Human Rights

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End of Iraq War is a Victory for Peace Movement – But What a Heinous Crime Was Committed

Mark Weisbrot, Folha de São Paulo, December 21, 2011 The coverage of the end of the Iraq War is yet another reminder of the horrible role that the major media plays in burying the truth, especially those truths most important to social progress. The Iraq War was a heinous crime from any human point of view. More than a million Iraqis are dead – most of the press couldn’t even get that right ... Millions were displaced, wounded, or otherwise had their lives ruined ... Some 4,500 US soldiers were killed and tens of thousands wounded, more than a trillion dollars wasted – and for what? ... End

The African American Struggle for Freedom is a Central Theme of US History

Ted Pearson, Political Affairs, December 12, 2011 In his report to the National Committee of the Communist Party USA on November 21, 2011, Sam Webb, CPUSA Chairperson, observed that “Racism ... rests on the systematic elaboration of the notion of white superiority. And this notion has its origins in and is sustained by racist practices and structures that confine people of color to a subordinate status relative to white people in nearly every area of life.” This needs to be explained and developed very concretely. We need to find creative ways to disabuse white working class people of the notion that whiteness offers them some kind of privileged position ... The

Marching Off the Cliff

Noam Chomsky, New York Times, December 6, 2011 A task of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, now under way in Durban, South Africa, is to extend earlier policy decisions that were limited in scope and only partially implemented. These decisions trace back to the UN Convention of 1992 and the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, which the US refused to join. The Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period ends in 2012. A fairly general pre-conference mood was captured by a New York Times headline: “Urgent Issues but Low Expectations.” ... Marching

At Durban Summit, Leading African Activist Calls US Emissions Stance "A Death Sentence for Africa"

Democracy Now! December 6, 2011 We continue our week-long coverage from the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 17, in Durban, where negotiators from more than 190 nations are in their final week of key talks on fighting climate change. The future of the Kyoto Protocol is in doubt, as is the formation of a new Green Climate Fund. With the talks taking place in South Africa, special interest is being paid to how the continent of Africa is already being heavily impacted by the climate crisis. We speak to Nigerian environmentalist Nnimmo Bassey, executive director of Environmental Rights Action in Nigeria and chair of Friends of the Earth International. ... At

Indefinite Detention, Endless Worldwide War & the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act

American Civil Liberties Union, December 5, 2011 As Congress considers the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2012 fiscal year, a handful of senators have turned the bill into a vehicle for dangerous provisions that would authorize the president ... to order the military to pick up and imprison people, including US citizens, without charging them or putting them on trial. Earlier this year, the House passed its own version of the bill, with an even smaller group of members pushing for inclusion of a provision that would authorize worldwide war, and worldwide imprisonment, in virtually any country where a terrorism suspect lives ... Indefinite

70 Years of Lying About Pearl Harbor

David Swanson, War Is A Crime, December 4, 2011 British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's fervent hope for years was that Japan would attack the United States. This would permit the United States (not legally, but politically) to fully enter World War II in Europe, as its president wanted to do, as opposed to merely providing weaponry and assisting in targeting of submarines as it had been doing. Of course, Germany's declaration of war, which followed Pearl Harbor and the immediate US declaration of war on Japan, helped as well, but it was Pearl Harbor that radically converted the American people from opposition to support for war. ... 70

World War III: The Launching of a Preemptive Nuclear War against Iran

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, December 4, 2011 The launching of an outright war using nuclear warheads against Iran has been on the active drawing board of the Pentagon since 2005. If such a war were to be launched, the entire Middle East Central Asia region would flare up.  Humanity would be precipitated into a World War III Scenario. World War III is not front-page news. The mainstream media has excluded in-depth analysis and debate on the implications of these war plans. ... World

How Freedom Group Became the Big Shot

Natasha Singer, New York Times, November 27, 2011 Scarborough, Maine - Lined up in a gun rack beneath mounted deer heads is a Bushmaster Carbon 15, a matte-black semiautomatic rifle that looks as if it belongs to a SWAT team. On another rack rests a Teflon-coated Prairie Panther from DPMS Firearms, a supplier to the United States Border Patrol and security agencies in Iraq. ... The variety of rifles and shotguns on sale here at Cabela’s, the national sporting goods chain, is a testament to America’s enduring gun culture. But, to a surprising degree, it is also a testament to something else: Wall Street deal-making. ... How

Tensions Flare Between US and Pakistan After Strike

Salman Masgood & Eric Schmitt, New York Times, November 26, 2011 Islamabad - Pakistani officials said on Saturday that NATO aircraft had killed at least 25 soldiers in strikes against two military posts at the northwestern border with Afghanistan, and the country’s supreme army commander called them unprovoked acts of aggression in a new flash point between the United States and Pakistan. The Pakistani government responded by ordering the Central Intelligence Agency to vacate the drone operations it runs from Shamsi Air Base, in western Pakistan, within 15 days. It also closed the two main NATO supply routes ... Tensions

What We Have Here Is A “Flagrantly Undemocratic Situation”

James M. Wall, Wallwritings, November 26, 2011 In the words of Ha’aretz publisher Amos Schochken, Gush Emunim has seized control of power in Israel and driven the state into a “flagrantly undemocratic situation.” How was it possible for this much power to be seized by “a right-wing ultranationalist, religio-political revitalization movement”, as it is described in Israel: A Country Study? Gush Emunim was formed in March 1974, a few months after the October 1973 War, known in Israel as the Yom Kippur War and in the Arab world as the Ramadan War. The outcome of the 1973 conflict ended in Israel’s favor ... What

The necessary elimination of Israeli democracy

Amos Schocken, Haaretz, November 25, 2011 Speaking in the Knesset in January 1993, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said, "Iran is in the initial stages of an effort to acquire nonconventional capability in general, and nuclear capability in particular. Our assessment is that Iran today has the appropriate manpower and sufficient resources to acquire nuclear arms within 10 years. ... They are not concealing the fact that the possibility that Iran will possess nuclear weapons is worrisome, and this is one of the reasons that we must take advantage of the window of opportunity and advance toward peace." ... The

Why Are They So Angry?

An Israeli dove in Jewish America. Gershom Gorenberg, American Prospect, November 25, 2011 "He's lying! He's lying!" the man at the back of the hall shouted, in a tone as desperate as it was angry. "He hasn't read the Geneva Conventions. You haven't read them, so you don't know he's lying." The primary object of his rage was me. The secondary object, it seemed, was his fellow congregants, who'd allowed me to lecture at his New York-area synagogue. I'd spoken about threats to Israel's democracy, including those posed by ongoing expansion of West Bank settlements. This was the first time, I'd been told, that the congregation had hosted a speaker on Israel from outside a spectrum ... Why

That rocky road to Damascus

Pepe Escobar, Asia Times, November 24, 2011 The trillion-dollar question in the "Arab Winter" is who will blink first in the West's screenplay of slouching towards Tehran via Damascus. As they examine the regional chessboard and the formidable array of forces aligned against them, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the military dictatorship of the mullahtariat in Tehran must face, simultaneously, superpower Washington, bomb-happy North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members, nuclear power Israel, all Sunni Arab absolute monarchies, and even Sunni-majority, secular Turkey. Meanwhile, on their side, the Islamic Republic can only count on Moscow. Not as bad a hand as it may seem. ... That

Israeli Intransigence on Palestine Isolating Both Israel & the US

Sherwood Ross, November 24, 2011

The US and Israel “now looked trapped together, weakened and dangerously isolated” during the Arab Spring over Israel’s intransigence on statehood for Palestine, an article in The New Yorker magazine observes.

“A more creative Israel would embrace Palestine’s recognition, which it has already endorsed in principle, and then rally allies to its side, to leverage their support in decisive settlement talks,” writes Steve Coll in the September 26th issue.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak allegedly privately told his nation’s leaders, “By sharpening tensions with the Palestinians, we are inviting isolation on Israel.”

Next Stop, Australia: 'We are Here to Stay'

Tom Gallagher, Common Dreams, November 23, 2011 Let’s face it, a decade spent fighting a war in Iraq that had no cause – at least no just cause – and a war in Afghanistan that appears to have no end, made a lot of people think it inevitable that the US would reconsider its interventionist approach to the rest of the world. The optimists among us considered these disasters so blatant that even the country’s foreign policy-makers would have to learn something from them. And even pessimists figured that the current economic situation just wouldn’t allow us to go on playing cops to the entire world. But no. Oh, there’ll be change, all right ... Next

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