Human Rights

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Epitaph for Another 9/11: Renowned Writer Ariel Dorfman on 1973 US-Backed Coup in Chile

Democracy Now! September 8, 2011 "That September 11, that lethal Tuesday morning, I awoke with dread to the sound of planes flying above my house. When, an hour later, I saw smoke billowing from the center of the city, I knew that life had changed for me, for my country, forever." Those are the words of our guest, Chilean-American author Ariel Dorfman, writing not about the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon 10 years ago this week, but another September 11. On September 11, 1973 a US-backed coup in Chile led by General Augusto Pinochet ousted Chile’s democratically elected president, Salvador Allende. Allende died in the palace on that day. ... Epitaph

The United States, Israel & Very Little of the Rest of the World, United

Carl Bloice, Black Commentator, September 8, 2011

There have been a lot of foreign guests in Israel recently. Many of them had their way paid. The list includes a lot of notables or wannabe notables, including about 20 percent of the members of the United States Congress. BC Question: What will it take to bring Obama home? One visitor who received major attention during his late summer junket has been none other than our own rightwing preacher - broadcaster Glenn Beck. He was accompanied by "personages identified with the Republican Party's extreme right and a group of Christian Zionist evangelical leaders," according to the Jerusalem Post.

Let's Put 9/11 Behind Us and End the Blank Check it Has Become for America's Endless Wars

Tom Engelhardt, Tom Dispatch, September 8, 2011 Let's bag it. I’m talking about the tenth anniversary ceremonies for 9/11, and everything that goes with them: the solemn reading of the names of the dead, the tolling of bells, the honoring of first responders, the gathering of presidents, the dedication of the new memorial, the moments of silence. The works. Let’s just can it all. Shut down Ground Zero. Lock out the tourists. ... Let

Was There an Alternative?

Looking Back on 9/11 a Decade Later.
 Noam Chomsky, September 6, 2011 We are approaching the 10th anniversary of the horrendous atrocities of September 11, 2001, which, it is commonly held, changed the world. On May 1st, the presumed mastermind of the crime, Osama bin Laden, was assassinated in Pakistan by a team of elite US commandos, Navy SEALs, after he was captured, unarmed and undefended, in Operation Geronimo. A number of analysts have observed that although bin Laden was finally killed, he won some major successes in his war against the US. ... Was

Half Million March in Israel - video

Israelis skeptic of gov't-appointed committee to look into protest demands, organize biggest protest in country's history. TheRealNews, September 6, 2011 Israel's "March of the Million" brought out more people than any other protest in Israel's history. Meanwhile the government has decided to keep quiet, only appointing Professor Manuel Trachtenberg to head a committee to look into the demands of the J14 movement. Started on July 14, this march was the sixth in a row, and while many on the street have different ideas about how to move ahead, most have little faith in the Trachtenberg committee. The Real News’ Lia Tarachansky reports from Tel Aviv and talks to protesters about how to move forward. ... Half

For 10 years, we've lied to ourselves to avoid asking the one real question

Robert Fisk, The Independent, September 3, 2011 By their books, ye shall know them. I'm talking about the volumes, the libraries – nay, the very halls of literature – which the international crimes against humanity of 11 September 2001 have spawned. Many are spavined with pseudo-patriotism and self-regard, others rotten with the hopeless mythology of CIA/Mossad culprits, a few (from the Muslim world, alas) even referring to the killers as "boys", almost all avoiding the one thing which any cop looks for after a street crime: the motive. ... For

The Price of 9/11

Joseph E. Stiglitz, Project Syndicate, September 1, 2011 New York – The September 11, 2001, terror attacks by Al Qaeda were meant to harm the United States, and they did, but in ways that Osama bin Laden probably never imagined. President George W. Bush’s response to the attacks compromised America’s basic principles, undermined its economy, and weakened its security. The attack on Afghanistan that followed the 9/11 attacks was understandable, but the subsequent invasion of Iraq was entirely unconnected to Al Qaeda – as much as Bush tried to establish a link. That war of choice quickly became very expensive ... The

Casualties and Costs, 2001-2011

Tom Hayden, Peace Exchange Bulletin, September 8, 2011

Total US dead Afghanistan/Iraq: 6,227 (September 8)
Total US wounded Afghanistan/Iraq: 45,899 (September 8)
Additional US non-combat injuries and illness: 56,462 (August 1)

Iraq dead and wounded: Hundreds of Thousands
Afghanistan dead and wounded: Tens of Thousands

Taxpayer direct cost, Afghanistan/Iraq: $1.246 trillion
Total long-term taxpayer costs: +$4-6 trillion (Stiglitz-Bilmes)
Total US active-duty military suicides, 2001-11: 2,276 (DoD)

Palestinians hope social protests will end ‘occupation'

Left wing groups issue statement backing J14 movement. "We hope Israel will stop supporting settlements, focus on middle and lower class." Ruth Eglash & Nida’ Ibrahim, Jerusalem Post, September 8, 2011 A group of Palestinian organizations – with a sprinkling of left-wing Israeli NGOs – has issued a joint statement of support for the J14 social protest movement in Israel, including expressing hope that the recent wave of mass street protests here will also bring an end to the “Israeli occupation.” “We believe that what is happening in Israel is similar to what is going on in the Arab world,” commented Khaled Mansur ... of the Palestinian People’s Party ... Palestinians

"I Want Another Adventure," Retiring Judge Nancy Gertner Says

Sherwood Ross, OpEd News, September 7, 2011 The federal judge who socked the FBI with a bill for damages totaling $101.7-million for railroading five men to prison where they spent 20 years for a murder they didn't commit has retired from the bench and is looking around for new challenges. "I have loved being a judge," said US District Court Judge for Massachusetts Nancy Gertner, "but I want another adventure." Gertner, who stepped down this month after 17 years on the bench during which she presided over a number of landmark cases, made her comments in a pre-recorded interview to air at 11 AM Saturday, September 10th on New England Cable News ... Adventure

The power of a good example: The Arab Spring and the Libyan Fall

Harry Targ, The Rag Blog, September 1, 2011 For many years those of us who followed United States/Cuban relations puzzled over the variety of explanations for why United States policy toward the small island was so hostile. Some spoke of the fear of “communism,” others the influence of anti-Castro Cuban-Americans, and still others how American politicians for 200 years believed Cuba really belonged to the United States. An alternative explanation, some felt, was the power of a good example. This latter thesis suggested that since Cuban socialism was providing good health care and education for its people ... The

The Future State of Palestine

The PLO and the Question of Popular Representation. Francis A. Boyle, CounterPunch, August 26, 2011 In the 15 November 1988 Palestinian Declaration of Independence that was approved by the PNC representing all Palestinians all over the world, the Executive Committee of the PLO was set up as the Provisional Government for the State of Palestine - pursuant to my advice. In addition, the Declaration of Independence also provides that all Palestinians living around the world automatically become citizens of the State of Palestine - pursuant to my advice. So the Executive Committee of the PLO in its capacity as the Provisional Government for the State of Palestine ... The

The Myth of Libyan Liberation

Refuting Juan Cole. Conn Hallinan, CounterPunch, August 26, 2011 In his essay, “Top Ten Myths about the Libyan War,” Juan Cole argues that US interests in the conflict consisted of stopping “massacres of people,” a “lawful world order,” “the NATO alliance,” and oddly, “the fate of Egypt.” It is worth taking a moment to look at each of these arguments, as well as his dismissal of the idea that the US/NATO intervention had anything to do with oil as “daft.” Massacres are bad things, but the US has never demonstrated a concern for them unless its interests were at stake. ... The

NATO nations set to reap spoils of Libya war

As rebels take Tripoli, foreign powers are eyeing the prize of Libya's high quality crude oil. Rachel Shabi, Al Jazeera, August 25, 2011 France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, like his counterparts in the UK, Italy, the US and other countries, is keen to garner oil contracts once a new government emerges in Libya [Reuters]. It looks like the more telling news on Libya has migrated to the business pages.  With jubilant reporting of Gaddafi's imminent downfall seizing headlines, it's the financial pages that have the clinical analysis. So, for instance, it is in this section that the Independent reports a "dash for profit in the post-war Libya carve up". ... NATO

South Africa asks ICC to probe NATO's Libya role

The Nation, August 25, 2011 The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague should probe possible human rights violations committed by NATO forces in Libya, South Africa's deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe has said. "We note they (NATO) are attempting to create the impression that the rebels are acting on their own in their attacks in Tripoli but there are clear links and co-ordination at that level," Motlanthe told parliament Wednesday in response to lawmakers' questions. ... South

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