Mynor Padilla is charged with the murder of Adolfo Ich Chamán, the wounding of at least ten others on September 27, 2009, in El Estor, Izabal, including the point-blank shooting of German Chub that left him in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the chest down -- including the loss of use of one lung. The bullet remains lodged precariously close to his spine.
Witnesses report that Mynor Padilla [...] and armed men under his control opened fire on villagers in El Estor who opposed forced evictions and other human rights violations in relation to Hudbay/CGN's nickel mining project. Hudbay owned and tried to operate this mine from 2008-2011. At the time these crimes took place, CGN was the wholly-owned Guatemalan subsidiary of Hudbay.
On September 27, 2009, a series of community protests
took place in
response to fears that further illegal evictions of Mayan Q'eqchi'
in the El Estor region would be carried out by Hudbay/CGN.
Mine company security personnel reacted to the protests with violence. Individuals who were wounded in the attack include: Haroldo Cucul, Santos Caal Beb and German Chub Choc from barrio La Union and El Estor; Alejandro Acte, Ricardo Acte and Samuel Coc, from the community of Las Nubes; and Alfredo Tzi and Luciano Ical from barrio El Chupon.
Adolfo Ich, a widely known and respected local teacher, community leader, and father of four was specifically targeted and killed. Witnesses state that armed security used their shotguns to push him away from the gathered crowd before a security guard hacked him with a machete and Mynor Padilla shot him in the head.
On the same day, German Chub, a young local man and father of one, was watching a soccer game near the fence that separates the community of La Union from mining company buildings, when security personnel arrived. German alleges that he was shot by Mynor Padilla in another unprovoked attack.
Hudbay and CGN are also currently facing three precedent-setting civil lawsuits in Canadian courts for their role in the killing of Adolfo Ich, the shooting-paralyzing of German Chub and the gang-rapes of 11 women from the nearby community of Lote 8 during a 2007 forced eviction. The mine operation was then owned by Skye Resources, purchased by Hudbay in 2008. Hudbay remains responsible for Skye's liabilities. The victims-plaintiffs are represented in Canadian courts by Klippensteins Barristors and Solicitors.
Pro-Goldcorp Mob Attacks More People In Guatemala
On January 30, 2015, Alfredo (left) presents a Goldcorp map of close to 150 kilometres of illegal tunnels under the Mayan territories of Sipakapa and San Miguel Ixtahuacan.
Goldcorp employees and other men attacked them for the same reason that other Mayan campesinos have been attacked, beaten and shot, near Goldcorp's cash-cow "Marlin" mine. Beginning in 2005, and again since 2012, Alfredo and his family have been involved in protesting the illegal expansion of Goldcorp tunnels and open pits into the Sipakapa region. They continue to denounce 10 years of environmental and health harms, repression and other human rights violations caused by this mine in Sipakapa and neighboring San Miguel Ixtahuacan.
Change the dates, and we have reported on this type of repression many times in the vicinity of the "Marlin" mine. Change the dates and locations, and we have reported on similar (and worse) repression at four different Canadian/ U.S. mine sites around Guatemala. Change the dates and places, and many solidarity groups and NGOs have reported on similar and worse repression at hundreds if not thousands of mining operations around the world.
Until the people, politicians, media and legal systems of the wealthy, powerful home countries of the global corporations hold them legally and politically accountable for the repression, human rights violations, environmental and health harms they are causing in 'far-off' places like Guatemala, business as usual will continue.
In a letter from RCMP Staff Sergeant Les Dolhun, team leader for the K Division Federal Policing South's Financial Integrity Team, based in Calgary, Alberta and dated February 18, 2015 (reference: 2009-479985) to MiningWatch Canada, the Canadian government delivered its response to the case of Blackfire Exploration Ltd. and Blackfire Exploration Mexico S. de R.L. de C.V. with regard to the bribery and corruption in 2008 of then-Mayor of Chicomuselo, Chiapas Julio César Velázquez Calderón of the PRD party.
"Thank you for your referral. We have completed our investigation into this matter. The assessment of the evidence does not support criminal charges and accordingly, we will be concluding our file. Please be advised that the RCMP does not comment on concluded investigations which do not result in criminal charges," is the response. This letter concludes the investigation into a conflict that culminated with the murder of Mariano Abarca Roblero, a member of the Mexican Network of Mining Affected Peoples (REMA from its Spanish initials). Since 2010, it was clear that the RCMP should carry out an investigation in situ, but that was never done.
Rather, in the five years since, [while] Canadian organizations MiningWatch Canada, Common Frontiers, United Steelworkers and others submitted irrefutable evidence, including copies of cheques paid out to the then-Mayor, the Canadian government has continually demonstrated its partiality toward Canadian companies beyond its borders, allowing them to operate with impunity and without respect for human rights. On the basis of the recent report about Canadian Embassy support for Excellon Resources in Durango and other companies in Mexico, it is clear that the Canadian government backs human rights violations in connection with its companies, making it complicit in violence, corruption, and bribery.
The Mariano Abarca Environmental Foundation (FAMA by its Spanish initials) and Otros Mundos, A.C., both members of REMA in Chiapas, denounce the lack of commitment on the part of the Canadian government to protect and promote human rights enshrined in international conventions in the framework of the United Nations. This decision to leave this case in impunity clears the way for Blackfire, which still has mining concessions in Chiapas, to continue with business as usual in a municipality where the installation of a military barracks has just been announced. The VII Military Region of the State in White Rock (Predio Piedra Blanca) will occupy 60 hectares where a battalion will operate and reside. Given this, we also denounce the militarization of a region plagued with mining concessions.
As peoples, organizations and social movements we will continue struggling in defence of land and territory. We will not allow more Canadian mining companies on our territories.
For a Chiapas free of mining!
Costa Rica continues to defend itself from a lawsuit brought by Calgary-based Infinito Gold. The company originally sought damages of $1 billion in lost profits because the country does not permit open pit mining although the company's Crucitas mine was granted a licence for an open pit mine due to government corruption. As of December 2014, the amount of damages sought has been reduced to the still massive sum $ 94 million.
The case dates from 2008 when, despite a moratorium on open-pit mining in Costa Rica, an exception was made for Infinito Gold by then-President Oscar Arias, who justified the project and its accompanying pollution and environmental destruction with claims it was "in the national interest."
The president's decree was in contradiction with the desire of the broad masses of the people to protect the environment from destruction and abuse. Many actions took place to denounce the decree including hunger strikes and mass protests. By the fall of 2008, Infinito Gold was served with a court order requiring it to immediately cease its activities on the site. News reports state that the people's rejection of Arias' decree was such that the president revoked it in April 2010, one month before leaving office. Meanwhile, the company lost successive court decisions in Costa Rica. Investigations into the corruption and intrigue surrounding the case are ongoing
(Sources: TML, RT)
In a March 27 update, Grahame Russell of Rights Action decries Canada's role in the insecurity in Honduras. Russell states that Canada and the U.S. bear responsibility for the killing of a young girl, Soad Nicolle Ham Bastillo on March 25, after she was kidnapped by the police. Russell points to the need to inform those in North America of the "State terrorism tactics of repression being used by the Honduran regime." He states:
Toronto demonstration against the coup in Honduras, July 2, 2009.
"Most North Americans learn little about what is going on in Honduras from our media; that is, I believe, in violation of its public trust and journalistic responsibility to investigate and report on issues pertinent to the U.S. and Canada.
"Since the June 2009 military coup, that ousted the last democratically elected government, Honduras has become the 'Murder Capital of the world' and a 'Repression Capital of the Americas.'
"Yet, repression and violence in Honduras are not a 'Honduran problem' -- they are an American/Canadian problem.
"Since the coup, the U.S. and Canadian governments have supported and legitimized a succession of repressive regimes. Military and police 'aid' has increased from both countries to the Honduran regime that uses repression and violence to create and maintain an environment conducive to global corporations and investors.
"As a result, North American companies and investors, and the investment development banks (World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank), have increased business activities in: African palm production, maquiladora sweatshops, privatized 'model cities,' tourism, hydro-electric dams and mining, benefitting from and turning a blind eye to the repression, corruption and impunity."
Every year, Barrick Gold gathers with their major shareholders and board of directors at their Annual General Meeting in downtown Toronto. And every year, we gather to support campaigns for justice, accountability, and a future for communities directly impacted by their mines.
This company is responsible for the deaths, rapes, and abuse of people who have the misfortune of living next to their mines, and the destruction of these peoples' environments. Meanwhile, Barrick's Advisory board and board of directors includes some of the most prominent and corrupt political figures of our time.
This year, we will be joined by Jethro Tulin, executive officer of the Akali Tange Association and Porgera Alliance. For the past decade, Jethro has been leading an international campaign against Barrick for killings and rapes by mine security. Just this month, his groups teamed up with US-based lawfirm EarthRights International to win fair compensation for 14 victims of abuse at the mine. But their struggle continues, as there are far more victims and the community seeks the long-term solution of resettlement.
Come for music, speeches, street theatre, and food... but most of all, come to support and amplify the voices of communities affected by Barrick around the world.
Indian Prime Minister's State Visit to Canada
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives for a three-day state visit to Canada on Tuesday, April 14. He will meet Prime Minister Harper in Ottawa on Wednesday, April 15. On his agenda is finalizing negotiations for a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement and the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between Canada and India. These agreements are an integral part of the neo-liberal agenda of the monopolies and governments in their service to seek new markets and maximize profits at the expense of the working class in Canada and India. Modi will proceed to Toronto where he is due to meet with heads of banks, pension funds and other financial oligarchs.
Indian Prime Minister Modi then travels to BC for meetings at the Ross Street Gurdwara in Vancouver and the Laxmi Narayan Mandir (Hindu Temple) in Surrey in the late afternoon on April 16. Security for the Surrey event is extremely tight. Participants have been limited to 3,000 and must receive security clearance from the RCMP at a location five kilometres from the temple. His will be the first visit to Canada by an Indian Prime Minister since Indira Gandhi in 1973.
A number of actions have been launched to protest Modi's visit. Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) has filed a complaint with Attorney General Peter MacKay. The 16-page Memorandum of Law seeks criminal proceedings under Canadian law against Modi for the "offences of torture and genocide" in Gujarat state in 2002. According to an April 10 story in the Times of India, "The complaint alleges that in February-March 2002, Modi aided, abetted and counselled in relation to the massacre of thousands of Muslims in the state of Gujarat, while he was Chief Minister of the state. Drafted by lawyers Marlys Edwardh and Louis Century on behalf of SFJ, the complaint sets out the factual and legal basis for charges against the Indian Prime Minister. The complainant urges the Attorney General to bring charges, or to consent to charges being brought, against Modi for aiding, abetting and counselling torture in violation of section 269.1 of the Criminal Code."
The Memorandum of Law includes the demand that charges be brought against Modi for counseling genocide in violation of section 6 of Canada's War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity Act which provides for extra-territorial jurisdiction.
Protest against Prime Minister Modi, New York City, September 29, 2014. (Siasat)
Edwardh said, "A senior member of the Indian bar, appointed by the Supreme Court of India as amicus curiae to investigate Modi's role in the violence, concluded that there were sufficient grounds on which to proceed. Translated into Canadian law, there are reasonable and probable grounds to believe that Modi engaged in these crimes. This is sufficient to call for his arrest so that he can stand his trial. Only by taking this step will Canada's commitment to ending impunity for torture and genocide be realized."
Similar memoranda of law were written by Gail Davidson of Lawyers Against the War in October 2011 against the visit of former U.S. President George W. Bush citing his war crimes and acts of torture. A demonstration of hundreds demanded Bush's arrest when he appeared in Surrey to make a speech. The Harper government took no action against Bush. The UN Committee Against Torture, responding to a complaint from Lawyers Against the War and another anti-war group in New York, said Canada is obliged in law to ensure persons suspected of committing torture, including ordering torture, do not find safe haven in Canada no matter how fleeting their visit, and Canada is obliged to ensure a suspect is arrested for prosecution in Canada or another jurisdiction.
Demonstrations against Modi have been organized for 11:00 am, April 14, at the Parliament in Ottawa and 6:00 pm, April 15 at the Ricoh Coliseum, Toronto, both called by Sikhs for Justice. In Vancouver, on April 16, Communities United Against Narendra Modi has called for and action at the Khalsa Diwan Ross Street Gurdwara at Ross St. and Marine Drive. No time has been announced yet. (See statement below.)
Cameco Corporation, the world's largest publicly-traded uranium company, which produces about 14 per cent of world uranium production, is in advanced negotiations with India to supply uranium for India's nuclear power system. News sources say Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has indicated obtaining Canadian uranium from Cameco is a major objective of this upcoming first Indian-Canadian bilateral state visit in 40 years.
Cameco (Canadian Mining and Energy Corporation), with headquarters in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, is a classic example of how neo-liberal economic policy converts public assets into private monopoly capital. It was formed in 1988 with the merger and privatization of two publicly-owned Crown corporations -- Eldorado Nuclear Limited and Saskatchewan Mining Development Corporation. Initially owned by the Saskatchewan provincial government (62 per cent) and federal government (38 per cent), privatization began in 1991 when 20 per cent of the shares were sold and became fully privatized in February 2002. A multi-national monopoly, Cameco mines uranium in Canada, the USA and Kazakhstan.
The double standard of Canadian policy with respect to uranium and nuclear energy production internationally can be seen in comparing the willingness of the Harper government to sell uranium to India, which owns and produces atomic bombs, and its hysteria against Iran's plans to produce nuclear energy. Treating India as a valued friend and customer today is in contradiction with Canada's decision to ban sending any nuclear power equipment to India after India exploded its first atomic bomb in May 1974. That bomb was produced with plutonium produced from a Canadian-supplied CIRUS reactor (Canadian-Indian Reactor U.S.). Made in 1954, CIRUS was supplied with heavy water (deuterium oxide) by the U.S. In an agreement with the U.S., CIRUS was shut down in 2010.
Modi wants to stimulate India's nuclear power industry. India has never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and it has an active nuclear weapons program replete with rocket delivery systems. When the Harper government on September 7, 2012 severed diplomatic ties with Iran, closed its embassy in Tehran, and expelled Iranian diplomats from Canada, one of the reasons cited was Iran's effort to develop a nuclear power industry.
Iran has signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty and does not have nuclear weapons. John Baird, then-Foreign Minister, released a statement November 24, 2013 saying, "A nuclear Iran is not just a threat to Canada and its allies, but it would also seriously damage the integrity of decades of work on nuclear non-proliferation. It would provoke other neighbouring states to develop their own nuclear deterrent in an already volatile region." Meanwhile, India's neighbour Pakistan has nuclear weapons and tensions between the two countries keep them on the verge of another war, but that does not seem to caution Harper against selling Canadian uranium to the U.S.' new geo-political ally, Modi's India.
Even as a "private citizen" employed by Barrick Gold and other monopolies, John Baird -- speaking with former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on March 2 at the 2015 American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference in Washington -- sharply condemned negotiations with Iran to establish a nuclear power development framework agreeable to the U.S. and EU, so as to end the economic blockade against Iran. Baird said nothing about Israel being the only country in the Middle East with nuclear weapons, made possible with the secret help of the USA.
Thus the contrast between Canada's nuclear policy toward
nuclear bomb-armed government of India headed by Modi as he forges a
geo-political alliance with the U.S., and the government of Iran, which
an independent foreign and domestic policy, is crystal clear. Modi's
collaboration with U.S. imperialism's policy of "pivot to Asia" is
as a serious factor for a new world war. Harper's
approval for Cameco to
supply uranium for Modi's nuclear energy and atomic bomb weapons
all in a bid to make India a leading superpower in Asia "in an already
region" shows how utterly incoherent, self-serving and irresponsible
judgment is. The discrepancy between the Harper government's policy
India and Iran on the nuclear power issue underlines that everything
does on the international stage is subordinated to the Canadian state's
interest to serve U.S. imperialism's bid for "total global dominance."
We, "Communities United Against Narendra Modi," are a coalition of concerned community groups protesting and bringing attention to the upcoming visit of India's current Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to the Lower Mainland.
Modi will be visiting Canada from April 14th to 16th with stops in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. Even though one-third of his cabinet faces criminal charges for rape, kidnapping, attempted murder, and inciting riots/communal disharmony, the corporate media, Harper government, and elite sections of the Indian diaspora are all rolling out the red carpet. But any glance at this man's history, and his actions since taking office, prove that he is a violent fascist that should be opposed.
New York City, September 21, 2014
During his time as Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat from 2001-2014, more than 2000 Muslims were massacred and over 200,000 internally displaced, raped and looted in pogroms in 2002. On the eve of the 'riots' -- which experts say meets the legal definition of genocide -- Modi was quoted as telling a top police officer to "let Hindus vent their anger" and "teach a lesson" to Muslims. Modi's role in the 2002 atrocities led to widespread international condemnation, including travel bans by Britain, the European Union, and the U.S. However, with key witnesses being [killed] extrajudicially, Modi managed to evade justice despite these global pressures for his indictment. Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports, "Communal violence against Muslims in Gujarat is intimately connected to a rise of Hindu nationalism in the country and the state, a phenomenon that is also responsible for attacks against Christians over the last several years in the state and around the country."
Modi is a longtime key member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a well-funded violent Hindu nationalist political organization whose founders admired Hitler and Mussolini. The RSS upholds a twisted ideology of Hindu and Brahman supremacy known as Hindutva that states that religious minorities in India must assimilate or be stripped of all their rights. This rightwing fascist organization is responsible for hundreds of attacks against Christians, Muslims, Sikhs and Dalits. HRW reports that according to the RSS, "Religions such as Islam and Christianity are depicted as alien to India." While Chief Minister of Gujurat, Modi implemented a violent gobacktoPunjab program, including freezing assets and serving eviction notices, against Sikhs in Gujarat who were living as farmers for nearly 50 years in the state.
Since he has become Prime Minister of India under the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, Modi is pushing laws like the Land Acquisition Bill that makes it easier for companies to steal land from poor peasants and tribals. He is ramping up the brutal military occupation of Kashmir and denying the right of self-determination for various groups. To enforce his mantra of "India Shining" to attract economic development, he has poured billions of dollars of weapons and troops into Operation Green Hunt -- which has seen thousands of Adivasi civilians and activists [killed], tortured, and falsely imprisoned. People are now being arrested for simply criticizing the Prime Minister under sedition laws. Documentaries like 'India's Daughter' -- the BBC documentary on the Mumbai gang rape -- are banned.
Modi is also taking steps to remove secularism from the preamble of the Indian Constitution and has argued that, other than Islam, all other religions are "sects" of Hinduism and forced conversions to Hinduism are on the rise across the country. Human rights organizations like Amnesty International are noting the increase in communal and casteist violence (i.e. attacks on Muslims, Christians, and Dalits) since Modi took office, and the "expanded largescale surveillance of telephone and internet communications."
While condemning Narendra Modi's extremist violence, we are also demanding accountability from the Conservative government that has invited Modi. Prime Ministers Stephen Harper and Narendra Modi will be attempting to finalize negotiations for the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement and the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between Canada and India. These agreements are designed to promote the rights of multinational corporations at the expense of the rights of local communities to make their own decisions about social, cultural, environmental and economic policy.
Similarly, the Conservative's recent storm of anti-privacy laws (disguised as anti-terrorism policies) in Bill C-51 stifle the democratic right to dissent much like Modi's war on dissidents. In fact, there are stark similarities between Harper's recent racist dangerous anti-niqab statements and Modi's nationalist Islamophobic agendas.
On April 16th we will stand together as "Communities United Against Narendra Modi" Call to Protest: April 16th, 2015 at the Khalsa Diwan Ross St. Gurdwara.
We ask for your support by endorsing this statement and sharing with your respective communities the Call to Action for the day of protesting.
Parliament's Motion to Expand the War
In a flourish of fearmongering and deception, the Harper Conservatives on March 24 announced their intention to extend Canada's military mission in Iraq and expand it to Syria as part of the U.S.-led coalition which is waging a dubious, unjust and unlawful military aggression against those countries. According to the Harper government, "Jihadi terrorism" poses a great threat not only to the people in the region but to Canada and the rest of the world. Harper and his ministers say that the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) has declared war on Canada, and to protect Canadian citizens the government will extend and expand the bombing into Syria without consulting the Syrian government. This is a reversal of what the Harper government said six months ago: that Canada would not conduct raids into Syria without the "clear permission" of the Syrian government. Minister of Defence Jason Kenney stated that Canada's entry into Syria has come at the request of the U.S. themselves.
A motion was introduced in the House of Commons to support the government's decision, which the NDP, Liberals and the Green Party all opposed. The final vote on March 30 was 142 in favour and 129 against.
The Department of National Defence announced April 8 that Canadian CF-18 jets had conducted their first air strikes in Syria.
The opposition of parties in the Parliament to extending and expanding the mission was not based on principled opposition to the use of force to sort out conflicts within and between nations, or the need to uphold the sovereignty of all nations. In the House of Commons debate they instead raised as issues the fact that Harper has misled Canadians about the length and nature of the mission and lied about the combat role of the Canadian military personnel. Another criticism was that the Harper government is extending a mission that lacks a clear aim or an "exit strategy." A far more questionable point featured in all the opposition parties' positions was that fighting against ISIS in Syria would help the Bashar al-Assad government, which, they say, is "evil" and is responsible for "killing its own people." Both Liberal and NDP leaders have repeatedly referred to an incident in August 2013, when imperialist governments and media raised an hysterical cry that an attack using sarin gas had been carried out by the Syrian government and army. This blame for the attack was attributed without evidence and the claims were ultimately disproven.
These false claims were made in the context of Obama declaring an arbitrary "red line," the crossing of which would trigger the U.S. to undertake a war for regime change in Syria. The planned attack in 2013 was called off by the U.S. after its coalition for aggression in Syria fell apart, with the UK government losing its war vote in the parliament.
The debate in the Canadian Parliament on the government's war motion clearly showed that for Harper Conservatives words mean nothing. The opposition parties and their leaders do Canadians a disservice by opposing the government's distortion and deception with more of the same.
Like past pretexts used by the U.S. imperialists to justify war and aggression in Iraq (Hill and Knowlton's incubator babies), Afghanistan (fighting Al Qaeda), Iraq (Weapons of Mass Destruction), and Libya (responsibility to protect), the factual basis of the Syrian ploy was quickly undermined.
An impartial international investigation into the incident concluded that the sarin gas used against the Syrian people was supplied by Saudi Arabia and used by so-called rebel forces against innocent civilians. At the time of the attacks, the UN announced that the Syrian government had agreed within 24 hours to its request for UN investigators to have access to the areas where the gas attacks took place and they were able to take samples for their report.
It is difficult to take seriously the arguments of the leaders of the opposition parties about the "evil" nature of the Assad regime when these arguments are based on disinformation presented as widely accepted facts. This includes disinformation shared by the Harper government about the nature of the U.S.-led coalition and its aims. Not a word was said about how the U.S.-led coalition is continuing its selfsame project dating back to the 1980s and earlier to dominate the Middle East and block the aspirations of its people and their cooperation in charting an independent course. At this time, far from working to defeat ISIS and bring peace and stability to the region, the U.S. imperialists are more desperate than ever to prevent Syria and Iraq from achieving any recovery on their own terms, as reflected in their morbid preoccupation with defeat and obsession with "Iranian influence" and "Russian involvement."
Vancouver protest marks 12th anniversary of war on Iraq, March 27, 2015. (M. Ashir)
The Harper government's hysteria about the need to defend Canadians and the world from "Jihadi terrorism" covers up that the extension and expansion of the mission is a continuation of the U.S.-led coalition's unjust aggression in Iraq since 2003, which was broadly opposed by Canadians at the time. This war on Iraq and the sponsorship by the U.S. and its allies of all manner of terrorist groups in Syria are the main factors behind the rise of ISIS in the first place. It is also clear that the main target is not ISIS but Syria itself, as part of the drive to weaken and isolate Iran.
This key aspect of the new U.S. aggression is likewise a point of confusion for the parliamentary opposition in Canada, who have even suggested that the Harper government is aligning with Iran in Syria. It is not credible to think that the opposition has forgotten about the Harper Conservatives' warmongering obsession with Iran.
Only a few weeks ago Prime Minister Harper and then-Foreign Minister John Baird repeated ad nauseam that the greatest danger facing the world today is Iran. They supported the extremist position of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said that there should be no negotiations with Iran, only more sanctions, and if Iran does not submit then it should be destroyed.
The extension of Canada's involvement in the U.S.-led military aggression in Iraq and Syria is of great significance for all Canadians because basing foreign policy on such deceptions only opens the door for more crimes to be committed in our name.
The aims being covered up by the Harper government are well-known and U.S. government and military spokesmen have spoken openly about their goals in the region. A recent interview in the Washington Post with Gen. David H. Petraeus, who commanded U.S. troops in Iraq, clearly shows that he does not think that ISIS is the reason the U.S. is in Iraq. In the interview, General Petraeus stated that while significant successes are being had against ISIS, "the foremost threat" is "Shiite militias" of which he claimed many are "backed by and some guided by Iran." The Canadian and U.S. governments have admitted that despite the indications that the strength of ISIS is overstated and advances are being made, U.S. and Canadian military will maintain their presence for many years to come.
TML Weekly highlighted on March 21 ongoing reports from Iraqi forces confirming that U.S. and coalition planes have been dropping weapons and ammunition that are reached by ISIS forces in different locations. Iraqi MPs emphasized that the U.S. and coalition are not seriously working to destroy ISIS but to extend the war and ensure a long-term U.S. military presence including reoccupying its former bases. TML has also highlighted links between Canada's spy agency CSIS and ISIS recruitment, operating out of the Canadian embassy in Jordan. Since the initial flurry of reports in March, the Canadian monopoly media has refused to investigate the matter further.
While the U.S. and Canada are working to "degrade" ISIS through bombings, the main benefactors have been its competitors, not the Syrian government or people. With ISIS distracted by attacks from the air, groups they once fought -- such as the Al Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front -- have been given more rein to seize territory and inflict further devastation on the country. Al-Nusra captured the Syrian city of Idlib on March 28 amid other successes. Rather than considering territory held by Al Qaeda to pose a threat of terror attacks as the government characterizes ISIS, the monopoly media instead referred to them as Syrian opposition. That this phenomenon is playing out all over Syria puts the lie to the suggestion that by intervening against ISIS the U.S. imperialists have abandoned their campaign to destroy Syria's independence and effect regime change.
The reality that the U.S. refuses to let go of its brooding obsession with undermining the peoples of Syria, Iraq, Iran and now Yemen shows the necessity to oppose aggression and war on a principled basis. When those who refuse to do so find themselves caught in a gamble and the government's aims come back out in the open, the peoples of the whole world will pay the price as the U.S. drags them further toward world war.
Sovereignty of All Nations!
Canada Needs an Anti-War Government!
1. "Syria Chemical Weapons: Who Was Behind the East Ghouta Attacks?" Yuram Abdullah Weiler, Global Research, December 26, 2013.
"Yet to date, no convincing evidence has been released in support of these allegations. On the contrary, one senior UN official, citing rebels in Ghouta, stated on condition of anonymity, 'Saudi intelligence was behind the attacks,' and not the Syrian Arab Republic.' Strange as it seems, the UN mission's final report showed absolutely NO evidence of sarin (GB) in the 13 samples taken from the Moadamiyah district of Ghouta and only one confirmed instance of byproducts. So, if the U.S. possesses credible evidence, I should think leaders would feel a responsibility to disclose it publicly in order to dispel any doubts.
"On the other hand, evidence that it was the so-called
Syria that carried out these attacks is abundant, and includes the
"- A U.S. National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC) report confirmed that al-Qaeda in a Sunni-controlled region of Iraq manufactured the sarin gas and then shipped it to Turkey for use by Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria;
"- A group of veteran intelligence professionals maintain that the most reliable intel showed that Bashar al-Assad was NOT responsible for the chemical incident on August 21, and that British intelligence officials also knew of this;
"- The sarin used in the attack was classified by the UK Defence Science Technology Laboratory as 'kitchen' grade, not the military grade that had been in Syria's former chemical arsenal;
"- The projectiles tested by the UN inspectors, which have very distinct ribbed-ring fins similar to those used by rebels in Aleppo, Damascus and elsewhere, are not standard weapons of the Syrian Army;
"- Liwaa al-Islam insurgent forces deployed near Damascus included the so-called 'Chemical Weapons Front,' the suspected perpetrator of the chemical attack, led by Wahhabist and former Saudi intelligence operative Zahran Alloush;"
Khalida Jarrar, an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and longtime advocate for Palestinian political prisoners was kidnapped by Israeli Occupation Forces during a raid on her home in Ramallah on April 2 at 3:00 am. The raid involved 60 soldiers who also seized computers and Jarrar's mobile phone. She is the 16th Palestinian parliamentarian now being held in Israeli prisons and one of nine under administrative detention without charge or trial. In total there are 6,000 Palestinian political prisoners and more than 500 administrative detainees.
On April 5, Jarrar was arbitrarily given six months "administrative detention" at the request of an Israeli military commander in the occupied West Bank. A hearing to confirm the order will take place April 14 following a postponement from April 8. Israeli Occupation Forces stated that Jarrar had "encouraged 'terror activities,'" a term routinely applied to all forms of resistance to the illegal occupation of Palestine and Zionist war crimes. "Evidence" presented by the Israeli military prosecution consisted of examples of her political leadership including videos of her attending demonstrations. Muna Qadan, an affiliate of Islamic Jihad was sentenced to 70 months in prison for "illegal political activity" just one day before Jarrar's detention.
The Central Information Department of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), of which Jarrar is a prominent leader, condemned the detention and stated that it is "a desperate attempt to suppress her activity and prominent national role in defending the rights of the Palestinian people, the prisoners and their struggle, and to confront the policies and plans of the occupation and expose its crimes."
The detention follows an unsuccessful attempt by Israeli Occupation Forces to evict Khalida Jarrar from her Ramallah home in August 2014. Jarrar refused to cooperate and staged round-the-clock protests until the order was dropped. The 2014 order aimed to transfer her to Jericho under the pretext that she "poses threat to the security of the region and she should be placed under private surveillance." Like many Palestinian political leaders, she is not permitted to travel outside the occupied West Bank.
Samidoun, the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network points out, "The use of administrative detention dates from the 'emergency laws' of the British colonial era in Palestine. Israel's use of administrative detention violates international law; such detention is allowed only in individual circumstances that are exceptionally compelling for 'imperative reasons of security.' In Palestine, however, Israel uses administrative detention routinely as a form of collective punishment and mass detention of Palestinians, and frequently uses administrative detention when it fails to obtain confessions in interrogations of Palestinian detainees."
Israel's illegal detention of Jarrar has been roundly condemned in Palestine, in the Israeli parliament (Knesset), and around the world.
Palestinian prisoner support organization Addameer says the arrest is "part of the systemic targeting of Palestinian political figures in order to criminalize their work and to silence them and stop them from practicing their roles in defending and supporting the Palestinian cause."
The alliance of political parties in the Knesset known as the Joint List called the arrest a violation of international law and conventions, saying, "The arrest of Jarrar is a repressive and arbitrary step, part of a framework of targeting activists against the occupation."
Protests were held in Gaza on April 6 and Ramallah April 7. In Gaza, resistance forces joined together at the local headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross to demand freedom for Khalida Jarrar and all Palestinian prisoners. Former political prisoner Mustafa Maslamani testified to the worsening situation for Palestinian prisoners including escalating violence from guards and security forces. The General Union of Palestinian Women protested outside the red cross in Ramallah with the same demands and announced activities for Palestinian Prisoners' Day, April 17.
April 10, the Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights
Ravina Shamdasani called on Israel to end the practice of
administrative detentions and for Jarrar's release. Shamdasani noted
that as of February 2015 more than twice the number of administrative
detainees are being held compared to the year before.
Samidoun reports that communist and progressive parties around the world have given their support to Jarrar including protests and statements. Other organizations have issued statements including Amnesty International, Independent Jewish Voices and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights. Samidoun is urging individuals and organizations to take action by:
A protest in solidarity with Khalida Jarrar and all Palestinian political prisoners will take place in Ottawa April 14, the day of her detention hearing, from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm, outside the Israeli embassy at 50 O'Connor St.
TML Weekly calls on everyone to support efforts for the immediate release of Khalida Jarrar and all Palestinian prisoners held by the Israeli occupation.
At a time when laws are being adopted in Canada which criminalize so-called advocacy of terrorism and increase the impunity and arbitrary activities of security agencies, the Zionist occupation forces in Palestine provide an example of how far a ruling elite will go in criminalizing those fighting for their rights. The affinity between the governments of Canada and Israel includes their characterization of resistance as terrorism, while the Canadian people have shown their support for the rights of Palestinians whenever they have come under attack.
All Out to Free Khalida
Jarrar and All Palestinian
Victory to the Palestinian People in Ending the Occupation and Affirming Their Right to Be!
(With files from Samidoun, Ma'an News Agency, PFLP)
April 15, 2015 marks the 103rd anniversary of the birth of Comrade Kim Il Sung (1912-1994), legendary leader of the Korean people in the anti-Japanese war and defeat of the Axis powers, and founder of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in 1948 as a sovereign, modern and socialist state. Kim Il Sung is the historic personality who provided leadership to the Korean people for the peaceful, independent reunification of their country, and at every turn defended the dignity and honour of the Korean nation. The birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung is celebrated as the Day of the Sun on the Korean peninsula, an occasion on which the Korean people and all peace- and justice-loving humanity pay tribute to the life and work of this Korean communist leader and statesman.
This year's Day of the Sun celebrations are taking place at the same time that the U.S. under the Obama administration is stepping up its aggression against the DPRK, as part of its Pivot to Asia geopolitical war strategy to control China and Russia. Part of the Pivot strategy is to increase the U.S. military presence in south Korea and around Korean waters, and East Asia and threaten another Korean War aimed at occupying the entire Korean peninsula in the service of the U.S. war, occupation and aggression in East Asia and around the world. This must not pass!
Desperate crimes are being committed by the U.S. and their allies to destabilize the DPRK, derail it from its independent socialist path, and sabotage the ongoing efforts of the people of the DPRK to build their socialist economy, ensure peace on the Korean peninsula and to realize the sacred aim of the reunification of the Korean nation. These include anti-communist and racist books and films such as The Interview, bogus human rights reports and disinformation from the U.S.-dominated and discredited Commission of Inquiry based on false testimony from so-called north Korean refugees, as well as the annual U.S.-south Korean joint military drills, the ongoing economic and political embargo of more than 60 years, plus the use of spies and saboteurs.
This year under the leadership of Kim Jong Un and the Workers' Party of Korea, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Korean people's victory of the Japanese occupiers of their country and as well as the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Worker's Party of Korea, the Korean people are stepping up their efforts to strengthen and diversify their self-reliant economy particularly in the area of food self-sufficiency and consumer products. The military defence capability of the country is also being bolstered in the face of U.S. threats and aggression, and efforts to step-up the reunification movement and foster peaceful co-operative relations between north and south Korea are being made.
DPRK President Kim Il Sung
In his lifetime, Kim Il Sung gave leadership and organized for Korean reunification after the U.S. unilaterally divided the country in 1945 following the Second World War. He set forth the three principles of national reunification (May 1972), the plan for founding a Democratic Federal Republic of Koryo (October 1980) and the 10-Point Program of the Great Unity of the Whole Nation for the Reunification of the Country (April 1993). These and other proposals bore fruit in the June 15, 2000 North-South Joint Declaration and the October 4, 2007 Agreements which began to normalize relations between the two Koreas. Since that time the U.S. and its puppet governments in south Korea have done their utmost to sabotage the reunification movement of the Korean people because it would mean the end of U.S. military occupation of Korea.
In a speech delivered at the First Session of the Third Supreme People's Assembly in October 1962, Kim Il Sung pointed out: "Reunification of our country is a complicated and difficult task that cannot be performed easily. Only through a hard and long-drawn-out struggle can we accomplish the great task of national reunification, for the U.S. imperialists, the overlords of world imperialism, have occupied south Korea and are now plotting frantically to unleash a new war, pursuing a policy of aggression against the whole of Korea and Asia. [...] the only way to save the present situation in south Korea [...] is to drive out the U.S. troops and achieve national reunification."
At every turn in the history of modern Korea, Kim Il Sung provided the summation of the Korean people's revolutionary experience which laid down the line of march to enable the Korean people to find their bearings under any situation and thus realize their aspiration of living in a prosperous and peaceful Korea. Today the DPRK, under the leadership of Comrade Kim Jong Un continues to make great strides in all spheres of its independent socialist economy and is meeting the people's growing needs despite the brutal imperialist political and economic embargo imposed for over 60 years. This is thanks to the firm course established by Kim Il Sung based on the self-reliant spirit of Juche, which put the economy and military and all aspects of social life in the DPRK firmly in the hands of the people, calling on them to take the initiative in nation-building and confidently marching ahead on the socialist independent road despite all difficulties.
Today, the people of the DPRK, with Korean patriots in the south and around the world honour the memory of Kim Il Sung by carrying forward and defending this nation-building project, upholding the unfurled banner of the Korean reunification movement and not permitting the U.S. imperialists to compromise their independence, dignity and sovereignty.
On the occasion of the Day of the Sun, TML Weekly sends it warmest revolutionary greetings to the Korean people, confident in their efforts to fortify their economy, oust the U.S. imperialists from south Korea, achieve the peaceful reunification of their country and continue to uphold peace on the Korean peninsula and contribute to peace in the world and the independence and self-determination of all nations and peoples.
TML Weekly is
printing the Speech given by President Kim
to the 85th Inter-parliamentary Conference held in the DPRK in 1991,
outlines his views on peace, the role of parliaments and the fostering
friendly relations between nations and people based on respect for all
big and small.
Esteemed Mr. President of the Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,
The opening today of the 85th Inter-Parliamentary Conference in Pyongyang, the capital of our country, gives the Korean people great pleasure. Allow me to bid a hearty welcome to the parliamentary delegates from many countries, to the delegates from international organizations and to all other guests from foreign countries.
This conference is an important opportunity to deepen mutual understanding between the national assemblies of various countries, develop cooperation among them and strengthen friendship and solidarity [between] the Korean people and other peoples throughout the world. I hope that, through your sincere efforts, the 85th Inter-Parliamentary Conference will hold successful discussions on the items on the agenda and achieve excellent results.
The national assembly of each country, as its highest legislative body, has a mission and responsibility to realise democratic government. Democracy must be not only the basic ideal of state administration for championing people's right to independence, but also a common ideal of world politics for ensuring equality and cooperation among countries. The foreign policy of a state is the extension of its domestic policy. Therefore, making individual countries democratic is closely connected with the undertaking to make the international community democratic. The members of national assemblies who are working with devotion for the development of democratic government in their own countries should also contribute actively to making world politics democratic, and thus fulfill their responsibilities and role as statesmen of the present age.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union, which was founded more than a century ago in order to realise the noble ideal of peace and cooperation, has contributed to safeguarding world peace and to developing friendship and cooperation among countries and peoples. With the development of the times and historical progress, the Inter-Parliamentary Union has assumed a heavier mission and greater responsibility in the international political arena.
Today, humanity finds itself at a turning point in historical progress. The old age of domination and subjugation that lasted for thousands of years has come to an end, and a new age is being ushered in, the new age when all countries and all nations shape their destiny independently. Mankind is now faced with the common task of strengthening the historical current and building a free and peaceful new world.
In order to build the new world aspired to by mankind, it is necessary to abolish the unequal old international order in all fields of politics, the economy and culture and establish an equitable new international order. There are large and small countries in the world, but there cannot be major and minor countries; there are developed nations and less developed nations, but there cannot be nations destined to dominate other nations or those destined to be dominated. All countries and nations are equal members of the international community and as such have the right to independence and equality. No privilege and no arbitrariness should be tolerated in international relations; friendship and cooperation among countries must be fully developed on the principles of mutual respect, non-interference in the affairs of other countries, equality and mutual benefit.
Peace is the common aspiration of humanity, and only when peace is ensured can the people create an independent new life. The wrong idea and policy of trampling upon the independence of other countries and other nations and of dominating others is the cause of the current threat to peace. In order to safeguard peace, all countries and nations must maintain independence, oppose power politics, and develop a powerful joint international struggle to prevent aggression and war.
Disarmament and the abolition of nuclear weapons and other types of weapons of mass destruction are the most pressing tasks in ensuring peace. The large stockpile of nuclear weapons now on Earth is a menace to the survival of mankind itself. It is intolerable that the valuable results of science and technology created by mankind and social wealth be used for the production of the means of aggression and war that threaten man's survival, and not for the well-being and development of humanity. The testing and production of nuclear weapons must be banned, the number of existing nuclear weapons must be reduced and, then, nuclear weapons must be completely abolished.
The Korean people, who are constantly under the threat of nuclear weapons, have proposed the abolition of nuclear weapons as a vital matter relating to the destiny of the nation. We strongly assert that the Korean peninsula should be made a nuclear-free, peace zone. We strongly support the peace movement of the peoples of many countries for disarmament and for the creation of nuclear-free, peace zones.
Building a free and peaceful new world is the mature requirement of our times. Today, domination and subjugation, aggression and war can benefit nobody; for the peoples of all countries to develop independently and live peacefully together is the correct way for humanity to take. Historical progress may suffer setbacks, but the forces of independence and peace will grow in strength as the days go by, and the just cause of creating a new world will triumph without fail.
The unity of the people throughout the world and cooperation among them are the guarantee for the victory of their common cause of creating a new world. The Inter-Parliamentary Union, the centre of international deliberation by independent national assemblies, must concern itself with making the international community democratic on the basis of independence and safeguarding world peace and security, and must contribute to promoting unity and cooperation among peoples. The ideas of independence, peace and friendship which our Republic consistently maintains in its international relations accord with the ideas advocated by the Inter-Parliamentary Union. In future our Republic will further strengthen its ties and cooperation with the Inter-Parliamentary Union and be faithful to mankind's common cause of creating a free and peaceful new world.
Today our people are working hard to build a genuine society for the people in which man's complete independence will be realised, and to achieve the independent and peaceful reunification of their country.
The political philosophy of our state is the Juche idea which requires that all consideration should be centred on man and that everything should be made to serve him. By fighting in single-hearted unity under the banner of the Juche idea our people have been able to build, even under the most difficult conditions and circumstances, man-centred socialism in which the people are the genuine masters of the society and everything in society serves them. The democratic character of our society finds clear expression in the fact that all the people, as the masters of the state, equally enjoy a sound and stable life in its material and cultural aspects, exercising completely equal political rights and that, on the basis of comradely love and obligation, they work together for a common goal and develop together, helping one another and leading one another forward.
Our people take great pride and self-confidence in their just cause; they will work to the end to build an ideal society for mankind in accordance with their own belief and by their own efforts.
Reunifying Korea is the vital requirement of our nation; it is an important question in international politics. The Korean people are a homogenous nation that has lived on the same territory generation after generation, a nation celebrated for its long history and fine cultural traditions. There is no internal cause for our nation to live divided. Ours was not a defeated country in the Second World War; our people contributed to destroying fascism through their long-drawn-out national-liberation struggle. In spite of this, after the war our country was divided into north and south, contrary to the will of the Korean nation, and the nation is still divided. This is not only a source of untold misfortune and suffering for our nation but also a cause of the unstable and dangerous situation in the Asian region. Both from the point of view of national independence and of the cause of peace in Asia and the rest of the world, the question of Korea's reunification requires an immediate settlement.
To this end we consistently maintain the three principles of independence, peaceful reunification and great national unity which the north and the south agreed upon and jointly declared; we hold that on these principles the country should be reunified by founding a confederacy based on one nation, one state, two systems and two governments. We consider that this conforms with the desire of the Korean nation to develop independently as one reunified nation and meets the requirement of the present era of independence and peace. We recognise that it is also the most feasible way of reunifying the country peacefully when different ideas and systems actually exist in the north and the south.
The desire of our nation for reunification has already become fused to surmount the barrier of division, and their belief that Korea is one has become unshakable. We will actively develop the dialogue between the north and the south in conformity with the mounting trend throughout the nation towards reunification, and will make every possible effort to remove all obstacles to reunification.
The statesmen of today who treasure justice and democracy in international politics cannot be indifferent to the misfortune and suffering of the peoples of other countries; they must cooperate to ensure the just settlement of international questions which affect the destiny of nations. We expect that the parliament and statesmen of all countries, not to mention the countries responsible for the Korean issue, will pay close attention to the matter of the reunification of our country and cooperate actively for the just settlement of this question.
You delegates are the distinguished guests of our people. Everywhere you go our people will receive you warmly and bid you a hearty welcome. I hope that your stay in our country will be pleasant and useful and I wish you success in your honourable work. Thank you.
The Asia-Pacific Regional Committee for Supporting Korea's Peaceful Reunification issued a statement on March 8 calling on all progressive mankind to step up support for the Korean people's struggle for the peaceful reunification of their divided country. TML Weekly calls on everyone to support this important appeal which will strengthen and advance the Korean people's movement for the peaceful reunification of their nation, divided by the U.S. in 1945. The success of this movement will not only contribute to peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, but will make a significant contribution to world peace by removing the danger of war on the Korean peninsula and ensuring political stability in the region.
The appeal begins by noting that 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Korea from the brutal Japanese colonial rule at the end of the Second World War. The Korean people emerged from their victory with the aim of building a free, independent and prosperous country.
Following liberation, their aspirations were undermined and frustrated with the division of their country by outside forces. While the world has undergone great changes and advances, the Korean people have been stymied by the division of their beloved homeland which continues to cause great hardship for them, not the least of which is the constant threat of war that hangs over their nation. The Appeal calls on all progressive humanity to inform themselves about the Korean movement for reunification, support their just struggle and render all and every assistance to ensure the success of this movement.
The authors of the Appeal note that in December 2014, they designated 2015 as the year of solidarity for "Supporting the Independent and Peaceful Reunification of Korea" -- in particular the period from June, marking the 15th anniversary of the historic June 15, 2000 North-South Joint Declaration to October and the 35th anniversary of the proposal to found the Democratic Federal Republic of Koryo.
With a view to further expand and strengthen the international solidarity movement for Korea's peaceful reunification, the Appeal outlines a four-point program to galvanize support from international public opinion and all progressive and peace-loving peoples around the world.
1. To Organize an International Movement to Actively Support the Just Proposals for the Independent and Peaceful Reunification of Korea.
The appeal calls on progressive people to popularize the three principles of Korea's reunification (peacefully, independently and through great national unity), the 10-Point Program for the Great Unity of the Whole Nation and the Proposal for Founding the Democratic Federal Republic of Koryo. These reflect the historic experience of the Korean people and their long struggle for national reunification and the present realities.
Korean reunification on the basis of the three principles of independence, peace and national unity means that the project of Korean reunification belongs to the Korean people themselves, to be carried out peacefully and on the basis of their collective political unity.
The appeal highlights the importance of Korean reunification proceeding on the basis of forming a federal state with two co-existing social and political systems in the north and south as they are, and working out ways and means of sorting out governance and other matters on a political, peaceful basis.
The appeal calls for everyone to create public opinion in favour of Korean reunification on the basis of these principles.
2. The Necessity to Create a Peaceful Environment as a Pre-Requisite to Reunification
The Appeal highlights that the precondition for success in the Korean reunification movement is a peaceful environment conducive to easing tensions and promoting dialogue. The annual war games and exercises carried out in and around Korea by the U.S. and south Korea are a block to normalizing relations between north and south. The Appeal calls on international public opinion to end these war games and for the U.S. to respond positively to the call for "a durable peace mechanism" on the Korean peninsula.
The Appeal calls for an end to all forms of sanctions against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the ongoing provocations about "human rights" which escalate the possibility of war on the Korean peninsula.
On the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the launching of the Korean War, a month of activities to mark the struggle against U.S. interference in the region is proposed -- from June 25, the date of the start of the Korean War in 1950 to July 27, the date of the Korean Armistice Agreement in 1953. The Appeal calls for an international campaign to involve the United Nations and all countries to "improve DPRK-U.S. relations."
3. To Conduct All-Sided Activities to Implement the Joint Declarations of 2000 and 2007
The Appeal includes a call for the implementation of the June 15, 2000 North South Joint Declaration and the October 4, 2007 Declaration signed by the heads of state of the DPRK and the Republic of Korea, which improved bilateral relations between north and south Korea and gave impetus to the reunification movement. These historic agreements have been trampled in the mud by the south Korean government and the Appeal calls for worldwide public campaigns on the anniversary of these declarations to popularize their contents and to call for their implementation. It calls on everyone within and outside Korea to thwart attempts by the south Korean regime to worsen north-south relations with calls for confrontation and reunification by regime change in the north.
4. To Build the Movement to Support the Independent and Peaceful Reunification of Korea
The Appeal calls for a global campaign based on the unity of progressive people and people of conscience to support the Korean reunification movement. The Appeal calls for progressive political parties, NGOs, political personalities, peace organizations, academics, lawyers and members of the cultural community -- all those who value freedom and equality, justice and peace, and who want a world free of aggression and war -- to stand with the Korean people for the reunification of their divided homeland, which is a movement for peace on the Korean peninsula and the world.
The Appeal ends by affirming that the Korean people will be victorious in their struggle for national reunification and once again calls on all the justice, freedom, and peace-loving people of the world to fully extend their "support and solidarity to the cause of the independent and peaceful reunification of Korea, for the building of a new world, free and prosperous, and the happiness of mankind."
1. The June 15, 2000 North South Joint Declaration was signed by the DPRK head of state Kim Jong Il and President Kim Dae Jung of the Republic of Korea at a historic meeting and summit talks in Pyongyang, June 13 to 15, 2000. The text is as follows:
True to the noble will of all fellow countrymen for the peaceful reunification of the country, Chairman Kim Jong Il of the National Defence Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and President Kim Dae Jung of the Republic of Korea had a historic meeting and summit talks in Pyongyang from June 13 to 15, 2000.
The heads of the north and the south, considering that the current meeting and summit talk, the first of its kind since the division of the country, are events of great importance in promoting mutual understanding, developing inter-Korean relations and achieving peaceful reunification, declare as follows:
* The north and the south agreed to solve the question of the country's reunification independently by the concerted efforts of the Korean nation responsible for it.
* The north and the south, recognizing that the low-level federation proposed by the north and the commonwealth system proposed by the south for the reunification of the country have similarity, agreed to work together for the reunification in this direction in the future.
* The north and the south agreed to settle humanitarian issues as early as possible, including the exchange of visiting groups of separated families and relatives and the issue of unconverted long-term prisoners, to mark August 15 this year.
* The north and the south agreed to promote the balanced development of the national economy through economic cooperation and build mutual confidence by activating cooperation and exchange in all fields, social, cultural, sports, public health, environmental and so on.
* The north and the south agreed to hold an authority-to-authority negotiation as soon as possible to put the above-mentioned agreed points into speedy operation.
President Kim Dae Jung invited Chairman Kim Jong Il of the DPRK National Defence Commission to visit Seoul and Chairman Kim Jong Il agreed to do so at an appropriate time.
June 15, 2000
Kim Jong Il
Chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission
Kim Dae Jung
President of the Republic of Korea
2. The Proposal for the Founding of the Democratic Federal Republic of Koryo was put forward by President Kim Il Sung, the founder and leader of the DPRK, on October 10, 1980 as a means of achieving peace and reunification on the Korean peninsula on the basis of a confederal political arrangement where the north and south of the country would co-exist each with their own political systems and economic systems, while they worked out together how they would conduct bicameral relations, social policy and other matters for the common good of the entire Korean people and work toward the common goal of building one united and prosperous Korea.
3. The 10-Point Program for the Great Unity of the Whole Nation was issued by President Kim Il Sung on April 8, 1993. It is a further elaboration of the principles set forth for the creating of the Democratic Federal Republic of Koryo and strengthening the movement for reunification.
Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga ordered a halt last month to site preparation for a new U.S. military base in the Japanese prefecture. According to Governor Onaga and other local politicians, he has every legal right to halt the work. The immediate concern is environmental damage to the coral reefs in the area from land reclamation work to extend airport runways into the sea.
The Governor's legal right is bolstered by the almost unanimous opposition to the base expressed by the people of Okinawa. In poll after poll and in elections of members to all three levels of government, the people have shown that the popular will not only opposes a new U.S. military base but also wants all existing U.S. bases removed from their islands. Continuous well-attended day and night demonstrations against the U.S. military presence in Okinawa are taking place around the proposed new base in Henoko both on land and sea, and outside the U.S. Futenma base in Ginowan City.
Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, on behalf of the central Japanese government, ordered the construction companies as of March 30, to disobey the Okinawa Governor's legal ruling to suspend work on the new base. In a press release, the Fisheries Minister said any suspension of the construction work would "impair Washington's trust in Tokyo and cause damage to the diplomatic and security relationship between the two countries."
Hayashi's reversal of Governor Onaga's order to stop construction has greatly angered local residents, who immediately took to the streets and boats in even greater numbers to voice their anger and dismay at the central government. Local media quoted protestors, who described Prime Minister Abe's overruling of the Okinawa Governor as an "outrageous act that ignores the sentiments of prefectural residents."
Governor Onaga held a press conference at the prefectural government office to reaffirm his commitment to block construction of the base, saying he is determined to find ways to counteract the moves to undermine his authority.
To pressure Governor Onaga to succumb to the demands of Japan's central government, Prime Minister Abe's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga flew to Okinawa on April 5. As is his autocratic style, Suga directly confronted the Governor and told him the base would be built despite the overwhelming political and popular opposition of the people of Okinawa and their political representatives.
During Suga's visit, local residents opposed to the Henoko relocation gathered in large numbers in the capital Naha outside the Prefectural Office to express support for Governor Onaga. They also organized rallies in front of the U.S. Camp Schwab, adjacent to the planned reclamation site, and attempted to approach the work area off the coast by canoes and fishing boats.
According to media reports, Suga insisted that the current plan to relocate the U.S. Futenma base to Henoko is the "only solution," as the U.S. military rejects any notion of downsizing its combat capabilities in Japan. In response, Governor Onaga maintained his firm stance that the U.S. airbase planned in the Henoko area "can never be built," adding that Okinawa is presently the host to the most dangerous airbase in the world, Futenma, which causes great pain to the Okinawa people and environment. The Governor told Suga that to insist Futenma not be removed from Okinawa but merely relocated elsewhere on the island despite the near unanimous desire of the people "shows the decadence of politics in Japan."
After the talks, Governor Onaga said that he will not backtrack on the base issue and will continue dialogue with the central government to close the U.S. Futenma base immediately. "I want them to stop the relocation to Henoko and engage in dialogue," he was quoted as saying.
Many commentators see the hand of U.S. imperialism orchestrating the affair with Prime Minister Abe as a U.S. war puppet. President Obama has ordered a U.S. military "pivot to Asia" demanding 60 per cent of U.S. forces be stationed in East Asia to threaten China, the DPRK and even South Korea, Japan and beyond. The U.S. military pivot to Asia foresees and demands the increased strength and capacity of its armed forces in Okinawa, certainly not any weakening. The problem for the ruling capitalist elite in Tokyo is that the struggle against the U.S. military occupation of Okinawa is exposing for all to see the "decadence of politics in Japan" and the necessity to end the humiliating, debilitating and dangerous influence of U.S. imperialism on the country.
(Kyodo News, Japan Times, Japan Press Weekly)
The United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia became very uneasy when the Yemenese or Yemenite movement of the Houthi or Ansarallah (meaning the supporters of God in Arabic) gained control of Yemen's capital, Sanaa/Sana, in September 2014. The US-supported Yemenite President Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Al-Hadi was humiliatingly forced to share power with the Houthis and the coalition of northern Yemenese tribes that had helped them enter Sana. Al-Hadi declared that negotiations for a Yemeni national unity government would take place and his allies the US and Saudi Arabia tried to use a new national dialogue and mediated talks to co-opt and pacify the Houthis.
The truth has been turned on its head about the war in Yemen. The war and ousting of President Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Al-Hadi in Yemen are not the results of a "Houthi coup" in Yemen. It is the opposite. Al-Hadi was ousted, because with Saudi and US support he tried to backtrack on the power sharing agreements he had made and return Yemen to authoritarian rule. The ousting of President Al-Hadi by the Houthis and their political allies was an unexpected reaction to the takeover Al-Hadi was planning with Washington and the House of Saud.
The Houthis and their allies represent a diverse cross-section of Yemeni society and the majority of Yemenites. The Houthi movement's domestic alliance against Al-Hadi includes Shiite Muslims and Sunni Muslims alike. The US and House of Saud never thought that the Houthis would assert themselves by removing Al-Hadi from power, but this reaction had been a decade in the making. With the House of Saud, Al-Hadi had been involved in the persecution of the Houthis and the manipulation of tribal politics in Yemen even before he became president. When he became Yemeni president he dragged his feet and was working against implementing the arrangements that had been arranged through consensus and negotiations in Yemen's National Dialogue, which convened after Ali Abdullah Saleh was forced to hand over his powers in 2011.
At first, when they took over Sana in late-2014, the Houthis rejected Al-Hadi's proposals and his new offers for a formal power sharing agreement, calling him a morally bankrupt figure that had actually been reneging previous promises of sharing political power. At that point, President Al-Hadi's pandering to Washington and the House of Saud had made him deeply unpopular in Yemen with the majority of the population. Two months later, on November 8, President Al-Hadi's own party, the Yemenite General People's Congress, would eject Al-Hadi as its leader too.
The Houthis eventually detained President Al-Hadi and seized the presidential palace and other Yemeni government buildings on January 20. With popular support, a little over two weeks later, the Houthis formally formed a Yemenese transitional government on February 6. Al-Hadi was forced to resign. The Houthis declared that Al-Hadi, the US, and Saudi Arabia were planning on devastating Yemen on February 26.
Al-Hadi's resignation was a setback for US foreign policy. It resulted in a military and operational retreat for the CIA and the Pentagon, which were forced to remove US military personnel and intelligence operatives from Yemen. The Los Angeles Times reported on March 25, citing US officials, that the Houthis had got their hands on numerous secret documents when they seized the Yemeni National Security Bureau, which was working closely with the CIA, that compromised Washington's operations in Yemen.
Al-Hadi fled the Yemeni capital Sana to Aden on February 21 and declared it the temporary capital of Yemen on March 7. The US, France, Turkey, and their Western European allies closed their embassies. Soon afterwards, in what was probably a coordinated move with the US, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates all relocated their embassies to Aden from Sana. Al-Hadi rescinded his letter of resignation as president and declared that he was forming a government-in-exile.
The Houthis and their political allies refused to fall into line with the demands of the US and Saudi Arabia, which were being articulated through Al-Hadi in Aden and by an increasingly hysteric Riyadh. As a result, Al-Hadi's foreign minister, Riyadh Yaseen, called for Saudi Arabia and the Arab petro-sheikdoms to militarily intervene to prevent the Houthis from getting control of Yemen's airspace on March 23. Yaseen told the Saudi mouthpiece Al-Sharq Al-Awsa that a bombing campaign was needed and that a no-fly zone had to be imposed over Yemen.
The Houthis realized that a military struggle was going to begin. This is why the Houthis and their allies in the Yemenite military rushed to control as many Yemeni military airfields and airbases, such as Al-Anad, as quickly as possible. They rushed to neutralize Al-Hadi and entered Aden on March 25.
By the time the Houthis and their allies entered Aden, Al-Hadi had fled the Yemeni port city. Al-Hadi would resurface in Saudi Arabia when the House of Saud started attacking Yemen on March 26. From Saudi Arabia, Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Al-Hadi would then fly to Egypt for a meeting of the Arab League to legitimize the war on Yemen.
The Houthi takeover of Sana took place in the same timeframe as a series of successes or regional victories for Iran, Hezbollah, Syria and the Resistance Bloc that they and other local actors form collectively. In Syria, the Syrian government managed to entrench its position while in Iraq the ISIL/ISIS/Daesh movement was being pushed back by Iraq with the noticeable help of Iran and local Iraqi militias allied to Tehran.
The strategic equation in the Middle East began to shift as it became clear that Iran was becoming central to its security architecture and stability. The House of Saud and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began to whimper and complain that Iran was in control of four regional capitals -- Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad, and Sana -- and that something had to be done to stop Iranian expansion. As a result of the new strategic equation, the Israelis and the House of Saud became perfectly strategically aligned with the objective of neutralizing Iran and its regional allies. "When the Israelis and Arabs are on the same page, people should pay attention," Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer told Fox News about the alignment of Israel and Saudi Arabia on March 5.
The Israeli and Saudi fear mongering has not worked. According to Gallup poll, only 9% of US citizens viewed Iran as the greatest enemy of the US at the time that Netanyahu arrived in Washington to speak against a deal between the US and Iran.
While the House of Saud has long considered Yemen a subordinate province of some sorts and as a part of Riyadh's sphere of influence, the US wants to make sure that it could control the Bab Al-Mandeb, the Gulf of Aden, and the Socotra Islands. The Bab Al-Mandeb is an important strategic chokepoint for international maritime trade and energy shipments that connects the Persian Gulf via the Indian Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea via the Red Sea. It is just as important as the Suez Canal for the maritime shipping lanes and trade between Africa, Asia, and Europe.
Israel was also concerned, because control of Yemen could cut off Israel's access to the Indian Ocean via the Red Sea and prevent its submarines from easily deploying to the Persian Gulf to threaten Iran. This is why control of Yemen was actually one of Netanyahu's talking points on Capitol Hill when he spoke to the US Congress about Iran on March 3 in what the New York Times of all publications billed as "Mr. Netanyahu's Unconvincing Speech to Congress" on March 4.
Saudi Arabia was visibly afraid that Yemen could become formally aligned to Iran and that the events there could result in new rebellions in the Arabian Peninsula against the House of Saud. The US was just as much concerned about this too, but was also thinking in terms of global rivalries. Preventing Iran, Russia, or China from having a strategic foothold in Yemen, as a means of preventing other powers from overlooking the Gulf of Aden and positioning themselves at the Bab Al-Mandeb, was a major US concern.
Added to the geopolitical importance of Yemen in overseeing strategic maritime corridors is its military's missile arsenal. Yemen's missiles could hit any ships in the Gulf of Aden or Bab Al-Mandeb. In this regard, the Saudi attack on Yemen's strategic missile depots serves both US and Israeli interests. The aim is not only to prevent them from being used to retaliate against exertions of Saudi military force, but to also prevent them from being available to a Yemeni government aligned to either Iran, Russia, or China.
In a public position that totally contradicts Riyadh's Syria policy, the Saudis threatened to take military action if the Houthis and their political allies did not negotiate with Al-Hadi. As a result of the Saudi threats, protests erupted across Yemen against the House of Saud on March 25. Thus, the wheels were set in motion for another Middle Eastern war as the US, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, and Kuwait began to prepare to reinstall Al-Hadi.
For all the talk about Saudi Arabia as a regional power, it is too weak to confront Iran alone. The House of Saud's strategy has been to erect or reinforce a regional alliance system for a drawn out confrontation with Iran and the Resistance Bloc. In this regard Saudi Arabia needs Egypt, Turkey, and Pakistan -- a misnamed so-called "Sunni" alliance or axis -- to help it confront Iran and its regional allies.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE's military, would visit Morocco to talk about a collective military response to Yemen by the Arab petro-sheikhdoms, Morocco, Jordan, and Egypt on March 17. On March 21, Mohammed bin Zayed met Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud to discuss a military response to Yemen. This was while Al-Hadi was calling for Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to help him by militarily intervening in Yemen. The meetings were followed by talk about a new regional security pact for the Arab petro-sheikdoms.
Out of the GCC's five members, the Sultanate of Oman stayed away. Oman refused to join the war on Yemen. Muscat has friendly relations with Tehran. Moreover, the Omanis are weary of the Saudi and GCC project to use sectarianism to ignite confrontation with Iran and its allies. The majority of Omanis are neither Sunni Muslims nor Shiite Muslims; they are Ibadi Muslims, and they fear the fanning of sectarian sedition by the House of Saud and the other Arab petro-sheikdoms.
Saudi propagandists went into overdrive falsely claiming that the war was a response to Iranian encroachment on the borders of Saudi Arabia. Turkey would announce its support for the war in Yemen too. On the day the war was launched, Turkey's Erdogan claimed that Iran was trying to dominate the region and that Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the GCC were getting annoyed.
During these events, Egypt's President Sis stated that the security of Cairo and the security of Saudi Arabia and the Arab petro-sheikhdoms are one. In fact, Egypt said that it would not get involved in a war in Yemen on March 25, but the next day Cairo joined Saudi Arabia in Riyadh's attack on Yemen by sending its jets and ships to Yemen.
In the same vein, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif released a statement on March 26 that any threat to Saudi Arabia would "evoke a strong response" from Pakistan. The message was tacitly directed towards Iran.
On March 27, it was announced in Yemen that Israel was helping Saudi Arabia attack the Arab country. "This is the first time that the Zionists [Israelis] are conducting a joint operation in collaboration with Arabs," Hassan Zayd, the head of Yemen's Al-Haq Party, wrote on the internet to point out the convergence of interests between Saudi Arabia and Israel. The Israeli-Saudi alliance over Yemen, however, is not new. The Israelis helped the House of Saud during the North Yemen Civil War that started in 1962 by providing Saudi Arabia with weapons to help the royalists against the republicans in North Yemen.
The US is also involved and leading from behind or a distance. While it works to strike a [nuclear] deal with Iran, it also wants to maintain an alliance against Tehran using the Saudis. The Pentagon would provide what it called "intelligence and logistical support" to the House of Saud.
Make no mistakes about it: the war on Yemen is also Washington's war. The GCC has been unleashed on Yemen by the US.
There has long been talk about the formation of a pan-Arab military force, but proposals for creating it were renewed on March 9 by the rubberstamp Arab League. The proposals for a united Arab military serve US, Israeli, and Saudi interests. Talk about a pan-Arab military has been motivated by their preparations to attack Yemen to return Al-Hadi and to regionally confront Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and the Resistance Bloc.
The instability in Yemen is being caused not by Iran or the Houthis, but by US and Saudi interference in Yemen -- from Saudi Arabia's 2009 invasion to US drone attacks -- and the decades of support that Saudi Arabia has provided for authoritarian and unpopular rule in Yemen.
"Battle lines are being drawn in Yemen, the Arab world's poorest country and the Middle East's latest candidate for state failure. If, as looks increasingly probable, open warfare breaks out soon, it will only be made worse by the contest for regional supremacy between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Both powers have proven eager to arm groups they believe they can control, despite the legacy this destructive rivalry has already wrought in Syria and Iraq," the magazine Foreign Policy claimed on March 6.
The Houthis are not Iranian proxies whatsoever. The Houthi movement is an independent political actor that emerged as a result of repression. To call the Houthis Iranian proxies is unempirical and ignores the history and politics of Yemen. "If a war breaks out along sectarian lines, it will not be because that is where historical divisions have lain in Yemen; it will be because the war's foreign funders are inflaming previously unimportant divisions," Foreign Policy even admits.
Houthi leaders have admittedly rejected claims that they take orders from Tehran. This has not stopped Saudi and Khaliji (Gulf) officials and media who have used and manipulated the statements of Iranian officials, like the comparison of the Houthis to Iran's Basij, to portray the Houthis as Iranian agents or clients.
Just like how the Houthis are not Iranian proxies, there is no Shia alliance between Tehran and them in Yemen either. Talk that focuses on this simplistic sectarian narrative hides the political nature and motivations of the conflict in Yemen and insultingly obfuscated the struggle of the Houthis against repression. Until the 1970s the House of Saud had actually been a major supporter of the royalist factions in Yemen, which were predominately Shiite Muslims.
Moreover, the Shiite Muslims in Yemen are not Jaffaris (Twelvers) like the majority of Shia Muslims in Iran, the Republic of Azerbaijan, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Persian Gulf region. Aside from pockets of Ismaili Shiites -- which can arguably be called Seveners -- in the governorates of Saada, Hajja, Amran, Al-Mahwit, Sana, Ibb, and Al-Jawf most the Shia Muslims in Yemen are Zaidis/Zaydis. The Ismailis in Yemen are mostly members of the Dawoodi (Davidian) and Sulaimani (Solomonian) sects of Mustali Ismailism that moved away from the larger Nizari Ismailis.
The US and Saudi hostility towards the Houthi movement is what has inadvertently made the Houthis pragmatically turn to Iran for help as a counterbalance. In the words of the Wall Street Journal, "Houthi militants controlling Yemen's capital are trying to build ties with Iran, Russia and China to offset Western and Saudi support for the country's ousted president." "The Houthis' interim government has sent delegations to Iran in search of fuel supplies and to Russia to look for investment in energy projects, according to two senior Houthi officials. Another delegation is planning to visit China in the coming weeks, they said," the Wall Street Journal also reported on March 6.
As a result of the Houthi movement's reaching out, Iran and Yemen announced that daily flights would take place between Tehran and Sana on March 2. This is an important lifeline of support for the Houthi movement.
The instability in Yemen is being caused not by Iran or the Houthis, but by US and Saudi interference in Yemen -- from Saudi Arabia's 2009 invasion to US drone attacks -- and the decades of support that Saudi Arabia has provided for authoritarian and unpopular rule in Yemen.
Yemen is not an inherently divided country. Aside from the nurturing of Al-Qaeda by Saudi Arabia and the US, there is no real Shia-Sunni split or tensions. To pre-empt Yemen from being independent, the Saudis and US have supported sectarianism with the hope of creating a Shia-Sunni divide in Yemen.
Unlike the false narrative, Iran's alliances in the Middle East are actually not sectarian. All of Tehran's Palestinian allies are predominately Sunni Muslims while in Iraq and Syria, aside from the governments, Iran supports a cross-section of ethnic and faith groups that include non-Arabs and Christians. This includes the predominately Sunni Muslim Syrian and Iraqi Kurds and the Assyrian Sutoro wing of the Syriac Union Party (SUP) in Syria. In Lebanon, aside from Hezbollah, the Iranians are also allied to Sunni Muslim, Druze, and Christian parties, including Michel Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement -- which is the largest Christian party in Lebanon.
If anyone is engaged in sectarianism as a policy, it is the US and its Arab petro-sheikdom allies. Both the US and Saudi Arabia had engaged the Houthis earlier and used them against the Muslim Brotherhood in Yemen. Additionally, during the Cold War both Washington and the House of Saud tried to use the Yemeni Shiites against the republicans in North Yemen and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen in the south. It is when the Houthi movement demonstrated that it was not going to be a client to Washington or Riyadh, that the US and Saudi Arabia became hostile towards it.
On 20 March, suicide bombers attacked the Al-Badr and Al-Hashoosh mosques [in Sana] during asr salat (afternoon prayers). Over three hundred people were killed. Abdul Malik al-Houthi accused the US and Israel of supporting the terrorist attacks and both the ISIL/ISIS/Daesh and Al-Qaeda in Yemen. Saudi Arabia was also blamed.
While there was silence in Morocco, Jordan, and the Arab petro-sheikhdoms, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham condemned the terrorist attacks in Yemen. In one way or another, Syria, Iraq, Russia, and China all condemned the terrorist attacks in Yemen too. To show Tehran's support for Yemen, two Iranian cargo plans with humanitarian aid were sent to Yemen and the Iranian Red Crescent Society flew over fifty Yemenis victims of the terrorist attacks to hospitals inside Iran for medical treatment.
The Houthis movement is the result of Saudi Arabia's policies in Yemen and its support for authoritarian rule. In this regard, the Houthis are a reaction to Saudi brutality and the House of Saud's support for Yemeni authoritarianism. They emerged as part of a rebellion that was led by Hussein Badreddin Al-Houthi in 2004 against the Yemenite government.
The Yemeni and Saudi regimes falsely claimed that the Houthis wanted to establish a Zaidi imamate in Arabia as a means of demonizing the movement. This, however, failed to stop them from getting stronger. The Yemeni military would not be able to handle them in 2009, which resulted in a Saudi intervention called Operation Scorched Earth being launched on August 11, 2009.
Saudi Arabia failed to defeat the Houthis when it sent its military into Yemen to fight them in 2009 and 2010. It has failed to force Yemen and the Houthi movement to kneel in obedience. When it demanded that the Houthis and Yemeni transitional government play to the Saudi tune and go to Riyadh for negotiations, it was flatly rejected by the Houthis and Yemen's Revolutionary Committees, because the negotiations and any Saudi-supported power sharing scheme would really sideline the Houthis and other political forces in Yemen. This is why the Popular Forces Union, Al-Hadi's own General People's Congress, and the Baath Party of Yemen have all supported the Houthi position against Saudi Arabia.
Yemen has seen numerous insurrections, military intervention by the US and Saudi Arabia, and a separatist movement strengthen in its southern governorates. Yemen's military has become fragmented and tribal tensions exist. There has been increasing talk about it becoming an Arab failed state.
In 2013, the New York Times proposed that Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen be split. In the case of Yemen, the proposition was that it divided into two again. The New York Times said that this could or would happen following a potential referendum in the southern governorates. The New York Times also proposed that "all or part of South Yemen could then become part of Saudi Arabia. Nearly all Saudi commerce is via sea, and direct access to the Arabian Sea would diminish dependence on the Persian Gulf -- and fears of Iran's ability to cut off the Strait of Hormuz."
Saudi Arabia and Al-Hadi are now courting the southern separatists in Yemen, which have the support of about one-tenth of the population. The next option for the US and Saudi Arabia may be to divide Yemen as a means of mitigating the strategic shift from a Houthi victory. This would ensure that Saudi Arabia and the GCC have a southern transit point to the Indian Ocean and that the US would maintain a foothold in the Gulf of Aden.
(Strategic Culture Foundation, March 30
Read The Marxist-Leninist Daily
Website: www.cpcml.ca Email: email@example.com