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Guerra en Mali: cómo empieza y cómo acaba

A Basque paper’s take on the war in Mali:

La narrativa de quienes han declarado la guerra en Mali justifica esa decisión con el argumento de evitar a toda costa que ese país se convierta en una incubadora de «terrorismo» que extienda el caos desde Somalia en el océano Índico hasta Mauritania en el Atlántico. Pero paradojas de la historia, los mismos que apostaron por la guerra en Libia han dado la mayor victoria a la insurgencia islamista de la última década.
Miles de combatientes tuaregs experimentados y bien armados que lucharon en el ejército de Gadafi volvieron a Mali y conquistaron una tras otra las principales ciudades del norte, las distintas facciones islamistas armadas aprovecharon la oportunidad del momento y, como consecuencia, un territorio tan extenso como el del Estado francés está bajo su control.
La guerra en Libia llamó a la guerra en Mali y utilizar ahora la misma receta, una intervención exterior de la que se sabe cómo se empieza y nunca cómo acaba, solo conllevará más destrucción y más muerte a una de las zonas más pobres del mundo.

Las antiguas potencias coloniales, en esta caso el Estado francés, raramente abandonan sus ambiciones. Su decisión de bombardear ciudades y de liderar una intervención de la que no se conoce su naturaleza y su alcance tiene que ver con el pasado pero sobre todo con el futuro.
Mali es la puerta al desierto del Sahara bajo cuya arena se encuentran ingentes cantidades de gas y petróleo, además de oro, uranio y otros minerales preciosos. Asegurar el acceso y la explotación de esos recursos se antoja decisivo. Se ha construido un semiconsenso para que París vaya a la guerra en Mali, pero a la vista de los precedentes, la inquietud por lo que venga después se ha hecho muy presente en el mundo.

La intervención militar no puede solucionar el caos por sí sola. Tiene garantizada la victoria a corto plazo, sin embargo, la superioridad de tecnología y poder militar, por muy aplastante que sea, no puede evitar las consecuencias en el futuro.
Los ciudadanos de Mali serán los próximos que aprenderan esta lección. Y la devastación definirá Mali y toda la región del Sahel por mucho tiempo, a costa de muchas, demasiadas vidas.

Gara.net

CiU y ERC pactan la Declaración de Soberanía y buscan más apoyos

Gara.net

Catalunya es un «sujeto político y jurídico soberano», según se recoge en el borrador de la Declaración de Soberanía del Pueblo Catalán acordado ayer por CiU y ERC, que esperan recabar, para su tramitación parlamentaria, el apoyo de otros partidos como PSC, ICV-EUiA y CUP.

Beñat ZALDUA

Tal y como preveía el acuerdo de estabilidad firmado por CiU y ERC, la Declaración de Soberanía del Pueblo Catalán será la primera estación del proceso independentista puesto en marcha en el Principat. Ayer ambos partidos presentaron el borrador de la declaración, que deberá ser aprobada en el primer pleno del Parlament, previsto para finales de este mismo mes. Antes, sin embargo, extenderán el documento al PSC, a ICV-EUiA y a la CUP, con el objetivo de pactar el texto con ellos y conseguir el máximo apoyo posible.

En el preámbulo, el borrador repasa el relato que ambos partidos han mantenido en los últimos meses, asegurando que «las dificultades y negativas por parte de las instituciones del Estado español comportan una negativa radical a la evolución democrática de las voluntades colectivas del pueblo catalán», algo plasmado en la calle y en las urnas, lo que, según se lee en el documento, otorga la legitimidad para «hacer efectivo el ejercicio del derecho a decidir como plasmación del derecho a la autodeterminación de los pueblos y hacer efectiva la voluntad de constituir Catalunya en un nuevo estado dentro del marco europeo». Una autodeterminación a la que el Principat tiene derecho por ser un «sujeto político y jurídico soberano».

El borrador publicado ayer por varios medios catalanes consta de seis puntos. El primero: la «soberanía» en sí misma, que no radica en nadie más que en el pueblo catalán «por razones de legitimidad democrática», algo bastante comprensible que, sin embargo, entra en contradicción con la Constitución, para la que «la soberanía nacional reside en el pueblo español».

El segundo punto es, de hecho, la «legitimidad democrática» y en él se recoge el carácter «escrupulosamente democrático» del ejercicio del derecho a decidir, antes de pasar al tercer punto: la transparencia. «Se facilitarán todas las herramientas necesarias para que el conjunto de la población y la sociedad civil catalana tenga toda la información», se explica en el borrador.

En el cuarto punto, el «diálogo», los firmantes apuestan por establecer canales de negociación «con el Estado español, las instituciones europeas y el conjunto de la comunidad internacional». Precisamente «Europa» es el título del quinto punto, en el que la Declaración se compromete a «defender y promover los principios fundacionales de la Unión Europea».

El sexto y último eje es el de la legalidad, que recoge la utilización de «todos los marcos legales existentes para hacer efectivo el fortalecimiento democrá- tico y el ejercicio del derecho a decidir».

En busca de apoyos

CiU y ERC enviaron el borrador ayer mismo a los grupos parlamentarios de PSC, ICV-EUiA y CUP, entre los que esperan poder recabar apoyos para la aprobación parlamentaria. Aunque descontentos por lo que consideran una apropiación del derecho a decidir por parte de nacionalistas y republicanos, ICV-EUiA y la CUP han mostrado constantemente su apoyo al derecho a decidir, por lo que cabe pensar que su apoyo podría ser posible. Será más complicado conseguir el de un PSC envuelto en sus propias contradicciones. Ayer mismo, su portavoz en el Parlament, Maurici Lucena, anunció que votarán en contra, al considerar que la declaración «disfraza la independencia de derecho a decidir».

Is English Politics stuck in the merde?

Three by-elections – three victories for Labour. In the 80’s that would have been cause for cheer, with visions of booting out the hated Tories.
Fast forward to today, and we have to acknowledge it’s not what it says on the tin.
For UK’s Labour, read PSOE of Spain or PASOK in Greece or the Social Democrats in Germany. Why not mention U-turn Hollande in Paris too?

The only ones crowing last night were UKIP – a decidedly nasty party which uses the BNP as a foil to say that it’s not fascist or racist, simply patriotic.

So, why did BNP activists canvass and campaign on behalf of UKIP?

The dirty little secret in the UK was that we did have a political force every bit as vile as Marie le Pen’s National Front in France and its equivalent in Holland, Italy, Hungary and Finland.

English politics can be classified so:

Far-Right: BNP & English Defence League
Hard-Right: UKIP
Right: Tories
Centre-Right: Lib-Dems & New Labour
Left: Individual Labour MP’s/activists / Greens (though
with a powerful German Greenesque cabal) &
Respect (controlled by a theocratic Right wing)

England is now shifting to the Hard Right. UKIP don’t need to win any Parliamentary seats in this rotten electoral system which discriminates against smaller parties.
UKIP has set the agenda. All parties, especially the One Nation Labour Party, is bowing down to this.
The shrill anti-immigration rhetoric of all parties is what we shall see more of before 2015. The opportunistic anti-EU budget stance of Miliband and Labour shows what’s in play.

To secure the southern English seats, Miliband will shift further to the right (while keeping to populist anti-banks slogans).
His model is France’s Francois Hollande.
Fool the Commentariat, appeal to the ‘progressive vote bank’ and let Ed Balls do a deal with the City of London.

Make no mistake, as people were fooled with Nick Clegg’s Lib Dems in 2010, they look like repeating that mistake with Ed Miliband in 2014-15 (as I did in 1997 with Tony Blair).
So, if Miliband does become PM (with help from LibDem Cable), we should except the Labour administration to follow similar hollowed out Socialists on the mainland and continue with the neo-liberal agenda of inequality in the name of efficiency.

I see no basis for a English Syriza to rise later in this decade.
There is no sign now, and precious little in its history, to show that that there is any appetite for rebellion.

Instead, I fear that an embittered England, finding it difficult coming to terms with the departing Scots, will recreate a Harsh Right tinged Identity politics.
Exclusion, forced patriotism & a backs-to-the-wall siege mentality will dictate the discourse.

After all, the background to this is the fact the UK is one of the most highly indebted states on this planet where its elite refuses to re-invent the state into a peaceful European entity.
The Greeks continued to spend on armaments even while the economy was tanking.
England continues the same (spending almost twice as much per head as most of Europe). Imperial delusions and a servile relationship with the USA demand that the only strategy is for obeisance to the City of London and sacrificing the working classes and the Precariat.
The welfare state has no protectors in any of the mainstream parties. There are some startling similarities between the Spanish and English elite.
Both are now looking to drive down the economy and make it Low-Cost.
Both are counting on the majority to meekly allow this social and economic engineering to reach its conclusion.
In Iberia, it looks like the rebellion will manifest itself in independence movements and the final break up of Imperial Spain.
On this island, the Scots will leave eventually.
What then for the English?

Truncheons, blood, strikes & elections in Barcelona

The explanation of the Police thugs was that they didn’t mean to crack open the head of a 13 year old, walking next to his mother during yesterday’s demonstrations.
Apparently, the truncheon bounced off the kid’s ruck-sack and hit his head, leaving him with blood pouring out.

It happens. Of course, it does. Welcome to Bahrain.

Yesterday’s general strike took place within the context of the Catalan election campaign, with voters going to the polls on November 25.
The two parties not present yesterday, the Right-wing nationalists CIU and Unionist Right-Wing Partido Popular (PP) are agreed on one thing: they both approve the austerity programme.
The difference between them is: who pays the bill?

CIU wants €5 billion back from Madrid but will want to enact the same disastrous programme of cuts to show the financial markets that Barcelona can take the axe to public sector budgets like the rest.

The CIU will win the election and do some populist grandstanding.
However, its leader, Artus Mas, is riding the tiger. The social unrest has been channeled into strikes and also a call for independence.
The CIU is only a stop on the journey to social transformation.
Breaking the chains of Madrid is not going to be enough.
The battle will then be between the likes of ICV (Greens), ERC and popular networks against the entrenched big business friendly Catalan nationalists of the CIU.
Or to put it another way: Left-wing and Green Nationalists vs. Right-Wing nationalists.
A similar dynamic is in place in the Basque Country, also set to leave the Spanish straitjacket.

The slow-motion crash of the State of Spain continues and the social conflict is shifting to a clash between Right and Left.

ICV says Alternative Left exists in Catalunya calling for an alliance against Austerity

El candidato de ICV-EUiA a la Presidencia de la Generalitat de Cataluña, Joan Herrera, manifestó hoy en el Fórum Europa que el próximo 25 de noviembre los catalanes no votarán en las urnas sobre la independencia, aunque algunos lo crean, sino sobre otras cuestiones importantes para la sociedad, como los servicios públicos o la “austeridad dogmática” que defienden CiU y PP.
Herrera fue hoy el conferenciante invitado en el citado encuentro informativo, organizado en Madrid por Nueva Economía Fórum y en el que fue presentado por la escritora Almudena Grandes.
“El 25-N hay gente que cree que se vota independencia, pero lo que se vota es política de salud, de educación, fiscal… Se votan muchas otras cosas”, dijo Herrera.
Para el candidato ecosocialista a la Presidencia de la Generalitat de Cataluña, el próximo 25-N hay que “derrotar las políticas de austeridad dogmática, que están causando tanto sufrimiento en la sociedad, no en la identidad”.
Herrera abogó por una “alianza contra la austeridad”, porque es necesario “redistribuir para crecer” y también “cuestionar la deuda”, como hacen cada vez más países, pues hay que discutir si parte de ella es legítima.
A su juicio, en Cataluña empieza a existir una alternativa de izquierdas a la Cataluña de Artur Mas, “esa que es más conservadora y profundamente neoliberal y que hace que la realidad de muchos catalanes sea cada vez más dura”.

(SERVIMEDIA)

Will “Centre-Left” Parties in Europe collapse?

Apologies for inserting the word “Left”. It’s how they or the Commentariat describe themselves.
French Leader, Hollande took six months to betray his voters and supporters. At least Mitterand tried first before succumbing to the New World Order after two years.
The Spanish equivalent in Catalonia are set to fall apart in the 25-N elections, far worse than their disastrous results in 2010.
Doesn’t look like any way back in Portugal.
As for PASOK, once the all-powerful juggernaut – it is now down to 7% and fast sinking into oblivion.

Hollande is losing the Green support – who have obviously learnt from the Irish experience – despite Danny Cohn Bendit (Danny le bleu)’s best efforts to steer the Greens closer to the Barroso vision of an institutionally right-wing Europe.
It is clear that Le Gauche will rise, as well as the Greens in France at the expensive of Hollande.

The German SPD on 29% are neck and neck with Merkel’s alliance as the German Greens add their 14%.
If it goes to the wire, and the SPD refuse to link up with Die Linke (Left), then the strongest economy in the Continent will let the Pirates decide who rule!
New or One Nation Labour hope their opinion polls are real and expect to coast back to power in 2014-15.
They might want to put the corks back in the champagne bottles.
Their 11% lead is entirely accounted for by the 11% of the Far Right UKIP. Those UKIP supporters will retreat back to the Tories in the absurd first past the post electoral system.
Therefore, it boils down to whether New Labour can persuade the Lib Dems to dump Clegg for Cable and form a Lib-Lab alliance (reminiscent of the 1970s).
The joker in the pack is Alex Salmond and his referendum in the autumn of 2014.
At the moment, the fizz has gone out of the independence movement – languishing at 30%.
However, the more Cameron and Osbourne appear in Scotland in 2013 and 2014, and the more Scottish Labour shift to the Right (to help Miliband-Balls in their quest for the Tory vote in Southern England), the more the Scottish Nationalists will fancy their chances of causing an upset hoping the 16-17 year olds catch the radical wave.
The Netherlands defied expectations and the Centre-Left did much better than expected.
Italy: I am not sure what could happen in spring 2013.

So all in all, we can say that the Southern European Centre Left is in decline.
In France, they look to follow in the medium term.
Further North, things look brighter for the Centre Left.
However, the margin is tight and a German defeat in October 2013 for the SPD could be decisive.

Why vote for Green Jill Stein rather than Obama if you are black?

Is This Really The Most Important Election Ever? If So, Then Where Are Our Issues?

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

This is the most important election ever, black America is told every two and four years. That’s probably true if one’s own status and political legitimacy are on the line, and for the black political class that’s really what this election is all about. It’s about their legitimacy. It’s about their perks and set-asides, their TV shows and the government grants to their ministries. It’s about their careers, and those of their hangers on and aspirants.

This election is not about black unemployment, officially at 14%, actually double that, and in the inner cities of Atlanta, Chicago and like places closer to 50% of young men including ex-prisoners, because no Democrat running at any level proposes to address that. This election is not about black wealth, although the foreclosure epidemic drove the average black family’s wealth down to a twentieth, as opposed to a tenth of that possessed by the average white family, because no Democrat running wants to talk about that either.

This election is not about black child poverty, which is the highest it’s been since Lyndon Johnson declared a war on poverty nearly fifty years ago, and it’s certainly not about rolling back the prison state or reconsidering the drug war because no Democrat wants to talk about any of that either.

This election is not about pursuing a binding climate change treaty, about reining in Big Oil and Big Energy, who are determined to keep on doing what they’re doing despite the glaciers and icecaps from Tibet to Greenland, from the Andes to Alaska melting, despite advancing deserts, record storms every year and climate change that could threaten billions of lives worldwide. While Democrats on the stump will admit humans have begun to hideously alter the global climate, Democrats in power DO nothing to slow it down.

This most-important-ever election for black America is not about ending military aid to 53 out of 54 African countries (every one except Eritrea) or cutting off our proxy armies that have killed six million Congolese since 1996.
It’s not about ceasing to blow up Afghan and Somali and Yemeni and Pakistani children and bystanders into pink mist with robot drones, and it’s certainly not about withdrawing our support for apartheid Israel. Our elected Democrats endorse those things just as heartily as Republicans.

This election is not about justice for immigrants. Republicans talk the meaner game, but Barack Obama actually deported more than a million people in his first three years, more than all recent Republicans combined. This election is not about halting the privatization of education, because Romney and Obama agree on that too.

It might be the most important election ever for the black political class, but it’s not the least bit about beginning to halt the wave of gentrification that decimates black communities everywhere, or making a start at rolling back the prison state, granting full citizenship rights to and ending discrimination against former prisoners, or even ceasing the incarceration of juveniles with adults. It’s not about ending or even slowing down the futile, hypocritical and racist war on drugs.

This election is not even about who will be on the US Supreme Court the next twenty years. The last time a defense lawyer made the Supreme Court was Thurgood Marshall. While on the Senate Judiciary Committee Senator Barack Obama declined to ask nominees Scalia or Roberts about their affiliation with the Federalist Society or query them on any of its radical beliefs like the “takings doctrine.” Obama’s own nominees, while demographically correct, have moved the court rightward, not leftward in the opinion of many legal scholars.

The election is certainly not about punishing Wall Street for having crashed the economy, or keeping them from repeating their crime in the near future — Republicans and Democrats alike agree that banksters deserve their bailout while homeowners, credit card debtors and student borrowers deserve to drown.

So for black people, where are our dogs in this race?
Voting Republican is out of the question, that’s like chickens lining up for Popeye’s. If you believe that your vote IS your voice, voting for Democrats who murder civilians, who allow the banks to plunder the economy, who won’t address unemployment and want to privatize education and everything in sight is a similar kind of volunteered slavery.

All the talk about “strategic voting” and “safe states” is, for black people, subterfuge to justify the irrationality, the foolishness of casting your own vote against your own survival. If our votes are our voices, it’s time to use those for our own good.

For my own part, I will be voting for Jill Stein, the Green Party’s candidate, and Cheri Honkala. These are people unafraid to declare the drug war must be ended, and a WPA-style Green Jobs -Green New Deal program initiated, that we have to bring the troops home and cease supporting apartheid Israel. Stein and Honkala are white, of course. But their politics, by the measure of Martin Luther King at least, are blacker than Barack Obama’s have ever been.

The object of present day black politics is preserving their perks and positions as “representatives” of the rest of us, while offering their services as black meat puppets for Wall Street, for privatizers, for Big Ag, Big Oil, Big Real Estate, military contractors and the rest.

The current black political class, and its array of candidates from the president down do not believe in social justice. There are big problems, but they fear big and truthful answers. They don’t want to roll back the prison state. They just want to stick around awhile longer. They want to be on TV and collect honorariums. They don’t know how to address joblessness or gentrification. That’s your issue. They just know how to get paid.

Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report, and a state committee member of the Georgia Green Party. He can be reached at bruce.dixon(at)blackagendareport.com.