Today is the dark anniversary of the first of two dates in 1941 (the other is December 8) in which 25,000 Jews were marched to their death by Nazis in the Rumbula Forest near the capital of Latvia, Riga.
The Rumbula massacre was carried out by the Nazi Einsatzgruppe A with the help of local Latvian collaborators of the Arajs Kommando, with support from other such Latvian auxiliaries. The Arajs Kommando, led by SS-Sturmbannführer Viktors Arājs, was a unit of Latvian Auxiliary Police subordinated to the Nazi Sicherheitsdienst. It was one of the more well-known and notorious killing units during the Holocaust.
At Rumbula on 30 November and 8 December 1941, 12 German machine gunners shot about 25,000 Jews, who were marched to their death from the Riga ghetto by Latvian police. The Jews of Latvia, once numbering 86,000, were virtually wiped out. Continue reading
Filed under Europe, History
Unrelenting mass actions demand justice and reject state violence and impunity
Mexican proverb seen in Toronto, November 20, 2014: “They tried to bury us – they didn’t know we were seeds.”
November 26 marked the two-month anniversary of the disappearances of 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa, in Guerrero state, Mexico. The people’s outrage is seen in the widening mass protests. The case of the missing students has exposed the corruption of the Mexican state and its security agencies and their refusal to look after the well-being of the Mexican people. Continue reading
Police. Roman Catholic Priest. Tsar. Pope. Rabbi. Bourgeois, 1919 (Click to enlarge)
Unveiling monument to Alexander I in Moscow on November 20, 2014 | Presidential Press & Information Office
News item from the website of the President of Russia:
“Vladimir Putin took part in unveiling of a monument to Emperor Alexander I in Alexander Garden by the Kremlin wall.
“Accompanying the President at the ceremony were Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky, representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church and public figures.”
We are posting below the text of Vladimir Putin’s address and Maxim Gorky’s “Letter to a Monarchist.” Continue reading
Some 3,000 veterans and their allies showed up in Sydney to rally against the Veterans Affairs office slated closure.
There is yet more news and questions about the Harper government’s recent announcement that it was going to spend $200 million on veterans. DAVID PUGLIESE has the following article in his daily column, Defence Notes, in the Ottawa Citizen: Continue reading
A base camp, an authoritarian regime, and the future of US blowback in Africa. NICK TURSE*
Admit it. You don’t know where Chad is. You know it’s in Africa, of course. But beyond that? Maybe with a map of the continent and by some process of elimination you could come close. But you’d probably pick Sudan or maybe the Central African Republic. Here’s a tip. In the future, choose that vast, arid swath of land just below Libya.
Who does know where Chad is? That answer is simpler: the U.S. military. Recent contracting documents indicate that it’s building something there. Not a huge facility, not a mini-American town, but a small camp. Continue reading
In 2011, as the entire world watched the Arab Spring in amazement, the US and its allies, predominantly working under the banner of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), militarily overran the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,
The peaceful civilian protesters they claimed to be intervening to protect were not really what the US and its cohorts presented to the world. Many of these so-called “protesters” were armed and, when this became apparent, they eventually began to portray themselves as “rebel forces.”
Naouai, host of RT’s In The Now, was invited to speak along with Mikhail Kasyanov, a former Russian prime minister and a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin’s policies.
President Barack Obama has secretly signed an order that expands the United States’ direct combat role in Afghanistan throughout 2015, the New York Times reported.
Signed over the last few weeks, the secret order permits American forces to continue to battle the Taliban and other militants that pose a threat to either the Afghan government or US personnel. According to the Times, US jets, bombers, and drones will be able to aid ground troops – be they Afghan or US forces – in whatever mission they undertake. Continue reading
Join the Rally to Oppose the Halifax International Security Forum
Anti-war demonstration, November 17, 2012, outside 4th annual Halifax
International Security Forum (Halifax Media Co-op)
Saturday, November 22 – 1:00 pm
Halifax Peace & Freedom Park (formerly Cornwallis Park) Hollis & South Sts.
For information: Facebook or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
On November 21-23, the sixth annual Halifax International Security Forum (HISF) will be held in Halifax. The organization No Harbour for War is calling on Haligonians to oppose this warmongering gathering and join in an anti-war rally on Saturday, November 22 at 1:00 pm, at Halifax Peace & Freedom Park (formerly Cornwallis Park) at Hollis and South Sts.
The HISF is inextricably linked to NATO, a venue for the U.S.-led aggressive alliance to hold PR events, plan future aggression and spread disinformation about the role of NATO in the world. The HISF has also emerged as one of the mechanisms through which U.S. imperialist agencies determine the Canadian foreign and military agenda. The warmongering meetings are also an occasion for the United States to form new military arrangements to integrate the Canadian Forces under its command. In 2009, U.S. Secretary of State Robert Gates announced that U.S. Marines would henceforth exercise in the Arctic to “defend Canadian sovereignty.” In 2011, Chuck Hagel, U. S. Secretary of Defence, announced that Canada had signed a still secret protocol to join Obama’s Asia Pivot strategy aimed at China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Continue reading
By TONY SEED
The relations between the Government of Canada and U.S. warmonger Senator John McCain are indicative of the subservient relations with the U.S. imperialists that the Harper government imposes on Canada, and what to expect from this year’s Halifax war conference.
Illegitimate honorary degree
On June 18, 2013 then Defence Minister Peter MacKay went to Washington, DC to consult with newly-installed U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. News agencies carried brief reports that the topics included Canada’s participation in Obama’s Asia Pivot strategy and the continued deployment of Canadian warships and aircraft to the Caribbean and off the Pacific coast of Central America. MacKay reaffirmed this commitment in a keynote address to the Inter-American Defense Board of the Organization of American States, also meeting in Washington that same day. Continue reading
McCain! War criminals are not welcome in Canada!
The chain of command: American general inspects his troops in the battlefield, from Libya to Halifax
By TONY SEED
One of the notorious war criminals attending the sixth annual Halifax International Security Forum (HISF) is U.S. Senator John McCain (R). McCain has a long-standing involvement with all manner of U.S. covert operations, dirty wars, aggression and war.
McCain is a former presidential candidate in 2008, the top Republican on the powerful U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, chairman of the board of the International Republican Institute (IRI, an arm of the National Endowment for Democracy of the U.S. government) since 1993, and the leading American champion of aggression, intervention and war throughout the world. Wherever this warmonger goes, violence, anarchy and chaos follow in his wake to the detriment of the people and the cause of peace.
Posted below are some of McCain’s recent misdeeds, to give an indication of the calibre of depravity of some of those attending this year’s HISF.
A war is being fought for control over Western Kurdistan and the northern areas of Syria, including three de facto Kurdish enclaves there. The fighting in Western Kurdistan is a means to an end and not a goal in itself. The objectives of gaining control over Syrian Kurdistan and northern Syria are critical to gaining control over the rest of the Syrian Arab Republic and entail US-supported regime change in Damascus. MADI DARIUS NAZEMROAYA* Continue reading
By NADIA KAYYALI
Click to enlarge
(Nov. 12) – The New York Times has published an unredacted version of the infamous “suicide letter” from the FBI to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The letter, recently discovered by historian and professor Beverly Gage, is a disturbing document. But it’s also something that everyone in the United States should read, because it demonstrates exactly what lengths the intelligence community is willing to go to—and what happens when they take the fruits of the surveillance they’ve done and unleash it on a target. Continue reading
Over 1,000 Palestinians will be granted scholarship programs in various disciplines in Venezuela, said Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro.
Photo courtesy of AVN
The Venezuelan government decided to expand the “Yasser Arafat Scholarship Program” from 199 to over 1,000 Palestinian students after the first 119 Palestinian medical students arrived in Caracas last Thursday.
119 Palestinian medical students arrived for studies in the Venezuelan capital Caracas. The Venezuelan “Yasser Arafat Scholarship Program” has been extended to over 1,000 Palestinian students in various disciplines. Continue reading
(Nov 13) – The Israel army has been given a green light to use live ammunition against Palestinian protesters who use fireworks against during clashes, especially amidst the increase in confrontations in occupied East Jerusalem due to escalating Israeli violations, and invasions into the al-Aqsa mosque, and Palestinian areas in the city. Continue reading
A US study shows how a “debate” is deliberately staged to confuse the people and put them out of action. “The debate was between two advocates for war who disagree on the type of war the United States should wage.” On the high-profile Sunday TV talkshows, 89 guests were invited to talk about the war. But just one could be coded as an anti-war guest. PETER HART
Meet the Press: Chuck Todd (right) interviews two senators (from left, Ron Johnson and Chris Murphy) taking “opposite sides” on Obama’s ISIS war–though both support the war.
Moments after Barack Obama’s September 10 primetime address laying out a military plan to attack ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria, CNN featured a debate between Republican Sen. John McCain and former White House press secretary Jay Carney. The somewhat contentious exchange went viral. Continue reading
The following item illustrates the aim behind inciting passions and fuelling tensions: to enact more legislation that is self-serving and destroys the standards and due process established by a civil society based on the Rule of Law, as the British government is planning to do. On the contrary, what needs to be done is to go into the heart of the matter and appeal to all people to draw warranted conclusions and unite on that basis. The issue is to focus on what will resolve the crisis in favour of the people and what will not. The outlook that upholds Might Makes Right and enacts legislation on a self-serving basis will not permit any problem to be sorted out.
(Nov. 12) – Theresa May, the Home Secretary in David Cameron’s government … wants to introduce “extremism disruption orders”, which, yes, are as terrifyingly authoritarian as they sound. Continue reading
By Iraq Veterans Against the War
That’s 22 per day, and in the past two months, two of those have been members of IVAW – my friends. It is impossible to ignore.
Those who have never been to Syria may find it hard to imagine that three years ago extremist groups, such as Al Qaeda and ISIL had no presence there. The idea of public beheadings on Syrian streets was unthinkable. MIMI AL LAHAM*
From the Jasmine city of Damascus (Dimashq) today (Click to enlarge)
It is easier still to forget, that only four years ago, Libya had the highest Human Development Index of any country in Africa, that there was no Al Qaeda or ISIL in Iraq a decade ago, and that Afghanistan was a secular modern developed country with a capital that three decades ago was named “the jewel of Asia.”
By SEUSMAS MILNE*
In the midst of deepening austerity, David Cameron is desperate to play the national card. Any one will do. He’s worked the Queen’s jubilee and the Olympics for all they’re worth. Now the prime minister wants a “truly national commemoration” of the first world war in the runup to 2014 that will “capture our national spirit … like the diamond jubilee.”
So £50m has been found to fund a four-year programme of events, visits to the trenches from every school and an ambitious redevelopment of the Imperial War Museum. Ministers have promised there will be no “jingoism,” but Cameron says he wants to remember those who “gave their lives for our freedom” and ensure that “the lessons learned live with us for ever.” Continue reading
Filed under Europe, History
Remembrance Day began in 1919 as Armistice Day in the British Commonwealth to commemorate those killed in World War One. According to a history of the day featured in major Canadian media outlets, in Canada “it has evolved into a tribute to all military dead and a celebration of the Canadian Forces in general.” The Harper government is using the occasion to tell us the tragic events in Ottawa and St-Jean-sur-Richelieu Quebec must be front of mind as it pushes ahead with its agenda of aggression under U.S. command abroad and the militarization of life and trampling of rights at home in the name of a so-called war against terrorism. Since November 11 is a day for remembering, let us remember.
Each year from November 9-11, the Harper dictatorship steps up its rhetoric promoting aggressive war. This will again be the case when the government makes its annual statement on November 11. The disinformation begins with euphoric reference to the fall of the Berlin Wall in order to hide the fact it continued the resurrection of a re-armed Germany with the Nazi-supporting corporate monopolies restored to power, and then ramps up from there, culminating in ceremonies on Remembrance Day, November 11. Conspicuous by its absence is any reference to November 9 as the anniversary of Crystal Night when the Nazis announced to the world their intention to exterminate the Jews. The aim of the pro-war rhetoric is diametrically opposed to the collective call of “Never Again!” by the world’s peoples after World War I and reiterated after World War II. It is not to honour the war dead with a commitment to assiduously oppose aggression and war as a means to resolving conflicts so that no more lives are lost, but to provide a rationale for the Harper government’s continuing commitment to aggressive war in the service of the monopolies and U.S. imperialism. Continue reading
THE details are emerging of a new secret and quite stupid Saudi-US deal on Syria and the so-called IS. It involves oil and gas control of the entire region and the weakening of Russia and Iran by Saudi Arabian flooding the world market with cheap oil. Details were concluded in the September meeting by US Secretary of State John Kerry and the Saudi King. The unintended consequence will be to push Russia even faster to turn east to China and Eurasia. Continue reading
For your information, we are publishing an interview with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem from Lebanon’s esteemed al-Akhbar newspaper, which was published on Thursday. He reveals among other things that Damascus has asked Moscow to accelerate the delivery process of S-300 PMU-2 surface-to-air, anti-aircraft missiles, which would have significantly improved Syria’s integrated air defence network, citing concerns over a possible US offensive. Jane’s reported in August that the contract was being scrapped by Russia.
Many of the parties to the so-called anti-ISIL coalition from Canada to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey have been among the major supporters of the US-NATO war employing terrorists to topple the Syrian government since 2011. They are now carrying out air strikes inside Syria, including against important Syrian energy infrastructure. Mr Muallem refutes the disinformation in the Western media of Syrian collaboration with this US coalition and affirms a sovereign policy and tactical approach. Continue reading