Archive | February 12th, 2011

From Korea 1951 to Afghanistan 2011

NOVANEWS

 

  • 12 February 2011
  •  

    Sixty years ago today, this newspaper carried a letter from the publisher Victor Gollancz (reproduced in full below) calling for people to join him in an urgent campaign against world poverty and militarism. Britain was fighting an unwinnable war in Asia, the Korean war, and Gollancz asked all who agreed with his call for a negotiated settlement to end the conflict to send him a postcard marked with the single word “yes”. Within a month 10,000 people had responded, and War on Want was born.

    Today Britain is mired in another unwinnable war in Asia, this time in Afghanistan. As detailed in the new report launched by War on Want this morning, the Afghan people are paying a terrible price for the ongoing occupation of their country. The surge in military activity has led not to more security but to greater insecurity, both in Afghanistan itself and in neighbouring Pakistan. Opinion polls consistently show over 70% of British people now support the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, either “immediately” or “soon”.

    We believe the ongoing occupation of Afghanistan is against the interests of the Afghan people. We call for the immediate withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan, and a negotiated settlement which guarantees self-determination, security and human rights for the Afghan people. If you agree, please join us by emailing “yes” to yes@waronwant.org.

    John Hilary Executive director, War on Want

    Malalai Joya Afghan politician

    Len McCluskey General secretary, Unite

    Dave Prentis General secretary, Unison

    Sally Hunt General secretary, University and College Union

    Jeremy Dear General secretary, National Union of Journalists

    Mark Serwotka General secretary, Public and Commercial Services Union

    Billy Hayes General secretary, Communication Workers Union

    Bob Crow General secretary, Rail Maritime and Transport Union

    Michael Mansfield QC

    Tony Benn

    Marsha Singh MP

    Jeremy Corbyn MP

    Mike Hancock MP

    Caroline Lucas MP

    Martin Caton MP

    John McDonnell MP

    Elfyn Llwyd MP

    Paul Flynn MP

    Moazzam Begg Director, Cageprisoners

    Lindsey German Convenor, Stop the War Coalition

    Phil Shiner Public Interest Lawyers

    Ken Loach

    Victoria Brittain

    Lowkey

    Bruce Kent

    The original letter in full:

    To the Editor of the Manchester Guardian

    Sir,—We are committed now in Korea to a war for which, since the “branding” of China, no end can be foreseen. We are committed to a rearmament so vast that our sheer daily absorption in it must rob us more and more of the spiritual freshness and energy indispensable for the achievement of peace. Every day now our minds are being more completely conditioned: the “hell bomb” is the latest attraction in the Sunday press, and Amiel, whom not one Englishman in ten thousand has even heard of, is brought on from the grave to warn us that, long before “the Hun” invaded Belgium, “the Russians” were barbarians. It is impossible to exaggerate the deterioration even during the last two months. Useless, then, to repeat like a parrot that war is not inevitable: war is now quite inevitable unless we make an almost superhuman effort, of a new and more positive kind, to prevent it.

    I suggest a two-point programme. First, the proposed conference with Russia, which has been hanging about as if we had eternity at our disposal and now looks like being held up (if it comes off at all) for heaven knows now many further exchanges, should be pressed on with as if our lives depended on its immediate convening. Hack diplomatic routine, “preparation,” manoeuvring for position, warfare by “Notes,” all should be thrown overboard: we just have not time for them. Abandoned, too, must be lengthy arguments and counter-arguments about the agenda, about whether the scope should be narrow or wide, about whether we should negotiate on Russia’s set of points or on ours. Childish irresponsibility, when meanwhile every moment we draw nearer the abyss! The great thing is to get together on anybody’s ground, and then make a desperate effort to widen things out and achieve agreement. But now comes the crux: however certain our statesmen may be—and I share their certainty—that the Kremlin is primarily responsible for our present disasters, we must yet negotiate, as Mr Nehru has urged, not in the mood of war but in the mood of peace. Nothing could be harder: but if we can make so vast an effort to rearm materially, cannot we make a comparable effort to disarm spiritually, to subdue our passions? And I suggest that, apart from this particular conference with Russia, we should always and everywhere substitute human negotiations face to face for long-range paper warfare.

    Secondly, we should take the initiative in proposing for immediate discussion some variant of the plan already proposed by Walter Reuther—namely, that a great international fund should be established, as an urgent matter of life or death, for improving the conditions of those fellow human beings who, to the number of hundreds of millions, are starving, destitute, and in despair. I should like to see our own country, by the size of its proposed contribution, challenging the world to a new kind of rivalry, a rivalry in the works of peace. So might international discussion, leading to international administration, find itself with a fruitful topic instead of a sterile one. So might the trend to war, issuing from a concentration on national as opposed to international interests, be reversed. So at last might swords be turned into ploughshares.

    May I ask through you, sir, that all who are in agreement with this letter should send a postcard with just the word “Yes” and their name and address to me at 14 Henrietta Street, London W.C. 2. I do not guarantee any action of any kind, but if the response is large enough something might possibly come of it.—Yours &c.,

    VICTOR GOLLANCZ

    14 Henrietta Street, London

    W.C. 2. February 7.

    Posted in WorldComments Off on From Korea 1951 to Afghanistan 2011

    Dorothy Online Newsletter

    NOVANEWS

     

    Posted By: Sammi Ibrahem

    Chair of West Midland PSC

     

    Dear Friends,

    Notwithstanding the exciting events in Egypt, notwithstanding Palestinian enthusiasm for the Egyptian revolt having succeeded thus far, events in Palestine continue to be the usual miserable ones.  Just so that we don’t forget, the first item below is the compilation in Today in Palestine.  Even if you go no further than the first 4-6 summaries, you will remember that occupation, colonization, the use of force are miserable matters that no people should have to endure.

    Item 2 is the report of the Turkish Gaza flotilla probe.  As you can imagine, its conclusions differ considerably from those of the Israeli probe.  But, then, the Israeli committee that investigated the affair spoke to not a single Israeli soldier who had participated in the attack or passenger on the ship.  Some investigation!

    Item 3 is Uri Avnery’s take on the Egyptian tsunami, as he terms it.  Avnery often makes exciting reading, as this piece shows.

    Item 4 is a report on Palestinians in Israel and the West Bank celebrating the victory in Egypt.

    Item 5 shows us that the protest did have leaders (if anyone doubted) and that they are not naive.  They now vow to protect their revolution.  May they succeed.

    Item 6 takes us to other Arab countries where unrest has begun.

    Where all this will end and how, no one knows.  But we can hope that people will free themselves from dictatorial regimes, and bring better conditions to their people.  We can only hope that they remember that not the country comes first (a nationalist cry) but that the people do, that the responsibility of governments is to first and foremost tend to the needs of their people.

    All the best,

    Dorothy

    ===============================

    1.  Today in Palestine

    http://www.theheadlines.org/11/12-02-11.shtml

    ==============

    2.  [thanks to Donna Wallach for calling attention to this]

    Haaretz,

    February 11, 2011

    Turkey Gaza flotilla probe: Five shot dead at close range

    Turkey’s report on Israel’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla was released Friday; report says Israel blatantly violated international laws.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/turkey-gaza-flotilla-probe-five-shot-dead-at-close-range-1.342805

    By The Associated Press

    A Turkish government inquiry into Israel’s raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla that killed eight Turks and a Turkish-American says Israeli soldiers shot five victims at close range.

    Turkey released details of its formal inquiry into the May 31 incident Friday, hours after submitting the report to a United Nations panel investigating the incident. Eight Turkish citizens and a Turkish-American were killed when Israeli commandos boarded the Turkish ship, Mavi Marmara.

    Israel has insisted its soldiers acted in self-defense after being attacked by activists on board. An Israeli inquiry into the raid last month cleared the military and government of any wrongdoing and said that the armed defense of Israel’s maritime blockade of the Hamas-ruled coastal strip was justified under international law.

    The Turkish inquiry report – a summary of which was released to journalists Friday – concluded that Israeli soldiers used excessive, indiscriminate and disproportionate force on unarmed civilians. It said the raid was a blatant violation of international laws.

    “The force used was not justified, it was excessive,” committee member Mithat Rende, a Foreign Ministry official, told reporters.

    The report said Israeli soldiers fired live bullets from helicopters, killing two of the activists, even before they had rappelled on board. Five of the victims were killed from close range, it added.

    Furkan Dogan, the 19-year-old Turkish-American, was lying wounded after being shot in the leg when he was kicked by two soldiers, who then shot him from close range execution-style, according to the summary.

    Another activist, Cevdet Kiliclar, was killed with laser-guided weapons while taking photographs, the report said.

    The commando raid sparked a wave of condemnation worldwide and lead to an easing of Israel’s blockade on the coastal territory. It further damaged already strained relations with Turkey, formerly one of Israel’s closest allies in the region. Turkey recalled its ambassador to Israel and is demanding an apology and compensation for the victims before it says ties can return to normal.

    In Jerusalem, Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said he could not comment on the Turkish findings because he had not seen the report.

    A report published last month after an internal investigation in Israel found that the Israeli soldiers who took part in the raid had acted in self-defense. It also determined that Israel’s three-and-a-half year blockade of the Gaza Strip does not break international law.

    Palmor said Israel had submitted its own report to the UN and was waiting to hear what lessons could be learned so this doesn’t happen again.

    Rende said Turkish investigators questioned more than 100 Turkish and foreign activists on board the flotilla in compiling the report, and also sought the opinions of international legal experts.

    “Israel violated laws regarding the safety of navigation in open waters and the freedom to navigate,” Rende said, adding that the blockade of Gaza amounted to illegal collective punishment of 1.5 million people.

    “Israel is responsible for the compensation of all damages and has to apologize,” he said.

    “The Israeli forces carried out a well-planned and fully equipped attack, with the use of a special combat unit, kitted with frigates, helicopters, zodiacs, submarines, automatic weapons, laser-guided weapons, and modified paintball guns,” the Turkish inquiry read.

    Rende said the excessive force caused panic among the activists forcing them to use their right to self-defense, even without firearms.

    =========================

    3.  Uri Avnery Tsunami in Egypt

    In my last article, I mentioned that I have warned of this
    uprising. A gracious lady in Lahore, Pakistan, who seems to
    remember by heart every word I have written in recent years
    (in the English translation) sent me some excerps.
    See below. 

    ———————————————————–

    Uri Avnery

    February 12, 2011

    Tsunami in Egypt 

    UNTIL THE very last moment, the Israeli leadership tried to
    keep Hosni Mubarak in power.

    It was hopeless. Even the mighty United States was impotent
    when faced with this tsunami of popular outrage.

    In the end it settled for second best: a pro-Western
    military dictatorship. But will this really be the outcome?

    WHEN CONFRONTED with a new situation, Obama’s first
    response is generally admirable.
    Then, it seems, second thoughts set in. And third. And
    fourth. The end result is a 180 degree turn.
    When the masses started to gather in Tahrir Square, he
    reacted exactly like most decent people in the US and,
    indeed, throughout the world. There was unbounded
    admiration for those brave young men and women who faced
    the dreaded Mukhabarat secret police, demanding democracy
    and human rights.
    How could one not admire them? They were non-violent, their
    demands were reasonable, their actions were spontaneous,
    they obviously expressed the feelings of the vast majority
    of the people. Without any organization to speak of,
    without leadership, they said and did all the right things.
    Such a sight is rare in history. No sansculottes screaming
    for blood, no cold-minded Bolsheviks lurking in the
    shadows, no Ayatollahs dictating their actions in the name
    of God.
    So Obama loved it. He did not hide his feelings. He
    practically called on the dictator to give up and go away.
    If Obama had stayed this course, the result would have been
    historic. From being the most hated power in the Arab
    world, the US would have electrified the Arab masses, the
    Muslim region, indeed much of the Third World. It could
    have been the beginning of a completely new era.
    I believe that Obama sensed this. His first instincts are
    always right. In such a situation, a real leader – that
    rarest of all animals – stands out.

    BUT THEN came the second thoughts. Small people started to
    work on him. Politicians, generals, “security experts”,
    diplomats, pundits, lobbyists, business leaders, all the
    “experienced” people – experienced in routine affairs –
    started to weigh in. And, of course, the hugely powerful
    Israel lobby.
    “Are you crazy?” – they admonished him. To forsake a
    dictator who happens to be our son-of-a-bitch? To tell all
    our client dictators around the world that we shall forsake
    them in their hour of need?
    How na?ve can you get? Democracy in an Arab country? Don’t
    make us laugh! We know the Arabs! You show them democracy
    on a platter and they would not know it from baked beans!
    They always need a dictator to keep them in shape!
    Especially these Egyptians! Ask the British!
    The whole thing is really a conspiracy of the Muslim
    Brotherhood. Look them up on Google! They are the only
    alternative. It’s either Mubarak or them. They are the
    Egyptian Taliban, worse, the Egyptian al-Qaeda. Help the
    well-meaning democrats to overthrow the regime, and before
    you know it you will have a second Iran, with an Egyptian
    Ahmadinejad on Israel’s Southern border, hooking up with
    Hezbollah and Hamas. The dominos will begin to fall,
    starting with Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
    Faced with all these experts, Obama caved in. Again.

    OF COURSE, every single one of these arguments can easily
    be refuted.

    Let’s start with Iran. The na?ve Americans, so the story
    goes, forsook the Shah and his dreaded Israeli-trained
    secret police in order to promote democracy, but the
    revolution was taken over by the Ayatollahs. A cruel
    dictatorship was replaced by an even crueler one. This is
    what Binyamin Netanyahu said this week, warning that the
    same is inevitably bound to happen in Egypt.
    But the true Iranian story is quite different.

    In 1951, a patriotic politician named Mohammad Mossadegh
    was elected in democratic elections – the first of their
    kind in Iran. Mossadegh, neither a communist nor even a
    socialist,  instituted sweeping  social reforms, freed the
    peasants and worked mightily to turn backward Iran into a
    modern, democratic, secular state. In order to make this
    possible, he nationalized the oil industry, which was owned
    by a rapacious British company which paid Iran miniscule
    royalties. Huge demonstrations in Tehran supported
    Mossadegh.
    The British reaction was swift and decisive. Winston
    Churchill convinced President Dwight Eisenhower that
    Mossadegh’s course would lead to Communism. In 1953 the CIA
    engineered a coup, Mossadegh was arrested and kept in
    isolation until his death 14 years later, the British got
    the oil back. The Shah, who had fled, was put back on his
    throne again. His reign of terror lasted until the Khomeini
    revolution, 26 years later.
    Without this American intervention, Iran would probably
    have developed into a secular, liberal democracy. No
    Khomeini. No Ahmadinejad. No talk about nuclear bombs.

    NETANYAHU’S WARNINGS of the inevitable takeover of Egypt by
    the fanatical Muslim Brotherhood, if democratic elections
    were held, sound logical, but they are similarly based on
    willful ignorance.
    Would the Muslim Brothers take over? Are they Taliban-like
    fanatics?

    The Brotherhood was founded 80 years ago, long before Obama
    and Netanyahu were born. They have settled down and
    matured, with a strong moderate wing, much like the
    moderate, democratic Islamic party that is governing Turkey
    so well, and which they are trying to emulate. In a
    democratic Egypt, they would constitute a legitimate party
    playing its part in the democratic process.
    (This, by the way, would have happened in Palestine, too,
    when Hamas was elected – if the Americans, under Israeli
    guidance, had not toppled the unity government and set
    Hamas on a different course.)
    The majority of Egyptians are religious, but their Islam is
    far removed from the radical kind. There are no indications
    that the bulk of the people, represented by the youngsters
    in Tahrir Square, would tolerate a radical regime. The
    Islamic bogeyman is just that – a bogeyman.

    SO WHAT did Obama do? His moves were pathetic, to say the
    least.
    After turning against Mubarak, he suddenly opined that he
    must stay in power, in order to carry out democratic
    reforms. As his representative he sent to Egypt a retired
    diplomat whose current employer is a law firm that
    represents the Mubarak family (much as Bill Clinton used to
    send committed Jewish Zionists to “mediate” between Israel
    and the Palestinians.)
    So the detested dictator was supposed to institute
    democracy, enact a new liberal constitution, work together
    with the very people he had thrown into prison and
    systematically tortured.
    Mubarak’s pathetic speech on Thursday was the straw that
    broke the back of the Egyptian camel. It showed that he had
    lost contact with reality or, worse, is mentally deranged.
    But even an unbalanced dictator would not have made such an
    atrocious speech had he not believed that America was still
    on his side. The howls of outrage in the square while
    Mubarak’s recorded speech was still being aired was Egypt’s
    answer. That needed no interpreters.

    BUT AMERICA had already moved. Its main instrument in Egypt
    is the army. It is the army that holds the key to the
    immediate future. When the “Supreme Military Council”
    convened on Thursday, just before that scandalous speech,
    and issued a “Communique No. 1”, hope was mingled with
    foreboding.
    “Communique No. 1” is a term well known in history. It
    generally means that a military junta has assumed power,
    promising democracy, early elections, prosperity and heaven
    on earth. In very rare instances, the officers indeed
    fulfill these promises. Generally, what ensues is a
    military dictatorship of the worst kind.
    This time, the communique said nothing at all. It just
    showed on live TV that they were there – all the leading
    generals, minus Mubarak and his stooge, Omar Suleiman.
    Now they have assumed power. Quietly, without bloodshed.
    For the second time within 60 years.

    IT IS worthwhile recalling the first time. After a period
    of turmoil against the British occupiers, a group of young
    officers, veterans of the 1948 Israeli-Arab war, hiding
    behind an elderly general, carried out a coup. The despised
    ruler, King Farouk, was literally sent packing. He put to
    sea on his yacht from Alexandria. Not a drop of blood was
    shed.
    The people were jubilant. They loved the army and the coup.
    But it was a revolution from above. No crowds in Tahrir
    Square.
    The army tried first to govern through civilian
    politicians. They soon lost patience with that. A
    charismatic young lieutenant-colonel, Gamal Abd-al-Nasser,
    emerged as the leader, instituted wide-ranging reforms,
    restored the honor of Egypt and the entire Arab world – and
    founded the dictatorship which expired yesterday.
    Will the army follow this example, or will it do what the
    Turkish army has done several times: assume power and turn
    it over to an elected civilian government?
    Much will depend on Obama. Will he support the move to
    democracy, as his inclination will undoubtedly suggest, or
    will he listen to the “experts”, Israelis included, who
    will urge him to rely on a military dictatorship, as
    American presidents have done for so long?
    But the chance of the United States of America, and of
    Barack Obama personally, leading the world by shining
    statesmanship at a historic moment 19 days ago has been
    wasted. The beautiful words have evaporated.
    For Israel there is another lesson. When the Free Officers
    made their revolution in 1952, in the whole of Israel only
    one single voice was raised (that of Haolam Hazeh, the news
    magazine I was editing) calling upon the Israeli government
    to come out in support. The government did the opposite,
    and a historic chance to show solidarity with the Egyptian
    people was lost.
    Now, I am afraid, this mistake will be repeated. The
    tsunami is being viewed in Israel as a terrifying natural
    catastrophe, not as the wonderful opportunity it is.

    ————————————————————

    Excerps:

    “But there is another thing that is being imprinted on the
    minds of these millions: the picture of the miserable,
    corrupt, passive Arab regimes. As seen by Arabs, one fact
    stands out above all others: the wall of shame.

    For the million and a half Arabs in Gaza, who are suffering
    so terribly, the only opening to the world that is not
    dominated by Israel is the border with Egypt. Only from
    there can food arrive to sustain life and medicament to
    save the injured. This border remains closed at the height
    of the horror. The Egyptian army has blocked the only way
    for food and medicines to enter, while surgeons operate on
    the wounded without anesthetics.
    Avnery, January 3, 2009.

    “Many of the viewers see the rulers of Egypt, Jordan and
    the Palestinian Authority as collaborators with Israel in
    carrying out these atrocities against their Palestinian
    brothers.

    The security services of the Arab regimes are registering a
    dangerous ferment among the peoples. Hosni Mubarak, the
    most exposed Arab leader because of his closing of the
    Rafah crossing in the face of terrified refugees, started
    to pressure the decision-makers in Washington, who until
    that time had blocked all calls for a cease-fire. These
    began to understand the menace to vital American interests
    in the Arab world and suddenly changed their attitude, ”
    causing consternation among the complacent Israeli
    diplomats”.
    Avnery, January 10, 1009

    HOWEVER, THE worst results of this war are still invisible
    and will make themselves felt only in years to come Even
    worse is the impact on hundreds of millions of Arabs around
    us: not only will they see the Hamas fighters as the heroes
    of the Arab nation, but they will also see their own
    regimes in their nakedness: cringing, ignominious, corrupt
    and treacherous.
    The Arab defeat in the 1948 war brought in its wake the
    fall of almost all the existing Arab regimes and the ascent
    of a new generation of nationalist leaders, exemplified by
    Gamal Abd-al-Nasser. The 2009 war may bring about the fall
    of the current crop of Arab regimes and the ascent of a new
    generation of leaders.
    Avnery, January 17, 2009

    =========================

    4.  Greetings all,

    Please read below from Huwaida how the Palestinians have been celebrating the victory of the Egyptian people!

    in solidarity

    Donna

    ———- Forwarded message ———-

    From: huwaida arraf

    Date: Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 5:26 PM

    Subject: [GazaFriends] The people have won!

    The people have WON! Congratulations Egypt and everyone!

    Friends,

    As soon as the announcement was made that Hosni Mubarak had resigned, tens of thousands of Palestinians spontaneously took to the streets all throughout Gaza to rejoice with their Egyptian brothers and sisters, and with all who support freedom, democracy, and human rights. In other areas of Palestine people were also celebrating in the streets — Hebron, Nablus, Nazareth, Ramallah. I was chanting, cheering and dancing with the hundreds that spontaneously gathered in the Manara – the center of Ramallah. Families brought their children, even sleeping infants to share in the joy of a people’s victory. The energy was high; the spirit of the youth, unmistakeable. We filled the center square with the voices of a new generation that refuses to accept subjugation; that dares to dream of a life with dignity.

    We chanted:

    “Respects from Palestine to the people of Tunis and Egypt; you are leading the revolution”

    “The people have brought down the regime” and

    “We were not born to live in humiliation, we were born to live free!”

    and to the Palestinian “leadership” in Ramallah and Gaza: “The people demand and end to the divisions!”

    We sang the words of the famous Tunisian poet Abu al-Qasem al-Shabbi:

    “If, one day, a people desires to live, then fate will answer their call.

    And their night will then begin to fade, and their chains break and fall.”

    It is truly a monumental moment in history. The Egyptian youth have shown the world that not even a brutal military dictatorship propped up by the only Superpower in the world can defeat the will of a people. Tunisians and Egyptians have ushered in a new era of people power that we are all a part of!

    Being a member of the Free Gaza family, we know you believe this just as much as we do.

    Free Gaza is now hard at work organizing, together with national networks and organizations around the world, Freedom Flotilla 2. In May 2011 we will sail again to confront the regime of blockade, occupation and injustice, carrying the spirit of Tahrir Square with us.  While our port of call is Gaza, our destination is freedom, human rights and dignity for all Palestinians.  Your support as part of this people’s movement is vital. Together we will let Israel know that we are tens of millions; that we are not going to allow Israel to continue to kill, main, and oppress with impunity; and that we are not going to back down to violence and intimidation. We are fighting for our collective futures and together we will win!

    In solidarity, struggle, and with a renewed sense of hope,

    Huwaida

    www.FreeGaza.org

    www.WitnessGaza.net

    “It’s better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.” — Emilio Zapata

    =======================

    5. Haaretz,

    February 12, 2011

    Egypt protest leaders vow to protect their revolution

    Activists issue communiques listing demands, which include an end to emergency laws and military courts.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/egypt-protest-leaders-vow-to-protect-their-revolution-1.342912

    By Reuters

    Egyptians woke to a new era on Saturday after Hosni Mubarak’s 30 years in power came to an end, determined to ensure the army delivers civilian rule and prepared to use people power again if necessary.

    In Tahrir Square, jubilant crowds celebrated while activists vowed to stay there until the Higher Military Council now running Egypt accepts their agenda for reform and meets their demands, which include an end to emergency laws used by Mubarak to crush opposition and dissent.

    Mubarak end was swift, coming less than a day after he stunned protesters by insisting he would not step down despite widespread expectations that he was about to do so. He was the second Arab leader to be overthrown in a month after Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was forced to flee his country in January.

    In two communiques issued overnight, a core group of protest organizers demanded the dissolution of the cabinet Mubarak appointed on January 29 and the suspension of the parliament elected in a rigged poll late last year.

    The reformists want a transitional five-member presidential council made up of four civilians and one military person to prepare for an election to take place within nine months, and of a body to draft a new democratic constitution.

    The communiqué demands freedom for the media and syndicates, which represent groups such as lawyers, doctors and engineers, and for the formation of political parties. Military and emergency courts must be scrapped, the communique says.

    “The army is with us but it must realize our demands. Half revolutions kill nations,” pharmacist Ghada Elmasalmy, 43, told Reuters. “Now we know our place, whenever there is injustice, we will come to Tahrir Square.”

    Al Arabiya television said the army would soon dismiss the cabinet and suspend parliament. The head of the Constitutional Court would join the leadership with the military council, which was given the job of running the country of 80 million people.

    With the threat of possible confrontation between the army and protesters now gone, Cairo residents took photographs of each other holding flowers with smiling soldiers at roadblocks to record the first day of a new post-Mubarak era.

    People were buying bundles of state-owned newspapers proclaiming “The Revolution of the Youths forced Mubarak to leave” with pictures of celebrations to keep as treasured souvenirs of this landmark in Egypt’s history.

    The army dismantled checkpoints on Saturday around Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the protest movement, and some makeshift barricades were being removed. Volunteers cleaned up while a carnival atmosphere lingered.

    Egyptians were desperate to restore normality and get back to work after the upheaval damaged the nation’s economy.

    “This is the start of the revolution, it’s not over yet, but I have to go back to work,” said Mohammed Saeed, 30, who was packing away his tent.

    Mohammed Farrag, 31, who was also decamping after 18 days, said he believed stability was returning. “But, at the end of the day, we will not give up on Egypt as a civilian state, not a military state,” he said.

    “If things move away from our demands, we will go into the street again, even if we have to die as martyrs.”

    =====================

    6,   The Guardian,

    February 12, 2011

    Algerian protesters clash with police as Egypt fervour spreads•

    400 arrested as officers enforce no-protest ban in Algiers

    • Up to 5,000 protesters rally in Yemeni capital of Sana’a

    • Arab leaders make concessions to avoid repeat of Egypt

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/12/algerian-protesters-clash-police-egypt

    Martin Chulov in Beirut l

    Algerian riot police clash with protesters during an anti-government demonstration in Algiers. Photograph: Louafi Larbi/Reuters Algerian police have beaten back up to 2,000 demonstrators who tried to rally in central Algiers as aftershocks from the Egyptian revolution rumbled throughout the Middle East.

    Demonstrations in Algiers quickly turned to running clashes with police who had been ordered by the government of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to enforce a no-protest ban. Police took up positions throughout the central city hours after the tumultuous scenes in Cairo, which are likely to have significant ramifications across the region.

    Even before President Hosni Mubarak left the Egyptian capital, the 12-year regime of Bouteflika had been considered to be under most threat from the popular uprisings now galvanising the Arab states. Wedged alongside Tunisia, where President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was rolled 30 days ago and near Egypt, which fell on Friday, the unstable nation has many of the characteristics of both – a disenfranchised youth and rising prices of basic goods, such as sugar and cooking oil.

    It also shares a large, pervasive security presence, authoritarian rule and a general sense that citizens are not benefiting from its wealth and resources.

    Late in the afternoon, protesters briefly broke a cordon and officials say 400 were arrested by police – who vastly outnumbered them. Most were then released.

    The demonstrations were organised, as they were in Yemen, nearly 4,000 miles away, where at least 5,000 people, mainly youths, rallied in the capital of Sana’a to call for Egypt-style reform. However they were swelled by spontaneous gatherings, which gave impetus to claims that other regimes may be nearing a tipping point.

    In Sana’a, President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who took office around the same time as Mubarak and has enjoyed largely unchecked power ever since, called an emergency meeting of his security chiefs and senior ministers hours after the 82-year-old Egyptian leader left Cairo.

    Saleh has allowed demonstrations to take place for the past four weeks and has said he would not stand again as president when his current term expires in 2013. Protesters in Sana’a and the coastal city of Aden railed against food prices and poor services. But, as was the case elsewhere, lack of accountability in government was also a dominant theme.

    Governments across the region have made a string of concessions as the events in Tunisia and Egypt unfolded, electrifying citizens who had become conditioned to the status quo of soaring prices, few job opportunities and almost no accountability among officials who enjoy far greater privileges than them.

    In Jordan, King Abdullah, the reigning monarch of the almost 90-year-old Hashemite kingdom is yet to form a new government after sacking the prime minister and his ministers in late January – a move widely believed to have been inspired by the risk that the revolts may soon be felt there. Demonstrations against prices and services have taken place weekly since early December – before the Tunisian uprising – and have focused on broadly similar themes of disenfranchisement and limited means to bring about change.

    Jordanians have historically seen the monarchy as benevolent and have not subjected it to the same degree of scrutiny as elected officials. However there is a growing inclination among the country’s young to see the legitimacy of the kingdom as conditional, not absolute.

    King Abdullah last week struck a deal with Jordan’s opposition, in which he promised urgent political and economic reform, which would give the Muslim Brotherhood and a leftist bloc a greater say in state affairs.

    “Any type of reform will help Jordan not reach the levels of Egypt,” said the secretary general of the Islamic Action Front (Muslims Brotherhood) Zaki bin Irsheid. “But what happened in Tunis and then Egypt has surprised everyone. No one expected that.

    “A lot of people are comparing the French revolution to the Tunisian revolution. It changed Europe and this will change the Middle East.”

    In Algeria and Jordan, youth comprise a large percentage of the population and feel more disadvantaged than the middle classes that stirred the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. More than 70% of Jordanians are aged under 30.

    “There has been an awakening of political awareness among the young who have been waiting for solutions that have never come and are not really in the menu now,” said one senior western official. “They are saying: ‘Why should we carry on like this?’.

    “There is a cronyist, lethargic, complacent political oligarchy that is resistant to reform. Government ministers are hamstrung by a system underneath them that doesn’t do what they say. The body politic is not responding.”

    Syria too has been moved to respond to the fear of the rage against the regimes spreading its way. The Ba’athist state last week took the surprise step of unblocking the social media sites Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Youtube, all of which had been used as subversive tools during the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings. The Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, has offered around $400m (£250m) in heating fuel subsidies to the county’s lower income earners.

    The effects of the revolution have also been felt in Iraq, where the prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, has said he will not stand for a third term. Maliki has ordered three mega-generators to be installed in Baghdad to deal with the city’s chronic electricity shortage which sees much of the country get only three hours of supplied power a day during summer.

    “He is terrified about electricity,” said one senior Iraqi official. “He is convinced that with the zeal alive in the region now, it will bring his government down if he doesn’t fix it.”

    Posted in Nova NewsletterComments Off on Dorothy Online Newsletter

    Zionist Mu-Barak Overthrown in Egypt

    NOVANEWS

     

    by James Buchanan

    A recent news article reports “Cries of ‘Egypt is free’ rang out and fireworks lit up the sky as hundreds of thousands danced, wept and prayed in joyful pandemonium Friday after 18 days of peaceful pro-democracy protests forced Zionist Hosni Mu-Barak to surrender power to the military, ending three decades of authoritarian rule. Ecstatic protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir, or Liberation, Square hoisted soldiers onto their shoulders and families posed for pictures in front of tanks in streets flooded with people streaming out to celebrate. Strangers hugged each other, some fell to kiss the ground, and others stood stunned in disbelief.

    Chants of ‘Hold your heads high, you’re Egyptian’ roared with each burst of fireworks overhead. ‘I’m 21 years old and this is the first time in my life I feel free,’ an ebullient Abdul-Rahman Ayyash, born eight years after Mubarak came to power, said as he hugged fellow protesters in Tahrir Square. An astonishing day in which hundreds of thousands marched on Zionist Mu-Barak’s palaces in Cairo and Alexandria and besieged state TV was capped by the military effectively carrying out a coup at the pleas of protesters.

    After Zionist Mu-Barak’s fall, the military, which pledged to shepherd reforms for greater democracy, told the nation it would announce the next steps soon. Those could include the dissolving of parliament and creation of a transitional government. Zionist Mu-Barak’s downfall at the hands of the biggest popular uprising in the modern history of the Arab world had stunning implications for the United States and the West, IsraHell, and the region, unsettling rulers across the Mideast.”

    The implications for the United States may be a lot stronger than anyone in the mainstream realizes. For decades, patriots have tried to overcome the extremely corrupt two-party system and Zionist media control. We have tried to elect real American patriots like Ron Paul, and we’ve been frustrated with blatant vote stealing as happened in the New Hampshire primary. The people (Zionist and party hacks) stealing the votes are almost never punished.

    Given the fact that Senators have six year terms and that some Senators like Harry Reid will steal votes and Senators like John McCain will simply lie to gullible senile voters to get reelected, we need an express route to flush the corrupt gang in DC down the drain.

    Americans are right now making a serious effort to get rid of mainstream politicians with the Tea Party. We saw how much slander the Zionist media heaped on Rand Paul and Sharon Angle. The effort to oust John McCain ran into a wall of opposition money that bought some of the most dishonest ads in US history. McCain denied ever supporting an Amnesty even though he was the co-author of the McCain-Kennedy Amnesty Bill in 2007. I wonder how much of McCain’s campaign funds illegally came straight from IsraHell.

    We have a blueprint now for how to defeat a tyrannical Zionist-controlled government. We need to assemble a crowd of five to ten million in Washington, DC and we need to stay there for weeks until the corrupt government resigns.

    Posted in EgyptComments Off on Zionist Mu-Barak Overthrown in Egypt

    A Victory for Rights in Egypt

    NOVANEWS

     

    Dear All,

    Today belongs to the people of Egypt, as they celebrate their victory in their struggle for democracy and human rights. 

    Zionist Hosni Mu-Barak’s departure is a historic moment that should mark the transition to a government that respects human rights, if the military keeps its promise to protect the achievements won by the protesters.

    Human Rights Watch is working with local activists to make this happen. Many died in this struggle. Human Rights Watch scoured hospitals and interviewed doctors in Cairo, Alexandria, and Suez, counting the number of protesters killed – 302, by our conservative estimate – so that those responsible for the deaths can be brought to justice.

    By sharing the stories of those harmed and detained, we’re supporting Egyptians in their fight for freedoms and dignity.

    This is a moment of huge emotion and a moment of great hope for Egypt and the region. The road ahead is full of challenges, but Human Rights Watch will work to protect the gains of this courageous protest movement.

    Posted in EgyptComments Off on A Victory for Rights in Egypt

    Zionist Mu-Barak Steps Down!

    NOVANEWS

    Dear All,

    With great joy in our hearts and tears in our eyes, we celebrate Hosni Mubarak’s resignation.  Tune into Al Jazeera to watch the immense jubilation and latest news.

    While people are celebrating in Tahrir Square and around Egypt, we encourage you to join with the Egyptian community in your city for celebrations and ongoing rallies to ensure the success of the Egyptian people’s demands.

    Today, 2/11, will go down in history and this incredible nonviolent uprising will reshape the Arab world for decades to come.  We hope that this day, rather than 9/11, will also redefine the US relationship to the Middle East.  

    We must not forget that Zionist  Mu-Barak’s regime was propped up by one US administration after another for 30 years in order to maintain the balance of power in the region in favor of IsraHell.  This is a perfect moment to tell Congress that you want your taxdollars to support people’s needs, not dictators or the violent policies of the Zio-Nazi regime in IsraHell.

    Let’s also remember that this nonviolent movement was sparked by the courageous actions of brave young people, especially the April 6 youth movement. It teaches us that one voice–like that of the 26-year-old Egyptian woman Asmaa Mahfouz, who put out a powerful video call for a protest in Tahrir Square on January 25–can ignite millions to action. 

    The Egyptian uprising is an inspiration to people everywhere who clamour for freedom and justice.  The successes of people-powered change in Tunisia and Egypt will likely produce a domino effect throughout the Middle East.  We have so much to learn from these movements that we can bring home to the US to create a shift in our culture of occupation and war.  It’s time to reclaim people power and put our hopes and dreams into action!

    Posted in EgyptComments Off on Zionist Mu-Barak Steps Down!

    Stop A Bloodbath in Egypt

    NOVANEWS

     

    Dear All,

    The Egyptian people have been betrayed yet again by Hosni Mubarak, who still refuses to step down. Furious, they have responded in a loud and clear voice: MUBARAK MUST STEP DOWN!!!

    On the 17th day of growing demonstrations, it’s time for President Obama to echo their demand—loudly and clearly. And time for us to tell Obama and Congress: The U.S. government must stand with the Egyptian people, call for Mubarak to resign and immediately cut off all funds to the Egyptian government until Mubarak leaves.

    Our CODEPINK delegation in Cairo was privileged to witness this historic uprising. We cried with the mothers of some of the 300 Egyptians who have been killed in this struggle. We expressed our sorrow to the thousands who have been wounded. We brought flowers to the heroes who have been out on the streets, day after day, to transform the nation they so love.
    Now we are back home, determined to transform our government’s policy. For 30 years our tax dollars have shored up this regime. Enough is enough. We must demand that not one more dollar go to this desperate dictator who is clinging to power.
    Will you contact President Obama and your Congressperson today and tell them to stop supporting this regime?
    Call the President at 202-456-1111 between 9am-5pm and call Congress at 202-225-3121. Email your elected officials here.
    This beautiful revolution could easily turn into a bloodbath. Mubarak can once again send out his thugs, with even greater viciousness. The military might turn against the people. The entire world must now turn up the pressure.

    Please call the White House and Congress NOW. Demand an end to all U.S. funds. Tell President Obama to echo the call of the Egyptian people. Mubarak and his regime must resign immediately!

    Posted in EgyptComments Off on Stop A Bloodbath in Egypt

    Standing Up To Glenn Beck

    NOVANEWS

     

    — By Kevin Drum

    Glenn Beck is, for a liberal like me, far more entertaining to watch than, say, Sean Hannity or Bill O’Reilly. The latter are garden variety blowhards and their subject matter is predictable. But Beck? He’s crazy! He thinks the Muslim Brotherhood is going to take over the entire Mediterranean! Fabian socialists are a fifth column working to subvert everything that makes America great! (But slowly. Sneakily.) The Tides Foundation is on a mission to “warp your children’s brains”! And Obama the secret Marxist is behind it all! It all fits together!

     

    This is actually sort of entertaining in small doses. But in bigger doses, not so much. Conor Friedersdorf:

    As I’ve said before, lots of Glenn Beck listeners aren’t in on the joke. Unlike Roger Ailes, Jonah Goldberg, and every staffer at the Heritage Foundation happy hour, they don’t realize that the Fox News Channel puts this man on the air fully understanding that large parts of his program are uninformed nonsense mixed with brazen bullshit.

    ….Conjure in your mind a retired grandfather. He served in World War II, voted twice for Ronald Reagan, and supports the Tea Party. Awhile back, he started watching Glenn Beck….

    Actually, we don’t have to conjure this. Richmond Ramsey has done it for us. I’ve mentioned before that lots of Fox viewers have the channel on all day long, basically as background noise, and Ramsey says he’s noticed this too. His piece is called “Fox Geezer Syndrome”:

    Over the past couple of years, I’ve been keeping track of a trend among friends around my age (late thirties to mid-forties). Eight of us (so far) share something in common besides our conservatism: a deep frustration over how our parents have become impossible to take on the subject of politics. Without fail, it turns out that our folks have all been sitting at home watching Fox News Channel all day — especially Glenn Beck’s program.

    ….I asked my father privately why Mom, who as far as I know never before had a political thought, was so worked up about Obama all the time. “She’s been like that ever since she started watching Glenn Beck,” Dad said.

    ….Then I flew out for a visit, and observed that their television was on all day long, even if no one was watching it. What channel was playing? Fox. Spending a few days in the company of the channel—especially Glenn Beck—it all became clear to me. If Fox was the window through which I saw the wider world, for hours every day, I’d be perpetually pissed off too.

    ….Back home, I mentioned to a friend over beers how much Fox my mom and dad watched, and how angry they now were about politics. “Yours too?!” he said. “I’ve noticed the same thing with mine. They weren’t always like this, but since they retired, they’ve gotten into Fox, and you can’t even talk to them anymore without hearing them read the riot act about Obama.”

    And that’s from a conservative. It’s all entertaining enough until you come face to face with the consequences. Sure, Beck’s audience is relatively small: a few million, probably no more than one or two percent of the adult population of the country. But that’s misleading. These are the shock troops, the true believers, the ones who have turned our politics so toxic. And worse, they’re being deliberately conned by Roger Ailes and his pals, who know perfectly well that this stuff is nonsense. And it’s all in the service of selling yet another con, getting the geezers to invest their money in endless gold scams.

    I know this is whistling into the wind, but it’s long past time for the adults in the Republican Party to speak up about this. Glenn Beck is the Father Coughlin and the Robert Welch of his generation rolled into one, and his brand of noxious conspiracy theorizing isn’t something to be tolerated just because it produces a few useful idiots. It’s time for this to end.

    Front page image: Al Grillo/Zumapress.com

    Posted in USAComments Off on Standing Up To Glenn Beck

    News**News**News

    by crescentandcross  

     

    Zionist Mu-Barak Slammed US in Call With IsraHell MP Before Resignation

     

     

    US Officials’ Question After Egypt: Who’s Next?

     

     

    IsraHell used ‘excessive’ force on Flotilla

     

     

    Protesters, Police Clash in Algerian Capital

     

     

    US vows commitment to IsraHell security

     

     

    Bahrain’s King Gifts $3,000 to Every Family

     

     

    Musharraf snubs arrest warrant

     

     

    Zionist Mu-Barak’s Ouster Sparks Celebration in Gaza

     

     

    US choppers violate Pakistan airspace

     

     

    Pak Orders Arrest of Musharraf in Bhutto Killing

     

     

    Rumsfeld on Iraq War: ‘Nobody Lied’

     

     

    Harsh Words for US and IsraHell at Iranian Revolution Rallies

     

     

    White House Criticizes Iran for Cheering Zionist Mu-Barak’s Ouster

     

     

    Huckabee: ‘The Israelites’ Are Upset That Obama Did Not Stand With Mu-Barak

     

     

    ElBaradei: Soros’s Man in Cairo

     

     

    After Thursday Speech, White House Pushed Mu-Barak: You Must Satisfy the Demonstrators In the Street

     

     

    Egypt will maintain its peace treaty with IsraHell, military says

     

     

    Turkey calls for constitutional democracy in Egypt

     

     

    Turkey: Marmara raid victims shot By Zio-Nazi army at close range

     

     

    Turkish pres. lauds Turkey-Iran ties

     
     
     

     

    Please check out the brand new book detailing Israel’s deliberate attack on the USS LIBERTY here

    Posted in WorldComments Off on News**News**News

    10-Point Program For Struggle

    NOVANEWS

    1 We demand the right to refuse illegal and immoral orders.
    Service members should no longer be bound to carry out the plans of the Pentagon and Wall Street in violation of U.S. law, international law and people’s right to self-determination. Service members deserve the right to resist, without persecution, orders that conflict with internationally recognized laws or that conflict with their own conscience.

    2 We demand an immediate end to the criminal occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Service members should no longer be sent to fight, kill, die, be seriously wounded and/or psychologically scarred furthering the domination of U.S. corporations over other nations. We have nothing to gain from these wars. The occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan serve only the interests of the rich, not the service personnel who are sent over and over to repress people who have the right to determine their own destiny. The people of Iraq and Afghanistan are not our enemies. The more than 800 U.S. bases in 130 countries around the world should be shut down and the troops, fleets and air power brought home.

    3 We demand an end to the existing officer corps.
    The existing class stratification in the military must end. Officers—who are overwhelmingly from more privileged sectors of society—enjoy a much higher standard of living. They are paid significantly more, are provided much higher quality housing, and have access to services not available to enlisted personnel. Officers advance their careers on the backs of enlisted personnel, going so far as to send their troops into harm’s way for the good of their résumés. The existing officer corps should be dismantled and replaced by enlisted service members who are democratically elected by their units and who are subject to recall at anytime. Officers should no longer enjoy special privileges, including hand salutes. We also demand the right for lower enlisted ranks to unionize and form committees to address grievances with the chain of command, the unit and the military.

    4 We demand an end to racism, sexism and homophobia prevalent in the military.
    These are intentional barriers to rank-and-file unity against the will of the Pentagon, and must be eliminated through comprehensive education and strict disciplinary action. We demand an end to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and all other discriminatory measures against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and transgender individuals.

    5 We demand adequate funding for The Department of Veterans Affairs.
    Veterans should have full access to quality health care. Services should be drastically expanded to meet the real physical and mental health needs of veterans and their families. Independent medical investigations should be initiated to research the effects of potentially harmful experimental drugs and chemical, biological and nuclear agents to which service members have been exposed. Any service member who has served in a combat theater should automatically receive lifetime compensation from the VA for being forced to suffer or inflict physical and/or psychological harm in advancing the interests of U.S. corporations.

    6 We demand the right to a job, housing, health care and education for all.
    Service members are lured into the military with the hopes of escaping economic hardship as a civilian, and to obtain education benefits and job training. Yet thousands of service members must remain in the military, literally trapped due to the lack of opportunities in the civilian world. No service member should have to choose between military service and poverty. Housing, a job, and access to free quality education and job training should be a right for everyone.

    7 We demand the immediate end to all military aid to governments in service of US imperialism.
    U.S. domination is not only exercised through direct military involvement, but also through a myriad of brutal client regimes and comprador governments that are funded, supported and directed by the U.S. government.  Service members should not have to serve a military that uses billions of dollars in funds and weapons to prop up governments that are guilty of committing war crimes or repressing their citizens for the interests of the Pentagon and Wall Street. Aid to such countries as Israel, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, South Korea, Uganda and Egypt should be immediately cut off. All remaining funds, military equipment and weapons should be repossessed. Reparations should be paid to the populations that the military aid was used to repress.

    8 We demand the immediate dismantling of the permanent military-industrial complex.
    As long as there is a system in place that allows U.S. corporations to reap massive profits from going to war, there will be war for profit. The domination of the military-industrial complex has caused the death of tens of thousands of service personnel, and millions of innocent people—all in the name of profit. All private military corporations should be shut down or nationalized. The more than 1 trillion dollars a year that feeds the Pentagon and the military-industrial complex should be used to meet people’s needs.

    9 We demand that all those involved in pursuing war for profit be indicted.
    To ensure that service personnel no longer have to fight for the interests of the rich, all those responsible must be held accountable. Politicians, policy makers, lobbyists, CEOs and others involved in pursuing warfare—both military and economic—as a means to reap profit should be indicted for war crimes. Media outlets involved in disseminating false information in support of these plans should also be held accountable.

    10 We demand full reparations paid, with interest, to all victims of the U.S. military.
    As service members in the U.S. military, we have been told that our enemy is the poor and oppressed abroad. But they are not our enemies. To begin to undo the injustices in which we have been forced to take part, the U.S. government should pay for the rebuilding of every structure bombed, compensating families for every person killed and providing a lifetime of health care and disability benefits for every individual wounded, including resistance fighters who took up arms against the U.S. military.

    Posted in USAComments Off on 10-Point Program For Struggle

    Obama and the Future for the U.S. military

    NOVANEWS

     

    The meaning of the end of the Bush regime

     

    With the election of Barack Obama as president, people in the United States and throughout the world celebrated the end of the hated Bush administration, and looked forward with a new sense of hope and optimism.

    It was a victory to beat back the most blatant right-wing forces while overwhelmingly demanding change. However, the struggle is only beginning for service members, veterans and all working people in the United States.

    The people are against war and occupation

    The vast majority of people are against the illegal occupation of Iraq and reflected this in their vote for Obama. However, U.S. service members and Iraqi people alike will continue to die, and to be seriously wounded and psychologically scarred on the streets of Iraq. A real end to the occupation is not on the horizon; at best we have been promised just a different strategy, one that maintains the presence of U.S. troops, bases, defense contractors and mercenaries indefinitely. There is no change in the deceitful rhetoric of doing “what is best for the people of Iraq.” The U.S. government will continue to do what is best for U.S. corporations and allied powers’ interests in Iraq. The lies that landed us in Iraq may have begun with the Bush administration, but they continue under the Obama administration. The occupation of Iraq is still criminal, no matter who is president.

    Even if service members are sent less frequently to kill and die for oil and domination in Iraq, they will be sent much more frequently to kill and die for oil and domination in Afghanistan, where Obama has already ordered a troop increase of between 17,000 and 30,000. What has been falsely defined as the “good war” serves only the interests of the rich, securing the region’s most vital oil pipeline routes and providing a strategic foothold to dominate the region’s resources. The fight is not against “terrorism,” as we are told, but against people who will not allow U.S. corporations to reap massive profits from their land and labor. The Obama administration has pledged that countless more service members will have their lives placed in jeopardy fighting for the rich in the mountains of Afghanistan.

    Surviving the criminal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is only half the battle. Women, people of color and LGBT people in the military still face discrimination. Enlisted personnel still endure unnecessary missions, low pay and substandard living conditions while the officer corps lives in luxury. Service members still do not have the right to refuse to obey illegal and immoral orders, and are forced to deploy again and again.

    For veterans the battle continues at home

    Meanwhile, nothing has changed for veterans who will come home and be kicked to the curb by the government for which they fought. The treatment of veterans is now a scandal and blows holes in the government propaganda that it cares about the lives of the men and women who are sent to fight in imperial wars. The pressure is growing so much that President Obama went out of his way to pledge increased benefits for veterans and increased pay for active-duty people when he delivered his “Iraq speech” at Camp Lejeune on February 27.

    Funding for the Veterans Administration is still significantly inadequate. A record number of suicides have been recorded, with countless stories of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder being denied care. Service members who joined the military to escape economic hardship are still coming home to find the same lack of opportunities. In most parts of the country, the job situation is much worse than when service members entered the military. Veterans more than ever are expanding the ranks of the homeless and the unemployed.

    The election of Obama aside, there is still a system in place that allows the interests of the rich to dictate both foreign and domestic policy. For service members, veterans and workers this means war and colonialism abroad, and poverty and inequality at home. Under these conditions, nothing will come of simply waiting for change, no matter how much hope one has. Change will come when we organize to make the demands that need to be made and fight together until they are won.

     

    Source: www.marchforward.org

    Posted in USAComments Off on Obama and the Future for the U.S. military

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