There will be no tears for the end of the Gaddafi regime, if that is indeed what we are watching. The Gaddafi regime was a brutal dictatorship and it deserved to be overthrown just as much as that of Ben Ali’s in Tunisia or Mubarak’s in Egypt. But, unlike the defeat of Ben Ali or Mubarak, the end of the Gaddafi has not been brought about mainly by a popular revolutionary rising. It has been brought about by a military victory in a civil war in which the rebel side has become largely dependent on western military fire power.
Max Brenner Chocolate in Newtown, Sydney was targeted on August 20 by pro-Palestinian protesters (see video below) in support of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel. The large Israeli company that owns the Max Brenner Chocolate chain has been targetted by the non-violent BDS campaign against Israeli apartheid because it sponsors an Israeli army unit notorious for its repression of Palestinians.
On August 19, a Taliban suicide squad attacked the Kabul offices of the British Council, a government-funded institution that “promotes educational and cultural relations” between Britain and other countries. The August 20 Guardian said at least 12 people were killed, including a New Zealand SAS soldier and three “security contractors” working for multinational security outfit G4S. The company was contracted to guard the offices. Six G4S employees were wounded, including three Nepalese, veterans of the British Army’s Gurkha regiments.
With much fanfare, the AFL Peace Team (an Australian rules football team made up of Palestinian and Israeli players) has once again come to Australia to compete in the AFL International Cup running from August 12 to 27. Indeed, what can be more appealing for those of us who are passionate about peace in Israel-Palestine than to welcome this team of Palestinian and Israeli youth who have learned to play and interact not as enemies but as teammates?
On August 18, as I woke up to the news of an attack that took place in Israel's southernmost city of Eilat in which seven Israelis died, the first thing that came to my mind was: “Who the hell did it?” As my brother excitedly narrated to me the details of the oddly mysterious incident, I was foolish enough to wish the assailants weren’t from Gaza. I naively said to my brother: “Let’s hope they don’t turn out to be Gazans.”
In a move that will provide important savings for low-income families, the Venezuelan government unveiled a plan on August 15 to distribute 12 million new textbooks to primary school students around the country in the coming scholastic year. Education minister Maryann Hanson said: “The objective of this program is to ensure that those with less economic resources can count on having textbooks in order to guarantee education as an inalienable human right.” The new textbooks represent an investment of more than US$45 million.
United States officials led a far-reaching international campaign aimed at keeping former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide exiled in South Africa, secret US State Department cables show. Aristide, who won the 2000 presidential elections, was rendered a virtual prisoner for the past seven years. Aristide was overthrown in a bloody February 2004 coup supported by Washington and fomented by right-wing paramilitary forces and the Haitian elite.
Curator Vikki Riley opened Footprints of my Heart ― an exhibition of artwork by 20 refugees in the Darwin region ― on August 11. The exhibition ran at the Darwin Supreme Court from August 11 to 19. Many of the artists were still in detention, at the Northern Immigration Detention Centre, the Airport Lodge or the Asti Hotel under guard. Some of the artists were regarded as “high risk” by immigration authorities and were accompanied to the opening by three security guards each.
The eastern African nation of Somalia is the site of an unfolding humanitarian nightmare ― a massive famine that has cost tens of thousands of Somali lives in the past few months, the United Nations says. More than 3 million people are affected right now and more than 10 million at risk across the Horn of Africa. The BBC said on August 6 that roughly 640,000 children are acutely malnourished in Somalia, and 3.2 million people need immediate life-saving assistance.
A leaked report from the notorious Indonesian special forces unit Kopassus detailing information about the West Papuan independence movement has drawn attention to Indonesia's brutal occupation of the region. The report is titled “Anatomy of Papuan Separatists” and is believed to have been written in 2009. It profiles opponents of Indonesian rule, including political activists and guerilla fighters. It also listed foreign politicians and journalists who supported Papuan liberation.