My Bookmarx 04/04/2010
4 أبريل 2010 بواسطة Tamer Mowafy
Obama Expands Military Involvement in Africa by Daniel Volman — Antiwar.com
When President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, it was widely expected that he would dramatically change, or even reverse, the militarized and unilateral security policy that had been pursued by the George W. Bush administration toward Africa and other parts of the world.
After one year in office, however, it is clear that the Obama administration
is following essentially the same policy that has guided U.S. military policy
toward Africa for more than a decade.
In its FY 2011 budget request for security assistance programs for Africa,
the Obama administration is asking for $38 million for the Foreign Military
Financing program to pay for U.S. arms sales to African countries.
The administration is also asking for $21 million for the International Military
Education and Training Program to bring African military officers to the United
States, and $24.4 million for Anti-Terrorism Assistance programs in Africa.
In June 2009, administration officials revealed that Obama had approved a program
to supply at least 40 tons of weaponry and provide training to the forces of
the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia through several intermediaries,
including Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya, and France.
In September 2009, Obama authorized a U.S. Special Forces operation in Somalia
that killed Saleh Ali Nabhan, an alleged al-Qaeda operative
In December 2009, U.S. military officials confirmed that the Pentagon was considering
the creation of a 1,000-strong Marine rapid deployment force for the new U.S.
Africa Command (Africom) based in Europe, which could be used to intervene in
African hot spots.
Also in February 2010, U.S. Special Forces troops began a $30 million, eight-month-long
training program for a 1,000-man infantry battalion of the army of the Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC) at the U.S.-refurbished base in Kisangani.
During the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Ward also discussed Africom’s
continuing participation in Ugandan military operations in the DRC against the
Lord’s Resistance Army.
And in March 2010, U.S. officials revealed that the Obama administration was
considering using surveillance drones to provide intelligence to TFG troops
in Somalia for their planned offensive against al-Shabaab. According to these
officials, the Pentagon may also launch air strikes into Somalia and send U.S.
Special Forces troops into the country, as it has done in the past.
Open Letter to Berkeley Students on their Historic Israeli Divestment Bill
On March 18, continuing a long tradition of pioneering human rights campaigns, the Senate of the Associated Students of the University of California, Berkeley (ASUC) passed “A Bill In Support of UC DIVESTMENT FROM WAR CRIMES.
The historic bill
resolves to divest ASUC’s assets from two
American companies, General Electric and United Technologies, that are
“materially and militarily supporting the Israeli government’s
occupation of the Palestinian territories”–and to advocate that the
UC, with about $135 million invested in companies that profit from
Israel’s illegal actions in the Occupied Territories, follow suit.
A Commune in Chiapas? Mexico and the Zapatista Rebellion, 1994-2000 | libcom.org
Not proletarian, yet not entirely peasant, the Zapatistas’ political ideas are riven with contradictions. We reject the academics’ argument of Zapatismo’s centrality as the new revolutionary subject, just as we reject the assertions of the ‘ultra-left’ that because the Zapatistas do not have a communist programme they are simply complicit with capital.
A week of coal mine disasters in China
At least 19 miners were killed and 24 trapped by a mine explosion in the central Chinese province of Henan on Wednesday evening. The disaster occurred as rescue workers were still battling to save at least 153 construction workers trapped underground by a flood inside Shanxi’s Wangjialing coal mine project last Sunday.
It has been a bloody week for China’s coal industry, with four reported accidents. On Tuesday, 10 workers were trapped when the Shajihai mine collapsed in Hoboksar County in the north-western region of Xinjiang. On Thursday, nine workers lost their lives during a fire in Shaanxi province’s Quanzigou mine.
While official corruption is certainly a factor in China’s mine accidents, the scapegoating of junior officials and individual managers is a diversion from the real cause of the mounting death toll—a reckless drive for profit from the over-heated economy’s soaring demand for coal.
The Wangjialing mine is an obvious example. It operated by a state-owned company and is a priority project in Beijing’s 15th “five-year plan”. The management was clearly under pressure to complete the project and to meet production and profit targets.
Last Sunday’s flood was caused by the company trying to complete the mine’s construction five months ahead of schedule, despite warnings of water leaking into the shafts. Some surviving workers estimate that the number of trapped workers could be as high as 260.
France24 – إغناء الأغنياء وإفقار الفقراء
أشارت احصاءات صدرت اليوم الجمعة أن دخول الشريحة الأعلى دخلا في فرنسا ارتفعت بوتيرة أسرع من المتوسط في الأعوام الثلاثة حتى 2007 مما يذكي الجدل الدائر حول الاعفاءات الضريبية للأغنياء.
قال المكتب “زاد فقر السكان بشكل عام مقارنة بأصحاب الدخول شديدة الارتفاع الذين حققوا زيادة كبيرة في متوسط دخلهم.”
وأضاف أنه بين عامي 2004 و2007 شهدت نسبة الواحد في المئة الأعلى دخلا بين السكان ارتفاعا في نصيبها من الدخل الإجمالي بنسبة 9.1 في المئة بينما تراجع نصيب 90 في المئة من السكان 0.9 في المئة.
وفي دراسة منفصلة قال مكتب الاحصاءات الوطنية إن ثمانية ملايين شخص أو 13.4 في المئة من السكان كانوا يعيشون تحت عتبة الفقر في 2007 وهم من يبلغ دخلهم 908 يورو في الشهر (1225 دولارا) وإن واحدا من بين كل ثلاثة مهاجرين يعاني من الفقر.
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