Saturday, May 02, 2015

American Responsibility For Global Refugee Crises

By Margaret Kimberley, Information Clearing House, May 1, 2015
All over the world people risk and sometimes lose their lives escaping poverty or war fare in their native lands. Throughout human history migrants have sought out places that are safer or more prosperous but they are seldom greeted with open arms. Xenophobia, racism, and fears of scarcity prevent desperate people from being integrated into societies that might accept them. However, the urge to escape violence or hunger never abates.

The most visible of the world’s refugee crises today is taking place in the Mediterranean sea. Thus far in 2015, it is estimated that 1,724 people have died on unseaworthy vessels as they try to reach southern Europe from Libya. These refugees come from many African nations, from Syria and from countries as far away as Bangladesh. On April 18, 2015 a vessel holding an estimated 850 people capsized with only 28 survivors.

This humanitarian crisis is the direct result of the United States and NATO decision to effect regime change in Libya in 2011. Presumptive democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton infamously said of Libyan president Gaddafi, “We came, we saw, he died.” Not only was Gaddafi killed by the conspiracy between NATO and jihadists in his country, but Libya never recovered from the intervention.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

On the Return of Kashmiri Pandits to Kashmir

Nasir Khan, April 28, 2015

I will offer only a short comment on Dr Badri Raina’s article. As a Kashmiri Pandit who had witnessed the trauma of the partition of India in 1947 and of his native land, the Princely State of the Jammu and Kashmir, Raina has continued to offer his ideas for resolving the Kashmir conflict. His ideas, as far as I have understood him from his articles, were primarily motivated to finding a way through which the legitimate political grievances of the people of Jammu and Kashmir can be addressed. Incidentally, any long sentences of this erudite professor of English should not scare anyone! He means well.

The flight of the Kashmiri Pandits to India in the 1990s during the militant insurgency was one vicious aspect of the political quagmire that prevailed in Kashmir. However, the question of their return to the Valley needs a careful assessment based on a close knowledge of the problem and a dispassionate scrutiny of the political environment existing there. For a number of reasons, Raina is well suited to do that and his article shows his political realism. What he says about the conditions under which they can return and the practical matters involved in their resettlement are far-sighted and judicious. Perhaps he could have given his readers some more information with regard to the overall political context under which the Pandits fled. As I see it, that context continues to be the old problem of the partition in 1947.

The passage of six decades has not resolved or removed the causes of the conflict. In fact, Delhi has shown little inclination to deal with the basic demands of the people of the Valley and instead has kept on repeating the slogans the vast majority of Kashmiris reject. I welcome the present calm in the Valley but that should not let any well-wisher of the people of Kashmir think that the period of political strife and violence is behind us. If the Indian rulers continue to follow the same old policies without addressing the demands of the people then the present calm may be only temporary. That can make the fate of returning Pandits risky once again.


Jammu And Kashmir: Return Of The Natives

By Badri Raina

Source: Mainstream Weekly, April 26, 2015

First a non-sequitor: the return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley is fraught with great perplexities of emotion, organisation, and healthy sustainability. This contemplated return will not but be attended with consequences of historic import both for the State of Jammu and Kashmir and the subcontinent, one way or another. Of that there should be no doubt. Reason why the premises on which the project is undertaken need to be as comprehensively and objectively understood and acknowledged as may be possible.

I write, of course, as a Kashmiri Pandit who migrated from the State in normal course more than half-a-century ago; and, although I am in the Valley frequently—every second year if not every year—and have friendships and inter-actions that span a very wide spectrum of the population, I cannot possibly lay any claim to the substance of the experience of those Pandits who were forced to flee the Valley in 1990—a fact which, however, may not rob me of the prerogative to express myself on the question with otherwise a legitimate vantage, more perhaps than of those who are neither Kashmiris, nor Pandits, nor frequent visitors to the State, especially the Valley. It is just that those of us who have not experienced the brutalities we speak of worldwide have only the option of empathising with them with what sincere force of imagination we command.

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Embracing the Saudi War on Yemen

Consortium News, April 25, 2015
Exclusive: Fearful of further offending the powerful Saudi-Israeli alliance, President Obama is deploying the U.S. Navy to seal off poverty-stricken Yemen so the Saudi air force has free rein to pummel its regional rivals from the air while the population faces a humanitarian crisis on the ground, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

As the humanitarian crisis in Yemen worsens, the Obama administration seems less concerned about the plight of the desperate Yemeni people than the feelings of the Saudi royals who have spent the last month indiscriminately bombing a nearly defenseless Yemen, using high-tech U.S. jets and bombs to reportedly kill hundreds of civilians and damage its ancient cities.

On Friday, the Obama administration took credit for blocking nine Iranian ships from reaching Yemen with relief supplies, claiming that the ships may have carried weapons that the Yemenis could use in their civil war or to defend against Saudi attacks. President Barack Obama had dispatched a U.S. aircraft carrier fleet to the Yemeni coast to enforce an embargo that has helped the Saudis seal off the country from outside help.

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Commemorating the Saur Revolution in Afghanistan

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.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

US presence in Ukraine in breach of Minsk accord: Russia

Press TV, Apr 23, 2015
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov © AFP
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov © AFP

The presence of US paratroops in Ukraine to train government forces is in violation of the Minsk agreement on the Kiev side, Russia’s foreign minister says.

Sergei Lavrov made the remarks during a phone conversation with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

“Lavrov drew [Kerry’s] attention to the fact that the arrival of [US] soldiers … indicates that Kiev has violated its commitments to withdraw all foreign units, military hardware and mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine,” the ministry added.

Earlier this month about 300 US troops from the US 173rd Airborne Brigade for Operation Fearless Guardian arrived in Ukraine’s western city of Yavoriv to train the Ukrainian National Guard in their fight against pro-Russia forces in the country’s eastern provinces.

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

EU’s Israel-Palestine Policy Is Out Of Touch With Reality

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.

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Causing genocide to protect us from terror

Neil Clark is a journalist, writer and broadcaster. His award winning blog can be found at Follow him on Twitter

Published time: March 30, 2015 

An Iraqi family watches U.S. soldiers in in Baquba early June 28, 2007.  (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)
An Iraqi family watches U.S. soldiers in in Baquba early June 28, 2007. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)

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 page document ‘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.

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