Sunday, July 29, 2007
Here are some recent examples of this 'friendliness':
Ali Khamenei, the Islamic regime of Iran’s ‘supreme spiritual leader’ said women's rights activists should not try to change Islamic laws relating to women's rights, two days after one campaigner was sentenced to 34 months in jail and ten lashes.
Saudi authorities ordered banks to separate female and male workers at their headquarters. Though women are already separated from male employees in branches, they have up to now worked together in bank headquarters. Under the new system, women employees in bank headquarters could now be obliged to work on separate floors and use different lifts, entrances and canteens from men.
The Kuwaiti parliament passed a law banning women from working at night, except those in the medical profession, and barring them from jobs considered ‘immoral.’
Two female journalists were murdered in Afghanistan in the space of a week. Both women received threats, warning them to stop reporting.
The 'Righteous Swords of Islam' warned that it would strike the women in Palestine with "an iron fist and swords" for refusing to wear a veil on camera.
A 13-year-old named Shukria and another girl were killed and 4 wounded at their school entrance as the Taleban and others use murder, shootings, beheadings, burnings and bombings to close down schools.
Mokarrameh Ebrahimi is languishing in prison, awaiting death by stoning in Iran, after her partner was recently stoned for their relationship. They have both been in prison for 11 years, including with their two children.
The Islamic regime of Iran has announced yet another "plan to increase security in society" by targeting women who are 'badly veiled'.
Yes, very friendly indeed... Maryam Namazie
My blog was picked out to be spammed and threatened with spam, only because of its socialist and leftist views. If this was something as a Giuliani blog, it would have been left alone. This problem is a political problem. Some don't want an opinionated left blog, with vigorous discussions to exist.
Trolling is a different problem. A troll doesn't come to a forum for a respectful give and take. They come to elicit an emotional response, to attack personally and create a tone of hostility. I have been told by some they don't want to leave comments, because of the personal attacks. To stop that threat the blog owner has the right to ask a troll to leave.
I refuse to use the moderation features of blogspot. I think people enjoy seeing their comments instantly.
Spamming and trolling are a form of censorship and harassement in blogging. All spamming and trolling is wrong no matter who does it. They are political not personality issues. I call on all my friends of all opinions, to unite for free speech. This blog will not go down.RENEGADE EYE
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Dr. Sayegh's Writings:
These attacks on Arab Cities and the occupation of large numbers of Arab localities were not the work of irresponsible "terrorists" or uncontrollable "extremists". On the contrary, they were perpetual upon the instructions, and in accordance with the plans, of the official leadership of the would-be State of Israel.
a) Most of these attacks were launched by the Haganah, which was the official military arm of the Jewish Agency and the precursor of the Israeli Army.
b) Throughout the history of the Palestine Problem, there was collaboration between the terrorist organizations, such as the Irgun Zvai Leumi and the Stern Group, and the official armed forces of the Jewish Agency, the Haganah and the Palmach, whenever the Zionist community faced a crisis or a grave challenge. The best illustration of this pattern may be found in the Zionist revolt of 1945 – 1946, waged by the "Jewish Resistance Group", which compromised the four aforementioned groups and was inspired and directed by the Jewish Agency. In an authorative document published by the British Government on the subject, its findings were summarized in the following words:
" The information which was in possession of His Majesty's Government when they undertook their recent action in Palestine led them to draw the following conclusions:
1) That the Haganah and its associated force the Palmach (working under the political control of prominent members of the Jewish Agency) have been engaging in carefully planned movements of sabotage and violence under the guise of 'the Jewish resistance Movement';
2) That the Irgun Zvai Leumi and the Stern Group have worked since last Autumn in cooperation with the Haganah High Command on certain of these operations; and
3) That the broadcasting station 'Kol Israel', which was working under the general direction of the Jewish Agency has been supporting these organizations.
"The evidence on which these conclusions are based is derived in the main from three sources –
i) Information which has been obtained showing that between 23rd September 1945, and the 3rd November 1945, seven telegrams passed between London and Jerusalem, and a further telegram on 12th May 1946. Copies of these have been intercepted and are here set out;
ii) Various broadcast by 'Kol Israel' between 31st October, 1945, and the 23rd June, 1946, referring to specific acts of violence and sabortage; and
iii) Information on various dates derived from the pamphlet Hamaas (the publication of the Irgun Zvai Leumi) and from Eshnav (the publication of the 'Jewish Resistance Movement'). Examples from these pamphlets are set out in this Paper.
"This evidence related to the three widespread sabotage operations of the 31st October / 1st November, 1945; 20th – 25th February, 1946, and 16th – 18th June 1946. All three para-military organizations participated in these actions which not only caused very serious destruction but also loss of life."
"Of this White Paper, Menachem Begin – who, on this subject can speak with authority – says: "I must record that this particular White Paper on 'Violence in Palestine' was one of the few British documents on Palestine that I have read in which there were scarcely any distortions."
This pattern of behind-the scenes collaboration was followed again in 1948. Thus, as early as 3 February 1948, there was talk of coordination of operations betweenthe Haganah and the Irgun." By 7 May 1948 the agreement seems to have been concluded between the Haganah and the Irgun.
There are categorical assertions by the leader of the Irgun to the effect that the raid on Deir Yassin was made by the Irgun and the Stern Group "with the knowledge of the Haganah and the approval of its Commander." In a letter from the Haganah Regional Commander to the Irgun Commander in Jerusalem prior to the raid, the Haganah leader asserted that, "The capture of Deir Yasin and its holding… is one stage in our general plan. I have no objection to your carrying out the operation providing you are able to hold th village." In fact, Deir Yasin was handed over to the Haganah forces three days after its capture by the Irgun."
c) Israeli legislation, promulgated after the establishment of the State, proclaims that the military and para-military forces operations between 29 November 1947 and 15 May 1948 were acting on behalf of the then non-existing Sate, and affirms that their actions were retroactively "adopted" by the State authorities. Section I, Paragraph B, of Law No. 49 – "Fallen Soldiers' Family (Pension and Rehabilitation) Law of 1950" – states:
"In this law – 'military service' and 'service mean –
"(a) services in the Defence Army of Israel;
"(b) in respect of the period between 17th Kislev, 5708 (30th November, 1947) and 29th Kislev, 5709 (31st December 1948) – any other service declared by the Minister of Defence, by proclamation published in State Records, to be military service for the purposes of this Law,"
In fact, four Irgunists who had been wounded in the attack on Deir Yasin and had subsequently demanded "war veterans' pensions" for their "service" were granted heir demand by an Israeli court, in June 1953, on the basis of this law, according to a report which appeared in TIME Magazine of 15 June 1953.
(MFL notes more scandals exist in this pamphlet with full references whenever the author used such heavy information.)
RENEGADE EYE & MarxistFromLebanon
By Lal Khan
Monday, 23 July 2007
The insurrectionary take over of Gaza by Hamas marks a new tuning point in the bloody saga of the Palestinian movement - it marks a change that is spreading across a broad swathe of the Middle East. The internecine fighting between the main stream Palestinian factions of Fatah and Hamas has culminated in what some fear could be a schism in their putative state. The present conflagration has not only proved two-state solution to be a sheer utopia but it also sounds the death knell of bourgeois nationalism in the present epoch.
More than forty years ago, in a discussion in London comrade Ted Grant explained to the representatives of Al-Fatah and other left-wing factions that the only way out for the liberation of Palestine was through a revolutionary movement of the toilers on an irreconcilable class basis. He outlined the repercussions of individual terrorism in the name of armed struggle and emphasized that any negotiations with imperialism or the Zionist state would only reinforce the subjugation of the Palestinian masses and would be used to intensify their oppression.
Forty-four years, two regional wars and three Intifadas later, the plight of the Palestinians has gone from bad to worse. The flame of Palestinian nationalism has flickered and is on the verge of being extinguished. The pathetic state of Palestinian nationalism is reflected in the latest verses of the most celebrated poet of the nationalist movement of this tragic land.
O future: do not ask us: who are you?
And, what do you want from me?
For we too do not know.
The courageous and defiant movement of the masses for the liberation of Palestine with episodes of valour, innumerable sacrifices and dedication to the Palestinian cause by almost five generations has been the hallmark of mass resistance for half a century. Yet the ideology, methods and the character of leadership has brought the oppressed of Palestine to such a traumatic fate and a blind alley. The dreadful decline of Fatah is the cruel ramification of these policies of compromise.
The rise of Hamas is mainly due to the vacuum created by the degeneration and demise of the Stalinist/ nationalist left. Fatah under Mahmood Abbas has stooped so low that it is using Israeli and American supplied weaponry against their Palestinian brethren. Hamas is perhaps the first Islamic fundamentalist organization to take control of any territory in the Middle East. But like religious fundamentalists everywhere their honesty and piety are a mere veneer on the reality of lumpenised hordes drawn into violent and reactionary tendencies through the frustration of unemployment, poverty, misery and socio-political inaction of the leadership.
It is one thing to raise the aspirations and sentiments of an impoverished populace, but to establish order and bring to heel Gaza's tribal warlords, smugglers, criminal gangs and jihadists is beyond the capacity of Hamas. With 70% unemployment; despicable health and other social conditions, the raging poverty and violence cannot be resolved through the mythological dogmas and metaphysical rhetoric of Hamas. It has no scientific analysis, method, perspective or solution to the crisis.
Furthermore, there are such violent convulsions erupting that they are opening up cracks both in the Hamas and Fatah hierarchy. There is now an open split between Khalid Meshaal, the so-called supreme leader of Hamas, and Ismail Haniyah, the Hamas prime minister ousted by Abbas.
The followers of the left-wing Fatah leader Marwan Bargoughti (incarcerated in Israeli jails serving several life terms) are defiant against Abbas. The more he capitulates to imperialism and the more his stoogism is exposed, he will be confronted with an even bigger revolt from within the Fatah and the left organizations within the PLO.
The raging fires in Palestine will not be contained by so-called borders and the huge walls being put up by the Israeli reactionary state. The rulers of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Arab world are terrified. Linked with the ferocious resistance in Iraq, and the new wave of insurgency in Lebanon, the Palestinian inferno will not spare these reactionary, dictatorial Arab regimes.
Ironically this infighting amongst the Palestinians will send a very different and unprecedented message to the Israeli rulers. The demise of Palestinian nationalism will drastically dent the façade of Israeli nationhood.
The present rulers in the Arab world cannot and will not resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. They have used this conflict as a source of connivance for their despotic rule for so long. But the rise of violence and contradictions in the Palestinian territories will ignite the seething discontent and anger amongst the Arab masses. As the curtain of Israeli national chauvinism falls, the reactionary, exploitive and brutal reality of the Israeli state and the ruling class shall be exposed to the Israeli proletariat.
The resurgence of the class struggle and revolutionary upheavals around the world, in the present epoch shall have a lightning effect upon the consciousness of the exploited workers and the masses in Palestine, Israel and the rest of the Middle East. The ruling classes have been discredited and exposed. Fundamentalism and nationalism have only brought misery, violence, bloodshed, deprivation and tyranny to the masses. As Hegel once said, "Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it".
Mahmood Darvesh's verses are proclaiming the historical failure and obsoleteness of bourgeoisie nationalism. His pathos of Palestinian misery is painful yet announces the end of an era, an ideology. The only way forward for the genuine liberation of the Palestinian masses is through class struggle. Uniting the workers and the oppressed of all nations, religious, castes and races, this struggle can only succeed by overthrowing capitalism and imperialism through a Socialist Revolution. The Palestinians cannot achieve it on their own. Only through a collective and united class struggle with the Israeli workers and the oppressed masses of other countries of the region can a socialist victory be achieved. This victory is not only possible but the only way out of the wars, destruction, crusades, exploitation, hunger, misery, deprivation and bloodshed into which people of this region have been incarcerated for more than two millennia.
Lahore, July 33rd 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
As anyone who listens to all the opposition propogandists knows Venezuela faces a major food crisis with there being chronic shortages of such staples as chickens and eggs.
Of course, they always seem to be in a rush and leave out the second part of the story, which is that consumption of these food items is WAY up, hence the shortages.
Fortunately, today some reporter from El Universal had a little more time on his hands and gave a more complete story:
The national market has in recent months reported shortcomings in the production and distribution of poultry products due to increases in consumption.
In spite of the fact that companies in that sector are working at maximum capacity, and production has gone up 15% this year, it is not sufficient to satisfy the demand of Venezuelan consumers which in turn necessitates imports to make up the shortcomings in the national market.
This year, the production of chicken will reach 900,000 metric tonns and yet still reports a deficit of 8%.
So stated the president of PYMI Poultry, Simon Leal Alfanzo....
Leal explained that this situation is the result of purchasing power, especially that of classes D and E, having gone up 130% in the last three years which has permitted them to increase their consumption of these products.
He also explained that consumption of chicken has gone from 25 kilograms per person per year to 42 kilograms while the demand for eggs has increased from 100 per person per year to 202.
So there you have it, peoples purchasing power and income are WAY up (we already knew that), which in turn leads to increased consumption, so much so that production can't keep up even though it too is growing rapidly.
Truth be told though, this is really something of a philisophical issue. With chicken and egg consumption way up how do you increase production of both? Do you increase the number of eggs for sale, pre-empting the number of chickens you can have, or do you restrict egg consumption for sake of letting people eat a few more kilos of chicken? You can have your chicken, but you can't eat all their eggs too.
Thank you Oil Wars RENEGADE EYE
Monday, July 16, 2007
Former Chaplin Christian Von Wernich wore a priest's collar and bullet proof vest as he sat behind reinforced glass in a federal court. The court clerk read charges accusing him of collaborating with state security agents and covering up crimes in seven deaths, 31 cases of torture and 42 cases of illegal imprisonment. He answered basic court questions but refused to testify in the case, “Following the advice of Dr. Jerollini who is my lawyer. I am not going to declare. And I am not going to accept questions.”
At least 120 witnesses are slated to testify against Von Wernich and the court has taken precautions to protect their safety, putting up police fences around the court house and installing metal detectors. In the front row of the court room's audience, representatives from the human rights organization Mothers of Plaza de Mayo sat with their white headscarves listening to the court's accusations.
According to Nora Cortinas, president of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo – Linea Fundadora, the Catholic Church supported the crimes committed during the dictatorship.
“The heads of the Catholic Church participated in the dictatorship. Many priests were chaplains inside the barracks of the concentration camps. We want to point out that there is a sector from the church that didn't have anything to do with the dictatorship, on the contrary they supported us and reported the crimes committed at the time. But most of the representatives from the church participated in the celebration of death and torture.”
Journalist Horacio Verbisky recently published a book on the Catholic Church's involvement with the military dictatorship. Outside the courthouse, hundreds of human rights advocates rallied, demanding a severe sentence for the Catholic Priest. At one point, Von Wernich interrupted head judge Carlos Rozanski, saying he couldn't hear the accusations against him because protestors could be heard yelling 'Assassin' from outside the courtroom.
Christina Valdez's, whose husband was kidnapped and disappeared in
This is only the third human rights trial since
Sunday, July 08, 2007
It seems such a short time ago that we were hearing about Venezuelan democracy, liberty and freedom of speech going down the drain. With the "closing" of RCTV freedom of the press was supposedly dealth a mortal blow.
Yet now we have this:
No your eyes are not decieving you, that really is the RCTV signal appearing on Direct TV in Venezuela. RCTV has arisen from the ashes and is now starting to re-appear on sattelite and cable networks in Venezuela.
Actually, this just goes to show, it had never been shut down to begin with. It simply lost its little segment of the radio-electric spectrum that it got absolutely free for decades, courtesy the Venezuelan government.
So rest assured, RCTV is now back, better than ever. In fact, given that the Venezuelan media laws may not apply to it anymore it might even be able to broadcast soft porn at dinner time so people don't have to stay up late for it. And I am sure Miguel Angel Rodriguez will be back spewing his usual bile.
Of course, all of this makes you wonder what this past month of RCTV pretending to be "shut down" was really about. Was it all a big waste?
Were all those tires burnt in the street for nothing?
Were all those rocks thrown at the police for nothing?
Did all the little rich kids parading around with hands in the air and duck tape over their mouths simply waste time that could have been better spent flying out to Los Roques?
Did Fox News waste its money flying a correspondent down to Venezuela for a week?
Did the opposition students embarrass themselves in front of the National Assembly and the whole country for nothing?
Did Reporters Without Borders waste valuable NED money (and my tax dollars) complaining about media repression that doesn't exist?
Sure sounds like Mr Marcel - if I can't play by my rules I'm taking my marbles and going home; uh oh, you mean I am going to lose money?, ok, here are the marbles back again - Granier has a lot to answer for.
As for the rest of us, it is just one more sorry episode of opposition hysteronics that then turns out to all be about nothing. Hopefully you are all like me and are now immune to them.RENEGADE EYE
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Beatroot is often misunderstood. He has been called neoconservative and liberal both, and I always knew he was neither. The debates that have fired up this blog, and the blogs of his friends, he dismisses as old fashioned, in a world without left/right having meaning in the new world. I invited Beatroot to explain his position unedited except for making the title bold. Renegade Eye
Chavez – it’s not about ideology…
…it’s all about The Man
Two Fridays ago in Minsk Hugo Chavez met up, yet again, with ‘the last dictator in Europe’ and his Belarusian counterpart, Aleksander Lukashenko.
Chavez’s visit to Belarus was part of a tour including Iran and Russia to build up an alternative alliance of countries that he sees as opposed to US hegemony.
After the meeting between the Belarusian and Venezuelan presidents the Charlie Chaplin-esque Lukashenko said that the two countries shared:
" …absolutely identical" views on international affairs, which "is a reliable basis for close cooperation and mutual support in the international arena…”
(Critics, of course, would also point out other policy initiatives in common between Belarus and Venezuela, and for that matter Iran and Russia – the regimes’ liking for closing down TV stations and harassing media freedoms.)
For many on the right in the West, Chavez is the head of a dangerous new movement against US influence and capitalism in general.
Ironically, that view is shared by many on the Left in the West – Chavez is the new anti-imperialist, riding a wave of popularity among the oppressed in South and Central America against the satanic Uncle Sam and his allies.
Both Left and Right seem to believe we are heading for some kind of new Cold War, a regrouping of the old ideological battles.
But both sides are living in the past.
Chavez and Lukashenko are undoubtedly popular with some parts of the populations in their respective countries: for Chavez his popularity resides in the barios; Lukashenko draws his support from the old, the rural poor, the unemployed.
Putin and the current Iranian president can rely on support from similar sections in their own countries, too, alongside some in the new ruling elites backed by domestic Big Oil.
But if you scrape away some tough anti-Western rhetoric you won’t find much in the way of ideology to back it up.
Oil and hot air
Apart from Lukashenko (who has no natural resources at all), all the main regimes in this ‘new alliance’, in Venezuela, in Russia, in Iran, are built not on ideology, but on oil and the power of the rising price of oil. All four regimes are actually quite pragmatic, policy wise. It’s capitalism-lite, with a bit of nationalist rhetoric thrown into the mix.
While Chavez screams and shouts about America, he has been careful not to alienate its oil barons, too much.
America has painted Chavez as the new Castro, but 12 percent of US oil still comes from Chavez’s oil fields. Bush etc would quite liken to get rid of him, but as long as he doesn’t really challenge the basis of capitalism itself he is not that much threat to them at home.
In Venezuela, too, the real power of Colonel Chavez does not come from deep ideological roots within ‘the people’, but from the Venezuelan army.
So why do both the Left and Right in the West make him out to be the great new anti-imperialist? Why spend so much time discussing Chavez when he, like Lukashenko, Putin, are actually populist, nationalist pragmatists?
Quite simply, because Politics has lost its ideological bearings in the West. The old struggles at home – between organized labour and capital – have all but gone completely. And both sides are desperate to find some cause to reconnect with their own de-politicized populations. The western Left, particularly, finds itself without any meaningful ideological connection or cause in their own countries. Enter Chavez, stage ‘left’, to comes to the rescue.
The deal between the old socialist mayor of London – someone I voted for a longtime ago in another guise, Ken Livingstone – and Chavez, to bring ‘cheap oil’ to the ‘poor’ of London in return for technical advice and help in Venezuela, is a pathetic case in point. The poor of London have a standard of living that many middle class Venezuelans would feel comfortable with. That deal is just craven populism, with little meaning at all. It is a politico PR stunt. It shows the UK Left desperate for some radical gloss, which it thinks it can gain, not through meaningful struggle at home, but by rubbing shoulders with a not particularly ideologically committed South American ‘firebrand’.
That’s really just about as good as it gets for the western Left, these days.
The Cold War ideologies are no more; the old socialism and communism that provided the counter-weight to capitalism have become museum pieces.
And even the capitalists, without the Soviet bogey man, are not quite sure how to justify themselves any more. Watch how the rhetoric of environmentalism is the new dominant world view, popular not just with tree hugging Greenpeacers but with the UN, the EU, and many in national government. Capitalism can’t even defend its reason to be anymore – high growth, profit at all costs. Capitalists are even queuing up these days to put limits on themselves under the banner of ‘save the planet’.
It almost makes me nostalgic for the old free marketeers, when capitalists acted like capitalists and there was a real alternative among social institutions like the trade unions and labour clubs trying to create a real alternative. Now each side bows down to the god of environmentalism, to Gaia.
That a meeting between cocky little Chavez and a buffoon like Aleksander Lukashenko could be seen as significant shows that there is something pretty hollow about the politics of the old left and right in the West.
In reality the conflict is not about left or right, but between pro and anti Chavez. It’s not about politics but about a personality.
When are both sides in the West going to wake up (and smell the South American fair trade coffee) and try and win hearts and minds over to a new politics that has some roots at home, in London or Washington, Manchester or New York, and not in oil rich South America, ruled by a man playing to the gallery in parts of Venezuela and to the badge wearing left in the West? The Beatroot