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Peace News log archive: September 2014
Articles from the Peace News log.
For archive articles from the whole site, look here
Seemingly not many people know about ‘RAF’ Croughton near Brackley and bordering Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire. Misleadingly referred to as RAF, this important US base is occupied and controlled by the US and their agencies under the umbrella of the United States Air Force. It supports Presidential, NATO, US European Command, US Central Command, Air Force Special Operations Command, US Department of State operations. The NSA, CIA and a contingent of GCHQ personnel are also present. It operates one of Europe's largest military switchboards; processing approximately a third of all U.S. military communications between the USA and Europe and supports over twenty different communication and defence systems. The base is involved in intelligence-led warfare (Drones) and illegal surveillance and intelligence gathering on all citizens.
Just up the road is USAF Barford St John and a satellite base to Croughton. Earlier this year CAAB learnt that Military Land byelaws (now law) were proposed at Croughton and Barford St John; indicating that something significant was being planned.
Information from Washington was stumbled on by CAAB (with additional information given to CAAB by Cahal Milmo of the Independent) which said that the base was to become the largest intelligence hub outside the US. $317m is to be spent for an ultra-secure intelligence centre staffed by up to 1,250 personnel and covering operations in Africa (AFRICOM). The upgrade will make it as big and as important as NSA/NRO Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire. There has been no debate in Parliament....Read More
Just over ten years since it failed the public so completely over the 2003 Iraq War, the mainstream media’s coverage of the current Iraq crisis has been predictably awful.
“Stop droning on Mr Cameron… SEND IN THE DRONES” was The Sun’s considered front page on 4 September 2014. At the opposite end of the British press spectrum The Independent’s front page read “Your move, Mr President”. Egging the US and UK on, The Independent noted “The leader of the free world has begun to look alarmingly impotent.” The other liberal outpost of the British media, The Guardian, supports the US air strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq (ISIS or Islamic State).
As always, the BBC has been working hard to amplify the British elite’s concerns. On 4 September 2014 the BBC Today Programme invited on Jack Straw, the former Foreign Secretary who played a central role in the illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq, to speak in the prime interview slot about why he supports the bombing of ISIS. Interviewing former Chief of the Defence Staff David Richards the next morning, Today Programme presenter John Humphrys made the following biased statement: “We have this bunch of mad men rampaging across the Middle East and they have to be stopped. They have to be not only contained but – I don’t know whether you’ll agree with this – but destroyed.”
Then there was the 30 August 2014 BBC Newsnight special on the fallout from the August 2013 parliamentary vote against UK military action in Syria. The diverse range of studio guests invited to discuss the topic were former Defence Secretary Liam Fox MP, Paddy Ashdown, former First Sea Lord Lord West, former Head of the British Army Lord Dannatt, Neo-Conservative Francis Fukuyama and Professor Mary Kaldor (Kaldor was able to squeeze in a couple of sentences pushing for a more measured response to ISIS before she was cut off).
Reading, watching and listening to this “babbling brook of bullshit”, like many people I’m sure, I’ve become increasingly angry at the narrowness of the debate and just how closely the media’s framing of the issue follows that of the US and UK governments. Therefore, I’ve decided to pull together some of the pertinent facts and arguments that the media refuses to mention and discuss....Read More