Waiting for Carole: Anti-Racists Seek NDP Leader's Apology for "Anti-Semitic" Smear

Antiracists Wait for NDP Leader Carole James to Apologize
by Hanna Kawas
Almost a month has passed since New Democratic Party Leader Carole James labelled anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism; by so doing, she accused the antiwar movement, the Palestinian support movement, and all those human-rights rights organizations that oppose the political ideology of Zionism of being “racist”.

We were hoping that some sane NDP leaders, MPs, MLAs or candidates would pressure Carole James into reversing her outrageous conclusions after all the public criticism and outrage that followed her ill-advised libelling of people who oppose Zionism (1).

However, it does NOT seem it is coming, especially before such a crucial provincial election.

We feel we should make our position clear, so the leadership of the NDP will not take the working class, the antiwar, and the anti-Zionist movements for granted.

Let us start with some history.
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Re-awakening Resistance: Abandoning Sunni Allies in Iraq

Human Body Parts
by Dahr Jamail | T r u t h o u t
In Iraq, time leaves bloody marks upon each day of the ongoing US occupation. The policies of the Obama administration, adopted from the Bush administration, continue to wreak their havoc on the Iraqi people.

The US-created al-Sahwa (Sons of Iraq), a Sunni militia comprised mostly of former resistance fighters and even some members of al-Qaeda, that grew to 100,000 in number, now threatens to fade back into the shadows in order to resume anti-occupation resistance operations against the US military and Iraqi government security forces. The Sahwa, which were to be incorporated into the government security apparatus, have instead been suffering attacks by that same apparatus for several months - attacks that are now occurring daily. And they are reacting in kind.
On April 14, ten Sahwa-controlled checkpoints were abandoned in Babel, south of Baghdad. The Sahwa forces left their posts after not receiving their salaries. This was exactly what I was told would begin to happen when I spoke with a Sahwa commander in Baghdad two months ago. At the time of our discussion, he had told me that many of his men had not received payment from the government since October, and he feared it was only a matter of time before they would leave their posts to likely resume resistance operations.
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Warfare Gore Fair Coming to Ottawa

The CANSEC War Fair: Weapons Galore and Global Warfare
Canada's top war industries have their sights set on Ottawa and are aiming to exhibit their wares at CANSEC 2009, Canada's largest military arms bazaar, at Lansdowne Park, May 27-28.

More than 50 of these Canadian military export industries are linked to the production of weapons systems that most people in this country probably recognize as morally reprehensible and thoroughly unCanadian, if not downright illegal.

Among the all-Canadian weapons exported by CANSEC 2009 exhibitors are:

  *  Anti-Personnel Cluster Bombs, Fragmentation Bombs and Phosphorous Bombs
  *  Automatic Weapons, Semi-Automatic Weapons, Machine Guns and Chain Guns
A new online report by the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT) reveals that CANSEC exhibitors are also engaged in the manufacture of essential high-tech components embedded in weapons systems that deliver the following:

  *  Nuclear Weapons
  *  Depleted Uranium Munitions
  *  Anti-Personnel Cluster Bombs
  *  Anti-Personnel Landmines
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Two Women Die in Afghanistan

Two Women Die in Afghanistan
by C. L. Cook
The body of Canada's 117th soldier killed in Afghanistan made its way down the 401 to CFB Trenton. Like the too many preceding it, it was a young body, one with many years and much promise contained within it. And like those bodies making up the long train of its dead comrades, the body of Trooper Karine Blais was broken, torn to pieces by the Afghani resistance weapon of choice, the IED, or Improvised Explosive Device.
The day Trooper Blais was relieved of this world another woman died violently in Afghanistan.

Also on Monday, Sitara Achakzai, organizer of a nation-wide women's sit-in for peace last month was gunned down in the streets of Kandahar. The demonstrations she organized coincided with the March 8th commemoration of International Women's Day, and was meant as a reminder to the warlords on both sides of the Atlantic that it is women and children who always suffer war most acutely.

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Canada Considers Cozying Colombia with Free Trade Bill

Canada's Parliament Considers Colombia Free Trade Bill
by The Mingas Collective
Dear friends: The Canadian Parliament is about to consider ratification of a “free trade” agreement with Colombia. The text of the agreement is nearly identical to the US-Colombia trade agreement and would have the same kinds of disastrous consequences for millions of Colombians.

We in the Mingas collective are in the midst of a campaign to convince the Canadian Parliament to reject the agreement. The Mingas collective is a group of individuals from across the United States, Canada and Colombia who are concerned with promoting sovereignty and economic development, strengthening democracy and improving labor conditions in Colombia. We are integrated within the Hemispheric Social Alliance and are active in North America, where we work in coordination with the Washington-based Alliance for Responsible Trade.
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Kenya: Government Targets Samburu Villages

Kenya: Brutal campaign of violence against indigenous Samburu villages
by John Ahni Schertow
Helicopters drop soldiers near a village after shooting villagersFor more than three weeks now, the Kenyan government has been engaged in a brutal campaign of violence against the indigenous Samburu people in north central Kenya.
Residents of Archer's Post watch helplessly as police take away their cattle and their economy. The government has also confiscated all of the Samburu’s cattle, leaving them without any access to food. Photo Credit: Cultural Survival

According to Cultural Survival (CS), the government, who claims to be chasing after “cattle bandits”, has “strafed the unarmed villagers with machine guns” from the air and “used clubs to beat them on the ground.” Further reports indicate that at least nine bombs have been dropped on Samburu villages, and a yet-to-be-identified caustic chemical was sprayed on group of children who were seeking refuge in the bush.

All of this is despite the court order obtained last month that barred the operation.
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Haiti's Electoral Charade

Electoral Sham in Haiti
by Stephen Lendman
Few people anywhere have suffered more for so long, yet endure and keep struggling for change. For brief periods under Jean-Bertand Aristide, they got it until a US-led February 29, 2004 coup d'etat forced him into exile where he remains Haiti's symbolic leader - for his supporters, still head of the Fanmi Lavalas (FL) party he founded in 1996 to reestablish links between local Lavalas branches and its parliamentary representatives.
Haitian president Rene Preval, somewhere between democracy and realpolitik

From then to now, nothing has been the same. UN paramilitaries occupy the country. Washington effectively controls it. President Rene Preval got a choice - go along or pay the price. He submitted knowing what awaits him if he resists. Nonetheless, he's disappointed bitterly.

Haitians suffered dearly as a result, deeply impoverished, at times starving, denied the most basic essentials, plagued by violence, a brutal occupier, police repression, an odious and onerous debt, and exploitive sweatshop conditions for those lucky enough to have a job in a country plagued by unemployment and deprivation.
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7 Lessons for President Obama

Mary McCarthy in Vietnam, Barack Obama in Afghanistan: Seven Lessons and Many Questions for the President
by William Astore
In 1967, outraged by the course of the Vietnam War, as well as her country's role in prolonging and worsening it, Mary McCarthy, novelist, memoirist, and author of the bestseller The Group, went to Saigon, then the capital of South Vietnam, to judge the situation for herself. The next year, she went to the North Vietnamese capital, Hanoi. She wrote accounts of both journeys, published originally in pamphlet format as Vietnam (1967) and Hanoi (1968), and later gathered with her other writings on Vietnam as a book, The Seventeenth Degree (1974). As pamphlets, McCarthy's accounts sold poorly and passed into obscurity; deservedly so, some would say.
Those who'd say this, however, would be wrong. McCarthy brought a novelist's keen eye to America's activities and its rhetoric in Vietnam. By no means a military expert, not even an expert on Vietnam -- she only made a conscious decision to study the war in Vietnam after she returned from her trip to Saigon -- her impressionistic writings were nevertheless insightful precisely because she had long been a critical thinker beholden to no authority.
Her insights into our approach to war-fighting and to foreign cultures are as telling today as they were 40 years ago, so much so that President Obama and his advisors might do well to add her unconventional lessons to their all-too-conventional thinking on our spreading war in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
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ICED: Canadian [sic] Immigration Round-Ups Continue

ICED: Canadian [sic] Immigration Round-Ups Continue
Ministers Van Loan and Kenney; On April 2nd and 3rd, CBSA raided three food processing factories where they held all workers at gun point.  These workers were herded into a cafeteria where citizens and permanent residents were separated from other workers.

These other workers, many of whom possess temporary work permits, were handcuffed and held on a bus for over eight hours. In unprecedented weekend hearings, most of the detained workers were tricked into waiving legal advice or the right to dispute their removal.

These illegal and egregious actions were followed by speedy requests for travel documents, as their original passports are held by unscrupulous, corrupt agents at TNT Recruitment. The Thai consulate has provided these papers and 41 of the arrested are being put on a plane on Sunday April 19th.

Removing workers from Canada in this way is arbitrary and illegal. The recruitment agency and the company which paid these workers $9.00 an hour for 12 hours of back-breaking and brutal work have not been charged.

Minister Van Loan, sign a notice to stop the deportations. Minister Kenney, grant all workers arrested full status. Stop using the economic crisis as an excuse to target migrant workers and their families!
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A People's President? New Film Uncovers the Story Behind Obama Election

Barack Obama, People's President: New Film Tells Unreported Story of Obama's Election
by Danny Schechter - Director, Barack Obama, People’s President
The election of Barack Obama may be long over but the campaign for change is still underway. For the first time in American history, a president is using the techniques he deployed in running for office in pushing for deeper change. Those who want him to go even further might want to master the approach he used.

It is no surprise that this significant political development is barely being covered in a media that loves to punditize, poll public opinion, and debate policy options in a top-down way. (Some like Fox are even trying to become community organizers) Yet by “covering” politics in this way, our mass media is missing the most innovative bottom-up grassrooots effort in recent memory.

I know about this because as a journalist and filmmaker, I set out to document just how Obama won the election. That story, told in the film Barack Obama, People’s President  (slated for DVD release this month by ChoiceMedia.net) documents the online and on the ground techniques that were used to win the highest office in the land.
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HR 875, HR 759, NAIS and Monsanto

The End of Small Farms? What you should know (and DO) about HR 875, HR 759, NAIS and Monsanto
by Shelly Roche - Break the Matrix
America's small farmers are under attack through a series of bills presented under the guise of "food safety." I don't want to lose my freedom to grow, buy and eat real foods. Let's fight for our small farmers who not only need our protection and support, but actual freeing from government intrusion, control and harm.


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Hopeover: The Day After in Obamalot

Hopebroken and Hopesick: A Lexicon of Disappointment
by Naomi Klein - The Nation
All is not well in Obama fanland. It's not clear exactly what accounts for the change of mood. Maybe it was the rancid smell emanating from Treasury's latest bank bailout. Or the news that the president's chief economic adviser, Larry Summers, earned millions from the very Wall Street banks and hedge funds he is protecting from re regulation now. Or perhaps it began earlier, with Obama's silence during Israel's Gaza attack.

Whatever the last straw, a growing number of Obama enthusiasts are starting to entertain the possibility that their man is not, in fact, going to save the world if we all just hope really hard. This is a good thing. If the super fan culture that brought Obama to power is going to transform itself into an independent political movement, one fierce enough to produce programs capable of meeting the current crises, we are all going to have to stop hoping and start demanding.

The first stage, however, is to understand fully the awkward in-between space in which many US progressive movements find themselves. To do that, we need a new language, one specific to the Obama moment. Here is a start.
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