April 19, 2014 - No. 15

Obama's Asia Pivot

Support Philippine
People's Fight Against
Framework Agreement with U.S.

Obama's Asia Pivot

Support the Philippine People's 
Fight Against Framework Agreement with U.S.

At the end of April, U.S. imperialist president Barrack Obama will be visiting the Philippines and other countries which form part of the Asia-Pacific. The visit is part of the U.S. mission to secure bases for its war machine, militarize the region and impose U.S. economic dictate over those countries which have signed on to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Protests are being planned by Bayan (New Patriotic Alliance) in the Philippines and other patriotic forces when President Obama arrives there. Protests are also being coordinated with anti-war and patriotic organizations in Japan, Guam, south Korea and other countries against Obama's visit and the U.S. war plans for the region.

Of specific concern to the people of the Philippines are negotiations going on between the Benigno Aquino III government of the Philippines and the U.S. Obama regime that would give the U.S. military access to all military bases in the Philippines. This is part of the Obama regime's "Asia Pivot" strategy to establish a stronger U.S. presence in East and South East Asia in an effort to contain China and dominate zones for the export of capital, sources of raw material and cheap labour and zones of influence.

On March 23, Bayan in the United States put out a statement condemning the latest negotiations. Bayan-U.S. noted that these secret deals signed under the Framework Agreement for Enhanced Defence Cooperation will give the U.S. military unbridled access to Philippine army, naval and air forces bases. At the same time, the Aquino government is also carrying out widespread repression of the patriotic forces in the Philippines. The most recent operation carried out on March 22 included the illegal arrest of Wilma Austria and Benito Tiamzon, two consultants for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). By law, Austria and Tiamzon are protected by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) while they participate in the peace negotiations between the NDFP and the Government of the Philippines. However, these peace talks have been sabotaged by the Aquino government.

Bayan-U.S. notes: "Rather than pursuing the peace talks with integrity, the Government of the Philippines has repeatedly violated the rights of NDFP consultants, negotiators, and staff through illegal arrests, torture, enforced disappearances, and killings. Currently, there are 12 NDFP consultants who are in jail for trumped up criminal charges and 10 NDFP consultants who are victims of enforced disappearances. Now, Austria and Tiamzon may face the same fate."

Bayan-U.S. points out that the secret military deals being hatched between the Philippine government and the U.S. warmongers will make the Philippines a pawn in U.S. imperialist geo- political adventures in East Asia. Furthermore, it is a violation of the Philippine Constitution and Philippine sovereignty and violates the popular will. It will endanger the people of the Philippines and the neighbouring areas who will be drawn into wars of aggression.

TML Weekly condemns Obama's Asia Pivot as well as the arrests of Wilma Austria and Benito Tiamzon and calls for their immediate release and that of all the other political prisoners in the Philippines!

April 1, 2014 demonstration outside Regional Trial Court in Manilla demands freedom for all political prisoners.

(With files from BayanUSA.org)

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Jeju Islanders Stand Firm Against U.S. Military Occupation of South Korea

Protests against the construction of a naval base on Jeju Island have been held for the last several years. Pictured here, activists from the Jeju Pan-Island Committee to Stop the Military Base block the entrance to the construction site on
April 12, 2013. The banner reads "Demand a stop to the Navy’s illegal construction! Conduct a joint investigation into environmental effects!" (Save Jeju Now!)

Sixty-six years ago, on April 3, 1948, the people of Jeju Island rose up against the U.S. military occupation and division of their country and affirmed the Korean people's right to be. Their historic resistance has been an inspiration to the Korean people and all people who are fighting for their right to independence, self-determination and peace.

The Jeju Island uprising lives on today in the ongoing protest of the Jeju Islanders to demand an end to the U.S. military occupation of south Korea and more specifically an end to the building of a massive naval base on their island which is located south west of the Korean peninsula. For example, on April 13, Professor Yang Yoon-Mo, one of the leaders of the Jeju islanders fight against the building of the naval base ended his fourth hunger strike after over 435 days in prison. At the dinner following his release, he stated that he would commence a national petition campaign to get 10 million signatures across Korea in order to demilitarize Jeju Island and proclaim it 'the Island of Peace' by 2017, the next Presidential election in south Korea."

After their military victory over the Japanese on August 15, 1945, the Korean people wasted no time in organizing themselves as a victorious people to establish the Korean People's Republic which they proclaimed in Seoul on September 6, 1945. This nascent republic was dismantled by force by the U.S. imperialists who arrived in south Korea two days later to "officially" receive the Japanese surrender and to put in place a "democratic" government that would be subservient to U.S. interests in south Korea. In this way the Korean people, who played a role second to none in defeating the Axis powers in the Second World War, were robbed of their right to independence and a unified Korea. From that moment the Korean people have waged a determined political struggle including guerilla warfare to oppose these high-handed and brutal measures of the U.S. military government in south Korea. Nowhere in the south did this resistance take more concentrated form than on Jeju Island where the islanders established their own political power through People's Committees and were administering their affairs without outside interference and peacefully. They also opposed the division of their country and demanded that Korea be unified and that the U.S. troops quit their homeland.

The event that triggered the Jeju uprising took place on March 1, 1948 when the islanders not only marked Korean Independence Movement Day but also protested the fraudulent elections planned for May 10 by the U.S. with the support of the United Nations Temporary Commission on Korea (UNCOK) aimed at installing a U.S. puppet government in the south. At the demonstration, police from the mainland opened fire on the people, killing six and wounding several others. In response, the people armed with rudimentary weapons such as knives and pitchforks, attacked local police stations, burned polling stations for the May 10 elections and attacked reactionary government and military officials. The U.S. military government and their local paramilitary forces retaliated with massive killings and the imprisonment of suspected "leftists," "communists" and other patriotic forces.

By April 3, a full-scale rebellion had begun. From then on the people organized themselves into guerilla bands, calling themselves the People's Army and struck fear in the hearts of the enemy despite the superior military force of their enemy -- the U.S. occupation forces and the local paramilitary forces of the puppet Syngman Rhee government installed by the U.S. in the south. The Jeju Islanders waged a guerilla war for a full two years.

Of the 250,000 people living on Jeju Island, it is estimated that up to 80,000 people were killed. Upwards of 5,000 people fled to Japan as refugees. Countless others were "disappeared." Over 40,000 homes were destroyed and of 400 villages, only 170 were left standing. The bodies of people killed and buried in mass graves are still being discovered today.

Jeju residents await their execution, May 1948. Recovery of bodies from a mass-grave near Jeju Island Airport 2008.

For over 50 years it was forbidden for Jeju Islanders or anyone in south Korea to speak openly about the Jeju Uprising. Those who did faced imprisonment. Only in January 2000 was a special law passed in south Korea that required the government to look into the truth of what is called the 4.3 Incident. The Jeju Island Uprising and the bloody repression that followed have also been part of the guilty verdict brought against successive U.S. governments since the Second World War for crimes against humanity, crimes against peace and war crimes at various Korea Truth Commission War Crimes tribunals.

Today there is great fear among the Korean people that the building of the large U.S.-south Korean naval base on Jeju, will become a focal launching point for U.S. military aggression and war against China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and further destabilize the political situation in Korea and East Asia, in line with Obama's "Asia Pivot" strategy. As a consequence, the people of Jeju Island have stepped up their organizing, demanding: that U.S. troops leave Korea, an end to U.S.-south Korea war games on and around south Korea, and national reunification of Korea by the efforts of the Korean people themselves. Their 66-year old fight to free south Korea from the shackles of U.S. military occupation continues to inspire all the Korean people and the anti-war movement everywhere.

(With files from savejejunow.org)

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U.S. Imperialists and South Korean Military
Must End War Exercises!

Banner from 2013 action in Seoul against U.S.-south Korea military exercises which take place annually.

Peace- and justice-loving Canadians and all humanity must raise their voices to demand an end to the annual U.S.- south Korean military exercises. The recently completed Key Resolve/Foal Eagle exercises, the second part of which was carried out on and around the south of the Korean peninsula, is one of the largest war games in the world. It involves some 200,000 Korean and over 10,000 U.S. troops and is based on computer-simulated exercises for the invasion of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

These war games create an extremely volatile situation on the Korean peninsula, fuelled by the monopoly media's anti-communist hysteria that accuses the DPRK of being a threat to peace.

The government of the DPRK has condemned these exercises as a grave provocation against the DPRK and all the Korean people. At the beginning of this year the DPRK called upon the south Korean military to stop these annual massive war preparation exercises citing them as an obstacle to normalizing relations between them. This year's Key Resolve/Foal Eagle exercises proceeded despite the DPRK's proposals earlier this year for direct talks with the U.S. to engage in peace talks to end the Korean War and to sign a peace treaty between them.

As the U.S. and the DPRK are still technically in a state of war because the Armistice Agreement to end the Korean War was not a peace treaty, these provocative U.S.-south Korea military exercises are in fact a continuation of the Korean War. To blame the military exercises on the DPRK is gross U.S. imperialist war propaganda in which the Harper war government and the monopoly media in Canada are also implicated. The activity of the U.S. war mongers and their allies in Canada and elsewhere, to plan for and to justify war and aggression against the DPRK, constitutes "Crimes Against Peace," which the Nuremberg Declaration -- now incorporated into the UN Charter -- defines as the supreme international crime. The world's peoples should demand that those agitating for another Korean War and regime change in the DPRK be charged with Crimes Against Peace!

The government of the DPRK has consistently called for an end to these war games and the conclusion of a peace treaty. It is doing everything it can to bring a state of equilibrium to the Korean peninsula which is what all the Korean people want. This includes bolstering its defence capacity to safeguard its sovereignty and independence and reluctantly spending a large portion of its state budget on defence. Last year the DPRK noted that the unended Korean War has forced it "to divert large human and material resources to bolstering up the armed forces though they should have been directed to economic development and improvement of the people's living standard." Peace-loving and justice minded people in Canada and around the world should give that a thought.

The DPRK has no choice but to take all measures necessary to strengthen its defensive capacity and to take these U.S.-south Korean military drills seriously given the whole history of U.S. imperialist designs upon the Korean peninsula and the DPRK's direct experience of waging war against the U.S. imperialists and its allies during the Korean War (1950-53).

It is the U.S. and its south Korean ally along with an increasingly militarized Japan that is creating disequilibrium in pursuit of its "Asia Pivot" policy -- a geopolitical strategy that uses south Korea and other countries, including Japan and the Philippines -- to assert its hegemony in East Asia and contain and threaten China. It is now costing close to a billion dollars a year to the south Korean government to maintain 28,000 U.S. troops on its territory. This cost will escalate for the people of south Korea in the coming years. In south Korea, peace and reunification groups have long opposed these war games. They have called for peninsula-wide demilitarization entailing the eventual removal of U.S. troops. As one organization put it, "Unless and until U.S. forces are completely and permanently withdrawn from South Korea, it will be impossible to establish peace on the Korean peninsula."

All peace- and justice-loving people in Canada and around the world must support the efforts of the DPRK and the anti-war movement in the south of Korea for security, peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and stand with the Korean people in their struggle to rid their divided country of the scourge of U.S. imperialism, to assist them in the peaceful, independent reunification of their country and to end once and for all the constant threat of nuclear war that hangs over the Korean peninsula and the entire world.

(With files from KCNA, warisacrime.org, www.chinadailyasia.com)

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The Mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

The 227 passengers and 12 crew members aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are still missing. The search continues for the aircraft, which took off from Kuala Lumpur on March 8. The only credible information that may give clues to the whereabouts of the missing plane came from satellite images and pings from the floor of the Indian Ocean.

The images publicly cited have all come from Chinese, French and Thai satellites. At the time of writing (April 10), not one single image revealed to the public has emanated from a U.S. satellite. Why?

Never mind that the U.S. empire undoubtedly has more satellites than the rest of the states in the world combined, that the U.S. has a major base on Diego Garcia island in the western Indian Ocean with advanced surveillance capability.[1] Or why it is that -- if U.S. spy planes and satellites can pick up all the evidence of chemical weapons in Syria and Iraq (including the tracks on the ground carting them off into the desert) -- they could not also simply inform Malaysia as to the direction or trajectory of a jumbo aircraft, let alone where it crashed? Finally, CNN's celebrity host Wolf Blitzer on March 27th -- in the context of "new information" that the U.S. is indeed very involved -- asked the question on everyone's mind, only to dismiss it as an issue. The answer? Because the U.S. wants to protect, he assured his audience, "the sources and methods of collecting information, which are classified." The issue facing the search was that, despite the "secret, classified information" "the credibility of U.S. satellite imagery has gone."

The politicization and manipulation of what is being termed "data analysis" raises legitimate questions. How is that the U.S. military is very involved, perhaps even directly calling the shots for the Malaysian forces in a geopolitically sensitive area, and has formed an "International Working Group." Twenty-six countries, 43 ships and 58 planes are involved, but it is its NATO allies that are at the core. It has supplanted Malaysia, which has responsibility for the search under international aviation law. Australia has been designated "lead state" under the pretext that the competent organs of the Asian state are "overwhelmed" and "simply not up to scratch" and that "data analysis" places the lost aircraft off the west coast of Australia. With daily press briefings, the prime minister of Australia, Tony Abbott, has emerged as the human face of the militarized aid. The number of U.S. agencies involved in the search for the Boeing 777 aircraft is described as unprecedented since the terrorist attacks in September 2001; the Seventh Pacific Fleet, Pacific Command (now based in Japan), FBI, CIA, the Pentagon and Interpol are all very involved.

It is worth recalling that immediately after the catastrophic Indian Ocean Tsunami on December 26, 2004 the Bush regime tried to set up a similar group with Australia, Indonesia, Japan and Canada to militarize aid, interfere in sovereign countries in the name of providing "aid", and eliminate the United Nations.[2] International condemnation forced Bush to drop the plan shortly thereafter, which was assumed by the United Nations.

This time the central aim is to present the involvement of the vast military forces of the U.S. Seventh Fleet and intelligence agencies and their expansion in South and East Asia as a form of humanitarian intervention and something to be accepted as normal, routine and vital.

The 24/7 "mystery" covers up that, regardless of the origin or nature of the tragedy, the U.S. and its allies, including Canada, are part and parcel of Obama's Pivot Strategy to move more U.S. troops and military assets from around the world into East Asia to threaten China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and to establish U.S. hegemony in East Asia. The Malacca Straits is one of the major sea lanes in the world connecting oil-rich West Asia and the Indian Ocean with the South China Sea and East Asia. Furthermore, as part of its Asia Pivot strategy, Obama, during his state visit to Australia in November 2011, revealed a hitherto unknown agreement to the surprise of Australians that allows the United States to station some 2,500 U.S. Marines in Darwin, a remote port on the northern coast and the closest to the People's Republic of China.[3] An expanded U.S. military base in Australia and the extension of NATO into the South Pacific and Indian Ocean is deemed vital for the implementation of this strategy. The Australian government does not defend the rights of its people. Australia is a hub of the Echelon communications-intercept network with the U.S., Canada and Britain. The U.S. is increasing its combat capacities in the coastal regions of East Asia as well as building or renting new military bases in Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam and Guam to improve its rapid response ability.

Only on March 23 did the Wall Street Journal note "the first public indication" of "the U.S. intelligence community's prominent role," which was data analysis. The curious timing of the revelation seemed to justify the newly-formed "International Working Group."

The "search" is characterized by a turf war of mutual suspicions amongst rivals and an indifferent "business as usual" attitude amongst participating military and intelligence agencies as they work out the modus operandi of the militarized working group. One of the central objectives seems to be to institutionalize and make permanent the ad hoc crisis group. The revelations in the Wall Street Journal and other news agencies are a criminal indictment of the "humanitarianism" of these self-serving powers.

"Australian officials didn't initially fully identify the origin of the images and didn't mention any U.S. or U.K. involvement. A spokeswoman for the Pentagon's National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), which has nearly 15,000 employees and provides imagery for a wide range of U.S. military and intelligence uses, declined to comment. ...

"... a centralized U.K. analysis center didn't review them for three days 'due to the significant volume of imagery' it was handling.

"The extent of the involvement of the American and British intelligence agencies has given the countries participating in the search more confidence that they are pursuing the strongest leads so far.

"[The Pentagon's NGA] is part of 'a network, dubbed 'five eyes' that shares imagery and other intelligence among close allies. Under this practice, NGA often takes the lead in collecting and analyzing imagery for a group of the four other participants, according to a former high-ranking intelligence official. Those countries are Canada, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand.'

"From the first day the jetliner dropped off civilian radar, however, Malaysia, Thailand, China and other countries in the region appeared reluctant to share radar or other surveillance data out of concern about revealing the full capabilities of their national systems. But that has been changing."[4]

Want China Times, Taiwan[5] also reported:

"The United States has taken advantage of the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight to test the capabilities of China's satellites and judge the threat of Chinese missiles against its aircraft carriers, reports our sister paper Want Daily.

"Erich Shih, chief reporter at Chinese-language military news monthly Defense International, said the U.S. has more and better satellites but has not taken part in the search for flight MH370, which disappeared about an hour into its flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in the early hours of March 8 with 239 people on board. Shih claimed that the U.S. held back because it wanted to see what information China's satellites would provide."

In a March 28th news item titled, "Geopolitical games handicap hunt for flight MH370," Reuters reported:

"The search for flight MH370, the Malaysian Airlines jetliner that vanished over the South China Sea on March 8, has involved more than two dozen countries and 60 aircraft and ships but has been bedevilled by regional rivalries.

"... With the United States playing a relatively muted role in the sort of exercise that until recently it would have dominated, experts and officials say there was no real central coordination until the search for the plane was confined to the southern Indian Ocean, when Australia largely took charge.

"Part of the problem is that Asia has no NATO-style regional defence structure, though several countries have formal alliances with the United States. Commonwealth members Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia also have an arrangement with Britain to discuss defence matters in times of crisis.

"As mystery deepened over the fate of the Boeing 777 and its 239 passengers and crew, most of them Chinese, it became clear that highly classified military technology might hold the key.

"But the investigation became deadlocked over the reluctance of others to share sensitive data, a reticence that appeared to harden as the search area widened."

Reuters continues:

"'This is turning into a spy novel,' said an envoy from a Southeast Asian country, noting it was turning attention to areas and techniques few countries liked to publicly discuss


"At an ambassadorial meeting in the ad hoc crisis centre at an airport hotel on March 16, Malaysia formally appealed to countries on the jet's possible path for help, but in part met with polite stonewalling, two people close to the talks said.

"Some countries asked Malaysia to put its request in writing, triggering a flurry of diplomatic notes and high-level contacts. 'It became a game of poker in which Malaysia handed out the cards at the table but couldn't force others to show their hand,' a person from another country involved in the talks said."

An All-Out Assault on the Human Factor/Social Consciousness

In the name of "moral duty" and "bringing closure" to the families of the passengers and staff, the media monopolies like CNN, Fox News, CBC and CTV spread 24/7 every manner of unverifiable speculation about this or that "criminal act" or what the CNN celebrity Wolf Blitzer deigns to call, "Continuing Our Analysis."

As many as five "experts" are assembled at any one time along with real flight simulators as a theatrical prop for studio demonstrations to perpetuate that "analysis." Selective photos of "new objects" in the search for debris from the lost aircraft are described as "exciting" by "intelligence professionals." "New promising leads" turn out later in the day to be dead jellyfish. Transcripts of communications "leaked" by Malaysian "sources" to CNN are later described as "routine." The media monopolies consider this kind of "analysis" and "news" the most "compelling," despite the angry demand of the families to cease and desist speculating on unverifiable rumours and isolated "facts."

What Is this Exercise All About?

The question is not only why a huge jumbo jet has not been found but why the U.S. media monopolies devoted enormous resources to produce the non-stop, 24/7 broadcasts. They swept aside just about anything else that can pass for news. Writes Tom Engelhardt, editor of TomDispatch:

"Given a media that normally rushes heedlessly from one potential 24/7 story to another, this was striking. In the case of Flight 370, for instance, on the 21st day after its disappearance, it still led NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams (with the mudslide, one week after it happened, the number two story)."

Writes salon.com:

"It is disaster porn 24/7 in the form of conspiracy theories. Rather than focusing on closure for grieving families, the search has taken on Hollywood-like proportions. Even MSNBC's Chris Hayes has had enough. Watch as he calls out CNN and Fox News for using "boogeyman" scare tactics, baseless speculation and filling the news hole" with foreign agencies and foreign enemies based on a political agenda." [6]

This kind of speculation should be itself considered a crime under international law. It is fear-mongering -- a kind of psychological warfare aimed at intimidating people into accepting the elimination of the responsibility of the United Nations to co-ordinate international search-and-rescue operations and the usurpation of the sovereignty of Malaysia, a UN member state. Furthermore, it is premised on the medieval dictum of "Guilty until proven innocent."

Far from "giving people what they want," this psychological warfare constitutes an all-out assault on the human factor/social consciousness. The forms of this fascist outlook are multifarious, including:

- creating a racist hierarchy of passengers and staff to be interviewed, and the states involved;[7]
- presenting objective reality as mysterious and unknowable;
- denigrating scientific, evidence-based analysis;
- absolutizing and idealizing imperialist technology as "universal," "moral" and in the service of humanity;
- exalting of American Boeing aerospace aircraft production and civil aircraft expertise,
- promoting de-regulation of public transportation, and
- reducing the drive for maximum profit that has blocked the installation of recommended safety measures to a matter of interpretation, debate and discussion;[8]
- negating the scientific capabilities of the Asian states by representing their accomplishments in satellite and surveillance capabilities as something originally "stolen" from the Anglo-American powers or even blaming them for defending their national sovereignty from the espionage of the big powers;
- trampling over national science with the slogan of humanitarian "solidarity" with imperialist science and "data analysis";
- spreading bewilderment, defeatism and nihilism, setting as the goal the spiritual impoverishment of humanity;
- fear-mongering about states deemed hostile to the interests of Washington such as the Islamic Republic of Iran as "terrorist" on the basis of the national origins of this-or-that passenger;[9] and
- justification of 24/7 video surveillance of the work environment.

The central thesis propagated by the stream-of-consciousness reporting and commentary of "continue our analysis" is the justification for the involvement of U.S. imperialism and its militaristic expansion in South and East Asia. The whole outlook of the non-stop TV news is centred around confusing and mystifying this aspect. American intelligence, security and aviation "experts" -- many with undisclosed but discernible links with the military-industrial complex -- are paraded through successive broadcasts 24/7 as the judges of the "continuing analysis," before whom the waiting world should fold their hands and wait for their verdict.

Humanitarian search-and-rescue operations must be coordinated and carried out under the auspices of the United Nations. It has the duty and responsibility to work with the government of the affected country, in full respect of that country's sovereignty, to coordinate international resources and search-and-rescue efforts on a non-partisan basis and assist victims of disasters wherever they may be.

It is of grave concern to Canadians, the families of the passengers and crew, and peace-loving people the world over that the U.S., Japan (the U.S.'s closest economic and military ally in East Asia), Britain and Canada are sending military forces into the disaster area in the name of humanitarian intervention to serve their own interests. Militarizing the search operation in the case of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is to strengthen the hand of the United States.

This is the last thing that the families of the missing passengers or the rest of the world want. Our hearts are with them.


1. Diego Garcia is the largest and only inhabited island in the British Indian Ocean Territory, usually abbreviated as "BIOT". Diego Garcia is one of the five control bases for the Global Positioning System, operated by the United States military. The U.S. Air Force also has monitoring stations in Hawaii, Kwajalein, Ascension Island, and Colorado Springs. The island provided a "fixed aircraft carrier" for the U.S. during the Iranian revolution, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The atoll shelters the ships of the U.S. Marine Pre-positioning Squadron Two. These ships carry equipment and supplies to support a major armed force with tanks, armoured personnel carriers, munitions, fuel, spare parts and even a mobile field hospital. Additionally, Diego Garcia was used as a storage section for U.S. cluster bombs as a detour from U.K. parliamentary oversight. The total population of the atoll -- Chagossians or Chagos Islanders -- was brutally removed by 1971 to facilitate the establishment of the U.S. military base.

2. The main U.S. ocean monitoring centre in Hawaii, part of America's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), did not contact in advance the littoral states that were hit, but alerted the U.S. base at Diego Garcia in the western Indian Ocean. I remember an official saying they had not contacted Sri Lanka, where tens of thousands died, as they could not find the prime minister's telephone number. Same with the massive Typhoon Haiyan in the Philipinnes (also known as Typhoon Yolanda) that caused so much loss of life and destruction in November. (The precedent is not the "mystery" involved with the search for Air France Flight 447, lost on June 1, 2009, and which was also highly militarized but for a far briefer period.)

3. The city is now a "lily pad" (the type of base America has when it doesn't need to build a mini-city, just permanent access to a subordinate state's geographic and strategic resources), adding to the largest empire of "not-really-bases" the world has ever known. Of course, well before becoming a lily pad for the Pentagon's pivot to Asia, Darwin became an important part of the global-technological security apparatus when, in the 1950s, mining began at Rum Jungle, 60kms to Darwin's south, to supply uranium to the British and American nuclear weapons programs.

Tess Lee, Darwin: Australia's most militarised city, and a lily pad for the Pentagon, the guardian.com.

4. Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: U.S., U.K. Deeply Involved in Sparking Indian Ocean Search, March 23, 2014

5. http://www.wantchinatimes.com/

6. Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 update: MSNBC blasts CNN and Fox News coverage, www.salon.com
Cable wars: Chris Hayes and Chuck Todd call out competitors for ridiculous news coverage of the missing flight VIDEO

7. The racist hierarchy of human beings and human life

Raw insensitive interviews with grieving, bewildered families is a staple of bourgeois disaster journalism. The majority of families are from China. All the networks have bureaus in China. Not a single Chinese family member interviewed was interviewed in the first three weeks and after that only when they organized. CNN celebrity anchor Anderson Cooper said they haven't been interviewing relatives "out of respect." That didn't stop them from interviewing (1) the Florida-based fiancee of the missing U.S. passenger Phillip Wood; or (2) relatives from those lost or missing in the massive mud slide in Washington. CBC did interview a survivor -- of the Air France flight that went down in the South Atlantic several years ago. The Chinese families have organized as a collective on an impressive basis and are acting as a collective. They have angrily staged a protest march against Malaysia, which they say is hiding the truth and refusing to give accurate answers. They walked out of a briefing conference. Their two slogans are: "Return my family" and "We want the truth."

There has been no interview with their spokesman. Instead we have Sanjay Gupta, the CNN celebrity doctor, giving "expert" pyscho analysis of the grieving process, including hormonal levels and a stage he called the "heroic period," as if the families' response is emotional, and just frustrations and what he called "visceral pain." When people of colour resist, they are always dismissed as "emotional." Another "expert" on grieving advised that the passengers "need to be toned down with information."

8. The Boeing Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) combat aircraft uses technology, materials and manufacturing processes from the experience of its commercial 777 and 737 airliners, both of which were designed to achieve low weight and cost in the competitive race with Airbus for markets (Keith Hartley, Defence Economics and the Industrial Base Centre for Defence Economics, University of York. England, 1999). In 2012 Australia purchased 24 Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet jets due to delays in the trouble-plagued and costly F-35 program of U.S. rival Lockheed Martin. October 2013 "Boeing Co. officials were in Ottawa to promote the Super Hornet fighter jet as the best choice to replace Canada's CF-18s (Boeing), using the U.S. budget crisis to raise doubts about the long-term viability of the rival Lockheed Martin F-35 program." Boeing is the supplier of the CH-147F Chinook helicopter fleet to the Royal Canadian Air Force.

If we take the approach of justifying all the speculation that "nothing can be ruled out" to its logical conclusion, then how is it that Boeing itself, the manufacturing process and the capitalist system itself are not investigated. Boeing is among the largest global aircraft manufacturers, the second-largest aerospace and military contractor in the world based on 2012 revenue and is the U.S.'s largest exporter by dollar value. The Boeing 777 is the largest twinjet in the world, in service since 1995, and without a fatal crash in 18 years. Yet, Boeing 777 Asiana Flight 214 from South Korea with 307 passengers onboard crashed on July 6, 2013 in San Francisco, killing three and injuring 181 others, 12 of them critically. Four lawsuits or motions or court motions for discovery have been filed against Asiana Airlines and Boeing Aircraft Company. In addition to alleging product defects, Wikipeda reports, the lawsuits focus on the training provided to the Asiana crew. This outsourced pilot training has been controversial within Boeing for many years. Boeing's own pilots voted unanimously that they had "no confidence" in their management over the decision to outsource customer crew training to CCL Aviation.

On February 25, 2014 the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) fined Asiana Airlines U.S.$500,000 for failing to keep victims and family of victims updated on the crash.

It is no mystery that the loss of the Boeing 777 occurs at the same time that General Motors is admitting that it knew about a fatal ignition switch on one of its cars and did nothing about it and that Bombardier still can't get its latest model B, the Learjet 85 in the C Series B, right.

Or would probing Boeing affect the stock market? Boeing stock is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

It is openly admitted without comment that the technology exists for (a) "black boxes" that retain the flight data, which would last far longer than the current 30-day battery life; and (b) for seamless transmission of flight data to a combination of ground-based radio transmitters and satellites, when aircraft are out of range of the ground.

Rolls Royce, the British manufacturers of the engines, was constantly monitoring the engines on their computers. Why was this information not communicated to Malaysia Airlines or the government earlier?

9. Iran has been accused as a possible culprit and the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) put on alert as part of preparations for premotive war and aggression while at the same time the IDF admitted they have no evidence to justify such a bellicose move. According to the "Northern Trajectory" hysteria, the Taliban did it and landed the plane in a "remote field in Pakistan." The Taliban had nothing whatsoever to do with the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers but that didn't stop the Anglo-American powers from invading and occupying Afghanistan.

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Venezuela Fights for the New

April Anniversaries Affirm the
People's Empowerment

Venezuelans marked two important anniversaries this April. One is the April 11, 2002 coup against Hugo Chávez, defeated by the country's patriotic military forces and the people on April 13, and the other is the election one year ago on April 14 of Nicolás Maduro, shortly after the untimely death of President Chávez. In both cases, the reactionary U.S.-backed elites in Venezuela sought to create social strife for purposes of turning back the tremendous gains the people have made to empower themselves and set a new pro-social direction for the society. In both cases, the people's forces prevailed. These anniversaries come at a time when these reactionary forces continue to instigate violence and instability because they consider their narrow and self-serving aims to be in line with those of the U.S. imperialists -- to exploit Venezuela's great human and natural resources. TML salutes the achievements of the Venezuelan people and their leadership, and the integrity and tenacity with which they are defending their nation-building project.

Ever since the events of April 2002, Venezuelans have commemorated their defeat of the reactionaries as the Day of National Dignity. President Maduro oversaw a Day of Dignity, a joint march by civilians and the military in front of Miraflores Palace, to remember their 2002 victory. The term "every 11th has its 13th" was written across the podium from which Maduro spoke, honouring what he called one of the "decisive days of 21st Century history [in which] the fate of Venezuela was determined."

President Maduro, said that the country is undergoing a renewal of the social love and fidelity to the Bolivarian Revolution: "It is a time of commitment to the marvellous legacy of Comandante Chávez. It is a time of constant renovation of this love, this faith."

He recalled that on April 13, 2002, the people rescued Comandante Chávez and restored democracy, after the right-wing had engineered a coup d'état two days earlier. "It was a civilian-military insurrection which recovered President Chávez and recovered Venezuelan democracy. On April 13, a popular rebellion and the Bolivarian National Armed Forces rebellion were united," he reiterated.

Maduro emphasized that the Venezuelan people will never again have a dictatorial government like that of April 11, 2002, which held power for only 48 hours, and that the unity of the people with the Armed Forces guarantees the continuity of the Bolivarian Revolution and the legacy of Hugo Chávez.

He commented that in the last 12 months the Bolivarian government has created seven new universities and seven new social missions, evidence of the continuing progress of the Revolution since the death of Chávez.

The same oligarchy which attempted to remove Chávez in 2002 and continually attacked his government, has waged "an ongoing, continual economic war, with contraband, induced inflation, hoarding, economic sabotage, an electricity war, psychological war and now the fascist guarimba [violent, urban disruptions and vandalism] to destabilize the state," Maduro stated.

"Today more than ever, we continue victorious along the path of Bolívar and Chávez. We are advancing with faith and optimism, continuing to build peace, life and socialism as the great destiny of our homeland," the President concluded.

On April 14, the first anniversary of his election, President Maduro expressed his gratitude for the support he has received during the first year of his administration. "One year since the victory, I give thanks to every man and woman for the support and solidarity you have always shown me. Thank you!" Maduro wrote on his Twitter account. He commented that, during his first 12 months in office, he has devoted his days to "protecting the people with love, especially the children of the homeland."

Maduro recalled that on April 14, 2002, after the Venezuelan right wing had engineered a coup, "The people were able to rescue our Comandante Chávez," and that the same coup plotters continue to use the same strategies of sabotage and economic war used against Chávez for 14 years.

The government's response has been to reinforce implementation of plans developed by Chávez and has allotted 64.1 per cent of the nation's income to social programs, expanding and strengthening the country's model of wealth distribution.

On April 14, last year, Maduro won 50.62 per cent of the votes cast during the Presidential election, defeating the right-wing opposition candidate Henrique Capriles.

(With files from Granma International, Venezuelanalysis.com)

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Dialogue Between Government and Opposition Reaches First Agreements

Merida, Venezuela -- Dialogue between government and opposition representatives continued in Caracas last night, seeing the opposition coalition condemn violence, but no agreement reached on their demand to release those arrested for it.

The current dialogue began last Thursday. The opening discussion was broadcast live, but last night's four hours of talks were private. The talks are being attended by a papal representative and foreign ministers from Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador.

President Maduro had been calling for general dialogue, as well as with specific sectors such as the students, after violent opposition sectors began blockading key streets in some cities on 12 February. Until now, 41 people have been killed, the majority as a direct result of the blockades and blockade participants, and a few by security forces during violent protests. Until last Thursday, a few individual opposition leaders eventually attended some of the peace conferences, but the remaining opposition sectors refused Maduro's proposal for dialogue.

After the Peace Dialogue yesterday, representatives from the government and the opposition talked to the press. They said they discussed the National Pacification Plan, the Truth Commission, and ratifying committees to examine postulations to the public powers; electoral and judicial, in order to cover current vacancies. They also discussed the agenda for the dialogues, as well as dates, and the overall process and working methods.

Representatives also discussed assigning a medical commission to evaluate the state of health of Ivan Simonovis, who was arrested in 2009 for his involvement in the 2002 short lived coup.

Vice-president Arreaza welcomed that "one of the first agreements reached with the opposition representatives was to fully respect the constitution and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and to reject violence, wherever it comes from".

"The truth is the path to justice and peace," Arreaza said. This second meeting "was held on good terms, with respect, with tolerance... we're advancing in a positive way," he stated.

He also announced that the national government had approved 148 "special projects" for 74 mayoralties and states administered by the opposition, for a total of Bs 1 billion. "It's a gesture that we can work together, that we can agree on the big problems facing the nation," he said, explaining that the proposals for the projects were made by the opposition leaders to the president last Friday.

Opposition Response to Yesterday's Dialogue

General Secretary of the opposition coalition, the MUD, Ramon Aveledo, said the dialogue process had allowed representatives to "advance in the commitment to create working groups in order to advance in the study and preparation of decisions in some areas".

He also "rejected... without a doubt, any manifestation of, or forms of violence".

On the Pacification Plan, Aveledo said, "We're going to study this plan, contribute to it and enrich it, with the support of our experts in the areas of security, prevention, and criminal punishment". He said opposition governors and mayors had expressed willingness to "coordinate and participate" in national plans to promote security and peace.

Aveledo said that his side had proposed the Truth Commission be headed by people who promote "credibility" for the country, and he said once it was formed, the MUD would present "60 cases" of alleged torture. The aim of the truth commission is to evaluate the recent cases of violence as a result of opposition barricades. Aveledo said the opposition proposed that it be "independent of the public powers".

Finally, Aveledo said the opposition had pushed for an amnesty law -- one of their key proposals. The MUD presented a list with around a hundred people arrested for their involvement in violence, including for murder, assisting murder, and destruction of public property, but who they called "political prisoners", including opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. The proposal was not accepted, and Aveledo said they would "look for other ways".

Attending the dialogue on behalf of the government was vice-president Jorge Arreaza, foreign minister Elias Jaua, first combatant (wife of president Maduro) Cilia Flores, Caracas mayor Jorge Rodriguez, legislator Dario Rivas, and communications minister Delcy Rodriguez.

For the opposition, along with Aveledo, legislators Julio Borges, Edgar Zambrano and Miguel Pizarro attended, as well as Latin American Parliament representatives Delsa Solorzano and Francisco Garcia, and the COPEI party head, Roberto Enriquez.

Vice-president Jorge Arreaza said the third meeting of the dialogue will be held next week and will focus on "advancing in justice without impunity".

Voluntad Popular (VP — Popular Will) Refuses to Participate

The Voluntad Popular (VP) party, one of the more conservative opposition parties, has so far refused to participate in the dialogue. It was one of the key parties to have openly promoted the last two months of violent barricades, with two of its leaders; Leopoldo Lopez and former mayor Daniel Ceballos, currently in prison for supporting or encouraging the violence.

David Smolansky, VP member and mayor of El Hatillo, said the "conditions aren't right" for the party's participation. He also said the main reason they weren't participating was because Lopez and Ceballos are in prison.

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Colombian Peace Talks in Havana

Joint Communique 34

FARC-EP delegates at peace talks

The delegations of the Government and the FARC- EP report that:

During the 23rd round of talks in Havana, we made progress in the discussions and the construction of agreements on the three sub-points related to the item "Solution to the problem of illicit drugs", third in discussion of the items on the Agenda.

Both delegations agree that the ultimate solution to this problem must be framed within a Comprehensive Rural Reform (first point of the General Agreement) and must be built jointly, involving the communities in the design, implementation, monitoring, control and evaluation of plans.

To obtain input for these discussions, we invite all Colombians once again to participate with their proposals by accessing the website or fill out the forms that are available at all governorships and mayoral offices around the country.

Special thanks to Cuba and Norway, guarantor countries; Chile and Venezuela, accompanying countries, for their continued support over the course of the peace talks.

Discussions will resume again on Thursday, April 24.


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Without Truth There Will Be No Justice

Let us close the 23rd round of peace talks in Havana with the same concern we had when we started it. It is urgent -- in order to not interrupt the decisive march toward peace in Colombia -- to remove the obstacle in our path that prevents us from creating the Commission for clarification of the origin of violence and those who bear the greatest responsibility.

This Commission is a necessary step in order to address the defining fifth point of the Agenda, regarding victims.

The Commission of clarification that we propose, should produce a historical account of the conflict, more extensive than the limited report from the Historical Memory Group, who had to act within a limited and precarious framework, established by 'Justice and Peace' Law 975. Its biased mandate only required a vision on the origin and evolution of the illegal armed groups; as if the beginning and the end of the violence and this fratricidal national struggle had its raison d'etre and cause in the so-called illegal armed actors.

The report only records emblematic cases of violence and that's it. It leaves out the history, the remote and proximate causes of the internal social and armed conflict, and the coherence or relationship between circumstances and events, and its continuation for decades, more than half a century of confrontations and struggles with the state as the main actor of violence. "It is not a narrative about a remote past, but about a reality rooted in our present ... by conviction and legal mandate," is the explanation of its director.

The report of the Historical Memory Group doesn't take into account the context or the background analyses; it ignores the etiology, the study of the causes of what happened during seventy or more years of conflict.

Despite the fact that with its report, the Group has sought to exalt the right to truth and reparation for the victims, and to emphasize the need for justice, its vision is limited to "illegal armed groups" as the main perpetrators, and the only ones. Despite the fact that the report manages to highlight specific responsibilities of actors other than those indicated, when the emblematic cases of its interest are related to atrocities such as those derived from the false positives, its purpose, as already stated, is the "reality that is anchored in our present". It then becomes a reality taken out of context; one which is incomplete and crudely excludes the majorities, one which does not recognize any collective or individual responsibilities for deeds and behaviors which have been capriciously ignored. It ends up hiding and thus ignoring the participation of not hundreds, but thousands of perpetrators in the violent history of the Colombian nation. According to the regime they can't be held responsible, since they can't be classified as "illegal armed groups".

Given this situation, we have proposed what we call a Commission for the Clarification of the Origin and the Truth of the History of the Colombian Internal Conflict (the name is a simple suggestion which tries to explain its purpose). We have discussed and explained this initiative several times. A few days ago, we referred to the subject as follows: "How can we establish responsibilities, or address the issue of victims at the peace talks, reparations for them; the question of pardon, and the commitment of "never again", if we don't establish how the violence, which resulted in six decades or more of armed conflict, began?

It cannot be presumed that the FARC and ELN are the cause of an internal conflict that began before they were created. It would be dishonest to claim that the insurgency is responsible for violent behavior and inhuman episodes caused by the state and its official and para-official officers. We cannot achieve a definitive national reconciliation, if it is based on false elaborations that disfigure the true history.

It is crucial to establish the responsibilities of the different actors, leaving aside the prejudice that only one of them must be the accused while the others involved are the judges. More so, if there isn't any winner or loser.

We must do everything possible to end this decades-long political and social confrontation fueled by exclusion and injustice. As Comandante Jacobo Arenas said, the fate of Colombia cannot be war. We ask the oligarchs, the elites, who since 1830 have managed the state for their own benefit, to listen without prejudice to the national will, the voice of the people, who, according to the passionate words of the slain Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, are still demanding "peace and mercy for the country. "

Peace with changes in the unjust political, economic and social structures is the outcry of the majority. It is not fair, it is not fair, to despise the multiple voices that yearn for a new Colombia, asking, from below, for true democracy and participation of the people in the construction of their destiny.

Let the changes be real and not cosmetic, because the changes that don't change anything are useless.

It's time for institutional reforms that establish solid foundations for building the peace we desire. Our unfortunate reality demands an end to the National Security Doctrine, the concept of the internal enemy and dirty and bloody war of paramilitarism. The national outcry demands the establishment of a Great Assembly; a new electoral order to bring back the national trust in this institution; a reform of justice, that liberates it of the burden of politics, fraud and corruption and provides services not to individuals or private interests, but to society as a whole; a new economic policy, that redeems and rescues the human being; Armed Forces that - following the doctrine of the Liberator and without turning their guns against the people - defend the country's borders and social guarantees. A country for all, that awakens the pride of belonging to a sovereign, truly democratic and just nation.

To make a real commitment to peace is not a matter of mere promises or demagoguery. A real commitment to peace is to propel it with real attitudes and facts that produce profound changes and allow reconciliation. Not acting like misters High and Mighty, which is what is happening now: while there is a lot of talk about progress in the process of dialogue, the concrete commitments made with the people are being violated, and vain and unnecessary threats against the counterpart are insinuated.

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