Ecuador Rages over FTA
Quito, Mar 20 (Prensa Latina) Ecuador enters Monday another week of
indigenous rallies against the likely signing of the Free Trade
Agreement (FTA) with the US, with nationwide marches and roadblocks.
French Protesters Set Strike Date
By CRAIG R. SMITH
Published: March 20, 2006
PARIS, March 20 - French students and unions stepped up pressure on the government today, calling for more demonstrations culminating in strikes next week to fight a hotly contested new labor law that makes it easier for companies to fire young employees.
Kafka could have written the book, Orwell the screen adaptation, such is
the extraordinary, even absurdist, lengths to which Western
propagandists have gone to invert the reality.
But, in fact, the fanciful vilification of one man, Slobobdan Milosevic,
the completely fabricated demonization of an entire nation, Serbia, and
the impudent revisionist history concocted for an epoch defining
conflict, Yugoslavia, was scripted by neither of these two masters of
social and political satire. It was, instead, penned by an altogether
more sinister hand - 'victor's justice'.
A powerful union leader in France has raised a new threat of a general strike to press the government to withdraw a jobs plan that sent at least a half-million people into the streets in weekend protests...Student and employee unions have given Dominique de Villepin, the prime minister, until Monday night to withdraw the measure, which is designed to increase hiring among the youth but seen by critics as an erosion of workers' rights that will not produce solid jobs.
US-Backed Repression Soars Under President Gloria Macapagal
Philippines: the Killing Fields of Asia
By JAMES PETRAS and ROBIN EASTMAN-ABAYA; March 17, 2006 - Counterpunch
Since President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo joined the US global "War on Terrorism", the Philippines has become the site of an on-going undeclared war against peasant and union activists, progressive political dissidents and lawmakers, human rights lawyers and activists, women leaders and a wide range of print and broadcast journalists. Because of the links between the Army, the regime and the death squads, political assassinations take place in an atmosphere of absolute impunity. The vast majority of the attacks occur in the countryside and provincial towns. The reign of terror in the Philippines is of similar scope and depth as in Colombia. Unlike Colombia, the rampaging state terrorism has not drawn sufficient attention, let alone outcry, from international public opinion.
(The Kalahari) Bushmen with their unevolved stone-age sensibilities simply can’t understand why their land has to be transformed into a lunar hellhole so that Europeans can conduct their traditional mating ceremonies with ritual gift exchanges of shiny rocks.
Canada's Military-Media Complex
What’s the difference between government, defense contractors and media?
by Anthony Fenton; March 09, 2006 - The Dominion
The lines separating Canada’s government, military, media, and private defense contractors are, if not imaginary, then ill-defined.
The case of the new Minister of Defense Gordon O’Connor is illustrative. A veteran of the Canadian Forces, he was a tank squadron commander and is now a retired Brigadier-General who spent eight years as a lobbyist for some of Canada’s largest military contractors. In his words, he was “helping defense companies navigate complicated government procurement rules.” He ended his career as a lobbyist only to run for public office. He won a seat and became a Member of Parliament in June 2004. He then became the Conservative Party’s Critic for National Defense and was a member of the Standing Committee on National Defense and Veterans Affairs.
The Crumbling Empire
Latin America and Asia are Breaking Free of Washington's Grip
By NOAM CHOMSKY; March 15, 2006 - Counterpunch
The prospect that Europe and Asia might move towards greater independence has troubled US planners since the second world war. The concerns have only risen as the "tripolar order"--Europe, North America and Asia--has continued to evolve.
Every day Latin America, too, is becoming more independent. Now Asia and the Americas are strengthening their ties while the reigning superpower, the odd man out, consumes itself in misadventures in the Middle East.
(A)s Milosevic and the onslaught on the former Yugoslavia return to the front pages among predictable obfuscation, we run some relevant extracts here from (the war against Yugoslavia). These days we have the Neo-Cons' war. Back then we had the Liberals' War.
Sometimes the injustices here in New Orleans leave me numb. But the continuing debacle of our criminal justice system inspires in me a sense of indignation I thought was lost to cynicism long ago. Ursula Price, a staff investigator for the indigent defense organization "A Fighting Chance", has met with several thousand hurricane survivors who were imprisoned at the time of the hurricane, and her stories chill me. "I grew up in small town Mississippi," she tells me. "We had the Klan marching down our main street. But still, I've never seen anything like this."
(Slobodan) Milosevic was known to be seriously ill. The Russian government promised to return Milosevic to the Tribunal after treatment. The Tribunal refused. It is easy to conclude that the case against Milosevic had collapsed and that an embarrassed US government, NATO authorities, and Hague Tribunal decided to let him die in his cell rather than admit that his guilt could not be proven even after a trial lasting four years and one month.
The Pentagon is aiming for “full spectrum dominance” of the Internet. Their objective is to manipulate public perceptions, quash competing points of view, and perpetuate a narrative of American generosity and good-will
The Iraqi authorities have hanged 13 people accused of taking part in the insurgency, the first execution of militants since the US-led invasion.
Contracts expire March 31 for members of the BC Government and Service Employees Union (BCGEU), the Hospital Employees Union (HEU), the BC Nurses Union (BCNU), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Health Sciences Association (HSA), and several smaller unions...Also expiring on March 31 is Finance Minister Carole Taylor’s offer of a share in $1 billion worth of signing bonuses for workers who settle contracts by that date.
Abdelkader Belaouni has not left St. Gabriel’s Church in Montreal since he took sanctuary there on January 1st 2006, defying Immigration Canada's deportation order...The nights are the hardest. "I have a lot of nightmares." His voice is quiet. He explains that he can't sleep without medication; even with the medication he often wakes at 3 in the morning. "I think a lot... I think too much."