‘Trading Kashmir for Boeing’, says India’s Arundhati Roy in New York Times

Thursday, 11 November 2010

NEW YORK CITY, US—India’s renowned activist and novelist Arundhati Roy has made another impassioned plea for Kashmir’s right to self-determination in an op-ed in The New York Times. In her ironic style, she has ridiculed US President Barrack Obama, the Indian military and government, and reintroduced Shakeel to the world, the young Kashmiri whose 22-year-old wife and 17-year-old sister were raped and murdered by Indian occupation soldiers and thrown into a river.

But the best part of her op-ed, titled, Kashmir’s Fruits’ of Discord, is her take on the Indo-US double blackmail: how the United States is using Kashmir to blackmail India, and how India is using arms purchases to blackmail the US.  This is how she puts it:

“While [Obama] spoke eloquently about threats of terrorism, he kept quiet about human rights abuses in Kashmir. Whether Mr. Obama decides to change his position on Kashmir again depends on several factors: how the war in Afghanistan is going, how much help the United States needs from Pakistan and whether the government of India goes aircraft shopping this winter. (An order for 10 Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, worth $5.8 billion, among other huge business deals in the pipeline, may ensure the president’s silence.) But neither Mr. Obama’s silence nor his intervention is likely to make the people in Kashmir drop the stones in their hands.”

There is widespread suspicion among analysts that President Obama has traded Kashmir for India’s Boeing order. 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

Democracy Now: US ties to special death squads in Indonesia

With Obama in Jakarta, secret documents show US-backed Indonesian Special Forces Unit targets Papuan churches, civilians

President Obama arrived in Indonesia today on the second stop of a ten-day trip to Asia. It’s Obama’s first state visit to Indonesia after having lived there for four years as a child.

We go to Jakarta to speak with investigative journalist and activist Allan Nairn, who has just released secret documents from Kopassus—the feared Indonesian special forces—which has been responsible for human rights abuses since the 1950s.

Earlier this year, the Obama administration lifted a 12-year funding ban for the training of Kopassus. While Obama talks about human rights, the documents indicate that Kopassus targets churches and civilians and includes a Kopassus enemies list topped by a local Baptist minister in West Papua. Nairn will continue to release documents on his website AllanNairn.com. 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.

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India: Bhopal gas victims protest to seek Obama’s help

Indo-Asian News Service

Bhopal, November 07, 2010

US President Barack Obama’s visit to India seems to have infused a new zeal in the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy survivors who organised a protest in Bhopal on Sunday demanding action against American companies allegedly responsible for the disaster.

Their campaign started gaining momentum a few days before Obama’s arrival.

They demonstrated near the now-shut Union Carbide India factory on Nov 6, the day Obama arrived in Mumbai.

The survivors staged a demonstration on Sunday at Neelam Park in Bhopal, posing as dead bodies.

The survivors have always been unhappy with the Indian government’s stand on not taking action against American companies and are now accusing the US president of adopting “double standards” on industrial disasters. Continue reading

India plans to spend tens of billions on military equipment to suppress peoples’ struggles, confront Pakistan and China

One of the massive C-17 cargo planes the US is planning to sell to India for transporting its "rapid reaction" forces to suppress peoples' struggles

Wealthy and Worried, India Is Rich Arms Market

 

New York Times, November 4, 2010

A big item on President Obama’s to-do list this weekend is securing a $5 billion deal for Boeing to sell 10 of its C-17 cargo planes. The agreement, for which Boeing and American officials have long laid the groundwork, would be part of a flurry of military equipment deals that foreign suppliers are eager to nail down with India. Mr. Obama’s French and Russian counterparts are expected to visit New Delhi this year, with their own military sales contracts in hand.

India, flush with new wealth but worried about its national security, is rapidly turning into one of the world’s most lucrative arms markets. In the last several years, as its budget and appetite for more sophisticated weaponry have grown, India has reduced its traditional reliance on Russia for planes, ships and missiles.

The White House is backing sales like the C-17s, which India would use to transport its rapid-response forces, to help make India a regional counterweight to China. 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

India: “Obama Not Welcome” “Obama! Go Back!”

[We  have posted this statement by the Communist of India (Maoist), one of the largest revolutionary parties in the world, which provides leadership to the revolutionary “people’s war” that is being waged in areas of central and eastern India which are mainly populated by adivasis– the indigenous tribal peoples of India.  FRS posts articles from time to time by and about the work of this party in order to inform our readers of  its ideology and political views. The CPI(Maoist) believes that the achievement  of  socialist society in India and its advance toward  worldwide communism can only take place  through the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism and all exploitative forces, and continuing the class struggle under socialism to transform society.–ed.]

Press Release from the COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST), CENTRAL COMMITTEE

October 31, 2010

OPPOSE FIRMLY BARACK OBAMA’S VISIT TO INDIA, WHO IS THE GANG LEADER OF US IMPERIALISM, THE NO. 1 ENEMY OF THE WORLD PEOPLE!

RAISE THE SLOGAN IN ONE VOICE ‘OBAMA! GO BACK!!’ LOUDLY THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY!!

US President Barack Obama will be coming to our country on November 6. The comprador rulers of India are busy laying red carpet to welcome him and trying to beautify Mumbai and Delhi. This is a great insult to democracy-loving, peace-loving and patriotic people of our country. US imperialism, which has been plundering the poor countries across the world, suppressing the oppressed nationalities, pushing the notorious thugs and dictators into the power, bullying those countries who wouldn’t cooperate, looting oil, minerals and all other natural wealth and sources and for this going to any extent, is the no. 1 enemy of world people. Its leader Barack Obama is such a person whom the entire humanity must hate.


Continue reading

The Coca-Cola Case | A documentary film about the suppresion of labour rights in Latin America

“The Coca Cola Case” — a trailer

A documentary film by German Guttierez and Carmen Garcia.  Coca-Cola may be one of the most visible brands in the world, but there’s one part of their operations they don’t want you to see. See http://www.thecoca-colacase.org for more information.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Women Widowed by the Bhopal Gas Tragedy Hold Protest

Widows of the world’s worst industrial disaster, the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984, protest in central India. They are demanding more compensation from the state government. Here’s more on the story.

Hundreds of women widowed by the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy took to the streets, demanding adequate pensions and enhanced compensation.

Balkrishna Namdev, Protester:  “It’s been 26 years since the gas tragedy, and in these 26 years the condition of the gas victims’ widows has deteriorated. The Madhya Pradesh state government has failed to provide adequate compensation to these women. Even the compensation decided by the Group of Ministers is very low.”

And their frustrations don’t end there.

Balkrishna Namdev, Protester:  “We also demand that all the gas victims, who used to receive about $13-thousand compensation, should now get another $6,800.” Continue reading

Michael Battle, US Imperialism’s Ambassador to the African Union

 

Ambassador Michael Battle

The new scramble for Africa

Jason Hickel

The past few years have seen a dramatic uptick in American diplomatic
 efforts in Africa, which has coincided with a decisive shift in
 political rhetoric about the continent. At first glance this might seem 
like a positive development, reflecting a more progressive attitude
toward what has long been considered an unimportant global backwater.

But a closer look reveals that American diplomacy in Africa is less 
about serving the good of African people than it is about securing the
 interests of private American capital. Nowhere has this been more 
flagrantly clear than on the lips of Michael Battle, the US ambassador 
to the African Union.

First, a bit about Ambassador Battle. He received a master’s in divinity 
at Trinity College and a PhD in ministry at Howard University, and
 served at the Interdenominational Theological Centre in Atlanta until he
 was nominated to his current post by President Obama in 2009. Battle’s
 position at the AU is new and little known outside diplomatic circles.
The US only established a dedicated ambassadorship to the African Union
 during the Bush administration in 2006. This mission — known as USAU —
is the first of its kind among non-African states, and is designed to 
facilitate US operations in Africa as a more “efficient” and “effective” 
alternative to bilateral relationships with individual African states.

This month I had the opportunity to attend a speech delivered by
 Ambassador Battle during his visit to the Miller Centre of Public
 Affairs at the University of Virginia. I noticed a new diplomatic
 rhetoric right at the outset of his presentation. First, he referred to
 Africa as a continent of “riches” and “abundance”, flagging a notable
 departure from earlier, longstanding representations of Africa as
“desolate” and “impoverished”. Paralleling this point, Battle spoke at
 length about shifting US policy in Africa toward corporate “investment”
and “partnership” and away from public “aid” and “assistance”. Continue reading

US Imperialism and Chinese Imperialism on Collision Course over Energy

 

Geography of the struggle for oil and gas supply between the world’s biggest consumers: the United States and the Eurasian countries (EU, China and India). The role of Russia as major exporter and the American military presence to secure strategic production sites. From Limes 1/2005

China, Energy, And Global Power:  Twenty-First Century Energy Superpower

By Michael Klare

21 September, 2010,  TomDispatch.com

If you want to know which way the global wind is blowing (or the sun shining or the coal burning), watch China. That’s the news for our energy future and for the future of great-power politics on planet Earth. Washington is already watching — with anxiety.

Rarely has a simple press interview said more about the global power shifts taking place in our world. On July 20th, the chief economist of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Fatih Birol, told the Wall Street Journalthat China had overtaken the United States to become the world’s number one energy consumer. One can read this development in many ways: as evidence of China’s continuing industrial prowess, of the lingering recession in the United States, of the growing popularity of automobiles in China, even of America’s superior energy efficiency as compared to that of China.

All of these observations are valid, but all miss the main point: by becoming the world’s leading energy consumer, China will also become an ever more dominant international actor and so set the pace in shaping our global future. Continue reading

Speaking Freely – Chalmers Johnson on American Hegemony


Author of Blowback, The Sorrows Of Empire and Nemesis: The Last Days Of The American Empire, Chalmers Johnson has written the book on the concept of American Hegemony. A former naval officer and consultant of the C.I.A., he now serves as professor Emeritus at UC San Diego. As co-founder and President of the Japan Policy Research Institute, Mr. Johnson also continues to promote public education about Asia’s role in the international community.  In this interview, you will find out why the practice of empire building is, by no means, a thing of the past. As the United States continues to expand its military forces around the globe, the consequences are being suffered by each and every one of us.

UN Report Whitewashes Mass Murder, Ecocide by Shell Oil and Nigerian Government

For more than 50 years, the Royal Dutch Shell corporation and its Nigerian government partners have inflicted the world’s worst oil pollution on the people of the Niger River Delta. Now, the United Nations squanders its dwindling prestige to help whitewash the vast environmental and human rights crime. According to a UN report, the Nigerian people are to blame for soaking the Delta in 9 to 13 million barrels of oil.

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Click on this link:20100825_gf_NigeriaOil.mp3

“The United Nations has attempted to facilitate a corporate-government cover-up of monumental dimensions.

In July of last year, Amnesty International released a report, documenting the vast environmental and human rights degradations imposed on the people of the Niger River Delta by 50 years of oil exploration and production. Amnesty International sent a letter to Peter Voser, the newly appointed CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, the dominant company in the Delta oil fields, asking him to “come clean” on the “failures and poor practice” of both Shell and the Nigerian government. A little over a year later, Royal Dutch Shell and the Nigerian government have presented their answer, in the form of a monstrous whitewash produced in collusion with an agency of the United Nations. Continue reading