Stories we are covering
Reports, analysis, and stories from the struggle of the Cuban people to defend and build their socialist revolution.
The Quebec Student Strike
The story of the biggest student mobilization in Canadian history as it unfolds.
The Class Struggle in Greece
Reporting the viewpoint of the Communist Youth and the Communist Party of Greece for a People's Greece.
The youth movement
Statements and analysis about the way forward for the youth and student movement in Canada today by the YCL-LJC.
Reflections on how to build a better world from a Leninist point of view.
The Class Assassins present another album of "songs to sing with a pint glass in one hands and a fist in the air." Several years after their last album, The Class Assassins still appear on top of their game with their new album, You've Got It All Wrong.
You've Got It All Wrong is made up of 13 shout-along working-class punk anthems, each dripping with fighting spirit. Empty Dollar chronicles in brief the life of the wage slave, fighting to get by. Stop the World criticizes the rapid depletion of the world resources, the path towards extinction being charted by those who pillage the planet unreservedly and promote a culture of rapid consumerism. A Generation Robbed takes on feelings that without change, there is no future for the younger generations.
To sum up, You've Got It All Wrong's got it all right. Favourite tracks include Empty Dollar, Outside Looking In, Stop the World, and A Generation Robbed.
Check out the Class Assassins here.
The Rebel Spell: hastily selected songs from the impending full length It's a Beautiful Future (2010)
At a local punk rock show last week I picked up hastily selected songs from the impending full length It's a Beautiful Future, a four song disc from Vancouver punks The Rebel Spell. As usual, these samplings from the upcoming new album are powerful, fast, political, catchy, and contain the signature Rebel Spell sound that no other band quite seems to have.
The disc starts off with All we want is to be left alone, a song that seems to be attacking the corporate culture of consumerism and its definitions of self worth based on what you own, how you look, and how well you fit the mold defined by TV and the glossy magazine pages.
The sonorous Uncontrollable brings a new dimension of sound to The Rebel Spell in the way that They Know did on Five Songs About Freedom. In this case, the new sound appears to be a fiddle, and makes for a really awesome sounding track.
Feel the Same is probably the catchiest new track. It's a reminder that you are never alone in fighting oppression, that others around the world are fighting to in numerous ways and against numerous injustices.
Finally, No Thanks, takes on phony liberators of all sorts. It's hard to hear this song without thinking of the occupations of Iraq ("Operation Iraqi Liberation"), and of Afghanistan, where sadly Canadian soldier remain engaged in an unjust, imperialist, aggression under the guise of promoting freedom and democracy.
If these "hastily selected" tracks are representative of The Future is Beautiful then fans of The Rebel Spell have reason to be excited about its impending release. If more of us take up the rallying cries of bands like The Rebel Spell and fight for it, maybe we will have cause to be excited about a future which could be beautiful as well.
Check out The Rebel Spell here.
Broadcast Zero's new album, Some concerns regarding this revolt, comes just a year and a half after their amazing debut album Yesterday you could change the world. These Ontario punks dish out another dose of hard hitting, politically charged, punk rock anthems in 16 tracks.
Some concerns has a faster, angrier sound to it, while still retaining Broadcast Zero's particular sound and holding on to their catchy sing-along style. The album focuses on themes of selling-out, betrayal, the media, bigotry, political activism, and more.
Fear Culture discusses how the corporate media attempts to keep the populace in a state of constant subduing fear. The fast and loud Nowhere to Go condemns the dead end capitalist system which leads many youth to take up military service out of desperation. Personal Overload talks about the stresses and tribulations of getting by in this fucked up system. The Enemy, slows things down for a crushing polemic about oppression cloaked as freedom.
Favourite tracks include Demons, Fear Culture, Battle On, It Dies With You.
Check our Broadcast Zero on Myspace here.
Reflections by comrade Fidel
The Source of Wars
On July 4, I said that neither the United States nor Iran would give in: “one, prevented by the pride of the powerful, and the other because it has the capacity and the will to fight oppression, as we have seen so many times before in the history of mankind.”
In nearly every war, one party wishes to avoid it and, sometimes, the two parties do. This time it will happen although one of the parties does not wish it. That was the case of the two World Wars of 1914 and 1939, only 25 years one from the other.
The carnage was awful in both wars, which would not have erupted had it not been for previous miscalculations. Both defended imperialist interests and believed they could accomplish their goals without the exceedingly high price finally paid.
In the case in question, one of the parties involved advocates absolutely fair national interests. The other pursues illegitimate and coarse material interests.
An analysis of every war fought throughout the recorded history of our species shows that one of the parties has pursued such goals.
It’s absolutely wrong to entertain the illusion that this time such goals will be attained without the most dreadful of all wars.
In one of the best articles ran by the Global Research website, on Thursday July 1, signed by Rick Rozoff, the author offers plenty of indisputable arguments, which every well-informed person should be aware of, about the intentions of the United States.
According to the author, the United States believes that “…you can win if the adversary knows that it is vulnerable to a sudden and undetectable, appalling and devastating strike that it has no possibility to respond to or to defend from.”
“…a country with the aspiration of continuing as the only one in history with full military predominance all over the Earth, in the air, the sea and in space.”
“A country that keeps and expands military bases and troops as well as fighting-groups of aircraft carriers and strategic bombers on practically every latitude and longitude, and which does so on a record war budget after World War II amounting to 708 billion dollars next year.”
It was also “…the first country to develop and use nuclear weapons…”
“…the United States has deployed 1,550 nuclear warheads while keeping 2,200 in storage (or 3,500 according to some estimates) and a triad of ground, air and submarine delivering vehicles.”
“The non-nuclear arsenal used to neutralize and destroy the air and strategic defenses, and potentially all the major military forces of other countries, will consist in intercontinental ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and hypersonic bombers, and super-stealth strategic bombers that can avoid radar detection and the ground- and air-based defenses.”
Rozoff enumerates the numerous press conferences, meetings and statements given in the past few months by the chiefs of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the senior executives of the US administration.
He explains the NATO commitments and the reinforced cooperation with the Near East partners, meaning Israel in the first place. He says that “the US is also intensifying the space and cyber war programs with the potential to paralyze other nations’ military command and surveillance, control, communication, information and intelligence systems rendering them helpless except in the most basic tactical field.”
He refers to the signing by the US and Russia, on April 8 this year, in Prague, of the new START Treaty, “which contains no restriction as to the actual or planned potential for a US conventional prompt global strike.”
He also reports a number of news on the issue and offers a most striking example of the US objectives.
He indicates that “…the Defense Department is currently examining the entire range of technologies and systems for a Conventional Prompt Global Strike that could offer the president more credible and technically adequate options to tackle new and developing threats.”
I sustain the view that no president –and not even the most knowledgeable military chief-- would have a minute to know what should be done if it were not already programmed in computers.
Rozoff proceeds undisturbed to relate what Global Security Network states in an analysis from Elaine Grossman under the title, The Cost of Testing a US Global Strike Missile Could Reach 500 Million Dollars.
“The Obama administration has requested 239.9 billion dollars for research and development of the prompt global strike by US military services in fiscal year 2011…if the level of funds remains as anticipated for the coming years, by the end of fiscal year 2015 the Pentagon will have spent 2 billion dollars in prompt global strike, according to budget documents introduced in Congress last month.”
“A comparable terrifying scenario of the effects of a PGS, in this case of the sea version, was described three years ago in Popular Mechanics:
“An Ohio-type nuclear submarine emerges in the Pacific ready to execute the President’s order for launching. When the order comes, the submarine shoots to the sky a 65-tons Trident II missile. Within 2 minutes, the missile is flying at 22,000 km/h. Over the oceans and out of the atmosphere it speeds for thousands of kilometers.
“At the top of its parabola, in space, the four warheads of the Trident separate and start descending on the planet.
“The warheads flying at 21,000 km/h are full of tungsten rods with twice the resistance of steel.
“Once on target, the warheads explode and thousands of rods fall on the area, each carrying 12 times the destructive force of a .50 caliber bullet. Everything within 279 square meters of that whirling metal storm is annihilated.”
Then Rozoff explains the statement made this year, on April 7, by the chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, General Leonid Ivashov, under the headline Obama’s Nuclear Surprise, where he refers to the US President remarks in Prague last year with the following words: “The existence of thousands of nuclear weapons is the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War,” and about the signature of the START II in that same city on April 8, the author points out:
“In the history of the United States during the past century, there is not one example of sacrifice of the US elites for humanity or for the peoples of other countries. Would it be realistic to expect that the arrival of an African-American president to the White House might change the political philosophy of that nation traditionally aimed at achieving global domination? Those who believe that something like that could happen should try to understand why the US --the country whose military budget exceeds that of all the other countries of the world combined-- continues spending huge amounts of money in war preparations.”
“…the concept of Prompt Global Strike envisions a concentrated attack with the use of several thousand conventional precision weapons that within 2 to 4 hours would destroy the crucial infrastructure of the targeted country and force it to capitulate.”
“The concept of Prompt Global Strike is aimed at ensuring the US monopoly in the military field and to widen the gap between that country and the rest of the world. In combination with the defensive deployment of missiles that should supposedly preserve the US from retaliatory attacks from Russia and China, the Prompt Global Strike initiative will turn Washington into a global dictator of the modern era.”
“Essentially, the new US nuclear doctrine is part of the new US security strategy that could more adequately be described as a strategy of complete impunity. The US increases its military budget, gives free rein to NATO as a global gendarme, and plans exercises in a real situation in Iran to prove the efficiency of the Prompt Global Strike initiative.”
In substance, Obama intends to mislead the world talking about a world free of nuclear weapons that would be replaced with other extremely destructive weapons designed to terrorize the leaders of other States and to accomplish the new strategy of complete impunity.
The Yankees believe that Iran will soon surrender. It is expected that the European Union will inform about a package of its own sanctions to be signed on July 26.
The latest meeting of 5 plus 1 was held on July 2, after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated that “his country will resume the talks by the end of August, with the participation of Brazil and Turkey.”
A senior EU official warned that “neither Brazil nor Turkey will be invited to the talks, at least not at this point.”
“Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki remarked that he is in favor of challenging international sanctions and proceeding with the upgrading of uranium.”
Since Tuesday July 5, and in view of the European insistence in promoting additional measures against Iran, this country has responded that it will not negotiate until September.
Thus, with every passing day there are fewer possibilities to overcome the insurmountable obstacle.
What will happen is so obvious that it can be exactly foreseen.
As for me, I should be self-critical since I made the mistake of affirming in my Reflections of June 27, that the conflict would break out on Thursday, Friday or Saturday at the latest. It was known that Israeli warships were moving toward their target alongside the Yankee naval forces. The order to search the Iranian merchant ships had been issued.
However, I lost sight of a previous step: Iran’s continued refusal to allow the inspection of a merchant ship. In the analysis of the Security Council’s intricate language to impose sanctions on that country, I overlooked the detail of that previous step for the inspection order to be enforced. It was the only required step.
The 60-days period assigned by the Security Council on June 9, to receive information on the implementation of the Resolution, will expire on August 8.
But something more unfortunate still was happening. I was working with the latest material on the issue produced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba and the document did not include two crucial paragraphs which were the last of said Resolution and which literally read:
“It requests that, in a 90 days period, the Director General of the IAEA submits to the IAEA Board of Governors and, simultaneously, to the Security Council for its examination, a report indicating whether Iran has carried out the complete and sustained suspension of all the activities mentioned in Resolution 1737 (2006), and if it is implementing every measure demanded by the IAEA Board of Governors and observing the remaining provisions of Resolutions 1737, 1747, 1803 and the current Resolution;
“It affirms that it will examine Iran’s actions in the light of the report mentioned in paragraph 36, which shall be submitted in a period of 90 days and that a) it will suspend the implementation of the measures provided that Iran suspends every activity related to upgrading and reprocessing, including research and development, and while the suspension stands, the IAEA will verify, to allow the celebration of negotiations in good faith to reach a prompt and mutually acceptable result; b) it will cease to implement the measures specified in paragraphs 3,4,5,6,7 and 12 of resolution 1737, as well as in paragraphs 2,4,5,6 and 7 of resolution 1747, in the paragraphs 3,5,7,8,9,10 and 11 of Resolution 1803 and in paragraphs 7,8,9,10,11,12, 13,14,15,16,17,18,19,21,22,23 and 24 of the current resolution, as soon as it determines, after receiving the report mentioned in the previous paragraph, that Iran has fully observed its obligations in compliance with the relevant Security Council resolutions and the requisites of the IAEA Board of Governors, a determination to be confirmed by the Board itself; and c) in case the report indicates that Iran has failed to abide by the provisions of Resolutions 1737, 1747, 1803 and the current resolution, it will adopt, in accordance with article 41 of chapter vii of the UN Charter, other appropriate measures to persuade Iran to do as provided in said resolutions and the requisites of the IAEA, and underlines that other decisions shall be adopted if such additional measures were necessary…”
Apparently, after many hours of hard work making copies of every document, somebody at the Ministry fell asleep, but my eagerness to seek information and exchange views on these sensitive issues enabled me to detect the omission.
From my viewpoint, the United States and its NATO allies have said their last word. Two powerful states with authority and prestige failed to exercise their right of vetoing the perfidious UN Resolution.
It was the only possibility to gain time in order to find a formula to save peace, an objective that would have given them more authority to continue struggling for it.
Today, everything hangs by a thread.
My main purpose was to warn the international public of what was developing.
I have done so partly watching what was happening as the political leader that I was for many long years facing the empire, its blockade and its unspeakable crimes. I’m not doing it for revenge.
I do not hesitate to take the risk of compromising my modest moral authority.
I shall continue writing Reflections on the subject. There will be others after this one to continue delving in the issue on July and August, unless an incident occurs that sets in motion the deadly weapons that are today aiming at each other.
I have greatly enjoyed the final matches of the Football World Cup and the volleyball matches, where our brave team is leading its group in the World League.
Fidel Castro Ruz
July 11, 2010
Reflections by comrade Fidel
AN IMPOSSIBLE HAPPINESS
I promised that I would be the happiest man in the world to be wrong and, unfortunately, my happiness didn’t last.
The Football World Cup is still being contested and there are still six more days to go before the final match.
What a great opportunity will the Yankee imperialism and the fascist State of Israel possibly miss to keep the minds of the overwhelming majority of the people on Earth off their fundamental problems!
Who knows about the imperialists’ sinister plans towards Iran and their gross pretexts to attack it?
At the same time, I wonder, what are the Israeli warships doing, for the first time, in the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and Iran’s maritime areas?
Is it possible to think that the Yankee nuclear aircraft-carriers and the Israeli’s warships will leave the area, with the tail between the legs, when the demands contained in Resolution 1929 of June 9, 2010, approved by the UN Security Council are met, that is, the one authorizing the inspection of Iranian ships and aircraft in the territory of any State that, this time, allows the inspection of ships in the open sea?
The Resolution also establishes that the Iranian ships will not be inspected if Iran does not consent. In this case, the refusal would be analyzed.
An additional element is the possibility of confiscating what has been inspected; if confirmation is obtained that it infringes the provisions of the Resolution.
A disarmed Iran was the victim of that cruel war with Iraq where large groups of Guardians of the Revolution cleaned up the mine fields walking on them.
That is not the case today. As I said in previous Reflections, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was chief of the Revolutionary Guardians in the west of Iran that shouldered the main weight of that war.
Several years later, an emboldened Iraqi government sent most of the Republican Guard to the Arab Emirate of Kuwait and annexed that oil-rich territory, which became an easy prey.
The Iraqi government had sustained a good friendship with Cuba, which from the days when it was not at war with anyone had rendered it important health services. Our country tried to persuade it to leave Kuwait and put an end to the war it had provoked based on misperceptions.
Today, it is known that a mediocre Yankee ambassador, who had excellent relations with the Iraqi government, induced it to make that mistake.
Bush senior attacked his old friend leading a powerful coalition with a strong composition of Arab-Moslem-Sunni countries which supply oil to most of the rich industrial nations. That coalition advanced from the south of Iraq to prevent the withdrawal of the Republican Guard, which escaped to the Iraqi capital thanks to the restraint of the US Marine Corps and Armed Forces –commanded by Colin Powell, a prestigious general and later Secretary of State under George W. Bush.
Purely out of revenge, the retiring force became the target of rockets contaminated with downgraded uranium tested for the first time to determine the damage they could cause in the opposing troops.
The Moslem Shiite Iran that they are threatening now with their ground, sea and air forces is nothing like the Republican Guard they attacked with impunity in Iraq.
The empire is about to make an irreparable mistake and nothing can stop it. It walks inexorably towards a sinister fate.
The only thing sure now is that the Football World Cup had its quarterfinals. Thus, the fans of that sport could enjoy the exciting matches where we saw incredible things happen. It is said that the Netherlands team had not lost a World Cup match on a Friday, in 36 years. Only computers could make it possible to register such an event.
The fact is that Brazil did not make it to the semifinals of this Cup.
An arbiter left Brazil out of the competition. At least, that was the impression of an excellent commentator of the Cuban television who repeated it tirelessly. Later, the FIFA would say that the arbiter’s decision was correct.
Afterwards, at a decisive moment, with more than half the second time still to play, the same arbiter left Brazil with only 10 players in the field.
Yesterday, Argentina was eliminated. In the first minutes of the match, the German team, through its midfield player Muller, took by surprise the unsuspecting Argentinean defenders and the goalkeeper, and scored one goal.
After a while, the Argentinean forward players tried to score and failed no less than ten shots --compared to one from the German team.
The German team, on the other hand, scored three more goals, that even German Chancellor Angela Merkel applauded passionately.
Again, one of the favorite teams lost, leaving over 90% of football fans in Cuba perplexed.
The overwhelming majority of fans of that sport do not even know in what continent Uruguay is located. Final matches between European countries will the most colorless and anti historic since that sport was born.
On the other hand, the international developments that have taken place had nothing to do with a game of chance but rather with the basic logic guiding the destiny of the empire.
A number of news came to light on July 1, 2 and 3. They are all connected to one event: on July 2, the big powers with a right of veto in the UN Security Council, plus Germany, urged the Iranian government to “promptly respond” the invitation to return to the negotiations on its nuclear program.
The previous day, President Barack Obama had signed a law expanding the current measures against Iran’s energy and banking sectors and penalizing the companies that do business with government of Teheran. The result: a rigorous blockade and the suffocation of Iran.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that his country will resume the talks by the end of August and emphasized that countries like Brazil and Turkey should be involved. These are the only Security Council members that opposed the sanctions of June 9.
A senior European Union official disdainfully remarked that neither Brazil nor Turkey would be invited to take part in the talks.
Nothing else is needed to draw the relevant conclusions.
None of the two sides will yield; one, prevented by the pride of the powerful, and the other because it has the capacity and the will to fight oppression, as we have seen so many times before in the history of mankind.
The people of Iran, a nation with ancient cultural traditions, will undoubtedly defend itself from the aggressors. It’s had to understand that Obama may seriously believe that it would yield to his demands.
The president of Iran and its religious leaders will resist, drawing inspiration from the Islamic Revolution headed by Ruhollah Khomeini, the creator of the Guardians of Revolution, the modern Armed Forces and the new State of Iran.
The poor peoples of the world, which cannot be blamed for the terrible mess created by imperialism, located as they are in this hemisphere south of the United States, and others in the west, center and south of Africa, as well as others on the planet who might be left untouched by the nuclear war, are left with the only option of coping with the consequences of the catastrophic nuclear war that will break out very soon.
Unfortunately, there is nothing for me to rectify. I take full responsibility with what I wrote in my latest Reflections.
Fidel Castro Ruz
July 4, 2010
Reflections by comrade Fidel
KNOWING THE TRUTH TIMELY
As I was writing every one of my previous Reflections, and a catastrophe was quickly zeroing in on humanity, my major concern was to fulfill the primary duty to inform our people.
Today, I feel more relax than 26 days ago. As the situation evolves, I can reiterate and expand on the information to the national and international public.
Obama has committed to attend the quarterfinals match on July 2, if his country’s team makes it to that stage. He supposedly knows better than anyone that the quarterfinals will not be contested because very serious developments will take place before that; or at least he should know.
Last Friday, June 25, an international press agency known for the attention to details in its reports, published a statement by the “…Navy Commander of the elite Corps of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution General Ali Fadavi…,” warning “…that if the United States and its allies inspect Iranian ships in international waters ‘they will have their response in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.’”
The information was taken from the local news agency Mehr of Iran.
According to the press dispatch, said news agency reported that “Fadavi added that ‘the Navy of the Revolutionary Guardians currently has hundreds of vessels equipped with missile launchers.’”
The information, produced approximately at the same time of what Granma published or perhaps before, seemed at some points an exact copy of the Reflections elaborated on Thursday June 24th and ran by that paper on Friday 25th.
The coincidence can be explained by the simple use of a logical reasoning. I was completely unaware of what the Iranian local agency had published.
I have absolutely no doubt that as soon as the American and Israeli warships are deployed –alongside the rest of the American military vessels positioned off the Iranian coasts-- and they try to inspect the first merchant ship from that country, there will be a massive launching of missiles in both directions. At that moment exactly the terrible war will begin. It’s not possible to estimate how many vessels will be sunk or from what country.
Knowing the truth timely is the most important thing for our people.
It doesn’t matter if almost everybody, I’d dare say 99.9% or more of my compatriots, instinctively cling to hopes and agree with my sincere wishes to be wrong. I have talked to people close to me, and I have also received news from many noble, selfless and hardworking people who have read my Reflections and do not challenge my considerations in the least but rather absorb, believe and swallow my reasoning through a dry throat; however, they immediately go back to the tasks to which they devote their energies.
That is precisely what we expect of our compatriots. But it would be worse to suddenly become aware of extremely gave events without having heard as much as a news about such possibility. Then there would be confusion and panic, and that would be unworthy of our heroic Cuban people, which was very close to becoming the target of a massive nuclear strike on October 1962, and still did not hesitate for a second in discharging its duty.
Our brave combatants and the military chiefs of our Revolutionary Armed Forces taking part in heroic internationalist missions were close to becoming the victims of nuclear strikes against the Cuban troops deployed close to the Angolan south border from where the South African racist forces --at the time positioned on the Namibian border-- had been expelled after the battle of Cuito Cuanavale.
The Pentagon, with the consent of the President of the United States, supplied the South African racists through Israel with about 14 nuclear bombs, more powerful than those dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as we have indicated in previous Reflections.
I am neither a prophet nor a fortune teller. Nobody told me a word of what was to happen. It has all been the result of what I today describe as a logical reasoning.
We are neither new to this complicated issue nor are we meddlesome.
It is possible to predict what will happen in the rest of the Portuguese and Spanish speaking Americas during the nuclear post crisis.
Under such circumstances, it will not be possible to talk of capitalism or socialism. A stage will open that will see the management of the available goods and services in this part of the continent. Certainly, every country will continue being ruled by those who head the governments today, some very close to socialism and others euphoric over the opening of the world market to fuels, uranium, copper, lithium, aluminum, iron and other metals being sent to the developed and rich countries today that will suddenly disappear.
An abundance of food exported now to that world market will also disappear abruptly.
In these circumstances, the most basic products needed for life: food, water, fuels, and the resources found in the hemisphere south of the United States will suffice to preserve some of the civilization whose unbridled advance has led humanity into such a disaster.
Nevertheless, there are still some uncertainties. Will the two mightiest nuclear powers, the United States and Russia, be able to refrain from using their nuclear weapons against each other?
There is no doubt, however, that from Europe the nuclear weapons of Great Britain and France, allied with the United States and Israel, --the same that enthusiastically imposed the resolution that will inevitably unleash the war, which for the abovementioned reasons will immediately become nuclear-- are threatening the Russian territory even though this country and China have done everything within their capabilities to prevent the conflict.
The economy of the superpower will fall to pieces like a house of cards. The American society is the least prepared to endure a catastrophe like the one the empire has created in the same territory where it started.
We don’t know which will be the effect on the environment of the nuclear weapons that will unavoidably explode in various parts of the world, and that in the least serious variant will happen in abundance.
As for me, to advance a hypothesis would be pure science fiction.
Fidel Castro Ruz
June 27, 2010
Reflections by comrade Fidel
I WOULD SO MUCH LIKE TO BE WRONG
When these lines are published in the Granma newspaper tomorrow, Friday, the date of July 26, when we proudly remember the honor of having resisted the imperialists’ attacks, will be felt distant, despite the fact that it is only 32 days away.
Those who determine every step of humanity’s worst enemy –the US imperialism, a combination of miserable material interests, contempt and underestimation of the other peoples who inhabit this planet—have calculated everything with mathematical precision.
In the Reflection of June 16, I wrote: “The diabolic reports slide down little by little in between matches of the Football World Cup, so that nobody takes notice.”
The famous sports contest is now in its most exciting moment. For 14 days, the teams with the best players from 32 nations have been competing to advance to the stage of quarter-finals, semi-finals and then the final competition.
The sports enthusiasm grows constantly attracting hundreds of millions or perhaps even billions of people worldwide.
But, we should be wondering how many are aware that from June 20 US warships, including the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman, escorted by one or more nuclear submarines and other warships carrying missiles and cannons more powerful than the old battleships used during the last World War between 1939 and 1945, have been moving towards the Iranian coasts via the Suez Canal.
This movement of the Yankee naval forces is accompanied by Israeli military ships, carrying equally sophisticated weaponry, intended to supervise any vessel involved in the import or export of commercial products required by the Iranian economy for its operations.
Following a US proposal supported by the United Kingdom, France and Germany, the UN Security Council passed a tough resolution which was not vetoed by any of the five countries with the right to do it.
Another tougher resolution was adopted by the US Senate.
Later, a third and even tougher resolution was approved by the member countries of the European Community. All of this happened before June 20, which motivated French President Nicolas Sarkozy to make an urgent trip to Russia --according to press reports-- to meet with the head of Sate of that powerful country, Dmitri Medvedev, in hope of negotiating with Iran and preventing the worst from happening.
Now, it’s a matter of calculating when the American and Israeli naval forces will be deployed off the coasts of Iran joining there the aircraft carriers and other US military ships already on watch in the region.
It is still worse that, the same as the United States, Israel --its gendarme in the Middle East—has state-of-the-art fighter planes and sophisticated nuclear weapons supplied by the United States, which have turned it into the sixth nuclear power on Earth, in terms of its fire power, and one of eight such powers that include India and Pakistan.
The Shah of Iran was overthrown by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979 without firing one shot. But then the United States imposed on that nation a war with chemical weapons whose components it supplied to Iraq along with the information required by this country’s combat units; such weapons were used against the Guardians of the Revolution. Cuba knows this because, as we have said before, our country chaired the Non- Aligned Movement at the time. We know very well the damage done to the populations. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, currently the head of State of Iran, was chief of the sixth army of the Guardians of the Revolution and chief of the Guardians Corps in the western provinces, which carried the bulk of that war.
Today, in 2010, thirty-one years later, both the United States and Israel underestimate the one-million men that make up Iran’s Armed Forces and their fighting capacity on the ground as well as the air, sea and ground forces of the Guardians of the Revolution.
These forces are compounded by 20 million men and women, ages 12 through 60, selected and systematically trained by their various armed institutions, from the 70 million people who live in that country.
The US administration worked out a plan to promote a political movement that based on capitalist consumerism would divide the Iranians and overthrow the government.
Such hope is now harmless. It’s simply ridiculous to think that the US warships and Israeli forces combined could win the sympathies of even one Iranian citizen.
I initially thought, as I analyzed the current situation, that the conflict would start at the Korean peninsula, where the second Korean War would break out, and that another war would immediately follow; the one that the United States would impose on Iran.
Now, we are witnessing a different turn of events: the war in Iran will immediately spark off that of Korea.
The leadership of North Korea, which was accused of sinking the ‘Cheonan’ and which knows only too well that said ship was sunk by a mine attached to its hull by the Yankee intelligence services, will not miss a second to act as soon as Iran is attacked.
It is only fair that football fans freely enjoy the competitions of this World Cup. I simply fulfill my duty of informing our people, as I think mostly of our youths, full of life and hopes, especially our wonderful children, so that the developments do not catch them by surprise.
It hurts to think of the dreams conceived by human beings and the amazing things they have created in barely a few thousand years.
At a time when the most revolutionary dreams are coming true and our homeland is firmly on the path to recovery, I would so much like to be wrong!
Fidel Castro Ruz
June 24, 2010
Reflections by comrade Fidel
THE INESCAPABLE CONFLICT
I recently said that the world would soon forget the tragedy that was about to happen as a result of the policy pursued for over two hundred years by the neighboring superpower, the United States.
We are familiar with its devious and treacherous actions; the impetuous economic growth attained through its scientific and technical development; the enormous wealth accumulated at the expense of the overwhelming majority of its industrious people and of the rest of the peoples of the world by an exiguous minority which, in that country and the others, possesses and enjoys unlimited riches.
Who are increasingly complaining if not the workers, the professionals, those rendering services to the population, the retirees, the unemployed, the street children and the people lacking the most basic education who make up the majority of the nearly seven billion inhabitants of the planet whose crucial resources are clearly depleting?
How are these being treated by the law enforcement forces that should protect them?
Who are those beaten by the police agents armed with every possible instrument of repression?
I don’t need to describe what everybody can see everywhere, even in the United States, on their TV sets, computers and other media.
It’s more difficult to unravel the sinister projects of those holding in their hands the fate of mankind as they absurdly believe that such a world order can be imposed.
What did I write in the past five Reflections ran by Granma and the CubaDebate website between May 30 and June 10, 2010?
The basic elements of a very near future have already been let loose and there is no way to pull them back.
The impressive developments of the Football World Cup in South Africa have captivated our minds for a few days. We hardly get any time to breathe during the six hours of life TV broadcast in almost every country in the world.
Having watched the games of the most prestigious teams in the first six days, and applying my little reliable knowledge, I dare say that the champion of this World Cup will be one of the following: Argentina, Brazil, Germany, the United Kingdom or Spain.
Every big team has showed its power in this sport, where I previously could only see people running through an extensive field from one goal line to another. Today, thanks to such famous names as Maradona and Messi, knowing the exploits of the former as the best player in the history of that sport and his opinion that the latter is like him or even better, I can already see the role of each of the eleven players.
I’ve also learned only recently that the new football is of geometric variable in the air, thus it’s faster and it bounces back better. The players themselves, starting with the goalkeeper, are complaining of these new characteristics, but also the forward and the defense players are complaining quite a lot since the ball moves faster and they learned to play with a different ball. The FIFA leaders make the decisions on the matter for every World Cup.
This time they have changed this sport. It’s different even if the name is still the same. The fans who are not familiar with the changes introduced in the ball, --which is the soul of a great number of sport activities-- and who fill the stands of any stadium are the ones who fully enjoy the game and accept it under the magic name of the glorious football. Even Maradona, who was the best player in history, will easily accept that other sportsmen score more goals, from a greater distance, more spectacularly and with more accuracy than him, in the same goals of the same size as those where he scored and that made him so famous.
It was different in amateur baseball where they used either wooden bats or aluminum bats; they just had to meet certain requirements.
The powerful professional clubs in the United States decided to apply strict rules regarding the bats and a series of other traditional requirements that preserve the characteristics of the old game. They really added special interest to the show and increased the huge profits obtained from the public and the advertising.
In the current sports whirlpool, an extraordinary and noble sport like volleyball, which Cubans enjoy so much, is involved in its World League. This is the most important contest of this specialty every year, except for the tittles received by the teams that end up first in the Olympic Games or the world championships.
On Friday and Saturday last week, the second to the last matches in Cuba were played at the Ciudad Deportiva. Our team has not lost one match so far. Its latest adversary was no other than Germany, a team counting among its players a giant 2.14 meters tall who’s also a great spiker. It was truly a deed that they won all the sets, except the third of the second match. The members of our team who are all very young --one of them is only 16—showed an amazing capacity to react. Currently, the European champion is Poland and the German team beat it in their two matches. Before those two victories nobody thought that the Cuban team would again be among the best of the world.
Unfortunately, in the political arena the path is fraught with great risks.
One of the issues I have referred to, which counts among the basic elements that have been let loose and cannot be pulled back, is the sinking of the Cheonan, a flagship of the South Korean Navy which sank in a few minutes on March 26, causing 46 dead and scores of injured among the marines.
The South Korean government ordered an investigation to determine whether it was the result of an internal or external explosion. When it was confirmed that it was an external blast, it accused Pyongyang of sinking the ship. North Korea only had an old model of Soviet made torpedo. In the absence of any other element except the simplest logic no other cause could be thought of.
As a first step, last March the South Korean government ordered the activation of the propaganda loudspeakers on 11 points along the demilitarized common border separating the two Koreas.
Then, the high command of the Armed Forces of the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea declared that it would destroy the loudspeakers as soon as they were turned on. This activity had been suspended in the year 2004. The People’s Democratic Republic of Korea literally declared that Seoul would be turn into “a sea of fire.”
Last Friday, the South Korean Army announced that it would start such activity as soon as the Security Council made public its measures for the sinking of the South Korean ship Cheonan. Both Korean republics are now ready to pull the trigger.
The South Korean government could not imagine that its close ally, the United States, had placed a mine in the bottom of the Cheonan, as reported in an article signed by investigative journalist Wayne Madsen and published in Global Research on June 1, 2010, offering a coherent explanation of the event. It is based on the fact that North Korea does not have any rocket or instrument capable of sinking the Cheonan that could go undetected by the sophisticated equipment of that war submarine.
North Korea had been accused of something it did not do, which determined Kim Jong Il’s urgent trip to China in the armored train.
As these events developed so suddenly, the South Korean government did not, and does not, have space for any other possible cause.
So, the sky is growing increasingly cloudy while a sportive and joyful spirit reins.
The US intentions have been obvious for some time, as its government acts obliged by its designs without any possible alternative.
As it is used to impose its designs by force, the intention is that Israel uses the most modern planes and sophisticated weaponry recklessly supplied by the superpower to attack the facilities where Iran produces the enriched uranium. The US has suggested to Israel, which has no borders with Iran, to request permission from Saudi Arabia to fly over a long and narrow air corridor that considerably shortens the distance between the point of departure of the attacking planes and their targets.
According to the plan, --some essential parts of which have been revealed by the Israeli Intelligence-- waves of planes would attack one after the other hammering the targets.
Last Saturday June 12, major Western press ran the news of an air corridor given by Saudi Arabia to Israel, following an agreement with the US State Department, with the aim of conducting exercises with the Israeli fighter bombers to strike Iran by surprise, exercises that had already taken place in the Saudi air space.
The Israeli spokesmen have denied nothing. They have simply said that the countries mentioned were more fearful than Israel of the Iranian nuclear development.
On June 13, when the London Times published an information from intelligence sources, assuring that Saudi Arabia had made public an agreement giving Israel permission to use an air corridor in its territory to attack Iran, President Ahmadinejad stated --as he received the credentials of the new Saudi ambassador to Teheran, Mohammad ibn Abbas al Kalabi-- that there are many enemies who do not wish the development of close relations between the two countries, “…but if Iran and Saudi Arabia stay alongside each other, those enemies will renounce the continuation of the aggression…”
In my view, from the Iranian standpoint this statement was justified; whatever the reasons behind it. Possibly, he did not wish to offend his Arab neighbors.
The Yankees have not said a word, which reflects their ardent desire to sweep away the nationalist government of Iran.
We should ask now when the Security Council will analyze the sinking of the Cheonan, which was the flagship of the South Korean Navy; what will it do when the triggers are pulled in the Korean peninsula; whether or not it is true that Saudi Arabia, in concert with the State Department, authorized an air corridor for waves of Israeli modern bombers to attack the Iranian facilities, thus creating the possibility for the use of the nuclear weapons supplied by the United States.
The diabolic reports slide down little by little in between matches of the Football World Cup, so that nobody takes notice.
Fidel Castro Ruz
June 16, 2010
On July 15, rapper Missy Elliott is scheduled to play in Israel. As a member of a visible minority, and someone who has long contributed to various social causes, Ms. Elliott may have a sensitivity to the plight of the oppressed.
Santana, Elvis Costello, The Pixies and other prominent performers have recently cancelled concerts in Israel in solidarity with the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel in 2005. Please join us in asking Missy Elliott to cancel her upcoming concert.
In 2005, over 170 Palestinian organizations sponsored a boycott call calling the international community to impose boycott and divestment campaigns on Israel. This boycott call is to apply until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people's right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law.
Missy Elliott is an American rapper, and former member of R&B band Sista as well as the Swing Mob collective. With record sales of over seven million in the United States, she is the only female rapper to have six albums certified platinum.
Elliott has contributed to charity for a number of causes, including domestic violence, teen obesity, AIDS and poverty.
The CJPME Leadership
Please click here to send an email to Missy Elliott.
Please also click here to send a similar letter to Suzanne Vega who is similarly planning a trip to Israel.
From People's Weekly World
WARNING: Disturbing video below.
As U.S, forces prepare to withdraw from Iraq, more evidence comes forward on U.S. killings of Iraqi civilians during its seven-year occupation.
WikiLeaks has released a classified U.S. military video showing two Apache helicopter gunships carry out the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad - including two Reuters news staff, Saeed Chmagh and Namir Noor-Eideen - on July 12, 2007.
Chmagh, 40 was a respected Reuters driver and assistant. He left behind a wife and four children. Noor-Eideen, 22, was considered one of the best war photographers in Iraq.
In August 2007 Reuters filed a Freedom of Information Act request for a copy of the video evidence taken from the primary helicopter involved in the attack. But the request was never granted.
WikiLeaks obtained and decrypted the video, and released it April 5.
The video shows the initial shooting of a group of men, including the Reuters staff, who were walking leisurely on the street. Only one was left wounded but alive after the hail of bullets hit - Reuters staffer Chmagh. As the helicopters survey the scene, littered with dead bodies, one of the soldiers is heard to comment, "Oh yeah look at all those dead bastards." Another replies, "Nice."
Another says "Nice. Good shoot."
The film then shows the gunship troops unleashing a barrage of gunfire on rescuers who drove up in a van and tried to retrieve the wounded man and the dead bodies. In total about 12 to 15 people were killed. Two young children, visible sitting in the rescue van, were seriously wounded.
After demands by Reuters, the incident was investigated and the U.S. military concluded that the actions of the soldiers were in accordance with the law of armed conflict and its rules of engagement.
WikiLeaks is a non-profit organization funded by human rights campaigners, investigative journalists, technologists and the general public.
It adds this message at the conclusion of the video: "This video is dedicated to the families of the people killed in this attack, and to all the victims of war whose fates remain unknown."
Viewing this deeply disturbing film underscores the heavy responsibility the U.S. bears to help the Iraqi people recover and rebuild.
Click here to view the video.
Photo: WikiLeaks screenshot
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