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Index April 2010

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VIDEO: The Politics of Fear: From the War on Terrorism to Tyranny

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, April 28, 2010.

Boiling Frogs Post presents an exclusive interview with Colonel Larry Wilkerson on the tyrannical presidency and politics of fear, Israel’s interests versus US interests and the question of loyalties, and more: As a card carrying member of the Likud Party, whose interest did Douglas Feith really serve?

Is our current situation due to incompetent leadership or venal leadership exploiting the politics of fear? , 5.33 min. (full text).

More arms, less food for people

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Published on OneWorld South Asia, by  Fabio Pipinato, 27 April 2010.

Instead of allocating funds to address poverty, close to 5 billion euro were issued by the Italian Government in arms export authorisations in 2009. Italy’s foreign policy has regressed overtime. Unimondo will launch a campaign at the end of May to encourage politicians to take right steps in meeting MDGs.

“Let’s Empty the Arsenals and Fill the Granaries” said Sandro Pertini, President of the Italian Republic, the highest office, from 1978 to 1985. Instead of making a step in the right direction, Italian foreign policy has regressed and seems to be going in a completely different direction. 2010, in fact, marks two records … //

… But another world is possible. WHO gives us 10 good reasons to make this our challenge:  Continue Reading…

War is failure

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Published on Online Journal, by Missy Comley Beattie, April 27, 2010.

Sheesh, if I receive another email invitation for something like brunching, for a donation, of course, with a Democrat, I’m going to want to kamikaze the address of the gala. I do not feel a need to sup with, commune with, or brush the shoulders of the shills for Corporate America. And, yes, the requests from the opposition (hahahahahaha) party arrive, as well, in my inbox. I don’t want these solicitations. No eggs Benedict or build your own omelet for money. No schmoozing for dollars. Hey, that sounds like a new reality show — Schmoozing for Dollars. Or Schmoozing with the Stars, where politicos and their contributors eat and drink, merrily, for greed … // Continue Reading…

Some Sobering Notes on African American Equality

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Published on political affairs pa, by Frank Chapman, 4-05-10.

The fact that institutionalized racism persist in our country is rooted in the historical reality of 250 years of slavery followed, after a brief period of civil war and democratic reconstruction, by over seventy years of Jim Crow terror and state sanctioned racist discrimination. Claude Lightfoot was right when he said that present day racist practices and attitudes carry the stench of the slave market. Ever since the great powers of Europe turned African into a commercial warren for hunting and enslaving Black people racism has been an instrument of capitalist exploitation for super profits. Racism began as crimes against humanity by perpetrating one of the worst holocausts in the annals of human history and its practices today still have a fundamental, genocidal character. Continue Reading…

Videos with Lin Yu Chun (林育群)

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Watch Lin Yu Chun, the Taiwan’s Singing Sensation, on YouTube:

Hate speech can bring deadly results

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Published on People’s World, by Jarvis Tyner, April 23 2010.

… In a recent interview, former President Bill Clinton, who was in office when the Oklahoma bombing took place, pointed out that before the bombing then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich had characterized the Clintons as “enemies of ordinary Americans.” That was done in the highly charged atmosphere after the Branch Davidian shootout that ended in tragedy in Waco, Texas.

In response to the anti government rhetoric coming from the tea party and politicians associated with them, Clinton said, “There can be real consequences when what you say animates people who do things you would never do.” Continue Reading…

Imprisoning a Courageous Whistleblower

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… The Case of Bradley Birkenfeld (see also video on Democracy Now, 59.09 min, January 7, 2010). – Linked with Government Accountability Project GAP – whistleblower.org, and with Stephen Lendman – USA.

Published on Dissident Voice, by Stephen Lendman, April 22, 2010.

… Key Facts: Whistleblower.org’s Bradley Birkenfeld Fact Sheet covers the following:

(1) Did he serve the public interest?

After his disclosures, UBS paid $780 million in fines and penalties, and agreed to an IRS amnesty program under which 14,700 clients admitted to illegal, secret accounts. As a result, billions of dollars were recovered and the entire program was shut. According to the New York Daily News, “Bradley Birkenfeld deserves a statue on Wall Street, not a prison sentence.”  Continue Reading…

Thai protestors block army train

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Published on The Rebel.org, by FTP/CS/MB (source: PressTV.ir), April 23, 2010.

As the political turmoil in Thailand enters its sixth week, anti-government protests in the capital spill over to the northeast with demonstrators blocking a train carrying military vehicles.

The protestors claimed on Wednesday that the confiscated military vehicles were intended to be used to suppress fellow demonstrators in the Thai capital of Bangkok. Thai authorities, however, have denied the allegation.  Continue Reading…

Pentagon Continues to Use Personality Disorder Discharges

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… to Cheat Veterans out of Benefits

Published on Global Research.ca, by Sherwood Ross, April 21, 2010.

An army sergeant who had received 22 honors including a Combat Action Badge prior to being wounded in Iraq by a mortar shell was told he was faking his medical symptoms and subjected to abusive treatment until he agreed to a “personality disorder”(PD) discharge.

After a doctor with the First Cavalry division wrote he was out for “secondary gain,” Chuck Luther was imprisoned in a six- by eight-foot  isolation chamber, ridiculed by the guards, denied regular meals and showers and kept awake by perpetual lights and blasting heavy metal music – abuses similar to the punishments inflicted on terrorist suspects by the CIA.  Continue Reading…

Kashmir study tour report, 28 Jan – 16 Feb 2010

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Find the conclusion of this report as an excerpt on our blog Kashmir and IDPs:

JAMMU AND KASHMIR – terrorism, a global threat, a global challenge, by Paul Beersmans;

Find the whole report on BELGIAN ASSOCIATION FOR SOLIDARITY WITH JAMMU AND KASHMIR BASJAK.

Links:

Paul Beersmans – Belgium
on our World People’s Blog;

BASJAK on our NGO blog.

Noam Chomsky Says He Has Never Seen Anything Like This

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Published on TruthDig, on Chris Hedges’ Columns,  April 19, 2010.

Noam Chomsky is America’s greatest intellectual. His massive body of work, which includes nearly 100 books, has for decades deflated and exposed the lies of the power elite and the myths they perpetrate. Chomsky has done this despite being blacklisted by the commercial media, turned into a pariah by the academy and, by his own admission, being a pedantic and at times slightly boring speaker. He combines moral autonomy with rigorous scholarship, a remarkable grasp of detail and a searing intellect. He curtly dismisses our two-party system as a mirage orchestrated by the corporate state, excoriates the liberal intelligentsia for being fops and courtiers and describes the drivel of the commercial media as a form of “brainwashing.” And as our nation’s most prescient critic of unregulated capitalism, globalization and the poison of empire, he enters his 81st year warning us that we have little time left to save our anemic democracy. Continue Reading…

Our Elders Are Suffering in silence

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Linked with Elder Justice Now, and with National Council on Aging NCOA.

Published on Elder Justice Now, by Karol Markosky, December 4, 2009.

Seeing the pain in someone’s eyes as they talk about atrocities they suffered and committed often by someone they love – especially by a son or daughter – has been the hardest thing about filming video stories for the Elder Justice Now campaign.

Working on this campaign, while tearful at times, has opened my eyes even more in to the rich lives of our seniors. I have been moved by the women and the men that I interviewed and by all of the stories of abuse that usually go unheard.

The most surprising thing has been the strength and power of the elders who had experienced the pain caused by abuse. However, many were ready to speak out against elder abuse and they did!  Continue Reading…

Robert Cox on World Orders

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… Historical Change, and the Purpose of Theory in International Relations – Theory Talk #37: Robert Cox

Linked with Theory Talks (April 20).

Realism in International Relations (IR) has never been challenged as eloquently as by Robert W. Cox in his seminal article Social Forces, States, and World Orders. Ever since, his work has inspired critical students of IR and International Political Economy (IPE) to think beyond the boundaries of conventional theorizing and to investigate the premises that underpin and link international politics and academic reflection on it. Recognized by many as one of the world’s most important thinkers in both IR and IPE, Cox assembles impressive and complex thinking stemming from history, philosophy, and geopolitics, to illuminate how politics can never be separated from economics, how theory is always linked to practice, and how material relations and ideas are inextricably intertwined to co-produce world orders. In this seminal Talk, Cox, amongst others, discusses possible futures we now face in terms of world order; reiterates what it means that theory is always for someone and for some purpose; and shows how the distinction between critical and problem-solving theory illuminates the problem of climate change.

Read the Print version of this talk, published on Theory Talks, March 12, 2010,  9 pdf-pages text.

Signs of discontent as China’s earthquake toll rises

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Published on WSWS, by John Chan, 17 April 2010.

In a sign of Beijing’s anxiety over potential unrest following Wednesday morning’s earthquake in Qinghai province, President Hu Jintao cut short his attendance at a key economic summit in Brazil to return to China. Premier Wen Jiabao cancelled visits to three South East Asian countries and toured the quake-hit Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture yesterday, professing concern for the survivors … //

… The shoddily-built mud and wood homes in the towns of Yushu were part of the government’s resettlement policy, implemented since 2000, to force thousands of Tibetan nomads to live in urban areas, supposedly to “civilise” and “modernise” them. In fact, the program was part of the regime’s “Go West” campaign to open up vast untapped natural resources and cheap labour in western China.  Continue Reading…

Slums as self-confrontation

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The attempt to free cities of slums will only make them invisible

Linked with Centre for the Study of Developing Societies CSDS, with Mumbai pavement dwellers finally get their homes, with Rethinking resettlement in Mumbai, with Women in Slums, an UN study, with 6 tough boys from Mumbai-slum locality, but also with Baghdad 2025, The Pentagon Solution to a Planet of Slums … ok, it’s 3 years ago, till then much water run under the bridge. Or not?

Published on Down to Earth, by Ashis Nandy, 14 April 2010.

Many see slums as failed parts of cities. They are regarded as parts of a city that do not conform to ruling ideas of an ideal city held by people in other parts of the city.

There have been some changes in the way people have looked at slums ever since colonial cities emerged. At one time, slums were seen as a kind of an invisible city: a place where servants and the poor blue collar workers stayed and one did not have to care for them. The architect-activist Jai Sen had a term for this attitude: in an essay in the journal Seminar he called a slum an Unintended City.  Continue Reading…

95 percent of Pak truckers indulge in sex with boy helpers

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Published on Zopag, February 19, 2010.

Islamabad, February 19: At least 95 percent of truck drivers in Pakistan consider indulging in sexual activities during their rest time as their main entertainment.

According to The News, transportation terminals and bus stands are the main hubs for such activity, as truck drivers are away from home for an average of 21.5 days in a month.

Sahil, an NGO working for child rights, shared these deplorable findings at the launch of a report titled ‘A Situational Analysis of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Transport Industry of Pakistan’. Continue Reading…

Colonel Wilkerson: Most of the Guantánamo detainees were innocent

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Published on Voltairenet.org, 9 April 2010.

In a signed declaration to support a lawsuit filed by a Guantánamo detainee and released to the Times of London, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson claims that President George W. Bush knew that the majority of the hundreds of men detained in that prison center had no terrorist links.

Wilkerson was was chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell. He gained renown for denouncing the manipulations which led to the invasion of Iraq. He had already brought up the question of the Guantánamo prisoners in a piece published by the Washington Note (17 March 2009) … (full text).

Thailand: Colour-coded chaos

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The Thai ruling elite would do well not to underestimate the red-shirted rebels – Published on The Guardian, Editorial, April 13, 2010.

The continuing tumult in Thailand, which this weekend saw the worst violence in nearly 20 years, is too often portrayed as a clash between two forces that behave as badly as each other: the rural poor, spurred on by the ousted tycoon Thaksin Shinawatra, versus a military- and monarchist-backed elite. One tribe wears red shirts and the other yellow, but they both use the same tactics, the argument goes. It ill behoves the current prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to be too surprised by the red-shirted invasion of the summit held by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Pattaya, when the yellow shirts, some of whose representatives are included in the current cabinet, laid siege to both airports, forcing the resignation of the government. The difference is that no one fired on the yellow shirts in 2008.  Continue Reading…

Whither goal of nuclear disarmament?

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Friendly Fire – Published on PakObserver.net, by Khalid Saleem, April 12, 2010.

US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have signed, in Prague, what has been termed as a ‘landmark treaty’ committing their nations to nuclear arms cuts. Now that the two have little to fear from each other, such treaties should come easy! And yet they make such a hullabaloo about it. Writing in The Guardian on the occasion, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talks feelingly about ‘a world free from nuclear danger’. She avers somewhat menacingly, “To those who refuse to meet their international obligations and seek to intimidate their neighbours; the world is more united than ever before and will not accept your intransigence”. The only snag is that, as always, the sole superpower will apply this concept selectively and not universally.  Continue Reading…

Kissinger blocked demarche on international assassinations to Condor States

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(see Condor States on wikipedia) – RESCINDED ORDERS TO WARN MILITARY REGIMES DAYS BEFORE LETELIER BOMBING IN WASHINGTON D.C., Overruled Aides who Wanted to Head Off a Series of International Murders

Published on Nationa Security Archives, Electronic Briefing Book No. 312, edited by Peter Kornbluh (202/994-7116 office, 202/374-7281 cell, e-mail), Posted April 10, 2010.

Washington, DC, April 10, 2010 – Only five days before a car-bomb planted by agents of the Pinochet regime rocked downtown Washington D.C. on September 21, 1976, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger rescinded instructions sent to, but never implemented by, U.S. ambassadors in the Southern Cone to warn military leaders there against orchestrating “a series of international murders,” declassified documents obtained and posted by the National Security Archive revealed today. Continue Reading…

Entering the dawn-lit mountains

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India’s extreme north-east: A struggle to reach Arunachal Pradesh and survive its roads – Published on The Economist, April 8, 2010.

Day one – IT IS dark, raining, five hours from our journey’s beginning or end, and the gatekeeper of Arunachal Pradesh doesn’t like my permit. Or visa, perhaps that should be, Arunachal being as difficult to enter as almost any country. The seven-day “protected area permit” now being sniffed at by a torch-lit figure in khaki took me almost a year to get, including lobbying in several state and central government departments. Among a long list of conditions, it says I will “not be allowed to discuss the controversial issues which would affect the relations between China and India.”  Continue Reading…

Concluding the Global On-line Consultation

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… on Plan of Action for Second Phase of the World Programme for Human Rights Education

Received by e-mail: From: Global HRE List Moderator, Date: 06/04/2010

Dear Colleagues, Thank you for participating in the Global On-line Consultation on Plan of Action for Second Phase of the World Programme for Human Rights Education (WPHRE). We collected feedback throughout March on three sectors identified for the Second Phase:

  • training institutions for teachers and educators;
  • higher education institutions and programmes;
  • initial and ongoing training of professional groups.  Continue Reading…

European Court of Human Rights Death Penalty Decision Raises Difficult Issues

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Linked with Irish Centre for Human Rights, with International Law Association, and with Irish Centre for Human Rights 2010 Summer Schools. – Published on PhD studies in human rights, by William A. Schabas, April 6, 2010.

It has been about a month since a Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights issued its ruling in the Al Saddoon and Mufdhi v. United Kingdom case. The judgment was posted on this blog, along with a brief comment on its significance. In effect, the Court went beyond its previous precedents to declare the death penalty contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights, despite the express terms of article 2(1) which contemplates capital punishment as an exception to the right to life. Of course, the death penalty no longer exists on the territory of the Council of Europe. Continue Reading…

The ethnocidal civilization

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Published on Online Journal, by Iftekhar Sayeed, April 6, 2010.

A friend of ours was looking for a bride for her brother. She is Hindu, and my wife and I knew another Hindu lady who was looking for a groom for her sister. They were from similar educational and occupational backgrounds, so my wife suggested to her friend that there could be a union here.

We were taken aback when she said that their castes were different: marriage was not possible. We just hadn’t thought of that! Although nonplussed, we passed no judgment on their religion or culture: it simply was none of our business. This is how most of us are brought up in South Asia. We regard another person’s worldview as irrelevant, that is, we don’t regard it at all. Continue Reading…