Philippines

Lorenz Niel Santos: Philippines and communist rebels take one big step toward peace (Asia Times)

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) started their armed struggle against the government in 1968. Due to corruption, lack of land reform and development in rural communities during the time of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, peasant leaders and even students went up the mountains to join the armed struggle.
The peaceful revolt in 1986 that overthrew Marcos did not deter the communist insurgents from their fight against the government.
During the time of President Corazon Aquino, a 60-day ceasefire was declared. However, peace negotiations remained at standstill until 1992.
From 1992 to 1995, during the term of President Fidel Ramos, four agreements were signed during exploratory talks including the Joint Agreement between the GRP and the NDF on safety and immunity guarantees or JASIG and the Agreement on the Ground Rules of the Formal Meetings between the GRP and the NDF panels.
Then, from 1995 to 2004, 14 agreements were signed during peace negotiations.
In 2004, the NDF withdrew from the negotiating table after former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo supported the US’ war on terror and NDF’s armed component was included in the US’ terrorist list.
Highlight of the latest talks is the unilateral ceasefire and the goodwill shown by President Duterte in ordering the release of more than 20 NDF consultants facing charges including murder in various courts. They were allowed to leave the country and participate in the talks.
Leftist groups are hoping that the release of 21 NDF consultants who were able to join the peace talks, could lead to the release of more than 540 political prisoners.

Alister Doyle: Philippines and communist rebels sign ceasefire deal (Asia Times)

The Philippines government and Maoist-led rebels agreed indefinite ceasefires on Friday as part of an accord to accelerate efforts to end a conflict that has lasted almost five decades and killed at least 40,000 people.
The government expressed hopes that a peace agreement could be reached within a year after the Oslo talks, the first formal meeting for five years. The guerrillas, who reiterated demands for “revolutionary change”, stopped short of setting a deadline.

Ben Tesiorna: Peace talks between GPH, NDF may continue in Davao City (CNN)

There’s a big possibility that talks between the government and the National Democratic Front (NDF) will be held in Davao City, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said on Monday. Bello is concurrent chair of the government’s peace panel.
Bello said this may happen after a second round of talks in Oslo, Norway scheduled for October 8 to October 12. However, he did not specify when further negotiations will happen.
He said the Philippines is prepared to host future rounds of talks and would welcome the self-exiled leaders of the NDF and the Communist Party of the Philippines back in the country.

Germelina Lacorte: NDF hails Duterte’s bashing of US (Inquirer)

The National Democratic Front (NDF) lauded President Duterte’s anti-US statement, calling it “unprecedented” even as the rebel group urged the President to junk unequal agreements with the US.
“The National Democratic Front in Southern Mindanao commends President Duterte for his unprecedented statement,” said the statement signed by Rubi deal Mundo, spokesperson of the NDF in Southern Mindanao. “No other Philippine president has ever publicly censured and taken US imperialism to task for its atrocious crimes against sovereign nations and peoples of the world.”
The NDF said that the US, accustomed to high regard as a colonial master, only has “had nothing but blind kowtowing from previous Philippine puppet regimes,” referring to the previous administrations.
“Now at this critical time of its decisive hegemonic pivot to Asia and China’s challenge to its regional dominance, US imperialism’s sham ‘concern for human rights is being challenged with open hostility by a government it considers its reliable lackey,” the statement said, referring to the Philippines.

Obama and Duterte ‘exchange pleasantries’ after ‘son of a whore’ insult (Guardian)
Joe Torres: Bishops welcome Philippine peace talks progress (Union of Catholic Asian News)

Catholic bishops have welcomed an “indefinite ceasefire” declared by communist rebels following the first round of talks aimed at ending almost half a century of Maoist rebellion in the Philippines.

Gary Leupp: Hope for the Philippines? (CounterPunch)

There seems reason to believe that Duterte, unlike any of his predecessors, is genuinely anti-imperialist. More than that, and quite surprisingly, he has expressed admiration for the Communist Party of the Philippines, and its guerrilla New People’s Army, that has been at war with the Philippines state for almost 50 years. He was actually a student of Jose Maria Sison, the party’s founder who has been in Dutch exile since 1987, in the 1960s; the two have been in touch and remain friends…
Washington, on the other hand, views the Communist Party of the Philippines, and the New People’s Army, as “terrorists.” Just as the U.S. views all left-wing armed movements as terrorists (unless and until they can be used for common purposes, as in the case of the Iranian MEK in Iraq). In 2002 U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell took the unprecedented step of blacklisting the estimable Sison personally as a “terrorist” and the U.S. (spurred by then-president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) was surely behind the Dutch authorities’ raid on his house and his brief detention in 2007 on suspicion of ordering two murders in the Philippines the year before. (He was cleared of the charges and released.)
While cozying up to the Filipino Communists, Duterte has unexpectedly responded to the World Court’s judgment in favor of the Philippines’ South China Sea territorial claims over those of China, not with a tighter embrace of the U.S. and cooler relations with China, but with outreach to Beijing. Duterte has made it clear he sees China more positively than the imperialist U.S., which seized the Philippines as a colony following the Spanish-American War of 1898, slaughtered one-tenth of the Filipino people suppressing their resistance to colonization between 1899 and 1901, acquired total control over the Filipino economy and largely retained it after according the Philippines formal independence in 1946.

Prashanth Parameswaran: Can the Philippines’ Brash Duterte Also Be a Peacemaker With Communist Rebels? (World Politics Review)

Karen Lema, Manuel Mogato: Over 1,900 killed in ‘chilling’ Philippines war on drugs (Asia Times)

More than 1,900 people, or about 36 per day, have been killed in a violent campaign against drugs in the Philippines since President Rodrigo Duterte came to office seven weeks ago, the country’s national police chief said on Tuesday.

Christina Lin: US apologizes to Laos over cluster bombs, then sells them to pound Yemen (Asia Times)

CIA’s nine-year secret war had made Laos the most heavily bombed country in human history. During his visit to that country on Sept 6, US President Barack Obama talked to local students, people and officials about America’s moral obligation to help Laos heal. Just three days later, the White House approved another $1.15 billion arms package to Saudi Arabia to bomb Yemenis who will have to suffer similar consequences for decades.

TTIP | Philippines | USA | Britain | Korea | Israel/Palestine | Austria

Greenpeace Netherlands releases TTIP documents (Greenpeace)

Today Greenpeace Netherlands releases secret documents of the EU-US TTIP negotiations. On www.ttip-leaks.org the documents will be made available for everyone to read, because democracy needs transparency.

Andrew Griffin: TTIP leak could spell the end of controversial trade deal, say campaigners (Independent)

Hundreds of leaked pages from the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) show that the deal could be about to collapse, according to campaigners.
The huge leak – which gives the first full insight into the negotiations – shows that the relationship between Europe and the US are stronger than had been thought and that major divisions remain on some of the agreement’s most central provisions.
The talks have been held almost entirely in secret, and most information that is known in public has come out from unofficial leaks. But the new pages, leaked by Greenpeace, represent the first major look at how the highly confidential talks are progressing…
They indicate that the US is looking strongly to change regulation in Europe to lessen the protections on the environment, consumer rights and other positions that the EU affords to its citizens.

Arthur Neslen: Leaked TTIP documents cast doubt on EU-US trade deal (Guardian)

Jorgo Riss, the director of Greenpeace EU, said: “These leaked documents give us an unparalleled look at the scope of US demands to lower or circumvent EU protections for environment and public health as part of TTIP. The EU position is very bad, and the US position is terrible. The prospect of a TTIP compromising within that range is an awful one. The way is being cleared for a race to the bottom in environmental, consumer protection and public health standards.”
US proposals include an obligation on the EU to inform its industries of any planned regulations in advance, and to allow them the same input into EU regulatory processes as European firms.
American firms could influence the content of EU laws at several points along the regulatory line, including through a plethora of proposed technical working groups and committees.
“Before the EU could even pass a regulation, it would have to go through a gruelling impact assessment process in which the bloc would have to show interested US parties that no voluntary measures, or less exacting regulatory ones, were possible,” Riss said.

Leak Confirms Fears: TTIP Is Huge US Threat to EU’s Sovereignty (teleSUR)

The TTIP is possibly the greatest U.S. threat to EU’s sovereignty warned a U.K.-based NGO as leaked documents obtained by Corporate Europe Observatory and the British newspaper the Independent confirmed that United States corporate power could have big sway over laws in the European Union if the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership goes through.

TTIP: UK Parliament ‘would not be able to stop NHS sell-off if treaty is passed (Belfast Telegraph)

The UK Parliament may not have the power to stop or reverse the privatisation of the NHS if the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership passed at EU level, Unite has warned…
Gail Cartmail, Unite assistant general secretary, said that it was “a scandal” that MPs may not have the democratic power to stop TTIP, which she said “threatens the irreversible sell-off of our NHS”.
“The House of Commons will have the power to delay the trade deal but it would only be a matter of time before TTIP eventually slips through,” Ms Cartmail said.

TTIP: The terrible truth (Morning Star)

Every Time we get a look at the details of EU-US trade deal TTIP and its implications we come away disgusted.
Unelected, unaccountable EU bureaucrats are desperate to keep the inner workings of the treaty under wraps for the simple reason that it will be bad for everyone except big business.
That the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has only commissioned a single risk assessment of TTIP — and only one part of it, three years ago — suggests that officials don’t want to leave a record spelling out the truths that they deny so vigorously in public.

Larry Brown: The TPP: A Corporate Bill of Rights (teleSUR)

What we aren’t told by our governments is that these so-called trade deals are really not very much about trade at all. They are international corporate constitutions, aimed at limiting the ability of our governments to control transnational corporate behavior: an international Corporate Bill of Rights.

Pepe Escobar: NATO on Trade, in Europe and Asia, is Doomed (RT)

Everything civil society across Europe – for at least three years – has been debating, and fearing, is confirmed; this is a sophisticated, toxic US-led corporate racket, a concerted assault across the spectrum, from the environment and animal welfare to labor rights and internet privacy. In a nutshell; it’s all about the US corporate galaxy pushing the EU to lower – or abase – a range of consumer protections…
Predictably, the lobbyist-infested European Commission (EC) fiercely defends TTIP, stressing it could benefit the EU’s economy by $150 billion a year, and raise car exports by 149 percent. Obviously don’t expect the EC to connect these “car exports” to a US-led GMO invasion of Europe.

Lorenz Niel Santos: As Filipinos vote for change, will they heed Aquino’s warning? (Asia times)

On Monday, Filipinos will choose their new leader. The question is will they listen to President Benigno Aquino III’s warning that a vote for frontrunner Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte would mean a vote for the possible return of dictatorship.
Aquino has been campaigning against Duterte saying he is showing signs of being a dictator. His mother, the late President Corazon Aquino led the people power revolution in the 80s and toppled strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

Josh Hoxie: American Tax Havens: Elites Don’t Have to go to Panama to Hide Their Money–They’ve Got Delaware (CounterPunch)

Notably, few American names have been listed [in revelations from the Panama Papers] to date. That could change in revelations to come, but it also might not. States like Delaware offer very similar hands-off approaches to regulation that individuals and companies can exploit to hide their business dealings without going overseas.
One single address in Wilmington, for example — 1209 North Orange Street — is listed as the headquarters for 285,000 separate businesses exploiting Delaware’s lax laws. Indeed, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have firms registered in that two-story office building.
In fact, the Tax Justice Network ranks the United States third in the world for financial secrecy, behind only Switzerland and Hong Kong. Panama is No.13.

Margaret Kimberley: Dishonoring Harriet Tubman (CounterPunch)

The history of American presidents is one long tale of criminality and Andrew Jackson was one of the worst of the lot. Jackson grew rich on his Tennessee plantation made profitable by the unpaid labor of 200 enslaved people…
Jackson was perhaps more responsible than any other person for driving indigenous people out of the southern states. The Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears were his handiwork…
With great fanfare the Treasury Department announced that new faces will appear on the $5, $10 and $20 notes. Currently George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant and Benjamin Franklin appear on the almighty dollar in the most commonly used denominations. With the exception of Abraham Lincoln it is a list of slave holders. Some, like Washington and Jackson, owned hundreds of people, Franklin and Grant a few, but they were all participants in one of the worst evils of human history. Alexander Hamilton gets false credit from popular culture as an abolitionist although he held slaves too. At first the public were told that Tubman would replace Jackson as the new face of the $20 bill. Instead she and Jackson will appear together and make an even greater mockery of her legacy.

David Wagner: When Liberals Run Out of Patience: the Impolite Exile of Seymour Hersh (CounterPunch)

Seymour Hersh’s The Killing of Osama bin Laden a pocket-size collection of stories written for the London Review and printed during the second Obama administration arrives at an awkward moment for the expatriate journalist who not so long ago was esteemed as the finest investigative reporter in the United States. Hersh now publishes abroad because his talent, though undiminished, no longer fits into the publication plans of the nation’s newspaper and magazine publishers. He has, it appears, failed to adapt to the times. His revelations about deceit and brute force in the conduct of foreign affairs that delighted his editors when he raised a torch over Dick Cheney lost its shine when he reported on President’s Obama’s not-so-different Cold War liberalism.

Anshel Pfeffer: Sadiq Khan’s Victory in London Is Also a Victory for a Different Style of Politics (Haaretz; also via Google News)

While Labour was mostly punished by Jewish voters outside of London, Khan’s proactive engagement with city’s Jewish community while also distancing from Corbyn earned him – more than his party – a landslide victory.
The first election of a Muslim politician to a prominent political position in Britain, actually in the entire western world, is in itself of course a historical event. As fears of the rise of populist and racist politicians and parties, from the left and the right, abound in both the United States and Europe, Sadiq Khan’s victory in London gives grounds for some optimism.

Aeyal Gross: Decision to Outlaw Islamic Movement Criminalizes Thousands (Haaretz; also via Google News)

There is no evidence that the northern branch was involved in terrorist activities; banning the organization will serve to radicalize Israeli Arabs [i.e. Palestinians who hold Israeli citizenship].
The defense minister’s decision to outlaw the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel is based on the Defense (Emergency) Regulations from 1945, a draconian Mandatory law and relic of the colonial era that gives state authorities far-reaching powers.

Mel Gurtov: Sanctions and Defiance in North Korea (Japan Focus)

North Korea has now been sanctioned five times by the United Nations Security Council for its nuclear and missile tests: resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013) and 2270 (2016). UNSC Resolution 2270 is the strongest one yet, spelling out in great detail the proscribed goods and requiring that all parties neither import them from nor export them to North Korea. Each resolution obliges the members to carry out the terms of the sanctions and (as the April 15 press statement of the UNSC says) “facilitate a peaceful and comprehensive solution through dialogue.” This is a case of mission impossible for two fundamental reasons: the sanctions will not work, and the fact of them impedes any chance for a “peaceful and comprehensive solution.”

Reuters: Migration crisis: Italians protest over Austria border fence plan (Guardian)

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Philippines | Venezuela | Iran | Korea | Spain | France/Algeria | Chomsky in Gaza | Palestine/Israel | Finkelstein

Richard Javad Heydarian: US ‘pivots’ on the Philippines (Asia Times)

Gabriel Hetland: Why Chavez Won (CounterPunch)

On October 7th, Venezuelans voted to give Hugo Chavez a fourth term as president. With a historic turnout of over 80% of the electorate (a remarkable figure in a country where voting is not mandatory), Chavez handily defeated opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski by an eleven-point margin: 55.14% to 44.24%.i In seeking to account for why this has occurred, mainstream media have studiously avoided the most straightforward explanation: a majority of Venezuelans support Chavez and the policies his administration has implemented over the last fourteen years.

Vijay Prashad: Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran (CounterPunch)

What was Netanyahu’s case against Iran? That Iran is close to having a nuclear bomb. This is an old saw from Bibi. In 1992, as a Member of the Knesset, Netanyahu predicted that Iran was “three to five years” from a nuclear weapon. He was wrong in 1992, and he is wrong now. Take the case of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) recent reports on Iran. The Director General of the IAEA provided a report to the IAEA’s Board of Governors on August 30, 2012. If you are able to get through the bureaucratic and legalistic verbiage, you’ll get to the two important sentences: (1) that the IAEA is confident about “the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran”; and (2) that the IAEA can “conclude that all nuclear materials in Iran is in peaceful activities.”

Markus Kompa: Iran könnte „in wenigen Monaten“ die Atombombe haben – seit 1979 (Telepolis)

Rüdiger Frank: An Atmosphere of Departure and Two Speeds, Korean Style: Where is North Korea Heading? (38north)

Juan Antonio Anunión: Wert quiere “españolizar” Cataluña (El país)

Reuters: François Hollande acknowledges 1961 massacre of Algerians in Paris (Guardian)

James Green: An Interview With Norman Finkelstein (CounterPunch)

Rami Almeghari: Chomsky in Gaza: academic boycott “will strengthen support for Israel” (Electronic Intifada)
Rana Baker: Reflections on Noam Chomsky’s visit to Gaza (Electronic Intifada)
Jonathan Cook: The full story behind the war against free speech in Israel’s universities (Electronic Intifada)
Harriet Sherwood: Israel’s cranes reprove Barack Obama’s failure to pursue two-state solution (Guardian)
Budour Youssef Hassan: Protests and strikes as Israel raids Bedouin villages, threatens to destroy homes (Electronic Intifada)
Yitzhak Laor: הווילה בג’ונגל / Wealth without borders (Haaretz) / Wealth without borders (via Google) / Wealth without borders (via DuckDuckGo)

The Israeli economy and all its elites were built up and exist via continuous “foreign aid.” Of the 46 donors to Benjamin Netanyahu before the Likud party primary, 37 were Americans. In these pages last week, Shlomo Avineri called on “organizations that fear for the fate of Israeli democracy, such as the Israel Democracy Institute,” to take up cudgels against this trend. (And where does the institute’s money come from?) …
But the outrage over the American donors derives from a hallucination: that our democratic institutions represent all citizens in exactly the same way the parliament in Stockholm represents the people ruled by the Swedish state. Alas, for 45 years, Israeli democracy has been ruling over an occupied population, which has no representation and is not entitled to determine any issue connected to its life.

Angela Davis: Jim Crow and the Palestinians (CounterPunch)
Oudeh Basharat: The original Morris (Haaretz) / The original Morris (via DuckDuckGo / Google News) / בני מוריס האמיתי (Haaretz)
Coby Ben-Simhon: Benny Morris on why he’s written his last word on the Israel-Arab conflict (Haaretz) / Benny Morris on why he’s written his last word on the Israel-Arab conflict (via Google News)

South Africa | Philippines | USA | Syria | Palestine | Mali | Afghanistan | Wikileaks

Julie Hyland: South Africa: ANC orders security clampdown against miners’ revolt (WSWS)

More than 40,000 workers are now on strike, forcing three leading platinum and gold producers to halt their operations. …
The Marikana massacre was the worst act of police brutality since the days of apartheid. Some 270 miners arrested during the assault were then charged with complicity in the deaths of their 34 colleagues under the notorious apartheid-era “common purpose law”.
Although the charges have been dropped for now, the latest operation has underscored that the interests of the same multinational and South African firms that profited under apartheid remain intact. The Regulation of Gatherings Act now being enforced by the ANC was notoriously employed by the apartheid government. …
[T]he ANC and its partners in the NUM and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) have as little legitimacy as the white minority regime the ANC replaced 18 years before.
Comprising a thin layer of wealthy and corrupt black officials, they have been the sole beneficiaries of the post-apartheid policy of “black economic empowerment”.

Richard Javad Heydarian: Philippines on frontline of US-China rivalry (Asia Times)

… Manila is turning back on almost two decades of relative strategic independence, beginning with the Philippine Senate’s refusal in 1991 to extend the US’s lease at Subic Bay naval base, a military presence nationalistic lawmakers then assailed as a vestige of colonialism and affront to national sovereignty.
Fast forward to the present, Manila is now actively, if not desperately, courting US military support vis-a-vis China.

Amy Goodman: “Effective Evil” or Progressives’ Best Hope? Glen Ford vs. Michael Eric Dyson on Obama Presidency (Democracy Now)

GLEN FORD: … [W]e at Black Agenda Report have for some time been saying that Obama is not the lesser of evils, but the more effective evil. And we base that on his record and also on his rhetoric at the convention. So, we would prefer to talk about what history-making events have gone down under his presidency.
He’s, first of all, created a model for austerity, a veritable model, with his deficit reduction commission. He’s introduced preventive detention, a law for preventive detention. He’s expanded the theaters of war in drone wars, and he’s made an unremitting assault on international law. And I think that possibly the biggest impact, his presidency—and I’m not talking about his—all this light and airy stuff from the convention, but actual deeds—I think probably what will go down as his biggest contribution to history is a kind of merging of the banks and the state, with $16 trillion being infused into these banks, into Wall Street, under his watch, and the line between Wall Street and the federal government virtually disappearing.

Alison Weir: The Democrats’ Jerusalem Arithmetic (CounterPunch)

Corey Oakley: The left, imperialism and the Syrian revolution (Socialist Alternative)
Antonin Amado, Marc de Miramon: Syria’s propaganda war / Syrie, champ de bataille médiatique ‍(Monde diplomatique)
Karin Leukefeld: Jetzt dominieren Last-Minute-Revolutionäre (Neues Deutschland)

Der syrische Oppositionelle Haytham Manna sieht ursprüngliche Ziele der Erhebung in Gefahr

Naima El Moussaoui: Abschied von einer Zwei-Staaten-Lösung (Qantara)

Sari Nusseibeh, prominenter palästinensischer Philosoph und Präsident der Al-Quds Universität in Jerusalem, hält eine Zwei-Staaten-Lösung nicht mehr für realistisch. In seinem neuen Buch “Ein Staat für Palästina?” favorisiert er stattdessen einen binationalen Staat oder eine Konföderation zweier Staaten.

Jacques Delcroze: The Malian model falls apart / Effondrement du rêve démocratique au Mali (Monde diplomatique)

Christian Parenti: Ideology and Electricity: The Soviet Experience in Afghanistan (Nation) / Wer war Nadschibullah? (Monde diplomatique)

Mark Weisbrot: Assange case: Sweden’s shame in violating human rights (AlJazeera)

Greece | Syria | Serbia | South China Sea | Chomsky | Israel

Costas Panayotakis: Democracy Imperiled: The Greek Political Crisis (MRzine)
There’s another poem by Günter Grass, this time on Greece:
Günter Grass: Europas Schande (Süddeutsche)

Miriam Elder: Syria massacre: opposition forces share blame, says Russian minister (Guardian)
Abdalaziz al-Khair, Narmin Amir, Yusuf Fakhr ed-Din: Syria in travail (Anti-Imperialist Camp)
Michel Chossudovsky: “The Salvador Option For Syria”. US-NATO Sponsored Death Squads Integrate “Opposition Forces” (Information Clearing House)

John sent this link:
Diana Johnstone: Graveyard Humor in Belgrade (CounterPunch)

In the May 20 runoff, affable former funeral home manager Tòmislav Nìkolić won slightly over 50 per cent of valid votes cast against the incumbent, Bòris Tàdīć, who had spent his eight years in office doing everything possible to please the Western powers that have in return done all they could to keep Serbia alone and humiliated. Constantly compared to Nazi Germany, Serbs have been subjected to a sleazy imitation of the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal, but no Marshall Plan billions to revive the economy. Conditions are increasingly desperate.

Fred had sent these articles:
Jose Maria Sison: On Philippine sovereignty, US and China (ILPS)
Jose Maria Sison: On the China claims and intrusions and the GPH-NDFP Peace Negotiations (Philippine Revolution Web Central)
Frances Quimpo: PH, China both accountable for biodiversity protection in Scarborough Shoal (Bulatlat)
Jorge Madlos (Ka Oris): Stop imperialist global plunder, and save mother earth! (Philippine Revolution Web Central)
Carol Pagaduan-Araullo: Thorny Sovereignty Issue (ILPS)
More on that topic:
Stirring up the South China Sea (International Crisis Group)
Raïssa Robles: Why get so riled up over some rocks under the sea? / Is China after the Philippines’ oil & gas fields? (raissarobles.com)
Peter Lee: The riddle of the Scarborough Shoals (Asia Times)

Gas and greed, not law and principle, may turn out to be the key to peace in the South China Sea.

Noam Chomsky, Amy Goodman: Palestinian Hunger Strike a Protest Against “Violations of Elementary Human Rights” / Occupy Wall Street “Has Created Something That Didn’t Really Exist” in U.S. — Solidarity / WikiLeaks, Obama’s Targeted Assassinations and Latin America’s Break from the U.S. (Democracy Now)

Conal Urquhart: African asylum seekers injured in Tel Aviv race riots (Guardian)

Violence breaks out after inflammatory speeches as protesters join politicians to demonstrate against rising Israeli immigration

Ilan Lior, Tomer Zarchin: Demonstrators attack African migrants in south Tel Aviv / מפגינים תקפו זרים בדרום תל אביב (Haaretz)
Israel’s Interior Minister: All African migrants should be jailed / אלי ישי: להכניס את כל מהגרי העבודה והפליטים לבית סוהר או מתקן שהייה (Haaretz)
Day after violent anti-African protest, Likud MK calls to ‘distance infiltrators’ immediately / בן ארי: מוטרד מהאלימות, אך הם נושאים מחלות נגיפיות מסוכנות (Haaretz)

Tomasz Konicz: Europas Showdown (Telepolis)

Die von der Regierung Schröder-Fischer eingeleitete Prekarisierungswelle in Deutschland ließ die Binnennachfrage in Deutschland genauso einbrechen, wie es nun der deutsche Sparterror in Europa tut. Doch konnte in der Bundesrepublik dieser Einbruch damals durch die extreme Steigerung der Exportüberschüsse in die Eurozone ausgeglichen werden, die ja aufgrund des Euro nicht mehr mit Währungsabwertungen darauf reagieren konnte.
Die Folge: Seit der Einführung des Euro hat Deutschlands Exportindustrie einen gigantischen Leistungsbilanzüberschuss gegenüber der Eurozone angehäuft, der inzwischen auf rund 800 Milliarden Euro angestiegen sein dürfte. Diese Überschüsse Deutschlands entsprechen den Defiziten – also Schulden – der übrigen Eurostaaten. Bei der Eurozone handelt es sich also bereits um eine Transferunion – allerdings nicht um eine, bei der Deutschlands Steuerzahler andere Staaten finanzieren würden; sondern um eine Transferunion, bei der die Leistungsbilanzüberschüsse der deutschen Exportindustrie mit einer ausufernden Defizitbildung der schwächeren südeuropäischen Volkswirtschaften beglichen wurden – wie mit der Prekarisierung des Arbeitslebens in Deutschland selber. Die simple arithmetische Tatsache, dass Deutschlands Leistungsbilanzüberschüsse automatisch die Schulden der Importländer darstellen müssen, wird im deutschen Krisendiskurs verbissen ausgeblendet.

Egypt | Britain | Goldman Sachs | Philippines | Breivik | Žižek | Palestine

Abdel-Rahman Hussein: Egyptian protesters killed in Cairo (Guardian)
Esam al-Amin: The Calculus of Egypt’s Presidential Race (CounterPunch)
Wilhelm Langthaler: Muslim Brotherhood to pay for their bloc with the army (Anti-Imperialist Camp)
Samir Amin: The movement has neither won nor lost in Egypt / The US imperial project is to destroy the Arab nations (NewsClick / YouTube); partial transcript: An Imperialist Springtime? Libya, Syria, and Beyond (MRzine)
Vijay Prashad: Washington Bets on the Gulf Royals (CounterPunch)

Maureen Clare Murphy: Mass hunger strike grows despite Israel’s best efforts to repress it (Electronic Intifada)
Harriet Sherwood: More Palestinian prisoners join hunger strike (Guardian)
Amira Hass: Ramallah is indifferent as 2,000 prisoners on hunger strike / 2,000 אסירים שובתים רעב, ברמאללה אדישים (Haaretz)
Amira Hass: For Israel, punishing Palestinians is not enough / כלא נפחא אשר בפינלנד (Haaretz)
Amira Hass: Israeli prison doctor fears for lives of four hunger-striking Palestinians / מאבק האסירים הפלסטינים || סכנה לחיי 4 משובתי הרעב (Haaretz)
Harriet Sherwood: Israel closes inquiry into Palestinian family killed during Gaza war (Guardian)
Amira Hass: IDF closes probe into Israeli air strike that killed 21 members of Gaza family / נסגר תיק החקירה נגד האחראים להרג 21 בני משפחה אחת ב”עופרת יצוקה” (Haaretz)

George Monbiot: Deny the British empire’s crimes? No, we ignore them (Guardian)

Ellen Brown: Goldman squid grabs Europe (Asia Times)

Manuel Mogato: Philippines, U.S. stage war games in face of China warning (Reuters)

Jeff Sparrow: Dealing with the Real Anders Breivik (CounterPunch)

Slavoj Žižek: The Revolt of the Salaried Bourgeoisie (London Review of Books)

Laura Flanders: Chatting With Chomsky (GRITtv); transcript: Talking With Chomsky (CounterPunch)

Social Media | Syria | Philippines | Myanmar | Mekong

Mark had sent this article:
Julie Lévesque: Social media “tactical intelligence collection”: Spying and Propaganda using Facebook, Twitter (GlobalResearch)

Abdel-Halim Qandil: Foreign intervention destroys revolution: Why the US may prefer a weakened Assad in place (Anti-Imperialist Camp) / عودة إلى سورية (al-Qudsu l-ʿArabī)

والمعنى باختصار أن استدعاء التدخل الأجنبي يفيد النظام، ويزيف قضية الثورة، ويهدد بتفكيك سورية، وليس المطلوب لاقدر الله أن تسقط سورية، بل أن يسقط النظام وحده، وأن تقوم سورية من رمادها، وكما يريدها أهلها وطنا حرا عربيا ديمقراطيا.
Calling for a foreign intervention serves the regime, betrays the revolutionary cause, and threatens Syria with disintegration. What is required is not – god forbid – to destroy Syria, but to destroy the regime and let Syria rise from the ashes, according to the wish of her people, who long for a democratic Arabic homeland.

Martin Chulov, Matthew Weaver: Saudi Arabia backs arming Syrian opposition (Guardian)

Mainstream media have covered Western journalists’ problems in Syria, but not this:
MP/JR: Militiamen seize Press TV reporter, cameramen in west Libya (Press TV)

Herbert Docena: The US base in the Philippines (Inquirer)

John Roberts: US encourages Burma to distance itself from China (World Socialist Web Site)

Ian Storey: Mekong River Patrols in Full Swing but Challenges Remain (Jamestown Foundation)