Sunday, December 30, 2012
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.
Nasir Khan, Editor——————————————————————
“Getting Home”… a Missive from India by Anuradha RoyThe Main Point, Dec 28, 2012
Earlier this week I asked my friend the novelist and publisher Anuradha Roy about the recent protests over the gang sex attack in Delhi. She offered this account, and then gave her permission to publish it here:
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.
Paul Craig Roberts, IPE, December 28, 2012
In the Western world truth no longer has any meaning. In its place stands agenda.
Agenda is all important, because it is the way Washington achieves hegemony over the world and the American people. 9/11 was the “new Pearl Harbor” that the neoconservatives declared to be necessary for their planned wars against Muslim countries. For the neoconservatives to go forward with their agenda, it was necessary for Americans to be connected to the agenda.
President George W. Bush’s first Treasury Secretary, Paul O’Neil, said that prior to 9/11 the first cabinet meeting was about the need to invade Iraq.
9/11 was initially blamed on Afghanistan, and the blame was later shifted to Iraq. Washington’s mobilization against Afghanistan was in place prior to 9/11. The George W. Bush regime’s invasion of Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom) occurred on October 7, 2001, less than a month after 9/11. Every military person knows that it is not possible to have mobilization for invading a country half way around the world ready in three weeks.
Saturday, December 29, 2012
Bahrain is a tyannical police stateby 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.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Dec. 25, 2012
Buddha Sayings of inspiration
“Do not believe in anything simply because you heard it.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
Do not believe in anything because it is found written in your religious books.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
Do not believe in tradition because they have been handed down for many generations.
But after observation and analysis, when you find anything that agrees with reason and is conductive to the good and benefit of one and all,then accept it and live up to it.”
Monday, December 24, 2012
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. . .
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Revealed: U.S. carried out 333 drone strikes in Afghanistan this year alone – more than the entire drone strikes in Pakistan over the past eight years COMBINED
U.S. carried out 333 drone strikes in Afghanistan in 2012, report says, up from 294 in 2011
Controversial method of fighting uses remote pilots to operate aircrafts
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.
The U.S. 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 air war there eight years ago
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Le Monde Diplomatique, Exclusive 17 December, by Heidi MorrisonSeeking an explanation for tragic violence, we often turn to history and ask ourselves how we got to this point. Writing the historical narrative for the forces that led to the horrific elementary school massacre of 28 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook has already begun. Commentators correctly place Sandy Hook in a recent line of similar incidents (Aurora, Fort Hood, Virginia Tech…) — all testimony for America’s lack of dialogue on gun control and commitment to mental health services. The narrative holds that American culture is becoming increasingly violent.
In the last decade, children in places like Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq and Gaza have also died at the hands of America’s culture of violence. Yet, there is no national outpouring of grief and outrage in America for these children. There is a disconnect in the American psyche between what causes our own children to die and what causes other children abroad to die.
Anita Joshua, The Hindu, Dec 17, 2012
As chilling as the killing of Shias by Pakistani terrorists, who want them to be declared non-Muslims, is the general acceptance of sectarian violence
Pakistan’s Shias are so regularly killed in targeted attacks that counting the numbers who were thus killed in 2012 is an uphill task. But just to give an idea, even before the start of the Muharram month, when anti-Shia violence is usually routinely anticipated and accepted as a given, the numbers killed had crossed 389 — the number of people the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan says died in sectarian violence in 2011.
This time, the terrorists were emboldened enough to announce their intent. Ahead of Muharram, a number of Shias received text messages saying ‘Kill, Kill Shias.’ Sure enough, the self-appointed deciders of who is or is not a Muslim struck, killing 23 in two separate bomb blasts early on in the Muharram month.
Relentless targetingThrough the year, terrorists have been relentless in going after Shias; be it in Parachinar along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, Gilgit-Baltistan, Quetta, Karachi or the garrison town of Rawalpindi. The clinical manner in which the terrorists have been going about their “mission” has been chilling, generating enough disquiet among the members of the community to take to the streets on December 8 outside the United Nations headquarters in New York protesting the “genocide in Pakistan.”
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Barack Obama’s tears for the children of Newtown are in stark contrast to his silence over the children murdered by his drones
- The Guardian, Monday 17 December 2012 20.30 GMT
A memorial to the victims of the Sandy Hook school shootings in Connecticut. The children killed by US drones in north-west Pakistan ‘have no names, no pictures, no memorials of candles and teddy bears’. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty
“Mere words cannot match the depths of your sorrow, nor can they heal your wounded hearts … These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change.” Every parent can connect with what President Barack Obama said about the murder of 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut. There can scarcely be a person on earth with access to the media who is untouched by the grief of the people of that town.
It must follow that what applies to the children murdered there by a deranged young man also applies to the children murdered in Pakistan by a sombre American president. These children are just as important, just as real, just as deserving of the world’s concern. Yet there are no presidential speeches or presidential tears for them, no pictures on the front pages of the world’s newspapers, no interviews with grieving relatives, no minute analysis of what happened and why.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Nasir Khan, December 16, 2012Dr Kazerooni, I agree with your viewpoint. I also ventured to console myself with the thought that perhaps a tragic incident like the present school shooting in America may lead to some sort of soul searching and people may turn away from violence. But I know it is only an escapist illusion because the reality is something much different than our wishful reveries. America is a country where violence is glorified and it is regarded not something primitive and inhuman which civilised human beings ought to reject and seek other ways of dealing with conflicts and social tensions. The culture of violence, gun touting, fast shooting, random killings and uncouth cow-boyism provide the deep undercurrents that shape American psyche and outlook. Such a psyche and outlook at state level becomes a force utilised by American plutocrats for militarism and global hegemony of the American Empire. In short, America will continue to follow its traditional path as it has done in the past both at home and in foreign countries as long as it wields power and influence.
Click on the URL to see the image:
Nasir Khan: That is a fact. We all are witness to what happens when American drones kill Pakistani children. We have never seen any large-scale sympathy for such victims or demonstrations in America against such killings by the American State. But when a lone American lunatic murders children in America, and that happens often in schools and colleges, then the conscience of the American people is stirred and public anger and remorse engulf the whole nation.
Ibrahim Kazerooni We are dealing with a mindset that sees white tragedy as real tragedy. Non whites are collateral damage.
NB: My reply to Dr Ibrahim Kazerooni is published as Editorial to the post.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Editor’s remarks: In fact, right from 1947 Indian occupation forces in Kashmir have had an iron-fist policy to maintain Indian hold over Jammu and Kashmir and to crush any resistance or voice against the occupation. The architect of this colonial and fascist policy was none other than Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of Independent India. In crushing the rebellion in Kashmir that started in 1989, Israeli leadership has actively assisted India in suppressing the Kashmiris. The military and strategic partnership of the Zionists and extreme right-wing Hindutva rulers and India’s open tilting towards Washington after the collapse of the Soviet Union signalled the dawn of new geopolitical order. The beleaguered Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir were isolated and their long resistance and their demand for freedom from Indian occupation were most brutally crushed by the Indian army. The strategic partnership with Israel and US also saw the import of Israeli weapons to India which Indian rulers used against the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir. India used Zionists advisers in dealing with Kashmiri Muslims because they (Zionists) had gained much experience in dealing with the captive population of Palestine.
Nasir Khan, Editor
Jonathan Azaziah, Mask of Zion, September 29, 2010
Torture. Secret prisons. Rape. Incessant murder of civilians. Military-enforced curfew. Suppression of information. Kidnapings. Property destruction. Ethnic cleansing. Scorched earth policies. Protests. Mass graves. Humiliation. Beatings. Missing persons. Intimidation. Occupation. No, this is not a description of the life of Palestinians under the 62 year occupation of the Zionist entity. No, this is not a description of the life of civilians living under brutal US-UK military occupation in Iraq or Afghanistan. This is a description of the life of civilians in Kashmir, under the despicable, savage and inhumane Indian occupation which has been in place for 63 years. Palestine has been politicized over and over by corrupt Arab and Muslim leaders. It has been used for propaganda by Western politicians vying for support from the Zionist lobby by bowing down to Israel, as well as the Zionist media to disseminate the ‘Israel is the victim’ theme and smear Palestinian Resistance. Kashmir however, isn’t even mentioned at all. It is disregarded by the dictators and monarchies of the Middle East. It is disregarded by the Zionist puppets and demagogues of the West. Kashmir has become a forgotten occupation (1).
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
“Nothing Can Justify Torture”by ERIC BAILEY, Counterpunch, Dec 12, 2012
Professor Noam Chomsky is an Institute Professor and Professor (Emeritus) in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He was educated at the University of Philadelphia and at Harvard University as a Harvard Junior Fellow. He earned his PhD in Linguistics from the University of Philadelphia in 1955. He has spent the 57 years since then teaching at MIT. In addition to his academic work in linguistics, Professor Chomsky has been a noted political activist and philosopher, gaining national recognition in 1967 over his opposition to the Vietnam War and since then has regularly spoken out against US foreign and domestic policies and mainstream American mass media. Between his academic career and his work as a political activist and dissident, he has published over 100 books. On the eve of the 2012 US presidential election, he discussed with Eric Bailey of Torture Magazine America’s human rights record under the administration of President Obama and the military intervention policies that have seen increased use during the Arab Spring.
EB: The US presidential elections are almost upon us and the last four years have seen significant changes in American Federal policy in regards to human rights. One of the few examples of cooperation between the Democratic and Republican Parties over the last four years has been the passing of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012. This bill has given the United States military the power to arrest American citizens, indefinitely, without charge, trial, or any other form of due process of law and the Obama Administration has and continues to fight a legal battle in Federal Court to prevent that law from being declared unconstitutional. Obama authorized the assassination of three American citizens, including Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16 year old son, admittedly all members of Al Qaeda, – all without judicial review. Additionally, the Guantanamo Bay prison remains open, the Patriot Act has been extended, and the TSA has expanded at breakneck speeds. What is your take on America’s human rights record over the past four years and can you contrast Obama’s policies with those of his predecessor, George W. Bush?
Monday, December 10, 2012
The Condition of Human Rights at the International Setting
By Professor Francis A. Boyle, ICH, Dec 10, 2012Text of speech by Professor Francis A. Boyle at the Puerto Rican Summit Conference on Human Rights – University of the Sacred Heart – San Juan, Puerto Rico – December 09, 2012
Historically this latest eruption of American militarism at the start of the 21st Century is akin to that of America opening the 20th Century by means of the U.S.-instigated Spanish-American War in 1898. Then the Republican administration of President William McKinley stole their colonial empire from Spain in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines; inflicted a near genocidal war against the Filipino people; while at the same time illegally annexing the Kingdom of Hawaii and subjecting the Native Hawaiian people (who call themselves the Kanaka Maoli) to near genocidal conditions. Additionally, McKinley’s military and colonial expansion into the Pacific was also designed to secure America’s economic exploitation of China pursuant to the euphemistic rubric of the “open door” policy. But over the next four decades America’s aggressive presence, policies, and practices in the so-called “Pacific” Ocean would ineluctably pave the way for Japan’s attack at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 194l, and thus America’s precipitation into the ongoing Second World War. Today a century later the serial imperial aggressions launched and menaced by the neoconservative Republican Bush Junior administration and the neoliberal Democratic Obama administration are now threatening to set off World War III.
Thursday, December 06, 2012
Report identifies 500 ‘alleged perpetrators’ of human rights abuses from low-ranking policemen to Indian army generals
Indian soldiers patrol a sector near the India-Pakistan border in the northern Indian state of Kashmir Photograph: MANISH SWARUP/AP
Hundreds of serving Indian soldiers, including senior officers, are accused of involvement in widespread human rights abuses in Kashmir in a new report to be published on Thursday.
Many have been decorated and promoted despite serious allegations against them, the authors say. In a move likely to provoke anger, the report, by a team of veteran legal activists in the Himalayan state, names 500 “alleged perpetrators” ranging from low-ranking policemen to Indian army generals.
The charges relate to incidents occurring throughout more than 20 years of violence pitting armed religious and separatist groups against New Delhi’s rule in Kashmir, and include shootings, abductions, torture and rapes.
Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Implementing Israel’s Settlement Policyby Binoy Kampmark, Dissident Voice, December 5th, 2012
This is the answer. Outmanoeuvred in the UN, Israel has huffed and puffed against the house that is the international community and taken the policy of increasing settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank in the corridor of land termed E1 out of cold storage. The air of desperation is palpable. The Palestinians, having gotten the crumbs of non-observer status at the UN in an overwhelming vote, have stirred Benjamin Netanyahu and members of his government into violent action. Since they can’t launch an invasion in protest or initiate another wave of assassinations against the Palestinian moderates, they are left with a policy of unmitigated anger.
The plans for constructing settlements on E1, a policy that will connect Jerusalem with Maaleh Adumim, would effectively divide the northern and western West Bank. Should that occur, a contiguous Palestinian state would be dealt a blow even before its formal creation (Al Bawaba News, December 4). The structure for defeating such a move is effectively being laid. Of those 20 or so Palestinian communities that are slated for forced evictions, 2300 are mostly Jahalin Bedouin.
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
by Alice K Ross, Chris Woods and Sarah Leo, uruknet.info, Dec 3, 2012
US drone strike in Shin Warsak, South Waziristan on December 1 2012
marked the 300th drone strike in Pakistan of Barack Obama’s presidency,
according to Bureau research.The
attack was the second since President Obama’s re-election on November
6. It reportedly killed Abdul Rehman al-Zaman Yemeni, described as an al
Qaeda commander, along with up to three others.
Although the pace of strikes has slowed considerably this year, CIA attacks have struck Pakistan’s tribal areas on average once every five days during Obama’s first term – six times more than under George W Bush. Here, we look at the key moments of Obama’s drone campaign.
Sunday, December 02, 2012
By Noam Chomsky, Israeli Occupation Archive – 1 Dec 2012
Noam Chmosky in Gaza – Oct 2012
An old man in Gaza held a placard that reads: “You take my water, burn my olive trees, destroy my house, take my job, steal my land, imprison my father, kill my mother, bombard my country, starve us all, humiliate us all but I am to blame: I shot a rocket back.”1
The old man’s message provides the proper context for the timelines on the latest episode in the savage punishment of Gaza. They are useful, but any effort to establish a “beginning” cannot help but be misleading. The crimes trace back to 1948, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled in terror or were expelled to Gaza by conquering Israeli forces, who continued to truck them over the border for years after the official cease-fire. The persecution of Gazans took new forms when Israel conquered the Strip in 1967. From recent Israeli scholarship we learn that the goal of the government was to drive the refugees into the Sinai, and if feasible the rest of the population too.
Saturday, December 01, 2012
|By Andy Worthington, OpEdNews, Nov 29, 2012|
Ten years and four months since it was first issued, that memo – one of two issued on the same day that will forever be known as the “torture memos” — is still protecting the senior Bush administration officials who commissioned it (as well as Yoo and his boss, Jay S. Bybee, who signed it).
Those officials include George W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, and their senior lawyers, Alberto Gonzales and David Addington. None of them should be immune from prosecution, because torture is illegal under U.S. domestic law and is prohibited under the terms of the UN Convention Against Torture, which the United States, under Ronald Reagan, signed in 1988 and ratified in 1994. As Article 2.2 states, unequivocally, “No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.”