(English) By Dady Chery, News Junkie Post | Haiti Chery. « ‘Why fight?’ Some ask, when we have probably passed the tipping point in climate change…. One might as well ask: Why live the best lives we can, although we will all die?…. But on accepting the human condition, we also discover that there is pleasure in cherishing what we cannot possess. »
(English) By Alex Lantier, WSWS. Protests that began one week ago at US embassies in Egypt and Libya are rapidly spreading throughout the Muslim world. The protests reflect broad popular opposition to Washington’s wars, its violation of elementary democratic rights in the conduct of the “war on terror,” and its exploitation of the region as a source of cheap labor. (English | French)
(English) By Kim-Jenna Jurriaans, IPS | UPDATE from Haiti Chery. The United Nations is increasingly hiring Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) for its missions across the world, raising concerns over the use of firms known for participation in human rights abuses, as well as an overall lack of accountability structures governing these contractors within the U.N. system. UPDATE 1: DynCorp boasts of having trained 400 « Haitian police » and is awarded a $48.6 million contract to insert 100 contractors and 10 advisors into the « UN police force » in Haiti.
(English) By Mary Wisniewski, Reuters | Jon Michael Turner, Veterans Today, Democracy Now, YouTube | Aaron Hughes, Democracy Now! Nearly 50 U.S. military veterans at an anti-NATO rally in Chicago threw their service medals into the street on Sunday May 20 in rejection of the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. « Occupations don’t build democracies, don’t extend individuals’ freedoms. The movements—the Arab uprising, the Arab Spring—that was building democracy. The movements of Gandhi, the movements of the civil rights movements here in the United States, people’s movements, that extends democracy, not military force. » – Aaron Hughes.
(English) By Lauren Indvik, Mashable | By Naomi Spencer, WSWS. The entire Icelandic Parliament and the Oklahoma Center for Conscience and Peace Research are among those who have nominated twenty-four year old U.S. Army private and Wikileaks whistleblower Bradley Manning for a Nobel Peace Prize. On Feb 23, after 9 months of detention without charge, 22 formal charges were brought for the first time against Manning during the opening hearing of a military court martial.
(English) By Claire Provost, The Guardian | Editorial note by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. A policy of « tied aid » has until now required that USAID foreign aid funds be spent on goods and services exclusively from U.S. companies. This policy has been changed to allow USAID to buy many goods and services from developing countries, but not food aid, motor vehicles, or U.S.-patented pharmaceuticals. Given the USAID tradition of creating a need for its aid, it is easy to guess what its next moves will be.
(English) By staff, AHP | Editorial comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. The Haitian Senate has strongly condemned the latest rape of a boy on Jan 20th by Pakistani UN soldiers and noted that in such cases it is the law of the place where the crime is committed that should prevail. Given the more serious crime of 7,000 cholera deaths, of which the UN is accused, a broader resolution calling for a general lifting of immunity from all MINUSTAH personnel would be appropriate and welcome. UPDATE on March 13th: UN announces it has tried the most recent rapists in a court martial and « repatriated them to their home » to serve out a 1-year prison sentence.
(English) By Thalif Deen, IPS. Compared to the 5.4-billion dollar budget for the U.N. in 2010-11, the 2012-13 budget will be cut by 260 million dollars. Although this is a cut of less than 5%, the news are still significant because, since its inception over 50 years ago, the U.N. has expanded every year, except for one instance 14 years ago. (English | Spanish)
(English) By Editors, Occupy Everything. On Monday Jan 23rd, the Occupy Oakland Labor Solidarity Committee and the Committee to Defend the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) will protest the use of armed Coast Guard cutters and helicopters to escort a grain ship to a terminal being picketed by the ILWU.
(English) By Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian. Cluster bomb manufacturers Israel, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, and U.S. pushed for the use of ‘bomblets’ that often maim and kill civilians. Their backers included France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Australia; but they failed to get an international agreement approving the continued use of cluster bombs.