Welcome to Bennett's Study

From the Author of No Land an Island and Unconscionable

Pondering Alphabetic SOLUTIONS: Peace, Politics, Public Affairs, People Relations




UNCONSCIONABLE: http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/author/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/book/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/excerpt/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/contact/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/buy/ SearchTerm=Carolyn+LaDelle+Bennett http://www2.xlibris.com/books/webimages/wd/113472/buy.htm http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/AdvancedSearch/Default.aspx? http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Prevaricator-in-Chief audaciously preaches freedom amid anti-U.S. uprisings

Reality of Life in Afghanistan
Revolutionary Association of
the Women of Afghanistan
Reality check: CounterSpin producer and FAIR blog Editor Steve Rendall points out corporate press’s layering on of lies
Editing, re-reporting by
Carolyn Bennett

The corporate Times’ September 25 editorialized reporting on U.S. President Barack Obama’s UN oratory on “Arab democracy, free speech and violence” contained, Steve Rendall says,

a good sampling of the distortions, double standards and bigotry often present in U.S. corporate reporting on these issues.

The U.S. president’s claims that his government now faced with anti-American demonstrations (and blue on grey violence) across South Central Asia and Africa has supported “the Arab democracy movement” and has sacrificed Americans to protect the rights of the world’s peoples “to express their views” smack of disingenuousness.

Afghan civilian dead taken away 

“Anti-American violence in the Muslim world” does not even approach the level of violence visited on Muslim countries by the United States,” Rendall writes.

The public record backs up Rendall’s observation. The decade-long U.S./NATO War in Afghanistan (2001–present) began with an initial air campaign that almost immediately prompted concerns and international protests over the number of Afghan civilians being killed.

The U.S./NATO War on Afghanistan has now caused the deaths of thousands of Afghan civilians directly from insurgent and foreign military action, as well as the deaths of possibly tens of thousands of Afghan civilians indirectly as a consequence of displacement, starvation, disease, exposure, lack of medical treatment, crime and lawlessness resulting from the war.

Airstrikes have risen in recent years as have Afghan civilian deaths by foreign military operations resulting in rising tensions between the occupying/invading countries and the government of Afghanistan.


Over the past seven years, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly pleaded with foreign military forces in his country to stop killing so many Afghan civilians.

The deaths of thousands of Afghan civilians caused directly and indirectly by the U.S. and NATO bombing campaigns have been a major underlying focus of protests since the start of the war in Afghanistan.

Every year, around the world, starting with large-scale global demonstrations in the days leading up to the official launch of U.S. Operation Enduring Freedom under U.S. President George W. Bush and U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in October 2001, there have been protests.
Afghans funeralized

Most recent civilian casualties in the War in Afghanistan (2012):

February 8, 2012 – 2012 Kapisa airstrike - Seven children and a young adult are killed by an ISAF airstrike in the village of Geyaba in the eastern Afghan province of Kapisa.

February 17, 2012 - Kunar Raid - Six civilians, including a woman and a child were killed in a night raid in Dewa Gul Valley, in the Chawki district of Kunar province.

Afghan children in
crossfire of war on
their country
March 11, 2012 – Kandahar massacre - At least 16 civilians, including women and children were killed after a ‘rogue’ U.S. serviceman entered their homes and began to open fire in the Afghan province of Kandahar.

May 27, 2012 - Eight members of an Afghan family, including six children and two women, were killed in a NATO airstrike in eastern Afghanistan.

July 2, 2012 - NATO killed three shopkeepers in an airstrike near Charkh District, east of Afghanistan. Logar province spokesman Din Mohammad Darwesh says NATO forces were on a foot patrol in morning of July 2 in Charkh district when they came under fire from insurgents. He says they called in an airstrike and the bombardment killed three shopkeepers.

September, 2012 - NATO killed eight women and injured a further seven women, in an airstrike in Laghman.

Reported by the United Nations in 2011, the civilian death toll for the War in Afghanistan had reached a record high the previous year: 3,021 civilian deaths. That civilian death toll constituted an 8 percent rise ─ the fifth consecutive rise – not including the 4,507 civilian wounded.   


The claim by New York Times' Washington correspondent/editorialist Helene Cooper that the U.S. president’s speech before the 67th UN General Assembly was a ‘strong defense of America’s belief in freedom of speech …, [a challenge to] fledgling Arab and North African democracies to ensure that right even in the face of violence’ lacks credibility, Rendall continues.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
held in
From the UN General Assembly came another view that was closer to reality.

In his speech last week via videolink from the Ecuadorean embassy in London to a side meeting of the UNGA, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange thanked the United Nations for its treaties on political asylum and denounced the U.S. treatment of alleged Army whistleblower Bradley Manning. Assange also accused President Obama of exploiting the Arab Spring and called on the U.S.to end its persecution of WikiLeaks and its supporters.

U.S. aggression
Both sides of
Red Sea
Gulf of Aden:
Africa to
South Central Asia
The United States has a horrendous record when it comes to supporting free-speech [the Obama government has conducted a record number of prosecutorial actions against U.S. government whistleblowers] and democracy in the Muslim world, Rendall writes.

U.S. drone warfare

“The United States continues to support and to arm autocratic and free speech-resistant regimes in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.” And though the United States may “no longer overtly thwart free speech and democracy in Tunisia,” the case harder to make concerning “Egypt whose military the United States has continued to fund through decades of torture, detention and disappearances.”

Could also be U.S.-allied with
autocratic regimes in
Saudi Arabia
Until recently, the United States supported dictatorships in Tunisia and Egypt. 

Washington money continued flowing to Egyptian generals in the face of military crackdowns after the 2011 Tahrir Square uprisings and the dissolving in June of Egypt’s democratically elected parliament.

Washington, after the Egyptians’ uprising, pushed Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s former vice president (also known as ‘CIA man in Cairo’ and Egypt’s ‘torturer-in-chief’), to head that country’s supposed “transition to democracy” (Guardian, 2/5/11).

Sources and notes

“Praising Obama's Defense of Free Speech, NYT Leaves Much Unsaid,” Posted on 09/27/2012 by Steve Rendall, http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/09/27/praising-obamas-defense-of-free-speech-nyt-leaves-much-unsaid/

“Costas Panayotakis on Greek protests; Jesselyn Radack on Obama, ‘free speech’ and whistleblowers,” CounterSpin (9/28/12-10/4/12), http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4628

“Obama Tells U.N. New Democracies Need Free Speech” (White Correspondent Helene Cooper, published: September 25, 2012), http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/26/world/obamas-address-to-united-nations.html?ref=opinion 

Wikipedia on War in Afghanistan

Guardian on UN report, February 4, 2012, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/04/afghan-civilian-death-toll-record

View also: “Julian Assange U.N. Address ─ Speaking via videolink from the Ecuadorean embassy in London, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange addressed a side meeting of the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday evening. In his remarks, Assange gave thanks to the United Nations for its treaties on political asylum and denounced the U.S. treatment of alleged Army whistleblower Bradley Manning. Assange also accused President Obama of exploiting the Arab Spring and called on the U.S.to end its persecution of WikiLeaks and its supporters,” September 27, 2012,   https://www.freespeech.org/video/julian-assange-un-address

Green on Blue

“Two Americans killed in confused Afghan shootout ─ Two Americans were killed in Afghanistan during an exchange of fire between NATO-led forces and the Afghan army that may have been the result of a misunderstanding, as the death toll of U.S. military and civilian personnel passed 2,000” (Reuters Jessica Donati, KABUL), Sunday, September 30, 2012, http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/30/us-afghanistan-attack-idUSBRE88T02G20120930

Joint operations were halted two weeks ago after a surge of attacks on the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) by its Afghan allies.

At least 52 ISAF service members have been killed this year in so-called ‘green-on-blue’ attacks.

The suspension of joint operations was a blow for NATO which wants to train the 350,000 members of the Afghan security forces so that they can try to ensure stability after coalition forces withdraw.

Pentagon data listing the number of U.S. troops and U.S. contractors killed in Afghanistan since combat began 11 years ago showed the two new deaths pushed the total combined number of U.S. personnel killed past the 2,000 mark.

“Afghanistan civilian deaths up 31 percent this year, says United Nations ─ Report says child victims have risen by 55 percent as Taliban target more Afghans, while deaths due to foreign troops fall” (By Jon Boone), http://www.rawa.org/temp/runews/2010/08/10/afghanistan-civilian-deaths-up-31-this-year-says-united-nations.html

Read more: http://www.rawa.org/temp/runews/2010/08/10/afghanistan-civilian-deaths-up-31-this-year-says-united-nations.html#ixzz27z1tQrnu

RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, http://www.rawa.org/rawa.html


Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Until stained by global murders, she was our beloved “Old Glory”

Before the Drones
By Carolyn Bennett

We loved our flag. We called her “Old Glory.” 
We were proud. Before she became advertiser for fast foods and automobiles, before conspicuously consuming fake “patriots” bought her to adorn their SUVs,  we were proud to see her wave. 

Proud to serve her and the good for which we believed she stood. We loved our flag. 

Honored until the zealots, liars and murderers took up residence, dug in, and laid claim to careless minds distractedly laying down dollars to consume the latest gadget: until sheep became chattel to an ethos of violence, we loved our flag.

We (at least some of us) are now shamed and ashamed, saddened and outraged by the endless, unconscionable flowing of blood at home and across the world in the name of our flag, in our name. We have been reduced to stunned ambiguity in relating to our once-beloved, now tainted “Old Glory.”

Wrapped in irony they burn her: burn in protest, burn to purify our “Old Glory.”  

Yet the violence does not end. It just digs in.

U.S. ethos of killing costs

Despite the world’s opposition to mass murder, despite the stain on U.S. reputation for using,  selling and setting the mold of mass murder, officials of the United States continue ─ flouting all laws and moral principles ─ to engage in and increase targeted killings in several countries of Africa and South Central Asia, without deference to any judicial process.

An extensive report published in September recalls that after the events in the United States on September 11, 2001, the Bush administration began a global “campaign of ‘targeted killing’ against suspected members of Al Qaeda and other armed groups”; then under the Obama government, murder rose to new heights: “‘targeted killing[s]’ of alleged enemies have [escalated dramatically].”

Cold-blooded murder
Among the worst stains on Old Glory: U.S. remote-controlled killing

This month’s report on U.S. drones on Pakistan by the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic (Stanford Law School) and Global Justice Clinic (NYU School of Law) is titled:

Living under drones: death, injury, and trauma to civilians from U. S. drone practices in Pakistan

From the executive summary and recommendations
Excerpt, editing with brief comment by Carolyn Bennett

In the United States, the report said, “the dominant narrative about the use of drones in Pakistan is of a surgically precise and effective tool that makes the U.S safer by enabling ‘targeted killing’ of terrorists, with minimal downsides or collateral impacts.”

[Footnote: The U.S. publicly describes its drone program in terms of its unprecedented ability to “distinguish ... effectively between an al Qaeda terrorist and innocent civilians,” and touts its missile-armed drones as capable of conducting strikes with “astonishing” and “surgical” precision. See, e.g., John O. Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, The Efficacy and Ethics of U.S. Counterterrorism Strategy, Remarks at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Apr. 30, 2012), available at http://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/the-efficacy-and-ethics-us-counterterrorismstrategy.]

his narrative is false, the writers affirm.

Following nine months of intensive research—including two investigations in Pakistan, more than 130 interviews with victims, witnesses, and experts, and reviews of thousands of pages of documentation and media reporting—the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic and Global Justice Clinic presents “evidence of the damaging and counterproductive effects of current U.S. drone strike policies.”

The report documents new and firsthand accounts of the negative consequences of U.S. policies on civilians living under drones.

eal threats to U.S. security and to Pakistani civilians exist in the Pakistani border areas now targeted by U.S. drones, the report finds.

While it is understandable that the United States protect itself from terrorist threats and that attention be paid to the harm "terrorists" inflict on Pakistani civilians, there is  compelling evidence of U.S. harm to Pakistani civilians together with  negative
consequences for U.S. interests ─ that warrant redress. The current U.S. policies “to address terrorism through targeted killings and drone strikes must be carefully re-evaluated,” the report writers advise.  

In my opinion, this recommendation is entirely too mild as it stops far short of saying what it should say
that the United States should alter its methods in foreign relations, cease provocation and mass murder.

In the language of academics, the writers conclude  mindlessly, at least timidly, as they must know that the public is preoccupied and mass media and federal Washington are owned and operated by the weapons industry: “It is essential," they write, "that public debate about U.S. policies take into account the negative effects of current policies.” What "debate"? Who are the debaters? Where is this debate? When is it?

This report tells some of us what we already know.

There is a stain on our flag caused by mass murder (not only) abroad: the execution of an entrenched, callous, deeply flawed U.S. foreign policy

Only with serious attention to substantive matters, only with a return of sanity will we begin establishing renewed pride in our “Old Glory,” and all that that means for a truly caring people among peoples of the world.

Sources and notes

“Living under drones: death, injury, and trauma to civilians from U.S. drone practices in Pakistan,” September 2012,  http://livingunderdrones.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Stanford_NYU_LIVING_UNDER_DRONES.pdf

Further excerpt from “Living under drones”


“The practices employed, and legal frameworks articulated, by the United States today … set dangerous precedents for future engagements, including for other countries and armed non-state actors.

“We are in the midst of a significant period of drone proliferation, pushed forward on the one hand by governments and militaries; and on the other, by manufacturers seeking to expand markets and profits.” [The Pentagon in September 2012 “had given approval for drone exports to 66 countries.”]

“Unchecked armed drone proliferation poses a threat to global stability, and, as more countries and non-state actors obtain access to the technology, the risks in the spread of U.S.-style practices of cross-border targeted killing are clear.”

Suggested Citation:

Old Glory

Old Glory is a common nickname for the flag of the United States, bestowed by William Driver, an early nineteenth century American sea captain.

Circa 1820s, Old Glory [measuring 10x17 feet, heavily constructed and designed to be flown from a ship’s mast, with 24 stars and, symbolic of its nautical purpose, a small anchor sewn in the corner of its blue canton] was made and presented to the young sea Captain William Driver by his mother and some young ladies of his native Salem, Massachusetts.

The captain always kept the flag with him; and he reportedly first hailed the flag ‘Old Glory’ when he left harbor for a trip around the world (1831-1832) as commander of the whaling vessel Charles Doggett. Old Glory served as the ship’s official flag throughout the voyage. (Wikipedia note, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Glory)


Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy


Friday, September 28, 2012

Neo-liberalism advances quick profit, divides people, disestablishes nations: Honduras as U.S., U.S. as Honduras

Tales of boondoggles in the Americas 
by Luis E. Aguilar (co-edited and translated by Colectivo Morazán; Source: Resistencia Honduras)

Photo caption:  Hondurans protest charter cities proposal.   Banner reads: Model Cities  Expulsion of Garifuna People from Honduras.  Photo G. Trucchi.

Edited for Today’s Insight News by
Carolyn Bennett

Leveraging country against itself, against its people

At issue in Neoliberals’ boondoggles, Luis Aguilar says, are at least two critical elements:

The Relationship between proposed projects and a country’s tradition of “development” strategy [and]

The Cynicism with which circles of power in a country plan and present a substantially ambitious model to the society that is clearly contrary to the collective welfare of the people of that country

“Charter Cities”: short term, returns to few, foreign counseled

The “Charter Cities” scheme, proposed at the Honduras Open for Business or HOB conference of May 2011, Aguilar says, is linked to a “plan by Stanford University professor Paul Romer.” Though Aguilar was writing about Central America's Honduras, his observations on the neoliberal invasion of Honduras are the neoliberal invasion of North America's USA.

 “We do not know with exact certitude what the master design for Honduras is or whether it is being prepared in Tegucigalpa [Honduras’s capital] in association with Washington or exclusively in Washington,” Luis E. Aguilar writes.” And the issue is not whether neoliberal projects can be implemented, or whether they are being used simply as ‘development’ bait for public consumption; but what is clear is that ─

Counseling for the projects comes from abroad and in close collaboration with pro-market liberalists and the right wing which functions as a transnational network society.

They attack a problem they see as temporary and respond with even more elements of the neoliberal agenda… even creating a particularly new element such as charter cities.

Imperialists export “American Dream”: divide to conquer

The “Charter City” project (like U.S. charter schools and cities within cities) in Honduras is a major boondoggle that“falls within the framework of the anti-union strategies, the last scream of globalization.”  It is “a plan to make Honduras (as with other Latin American countries) a guinea pig for one of the most nefarious conspiracies of Western imperialism on the working classes.”

In these proposed autonomous cities, where authorities could sign their own treaties and international free trade agreements, labor laws would be rendered inapplicable, Aguilar says.

The few vs. the many: In the “Carter Cities” construct, inhabitants “could establish their own privatized security forces and courts (parallel cities within cities in U.S. state of Georgia or U.S. Iraq), while offering the typical tax-exemptions, among other neoliberal policies.

“The Charter City is a physical barrier that offers a legal framework coveted by transnational capitalists. This experiment ─ which in essence breaks down the structure of the Nation State ─ is put in place to join the global system of tax havens, duty-free export processing zones” (maquilas or maquiladora, processing fees: e.g., foreign-owned factory where imported parts are assembled by lower-paid workers into products for export) “and other as yet undefined schemes that place the desires of corporations above all else.”

Vultures descend into manufactured or inevitable distraction

A society battered by violence facilitates a process of short-sighted individualization, he says.

Vacuum in infrastructure: In the aftermath of Honduras’s 2009 coup, “right-wing politicians filled with a desperate desire (the United States’ long-neglected, poorer states and cities) to turn Honduras into some sort of model of development [invited] neoliberal proposals which continue to create hotter and more polluted cities,” Aguilar said, “where desperate drivers stuck in traffic are idiotically happier to have their own space ─

 away from crowds of people and protected by the glass and metal of their own cars as opposed to using public transportation, requiring people to make contact with each other.

Together we stand
Collective means benefiting whole society stymied

“Among other benefits,” Luis Aguilar correctly observes, “large scale collective means have much longer life …; “they promote local industry and the transfer of technological know-how.”

But the vultures thwart expansion of collective means. In the best of cases, as happened in North America, imperialists “halt support of advancements in technology and research.” From the start of the neoliberal period, Aguilar says, “imperialism has been erasing collective means from the continent.”


We stand together 
Sources and notes

“Three Neoliberal Tales in Honduras: The Inter-oceanic Train, Metro-buses and Charter Cities (Luis E. Aguilar, co-edited and translated by Colectivo Morazán; Source: Resistencia Honduras), July 29, 2011,  http://upsidedownworld.org/main/honduras-archives-46/3138-three-neoliberal-tales-in-honduras-the-inter-oceanic-train-metro-buses-and-charter-cities


Republic of Honduras (Spanish: República de Honduras), a Central American country situated between Guatemala and El Salvador to the west, Nicaragua to the south and east; on its northern coast the Caribbean Sea, on its narrow coast to the south the Pacific Ocean. Honduras’s area includes the offshore Caribbean department of the Bay Islands.

The capital is Tegucigalpa (with Comayagüela) and another city of equal importance industrially and commercially, though half the capital’s population. is San Pedro Sula. The bulk of Honduras’s population, citizens presented with innumerable economic and social challenges in a   “developing nation,” lives a generally isolated existence in the mountainous interior. Britannica note

Coup of June 2009 (Wikipedia notes)

The 2009 Honduran coup d’état was part of the 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis that occurred when the Honduran Army on orders from the Honduran Supreme Court ousted President Manuel Zelaya and sent him into exile on June 28, 2009. Soldiers stormed the presidential residence in Tegucigalpa early on the morning of the 28th. They disarmed the presidential guard, woke the president and put him on a plane to Costa Rica.

Many governments, media, and human-rights organizations outside Honduras have termed the ouster a coup. Though the U.S. government was not as unequivocal in its official statements at the time, soon after the event, a confidential U.S. Embassy cable (later leaked by WikiLeaks) summarized the legal situation this way:

The Embassy perspective is that there is no doubt that the military, Supreme Court and National Congress conspired on June 28 in what constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup against the Executive Branch, while accepting that there may be a prima facie case that Zelaya may have committed illegalities and may have even violated the constitution.

There is equally no doubt from our perspective that Roberto Micheletti’s assumption of power was illegitimate.

Nevertheless, it is also evident that the constitution itself may be deficient in terms of providing clear procedures for dealing with alleged illegal acts by the President and resolving conflicts between the branches of government. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Honduran_coup_d%27%C3%A9tat

Upside Down World

Founded in 2003, Upside Down World is an online magazine covering activism and politics in Latin America. It is made up of work from writers, activists, artists and regular citizens from around the globe who are interested in flipping the world upside down...or right side up.

Upside Down World provides concerned global citizens with independent reporting on Latin American social movements and governments that have refused to prostrate themselves to the interests of corporate globalization, and instead have focused their work on addressing the needs of the people.

While corporate media often distort or overlook this progressive, regional trend, Upside Down World seeks to provide an alternative resource for information about the achievements and challenges of these people-powered movements.

From Bolivia’s gas conflicts to worker-run factories in Argentina, from Guatemalan resistance to mining to the new political process in Venezuela—Upside Down World has produced original reporting and perspectives that help readers understand what’s happening on the ground in the region.

One hundred percent reader-funded, Upside Down World publishes weekly articles, news briefs and blogs on Latin America. Its articles have been translated and republished in hundreds of websites, magazines and newspapers. Of the thousands of people reading the magazine each week are political analysts, journalists, academics and activists based around the globe.

Editorial Collective: Benjamin Dangl (founder): Ben(at)upsidedownworld.org
Cyril Mychalejko: Cyril(at)upsidedownworld.org
Jason Wallach
April Howard: april.m.howard(at)gmail.com
Contributing Editors/Translators:
Patricia Simon
Marielle Cauthin


Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Threatening journalists threatens free press, begs truth telling, accountability

Journalists killed
noted March 2012
Syrian Center for
Political and Strategic Studies

Homegrown or foreign-made war madness must be exposed, instigators and perpetrators brought to justice

Press TV this week interviewed political commentator Kamel Wazni on the September 26 killing of journalist Maya Naser (var. Nasser)
Editing by Carolyn Bennett

Journalist 25 dies in Syria

Two Press TV journalists yesterday were covering twin bomb explosions that had targeted a military command building in Syria’s capital, Damascus. Four Syrian security forces had died.
Maya Naser (Nasser)

Iranian English-language news network correspondent Maya Naser died from a sniper’s fire.  Press TV and Al-Alam Damascus Bureau Chief Hosein Mortada, a Lebanese national, was wounded by a shot in the back.

Wazni calls for accountability for “War madness”

Kamel Wazni said, “The Qataris, the Saudis, Turkey, and the United States should look at what they have done to Syria and what they have done to the stability of Syria”; and the world should be listening and watching and should hold those people accountable for the madness.
“The world should listen carefully and should condemn what has been taking place in Syria: against [this journalist] and the mass killing that is being pushed by fanatics, al-Qaeda, and countries who are shipping money and terrorists into Syria. This madness has to stop,” Wazni said. But it will not stop as long as there are censors and silence.

Silence seems consent

Italian journalist
Giuliana Sgrena
"Friendly" fired in
U.S./Iraq war
As has happened so many times in the Middle East, the world is silenced in having been denied “the truth about the assassination of this journalist, the explosion of two cars that killed innocent people on the street of Damascus ─ this inhumane act by terrorist organizations trying to destroy the unity and the entity of Syria,” Wazni said.

“We have heard a lot of speeches at the UN but we have not heard the truth that is taking place on the ground.”

Claiming to be free press advocates complicit in blocking exercise of an independent and alternative press 

What is happening today “when it comes to Syria and to certain organizations [is that] a lot of people we witness do not want to hear the voice of Press TV,” Kamel Wazni says. “They do not want to hear the voice of an alternative network because it presents a different dimension. Sometimes it contradicts what they believe ─ sometimes because it is telling the truth that does not go down well with Western media.…

Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya  received death threats
was then
murdered in Russia
“Civil rights organizations and international organizations that have been concerned with the freedom of expression, with the freedom of journalism should actually show this case in the light it deserves,” Kamel Wazni said; and the case should be pursued to the fullest extent to ensure that every practicing journalist everywhere is protected.

Killing the young particularly robs potential for progress toward press freedom. Before his death, Maya Nasser (var. Naser) “had received death threats from ‘rebels,’” says the Wikipedia account.

He was 33 years old (July 30, 1979 –September 26, 2012), a Syrian journalist and reporter who worked for Press TV, an Iranian English-language broadcasting service. Nasser reported from the ground in Syria and was best known for “his reports from Aleppo.”

Nasser also reported from the United States, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Bahrain. His death brings the number of journalists killed in the current Syrian conflict to twenty-five.

Clarity breaks silence, demands accountability
Freedom to
practice journalism
without fear or favor
Justice demanded
from Africa
at 68 journalists killed

The case of Iranian English-language news network correspondent Maya Naser must be “pursued to the end,” Wazni said.

This must be done not only “to find the people who shot this brave journalist” and that the world sees this death not to have been in vain; but that the world sees clearly ─ and demands justice and accountability for ─ these explosions that rocked a people and slaughtered innocents that morning in Damascus.

Sources and notes

“‘Press TV reporter’s assassin must be brought to justice,’” (Press TV interview with Interview with political commentator Kamel Wazni, September 27, 2012,

Maya Naser (var. Nasser): 1979-2012

Nationality: Syrian; Alma mater: Kaplan University; Employer: Press TV; Known for:  
Reports from Aleppo and rest of Syria during the Syrian civil war; Religion: Christian
September 26, 2012 ─ Nasser was covering large explosions at the Syrian army’s headquarters in Umayyad Square when he was shot through the neck and killed by a rebel sniper. Nasser was shot through the neck and was killed. Hussein Murtada, Press TV’s Damascus bureau chief and head of the Arabic-language al-Alam TV network, was wounded. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_Naser

Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena kidnapped then freed (U.S./Iraq war, 2005)
Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya murdered (Russia, 2006). Photograph: Jens Schlueter/AFP/Getty Images


Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

DOUBLE STANDARDS in “law” ─ African, Asian leaders address 67th UNGA

Declaration reaffirming rule of law as foundation for building equitable State relations, just and fair societies adopted by world leaders
Respect for accepted norms cannot be ambiguous … Speakers warn against Selectivity
Edited by Carolyn Bennett 

First-ever UN General Assembly high-level meeting on rule of law at the national and international levels.  

States' leaders criticized, urged reform of “double standards” under “law”

Change system

The rule of law is premised on the idea that equality before the law is universal. However, this is not always the case. What might be overlooked in one situation is aggressively sanctioned in another. States must be alert to the dangers of politicizing justice issues at the national and international levels. 

Principles such as universal jurisdiction are being used selectively and ‘in one direction’ ─ as political tools aimed at control and domination. 

Often, motives for pursuing justice are punitive and aimed to serve the interests of one party over another.  The issues of justice and politics require a balanced approach.  A punitive course of action is not always best, even when grievances are legitimate.

The system must change to eliminate double standards at the international level.  States must adhere to the right to fair hearings and respect both human rights and review mechanisms. It is more useful for people to act together toward a form of universal justice that is meaningful to all.  In that way, the rule of law will uphold equality among nations and guarantee fairness. ─ PAUL KAGAME, President of Rwanda


Fix undemocratic, unrepresentative UNSC

The rule of law and human development are inextricably linked and while it is important to promote the rule of law on the national level (linked with efforts to raise the standard of living of disadvantaged populations, provide essential services, fulfill socio-economic rights), it is of equal importance to attend to it at the international level.

If not, the United Nations risks accusations of double standards and hypocrisy. It is important to ask whether or not the international community is governed by a system where all are accountable under law that is equally enforced and independently adjudicated.

The composition of the Security Council and how it affects the promotion of international law and the rule of law in particular needs to be examined.  The undemocratic and unrepresentative nature of the Council leaves its decisions open to attack for lack of legitimacy, regardless of content.  ─ JACOB ZUMA, President of South Africa


Improve all-States’ compliance, consistency

While respect for the rule of law is at the very heart of the founding and work of the United Nations, challenges to the principle abound at national and international levels, leading to brutal conflicts, oppressive regimes, and violations of human rights.

The need to enhance compliance with international legal instruments as well as commitment to the UN Charter cannot be overstated and there must be consistency in applying the international law. The democratization of international relations are also essential to building a just world order. 

Strengthening the rule of law at the global level is critical to tackling current challenges and reinforcing the peaceful coexistence among nations.  

Double standards degrade the integrity of the international legal system. All laws must be applied equitably and effectively and must enjoy the support of societies. ─ THOMAS MOTSOAHAE THABANE, Prime Minister of Lesotho

Level global playing field in law

The rule of law should not be used as cover for one country to dominate another. Neither should double standards be used in applying the rule of law. 

Countries emerging from conflict and needing to focus on strengthening administrative, law-enforcement and judiciary institutions must have greater global support in promoting the rule of law.

Internationally, the rule of law should be established in such a way as to create a level playing field for all States.  ─ NARAYAN KAJI SHRESTHA PRAKASH, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal

End Member States’ impunity

Multilateral deliberations toward improving the rule of law [are important] but impunity, injustice and double standards have hindered that goal and must be stopped. 

The UN General Assembly must realign its prerogatives. The Security Council must democratize.

There must be more coordination between the United Nations and multilateral institutions. ─ MOURAD MEDELCI, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Algeria

Strengthen ethos of nonviolence
Institute balance and checks, equality in
UN voices, powers, composition, substructures

The UN Security Council lacks legitimacy, which is why it has failed to establish justice and ensure sustainable peace and security in the world. … They have wrongly invoked the UN Charter, supported infringement of others’ freedoms, and misused free speech to justify silence regarding offenses to the human community. ─ MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, President of Iran

Sources and notes

“World Leaders Adopt Declaration Reaffirming Rule of Law as Foundation for Building Equitable State Relations, Just Societies Respect for Accepted Norms Cannot be Ambiguous,
General Assembly President Stresses as Speakers Warn against Selectivity

Sixty-seventh General Assembly Plenary, 3rd, 4th & 5th Meetings (AM, PM & Night)
General Assembly GA/11290   
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
September 24, 2012, http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2012/ga11290.doc.htm
“World leaders and civil society representatives reaffirmed today their commitment to the rule of law as the foundation of equitable State relations and the basis upon which just and fair societies are built, as they adopted a lengthy declaration during the General Assembly’s first-ever high-level meeting on the rule of law at the national and international levels.”

Country notes Britannica

Algeria: large, predominantly Muslim country of North Africa

Iran: Ethnically diverse country of southwestern Asia

Lesotho: country in Southern Africa

Nepal: Asian landlocked country lying along the southern slopes of the Himalayan Mountain ranges, between India (to the east, south, and west) and the Tibet Autonomous Region of China (to the north)

Rwanda: East-central African landlocked republic lying south of the Equator

South Africa:  former apartheid (Afrikaans: ‘apartness’ or racial-separation) State, the southernmost country on the continent of Africa


Imbalance, inequality: 193 nations comprise the UN General Assembly.  

THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL ALONE (5 permanent member nations) has power to make decisions member states are obligated under the charter to carry out.

Membership in 2012

The Council is composed of five permanent members (China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States) and ten non-permanent members (with year of term’s end):

Colombia (2012)
Germany (2012)
India (2012)
Portugal (2012)
South Africa (2012)

Azerbaijan (2013)
Guatemala (2013)
Morocco (2013)
Pakistan (2013)
Togo (2013)

The General Assembly elected Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo to serve as non-permanent members of the Security Council for two-year terms starting on 1 January 2012. The newly elected countries will replace Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Gabon, Lebanon and Nigeria.

About the Council


The Presidency of the Security Council is held in turn by the members of the Security Council in the English alphabetical order of their names. Each President holds office for one calendar month.

Ten non-permanent members are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms and not eligible for immediate re-election.

The number of non-permanent members was increased from six to ten by an amendment of the Charter which came into force in 1965.

Each Council member has one vote. Decisions on procedural matters are made by an affirmative vote of at least nine of the 15 members. Decisions on substantive matters require nine votes, including the concurring votes of all five permanent members. This is the rule of "great Power unanimity", often referred to as the ‘veto’ power.

Under the Charter, all Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council.

While other organs of the United Nations make recommendations to Governments, the Council alone has the power to take decisions which Member States are obligated under the Charter to carry out.


United Nations Photo images:
http://www.unmultimedia.org/photo/detail.jsp?id=527/527325&key=104&query=67th general assembly


Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Far East Rising ─ APEC 2 to 21

People's Republic of China
Russian Federation
Pulling away, beyond consuming occupier

Launched in 1989 with twelve member states economies, today's twenty-one member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation or APEC is described as “the premier Asia-Pacific economic forum [whose] primary goal is to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.” 

Excerpting, editing, re-reporting by 
Carolyn Bennett

After this year’s meeting Pravda Ru spoke with Yevgeny Fyodorov, a State Duma deputy and head of the Committee on Economic Policy and Entrepreneurship of the Russian State Duma.  Fyodorov came away from the 2012 APEC summit in Vladivostok with the view of a displaced USA and APEC’s China-Russia rising.

Yevgeny Fyodorov said, “With the onset of the global economic crisis, with political and economic turbulence, the APEC is a key event in terms of the demonstration of new vectors of unity in the international community outside the United States.”

It is “the key event in today’s global scenario.”

International community unity vs. world consumer nation

APEC, Fyodorov said, is “the key and turning meeting of the leaders of world’s largest economies, creating conditions to reformat the entire economic system of the world ─ moving away from the United States, a consumer nation.

The United States consumes a half the world’s GDP despite the fact that only 4.5 percent of the world population live in the United States.
In other words, the U.S. 4.5 percent eat ten times as much compared to the citizens of all other countries.

They eat at the expense of China, Russia, India, Brazil, and all other countries.

According to Fyodorov, the APEC 2012 forum at Vladivostok showed the United States’s gradual loss of absolute power in the world economy and politics and, against that backdrop, the steadily rising power and influence of other countries such as Russia and China.

Pulling away from USA

“Everyone still plays by American rules,” Fyodorov said, “but the countries already demonstrate their independence in economic policy.”

Examples he gave were the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s China visit when “several Chinese leaders ─ especially those who are to become top officials of China next year ─ did not want to meet her.” China answered “no when Clinton wanted to take on mediator functions in resolving China’s territorial disputes with Asian countries.” China also answered “no in response to Clinton’s requirement (the United States’ annual requirement of China, for political reasons) to set the Yuan rate.…  

“Nowadays,” Fyodorov said, “the U.S. is refusedThe world is changing.”

Withdrawn allegiance to mighty dollar

Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed “building a large number of regional currencies as an alternative to the reserve system of the dollar.” He has proposed initiatives to switch to mutual payments, moves already taken by Russia and China.

“… The world begins to change fundamentally, and Russia’s role at this point is to become the leader in changing the world, Fyodorov said.

Beyond occupation

Russia becomes a leader of “… and provider of ideas for the world national liberation movement against the system of occupation,” he said.

“Today, the world begins to unite against the colonizer, the United States of America. Though in conceptual and preparatory stages, “it takes place.”

Preliminary results of the APEC meeting in the Far East reveal “future members of the world national liberation movement, [a movement] to free the world from the U.S. occupation.”

eporting on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2012 Summit in Vladivostok, Russia, the Malaysian National News called it a celebration of a dynamic regional grouping having an increasingly significant role in sustaining global economic growth.

The twenty-one leaders of the APEC economies at the summit reportedly signed many agreements and endorsed many proposals for action. On the sidelines of the APEC Leaders’ Week (September 2-9), a number of bilateral trade deals, business-to-business deals and joint venture plans worth billions of dollars were also signed “to further increase the prosperity of member economies.”

Today the prosperity of APEC, the report said, accounts “for 54 percent of world’s real Gross Domestic Product and 44 percent of world trade [and] is expected ‘to do what it can to support the recovery of the global economy.’”  Malaysia is expected to host the APEC summit in 2020.

Sources and notes

“Russia to liberate the world from U.S. occupation” (Elizaveta Lavrentieva, Pravda.Ru contributing editor), September 21, 2012,

“APEC Economies Offer Strength for Sustaining Global Growth” (Shanti Ayadurai,  
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysian National News Agency, BERNAMA), September 23, 2012, http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v6/newsindex.php?id=696630#top

APEC Mission Statement

“APEC is the premier Asia-Pacific economic forum [whose] primary goal is to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.”

APEC champions “free and open trade and investment, promoting and accelerating regional economic integration, encouraging economic and technical cooperation, enhancing human security, and facilitating a favorable and sustainable business environment.” http://www.apec.org/About-Us/About-APEC/Mission-Statement.aspx

APEC History

The idea of APEC was publicly broached in January 1989 by former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke during a speech in Seoul, Korea. Later that year, twelve Asia-Pacific economies met in Canberra, Australia, to establish APEC. The founding members were: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and the United States.

In 1991, China, Hong Kong, China and Chinese Taipei joined. In 1993, Mexico and Papua New Guinea; in 1994, Chile and in 1998, Peru, Russia and Viet Nam joined taking the full membership to twenty-one.  http://www.apec.org/About-Us/About-APEC/History.aspx

APEC Member Economies

APEC has 21 members. The word ‘economies’ is used to describe APEC members because the APEC cooperative process is predominantly concerned with trade and economic issues, with members engaging with one another as economic entities.

APEC Members and Date of Joining

Australia: 6-7 Nov 1989
Brunei Darussalam: 6-7 Nov 1989
Canada            : 6-7 Nov 1989
Chile: 11-12 Nov 1994
People’s Republic of China: 12-14 Nov 1991
Hong Kong, China: 12-14 Nov 1991
Indonesia: 6-7 Nov 1989
Japan: 6-7 Nov 1989
Republic of Korea: 6-7 Nov 1989
Malaysia: 6-7 Nov 1989
Mexico: 17-19 Nov 1993
New Zealand: 6-7 Nov 1989
Papua New Guinea: 17-19 Nov 1993
Peru: 14-15 Nov 1998
The Philippines: 6-7 Nov 1989
Russia: 14-15 Nov 1998
Singapore: 6-7 Nov 1989
Chinese Taipei: 12-14 Nov 1991
Thailand:  6-7 Nov 1989
The United States: 6-7 Nov 1989
Viet Nam: 14-15 Nov 1998



Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy