Archive for January, 2012

The Guantanamo Legacy – Ten Years of Criminality go beyond this one base and one state

January 19, 2012

Dr Abdul Wahid, New Civilisation, Jan 17, 2012

Last week I attended an event in London marking the 10-year anniversary of the American gulag at Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, organised jointly by Cage Prisoners, Islamic Human Rights Commission and Reprieve.

It was also the launch of a project by Cage Prisoners called “Laa Tansa –(Never Forget)”, a campaign aimed so that people do not forget the 779 victims of Guantanamo Bay. 171 men remain under detention despite President Obama’s 2009 promise to close the camp. Of these 89 have already been cleared for release, 46 have been cleared for Stalin-style indefinate detention and 32 earmarked for ‘prosecution’ – most likely in closed, military courts.

The event did something powerful insofar as it humanised the men who were kidnapped, tortured, murdered (in some cases) and imprisoned after being arbitrarily labelled ‘terrorist suspects’ and ‘enemy combatants’. It reminded us they were fathers, husbands, and sons of other innocent victims who were their family members. It gave sobering testimony to the complexities after release and the guilt feelings about those left behind – like Shaker Aamer, the last British resident who remains in abominable conditions with 170 others.

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Americans Fed Up with Neocon Wars?

January 18, 2012
By Lawrence S. Wittner, Consortium News,  January 17, 2012

Mitt Romney and other Republican presidential hopefuls (with the exception of Ron Paul) are touting tough-guy global strategies that sound like George W. Bush, circa 2002. But recent public opinion polls suggest that Americans are leery of new neocon adventures, Lawrence S. Wittner reports.

Are American politicians out of sync with the public when it comes to foreign policy? There is considerable reason to believe so.

Throughout the scramble for the Republican presidential nomination, the major candidates have certainly been rabidly nationalistic. In a major foreign policy address on Oct. 7, 2011, Mitt Romney proclaimed that “the twenty-first century can and must be an American Century.”

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney

Championing a vast military buildup, he argued that, to secure this “American Century,” the United States should have “the strongest military in the world.” By contrast, he assailed the “shameful” role of the United Nations and other international institutions and declared that he did not see any reason to obey them — or the international law they represented — when it did not suit the U.S. government.

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Chris Hedges: Why I’m Suing Barack Obama

January 17, 2012

By Chris Hedges, truthdig.com,  Jan 16, 2012

AP / Dusan Vranic
Detainees pray at the U.S. military detention facility known as Camp Bucca in Iraq in this 2009 photo.

Attorneys Carl J. Mayer and Bruce I. Afran filed a complaint Friday in the Southern U.S. District Court in New York City on my behalf as a plaintiff against Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to challenge the legality of the Authorization for Use of Military Force as embedded in the latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act, signed by the president Dec. 31.

The act authorizes the military in Title X, Subtitle D, entitled “Counter-Terrorism,” for the first time in more than 200 years, to carry out domestic policing. With this bill, which will take effect March 3, the military can indefinitely detain without trial any U.S. citizen deemed to be a terrorist or an accessory to terrorism. And suspects can be shipped by the military to our offshore penal colony in Guantanamo Bay and kept there until “the end of hostilities.” It is a catastrophic blow to civil liberties.

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Marjorie Cohn: Close the Guantánamo Gulag

January 16, 2012
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by Marjorie Cohn, ZNet, Monday, January 16, 2012

Travelers to Cuba and music lovers are familiar with the song “Guantanamera”— literally, the girl from Guantánamo. With lyrics by José Martí, the father of Cuban independence, Guantanamera is probably the most widely known Cuban song. But Guantánamo is even more famous now for its U.S. military prison. Where “Guantanamera” is a powerful expression of the beauty of Cuba, “Gitmo” has become a powerful symbol of human rights violations—so much so that Amnesty International described it as “the gulag of our times.”

That description can be traced to January 2002, when the base received its first 20 prisoners in shackles. General Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned they were “very dangerous people who would gnaw hydraulic lines in the back of a C-17 to bring it down.”  We now know that a large portion of the 750 plus men and boys held there posed no threat to the United States. In fact, only five percent were captured by the United States; most were picked up by the Northern Alliance, Pakistani intelligence officers, or tribal warlords, and many were sold for cash bounties.

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Rosa Luxemburg: Reform or Revolution (1900)

January 15, 2012

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Rosa Luxemburg

Reform or Revolution (1900)


Written: 1900, 1908
Source: Social Reform or Revolution, by Rosa Luxemburg
Publisher: Militant Publications, London, 1986 (no copyright)
First Published: 1900 (revised second edition 1908)
Translated: Integer
Online Version: Rosa Luxemburg Internet Archive (marxists.org) 1999
Transcription/Markup: A. Lehrer


Contents:

Introduction
The Opportunist Method
The Adaptation of Capitalism
The Realisation of Socialism through Social Reforms
Capitalism and the State
The Consequences of Social Reformism and General Nature of Reformism
Economic Development and Socialism
Co-operatives, Unions, Democracy
Conquest of Political Power
Collapse
Opportunism in Theory and Practice

Spain: Garzón Trial Threatens Human Rights

January 15, 2012

Spanish Judge Challenged Amnesties in Spain, Worldwide

Human Rights Watch, January 13, 2012
  • Judge Baltasar Garzón leaves the Spanish High Court in Madrid on April 14, 2010.
    © 2010 Reuters
What bitter irony that Garzón is being prosecuted for trying to apply at home the same principles he so successfully promoted internationally. Thirty-six years after Franco’s death, Spain is finally prosecuting someone in connection with the crimes of his dictatorship – the judge who sought to investigate those crimes.
                —Reed Brody, counsel for Human Rights Watch

(Madrid) – The upcoming trial of the Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón for investigating abuses from Spain’s past threatens the concept of accountability in Spain and beyond, Human Rights Watch said today.

Garzón’s prosecution in a second case, for issuing a judicial instruction to intercept lawyer-client communications in a corruption scandal, raised questions as to whether the judge is facing retaliation for his actions in controversial cases.

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Barack Obama Worked For The CIA – John Pilger

January 15, 2012

  Some hard facts about  Barack Obama

Richard Dawkins celebrates a victory over creationists

January 15, 2012

Free schools that teach ‘intelligent design’ as science will lose funding

Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins hopes faith schools will be prevented from teaching creationism as fact. Photograph: Murdo MacLeod

Leading scientists and naturalists, including Professor Richard Dawkins and Sir David Attenborough, are claiming a victory over the creationist movement after the government ratified measures that will bar anti-evolution groups from teaching creationism in science classes.

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Boycott the Colonial-Settler-Apartheid State!

January 14, 2012

Michael Letwin, January 14, 2012

Editor’s Comment:  In many  European countries products from the Zionist-European entity called  ‘Israel’ are openly  sold. The power of Zionists and their right-wing sympathisers State. Thus many people, inadvertently though, are  aiding and abetting a criminal state. in Europe and North America is incredible. But some trade unions and political organisations  have tried to mobilise people to   boycott such products from the colonial-settler State.

It is important  for democratic  people to clarify what this Israel is and how its agricultural products are in fact from the stolen land that belonged to the people of Palestine. Under criminal law,  buying stolen good from a criminal is a crime. The same thing applies  to  products from this  colonial-settler State. Thus many people, inadvertently though, are aiding and abetting a criminal State and thus become accomplices in an international crime.

Nasir Khan, Editor

Iraq – What was done in our name?

January 14, 2012

Phil Shiner, one of the UK’s leading human rights lawyers, argues we shouldn’t forget that everything the world community abhors about US military actions, from Guantanamo Bay to this week’s US Marines video scandal, is of a piece with UK policies and practices in Iraq, including, as he documents, the abuse, torture of killing of detainees.

Phil Shiner, Ceasefire Magazine,  Jan 13, 2012

Baha Mousa, 26, with his wife and two children. He was detained by the British army for 36 hours and died on 15 September 2003 (Photograph: Reuters)

Two million people marched in London against an invasion of Iraq on 15 February 2003. I doubt if any of the protesters could have imagined in their wildest dreams the serious human rights violations about to be committed by UK Armed Forces and intelligence personnel in our name. Our worst nightmares might have included the use of cluster munitions causing indiscriminate deaths of Iraqi civilians, or disproportionate bombardments of civilian areas, or even the use of depleted uranium, but not what actually happened.

The UK’s detention and interrogation policies in Iraq were not only completely unlawful but outrageously contaminated by the fact that our co-author in this illegal war, soon to become our Joint Co-Occupier subsequently, was the United States. Everything the world community associates with US practices and techniques, whether at Guantanamo Bay, Bagram Air Base, Abu Ghraib, secret sites or rendition is of a piece with UK policies and practices in Iraq. This is not my subjective opinion or idle speculation. It is a matter of publicly available evidence.

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