Neutrality

Amnesty Internationals support for imperialist occcupation

By Ashley Smith (USA)

MOST PEOPLE associate Amnesty International with challenging torture, protesting the death penalty and agitating for the liberation of political prisoners. On top of these important campaigns, Amnesty has over the last decade opposed the Iraq war and demanded the closure of America's concentration camp in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

So antiwar activists in Chicago were shocked during last May's NATO Summit to find that Amnesty International USA had plastered city bus stops with ads declaring: "Human Rights for Women and Girls in Afghanistan: NATO, Keep the Progress Going!"

Worse still, Amnesty USA put on a "shadow summit" of its own during the NATO meeting, featuring Madeleine Albright, Bill Clinton's notorious secretary of state, who will be forever remembered for her chilling response to a question on 60 Minutes about sanctions imposed on Iraq in the 1990s. Correspondent Lesley Stahl asked, "We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?" Albright responded, "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it."

With a veritable war criminal as one of its star speakers, Amnesty USA's shadow summit launched a campaign that, for all intents and purposes, called for the extension of NATO's "good works" in Afghanistan. Its speakers and promotional materials recycled George Bush's "feminist" justification of the invasion and occupation--that NATO would liberate women from Taliban rule.

Julian Assange has done us all a service. He needs support

EAMON MCCANN - BELFAST TELEGRAPH

Sympathy seems in short supply for Julian Assange, the Australian-born founder of WikiLeaks currently holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

Swedish authorities want to talk to Assange about allegations of sexual assault in Stockholm. He says he fears that, if he travels to Sweden, he might be extradited to the US on charges of espionage arising from WikiLeaks' publication of 250,000 classified diplomatic documents.

Assange's supporters insist the allegations are spurious. The robust feminist and anti-war campaigner Naomi Klein says: "Rape is being used in the Assange prosecution in the same way that women's freedom was used to invade Afghanistan. Wake up."

Whatever the truth of what happened in Stockholm, Assange's apprehensions about what might happen in the US are far from fanciful.

The head of the US Senate's intelligence oversight committee, California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, told the Sydney Morning Herald last weekend that, "I believe that Julian Assange has knowingly obtained and disseminated classified information which could cause injury to the United States ... He has caused serious harm to US national security and should be prosecuted accordingly."

In light of that, and given seemingly permanently heightened US anxieties about 'homeland security', Assange's nightmare glimpse of himself shuffling in a jump-suit in Guantanamo Bay can hardly be dismissed as an invented ploy for evading the Swedish police. So it's puzzling that few in the mainstream media seem concerned about his plight.

Assange's team worked for almost a year, with others, sifting through and annotating the leaked archive prior to launching publication in November 2010.

His partners were the New York Times, the Guardian, Le Monde, El Pais and Der Spiegel - publications held in the highest esteem, not least by themselves. (Hundreds of the leaked State Department cables have since been published in the Belfast Telegraph.)

“RED ARROWS & ANOTHER WAR OUTFIT” DUE FOR VOLVO OCEAN RACE FINALE

GALWAY ALLIANCE AGAINST WAR PRESS RELEASE

 “RED ARROWS & ANOTHER WAR OUTFIT” DUE FOR VOLVO OCEAN RACE FINALE

 The Galway Alliance Against War has learnt that the British military display team, the Red Arrows, will perform during the Volvo Ocean Race Finale in Galway on July 1st. Another “war outfit” has also been invited, but has not yet confirmed. 

 The Galway Chamber of Commerce hosted a presentation in Galway for business people by the organisers of Let’s Do It Global. It was at this event that Enda Ó Coineen, the chairman of Let’s Do It Global, confirmed to a representative from GAAW that the Red Arrows and a possible second military display team would appear at the race finale. Mr Ó Coineen made a sheepish response when the GAAW rep, Niall Farrell, suggested that the “organisers were culturally retarded” to have invited a military display team to participate in “such a momentous occasion”.

 In a statement to the media Niall Farrell of GAAW stated:

 “The Volvo Ocean Race is a wonderful example of human ingenuity and human endeavour combining to harness the natural elements so as to propel these sailing crafts across the seven seas. The finale of the Ocean Race is meant to showcase Galway and Ireland, what have foreign warplanes got to do with Ireland and Irish culture? Nothing! The organisers’ invite to the Red Arrows and another war outfit shows how culturally retarded these people are.

U.S. AIR SHOW ACCIDENTS LEADS TO CALL FOR NO MILITARY DISPLAYS AT OCEAN RACE FINALE

US AIR SHOW ACCIDENTS LEADS TO CALL FOR NO MILITARY DISPLAYS AT OCEAN RACE FINALE

GALWAY ALLIANCE AGAINST WAR PRESS RELEASE
 

In response to the latest air-show accidents in the USA, the Galway Alliance Against war have called on Fintan Healy, the CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race not to have a military air display at next year’s showcase event:

“The two air-show accidents in the USA over last weekend that claimed the lives of 10 people are a further reminder of the dangers of these events. Only 3 weeks ago a similar accident over the British seaside town of Bournemouth resulted in the death of a Red Arrow pilot. This was the fourth Red Arrow accident in as many years. We should be all thankful that the Salthill war-show is no more.

Irish Government acted "to protect U.S. interests and property"-Shannonwatch

Fri, 26/08/2011.
Full article (with links) available online at http://www.shannonwatch.org/blog/irish-government-acted-protect-us-interests-and-property.

Recently released cables from the U.S. embassy in Dublin show once again how little respect the Irish government had for national and international laws, Irish sovereignty and human rights. Protecting U.S. interests and property seems to have been their overriding concern, rather than the people being tortured and bombed by the CIA and U.S. military.

Conference AN INDEPENDENT IRISH FOREIGN POLICY A Future?

03/09/2010 - 19:00

Friday 3rd & Saturday 4th September 2010

The Teachers Club, 36 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, Ireland

Admission €10 for conference or €5 per session.

To register send a mail to: conference@irishantiwar.org

Session 1:- Friday 3rd September 7.30pm

Registration: 7.00 - 7.30pm
Opening Address: Jimmy Kelly, Irish Regional Secretary, Unite the Union
IRELAND AND THE UNITED NATIONS

Speakers:

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