Maoist Martyrdom Vs State Barbarism By Satya Sagar

5 November, 2009 — CounterCurrents

Is Maoism in India really the only response to poverty and lack of development? Is an armed rebellion the only way to change the way the Indian State operates? Will such a movement lead to a better future for underprivileged people in this country? Are other forms of mass democratic struggles an alternative option at all?

These are the questions that haunted me as I sat through a public hearing on drought at Daltonganj in Jharkhand’s Palamu district late October this year. Questions that are not new and have been debated repeatedly within the various strands of the Indian left movement for several decades now, with no clear answers as yet.

While I mused, there was this young woman standing on the stage, slowly edging towards the mike, patiently waiting for her turn to speak. She need not have said anything at all. Her emaciated, frail frame, the harassed look on her face and the tears silently welling up in her sunken eyes had already conveyed to us this was another tale of unmitigated tragedy.

Barely in her early twenties, she had been diagnosed with tuberculosis a few months ago. Her husband was already on his deathbed due to the same affliction as there was no public health center near her village. Treatment in town was obviously unaffordable. The drought raging in the district, reported to be the worst in over half a century, would end up wiping out her entire family she explained in a quiet, matter of fact tone.

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Daniel Machover: No Safe Haven for Suspected War Criminals

5 November, 2009 — Huffington Post

London – The Jerusalem Post recently quoted Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the US, as lamenting the “tactical” problem of Israel being unable to defend itself without facing prosecution. He added that “no one in Israel buys” that the Israeli military targeted civilians during Operation Cast Lead last winter.” It goes not just against all of our principles, but the personal knowledge of people who participated in the operation,” he said, adding that he was speaking from personal experience.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, human rights campaigners and lawyers working in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been collecting evidence of serious human rights violations by Israel’s military for many years. Some of those violations appear to amount to grave breaches (i.e. war crimes) contrary to the Fourth Geneva Convention 1949, which protects civilians living under military occupation. After many years of placing the evidence of such war crimes before the Israeli legal system and attempting to seek justice locally, Palestinian victims have lost any faith in the Israeli legal system.

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Reports state CIA “extraordinary rendition” flights landed in UK By Robert Stevens

5 November 2009 — World Socialist Website

A US registered plane named in a 2007 European Parliament report into alleged Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) ‘extraordinary rendition’ flights was observed to land at Birmingham Airport in England on October 2 of this year.

The 22-seat Gulfstream jet was met minutes later by two special forces helicopters belonging to Britain’s elite Special Air Service. The two army air corps Dauphin 2 helicopters are used by the SAS from their base at Credenhill, near Hereford.

The plane, registered N478GS, arrived in the UK from an undisclosed location.

The Gulfstream is registered to L-3 Integrated Systems, a Montana-based subsidiary of a US defence corporation. According to a report in the Daily Mail, the parent company, L-3 Communications, is a ‘multi-billion-dollar defence corporation based in New York, whose clients include several American government departments, among them the Department of Homeland Security.’

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William Blum: Anti-Empire Report, Number 75 How many countries do you have to be at war with to be disqualified from receiving the Nobel Peace Prize?

4 November, 2009 —

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” — Voltaire

Question: How many countries do you have to be at war with to be disqualified from receiving the Nobel Peace Prize?

Answer: Five. Barack Obama has waged war against only Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia. He’s holding off on Iran until he actually gets the prize.

Somalian civil society and court system are so devastated from decades of war that one wouldn’t expect its citizens to have the means to raise serious legal challenges to Washington’s apparent belief that it can drop bombs on that sad land whenever it appears to serve the empire’s needs. But a group of Pakistanis, calling themselves “Lawyers Front for Defense of the Constitution”, and remembering just enough of their country’s more civilized past, has filed suit before the nation’s High Court to make the federal government stop American drone attacks on countless innocent civilians. The group declared that a Pakistan Army spokesman claimed to have the capability to shoot down the drones, but the government had made a policy decision not to. 1

The Obama administration, like the Bush administration, behaves like the world is one big lawless Somalia and the United States is the chief warlord. On October 20 the president again displayed his deep love of peace by honoring some 80 veterans of Vietnam at the White House, after earlier awarding their regiment a Presidential Unit Citation for its “extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry”. 2 War correspondent Michael Herr has honored Vietnam soldiers in his own way: “We took space back quickly, expensively, with total panic and close to maximum brutality. Our machine was devastating. And versatile. It could do everything but stop.” 3

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Israel’s Right To Exist? By Alan Hart

3 November, 2009 — Information Clearing House

On Monday 12 October, Prime Minister Netanyahu opened the Knesset’s winter session by blasting the Goldstone Report that accuses Israel of committing war crimes and vowing that he would never allow Israelis be tried for them. But that was not his main message. It was an appeal, delivered I thought with a measure of desperation, to the “Palestinian leadership”, presumably the leadership of “President” Abbas and his Fatah cronies, leaders who are regarded by very many if not most Palestinians as American-and-Israeli stooges at best and traitors at worst.

Netanyahu again called on this leadership to agree to recognise Israel as a Jewish state, saying this was, and remains, the key to peace. And he went on and on and on about it.

“For 62 years the Palestinians have been saying ‘No’ to the Jewish state. I am once again calling upon our Palestinian neighbours – say ‘Yes’ to the Jewish state. Without recognition of the Israel as the state of the Jews we shall not be able to attain peace… Such recognition is a step which requires courage and the Palestinian leadership should tell its people the truth – that without this recognition there can be no peace… There is no alternative to Palestinian leaders showing courage by recognising the Jewish state. This has been and remains the true key to peace.”

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