When Empires Join Hands: Japanese Military Joins U.S. And NATO In Horn Of Africa By Rick Rozoff

26 April, 2010 — Global ResearchStop NATO

Japanese navy commander Keizo Kitagawa recently spoke with Agence France-Presse and disclosed that his nation was opening its first overseas military base – at any rate since the Second World War – in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.

Kitagawa is assigned to the Plans and Policy Section of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, as his nation’s navy is called, and is in charge of the deployment.

AFP quoted the Japanese officer as stressing the unprecedented nature of the development: “This will be the only Japanese base outside our country and the first in Africa.” [1]

The military installation is to cost $40 million and is expected to accommodate Japanese troops early next year.

Djibouti rests at the confluence of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, across from strife-torn Yemen, and borders the northwest corner of equally conflict-ridden Somalia. The narrow span of water separating it from Yemen is the gateway for all maritime traffic passing between the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean via the Suez Canal, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea.

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The authoritative electronic weekly newsletter and platform for social justice in Africa

Pambazuka News (English edition): ISSN 1753-6839

CONTENTS: 1. Zimbabwe update, 2. Women & gender, 3. Human rights, 4. Refugees & forced migration, 5. Social movements, 6. Africa labour news, 7. Emerging powers news, 8. Elections & governance, 9. Corruption, 10. Development, 11. Health & HIV/AIDS, 12. Education, 13. LGBTI, 14. Racism & xenophobia, 15. Environment, 16. Land & land rights, 17. Media & freedom of expression, 18. Social welfare, 19. Conflict & emergencies, 20. Internet & technology, 21. eNewsletters & mailing lists, 22. Courses, seminars, & workshops, 23. Jobs

Help Pambazuka News become independent. Become a supporting subscriber by taking out a paid subscription. Donate $30 a year (www.pambazuka.org/en/donate.php) .

Highlights from this issue

ZIMBABWE UPDATE: SA mediators back to help unlock logjam
WOMEN & GENDER: DRC labeled world’s rape capital
CONFLICT AND EMERGENCIES: Somali clashes leave many dead
HUMAN RIGHTS: Country Risk Portal launched REFUGEES AND FORCED MIGRATION: Burundi returnees find a new place to call home
EMERGING POWERS NEWS: Emerging powers news roundup SOCIAL MOVEMENTS: Un-Freedom Day in South Africa
AFRICA LABOUR NEWS: Massive strike looms in South Africa
ELECTIONS AND GOVERNANCE: Electronic voter registration launched in Kenya
CORRUPTION: Ugandan MPs want ministers charged with corruption
HEALTH & HIV/AIDS: The reinforcing nature of HIV and poverty
DEVELOPMENT: World Bank urged to reform energy lending
EDUCATION: Tanzania lecturers’ strike paralyses public universities
LGBTI: Malawi’s Mutharika threatens gay movement
RACISM & XENOPHOBIA: Belgian bid to ban ‘racist’ Tintin in the Congo
ENVIRONMENT: Rwanda inaugurates first wind power station
LAND & LAND RIGHTS: EU backs global code for farmland purchases
MEDIA AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION: Dissident Tunisian reporter leaves prison
SOCIAL WELFARE: Free care for mothers and children in Sierra Leone
INTERNET & TECHNOLOGY: Young Africans put technology to new uses
ENEWSLETTERS & MAILING LISTS: AfricaFocus Bulletin: Sudan: No easy way ahead
JOBS: Vacancy at Amnesty International
PLUS: Fundraising & useful resources, publications, courses, seminars and workshops

*Pambazuka News now has a Del.icio.us page, where you can view the various websites that we visit to keep our fingers on the pulse of Africa! Visit del.icio.us/pambazuka_news

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National Security Archive Update, April 30, 2010 HISTORIC DISSIDENT JOURNAL PUBLISHED ONLINE

Original Russian-Language “Problems of Eastern Europe” Connected Soviet, Eastern and Western Publics

New Russia Web Page Features Digitized Soviet Documents On Missile Crisis, Afghanistan, End of Cold War, and Dissidents From National Security Archive Collections

English introduction – www.nsarchive.org/rus

New Russian-language page – www.nsarchive.org/rus/Index.html

Washington, DC, April 30, 2010 – A rare complete series of the historic dissident journal “Problems of Eastern Europe” achieved its first-ever online publication today as part of the new Russian-language Web pages of the National Security Archive, also featuring hundreds of digitized facsimiles of declassified Soviet-era documents on topics such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviet war in Afghanistan, Mikhail Gorbachev and the end of the Cold War, and dissident movements in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

Introduced on the Archive site by long-time editors Larisa and Frantisek Silnicky, “Problems of Eastern Europe” published throughout the 1980s a wide range of Soviet, Eastern European, and ultimately even Western reformist thinking, in order to make connections between those various publics and overcome the information barriers that especially hindered the development of dissident and oppositionist ideas.

The new Russian-language Web pages, compiled and edited by the Archive’s director of Russia Programs, Svetlana Savranskaya, together with technical editor Rinat Bikineyev, also include the most sought-after primary sources in Russian from the Archive’s extensive collections, ranging from the diary of top Gorbachev aide and long-time Central Committee official Anatoly Chernyaev, to the scholarly collection compiled by the late Sergo Mikoyan based on his father Anastas Mikoyan’s experience as a leading Soviet Politburo member, to the specialized collections developed by Archive staff on such topics as the Soviet side of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviet invasion and occupation and withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the surveillance and repression of dissidents such as the Moscow Helsinki Group.

The site also features a new “document of the month,” the original “sovershenno sekretno” (top secret) transcript of the Soviet Politburo discussion 30 years ago of the Afghanistan war, which reads in parts as if lifted from current international debates over progress or the lack thereof in the current U.S. and NATO intervention in Afghanistan.

Today’s publication of primary sources in their original Russian fulfills one of the major goals of the Archive’s Russia and Eurasia Programs, which is to increase public and scholarly access to original sources especially to younger scholars throughout the former Soviet space. In recent weeks, the Russian government has posted online the declassified archive of Soviet documents related to the Katyn massacre of Polish officers by Stalin’s NKVD, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has endorsed the opening of archives from the Soviet period, and noted Russian expert Dmitri Trenin has called for archival openings as part of a new Russian foreign policy emphasis on cooperative security.

English-language publications of the Archive’s Russia and Eurasia Programs include more than two dozen Electronic Briefing Books of key U.S. and Soviet documents (in translation) covering major Cold war topics and events such as the series of superpower summits featuring Presidents Reagan and Bush with Soviet general secretary Gorbachev, as well as the new book from Central European University Press, “Masterpieces of History: The Peaceful End of the Cold War in Europe, 1989,” edited by Svetlana Savranskaya, Thomas Blanton and Vladislav Zubok.

English introduction – www.nsarchive.org/rus

New Russian-language Web page – www.nsarchive.org/rus/Index.html


THE NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE is an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The Archive collects and publishes declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A tax-exempt public charity, the Archive receives no U.S. government funding; its budget is supported by publication royalties and donations from foundations and individuals.

The Battle for Democracy By Morris William

29 April, 2010 — Battle for Democracy

For Inter-Nation Ecosocialism

‘The revolutionary potential of the global working classes for the protection of our environment cannot be realised without the unity of revolutionary socialists.’

The time has passed since it was possible for the one revolutionary socialist party of a nation state, to simply take decisions concerning factions within its own ranks.

With constant splits and divisions, the one party has become many and the revolutionary socialist movement, both nationally and internationally, has disintegrated into the disorder of innumerable centralist factions, each of which aspire to the leadership of the working class.

It is a factional disorder that is denying the working class the leadership that it needs in the struggle for a socialism beyond capitalism, that is, for the socialism of the lower phase of communism.

To take the first step forward from this disorder, the revolutionary socialist movement needs to break away from factional centralism and develop new political and organisational principles for revolutionary democracy.

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Gil Scott-Heron boycotts Tel Aviv, sends powerful message to Israelis By Noam Sheizaf

1 May, 2010 — The Only DemocracyPromised LandThe Other

This is a translation of my article regarding the cancellation of spoken words artist Gil-Scott Heron’s gig in Tel Aviv. His show was scheduled for late May, but it was later removed from Scot-Heron’s site and though there was no official statement yet, it seems to have been canceled for political reasons.

The original Hebrew version of the article was posted Wednesday on the web magazine The Other.

gil-scott-heron.jpgA small commotion erupted this week among the public that appreciates black music in Israel upon learning that ground-breaking artist, poet and musician, Gil Scott-Heron apparently canceled his Tel Aviv show for political reasons. There was no official statement; However, following protests of some of his pro-Palestinian fans during a show in London on the weekend, Scott-Heron announced from the stage that he would not be coming to Israel. The show, planed for May 25, was removed from the line up on his site.

Scott-Heron is a political man. He came out against US presidents, preached against nuclear energy, and asked the new generation of Hip-Hop artists to write meaningful lyrics rather than merely attach words to music. His most famous piece, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” is considered the anthem of alternative culture. I assume these and similar reasons made Scott-Heron appeal to a couple of hundred Israelis. The only surprise is their ability to make a U-turn the moment that protest was directed at us.

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Parliamentary ‘democracy’ – a triumph of Victorian engineering? By William Bowles

1 May, 2010 — Strategic Culture Foundation

To understand what’s going on with Britain today we have to look back to the 19th century and the rise of industrial/mercantile capitalism, for it was during that period that the Victorians got into the business of myth-making in a big way, rewriting our history almost completely. Truly a triumph of Victorian engineering.

The vast movement of people not only from country to city but from artisan to wage labourer fractured our collective memory so completely that inventing a new, more capitalist-compliant version of ‘our’ history was relatively easy to do. Add to this the fact that even the oppressed working masses still benefited from the wealth of England’s slave/colonial Empire, persuading people that ‘Britannia Ruled the Waves’ wasn’t such a difficult task to accomplish. And we need only look at the USA for a current example of how Empire corrupts totally.

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