tagged w/ Civil War
As Parliament prepared for a crucial vote on additional austerity measures — including the most drastic cuts and reforms so far — renewed violence broke out on the streets of Athens. Without the vote, the Papandreou government would not have received the next installment of its EU/IMF bailout package and would have gone bankrupt next month.
In anticipation of the vote, a 48-hour strike brought the country to a complete standstill, while the single largest demonstration since the fall of the military junta sent hundreds of thousands of people into Syntagma Square and surrounding streets. For the first time, the communist party and union, KKE and PAME, joined the protests by blocking off Parliament so MPs would not be able to enter for the vote.
Carrying red flag sticks and wearing helmets, the unionists formed a human chain around Parliament. In the process, however, they ended up defending the state from the angry mob outside. Rather than turning their anger at the politicians, they protected them. Riot police were therefore happy to sit back and let the two sides fight each other. Dozens of people were injured in the clashes. One older man suffered a heart attack after being hit with a stone in the head. He died in hospital.
According to some rumors, police actually infiltrated the protests — either on the communist side or on the anarchist side, depending on whom you ask — to instigate the Leftist infighting. The truth, however, is that the Stalinist Left and the anti-authoritarian Left in Greece have a long history of antagonism. While this mutual distrust is understandable, the division itself remains a highly regrettable impediment to the creation of a united revolutionary front. Now, more than ever, we need to become and stay united.
Towards the end of the second video below, Stalinist union members can clearly be seen talking to police and telling them to attack anarchist protesters. There was a nauseating degree of collaboration between communists and police — a collaborative attempt to defend the last vestiges of the Greek state — that protesters were right to be angry about. But hurling stones and petrol bombs at fellow protesters? Following the death of three people in a bank arson last year and now the death of a communist union member, the time has come for the anarchists to revisit the use of escalating violence as a protest strategy.
[A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that calling for someone to kill the President of the United States cannot be classified as a threat because standing law does not prohibit "predictions or exhortations" to violence."]
[In a 2-1 decision, judges on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that California resident Walter E. Bagdasarian was engaging in free speech when he wrote that Obama "will have a 50 cal in the head soon," then called on someone to "shoot the nig."]
WHOA !!! Well, can this mean anything less than an appeals court is O.K.ing a Civil War, beginning with a call to assassinate the President of the United States?
Exhortation is defined online as: "An address or communication emphatically urging someone to do something." If someones asks their lover to murder their spouse, are they, or are they not culpable for some degree of murder or manslaughter? Does this mean it's o.k. to ask someone to murder another, as long as we don't provide a tangible incentive? Isn't hiring a murderer still illegal.
Per this appeals court decision, it is perfectly O.K. for us to plead with any patriotic person who cares about his country, his job, his children's future, the legitimacy of his vote, his healthcare, his social security, his medicare, and so much more, to shoot, stab, run over, poison, or whatever is required to kill dead all of the traitors who have committed, or continue to commit, treason against us all!
This means there could be an open call on all patriots to murder the following:
All Republican legislators, eg. Boehner, Santorum, McConnell, ...
John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Anthony Scalia
All Republican Governors
The executives of every corporation, bank, and Wall Street firm
The board of directors of every corporation, bank, and Wall Street firm
Every lobbyist in Washington
Every executive member of the Federal Reserve
Every so called Democrat who steadily votes Republican
Oil company executives around the world
And numerous others!
Now that the courts have declared it to be legal to call for the deaths of those whom we disapprove of, all sides will be calling for the death of every opponent they have, on nearly every issue. It's a free for all blood feud! It's kill them, or they'll kill us![A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that calling for someone to kill the President... more
"The bad news: the baby seal hunting season has begun off the coast of Newfoundland. The good news: they're using a more humane technique. They're shaking the baby seals instead of clubbing them." Chris Martin joins People for the Ethical Treatment of Stand-up Comedians at the 9:55 Comedy Club's open mic May 2, 2011. Joshua Saucier is the MC.
http://www.chrismartincomedy.com"The bad news: the baby seal hunting season has begun off the coast of... more
Hours after the African Union announced the broad contours of the agreement between North and South Sudan signed in Addis Ababa last week, the National Congress Party said the position paper was merely a proposal. The AU contributed to brokering peace in Sudan, now its staying power is being tested.
AU managed to have the political parties sign a code of conduct ahead of the elections but stood by hopelessly as some elements of the code were violated. Moreover, it stood by, continuing to negotiate future north-south arrangements, as the north invaded and occupied Abyei.
The Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the creation of porous borders, and possibly with security arrangements as per the deal, could prove rare achievements for the AU.
Overall, the north and south don’t have much of a choice but to collaborate. The south supplies the oil, the north refines it. The south depends on the north for its major imports and the north relies on the south for its markets, making it necessary for the two to establish a free trade zone.
Yet, whether the north and south come to these terms would assume that the leadership is working in the interests of their people. The invasion by the northern forces of Abyei a trade embargo on the south that has seen gas prices increase three times in some areas and at least two times in others, and continued support to militias cast fresh doubts on the future relations of the two states.
Despite endless pledges to coexist with the south, the north has occasionally turned back on its word and trust between the two sides is at an all time low.
Bashir, again, said that the north would peacefully co-exist with the south. Yet, he not only dismissed the concept of a new Sudan, the central point of the CPA, but also made this a pre-condition for peaceful coexistence.
cont.Hours after the African Union announced the broad contours of the agreement between... more
"The Pillsbury Dough Boy celebrated his fifty-first birthday. Sadly, he never recovered from his molestation at the hands of the Michelin Man." Stand-up comedian Chris Martin deflates brands April 27, 2011 at McCormack's Irish Pub in Richmond, VA. Joe Hafkey is MC.
http://chrismartincomedy.com"The Pillsbury Dough Boy celebrated his fifty-first birthday. Sadly, he never... more
"Bad news: Japan glows in the dark. Good news: Sarah Palin can now see two countries from her porch." Stand-up comedian Chris Martin goes Gilbert Gottfried April 19, 2011 at Strange Matter in Richmond, VA. John Reaves is the MC.
http://chrismartincomedy.com"Bad news: Japan glows in the dark. Good news: Sarah Palin can now see two... more
President Obama said that Gaddafi's regime was going to cause a bloodbath in Libya. Professor Alan J Kuperman of the University at Texas argues, however, that the president's claims were exaggerated and that the civil war should be over by now. One month after they intervened, NATO and the US have not put an end to a war that otherwise would have resolved itself.
Appearing on Russia Today, Kuperman dismissed the Obama administration’s claim that there would be a “bloodbath” in Libya if there was no foreign intervention, pointing out that there is no evidence Gaddafi is deliberately targeting civilians and engaging in massacres.Well...duh!
President Obama said that Gaddafi's regime was going to cause a... more
Thousands disappeared 20 years ago in a civil war that many are trying hard to forget.
The Lebanese authorities must take urgent steps to establish an independent commission to fully investigate the fates of thousands of people missing since Lebanon's civil war, Amnesty International said today.
Never Forgotten: Lebanon's Missing People documents a bitter legacy of the 1975-1990 civil war: the thousands of people whose fates remain unknown.
Some went missing after they were arrested or captured by parties to the conflict, others may have been killed during battles and massacres, while others vanished in unclear circumstances.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4TaWcZ0MrEThousands disappeared 20 years ago in a civil war that many are trying hard to forget.... more
Washington (CNN) - It has been 150 years since the Civil War began with the first shots at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, and in some respects views of the Confederacy and the role that slavery played in the events of 1861 still divide the public, according to a new national poll.
In the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll released Tuesday, roughly one in four Americans said they sympathize more with the Confederacy than the Union, a figure that rises to nearly four in ten among white Southerners.
When asked the reason behind the Civil War, whether it was fought over slavery or states' rights, 52 percent of all Americas said the leaders of the Confederacy seceded to keep slavery legal in their state, but a sizeable 42 percent minority said slavery was not the main reason why those states seceded.
"The results of that question show that there are still racial, political and geographic divisions over the Civil War that still exists a century and a half later," CNN Polling Director Holland Keating said.
When broken down by political party, most Democrats said southern states seceded over slavery, independents were split and most Republicans said slavery was not the main reason that Confederate states left the Union.
Republicans were also most likely to say they admired the leaders of the southern states during the Civil War, with eight in 10 Republicans expressing admiration for the leaders in the South, virtually identical to the 79 percent of Republicans who admired the northern leaders during the Civil War.
The survey polled 824 adults via telephone between April 9 and April 10. The poll had a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
–CNN Associate Producer Gabriella Schwarz contributed to this report
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/12/civil-war-still-divides-americans/Washington (CNN) - It has been 150 years since the Civil War began with the first... more
On Monday, Laurent Gbagbo, former president of Côte d'Ivoire, was arrested at his home by Ivorian forces following a four-month standoff that left hundreds of people dead, and generated hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons.
As French helicopters hovered over his residence, pro-Ouattara forces carried a 'quick and professional' arrest, according to Ivory Coast UN Ambassador Youssoufou Bamba. Gbagbo signaled his surrender with a white handkerchief, and as he left the building, he was seen on television declaring 'the fighting is over'. According to the UN, Laurent Gbagbo is now being held by Ouattara forces, and Mr. Bamba described him as alive and healthy, and will be brought to justice for crimes he committed. For his own safety, his location was undisclosed, however, later in the day, we learned that Gbagbo, his wife, and several advisers had been brought to the Golf Hotel which has been used by Ouattara as his party's headquarters since the election results.On Monday, Laurent Gbagbo, former president of Côte d'Ivoire, was arrested... more
On Wednesday, Ivory Coast's Alassane Ouattara, who has been internationally recognized as the legitimate president of the country ordered his forces to enter the building where Laurent Gbagbo has been hiding for the last two days, refusing to surrender and apparently still not willing to recognize the legitimacy of his presidential opponent.
According to French press, Gbagbo's residence was heavily shelled early this morning, and a close associate of Gbagbo stated that this latest assault was an assassination attempt, though Ouattara's orders explicitly stated not to kill him, but rather seize him and bring him to justice.
On Tuesday, both NATO and French forces who had joined the rebels in an attempt to stop the bloodshed declared a cease fire and were expecting Gbagbo to surrender. Laurent Gbagbo is still under the impression that in order for the country to regain some normalcy, that he and Ouattara need to talk.On Wednesday, Ivory Coast's Alassane Ouattara, who has been internationally... more
According to the United Nations, Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo was holed up in the basement of his residence in Abidjan, negotiating the terms of his departure. He was surrounded by Pro-Ouattara forces which had arrived for the 'final assault' this morning. Alassane Ouattara has been recognized by the international community as the legitimate president of Cote d'Ivoire following the elections which took place on November 28, 2010.
Since that time, Gbagbo refused to step down and never conceded defeat. The post election crisis brought months of bloody fighting leaving hundreds dead; the last few days, intense fighting ensued between Gbagbo loyalists and United Nations and French troops which backed Ouattara's forces. Weapons fell silent in the Ivory Coast capital while the world waits for Gbagbo to leave. What remains to be seen is whether the so-called 'father of the nation' will stay in his country, or choose exile.
Deciding to leave will not be enough for Laurent Gbagbo; both Paris and the United Nations require him to sign a document in which he formally relinquishes power and recognizes Alassane Ouattara as legitimate president of Cote d'Ivoire.According to the United Nations, Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo was holed up in the... more
Ivory Coast's incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo is "negotiating his surrender" following UN helicopter assaults earlier today.
France says three generals loyal to Ivory Coast's besieged president are negotiating terms for their surrender in return for guarantees of safety for the presiendent and themselves.
France's foreign minister Alain Juppe said: "We are on the brink of convincing him to leave power."
Gbagbo is reportedly hiding with his family in the basement bunker of his residence in the main city, Abidjan.
Overnight United Nations and French helicopters conducted an operation to destroy weapons belonging to Gbagbo's forces after civilians had apparently been shelled by his troops.
The backstory to all of this is that Gbagbo had refused to leave office even though the Ivorian election commission declared him the loser of November's run-off vote with UN and nternationally-recognised winner Alessanne Ouattara.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the air attacks were not a declaration of war on Gbagbo, but were ordered to defend civilians.Four million people are still trapped by the fighting in Abidjan, a city that has descended into anarchy since pro-Ouattara forces launched their assault five days ago.
In the west of Ivory Coast, a UN team is continuing its investigation into an alleged "massacre" of civilians in Duekoue. Aid agencies have reported finding as many as 800 bodies in the town which was seized by Ouattara's fighters a week ago.
The UN has put the preliminary death toll at 330. It says 220 were killed by pro-Ouattara forces, and 110 by Gbagbo's troops.
Sources: Sky News and BBCIvory Coast's incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo is "negotiating his... more
Most Libyans did not get to hear President Obama's 27 minute address to the nation regarding the decision to participate in a no-fly zone with a coalition of European allies and two Arab partners. The reason for that is that the speech would not be broadcast on state TV which is controlled by Qaddafi, but as we learned, the rebels do not depend on those broadcasts to get any real news. They do watch CNN, al-Jazeera and other international 24-hour news channels, but the time difference would have yielded a very small audience, since it would have been about 3:00am Libya time.
The President made the case for our involvement in Libya as one that is representative of the values and aspirations of all freedom seeking people in the world, and to those that criticized his timing, he fought back by citing that the involvement of the US in the Balkans took a year, as opposed to just 31 days for his administration to become engaged. What was missing from this argument was the fact that from a strategic standpoint, the Libyan rebels needed intervention at a time when they had been successful in taking hold of several cities after securing Benghazi. The time to step came about when Qaddafi's forces began to use 'heavy guns' to regain territory that had been conquered. It would have shortened the mission considerably, and would have not emboldened Qaddafi and his mercenaries to beef up arming of his supporters and inflict more casualties.Most Libyans did not get to hear President Obama's 27 minute address to the... more
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Tuesday threatened government opponents with civil war and appealed to them to begin a national dialogue in conflicting statements that did not stop calls for his immediate resignation.
The mood in the capital, Sanaa, was tense amid reports that opposing military units, some supporting Saleh and some backing recently defected military commanders, had faced off in skirmishes around the country.
The United States and Saudi Arabia, with strong vested interests in Yemen’s ongoing counterterrorism cooperation, worked behind the scenes to promote a solution, but made no public expressions of support for Saleh, who has been in power for 32 years.
“We continue to consult with our regional partners, including Saudi Arabia, about the situation in Yemen,” an Obama administration official said, declining to comment further. The White House has had no direct contact with Saleh since a call made Sunday by John O. Brennan, President Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told reporters traveling with him in Moscow that it was “not my place” to comment on events in Yemen. “We are obviously concerned about instability” there, he said, describing the focus of U.S. worry as a possible “diversion of attention” from the threat posed by the al-Qaeda offshoot in Yemen.
According to news wire reports and Internet postings by Yemenis, Saleh’s army repelled an attack by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula on a military position east of Lawdar, a city in the southern part of the country, killing 12 militants and injuring five. Armed militants have been on a rampage in the southern city of Aden, breaking into nightclubs, throwing out patrons and setting fire to buildings, the Associated Press reported.
Clashes were also reported in the north between pro-revolution Houthi rebels and tribes loyal to the government.
Six weeks of largely peaceful protests against Saleh appeared to reach a tipping point Monday, when dozens of senior military officials, diplomats and government officials resigned to protest the killing Friday of more than 50 demonstrators by government snipers.
“Friday broke our hearts; yesterday opened our eyes,” said Mohammed al-Basha, who has not resigned his position as spokesman for the Yemeni Embassy in Washington but described himself as a “neutral”civil servant.
“We saw people of our generation killed with head shots and chest wounds,” he said. “We don’t want that pain again.”
In a meeting with military and tribal leaders late Monday night, Saleh agreed to a plan under which he would leave office at the end of the year. He had initially dismissed the proposal when it was advanced weeks ago by a coalition of opposition political parties that joined with the youthful and civil society protesters, and the opposition Tuesday told him it was no longer on the table.
“We reject Saleh’s offer to step down, and we tell him that the next couple of hours will be decisive for his regime,” Mohammed Qahtan, a spokesman for an opposition political bloc, said Tuesday.
Maj. Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, the powerful commander of Yemen’s northwest military district, who was the most prominent defector Monday, called on Saleh to resign to save the country from disaster. “The military is the property of the people and its protector,” Mohsen said. “It does not work for any specific person.”
In a televised speech to his National Defense Council, Saleh vacillated between threats of a “bloody” civil war and appeals for dialogue. In an apparent effort to split the opposition, he warned that youthful protesters would be victimized by the political factions that have joined them.
To military defectors, he said: “Those who want to reach power through coups should know what they are seeking is impossible.”
Late Tuesday evening, a government spokesman reiterated Saleh’s calls for “direct and transparent dialogue” with Yemeni youth.
The opposition political groups, called the Joint Meeting Parties, denied fears expressed on the street that they or the military were interested in a deal with Saleh. “Civil society youth are now controlling politicians, military and the tribes,” Qahtan said. “Military commanders will not steal the revolution from the people.”
Ali Amrani, the leader of a bloc of politicians who have left the ruling General Peoples Congress party over the past month, said that Saleh must leave but did not rule out an exit strategy agreed to by all sides, including Saleh and his remaining backers, to avoid chaos.
“Those with the revolution have numerous ideological differences,” he said, “and we need to make sure that the sides don’t start disputes immediately at the fall of Saleh.”
The protesters are suspicious of Mohsen’s motives, said Gregory Johnsen, a Yemen expert at Princeton University. “But at the same time, they’re willing to make a deal for the moment to get rid of Saleh.”
Mohsen, a longtime ally of the president and the most powerful military figure in the country, “is taking advantage in order to ensure for himself a position in a post-Saleh government,” Johnsen said.Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Tuesday threatened government opponents with... more
Relief came Wednesday in the besieged western Libyan town of Misrata after a night of coalition airstrikes that witnesses said targeted encampments of forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi.
But the battle on the ground between pro- and anti-Gadhafi forces was far from over as evidenced by fierce clashes in the eastern town of Ajdabiya, where the opposition appeared to have moved its front line to just 5 kilometers from the city.
Airstrikes targeted military sites in Ajdabiya and Misrata Tuesday night into Wednesday, a U.S. military official said. After the bombardment, Misrata residents reported the first calm in a week.
"It is relatively quiet today -- this is the first time we feel that way in weeks," said Mohammed, an opposition spokesman in the city who would only give his first name. "We want to express our gratitude to the international community since there were airstrikes this morning."
He and a Misrata Central Hospital doctor said the situation was dramatically improved Wednesday, after overnight and early morning airstrikes that they said targeted at least two pro-Gadhafi positions.
Gadhafi's forces have been stationed on the outskirts of the city, from where they have been providing support and supplies to loyalists fighting rebels in Misrata proper.
Many grocery stores and other shops opened in the city, two hours east of Tripoli, which has been inaccessible for journalists.
The doctor, Khaled Mansouri, told CNN that five more people were killed in the last 24 hours, raising the death toll to at least 95 in the last seven days. A man who died Wednesday morning was shot by a pro-Gadhafi sniper, the doctor said.Relief came Wednesday in the besieged western Libyan town of Misrata after a night of... more