New York Police and Philippine National Police announce joint program “against terror and crime”

[Long ago, Phil Ochs wrote a satirical, anti-imperialist song, “We’re the Cops of the World,” and each day since has confirmed that ugly truth.  New efforts to re-tool Philippine forces to match the operational methods of US imperialist forces are part of similar global restructurings, especially with the previously announced renewed “pivot to Asia.”  See the articles from the Philippine Daily Inquirer,  ABS-CBN News/Phil Star — followed by the statement of the CP of the Philippines, below. — Frontlines ed.]

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NYPD deployed against Occupy movement

By

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the New York Police Department (NYPD) have joined forces in a memorandum of understanding to fight terrorism and transnational crimes.

PNP Director General Nicanor Bartolome and NYPD’s Lt. Gustavo Rodriguez signed the Memorandum of Understanding in Camp Crame on Oct. 31.

“Mitigating transnational crime and combating terrorism is of utmost importance to the NYPD and we are proud to join forces with an agency that shares the same mission,” Rodriguez told reporters after the signing.

Bartolome said the PNP and NYPD would work together to mitigate transnational crimes “with emphasis on” illegal drugs, terrorism, smuggling, human trafficking, maritime fraud and cybercrime.

Bartolome said the MOU was about the “exchange of information” between the two police forces.

Philippine police deployed against farmers protest

“We have similar problems. It’s not just their problems or ours,” the PNP chief said.

Bartolome said the PNP had signed a similar MOU with the Australian Federal Police.

Rodriguez said the partnership would involve the collection of information on transnational crime and counter-terrorism that would be “disseminated back to New York City.” Continue reading

Syria: To oppose, or not to oppose?

Maher Arar

Maher Arar

Human rights activist Maher Arar is the publisher of Prism Magazine, and first came to public attention after he was rendered by US authorities to Syria, his native country.
 The opposition movement inside and outside the country must walk a fine line between independence and intervention.
 Maher Arar, Al Jazeera, 11 Jul 2012

Clashes between rebel fighters and government forces have wrought great destruction [Reuters]

Deciding whether or not to oppose Syria’s rulers has been the recent dominant preoccupation of many anti-imperialist and left-leaning movements. This hesitant attitude towards the Syrian struggle for freedom is nurtured by many anti-regime actions that were recently taken by many Western and Middle-Eastern countries, whose main interest lies in isolating Syria from Iran. However, I believe a better question to ask with respect to Syria is whether the leftist movement should support, or not support, the struggle of the Syrian people.What I find lacking in many of the analyses relating to the Syrian crisis, which I find oftentimes biased and politically motivated, is how well the interests of the Syrian people who are living inside are taken into account. Dry and unnecessarily sophisticated in nature, these analyses ignore simple facts about why the Syrian people rebelled against the regime in the first place.A brief historical context is probably the best way to bring about some insight with respect to the events that are unfolding in front of our eyes today. Before doing so, it is important to highlight that, unlike many other Arab countries, Syria is not a religiously homogenous Middle-Eastern country. I am mentioning this because it is through religion that the majority of Arabs identified themselves for centuries. As it stands today, Syria’s population is composed 74 per cent of Sunnis (including Kurds and others), 12 per cent Alawites (including Arab Shia), ten per cent Christians (including Armenians) and three per cent Druze.

Syria earned its independence from the French in 1946. As has always been the case with any occupying and imperial force, France worked diligently to ensure that Syrian minorities were placed in top government and military positions.  The Alawites’ share of the pie was the military. By the time France left Syria, Alawites became well entrenched in this crucial government institution.

After two decades of military coups and counter-coups, it was no surprise that Hafez al-Assad, an Alawite and minister of defence at the time, seized power in a bloodless coup in 1970. Within a few years he was relatively able to bring about economic and social stability – which made him a hero in the eyes of the majority of Syrians, regardless of their religion or ethnicity. Continue reading

AFRICOM: The ICC’s New Sheriff in Africa? But the real agenda is…

http://allafrica.com/stories/201005271324.html

[The modern semi-colonial project in Africa continues without a break.  Having thwarted genuine independent self-sufficiency in Africa at every turn, the old and new imperial powers spin their justifications for dominance in barely concealed racist and condescending terms—“defense of international norms”, “humanitarianism”, “pursuit of justice.”   This article from Pambazuka details how these pretexts are utilized by the USA’sAFRICOM.-ed]

Africa: Africom and the ICC – Enforcing International Justice in Continent?

Samar Al-Bulushi and Adam Branch

27 May 2010


Nearly eight years since its establishment in July 2002, and with its first major review conference just around the corner, the International Criminal Court (ICC) faces a number of challenges.

 

The fact that it has prosecuted only Africans has provoked charges of neocolonialism and racism; its decision to indict certain actors and not others has triggered suspicion of the court’s susceptibility to power politics; and its interventions into ongoing armed conflicts have elicited accusations that the ICC is pursuing its own brand of justice at the cost of enflaming war and disregarding the interests of victims.[1] Each of these concerns is likely to provoke heated discussions at the review conference in Kampala next week.

But there is another aspect of the court’s role in Africa that will require scrutiny going forward: enforcement. Lacking its own enforcement mechanism, the court relies upon cooperating states to execute its arrest warrants. The ICC has found, however, that many states, even if willing to cooperate, often lack the capacity to execute warrants, especially in cases of ongoing conflict or when suspects can cross international borders. Moreover, the African Union (AU) has rejected the ICC’s arrest warrant for its most high-profile target, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, and ICC supporters worry that the AU will continue to challenge the court’s authority, especially when the court targets African leaders. The court today thus faces an enforcement crisis: out of 13 arrest warrants issued, only four suspects are in custody. Apparently, having concluded that African states are either unwilling or unable to act quickly or forcefully enough to apprehend suspects, the court has begun to seek support from the one country that has shown itself willing and able to wield military force across the globe: the United States. Continue reading