Saturday, April 9, 2011

04-09-11 Activist Newsletter part 1

April 9, 2011, Issue #166


1. MEETING BACKS ARAB UPRISINGS, HITS U.S. WARS — Over 180 people attended a forum at SUNY New Paltz organized by the Activist Newsletter.

2. THE U.S.-NATO WAR AGAINST LIBYA — Part 1 : Washington Responds to Geopolitical Crisis.

3. THE U.S.-NATO WAR AGAINST LIBYA — Part 2: Libya today, and the Arab Uprisings.

4. THE U.S.-NATO WAR AGAINST LIBYA — Part 3: The UN Resolution and Libya's "Rebels."

5. CHINA, RUSSIA AND THE LIBYA VOTE — Why didn't China or Russia simply reject the March 17 UN Security Council measure paving the way for the USNATO attacks on Libya? And what is the meaning of the public spat between Russia's two top leaders over the vote?

6. CLIMATE CHANGE OR SYSTEM CHANGE? — The U.S. insists it be recognized and followed as the "world leader"  — but its energy policies are leading the world toward an ecological catastrophe

7. AMERICA'S MOST DANGEROUS NUCLEAR PLANT? — It's bad enough Tokyo's just 170 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, but it's utter madness that New York City is just 25 miles from Indian Point.

8. NUCLEAR PLANT SAFETY — What about the safety of America's 104 nuclear plants, especially since the Obama Administration is promoting nuclear energy?

9. NUCLEAR NIGHTMARE —Ralph Nader examines nuclear power.

10. AN INAPPROPRIATE TRUTH — What two countries constitute the biggest "mortal threat" to the United States?

11. LEONARD WEINGLASS 1933-2011 — He was one of our very best civil liberties and civil rights lawyers.

12. BIG CORPORATIONS AVOID TAXES — Here are the 10 worst corporate tax avoiders.

13. IRAN NOT CLOSE TO  NUCLEAR  'BREAKOUT' — Teheran "distant from acquiring nuclear weapons and at best 'undecided' on the prospect."

14. AMERICA'S 20-YEAR WAR, AND COUNTING —The Iraq War observed its 8th anniversary last month, but it's actually 20 years old. Meanwhile, the Afghan war, set to end in 2014, may go into overtime.

15. RISING SEAS TO FLOOD U.S. COASTS ¬— Rising sea levels in hundreds of cities along U.S. coastlines will lose about 10% of their land area by 2100.

16. THAWING PERMAFROST SPEEDS WARMING — Global warming could cause up to 60% of the world's permafrost to thaw by 2200, and release huge amounts of carbon, speeding up climate change.

17. EXTINCTION CRISIS, SAVE THESE SPECIES — The Obama Administration has refused protections for more than 254 imperiled plants and animals in the United States that are critically close to extinction. Sign a petition.

18. ENVIRONMENTAL REFUGEES TO MULTIPLY — Millions of "environmental refugees" will flood into the global north by 2020, fleeing food shortages sparked by climate change.

19. REPORT: U.S. HATE GROUPS SURGE — The number of active hate groups in the United States topped 1,000 for the first time.
Editor's Note — To readers who know something about Lyme Disease:

I have had extreme Lyme Disease for three months and my new doctor says it may last at least two more months, perhaps longer, to be cured. I'm still taking Doxycycline. I've had three earlier bouts during the last 10 or 11 years, and they lasted three to four weeks and were very mild compared to my present situation. I'm mentioning this to get advice. Given that the Hudson Valley is the nation's prime location for Lyme Disease some of you may know something that will be valuable for me. If so, get in touch via Thanks.

Jack Smith
1. MEETING BACKS ARAB UPRISINGS, HITS U.S. WARS — Over 180 attend SUNY New Paltz meeting

An enthusiastic audience of 182 people attended a forum at the State University of New York at New Paltz, March 15, that supported the democratic uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa and denounced the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The event was organized by the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter and the New Paltz group Peace and Social Progress Now, and endorsed by a dozen local groups.

Clearly, the heroic struggles in the Arab world combined with the militant protests against right wing anti-union legislation in Wisconsin and elsewhere were a factor energizing this meeting as they have been doing throughout the left and progressive movements across the U.S.

Keynote speaker Brian Becker, the national coordinator of the ANSWER peace coalition, spoke at length about the connection between the various repressive dictatorships and monarchies in the region where rebellions are taking place, and the fact that the United States supported virtually all of them for decades, militarily and financially when required.

Becker discussed Washington's imperialist role in the Middle East since 1953, when along with British colonialism, it overthrew Iran's democratically elected government in retaliation for its liberal policies and nationalization of its oil fields. He then traced how succeeding American governments came to dominate nearly the entire region, strengthening and protecting undemocratic regimes as long as they followed the dictates  of the White House.

Becker, a leader of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, expressed doubt about the leadership of rebel forces in Libya who were then calling for outside military intervention, and opposed any U.S. attack that would replace Muammar Gaddafi with a government subordinate to Washington's orders. Four days later the U.S. struck.

Other speakers at the meeting included Jack A. Smith, editor of the Activist Newsletter, who discussed the Afghan and Iraq wars; Donna Goodman, a peace activist, union representative, and Newsletter copy editor, who talked about the costs of war; civil liberties attorney Michael Sussman, who spoke about the erosion of civil liberties in the U.S.; Barbara Upton, who told about the nearly 10-year weekly vigil Women in Black have maintained in New Paltz since the Afghan invasion; SUNY student activist Claire Papell; and Tarak Kauff, activist and member of Veterans for Peace, who advocated civil resistance against the U.S. war machine. SUNY Professor Salvatore Engel-DiMauro welcomed the audience at the beginning and expressed the meeting's support for the popular uprisings against repressive regimes.

At one point, Papell interrupted her own talk to invite students in the audience to come to the front of the auditorium and face the audience. About 35 or more students did so and a few spoke, including Caitlin Ryan, a vice president of the Student Association. She had just returned an hour earlier from leading a delegation of New Paltz students to the capitol building in Albany as part of a demonstration against proposed budget cuts to schools, including the state university system. She described the event to great applause.
(More below)