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US imperialism

Opposition to Philippines-Australia military deal; No to 'visiting forces' military pacts with US/Australia/NZ!

June 12, 2012 -- Green Left TV/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Australian mining companies are already ravaging the traditional land of Indigenous peoples in the Philippines and now they are hoping to get ratified a military agreement that will allow Australian troops to enter the Philippines for "combined training, exercises, or other activities mutually approved by the Parties".

Protests broke out in Manila on June 6, 2012, as the Philippines Senate was deliberating on the ratification of the controversial "visiting forces" military pact with the Australian government, signed by the disgraced former president Gloria Arroyo in 2007. Anti-war groups in the Philippines are seeking Australian solidarity for their campaign to block the ratification. Green Left TV spoke to Reihana Mohideen, an anti-war and socialist activist in Manila.

Philippines: Progressive organisations express concern over ‘Southeast Asian Sea’ tensions

[For background to the Spratly Islands issue, see "China, Vietnam and the islands dispute: What is behind the rise of Chinese nationalism?"]

United Voices of Concern (amidst the sounds of fury over the Southeast Asian Sea)

World Peace Bell, Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City, Philippines

May 25, 2012 -- The contending states claiming territorial jurisdiction over sections of the "Southeast Asian Sea" [Spratly Islands] are only heightening regional tensions to a frightening degree.  In particular, the contentious row between the Philippines and China is being amplified by certain quarters to a near-conflict level for seemingly nationalistic, but in fact chauvinistic reasons. And as the almost daily sounds of fury raise the stakes for the region’s masses of humanity, many more sober voices of concern must now come out to be heard and not be silenced by the sabre-rattling of a deluded few.

Sri Lanka: Crimes against humanity with the West’s complicity

By Ron Ridenour

May 25, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The US-UK axis is quite adroit at launching aggressive wars against governments and peoples who do not buckle under. Today’s method of domination is often linked with media propaganda about doing the right thing for “human rights”.

In the case of its ally Sri Lanka, it did not need to send troops to win the war against the Tamils’ struggle for liberation. The Western powers have provided Sri Lankan governments and military with weaponry, war intelligence and training to win the long war against Tamil nationhood. But, after the mutual victory, the axis has also criticised the current government for having committed excesses.

While China and Russia also militarily and economically assisted Sri Lankan governments in avoiding federalism for the two peoples: majority Sinhalese and minority Tamils, they did so without the hyperbole of “protecting human rights”. Unfortunately, Cuba and its associates in the eight Latin American ALBA countries (Bolivarian Alliance of the peoples of the Americas) got caught up in the geopolitical game by supporting Sinhalese chauvinism politically but without funds and weapons.

LGBTI activists respond to John Pilger: 'Equal marriage rights and Bradley Manning are both big issues'

Bradley Manning supporters at Occupy London, last year. Photo: Queerfriendsofbradley.wordpress.com.

By Rachel Evans & Karl Hand

May 23, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly -- More than 1000 Sydney-siders hit the streets on May 12 demanding equal marriage rights, but prominent left-wing journalist John Pilger has criticised the march in his recent article “Bradley Manning, not gay marriage, is the issue”.

He said: “A protest parade in support of gay marriage filled the city centre. The police looked on benignly. It was a showcase of liberalism. Three days later, there was to be a march to commemorate the Nakba (The Catastrophe), the day of mourning when Israel expelled Palestinians from their land. A police ban had to be overturned by the Supreme Court.”

He said the equal marriage issue "diverts attention" from pressing issues of war and poverty, and in particular the detention and trial of alleged WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning. We cannot agree with this.

The Arab uprisings, democratic demands and the Saudi payroll

Hillary Clinton (centre) meets King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia (right) in Riyadh to discuss Syria. Photograph: AP.

By Rupen Savoulian

May 21, 2012 -- Antipodean Athiest, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author-- In April 2012, a number of high-level political officials attended conferences in Paris and Istanbul organised by the Friends of Syria group. US secretary of state Hillary Clinton attended these meetings, and joined the foreign ministers from the NATO powers and Arab Gulf monarchies in denouncing the killings committed by the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.

Message from SYRIZA to Chicago anti-NATO protests + photos, videos: massive, conscious, determined

Demonstrators defy Chicago police during anti-NATO protest march in Chicago, May 19, 2012.

By Antonis Davanellos and Sotiris Martalis, members of the coordinating secretariat of SYRIZA

May 20, 2012

Dear comrades, dear brothers and sisters of the anti-war movement

We salute your mobilisations against the NATO Summit [in Chicago] and we send you our solidarity from Greece.

We don’t need to say much about the reasons to raise our voices against NATO. Millions of people are familiar with its record or crimes over the last years in the Balkans, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Libya to name just a few.

And if we look further back, NATO has provided nothing but wars, dictatorships and terror around the globe, from the day it was founded, and during all the years of its existence.

Video: 'Llaguno Bridge: Keys to a Massacre' on the 2002 US-backed coup against Hugo Chavez

Llaguno Bridge: Keys to a Massacre (Complete Movie) from Estreito Meio Productions on Vimeo.

April 11, 2012 -- NACLA -- 10 years ago, on April 11, 2002, a group of rebelling military officers, together with opposition leaders and the mainstream media, staged a coup d’état against Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. Nineteen protesters were killed in the confusing events of that day. Chávez was jailed. Pedro Carmona, the head of Venezuela’s elite business federation FEDECAMERAS, was sworn in as de facto president, quickly abolishing the country’s 1999 constitution, disbanding the congress and installing a virtual media blackout.

Less than two days later, however, pro-Chávez supporters descended from the poor barrios around Caracas and Venezuela. They surrounded the presidential palace, Miraflores, and demanded that their president be returned. Within a few hours Chávez was back in power.

Due to the myths, lies and media manipulation, the truth about the events of April 11, 2002 is still often overlooked.

Venezuela: 10 years after the failed US-backed coup, the revolution continues

A triumphant Hugo Chavez returns to Caracas after the defeat of the US-backed 2002 coup.

April 12, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The April 2012 broadsheet of the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network marks the successful defeat of the US-backed coup aginst Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez.

* * *

On April 13, 2012, Venezuelans and supporters of democracy across the world will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of a popular uprising that defeated a US-backed coup against President Hugo Chavez. The day is an important reminder that any attempts by foreign governments and the internal opposition to remove Chavez from power -- whether through coups or at the October 7, 2012,  presidential election -- will be met with the popular mobilisation of the people, on the streets and at the ballot box.

On April 11, 2002, the right-wing opposition, backed by the US and private media, organised a military coup that briefly removed Chavezf rom office. The head of the Chamber of Commerce (Fedecamaras) Pedro Carmona was declared president and a decree was issued dissolving the Supreme Court, the constitution and the National Assembly, and fired the ombudsman and the attorney general.

Promise-breaking at the World Bank: Why Jim Yong Kim will be a heartbreaker

Jim Yong Kim is also known for his rapping and dancing with talented Dartmouth College kids.

By Patrick Bond

April 5, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- That 66th birthday month of his, March 2012, was auspicious for adding a little spice to his dreary life, but no, it just can’t last. Born in March 1946 alongside his evil twin, IMF, in Savannah Georgia, after conception in what must have been a rather sleazy New Hampshire hotel (the Bretton Woods) in mid-1944, the old geezer known as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, or much better by his nickname World Bank (but let me just use WB), really ought to be considering retirement.

Not to be ageist (ok just this once), but still, it’s patently obvious that WB’s relentless WashCon ideology is so last-century, so discredited by recent world financial melting, and so durably dangerous in today’s world. His presidents have reflected the worst of the old yankee imperialist mindset. And let’s not even start on IMF’s extremist lads and lass, who in recent years have migrated their austerity dogma from North Africa to Southern Europe and to my native Ireland, meeting growing resistance along the way.

Malalai Joya: Foreign troops must leave Afghanistan

Malalai Joya.

March 25, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Malalai Joya, a former MP and one of Afghanistan’s best-known democratic leaders, recently survived the sixth attempt on her life. Taliban gunmen attacked her office at 3 am on March 10, wounding two of her guards. In an exclusive interview, she told Green Left Weekly/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal’s Pip Hinman that “such terrorist acts will never stop my fight for freedom, democracy and justice”.

Joya will visit Australia in April to speak at the Marxism 2012 conference in Melbourne and a Stop the War Coalition public meeting in Sydney on April 11.

* * *

Colombia: The end for guerrilla warfare?

FARC guerillas.

[For more discussion on Colombia, click HERE.]

By Anthony Boynton, Bogotá, Colombia

March 25, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- As long as there are sleepy, oppressed, oppressive and isolated villages connected to a city somewhere over the hill by an unpaved road with bridges that might wash out in the next storm, guerrilla warfare will be possible. But those villages are fast disappearing into memory as the extension of electric grids and networks of paved roads extend into every corner of what used to be called the Third World.

Video: Eight myths behind 'Kony 2012'

March 27, 2012 -- A video by Green Left Weekly's  Paul Benedek that exposes the dangerous myths behind Invisible Children's viral film Kony 2012. Is the focus on Kony justified by the facts? Should we support the Ugandan army? Will US intevention help? Kony 2012: viral activism or viral imperialism?

Uganda: How the West brought Idi Amin to power

Some of the victims of the Idi Amin regime recovered by local farmers in the fertile fields of the Luwero Triangle region north of the Ugandan capital of Kampala in 1987.

Introduction by Tony Iltis

March 22, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The reception in Uganda to the KONY 2012 viral video has been unanimously negative. From journalists, academics and bloggers to local NGO workers and local people at a public screening in the northern town of Lira, Ugandans have reacted angrily to their country’s politics and problems being simplified into a childish narrative to serve foreign propaganda needs.

Many Ugandan commentators noted that this is not the first time Uganda has suffered this treatment from Western filmmakers, citing the highly successful, award-winning 2007 British film, The Last King of Scotland, as another example. This film is centres on Idi Amin Dada, who ruled Uganda from 1971 to 1979 in a violent reign of terror that cost 100,000 lives.

Uganda: Why 'Kony 2012' will bring more misery to Africa

US Navy special forces. The US government has has deployed roughly 100 special operations troops to Uganda.

Kony 2012, a 30-minute documentary about the murderous cult leader Joseph Kony, has gone viral and has been watched by tens of millions of people online. But will this mobilisation of millions be subverted into yet another weapon in the hands of those who want to militarise the region further? Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal offers some information that the filmmakers -- the Invisible Children -- failed to provide that puts the complex situation in that region into context. These articles show that demands for greater military intervention will only makes matters worse for the people of the region, and especially the most vulnerable -- the children.

The downside of the Kony 2012 video

By Mahmood Mamdani

War crimes, international law and the elephant in the room

By Rupen Savoulian

March 9, 2012 -- Antipodean Athiest, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, speaking to the US Senate Appropriations Committee in February 2012, stated that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad meets the criteria of a war criminal. The Telegraph newspaper in Britain reported as follows:

Based on definitions of war criminal and crimes against humanity, there would be an argument to be made that he would fit into that category,” she said in Washington.

But I also think that from long experience that can complicate a resolution of a difficult, complex situation because it limits options to persuade leaders perhaps to step down from power.

This raises a number of interesting questions regarding the application of international law to heads of state and corresponding government officials. What constitutes war crimes, and how can we evaluate whether or not a state leader is a war criminal?

Nuremberg and war crimes

Syria: Against the Syrian National Council

Members of the self-proclaimed, US-backed Syrian National Council.

By As`ad Abukhalil

March 8, 2012 -- Jadaliyya -- First, let us be clear: the Syrian people have every right to protest, peacefully and violently, against the brutal regime of Bashir Assad. And let us be clear: the Syrian regime has no right to stay in power, and this was true even before it began using violence to quell the uprising. And let us be clear: the Syrian regime is incapable of reforming itself.

It is rather foolish to wait for a group to ascend to power before criticising it. There was no mystery as to the intentions and agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood or the Salafis, or even the Khomeini movement, before their taking the reigns of power. Similarly, the adversaries of the Baa‘th Party began opposing it long before the former began conspiring to seize power by force.

International Women’s Day 2012: Women march against US military expansion in the Philippines and the Pacific

Unity statement by women in the Philippines

March 8, 2012 -- On the occasion of the International Women’s Day 2012, we, Filipino women declare in strongest terms possible, our opposition not only to increased presence but to US military presence per se on Philippines soil.

The United States is increasing its military presence in Asia-Pacific, in particular in the Philippines, and the Philippine government is showing no qualms in allowing this to happen.

A news account recently reported on the United States' plan to increase its military aid to “boost” Philippine defence; the promised aid will amount to US$144 million, reflecting an increase of more than $20 million on the previous amount. In another earlier news article, US ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas was quoted as saying his government had spent US$50 million for the upgrading of Philippine military facilities.

The Washington Post in January 2012 also reported that Philippine officials were in the United States to conduct initial talks with representatives of the Obama government "about expanding the American military presence in the island nation". More high-level and intense discussions will take place this March.

Tariq Ali on Syria: 'Western intervention would be disastrous; Assad must go'; Western hypocrisy condemned

Tariq Ali interviewed on Russia Today, February 15, 2012. Ali warns that the consequences of Western military intervention would be "worse than in Libya". “The fact is that the overwhelming majority of people in Syria want the Assad family out – and that is the key thing that we have to

Bolivia’s García Linera: ‘Moving beyond capitalism is a universal task’

Alvaro García Linera

Introduction by translator Felipe Stuart Cournoyer

February 19, 2012  -- First published in Axis of Logic, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Bolivia’s vice-president Álvaro García Linera brought a message of hope and anti-imperialist commitment to Mexico in the first week of February. Speaking to an overflow assembly of students and university personnel at Mexico City’s UNAM (National Autonomous University), he said that the government led by President Evo Morales welcomes social-movement protests and conflict. The more, the better.

The struggle is our nourishment, our peace. It does not overwhelm us. Absolute calm frightens us. Our opponents believe the struggle will wear us down. On the contrary, it nourishes us.

The UNAM’s Economics Research Institute (IIE) sponsored the vice-president’s address on “Bolivia: Achievements and Challenges of Transformation.”

No war, no sanctions, no intervention in Iran!

Statement by the Stop the War Coalition (Sydney, Australia)

February 14, 2012 -- The Stop the War Coalition opposes the use of sanctions or military action against Iran by the United States or Israel. These are clear violations of international law.

We oppose all nuclear proliferation.

We oppose Australian support for intervention against Iran.

Despite the lies of the United States and Israel, Iran does not possess a nuclear weapons’ capacity.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, which regularly monitors Iran’s nuclear installations, has found no evidence that Iran is preparing to construct any nuclear weapons. However Iran, as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, has the legal right to develop nuclear facilities for peaceful purposes.

Even the US has admitted that Iran does not have a nuclear weapon. US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said in January that Iran was not trying to create a nuclear weapon.

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