Macedonian Press Agency
US DIPLOMAT SERVING IN ATHENS RESIGNS
Thessaloniki, 27 February 2003 (21:42 UTC+2)
A veteran US diplomat, who was serving in the US Embassy in Athens, resigned in protest over the policy followed by his country on the issue of Iraq.
According to the Greek state-run television, the US diplomat states in the resignation letter addressed to US Secretary of State Colin Powell that the policy followed by the US government on the issue of Iraq hurts the greatest weapon the US has since the time of Woodrow Wilson namely, international legality.
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:: Thursday, February 27, 2003 ::
I love this quote, found here.
"I am resigned to the fact that most professional readers (members of revolutionary organisations including my own) will feel ill-served by this book. I can only declare that I have made the best effort I am capable to be non-sectarian. I wish to give no comfort whatsoever to those tyros, theorem-provers and stamp-collectors who prefer a rote-learnt and pointless quarrel about something that happened in Korea when they were in nappies to the real problems of the present. Such people are the political equivalents of drivers going through a town centre using only their rear-view mirrors, and deserve the same fate."
David Widgery, May 1973, in the foreword to his book The Left in Britain 1956-1968 (Peregrine/Penguin).
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:: Wednesday, February 26, 2003 ::
Guardian Unlimited Books | News | Historian Christopher Hill dies at 91
"Mr Hill was a member of the Communist party from the 30s until 1957, when he resigned in protest against the Soviet invasion of Hungary and against the British party's lack of internal democracy. Before that, though, he was one of the brightest stars of the constellation of writers who made up the Communist Party Historians Group, which also included Eric Hobsbawm, George Rudé and Rodney Hilton. Mr Hill said he always regarded the historians' group as "the greatest single influence" on his work."
Christopher Hill, author of The World Turned Upside Down and many other books has died aged 91. He studied the period of the English Civil War, a period in which the medium of print came into its own and literally changed the world, propogating new ideas and inspiring ordinary people to question authority. After the fantastic example of Feb. 15th, can our own medium of the internet help bring about real change?
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2003-02-15 War Protests Around the World A comprehensive photo round up of the Feb 15th protests.
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:: Tuesday, February 25, 2003 ::
Got the screen below when trying to access this site. Luckily Che doesn't mind Safari.
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This Land Is My Land
"I don't know what their motives are or what their degree of pacifims is. I don't know if they ever mourned the loss of Mantegna's first fresco, bombed by mistake in the effort to get a Germans' depot, if they were ever touched by the bronze shield sent by King George with apologies. Or if they ever paused before the shelter, hit by a stray bomb, where among too many of Padua's citizen died the wife and child of the local Resistance commander. I don't know if they look at the sky in disquiet, in fear or in guilt because no torrent of fire and iron will fall on us from there. I don't know if they have read Love Thy Neighbour - that's difficult, because it's not translated - or Chomski, or maybe Joe Haldeman. They can't tell me because the flags are silent but for a very faint swish-swish, and their message simple."
Italian blogger Anna doesn't post very often, but when she does it is always worth reading. She describes above the growth of Italy's peace movement which saw three million on the streets of Rome and the phenomenon of the peace flags which spread throughout the country. The peace movement in Europe has been strongest in those countries whose leaders support war - UK, Italy, Spain. Maybe the "anti-French" USAnians should remember that. (by the haggis-eating surrender monkey)
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:: Monday, February 24, 2003 ::
Below is my dot.communism column from Frontline 9.
War on the Web
George Bush and Tony Blair have had a rather obvious problem whilst trying to gather support for their invasion of Iraq, and that is that not many people agree with them. So a propaganda war has been the order of the day, all aimed at turning world opinion their way. Both pro and anti-war bloggers have been busy posting their dissections of the latest UN inspectors report, White House or Downing Street briefing or mass anti-war demo. As opinions have polarised so the rhetoric has become more heated.
People have also turned to the web for the information that the traditional media, the millionaire owned TV and newspapers, just isn't supplying. The internet gives access to alternative viewpoints. It gives you a chance to read the facts they don't want you to know and the protests you would normally not be told about.
Some web commentators have got very excited about the role of the internet in mobilising the huge anti-war demonstrations that we have seen all over the world. Of course, as many of the organisers are quick to point out, the success of these sites has not created the anti-war movement. Rather the opposite is the case. The depth of anger about war on Iraq has seen thousands turn to the net for information. They are looking into the politics of the conflict, reading different points of view and news sites. They are arguing and propagandising around their own point of view. Most importantly they are using the internet to organise and to mobilise. They use the web to find out about the next demo or action, to get leaflets, petitions and posters to download and reproduce.
There are a few sites who have specialised in making posters for their visitors to reproduce:
I have seen these posters on demos in Glasgow and London as well as on indymedia and mainstream news reports about demos in the USA.
It is easy to create a pdf file of a leaflet or poster and then post that to a website for others to download and use as they need.
The main UK websites are those of the Stop the War Coalition and here in Scotland the Scottish Coalition for Justice Not War, hosted by CND at. Also check out the Edinburgh Coalition for Justice not War.
The US has one of the highest levels of internet usage worldwide and resistance to Bush's war plans is crucial there. It is no surprise therefore that some of the most comprehensive anti-war sites originate in the States. United for Peace contains a wealth of resources for activists and also those who still require to be convinced. Articles detail the plans of the White House to seize Iraqi oil and highlight the isolation of Bush internationally as well as providing all the other key arguments against the war.
There are links to all the other anti-war sites and information about the varied peace protests throughout the country. One great feature of this site is the downloadable, 'activists toolkits' which give a straightforward guide to such things as 'how to organise a demo in one week' and how to use the media. You can even download songsheets for your demo!
The other big US site is that of ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) who have been furiously red baited by every other conservative blogger on the hemisphere for their links to the US left. Their site offers clear resources for trade unions and student activists as well as reports and pictures.
Another site just set up is http://www.uslaboragainst-war.org/ coordinating antiwar trade unionists in the US.
The web has also enabled activists in different countries to coordinate actions such as the February 15th international day of action against the war, that was called for at the European Social Forum.
But of course most anti-war organisers know that they will not stop Bush and Blair from their swivel chair. The web is just one useful tool for mobilisation, but there is still no substitute for getting out on the street to argue face to face armed only with a handful of leaflets and a pasting table laden with petitions.
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:: Friday, February 21, 2003 ::
Available at the SSP conference this weekend. Frontline issue 9.
Don't look for all the articles on the web yet, you'll have to buy a copy!
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:: Thursday, February 20, 2003 ::
Scottish Socialist Voice
Ivory Coast ceasefire
I have an article in this weeks Voice. The final paragraph was omitted probably for reasons of space. It reads "Neither French nor American colonialism have a solution for the Ivory Coasts ills. The real solution lies in eradicating the poverty and debt of the African continent which leads to ethnic and religious hatred."
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The Shamrockshire Eagle, Thursday 20th February 2003
"Is the movement for Scottish independence about to make a sudden leap? In 1979, the Scots overwhelmingly rejected Thatcher, but they got lumbered with her for over a decade anyway. Can they do better this time? Recent developments in Scotland's political scene suggest that Labour may indeed be heading in the way of that other English party. "
Interesting analysis from this Irish blog, which I've added to the blogroll along with Submit Response and the new Greenpeace No War Blog.
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Freedom Road: 20 Thoughts on the Tasks of the Anti-War Movement
"The alliance of the rulers of France and Germany, the core of the European rival to US imperialism, is leading the other side, with Russia aboard as well, at least for now. Their defiance has boosted the value of the euro against the dollar, underlining the erosion of the dollar as the world's sole reserve currency. Some economists have pointed to the "euro menace" as a reason behind the urgency of the Bush administration's global power bid. "
A very interesting piece from the Freedom Road Socialist Organisation in the US. The above extract illustrates the beginning of the emerging inter-imperialist rivalry. M.Chirac of course prefers his imperialism with a tricolor attached.
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Anti-War March, Glasgow
More pictures from 15th February march from Leon McDermott at Submit Response.
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OJC world overview
The Online Journalism Review has picked up the Guardian story below. No I don't know who they are either.
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:: Tuesday, February 18, 2003 ::
Guardian Unlimited Politics | Special Reports | Sites of resistance "
With nice clean design and photo galleries a little reminiscent of indymedia, Alister Black's site has plenty of good points, including theories on the conspiracy end of the spectrum that never get any mainstream media scrutiny. However, it could do with a little more life and humour."
fuck me I'm famous. The above is in todays Guardian. Mental note, must tell more jokes.
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Apologists for Saddam?
Tony Blair has responded to the anti-war movement. In his Glasgow speech, which he brought forward by hours in order to avoid facing the electorate, he said:
"There will be no march for the victims of Saddam, no protests about the thousands of children that die needlessly every year under his rule, no righteous anger over the torture chambers which if he is left in power, will be left in being."
I am reminded of when I was at University at the time of the first Gulf War. Shortly before we (leftist Labour Students) had been urging action by the students association against the Ba'athist Iraqi Students Club which had a strong position at my college. The NUS had done a thorough report exposing their role in spying on Iraqi students activity. Of course no one amongst the assorted lib-dems, independents, tories and ulster unionists was interested. One week later Saddam roled into Kuwait and suddenly there was a renewed interest in our campaign - it became a priority.
Every week you can go to the embassies of countries like China (who ban free trade unions), Colombia (who send death squads against trade unions), Italy (who try to shut down a protest movement by mass arrests and beat and murder government opponents) and many more and find leftist groups holding poorly attended vigils against attacks on human rights .
My point is that it is invariably the left who speak out for unfashionable human rights issues. Blair, Bush and their press only do so when it suits their foreign policy agenda. Rather like the former Soviet Union in fact.
Tommy Sheridan had listened to Blairs speech on the radio before the march began. He replied to him. He pointed out that it was the likes of those on the march who had spoken up for ordinary Iraqis whilst the US and British governments had been selling Saddam chemical weapons to use against the Iranians (remember when they were the bad guys?)
We have seen US "democracy" imported into Chile, Grenada, Nicaragua...it is the democracy of the grave. We can see it now moving against the democratically elected government of Venezuela. It was the US who armed and backed up the Afghan mujahideen and other fundamentalists as a pawn during the cold war. It is the US who prop up the Isreali state with its weapons of mass destruction and daily killings, tortures and human rights violations. These butchers cannot claim any moral high-ground.
Even now, Iraqi refugees face being stuck in a prison-camp if they make it to Britain. And who stands up for the refugees and asylum seekers (not the most popular cause in Britain) ? Why that unprincipled bunch, the left.
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:: Monday, February 17, 2003 ::
Pictures from Feb 15th Anti-War demo, Glasgow
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:: Friday, February 14, 2003 ::
Cannot find Weapons of Mass Destruction
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Another Poster for Peace Free downloadable anti-war posters from graphic designers.
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Anti-War Demo's begin
100, 000 turn out in Melbourne, Australia for the first of the international anti-war rallies. Get out on the streets tomorrow! People power to stop the war!
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:: Thursday, February 13, 2003 ::
Sigur Rós at Glasgow Barrowlands
February 11th 2003
Click the images to see a larger image.
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:: Wednesday, February 12, 2003 ::
BBC NEWS | Politics | Blair puts 'moral' case for war
Three out of every five Britons think the UK and US Governments have failed to prove their case that Iraqi president Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction, the research indicates.
When the survey asked why Britain and America wanted to attack Iraq, the most popular response was: "To secure oil supplies."
Fewer than one out of every four said it was to eliminate weapons of mass destruction.
And just one out of every five thought it was to prevent another act of international terrorism "like 11 September".
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:: Tuesday, February 11, 2003 ::
There is a massive buzz about the demos in Glasgow and London on Saturday. The Scottish edition of the mirror today featured a lead piece on it and announced that they would be printing placards for demonstrators to carry. Meanwhile the London demo will now be graced with the likes of Charles Kennedy and Mo Mowlem and the newspapers have fashion features about what to wear to the demo! The BBC have had to issue guidelines to its journalists instructing them who can and can't attend the demo (to protest rather than work)
In Edinburgh the problem might be finding a bus or train that is not full to take you to Glasgow. Edinburgh Central SSP branch have been busy for the past two nights making banners and flags for the demo. So look out for our custom flags on TV on Saturday. Our nifty John Maclean special (below) is a limited edition.
The SSP stands in the tradition of Maclean opposing imperialist war. On that note Tommy Sheridan faces jail again for opposing the illegal madness of nuclear weapons at Faslane.
Finally top trade-union leaders have warned that strike action against the war is a possibility, and for the first time there is serious talk about replacing Blair as Labour leader before the next election.
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Portadown News New Twist to carpet feud. Ulster Discount Axminster hits back.
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:: Monday, February 10, 2003 ::
United States Song Another anti-war MP3
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POWELLS TAPE OF IRAQI OFFICERS IS PRE-1998
An Iraqi refugee in Norway, Former nuclear scientist, 52 year old Jamil Aziz Slewa, says that Powells recording of two Iraqi officers discussing the movement of weapons is probably pre 1998, if it is not false.
Slewa came as a refugee 4 years ago and works as a serviceman for x-ray equipment at the central Hospital of Rogaland.
In 1998 he was interwued by UN weapon inspectors for 3 days in Stavanger.
Slewa confirms that before the Gulf War, Iraq was in the process of producing a Hiroshima-size nuclea bomb. The Gulf War led to the destruction of this program. Up to then the Iraqis had help from both the US, France, Germany and the UK, who supported Iraq in its war against Iran.
Iraq wanted a nuclear bomb because Israel had one.
- The cat-and-mouse play that Powell described in the UN security council was only going on during the first years after the war. At that time Saddam believed that the situation would soon normalize, says Slewa.
Slewa claims that Iraq's nuclear program was buried in 1995, and has not been restarted since.
Source: Stavanger Aftenblad, a big, highly respected serious center-right paper in Stavanger.
Quoted in the internet paper NETTAVISEN www.nettavisen.no owned by the no 2 norwegian (private) TV channel TV2
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RW ONLINE: The New RW Current Events Pop Quiz on Iraq
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TV Smith - Not In My Name Anti-War MP3 download.
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:: Friday, February 07, 2003 ::
Where is Raed ?
An Iraqi blog. And I am the 435th person to link to it apparently. Some interesting points for those naïve commentators who think that this war is about bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq. What it is about is American hegemony over the world, military, social and political. They've got Blair, now they're coming for the rest of us.
"I am not taking any of that “the great liberators – help others to be free” talk because I do not believe there is such a thing in politics called altruism, there are no free lunches and no one does *anything* without some personal motives. So if your government is going to go to war it is not because they are “helping others to be free” it’s because a hundred other reasons and this one just happens to be a nice one to throw to the public. And no, I will not say it’s the oil, because it is not only oil, although it is a nice little extra thrown in."
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:: Wednesday, February 05, 2003 ::
Tony Benn interviews Saddam
To the fury of war-mongers and rightist bloggers everywhere, highly respected veteran socialist Tony Benn visited Iraq (on his own money) to interview Saddam. The full transcript can be found at the link above. Meanwhile the BBC have a leaked UK government report which indicates there is no link between al-Qaeda and Iraq.
Iraq. It is not a war about oil. It is worse.
or "Liberals, Realists and "Bush the Liberator"
"What has to be understood with all its implications is that this new Bush in the White House and the section of US capitalism that he represents have a much different world view today. US capitalism is increasingly coming to see the world in a much more ambitious manner. US capitalism believes that there is no force in the world that can stand in its way. And increasing sections are now concluding that this is the time for it to step out and consolidate its victory over stalinism, to enforce its will on its other Imperialist rivals, to increase its exploitation of the former colonial countries and to take back all the concessions it was forced to make to its own working class and the working class internationally. In other words to rule the world to an extent it never did before and to an extent never done by any other power before. This is the thinking that now controls the White House."
The extract above is from an article from a US socialist, from this website
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Anti War Banner drop from Sydney Opera House
From Indymedia Sydney, Australia.
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:: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 ::
Map of the Muslim World.
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Edinburgh Evening News - Politics - Pensioners to fight for Holyrood seats
"The party says the Executive’s scheme of free bus travel for elderly people within local areas should be extended to cover journeys by public transport across the country . And it says pensioners should have the right to die with dignity and to "choose, within the law, when and where death should take place". "
Yet another new party to fight the Scottish elections. The Pensioner Party. Actually I have heard talk of this for a few years and it has been tried in other countries. The Pensioners Party in the Netherlands was succesful for a while, but became quite right-wing and anti-immigrant.
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Rooting Out Evil - Sign Up
It's time we took the search for weapons of mass destruction seriously. It is to be hoped that the US regime is co-operative with the inspectors. Or do they have something to hide?
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:: Monday, February 03, 2003 ::
linked to by web guru Tantek Çelik, nice.
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Defiant firefighters march in Glasgow
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