The fact that the likes of the Harper government oppose that the principles of the UN Charter should guide international relations today shows their penchant for hooliganism, anarchy, violence and war. Canada has now sided with those who are so self-serving that when they cannot make the Security Council take the decisions they want, they simply use dirty manipulation of the General Assembly and call this a "moral argument" for invasion. Anarchy and chaos, violence and aggression can never be a norm for resolving differences between countries. To give the U.S. and its NATO partners a monopoly on the use of force is as bad as declaring that the use of force is now the name of the game.
The passage of this resolution shows that it is up to the peoples of the world to establish anti-war governments that in word and deed oppose the use of force in international affairs or interference in the internal affairs of other countries. This is very urgent indeed. Our hearts go out to the people of Aleppo and all of Syria who are suffering the brunt of the imperialists' striving to control the world.
1. For the full
text of the UN General Assembly resolution, click here.
In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Latvia, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Zambia.
Against: Belarus, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Iran, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, Syria, Venezuela, Zimbabwe.
Abstentions: Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Burundi, Ecuador, Eritrea, Fiji, Ghana, Guyana, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Namibia, Nepal, Pakistan, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam.
Absent: Cambodia, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Kiribati, Malawi, Philippines, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Yemen.
Canada's Foreign Minister Dispatched to Middle East as Part of "Anglo-American Shift"
In the midst of desperate attempts by U.S. imperialism and its allies to overthrow the government of Syria, Canada's Foreign Minister John Baird has been dispatched to the Middle East. From August 10-13, Baird will visit Lebanon and Jordan, which both border Syria and Israel, in the name of "support for the stability of both countries in light of the crisis in Syria." Announcing the trip Baird stated: "The situation in Syria threatens the stability of the entire Middle East. As the fighting continues and atrocities multiply, the need for all countries to bring pressure to bear on the Assad regime is imperative. The situation grows increasingly difficult as refugees continue to flow over Syria's borders into neighbouring countries." Unnamed sources cited on CBC's "Power in Politics" claim that during the trip Baird will announce a "shift" in Canada's policy of support for the Syrian opposition by providing them "non-lethal weapons." This "shift" comes following a meeting at the end of July between Baird and representatives of the opposition. Baird's visit coincides with an announcement by the British government that it is "shifting" its policy and establishing official contacts with the Free Syrian Army and increasing its financial support for "non-lethal" aid to forces inside Syria.
In Beirut, Baird will meet with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati. It is said that the focus of discussions will include "the deteriorating situation in Syria and Iran, regional security throughout the Middle East, trade and commerce, and other matters of mutual interest." Baird will also meet with "members of the opposition" in Lebanon, including former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, the parliamentary leader of the March 14 opposition."
From Beirut, Baird will travel to Amman, Jordan where he will meet with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Judeh and with King Abdullah II. There "Baird will seek Jordan's perspective on the situation in Syria and the broader Middle East, and discuss Canada-Jordan bilateral relations." Baird is not set to meet with the "opposition" in Jordan. Talks will likely include implementation of the trade and labour agreement recently signed between the Harper government and Jordan.
Fridays -- 4:30-5:30 pm
Corner of Spring Garden Rd. and Barrington St.
Followed by discussion 5:30-6:30 pm at Paperchase, 5228 Blowers St.
Current Role of the U.S.
The Assassination Nation
With this title an essay published by Counterpunch characterizes as striking the new transparency of the official public acknowledgement of a half-century-old, broad-based U.S. targeted assassination program that coincides with the unprecedented visibility of drone warfare in several areas of the planet.
The idea of the existence of a "kill list" at the highest level of U.S. executive power has set off a firestorm of media coverage that indicates a significant concern even among sectors of the "invisible power".
A Washington Post editorial noted that "No government has ever relied so extensively on the secret killing of individuals to advance the nation's security goals." The New York Times described Obama's role as "without precedent in presidential history, of personally overseeing the shadow war."
Former president James Carter insisted, in a recent op-ed column in the New York Times, "We don't know how many hundreds of innocent civilians have been killed in these [drone] attacks, each one approved by the highest authorities in Washington. This would have been unthinkable in previous times."
In fact, these long-distance homicides and selective assassinations with presidential approval have been going on covertly for at least half a century. The only novelty is the open nature of the latest, more publicized revelations about hit lists and assassinations with the use of drones. "Those who are mortified by the latest revelations of Obama's hit lists have much to learn from a more comprehensive, historical perspective on U.S. killing around the globe," says [Doug Noble, author of the Counterpunch article].
The author divides the analysis of the 50 years of massacres and targeted killings by the USA into three sections:
Section 1 describes the lethal history of the U.S. Phoenix Program in Vietnam, the original source of subsequent U.S. counter-terrorist tactics and strategies.
Section 2 revisits briefly the well-known history of U.S. kill lists and assassinations in Latin American countries, followed by the somewhat less-well-known history of U.S. kill lists and assassinations in countries on other continents.
Section 3 traces the resurrection of Phoenix in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in a growing number of "countries we are not at war with."
The U.S. Phoenix program was a highly secret operation applied in 1967 by the CIA in Vietnam aimed at "neutralizing" the "Vietcong" infrastructure. This meant assassinating South Vietnamese civilians suspected of supporting North Vietnamese or "Vietcong" fighters.
William Colby, CIA Director at the time, insisted in the 1971 Congressional Hearings that "the Phoenix program is not a program of assassination," but he later conceded that Phoenix operations killed over 20,000 people between 1967 and 1972. The My Lai massacre, hardly an isolated incident, was itself a Phoenix operation.
With abundant data and arguments, Doug Noble describes the repercussions of this program in Latin America.
The U.S. intelligence community adapted Phoenix to South America by commissioning the ultra secret Project X.
Phoenix methods and techniques were used in Operation Condor which was responsible for the assassination of several hundred thousand Latin American patriots. Criminal organizations in almost all the countries in the region served Phoenix for collection, exchange and storage of intelligence and collaborated in the repression of the struggle and ideals that stood against the hegemonic role of the USA in the continent.
During the Carter administration the USA suspended the application of Project X for alleged human rights violations, but the Reagan administration resumed it soon enough.
"The U.S. drone killing program has come out of the closet. Those of us protesting U.S. drones for years have correctly focused on the use of drones as illegal, immoral and strategically counterproductive. We have abhorred the schizophrenic ease of remote killing, the uniquely frightening horror of a drone strike, and the unavoidable (even intentional) killing of countless civilian 'terrorist suspects' in 'signature strikes.' We have also warned of the proliferation of drones in countries around the globe and of their procurement by U.S. police forces and border patrols, for surveillance and 'non-lethal' targeting", states Doug Noble, an activist against war who resides in Rochester.
The Phoenix Program has become global thus contributing to proclaim the United States of America as a real assassination nation.
(A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.)
67th Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
U.S. Threats to International Peace and Security
This year marks the 67th anniversary of one of the
greastest atrocities of WWII -- the dropping of the atomic bomb on the
Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by one of the victor nations,
the United States of America. With this criminal act, the United States
declared for the whole world to understand that it planned to take over
Japan and convert the Soviet Union and communism, which bore the brunt
of the anti-fascist war, into its main enemy.
The dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and
populations by the U.S. was an act of mass terror aimed at threatening
world's people -- especially the people of the Soviet Union, who were
instrumental in defeating the Nazi aggressors at the cost of over a
and many more millions wounded. It was the Soviet Union that had
after the Second World War as the leading force for liberation,
and peace for all nations and peoples.
The dropping of the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki served notice that the United States would commit any crime in order to establish its dictate over the entire world and to defeat communism. Just as the Harper government is today working directly with the U.S. imperialists in carrying out its war crimes internationally -- whether it be in Afghanistan, Syria or Libya -- at that time, the Canadian government was directly involved in facilitating the production of the atomic bomb, including by providing enriched uranium. Canadian Ministers knew in advance that the bomb would be used on the Japanese people.
August 6 and August 9 have now become days to commemorate those who were killed in these horrendous acts of terrorism by the U.S. and to express the collective determination of the peoples of Canada and the world to never again permit such crimes against humanity.
Devastation from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Left: the Prefectural Commercial Exhibition Hall, known today as the "A-Bomb Dome," the ruins of which have been left standing as a reminder to the world of this brutal act;
right: Funairi Grammar School.
Sixty-seven years after the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it is estimated that there are close to 20,000 nuclear weapons in the world -- the vast majority in the hands of the U.S., which continues to lead in the production, selling, and stockpiling of nuclear weapons capable of wiping out the entire planet many times over -- despite U.S. President Obama's ongoing disinformation about "curbing nuclear weapons proliferation." This fraud of Obama as a champion of "curbing nuclear weapons proliferation" found its most cynical expression when Obama, the head of state of the only country to have dropped nuclear weapons, and which continues to threaten their use today, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2009. In its citation, the Nobel Peace Prize Committee noted: "The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons."
Far from Obama taking a principled stand against the proliferation of nuclear weapons by issuing a presidential order to dismantle the massive U.S. nuclear arsenal, such an arsenal is needed by U.S. imperialism to enforce its Nazi logic of "might makes right" and to threaten any country that takes a stand in defence of its own independence and sovereignty like Iran, the DPRK, Cuba, Venezuela, and others.
At the same time, the allies and clients of U.S.
Imperialism, like Israel, are
also encouraged to produce nuclear weapons in violation of the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty and other international laws in order to
aggression on neighbouring states like Syria and Iran, in the name of
"self-defence" and the "war on terror."
It is also troubling that Japan, which was the victim of
the first nuclear
bombings in history, is now playing handmaiden to U.S. imperialist
with nuclear threats against the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea,
of joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises, aimed at aggression
country. All the while using the disinformation of the "nuclear threat
DPRK," to float propaganda about the need for Japan to have its own
weapons to curb this "threat."
There is no possibility for peace in the world so long as the United States and other big powers claim a monopoly on nuclear weapons and together with the likes of countries such as Israel and Canada they impose double standards with impunity and in violation of international laws and conventions that humanity has brought forward. In the face of these brutal double standards and hypocrisy, countries such as the DPRK and Iran which seek to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes are subjected to sanctions and constant nuclear blackmail of the U.S., and the strategy of building nuclear deterrents is used by the imperialist powers to fuel humanity's collective anxiety about nuclear proliferation. The real danger of a nuclear world war breaking out that would annihilate the entire world lies squarely with the big imperialist powers, not with the peoples fighting for their emancipation or countries which seek to affirm their sovereignty.
The crimes committed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki will not go away by the U.S., Canada and their NATO allies threatening other countries for allegedly posing a "nuclear threat." Furthermore, it is unacceptable that those who used nuclear weapons in the past, on an already defeated foe in order to blackmail the entire world's people, today threaten the use of nuclear pre-emptive strikes under the pretext of acting in the interests of "peace" and "human security."
Today the U.S. imperialists and their allies in Canada and around the world divide the world between "democratic" and "civilized nations" that respect "human rights" on the one hand, and "dictatorships" that are "uncivilized" and violate "human rights" on the other. This is done to justify attacks on these countries and to affect "regime change" in order to dominate and plunder their human and natural resources; as witnessed in the case of Libya. The ongoing occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan by the U.S. and their allies, the regime change imposed on Libya, the clandestine and illegal involvement of the U.S., Canada, Britain and others imperialist powers in the current civil war in Syria show that their main aim is to humiliate and defeat all those who affirm their right to be. Under the presidency of Barack Obama, the U.S. continues to build military bases around the world to threaten their main rivals like Russia and China as well as any country that affirms its right to independence and self-determination.
Humanity's fight to rid the world of nuclear weapons and defeat the U.S. imperialist dictate requires stepping up the struggle to uphold the sovereignty and independence of all nations, and the elimination of the threat or use of force to settle conflicts. It also necessitates that the Canadian working class and people organize for an anti-war government that rejects the use of force as a means of settling conflicts between nations and peoples, and withdraws from all aggressive military blocs and treaties such as NATO and NORAD.
On the occasion of the 67th anniversary of the nuclear bombings, all peace- and justice-loving Canadians pay their deepest respects to the Japanese victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and to all peoples the world over who have suffered and continue to suffer as a result of imperialist dictate. The criminal Anglo-American imperialist system can and will be ended by the political unity of all the fighting peoples of the world to establish a new world based on peace, justice, and dignity for all nations and peoples.
Canadians Commemorate Anniversary
On August 9, a program commemorating the 67th anniversary of the U.S. dropping of atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was held in Toronto. The event was attended by over 200 people and was organized by the Toronto Hiroshima Day Coalition. Similar activities were held across the country this past week, including events in Montreal, Kingston, Ottawa, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Calgary and Victoria.
The main theme of the Toronto commemoration was to express the Canadian people's demand that there be complete nuclear weapons disarmament and peaceful relations between all peoples of the world. The event also paid respects to the over 200,000 people who perished in the bombing of the two cities and the tens of thousands of others who died subsequently as a result of radiation poisoning.
Among the speakers was author, peace activist and member of Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention Joy Kogawa, whose family was interned as "enemy aliens" by the Canadian state during the Second World War. Ms. Kogawa read the Nagasaki Peace Proclamation which outlines the initiatives being taken by the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to keep the historical memory of the atomic bombing alive and to take leadership in calling for a nuclear weapons free world. During her remarks, Kogawa called for the Canadian government to take all measures to put into action the motion that was adopted unanimously by Parliament on December 7, 2010 to "deploy a major world-wide Canadian diplomatic initiative in support of preventing nuclear proliferation and increasing the rate of nuclear disarmament."
Ilario Maiolo, Senior Legal Advisor of the Canadian Red Cross spoke, pointing out that the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Society have been actively fighting for an end to the use of nuclear weapons since the Second World War. He noted that Red Cross Hospitals in Hiroshima and Nagasaki still treat the victims and decedents of the atomic bombing three generations later. In the event of a nuclear war, the whole world will be annihilated, he said, and there is no recourse except nuclear disarmament based on a comprehensive treaty that is credible and which holds all nuclear states to account equally.
Toronto is one of over 5,000 cities around the world whose mayors have declared their city a "nuclear free zone." City Councillor Raymond Cho read Toronto's declaration which states in part: "The threat of another use of nuclear weapons remains all too real. Today we join with others around the world on this historic anniversary to remember this tragic disaster and to remind us to work together to create a society that encourages and upholds humanity's belief and commitment to peace and a world free from nuclear weapons."
Also part of the commemoration was a cultural program of anti-war and peace songs and Japanese traditional drumming.
The event closed with the lighting of peace lanterns led by Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, a fifteen-year -old student at the time, who has spent her life campaigning in Canada and around the world for nuclear weapons disarmament.
Hiroshima Peace Declaration 2012
The commemoration of the atomic bombing at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, August 6, 2012, attended by
tens of thousands of people, including many Japanese and foreign dignitaries.
8:15 a.m., August 6, 1945. Our hometown was reduced to ashes by a single atomic bomb. The houses we came home to, our everyday lives, the customs we cherished -- all were gone:
"Hiroshima was no more. The city had vanished. No roads, just a burnt plain of rubble as far as I could see, and sadly, I could see too far. I followed electric lines that had fallen along what I took to be tram rails. The tram street was hot. Death was all around."
That was our city, as seen by a young woman of twenty. That was Hiroshima for all the survivors. The exciting festivals, the playing in boats, the fishing and clamming, the children catching long-armed shrimp -- a way of life had disappeared from our beloved rivers.
Worse yet, the bomb snuffed out the sacred lives of so many human beings:
"I rode in a truck with a civil defense team to pick up corpses. I was just a boy, so they told me to grab the ankles. I did, but the skin slipped right off. I couldn't hold on. I steeled myself, squeezed hard with my fingertips, and the flesh started oozing. A terrible stench. I gripped right down to the bone. With a 'one-two-three,' we tossed them into the truck."
As seen in the experience of this 13-year-old boy, our city had become a living hell. Countless corpses lay everywhere, piled on top of each other; amid the moans of unearthly voices, infants sucked at the breasts of dead mothers, while dazed, empty-eyed mothers clutched their dead babies.
A girl of sixteen lost her whole family, one after the other:
"My 7-year-old brother was burned from head to toe. He died soon after the bombing. A month later, my parents died; then, my 13-year-old brother and my 11-year-old sister. The only ones left were myself and my little brother, who was three, and he died later of cancer."
From newborns to grandmothers, by the end of the year, 140,000 precious lives were taken from Hiroshima.
Hiroshima was plunged into deepest darkness. Our hibakusha [survivors of the atomic bombings -- TML Ed. Note] experienced the bombing in flesh and blood. Then, they had to live with aftereffects and social prejudice. Even so, they soon began telling the world about their experience. Transcending rage and hatred, they revealed the utter inhumanity of nuclear weapons and worked tirelessly to abolish those weapons. We want the whole world to know of their hardship, their grief, their pain, and their selfless desire.
The average hibakusha is now over 78. This summer, in response to the many ordinary citizens seeking to inherit and pass on their experience and desire, Hiroshima has begun carefully training official hibakusha successors. Determined never to let the atomic bombing fade from memory, we intend to share with ever more people at home and abroad the hibakusha desire for a nuclear-weapon-free world.
People of the world! Especially leaders of nuclear-armed nations, please come to Hiroshima to contemplate peace in this A-bombed city.
This year, Mayors for Peace marked its 30th anniversary. The number of cities calling for the total abolition of nuclear weapons by 2020 has passed 5,300, and our members now represent approximately a billion people. Next August, we will hold a Mayors for Peace general conference in Hiroshima. That event will convey to the world the intense desire of the overwhelming majority of our citizens for a nuclear weapons convention and elimination of nuclear weapons. The following spring, Hiroshima will host a ministerial meeting of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative comprising ten non-nuclear-weapon states, including Japan. I firmly believe that the demand for freedom from nuclear weapons will soon spread out from Hiroshima, encircle the globe, and lead us to genuine world peace.
March 11, 2011, is a day we will never forget. A natural disaster compounded by a nuclear power accident created an unprecedented catastrophe. Here in Hiroshima, we are keenly aware that the survivors of that catastrophe still suffer terribly, yet look toward the future with hope. We see their ordeal clearly superimposed on what we endured 67 years ago. I speak now to all in the stricken areas. Please hold fast to your hope for tomorrow. Your day will arrive, absolutely. Our hearts are with you.
Having learned a lesson from that horrific accident, Japan is now engaged in a national debate over its energy policy, with some voices insisting, "Nuclear energy and humankind cannot coexist." I call on the Japanese government to establish without delay an energy policy that guards the safety and security of the people. I ask the government of the only country to experience an atomic bombing to accept as its own the resolve of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Mindful of the unstable situation surrounding us in Northeast Asia, please display bolder leadership in the movement to eliminate nuclear weapons. Please also provide more caring measures for the hibakusha in and out of Japan who still suffer even today, and take the political decision to expand the "black rain areas."
Once again, we offer our heartfelt prayers for the peaceful repose of the atomic bomb victims. From our base here in Hiroshima, we pledge to convey to the world the experience and desire of our hibakusha, and do everything in our power to achieve the genuine peace of a world without nuclear weapons.
In remembrance of the victims of bombing of Hiroshima, bouquets are presented at the commemoration;
in the evening, lanterns are set afloat on the Motoyasu River.
(Photos: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, Xinhua)
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