Extrajudicial killings in Pakistan

September 30, 2010 § 3 Comments

A warning: Imran Khan’s report contains disturbing images.

Video footage has emerged showing uniformed soldiers lining up and executing six young men in Pakistan. The goverment claims the video is a propaganda film made by the Taliban. We doubt it.

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Longstanding Impunity Challenges Argentina: 4 Years Without Julio Lopez

September 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

Julio Lopez

by Marie Trigona

Julio Lopez, Luciano Arruga, Silvia Suppo – three names recently listed the doleful roll call of Argentina’s victims of state repression, a legacy left over from the bloody 1976-1983 military dictatorship. These three names have left painful reminders of the paradigm of disappearances and of how the social stigma of the crimes committed during the dictatorship has scarred Argentina and other nations which survived brutal military dictatorships.

Argentines recently commemorated the four-year anniversary of the disappearance of Julio Lopez with a demand that the torture survivor and human rights activist be found alive. After four years of searching, marches, and impunity, the cries for justice and punishment seem to have found no response from an indifferent government which claims to defend human rights. Activists also demanded information on the whereabouts of Luciano Arruga, a 16-year-old who was forcefully disappeared in January, 2009, and called for an investigation into the 2010 murder of Silvia Suppo, a human rights activist and torture survivor testifying in a landmark human rights trial. « Read the rest of this entry »

Aafia Siddiqui: Symbol or Spectacle?

September 29, 2010 § 4 Comments

by Beenish Ahmed

Convicted of attempted murder, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, 38, was sentenced to 86 years in prison in New York on Thursday. The Pakistan-native was held in custody for two years after allegedly shooting at US troops and an F.B.I agent in Afghanistan with an assault rifle she grabbed from behind a curtain, unlocked, and fired before being shot in the stomach by an interpreter.

Although she infamously topped America’s most wanted list for years, most Americans would be hard pressed to comment at all on the MIT and Brandeis graduate who is due to serve decades in jail for compromising their security.

Perhaps Siddiqui’s trial has received so little attention in the US because the charges brought against her do not relate not to her’s supposed links to Al-Qaeda, or the canisters of chemicals, bomb-making manuals, and lists of American landmarks that she had been carrying at the time her detainment in Afghanistan. This has been seen by Harper’s and many others as an all too easy story, especially given the immense variance in claims made by US officials and Afghani eye-witnesses, as well as Siddiqui’s own story. Despite the questionable circumstances of her arrest, however, no evidence about her capture was allowed to surface at all in the recent trial, only furthering protest in Pakistan.

While the verdict was announced only in the regional section of the New York Times, in her own country, Siddiqui’s case become something of a cause célèbre. Many Pakistanis have long condemned what they believe to be an unjust trial based on fabricated evidence through demonstrations as well as information campaigns.

Given this divergence in understanding, it is worthwhile to ask not only who Aafia Siddiqui is, but what she has come to represent to everyday Pakistanis.

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Zionists: terrorist pioneers

September 28, 2010 § 2 Comments

Via Stuart Littlewood:

Here’s the roll-call [from delphiforums] on who introduced terrorism (along with biological, chemical and nuclear weapons) to the Middle East:

  • Bombs in cafés: first used by Zionists in Palestine on 17 March 1937 in Jaffa (they were grenades)
  • Bombs on buses: first used by Zionists in Palestine on 20 August- 26 September 1937
  • Drive-by shootings with automatic weapons: IZL and LHI in 1937-38 and 1947-48 (Morris, Righteous Victims, p681.)
  • Bombs in market places: first used by Zionists on 6 July 1938 in Haifa. (delayed-action, electrically detonated)
  • Bombing of a passenger ship: first used by the Zionists in Haifa on 25 November 1940, killing over 200 of their own fellows.
  • Bombing of hotels: first used by Zionists on 22 July 1946 in Jerusalem (Menachem Begin went on to become prime minister of Israel).
  • Suitcase bombing: first used by Zionists on 1 October 1946 against British embassy in Rome.
  • Mining of ambulances: first used by Zionists on 31 October 1946 in Petah Tikvah
  • Car-bomb: first used by Zionists against the British near Jaffa on 5 December 1946.
  • Letter bombs: first used by Zionists in June 1947 against members of the British government, 20 of them.
  • Parcel bomb: first used by Zionists against the British in London on 3 September 1947.
  • Reprisal murder of hostages: first used by Zionists against the British in Netanya area on 29 July 1947.
  • Truck-bombs: first used by Zionists on January 1948 in the centre of Jaffa, killing 26.
  • Aircraft hijacking: world-first by Israeli jets December 1954 on a Syrian civilian airliner (random seizure of hostages to recover five spies) – 14 years before any Palestinian hijacking.

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Obama Loses to Military Brass

September 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

Robert Dreyfuss discusses Obama’s wars on the Alyona Show.

Bob Woodward’s new book, “Obama’s Wars”, released today points out, Obama, during the review of the war in Afghanistan at the end of last year, wanted out. Politically, his advisors, wanted out but the military branch of his national security team wanted more and didn’t give the president another option. Robert Dreyfuss contributing editor at The Nation explains that the problem lies with Obama being so inexperienced when it comes to the military that he didn’t know how to properly ask to end the war.

Zionism Laid Bare

September 28, 2010 § 2 Comments

PULSE writer M. Shahid Alam‘s superb book, Israeli Exceptionalism: The Destabilizing Logic of Zionism is finally available in paperback. For those interested in the real history of Zionism, the circumstances of its birth, the sociological and historical factors that contributed to it, the rise of the Jewish lobby, its alliance with Christian Zionism, the determinants of US-Israel relations, and consequences of this alliance: there could hardly be a better place to start. Shahid is erudite, engaging and rigorous. This book is a must read. My detailed review will appear here shortly. For now I leave you with Kathleen Christison‘s impressions. — MIA

Cover Image GIFThe essential point of M. Shahid Alam’s book, Israeli Exceptionalism: The Destabilizing Logic of Zionism, comes clear upon opening the book to the inscription in the frontispiece.  From the Persian poet and philosopher Rumi, the quote reads, “You have the light, but you have no humanity.  Seek humanity, for that is the goal.”  Alam, professor of economics at Northeastern University in Boston and a CounterPunch contributor, follows this with an explicit statement of his aims in the first paragraph of the preface.  Asking and answering the obvious question, “Why is an economist writing a book on the geopolitics of Zionism?” he says that he “could have written a book about the economics of Zionism, the Israeli economy, or the economy of the West Bank and Gaza, but how would any of that have helped me to understand the cold logic and the deep passions that have driven Zionism?”

Until recent years, the notion that Zionism was a benign, indeed a humanitarian, political movement designed for the noble purpose of creating a homeland and refuge for the world’s stateless, persecuted Jews was a virtually universal assumption.  In the last few years, particularly since the start of the al-Aqsa intifada in 2000, as Israel’s harsh oppression of the Palestinians has become more widely known, a great many Israelis and friends of Israel have begun to distance themselves from and criticize Israel’s occupation policies, but they remain strong Zionists and have been at pains to propound the view that Zionism began well and has only lately been corrupted by the occupation.  Alam demonstrates clearly, through voluminous evidence and a carefully argued analysis, that Zionism was never benign, never good—that from the very beginning, it operated according to a “cold logic” and, per Rumi, had “no humanity.”  Except perhaps for Jews, which is where Israel’s and Zionism’s exceptionalism comes in.

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Honduran Regime Targets Musicians

September 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

Produced by Jesse Freeston for The Real News Network, this video covers the military and police repression of the Sept. 15 concert in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, of popular anti-coup musical group Cafe’ Guancasco, as well as continuing efforts by the U.S. State Department and the United Nations to legitimize the regime of Porfirio Lobo Sosa.

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