anti-war

Three hundred people attended a launch of author and activist Tariq Ali's new book, From Bush to Obama — Change We Can Believe In? on October 6.

Ali said Obama’s election campaign had raised people's hopes and mobilised US youth, but people were now disillusioned and angry. He said Obama was a “master of bullshit”. Obama’s rhetoric sounded different, but fundamentally continued the policies of the Bush regime.

Statement from the Socialist Alliance National Executive October 8, 2010

On October 17, 2001 the Howard Coalition government deployed Australian troops to Afghanistan, just nine days after the US had begun bombing one of the most poverty stricken and war weary nations on earth.

The then newly-formed Socialist Alliance responded to this attack and its reputed catalyst, the terrorist bombings on New York and Washington some weeks earlier, by noting the US' hypocrisy and pledging to campaign against Bush's “war without end”.

Pakistan blocked a vital supply route for US-led troops in Afghanistan on September 30. The move was in apparent retaliation for an alleged cross-border NATO helicopter strike that killed three Pakistani frontier troops, The British Morning Star said that day.

The blockade appeared to be a big escalation in tensions between Pakistan and the United States.

A permanent stoppage of supply lorries would place huge strains on NATO and damage the already faltering counter-insurgency campaign in Afghanistan.

Secret documents disclosed in Britain’s High Court revealed former British prime minister Tony Blair was warned in the weeks after US forces began rounding up terrorism suspects that British nationals held by the US in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay were being tortured, the Guardian said on September 30.

A January 22, 2002 note from Blair in which he expressed concern about the treatment of British citizens being held by the US appeared, among heavily censored MI5 and foreign office documents, in court hearings in which British citizens are suing the government, MI5 and MI6.

In a qualitative escalation, the government of President Barack Obama has for the first time used the “war on terror” against socialists in the United States. On September 24, the FBI conducted a series of coordinated early-morning raids at homes and offices in Minneapolis, Chicago, Michigan and North Carolina.

The political police seized computers, passports, books, documents, cell phones, photos, financial records, diaries, maps and other materials. In one case, children’s artwork was confiscated.

On September 27, the Australian Director of Military Prosecutions announced that charges were being laid against three soldiers from Australia’s Special Operations Task Group in Afghanistan.

The charges were over the February 12, 2009, killing of two adults and four children near the village of Sarmorghab in Oruzgan province.

Britain is said to be approaching its Berlusconi Moment. That is to say, if Rupert Murdoch wins control of Sky, he will command half Britain’s television and newspaper market and threaten what is known as public service broadcasting.

Although the alarm is ringing, it is unlikely that any government will stop him while his court is packed with politicians of all parties.

The problem with this and other Murdoch scares is that, while one cannot doubt their gravity, they deflect from an unrecognised and more insidious threat to honest information.

On September 18, elections were held in Afghanistan amid killings of civilians. The Taliban had said it would disrupt the vote by killing those taking part, but the elections’ sponsors — the US-led occupation forces — also killed civilians on polling day.

Afghan and international media reported election day deaths from Taliban attacks, US air strikes, and fighting between foreign troops and insurgents, as well as between supporters of rival candidates.

“Two American soldiers have been killed and nine wounded after a gunman in Iraqi army uniform attacked them at an Iraqi base, US officials said.

“The soldiers were part of a security detail for a United States company commander who was meeting members of Iraq's security forces at a commando compound near the city of Tuz Khurmato, 170 kilometres north of Baghdad, US military said.

“They were the first American soldiers killed since US forces formally ended combat operations in Iraq a week ago … [I]nsurgents continue to launch attacks daily, many targeting Iraqi soldiers and police.”

“Tony Blair's autobiography, A Journey, is being subversively moved to crime sections in book shops by members of a Facebook protest group.

“Over 10,000 Facebook members have joined the group ‘Subversively move Tony Blair’s memoirs to the crime section in book shops’ and have been posting photos of them doing so …

“The Facebook group description said: ‘Make book shops think twice about where they categorise our generation’s greatest war criminal.’”

— September 8 Webusers.co.uk.

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