Archive | May 3rd, 2013

Ground the drones; no cooperation with British war crimes!

Leaflet issued by CPGB-ML, 27 April 2013


Since Nato invaded Afghanistan in 2001, unmanned drones have gone from being an untried technology to a primary means of warfare. The US now operates 7,500 drones, and 40 other countries are buying or developing similar vehicles.

British pilots have operated thousands of missions over Afghanistan and Libya from US bases, and now Britain’s first homegrown drone base has become operational, with pilots at RAF Waddington in Lincoln flying armed Reaper drone missions over Afghanistan.

As a mass hunger strike by inmates brings Guantánamo back into the media spotlight once again, it is instructive to note that the imperialists’ chosen method of terror and intimidation has shifted since the advent of Obama and Cameron from seizing and locking up men of military age to murdering them (and often their families, too) instead.


A new kind of terrorism

Imperialist politicians claim that drone strikes can ‘surgically remove’ ‘high-value’ ‘al-Qaeda operatives’ from the ‘field of battle’. In reality, while resistance fighters may sometimes be hit, anyone seems to be considered ‘fair game’ by the joystick-wielding mercenaries who operate the guns from the safety of their suburban bases.

These terrorist attacks kill at least 10 civilians for every resistance fighter. Just 1.5 percent of known Pakistani drone victims have been identified as ‘high-profile’ targets by the US. So much for ‘precision warfare’.

Although establishment critics are said to be upset at losing opportunities to ‘interrogate’ victims, Obama has clearly learned one lesson from his predecessor: the longer you keep innocent men locked up, the more likely it is that your lies about them being ‘dangerous terrorists’ will be exposed.

It is so much easier for the imperialists to order a kill, then slander their victims and move on. Particularly when they know that western journalists are trained to regurgitate their press releases as proven fact.

So who will listen to the protestations of a poor Pakistani, Afghan or Yemeni community that the latest ‘targeted killing’ of ‘militants’ has in fact massacred farmers, village elders, school children or wedding guests?

Far from being a ‘humane’ alternative to ground troops, remote-control operation simply allows imperialist soldiers to kill with total impunity — without having to take the risk of being hit back. Meanwhile, the people who live under the shadow of these weapons are subject to daily terror, never knowing when a Reaper or Predator drone will stop overhead or where it will fire next.


Joystick wars

Preparation for this kind of warfare starts with the pornographically violent computer games and Hollywood blockbusters that glorify war, dehumanise imperialism’s ‘enemies’ and prepare our young people to slaughter without mercy.

This was perfectly illustrated by Prince Harry’s revealing admission that he saw killing Afghans from his helicopter as being similar to playing video games. Indeed, the prince even went so far as to call it “a joy” to have his finger on the trigger, since he was “one of those people that loves playing PlayStation … with my thumbs, I like to think that I’m quite useful”.

Full marks for honesty, if not for tact and diplomacy. But while it may be in the interest of Harry and his parasitic family to inflict collective punishment on peoples who are resisting imperialist aggression, it is not in the interest of most British workers, who have been sold a pack of lies about the ‘dangers’ that our Afghan (or Pakistani, Iraqi, Libyan, etc) brothers and sisters pose to ‘us’.


Using drones against our own

The consequences of this new warfare are far-reaching indeed. As the imperialists continue to use drones to target anyone who they see as a threat, they are turning our whole world into a battlefield where nothing and no-one is off-limits.

Indeed, imperialist governments have already started using armed drones to wipe out their own citizens without recourse to any judicial processes. The US has butchered at least three of its citizens in Yemen, and has not ruled out the possibility of a military drone strike against a US citizen on American soil.

Meanwhile, the ConDems have ramped up a secret programme, initiated by Labour, under which British ‘terror suspects’ are being quietly stripped of their citizenship before they are captured or assassinated abroad. At least two British men are known to have been murdered by US drones in this way.

Where the US nazis lead, their British counterparts are not shy to follow. In the States, use of both surveillance and armed drones by police and other agencies is set to rise exponentially as the technology becomes cheaper and more reliable.

Here at home, having tested out their use during the Olympic games, it is not difficult to believe that police might soon be using armed drones to control demonstrators or strikers, while the cheapness of surveillance drones is bound to make them ubiquitous among police, secret services, and all the ‘security’ contractors who do our rulers’ dirty work.


No cooperation

It is clear that we need to free ourselves from the disabling influence of the capitalists’ propaganda and realise where our real interests lie. The billionaires who order these incessant wars to be launched are not doing so to protect us, but to protect their profits.

They are the same billionaires who are dismantling education and health services here in Britain and kicking us out of our homes. They want to save their rotten system by making us pay for the capitalist crisis — and they want to trick us into blaming each other for the problems their beloved capitalist system creates.

But if we continue to accept the assassination of those deemed to be ‘enemies’ abroad, how long will it be before British workers are asked to accept drone strikes against working-class leaders at home as being necessary for our ‘security’?

Instead of falling for the capitalists’ lies, we need to unite with all those who are standing up against British imperialism in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and elsewhere. We need to launch a mass campaign of non-cooperation with British imperialism’s war crimes. Together, we have the power to ground the drones and stop imperialism’s dirty wars, for it is workers who ultimately have to carry out these anti-worker actions.

If we refuse to fight in imperialist wars for profit or help with their logistics; if we refuse to broadcast imperialist propaganda in support of such wars; if we refuse to make or transport munitions or supplies, then the British war effort will collapse.

Moreover, taking such action would give workers a much-needed morale boost in the fight against capitalism here at home, helping us to see in practice that we really are on the same side as those fighting abroad, and that together we can defeat the bloodsuckers and build a new society!

Posted in CampaignsComments Off on Ground the drones; no cooperation with British war crimes!

The border, Mexican labor and the racist history of U.S. immigration policy


Immigration and citizenship adapted to capitalists’ needs

ICE agents terrorize and split up immigrant families.

This article was published in the ‘Full Rights For All Immigrants’ Edition of Liberation.
View the complete issue.

Capitalist politicians, far-right organizations and media pundits base their anti-immigrant arguments on the claim that undocumented workers—whom they call “illegal aliens” – have broken the law. They fail to mention that the law has changed, sometimes quite radically, to suit the needs of the capitalist system and in response to political struggles waged by U.S. workers, citizens and non-citizens.

Immigration and citizenship law is not a fixed standard. It has always functioned both as a product of and a producer of institutional racism. It is a way to stigmatize a certain population as “socially undesirable” while at the same time satisfy big business’ need for cheap labor.

Racism and citizenship

The first U.S. citizenship regulation was the 1790 Nationality Act. It gave citizenship to “free white persons” who had resided in the country for two continuous years. Because indentured servants and the propertyless of European descent were not considered “free,” citizenship was highly limited—even for white people. Universal white male suffrage was only won on a state-by-state basis in the early-19th century. White women did not win the right to vote until 1920.

When the United States was formed, people of African descent had been brutally enslaved for over a century. Regardless of their status, freed or slave, they had no citizenship rights.

This policy was upheld by the 1857 Dred Scott Supreme Court decision, which ruled that all people of African descent, free or enslaved, were “beings of an inferior order” and were barred from ever becoming citizens.

The Fourteenth Amendment, passed after the Civil War, formally expanded the right of citizenship to freed slaves and all people born on U.S. soil. In 1870, the Nationality Act expanded this right to include “persons of African nativity or descent.”

Still, African-Americans did not truly win the rights spelled out in the Fourteenth Amendment until the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

Meanwhile, throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, Native Americans fought a determined struggle for sovereignty and survival against the expansionist U.S. government’s wars of extermination. The citizenship rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment did not include Native Americans born on tribal lands.

Another significant population was the Mexican people, who were forcibly incorporated into the country by the U.S. war of aggression that stole half of Mexico. In the Mexican-American War of 1846 to 1848, U.S. forces conquered a wide expanse of Mexican territory, including the present U.S. states of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, California, Nevada and Utah.

The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, which formally ended the war, stipulated that Mexicans who remained in those areas for the next year would automatically become citizens of the United States. The U.S. government systematically violated this right, however.

Early 20th century Mexican immigration

Mexican immigration was numerically insignificant from 1900 to 1909, representing only 0.6 percent of the total immigration into the United States. That number increased slightly to 3.8 percent of total immigration in the following decade.

Mexican laborers primarily took agricultural jobs in the Southwest. Despite the anti-immigrant lobby, growers and industrialists – who extracted super-profits from the Mexicans’ cheap, unskilled labor – testified before Congress of the value of Mexican workers, successfully stalling restrictive legislation.

In part due to this capitalist lobby, the 1924 Immigration Act did not set quotas for immigrants from the Western Hemisphere.

The return of U.S. soldiers from World War I, however, had eliminated the country’s labor shortage, and a 1921 recession exacerbated competition between white and nonwhite workers.

Around this time, press and politicians began to whip up anti-Mexican sentiments. Congress put the “Mexican problem” on the agenda. Every year from 1926 to 1930, Congressmen proposed bills expanding the quotas to the nations of the Western Hemisphere, clearly with Mexico in mind.

The anti-immigration and capitalist pro-immigration lobby employed similar racist stereotypes to make their arguments. Both considered Mexicans a biologically inferior race, with natural tendencies towards docility and ignorance.

The anti-immigration lobby argued that these biological characteristics made Mexicans unfit for U.S. citizenship. Racist sectors of the labor movement claimed these supposed traits were “ruinous” to the U.S. standard of labor. The pro-immigration lobby argued that these very characteristics made Mexican immigrants “harmless” to U.S. society. Furthermore, they argued, Mexicans “did jobs that no one else would take.”

The fact that Mexicans could be naturalized under the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo posed a problem to the evolving standard of white-only citizenship. On one hand, Mexicans were portrayed as biologically inferior. On the other hand, the mass naturalization of the conquered Mexican population made it impossible to bar Mexicans from citizenship on a legal basis of racial ineligibility.

Faced with these contradictions in their own system, the U.S. capitalist class found common ground with the racist, anti-immigrant lobby. Mexican immigration was driven underground but in practice tolerated.

‘Illegal’ immigration and the Border Patrol

From the late 19th century through the first two decades of the 20th, the Immigration Bureau ignored Mexicans crossing in and out of the Southwestern United States. A pattern of seasonal agricultural employment developed favoring businesses. Immigration inspectors were careful to not disturb this pattern.

At that time, the Southwest was even regarded as the “natural habitat” of the Mexican population. During World War I—again under conditions of a labor shortage – the U.S. Labor Department exempted Mexicans from mandatory taxes and literacy tests. This exemption was lifted in 1919, after the war.

From the end of World War I through the 1920s, U.S. immigration-enforcement policies shifted dramatically. Despite the declaration of “illegal” immigrant populations with the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and the introduction of deportations in 1891, few people were actually deported until 1917.

Horrified by the 1917 Russian Revolution, the U.S. capitalist class broadcast the image of the foreign, wild-eyed revolutionary agitator invading U.S. borders to destabilize the nation from within. Congress increased funds for deportation and immigration enforcement. These new restrictions were applied first and foremost to foreign-born communists and anarchists. During the Red Scare of 1919, the U.S. government arrested tens of thousands of radicals. Up to 500 people were deported in that witch-hunt.

This anti-communist campaign was strengthened by the 1921 and 1924 quotas. For the first time, the quotas implied that “illegal” immigration was a danger to national security. The statute of limitations for unlawful entry was lifted entirely.

In 1925, the Immigration Bureau began actively deporting undocumented immigrants. The “illegal” designation was broadly and retroactively applied to all immigrants who had come without documents – even if they came before it was illegal to come without documents.

The U.S. government began to use its administrative apparatus to discourage legal Mexican immigration. The informal, fluid migration that characterized the earlier period was replaced by one in which Mexicans not only took literacy tests and paid a head tax, but also were subjected to humiliating public medical examinations, which included bathing and hair removal. Such procedures were banned with European immigrants.

Legal Mexican immigration dropped from almost 60,000 in 1925 to a little over 3,000 in 1931. By 1929, the U.S. government was deporting 15,000 Mexicans a year. The Border Patrol, made up of Ku Klux Klan members and rancher vigilantes who styled themselves after the Texas Rangers, institutionalized the threat of violence against those who tried to bypass the legal restrictions on immigration.

But this is only half the story.

Deportation as a tactic

Growers still relied on Mexican laborers brought across the border on temporary work visas—similar to the latter-day guest worker programs. Mexicans were brought into the workforce, but not into the citizenry. This immigration policy opened the door to branding the entire community – whether legal or not—with the racist image of the “illegal alien.”

Whereas earlier, passage across the border was routine, now overstaying a 6-month work visa made a Mexican laborer a criminal. This anti-Mexican hysteria culminated in mass deportations during the 1930s. In the midst of the widespread unemployment of the Depression, the U.S. government deported over 400,000 Mexicans and Mexican-Americans—what they called a “voluntary” repatriation program.

Over half of those deported were U.S. citizens.

In 1954, in the midst of an economic boom and the Bracero program—which brought millions of Mexicans into the country as “guest workers” from 1942 to 1964—the U.S. government organized the racist “Operation Wetback,” a massive deportation campaign that expelled over 1 million undocumented immigrants.

Since the 1920s, capitalist politicians have attempted to manipulate the immigration pool, in particular from Mexico, in order to meet the imperialist system’s economic and political needs. They use the tactic of deportation to terrorize the Mexican community and strip it of political and labor rights, and whip up racism to stigmatize Mexicans as an “illegal” people.

Unlike other immigrant groups that came under U.S. rule as a result of imperial conquest, the Mexican community has been systematically and consistently denied political rights around which it could struggle for better working conditions and equality. One grower put it plainly in 1930: “The American negro, the Porto Rican negro [sic], and the Filipinos cannot be deported if they prove later to be a crime menace. The Mexican can be.”

The mass immigrant rights movement that emerged in 2006 is an exciting development in this historic battle for workers’ rights. Experiencing a century of discriminatory, racist immigration policy, millions of immigrants—the Mexican community in particular—have taken to the streets and demanded the full rights they have long been owed.

Posted in USA, MexicoComments Off on The border, Mexican labor and the racist history of U.S. immigration policy

Imperialism, immigration and Latin America


An analysis of why people migrate

The horrors of U.S.-backed civil wars have been the primary cause of migration from Central America, while ‘free trade’ policies have displaced workers and farmers throughout Mexico.

This article was published in the ‘Full Rights For All Immigrants’ Edition of Liberation.
View the complete issue.

Since the last immigration upsurge in 2006, the Obama administration, the Democrats and the Republicans have done everything in their power to ignore the voices of undocumented immigrants, to water down the DREAM Act, to increase the repressive forces at the border, and deport over 1 million immigrants and separate families. Now, after the 2012 election demonstrated the enormous significance of the Latino vote, the political establishment has turned around and promised immigration reform, albeit one tailored to private capitalist interests.

We frequently hear how immigrants are merely “seeking a better life for their children” and trying to fulfill the “American Dream,” but there is no discussion of why the world is such that people cannot sustain their families in their home countries and must migrate to the United States.

Much of the rhetoric around this reform—on both sides of the Congressional debate—accept the terms that undocumented immigrants are criminals. Neither side questions the culpability of U.S. economic and military policies in driving global migration.

A common symbol used in the immigrant rights movement is that of a monarch butterfly. It symbolizes the natural tendency to migrate in certain organisms; they travel long distances in order to adapt to changing environments. However, unlike natural migration patterns developed over thousands of years, modern immigration in the era of advanced capitalism (imperialism) is closer to a forced migration.

The Congressional debate does not question the culpability of U.S. economic and military policies in driving global migration.

Migration is as old as humanity itself, with large-scale migrations typically produced by natural disasters and the physical unsustainability of the existing community. Today, migration is caused less by natural inadequacies and more by countries’ integration into a global economy organized around the profit motive, and the deliberate underdevelopment of certain countries to the benefit of others.

For Latinos living in the United States, their violent displacement is the faded reflection of the violent political and economic intervention waged upon their home country.

Central America: Dictatorships, civil war

While the Cold War era and Reagan’s vicious intervention in Latin America are presented as a distant memory in the narrative of U.S. foreign policy, its effects are still being felt.

In 2011, nearly 3.1 million Central American immigrants resided in the United States, representing close to 8 percent (3.1 million) of the country’s 40.4 million immigrants. This displacement is due almost exclusively to the effects of the civil wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua in the 1980s. El Salvador estimated that more than 25 percent of its population migrated or fled during the country’s civil war, which began in 1979 and ended in 1992.

During the early to mid-1970s, there was a rise of revolutionary forces fighting against U.S.-backed dictatorships in El Salvador and Nicaragua. In 1979 the Frente Sandinista para la Liberación Nacional (FSLN) toppled the Somoza regime and renewed the hopes for revolution in the region. Inspired, the Frente Faribundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN) united several political tendencies of the left and sought to bring about the same change in El Salvador.

With the election of Reagan, whose ardent anti-communism, aggressive expansionism and “free market” fundamentalism gave a new wind to the U.S. ruling class, Central America became the battlefront against the tide of revolution. Reagan began funding El Salvador’s right-wing ruling party ARENA (Alianza Republicana Nacionalista) to the tune of $1 million per day, a rate which would last for almost 10 years—in a country the size of Massachusetts. Along with funding, the U.S. trained army death squads which terrorized both countries. Along with the mass killings of its people, Nicaragua suffered through a brutal economic blockade meant to strangle the newly formed Sandinista government. The civil war and forced poverty pushed thousands to flee their homeland.

Mass immigration from Central America, in other words, was not some inevitable economic development. It came from the defeat of socialism as an alternative path of development to overcome the legacies of colonialism and landlordism and reclaim the country’s vast natural wealth. This is the dream of national liberation that inspired and channeled the energy of millions; when this collective dream was defeated by the CIA, the people were forced to turn towards individual and family-based solutions in migration.

Mexico: Neoliberalism and its side effects

Literally in the backyard of the most powerful economic and military power in history, Mexico’s experience with U.S. imperialism includes the direct military invasion and outright robbery of half of its national territory in the mid-1800s. It also includes the North American Free Trade Agreement, through which the Mexican bourgeoisie sought to overcome its own stagnation by offering its national market and cheap labor force to U.S. multinational corporations.

NAFTA produced huge displacement for the working class, peasants and oppressed in Mexico. The trade agreement went into effect January 1994 and made it illegal for Mexico to give preference to national products over U.S. ones and allowed the U.S. to sue the government of “unfair” market practices. It put small Mexican farmers in competition with U.S. agribusiness. It devastated small businesses.

The poverty that NAFTA imposed on Mexico, at a time when the country was going through a population boom, led to the mass exodus of Mexican labor to the United States.

Prior to 1994, it was estimated that around 2 million Mexican immigrants had crossed “illegaly” into the U.S. Almost 20 years later, that number is estimated to be anywhere between 10 to 12 million Mexican immigrants.

The verdict on NAFTA is clear, although the ruling classes of both countries continue to celebrate it. In 2009, it was reported that Mexico became the Latin American country with the highest growth of poverty and inequality in the distribution of wealth.

An extensive report by CONEVAL, a government institution in Mexico that studies the political and social development of the population, stated that between 2006 and 2008 extreme poverty characterized by lack of access to basic nutrition increased from 14.4 million to 19.5 million people.

In 2008, 44.2 percent of the Mexican population was poor. This amounted to over 47.2 million people who did not have access to nutritional and non-nutritional goods that are considered basic. Another 33 percent of the population meet the minimum requirement for basic standard of living but were considered at risk for poverty due to their lack of access to healthcare, education, housing and/or social services.

The conditions nurtured by NAFTA, combined with political turmoil within the Mexican bourgeoisie, have given rise to the violent narco-trafficking often seen on the news. This industry, supplying an enormous market north of the border, has further displaced millions.

In a shocking new report, a consultant from the Association of Local Mexican Authorities of Civil Associations (Aalmac) announced that 150,000 deaths can be attributed to the seven years of the so-called “drug war.” Along with this horrific figure, Juárez Franco stated that 27,523 people are missing, 800,000 women or children have been victims of sexual assault, 50,000 were left without parents and 4.5 million women are without their husbands.

Adding insult to injury, U.S. arms manufacturers and dealers have made fortunes on the drug war across the border, as have major U.S. banks laundering billions of dollars in drug money for the cartels.

Products of a criminal process

While the debate over the pathway to citizenship carries on among ruling class circles in the coming period, it is the role of revolutionaries to explain the real roots of immigration and to expose the capitalists as the real criminals.

Immigrants are the products of an economic system, global capitalism, that has reduced opportunities in their home countries, while opening up considerable paths to migration through Western economic, military and cultural penetration of their homelands. While the bulk of this process is celebrated as globalization—the free flow of capital and goods across borders—the human beings that react to these trends are described as law-breakers.

The PSL fights for a movement where the current victims of imperialism are empowered to fight back, and for a world where workers can freely cross borders, but in which no one must for the sake of survival. That means socialism, which in the United States would entail a vast effort to repair and repay those nations oppressed by imperialism, and would liberate the hoarded social wealth to provide a guaranteed living to all.

Posted in South AmericaComments Off on Imperialism, immigration and Latin America

Suicide Rates Rise Sharply in U.S.

By E

Suicide rates among middle-aged Americans have risen sharply in the past decade, prompting concern that a generation of baby boomers who have faced years of economic worry and easy access to prescription painkillers may be particularly vulnerable to self-inflicted harm.

More people now die of suicide than in car accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which published the findings in Friday’s issue of its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. In 2010 there were 33,687 deaths from motor vehicle crashes and 38,364 suicides.

Suicide has typically been viewed as a problem of teenagers and the elderly, and the surge in suicide rates among middle-aged Americans is surprising.

From 1999 to 2010, the suicide rate among Americans ages 35 to 64 rose by nearly 30 percent, to 17.6 deaths per 100,000 people, up from 13.7. Although suicide rates are growing among both middle-aged men and women, far more men take their own lives. The suicide rate for middle-aged men was 27.3 deaths per 100,000, while for women it was 8.1 deaths per 100,000.

The most pronounced increases were seen among men in their 50s, a group in which suicide rates jumped by nearly 50 percent, to about 30 per 100,000. For women, the largest increase was seen in those ages 60 to 64, among whom rates increased by nearly 60 percent, to 7.0 per 100,000.

Suicide rates can be difficult to interpret because of variations in the way local officials report causes of death. But C.D.C. and academic researchers said they were confident that the data documented an actual increase in deaths by suicide and not a statistical anomaly. While reporting of suicides is not always consistent around the country, the current numbers are, if anything, too low.

“It’s vastly underreported,” said Julie Phillips, an associate professor of sociology at Rutgers University who has published research on rising suicide rates. “We know we’re not counting all suicides.”

The reasons for suicide are often complex, and officials and researchers acknowledge that no one can explain with certainty what is behind the rise. But C.D.C. officials cited a number of possible explanations, including that as adolescents people in this generation also posted higher rates of suicide compared with other cohorts.

“It is the baby boomer group where we see the highest rates of suicide,” said the C.D.C.’s deputy director, Ileana Arias. “There may be something about that group, and how they think about life issues and their life choices that may make a difference.”

The rise in suicides may also stem from the economic downturn over the past decade. Historically, suicide rates rise during times of financial stress and economic setbacks. “The increase does coincide with a decrease in financial standing for a lot of families over the same time period,” Dr. Arias said.

Another factor may be the widespread availability of opioid drugs like OxyContin and oxycodone, which can be particularly deadly in large doses.

Although most suicides are still committed using firearms, officials said there was a marked increase in poisoning deaths, which include intentional overdoses of prescription drugs, and hangings. Poisoning deaths were up 24 percent over all during the 10-year period and hangings were up 81 percent.

Dr. Arias noted that the higher suicide rates might be due to a series of life and financial circumstances that are unique to the baby boomer generation. Men and women in that age group are often coping with the stress of caring for aging parents while still providing financial and emotional support to adult children.

“Their lives are configured a little differently than it has been in the past for that age group,” Dr. Arias said. “It may not be that they are more sensitive or that they have a predisposition to suicide, but that they may be dealing with more.”

Preliminary research at Rutgers suggests that the risk for suicide is unlikely to abate for future generations. Changes in marriage, social isolation and family roles mean many of the pressures faced by baby boomers will continue in the next generation, Dr. Phillips said.

“The boomers had great expectations for what their life might look like, but I think perhaps it hasn’t panned out that way,” she said. “All these conditions the boomers are facing, future cohorts are going to be facing many of these conditions as well.”

Nancy Berliner, a Boston historian, lost her 58-year-old husband to suicide nearly two years ago. She said that while the reasons for his suicide were complex, she would like to see more attention paid to prevention and support for family members who lose someone to suicide.

“One suicide can inspire other people, unfortunately, to view suicide as an option,” Ms. Berliner said. “It’s important that society becomes more comfortable with discussing it. Then the people left behind will not have this stigma.”

Posted in USAComments Off on Suicide Rates Rise Sharply in U.S.

KANJ: IsraHell’s ethnocentric experiment



by Jamal Kanj

Gulf News

Israeli leaders are masters at muddling the international community with trivial issues while turning peace negotiations into a process to end all peace.

Assured by subservient US backing, and for more than 15 years prior to the current pointless and interminable process, Israel rejected peace overtures from the Palestinians by insisting on impossible and ever-changing terms to be fulfilled even before agreeing to talk with Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

Israeli preconditions, Palestinian concessions

The first precondition – which later became a US law – was to renounce “terrorism” and recognize Israel without reciprocity. The PLO gave in to the American demand in order to start the current peace marathon in 1988.

After the signing of the Oslo accord between the PLO and the Labour party government of Yitzhak Rabin, right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu rejected the Palestinian recognition as incomplete, insisting that the PLO annul its charter, specifically sections calling for establishing a bi-national non-sectarian democratic state on all of historical Palestine.

Again the PLO acquiesced and invited then President Bill Clinton in December 1998 to christen a meeting of the Palestine National Council annulling the provisions demanded by the new Israeli government.

There have been at least five internationally-supervised peace milestones and countless schemes negotiated directly between the two parties in the last 20 years. Sequentially, they were: the Oslo accord, the Wye River agreement, the Road Map, the Annapolis conference and the Quartet Peace Plan.

All were initiated at the behest of various American administrations to allay succeeding Israeli governments’ “conditional approval” of the preceding understanding. In fact, US Secretary of State John Kerry is leading fresh efforts to customize the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative to suit Israel’s reservations.

Recognizing Israel as ethnocentric state

Out of Israel’s magic tricks to throw off the international community, the current Israeli prime minister conjured a new condition: demanding that the Palestinians recognize Israel as an ethnocentric Jewish state.

This is despite the fact that Israel does not have a constitution defining its character or even official demarcated national borders.

To ascribe national identity for a country is an internal matter. But to mandate of the Palestinians to recognize the ethnocentric character of Israel is akin to asking the African National Congress to recognize South Africa as a white nation during apartheid.

Ethnocentrism was defined in 1906 by William Graham Summer, an American professor of Sociology at Yale University, “as having a view of things in which one’s own group is the centre of everything and the feeling that one’s own culture is better than all others”.

Building on Summer’s earlier studies, psychologist Donald Campbell and his associates described ethnocentrism in the late 1960s and mid-1970s “as a psychological construct” whereby the individual propensity is “to identify strongly with her own in-group and culture, the tendency to reject out-groups or the tendency to view any economic, political or social event only from the point of the in-group”.

Ethnocentrism is typified by the proclivity of an in-group to uphold its own values as being superior and the values of other cultures as inferior. This develops into groupthink collective behaviour by members of the in-group, rationalizing the deionization and rejection of the out-groups.

Spectre of ethnic cleansing

Israel is a classic ethnocentric example of the in-group versus the out-groups. In a 2012 survey, it was found that 59 per cent of the Jewish in-group believed that Jews should be given preference over non-Jewish natives in admission to jobs in government ministries, and 49 per cent wanted the state to treat Jews better than Palestinians.

In contract to Israel’s Machiavellian leaders, the late Knesset member Rabbi Meir Kahane was more candid in articulating the ethnocentric state’s vision in his 1981 book, They Must Go. He wrote that in a “Jewish state” Arabs will suffer from discrimination. In such case they will become alienated and antagonistic; therefore the only sensible solution is to “get rid of them”.

“Get rid” of the out-group was an expensive European experiment not taken seriously until it was too late.

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on KANJ: IsraHell’s ethnocentric experiment

The Government Is Planting Child Porn On Your Computer



A new virus has been cataloged, and it appears to be planting and distributing child pornography files. Hackers? No. The government is planting child porn on your computer, or so an alert published today indicates.

by Amber Harrison

American Live Wire

Before It’s News has interviewed a person, who spoke on condition of anonymity, that has been a victim of the virus implantation. The person was engaged in journalistic exposure of political corruption, and suddenly police appeared on his doorstep with a search warrant specifying a search for evidence of possessing and distributing child pornography. The story is a bit convoluted here, but basically the gentleman did a little more investigation and found rogue .exe files on his computer that appeared as normal emule sharing directories but contained “hundreds to thousands” of child pornography files. The potential whistleblower claims the virus was deliberately planted on his computer in order to stop his activity.

The article surmises the Internet Crimes Against Children task force may be behind the virus planting, though why is unclear.

Are You A Victim?

According to a USWGO Virus Report:

“I believe it was surrounded by comine.exe along with another exe file that had random characters so I don’t remember that file name since it had a certain kind of random characters and I believe it may have been in the TEMP folder.

It came with three rogue P2P file sharing applications that were not stored in the usual file directories for programs or even portable programs. Those files are called ares.exe, emule.exe, and shareaza.exe. They share possibly illegal files and files with Trojans embedded without the computer owners permission despite invalid claims by law enforcement that no one can force a user to download and share files on P2P networks. When the user discovers them and attempts to shut down the program using process termination on Task Manager(taskmgr.exe) the rogue Trojan control program attempts to revive the operation of the rogue P2P programs and will fully operate within 3-5 seconds or even up to 10 seconds depending on processing speed from CPU. No matter how many times the user continues stopping the program it comes right back. When the user attempts to end the task then quickly remove the files even with certain software, the Trojan that controls the rogue programs seems to regenerate the rogue programs which continues to share and download illegal material which can get the user in trouble…”

ESET Virus Radar has recognized the virus, and calls it Win32/MoliVampire. The short description indicates, “Win32/MoliVampire.A is a trojan which tries to download other malware from the Internet. Win32/MoliVampire.A may be spread via peer-to-peer networks.”

The trojan contains an URL address. It tries to download a file from the address. Files are copied into a shared folder of various instant messengers and P2P applications, according to the description.

In a hurried article posted on Before It’s News, a reporter emoted:

So anyone whom receives this virus or variants of Trojans similar to this virus, is at risk of being accused of distributing and possessing child pornography then having the computers and family photos, videos, and other personal data taken away forever. Then will likely end up years in federal or state prison then receives a lifetime sex offender record, isn’t that just great!!!!!

ICE Pads Their Stats

Evidently, it isn’t only alternative-news journalists who are being targeted.  According to a Facebook page supporting 17-year-old autistic youth Andrew Rose:

“Operation Flicker was started By ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency]. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the second largest investigative agency in the federal government. Created in 2003 through a merger of the investigative and interior enforcement elements of the U.S. Customs Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, “Operation Flicker” is part of Project Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including instances of sex tourism with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers, according to the agency. Unfortunately, due to the system being used to net these predators, many children are being exposed to the the same Child Porn they were trying to stop.”

Apparently, in an effort to catch these dangerous internet predators, ICE attached child pornography images to .mp3 files on P2P sharing sites like LimeWire. Young Andrew Rose downloaded two songs that came with little surprise packages attached. Scandalously and shamefully, Andrew is actually being prosecuted. His lawyer, on the support page, stated:

“The FBI and ICE are the ones who exposed Andrew Rose to Child Pornography ….. They were the Traffickers and became “That which they Seek.”

What Can You Do?

Computer users, especially those who use P2P file sharing programs and messaging, are encouraged to use ESET of McAfee virus scan/destroy software as both recognize the virus. It is noted that virus protection is not “bulletproof” with regard to this virus, and certainly will not protect against hidden attached files in normal sharing operations. If the government is planting child porn on your computer as some people have claimed, taking any and all steps possible to protect yourself and your family, including ceasing use of P2P applications, is advisable.

Posted in USAComments Off on The Government Is Planting Child Porn On Your Computer

High School Student Faces 20 Years For Obama Facebook Threat


High school teen Cameron D’Ambrosio was arrested on terror charges and faces up to 20 years in prison for a Facebook post in which he made threats against the White House and mentioned the Boston bombings.


by Paul Joseph Watson

“He posted a threat in the form of rap where he mentioned the White House, the Boston Marathon bombing, and said ‘everybody you will see what I am going to do, kill people,” Methuen Police Chief Joe Solomon told the Valley Patriot.

In addition to the threats made against the White House, D’Ambrosio also posted a “Wanted: Dead or Alive” poster of himself and made remarks such as “Fuck politics, Fuck Obama and Fuck the government!!”

D’Ambrosio was arrested after another student brought the Facebook post to the attention of school administrators, who immediately contacted police.

“I do want to make clear he did not make a specific threat against the school or any particular individuals but he did threaten to kill a bunch of people and specifically mentioned the Boston Marathon and the White House. The threat was disturbing enough for us to act and I think our officers did the right thing,” said Solomon.

According to Solomon, D’Ambrosio faces up to 20 years in prison for making terroristic threats under MGL. Ch. 269, Section 14. His bail has been set at $1 million dollars.

While no one can excuse the threats made by D’Ambrosio, the case underscores how authorities are increasingly focusing on social media in an attempt to track down violent rhetoric.

But while D’Ambrosio faces 20 years in jail for threatening Obama, not a single Obama supporter who threatened to assassinate Mitt Romney during the 2012 election campaign was charged with any kind of felony.

As we documented at the time, hundreds of Obama voters took to Twitter to make violent threats against Romney and his supporters with little response from the authorities.

The video below, taken from D’Ambrosio’s YouTube channel, illustrates the amateur nature of his work and how his threats were more likely the product of a bored teenager rather than a terrorist mastermind.

Posted in USAComments Off on High School Student Faces 20 Years For Obama Facebook Threat

FBI Names 65-year-old Black Panther to Most Wanted Terrorists list


The Federal Bureau of Investigation has announced that Joanne Chesimard has been added to its Most Wanted Terrorists list. Thursday’s bulletin gave Chesimard, a black nationalist, the dubious distinction of being the first woman to be placed on the list.

Joanne Chesimard


Chesimard, better known as Assata Shakur, was a member of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army when, on May 2, 1973, she was driving through New Jersey with two others. The car was pulled over for a broken taillight and a gunfight ensued with police. One officer and one man from Shakur’s group were killed.

Despite being injured, she managed to flee from the scene but was eventually arrested and, in 1977, convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. But in 1979, The New York Times reported, she “escaped from Clinton Correctional Institute for Women after three male visitors drew handguns, kidnapped two guards and seized a prison minibus in order to drive out of the grounds to two getaway cars. They left the guards handcuffed but unharmed.”

It’s been widely speculated that Shakur was aided in her escape by the Black Liberation Army. William Kunstler, her trial lawyer, told reporters at the time that Shakur’s health had declined in prison.

I was very happy that she escaped because I thought she was unfairly tried,” he said, as quoted by the Gothamist.

Her surviving accomplice, Sundiata Acoli, born Clark Edward Squire, is still held in a federal prison after being denied parole several times.

In 1984 Shakur was granted asylum by Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who called the charges against her “an infamous lie.” Originally from the Queens section of New York City, Shakur explained her situation on her website.

My name is Assata (“she who struggles”) Olugbala (“for the people”) Shakur (“the thankful one”), and I am a 20th Century escaped slave,” she wrote. “Because of government persecution, I was left with no other choice than to flee from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government’s policy towards people of color. I am an ex political prisoner, and I have been living in exile in Cuba since 1984. I have been a political activist most of my life, and although the US government has done everything in its power to criminalize me, I am not a criminal, nor have I ever been one.”

She went on to admit involvement with the Black Panther Party and described the FBI’s intention to “destroy it and its leaders and activists.”

Federal and New Jersey law enforcement announced during Thursday’s news conference that they had doubled the reward for information leading to Shakur’s capture from $1 million to $2 million. Along with being the first female named to the list, she is only the second domestic ‘terrorist’ on the list, which was assembled to identify those responsible for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

We would be naïve to think there’s not some communication between her and some of those people she used to run around with today,” said Aaron Ford, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s office in Newark, New Jersey.

He did not elaborate on the reasoning behind the seemingly sudden decision to add Shakur, now 65 years old, to the list. New Jersey law enforcement has previously campaigned for her extradition, appealing to Pope John Paul II when he traveled to Cuba in 1998.

State Police superintendent Colonel Rick Fuentes may have shed light on authorities’ reinvigorated motivation to apprehend Shakur, however.

To this day, from her safe haven in Cuba, Shakur has been given a pulpit to preach and profess, stirring supporters and groups to mobilize against the United States by any means necessary,” Fuentes said. “We also have reason to believe that she has established association with other international terrorist organizations.”

Fuentes did not mention what evidence the New Jersey state police had connecting Fuentes to international terror syndicates, but Ford was careful to note that the US – still struggling to reform its relationship with Cuba – has little hope the country will comply with American requests.

Currently it’s not good,” Ford said during the press event. “We don’t enjoy a great extradition status with that country.

Posted in USAComments Off on FBI Names 65-year-old Black Panther to Most Wanted Terrorists list

Crisis in Mali grinds on


Prime minister requests French troops stay until ‘stability’ is achieved

Invading French troops arrive in Mali

The conflict in Mali continues despite persistent claims from Paris that France is drawing down troops, allegedly a sign the conflict itself is winding down. The French government has declared that it is seeking to reduce the French military’s presence to 1,000 troops by the end of the year.

Troops from Chad, who were playing a key role in assisting French efforts, are currently increasing their pace of withdrawal, while 4,000 troops from various West African nations have arrived to assist the French and Malian militaries. In addition, the European Union has sent a military training mission to Mali to help bolster military efforts in the North.

The 14-week campaign spearheaded by the French initially seemed to drive Ansar Dine and other militant Islamist elements out of power in the North. However, it is now clear that the northern rebels made a conscious choice to retreat into a guerrilla form of conflict. On April 13, three Chadian troops were killed in a suicide attack in the northern town of Kidal, part of what Reuters referred to as a “wave” of attacks across northern Mali.

The Malian government, whose legitimacy was suspect even before the French troops arrived, has begun sending signals that they desire a longer French intervention, with elections supposedly to take place in July. Prime Minister Sissoko stated that French troops should remain to prop up his government until “stability” is achieved.

The irony here is that French intervention in Mali seems to be increasing instability. To quickly capture the North, French forces allowed the MNLA, a Tuareg nationalist movement that has demanded independence in the North, to re-enter some of their former struggles. They had previously been sidelined by Ansar Dine and others. There appear now to be growing clashes between the MNLA and the Arab Movement of Azawad (MAA) over control in northern areas.

MAA has declared that they seek to work with the French and African forces in “fighting terrorism” in the North, to which they also have staked a claim. On the one hand then, it seems there is a contest over who will be the dominant armed group in the North, which by extension means who will gain the favor of the French. And on the other hand, for elections to take place in July, the MNLA and other northern groups have to agree to remain a part of Mali, which is not a foregone conclusion.

Results of imperialist intervention

French imperialist intervention in Mali has only exacerbated tensions in the country and created a three-pronged, if interrelated, conflict.

In sum, French imperialist intervention in Mali has, as we predicted, only exacerbated tensions in the country and created a three-pronged, if interrelated, conflict—the struggle of Islamist forces against French and African nations, the struggle between various nationalist and ethnic groups for control of the North, and the unresolved issues of self-determination in the North.

When the French intervention began, we pointed out that imperialist intervention was not a solution—that the role of the West in Mali is about protecting its own economic and strategic interests, not the well-being of the Malian people. The French have attempted to manipulate a range of forces that together with African troops and U.S. drones can be used to create some sort of “government” that will fight the enemies of the West and attempt to create stability to make it easier for Western corporations to exploit the region’s resources.

Opposing the continued French occupation of Mali and the increased presence of Western militaries in Africa is crucial to the broader struggle against imperialism.

Posted in AfricaComments Off on Crisis in Mali grinds on

VIDEO: Demonstrations across the country say “No!” to U.S. drones


Footage from the actions

On April 13, demonstrations supported by the ANSWER Coalition took place in cities across the country demanding an end to the murderous campaign of drone warfare waged by the U.S. government abroad and the increasing use of drones for domestic repression. Below is a video with footage from the various actions, including speeches and interviews with participants.

Posted in USAComments Off on VIDEO: Demonstrations across the country say “No!” to U.S. drones

Shoah’s pages