As the battle for the right of Catalonia to vote on independence rages between the Spanish government in Madrid and the independence-oriented Catalan parliament in Barcelona, major developments have taken place in one of the most famous struggles for independence on the Iberian Peninsula — the Basque Country.
Martin Pieter Zandvliet’s multiple award-winning 2016 film Land of Mine is harrowing viewing. But it is not to be missed by anyone interested in issues of war and peace — or in fine films.
Peace activists are planning a court support solidarity action with Jim and Franz Dowling, Tim Webb, and Andy Paine as the group faces court on July 19.
They will appear before the Brisbane magistrate’s court on charges related to the March 1 action in which a sword was removed from a war memorial and shaped into a gardening tool. The group are members of the Catholic worker movement.
Australian special forces routinely commit war crimes in Afghanistan.
Such a conclusion is strongly suggested by hundreds of pages of secret Australian Defence Force documents leaked to the ABC, which were revealed on July 11.
In February, a video filmed in the village of Mwanza Lomba in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Central Africa, went viral.
It showed unarmed civilians — including children — being massacred by soldiers of the state army. The clip quickly moved from the social networks onto television news channels around the world. But then it vanished again without any further debate about what it meant and what it revealed.
The cycle of belligerency and threat making on both sides is intensifying. And it is always possible that a miscalculation could trigger a new war, with devastating consequences.
But even if a new war is averted, the ongoing embargo against North Korea and continual threats of war are themselves costly: they promote and legitimise greater military spending and militarisation more generally, at the expense of needed social programs, in Japan, China, the US, and the two Koreas.
With the focus on dramatic images of German riot police using tear gas and high-powered water cannons to disperse G20 protesters in Hamburg on July 6, the message from those demonstrating in the streets was clear for those willing to listen: a better world is possible.
Song of Gulzarina
By Tariq Mehmood
“Sing to the Western wind the song it understands.”
Song of Gulzarina, by British-Pakistani filmmaker and author Tariq Mehmood, stands out as a unique piece of literature that intertwines personal issues such as migration, identity crisis and romance, with the impact of racism, Islamophobia and Western imperialism in the Middle East.
One hundred years ago, the Russia Revolution rocked the world, first with the overthrow of the Tsar in February and then with the Bolshevik-led taking of full power by the soviets (elected councils of workers, soldiers and peasants) in October.
Raqqa, the de facto ISIS capital in Syria, is on the verge of falling. The rapid advance of the left-wing Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) since they entered the city on June 6 contrasts with the slower advance of forces of the Iraqi and Iraqi Kurdistan governments in Mosul, the ISIS capital in Iraq, which the pro-government forces entered in February.
However, the June 18 downing of a Syrian fighter jet by a US war plane, after the former attacked SDF positions near Raqqa, is just one indication that eliminating ISIS will not end the violent multi-sided war in Syria that spawned it.