Archive for April, 2015

Political Smears in U.S. Never Change: the NYT’s 1967 Attack on MLK’s Anti-War Speech [The Intercept / Sweet & Sour Socialism Essential Archives]

Posted in Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, Corporate Media Critique, National Security Agency / NSA, New York Times lie, NSA, Psychological warfare, Russia, Sweet and Sour Socialism Essential Archives, US imperialism, USA, Vietnam on April 29, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Glenn Greenwald

4/8/2015

Article link: https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/04/07/political-rhetoric-us-never-changes-nyts-attack-mlks-anti-war-speeches/

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7 policemen killed by left-wing rebels in India [Xinhua]

Posted in India on April 29, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

NEW DELHI, April 11 (Xinhua) — Seven policemen were killed Saturday and more than 10 others injured in a gun battle with left- wing rebels in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, said police…

…The Naxalite rebels are estimated to total some 10,000 and are active in about 10 states in central and eastern India, mostly in poor rural areas.

Excerpted; full article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-04/12/c_134142977.htm

How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations – GCHQ’s secret ‘dirty tricks’ unit, JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group) [The Intercept / Sweet & Sour Socialism Essential Archives]

Posted in National Security Agency / NSA, NSA, U.K., USA on April 29, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Glenn Greenwald

2/25/2015

Article link: https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/02/24/jtrig-manipulation/

Hillary Clinton’s fake feminist branding [FAIR / Sweet & Sour Socialism Essential Archives]

Posted in Afghanistan, Corporate Media Critique, Gaza, Honduras, Israel, Pakistan, Palestine, State Department, Sweet and Sour Socialism Essential Archives, US drone strikes, USA, Yemen, Zelaya coup on April 29, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

“Hillary Clinton and the Feminism of Exclusion” – Media don’t ask which women she crusades for

By Rania Khalek
Jan 1, 2015

GENDER FOCUS

As the 2016 US presidential election nears, Hillary Clinton, the projected frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, is painting herself as a champion of women’s rights. As a result, she is being lionized in the corporate press as a feminist crusader across the globe.

On International Women’s Day, Clinton proclaimed that “the rights of women and girls is the unfinished business of the 21st century.” The New York Daily News (3/7/14) summed up, “Clinton has made women’s issues a centerpiece of her agenda.”

Clinton boasts of having incorporated feminism into US foreign policy. As Time (6/12/14) reported:

As the former US Secretary of State, Clinton discussed how feminism plays a key role in the US’s foreign policy. “Women and girls … [are] central to our foreign policy,” she said, explaining that nations that support women are more stable and “less likely to breed extremism.”

“Clinton has focused much of her career as first lady, senator and then secretary of State on issues affecting women and girls,” asserted NBCNews.com (9/18/14), citing comments she made about the “glass ceiling.” Even the progressive American Prospect (6/25/14) labeled Clinton’s tenure as secretary of State “unabashedly feminist.”

None of these outlets bothered to compare Clinton’s statements with her actual record, choosing instead to act as stenographers and at times cheerleaders for Clinton’s feminist branding campaign. This suggests a definition of feminism so shallow as to be virtually empty, attaching automatically to any woman who wields power of any kind, toward any end.

An established foreign policy hawk, Clinton has vociferously defended the US drone strikes that terrorize, maim and kill women and girls in Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan (Reuters, 6/7/12). As 9-year-old Nabila Rehman (Truthout, 11/1/13) — whose grandmother was obliterated before her eyes by a US drone strike in Pakistan’s North Waziristan — told a US congressional briefing, “Now, I am always scared.”

Following Israel’s merciless bombing campaign in the besieged Gaza Strip last summer — which killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians, 70 percent of them civilians, including 287 women and 190 girls (UNOCHA, 10/31/14, 10/3/14) — Clinton blamed Palestinians, telling the Atlantic (8/10/14) that “Israel did what it had to do,” accusing Hamas of “stage-managing” the slaughter of children to gain international sympathy.

Apparently Clinton’s version of female empowerment doesn’t extend to Palestinian women and girls living under the fanatical rule of Israeli lawmakers like Ayelet Shaked, a senior partner in the governing coalition Clinton vehemently defends. Just before the Gaza onslaught, Shaked called for the slaughter of Palestinian mothers to prevent them from birthing “little snakes” (Electronic Intifada, 7/7/14).

Another group of women and girls unworthy of Clinton’s empowerment agenda are those escaping violence in a nation she helped destabilize. As tens of thousands of unaccompanied children fleeing Central American violence were detained while crossing the US/Mexico border, Clinton told CNN (6/17/14) that “they should be sent back” to “send a clear message” to their parents that “just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay.”

The media generally fail to mention (Extra!, 9/14) that over 13,000 of the estimated 47,000 children detained between October 2013 to May 2014 came from Honduras, more than from any other country. This was more than 13 times as many Honduran children as were detained in 2009, the year a US-backed military coup ousted democratically elected Honduran President Manuel Zelaya (Pew Research Center, 6/10/14)

In her book Hard Choices, Clinton acknowledged playing a key role in solidifying the coup leadership’s grip on power by preventing Zelaya’s return to office (to “render the question of Zelaya moot,” as she put it) — a move that helped plunge Honduras in further violence, causing children to flee for their lives (Al Jazeera America, 9/29/14).

If this suggests to some that Clinton’s feminism necessarily takes a back seat to foreign policy goals, her history on the domestic front is no better.

In her memoir, she brags about working tirelessly “to round up votes” in 1996 for her husband’s welfare reform bill (New York Times, 4/11/08), legislation that saw the number of households with children living in deep poverty skyrocket (National Poverty Center, 2/12). It was especially disastrous for single mothers (New York Times, 4/8/12).

No wonder Wall Street is prepared to shower this pro-austerity feminist hawk with an endless stream of cash to get her elected in 2016 (Politico, 11/11/14). Clinton’s version of feminism is one of exclusion, serving state power and capital under the banner of gender equality. It is the kind of feminism that Wall Street, US empire and corporate media outlets can get behind precisely because of who it shuts out.

Article link: http://fair.org/home/hillary-clinton-and-the-feminism-of-exclusion/

CIA helped spy on US cell phone data [World Socialist Website]

Posted in ACLU / American Civil Liberties Union, CIA, Police State, USA on April 28, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Zaida Green
30 March 2015

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) worked with the US Justice Department to develop a program to spy on US cell phone conversations and data, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month.

The CIA gave the US Marshals Service, part of the Justice Department, more than $1 million in spying equipment and “developed technology to locate specific cell phones in the US through an airborne device that mimics a cell phone tower,” according to the report. This is a violation of federal law, which separates foreign and domestic intelligence and prohibits the CIA from possessing any internal security functions…

Excerpted; full article link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/03/30/cias-m30.html

S.Korean president accepts PM’s resignation [Xinhua]

Posted in south Korea on April 27, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

SEOUL, April 27 (Xinhua) — South Korean President Park Geun- hye on Monday accepted Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo’s resignation offer after coming back to Seoul earlier in the day from her tour to Latin American nations, Yonhap News Agency reported.

Lee offered to resign last Monday as the country’s second- highest administrative post amid the growing suspicion over his involvement in a bribery scandal. Lee is scheduled to deliver a farewell speech to the nation at about 6:10 p.m. local time.

Lee’s resignation came amid allegations that he received 30 million won (28,000 U.S. dollars) in bribes from a businessman who killed himself on April 9.

Sung Wan-jong, the former ruling party lawmaker and businessman who ran the now-bankrupt construction firm, left a brief memo that listed eight heavyweight politicians, including Lee and current presidential chief of staff Lee Byung-kee, alongside currency figures.

Prosecutors formed a special team to investigate the scandal, but concerns emerged that Lee as the sitting prime minister may block the probe into himself as he receives prosecution reports on how the investigation goes on.

Lee, who took office in February, would become the country’s shortest-serving prime minister in history…

Excerpted; full article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-04/27/c_134188916.htm

EDITORIAL: Excessive violence by police at Sewol anniversary events [The Hankyoreh / 한겨레]

Posted in Police brutality, Police State, Protest action, south Korea, south Korean human rights hypocrisy on April 26, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Posted on : Apr.20,2015

With South Korean citizens organizing a series of events to commemorate the anniversary of the tragic sinking of the Sewol ferry, the police seemed resolved to brutally put down these peaceful demonstrations and marches. The same government that did such a poor job of rescuing passengers on the ferry is wielding a terrible power as it tramples on the grief of the victims’ families and other South Koreans and as it suppresses the justified appeals for the truth.

During a memorial event on Apr. 16, the first anniversary of the sinking, the police responded with excessive force, sealing off Gwanghwamun Square behind a barricade of buses and firing tear gas at marchers. During this process, the mother of one student who died in the sinking sustained four broken ribs.

During the nationwide public assembly for the anniversary of the Sewol tragedy on Apr. 18, the police mustered around 470 vehicles and 13,700 officers to completely wall of Gyeongbok Palace, Gwanghwamun Square, and Sejong street intersection.

The police indiscriminately fired water cannons and tear gas and hauled off around a hundred members of the victims’ families who tried to protest the hard-line response. Reportedly, the police dragged off a university student by her hair. These are grim scenes that evoke the days before democratization [sic].

Citing the inconvenience to motorists caused by protestors marching down the streets and violence including attacks on police officers, the police insist that their harsh response was unavoidable. But there is nothing unusual about rerouting traffic in downtown Seoul because of various events, such as the marathon that was held last weekend.

Mourning a national tragedy and calling for a thorough investigation is protected by freedom of expression. If anything, in a democracy, this kind of expression ought to be protected more than any other kind of event.

If it were not for the excessive police response, no confrontations or physical clashes would have occurred in the first place. Even worse, using bus barricades to cordon off traffic and block demonstrations is a clear violation of the constitution, according to a decision by the Constitutional Court. The explanation offered by the police is no more than an excuse, and a flimsy one at that.

“The unnecessary use of force by South Korean police against families of the Sewol ferry tragedy is an insult to the victims and a violation of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly,” global human rights advocacy group Amnesty International said.

“The use of chemical irritants primarily to disperse peaceful protesters [. . . ] is unlawful under international legal standards,” the group also said.

It is mortifying to consider what the international community, which is observing the anniversary of the Sewol tragedy, will make of such a situation.

What’s the point of President Park diligently traveling to foreign countries? A single picture of police violently clamping down on citizens gathered together to mourn a national tragedy degrades South Korea’s international prestige at a single blow.

The surprisingly brutal attitude of the police would be inconceivable, were it not for the attitude with which the Park administration has responded to the Sewol disaster. If the government had made a sincere effort to get to the bottom of the tragedy, such a situation would never have occurred.

For an entire year after the accident, the government has stonewalled the launch of the Special Sewol Investigative Committee and delayed the salvaging of the sunken ferry. Finally, now that it is facing massive criticism and resistance, it has taken drastic measures to muzzle the public.

When these events are viewed in this light, it’s hard to shake the feeling that the rash behavior of the police was directed by, or at least received the tacit approval of, core figures in the current administration. The figures who came up with the idea of suppressing the protests must be identified and held responsible.

Edited by Zuo Shou

Editorial link: http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_editorial/687582.html