WikiLeaks reveals US drug agency’s intelligence role

[The DEA has, as revealed and documented in the last Wikileaks release, become one important method of maintaining US hegemonic controls throughout the world.  Cultivating corrupt relations as well as ensuring privileged investment and trade over entire economies or selected industries, requires a broad range of controls, from World Bank and IMF to World Court and DEA—instruments which have been organized and wielded systematically since the end of the 2d World War.  Drug enforcement concerns one area of particularly lucrative and perilous capitalist investment and production, which has grown exponentially and globally when many other capitalist industries have not.–Frontlines ed.]
Mon, Dec 27, 2010

NEW YORK: The US Drug Enforcement Administration , an agency tasked with the job of tracking drug traffickers around the world, has over the years transformed into a global intelligence organisation with its tentacles extending far beyond narcotics, according to secret American diplomatic cables .

The organisation has an eavesdropping operation so expansive it has to fend off foreign politicians who want to use it against their political enemies, the New York Times reported on Sunday, quoting a cache of cables published by WikiLeaks . The body’s vast network of informants also had on its roll David Headley, an accused in the Mumbai attacks case, who worked as a double agent for the DEA.

In far greater detail than previously seen, the cables offer glimpses of drug agents balancing diplomacy and law enforcement in places where it can be hard to tell the politicians from the traffickers, and where drug rings are themselves mini-states whose wealth and violence permit them to run roughshod over struggling governments, the report said. Continue reading

Thousands rally against G20 Summit in Seoul, South Korea

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Outside the G20 summit in Seoul, thousands rallied at a protest. They’re angry at the G20 for not taking responsibility for the global financial crisis. Authorities ramped up security to deal with the protestors.

About 10,000 South Korean workers and civic group members held an anti-G20 rally on Thursday as leaders of the G20 gather in Seoul to discuss global issues.

[Kim Young-hoo, Protest Leader]:
“The G20 is not taking responsibility for causing financial crisis… Instead, they try to pass the burden of the global financial crisis over to the general public, so we criticize them.” Continue reading

Korea: Protests welcome Obama in Seoul

Wed Nov 10, 2010

US President Barack Obama waves goodbye before entering Air Force One and departing from the Halim Perdanakusuma military airport in Jakarta, November 10, 2010.
US President Barack Obama has arrived in South Korea to attend the G-20 summit in Seoul as activists stage protests against Washington’s policies around the world.

Prior to his arrival in Seoul, thousands of South Korean peace activists and civic group members took to the streets to protest Obama’s visit, saying the US president is not welcome in South Korea.

The activists have promised to continue their demonstrations until the summit kicks off on Thursday. The protesters are opposing a free trade agreement between Seoul and Washington.

Disputes over foreign exchange rates and the world’s unbalanced trade are expected to dominate discussions in the two-day gathering. The demonstrators say the deal harms South Korea’s agriculture and employment.

Continue reading

Obama’s trip firms up US-India economic and military alliance, strengthens India’s role as a regional power

Obama and President Singh receive military salute

 

[This article from the New York Times, the leading bourgeois paper in the US, is a useful description of the results of  Obama’s trip to India. However,as expected,  it leaves  many things unsaid and not analysed such as:  The substance of Obama and President Singh’s agreement on “homeland security”– focused on helping the Indian military suppress the rebellion for “azadi” (freedom) that erupted in Kashmir this summer, and on supporting the 200,000 Indian troops which are at present trying to suppress the struggle of the tribal peoples of India and clearing them off their land for the exploitation of their natural resources ( “Operation Green Hunt”); and the significance of the new trade ties that were negotiated that will facilitate increased investment and penetration by US corporations and military suppliers in India. The article also mentions only in passing China’s unhappiness with the agreements struck by Obama and Singh, which were in large part aimed at building tup the Indian economy and military as an counterweight to the  expansion of  China’s imperialist influence in South Asia through military and economic agreements with Pakistan and Sri Lanka.–Frontlines ed]

NEW DELHI — By endorsing India for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, President Barack Obama on Monday signaled the United States’ intention to create a deeper partnership of the world’s two largest democracies that would expand commercial ties and check the influence of an increasingly assertive China.

Obama’s announcement, made during a nationally televised address to the Indian Parliament, came at the end of a three-day visit to India that won high marks from an Indian political establishment once uncertain of the president’s commitment to the relationship. Even as stark differences remained between the countries on a range of tough issues, including Pakistan, trade policy, climate change and, to some degree, Iran, Obama spoke of India as an “indispensable” partner for the coming century. “In Asia and around the world, India is not simply emerging,” he said during his speech in Parliament. “India has emerged.”

Mr. Obama’s closer embrace of India prompted a sharp warning from Pakistan, India’s rival and an uncertain ally of the United States in the war in Afghanistan, which criticized the two countries for engaging in “power politics” that lacked a moral foundation. It is also likely to set off fresh concerns in Beijing, which has had a contentious relationship with India and has expressed alarm at American efforts to tighten alliances with Asian nations wary of China’s rising power.

Continue reading

India: Demonstration called in Delhi to protest Obama’s visit

Obama speaking to US occupation forces in Afghanistan

Leader of War Mongers Looters and Exploiter of World People, US President Obama Go Back!

 

Join Demonstration at Jantar Mantar at 2 PM on 8 November, 2010

At a time when US imperialism has escalated the war against Afghanistan and is even extending this war by assaults by NATO forces led by it against northern districts of Pakistan, leader of warmongers, looters and exploiters of the world people, President of USA, Barack Obama, is visiting India from 6th Nov. 2010.

Since Obama came to power, US forces have increased their numbers several times over in Afghanistan. There are innumerable proven instances of deliberate targeting of innocent civilians by these forces in the name of “targeted” attacks on “enemy”.  In essence, US imperialism under Obama administration is continuing the Bush era attempt of a permanent base in Afghanistan from where it will interfere in central Asia. India should be in the forefront of opposing the US move. Let us use the opportunity of Obama’s visit to strongly demand that US and NATO forces immediately withdrawn from Afghanistan.

It was 2001 that US imperialism under Bush had launched its current war, which the world people were told was against ‘terrorism’. War was launched first against Afghanistan and later against Iraq. In reality wars were launched to further the quest of US imperialism for hegemony over the world’s oil resources and also to establish military dominance over the world.

In essence, the Obama administration is continuing the aims of Bush era but it has only changed rhetoric. US under Obama has made a mockery of his promises of withdrawal of forces from Iraq, keeping a huge army stationed there in the name of ‘aid’ to local troops. While Afghanistan is the main theatre of war, US continues a sharply aggressive stance on West Asia and Central Asia. On Palestine, Obama has no policy different from the earlier one and continues backing Israel against the just fight of the Palestinian people. Continue reading

Economists see a looming US-China trade war

Who will set the terms for US-China relations?

From the halls of Congress to the World Trade Organization, US officials are increasingly criticizing China trade and currency policies – blaming them for America’s huge trade deficit.

By Peter Ford, Christian Science Monitor Staff writer / September 17, 2010

The storm clouds gathering over America’s trade relations with China darkened this week, prompting some observers to warn of a coming trade war between the world’s two largest economic powers.  As Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner openly criticized China for keeping its currency undervalued, angry congressmen urged legislation that would punish China for artificially boosting its exports.

Adding to the threatening drumbeat, Washington lodged two new complaints against China at the World Trade Organization (WTO), charging that “China is breaking its trade commitments to the United States and other WTO partners,” according to a statement by US Trade Representative Ron Kirk.

These are all signs that major imbalances in world trade – where the US has the biggest deficits and China has the biggest surpluses – “make it inevitable we are going to end up in a messy situation,” says Michael Pettis, a professor of economics and finance at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Continue reading

Confederation of South African Trade Unions criticizes ANC economic program

[Since the ending of South African apartheid and the election of President Nelson Mandela in 1994,  the leading “Tripartite Alliance” (ANC, African National Congress/COSATU, Confederation of South African Trade Unions, and SACP, the South African Communist Party) has been formally united but actually far from united.  It has become known to represent the interests of the bourgeois (both nationalist and comprador), revisionist quasi-Marxists, and radical trade-unionists.  The deals which were made in the early 90’s with international capital, at the expense of the apartheid movement’s promises for economic democratisation and nationalisation, have created an ever-widening gap between the very rich and the very poor.  Rampant privatisation of national resources has become commonplace, and unemployment is now in the millions.  The working class, in both private and public sectors, has been squeezed to the breaking point, as the recent national strike has demonstrated.

Rumors are rampant that the Tripartite Alliance is now at the breaking point.  The following  proposal by COSATU may indicate the terms they are demanding today–protectionist trade and monetary policy, and hints of nationalization.  The article says that such measures will not be accepted by the ANC.  If so, when will the other shoe drop–and what form will it take?  How will the working class, and the landless and jobless, respond?  And how will those who carry the revolutionary spirit of the people of Azania meet the challenge?–ed.]

Business Day (Johannesburg), 15 September 2010

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) yesterday proposed a radical overhaul of SA’s monetary and financial policy, calling for controls over commercial bank loans and capping gold exports to increase national reserves.

Cosatu says in an economic strategy paper that it also wants a state bank to have “control and ownership” over the balance sheets of the Reserve Bank, so that it can direct economic policies.

Cosatu will present a range of interventions it says will boost job creation and economic growth, as well as redistribute both income and power, at the African National Congress (ANC) national general council next week. Continue reading

Protests push Mozambique government to reverse bread price hike (AP)

MAPUTO, Mozambique — Mozambique’s government says it is reversing bread price increases that had touched off deadly riots.

Planning Minister Aiuba Cuereneia told reporters after a Cabinet meeting Tuesday that the 20 percent increase in the price of bread that went into effect Monday would be reversed.

He also says the government is suspending salary increases for top government officials.

Protests last week in the capital, Maputo, turned violent, with demonstrators clashing with police. The health department says the death toll was 13.

Mozambique’s government has said that keeping food prices low is difficult because so much of the country’s food has to be imported. The southeastern African nation grows only 30 percent of the wheat it needs.

Deaths in Mozambique food price riots

Ten people left dead following three days of clashes between police and demonstrators over high food prices.

”]

4 September 2010

Violent protests over high food prices in Mozambique have left at least 10 people dead and more than 440 people wounded. In the latest clashes, which began on Wednesday, three police officers were injured in fighting with demonstrators in Maputo, the capital, on Friday evening.  Police have used rubber bullets and tear gas against protesters but no incidents were reported overnight and the situation was said to be quiet on Saturday.

“The situation at this point is apparently quite calm,” Fernando Lima, the publisher of the country’s weekly newspaper Savana, told Al Jazeera. “You cannot find signs of violence, aside from stores that have been looted.”

Speaking on Saturday, Americo Ubisse, a Red Cross spokesman in Maputo, said: “We have no incidents reported since yesterday. Everything is fine, the situation is still under control.” The organisation, which has been monitoring the demonstrations, also said Chomoio, in the centre of the country, was quiet, following fresh skirmishes on Friday night.

Thousands of people have been angered by a 30 per cent increase in the price of bread and higher electricity and water tariffs. Continue reading