The overarching challenge in the world today is: how do we advance the institutions and practices capable of enacting a desirable quality of life for a burgeoning global population of 6.5 billion people? And how do we accomplish that in a way that does not burn up the planet in a Venus atmosphere of our own creation? That is a tall order to fill, yet it is the defining task of the 21st century.
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Gerhard Frey has created a petition to the German parliament, the Bundestag, to add an article to the German constitution identical to Article 5 of the 2008 Constitution of Ecuador which reads:
"Article 5. Ecuador is a territory of peace. The establishment of foreign military bases or foreign facilities for military purposes shall not be allowed. It is forbidden to transfer national military bases to foreign armed or security forces."
By MARK LANDLER
IT may seem strange in an era of cyberwarfare and drone attacks, but the newest front in the rivalry between the United States and China is a tropical sea, where the drive to tap rich offshore oil and gas reserves has set off a conflict akin to the gunboat diplomacy of the 19th century.
The Obama administration first waded into the treacherous waters of the South China Sea last year when Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton declared, at a tense meeting of Asian countries in Hanoi, that the United States would join Vietnam, the Philippines and other countries in resisting Beijing’s efforts to dominate the sea. China, predictably, was enraged by what it viewed as American meddling.
For all its echoes of the 1800s, not to mention the cold war, the showdown in the South China Sea augurs a new type of maritime conflict — one that is playing out from the Mediterranean Sea to the Arctic Ocean, where fuel-hungry economic powers, newly accessible undersea energy riches and even changes in the earth’s climate are conspiring to create a 21st-century contest for the seas.
The international public has so far been oblivious to the so-called “KCK operations” carried out in Turkey by Prime Minister Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party for the past two years. Under the guise of “fighting terrorism,” the Erdogan government has been using the judiciary, the police, and the media to penalize all civic activism in support of rights demanded by Kurdish citizens in Turkey. The “KCK operations” in particular have been deployed to spread fear amongst activists, to silence public dissent, and to normalize the arbitrary arrest of citizens. Ironically, the Erdogan government’s suppression of dissent and of democratic politics has visibly intensified at a time when “Turkish democracy” is being hailed as a model for the Arab world.
Since 2009, as many as 7748 people have been taken under custody on the alleged grounds that they are associated with the KCK—an organization claimed to be the urban branch of the armed organization known as the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party)—while 3895 people have been arrested and imprisoned without even the prospect of a trial in the foreseeable future. Elected mayors, public intellectuals, members of civic associations, journalists, university students, researchers, academics, and activists have all been undergoing this heavy-handed treatment.
One of the latest victims of the Erdogan government’s assault on public dissent is Professor Busra Ersanli of Marmara University, a highly respected academic. Her only apparent “crime” is to have played an active role within BDP (Peace and Democracy Party), which has been struggling for the rights of Kurdish citizens in Turkey. The members of this party have been systematically targeted by counterterrorism units’ arbitrary arrests, even as the party currently holds seats in the parliament. Professor Ersanli was to attend a conference on “Controversial Issues in the History of the Turkish Republic” at Istanbul Bilgi University on 29 October 2011, but she was taken under custody on 28 October. On the same day, Ragıp Zarakolu—a founding member of the Human Rights Association and the former chair of the “Writers in Prison Committee” of the International PEN organization in Turkey—was also taken under custody within the framework of the “KCK operations.”
Earlier in October 2011, Ayse Berktay (Hacimirzaoglu)—a renowned translator, researcher, and global peace and justice activist—was taken by the police from her home in Istanbul five o’clock in the morning and subsequently arrested. She still remains imprisoned for the foreseeable future. Professor Busra Ersanli, Ragip Zarakolu, and Ayse Berktay are among thousands of people who have been imprisoned and silenced in the last two years.
Under such political conditions that are only getting worse, it has become an urgent task to unmask the arbitrary and authoritarian character of the Turkish government's handling of the Kurdish issue. We are calling on friends abroad to spread the news and to build international pressure, which has become especially crucial and urgent at this time when any citizen of Turkey could be targeted by the Erdogan government, the judiciary, and the police for engaging in political acts of solidarity with those detained under the “KCK operations.”
Peace can never be achieved under the current conditions of public fear, paranoia, and authoritarian politics. Please sign the petition below to put pressure on the Turkish government to immediately release all those who have been taken under custody as part of the “KCK operations” and to demand that Prime Minister Erdogan’s government make a sincere commitment to ending its suppression of civic efforts in support of rights demanded by Kurdish citizens in Turkey.
By William Fisher, The Public Record
Turns out that after all the investigations in a raft of countries, a virtual treasure trove of never-seen-before documents has reached the major European legal charity, Reprieve.
As a result, Reprieve is calling on Lithuanian authorities to re-open their investigation into CIA renditions and secret prisons on their own soil, and to focus on a newly-discovered web of new documents exposing well-disguised CIA flights through Europe that demonstrate the European Union’s complicity in the CIA’s secret prisons program.
Reprieve charges that “data focusing on Lithuania, but linked to suspected CIA activity in a raft of other countries in Europe, North America, the Middle East and North Africa, has been identified by Reprieve investigators and passed to the Lithuanian prosecutor.”
In a letter to Lithuania’s Deputy Prosecutor General, Darius Raulušaitis, Reprieve’s Director, Clive Stafford Smith said: “Compelling new information that has now come to light about the landings of CIA-connected planes in Lithuania makes a rigorous and wide-ranging investigation all the more urgent. It is now clear that previous efforts to chart the extent of the CIA’s rendition operations in Europe revealed ONLY the tip of the iceberg.”
Reprieve claims that the new documents show that:
- Lithuania’s attempts to establish what the CIA did in the country between 2004-06 have been oddly unsuccessful, failing to identify key clues to several potential rendition flights;
- Two flights entered Lithuania from Morocco and Bucharest – known secret prison sites – in February 2005, around the time that ‘High Value Detainee’ Abu Zubaydah was transferred to a CIA black site in Lithuania;
- A crucial plane identified by the previous Lithuanian inquiry (registered as N787WH) tried to disguise its true destination (Lithuania) by filing a route plan to Gothenburg, Sweden;
- Many other European countries now linked to the CIA’s rendition flight program have questions to answer, including Austria, Canada, Germany, Iceland, Jordan, Portugal, Romania and the USA;
STOP THE WAR COALITION Newsletter No.1225 11 November 2011 Email email@example.com Tel: 020 7801 2768 Web: http://stopwar.org.uk Twitter: http://twitter.com/STWuk Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stopthewarcoalition 1) MAKE REMEMBRANCE DAY A DAY TO END WARS 2) DON'T ATTACK IRAN 3) STOP THE WAR FUNDRAISING DINNER 4) STOP DRONE WARFARE ***************** 1) MAKE REMEMBRANCE DAY A DAY TO END WARS Anti war campaigners will be joining Remembrance Day ceremonies in towns and cities across the country and laying white poppy wreaths this weekend. After
As the numerologists note our arrival at 11/11/11, our attention is better focused on this day as the anniversary of the end of the useless, worthless, horrifying war that turned so much of 20th Century into a twisted, violent mess. And on how we must prevent the same from happening to our shiny new millennium.
STOP THE WAR COALITION 5 November 2011 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 020 7801 2768 Web: http://stopwar.org.uk Twitter: http://twitter.com/STWuk Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stopthewarcoalition Anti-war and peace groups across the country, from London to Liverpool, from Edinburgh to Bridport, from Bath to Hastings, are organising events over the Remembrance Day weekend, 11-13 November, seeking to break the link between Remembrance Day and the culture of militarisation that glorifies war and uses the past dead to justify current wars. There are vigils, naming the dead events, white poppy wreath ceremonies, distribution of white poppies (available from the Stop the War Coalition office: Tel: 020 7801 2768) For details of all events announced so far, and for updates as more places are added in the next few days, go to: http://bit.ly/qYQrw7 If you would like to help organise an event in your area, please get in touch and we can give you contacts, advice and materials. Email: email@example.com Tel: 020 7801 2768 FOR BACKGROUND TO THE REMEMBRANCE DAY ANTI-WAR EVENTS SEE: * LINDSEY GERMAN: How the Cenotaph and red poppies became symbols of war: http://bit.ly/tGhnf0 * LAURIE PENNY: The hypocrisy and showbiz of red poppy day for the war dead: http://bit.ly/seOD6c
STOP THE WAR COALITION Newsletter No.1221 04 October 2011 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 020 7801 2768 Web: http://stopwar.org.uk Twitter: http://twitter.com/STWuk Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stopthewarcoalition IN THIS NEWSLETTER: 1) ANTIWAR ASSEMBLY WILL BE A VERY SPECIAL DAY 2) IT'S STOP THE WAR'S ANNIVERSARY TOO 3) WONDERFUL RESPONSE TO OUR FINANCIAL APPEAL 4) MARK STEEL'S VERY FUNNY ANSWER TO THE DOUBTERS ************************************* 1) ANTIWAR ASSEMBLY WILL BE A VERY SPECIAL DAY
By Linn Washington, Jr.
London -– Hearing hard-core Republicans applaud the use of the death penalty during a recent televised forum for GOP presidential candidates incensed Sara Callaway, an African-American living in London for the past 25-years.
“It was like a declaration of war against all of us committed to justice,” said Callaway, one of over two hundred people who gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in London’s upscale Mayfair section for a silent, candle-lit vigil protesting the execution of U.S. death row inmate Troy Davis.
STOP THE WAR COALITION Newsletter No.1219 20 September 2011 Email email@example.com Tel: 020 7801 2768 Web: http://stopwar.org.uk Twitter: http://twitter.com/STWuk Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stopthewarcoalition IN THIS NEWSLETTER: 1) TWEETS NOT WAR: LEARNING FROM THE ARAB SPRING 2) 10,000 WATCH COST OF WAR FILM: ARE YOU ONE OF THEM? 3) PLEDGES FOR 8 OCTOBER POURING IN 4) ANDREW MURRAY STANDING DOWN AS StWC CHAIR ************************************* 1) TWEETS NOT WAR: LEARNING FROM THE ARAB SPRING
By Ron Ridenour
It was with joy that I watched television coverage of election day, September 15. According to all the nine political parties running, and the mass media, there were no wars in the world and Denmark no longer was involved in three wars—Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya--alongside the USA.
In fact, all through the three-week long election campaign, none of the parties spoke of war, or of that most fundamental of moral questions a society must ask: do we kill other people who do not attack us?
STOP THE WAR COALITION Newsletter No.1217 6 September 2011 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 020 7801 2768 Web: http://stopwar.org.uk Twitter: http://twitter.com/STWuk Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stopthewarcoalition IN THIS NEWSLETTER: 1) 9/11 ANNIVERSARY: STATEMENT BY STOP THE WAR COALITION 2) TONY BENN: WHY I'LL BE IN TRAFALGAR SQUARE ON 8 OCTOBER 3) LIBYA, NATO AND THE ARAB SPRING: PUBLIC MEETING 4) BREAKING THE SILENCE AGAINST 10 YEARS OF WAR 5) LONDON ACTIVISTS MEETING: 8 SEPTEMBER 6) EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON AUSTERITY AND CUTS: 1 OCTOBER ********************************
STOP THE WAR COALITION Newsletter No.1216 19 August 2011 Email email@example.com Tel: 020 7801 2768 Web: http://stopwar.org.uk Twitter: http://twitter.com/STWuk Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stopthewarcoalition IN THIS NEWSLETTER: 1) MESSAGE FROM AFGHANISTAN: END THE WAR NOW 2) THE UK RIOTS AND UNJUSTIFIED WARS 3) WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW: PLEASE DONATE 4) THE REMARKABLE HETTY BOWER ********************************* 1) MESSAGE FROM AFGHANISTAN: END THE WAR NOW The attack on British Council office in Kabul has forced to the
Three Days Before Wall Went Up, CIA Expected East Germany Would Take "Harsher Measures" to Solve Refugee Crisis
Disturbed By Lack of Warning, JFK Asked Intelligence Advisers to Review CIA Performance
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 354
STOP THE WAR COALITION Newsletter No.1215 12 August 2011 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 020 7801 2768 Web: http://stopwar.org.uk Twitter: http://twitter.com/STWuk Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stopthewarcoalition IN THIS NEWSLETTER: 1) WHAT LINKS THE UK RIOTS TO THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN? 2) HUGE RISE IN WAR DEATHS IN AFGHANISTAN AND LIBYA 3) BIGGEST TRADE UNIONS PLEDGE TO JOIN ANTIWAR ASSEMBLY 4) WRITE TO MICHAEL LYONS JAILED FOR SAYING NO TO WAR 5) LOCAL DAY OF ANTI-WAR ACTION: 20 AUGUST 6) UPCOMING NATIONAL EVENTS ************************************ 1) WHAT LINKS THE UK RIOTS TO THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN? It in no way justifies or excuses the rioting witnessed in London this week to say that some forms of thuggery, theft and criminality seem more worthy of condemnation than others. It's hard to imagine that David Cameron would condemn the devastation and mass slaughter visited on Afghanistan and Iraq over the past decade -- or the bombing of Libya -- as "sickening violence". Many of the same MPs who voted along with the majority in Parliament for the war that reduced much of Iraq to ruins and killed a million Iraqis, take to the moral high ground when alienated youths from our ghettoes of deprivation commit their mini-version of "shock and awe".
The damning of Tony Blair: Former PM to be held to account on Iraq in Chilcot report on war
- Iraq war deal 'signed in blood' by former Prime Minister
- Cabinet members kept in the dark in build-up to the war
- 'Obvious failings' in post-war planning
Tony Blair is to face scathing criticism from the official inquiry into the Iraq War for the role he played in leading Britain into one of its biggest foreign policy fiascos in modern history.
The Mail on Sunday has been told that the former Prime Minister will be held to account on four main failings:
- Bogus claims that were made about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction.
- Not telling the British public about his secret pledge with George Bush to go to war.
- Keeping the Cabinet in the dark by his ‘sofa government’ style.
- Failing to plan to avoid the post-war chaos in Iraq.
The damning verdict of the Chilcot Inquiry comes eight years after Tony Blair went to war against Saddam Hussein with George Bush
Well-placed sources say the reputations of Mr Blair and key allies will suffer major damage when the report by Sir John Chilcot’s Iraq War inquiry is published this autumn.
Mr Blair, former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and ex-Downing Street spin doctor Alastair Campbell are all expected to be criticised.
All those taken to task by Chilcot’s five-strong panel of experts will receive notice in the next few weeks of the inquiry’s conclusions.
STOP THE WAR COALITION Newsletter No.1214 28 July 2011 Email email@example.com Tel: 020 7801 2768 Web: http://stopwar.org.uk Twitter: http://twitter.com/STWuk Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stopthewarcoalition IN THIS NEWSLETTER: 1) REASONS TO SIGN THE ANTIWAR ASSEMBLY PLEDGE 2) LIBYA: ANOTHER FAILING WAR 3) AFTER THE NORWAY ATROCITY, WHAT WE CAN DO TO HELP 4) BILLY BRAGG'S SONGS OF THE WEEK ******************************** 1) REASONS TO SIGN THE ANTIWAR ASSEMBLY PLEDGE Singer and political activist Billy Bragg, Lillian Lyons, wife of Michael Lyons, the soldier who is currently in prison for
The murder spree in Norway was apparently the work of a Norwegian, not a group of foreigners, and for various other reasons the comparison is not exact. Nonetheless, it's tempting to wonder how many people would still be alive today if George W. Bush or Rudy Giuliani had spoken after the 9-11 attacks as Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg just did.
You'll recall that Bush immediately spoke of a "war against terrorism," claimed to have been attacked for being a beacon of freedom, announced that we were all filled with anger, and decreed that we would make no distinction between terrorists and "those who harbored them." "The people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!" he promised.
Now take a 60-second tour of an alternative universe by substituting "the United States" for "Norway" in Stoltenberg's remarks:
Just like they do with the McVeigh's and the Austin pilot types, they'll turn this criminal terrorist into a hero and he knows that!
Reason he didn't kill himself and surrendered with no fight as he used the destructive bombing, to divert police resources and forces knowing the country was on holiday and on friday workers leave early, as the diversion to his main goal the slaughter of innocent youngsters!
The fall of an empire?
Amid all the hype of the Murdoch saga, it is fascinating to see how the mighty rise and fall.
All eyes have been drawn to the shaming of the billionaire media mogul and the craven way in which leading politicians have seamlessly switched from fawning over Rupert Murdoch one moment and then attacking him for his newspapers' appalling methods of investigation the next.
But while it can be delectable to revel in schadenfreude, let's just remember a few things.
What was it about the relationship with Murdoch that made Tony Blair feel it was appropriate to take a phone call from a newspaper proprietor just hours prior to the most momentous decision a prime minister can make: ordering the country's armed forces to war?
By Robin Beste
Stop the War Coalition
18 July 2011
When Rupert Murdoch appears before the parliamentary committee on 19 July 2011, here are ten questions the MPs certainly will not ask about the relationhip he had with Tony Blair during the run up to the Iraq war, when Murdoch was, in the words of Blair's former press officer Lance Price, "the third most powerful figure in the Labour government", after Blair himself and Gordon Brown.
- In 2002-3 all of your 127 newspapers around the world, with a combined circulation of 40 million a week, supported the Iraq war. We now know you were often in direct contact with the then prime minister Tony Blair, who you said at the time was "extraordinarily courageous and strong" and who had "shown great guts" in planning the war on Iraq. How much coordination was there between Downing Street and News International on the media presentation of what was widely regarded as an illegal war?
- You said when interviewed in the run up to the war that Iraq's oil was central to the rationale for overthrowing Saddam Hussein: "The greatest thing to come out of this for the world economy...would be $20 a barrel for oil. That's bigger than any tax cut in any country." Tony Blair always insisted in public that Iraq's oil played no part in the decision to attack Iraq. To what extent did he agree with you in private that getting control of the world's second biggest oil reserves was at the heart of the war aims?
- All of your newspapers used Tony Blair's "dodgy dossier" of September 2002 to try and generate a war fever with the bogus claim that -- in the words of The Sun headline -- "BRITS 45 MINUTES FROM DOOM". The hand of Alistair Campbell, Blair's press officer, is widely regarded as having been responsible for the dossier's fabrications. There was no coverage in the Sun or the rest of News International's outlets, when it was revealed that some of this dossier, which was supposed to present a cast iron case for attacking Iraq, was drawn from a 12-year old thesis, published on the internet by a PhD student. Was this because you and Blair made a pact that News International would be relentless in promoting the war, even if this meant using lies and distortion?
The French boat "Dignité/Karama" (Dignity) left the Greek island Kastellorizo around 8:30PM local time on Saturday July 16, 2011, heading south. The ten passengers onboard view themselves as representatives of the whole Freedom Flotilla II - Stay Human. The rest of the Flotilla's ships have been detained in different Greek ports, through bureaucratic obstruction, sabotage, sudden restrictions and withdrawals of flags.
The Dignité, sailing under a French flag, left Corsica on June 25th, and has, over the past weeks, been in Greek waters. It has now left- so far without being followed by the Greek coast guard or Navy.