ahead of schedule by five years. also, FYI, Tesla
develops and builds electric cars.
….The Bush administration’s contempt for what it dismissed as the “reality-based community” was vindicated when it successfully ginned up a war by convincing Americans that the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqis and that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Our susceptibility to elaborate, beautifully wrought myths remains intact—whether we’re being spun by politicians, captains of finance pumping up a bubble, or sports heroes like Lance Armstrong and Joe Paterno. The news business, which we once counted on to vet hoaxes and fictions, is now so insecure about its existential future that it was cowed to some extent…ignoring the statistical data…and instead predicting a long, nail-biting Election Night. (In reality, the election was called for Obama at 11:12 p.m. EST on NBC, just twelve minutes after it had been in 2008.) Our remaining journalistic institutions have even outsourced what used to be the very core of their craft, fact-checking, to surrogates relegated to gimmicky sidebars (awarding Pinocchios and “pants on fire”). The fact-checkers have predictably become partisan targets, only further destabilizing the whole notion of what is meant by “news.”
Margaret Kimberley, Freedom Rider: Malala the Worthy Victim via Black Agenda Report
She is not the only victim of violence and terror in Pakistan, but she has become the latest of the worthy victims that we hear so much about. The propaganda created by our corporate media tells us that some victims of tragedy are worthy of our consideration and concern, while others are not. The worthy victim is a person who advances the interests of the powerful or the elites. The unworthy victim makes unwanted demands on the powerful and is crushed, or brings to light things which those at the top want to keep hidden, or is just a member of a group that is out of favor.
Malala is the worthy victim du jour among a sea of unworthy victims created by our government. According to a recent study American drones have killed between 2,562 and 3,325 people in Pakistan. Between 474 and 881 of those killed were civilians, and 176 were children. These numbers are estimates because the drone program is shrouded in official secrecy. But it is clear that our government is responsible for bringing terror to a civilian population, a war crime by any definition.
The corporate media that have given Malala Yousufzai so much attention give none to the nameless victims of American terror. These drone attack victims in Pakistan have been deemed unworthy with no right to be mentioned or spoken of for the simple reason that our government killed them.
If Americans and others in the West want to be outraged about official violence used against teens, they should be outraged about the death of an American teenager in Yemen. In October 2011, sixteen year-old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was killed by a drone in Yemen, just days after his father Anwar al-Awlaki was dispatched in the same manner. Both father and son were American citizens and neither was ever charged with a crime, but both are dead because the president ordered them killed and neither media pundits nor celebrities bemoan that fact. They are deemed unworthy of sympathy or attention because they were on the “Kill List” which the White House bragged about putting into place.
Must read.(via jayaprada)
Hamid, a student in his mid-20s who works in a computer shop near Tehran
About a year ago, the price of $1 was around 10,000 rials. This week, when the rial hit a record low, $1 traded for 36,000 rials. The collapse of the rial is blamed on the government’s mismanagement of the economy and on economic sanctions imposed on Iran over its sensitive nuclear work.
Murtaza Hussain explains the affects on Iranians by imposing Western sanctions
Today as the United States continues to intensify its international economic sanctions programme against Iran, it is worth revisiting the catastrophic harm which a previous sanctions campaign against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had upon that country. While the sanctions failed to remove Saddam from power and by many accounts helped him solidify his grip on the country by keeping the overwhelming majority of the population focused purely on subsistence, they took a calculatedly devastating toll on Iraqi civilians.
Between 1989 and 1996 per capita income in the country dropped from $3,510 to below $450, a drop caused primarily by the rapid currency depreciation of the Iraq dinar due to financial sanctions against the country’s central bank. Prices of basic commodities soared, with staples such as wheat, sugar and rice increasing several hundred-fold in a matter of months. From having a relatively modern economy fuelled primarily by oil income, by the year 2000 over 60 per cent of Iraqis were reliant on food rations for their daily sustenance. [x]
Sanctions are dehumanizing Iranians and it is war upon them
In all of the massive commentary in establishment foreign policy circles that has come out on the Iran issue as of late, however, very little focuses on the immense human costs a war on Iran would entail. According to a new report that tries to estimate this, the number of immediate casualties that would result from bombing Iran’s top four enrichment sites would be would be about 5,000 people. “If the bombing would include more than those four sites,” says the study from the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics, ”then the immediate casualty would be up to 10,000 people.”
What about casualties that are not immediate? Even if a US or Israeli strike only targeted Iran’s nuclear sites and it didn’t result in larger land war (unlikely), the toxic plumes released as a result of the strikes could kill or injure up to 70,000 civilians in nearby cities and towns. ”People’s skin could be burnt, they could become blind, their lungs could be destroyed, their kidneys could be damaged, and in the future they could face other health problems such as skin cancer and [other forms] of cancer,” according to the author of the report. [x]