Sunday, September 18, 2005

Reporting from outside the US mainstream media

Ty and Jess doing these posts and we didn't play "favorites" but if we knew the member, we were more likely to include what they e-mailed about. That's not "personally know." Just know them from this site or the gina & krista round-robin.

We're going to start things off with Domnick who e-mailed to note this thing from Ireland's Indymedia. Thanks to Dominick, members have long been aware that Shannon airport in Ireland is a stop over for the U.S. torture jets. Saturday a press conference was supposed to be held and this is from the press release on that (from "Shannon Torture and War Planes" by Edward Horgan)

A press conference will be held at 2 pm on Saturday 17th September at the Oakwood Arms in Shannon to reveal details of three important issues.
1. CIA Torture aircraft are regularly using Shannon airport, with the approval of the Irish Government, in contravention of the UN Convention Against Torture and the Universal Declaration of Human Right. The UN Commission on Human Rights has recently announced that it will investigate allegations of Irish and British complicity in the illegal transport of prisoners for torture to countries such as Egypt, Jordan and Israel.
2. There are serious public safety and security concerns due to the transport of explosives and munitions through Shannon airport without the approval of Clare County Council Planning Department.
3. This press conference will also be used to present details of the Peace Rally at Shannon airport due to be held on the following Saturday 24th September.

That's pretty incredible that their will be a rally in Ireland on the 24th and it should make U.S. members of the community determined all the more to be counted this weekend.

Via Watching America, Lynda found this from France's Le Monde, "Just saying no" by Alain Gresh:

It is unlikely that any country will emerge to rival the US during the coming decade in the way that the Soviet Union did in the second half of the 20th century. Yet, despite its unrivalled military power, the US is still bogged down in Iraq, facing a resistance movement whose few thousands of fighters successfully tie down 148,000 US soldiers. The scandals of Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, torture and the erosion of civil liberties, undermine the claims by the US and some in Europe (the double-act called "the West") that they alone are capable of defining universal values of human rights, democracy and liberty and have the authority to decide between good and evil, between which regimes are acceptable and which not, which are to have sanctions imposed on them and which not.
Everywhere there is a rejection of the media-promoted attempts of "the West" to impose shortsighted views of the world and dubious definitions of legality and morality. The success of satellite television channels in the Arab world, particularly Al Jazeera, and the launch of the Telesur satellite in South America, prove people’s unwillingness to be subjected, and this is evident in all areas of political, economic and cultural life (although it sometimes takes the deviant form of religious or national extremism, feeding the idea of a clash of civilisations).
In the early 18th century Europe was able to impose its hegemony on other powers. History has shown that this primacy derived from a particular conjuncture of advantages afforded by the colonial possession of North America and by trade (2). This translated into a military supremacy that enabled the old continent to impose colonialism on the rest of the world. Europe sought to legitimate this domination by a claimed millennial superiority of its values and thought, particularly Greek philosophy (3), despising all other cultures as barbaric or inferior. Now it seems that the US, and sometimes Europe, have returned to these earlier prejudices. They should remember that, no matter how developed or advanced, the colonial empires all eventually vanished.

Olive wanted everyone to pay attention to the increasing outbreaks of bird flu and she notes Australia's ABC's Reuter's article "Indonesia confirms fourth human bird flu death:"

Indonesia says tests show bird flu killed a woman who died last week in a Jakarta hospital after she was admitted, suffering from pneumonia and flu-like respiratory problems.
The woman is Indonesia's fourth human death from the virus.
"It's positive for H5N1," I Nyoman Kandun, director-general of disease control at the Health Ministry, said, referring to the virus.

Bernardo also wanted to note the bird flu and he e-mailed to note The Irish Examiner's
"Zoo closes after Bird Flu outbreak:"

The main zoo in Indonesia’s capital was shut down after 19 of its birds died of the avian influenza that has killed four people in the sprawling country, officials said today.
The zoo will be closed for at least three weeks pending an investigation. Birds that test positive for the disease will be killed, all others will be vaccinated against the deadly virus.
Three patients, meanwhile, were being treated as suspected bird flu cases at the Sulianti Saroso Infectious Disease Hospital, said Dr Santoso Suroso, who was awaiting lab tests to confirm whether or not they had the illness.

Kara e-mails to note Shlomo Shamir and Aluf Benn's "Iran calls on UN to probe how Israel acquired nuclear weapons" from Israel's Haaretz:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Saturday a UN committee should investigate how Israel acquired nuclear weapons.In an unyielding speech to the General Assembly, Ahmadinejad said his country had the inalienable right to produce nuclear energy and accused the United States of violating a treaty banning the spread of atomic weapons. Seeking to turn the tables of Western powers that suspect Tehran of developing nuclear weapons, Ahmadinejad offered to allow other countries and private companies to participate in his country's uranium enrichment program to prove that Tehran is not producing nuclear weapons.
Calling the charge that Iran is seeking to produce nuclear weapons "a pure propaganda ploy," Ahmadinejad said Iran has a right to a nuclear fuel program, but stressed that the country's "religious principles" prevent it from seeking atomic weapons.

KeShawn e-mails to note Alejandro Kirk's "Chávez Issues Challenge for a More Democratic U.N." (IPS):

Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez criticised the United Nations General Assembly, the North and the United States, and denounced the U.N. World Summit's outcome document as "unlawful".
But many of the national leaders who endorsed the document Friday were likely among those who applauded Thursday when Chávez delivered his fiery address before the gathering of some 170 heads of state and government for the three-day 2005 World Summit.
"This is over. This document, the manner in which it was conceived, its contents, how they are eroding the modest Millennium Goals, all this shows that at 60, the United Nations system is suffering from terminal cancer," Chávez said.
Three times delegates interrupted Chávez to applaud, especially when he said that the document had been imposed by diktat by the General Assembly president, Jan Eliesson, the Swedish ambassador to Washington. Eliesson, meanwhile, appeared irritated by the length of Chávez's speech.
At a press conference later, the Venezuelan president said that the United Nations, as it is now, is of no use and will have to be rebuilt from scratch. The document, ostensibly approved by consensus Tuesday, was negotiated by an "elite" group of 30 countries and submitted "five minutes before the session started", he charged.

Brenda e-mails to steer us towards Dan Plesch's "The United Nations in Bush’s firing-line" (openDemocracy):

A key question that is barely mentioned in the establishment media is the way that elements in the United States – and others now horrified at the behaviour revealed in the report – turned a blind eye to and probably participated in the scandal. Paul Volcker has avoided naming the companies involved in the corruption, promising a list at some future date. Will the list include US companies that were taking the lions’ share of Iraqi oil production prior to the invasion? There is also no discussion at present of why, when the Americans and British seemed able routinely to listen to conversations around the UN, they were apparently ignorant of malpractice during the years of the oil-for-food programme.
The not-so-hidden agenda is to weaken the United Nations by depriving it of political and financial investment and then deride it for the very weakness that results. The United States has pursued a cover strategy, stretching back at least to the early years of the Bill Clinton administration, of seeking to free itself from such tiresome constraints as the need for a United Nations mandate for military action.
In a 1994
study of Nato, peacekeeping and the United Nations, several colleagues and I reported that the US mission to Nato had circulated a “non-paper” (as unattributable informal documents are called) on precisely this topic. The “non-paper” – entitled “with the UN whenever possible, without the UN whenever necessary” – argued that UN authority should be replaced with Nato’s. The Bush administration and its supporters have gone further, declaring a policy of unilateral action that requires a permission slip from no one.
In undermining the UN’s authority and in failing to adhere to UN conventions on issues as wide-ranging as terrorism, bio-weapons and the rights of the child, the US often finds itself in company with those unsavoury regimes such as
Sudan which it vilifies for non-compliance with human-rights standards.

There are several e-mails highlighting articles on Germany's election. They go back and forth and a winner is ___ one minute and the next story declares something different. More recent e-mails suggest it's "too close to call." It could be really amusing on our part to make pithy remarks but this is a serious matter to Germany. So for DK and other members in Germany will note that the winner is not clear and not butt into your country's business on an issue that lacks clarity at this time.

What we will note is an article that DK e-mailed from Der Spiegel, "A New Wave of Violence Threatens Congo:"

Africa's bloodiest war shows signs of flaring up once again. In eastern Congo, a brutal warlord is gathering his forces and has threatened to topple the government. Many see neighboring Rwanda behind the renewed saber-rattling.
Even for eastern Congo, General Laurent Nkunda is a brutal butcher. Last year, his band of soldiers spent a week occupying the border town of Bukavu in South Kivu province, a region rich in natural resources. When Nkunda's killer gangs finally left the town, the shops in once-lively Bukavu had been looted and its streets were lined with corpses, the men massacred with machetes and countless women raped and then beaten to death.
Until Nkunda's visit, Bukavu had almost miraculously been an island of normalcy amid the vast sea of violence Congo had become. Daring tourists even continued to come to embark on gorilla safaris in the nearby Kahuzi Biega National Park. At the L'Orchidée Guest House, idyllically positioned on the banks of Lake Kivu, they would watch the sunsets over glasses of Primus Beer or Chablis, nibble on steak tartare, and listen to the sounds of rumba drifting in from nearby villages in the night.
But ever since General Nkunda was here, the mood in Bukavu has been one of naked fear -- and recently, it's gotten even worse. Women are hastily packing up their belongings and fleeing into the jungle. Nkunda is back, and the already shaken city is threatened with even more death and destruction.

Catherine e-mails to note Stephen Boykewich's "Anti-Capitalism and Agitprop in the Rain" from The Moscow Times:

More than 1,000 young left-wing protesters braved Saturday's downpour to march amid a heavy police presence in the demonstration Anti-Capitalism 2005. While the young activists called it proof of the depth of their convictions, numerous onlookers said it was proof their loyalties had been bought and paid for.
A light drizzle started at noon as young people from Red Youth Vanguard, Eduard Limonov's National Bolshevik Party, and the youth wings of the Rodina and Communist parties formed a column in the park on Chistoprudny Bulvar, chanting slogans such as "Socialism or death!" and "Capitalism is crap!"

James in Brighton e-mails to note one of the Bullies Without Borders snubbing fellow leaders. From The Guardian's "Rice too busy for women foreign ministers' dinner" by Jamie Wilson:

The US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, probably the world's most powerful woman, has turned down a dinner date with other female foreign ministers at the UN general assembly to discuss women's rights, citing a busy schedule.
"There is no slight intended. There are many different scheduling demands on the secretary," a state department spokesman told Reuters. Fifteen of the 17 female foreign ministers were due to attend last night with only Ms Rice and Roza Otunbayeva of Kyrgyzstan absent.

Pru e-mailed an article will note in a second. First, we'll say hi to Pru and tell members if you missed the historical analysis on the Labour party (that's how it's spelled in England) that she wrote for the gina & krista round-robin Friday, you missed a lot. So go to your e-mail inboxes and open it up. Pru's highlighting this from England's Socialist Worker:

"Guantanamo hunger strike is in its second month"
Many of the detainees held without trial in the US camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba are so desperate that they have embarked on a hunger strike in order to have their cases heard.
The 200 hunger strikers are simply asking for a fair hearing and are using the only power left to them. There are currently 500 people detained in Guantanamo, many who have been held for over three years without trial or proper legal access.
"They truly feel they have nothing left," said attorney David Remes, who represents several Yemeni detainees. "I'm not sure what the end point will be. But I do predict there will be death."
Binyam Mohammed, formerly of London, told his attorney, "I do not plan to stop until I die or we are respected. People will definitely die."
One of the prisoners currently on hunger strike is Omar Deghayes. He has been held in Guantanamo since September 2002 after being arrested in Pakistan.
His father was a Libyan trade union leader who was murdered by the Libyan secret police in March 1980 -- after which the family fled to Britain.
Omar has had refugee status in the UK since 1987, and his family are all British citizens -- yet the British government has refused to intervene in his case.
His brother Abu Baker Deghayes spoke to Socialist Worker about the conditions Omar faces in Guantanamo.
"Our solicitor, Clive Stafford Smith, told us the sad news that my brother Omar and other detainees are on the fifth week of a hunger strike because of the oppressive situation and terrible treatment in Guantanamo.
"They're denying them all their rights as human beings.
"The whole family feels very helpless and really worried.
"We're concerned that our government is not doing anything, and doesn't seem to be trying to do anything, to solve our problems.
"They're turning a blind eye to oppression and injustice.
"We're having the Labour Party conference here in Brighton in a couple of weeks.
"The Justice for Omar Deghayes campaign is planning to do something at the conference, to express our voices to the people responsible.
"We've been lobbying our local MP, Des Turner. He promised to arrange a meeting with the home secretary, to get him to meet with Clive Stafford Smith.
"Unfortunately Des Turner hasn't been successful -- he says that after what happened in London, the home secretary is too busy.
"There's also an Early Day Motion that’s received some support -- ten to 15 MPs have signed it. People should lobby their local MPs to sign it too.
"We've experienced the loss of my father in conditions of injustice and oppression. He was a lawyer and a trade union activist, a campaigner for human rights and democracy.
"We don't want to lose a brother in similar conditions.
"It's heartbreaking. He's not entitled to anything, no courts, no rights whatsoever. The US is supposed to be the most democratic country in the world, but it’s the same situation as being in a dictatorship.
"I'm planning to be on the 24 September Stop the War demonstration. We try to use every occasion to highlight what’s happening to my brother, because what he's going through is very risky."
© Copyright Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original and leave this notice in place.

E-mail address for this site is This was Ty and Jess of The Third Estate Sunday Review and we hope you found some interesting things. These are one of our favorite regular entries. The key, according to C.I., is to find the e-mails where members are passionate about something. That usually means it's not the story everyone else is talking about. We tried to do that and we hope we did at least once. We'd heard from Ava that these entries take several hours to do even after you've picked out what to highlight. We didn't believe it until we got started. After reading e-mails this has taken about two and a half hours to do both entries (we're on two screens).