Rene -- Save Public Access TV
Sign on to protest the legislation that threatens Public Access TV. For direct action and info connect below. http://mnn.org/saveaccess/ NOW! We beseech your support to forward this alert to constituent members to please sign on to the S.O.S. campaign by...
Avi -- Free Mehmet Tarhan!
Free Mehmet Tarhan!
Gay Kurdish conscientious objector jailed in Turkey
14 January 2006: Defend the gay right to refuse to kill
Dear sisters and brothers,
We send greetings to your demonstrations in Rome and Milan where women and men, lesbian, gay and straight, will demonstrate for equal rights between married couples and partners of the same or different sex and against government and religious threats to restrict abortion rights. We also know that poverty can also be a contraceptive. Women must have the money and resources to have the families we want. We are adding the voices of movements for social justice in Italy to the international support for Mehmet Tarhans right to refuse to kill and to be killed.
Sentenced to four years in a military jail for ?refusing orders, Mehmet Tarhan is a gay Kurdish anarchist man, a total conscientious objector ? against all wars and any alternative to military service.
Turkey has conscription, but no right to conscientious objection. The Turkish military insists on treating homosexuality as an ?illness, and men can apply for military exemption on these grounds, but they must provide as ?evidence a video of an act of sexual penetration and submit to an anal examination. It is the equivalent of the notorious ?virginity test, which the Turkish police and army have used for decades as a pretext to perpetrate rape and other sexual violence against women, in particular Kurdish women.
Rene -- Europe 'complicit over CIA jails'
Europe 'complicit over CIA jails'
2006/01/14 17:44:32 GMT
A Swiss senator carrying out an inquiry into claims the CIA has run illegal
secret detention centres in Europe has said he has no doubt they exist.
Dick Marty accused the US of violating human rights and attacked European
nations for their "shocking" passivity in the face of such violations.
He is due to give a preliminary report to the Council of Europe on 23
The US has refused to confirm or deny the allegations over secret prisons. It
has denied using or condoning torture.
Mr Marty was asked to lead the inquiry by the Council of Europe, the
continent's human rights watchdog, after the claims surfaced late last year.
What was shocking was the passivity with which we all, in Europe, have
welcomed these things
Speaking to journalists in Switzerland, he said he was personally convinced
the US had undertaken illegal activities in Europe in transporting and
However, he acknowledged he had yet to produce concrete proof and said he
expected his inquiry to last another 12 months.
"The question is: was the CIA really working in Europe?" he said. "I believe
we can say today, without a doubt, yes."
Washington's policy "respects neither human rights nor the Geneva
Conventions", he said.
He cited as evidence the case of Egyptian cleric and terror suspect Osama
Mustafa Hassan, also known as Abu Omar, who was allegedly kidnapped by CIA
agents from Milan in 2003 and flown to Egypt for interrogation.
Rene -- US LETHAL 'BLUNDER' THREATENS TO UNDERMINE MUSHARRAF
"War on Terror"
US LETHAL 'BLUNDER' THREATENS TO UNDERMINE MUSHARRAF
By Farhan Bokhari
January 15 2006 21:06
When Pakistani intelligence agents embarrassed themselves last year
in the wake of a bogus claim that they had nearly captured Ayman
al-Zawahiri, one senior intelligence official promised himself he
would never make the same mistake again.
It was a lesson that could have well served Washington's anti-terror
machinery when it made the call on Friday to launch a lethal attack
on a remote village near Pakistan's porous border with Afghanistan.
Yesterday, the government of General Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's
pro-US military ruler, was battling to overcome the embarrassment
caused by the attack after the elusive Mr Zawahiri was nowhere to be
found among the victims.
"He appears to have proven himself to be a great survivor. This is
a mistake we made and now the US has committed a blunder, thanks to
faulty information," said a Pakistani official whose advice to Mr
Zawahiri's hunters was simple. "Even if you're triple certain you
found him, please, please check again."
RIGHTWING GROUP OFFERS STUDENTS $100 TO SPY ON PROFESSORS
RIGHTWING GROUP OFFERS STUDENTS $100 TO SPY ON PROFESSORS
Dan Glaister in Los Angeles
The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/)
Thursday January 19, 2006
· Republican graduate's site prompts witch-hunt fears
· 31 academics listed as 'worthy of scrutiny'
It is the sort of invitation any poverty-stricken student would find
hard to resist. "Do you have a professor who just can't stop talking
about President Bush, about the war in Iraq, about the Republican
party, or any other ideological issue that has nothing to do with the
class subject matter? If you help .. expose the professor, we'll pay
you for your work." .
Rene -- The Whitewashing of Ariel Sharon
Palestine / Israel
The Whitewashing of Ariel Sharon
The 'man of courage and peace' story ignores his bloody and ruthless past
Saturday, January 7, 2006 by the Los Angeles Times
by Saree Makdis
As Ariel Sharon's career comes to an end, the whitewashing is already
underway. Literally overnight he was being hailed as "a man of courage
and peace" who had generated "hopes for a far-reaching accord" with an
electoral campaign promising "to end conflict with the Palestinians."
But even if end-of-career assessments often stretch the truth, and
even if far too many people fall for the old saw about the gruff old
warrior miraculously turning into a man of peace, the reality is that
miracles don't happen, and only rarely have words and realities been
separated by such a yawning abyss.
>From the beginning to the end of his career, Sharon was a man of
ruthless and often gratuitous violence. The waypoints of his career
are all drenched in blood, from the massacre he directed at the
village of Qibya in 1953, in which his men destroyed whole houses with
their occupants - men, women and children - still inside, to the
ruinous invasion of Lebanon in 1982, in which his army laid siege to
Beirut, cut off water, electricity and food supplies and subjected the
city's hapless residents to weeks of indiscriminate bombardment by
land, sea and air.
Anjalisa -- Fisk -- Ariel Sharon
Palestine / Israel
Israel's Prime Minister was a ruthless military commander responsible
for one of the most shocking war crimes of the 20th century, argues
Robert Fisk. President George Bush acclaims Ariel Sharon as 'a man of
peace', yet the blood that was shed at Sabra and Chatila remains a
stain on the conscience of the Zionist nation. As Sharon lies stricken
in his hospital bed, his political career over, how will history judge
By Robert Fisk
01/06/05 ""The Independent"" -- -- I shook hands with him once, a
brisk, no-nonsense soldier's grip from Sharon as he finished a review
of the vicious Phalangist militiamen who stood in the barracks square
at Karantina in Beirut. Who would have thought, I asked myself then,
that this same bunch of murderers - the men who butchered their way
through the Palestinian Sabra and Chatila refugee camps only a few
weeks earlier - had their origins in the Nazi Olympics of 1936. That's
when old Pierre Gemayel - still alive and standing stiffly to
attention for Sharon - watched the "order" of Nazi Germany and
proposed to bring some of this "order" to Lebanon. That's what Gemayel
told me himself. Did Sharon not understand this. Of course, he must
Back on 18 September that same year, Loren Jenkins of The Washington
Post and Karsten Tveit of Norwegian television and I had clambered
over the piled corpses of Chatila - of raped and eviscerated women and
their husbands and children and brothers - and Jenkins, knowing that
the Isrealis had sat around the camps for two nights watching this
filth, shrieked "Sharon!" in anger and rage. He was right. Sharon it
was who sent the Phalange into the camps on the night of 16 September
- to hunt for "terrorists", so he claimed at the time.
The subsequent Israeli Kahan commission of enquiry into this atrocity
provided absolute proof that Israeli soldiers saw the massacre taking
place. The evidence of a Lieutenant Avi Grabovsky was crucial. He was
an Israeli deputy tank commander and reported what he saw to his
higher command. "Don't interfere," the senior officer said. Ever
afterwards, Israeli embassies around the world would claim that the
commission held Sharon only indirectly responsible for the massacre.
It was untrue. The last page of the official Israeli report held
Sharon "personally responsible". It was years later that the
Israeli-trained Phalangist commander, Elie Hobeika, now working for
the Syrians, agreed to turn state's evidence against Sharon - now the
Israeli Prime Minister - at a Brussels court. The day after the
Israeli attorney general declared Sharon's defence a "state" matter,
Hobeika was killed by a massive car bomb in east Beirut. Israel denied
responsibility. US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld traveled to
Brussels and quietly threatened to withdraw Nato headquarters from
Belgium if the country maintained its laws to punish war criminals
from foreign nations. Within months, George W Bush had declared Sharon
"a man of peace". It was all over.
In the end, Sharon got away with it, even when it was proved that he
had, the night before the Phalangists attacked the civilians of the
camp, publicly blamed the Palestinians for the murder of their leader,
President-elect Bashir Gemayel. Sharon told these ruthless men that
the Palestinians had killed their beloved "chief". Then he sent them
in among the civilian sheep - and claimed later he could never have
imagined what they would do in Chatila. Only years later was it proved
that hundreds of Palestinians who survived the original massacre were
interrogated by the Israelis and then handed back to the murderers to
be slaughtered over the coming weeks.
Rene -- Filling the Void
26 THE COMMON REVIEW vol. 4, no. 2
BETWEEN SEPTEMBER 1978 and May 1979,
the French philosopher Michel Foucault
published more than twenty articles about
the Iranian Revolution. Curiously, only three of
them have ever been available in English—until
In Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: Gender
and the Seductions of Islamism, Janet Afary and
Kevin Anderson have translated and assembled
not only Foucault’s articles on Iran but also inter-
views with Foucault on the subject (including one
from an Iranian journal, translated from Persian),
critical responses to Foucault’s Iran writings by
several intellectuals, letters to the editor of one of
the magazines for which he wrote the articles, an
open letter Foucault wrote to Iran’s revolution-
ary prime minister, and statements by Simone de
Beauvoir and Iranian feminists on the revolution.
The Nation -- Naomi Klein: 'Never Before!' Our Amnesiac Torture Debate
Naomi Klein: 'Never Before!' Our Amnesiac Torture Debate
Source: Nation (12-26-05)
It was the "Mission Accomplished" of George W. Bush's second term, and an announcement of that magnitude called for a suitably dramatic location. But what was the right backdrop for the infamous "We do not torture" declaration? With characteristic audacity, the Bush team settled on downtown Panama City.
It was certainly bold. An hour and a half's drive from where Bush stood, the US military ran the notorious School of the Americas from 1946 to 1984, a sinister educational institution that, if it had a motto, might have been "We do torture." It is here in Panama and, later, at the school's new location in Fort Benning, Georgia, where the roots of the current torture scandals can be found. According to declassified training manuals, SOA students--military and police officers from across the hemisphere--were instructed in many of the same "coercive interrogation" techniques that have since migrated to Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib: early morning capture to maximize shock, immediate hooding and blindfolding, forced nudity, sensory deprivation, sensory overload, sleep and food "manipulation," humiliation, extreme temperatures, isolation, stress positions--and worse. In 1996 President Clinton's Intelligence Oversight Board admitted that US-produced training materials condoned "execution of guerrillas, extortion, physical abuse, coercion and false imprisonment."
Avi -- Gideon Levy -- The blind love of the people
Palestine / Israel
The blind love of the people
By Gideon Levy
A concept is born - the "Sharon legacy." Like its predecessor, the
"Rabin legacy," it too will present a persona entirely different
from the real person. Therefore, a moment before Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon becomes the "Sharon legacy," the hero of peace and
the disengagement who, had he only continued in his role a little
longer, would have brought peace to Israel - we would do well to
sketch his non-mythical persona, without mincing words.
Perhaps the most influential leader since David Ben-Gurion, Sharon
was the cause of many of the political and security problems now
facing Israel. This must be said honestly, even now. The new
Sharon, who has earned the respect of a large number of Israelis
and of most of the countries in the world, tried in his twilight
years only to repair some of the historical mistakes into which he
led the country during his life. The settlement project, the
strengthening of Hamas and the emergence of Hezbollah as a
threatening and significant factor in Lebanon - all owe a great
debt to Sharon's policies.
Dr. Woooo -- Steve Wright -- Reality check: Are We Living In An Immaterial World?
Reality check: Are We Living In An Immaterial World?
by Steve Wright
Immaterial Labour is seen by (post) Marxists and capitalists alike as the motor of the new economy. Steve Wright recovers Marx's theory of value from critics such as Antonio Negri to ask whether it is as 'immeasurably' productive as is claimed?
A priest once came across a Zen master and, seeking
to embarrass him, challenged him as follows: ‘Using neither sound nor silence, can you show me what is reality?’
The Zen master punched him in the face.1
Continued assertions that, today, we live in a knowledge economy or society raise many questions for reflection. In the next few pages, I want to discuss some aspects of these assertions, especially as they relate to the notion of immaterial labour. This term has developed within the camp of thought that is commonly labelled ‘postworkerist’, of which the best known exponent is undoubtedly Antonio Negri. While its roots lie in that branch of postwar Italian Marxism known as operaismo (workerism), this milieu has rethought and reworked many of the precepts developed during the Italian New Left’s heyday of 1968-78. If anything, it was the very defeat of the social subjects with which operaismo had identified – first and foremost, the so-called ‘mass worker’ engaged in the production of consumer durables through repetitive, ‘semi-skilled labour’ – that led Negri and others to insist that we are embarked upon a new age beyond modernity.2
According to this view of the world, a quite different kind of labour is currently either hegemonic amongst those with nothing to sell but their ability to work – or, at the very least, is well on the way towards acquiring such hegemony. Secondly, capital’s growing dependence upon this different – immaterial – labour has serious implications for the process of self-expanding abstract labour (value) that defines capital as a social relation. While Marx had held that the ‘socially-necessary labour-time’ associated with their production provided the means by which capital could measure the value of commodities (and so the mass of surplus value that it hoped to realise with their sale), Negri, on the other hand, is of the opinion that in a time of increasingly complex and skilled labour, and of a working day that more and more blurs the boundaries with (and ultimately colonises) the rest of our waking hours, value can no longer be calculated. As he put it a decade ago, in such circumstances the exploitation of labour still continues, but ‘outside any economic measure: its economic reality is fixed exclusively in political terms.’3
This is pretty esoteric stuff, particularly the arguments over the measurability (or otherwise) of value. Should we care one way or the other? What I hope to show below is that for all their apparent obscurity, these debates matter. That is because they raise questions as to how we understand our immediate context, including how we interpret the possibilities latent within contemporary class composition. Is one sector of class composition likely to set the pace and tone in struggles against capital, or should we look instead towards the emergence of ‘strange loops … odd circuits and strange connections between and among various class sectors’ (as Midnight Notes once suggested) as a necessary condition for moving beyond ‘the present state of things’?
Avi -- There's a system for turning Palestinian property into Israel's state land
Palestine / Israel
There's a system for turning Palestinian property into Israel's state land
By Akiva Eldar
Last Update: 27/12/2005 01:47
Ehud Barak likes to compare the State of Israel to a villa in a jungle. It would be interesting to know whether he means that the areas of the settlements in the territories are a legal veranda of the villa or part of the jungle.
Right under the noses, in the best case, of prime ministers, chiefs of staff and GOCs of the Central Command, who are responsible for "Judea and Samaria" (the West Bank), among them Barak himself, the State of Israel has imposed the law of the jungle on those territories. The Civil Administration, with the blessing of the State Prosecutor's Office, has been a key partner in a system of real estate deals, of which the description "dubious" would be complimentary.
Building companies owned and managed by settler leaders and land dealers acquire lands from Palestinian crooks and transfer them to the Custodian of Government Property in the Israel Lands Administration. The custodian "converts" the lands to "state lands," leases them back to settler associations that then sell them to building companies. In this way it has been ensured that the Palestinians (under the law in the territories, the onus of proof is on them) will never demand their lands back.
A year and a half ago, when this became known to him, Brigadier General Ilan Paz, then the commander of the Judea and Samaria district, issued a written order to shut down the lands laundry. He reasoned that even if this was legally correct, it smelled bad. These lands have already served for the establishment of dozens of Jewish settlements and others are awaiting purchasers. Some of these lands, for example the lands of the village of Bil'in - now known thanks to the determined struggle against the separation fence - are adjacent to the 1967 border. The Defense Ministry has seen to it that the route of the fence will "annex" them to the "Israeli" side and the entrepreneurs are hastening to establish facts in concrete.
Rene -- 2 Articles on Guantanamo Bay
WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE OVER GUANTANAMO PRISONERS?
by Judi K-Turkel and Franklynn Peterson
the Madison Capital Times
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
For four years we kept silent while our government, with the tacit
consent of the people we helped send to Congress, imprisoned 550 to 750
men and boys in a remote concentration camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
For four years we watched while fellow reporters swallowed everything
the government says about these prisoners without checking claims
against facts. We can't sit by anymore while men and boys are jailed
under conditions you'd call heartless if anyone did it to your dog
Lists published on the Web tell us that among the prisoners are:
Asadullah Rahman, captured at age 10.Muhammed Ismael Agha of
Afghanistan, captured at 14.
Mohammed al Gharani of Chad and Naief Fahad al Otaibi, Youssef al
Shehri and Abdul Salam al Shehri of Saudi Arabia, all four captured
Afghan writer Badr Badrzamen, master of English literature, moved to
Cuba from an Afghanistan prison the Taliban threw him in for writing
articles lampooning them.
Rene -- ENEMIES OF THE STATE?
ENEMIES OF THE STATE?
By Nigel Morris, Home Affairs Correspondent
15 December 2005
Suspected of plotting terror, a group of men have been held for four
years but never charged. Now, in their first testimonies, they reveal
the authorities have not even questioned them since their arrests.
Four men deprived of their liberty for four years on suspicion of
being international terrorists disclose today that they have not once
been questioned by police or security services since being arrested.
The four, who were among 16 suspects detained without trial under
post-11 September terror legislation, later overturned by the law
lords, give harrowing accounts of the treatment they have suffered. All
are now under virtual house arrest. Although three face deportation,
The Independent has learnt that there is no prospect of the men ever
being questioned over the offences they are alleged to have committed.
In interviews with Amnesty International, the four - three Algerians
and a Palestinian - say their detentions have harmed their physical
and mental health. They also complain that their treatment has had
a devastating impact on their wives and families.
The men were interned in Belmarsh jail in south-east London -
which has been called Britain's Guantanamo Bay - and other high
security prisons in conditions consistently condemned by human rights
organisations. Their detentions were ruled illegal by the law lords
a year ago and they have since been released on control orders with
tough restrictions on leaving home.
Three were re-arrested in August under immigration powers pending
deportation and released by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission
Act (Siac) in October on very strict bail conditions amounting to
house arrest. One of them told Amnesty: "We've been moving from one
nightmare to another."
Rene -- Nader -- Talkin' About the "I"-Word
High Crimes and Misdemeanors
Talkin' About the "I"-Word
By RALPH NADER
Richard Cohen, the finely-calibrated syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, wrote a column on October 28, 2004 which commenced with this straight talk: "I do not write the headlines for my columns. Someone else does. But if I were to write the headline for one, it would be 'Impeach George Bush'."
Cohen stated the obvious then. Bush and Cheney had plunged the nation into war "under false pretenses." Exploiting the public trust in the Presidency, Bush had persuaded, over the uncritical mass media, day after day, before the war, a majority of the American people that Saddam Hussein possessed chemical, biological weapons and nuclear weapons programs, was connected to al-Qaeda and 9/11 and was a threat to the United States.
These falsehoods, Cohen wrote, "are a direct consequence of the administration's repeated lies--lies of commission, such as Cheney's statements, and lies of omission."
Fourteen months later, no widely syndicated columnist or major newspaper editorial has called for the impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Not even Cohen again. Yet the case for impeachment is so strong that, recently, hardly a day goes by without more disclosures which strengthen any number of impeachable offenses that could form a Congressional action under our Constitution. An illegal war, to begin with, against our Constitution which says only Congress can declare war. An illegal war under domestic laws, and international law, and conducted illegally under international conventions to which the US belongs, should cause an outcry against this small clique of outlaws committing war crimes who have hijacked our national government.
An illegal, criminal war means that every related U.S. death and injury, every related Iraqi civilian death and injury, every person tortured, every home and building destroyed become war crimes as a result--under established international law.