Posts tagged ‘war’

11 September, 2010

Julian Assange in Sweden September 7th

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Julian Assange, the editor of Wikileaks, broke the story of the US involvement in Iraq war, after the whistle blower Bradley Manning, handed over thousands of documents, something wikileaks had been doing for some time. Julian Assange speaks here.

13 October, 2009

‘Rethink Afghanistan’, a tool for anti-war activists


“Older men declare war. But it is youth that must fight and die.”
– Herbert Hoover

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‘Rethink Afghanistan,’ a tool for anti-war activists

By John Catalinotto
Published Oct 12, 2009 10:41 PM

“Rethink Afghanistan,” a documentary directed by Robert Greenwald, is available as a DVD or online in six parts at It opened Oct. 1 in a limited number of U.S. theaters.

Afghan toddlers made internal refugees by U.S. bombing raids standing barefoot in cold mud, eventually to die from malnutrition and exposure; Afghan women in political protest calling their fate worse now in war than under Taliban rule; Afghan women keening over their lost children, brothers and spouses; relatives, neighbors, homes and domestic animals blown apart. These pictures bring the reality of war for the Afghan people home to U.S. audiences.

This compelling documentary’s strongest feature is that it allows the Afghans to speak for themselves to an audience in the United States. Afghanistan is a poor, mostly rural country. Today its intelligent and capable spokespeople engaged in political struggle reflect Afghanistan’s thousand-year tradition of refusing to bow to foreign rulers.

The movie also uses testimony from the heads of think tanks, former U.S. officials, including ex-CIA operatives, spokespeople for nongovernmental organizations, and a few honest reporters to expose the complete disconnect among the U.S. government’s pretexts for occupying Afghanistan—stopping “terrorism,” helping women’s rights, helping Afghanistan develop—and the results of that occupation.

It makes these arguments just as the Obama administration’s debate over Afghanistan policies is reaching a crossroads.

The Brave New Foundation and director Robert Greenwald (“Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price,” “Outfoxed” and “Iraq for Sale”) have made this documentary easily available to anyone opposing the occupation or escalation of the war in Afghanistan. While “Rethink Afghanistan” is unlikely to break into the country’s movie complexes, its producers open every Internet door to encourage use of the movie at low or no cost. Through YouTube, blogs, organized screenings of the DVDs, followed by discussions, activists are free to take advantage of the movie.

Brave New Foundation urges spreading the facts and analysis shown in “Rethink Afghanistan” to a broad sector of the population, who they encourage to petition the Obama administration and Congress with enough force to halt further escalation of—and perhaps to end—the assault on Afghanistan.

The director makes listening to a succession of “talking heads” more palatable by mixing them with images of Afghanistan and by cutting back and forth to the different analysts and experts, so the movie has more the appearance of a snappy question and answer session or even a debate than a lecture.

With a few exceptions like Pakistani Marxist Tarik Ali, those interviewed started—or appeared to start—from the premise that the U.S. went into Afghanistan with honest intentions—to eliminate al-Qaeda and remove the Taliban from government with the objective of “stopping terrorism,” even of “extending democracy” or “improving women’s rights.”

Most then show how the U.S. occupation has operated against achieving any of these goals, that the Taliban has nothing to do with al-Qaeda, and that the invasion, occupation and expansion of the war is a tragic and fabulously costly mistake that is leading to disaster for the Afghans, for the Obama administration and for the people of the United States.

Since only a small portion of the U.S. population is consciously anti-imperialist, this approach probably makes the documentary more accessible to most viewers. On the other hand, anti-imperialists cannot count on the movie to expose the following central truth: U.S. intervention in Afghanistan is based on expanding U.S. imperialism’s geopolitical interests. Anti-imperialist activists must themselves expose the role of U.S.-based giant capitalist banks and multinational corporations on a world scale, along with the narrower interests of the military-industrial complex that thrives on war.

Those with high-speed Internet access at home or at the library can see this documentary for free in six parts. Individuals or organizations can buy the DVD at a moderate price, and may use it to organize meetings and discussions. Greenwald and the Brave New Foundation should be congratulated for making the film accessible.

Those who understand the class basis of the war and the war drive of imperialism will have to add their own analysis. They can expose the reality that this disaster is not simply a tragic “mistake” but the consequence of the capitalist drive for profits worldwide.

Articles copyright 1995-2010 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

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11 September, 2009

Family Guy – Visit Ground Zero

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11 September, 2009

Noam Chomsky, September 11

Wanton killing of innocent civilians is terrorism, not a war against terrorism.


Right after September 11, the U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Zoellick, said the first thing that had to be done to combat terrorism was to pass fast-track. Now that should really make Osama bin Laden tremble in his boots – that the President has Kremlin-style authority to sign economic agreements.

~NOAM CHOMSKY, (Interview by V. K. Ramachandran in Frontline, November 11, 2001)

I think that the polls taken in Baghdad explain it very well, they seem to understand. The United States invaded Iraq to gain control of one of the major sources of the world’s energy, right in the heart of the world’s energy producing regions. To create, if they can, a dependent client state. To have permanent military bases. And to gain what’s called “critical leverage” – I’m quoting Zbigniew Brzezinski – to gain critical leverage over rivals, the European and Asian economies. It’s been understood since the Second World War, that if you have your hand on that spigot, the main source of the world’s energy, you have what early planners called “veto power” over others. Iraq is also the last part of the world where there are vast, untapped, easily accessible energy resources. And you can be sure that they want the profits from that to go primarily to U.S.-based multinationals and back to the U.S. Treasury, not to rivals. There are plenty of reasons for invading Iraq.

Noam Chomsky (Interview by Bill Maher on HBO, November 10, 2004)

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3 September, 2009

UK Counter Insurgency Operations Doctrine 2007

One person’s freedom fighter is another’s terrorist.

This original document first published on Wikileaks details the UK response to insurgents, in various places, including in Northern Ireland. It covers strategy and operations.

It provides an insight into how people within the government of United Kingdom think about those they are now calling “insurgents”.

Another name for Insurgency could be rebellion, anarchy, mutiny, revolution, sedition, irregular warfare, guerrilla war, the resistance. Depending on your perspective.

The quote accompanying this document is from Capt Sir B Liddell Hart’s 1944 ‘Thoughts On War’

“If you wish for peace understand war, particularly the guerrilla and subversive forms of war”

The oppressed always knows the oppressor better than vice versa, if you wish for change understand those in who have power. Learn how the other side thinks.

For the full article: UK Counter Insurgency Operations Doctrine 2007

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20 July, 2009

The butcher of Vietnam (via Workers World)

As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields. ~ Leo Tolstoy

“Vietnam wasn’t a “disastrous mistake” – it was murderous aggression.” ~ Noam Chomsky


The butcher of Vietnam

Published Jul 16, 2009 10:21 PM

The death of Robert S. McNamara on July 6 at age 93 gives new meaning to the old adage that “only the good die young.” McNamara was secretary of defense under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson and was the principal architect of the U.S. war against Vietnam.

As early as 1964 the war was aptly referred to as “McNamara’s war,” which didn’t bother McNamara one bit. “I am pleased to be identified with it, and do whatever I can to win it,” he said at the time. (New York Times, July 6)

He started his ignoble career as a statistical and systems analyst who became a “Whiz Kid” at Ford Motor Co. and its eventual president. McNamara was convinced that his analysis of the war proved the U.S. would conquer Vietnam within a few years.

As the war escalated and he realized the failure of his prediction, McNamara began to have “deep misgivings” about the war. Although he realized the futility of the U.S. war in Vietnam as early as 1967, he kept those thoughts to himself.

McNamara’s seven-year tenure as secretary of defense also included the disastrous “Bay of Pigs” invasion of Cuba and the missile crisis that nearly led to a nuclear showdown with the Soviet Union. It included the U.S. invasion of the Dominican Republic in 1965.

Under McNamara’s tenure, the war budget and influence of the Pentagon increased exponentially and increased its domination over the civilian life of the United States, which continues to this day.

McNamara left the Pentagon to work for 13 years as head of the World Bank. There he ensured the domination of U.S. capital in underdeveloped and poor countries around the world, helping to condemn millions more to lives of poverty and misery.

Despite McNamara’s private “misgivings” about the war in Vietnam, the number of U.S. soldiers dead, missing and wounded went from 7,466 to more than 100,000 during his watch. (Associated Press, July 6) Over 58,000 GIs ended up dead, with hundreds of thousands more wounded physically and psychologically.

But by far the greatest damage was to the Vietnamese nation. Over 3 million Vietnamese–2 million of them civilians—were killed during the war. The land was razed by carpet bombing. Napalm and Agent Orange used by the U.S. destroyed the country’s arable land and killed and maimed millions more people. The deadly effects are manifest even today, generations later.

McNamara’s book “In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam” was published in 1995. “We of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations acted according to what we thought were the principles and traditions of our country. But we were wrong. We were terribly wrong,” said McNamara in an interview prior to the book’s release.

The 2003 documentary “The Fog of War” also featured McNamara ruminating on his moral misgivings about Vietnam. Some even call McNamara a “liberal” for being so contrite in his later years, but this is a misguided attribute. He was sorry because he lost. He was sorry because his statistical analysis left out what history proved: the will of the Vietnamese people to defeat U.S. imperialism.

McNamara spent his later years being “sorry” while walking free. Did he voluntarily surrender himself to the Vietnamese people for prosecution of his many war crimes and crimes against humanity? Did he denounce the role of the Pentagon in subjugating oppressed peoples around the globe? Did he lead any anti-war demonstrations?

What the world’s people need are not apologies from those who have exploited and tormented them. They need solidarity from their class sisters and brothers in the imperialist countries to help overthrow this vicious system so that the criminal inequality caused by imperialism can be rectified.

Articles copyright 1995-2010 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY, NY 10011
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25 April, 2009

ANZAC biscuits (plus vegan recipe)

Anzac Biscuits (it is actually illegal to call them Anzac Cookies) are sweet and crunchy and are very easily veganised for those missing out on cookies and biscuits.

Anzac Day commemorated on 25 April in New Zealand, Australia and some Pacific Islands as a National Day of Remembrance for those involved in War.

During World War 1, women in New Zealand and Australia made these by the thousands to ship to those serving overseas. A recipe was sought for a product that would last the weeks or months it would take to ship by boat to the other side of the world and get supplied out to the trenches.

ANZAC Biscuits seemed to be based on a Scottish recipe for Parkin, they are made without eggs or milk and designed to be long lasting, and ideal for storage. In the trenches of the front lines, soldiers would put these hard biscuits in their mugs and cover them with hot water to make a form of instant porridge (oatmeal).

This was part of the effort of those on the home-front to be part of the Resistance. The wives, girlfriends, mothers and grandmothers, not only ran the businesses and farms, raised the families and funds, and organised the communities while their loved ones were away, they also knitted warm clothing and made food for care packages.

Not every fight can be won or lost, only by foot soldiers. It takes a combination of good effective leadership, brave soldiers willing to make the sacrifice and the Resistance of civilian non-combatants to support the soldiers by any means required.

These are also easily veganised by replacing butter with light nut oil or vegan margarine.

ANZAC biscuits

8 (125 grams) tablespoons vegan margarine (or light nut oil)
1 tablespoon golden syrup (similar to light treacle or corn syrup)

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup plain, all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar (white or brown)

2 tablespoons boiling water
1 – 1/2 teaspoon baking soda / bicarbonate of soda

Melt the margarine and golden syrup in a saucepan over a Low heat.

Combine rolled oat, coconut, well sifted flour and sugar.

Combine bicarb soda and water, add this to the melted margarine and syrup. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix to a firm consistency.

Put spoonfuls onto a greased baking tray and bake in a pre-heated oven at 150-160°C (300-325°F) a little less for fan-forced ovens.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking tray before moving. (Biscuits come out of the oven soft, hardens on cooling.)

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31 March, 2009

Do not attempt to think or depression will follow

Shut up, be happy – a message from our sponsors

Jello Biafra’s “message from our sponsors

The number one enemy of progress is questions.

National security is more important than individual rights.

Shut up, be happy, consume, the comfort you’ve demanded is now mandatory.

Jello Biafra, made famous the slogan “Don’t hate the media, become the media”, has also spoken extensively on how to “monkey wrench the new world order” which contains ideas of how other people have participated in creative acts of civil disobedience, conformity sabotage, direct action, pranking, and culture jamming.

Cover of "Become the Media"

Cover of Become the Media

When you know what you want and begin to fight for it, you realise that the media is not just a big conglomerate, with one-way interaction, telling a captive audience what to do and what to think. New media, the information exchange goes in both ways, you create the media, you create the message that you want to get out there.

If you don’t like what the media has to say, don’t just hate it, re-create it.

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