A ‘To Do’ List for US Troops Now Arriving in Haiti

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Georgianne Nienaber: If indeed the US troops are in the country for “humanitarian reasons” as Ambassador Merten insists, there is plenty for them to do before the hurricane season begins.

“White City” in Afghanistan; Black Heart in Florida

Staffan de Mistura

Kirwin: Terry Jones’ Quran burning resulted in killings and extreme danger in Afghanistan. The United Nations ordered all of its personnel to remain locked down in their compounds. A credible rumor has it that the UN will decide whether to completely pull out of the country, despite multiple assertions to the contrary by the UN Special Representative, Staffan de Mistura, who is based in Kabul.

U.S.’s Shifting Stance on Arming Rebels

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Marian Wang: As the Obama administration grapples with whether to arm the Libyan rebels, it has several things to consider—not least of which is the question of whether doing so would be legal.

Author Spotlight: Jerry Drucker

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Dick Price: “I was a child of the Great Depression. It never occurred to me our strong and vital nation could fall and fail as it has today,” he says. “I was brought up to have a sense of justice and truth as a basis of our country’s governance. That belief has been shattered, particularly in the past decade.”

Was Brazilian Diplomat in Haiti Fired for Slamming UN and NGOs?

Ricardo Seitenfus

Georgianne Nienaber: When Brazilian diplomat Ricardo Seitenfus, was abruptly ousted as special representative of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Haiti on Christmas day, timing proved to be everything. The story has barely created a ripple of controversy in the US media.

Haiti to the US Embassy: Here’s the Will of the People

Election protest crowd in front of President Preval's house

Ezili Danto: In our shallow, narcissistic, celebrity-driven globalize pop culture, the novice Martelly is merely a tool to be used by those “more schooled in the patterns of privilege and domination” than any self-serving Haiti politician could ever dream to be.

Haiti Elections — Letter to Edmond Mulet: Goodbye UN!

Edmond Mulet

Ezili Dantò: HLLN Letter to Edmond Mulet on behalf of the people demonstrating against the UN and the sham elections: Goodbye UN! Bon Voyage

Haiti’s Michel Martelly: The Election, Fraud, and the Future

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Georgianne Nienaber: Martelly talked about the electoral process, the meaning of democracy, the profound challenges facing Haiti, the controversial United Nations presence, and how his flamboyant past sometimes “haunts” him as he seeks the Presidency.

Haiti: Ground Truthing Cholera in Mirebalais

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Georgianne Nienaber: In very worrisome news Tuesday, the Haitian Health Ministry estimated that the cholera outbreak in Haiti is resulting in an average of 32 deaths every 24 hours since the epidemic began on October 20

Anti-Gay Bullying Is Today’s Witch-Hunting

Rev. Irene Monroe: This Halloween, as I think of the children in Africa and of the recent death of our LGBTQ children here to anti-gay bullying, I am reminded of our present and past witch-hunts.

Will Sanity Be Restored and Fear Be Kept Alive?

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David Swanson: If our government is, uniquely among wealthy countries, denying people healthcare, shouldn’t we talk about that? How “sane” can it be to always seek out the middle ground and believe whatever propositions lie halfway between advocacy for peace and justice and advocacy for glorified racist ignorance and corporatism?

Investing in Our Future

World crisis. Europe view.

Rep. Pete Stark: The idea of a financial speculation tax is getting consideration in many corners of the world, and not a moment too soon. When the UN Summit kicks off next week, an international financial speculation tax to fund the Millennium Development Goals should be at the top of the agenda.

Europe Grapples With Immigration Issue

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Andrea Nill: Rather than adopting the marginalizing policies that have aggravated Europe’s immigration woes, the U.S. would be better off leading the way in building a humane immigration system that’s in tune with today’s modern global economy.

Congo: More Intimidation as Blood Flows Faster than Oil Spilled into the Gulf of Mexico

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Georgianne Nienaber: The United States has strategic and mining interests in DRC and until the American people wake up and demand that our government do something to actually promote human rights in the Great Lakes Region, we can expect more of the same and press release after press release from Human Rights organizations will swarm foreign news desks like so many hyenas after the kill.

Bill Clinton Puts Influential Muscle Behind Agricultural Production in Haiti

BioTek's Regine Simon Barjon with Former President of the United States, co-chair of the IHRC, and UN Special Envoy for Haiti Bill Clinton at the Darbonne Sugar Mill near Leogane, Haiti on Aug. 6th, 2010 (courtesy Clinton TwitterPic)

Georgianne Nienaber: Given the huge remaining humanitarian and economic crisis facing Haiti, it is puzzling that mainstream media in the United States short-changed coverage of former President Bill Clinton’s early August visit to Leogane. The symbolism is significant, considering that Leogane and the nearby village of Fayette are at the epicenter of the 7.0 quake.

On Reading the Sunday Paper

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Ron Wolff: Like many people, I get some of my news these days from blogs. But I still read a daily newspaper. Had I not, I might have missed several key reports.

President John McCain’s First 18 Months in Office

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Ted Vaill: President McCain has urged that the United Nations move its headquarters out of the U.S., and he has proposed that the U.S. leave the UN, which he calls “useless and corrupt”. He also has refused to meet with most foreign leaders in the White House, or to travel abroad, except for heavily guarded and secret trips to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Haiti: “All the Resources Are in the Wrong Place”

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Georgianne Nienaber: Relief efforts are limping along. There are thousands of foreign NGOs on the ground, but no overall organized effort to distribute aid. Compounding the problem is the fact that IDP camps are springing up overnight, and rural areas face a different set of problems than those faced in the city of Port-au-Prince.

Congolese Groups Demand Ouster of Abusive Army Commander

Georgiianne Nienaber: The four-page formal complaint describes a compendium of horrific abuses – including massacres of civilians, summary executions, rape, mutilations of women, the dumping of bodies into latrines, and the recruitment of children – all committed by troops under Zimurinda’s command from 2007 to the present.

Congo Descending into Third Circle of Hell

Georgianne Nienaber: What’s the rape and torture and burning alive of many thousands of women and children got to do with anything? What has JUSTICE got to do with anything, for God’s sake? Kabila wants “peace,” after all. A stray bullet might mar the finish on one of his bikes.

British Iraq Inquiry Ours Too

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Joseph Palermo: What the United Kingdom is dealing with is the hangover of the crimes of George W. Bush, crimes that have been conveniently swept under the rug on this side of the pond. Blair was Bush’s poodle and now he finds himself in the hot seat defending the actions of his former master. Seeing a former Prime Minister grilled is a wonderful thing. We’d never see a U.S. president in a similar predicament because, ironically, the president is now more of a monarch than any executive in Britain.

Could a Hillary Clinton Avatar Save Congo?

Congo Camp Conditions

Georgianne Nienaber: Surprisingly, to some, the bad guys list also includes scientists, conservationists, non-governmental organizations, doctors, lawyers, public relations professionals and just about anyone who stands to make a buck off of the suffering. As one local Congolese activist told me, “rape is big business in Congo these days.”

HRW Report on Congo: Fetuses Ripped From Wombs and Children Burned

“Continued killing and rape by all sides in eastern Congo shows that the UN Security Council needs a new approach to protect civilians,” said Anneke Van Woudenberg, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Security Council should send a group of experts to Congo to kick-start a serious civilian protection plan.”

Obama Speaks (Some) Truth From Power

Peace-Prize

President Obama’s Nobel lecture might have showed us that the United States has reached a turning point: either the national security monster we’ve created is going to eat us alive by bankrupting the country or we’re going to have to shift course. We must begin to spin off the 700 or so military bases and installations around the world and focus on building a better life for our own people here at home.

Thinking Outside the Box: What Obama Could Have Said

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nstead of resorting to outdated thinking, what if Obama had drawn upon modern instruments of international and interpersonal relations? What if he had adopted a program of change in the way the United States relates to the world?

Congo: Time to Send in the Clowns?

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Congolese president Joseph Kabila paved the way for a troupe of Spanish Clowns, while thugs and militia rule the Kivus and truth-seeking journalist are threatened.

Grassroots News from Congo: Midwives Transform Trash Into Hope

IMAGE courtesy of APROSAF midwives

The midwives need the means to accomplish their noble goal of saving women through direct intervention, HIV/AIDS counseling, and nutrition. This is truly a grassroots effort with a humble beginning that literally transforms grass and roots into life-supporting energy.

After a Century of Overthrows, What’s Washington’s Role?

Manuel Zelaya

It is heartening to see the international community condemn the leaders of the coup against President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras. The United Nations welcomed him as an exiled hero and the Organization of American States has threatened to expel Honduras if the plotters do not reinstate Zelaya within days. President Obama and the State Department […]

Congo Violence: Déjà Vu All Over Again?

Credit: www.kivupeace.org

A force of armed combatants massacred at least 152 Congolese civilians and wounded another 106 at Gatumba refugee camp. The victims were largely Banyamulenge, a group often categorized with Tutsi. At the intersection of two faltering peace processes, the attack underlined the continuing political conflicts. Most victims were women and children. Loosely called “Interahamwe,” some […]

Torture? What About the Crime of Waging Aggressive War?

mission-accomplished

Right after the climactic finish of World War Two, the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, while picking through the aftermath of the world’s biggest bloodbath to date, famously called the waging of aggressive war “essentially an evil thing.” “[T]o initiate war of aggression,” the tribunal concluded, “is not only an international crime; it is the […]