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100 Historians and Academics Ask Obama to Drop Mubarak and Side With the People

From IPA

Dear President Obama:

As political scientists, historians, and researchers in related fields who have studied the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy, we the undersigned believe you have a chance to move beyond rhetoric to support the democratic movement sweeping over Egypt. As citizens, we expect our president to uphold those values.

Fear Extreme Islamists in the Arab World? Blame Washington.

By Jeff Cohen

In the last year of his life, Martin Luther King Jr. questioned U.S. military interventions against progressive movements in the Third World by invoking a JFK quote: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

Were he alive to have witnessed the last three decades of U.S. foreign policy, King might update that quote by noting: “Those who make secular revolution impossible will make extreme Islamist revolution inevitable.”

For decades beginning during the Cold War, U.S. policy in the Islamic world has been aimed at suppressing secular reformist and leftist movements. Beginning with the CIA-engineered coup against a secular democratic reform government in Iran in 1953 (it was about oil), Washington has propped up dictators, coaching these regimes in the black arts of torture and mayhem against secular liberals and the left.

"Hand in Hand, the Army and the People Are One"

Eyes are on the Egyptian military now. What will they do?

A week ago, it was said: Egypt is not Tunisia, and the Egyptian military is not the Tunisian military.

A week ago, that was surely true.

Today, it is not quite so obvious.

What will be true tomorrow?

READ THE REST.

Audio: David Swanson on Egypt with Coy Barefoot

1.28.11 Best-selling non-fiction author David Swanson joins Coy to discuss the revolution taking place in Egypt. Cairo is literally burning, and today’s conversation discusses the political state which lead to this uprising and exactly what is going on. Swanson describes the protests as “inspiring,” but also is not convinced of the need for these heavy doses of violence.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cpn/~5/XimufZ7sBok/rn_davidswanson_110128.mp3

Hands Off Egypt!

UNITED NATIONAL ANTIWAR COMMITTEE CALLS ON ALL SUPPORTERS TO TURN OUT FOR RALLIES IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLE OF EGYPT AND OTHER ARAB COUNTRIES TODAY, THIS WEEKEND, AND IN COMING DAYS
No More US Support to the Mubarak Dictatorship!
Hands off Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen!

The Egyptian people, inspired by the victory in Tunisia and building on their own heroic rallies and strikes in recent years, have now taken the lead in the regional revolt against US-backed dictatorships. Today, Friday, January 28th, masses have poured into the streets for the third straight day of protest, and are once again fighting valiantly against cops and troops armed with US made and paid for weapons.

Audio: Phonecall With Protester in Egypt Just Recorded

I just phoned Tighe Barry, a great US activist with Code Pink, who has been in Cairo, Egypt, all week. Here is the audio. Tighe describes a different situation from what we get through the US media.

Help The Egyptian People

Thanks for standing firm with the brave people of Egypt.

Sometimes we see things in the media and wonder how we can really help. Right now, the Egyptian government is periodically blocking Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, which are critical tools for organizing protests. But with all of our help, Egyptians and others in the region can jump their government's firewall and anonymoulsy access these online communications platforms which are currently being blocked or throttled. There are several ways that you can help them to do this:
 

Inspired by Tunisia, Egypt's protests appear unprecedented

Egypt's protests today appear to be the largest public call for democratic reform and an end to the Mubarak regime for years.

By Dan Murphy, Staff writer / January 25, 2011

The scope of Egypt's protests today, calling for greater freedom and downfall of strongman President Hosni Mubarak, is unprecedented

Though tens of thousands took to the streets of Cairo in 2005 calling for democratic reform, today's protests are far beyond the action in the capital. Reporters and activists on the scene in Cairo say there was a spirit of anger and defiance in the crowds and there were protests of varying sizes in at least a half-dozen Egyptian cities.

READ THE REST.

Tunisia - A People's Revolution

Thursday, January 20 @ 7 PM
Ras Restaurant and Cafe, 4809 Georgia Avenue, NW
WASHINGTON DC

The corporate media is calling it the Wikileaks or Twitter or Facebook revolution...anything so that they don't have to call it the Tunisian people's revolution, which is what it was. More than 100 Tunisians died fighting to bring down the US backed regime of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, including Mohamed Bouazizi, the street vendor whose suicide protest ignited the protests in mid December. US support of the regime is rarely emphasized but in addition to the millions in economic aid which created the massive inequality that fueled the protests, the Ben Ali regime received hundreds of millions in military aid. The Obama administration put out a statement in support of the Tunisian people but only when it was clear that Ben Ali had fled the country.

‘Muslim terrorist’ ????

‘Muslim terrorist’ on Air Malta plane turns out to be Caribbean Christian

24 December 2010 - The story that made the rounds of the world that a Muslim man was apprehended on an Air Malta plane when he persisted in praying out aloud in the aisle just as the plane was taxying to take off at London’s Heathrow Airport, now has to be revised.

It was a Caribbean Christian man, Maria Busuttil who was on the plane with him, told The Times. And the prayer he was chanting was the ‘Our Father’.

Yet even yesterday on In-Nazzjon, Brian Grech who had a hand in restraining the man, still insisted the man was an Arab Muslim.

Writing on The Times comment pages yesterday, Ahmed Sain wrote: “For all of you who made a comment yesterday on this subject, I think you got it all wrong regarding this man’s religion. Now you guys ask for forgiveness.”

WikiLeaks Reveals U.S. Twisted Ethiopia's Arm to Invade Somalia

By mid 2007, the 50,000 Ethiopian troops that invaded Somalia in late 2006 found themselves increasingly bogged down, facing much fiercer resistance than they had bargained for as Somalis of all stripes temporarily put aside their differences to stand together against the outside invader.

Nigeria graft agency charges Cheney, Halliburton boss

By Nick Tattersall
LAGOS | Tue Dec 7, 2010

LAGOS (Reuters) - Nigeria's anti-corruption agency filed charges against former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and the head of oil services firm Halliburton Co on Tuesday over an alleged scheme to bribe Nigerian officials.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said it had filed 16-count charges at a federal high court in Abuja against Cheney, Halliburton Chief Executive David Lesar and two other executives, in a case dating back to the mid-1990s.

It also filed charges against Halliburton as a company, which was once headed by Cheney, and four associated businesses.

"Charges have been filed against Dick Cheney and eight others (individual and entities)," EFCC spokesman Femi Babafemi told Reuters.

War-hit countries 'most corrupt'

War-torn states are still seen as being the most corrupt in the world, according to a new report from Transparency International.

 

26 October 2010 - The Berlin-based watchdog monitors perceived corruption and has published its annual report, based on a poll of businesses and people in 178 nations.

The worst country is Somalia, followed by Burma, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore tie for top place as the world's least corrupt countries, with the UK 20th.

'Good governance needed' {read rest}

 

Two Years of Africom Is More Than Enough

As the two-year anniversary of the US Command for Africa (AFRICOM) approaches, the time for re-evaluating our militarized U.S. Africa policy is long overdue. Since its 2008 launch, AFRICOM has demonstrated that a military-led approach to security in Africa only serves to make things worse.

Will you contact your elected officials to tell them Africa needs true human security, not more AFRICOM?

Consider the following cases:

* The army of American-supported Transitional Federal Government in Somalia continues to receive hefty U.S. training and U.S. arms, despite documentation that TFG soldiers frequently defect to extremist groups. Furthermore, the TFG been shown to recruit and use child soldiers.
* The Rwandan national army, American ally and partner in U.S. "train and equip" programs and an oft-cited example of successful military-military partnerships, faces recent allegations from the UN of human rights violations and possible genocide.

Modern War Makes Veterans of Us All

Human Toll of Violence in Central African Republic Documented

ScienceDaily (Aug. 4, 2010) — Using a combination of scientific methodology and old-fashioned legwork, human rights researchers based at the University of California, Berkeley, have systematically canvassed nearly 2,000 households in the Central African Republic, carefully documenting the devastating human impact of violence in the country, as well as detailing the opinions of how the country should move forward.

Their findings are detailed in a study to appear in the Aug. 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and in a complementary report to be released the same day by the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center. The researchers present a stark picture of a population traumatized by decades of political strife, military coups and poverty.

'Path of Mental Illness' Follows Path of War, 20 Years After Conflict Ends

ScienceDaily (July 30, 2010) — Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health assessed the geographical distribution of the long-term burden of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in a region of Liberia and report that the prevalence of PTSD remains high nearly two decades after the principal conflict there and five years after war in Liberia ended entirely.

Particularly interesting was the geographic distribution of PTSD. Investigators found that certain villages in the region had a much higher prevalence of PTSD than did others. When they compared to the historical record about the path of the violent civil conflict that Nimba County experienced from 1989 to 1990 the team found that these were villages that had experienced the greater burden of war.

"Back To Your Roots" Live

This amazing song was recorded live at the Commodore Ballroom in Vaoncouver, British Colombia on November 19, 2009. It was just released as part of the PFC Band's Live CD/DVD, which is a must-have for all PFC fans! This song features verses by Titi Tsira, Mermans Kenkosenki, and Jason Tamba (who sings in Ngala!), plus a guitar solo by Louis Mhlanga that dares you to blink!

 

If you like this song, be sure to check out the rest of the release!

 

Big Oil - First Nigeria Then The World

Big Oil - First Nigeria then the World
Big oil in Nigeria - executions, pollution and suffering (Image)
By Michael Collins | Election Fraud News

The big oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico is not the first to threaten a people's way of life.

Just ask the Ogoni people from Nigeria's oil rich central Niger Delta. Their experience over decades offers a model of things to come without serious changes in consumption and regulation.

Since the early 1960's, oil spilled from Shell pipelines has fouled their region. Food and fresh water sources vanished. Their economy collapsed. While Shell and the Nigerian elite reap their rewards, the people in the polluted oil regions live with steadily declining jobs, incomes, and living standards.

The amount of oil spilled in just this region during the 1970's far exceeds that of the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster. The problem has been continuous since then. Most of it is still sitting there

In some critical ways, oil exploration, pollution, and the reaction of Shell and the Nigerian government parallel the Gulf of Mexico catastrophe.

U.S. 'Secret War' Expands Globally As Special Operations Forces Take Larger Role

U.S. 'secret war' expands globally as Special Operations forces take larger role
By Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe | Washington Post

Beneath its commitment to soft-spoken diplomacy and beyond the combat zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, the Obama administration has significantly expanded a largely secret U.S. war against al-Qaeda and other radical groups, according to senior military and administration officials.

Special Operations forces have grown both in number and budget, and are deployed in 75 countries, compared with about 60 at the beginning of last year. In addition to units that have spent years in the Philippines and Colombia, teams are operating in Yemen and elsewhere in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia.

Commanders are developing plans for increasing the use of such forces in Somalia, where a Special Operations raid last year killed the alleged head of al-Qaeda in East Africa. Plans exist for preemptive or retaliatory strikes in numerous places around the world, meant to be put into action when a plot has been identified, or after an attack linked to a specific group.

The surge in Special Operations deployments, along with intensified CIA drone attacks in western Pakistan, is the other side of the national security doctrine of global engagement and domestic values President Obama released last week.

One advantage of using "secret" forces for such missions is that they rarely discuss their operations in public. For a Democratic president such as Obama, who is criticized from either side of the political spectrum for too much or too little aggression, the unacknowledged CIA drone attacks in Pakistan, along with unilateral U.S. raids in Somalia and joint operations in Yemen, provide politically useful tools. Read more.

Africa's Mineral-Rich Countries Get Tough With Trade Partners

Africa's Mineral-Rich Countries Get Tough With Trade Partners
African mining: Will mineral-rich countries start a cartel like OPEC?
By Drew Hinshaw | CSM via ABC News

African leaders are pushing for tougher terms on mining concessions after 25 years of structural adjustment – when countries cut red tape and offered generous tax holidays to foreign prospectors.

The new dynamic was on display at a recent mining conference in Senegal. The chief executive officer of a multinational Africa mining firm was speaking, but Senegal's president didn't appear to be listening.

Across the hall from President Abdoulaye Wade sat 500 delegates from foreign mining firms. They had come in March to see which new holes were worth digging in this continent whose riches are in demand from booming economies like China's.

When the CEO's presentation ended, Mr. Wade treated his visitors to a rhyme: "I never said, enrichissez-vous." [Enrich yourselves]. "I said enrichissons-nous." (Let's enrich one another.)

A cheer rose up from the African delegates. Read more.

Media Ignore The Fact That Man Who Alerted Police To Failed Times Square Bombing Is A Muslim Immigrant

Media Ignore The Fact That Man Who Alerted Police To Failed Times

Square Bombing Is A Muslim Immigrant
By Zaid Jilani | Think Progress

The chief suspect in the case of the failed Times Square car bombing is Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad, who has confessed to the plot. Much of the media has latched onto Shahzad’s Muslim faith and his Pakistani identity, making inflammatory remarks and suggestions about Muslims and Pakistanis:

  • CNN contributor and Redstate.com blogger Erick Erickson complained that the words “muslim” and “Islam” are “not mentioned” enough in stories about Shahzad. He wrote, “It really is pathetic that you’re more likely to see the words “racist” and “Republican” together in the newspaper these days than “terrorism” and “Islam.” [5/4/2010]
  • Hate radio host Neal Boortz tweeted, “OMG! The Times Square Bomber is a Muslim! Shocker! Who would have believed it?” [5/4/2010]
  • The cover of today’s Washington Post-published Express features a black-and-white photo of Shahzad with the sensationalist headline “MADE IN PAKISTAN” [5/5/2010]

Yet one fact being ignored in the American media’s sensationalist narrative about the failed bombing is that the man who was responsible for police finding the bomb was Muslim. The UK’s Times Online reports that Aliou Niasse, a Senagalese Muslim immigrant who works as a photograph vendor on Times Square, was the first to bring the smoking car to the police’s attention: Read more.

New Colonialism: Pentagon Carves Africa Into Military Zones

New Colonialism: Pentagon Carves Africa Into Military Zones
Rick Rozoff | Stop NATO | Blog site | May 5, 2010

Last year the commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), General William Ward, said the Pentagon had military partnerships with 35 of the continent's 53 nations, "representing U.S. relationships that span the continent." [1]

That number has increased in the interim.

As the first overseas regional military command set up by Washington in this century, the first since the end of the Cold War, and the first in 25 years, the activation of AFRICOM, initially under the wing of U.S. European Command on October 1, 2007, then as an independent entity a year later, emphasizes the geostrategic importance of Africa in U.S. international military, political and economic planning.

Africa Command's area of responsibility includes more nations - 53, all African states except Egypt, which remains in U.S. Central Command, and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (Western Sahara), which is a member of the African Union but which the U.S. and its NATO allies recognize as part of Morocco, which conquered it in 1975 - than any of the Pentagon's other Unified Combatant Commands: European Command, Central Command, Pacific Command, Southern Command and Northern Command (founded in 2002).

The U.S. is alone in maintaining regional multi-service military commands in all parts of the world, a process initiated after World War Two as America pursued its self-appointed 20th century manifest destiny as history's first worldwide military superpower.

Somalia's Al Shabab Recruits 'Holy Warriors' with $400 Bonus

Somalia's Al Shabab Recruits 'Holy Warriors' with $400 Bonus
War-torn and Impoverished, Some Somali Youths Join Extremist Group to Make Money
By Scott Baldauf and Ali Mohamed | ABC News

Excerpts:

When Dahir Abdi joined the Somali extremist group Al-Shabab early last year, his motive had more to do with money than with God....

So when a recruiter from Al Shabab (whose name means "the youth" in Arabic) gave him $400 and the promise of a regular salary, Dahir joined willingly. He knew that even if he didn't survive the war, his family would have a better chance to ward off starvation....

When the government of Somalia launches its long-threatened offensive against Al Shabab, it will be young men like Dahir who will be in the front lines, recruited by unscrupulous businessmen, trained by Pakistani, Afghan and Arab experts, and guided by a harsh ideology of jihad promulgated by Al Qaeda and its Islamist followers....

Yet as long as Somalia remains war-torn, and as long as Somalis remain poor, Shabab will be able to find willing fighters, Mr. Sharif says. "Somalis have a lot of children, and the school system is destroyed, so for many poor families, the madrassas (religious schools) are the only option where children can get at least a basic education. That is where Shabab goes to recruit."

Virtually unknown four years ago, Al Shabab has rapidly grown to become the strongest military force in Somalia, imposing its own selective interpretation of Islamic law on the southern half of Somalia that is under its control. Al Shabab troops in the very heart of Mogadishu prevent the weak Western-backed government of President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed from extending its authority beyond a few square blocks of the capital, along with the airport and Mogadishu's seaport. Read more.

Somali Refugees Recruited To Fight Islamist Militia

Somali refugees recruited to fight Islamist militia
By Sudarsan Raghavan | Washington Post | Submitted by Michael Munk | www.MichaelMunk.com

The U.S.-backed government of Somalia and its Kenyan allies have recruited hundreds of Somali refugees, including children, to fight in a war against al-Shabab, an Islamist militia linked to al-Qaeda, according to former recruits, their relatives and community leaders.

Many of the recruits were taken from the sprawling Dadaab refugee camps in northeastern Kenya, which borders Somalia. Somali government recruiters and Kenyan soldiers came to the camps late last year, promising refugees as much as $600 a month to join a force advertised as supported by the United Nations or the United States, the former recruits and their families said.

"They have stolen my son from me," said Noor Muhamed, 70, a paraplegic refugee whose son Abdi was recruited.

Across this region, children and young men are vanishing. All sides in Somalia's conflict are recruiting refugees to fight in a remote battleground in the global war on terrorism from which they fled, community leaders say. Read more.

Obama Expands Military Involvement in Africa

Obama Expands Military Involvement in Africa
Analysis by Daniel Volman | IPS

When Pres. Barack Obama took office in January 2009, it was widely expected that he would dramatically change, or even reverse, the militarised and unilateral security policy that had been pursued by the George W. Bush administration toward Africa, as well as toward other parts of the world.

After one year in office, however, it is clear that the Obama administration is following essentially the same policy that has guided U.S. military policy toward Africa for more than a decade. Indeed, the Obama administration is seeking to expand U.S. military activities on the continent even further.

In its FY 2011 budget request for security assistance programmes for Africa, the Obama administration is asking for 38 million dollars for the Foreign Military Financing programme to pay for U.S. arms sales to African countries.

The administration is also asking for 21 million dollars for the International Military Education and Training Programme to bring African military officers to the United States, and 24.4 million dollars for Anti-Terrorism Assistance programmes in Africa.

The Obama administration has also taken a number of other steps to expand U.S. military involvement in Africa. Read more.

Pentagon Eyeing Drone Shift To Aid Somalia

Pentagon eyeing drone shift to aid Somalia
By Pauline Jelinek | Guardian UK

The Pentagon is considering dispatching surveillance drones and other limited military support for a Somali government offensive against al-Qaida-linked insurgents, U.S. officials said, part of a cautious move to increase U.S. assistance to the anarchic African nation.

U.S. diplomats are pressing Somali leaders to detail the goals of the looming assault, in order to figure out the most appropriate ways the U.S. can help.

Determined to avoid a visible American footprint on the ground or fingerprints on Somalia's shaky government, U.S. officials are struggling to find the right balance between seizing the opportunity to take out al-Qaida insurgents there and avoiding the appearance of a U.S. occupation.

Any U.S. moves in Somalia are haunted by the disastrous 1993 U.S. military assault into the Somali capital — made famous in the book and movie "Black Hawk Down." The strike left 18 U.S. soldiers dead. Read more.

Rebels Kill, Kidnap Hundreds In Remote Congo Area

Rebels kill, kidnap hundreds in remote Congo area | CNN

A December rampage that killed hundreds in the Democratic Republic of Congo went largely unreported because of lack of communications in the remote area, a United Nations official said Sunday.

The Lord's Resistance Army carried out the brutal campaign in northeastern Congo over four days, killing at least 321, according to a report by Human Rights Watch.

Rebels also abducted 250 others -- including at least 80 children -- when they attacked villages in Makombo area, the human rights group said Saturday.

Alan Doss, a United Nations Special Representative for Congo, confirmed the massacre and said the world body was made aware of the attacks in December and confirmed some deaths in January.

"The area is remote, there's no intelligence or communications, we had to cross check," Doss said. Read more.

NATO: AFRICOM's Partner In Military Penetration Of Africa

NATO: AFRICOM's Partner In Military Penetration Of Africa
By Rick Rozoff | Stop NATO | Blog site

The world's oldest extant military bloc (formed 61 years ago) and the largest in history (twenty eight full members and as many partners on five continents), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, counts among its major member states all of Africa's former colonial powers: Britain, France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany and Belgium.

After World War II and the groundswell of anti-colonial sentiment throughout Africa and Asia, the European powers were forced to withdraw from most of the African continent, though Portugal retained its possessions until the 1970s.

Most new African nations adopted some model of socialist-oriented economic and political development and the continent as a whole more closely aligned itself with the Soviet Union, which moreover had for decades supported the anti-colonial struggles in Africa, than with the West, both Western Europe and the United States.

With the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union nearly twenty years ago, the major Western powers on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, united under the aegis of NATO, saw that as with the Balkans and the former republics of the Soviet Union itself, Africa was now wide open for penetration and domination.

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