David T. Rowlands

The nightmarish prospect of a scarred Amazonian jungle reeking of diesel fumes from end to end, as heavy-laden trucks thunder by in round-the-clock convoys, is fast becoming a reality.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and others on the Italian right have had much to say recently about various medical matters.
Former US diplomat Henry Kissinger’s recorded telephone conversations (“telecons”) relating to Chile in the early 1970s permit us to “eavesdrop on the most candid conversations of … US officials as they plotted covert intervention against a democratically elected government”, according to National Security Archive (NSA) scholar and The Pinochet File author Peter Kornbluh.
Der Krieg [War]
An exhibition of Otto Dix’s anti-war prints
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Until October 26
On November 22 this year, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ meeting will convene in Lima, Peru.
Widely regarded as the greatest living kora player, Toumani Diabete, from Mali, and his 10-piece band drawn from various West African nations — the Symmetric Orchestra — delivered a sublimely engaging two-hour performance on March 12 at the Sydney Opera House.
In 2007, the 90th anniversary of the New South Wales general strike was ignored by mainstream politicians and media sources — a silence that contrasted markedly with the extensive coverage allotted to the 90th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing in 2005.
On December 4, US President George Bush was delighted to announce that the US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (dubbed “PeruFTA”) had finally cleared the Congress. Since late 2005, when PeruFTA was approved by Peru, the Bush administration has campaigned relentlessly to secure the free trade deal’s endorsement by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives.
During the federal election campaign, the corporate media has transmitted an implicit condemnation of trade unionism and an implicit endorsement of the neo-liberal ideas promoted by organisations like the H.R. Nicholls Society. Ignoring the Liberal Party’s well-established links to these extremist anti-union forces, the media has instead decided to emphasise Labor’s union connections. This selectivity is yet another example of the corporate propaganda filter through which news passes to reach the public.
As we passed by the Tintaya open-pit copper mine, I was unprepared for the scene of utter desolation. The fully laden hired lorry was heading back to Arequipa from the highland town of Yauri, where my companions had purchased 20 head of ganado (cattle) earlier that morning. The cattle market had seemed impressive enough to my untutored eyes, but it was nothing like the old days, they informed me.
Diego Montoya, who was arrested in La Paila, Valle del Cauca, on September 10, ranked second on the FBI’s 10 most-wanted fugitives list. He will shortly be extradited to the US to stand trial for cocaine-related racketeering offences. Predictably, the US State Department and much of the corporate media have hailed his arrest as a victory in the so-called “war on drugs”. Yet, despite this official posturing, it is undeniable that Montoya, like many other significant figures associated with Colombia’s multibillion-dollar cocaine industry, was a product of US Colombia policy.
Three-metre high security fences, heart-stopping tasers, a bone-smashing water cannon, mobile prison buses and — perhaps most disturbing of all — the threat of automatic incarceration for randomly abducted protesters? Welcome to the growing international phenomenon of “population control”. The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum is in Sydney, and NSW security chiefs are telling you to follow orders, shut up and stay away. Prison cells are ready and waiting if you fail to heed the warning.
Popular resistance to neoliberal “reform” was the underlying cause of Peru’s July general strike. On July 5, public schoolteachers walked off the job over government plans to privatise education. Within days, discontented workers from other industries joined the embattled teachers. Before long, schools, mines, factories and construction sites were shut down as tens of thousands of striking protesters took to the streets of every major city demanding higher pay, improved conditions and revisions to the US-Peru free-trade agreement. Peasant farmers joined the mass mobilisation, closing roads and paralysing transport networks.
The corporate media has heaped praise on Al Gore following the international rock gig Live Earth. But to ask the U’wa people, from the tropical cloud forests of north-eastern Colombia, what they thought about Gore and Occidental Petroleum (Oxy), the oil company from which his personal fortune is derived, would be to receive a very different opinion.


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