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Month June 2012

EFA supports legalisation of Sortu

The European Free Alliance supports the recent legalisation of Sortu in the Spanish courts.

This move could have significant implications with upcoming elections in 2013 and beyond.

Plaid Werdd Cymru = Green Party of Wales

Is this the correct translation of Green Party of Wales in the Welsh language?

 

why do Greens have a Party of England AND Wales?

Unlike the main political parties, the Green Party is not a UK wide party. There is a separate Scottish Green Party.

So why is Wales and England linked?

Is Wales an afterthought? Is it thought that there is very little Green Party support so let’s tag it on to the much larger English Green Party?

I cannot see the logic of keeping the two together if we have separated from the Irish and Scottish Greens.

It may also not be very strategic.

After all, what message does it send to Welsh voters, who may feel proud of being Welsh but not sure of going over to Plaid Cymru?

Does it also not place the Welsh Greens onto a position of “they’re just like the 3 main parties but a lot smaller”?

What if the Welsh Green Party were separate completely? It would have its independent way of operating, specific to the conditions of Wales.

It would be on much firmer territory in negotiating with Plaid Cymru. The latter’s policies have a lot in common with the Green Party. Their trump card is however that they can say that only Plaid Cymru is really pushing for Wales, in its vision of national liberation.

A independent Welsh Green Party (spelt in its own language) would offer an overtly Green vision of Wales, and I would assume inevitably move towards seeking greater powers and finance from London. When Scotland becomes independent, the politicians in Wales would have to make a choice between Unionism or Independence.

A Welsh Green Party would have a few years head start over the mainstream (discredited) parties that it’s primary concern is Wales .

The flip side is that an English Green Party would outflank the racist parties such as UKIP with a vision for England which can espouse a new economic and social system, equal, left-wing and REGIONAL, challenging the London dominated financial sector obsessed view of the World.

English politics will become more regional as the economic crisis bites deeply over the rest of this decade as regions clamour for clean energy industrialisation, better balance across England, more equality and even a move from the Permanent War based fossil fuel system fed by unending debt.

Unless the Greens move into English territory (accepting the importance of identity and culture) offering a global philosophy of rebuilding a society within the context of climate change, spiralling debts, Peak Oil, War, to move to fulfil the need for full employment and equality, then the mainstream parties will lurch further towards the right.

The Miliband dipping the toe into racist waters shows where English politics is heading. The Greens need to build an alternative case for an England where being proud of one’s country does not mean racism, exclusion, harassment of minorities and chauvinism.

After all, ‘Third World’ national liberation movements were and still are something Greens find easy to support because it is against colonialism (old or new), and because they wanted freedom to create a society which worked the entire population, not just the pampered few.

This is dangerous territory. One suspects there may be middle class Greens happy to live in Midsomer Murder ‘all white’ villages in tripled glazed homes and organic food, far away from ethnic minorities in London.

However, that is not Green in its real sense. Just cherry picking by latent right wingers using environmental cover to preach an end to immigration, to over-population (as in in the Global South!) and exclusion.

An English Green Party would keep its current beliefs, its refreshing ideals on immigration and its global worldview. It would instead be able to enter any political arena and not run away from St. George flags and leave people in the clutches of three shrivelled mainstream parties, espousing UKIP led diatribes.

As things get ugly with the economy, the social climate will deteriorate. Have a look at mainland Europe. With New Labour abandoning the high moral ground, only a Green movement can offer an alternative.

To do that, it has to remove doubts in people’s minds about how it approaches the vexed question of English Identity.

A major step would be to carry out the logic of having separate Irish and Scottish Green Parties into amicably splitting to form an English Green Party and a Welsh Green Party.

‘Brilliant Psy-Ops’ becomes News

An article by John Pillger asking why Dow Chemical Company should be allowed to advertise in the London Olympics.

Obama’s US administration and the current free-market Vietnamese government have questions to answer:

“Arriving in a village in southern Vietnam, I caught sight of two children who bore witness to the longest war of the 20th century. Their terrible deformities were familiar. All along the Mekong River, where the forests were petrified and silent, small human mutations lived as best they could.

Today, at the Tu Du paediatrics hospital in Saigon, a former operating theatre is known as the “collection room” and, unofficially, as the “room of horrors”. It has shelves of large bottles containing grotesque foetuses. During its invasion of Vietnam, the United States sprayed a defoliant herbicide on vegetation and villages to deny “cover to the enemy”. This was Agent Orange, which contained dioxin, poisons of such power that they cause foetal death, miscarriage, chromosomal damage and cancer.

In 1970, a US Senate report revealed that “the US has dumped [on South Vietnam] a quantity of toxic chemical amounting to six pounds per head of population, including woman and children”. The code-name for this weapon of mass destruction, Operation Hades, was changed to the friendlier Operation Ranch Hand. Today, an estimated 4.8 million victims of Agent Orange are children.

Len Aldis, secretary of the Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society, recently returned from Vietnam with a letter for the International Olympic Committee from the Vietnam Women’s Union. The union’s president, Nguyen Thi Thanh Hoa, described “the severe congenital deformities [caused by Agent Orange] from generation to generation”. She asked the IOC to reconsider its decision to accept sponsorship of the London Olympics from the Dow Chemical Corporation, which was one of the companies that manufactured the poison and has refused to compensate its victims.

Aldis hand-delivered the letter to the office of Lord Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee. He has had no reply. When Amnesty International pointed out that in 2001 Dow Chemical acquired “the company responsible for the Bhopal gas leak [in India in 1984] which killed 7,000 to 10,000 people immediately and 15,000 in the following twenty years”, David Cameron described Dow as a “reputable company”. Cheers, then, as the TV cameras pan across the £7 million decorative wrap that sheathes the Olympic stadium: the product of a 10-year “deal” between the IOC and such a reputable destroyer.

History is buried with the dead and deformed of Vietnam and Bhopal. And history is the new enemy. On 28 May, President Obama launched a campaign to falsify the history of the war in Vietnam. To Obama, there was no Agent Orange, no free fire zones, no turkey shoots, no cover-ups of massacres, no rampant racism, no suicides (as many Americans took their own lives as died in the war), no defeat by a resistance army drawn from an impoverished society. It was, said Mr. Hopey Changey, “one of the most extraordinary stories of bravery and integrity in the annals of [US] military history”.

The following day, the New York Times published a long article documenting how Obama personally selects the victims of his drone attacks across the world. He does this on “terror Tuesdays” when he browses through mug shots on a “kill list”, some of them teenagers, including “a girl who looked even younger than her 17 years”. Many are unknown or simply of military age. Guided by “pilots” sitting in front of computer screens in Las Vegas, the drones fire Hellfire missiles that suck the air out of lungs and blow people to bits. Last September, Obama killed a US citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, purely on the basis of hearsay that he was inciting terrorism. “This one is easy,” he is quoted by aides as saying as he signed the man’s death warrant. On 6 June, a drone killed 18 people in a village in Afghanistan, including women, children and the elderly who were celebrating a wedding.

The New York Times article was not a leak or an exposé. It was a piece of PR designed by the Obama administration to show what a tough guy the ‘commander-in-chief’ can be in an election year. If re-elected, Brand Obama will continue serving the wealthy, pursuing truth-tellers, threatening countries, spreading computer viruses and murdering people every Tuesday.

The threats against Syria, co-ordinated in Washington and London, scale new peaks of hypocrisy. Contrary to the raw propaganda presented as news, the investigative journalism of the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung identifies those responsible for the massacre in Houla as the ‘rebels’ backed by Obama and Cameron. The paper’s sources include the rebels themselves. This has not been completely ignored in Britain. Writing in his personal blog, ever so quietly, Jon Williams, the BBC world news editor, effectively dishes his own ‘coverage’, citing western officials who describe the ‘psy-ops’ operation against Syria as ‘brilliant’. As brilliant as the destruction of Libya, and Iraq, and Afghanistan.

And as brilliant as the psy-ops of the Guardian’s latest promotion of Alastair Campbell, the chief collaborator of Tony Blair in the criminal invasion of Iraq. In his “diaries”, Campbell tries to splash Iraqi blood on the demon Murdoch. There is plenty to drench them all. But recognition that the respectable, liberal, Blair-fawning media was a vital accessory to such an epic crime is omitted and remains a singular test of intellectual and moral honesty in Britain.

How much longer must we subject ourselves to such an “invisible government”? This term for insidious propaganda, first used by Edward Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freud and inventor of modern public relations, has never been more apt. “False reality” requires historical amnesia, lying by omission and the transfer of significance to the insignificant. In this way, political systems promising security and social justice have been replaced by piracy, “austerity” and “perpetual war”: an extremism dedicated to the overthrow of democracy. Applied to an individual, this would identify a psychopath. Why do we accept it?”

For more information, please visit John Pilger’s website at www.johnpilger.com

The end of Spain?

No, this is not about Euro2012. It is, however, about the Euro.

The Austrian Finance Minister shifted ground yesterday suggesting that the austerity policies would be disastrous and that ‘we need to learn the lessons of the 1930s’, referring to the rise of the Far Right and war.

No one seems to be looking at another option: fragmentation.

While European countries are happy to join with the US in splitting up countries in the Middle East and Africa: Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Somalia, they are more coy when it comes to the ‘Old Continent’.

The austerity madness will cause lasting impacts and it is perhaps too late to change course and expect things to get back to the ‘happy days’ of 2005.

The short run should see an enormous use of monetary firepower by Germany, Northern Europe and France to ‘save Spain’. This will perhaps calm market jitters (actually, they are not scared at all but profiting from speculation, but that’s another story). Saving Spain (i.e. the banks) would still mean rising unemployment for the rest of 2012.

But by November, Syriza should be able to remove the discredited austerity/bailout parties and pull out of the Euro.

That would mean Spain and others such as Portugal leaving the Euro in 2013.

The entire Madrid project post Franco has been about joining the big boys at the high table. Democracy for dollars, as in highways, loans and investment.

The fall of the Berlin Wall took the Germans out of the equation as they looked east.

Madrid carelessly decided to do what all Iberian elites have done since Columbus started the rape and pillage of ‘America’: spend not invest, start a property boom rather than construct decent housing for the majority and completely ignore the need to industrialise with clean technology. The latter was done through subsidies and there are good companies such as the Basque Gamesa but no foundations were laid for a Northern European style economy.

Nationalists were kept at bay by the facade of ‘prosperity’ and the presence of ETA – a godsend to rightwing nationalists in Madrid who could present themselves as defenders of the Realm.

Now that war is over. The economy is in tatters. The concept of Spain is being challenged.

Suddenly, nationalists (especially to the Left) in the Basque country and Catalonia are demanding separation on ‘economic grounds’, not just for historical or linguistic reasons.

If Spain is ejected form the Euro in 2013, then Madrid will find that the centrifugal forces, so long kept bottled up by dictatorship or by the bribery of democracy & dinero, will split apart the state.

There may well be far-right nationalism but that is likely to come from PP, no the independence movement in Euskal Herria and Catalunya.

Instead, expect to see the rise of Left-wing nationalism that attacks the core idea of the Banker’s charter (Americanisation/globalisation) yet wants to join Europe (as Syriza does).

Later on this decade, there will still be something called ‘Spain but it will be without its two industrialised regions which will leave and look North to Berlin and outwards to Latin America and Asia.

Spain without the Basques and the Catalans would be even poorer than today unless,  and this is difficult to see how, there is a seachange in outlook towards the Indignados rather than PP/PSOE.

Already, the Latin Americans are factoring in a downgrade in Spanish power by challenging Madrid over Repsol and other ‘untouchable’ Blue-Chip companies.

Madrid is on the edge of an abyss. The right-wing can forget about the 1930s. In that sense, Iberia is different. There will no longer be any armed conflict. The house of cards is set to collapse.

Bread, not guns, is deciding the future.

Saving the banks is destroying the viability of European states.

 

The New Zone of Disorder in the East

For obvious reasons, all eyes are focused on the Mediterranean or the Gulf. The former for economic turmoil on the northern coast of the Med, and war, coups and state fragmentation on the southern shores of the Med, and now the east with the imminent fragmentation of Syria. A recent article in the Jerusalem Post quoting a Kurdish Syrian gives us a clue.

The latter, with the Gulf, revolves around the drive to grab Iran’s fossil fuel as well as control Shia dominated oil regions (in ‘Iraq’ and ‘Saudi Arabia’) and Qatar too.

When Iran is put to the sword in 2013, we will not look elsewhere for our Daily News.

Or should it be called Old News.

The strategic direction for the US is to the East in Asia.

Today it’s about saving the US Dollar as a reserve currency and thus the debt-soaked US economy. How? Attack oil countries to a) grab the oil & gas and b) ensure everyone pays for it in US Dollars and not paper like the ‘Euro’…

Tomorrow, the game will be different once the above objectives have been secured.

South Asia is now the new region being prepared for a showdown.

So far,  the instability has reached the Indus valley (Pakistan) as the Afghan war spills over into Pathan/Pashtun territory and more importantly to mineral & fuel rich Baluchistan – give the latter four years for independence.

India’s political frame is being being hollowed out on the eastern front as Maoists fight the Indian Army & paramilitary over resource rich states.

This will follow its logical conclusion. Not sure? Look at Nepal.

Myanmar or Burma is now in play. The target is China. It’s awful economic colonisation is set to be challenged as Western interests vie with India to restore the old British era order of reconnecting with South Asia.

The US wants China ‘contained’. Encircled. Kept at bay. New Delhi is being given an old song to sing. It’s the strategic ally par excellence of Washington. Islamabad is being ditched as NATO leaves Afghanistan (except for its permanent bases).

Delhi is eager to be top dog and craves recognition. It wants to win, once and for all in South Asia and then ‘challenge’ China.

To do that, it needs to secure the far flung Seven Sister states, led by gas-rich Assam and get into Mandalay.

In the way is Bangladesh, otherwise known as the Philippines of South Asia, i.e. a compliant ally of Washington.

The Pentagon wanted Sri Lanka but they went to the Chinese and Russians for weapons and ended that 3 decade long war, and guess who will be eager to invest and control that wonder island with its 99% literacy – a new TIger economy in the making.

Instead, the 7th Fleet is looking to Chittagong and the possibility of a base, giving it a few minutes flying time into Chinese airspace and ensuring a zone of control over Burma/Myanmar as well as India.

The writing is on the wall that there will be a hard military coup in Bangladesh in 2013, latest 2014. The democratic experiment will come to an end as will the two party dynasties of the Awami League and BNP.

The 165 million densely packed population will somehow be expected to accept continued and never-ending World Bank economic rule and then an overt US military presence on top. The plan is for Indian multinationals to pour in billions of rupees to build power plants and other infrastructure to get the buy in of the Bangladeshi business class as well get directand shorter  communications through Bangladeshi territory, rather than around it.

Transhipment, in the local parlance.

The neglected Seven Sister states have been fighting for independence for decades. They are supposed to trade in freedom for economic prosperity, Delhi style. To which begs the question: why didn’t Delhi do this in 1972 rather than talk about it in 2012? Why were they solely focused on fighting over glaciers with the Pakistani army when they could have invested in their own people?

In other words, too little too late and too opportunistic.

Including Myanmar as well Yunnan and Western China beyond, this region is the NExt Economic Frontier. Its strategic importance is something the Robert Kaplan s of this world truly grasp. Clues to future /current US policy can be seen in his book (Monsoon) on the Indian Ocean.

Specifically, Eastern ‘South Asia’ is soon to be the new zone of disorder.

In this nuclear neighbourhood, aspiring superpowers and a declining hyperpower are going to take things to their logical conclusion.

The second decade of the 21st century is going to get even more dangerous.