Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cynthia McKinney Report on the Struggle Against the US/NATO War in Libya

From Cynthia McKinney:

A hearty group of protesters representing several community
organizations showed up today to protest the vote of civil rights icon and Member of Congress from Atlanta, John Lewis, to continue funding for the bombing of Libya.

The Congressman interrupted his schedule and heard the frustrations of his constituents who are outraged at the quiescence of Congress, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Progressive Caucus in light of President Obama's policy to bomb Africa.

As we were meeting with the Congressman, President Obama was
addressing the country on national television defending his actions in
Libya. The Congressman reiterated his antipathy to war by saying that
war is obsolete.

The group asked the Congressman to be unequivocal in future votes and deny funding for President Obama's current wars.

Meanwhile, while we were meeting with Congressman Lewis, President
Obama was speaking to the nation.

Incredibly, the President demeaned
national and Congressional concern for his war policy as fuss by
saying, "A lot of this fuss is politics."

I think those of us who want our country to work for peace should let this President know what
fuss really looks like.

Below are my remarks at our event today and video will soon be on its
way. Below that, see what the President calls "fuss."

Our concern is a matter of life and death for the people of Libya who deserve to be able to exercise their rights without the shock and awe of NATO bombs and missiles.

Cynthia McKinney Remarks

Press Conference on War Against Libya, Atlanta, Georgia (in front of Congressman John Lewis's District Office) 29 June 2011

1. At a time when the American people have been asked to tighten their belts, teachers are receiving pink slips, the vital statistics of the American people reveal a health care crisis in the making, and the
U.S. government is in serious threat of default, our President and
Congress have decided that a new war, this time against the people of
Libya, is appropriate.

This comes at a time when the U.S.,
spends approximately $3 billion per week for war against Iraq and Afghanistan.

The President and Congress continue to fund the war against Libya despite the fact that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced that the U.S. had no strategic interest in Libya; and despite the fact that the Senate Chairwoman of the Select Committee on Intelligence admits that the U.S. really does not know who the "rebels" are; while the rebels themselves, according to a Telegraph report of 25 March 2011, admit that Al Qaeda elements are among their ranks.

So while the apparatus of our government has been used for
over ten years to inform the American people and the global community that Al Qaeda is an enemy of freedom-loving people all over the world, our President chooses to ally our military with none other than Al Qaeda elements in Libya and other people whom U.S. intelligence say they do not know.

Additionally, U.S. Admiral Locklear admitted to a Member of Congress
that one of NATO's missions was to assassinate Muammar Qaddafi. And,
indeed, NATO bombs have killed Qaddafi's son and three grandchildren, just as US bombs in 1986 killed his daughter.

NATO bombs just recently killed the grandchildren of one of Qaddafi's associates in a targeted assassination attempt.

Targeted assassination is not within
the scope of the United Nations Security Council Resolution and
targeted assassination is against U.S. law, international law,
international humanitarian law, and international human rights law.

Targeted assassination is also a crime. We certainly cannot encourage others to abide by the law when we so openly break it.

While in Libya, I witnessed NATO's targeting of civilians: NATO bombs
and missiles landed in residential neighborhoods, hit schools,
exploded near hospitals, destroyed parts of the public broadcasting
infrastructure, and narrowly missed killing students at Al Fateh

When civilians are targeted in war, or "low kinetic" activities, crimes are committed.

NATO practices in Libya are exactly like Israel's practices in Gaza:
fishermen are killed as they go about their fishing business, a naval blockade allows arms to flow to NATO's Libyan allies, but stops food, fuel, and medicine from entering non-NATO ally-held areas.

The entire population suffers as a result. Collective punishment is illegal when Israel practices it against the people of Gaza and collective punishment is illegal when NATO practices it.

NATO and hyperbolic press accounts have introduced a kind of race
hatred that the Libyan people have been trying hard to erase.

Approximately 50% of Libya looks like me. Innocent darker skinned
Libyans have been targeted, tortured, harassed, and killed.

The people of Libya have the right to self-determination. They have a
right to "resource nationalism." They have a right to live in peace.

They have a right to determine their future and they need not exercise their rights underneath the shock and awe of NATO bombs and missiles.

2. I guess this is what President Obama would call low kinetic
military activity:

US and NATO supported Libyan rebels Lynch a Black Man

US Corporate Media, and the US government, continue to hide, from the public, the fact that the Libyan rebels they are supporting have been, and continue to, rape, mutilate and brutally murder Black Africans within Libya.

The rebels are not who they say they are—they are brutal racist killers who are completely
being supported by the US government and its corporate media minions.

The video below is an example of the aforementioned…

Posted in Africa, American Politics, Media Related Issues, War and Imperialism

3. And amid growing concern for two looming nuclear disasters (at Los Alamos, New Mexico and Fort Calhoun, Nebraska), the United States Senate finds time to do AIPAC a favor:

U.S. Senate passes resolution threatening to suspend aid to Palestinians

Resolution 185 calls on Palestinians to halt bid for unilateral recognition at UN, calls on Obama to veto the vote in September.

By Natasha Mozgovaya

The United States Senate has passed a resolution threatening to
suspend financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority if its
leaders "persist in efforts to circumvent direct negotiations by
turning to the United Nations or other international bodies,” and
called on U.S. President Barack Obama to veto a UN vote on unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.

“Palestinian efforts to gain recognition of a state outside direct negotiations demonstrates absence of a good faith commitment to peace negotiations, and will have implications for continued United States aid,” the resolution declares.

Senator Ben Cardin, who initiated the resolution along with Senator
Susan Collins, said after the vote late Tuesday that “The Senate has
delivered a clear message to the international community that United
Nations recognition of a Palestinian state at this time does not further the peace process.”

Resolution 185, co-sponsored by 87 Senator, states the two-state
solution as the official U.S. policy for the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict and also calls for a review of the reconciliation between
Fatah and Hamas.

It also calls for the Palestinian unity government to “publicly and
formally forswear terrorism, accept Israel's right to exist, and
reaffirm previous agreements made with the Government of Israel.”

The Senate also called on Obama to announce that the U.S. will veto
any resolution on Palestinian statehood that comes before the UN
Security Council which is not a result of a peace agreement – and
asked him to “lead a diplomatic effort to oppose a unilateral
declaration of a Palestinian state and to oppose recognition of a
Palestinian state by other nations”.

AIPAC, which lobbied for the passage of the resolution, welcomed the vote's result.

Critics of the measure stressed that by cutting financial aid, the
U.S. might lose leverage over the Palestinians and might invite other,
less constructive players, into the game, as they have already lost
faith in the U.S. as an impartial mediator.

Silence is the deadliest weapon of mass destruction.

US Jobless Claims Remain High

June 30, 2011 3:01 pm

US initial jobless claims fall slightly

By Shannon Bond in New York
Financial Times

US jobless claims fell slightly last week as the recovery in the labour market continued to stall and businesses braced for weaker demand.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance were down 1,000 to 428,000 in the week ending June 25, the labour department said. The decline was smaller than the 9,000 economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected.

The four-week moving average of claims, a less volatile measure, was nearly unchanged, rising 500 to 426,750. Economists say that the rate of new claims needs to fall below 400,000 to support sustainable job growth and reduce the unemployment rate.

Claims have not come in below that level since the first week of April, as the wider economy has hit a soft patch.

Gross domestic product grew just 1.9 per cent in the first three months of the year, according to a report last week, while the Federal Reserve has pared its forecast for annual growth to under 3 per cent and raised its inflation expectations.

Consumer spending was flat in May as shoppers contended with rising prices, raising worries among businesses looking to pass on higher costs to their customers.

Thursday’s labour department report “reflects lingering softness in [the second quarter],” said Troy Davig, senior US economist at Barclays. “The job market is still going sideways.”

Analysts expect the government’s next reading of non-farm payrolls, due on Friday July 8, to show the economy created 90,000 new positions in June, nearly double the 54,000 jobs added in May.

African Union Summit Opens in Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea Hosts 17th African Union Summit

AU Chairman Welcomes Delegations from 54 Nations

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, June 29, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea welcomed leaders from across the African continent and around the world, as it opened the 17th African Union Summit in Malabo. With the theme "Accelerating Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development," the conference served as a frame for showcasing the nation's efforts to improve opportunities for its young people.

The country's call to support African youth supports the African Union goals to create an affluent and peaceful Africa.

As the African Union Summit host, Equatorial Guinea received heads of state and delegations from the 54 AU member countries and other delegations from outside the continent that arrived in Malabo for the summit.

Since President Obiang's nomination as African Union chairman, the country has worked diligently to build infrastructure to support so many world leaders and it has proved to be ready for an event of this magnitude.

The African delegations are hosted at the newly-built Softel Sipopo Le Golf Hotel, delegations are also staying in individual villas in Sipopo which makes it an easy commute to the newly opened International Conference Center where the summit is taking place.

The conference center displays several infrastructure projects the country is currently undertaking to improve conditions for its citizens.

Equatorial Guinea has also provided other hotels and accommodations in Malabo for members of the media. As the media interested in covering the summit kept increasing, the government made sure to streamline the country's entry process to ensure international reporters are able to cover the event.

The heads of state and government will gather for the 17th ordinary assembly June 30 - July 1, concluding the summit.

About Equatorial Guinea

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea (Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial) is the only Spanish-speaking country in Africa, and one of the smallest nations on the continent. In the late-1990s, American companies helped discover the country's oil and natural gas resources, which only within the last five years began contributing to the global energy supply.

Equatorial Guinea is now working to serve as a pillar of stability and security in its region of West Central Africa. The country will host the 2011 Summit of the African Union.

For more information, visit

SOURCE Republic of Equatorial Guinea


Statement From Josefina Vidal, Director of the North American Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba

Havana. June 29, 2011

Statement from Josefina Vidal, director of the North American Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba

THE inclusion of Cuba in the worst of the categories of the State Department report on countries which "do not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and are not making significant efforts to do so," is a shameful defamation which profoundly offends the Cuban people and once again fails to acknowledge the exemplary performance of our country in relation to the protection of children, young people and women.

Once again, we strongly reject the inclusion of Cuba in this spurious report from the Department of State.

Cuba is not a source, transit or destination country of this scourge. Sex trafficking of minors does not exist, neither does the forced labor of children. On the contrary, legislation and policies adopted by the Cuban government and the work undertaken by our institutions in this sphere place Cuba as one of the countries in the region with the most advanced regulations and mechanisms for preventing and combating person trafficking, and in the care and protection of children and vulnerable sectors of the population.

The report’s allegations that there is no information on Cuba’s actions in this context are not true. The government of the United States knows that. Although Cuba does not recognize this unilateral and discriminatory exercise, as with other governments, the United States has up-to-date information on the systematic work of many Cuban institutions in preventing and confronting the trafficking of persons. Once more, it has simply decided to ignore the facts.

The utilization of this exercise as a pretext to discredit Cuba constitutes a mockery of legitimate efforts underway in the world to eliminate a criminal activity which profoundly damages its millions of victims. The obsession to attempt to justify a failed and cruel policy like the blockade is the only way that Cuba’s arbitrary inclusion on this list can be explained.

The Department of State report deliberately distorts the reality of Cuba and conceals the magnitude and impunity of operation of the principal criminal organizations linked to person trafficking in the United States itself, where a significant number of the victims of this scourge are concentrated.

Translated by Granma International

President Mugabe of Zimbabwe Arrives in Equatorial Guinea for African Union Assembly

President arrives in Equatorial Guinea

Thursday, 30 June 2011 01:00
Zimbabwe Herald
From Munyaradzi Huni in MALABO, Equatorial Guinea

PRESIDENT Mugabe arrived here yesterday to attend the 17th session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union today, where the crisis in Libya is expected to dominate proceedings.

The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces was received at Malabo International Airport by Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi.

Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development Minister Olivia Muchena and senior Equatorial Guinea government officials.

President Mugabe was seen off at Harare International Airport by Vice President Joice Mujuru, Cabinet ministers, senior Government officials and service chiefs. VP Mujuru is the Acting President.

The meeting will also discuss youth empowerment issues and is being held under the theme; "Accelerating Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development."

The leaders are geared towards providing a better environment and skills for African youths to excel and contribute meaningfully to peace and security, socio-economic growth and sustainable development of the continent.

Several Heads of State and Government of the AU who arrived here yesterday are expected to ratify the African Youth Charter and endorse the implementation of the medium term priorities in the plan of action for the African Youth Decade.

They are also expected to consider and discuss the report of the AU Peace and Security Council on its activities in Africa.

The PSC is a standing decision-making organ for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts Africa. It is also a collective and early warning arrangement to facilitate timely and efficient response to conflicts.

The World Federation of Democratic Youth has blasted the International Criminal Court for issuing a warrant of arrest against Libyan President, Muammar Gaddafi.

In a statement yesterday, WFDY President, Mr Tiago Vieira said the ICC had proved to be motivated by serving imperialist interests only.

"Once again, the ICC comes to prove itself as a ridiculous puppet of the imperialist order, whose only purpose is to legitimise the imperialist interventions.

"It is of high importance to remind, once again that this court does not judge American soldiers or crimes done by the US and since it exists, it has never taken even a word against the countless crimes of Nato or any other imperialist coalition or intervention," Mr Vieira said.

He blasted the ICC for not speaking out against the killings perpetrated by "the imperialist criminals and their allies in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Western Sahara, Bahrain, Yemen, Tunisia and Egypt."
He accused the ICC for siding with the occupiers, the bombers and the dictators.

"Its role is to contribute to the pillage and murder that imperialism spreads around the world with its constant wars and conflicts. The motivation of imperialism to bombard and invade Libya was never and is not Gaddafi or any hypocrite defence of the human rights.

"Imperialism has armed rebel forces, bombed and invaded Libya and killed innocent Libyan people to go after the Libyan immense reserves of oil and to be able to install in that area another huge military compound that will create better conditions for any new interventions," Mr Vieira said.

He also called upon all WFDY member organisations to denounce propaganda that is being peddled about the Libyan issues. The ICC on Monday approved arrest warrants for President Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Sense.
ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told reporters in The Hague on Tuesday that: "Today, it is time for arrests".

Communist Party of China Earns Important Place in History, Says Cuban Official

China's CPC earns important place in history: Cuban official

HAVANA, June 29 (Xinhua) -- The Communist Party of China (CPC) has earned an important place in history for its struggle to bring complete independence and immense development to the Chinese people, a senior Cuban official said Wednesday.

"The CPC is a pragmatic example of the struggle of the oppressed and poor people across the world," Oscar Martinez Cordoves, deputy head of the International Relations Department of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party (CCP), told Xinhua in an interview.

"The CPC was the author of one of the most significant revolutions in history, whose echoes have resounded throughout the past nine decades and will continue to resound in the future," he said.

The CPC will celebrate its 90th anniversary Friday. It established the People's Republic of China in 1949 and has helped realize significant economic development in the country.

The Cuban official said the CPC is an example of how a socialist country's policies can be adjusted according to its specific domestic conditions while abiding by the general concepts of Marxism-Leninism.

Asked about socialism with Chinese characteristics, Martinez said each socialist country, when building socialism, must take into account the specific characteristics associated with its history, culture and people.

"China is a country with an ancient civilization and history. It has a vast territory and a very big rural population, composed of numerous ethnic minorities. Those features require an economic process that can produce considerable quantities of goods and a wide network of services to meet social demands," he said.

Martinez said the CPC insists social harmony is an essential attribute of Chinese socialism, and the concept includes boosting the economy, equitable wealth distribution and social justice.

The CPC has tremendously improved the Chinese people's living standards in a comparatively short time, which illustrates the advantage of the socialist system, he said.

Finally, "both the CPC and the CCP have the colossal task of working with the people, by the people and for the people to build socialism and face the international challenges for the benefit of each member of their societies and for the good of humanity," Martinez said.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pentagon Fails to Probe Sexual Assaults

GAO: Pentagon fails to probe sexual assaults

Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:47PM
US Desk

The Pentagon has failed to act properly to investigate the 2,594 sexual assaults reported in 2010, the Government Accountability Office accused in a new report.

The Department of Defense Inspector General's office is supposed to oversee all sexual assault investigations within the military, but none of the nearly 2,600 cases were passed through that office this year, the GAO said. The DOD was told to develop a policy for handling and investigating sexual assault cases in 2006, but has done none of this in the five years since.

"The Inspector General's Office has not performed these responsibilities, primarily because it believes it has other, higher priorities," the report read.

The Defense Department has also received extra money to implement and improve sexual assault policies and has not used it. For example, the Army was given $4.4 million specifically to redesign sexual assault policies and programs in the 2009 fiscal year, and failed to do so.

It doesn't look like these policies are going to change anytime soon, either, according to the report.

"Senior officials in the DOD Inspector General's Office told us that they had no plans to expand its oversight of the services' investigative efforts, including those related to sexual assault, because they do not expect to receive any additional resources, given the current fiscal challenges of the federal government," the report reads.


Sexual assault is rampant in [the] U.S. military with one in three women raped. In 2009, reported sexual assaults went up 11 percent, according to Department of Defense statistics, with one in three women reporting having been sexually violated while serving in the military.

The Pentagon itself admits that reported incidents probably represent just 20 percent of those that actually occur.

A Pentagon report in March 2007 found that more than half of the investigations dating back to 2004 resulted in no action. When action was taken, only one third of the cases resulted in courts-martial.

In 2008, 62% of those that were convicted of sexual assault or rape received very lenient punishments such as demotion, suspension, or a written reprimand.

On December 13, 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other groups filed a federal lawsuit seeking Pentagon records in order to get the real facts about the incidence of sexual assault in the ranks.

The Pentagon has consistently refused to release records that fully document the problem and how it is handled. Sexual assaults on women in the U.S. military have claimed some degree of visibility, but about male victims there is absolute silence.

Common Dreams

Greek Parliament Backs $112 Billion Austerity Package

June 29, 2011, 9:26 a.m. EDT

Greek lawmakers back $112 billion austerity plan

By William L. Watts, MarketWatch

FRANKFURT (MarketWatch) — Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Wednesday secured the votes needed in parliament to approve a 78 billion euro ($112.2 billion) package of additional austerity measures and asset sales in a bid to avert a potentially devastating default, while police clashed with protesters in central Athens.

The vote moves Greece a step closer to receiving a delayed €12 billion installment of the €110 billion rescue package provided by the European Union and International Monetary Fund last year.

“We have to do anything necessary to avoid the country collapsing,” Prime Minister George Papandreou told lawmakers ahead of the vote, warning that the country would run out of money if the measures aren’t approved.

Without the funds, Greece faces a potential default as it attempts to meet coupon payments and debt obligations due in July and August.

European officials made the additional measures a prerequisite for the aid after Greece failed to meet deficit-reduction targets and it became apparent the initial rescue package would fail to put the nation on a long-term path to solvency.

Greek central bank chief George Provopoulos had warned that failure to back the austerity measures would amount to “suicide” for Greece, the Financial Times reported.

Papandreou’s PASOK party holds a five-seat majority in parliament.

Expectations the government would prevail grew Wednesday morning as formerly wavering PASOK members said they would vote “yes.”

The vote came against the backdrop of angry and sometimes violent protests. Expectations the measures would pass boosted the euro (ICAPC:EURUSD) ahead of the vote.

The shared currency saw volatile trade as voting got under way and changed hands at $1.4390 in recent action, up from $1.4366 in North American trading late Tuesday.

A vote on measures to implement the legislation is expected Thursday and could provide further snags, analysts said.

“We expect both today’s and tomorrow’s votes to get through Parliament though it will not be easy,” said Elsa Lignos, currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets in London. “The margin may be tight but we think the threat of default will ultimately swing the vote in favor of the measures. If realized, it will be a near-term positive for the euro” and risk-correlated assets.

Authorities fear a Greek default would do tremendous damage to the European banking sector and reignite turmoil in global financial markets. Read "What happens if Greece votes no on austerity."

The additional austerity measures include provisions that would lower the income-tax threshold to those earning more than €8,000 a year and impose a “solidarity tax” on persons earning more than €12,000 a year. It would also boost taxes on heating fuel for businesses, further limit civil service hiring and hike consumer and road taxes, Eurasia Group noted.

A deep recession

The measures come as earlier austerity measures weigh on the economy. Greece is struggling with a deep recession and mounting unemployment. The IMF projects the Greek economy will contract by 3% in 2011 before rebounding by 1.1% next year. Unemployment hit 16.2% in March, data showed earlier this month, up from 15.9% in February.

Approval of the measures on Wednesday and Thursday would set the stage for euro-zone finance ministers to approve the release of their share of the latest installment of Greek aid when they meet on July 3. It would also move Greece closer to receiving an additional aid package from the EU and IMF expected to total as much as €120 billion.

Meanwhile, European banks are working on proposals to roll over a portion of Greece’s maturing debt in response to calls by European governments for private bondholders to share in the cost of an additional bailout.

A plan proposed by French banks earlier this month would see private creditors reinvest some of the proceeds from maturing Greek debt holdings in a move reminiscent of the 1980s Brady bonds program credited with helping to solve the Latin American debt crisis. Read "Brady bond-style solution isn't a Greek guarantee."

But many strategists remain skeptical additional measures will be enough to allow Greece to avoid a future default or more aggressive restructuring of its existing debt obligations as it wrestles to bring down a debt pile seen near 160% of gross domestic product.

“Nobody is going to think that Greece securing another tranche of bailout money, or even securing a second bailout later, is going to end the crisis,” wrote Steve Barrow, currency and fixed-income strategist at Standard Bank in London, in a note.

“And even if it does in Greece (which is very unlikely), we’d still expect other bond markets to fall away as the market waits for the domino to fall again onto Ireland and Portugal — forcing them to roll over debt as well.”

Egyptian Security Forces Clash With Protesters

June 28, 2011

Egyptian Security Forces Clash With Protesters


CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian security forces and protesters clashed for a second successive day in central Cairo on Wednesday in scenes not seen since the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak in February.

Riot police were deployed around the Interior Ministry and were using tear gas to keep the protesters at bay. The demonstrators were responding with rocks and firebombs. The clashes left streets littered with rocks and debris and sent a cloud of tear gas over the area.

So far, Wednesday's violence was on a much smaller scale than the clashes the previous evening, when some 5,000 protesters battled the police for hours overnight. But regardless of their size, the clashes are likely to widen the rift between many Egyptians and the police, blamed for many of the human rights abuses during Mubarak's years in power.

The clashes are also likely to delay efforts aimed at allowing the police to fully take back the streets after their unexplained disappearance following deadly clashes with protesters during the uprising and the deployment of army troops in their place in late January.

Dozens of protesters and policemen were injured in the violence Tuesday and Wednesday, but there were no exact figures immediately available. Ambulances were ferrying the wounded to hospitals and volunteer doctors and nurses were treating others on sidewalks.

The scenes were reminiscent of the 18 days of protests that toppled Mubarak's 29-year regime.

Some of the protesters used scarves to fend off tear gas, pelted police cars with rocks and advanced when the riot police lines retreated. But while the main chant back in January and February was "The people want to oust the regime," screams of "the people want to oust the field-marshal" dominated on Tuesday and Wednesday.

It's a reference to Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, Mubarak's longtime defense minister and chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces that has taken over after the former president stepped down. Tantawi is seen by some of the youth groups behind the uprising to be a key member of the Mubarak regime. They charge that his policies are designed to keep the old order, and also accuse him of deliberately slowing down the process of purging Mubarak loyalists and failing to reform the hated Interior Ministry and its security agencies.

Many of the protesters who took to the streets on Tuesday are believed to be relatives of some 850 people killed during the uprising that ousted the former president, and are frustrated over what they perceive as the slow pace of prosecution of police officers believed to be responsible for the deaths.

The clashes began Tuesday evening at Tahrir square, the epicenter of the Jan. 25-Feb. 11 uprising, but later moved to streets leading to the nearby Interior Ministry when authorities ordered the riot police to pull back from the vast plaza. Tahrir square was closed to traffic on Wednesday.

The military, which has taken over from Mubarak, issued a statement on its Facebook page saying the clashes were designed to "destabilize the country" and drive a wedge between the groups behind the uprising and the security forces. It called on Egyptians not to join the protests.

A key youth group, April 6, described the police's handling of the latest protests as "brutal" and called in a statement for a sit-in in central Cairo to protest what it said was the failure to implement many of the demands from the uprising and also to show solidarity with the families of the uprising's victims.

Doctors For Detroit to Hold Meeting on Cuban Medical Scholarship Program, July 8

Dream to be a doctor-can’t afford med school?

You’re invited to meet three Detroiters who are medical students in Cuba! Hear their exciting story of training to be doctors -- tuition free!

Meet their proud parents as well!
and Hear Pastors for Peace Friendshipment spokesperson Lisa Valenti. This 22nd Caravan will challenge the U.S. trade and travel blockade by delivering humanitarian aid to Cuba this July.

Send off Detroiters Judge Claudia Morcom and Cheryl LaBash who will travel to Cuba with Pastors for Peace.

Join us to celebrate and advance these two visionary projects of the late Rev. Lucius Walker.

Friday, July 8, 6-9 pm
Univ. of Michigan - Detroit Center
3663 Woodward
at Martin Luther King Blvd.

refreshments - cultural contributions - information

Donations for the Caravan expenses can be made to IFCO.

Contributions to Supplemental Scholarships for Detroit Students at the Latin American School of Medicine can be made to Justice for Cuba Coaliton or MECAWI.

For more information go to: or
or call 313 355 8566

NAYSO Report: AFRICOM/NATO/ICC Are Imperialist Tools For Recolonization

Non-Aligned Students and Youth Organization


General Secretariat: c/o COSYM-Mauritius.
Email: Webpage: (coming soon)

NASYO immediate concerns: Sustainable Development, Elimination& Combating HIV/AIDS & Poverty, for peace, security and harmony in the Third World.

NASYO rest firmly committed to stand as an international anti-imperialist organization

To: NASYO Members and Friendly Organizations.
AFRICOM/NATO/ICC – New Imperialist tools for the re- colonization of the third world.
NASYO Bulletin 2011: #50 Lot 6

Dear NASYO Members and Friendly Organizations,

I am sharing the following articles on the current world key issues:

1. ( - Minister Farrakhan exposed the U.S. and NATO's criminal War Libya and Africa during a June 15, 2011 Press Conference at the UN Plaza Hotel. Also presenting were former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Human Rights Activist Viola Plummer and International Activist Cynthia McKinney. Farrakhan Blasts the "Coalition of Demons" attacking Libya (June 15, 2011).

NASYO request its listeners to view the following video on the YouTube. The press conference is for duration of one hour and you will be fully acquainted with the US/EU/NATO aggression, crisis and invasion on Libya. Please, Go to the following links:

2. ICC finally proves its true colours as a tool in the hands of imperialist powers. Questions to answer now for whom the Amnesty International and Human Right Watch do work after ICC revealed its true face? (Progressive forces should joins hand together in the rejection of ICC game in favour of imperialism. After Yugoslavia, Sudan and now Libya targeted by ICC for regime change. Next on list Venezuela, Iran, North Korea and all anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist states).

General Secretary – NASYO.
This: Mauritius, 28th June 2011-.

NASYO is not responsible of the contents of these articles, it is being sent to you as an alternate mean of information/news that you will not see in CNN/Fox news etc… This is a free and voluntary service...

Quote of fresh and selected news:

Libya: Legal Statement on International Criminal Court (ICC)

Acting legal counsel of Muammar Qadhafi, Saif Al Islam Qadhafi and Abdullah Al Senussi issues statement


Acting as counsel to and on behalf of Muammar Qadhafi, Saif Al Islam Qadhafi and Abdullah Al Senussi; FABIO MARIA GALIANI, Legal Adviser, Member of the Defence Team


1. The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya never signed or ratified the international treaty establishing the International Criminal Court, therefore such international treaty and the International Criminal Court do not apply to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. It is clear that the ICC has no jurisdiction on the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and that the immunity of the Head of State, provided by the international customary law, applies to Colonel Qadhafi.

2. The UN SC Resolution 1970 (2011) referred the situation in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. The referral is invalid because it violates the Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court in that the UN SC prescribes to the ICC who to prosecute and who not to prosecute when the Resolution prohibited the ICC from prosecuting “nationals, current or former officials or personnel from a State outside the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya which is not party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of that State for alleged acts or omissions arising out or related to operations in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya established or authorized by the Council, unless such exclusive jurisdiction has been expressly waived by the State”. Therefore, the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction, independence and impartiality have been compromised as it has been caused to discriminate against the State of Libya and its people. In so doing, the ICC has acted in a manner that is forbidden by its governing statute.

3. There is no doubt that in terms of the ICC Statute the UN SC has the power to refer a “situation” to the ICC, however, that does not entitle the UN SC to arrogate themselves powers that they fancy and to even undermine and violate the ICC Statute. In other words, by issuing the warrants of arrest the ICC has complacently misled the world about its penchant to take the law into its own hands as the ICC has no jurisdiction over Libya and the UN SC does not have the competency to grant the ICC ‘powers’ over Libya as the rule of customary international law states that the Rome Treaty cannot apply to States, such as Libya, that are not signatories thereto.

4. The ICC investigation was opened in a very short period of time compared to the other situations. In other situations, even much less complicated, the Prosecutor took much more time to decide if to open an investigation or not under at.53, ICC Statute:

· Afghanistan, under valuation since 2007;
· Georgia, since 2008;
· Guinea, since 2009;
· Colombia, since 2006;

Regarding the investigations already opened by the ICC Prosecutor,

· Congo, took 2 months
· Central Africa, 4 months
· Uganda, 6 months
· Darfur, 3 months

Regarding the situation in Libya, the Prosecutor took 3 days to decide to open an investigation (in such time he had to consider all the information he had, the jurisdiction, the admissibility and the interests of justice). In just 5 days the ICC Prosecutor already indicated the names of the persons under investigation.

5. This is extraordinary given that the referral by the UN SC violates the ICC Statute. This goes to show that the ICC Prosecutor is absolutely not independent. The ICC did not show to be independent and impartial in this matter. For example, one of the judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber I, Mr. Cuno Tarfusser, recently made statements to the Italian media on the situation in Libya which indicated that the ICC is not impartial.

6. Now that the ICC has issued its illegitimate warrants, we expect NATO to stop their bombings and to also abandon its threat to kill Colonel Qadhafi and allow the ICC disputed process to take course. Failing which, it would mean that the ICC is not recognized and respected by NATO itself. Furthermore, NATO should immediately announce a ceasefire to guarantee the safety of the legitimate Libyan Leader, Colonel Qadhafi and other representatives and officials of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to exercise their right to defend themselves in a fair tribunal.

7. We have good reasons to believe that the case against our client is found on the desperation to have access to the rich oil resources and not any legal ground as NATO should account on the destruction of Libyan infrastructure, killing of innocent civilians, women and children as well as the deprivation of access to basic necessities, including baby food.

8. The merit of the facts alleged do not require long comments, they are the result of a campaign conducted through the media. A great deal of information that has been given to the media has already proven to be false. It is responsibility of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to use all legitimate means, as our clients used, to maintain and re-establish law and order in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and to defend the unity and the territorial integrity of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.



-- mathaba

Courtesy: MATHABA

The Destabilization of Syria and the Broader Middle East War Michel Chossudovsky 28 Jun 2011

What is unfolding in Syria is an armed insurrection supported covertly by foreign powers including the US, Turkey and Israel. Armed insurgents belonging to Islamist organizations have crossed the border from Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. The US State Department has confirmed that it is supporting the insurgency.

The United States is to expand contacts with Syrians who are counting on a regime change in the country. This was stated by US State Department official Victoria Nuland. “We started to expand contacts with the Syrians, those who are calling for change, both inside and outside the country,” she said. Nuland also repeated that Barack Obama had previously called on Syrian President Bashar Assad to initiate reforms or to step down from power.” (Voice of Russia, June 17, 2011)

The destabilization of Syria and Lebanon as sovereign countries has been on the drawing board of the US-NATO-Israel military alliance for at least ten years. Action against Syria is part of a “military roadmap”, a sequencing of military operations. According to former NATO Commander General Wesley Clark - the Pentagon had clearly identified Iraq, Libya, Syria and Lebanon as target countries of a US-NATO intervention:

“[The] Five-year campaign plan [included]... a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan” (Pentagon official quoted by General Wesley Clark)

In “Winning Modern Wars” (page 130) General Wesley Clark states the following:

“As I went back through the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.

...He said it with reproach - with disbelief, almost - at the breadth of the vision. I moved the conversation away, for this was not something I wanted to hear. And it was not something I wanted to see moving forward, either. ...I left the Pentagon that afternoon deeply concerned.”

The objective is to destabilize the Syrian State and implement “regime change” through the covert support of an armed insurgency, integrated by Islamist militia.

Media Disinformation

Tacitly acknowledged, the significance of an armed insurrection is casually dismissed by the Western media. If it were to be recognized and analysed, our understanding of unfolding events would be entirely different. What is mentioned profusely is that the armed forces and the police are involved in the indiscriminate killing of civilian protesters. Press reports confirm, however, from the outset of the protest movement an exchange of gunfire between armed insurgents and the police, with casualties reported on both sides. The insurrection started in mid March in the border city of Daraa, which is 10 km from the Jordanian border.

The Daraa “protest movement” on March 18 had all the appearances of a staged event involving, in all likelihood, covert support to Islamic terrorists by Mossad and/or Western intelligence. Government sources point to the role of radical Salafist groups (supported by Israel)

Other reports have pointed to the role of Saudi Arabia in financing the protest movement. What has unfolded in Daraa in the weeks following the initial violent clashes on 17-18 March, is the confrontation between the police and the armed forces on the one hand and armed units of terrorists and snipers on the other which have infiltrated the protest movement...

What is clear from these initial reports is that many of the demonstrators were not demonstrators but terrorists involved in premeditated acts of killing and arson. The title of the Israeli news report summarizes what happened: Syria: Seven Police Killed, Buildings Torched in Protests.

(See Michel Chossudovsky, SYRIA: Who is Behind The Protest Movement? Fabricating a Pretext for a US-NATO “Humanitarian Intervention”, Global Research, May 3, 2011)

The Role of Turkey

The center of the insurrection has now shifted to the small border town of Jisr al-Shughour, 10 km from the Turkish border. Jisr al-Shughour has a population of 44,000 inhabitants. Armed insurgents have crossed the border from Turkey. Members of the Muslim Brotherhood are reported to have taken up arms in northwest Syria. There are indications that Turkish military and intelligence are supporting these incursions.

There was no mass civilian protest movement in Jisr al-Shughour. The local population was caught in the crossfire. The fighting between armed rebels and government forces has contributed to triggering a refugee crisis, which is the center of media attention. In contrast, in the nation's capital Damascus, where the mainstay of social movements is located, there have been mass rallies in support rather than in opposition to the government.

President Bashir al Assad is casually compared to presidents Ben Ali of Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. What the mainstream media has failed to mention is that despite the authoritarian nature of the regime, president Al Assad is a popular figure who has widespread support of the Syrian population.

The large rally in Damascus on March 29, “with tens of thousands of supporters” (Reuters) of President Al Assad was barely mentioned. Yet in an unusual twist, the images and video footage of several pro-government events were used by the Western media to convince international public opinion that the President was being confronted by mass anti-government rallies. On June 15, thousands of people rallied over several kilometers on Damascus’ main highway in a march holding up a 2.3 km Syrian flag. The rally was acknowledged by the media and casually dismissed as irrelevant.

While the Syrian regime is by no means democratic, the objective of the US-NATO Israel military alliance is not to promote democracy. Quite the opposite. Washington’s intent is to eventually install a puppet regime.

The objective through media disinformation is to demonize president Al Assad and more broadly to destabilize Syria as a secular state. The latter objective is implemented through covert support of various Islamist organizations:

Syria is run by an authoritarian oligarchy which has used brute force in dealing with its citizens. The riots in Syria, however, are complex. They cannot be viewed as a straightforward quest for liberty and democracy. There has been an attempt by the US and the EU to use the riots in Syria to pressure and intimidate the Syrian leadership. Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, and the March 14 Alliance have all played a role in supporting an armed insurrection.

The violence in Syria has been supported from the outside with a view of taking advantage of the internal tensions... Aside from the violent reaction of the Syrian Army, media lies have been used and bogus footage has been aired. Money and weapons have also been funnelled to elements of the Syrian opposition by the US, the EU....Funding has also been provided to ominous and unpopular foreign-based Syrian opposition figures, while weapons caches were smuggled from Jordan and Lebanon into Syria. (Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, America’s Next War Theater: Syria and Lebanon?, Global Research, June 10, 2011)

The joint Israel-Turkey military and intelligence agreement

The geopolitics of this process of destabilization are far-reaching. Turkey is involved in supporting the rebels. The Turkish government has sanctioned Syrian opposition groups in exile which support an armed insurgency. Turkey is also pressuring Damascus to conform to Washington's demands for regime change. Turkey is a member of NATO with a powerful military force. Moreover, Israel and Turkey have a longstanding joint military-intelligence agreement, which is explicitly directed against Syria.

...A 1993 Memorandum of Understanding led to the creation of (Israeli-Turkish) “joint committees” to handle so-called regional threats. Under the terms of the Memorandum, Turkey and Israel agreed “to cooperate in gathering intelligence on Syria, Iran, and Iraq and to meet regularly to share assessments pertaining to terrorism and these countries' military capabilities.”

Turkey agreed to allow IDF and Israeli security forces to gather electronic intelligence on Syria and Iran from Turkey. In exchange, Israel assisted in the equipping and training of Turkish forces in anti-terror warfare along the Syrian, Iraqi, and Iranian borders.” ...

Already during the Clinton Administration, a triangular military alliance between the US, Israel and Turkey had unfolded. This “triple alliance”, which is dominated by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, integrates and coordinates military command decisions between the three countries pertaining to the broader Middle East. It is based on the close military ties respectively of Israel and Turkey with the US, coupled with a strong bilateral military relationship between Tel Aviv and Ankara. ....

The triple alliance is also coupled with a 2005 NATO-Israeli military cooperation agreement which includes “many areas of common interest, such as the fight against terrorism and joint military exercises. These military cooperation ties with NATO are viewed by the Israeli military as a means to “enhance Israel’s deterrence capability regarding potential enemies threatening it, mainly Iran and Syria.” (See Michel Chossudovsky,“Triple Alliance”: The US, Turkey, Israel and the War on Lebanon, August 6, 2006)

Covert support to armed insurgents out of Turkey or Jordan would no doubt be coordinated under the joint Israel-Turkey military and intelligence agreement. Israel and NATO signed a far-reaching military cooperation agreement in 2005. Under this agreement, Israel is considered a de facto member of NATO.

If a military operation were to be launched against Syria, Israel would in all likelihood be involved in military undertakings alongside NATO forces (under the NATO-Israel bilateral agreement). Turkey would also play an active military role.

A military intervention in Syria on fake humanitarian grounds would lead to an escalation of the US-NATO led war over a large area extending from North Africa and the Middle East to Central Asia, from the Eastern Mediterranean to China’s Western frontier with Afghanistan and Pakistan. It would also contribute to a process of political destabilization in Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine. It would also set the stage for a conflict with Iran.

Courtesy: vijayvaani

A Joint service between NASYO and COSYM-Mauritius.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

South African Mine Owners Respond to Calls by ANC Youth League for Nationalization

South Africa Mines Nationalization Talk May Cut Output, Impala CEO Says

By Carli Lourens - Jun 28, 2011
Bloomberg News

South African mine production may drop as foreign investors get “cold feet” following a call from the youth wing of the ruling African National Congress to nationalize the industry, Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. (IMP) said.

“There is definite worry around this particular topic” among European and U.S. investors, David Brown, chief executive officer of Johannesburg-based Impala, said in a speech in the city yesterday. Impala is the world’s second-largest producer of platinum, accounting for a quarter of global output.

“Investors, the traditional suppliers of risk capital to this industry, are getting cold feet,” Brown, 48, said. “The risk associated with future investment in South African mining has increased considerably as seen from the outside world” because of nationalization and other concerns, he said.

The ANC agreed in September to study nationalization following demands from Julius Malema, leader of the party’s youth arm. South Africa is the biggest producer of platinum, used in devices to cut vehicle emissions and in jewelry. It also mines coal, gold and chrome.

Malema, 30, said last week the government should also take control of lenders such as Standard Bank Group Ltd. and Nedbank Group Ltd. He wants to increase the role of the state in the economy to combat youth unemployment, poverty and inequality.

“One of things we will see as it begins to flow through is in terms of hampering future investment decisions,” Brown said of the nationalization debate. “If we’re going to start impacting the flow of investment, then I think we’ll see some significant issues around declining output from South Africa.”

‘No Answer’

South Africa’s Chamber of Mines started lobbying ANC members for their support against mining nationalization, Business Day, a Johannesburg-based newspaper, reported yesterday, citing the chamber. Business should have spoken out on the issue sooner, Bobby Godsell, AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. (ANG)’s former CEO, said last week, according to a June 26 report by

“Nationalization is not the answer,” Brown said. “Wholesale nationalization would certainly undermine the country’s economic base, especially if banks and land are next,” Brown said.

Brown said that while he doesn’t foresee “classical nationalization,” even partial privatization could lead “a severe reduction in output.”

Anglo American Platinum Ltd., which is based in Johannesburg, is the world’s largest producer of the metal.

To contact the reporter on this story: Carli Lourens in Johannesburg at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at

Worst Drought in 60 Years Hitting Horn of Africa

Worst drought in 60 years hitting Horn of Africa: U.N.

8:33am EDT

GENEVA (Reuters) - The worst drought in 60 years in the Horn of Africa has sparked a severe food crisis and high malnutrition rates, with parts of Kenya and Somalia experiencing pre-famine conditions, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

More than 10 million people are now affected in drought-stricken areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda and the situation is deteriorating, it said.

"Two consecutive poor rainy seasons have resulted in one of the driest years since 1950/51 in many pastoral zones," Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told a media briefing.

"There is no likelihood of improvement (in the situation)until 2012," she said.

Food prices have risen substantially in the region, pushing many moderately poor households over the edge, she said.

A U.N. map of food security in the eastern Horn of Africa shows large swathes of central Kenya and Somalia in the "emergency" category, one phase before what the U.N. classifies as catastrophe/famine -- the fifth and worst category.

Child malnutrition rates in the worst affected areas are more than double the emergency threshold of 15 percent and are expected to rise further, Byrs said.

High mortality rates among children are reported, but she had no figures for the toll.

Drought and fighting are driving ever greater numbers of Somalis from their homeland, with more than 20,000 arriving in Kenya in just the past two weeks, the U.N. refuge agency UNHCR said on Friday. It voiced alarm at the dramatic rise, noting the average monthly outflow had been about 10,000 so far this year.

Almost half the Somali children arriving in refugee camps in Ethiopia are malnourished, and those arriving in Kenya are little better, Byrs said.

U.N. humanitarian appeals for Somalia and Kenya, each about $525 million, are barely 50 percent funded, while a $30 million appeal for Djibouti is just 30 percent funded, she said.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Louise Ireland)

Afghanistan Hotel Attacked in Kabul,0,7425121.story

Attackers kill as many as 6 at landmark Afghan hotel

Gunmen and suicide bombers strike the tightly secured Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, which has a large foreign clientele. The attackers are also killed.

By Laura King, Los Angeles Times
June 29, 2011
Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan

A team of gunmen and suicide bombers struck a landmark hotel in the Afghan capital Tuesday evening, police said, killing up to six people in the hotel and setting off an hours-long battle that ended only after NATO helicopters swooped in to help.

It was the latest — and by far the most dramatic — in a series of attacks that have underscored the insurgents' ability to penetrate even Kabul's most heavily guarded installations, raising troubling new questions about the Afghan forces' ability to take over responsibility for safeguarding the country.

The sound of gunfire and explosions echoed until nearly dawn across the city's western edge, where the Intercontinental Hotel perches on a hilltop, visible from a considerable distance. It is approached by a winding road punctuated by police checkpoints.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the unusual nighttime strike on the hotel, which has a large foreign clientele and is frequently a venue for official conferences and events.

No information was released about the six victims.

At any given time, high-ranking Afghan officials from outside the capital can be found there, and news reports said at least one provincial governor was present at the time of the attack.

In Washington, the State Department said special regional envoy Marc Grossman had departed the capital before the attack began. Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland condemned the attackers' "complete disregard for human life."

In Kabul, the head of criminal investigation for the police, Gen. Mohammed Zahir, said that as many as six attackers managed to make their way into the hotel, and at least one was thought to have detonated an explosives-laden vest. All the attackers were killed.

Police sealed off streets leading to the scene, and helicopters could be heard overhead. The five-story building was plunged into darkness as either the attackers or the authorities cut off power. Some patrons had been dining in the hotel restaurant when the attack began, said witnesses quoted by Afghan media.

A spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force said coalition helicopters brought an end to the siege by firing on the last of the attackers, who had made their way to the roof of the structure.

Kabul has only a few four- and five-star hotels, and all are tightly secured. A luxury hotel popular with foreigners, the Serena, was the target of a 2008 strike that left eight people dead.

The Intercontinental, which opened in the late 1960s, has mirrored Kabul's fortunes. It was a symbol of the cosmopolitan lifestyle that briefly flourished in the Afghan capital in the 1970s, and then was battered by fighting during the civil war in the early to mid-1990s.

After the Taliban takeover in 1996, the fundamentalist movement targeted its still-considerable liquor stocks. Following the U.S.-led invasion that toppled the Taliban, foreign journalists were its primary customers. The hallways reeked because of the lack of running water in most rooms.

Although shabbier now than in its heyday, the hotel still draws mostly expatriates and the Afghan elite. International groups have sometimes used it as a headquarters.

Insurgents have stepped up a campaign of violence before a planned transfer of seven areas around the country from Western to Afghan security control.

Special correspondent Hashmat Baktash contributed to this report.

NATO Battles Fatigue, Rifts Among Imperialist States on the War Against Libya

NATO battles fatigue, rifts among allies

Laurent Thomet
June 29, 2011 - 12:19PM

After three months of air strikes in Libya, the NATO alliance is showing growing signs of fatigue and discord with no end in sight in a conflict that allies are determined to win.

The conflict has lasted longer than some had anticipated when NATO took command of operations on March 31, replacing a Western coalition that had launched the first salvos two weeks earlier.

As the NATO mission marks three months on Thursday, rifts have emerged with Italy calling last week for a suspension of hostilities, while some allies with small air forces are feeling the strains of a steady pace of sorties.

The operation's commander, Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard, refuses to scale it down, saying NATO has made significant progress by bringing "normalcy" to the opposition-held east while rebels scored successes in the west.

"I do not believe that any scaling down of operation is appropriate nor required at this time. In fact we stay the course," Bouchard said on Tuesday.

The Canadian general said NATO would keep up the pressure until Muammar Gaddafi stopped threatening civilians, returned his forces to barracks and allowed humanitarian aid to flow freely into Libya.

"We will continue our mission without pause until we have reached those objectives," he said.

The military organisation had extended its mandate for another 90 days, committing it to the mission until at least late September.

Shashank Joshi, an analyst at the Royal United Services Institute in London, said NATO had succeeded in fulfilling its UN mandate to protect civilians and will eventually bring down the Gaddafi regime.

"They have degraded Gaddafi's military capability, pushed him back, stretched his forces extremely thinly and essentially have made regime change an inevitability," Joshi told AFP.

"On the mission of regime change, which is the more central mission, I think they will eventually succeed, there's no doubt about it," he said.

"But, what I would caution, is that it can only take place potentially on a timetable that is quite politically damaging and has already revealed quite a few serious strains within the alliance."

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini opened a rift last week when he called for a suspension of hostilities after chiding NATO over the accidental killing of civilians in a bombing, which Tripoli says killed nine people.

Outgoing US Defence Secretary Robert Gates had delivered his own bombshell earlier this month when he scolded allies for their over-reliance on the US military, saying they were even running out of munitions in Libya.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy hit back on Friday, dismissing Gates's criticism on the "bitterness" of a future retiree.

France, Britain and the United States launched the first strikes against the Libyan regime on March 19 before handing control of the operation to NATO despite French reservations.

Only eight of 28 alliance members are taking part in the air strikes, and one of them, Norway, has announced that it would end its mission in August because its air force is too small to continue.

The United States, France and Britain have pressed other allies to step up their contributions, with Gates singling out Spain, Turkey and the Netherlands as nations that should take part in the bombings.

But the latter have shown no willingness to drop bombs in Libya.

"It is quite a challenge to find somebody to step in," a NATO diplomat said on condition of anonymity. "In the long run, everybody will need some relief at some point. You will need a rotation."

But NATO will see the mission through as France and Britain have invested too much political capital to back out, Joshi said.

"They will not concede Italy's point about stopping the bombing and they will plough on regardless of whether the Norwegians or the Belgians or anyone else continues alongside them," he said.

"France and Britain have put so much into this, there is no prospect that they will now give up."

Zimbabwe Diamond News: US in Bid to Block Sales; State Demands Release of Confiscated Gems

US in bid to block diamond sales

Tuesday, 28 June 2011 01:00
By Takunda Maodza
Zimbabwe Herald

THE US Government has launched a fresh bid to block Zimbabwe from selling its diamonds after the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme last Friday allowed the country to trade Marange gems.

The remarks by the US come barely a week after the KPCS granted Mbada and Marange Resources the greenlight to unconditionally sell their diamonds at its Intercessional meeting in Kinshasa, DRC.

In a statement through its embassy in Harare, the US government said it was disappointed by the KPCS' decision allowing Zimbabwe to trade in its Marange diamonds.

"The United States is deeply disappointed with the Kinshasa Intercessional as it related to Zimbabwe. The United States has been a strong supporter of the Kimberly Process in the past and desires to find a way forward for the Kimberley Process that includes Zimbabwe and preserves the credibility of the process.

"The United States believes that progress with respect to exports from the Marange area of Zimbabwe can occur solely through a mechanism agreed to by consensus among KP participants," said Victoria Nuland, spokesperson for the State Department.

She added: "We believe that work towards a solution must continue, and that until consensus is reached, exports from Marange should not proceed."

Nuland claimed there was no consensus at the Kinshasa meeting on the sale of Marange diamonds.

"The Kinshasa Intercessional did not reach a consensus text. The Chair has circulated a text to participants which did not attract consensus," she said.

Mr Mathieu Yamba of the DRC chairs the KPCS. Nuland said the US remained ready to work with the KPCS chair and other participants to find a solution.

The US went on to applaud such countries as the Central African Republic, Ghana, Guinea and Liberia for effective diamond sector governance. The US wants active participation of the civil society, which it sponsors, at Marange.

Interestingly, the MDC-T last week issued an almost similar statement saying Zimbabwe must comply with the KPCS requirements. This is despite the fact that the country has since complied with the minimum KPCS requirements.

"The MDC's position is that our country should be compliant with the international requirements. This unmitigated compliance with the international requirements would ensure that there is uninterrupted flow of revenue into the country. "Although considerable progress has been made towards compliance, the MDC calls upon the Government to ensure that all the domestic obstacles to full compliance are removed. The

MDC calls on the KP to offer practical assistance to Zimbabwe in order to ensure that it is fully compliant with its requirements," the MDC-T information department said.

It went on to allege heavy involvement of the military in diamond mining at Chiadzwa.

"The current system under which the military is heavily involved in the mining and marketing of diamond with revenues undeclared to the national fiscus is clearly unacceptable," the MDC-T said.

Last week Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu told the KPCS meeting in Kinshasa that the organisation needed immediate reform to save it from politicisation by the US and the European Union.

"The failure in the past to garner consensus has not been precipitated by the absence of ingredients to achieve consensus, but by sheer bad faith, lack of goodwill and over adherence to hostile foreign policies on Zimbabwe.

"We have been monitored and certified compliant, why should we continue with the monitor. What is there to monitor on a compliant mine?" Minister Mpofu said.

Release confiscated diamonds: ZMDC

Tuesday, 28 June 2011 01:00

Some of the gems taken by Belgium are thought to be in Antwerp at the World Diamond Centre.

Zimbabwe's alluvial diamonds confiscated by various countries en route to export markets should be released, following a recent decision by the Kimberley Process to allow the country to freely market its gems, an official has said.

The KP gave Zimbabwe the green light to market diamonds from Marange at its meeting in Kinshasa last week. This ended a long trade ban it had imposed on suspicion Zimbabwe's gems were "bloody".

Before the lifting of the ban, Belgium and the United Arab Emirates had reportedly confiscated Zimbabwe diamonds.

Some of the gems taken by Belgium are thought to be in Antwerp at the World Diamond Centre.

Both countries seized the diamonds on the grounds Zimbabwe was not authorised by KP to export them.

Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation chairman Mr Godwills Masimirembwa said since the KP had lifted its ban on Zimbabwe's gems, countries holding Zimbabwe's
diamonds should now release them.

"Now that KP has ruled in our favour, those goods that are being held in transit by certain countries should be immediately released," he said.

He noted at the same time that the West, particularly the United States, was still trying to reverse the KP's landmark ruling.

He said the US, through its Foreign Assets Control Office, was blocking buyers from making payments to the ZMDC through international banks.

The ZMDC is one of State-run companies under US sanctions imposed in 2001.

"The movement of money is still difficult. America fully recognises that if Zimbabwe sells (its diamonds), sanctions will die naturally," said Mr Masimirembwa.

He added: "Zimbabwe will trade its diamonds for their correct value."

Meanwhile, the ZMDC chairman said diamond output, which had declined because of the trade ban, was now expected to rise after the lifting of the embargo.

"Production was affected by lack of capital," he said. "Now that sales will resume, production will pick up."

Currently, Mbada Diamonds, Marange Resources, Anjin, Puredime and Sinozim are exploiting the Marange alluvial diamonds.

But only Mbada, Marange Resources and Anjin have been allowed by KP to export without supervision.

Zimbabwe is believed to have the potential to satisfy 25 percent of the global diamond demand. - New Ziana.

US Congress Votes to Continue Libya War Without Authorization

US Congress Votes to Continue Libya War Without Authorization

Pentagon out to assassinate Gaddafi while ICC issues arrest warrants

By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire

As the US/NATO war against the North African state of Libya entered its fourth month, the House of Representatives voted on June 24 to withhold authorization for the bombing campaign. In a resolution to support the war, members of Congress turned down the Obama administration’s military strategy in a vote of 295 against and 123 in favor.

This vote reflected the broad opposition to the war inside the United States and internationally. Members of both political parties inside the government opposed the vote to authorize the war, with 70 democrats rejecting the administration’s argument that the War Powers Act does not apply to the current operations in Libya.

The War Powers Act of 1973 was adopted by the legislative branch of the government under the Nixon administration after the U.S. had been involved in Vietnam since the conclusion of World War II with support for the French imperialists who attempted to maintain the country as its colony. The deployment of “advisors” in 1961 under John F. Kennedy escalated the war even further.

After the assassination of Kennedy in 1963, the war campaign against Vietnam accelerated, and in 1965, Lyndon Johnson sent hundreds of thousands of troops into what was known then as South Vietnam. The U.S. would leave in defeat in April 1975 after the deaths of over a million Vietnamese and 58,000 Pentagon troops.

In the current period both political parties inside the U.S. support the ruling class policy of imperialist domination and military intervention although much trepidation has surfaced resulting from the failures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and now Libya. Despite the failure of the vote to authorize the war against Libya, the House rejected a resolution to withhold funds geared toward continuing the US/NATO war that began on March 19, after the western-backed rebels faced imminent defeat by the Libyan government.

According to the New York Times, “The second measure rejected by the House would have essentially prohibited money for direct combat activity, financing only support operations like search and rescue, aerial refueling, operational planning, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Only 180 House members supported the measure, while 238, including 89 Republicans, voted against it.” (New York Times, June 24)

At the same time, other members of the House and Senate have supported the administration’s policy of war against Libya. Senators McCain and Kerry have drafted a resolution defending the bombing and regime-change strategy against the oil-producing North African state.

NATO’s War Strategy

Even though it was made to appear that the second resolution would have withdrawn support for the Libya war, the fact that language inside the resolution still provided for the continued military involvement, including refueling, operational planning and intelligence, exposes the fact that neither of the political parties support a just settlement to the conflict inside the country. The arguments have been exclusively centered around procedural issues over who can legally declare war, the administration or Congress, with no discussion about the unprovoked attacks against a sovereign state and the impact of the war on the civilian population of Libya where hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced and thousand killed.

The only response from the White House was to reiterate that the war against Libya does not constitute “hostilities.” Jay Carney, the Obama administration’s spokesperson, said that “We are disappointed by that vote. We think now is not the time to send the kind of mixed message that it sends when we are working with our allies to achieve the goals that we believe are widely shared in Congress.” (New York Times, June 24)

Carney said that the administration is concerned about imposing a no fly-zone as authorized by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, yet the war has gone far beyond this pseudo-legal rationale for the military onslaught against Libya. US/NATO operations have resulted in the imposition of a naval blockade, the freezing of governmental assets of over $50 billion, the dispatching of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operatives, the bombing of schools, houses, government buildings, targeted assassinations against Muammar Gaddafi, his family and associates, in ongoing efforts to topple the state and institute a puppet-regime.

In fact NATO Joint Operations commander and U.S. admiral Samuel Locklear admitted in a briefing to a Congressman recently that the military operation against Libya is committed to assassinating leader Muammar Gaddafi. The Atlantic reported that “Rep. Mike Turner, a Republican and member of the House Armed Services Committee, revealed the conversation to reporter Josh Rogin, confirming what many observers had long suspected about the U.S. and European air strikes.” (The Atlantic, June 27)

This same article notes that “After all, NATO’s bombs have fallen on, among others, the Bab al-Azizia military compound in Tripoli, which members of the Gaddafi family sometimes used as a home. “ The author, Max Fisher, continues by asking the question of whether these targeted assassination attempts are escalating the war in Libya or bringing it to a close.

Although the NATO airstrikes continue to result in deaths and casualties, including the attacks on the oil-producing city of Brega killing 20 people and wounding many others, the western-backed Transitional National Council (TNC) has accused the imperialist states now bombing the country of not doing enough to remove the Libyan government. The rebels fighting on behalf of the TNC have continued to be trapped in the port city of Misrata in the west and are being contained in sections of the Nafusa Mountains on the border with Tunisia.

Outside the rebel-held city of Benghazi, the TNC forces have been met with determined resistance from the Libyan army. Even according to CBS News, “the rebels are still stalled to the east in Misrata, complaining NATO doesn’t coordinate air strikes to provide adequate air cover so they can punch through Gaddafi’s forces and move towards Tripoli.” (CBS News, June 27)

Militarists inside the U.S. are demanding greater involvement by the Pentagon with the deployment of more fighter aircraft and ground troops. The former Asst. Secretary of State Jamie Rubin was quoted as saying that “Once we’ve decided to use air power alone, rather than ground troops—and that’s a perfectly logical decision by the president—we have to be patient. Air power doesn’t work like ground troops the way we, say in the first Gulf War, just took over the Iraqi forces and threw them out of Kuwait in a few days.” (CBS News, June 27)

Rubin continued saying “But if you want to succeed here, having started this, I think there is a way for the United States to get involved from the front, rather than just supporting the British and the French, and that means more U.S. aircraft, more U.S. missiles and directing the fire much more carefully.”

ICC Warrants Issued Against Libyan Leaders

On June 27 the judges from the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands announced warrants for the arrest of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and other top government officials. Several weeks ago the ICC chief prosecutor had announced that an investigation was underway to indict the leadership of the country.

A statement read out by presiding ICC judge Sanji Monageng said there were “reasonable grounds to believe” that three leaders, Muammar Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam, his son, and intelligence Chief Abdullah al-Sanussi, were “criminally responsible” for killing civilians inside the country. Nonetheless, there was no mention of the nature of the crimes committed by the U.S. and NATO forces inside of the North African country.

It was the U.S. and NATO that dispatched intelligence operatives to eastern Libya in a plot to support rebels aimed at overthrowing the government. Since March 19, the U.S. and NATO jets and warships have pounded the country with thousands of bombs and missiles.

This politically-motivated provocation by the ICC is designed to support the imperialist war against Libya aimed at the destabilization of the entire North African region through the assassination of the national leadership of Libya in order to expropriate its resources and place in power a client-regime that will totally serve the interests of the western capitalist states. The fact the ICC has never addressed the war crimes committed by the US/NATO forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan or the US/UK atrocities in Iraq, let alone the plight of the Palestinians, illustrates clearly that it is a tool of the imperialist states.

The Need to Build Opposition to the Libyan War

There is widespread opposition to the U.S. military involvement in Libya as well as the other wars taking place in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. A recent poll indicated that at least 60 percent of the population inside the U.S. opposes the bombing.

Figures released by the U.S. government said that over $700 million has already been spent on the Libyan operation. By September, the cost will be above one billion dollars.

The U.S. economy is feeling the impact of the failure of capitalist-driven policies that finance wars of occupation, military bases in many countries around the world, the bail out of the banks and the rising rates of unemployment, homelessness and poverty.

In addition to the debates in Congress, there are other forms of opposition that are not covered by the corporate media. Since the beginning of the Libya war, many progressive and revolutionary journalists and organizers have spoken out forcefully against the destabilization and bombing of the country.

Community rallies against the war have been held in Detroit, Los Angeles and New York. A national tour featuring former US Congressperson Cynthia McKinney, Nation of Islam Minister Akbar Muhammad, December 12 Movement spokesperson Viola Plummer, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark and ANSWER leader Brian Becker has visited several cities during June. On June 27 a demonstration was held against the war in New York organized by the United National Anti-War Committee (UNAC) which said “No to trillions for war and destruction of jobs and services!”

The demonstration linked the worsening conditions of the working class and the oppressed nations to the escalation in imperialist war in North Africa and around the world. UNAC was the principal organizer of the April 9 demonstrations in New York and San Francisco that brought thousands into the streets demanding an end to war and repression and the funding of schools, healthcare and a jobs program.

UNAC is planning for another national conference in November. The coalition was formed in the summer of 2010 when over 1,000 people attended its founding meeting in Albany, New York where strong resolutions were passed opposing U.S. military intervention in the Middle East, Africa, Korea and Latin America and in support of the right of self-determination and statehood for the Palestinian people.