World: News Summary
What's going on with the 51st State? Apparently, our tax dollars are, once again, paying for more militarism, aggression, war crimes, and the like. The Israeli papers are a lot more upfront and honest about this than our worthless fishwrap and birdcage liners over here.
From an article about the Israeli actions in Gaza:
"Better hit an innocent than hesitate to target an enemy," is a typical description by one unidentified soldier of his understanding of instructions repeated at pre-invasion briefings and during the 22-day operation, from Dec. 27 to Jan. 18.Firing at known noncombatants, or at least suspected noncombatants. Thanks to the tax dollars we need so badly to fix our own broken economy.
"If you're not sure, kill. Fire power was insane. We went in and the booms were just mad," says another. "The minute we got to our starting line, we simply began to fire at suspect places. In urban warfare, anyone is your enemy. No innocents."
The 112-page report by Breaking the Silence includes testimonies of 30 soldiers "who served in all sectors of the operation".
And what is this bullshit? Israeli warships and submarines schlepping the Suez Canal? Even as the rest of the world is working to bring Iran back into the fold of nuclear supervision? Why does the State of Israel always have to act like a fucking outlaw? And why do they get away with it?
Here we'd like to stress once again that the State of Israel is a criminal, an aggressor, and a bunch of other really bad shit, but that does not, and should not, reflect on the Israeli people, many of whom speak out bravely and call their government to account for its misdeeds. If we were not paying to support the military hawks, Israel would have a greater chance of allowing the doves to speak the truth, and abiding by international laws. The Israeli people, our brothers and sisters in this struggle, do not benefit from the militaristic attitudes of the State any more than the American people benefited from the war in Iraq.
Meanwhile, Spiegel reports "rioting in France" around Bastille Day, with more than 300 cars turned into nice fiery cindery little mementoes. Of course, you have to read most of the article to find the two pertinent facts underlying this explosion of, um, self-expression. FTA:
Violence on the eve of Bastille Day has become a tradition in France and an outlet for disaffected young men to express their anger at French unemployment rates and a failed integration policy for ethnic minorities.Just skimming the article would leave one with the self-righteous impression that the excitable French, especially those of the younger persuasion, were simply as mad as they had long been reputed to be. Rather than, for example, the fact that the State thinks imposing worse penalties on minorities who have long been left to languish in a second, and more insulting, colonialism is a solution to the valid rage and fury that results as they watch their compatriots murdered and injured by the very instruments of that State. Meanwhile, the little Janus, Sarkozy, celebrated with Manmohan Singh complete with Indian soldiers. India, have you anything to say about these riots?
The Bastille Day riots follow three nights of anarchy on the streets of Firminy near Lyon, as youths protested amid reports of a 21-year-old Algerian man dying in police custody on Wednesday July 8.
More protestors took to the streets of Paris on July 13, claiming police brutality against activist film director Joachim Gatti who lost his right eye on July 8 -- allegedly having been shot by a police flash-ball gun.
Only a note from Africa today, from the Republic of the Congo, where Raw Story reports that 66-year-old Denis Sassou Nguesso, who has ruled virtually unopposed in the Congo for the past 30 years, has won the "peaceful, fair, and free" elections. That the elections were "peaceful," so far as such things go in Third World nations, there is little doubt. As to "fair, and free," we at this fine establishment would like to reserve judgment, if only temporarily. When half the population barely has enough to eat, one suspects they will vote for whoever promises or offers food, and leave niceties such as long-term stability, civil rights, mass education, public health, and anti-corruption drives out of the picture.
The Non-Aligned Movement is in summit this week, according to a report from Raw Story. The Movement includes 118 member countries from the developing world, including India, whose Jawaharlal Nehru was the primary impetus behind this association of developing nations, and Egypt, whose Gamel Abdel Nasser was one of the first to respond to Nehru's call.
The body will be seeking to establish better protection for its member nations against the type of global economic meltdown that recently occurred. Also under discussion is the perennial issue of the UN Security Council, which has for decades been dominated by certain nations. On a positive note, Indian and Pakistani representatives to the council will be trying to restart the recently stalled peace talks. Go for it, guys.
When and how will Pakistan dig itself out of the hideous situation in which it currently finds itself? It is, at least in embryo, a failed state. And, it has, as my friend, a VN Vet, says, THE BOMB.
From Russia, Raw Story is reporting the abduction and murder of internationally known human rights activist Natalya Estemirova. Ms. Estemirova worked for Memorial, a Russian NGO. She was shot dead in Ingushetia. Reuters has more information about Ms. Estemirova. FTA:
Estemirova has been at the forefront of efforts to investigate human rights violations and (has) work(ed) for accountability in Chechnya for more than 10 years. Her efforts brought criticism from the Chechen authorities, including the republic's president Ramzan Kadyrov. Forces under his command have been accused of multiple and repeated human rights abuses, including killings, torture, and disappearances, yet few perpetrators have been held to account in Russia. In more than 100 judgments to date, the European Court of Human Rights has found Russia responsible for grave human rights violations in Chechnya, highlighting the lack of accountability for such crimes.Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is reported to be outraged at the crime and has ordered a full investigation. This is more likely to yield results than a local government investigation in Chechnya, which is restive, therefore allowing such crimes to be carried out with impunity. Stumble It!