Archive | December 5th, 2016

The Anatomy of US Military Policy: An Interview With Andrew Bacevich


By C.J. Polychroniou

US Army paratroopers engage in a joint forcible entry exercise at Malemute Drop Zone on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Aug. 23, 2016.

US Army paratroopers engage in a joint forcible entry exercise at Malemute Drop Zone on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, August 23, 2016. (Photo: Airman 1st Class Javier Alvarez / US Air Force)

Since the end of the Cold War, the US has been the only true global superpower, with US policymakers intervening freely anywhere around the world where they feel there are vital political or economic interests to be protected. Most of the time US policymakers seem to act without a clear strategy at hand and surely without feeling the need to accept responsibility for the consequences of their actions. Such is the case, for instance, with the invasion of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan. US policymakers also seem to be clueless about what to do with regard to several “hot spots” around the world, such as Libya and Syria, and it is rather clear that the US no longer has a coherent Middle East policy.

What type of a global power is this? I posed this question to retired colonel and military historian Andrew Bacevich, a Boston University professor who has authored scores of books on US foreign and military policy, including America’s War for the Greater Middle East, Breach of Trust, and The Limits of Power. In this exclusive interview for Truthout, Bacevich explains how the militaristic nature of US foreign policy is a serious impediment to democracy and human rights.

C.J. Polychroniou: I’d like to start by asking you to outline the basic principles and guidelines of the current national military strategy of the United States.

Andrew Bacevich: There is no coherent strategy. US policy is based on articles of faith — things that members of the foreign policy establishment have come to believe, regardless of whether they are true or not. The most important of those articles is the conviction that the United States must “lead” — that the alternative to American leadership is a world that succumbs to anarchy. An important corollary is this: Leadership is best expressed by the possession and use of military power.

According to the current military strategy, US forces must be ready to confront threats whenever they appear. Is this a call for global intervention?

Almost, but not quite. Certainly, the United States intervenes more freely than any other nation on the planet. But it would be a mistake to think that policymakers view all regions of the world as having equal importance. Interventions tend to reflect whatever priorities happen to prevail in Washington at a particular moment. In recent decades, the Greater Middle East has claimed priority attention.

What’s really striking is Washington’s refusal or inability to take into account what this penchant for armed interventionism actually produces. No one in a position of authority can muster the gumption to pose these basic questions: Hey, how are we doing? Are we winning? Once US forces arrive on the scene, do things get better?

The current US military strategy calls for an upgrade of the nuclear arsenal. Does “first use” remain an essential component of US military doctrine?

It seems to, although for the life of me I cannot understand why. US nuclear policy remains frozen in the 1990s. Since the end of the Cold War, in concert with the Russians, we’ve made modest but not inconsequential reductions in the size of our nuclear arsenal. But there’s been no engagement with first order questions. Among the most important: Does the United States require nuclear weapons to maintain an adequate deterrent posture? Given the advances in highly lethal, very long range, very precise conventional weapons, I’d argue that the answer to that question is, no. Furthermore, as the only nation to have actually employed such weapons in anger, the United States has a profound interest and even a moral responsibility to work toward their abolition — which, of course, is precisely what the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty obliges us to do. It’s long past time to take that obligation seriously. For those who insist that there is no alternative to American leadership, here’s a perfect opportunity for Washington to lead.

Does the US have, at the present time, a Middle East policy?

Not really, unless haphazardly responding to disorder in hopes of preventing things from getting worse still qualifies as a policy. Sadly, US efforts to “fix” the region have served only to make matters worse. Even more sadly, members of the policy world refuse to acknowledge that fundamental fact. So we just blunder on.

There is no evidence — none, zero, zilch — that the continued U.S. military assertiveness in that region will lead to a positive outcome. There is an abundance of evidence pointing in precisely the opposite direction.

Was the US less militaristic under the Obama administration than it was under the Bush administration?

It all depends on how you define “militaristic.” Certainly, President Obama reached the conclusion rather early on that invading and occupying countries with expectations of transforming them in ways favorable to the United States was a stupid idea. That said, Obama has shown no hesitation to use force and will bequeath to his successor several ongoing wars.

Obama has merely opted for different tactics, relying on air strikes, drones and special operations forces, rather than large numbers of boots on the ground. For the US, as measured by casualties sustained and dollars expended, costs are down in comparison to the George W. Bush years. Are the results any better? No, not really.

To what extent is the public in the US responsible for the uniqueness of the military culture in American society?

The public is responsible in this sense: The people have chosen merely to serve as cheerleaders. They do not seriously attend to the consequences and costs of US interventionism.

The unwillingness of Americans to attend seriously to the wars being waged in their names represents a judgment on present-day American democracy. That judgment is a highly negative one.

What will US involvement in world affairs look like under the Trump administration?

Truly, only God knows.

Trump’s understanding of the world is shallow. His familiarity with the principles of statecraft is negligible. His temperament is ill-suited to cool, considered decision making.

Much is likely to depend on the quality of advisers that he surrounds himself with. At the moment, he seems to favor generals. I for one do not find that encouraging.

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The Assassination of Fred Hampton: 47 Years Later


By Flint Taylor

Photograph of the funeral of Fred Hampton, which was attended by over 5,000 people mourning his killing by members of the Chicago Police Department.

Photograph of the funeral of Fred Hampton, which was attended by over 5,000 people mourning his killing by members of the Chicago Police Department. (Photo: Paul Sequeira)

On this very day, as the Army Corps of Engineers and police forces from Morton County North Dakota and nine surrounding states gather their collective forces and fearsome weaponry in an effort to evict the proud and peaceful Indigenous Water Protectors from their sacred land at Standing Rock, and thousands of veterans gather to protect them from concussion grenades, water hoses, rubber bullets and God knows what else, it is profoundly appropriate to reflect on the courage and leadership of Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton and revisit the sordid history of his assassination at the hand of a conspiracy between local law enforcement and the FBI 47 years ago.

On December 4, 1969, 47 years ago today, a select unit of Chicago police officers executed a predawn raid that left Illinois Black Panther Party (BPP) leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark dead and several other young Panthers wounded. The seven survivors of the raid were arrested on fraudulent attempted murder charges. The officers who committed the execution were specially assigned to Cook County State’s Attorney Edward Hanrahan. The claims of a “shootout” that were made by Hanrahan and his men were soon exposed as bald-faced lies: the physical evidence definitively established that the raiders fired nearly 100 shots at the sleeping Panthers, while only one shot could be linked to a Panther weapon.

However, as was painstakingly proved over the next eight years, the false official claim of a violent confrontation was only one layer of a massive conspiracy that was also designed to cover up the central role of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its COINTELPRO program in the murderous raid.

The headstone of slain Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in Haynesville, Louisiana, has been riddled by a barrage of bullets from unidentified night riders. Flint Taylor -- one of the lawyers for Hampton's family -- recently journeyed to Haynesville to eulogize Fred Hampton’s mother, Iberia, a devoted mother and courageous activist who passed away in October 2016. He discovered this desecration of Hampton's grave at that time. (Credit: Flint Taylor)

The headstone of slain Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in Haynesville, Louisiana, has been riddled by a barrage of bullets from unidentified night riders. Flint Taylor — one of the lawyers for Hampton’s family — recently journeyed to Haynesville to eulogize Fred Hampton’s mother, Iberia, a devoted mother and courageous activist who passed away in October 2016. He discovered this desecration of Hampton’s grave at that time. (Credit: Flint Taylor)

Just after the raid that killed Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, the Minister of Defense for the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party, Bobby Rush, declared that J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI were responsible for the raid. However, at that time there was no hard proof. The first documentation that supported Rush’s claim came in 1971 when activists broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, and liberated a trove of FBI documents. These documents outlined the FBI’s super-secret and highly illegal COINTELPRO program and its focus in the 1960s on the Black liberation movement and its leaders. Using Malcolm X as an example, Hoover directed all of the Bureau’s offices to “disrupt, misdirect, and otherwise neutralize” African American organizations and leaders including the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Nation of Islam, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown.

In Chicago, a major breakthrough came in 1973 when it was revealed that Chicago BPP Chief of Security William O’Neal was a paid informant for the FBI. Lawyers at the People’s Law Office (full disclosure: I was one of those lawyers) had filed a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of the Hampton and Clark families and the raid survivors shortly after the raid, and they subpoenaed the Chicago FBI’s files on O’Neal. While the FBI only produced a tiny fraction of the relevant files, an honest Assistant US Attorney produced an FBI memorandum that included a detailed floor plan of the interior of Fred Hampton’s apartment that specifically identified the bed on which Hampton slept. The memo, on its face, showed that the floor plan, together with other important information designed to be utilized in a police raid, was based on information communicated by O’Neal to his FBI control agent, and that the agent supplied this information to State’s Attorney Hanrahan’s office before the raid.

The lawyers then focused on discovering more details about the FBI’s involvement in the conspiracy. We sought the Chicago office’s COINTELPRO file in order to establish a direct link between the FBI’s illegal program and the raid on December 4. At the same time, Idaho Senator Frank Church’s Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations (Church Committee), which was created in the wake of the Watergate scandal, was investigating rampant abuses by all US intelligence agencies, including the FBI. In late 1975 a Church Committee attorney informed the People’s Law Office lawyers that the Committee had obtained several Chicago documents that definitively established the link. Armed with the content of the still secret documents, the lawyers were able to convince the judge, who had previously refused to compel the FBI to produce the Chicago COINELPRO file, to order the FBI to do so. In the file that was subsequently produced were several documents that revealed the FBI’s efforts to foment gang violence against Hampton and the Chicago Panthers, and one dated December 3, 1969, that claimed the impending raid as part of the COINTEPRO program.

In January 1976 the trial of the Fred Hampton civil case began in Federal Court. Two months into what would turn out to be the longest trial in federal court history, O’Neal’s FBI control agent inadvertently revealed that the FBI had not produced all of its files on Hampton, O’Neal, the raid survivors and the Chicago BPP. The judge reluctantly ordered that they do so, and the next day a government lawyer wheeled in on shopping carts nearly 200 volumes of FBI files that had been suppressed since they were first requested three years before. The government produced several redacted volumes of these files each day over the next month. The files contained directives to destroy the Panther’s Breakfast for Children Program and disrupt the distribution of the BPP newspaper; reports showing that the dynamic and charismatic 21-year-old Fred Hampton was a targeted BPP leader; materials demonstrating that O’Neal was an agent provocateur; and massive wiretap “overhears” (logs that included conversations between BPP members and their attorneys).

Among the government’s documentation was O’Neal’s control file. In it was yet another smoking gun: memos to and from FBI headquarters and the Chicago office requesting and approving payment of a $300 bonus — 30 pieces of silver — to reward O’Neal for his role in the raid. According to the memos, O’Neal’s information was of “tremendous value” and, in the words of O’Neal’s COINTELRO supervisor, made the raid a “success.”

That same month, on April 23, 1976, the Church Committee released its final staff report, which devoted an entire chapter to the “FBI’s Covert Action Plan to Destroy the Black Panther Party.” The chapter concluded by highlighting the Hampton raid as a COINTELPRO operation and quoting from the recently uncovered “bonus” documents.

The judge, an unabashed supporter of the FBI, exonerated the FBI and its DOJ lawyers of any wrongdoing in suppressing the documents. A year later, he dismissed O’Neal and the other FBI defendants from the case. On April 23, 1979, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, in a landmark 2-1 decision, overturned the trial judge, finding that the FBI and their government lawyers “obstructed justice” by suppressing documents. The Court of Appeals also concluded that there was “serious evidence” to support the conclusion that the FBI, Hanrahan and his police unit had participated in a “conspiracy designed to subvert and eliminate the Black Panther Party and its members” in planning and executing the raid, thereby suppressing a “vital radical Black political organization.” The Court of Appeals further found that the evidence additionally supported the conclusion that these same defendants also participated in a post-raid conspiracy to “cover up evidence” regarding the raid, “to conceal the true character of their pre-raid and raid activities,” to “harass the survivors of the raid” and to “frustrate any legal redress the survivors might seek.” This decision survived a challenge in the US Supreme Court, and stands to this day as a unique judicial recognition of outrageous federal and local conspiratorial criminality and cover-up.

As we enter the uncharted waters of a volatile Trump presidency, with an unrepentant Ku Klux Klan sympathizer slated to head up the Justice Department, it is important not to relegate the Hampton assassination and COINTELPRO to the annals of history. Particularly in an era of officially sanctioned drone assassinations, government provocateurs running wild, and a presidential election in which the “winner” appears to have benefited from international and FBI COINTELPRO-like actions, while the “loser” used similar tactics against her opponent in the primaries, it is well to remember a quote from a 1964 COINTELPRO directive:

Over the years, our approach to investigative problems in the intelligence field has given rise to a number of new programs, some of which have been most revolutionary, and it can be presumed that with a continued aggressive approach to these programs, new and productive ideas will be forthcoming. These ideas will not be increased in number or improved upon from the standpoint of accomplishments merely through the institution of a program such as COINTELPRO which is given another name and in fact, only encompasses everything that has been done in the past or will be done in the future.

For Black Lives Matter, the Water Protectors at Standing Rock, undocumented workers, Muslims, environmental activists, and a multitude of other people and organizations, the future, as contemplated in the 1964 COINTELRO memo and implemented in its most violent and racist form on December 4, 1969, may well be upon us again. The only answer now, as it was then, is to organize, educate and resist. And, as Fred Hampton would say, “All Power to the People.”

Note: For more information on the Hampton/Clark case, the history of the Black Panther Party and the FBI’s program to destroy it, visit

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Supreme Court rules against exposing Israel’s role in Bosnian genocide

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

By John Brown

Citing potential damage to Israel’s foreign relations, the Supreme Court rejects a petition calling to reveal details of the government’s arms exports to the Serbian army during the Bosnian genocide.

A mass grave in Bosnia. (ICTY)

A mass grave in Bosnia. (ICTY)


Israel’s Supreme Court last month rejected a petition to reveal details of Israeli defense exports to the former Yugoslavia during the genocide in Bosnia in the 1990s. The court ruled that exposing Israeli involvement in genocide would damage the country’s foreign relations to such an extent that it would outweigh the public interest in knowing that information, and the possible prosecution of those involved.

The petitioners, Attorney Itay Mack and Professor Yair Oron, presented the court with concrete evidence of Israeli defense exports to Serbian forces at the time, including training as well as ammunition and rifles. Among other things, they presented the personal journal of General Ratko Mladić, currently on trial at the International Court of Justice for committing war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Mladić’s journal explicitly mentions Serbia’s ample arms ties with Israel at the time.

The exports took place long after the UN Security Council placed an arms embargo on various parts of the former Yugoslavia, and after the publication of a series of testimonies exposing genocide and the creation of concentration camps.

The Israeli State Attorney’s reply and the court’s rejection of the petition are a de facto admission by Israel that it cooperated with the Bosnian genocide: if the government had nothing to hide, the documents under discussion would not pose any threat to foreign relations.

The most horrific acts of cruelty since the Holocaust

Between 1991 and 1995 the former Yugoslavia shattered, going from a multi-national republic to an assemblage of nations fighting each other in a bloody civil war that included massacres and ultimately genocide.

The Serbs waged war against Croatia from 1991-1992, and against Bosnia from 1992-1995. In both wars the Serbs committed genocide and ethnic cleansing of Muslims in the areas they occupied, leading to the deaths of 250,000 people. Tens of thousands of others were wounded and starved, a multitude of women were raped, and many people were incarcerated in concentration camps. Other parties to the conflict also committed war crimes, but the petition focuses on Israel’s collaboration with the Serbian forces. The horrendously cruel acts in Yugoslavia were the worst Europe had seen since the Holocaust.

Ratko Mladić. Evidence of Israeli arms deals was found in his journal. (Mikhail Estefayev)

Ratko Mladić. Evidence of Israeli arms deals was found in his journal. (Mikhail Estefayev)

One of the most notorious massacres was perpetrated by soldiers serving under Serbian General Ratko Mladić around the city of Srebrenica in July 1995. Serbian forces commanded by the general murdered about 8,000 Bosnians and buried them in mass graves in the course of a campaign of ethnic cleansing they were waging against Muslims in the area. Although the city was supposed to be under UN protection, when the massacre began UN troops did not intervene. Mladić was extradited to the International Court of Justice at The Hague in 2012, and is still on trial.

At the time, prominent Jewish organizations were calling for an immediate end to the genocide and shutting down the death camps. Not so the State of Israel. Outwardly it condemned the massacre, but behind the scenes was supplying weapons to the perpetrators and training their troops.

Attorney Mack and Professor Oron have gathered numerous testimonies about the Israeli arms supply to Serbia, which they presented in their petition. They provided evidence of such exports taking place long after the UN Security Council embargo went into effect in September 1991. The testimonies have been crossed-checked and are brought here as they were presented in the petition, with necessary abbreviations.

In 1992 a former senior official of the Serb Ministry of Defense published a book, The Serbian Army, in which she wrote about the arms deal between Israel and Serbia, signed about a month after the embargo: “One of the largest deals was made in October 1991. For obvious reasons, the deal with the Jews was not made public at the time.”

An Israeli who volunteered in a humanitarian organization in Bosnia at the time testified that in 1994 a UN officer asked him to look at the remains of 120 mm shell — with Hebrew writing on it that exploded on the landing strip of the Sarajevo airfield. He also testified that he saw Serbs moving around in Bosnia carrying Uzi guns made in Israel.

A concentration camp in Bosnia. (ITN)

A concentration camp in Bosnia. (ITN)


In 1995 it was reported that Israeli arms dealers in collaboration with the French closed a deal to supply Serbia with LAW missiles. According to reports from 1992, a delegation of the Israeli Ministry of Defense came to Belgrade and signed an agreement to supply shells.

The same General Mladić who is now being prosecuted for war crimes and genocide, wrote in his journal that “from Israel — they proposed joint struggle against Islamist extremists. They offered to train our men in Greece and a free supply of sniper rifles.” A report prepared at the request of the Dutch government on the investigation of the Srebrenica events contains the following: “Belgrade considered Israel, Russia and Greece its best friends. In autumn 1991 Serbia closed a secret arms deal with Israel.”

In 1995 it was reported that Israeli arms dealers supplied weapons to VRS — the army of Republika Srpska, the Bosnian Serb Army. This supply must have been made with the knowledge of the Israeli government.

The Serbs were not the only party in this war to which the Israeli arms dealers tried to sell weapons. According to reports, there was also an attempt to make a deal with the anti-Semitic Croatian regime, which eventually fell through. The petition also presented reports by human rights activists about Israelis training the Serb army, and that the arms deal with the Serbs enabled Jews to leave Sarajevo under siege.

While all of this was taking place in relative secrecy, at the public level the government of Israel lamely expressed its misgivings about the situation, as if this were some force majeure and not a manmade slaughter. In July 1994, then-Chairman of the Israeli Knesset’s Foreign Relations and Defense Committee MK Ori Or visited Belgrade and said: “Our memory is alive. We know what it means to live with boycotts. Every UN resolution against us has been taken with a two-thirds majority.” That year, Vice President of the US at the time, Al Gore, summoned the Israeli ambassador and warned Israel to desist from this cooperation.

Incidentally, in 2013 Israel had no problem extraditing to Bosnia-Herzegovina a citizen who immigrated to Israel seven years earlier and was wanted for suspicion of involvement in a massacre in Bosnia in 1995. In other words, at some point the state itself recognized the severity of the issue.

The Supreme Court in the service of war crimes

The Supreme Court session on the State’s reply to the petition was held ex parte, i.e. the petitioners weren’t allowed to hear it. Justices Danziger, Mazouz and Fogelman rejected the petition and accepted the State’s position that revealing the details of Israeli defense exports to Serbia during the genocide would damage Israel’s foreign relations and security, and that this potential damage exceeds the public’s interest in exposing what happened.

A mass grave at Srebrenica, where Serbian forces massacred around 8,000 Bosnian Muslims in 1995. (Adam Jones)

A mass grave at Srebrenica, where Serbian forces massacred around 8,000 Bosnian Muslims in 1995. (Adam Jones)


This ruling is dangerous for several reasons. Firstly, the court’s acceptance of the state’s certainty in how much damage would be caused to Israel’s foreign relations is perplexing. Earlier this year, the same Supreme Court rejected a similar claim regarding defense exports during the Rwandan genocide, yet a month later the state itself declared that the exports were halted six days after the killing started. If even the state does not see any harm in revealing – at least partially – this information regarding Rwanda, why was a sweeping gag imposed on the subject a month prior? Why did the Supreme Court justices overlook this deception, even refusing to accept it as evidence as the petitioners requested? After all, the state has obviously exaggerated in its claim that this information would be damaging to foreign relations.

Secondly, it is very much in the public’s interest to expose the state’s involvement in genocide, including through arms dealers, particularly as a state that was founded upon the devastation of its people following the Holocaust. It was for this reason that Israel was, for example, willing to disregard Argentina’s sovereignty when it kidnapped Eichmann and brought him to trial on its own soil. It is in the interest not only of Israelis, but also of those who were victims of the Holocaust. When the court considers war crimes, it is only proper for it to consider their interest as well.

When the court rules in cases of genocide that damage to state security – which remains entirely unproven – overrides the pursuit of justice for the victims of such crimes, it is sending a clear message: that the state’s right to security, whether real or imaginary, is absolute, and takes precedent over the rights of its citizens and others.

The Supreme Court’s ruling might lead one to conclude that the greater the crime, the easier it is to conceal. The more arms sold and the more genocide perpetrators trained, the greater the damage to the state’s foreign relations and security should such crimes be exposed, and the weight of such supposed damage will necessarily override the public interest. This is unacceptable. It turns the judges – as the petitioners have put it – into accomplices. The justices thus also make an unwitting Israeli public complicit with war crimes, and deny them the democratic right to conduct the relevant discussion.

The state faces a series of similar requests regarding its collaboration with the murderers of the Argentinian Junta, Pinochet’s regime in Chile, and Sri Lanka. Attorney Mack intends to present additional cases by the end of this year. Even if it is in the state’s interest to reject these petitions, the Supreme Court must stop helping to conceal these crimes — if not for the sake of prosecuting perpetrators of past crimes, at least in order to put a stop to them in our time.

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Kerry: Israel ‘Heading to a Place of Danger’

Steve Herman
FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to the Saban Forum in Washington, D.C., Dec. 7, 2014. Speaking Sunday at the annual forum, Kerry said that the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians is “getting worse” and “moving in the wrong direction."

FILE – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to the Saban Forum in Washington, D.C., Dec. 7, 2014. Speaking Sunday at the annual forum, Kerry said that the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians is “getting worse” and “moving in the wrong direction.”

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‘I Am Fidel:’ Cuba’s Youth Deepen Commitment to Revolution

  • A student wearing face paint attends a tribute to former Cuban President Fidel Castro in Santiago de Cuba, Dec. 3, 2016.
    A student wearing face paint attends a tribute to former Cuban President Fidel Castro in Santiago de Cuba, Dec. 3, 2016. | Photo: Reuters
“Fidel lives in the hearts of all Cubans, Fidel becomes bigger, Fidel becomes history, Fidel will never die,” said Elian Gonzalez.

To millions of Cubans, Fidel Castro was more than just a president, he also embodied revolutionary struggle, and with his death many have chosen to pay tribute to him by pledging to continue that struggle and remain loyal to the ideas of the Cuban Revolution.

RELATED: Raul Castro Reveals Fidel’s Final Dying Wish

Through an initiative of the Cuban Communist Party, people throughout Cuba have signed a pledge affirming their commitment to the concept of the Revolution as articulated by Fidel in a landmark speech he delivered on International Workers’ Day in Havana in 2000.

“Revolution means to have a sense of history; it is changing everything that must be changed; it is full equality and freedom,” said Fidel before hundreds of thousands in the historic speech. “It is being treated and treating others like human beings; it is achieving emancipation by ourselves and through our own efforts; it is challenging powerful dominant forces from within and without the social and national milieu; it is defending the values in which we believe at the cost of any sacrifice.

“It is modesty, selflessness, altruism, solidarity and heroism; it is fighting with courage, intelligence and realism; it is never lying or violating ethical principles.

“It is a profound conviction that there is no power in the world that can crush the power of truth and ideas,” Fidel continued in the iconic speech. “Revolution means unity; it is independence, it is fighting for our dreams of justice for Cuba and for the world, which is the foundation of our patriotism, our socialism and our internationalism.”

Fidel’s words on May 1, 2000 soon became the definition of revolution inside Cuba and have been widely reproduced, even plastered on billboards.

IN PHOTOS: Cuba Bids Farewell to ‘El Comandante’ in Santiago

Over the course of nine official days of mourning since his death on Nov. 25, Cubans have signed their names below Fidel’s words at more than a thousand points throughout the country, swearing to “keep fighting for these ideas.”

Young people, in particular, have accepted the commitment to honor Fidel’s legacy.

“In this way we are demonstrating that the Cuban youth are the vanguard and the continuity of the struggle that man started, who more than a leader and strategist, is a paternal figure for us,” Andres David Misa Rojas, a student at Fidel’s alma mater the University of Havana, told Granma, the official newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party’s Central Committee.

As Fidel’s remains traveled through Cuba on route to their final resting place in his hometown of Santiago de Cuba, many youth lining the road could be seen with Fidel’s name written on their faces.

Meanwhile, others had “I am Fidel” on their faces as a sign of their gratitude for his life’s work and their commitment to continue his struggle.

“Why ‘Yo Soy Fidel’? Fidel did everything for this country,” Ernesto Lao, a technical professor, told the Miami Herald. “Even though he’s now dead, we would die for the same causes.”

“My name is Ernesto, but now my name is Fidel.”

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Birmingham: CPGB-ML, IWA, and SLP remember Comrade Fidel Castro


On Sunday, December 4th, comrades from the Communist Party of Great Britain – Marxist Leninist (CPGB-ML), the Indian Workers’ Association (IWA), and the Socialist Labour Party (SLP) held a meeting to remember the Cuban Revolutionary, Fidel Castro, and his contribution to the betterment of working people in Cuba and around the world.

Commemoration of comrade Fidel Castro's life, Shaheed Udham Singh Welfare Centre; Birmingham
Pictured: Cde. Paul – Commemoration of comrade Fidel Castro’s life, Shaheed Udham Singh Welfare Centre; Birmingham

Two speakers, Paul (CPGB-ML) and John Tyrrell (SLP), kicked off the meeting by giving insightful talks on the history of Cuba, including the conditions that led to the rise of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), and its achievements. The meeting was then opened up to the floor for contributions from comrades attending the meeting.

Pictured: Cde. John Tyrrell Commemoration of comrade Fidel Castro's life, Shaheed Udham Singh Welfare Centre; Birmingham
Pictured: Cde. John Tyrrell – Commemoration of comrade Fidel Castro’s life, Shaheed Udham Singh Welfare Centre; Birmingham

Comrades from the CPGB-ML recorded the meeting for those who could not attend in person, you can hear the full meeting below:

If you’d like to attend a future Fidel Castro memorial event, Comrades from the CPGB-ML and the Sri Lankan JVP will be meeting to commemorate the life of a great revolutionary and the achievements of Cuba’s socialist revolution. That event will run from 17:00 – 19:00 at Saklatvala Hall, Dominion Road, Southall, UB2 5AA on December 10th (Facebook event).

After learning of the death of Fidel Castro, a beloved friend of oppressed and exploited people across the world, and all those struggling to create a better future, comrades in London gathered at the Cuban embassy on Saturday, 26th November, to pay their respects to the revolutionary leader.

The CPGB-ML’s obituary for Fidel Castro is now available to read online and in print. Below you can see an excerpt from that informative piece of writing:

“After many battles by the guerrilla forces in the mountains, combined with the ongoing struggles of the peasantry in the countryside and of the working class in the cities, the revolutionary movement began to achieve victory after victory. On new year’s eve 1958, seeing the writing on the wall, the dictator Batista fled the country. The following day, 1 January 1959, Fidel and his comrades triumphantly rode into the capital, Havana. They went on immediately to arrest, try and execute the leading criminals of the Batista regime.

The revolutionaries were determined to bring relief to the masses, who had suffered horrendously for centuries – first at the hands of Spanish colonialists and then, from 1898 onwards, at the hands of US imperialism and its stooges. To this end, their government expropriated large landed estates and nationalised all foreign enterprises. They also set up schools and clinics as quickly as they could across the country.”

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Comandante Fidel Laid to Rest in Heroes’ Cemetery

  • Cuban President Raul Castro has the honor of placing Fidel
    Cuban President Raul Castro has the honor of placing Fidel’s ashes in his tomb. | Photo: teleSUR
Cuba’s revolutionary leader’s life, influence, ideas and achievements will continue to live on, Cuban social organization leaders said.

The ashes of Fidel Castro, the leader of the Cuban Revolution, were interred Sunday morning in the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery in Santiago de Cuba near the remains of Cuban independence hero Jose Marti.

RELATED:  ‘Hasta Siempre, Comandante’: Thousands of Cubans Mourn Fidel

The funeral, described by Cuban President Raul Castro as a “simple ceremony,” comes on the final day of Cuba’s nine official days of mourning in the wake of Fidel’s death on Nov. 25.

Following the arrival of Fidel’s remains in his hometown of Santiago de Cuba Saturday night, hundreds of thousands of Cubans chanting “Yo soy Fidel,” meaning “I am Fidel,” filled the Antonio Maceo Revolution Square in an overnight vigil to memorialize the late leader, who died at the age of 90. Foreign dignitaries and leftist leaders also joined Raul Castro and the Cuban political leadership on stage to pay their final respects and immortalize the man who led the island nation and championed socialism and anti-imperialism, particularly in Latin America, for more than 50 years.

Fidel made it “possible to firmly maintain the inalienable principles of our sovereignty without fear to the nuclear blackmail of the United States during those days of the missile crisis in October 1962,” Raul Castro said during the gathering.

Fidel’s influence extended far beyond Cuba’s borders, seen in many of the anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist and anti-colonial struggles around the world. From military and moral support of independence movements to the nation’s contributions in medicine, literacy, women’s rights and more, many who spoke on Saturday night as well as on Tuesday during the mass gathering in Havana described Fidel’s spirit as being palpable in this legacy.

Fidel’s ashes left Havana on Nov. 30 and traveled through the country for four days, arriving in Santiago de Cuba on Saturday.

Posted in CUBAComments Off on Comandante Fidel Laid to Rest in Heroes’ Cemetery

Turkish Realignment: Prospects amid Uncertainty


Image result for Erdoğan CARTOON


by Dr: Richard Falk

In recent months the Turkish President, Recep Teyipp Erdoğan, and his principal advisors have not made it a secret that they are reconsidering Turkey’s relations with neighbors, with the countries of the region, and with leading geopolitical actors.


The Early Agenda of AKP

 When the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002 it set about almost immediately to fashion a post-Cold War foreign policy based on the idea that it was time to supersede the Cold War posture of almost total Turkish deference to the United States, especially within NATO and bipolar contexts, and depict a conception of Turkish interests developed in Ankara rather than adhere to Washington’s blueprint. In its early period of national leadership, the AKP seemed to pursue four interrelated international goals:

            –resolve the Cyprus conflict;

            –give priority to seeking full membership in the European Union (EU);

            –improve diplomatic and political relations with Arab World;

            –seek continuity in U.S./NATO/EU relations, but with overall independence.


During the Foreign Ministry of Abdullah Gul, reflecting and incorporating some of Ahmet Davutoğlu ideas and his ambitious conception of the proper Turkish international role, this new assertiveness of Turkish foreign policy achieved with impressive results. Turkey’s signature approach of ‘Zero Problems with Neighbors’ (ZPN) was initially seen as the adoption of a regional conflict-resolving perspective, and given early credibility by transforming relations with Syria from hostility to harmony. Syria became the poster child of ZPN, and the new approach was reinforced by a rapid expansion of economic and cultural relations with countries throughout the Arab World. Beyond this, Turkey extended its foreign policy with substantial economic and diplomatic success to the non-Arab parts of the Islamic World, as well as to sub-Saharan Africa. Istanbul, rather than Paris or London, quickly became the preferred hub for a wide variety of international political gatherings of interest to the Global South.


There was also a large emphasis placed by during the early AKP years on the acceleration of accession diplomacy with the EU, leading to an unexpected civilianizing of the Turkish government in ways that reduced the leverage of the armed forces in domestic politics and definitely moved in the direction of meeting the preconditions of human rights, democratization, and secularity that would seem to qualify Turkey to become an EU member, comparing favorably with the record of several East European countries that gained membership in the EU without confronting strong accession obstacles. The AKP also had domestic reasons to build a firewall against any future coup by the armed forces whose leadership was imbued with Kemalist belief, including a feared encroachment of political Islam on the governing process.


While developing a more pro-active and independent foreign policy, the AKP leadership continued to affirm its relationship with the United States, and as a staunch NATO ally. This affirmation was somewhat tested in 2003 when Washington pressed Turkey to allow a portion of the planned attack on Iraq to proceed from Turkish territory. The Turkish Parliament refused to give its consent, and the Erdoğan leadership under pressure from the United States, submitted the American request a second time with an executive recommendation of approval, but Parliament again withheld consent. It remains uncertain as to whether Erdoğan was pretending to seek parliamentary approval or was genuinely willing to allow Turkey to become directly involved in the attack upon neighboring Iraq. When the attack against Iraq proceeded without UN authorization, Turkey adopted a low profile approach that included a readiness to cooperate with the American-led occupation of Iraq, which sought to restore stability to the country. In effect, the new AKP foreign policy wanted to achieve freedom of maneuver for Turkey but without shaking the foundations of the foreign policy that had guided the ardently secular leadership of the country since the origins of the republic.


Revising AKP Foreign Policy

 Five major changes of circumstances undermined this early AKP approach to foreign policy: First of all, the deterioration of relations with Israel that became dramatically manifest at the 2009 Davos meetings of the World Economic Forum when Erdoğan sharply confronted the Israeli President, Shimon Peres, on Israel’s massive attack (Cast Lead) on Gaza, and climaxed in 2010 when Israeli commandos attacked the humanitarian flotilla bringing medical supplies to Gaza, killing 9 Turkish nationals on the Mavi Marmara, the largest ship in the flotilla of ships challenging the Israeli blockade. Clearly, Israel was sending a warning message to Turkey that it would push back against any Turkish challenge, including those of civil society, to the Israeli approach to Palestinians living under occupation. This encounter challenged Washington to seek restored normalcy in Israeli-Turkish relations so that it would not have to choose sides or juggle relations with both. Energetic diplomatic efforts by Barack Obama sought to heal this breach between these two principal strategic American allies in the region.


The second development involved Turkish reactions to the 2011 uprisings in the Arab World, the so-called ‘Arab Spring.’ It should be remembered that Turkey was among the first countries to affirm unconditionally these uprisings against authoritarian rule, treating the political upheavals as welcome expressions of democratizing passions on the part of the citizenry. Turkish prestige in the region reached an all time high, and there was talk throughout the Middle East of the applicability of ‘the Turkish model.’ It was often overlooked that Erdoğan went to Cairo in the Spring of 2011 to encourage Egyptian political forces to follow the Turkish example of political secularism, and not try to embody religion in the governing process. This view not appreciated at the time in Egypt being interpreted as a neo-Ottoman effort to interfere with Egyptian internal rights of self-determination.


The third development was the gradual Turkish realization that their prospects for EU membership were declining despite their internal good faith efforts to comply with accession expectations. The main explanation for this decline involved the rise of Islamophobia in several key countries in Western Europe whose political approval by national referendum would be necessary before Turkish membership could be formally approved. With the virtual disappearance of this European option, the pragmatic case for internal political reform in Turkey was weakened while making the benefits of a geopolitically more equi-distant diplomacy more evident, being implemented through Turkish openings to Iran, Russia, India, and China. In other words, facing a demeaning rejection by the EU even if not directly expressed, Turkey partially turned eastward, or at least contemplated such a turn away from Europe and the West, given dramatic emphasis by Erdoğan’s display of embittered anger in reaction to EU criticism. This dynamic was further aggravated by the controversial 2015 agreement with the EU by which Turkey would slow the flow of Syrian refugees across its borders in exchange for a monetary payment and visa-free travel to Europe for Turks. From a human rights perspective, it should be noted, this kind of treatment of refugees, misleadingly called ‘migrants,’ is highly questionable, instrumentalizing their destiny as an inter-governmental bargaining chip rather than respecting their vulnerability by establishing a humane protective regime.


The fourth development relates to the various signs that Erdoğanwas assuming a more authoritarian role in the Turkish governing process, especially in the aftermath of the AKP electoral victory in 2011. In these years Erdoğan overtly embraced a majoritarian view of democracy weakening the republican character of the Turkish government. This dynamic was accentuated after he became President of Turkey in 2014, and in response to a renewal of hostility with the large Kurdish minority, especially as represented by the Peoples Workers Party (PKK). Erdoğan’s blunt political style, combined with Turkey’s earlier shows of independence and break with Israel, encouraged a much more critical tone in the international media treatment of the AKP leadership in Turkey. This shift amounted to a sea change if compared to the more balanced approach taken between 2002-2011. The anti-Erdoğan hostility peaked in response to the Gezi Park incident in 2013 when Turkish police used excessive force to break up a series of Istanbul demonstrations by opposition forces. It seems notable that the criticisms of Turkish encroachments on human rights were given far greater international attention than the far worse contemporaneous encroachments by the Sisi regime in Egypt and the Saudi monarchy. This difference in international perceptions reflects the overseas influence of anti-AKP activists as well as the divergence of policy as between Ankara and Washington, Brussels, and Tel Aviv.


The fifth development is associated with the failed coup of July 15th.

The Turkish Government and internal Turkish public opinion were strongly convinced that the coup perpetrators were linked to the Fetullah Gülen (or Hizmet) movement, and that the United States Government had some prior knowledge, and if circumstantial evidence is to be trusted, quite possibly signaled a green light to the perpetrators. In the course of the coup, and during its aftermath, neither the US nor Europe expressed their support for the democratically elected government of Turkey, adopting a wait and see attitude that seemed poised to accept, if not welcome, the outcome had the coup been successful. Beyond this the US Government has not been responsive to the Turkish formal extradition request, failing to detain Fetullah Gülen while the legal process proceeded. Again international coverage of post-coup Turkey gives almost all of its attention to the Erdoğan crackdown on those suspected of involvement with the Hizmet movement, which while excessive and troublesome, does not depict the context in which it is reasonable for the AKP leadership to feel threatened from within by the continued Hizmet penetration of the organs of government and as a result of Kurdish militancy and ISIS terrorism. At the same time, it is fully understandable that international forces hostile to the AKP should highlight the massive dismissals from academic institutions and widespread media closures as amounting to a witch hunt.


A Turkish Foreign Policy Reset?

Against such a background, it is hardly surprising that Turkey should in this period be exploring its foreign policy options. Indeed, the exploration preceded the coup attempt of the past year. The impulse to reset Turkish foreign policy reflected a retreat from the more principled and rigid foreign policy positions associated with Davutoğlu’s influence and the endorsement of a pragmatic attempt to minimize hostile regional and global tensions.


Most controversially from an American perspective, the pragmatic turn seemed to regard as its centerpiece improved relations with Russia. The goal was broad based cooperation with Russia in recognition of shared interests, including a possible compromise on how to establish a sustainable ceasefire in Syria. From the perspective of the American national security establishment cooperative Russian/Turkish relations were viewed as an unfavorable development at least until the electoral victory of Donald Trump. When the prospect of Hillary Clinton becoming the next America president was a near certainty, there existed a general expectation that the West would soon confront Russia in a more determined way than during the Obama presidency. In Turkey this encouraged the belief that the US national security establishment was sufficiently opposed to any closeness between Russia and Turkey as to have explained its possible support for the coup attempt of last July, or at minimum, its ambivalence toward the outcome. This suspicion, although widely shared in Turkey, remains without evidence, and is purely conjectural.


With Trump becoming the next American president it seems more likely, but by no means assured, that relations between the West and Russia will again be guided by a realist logic of mutual interests. This prospect is also encouraged by the recent emergence in Europe of several political leaders that favor accommodation with Russia. There may be an initial collision of policies if Trump follows through on his campaign pledge to renounce the nuclear agreement with Iran or significantly increases pressure on its implementation.


Tensions with the EU over the migration deal and in reaction to freezing accession talks also inclines Turkey to evaluate various additional forms of realignment, including a reported consideration of joining informal international groupings that are led by China and Russia.


In the end, if Trump follows through with a non-interventionist approach to the Middle East, and Turkish internal stability is restored, it seems most likely that there will be a weakening of relations with Europe and the United States, but no break, and no move that deserves to be labeled as ‘realignment.’ Turkey will probably place greater emphasis on economic and diplomatic relations with Asia, as well as with a renewal of interactions within the Middle East and North Africa, minimizing ideological differences.



There is more uncertainty with respect to global politics than at any time since the end of the Cold War. This uncertainty reflects the rise of authoritarian leaders in many important countries that enjoy the backing of a mobilized right-wing populism that pushes against economic globalization and gives an impetus to exclusionary forms of nationalism. Turkey is part of this wider international trend, and seems caught between contradictory pressures toward continuity and discontinuity in the conduct of its foreign policy. With Trump’s ascendancy the same can be said of the United States.


In general, it seems encouraging that Turkey has again seems to be opting for a foreign policy that is pragmatic rather than programmatic and normative, although it is not at this time exerting the kind of wider influence and leadership in the region and beyond that characterized the Davutoğlu approach. The times are different, calling for less ambition and greater stability.


How this pragmatic repositioning of Turkey in relation to East and West, North and South, will finally crystallize remains highly uncertain. Whether it results in major changes in orientation depends largely on whether Turkish ties to the West are maintained, Middle East turmoil is contained, and Turkish internal politics calms down.

Posted in TurkeyComments Off on Turkish Realignment: Prospects amid Uncertainty

Traitors of Pakistan Get Together in London


Map of Pakistan

By Sajjad Shaukat

Because of the ideal strategic location of its province Balochistan and being the lonely nuclear

country in the Islamic World, Pakistan has become special target of the foreign entities like US,

India, Israel and some western countries whose secret agencies have been destabilizing it through

various kinds of terror attacks, as witnessed in the recent years. These hostile elements are also

using propaganda in maligning Pakistan.

In this regard, in a recent report, Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) blamed that the

government, military and Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) of Pakistan are involved in

elimination of Baloch people by adopting tactics of disappearances and extra-judicial killings

under the canopy of National Action Plan (NAP). AHRC allegedly pointed out that the

government and military are involved in creating and supporting Islamist extremist groups to

manage domestic political challenges in Balochistan.

Report further elaborated that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has again provoked

the government to commence a new phase of military operation in Balochistan to curb the

popular demands for autonomy and equal rights in comparison with other provinces.

While, there is no confirmation and authenticity of any involvement of Armed Forces/LEAs/

Agencies in the said report. But, to make their donors happy (who are mostly from European

Countries, USA, India and Israel) are highly opposed to CPEC project. In fact, AHRC is

spreading disinformation to achieve the grand designs of these countries by creating hurdles in

the way of CPEC.

For the purpose of propaganda campaign against Pakistan’s security forces, these external

elements have also hired the services of those Pakistanis who are vulnerable and can work

against the national interest of their own country.

According to online sources, on 28-30 October 2016, these traitors get together and a conference

titled “Future of Pakistan” was organized in London under aegis of South Asians against

Terrorism & for Human Rights (SAATH). The moot was termed by segment of social media as

“Pakistani Left Gathers in London to Set Things Right”. SAATH can be reached

at; however this website has not updated any features as yet.

SAATH is a recently raised forum and the conference which was co-hosted by a US-based

activist Dr Mohammad Taqi and Pakistan’s former ambassador Hussain Haqqani. Other

prominent participants included ANP leaders Bushra Gohar, Afrasiab Khattak, MQM London

leader Wasay Jalil, ex-diplomats- Wajid Shamsul Hassan, Hussain Haqqani, columnists and

academicians-Rashed Rehman, Dr Ayesha Siddiqa, Marvi Sermad, Gul Bukhari, Dr Taimur

Rahman of Laal and Mazdoor Kisan Party, activists and anchors-Anis Harooni, Asma Sherazi,

Meena Sarwar, Shah Jahan Baloch (represent Baloch HR group), Saleem Javed (Sweden based

HR activist from Hazara Community), Senge Hasnan Sering (USA based Giglit-Baltistan

activist), Sufi Leghari, Dr Haroon Ahmad, Prof Aqil Shah, author Dr Farhat Taj, journalists

Murtaza Solangi, Umber Khairi, Babar Ayaz and many others.

All major Indian papers and channels and major Pakistani newspapers gave wide coverage to the

moot. The speeches of selected participants are also available on YouTube.

They gathered in the cozy London, away from the gaze of the feared establishment, to vent their

views under the patronage of Hussain Haqqani. The aim of SAATH forum was to put their heads

together to find an alternative narrative to get rid of the Albatross hanging in Pakistan’s neck, the

establishment. Hussain Haqqani commenced in a lighter tone with jokes and giggles and laughter

to purify Pakistani well from the stink created by the dead dog and everyone laughed and

clapped acknowledging the hint, who this dead dog was being referred to.

Some important remarks by participants from videos released on YouTube are as under:-

Murtaza Solangi said, “We know who the elephant in the room is; smaller provinces are

forcefully bound in Pakistan, it’s a prison and Pakistan is heading into a direction which will

make it worse than Yugoslavia. The forum should develop a monitoring mechanism for

implementation of its aims and objectives.”

Farheen Rizvi (MQM activist and blogger) stated, “The Rangers break in our homes in Karachi

and abuse our people in Punjab…they beat our youth and ridicule our being Mohajirs. We need

to augment our intellectual resources, why cannot all of us here write at least one article or blog

to raise the issue of suppression of Mohajir community.”

Sufi Laghari allegedly said, “Although we the Sindhis and Balochis have coexisted in Pakistan

till today, our remaining in one Pakistan has become very difficult, we need Azadi (Freedom).

Dr Anis Harooni as pointed out by Rashed Rehman said, “There is a Karkhana in Pakistan which

labels people as traitors, I don’t need a certificate for my loyalty, we are told to talk to

establishment, how we can trust them when they bulldoze their narrative on our heads. Out of 25

million Pakistani children out of schools almost 2.5 lacs land up in Madrissas, how can we bring


Bushra Gauhar (ANP) opined, “We are all defensive, Balochistan is burning, FATA has been

raised to ground, Pakistan in self destructive mode and our neighbours are angry, part time

activism should stop now and we need to continuously work to change the narrative in Pakistan.”

Dr Ayesha Siddiqa remarked, “We all know who the dog in the well is; however we are all part

of the problem and need to peruse the goals of the conference with consistency and vigor.”

Tahir Gora of TAG TV Canada Interviewed Altaf Hussain, as Tahir Gora and selected members

of SAATH forum called on Altaf Hussain for an interview which was arranged to show Altaf

Hussain in good spirit. However; Altaf Hussain showed a sublime and accommodative posture;

he highlighted the rights of Mohajir community. Tahir Gora runs an exclusive programme on

TAG TV including people like Tariq Fateh etc.

The timing of holding this forum was interesting, Pakistani Line of Control (LoC) is under direct

assault from the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Modi’s boys, terrorists—stepping up in

Balochistan and Karachi—Cyril gate and specter of Pakistan’s diplomatic isolation and Doval-

Modi circus going in full swing to isolate Pakistan and build up the bogey of Giglit-Baltistan and

Balochistan to deflect the attention away from the year of Pellet Guns and Dead Eyes in


Nevertheless, SAATH forum has been able to get maximum attention in Indian press and

electronic media. Recent weeks also saw resonating articles in Pakistani press, where criticism of

military operation Zarb-e- Azb and need for an alternative discourse and narrative was

highlighted. It is expected that the charade of assault on Pakistan Army and its primary

intelligence agency ISI would not only grow in coming days, but also become more sophisticated

and intense.

Nonetheless, at the end of the moot, journalist Rashed Rehman read out “London Declaration for

Pakistani Pluralism” which had following points:-

It is sad and disconcerting that instead of dealing real issues with the help of fresh ideas espoused

by broad-minded Pakistanis, the Pakistani state tends to appease or nurture religious extremists,

propagates religious extremism and allows it free spread in society, and persistently misinforms

the people of Pakistan about the realities of our country.

The Pakistani state, regrettably, expresses a continued willingness to engage with religious

extremists and terrorists, and sometimes even talks of formally inducting Jihadi terrorist groups

into the state’s paramilitary structure but remains hostile to liberal, progressive and nationalist

groupings within Pakistan. Political parties representing Baloch, Muhajir, Sindhi, and Pashtun

segments of Pakistan’s population have been targeted by both state repression and hostile

propaganda aimed at de-legitimizing them even when they have won clear electoral mandates

form the people.

Participants of today’s conference are a diverse array of people, united by the desire for a

pluralist and tolerant Pakistan that abides by internationally recognized human rights, allow full

and free debate, treats all its people and nationalities fairly and is no longer seen around the

world as an incubator for terrorism.

While, talking to Hindustan Times, Hussain Haqqani stated “If Pakistan wants to avoid big

pressure from the rest of the world; it has to change from within. The current narrative of the

establishment is untenable.”

As matter of fact, the main aims of these traitors were to share the malicious propaganda of the

anti-Pakistan elements by marginalization of the Baloch and other minorities by “Punjabi

majoritarianism”, showing crises of identity.

In this respect, Shahjahan Baloch who strongly opposed the $46 billion CPEC by saying that the

project had adversely affected Balochistan and recalled the killing of dozens of lawyers and

police cadets in the province in the recent past, elaborated, “It is wrong to say there is democracy

in Balochistan. We don’t want the development brought by CPEC. I have lost so many friends.

Who will want the fruits of such development that comes with so many killings? We only want

the right to life”.

And recounting the military’s pervasive role in public life, speakers of the conference stated that

the army was not involved in image and narrative management, with major investment in films,

radio and theatre to “capture the mind before it gets ideas…to strengthen democracy, the military

needs to be put on the back foot, news media in Pakistan was not being allowed to convey

ground realities to the people.”

They emphasized the need for a dialogue for unity among various ethnic groups. The conference

also concluded that Pakistan faces the risk of global isolation because of widespread

obscurantism, growing intolerance, lack of rule of law, along with official support for extremism

and general disregard for human rights.

It is surprising to note that while pursuing foreign agenda against Pakistan, the participants of the

conference ignored ground realities and facts. They neglected the statement of Indian spy

Kulbushan Yadav who admitted that he was assigned with the task to create unrest in Karachi

and Balolchitan by stating, “I supported the individuals who worked to destabilize Pakistan…I

promoted the criminal mindset that was there in Balochistan.” Another task assigned to him was

to target the Gwadar Port. Yadav also confessed—funding Baloch separatists along with other

terrorists. During investigation, RAW agent Yadav admitted that during his stay, he contacted

various Baloch separatist leaders and insurgents, including Dr Allah Nazar Baloch, to execute

the task to damage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.

In the recent past, Indian former Army Chief Gen. VK Singh openly confessed that during his

tenure, he supervised special army unit, Tactical Support Division (TSD) on the instructions of

the then defence minister to sponsor subversive acts in Pakistan, especially in Balochistan.

The participants of the conference must know that these blatant admissions by New Delhi

endorsed that with the assistance of CIA and Israeli Mossad, RAW has well-established its

network in Afghanistan. These secret agencies have been fully backing cross-border incursions

and terror-activities in Balochistan, Karachi and other regions of Pakistan, while providing the

anti-Pakistan elements to manipulate the situation. With the tactical assistance of America and

some western countries, India has continuously been assisting the Baloch separatist elements and

anti-Pakistan groups like BLA, Jundullah and TTP including their affiliated outfits with logistic

support—the militants kidnapped and killed many innocent people and the security personnel in

the province through suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings and sectarian violence. They

also abducted and killed many Chinese and Iranian nationals. Therefore, they are responsible for

dumped bodies and extrajudicial killings and the missing persons in the province. On a number

of occasions, these insurgent groups claimed responsibility for their acts of sabotage, but India

and some external powers have been shifting the blame game of human rights violations in

Balochistan and other areas of the country towards Pak Army.

In this context, these traitors’ purpose is to create resentment among the Baloch, Sindhis, people

of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan against Punjab and Army.

Whereas Army has not only been successful in uprooting the anti-state elements, but also

contributed a lot in socio-economic development of Balochistan. It is mentionable that besides

protecting mega projects, and promoting other developments works, Pak Army set up a number

of institutes in Balochistan, which have been providing especially technical training to thousands

of Balochis. Pak Army has also been imparting military training to the Baloch youth. The

purpose is to bring them in the mainstream of the country.

As a result of the general elections 2013, the government led by a nationalist leader Chief

Minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch was established. And on December 7, 2013; local

bodies elections were largely held in a peaceful manner in Balochistan. The successful elections

have greatly negated the cause of terrorist groups, who always claim to enjoy the majority

support. These elections also proved that majority of the Baloch are loyal to the federation, as

they have rejected the case of separatists, being projected by India.

The speakers of the conference should also take cognizance of the fact that since the government

of the Balochistan province announced general pardon and protection to the Baloch militants as

part of reconciliation process, many insurgents and their leaders have surrendered their arms and

decided to work for the development of Pakistan and the province, peace has been restored in the

Balochistan. But, recent terror attacks in Balochistan show that the US-led India and Israel have

again started acts of sabotage in the province.

Besides, the Rangers and the police have also restored peace in Karachi. Notably, since the anti-

Pakistan foreign connections of the former chief of MQM Altaf Hussain have been exposed, a

division has been created in the ranks and files of MQM, resulting into London-based MQM and

Karachi-based MQM.

The participants of the forum in London remained silent over the gross human rights violations

in India and the Indian Occupied Kashmir—promotion of Hindu extremism in India, the plight

of religious minorities. While following the foreign agenda against Islamabad, they did not pay

attention to the developments like persecution of minorities, forced conversions of other

religious minorities into Hindus, ban on beef and cow slaughter, inclusion of Hindu religious

books in curriculum etc., and creation of war-like situation with Pakistan, which have continued

since the leader of the ruling party BJP Narendra Modi became Prime Minister of India. Hindu

extremist outfits such as BJP, RSS VHP, Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena including other similar

parties have been promoting religious and ethnic chauvinism in India by propagating ideology of

Hindutva (Hindu nationalism). The extremist Hindus have particularly accelerated assaults on

Muslims and Christians, including their places of worship. In this respect, even western media

have highlighted the plight of minorities in India. But, traitors of Pakistan who get together in

London totally neglected these realities.

Posted in Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on Traitors of Pakistan Get Together in London

As we mourn Castro, it is time Africa’s youth rose up against kleptocracies

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

Nobody should be under the illusion that the conditions of poverty and hopelessness that crush the masses of the people in Africa are one day going to end without a bitter struggle. The time is ripe for a Socialist revolution in Africa that will overthrow elite misrule and put the continent on the path to true transformation. That is the urgent task for Africa’s teeming masses of young people.

The red flag at half-mast

“Soon I will be 90 years old,” he said. “Soon I will be like all the rest. Everybody’s turn comes.” Those are some of Fidel Castro’s last memorable words in public, during a meeting of the Cuban Communist Party congress on April 19, 2016. [1] The words perhaps symbolised his realisation that his watch was ultimately about to come to end. Then on November 25, he quietly bowed out from the national and international stage, [2] leaving his global audience heavily polarised over his legacy based on the national and foreign policies that he and his comrades had formulated, and which heavily impacted the Cuban people and the world at large. [3]

Polarised legacy

Nevertheless, whatever the western imperialist media that demonised him in life and death wants the world to believe, Fidel Castro, just like his comrades, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, and Raul Castro, both of whom speeded his transformation into a Marxist-Leninist, until his death stood for what he believed in. A set of ideals that appealed to the masses who were oppressed and exploited by the evils of capitalism, imperialism and colonialism, but were appalling to the western imperialist powers. These ideals against domination, exploitation, and subordination of African and Latin American countries led to reportedly numerous attempts, mostly by the US and its agents, on his life and regime. The failed Bay of Pigs invasion perhaps illustrated the tenacity of the US to go to get rid of Fidel Castro and his communist regime. [4] Despite all these machinations Fidel Castro has peacefully and naturally transitioned, at 90 years, while still steadfastly holding on to his ideals and commitments that he hoped would steer the next generation of progressive young leaders in Cuba and beyond. [5]

A true friend of Africa

For Africans, at least for those committed to seeing an Africa that is at peace with itself, Fidel was nothing other than a hero, and a true friend, not the monster portrayed by western charlatans. The collective dedication of the Cuban revolutionaries led by Fidel in word and deed to the struggle for Africa’s liberation from colonialism and western imperialism elevated him to the ranks of Kwame Nkrumah, Nelson Mandela, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Kenneth Kaunda, Robert Mugabe, amongst a plethora of other great African freedom fighters. The most impressive illustration of his dedication to the African struggle was his interventions in Namibia and Angola against the South African apartheid regime that continued to attract support from the US and other western European colonial powers hell bent on exploitation and domination of the continent. [6]

In 1990, upon being released from jail, a concerned Ken Alderman asked Mandela why he maintained close relations with Fidel and others, such as Muammar Gadhafi of Libya and Yasser Arafat of Palestine, whom in the view of the western imperialists were considered as “global pariahs”. [7] In his characteristic defiant response Mandela reiterated the unwavering support that Cuba had availed to the African National Congress in the fight against the white minority rule in South Africa throughout the struggle, as opposed to western latecomers who had joined the struggle in the dying days of the apartheid regime. [8] The commitment of Fidel’s Cuba to the cause of Africa still continues to date. This was more so witnessed by Cuba’s generous support in the fight against the Ebola outbreak in parts of West Africa in 2014.

Fidel gave back dignity to Cubans

In addition to these noble foreign ventures by Cuba in Africa and across Latin America to promote liberation struggles, Fidel also achieved much more at the domestic level for Cubans. The achievements range from universal free healthcare to free education. With regard to healthcare, Cuba has been a vanguard in first class innovation and delivery of free and quality modern health practices. This is illustrated by the fact that Cuba was the first country to successfully eliminate the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections from mother to child at birth. [9] This is an achievement that won accolades for Cuba, including from the World Health Organisation that described it as one of the greatest achievements in public healthcare in recent times.

Time for African youth to rise up against kleptocracies

Across the world, and more specifically in Africa, the death of Fidel Castro should ignite the revolutionary zeal amongst Africa’s young population, who at over 70 percent are the majority citizens. The economic and political struggle for independence in most countries across the continent has been betrayed by successive post-independence regimes. A fact that has left majority of young people wallowing in the miasma of poverty and hopelessness, even as corruption by incumbents and a few connected elites becomes a norm. The clarion call of pan-Africanism has become a cry for elites to absolve themselves at the international stage, whenever they are called upon to account for human rights violations and atrocities against their fellow countrymen and women. This is currently the case with regard to the International Criminal Court (ICC), where the leaders are loudly calling for either withdrawal from the ICC, [10] without necessarily advocating for the cause for good governance and accountability in their own countries.

It’s on the basis of these shenanigans by current crop of African leaders, reminiscent of Cuba under dictator Fulgencio Batista’s regime, that the youths across the continent should rise up to be innovative and develop measures aimed at pushing for political and economic transformation. The time is ripe and all the ingredients for a new 21st century socialist revolutionary movement against poverty and hopelessness, imposed by African leaders on the majority of suffering youths across the continent is all laid out! What is lacking is a committed set of revolutionaries to trigger the action.

And as Ernesto “Che” Guevara, one of Fidel Castro’s trusted and able comrades, once said during the height of the Cuban revolution, “there shall be no dull moments until victory!” Therefore it’s time for Africa’s young people to awake from their slumber, and carry on with the revolution, even as we salute our fallen comrades.

Rest in Power, Fidel Castro! You are gone, but you will never be forgotten! Hasta Siempre, Commandate! We are all once again going to shake the world for a brighter now and the future!


End notes











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