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By Dave Lindorff
eorge W. Bush should be arrested for his role in waterboarding, Amnesty International says, and his trip to Africa presents an opportunity for that. “International law requires that there be no safe haven for those responsible for torture; Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia must seize this opportunity to fulfill their obligations and end the impunity George W. Bush has so far enjoyed,” the human rights organization said. (It's not the first time.)
Bush is in Africa to promote awareness of HIV/AIDS as well as breast and cervical cancer. While Amnesty applauds that goal, “this cannot lessen the damage to the fight against torture caused by allowing someone who has admitted to authorizing waterboarding to travel without facing the consequences prescribed by law,” the statement said. Bush's trip coincides with World AIDS Day today, and he has been receiving much praise for the global AIDS initiative he launched as president.
Above is the headquarters of Combined Systems. Not so far from Cleveland.
Here's what this company is up to:
A group of customs employees at the Suez seaport have revealed that the Egyptian Ministry of Interior is in the process of receiving 21 tons of tear gas from the US.
The claim was supported by Medhat Eissa, an activist in the coastal city of Suez, who provided documents he says he obtained from a group of employees at the Suez Canal customs. The employees have been subjected to questioning for their refusal to allow an initial seven ton shipment of the US-made tear gas canisters enter the port.
A group of employees at the Adabiya Seaport in Suez have confirmed, with the documents to prove it, that a three-stage shipment of in total 21 tons of tear gas canisters is on course for the port from the American port of Wilmington.
Employees say the container ship Danica, carrying seven tons of tear-gas canisters made by the American company Combined Systems, has already arrived at the port, with two similar shipments from the same company expected to arrive within the week.
By Ann Wright
We arrived from Gaza into Cairo at 1am this Friday morning.
Egyptian American Journalist Sexually Assaulted and Arm and Hand Broken by Police in Police Headquarters
After quickly checking into the hotel, I went on line and immediately was faced with an article that described Egyptian American journalist Mona Eltahawy’s assault by the Cairo police. Police sexually assaulted Mona and broke one of her arms and broke the hand on her other arm when they dragged her from the area around Tahrir Square where she was reporting on the clashes between protesters and police on Wednesday night.
By Ann Wright
It’s midnight Monday in the Middle East. The streets of Cairo are hopping. Egyptians are angry with the lack of change and the heavy handiness of the Egyptian military and police. I just arrived in Gaza after being in Cairo yesterday.
People Calm until Police Arrived at Tahrir Square
The Pentagon’s shadow war in Africa could have a new front, if reports coming out of Nigeria are accurate. U.S. troops are headed to Nigeria to help local forces do battle with Boko Haram, an Islamic terror group that has killed up to 400 people this year in an escalating campaign of bombings and shootings. At least that’s what Nigerian military sources tell Scott Morgan, a journalist based in Washington, D.C. who writes under the pseudonym “Confused Eagle.” The Guardian also has the story.
The LRA, whose horrific deeds have been have been well-documented by scores of human rights reports and the documentary film, Invisible Children, can best be described as a Christian cult militia engaged in violent armed rebellion against the Ugandan government, located primarily in northern Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan. An arrest warrant was issued in 2005 by the International Criminal Court against the LRA leadership for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Kony, the LRA ringleader, possibly has over 80 wives (i.e. sex slaves), according to a 2009 story by the Guardian, and has fathered over 40 children.
Call for Real Democracy, End of U.S. Empire, Equitable and
Sustainable Economies and Human Rights
Today, the October 2011 Movement and the Egyptian Revolutionary Movement published “A Statement of Solidarity between Egyptian Revolutionaries and the October2011.org Movement”
signed by 21 members of the two movements. The movements recognize that they face many common problems and that their successes are intertwined.
The movements united on four issues including (details on each point are contained in the letter below):
1. Both the people of the United States and Egypt require real democracy so that the views of the people are represented.
2. End US foreign policy positions which undermine the Egyptian democracy movement as well as the character and reputation of the United States.
By Michael Schwartz, New Labor Forum
As the Arab Spring became an Arab Summer, the failure of other uprisings to replicate the regime changes in Tunisia and Egypt has raised important questions about these increasingly impressive successes.
With this in mind, I want to scrutinize Egypt carefully, looking for the points of leverage that allowed and impelled the movement to oust Hosni Mubarak in only 18 days of protest with low mortality counts, particularly in light of the much longer and far more lethal and less successful uprisings in other countries.
The outcome in Egypt was in large part a conjunction of several visible, but rarely scrutinized, aspects of the Egyptian political economy:
- Egypt is the poster child of neo-liberal reform in the Middle East Its rapid integration into globalized capitalism since 1990 has made it vulnerable to a savvy mass movement that can exploit the pressure points in current world system.
- Egypt’s recent history produced a legacy of working class militance and organization that provided a tangible foundation for the Tahrir Square movement.
- This combination of political-economic vulnerability and a savvy mass movement created a strategic bind for Egyptian and global capitalism in which abandoning Hosni Mubarak was the least dangerous exit from an intractable crisis.
What is notably absent from this list of key factors is the most visible feature of Egypt’s almost-peaceful regime change. The Egyptian armed forces, unlike their Libyan and Syrian counterparts, decided not to attempt to crush the rebellion; this forbearance may have been a key factor in enabling the protest to succeed.
Multiple Wars are Symptoms of the Need to Escape the Quagmire of Empire
By Kevin Zeese
I can't remember a time when the U.S. military has been stuck in so many war quagmires at once. Libya seems destined to fail unless the U.S. gets a lucky shot and kills Gaddafi. U.S. militarists are openly maneuvering to stay in Iraq -- the war Obama told us was over. Relations with nuclear-armed Pakistan are at their lowest levels ever. And, Afghanistan is getting worse with Obama’s minimal, slow withdrawal looking more like staying than leaving.
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
The African Union found the spine to reject execution of an arrest warrant against Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi issued by the International Criminal Court, which appears to have an “Africans only” indictment policy. The AU’s chairman calls the court’s prosecutions “discriminatory” because they ignore the West’s crimes in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. China has hosted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, another ICC arrest target.
African Union Says 'Up Yours' to International Criminal Court
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
“The AU decided, finally, that it can stand up to the International Criminal Court.”
The African Union is asking all of its 53 members not to buckle under to the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. The International Criminal Court, or ICC, has never indicted anyone but Africans, and many consider it to be a tool of the United States. The Obama administration gives constant lip service to the Court, even though the U.S. is not a member of the ICC and has refused to make its own policies and military answerable to any outside authority.
By Kevin Zeese
A new anti-war movement that can really challenge U.S. militarism is being born. People from across the political spectrum joined together opposing U.S. war and empire. In a letter organized by, Come Home America, they cite a combination of events that present a “historic opportunity to redirect U.S. foreign policy down the pathways of peace, liberty, justice, respect for community, obedience to the rule of law and fiscal responsibility.”
For too long Americans who oppose wars have felt powerless to stop the war machine. Not since the early part of the 20th Century has there been a strong anti-war movement that Americans from across the political spectrum could participate in. The Come Home America letter shows the beginning of such a broad-based movement.
Charlottesville Friends Meeting invites you to a discussion with
(former columnist on global affairs, The Christian Science Monitor,
and owner, Just World Books)
(Edward R. Stettinius Professor of Politics, University of Virginia)
... about their recent trip to Cairo and Gaza,
and the 'Arab Spring' of 2011.
When: Monday, July 11, at 7 p.m.
Where: Charlottesville Friends Meeting meetinghouse, 1104 Forest St., Charlottesville (opp. Murray High School.) Parking for mobility-impaired to right of meetinghouse. Others park in Murray H.S. lot.
And least we not forget the millions of refugee's created in our names, the U.S., over the past decade in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as area's of Pakistan!
By Catherine Hornby
ROME | Wed May 18, 2011
(Reuters) - Up to 27 million people are modern-day slaves, and migrants fleeing violence in North Africa are among those most at risk of being exploited, a senior U.S. official said on Wednesday.
Countries where migrants arrive should try to identify potential victims and protect them, rather than opting for immediate repatriation which often sends them back into the hands of human traffickers, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large Luis CdeBaca said.
Tens of thousands of migrants are fleeing turmoil in North Africa, with many trying to reach Europe by boat, but the problem of slavery exists all over the world and India, Thailand and Malaysia are among the worst-affected countries.
By Marjorie Cohn
The United States, France and Britain invaded Libya with cruise
missiles, stealth bombers, fighter jets and attack jets. Although NATO
has taken over the military operation, U.S. President Barack Obama has
been bombing Libya with Hellfire missiles from unmanned Predator
drones. The number of civilians these foreign forces have killed
remains unknown. This military campaign was ostensibly launched to
enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 in order to
protect civilians in Libya.
In addition, the United Nations and France have been bombing the Ivory
Coast to protect civilians against violence by Laurent Gbagbo, who
refuses to cede power to the newly elected president after a disputed
election. UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon insists that the United Nations is
“not a party to the conflict.” France, former colonial ruler of Ivory
Coast, has over 1,500 troops stationed there. Ivory Coast is the
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has asked us to mobilize the broadest possible online campaign in support of the trade union movement in Bahrain.
If you've been following the news you'll know that the movement for democracy in that country has been met by a violent response from the regime - and unions have been on the front lines.
It will take you less than a minute to send off your message of protest and it's hugely important that you do so. Today, if possible.
And please make sure to forward this email message on, and to publicize this campaign in your union, on Facebook, and elsewhere.
Al-Ahram is reporting in Arabic that Gamal and Ala Mubarak, the sons of deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak, have been arrested and will be moved from Sharm El Sheikh to the maximum security Tura prison in the Muqattam hills above Cairo. They are said to have sat stunned and silent for some time on receiving the news. They will be held for 15 days while the office of Egypt’s chief Prosecutor interrogates them about their possible role in ordering secret police to attack nonviolent protesters during the rallies that began January 25. Nearly 900 persons are now thought to have been killed in the various attempts at crackdown by the Amniyyat al-Dawlah or security police.
By Agence France-Presse
CAIRO (AFP) – Egypt's public prosecutor on Sunday ordered ousted president Hosni Mubarak and his sons to be questioned over violence against protesters and alleged corruption, MENA state news agency reported.
"The public prosecutor Abdel Magid Mahmud decided today to ask for the questioning of former president Hosni Mubarak and his sons Gamal and Alaa," the official news agency reported.
Mubarak and his sons would be questioned about allegations and legal complaints that they were "connected to the crimes of assault against protesters, leading to deaths and injuries," said MENA.
He would also be quizzed on allegations of graft, it added.
An estimated 800 people were killed in clashes with police and the former president's supporters during weeks of protests that led to Mubarak's resignation on February 11.
By Missy Comley Beattie
I used to joke with my peace-movement friends, telling them I might self-immolate in front of the White House to make a statement about war. And, then, I’d laugh, saying there was just one glitch in the plan—I’d require so much Valium I’d be unable to strike the match.
For weeks, I’ve thought about a 26-year-old Tunisian man. Mohamed Bouazizi, educated, jobless, unable to feed his family, and desperate, doused himself with gasoline and died from his burns. This sacrificial act triggered the uprising in Tunisia and inspired other people across North Africa to do the same.
We are witness to revolution, civil wars, in which ordinary people are demanding basic rights.
Lately, I’ve been obsessing about the catastrophe of Fukushima, a crescendo of events as/more devastating than Chernobyl.
It’s impossible to make sense out of why we are at war in Libya through the lens of Republican/Democratic politics and outside the context of U.S. Empire.
If it weren’t so tragic, it would be humorous that Republicans are opposed because there is no distinct mission or endgame, given their steadfast support of nine years of war in Afghanistan and eight years in Iraq without so much as a whimper of dissent. While the Democratic president, who made the decision for war, is far too enamored with the “war is peace” doctrine (he presented to the world when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for escalating the Afghanistan war) than to giving the Libyan freedom fighters the support they were asking for when they needed it.
Read the rest at
President Obama on Monday said he would "never hesitate" to use the U.S. military "unilaterally" to defend "interests" and "values," including "maintaining the flow of commerce." Fear of exactly that led the founders of this republic to give Congress the exclusive power to declare war. James Madison did not believe any single individual could be trusted with such power:
"The strongest passions and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast, ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venal love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace."