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U.S. soldier held after firing on Afghans, killing at least 16, officials say

Esaqzai, who said he saw the 16 bodies, provided the following account. About midnight, 11 people, including three women; four children whose ages ranged from 6 to 9; and four men were executed inside the home of a village elder.

“They entered the room where the women and children were sleeping, and they were all shot in the head,” Esaqzai said, adding that he was doubtful of the U.S. account suggesting the killings were the work of a lone gunman. “They were all shot in the head.”
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U.S. Senate Passes Iran Oil Sanctions as EU Blacklist Grows.

The Senate bill, passed unanimously yesterday, would give the president the power starting July 1 to bar foreign financial institutions that do business with Iran’s central bank from having correspondent bank accounts in the U.S. If enacted, it could be much harder for foreign companies to pay for oil imports from Iran, the world’s third-largest crude exporter. The Obama administration opposes the legislation.


Iran faces tightening web of sanctions.

A tightening web of sanctions is squeezing Iran’s economy and placing a new burden
on foreign firms wary of incurring hefty fines for violating the complex regulations.

The European Union added 180 people and entities to its Iran sanctions list on Thursday and laid out plans for a possible embargo of Iranian oil in response to mounting concerns over the Opec producer’s nuclear programme.

Sanctions have had an impact on Iran’s economy, experts say, but they have not achieved their aim of stopping work that the West suspects is aimed at developing nuclear weapons. Tehran insists its nuclear activities are peaceful.

“The sanctions are certainly having an impact… The latest US sanctions against the oil industry may further squeeze the room for manoeuvre available to Iranian oil customers, notably India and China,” said Alan Fraser, Middle East analyst with security firm AKE.


So. Let me remind you of Irak and it's "massive destruction weapons" that never existed. Let me remind you which countries DO have nuclear programs and develop weapons of war without any international control whatsoever. Yes. USA is the most powerful of them.
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Libyan papers show UK worked with Gaddafi in rendition operation.

A secret CIA document found among the haul shows that the British and Libyans worked together to arrange for a terrorism suspect to be removed from Hong Kong to Tripoli – along with his wife and children – despite the risk that they would be tortured. The wording of the document suggests the CIA was not involved in the planning of the rendition operation, but was eager to become engaged during its execution and offered financial support.

Other papers found in the building suggest MI6 enjoyed a far closer working relationship with Gaddafi's intelligence agencies than has been publicly known, and was involved in a number of US-led operations that also resulted in Islamists being consigned to Gaddafi's prisons.

On Sunday, one of the victims, Abdul Hakim Belhaj – now commander of the anti-Gaddafi militia in Tripoli – demanded an apology from London and Washington and said he was considering suing over his rendition to Tripoli and subsequent torture.
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The Guardian Liveblog

The battle for Libya: Key moments so far

Al Jazeera Liveblog

EDIT: ONTD POLITICAL LIVEPOST This one is awesome because people are pulling in the Twitter messages. And apparently this happened:

@lisang
Holy crap! Libyan news announcer live, holding gun threatening anyone who might take state TV goo.gl/Zb072 #Libya (via @khaladk)

...

With this weapon I will either kill or be killed today. You will not take over Al-Libiyah. Nor will you take over Jamahiriyah, or Shababiyah, or Tripoli, or Libya. All of us here are armed, and even those who aren't are prepared to be shields to protect their colleagues at the station. We are all willing to be martyrs.



Daughter of EDIT:
@SultanAlQassemi
Breaking Al Jazeera: the Libyan NTC's Mustafa Abdul Jaleel: Confirmed reports that Saif Al Islam Gaddafi has been captured


Granddaughter of EDIT:
ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
Saadi is now confirmed captured. 3 sons, Mohammad surrendered, Saif and Saadi captured. held in secret location by FF #Libya


Late Great Granddaughter of Edit: The rebels got the Green Square
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Syria: the regime's war of attrition

The Syrian regime's response to five months of popular uprising was described by a recent report of the International Crisis Group as "slow motion suicide", resulting from a "mix of uninhibited brutality, sectarian manipulation, crude propaganda and grudging concessions".

The regime opted for a survival strategy: responding by violence and threatening the population with chaos and civil war in the event of its demise. The objective was to launch a war of attrition by playing on time to wear out any internal revolt. It chose, however, the wrong combination of brutal repression and gradual concessions. The result was a crisis of confidence which was too deep to be overcome by mere calls for national dialogue and reform.

The death toll is estimated at 2,000 civilian casualties (including more than 100 children), and 400 members of the security services. The situation has now reached a stalemate. Neither side appears to be able to defeat the other. Protests are rallying at major urban and rural centres, including Damascus and Aleppo in the last weeks. Rallies continue in Hama, Homs, Lattakia, the Idlib province, and continue to be met with massive military assaults and house to house arrests. The cities of Homs, Hama and Deir ez-Zor were brutally besieged by the regime's armed forces; hundreds of civilian casualties have fallen since the start of the holy month of Ramadan. In Deir ez-Zor, the regime was met with strong resistance by local tribesmen, including the leading Baqqara tribe who joined the opposition movements.

On July 17, the National Salvation conference held in Istanbul gathered 450 opposition figures who called for civil disobedience throughout the country. Tenets of regime survival quite naively assumed that they would effectively counter the historical meeting held in Damascus on June 27 by prominent opposition figures in the Semiramis Hotel of Damascus. The regime's so-called "national dialogue" conference held on July 10 included a few organic intellectuals and public figures which were carefully selected and summoned to contribute to the process of constitutional amendment and political reform. The strategy was to divide the opposition and maintain the status quo. Dialogue under repression was, however, firmly rejected by the opposition. MORE
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Unsung Heroes: Nancy Wake

It’s 1944, you’re a member of the resistance in occupied France, and your vitally important radio codes have just been destroyed in a German raid. What do you do?

Black and white photograph of Nancy Wake in uniform, c.1945. A striking woman with dark hair looking directly at the camera. Creative commons image from wikipedia.

Nancy Wake c.1945

Well, if you’re Nancy Wake you cycle alone across 500km of enemy territory in order to find replacements. Who was Nancy Wake and what made her so astonishingly badass? Let’s step back to the start of World War II to find out.

A New Zealand-born nurse, Wake had travelled the world before settling in France in the 1930s. At the start of the war she was living with her new husband, industrialist Henri Fiocca, in the hills outside Marseille. Within months this would be occupied territory as Western Europe fell to the rapid advance of Nazi forces.

With a continent falling to the horrors of war, and possessing sufficient money to live comfortably anywhere in the world, many of us might say “hmm, perhaps it’s time to move to America.” Many of us might choose to keep our heads down, live the life of a wealthy socialite – a relatively safe course of action even in wartime. But not Nancy Wake. She became involved in the Resistance, delivering supplies and acting as a courier, purchasing a vehicle to serve as an ambulance for the care of refugees. Wake became more deeply involved with the Resistance as the war continued, becoming a key figure in the escape lines that helped smuggle escapees, downed airmen and Dunkirk survivors over the Pyrenees and into Spain. (And here it should be noted that Wake was far from the only woman to go to extraordinary risks to save the lives of escapees. Andrée de Jongh of the Belgian Comète Line and countless others performed acts of extraordinary heroism to do what they saw as a necessary task.)

MORE
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She could kill Nazis with her bare hands: Nancy 'the White Mouse' Wake has died

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World leaders pay tribute to war heroine Nancy Wake

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1987 Documentary:

Nancy Wake- Codename 'The White Mouse'(1987) Part 1 of 6

Nancy Wake- Codename 'The White Mouse'(1987) Part 2 of 6

Nancy Wake- Codename 'The White Mouse'(1987) Part 3 of 6

Nancy Wake- Codename 'The White Mouse'(1987) Part 4 of 6


Nancy Wake- Codename 'The White Mouse'(1987) Part 5 of 6


Nancy Wake- Codename 'The White Mouse'(1987) Part 6 of 6


Film coming up: Bruce Beresford to direct film on Nancy Wake's life: The White Mouse

Australian director Bruce Beresford has signed on to direct feature film The White Mouse, about the country’s most decorated World War II servicewoman, Nancy Wake.

Produced by Peter Glover and Sue Milliken (Farscape, Sirens), the film – which hasn't raised finance – will tell the story of Wake, who died early Monday morning (Australian time) in London, aged 98. The announcement was made by a publicist on behalf of Milliken.MORE



Director Bruce Beresford reveals wishlist for Nancy Wake leading lady

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Resistance heroine who led 7,000 men against the Nazis

Nancy Wake, "the White Mouse" and the most decorated woman of the 1939-45 war, disliked people messing around with her life story. Small wonder. It was an extraordinary story and an extraordinary life.

Ms Wake, who has died in London just before her 99th birthday, was a New Zealander brought up in Australia. She became a nurse, a journalist who interviewed Adolf Hitler, a wealthy French socialite, a British agent and a French resistance leader. She led 7,000 guerrilla fighters in battles against the Nazis in the northern Auvergne, just before the D-Day landings in 1944. On one occasion, she strangled an SS sentry with her bare hands. On another, she cycled 500 miles to replace lost codes. In June 1944, she led her fighters in an attack on the Gestapo headquarters at Montlucon in central France.

Work began earlier this month on a feature film about Nancy Wake's life. Ms Wake, one of the models for Sebastian Faulks' fictional heroine, Charlotte Gray, had mixed feelings about previous cinematic efforts to portray her wartime exploits, including a TV mini-series made in 1987.

"It was well-acted but in parts it was extremely stupid," she said. "At one stage they had me cooking eggs and bacon to feed the men. For goodness' sake, did the Allies parachute me into France to fry eggs and bacon for the men? There wasn't an egg to be had for love nor money. Even if there had been why would I be frying it? I had men to do that sort of thing."

Ms Wake was also furious the TV series suggested she had had a love affair with one of her fellow fighters. She was too busy killing Nazis for amorous entanglements, she said.MORE



Nancy Wake Wikipedia Take a look at the list of her medals!!!!
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Honduras Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Women’s Constitutional Assembly

Proposals to radically re-formulate the constitution of Honduras need to incorporate the experiences and perspectives of indigenous and Afro-Honduran women, declared Berta Cáceres, a longtime feminist indigenous activist and an organizer of the Constitutional Assembly Self-Organized by Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Women. The historic event, which is taking place July 10-14, 2011 in Copán Ruinas, will include indigenous and Afro women delegates from all over Honduras, said Cáceres, who is also coordinator of COPINH (Civic Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations in Honduras).

Many of these women have been front and center in the popular resistance movement against the repression following the coup d’etat in their country in June, 2009, struggling against assaults on their lands, sovereignty, natural resources and cultures. Likewise, many have been specifically targeted as leaders in these struggles with aggressive and violent assaults and detentions by police and private security forces.

Along the northern coast of Honduras, there are 48 Garifuna communities “who are suffering an accelerated expulsion from our territories that we have inhabited for 214 years,” said Miriam Miranda of OFRANEH (National Fraternal Organization of Black Hondurans) in a public letter she released after being violently detained and assaulted by security forces in March, 2011 for her role as a leader in the resistance. Communal lands of the Garifuna have been subject to widespread privatization as part of massive development plans by the government and World Bank to create big tourist resorts and “model cities.” The Garifuna are matrilocal, meaning the land has been traditionally passed along matrilineal lines, so this massive assault on communal lands has hit women particularly hard (Vacanti Brondo, 2007).MORE



Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Women: Autonomy and an End to Violence Against Us

Final Declaration of Constituent Assembly Self-Organized by Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Women

From the rhythmic beat of powerful drums and ancient spiritual songs that echoed through the sacred ruins of the Mayan Chortí in Copan in western Honduras, the three-day event ended with hundreds of indigenous and Afro- Honduran women demanding autonomy and an end to the colonization of their lands, their bodies, their lives, and ways of doing politics.

The
Final Declaration of Copán Galel of the Self-Organized Constituent Assembly of Indigenous and Afro-Honduran women denounced the “violence, repression and domination of women operating through capitalism, patriarchy and racism,” said Berta Caceres, coordinator the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), in an interview with Escribana.

Caceres was also one of the organizers of the Assembly, which took place July 11 to 13, 2011 in Copan Ruinas, Honduras. The Assembly involved an intensive dialogue on the realities of life of the 300 participating women whose cultures, lands, natural resources and the country have been under siege that intensified since the military coup in June 2009.

Since then, the government, the powerful elites and transnational corporations have been using the “
Shock Doctrine” (Naomi Klein) to promote a rapid re-engineering of business, economic policies and all policies before people have opportunity to react. (Http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine).

For Honduras, this has meant immediate and aggressive plans for mass-tourism projects, mega-projects such as hydroelectric dams and the expansion of mining, agribusiness and forestry, all involving the confiscation of indigenous and Afro lands.
MORE





Israel Daphne Leef:How a woman in a tent became Israel's Top Story

Until recently nobody had heard of Daphni Leef. Now, everybody in Israel knows the 25-year-old's face and her cause. Just a few weeks ago, Leef was waiting tables. Now, her schedule has become such that she cannot help keeping people waiting. This interview was meant to take place at 11am but did not start until 5pm. Among things that might have distracted her was the small matter of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu putting everything on hold to respond to her demands.

Even after the interview started, we were interrupted by well-wishers, delighted to see her in the flesh sitting outside a Tel Aviv café. A young man wanted a hug; a little old lady wanted to have her picture taken with Leef. And upon hearing her voice a blind woman halted her guide dog and chatted excitedly.

So what did Leef do to bring her such national attention? She got chucked out of her flat. And then wrote on Facebook. Just over a month ago she was told that she needed to leave her Tel Aviv apartment because the building was slated for redevelopment. She started looking for a new home, and was shocked to find how expensive rents had become.

"I called up a friend and said, 'I'm setting up a tent'," she recalls. "He said I should calm down." But she did not calm down - instead she opened a Facebook "event", inviting people to erect tents in central Tel Aviv to protest against high housing prices.MORE


Dude. They profiled the originator of a protest that has seen up to 300,000 people participate....in the lifestyle section. God. DAMN.


Tunisia Tunisian women fear the Algerian way

TUNIS, Aug 5, 2011 (IPS) - A women’s group begins campaigning near La Marsa beach in Tunis to convince more women to come up and register in the electoral lists, in time for the deadline now pushed back to Aug. 14. Most of the women watching the proceedings are veiled.

The veils present more a question than a suggestion at present. One survey among veiled women conduced by journalists here claims that four in five of these women will not vote for Ennahda, the Islamist party surging ahead in popularity ahead of elections for a constituent assembly due in October.

Veils in such numbers are an unusual sight in Tunisia where women visit the beach just as comfortably in a bikini as wearing a headscarf, and just as comfortable sipping wine as a soft drink, listening to rap or traditional music.

Looks may be deceptive, one way or another. "Look around," says Khadija, an activist with the Modernist Democratic Front - a coalition of local Tunisian democratic parties - on another beachfront near the fashionable La Goulette. "Can you see these people living under Islamic law? Tunisia is not Algeria. I am sure it will never happen here."

...


Women have had successes they want to hold on to: half the candidates in the electoral lists must now be women. A strong presence of women in the constituent assembly could be crucial to women’s rights.

Women also want to consolidate the position taken by the High Commission charged to verify that the goals of the revolution are respected - namely that religion and politics will be kept separate. Ennahda has opposed this move in the transitional period. It has also opposed the transitional government’s decision that parties cannot receive funds from outside.

On another front women are fighting the undemocratic influence of former president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in institutions such as the media. The media gives little space to women, even though they are politically active, and many will be candidates. MORE
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Kashmir: The militant in her: Women and resistance Kashmiri women defy state oppression by being on the frontlines.



Relegating women's engagement in conflict situations to the passive space of victimhood is an anticipated outcome of the unequal distribution of power in gender relations. However, this narrative obfuscates their role as active participants, which is of equal, if not greater, significance - and which has increasingly become an accentuating facet of their participation during the recent years of the conflict.

In the early stages of the armed struggle, broad-based support for the independence movement was apparent, and resulted in the creation of both dissident men and women. However, men and women formed their opposition to Indian rule largely in different ways. Men took to combat, women to facilitating the men's fight, or by registering their support for azadi through popular protest.

Women also became facilitators of combat by acting as couriers for arms, informers for militants, provided them shelter and food, and at times helped them escape capture during the sudden and dreaded Indian military raids or "crackdowns", which continue to happen in civilian areas. Their motivation came from the general feeling for independence running deep in the masses - as a result of which, the Indian Armed Forces were always looked at as the "other", and militants and other dissidents as their "own".MORE



Libya

via : [livejournal.com profile] ontd_political

Libyan Women Challenge Mindset Created by Tyranny

BENGHAZI, Libya (WOMENSENEWS)--While rebel fighters battle for a democratic future in the west of Libya, a handful of women back in the rebel capital of Benghazi are working on showing people what democracy actually means.

The small group, going by the name Abeer or Express, will be hosting its most ambitious project to date later this summer, after Ramadan is done--the First Libya Youth conference to spread the ideals of democracy.

....

The organizing group for Express is very small. It lists only six people as its core members--five young women and one young man--but its goal is ambitious: to ensure that democracy and personal freedom flourish in Libya.

For 42 years--since Col. Moammar Gadhafi's 1969 coup--the country has known mainly autocracy and secret police acting on the colonel's behalf.

Members of Express say Libyans crave democracy but aren't quite sure what it means.

Fourth-year medical student Halima ben Jomiah, 22, is the founder of the group. Two years ago, she stumbled across the subject of human development and self improvement in books like "Do Not Grieve" by Sheikh Aaidh ibn Abdullah al-Qarni and "The Leader In You," the 1936 classic by Dale Carnegie. Ever since, she's been hooked, reading about psychology and how to realize human potential whenever she could find the time.

Ben Jomiah, her sister and her friends decided that for the revolution to succeed, people have to have correct attitudes about democracy: not being afraid to speak, but at the same time, having the respect to listen.

They called their group Express in order to focus on personal expression as a form of civic participation.

As a first step, the group has interviewed dozens of Libyans to get a sense of their hopes and dreams and what is standing in the way. Express has also solicited opinions from advanced researchers in human development, such as Egypt's Sherif Araba and Libya's Omar Gnaiber.MORE


Turkey The Muslim Women’s Media Archives: Kadınlar Dünyası

In Turkey and beyond, it is a common misconception that struggle for women’s rights is a new phenomenon. This struggle is thought of as not organic to the Muslim world, but imported from “the non-Muslim West.” This particular misconception has not only nurtured the neo-colonialist rhetoric of “liberating Muslim women,” but has also played an important role in the debate surrounding whether women’s rights or feminism can ever be “Islamic.”

Unfortunately, little has been done to research historical women’s rights movements in the Muslim world, even though there were many examples that clearly disprove this misconception and could provide a lot to the debate. For instance a simple research in the archives of periodicals that were published during the last two centuries of the Ottoman Empire expose a great availability and diversity of women’s publications, some of which are very focused on women’s rights. One such magazine is Kadınlar Dünyası [“World of Women”]. While its name suggests an early-twentieth-century Cosmopolitan, it was famous for its radical rhetoric and strong emphasis on women’s rights at the time of its publication.

MORE

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SPAIN
'Indignant' Demonstrators Marching to Brussels to Protest Effects of Crisis


MADRID, Jul 30, 2011 (IPS) - Protesters from several European Union cities have begun to follow the example of hundreds of demonstrators from Spain who are marching from Madrid to Brussels, the bloc's de facto capital, in a growing protest against the effects of the economic crisis and the fiscal adjustment policies adopted to combat it.

The march - literally, on foot - began Tuesday Jul. 26 with half a dozen people at the Puerta del Sol, in Madrid, the "kilometre zero" point from which all distances in the country are measured. The "'Indignant' People's March" aims to cover the 1,550 km to Brussels by Oct. 8, one week ahead of the global demonstration planned for Oct. 15 by Democracia Real YA (Real Democracy Now!)

Marchers from other European cities will stop in Paris on the way to Brussels, to support the Occupy Wall Street initiative, aimed at occupying and disrupting what they call the "financial Gomorrah" of the United States.

Adbusters, a counter-cultural Canadian magazine, quoted Professor Raimundo Viejo of the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona as saying: "The anti-globalisation movement was the first step. Back then our model was to attack the system like a pack of wolves. There was an alpha male, a wolf leading the pack, and others who followed behind. Now the model has evolved. Today we are one big swarm of people."

The Adbusters article calls on U.S. President Barack Obama to set up a presidential commission tasked with "ending the influence money has over (the country's) representatives in Washington."

It also proposes "dismantling half the 1,000 military bases (the United States) has around the world," among other pro-democracy measures.

But the May 15 Movement (15M), which emerged on that date with large demonstrations in the main squares of cities across Spain held to protest the political, economic and social system, is also drawing attention to issues not prominently covered by the international press, such as repossessions of the homes of those who fall behind on their mortgage payments. MORE


I wish them all good luck and will follow their shenanigans with interest!
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Libyan rebel military leader killed.

The head of the Libyan rebel's armed forces and two of his aides were killed by gunmen Thursday, the head of the rebel leadership said.

The death of Abdel Fattah Younes was announced at a press conference in the de facto rebel capital, Benghazi, by the head of the rebels' National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdul Jalil. He told reporters that rebel security had arrested the head of the group behind the killing.

Rebel security had arrested Younes and two of his aides early on Thursday from their operations room near the rebels' eastern front.

Security officials said at the time that Younes was to be questioned about suspicions his family still had ties to Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

Younes was Gaddafi's interior minister before defecting to the rebels early in the uprising, which began in February.

Abdul Jalil said that Younes had been summoned for questioning regarding "a military matter." He said Younes and his two aides were shot before they arrived for questioning.
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We didn't have our sons and daughters for war:Indigenous Peoples From Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru and Mexico Meet in Cauca, Colombia

North Cauca, Colombia, June 24, 2011: The first meeting of indigenous women in resistance for the survival and autonomy of their peoples concluded on Friday, after taking place at a shelter in Huellas Caloto in the Bodega Alta district in the Cauca department of Colombia. For four days, women and men from northern Cauca, joined with around 26 national and international organizations, discussed “weaving a memory with words,” and finished the event with a march to the town of Santander de Quilichao.

At the meeting, attendees discussed the need for autonomy with their food, and resistance from women. Seeds and traditional agricultural products were exchanged to reflect truth, justice, reparation and law for both indigenous women and a peace proposal. They also denounced and discussed the armed conflict that the country is living in.


In 1971, indigenous people from northern Cauca formed the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca, which was made up of nine chapters. Currently there are 19 chapters. They fight for their land, food, education, work opportunities and to live in harmony with mother earth. Nelson Lemus Consejero de Paz, with the Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca (ACIN in Spanish initials), said that “the multinational corporations want to dispossess us of our land through war.”

The people have organized cooperatives, including a trout hatchery, yogurt business, crafts market, and more. They are nonviolent, but for many years they have lived with harassment from soldiers. On May 28, 2001, they decided to organize and create what they call the Indigenous Guard, or, Kiwe Thegnas in the Nasa Yuwe indigenous language. The three goals of the group are to “care for, protect, and defend the people,” said Don Germán Valencia and Luis Alberto Mensa, coordinators with the Guard. MORE
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Please, Stop Trying to 'Fix' Honduras: Letter to the Los Angeles Times


A response to the recent Op-Ed entitled “Fixing Honduras” by Noah Feldman, David Landau and Brian Sheppard that was published in the L.A. Times.
This op-ed by US-based constitutional lawyers completely misidentifies the real crisis in Honduras.


For the authors, the problem to be solved is one of political instability, a power struggle amongst politicians that to be avoided by way of slight tweaks to the constitution. The real crisis in Honduras is the 300,000 rural families without access to land, not counting the thousands that have fled the country entirely. It's the poverty rates as high as 80%, where community after community lacks basic sanitation, much less roads or medical clinics. It's the political system that has failed for decades to address these problems.

The arrogance of titling their article 'Fixing Honduras' is that Feldman is assuming that fixing Honduras isn't a job fit for Hondurans, and more importantly, that fixing Honduras isn't precisely what Hondurans themselves are already trying to do by fighting for an entirely new constitution.


Many Hondurans saw the Zelaya presidency, and in particular his proposal to write a new constitution, as the first genuine attempt to address the country's normalized humanitarian crisis. Many people here are demanding more participation in politics as they've lost faith in the traditional political class. They demand evolution from the representative democracy defended by the current constitution, to a more participatory democracy. The details of the new Honduran democracy would be determined through a constitutional assembly that guarantees real participation for all Honduran sectors and geographical regions. Supporters of this bold plan are merely demanding a right to a referendum to see whether Hondurans want to have such an assembly.

In response to this demand, Feldman tells Hondurans that they can't have a referendum without the approval of those very representatives they are rejecting. In their words, such a move would “require the assent of other institutions of government, such as the Congress and the courts, before the executive is able to consult the public for any exercise of direct democracy.” Getting assent from the congress and courts has been proven impossible. The members of these two institutions naturally see direct democracy as a threat, given that it's practice requires a loss of power for them. In taking this position, Feldman is protecting the same status quo that the Honduran military and oligarchy have defended so violently both during and since the coup of June 28th, 2009. MORE



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Zelaya Returns to Honduras but there is a long way to go before democracy returns to Honduras



Transcript


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Massive Turnout for Zelaya Launches New Chapter of Honduran Struggle


'Largest gathering in Honduran history' receives deposed leader's return, but where to now for Honduran resistance movement?

Produced by Jesse Freeston.

For More Visit therealnews.com


Transcript:

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The Maghreb Uprisings: Truth is impossible to find


With all the analysis and news on Libya, we still do not know very much about who the rebels are and where their support comes from. This week I try to shed some light on anti-Gaddafi supporters as presented by Libyan bloggers and Tweeters as well as the highlight the humanitarian crisis which has developed as a result of the intervention. Twitter accounts by far outnumber blogs and many of these consist of photo and video dairies.

...
Feb 17

By far the most informative and interesting site is Feb 17: The Libyan Youth Movement(@Feb17Libya) which has live stream updates from a huge bank of sources – western and Arab media, tweets, personal videos and photos. This report by Ayesha Daya for Bloomberg on who in OPEC and the Middle East is supporting the rebels and how the cartel plan to offset the loss of Libyan oil production – a mix of “personal politics and economic reasoning”.

MORE
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1994 STUDY WAR No MORE THE PRICE OF CONSCIENCE


In retrospect, it's a wonder that the convictions of Capt. Yolanda Huet-Vaughn, M.D., didn't get her in trouble long before the GulfWar. A feminist and ERA advocate, a founding member of Kansas Physicians for Social Responsibility, an outspoken opponent of nuclear and biological warfare and of the Vietnam war, she also served five years of a seven year hitch in the Army, leaving with an honorable discharge in 1982.

Seven years later, the Berlin Wall fell and Huet-Vaughn— wife, mother of three and family doctor at Humana Health Care in Kansas City—suddenly remembered that, although she had been discharged, she really still owed the Army two years of service. "I wanted to be part of the 'New World Order,' " she told ON THE ISSUES.

She re-enlisted in the Army reserves. When Iraq invaded Kuwait, Huet-Vaughn was called to active duty with her unit, the 410th Evacuation Hospital, set to deploy for Saudi Arabia.

Her military (and militant) background began to clash with a slowly emerging pacifism. Huet-Vaughan's father was a doctor; he was also a soldier. A Mexican immigrant who was raised as a staunch Catholic, she idolized Joan of Arc as a martyred soldier of faith. She and two friends had joined the Army Reserve in college partly to make ends meet, partly as an adventure and perhaps partly out of a family history of militant patriotism.

Stunning Change of Heart

The contradictions of Huet-Vaughn's history were not equal to a new world order that included war. Her life imploded; she went AWOL. And she went public, saying, "I am refusing orders to be an accomplice in what I consider an immoral, inhumane, and unconstitutional act, namely an offensive military mobilization in the Middle East. My oath as a citizen soldier to defend the Constitution, my oath as a physician to preserve life and prevent disease, and my responsibility as a human being to the preservation of this planet would be violated if I cooperate with Operation Desert Shield."

For refusing orders Huet-Vaughn was branded as a deserter by the army. She was held under house arrest for four months, court-martialed, and incarcerated in Fort Leavenworth for eight months of a thirty month sentence. She was one of at least 229 solider's to refuse service in the Gulf War. The only other member of the military to receive such a long sentence was Enrique Gonzalez, another Hispanic deeply involved in the Catholic church. Huet-Vaughn senses discrimination in those harsh sentences. She says she "never felt that Hispanics and Catholics had the standing in the eyes of the military that others do."MORE



There were pacifist deserters in "Desert Storm"? (What a fucking irritating name.) Met Crystal Eastman in Dale Spender's Women of ideas and am thinking of feminism and war and peace. Anyone have news links to women resisting wars?
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Kucinich files suit over U.S. involvement in Libya

Antiwar Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) filed suit in federal court Wednesday seeking to halt the U.S. military action in Libya, saying it is unconstitutional.

Kucinich and Republican Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina, another longtime war critic, led a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the latest challenge to the White House's authority to conduct the campaign without seeking congressional approval under the War Powers Act.MORE



White House sees no need for congressional approval on Libya


Calling the U.S. military operation in Libya "limited," the White House says that congressional authorization is not required to continue involvement in the coalition effort there.

That determination was explained in a 30-page memo sent to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, just shy of the 90th day of the engagement of U.S. assets in the Libya campaign.

Lawmakers have become increasingly uneasy over the administration's interactions with Congress about the scope and duration of U.S. involvement in the NATO-led mission.MORE


Truth dispatch: Updates from Libya

Read more... )




In Libya's Gasoline Shortage, Women Get A Break

Read more... )


Libyan rebels wrest western mountain villages

Read more... )

African Leaders Demand Halt to NATO Bombing Campaign in Libya

Read more... )
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PERU: Humala Pledges Justice for Sterilisation Victims


LIMA, Jun 10, 2011 (IPS) - Peruvian President-elect Ollanta Humala will push the legal system to investigate and prosecute those responsible for a massive forced sterilisation campaign targeting poor indigenous women carried out by the government of Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), said the spokeswoman for Humala's party, Aída García Naranjo.

"Humala will live up to the Peruvian state's commitment to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to prevent impunity in the case of victims of female and male sterilisations, which we consider a crime against humanity," García Naranjo told IPS.

"Democracy is not possible in a country where an absence of justice and a sense of collective amnesia are promoted," said the representative of the Gana Perú party.

Under a friendly settlement agreement reached in 2003 with the IACHR, the Peruvian state acknowledged its responsibility, recognised the abuses committed under the family planning programme, and undertook to investigate and bring to trial the government officials who devised and implemented the campaign that carried out tubal ligations and vasectomies among mainly impoverished native rural highlands populations.

In 2010, however, the representative of the Peruvian government announced to the Washington-based IACHR that the attorney general's office had shelved the case. MORE
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PAKISTAN: Women Shield Children From Extremism


VIENNA, Jun 13, 2011 (IPS) - When Farah’s 16-year-old son began to disappear for several nights a week without saying where he went, she was naturally worried. After he returned one day and shattered the television screen in their Peshawar home, the mother of three decided it was time to quit her job as a teacher and to find out what was making her youngest child so angry.

To her horror, the schoolteacher - who requested that her real name not be published - discovered that her son was spending time in the company of people belonging to terrorist groups in Pakistan’s Swat Valley where Farah’s family originally comes from. The boy’s newly found friends were teaching him that it is a sin for his mother to leave home to work everyday and for his sister, a medical student, to talk to friends on the phone.

The teenager, whose name is also withheld for security reasons, was made to believe that it is a sin for good Muslims to watch television as it can distort their way of life and religion. He was being groomed to protect Islam - even if it meant with his life.

"This happened two years ago and I still don’t have the entire story from him," Farah told IPS. Farah was here along with six other mothers from Egypt, Yemen, Nigeria, Israel and Palestine to participate in Mothers MOVE (Mothers Oppose Violent Extremism), a panel presentation hosted by the Vienna-based Women Without Borders (WWB).

"Farah is a perfect example of how educated mothers can act as an early-warning signal to stop radicalisation in its tracks," Edit Schlaffer, founder and head of WWB told IPS.

Farah agrees that more women must be educated to ensure that they are able to creatively guide their children away from dangerous influences. At present the literacy rate of women in Pakistan is 45 percent, in comparison to 69 percent amongst the male population of the country.

Farah appeared at the open house panel presentation in a veil that revealed little else but her eyes, and she told the audience that she would not reveal her real name as she does not want to attract the attention of those she has successfully stopped from brainwashing her son.

What is common amongst Farah and the other women who also shared their experiences with terrorism is the conviction that the personal is political, and that peace starts at home.

MORE
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Violence against Women surges when war is done


Rosemary Gonzalez was murdered in 2009, the victim of a war that ended in 1996. One day, 17-year-old Rosemary said good-bye to her mother Betty, walked out of their small house on the outskirts of Guatemala City and was never seen alive again.
Rosemary and Betty lived together in the poor neighborhood of Barcenas, under the constant shadow of violence. Across Guatemala, nearly 5,000 women have been killed in the past decade, attacked for the simple fact of being women. The women of Barcenas know well this fear—they live at the epicenter of this crisis.

In Guatemala, generations of women have faced murderous violence, but at its core is war. Now, the same dynamic is emerging in Iraq.
Some description of rape and murder and torture under the cut. )
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Millions May Soon Be Fleeing the Floodwaters

OSLO, Jun 9, 2011 (IPS) - Mass migration will inevitably be part of human adaptation to climate change, experts agree, since parts of the world will become uninhabitable in the coming decades.

Last year, 38 million people were displaced by climate-related disasters such as the flooding in Pakistan and China.

"Human displacement due to climate change is happening now. There is no need to debate it," Jonas Gahr Støre, Norway's minister of foreign affairs, told over 200 delegates attending the Nansen Conference on Climate Change and Displacement in the 21st Century in Oslo Jun. 6-7.

Governments and the humanitarian community need to understand this fact - and that it will get much worse in the coming decades, Støre said. MORE
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Via The Angry Black Woman.

Perspective On 9/11 And The Invasions Of Iraq & Afghanistan.

Infographic: Casualties From The War On Terror, 9/11, And The Invasion of Iraq

The stats breakdown are as follows:

September 11th Victims: 0.28%

American Casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq: 0.55%

Afghan Civilian Casualties: 4.39%

Iraqi Civilian Casualties: 94.78%


Also, the comments are pretty... uhmazing.

[Stats were transcribed in TABW blog.]
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WARINING: Descriptions of thoroughly disturbing rape and torture in some paragraphs. Living with the enemy

Applying the ideas of Holocaust survivor Jean Améry to present day Rwanda, our author argues that reconciliation after genocide is just another form of torture.

“Reconciliation” has become a darling of political theorists, journalists, and human-rights activists, especially as it pertains to the rebuilding of postwar and post-genocidal nations. Nowhere is this more so than in the case of Rwanda. Numerous books and articles on the topic—some, though not all, inspired by Christian teachings—pour forth. It can plausibly be argued, of course, that in Rwanda—and in other places, like Sierra Leone and the Balkans, where victims and perpetrators must live more or less together—reconciliation is a political necessity. Reconciliation has a moral resonance, too; certainly it is far better than endless, corpse-strewn cycles of revanchism and revenge. Yet there is sometimes a disturbing glibness when outsiders tout the wonders of reconciliation, as if they are leading the barbarians from darkness into light. Even worse, the phenomenological realities—the human truths—of the victims’ experiences are often ignored or, at best, treated as pathologies that should be “worked through” until the promised land of forgiveness is reached. This is not just a mistake but a dangerous one; for it is doubtful that any sustainable peace, and any sustainable politics, can be built without a better, which is to say a tragic, understanding of those truths.

...

Rwanda—tiny and densely populated—faces a problem that no other country has or does: the Hutu murderers and Tutsi survivors of the 1994 genocide live, side-by-side, in unprecedented intimacy; however monstrous this may seem, Rwanda’s history clearly shows that all other options are worse. The government is dominated by formerly exiled Tutsis of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (imagine if Jews had ruled Germany after World War II); for reasons that are practical and perhaps moral, this government has mandated, from above, an official policy of national reconciliation, however subjectively grueling that may be. As Philip Gourevitch wrote in The New Yorker last year, Rwanda’s political requirements are “emotionally incomprehensible.”

Several years ago, in response to bulging jails and an overwhelmed, dysfunctional justice system, the government made two decisions. In 2003, it released forty thousand imprisoned génocidaires and sent them back to their villages. And it has reinstated the gacaca courts, community-based forums in which perpetrators and victims face each other and are judged by their neighbors; more than a million cases have been heard. These confrontations have been the subject of an enormous amount of international interest, and disputation, from journalists, anthropologists, NGOs, legal scholars, religious activists, and human-rights organizations; the gacaca trials have been praised as an “authentic” form of African justice and derided as kangaroo courts that elide modern legal procedures regarding rights and evidence.

What becomes clear—especially in the remarkable trilogy of books on post-genocide Rwanda by the French journalist Jean Hatzfeld—is that forgiveness and reconciliation are of far less interest to the victims than they are to perpetrators.


MORE
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1. Riz Khan - War and peace in Quran and Bible



2. Dark passages: Does the harsh language in the Koran explain Islamic violence? Don't answer till you've taken a look inside the Bible

Unconsciously, perhaps, many Christians consider Islam to be a kind of dark shadow of their own faith, with the ugly words of the Koran standing in absolute contrast to the scriptures they themselves cherish. In the minds of ordinary Christians - and Jews - the Koran teaches savagery and warfare, while the Bible offers a message of love, forgiveness, and charity. For the prophet Micah, God's commands to his people are summarized in the words "act justly, and love mercy, and walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8). Christians recall the words of the dying Jesus: "Father, forgive them: they know not what they do."

But in terms of ordering violence and bloodshed, any simplistic claim about the superiority of the Bible to the Koran would be wildly wrong. In fact, the Bible overflows with "texts of terror," to borrow a phrase coined by the American theologian Phyllis Trible. The Bible contains far more verses praising or urging bloodshed than does the Koran, and biblical violence is often far more extreme, and marked by more indiscriminate savagery. The Koran often urges believers to fight, yet it also commands that enemies be shown mercy when they surrender. Some frightful portions of the Bible, by contrast, go much further in ordering the total extermination of enemies, of whole families and races - of men, women, and children, and even their livestock, with no quarter granted. One cherished psalm (137) begins with the lovely line, "By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept"; it ends by blessing anyone who would seize Babylon's infants and smash their skulls against the rocks.

To say that terrorists can find religious texts to justify their acts does not mean that their violence actually grows from those scriptural roots. Indeed, such an assumption itself is based on the crude fundamentalist formulation that everything in a given religion must somehow be authorized in scripture. The difference between the Bible and the Koran is not that one book teaches love while the other proclaims warfare and terrorism, rather it is a matter of how the works are read. Yes, the Koran has been ransacked to supply texts authorizing murder, but so has the BibleMORE


Personally, one of the reasons I fled the Christian religion was reading more about the history of colonization, and then rereading the violent parts of the Bible. I couldn't reconcile with a god that would order people to take other people's land, and compounding all of that the Bible was used as justification for European colonization across the planet. Priests and preachers and other religious leaders and followers were all up in the colonization project and many of them still pulling that shit. For me, I cannot countenance a ruling power who advocated this kind of shenanigans, or who did not correct their followers if they were misquoting him. At the same time, the hypocrisy of Christians pretending as if Islam is the root of all evil makes me choke. So.

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