You can't eat sovereignty
"I was in a gathering of about 10 civic groups the other day and amongst other statements one person commented, “the system is irretrievably virused”. In plain speak, Zimbabwe is fucked. Curious though that even with this very clear and creative description of where we’re at there is very little energy spent reviewing the tactics that civic and human rights activists are using in challenging repression. Clearly, we need to change what we’re doing because we’re not having much impact.
But then again it’s also really important to look around and check out what forms of direct action are taking place. Everywhere I look these days when I’m on the move in Harare, I see widespread guerilla gardening. Urban agriculture is pretty much illegal and often guerilla gardeners have their crops slashed – most cruelly when they are hip high and almost ready to harvest. But despite this threat urban dwellers have gone all out and are using every available patch of land to grow food for their families. Perhaps they don’t see any hope in uprooting our dictator but that won’t stop them trying to feed themselves." [link]
The growth in Iranian blogging is part of a worldwide surge.
In 1999, there were some 50 bloggers on the web; in January there were about 5.4 million; today, according to the blog search engine Technorati, there are more than 23 million.
There are reasons why Iran should be especially fertile ground for blogging. More than 90 per cent of the country is literate, and 70 per cent of the country’s citizens are under 30. Computer ownership is relatively high and internet cafés abound. The first Iranian blog was born in November 2001, when Hossein Derakhshan, an Iranian journalist, posted instructions on how to build a simple weblog in under ten minutes. As Nasrin Alavi (a pseudonym) demonstrates in her new book, We Are Iran: the Persian Blogs, these diary sites cover the gamut: angry, sad, humorous and brave. Like all blogs they can also be self-indulgent, inaccurate, inarticulate and boring. Internet usage is growing faster in Iran than anywhere in the Muslim Middle East, and there are now more blogs in Farsi than in German, Italian, Spanish, Russian or Chinese. Apparently, since the rise of the blogs, graffiti have almost entirely vanished from the walls of Tehran’s public toilets.
With almost all Iran’s reformist newspapers closed down and many editors imprisoned, blogs offer an opportunity for dissent, discussion and dissemination of ideas that is not available in any other forum. There is wistful yearning in many Iranian blogs, and a persistent vein of anger: “I keep a weblog so that I can breath in this suffocating air,” writes one blogger. “I write so as not be lost in despair.” Blogs by Muslim women are particularly moving in their bitter portrayal of life behind the veil. [..]
Sabbah's: "... But that’s not all. Here is more horrifying news to cheer-up the warmonger. This time with, lovers of sonic booms. Four Palestinians die due to sound-bombs and shelling in Gaza Strip:
Some 77 people, especially children and elderly women, rushed to the hospital after the attack, suffering from nausea and confusion, some of whom were transferred to a specialist care centre for treatment of the nervous system. Some of the more serious cases involved internal bleeding in the brain and five pregnant women lost their babies as a direct result of the sound-bomb attack - a new Israeli tactic known to traumatize and induce miscarriages.
In the last three decades, three important facts have emerged about the international drug traffic. The first is that it is both huge and growing.
Narcotics are estimated to be worth between $500 billion and $1 trillion a year, an amount, according to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in remarks to a United Nations General Assembly session in June 2003, that is greater than the global oil and gas industry, and twice as large as the overall automobile industry.
The second is that it is both worldwide and above all "highly integrated." At global drug summits such as the one in Armenia in 1993, representatives of the Sicilian Mafia, the
One piece of evidence for this consists in a meeting which took place in July 1999 in southern France near Nice, at the villa in Beaulieu of Adnan Khashoggi, once called "the richest man in the world." Those at the meeting included a member of the Yeltsin cabal in the Kremlin and four representatives from the meta-group, with passports from Venezuela, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Germany. Between them they allegedly enjoyed excellent relations with:
1) Ayman al-Zawahiri, the acknowledged mastermind of 9/11 and senior mentor to Osama bin Laden.
2) Soviet military intelligence.
3) the FARC, the Colombian revolutionary group that has become increasingly involved in the drug traffic.
4) the Kosovo Liberation Army, a similarly involved group.
5) (according to a well-informed Russian source) the CIA.
Please forward this news alert!
(Am starting to feel like a media enterprise myself, apart from some financial differences)
Contemporaneously to Saddam Hussein's trial in Baghdad, a trial is taking place in The Netherlands against Frans van Anraat. Witnesses in this trial are survivors and victims from the poison gass attacks in Kurdish Halabja. Van Anraat lived under SH's protection in Baghdad, through the sanctions (that didn't affect these 'huns'). Van Anraat claims to be a business man, or well that is the term which with his profession is indicated through the news. His business consisted of providing the substances for the poison gas.
Frans Cornelis Adrianus Van Anraat is a citizen of the Netherlands, born in Den Helder on August 9, 1942. He is a white male, 178 centimeters in height, and has graying hair. He wears eyeglasses and may have a full beard. He speaks Dutch, Italian, and English. He has visited Switzerland, Italy, and the Netherlands in recent years. He is now in Baghdad, Iraq.
CASE DETAILS: Soldiers in the First World War called mustard gas "the Devil's breath." It is one of the most terrible weapons ever devised. It can leave its victims blind and covered with agonizing blisters. Inhaled, mustard gas can cause a slow, painful death by suffocation. For decades, its use has been banned by international conventions. But illegal trafficking in mustard gas and other deadly chemical weapons continues. Two of the profiteers of this illicit trade are international fugitives.
Between October, 1987, and April, 1988, Frans Van Anraat and Peter Walaschek arranged for the illegal export of the chemical thiodiglycol from the United States. Thiodiglycol is a chemical used in the production of mustard gas. On January 26, 1989, Van Anraat was arrested by Italian authorities at the request of the U.S. government. Six months later, an Italian court rejected a U.S. extradition request. In February, 1990, the Italian Supreme Court overturned that decision and ordered Van Anraat's extradition, but he had already fled Italian jurisdiction.
Peter Walaschek was arrested in the United States in July, 1988, He pleaded guilty to violating U.S. export laws. But prior to his sentencing he escaped to Germany in December, 1988.
If you have any information concerning Frans Van Anraat or Peter Walaschek, you should contact the nearest U. S. embassy or consulate. The U. S. guarantees that all reports will be investigated and all information will be kept confidential. The U.S. may pay a reward for information that leads to the arrest of these fugitives.From: FBI
Reporters Without Borders today published four Letters to a young African who wants to be a journalist to coincide with a two-day Africa-France summit dedicated to young people that starts tomorrow in the Malian capital of Bamako. The letters were written by veteran journalists from Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.
“These four personal accounts are instructive, showing us how African journalists do honour to a dangerous profession despite oppression, poverty and indifference,” the press freedom organisation said. “Independent journalists are vital for people and nations. If France really wants to help Africa, it should defend its freedom. And if Africa’s leaders want to defend the interests of their peoples, they should be proud that a vigorous and responsible press is free to criticise them without risking prison or death.”
African teenagers dream of being journalists, the authors of the four letters say. “Just for fun, I used to play at being a reporter during the school championships,” writes Donat M’Baya Tshimanga of the Democratic Republic of Congo, who heads an Congolese organisation called Journalist in Danger (JED).
Journalists often serve as models, like star soccer players or film actors. Guthrie Munyuki of Zimbabwe’s Daily News says he could not decide whether to be a lawyer, journalist or soccer player. “I saw myself as the next Mike Munyati, the late journalist for the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, and Michel Platini, the former mercurial French footballer.” [..]