Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Australian Anti Terror Detentions

Justice, The Australian Way By Ghali Hassan

Can you imagine what would happen if Dr Haneef is a white Anglo-Australian detained in India, accused of trafficking in narcotic drugs? Actually, you don’t have to imagine. The entire Indian justice system will be on trial in Australia, accused of corruption and injustice. In Australia, a Guantanamo Bay justice applied to Dr Haneef even with the presumption of innocence. Dr Mohammed Haneef, the 27-year-old Indian-born Muslims doctor working in the Gold Coast, was arrested by Australian Federal Police (AFP) on 02 July 2007 at Brisbane Airport on his way to visit his young family in India. Using the draconian anti-Muslims “terrorism laws”, the AFP detained and interrogated Dr Haneef for 12 days without charge and without access to legal advice. He was accused of “providing resources to terrorists”. As pressure mounted by Dr Haneef’s legal team for his release, Dr Haneef was charged with “recklessly” giving his pre-paid SIM card to his second cousin last year. Dr Haneef’s cousin was allegedly involved in the recent failed attacks in Britain. The SIM card was not used in the attack and was seized by police eight hours after Haneef's cousin Sabeel Ahmed was arrested in Liverpool. Ahmed was charged only with withholding information which would remove Haneef's alleged link to the Glasgow attack.

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Bush Administration Threatens Military Intervention In Pakistan

Bush Administration Threatens Military Intervention In Pakistan By Peter Symonds

The Bush administration this week signalled a tough new stance on Pakistan, demanding that military strongman General Pervez Musharraf takes action against Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters in areas bordering Afghanistan, and threatening US strikes if he failed to do so. White House spokesman Tony Snow told the US media on Thursday that Musharraf was “going to have to be more aggressive”, in dealing with security problems in the border regions. Asked if US military forces would be sent into Pakistan, Snow declared: “We never rule out any options, including striking actionable targets.” Bush’s Homeland Security Adviser Frances Townsend delivered essentially the same message during a media conference on Tuesday on the latest National Intelligence Estimate, which claimed that Al Qaeda had regenerated in “safehavens” in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). She diplomatically declared that Musharraf was a key ally in “war on terrorism” and hailed his speech against “extremism” following the Pakistan military’s bloody seizure of the Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, in Islamabad last week.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Workers urge airlines to Stop Deportations

Workers Urge Air France Chiefs to Stop Expelling Immigrants July 12, 2007 - The Associated Press

PARIS: Airline unions urged Air France on Thursday to stop expelling illegal immigrants on its flights, saying the practice upsets flight attendants and passengers and may hurt business at France's flagship carrier. Workers for five unions were presenting their demands at the Air France-KLM annual shareholders' meeting in Paris. For years unions have urged the airline to halt the expulsions, but the demand attracted extra attention this year because of President Nicolas Sarkozy's determination to step up expulsions as part of his tougher policies on immigration. Every year, thousands of illegal immigrants are put aboard Air France flights and sent to their homelands, sometimes handcuffed and escorted by police. On occasions, they resist and must be forcibly restrained. Air France unions CGT, CFDT, SUD, ALTER and SPAF voted Tuesday to ask the company to refuse to transport expelled immigrants.

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Overcoming the conspiracy against Palestine

Overcoming the conspiracy against Palestine Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 18 July 2007

"Be certain that Yasser Arafat's final days are numbered, but allow us to finish him off our way, not yours. And be sure as well that ... the promises I made in front of President Bush, I will give my life to keep." Those words were written by the Fatah warlord Mohammed Dahlan, whose US- and Israeli-backed forces were routed by Hamas in the Gaza Strip last month, in a 13 July 2003 letter to then Israeli defense minister Shaul Mofaz and published on Hamas' website on 4 July this year.Dahlan, who despite his failure to hold Gaza, remains a senior advisor to Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, outlines his conspiracy to overthrow Arafat, destroy Palestinian institutions and replace them with a quisling leadership subservient to Israel. Dahlan writes of his fear that Arafat would convene the Palestinian legislative council and ask it to withdraw confidence from then prime minister Mahmoud Abbas, who had been appointed earlier in 2003 at Bush's insistence in order to curb Arafat's influence. Dahlan wrote that "complete coordination and cooperation by all" was needed to prevent this, as well as "subjecting [Arafat] to pressure so that he cannot carry out this step." Dahlan reveals that "we have already begun attempts to polarize the views of many legislative council members by intimidation and temptation so that they will be on our side and not his [Arafat's]."

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Harper’s foreign policy of American convenience.

Harper’s foreign policy of American convenience.

Stephen Harper has been making much of himself lately, promoting his version of how to achieve global peace and prosperity, with talks and presentations on Afghanistan and Columbia. The central tenet of his global approach is apparently to support those ideas and governments that are of convenience to American foreign policy. He visited Columbia, a country ravaged by decades of insurgency and para-military violence supposedly centred on the cocaine drug trade. Uribe, Columbia’s leader, has ties to the paramilitaries, ties to the drug trade (the two are strongly related) and his election, if not outright fraudulent, was a result of a population in which mainly the rich right wing elite voted, the others having opted out through fear and futility. The under-riding problem here is the United States interference in the economy and politics of the country through the advancement of the rights of large corporations over those of the people – Coca-Cola and Cochabamba (think Bechtel) are two examples of this. The process also works through its ongoing multi-billion dollar decades long “war on drugs” that has only increased the insecurity of the area through, in part, the paramilitary training received by the right-wing death squads at the School of the Americas in Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia. (now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Operations). Harper also spoke out on Afghanistan, starting with the two dozen Canadians killed in the World Trade Center attacks, collateral damage using western definitions of such atrocities. Harper complained about Canada’s “disproportionate” share of the military burden in Afghanistan, saying that without more support it would, “slip back into the status of being a failed state that represents a threat to the security of the planet.”

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tale Of Two Genocides:Congo And Darfur

A Tale Of Two Genocides,Congo And Darfur By Glen Ford 18 July, 2007

Possibly a quarter million people have lost their lives in Darfur, western Sudan, in ethnic conflict. The U.S. government screams its head off in denunciation of genocide, in this case. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as many as five million have died since 1994 in overlapping convulsions of ethnic and state-sponsored massacre. Not a word of reproach from Washington. A human death toll that approaches the Nazi's annihilation of Jews in World War Two - an ongoing holocaust - unfolds without a whiff of complaint from the superpower. Why is mass death the cause of indignation and confrontation in Sudan, but exponentially more massive carnage in Congo unworthy of mention? The answer is simple: in Sudan, the U.S. has a geopolitical nemesis to confront: Arabs, and their Chinese business partners. In the Congo, it is U.S allies and European and American corporate interests that benefit from the slaughter. Therefore, despite five million skeletons lying in the ground, there is no call to arms from the American government. It is they who set the genocidal Congolese machine in motion.

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SPP- Militarization And Annexation Of North America

The Militarization And Annexation Of North America By Stephen Lendman

Besides the Bush administration's imperial aims and permanent war on the world, add the one at home below the radar. Its weapons include the WTO, NAFTA, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), FBI, CIA, NSA, NORTHCOM, militarized state and local police, National Guard forces, paramilitary mercenaries like Blackwater USA, and all other repressive instruments of state power and control. They target the people of three nations slowly becoming one headquartered in Washington. That's the apparent aim of those in power here wanting one continent, "indivisible" minus old-fashioned ideas like "liberty and justice for all" we used to believe in when, as kids, we recited our "Pledge of Allegiance." They now have a whole new meaning. They're just words drummed into young minds hoping they'll still believe them when they're old enough to know better. There may be a greater scheme for the planet ahead, but this article only focuses on what we know about and how it's unfolding so far. It has a name, in fact, several, but they all aim for the same thing - one nation, indivisible, where three sovereign ones once stood, headquartered in Washington.

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Israeli Apartheid

Israeli Apartheid by Bruce Dixon in Black Commentator July 16, 2007

Imagine, if you will, a modern apartheid state with first, second and eleventh class citizens, all required to carry identification specifying their ethnic origin. First class citizens are obliged to serve in the armed forces, kept on ready reserve status until in their forties, and accorded an impressive array of housing, medical, social security, educational and related benefits denied all others. Second class citizens are exempted from military service and from a number of the benefits accorded citizens of the first class. They are issued identity documents and license plates that allow them to be profiled by police at a distance. Second class citizens may not own land in much of the country and marriages between them and first class citizens are not recognized by the state. Second class citizens are sometimes arrested without trial and police torture, while frowned upon and occasionally apologized for, commonly occurs. Citizens of the eleventh class, really not citizens at all, have no rights citizens of the first class or their government are bound to respect. Their residence is forbidden in nearly nine-tenths of the country, all of which they used to own.

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Fencing the US- Mexico Border: Boeing's High-Tech Plan

Fencing the Border: Boeing's High-Tech Plan Falters by Joseph Richey, Special to Corp WatchJuly 9th, 2007

A 28-mile stretch of the Sonoran desert that straddles the U.S.-Mexico border west of the city of Nogales, Arizona, is a sun-baked battleground. Pronghorn antelope, javelina, rattlers, a few pigmy owls, and even jaguars compete for scarce resources amidst the saguaro, mesquite, and prickly pear. Also struggling for survival in the parched landscape are hundreds of migrants who hike the miles of uncharted northbound trails and roads pursued by border patrol officers, security contractors, and law enforcement agents. Many of the would-be immigrants are captured, processed and deported; some are identified as criminal aliens and detained; others make it into the U.S. to take low-wage jobs; and hundreds more die every year in the searing desert heat. A new predator is on the horizon. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued task orders to physically and electronically seal this stretch of the desert under a multi-billion dollar contract named the Secure Border Initiative Net (SBInet) to curb the flow of undocumented immigrants, drugs, and potential terrorists by 2013. This first $20 million pilot phase, which is named Project 28 after the length of this part of the desert that it is supposed to cover, was to be completed by mid-June 2007.

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The “Canadian Ministers” of Hamid Karzai’s Afghan government

The “Canadian Ministers” of Hamid Karzai’s Afghan government By Guy Charron4 July 2007

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has deployed a Strategic Advisory Team (SAT) composed of some 15 people to Kabul with the mandate of working “directly with the Afghan government” to impose the neo-colonial agenda of the western powers. Canada is a key participant in the US-NATO military occupation of Afghanistan and a bulwark of the US-installed puppet government of Hamid Karzai—a government composed of warlords guilty of horrific crimes against the Afghan people and that is detested by many both for its corruption and for being in Washington’s pocket. The CAF participated in the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and since the summer of 2005 has been in the forefront of the fight against the Taliban insurgency in the country’s south. Dubbed “Operation Angus” by the CAF, SAT’s role complements and broadens Canada’s role in propping up the Karzai government. Despite its military origins, SAT exerts principally a political function. In the words of the Canadian Ministry of Defence, “the teams are embedded in their partner Afghan Government ministries and agencies.”

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

U.S. Border Fence Protrudes Into Mexico

By ALICIA A. CALDWELL. The Associated Press. June 29, 2007

COLUMBUS, N.M. -- The 1.5-mile barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border was designed to keep cars from illegally crossing into the United States. There's just one problem: It was accidentally built on Mexican soil. Now embarrassed border officials say the mistake could cost the federal government more than $3 million to fix.

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SANE: An Islamophobic group attempts to banish Islam from the U.S.

By Abdus Sattar Ghazali. 17 June 2007

Stepping into the foot prints of Daniel Pipes, Islamophobist and founder of anti-Islam and anti-Muslim forums such as Middle East Forumand Campus Watch, another pro-Israeli Islamophobist, David Yerushalmi, has established an anti-Islam group known with the acronym SANE: the Society of Americans for National Existence. The sole objective of the group is banishing Islam from the US by making "adherence to Islam" punishable by 20 years in prison.

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Commencement Message to Indigenous Law Grads: "Pick your path carefully"

MNN. June 17, 2007.

The following question came to MNN from an Indigenous law grad, “...do you feel comfortable passing yourself off as a legal authority?” Yeah! On our law! Obviously this law graduate has been totally indoctrinated. He assumes that law is the exclusive preserve of “experts”. Law is based on prior and informed consent of the people concerned, not on the power to conquer, oppress and control. In a real democracy law is made and known by all. It’s not based on authority. There is a presumption that ignorance of the law is no excuse. So ignorance of our original law and inherent jurisdiction by the colonists is no excuse for their criminality.

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Latin America: Black Women on the Bottom Rung

By Diego Cevallos. MEXICO CITY, Jun 19 (IPS)

There are at least 75 million black women in Latin America and the Caribbean, but those who occupy high-level political or public administration posts number less than 50. As activists pointed out to IPS this week, black women are at the very bottom of the social ladder in this region.

"The inequality suffered by Afro-descendants is plain to see. There are few or no spaces where we are decision-makers. Our situation is one of the worst," said Dorotea Wilson, head of the Red de Mujeres Afrolatinoamericanas, Afrocaribeñas y de la Diáspora (Network of Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latino Women), made up of groups of black women activists from 33 countries.

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Vancouver: Mexicans Denied Entry to Canada for 'Looking Poor'

by EMIR OLIVARES ALONSO; 26/06/2007 - La Jornada.
[NOII note: this is a rough translation, click here for original article]

Under the criteria of appearance, Canadian immigration authorities denied entry to three Mexicans who were trying to enter the country as tourists, because "they didn't appear to have money and looked very poor".

The co-nationals suffered humiliation during more than 24 hours, one of the victims said. He said that authorities did strip searches and revisions (searches?) of their belongings at least four times and then took them tothe Vancouver police headquarters (detention centre?) where they were handcuffed, booked and detained.

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62 migrant deaths in US detention since 2004

New Scrutiny as Immigrants Die in Custody
By NINA BERNSTEIN. June 26, 2007

Sandra M. Kenley was returning home from her native Barbados in 2005 when she was swept into the United States’ fastest-growing form of incarceration, immigration detention.

Seven weeks later, Ms. Kenley died in a rural Virginia jail, where she had complained of not receiving medicine for high blood pressure. She was one of 62 immigrants to die in administrative custody since 2004, according to a new tally by Immigration and Customs Enforcement that counted many more deaths than the 20 previously known.

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