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Archive for March 18th, 2012

 

34 Years ago today, March 18th  1978, the National Revolutionary François Duprat died  in the explosion of his booby-trapped car,  martyred by Zionist assassins.

His work and sacrifice is not forgotten!

François Duprat – Present!

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Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the occupation of Palestine is a historical problem and the existence of the Zionist regime is an insult to freedom, justice and all independent nations.

“The Europe and the US spend tens of billions of their wealth on the Zionists each year to help a criminal regime…continue its occupation [of Palestinian lands],” he said, addressing a convoy of pro-Palestinian activists in Tehran who are heading to al-Quds (Jerusalem) on Sunday.

He also slammed the Western states for showing no tolerance towards questioning the existence of Israel.

“Despite all liberal claims of the Western states, nobody is ever allowed to ask a question or conduct a research on how the Zionist regime was established,” the president said.

“The issue of Palestine is not an argument between one person and another or a conflict created between the followers of one prophet and another …but the dispute over Palestine is a dispute over dominating and managing the world,” Ahmadinejad added.

The Iranian chief executive further stated that the Zionists try to pitch states and nations against each other and create a rift between governments and their people and spearhead international terrorism.

“The hegemonic current aims to establish this regime in Palestine as the focal point of the Middle East which is also the center of the world’ resources and energy, in order to continue the historical trend of hegemony,” he said.

The convoy of pro-Palestinian activists arrived in Tehran on Saturday. They plan to continue their way to al-Quds, where they are expected to be joined by thousands of more peace activists from around the world to mark the 36th anniversary of Palestinian Land Day, which is March 30.

Several marches that began in various locations across the globe are heading toward the countries that neighbor Palestine, namely Jordan, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon, in order to get as close as possible to East al-Quds.

The global march to al-Quds initiative will also include demonstrations in front of Israeli embassies in the capitals of various countries as well as demonstrations in the main public squares of major cities around the world.

from PressTV

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Or, how to survive a world dominated by imperialist terror

Sukant Chandan

Whatever were the limits of the Soviet Union it is an accepted fact by any student or historian of the post Second World War period that if a small nation was oppressed or colonised by imperialism, that it’s only recourse to  any semblance of closing the gap between the empire’s arms and itself would be to make an alliance with the USSR and access the weaponry that they had.

The Vietnamese inspired the world by their militant mass resistance, and this legacy continues to inspire the world today, but it also should be borne in mind that this victory also came not in small part thanks to the USSR that helped to arm and train and also fought in the field with the Vietnamese against imperialism.

This is not to say that struggles should not rely on themselves first, they must. But in the highly imbalanced situation of arms in relation to imperialism’s massive unrivalled military it would but be foolish to think that  small nations could have defeated empire without alliances with the USSR, the Eastern Bloc in general and also Socialist China.

The world has recently seen this internationalist dynamic in dramatic action with the veto at the UN by China and Russia that stopped another massive war of aggression against Syria. Russia and China have saved Syria for the time being, much to the chagrin of the warmongers in London, Paris, Washington and Tel-Aviv. Having stopped the war, one would have thought that the western ‘Stop the War’ groups would give full respect to Russia and China for doing so, they dont. But that’s another story.

One lesson from the last century or more of struggle against imperialism is that the only way to get anything approaching respect from imperialism is to let them know that as an independent nation you will not tolerate any violation on yourself without the west getting a bloody nose in the process. The danger of not applying this was most tragically played out in Libya last year, with some of Gadafi’s sons and other elements being allowed to corrupt the state in favour of empire. Gadafi was a militant himself, but those elements which he allowed to dominate the state not only forgot this, but actively lowered their guard, some did so naively as in the case of Saif Al-Islam Gadafi, and some with an outright agenda of counterrevolution in collaboration with nato.

Whereas Gadafi thought he was out-playing the empire, which he was to a certain extent, the two major mistakes made by the regime were that they did not manage to modernise their armed forces and that the regime elite failed to keep in check counterrevolutionary elements. These elements came out of the wood work subsequent to the outbreak of the conflict there last year, it was plain to see that these counterrevolutionary elements were all over the leadership of the Libyan state. One can only ponder of the ‘what ifs’ for Libya, if the Libyan state had managed to purge itself of these elements.

We are no longer living in the post Second World War period in which the USSR’s stated clearly to imperialism that if they were attacked by the usa by nuclear strike and wipe out Soviet society, which the usa were threatening to do, that the USSR would likewise flatten most of the usa in kind. The usa knew this, and this balance between the USSR and the usa kept imperialist aggression in check to a considerable degree.

In the absence of the Soviet anti-imperialist umbrella in the post 1991 period, nations trying to defend themselves against imperialism have a straight forward strategy to pursue for survival:

1. To keep the state purged as much as possible from pro-imperialist counterrevolutionary forces. Compare the sell outs infesting the Libyan regime from the outset of the conflict to the Syrian regime which has seen next to no high profile sell outs going over to the counterrevolution.

2. Modernisation of the nation’s armed forces. This will make imperialism think hard about attacking the nation, as they are thinking hard about attacking Syria and Iran, as Syria and Iran have been and continue to work in modernising their armed forces. Iran especially have done relatively well in doing this with the support of friendly states, but respect to them also for using their own resources to have achieved an impressive level of scientific and military development.

3. International unity,or mutual security/defence pacts. One can have the first two conditions, but without this factor, the state and the masses are most likely have to conduct a protracted, a long term war of resistance by the masses, with final victory, if it will come at all, taking decades to achieve as was the case with Vietnam and Algeria, amongst many others.

In the case of Iran and Syria, we can see that they seem to have achieved these first two preconditions. On the third factor of international unity, Syria and Iran will support each other in the event of open military aggression by imperialism, and they also have the support of one of the strongest anti-imperialist guerilla movements in the world – Lebanese Hizbullah. Just as importantly, some would argue perhaps more importantly, Syria has the support of Russia and China, with former Russian joint chief of staff stating on Russia Today that Russia will just not allow Syria to fall to nato.

Gadafi tried in vain to develop a mutual defence pacts of the nations of the South, a project called SATO – the South Atlantic Treaty Organisation. It is tragic to reflect on what happened to Libya since last year when Gadafi was the ‘third world’ leader, more than any other, who saw the urgency of developing a real meaningful internationalism based on international anti-imperialist defence treaties.

The Latin American progressive states most important ally in Africa – Libya – was decimated, without a finger being lifted by any South American leader including Gadafi’s close brothers who promised that they ‘would not be fickle’ and ‘would not to forsake him’. All anti-imperialists have full respect and support our leadership in South America, but at the same time its all fine and well bestowing unto Gadafi national awards of Bolivar etc, but when your same brother is lynched courtesy of nato and its agents, one would expect a little more than speeches on the telly. ‘Do unto others what you have them do unto you’, is something that chimes in one’s head when thinking about this relationship, or maybe more precisely what is lacking in a relationship. The courage and loyalty displayed by Che Guevara in relation to Korea, Vietnam, Africa, and other places is not always followed through by our leadership today.

When faced with total devastation that imperialism has visited upon Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya most recently, one has to state that Syria and Iran’s position of threatening to open fronts of military resistance against israel and against imperialist military presence and interests in the region is the minimal position for these states to take if they are to survive in this world where imperialist terrorism reigns supreme.

Anyone who seeks a fairer world, a world without imperialism which is the reason for wars across the world, divisions of nations, poverty, especially child poverty, would wish Syria and Iran the very best in resisting but more importantly, defeating imperialism. What will happen in this great confrontation we all will be witnessing in the coming months ahead.

source.

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The biggest-ever data complex, to be completed in Utah in 2013, may take American citizens into a completely new reality where their emails, phone calls, online shopping lists and virtually entire lives will be stored and reviewed.

­US government agencies are growing less patient with their own country with every month. First, paying with cash, shielding your laptop screen and a whole list of other commonplace habits was proclaimed to be suspicious – and if you see something you are prompted to say something. Then, reports emerged that drones are being fetched for police forces. Now, the state of Utah seems to be making way in a bid to host the largest-ever cyber shield in the history of American intelligence. Or is it a cyber-pool?

Utah sprang to media attention when the Camp Williams military base near the town of Bluffdale sprouted a vast, 240-acre construction site. American outlets say that what’s hiding under the modest plate of a Utah Data Complex is a prospective intelligence facility ordered by the National Security Agency.

­Cyber-security vs. Total awareness

The NSA maintains that the data center, to be completed by September 2013, is a component of the Comprehensive National Cyber-security Initiative. The facility is to provide technical assistance to the Department of Homeland Security, collect intelligence on cyber threats and carry out cyber-security objectives, reported Reuters.

But both ordinary Americans and their intelligence community were quick to dub it “a spy center.

­The Utah Data Center will be built on a 240-acre site near Camp Williams, Utah. Once completed in September 2013, it will be twice as large as the US Capitol. The center will provide 100,000 square feet of computer space, out of a total one million square feet. The project, launched in 2010, is to cost the National Security Agency up to $2 billion.

The highly-classified project will be responsible for intercepting, storing and analyzing intelligence data as it zips through both domestic and international networks. The data may come in all forms: private e-mails, cell phone calls, Google searches – even parking lot tickets or shop purchases.

This is more than just a data center,” an official source close to the project told the online magazine Wired.com. The source says the center will actually focus on deciphering the accumulated data, essentially code-breaking.

This means not only exposing Facebook activities or Wikipedia requests, but compromising “the invisible” Internet, or the “deepnet.” Legal and business deals, financial transactions, password-protected files and inter-governmental communications will all become vulnerable.

Once communication data is stored, a process known as data-mining will begin. Everything a person does – from traveling to buying groceries – is to be displayed on a graph, allowing the NSA to paint a detailed picture of any given individual’s life.

With this in mind, the agency now indeed looks to be “the most covert and potentially most intrusive intelligence agency ever,” as Wired.com puts it.

William Binney, NSA’s former senior mathematician-gone-whistleblower, holds his thumb and forefinger close together and tells the on-line magazine:

We are that far from a turnkey totalitarian state.

­‘Everybody is a target’

Before the data can be stored it has to be collected. This task is already a matter of the past, as the NSA created a net of secret monitoring rooms in major US telecom facilities – a practice that was exposed by people like William Binney in 2006.

The program allowed the monitoring of millions of American phone calls and emails every day. In 2008, the Congress granted almost impecible legal immunity to telecom companies cooperating with the government on national security issues.

By this time, the NSA network has long outgrown a single room in the AT&T building in San Francisco, says Binney:

I think there are ten to twenty of them. This is not just San Francisco; they have them in the middle of the country and also on the East Coast.

Binney suspects the new center in Utah will simply collect all the data there is to be collected. Virtually, no one can escape the new surveillance, created in the US for the War on Terror.

Some data, of course, would be crucial in the anti-terrorism battle: exposing potential adversaries. The question is how the NSA defines who is and who is not a potential adversary.

Everybody is a target; everybody with communication is a target,” remarks another source close to the Utah project.

­Breaking the unbreakable

Now, the last hurdle in the NSA’s path seems to be the Advanced Encryption Standard cipher algorithm, which guards financial transactions, corporate mail, business deals, and diplomatic exchanges globally. It is so effective that the National Security Agency even recommended it for the US government.

Here, the Utah data complex may come in handy for two reasons. First: what cannot be broken today can be stored for tomorrow. Second: a system to break the AES should consist of a super-fast computer coupled with a vast storage capabilities to save as many instances for analysis as possible.

The data storage in Utah, with its 1 million square feet of enclosed space, is virtually bottomless, given that a terabyte can now be stored on a tiny flash drive. Wired.com argues that the US plan to break the AES is the sole reason behind the construction of the Utah Data Center.

The eavesdropping issue has been rocking the US since the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, when domestic spying was eventually outlawed. Nowadays, a lot of questions are still being asked about the secret activities of the US government and whether it could be using the Patriot Act and other national security legislation to justify potentially illegal actions. The NSA’s former employees, who decided to go public, wonder whether the agency – which is to spend up to $2 billion on the heavily fortified facility in Utah – will be able to restrict itself to eavesdropping only on international communications.

source.

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As this article was being prepared for publication, Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa announced he will not attend the Summit of the Americas. “Personally I am not willing to go back to participating in these summits, where there is no debate about the problems of the Latin American peoples,” said Correa at a press conference March 15 in Ankara Turkey .

He is boycotting the summit because of the U.S. refusal to allow Cuba to participate

“In our region we have very serious problems, but these are never discussed in those summits. The embargo that the U.S. imposes on Cuba; that is never discussed, nor the British occupation of the Malvinas Isles.

“I will be frank. I like the United States because I studied there, but I cannot accept that one country excludes another. It seems terrible to me and I don’t want to hurt my U.S. friends if I say that the Latin American peoples don’t accept any more for those type of summits to be organized.”

The sixth “Summit of the Americas” will convene April 14-15 in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, with 34 heads of state from North and South America, to discuss various economic and political themes affecting the region.

All the countries of the Western Hemisphere will be present, except one: Cuba. For the sixth time that the summit has met, the U.S. government has forced Cuba’s exclusion. This year, several progressive governments, members of the ALBA alliance, threatened to boycott the conference if the socialist island nation were excluded.

On March 8, after host country Colombia announced there was “no consensus” for Cuba’s invitation, Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla held a press conference.

“This is no surprise, it has been the chronicle of an anticipated exclusion,” stated Rodríguez. “With enormous disrespect for Colombia, for Latin America and the Caribbean, the U.S. spokespersons from the first had decreed the exclusion of Cuba. …

“Cuba never asked to be invited to any of the so-called Summits of the Americas, it never did in the past, nor for this one. We simply responded that, if we were invited with equal conditions, and with full and equal rights, we would act with principles and with truth, respectfully as we always have.”

Rodríguez also remarked, “These summits, like the Organization of American States, notoriously, have only served for the United States to exercise its domination. The most recent events prove this.”

Cuba excluded since the first Summit

Since the hemispheric summit was first convened in Miami in 1994, the U.S. government has exerted pressure on other states, to make it clear that Cuba would not be welcome, and cannot be invited.

Washington fears that its objective of promoting its imperialist interests across the hemisphere—through free-trade agreements and military expansion—will be impacted by Cuba’s presence.

Cuba’s influence and prestige has grown considerably in the Americas in the last two decades, with its successful advocacy of mutual economic cooperation among some of the most oppressed countries. Various Latin American and Caribbean countries have joined together to resist U.S. policy.

One major development was the formation of ALBA in 2004. Known as the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, ALBA was established as an alliance of countries to promote mutual economic and social cooperation. The core initiating countries were Cuba and Venezuela. Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines have since joined ALBA. Honduras was a member until the U.S.-backed right-wing coup of June 2008.

Major ALBA campaigns have largely wiped out illiteracy in Venezuela and Bolivia with the work of Cuban teachers. Cuban and Venezuelan doctors have conducted medical operations on hundreds of thousands of vision-impaired poor people in Latin America and the Caribbean to restore their sight. Petroleum from Venezuela has been provided to Cuba and other Caribbean islands in exchange for goods and services.

ALBA runs directly counter to Washington’s interests of super-profits and domination.

Indeed, the fourth Summit of the Americas in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in November 2005, was a major defeat for the U.S. attempt to aggressively impose the super-exploitative “Free Trade Area of the Americas” trade agreement. Thousands of Latin American and other activists joined for a “Peoples Summit” nearby to counter the U.S. agenda.

‘Bury the FTAA’

President Hugo Chávez famously declared to a rally of 50,000 people at the conclusion: “We have come here to bury the FTAA!”

This year, Washington’s dictates met with resistance by the ALBA states, who demanded that Cuba not be excluded from the summit.

On March 1, with typical U.S. imperialist arrogance, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that “there is absolutely no intention” of inviting Cuba to the Summit.

It was not for the United States to decide, at least not officially. As host country, Colombia had the prerogative. Colombia’s Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguín announced that Colombia would seek consensus among the other countries before making a decision. In previous years, Colombia would likely have sided outright with the U.S., without hesitation.

But with the threat of boycott by ALBA and growing support from other Latin American states for Cuba’s inclusion, Colombia’s President José Manuel Santos felt obligated to travel to Cuba on March 7 to meet with Cuban leaders Raúl and Fidel Castro.

In his March 8 press conference, Rodríguez responded to the idea that a discussion would take place behind closed doors during the summit about Cuba’s future participation, saying: “[T]hat does not interest Cuba. It is not acceptable for Cuba that a private meeting among the governments of the United States and Latin America and Caribbean states take up this theme in our absence.

“Latin America does not accept that anymore and it is constructing a project of sovereignty and regional integration, which the United States cannot stop, although it will try to do so. The presence of Cuba in Cartagena, from a distance, cannot be hidden.”

source.

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