Archive for ‘Others-USA-Europe-etc.’

25/05/2015

The Crisis of the Left and the Decline of Europe and the United States

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

Rome, 25 May 2015 – The victory of the Conservative Party and the debacle of the Labour Party in the recent British general elections is yet another sign of the crisis facing left-wing forces today, leaving aside the question of how, under the British electoral system, the Labour Party actually increased the number of votes it won but saw a reduction in the number of seats it now holds in Parliament (24 seats less than the previous 256).

Roberto Savio

Roberto Savio

If the proportional rather than uninominal system had been used, the Conservative Party with its 11 million votes would have won 256 and not 331 seats in Parliament (far short of the absolute majority of 326 needed to govern), while at the other extreme the United Kingdom Independence Party with nearly four million votes would have landed 83 and not just the one seat it ended up with – results that would be hard to imagine anywhere else and a good example of insularity.

To an extent, the recent British general elections mirrored the U.S. presidential elections in 2000 when Democratic candidate Al Gore won around half a million more popular votes than Republican candidate George W. Bush but failed to win the majority of electoral college votes on which the U.S. system is based.

25/05/2015

Who Will Save Israel?

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By Uri Avnery*

23 May 2015

Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery

THE BATTLE is over. The dust has settled. A new government – partly ridiculous, partly terrifying – has been installed.

It is time to take stock.

The net result is that Israel has given up all pretense of desiring peace and that Israeli democracy has suffered a blow from which it may never recover.

ISRAELI GOVERNMENTS – with the possible exception of Yitzhak Rabin’s – have never really desired peace. The peace that is possible.

Peace, of course, means accepting fixed borders. In the founding declaration of the state, which was read out by David Ben-Gurion on May 14, 1948 in Tel Aviv, any mention of borders was deliberately omitted.

Ben Gurion was not ready to accept the borders fixed by the UN partition resolution, because they provided only for a tiny Jewish state. Ben-Gurion foresaw that the Arabs would start a war, and he was determined to use this for enlarging the territory of the state.

25/05/2015

Why Elites Love Drones

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By Robert J. Burrowes*

I sometimes read that drone strikes are counterproductive to western security interests because each person killed by a drone results in more new ‘terrorists’. See, for example, ‘The more civilians US drones kill in the Mideast, the more radicals they create‘.

**Image: Minneapolis anti-war protest: 'Stop Killer Drones', 5 May 2013 | Author: Tony Webster from Portland, Oregon, United States | Wikimedia Commons

**Minneapolis anti-war protest: ‘Stop Killer Drones’, 5 May 2013 | Author: Tony Webster from Portland, Oregon, United States | Wikimedia Commons

However, this analysis completely fails to understand what is driving elite military policy, carried out by the United States elite and key elite allies within NATO and elsewhere.

In brief: drone strikes work precisely because they provoke violent responses which help elites to ‘justify’ their perpetual war to secure control of the world’s diminishing supplies of fossil fuels, water and strategic minerals while tightening control of domestic populations through expansion of the security and surveillance state.

24/05/2015

“The Path to Zero: Dialogues on Nuclear Dangers”, by Richard Falk and David Krieger

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

Book Review by John Scales Avery*

This book ought to be required reading for college students everywhere in the world, and also for decision-makers. It shakes us out of our complacency and makes us realize that widespread, immediate and dedicated public action is urgently needed if we are to save human civilization and the biosphere from a thermonuclear catastrophe. 

Richard Falk

Richard Falk

David Krieger

David Krieger

 

The book is published by Paradigm Publishers, 2845 Wilderness Place, Boulder, CO 80301, USA. (www.paradigmpublishers.com).

On the back cover there are endorsements, with which I entirely agree, by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and David Ellsberg.

“We are greatly privileged, like flies on the wall, to join this conversation between two remarkable stalwarts. Richard Falk and David Krieger, in the campaign for a nuclear-free world. It is unconscionable that so many of us seem to accept the prospect of our ‘mutually assured destruction’, the immoral massacre of millions of civilians, and to view with equanimity such a gross violation of international law…

24/05/2015

The Fog of Empire

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By Vithal Rajan*

23 May 2015 – TRANSCEND Media Service – The British election results have been a surprise to everyone, especially to David Cameron, the Prime Minister.

**Central photo: David Cameron in India | Author: Harry Metcalfe | Wikimedia Commons

**David Cameron in India | Author: Harry Metcalfe | Wikimedia Commons

He was quite prepared to put a brave face on it if he lost, but was hoping against hope that he might be given a second chance in another minority government, his Conservative party shored up by unflinching support from even more diehard Tories, the Ulster Protestant factions in Northern Ireland, and his new friends the Liberal Democrats.

Having secured an unexpected clear majority on his own, Cameron made an extravagant victory speech in front of No: 10 Downing Street, in which he promised everything to everyone.

24/05/2015

No Way to Free Middle East from Nuclear Weapons – UN Warns of ‘Dangerous Return to Cold War’

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

New York – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed disappointment at the inability of Member States to reach consensus on a “substantive outcome” on a non-proliferation treaty key for global nuclear disarmament, according to a United Nations spokesperson.

An atmospheric nuclear test conducted by the United States at Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands, on 1 November 1952. Photo: US Government | Source: UN

In a statement issued on 23 May 2015 regarding the conclusion of the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the UN spokesperson said the Secretary-General particularly regretted that States parties were “unable to narrow their differences on the future of nuclear disarmament or to arrive at a new collective vision on how to achieve a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction.”*

10/05/2015

A Day and Night-mare

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By Uri Avnery*

8 May 2015

BINYAMIN NETANYAHU seems to be detested now by everyone. Almost as much as his meddling wife, Sarah’le.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel addresses the General Assembly. UN Photo/J Carrier

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel addresses the General Assembly. UN Photo/J Carrier

Six weeks ago, Netanyahu was the great victor. Contrary to all opinion polls, he achieved a surprise victory at the last moment, winning 30 seats in the 120-member Knesset, leaving the Labor Party (re-branded “The Zionist Camp”) well behind him.

The extra seats did not come from the Left. They came from his nearest competitors, the Rightist parties.

However, it was a great personal triumph. Netanyahu was on top of his world. Sarah’le was radiant. Netanyahu left no doubt that he was now the master, and that he was determined to order things according to his wishes.

09/05/2015

Unemployment Rate for Palestine Refugees Reaches 44 per cent in Gaza

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

More than 27,000 applicants applied for some 200 teaching jobs for the coming academic year in the Gaza Strip, where unemployment has now reached nearly 44 per cent, making it one of the world’s most unstable economies, the United Nations agency assisting Palestinian refugees across the Middle East on 8 May 2015 said.

UNRWA continues to distribute food to 830,000 refugees in Gaza. Photo: UNRWA

“The resilience of Palestine refugees is legendary, but not inexhaustible,” said Chris Gunness, spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which provides direct relief and works programmes for some 5 million Palestine refugees in the region.

Gunness quoted UNRWA Commissioner-General Krähenbühl as saying via social media: “Palestine refugees need more than just aid; they need a just solution.”

08/05/2015

Chinese Warships to Join Russian Navy in Black Sea, Mediterranean for Historic Drill

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

7 May 2015 (RT)* – Two Chinese missile frigates will enter the Russian Black Sea naval base of Novorossiysk for the first time in history. They will then conduct joint exercises with Russia in the Mediterranean.
Type 054A frigate. (Image from Wikipedia)

Type 054A frigate. (Image from Wikipedia) | Source: RT

The Linyi and the Weifang will enter the port of Novorossiysk on May 8 to take part in Victory Day celebrations, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

Each is a 4,000-ton vessel of the relatively new Type 054A (also known as Jiangkai II), which first entered service in 2007. They are accompanied by a support ship. This is the first time Chinese warships will have entered the Russian base.

07/05/2015

My meeting with El Che

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By Roberto Savio*

In 1963 I took a trip to Venezuela. I was a young reporter then working for the Italian magazine Rinascita. During an interview with President Bentancourt he spoke about how very worried he was as a social-democrat about the rise of guerrillas in Venezuela.

Guevara's face on a flag above the words

Guevara’s face on a flag above the words “El Che Vive!” (Che Lives!) | Wikimedia Commons

I then set out to find its leader by the name of Teodoro Petkoff, but I could not find him. Nevertheless I was able to talk to some of his sympathisers. From this a report took shape with the peasant farmers that Petkoff wanted to enlist following the Cuban model.

I came to the conclusion that the facts were completely different to what Petkoff thought. And that the guerrillas would not succeed.

From Venezuela I went to Cuba where I talked to several Cubans stating that the revolution would not be repeated in Venezuela, which was not very well received by a few of the interviewed.

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