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Archive for the ‘Foreign Policy’ Category

ID Laws – Israel Teaches Arizona A Lesson

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Thousands of Palestinians living in the West Bank may soon be evicted or face criminal charges by Israeli authorities, the Israeli daily Haaretz has said.

An amendment to an Israeli military order on “preventing infiltration” could soon stipulate that residents of the West Bank without ID cards may now need one issued by the occupying authorities.

Anyone without such a document could either be expelled or jailed.

Haaretz said the new order would likely be used first against Palestinians in the West Bank with Gaza ID cards and the foreign spouses of Palestinians living in the territory.

Al Jazeera’s Jacky Rowland explains.

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Written by Aaron Nee

May 26, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Interview With An Insurgent

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The Institute For War & Peace Reporting has posted an essay by a former member of al-Qaeda.  The one time insurgent briefly describes his motives for fighting the occupying American forces, his disaffection with al-Qaeda and why he now is not so sure he wants the American troops to leave.

A reported insider account naturally must be taken with a grain of salt, since it is easy to fabricate and difficult to verify.  That said, I am not aware of any indications that the account is fraudulent, nor are any of the claims extraordinary.  If genuine, it is an interesting peek inside a world the American public is well insulated from.

Thanks to Current Intelligence for alerting me to the essay.

The Cable That Solved The Mystery

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On the 21st of December, 1976 a car bomb detonated in downtown Washington DC, killing former Chilean foreign minister Orlando Letelier and his 26-year old American colleague, Ronni Karpen Moffitt.  The assassination was part of “Condor”, a multinational collaboration between Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil and several other Latin American military dictatorships.   Condor’s aim was to find and kill opponents of the conspiring regimes.  Senior US State Department officials were tipped off to the assassination plans and arrangements were made to send a diplomatic démarche which expressed “our deep concern” over “plans for the assassination of subversives, politicians, and prominent figures both within the national borders of certain Southern Cone countries and abroad.”  The US ambassador’s instructions to deliver the démarche however were rescinded and five days latter one of the Condor assassinations exploded in DC.

A long standing mystery has been Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s role in rescinding the Condor démarche, but with the uncovering of Kissinger’s cable, the answer to that mystery has finally come to light.  Earlier this week, The National Security Archive published it’s report on the new revelation that it was in fact Kissinger himself who blocked any further action being taken to deter the “Condor scheme”.

IF you want to learn more on the subject of Kissinger, Chile and Pinochet, a wealth of information can be found at the National Security Archives.  Also, audio recordings of Kissinger and Nixon discussing Chile were posted on Knosha in 2008 and are worth going back to for a listen.  While you’re at it, you may want to give this a listen too:

Don’t Tell Glenn Beck

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Proposal for a fifth Socialist International on Znet – http://www.zcommunications.org/fifth-international-by-michael-albert

What is the socialist international? http://socialistinternational.org/about.cfm

Proposal for a participatory Socialist International – http://www.zcommunications.org/newinternational.htm

Written by Aaron Nee

April 7, 2010 at 7:12 pm

The Human Cost of Leaves

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You’ve probably noticed a growing awareness among consumers, awareness of where the things they buy come from and what the human cost is associated with that product.  It becomes difficult to buy a pair of shoes or a lousy T-shirt without asking “Am I supporting an abusive industry?”

A seemingly unrelated topic is that of the US’s awkward transition into legalizing Marijuana.  The clumsy shift in the law is made comically evident here in California, where laughable billboards advertise “medical” Marijuana cards and dispensaries are popping up everywhere.  The drug is understood by many to be an innocent offense – illegal but harmless.  Soon, perhaps very soon, it will be legal to grow and sell cannabis, but in the mean time, the same question we ask about our clothing and cheep electronics applies to Marijuana.  Where is it coming from?  Who is getting hurt to get it here?

There was a recent article in McClatchy that highlights Mexico’s expressed frustration toward the US’s flirtations with legalizing Marijuana.  There are those among our Southern neighbors who believe the US is undermining Mexico’s attempts to control the violent drug cartels that plague the country.

Tim Johnson’s article is worth reading and Mexico’s concerns warrant consideration as the US continues forward in developing new drug laws.

Written by Aaron Nee

March 27, 2010 at 1:31 pm

How To Make Millions Off Crushing Poverty

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From Dollars & Sense:

Greg Palast continues to follow the story of debt vultures who “buy up the loans of poor governments, wait for them to win debt relief from the international community, and then use courts to pursue the countries for assets,” for BBC TV Newsnight and an article in the Guardian. Palast wrote about debt vultures for D&S back in 2007 (George Bush’s Favorite Vultures).

Written by Aaron Nee

March 19, 2010 at 1:34 am

More From The Dark Side Of Charity

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From McClatchy:

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — At an encampment on the outskirts of Haiti’s capital, physicians from three international aid agencies provide identical services. On a charter flight to Miami, competing doctors get into a shouting match before takeoff.  And at a search-and-rescue operation, one international team claiming ownership of the effort asks another to leave — although the departing group has the equipment to do the job…

The battle includes aid groups known as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and U.N. agencies that want to be the chief humanitarian agencies, countries that are lobbying for a seat at the decision table, and leaders from around the world who fly in frequently making promises that have yet to be met.

“Every country is out to get a piece of the action,” Robert Fatton, a Haiti expert at the University of Virginia. “Did the earthquake release something that we don’t know anything about?”

The answer, according to experts: a grab for cash.

“It’s the biggest source of money,” Mark Turner, a spokesman with the International Organization for Migration, said of the Haiti earthquake, considered to be the deadliest disaster to beset any single nation in the modern era. “The world is pumping in money here and everyone wants in on the action.”

You can find the rest of Jacqueline Charles’ article at McClatchy.

Written by Aaron Nee

March 10, 2010 at 7:37 pm