A Happy New Year to all those who stand for human rights, peace and justice in the world and oppose wars and war mongers everywhere.
An Open Letter of Response to CRIF (Counsèil Représentif des Institutions juives de France)
I am shocked and saddened that your organization would label me as an anti-Semite and self-hating Jew. It is utterly defamatory, and such allegations are entirely based on distortions of what I believe and what I have done. To confuse my criticisms of Israel with self-hatred of myself as a Jew or with hatred of Jews is a calumny. I have long been a critic of American foreign policy but that does not make me anti-American; it is freedom of conscience that is the core defining reality of a genuinely democratic society, and its exercise is crucial to the quality of political life in a particular country, especially here in the United States where its size and influence often has such a large impact on the lives and destiny of many peoples excluded from participating in its policy debates or elections.
Editor’s remarks: Indian ‘democracy’ is said to be the largest in the world because of the size of India’s big population and its massive electorate. On paper, India has a democratic constitution that enshrines basic human rights for all and provides for a parliamentary system of government. But India has democracy only in form, not in substance. In practice, the whole democratic process in India has gradually become so corrupt and moribund that Indian politics is said to be akin to a big business where leading parties make political and economic deals and horse-trading for power. The only law that prevails in the union is the universal rule of corruption from the lowest levels of officials to the top officials and politicians. That’s where India stands. The protests and sustained pressures from the common people and workers and peasant organisations is often negated by big economic interests. But such voices and people’s movements are the only hope in a deeply flawed and corrupt political system.
The Main Point, Dec 28, 2012
I came back to Delhi from travels elsewhere on Christmas eve. The roads were windswept and foggy and, unusually for any Indian city, almost deserted. Through a drive of about 20 kilometres, there was not a single pedestrian for long stretches. There were fewer than usual cars, hardly any auto rickshaws. Enormous state transport buses sailed past with no occupants other than the driver and conductor.
In response to the brutal gang rape in Delhi on 16th December of a young student, the state had taken several steps, the results of which I was witnessing from the window of my taxi from the airport: the Delhi metro, by which an average of about 1.8 million people travel every day, had been shut down; the state had cordoned off the entire central vista of Delhi where the protesters had been attacked the day before by the police, with water cannon (in freezing December weather), tear gas and batons. It had also set in force something called Section 144, which makes it punishable for more than five people to gather anywhere.
Gandhi described British colonial rule over India as ‘satanic’. It is hard to find any other word to describe the way India is ruled now.
The daily violence against women in India is nauseating enough but people are yet more livid because of the state’s routine indifference to it. The Home Minister has said that if he went to meet the protesters at India Gate today, as was being demanded, he might some day be asked to meet ‘Maoists.’ Both he and the police commissioner justified the violent action against the thousands of students agitating for justice, claiming that the protest had been taken over by hooligans.
by Stephen Lendman, opednews.com, Dec 28, 2012
Al-Khalifa despots run Bahrain. State terror is official policy. Washington supports it. Generous aid is provided. King Hamad remains a close US ally. Double standard hypocrisy defines America’s foreign and domestic agenda.
Bahrainis want democratic change. They want popularly elected leaders. They want despotic monarchal rule, ruthless persecution, widespread corruption, and Shia discrimination ended.
For many months, they’ve braved tear gas, beatings, rubber bullets, live fire, arrests, torture, imprisonments, and disappearances. They won’t quit. The price of freedom is high.
King Hamad calls peaceful protests “foreign plots.” He banned them earlier. Unauthorized public meetings and seminars were prohibited.
Professor Richard Falk, Dec 15, 2012
Once again, perhaps in the most anguishing manner ever, the deadly shooting of 20 children (and 8 adults) between the ages of 5 and 10 at the Newton, Connecticut Sandy Hook Elementary School, has left America in a stunned posture of tragic bemusement. Why should such incidents be happening here, especially in such a peaceful and affluent town? The shock is accompanied by spontaneous outpourings of grief, bewilderment, empathy, communal espirit, and a sense of national tragedy. Such an unavoidably dark mood is officially confirmed by the well-crafted emotional message of the president, Barack Obama.
The template of response has become a national liturgy in light of the dismal pattern of public response: media sensationalism of a totalizing kind, at once enveloping, sentimental, and tasteless (endless interviewing of surviving children and teachers, and even family members of victims), but dutifully avoiding deeper questions relating to guns, violence, and cultural stimulants and conditioning. . .
The United States carried out more drone strikes in Afghanistan this year than it has done in all the years put together in Pakistan since it launched the covert air war there eight years ago, it has been revealed.
The statistics, published by the U.S. Air Force and published by Wired’s Danger Room blog, show that there were 333 drone strikes in Afghanistan in 2012 alone, up from 294 in the previous year and 278 in 2010.
It is far more than an estimated 338 strikes carried out by the CIA in Pakistan since it began hunting down remnants of al Qaeda, the Taliban and other militant groups in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas eight years ago.
Woman, if and when you bless me,
You are goddess;
When you do obey unquestioningly
My command, you are devi;
When you say, wear, think your own thing,
You are whore.
In this, every indian male from Manu
To modern judge, police and politician,
Father and son and more are agreed.
Such is the cultural nationalism
That makes of us a unique breed.
Yet, the rapist must hang in public square,
Where potential rapists among the common dregs
May take fear, and shelve their frustration
With women’s proliferating visibility
On the street, office and station.
Only those among the rapists who rape
Their own wards in privacy of homes
Must not hang; priests and temple domes
Must be deployed to set to right
Their so excusable oversight.
Education must be used to train
Women to know why their troubles
Issue from their pretence to brain.
In this one thought all Indians come
Into such exemplary unity:
Hindu and Muslim patriarchs happily see
The infallible truth of that recipe.
Om shanti, shanti, shanti.