Moving Chess Pieces: The Illusion of Withdrawal in Iraq By Janet Weil

30 June, 2009 – Oxdown Gazette

Today, all U.S. troops must be withdrawn from Iraqi cities, including U.S. bases in Baghdad, according to the Status Of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the U.S. and Iraq. The Iraqi government will also take legal responsibility for the actions of U.S. troops and have legal jurisdiction over American soldiers who commit crimes off-base and off-duty, and the SOFA will grant permission to U.S. troops for military operations, as well as ban the U.S. from staging attacks on other countries from Iraq.

While it may seem like a step forward toward ending the six-year occupation of Iraq, the Pentagon is doing what it can to dodge or play down these SOFA stipulations. In recent weeks, it has been re-classifying bases and troops, hiring ‘corporate security’ mercenaries, and preventing Iraq from having jurisdiction over those actions. It’ll get away with it too, as Congress never ratified the SOFA, and because many are justifying further occupation under the banner of keeping Iraq secure.

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The Real News Network – Chuck D & Johnny Juice on hip-hop and America Pt1

Chuck D On The Real Off The Record: Rap getting less and less relevant to today’s world? Johnny Juice was raised in the Bronx and witnessed the birth of HipHop right on his doorstep. Now, a Legendary Strong Island DJ/Producer and EMMY nominated Composer, his work, especially with the first two Public Enemy albums has been embedded into Hip-Hop history. A producer/composer/ arranger/musician/engineer/consultant as well as turntablist, b-boy, graf writer and MC for over 2 decades.

"Mobilization against the Coup d'État Overflowed Plaza Morazán, Tegucigalpa"

1 July, 2009  – MRZine – Monthly Review

Tegucigalpa, 1 July, ABN — The mobilization of Hondurans against the coup d’état, which started this morning from the vicinity of the government palace, overflowed Plaza Morazán, in the central park of Tegucigalpa, where on Tuesday a small number of coup supporters rallied.

The demonstration in which the principal social groupings of Honduras participated traveled three kilometers, passing by the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) in the capital, located on John Paul II Boulevard, according to the report by the special correspondent of the Bolivarian News Agency (ABN), Freddy Fernández.

The march started with about 4,000 people, but throughout the day numerous people arrived from other parts of the city and the rest of the country, despite the fact that the highways remain blocked either by the army or the demonstrators themselves.

Since last Sunday, popular movements have been demanding the restoration of the government headed by Manuel Zelaya, the legitimate president of Honduras, and they vow to advance the call for a Constituent Assembly to reorganize the various branches and institutions of the country which have been devastated following the coup d’état.

With respect to the period of 72 hours given by the OAS before President Zelaya’s return to the country, the movements said that, although they considered the measure reasonable, it is not necessary to wait till the exact deadline, and the de facto government must relinquish power by Saturday so the constitutional president may return to his office.

Meanwhile, the media are conveying news about people abandoning the capital and the second largest city in the country, San Pedro Sula, which is believed to be an orchestrated campaign aimed to disperse the multitude from the major cities in the nation in order to fragment the protests and diminish their impact.

The levels of repression remain high, especially in San Pedro Sula, whose mayor was ousted by the coup regime.

Many people who are relatives of the young officers of the Honduran armed forces have informed the popular movements of discontent within the armed forces regarding the stance taken by the pro-coup officers and soldiers, but so far the rumor of an attempted uprising against the ringleaders of the coup has not been confirmed.

As of this writing, the de facto president, Roberto Micheletti, has not been able to appoint all members of his cabinet, as many of his close associates rejected the offer, which demonstrates that the actions of the putschists have found little acceptance in the Honduran political circle.

The original article ‘Movilización contra el golpe de Estado desbordó Plaza Morazán de Tegucigalpa’ was published by Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias on 1 July 2009. Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi.

"The Indigenous in Honduras Denounce Humiliating Treatment of Honduran Women"

2 July, 2009 – MRZine – Monthly Review

The curfew is not the only means of population control — now the de facto government is bent on suppressing the visibly identifiable sectors, in this case the indigenous population of the Central American country.

Antonio Martínez, an indigenous leader, via TeleSur, reported on Wednesday that the international agencies that talk so much about gender freedom have the responsibility to speak out against this coup d’état.

The indigenous leader said that women are being searched in ways that violate their persons, adding that the indigenous are being suppressed indiscriminately.

Martínez also noted that ‘Honduras is not in peace,’ with discontent rising against the de facto government that has been established in Honduras.

With a cry of ‘Viva Mel’ (Zelaya being called Mel in Honduras), a group of Indians and campesinos declared themselves in favor of the return of the president they elected.

The group — who arrived in Tegucigalpa after a long journey on foot, negotiating all kinds of road conditions — have long had to endure the repression that exists in Honduras.

The original article ‘Indígenas en Honduras denuncian vejación de la mujer hondureña’ was published by YVKE Mundial on 1 July 2009. Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi.

Day Three: Democracy Held Hostage in Honduras By Al Giordano

30 June, 2009 –

hond-coupAndrew Sullivan has asked aloud for English-writing bloggers from Honduras to send him their reports. Sadly, what he’ll likely get is a mountain of the upper-class ‘oligarch diaspora’ propaganda from those that are the overwhelming majority of that small minority of folks that speak English in or around Honduras. With the state of siege underway in Honduras, they’re making up every falsehood possible to defend an indefensible coup d’etat. We’ve beat these types when they’ve tried it before: reason and fact will prevail again. An all-out information war has exploded on the Internet. So if you’re able to translate important reports from Spanish and send them to Andrew, the very widely read blogger who does have good in him, maybe you can help unspin the propaganda. CC me on your missives if you like.

A lot of it will be from Honduran equivalents of disgraced professional simulator Francisco Toro, the Venezuelan 2002 coup supporter who wrote a decrepitly dishonest essay published by The New Republic today about Honduras. The cockroaches are coming out of the woodwork. Sunlight, now as ever, will be our disinfectant! In 2003, when Narco News was exposing Toro’s undisclosed conflicts-of-interest as a member of the Venezuelan opposition while writing for the New York Times, he abruptly resigned after just one month as a Timesman. Now that there’s a coup to support in Honduras, he’s baaaaaack. Memo to The New Republic: Did Toro disclose his history of undisclosed conflicts of interest when submitting that embarrassingly pro-coup screed?

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Report: Mainstream media leaves the British public confused and excluded?

1 July, 2009 – Editors Weblog

There is a crisis in trust and communication between the British public and the mainstream media, a new report has concluded. The gulf between public expectations of news provision and the actual nature of articles, which oscillate between esoteric or irresponsible, leaves readers feeling confused and excluded.

The report, entitled ‘Public Trust In The News’ was conducted by researchers from Manchester and Leeds Universities and was published by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. It investigated the dynamics of news production and consumption, to ascertain if there is a difference in what ‘the public expects from news media and what journalists mean by serving the public’. The paper highlights the underlying causes of an apparent widespread disenchantment with the media and the detrimental effects this is having on the standards of reporting and civil participation in democracy. Thankfully, the report offers several propositions for a new journalistic direction, which could refresh the reader-writer compact.

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