku

The automatic siphon doser
A third design, the automatic siphon doser, draws on some of the same concepts used in the ALSD, but it tries to automate the process even more. It also treats a continuous flow of water so it can work at a borehole. Roughly explained, a user pumps water into the doser’s reservoir, the rising water forces chlorine from a container, and when the now-chlorinated water hits a fill mark, it drains out automatically.

The prototype cost $20 for materials and labor in India. It worked without electricity and had no moving parts except for the chlorine container, which rotated for filling. Each batch was 7.5L of water with 1ml of chlorine, discharged through a 2″ pipe.

Stupin and Suprio Das, who was also on the IDDS team, are applying for a patent for the doser in India. Das is now field testing the device in a village near Calcutta. Until they secure the patent, they won’t offer more details about the device’s design.

Electrified at the source
The IDDS designs require no electricity to operate. But the trade-off is that they need a chlorine supply. In her investigation with IDDS, Meg Harper found that chlorine was usually available in the communities that could benefit from a doser. But, in cases when it isn’t, and just for simplicity, another chlorinator design can make chlorine and dose water with the push of a button. It does, however, require batteries.

The Smart-Electrochlorinator 200 releases table salt into untreated water in its container, then zaps it. The electricity separates the NaCl molecules, producing chlorine. It can treat up to 200L of water and requires a 12-volt battery that can work for 40,000L. The device costs $100 and is in manufacture and field testing now. It is a project by PATH, an international development non-profit organization.

Stay tuned
We will update this report with contacts and (we hope) designs and other details as we get them.

International Development Design Summit in Ghana
The Smart-Electrochlorinator 200
Suprio Das
Making Safe Water with Chlorine
Producing Chlorine to Make Safe Water

I don’t follow the Swedish SvD that much, don’t like their right wing view, but it seems like in the bizarre world of the modern Sweden, they are the few who actually stand for something.

Friends don’t spy on Friends, this is the message here. Sweden has a solid anti-terrorism cooperation with the US government, CIA, FBI or police or anyone else for that matter who comes to Sweden and asks for help, they are more than happy to help them. Just like they helped the Nazi’s in the 1930s, they support those with strong power. But, that is not enough for the USA, the Nobel Peace Prize Winner president of the USA, can’t follow international laws, his behavior is worst than Bush and feels like HE is entitled to act globally anywhere any time and no one should dare to question their behavior.

Sadly, the sheeple leaders of the EU and other countries don’t dare to stand up and say no to this criminal behavior.

This is one of those days, I really miss Olof Palme:

Tystnaden har blivit tradition | Inrikes | SvD.

Tystnaden har blivit tradition

USA:s ambassad i Stockholm.

USA:s ambassad i Stockholm.

Foto: Tomas Oneborg

Perspektiv Mikael Holmström

Sverige kan drabbas av terrorister – nu vet vi att det också kan bedrivas terroristjakt av utländska säkerhetstjänster på svensk mark.

Att terrorism kan riktas mot vanliga svenska medborgare blev uppenbart för alla i december 2010 efter självmordsbombaren Taimour Abdulwahabs sprängdåd i Stockholms city. SvD:s avslöjande i går visar att också den internationella kampen mot terrorismen kan föras här, i detta fall av USA, utan Säkehetspolisens (Säpos) eller regeringens vetskap.

Vi vet ännu inte svaret på varför USA inte informerade Sverige om den antiterroraktion som Säpo upptäckte här våren 2009. Att USA agerat på svensk mark med agenter under cover är inte ett okänt fenomen. På 1960-talet var CIA-agenter anställda vid olika täckföretag i Sverige. Uppgifterna var att förhöra avhoppare från Sovjetblocket eller spåra upp och kartlägga desertörer från USA:s krig i Vietnam.

Nu lever vi i en annan epok. Sverige har ett etablerat samarbete mot terrorism med federala polisen FBI, centrala underrättelsetjänsten CIA och departementet för hemlandssäkerhet. Men under de första åren efter dåden den 11 september 2001 så uttryckte amerikanska företrädare i Stockholm irritation över att Sverige inte tog terrorhotet på allvar.

Kanske bidrog detta till att USA 2009 agerade på svensk mark i strid med vad som gäller mellan ”vänligt sinnade nationer” och deras underrättelsetjänster.

På svensk sida var i går reaktionerna på SvD:s avslöjande en talande tystnad. Ett tanke-experiment är vad som skulle skett om det varit Ryssland som avslöjats med att spana på tjetjenska terrorister i Sverige. Nu vill Säpo inte kommentera, ej heller regeringen eller dess chefstjänstemän.

Att supermakten USA agerat som den vill på svensk mark kan stärka föreställningar om att Sverige dansar efter USA:s pipa. Men i det här fallet är det snarare tvärtom. Här har faktiskt Säpo – med regeringens goda minne – satt ner foten. Det borde vara en fjäder i hatten för hemliga polisen.

Men varken Sverige eller USA, än mindre Säpo eller CIA, vill förstöra relationerna. De två avslöjade agenterna och CIA:s stationschef lämnade landet 2009. Vad som skett har skett. Det hela har blåst över och nu går man vidare – det är attityden.

Att svenska oppositionspolitiker inte visste något och nu reagerar hör också till spelets oskrivna regler. Riksdagen har traditionellt satts på undantag när det gäller känslig information om rikets säkerhet. Det är ett arv från kalla krigets neutralitetspolitik där den dolda alliansen med Natoländerna existerade under täcket.

Denna tystnadens tradition har fortsatt under kriget mot terrorismen, både under regeringarna Persson och Reinfeldt. Regeringen berättar så litet som möjligt i nationella säkerhetsfrågor för svenska folkets valda ombud i riksdagen.