Nobody's paying much attention, but Pakistan is on the brink of civil war. Taliban-types have taken power in much of the Northwest Tribal Areas along the Afghan border, while tribespeople in Baluchistan--also along the Afghan border, to the southwest--have launched an insurgency and apparently want to secede. US-Pakistani attempts to hunt down Osama and al-Qaeda elements believed to be hiding in the border region have only inflamed the situation. Now comes a claim that Iran is aiding the Baluch insurgency. Seems unlikely, given the depth of the Shi'ite-Sunni divide (a source of much bloodshed in Pakistan), but it could sure make convenient propaganda for Bush's new campaign against Iran...
Robert Scheer's hyperventilating latest is getting much circulation in cyberspace (see below). A typical sample:
"cabal of Machiavellian neoconservatives"
The New Haven (CT) Board of Alderman voted to ask the US to end its occupation of Iraq and bring the troops home. This was the culmination of a lot of hard work involving hundreds of peace activists which was spearheaded by the Green party's Alderwomen Joyce Chen. As Alan Brison put it, "An amazing thing about the vote was the racial breakdown. Among minorities on the board the vote was 16-0 in favor, with 3 absences. Among white, mostly "liberals", the vote was 4-3 with 4 either absent or not voting." This is one of few cities in the US to pass such a resolution. Please consider working with others to expand these efforts. Also write letters to editor on such topics. [From Mazin Qumsiyeh. To subscribe to Mazin's list, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=subscribe%20mazin.qumsiyeh]
Jayyous, a town of 3,400 in the West Bank, is being cleansed quickly through illegal Israeli settlement expansion, funded indirectly with US tax dollars. The Rhode Island Qalqilya Alliance has background information, and says what you can do to take action.
NEW YORK December 15, 2004 The Court of Appeals, New York State's highest court, announced Saturday that it will consider whether dismissed and sealed cases may be considered in imposing jail sentences on four political demonstrators who protested the U.S.-sponsored occupation of Palestine and the U.S. war on Iraq.
Sorry, but this is revisionism ("How Silent Are The 'humanitarian' Invaders Of Kosovo?" ZNet, December 2004) no less than that of the propagandists Pilger is critiquing. He seems to want us to forget that 200,000 Kosovar Albanians (out of a total population of 1.4 million) had been forced from their villages to refugee camps in the mountains or in Albania and Macedonia by the time the bombing started in March 1999. After the bombs started falling, the number was quickly jacked up to 800,000.
An interesting and important piece, but a little irksome. We don't doubt that the CIA and State Department are pulling out all the stops to aid the Yushchenko forces, and this certainly warrants exposure. But the implicit assumption here seems to be that these poor naive Slavic types could never be capable of launching a legitimate opposition movement on their own, so this whole affair must be purely "astroturf" (pseudo-grassroots). We can assure you that Serbia's Otpor was a genuine movement, not just a CIA creation, and we assume the same is true of the Ukrainian movement. In any case, much of the leftist commentary on Ukrainia has been rather glib about the whole matter of electoral fraud--a rather ironic stance, given the dilemma we are currently facing in our own country...