April 26, 2015
Nasir Khan, April 27, 2015
Today is the anniversary of the Saur Revolution in Afghanistan. On 27 April 1978, the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan took over power. The socialist friends of Afghanistan are aware of the historic significance of this revolution in Afghanistan and for the people of the neighbouring countries.
What happened to the Afghan Revolution and the revolutionaries is the story of the US intervention with the help of other US-friendly countries, such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, etc., and the American help to create and arm the so-called Afghan Mujahidin to wreak havoc in Afghanistan.
In this way, the US and the Mujahidin were able to extinguish the candle of fraternity, social and political reforms, women’s equal rights and people’s power that the Afghan revolution had lit. After destroying the revolution, the US imperialism fought a 13-year long destructive war in Afghanistan against the same forces of religious fanaticism and Islamism that it had helped to create to use against Afghanistan and revolution’s Soviet backers.
Now America is happy. It controls the destiny of Afghanistan with the help of its nominal rulers who are closely allied to Washington. But the Islamist Taliban are still there and are a potential threat to the political arrangement the US had chartered for Afghanistan.
April 23, 2015
Alan Hart, Information Clearing House, April 22, 2015
In a letter calling on European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini to promote and implement a 2012 plan to mark produce and products for the European marketplace from the Israeli-occupied West Bank, 16 EU foreign ministers stated that what they are requesting is “an important step in the full implementation of EU longstanding policy in relation to the preservation of the two-state solution”.
If that’s what they truly believe, the 16 who signed the letter – they included the foreign ministers of Britain and France but not Germany – are clearly out of touch with reality because the two-state solution has long been dead, killed by Israel’s on-going colonisation and ethnic cleansing by stealth.
There are, of course, two other possible explanations.
One is that those who signed the letter (as well as their EU ministerial colleagues who didn’t) are entertaining the hope that the Palestinian Authority can be bullied and bribed into accepting a two-state solution on Israel’s terms – terms which would leave Israel in occupation of large chunks of the West Bank and the Palestinian “state” little more than a collection of disconnected Bantustans, with Israel’s various security services still in overall control.
April 18, 2015
Published time: March 30, 2015 12:52
A report called Body Count has revealed that at least 1.3 million people have lost their lives as a result of the US-led “war on terror” in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. It’s a report which should have made front page news across the world.
In the comprehensive 101 pagedocument ‘Body Count,’
Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Global Survival and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, have produced figures for the number of people killed from September 11, 2001 until the end of 2013.
The findings are devastating: the in-depth investigation concludes that the ‘war on terror‘ has, directly or indirectly, killed around 1 million people in Iraq, 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan. As awful as that sounds, the total of 1.3 million deaths does not take into account casualties in other war zones, such as Yemen – and the authors stress that the figure is a “conservative estimate”.
“The total number of deaths in the three countries named above could also be in excess of 2 million, whereas a figure below 1 million is extremely unlikely,” the executive summary says.
April 17, 2015
Richard Falk, GLOBAL JUSTICE IN THE 21ST CENTURY, April 17, 2015
[Prefatory Note: This post is the full text of my presentation at an excellent conference “The Israeli Lobby: Is it good for US? Is it Good for Israel?” National Press Club, Washington, D.C., April 10, 2015; the conference was sponsored and organized by the editorial leadership of the magazine Washington Report, which brings together some of the best writing on the Israel/Palestine struggle. I encourage readers of this blog to look at the full conference either at the YouTube website or the audio recording at http://www.israellobbyus.org Although there were many illuminating presentations during the day, and I would call particular attention to the memorable remarks of two highly informed Israelis, Gideon Levy and Miko Peled.]
There are no better texts for assessing the damage done to the role and reputation of the UN by the Israeli Lobby than to consider Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent statements boasting about the U.S. success in protecting Israel from criticisms arising from its non-fulfillment of responsibilities under international law and as a member of the United Nations. It should be understood that the lobby does not act in a vacuum, and its leverage is greatly enhanced in global settings to the considerable extent that its priorities overlap with the strategic and economic interests of the United States in the Middle East.
April 16, 2015
Dr Reza Varjavand, Iranian.com, July 21, 2013
While imperative, morality is a subjective matter that involves judgment about right and wrong. Like the concept of rationality, morality entails behaving in a certain way that is consistent with a specific objective that may be personal gratification or primarily religious conviction. Historically, religion has served as a source of morality. A religious morality system is designed to guide and control the conducts of the believers. The problem with religious morality scheme, however, is that it is derived from a supernatural deity and believed to be irrefutable, timeless, and no one can challenge its preeminence. Ergo, those who do not believe in supernatural power, like secular/atheists, will be ostracized by religion and labeled as depraved. As I argue below, such stereotyping is as unsubstantiated as claiming that students who attend religious colleges cheat less than those who attend secular universities.
Is immorality really an outgrowth of secularism/atheism? There are 7 billion people living in the world today, almost 14 percent of them do not believe in supernatural. Are they any less moral than religious people? The primary motive why religious enthusiasts try to link secularity /atheism to immorality and even social anarchy is to create fear or to prey on the gullibility of regular folks. Frankly, the accusation that irreligiosity is the source of immorality in the society is nothing but wishful thinking for three reasons.
April 11, 2015
By Johannes Stern , wsws, 11 April 2015
NATO’s rearmament in Eastern Europe is increasingly taking on the form of open war preparations against Russia, raising the danger of a nuclear war between the Western powers and Moscow.
On Friday, the Western military alliance completed the first test of its new super-rapid reaction force, the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). As part of the “Noble Jump” manoeuvres, the chain of command from NATO Headquarters SHAPE in Belgium was tested via the NATO command in Naples, the German-Netherlands Corps in Münster, and the units in Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and the Czech Republic. There were troop movements in the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.
The exercise is part of the systematic military rearmament of NATO in Eastern Europe following the pro-Western coup in Ukraine and the subsequent military offensive by Kiev in the east of the country.
Western heads of state and government agreed to the establishment of the VJTF at the NATO summit in September last year in Wales. It belongs to the NATO Response Force (NRF), the NATO rapid reaction force, whose troop strength was doubled in early February to 30,000 soldiers. In an emergency, the 5,000-strong so-called “spearhead” of the NRF can be operational within 48 hours.