Thursday, 26 February 2015


I wrote an article a couple of days ago, demonstrating how Sinn Fein deceit, betrayed the democratic vote of their first party conference for Assembly elections back in 1982, to include unemployment, as one of their principal issues in their first assembly elections. While this may seem a small matter to many people, the seriousness of this, is that if they were prepared to betray their own volunteers, what chance, have the voters, who vote for their promises pre-election.

I had another experience of their betrayal, in the days before they drove me to drink, when the convention for Newry South Armagh was called, to select the candidate for election. It was chaired by Conor Murphy's mother Alice. I proposed Tom Lonergan as candidate, a person of absolute integrity, with a long history of service and commitment, a man of the common people. He was voted unanimously by the convention to be the candidate. However, a week later, Tom asked me to accompany him to Murphy's house, where he was to meet Pat and Alice Murphy. When Tom came out of the house, he was no longer the candidate. Alice Murphy, later explained to me, the "House of Lords" overruled such matters. I will tell you Francie Molloy and Tom Hartley, were pulling the strings from without, undemocratically.

On several occasions later, I was taken to Gough barracks and interrogated by MI5 consistently, about several members of the Murphy family, including Conor for days on end. They got no information from me on this family. Now Conor Murphy and Sinn Fein are calling on all of the Irish people, to inform the British paramilitary police about their neighbors. 
Now again some people may regard this as a small matter. However anyone reporting to the PSNI on  a neighbor, should realize, this has very serious consequence, for that family. That data winds up on MI5 secret police files in London and will affect, all members of that family, well into the future, regardless of whether they are innocent or guilty.The two young innocent men at the top of this blog are just one example of many, of it's consequence. 

Further, with the withdrawal of Britain from the European Court of Human Rights, those who have been informed on, are liable for torture, because MI5, now have Carte Blanche, to treat suspects any way they please. The suspects are also liable for many years of political internment by remand, along with the considerable possibility, of the rest of their lives, incarcerated, as their fate lies in the hands of just a single judge and prosecutor either of which are likely to be bigoted, in the sectarian state of Occupied Ireland. All as consequence of informers, mentored by Sinn Fein. Many of whom, already endure considerable hardship, protecting people like the Murphys. It is not surprising then, is it not, that many people are quite angry about all of this.

People like Tom Lonergan, Red Sarah and the fallen comrades of British violence in Newry & South Armagh, devoted their whole lives, to building people power, that elected Murphy. Some of the people he now castigates, while encouraging constituents to inform on, devoted their resources to the Cause. Their sacrifices were made on the basis of Eire Nua being achieved. 

Once Sinn Fein got their platform as a result of the 10 martyred hunger strikers and  grabbed power, they bargained on a resurrected Stormont, with a Unionist Veto, they set about dismantling Eire Nua and any hope of Sinn Fein's deceitful promises becoming reality. I have no doubt they will do the same in the south, just like the Blueshirts. Conor Murphy is ensuring the Queen's writ extends across Newry & South Armagh, even if it means torture and decades of prison, for the very people, who enabled him, to betray them. Again, this is exactly what the Blueshirts have been doing for almost a hundred years in the south. Conor Murphy and Sinn Fein allies with Irish Left? you must be joking, they prefer the long tails and top hats of Buckingham Palace. 

Some will say, but what about all the smuggling. As my English friend often states, the British Empire was built on piracy of which smuggling is a key element. Essentially Connor Murphy has taken the Queen's shilling, to enable this in South Armagh, at the expense of his own. If there is one fault, that I found with Tom Lonergan and Irish Republicans, I have known like him, from Newry & South Armagh, it is the considerable humility, with which the served the Cause of Ireland, to the point they allowed the power craven, to exploit them, along with the rest of the Irish people. This systematic betrayal of the Irish people today, allows the international Corporations or modern sanitized pirates to exploit the Irish people to the point of intolerable poverty. We better learn the lessons and learn how to stand  up for ourselves in solidarity with each other, put principles before personalities, empower ourselves and not give it away, to self-serving power brokers and politicians. 

Man injured in explosion near Crossmaglen, South Armagh

Conor Murphy said the man was injured when a device exploded close to his family home

25 FEBRUARY 2015
A man has been injured in an explosion near Crossmaglen, South Armagh.

The PSNI said they received a report of an explosion in the Crossmaglen area on Wednesday.

Sinn Fein MP Conor Murphy said the man was injured when a device exploded close to his family home as he went to remove a poster.

The Newry and Armagh MP said the incident was an attack on the peace process.

He said: "Over recent months criminal gangs masquerading as republicans have threatened the family of the young man injured.

"Police recently visited the family and told them there was a threat from this group.

"Now these people have attempted to kill a member of the family with a device placed close to their home. In recent months death threats have also been made against a number of Sinn Fein activists, including myself.

"Let me be absolutely clear; this was the work of a gang of criminals and I unreservedly condemn this latest cowardly action. These thugs are opposed to the peace process and opposed to policing because of their involvement in organised crime.

"My party colleagues Megan Fearon, Gerry Kelly and I recently met with the Assistant Chief Constable to discuss the ongoing threats to the local community and I have demanded the PSNI take action against them.

"The threats have now escalated to what is clearly an attempt to murder people in the community opposed to their criminal activities.

"It’s well past time for the PSNI to act before someone is killed."

Newry and Armagh DUP MLA William Irwin expressed concern about the explosion.

Mr Irwin said: "It would seem that this incident was caused by dissident republicans and it is concerning that they are capable of producing such devices to threaten life.

"It is clear there are tensions within republicanism in this area and it is vital that the community cooperate with the police to bring those behind such threats and attacks to justice."

A PSNI spokesman said: "Police in Newry and Mourne received a report of an explosion occurring in the Crossmaglen area on Wednesday morning, 25 February.

"The report was received at 2.26pm on Wednesday, 25 February. It was also reported that a man had sustained injuries and was taken to hospital.

"Inquiries are ongoing and there are no further details at this stage."
aa a a a

Wednesday, 25 February 2015


Anyone who understands the far-reaching political and cultural implications of Britains's Dirty War of governmental "Kisonian counter terrorism," waged in secrecy, lacking accountability in Ireland, understands, it raises serious issues for the international community. The systematic cover up all the way up to the British cabinet, has created a diseased culture of silence, betrayal, not just in the collective memory, within the victim's communities in Ireland but also a selective one, within the ever expanding British Secret State. 

The legacy of official and unofficial British violence in Ireland, still continues, albeit with current lower intensity, but is ready to explode at any time.In an international context, it is clear the Dirty War techniques, experimented on in Ireland, from the torture of the hooded men of Irish internment, to Abu Graib version in Iraq, to the death squads and psychological terror of counter gang experiments of terror, torture, death squads, generating fear conducted by the Shankill butchers, to the false flags of the Dublin/Monaghan bombings, combined with Ireland's historical experience of eight centuries of British terror in Ireland, knows that a nuclear Dirty Bomb, is well within their arsenal, to be unleashed in the future, in it's proxy wars of Empire building.

Ireland, for geopolitical reasons, is caught in the vice-grip of its eternal machiavellian strategy and it's Imperial aggression. Britain has just declared its intent to withdraw from the European Court of Human Rights next year, while refusing to become a member of the International Criminal Court, giving itself Carte Blanche to International, torture, war crimes, genocide, ethnic cleansing or holocaust, which cost somewhere in the region of seven million Irish lives, already. The downing of two British planes laden with weapons for ISIL is further confirmation if any were needed, of the extremes of treachery, used by Perfidious Albion, and that the insanity of nuclear warfare in the near future, is well within their capacity.

Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:29
Iraqi Army Downs 2 UK Planes Carrying Weapons for ISIL

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iraq's army has shot down two British planes as they were carrying weapons for the ISIL terrorists in Al-Anbar province, a senior lawmaker disclosed on Monday.

"The Iraqi Parliament's National Security and Defense Committee has access to the photos of both planes that are British and have crashed while they were carrying weapons for the ISIL," Head of the committee Hakem al-Zameli said, according to a Monday report of the Arabic-language information center of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq.

He said the Iraqi parliament has asked London for explanations in this regard.

The senior Iraqi legislator further unveiled that the government in Baghdad is receiving daily reports from people and security forces in al-Anbar province on numerous flights by the US-led coalition planes that airdrop weapons and supplies for ISIL in terrorist-held areas.

The Iraqi lawmaker further noted the cause of such western aids to the terrorist group, and explained that the US prefers a chaotic situation in Anbar Province which is near the cities of Karbala and Baghdad as it does not want the ISIL crisis to come to an end.

Earlier today, a senior Iraqi provincial official lashed out at the western countries and their regional allies for supporting Takfiri terrorists in Iraq, revealing that US and Israeli-made weapons have been discovered from the areas purged of ISIL terrorists.

"We have discovered weapons made in the US, European countries and Israel from the areas liberated from ISIL's control in Al-Baqdadi region," the Al-Ahad news website quoted Head of Al-Anbar Provincial Council Khalaf Tarmouz as saying.

He noted that the weapons made by the European countries and Israel were discovered from the terrorists in the Eastern parts of the city of Ramadi.

Al-Zameli had also disclosed in January that the anti-ISIL coalition's planes have dropped weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL in Salahuddin, Al-Anbar and Diyala provinces.

Al-Zameli underlined that the coalition is the main cause of ISIL's survival in Iraq.

"There are proofs and evidence for the US-led coalition's military aid to ISIL terrorists through air(dropped cargoes)," he told FNA in January.

He noted that the members of his committee have already proved that the US planes have dropped advanced weaponry, including anti-aircraft weapons, for the ISIL, and that it has set up an investigation committee to probe into the matter.

"The US drops weapons for the ISIL on the excuse of not knowing about the whereabouts of the ISIL positions and it is trying to distort the reality with its allegations.

He noted that the committee had collected the data and the evidence provided by eyewitnesses, including Iraqi army officers and the popular forces, and said, "These documents are given to the investigation committee ... and the necessary measures will be taken to protect the Iraqi airspace."

Also in January, another senior Iraqi legislator reiterated that the US-led coalition is the main cause of ISIL's survival in Iraq.

"The international coalition is only an excuse for protecting the ISIL and helping the terrorist group with equipment and weapons," Jome Divan, who is member of the al-Sadr bloc in the Iraqi parliament, said.

He said the coalition's support for the ISIL is now evident to everyone, and continued, "The coalition has not targeted ISIL's main positions in Iraq."

In late December, Iraqi Parliamentary Security and Defense Commission MP disclosed that a US plane supplied the ISIL terrorist organization with arms and ammunition in Salahuddin province.

MP Majid al-Gharawi stated that the available information pointed out that US planes are supplying ISIL organization, not only in Salahuddin province, but also other provinces, Iraq TradeLink reported.

He added that the US and the international coalition are "not serious in fighting against the ISIL organization, because they have the technological power to determine the presence of ISIL gunmen and destroy them in one month".

Gharawi added that "the US is trying to expand the time of the war against the ISIL to get guarantees from the Iraqi government to have its bases in Mosul and Anbar provinces."

Salahuddin security commission also disclosed that "unknown planes threw arms and ammunition to the ISIL gunmen Southeast of Tikrit city".

Also in Late December, a senior Iraqi lawmaker raised doubts about the seriousness of the anti-ISIL coalition led by the US, and said that the terrorist group still received aids dropped by unidentified aircraft.

"The international coalition is not serious about air strikes on ISIL terrorists and is even seeking to take out the popular (voluntary) forces from the battlefield against the Takfiris so that the problem with ISIL remains unsolved in the near future," Nahlah al-Hababi told FNA.

"The ISIL terrorists are still receiving aids from unidentified fighter jets in Iraq and Syria," she added.

Hababi said that the coalition's precise airstrikes are launched only in those areas where the Kurdish Pishmarga forces are present, while military strikes in other regions are not so much precise.

In late December, the US-led coalition dropped aids to the Takfiri militants in an area North of Baghdad.

Field sources in Iraq told al-Manar that the international coalition airplanes dropped aids to the terrorist militants in Balad, an area which lies in Salahuddin province North of Baghdad.

In October, a high-ranking Iranian commander also slammed the US for providing aid supplies to ISIL, adding that the US claims that the weapons were mistakenly airdropped to ISIL were untrue.

“The US and the so-called anti-ISIL coalition claim that they have launched a campaign against this terrorist and criminal group - while supplying them with weapons, food and medicine in Jalawla region (a town in Diyala Governorate, Iraq). This explicitly displays the falsity of the coalition's and the US' claims,” Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri said.

The US claimed that it had airdropped weapons and medical aid to Kurdish fighters confronting the ISIL in Kobani, near the Turkish border in Northern Syria.

The US Defense Department said that it had airdropped 28 bundles of weapons and supplies, but one of them did not make it into the hands of the Kurdish fighters.

Video footage later showed that some of the weapons that the US airdropped were taken by ISIL militants.

The Iranian commander insisted that the US had the necessary intelligence about ISIL's deployment in the region and that their claims to have mistakenly airdropped weapons to them are as unlikely as they are untrue.

Washington Has Resurrected The Threat Of Nuclear War

By Paul Craig Roberts

February 24, 2015 "ICH" - Foreign Affairs is the publication of the elitist Council on Foreign Relations, a collection of former and current government officials, academics, and corporate and financial executives who regard themselves as the custodian and formulator of US foreign policy. The publication of the council carries the heavy weight of authority. One doesn’t expect to find humor in it, but I found myself roaring with laughter while reading an article in the February 5 online issue by Alexander J. Motyl, “Goodbye, Putin: Why the President’s Days Are Numbered.”

I assumed I was reading a clever parody of Washington’s anti-Putin propaganda. Absurd statement followed absurd statement. It was better than Colbert. I couldn’t stop laughing.

To my dismay I discovered that the absolute gibberish wasn’t a parody of Washington’s propaganda. Motyl, an ardent Ukrainian nationalist, is a professor at Rugers University and was not joking when he wrote that Putin had stolen $45 billion, that Putin was resurrecting the Soviet Empire, that Putin had troops and tanks in Ukraine and had started the war in Ukraine, that Putin is an authoritarian whose regime is “exceedingly brittle” and subject to being overthrown at any time by the people Putin has bought off with revenues from the former high oil price, or by “an Orange Revolution in Moscow” in which Putin is overthrown by Washington orchestrated demonstrations by US financed NGOs as in Ukraine, or by a coup d’etat by Putin’s Praetorial guards. And if none of this sends Putin goodbye, the North Caucasus, Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan, and the Crimean Tarters are spinning out of control and will do Washington’s will by unseating Putin. Only the West’s friendly relationship with Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakstan can shield “the rest of the world from Putin’s disastrous legacy of ruin.”

When confronted with this level of ignorant nonsense in what is alleged to be a respectable publication, we experience the degradation of the Western political and media elite. To argue with nonsense is pointless.

What we see here with Motyl is the purest expression of the blatant propagandistic lies that flow continually from the likes of Fox “News,” Sean Hannity, the neocon warmongers, the White House, and executive branch and congressional personnel beholden to the military/security complex.

The lies are too much even for Henry Kissinger.

As Stephen Lendman, who documents the ever growing anti-Russian propaganda, honestly states: “America’s war on the world rages. Humanity’s greatest challenge is stopping this monster before it destroys everyone.”

The absurdity of it all! Even a moron knows that if Russia is going to put tanks and troops into Ukraine, Russia will put in enough to do the job. The war would be over in a few days if not in a few hours. As Putin himself said some months ago, if the Russian military enters Ukraine, the news will not be the fate of Donetsk or Mauriupol, but the fall of Kiev and Lviv.

Former US Ambassador to the Soviet Union (1987-91) Jack Matlock cautioned against the crazed propagandistic attack against Russia in his speech at the National Press Club on February 11. Matlock is astonished by the dismissal of Russia as merely “a regional power” of little consequence to the powerful US military. No country, Matlock says, armed with numerous, accurate, and mobile ICBMs is limited to regional power. This is the kind of hubristic miscalculation that ends in world destruction.

Matlock also notes that the entirely of Ukraine, like Crimea, has been part of Russia for centuries and that Washington and NATO have no business being in Ukraine.

He also points out the violations of promises made to Russia not to expand NATO eastward and how this and other acts of US aggression toward Russia have recreated the lack of trust between the two powers that Reagan worked successfully to overcome.

Reagan’s politeness toward the Soviet leadership and refusal to personalize differences created an era of cooperation that the morons who are Reagan’s successors have thrown away, thus renewing the threat of nuclear war that Reagan and Gorbachev had ended.

Washington’s foreign policy, Matlock says, is autistic, which he defines as impaired social interaction, failed communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior.

Read Matlock:

Don’t bother with the utter fool Motyl: Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost.


Proleprincess· 6 hours ago
These words should fill the hearts of every US American with absolute fear and terror:
As Stephen Lendman, who documents the ever growing anti-Russian propaganda, honestly states: “America’s war on the world rages. Humanity’s greatest challenge is stopping this monster before it destroys everyone.”
Terrorism isn't a real threat to the USA. It's own dysfunction, corruption and incompetence in world affairs endangers everyb citizen in the country.
My recent post my_work


Farflungstar· 1 hour ago
You said it, girl. Ignorant people are terrified of overhyped Islamic terrorism and not paying attention to the back and forth slow escalation with a country that has enough long range nuclear firepower to make the lights go out for a long time here in Der Homeland. The potential costs far outweigh the risks.
It isn't a damn bit different today than it was during the Cold War, I don't care what the propaganda says. In the 80's I remember it was treated seriously as something to be avoided. Everyone loses.
I had a poster in my room of a mushroom cloud which read:
One Nuclear Bomb Can Ruin Your Whole Day
Ideology may change, but this still holds true!


Froggy· 6 hours ago
"Cynics know the cost of everything and the value of nothing" - Oscar Wilde

As much as PCR, and Steve Lendman are two of my favorite all time commentators, I cant help but note how their continual reigniting the nuclear fears issue on radio and print, clouds the real issue of conventional war for peace and profit. Report he diplomatic side, have hope, if your show is called "Progressive Radio News Hour" give us news in war zones, not the same reguritated cynicism week after week. Irrational fear is the enemy, its a trick of warmongers that you shouldn't fall for.

I think the trick is in emphasis, not fear. Push for diplomacy and diplomatic solutions. AVOID cynicism like a disease. Anyone can be a cynic, or be Bill Maher. If your goal is peace, report accurately, push for peace and activism and be a true believer. Peace - it can happen, it can be a reality.

No one is going to push the button and fry us all, so just remind the NeoCon crazies and more sane leaders reading and listening that there HAS GOT TO BE ANOTHER WAY THAN WAR. Lets rise above the animals, use the God given reason you have to improve things for humanity. Lets find a solution to the permanent war economy once and for all.


Nexus789· 5 hours ago
You are missing the very clear point PCR makes. Meaningful negotiations or accommodation will NEVER be possible with Washington. Washington places itself above all other countries and is perfidious to an extreme. Putin now refers sarcastically to 'our friends in the West' at press conferences.

The 'empire of chaos' sees itself as 'exceptional' and 'indispensable'. It is neither. It is a proto-fascist state that has a collapsing economy is trying to maintain a rapidly declining and thoroughly nasty empire.

It is clear that the arrogance and hubris of the morons in Washington does not let them understand the growing Russian and Chinese alliance. Washington thinks the Chinese will invade Eastern Russia. They have this belief as it is what they would do. China and Russia treat other as equals and via trade China will get all it needs from Russia in terms of raw materials and technology.

These clowns will blunder into a massive conflict and they will wish they had never been born. Then it will be over for the rest of us.


Froggy· 3 hours ago
Lets be specfic in terms of examples. Assad and the opposition have been negotiating somewhat successfully to end the Syria war.

Then - as if made to order -fake ISIS beheading videos allow Obama a back door to bomb Syria, just the six American military bases in Israel bombed Syria to ramp up the conflict. Then, Obama orders 400 more US troops to Syria to train the terrorists by spring 2015.

But are the "progressive" Democrat talking heads cover this? No its all fear terror propaganda, scapgoat Islam and the Saudis, Democrats blame Bushs-Iraq (instead of Obamas dethrone Assad war which truly created ISIS thru training the FSA) and so the Democrat talking heads become censors, disinfo agents and cheerlead "the war on ISIS," which in reality is directed at Assad. Assad himself noted the slow or nonexistent progress at "defeating" ISIS because he knows ISIS are not the real target.

So while 'progressive" Democrat talking heads misdirect the audience away from diplomacy, and cheerlead for war - its leaves no coverage or gives no voice for the cause of peace and diplomacy.


Dr. Nomas Kakita· 6 hours ago
According to recent estimates only 8.23% of the US population will survive in mostly rural towns,


Bill of Wrongs· 5 hours ago
So 100% of the population will then be left to watch [Dumb] Fux News.


Nexus789· 5 hours ago
That many. Given the extent of a nuclear winter and background radiation they may might wish they had not survived. All the dumb politicians in the world should be forced to read this site.


Ariel Gail MacLean· 3 hours ago
Everyone has something important and different to contribute to this complex picture, but I also think everyone is forgetting that Russia & China don't need anyone else except one another and seem to be entering into some new kind of cooperative era which is capable of leaving the rest of the world behind (essentially, The Bully USA picking fights whereever it can). The other thing which is not being taken into consideration is the extremely fragile natural of nuclear warfare - just ONE previously-prove-to-be-stupid human being having a bad hair day, and everyone loses. The other fact is that more conventional boots-on-the-ground warfare (if we are even capable of this anymore) requires lead time and planning - just the type of activities we need to provide for the army of professional military strategists who have been sitting around for too long, itching for a job to do. All it takes is less than a decade for an entirely new iteration of America's Best In The World weapons to resupply the War Machine, while everyone waits around with baited breath to hear where they are going to get try them out. I don't think most people quite realize the hold that WAR GAMES has on the hearts and minds of ongoing generations of American males. There is a reason why the USA is the #1 Arms Dealer on the planet (by multiple factors more), and why we have only been NOT in WAR less than 2 decades for our entire existence. War Mongering is our identity, our economy, our spirituality, our psychology, our art, and our science. War is us.


xmastri· 1 hour ago
Aaaaannnd.....the US's only export. It's all the US knows how to do. Not blazing any trails in any other arenas. Oh wait, GMO's too, the other export. And vaccines. Sterilizing ones.


mike· 2 hours ago
Is it really a fight for world hegemony the so called New World Order which hinges on Europe. If Europe is willing to allow itself to be the stage for a conflict between East and West, for WW3 then we are all doomed. There are signs that Europeans are uneasy with this but as yet the propaganda still supports USA policy. In fact that may be the reason that Ukraine is being kept at a relatively low level of prominence in the news cycle, so as not to alarm Europeans. This gives the impression that war is impossible because we haven't been forewarned or prepared yet. It is perhaps designed to be a long low level conflict which without alarming the public will instead slowly accustomize them into acceptance of the insanity of nuclear war. The internet allows those with a will to influence the public, posting on social media, articles that promote awareness of the true situation might consider doing this. If everyone reading ICH makes 10 people aware and they make 10 people aware, you get to millions real fast. We might have the time to do it and our lives may depend on it.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015


I was sad to learn yesterday, that Newry has one of the worst drug problems in the north, which took me back to the reasons, why this is inevitable and led me to the memory of Crumlin Road Gaol and Dominic McGlinchey, walking around the exercise yard, with his comrade singing the Kris Kristoferson song, 'Me and Bobby McGee,' beside him. "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose, Nothing, I mean nothing, honey if it isn't free, no no !Yeah, feeling good was easy Lord, when he sang the blues.You know feeling good was good enough for me
Good    Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee."

Excess eventually leads to a realization of emptiness. Emptiness can lead to a search for reality, to learn the truth, with an open heart and the willingness to listen, to the wisdom of the elders with experience, the most valuable commodity in Ireland. At the bottom of this post, is an article by Chris Hedges, called, "We Kill Our Revolutionaries," which I feel carries some important lessons, for any revolutionary.

Portugal Cut Addiction Rates in Half by legalizing Drugs

Connecting Drug Users With Communities Instead of Jailing Them

Fifteen years ago, the Portuguese had one of the worst drug problems in Europe. So they decriminalized drugs, took money out of prisons, put it into holistic rehabilitation, and found that human connection is the antidote to addiction.

It is now one hundred years since drugs were first banned—and all through this long century of waging war on drugs, we have been told a story about addiction by our teachers and by our governments. This story is so deeply ingrained in our minds that we take it for granted: There are strong chemical hooks in these drugs, so if we stopped on day twenty-one, our bodies would need the chemical. We would have a ferocious craving. We would be addicted. That’s what addiction means.

This theory was first established, in part, through rat experiments—ones that were injected into the American psyche in the 1980s, in a famous advertisement by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. You may remember it. The experiment is simple. Put a rat in a cage, alone, with two water bottles. One is just water. The other is water laced with heroin or cocaine. Almost every time you run this experiment, the rat will become obsessed with the drugged water, and keep coming back for more and more, until it kills itself.

The ad explains: “Only one drug is so addictive, nine out of ten laboratory rats will use it. And use it. And use it. Until dead. It’s called cocaine. And it can do the same thing to you.

But in the 1970s, a professor of Psychology in Vancouver called Bruce Alexander noticed something odd about this experiment. The rat is put in the cage all alone. It has nothing to do but take the drugs. What would happen, he wondered, if we tried this differently?

So Professor Alexander built Rat Park. It is a lush cage where the rats would have colored balls and the best rat-food and tunnels to scamper down and plenty of friends: everything a rat about town could want. What, Alexander wanted to know, will happen then?

In Rat Park, all the rats obviously tried both water bottles, because they didn’t know what was in them. But what happened next was startling.

This article is adapted fromChasing the Scream: The First and Last Day of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari, 2015.The rats with good lives didn’t like the drugged water. They mostly shunned it, consuming less than a quarter of the drugs the isolated rats used. None of them died. While all the rats who were alone and unhappy became heavy users, none of the rats who had a happy environment did.

At first, I thought this was merely a quirk of rats, until I discovered that there was—at the same time as the Rat Park experiment—a helpful human equivalent taking place. It was called the Vietnam War. Time magazine reported using heroin was “as common as chewing gum” among U.S. soldiers, and there is solid evidence to back this up: some 20 percent of U.S. soldiers had become addicted to heroin there, according to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Many people were understandably terrified; they believed a huge number of addicts were about to head home when the war ended.

But in fact some 95 percent of the addicted soldiers—according to the same study—simply stopped. Very few had rehab. They shifted from a terrifying cage back to a pleasant one, so didn’t want the drug any more.

Professor Alexander argues this discovery is a profound challenge both to the right-wing view that addiction is a moral failing caused by too much hedonistic partying, and the liberal view that addiction is a disease taking place in a chemically hijacked brain. In fact, he argues, addiction is an adaptation. It’s not you. It’s your cage.
Rats in the Park
If you fall into that state of addiction, is your brain hijacked, so you can’t recover?

After the first phase of Rat Park, Professor Alexander then took this test further. He reran the early experiments, where the rats were left alone, and became compulsive users of the drug. He let them use for 57 days—if anything can hook you, it’s that.

Then he took them out of isolation, and placed them in Rat Park. He wanted to know, if you fall into that state of addiction, is your brain hijacked, so you can’t recover? Do the drugs take you over? What happened is—again—striking. The rats seemed to have a few twitches of withdrawal, but they soon stopped their heavy use, and went back to having a normal life. The good cage saved them.

When I first learned about this, I was puzzled. How can this be? This new theory is such a radical assault on what we have been told that it felt like it could not be true. But the more scientists I interviewed, and the more I looked at their studies, the more I discovered things that don’t seem to make sense—unless you take account of this new approach.

Here’s one example of an experiment that is happening all around you, and may well happen to you one day. If you get run over today and you break your hip, you will probably be given diamorphine, the medical name for heroin. In the hospital around you, there will be plenty of people also given heroin for long periods, for pain relief.

The heroin you will get from the doctor will have a much higher purity and potency than the heroin being used by street-addicts, who have to buy from criminals who adulterate it. So if the old theory of addiction is right—it’s the drugs that cause it; they make your body need them—then it’s obvious what should happen. Loads of people should leave the hospital and try to score smack on the streets to meet their habit.
The street-addict is like the rats in the first cage, isolated, alone, with only one source of solace to turn to.

But here’s the strange thing: It virtually never happens. As the Canadian doctor Gabor Mate was the first to explain to me, medical users just stop, despite months of use. The same drug, used for the same length of time, turns street-users into desperate addicts and leaves medical patients unaffected.

If you still believe, as I used to, that chemical hooks are what cause addiction, then this makes no sense.

But if you believe Bruce Alexander’s theory, the picture falls into place. The street-addict is like the rats in the first cage, isolated, alone, with only one source of solace to turn to. The medical patient is like the rats in the second cage. She is going home to a life where she is surrounded by the people she loves. The drug is the same, but the environment is different.
The Opposite of Addiction Is Connection

This gives us an insight that goes much deeper than the need to understand addicts.
A heroin addict has bonded with heroin because she couldn’t bond as fully with anything else.

Professor Peter Cohen argues that human beings have a deep need to bond and form connections. It’s how we get our satisfaction. If we can’t connect with each other, we will connect with anything we can find—the whirr of a roulette wheel or the prick of a syringe. He says we should stop talking about ‘addiction’ altogether, and instead call it ‘bonding.’ A heroin addict has bonded with heroin because she couldn’t bond as fully with anything else.

So the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection.

When I learned all this, I found it slowly persuading me, but I still couldn’t shake off a nagging doubt. Are these scientists saying chemical hooks make no difference? It was explained to me—you can become addicted to gambling, and nobody thinks you inject a pack of cards into your veins. You can have all the addiction, and none of the chemical hooks. I went to a Gamblers’ Anonymous meeting in Las Vegas (with the permission of everyone present, who knew I was there to observe) and they were as plainly addicted as the cocaine and heroin addicts I have known in my life. Yet there are no chemical hooks on a craps table.

But still, surely, I asked, there is some role for the chemicals? It turns out there is an experiment which gives us the answer to this in quite precise terms, which I learned about in Richard DeGrandpre’s book The Cult of Pharmacology.

Everyone agrees cigarette smoking is one of the most addictive processes around. The chemical hooks in tobacco come from a drug inside it called nicotine. So when nicotine patches were developed in the early 1990s, there was a huge surge of optimism—cigarette smokers could get all of their chemical hooks, without the other filthy (and deadly) effects of cigarette smoking. They would be freed.
Ironically, the war on drugs actually increases all those larger drivers of addiction.

But the Office of the Surgeon General has found that just 17.7 percent of cigarette smokers are able to stop using nicotine patches. That’s not nothing. If the chemicals drive 17.7 percent of addiction, as this shows, that’s still millions of lives ruined globally. But what it reveals again is that the story we have been taught about chemical hooks is, in fact, real, only a minor part of a much bigger picture.

This has huge implications for the 100-year-old war on drugs.

This massive war—which kills people from the malls of Mexico to the streets of Liverpool—is based on the claim that we need to physically eradicate a whole array of chemicals because they hijack people’s brains and cause addiction. But if drugs aren’t the driver of addiction—if, in fact, it is disconnection that drives addiction—then this makes no sense.

Ironically, the war on drugs actually increases all those larger drivers of addiction. For example, I went to a prison in Arizona—Tent City—where inmates are detained in tiny stone isolation cages (‘The Hole’) for weeks and weeks on end to punish them for drug use. It is as close to a human recreation of the cages that guaranteed deadly addiction in rats as I can imagine. And when those prisoners get out, they will be unemployable because of their criminal record, guaranteeing they with be cut off ever more.
How Portugal Halved Drug Addiction Levels

There is an alternative. You can build a system that is designed to help drug addicts to reconnect with the world—and so leave behind their addictions.

This isn’t theoretical. It is happening. I have seen it. Nearly 15 years ago, Portugal had one of the worst drug problems in Europe, with one percent of the population addicted to heroin. They had tried a drug war, and the problem just kept getting worse.

So they decided to do something radically different. They resolved to decriminalize all drugs, and transfer all the money they used to spend on arresting and jailing drug addicts, and spend it instead on reconnecting them—to their own feelings, and to the wider society.
Decriminalization has been such a manifest success that very few people in Portugal want to go back to the old system.

The most crucial step is to get them secure housing, and subsidized jobs so they have a purpose in life, and something to get out of bed for. I watched as they are helped, in warm and welcoming clinics, to learn how to reconnect with their feelings, after years of trauma and stunning them into silence with drugs.

One group of addicts were given a loan to set up a removals firm. Suddenly, they were a group, all bonded to each other, and to the society, and responsible for each other’s care.

The results of all this are now in. An independent study by the British Journal of Criminology found that since total decriminalization, addiction has fallen, and injecting drug use is down by 50 percent. I’ll repeat that: injecting drug use is down by 50 percent.

Decriminalization has been such a manifest success that very few people in Portugal want to go back to the old system. The main campaigner against the decriminalization back in 2000 was Joao Figueira, the country’s top drug cop. He offered all the dire warnings that we would expect: more crime, more addicts. But when we sat together in Lisbon, he told me that everything he predicted had not come to pass—and he now hopes the whole world will follow Portugal’s example.
We need now to talk about social recovery—how we all recover, together ...
Happiness in "the Age of Loneliness"

This isn’t only relevant to addicts. It is relevant to all of us, because it forces us to think differently about ourselves. Human beings are bonding animals. We need to connect and love. The wisest sentence of the twentieth century was E.M. Forster’s: “only connect.” But we have created an environment and a culture that cut us off from connection, or offer only the parody of it offered by the Internet. The rise of addiction is a symptom of a deeper sickness in the way we live–constantly directing our gaze towards the next shiny object we should buy, rather than the human beings all around us.

The writer George Monbiot has called this “the age of loneliness.” We have created human societies where it is easier for people to become cut off from all human connections than ever before. Bruce Alexander, the creator of Rat Park, told me that for too long, we have talked exclusively about individual recovery from addiction. We need now to talk about social recovery—how we all recover, together, from the sickness of isolation that is sinking on us like a thick fog.

But this new evidence isn’t just a challenge to us politically. It doesn’t just force us to change our minds. It forces us to change our hearts.

Loving an addict is really hard. When I looked at the addicts I love, it was always tempting to follow the tough love advice doled out by reality shows like Intervention—tell the addict to shape up, or cut them off. Their message is that an addict who won’t stop should be shunned. It’s the logic of the drug war, imported into our private lives.

But in fact, I learned, that will only deepen their addiction—and you may lose them altogether. I came home determined to tie the addicts in my life closer to me than ever—to let them know I love them unconditionally, whether they stop, or whether they can’t.

This article is adapted from Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari. Hari is a British journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Le Monde, The Guardian, The New Republic, and other publications. 

By Chris Hedges

We Kill Our Revolutionaries

By Chris Hedges

February 23, 2015 "ICH" - "Truthdig" - YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio—Siddique Hasan, his legs shackled to a chair, sat in the fourth-floor visiting room of the Ohio State Penitentiary, a supermax prison. The room, surrounded by thick glass windows, had a guard booth in the center and food vending machines flanking a microwave on one wall. There was a line of small booths, entered through a door behind Hasan, where families, including children, were talking to prisoners through plexiglass partitions.

Hasan, 5 feet 10 inches tall, 52 years old, bearded and with wire-rim glasses, had a white kufi on his head. He wore a short-sleeve shirt over a long-sleeve shirt, light blue prison pants and white Nikes. His 209-pound frame was taut and compact, the result of an intense exercise regime. He has been on death row since he was convicted for his actions while leading, along with four others, the April 1993 uprising at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility at Lucasville, Ohio. They are known as the Lucasville Five. The uprising saw prisoners take control of the prison for 11 days in protest against numerous grievances, including deaths that occurred allegedly from beatings by guards. It was one of the longest prison uprisings in U.S. history. By the time it was over, 10 people had been killed by prisoners, including a guard.

A riot that occurred Friday has made a Texas prison uninhabitable and forced a mass transfer of prisoners. In a 2014 report by the ACLU, prisoners there complained of “severely crowded and squalid living conditions.” Click here or here for more information about what happened at the Willacy County Correctional Center.

Hasan, born Carlos Sanders, has been in juvenile detention facilities or prison since he was an adolescent. His early life was difficult, unstable and marked by extreme poverty. His mother had her first child at 12 and her fourth and final child at 19. His father, who was physically abusive to Hasan’s mother, abandoned the family when Hasan was 5. The children and their mother survived on her meager pay from cooking and cleaning jobs. Hasan, the third of the four children, lived briefly in foster homes and never went beyond fifth grade. He ran the streets with his older brother and engaged in petty crime. Since his first incarceration, in his early teens in Georgia—where he was nicknamed Savannah Slim or Savannah Red, and where he worked with other convicts on Georgia prison highway details—until today, he has spent only 17 months outside prison walls. He has always rebelled. He masterminded a mass escape from a juvenile detention facility when he was 15 years old and, a year later, a mass escape from a county jail. In 2013 he took part in a hunger strike with other death row prisoners that saw prison authorities finally agree to expand the range of items at the prison commissary, permit physical contact in visits with relatives, allow prisoners to use computers to do legal research, increase the length of phone conversations and increase recreation time.

“I am a human being,” Hasan said. “I don’t like being locked up, deprived of my rights, told when to go to bed, when to eat, when to shower. These things hurt a person physically, emotionally and psychologically. No human being should be caged like an animal.”

Before he converted to Islam in 1981, he said, he was “a materialist freak and a monster that sold drugs and protected people for payment in prison.” He organized prison gambling rings and extortion rackets and oversaw a small army of enforcers.

“I would have 30 pairs of shoes, 30 bottles of lotion, 30 bottles of shampoo, 30 bottles of baby oil and 200 bars of soap in my cell,” he said. “But once I came into Islam and put into practice the knowledge I acquired, I changed.”

He hopes prisoners will organize to mount a coordinated nationwide work stoppage and hunger strike to improve conditions behind bars, including raising pay from the roughly $1 a day that prisoners now receive for eight hours of labor to the legal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. He would like to see coordinated boycotts of the overpriced commissaries. He said prisoners should purchase only the bare necessities, such as soap and toothpaste, and forego the “zoozoos and wamwams,” prison slang for junk food. He places no hope in the courts and the legislatures. Prisoners will have to start to carry out acts of mass civil disobedience for any justice, he said—that is the only mechanism left to them.

“Prison authorities never give you anything without a fight,” he said, clutching white prayer beads. “Those prisoners who can should refuse to go to work to demand the minimum wage, although the first thing the prison will do is try and break it up by transferring the leaders to another prison or remove them from the general population. But if any protest is done right, with unity, they may not lock anyone down. Let the prison authorities know in advance what will be done. Let them know the demands. Don’t surprise them. Give them an opportunity to resolve it, say 60 days. If you catch them by surprise all you will get is a lockdown. If you put them on notice they can’t say they didn’t know it was coming.”

“The beauty of a work stoppage is that the prison administrators have to bring in compensated labor,” he said. “This is what happened in the Georgia prison system in 2010 when the prisoners held a work stoppage for six days. It cost the state a lot of money. The prisoners got a lot of concessions. The issue of state pay cannot be solved expeditiously. That takes time. It is best to have other demands and other tactics. We can lower commissary prices and the price of phone calls through boycotts.”

There are lessons about resistance Hasan has learned that apply not only to the 2.3 million Americans who are incarcerated but to a society in which the loss of civil liberties and the creation of the security and surveillance state increasingly mirror the prison state. Revolt, he said, must include certain elements. Those who rebel must understand how systems of power work; otherwise, effective resistance is impossible. Revolt requires a disciplined and hierarchical organization and an incorruptible leadership to prevent betrayal, anarchy and bloodshed. To maintain unity there must be a commitment to nonviolence and a refusal to allow intrusion from personal, racial or religious animosities, including the hatred many prisoners feel for homosexuals and those who are informants or “snitches” for the prison administration. Divisions among the oppressed, Hasan said, are gifts to the oppressor. There must also be a clear set of achievable demands and an active support network outside the prison willing to mobilize on behalf of the rebels. Any revolt requires transparency, including informing the authorities in advance of a protest and articulating demands. Prisoners who mobilize an entire prison cannot hope to keep anything secret given the swarms of informants, he said. Finally, a revolt requires a willingness on the part of the rebel leaders to sacrifice and to even lose their lives. For him, Husan said, this last element is made possible by his faith.

“Most prisoners don’t have a problem going on strike for fair wages and better conditions,” he said. “They will challenge the powers that be. The problem is that we need people on the outside to help us. If we go on a hunger strike and starve ourselves, if we refuse to work or participate in our own self-destruction there have to be groups publicizing our resistance and backing us.”

Hasan, who had been only months away from being released at the time of the uprising, lived in the Lucasville prison honor wing, reserved for prisoners who had good disciplinary records. He worked as an imam among the prison population. During the uprising he repeatedly minimized or prevented violence. He is credited with saving several lives, a fact that came up in his trial. The state, as always, was far more concerned with removing a charismatic and incorruptible prison leader, no matter what he or she did, from the general prison population. Prisoners in sworn affidavits after the uprising told of Ohio State Highway Patrol officers moving through the institution’s population and offering deals for reduced sentences to those who would name and testify against revolt leaders. One of those who testified against the leaders of the uprising, Anthony Lavelle, the head of the Black Gangster Disciples inside the Lucasville facility, is widely believed to have carried out the murder of the prison guard, Robert Vallandingham. For that killing, Hasan was sentenced to death with George Skatzes, Namir Abdul Mateen, Jason Robb and Keith Lamar. Despite intense pressure by the state, and promises to spare them from the death penalty, the five men refused to incriminate each other. That the five are mixed racially, that Skatzes and Robb at the time were members of theAryan Brotherhood and had to reject white solidarity to stand with the black defendants, was remarkable.

“They rose above their status as prisoners, and became, for a few days in April 1993, what rebels in Attica had demanded a generation before them: men,” Mumia Abu Jamal wrote in the foreword to “Lucasville: The Untold Story of a Prison Uprising,” by Staughton Lynd. “As such, they did not betray each other, they did not dishonor each other, they reached beyond their prison ‘tribes’ to reach the commonality.”

It was the Muslims, the most disciplined and politically conscious segment of the prison population, who organized the Lucasville revolt. And the uprising was, from its inception, designed to be nonviolent. Guards would be seized, as had happened five years earlier in the prison during a protest against deplorable conditions, and held until prisoners were permitted to make contact with the press. Once the press reported the prisoners’ grievances, and once the state agreed to address the abuses, the guards would be released.

“We were dealing with a warden, Arthur Tate Jr., who was very hard-line,” Hasan said. “The convicts called him King Arthur. We wanted to bring enough pressure on the system to take it out of his hands and get his superiors in Columbus at the ODRC [Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction] to respond. The goal was always to resolve this amicably.”

No one in Lucasville, Hasan said, wanted to replicate the bloodbath that took place in New York state in September 1971 during the four-day uprising at the Attica prison in which over 43 people were killed, including 10 correctional officers and civilian employees, along with 33 prisoners who died at the hands of state police officers who stormed the institution. But uprisings, as Hasan swiftly found out, are very difficult events to control.

The catalyst for the revolt was a decision by the prison administration to test the prisoners for tuberculosis by injecting them with a substance the Muslims believed contained alcohol, which is forbidden to followers of Islam. Hasan and other Muslim leaders asked the prison authorities to do the testing by X-ray or sputum sample. The prison refused. The testing, especially because it was scheduled forRamadan, was, Hasan said, “the final straw.”

“Muslims were fasting,” he said. “They couldn’t take a shot.”

Conditions in the prison were already barbaric. There was severe overcrowding. White and black prisoners often physically clashed, and the practice of housing men of different races within the same cells exacerbated the tension. Medical facilities were inadequate. Families that attempted to visit prisoners were harassed and abused by the guards. Commissary items were overpriced. Phone calls were limited to one five-minute conversation a year, usually at Christmas. Guards routinely beat prisoners, at times fatally. A group of prisoners known as the “Lucasville 14” had earlier attempted to renounce their U.S. citizenship. Three of them, to illustrate their seriousness, cut off fingers and mailed them to the United Nations and the U.S. Department of Justice. Prisoners had also attempted to organize a branch of the Industrial Workers of the World to demand that prison laborers receive the national minimum wage. Every attempt to organize or resist was met with harsher control.

“There were several incidents where a prisoner did something like masturbate in front of a female guard, spit on a guard or become verbally and physically abusive,” Hasan said. “In situations like these the guards are supposed to file a conduct report. But instead the guards took the liberty of physical abuse, and in some cases this was fatal. They would take a prisoner to isolation or administrative segregation, go into the cell, close the door and jump on the prisoner while he was handcuffed and shackled.”

Internal prison protests, he said, have become an imperative. Nearly all rehabilitation programs have been terminated. Tens of thousands of prisoners are locked for months or even years in isolation. Prisons, every year, are extracting more money from prisoners and their families through exorbitant phone fees, rising commissary prices, money transfer services that take huge commissions and refusing to provide items such as footwear, forcing prisoners, who typically earn about $28 a month, to pay $45 for sneakers. Prisoners must also pay an array of fees, including hundreds of dollars to be taken on a visit to a dying family member or to a funeral home. And more and more prisoners, because of fees and fines, are leaving prisons with thousands of dollars of debt. Over 60 percent of those who are released return to prison. This is by design.

“The prison officials know that when you get out you are coming back,” he said. “You are not trained to do anything. There is no advanced program of education. There is no vocational training. You get out and you don’t have a place to live. You are on somebody’s couch. You don’t have money. You can’t get a job. It’s just a matter of time before you go back to exploiting your old way of living. And prisoners are demonized. They are portrayed as incorrigible, unsympathetic, uncaring, irredeemable monsters that need to be in prison.”

In the 1993 revolt the Muslims seized a dozen guards at the end of the recreation period around 3 in the afternoon. Prisoners, freed from their cells and prison control, grabbed baseball bats and fire extinguishers and attacked guards. Hasan said someone suggested to him they murder the snitches and the “fags,” an act he denounced, saying “that would mean killing half the prison population.” Prisoners began to barricade hallways with ice machines and locker boxes. They used 45-pound weight bars and pickaxes to smash windows and doors to capture guards in a secure area known as a “safewell.”

“Me and some of the other Muslims had congregated in the barbershop,” he said. “A brother told us they were killing snitches in [Block] L6. We went down to L6 and saw bodies on top of bodies. Not all were dead; some were gagging for air, some survived.”

“It was mass chaos,” he said. “People were beating the guards and beating convicts. It was pandemonium. Blood was in the hallway. It was like a massacre. Blood does not have a nice smell. I remembered snapping on the Muslims and telling them to secure these guys.”

Hasan moved the captured guards to the shower stalls and kept them protected. He placed vulnerable prisoners, including the informants, in cells for their safety. The Muslims had drawn up an organizational plan before the uprising, with groups assigned to security, legal matters, food distribution and education. They struggled to impose order.

I asked him how he felt when he saw the bodies and the bloodbath, something he had desperately hoped to avoid.

“I didn’t feel anything, maybe because I have a different perception about death than other people,” he said.

“Stabbin’. Killin’. Hangin’. This was not [an intended] part of the uprising,” he said. “Things got out of hand. You had a lot of prisoners with a lot of grudges, animosities and hatred in their hearts for prisoners and nonprisoners. These people had snitched on them or abused them. People settled old scores with other prisoners and with guards. That’s what happened. That’s what went wrong.”

Rape, too, was a problem during the uprising. Prisoners who committed rapes during the revolt were locked in cells. Hasan said one black prisoner, Bruce Harris, raped a white prisoner. Other white prisoners, when they heard of the rape, wanted to kill Harris. Hasan intervened.

It was agreed that a prisoner from each of the three main prison factions—the Aryan Brotherhood, the Muslims and the Black Gangster Disciples—would punish Harris. They took Harris into the corridor and beat him for three minutes. Then they took him to the gym and beat him again for three minutes. After that, they locked him in a cell.

“Bruce was nervous that they were going to kill him and he started tearing up the cell,” Hasan said. “He tore the porcelain toilet off the wall and smashed it to pieces, disturbing the Muslims, who were praying. I went to Bruce. I asked him to stop. I assured Bruce that he was not going to die. I told him I would escort him out to the prison authorities when the time came to end the riot. He promised to stop making a ruckus.”

Harris, however, was killed later by fellow prisoners. The state attempted to charge Hasan with the murder, but during the trial a video was produced showing Hasan in negotiations with prison authorities at the time of Harris’ murder.

“When there is disorder and no law, people have the tendency to do evil things,” Hasan said.

“What is the cause of any uprising?” he asked. “Simply put, it’s man’s injustice to man. We could not expect freedom, but we could expect freedom from oppression, tyranny, persecution and gross miscarriages of justice that go on in institutional life. Prisons are here to stay. Be realistic. It’s about the money, the control and the power. But if you take over a prison you can confront the evil and the corruption, you can make some changes.”

The captured guards, he said, suddenly began calling him Mr. Sanders, something that was unthinkable when he was under their domination.

“The guards were all saying they were sorry, they were just doing their jobs,” he said.

The white prisoners, many of them members of the Aryan Brotherhood, gathered nervously in the gym in the first hours of the revolt. They feared that the blacks would turn on them. All of the alleged snitches killed in the first few hours were white. A few blacks believed to be snitches had been beaten but had survived. Hasan called the Muslims to prayer in the gym. He demanded that the non-Muslim prisoners be quiet and respectful during prayer. When it was over he announced that any other religious group that wanted to worship would be given the same respect shown to the Muslims. That promise of respect broke down the racial walls and made possible an alliance between whites and blacks. Prisoners began to paint slogans such as “Convict Race,” “Convict Unity” and “White and Black Together” on the walls.

“I did what I did with the choices that were available,” Hasan said. “I had to do something. I am a revolutionary. To be a revolutionary is to be an agent of change, which is impossible if one doesn’t know what needs to be changed. For there to be a revolution there must be revolutionary consciousness. A prisonwide hunger strike, a prisonwide work stoppage, would have been more effective. But then it would not have been about the Muslims. You would have had to take it to the whole convict body.”

On death row all who rebel against empire are comrades.

“People, Muslim and non-Muslim, admire ISIS [the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria],” he said. “They are happy to see ISIS stand up against the U.S. government and Israel. A lot of us may not agree with all their tactics, but we know what it is like to be pushed to the edge. We also know that al-Qaida carried out the attacks of 9/11 against the symbols of American power, the Pentagon and the financial institutions. If they only wanted to kill Americans they could have flown the planes into a stadium with 80,000 or 90,000 people during a pro football game. Prisoners, because they are oppressed, like seeing anyone stand up to the big bad wolf.”

The Lucasville uprising was settled peacefully. The state promised not to carry out reprisals against the leaders, a promise it broke once it regained control.

The state should not be able to murder people, no matter what these people have done. But what of a state that places a person such as Hasan on death row when it knows he never committed murder? What of a state that cut a plea deal with the actual killer of the corrections officer so it could execute Hasan? The message sent by the state is clear: It does not fear criminals. It fears rebels.

Hasan, who is fighting his own death sentence in the courts, has seen several men taken to the death chamber. Two of those executed—Abdul-Hakim Zakiy and Abdullah Sharif Kaazim Mahdi—were close friends. The last conversations before execution haunt him.

“Brother Mahdi didn’t get a lot of visits in prison,” he said. “He would not participate in the final process. He didn’t want a last meal. He spent the day fasting and reading the Koran. He asked for a little olive oil and some Islamic dates. I told him he would be dearly missed. I told him I knew he had a strong faith. I told him I knew he believed in Allah. I told him to accept that all life is transitory. I told him to hope that Allah would accept his worship, the sincerity of his belief and grant him paradise. I told him I loved him. I felt helpless.”

“He did not want his family to get his body,” he went on. “He wanted his body washed and buried according to Islam. He wanted to rest in the prison burial plot with the other Muslim prisoners. It is hard to see someone you love and admire go through that. I believe I will see him in the next life. I can’t imagine going through that without my faith.”

Chris Hedges previously spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.

Monday, 23 February 2015


Neoliberalism is a deceptive modern term, used to hide the reality of deregulation and corporate fascism, introduced by secret state, mentored politcians, like Margaret Thatcher in Britain. Like much of the British left, I too was fooled by the Sinn Fein's reality of Neoliberalism. My first experience of this, was when they first participated, as a party, for the Assembly elections of 1982.

In my capacity as election agent for the South Down candidate Cyril Toman and as chairperson in Newry Sinn Fein, I attended the party's first election convention in the present troubles, with approximately 30 other representatives from  across the North, to decide on what would be the Party's manifesto for the election.

Being from an area with approximately 80% unemployment in Newry, which was also  reflected in other republican strongholds like Derry and West Belfast, I pushed hard for unemployment, to be one of the principal issues to be addressed, on the Party's Election Manifesto. I was shocked to learn, I had hardly any support on this issue. However, I persisted on this issue and to the annoyance of many, the convention voted to adopt unemployment, as one of it's principal issues. However lo and behold, when the Manifesto was published, the agreed issue was not included.

As an Election Agent, it was too late for me to do anything about it but this will give you an insight, into their right wing reality, as opposed to their left wing public image. I eventually resigned from the party, some years later, on this and other issues, when I realized, I could not bring about the changes, I worked for within the party. Believe me, from personal experience, Sinn Fein are as right wing as the Blueshirts of Fine Gael, and will be their natural Coalition partners, after the next election in the South. Watch how they walk not how they talk, in the examples below.

Sinn Fein are content to serve as junior partners in a right wing, dominated coalition at Stormont, which have agreed to austerity, reductions in public spending, privatisation, the PFI, and tax cuts for business, as proposed by David Cameron and Fine Gael, in what was dubbed by Martin McGuinness as the "remarkable" Stormont Agreement.

This has been the Sinn Féin progression, since it agreed to the "Northern Ireland Executive" in 1999 with the Democratic Unionist Party. This corporate fascism happened, under the cover of the contemporary deception, of what is called Neoliberalism, which is anything but Liberal in the traditional sense. It is a precise duplicate, of what is currently happening in the south of Ireland, under a Fine Gael (Blueshirt) led Government, Sinn Fein are in reality, ‘Stormont Thatcherism’.

Sinn Fein surrendered Irish working class unity, in the Bad Friday Agreement, by giving Unionists a veto, over Irish unification, which is de facto acceptance, of partition and British rule. Sinn Féin are only purporting verbal resistance, to the neoliberal policies, imposed on Occupied Ireland by the Tories of Westminster and have actually incorporated, Thatcherite deregulation, into party policy.

An example of this reality, Sinn Féin's control of the education brief, has established, drastic reductions for children with special needs, enforced major school closure programmes and adopted PFI, to replace school structures, particularly damaging rural and disadvantaged areas. Sinn Féin despite EU stipulations, have cut rates of corporate tax, so that all of the money, ends up in the pockets of the rich, from the British block grant, which will see the loss of £300 million, without any job created.

Sinn Féin members of the Social Development Committee, have also unanimously approved plans, to introduce workfare. Sinn Féin have further agreed, to the privatisation of water infrastructure and the public transport network, while supporting the DUP to facilitate local government privatisation.These are clearly, an extension of Thatcherite, neoliberal, policies  The paradox of Sinn Féin in the South, are pretensions of being to the left, for tactical, electoral reasons, only. Sinn Féin are in reality ,a neoliberal party, a modern term for the rebranding or sanitizing of the modern fascist corporate state.

To put all of this into context.The  reality of the Bad Friday Agreement, was that it was in effect, Sunningdale Mark II by deceptive, secret, means, with the same implications, as the enforcement of the Treaty signed in secret in 1921 and enforced in the South by the Blueshirts.
Provisional Sinn Fein are both in historical terms and economic terms, the natural Coalition partners of the Blueshirts, not the Irish Left, after the next election in the South and will enforce their mentored mandate, with the same ruthlessness, as the Blueshirts formerly did in the Irish Civil War, with the help of the British. It would appear, that this strategy was adopted since Sunningdale and both McGuinness and Adams, were key components of it, since.


Greece: The Way Forward for Ireland?

February 21, 2015 "ICH" -The Greek government is in Brussels to discuss the full range of economic issues with its European partners, including budgets, debt and structural reforms. At issue is whether funds will be available to keep paying the bills, on policy terms that Greece can accept.

Two factors complicate this issue. The first is the past Memorandum, alongside a set of tight deadlines, created by the previous government in part to entrap the new one. The second is the European decision-making process, which gives great apparent weight to governments of small countries, many of whom are internally insecure. The easiest path for them is to insist on no changes; anything else amounts to self-rejection.

So far, the Greek achievement consists of stating raw truths in rooms full of self-serving illusions. This exposes contradictions, bringing on facile ripostes, easily rebutted. It also brings on threats and menacing gestures, intended to test resolve. The Greek government seems to have met that test.

It can now proceed to the next step.

The next step is to define carefully what may be accepted. As for reforms, as much as 70 percent of the previous memorandum is (and always has been) common ground. That which is not – fire-sale privatizations, destructive labor market liberalizations and the unreachable 4.5-percent target primary surplus – can be spelled out. Reasonable language to describe the process of discussion to follow may be found.

When this is done, the final decision will be up to Europe – and to Germany, above all. Will Berlin continue to squeeze, in order to pressure, and so risk bringing on a Greek collapse? If so, it will be better to know soon. But Europe may well decide, if not from pragmatism then from a larger strategic vision, that Greece cannot be allowed to fail. In that case, agreement may be reached and the revival of Greece may begin.

James K. Galbraith
James Galbraith is the author of “The End of Normal: The Great Crisis and the Future of Growth.”

Sunday, 22 February 2015


A man was spotted in North Belfast recently, jumping up and down naked on a trampoline with his naked dog and having intercourse with his tree. The man who must remain anonymous for legal reasons, was spotted by a young lady in the garden of his North Belfast home at 4 AM  last week. The PSNI/RUC were told that the man reported, had his "manhood" in one hand and a spliff in the other, when his neighbour saw him. The gentleman in question, who pleaded shameless indecency, was placed on a sex offenders list, with a warning to behave himself.

The RUC said, that a young female, who lives in a block of flats in North Belfast, had got out of her bed to go to the bathroom, after being awoken by panting and grunting in the early hours of the morning..As she looked out her bathroom window, she saw a man in her back garden. She said: "He was naked along with his dog,while bouncing up and down on a trampoline. He had a spliff in one hand and his penis in his other. When he tumbled down, the dog ejaculated on his head regularly. She said, he was as bold as brass, and put very bad thoughts in her head. She rang the RUC, because Gerry Kelly told everyone, to inform the British, on their Irish neighbours, if they saw anything suspicious."

The defendant told the RUC,  he took to the trampoline after hearing that Gerry Adams does it all the time with his dog, just for the thrill of it. He said he also likes to hug his tree, while he is naked, just like Gerry. He said when he is feeling intimate with his tree, he has sex regulary with it, but that he locks away his dog first, so that he won't be jealous. He promised the RUC, that he would become an informer like Gerry Kelly and vote Sinn Fein, if they promised, not to send him to Maghaberry. The RUC agreed, but told him that they were forced to put him on a sex offender's list, as there already was a man in Scotland, prosecuted and placed on a sex offender's list, for bouncing up and down on his trampoline in Scotland. When he inquired as to why Gerry Adams wasn't prosecuted, he was told to sgut up and stay quiet, or he would be interned for being a dissident and would be censored.

Belfast Telegraph


Taken at face value, the testimony of Richard Kerr on abuse at Kincora Boys' Home in east Belfast in the 1970s is explosive and compelling. He claims he was abused both there and in London by what appears to have been an organised paedophile ring. And he says he has evidence of MI5 involvement.

His story is tragic. As a teenager he was taken into care after his family life collapsed. His eventual arrival at Kincora led to a life of degradation, including abuse by numerous men and later working as a male prostitute.

One can only guess at the impact this had on his self-worth, as he self-harmed and also tried to commit suicide.

His story adds to the mounting tide of evidence of what went on in that notorious home. It also reinforces the widely held belief that previous investigations which saw three members of staff jailed for abusing 11 boys in their care was far from the complete picture. It has long been suspected that people in senior positions in the intelligence services and in civic society helped cover up the full extent of the abuse.

Whether that indeed is the case can only be determined by a full public inquiry into the allegations of former residents like Richard. Their voices are screaming out to be heard. Their claims are so insistent and consistent that they can no longer be denied a public airing.

Kincora is to be examined in a Northern Ireland inquiry chaired by Sir Anthony Hart QC. While no one doubts that this inquiry will be meticulous in its examination of historic child abuse, including that at Kincora, it does lack the power to compel witnesses to attend. Given the claims being made by former Kincora residents - and how their statements contradict the findings of previous investigations on the scale of the abuse - it is imperative that any new inquiry should have the strongest possible powers of investigation.

The inquiry in London - headed by New Zealand judge Lowell Goddard - into claims that a powerful paedophile ring existed in the very highest echelons of British society fits the bill.

But the Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, has ruled out the Kincora claims being part of that inquiry. Her decision is being challenged in the High Court here. Justice demands that she should change her mind and agree to the demands of these men who say they were grievously abused as vulnerable boys.


Victims at children's home accuse security service of colluding to protect abusers
Victims of abuse at Kincora Children's Home say MI5 blocked investigation
Claim staff members colluded with security services to protect abusers
Campaigners are now taking legal action at the High Court in Belfast today
Case is the first to examine allegations of a British state cover-up of abuse


PUBLISHED: 01:30 GMT, 17 February 2015 | UPDATED: 08:24 GMT, 17 February 2015

MI5 blocked police investigations into sexual abuse at a children’s home to protect their intelligence gathering operation, campaigners will tell the High Court today.

Victims of abuse at the Kincora children’s home in Northern Ireland have accused senior members of the security services of colluding in protecting abusers from being investigated or prosecuted.

Campaigners are taking legal action at the High Court in Belfast to force a full independent inquiry with the power to force MI5 witnesses to testify and release documents.

Victims of abuse at the Kincor children's home in Northern Ireland, pictured, have accused senior members of the security services of blocking police investigations 

Victims of abuse at the Kincor children's home in Northern Ireland, pictured, have accused senior members of the security services of blocking police investigations

The case is the first to examine allegations of a British state cover-up of abuse at the East Belfast home in the 1970s.

Claims that children were molested for years because police and the British security services were using the home, run by a member of a Protestant paramilitary organisation, to gather intelligence are already subject to a separate inquiry in Northern Ireland, the Historical and Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry, led by Sir Anthony Hart.But critics of the HIA claim it lacks sufficient powers to get to the heart of the scandal as it may not be able to
compel either evidence or witnesses from MI5.

Victims are applying for a judicial review to establish a similar full inquiry in Northern Ireland to the London-based child abuse inquiry, now chaired by Justice Lowell Goddard from New Zealand.

Lawyers for the victims have lodged papers in Belfast High Court arguing: ‘There is credible evidence (and it is therefore arguable) that the security forces and security services were aware of the abuse, permitted it to continue and colluded in protecting the individuals involved from investigation or prosecution.’

Senior members of the Loyalist community, the British Army and the Royal Ulster Constabulary have also been accused of collusion, blackmail and cover-up.


Claims that children were molested for years because police and the British security services were using the home to gather intelligence is already subject to a separate inquiry led by Sir Anthony Hart, pictured

One alleged victim of the abuse at Kincora, Gary Hoy, was placed there with his younger brother in the 1970s.

He said in a sworn affidavit: ‘If we had had a proper inquiry in the 1980s then I wouldn’t have to relive this again today. MI5 and MI6 cannot be allowed to hide things, and I believe everything needs to be brought out into the open.

‘I find it heart-wrenching that there were security men could have been behind the abuse or involved in it … Because they were in positions of authority or supposed to be protecting the state they get away with it.’

Solicitor Kevin Winters who is representing Mr Hoy and other survivors said: ‘The allegations of our clients and others have been in the public domain for years; the role of state has been alleged for a long time. There is now an opportunity for the truth to be uncovered for our clients to be able to move on with their fractured lives.

‘This opportunity is possibly being lost because of the UK government’s fear of being exposed to impunity and straightforward corruption and criminality against innocents used as pawns in a cynical political exercise.’

He added: ‘This is about state agents in a very dark episode of the conflict in the North of Ireland.’

A former British military official has also backed a full inquiry.
There are longstanding claims that MI5 blocked one or more police investigations into Kincora in the 1970s

Colin Wallace, a former army information officer in Northern Ireland, said: ‘There is now irrefutable evidence that previous inquiries were deliberately engineered or manipulated to mislead parliament by concealing the role of government agencies in covering up the abuses.’

In 1981, three men were imprisoned for between four and six years for a number of offences relating to systematic sexual abuse of children over a period of years.

But the allegations of MI5 involvement have never been fully examined.

It has suggested that William McGrath, Kincora’s housemaster and the leader of an extreme evangelical Protestant group called Tara, was an informant for British intelligence.

McGrath was jailed for sexual offences in 1981 and is now dead.

An Amnesty International spokesman said: ‘There are longstanding claims that MI5 blocked one or more police investigations into Kincora in the 1970s in order to protect its own intelligence-gathering operation, a terrible indictment which raises the spectre of countless vulnerable boys having faced further years of brutal abuse.

‘It’s only Justice Goddard’s inquiry that will be able to ensure that evidence doesn’t remain hidden in Whitehall filing cabinets and that even senior politicians will have to attend the inquiry.’

A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘The government is cooperating fully with all investigations into allegations relating to the Kincora boys’ home. It is not appropriate to comment further while these investigations are under way.’