FROM SCRATCH NEWSWIRE

SCAVENGING THE INTERNET

Archive for the ‘THE UNITED NATIONS’ Category

U.N. CRIME CHIEF SAYS DRUG MONEY FLOWED INTO BANKS – THE UNITED NATIONS’ CRIME AND DRUG WATCHDOG HAS INDICATIONS THAT MONEY MADE IN ILLICIT DRUG TRADE HAS BEEN USED TO KEEP BANKS AFLOAT IN THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS, ITS HEAD WAS QUOTED AS SAYING ON SUNDAY

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 25, 2009

Sunday January 25, 2009

Reuters

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STAR’ (Malaysia)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STAR’ (Malaysia)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SCAMS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FRAUD, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, MONEY LAUDERING, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA | Leave a Comment »

DOCTORS AMONG US-BACKED COUP PLOTTERS: IRAN

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 21, 2009

January 20, 2009 Tuesday – Muharram 22, 1430

Agence France-Presse

PUBLISHED BY ‘DAWN’ (Pakistan)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘DAWN’ (Pakistan)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, CRIMINAL FOREIGN POLICIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRAN, RECESSION, STATE TERRORISM, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), THE UNITED NATIONS, USA | Leave a Comment »

GAZA AFTERMATH MAY IMPACT ISRAEL OIL PIPE DEVELOPMENT

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

by Benoit Faucon – Dow Jones Newswires

PUBLISHED BY ‘RIGZONE’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘RIGZONE’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, CRIMINAL FOREIGN POLICIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, PETROL, RECESSION, REFINERIES - PETROL/BIOFUELS, STATE TERRORISM, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WAR CRIMES, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

ISRAEL’S FRIENDS CANNOT JUSTIFY THIS SLAUGHTER

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 19, 2009

Monday, 19 January 2009

by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, CRIMINAL FOREIGN POLICIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, HISTORY, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, RECESSION, STATE TERRORISM, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WAR CRIMES, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

AHMADINEJAD CONGRATULATES HAMAS ON ‘VICTORY’ (Iran)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 19, 2009

1330 PST, Monday, January 19, 2009

The International News

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL NEWS’ (Pakistan)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL FOREIGN POLICIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRAN, ISRAEL, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, RECESSION, STATE TERRORISM, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE PRESIDENCY - USA, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WAR CRIMES, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

OBAMA SUCKED INTO MIDEAST CAULDRON FROM DAY ONE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 19, 2009

1340 PST, Monday, January 19, 2009

The International News

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL NEWS’ (Pakistan)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL NEWS’ (Pakistan)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, CRIMINAL FOREIGN POLICIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, RECESSION, STATE TERRORISM, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE PRESIDENCY - USA, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WAR CRIMES, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

U.N. ASKS NATIONS TO ADOPT NEW FOOD SECURITY PLAN

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 19, 2009

January 18, 2009 Sunday – Muharram 20, 1430

Dawn

PUBLISHED BY ‘DAWN’ (Pakistan)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘DAWN’ (Pakistan)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE UNITED NATIONS | Leave a Comment »

FRESH EVIDENCE OF ISRAELI PHOSPHORUS USE IN GAZA EMERGES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 17, 2009

Saturday 17 January 2009 00.18 GMT

by Richard Norton-Taylor

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, CHEMICALS (processed components), COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, CRIMINAL FOREIGN POLICIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, RECESSION, STATE TERRORISM, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WAR CRIMES, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

U.N. HQ AND REFUGEE COMPOUND HIT BY ISRAELIS (Palestine – Gaza)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 15, 2009

Thursday, 15 January 2009

The Belfast Telegraph

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BELFAST TELEGRAPH’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BELFAST TELEGRAPH’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, CRIMINAL FOREIGN POLICIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, RECESSION, STATE TERRORISM, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WAR CRIMES, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

IRAQ VICTIMS SUE UK SECURITY FIRM – GUARDS EMPLOYED BY HAMPSHIRE-BASED COMPANY ARE ACCUSED OF OPENING FIRE ON UNARMED CIVILIANS AND DRIVING OFF, LEAVING THEM WITH SEVERE INJURIES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 12, 2009

Sunday 11 January 2009

by Mark Townsend – The Observer

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, CRIMINAL FOREIGN POLICIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, HISTORY, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRAQ, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, MILITARY CONTRACTS, RECESSION, SECURITY AND PRIVATE-EYE INDUSTRIES, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE OCCUPATION WAR IN IRAQ, THE UNITED NATIONS, UNITED KINGDOM, USA, WAR CRIMES, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

THE WEST BANK: WE’RE ALL HAMAS NOW – SUPPORTERS OF FATAH UNITE BEHIND ENEMY – MAHMOUD ABBAS’S POPULARITY HAS BEEN CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE OF THE GAZA INVASION

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 10, 2009

Friday, 9 January 2009

by Ben Lynfield in Ramallah

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, RECESSION, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

ANTI-SEMITIC THREATS UP IN GERMANY AND SWITZERLAND

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 9, 2009

Jan 7, 2009 23:14

by Benjamin Weinthal – Post Correspondent in Berlin

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE JERUSALEM POST’ (Israel)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE JERUSALEM POST’ (Israel)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, GERMANY, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, RECESSION, SWITZERLAND, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, WEAPONS | 5 Comments »

ISRAEL WILL BE AT THE RECEIVING END

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 9, 2009

January 08, 2009, 23:38

by Patrick Seale – Special to Gulf News

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GULF NEWS’ (Dubai)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GULF NEWS’ (Dubai)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, DUBAI, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MILITARY CONTRACTS, RECESSION, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

AID AGENCIES SLAM ISRAEL OVER GAZA – UN AGENCY HALTS OPERATIONS IN PROTEST AFTER TWO DRIVERS ARE KILLED DURING CEASEFIRE, WHILE RED CROSS DISCOVERS ‘HOUSE OF HORRORS’

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 8, 2009

January 09, 2009 – 09:15 AM

by Martin Fletcher and Philippe Naughton

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, RECESSION, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, WEAPONS | 1 Comment »

COURT ALLOWS BOEING TO USE ‘RACIST’ US LAW – INTERNATIONAL DEFENCE CONTRACTOR BOEING WILL BE ALLOWED TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST EMPLOYEES WHOSE NATIONALITIES DO NOT MEET US SECURITY LAWS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 7, 2009

January 07, 2009

by Michael McKenna – The Australian

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

Posted in AIR TRANSPORT INDUSTRY, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE UNITED NATIONS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, THE WORKING ENVIRONMENT, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »

BLOOD AND TERROR IN GAZA

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 7, 2009

Tuesday, 06 Jan, 2009 – 09:09 AM

PST

PUBLISHED BY ‘DAWN’ (Pakistan)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘DAWN’ (Pakistan)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, RECESSION, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

THE CHANGING ECONOMIC EPICENTRE OF THE WORLD – ON THE DEMISE OF SOVIET UNION 18 YEARS AGO, US PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH ANNOUNCED THE EMERGENCE OF A NEW WORLD ORDER. HE SAID: ‘A HUNDRED GENERATIONS HAVE SEARCHED FOR THIS ELUSIVE PATH TO PEACE, WHILE A THOUSAND WARS RAGED ACROSS THE SPAN OF HUMAN ENDEAVOUR’

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 7, 2009

Saturday, 03 Jan, 2009 – 01:34 PM

by Shahid R. Siddiqi

PUBLISHED BY ‘DAWN’ (Pakistan)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘DAWN’ (Pakistan)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MILITARY CONTRACTS, RECESSION, RUSSIA, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE OCCUPATION WAR IN IRAQ, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

WAR ON TERROR FAILED — ISRAEL PLEASE NOTE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 7, 2009

January 06, 2009 – Tuesday – Muharram 08, 1430

by Gary Younge

PUBLISHED BY ‘DAWN’ (Pakistan)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘DAWN’ (Pakistan)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, RECESSION, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

AL-QAEDA SNIFFS OPPORTUNITY IN GAZA

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 6, 2009

Jan 7, 2009

by Syed Saleem Shahzad

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ASIA TIMES’ (Thailand)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ASIA TIMES’ (Thailand)

Posted in AL QAEDA, BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, RECESSION, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

A COMMON ENEMY – ISRAEL

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 6, 2009

January 6, 2009

by Fred Hubner

PUBLISHED BY ‘FROM SCRATCH NEWSWIRE’ (USA)

Not being an Arab, a Muslin or a Christian and coming from a Jewish family inquisitorially converted to Christendom some five centuries ago, I feel free to admit that the present events promoted Israel as the one and only enemy of all Arab nations. I also feel free to point an accusing finger to all Arab nations, which criminally just stand by while the open extermination of the Palestinians happens right before their guilty eyes. I also feel pretty much at ease accusing the United Nations for doing nothing, thanks, for so many decades. I also accuse my goverment, Bush’s still lingering ineptness and all previous administratrions for the idea that we should, out of ‘good will’, sell weapons to such a belligerent and criminal state such as Israel’s. So yes, there’s Palestinian blood and guts in the hands of every citizen in the world. So yes, from now on Israel must be seen for what it is … a criminal state and a threat to human kind. So yes, henceforth, Israel is the enemy of all other nations be them Arabs, Christians, Americans, Muslins … and including conscientious Jews.

PUBLISHED BY ‘FROM SCRATCH NEWSWIRE’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE PRESIDENCY - USA, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

BEGETTING VIOLENCE (The Israeli invasion of Palestine)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 6, 2009

January 5, 2009

by Rami G. Khouri

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE’ (USA)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, RECESSION, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

PROTESTS ERUPT AGAINST ISRAELI INCURSION

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 5, 2009

07:39:00 01/05/2009

Reports from AP and AFP – Philippine Daily Inquirer

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, RECESSION, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

ISRAEL IS IN DANGER OF FIGHTING THE LAST WAR, NOT THE NEXT ONE – AS LONG AS ISRAEL OCCUPIES THE WEST BANK, PALESTINE WILL BE ARABS’ SORE TOOTH

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 5, 2009

Monday, 5 January 2009

by Bruce Anderson

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, RECESSION, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

GLOBAL TRENDS DRIVE ‘LAND GRAB’ – ACTIVISTS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 5, 2009

Monday, January 05, 2009

Agence France-Presse

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA TIMES’ (Philippines)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA TIMES’ (Philippines)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOREIGN POLICIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MACROECONOMY, MALAYSIA, PHILIPPINES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SOUTH KOREA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE UNITED NATIONS, VIETNAM | Leave a Comment »

PITY THE POOR NEOCONS – ALL THE NEOCONS HAVE LEFT – NOW IS TO CHEER THE ISRAELI AIR FORCE AS IT, IN EFFECT, SHOOTS FISH IN A BARREL, I.E. BLASTING AWAY AT SELECTED PALESTINIAN TARGETS INSIDE THE CROWDED CONFINES OF GAZA, KILLING MORE THAN 400 PEOPLE, INCLUDING MANY CHILDREN AND OTHER CIVILIANS, OVER THE PAST WEEK

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 4, 2009

2009-01-03

by Robert Parry

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MIDDLE EAST ONLINE’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MIDDLE EAST ONLINE’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HEALTH CARE - USA, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, RECESSION, STOCK MARKETS, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

HOW HYPOCRISY ON ‘TERRORISM’ KILLS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 4, 2009

2009-01-01 10:45:56

by Robert Parry

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MIDDLE EAST ONLINE’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MIDDLE EAST ONLINE’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, RECESSION, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), THE OCCUPATION WAR IN IRAQ, THE UNITED NATIONS, UNITED KINGDOM, USA, WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

WAR PASSES: THE CLIMATE IS FOR EVER – WE HUMANS ARE BETTER AT DEALING WITH CRISES THAN LONG-TERM PROBLEMS. THE FUTURE COULD JUDGE US HARSHLY

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 4, 2009

Sunday, 4 January 2009

by Tom Burke (Co-founder of E3G and a visiting professor at Imperial and University colleges, London)

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’

Posted in AFGHANISTAN, BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, GLOBAL WARMING, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRAQ, ISRAEL, MACROECONOMY, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, POLLUTION, RECESSION, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE OCCUPATION WAR IN IRAQ, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

SOMALIA, THAILAND, & SAUDI AMONG DFA FLASH POINTS IN 2008 – The year 2008 has been a challenging one for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) as it saw a series of pirate attacks on merchant ships in Somalia, the repatriation of stranded Filipinos in Thailand, the beheading of a Filipino worker in Saudi Arabia, and the mass deportation of Filipinos in Malaysia

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 3, 2009

Saturday, January 3, 2009

by Charissa M. Luci

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA BULLETIN’ (Philippines)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA BULLETIN’ (Philippines)

Posted in CARGO PIRACY, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, MALAYSIA, MIGRATION AND IMMIGRATION, PHILIPPINES, RECESSION, SAUDI ARABIA, SOMALIA, THAILAND, THE UNITED NATIONS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, THE WORKING ENVIRONMENT | Leave a Comment »

HARSH DOSE OF REALITY TO HIT AMERICA AFTER INAUGURATION

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 2, 2009

January 3, 2009

Ian Munro in New York

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE SIDNEY MORNING HERALD’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE SIDNEY MORNING HERALD’

Posted in AGRICULTURE, AL QAEDA, BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, DEFENCE TREATIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, EDUCATION, ELECTIONS 2008 - USA, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HEALTH CARE - USA, HISTORY, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MACROECONOMY, NATIONAL DEBT - USA, NATO, PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR, STATE TARIFFS, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE OCCUPATION WAR IN IRAQ, THE PRESIDENCY - USA, THE UNITED NATIONS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, TRADE DEFICIT - USA, UNEMPLOYMENT, USA, WAR IN AFGHANISTAN | 1 Comment »

CONSELHO DE SEGURANÇA DA ONU DISCORDA SOBRE TRÉGUA EM GAZA – ESBOÇO DE RESOLUÇÃO PROPOSTO PELA LÍBIA NÃO FOI ACEITO (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 1, 2009

01/01/2009 – 08h15min

A Notícia

PUBLISHED BY ‘A NOTÍCIA’ (Brazil)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘A NOTÍCIA’ (Brazil)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, LYBIA, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, RECESSION, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

THE RETURN OF REALPOLITIK IN ARABIA – Bush’s ‘diplomacy of freedom’ gives way to Obama’s caution and reticence. The Middle East may test our fatigue

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 16, 2008

DECEMBER 15, 2008, 11:42 P.M. ET

by Amy R. Remo

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE WALL STREET JOURNAL’ (USA)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE WALL STREET JOURNAL’ (USA)

Posted in AL QAEDA, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), DEFENCE TREATIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, RECESSION, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE OCCUPATION WAR IN IRAQ, THE PRESIDENCY - USA, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »

POOR NATIONS TO GET FUNDS TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 14, 2008

Saturday December 13 2008

by Arthur Max – Associated Press Writer (Associated Press writers Geir Moulson, Vanessa Gera and Ryan Lucas contributed to this report)

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

POZNAN, Poland (AP) – Negotiators at a U.N. climate conference broke through red tape and freed up millions of dollars Friday to help poor countries adapt to increasingly severe droughts, floods and other effects of global warming.

“This could be the one thing to come out of Poznan,” said Kit Vaughan of WWF-Britain.

The decision in the final hours of the two-week conference could begin to release some $60 million (euro45 million) within months, according to delegates and environmentalists following the closed-door talks.

“This is an important step,” said delegate Mozaharul Alam of Bangladesh.

Alam said ministers and senior delegates from dozens of countries decided to give a blocked fund’s governing board the authority to directly disburse money to developing countries for projects to reduce greenhouse gases.

Until now, the U.N.-backed Adaptation Fund board could not operate because its board had no right to approve and sign those contracts.

The fund is derived from a 2 percent levy on offset investments that industrial nations make on green projects in the developing world. The negotiators have been discussing other ways to ramp up the fund into the billions.

The agreement was one of the few concrete goals the delegates set for Poznan when the talks began Dec. 1. Delegations from nearly 190 countries are negotiating a new climate change pact, to be completed next December in the Danish capital of Copenhagen, that would succeed the Kyoto Protocol when it expires in 2012.

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, who shared last year’s Nobel peace prize for raising awareness of climate change, urged the conference to stay focused on the task of reducing global carbon emissions that have already begun to change the conditions of life on Earth.

Winning cheers and ovations, Gore called on heads of state to convene several climate change summits over the next 12 months to spur on the talks ahead of the crucial meeting in Copenhagen.

This challenge “affects the survival of human civilization,” Gore said.

“We cannot negotiate with the facts, we cannot negotiate with the truth about our situation, we cannot negotiate with the consequences of unrestrained dumping of 70 million tons of global warming pollution into the thin shell of atmosphere surrounding our planet every 24 hours,” he said.

Environmentalists have complained that the Poznan conference was hamstrung by delays and low ambitions.

“There is still time to rescue the minimum acceptable outcome from Poland, but we need to ensure that in 2009 we hit the ground running,” said Julie-Anne Richards of Oxfam, a British-based humanitarian agency.

The conference “could have been much more robust,” said Gustavo Silva-Chavez, of the Environmental Defense Fund based in New York.

The conference marks the midway point in a two-year negotiating process begun last year in Bali, Indonesia, to reach a new treaty in December 2009.

Ministers and top officials from 145 countries concluded in a round table discussion late Thursday that the negotiations over the next year should produce an ambitious agreement that can be ratified by all countries.

Still, progress has been slowed as negotiators wait for the new and more climate-friendly government of President-elect Barack Obama to take over from the outgoing Bush administration.

U.S. Senator John Kerry, who is in line for chairmanship of the powerful Foreign Relations Committee, told The Associated Press that a new draft treaty should be possible even if the U.S. does not impose mandatory limits on greenhouse gases before the next pivotal climate conference.

“I think Copenhagen should produce a treaty fundamentally geared to reductions of emissions,” Kerry said.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, BANKING SYSTEMS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA | Leave a Comment »

U.S. ARMS SALES UNDERMINE HUMAN RIGHTS, GROUP SAYS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 10, 2008

Dec. 10, 2008, 1:31PM

by Barry Schweid – Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE’ (USA)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. arms trade is booming — sales reached $32 billion last year — and more than half of the purchasers in the developing world are either undemocratic governments or regimes that engaged in human rights abuses, a private think tank reported today.

Timed to the 60th anniversary of the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the report by the New America Foundation, a nonpartisan policy institute, named 13 of the top 25 arms purchasers in the developing world as either undemocratic or engaged in major human rights abuses.

The 13 listed in the report were Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Egypt, Colombia, Jordan, Bahrain, Oman, Morocco, Yemen and Tunisia.

Sales to these countries totaled more than $16.2 billion over 2006 and 2007.

The total “contrasts sharply with the Bush administration’s pro-democracy rhetoric,” the report said.

Also, the report said that 20 of the 27 nations engaged in major armed conflicts were receiving weapons and training from the United States.

“U.S. arms transfers are undermining human rights, weakening democracy and fueling conflict around the world,” the report said.

William D. Hartung, the lead author of the report, said, “The United States cannot demand respect for human rights and arm human rights abusers at the same time.”

U.S. arms sales grew to $32 billion in 2007, more than three times the level when President Bush took office in 2001, the report said.

The United States is the world’s largest arms supplier. U.S. exports range from combat aircraft to Pakistan, Morocco, Greece, Romania and Chile to small arms and light weapons to the Philippines, Egypt and Georgia.

In 2006 and 2007, the United States sold weapons to more than 174 states and territories.At the beginning of the Bush administration there were 123 arms clients, the report said.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE’ (USA)

Posted in BAHRAIN, BANKING SYSTEMS, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), CENTRAL BANKS, CHILE, COLOMBIA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, DEFENCE TREATIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, EGYPT, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, FORMOSA - TAIWAN, GEORGIA, GREECE, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRAQ, ISLAMIC BANKS, ISRAEL, JORDAN, KUWAIT, MILITARY CONTRACTS, MOROCCO, OMAN, PAKISTAN, PHILIPPINES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, ROMANIA, SAUDI ARABIA, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE LEBANESE CIVIL STRUGGLE, THE OCCUPATION WAR IN IRAQ, THE UNITED NATIONS, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, USA, WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, YEMEN | Leave a Comment »

AFRICOM CHINA AND CONGO RESOURCE WARS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 10, 2008

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2008

by F. William Engdahl – Online Journal

PUBLISHED BY ‘INFOWARS’

Just weeks after President George W. Bush signed the order creating a new US military command dedicated to Africa, AFRICOM, events on the mineral-rich continent have erupted which suggest a major agenda of the incoming Obama Presidency will be for the son of a black Kenyan to focus US resources, military and other, on dealing with the Republic of Congo, the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea, the oil-rich Darfur region of southern Sudan and increasingly the Somali ‘pirate threat’ to sea lanes in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. The legitimate question is whether it is mere coincidence that Africa appears just at this time to become a new geopolitical ‘hot spot’ or whether it has a direct link to the formal creation of AFRICOM.

What is striking is the timing. No sooner had AFRICOM become operational than major new crises broke out in both the Indian Ocean-Gulf of Aden regarding spectacular incidents of alleged Somali piracy, as well as eruption of bloody new wars in Kivu Province in the Republic of Congo. The common thread connecting both is their importance, as with Darfur in southern Sudan, for China’s future strategic raw materials flow.

The latest fighting in the eastern part of the Congo (DRC) broke out in late August when Tutsi militiamen belonging to the Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP, National Congress for the Defense of the People) of General Laurent Nkunda forced loyalist troops of the Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC, Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo) to retreat from their positions near Lake Kivu, sending hundreds of thousands of displaced civilians fleeing in the process and prompting the French foreign minister, Dr. Bernard Kouchner, to warn of the imminent risk of ‘huge massacres.’

Nkunda, like his mentor, Rwanda’s Washington-backed dictator, Paul Kagame, is an ethnic Tutsi who alleges that he is protecting the minority Tutsi ethnic group against remnants of the Rwandan Hutu army that fled to Congo after the Rwandan genocide in 1994. MONUC UN peacekeepers reported no such atrocities against the minority Tutsi in the northeast, mineral rich Kivu region. Congolese sources report that attacks against Congolese of all ethnic groups are a daily occurrence in the region. Laurent Nkunda’s troops are responsible for most of these attacks, they claim.

Strange resignations

The stage for political chaos in Congo was further set in September when the Democratic Republic of Congo’s 83-year-old prime minister, Antoine Gizenga, resigned after two years. Then at end of October, with suspicious timing, the commander of the United Nations peacekeeping operation, the Mission de l’Organisation des Nations-Unies au Congo (MONUC, Mission of the United Nations Organization in the Congo), Spanish Lieutenant General Vicente Diaz de Villegas, resigned after fewer than two months on the job, citing, ‘lack of confidence’ in the leadership of DRC President Joseph Kabila. Kabila, the Congo’s first democratically elected president, has also been involved in negotiating a major $9 billion trade agreement between the DRC and China, something which Washington is clearly not happy about.

Nkunda is a long-standing henchman of Rwandan President, US-trained, Kagame. All signs point to a heavy, if covert, USA role in the latest Congo killings by Nkunda’s men. Nkunda himself is a former Congolese Army officer, teacher and Seventh Day Adventist pastor. But killing seems to be what he is best at.

Much of Nkunda’s well-equipped and relatively disciplined forces are from the bordering country of Rwanda and the rest have been recruited from the minority Tutsi population of the Congolese province of North Kivu. Supplies, finance and political support for this Congolese rebel army come from Rwanda. According to the American Spectator magazine, ‘President Paul Kagame of Rwanda has long been a supporter of Nkunda, who originally was an intelligence officer in the Rwanda leader’s overthrow of the Hutu despotic rule in his country.’

As the Congo News Agency reported on October 30, ‘Some have bought into the pretext of an endangered Tutsi minority in Congo. They never fail to mention that Laurent Nkunda is supposedly fighting to protect “his people.” They have failed to question his true motives which are to occupy the mineral-rich North-Kivu province, pillage its resources, and act as a proxy army in eastern Congo for the Tutsi-led Rwandan government in Kigali. Kagame wants a foothold in eastern Congo so his country can continue to benefit from the pillaging and exporting of minerals such as columbite-tantalite (coltan). Many experts on the region agree today that resources are the true reason why Laurent Nkunda continues to create chaos in the region with the help of Paul Kagame.’

The USA role and AFRICOM

Evidence which was presented in a French court in a ruling made public in 2006 claimed that Kagame was responsible for organizing the shooting down of the plane carrying Hutu President of Rwanda Juvénal Habyarimana, in April 1994, the event that set off the indiscriminate killing of hundreds of thousands of people, both Hutu and Tutsi.

The end result of the killings in which perhaps as many as a million Africans perished was that US and UK backed Paul Kagame — a ruthless military dictator trained at the US Army Command-General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth Kansas — was firmly in control as dictator of Rwanda. Since then he has covertly backed repeated military incursions by General Nkunda into the mineral-rich Kivu region on the pretext it was to defend a small Tutsi minority there. Kagame had repeatedly rejected attempts to repatriate those Tutsi refugees back to Rwanda, evidently fearing he might lose his pretext to occupy the mineral riches of Kivu.

Since at least 2001, according to reports from Congo sources, the US military has also had a base at Cyangugu in Rwanda, built of course by Dick Cheney’s old firm, Halliburton, conveniently enough near the border to Congo’s mineral-rich Kivu region.

The 1994 massacre of civilians between Tutsi and Hutu was, as Canadian researcher Michel Chossudovsky described it, ‘an undeclared war between France and America. By supporting the build up of Ugandan and Rwandan forces and by directly intervening in the Congolese civil war, Washington also bears a direct responsibility for the ethnic massacres committed in the Eastern Congo, including several hundred thousand people who died in refugee camps.’ He adds, ‘Major General Paul Kagame was an instrument of Washington. The loss of African lives did not matter. The civil war in Rwanda and the ethnic massacres were an integral part of US foreign policy, carefully staged in accordance with precise strategic and economic objectives.’

Now Kagame’s former intelligence officer, Nkunda, leads his well-equipped forces to take Goma in the eastern Congo as part of an apparent scheme to break the richest minerals region away from Kinshasha. With the US military beefing up its presence across Africa under AFRICOM since 2007, the stage was apparently set for the current resources grab by the US-backed Kagame and his former officer, Nkunda.

Today the target is China

If France was the covert target of US ‘surrogate warfare’ in 1994, today it is clearly China, which is the real threat to US control of Central Africa’s vast mineral riches. The Democratic Republic of Congo was renamed from the Republic of Zaire in 1997 when the forces of Laurent Désiré Kabila brought Mobutu’s 32-year reign to an end. Locals call the country Congo-Kinshasa.

The Kivu region of the Congo is the geological repository of some of the world’s greatest strategic minerals. The eastern border straddling Rwanda and Uganda, runs on the eastern edge of the Great African Rift Valley, believed by geologists to be one of the richest repositories of minerals on the face of the earth.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo contains more than half the world’s cobalt. It holds one-third of its diamonds, and, extremely significantly, fully three-quarters of the world resources of columbite-tantalite or “coltan” — a primary component of computer microchips and printed circuit boards, essential for mobile telephones, laptops and other modern electronic devices.

America Mineral Fields, Inc., a company heavily involved in promoting the 1996 accession to power of Laurent Kabila, was, at the time of its involvement in the Congo’s civil war, headquartered in Hope, Arkansas. Major stockholders included long-time associates of former President Clinton going back to his days as governor of Arkansas. Several months before the downfall of Zaire’s French-backed dictator, Mobutu, Laurent Desire Kabila based in Goma, Eastern Zaire, had renegotiated the mining contracts with several US and British mining companies including American Mineral Fields. Mobutu’s corrupt rule was brought to a bloody end with the help of the US-directed International Monetary Fund.

Washington was not entirely comfortable with Laurent Kabila, who was finally assassinated in 2001. In a study released in April 1997 barely a month before President Mobutu Sese Seko fled the country, the IMF had recommended “halting currency issue completely and abruptly” as part of an economic recovery programme. A few months later upon assuming power in Kinshasa, the new government of Laurent Kabila Desire was ordered by the IMF to freeze civil service wages with a view to “restoring macro-economic stability.” Eroded by hyperinflation, the average public sector wage had fallen to 30,000 new Zaires (NZ) a month, the equivalent of one US dollar.

According to Chossudovsky, the IMF’s demands were tantamount to maintaining the entire population in abysmal poverty. They precluded from the outset a meaningful post-war economic reconstruction, thereby contributing to fuelling the continuation of the Congolese civil war in which close to 2 million people have died.

Laurent Kabila was succeeded by his son, Joseph Kabila who went on to become the Congo’s first democratically elected President, and appears to have held a closer eye to the welfare of his countrymen than did his father.

Now, in comes the new US AFRICOM. Speaking to the International Peace Operations Association in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 27, General Kip Ward, commander of AFRICOM defined the command’s mission as ‘in concert with other US government agencies and international partners, [to conduct] sustained security engagements through military-to-military programs, military-sponsored activities, and other military operations as directed to promote a stable and secure African environment in support of US foreign policy.’

The ‘military operations as directed to promote a stable and secure African environment in support of US foreign policy,’ today, are clearly aimed squarely at blocking China’s growing economic presence in the region.

In fact, as various Washington sources state openly, AFRICOM was created to counter the growing presence of China in Africa, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, to secure long-term economic agreements for raw materials from Africa in exchange for Chinese aid and production sharing agreements and royalties. By informed accounts, the Chinese have been far shrewder. Instead of offering only savage IMF-dictated austerity and economic chaos, China is offering large credits, soft loans to build roads and schools in order to create good will.

Dr. J. Peter Pham, a leading Washington insider who is an advisor of the US State and Defense Departments, states openly that among the aims of the new AFRICOM is the objective of ‘protecting access to hydrocarbons and other strategic resources which Africa has in abundance . . . a task which includes ensuring against the vulnerability of those natural riches and ensuring that no other interested third parties, such as China, India, Japan, or Russia, obtain monopolies or preferential treatment.’

In testimony before the US Congress supporting creation of AFRICOM in 2007, Pham, who is closely associated with the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies, stated, ‘This natural wealth makes Africa an inviting target for the attentions of the People’s Republic of China, whose dynamic economy, averaging 9 percent growth per annum over the last two decades, has an almost insatiable thirst for oil as well as a need for other natural resources to sustain it. China is currently importing approximately 2.6 million barrels of crude per day, about half of its consumption; more than 765,000 of those barrels — roughly a third of its imports — come from African sources, especially Sudan, Angola, and Congo (Brazzaville). Is it any wonder, then, that . . . perhaps no other foreign region rivals Africa as the object of Beijing’s sustained strategic interest in recent years. Last year the Chinese regime published the first ever official white paper elaborating the basis of its policy toward Africa.

‘This year, ahead of his 12-day, eight-nation tour of Africa — the third such journey since he took office in 2003 — Chinese President Hu Jintao announced a three-year, $3 billion program in preferential loans and expanded aid for Africa. These funds come on top of the $3 billion in loans and $2 billion in export credits that Hu announced in October 2006 at the opening of the historic Beijing summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which brought nearly 50 African heads of state and ministers to the Chinese capital.

‘Intentionally or not, many analysts expect that Africa — especially the states along its oil-rich western coastline — will increasingly becoming a theatre for strategic competition between the United States and its only real near-peer competitor on the global stage, China, as both countries seek to expand their influence and secure access to resources.’

Notably, in late October Nkunda’s well-armed troops surrounded Goma in North Kivu and demanded that Congo President Joseph Kabila negotiate with him. Among Nkunda’s demands was that Kabila cancel a $9 billion joint Congo-China venture in which China gets rights to the vast copper and cobalt resources of the region in exchange for providing $6 billion worth of road construction, two hydroelectric dams, hospitals, schools and railway links to southern Africa, to Katanga and to the Congo Atlantic port at Matadi. The other $3 billion is to be invested by China in development of new mining areas.

Curiously, US and most European media neglect to report that small detail. It seems AFRICOM is off to a strong start as the opposition to China in Africa. The litmus will be who President Obama selects as his Africa person and whether he tries to weaken Congo President Joseph Kabila in favor of backing Nkunda’s death squads, naturally in the name of ‘restoring democracy.’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘INFOWARS’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), CHINA, CIVIL WAR - CONGO, COMMODITIES MARKET, CONGO, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, IMF, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MACROECONOMY, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, PETROL, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), THE UNITED NATIONS, USA | 1 Comment »

INTERFAITH DIALOGUE, HYPOCRISY AND PRIVATE LIVES (Lebanon)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 8, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

Talal Nizameddin wrote this article for THE DAILY STAR (Lebanon)

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

First person by Talal Nizameddin

I am suffering from a total state of agnosia. Is this the same Michel Aoun who angrily vowed that he would break the head of the Syrian regime? Is this the same Syrian regime that pacified the Lebanese Army soldiers fighting under Aoun’s command and waged a ruthless campaign for 15 years to marginalize the idealistic Free Patriotic Movement supporters? At least I am almost sure that I haven’t been afflicted by amnesia. I remember when the Lebanese felt the thrill of defiance when they beeped their car horns driving through the Nahr al-Kalb tunnel leading to Jounieh from Beirut.

Letting bygones be bygones and forgiveness is a treasured feature of human nature and being an optimist, I say whatever breaks the ice and allows people to move on from a painful past should be welcomed with open hearts. But the process of forgiveness is a long and arduous one. In Judaism, Christianity and Islam it must begin with honesty, leading to confession and then as a final step absolution becomes meaningful. On a human level, in a one-to-one conflict, a discussion must take place that expresses the pain of each side so that there is an understanding of the hopes and fears of the other side before saying sorry reaches a level beyond words and touches the human within us.

It is said that since the end of the Cold War we have been living in the age of the clash of civilizations and the dialogue of faiths. In the Western and pro-Israeli media, Islam is the culprit, with the image of bloodthirsty mad Muslims rampaging through Mumbai killing randomly all those around them the latest episode of terror that does nothing to the great religion they claim to be fighting for. Among Arabs and Muslims it is the Jews who have manipulated the Holocaust tragedy to inflict suffering on Palestinians and Arabs. The Christian West is also blamed for a low-burning decadence that over time has led to the collapse of the world financial markets due to greed and the neglect of the poverty and misery of the so-called Third World.

What is strikingly noticeable about Aoun’s visit is the tour of the historic churches of Syria. The message clearly states that Christianity is safe from the harm of Muslim fanatics in secular Syria. But the manipulation of the clash of civilizations idea has been even better fine-tuned because there is now a distinction between Sunni Islam and Shiite Islam that has been dispersed in our media outlets like a wave of cluster bombs. Thus we have inter and intra-civilization clashes if we are to believe our political experts and TV commentators. Aoun and his supporters have played further on Lebanese Christian emotions, maliciously highlighting the difference between the Shiites, true Lebanese patriots who are fighting Israeli occupation and the Sunnis, bad people who are paid by the Saudis to turn Lebanon into a Wahhabi extension. Even by local standards Lebanese politics has descended to a truly low level.

In fact, the Saudi monarch courageously endorsed a United Nations gathering to promote dialogue among the world’s great religions despite criticisms from no other than Aoun and his comrades in March 8. Despite the good intentions, the Saudis may however be wasting their time. By entering into such discussions the world risks mirroring the same Lebanese facade that religious belief somehow lies at the source of conflict. It evades the powerful economic explanations and the fact that there is a huge gap in wealth between states and between individuals in the world we live in. It also, and just as importantly, diverts attention from the lack of representation, the lack of personal freedoms and the lack of human rights most people in the world endure on a daily basis. Blatant injustice, economic and political, creates extremism and not religions.

The West should not feel too self-satisfied about its state when there are calls for more social justice and greater freedoms. In Britain, as an example of an advanced European country, the state has been shown to fail time and time again in protecting children with one in four children according to a recent study suffering from sexual abuse. Crime is rampant and ethics are barely visible in the business and political realms. As in the United States, a philosophy of “grabbing hands grab what they can” has reigned for decades. Support for oppressive regimes, particularly here in the Middle East, is justified in the name of good diplomacy but the arming of parties fuelling regional conflicts is also considered good business sense.

If most sensible people agree that finding a solution to the Palestinian problem, which has nothing to do with religion, will make the Middle East and the world a better place, why on earth has it been so difficult for the world’s only superpower to convince Israel to accept a neighboring viable Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza? If the United States is truly a democracy, then I must concur with the people I despise the most, the religious fanatics, that blaming the elected leader of the United States is futile because the American people must shoulder their moral responsibility to force their government into a strategic change in their approach. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a political problem with a human dimension. It is simply about national self-determination and not religious fanaticism or civilizational clashes. Palestinians and Jews belong to the same religious family chart, whether they like to admit or not although undoubtedly their historic experiences have diverged.

Nowhere has the mythology of sectarian and religious warfare been more prevalent than in Lebanon. I am still surprised how many Western observers take for granted the cliches about Muslim-Christian divisions characterizing Lebanese society. In reality, Lebanon is more of a clan-based system, with chiefs of clans or communities often but not necessary being defined by their religious beliefs. It just so happens that the sect is an important form of self-identification that is manipulated for conflicts, whether it is over land or political power. That is why within Lebanese sects there are often more than one chief. Take the Maronites as an example of multiple chiefs or zaims, Suleiman Franjieh, Samir Geagea, Michel Aoun, Amin Gemayel and Dori Chamoun all godfathering their own loyal communities. Even the ideological Hizbullah recognizes the need to respect the independence of the unruly clans of Baalbek in return for acknowledgement.

In Lebanon inter-communal relations and divisions are far more complex than simple religious divides. The downside of this system is that the individual is forced into belonging into a clan, because the collective of clans are far more powerful than the formal state. Only the community can protect the individual. In Lebanon, individuals do not have private lives, as is the case in the West, because they are the property of the family, the village, the community. The pattern is the same among all of Lebanese sects. But then again, free from the regional political conflicts, the interference from outside and the flaws in the internal political system, why should we accept that the community is a lesser entity than the state in its value?

Some Western political theorists have even called for a return to communalism as a result of the social failures of the modern state. The Lebanese model offers the opportunity of creating a political system that safeguards communities and also protects the rights of individuals living within them because the hypocritical and simply false pretense of a unified centralized state has been unworkable and shows no signs of succeeding. The Lebanese want their personal liberty, social justice and their community at one and the same time. It is no easy task but where there is a will there is a way and Lebanon could present the world with an example to be emulated around the world. Lebanon’s greatness and loyalty from its citizens could be reinforced by the historic achievement of harmonious and fraternal communal cohabitation. The first step is liberation from the old slogans and working for the common good without playing on communal fears to achieve personal ambitions. When a zaim such as Aoun tours with an open heart the various neighborhoods of Beirut rather than the churches of Syria we would have began reaching the final step toward that sacred goal.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

Posted in AL QAEDA, CHRISTIANISM, EUROPE, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND CONSCIENCE, HISTORY, HUMAN RIGHTS, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISLAM, JUDAISM, LEBANON, PALESTINE, RELIGIONS, SAUDI ARABIA, SYRIA, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE LEBANESE CIVIL STRUGGLE, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), THE UNITED NATIONS, UNITED KINGDOM, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »

SHARING THE RESPONSABILITY

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 7, 2008

DECEMBER 3-8, 2008

by Michael Levitin

PUBLISHED BY ‘NEWSWEEK’ – Print Edition – (USA)

He was Chief of Staff to Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, the leading voice behind 'A BIGGER BREAK' - Frank-Walter Steinmeier says the crisis forced the U.S. to leave behind its traditions - Photo by Hans-Christian Plambeck (Laif-Redux)Germany’s refusal to fight in Iraq. Now German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is the Social Democratic Party candidate for chancellor in next year’s elections, running against the popular Christian Democrat incumbent, Angela Merkel. In his first major interview with the U.S. press, Steinmeier sat down with NEWSWEEK’s Michael Levitin to discuss German troop engagements in Afghanistan, Russia’s recent aggression, the global financial crisis and how Germany might work alongside the United States. Excerpts:

LEVITIN: The day after Barack Obama won the U.S. presidency, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev threatened to install missiles in Kaliningrad if Washington did not “rethink” its deployment of a NATO missile shield in Eastern Europe. Did Moscow’s latest show of aggression shift the dynamic between Russia and Europe? How should you respond- and what should Europe’s response be?

STEINMEIER: Medvedevs announcement the day after the elections was clearly the wrong signal at the wrong time. We have no illusions about Russia. In the last few years it has often proved itself a difficult partner. The question remains how to deal with this huge country in Europe’s immediate neighborhood; having to choose between containment versus engagement, I advocate the latter. We must try to develop relations with Russia that go beyond economic interests and contribute to increased stability and security. After all, it is in our own interest to make sure that a Russia that is looking for its own identity is politically and culturally anchored in die West.

LEVITIN: Do you see Germany as a middleman, acting as a buffer between Russia and the rest of Europe-perhaps at the moment even Russia’s closest EU ally?

STEINMEIER: Russia is aware of our uniquely close relationship with the United States. We are firmly embedded in NATO and the EU and thus we don’t aspire to play the role of a middleman. Together with our European partners we showed a strong and outspoken response to Russia’s role in the conflict in Georgia. I think Europe’s united voice no doubt contributed to the military conflict ending. Now the stabilization of the region as a whole has to continue, and for genuine stability we need Russian cooperation. As for energy links between the EU and Russia, the answer depends on which European country you talk to. But in general, Russia depends as much on Europe and America buying its goods as we rely on Russia supplying us with natural gas and oil. As far as Germany is concerned, it is little known in the United States that we have worked successfully for decades to diversify our suppliers of various forms of energy and fuels, with Russia but also Norway and Africa being important suppliers.

LEVITIN: You mentioned the conflict In Georgia. Should that country and Ukraine be Invited to Join NATO?

STEINMEIER: This is not a simple yes-or-no decision. With national elections looming, the domestic situation in Ukraine has changed, as has the situation in the Caucasus since the conflict broke out this summer. Yes, we remain committed to supporting and assisting these countries on the road ahead. But concerning the Membership Action Plan, Germany and other European governments continue to stand by their position.

LEVITIN: The most urgent U.S. foreign-policy question involving Germany, which Obama raised many times during his campaign, is Afghanistan and whether Germany will contribute more troops there to stabilize the south. How much is your country willing to sacrifice for this partnership, putting its soldiers into harm’s way?

STEINMEIER: I have spoken to Barack Obama twice, and from these exchanges I know that he sees Afghanistan in a very nuanced way. I feel we see eye to eye in our assessment that we’re facing a very difficult security situation, but that military means alone cannot bring about the necessary changes. Our approach has to be a comprehensive one, and contrary to what some people may say, Germany has played its part.

LEVITIN: In the north, certainly. But It’s in the south where the greatest violence has taken place, and where Obama’s asking for greater German participation.

STEINMEIER: We have shouldered our share of the military responsibility and we have also enlarged our engagement. We are about to increase our troops by 30 percent, to 4,500. We are participating in aerial surveillance across the whole of Afghanistan, including the south, and German radio engineers are also stationed in Kandahar. The German Air Force runs flights for all NATO countries throughout Afghanistan, again including the south. We took over the lead of the Quick Reaction Force in the north. And let us not forget that circumstances there have also changed; the north, too, has seen its share of armed opposition activities increasing in the last month. But our engagement in Afghanistan is about much more than military action. We have always said that we will only be successful if we succeed in helping rebuild the country and its economy. Civil reconstruction is the second important pillar of our engagement on the ground, and we’ll continue to increase our contribution in this area next year.

LEVITIN: Given the turmoil in Pakistan, what do you think the next steps forward ought to be?

STEINMEIER: The security of the whole region strongly depends on Pakistan. If we want to combat terrorism in Afghanistan, we have to succeed in stabilizing Pakistan politically and economically. This calls for a strengthened Pakistani commitment to combat terrorism, but it also calls for international assistance for this country. It needs a substantial loan from the IMF. We also need to be ready to help stabilize the country in a lasting way.

LEVITIN: On Iran, what realistic hopes do you see of bringing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the table and persuading him to give up Tehran’s nuclear ambitions? And how far will you be willing to push?

STEINMEIER: No doubt there is hope in the international community that after 29 years of standstill, a new approach may be possible. We all remember the reasons for the break-off of relations between the U.S. and Iran. Since then, U.S.-Iranian relations have also been a story of missed opportunities: when Washington signaled openness, Tehran wasn’t willing or able to respond in kind, and vice versa. I think it would be worthwhile trying to have direct talks, but the Iranians have to know it is up to them to prove they do not aspire to nuclear weapons-and that they’re willing to play a constructive role in the region. I have to admit I am skeptical, and can only express my hope that the leaders in Iran seize this opportunity.

LEVITIN: Turning to the financial crisis, the banks got a bailout. Now the automobile manufacturers are seeking the same thing. How do you see EU countries regaining their competition policy-and their legitimacy-after this?

STEINMEIER: I believe the politicians would have lost their legitimacy if they hadn’t acted. What we’re facing here is the very visible failure of the market. We had to make sure that the crisis in the financial markets does not lead to a total breakdown of the financial system as a whole. On both sides of the Atlantic, unconventional means were applied to manage the crisis. Honestly speaking, many of the measures taken in the U.S. seemed a bigger break with American tradition than can be said about European measures.

LEVITIN: How important is it that developing countries play a greater decision-making role In the future? For example, we saw hints of the G8 expanding into a G20 several weeks ago in Washington.

STEINMEIER: What is the most fundamental challenge the world is facing today? To my mind, it consists of integrating the emerging powers of the 21st century into a system of shared global responsibility. I am talk ing about countries like China and India, but also Muslim states such as Saudi Arabia. Can any of the global challenges we face be tackled without them? I don’t think so. That is why we have to make them stakeholders, and in that respect the recent financial summit in Washington was historic. To me it is obvious we cannot stop there.

PUBLISHED BY ‘NEWSWEEK’ (USA)

Posted in 'DOHA TALKS', AFGHANISTAN, AFRICA, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), CHINA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, DEFENCE TREATIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, G20, G8, GEORGIA, GERMANY, INDIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRAN, ISLAM, MILITARY CONTRACTS, NATO, NATURAL GAS, NORWAY, PAKISTAN, PETROL, RECESSION, RUSSIA, SAUDI ARABIA, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE OCCUPATION WAR IN IRAQ, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | 1 Comment »

FIDEL ABRE PORTAS DE CUBA AO DIÁLOGO COM OS EUA (Brasil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 7, 2008

06/12/2008 – 14:53

PUBLISHED BY ‘BLOG OF ZÉ DIRCEU’ (Brasil)

por Zé Dirceu

O ex-presidente e líder cubano Fidel Castro saiu na frente e 44 dias antes da posse (20 de janeiro) do novo presidente dos Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, tomou a iniciativa de abrir as portas de Havana ao diálogo com o governo norte-americano em relação à suspensão do bloqueio econômico com que Washington sufoca Cuba há 48 anos.

Em seu mais recente artigo assinado no Granma, Fidel considera que Obama é um líder com quem o governo de Cuba, hoje chefiado pelo presidente Raúl Castro, pode conversar “em qualquer lugar” que o norte-americano escolher.

Ele lembra sua condição, e de Cuba, de “não pregadores da violência e da guerra” e só adverte a Obama que se lembre de que “a diplomacia da cenoura e do porrete (afagar ou castigar)” não funcionará nos entendimentos com o governo de seu país.

Há uma semana Raúl já antecipou à revista The Nation estar disposto a encontrar-se com O presidente Obama em território neutro. Sua disposição casa-se com a do futuro secretário de Comércio de Obama, Bill Richardson, para quem os EUA têm de “mudar a política em relação à Cuba porque o embargo (bloqueio econômico) não faz sentido”.

TODOS NO MUNDO CONTRA O BLOQUEIO

Conforme registrei aqui nesse blog ontem, também a Câmara de Comércio Americana juntou-se a outras 11 entidades empresariais e entregou essa semana carta ao presidente Barack Obama na qual solicita a suspensão do bloqueio.

As 12 entidades reconhecem ser complicado a suspensão total e imediata do bloqueio de 48 anos, mas até sugere que ela se faça gradualmente – no começo, suspendendo-se a proibição de viagens e de envio de dinheiro a Cuba, dos cubanos residentes nos EUA.

Estes, conforme pesquisa que também publiquei ontem, em sua esmagadora maioria já não querem mais saber desse bloqueio. De acordo com a pesquisa, feita pela Universidade Internacional da Flórida (FIU), 55% dos cubanos de Miami (maior colônia cubana do mundo) estão a favor do fim do embargo.

Esse índice sobe para 60% que querem o fim da proibição de viagens e chega a 65% entre jovens e cubanos de meia idade de Miami que são contra as sanções. O bloqueio já foi rechaçado e teve sua suspensão pedida por 185 países em nada menos que 17 resoluções oficiais aprovadas pela Organização das Nações Unidas (ONU).

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BLOG OF ZÉ DIRCEU’ (Brasil)

Posted in BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), BRASIL, CUBA, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, POLÍTICA EXTERNA - BRASIL, RELAÇÕES COMERCIAIS INTERNACIONAIS - BRASIL, RELAÇÕES DIPLOMÁTICAS - BRASIL, RELAÇÕES INTERNACIONAIS - BRASIL, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA | Leave a Comment »

QATAR LOOKS TO GROW FOOD IN KENYA -THE GULF STATE HAS JOINED A GROWING LIST OF RICH COUNTRIES THAT WANT TO GROW FOOD IN POOR COUNTRIES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 5, 2008

Tuesday December 2 2008 16.58 GMT

Xan Rice in Nairobi – guardian.co.uk

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Qatar has asked Kenya to lease it 40,000 hectares of land to grow crops as part of a proposed package that would also see the Gulf state fund a new £2.4bn port on the popular tourist island of Lamu off the east African country.

The deal is the latest example of wealthy countries and companies trying to secure food supplies from the developing world.

Other Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have also been negotiating leases of large tracts of farmland in countries such as Sudan and Senegal since the global food shortages and price rises earlier this year.

The Kenyan president, Mwai Kibaki, returned from a visit to Qatar on Monday. His spokesman said the request for land in the Tana river delta, south of Lamu, in north-east Kenya was being seriously considered.

“Nothing comes for free,” said Isaiah Kabira. “If you want people to invest in your country then you have to make concessions.”

But the deal is likely to cause concern in Kenya where fertile land is unequally distributed. Several prominent political families own huge tracts of farmland, while millions of people live in densely packed slums.

The country is also experiencing a food crisis, with the government forced to introduce subsidies and price controls on maize this week after poor production and planning caused the price of the staple “ugali” flour to double in less than a year.

Kibaki said that Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani was keen to invest in a second port to complement Mombasa, which serves as a gateway for goods bound for Uganda and Rwanda and is struggling to cope with the large volumes of cargo.

By building docks in Lamu, Kenya hopes to open a new trade corridor that will give landlocked Ethiopia and the autonomous region of Southern Sudan access to the Indian Ocean. Kabira said that if the financing was agreed, construction of the port would begin in 2010.

Qatar, which has large oil and gas revenues, imports most of its food, as most of its land is barren desert and just 1% is suitable for arable farming. It has already reportedly struck deals this year to grow rice in Cambodia, maize and wheat in Sudan and vegetables in Vietnam.

Much of the produce will be exported to the Gulf. Qatar’s foreign ministry in Doha did not return calls today, but Kabira said that its intention was to grow “vegetables and fruit” in Kenya.

The area proposed for the farming project is near the Tana river delta where the Kenyan government owns nearly 500,000 hectares (1.3m acres) of uncultivated land.

But a separate agreement to allow a local company to grow sugarcane and build a factory in the area has attracted fierce opposition from environmentalists who say a pristine ecosystem of mangrove swamps, savannah and forests will be destroyed.

Pastoralists, who regard the land as communal and rear up to 60,000 cattle to graze in the delta each dry season, are also opposed to the plan.

“We will have to ensure that this new project is properly explained to the people before it can go ahead,” said Kabira.

The sudden rush by foreign governments and companies to secure food supplies in Africa has some experts worried. Jacques Diouf, director general of the UN’s food and agricultural organisation (FAO), recently spoke of the risk of a “neo-colonial” agricultural system emerging.

The FAO said some of the first overseas projects by Gulf companies in Sudan, where more than 5 million people receive international food aid, showed limited local benefits, with much of the specialist labour and farming inputs imported.

A deal struck last month by Daewoo Logistics and Madagascar to grow crops on 1.3m hectares of land also attracted strong criticism. While the South Korean firm has promised to provide local jobs and will have to invest in building roads and farming infrastructure, it is paying no upfront fee and has a 99-year lease.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Posted in 'DOHA TALKS', AGRICULTURE, BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, FARMING SUBSIDIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), FOREIGN POLICIES, FRUITS AND FRESH VEGETABLES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, KENYA, MACROECONOMY, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, QATAR, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, ROAD TRANSPORT, SOUTH KOREA, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE UNITED NATIONS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES, WATER | Leave a Comment »

FIRST SIGNATURES ON TREATY TO BAN CLUSTER BOMBS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 4, 2008

December 04, 2008 Edition 1

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MERCURY’ (South Africa)

OSLO: About 100 nations began putting their names to a landmark treaty banning cluster bombs yesterday, amid calls for major arms producers such as China, Russia and the United States to join them.

Norway, which played a key role in hammering out the worldwide ban on using, producing, transferring and stockpiling cluster munitions, was the first country to sign the convention.

“The world is a safer place today,” said Richard Moyes of the Cluster Munitions Coalition, an umbrella group that comprises some 300 non-governmental organisations.

“This is the biggest humanitarian treaty of the last decade,” he said.

Dropped from warplanes or fired from artillery guns, cluster bombs explode in mid-air and scatter hundreds of bomblets, which can be just 8cm long.

Many bomblets fail to explode, littering war zones with de facto landmines that can kill and maim long after a conflict ends.

Worldwide, about 100 000 people have been killed or maimed by cluster bombs since 1965, 98% of them civilians.

More than a quarter of the victims were children, who mistook the bomblets for toys or tin cans. – Sapa-AFP

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MERCURY’ (South Africa)

Posted in CHINA, DEFENCE TREATIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MILITARY CONTRACTS, NORWAY, RUSSIA, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE OCCUPATION WAR IN IRAQ, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »

1000 JEWISH EXTREMISTS ATTACK HEBRON PALESTINIANS – Tel Aviv under alert as Israel assassinates Palestinian fighter, blocks humanitarian aid to Gaza

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

First Published 2008-12-02

PUBLISHED BY ‘MIDDLE EAST ON LINE’

HEBRON, West Bank – At least 13 Palestinians were wounded overnight as more than 1,000 ultra-nationalist Israelis hurled rocks at residents, homes and police jeeps in the Palestinian West Bank city of Hebron which under Israeli occupation.

The rioting broke out as rumours spread that security forces were set to evict 100 Jewish settlers from a house the Israeli high court has ordered evacuated.

Young settlers, backed by right-wing supporters hurled rocks for several hours at Palestinian homes and police vehicles.

At least 13 Palestinians were wounded and significant damage was caused to homes in Hebron, medics and witnesses said.

In the northern West Bank, dozens of settlers clashed with Palestinians and border police, and blocked roads in a show of support for the Israelis living in the Palestinian Hebron house.

The Israeli High Court on November 16 ordered the settlers to leave the Hebron house in which they have lived since March 2007, but security forces have not enforced the order to date.

The settlers insist they have bought the house, but the court said the sale was not completed.

The settlers have been involved in several clashes since the eviction order was issued, and have desecrated a mosque and a Muslim cemetery.

With more than 170,000 Palestinian residents, Hebron is the largest city in the Israeli-occupied West Bank apart from annexed Arab east Jerusalem.

It has long been a flashpoint because of a settler enclave of around 600 hardline Jews in the heart of the city, and a further 6,500 settlers living in Kiryat Arba on the outskirts.

Tel Aviv under alert

Israeli police were on high alert Tuesday in Tel Aviv following fears of a Palestinian attack, a police source said, as citizens were warned to steer clear of the city until further notice.

The police set up barricades at entry points into Tel Aviv, sparking huge traffic jams while radio stations urged Israelis not to visit the city until the alert was lifted.

It was the first time in seven months that an Israeli city was put under such tight security.

Israeli troops kill Palestinian

Israeli soldiers captured and fatally shot a member of a Palestinian resistance group Monday in the northern West Bank, Palestinian security officials said.

The 27-year-old Mohammed Kenan was killed by a special Israeli unit wearing civilian clothing as he boarded a vehicle that carried him to the Palestinian Authority prison where he was locked up every night. An Israeli army spokesman said Kenan was killed as he was trying to flee, despite warning shots.

According to witnesses, Kenan, a local official with the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades – an armed offshoot of the Fatah Party of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas – had been carrying a pistol.

At least 555 people, most of them Palestinians, have been killed since November 2007.

Israeli warships block Libyan aid boat near Gaza

Israeli warships on Monday prevented a Libyan cargo vessel from reaching the Gaza Strip, the impoverished Palestinian territory under a crippling Israeli blockade.

The ship, laden with 3,000 tonnes of goods, was stopped several kilometres (miles) off Gaza’s shores and ordered to return to the Egyptian port of El-Arish, said Palestinian MP Jamal Khodary, who heads an international campaign against the Israeli sanctions.

“Navy ships approached the Libyan boat and ordered it on the radio to turn back, and so it did,” Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said.

Hamas said turning the Libyan boat back “showed the true, criminal face of the occupation.”

A spokesman for Hamas, Fawzi Barhum, also urged Egypt to reopen the Rafah crossing. “Its closure will enter into history as a crime committed by all those who besiege Gaza,” he said in a statement.

In Tripoli, an official said the ship’s crew was in contact with the Libyan authorities.

“The crew has told us Israeli warships were conducting harassment measures even though it is a civilian vessel loaded with humanitarian aid,” the official said.

The source said that the crew will have no option but to return to Libya as the goods cannot be unloaded in Gaza.

The Libyan attempt to deliver aid to Gaza was the first such effort by an Arab state to defy the blockade, although European and other humanitarian peace activists have made three trips from Cyprus since August without being intercepted by the Israeli navy.

The Qatar Charity Organisation said in Doha on Monday it plans to ship one tonne of medical aid to Gaza this week in a bid to break the blockade.

Its vice president Abdallah al-Nimaa said the ship is set to sail from Doha on Friday, but that he expects the Israeli authorities to stop the vessel.

The Libyan consignment consists of 1,200 tonnes of rice, 750 tonnes of milk, 500 tonnes of oil, 500 tonnes of flour and 100 tonnes of medicine, said the Libyan Fund for Aid and Development in Africa, which chartered the vessel.

Most of the 1.5 million people living in the Gaza Strip depend on foreign aid.

Libya, the only Arab state on the 15-member UN Security Council, has no diplomatic relations with Israel and has frequently criticised it over the situation in Gaza.

Israel, which wants to crush any Palestinian liberation movement, responded to Hamas’s win in the elections with sanctions, and almost completely blockaded the impoverished coastal strip after Hamas seized power in 2007, although a ‘lighter’ siege had already existed before.

Human rights groups, both international and Israeli, slammed Israel’s siege of Gaza, branding it “collective punishment.”

A group of international lawyers and human rights activists had also accused Israel of committing “genocide” through its crippling blockade of the Strip.

Gaza is still considered under Israeli occupation as Israel controls air, sea and land access to the Strip.

The Rafah crossing with Egypt, Gaza’s sole border crossing that bypasses Israel, rarely opens as Egypt is under immense US and Israeli pressure to keep the crossing shut.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘MIDDLE EAST ON LINE’

Posted in CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, FOREIGN POLICIES, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, HUMAN RIGHTS, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, PALESTINE, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »

BRAZIL TO CUT DEFORESTATION BY 70PC

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 2, 2008

December 02, 2008

From correspondents in Brasilia – Agence France-Presse

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

THE Brazilian government overnight announced a plan under which it would cut deforestation of the Amazon by 70 per cent over the next decade.

It is the first time Brazil, home to the largest area of tropical woodland on the planet, has set a target for reducing the damage wreaked by illegal loggers and farmers.

Environment Minister Carlos Minc unveiled the initiative in the presence of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and said it would be formally presented at a UN climate change conference underway this week in Poland.

“Just in terms of avoided deforestation in the Amazon, the plan foresees a reduction of 4.8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide that won’t be emitted up to 2018 – which is more than the reduction efforts fixed by all the rich countries,” Mr Minc said.

The minister said Brazil hopes to use the plan to “increase the number of contributors to the Amazon Fund” launched last August which aims to collect money from around the world to fight deforestation.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

Posted in A QUESTÃO AGRÁRIA, AGRICULTURA, ATIVIDADES CRIMINOSAS - BRASIL, BRASIL, CIDADANIA, CIDADES, CRIMES AMBIENTAIS - BRASIL, DEFESA DO MEIO AMBIENTE - BRASIL, ENVIRONMENT, INTERNATIONAL, MINISTÉRIO DO MEIO AMBIENTE, O PODER EXECUTIVO FEDERAL, POLÍTICA REGIONAL, RELAÇÕES INTERNACIONAIS - BRASIL, THE UNITED NATIONS | Leave a Comment »

THE KILLING WINDS – THE MENACE OF BIOLOGICAL WARFARE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 30, 2008

Chapter 2

by Jeanne McDermott (Arbor House – 1987 – Hardback – 322 pages – ISBN 0877958963)

HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BIOLOGICAL WARFARE

“Armis Bella Non Venenis Geri” (War is waged with weapons, not with poisons). — Roman condemnation of well poisoning

Identical copies of the BIOCHEMICAL WARFAREtreaty banning biological weapons reside in Moscow, London, and at the mammoth State Department building in Washington, D.C. The United States stores its treaties in a dim, almost shabby room, behind a massive, electronically controlled bank vault door, filled with scores of musty manila folders crammed together on rows of gray metal shelves. Here, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction is nothing special, just one of thousands of international agreements on everything from wheat to whaling, seabeds to outer space.

Genevieve Bell has been the treaty librarian since 1969, the year Nixon renounced biological weapons. Dressed in a green corduroy suit and a green blouse for Saint Patrick’s Day, she welcomes the infrequent visitor. In the age of instant Xerox, few people care to see the originals anymore. “It’s not too often at all that I bring out the Biological Weapons Convention,” she says. “If a party wants to see it, yes, sure, we have an obligation to show it. But I can’t say I’ve had many requests.”

The Biological Weapons Convention, or BWC, as it is usually abbreviated, has the feel of a noteworthy and honorable modern document. It is bound with a simple, blue leather, folio-size cover; typed on creamy, gold-edged paper; decorated with a delicate red and blue ink border; held together with a red, white, and blue ribbon that threads through punched holes in the paper and binder.

The treaty itself is written in five languages: English, Chinese, French, Spanish, and Russian, and followed by thirty-five pages of official and often ornate signatures. To date, over a hundred countries have signed the Biological Weapons Convention, the most recent being China, which the State Department welcomed with a small ceremony.

The text of the treaty has fifteen articles, but the first and second express the heart of the agreement. The first says:

Each State Party to this convention undertakes never in any circumstances to develop, produce, stockpile or otherwise acquire or retain 1) microbial or other biological agents or toxins whatever their origin or method of production, of types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes; 2) weapons, equipment or means of delivery designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflict.

The second article reads:

Each State Party to this Convention undertakes to destroy or to divert to peaceful purposes, as soon as possible, but no later than nine months after the entry into force of the Convention, all agents, toxins, weapons, equipment and means of delivery specified in Article I of the Convention, which are in its possession or under its jurisdiction or control.

The treaty specifically bans biological weapons, those made Ayith disease-causing germs such as anthrax, and toxin weapons, those made with poisons produced by living organisms such as botulinum. It does not ban chemical weapons, those made with synthetic chemicals such as nerve gas. (Another treaty, the Geneva Protocol, bans the use but not the production or stockpiling of chemical weapons.) Despite the differences in their legal status, chemical and biological weapons are often lumped together, abbreviated in discussions within military circles as CBW. What the weapons have in common is the fact that they are invisible killers that travel through the air.

For historians, as well as students of arms control, the Biological Weapons Convention represents a daring landmark and a milestone in detente. It was the first treaty, and remains the only one in existence, to ban outright an entire class of weapons, prohibiting not only the use, but also the manufacture and stockpiling of the weapons. No other arms control treaty has aimed to be so comprehensive or ambitious, and in the last few years, no other treaty has found itself at the center of so much controversy. With the passage of time, the State Department retires some international agreements to the National Archives, simply to make room for newcomers. But those treaties that provoke accusations and counteraccusations — such as the Biological Weapons Convention—stay inside the vault.

The Biological Weapons Convention bans one of the oldest and least respected forms of warfare—the use of poison and disease. Since Greco-Roman times, poisons have figured not so much as weapons of war but as tools for assassination. Although the use and preparation of poison was a shrouded, clandestine art, it seems clear that the Greeks and Romans knew about the toxic qualities of hemlock, hellebore, rhubarb, the castor bean, and the amanita mushroom. In the imperial courts, professional poisoners tried to outsmart the cup bearers and food tasters, and often succeeded, the best-known example being Agrippina, who is thought to have poisoned her husband, the Roman emperor Claudius. Some historians claim that Pope Alexander poisoned his way to power, that during the Italian Renaissance, the powerful Borgias picked off their rivals with poison, and that the plotting in the courts of Louis XIV and the Russian czars involved tainted potions.

Until the invention of the microscope and the germ theory of disease, diseases could not be spread in the sophisticated ways that poison was. One technique was to dump a corpse in the enemy’s well or water supply. But then, as now, the attacker ran the risk that the disease would strike his own troops.

Possibly the earliest, and one of the few, recorded accounts of biological warfare took place in the spring of 1346 when the Mongols laid seige to Kaffa, a walled city on the Crimean coast. After three unsuccessful years in which their own soldiers were dying of the plague, the Mongols tried something new. According to an eyewitness, “The Tatars, fatigued by such a plague and pestiferous disease, stupefied and amazed, and observing themselves dying without hope of health, ordered cadavers placed on their hurling machines and thrown into the city of Kaffa so that by means of these intolerable passengers, the defenders died widely. Thus there were projected mountains of dead, nor could the Christians hide or flee or be freed from such a disaster.” While Kaffa filled with plague, some of the survivors fled, carrying the disease with them to Constantinople, Venice, Genoa, and other European ports. Within three years, the Black Death (spread by less heinous activities as well) swept Europe, killing a quarter of the population.

In another often recounted case, the British commander-in-chief in the American colonies, Lord Jeffrey Amherst, set out to destroy the American Indians with disease after an Indian rebellion in 1763. “You will do well to try to innoculate the Indians by means of blankets,” Amherst told his subordinates, “as well as to try every other method that can serve to extirpate this execrable race.” At his request, two blankets and a handkerchief from a smallpox hospital were given as presents to an Ohio tribe. A few months later, smallpox broke out, and, lacking immunity, the Indians were ravaged by disease.

By the twentieth century, disease ceased to be explained by mysterious miasmas or elemental imbalances of humors. Microscopic organisms—bacteria, fungi, and viruses—were gradually identified as the culprits, isolated, cultured, and studied. At the same time, the molecules responsible for the toxicity of so many plants ANTHRAX SPORESand animals were extracted, concentrated, and purified by methods more reliable than making incantations under a full moon. During World War II, scientists around the world began to devise ways to incorporate invisible germs and poisons into conventional military hardware.

To the modern soldier, the various types of biological weapons developed since then do not look like anything very special. In fact, they look like conventional weapons—a bomb dropped from an airplane, a canister and shell fired from a rocket launcher or howitzer, a missile, a drone, and even bullets. The weapons are designed to be hurled, fired, or dropped. The weapons can also be in the form of a spray, spread by a low-flying airplane like a crop-dusting pesticide. While the bomb and the spray tank became standards, a few unusual efforts also emerged—like long-range balloons carrying feathers infected with anticrop spores, bombs filled with disease-carrying insects, and a deadly aerosol spray can shaped like a whisky hip flask.

What distinguishes one biological weapon from another is not so much the hardware but the fillings, which contain the ANTHRAX THRU AN ELECTRONIC MICROSCOPEdeadliest organisms nature ever concocted, all too small to be seen with the naked eye. Some are bacteria and fungi, living creatures only one cell big. Others are viruses, even tinier, ephemeral entities on the threshold of life, made of chunks of DNA, which replicate only by invading and taking over a cell. And finally, some are toxins, the poisonous molecules secreted by plants and microbes, sprayed by insects, or injected by snakes to destroy their own enemies.

In nature, the microbes, viruses, and toxins that cause disease are everywhere, lurking in the soil, the water, the air, your food. Physicians battle these primordial public enemies daily, trying to prevent their growth, treating those people who fall prey. The creation of a biological weapon, in fact, begins with the knowledge gained by doctors of medicine in the process of treating disease. Instead of applying that knowledge to save life, the practice of medicine is perverted, turned inside out, upside down, in violation of the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm.

From the enormous roster of the world’s diseases and toxins, which grows each year as new diseases evolve or are discovered, almost all have been considered as potential biological weapons. But many have not been seriously studied because they are not hardy, swift-acting, reliably infective, or easily spread through the air—qualities that a weapon designer wants. From 1943, when the United States launched its biological weapons program, until 1969, it experimented with the following human and animal diseases and toxins: anthrax, botulinum, brucellosis, chikungunya, cholera, coccidiosis, dengue, dysentery, food poisoning toxin, influenza, melioidosis, plague, psittacosis, Q-fever, Red Tide poison, Rift Valley Fever, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Russian spring-summer encephalitis, shigellosis, smallpox, tularemia, typhoid, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, and yellow fever.

It also experimented with the following crop diseases: wheat rust, rice blast, tobacco mosaic, corn stunt, potato yellow dwarf, Fiji disease (which attacks sugar cane), hoja blanca (which attacks rice), rice blight, corn blight, sugar cane wilt, coffee rust, maize rust, rice brown-spot disease, late blight of potato, powdery mildew of cereals, stripe rust of cereals.

Of all the countries in ANTHRAXthe world, only the United States admitted to amassing a stockpile of biological weapons, and when the Biological Weapons Convention was signed, only the United States publicly destroyed its arsenal. It had had an active biological warfare program for twenty-five years and had produced and/or standardized ten different biological and toxin weapons, selecting them for a constellation of practical characteristics. The list included:

Anthrax: The renowned bacteriologist Robert Koch first cultured the single-celled bacterium, Bacillus anthracis, in 1877, which under the microscope looks like a football. It lives in the soil in many parts of the world, where it forms an almost indestructible spore resistant to disinfectants, rapid freezing and thawing, even boiling. Anthrax infects goats, sheep, horses, cattle, elephants, hippos, and many other animals, including people. If you touch the spores, the bacterium can enter through a wound in the skin and form a small lesion or pustule that eventually turns coal black. (Anthrax is from the Greek word for coal.) Fever, chills, malaise, nausea, and vomiting follow. Even without adequate treatment, almost everyone recovers.

While the cutaneous form of anthrax is the most common today, in nineteenth-century England the inhalation form of anthrax was widespread. It was known as wool-sorter’s disease because factory workers fell sick after reaching into bins full of wool and shaking the wool out. The motion unleased a cloud of anthrax spores into the air which the workers then inhaled. Within two to three days, they died from suffocation, the result of a toxin released by the anthrax bacterium.

The spores clung not only to sheep wool but to many other animal products as well. A vaccuum cleaner assembler caught it from revolving horsehair brushes, a man who cut piano keys from an elephant’s tusk, and a tourist from a hide-covered bongo drum brought back from a Caribbean vacation. If untreated, the inhalation form of anthrax kills almost everyone exposed to it. While anthrax remains a negligible livestock concern in this country, cases of inhalation anthrax have all but disappeared since the passage of stricter sanitation laws. The military concentrated on the inhalation form of anthrax as a weapon, particularly during World War II. But the spore is so indestructible that once unleashed it permanently contaminates an area, denying it to both defender and attacker. Despite these drawbacks, the United States continues to view anthrax as a potential biological weapon.

Botulinum: Botulinum is a toxin that takes its name from the Latin word for sausage because it was first identified in 1793 when thirteen people in a small German town fell sick after eating the same sausage. The bacterium, which secretes the toxin, was isolated a hundred years later when band members in a small Belgian town fell sick after eating a ham. Shaped like a stout rod, Clostridiwn botulinum commonly and harmlessly grows in the oxygen-free surface layers of the soil, particularly in California, and for reasBACTERIAons unclear, produces botulinum, the most potent neurotoxin known. The microbe only causes problems in improperly canned or cooked food, of which a mere nibble can kill. The toxin takes effect within twelve to seventy-two hours, leaving the victim headachy, dizzy, and (if the dose is sufficient) ultimately dead from respiratory paralysis. About a hundred people succumb to botulinum each year worldwide, and of these 30 percent die. The U. S. Army produced twenty-thousand botulinum-tipped bullets and also planned to spread the toxin as an aerosol until it became clear that sunlight degrades it and destroys its potency.

Brucellosis: Found in wild animals like antelope, reindeer, caribou, and hares, brucellosis was a common livestock disease in the United States until eradication programs began in the 1960s. Today, this country has about one hundred-fifty cases each year, mostly among abattoir workers, farmers, and veterinarians who are exposed to the blood of the infected animals. The disease is caused by several strains of the Brucella bacterium. After a four- or five-day incubation period, the infected person has a low-grade fever, and a tired, rundown feeling that gets progressively worse. Over the next two to three months, he or she loses weight, feels depressed, and suffers an intermittent fever. Once diagnosed, brucellosis is treated with tetracycline. Explored by the army as a weapon in the early days of the program, it was dropped in the 1950s in favor of diseases that act and incapacitate more quickly and more uniformly.

Q-fever: Q-fever is short for query fever. When first discovered among abattoir workers in Queensland, Australia, no one BOTULISMknew what it was. The disease hits suddenly, triggering severe headache, stiff neck, chills, sweats, and a lack of appetite, like a severe case of the flu. Within seven to ten days, it subsides. Nobel laureate F. McFarlane Burnet isolated the cause, a single-celled microbe that changes from the shape of a rod to that of a bead, and named it Coxiella burnetii. C. burnetii is highly infective and very persistent, able to survive in sheep’s wool for seven to nine months. It spreads by aerosol, ticks, mice, bedbugs, and fleas. In Italy, the passage of a flock of sheep through a narrow street was enough to start an infection. Employees at a commercial laundry caught it from handling the unsterilized clothes of lab workers who studied it. Only one to ten microbes are needed to infect. Q-fever strikes sheep, goats, and cattle worldwide, but the infection often escapes notice in both animals and people. Doctors in the United States see one hundred to two hundred cases a year in people, but suspect that a milder form is more common and probably mistaken for the flu. For the military, Q-fever was attractive because it is stable, infective, and quick to act. The army continues to research it today.

Saxitoxin: Throughout many of the world’s oceans, single-celled plankton called dinoflagellates bloom in the summer months, tinging the water red, creating what coast-dwellers call Red Tide. Clams, mussels, oysters, and other filter-feeding bivalves eat the dinoflagellates. People eat the molluscs and occasionally die as the result of ten or more deadly and paralyzing toxins, including the extraordinarily powerful saxi-toxin, produced by the dinoflagellates. In 1974, there were 1,600 cases worldwide of paralytic shellfish poisoning and 300 deaths. Death, when it occurs, takes place within thirty minutes after the meal, as the lips, tongue and face start to burn and tingle. As the feeling spreads to the legs and arms, paralysis sets in. The throat closes up. Until the respiratory muscles cease all movement and suffocation occurs, the victim stays calm and conscious. There is no specific antidote. In the 1950s and 1960s, Detrick scientists prepared over 30 grams of shellfish toxin by harvesting, collecting, and grinding up a vast number of Alaskan butter clams and other shellfish. The toxin was used in the suicide pill carried by Francis Gary Powers, the pilot who flew the secret U-2 plane over the Soviet Union in 1960.

Staphylococcus YERSINIA PESTISenterotoxin: Staphylococcus is a ubiquitous, beach ball-shaped bacterium that comes in many strains. Some are harmless and some, like those that cause toxic shock syndrome and food poisoning, are not. The food-poisoning strain wreaks havoc by secreting an enterotoxin. Although the organism is killed by normal cooking temperatures, it can multiply very rapidly, producing enough toxin to make you sick in two to three hours. Severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea hit within half an hour to four hours after eating and last for one to two days. The CIA chose the toxin for its immediate and fierce action and stockpiled a form resistant to the chlorine in city water supplies. Since the freeze dried form of the toxin is stable and can be stored for up to a year, the military planned to spray it over large areas.

Tularemia: Tularemia resembles the plague. Discovered in Tu-lare County, California, in 1911, tularemia is carried by squirrels, rabbits, field voles, mice, shrews, and ticks. The disease exists in all countries north of the equator. In Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado, it occurs most frequently during rabbit-hunting season. Caused by the bacterium Pasteurella tularensis, it strikes two to seven days after exposure—usually in the course of skinning the rabbit. The victim starts to feel achey, with chills and a fever as high as 105 ° F. If inhaled, which happens infrequently in nature but would be the case in a biological war, it causes a cough, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. If untreated, 5 to 8 percent of the people who get tularemia die. For inhalatory tularemia, as many as 40 percent may die. Doctors treat it with antibiotics, but the U.S. military developed a strain of tularemia that was resistant to streptomycin. There are 250 to 300 cases in the United States each year. At the time of the arsenal’s destruction, the government had a large stockpile of tularemia and considered it a useful weapon.

Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE): VEE is a mosquito-borne virus first found in horses in Venezuela, and later across South and Central America, including Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Panama. In 1970, the mosquito harboring VEE crossed over the Rio Grande River into Texas, but the feared spread of the disease was contained by eradicating the insect. Within twenty-four hours of injection, the virus produces a headache and fever from which most recover in three days. The virus spreads to the nervous system in 10 percent of the cases and is fatal in 1 percent. The United States was increasing its stockpiles of VEE in the late 1960s.

Yellow fever: Yellow fever is a disease with a notorious legacy, responsible for killing the slaves on the slave ships and probably for destroying the crew and passengers of the legendary Flying Dutchman. It is caused by a virus carried by mosquitoes found in a belt just above and below the equator. It strikes three to six days after the mosquito bite, with a fever and often liver damage, which brings on a yellow color—hence the name. As part of an “entomological warfare” program started in the early 1950s, Detrick labs produced half a million mosquitoes a month, and in tests, planes dropped infected mosquitoes over a residential area in Georgia and Florida. In addition to yellow fever-infected mosquitoes, Detrick grew mosquitoes infected with malaria and dengue; fleas infected with plague; ticks infected with tularemia; flies infected with cholera, anthrax, and dysentery. By the late 1960s, yellow fever was not considered a weapon of choice.

The United States also stockpiled two anticrop diseases:

Wheat rust: In April of each year, the Romans held a ceremony, sacrificing a red dog to keep the gods from unleashing the YERSINIA PESTISred rust disease on their wheat crop. Like fire, the rust streaks the leaves and stems, sometimes even reddening the soil. Once it takes hold, the rust can destroy more crop in less time than any other disease. It is caused by a fungus, Puccinia graminis, which forms a tough, windblown spore that grows under humid conditions. Rust can kill the plant outright or shrivel and stunt it.

Rice blast: Caused by the fungus Piricularia oryzae, rice blast also spreads as a windblown spore, growing under humid conditions. If it attacks during an early stage of the plant’s growth, the plant fails to produce rice. Some American planners considered dropping rice blast on Vietnamese rice paddies during the war but the plan was never approved by senior officials. It would have proved difficult to implement since the Vietnamese planted so many different strains, each becoming susceptible at slightly different times.

Outside of isolated sabotage incidents, biological and toxin weapons have seen remarkably little use in the twentieth century, or rather, remarkably little use that everyone can agree on. No one disputes that the Japanese used germ warfare against the Chinese during World War II. But opinions are divided on two notorious and widely publicized incidents. Did the United States wage germ warfare against North Korea and China during the Korean War? Did the Laotians and Cambo-dians use Soviet-made toxin weapons in Southeast Asia in the late 1970s and early 1980s?

Pound for pound, and penny for penny, biological weapons excel in packing the deadliest punch of any weapon. According to an army field manual written in 1966, a single fighter plane spraying a lethal biological agent could cause 50 percent mortality over an area of 300 square miles; that is, it could kill half the people in a city the size of Dallas or New York. That is ten times the area that would be devastated by the same amount of nerve gas.

Biological weapons come relatively cheap. A panel of experts told the United Nations in 1969 that in a large-scale operation against a civilian population, casualties might cost $2,000 per square kilometer for conventional weapons; $800 for nuclear; $600 for nerve gas; $1 for biological weapons. For the price, one gets a brutally versatile weapon. Biological weapons can be weapons of mass destruction, capable of wiping out huge civilian centers; they can blight a country’s breadbasket while leaving the industrial infrastructure intact; they can be sprayed on people ill-equipped to defend themselves in order to drive them off the land; they can be spread in unconventional ways—on the wings of birds, through infected ticks, mosquitoes, fleas, flies, and tourists. They are, however, most uniquely suited to sabotage, terrorism, and covert operations since they are invisible, small enough to carry in a pocket, and, without careful monitoring, can be indistinguishable from natural occurrences.

Why, then, did President Richard Nixon, a political realist who approached foreign policy as if it were a chess game, give up such a good thing? The reason is simple: Biological weapons provoke far more trouble than they are worth. In the modern theater of geopolitics, their very attributes create horrendous liabilities. Consider this fact: biological weapons are so cheap and powerful that they have been dubbed “the poor man’s atomic bomb.” By condoning and furthering the development of biological weapons, the United States created an arms race that would only hurt it in the long run.

The United States is a rich and powerful country, one of the richest and most powerful in the world. One way it maintains military superiority is by spending money on the development and stockpiling of weapons. Very few countries are wealthy enough to keep up. It is in the best interest of the United States and the other superpowers to keep war expensive. The more expensive it is, the fewer countries that can pose threats. It was, therefore, not in the best interest of the United States to develop a cheap and powerful weapon like biological weapons. That was the fundamental logic behind Nixon’s decision.

Other factors contributed to the American renunciation of biological weapons. There is no credible defense against TULAREMIAan all-out biological attack. No devices will even give reliable advance warning. Even if such devices existed, what steps could be taken? People can be vaccinated against some diseases, but these work only if taken weeks before the attack. Even then, experts doubt their protective value against the onslaught of aerosol germs in a biological weapon, or that an attacker would choose a weapon for which the country had prepared an effective vaccine. Gas masks would help, but few civilians have their own. Lacking genetic resistance to a particular disease, crops and livestock are defenseless.

In 1969, the U.S. military was reluctant but willing to give up biological weapons. Troop commanders had never heartily approved of them, in part because they had a disreputable air that never quite fit the military’s self-image of what an honorable warrior should be asked to do. For battlefield operations, the advocates of biological weapons never proved them superior to conventional or even chemical weapons.

A host of practical problems bedeviled biological weapons. They did not behave in a straightforward way. In the field, commanders found them too complicated, too demanding, too quirky. They spread like killing winds. For each disease, the symptoms, incubation, duration, and treatment varied. Coupled with the way the vagaries of the wind, temperature, and terrain influenced the weapon’s stealthy drift, the commander had a lot of variables to juggle and few guarantees. Although the army subjected biological weapons to hundreds of tests, it never had enough data—for the obvious ethical reasons—on what real weapons do to real people. What good is a weapon that you can’t test? In the end, the military decided it wasn’t good enough to keep.

In 1969, three years before the two superpowers signed the Biological Weapons Convention, the United States gave up BW, as biological weapons are usually abbreviated, altogether. Nixon renounced not only biological weapons but also toxin weapons, which occupy a gray area, somewhere between biological and chemical weapons. Although the two had been developed in tandem at Fort Detrick, the U.S. center for biological warfare research in Frederick, Maryland, toxins behave more like chemical weapons on the battlefield. The only difference between a toxin and a chemical weapon is that one is synthesized by nature and the other concocted by man. Both are inert molecules, acting in minutes to hours, and toxic in micrograms or milligrams, not picograms like biological (or germ) weapons. By contrast, germ weapons are living creatures that grow and multiply, taking their toll in days.

Nixon did not renounce chemical weapons, nor did the subsequent international ban include them. Chemical weapons are deployed like biological weapons—in bombs, from spray tanks—but instead of spreading live organisms, they disperse toxic chemicals, such as nerve gas, tear gas, herbicides (like Agent Orange), mustard gas, and other harassing and incapacitating chemicals. The United States, the Soviets, and now a number of other countries continue to stockpile chemical weapons, and the Iraqis are currently using them in their war against Iran. The Reagan administration lobbied hard to build a new generation of nerve gas weapons, but the Congress consistently blocked appropriations for that purpose until September 1986, when Congress finally gave its okay.

While it is illegal to produce and use biological weapons, it is not illegal to produce chemical weapons. (It is illegal to use them.) Chemical weapons remain a legal component of the world’s stockpiles in part because they are not as cheap, potentially powerful, nor as unpredictable as their biological counterparts. They draw on a longer, more successful tradition within the military, and have a more powerful constituency than biological weapons. After all, they had been used in World War I and the Vietnam War, with arguable success. They have also served a useful function as a deterrent: the United States could give up biological weapons with an easy conscience because it could always retaliate with chemical weapons.

But chemical weapons also raise a prickly question from an arms control perspective. How can you distinguish between industrial chemicals and chemicals of war? What if you ban one but not the other? Since World War II, the creation of insecticides and nerve gases have marched hand in hand. Gerhard Schrader, a German scientist working at I. G. Farben, discovered an organophosphorus compound in 1936 that killed insects in seconds. Under a law that decreed that any industrial invention with military potential should be shared with the Wehrmacht, Schrader’s finding led to the development of nerve gases. Today, a plant that produces the pesticides ma-lathion or parathion could be used to produce nerve gas.

Many other chemicals are Jess toxic, but just as lethal and widespread as organophosphate pesticides. When a 1984 The Living Weapon - As America's germ warfare program expanded during the Cold War, scientists began to conduct their own covert tests on human volunteers. The United States continued the development and stockpiling of biological weapons until President Nixon terminated the program in 1969. This American Experience production examines the international race to develop biological weapons in the 1940s and 1950s, revealing the scientific and technical challenges scientists faced and the moral dilemmas posed by their eventual success.accident at the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, released methylisocyanate into the air, five thousand people died. In a magazine interview, the Bhopal mayor said, “I can say that I have seen chemical warfare. Everything so quiet. Goats, cats, whole families—father, mother, children—all lying silent and still. And every structure totally intact. I hope never again to see it.”

When the Biological Weapons Convention officially went into effect in 1975, it left the impression that every trace or consideration of biological weapons utterly disappeared from the world’s military establishments. That was not the case. By keeping chemical weapons legal, military establishments maintained an institutional infrastructure familiar with the equipment, training, doctrine, and insidious action of invisible weapons. While the United States burned its germs and toxins, scrapped its weapon hardware, dismantled and converted its mass production facilities, it retained the books, reports, studies, and test data accumulated over the twenty-five-year existence of the biological-warfare program. According to one Pentagon official, it would take the United States (or any other country that dismantled its full-fledged offensive program) two to three years to get back into the biological weapons business IF the president of the United States renounced the treaty.

As allowed by treaty, research continues around the world. The systematic study of nasty germs and toxins has not stopped. In the United States, it takes place on a largely unclassified basis and in the name of defense. Fifteen years after the renunciation, the list of germs and toxins studied at Fort Detrick bears little resemblance to those studied in 1969. These new agents have been identified, grown, studied, analyzed, assessed, evaluated, and, if Dugway builds the BL-4 lab, will be tested. But they have not been developed into weapons, that is, mass produced or loaded into hardware—two steps that would clearly violate the treaty.

Since the Reagan administration took office in 1980, the budgets for both biological and chemical weapons have skyrocketed. Compared with the cost of building an F-16 fighter plane, the budgets dedicated to the subject of biological warfare still look small, but it is important to bear in mind that biological research costs relatively little. In 1987, the total budget for biological warfare defense was $71.2 million. Compare that with what was spent on research and development at Fort Detrick at the height of the Vietnam War in 1969. Then, it was $19.4 million—or if you adjust for inflation, $55.6 million. In other words, the United States is spending more on BW research than it did when it had an offensive program.

What this jump in budgets means is that the military is again talking about biological warfare. “Up until three or four years ago, we weren’t talking on the subject [of biological weapons] at all,” says Major Dick Ziegler, a Pentagon spokesman. According to the Department of Defense, the Dugway lab is essential for preparing a defense against the mounting Soviet threat. The Pentagon and the Reagan administration point to a mysterious outbreak of anthrax in Sverdlovsk and to Yellow Rain in Southeast Asia as evidence of the Soviet’s disregard for and violation of the treaty.

In conservative circles throughout the nation, the two events are already taken as proof that the Biological Weapons Convention has failed. Like the clock in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, the treaty is an anachronism, some say, out of step with the times. But others vehemently disagree with that conclusion. They stress that the evidence for treaty violations at Sverdlovsk is open to question and that cited for Yellow Rain has failed to stand up to scrutiny.

Posted in CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ENVIRONMENT, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HEALTH SAFETY, HISTORY, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »

PATRICE LUMUMBA – STORIA DELLE RIVOLUZIONI DEL XX SECOLO

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 29, 2008

– Romano Ledda

A cura di Roberto Bonchio

(1624, 1625, 1626, 1627)

Mentre nell’ África occidentale si assisteva ad una pioggia di indipendenze conquistate o concessé (il 1° ottobre dei 1960 fu la volta della Nigeria), esplose nell’estate del 1960 la questione congolese. Il Congo « belga » fu tra gli ultimi paesi ad arrivare alla rivendicazione dell’indipendenza, e ad avere un movimento nazionalista. Il sistema coloniale belga si era sempre vantato di aver saputo chiudere le sue colonie in una « gabbia felice », senza problemi. In realtà dentro quella gabbia c’era il razzismo, la miséria, l’assenza di ogni diritto umano, misti ad un ottuso paternalismo.

Congo: documenti sulla barbarie colonialista. Nel sue celebre pamphlet Il soliloquio de re Leopoldo, Mark Twain denunció in termini durissimi ed estremamente efficaci, ciò che si nascondeva nella “opoera di civilizzazione” belga.

Privato di ogni libertà política e religiosa (Simon Kimbangu era congolese), il popolo congolese aveva trovato la sua prima forma di solidarietà contro i dominatori in associazioni culturali, sindacali o di mutuo soccorso, la cui attività, ovviamente, non poteva andare oltre i limiti dei próprio gruppo etnico-tribale nel primo caso, e oltre l’assistenza reciproca, nel secondo. La prima rivendicazione sostanzialmente política di una emancipazione dai belgi, venne próprio da una associazione costituita per lo « sviluppo della língua kikongo, l’Associazione dei Bakongo (ABAKO). Solo nel 1958 cominciarono a profilarsi movimenti a carattere político, le cui origini però rimasero per lo piú etniche o tribali. Le prime richieste furono timide. Il 26 agosto del 1958 diciannove dirigenti nazionalisti chiesero « un piano a lunga scadenza di sviluppo político ed economico che abbia come fine l’indipendenza». Ma la realtà di tutto il continente dove va accelerare i tempi. L’indipendenza guineana, e la conferenza panafricana di Accra del dicembre 1958, scossero profundamente tutta l’Africa nera, e l’eco varcò anche le rigide barriere che i belgi avevano inalzato intorno ai Congo. Un partito, il primo a carattere nazionale, con dichiarati intenti antitribali — il Movimento nazionale congolese (MNC), fondato da Patrice Lumumba — raccolse immediatamente la parola d’ordine dell’ indipendenza totale, e subito.

Leopoldville, 7 gennaio 1959. I congolesi manifestano per l’indipendenza. I fortissimi interessi colonialisti determinati dalle notevoli risorse minerarie di cui il Congo disponeva (soprattutto nel Katanga) e tra lê quali erano l’oro, l’argento, il rame, l’uranio, fecero si che Ia via per l’indipendenza di questo paese fosse piú lunga e difficile che per altri.

Nel gennaio dei 1959 i belgi iniziarono la repressione. Il 4, nel corso di un comizio di Lumumba, la polizia sparò uccidendo 42 congolesi e ferendone 257. Il 12 gennaio l’ABAKO venne sciolta, e i suoi dirigenti esiliati. Fino ai giugno una serie di incidenti insanguinarono le strade di tutte le più importanti città del Congo, finché il governo di Bruxelles non si decise ad aprire trattative. Ma gli ultras belgi del Congo, e soprattutto l’Union Minière, respinsero ogni possibilità di accordo, su qualsiasi base. Nel settembre e nel’ottobre si ebbero così la stragi di Kitona (40 morti e 180 feriti) e di Stanleyville (30 morti e 100 feriti), mentre sanguinosi incidenti scoppiavano un po’ dappertutto: a Matadi (6 morti e 30 feriti), a Luluaburg ( 7 morti e 22 feriti) e cosi via. Il 31 ottobre Lumumba venne arrestato.

Un morto per lê vie di Elisabethville durante gli scontri per lê manifestazioni indipendentiste dei 1960; paracadutisti befgi pattugliano lê strade delia città; un manifestante ferito, arrestato da un poliziotto.

Tuttavia la situazione si era fatta insostenibile per il Belgio. La pressione internazionale, l’inquietitudine dilagante nella colonia indussero il governo belga a modificare atteggiamento e a tentare una operazione di tipo neocoloniale: concedere una indipendenza fittizia, che non intaccasse nulla del potere belga sulle favolose ricchezze congolesi. Dopo una «tavola rotonda» tenutasi a Bruxelles (20 gennaio-20 febbraio 1960), cui partecipò anche Lumumba, portatovi direttamente dal carcere, venne deciso di indire delle elezioni generali per un Parlalamento nazionale che avrebbe proclamato subito la indipendenza. Il 22 maggio esse ebbero luogo, e diedero una vistosa vittoria al MNC, nonostante la violenta campagna fatta dai belgi a favore di partiti e gruppi politici, ch’essi stessi avevano ispirato e costituito, con loro agenti. A elezioni avvenute fu tentato di tutto per impedire che Lumumba assumesse la carica di capo del nuovo governo congolese. Ma il Parlamento gli diede l’incarico, il 22 giugno, a grande maggioranza.

Patrice Lumumba viene nominato capo del nuovo governo congolese il 20 giugno 1960.

Il 30 giugno fu proclamata l’indipendenza. Re Baldovino, personalmente, si reco a Leopoldville, per pronunciarvi un discorso in parte minaccioso, in parte colmo di paternalismo, che nella sostanza diceva: la vostra indipendenza la dovete a noi e alia nostra opera civilizzatrice, e noi resteremo ancora qui, perche voi avete ancora bisogno di essere guidati.

Patrice Lumumba circondato dai giornalisti

Per i congolesi rispose Lumumba. Il suo fu un discorso nobile, appassionato: « Noi siamo fieri — egli disse — fin nell’intimo della nostra anima, di aver condotto una lotta che è stata di lacrime, di sangue e di fuoco, perche era una lotta nobile e giusta, necessária per mettere fine al’umiliante schiavitú che ci era stata imposta con la forza. Questa è stata la nostra sorte in ottanta anni di regime coloniale e le nostre ferite sono troppo fresche e troppo dolorose perche noi possiamo cancellarle dalla memoria. Come potremo dimenticare che abbiamo conosciuto il lavoro spossante in cambio di salari che non ci permettevano di placare la nostra fame, di vestire e abitare con dignità, di allevare i nostri bambini come esseri che ci erano cari? Noi che abbiamo conosciuto le ironie, gli insulti, le frustate, che dovevamo subire dalla mattina alla será, perche eravamo negri? Chi dimenticherà che al negro si dava del tunon come ad un amico, ma solo perche il lei era riservato ai bianchi? Noi che abbiamo visto le nostre terré saccheggiate, con documenti falsamente legali perche fondati sul diritto dei piú forte?». Al re che gli ayeva parlato di civilizzazione, Lumumba elencò le sofferenze, gli orrori dei razzismo, la violenza della repressione. E aggiunse: « Ora il nostro caro paese è nelle mani dei suoi figli. Noi veglieremo perche queste nostre terre diano i loro beni ai loro figli. II nostro governo nazionale e popolare sara la salvezza dei paese». E infine affermò: «L’indipendenza congolese è un passo decisivo verso la liberazione del continente africano ».

Dall’alto in basso, da sinistra a destra: Moise Ciombe, Puomo politico congolese ai servizio dei colonialisti belgi, che capeggiò la sedizione dei Katanga; l’ultima foto di Patrice Lumumba, poço prima dei suo assassínio (febbraio 1961); patrioti congolesi catturati dai mercenari; un aspeito dei villaggio di Ituri dopo uno scontro.

Non solo i belgi, ma tutte le potenze imperialiste si irrigidirono. Un Congo veramente indipendente, non disposto a subire una indipendenza fittizia poteva diventare, col suo immenso potenziale di ricchezze, un fatto assolutamente dirompente nel processo di decolonizzazione del’Africa nera. Il film degli avvenimenti si fece a questo punto incalzante e drammatico: il 7 luglio i paras belgi invasero il Congo, l’11 luglio il Katanga proclamo la secessione, il 17 luglio intervenne l’ONU che fiancheggiò e sostenne l’attacco alia giovane repubblica congolese, il 5 settembre Lumumba venne destituito con un colpo di Stato dei presidente della repubblica Kasavubu e dei generale Mobutu. Non basto, però, aver liquidato la punta piú avanzata dei nazionalismo congolese. La popolarità di Lumumba era tale, la sua influenza ancora così grande (il 14 dicembre a Stanleyville si era costituito un governo lumumbista), che occorreva colpire ancora piú duramente. Nel dicembre Lumumba venne trasferito nella fortezza di Thysville. Dopo due mesi di dura prigionia venne portato nel Katanga, e il 14 febbraio assassinato con due compagni di lotta. Pochi giorni prima aveva scritto alla moglie Pauline: «Non siamo soli. L’Africa, l’Asia e i popoli liberi e liberati di tutti gli angoli del mondo si troveranno sempre a fianco del milioni di congolesi che non cesseranno la lotta se non il giorno in cui non ci saranno piú colonizzatori né mercenari nel loro paese ». E durante la dura prigionia aveva detto: « Se mi uccideranno sarà un bianco che avrà armato la mano di un negro ». E cosi accadde. Il primo grande martire dei risorgimento africano venne assassinato da africani (Ciombe e Munongo), su ordine di una coalizione imperialista che trovo complici tutte le principali potenze coloniali.

Posted in BELGIUM, CONGO, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, THE PRESIDENCY - USA, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »

CHAGOS ISLANDS – STEALING A NATION – THE CORRUPTION THAT MAKES UNPEOPLE OF AN ENTIRE NATION

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 28, 2008

28/11/2008

CHAGOS ISLANDS – STEALING A NATION – by John Pilger

CLICK HERE FOR A HIGH DEFINITION VERSION OF THE ENTIRE VIDEO

1 –

2 –

3 –

4 –

5 –

6 –

The native islanders of the Chagos archipelago were forcibly removed from the CHAGOS' FLAGislands by the British Government at that time to make way for an American military airbase during the Cold War. They were forgotten about and left to wither in poverty in the slums of Mauritius. They have been fighting to be allowed to return home ever since, and despite the British courts ruling in favour of this the Government has managed to block that decision, and the Chagossians remain in their enforced purgatory to this day.

STEALING A NATION (John Pilger, 2004) is an extraordinary film about the plight of people of the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean – secretly and brutally expelled from their homeland by British governments in the late 1960s CHAGOS ARCHIPELAGOand early 1970s, to make way for an American military base. The base, on the main island of Diego Garcia, was a launch pad for the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Stealing a Nation has won both the Royal Television Society’s top award as Britain’s best documentary in 2004-5, and a ‘Chris Award’ at the Columbus International Film and Video Festival. A brochure of the film is available at http://www.bullfrogfilms.com/guides/stealguide.pdf. On April 8, 2008, the Chagos Islanders have launched a national Campaign for Resettlement of their islands – go to www.letthemreturn.com. For more information and updates on the plight of the Chagossians, visit the website of the UK Chagos Support Association at www.chagossupport.org.uk.

Other references and articles on the story are as listed below: CHAGOS ARCHIPELAGO

http://www.chagos.org/home.htm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politic…

Islanders who wait in vain for justice and a paradise lost
Evicted from their tropical idyll in a military deal, victorious in three legal hearings, they now face another battle to be allowed home – From The Times – November 9, 2007

THE CORRUPTION THAT MAKES UNPEOPLE OF AN ENTIRE NATION

27 Nov 2008

In his column for the New Statesman, John Pilger describes the latest chapter in theCHAGOS ARCHIPELAGO extraordinary story of the ‘mass kidnapping’ of the people of the Chagos islands in the Indian Ocean, British citizens expelled from their homeland to make way for an American military base. On 22 October, Britain’s highest court of appeal, the Law Lords, demonstrated how British power words at its apex by handing down a transparently political judgement that dismissed the Magna Carta and banned an entire nation from ever going home.

I went to the Houses of Parliament on 22 October to join a disconsolate group of shivering people who had arrived from a faraway tropical place and were being prevented from entering the Public Gallery to hear their fate. This was not headline news; the BBC reporter seemed almost CHAGOS REFUGEES PROTESTING IN LONDONembarrassed. Crimes of such magnitude are not news when they are ours, and neither is injustice or corruption at the apex of British power.

Lizette Talatte was there, her tiny frail self swallowed by the cavernous stone grey of Westminster Hall. I first saw her in a Colonial Office film from the 1950s which described her homeland, the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, as a paradise long settled by people “born and brought up in conditions most tranquil and benign”. Lizette was then 14 years old. She remembers the producer saying to her and her friends, “Keep smiling, girls!”. When we met in Mauritius, four years ago, she said: “We didn’t need to be told to smile. I was a happy child, because my roots were deep in Diego Garcia. My great-grandmother was born there, and I made six children there. Maybe only the English can make a film that showed we were an established community, then deny their own evidence and invent the lie that we were transient workers.”CHAGOS REFUGEES PROTESTING - STANDING IN FRONT OF THE ROYAL COURT OF JUSTICE IN LONDON

During the 1960s and 1970s British governments, Labour and Tory, tricked and expelled the entire population of the Chagos Archipelago, more than 2,000 British citizens, so that Diego Garcia could be given to the United States as the site for a military base. It was an act of mass kidnapping carried out in high secrecy. As unclassified official files now show, Foreign Office officials conspired to lie, coaching each other to “maintain” and “argue” the “fiction” that the Chagossians existed only as a “floating population”. On 28 July 1965, a senior Foreign Office official, T C D Jerrom, wrote to the British representative at the United Nations, instructing him to lie to the General Assembly that the Chagos Archipelago was “uninhabited when the United Kingdom government first acquired it”. Nine years later, the Ministry of Defence went further, lying CHAGOS REFUGEES PROTESTING - Louis Olivier Bancoult, (2nd L) Chairman of the Chagos Refugees Group, holds his grandson Julien aloft outside The High Court in central London, 23 May 2007. Families expelled from the Chagos Islands by the British Government to make way for the Diego Garcia US airbase won their legal battle to return home Wednesday. The decision upholds two previous rulings in favour of the islanders, granting them rights of abodethat “there is nothing in our files about inhabitants [of the Chagos] or about an evacuation”.

“To get us out of our homes,” Lizette told me, “they spread rumours we would be bombed, then they turned on our dogs. The American soldiers who had arrived to build the base backed several of their big vehicles against a brick shed, and hundreds of dogs were rounded up and imprisoned there, and they gassed them through a tube from the trucks’ exhaust. You could hear them crying. Then they burned them on a pyre, many still alive.”

Lizette and her family were finally forced on to a rusting freighter and made to lie on a cargo of bird fertiliser during a voyage, through stormy seas, to the slums of Port Louis, Mauritius. Within A demonstrator demanding her return to the Chagos Islands in the Diego Garcia archipelago shouts during a protest outside the Houses of Parliament in London October 22, 2008. Britain's highest court ruled in favour of the British government on Wednesday, blocking the return of hundreds of Chagos Island people to their homes in the south Indian Ocean after nearly 40 years of exile. The decision by the House of Lords ends a years-long battle to secure the Chagos Islanders the right to return to their archipelago, from where they were forcibly removed in the 1960s and '70s to make way for an American airbase on Diego Garcia.months, she had lost Jollice, aged eight, and Regis, aged ten months. “They died of sadness,” she said. “The eight-year-old had seen the horror of what had happened to the dogs. The doctor said he could not treat sadness.”

Since 2000, no fewer than nine high court judgments have described these British government actions as “illegal”, “outrageous” and “repugnant”. One ruling cited Magna Carta, which says no free man can be sent into exile. In desperation, the Blair government used the royal prerogative – the divine right of kings – to circumvent the courts and parliament and to ban the islanders from even visiting the Chagos. When this, too, was overturned by the high court, the government was rescued by the law lords, of whom a majority of one (three to two) found for the government in a scandalously inept, political manner. In the weasel, almost flippant words of LordChagos Islanders look on while Louis Olivier Bancoult (R), Chairman of the Chagos Refugees Group, addresses the media outside The High Court in central London, 23 May 2007. Families expelled from the Chagos Islands by the British Government to make way for the Diego Garcia US airbase won their legal battle to return home Wednesday. The decision upholds two previous rulings in favour of the islanders, granting them rights of abode Hoffmann, “the rightof abode is a creature of the law. The law gives it and the law takes it away.” Forget Magna Carta. Human rights are in the gift of three stooges doing the dirty work of a government, itself lawless.

As the official files show, the Chagos conspiracy and cover-up involved three prime ministers and 13 cabinet ministers, including those who approved “the plan”. But elite corruption is unspeakable in Britain. I know of no work of serious scholarship on this crime against humanity. The honourable exception is the work of the historian Mark Curtis, who describes the Chagossians as “unpeople”.

The reason for this silence is ideological. Courtier commentators and media historians obstruct our CHAGOS ISLANDERS IN FORCED EXILE - Dervillie Permal and his wifeview of the recent past, ensuring, as Harold Pinter pointed out in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, that while the “systematic brutality, the widespread atrocities, the ruthless suppression of independent thought” in Stalinist Russia were well known in the west, the great state crimes of western governments “have only been superficially recorded, let alone documented”.

Typically, the pop historian Tristram Hunt writes in the Observer (23 November): “Nestling in the slipstream of American hegemony served us well in the 20th century. The bonds of culture, religion, language and ideology ensured Britain a postwarLouis Olivier Bancoult, Chairman of the Chagos Refugees Group, celebrates outside The High Court in central London, 23 May 2007. The High Court on Wednesday upheld a ruling letting families return to their Indian Ocean island homes, from where they were forced out 30 years ago to make way for a US military base. The Court of Appeal backed a High Court ruling in May last year that allowed the families to return to the Chagos Islands, except for Diego Garcia, a launchpad for US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Britain expelled some 2,000 people from the Chagos Islands, 500 kilometres (310 miles) south of the Maldives, to Mauritius and the Seychelles in the 1960s and 1970s, allowing it to lease Diego Garcia to Washington for 50 years economic bailout, a nuclear deterrent and the continuing ability to ‘punch above our weight’ on the world stage. Thanks to US patronage, our story of decolonisation was for us a relatively painless affair…”

Not a word of this drivel hints at the transatlantic elite’s Cold War paranoia, which put us all in mortal danger, or the rapacious Anglo-American wars that continue to claim untold lives. As part of the “bonds” that allow us to “punch above our weight”, the US gave Britain a derisory $14m discount off the price of Polaris nuclear missiles in exchange for the Chagos Islands, whose “painless decolonisation” was etched on Lizette Talatte’s face the other day. Never forget, Lord Hoffmann, that she, too, will die of sadness.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘JOHN PILGER’S WEB SITE’

Posted in CORRUPTION, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ENGLAND, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HISTORY, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDIAN OCEAN ISLANDS, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRELAND, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, MILITARY CONTRACTS, NATIVE PEOPLES, SCOTLAND, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), THE PRESIDENCY - USA, THE UNITED NATIONS, UNITED KINGDOM, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »

REDUÇÃO DA VIOLÊNCIA CONTRA MULHER É PRIORIDADE DE TODOS (Brasil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 23, 2008

20 de Novembro de 2008

O programa Bom Dia Ministro desta quinta-feira (20) entrevistou a ministra da Secretaria Especial de Políticas para as Mulheres (SPM), Nilcéa Freire, Ministra da Secretaria Especial de Politicas para as Mulheres (SPM), Nilcéa Freireque respondeu questões sobre a recém-lançada campanha nacional “Homens unidos pelo fim da violência contras as Mulheres”. O programa é produzido pela Secretaria de Imprensa da Presidência da República e transmitido ao vivo via satélite para rádios de todo o País. Leia abaixo os principais trechos editados pelo Em Questão.

Violência – “As violências contra as mulheres são muitas – vão desde o campo físico até o psicológico. É importante que nós saibamos que uma violência alimenta a outra. O ambiente violento só faz aumentar a violência, por isso nós dizemos que a violência doméstica e intra-familiar proporciona o incremento da violência geral na sociedade. Crianças que crescem em um ambiente de violência acabam por reproduzir este comportamento quando adultos. A central de atendimento às mulheres – o Ligue 180 -, mantido pela Secretaria Especial de Políticas para as Mulheres, recebeu, de janeiro a setembro, 136 denúncias de cárcere privado. Este é o número que chegou à Secretaria; imaginem o número de casos que nós não tomamos conhecimento. O caso da menina Eloá, em Santo André, foi tipicamente um caso de violência contra as mulheres. Nós vimos que não havia um preparo de maneira a reconhecer que esse tipo de violência tem características específicas. Para quem conhece a estrutura da violência contra a mulher, era óbvio que aquele caso terminaria em uma tragédia. O agressor não quer nada mais do que a vida da agredida. Ele queria a posse daquele corpo e daquela alma, mas Eloá o havia rejeitado. Por isso, ele tomou a decisão de castigá-la, como muitos outros homens fazem com suas mulheres, companheiras e até irmãs e filhas.”

Denúncias – “A agressão contra a mulher é um problema que deve que ser tomado como prioridade por todos os governos. Para se ter uma idéia, de janeiro a setembro, nós recebemos 216 mil atendimentos na nossa Central. Isso significa informações prestadas sobre a utilização da Lei Maria da Penha, relatos de casos de violência, denúncias de cárcere privado e tráfico de mulheres. Nós não podemos dizer se o número de casos aumentou ou diminuiu porque esses números não existiam antes. O que eu posso dizer é que, certamente, o número de denúncias tende a aumentar. Pela existência da Central e outras tantas políticas, como as delegacias e a própria Lei Maria da Penha, a violência deve se tornar mais visível aos olhos da sociedade.”

Lei Maria da Penha – “A Lei Maria da Penha é cada vez menos contestada nos tribunais, na medida em que muitas contestações não têm sido acolhidas. A contestação de que a Lei Maria da Penha não valia para o caso de ex-parceiros foi derrubada pelo Superior Tribunal de Justiça. Foi uma contestação esperada porque a violência contra as mul heres se estrutura no machismo da sociedade, que também permeia o Judiciário. A grande contestação é a “por que uma lei apenas para as mulheres?”. A realidade nos mostra que estatisticamente as mulheres e as crianças são as grandes vítimas da violência intra-familiar. Por isso existem leis semelhantes em todo o mundo, não só no Brasil.”

Pacto – “Ainda há muitos desafios no campo da violência contra a mulher. Por isso, neste ano, nós decidimos dialogar diretamente com os homens. A sociedade precisa entender que a violência contra a mulher não é um problema das mulheres. Vamos fechar o ano com todos os estados aderindo ao Pacto Nacional de Enfrentamento à Violência contra as Mulheres. Nos dias 25 e 26 deste mês, serão São Paulo e Minas Gerais. O Pacto visa justamente implementar essas políticas públicas. Temos que ampliar o número de delegacias especializadas e os postos dentro das delegacias comuns, além de treinar os policiais para que saibam como lidar com a violência contra a mulher. Temos que aumentar o número de juizados e varas especializadas, como preconiza a Lei Maria da Penha. Também temos que implantar os centros de reabilitação e os centros de penalização dos agressores – política que está prevista na lei.”

Campanha – “Estamos recolhendo assinaturas pela internet, através do endereço eletrônico www.homenspelofimdaviolencia.com.br. Mas também estamos promovendo um mutirão de coleta de assinaturas feitas no papel, manualmente. No jogo do Brasil contra Portugal, nós tínhamos uma equipe na porta do estádio coletando assinaturas. Essa campanha é importante porque não adianta imaginarmos um combate à violência contra as mulheres sem a colaboração dos homens, sem que eles entendam que a violência contra as mulheres os prejudica. Não precisamos apenas da solidariedade dos homens, mas de uma atuação ativa. Vamos lançar no Senado a campanha dos 16 dias de ativismo pelo fim a violência contra as mulheres. O mote da ca mpanha deste ano é “Comprometa-se”. Um dos personagens reais dessa campanha é um pai que, não suportando mais ver o sofrimento da filha, fez a denúncia. Portanto, cada um de nós, homens e mulheres, pode fazer alguma coisa para pôr fim à violência.”

Meta – “Nós temos uma meta, que até o dia 6 de dezembro – que é o Dia Nacional dos Homens Pelo Fim da Violência -, tenhamos 100 mil assinaturas. É evidente que: a cada dia que passa, o número de assinaturas vai aumentando. Todo mundo pode ajudar. Se nós pensarmos quantas e quantos somos envolvidos nessa luta, se cada um de nós pegar mais dez assinaturas de dez amigos, nós vamos cumprir essa meta até o dia 6 de dezembro. Nós vamos enviar essas assinaturas para a ONU. Em fevereiro desse ano, o secretário-geral Ban Ki-Moon lançou um desafio a todos os Estados, a todos os governos no mundo: o de reduzirmos significativamente a violência contra as mulheres até 2015. Em 2010, haverá um balanço mundial do que fizeram os governos e os Estados no sentido de reduzir essa violência. O presidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva já demonstrou o seu forte compromisso, foi o primeiro que assinou o site Homens Unidos Pelo Fim da Violência, bem como o presidente do Supremo Tribunal Federal, ministro Gilmar Mendes, e o presidente do Congresso Nacional, senador Garibaldi Alves. Os três assinaram, na bela companhia do Raí, um ídolo das torcidas brasileiras e também do ponto de vista do seu compromisso social. Assinaram também o presidente da Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil, inaugurando a campanha, e o governador Eduardo Campos – de Pernambuco, um estado que sofre muito com os assassinatos de mulheres.”

Mulheres na prisão – “O aumento do número de mulheres nos presídios se deve, segundo dados do Departamento Penitenciário Nacional, à questão do tráfico de drogas. Muitas mulheres, em geral, jovens, são presas em função da atividade criminosa de pais, irmãos ou companheiros. Faz parte do Pacto, o Mutirã o Nacional de Assistência Jurídica às Mulheres em Situação de Prisão, que consiste numa análise dos processos de cada mulher. As defensorias públicas de cada estado apresentam o projeto, de maneira que nós possamos fazer a revisão dos processos de cada uma das detentas. A intenção é que cheguemos com o Mutirão nos 26 estados da Federação, mais o Distrito Federal. Nos estados que já apresentaram os projetos, nós vamos cobrir cerca de 78% das mulheres em situação de prisão no País. São Paulo, por exemplo, concentra mais de 50% das mulheres encarceradas. Nós trabalhamos em estreita parceria com o Departamento Penitenciário Nacional, que pertence ao Ministério da Justiça. O Pronasci vem desenvolvendo o mesmo trabalho para toda a população carcerária. Nós da Secretaria, evidentemente, fazemos o recorte específico para as mulheres. Essas mulheres que, porventura, já tenham cumprido a pena terão obviamente a situação revista. Cada caso será tratado de maneira particular, porque pod e ser relacionado a abandono, negligência ou até mesmo perseguição.”

Educação – “Temos um programa na Universidade Aberta do Brasil, de educação a distância com as universidades, de maneira que cada região ou estado prepare professores de quinta a oitava séries da rede pública para lidar com os temas de desigualdade de gênero ou racial, combatendo preconceitos e discriminações que se desenvolvem desde a infância. Em março do ano que vem, por ocasião do Dia Internacional da Mulher, nós vamos lançar uma série de livros infantis que trabalham outros conceitos com as crianças, derrubando preconceitos e evitando o pensamento por parte dos homens de que as relações de desigualdade os favorecem. Ao contrário, quanto mais igualdade, mais felicidade, mais prósperos serão a família e o País.”

Consciência Negra – “Nós gostaríamos de lembrar que as mulheres negras sofrem de uma sobreposição perversa de discriminações. Elas sofrem por serem mulheres, sofrem po r serem negras. Se nós pudéssemos dizer, na população brasileira, qual o segmento que mais sofre, nós diríamos que são as mulheres negras jovens, que estão mais expostas, que estão mais vulneráveis a todo tipo de agressão na sociedade, por acumularem todo esse tipo de discriminação e por serem também as mais pobres.
O que fazer – “Nós podemos fazer muitas coisas. Você pode, por exemplo, divulgar a campanha Homens Unidos Pelo Fim da Violência, pedindo para que todos assinem o nosso site . Existe o número 180, a Central de Atendimento à Mulher, para que as vítimas possam pedir socorro e serem encaminhadas aos serviços de atendimento, e que aquelas pessoas que saibam de um caso de violência possam denunciar. E os governos têm que fazer a sua parte, como está fazendo o governo de Pernambuco.”

Editado pela Secretaria de Comunicação Social da Presidência da República
Nº89 – Brasília

Posted in A PRESIDÊNCIA, A QUESTÃO ÉTNICA, A QUESTÃO FEMININA, AS RELAÇÕES DE TRABALHO E EMPREGO, BRASIL, CÂMARA DOS DEPUTADOS, CIDADANIA, CIDADES, COMBATE À DESIGUALDADE E À EXCLUSÃO - BRASIL, COMBATE À VIOLÊNCIA CONTRA AS MULHERES, DEPUTADOS ESTADUAIS, DIREITOS HUMANOS - BRASIL, EDUCAÇÃO - BRASIL, ENSINO FUNDAMENTAL - 1° e 2° GRAUS, HUMAN RIGHTS, INTERNATIONAL, LUIS INÁCIO LULA DA SILVA, O MOVIMENTO DOS POVOS NATIVOS, O MOVIMENTO NEGRO, O PODER EXECUTIVO ESTADUAL, O PODER EXECUTIVO FEDERAL, O PODER EXECUTIVO MUNICIPAL, O PODER JUDICIÁRIO, O PODER LEGISLATIVO ESTADUAL, O PODER LEGISLATIVO FEDERAL, OS GOVERNADORES, OS JUDICIÁRIOS ESTADUAIS, OS PREFEITOS, PARTIDOS POLÍTICOS - BRASIL, PE, POLÍTICA REGIONAL, THE UNITED NATIONS, VEREADORES | Leave a Comment »

ANALYSIS: THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 18, 2008

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Written by IM Mohsin

History also bears out that the Afghans can’t tolerate ‘occupation’. No AFGHANISTANwonder since 2006 the Taliban have been on the rampage. Even Kabul remains tentatively safe. During my last visit home to Peshawar, I was met by a few Afghans who told me of the reign of terror prevailing in Jalalabad, Paktia and Kabul etc as the state machinery/ foreign forces could not cope with prevailing mayhem. The spill-over effect of Afghan ‘insurgency’ is widely felt in Pakistan; more so in NWFP/ Baluchistan. History and geography combine to create challenges which the elected Govt and its armed forces have to face daily.

The situation gets vitiated by the US drone-attacks on ‘suspects’ from across the border. Such tactics tend to swell the numbers of Taliban as per the local culture of the binding nature of Revenge. As per the Pashtun code of honour, border becomes besides the point in chasing the ‘killers’. Hence the clandestine movement of the ‘insurgents’ across the border which NATO troops plus about 80 thousand Pakistani troops can’t eradicate,

Pretty much like the Mexican border for the US.

The above menacing milieu makes Pakistan most important in the current BUSH SEES NOTHING context. Firstly, it blocks the spread of insurgency. Secondly, it ensures the maintenance of the life-line/ supplies for the foreign forces in Afghanistan. Thirdly, it alone can provide cheapest transportation of aid-wares across the border. Fourthly, despite our ambivalent role, most Afghans still have more goodwill for Pakistan than any other country because of history/ culture etc.

The seizure of a 13-truck convoy on 10th Nov in Khyber Pass and subsequent action, including the use of air-power, by Pakistan created considerable complications and alarm among the people. However, the trucks were abandoned but the eatables were seized by the insurgents along-with 2 new humvees. I learnt in Peshawar that some of the wheat was distributed by the Taliban among the locals while the rest was sold at lower rates. They also displayed the seized vehicles as the ‘war booty’. As almost 400 trucks daily cross Torkham in to Afghanistan carrying supplies for the foreign troops, Pakistan had to suspend the traffic till a new strategy was put in to force. The traffic resumed Nov 17 as Pakistan deployed a bigger number of forces to escort the supply-convoys besides soliciting the cooperation of the locals.

A report in The Washington Post of 16th Nov indicates that the US/ Pakistan have reached a deal in Sept about the predator attacks on AN AMERICAN SNIPERsuspected targets on the basis of “don’t-ask- don’t-tell policy”. Pakistan has not changed her policy of condemning such attacks which, invariably, involve civilian casualties. Better collaboration between ISAF and Pak forces may prove more useful. This was proved by the Pakistani intervention on 16th Nov in Pakitika which relieved a base of the former under attack.

US have been pursing a way-out of the Afghan quagmire lately. It has launched the Saudi King in to the process. Karzai has been trying to come to terms with the Taliban led by Mullah Umar despite the fact that the latter has a $ multi-million as head-money a la US. He committed to go all out to provide “Protection” to the Taliban leader as per by BBC. He further emphasized that “If I say I want protection for Mullah Omar, then the international community has two choices: remove me, or leave…”. In this context, trying to win ‘the hearts of minds of the people’ is the best option which collateral damage inflicted by drone/ missile attacks can’t cause.

The end of 2001 heralded a dangerous change in the ground realities in the subject countries. Afghanistan got ‘occupied’ by the foreign forces while the Taliban regime collapsed, militarily despite the fierce resistance US AIR FORCE PERSONELit offered, and politically as its political capital was nominal. Pakistan, under Musharraf, due to sympathy/ inducement, joined hands with the US in waging its ‘war on terror’ a la neo-con agenda. Due to the Geography and pro-US sentiments, Pakistan proved to be the linchpin in such operations.

Subsequently the ‘victors’ realized that it was crucial to keep Pakistan onboard their bandwagon. It is no coincidence that this arrangement also eminently suited Musharraf who had seized power by ousting an elected Govt earlier on. Prior to 9/11, he was treated as a pariah by Bill Clinton as well George w. However, the neo-con game-plan took effect with the fall of the Twin Towers. Musharraf got rehabilitated in the US corridors of power under a ‘threat’ from, as he claimed, Armitage, the Deputy Secretary of State insisting that he if did not join then Pakistan would be ‘bombed in to stone age’. The concerned official denied the same after leaving the office.

The Bonn Conference of 2002 laid down the blueprint of a surrogate regime under Karzai. Flush with success against the Taliban, and wanting to impress the public opinion at home, the US Administration/ allies made prolific promises. As per the Bonn Charter a ‘Democratic’ Afghanistan under the new dispensation was to get fabulous amounts of aid for ‘Reconstruction’ etc. This again underlined the importance of the Pakistan-link as Afghanistan is a landlocked country and the most feasible trade etc route for her is through Pakistan. Moreover as Pakistan shares long porous border with the western neighbor along the Durand Line, its whole-hearted support was worth any cost, particularly in early days of Karzai regime.

The US first assessed Pakistan’ indispensability in the pursuit of its adventure in the area which led to the revival of her military aid etc as there is no free- lunch in their culture. Initially the quick cessation of hostilities bolstered the neo-cons at home which also encouraged them to attack Iraq on the pretext of ‘WMD’. This slogan together with the stated-objective of removing a ‘hated-dictator’ after a dazzling victory in Afghanistan must also have yielded high political dividends at home. In the aftermath of 9/11, the people in the US lived under a fear-complex which was aggravated by media-hype, let loose by the official agencies etc, to bolster the image of the incumbent Administration. This process appears to have got particularly animated before the 2004 Presidential elections.

By 2005, Afghanistan started experiencing considerable insecurity. This was due to the persecution-complex among the Pashtuns in the South-East who faced a famine-like situation. Moreover, the Taliban started making their presence felt by attacking softer targets. As Karzai could not establish his writ all over the country, the warlords appeared to have taken over, particularly in the North/ South. The Northern warlords started making a fortune by exporting drugs from the massive cultivation of opium. Moreover the development program projected by the Bonn Conference could not be kept up by the donors. They spent lavishly on military operations which, together with the resistance from the Taliban, relegated reconstruction to the backburner and provoked anger. Such factors created a monstrous situation for the majority of local people who started feeling sick of the proxy-rule which bred insecurity and hunger etc.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘WorldFutures’ (Indonesia)

Posted in FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »

FIRST UNOFFICIAL OBAMA POSITIONS ON NEW WAR STRATEGIES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 18, 2008

Published: November 14, 2008

by Walid Phares

As the transition in the United States between the administrations of Usama bin LadinGeorge W. Bush and Barack Obama is moving forward feverishly while world crises escalate, observers of conflicts are focusing on the messages emanating from the next foreign policy team in Washington.

The smooth passing of the torch from one leadership to another in the middle of unfinished wars and gigantic counterterrorism efforts is critical, especially if a strategic change of direction is on its way.

Analysts wonder about the nature of change to come: is it about managing battlefields or reducing them?

The first post election statements made by Obama sources – incorporated into a Washington Post article by Karen DeYoung published on Nov. 11, “Obama to Explore New Approach in Afghanistan War” – are very revealing.

Although these “conversations” with aides are still unofficial positions at the formal level, one must read them as the first salvo in setting the tone and guidelines for early 2009.

Thus, and in order to engage in a national discussion on what seems to be the near future, we must analyze these propositions one by one and contrast them with the intensity of the evolving threat.

Therefore, the following are early comments on the emerging new policies.

The Washington Post article began by stating that the Obama administration is planning on “exploring a more regional strategy to the war in Afghanistan including possible talks with Iran.” Citing Obama national security advisers, the Post added that the new strategy “looks favorably on the nascent dialogue between the Afghan government and ‘reconcilable’ elements of the Taliban.”

These two so-called strategic components of the forthcoming administration’s plan to end the conflict in central Asia deserve a high level of attention and thorough examination. In a post Sept. 11, 2001 environment – meaning seven years into a confrontation with jihadist forces – not only experts but a large segment of the American public has developed a higher awareness of the threat of the enemy and of its long-term objectives. Arguments in foreign policy analysis are not as alien as they were to citizens prior to the 2001 attacks. Many Americans know who the Taliban are and what their goals are, and they know as well of the dangerous fantasies of the mullah regime in Tehran.

A new strategy in the region covering Pakistan and Iran is indeed needed to achieve advances in defeating the jihadis and in empowering the democracy forces in Afghanistan.

If the Bush administration was too slow in reaching that conclusion, then one would expect the Obama foreign policy team to bridge the gap and quickly arrive at a successful next stage.

But the “regional” proposition unveiled by the Washington Post defies logic, instead of consolidating it.

For I wonder on what grounds the Iranian regime would shift from a virulent anti-U.S. attitude to a favorable team player in stabilizing Afghanistan? Even the gurus of classical realism would wonder.

If a deal is possible with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, it cannot be on establishing a democratic government in Kabul. It simply doesn’t add up knowing the essence of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its oppressive nature.

Therefore, and before the new administration even begins to sell the idea, it is important for all to realize that any Afghan deal cut with Iran must assume that the next regime in Kabul will satisfy the agenda in Tehran: meaning non-democratic. This is the first hurdle.

Amazingly, the second proposition simultaneously would invite the Taliban (postulating that a milder wing indeed exists) to share power in the country as a way to end the conflict. More problems emerge here: first, if the “good” Taliban are brought to the deal (assuming this is even feasible), what happens with the “bad” Taliban? Will the latter just “go away” or will there be a fight between the “good and the bad” factions? And how can the new strategy end the new Afghan war and will we come to the rescue of the nice jihadists against the ugly ones? Obviously, it doesn’t add up either.

Second, assuming there would be a partial re-Talibanization of Afghanistan, how could this co-exist with the Iranians? The same Washington Post article quoted the same advisers, underscoring that “The Iranians don’t want Sunni extremists in charge of Afghanistan any more than we do.”

How can the architects reconcile bringing in the Iranians for help and, at the same time, inviting the “Sunni extremists” to be sitting in Kabul? This construct doesn’t fly on mere logic.

As I wondered in an interview with Fox News the same day, are the new foreign policy planners talking about changing the strategy or changing the enemy?

The most logical ally against most of the Taliban should be the democratically-elected government in Pakistan, which is already waging a campaign against al-Qaida and its Taliban allies. Why would Washington replace this potential ally (regardless of all mishaps) with two foes: the non-democratic regime of Iran and a faction of the totalitarian Taliban?

In this dizzying maze a la 1990s, one begins to wonder if we are flipping the enemy into an ally, and vice versa, merely so that the slogan of “change” is then materialized. My feeling is that post electoral political pressures are so intense that it may produce a recipe for greater confusion and even disaster.

The problem is not the idea of “talking” to any of the players, including the current foes; engaging in contacts is always an option and has always been practiced. The problem is the perception by the new U.S. officials (and even current ones) that we can simply and naively “create” the conditions that we wish, regardless of the intentions of the other side. When reading these suggestions, one concludes that they were conceived on paper as unilateral designs lacking any strategic understanding of the enemy.

Take two examples as a starter: first, if you want to engage the so-called “acceptable” Taliban into a national unity government in Kabul (which is not an impossible idea theoretically), did you incorporate what their minimal demands are? And can your analysis of the jihadis’ long-term strategy produce a projection over four to six years of a return of these jihadis to power? I don’t think so.

Second, if you wish to enlist Iran as a partner in Afghanistan, will you be able to continue with the sanctions over its nuclear program? Obviously not. Thus the bottom line is that the price for befriending Tehran in Kabul is to allow it to reach its nuclear military ambitions. If it is otherwise, the upcoming foreign policy team has a lot of explaining to do.

Another interesting statement made by an adviser, according to the Washington Post, was that “the incoming administration intends to remind Americans how the fight “against Islamist extremists” began – on Sept. 11, 2001, before the Afghanistan and Iraq wars – and to underscore that al-Qaida remains the nation’s highest priority. “This is our enemy,” one adviser said of Bin Laden, “and he should be our principal target.”

Although as a reader I am not sure if DeYoung was discussing the new strategies in the war with the same “source,” the latter, stronger sentence is of great value for future inquiries. For if indeed the incoming administration intends to remind U.S. citizens that the fight is “against Islamist extremists,” then this would be a good bridge to the Bush administration’s bold rhetoric, which ended in 2006.

If the Obama administration “change” in strategy is to redefine the confrontation in the precise manner the adviser did, then we will be lucky. If that is the case, then we would hope and expect the new administration to repel the irresponsible “lexicon” disseminated by bureaucrats within the Bush administration and instead issue a strong document identifying the threat as stated in the Washington Post article, explaining once and for all the ideology of bin Laden so that indeed we can understand “our principal target.”

These early remarks are aimed at helping the Obama administration from its inception to clearly strategize and target so that the next four, and maybe eight years, will be a leap forward in protecting this country and in defending democracy worldwide.

This is only a glimpse of conversations to come about America’s national security and the hope to see a real qualitative change for the best.

(*) – Dr. Walid Phares is the director of the Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and the author of “The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad”.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘MIDDLE EAST TIMES’ (Egypt)

Posted in AL QAEDA, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MIDDLE EAST, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE OCCUPATION WAR IN IRAQ, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »

HAY QUE ROMPER CON EL MODELO NEOLIBERAL Y EL SISTEMA CAPITALISTA – Sentenció Evo Morales al intervenir ante Naciones Unidas

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 18, 2008

17/11/2008

NACIONES UNIDAS, 17 de noviembre. – El presidente boliviano, Evo Morales, planteó este lunes romper EVO MORALES AT THE UNcon el neoliberalismo y el sistema capitalista, además de reformular las normas de la Organización Mundial del Comercio (OMC) para salir de la crisis financiera mundial, informó ABI.

“Para salir de la crisis hay que romper con el modelo neoliberal y el sistema capitalista”, afirmó el mandatario ante el pleno de la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas.

En Bolivia, dijo, se ha comenzado a cambiar la política neoliberal dignificando al Estado y resolviendo los problemas sociales, lo que ha permitido sobrellevar los efectos de la crisis financiera global.

“El comercio injusto implementado por algunos organismos internacionales no es la solución para mi país”, señaló Morales, quien apuntó, además, que para salir de la crisis financiera hay que cambiar las reglas de la Organización Mundial del Comercio (OMC).

El sistema financiero mundial debe ser reestructurado por los 192 países que forman las Naciones Unidas y no solo por los 20 más desarrollados, declaró en referencia a la Cumbre del G-20 celebrada hace poco en Washington.

De igual forma, se debe reestructurar el Banco Mundial (BM) y el Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI), señaló Evo.

Criticó que en menos de 15 días los países que integran el G-20 hubieran otorgado 30 veces más dinero a los bancos del Wall Street que a los recursos que se destinan para conseguir los Objetivos del Milenio, entre ellos acabar con la pobreza.

Según EFE, durante su intervención, el Jefe de Estado también agradeció a la comunidad internacional el apoyo a su gestión en la crisis política que vivió Bolivia recientemente.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘GRANMA’ (Cuba)

Posted in BOLIVIA, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, G20, IMF, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE UNITED NATIONS, WORLD BANK, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION | Leave a Comment »

ISRAEL STOPS UN FOOD DISTRIBUTION TO STARVING PALESTINIANS IN GAZA

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 17, 2008

15/11/2008 15:31:00

The United Nations announced it was suspending food distribution to half of Gaza’s 1.5 million people Photo - Palestinians hold candles during a protest against power cuts in Gaza November 13, 2008.on Thursday after Israel failed to allow emergency supplies into the Palestinian territory.

“They have told us the crossings are closed today.

At the end of today we will suspend our food distribution,” said UN Relief and Works Agency spokesman Chris Gunness.

“Our warehouses are effectively empty,” he told AFP.

Meanwhile, the Israeli military killed four Palestinians along the Gaza border on Wednesday after a nearly five-month during which Hamas respect a declared seize fire.

A Hamas spokesman called the killing of the gunmen “an enormous Israeli crime which constitutes a grave violation of the truce.”

UNRWA usually distributes emergency food rations to about 750,000 people in the Impoverished, overcrowded sliver of land whose economy has been crippled by a tight blockade Israel says is aimed at forcing militants to stop firing rockets and mortar rounds at the Jewish state.

The International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) said a truck it sent to the Kerem Shalom crossing was turned back by the Israelis.

Israel usually allows some humanitarian supplies into Gaza, but even this has stopped over the past week, leading to harsh criticism from aid agencies.

“Pushing people to the brink of desperation every few months and forcing UNRWA into yet another cycle of crisis management is not in the interest of anyone who believes in peace, moderation and stability,” said Gunness.

Israel also cut off European Union-funded fuel supplies to Gaza’s sole power plant on Thursday, prompting it to close down for want of diesel.

“It is completely shut down,” Palestinian Energy Authority official Qanaan Obeid told AFP.

ICRC mission chief Katharina Ritz said that “every day the situation is getting more and more precarious for Gazans,” adding that there was a desperate need for medical supplies.

The Israeli military confirmed the closure of Gaza continued.

(agencies)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TRIPOLI POST’ (Libya)

Posted in HUMAN RIGHTS, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, PALESTINE, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE UNITED NATIONS, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »