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MELDUNGEN UND KOMMENTARE
01 Kolumbien: Krieg gegen GewerkschafterInnen
>Krieg gegen GewerkschafterInnen geht weiter | Weitere
>Von : anonym zugesandt
>Ort : Kolumbien
>Weitere GewerkschaftsaktivistInnen ermordet
>Die Einheitsföderation der ArbeiterInnen CUT, Kolumbiens wichtigster
>Gewerkschaftsverband, verlautbarte, dass der vom neuen kolumbianischen
>Präsidenten Alvaro Uribe Vélez am 12.August verhängte Ausnahmezustand
>benutzt wird, `um MenschenrechtsaktivistInnen und GewerkschaftsführerInnen
>noch verstärkt anzugreifen´.
>Zumindest drei GewerkschafterInnen sind am 15.August von Paramilitärs
>ermordet worden. Die Paras entführten Felipe Santiago Mendoza Navarro aus
>seinem Haus in Tibú (Provinz Santander) und schossen ihm mehrmals in den
>Kopf. Mendoza war Mitglied der Vereinigten ArbeiterInnen-Gewerkschaft USO,
>welche die ArbeiterInnen des staatlichen Erdöl-Unternehmens Ecopetrol
>vertritt. In der Provinz Sucre ermordeten die Paras den Lehrer Francisco
>Méndez Diaz von der Kolumbianischen LehrerInnen-Föderation FECODE auf dem
>Weg zwischen Chalán und Sincelejo. In der Stadt Miranda (Provinz Cauca)
>stürmten die Paras in das lokale Krankenhaus und ermordeten die
>Krankenschwester Amparo Figueroa, sie war Mitglied der Nationalen
>Vereinigung der Spitals- und KlinikarbeiterInnen ANTHOC. Figueroa war vor
>Monaten aus Sicherheitsgründen nach Miranda gezogen, nachdem sie an einem
>anderen Ort Todesdrohungen erhalten hatte. [Agencia de Noticias Nueva
>Colombia (ANNCOL) 19.8.02; CUT - Abteilung für Menschenrechte 16.8.02] Ein
>weiteres Mitglied von ANTHOC, der Ambulanzfahrer Roberto Rojas Pinzón,
>am 26.Juli auf der Strasse zwischen Cravo und Arauca (Provinz Arauca)
>ermordet. [Communique der CUT 2.8.02]
>In Córdoba (Provinz Quindío) wurde am 15.August die Leiche von Blanca
>Ludivia Hernández gefunden, ihr Körper wies Spuren von Folter auf. Sie
>in der Woche zuvor von den Paras entführt. Hernández war Vorstandsmitglied
>und Vizepräsidentin der Gewerkschaft SINDES, welche die ArbeiterInnen des
>öffentlichen Krankenhauses von Córdoba vertritt.
>Am 13.August schossen in der Stadt Cali (Provinz Valle del Cauca) zwei
>von einem Motorrad aus auf Omar Romero Diaz und verwundeten ihn dabei.
>ist Vollzeit-Aktivist bei der BauarbeiterInnen-Gewerkschaft SUTIMAC und
>arbeitet ausserdem ehrenamtlich beim lokalen Kollektiv für Menschenrechte.
>Die Angreifer wurden scheinbar an keiner Strassenkontrolle angehalten; es
>ist illegal in Cali, eine/n BeifahrerIn auf einem Motorrad mitzunehmen,
>einzige Ausnahme sind Mitglieder der Sicherheitskräfte. [ANNCOL 19.8.02]
>Am 31.Juli erschossen in Puerto Wilches (Santander) vermummte bewaffnete
>Angreifer Wilfredo Camargo Aroca, während er in der Erdölfabrik Las Brisas
>arbeitete. Camargo war aktives Mitglied der Nationalen Gewerkschaft der
>ArbeiterInnen in der Landwirtschaftsindustrie SINTRAINAGRO. Am gleichen
>ermordeten die Paras in Valledupar (Provinz César) Rodrigo Gamboa Coy, der
>seit mehr als 20 Jahren beim Nationalen Institut für Agrarreform INCORA
>tätig und Präsident der Gewerkschaft der INCORA-ArbeiterInnen SINTRADIN
>[Communique der CUT 2.8.02]
>Ebenfalls am 31.Juli entführten die Paras in der Gemeinde Sabana des
>(Santander) den Gewerkschaftsaktivisten Alonso Pamplona. Pamplona, der für
>die ErdölarbeiterInnen-Gewerkschaft USO aktiv ist, wurde am nächsten Tag
>lebendig aber schwer verletzt - mit vier Schusswunden - aufgefunden. Es
>berichtet, dass er in einem Krankenhaus auf dem Weg der Besserung ist. Als
>Folge dieser Attacke führten etwa 7.000 Mitglieder von USO im ganzen Land
>einen 24-Stunden-Proteststreik durch, bei dem auch gefordert wurde, dass
>USO-Aktivist Gonzalo Ramírez Triana sicher zurückgebracht werden soll,
>nachdem er am 29.Juli in Villeta (Provinz Cundinamarca) von den Paras
>entführt worden ist. Ramírez bleibt verschwunden. [ANNCOL 20.8.02; La
>(Neiva) 4.8.02 - von RCN; Communique der CUT 2.8.02]
>In diesem Jahr wurden bis jetzt 115 CUT-AktivistInnen von den Paras
>ermordet, berichtete die Abteilung für Menschenrechte der CUT in einer
>Stellungnahme vom 16.August. Weitere acht Mitglieder der CUT wurden
>verhaftet und bleiben verschwunden, während 16 andere AktivistInnen
>wurden - fünf von ihnen wurden später freigelassen. In keinem dieser Fälle
>ist es zu Verhaftungen gekommen. [CUT 16.8.02 - via Equipo Nizkor]
>Einer Resolution des kolumbianischen Büros zur Verteidigung des Volkes
>zufolge berichtet die Nationale Gewerkschafts-Schule, dass zwischen Januar
>1991 und Dezember 2001 1.741 GewerkschaftsaktivistInnen ermordet wurden,
>Durchschnitt von 174 im Jahr. Die Schule berichtet ausserdem, dass es in
>Kolumbien eine der niedrigsten Raten Lateinamerikas bei der Organisierung
>Gewerkschaften gibt: etwa 7% der arbeitenden Bevölkerung, das sind
>900.000 Gewerkschaftsmitglieder. [Resolución Defensorial 23.7.02 - via
>Übersetzung eines Artikels des alternativen
>*** nadir-aktuell-abo -- Aboliste mit Nachrichten von http://www.nadir.org
>*** Beitraege: email@example.com / Redaktion:
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02 Next Innocence Case ?
Von: Abraham J. Bonowitz <email@example.com>
Next Innocence Case? What will YOU do about it?Dear Floridians (and Friends),
How long will it be before Florida releases another prisoner from its death
row? The way things are going, a new release could happen within the next
few months. The would be the ***25th*** wrongful conviction exposed in our
state. (See article below.)
And yet, most politicians are in denial about the fact that Florida's legal
system makes so many potentially deadly mistakes. After all, when the
wrong person is convicted, the guilty party is still free to kill again,
and often does.
Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (FADP) ***MUST*** make the
most of opportunities presented in the coming election season. Your help
is needed to effectuate the following:
* EVERY candidate for state legislature must be visited and presented with
FADP's proposed legislative adjustments.
* Candidates who show promise must be assisted.
* Every means of using free (earned) media attention must be used to
educate Floridians about why the death penalty as currently implemented
within a flawed legal system must be held in doubt.
* Floridians must be educated about why Amendment 1 on the November ballot
is ONE BAD AMENDMENT.FADP has established the ONE BAD AMENDMENT Political Committee
<www.onebadamendment.org> as an independent entity to deal with the
Amendment. Planning is just getting started for a media tour of Florida in
October that will feature several of Florida's death row survivors and
murder victims family members who oppose executions. A package of specific
legislative improvements is being prepared which will become the
cornerstone of FADP lobbying efforts during this tour and in the next
legislative session. FADP believes it is vital to start people thinking
about these proposals *before* the election, and implementing them in the
committee discussions which take place in the months prior to the
legislative session actually starting.To help make the above happen, Floridians for Alternatives to the Death
Penalty (FADP) -- the ONLY statewide, secular anti-death penalty
organization in Florida -- must have your assistance. Please consider the
* Consider attending the next FADP planning meeting - September 21 in
Orlando. E-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org> or call 800-973-6548 to RSVP.
* Visit <http://www.fadp.org/contact.html>, and fill out the volunteer
involvement form. Please use the comments section to share your ideas for
action, and any specific tasks you would be willing to take on in your area.
* Visit <http://www.onebadamendment.org> to learn more about Amendment 1,
and to make a contribution to that effort. (That page is still in
development - your feedback is appreciated at this time.) [Pd. Pol. Adv.
by the One Bad Amendment Political Committee]
* Visit <http://www.fadp.org/relief_fund.html> to make a contribution to
FADP's Exonerated Prisoner Relief Fund so that we can be prepared to assist
the next Florida death row prisoner released because they are found to be
* Visit <http://www.cuadp.org/support.html> to make a financial
contribution via CUADP's secure server, or via PayPal, in support of FADP's
general funding needs. FADP does not pay salaries. But it does help with
living expenses for its full time volunteers. FADP will realize the
benefit of an additional full time volunteer starting September 17, when
Aoife Titley arrives from Ireland to work with us until December. We need
an office environment, another computer, and we have another mouth to
feed. (See the link or scroll to the end of this message for FADP's
address to send a check or money order.)With your help, FADP can make the difference in Florida. Thank you.
Yours in the Struggle,
Abraham J. Bonowitz
Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
See contact, mission statement, and financial information in signature line
below the following news article.
FBI lab chief's testimony an issue in murder appeal
By Jackie Hallifax
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Five years after an FBI agent was censured for shoddy lab work, the Florida
Supreme Court explored Wednesday whether Death Row inmate George Trepal
deserves a new trial.
Trepal, 53, is condemned for the murder of his neighbor in the small
Central Florida town of Alturas.
Peggy Carr, a 41-year-old waitress, drank Coca-Cola laced with thallium, a
toxic metal once used to kill everything from roaches to rats but largely
banned since 1972. She fell into a coma and died a few months later in 1989.
Her death seemed to parallel a scenario in a murder mystery Trepal once
wrote for fellow members of Mensa, a society for people who score high on
Two years later, detectives found thallium in a brown bottle in Trepal's
garage, and he was arrested.
At Trepal's 1991 trial, prosecutors contended that Trepal, a chemist who
masterminded murder mysteries for Mensa, spiked Carr's drinks with thallium
after a dispute over loud music.
Roger Martz, chief of the FBI's chemistry toxicology unit, was a witness
for the state.
Trepal was tried, convicted and condemned. But later, a report by the U.S.
Justice Department criticized Martz, concluding he was careless in his
analysis and exaggerated the significance of his tests.
Martz made "various inaccurate, incomplete and inaccurate statements" in
Trepal's trial, the report concluded. He was formally disciplined.
Two years ago, a judge denied a new trial for Trepal - but also criticized
the FBI laboratory and said he was uncomfortable with his ruling.
In Wednesday's arguments, Trepal's attorney told the justices that Martz's
testimony was the only evidence linking the thallium in the Coca-Cola
bottles to the thallium later found in Trepal's garage.
"That was the only direct evidence of guilt," appellate attorney Todd Scher
argued, adding there are different forms of thallium and pointing out that
the chemical also was found in the apartment of Peggy Carr's husband.
But Carol Dittmar, an assistant attorney general arguing against the
appeal, said thallium was so rare that it didn't matter what form of it was
found in the bottle in Trepal's garage.
Justice Barbara Pariente, however, said that if she had been a juror she
would have been impressed by Martz's testimony. Since that testimony has
since been found to be misleading and false, she questioned how the
conviction could be upheld.*****
Abraham J. Bonowitz
Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (FADP)
800-973-6548 http://www.fadp.org <email@example.com>
PMB 297, 177 U.S. Highway #1, Tequesta, FL 33469
Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty works for restorative
justice in the form of effective alternatives to the death penalty. It
does so by
# supporting and coordinating the work of organizations and individuals
# educating and energizing the general public and state legislators
# supporting the many persons affected by capital crime and punishment
# advocating specific legislative improvements
PS: For fiscal & legal purposes, FADP is a project of CUADP
<http://www.cuadp.org>. Please call 800-973-6548 or e-mail
<firstname.lastname@example.org> to get involved. Checkbook activism helps too!
Make checks to FADP and send to:
177 U.S. Highway #1
Tequesta, FL 33469
CONTRIBUTIONS TO CUADP/FADP ARE NOT TAX DEDUCTIBLE
A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL
INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE [FL] DIVISION
OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL FREE 800-435-7352
(FL only) OR 850-413-0840. REGISTRATION DOES NOT
IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION
BY THE STATE. REGISTRATION # SC-11170. NO PROFESSIONAL
SOLICITOR IS CURRENTLY ENGAGED WITH CUADP. 100% OF
ANY CONTRIBUTION GOES TO THE ORGANIZATION.To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: cuadpupdate-unsubscribe@eGroups.com
03 Workers Power Global Week
Von: NEWSWIRE <email@example.com>
>>>WORKERS POWER GLOBAL WEEK
E-newswire of the LRCI
1 September 2002
>>>>WELCOME TO ISSUE #108
Workers Power Global Week is the English language e-newsletter of the LRCI.
To unsubscribe go to: http://www.workerspower.com/wpglobal/newsform.html
Please forward this to a comrade.
>>EARTH SUMMIT: CORPORATIONS ON THE INSIDE ˆ PROTESTORS ON THE OUTSIDE
>>CENTRAL EUROPE: CAPITALISM'S NATURAL CATASTROPHES
>>IRAQ: BUSH PRESSES FOR WAR
>>SWEDEN: RHETORIC AND REACTION IN THE COMING ELECTIONS ARGENTINA: OCCUPIED WORKPLACES PLAN NATIONAL CONFERENCE
>>EARTH SUMMIT: CORPORATIONS ON THE INSIDE - PROTESTORS ON THE OUTSIDE
Workers Power Global, London
As floods engulf much of Europe and Asia and droughts devastate parts of Africa
and North America, it's clear that solutions must be found to the problems
afflicting the global environment. One place where these will not be found is
the United Nations' summit on sustainable development in Johannesburg.
Ten years after the earth summit in Rio, the Johannesburg gathering proclaims
that it wishes to "conserve our natural resources in a world that is growing in
population, with ever-increasing demands for food, water, shelter, sanitation,
energy, health services and economic security."
It is the largest summit ever, with over 65,000 delegates from 185 countries.
The press has widely reported the tons of fillet mignon steak, the barrels of
caviar that will be consumed at the banquets on helping the poor and
It has also reported the people in Alexandra town ship many of whom do not even
have clean running water. Some of this reportage comes from the neoliberal
hypocrites who condemn such conferences because they might interfere, even in
the most limited way, with the free functioning of the market. The best these
reptiles can offer is the "trickle down effect" from the rich getting richer. We
we've had that for nearly twenty years and guess what?
Sure the rich get richer but the poor get poorer, the environment gets more
degraded. Epidemics and famine still stalk the world. Even Jeffrey Sachs the
guru of neoliberalism admits this now.
George Bush may have decided that the event did not warrant his attendance, but
global corporations are well represented in the corridors of luxury hotels. They
are pushing the agenda of public private partnership. In short they want to make
a profit out of sustainable development.
It is their profits they wish to sustain and develop. They want to destroy
public services so that they can make a profit out of selling water, healthcare,
education to the poor. And Britains "Labour" ministers, like Clare Short,are
there to help them get away with this˜ mocking and abusing the anticapitalist
protesters as "rich kids" trying to deprive the poor of the benefits of
capitalism. Well Clare we've got news for you.
It wasn't the "rich kids" who defeated water privatisation in Bolivia. And it
wasn't rich kids who were protesting outside the razor wire in Johannesburg
either. It was people from the slums of Cochabamba or Alexandra township.
The summit's aims are incredibly broad, but a number of key issues can be
identified. The first of these is that of water supply. Over two billion people
currently face water shortages and three billion lack adequate sanitation.
Water is becoming increasingly commodified, with disputes arising over access to
supplies in areas such as the Middle East, and privatisation of supplies
becoming the norm internationally. The host nation, South Africa, has seen
bitter struggles in recent months against the sell-off of municipal water
Another area of concern is ecosystem protection. The world's forests have
declined by around 90,000 sq. km a year during the past decade, and on current
trends by 2025 fifteen per cent of all forest species will be extinct. Half of
the world's rivers are polluted and 11,000 species are threatened by extinction.
The summit also aims to tackle poverty and the problems caused by it. Over two
billion people struggle to survive on less than a dollar a day, but in 2000 80
per cent of global finance flows went to rich countries. Over the past 20 years
much of the Third World is now poorer in absolute terms after swallowing the
neo-liberal economic prescriptions force-fed by the IMF and World Bank.
Some 815 million people are severely undernourished, and 24,000 people die daily
from hunger. Since Rio the total earmarked for foreign aid has actually fallen.
Perhaps the biggest threat to the environment is that of global warming. The
1990s were the warmest decade since records began and extreme weather events
such as droughts and floods have become more commonplace. The Rio summit
introduced the Framework Convention on Climate Change, which laid the basis for
the Kyoto agreement, and a commitment from the major polluters to reduce their
greenhouse gas emissions.
The Kyoto convention is now in tatters, with the US (the world's biggest
polluter) refusing to ratify it, and carbon dioxide emissions are increasing
rapidly. There was a 6 per cent rise on 1990 emission levels in the EU and
Japan, while countries such as China, Brazil and Indonesia saw increases of
between 20 and 40 per cent.
The intransigence of big business and its government puppets in the west looks
certain to block any effective reforms, however modest. Multinational
corporations are heavily represented at Johannesburg, with companies like
McDonald's, Nike and Nestle lobbying hard to protect their interests.
The official British delegation even includes representatives from Rio Tinto, a
mining company notorious for its abuses of human rights and the environment, and
Thames Water, which has already faced more fines for pollution incidents than
any of the privateers in the UK water industry.
So far these companies have succeeded in diluting the proposals of the summit,
successfully blocking attempts to reduce the huge subsidies given to farmers in
the west, and a clause which would assist the victims of corporations to sue for
environmental pollution and damage to health.
As with all the other summits of its kind, the capitalists are more concerned
with protecting their ability to make profit, than introducing measures to
ensure the protection of the planet and its inhabitants.
In the run-in to the summit activists planning protests were subjected to
harassment and concrete barriers and razor wire surround the conference venue.
Clearly the corporate executives and the politicians must not see the thousands
protesting outside. Yet it is these protesters, trade unionists, community
activists, youth that really represent the poor and underprivileged.
They will never get anything from such gatherings. To do that we will have to
seize control of the world's resources. Then and only then can WE meet to plan
the total eradication of poverty and inequality and decide how to save our
FOR MORE ON US REJCTION OF KYOTO SEE:
FOR MORE ON CAPITALISM AND GLOBAL WARMING SEE:
FOR MORE ON THE CLIMATE CONFERENCE 2000 SEE:
>>CENTRAL EUROPE: CAPITALISM'S NATURAL CATASTROPHES
Workers Power Global, Berlin
Flooded cities. Destroyed bridges. Submerged fields. Burst chemical tanks.
People fleeing for their lives. The scale of the disaster in Europe has rightly
been called the flood of the century. Along with the water levels, the question
has been raised again, are these catastrophes the results of a change of climate
caused by human activity?
The majority of climate experts are agreed that carbon dioxide plays a
significant part in the increased warming of the atmosphere. But car use, a
substantial factor in the greenhouse effect, is an example of the fact that it
isn't "humanity" but the social relationships under which people live which
determines the transport systems we use.
The inadequacy and cost of public transport systems result directly in the use
of private cars. The anarchy of the market economy leads to a massive use of
HGV's which corresponds to the requirements of a system of production based on
"just in time" deliveries and maximisation of profits. The use of labour power
under the conditions of private competition leads to an army of commuters, huge
traffic jams and continual increase in road traffic.
Instead of using resources thoughtfully and sparingly, the needs of isolated
private producers determine the nature and scale of transport. What is
economically efficient at the level of the factory shows itself to be uneconomic
and environmentally destructive at the level of society as a whole.
The ever-growing scale of heavy freight transport doesn't only damage the
environment. It ruins the roads, clogs them up and leads to ever greater
numbers of accidents. In order to keep this system running at all, road tolls
are raised and the road network is expanded which in turn raises all the costs.
A true vicious circle!
It is not the light-mindedness of people or their complacency about the
environment which create environmental problems, it is the forces within
capitalism which ultimately determine economic and technological developments
and the behaviour of individuals.
Of course, there would be natural disasters even in a non capitalist society.
The question is whether these problems can be minimised or even, in the longer
It is not just that capitalism cannot do this, it is itself the cause of the
problem. Because of climatic warming, the atmosphere takes up more water which
then results in floods.
Restrictions on natural, drainage as a result of development, the staightening
and canalisation of rivers to make them navigable for ships, together with the
increased use of flood plains for housing and industry, exaggerate the impact of
However, the interests of the economy, which are reflected in the government's
traffic policies, carry more weight than the warnings of the ecologists and
those who live in the areas threatened by flooding.
Because of tax cuts for the big corporations, lack of public resources means
that necessary flood control projects are not undertaken. As a result, for
example, the defences and protective measures around chemical works alongside
rivers are criminally neglected.
It is the people living in these areas who have to pay the costs. It is typical
that many who are threatened by flooding are often unable to insure themselves
because the insurance companies will not take the risk. One thing is certain,
when people are drowning, the insurance firms won't even dip a toe in the water.
The flood waters will recede, but the problems remain. The politicians'
promises will not lead to any real changes in environmental policy in general or
flood protection in particular. For that, major inroads on the power and
influence of capitalists and fundamental changes in the functioning of the
economy would be necessary. Anyone expecting that from bourgeois parties will
have a long wait.
None of the parties, not even the Greens, really want, or are able to bring
about, substantial change. That would require a different force, the Labour
movement. Within this, however, the reformist leaders and ideas prevent serious
discussions of ecological themes and any fight for the achievement of ecological
goals. That is not accidental. Ecological considerations necessarily conflict
with the economic interests of capitalists. But the market economy and private
property are sacrosanct for the reformists.
The Labour movement, therefore, has to demand that its leaders (the Social
Democrats, SPD, the Democratic Socialists, PDS and the trade union
confederation, DGB) take up the issues of ecological improvement and mobilise
their members for them.
Measures to protect the natural world and the environment can be used to create
new jobs under the control of the Labour movement and paid for by the
progressive taxation of capital. When the PDS demand that the rich should also
contribute, that may be well-intentioned but it is little more than a request
for charity and completely insufficient.
In every question regarding the environment, the Labour movement, together with
their own trusted experts, should lay down and enforce the necessary standards
and measures. As long as the "experts" and politicians are responsible for the
environment on behalf of capitalists, it will continue to be ruined and the
costs will be carried by the masses.
In contrast to the Greens, who want an ecological capitalism, any really serious
"ecological" struggle will show that success is impossible without the working
class and without socialism.
FOR MORE ON ENVIRONMENT SEE:
>>IRAQ: BUSH PRESSES FOR WAR
Workers Power Global, London
There's unfinished business in Iraq. George Bush Junior isn't going to repeat
Daddy's big mistake, leaving Saddam Hussein in power at the end of Gulf War I.
They may have argued over golf about the wisdom of an invasion, but Bush Junior,
is determined to see the invasion through.
After a period of bogus debate and discussion, where the US ruling elite proves
there is no alternative to war and prepares the population for the necessary
sacrifices, the war will begin. Exactly when, we cannot say. But soon.
Already a team of 1,000 US military planners is based in the Middle East,
plotting every aspect of the invasion. According to a heavily publicised leak to
the New York Times, the US Central Command plan a three pronged, land, sea and
air assault on Iraq involving at least 250,000 troops along with a massive air
and sea bombardment. A further $50 billion has been added to US defence budgets
to pay for the war and a rapid restocking of guided bombs and missiles is
But why now ? After the outrage of 11 September, the US has been freed from the
shackles of the post war military consensus, which outlawed the use of
pre-emptive military strikes or wars. The US makes no pretence that their
planned attack is within the remit of "international law" or sanctioned by the
UN. The war is in US interests and that is enough.
The US wants to turn its overwhelming military superiority, equal to the
combined defence spending of the next 16 biggest powers, from a theoretical
quantity into an actual reality, into a concrete factor in events. Hence its
disinterest in establishing a diplomatic consensus, its refusal to listen to the
warnings of its allies, and its increasingly aggressive stance towards former
allies, such as Saudi Arabia, seen to be unwilling or unable to contain Islamic
militants opposed to the USA.
The USA wants to make it clear to all: it rules the world and will tolerate no
opposition to it.
And why Iraq? In spite of the ranting of the US President and State Department,
there is no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to Al-Qaida, the attacks on the
World Trade Centre, or the funding of international terrorism. A dossier of
evidence has been repeatedly promised but never delivered.
The few shreds of evidence linking Saddam to Al-Qaida have been disproved even
by US intelligence agencies. This is not surprising given that Bin Laden offered
to lead an offensive against Iraq following its invasion of Kuwait and regards
Saddam Hussein as a fake Muslim.
Neither has Iraq developed weapons of mass destruction. The US government's own
agencies, such as UNSCOM the missile inspectorate, confirm the destruction of 90
per cent of Iraq's missiles. Scott Ritter the former head of the inspection
team, further points out that there have been no test firings to enable it to
develop replacements, and that Iraq's military is in a state of disrepair.
Defence spending has fallen to 10 per cent of its pre war levels. It is
questionable if Iraq even has quantities of nerve gas, or chemical agents. What
remains of its air force, already substantially destroyed during the Gulf War
and unable to buy spare parts for ten years, is unlikely to be able to deliver
the few weapons which may exist.
Could it be a new found humanitarianism which drives US policy? A desire to
bring democracy to the people of Iraq. Hardly. The people of Afghanistan are
already experiencing the results of US commitment to democracy and human rights
- massacres of prisoners, widespread torture, and the savage repression of women
all remain integral to US rule there. In Palestine, the US supports Israel's
policy of collective punishment, assassination and occupation against the
It has recently been revealed that the CIA was involved in Saddam's gassing of
the Kurds. The US refused to defend the Marsh Arabs when they revolted against
Saddam at the end of the last Gulf War and the US supplied arms to Iraq
throughout its war with Iran at the cost of over a million lives.
The real reason why Iraq now finds itself staring down the end of a US gun
barrel is all to do with Bush's plans for US global domination.
After 11 September the US was hurt, humiliated, outraged that a bunch of upstart
terrorists, should mount such an audacious assault against the symbols of its
world power. Such an assault required a response, any failure by the US to react
would have been seen as a terrible weakness by all the nations of the world.
But as well as the motivation for a more aggressive, imperialist policy, it also
provided the US with the opportunity to act. It freed them from the constraints
of the post war consensus and meant that henceforth they could describe anyone,
or anywhere they chose to as a threat to their power and consequently in need of
destruction. Anybody who refuses to toe the Washington line is automatically
part of the axis of evil.
Iraq has been selected as a test case for this exercise in US unilateralism
(though Blair is all set to fall in behind Bush) for one overriding reason -
oil. Oil remains the key raw material for global capitalism. Even during normal
times reserves of oil never consist of more than three months supply.
The imperialists remain acutely conscious of their dependence on oil and the
fact that at any time their system could be thrown into crisis if there is some
interruption in its supply
As the US administration have become increasingly frustrated with Saudi Arabia,
the US wants to secure an acceptable alternative supply. Iraq has the second
largest oil reserves in the world and its geographical location, close to oil
discoveries in the Caucasus, means that a pro-US regime in Baghdad could solve
US oil demands at a stroke.
Iraq neatly solves all the difficulties facing the Bush administration: a quick
war will boost his patriotic ratings at home and ensure his second term, it will
prove US power to the world and provide much of the oil the US needs.
But war is not a risk free option for the US government. And it is here that the
opponents of war start raising their heads. They point out that although the US
cannot conceivably lose a military struggle with Iraq, the war could unleash a
chain of events, which could cause its defeat.
The Iraqi army, although only a third of its size at the outset of the Gulf War,
is still a significant force, around 400,000 men, with over 2,000 battle tanks
and countless pieces of small artillery, anti-tank weapons and small arms. This
time the army will not be retreating from Kuwait and acutely vulnerable to US
air power, but entrenched in the major cities defending their own nation against
Baghdad is a metropolis of over 5,000,000 people. They will not welcome the US
army as liberators. US and British planes have been bombing their country daily
for years now. They are, rightly, seen as oppressors and murderers. The people
of Iraq will fight them.
Nor can the US use a proxy army in Iraq, as they did with the Northern Alliance
in Afghanistan. Arming the Kurds runs the risk of aggravating Turkey a key ally.
In any case the Kurds do not trust the US and are unlikely to fight beyond
liberating their own territories.
Arming the Marsh Arabs runs the risk of arousing pro-Saudi secessionist feelings
and splitting Iraq apart. There is also a risk of what remains of the Iraqi air
and missile force being used against US troops massing in Qatar, and more
dangerously Israel, unleashing an Israeli nuclear response.
Although the US has become used to wars - in Somalia, the Balkans and
Afghanistan - it has still to overcome its aversion to its armed forces getting
killed. US troops fought for one evening in Afghanistan and the loss of one
marine's foot was deemed too high a price by the US military for their
involvement! Any street combat in Baghdad, even though the Iraqi's would pay a
far higher price in terms of death and destruction, would undoubtedly cost
significant US casualties.
Further the US runs the risk of inflaming the region in a series of
revolutionary crises, not least in Iraq itself. Saddam may be hated, as the
brutal dictator he is, but the Iraqi people understand he is their dictator, and
it is their responsibility to remove him. Hence the isolation of the Iraqi
opposition and its complete prostration and dependence on the US for support.
The opposition will only rule with a massive US army of occupation defending it
and the effective reduction of Iraq to colonial status.
What's more the war will provide the opportunity for the revolutionary overthrow
of Saddam's regime. Already Saddam has been forced by his desperate
circumstances to increase his anti-imperialist rhetoric, supporting the
Palestinians against Israel, preparing a popular defence of the nation against
And any effective defence of both himself and Iraq can only take place through
the mobilisation of the population against the US imperialists.
While Saddam will attempt to retain control of the armed forces, through the
purging of the officer core, limiting weapons to army units, using the
Republican Guard as a Praetorian Guard, as soon as the US attacks Baghdad,
weapons will flood into the hands of the popular masses and Saddam's ability to
control the army will be markedly reduced.
The defence of the nation and the revolutionary struggle against Saddam will be
combined into one fight. The fight for permanent revolution, the destruction of
the imperialist forces in Iraq and the spreading of the revolution to Iraq's
neighbours, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Palestine will become a living
question. A matter of life and death.
At the end of the First Gulf War, the US Secretary of Defence Richard Cheney
spoke about the questions facing any US invasion of Iraq proper:
"If we'd gone to Baghdad and got rid of Saddam Hussein - assuming we could have
found him - we'd have had to put a lot of forces in and run him to ground some
place. He would not have been easy to capture. Then you've got to put a new
government in his place and then you're faced with the question of what kind of
government are you going to establish in Iraq? Is it going to be a Kurdish
government or a Shi'a government or a Sunni government? How many forces are you
going to have to leave there to keep it propped up, how many casualties are you
going to take through the course of this operation?"
We answer, a lot of casualties, a workers' government
FOR MORE ON BUSH'S WAR PLANS SEE:
FOR MORE ON THE US WAR ON THE POOR AFTER SEPTEMBER 11TH SEE:
SWEDEN: RHETORIC AND REACTION IN THE COMING ELECTIONS
Workers Power Global, Stockholm
National, regional, and local elections will take place in Sweden on 15
September. There is a clear polarisation in Swedish society between those
supporting the social democratic government, and its unofficial coalition
partners in the Green and Left Parties, and the four openly bourgeois parties.
Nevertheless the election campaigns are not very focused on central issues
relating to this polarisation.
The four bourgeois parties ˆ liberals (the Peoples Party), conservatives (the
Moderates), christian democrats, and the Center Party (former Agrarians) ˆ are
fighting on a common platform for an alternative government.
The platform contains some promises, primarily: lower taxes on
"entrepeneurship", (i.e. capital); abolition of the state employment centers in
favor of "different actors", (i.e. private firms); "knowledge" should be at the
centre in the schools, (i.e. more tests and more marking); a guarantee for
health care on time and the "freedom" to choose between different, (i.e.
private), providers of health care.
The platform ends with a classical formulation of bourgeois politics:
"Individuals and families will regain power over their own everyday life".
This is bourgeois ideology ˆ and illusions ˆ in a nutshell.
No worker can seriously believe that individuals and families, in the age of
globalisation of capital ˆ where fewer and fewer make the decisions, can "regain
the power over their everyday life" without collective struggle.
History has again and again, especially during the last 150 years, proved that
it is only by collective struggle and organisation that workers and other
wage-earners can "regain" at least some part of "the power over their everyday
In a certain sense the common platform of the bourgeois parties lacks "vision".
This is explained by the fact that the present government has already opened the
door ˆ by now wide open ˆ for privatisation. The leaders of the labour movement,
including the leaders of the Left Party, complain now and then about
privatisation, but they never organise a serious struggle to stop them.
These misleaders want their voters to believe that they are not fully behind the
privatisation drives (the state owned post offices are, as an example, currently
being broken up and privatised), that they are only giving in to overwhelming
pressure from the "market" and "globalisation".
If the openly bourgeois parties win the national elections, they will continue
the job of the current government, but they will do it with a clearer
ideological profile and with less hesitation.
Many of the campaign slogans and promises of the different parties belong to the
realm of the imbecile or are sheer deceit.
The social democrats in Stockholm claim to fight for "a just and warm" city -
"without consideration to economy, origin, gender or age". "Justice and security
for everyone" ("Good for all equals good for Sweden") is the slogan behind
promises from the government party for more resources to the public sector ˆ IF
finances will allow it.
The liberal Peoples Party demand that "men should be given the same high wage
as women", which is a bit surprising from a party that strongly ˆ but falsely ˆ
claims to be feminist. It is not known if this is a mistake from the advertising
agency or some unknown form of irony. The Christian Democrats propose a policy
based on "heart and reason", which is not very informative, and the
Conservatives advice you to "Vote for your Sweden".
The issue of Swedens entry into the EMU have not, despite some efforts, been an
issue during the elections. This is mainly explained by the fact that there is a
split from top to bottom among supporters of social democracy on this question.
Although prime minister Göran Persson has finally decided that the time and the
conditions are right for Sweden, he will not be able to rely on the whole labour
movement to back entry. Many rank-and-file social democrats, the Left Party, and
the Center Party are opponents of a Swedish entry.
A referendum is scheduled for next year, and it will probably be a very close
battle between Yes and No. The referendum will most likely take place at a time
that will also play into the hands of EMU supporters in Britain and Denmark, the
two other EU countries still outside.
The media have tried hard and partially been successful in "discovering" a
Danish situation, which refers to the last elections in neighbouring Denmark
were the dominant bourgeois parties (conservatives and liberals) gave in to the
racist Danish Peoples Party. This has resulted in new laws which are highly
discriminating, not only against foreign-born residents, but also those born in
Denmark by foreign-born parents. There is also a highly anti-muslim bias to the
No immigration takes place to Sweden, apart from EU and Scandinavian
immigration. The only ones who are allowed in are refugees. But this is
constantly confused in the media, which is full of reports on the deteriorating
situation in immigrant areas. It is said children cant learn Swedish proper
since all their Swedish-speaking neighbours have moved away.
Scare stories of ghettoisation are invented for the consumption of people who
have never been to these areas.
In an attempt to forestall the formation of an openly racist opinion, several of
the bourgeois parties have campaigned for rather dubious demands, often openly
The liberals ˆ the most "anti-racist" party, according to themselves ˆ have come
up with the demand for a language test as a condition for citizenship.
In order not to be outdistanced by the liberals, the conservatives ˆ feeling
strong sentiments among their own supporters for tougher measures ˆ are
demanding that money given to refugees out of social welfare should be regarded
as a loan, and accordingly be repaid. Its unclear if this also goes for so
called "Swedes" who are not able to support themselves.
The social democrats have, so far, resisted attempts to move in an openly racist
direction. But they are ˆ in true labour aristocratic fashion ˆ resisting all
talk of labour immigration, which has also become an issue.
Several of the openly bourgeois parties are demanding immigration of labour,
pointing to a future demographic problem and the need for highly-qualified
experts. Socialists should also, of course, be in favor of that, but there are
other intentions behind these demands.
The social democrats argue that all those refugees and immigrants who are
already in the country should first get a job before labour immigration can be
allowed. The intention is to defend the existing working class by using the
bourgeois state to keep other workers out. But this is an illusion. Good wages
and good conditions can only be won in struggle, not by relying on the bourgeois
But no party is making an issue of all those ˆ capitalists and wealthy people ˆ
who profit from the use of illegal immigrant labour from Poland, the Baltic
states, and Russia. Illegal labour has almost taken on epidemic proportions in
the southern and eastern parts of the country.
In the building industry, in restaurants, in home work including child care, and
in gardening thousands and very likely tens of thousands are employed by
ruthless employers. These workers are denied all rights, and can only be saved
by their own struggle, which should be supported by the labour movement.
The social democrats are overall keeping a low profile, mainly relying on their
past achievements, such as the relatively good standing of the economy and the
budget, and Göran Perssons prominent role as "statesman" during Swedens
chairmanship of the EU last year.
This last period of his career ended, as is well-known, by Persson taking full
responsibility for the heavy police repression against protesters at the EU
summit in Gothenburg in June last year, which almost killed one young protester.
In distinction to many other elections during the post-war period, there is no
real difference between the social democrats and the openly bourgeois parties on
international issues. The leaders of the bourgeois parties have been very
pleased with the part played by Persson in "the war against terrorism".
No real disagreements remain on the international arena, not even in the case of
Israels oppression of the Palestinians, since Persson has returned to social
democracys traditional proˆIsraeli position.
Next week we will take a closer look at the alternatives on offer to the left of
FOR MORE IN SWEDISH SEE:
ARGENTINA: OCCUPIED WORKPLACES PLAN NATIONAL CONFERENCE
Partido de los Trabajadores por el Socialismo
Workers from the factories under workers' management met on August 24 at the
occupied Brukman Textile factory in Buenos Aires, to prepare the second national
meeting of occupied factories for 7 September. This was jointly convened by the
workers of the Zanón ceramic factory in Neuquén, currently producing under
workers' control, and the Brukman workers, who were the main organisers of the
first meeting in defence of occupied factories in April.
They received greetings and messages of solidarity and the support of the
Movement of Unemployed Workers (MTD) of Solano and Varela (working class
districts in Buenos Aires province), which are part of the Co-ordination of
Unemployed Workers Anibal Verón. These unemployed organisations responded to the
call of the MTD of Neuquén to take part in this meeting.
This time the alliance among self-managed companies was even wider. A delegation
elected from the Junín Clinic assembly traveled from Córdoba province. Also
present were: workers from the Tigre Supermarket in Rosario; from the Fricader
factory in Río Negro province; miners from Río Turbio; metal workers from the La
Baskonia factory in Buenos Aires province; workers from the El Aguante
Cooperative; from the Chilavert printing shop and from the food plant Ghelco.
All of them are being run under different methods of workers' administration.
Union delegations were present, among them railway workers from the Haedo line
in Buenos Aires province, shop stewards of the Meat-packers' Union of Buenos
Aires, teachers from La Matanza, the Shop Stewards' Commission of EMFER, health
workers from the Garraham Children's Hospital in Buenos Aires, university
teachers from Córdoba, members of the Rosario shop workers' union, university
teachers of the CONADU union, a delegation from the La Matanza branch of the
metal workers' union UOM.
Present too were building workers from the UOCRA branch in Neuquén, shipyard
workers from Astillero Río Santiago, workers from the publishing house Perfil,
workers from the food factory Pepsico Snacks, postal workers from Rosario city,
and delegates from the Buenos Aires and La Plata branches of the civil servants'
union ATE. The unemployed movement of Neuquén was also there. Greetings of
solidarity were received from the Corriente Clasista y Combativa.
Many of the factories that attended the meeting had participated in the Plenary
Session of the Co-ordinating Committee of the Alto Valle Region that took place
in the Zanón factory on August 10. This had been attended by 1,000 people, among
them workers from Zanón, Brukman and Junín Clinic, unemployed, public sector
workers, teachers and students of the local university.
Delegates and members of popular assemblies from different neighbourhoods of
Buenos Aires city and province participated in the meeting. All of them
supported the convening of the Second National Meeting of Occupied Factories for
A delegation from the meeting went to the meeting of the Bloque Piquetero at the
Grissinópoli Factory (a breadsticks factory under occupation in Buenos Aires)
and read a letter calling on them to convene together with other occupied
factories the second meeting of occupied factories.
After the meeting, each delegation returned to its factory to discuss in their
own assemblies the proposals for the second national meeting. The first priority
of the participants is mutual defence in the event of any attack or attempt at
They also agreed to call for the occupation and workers' control of factories
threatened with closure and redundancy and those facing bankruptcy.
It was agreed that one of the points to discuss at the second meeting of the
occupied factories is the need for a national meeting of popular assemblies, the
picketers' movement, the occupied factories and trade unions in struggle in
order to organise a big Workers' Assembly at a national level, as a tool to
fight for the trade unions to break with the bourgeois parties and to promote a
general strike to make a reality of the slogan "All of them must go"
The PTS has been active in the movement of the occupied factories, fighting on a
programme that shows the potential of the working class to lead the struggle
against the capitalist system, and stressing the importance of co-ordinating
this movement with other sectors that are in struggle - the picketers, popular
assemblies and trade unions
FOR MORE ON THE FACTORY OCCUPATIONS SEE:
FOR MORE ON THE PRESENT CRISIS IN ARGENTINA SEE:
FOR MORE IN SPANISH AND ENGLISH FROM THE PTS SEE:
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DISKUSSION - MAIR
04 ...will ich Mair heißen!!!
Von: Scholem Alejchem <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Normalerweise stehe ich nicht auf dem Standpunkt, zu jedem Würstel auch
meinen Senf dazugeben zu müssen, aber es muß einfach sein.
Frei, nach einem "großen" Wiener Bürgermeister (er steht Gußeisern oder
Bronze gegenüber dem Prückel): "Was ein gscheiter Semit ist, bestimm immer
noch ich", üben sich die meisten darauf hingewiesenen als Anbiedermeier.
Ich hab auch Verwandte in der Nazizeit verloren, ich hab aber auch schon
vorher welche verloren; zu Zeiten des Obigen, in den letzten 2000 Jahren
besonders, sowie in den letzten 5700 Jahren im allgemeinen.
Sicherlich ist es keine Frage, daß Unrecht immer Unrecht ist, aber bei
Zitaten ist Vorsicht geboten.
Orsch ist Orsch, sollte eigentlich "A Oasch is a Oasch" heißen, worauf
die Frage ergibt:
Was unterscheidet den Oasch eigentlich vom Kopf?
Die Furche macht aus einem Kopf erst einen Oasch.
in diesem Sinne:
Wers kapiert hat: congratulations,
wer nicht: Was versteht a Goj vom bled redn.
1. September 2002, 22.00 Uhr
Diese Ausgabe hat Gernot Pürer email@example.com
Fehler möge frau/man mir nachsehen!