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)

South Africa | Canada | Japan | Palestine | CNN | Avaaz

Chris Mardsen: South Africa after the Marikana massacre / L’Afrique du Sud après le massacre de Marikana / Südafrika nach dem Massaker von Marikana (WSWS)

The police massacre of striking miners at Marikana is a watershed for post-apartheid South Africa and for the international class struggle. It demonstrates in the starkest form imaginable that the perspective of “black empowerment” and the “National Democratic Revolution” providing the basis for overcoming economic and social oppression has failed utterly. The central lesson of Marikana is that the fundamental division within society is class, not race.

Bill Van Auken: South Africa’s miners and the fear of “contagion” / Die Bergarbeiter in Südafrika und die Furcht vor „Ansteckung” (WSWS)

Keith Jones: Parti Quebecois to form minority government, after narrow election win (WSWS)
Isabeau Doucet: Fatal shooting at Pauline Marois Quebec victory speech ‍(Guardian)

Emma Graham-Harrison: Prevalence of malnutrition in southern Afghanistan ‘shocking’ (Guardian)

Around a third of young children in southern Afghanistan are acutely malnourished, with a level of deprivation similar to that found in famine zones, a government survey has found, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid that has been poured into the region. …
“What’s shocking is that this is really very high by global standards,” said Michael Keating, deputy head of the UN mission in Afghanistan. “This is the kind of malnutrition you associate with Africa and some of the most deprived parts of the world, not with an area that has received so much international attention and assistance.”

Gavan McCormack: Troubled Seas: Japan’s Pacific and East China Sea Domains (and Claims) (JapanFocus)

Harriet Sherwood: Rachel Corrie’s death was an accident, Israeli judge rules (Guardian)

From 2000-04 the Israeli military demolished around 1,700 homes in Rafah, leaving about 17,000 people homeless, according to the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem.
Corrie was one of a group of around eight international activists acting as human shields against the demolitions. According to witness statements made at the time and evidence given in court, she clambered on top of a mound of earth in the path of an advancing Caterpillar bulldozer.
“She was standing on top of a pile of earth,” fellow activist and eyewitness Richard Purssell, from Brighton, said at the time. “The driver cannot have failed to see her. As the blade pushed the pile, the earth rose up. Rachel slid down the pile. It looks as if her foot got caught. The driver didn’t slow down; he just ran over her. Then he reversed the bulldozer back over her again.”

Harriet Sherwood: Rachel Corrie lawsuit result ‘dangerous precedent’ say human rights groups (Guardian)

Concern ruling will allow Israel to exploit ‘legal black hole’ and avoid responsibility for its actions. Human rights organisations have warned of a “dangerous precedent” following an Israeli court’s dismissal of a civil lawsuit over the death of US activist Rachel Corrie, which stated that Israel could not be held responsible because its army was engaged in a combat operation. …
Human Rights Watch said the ruling contravened international law, which is intended to protect non-combatants in war zones, and set “a dangerous precedent”. “The idea that there can be no fault for killing civilians in a combat operation flatly contradicts Israel’s international legal obligations to spare civilians from harm during armed conflict and to credibly investigate and punish violations by its forces,” said Bill van Esveld, a senior Middle East researcher at HRW.

Zvi Bar’el: A good Jew hates Arabs / יהודי טוב שונא ערבים (Haaretz)

Hatred of Arabs is part of the test of loyalty and identity that the state gives its Jewish citizens. A good Jew hates Arabs. A loyal Israeli will leave an Arab to die, because “he’s an Arab.” And someone who isn’t like that, as we know, “sleeps with Arabs.”
שנאת ערבים היא חלק ממבחן הנאמנות לזהות שמעניקה המדינה לאזרחיה היהודים. יהודי טוב שונא ערבים. ישראלי נאמן יניח לערבי למות, כי “הוא ערבי”. מי שאיננו כזה הוא כידוע “מזדיין/ת עם ערבים”.

Yossi Sarid: A quiet lynch in Tel Aviv-Jaffa / הלינץ’ השקט בתל אביב-יפו (Haaretz)
Gideon Levy: Lieberman was right / ליברמן צדק (Haaretz)

To the long list of new heights of Israeli chutzpah, we can now add Lieberman’s scandalous letter, which urges the replacement of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Even the most moderate Palestinian statesman ever – there never has been, and, more importantly, never will be one as moderate and committed to nonviolence as he – is no good for Lieberman’s Israel. To the megalomania of bombing Iran, in order to foment regime change, among other things, we can now add this megalomaniac idiocy, which is dwarfed only slightly by all its predecessors.
אל שיאי החוצפה הישראלית, רשימה ארוכה, עטורת שיאים, נוסף עכשיו מכתבו השערורייתי של ליברמן, הקורא להחליף את מחמוד עבאס. גם המדינאי הפלסטיני המתון ביותר בכל הזמנים – לא היה ובעיקר לא יהיה עוד מתון ודוגל באי-אלימות כמותו – גם הוא לא טוב לישראל של ליברמן. אל מגלומניית ההפצצה באיראן, בין היתר כדי להחליף את משטרה, נוסף עכשיו ההבל המגלומני הזה, מתגמד רק במעט לנוכח כל קודמיו. אחרי שישראל טענה במשך שנים שיאסר ערפאת הוא הוא המכשול, אחרי שחמאס עלה וגם הוא היה למכשול, החליט שר החוץ להוסיף גם את עבאס לרשימת פסולי השלום שלו. אחרי שישראל טענה במשך שנים שרק, רק, אם הפלסטינים יפסיקו את הטרור יהיה שלום, והפלסטינים הפסיקו את הטרור – וכלום. אפילו לא הקפאת ההתנחלויות. כלום.

Ewen MacAskill: Democratic convention erupts over reinstatement of Jerusalem to policy (Guardian)

Glenn Greenwald: CNN and the business of state-sponsored TV news (Guardian)

Friederike Beck: Avaaz.org und der geheime Informationskrieg um Syrien (Zeitgeist)

Thailand | Libya | Gaza

The Financial Times makes it clear once more that democracy is fine as long as people vote for the right candidates: “The poor, and their allies in Ms Yingluck’s party, must accept that they have to protect private property rights and the rule of law and also that they must not let Mr Thaksin back into Thailand, no matter how much they love him.”
Joshua Kurlantzick: Thaksin’s dreams can end Thai democracy (Financial Times)

Tania Branigan: Thai government concedes poll defeat (Guardian)

Franklin Lamb: NATO’s War Against Libya’s Civilians (CounterPunch)
David Tresilian: French Arms for Libyan Rebels (al-Ahram)
Michael Martina: China deepens engagement with Libyan rebels (Reuters)
Vijay Prashad: BRICS vs. G7: Libya as Proxy (CounterPunch)
Bongani Masuku: COSATU Calls on Workers to Join Protest March against Bombing of Libya (MRzine)

Yoshie Furuhashi: Bernard-Henri Lévy’s “SOS Syrie” Conference: Zionists, Muslim Brothers, and Other Leaders of “Change in Syria” (MRzine)

U.S. Boat to Gaza Seized by Greek Authorities and Captain Jailed:
Passengers Determined to Free Captain and Set Sail Again
(MRzine)
Jack Shenker, Conal Urquhart: Activists’ plan to break Gaza blockade with aid flotilla is sunk (Guardian)
Amira Hass: In dealing with flotilla, Israel is anything but smart / המשט והסטריאוטיפ היהודי (Ha’aretz)

Blocking the flotilla did not discourage the organizers, who are graduates of the anti-apartheid and anti-white supremacy struggles. Rather, it provided ample proof of how white Israel is. As a result, blocking the flotilla only increased their motivation to keep placing the Palestinians’ demand for freedom at the forefront of the international agenda.

חסימת המשט לא ריפתה את ידי המארגנים, חניכי המאבק באפרטהייד ובעליונות הלבנה. היא ציידה אותם בשלל הוכחות ללובן של ישראל. היא הגבירה את המוטיווציה שלהם להמשיך ולהעמיד את דרישת הפלסטינים לחופש בראש סדר היום העולמי.

Frank Lindh: America’s ‘detainee 001’ – the persecution of John Walker Lindh (Guardian)

John is entirely innocent of any involvement in the terror attacks, or any allegiance to terrorism. That is not disputed by the American government. Indeed, all accusations of terrorism against John were dropped by the government in a plea bargain, which in turn was approved by the US district court in which the case was brought.

Despite its proud history as a stable constitutional democracy, the US has, for 10 years, been affected by post-traumatic shock, following the horrific events of 11 September 2001. I can find no other explanation for the barbaric mistreatment and continued detention of a gentle young man like John Lindh.

Barak Ravid: UN: Israel used unnecessary force against protesters on Nakba Day (Ha’aretz)

Victor Grossman: German Leopards for Saudi Arabia (MRzine)

Marjorie Cohn: Avoiding Impunity: The Need to Broaden Torture Prosecutions (Jurist)

Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Yoo have all said they participated in the decision to waterboard and would do it again. Thus, they have admitted the commission of war crimes. Major General Anthony Taguba, who directed the investigation of mistreatment at Abu Ghraib, wrote, “there is no longer any doubt as to whether the [Bush] administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.”

Taguba’s question has been answered. None of those lawyers or officials will be brought to justice. Outgoing CIA Director Leon Panetta said, “We are now finally about to close this chapter of our agency’s history.” Ominously, David Petraeus, incoming CIA Director, told Congress there might be circumstances in which a return to “enhanced interrogation” is warranted. That means torture may well continue during Obama’s tenure. This is unacceptable.

Dan Coughlin, Kim Ives: Cable Depicts Fraudulent Haiti Election (Nation)

Thailand | Iran | Israel | ecology

Thailand: Economic Background to Political Crisis (MRzine)

The conflict between the current Thai government (…) and the wide spectrum of anti-government protestors is not simply about certain political processes or about individuals like Thaksin Shinawatra … Rather, it is substantially about economic policy … The continued popularity of Thaksin among the peasants and otherwise unorganised workers is largely because of what the Thai elite sniffs away as “populist policies”. This term is a favourite among chattering classes across the developing world, used to denigrate any economic policies with minimally redistributive impact from the rich and middle classes to the poor.

Goalposts on Iran moved, yet again (IranAffairs)

No sooner had Iran announced that it was going to ship its LEU to Turkey, than State Department spokesman PJ Crowley held a press conference in which he added the proviso that the US would not accept the deal since Iran had not stopped enrichment too.
Of course, stopping enrichment was never part of the original deal offered to Iran, and Iran would not have even provisionally accepted such a offer if it was included.

Revealed: how Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons (Guardian)

Secret apartheid-era papers give first official evidence of Israeli nuclear weapons

John Bellamy Foster: The Ecology of Socialism (MRzine)
Original: De ecologie van het socialisme (Solidair) /« Ce qu’il faut, c’est une révolution écologique » (Solidaire)