30 August 2010. A World to Win News Service.
“When the water came, we moved our women and children to high ground. Three of my daughters stayed behind to help the men pack up whatever belongings we could carry with us… within minutes, the current got too strong and the waters rose head high.” This is how a villager from Sardaryab, a village in northwest Pakistan, lost two of his daughters aged 16 and 17. He was only able to save his youngest daughter. “Their bodies were found three days later, dumped on the bank by receding waters about 6 kilometres down the river.”
Omar, another villager, describes the events in his village this way: “We could see the water rising across the entire area between my village and the river. At first we thought it was rain water, but it continued to rise,” he says. Everybody rushed to the nearby railway track which is on high ground. But Omar was slightly late.
“Three of our women were swept off their feet. We saved two of them, but the third, my brother’s wife, was lost. We found her body two days later.” (BBC, 5 August 2010)
This is the kind of story that Pakistani families who lost their loved ones or their home or what little belongings they had gathered over their entire lifetimes would tell you. Millions had to leave the land they had worked on to go to a supposedly safer place or a refugee camp. Continue reading
Corruption on the US dime fuels the Afghan regime
By James Cogan
30 August, 2010, WSWS.org
A series of leaks to the New York Times and the Washington Post over the past week has revealed that members of the Afghan government headed by President Hamid Karzai are paid agents and informers of the CIA.
The revelations began on August 25 when senior Times’ correspondents Dexter Filkins and Mark Mazzetti reported that a close aide of Karzai who is accused of corruption, Mohammed Zia Salehi, had been on the CIA payroll for “many years”. The information was provided by anonymous sources “in Kabul and Washington,” suggesting it came from high up within the US military or the Obama administration itself.
Two days later, the Washington Post cited other US sources alleging that the “CIA is making secret payments to multiple members of the Karzai administration”. The Post stated: “The CIA has continued the payments despite concerns that that it is backing corrupt officials and undermining efforts to wean Afghans’ dependence on secret sources of income and graft”. Continue reading
"Operation Green Hunt": The government has deployed over 200,000 soldiers, police, and para-military forces, mainly in tribal (adivasi) lands. They have added Border Security Forces (BSF), as shown above, to fight this domestic war. Several BSF jawans were killed in the Chhatisgarh ambush by people's forces
August 30, 2010
Five security personnel were killed as over 100 Maoists ambushed a patrol in Chhattisgarh’s restive Bastar region Sunday, leading to a gunfight, police said.
“Maoists ambushed a police patrolling party drawn from the Border Security Force (BSF), district force (DF) and special police officers (SPOs) in a thickly-forested area,” Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) T.J. Longkumer said over phone from Jagdalpur, headquarters of Bastar region.
He said the gun battle took place in Bhuski village in Kanker district, 250 km from capital Raipur, when Maoists ambushed the troopers. “It was a major ambush but our jawans fought bravely and fiercely…Maoists were in large numbers and estimated to be over 100,” Longkumer said.
Chhattisgarh Director General of Police Vishwa Ranjan said that those killed were three BSF men, including a head constable and two constables, one belonging to the DF and an SPO.
He added that a chopper was sent to the attack site for rescue operations and evacuating an injured trooper. Police claimed that some Maoists were also killed in the gunfight but none of their bodies were recovered. Continue reading
Now that the Government has finally struck down the Vedanta mining project in Orissa, senior Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy, presently under arrest inside Delhi’s Tihar jail, writes about how mining giants are making obscene amounts of money at the cost of the poor while even the State fails to make any gains.-Open Magazine
International supporters of the Dongria struggle against Vedanta mining apply the message and image of the anti-colonial movie Avatar to the struggle
28 August 2010
By Kobad Ghandy
Our defeat was always implicit in the victory of others; our wealth has always generated our poverty by nourishing the prosperity of others—the empires and their native overseers. In the colonial and neo-colonial alchemy, gold changes into scrap metal and food into poison.— Eduardo Galeano in Open Veins of Latin America
It is ironic — the richer the land the poorer its people: Eduardo Galeano, in his above mentioned book said: “The Indians (local inhabitants) have suffered, and continue to suffer, the curse of their own wealth; that is the drama of all Latin America”.
In India too, the richest states of Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh are amongst the poorest in the country. Of course, unlike two centuries back in Latin America they no longer exterminate the local population. They induce slow death through starvation, disease and lack of livelihood. Development for some has always been at the cost of ‘development’ for the many.
Tantalum, a necessary ingredient of computers, cell phones, ipods, and so on, is to a large extent, extracted cheaply from Congo which has one-fifth of the world’s deposits. But to extract that (together with gold and tin) MNCs have tied up with warring warlords which has taken a toll of 5.4 million lives since April 2007. Killings continue at the rate of 45,000 per month and Congo has become the world capital of rape, torture and mutilation. Continue reading
This is the Black Agenda Morning Shot for Monday, August 30, 2010 being brought to you by Kali Akuno from New Orleans, Louisiana. As Black August 2010 draws to a close, Black people in New Orleans, the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and throughout the country commemorated the Ma’afa or great calamity of Hurricane Katrina that struck the Mississippi Gulf Coast on August 29th, 2005.
The day was one of remembrance for those who needlessly lost their lives due to government incompetence and strategic neglect and those who were and remain displaced. It was also a day of continued resistance to the ethnic and class cleansing taking place in New Orleans and other Black and oppressed communities throughout the Gulf Coast.
Perhaps the most strategic act of resistance occurred in the St. Bernard Community of New Orleans where Survivors Village protested President Barack Obama’s visit of the Columbia Parc development, which rests on the site of the demolished St. Bernard Development. Continue reading
Obama watches as Netanyahu shakes Abbas' hand (file photo)
August 31, 2010
The Washington Farce
By JEFFREY BLANKFORT
This coming week we will witness the latest challenge for the man who is arguably the most extraordinary double agent in the Middle East. What is unusual about Mahmoud Abbas, or Abu Mazen, as he was known when his fellow Palestinians had yet to take his measure, is that most of what he does for his Israeli and US masters he does in plain sight.
To which of the two he is most beholden will be determined during his upcoming visit to Washington for the latest chapter in what has euphemistically been referred to as the “peace process” since it was launched in the aftermath of the Oslo Agreement. The odds are it will be Israel. In Oslo, it should be recalled, Abbas, as the chief Palestinian negotiator, played Neville Chamberlain for Tel Aviv, agreeing to surrender occupied Palestinian land with a view toward putting a permanent end to Palestinian resistance and, immediately, to the first Intifada. Continue reading
By KARIN LAUB and DIAA HADID (AP)
RAMALLAH, West Bank — The rival Palestinian governments in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have clamped down harder on opponents and critics in recent months — deepening a nasty split that could prevent Palestinian statehood even if peace talks with Israel kicking off this week succeed against long odds.
New reports by Palestinian rights groups highlight a surprising symmetry in the abuse that the U.S.-backed government of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank and his Iranian-supported rivals Hamas in Gaza inflict on each other.
Both governments carry out arbitrary arrests, ban rivals from travel, exclude them from civil service jobs and suppress opposition media, the rights groups say. Torture in both West Bank and Gaza lockups includes beatings and tying up detainees in painful positions.
Hamas and Abbas’ Fatah organization have harassed each other ever since the Islamic militant Hamas seized Gaza in 2007. However, the crackdowns have become more sweeping in recent months as each aims to strengthen its grip on its respective territory. Continue reading