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5 in Congress Arrested at Darfur Protest

5 in Congress arrested at Darfur protest | UPI

Five members of Congress were arrested outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington Monday as they demonstrated against the situation in Darfur.

Hundreds of thousands of people have died in Darfur in western Sudan in what the U.S. State Department has described as genocide.

More Than 100 Arrested in Series of Protests

More Than 100 Arrested in Series of Protests
By Theola Labbé-DeBose and John Wagner | Washington Post

More than 100 people were arrested during a series of demonstrations in Washington yesterday, including five members of Congress who were part of a group that gathered outside the Sudanese Embassy to condemn the expulsion of aid agencies from Darfur.

All told, police squared off with demonstrators at three unrelated protests that began in the morning and continued into the afternoon. Eight people were arrested outside the embassy, seven Greenpeace activists were arrested near the State Department, and 91 others were arrested during a demonstration by disability rights advocates outside the White House.

The activities followed a weekend of other protests connected to the meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Yesterday began with a show of civil disobedience that snarled rush-hour traffic as seven Greenpeace activists scaled a construction crane at 23rd Street and Constitution Avenue NW, near the State Department, and unfurled a huge banner to call attention to global warming. The crane was on the site of a future institute for peace.

Tomgram: John Feffer, The Piracy Problem

Tomgram: John Feffer, The Piracy Problem | Tom

Sometimes, it seems as if all U.S. global geopolitics boils down to little more than a war for money within the Pentagon. In the best of times, each armed service still has to continually maintain and upgrade its various raisons d'être for the billions of dollars being poured into it; each has to fight -- something far more difficult in economic hard times -- to maintain or increase its share of the budgetary pie. The remarkable thing is that we are now in the worst of economic times and yet, for one more year, the Pentagon can still pretend that it just ain't so. After eight years in which the Bush administration broke the bank militarily, an already vastly bloated Pentagon budget will miraculously rise once more, even if by a relatively modest 4%, in the coming fiscal year. But don't for a second think that the Army, Air Force, Marines, and Navy aren't already scrambling for toeholds suitable for a more precarious future.

Our unchallenged imperial Navy rules the sea lanes of the planet. Its 11 aircraft carrier battle groups, those vast water-borne military bases, roam the oceans of the world without opposition. But there's a problem. Right now, as John Feffer, co-director of the invaluable website Foreign Policy In Focus and TomDispatch regular, points out below, the American war of note is on the ground in (and in the air over) the Af-Pak theater of operations, which leaves the Navy scrambling for meaning -- that is, future money.

You are being lied to about pirates

By Johann Hari, San Francisco Bay View

Somali pirate “ships” are small, but the ships they seize are huge. They held one gigantic tanker for months until ransom was paid.
Somali pirate “ships” are small, but the ships they seize are huge. They held one gigantic tanker for months until ransom was paid.

Who imagined that in 2009, the world’s governments would be declaring a new War on Pirates? As you read this, the British Royal Navy - backed by the ships of more than two dozen nations, from the U.S. to China - is sailing into Somalian waters to take on men we still picture as parrot-on-the-shoulder pantomime villains. They will soon be fighting Somalian ships and even chasing the pirates onto land, into one of the most broken countries on earth.

My Lesson In "ACTION" From The Murder Of Kitty Genovese

by Linda Milazzo

Mid-afternoon on Wednesday, driving along a street in the West San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, I saw this man lying on the parkway of the road. 

.Man on bike down closeup

Putting Today's 'Pirate' Attack in Context

A US ship, owned by a Pentagon contractor with ‘Top Security’ Clearance, was seized off the Somali coast. Reports say the US crew has retaken the ship. But the question remains: Why are the pirates attacking?

by Jeremy Scahill, RebelReports

Firestorm Over U.A.E.-U.S. Nuclear Deal?

Firestorm over U.A.E.-U.S. nuclear deal? | UPI

In a move sure to stoke a diplomatic frenzy, the United Arab Emirates, with U.S. interests, may be the first Arab state with a civilian nuclear-energy program.

U.S. President George W. Bush signed a treaty with the United Arab Emirates during his last week in office to give American companies the opportunity to enter into nuclear trade relations in the Emirates, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The United Arab Emirates would purchase nuclear fuel from approved contractors for the facility rather than rely on controversial autonomous uranium enrichment.

Washington sees the United Arab Emirates deal as a model of nuclear energy in the Gulf region and could put legislation before Congress as early as next week, the Journal reports.

The Darfur the West Isn’t Recognizing as It Moralizes About the Region

The Darfur the West Isn’t Recognizing as It Moralizes About the Region
By Howard W. French | NYTimes | Submitted by Michael Munk |

For many who survey an African landscape strewn with political wreckage, nowadays merely to raise the subject of European colonialism, which formally ended across most of the continent five decades ago, is to ring alarm bells of excuse making.

Clearly, the African disaster most in view today is Sudan, or more specifically the dirty war that has raged since 2003 in that country’s western region, Darfur.

Dogs of War: Theory is Fine, Action is Better

Dogs of War: Theory is fine, action is better | UPI

Keep in mind that despite all the hand-wringing about the disaster, there are no nations -- other than those of the AU -- that are going to deploy troops there. And you can forget about the United States. If it did not do it when Colin L. Powell, as the U.S. secretary of state, called the conflict genocide, it is not going to do it now, at a time when the United States is sending more troops to Afghanistan.

The International Criminal Court issued a warrant on March 4 for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Among other things, he is suspected of "intentionally directing attacks against an important part of the civilian population of Darfur, Sudan, murdering, exterminating, raping, torturing and forcibly transferring large numbers of civilians and pillaging their property."

As a result, Bashir halted the work of relief organizations operating primarily in Darfur, leaving more than 1 million people without food, medical care or drinking water.

Guadeloupe Strikes: A Warning to Obama?

On February 12, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair told Congress that the global economic crisis was the most serious security challenge facing the United States and that it could topple governments and trigger waves of refugees, the Los Angeles Times reported.

South Africa: Tutu Urges Obama to Apologize to Iraqis


Archbishop Desmond Tutu warned Thursday that President Obama risked squandering good will from around the world if he failed to take concrete steps like apologizing for the Iraq war. Archbishop Tutu, 77, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and the retired archbishop of Cape Town, also urged Mr. Obama to support the International Criminal Court and “come down hard” on African dictators. He wrote in an article for the BBC’s Web site that the high hopes surrounding Mr. Obama’s presidency could turn sour. Mr. Obama “could easily squander the good will that his election generated if he disappoints,” Archbishop Tutu wrote. “It would be wonderful if, on behalf of the nation, Obama apologizes to the world, and especially the Iraqis, for an invasion that I believe has turned out to be an unmitigated disaster.”

Congolese Populist Movement Requests URGENT Meeting With S.O.S. Clinton and U.N. Ambassador Rice

Co-authored by Linda Milazzo and Georgianne Nienaber

To: The Honorable Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, Washington, DC 20520
To: The Honorable Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the United Nations, United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017

Dear Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Rice,

The humanitarian situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is disintegrating and it is time for the United States to intervene publicly and forcefully. According to report after report from human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch (HRW), the violence is escalating, and the United Nations does not have enough peacekeeping troops to contain the violence. Already more innocents have died than in the Rwandan genocide of 1994. The world cannot say again that it had no idea of the scope of this disaster. Rwanda can no longer be given a free pass because of its suffering during the genocide, and Rwandan President Paul Kagame must be held accountable for the alliance he has formed with Congolese President Joseph Kabila who is turning a blind eye to the crimes committed against innocent Hutu civilians in eastern Congo.

In an urgent communiqué to independent media, the Congolese National Congress for the Defense of the People (French acronym, CNDP), is asking to meet with you precipitously regarding the Rwandan government’s unwarranted detention of CNDP leader, General Laurent Nkunda, and the corresponding increase in massacres of Congolese civilians since his January 22nd arrest. As documented by Human Rights Watch on February 13, 2009:

President-Elect Obama, You Must NOT Be Silent!

by Linda Milazzo

I don't believe in god. I never have. I don't believe in religions. I study them, but I don't practice them. I try to understand them to be sensitive to the beliefs and traditions of others, and to attempt to appreciate the motivations behind religious thought and deed. But they are irrelevant to living my life.

Long ago as a freshman at CUNY's Queens College I was introduced to Taoism. Taoism began in ancient China as a religion, then morphed into a dogma free/deity free philosophy. Since my late teens I've tried hard to apply MY understanding of my Tao to my life. I have the freedom to choose my own path and not judge the paths of others. But since I have freedom of opinion, I fall prey to judge. I try not to. But I do.

Through the Tao, I'm both a peacemaker and a warrior since Taoism couples with the art of self-defense. I understand my right to protect myself when needed, and to protect the defenseless when they need me. Since I'm by nature protective, it suits my sensibilities to aid the weak, where I fancy myself absurdly as inordinately strong.

Africom: Wrong Approach

Italy Asked to Host U.S. Troops With Mission to Attack Africa

Bruxelles, 2 dic. - (Adnkronos/Aki) - "Ci sono quattro componenti di Africom, di cui due saranno ospitate in Italia, una a Vicenza e l'altra a Napoli". Lo ha detto il ministro degli Esteri Franco Frattini, in una conferenza stampa a Bruxelles, confermando quanto scritto dall'ADNKRONOS e precisando che "non ci sono truppe americane assegnate su base permanente a queste componenti". "Si tratta di strutture di comando che operano nel quadro della Nato", ha aggiunto il titolare della Farnesina, sottolineando come "evidentemente questo sia stato fatto dopo aver informato anche i paesi africani che hanno espresso grande supporto a questa decisione". "Domani - ha concluso Frattini - daremo qualche dettaglio in piu' in una conferenza stampa con l'ambasciatore americano a Roma Ronald Spogli, che e' stato delegato dal segretario di Stato Condoleezza Rice ad occuparsi di questa cosa".

Note that the Italian people were already a bit less than thrilled with the idea of a massive new base in Vicenza.

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