09 September 2007

Reminder Round-Up

Illegal Detention
Last month, the Guardian reported on a new push for the release of UK residents currently being held in Guantanamo, now that Bush’s best British friend forever is out of the way. This might remind us that close to three hundred men are still being held in Guantanamo. When the “detention center” opened in 2002, I remember being outraged and thinking that there was no way that it would hold up against legal challenges and protests. A few grey hairs later, I know better.

Collected outrages and shameful acts can be perused at HRW’s "gitmo" page.

Inaccurate Saber-Rattlers
Anyone who pays attention to the news knows that the NYT’s Thomas Friedman has made an art form out of wrong-headed punditry and sloppy guesswork wrapped in useless platitudes. Over at Counterpunch, Norman Solomon dissects TF’s pro-war babble and flip-flops over the course of the past decade. How this guy, one of the most influential columnists in the US, keeps his job is almost a mystery.

All this, of course, should be read in the context of the completely predictable, utter failure of “the Surge.”

Iraqi Women and War
A post on Iraqi women forced into prostitution from Vox Ex Machina reminds us of the fact that women are worst affected by war. The story of militarized prostitution is familiar, but, to my knowledge, it has been little covered in Iraq; sure complicates the narrative of “bringing ‘em democracy” and “kicking ass,” no?

One recent exception is the overview of the effects of the Iraq War on women posted at ZNet by Lucinda Marshall.

Un(der)punished Hate Crimes
Sometime ago, I blogged in passing about the attack on antifascists in Angarsk and murder of Ilya Borodenko. Two months later, the case has almost completely fallen out of the news, other than a brief mention in Mark Ames and Alexander Zaitchik's review of Russian ultra-nationalism in The Nation. In the meantime, Russian neo-nazis are taunting antifa activists with banners lining up their murder victims: Timur Kacharava, Sasha Riukhin, Ilya Borodenko, and “this spot will be filled.”
It is now over two months since Satender Singh’s murder. The case also seems to dropped off the radar after the arraignment of one suspect almost three weeks ago, despite the fact that the other suspect made off to Russia. Supposedly the FBI is working on locating him. We're waiting.

I mention these two cases only because I have blogged about them before; there are plenty of other examples. If anybody believes that the Putin-endorsed anti-extremism laws are actually intended to control the growth of dangerously violent nationalism (as opposed to a means of punishing dissenters), please contact Vladimir Vladimirovich at his office so he can put some pressure on authorities to give up Andrei Vusik and get to the bottom of the Angarsk pogrom.


McFly said...

The neo-nazi poster is terrifying. Its very existence suggests the degree of impunity these groups enjoy in carrying out hate crimes against antifascists. Really disturbing stuff, and if it were more widely reported it would be tough to dismiss (one would think) as western propaganda.