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Sinus singles by Anri. [Sep. 25th, 2006|02:05 am]
All the arms we need are for hugging.

Russian band sends greetings to community anti_war and presents some new singles.
Sinus singles by Anri.

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Understanding the Middle East Conflict [Aug. 23rd, 2006|06:52 am]
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Israel is having more and more trouble putting down this popular revolution over the Occupied Territories. The repression of the Palestinians and the Lebanese is not qualitatively different right now from what it was 40 years ago -- it's just that it's escalated in scale sincee the Palestinians and the Lebanese started fighting back. For the Palestinians it started during the Intifada. So the brutality you see occasionally on television has in fact been going on for the last 40 years, and it's just the nature of a military occupation: military occupations are harsh and brutal, there is no other kind [Israel seized the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights from Jordan, Egypt, and Syria during the Six Day War in 1967, and has controlled them ever since]. There's been home-destruction, kidnappings, torture, collective punishments, expulsion, plenty of humiliation, censorship -- you'd have do go back to the days of the American South to know what it's been like for the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. They are not supposed to raise their heads -- that's what they say in Israel, "They're raising their heads, we've got to do something about it." And that's the way the Palestinians have been living.

Well, the United States has been quite happy supporting that -- so long as it worked. But in the past few years, it hasn't worked. See, people with power understand exactly one thing: violence. If violence is effective, everything's okay; but if violence loses its effectiveness, then they start worrying and have to try something else. In fact, the occupation's beginning to be rather harmful for Israel. So it's entirely possible that there could be some tactical changes coming with respect to how Israel goes about controlling the Territories.

Outside the United States, everybody knows what the solution for resolving the conflict in the region would be. For years there's been a very broad consensus in the world over the basic framework of a solution in the Middle East, with the exception of two countries: the United States and Israel. It's going to be some variety of two-state settlement.

Look, there are two groups claiming the right of national self-determination in the same territory; they both have a claim, they're competing claims. There are various ways in which such competing claims could be reconciled -- you could do it through a federation, one thing or another -- but given the present state of conflict, it's just going to have to be about the modalities -- should it be a confederation, how do you deal with economic integration, and so on -- but the principle's quite clear: there has to be some settlement that recognizes the right of self-determination of Jews in something like the state of Israel, and the right of self-determination of Palestinians in something like a Palestinian State. And everybody knows where that Palestinian state would be -- in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, along roughly the borders that exsisted before the Six Day War in 1967.

All of this has been obvious for years -- why hasn't it happened? Well, of course Israel's opposed to it. But the main reason it hasn't happened is because the United States has blocked it: the United states has been blocking the peace process in the Middle East for the last twenty years -- WE'RE the leaders of the rejectionist camp, not the Arabs or anybody else. See, the United States supports a policy which Henry Kissinger called "stalemate"; that was his word for it back in 1970. At that time, there was kind of a split in the American government as to whether we should join the broad international consensus on a political settlement, or block a political settlement. And in that internal struggle, the hard-liners prevailed; Kissinger was the main spokesman. The policy that won out was what he called "stalemate": keep things the way they are, maintain the system of Israeli oppression. And there was a good reason for that, it wasn't just out of the blue: having an embattled, militaristic Israel is an important part of how we rule the world.

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Peoples Democratic Socialist Republics [Aug. 20th, 2006|03:15 am]
All the arms we need are for hugging.

One of the issues which has devastated a substantial portion of the left in recent years, and caused enormous triumphalism elsewhere, is the alleged fact that there's been this great battle between socialism and capitalism in the twentieth century, and in the end capitalism won and socialism lost-and the reason we know that socialism lost is because the Soviet Union disintegrated. So you have big cover stories in The Nation about "The End of Socialism," and you have socialists who all their lives considered themselves anti-Stalin saying, "Yes, it's true, socialism has lost because Russia failed." To even raise questions about this is something you're not supposed to do in our culture, but let's try it. Suppose you ask a simple question: namely, why do people like the editors at The Nation say that "socialism" failed, why don't they say that "democracy" failed?--and the proof that "democracy" failed is, look what happened to Eastern Europe. After all, those countries also called themselves "democratic"--in fact, they called themselves "People's Democracies," real advanced forms of democracy. So why don't we conclude that "democracy" failed, not just that "socialism" failed? Well, I haven't seen any articles anywhere saying, "Look, democracy failed, let's forget about democracy." Ant it's obvious why: the fact that they called themselves democratic doesn't mean that they were democratic. Pretty obvious right?

Okay, then in what sense did social fail? I mean, it's true that the Soviet Union and its satellites in Eastern Europe called themselves "socialist"--but they also called themselves "democratic." Were they socialist? Well, you can argue about what Socialism is, but there are some ideas that are sort of at the core of it, like workers' control over production, elimination of wage labor, things like that. Did those countries have any of those things? They weren't even a thought there. In the pre-Bolshevik part of the Russian Revolution, there were socialist initiatives--but they were crushed instantly after the Bolsheviks took power, like within months. In fact, just as the moves towards democracy in Russia were instantly destroyed, the moves towards socialism were equally instantly destroyed. The Bolshevik takeover was a coup--and that was perfectly well understood at the time, in fact. So if you look in the mainstream of the Marxist movement, Lenin's takeover was regarded as counter-revolutionary; if you look at independent leftists like Bertrand Russell, it was instantly obvious to them; to the libertarian left, it was a truism.

But that truism has been driven out of people's heads over the years, as part of a whole prolonged effort to discredit the very idea of socialism by associating it with Soviet totalitarianism. And obviously that effort has been extremely successful--that's why people can tell themselves that socialism failed when they look at what happened to the Soviet Union, and not even see the slightest thing odd about it. And that's been a very valuable propaganda triumph for elites in the West--because it's made it very easy to undercut moves towards real changes in the social system here by saying, "Well, that's socialism--and look what it leads to."

Okay, hopefully with the fall of the Soviet Union we can at least begin to get past that barrier, and start recovering an understanding of what socialism could really stand for.
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Indonesians protest against Israeli offensive [Aug. 6th, 2006|06:03 pm]
All the arms we need are for hugging.

Tens of thousands of Indonesians have protested against the military actions of Israel in southern Lebanon. A large group of protesters in the capital Jakarta marched to the offices of the UN and the US embassy. A senior Muslim cleric in Indonesia has accused Israel of violating human rights. He says Israel should be brought before the International Court of Justice because it has killed many children and women. Many other cities, including Yogyakarta, also staged public rallies.
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for those in Perth, Western Australia [Jul. 28th, 2006|03:01 pm]
All the arms we need are for hugging.



The United Nations estimates that over half a million people are now displaced as a result ofthe worsening situation in Lebanon. This in addition to over 300 civilians killed, at least 1000 wounded,considerable infrastructure damage including water supplies, power stations and damage to the international airport in Beirut.

Israel has created a whole new generation of refugees, in a country they have aggressively attacked.

but you can help make this cycle of violence stop.

11am Saturday July 29th (this saturday)
          wesley church corner
         (corner of Hay street and William street)

Bring your self, your friends, your family, your sense of moral justice
                             help bring change.

Remember, Change begins with US.

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The Empire [Jul. 19th, 2006|03:25 am]
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Despite what you hear, U.S. interventionism has nothing to do with resisting the spread of " Terrorism," or "Communism," it's INDEPENDENCE we've always been opposed to everywhere... and for quite a good reason. If a country begins to pay attention to its own population, it's not going to be paying adequate attention to the overriding needs of U.S. investors. Well, those are unacceptable priorities, so that government's just going to have to go.

And the effects of this commitment throughout the Third World are dramatically clear: it takes only a moment's thought to realize that the areas that have been the most under U.S. control are some of the most horrible regions in the world. For instance, why is Central America such a horror-chamber? I mean, if a peasant in Guatemala woke up in Poland [i.e. under Soviet occupation], he'd think he was in heaven by comparison... and Guatemala's an area where we've had a hundred years of influence. Well, that tells you something. Or look at Brazil: potentially an extremely rich country with tremendous resources, except it had the curse of being part of the Western system of subordination. So in northeast Brazil, for example, which is rather fertile area with plenty of rich land, just it's all owned by plantations, Brazilian medical researchers now identify the population as a new species with about 40 percent the brain size of human beings, as a result of generations of profound malnutrition and neglect... and this may be unremediable except after generations, because of lingering effects of malnutrition on one's offspring. Alright, that's a good example of the legacy of our commitments, and the same kind of pattern runs throughout the former Western colonies.

In fact, if you look at the countries that have developed in the world, there's a little simple fact which should be obvious to anyone on five minutes' observation, but which you never find anyone saying in the United States: the countries that have developed economically are those which were not colonized by the west; every country that was colonized by the West is a TOTAL WRECK. I mean, Japan was the one country that managed to resist European colonization, and it's the one part of the traditional Third World that developed. What does that tell you? Historians of Africa have actually pointed out that if you look at Japan when it began its industrialization process [in the 1870's], it was about the same developmental level as the Asante kingdom in West Africa in terms of resources available, level of state formation, degree of technological development, and so on. Well, just compare those two areas today. It's true there were a number of differences between them historically, but the crucial one is that Japan wasn't conquered by the West and the Asante kingdom was, by the British-so now West Africa is West Africa economically, and Japan is Japan.

Japan had its own colonial system too, incidentally- but its colonies developed, and they developed because Japan didn't treat them the way the Western powers treated their colonies. The Japanese were very brutal colonizers. they weren't nice guys, but they nonetheless developed their colonies economically; the West just robbed theirs. So if you look at the growth rate through the early part of this century-they were getting industrialized, developing infrastructure, educational levels were going up, agricultural production was increasing. In fact, by the 1930s, Formosa (now Taiwan) was one of the commercial centers of Asia. Well, just compare Taiwan with the Philippines, an American colony right next door: the Philippines is a total basket-case, a Latin American-style basket-case. Again, that tells you something.

With World War 2, the Japanese colonial system got smashed up. But by the 1960s, Korea and Taiwan were again developing at their former growth rate-and that's because in the post-war period, they've been able to follow the Japanese model of development: they're pretty closed off to foreign exploitation, quite egalitarian by international standards, they devote pretty extensive resources to things like education and health care. Okay, that's a successful model for development. I mean, these Asian countries aren't pretty; I can't stand them myself-they're extremely authoritarian, the role of women you can't even talk about, and so on, so there are plenty of unpleasant things about them. But they have been able to pursue economic development measures that are successful: the state coordinates industrial policies that are IMPOSSIBLE in Latin America, because the U.S. insists that those governments keep their economies open to international markets-so capital from Latin America is constantly flowing to the West. Alright, that's not a problem in South Korea: they have the death penalty for capital export. Solves that difficulty pretty fast.

But the point is, the Japanese-style development model works-in fact, it's how every country in the world that's developed has done it: by imposing high levels of protectionism, and by extracting its economy from free market discipline. And that's precisely what the Western powers have been preventing the Third World from doing, right up to this moment.
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This is the best news I've heard about Iraq in a long time [Jun. 19th, 2006|06:24 pm]
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from CNN.com
3 U.S. soldiers charged with killing of Iraqis

Monday, June 19, 2006; Posted: 4:01 p.m. EDT (20:01 GMT)

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Three members of the 101st Airborne Division have been charged in connection with the deaths of three detainees during an operation in Salaheddin province, Iraq, the U.S. military announced Monday.

A military news release said the charges in the case include murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, communicating a threat, and obstructing justice.

The release said the unit commander ordered an investigation on May 9, the day the alleged murders occurred in the south of Salaheddin province, and the Army's Criminal Investigative Division is continuing the probe.

The soldiers charged in the case are in pretrial confinement, the release said, while it is determined if enough evidence exists to proceed with courts-martial.

The U.S. military also is investigating whether up to eight Marines from Kilo company of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, killed 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha and engaged in a cover-up after one of their own was killed in a roadside bombing. Three Marines have been relieved of their duties.

None of the Marines has been charged in that incident, alleged to have occurred on November 19.

In another investigation, the exhumed body of an Iraqi man allegedly murdered by U.S. Marines last April was being examined at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, where investigators were looking for evidence about his shooting death in Hamdaniya on April 26.
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International Action [Jun. 5th, 2006|03:16 pm]
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Blix calls for removal of US nuclear weapons from Europe

New York, United States — A new report from the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission to the UN makes some surprising recommendations - among them the removal of US nuclear weapons from NATO countries. It also fundamentally challenges the Bush Administration's nuclear weapons programme and policies of pre-emptive attack.

There are 480 US nuclear weapons currently stationed in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Turkey, Italy, and the UK.


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Iraq 06-04-06 [Jun. 4th, 2006|04:28 am]
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Iraqi police and other emergency services attend the scene after a suicide car bomber blew himself up in a crowded market in oil-rich southern Basra in Iraq killing 16 people and wounding 52 on Saturday, June 3, 2006. (AP Photo)

"We want to solve the problem and rebuild our country and that we present what we see competent enough to achieve this goal," Sunni Arab deputy Sheik Khalaf al-Elyan said.

Fellow Sunni Arab legislator Hashim al-Taie said the issue had to settled Sunday "because it's taking so long and the Iraqi people are expecting us to solve their problems."

He said troops had been fired on as they raided a house to arrest an al-Qaeda suspect. They returned fire and called in air support, which destroyed the building, killing one militant and resulting in "up to nine collateral deaths".

The military had previously said one guerrilla, two women and a child were killed in the March 15 raid in the town, which is in the US-controlled zone, 60 miles north of Baghdad.

"Ishaqi is just another reason why we shouldn't trust the Americans," said Abdullah Hussein, an engineer in Baghdad. "First they lied about the weapons of mass destruction, then there was the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal and now it's clear to the world they were guilty in Haditha."

When it became clear that the civilians had been shot by US soldiers, the marines switched to saying that the deaths were the fault of insurgents who “placed non-combatants in the line of fire as the marines responded to defend themselves”. However, that claim also fell apart when other senior US commanders in Baghdad saw the tape and a criminal investigation was opened.

Military investigators have now briefed a group of US congressmen, telling them a number of men in Kilo Company may soon be charged with murder. There are also likely to be other charges of dereliction of duty and making false statements. Representative John Kline, a Republican and a former marine, said: “This was a small number of marines who fired directly on civilians and killed them. This is going to be an ugly story … There is no doubt that the marines allegedly involved in doing this lied about it. They certainly tried to cover it up.”

President Bush has said of the marine massacre that “those who violated the law will be punished”. Bush also apparently roasted his secretary of defence, Donald Rumsfeld, for not informing him of the killings promptly when Rumsfeld learned of the events in March.

Shortly after the massacre, Kilo Company held a memorial service for their dead comrade Terrazas. Messages such as “TJ you were a great friend” were written on stones and piled up in a funeral mound.

The bodies of the 24 men, women and children killed in the hours after Terrazas’s death are in a cemetery known as the martyrs’ graveyard. On a nearby wall graffiti reads: “Democracy assassinated the family that was here.”

Waleed Mohammed, a lawyer representing some of the families, said the survivors were waiting desperately for news of criminal charges being pressed against the marines of Kilo Company. “They are convinced that the sentence will be like one for someone who has killed a dog in the United States,” he said, “because Iraqis have become like dogs in the eyes of Americans.”

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(no subject) [Jun. 1st, 2006|11:36 am]
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A MEMBER of the US Marines unit accused of murdering 24 unarmed Iraqis said yesterday that his colleagues “were blinded by hate” and lost control before the massacre.

Corporal James Crossan, who was injured in the roadside bomb attack that appears to have triggered the incident, was speaking just before President Bush said that he was troubled by the reports. “If laws were broken there will be punishment,” he said.

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