ISIS terrorists against Syrian Kurdish ‘terrorists’


This video from Syria says about itself:

2014 International Women’s Day in Qamishlo – Rojava Kurdistan

13 March 2014

Unlike the areas under the control of the Syrian regime and Islamic opposition forces, Kurds and Syriac Christian women organised public events in their self-rule autonomous cantons [in] northeast Syria, which promoted gender equality.

By Derek Wall in Britain:

Rojava: a beacon of hope fighting Isis

Monday 25th August 2014

The socialist Kurdish region in Syria has successfully resisted the Islamic State and deserves our solidarity, says DEREK WALL

Rojava should be trending on Twitter. Rojava should be on the lips of all of us, especially of those on the left. Rojava (or Syrian Kurdistan) is a sign of hope in a world which often seems rather dark. However, most of us haven’t even heard of Rojava.

Rojava is an autonomous socialist state with a population of 2.5 million that has recently been formed in the Middle East.

Rojava community self-defence units have been fighting the so-called Islamic State and consistently winning. We should all be fundraising for Rojava’s medical appeal, learning more about Rojava, giving its people solidarity and above all spreading the word.

The discourse in the mainstream media around Iraq and Syria is simple.

Murderous fundamentalists are killing Christians, Shia, Yazidis and terrorising people of all faiths in Iraq and Syria.

The killing of James Foley and threats to the US and Britain make them our enemy. For both pragmatic and ethical reasons, the US and Britain should return to the region and take them on.

Those who oppose direct military interventions are appeasing a force of supreme evil.

The history of US/British intervention suggests that this line of argument contains flaws. In 2003, when George Bush invaded Iraq, one of his pretexts was that Saddam Hussein had been working with al-Qaida.

However it is clear that while in 2003 al-Qaida had no serious support in Iraq, the chaos unleashed by the invasion has enabled the building of a force so repellent and regressive that even al-Qaida condemns them.

Cock-up or conspiracy, interventions have grown and fuelled this threat and with the supplying of weapons to Islamist groups in Syria, Isis have been armed by Obama.

A number of different organisations and states have been fighting Isis. It is forgotten, for example, that Russia has been supporting Iraqi forces for some time.

However, the force that has had the most consistent success in combatting the Islamic State is Rojava.

However Rojava, being a socialist autonomous state, has received no media publicity and no support from the US or Britain.

Rojava gained a measure of autonomy from Syria, and its main political party, the Democratic People’s Union, has organised self-defence units called the YPG. The Democratic People’s Union is affiliated to the Kurdish Workers’ Party, commonly referred to as the PKK.

A long-standing Kurdish revolutionary party, the PKK has been heavily repressed by the Turkish state. In fact much of the rise of the so-called Islamic State can be explained by Turkish opposition to an autonomous Kurdish state.

Turkey’s border has been closed to Rojava to strangle this new socialist and Kurdish state. In contrast, the border has been open from Turkey to jihadists fighting the Kurds.

The long-standing PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan was kidnapped in Nairobi in 1991 by the Turkish secret service and remains in prison.

The PKK is listed as an international terrorist organisation and is subject to intense repression. Yet in Rojava, despite all this pressure, their sister organisation has achieved something interesting.

The PKK and PYD advocate socialism, feminism, freedom of religious belief and pluralism.

In a region dominated by authoritarian regimes and sectarianism, their experiment in democratic socialism should be celebrated. One of Ocalan’s key influences, somewhat surprisingly, is the late US social ecologist Murray Bookchin.

Thousands of Rojavans have been murdered by the fundamentalists, and Rojavan school students have been kidnapped to put pressure upon their families.

However, Rojava has fought back impressively, forming community defence group the YPG. Yazidis from Mount Sinjar, under threat of death from the Islamic State, were led to freedom in Rojava by members of the YPG.

There is much in the media and from politicians like David Cameron about the threat from Islamic fundamentalists.

Of course US and British intervention led to the creation of such a threat, funding from Qatar and Saudi Arabia fed this threat and Turkey has turned a blind eye to jihadists from all parts of the globe moving to Syria and Iraq to cause murder and mayhem.

Real hope in the region will have to come from democratic and plural political structures, based on self-respect, and in the immediate term the so-called Islamic State needs to be challenged. Those who have done so most effectively in Rojava need to be supported.

Yet, at present, the PKK and its affiliates are listed as international terrorist organisations by the US, Nato and the EU.

All of us on the left must call for an end to this terrorism listing, demand the release of Ocalan and challenge the role of Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in supporting fundamentalism.

My knowledge of Rojava is basic but I know I need to find out more. We should set up solidarity organisations, spread the word about Rojava, organise film showings — there are a number of excellent films about Rojava — and, above all, donate to the medical appeal for Rojava.

You can find details of how to send donations to the medical fund here.

Derek Wall is international co-ordinator of the Green Party.

The experiment of West Kurdistan (Syrian Kurdistan) has proved that people can make changes: here.

The barbaric murder of American journalist James Foley, and his apparent beheading by a masked British man, is being used to move the UK towards direct military participation in Iraq and Syria: here.

The murder of James Foley is being manipulated to gain support for a new war in Syria, argues Colin Toddhunter: here.

US military to initiate operations in Syria: here.

Britain: HOME SECRETARY May is set to bring in special measures to deal with British terrorists returning from Syria and Iraq, where they were allowed to go to fight President Assad with the tacit encouragement of her government and its security forces: here.

Theresa May has a short memory on Syria. The government seeks to punish Britons going to fight in Syria, when a year ago we were on the verge of air strikes there: here.

BRITISH Home Secretary May, driven by the desperate home and foreign policy crisis of British imperialism, is lashing out at basic rights in the UK, at the same time as a civil war has broken out in the Tory Party, and spreading into the army leadership, over whether the British ruling class should back Syria’s President Assad, and seek an alliance with President Rouhani of Iran, as Cameron has suggested, against the ISIS movement. This is a movement that has been built up and financed by Saudi Arabia, where chopping off heads and a Caliphate are still the norm: here.

Men and women in Britain appear to hold very different views on whether the government should sanction RAF air strikes against Isis militants in the Middle East: here.

The drive to war is a measure of the crisis facing US imperialism in the Middle East, after a quarter century of escalating intervention, characterized by the combination of recklessness and brutality that is the particular specialty of the American ruling class. While increasingly apocalyptic administration comments and media headlines declare ISIS to be a deadly threat to the United States, there has been virtually no acknowledgement that the crisis in the Middle East is the direct product of the repeated US interventions: here.

Australian government weighs up joining US air war in Iraq: here.

Italian government sends weapons to northern Iraq: here.

For the US and its allies, Mount Sinjar is a success story: a humanitarian disaster alleviated by US air power. But hundreds, if not thousands, of Iraqis – mostly sick and old – remain atop the mountain, with no relief on its way: here.

British secret policemen not prosecuted for sexually abusing women activists


This video from Britain is called UK ‘Special Demonstrations Squad’ Undercover Police Used Identities of Dead Children For 30 Years.

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

‘State rape’ undercover police escape charges

Friday 22nd august 2014

Women ‘dismayed’ after CPS says there’s not enough evidence

WOMEN duped into sleeping with undercover cops posing as campaigners were left “dismayed” yesterday after prosecutors decided not to charge the men.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said there wasn’t enough evidence to charge four members of the Met’s now-disbanded Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) with sexual offences.

Solicitors representing the women suing the Met said they were angered by the decision.

One women, known as “Laura,” is considering challenging the CPS decision after providing a detailed statement about her relationship with one officer three years ago, the lawyers added.

Prosecutors considered statements from the women who say they were tricked into having long-term intimate relationships — some allegedly lasting as long as nine years — with undercover officers.

The CPS said it had considered whether there was sufficient evidence to allow charges of rape, indecent assault, procuring a woman to have sexual intercourse by false pretences, misconduct in public office and breaches of the Official Secrets Act.

But following a “thorough investigation” it decided that there was “insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction for any offences against any of the officers.”

London Assembly member Jenny Jones said the decision would deny justice to the victims.

“I find this decision by the CPS quite staggering and it will damage trust in both the CPS and the police,” said the Green AM.

“The CPS appears not to have looked at the use of sexual relationships as a systematic tactic used by a group of undercover officers during their deployment and that concerns me.

“We have heard time and again from senior officers that such relationships are completely unacceptable and yet today’s decision by the CPS means these officers have escaped being held to account.

“One of the victims of these officers said she felt as if she had been ‘raped by the state.’ Unfortunately today’s decision by the CPS means she, and the other victims of undercover police, will be denied justice. I hope the CPS will reconsider its decision and puts these cases before a jury.”

Members of the clandestine SDS unit, which was axed in 2008, have also faced claims of fathering children with women they spied on after infiltrating environmental campaign groups.

Two of the men were confirmed in court to be Jim Boyling and Bob Lambert, while John Dines, Mark Cassidy and Mark Kennedy have also previously been named as their colleagues.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said the Met is now considering if misconduct proceedings are appropriate.

A civil suit brought by eight women continues in the High Court.

In 1997, Sukhdev Reel’s son Ricky died in what she believes was a racist attack. Last month, she discovered that while she was campaigning for justice, she was being spied on by undercover police. As she petitions for a public apology, she talks about how those dark days have returned: here.

Japanese government honours war criminals again


This video from Australia says about itself:

Australian comfort woman Jan Ruff-O’Herne

02/04/2007

Jan Ruff-O’Herne told her shocking story on Australian Story in 2001 – a secret that took her 50 years to come to terms with before finally, she revealed it in a letter to her two daughters.

An idyllic childhood in Java was brought to an abrupt end by the Japanese occupation during Word War Two. Aged 21, she was taken from her family and repeatedly abused, beaten and raped – forced to be a sex slave for the Japanese military.

The term coined for this brutal sex slavery was ‘comfort woman‘.

But since revealing her ‘uncomfortable truth’ Jan Ruff-O’Herne’s suffering has been transformed into something affirmative.

In February this year, this 84-year-old Adelaide grandmother made the long journey to testify before Congress in Washington DC. The Congressional hearing was the pinnacle in her 15-year global campaign to seek justice for ‘comfort women’.

Now six years since Australian Story first aired her story, Jan Ruff-O’Herne feels she is one step closer to finally achieving her ultimate goal.

By Ben McGrath:

Japanese lawmakers visit notorious Yasukuni war shrine

19 August 2014

A large group of 80 Japanese lawmakers and three cabinet ministers visited the infamous Yasukuni Shrine to the war dead last Friday—the 69th anniversary of the end of World War II. The visit was part and parcel of the revival of Japanese militarism being pursued by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his government, which includes whitewashing the war crimes of the Japanese military during the 1930s and 1940s.

While the government claims that the Yasukuni Shrine is like other war memorials around the world, it symbolically inters 14 convicted, class-A war criminals and its associated museum denies or minimises atrocities such as the 1937 Nanjing massacre. The three cabinet members were National Public Safety Commission chairman Keiji Furuya, Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Yoshitaka Shindo and Administrative Reform Minister Tomomi Inada.

Last December, Abe became the first sitting prime minister to visit the shrine since Junichiro Koizumi in 2006. He did not join his ministers this time, but sent a cash offering with one of his aides, signing as head of the ruling Liberal Democrat Party and not as prime minister. Abe appeared at a government ceremony and claimed that Japan “will contribute to a lasting peace in the world with all our might.”

Abe’s decision not to visit the shrine was apparently a conciliatory gesture to China and President Xi Jinping, whom Abe is attempting to meet later this year. Since coming to office in December 2012, Abe has not met with Xi or South Korean President Park Geun-hye, both of whom came to office around the same time.

Abe’s claim to be seeking “lasting peace” is belied by his government’s actions. Over the past year and a half, the government has increased the military budget, established a US-style National Security Council and revised the interpretation of the country’s constitution to allow for “collective self-defence”—that is, Japanese participation in US-led wars of aggression.

The Abe government, with Washington’s backing, has ramped up tensions with China over the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea in order to justify Japan’s remilitarisation. Abe has closely aligned Japan with the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia” and military build-up against China.

Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine last year signaled an intensification of the ideological campaign to cover up past war crimes. The government is seeking to overcome deep-seated antiwar sentiment, particularly in the Japanese working class, which suffered police-state repression and deprivation in the 1930s and 1940s.

That sentiment was reflected in the critical remarks of some of those who fought in World War II. Tokuro Inokuma, a soldier in the Japanese Imperial Army, now 85, drew parallels between the current political atmosphere and that before World War II. “I find it quite dangerous … This is the path we once took,” he warned. “We have neither killed nor been killed [in war] for almost 70 years. That’s unprecedented. It’s important that we think hard about that.”

Former Kamikaze pilot Yutaka Kanbe, 91, who was saved from a suicide mission by Japan’s surrender, said he was worried about the rightward shift under Abe and the recent glorification of kamikaze pilots. “Japan could go to war again if our leaders are all like Abe. I’m going to die soon, but I worry about Japan’s future,” he said.

The Chinese and South Korean governments condemned the latest visits to the Yasukuni Shrine. The two countries were both subject to Japan’s brutal colonial rule in the 1930s and 1940s, leaving a legacy of resentment and anger. However, Beijing and Seoul exploit these memories to whip up anti-Japanese chauvinism to divert attention from the worsening economic and social crisis at home.

China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying declared: “Sino-Japanese relations can develop in a healthy and stable way only if Japan can face up to and reflect on the history of invasion and make a clear break with militarism.” A Xinhua news agency article went further, denouncing Japan’s militarization and warning: “By doing this, Japan is sowing the seeds of another war.”

South Korea’s foreign ministry spokesman No Gwang-il said: “Only when Japanese politicians abandon their historical revisionism and repent for Japan’s wartime atrocities sincerely, the relations between Seoul and Japan could be developed in a stable manner, as people in both nations hope.”

The Abe government’s visits to the Yasukuni Shrine and efforts to revive Japanese militarism reflect a broader shift within the Japanese media and political establishment. The previous Democratic Party-led government deliberately stirred up tensions with China by “nationalizing” the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, which are under Japanese administration.

Another sign of this rightward lurch was the decision of Japan’s main liberal newspaper, the Asahi Shimbun, to retract a series of articles dealing with one of Japan’s most notorious wartime abuses—the kidnapping and coercion of as many as 200,000 women in Asia, mostly from Korea, to be used as sex slaves for the Japanese Imperial Army.

On August 5, the Asahi Shimbun published a formal retraction of more than a dozen articles dating back to 1982 dealing with the abduction of women in South Korea during World War II. Japanese right-wing leaders welcomed the decision as proof of their allegation that these “comfort women,” the euphemistic term for those forced into sexual slavery, were not coerced. Abe has previously made similar claims.

The articles concerned the accounts of Seiji Yoshida, a soldier in the Japanese army who was stationed in South Korea during the war. After the war, Yoshida, a member of the Stalinist Communist Party, authored a 1983 memoir recounting how he participated in rounding up as many as 200 women on South Korea’s Jeju Island to be forced into military brothels. The Asahi Shimbun now claims that Yoshida’s account was false.

Yoshida, who died in 2000, admitted to making some changes in his description of what took place, but did not retract his account. His work played a role in bringing the issue to light in the 1980s and encouraged others to step forward with their own experiences. Japan issued a limited apology in 1993, known as the Kono Statement. For this reason, Yoshida has long been the subject of attacks from the Japanese right.

The timing of the Asahi Shimbun’s retraction is not coincidental. Just a few weeks ago, the Japanese government released a report by supposed experts, questioning the validity of the testimonies of Korean comfort women and claiming that there was no definitive evidence of coercion. This falsification of history is part of the ideological preparations for Japanese imperialism’s involvement in new wars.

ISIS, Iraq, Syria, David Cameron and hypocrisy


This video says about itself:

I’ll never forgive Tony BlairBianca Jagger on Iraq, human rights and gender equality

17 Febuary 2014

Bianca Jagger, Founder of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, speaks to the host of Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi, about the war in Iraq, 11 years on. She says she will never forgive Tony Blair for taking the country to war, and people are still suffering from his poor choices. She explains why she campaigned against the war right from the start, and talks about the fact-finding mission she made to Iraq before the war started. Also, she wants to keep fighting to ensure women everywhere have the same rights as men, and the challenges people campaigning for gender equality still must overcome.

By Ben Chacko in Britain:

Tuesday 19th August 2014

DAVID CAMERON insisted yesterday he had a “fully worked through” strategy to deal with Islamic State (Isis) extremists as he prepared for his second holiday this month.

The Labour Party and senior Church of England figures have branded as “incoherent” the Prime Minister’s approach to the terrorist group, which has taken over vast swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.

But he did not respond to calls from Anglican canon Andrew White of St George’s Church in Baghdad for the British government to offer asylum to up to 30,000 persecuted Iraqi Christians.

Mr Cameron failed to answer accusations of hypocrisy for having backed the insurgency in Syria which put Isis on the map.

The terror group’s equipment and funds come disproportionately from Western powers and regional allies such as Saudi Arabia.

Communist Party general secretary Robert Griffiths said the government’s “top priority should be to enforce the UN security council resolution preventing the flow of arms to Isis and its allies.

“It is a tragedy that US, British and Nato support for Syrian rebels has led to this catastrophe.”

TOP brass rounded on holidaying PM David Cameron yesterday, adding their voices to the clamour for clarity on his Iraq policy. General Sir Richard Dannatt said “the nation would expect” Parliament to be recalled for a full debate if there was a risk of British forces getting involved in the battle between Islamic State (Isis) militants and Iraqi and Kurdish troops: here.

UK joins US military offensive in Iraq: here.

Germany expands its intervention in Iraq: here.

Meanwhile, the number of anti-aircraft missiles in the hands of Syrian rebels poses a serious threat to commercial aircraft. [AP]