Tony Iltis

US President Barack Obama’s June 4 speech at Cairo University has been reported in the Western media as a decisive change in US foreign policy. It has been presented as the fulfilment of his election promise to find a way out of the wars and conflicts that his predecessor, George Bush, had started or helped fuel.
After the military defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which waged an armed struggle for independence for Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority, the extent of the killings of Tamil civilians by the Sri Lankan army (SLA) has begun to emerge.
“Our motherland has been completely liberated from separatist terrorism”, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said in a May 19 “victory speech” to parliament. He was referring to the military defeat of the pro-independence Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) by the Sri Lankan Army.
At an April 5 anti-NATO protest in Strasboug, Matthis Chiroux apologised to Afghan feminist Malalai Joya for the crimes of the US-led occupation of Joya’s country.
On May 6 and 7, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zadari was in Washington to exchange platitudes with US President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
On April 29, Prime Minster Kevin Rudd’s government announced the deployment of 450 extra soldiers to Afghanistan, bringing the Australian contingent to 1550. This is part of an overall increase in foreign troops taking part in the US-led occupation.
The Durban Review Conference, held in Geneva on April 20-24, was supposed to review the progress made in implementing Declaration and Program of Action of the World Conference against Racism held in Durban, South Africa, in 2001.
“Pirates caught redhanded by one of Her Majesty’s warships after trying to hijack a cargo ship off Somalia made the grave mistake of opening fire on two Royal Navy assault craft packed with commandos armed with machineguns and SA80 rifles”, began a November 22, 2008 London Times article.
In a disturbing development, US President Barack Obama has announced that Pakistan is now a main focus for the “war on terror” — foreshadowing an increasing expansion of the US-led war in Afganistan across the border.
“Fat cats in terror after anti-capitalists attack Fred the Shred’s home”, was the headline on the right-wing British Daily Mail’s March 26 report that the luxurious Edinburgh mansion of former Royal Bank of Scotland CEO Sir Fred Goodwin had been vandalised by a group calling themselves “Bank Bosses Are Criminals”.
Attempts by the Australian Zionist lobby to discourage audiences from hearing visiting Israeli anti-occupation activist Jeff Halper, which included pulling an advertisement from the Australian Jewish News and cancelling a meeting at a Sydney synagogue, only served to gain media publicity for his speaking tour.
A March 20 Sydney Morning Herald article reported that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is now predicting that world economic growth for 2009 will be negative for the first time in more than 60 years — shrinking by as much as 1%.