Archive for the ‘Human Rights’ Category
Just when most of us thought that Mother Agnes (Mère Agnès-Mariam de la Croix( had disappeared from the political scene, George Galloway appears determined to resurrect her.
George Galloway interviews Mother Agnes
It is wonderful to see two dear and respected friends join forces for the sake of justice and peace.
This interview is part of George’s innovative new program, screening through “Russia Today” – “SPUTNIK… Orbiting the World with George Galloway”.
You can see the full episode (no.3) here.
Or indeed here, with the bonus of seeing John Wight, of the Socialist Unity Blog of Andrew Newman (Labour Party PPC),
In defending Mother Agnes, John Wight and Galloway thus join the ’9/11′ denial site Voltaire Net, and its founder, Thierry Meyssan – who currently lives in Damscus, Syria.
We have already Blogged on Mother Agnes and those interested can find here why we find this massacre-denying supporter of the Syrian regime beyond the pale.
Women gather on the steps of the National Assembly in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, on Monday, during a protest over violence against women. PACOME PABANDJI/AFP/Getty Images
“There were no dramatic demonstrations of joy, but rather a huge sigh of “relief “ : residents of Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), did not hide their satisfaction, Tuesday, Nov. 26 at the sight of the French troops arriving to bring a halt to the activities of rebels who have been terrorising the population. “
Le Monde (adapted)
“Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, had mentioned the deployment of 6,000 9 000 peacekeepers. But until now, several countries, including the United States and Great Britain , have seemed reluctant to finance a new operation in Africa . The resolution, under Chapter VII of the UN Charter provides for the use of force, and would call “the rapid application of transitional arrangements in the Central African Republic” with the objective of holding of free and fair elections.”
“According to the UN, without ” swift and decisive action ” in the Central African Republic, there is a risk ” that the crisis will spiral out of control”. The “religious and ethnic conflict “ between Christians and Muslims could lead to ”widespread atrocities” . The Central African Republic, according to the UN risks becoming “a breeding ground for extremists and armed gangs.“
The operation in CAR “has nothing to do with Mali“, said the Minister of Defence Jean-Yves Le Drian. He spoke of an intervention that would be ”brief, taking around of six months or less “. He added, “This is a failed state within which there is a grave danger of religious conflict”.
The Independent reports,
“The Central African Republic is in a state of collapse and we cannot allow a country to fall apart like that, with the risk of violence, massacres and humanitarian chaos, ” Mr Le Drian said.
Both sides have accused each other of atrocities since a Muslim rebel alliance overthrew a Christian president in March. There have been reports of massacres, rape and the conscription of child soldiers by the rebel forces.
Over a million people, in a country of 4.4 million, are facing famine. An estimated 400,000 people have been forced from their homes and 68,000 have fled to neighbouring countries.
The UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told the Security Council on Monday that the CAR was becoming a “breeding ground for extremists and armed groups” and could descend into a full-scale civil war between Muslim and Christian communities. (1) UN officials have warned of the “potential for another Rwanda”.
Background in l’Humanité.
More on the religious aspect of the fighting and massacres of civilians in the Guardian.
The latest eruption began in March when the unpopular president, François Bozizé, fled by helicopter with five suitcases after being overthrown by a loose coalition of rebels, bandits and guns for hire known as the Seleka, meaning “alliance” in the local language. One of its leaders, Michel Djotodia, declared himself president — the first Muslim to rule this majority Christian nation of 4.6 million people.
What started as a political movement against the corrupt and autocratic Bozizé is now taking on an ominously religious character. Nearly all the Seleka are Muslim, including mercenaries from neighbouring Chad and the notorious Janjaweed from Sudan’s Darfur region. An “us and them” mentality of mutual distrust and paranoia is taking root, with some Christians taking up arms in vigilante militias known as “anti-balaka” — meaning anti-sword or anti-machete — and committing atrocities of their own, giving the Seleka a pretext for yet more aggression. The spiral of violence has become a recruiting sergeant for thousands of child soldiers.
Few people have raised their voices against this intervention.
(1) About 80 percent of the population of the Central African Republic are Christians. It is believed that many of these followers incorporate traditional indigenous elements into their faith practices.
Imperium. Perry Anderson. Critical Thoughts. New Left Review. No82 (New Series) 2013.
“American capitalism has resoundingly re-asserted its primacy in all fields – economic, political, military and cultural – with an unprecedented eight-year boom.”
Perry Anderson. Renewals. 2000.
“(New Left Review’s Relaunch)…scandalised many by demanding from the left a lucid registration of defeat ‘No collective agency able to match the power of capital is yet on the horizon’ Anderson noted……These judgements stand.”
Susan Watkins. Shifting Sands. 2010.
“In contrast to the economic structure, the political structure cannot be expanded indefinitely, because it is not based upon the productivity of man, which is indeed, unlimited. Of all forms of government and organisations of people, the nation-state is least suited for unlimited growth because the genuine consent at its base cannot be stretched indefinitely.”
Hannah Arendt. The Origins of Totalitarianism. (1)
The “unprecedented” American boom ended in Autumn 2008. But despite the absence of what Anderson has called an “answer to the prolonged slow-down of the advanced capitalist economies that set in forty years ago” America remains, post Soviet Collapse, the uncontested, hegemonic, global authority. (2) American power reaches outwards across the globe. This is not just grounded on the attraction of its economic strength, cultural appeal, or technological advances. An active exercise of domination is at work.
Within this received wisdom on the left, the Special Issue of New Left Review, Imperium, sets out to present the “outlook and continuity of objectives” of the “administration of empire, the thinking behind this rule. It also aims to “asses” this vast field, centring on what is decidedly not a “poverty of strategic theory.”
To former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, writing in 1997, U.S policy goals must be “to perpetuate America’s own dominate position for at least generation and preferably longer still; and to create a geopolitical framework” that can evolve into “shared responsibility for peaceful global management.” (3) By contrast, for Anderson, in 2002 the US’s objectives unfurling before the rather less peaceable invasion of Iraq, were described as part of a “structural shift in the balance between force and consent within the operation of American hegemony…” (4)
The present study is only the latest, then, of Anderson’s efforts to understand the leading role of America in what David Harvey has labelled the “new imperialism” and the global dominance of neo-liberalism. Following indications signalled by Robert Brenner he looks further into history to explain the particular form that the American state has taken. Imperium begins by stating, “Since the Second World War, the external order of American power has been largely insulated from the internal political system.” The focus is therefore on the “narrow foreign-policy elite, and a “distinctive ideological vocabulary” of “grand strategy.” (5)
Imperium concludes with, and starts from, the following historical narrative, “In the course of four decades of unremitting struggle, a military and political order was constructed that transformed what had once been a merely hemispheric hegemony into a global empire, remoulding the form of the US state itself” (Page 110 Imperium) Included in the Special Issue is a study of the above American “literature of grand strategy”, Consilium. We discover (to no particular surprise) that it is soldered around the idea that the “hegemony of the United States continues to serve both the particular interests of the nation and the universal interest of mankind” (Consilium Page 163)
These were the long years of the global fight against the Soviet Union. For Anderson the USA, he concedes, graciously or not, “was indeed an electoral democracy, did confront a socio-political system that was not” (Page 33 Imperium). During those decades the country has witnessed domestic opposition to “imperial force”. This, volatile, “constraint”, the limited “public tolerance” of foreign expeditions (we immediately think of the aftermath of Vietnam) has played a role. It continues to shape the decisions of the Obama administration. (Page 108. Imperium)
But behind this is there is, as he has commented on the second Obama Presidential victory an “all-capitalist ideological universe – a mental firmament in which the sanctity of private property and superiority of private enterprise are truths taken for granted by all forces in the political arena.” The Democrat President cannot ignore the culture that feeds Obama’s Republican opponents. One feature stands out, a domestic “nationalism peculiar to the United States as the capitalist superpower in the struggle with communism, intensely more hyperbolic than that of any Western society.” (6)
Outside this native soil there is little alive that is capable of offering a serious political challenge to policies dictated by the “new regime of accumulation” and the “liberal-capitalist order”. Gloomily in 2002 he talked of ‘resistance’ as “chaff in the wind.” In 2007 Anderson had a brief flicker of hope in “spectacular demonstrations of popular will” the World Social Forums in the first half of the last decade, and a “patchwork of resistance”. But they could not halt, “a further drift to the right” as a “new Concert of powers has increasingly solidified.” (7) Read the rest of this entry »
The Daily Mail ‘reports‘,
For those who recall the dark days of the 1970s and early 80s – when endless strikes and violent mass picketing brought British industry to the brink of ruin – the bully-boy tactics deployed by the Unite union during the recent Grangemouth dispute will have brought a chilling sense of deja vu.
Coordinated by Unite’s sinister ‘Leverage Unit’, mobs of protesters were unleashed to intimidate managers and their families at their homes.
It was a clear attempt to terrify the management into submission.
This despicable report was carried on Channel Four last night.
UNITE General Secretary, Len Len McCluskey was at least given a chance to reply to the tissue of lies.
If Tory bully boys threaten workers it’s fine by the Daily Mail.
If UNITE fights back then it’s “bully boys”.
There is a rumour that Mr Ratty is coming to Ipswich…..