Archive for April, 2012

MAY DAY 2012

April 30, 2012

May Day greetings

to all our readers,

comrades and friends,

peace activists and antiwar organizations,

human rights campaigners and organizations.

Chomsky: May Day

April 29, 2012
Noam Chomsky, Huffington Post Blog, April 28, 2012

People seem to know about May Day everywhere except where it began, here in the United States of America. That’s because those in power have done everything they can to erase its real meaning. For example, Ronald Reagan designated what he called “Law Day” — a day of jingoist fanaticism, like an extra twist of the knife in the labor movement. Today, there is a renewed awareness, energized by the Occupy movement’s organizing, around May Day, and its relevance for reform and perhaps eventual revolution.

If you’re a serious revolutionary, then you are not looking for an autocratic revolution, but a popular one which will move towards freedom and democracy. That can take place only if a mass of the population is implementing it, carrying it out, and solving problems. They’re not going to undertake that commitment, understandably, unless they have discovered for themselves that there are limits to reform.

A sensible revolutionary will try to push reform to the limits, for two good reasons. First, because the reforms can be valuable in themselves. People should have an eight-hour day rather than a twelve-hour day. And in general, we should want to act in accord with decent ethical values.

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Stephen Lendman: Israel’s Gulag Prison Hell

April 28, 2012

by Stephen Lendman, Veterans Today, April 27, 2012

For decades, Palestinians have been slaughtered, displaced, intimidated, humiliated, collectively punished, and denied equal rights as Jews. They’ve also been mass imprisoned.

Palestine is Israeli occupied territory. Military orders govern all aspects of daily life. Democratic rights are denied. Freedom is a non-starter, persecution a way of life.

Gaza is an open-air prison. The West Bank and East Jerusalem fare little better. Life in Occupied Palestine for about 4.2 million residents is hell. No one’s safe from Israel’s wrath.

According to the Addameer Prisoner Support group, over 700,000 Palestinians were imprisoned since June 1967. Over 20% of the population was affected. For males, it’s 40%. For women, it’s about 10,000 and for children around 7,000 since 2000 alone.

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How Obama Recycled a Lie about Iran

April 28, 2012,  News, April 25, 2012

Exclusive: President Obama has joined much of Official Washington in mistranslating a comment by Iran’s President Ahmadinejad into the provocative phrase, “wiping Israel off the map.” Obama’s falsehood recalls President George W. Bush’s bogus claim about Iraq seeking uranium in Africa, says ex-CIA analyst Elizabeth Murray.

By Elizabeth Murray

In June 2007, Middle East expert and University of Michigan professor Juan Cole remarked that bad translations can sometimes start wars. Professor Cole, in this case, was referring to the misleading, yet widely circulated mistranslated remark by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a speech in 2005 — in which he is purported to have said that Israel should be “wiped off the map.”

This old canard — long dismissed by Persian language experts as a gross distortion of Ahmadinejad’s actual words — is regularly trotted out by Israeli leaders and their supporters as proof that Iran’s regime intends genocide against Israel, thereby justifying a military attack on Iran.

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The US Press Sell-out on Iraq War

April 27, 2012

By Coleen Rowley, OpEdNews.Com, April 26, 2012

Scott Pelley, anchor of CBS Evening News

By late January-early February 2003, Americans were witnessing the Bush administration’s final and intense push to launch a pre-emptive war on Iraq, based largely on (what are now well known as) two completely false pretexts: Iraq’s possession of WMD and its connections to Al Qaeda terrorists.

My knowledge that Iraq’s WMD was being exaggerated was merely what anyone could gain from close reading of public sources, including some in the mainstream press: the McClatchy news articles by Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel (who later won Pulitzers for their reporting) as well as a few buried articles in the Washington Post and Newsweek debunking the “evidence” being presented by Bush-Cheney-Powell-Rice-Rumsfeld et al.

However, due to the Minneapolis FBI’s pre-9/11 investigation of an Al Qaeda operative, I was in a better position to know more than J.Q. Average Citizen about the non-existence of ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda. Still, Bush administration officials knew how important it was to cleverly fabricate this connection.

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The Shame of Nations: A New Record is Set for Spending on War

April 24, 2012

On April 17, 2012, as millions of Americans were filing their income tax returns, the highly-respected Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released its latest study of world military spending. In case Americans were wondering where most of their tax money — and the tax money of other nations — went in the previous year, the answer from SIPRI was clear: to war and preparations for war.

(Image: File)

World military spending reached a record $1,738 billion in 2011 — an increase of $138 billion over the previous year. The United States accounted for 41 percent of that, or $711 billion.

Some news reports have emphasized that, from the standpoint of reducing reliance on armed might, this actually represents progress. After all, the increase in “real” global military spending — that is, expenditures after corrections for inflation and exchange rates — was only 0.3 percent. And this contrasts with substantially larger increases in the preceding thirteen years.

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Petraeus and the signature of U.S. terror

April 23, 2012

The CIA pressures Obama to step up indiscriminate attacks in Yemen

By , Salon, April 19, 2012

David Petraeus(Credit: Wikipedia)

Greg Miller of the Washington Post reports on the White House debate about CIA director David Petraeus’ request for a homicidal escalation of the CIA drone war in Yemen.

The CIA is seeking authority to expand its covert drone campaign in Yemen by launching strikes against terrorism suspects even when it does not know the identities of those who could be killed, U.S. officials said.

Securing permission to use these “signature strikes” would allow the agency to hit targets based solely on intelligence indicating patterns of suspicious behavior, such as imagery showing militants gathering at known al-Qaeda compounds or unloading explosives.

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Thus Spake Mahavira Against Killings and Violence

April 21, 2012

A wise person does not kill, nor causes others to kill, nor consents to the killings by others.

                                —-Lord Mahavira

Indian Sage Lord Mahavira (ca. 599 – 527 BCE)

Tens of Thousands Protest Military Rule in Egypt

April 21, 2012

Washington continues to support Egypt’s military generals even as they’ve obstructed democratic progress

by John Glaser,, April 20, 2012

Tens of thousands of Egyptians protested in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday against the ruling military in a unified call to the generals to return control of the government to civilian power and prohibit ex-regime members from running in the upcoming presidential elections.

Both Islamists and the secular liberals that sparked the revolution over a year ago showed up to demonstrate the widespread anger at the Supreme Council of Armed Forces for their persisting grip on power and the instability they’ve caused in trying to sideline democratic processes.

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Glenn Greenwald: America’s drone sickness

April 20, 2012
By Glenn Greenwald, Salon, April 19, 2011
General David Petraeus in Kabul, Afghanistan on July 18, 2011

General David Petraeus in Kabul, Afghanistan on July 18, 2011 (Credit: REUTERS/Ahmad Masood)

This headline and first paragraph from today’s Washington Post scoop by Greg Miller speaks volumes about so many things:

There are many evils in the world, but extinguishing people’s lives with targeted, extra-judicial killings, when you don’t even know their names, based on “patterns” of behavior judged from thousands of miles away, definitely ranks high on the list. Although the Obama White House has not approved of this request from CIA Director David Petraeus, these so-called “signature strikes” that “allow the agency to hit targets based solely on intelligence indicating patterns of suspicious behavior” are already robustly used in Pakistan — having been started by George Bush in 2008 and aggressively escalated by Barack Obama. . . .

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