terrorism

French President Francois Hollande awarded his country's most prestigious award, the Legion of Honour, to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef on March 4 for “countering extremism and fighting terrorism,” the Saudi Press Agency reported.

This understandably received criticism from Human Rights Watch, but its grisly irony passed was largely shrugged off by the Western media and political establishment.

The HRW statement referenced Saudi Arabia's appalling human rights record. But it did not mention the year-long Saudi-led air war in neighbouring Yemen that has killed thousands.

The U.S. government will release a count of how many people it has killed in "counterterrorism" strikes since 2009, the Obama administration announced on March 7. Meanwhile, US air strikes killed 150 people in Somalia, in an attackt he US said was targetted at the al-Shabab terrorist group, an affiliate of al-Qaida.

A “cessation of hostilities” in Syria, sponsored by the United States and Russia, came into force on February 27. Only some of the internal and foreign participants in Syria's multi-sided conflicts signed on.

The air wars that the US and Russia are waging in Syria are both officially directed against ISIS. But in reality, Russia is keen to protect its ally, the dictator Bashar al-Assad, while the US and its regional allies, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, have given money, weapons and logistical and diplomatic support to his opponents since the civil war began in 2011.

Since the Mu'l'livaaykkaal killings of 2009, the Tamil diaspora has mostly focused political efforts towards demanding justice for the inhuman crimes committed against Tamil civilians.

While such efforts have elevated international awareness of the gross human rights violations committed by the Sri Lankan military during the war, the approach has not yielded results on prosecuting the perpetrators of the international crimes.

The United Nations has a strict definition of the term "refugee," whereby you are only a refugee if you are fleeing war or persecution of some kind. If you are fleeing a place because there is no way for you to feed yourself or your family if you stay, the UN defines this kind of movement as "migration." Until 1967, the only refugees recognized by the original refugee convention were Europeans.

In July 2012, the residents Kobanê rose up against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, making it the centre of the liberated cantons of Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan).

In the rest of Syria, various forces — including the regime, the so-called "Islamic State" and the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front have turned the country into a battleground, fuelled ethnic and religious divisions and competed with each other in cruelty to civilians. By contrast, in Rojava's liberated cantons a new society based on participatory democracy, ethnic equality, religious tolerance and feminism is emerging.


Armed thugs, some with signs supporting Republican presidential candidate, Ted Cruz, intimidate worshipers at a mosque in Irving, Texas. November 21.

In her 2007 book The Shock Doctrine, Canadian author Naomi Klein discusses how capitalist governments and corporations exploit disasters to further their interests against the rest of us.

The statement below was released by four mayors of cities in the Spanish state — Barcelona, Cadiz, Zaragoza and A Coruna — and signed by many well-known figures from Spanish media and culture. It was translated for Green Left Weekly by Dick Nichols.

* * *

The brutal attacks in Paris on November 13 were designed to install a climate of terror in the population, raising walls of suspicion and hatred between neighbours, shattering community life and bringing the politics of fear into our daily lives.

The November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris were an ideal political gift for Europe's warmongers. It offers a chance to fulfill some previously out-of-reach dreams — such as restoring Germany to a fully-fledged offensive military role or to finally split the British Labour Party between its pro- and anti-war wings.

In Spain, however, the militarists — led by the governing People’s Party (PP) of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the official opposition Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) — have a tricky job getting the country on board the “war on terror”.


A meeting in Rojava's capital, Qamislo, of the Assyrian ethnic minority. Photo from www.robertgraham.wordpress.com.

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