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Lugh Ildánach

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  1. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to Fodla32 in Nuclear Bomb attack in Syria!   
    I spoke to the editor of Syria Report about this and this is his view, which I find to be most probable:
     
    I can categorically say that the attack was not nuclear. The nature of the explosion fits with an explosion from fuel and ammunition - there is a video showing missiles firing off every couple of minutes for a period of about two hours after the initial hit. Secondly, the Channel 4 blogs were indeed hacked by the SEA and comments attributed to the "expert" are likely to embarrass the guy or Channel 4.
     
    The problem with these "Israel nuclear attack" claims, or indeed any other claim like this is that they embarrass the Syrian government who would prefer to focus on the home front before ever opening up a front from Lebanon or the Golan - which is inevitable in my opinion. Be very wary of claims such as these. You can imagine the anger from the soldiers stationed around the depot, a couple of whom I've spoke to, who are sure enough it was a lucky hit by a grad rocket from the rats.
     
    Syria Report:
     
    http://syriareport.net/
  2. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to John in The Act of Killing   
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Act_of_Killing
     

     
     
    Awesome documentary on the killing of a million communists and chinese in Indonesia in 1965.
     
    I think this is still playing in the lighthouse cinema, or you can find it online.
     
    Really surreal to see perpetrators of murder and rape proudly talking about it like this, and even recreating it on camera.
     
    Western political killers are far more subtle.
  3. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from Fodla32 in Nuclear Bomb attack in Syria!   
    Saw this on Twitter
     
  4. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to Fodla32 in RT Exclusive: Saudi offers Russia deal to scale back Assad support   
    Exclusive: Saudi offers Russia deal to scale back Assad support - sources
          By Khaled Yacoub Oweis and Amena Bakr
    AMMAN/DOHA | Wed Aug 7, 2013 9:53am EDT
     
    (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has offered Russia economic incentives including a major arms deal and a pledge not to challenge Russian gas sales if Moscow scales back support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Middle East sources and Western diplomats said on Wednesday.
     
    The proposed deal between two of the leading power brokers in Syria's devastating civil war was set out by Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow last week, they said.
     
    Russia has supported Assad with arms and diplomatic cover throughout the war and any change in Moscow's stance would remove a major obstacle to action on Syria by the United Nations Security Council.
     
    Syrian opposition sources close to Saudi Arabia said Prince Bandar offered to buy up to $15 billion of Russian weapons as well as ensuring that Gulf gas would not threaten Russia's position as a main gas supplier to Europe.
     
    In return, Saudi Arabia wanted Moscow to ease its strong support of Assad and agree not to block any future Security Council Resolution on Syria, they said.
     
    A Gulf source familiar with the matter confirmed that Prince Bandar offered to buy large quantities of arms from Russia, but that no cash amount was specified in the talks.
     
    One Lebanese politician close to Saudi Arabia said the meeting between Bandar and Putin lasted four hours. "The Saudis were elated about the outcome of the meeting," said the source, without elaborating.
     
    Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, could not immediately be reached on Wednesday for comment about the meeting. A Saudi Foreign Ministry official was also not immediately available to respond.
    Putin's initial response to Bandar's offer was inconclusive, diplomats say. One Western diplomat in the Middle East said the Russian leader was unlikely to trade Moscow's recent high profile in the region for an arms deal, however substantial.
     
    He said Russian officials also appeared skeptical that Saudi Arabia had a clear plan for stability in Syria if Assad fell.
     
    CHEMICAL WEAPONS
     
    However, in a possible sign of greater flexibility by Moscow, other diplomats said that in the run-up to the meeting Russia put pressure on Assad to allow in a U.N. mission to investigate the suspected use of chemical weapons.
     
    The U.N. team is expected to visit Syria next week.
     
    "This was one of those unannounced meetings that could prove much more important than the public diplomatic efforts being made on Syria," one diplomat said.
     
    A senior Syrian opposition figure said there had been a "build-up of Russian-Saudi contacts prior to the meeting".
     
    "Bandar sought to allay two main Russian fears: that Islamist extremists will replace Assad, and that Syria would become a conduit for Gulf, mainly Qatari, gas at the expense of Russia," he said. "Bandar offered to intensify energy, military and economic cooperation with Moscow."
    Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Muslim powers have been strong supporters of the mainly Sunni rebels battling Assad, from Syria's minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam. The rebels have been joined by foreign Sunni jihadis.
     
    Assad has enjoyed military support from Iran and fighters from Hezbollah and Iraqi Shi'ites.
    Russia has maintained military sales to Syria throughout the two year conflict in which 100,000 people have been killed, and helped block three U.N. draft resolutions criticizing Assad's crackdown on the mainly peaceful protests against him in 2011.
     
    The Security Council has been considering a possible resolution on aid for Syria for several months and a shift in position by Moscow could alleviate this.
     
    Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Moscow-based defense think tank CAST, said he had no direct knowledge of the offer, but he would not be surprised if a contract to supply Saudi Arabia with 150 Russian T-90 tanks were revived.
     
    "There was an order of T-90s that was stopped for mysterious reasons, and if this is a resurrection of that order then we could suspect that the Saudis want something in return and that something could be linked to Syria," said Pukhov, who is close to Russia's Defense Ministry.
    "If the Saudis want Moscow to outright drop Assad, they will refuse the deal, but they may have a more nuanced position, which they could possibly agree to."
     
    Russia and Saudi Arabia penned an arms contract in 2008 for 150 T-90s as well as more than 100 Mi-17 and Mi-35 attack helicopters as well as BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles, but the contract has stalled for years.
     
    Russian newspaper Kommersant reported at the time that the contract was concluded to persuade Moscow to curtail its ties with Iran, though the Kremlin denied that report.
     
     
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/07/us-syria-crisis-saudi-russia-idUSBRE9760OQ20130807
  5. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted in Nuclear Bomb attack in Syria!   
    Channel 4 blogs have been down ever since veteran broadcaster Jon Snow claimed small-yield tactical nuclear weapons have already been used - probably by Israel - in Syria. The blogs remain down as of this minute:

    http://blogs.channel4.com/
     
    He posted the article in the OP claiming that Syria had been hit by nuclear strikes.

    Forty minutes later, it was taken down:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20130805193602/http://blogs.channel4.com/snowblog/nuclear-strikes-syria-genie-bottle/20846

    Why has the whole site been down almost coincidentally since the article was published? Why is it still unavailable? Why didn't Snow anchor the 7 o'clock news last night? Can anyone confirm if he anchored the news on Tuesday?
  6. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to Fodla32 in The Maoist Rival in China today.   
    A very interesting pdf. on current Chinese politics. It looks as if there is some cause for hope. The writer is a typical bourgeois liberal who hates Communism, but, in his whinging and complaints, we discover that there are tens of millions of genuine Maoists in China - and they are not without political power.
     
    http://chinaperspect...org/5851?file=1
  7. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to lenin86 in The Maoist Rival in China today.   
    http://www.systemiccapital.com/chinese-university-students-embracing-maoism-in-backlash-against-social-inequality/
  8. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to Fodla32 in Eid Mubarak عيد مبارك   
  9. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from Fodla32 in Nuclear Bomb attack in Syria!   
    The below is from May
     

  10. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted in Nuclear Bomb attack in Syria!   
    An article was posted by Channel 4 saying that a bomb attack on a supposed weapons cache in in Homs city was in fact a tactical nuclear strike. The article was promptly deleted and removed, but a cache of it remains:
     
    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?biw=1156&bih=908&sclient=psy-ab&q=cache%3Ablogs.channel4.com%2Fsnowblog%2Fnuclear-strikes-syria-genie-bottle%2F20846&oq=cache%3Ablogs.channel4.com%2Fsnowblog%2Fnuclear-strikes-syria-genie-bottle%2F20846&gs_l=serp.3...2925.3718.0.3946.3.3.0.0.0.0.59.99.2.2.0....1...1c.1.23.psy-ab..3.0.0.He73ppd8mT4&pbx=1
     
    But the two explosions in Homs and Qasyoon share the same property: They are both above ground air bursts according to Greg Thielmann, an expert on arms control policy whom I spoke with on Saturday at great length. I was first alerted to the connection by slow twitter chatter right after the bombing in Homs.

    Needless to say I was shocked at what he told me next: “The fact of the matter is, what we are seeing in both these cases is a tactical nuclear strike, probably by cruise missiles launched from aircrafts near the borders of Syria or right off the coast in the Mediterranean
     
    The likely assailant in both cases is Israel he claims: “Israel is the only nation that can deploy these sorts of weapons with impunity without fear of a counter-attack. Syria has shown no appetite to get into a shooting fight even over the deployment of such weapons”.
     
     
    If this is true it is very bad news for the Syrian people.
  11. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from Fodla32 in Zimbabwe: Why is one of the world "least free" economies growing so fast?   
    The paper suggests that as well as the adoption of the US Dollar as its currency, that foreign money (from the IMF, international aid, Chinese loans) and the move to largely exporting minerals (mining exports have tripled in value in just 2 years), is what is responsible for the growth, and that as such it is largely unsustainable.  The growth however is at least in the government sector rather than the private one.
     
    It appears that China now owns the international airports at Harare and Victoria Falls along with Zimbabwe's diamond mines.  At least these national resources were given over to improve the country's infrastructure and not just given away to profiteers for nothing.
     
    If we look at the position in Zambia, which relied heavily on copper prices, and when they plummeted this pushed the country's anti-colonialist one party socialist-esque government out of office, the prospects aren't perhaps as good as they might otherwise seem.
  12. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from Fodla32 in Heartfelt Congratulations to President Robert Mugabe on his Glorious Victory   
    Nothing that couldn't be said about any election in the US, or indeed any other imperialist power.
  13. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from Fodla32 in Heartfelt Congratulations to President Robert Mugabe on his Glorious Victory   
    RTE reporting on the issue http://www.rte.ie/news/2013/0804/466313-zimbabwe-elections/
     
    US rejects result, EU equivocates, Africa accepts the results.  Of course, in the RTE coverage, what Africa thinks is not deemed as relevant as what the imperialist powers consider.
  14. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from Fodla32 in Zimbabwe: Why is one of the world "least free" economies growing so fast?   
    The report also mentions that there is a new law that requires that 51% of all banks, mining companies and insurance companies must be indigenous owned, which doesn't seem to sit well with the assertions that the Chinese now own the diamond mines.
  15. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from Fodla32 in Zimbabwe: Why is one of the world "least free" economies growing so fast?   
    The paper suggests that as well as the adoption of the US Dollar as its currency, that foreign money (from the IMF, international aid, Chinese loans) and the move to largely exporting minerals (mining exports have tripled in value in just 2 years), is what is responsible for the growth, and that as such it is largely unsustainable.  The growth however is at least in the government sector rather than the private one.
     
    It appears that China now owns the international airports at Harare and Victoria Falls along with Zimbabwe's diamond mines.  At least these national resources were given over to improve the country's infrastructure and not just given away to profiteers for nothing.
     
    If we look at the position in Zambia, which relied heavily on copper prices, and when they plummeted this pushed the country's anti-colonialist one party socialist-esque government out of office, the prospects aren't perhaps as good as they might otherwise seem.
  16. Like
  17. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to Fodla32 in US announces closure of over 22 diplomatic missions in the middle east because of unspecified threat   
    Its excellent news that Syria and Iran have signed an oil for construction deal.  That helps Iran get around the criminal US sanctions, and helps Syria's reconstruction. Hopefully China and Russia will invest heavily in the reconstruction also.
  18. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted in US announces closure of over 22 diplomatic missions in the middle east because of unspecified threat   
    There is no way to verify whether he was IDF or not (it was verified he was Israeli), but earlier this evening a poster on an anonymous board I frequent posted the following:
     
     
    Important recent events:

    Iran and Syria sign $3.6bn oil deal
    Tehran agrees to supply Damascus with oil in exchange for the right to invest in country devastated by conflict.
    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/07/20137316432664151.html

    Hezbollah, newly armed, focusing on Israel
    Pressed on Syria, Hezbollah Leader Urges Focus on Israel
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/03/world/middleeast/under-fire-on-syria-hezbollah-leader-urges-focus-on-israel.html?_r=0

    "The intent is to attack Western, not just U.S. interests," General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff"
     
    The 4th of August is also an auspicious date, on it occurred:
     
    The Gulf of Tonkin false flag
    The destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans
     
    There is most certainly something of import occurring.
  19. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to Yodler in Justice for the Craigavon Two   
    Justice for the Craigavon Two group would like to thank everyone who helped organise last nights discussion, we would like to thank everyone who attended and we would like to thank the organisers of Feile an Phobail for giving us the opportunity to raise awareness of this miscarriage of justice. ‪#‎JFTC2‬

     
    Gerry Conlon speaking about the Craigavon Two case
     

  20. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to Yodler in Justice for the Craigavon Two   
    Justice for the Craigavon Two campaign group would like to invite you to attend our discussion as part of the West Belfast Festival.   A campaign discussion about the case of Lurgan men Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton who have consistently
    maintained their innocence and who were sentenced in a Diplock Court to life imprisonment for the killing of PSNI Constable
    Stephen Carroll in 2009. Family members, legal representatives and campaign supporters outline their concerns that there has
    been a serious miscarriage of justice.
      St Mary's University College Belfast Friday, 2nd August 2013   Everyone Welcome   www.justiceforthecraigavontwo.com www.facebook.com/JFTC2 http://www.feilebelfast.com/justice-for-the-craigavon-two/
  21. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from Fodla32 in What is the Potlatch   
    We're due an aul potlatch!
  22. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to Fodla32 in What is the Potlatch   
    At potlatch gatherings, a family or hereditary leader hosts guests in their family's house and holds a feast for their guests. The main purpose of the potlatch is the redistribution and reciprocity of wealth. The potlatch also provided an opportunity for families to mark life occasions formally. Births, deaths, adoptions, weddings, and other major events were and are formally witnessed.
     
    Different events take place during a potlatch, like singing and dancing, sometimes with masks or the real regalia, such as Chilkat blankets, the barter of wealth through gifts, such as dried foods, sugar, flour, or other material things, and sometimes money. For many potlatches, spiritual ceremonies take place for different occasions. This is either through material wealth such as foods and goods or non-material things such as songs and dances. For some cultures, such as Kwakwaka'wakw, elaborate and theatrical dances are performed reflecting the hosts' genealogy and cultural wealth. Many of these dances are also sacred ceremonies of secret societies like the hamatsa, or display of family origin from supernatural creatures such as the dzunukwa. Typically the potlatching is practiced more in the winter seasons as historically the warmer months were for procuring wealth for the family, clan, or village, then coming home and sharing that with neighbors and friends.
     
     
    Within it, hierarchical relations within and between clans, villages, and nations, are observed and reinforced through the distribution or sometimes destruction of wealth, dance performances, and other ceremonies. The status of any given family is raised not by who has the most resources, but by who distributes the most resources. The hosts demonstrate their wealth and prominence through giving away goods. Chief O'wax̱a̱laga̱lis of the Kwagu'ł describes the potlatch in his famous speech to anthropologist Franz Boas,
     
    We will dance when our laws command us to dance, and we will feast when our hearts desire to feast. Do we ask the white man, 'Do as the Indian does?' It is a strict law that bids us dance. It is a strict law that bids us distribute our property among our friends and neighbors. It is a good law. Let the white man observe his law; we shall observe ours. And now, if you come to forbid us dance, be gone. If not, you will be welcome to us."  
    Celebration of births, rites of passages, weddings, funerals, namings, and honoring of the deceased are some of the many forms the potlatch occurs under. Although protocol differs among the Indigenous nations, the potlatch will usually involve a feast, with music, dance, theatricality, and spiritual ceremonies. The most sacred ceremonies are usually observed in the winter.
     
    It is important to note the differences and uniqueness among the different cultural groups and nations along the coast. Each nation, tribe, and sometimes clan has its own way of practicing the potlatch with diverse presentation and meaning. The potlatch, as an overarching term, is quite general, since some cultures have many words in their language for various specific types of gatherings. Nonetheless, the main purpose has been and still is the redistribution of wealth procured by families.
     
    Full article:
     
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potlatch
  23. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to Fodla32 in Kwakiutl Society: Rank without Class   
    Helen Codere
     
     
     

     
    Franz Boas
     
     
    This is a very interesting essay, by the anthropologist Helen Codere, from 1956.  She studied the Kwakiutl people herself in the 1950s, but this essay studies the work of Franz Boas, who was made a professor of anthropology at Columbia University in 1899, and who had the good fortune to be able to study the tribes of the Pacific coast of Canada, before the Europeans had done so much damage as to make findings questionable vis a vie outside influence.
     
    The Kwatiutl People were one of several peoples making their living mostly from fishing along the Pacific coast of what is now Canada, and who all share more or less the same cultural structures.  Their culture was based on the sea, which, unlike agriculture, gave a practically infinite source of protein and energy.  The only limitation on these people was how much fish and sea mammals they could catch. 
     
    Every summer, they worked long hours fishing and smoking stores of fish for the winter. They also hunted wild mountain goats and the women gathered roots and forest fruits.  Canoes, houses, fishing equipment and even clothes were made from the abundant wood in the forests around them.  Goat hair and furs were also used to make blankets, table cloths, clothes, etc.  Winter was devoted to communal feasting, known as the Potlatch and to creating works of art.
     
     

     
    A Kwakiutl mask
     
     
    During the 18th and early 19th centuries, these coastal peoples became very wealthy indeed, due to trade with first the Russians and then the Europeans. Along with their traditional forms of wealth, they now had coin (which they never used as a means of exchange among themselves), metal goods, guns and swords.
     
    War took the form of raiding other tribal areas, but land was never conquered. Without agriculture, there was probably very little motivation to conquer land. People captured in these raids were made into slaves, but slavery was not so pervasive as to become a structural part of the economy. Raiding was one way a young man, particularly a young chief, could make his mark.
     
    What has particularly interested anthropologists about these people is their system of Potlatch, i.e. ceremonial feasting, where a man gives away as much wealth as possible, thus gaining himself honour and rank in society.  Such a system of ceremonial wealth distribution makes class division of society practically impossible, as wealth is not privately accumulated from year to year, but it encourages a great desire for rank. Young chiefs in particular put huge amounts of energy into raiding and fishing and hunting, so as to have wealth to distribute to the whole tribe.  So much so, that in middle age, chiefs usually stepped down from this position, as they were no longer physically able for it. 
     
    But, not only chiefs sons could give a Potlatch, and thus gain himself rank - any man could do it, and they often did. Rank in society was literally your seat or standing place at the Potlatch.
     
    I found this question particularly interesting, given our previous discussions about the USSR and the difference between class and rank. I think this essay sheds some light on that question. There is always a tendency to confuse rank and class, as, in most societies they are the same thing, most of the time - though not always.  For example, traditionally in a public school in England, the teachers would hold a higher rank than the students, within the school itself, but, at all times, they would be of a lower class than the students.
     
    Codere gives two definitions of class from Walter Goldschmidt, which she considers to be excellent:
     
    We may accept the minimal difference that a class is segment of the community, the members of which show a common social position in a hierarchical ranking. Class is differentiated from status in that the latter suggests a range and continuum, while class connotes a degree of unity and some form of homogeneity among its members.
     
    And again:
     
    We suggest that a true class-organized society is one in which the hierarchy of prestige and status is divisible into groups each with its own social, economic, attitudinal and cultural characteristics and each having differential degrees of power in community decisions.  Such groups would be socially separate and their members would readily identify. We may say that a society approaches a class system if either [a] the groups are clearly identifiable, but do not differ with respect to all the characteristics noted, or the groups do differ in these characteristics, but are not sharply separated.
     
    The above definitions imply that rank and class are not the same thing, and that class only grows out of rank when a substantial segment of the community all hold a given rank, i.e. even a new born baby holds the rank, though he or she can hardly do anything that might earn a ranked position. Such a situation can only come about when, as Marxists point out, holding a ranked position also means holding a given ownership relation to the means of production.
     
    Agricultural societies lend themselves to class division, as land is easy to own, once you have a state of some sort in place.  This ownership is only made meaningful by the relative scarcity of arable land.  Beyond that is the fact that agricultural societies are subject to shortages, due to flooding, drought, etc. In a certain sense, class is the division in society between those who will be protected from shortages and those who will be allowed to perish.
     
    The seafood diet that the Kwakiutl built their society on meant never being subject to such shortages.  Ownership of the means of production was largely meaningless, and there was no need felt for a class structure.  A chief's son certainly grew up with privilege, but if he didn't bring back wealth to the whole community, he would be subject to ridicule and would not rise in rank to a chief.  Men gave up their high rank as they got older, though, no doubt they continued to enjoy the respect of the community if they had proven themselves good providers of gifts over the years.
     
    Anyway, here is the article.  Its only 14 pages and well worth reading:
     
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1525/aa.1957.59.3.02a00060/pdf
  24. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to Fodla32 in Leonard Peltier, One of the World’s Longest-Held Political Prisoners   
    Leonard Peltier, One of the World’s Longest-Held Political Prisoners  In the Coleman, FL, Penitentiary, about 60 miles west/northwest of Orlando, there's an American who's been in U.S. prisons fighting for his freedom and the freedom of his people for almost four decades. Leonard Peltier, an Anishinabe-Lakota, was wrongfully convicted of killing two FBI agents in a shootout on the Pine Ridge, SD, Indian reservation on June 26, 1975. He and other members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) were there at the request of traditional Lakota people on that reservation who were opposing the exploitation of their mineral resources and were met with much oppression as a result. AIM supported their efforts and sent a contingent of its members, led by Peltier, to protect the people.
     

     
    Reid Jenkins and his wife Barbara Joye with Peltier in 2000 at a powwow at Leavenworth Penitentiary. 
     
    The U.S. Civil Rights Commission documented 67 murders and over 300 beatings of Indian people on Pine Ridge in the three-year period surrounding the shootout, most of which were attributed to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) police and tribal chairman Dick Wilson's “GOON Squad,” a private army funded by our government. Wilson's police force and his GOON Squad were well armed with military equipment and ammunition left there after AIM’s Wounded Knee uprising in 1973. They also received arms and training from the F.B.I. 
     
    It's no surprise that the U.S. would have supported a corrupt tribal government on that reservation and was directly involved in the oppression of Indian people there. In addition to the strip-mining of coal, which had been happening for decades, there was massive uranium exploration on Pine Ridge. This was during the 1970’s Arab oil embargo and many corporations were receiving huge federal subsidies to underwrite their search for nuclear energy sources on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Union Carbide, to name just one, was receiving $2.3 billion per year of taxpayer's money (1970’s dollars). National Uranium Resources Evaluation, a program of the U.S. Geological Survey, used data from NASA satellites to locate rich deposits in and around the northwestern one-eighth of Pine Ridge. (That one-eighth of the reservation was signed over to the federal government on the day of the shootout by Dick Wilson.) By the mid 70’s there were more than 5,000 speculative uranium mining leases in the area. During that time President Richard Nixon said that 1000 nuclear reactors would generate electricity in the US by the year 2000. AIM was unaware at the time that many energy companies had signed up to create an “energy park” there, with dozens of coal-powered plants and 25 nuclear-powered plants that would provide electricity for most of the contiguous 48 states.
     
    On June 25, 1975, two FBI agents, Jack Coler and Ronald Williams, took two teenage male Indians into custody and questioned them about who else was staying at the AIM encampment. They came back the next morning and a firefight erupted. One Indian and the two agents were killed. The area was soon surrounded by federal agents and law enforcement officers of many different stripes. But the Indians escaped and the largest manhunt in F.B.I. history began – for the killer of the agents (the Indian death was not investigated). Two Indian men who participated in the shootout were arrested and tried in Cedar Rapids, Iowa,  in the court of Judge Edward McManus. Because of the climate of fear on the reservation they were found not guilty for reasons of self defense. After their acquittal, the government went looking for a judge who would be more cooperative.
     
    Peltier stood trial in 1977 in Fargo, ND, in the court of Judge Paul Benson. Judge Benson would not allow any evidence not directly pertaining to the exact day and time of the shootout, so the “climate of fear” argument was not available to him or the jury. About four-fifths of the defense’s testimony was disallowed. The prosecution, however, was allowed to make reference to past “crimes” of Leonard Peltier, not one of which he had been either tried for or convicted of. He was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder. Since then his prosecutors have admitted to fabricating and withholding evidence and coercing witnesses, and every shred of evidence that links him to any crime has been discredited. In his 1992 appeal his prosecutors admitted that they didn’t know who killed the agents or what part Peltier played in the shootout, but claimed that he had been tried on dual charges of murder and aiding and abetting (the maximum sentence is the same for both). Who was he aiding and abetting? The two Indians who were acquitted?
     
    The Church Committee, which was investigating CIA and FBI abuses in the mid-1970’s, was considering including events on Pine Ridge in their report. After the shootout, FBI officials met with the committee and successfully argued that they could not solve the murders of the agents if they had to deal with the investigation at the same time. Also, after Peltier’s conviction, the U.S. Civil Rights Commission’s investigation was de-funded and could not be completed.
     
    Leonard Peltier is plainly and simply a scapegoat, a cover-up for crimes committed by our government to protect corporate profits. He refused to plea-bargain to get a lesser sentence and has not accepted any offers that would have allowed him to walk out of prison by lying.
     
    Leonard Peltier has some chronic health problems, all of which have occurred since he’s been in prison. In 1986 he suffered a stroke and lost 80 percent of the sight in his left eye. President Reagan, while Gorbachev was leader of the Soviet Union, allowed a team of Soviet doctors to examine Peltier. They found that his eyesight could easily have been saved with timely medical attention. He suffers from high blood pressure and has diabetes (which also causes problems with his vision) and has much pain walking these days. There have been times when he’s been denied the medication he needs.  He had a new problem with shortness of breath and chest pains recently while he didn’t have his blood pressure medicine (they told him they had to cut costs). He’s been tested for prostate cancer and has not been given a clear answer as to whether or not he has it – but the symptoms are there. He was strong and healthy when he entered prison and he’s not getting adequate health care now when he needs it so badly.
     
    Amnesty International,  a long-time supporter, has recently renewed its call to action and is asking members all over the world to sign a petition to President Obama, urging him to grant clemency:
     
    http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/siteapps/advocacy/ActionItem.aspx?c=6oJCLQPAJiJUG&b=6645049&aid=520070&msource=W0000ACTW .
     
    Also see  http://blog.amnestyusa.org/americas/5-reasons-president-obama-should-release-leonard-peltier/
     
    Leonard Peltier’s official website: http://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info/
     
    Reid Jenkins, a member of Metro Atlanta DSA, has coordinated support in the Atlanta area for Leonard’s fight for justice for Indian people since the early 90’s.  His email is reid@freejoye.com.
     
    http://www.dsausa.org/leonard_peltier
     
     
  25. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to Fodla32 in Why did the Socialist Party Support the British Imperialist War in the Malvinas?   
    Here is what Trotsky said about the correct position of Socialists in any war of imperialism:

    I'll make the simplest and most striking example. Brazil is dominated by a semi-fascist regime to which every revolutionary can not treat differently, than with hatred.

    Assume, however, that tomorrow England enters into a military conflict with Brazil.

    I ask you, whose side will be in this conflict the world working class? Answer for myself: I will in this case be on the side of "Fascist" Brazil against "democratic" Great Britain.

    Why? Because the conflict between them will not be about democracy and fascism. If England wins, she will plant in Rio de Janeiro some other fascist to impose a double chain on Brazil. Conversely, if Brazil wins, it will give a mighty impulse to national and democratic consciousness of the country and lead to the overthrow of the Vargas dictatorship. The defeat of England will cause at the same time a blow to British imperialism and will give an impetus to the revolutionary movement of the British proletariat.

    You need to have a truly empty head, to reduce global antagonisms and military conflicts to the struggle between fascism and democracy. Under all masks one must be able to distinguish between the exploiters, slaveholders and predators!


    Interview with Mateo Fossa 26 sept. 1938


    However, here is what Militant, later called the Socialist Party, said in 1982:

    The labour movement should be mobilised to force a general election to open the way for the return of a Labour government to implement socialist policies at home and abroad. Victory of a socialist government in Britain would immediately transform the situation in relation to the Falklands. The junta would no longer be able to claim to be fighting British imperialism ... A Labour government could not just abandon the Falklanders and let Galtieri get on with it. But it would continue the war on socialist lines.

    Militant on the Falklands War, 1982 | libcom.org


    Later, of course, these Latterday Trotters supported the overthrow of the Socialist state in Libya by Islamic fundamentalists in alliance with the expropriated landowners and monarchist comprador class and the NATO imperialists. The big question is: Why has the SP rejected Trotsky and sided with imperialism?
     
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