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The tiny Pacific island nation of Palau has agreed to a US request to temporarily resettle 17 Chinese Muslim ethnic Uighurs held at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre for more than seven years.
In a statement on Wednesday Johnson Toribiong, the country's president, said he had agreed to resettle the Uighur detainees "subject to periodic review".
The 17 were cleared for release from Guantanamo four years ago after US officials ruled there was no evidence to hold them as "enemy combatants".
Last year a US federal judge ordered the men released into the US, but an appeals court halted the order, and they have been in legal limbo ever since.
The US state department has said the Uighurs cannot be returned to China, despite requests from Beijing that they be handed over, because of fears they will face persecution and possible execution.
Instead US officials have been trying to find a third country willing to take them in, but in the meantime they have been kept in Guantanamo, spending up to 22 hours a day locked in their cells. Read more.
Obama's Outreach to Muslims: Empty Rhetoric, Same Old Policies
By Stephen Lendman
As well as anyone, Edward Said understood the West's long-standing antipathy to Islam - reflected in Samuel Huntington's "The Clash of Civilizations" article in the summer 1993 issue of Foreign Affairs and later a 1996 book.
He wrote that future conflicts won't be "primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural....the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future" - demagogically suggesting a benevolent, superior West confronting a belligerent, hostile, inferior Muslim world. In other words, good v. evil.
NYC, Tomorrow 6/2: Mark Crispin Miller Hosts Authors of "Dead Silence: Fear and Terror on the Anthrax Trail"
Mark Crispin Miller writes:
Tomorrow evening (Tuesday 6/2), I'll be hosting Bob Coen and Eric Nadler at
McNally Jackson, for this month's First Tuesday event. Bob and Eric are the
authors of Dead Silence: Fear and Terror on the Anthrax Trail (which is both
a book and a film).
I'm pleased to say that they'll be kicking off their book tour with this event.
First Tuesday Series: Bob Coen and Eric Nadler
Bob Coen and Eric Nadler, authors of Dead Silence: Fear and Terror on the Anthrax Trail (Counterpoint)
What will China become in this century? There can hardly be a more important question to ask. TomDispatch regular Dilip Hiro, who has followed shifting global power balances as the planet's former "sole superpower" edged into decline, offers a vivid picture below of a potential rising superpower weathering bad times as we head toward a multipolar planet.
There is, however, a more negative take on where China might be headed. Consider, for instance, Peter Kwong's recent article, "No Reform or Relief in China," which suggests a far more dismal view of that country's circumstances, or James Fallows's fascinating recent essay in the Atlantic, "Interesting Times," which presents a China capable of using this harsh economic moment (as the U.S. may not) to launch a new Great Economic Leap Forward, but offers a striking summary of the bad news in store for China right now. I find Hiro persuasive largely because I've long been convinced that American power is in decline, but I have my own caveats when it comes to China's future success. For one thing, I'm old enough to remember the period in the 1980s when Japan was being pre-anointed as the new economic superpower of Planet Earth. (There was even a much-touted book then entitled, "Japan as Number One: Lessons for America.")
The increasing number of U.S. warships equipped with ballistic missile defense technology would provide greater protection in case of conflict with China, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday (see GSN, April 7).
"We're converting more ships to have ballistic missile defense that would help against China," he told a PBS interviewer in regard to his budget plan for fiscal 2010.
The budget would reduce funding at the Missile Defense Agency by $1.4 billion but seeks $200 million to install missile shield technology on six ships, Gates said Monday.
Critics have argued that the plan would hamper the U.S. ability to fight conventional wars with nations such as China and Russia as Washington attempts to strengthen defenses against looming threats including insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Press Trust of India reported.
China says it has executed two ethnic Uighur Muslims, sentenced to death last year on terror-related offences.
The pair were found guilty of killing 17 policemen in an attack in the western region of Xinjiang, four days before the Beijing Olympics in August.
The run-up to the Games was marked by an apparent resurgence in militancy among Uighurs, some of whom have been seeking independence for Xinjiang.
Xinjiang is home to more than eight million Uighur Muslims.
Pakistan could collapse within six months in the face of the snowballing insurgency, a top expert on guerrilla warfare has said.
The dire prediction was made by David Kilcullen, a former adviser to top US military commander General David Petraeus.
David Kilcullen is the best known practitioner of counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations and had advised Gen Petraeus on the counter-insurgency programme in Iraq. Few experts understand the nature of the insurgency in Af-Pak as well and he is now advising Petraeus in Afghanistan.
Petraeus also echoed the same thought when he told a Congressional testimony last week that the insurgency could "take down" Pakistan, which is home to nuclear weapons and al-Qaida.
North Korea launched a long-range rocket on Sunday in what U.S. and South Korean officials deemed a provocative act.
While the United States and South Korea confirmed the rocket launch, the payload of the rocket remains unclear. North Korea has said the rocket was to carry a satellite into space, but the United States, South Korea and other nations fear it could be a missile with a warhead attached.
"With this provocative act, North Korea has ignored its international obligations, rejected unequivocal calls for restraint, and further isolated itself from the community of nations," U.S. President Barack Obama said in a statement after the launch.
The Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space will hold its 17th annual space organizing conference in Seoul, South Korea on April 16-18, 2009. The group is made up of 150 peace groups around the world who are working to oppose the introduction of weapons and nuclear power into space. The theme for the annual conference will be Asian-Pacific Missile Defense and an End to the Arms Race in the region.
Ten Korean peace organizations, led by the Peace Network and the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, will host the 2009 Global Network space conference.
Sung-Hee Choi, Artist and a member of the Korean Organizing Committee wrote AfterDowningStreet.org to remind us of an important distinction. Sung-Hee wrote:
We all congratulate our friends in the Czech Republic for the government of the Czech being fallen largely due to the determined and persistent struggles of the people in the Czech against the US radar base, part of the US missile defense system.
By Dave Lindorff
It may not be obvious today, and certainly it’s not how the corporate media reported it, but future historians are likely to look back at March 13, 2009 as the day that American imperialism began it’s inexorable decline. That’s the day that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced that his country was “worried” about its holdings of over $1 trillion in US treasury securities, and warned that he wanted the US to assure China that it would maintain its good credit and “honor its promises” and “maintain the safety of China’s assets.”
There is no way that the US can accommodate Premier Wen and still finance and operate a global military system with over 1000 overseas bases, massive aircraft carrier battle groups, and with hundreds of thousands of men and women armed to the teeth with the latest high-tech military hardware, not to mention fight endless wars on the far side of the globe.
Jobs, in particular, are a major concern for the Chinese authorities, who fear potential social unrest as millions of migrant workers’ jobs have fallen victim to the global slowdown. “We have reserved adequate ammunition,” Mr. Wen said, adding that China’s fiscal deficit is under control and the debt level still safe. “At any time, we can introduce new stimulus,” he said, quoted by Bloomberg News.
China, the world’s biggest holder of United States government debt, on Friday expressed concern about the safety of those assets as American deficits have ballooned with costly stimulus and bailout packages aimed at rescuing the economy..
Solidarity message from Japanese citizens
To friends in Europe who are against the Missile Defense system and the Space Shield
We are several citizen groups which are respectively committed in peaceful ways to movements of anti-MD system and anti-US Bases in Japan. We would like to convey, by this message, our solidarity with all who are against the deployment of the US MD system into the eastern Europe. We, who live with the various problems arising from many US bases occupying our homeland, always look enviously at the unified efforts in the anti-radar movement by citizens and the League of Mayors in Czech Republic. Your movement has encouraged us a lot and we thank you for that.
Japanese government introduced the MD system in Dec. 2003, and ever since, its deployment has been accelerated here along with the US’ deployment of its own MD system in Japan.
An Open Letter to U.S. President Barack Obama
The "Change" You Promised Should Include the Official
Dismantling of the Bush-Rumsfeld Neoconservative
President Barack Obama The White House Washington D.C.
January 16, 2009
Dear Mr. President:
First, we would like to extend our congratulations on
your election as President of the United States of
The Bush administration, by conducting wars forbidden
under international law, and by taking other
unilateralist actions during its eight years in office,
has brought immense suffering to the people of the
world. We welcome your election as President, as you
clearly promised to change what had been done by your
predecessor and his administration. We believe that
your call for change won the hearts and minds of the
American people, particularly the young, inspired them
with hope, and rekindled idealism, undoubtedly a great
By Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and Former Prime Minister of Malaysia
Dear Mr. President,
I did not vote for you in the Presidential Election because I am Malaysian.
But I consider myself one of your constituents because what you do or say will affect me and my country as well.
I welcome your promise for change. Certainly your country, the United States of America needs a lot of changes.
That is because America and Americans have become the best hated people in the world. Even Europeans dislike your arrogance. Yet you were once admired and liked because you freed a lot of countries from conquest and subjugation.
It is the custom on New Year's day for people to make resolutions. You must have listed your good resolutions already. But may I politely suggest that you also resolve to do the following in pursuit of Change.
State Dept. Information Line for Mumbai Attacks: 1-888-407-4747; Mumbai Gunmen Kill 80, Western Hostages Taken
U.S. citizens concerned about the wellbeing of friends and family in India may call the following US State Dept. number for information: 1-888-407-4747
Gunmen killed at least 80 people in a series of attacks in India's financial capital Mumbai and troops began moving into two five-star hotels on Thursday where Western hostages were being held, local television said.
Police said they had shot dead four gunmen and arrested nine suspects.
However, the chief minister of Maharashtra said the situation was not yet contained.
U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman will lead a delegation to Azerbaijan for the 2008 Energy Summit.
The summit is being hosted by Azeri President Ilham Aliyev. The U.S. delegation will take part in bilateral meetings with foreign heads of state and government ministers, the U.S. Department of Energy announced.
Bodman said the U.S. discussion will focus on commitment to the development of the Southern Pipeline Corridor and to bringing Central Asian and Caspian oil and gas to global markets.
"The United States remains firmly committed to the development of independent, commercially viable energy supply routes enabling the transport of competitive energy resources from the Caspian region to meet the needs of markets east, west, north and south," Bodman said.
Some people are not waiting to see what Obama will do as president before acting. In South Korea activists are now meeting and publicly calling on president-elect Obama to end the dangerous and costly U.S.-South Korea (ROK) military alliance that is contributing to major tensions in the region.
The U.S. is currently doubling its military presence in the Asian-Pacific region. New and expanded Pentagon bases are going into Guam, Australia, Japan, and South Korea. "Missile defense" is being peddled to Australia, Japan, and South Korea which is forcing China, who today only has 20 nuclear missiles capable of hitting the west coast of the U.S., to produce more for fear that a U.S. "first-strike" could knock out their nuclear capability. In fact the U.S. Space Command has been war gaming such a first-strike attack on China for the past several years!
If Obama wants to reduce global tensions he should begin negotiating a de-escalation of militarism in the Asian-Pacific region. If Obama wants money for health care, education, energy policy, and new jobs at home then he must stop expanding U.S. military bases in that region and throughout the world. More Photos
Washington: Barack Obama, who today scripted history by getting elected as the first black President of the United States, has always seen Mahatma Gandhi as an inspiration who reminds him about the "real message of life".
Obama also flaunts his love to the apostle of peace by having a portrait of Mahatma at his Senate Office.
The Democrat, who favours US having close links with India, has told an Indian magazine that he was "fortunate" to have close Indian-American friends and recalled about the rural development work his mother did in the country.
Through the power of his example and his own unshakable spirit, Gandhi inspired a people to resist oppression, sparking a revolution that freed a nation from colonial rule, the Democratic Presidential-elect had said.
"Gandhi s significance is universal. Countless people around the world have been touched by his spirit and example. His victory in turn inspired a generation of young Americans to peacefully wipe out a system of overt oppression that had endured for a century.
A Bombing In Assam
By Gary Corseri
You are walking along the street one day,
chewing cinnamon gum,
and the world is full of cinnamon
when there's a fireball--
and a blast of gushing air and noise
like the Earth is cracking
and time has exploded. ...