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01 War Talk
Quelle: "London Review of Books - www.lrb.co.uk"
As Tony Blair prepares to consolidate his place in the history books as Britain's greatest wartime Prime Minister since John Major, shipping our boys out to the Gulf, boots or no boots, his rhetoric at least is wearing steel toe caps. 'We are going to be in the front line of this whatever happens,' he told the Commons Liaison Committee, meaning not, as you might think, that we're going to invade Iraq regardless of public opinion and even if the UN weapons inspectors don't detect a material breach of Resolution 1441, but rather that a terrorist attack on Britain is inevitable. Maybe he's trying to tell us that invading Iraq won't help prevent terrorism here, especially since there is no evidence that he knows of 'that directly links al-Qaida, Iraq and terrorist activity in the UK'. Nonetheless, it's his job 'to explain to people why it's necessary'. All very confusing. Fortunately, the PM's off to Camp David next week (on 31 January) to have matters straightened out for him by his superiors. He won't have time to read »Collateral Language: A User's Guide to America's New War« (NYU, $16.95), a collection of essays edited by John Collins and Ross Glover about the uses to which language has been put by the Bush Administration since 11 September 2001. Each chapter considers a different word - e.g. "anthrax", "cowardice", "freedom", "jihad" - but the overall argument is against propaganda and simplification, in favour of honesty and its prerequisite, complexity.
Enoch Powell once said that Britain's foreign policy was to do whatever America wanted before having to be asked - a view that's still half appropriate, anyway. Norman Tebbit, capitalising on the current situation in characteristically odious fashion, has been gloating over Powell's most famously repugnant views. 'It is now becoming all too likely,' he asserted in a recent edition of the »Sunday Express«, that his 'darkest prophecies . . . will come to pass'. Britain is a 'soft touch for terrorists' he said, in his helpful response to the killing of Detective Constable Stephen Oake. The illogic behind his opinions appears to go something like this: a man charged with murdering a policeman is an asylum seeker, therefore all asylum seekers should be assumed to be terrorists - ante hoc ergo propter hoc. The »Daily Mail«, to no one's surprise, is of like mind, and came up with one of the most inspired front pages of recent times. A photograph of Oake was captioned: the man denied the right to live in britain. Yes, they should be very pleased with themselves for that.
Since coming to power, Tony Blair seems to have forgotten many things: that he's a member of the Labour Party, for example. Now it would appear that his amnesia is encroaching on his legal education (which included, lest we forget, a number of state-funded years at university). 'I think we can see evidence from the recent arrests that the terrorist network is here,' he told MPs. He sounds like Alan Partridge, who once observed that 'the police are hardly going to arrest someone unless he's guilty.' Whatever happened to people being presumed innocent, or for that matter being in contempt of court? Who cares: he's the Prime Minister. At least we still live in a country where no one could have wondered for more than a moment at the ambiguity of the recent »Evening Standard« billboard that read: police murder suspect in dock.
Thomas Jones is an assistant editor at the LRB.
02 Who´s in Charge?
Quelle: London Review of Books, www.lrb.co.uk
LRB | Vol. 25 No. 3 dated 6 February 2003 | Chalmers Johnson
Who's in charge?
"Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers" by Daniel Ellsberg, 498 pp, £29.95
The subject of Daniel Ellsberg's memoir is the decadence of American democracy. The conditions he began fighting in 1969 are much worse today and far more dangerous to many more people. Yet central casting could not have produced a more perfect foil for the American imperial Presidency than Ellsberg. An infantry lieutenant in the Marine Corps with genuine battle experience in Vietnam, a PhD in economics from Harvard, and a defence intellectual employed by the Rand Corporation of Santa Monica, with the highest security clearances, Ellsberg is as good as the American system can produce in the way of a male citizen working in the foreign policy apparatus. His odyssey from Pentagon staff officer to the man who spirited 47 volumes of top secret documents out of the Rand Corporation, copied them, and delivered them to the »New York Times« and a dozen other newspapers is breathtaking.
Ellsberg helped end the Vietnam War, but publication of this memoir now is not just a happy coincidence. The features of American government he documents - the cult of Presidential infallibility, the march of militarism, the executive's routine lying to the other two branches and to the people, and the cancerous growth of official secrecy - are just as relevant today as they were thirty years ago. The United States, even the world, desperately needs more Ellsbergs.
Sunday, 13 June 1971 is a day I remember very clearly: the day when excerpts from the "History of US Decision-Making in Vietnam, 1945-68" (the actual title of the 'Pentagon Papers') began to appear in the press. I was serving as a consultant to the CIA's Office of National Estimates at the time. A collective sigh of relief went through the Agency: the truth was finally coming out. CIA analysts, who had long known that the United States could not possibly 'win' the Vietnam War, would no longer have to pretend that victory was in sight. They had repeatedly warned the Government that things would only go from bad to worse.* But Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon were interested above all in the effects the war would have on the elections of 1964, 1968 and 1972 respectively. The source of the revelations was not a long-haired anti-war radical but one of us: a Marine officer, an insider's insider, who had acted out of patriotism but fully expected to go to prison - had it not been for the fallout from Watergate and Nixon's stupidities, he might have been eligible for parole in 2008.
Ellsberg and I were both born in 1931. He made his first visit to Vietnam in 1961; I made my one and only visit in 1962. In my opinion, his is the best, and psychologically the most convincing, account of how a well-educated young American of the 1950s and 1960s could think of himself as a 'liberal' and still be a committed Cold Warrior. As he says, 'whether we had a _right_ - any more than the French before us - to pursue by fire and steel in Indochina the objectives our leaders had chosen was a question that never occurred to me.' His parents were professionals, of Russian Jewish ancestry but born in the US, and devout Christian Scientists. He went to Harvard on a full fellowship from the Pepsi Cola Company and did a postgraduate year at Cambridge on a Woodrow Wilson scholarship. Conscription was still in effect, and after his educational deferments ran out, Ellsberg had to decide how to fulfil his military service obligation. On his return from Britain, he applied for officer candidate school in the Marine Corps and enrolled in graduate school at Harvard until called. His PhD oral took place on the day he left for the Marine Corps training base at Quantico, Virginia.
Ellsberg is proud of his service as a rifle platoon leader in the Third Battalion, Second Marine Division. I don't know how far to believe him when he writes: 'More important for me, the Corps didn't bomb cities; in the Pacific and Korea, it fought soldiers, not civilians,' though it's not a wholly implausible claim. A persistent theme is his abhorrence of both terror and so-called 'precision' bombing, and particularly of nuclear weapons, a subject on which he subsequently became an expert at Rand. Like many people, he doesn't believe in the effectiveness of air power and takes the view that terror bombing imitates Nazi practices. He extended his service in the Marine Corps until the Suez Crisis had passed. When President Eisenhower forced the British and French to end 'their Suez adventure', he was 'surprised and proud as an American . . . When I picked up European magazines and saw photos of what our allies' bombing planes had done to the city of Port Said at the head of the canal, I felt glad that Americans didn't have to look at pictures like those as our work.'
Ellsberg returned to Harvard to write his doctoral dissertation - on a typically American subject, game theory - and then accepted a position with the Economics Department of the Rand Corporation. He was put to work on command and control problems in fighting a nuclear war. Disillusionment set in at once. In the autumn of 1961, shortly after Kennedy had effectively exploited the so-called missile gap for his own electoral purposes, Ellsberg read a highly classified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on the subject and discovered that it had all been a lie: there was a gap but it was ten to one in favour of the US. This, he said, had 'a shocking effect on my professional worldview'. There were many more to come.
At this time, Ellsberg was not particularly interested in Vietnam. He had made a short trip to Saigon in 1961 and concluded (as I did) that the slogan 'Sink or swim with Ngo Dinh Diem' was a recipe for failure. In July 1964, however, he was asked by John McNaughton, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, to join him in the Pentagon as his special assistant. The Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, had given McNaughton responsibility for co-ordinating strategy towards Vietnam, and he wanted Ellsberg to take charge of the day-to-day details. Ellsberg, then 33 years old, was appointed at the exalted civil service grade of GS-18, equivalent in terms of status and salary to a position between major-general and lieutenant-general.
It would soon go to his head, as it does with everyone who is granted unrestricted access to secrets beyond top secret. He remembers telling Henry Kissinger in a briefing after Kissinger had become Nixon's National Security Adviser:
"After you've started reading all this daily intelligence input and become used to using what amounts to whole libraries of hidden information, which is much more closely held than mere top secret data, you will forget that there ever was a time when you didn't have it, and you'll be aware only of the fact that you have it now and most others don't . . . and that all those other people are fools . . . . You'll be thinking . . . 'What would this man be telling me if he knew what I know? Would he be giving me the same advice, or would it totally change his predictions and recommendations?' And that mental exercise is so torturous that after a while you give it up and just stop listening. I've seen this with my superiors, my colleagues . . . and with myself."
His first full day at the Pentagon was 4 August 1964, the day the destroyer USS »Maddox« sent flash dispatches to Washington from the Gulf of Tonkin saying that it was 'under continuous torpedo attack'. President Johnson went on television to tell the nation that the ship was on a 'routine patrol in international waters', that the attack was 'unprovoked', and that the US was the victim of a 'deliberate pattern of naked aggression'. Johnson ordered the carrier USS »Ticonderoga« to launch air strikes against North Vietnam. On 7 August, by a vote of 416 to 0 in the House of Representatives and 88 to 2 in the Senate, Congress approved the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, setting the United States on a path to full-scale war against North Vietnam.
And yet, Ellsberg writes, 'I was learning from cables, reports and discussions in the Pentagon the background that gave the lie to virtually everything told both to the public and more elaborately to Congress in secret session.' The Vietnamese attack, if it had actually occurred at all, was assuredly provoked. The Maddox had been on a secret mission well inside Vietnamese territorial waters. The highest ranking officials of the US Government had approved the mission in advance. The director of Central Intelligence, John McCone, told the President that the North Vietnamese were 'reacting defensively'. Nonetheless, Johnson personally lied to Senator William Fulbright, the highly respected chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in order to get him to sponsor the Tonkin Gulf Resolution in Congress. Ellsberg took all this calmly. He accepted Johnson's campaign slogan for the 1964 Presidential election - 'We seek no wider war' - even though he knew the President was moving in precisely the opposite direction. He believed that these deceptions were necessary ploys to defeat the Republican candidate, Senator Barry Goldwater, who wanted to use nuclear weapons against Vietnam and China.
In mid-1965, the legendary Major-General Edward Lansdale - 'legendary' for having thoroughly militarised the Philippine Government in the name of 'counterinsurgency' - was asked to return to Vietnam as special assistant to Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge. After hearing Lansdale talk in Washington, Ellsberg asked to join his team. He transferred from the Department of Defense to the Department of State at the same civil service grade, and set off for Saigon, still very much with the outlook of a Cold Warrior and a Marine infantry officer. Lansdale assigned him the job of visiting every province of South Vietnam and reporting on the 'pacification' efforts.
To do this, Ellsberg associated himself with another legendary figure, John Paul Vann, then working as an adviser to the US Agency for International Development. With Vann at the wheel of a jeep, they drove all over South Vietnam. Vann taught the neophyte Ellsberg many tricks of the trade: always drive fast because that makes it much harder for guerrillas to detonate a mine under your car, and always travel in the morning, after the previous night's mines have been blown but before they have all been replaced. During these inspection tours, Ellsberg went on patrol with American units and often found himself in combat. Even though he was technically a civilian, he could not go along as a simple observer. He got a Swedish K submachine-gun from the CIA and revived his skills as an infantryman. He was surprised to discover that, with a little experience, you can usually tell from the sound when a bullet is coming directly at you. From walking around up to his neck in flooded marshes he caught hepatitis. In mid-summer 1967, after he had recovered somewhat, he left Vietnam and returned to Rand.
This tour of duty was very important to Ellsberg's political development. There was no pacification, since our South Vietnamese allies simply had no stomach for fighting their fellow Vietnamese. He discovered that the conflict was not a civil war, as so many academics around the world believed. One side, the South, was entirely equipped and paid for by a foreign power. As he writes, 'we were not fighting on the wrong side; we were the wrong side.'
Back in the US, Ellsberg was particularly incensed by the daily drumbeat of official statements from the President, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State and the high command in Vietnam, all of them insisting that the US was making great 'progress' in winning the hearts and minds of the South Vietnamese people. Then came the Tet Offensive of 29 January 1968 - simultaneous Vietcong attacks in almost every province of South Vietnam as well as in Saigon itself. The scale of the offensive strongly suggested that American leaders were either incompetent or lying. On 10 March, the »New York Times« published a leak from inside the Pentagon to the effect that General William Westmoreland, the commanding officer in Vietnam, was asking for 206,000 more troops. Neil Sheehan and Hedrick Smith reported this leak, which was accurate and had a devastating effect on Congress and the American people. It did not come from Ellsberg, but 'as I observed the effect of this leak,' he recalls, 'it was as if clouds had suddenly opened. I realised something crucial: that the President's ability to escalate, his entire strategy throughout the war, had depended on secrecy and lying and thus on his ability to deter unauthorised disclosures - truth-telling - by officials.' It dawned on Ellsberg that, in the wake of Tet and the leak, President Johnson could not get away with his deceptions any longer.
Ellsberg was recalled from Rand to Washington to join a high-level working group evaluating the full range of options on Vietnam for the incoming Secretary of Defense, Clark Clifford. In the capital he learned that McNamara had ordered John McNaughton to organise the writing of an internal historical study of US involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to the present based on top secret documents. McNaughton assigned the project to his deputy, Morton Halperin, who in turn delegated leadership of the work to his deputy, Leslie Gelb. At the time neither Halperin nor Gelb had ever been to Vietnam. They, in turn, hired Ellsberg to write one of the projected 47 volumes, and he chose to work on JFK and the year 1961. One of the first things he did was to obtain from the CIA all the National Intelligence Estimates for Indochina from 1950 to 1960. 'What was evident in each one of the years of major decision was that the President's choice was not founded upon optimistic reporting or on assurances of the success of his chosen course.' Ellsberg thus began to ask himself a forbidden question: why did every one of the Presidents from Truman to Johnson 'mislead the public and Congress about what he was doing in Indochina?' He had discovered part of the answer: it was not because the President's subordinates deceived him.
The Pentagon Papers do not take the story beyond 31 March 1968, the day Lyndon Johnson announced that he would not run for re-election. The entire nation took his decision to mean that, whoever won the election, the new President would end the war through a negotiated withdrawal such as the one that had already been agreed in Laos. No one imagined that in the years to come the United States would drop enough bombs on Vietnam to equal just under three times World War Two's total tonnage. Ellsberg returned to Rand, but his research on the history of American policy in Vietnam had intrigued him. He therefore arranged to have a complete set of the Pentagon Papers transferred out of channels to his top secret safe at the Rand Corporation in California, where he could continue to study them in detail.
The trigger that set in motion the biggest leak of classified documents in American history, a constitutional crisis over the First Amendment's protection of press freedom and Nixon's resignation, was an article by Ted Sell on the front page of the »Los Angeles Times« of 30 September 1969 entitled 'Murder Charges against Green Berets Dropped by Army'. From it Ellsberg learned that the Secretary of the Army, Stanley Resor, had ordered the military commander in Vietnam, General Creighton Abrams, to suspend the courts martial of Colonel Robert Rheault, commander of all Special Forces in Vietnam, and five other intelligence officers. They had been charged with killing a Vietnamese who had worked for them for the previous six years and then dropping his body in a weighted bag into the South China Sea. Their defence was that they thought he was a double agent. Interestingly enough, though this is not mentioned by Ellsberg, the author of the original screenplay of "Apocalypse Now", John Milius, has said that the character of Kurtz, the maniacal American officer played by Marlon Brando, was inspired by Rheault.
Ellsberg was enraged by all the lies Resor proffered in his defence and by the comments of various Congressmen on how bad it would be for morale should American troops face criminal charges 'just for killing one Vietnamese civilian in cold blood'. In his 1994 diary H.R. Haldeman, Nixon's chief of staff, confirmed that it had been Nixon and Kissinger who gave the orders to stop the prosecution - which was exactly what Ellsberg had suspected. 'It occurred to me,' he writes, 'that what I had in my safe at Rand was seven thousand pages of documentary evidence of lying, by four Presidents and their Administrations over 23 years, to conceal plans and actions of mass murder. I decided I would stop concealing that myself.'
On 1 October 1969, aided by his Rand colleague Anthony Russo and using a primitive Xerox machine in the office of Russo's friend Lynda Sinay, the owner of a small advertising agency, Ellsberg began his monumental task. Working through the night, he and his friends would copy 47 volumes of the Pentagon Papers, cutting off the top and bottom markings on each page that read Top Secret so that they could later make more copies in commercial copy-shops. Once finished, he gave a full set of the Papers to Senator Fulbright and tried to interest Senators Gaylord Nelson and George McGovern in publicising them or printing them in the »Congressional Record«. But Congressional courage, then as now, was in short supply. No Senator, not even Fulbright, accepted his offer.
On 2 March 1971, Ellsberg called Neil Sheehan of the »New York Times«. Sheehan was interested but never gave Ellsberg any assurances that the »Times« would publish the Pentagon Papers either in whole or in part. He also insisted that Ellsberg give him a full set of the Papers to show his editors. Ellsberg realised that if he did that he would cease to have any control over what the »Times« did with them or with him - it was after all possible that he would be turned over to the FBI before he could get the Papers out. Ellsberg heard nothing from Sheehan for several weeks. In the meantime, as Ellsberg later discovered, Sheehan had gone in secret to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Ellsberg and his wife were living. Knowing the Ellsbergs were out of town and using a key Ellsberg had lent him (Ellsberg never explains why), Sheehan gained access to the apartment of Ellsberg's wife's younger brother, to whom Ellsberg had entrusted a set of Papers for safe-keeping. Sheehan removed the Papers and he and his wife photocopied them before returning them to the apartment.
Without saying anything to Ellsberg, the »Times« worked at a feverish pace to get the Papers ready for publication. On 12 June, a friend at the »Times«, assuming that Ellsberg already knew about it, called to say that the Papers were coming out the following day. Ellsberg was panic-stricken, thinking he might be arrested at any time. He hastily removed a set of the Papers from his own apartment and lodged them with Howard Zinn, a prominent anti-war activist. Ellsberg and his wife went into hiding and for 13 days managed to evade the FBI. Although he was pleased that the »New York Times« was publishing the Papers, Ellsberg found it easy to control his enthusiasm for the paper's integrity in its dealings with him.
For the first time in American history, an Administration successfully obtained an injunction against a newspaper to stop a story it did not like. The »New York Times« ceased publication of the Pentagon Papers. On 30 June, the Supreme Court by a vote of six to three voided the injunction on constitutional grounds and publication resumed. In the meantime, in order to ensure that as many copies of the Papers as possible became available to the public, Ellsberg spent his last few days of freedom sending them to 18 other newspapers, including the »Washington Post«, all of which began publishing them. On 28 June Ellsberg surrendered to Federal authorities in Boston. He was charged with a variety of felonies, although after carefully researching the matter, his attorney told him that he had probably not violated any existing law. As it happened, his fate wasn't decided by a jury, but instead became enmeshed with the debacle at the White House and the scandal surrounding the Republican Party's burglary of the offices of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate office building.
Nixon was never enthusiastic about using legal means to try to stop the »New York Times« from publishing the Pentagon Papers, or about getting Ellsberg convicted in a Federal court. He was, however, scared to death that Ellsberg had or was receiving more secret documents not just about previous Administrations but about his own. 'Daniel Ellsberg is the most dangerous man in America. He must be stopped at all costs,' Kissinger had said in the presence of the President. In fact, Ellsberg did not have any materials touching on the Nixon Administration, but the President and Kissinger didn't know that. Nixon therefore ordered Charles Colson, an official on his staff, to come up with a plan to 'neutralise' Ellsberg. Colson in turn enlisted the services of a former CIA officer called Howard Hunt, who had been the mastermind behind the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba.
Hunt had several creative ideas. One was to send his agents to break into the offices of Ellsberg's psychiatrist, Dr Lewis Fielding, in Beverly Hills. They were hoping to find material they could use to blackmail Ellsberg into silence and perhaps also to embarrass Dr Fielding into testifying against his patient. However, the burglary of Dr Fielding's office on 3 September proved to be, in Hunt's words, a 'dry hole'. Some months later, on 3 May 1972, on the orders of Colson, the White House arranged to fly some Cuban-American veterans of the Bay of Pigs to Washington from Miami. They were told that Ellsberg (now released on bail) would be attending an anti-war rally on the steps of the Capitol and were instructed to assault him - to 'break his legs'. The thugs did not go through with the plan when they realised that the crowd was too big to allow them to escape.
Meanwhile, the White House had invited Judge Matthew Byrne, the presiding magistrate at Ellsberg's trial, to Nixon's home in San Clemente, California. There Byrne met the President and his aide John Ehrlichman, who offered him the position of director of the FBI. It was an unspoken bribe to put Ellsberg away. But by then the Watergate investigation was gathering steam, and on 27 April 1973 the Watergate prosecutor sent Judge Byrne a letter telling him about the Fielding break-in. On 30 April the judge received an FBI report of an interview with Ehrlichman, in which he admitted that the White House had ordered the burglary of Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office. That evening Ehrlichman and Haldeman resigned from the President's staff. Simultaneously, Richard Helms, the director of the CIA, revealed that on the President's orders the CIA had prepared a profile of Ellsberg, which by law it was forbidden to do where an American citizen was concerned. By now it was beginning to dawn on Judge Byrne that if this went much further, he rather than Ellsberg might end up in a Federal penitentiary. On 11 May, he accepted a motion for the dismissal of all charges against Ellsberg.
The story of the Pentagon Papers raises at least three questions of considerable contemporary relevance. The first derives from Ellsberg's interest in the matter of Presidential lying. Was the problem then, as it is again today, that all American Presidents prefer to lie rather than to tell the public what it has a right to know? Ellsberg first approached this problem via the old idea that the President is innocent but deceived by sycophantic underlings: if only Kennedy - or Johnson, Nixon, the Pope, the King, the Tsar, Stalin etc - had known what was going on, he would have fixed things. Ellsberg calls this the standard 'quagmire school' approach to the Vietnam War, led by people like David Halberstam and Arthur Schlesinger. The problem is that a close scrutiny of classified documents will not bear it out: 'For Kennedy, as for Johnson, in fact, it was the President who was deceiving the public, not his subordinates who were deceiving him.'
Ellsberg came to understand that it isn't personality that makes Presidents habitual liars but 'an apparatus of secrecy, built on effective procedures, practices and career incentives, that permitted the President to arrive at and execute a secret foreign policy, to a degree that went far beyond what even relatively informed outsiders, including journalists and members of Congress, could imagine'. The imperial Presidency concentrates power in the executive branch, subverting the elaborate structure of checks and balances contained in the Constitution. Its political effect is to focus nearly all responsibility for policy 'failure' on one man, the President, who is thus at all times concerned not with doing the right thing but with the next election and whether his decisions are supplying the opposition with the weapons needed to unseat him.
All of this has only got _worse_ since the days of Watergate. The current Administration is obsessed with secrecy. Forty per cent of the US defence budget and all of the intelligence budget is secret (in direct contravention of the constitutional stipulation that the public be honestly told how its tax dollars are being spent). The President revels in secrecy and has lied so often about the need for a pre-emptive war against Iraq that most people have stopped listening to him. But individual character hardly matters: what drives the need for official secrecy is imperialism and its indispensable handmaiden, militarism. That was true during the Vietnam War and is much more true today.
The term 'department of defence' has become an Orwellian joke. The actual Defense Department is an alternative government, running not just the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps but numerous intelligence agencies, 725 admitted military bases in other people's countries (the actual number is considerably higher), a hoard of weapons of mass destruction that could wipe out life on this planet many times over, with plans to build battle-stations in outer space from which it can dominate the globe. The military today intimidates a President, just as it did at the height of the Vietnam War. Ellsberg recalls Lyndon Johnson's fear of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and in particular his fear that they would leak their demands to the hawks in Congress. What he dreaded above all was 'the charge that he was too cowardly, too weak or irresolute to do what the military thought had to be done. There was thus a strong incentive for the President to give the Joint Chiefs enough of what they wanted, with the hope of getting more, that they would be appeased.' This, rather than Presidential lying, is the problem.
A second question raised by Ellsberg's memoir is whether a similar act of conscience and sacrifice on the part of a well-informed insider would make any difference today. I doubt it. The Federal Government has become so remote, the corruption of Congress so complete, the meaninglessness of elections so obvious, that it is hard to imagine the revelations that might make a difference. (True: revelations about President Clinton's sexual exploits almost brought him down, but they did not concern or affect the basic system or course of American policy except, perhaps, in so far as they indirectly helped to elect Bush.)
Even in 1971, most people did not read what was in the Pentagon Papers. As Senator Fulbright said to Ellsberg: 'After all, they're only history.' The public was far more interested in the business of the leaks, in the Mafia-like quality of the Nixon White House, and in the resignation of a President facing the certainty of impeachment. If there was anything American militarists learned from the Vietnam War it was the need - and the way - to control and manipulate the news. The extent to which they have now become masters of damage control is evident when you consider the fact that US troops killed as many innocent bystanders in Afghanistan as New York office workers were killed on the morning of 11 September 2001. A future Watergate remains a possibility: there won't, however, be another case like the Pentagon Papers.
Daniel Ellsberg was part of the system. 'Like so many,' he recalls, 'I put personal loyalty to the President (and to my career, my access to inside information and influence, however I idealised my purposes) above all else.' It took a decade-long expos-ure to evidence that his loyalty was misplaced to crack his amour-propre as a Cold Warrior. But when it did crack, he discovered that
"an entire generation of Vietnam-era insiders had become just as disillusioned as I with a war they saw as hopeless and interminable. I was like them in most respects, no different in character or values, no less committed to the Cold War, to anti-Communism, to secrecy and to the Presidency. By 1968, if not earlier, they all wanted, as I did, to see us out of this war."
My own experience suggests that this is right. But it leads me to my third question: is the US Government today staffed with the same kind of people - loyal, smart and hardworking, but aware that the course set by the President is violating virtually everything the United States has stood for as a nation? In short, are there any Ellsbergs in the apparatus today?
I fear not. In the 1960s, service in the Armed Forces was an obligation of citizenship for all able-bodied males (I was a naval officer on active duty from 1953 to 1955). This has not been the case since 1973. The advance of militarism has produced a huge organisation of careerist officers and enlisted unfortunates, young people who see service as a way out of one or another poverty-stricken ghetto. Even more important, not all American militarists wear uniforms. Partly as a reaction to the defeat in Vietnam, partly as a result of the Reagan Presidency, the United States now has a cadre of neoconservative war-lovers. These are today's 'chicken hawks', men and women with an abstract knowledge of war who have never come under attack of any sort. They are enthusiasts for the notion that the United States has become a New Rome, a colossus unconstrained by any values, loyalties or ideals of international law. When the Supreme Court appointed George W. Bush President, they came to power.
The President himself avoided combat during the Vietnam War by wangling a commission as a second lieutenant in the Texas Air National Guard, then failing to report for duty between May 1972 and May 1973. Vice-President Dick Cheney has said that he 'had other priorities in the 1960s than military service' (very probably the 58,202 people whose names are inscribed on the Vietnam War Memorial also had 'other priorities'). Neither the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, nor the Chairman of the Defense Policy Board, Richard Perle, has ever worn a uniform. The Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, had a university deferment at Princeton during the Korean War (he later joined the peacetime Navy). The Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy, Douglas Feith, and Cheney's influential Chief of Staff, Lewis Libby, are both innocent of garrison life. Although many veteran warlords - people such as Brent Scowcroft, Colin Powell, Norman Schwarzkopf and Anthony Zinni - question the Pentagon's current Middle East plan, I fear the culture of the present Government has become extremely hostile to the kind of courage shown by Ellsberg.
After the charges against him were dropped, Ellsberg expressed himself satisfied that the United States had reaffirmed its identity as 'a democratic republic - not an elected monarchy - a government under law, with Congress, the courts and the press functioning to curtail executive abuses, as our Constitution envisioned'. I wish that were true. My own conclusion is that it was more like the final surge of a consumptive, the false sense that good health has returned actually signalling that death is near. I believe that the advance of militarism in the United States is irreversible. If I am wrong, I will be forgiven because people will be so glad I was wrong.
* See, for example, Harold Ford's "CIA and the Vietnam Policymakers: Three Episodes 1962-68" (CIA, 1998).
Chalmers Johnson is a retired professor of international relations at the University of California and author of "Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire". His new book, forthcoming in late 2003, is "The Sorrows of Empire: How the Americans Lost Their Country".
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Liebe leserInnen, liebe interessierte!
Die redaktion der grundrisse teilt mit, dass die redaktionstreffen (jeden 2.
und 4. montag im monat um 19 uhr) ab sofort im cafe nil in der
siebensterngasse 39 stattfinden. interessierte menschen sind herzlich
ps: wer unsere aussendungen künftig nicht mehr erhalten will: einfach mail
retour mit betreff "nein danke"
imperator: "ich verspüre eine erschütterung der macht!"
darth vader: "auch ich fühle so."
04 Vom World zum Austrian Social Forum?
von: Transdanubien gegen Schwarzblau
Liebe TransdanubierInnen und SymphatisantInnen !
Bei unserem kommenden Treffen am Dienstag, den 18.02. findet eine
Diskussion zum Thema
"Florenz - Porto Alegre III - Hallein"
vom World-, zum Austrian Social Forum ?
Nach dem "European Social Forum" im vergangenen Herbst in Florenz und
dem bereits dritten "World Social Forum" in Porto Alegre wird schon seit
Monaten fieberhaft an der Organisation des ersten "Austrian Social
Forum" gearbeitet, dass vom 29. bis 31. Mai 2003 in Hallein stattfinden
Wir diskutieren mit TeilnehmerInnen der Foren, unter anderem mit
Walter Baier (KPÖ)
Wolfgang Greif (GPA)
über diese neue Bewegung, die mit dem Grundsatz "Eine andere Welt ist
möglich" eine Alternative zur herrschenden neoliberalen Globalisierung
etablieren wollen.Wie immer im Chinarestaurant Sun, Donaufelder Str 229, 1220 Wien
am 18.02.2003 ab 19 Uhr
Auf Euer kommen freut sich
Im Namen von Transdanubien gegen Schwarzblau
05 Einladung zur Pressekonferenz
von: PF209 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Plattform gegen §209 & amnesty international
Trotz Straßburger Urteilen: § 209 - kein Ende des Unrechts
Bundesregierung hat akuten Handlungsbedarf
Dienstag, 11. Februar 2003 (10 Uhr)
Dr. Karl Lueger - Ring 4, 1010 Wien
Mag. Heinz Patzelt
Generalsekretär von amnesty international
a.o. Univ. Prof. Dr. Manfred Nowak
Leiter des Ludwig Boltzmann Institutes für Menschenrechte
RA Dr. Helmut Graupner
Plattform gegen § 209
NRAbg. Mag.a Terezija Stoisits
Justizsprecherin der Grünen
Forderung nach umfassendem Amnestie- und Entschädigungsgesetz! Trotz der Aufhebung des §209
und der Verurteilung Österreichs durch den Europäischen Menschenrechtsgerichtshof zeigen große Teile der
Justiz nach wie vor ungebrochene Restriktionen in Sachen §209. Kurz vor Weihnachten starb ein §209-
Häftling in einer Anstalt für geistig abnorme Rechtsbrecher, ein von ai-London adoptierter §209-
Gewissensgefanger wird nicht begnadigt. Unfassbarer Weise bekämpft die Generalprokuratur derzeit beim
Obersten Gerichtshof die Praxis des Oberlandesgerichts Innsbruck, nach §209 verhängte Strafen auf Grund
der Aufhebung des Gesetzes nachträglich zu mildern. Es ist dringend Zeit für ein Amnestie- und
Rückfragehinweis: Michaela Klement, amnesty international, 01/78008-24, email@example.com
Dr. Helmut Graupner, Plattform gegen § 209, 0676/3094737, firstname.lastname@example.org
06 ASF Einladung
von: A. Hofmann <email@example.com>
AUSTRIAN SOCIAL FORUM (ASF)
vom 29. bis 31. Mai 2003,
mit anschliessendem Plenum der Initiativen und Bewegungen
am 01. Juni 2003
in Hallein bei Salzburg
AUFRUF ZUR TEILNAHME AN DER GESTALTUNG, DEN INHALTEN UND DER MOBILISIERUNG
Das ASF soll unter größtmöglicher Beteiligung aller Netzwerke, Organisationen, Gruppen und Einzelpersonen stattfinden, die eine Alternative zur herrschenden neoliberalen Globalisierung wollen, für gleiche soziale und politische Rechte eintreten und sich gegen Krieg als "Konfliktlösung" wenden.
Das Weltsozialforum 2001 in Porto Alegre war der Beginn der weltweiten Vernetzung von Menschen, die sich in ihrer Kritikfähigkeit, ihrer Leidenserfahrung und im Widerstand treffen. Lang ist mittlerweile die Liste der Schauplätze weltweiter Proteste und der dabei zusammen getragenen Ideen gegen den Einfluss global operierender Konzerngeflechte und neoliberaler Politik. Aber der Weg der militärischen Gewalt soll die globalen Machtverhältnisse und den Zugriff auf Ressourcen (beispielsweise Erdöl) sichern und ausbauen; wie auch der geplante Krieg am Golf zeigt. Das Vermögen der drei reichsten Milliardäre hat sich seit 1994 verdreifacht und ist größer als das Bruttoinlandsprodukt der 48 ärmsten Länder.
Hingegen könnte laut UNO die jährliche Abgabe von 1% des Reichtums der 200 weltweit reichsten Personen die Trinkwasserver- und Abwasserentsorgung für alle Menschen sichern. Ein zweites Prozent den Zugang zur Grundbildung für alle schaffen.
Was tun? - fragen sich weltweit Millionen Menschen, damit das neoliberale Projekt und sein entfesseltes Profitstreben uns nicht weiter in den Abgrund führt? Die Antwort des Weltsozialforums, bei dem sich heuer zum dritten Mal 100.000 VertreterInnen von sozial-, frauen-, friedens- sowie umwelt- und kultur-politischen Bewegungen, migrantischen und humanitären Organisationen und Basis-Initiativen aus 120 Ländern getroffen haben, ist die gemeinsame Überzeugung:
"Eine andere Welt ist möglich!"
Nachhaltige Entwicklung und faire Wirtschaftsbeziehungen statt Neoliberalismus, Friede und Solidarität statt Krieg, Soziale Rechte und Gleichheit statt Ausgrenzung, Gleichstellung der Geschlechter statt Unterdrückung, die Überwindung struktureller Zusammenhänge zwischen dem Reichtum im Norden und der Armut im Süden: Das sind die Ansätze, von denen auch das Europäische Sozialforum in Florenz, das asiatische in Hyderabad (Indien) und die zahlreichen Sozialforen ausgehen, die in allen Teilen der Welt auf kontinentaler, nationaler und regionaler Ebene stattfinden. Sie alle sprechen sich für die Erneuerung gesellschaftlicher Strukturen aus und entwickeln konkrete Vorschläge, wie die Menschen und ihre Umwelt in gesellschaftlicher Verantwortung zum Mittelpunkt demokratischer Politik der regionalen und globalen Gestaltung werden können.
Daran wollen wir beim ASF in Hallein anknüpfen.
Um die Fragen der "anderen Globalisierung" in Österreich aufzuwerfen und zu beantworten, rufen wir Netzwerke, Organisationen, Gewerkschaften und besonders auch Einzelpersonen auf: Macht mit - tragt bei!
Wir brauchen das Sozialforum als einen Raum der Begegnung und der Vernetzung von Ideen und Bewegungen, um die Angst vor Selbstbestimmung zu verlieren und es uns Menschen wieder möglich wird, Wirtschaft und Politik im Sinne unserer eigenen Anliegen und Bedürfnisse zu gestalten.
Damit uns das gelingt, bedarf es der Zusammenarbeit und des Austausches
aller - im Respekt vor unserer Unterschiedlichkeit in Geschlecht, Herkunft, Weltanschauung und Konfession -, womit die Konturen einer anderen - besseren - Welt sich abzuzeichnen beginnen.
Österreich, Januar 2003
Das nächste überregionale Vorbereitungstreffen,
zu dem wir sehr herzlich einladen, findet am
Samstag, den 01. März 2003, von 10.00 bis 17.00 Uhr
im Kongress-Saal der Arbeiterkammer Oberösterreich,
in Linz, Volksgartenstrasse 40 (nahe des Bahnhofes) statt.Weiterführende Informationen und Kontakte: zur website des ASF Austrian Social Forum, www.socialforum.at
Nachricht schicken: mail an firstname.lastname@example.org
Subskribieren: mail an email@example.com
Zur Vorbereitung des Austrian Social Forums wurden 6 offene ASF-Arbeitsgruppen gebildet:
"Grundsätze & Ziele"
http://socialforum.at/sf/ziele - firstname.lastname@example.org
"Programm & Inhalte"
http://socialforum.at/sf/prog - email@example.com
"Offenheit & Vernetzung"
http://socialforum.at/sf/vernetzung - firstname.lastname@example.org
"Koordination & Organisation"
http://socialforum.at/sf/org - email@example.com
http://socialforum.at/sf/it - firstname.lastname@example.org
http://socialforum.at/sf/antikrieg - Subskription erforderlich
3. Weltsozialforum - www.portoalegre2003.org in Porto Alegre/Brasilien, Jan 03
1. Europäisches Sozialforum - www.fse-esf.org in Florenz Nov 02
07 GATS Diskussionsveranstaltung
von: OEH Akademie <email@example.com>
E D U C A T I O N N O T P R O F I T
| Mittwoch, 19. Februar, 19:00
Im Depot fuer Kunst und Diskussion, Breitegasse 3, 1070 Wien
Oesterreichische HochschuelerInnenschaft an der Akademie der bildenden Kuenste
im Zuge der Kampagne Education not Profit".
Depot Solidaritaetsveranstaltung 38
Absurdes erleben SchuelerInnen der Greenbriar Highschool (USA) schon jetzt.
Seitdem ihre Schule von der Firma Coca Cola gesponsort wird, findet in
regelmaessigen Abstaenden ein Coca-Cola-Tag statt, an dem SchuelerInnen mit
Coca Cola T-Shirts bekleidet, alles ueber das Getraenk lernen sollen. Ein
Schueler, der an diesem Tag in einem Pepsi T-Shirt zur Schule kam wurde von
der Schule verwiesen.
Das GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services) ist das Abkommen der
Welthandelsorganisation (WTO) ueber den Handel mit Dienstleistungen,
darunter oeffentliche Dienste wie Aus- und Weiterbildung. Es wird derzeit
von den 144 Staaten, darunter Oesterreich, verhandelt. An der
Markttauglichkeit der oesterreichischen Universitaeten wird schon seit
laengerem gefeilt. Die Umwandlung der Universitaeten in
Bildungs-Ges.m.b.H.s" wurde mit der Einfuehrung der Studiengebuehren
eingelaeutet, das Universitaetsgesetz 2002 stellt einen weiteren Schritt hin
zur Oeffnung der Hochschulen fuer marktwirtschaftliche Prinzipien dar.
Eine Informations- und Diskussionsveranstaltung mit Monika Mokre
(Akademie der Wissenschaften und FOKUS, Forschungsgesellschaft fuer
kulturoekonomische und kulturpolitische Studien) und Lukas Oberndorfer
(Referent fuer Internationale Angelegenheiten in der OEH-Bundesvertretung)
ueber GATS, fuer das oesterreichische Bildungssystem und dessen Auswirkungen
fuer den Kunst und Kulturbereich.
° Oesterreichische HochschuelerInnenschaft
° Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien
° Schillerplatz 3, 1010 Wien
° Tel: 01/ 58816/ 139 Fax: 01/ 5876664
MELDUNGEN UND KOMMENTARE
08 Um Nein zu sagen
von: Federico Nier Fischer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Eduardo Galeanos Aufruf zu den Anti-Krieg Demos am 15.2.UM NEIN ZU SAGEN
Von Eduardo Galeano (*)
Montevideo, im Februar -- Der Präsident des Planeten kündigt sein nächstes Verbrechen im Namen Gottes und der Demokratie an. Damit verleumdet er Gott. Er verleumdet auch die Demokratie, die nur knapp überleben konnte auf dieser Welt - trotz der Diktaturen, die aus Washington seit einem Jahrhundert überall ausgesät werden.
Die Regierung von Bush, die eher einer Erdölpipeline als einer Regierung ähnelt, sieht sich nun veranlasst, die zweitgrößte Erdölreserve weltweit, die unter irakischem Boden lagert, in Besitz zu nehmen. Außerdem drängt es sie, die horrenden Militärausgaben zu rechtfertigen und dazu braucht sie ein echtes Schlachtfeld, um die letzten Modelle der Militärindustrie vorzuführen.
Darum geht es. Alles andere sind Ausreden. Es sind Ausreden für das nächste Blutbad es sind Ausreden, die die Intelligenz beleidigen!
Das einzige Land, das Nuklearwaffen gegen die Zivilbevölkerung eingesetzt hat - das Land, das Atombomben abgeworfen und Hiroschima und Nagasaki ausradiert hat, dieses Land will uns nun davon überzeugen, dass der Irak eine Gefahr für die Menschheit sei.
Wenn Bush die Menschheit wirklich so liebt und tatsächlich beabsichtigt die größte Gefahr für die Menschheit zu bekämpfen, warum bombardiert er sich nicht selber, statt schon wieder die Ausrottung von unschuldigen Völkern zu planen?
Riesige Demonstrationen werden die Straßen der Welt am 15. Februar füllen. Die Menschheit hat es satt, dass ihre Mörder sie als Ausrede verwenden. Sie hat es satt ihre Toten nach dem Ende jedes Krieges zu beweinen - dieses Mal will sie den Krieg verhindern, der sie umbringt. (ENDE)
(*) Eduardo Galeano, Uruguay, Schriftsteller und Journalist, Autor u.a. von Die Offenen Adern Lateinamerikas und Erinnerungen an das Feuerfederico nier-fischer
freier Journalist und Auslandskorrespondent
09 Landtagswahlen Steiermark
von: KPÖ Steiermark <email@example.com>
Pressemitteilung der KPÖ-Steiermark
Graz, am 8. 2. 03Nach Wahlsieg in Graz: KPÖ-Landesvorstand beschliesst Kandidatur bei Landtagswahl
Der Landesvorstand der KPÖ-Steiermark befasste sich am Samstag mit dem
Ausgang der Grazer Gemeinderatswahl und den Schlußfolgerungen für
die Politik der KPÖ. Nach Referaten von Stadtrat Kaltenegger und Landesvorsitzendem
Parteder wurde der Beschluss gefasst, bei der nächsten Landtagswahl im
Jahr 2005 zu kandidieren, und zwar mit dem Ziel, in den steiermärkischen
Franz Stephan Parteder: "Nach dem Ergebnis der Gemeinderatswahl könnte die KPÖ im Wahlkreis Graz und Graz-Umgebung zwei Grundmandate erreichen. Dieses Wahlziel ist also nicht mehr utopisch.
Wer auch auf Landesebene eine ehrliche und soziale Politik will, wie sie Stadtrat Kaltenegger in Graz verwirklicht, soll die Möglichkeit haben, auch mit dem Stimmzettel dafür einzutreten."
Die Landesvorstandssitzung, an der auch KPÖ-Bundesvorsitzender Walter Baier teilnahm, fasste mit nur einer Enthaltung den formellen Beschluß, auf dem Programmparteitag der KPÖ Ende April das steirische Landesprogramm der KPÖ als eine Diskussionsgrundlage einzubringen.
Lagergasse 98 a
Tel.: 0316 71 24 36
Fax 0316 71 62 91
email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
von: Karl Pfeifer
Der unerklärte Krieg
Neue Gefahren politischer Gewalt
Rezension von Karl Pfeifer
Der amerikanische Terrorismusexperte Bruce Hoffman gab dem einführenden Kapitel seines gründlich dokumentierten Buches den Titel: "Warum ist Terrorismus so schwer zu definieren?" Und tatsächlich gibt es bis heute keine allgemein akzeptierte Definition.
Die amerikanische Bundespolizei, das FBI definiert Terrorismus folgendermaßen:
Gesetzwidriger Gebrauch von Zwang oder Gewalt gegen Personen oder Eigentum zur Einschüchterung oder zur Nötigung einer Regierung, der Zivilbevölkerung oder irgendeines Teiles davon zur Förderung bestimmter politischer oder gesellschaftlicher Ziele.
Das USA-Verteidigungsministerium vertritt folgende Begriffsbestimmung:
Gesetzwidriger - oder angedrohter - Gebrauch von Zwang oder Gewalt gegen Personen oder Eigentum, um Regierungen oder Gesellschaften zu nötigen oder einzuschüchtern, oftmals um politische, religiöse oder ideologische Ziele zur erreichen.
Im Kapitel "Das postkoloniale Zeitalter: Ethno-nationalistischer/separatistischer Terrorismus" handelt er ab: Nachkriegspalästina, Zypern und Algerien. In "Die Internationalisierung des Terrorismus" schildert der Autor das Aufkommen der PLO und den Aufstieg des ethno-nationalistischen Terrorismus sowie den Aufstieg des revolutionären Linksterrorismus. Besonders aktuell das Kapitel "Religion und Terrorismus", in dem das Wirken islamischer Gruppen, jüdischer Terroristen und der christlichen Anhänger der weißen Vorherrschaft in den USA und verschiedener Sekten geschildert wird.
Terrorismus ohne Medienecho wäre überhaupt nicht wirksam, deshalb analysiert der Autor wie Medien und öffentliche Meinung auf Terror reagieren und auch die Psychologie des modernen Terrorismus, seine Taktiken, Ziele und Techniken.
Im abschließenden Kapitel, "Terrorismus heute und morgen", wird der Aufstieg des "modernen, staatlich geförderten Terrorismus" behandelt.
Bruce Hoffman zufolge wird vor allem der fundamentalistische, der rechtsextreme und der messianisch-sektiererische Terrorismus zunehmen. Das 352 Seiten umfassende leicht lesbare Taschenbuch geht nicht nur auf die historischen Wurzeln des Phänomens ein, sondern zeigt auch die schrecklichen Gefahren, die ein Einsatz von Massenvernichtungswaffen mit sich bringen könnte.
Wertvoll ist die Bibliographie und das Register, mit dem sich Themen und Personen leicht finden lassen.
Der unerklärte Krieg
Neue Gefahren politischer Gewalt
Fischer Taschenbuch, 3 Auflage Februar 2002,
ISBN 3-596-15614-9, EURO 9,90 (D)
11 Deutsche Geschichte
von: Karl Pfeifer
Zwei Rezensionen von Karl Pfeifer
Deutsche Geschichte 1918-1933
Das vorliegende Fischer Taschenbuch ist eine kommentierte Quellensammlung hauptsächlich politischer Texte der Weimarer Republik.
Eine Zeittafel, Tabellen und Statistiken sowie eine Auswahlbibliographie ergänzen diesen Band.
Die Weimarer Republik war der erste moderne demokratische Staat in Deutschland und alle hätten es wissen können, was geschieht, wenn die NSDAP die Macht übernimmt, denn schon 1930 publizierte diese Partei ein Manifest, in dem sie verspricht: "Sie wird die Demokratie überwinden und die Autorität der Persönlichkeit in ihre Rechte setzen." In diesem Manifest finden wir Volksgemeinschafts-Ideologie, soziale Demagogie und Fremdenhaß, die leider noch heute wirksam sind.
Dokumentiert wird, dass politische Verbrechen von rechts bei den konservativen Kräften in Verwaltung, Justiz und Armee toleriert wurden. Wer diese Dokumentensammlung aufmerksam liest, wird auch verstehen, weshalb die Weimarer Republik scheiterte.
Deutsche Geschichte 1933-1945
Die hier vorgelegten Dokumente aus den zwölf Jahren der nationalsozialistischen Herrschaft bieten eine zuverlässige Grundlage für sachliche Diskussionen der deutschen (und ab dem "Anschluß" auch der österreichischen) Geschichte. Der Band enthält zentrale Auszüge aus Reden, Briefen, Tagebüchern und Schriften, dazu eine Auswahl von Bekanntmachungen, Vertragstexten, Aufrufen, Befehlen, Berichten, Programmen und vieles andere mehr. Diese Dokumente zu den wichtigsten ideologischen und sozialpolitischen Aspekten des nationalsozialistischen Herrschaftssystems sowie zur Außenpolitik und Kriegsführung des "Dritten Reiches" vermitteln ein plastisches Bild dieser Zeit.
Die Materialien werden vom Herausgeber in den historischen Zusammenhang gestellt und interpretiert.
In diesem Band wird der Weg gezeigt, den die Nazi von der "Euthanasie" bis zum Massenmord an den Juden beschritten haben. Mit der "Euthanasie" wurde zum erstenmal die Ermordung Tausender von Menschen "legal" zugelassen. Die nationalsozialistische Rassenideologie, das Herrschaftssystem des "Dritten Reiches" und vor allem die eskalierenden Brutalisierung des Krieges schufen eine mentale Disposition (und die technischen Mittel), die eine Germanisierungspolitik und, damit verbunden, eine Ausrottungspolitik ermöglichte. Doch während Proteste gegen die Vernichtung "lebensunwerten Lebens" von "Ariern" laut wurden, und "diese Vernichtung hilfloser Wesen als himmelschreiendes Unrecht" empfunden wurde, und dies zum Beispiel der katholische Bischof von Limburg am 13.8.1941dem Reichsminister der Justiz schriftlich mitteilte, gab es gegen den Massenmord an den Juden keine solche Proteste.
Wenn wir dann den Appell des katholischen Feldbischofs Franz Josef Rarkowski vom 29.6.1941 lesen, dann verstehen wir, weshalb die katholische Kirche nicht gegen den Massenmord an den Juden protestierte: " [...] Die Völker Europas müßten ihre Geschichte verleugnen und ihre Zukunft verneinen, wollten sie nicht von Herzen jene Entscheidung herbeisehnen, die den Bolschewismus für alle Zeiten aus der Geschichte vertilgt. So ist es keine Übertreibung, wenn ich sage, daß ihr im Osten gleich den deutschen Ordensrittern einer Zeit, die weit hinter uns liegt, eine Aufgabe zu erfüllen habt, die von einmaliger Bedeutung ist und deren Auswirkung für unser Volk, ja für Europa und die ganze Menschheit heute noch nicht überblickt werden kann."
Auch dieser Band wird durch eine Zeittafel, Tabellen und Statistiken sowie eine Auswahlbibliographie ergänzt.
Deutsche Geschichte 1918-1933
Dokumente zur Innen- und Außenpolitik
Herausgegeben von Wolfgang Michalka und Gottfried Niedhart
Fischer Taschenbuch, 332 Seiten, ISBN 3-596-15578-9
EURO 12,90 (D)
Deutsche Geschichte 1933 - 1945
Dokumente zur Innen- und Außenpolitik
Herausgegeben von Wolfgang Michalka
Fischer Taschenbuch, 420 Seiten, ISBN 3-596-15579-7
EURO 12,90 (D)
3 Jahre WiderstandsRat
Von autonomen FrauenLesben im Februar 2000 gegründet, hat sich der
WiderstandsRat seither mit autnomen, feministischen Strategien gegen die
schwarz-blaue Regierung beschäftigt. U.a. haben wir uns am feministischen
Widerstandskongress und an Demos beteiligt. Weitere Themen dieser 3 Jahre
waren für uns zb Arbeitsmarktpolitik, Wahlrecht für MigrantInnen,
Sexismus, feministische Utopien. Im Jänner 2003 haben wir den
einem letzten Treffen aufgelöst. Wir denken, dass andere den
mit seinen / unseren /eigenen Ideen und verschiedentlichem Tun wieder
aufgreifen können. Bis dahin und parallel dazu feuen wir uns über viele andere
autonom.. migrantisch.. feministisch.. antirassistische ... Aktivitäten, in
die andere LesbenFrauen und auch wir immer wieder unsere Energien und Lust
!!! watch out fo´the grrl-gangs!!!
NEWS OF THE WORLD
13 RAWNEWS on Latin America
von: RAWNEWS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
RAWNEWS on Latin America - 7/2/03
1) Chiapas Today Bulletin No. 329
2) Maryknoll Lay Missioners- Unheard Voices in the Venezuelan Crisis
Chiapas Today Bulletin No. 329
CIEPAC; CHIAPAS, MÉXICO
January 22, 2003
GRASSROOTS PROTESTS FORCE THE MEXICAN GOVERNMENT
TO SEARCH FOR A NEW PPP STRATEGY
During 2002 the Mexican government changed strategies behind one of President Vicente Fox s most touted schemes, the Plan Puebla Panama (PPP). It now seems undeniable that that a fundamental shift has taken place within the government. The lack of any mention of the PPP in the Mexican press, in key moments such as the present, when Fox and the governor of Chiapas are touring Europe searching for investment capital, is only one of many signals in this regard.
What has happened with the PPP, from flourish and fanfare, when the PPP was announced in September 2000, to barely murmurs 18 months later? Why this 180 degree shift? What has led to the present official silence? Is a new strategy in the works?
One of the reasons behind the government s silence is the large and growing wave of grassroots rejection of the PPP. Behind the PPP s thin veneer of rhetoric regarding human development as the supposed motive for the Plan, the real intentions were clear from the beginning. The PPP is one more cog in prevailing neoliberal projects (FTAA, WTO, the diverse free trade agreements) backed by large corporations, the US government and multilateral banks. The PPP is designed to channel billions of dollars in taxpayers funds for the construction or improvement of large infrastructure projects, which, the government hopes, will stimulate investments by corporations in an impoverished region covering Mexico s southeast and the seven Central American countries. The total bill estimated for the PPP is US$25 billion over 10 years.
Shortly after the PPP s inauguration, numerous citizens organization in the southeast of Mexico and Central America became informed, then organized and mobilized in order to protest against this megaplan, designed with little regard for the social needs of inhabitants in the area. Protests gave way to actions to stop the construction projects. In 2002 Salvadoran activists and organizations ground to a halt work on the ring road in the capital city of San Salvador, which would have displaced thousands of persons. The campesino (small subsistence farmer) communities and organizations of Chiapas located on the banks of the Usumacinta River are on alert for any activity which might signal the start of work on hydroelectric dams. In fact, these shoreline communities have had repeated confrontations with personnel from the Federal Electricity Commission who trespass on their plots, wanting to purchase land or rights of way. In Xalapa, in the state of Veracruz, mobilizations by organizations and activists led to the retracing of the original route of another ring road which would have meant the destruction of a rain forest, an area that supplies half of that city s drinking water.
In the state of Puebla, mobilizations, demonstrations and blockades by various social organizations (among them UCEZV, with a membership of more than 4,000 ejidatarios (collective land owners) and farmers) were key in forcing the cancellation of Plan Millenium, a local version of the PPP.
On October 12, 2002 tens of thousands of people marched in Mexico and Central America against the PPP, in one of the first coordinated actions on a regional level. The agreement to march that day was taken at the III Conference on the PPP held in Managua, Nicaragua in July 2002, which gathered more than a thousand representatives of hundreds of social and civilian organizations from Central America and Mexico.
In Guatemala and Honduras there have been important victories against the PPP as well.
Then there was the nine-month Atenco mobilization that led to the defeat of the Mexican government by militant peasants. The Atenco campesinos spoiled Fox s plan to build a new airport for Mexico City on their common lands. For the anti-PPP movement in Mexico and Central America, Atenco was a historic reaffirmation that with determination, organization and permanent mobilization it is possible to say no to the most important government megaplans. The government had to back off, politically defeated, in the face of this setback to its strategy of making grandiose megaplans the mechanism for developing Mexico.
Has the Fox government understood the lesson? It doesn t seem so, at least not at the executive suites of the General Coordination of the PPP. Surprisingly, this office admits the PPP has failed, but solely in terms of public relations. Ricardo Ramírez, Director of PPP Alliances and Strategies, attributes part of the suspicion generated by the PPP to serious problems.....in their web page. According to Ramírez, the PPP s official web page, under previous Coordinator Florencio Salazar, was an alarming fantasy of projects (hydroelectric dams, oil wells, and the like), a profusion of good intentions , but lacking feasibility and financial backing. We were responsible , confesses Ramírez, for the attacks on the Plan due to the erratic and inaccurate information disseminated. (1).
For everyone s peace of mind, the web page is presently under reconstruction and will again be available on the internet in approximately three weeks, and now with consolidated information , according to Mr. Ramírez. (2)
In any event, because of the defeats to Fox s corporate-driven policies in the PPP region and at Atenco, the Plan Puebla Panama seems to have entered into deep hibernation, at least in terms of the enthusiasm shown for it by Mexican government authorities. Economist Daniel Villafuerte, who studies the effects of globalization in Chiapas, agrees. Its been frozen , says Villafuerte of the PPP, and he dates the start of the Mexican government s silence at the June 2002 Summit in Mérida, Yucatán, where the Presidents from the PPP region met.
In Mérida, Fox might have come up against two obstacles for advancing the PPP. On the one hand, it is well known that at least part of the Central American private sector is ill at ease with, or even against, the PPP. Some entrepreneurs fear that the PPP might be a means to ease the entry of Mexican capital into their area of influence, and the Central American presidents likely carried this message to Fox.
In addition, as part of the Mérida summit, an opportunities fair was held, attended by more than 700 companies of all sizes, in order to explore investment opportunities within the PPP framework. No official declaration of results emerged, and the lack of news even later on seems to indicate that commitments, particularly on the part of large corporations, were not forthcoming.
Other signs of a deflated PPP are:
--The Mexican federal budget for the PPP has been slashed, from US$750 million in 2002, to US$210 million in 2003.
--Last September, the weekly magazine Cambio reported that President Fox failed to attract low interest loans for the PPP from the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank. Fox s ruse, according to Cambio, had been for Mexico to ally itself with its Central American neighbors in order to obtain loans from the multilateral banks at 6%, the developing country rate, and thus avoid the rates that Mexico would normally be charged as a developed country and member of the OCED. In the end, the IDB approved US$4 billion for the PPP, but with 14% interest rates. (3)
--The General Coordination office of the PPP was demoted when it was sent packing from Fox s inner circle to a relatively minor branch of the Secretary of Foreign Relations. The banishment coincided with the firing of the first Coordinator, Florencio Salazar. The present General Coordinator of the PPP, Herbert Taylor, has been almost totally absent from the Mexican media, in marked contrast to the extroverted and abrasive style of his predecessor Salazar.
--There is frustration among high officials at the IDB, according to observers in Washington, due to the lack of initiative regarding the PPP by the Mexican government. The IDB has been left standing in the lurch, according to activists in the U.S. capital, after having bet on President Fox s megaproject and committing resources (the US$4 billion previously mentioned), only to confront the apathy of the Fox government less than 18 months after it was announced. The IDB has scheduled public consultations on the PPP in the Mexican states of Veracruz and Puebla, but officials are apprehensive about carrying them out, due to the Fox government s lack of backing for the initiative.
--Yet another sign is the tomb of silence we observe here in Chiapas from governor Pablo Salazar. His silence on the PPP is almost deafening, especially when he is inaugurating new construction projects in Chiapas, up to now part of the PPP. In recent weeks, Pablo Salazar has inaugurated projects in Puerto Madero, at the Palenque airport, and new stretches of highway in various locations around the state, without adorning his speeches with even so much as a mention of the PPP.
---One of the PPP s main selling points, the creation of a vast maquiladora zone, has bottomed out. Encouraging maquiladoras to set up shop was an important part of the general strategy behind the PPP, in order to absorb the rural labor force in Mexico and Central America, now unemployed and migrating because of free trade agricultural policies that have destroyed campesino traditional livelihoods. But in 2000 the maquiladoras began fleeing Mexico. Because of a better investment climate in Asia, lower salaries in China, the Chinese economic juggernaut, or because China will soon join the WTO, for these and other reasons the maquiladoras are leaving. (4) From January 2001 to June 2002, 600 maquiladoras left Mexico, leaving 250,000 workers on the street, 15% of the labor force. (5)
In spite of promoting the virtues of the PPP area, the response of the maquiladoras has been altogether feeble. In the state of Chiapas there are barely 10 maquiladoras installed or planned. Similarly in the other PPP states: in Campeche there are 9 maquiladoras planned, in Veracruz 17, in Oaxaca 24, in Guerrero 6, in Tabasco 5, and none in Quintana Roo, Yucatán or Puebla. (6)
What conclusions can we draw from the above?
As usual with projects designed by elites, far from the real needs of the Mexican and Central American people, the PPP is bound to fail, and not solely due to the public-relations problems cited by the General Coordinator s office.
But although this conceptual umbrella is presently in the government s deep freeze, the projects under it are continuing ahead, to the extent possible given economic and social restraints.
In particular the two large highway corridors continue to be paved, linking north and south Mexico to Central America. The PPP highway projects scheduled to conclude in Mexico with funds appropriated from the 2003 budget are:
Ciudad del Carmen-Champotón
La Ventosa-Salina Cruz
Access to the port of Salina Cruz
The Mérida ring road
Access to the port of Coatzacoalcos
In addition, in Chiapas the San Cristóbal-Tuxtla Gutiérrez highway is due to open during the final quarter of this year.
Another project that is proceeding on schedule is the integration of the area s electrical grids. Beginning in 2004, Mexico is due to integrate its electrical grid with that of SIEPAC (System of Electrical Integration for the Central American Countries), thus linking the grids of the eight PPP countries. This will make the excess electrical energy generated in the region available to the United States.
The Fox government might be at a crossroads, waiting for the right moment in an election year to announce what s next with the PPP, but social and civilian organizations are on alert. For example, member organizations of AMAP (Mexican Alliance for People s Self-Determination) have agreed to systematically trace PPP projects and make their findings public.
Finally, if the Fox government decides not to drive the final stake in, we might shortly have a new look for the PPP, a slimmed down and dressed up PPP, containing only its less controversial aspects. As statements from the PPP Coordinating office would seem to indicate, the Fox administration s diagnosis places emphasis on finding the right packaging , not on asking the fundamental questions of Who wins?, Who loses? and Who decides?
A new look for the PPP would surely comprise even stronger rhetoric regarding tantalizing social improvements that will supposedly come with the PPP, as well as a new "rural agenda, that the IDB has been pressing for.
Expunged from this new PPP will be the more socially and environmentally damaging aspects, such as the dams on the Usumacinta River, the Tehuantepec trans-isthmus corridor, the Meso-American Biological Corridor, and others. These projects are already causing thousands of people to be displaced, and they open the door to the plundering of natural and biological resources and traditional knowledge in the region.
An example of this are the dams that are planned for the PPP region. Formally, they might not be within the PPP framework. But declarations from the Fox government, and insinuations from the IDB in Washington, point to a decision by the Mexican and Guatemalan governments to build from one to five dams on the Usumacinta River. But in 2003, a year of federal elections in both Mexico and Guatemala, advances will conceivably be limited to feasibility studies, to testing people s opinion and resistance, especially in locales affected by the dams. This is presently occurring in Tenosique, Tabasco, and in various communities along the Usumacinta River in Chiapas, at times with participation of army troops, according the residents in the area.
Even if the PPP should disappear, we can foresee that its agenda will reappear in a different form later on. Something similar occurred with the MAI (Multilateral Agreement on Investment), defeated in 1998 by a worldwide movement of social and civilian organizations. Today its precepts are begin incorporated into the WTO and the FTAA, at the behest of the same cast: the US and European governments, the multinational corporations, and the multilateral development banks.
Obviously this isn t the moment to lower our guard, but rather to strengthen resistance movements and find new ways of struggling against the advance of corporate globalization. This is the logic behind the decision of the Community Defenders Network for Human Rights, and CIEPAC, to seek injunctions at the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, in order to stop the construction of dams along the Usumacinta and Santo Domingo Rivers in Chiapas.
Notes in the text:
-1) This seems to be the Fox administration s line for the moment. Last December, the Undersecretary for the Environment, Carlos Székely stated The Plan Puebla Panama is a program that has gone badly for us, because there have been bad communications , (ref. Enrique Méndez, El gobierno de Fox, sin compromiso con la ecología, denuncia Székely , La Jornada, December 5, 2002).
-2) Telephone interview, January 31, 2003.
-3) Andrés Becerril, El naufragio de un proyecto , Cambio, September 8, 2002, p.24.
-4) A further reason may have to do with the passing of the Permanent Normal Trade Relations Act in the US Congress in 2000.
-5) John Ross, Maq Attack!How Mexico is Losing the Race to the Bottom , México Bárbaro No. 339, November 9-16, 2002.
-6) Julio Aranda, Las maquiladoras: desaparece el espejismo, Proceso, January 2002.
-7) Miguel Angel Montoya, Análisis del proyecto del Presupuesto de Egresos 2003 y su impacto en las obras del Plan Puebla Panamá , December 2002, unpublished.
FTAA: Free Trade Area of the Americas
WTO: World Trade Organization
UCEZV: Unión Campesina Emiliano Zapata Vive
IDB: Inter-American Development Bank
OECD: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
[translated for CIEPAC by Miguel Pickard. Our thanks to Jessica Roach for her editorial assistance]
The Center for Economic and Political Investigations of Community Action, A.C. CIEPAC,
CIEPAC is a member of the Movement for Democracy and Life (MDV) of Chiapas, the Mexican Network of Action Against Free Trade (RMALC) www.rmalc.org.mx, Convergence of Movements of the Peoples of the Americas (COMPA ) www.sitiocompa.org, Network for Peace in Chiapas, Week for Biological and Cultural Diversity www.laneta.apc.org/biodiversidad, the International Forum "The People Before Globalization", Alternatives to the PPP http://usuarios.tripod.es/xelaju/xela.htm, and of the Mexican Alliance for Self-Determination (AMAP) that is the Mexican network against the Puebla Panama Plan. CIEPAC is a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Economic Justice http://www.econjustice.net and the Ecumenical Program on Central America and the Caribbean (EPICA) http://www.epica.org.
Note: If you use this information, cite the source and our email address. We are grateful to the persons and institutions who have given us their comments on these Bulletins. CIEPAC, A.C. is a non-government and non-profit organization, and your support is necessary for us to be able to continue offering you this news and analysis service. If you would like to contribute, in any amount, we would infinitely appreciate your remittance to the bank account in the name of:
Account number: 7049672
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, México.
You will also need to use an ABA number: BNMXMXMM
Thank you! CIEPAC
Note: If you wish to be placed on a list to receive this English version of the Bulletin, or the Spanish, or both, please direct a request to the e-mail address shown below. Indicate whether you wish to receive the email or the "attached file" (Word 7 for Windows 95) version.
Web page: http://www.ciepac.org/ (Visit us: We have new maps on the situation in Chiapas, and a chapter with more information on the PPP)
Centro de Investigaciones Económicas y Políticas de Acción Comunitaria
Calle de La Primavera # 6
Barrio de la Merced
29240 San Cristóbal, Chiapas, MEXICO
Tel/Fax: en México 01967 674-5168
Fuera de México +52 967 674-5168
Maryknoll Lay Missioners- Unheard Voices in the Venezuelan Crisis
01/29/03-A Statement by the Maryknoll Lay Missioners in Venezuela
We are a group of nine Maryknoll lay missioners who have worked in Venezuela
for between five and fifteen years, accompanying the poor of the urban
barrios and rural towns in the state of Lara. At this moment, Venezuela
finds itself in the throes of a very tense and bitter political conflict
which is causing considerable damage to the lives of the average Venezuelan
and to the well-being of the nation, and which appears to have the very real
potential for becoming a much more violent conflict. We are currently on Day
53 of a national strike and our reality is one of twenty-hour gasoline
lines, two-day lines for cooking fuel, scarcity and speculation of food
staples, and the loss of billions of dollars from oil revenues that pay such
items as teachers' salaries and hospital supplies. Perhaps most critical,
once-peaceful marches are becoming increasingly confrontational and violent.
As missioners who have walked alongside the Venezuelan people and
experienced their tremendous warmth and generosity for many years, we feel
pain and sadness as we witness the divisions and hardships that are taking
place in front of our eyes, and we feel a sense of alarm that we may be at
the doorstep of a much more serious and violent situation.
While the world has its eyes focused on the possibility of war in Iraq, here
in Venezuela we find that the underlying cause of this conflict is similar
one: oil and the desire for control of Venezuela's huge reserves of oil.
Likewise, we worry that the consequences of this conflict may spill over
this nation's borders and have negative effects in the rest of the region.
If unconstitutional or violent means are used to overthrow a democratically
elected government here in Venezuela, this may set an undesirable precedent
for other countries in Latin America.
We feel especially compelled to write at this moment because we sense that
in spite of much media attention to this situation, there are voices in this
explosive conflict that are not being heard: those in the urban barrios and
rural towns such as those where we live and work. As the April events showed
us, if attention is not given to the opinions of this rather large block of
people in the search for a solution (i.e. the poor, who comprise over 50% of
the population), the results may well be surprising, and this time
lamentable. Likewise, if the underlying cause of this conflict is not
acknowledged, a solution will not be long lasting.
Though the poor are routinely ignored by much of the press throughout the
world, in Venezuela this situation is compounded by an unusual, and very
disconcerting, situation. At a time in Venezuela in which political parties
have lost the respect of the majority of the population, the leadership of
the political opposition has been taken up by a very unlikely and very
powerful source: the media. The power of the major television stations and
newspapers is such that they appear to be directing the entire script of the
opposition, using the very powerful tool that is in their hands. Some of
what we see here seems almost impossible to believe when we express it on
paper, even though we have taped dozens of hours of television programs for
reference. For fifty three days, since the December 2nd initiation of the
strike, the four major Venezuelan television stations have not shown one
single commercial ad. They do, however, show approximately twelve
commercials per hour, or around one hundred a day). Each and every one of
the commercials is an anti-Chavez ad. They are strikingly slick, smooth,
moving, and obviously very professional and expensive. We can only wonder
where the funding for this is originating.
When we try to imagine a similar situation in the U.S., we realize how truly
disconcerting this is. Imagine that ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN showed not a
single commercial ad for fifty three days, but instead showed one hundred
ads a day directed at removing President Bush from power, comparing him to
Hitler and Satan. Imagine as well, that every day the channels invited the
public to anti-Bush marches, showing, over ten times a day, the hour,
location and title of each daily march. This situation is of course of grave
concern to us, not only because it results in an unbalanced and inaccurate
portrayal of the crisis in Venezuela, but also because the use of the press
to incite violence rather than to inform is very disturbing.
The press presents this conflict as arising from a one very clear and simple
problem: the presidency of Hugo Chavez. He is portrayed as a dictator under
disguise as a democrat, and his removal ANY means available is procured.
Certainly Chavez, with his flamboyant personality provides a striking, and
often delightful, focal point for the opposition. However, for those of us
who live in Venezuela, and especially for those of us who have lived under
several other Venezuelan presidents, it is hard to find the facts to back
this image of Chavez as a dictator, much less to find any justification to
resorting to unconstitutional or violent measures to overthrow him. We do
recognize and criticize the fact that often Chavez has used inflammatory and
divisive language, and that at times his followers have resorted to violent
tactics. We also recognize that the use of violence is not limited to one
side of this conflict, and we unconditionally condemn any use of violence in
Chavez was elected by the largest majority of any recent election and during
his government there have been a total of four other, highly transparent
elections. The new and very progressive constitution places a strong
emphasis on human rights and the process that ushered it in was one of
unprecedented participation. Our own low-income communities give testimony
to the fact that this government has indeed given priority to the poor.
Public schools and health care are now totally free and exempt of the
"collaboration fees", a euphemism for privatization that was taking place
under former governments. Increased percentages of the national budget have
been given to health, education and housing, and for the first time we have
spacious and attractive schools, hospitals, community centers and sports
complexes in our own very poor communities. While the opposition frequently
makes reference to the repression and violence imposed by this government,
our experience is that this has been a government that, while certainly not
error-free, has been much more guarded in its use of repressive measures. We
don't have to take our memories too far back to recall many instances of
repression under other recent presidents, most notably the terrible Caracazo
massacre of 1989 under President Carlos Andres Perez.
Why then, is there such blind hatred and determination on the part of many
to remove this man?
It seems to us that the overriding motivation of the average participant in
the opposition is an irrational fear, sometimes cultivated and certainly
stroked by the media, that exists within upper-income sectors of society. It
is a fear that Chavez will somehow cause the poor majority to come streaming
down from the hillside barrios and take over their lives and world as they
have known it. The truth is, the poor do feel invited down, not to destroy
or take over, but to take part in their country, for the very first time.
And this is precisely what is behind their often blind love of this man:
their very existence as human beings has been recognized and embraced, and
the value of their participation has been affirmed. This has mobilized them
to take part in the public life of their country to the degree that,
whatever happens to Chavez at this moment, they will remain a significant
force to deal with. Perhaps this is why the walls of the barrios are often
painted with the phrase "Chavez somos todos".
We do, however, think that there is a much deeper issue present here which
has turned an otherwise manageable political conflict into one that could
spin out of control and spill beyond the country's borders: Venezuela's oil.
PDVSA, the state oil company, provides the government with nearly half of
its $20 billion budget and provides the United States with about 15% of its
oil imports. Although the industry was nominally nationalized in 1976, it
has been following the global tendency towards privatization and in recent
years gives only 20% of its earnings to national coffers compared to 80% at
the time of nationalization. In 2001 a law was passed under the new
Venezuelan constitution that guarantees that the state own at least 51% of
any energy venture in Venezuela. Many feel that the passage of this law is
what brought outside interests to the Venezuelan conflict and plentiful
funding for the opposition, and motivated the United States to be among a
lonely group of countries to recognize the interim government that replaced
Chavez in a short-lived military coup in April. Certainly, the involvement
of the oil industry in the national strike is what has produced the most
damage and hardships to the country.
In summary, we share with you some specific positions of the nine Maryknoll
lay missioners currently working in Venezuela:
We reject the use of any violence on the part of any side in the conflict.
We call for an end to the national strike that has already caused serious
damage to the country.
We are concerned that the Venezuelan media is being used to incite violence
rather than to inform.
We think that it is important to acknowledge that the root of this conflict
is control of Venezuelan oil.
We think that all voices should be heard in the shaping of a solution, not
just those with greater access to funds and to media sources.
We are concerned about the role of the U.S. in the Venezuelan conflict,
particularly because of their recognition of the April coup leader, and are
cautious about any role that they may have in a shaping a solution.
We believe that this conflict must be resolved within the legal framework of
the Venezuelan constitution.
We are grateful for your attention and your support and appreciate your
prayers for the Venezuelan people.
In peace, Martha Benson, Phil Brady, Mary Jo Commerford, Maggie Han, Glenn
Rabut, Peter Ree, David Rodriguez, Sami Scott, Lisa Sullivan, Maryknoll lay
missioners in Venezuela
14 No War on Iraq Liaison
Jesse Jackson to speak, 15th February
Rev Jesse Jackson will be among the speakers at the rally in Hyde Park at the end of the anti-war demonstration on 15th February.
Rev Jackson, founder and president of the Rainbow Coalition, is a leader of the US civil rights movement and an international human rights activist. A champion of black and labour rights in particular, he has twice stood as presidential candidate, in 1984 and 1988. In 1997 he was appointed presidential special envoy for the promotion of democracy in Africa. Rev Jackson has travelled extensively in the Middle East, and helped secure the release of hostages in Kuwait and Iraq in 1990. In 2000, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in recognition of his work for civil and human rights.
Rev Jackson will also be speaking at the Stop The War Coalition Rally at Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, at 7.30pm on Friday 14th February. For more information please contact Stop the War office: PO Box 3739, London E5 8EJ. Tel 020 7053 2153/4/5/6. Visit www.stopwar.org.uk or email email@example.com
15 Escape and capture at Woomera
Six asylum seekers have been recaptured by police after breaking out of the
Woomera detention centre with the help of outside activists. Four others have
also been arrested and charged with aiding, abetting and harbouring the
The break-out occurred on the morning of Monday the 3rd when two cars drove up
to the centre and used a car jack to break through fences. According to
authorities 2 guards were injured in the get-away. On the run for 2 days in the
desert, all were eventually captured by Wednesday evening.
In a video release, one person involved in the break-out stated:
The physical and psychological abuses that has been occurring in these
detention centres has led ordinary Australians, like us, to take extreme
These abuses are in total breach of any international law and regulations in
regard to the abuse of human rights. Millions of people around the world know
of the abhorrence of the Australian Immigration policy and this has led many
people just like us to to undertake desperate measures.
The iron fisted approach of the Australian government to oppress public opinion
on this issue will not succeed in preventing future actions such as this latest
breakout.There are international laws that are in place to fight for these
peoples' rights. The Australian government has chosen to ignore this and we are
choosing to ignore the Australian government's law.
16 Detention kills
----- Weitergeleitete Nachricht von John O <firstname.lastname@example.org> -----
National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns (NCADC)
110 Hamstead Road
Birmingham B20 2QS
"Detention kills" - Vigil in memory of Mikhail Bodnarchuk
And that dismal cry rose slowly
And sank slowly through the air
Full of spirit's melancholy
And eternity's despair!
And they heard the words it said
Mikhail is dead, Mikhail is dead
Borrowed and adapted from Elizabeth Barret Browning
Following the tragic suicide of Mikhail at Haslar detention
centre on the 31st of January 2003 there will be a vigil of
remembrance outside the centre.
9.00am Friday the 7th of February 2003 all are welcome.
Haslar Immigration Removal/detention Prison
2 Dolphin Way
Hants PO12 2AW
Enquiries/further details contact Sophy on 07801-222714
"Remembrance of things bad" - an ex-detainee of Haslar, recalls his impressions
After being taken to Harmondsworth Detention Centre in 2000, the
first thing I was told was that a detainee *Robratas Grabys, had
committed suicide just a few days before. After spending one day
there I was taken under guard to Haslar Detention Prison, where I was
greeted with tall walls, big gates and intimidating prison guards
whose desire was none other than to keep me under lock and key. I was
strip searched upon arrival, and then issued with prison wash kit and
uniform. To confirm my new status as a prisoner, I was given a prison
ID card. Haslar's regime and routine was to me, more prison-like,
compared to Harmondsworth.
The confinement and repetitive cycle of life, or lack of it,
there is what constitutes mental persecution for a lot of inmates. It
is also very difficult coming to terms with fellow inmates being
removed on very short notice. Most of the time the mood is grim
because you are resigned to believe that any next call could be for
your removal directions.
In detention, I was, like all other asylum seekers there,
condemned to the lowest and gloomiest point of my life. I cried a
lot - believing that it is when you cry in the darkest hour of
despair that you will stumble on a source of goodness, goodness I
called for and goodness I tried to fetch, but goodness just refused
Detention was for me where hope and inspiration were impossible
to sustain. I tried to keep going, but I came very close to a mental
break down. For the first time in my life I felt it easier to
contemplate suicide than not to and I did come very close to going
ahead with it, but I felt guilty about plunging my family into
further disaster my plight was already too much for them to bear.
In detention I saw fellow asylum seekers going clinically
insane, attempting suicide. You would think that these scenes which
would trigger human rights probes, but not when it is asylum seekers.
Detainees/prisoners were never informed about what happened to those
who tried to harm themselves they were simply taken away, and the
outside world will never know. Because it is only asylum seekers.
Arbitrary detention is wrong, it is inhumane, it must be stopped.
Anon, ex-detainee Haslar
*On Monday 24th January 2000, Robratas Grabys, a 49 year old
Lithuanian asylum seeker was found hanged at Harmondsworth Detention
http://www.ncadc.org.uk/letters/frontpage/lith.htmlSend messages of condolence/solidarity
c/o Haslar Visitors Group
In other news: Asylum Seekers to be barred from Britain
According to two reports in todays 'Guardian', 'Safe havens plan
to slash asylum numbers' and 'Shifting a problem back to its source'.
The government is considering plans to 'immediately' deport new
asylum applicants, to a third country, where they will have to
process their asylum claims.
Both articles can be accessed through NCADC's website:
17 NATO Konferenz in München: Überfall auf Convergence Center
Gipfelinfo - Meldungen über globalisierte Solidarität
und die Proteste gegen unsolidarische Globalisierung
- USK-Überfall auf Convergence Center
- Tobias Pflüger wegen Aufruf zur Desertation festgenommen
ÜBERFALL AUF DAS CONVERGENCE CENTER IN MÜNCHEN DURCH DAS USK-SONDERKOMMANDO
Zur Durchsuchung des Convergence Centers der Mobilisierung gegen die
Dies ist nur ein erstes kurzes statement, geschrieben um 5 Uhr früh, ohne
einen umfassenden Ueberblick ueber das was passiert ist. Eine längere
Erklärung wird folgen. Am 7.2. gegen 23.00 wurde das Convergence Center
von starken Polizeikraeften gestuermt. Mehrere Hundertschaften des
beruechtigten bayrischen Sonderkommandos USK drangen mit Unterstuetzung
von Zivilpolizisten mit brutaler Gewalt in unsere Raeume ein. Die Aktion
war offensichtlich von langer Hand geplant. Die ueber 40 VW-Busse mit
denen die Polizei vor Ort war, waren gezielt so abgestellt worden dass sie
fuer uns nicht sichtbar waren. Die eindringenden Polizisten kamen im
Laufschritt in die Raeume und bahnten sich ihren Weg durch die umstehenden
Besucher des Zentrums mit Schlaegen, Tritten und Stoeßen. Die USKler
trugen Ganzkoerperpanzer und waren mit Bolzenschneidern, Brecheisen und
anderem Einbruchswerkzeug ausgeruestet und mit schweren langen
Stahltaschenlampen, Tonfa-Schlagstoecken umd scharfen Schusswaffen
bewaffnet. Sie begannen sofort die Umherstehenden zu filmen und zu
fotographieren. Auf die Frage nach dem Grund des Einsatzes wurde weder von
den USKlern noch von der spaeter eintreffenden Einsatzleitung eine Antwort
gegeben. Alles was uns gesagt wurde ist dass es sich um eine Razzia handle
und wir beim geringsten Widerstand mit "hartem Durchgreifen" zu rechnen
haetten - das heißt mit noch brutalerer Gewalt. Als alle Raeume unter die
Kontrolle der Polizisten gebracht worden waren wurde uns nicht mehr
erlaubt uns innerhalb der Raeume frei zu bewegen geschweigeden diese zu
verlassen. Leute in den hinteren Teilen der Raeume wurden gezwungen unter
Polizeibeobachtung in eine Wanne zu pinkeln weil ihnen der Weg aufs Klo
verwehrt wurde. In allen Raeumen wurden die Anwesenden ununterbrochen
gefilmt, oft aus mehreren Richtungen gleichzeitig. Einem von uns
verstaendigten Anwalt wurde vom Einsatzleiter der anwesenden Polizei
erneut gesagt, dass kein Motiv fuer den Ueberfall genannt wer! den
koenne. Verstaendigten PressevertreterInnen wurde von der Polizei der
Zugang Zu Convergence Center verwehrt. Nach ueber einer Stunde kollektiver
Gefangenschaft wurde uns mitgeteilt dass wir gezungen wuerden uns alle
einer sog. Identitaetsfeststellung zu unterziehen, d.h. sich einzeln und
schutzlos dem Schlaegerkommando auszuliefern dem wir uns gegenuebersahen.
Ein Teil der Anwesenden kam der demuetigenden Aufforderung der Polizei
nach um moeglichst schnell dem unzumutbare Zustand der Gefangenschaft im
Inneren des Convergence Centers zu entgehen, andere beschlossen der
Aufforderung der Polizei nicht nachzukommen. Jene die darauf bestanden
Zusammenzubleiben und die Raeume gemeinsam zu verlassen wurden unter
exzessiver Gewaltanwendung voneinander getrennt und abgefuehrt. Mehrere
von uns wurden, sobald sie alleine mit den Polizisten waren, durch
Schlaege, Tritte, Gelenkhebel und Wuergegriffe etc. verletzt. Ausserdem
wurden viele von uns von den anwesenden USKlern bedroht und dazu
aufgefordert sich morgen auf der Demo nicht blicken zu lassen weil sie
sonst noch mehr abbekaemen. Einige von uns wurden festgenommen, die Zusage
der Polizei es handle sich nur um Personenkontrollen war wie zu erwarten
Wir sehen in dem was vorgefallen ist eine brutale polizeiliche Provokation
und den Versuch einer Vorfeldkriminalisierung gegen die gesamte
Mobilisierung gegen die NATO-Sicherkeitskonferenz. Die von der Polizei
betriebene Eskalation sucht ihresgleichen. Die Raeume eines gemeinützigen
Vereins werden ohne jegliche rechtliche Grundlage von einem
Sondereinsatzkommando gestuermt, die Anwesenden misshandelt,
voruebergehend gefangen genommen und kontrolliert oder gar festgenommen.
Wir werden uns vom Vorgehen der Polizei nicht einschuechtern lassen. Wir
werden, die Raeume des Convergence Centers weiter geoeffnet halten und
somit unseren Teil zum Widerstand gegen die NATO-Sicherheitskonferenz
Wir fordern die sofortige Freilassung all derjenigen die im Convergence
Center festgenommen wurden!
Gegen den Polizeiterror setzen wir unsere Solidarität! Für einen
entschlossenen Widerstand gegen die NATO -Sicherheitskonferenz!
[ 7/8.2.2003 Für die Convergence Center Crew ]
TOBIAS PFLÜGER WEGEN AUFRUF ZUR DESERTATION FESTGENOMMEN
Das "Bündnis gegen die NATO-Sicherheitskonferenz" verwehrt sich ganz
entschieden gegen die Provokationen durch Einsatzkräfte der Polizei.
Bereits am heutigen Nachmittag kam es in der Münchner Innenstadt zu
zahlreichen "Platzverweisen", mit fadenscheinigen Begründungen wie etwa
"einschlägiges Bekanntsein", mindestens 12 Personen wurden festgenommen.
Ein massives Polizeiaufgebot befindet sich im Kontrollwahn, um speziell
junge Menschen einzuschüchtern und davon abzuhalten, an den
Gegenaktivitäten anlässlich der 39. "Sicherheitskonferenz" teilzunehmen.
Auch bei der Anreise kommt es zu überzogenen Reaktionen des
Staatsapparates, so wurden bereits bisher die Insassen dreier Busse
-Frankfurt, Trier und Rheinland/Pfalz-komplett abgefilmt und einzeln
durchsucht - der Polizeistaat läßt grüßen! Die Vorkontrollen reichen
mittlerweile bis etwa 100 km über München hinaus, aus Memmingen kommend
z.B. bereits vor Mindelheim.
Die bisher größte Provokation von Seiten des Staatsapparates fand nach der
Kundgebung auf dem Marienplatz statt. Tausende hatten kurz zuvor dem
Redebeitrag von Tobias Pflüger, von der Informationsstelle Militarisierung
aus Tübingen, tosenden Applaus gespendet. Grund war sein Aufruf an die
SoldatInnen der Bundeswehr, die z.B. in Kuwait stationiert sind, zu
desertieren, gleichzeitig auch Grund für die Einsatzkräfte ihn im
Anschluss am seine Rede festzunehmen. - Wir protestieren aufs Schärfste
gegen Tobias Festnahme und verlangen seine unverzügliche Freilassung! Die
Münchner Polizeiführung kennt sich offensichtlich nicht mit dem
Soldatengesetz aus, in dem ausdrücklich eine Verweigerung bei
Angriffskriegen nicht nur ein Recht, sondern definitiv eine PFLICHT der
[ Pressegruppe-Bündnis gegen die NATO-Sicherheitskonferenz ]
Die AutorInnen der Beiträge, so sie nicht von uns verfasst sind, sind
mit eckigen Klammern versehen. Wir können leider keine Verantwortung
für die Richtigkeit der Beiträge übernehmen. Auch geben die Beiträge
nicht zwangsläufig unsere Meinung wieder.
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9. Februar 2003, 23.00 Uhr
Diese Ausgabe hat Gernot Pürer firstname.lastname@example.org
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9. Februar 2003, 23.00 Uhr