Why America Can't Resist

Five reasons why Americans won't resist
by Mickey Z.
Protest (American, definitely not a verb): Wait for UFPJ or ANSWER to stage a parade (I mean, demonstration) on a weekend afternoon so no one misses work or school or in any way disrupts the flow of commerce. Don't make a sign; the organizers will make one for you.
 
March in an orderly fashion, be polite to the occupying army (I mean, cops), and be sure to stay in designated free speech zones. Blame the Republicans. Wear costumes. Make puppets. Exclude anarchists. Hold a candlelight vigil. Sign a petition. Chant. Vote for a Democrat and hope for change. Need I continue?

With the stakes never higher than they are now, why aren't activists ramping up the pressure and looking beyond tactics that are allowed by those in power?
 
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U.N. Human Rights Rapporteur: Gaza "War Crime of Greatest Magnitude"

HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN PALESTINE AND OTHER OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Richard Falk
Summary
In the light of resolution S-9 adopted by the Human Rights Council at its ninth special session, the present report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 focuses on the main international law and human rights issues raised by Israel military operations commencing on 27 December 2008 and ending on 18 January 2009. He challenges the widespread emphasis on whether Israeli force was disproportionate in relation to Palestinian threats to Israeli security, and focuses on the prior question of whether Israeli force was legally justified at all.
 
He concludes that such recourse to force was not legally justified given the circumstances and diplomatic alternatives available, and was potentially a crime against peace.

The Special Rapporteur also gives relevance to the pre-existing blockade of Gaza, which was in massive violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, suggesting the presence of war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity. He considers the tactics pursued during the attacks by both sides, condemning the firing of rockets at Israeli civilian targets, and suggests the unlawfulness of disallowing civilians in Gaza to have an option to leave the war zone to become refugees, as well as the charges of unlawful weapons and combat tactics. He recommends that an expert inquiry into these matters be conducted to confirm the status under international law of war crimes allegations, and to consider alternative approaches to accountability.

Finally, the Special Rapporteur insists that Israeli security and the realization of the Palestinian right of self-determination are fundamentally connected, and that the recognition of this aspect of the situation suggests the importance of an intensified diplomatic effort, respect by all parties of relevant international law rights, and implementation of the long deferred Israeli withdrawal from occupied Palestine as initially prescribed by the Security Council in its resolution 242 (1967). Until such steps are taken the Palestinian right of resistance within the limits of international humanitarian law and Israeli security policy will inevitably clash, giving rise to ever new cycles of violence. The Special Rapporteur also recommends action in response to the denial by Israel of entry to him on 14 December 2008.
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Pipeline Postcards from the Near Future

Liquid War: Postcard from Pipelineistan
by Pepe Escobar
What happens on the immense battlefield for the control of Eurasia will provide the ultimate plot line in the tumultuous rush towards a new, polycentric world order, also known as the New Great Game.
 
Our good ol' friend the nonsensical "Global War on Terror," which the Pentagon has slyly rebranded "the Long War," sports a far more important, if half-hidden, twin -- a global energy war. I like to think of it as the Liquid War, because its bloodstream is the pipelines that crisscross the potential imperial battlefields of the planet.
 
Put another way, if its crucial embattled frontier these days is the Caspian Basin, the whole of Eurasia is its chessboard. Think of it, geographically, as Pipelineistan.
 
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"GOONS" Alive and Well on the Reservation

"Killer Crossroads" in Akwesasne - colonial terror specially aimed at Indigenous youth
by MNN
There have been many high speed chases, violence, injuries and deaths at or near the "killer crossroads" in front of the Cornwall Island border checkpoint at Akwesasne.  Women, men, youth and children are being constantly harassed and brutalized here.  The Canada-U.S. border is illegally situated in the middle of our community.  

Canadian Border Services Agents, CSIS, RCMP, Ontario Provincial Police, Akwesasne Mohawk "Indian" Police and other government "spotters" finger our people at the toll booth.  We can be targeted for assault, harassment, false charges, delayed for hours for no reason, raped, groped or almost murdered.  Recently more and more of our men are being chased and rammed by wild delirious "Indian" cops who are desperate to suck up to their colonial "masters".  The band or tribal cops are ordered by provincial, state and federal cops to attack their own people and relatives.
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Langford: Why the Mayor, Deputy, and Chief Planner Should Step Down

Are Langford Officials Biased? - Why the mayor, deputy mayor, and chief planner should step down, and why everyone else should speak up
by Zoe Blunt
On April 6, Langford City Council is expected to adopt a development re-zoning bylaw for South Skirt Mountain, located between the new interchange on Highway 1 and Bear Mountain Resort.
 
Langford Mayor, Stew Young: Conflicted?
 
Four landowners propose to build roads and condo towers with 2800 units adjoining Goldstream Provincial Park to the west and Florence Lake to the east. North of the interchange, a half-built road (Bear Mountain Parkway) zig-zags up South Skirt Mountain to Bear Mountain Resort.

In their haste to approve this development, we submit that Langford's mayor and council have acted in bad faith, ignored due process, and disrespected procedural fairness. In addition, their application for a federal grant for the road and the interchange appears to violate the Community Charter, which prohibits municipalities from giving cash grants and other handouts to private companies.
 
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Who Will Foot the Bill for America's Moral Bailout?

America Is in Need of a Moral Bailout
by Chris Hedges (Truthdig)
In decaying societies, politics become theater. The elite, who have hollowed out the democratic system to serve the corporate state, rule through image and presentation. They express indignation at AIG bonuses and empathy with a working class they have spent the last few decades disenfranchising, and make promises to desperate families that they know will never be fulfilled. Once the spotlights go on they read their lines with appropriate emotion. Once the lights go off, they make sure Goldman Sachs and a host of other large corporations have the hundreds of billions of dollars in losses they incurred playing casino capitalism repaid with taxpayer money.  

We live in an age of moral nihilism. We have trashed our universities, turning them into vocational factories that produce corporate drones and chase after defense-related grants and funding. The humanities, the discipline that forces us to stand back and ask the broad moral questions of meaning and purpose, that challenges the validity of structures, that trains us to be self-reflective and critical of all cultural assumptions, have withered. Our press, which should promote such intellectual and moral questioning, confuses bread and circus with news and refuses to give a voice to critics who challenge not this bonus payment or that bailout but the pernicious superstructure of the corporate state itself. We kneel before a cult of the self, elaborately constructed by the architects of our consumer society, which dismisses compassion, sacrifice for the less fortunate, and honesty.
 
The methods used to attain what we want, we are told by reality television programs, business schools and self-help gurus, are irrelevant. Success, always defined in terms of money and power, is its own justification. The capacity for manipulation is what is most highly prized. And our moral collapse is as terrifying, and as dangerous, as our economic collapse.
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How Canada Shows Support for War Resisters

How we show our support for War Resisters
by www.resisters.ca
Hi everyone; so much is on the line right now for war resisters, particularly 3 of the families in Toronto. Kimberly Rivera and her family face deportation on March 26, next Thursday. Patrick Hart and family is awaiting an order to depart any day now. Jeremy Hinzman and family are waiting for a judgement from the Federal Court.

Please continue calling and writing to the government to demand their respect of international law, Canadian parliament and Canadians regarding the War Resister issue. Our fellow campaigners in Toronto have been doing a phenomenal job of keeping these folks and their issue in the spotlight and not letting Immigration Minister Kenney rest. Please follow this link for excellent coverage of their efforts this week:
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A Judicial Document

A Judicial Document
by Uri Avnery
The most important sentence written in Israel this week was lost in the general tumult of exciting events. Really exciting: In a final act of villainy, typical of his whole tenure as Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert abandoned the captive soldier, Gilad Shalit. Ehud Barak decided that the Labor Party must join the ultra-right government, which includes outright fascists.

And this, too: the former President of Israel was officially indicted for rape.

In this cacophony, who would pay any attention to a sentence written by lawyers in a document submitted to the Supreme Court? The judicial debate concerns one of the most revolting laws ever enacted in Israel. It says that the wife of an Israeli citizen is not allowed to join him in Israel if she is living in the occupied Palestinian territories or in a “hostile” Arab country.
 
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Stick Your Damn Hand in It!

STICK YOUR DAMN HAND IN IT: 20th Birthday of the Exxon Valdez Lie
by Greg Palast - March 23, 2009
"Gail, Please! Stick your hand in it!"
 
The petite Eskimo-Chugach woman gave me that you-dumb-ass-white-boy look.
 
"Gail, Gail. STICK YOUR DAMN HAND IN IT!"
 
She stuck it in, under the gravel of the beach at Sleepy Bay, her village's fishing ground. Gail's hand came up dripping with black, sickening goo. It could make you vomit. Oil from the Exxon Valdez.  It was already two years after the spill and Exxon had crowed that Mother Nature had happily cleaned up their stinking oil mess for them. It was a lie. But the media wouldn't question the bald-faced bullshit. And who the hell was going to investigate Exxon's claim way out in some godforsaken Native village in the Prince William Sound?
 
So I convinced the Natives to fly the lazy-ass reporters out to Sleepy Bay on rented float planes to see the oil that Exxon said wasn't there.
 
 
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Hey, Hey, O-Bomb-A: How Many Kids Today?

What More in the Name of Love?
by David Swanson
United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), the largest coalition of peace groups in the United States, is organizing a national march on Wall Street on Saturday, April 4, to "End the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Address the Economic Crisis by Cutting Military Spending." A separate coalition is organizing marches on Wall Street on April 3 and 4 with a very similar message. And our brothers and sisters in Europe will be traveling to Strasbourg on April 4 to protest NATO's activities on its 60th birthday.

If there is a day for mass action in the United States for peace and justice, April 4 is it. And if there is a place for it right now, it's Wall Street. April 3rd is a Friday, so more robber barons will be at "work" that day, but April 4th is a Saturday, so more of the robbed will be off work and able to take part. April 4 is also the anniversary, not only of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, death in 1968, but of his speech exactly one year earlier at Riverside Church in New York City in 1967.

This was the speech in which King powerfully opposed the U.S. war in Vietnam and argued that domestic problems in the United States, including poverty, could never be solved as long as we continued with such wars and with the investment of so many of our resources in militarism.
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American Raj: Liberation or Domination? Discuss Among Yourselves

A Review: American Raj:  Liberation or Domination? – Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World, Eric S. Margolis
by Jim Miles
In a wide-ranging and thorough overview of essentially the Middle East, but also the rest of the Muslim world, Eric Margolis’ recent work American Raj should become a first source of information on current events in the Muslim world. 
 
It is not encyclopaedic in trying to fit in all the details about people and events, and other works dig deeper into specific areas and ideas, but it is comprehensive, covering all the main themes, ideas, places, and personalities that have shaped the area over the last century.  
 
More importantly as compared to a more narrow focus, Margolis shows the linkages and cross-currents between events that are often seen as disparate unrelated items in the west – other than being classified as “terrorist.”
 
 
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Sunday Night at the Movies: Zeitgeist

Sunday Night at the Movies: Zeitgeist
by Zeitgeist
 
 
 
 
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