Archive for Oktober 11th, 2016

11. Oktober 2016

London 11 October 2016 – Anti-War Conference – 15 Years On


Thanks to everyone who came to the highly successful Stop the War 15 years on conference in London on Saturday. The conference was packed, with 550 advance registrations and many more on the door. The conference was diverse and reflected the strengths of the anti war campaign over the past decade and a half. There were a range of sessions including on the Middle East, drone warfare and Islamophobia. It was addressed by a range of international speakers and the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn. He made a strong case for an alternative foreign policy. The conference passed an anti war charter to support campaigning over the coming months.

A small number of pro intervention demonstrators tried to disrupt his session, calling for a no fly zone in Syria – which is yet more military intervention. At least one of these people has links with the right wing neocon Henry Jackson Society, and with the Quilliam Foundation, an organisation with close government connections. For more on this see here.

Today, parliament is holding a debate on the situation in Aleppo, which has seen such calls repeated by Tory and right wing Labour MPs. It beggars belief that they are ignoring the evidence of their own select committees – which have published extremely critical reports about David Cameron’s role in the bombing of Libya (which started as a no fly zone) and last year’s bombing of Syria. Now the Start the War Coalition are once again drumming up support for a war which will mean more deaths and will solve none of the problems of the Middle East. Stop the War has repeatedly condemned all bombing, including that of Russia. This move is an escalation which can lead to further deepening of the war, as Chris Nineham argues here.

11. Oktober 2016

Berlin Anti-War March October 8 2016 – PEACE MEET AND PARTY DEALINGS Victor Grossman – Berlin Bulletin 119, October 2016


On Saturday, near my Berlin home, I joined a colorful, long-planned, all-German demonstration for peace. Pushing through the 7000 to 10,000 participants toward the speakers’ truck at the start-off square, East Berlin’s Alexanderplatz, I met many friends, the “old faithful”, and saw earnest, enthusiastic groups from the Turkish, Kurdish, Iraqi and Afghan communities. After an hour or so, when the sound trucks and the long banner-waving crowd  wove their way through downtown East Berlin to Brandenburg Gate (where the US Embassy is also situated), it could hardly be ignored – except by reporters from most of the main newspapers, who somehow seemed too busy elsewhere.

An important plus point had been achieved: three or four leading German peace organizations had united to plan it,  overcoming splits and schisms which sadly weakened the movement in recent years. Also among a long list of sponsors were the executive committee of the LINKE party (a definite achievement), peace organizations of doctors, lawyers and teachers, associations of anti-fascists, national and international, the action organization attac, the German Communist Party and other leftist groups, various youth organizations and even the remnants of the Pirates Party in Berlin.

Though bigger than any peace protest for years, it was nowhere as large as it should have been considering the cliff-hanging war or peace situation in the world. A year ago an amazing crowd of about 320,000 had demonstrated in Berlin against the TTIP trade deal with the USA (the European copy of TTP); only three weeks ago the same number marched on one day in seven cities against a similar treaty with Canada (CETA), with 70,000 in Berlin; ten times this Saturday’s crowd. Missing this time were the big, central labor unions. Not many Germans want more boots on the ground or bombers in the air in far-off places, but too few, even among labor leaders, see the war menace affecting them personally, especially when jobs are involved. Also missing were endorsements from the two parties which some count as “left of center” – the Social Democrats and the Greens.

A few reefs also troubled the waves. A main cause for the past split was the accusation that covert rightists, pro-Nazis and anti-Semites had latched onto the peace movement, thus compromising it. The names of a few dubious or controversial people served as evidence. But it seemed a hopeless endeavor on Saturday to grill (and perhaps exclude) each one of the thousands on their inner beliefs or prejudices. There were rumors of a tiny, flopped counter-rally, and a reporter or two did even discover one, but where I was no such types dared show themselves, and every speaker sharply rejected all such views. This issue, once so damaging, was now, if anything, only a tiny ripple.

There is still disagreement about whether to lay the main blame for the tragic events in Syria, the Ukraine or elsewhere on NATO, led by the USA and its German military sidekick, or to share out the blame equally on NATO and Russia with its support for Assad and East Ukrainian breakaway regions.

Most of those at the rally clearly favored the former approach, with many hand-made posters stressing how NATO had pushed its military forces to an almost total encirclement of Russia, from Estonia, Poland , Bulgaria, Romania, to the Ukraine and Georgia. Some slammed the deployment of German planes and troops to the Baltic countries near St. Petersburg and recalled the horrifying siege of then Leningrad by German troops 75 years ago,  with well over a million civilian deaths. But one big banner equally blaming both sides was steered by its stalwarts to a spot in the front, with no objections, and when a main speaker, a psychotherapist with experience in Syrian war areas, blamed both sides she got some whistling and even catcalls at first but then a willingness by everyone to hear her views: “…We need a much stronger UN as mediator, able to draw in all parties to the conflict in Syria, also Iran and the Kurds, to work out a military truce…Both world powers must use the necessary pressure on their military partners, on the Assad regime and on the Islamist militias of the Al-Nusra front… We need intense and  constructive cooperation between the USA and Russia, with justified criticism of both major powers by us in the peace movement.”

In a fiery speech at the closing meeting, Sahra Wagenknecht, co-chair of the LINKE (Left) caucus in the Bundestag, also stressed that all war was immoral, no matter who conducted it. But she bashed those major party Bundestag deputies who suddenly discovered their resistance to war crimes after news from Aleppo – and denounced only Assad, Putin and the Russians. Where were such critics, she asked,  in all the years when Afghanistan was being torn apart, also by German troops? Where were their hearts during the killing supported by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey? Why have they never opposed sending military support or weapons, not just to Afghanistan but to Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Mali und the Ukraine. Our party stood alone In the Bundestag in voting “No” – and will keep up its opposition. She said that Saturday’s protest was a good new start but must grow far larger.

Three demands on the Bundestag emerged from the rally:

Instead of 40 billion euros for military expenses planned for 2017  and huge new sums demanded by Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen for a dozen more years, including a “modernization of atomic weapons stationed in Germany” (called “total insanity” by Sahra Wagenknecht), most of the money should be spent on social improvements, on schools and senior care and for urgent ecological needs.

Soldiers and sailors of the German Bundeswehr, whose deployment in too many conflicts has never improved any situation but always added to disaster, should be brought home and kept home.

German weapons, large and small, sold by the billion, especially to the Middle East, should no longer be exported, and most especially not to  conflict areas, where they had so often heated things up.


These matters were of little concern in Berlin’s local scene where, for the first time, three parties are needed to reach a 50% majority in the 160-seat legislature and form a government. The Social Democrats took a terrible beating in September’s vote, their worst since the war, but still have  a lead and will again hold the job of mayor. Their erstwhile Christian Democrat partners took an even worse beating and will no doubt be out of governing for a while. Included for the first time will be the Greens, who took a small beating, and the LINKE (Left), one party which gained votes. All three must now agree on a program and decide on who gets which cabinet positions (called Senators).

In nearly every photo the leaders of the LINKE smile happily at such chances. But here, too, some reefs threaten. Whenever the LINKE joined a state coalition it ended up weaker than before. A basic reason is clear: many East German and East Berlin voters gave it their votes because they saw it as a force opposing politicians who so often disappointed them. When the LINKE is in a government it is hard to see it as opposition. It may win some improvements, usually under-reported by the media, but it can hardly fight measures it has officially agreed to. Even when out of power it tried to gain or regain “its share”. This created a gap filled only too willingly, and dangerously, by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which far too many see as a genuine opposition, despite its program of helping the wealthy and hurting the hard-up, of supporting a renewed draft and military strength, though separate, for nationalist reasons, from the European Union and the USA. But who reads programs? As with Americans backing Trump, insecurity, worries about jobs, prices and the future plus primitive, media-fed hatred of allegedly favored “others” – refugees, Muslims, “furriners” in general, are channeled by the AfD into nasty parades, some violence, and electoral support now at about 14% in Berlin and nationally, and well over that in some East German states.

If only the LINKE could respond to those worries instead of the AfD and be a real, militant street-active opposition, outside and inside the parliaments, if it could borrow tips from Bernie Sanders’ amazing fight or Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign in England it might gain more ground and push back the AfD. When it does act this way, as newly in the western boroughs of Berlin, it gains the most.

But if it prefers to be oh-so moderate and willing to compromise in hopes of joining a triple coalition next year on a national scale like that now shaping up in Berlin, it can suffer more big flops, as in a series of state elections. And if, as some seem to wish, it gives up the demands voiced by Sahra Wagenknecht and says “If you’ll let us join we would then OK one or two little deployments abroad, but only, of course, if they’re again called humanitarian” – then, alas, it could follow the same roller-coaster descent as the Social Democrats, who have approved all such moves, or the Greens, whose strong right-wing is more gung-ho than ever, and is now busy improving its close relationship with Daimler-Benz and similar notably so very humanitarian institutions.

But in a Germany now facing many economic reefs, with Volkswagen floundering and even the mighty Deutsche Bank getting nailed for its crooked endeavors, the seas can get mighty turbulent – and a fighting, well-aimed party like the LINKE would be more necessary than ever before.

11. Oktober 2016

Hillary In Wikileaks-Leaked Email: Saudi Arabia And Qatar Are Funding ISIS

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton sent an email to her campaign chairman John Podesta in 2014, who was then-counselor to President Barack Obama, that said Saudi Arabia and Qatar are both giving financial and logistical support to the Islamic State and other extremist Sunni groups, according to a recent Wikileaks release.

Clinton sent the email on August 17, 2014 to Podesta. It was an eight-point plan to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Clinton’s email said that the United States should support Kurdish forces on the ground with U.S. military advisers and avoid the use of a conventional ground operation.

“While this military/para-military operation is moving forward, we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region,” Clinton wrote.

The former secretary of state added: “This effort will be enhanced by the stepped up commitment in the [Kurdish Regional Government]. The Qataris and Saudis will be put in a position of balancing policy between their ongoing competition to dominate the Sunni world and the consequences of serious U.S. pressure.”

11. Oktober 2016

Führende Politiker von CDU und Grünen fordern neue Sanktionen gegen Russland. Drei Ministerpräsidenten lehnen dies kategorisch ab.

Der EU Abgeordnete Elmar Brok (CDU), der Vorsitzende des Auswärtigen Ausschusses im Bundestag, Norbert Röttgen (CDU), und die Grünen-Fraktionschefin im Bundestag, Katrin Göring-Eckardt fordern neue Sanktionen gegen Russland.

Dies wird kategorisch abgelehnt von:
Ministerpräsident von Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Erwin Sellering (SPD).
Ministerpräsident von Sachsen, Stanislaw Tillich (CDU)
Ministerpräsident von Sachsen-Anhalt, Reiner Haseloff (CDU)

Stanislaw Tillich (CDU): „In Syrien sind eine Vielzahl von Kriegsparteien und sie unterstützende Staaten direkt oder indirekt an den militärischen Auseinandersetzungen beteiligt. Die Wiederaufnahme der Gespräche ist Sanktionen vorzuziehen. – Russland muss mit diplomatischen Mitteln zur Wiederaufnahme der Gespräche bewegt werden“

Erwin Sellering (SPD): „Ich halte nichts von dieser Forderung. – Deutschland und Russland haben ein gemeinsames Interesse, wieder zu einer engeren Partnerschaft zurückzukehren – Wir wollen die Kontakte dorthin in den nächsten Jahren weiter ausbauen. Deshalb setzen wir uns dafür ein, dass wir möglichst schnell zu einem Ende der Sanktionen kommen. Das setzt voraus, dass sich beide Seiten aufeinander zubewegen“

Reiner Haseloff (CDU): „Die ohnehin schon bestehenden Sanktionen haben bislang nichts bewirkt. Sie haben allerdings dem wirtschaftlichen Austausch geschadet, auch den Firmen in Sachsen-Anhalt, die traditionell Kontakte mit russischen Unternehmen haben – Wirtschaftssanktionen sehe ich eher als Ausdruck politischer Einfallslosigkeit. Wir sollten auf Dialog und Sachlösungen setzen und nicht auf Eskalation.“

11. Oktober 2016

Internationales Friedensfest – Berlin, 16. September 2017


Es soll ein internationales Friedensfest werden, denn Krieg und der Wunsch nach Frieden sind auch international.
– Wir möchten, dass viele Menschen aus vielen Nationen teilnehmen, einander kennen lernen, sich zusammen bilden und zusammen feiern.
– Wir möchten kein allgemeines, rein pazifistisches, „Butschi-Butschi-Trallalla-Fest“ mit Lichterketten und allgemeinen Aussagen, sondern ein Friedensfest, das sich an der Realität und den geschichtlichen Erkenntnissen orientiert. Das heißt auch dass die Ursache von Kriegen, nämlich die unermessliche Profitgier der wenigen Herrschenden auf unserem Planeten, klar benannt wird. Ebenso wollen wir keine Illusionen darüber schüren, dass Kriege durch irgendwelche Abkommen und Verpflichtungen, die einzelne Staaten miteinander treffen, zu verhindern seien. Eine Grundaussage soll sein: Wenn Du keinen Krieg willst – dann beseitige die Ursache für Kriege, Ungerechtigkeiten und Unterdrückung der Völker!

mehr Infos


VíctorJara & DeanReed – Festival
El Cultrún e.V. und »American Rebel«

Sonnabend, 10. September 2016

11. Oktober 2016

West must confront Russia over Aleppo, emergency Commons debate to hear (Guardian)

Western air forces must be willing to confront Russian military jets over the skies of Syria to enforce a no-fly zone and protect the citizens of eastern Aleppo from a bombardment akin to the attack on Guernica during the Spanish civil war, UK MPs will be told by a former cabinet minister in an emergency three-hour Commons debate on Tuesday.

The intervention by Andrew Mitchell, the former international development secretary, and the granting of the debate itself, will force the UK’s Foreign Office to set out how it intends to respond after Russia’s veto of a UN resolution calling for a ceasefire in eastern Aleppo. The west has been criticised for lacking any leverage over Russia in Syria.

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11. Oktober 2016

Besetzen und abschotten (II) (Merkel zum Ausbau der Flüchtlingsabwehr in Äthiopien) German Foreign Policy

Mit Gesprächen zur Flüchtlingsabwehr in Addis Abeba beendet die deutsche Kanzlerin am heutigen Dienstag ihre jüngste Afrikareise. Äthiopien, mit dem Deutschland seit Jahren eng kooperiert, betätigt sich nicht nur als militärischer Stellvertreter vor allem der Vereinigten Staaten und der Bundesrepublik in Ostafrika; es beherbergt darüber hinaus eine dreiviertel Million Flüchtlinge, die Berlin an der Weiterreise in Richtung Europa hindern will. Diesem Ziel dient unter anderem ein Projekt zum „Migrationsmanagement“, das die bundeseigene Entwicklungsagentur GIZ in ganz Ostafrika durchführt. TV-Recherchen zeigen, dass das Projekt vor allem der Hochrüstung der ostafrikanischen Grenzen mit modernster Überwachungstechnologie dient; auch sollen mit EU-Mitteln geschlossene Flüchtlingslager gebaut werden, Hafträume inklusive. Äthiopien ist in das Programm einbezogen worden, obwohl seine Regierung die Opposition des Landes schon seit Jahren brutal niederhält: Allein seit Ende vergangenen Jahres haben die äthiopischen Repressionskräfte rund 500 Demonstranten getötet; Anfang des Monats sind bei einer von ihnen ausgelösten Massenpanik bis zu 700 Menschen ums Leben gekommen. Während Bundeskanzlerin Merkel heute in Addis Abeba mit Ministerpräsident Hailemariam Desalegn konferiert, eskalieren die Proteste unkontrolliert weiter. Die Regierung hat am Sonntag den Ausnahmezustand verhängt.


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