Brand New Russian Kalishnikovs Flow Into Afghanistan

Russia starts delivery of small arms to Afghanistan


09:18 GMT, November 3, 2010 KABUL | As RIA Novosti reports, Russia has started deliveries of small arms and ammunition to Afghanistan under a military assistance program.

The first of 16 Il-76 cargo planes landed on Tuesday in Kabul carrying weaponry for the Afghan police forces to assist the legitimate government in the fight against crime, drug-trafficking and Taliban militants.

“The delivery of small arms donations to Afghanistan will help to strengthen national police to strengthen security and the rule of law in this country,” said Andrei Avetisyan, the Russian ambassador to Afghanistan.

Soviet-era Kalashnikov assault rifles and machine guns are already widely used by the Afghan police force.

Other Russian contributions to the fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan include the supply of Mi-17 helicopters and crews to train Afghan pilots, possible Russian assistance in training Afghan national security forces, increased co-operation on counter-narcotics and border security, and improved transit and supply routes for NATO forces. (RIA Novosti)

NATO Counter Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, November 19th-21st 2010

NATO Counter Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, November 19th-21st 2010

“No to War – No to Nato” presents with the support of Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Stiftung Friedensbewegung and DIE LINKE, Germany

 

At the next NATO summit meeting in Lisbon from November 19th to 21st 2010, the new NATO strategy will be adopted. The new strategy should “lead NATO through the uneasy and dangerous times at the beginning of the 21st century”, as formulated in the contract for the development of the new strategy at the summit of heads of states and governments in Strasbourg in April 2009. The expert group set up for designing the strategy, placed under the direction of former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, made its recommendations in May for the new NATO strategy, entitled “NATO 2020”. “The alliance must be versatile and flexible in this time period of uncertainty in the 21st century”, said Madeleine Albright at the presentation of the report. If a (first) conclusion of this document is to be drawn, than it can only be: pure militarism, continuing of the wars, especially in Afghanistan and, above all, further nuclear armament. The words are more cautious and vague, but the reality is brutal and war-like. Approaches for greater political cooperation, e.g. with Russia, are foiled by aggressive armament policy (including the missile defence system). The critique of the peace movement, which we have formulated in connection with the 60th birthday of NATO, is still necessary and correct: NATO is a dinosaur that should be abolished.

 

NO to the new NATO-Strategy! Getting Active for Global Peace, Disarmament and the End of NATO

Location: Liceu Luís de Camões, Lisboa

 

11/19/2010 – Friday

11.00-11.15 Welcome

Natália Nogal (for PAGAN), Reiner Braun (for ICC)

11.15-13.00 Lectures

Moderation / Chair: Arielle Denis, Mvt. Paix / Andreas Speck, WRI

  • War and Peace (Sandra Monteiro, Le Monde Diplomatique, Portugal)
  • The new NATO Strategy and Global Crisis (Vitor Lima, PAGAN, Portugal)
  • Nuclear weapons in the new NATO-Strategy (Joseph Gerson, AFSC, USA)
  • Relations between Russia and NATO (Vitaly Merkushew, Eurasian Network of Political Research, Russia)
  • NATO and Missile Defense (Jan Majicek, No BASES Network, CR)
  • NATO’s War in Afghanistan (RAWA, Afghanistan) (TBC)

14.00-22.30 Workshop Blocks

14.00-16.30 Workshop Block I – Discussion of the NATO Strategy

  • NATO and Nuclear Weapons (convenor: Dave Webb, CND)
  • NATO, War and Global Crises (convenor: Jacques Fath, PCF)
  • NATO and Afghanistan (convenor: Reiner Braun, INES / Joseph Gerson, AFSC)
  • NATO and EU (convenor: Michael Youlton, IAWM / PANA)
  • History of NATO (convenor: Erhard Crome, RLS)

short coffee / snack break

17.00-19.00 Workshop Block II War, Militarization and Peace

  • Feminism and Militarization (convenor: Kristine Karch, INES)
  • Portugal and Militarization (convenor: Nuno Moniz, PAGAN)
  • The Military Industrial Complex and the Privatization of War (convenor: Rae Street, CND)
  • NATO and Bases (convenor: Elsa Rassbach, DFG-VK – GIs and U.S. Bases / Jan Majicek, NO BASES Network)
  • Youth and Militarization (convenor: Nuno Moniz, PAGAN)
  • From neutrality to NATO – Scandinavia in Partnership for Peace (convenor: Agneta Norberg, Swedish Peace Council)

one hour dinner break

20.00-22.30 Workshop Block III Peaceful, Just and Social Alternatives

  • Alternative Security Systems (convenor: Erhard Crome, RLS)
  • Actions for Peace (convenor: Monty Schädel, DFG-VK / Lucas Wirl, INES)
  • Human security and other concepts (convenor: António Dores,PAGAN / Tobias Pflüger, IMI)
  • Nuclear Weapons Convention (convenor: Reiner Braun, IALANA Europe)
  • Disarmament for development (convenor: Ben Cramer, IPB)
  • Non violent resistance (convenor: Andreas Speck, WRI)

22.30 Peace Party

11/20/2010 – Saturday

10.00-12.00 Public Event in the City of Lisboa — NO to War – NO to NATO

Moderation / Chair: Joseph Gerson (AFSC) / Irina Castro (PAGAN)

Discussion in the centre of the city, open for the general public and interested people. With Politicians and Activists:

  • Willy Meyer, Member European Parliament GUE/ NGL, European Left, Spain
  • Jeremy Corbyn, Member of Parliament, Labour Party, GB
  • Colonel Mario Tomé, PAGAN, Portugal
  • Arielle Denis, Mouvement de la Paix, France
  • Christine Hoffmann, pax christi Germany, Germany

15.00 International Anti-NATO demonstration

Location: Av. Da Liberdade

11/21/2010 – Sunday

10.00-10.45 Introduction Lectures: Lessons Learnt

Portugal and NATO (Ricardo Robles, PAGAN)

NATO and Latin America (Eduardo Melero, UAM, Spain)

 

Peace Assembly – Anti-War Assembly:

How to continue acting for a world without war and NATO

Moderation: Arielle Denis, Dave Webb, Tobias Pflüger

10.45 – 11.15 Reports from the Working Groups

Reports of anti-NATO-activities in Lisboa

short coffee / snack break

11.45 – 14.00 Open Microphone: 3 min. reports and discussion on activities and future plans against NATO

Agreements on common activities

14.00 Presentation of the Declaration of the ICC and Conclusions

Remarks by Reiner Braun

 

Organizational information:

a) Program: The convenors are responsible for organizing the workshops. The ICC takes care for the Plenary Speakers. The full program with the speakers of the workshops will be published after November 1st.

 

b) Registration: For further information about and to register for the  conference, please send an email to: Kongress@IALANA.de Registration starts on October 18th and is necessary for a successful preparation and arrangement of the conference.

 

c) Conference donation: The conference is organized by activists for activists, we ask you to support our conference. Voluntary conference fee: 10 € which may be paid at the conference

 

d) Accommodation: For private accommodation, please contact:accommodation.lisbon2010@gmail.com

 

Cheap hotels and hostels close to the counter summit:

For any further questions: Please contact: kongress@ialana.de or check out the webpage: http://www.no-to-nato.org

Anti-NATO Summit 2010, no-to-nato

Friday, November 19, 2010 (All day) – Sunday, November 21, 2010 (All day)

The NATO heads of state, including President Obama, will meet in Lisbon to promulgate a new NATO doctrine for the nuclear and increasingly global alliance. Leading European and other peace advocates will gather for a counter-summit conference that will be live streamed on the web: www.no-to-nato.org.

Join us. Proceedings of the counter-Summit will be broadcast from Friday the 19th from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Portugal time (6 hour time difference from New York.) They’ll be broadcast from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the 21st. The agenda can be found atwww.no-t.o-nato.org.

 

“I’m Going to Canada!”–How to Stop a War

[This was a very effective tactic for war resistance back in the Nam era.  If my draft lottery number hadn’t been so high(343 out of 366)  I planned to go to Canada or Australia myself.  If only we had the draft now, it would surely motivate millions of Americans to pour into the streets once again.  Until every teenager and his family begins to see the personal stake they have in ending this war, there will be no civil action on the scale that we are hearing about in Europe.  Social action is the key to stopping austerity cuts and war escalations.]

Refusing orders

Former US soldiers describes deployment in Afghanistan

“No one will force me to draw my weapon on little kids. I’m not going to do that anymore.”
That was one of many experiences which changed the life of Jules Tindungan, a former soldier of the United States military who described his deployment to Afghanistan in 2007 as “15 months of hell.” It was the fighting, trauma and constant violence in the War on Terror which caused Tindungan, a Los Angeles native, to second guess whether enlisting in the army was a good idea.
“I joined (the army) when I was 17. I struggled in high school. I wasn’t that great of a kid,” Tindungan told a group of about 50 people at St. Paul’s Anglican Church Oct. 16 as part of the Refusing Orders, Crossing Boarders event. “The U.S. military was one of the largest employers in Southern California. McDonalds was the second largest. All things changed when I was deployed. I was very young. It was a lot of responsibility given to me.”
As a soldier, Tindungan was part of an infantry unit, and was trained to know “the ins and outs of weaponry,” knowing military procedures such as when to invade homes and pull people out during a fight.
While stationed in Afghanistan Tindungan noticed that life that much different in the country when compared to California.
“I saw how people trying to carve out a lifestyle in the terrain. I saw resemblances of Southern California and these dirt places in Afghanistan.”
Tindungan was injured while fighting overseas, hit in the lower left leg by a mortar shell. While injured Tindungan worked the radio while his “brothers” in the army were fighting on the field.
“Instead of being with my brothers I was hearing them scream (on the radio),” Tindungan said. “So a lot of me changed. My outlook changed on what I was doing.”
In 2008, Tindungan was sent home. He was scheduled to redeploy for another round overseas but instead of packing his bags, Tindungan returned to California, chucked his cell phone into the ocean and fled.
Tindungan found new life in Vancouver, B.C., where he met his wife and got a new job.
“I’m doing pretty good for myself,” Tindungan said.
Tindungan was one of 11 war resisters on a panel sharing their stories and answering questions as part of Refusing Orders, Crossing Boarders, an event organized by the War Resisters Support Campaign in Canada and the Buffalo Chapter of Veterans For Peace.
The day-long event was meant for American War Resisters who sought refuge on Canadian soil to share their stories on why they made their choices to resist the military life and the struggles behind it.
Bruce Byers, one of the organizers of the event, said the purpose of Refusing Orders, Crossing Borders was to show support for former soldiers who refuse to participate in the military.
“All are veterans of the United States army. Some have seen combat,” Byers said. “But all refuse to participate. I hope (participants) leave with the courage and understanding of they (soldiers) made their decisions.”
During a question period, the panel was asked how they feel about being called a war resister, a coward or a traitor.
War resister Dale Landry said he doesn’t consider himself a deserter, nor is he a coward or a traitor.
“They say when you leave you commit treason. It’s such a narrow definition,” Landry said. “To commit treason means to assist foreign countries during a war. I wasn’t against the United States.”
Panelist Phil McDowell said he doesn’t consider himself a coward. McDowell said the decision to leave was his choice.
“I don’t care what people call me,” McDowell said to applause from the crowd.
For more information about the War Resisters Support Campaign, visit http://www.resisters.ca.

NATO Helicopters Penetrate Deeper Inside Pakistan

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Islamabad, Nov 4(ANI): Pakistani parliamentarians have expressed serious concern about the violation of the country’s airspace near the Afghan border by NATO allied forces based in Afghanistan.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Raja Zafar-ul-Haq criticized the role of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led government regarding the breach.

“The government has failed to defend the sovereignty of the country despite repeated airspace violations by NATO forces,” the Daily Times quoted Zafar-ul-Haq, as saying.

Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Abdul Ghafoor Haidri also expressed dismay over the government and its strategic military policies towards NATO and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

“If any agreement exists between NATO and Pakistan, then why does the government not produce it before the nation,” Haidri said.

Meanwhile, the leader of the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms (PCCR), Raza Rabbani, demanded from the House to summon NATO officials to appear in the Foreign Office.

Rabbani was also of the opinion that if NATO does not support the issue, then Pakistan should use other options, including military retaliation.

Earlier, it was reported that despite assuring Pakistan of stopping further intrusions into its territory, NATO aircraft had once again breached the country’s border limits in Kurram Agency on Tuesday.

The helicopters allegedly entered about 600 meters inside Pakistani airspace, and after flying in the area for 10 minutes they returned back to Spin Boldak area in Afghanistan to their airbase.

It came weeks after three Pakistani army men were killed in an air strike by NATO helicopters at a military post, 200 metres inside the Pakistani border in Kurram Agency.

It was NATO’s fourth aerial violation of Pakistani territory in less than a week, but the first in which soldiers were killed.

Reacting to the incident, Pakistan had suspended supply convoys along the Khyber Pass route, which links Peshawar in Pakistan with Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan, and lodged a protest with the NATO command in Brussels, demanding an apology.

The cross-border air strikes, seen by Pakistan as a violation of its territorial sovereignty, had sparked nationwide rumblings over the US-led incursions. (ANI)

Tokyo under fire over ‘spineless’ diplomacy

Tokyo under fire over ‘spineless’ diplomacy

AFP
TOKYO- After a sobering 14 months in power marked by tensions with the United States, China and Russia, Japan’s ruling party is under fire over what is being seen at home as spineless and muddled diplomacy.

As Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s government prepares to host an Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation summit this month, analysts say the centre-left Democratic Party of Japan’s inexperience is starting to show through.

Tokyo has been locked in a seething row with Beijing over contested islands in the East China Sea for the past two months and this week a long-running territorial dispute with Moscow reared its head again.

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Kan is also still trying to mend ties with Washington strained over the fate of a controversial air base, a dispute that helped topple his predecessor as prime minister and party leader, Yukio Hatoyama.

“The developments all show that Japan’s ruling party lacks diplomatic policy on top of its overall lack of experience,” said Tetsuro Kato, political professor at Waseda University.

The diplomatic woes are proving yet another headache for an administration dealing with deflation, a shrinking population, a mountain of public debt and the impact of a surging yen on a fragile economic recovery.

The feud with Beijing stems from the arrest of a Chinese trawler captain whose vessel collided with Japanese patrol boats in waters near a disputed island chain in the East China Sea in September.

But in what was seen as a diplomatic climbdown, prosecutors released the captain after Beijing cut political, economic and cultural exchanges and detained four Japanese citizens for video recording in a military area.

Analysts also question why Tokyo let the dispute rumble on before unveiling video footage this week allegedly proving the Chinese ship rammed Japanese vessels, eight weeks into a row that threatened tourism and exports.

With Kan’s approval ratings plummeting, the visit by Russian President Dimtry Medvedev to the disputed Kuril Islands Monday triggered speculation that Moscow was looking to make the most of Tokyo’s perceived weakness.

“It appears Russia has taken advantage of the DPJ government’s diplomatic ineptitude,” the Nikkei business daily said in an editorial Tuesday.

The government “also responded spinelessly in the row with China,” it said.

When the DPJ swept to power last year, ending more than half a century of almost uninterrupted conservative rule, Hatoyama called for closer ties with East Asia, especially China, and set to allay some doubts about Japan’s post-war contrition.

Hatoyama called the East China Sea a “Sea of Fraternity” and promoted the idea of an EU-style Asian Community.

But instead the DPJ has cultivated acrimony.

The hapless Hatoyama was forced to resign after flip-flopping on a plan to move a US airbase off the southern island of Okinawa, managing to offend both residents and the United States.

The pressure is now on his successor Kan to show that he can handle diplomacy related to Japan’s national interests, analysts say.

“The test for Kan’s government is to manage Japan’s public opinion,” said Akio Watanabe, professor emeritus of Tokyo University and diplomacy expert.

“Kan needs an adroit policy management to address diplomatic issues, despite the DPJ’s relative inexperience in foreign affairs.”

Eyebrows were raised when Kan selected the hawkish but young and relatively inexperienced Seiji Maehara to replace Katsuya Okada as the nation’s top diplomat in a September reshuffle. Maehara’s directness has ruffled Beijing.

“The government chose the wrong person for its foreign minister,” said Kato.

China’s state media this week accused Maehara of ruining a planned formal meeting between their premiers, branding him an “extremist” and accusing him of making false statements.

Then came the first ever trip by a Russian leader to one of the four islands at the heart of the dispute that has prevented the signing of a peace treaty between Moscow and Tokyo to formally end World War II hostilities.

The Kuril Islands, which lie north of Japan’s Hokkaido island, have been controlled by Moscow since they were seized by Soviet troops at the end of World War II, but Tokyo claims the southernmost four as Japanese territory.

Maehara summoned the Russian ambassador in protest and recalled Tokyo’s from Moscow, but Medvedev’s move was seen as a direct snub to the foreign minister who had warned the president against such a visit in September. Moscow has since said Medvedev plans further visits.

“Russia is testing the Kan administration’s capability to handle security issues,” said Hiroshi Kimura, professor of Russian politics at Takushoku University.

Others say Medvedev is merely trying to demonstrate his own political muscle in his pursuit of a second term ahead of 2012 elections. “Medvedev needs to portray the image of a strong leader,” said Watanabe.

US Opposes Taking Mideast Diplomacy Out of Its Hands

US Opposes United Nations as Venue for Mideast Diplomacy

 

The Obama administration Monday said it opposes shifting the venue of Israel-Palestinian peacemaking to the United Nations. U.S. officials say only direct dialogue and agreement between the parties can produce a two-state settlement of the conflict.

The Obama administration is giving a chilly reception to suggestions that recognition of Palestinian statehood by U.N. or other international bodies might advance prospects for an Israeli-Palestinian accord.

In the face of the current stalemate in U.S.-led Middle East diplomacy, Palestinian and other Arab officials have suggested in recent days that the Palestinians might try to jolt the process by appealing for statehood support from global bodies such as the U.N. or International Court of Justice.

In the latest such comments, Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa told the Fox News radio network in Cairo that Arabs are growing impatient with Obama administration diplomacy, and that the “most important alternative is to get back to the United Nations.”

At a news briefing, State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley was asked to respond to a question by the Arab League chief on Sunday as to “what is wrong with having the U.N. sanction (authorize) or support the peace process?”

“It doesn’t solve the conflict. The only way to end the conflict is to resolve the final-status issues. And the only way to resolve the final status issues is through a direct negotiation,” he said.  “Unilateral declarations or unilateral actions on one side or the other does not end the conflict, and that is our goal.”

Israel has strongly opposed having the U.N. Security Council or General Assembly pronounce on the statehood issue, saying it would violate the 1993 Olso accords that underlie the peace process, and pre-empt negotiations on borders and other key issues.

Spokesman Crowley said a U.N. statehood declaration would be a unilateral move in that it would have the support of only one party in the process. He said a comprehensive settlement, involving all the tracks of the peace process, can be reached only with the consent of all the parties.

U.S.-led direct negotiations stalled in September after the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to extend a nine-month freeze on most Israeli settlement activity.

Mr. Netanyahu flies to the southern U.S. city of New Orleans later this week for a meeting of U.S. Jewish organizations, and is to meet with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

Officials here say there have been contacts with Mr. Netanyahu’s office about whether he may be able to meet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington or elsewhere, after her return from Asia early next week.

They said U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell will meet the Israeli Prime Minister while he is in the United States, perhaps in tandem with Clinton.

Spokesman Crowley meanwhile dismissed published suggestions that Mitchell, a former Senate majority leader and Northern Ireland peace negotiator, might soon leave the Middle East post.

He said there are “monthly rumors” about Mitchell’s future but that he is not aware of any plan by him to depart.