Stories you never really hear about…
The vast majority of us still get our primary news from corporate news gathers (i.e. CTV TV, Globe and Mail, New York Times, etc.), and they are not always in the business of reporting the real news.
More importantly, in this time of news media cutbacks, gone are the days of investigative reporting, and deeper stories about the state of affairs.
Project Censored which has been around for a number of years and takes on the task of compiling an annual list of the most under-reported, and most important stories happening around the world.
Here are some of the things you rarely saw in the mainstream media last year:
1. The international push to stop using the US dollar as the global reserve currency. -Let’s face it, the American economy ain’t what it used to be – so why would countries continue to peg their economic lives to the American dollar?
“But what’s the big deal,” you ask, “if countries start dropping the US dollar and use another currency?”
Imagine trillions of dollars worth of US dollars being dumped on the international currency exchanges, while say the Euro, or the Yuan, becomes the new currency reserve. The US dollar plummets in value, and the American economy is destroyed. See Argentina, 2001.
Before the Iraq war, OPEC had quietly decided to convert all its petro-currency reserves away from the US dollar and into the Euro. Iraq was to be the first OPEC nation to dump its billions in US currency and convert. Many economists at the time argued that one of the undeclared reasons for attacking Iraq was to let OPEC know that they were not to dump US currency on the market. That war rages on, and OPEC has since dropped the idea.
Now the talk is of a new international currency backed by China, India, Brazil, and Russia– the emerging economies of the 21st century.
2. The African Land grab: millions of hectares of land have been purchased by international agribusiness conglomerates from poor African nations in order to produce food for the western markets. The land will not produce food for African nations. The land purchases are seen as an investment in the coming food wars.
3. Israel’s human rights abuses: After a 15-month study conducted by an international team of scholars, the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa concluded that Israel is, from the perspective of international law, an occupying power in Palestinian territories and that it has become a colonial enterprise that implements a system of apartheid. An Amnesty International report charges that Israel is denying Palestinians the right to access adequate water by maintaining total control over the shared water resources and pursuing discriminatory policies. And articles that appeared in Electronic Intifada detailed how Israel had begun barring movement between Israel and the West Bank for those holding a foreign passport, including humanitarian aid workers and thousands of Palestinian residents.
4. The slaughter of Amazonian tribes by mining, oil, and agro-business interests continues almost unabated in Brazil and Peru. One example: at least 50 Peruvian Amazon Indians were massacred in June 2009 after a 57-day protest against the implementation of decrees under the new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States. The decrees would have opened vast swaths of indigenous land in the Peruvian Amazon to private investment by gas, mining and oil companies.
5. The US military is the top polluter in the world – and has a blanket exemption from any US government declared effort to control carbon emissions. The US military is also exempt from any US international treaty or agreement to reduce pollution. Currently, the Pentagon uses 320,000 barrels of oil per day. That is enough to have the Pentagon ranked #37 on a list of countries consumption of oil. It is the daily equivalent of Sweden.
6. Everything you do on the internet is being monitored. Everything! Every blog, every text, every post, every purchase. “Visible technologies” allows government agencies to monitor any and all internet activity. The Obama administration is looking to create special presidential powers to eavesdrop on any internet activity – without the approval of Congress and without warrents.
7. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency has been allowed to set up more than 180 “unlisted” jails around America to hold detainees. Detainees have no access to family or lawyers and often “disappear” into the system for days and weeks at a time.
8. The notorious Blackwater Security services, the US military’s go-to paid mercenary company, after getting caught bilking billions out of the Pentagon for the Iraq war (with their Pentagon friends), has changed its name to Xe Services – and has carried on, business as usual.
9. The US military funds the Taliban: both the New York Times and The Washington Post have run stories on how the US military funds the very forces they are fighting against.
10. American healthcare ranks last in western nations (37th overall). If you are rich, America has some of the best facilities in the world. If you are not covered, you would be further off living in Malta, Singapore, Colombia, Morocco, Chile…