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|World Focus: 10 Rules for Understanding Civil Society Imperialism|
Monday, March 17 @ 04:01:35 UTC
|By Stephen Gowans|
March 16, 2008
Stephen Zunes, chair of the board of academic advisors to the US ruling class International Center for Nonviolent Conflict, and Patrick Bond, director of the Centre for Civil Society at Durban, are regular contributors to Z-Net, Counterpunch and other left media. There's nothing particularly new, interesting or exciting about their writing. When it comes to foreign governments that pursue a traditional leftist agenda of independent economic development outside the domination of imperialist powers they can be counted on to ape the New York Times and Washington Post, and by extension, the White House and Department of State.
Reading Zunes' write about Belarus, Zimbabwe, Myanmar and Iran, is like reading State Department press releases. "The best hope for advancing freedom and democracy in the world's remaining autocratic states," says Zunes, "comes from civil society" (1). In its reference to freedom and democracy in the abstract, Zunes' language is evocative of the propagandistic bilge that gushes in rivers from White House and State Department speechwriters trying to shape public opinion. Bond, who claims an expertise on Zimbabwe based on proximity to the country (he runs a civil society center on the other side of the Limpopo River) is hardly better. Both mimic State Department charges against the West's leftist and national liberation foreign policy betes noire, and, like the State Department, both celebrate civil society. Bond has gone so far as to naively dub activist groups in Zimbabwe that receive Western funding as "the main wellspring of hope for a Zimbabwean recovery" (2). It would be more apt to say civil society is the West's main wellspring of hope to return Zimbabwe to a colonial past.
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|World Focus: The War on Free Expression|
Friday, May 11 @ 20:00:12 UTC
|By Stephen Lendman|
May 9, 2007
In a post-9/11 climate, the right of free expression is under attack and endangered in the age of George Bush when dissent may be called a threat to national security, terrorism, or treason. But losing that most precious of all rights means losing our freedom that 18th century French philosopher Voltaire spoke in defense of saying "I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Using it to express dissent is what noted historian Howard Zinn calls "the highest form of patriotism" exercising our constitutional right to freedom of speech, the press, to assemble, to protest publicly, and associate as we choose for any reason within the law.
Even then, there are times more forceful action is needed, and Thomas Jefferson explained under what circumstances in the Declaration of Independence he authored. When bad government destroys our freedoms, we the people have the right and duty to disobey civilly and resist. Henry David Thoreau called it "Civil Obedience" in 1849, and men like Gandhi and Martin Luther King practiced it successfully 100 years later. That's our challenge today at a time our constitutional rights are more compromised and threatened than at any previous time in our history. Resistance is the antidote to restoring them, and freedom-loving people have a duty and obligation to do it.
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|Invasion of Iraq: French Engineer Abducted by Fake Iraqi Terrorists|
Thursday, December 29 @ 07:38:30 UTC
|By Kurt Nimmo, kurtnimmo.com |
We are expected to believe the Iraqi resistance is not only vicious, but also uninterested in repairing the damage inflicted on its country by the neocon invasion. It runs around abducting Christian peace activists, western journalists, Sudanese and Moroccan embassy employees, and people from countries that opposed Bush’s invasion. On December 5, Bernard Planche, an engineer working for the “little known non-governmental group” AACCESS, was abducted. Planche worked at the Rusafa water treatment plant in eastern Baghdad. It should be noted that AACCESS is involved in “two small rehabilitation projects” financed by the United States Army, according to the New York Times. In short, on the surface, it would appear Planche’s abducting is legitimate, considering Planche worked indirectly for the U.S. Army and the United Nations.
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|Invasion of Iraq: The Real Stakes in Iraq|
Friday, April 16 @ 23:21:51 UTC
|By Stephen Gowans, www3.sympatico.ca/sr.gowans
Sandy Berger and Maqtada al-Sadr may not agree on much, but they do agree on this: America is a divided society.
The only thing is, most Americans don't see it.
Sadr, the Shia cleric who's the figurehead of the Iraqi resistance in Najaf, draws a distinction between Americans, and the people who rule Americans – and for the moment, who rule Iraqis, too.
He's called for "the American people to stand beside their brethren, the Iraqi people," who he says, "are suffering an injustice by [American] rulers and [their] occupying army." ("Anti-American Cleric Criticizes Iraq War," AP, April 7, 2004.)
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|Invasion of Iraq: Iraq Guerrillas Adopt a New Strategy: Copy the Americans|
Thursday, October 30 @ 16:56:04 UTC
|October 29, 2003|
By ROBERT FISK, www.counterpunch.org
Understanding the brain. That's what you have to do in a guerrilla war. Find out how it works, what it's trying to do. An attack on US headquarters in Baghdad and six suicide bombings, all at the start of Ramadan. Thirty-four dead and 200 wounded. Where have I heard those statistics before? And how could they be so well co-ordinated--well-timed, down to the last second? And why the Red Cross? I knew that building, and admired the way in which the International Red Cross refused to associate themselves with the American occupation--even at the cost of their lives, as the guards outside their Baghdad headquarters carried no guns.
So here's the answer to question one. Algeria. After the Algerian government banned elections in 1991 that would have brought the Islamic Salvation Front to power, a Muslim revolt turned into a blood-curdling battle between the so-called Islamic Armed Group--many of its adherents having cut their battle teeth in Afghanistan--and a brutal government army and police force. Within three years, the "Islamists"--aided, it seems, by army intelligence officers--were perpetrating massacres against the villagers of what was called the Blida triangle, a three-cornered territory around the very Islamist city of Blida outside Algiers. And the very worst atrocities--the beheading of children, the raping and throat-cutting of women, the slaughter of policemen--were committed at the beginning of Ramadan.
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|War and Terror: In Iraq Towns, Allegiances Shift Quickly to Winning Side|
Thursday, April 10 @ 10:43:24 UTC
|By CHARLIE LeDUFF, NY TIMES
UMAIT, Iraq, April 9 - Three sheiks met an American colonel in the center of town today.
"Would you like us to point out the bad people to you?" the tallest and most regal of them asked.
"Yes, point them out and we'll take care of them," the colonel said, his arms pinned to his side by a crowd of men and boys curious to hear their liberator speak.
"Of course," the regal sheik said, "We can point them out to you and then we can take care of them ourselves."
"No just go about your business," the colonel said.
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|War and Terror: Mother of all resistance?|
Tuesday, April 01 @ 11:52:51 UTC
|Dr Moonis Ahmar|
In January 1991 when the US led allied forces were planning to attack Iraq so as to liberate Kuwait from Baghdad's occupation, the regime of Saddam Hussain claimed that such an attack will lead to the beginning of "mother of all battles." From January 17 till February 24, there were only aerial attacks against the Iraqi installations and command and control centres. When the US led ground attack to liberate Kuwait began in the last week of February, the myth about Saddam's strategic defiance and ability to fight back was shattered. The Iraqi forces were thrown out of Kuwait within couple of days and the so-called might of Iraq to engage allied forces in ground war for months proved to be a hoax. There was no "mother of all battles" as predicted by the regime of Saddam Hussain and Kuwait was liberated without any major loss of the allied forces.
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