Geopolitical Crossroads: Pentagon and NATO Complete Their Conquest of The Balkans By Rick Rozoff

28 November, 2009 — Global ResearchStop NATO

Bosnia and Montenegro being incorporated as full NATO members and Macedonia following suit would expand the world’s only military bloc to 31 nations, almost twice that of ten years ago when it first began its drive into Eastern Europe. And with Serbia and Kosovo, which eve n before becoming a member is the world’s first NATO political entity, included the Alliance’s numbers will have more than doubled since 1999, a decade after the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War. All seventeen new acquisitions would be in Eastern Europe, and the majority of NATO member states would be former Warsaw Pact members or Yugoslav republics and a province.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen visited the capital of Montenegro on November 26 and that of Bosnia the following day.

A Balkans news source wrote of the visits that Rasmussen would “discuss the possibility of approving Montenegro’s action plan for NATO membership” and “discuss strengthening NATO and BiH [Bosnia and Herzegovina] cooperation.” [1]

Ahead of the Balkans tour Rasmussen was in Germany to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel and recruit more troops for the war in Afghanistan.

The NATO chief has been even busier than usual of late, simultaneously recruiting troops from nations throughout Europe for Afghanistan on Washington’s behalf, working on the bloc’s new Strategic Concept, drumming up support for a continent-wide, U.S.-led interceptor missile system and preparing for a NATO foreign ministers meeting on December 3-4.

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An assessment of the Respect conference By Alan Thornett

29 November, 2009 — Socialist Resistance

[By way of an intro to this piece I have to say that the goings-on at the Respect conference demonstrates the disastrous and depressing state of the ‘left’ in the UK today. The Ed]

The Respect conference could have been a very positive event. It was attended by over 200 members and was located in Salma Yaqoob’s constituency of Sparkbrook and Small Heath in Birmingham where she won 27% of the vote in the last general election and where she stands a very good chance of winning in the next general election.Unfortunately rather than providing an upbeat launch for the Respect election campaign it was overshadowed by an intolerant attack on a minority current and a challenge to the long established policy of Respect to work towards a broader coalition of the left to tackle the crisis of working class representation. The result was a potential setback for Respect just at a time when it was starting to recruit more members and consolidate its functioning after the split with the SWP.

This attack on broader coalitions is completely out of kilter with the needs of the political situation. We are facing the most important and dangerous general election for a generation, and we cannot approach it just through the prism of getting Respect candidates elected — important as that is. The left, and Respect as a part of it, has a responsibility to provide an alternative to the widest possible spectrum of the electorate as is possible — difficult as this may have repeatedly proved to be in the recent past.

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Smoking gun evidence that Blair knew Iraq war was illegal By Simon Walters

29 November, 2009 – MailOnline

An explosive secret letter that exposes how Tony Blair lied over the legality of the Iraq War can be revealed.

The Mail on Sunday has disclosed that Attorney General Lord Goldsmith wrote the letter to Mr Blair in July 2002 – a full eight months before the war – telling him that deposing Saddam Hussein was a blatant breach of international law.

It was intended to make Mr Blair call off the invasion, but he ignored it. Instead, a panicking Mr Blair issued instructions to gag Lord Goldsmith, banned him from attending Cabinet meetings and ordered a cover-up to stop the public finding out.

He even concealed the bombshell information from his own Cabinet, fearing it would spark an anti-war revolt. The only people he told were a handful of cronies who were sworn to secrecy. Lord Goldsmith was so furious at his treatment he threatened to resign – and lost three stone as Mr Blair and his cronies bullied him into backing down.

Sources close to the peer say he was ‘more or less pinned to the wall’ in a Downing Street showdown with two of Mr Blair’s most loyal aides, Lord Falconer and Baroness Morgan.

The revelations follow a series of testimonies by key figures at the Chilcot Inquiry who have questioned Mr Blair’s judgment and honesty, and the legality of the war.

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Video: Uri Gopher – Istikbal (English & Hebrew Subtitles)

1 December, 2009 — Uri Gopher

A personal perspective on what it feels to raise a child in Israel, for a Jewish-Israeli who does not buy into his country’s Ethos and who wants no part in the continued self-defeating denial of reponsibility to the tragic fate of the Palestinian people. Inspired by the work of “Zochrot” activists. You’re welcome to share and let me know what you think of it.