Archive for February, 2011

Afghan delegation confirms 65 civilians killed by NATO during operation – including 40 children [Xinhua]

Posted in Afghanistan, NATO, NATO invasion, US imperialism, USA, War crimes on February 28, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

KABUL, Feb. 27 (Xinhua)– The fact finding delegation of Afghan government has confirmed that NATO-led troops during operations against militants in the eastern Kunar province had killed 65 civilians including women and children, a statement released by Presidential Palace on Sunday said.

Headed by Shahzada Masoud the advisor to president the delegation presented its report at the meeting of National Security Council with President Hamid Karzai on the chair held in Presidential Palace.

"Those killed during the operations including 10 women, 15 men and 40 children," the report presented at the meeting of National Security Council said.

The operations, according to officials had taken place in Ghazi Abad district of Kunar province on February 17.

[NATO denies responsibility.]

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[Editorial] The NIS and misguided ‘national interests’ – S. Korea’s “CIA” and ultra-right gov’t try to paper over spy scandal with “national interests” cliché [The Hankyoreh]

Posted in south Korea on February 28, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

February 23, 2011

In the aftermath of the alleged break-in by National Intelligence Service (NIS) agents into the hotel room of a delegation of Indonesian presidential envoys, an array of arguments in favor of “national interest” have continued to circulate.  The NIS committed this reckless act in the national interest, the argument holds, while bringing to light the fact that it was indeed the act of NIS employees would be contrary to national interest, and properly investigating the case would be of no help to national interest either.

Yesterday, a senior official with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) even requested forbearance from the press, asking, “How much does it really help the national interest for things like this to keep turning up all over the newspapers?”

In addition to being bizarre logic, it is sickening to see this argument for defending the national interest coming from the mouth[s] of people who compromised that very interest.

To begin with, the NIS’s strategy of “neither confirming nor denying” involvement in the incident is insensible. The incident has already become a laughing stock across the globe, viewed as a “fiasco that will go down in the annals of world espionage history.”  It is unprecedented for a country’s top intelligence organization to be caught rifling through the belongings of a delegation of foreign envoys in its own living room.  After such an unheard-of bit of business, it is truly unsightly to see quibbling now over whether or not there is a precedent for bringing to light an intelligence organization‘s activities.

The same applies to the issue of whether or not the NIS director should resign. The Cheong Wa Dae (the presidential office in South Korea or Blue House) has evinced reluctance, expressing that “replacing NIS Director Won Sei-hoon would be tantamount to a formal admission that this was the NIS’s doing.”

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Mexico-USA Summit Marked by Border Violence – Wikileaks [Prensa Latina]

Posted in Mexico, Obama, USA, Wikileaks on February 28, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Mexico City, Feb 24 (Prensa Latina)

Mexican President Felipe Calderon will meet with U.S. counterpart Barack Obama on March 3 in a context marked by border violence and WikiLeaks revelations.

In a press release issued Thursday, the Mexican president’s office, reported on a working visit to Washington by Calderon, saying it was aimed at deepening his dialgogue on priority issues for their relations and common regional and international issues.

It was also reported that both heads of state spoke by telephone about the capture of Julian Zapata Espinosa, alias “El Piolin,” one of the alleged perpetrators of the killing of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent.

According to the note, Obama stated that the speedy Mexican government reaction to the events proved its commitment once again to the fight against the organized crime.

The text emphasized that Calderon received Obama’s gratitude for the efforts of bringing to justice the murderers of Customs agent Jaime Zapata murdered in a road in San Luis Potosi.

In an interview with El Universal newspaper, the Mexican president said he disagreed with statements by U.S. Ambassador Carlos Pascual, revealed by WikiLeaks, criticizing Mexican anti-crime forces operations.

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Unrest tests wisdom of world powers -Editorial [Global Times]

Posted in Anti-China propaganda exposure, China, China-bashing, Israel, Media smear campaign, Russia, US imperialism, USA, USSR on February 28, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

February 22, 2011

Revolution in the Middle East may gravely disrupt global development and profoundly change the world’s interest structure that was established over the past half-century. The consequences of these changes will not be evenly distributed around the world.  As such, how China turns these risks into opportunities will be vital to its rise in the decades to come.

National competition in the era of globalization is more cruel than it seems to be.  Changes in global positioning could once be achieved through internal development or regional adjustment, but they now require global "re-identification," which cannot be achieved in a short space of time.

China’s reform and opening-up was luckily easier than the former Soviet Union’s equivalent. Therefore, China has gained the most from the last round of international development, and has been seen as reaping great rewards from globalization. Despite foreign criticism of China, its progress over the past three decades is unmatched and has strengthened the conditions of its future growth.

Revolutions in the Middle East may be seen as the most important political changes the world has seen in 20 years, bringing about a period of chaos where some countries will weaken while others emerge stronger.

In fact, those Arab countries in trouble today are those that have benefited least from globalization to date.  The disintegration of the Soviet Union left the Arabian world at a disadvantage in its stand-off with Israel.  The strategic adjustments of these countries have not been good.  While some turned to the US for support, most of them failed to seriously consider new ways of developing.

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French FM resigns on scandalous Tunisia relations [People’s Daily]

Posted in Diplomat, France, Kuwait, Sarkozy, Tunisia on February 28, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

February 28, 2011

French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie announced her resignation on Sunday, yielding to public indignation on her scandalous relation with the former Tunisian regime.

The beleaguered minister insisted that she did nothing wrong to France’s interest and her public service, local press AFP quoted her statement as saying.

Returning from Kuwait for its 50th anniversary of independence, Alliot-Marie had a talk with Prime Minister Francois Fillon late Sunday, but did not reveal what they had discussed.

Local radio RFI confirmed her resignation later on, quoting a letter delivered to Fillon.  Defense Minister Alain Juppe is due to take over as new foreign minister, the radio station added.

President Nicolas Sarkozy was scheduled to give a national address at 20:00 local time (GMT 1900), in which he was expected to talk about international affairs and lay out the new adjustment to his cabinet.

Since January, Alliot-Marie has been blamed for her controversial relations with the former Tunisian authority under ousted President Ben Ali.

She bore the first brunt after blundering in the public about sending policing equipment to aid the former Tunisian authority against increasing protests, which eventually led to the ouster of Ben Ali.

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Chavez Asks for Peace in Libya, Slams Double Standard [Prensa Latina]

Posted in Afghanistan, Corporate Media Critique, EU, European Union, Hugo Chavez, Iraq, Israel, Libya, US foreign occupation, US imperialism, USA, Venezuela, Western nations' human rights distortions on February 27, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

26 de febrero de 2011

Caracas, Feb 26 (Prensa Latina)

chavez-libya

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez spoke out again for peace and a peaceful solution to the conflict in Libya, while slamming the double standard used by certain countries.

"From here, with this heart, I pray for peace in Libya and denounce the double standard of those who condemned it immediately but are silent about the Israeli bombings and the massacres in Iraq and Afghanistan, nations invaded by the United States," the Venezuelan president said.

In a televised Council of Ministers session on Friday, Chavez said that this lack of information and confused reporting of events in Libya suggest caution, although he was clear about opposing any foreign interference.

The United States and Europe have openly taken stances against Muammar Gaddafi in the last few days.

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Dozens slaughtered by US forces in Afghanistan-Pakistan air attacks [World Socialist Web Site]

Posted in Afghanistan, CIA, Karzai puppet regime corruption, NATO, NATO invasion, Obama, Pakistan, US "War on Terror", US drone strikes, US foreign occupation, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, War crimes on February 26, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手
By Patrick O’Connor
23 February 2011

In the worst of several US air strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan in recent days, up to 51 civilians were killed last Thursday in Afghanistan’s north-eastern Kunar province.  General David Petraeus, the commander of the US forces in Afghanistan, expressed the colonial-style hostility of the occupation force’s senior command toward the Afghan population, reportedly accusing local residents of burning their children to fake evidence of civilian casualties.

In a five-hour operation on the night of February 17, US Apache helicopters strafed a group of alleged Afghan insurgents with gunfire, rockets and Hellfire missiles.  Surveillance drones guided the helicopter assault in the mountainous district of Ghaziabad, near the Pakistan border, and according to the Washington Post, bombs were dropped by at least one of the unmanned Predator aircraft.  The attack was one of a number of recent US operations in the district, ordered as part of President Barack Obama’s broader escalation of the Af-Pak war.

Rear Admiral Gregory Smith, senior military spokesman in Kabul, stated that three dozen people were killed in the incident.  He maintained they were all “suspected insurgents who had gathered to attack US and Afghan troops”.  However, the remarks of one unnamed military official, cited by the Washington Post on Monday, made clear that American authorities had no knowledge of the identities of those killed.

Kunar Governor Said Fazlullah Wahidi contradicted Smith’s claims.  He said: “According to our information 64 people were killed:  13 armed opposition, 22 women, 26 boys and 3 old men.”  The governor sent a three-man “fact-finding team” to the area on Saturday, which returned with seven injured people suffering burns and shrapnel wounds, including a young man and woman and five boys and girls.

Dr. Asadullah Fazli, chief doctor at the provincial hospital in Asadabad, the capital of Kunar, told the New York Times that the hospital had treated at least nine wounded from the area, including three women, four children and two men. O ne two-year-old girl had to have her leg amputated because of shrapnel injuries.  The Times noted:  “There were several other military operations in the area over the last few days, so it was not clear which one caused those injuries.”

In an attempt to defuse outrage among the Afghan population over the latest atrocity carried out by the occupation forces, President Hamid Karzai issued what has become a pro forma denunciation of American military operations.  He stated that “about 50 civilians have been martyred” and pledged to send investigators to the scene of the killings.

Karzai met with his national security council and General Petraeus at the presidential palace in Kabul on Sunday.  According to an account of the meeting published in the Washington Post, “Petraeus, the top US commander in Afghanistan, dismissed allegations by Karzai’s office and the provincial governor that civilians were killed and said residents had invented stories, or even injured their children, to pin the blame on US forces and force an end to the operation.”

One unnamed participant in the meeting said: “He claimed that in the midst of the [operation] some pro-Taliban parents in contact with a government official decided to create a civilian casualty claim to pressure international forces to cease the [operation].  They burned hands and legs of some of their children and sent them to the hospital.”

The discussion demonstrates the contempt with which the American military command regards Karzai, the figurehead first installed as Washington’s stooge shortly after the 2001 invasion.

The Washington Post reported that Karzai and his colleagues found Petraeus’s baseless allegations “deeply offensive” and “shocking”. One official declared: “Killing 60 people, and then blaming the killing on those same people, rather than apologising for any deaths? This is inhuman. This is a really terrible situation.”

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