Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle

cast away illusions, prepare for struggle!

Michael Brown jury: putting a value on a black life in the United States

Protestors hold signs in Ferguson

Protestors in Ferguson, Missouri. ‘When black kids fill the jails and the morgues so disproportionately we are in a state of extreme dysfunction.’ Photograph: Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images

Is there a price to pay for summarily killing a man, or is it just what happens in Ferguson when one man has a badge and the other too much melanin?

 

 

In September 1955, an all-white jury took just 67 minutes to acquit Emmett Till’s killers. Till, 14, said either “Bye, baby” or wolf-whistled at a white woman in a grocery store in Mississippi. Three days later his body was fished out of the Tallahatchie river with a bullet in his skull, an eye gouged out and his forehead crushed on one side. “If we hadn’t stopped to drink pop,” said one juror, “it wouldn’t have taken that long.”

In 2014, racism is more sophisticated but no less deadly. The grand jury investigating the killing of Michael Brown is taking its time. Brown, 18, was unarmed when he was fatally shot by police officer Darren Wilson in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, in August. Wilson has been suspended on full pay and has not been charged. The four-month period that a panel usually convenes for expired last month. The judge gave the grand jury 60 more days to make a decision, so it has until January 7 to decide whether to indict Wilson. That’s a lot of pop.
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VICTORY TO THE HEROIC WAR OF RESISTANCE OF KURDISH PEOPLE IN KOBANI AGAINST ISIS!

US, UK and French imperialist powers raised, fed and armed the reactionary groups such as Al Nusra Front and ISIS in order that they would fight the Assad regime on their behalf. Only when they realised that these groups are not capable of overthrowing the Assad regime, they began to distance themselves from them until their interests in Iraq were threatened. Now they wish to be seen as standing against ISIS.

US imperialism created al-Qaeda to fight the Russians in Afghanistan, but then when al-Qaeda started contradicting with US interests, they turned on them. Following the capture of Mosul by ISIS, having realised that their imperialist dominance is threatened by ISIS they have now, through NATO, started an international coalition against ISIS.

The only reason why the Turkish state did not want to be part of the international coalition is because of its close relations with ISIS. The whole world should know that the resolution passed on October 2, 2014 by the Turkish Grand National Assembly, is not against ISIS. This official resolution that allows Turkish soldiers to be sent to Syria and Iraq is in fact directed against the Kurdish people in Kobani and Rojava (section of Kurdish homeland in Syria) who declared autonomy in the region. This official resolution allows Turkish state to set up a buffer zone on the border of Syria and declare a no-fly zone. The resolution further emphasises that in Syria, the PKK poses a serious threat, clearly revealing the main purpose of the resolution and the intentions of the Turkish state. Continue reading

Here’s How Russia and China Are Teaming Up to Shape Our Future

“It’s likely that the US will be on the outside looking in”
—By Pepe Escobar | Mother Jones magazine | Monday Oct. 6, 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet in Shanghai in May. Pang Xinglei/Xinhua

 

A specter haunts the fast-aging “New American Century”: the possibility of a future Beijing-Moscow-Berlin strategic trade and commercial alliance. Let’s call it the BMB.

Its likelihood is being seriously discussed at the highest levels in Beijing and Moscow, and viewed with interest in Berlin, New Delhi, and Tehran. But don’t mention it inside Washington’s Beltway or at NATO headquarters in Brussels. There, the star of the show today and tomorrow is the new Osama bin Laden: Caliph Ibrahim, aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the elusive, self-appointed beheading prophet of a new mini-state and movement that has provided an acronym feast—ISIS/ISIL/IS—for hysterics in Washington and elsewhere.

No matter how often Washington remixes its Global War on Terror, however, the tectonic plates of Eurasian geopolitics continue to shift, and they’re not going to stop just because American elites refuse to accept that their historically brief “unipolar moment” is on the wane. For them, the closing of the era of “full spectrum dominance,” as the Pentagon likes to call it, is inconceivable. After all, the necessity for the indispensable nation to control all space—military, economic, cultural, cyber, and outer—is little short of a religious doctrine. Exceptionalist missionaries don’t do equality. At best, they do “coalitions of the willing” like the one crammed with “over 40 countries” assembled to fight ISIS/ISIL/IS and either applauding (and plotting) from the sidelines or sending the odd plane or two toward Iraq or Syria. Continue reading

The system tortures, and they call it democracy

The Guardian:  “Gitmo hunger strikes are a cry for help. Why is the US fighting back with secret torture?……..Force-feeding at Guantánamo shames America – not just in the bad old days of George W Bush, but today, in 2014. And you deserve to hear the truth, loud and clear.”

by Cori Crider, theguardian.com, Tuesday 30 September 2014

gitmo fence hand

Gitmo is a warehouse of the forgotten, run by a military that doesn’t know how to treat the sick souls it’s caged without charge for over 12 years. Photograph: Dar Yasin/AP

“Safe, Humane, Legal, Transparent”: so goes the slogan of the world’s most famous offshore prison. It’s an Obama-era rebrand, a bid by Gitmo’s PR people to persuade Americans that today’s is a kinder, gentler Guantánamo Bay. There’s just one wrinkle: Gitmo is still dangerous, nasty, lawless and secretive – and the evidence just keeps piling up.

At the forefront of this war over the truth is the first-ever trial concerning the practice of force-feeding prisoners on hunger strike, due to start Monday. My client, Abu Wa’el Dhiab – a Syrian man who has never been charged, and indeed has been cleared to leave Guantánamo by the US government for more than five years – has been fighting for over a year to reform the way he and other hunger-strikers have been treated. He’s finally about to have his day in court.

But the Obama administration refuses to accept this unusual intrusion of justice into its island idyll. On Friday, US justice department attorneys filed a motion asking the court to hear all evidence in the trial entirely in closed court, save a short, anodyne opening statement from lawyers on both sides. Continue reading

U.S. Guilty Of War Crimes in Palestine

Photo by Marius Arnesen

The U.S. is not a neutral mediator in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; it is an active participant and is guilty of the crimes being committed by Israel against Palestinians, most recently, the mass killings and destruction Israel wrought on the Gaza Strip during the summer. The reality that the U.S. is an active supporter of unimaginable suffering may very well be the motivating force behind the U.S.’s adamant attempts to block the Palestinians from using any of the internationally recognized tools of accountability to hold Israel responsible, such as the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court. When an indigenous, stateless population is blocked access to opportunities for justice by superpowers like the U.S., something is wrong—deadly wrong.

While Israeli bombs were hammering Gaza, Alice Lynd with the assistance of Staughton Lynd, drafted a 32-page pamphlet which was published by the Palestine-Israel Working Group of Historians Against the War (HAW) titled, Violations by Israel and the Problem of Enforcement (August 2014). The policy paper places the U.S. in front of its own mirror and meticulously documents how one hand of the U.S. government systematically documents Israeli violations of U.S. law and international law, while the other hand unconditionally dishes out financial, military, and diplomatic support to Israel.

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The Growing Phenomenon of Pro-Israeli Advocacy in Chinese Academia

[The prominent and powerful role of the Israeli Lobby in the policies and practices of the imperialist world system, often described as a special relationship with the US (and closely related Canadian and European) imperialists, is not limited to those relations.  Israeli strategic planners actively pursue the widest range  of imperialist relations; they will not be tethered to the success of US hegemonism, especially when crises and internal contentions and surrogate instability are matched by growing global challenges from China and others.  The news of the Sino-Israeli alliance-building may surprise those  “anti-imperialists” who confine their opposition (and pro-Palestinian activism) to the US (and US-led) forces allied with Israel, but imperialism is a larger system, and Israel will not confine its fortunes to the US. — Frontlines ed.]

Over the last decade, a network of loosely affiliated pro-Israeli organizationsembracing a number of think tanks, universities, lobbyist groups, foundations, activist-scholars as well as donorshave successfully established a foothold in Chinese academia. The aim of these groups in China has been to provide a platform for espousing hasbaraa Hebrew term for “explanation” denoting the utilization of diplomatic, media, and political mediums to clarify and defend Israel’s positions and actionsthat would serve to re-shape Chinese academic perceptions of the Jewish state. The logic underlying this advocacy is that it would eventually influencegiven prevailing assumptions about the Chinese government’s reliance on the opinion of scholars and expertsthe calculations of Chinese policymakers, nudging them toward positions more conducive to the preservation and maximization of Israeli interests over the long-term.

[Image of a graphic that demonstrates the SIGNAL backed ISP zones in China. Image from Sino-Israel.org]

Greenwald Details the US Hand on the Gaza Genocide

[Well, after all, it IS an IMPERIALIST SYSTEM, and the lines between who’s in and who’s out are fairly sharply defined, (though this line is redrawn from time to time), with accompanying rhetoric about rights and national interests reflected in the mass media templates for mass deception.  The Snowden and now other revelations pull the cover off of so much of this, it enables the discarding of illusions by the boxcar-load, and it enables a far more clear-sighted path for anti-imperialist and revolutionary internationalist solidarity. Why does the New York Times and CNN and ABC/CBS/NBC tell this news?  Apparently, it is not “fit to print”!  — Frontlines ed.]

Cash, Weapons and Surveillance: the U.S. is a Key Party to Every Israeli Attack

By Glenn Greenwald, August 4, 2014
Featured photo - Cash, Weapons and Surveillance: the U.S. is a Key Party to Every Israeli Attack

President Barack Obama (L) greets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a press conference on March 20, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel. Photo credit: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

The U.S. government has long lavished overwhelming aid on Israel, providing cash, weapons and surveillance technology that play a crucial role in Israel’s attacks on its neighbors. But top secret documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden shed substantial new light on how the U.S. and its partners directly enable Israel’s military assaults – such as the one on Gaza.
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Greenwald: NSA Docs Show ‘Israeli Action In Gaza Has US Fingerprints All Over It’

[It’s really quite amazing how supporters of imperialism believe Obama’s statements of outrage and dismay at Israeli genocidal murder of Palestinians, most recently in Gaza.  In fact, the US government has largely paid for and armed the colonial aggression, and the US’ NSA has provided targeting data to the Israeli forces for the aerial attack on Gaza’s people.  So, Obama’s “outrage” notwithstanding, it appears the debate in Washington is about whether the Israelis have not gone far enough, and if they should, right away, again with US funds, arms, and “intelligence,” further aggress toward what Israeli politicians, especially from the Likud Party, are calling the “Final Solution.” —  Frontlines ed.]

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New documents leaked by Edward Snowden show how intellegince cooperation enables repeated Israeli aggression against Palestinians.
By Jon Queally, Common Dreams | August 4, 2014

John Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, talks with the media on Capitol Hill in Washington. While much of the rest of the world watches the Gaza war in horror and scrambles for a cease-fire, U.S. lawmakers are pressing the Obama administration to take no action that puts pressure on Israel to halt its military operations. Boehner said Monday, July 28, the administration should “stand with Israel, not just as a broker or observer but as a strong partner.”

A new analysis of the intelligence and military relationship between the U.S. and Israeli governments—bolstered by new top secret NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden—exposes the deep complicity of American foreign policy when it comes to enabling Israel’s continued occupation of the Palestinian territories and its ongoing aggressive military assault on the Gaza Strip.

Reported by The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald on Monday, the new NSA documents show how the U.S. spy agency “has significantly increased the surveillance assistance it provides to its Israeli counterpart, the Israeli SIGINT National Unit (ISNU; also known as Unit 8200), including data used to monitor and target Palestinians.”

According to Greenwald, the “new Snowden documents illustrate a crucial fact: Israeli aggression would be impossible without the constant, lavish support and protection of the U.S. government, which is anything but a neutral, peace-brokering party in these attacks. And the relationship between the NSA and its partners on the one hand, and the Israeli spying agency on the other, is at the center of that enabling.” Continue reading

Slave ships and supermarkets: Modern day slavery in Thailand

[Representatives of capital, and of modern capitalist-imperialism, have often claimed that their exploitative system has been a civilizing force, promoting and spreading democratic rights along with social and economic development wherever it has gone throughout the world.  These claims could not be further from the truth, as these masters of global plunder of human and all natural resources continue to force marginalized and desperately migrating peoples–peasants and proletarians alike–into the most dangerous conditions of slavery, enforced by the repressive regimes and the enslaving corporations they serve.  The following exposure by The Guardian exposes one aspect of this malevolent and highly profitable system, which then offers the inexpensive and tasty shrimp/prawn delicacies to unaware and/or uncaring consumers in imperialist countries. — Frontlines ed.]

By Kate Hodal, Chris Kelly, Felicity Lawrence, www.theguardian.com

June 12th, 2014

Slaves forced to work for no pay for years at a time under threat of extreme violence are being used in Asia in the production of seafood sold by major US, British and other European retailers, the Guardian can reveal.

A six-month investigation has established that large numbers of men bought and sold like animals and held against their will on fishing boats off Thailand are integral to the production of prawns (commonly called shrimp in the US) sold in leading supermarkets around the world, including the top four global retailers: Walmart, Carrefour, Costco and Tesco.

The investigation found that the world’s largest prawn farmer, the Thailand-based Charoen Pokphand (CP) Foods, buys fishmeal, which it feeds to its farmed prawns, from some suppliers that own, operate or buy from fishing boats manned with slaves.

Men who have managed to escape from boats supplying CP Foods and other companies like it told the Guardian of horrific conditions, including 20-hour shifts, regular beatings, torture and execution-style killings. Some were at sea for years; some were regularly offered methamphetamines to keep them going. Some had seen fellow slaves murdered in front of them. Continue reading

Western Moves to Isolate Russia Spurs China-Russia Energy Deal

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, right, and President Xi Jinping of China on Wednesday in Shanghai, where they signed a deal to send gas through a pipeline from Siberia to China. Credit Pool photo by Mark Ralston

BEIJING — China and Russia agreed to a major 30-year natural gas deal on Wednesday that would send gas from Siberia by pipeline to China, according to the China National Petroleum Corporation.

The announcement caps a decade-long negotiation and helps bring Russia and China closer than they have been in many years. The contract was driven to a conclusion by the presence of President Xi Jinping of China and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in Shanghai for the last two days. Continue reading

“Senior” Imperialist’s Arrogance Resented by its “Junior” Partners

France and Mexico Angry With N.S.A.

By Brandon Cottrell
Impunity Watch Reporter, North America

WASHINGTON, D.C., United States – As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in France today, Le Monde, an authoritative newspaper, published a report based on the secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden.  It is expected that France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius will discuss this issue with Kerry during his visit.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius says the claims are “totally unacceptable” (Photo Courtesy BBC).

Adding already to the previous disclosures of the N.S.A’s worldwide surveillances in Germany, England. Brazil, and Mexico, today’s report stated that the N.S.A. recorded over 70 million digital communications in France over the span of one month.  It is believed that businesses, officials, and terror suspects were specifically targeted.

France’s American Ambassador, Charles Rivkin, stated that, “These kinds of practices between partners are totally unacceptable and we must be assured that they are no longer being implemented.”  Additionally Manuel Valls, France’s Interior Minister, called today’s report “shocking” and that it “will require explanation.” Continue reading

Reparations for Slavery: A Just Demand, Constantly Blocked by Bourgeois Legal System

[In the systems whose wealth and power is rooted in historic plunder, enslavement, displacement and extermination, the demand for reparations (“to repair the damage”) is routinely dismissed and denounced by bourgeois media and law — as “unreasonable” or “unrealistic,” at best, or, more commonly, as “irrational” or “greedy” or even “treasonous.” — Frontlines ed.]

For the sins of the fathers:  Caribbean countries sue for slavery, but what could it mean for SA?

Rebecca Davis, World (South African publication)22 Oct 2013
Rebeccaslavery

Fourteen Caribbean nations are to sue European governments for reparations for slavery. The Caribbean Community (Caricom) is bringing lawsuits to the International Court of Justice in the Hague against Britain, France and the Netherlands for their roles in the Atlantic slave trade. They argue that the social and economic legacy of slavery continues to disadvantage them to this day. It’s an interesting case, and it might prompt some reflection about South Africa’s own reparations issues. By REBECCA DAVIS.

Regional Caribbean organisation Caricom, through its British law firm Leigh Day, will seek to make the case in the Hague that through their colonial participation in the slave-trade, Britain, France and the Netherlands essentially contributed towards the stunting of Caribbean development, and now owe 14 Caribbean nations reparations for slavery and an apology.

Exactly how much money they want, and how they think it should be disbursed, is not yet clear. The figure mentioned by several media outlets has been that Britain paid 20 million pounds in compensation to slave-owners in the Caribbean almost two decades after the abolition of slavery in 1834. (The slaves got nothing.) This figure was massive even at the time, amounting to 40% of the erstwhile government’s budget, and would now be equivalent to about 200 billion pounds. Continue reading

US’ Egyptian “democratic” puppetry — military vs muslim bro., anything but the people

Those who lead the country into the abyss
Call ruling too difficult
For ordinary men.
—  Bertolt Brecht

Obama expresses concern, but does not condemn Egyptian military intervention

WASHINGTON U.S. President Barack Obama expressed deep concern about the Egyptian military’s removal of President Mohamed Mursi on Wednesday but stopped short of condemning a move that could lead to a cut-off in U.S. aid.

Obama issued a written statement responding to dramatic events in Cairo after huddling with his top national security advisers at the White House. The session took place shortly after the Egyptian military made its move.

Obama stopped short of an outright condemnation of the intervention, which came amid growing concern among U.S. officials over Mursi’s leadership. Continue reading

Washington’s Imperial partners take offense at US’ Hegemonic ‘Spy on Subordinates’ NSA program

[Yet another example of the US’ arrogance of empire, this time among fellow imperialists.  Who can doubt that the world political crisis is opening new cracks of suspicion and resentment against the has-been Godfather, among his partners in crime?  —  Frontlines ed.]

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Berlin accuses Washington of cold war tactics over snooping

Reports of NSA snooping on Europe go well beyond previous revelations of electronic spying

Ian Traynor, The Guardian, in Brussels, 30 June 2013

Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger: 'If the media reports are true, it is reminiscent of the actions of enemies during the cold war'. Photograph: Ole Spata/Corbis

Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger: ‘If the media reports are true, it is reminiscent of the actions of enemies during the cold war’. Photograph: Ole Spata/Corbis

Transatlantic relations plunged at the weekend as Berlin, Brussels and Paris all demanded that Washington account promptly and fully for new disclosures on the scale of the US National Security Agency’s spying on its European allies.

As further details emerged of the huge reach of US electronic snooping on Europe, Berlin accused Washington of treating it like the Soviet Union, “like a cold war enemy”.

The European commission called on the US to clarify allegations that the NSA, operating from Nato headquarters a few miles away in Brussels, had infiltrated secure telephone and computer networks at the venue for EU summits in the Belgian capital. The fresh revelations in the Guardian and allegations in the German publication Der Spiegel triggered outrage in Germany and in the European parliament and threatened to overshadow negotiations on an ambitious transatlantic free-trade pact worth hundreds of billions due to open next week.

The reports of NSA snooping on Europe – and on Germany in particular – went well beyond previous revelations of electronic spying said to be focused on identifying suspected terrorists, extremists and organised criminals.

Der Spiegel reported that it had seen documents and slides from the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden indicating that US agencies bugged the offices of the EU in Washington and at the UN in New York. They are also accused of directing an operation from Nato headquarters in Brussels to infiltrate the telephone and email networks at the EU’s Justus Lipsius building in the Belgian capital, the venue for EU summits and home of the European council.

Citing documents it said it had “partly seen”, the magazine reported that more than five years ago security officers at the EU had noticed several missed calls apparently targeting the remote maintenance system in the building that were traced to NSA offices within the Nato compound in Brussels. Continue reading

Obama in South Africa: Washington tells Pretoria how to ‘play the game’ in Africa

Protesters greet Obama, June 28, 2013.

By Patrick Bond, Durban

July 1, 2013Links International Journal of Socialist RenewalUS President Barack Barack Obama’s weekend trip to South Africa may have the desired effect of slowing the geopolitical realignment of Pretoria to the Brazil-India-Russia-China-South Africa (BRICS) axis. That shift to BRICS has not, however, meant deviation from the hosts’ political philosophy, best understood as “talk left, walk right” since it mixes anti-imperialist rhetoric with pro-corporate policies.

Overshadowed by Nelson Mandela’s critically ill health, Obama’s implicit denial of a US imperial agenda could not disguise Washington’s economic paranoia. As expressed on June 25 by White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, “What we hear from our businesses is that they want to get in the game in Africa. There are other countries getting in the game in Africa – China, Brazil, Turkey. And if the US is not leading in Africa, we’re going to fall behind in a very important region of the world.”

Over a century earlier, another Rhodes – Cecil John – explained that very game: “We must find new lands from which we can easily obtain raw materials and at the same time exploit the cheap slave labour that is available from the natives of the colonies. The colonies would also provide a dumping ground for the surplus goods produced in our factories.” Although there is no longer formal slave labour within formal colonies, this sentiment readily links the neoliberal agenda of both the BRICS and the US.

Perhaps embarrassed, Obama himself retracted Ben Rhodes’ confession of inter-imperial rivalry when asked by the White House press corps: “I want everybody playing in Africa. The more the merrier. A lot of people are pleased that China is involved in Africa.”

This must have raised cynical eyebrows, because he added, “China’s primary interest is being able to obtain access for natural resources in Africa to feed the manufacturers in export-driven policies of the Chinese economy.” Continue reading