Wednesday, 18 June 2014


Th West and Iran: Western Media Plays on the Superficial to Confuse

Sukant Chandan
Sons of Malcolm

Superficially on the surface it looks as if the yanks and brits are working together with the Iranian government in light of recent events in Iraq, however, what may seem to be the case is not. The 'west' is still on a path of war against Iran (as they are against the entire Global South), and it is only because of the following that they are extending their devilish hands to the Iranians:

1, The west's plan for Syria in using their proxy death squads is failing,

2, Iranians are still pursuing their right to peaceful nuclear use, which will smash the zionist monopolisation of nukes in the region, which means an end to a major zionist-gulf domination of the region for the west

On the issue of Iraq, the Iranians know very well that the Isis death squads in Iraq are western death squads by proxy through the Gulf.

Not all the Sunni people of Anbar etc in Iraq are with the death squads, they are many who are with the Baath (JTRN), but they too are violently hostile to Iran. While ideally it would be great if the Iraqi Baath and the Iranians would find common ground (they BOTH support the Syrian Baath-led Resistance to the western proxy death squads), right now on in the foreseeable future, this is not likely. I have laid out my analysis and basis for viable concrete strategic unity in my article written yesterday; "Is Another 'Muslim world' Possible?".

The western position on Iraq and in relation to Iran stays constant in their war on terror strategies, its a mafia style protection racket which puts us into violence and then they come and demand protection money while threatening and directing more violence our way.

The western media is playing up the current brit/yank-Iranian talks as some kind of strategic unity. Its not. But presenting it as such is doing a service to the death squads who are making out that the 'Safavid Persians are in bed with the west'. What nonsense. However, for us to minimise the sectarian fall out from Iraq (I made clear some of the massive differences between Iraq and Syria, whereby Syria is much less of a sectarian conflict than is Iraq), Iran needs to develop strategic unity with non pro-Iranian / 'Sunni' forces in Iraq. Without such a development, Iraq's people will not be able to hold together as Iraqi PM Maliki's govt is contributing to sectarianism by massacring and torturing hundreds of protesters this year. Maliki is no Assad, let alone Gadafi or Nasrallah.

I know none of my pro-Iranian or pro-Iraqi Baath friends are gonna be wholly happy with this analysis, but while I am loyal to IR Iran, Syria, Hizbullah; Iraq is way too much of a hyper bloody freak product of internalised imperialist wars and direct imperialist wars to be given much respect. Maybe I am wrong, and I remain open minded.

Back to the western strategy in Iraq right now. Make no mistake, the west will be seeking to draw the Iranians into a quagmire in Iraq while military intel gathering on the Iranians, and will be seeking to facilitate Isis capacity to fight on in Syria. At the same time, Iran will be using the situation in relation to the west to be pushing its positions.

God bless Iraq. Our peoples who have suffered too long. May God bring you unity and more unity.

Monday, 16 June 2014


My position on Iraq
Another Better Muslim World is Possible

Sukant Chandan
Sons of Malcolm

Isis are a death squad infiltrated and covertly germinated by western covert forces, and Isis' actions directly serve western strategic interests which are basically to violently divide communities and countries. Isis has been pushed from Syria due to the Syrian govt led Resistance there. Hence Isis have done this big push in Iraq, which will in turn help (through looting, new weapons captured) their dirty work in Syria. IN THIS DYNAMIC I am in support of all forces in Iraq to defeat them. At the same time, we have a total sectarian mess in Iraq which is QUALITATIVELY different to Syria:

In Syria there is a socialist and independent country to defend, which pre 2011 with all its problems is an inspiring model that motivates our masses there to defend it. In Iraq, we dont have that. We have a tragically traumatised country for at least 25 years if not longer.

Unlike Iraq, in Syria we have an anti-imperialist Resistance which is, despite all the lies and nonsense out of the western mainstream and their non-white hangers on, we have a cross sectional unity in struggle against the nato/GCC death squads, we have a Syrian Arab Army of majority Sunnis, and we have lots of Shia, Sunni, Christian, Socialist, Armenian, Kurdish and many other formations UNITED in life or death struggle against a common enemy. We have nothing of the sort in Iraq.

Unlike the contending forces in the Syrian war, in Iraq we have contending forces (aside from Isis for a second) the former Iraqi Baathist forces, and then Tehran-aligned forces. BOTH these forces built/have built functional models of society for their peoples, BOTH are anti-imperialist and fought the usa and uk occupation of Iraq, BOTH were/are under direct attack from imperialism. However, the historical Iraqi-Baath and Islamic Republic of Iran schism is still playing itself out and its results are that sectarian division and violence which ONLY benefits the west and its Guif allies are winning.

THIS is the strategic and concrete basis for unity in Iraq. We do NOT have that with the forces of the death squads (loosely called 'AlQaeda'), nor the Muslim Brotherhood wo have generally always been and remain hugging nato directly or indirectly with great intimacy as a means by which they seek power for themselves. Hence there is NO concrete basis between anti-imperialist forces and forces which have shown nothing but collaboration for generations with the common enemy (the west and the zionist state).

We can see amongst anti-imperialists that they are split on the question of Iraq now. Many anti-imperialists respect one of the sections of the Resistance against the occupation in Iraq which is led by the Iraqi Baath in the form of the JRTN (read more about them here: ).

However, despite their heroism against the occupation, as long as they term Iran as the 'Safavid Persian empire', there will be no progress out of the empire-interested schism on that front. Also, we have Iraqi PM Maliki, who is close to Iran AND also the Syrian government and Lebanese Hizbullah. However, similarly to JRTN etc, there will be no real move forward out of this awful mess until Iran allows or/and facilitates a historical and strategic rapprochement between the Baathist and Shia or pro-Iranian forces in Iraq. Is there any chance for such? Actually, many of the Iraqi Baathists are in support f the Syrian government against the nato covert operation there, and this is very much an opening that can be worked on, but all parties must develop mutual confidence building measures rather than the zero sum total games they are playing out currently.

The sieges of Fallujah by the yankee occupation was a chance for this Sunni-Shia unity to take place. It did not. The siege of Najaf by the yankee forces could have seen such a unity develop. It did not. Going further back, after Iraq was laid to a terrible siege of war by imperialism post 1990 there could have been a thaw in Iran-Iraq relations that could have trumped the sectarian-promoting agenda of the 'west'. That thaw never took place, although there WAS a thaw between the Syrian Baath and Iraqi Baath governments in the lead up to 2003. Interestingly, in the split of the Iraqi Baath after the demise of Saddam Hussein, one faction was said to be very close to the Syrian government intelligence services. Unlike the death squads of nato and the pro-nato Muslim Brotherhood, these forces in Iraq have a basis for unity, for the sake of God they were all shooting in all the same direction against the occupation forces for many years, and have good experience in socialist, anti-imperialist and anti-zionist state building!

Here we can see one of these Baathist armed leaders saying that they are stronger than Isis and consider them "barbarians" ( ). OK, so perhaps these people should consider opening up a strategic unity program with Iran and some of the Shia forces in Iraq to defeat the death squads, protect ALL Iraqis from them and imperialism and also defend the Syrian government? Might be far fetched, but this to my mind is the only realistic course of action before we fall of the massive cliff edge falling into the yankee canyon to our collective deaths which is at the same time is giving oxygen to the empire.

It's a small consolation that I am not the only one who is asking for this. Many anti-imperialists across the world who have supported the Iranian, Syrian, Libyan, Iraqi and ALL of our peoples in the region struggle against imperialism and zionism and who are not bias and partial to any section of our people are also in agreement that this must be the only course that we can pursue to thwart the enemy's plan. In this regard, I am in total agreement with the wise strategic analysis and suggestions of sister Amal Saad Ghorayeb, who calls for a new pro-Resistance contract:

"... Just as Maliki squandered away Sunni tribal [Sahwa] support with his sectarian discourse and negligence, he has succeeded in alienating Sunni officers in the US-funded and trained army, and antagonized mainstream Sunnis with his oppressive rule and aggrandizement of power.

"At the end of the day, we in the Resistance Axis are strategically aligned with a regime born of the very same invasion and occupation we are attempting to thwart in Syria. While we can rationalize this alliance on strategic and pragmatic grounds, we need to call for its drastic reform, beginning with a new social contract between Sunnis and Shia, as Nasrallah proposed in the midst of the US invasion of Iraq. In the absence of such a contract, any military offensive risks degenerating into a full-scale civil war which will drag our region even further into the sectarian morass so desired by the US-Israel-Arab Gulf." (source: )

Yes, I positively see the priority of defeating Isis forces which only exist to soften up our lands for the benefit of nato, and hence the primary contradiction to focus on and make our political position clear is in relation to the Syrian arena. However, there are intense and violent contradictions at play here engineered by the west and internalised to some extent in Iraq. Is another better 'Muslim world' possible than the mess we have? Of course it is. But that requires us to step back, not to step back from militant anti-imperialism, but to really work out if we are interested more in the common liberation of ALL our peoples in the region, or are we going to remain loyal to one section at the expense of another all of which will only benefit our common enemy.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014


Argentina players unfurl banner claiming Falkland Islands ahead of Slovenia friendly


Argentina’s footballers inflamed their rivalry with England by unfurling a banner claiming sovereignty of the Falkland Islands on Saturday.

Ahead of their 2-0 friendly victory over Slovenia, the squad unveiled a banner which read: "Las Malvinas Son Argentinas” (The Malvinas are Argentinian).

The banner is regularly put on show before Argentina's games but with the World Cup looming it has put the gesture in the spotlight.

The South Atlantic islands have been ruled by the UK since 1833 but Argentina claims them and in 1982 attempted to seize control, sparking a brief but bloody war.

Thirty-two years on, there is still political tension over the islands.

England and Argentina are unlikely to cross paths at the World Cup in Brazil, unless they both reach the semi-finals.

On the pitch Ricardo Alvarez and skipper Lionel Messi both scored.                          

"We are going to Brazil with a lot of desire," Messi said. "We are going to fight to come back with the World Cup.

"We are a very strong team. We have been playing well for a while and gaining confidence.

Argentina kick off their tournament against Bosnia on Saturday.


China Prepared to Settle India Border Dispute, Wang Says


China is ready for a final settlement of its border disputes with India and prepared to invest more in the South Asian nation if trade rules are eased, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said late yesterday in New Delhi.

“Through years of negotiation, we have come to an agreement on the basics of a boundary agreement, and we are prepared to reach a final settlement,” Wang told reporters in the Indian capital near the end of a two-day visit that included a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India and China, home to more than a third of the world’s population, are seeking to prevent their territorial disagreements from affecting economic ties. China is increasingly asserting its territorial claims in disputed waters off its eastern coastline, raising tensions with Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines.

“The Chinese are prepared to renew their ties with the Indians in a much more positive way,” Hoo Tiang Boon, a research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, said by phone. “They understand that right now foreign relations in East Asia aren’t exactly ideal. The last thing they want is their western flank to create problems for them as well.”

China is India’s largest trading partner and their combined trade was $49.5 billion in the April-December period, according to Indian government data. The two nations are home to one third of the world’s population.

‘Buried Treasure’

Chinese companies would be prepared to invest in developing Indian infrastructure, including high-speed train networks, and the nation’s manufacturing sector with more attractive regulations, Wang said. The two countries agreed to relax visa rules to boost tourism during his visit, Wang said.

“China-India cooperation is like a massive buried treasure waiting to be discovered,” Wang said. “The potential is massive.”

The Chinese government may be motivated to resolve tensions with India as Chinese relations with Japan and Southeast Asian nations including Vietnam and the Philippines have deteriorated in recent months over other territorial disputes.

Modi, elected prime minister in May, has accepted an invitation from Chinese Premier Li Keqiang for an early visit to Beijing, Modi’s office said late yesterday.

Territorial Claims

India accuses China of occupying 38,000 square kilometers (about 15,000 square miles) of territory in Jammu and Kashmir, while the government in Beijing lays claim to 90,000 square kilometers of land in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

India and China have both made claims to territory held by the other and clashed during a brief border conflict in 1962. The potential for hostilities was highlighted last year when India alleged Chinese troops had crossed into Indian-held territory in Ladakh. The incident, the most serious dispute between the neighbors in a quarter of a century, triggered a three-week escalation in tensions ending with an agreement negotiated by army commanders.

Modi in his election campaign this year promised to take a harder line on protecting India’s borders with China than his predecessor as the two nations aim to end troop clashes that have hobbled their relationship for the last five decades. Modi warned China to drop its “territorial mindset” in February and said his country’s weakness had encouraged China’s army to enter Indian territory last year.


“With China, Modi will be trying to balance trying to win their investment for things like infrastructure projects, and at the same time trying to reinforce the borders,” said Srikanth Kondapalli, a professor in Chinese studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj met Wang on June 8 for more than three hours, Syed Akbaruddin, an Indian foreign ministry spokesman, told reporters in New Delhi then. The top diplomats talked about increasing Chinese investment into Indian industrial parks, he said.

“Both the leaders felt there was a tremendous untapped potential for growth of economic ties,” Akbaruddin said, adding that “everything” was discussed, including countering terrorism. “China is a neighbor with whom we share a long border. Our neighborhood is a major focus of our government.”

In his press briefing yesterday, Wang said: “We regard each other as a priority and each other’s development as an opportunity.”

Modi’s first trip abroad will be to Bhutan later this month, followed by Japan in July and then the U.S. in September, according to India’s Ministry of External Affairs. Modi is also likely to attend a summit with leaders of China, Russia, Brazil and South Africa next month and the United Nations General Assembly in September.


Millions of Libyans have fled Libya since the nato operation against the country from Feb 2011. These Libyan refugees are mostly in Egypt and in Tunisia, and vast swathes of them if not a overwhelming majority are not supportive of nato or the post Gaddafi Libya. With their familial connections inside Libya, one can clearly see that this is the mass base for the developing struggle of Libyan peoples for unity, independence from nato and to develop the oil which God has blessed Libya with for the people-centred development of itself and Africa and the rest of the Global South. 

“[...] yesterday Tunisian women used to work for Libyan women. Where is the man who turned our Libyan women into washers and slaves for the Tunisians? This is who you should be trying to capture, search for him, he has insulted you. Now, in Tunisia, Libyan refugees are begging for money from Tunisian women. They are servants of Tunisia [..]”.  (Muammar Gaddafi, July 01 2011)

- Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm

Where Gaddafi Is Revered: With Libyan Refugees In Tunisia
Hundreds of thousands of Libyans fled to Tunisia after the 2011 revolution that toppled Muammar Gaddafi. A visit with those who mourn the fallen dictator, including his relatives.


He has the same curly mid-length hair, the same matte skin, the same sharp-eyed look. The likeness is unsettling. He says his name with a husky voice: "Saadi Muammar Gaddafi." Sitting here on the terrace of a Tunis cafe is the 39-year-old son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Like thousands of men and women, he fled his country three years ago and is now among those essentially turning Tunisia into a giant refugee camp.

Here, there are no tents and no humanitarian organizations. But Libyan families, growing in number every day, are occupying entire buildings in several Tunis areas, or in cities such as Hammamet, Sousse, Nabeul and Gabès. And their situation is deteriorating.

There are between 600,000 and a million of these migrants, the Tunisian Interior secretary estimates. Taking into account Libyans who have fled to Egypt, there are some two million Libyan citizens living outside the country's borders. It's an astounding figure considering that the entire population of Libya numbers only about six million.

Recognizing this phenomenon, the Libyan government financed the opening of five schools in Tunisia this year. "They are free, and we are trying to integrate as many Libyan children as we can," explains Fathi Buchaala, cultural attaché at the Libyan Embassy in Tunis.

It's not always easy. For example, at the nice little school in the Mutuelleville area of Tunis, there are 300 students, many of whom refuse to sing the new Libyan national anthem. Some turn their heads away from the large banner celebrating the 2011 conflict that ousted Muammar Gaddafi. It reads, "Revolution February 17."

Almost all the refugee families support the fallen dictator, or are part of former partisan regime tribes from Sirte, Bani Waled or Warshefana. "At the beginning, lots of fights broke out, and it was hard," teacher Amel Benayed acknowledges. "They have to learn how to live for a country and not for a man. But Gaddafi is still there."

Gone but not forgotten

Gaddafi is certainly everywhere at Chahd's house. Around her neck as a locket, on a poster in the living room, on the pro-Gaddafi satellite channel that continuously broadcasts war scenes, rebel exactions, and speeches by the former Libyan leader. Chahd, 32, fled Tripoli. "I didn't think that I would survive," the young lady whispers.

After "pacifist" protests for the former regime, she finally joined the army before being captured by rebels on Aug. 28, 2011.

"I was in several prisons over about three months," she explains. "The first, Tajoura, was the worst." She recounts how a militia leader raped her repeatedly over the course of five days, and she describes being hit with pipes. If the jailed leader's son and heir apparent Saïf Al-Islam were to somehow return, that could heal some wounds. "If not, I cannot imagine the hatred of those who still are in jails," she says.

Hamid, 50, left Libya in August 2011 and lived in Egypt for nearly two years. "For us, it's not a revolution but a destruction. There, it is worse than here," he says of Egypt. "We used to be four in a single room, and people were also sleeping in the cemeteries." He says his brothers are still in Egypt, "and it is a catastrophe."

Thirty-two-year-old Atef, who is from Zenten, Libya, says he used to work for a "humanitarian association" with Saïf Al-Islam Gaddafi, and his brothers had "highly placed jobs in companies" under the former regime.

Atef says he paid 50,000 Tunisian dinars (around $31,500) to cross the Tunisian border in Ras Jdir. He ultimately sent his wife and three children back to Libya five months ago. "I could not assure them a good way of life," Atef says. "I am not the only one. I even know a cafe where Libyan women prostitute themselves to survive. Now, we Libyans, we don't have any value in any country. Everything is Sarkozy's fault," he says, referring to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is believed to have given orders to the French secret agent who killed the dictator.

Just tolerated

In Tunisia, rental prices have exploded, in part because of so many Libyan refugees. Without official papers, residence cards or work permits, they are simply tolerated. Over the course of three years, just 1,000 resident cards have been delivered, mostly for business company owners, says Mohamed Ali Aroui, spokesman for Tunisian Ministry of the Interior.

Gaddafi's hometown is now a "living hell," as it has become the stronghold for the radical Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia, says a Gaddafi tribe member named Abdelmonaïm who arrived in Tunis in May.

He was arrested in Tripoli and jailed for two months at the end of the war. "Every day, kids turned up with electric wires and hit us," he recalls.

Other Gaddafi relatives are not resigned. One of them, who had fled through Niger, has now returned to fight in south Libya. "If within two years nothing happens, I would go back to Niger or Sahara," he says. "There, with the inhabitants, even the extremists, we could find a compromise. In three months, you understand? In only three months, we will take power."

Thursday, 5 June 2014





Why does the british state want secret trials? 10 Possible factors

Sukant Chandan
Sons of Malcolm
June 15 2014

10 reasons why the brits want a secret trial of terrorism suspects. Their covert counter-insurgency strategy of using terrorism and at the same time criminalising terrorism is being increasingly exposed and understood by more and more people. What are some of the aspects and ingredients that have led to this exposition?

1. The lynching of post nato-bombed Libya - christopher stevens - and what that exposed of a usa state / cia centre in Benghazi that was working with death squads (ie., terrorists), arresting and detaining some, promoting others, and shipping arms and death squads to Syria etc has been exposed. Moreover, Libya Feb 2011 onwards saw death squads promoted as freedom fighters openly in the mainstream. Anyone who wanted to cause death and destruction of Libya was openly celebrated int he western mainstream media as 'freedom fighters' (return to Afghanistan 1980s and Rambo III 1988! lol)

2. Liver-eating and head chopping allies of the brits (and the 'west' in general) in Syria kinda sabotaged the brits strategy in Syria in terms of trying to (and increasingly failing) to show the 'armed opposition' to the Syrian government as something good. Hence they are basically still encouraging people to go to Syria, but also doing overt criminalising at the same time to try and convince people that they aren't all over the death squads in Syria, arming, financing and directing them on the ground with british special forces.

3. When Russia-China-NorthKorea-Iran-Hizbullah-Algeria all united with Syria in sabotaging the impending western bombing of Syria last year (you know, when all the snakes, fakes, fools and tools were silently praying for it to happen), there was a mass outcry from the slightly wiser people under the slogan: "we will not fight to Obama and Cameron's death squads in Syria".

4. Senior activist in anti-war and pro-Palestine circles, Moazzam Begg's arrest for supporting and helping openly violent sectarian death squads and the way MI6 ticked off his visits there has exposed the hot-cold relationship between the death squads and the british state.

5. The trial of Abu Hamza, (one of the most perfect Muslim bogey men that the british state and Abu Hamza and Co helped to develop) in the usa exposed his dealings with the intel agencies in london who worked together to control the pro-death squads (pro-Al-Qaeda) youth in london and ensure "there is no blood split in london".

6. The other senior AlQaeda guy Abu Qatada has been sent back to Jordan and is openly organising for AlQaeda types now.

7. The 'Boston Bombers' open connections to usa sponsored terrorism in the Caucasus.

8. People realising more and more than the more the west get involved aggressively in any country in the 'Muslim world', the more these death squads proliferate.

9. The destruction of Malian/Islamic/African/World heritage in Timbuktu and other places of the western promoted death squads from Libya, and their connected sectarian depravity in Mali, with the british and french bombing of the place seen by vast swathes of people for the double dealing hypocritical nastiness that it was.

10. That people have not forgotten Gaddafi saying that the west are allied with these death squads (broadly termed 'AlQaeda) in their mission to destroy Libya. While having been ridiculed for saying as much by the mainstream and their allies in the snakes, fakes, fools and tools, people have seen that actually he was correct and that is exactly what happened and has spread like wild fire destroying everything in its wake.

I should add that anyone bemoaning these secret trials and not developing analysis as to the above is part of promoting the state strategy.

There are other factors, like people impacted by these death squads in Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Nigeria and many other places just being more than sick to death (excuse the unintentional morbid pun) by these death squads and their western puppet masters. The list at the end of the tunnel is that growing numbers of people are waking up to this and developing non-sectarian and anti-imperialist methods to defeat them, especially in Syria, but also in Libya, Mali and elsewhere. We will win, we have no choice. Its a case of unite or perish.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014



Yuri Kochiyama speaks at an anti-war demonstration in New York City's Central Park around 1968.

Not Just A 'Black Thing': An Asian-American's Bond With Malcolm X


Japanese-American activist Yuri Kochiyama has died of natural causes in Berkeley, Calif., at age 93. The lifelong champion of civil rights causes in the black, Latino, Native American and Asian-American communities died peacefully in her sleep Sunday morning, according to her family.

Born in 1921 as Mary Yuriko Nakahara, Kochiyama spent the early years of her life in San Pedro, Calif., a small town south of Los Angeles. Months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, she and her family were forced to relocate to internment camps along with tens of thousands of other Japanese-Americans. She met her late husband, Bill Kochiyama, who served with other Japanese-American soldiers in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, at the Jerome Relocation Center in Arkansas, where she spent two years.

The couple married after World War II and moved to start their family in New York City. Living in housing projects among black and Puerto Rican neighbors inspired her interest in the civil rights movement. Kochiyama held weekly open houses for activists in the family's apartment, where she taped newspaper clippings to the walls and kept piles of leaflets on the kitchen table. "Our house felt like it was the movement 24/7," said her eldest daughter, Audee Kochiyama-Holman.

Her brief but formative friendship with Malcolm X, whom she first met in 1963, helped radicalize her activism. Kochiyama began focusing her work on black nationalism and was with Malcolm X during his final moments. Minutes after gunmen fired at Malcolm X in 1965 during his last speech in New York City, she rushed toward him and cradled his head on her lap. A black-and-white photo in Life magazine shows Kochiyama peering worriedly through horn-rimmed glasses at Malcolm X's bullet-riddled body.

In the 1980s, she and her husband pushed for reparations and a formal government apology for Japanese-American internees through the Civil Liberties Act, which President Ronald Reagan signed into law in 1988. Her continued dedication to social causes inspired younger generations of activists, especially within the Asian-American community.

"She was not your typical Japanese-American person, especially a nisei," or a second-generation Japanese-American, said Tim Toyama, Kochiyama's second cousin, who wrote a one-act play about her relationship with Malcolm X.

"She was definitely ahead of her time, and we caught up with her."

Monday, 2 June 2014


Prisoners belonging to former Mozambican rebel movement Renamo guarded by government soldiers in Gorongosa

This mailing list is used to distribute two publications, both edited by Joseph Hanlon. This is my own sporadic "News reports & clippings", which is entirely my own responsibility. This list is also used to distribute the Mozambique Political Process Bulletin, published by CIP and AWEPA, but those organisations are not linked to "News reports & clippings" -  Joseph Hanlon  (subscribe here)

Back to war

Renamo attacked the first southbound convoy this morning on the main north-south road near Muxungue, Sofala, injuring five soldiers and two civilians. Later today (Monday), Renamo spokesman António Muchanga announced the end of Renamo's unilateral ceasefire, which had been in force since 7 May. (@Verdade, AIM 2 June;

Renamo's action follows three attacks on government military convoys Thursday, Saturday and this morning in Gorongosa district. Renamo says that since its president Afonso Dhlakama registered as a voter on 8 May and declared the ceasefire, the government has stepped up its military action and attacked Renamo bases in Gorongosa. During the ceasefire, until this morning, there were no Renamo attacks on the N1 north-south road.

Muchanga told the press conference that despite the return to war, Renamo would participate in the elections, and is collecting the 10,000 signatures needed to nominate Dhlakama as a presidential candidate.

Renamo claims that the army wants to capture and kill Dhlakama, and that it has no choice but to respond militarily.

New Gorongosa battles

Renamo guerrillas attacked a government military convoy Thursday 29 May near Nhadue, the area in Casa Banana, Gorongosa, where Renamo head Afonso Dhlakama registered as a voter on 8 May. But reports are contradictory. Lusa, the Portuguese press agency, reports a second battle this morning, 31 May, near Dhlakama's former base of Sadjundjira.

Lusa (29 May) quoted local people to say that the government military was following the trail used by the registration brigade to meet Dhlakama in the bush and register him, and that government forces wanted to attack the Renamo base at Nhadue. Lusa says at least seven government soldiers were injured Thursday and none today.

Noticias (31 May) quotes the head of public relations of the Sofala police, Daniel Macuacua, to say the attack was on a convoy taking supplies to a military base at Casa Banana, and that there was heavy material damage but no injuries.

Renamo says that it had declared a unilateral cease fire, but that the government responded by increasing its military movements around Gorongosa.

In an interview with Savana (30 May) given Wednesday night, Dhlakama said his opponents Filipe Nyusi and Daviz Simango have already started campaigning and he wants to leave Gorongosa and start addressing rallies and talking to the press. "The problem is that I am surrounded, and stopped from travelling freely. On one side, at 10 km I am cut off, on the other side at 3 km I am blocked. … I want to leave, but not to leave only to run into an ambush."

Daniel Macuacua in his Friday press conference said Dhlakama is free to leave, and just as agreement was reached to allow him to register, arrangements could be made to allow him to leave Gorongosa. And senior Frelimo people claim that if they wanted to kill or capture Dhlakama, they would already have done it.

On his demand that the armed forces be totally restructured, Dhlakama told Savana: "What we have now is a Frelimo army. I want an armed forces loyal to whomever wins the elections. … If not, it is clear that we will have a coup as happened in Guine-Bissau."

IMF warns Mozambique on farms, jobs, debt

In a pair of reports issued last week, the IMF praised Mozambique but went on to issue strong warnings on declining agricultural productivity, the failure to create jobs, and rising debt. The papers also show disagreements between IMF and government over the wage bill and use of capital gains, on-going repercussions of the Ematum $850 million bond issue, and falling spending on priority poverty reduction areas.

The IMF's progress report on the 2011-14 Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) warns that although government is meeting most of the formal indicators in the PRSP, the desired results are not occurring. It notes the continued downward trend in agricultural productivity of cereals and vegetables, and says "that the main challenges facing Mozambique still relate to increasing production and productivity in the agriculture and fishery sectors."

The PRSP report also points to the failure to create jobs. In another report, the IMF Second Review under the Policy Support Instrument (PSI), IMF staff warn that "making growth more inclusive by generating more employment is clearly a major challenge."

However the PRSP report says Mozambique is doing very well in the social sectors - health, education, water, and cash transfers.

In her speech to the IMF's Africa Rising conference in Maputo Thursday, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde stressed the need to build expensive infrastructure in Africa, and cited Mozambique as a good example with its electricity expansion. And she said more borrowing will be needed. But IMF staff in the PSI report and a linked debt sustainability analysis said that "while acknowledging Mozambique's infrastructure gap", they nonetheless warned that it is "essential" that Mozambique "moderate the pace of new borrowing". The report notes that public and publicly guaranteed debt had jumped from 33% of GDP in 2011 to 44% of GDP in 2013, partly due to the Ematum bond, and that Mozambique is already committed this year to non-concessional loans of $528 million from Brazil for the Maputo-Matola public transport system, the Moamba Maior dam, and the Nacala industrial zone.

The IMF also argues that Mozambique does not have the capacity to implement more infrastructure projects, and also that not enough money is being allocated for recurrent maintenance expenditure.

The IMF reports reflect the impact of last year's Ematum bond issue, agreed last year without serious discussion even within government, and for purposes not seen as priority. In the PSI report, IMF staff say "external borrowing can be used to fund the country's vast infrastructure needs, but should reflect transparent project selection based on the country's economic and social priorities." The debt sustainability report says Mozambique needs better "investment planning capacity to ensure that the most deserving public investment projects are selected."

Government rejects IMF advice
on windfall gains, salaries

Also published Thursday is the government's "Letter of Intent" - the government policy statement as negotiated with the IMF. The letter and PSI report make clear that government has rejected IMF advice on two issues:
+ The IMF wants Mozambique to establish an explicit budget rule on the use of "windfall" revenue, such as capital gains taxes on sales of shares in gas companies. Mozambique explicitly rejects this, and says this is an issue to be left for the new government after the election; it only agrees the money should not be used to "finance recurrent spending increases".
+ The government wage bill this year will be 11% of GDP, which the IMF says is too high. Government says no. This has been an important bone of contention, because most of the wage bill is for teachers and health workers. Government also points out that part of the increase is due to election-related hiring agreed with Renamo.

But government has agreed to treat Ematum as one of 15 "fully-owned state-owned enterprises created with social objectives". These companies submit plans, budgets and accounts to the Ministry of Finance. Government will include $500 mn of Ematum bonds as government-guaranteed debt. It notes that there are also 156 fully or partially owned "public corporations," which are supervised by IGEPE (Instituto de Gestao das Participacoes do Estado).

The Letter of Intent also sets out more explicitly than before several government policies and plans:
+ "Priority spending", mainly social and anti-poverty spending, are two-thirds of the budget, but fell below that in 2013 because budget support donors again withheld money - $87 mn in late 2013. And this year (2014) priority spending will fall to 58% of the budget, due to extra spending on elections and on the military (notably the patrol boats bought on the Ematum loan).
+ There are two previously unplanned expenditures for this year, $35 mn for extra election spending and $25 mn "to complete investment projects that lost foreign support in 2013", meaning Millennium Challenge projects not completed on time.
+ Subsidies in 2014 will be 0.2% of GDP for fuel, and 0.1% of GDP for wheat flour for bread, public transport, and a school feeding programme.
+ Of the huge backlog of VAT rebates, going back to 2012 and earlier, $100 mn will be repaid this year, with the money taken from capital gains tax payments.

Three IMF documents were released Thursday and Friday:
+ IMF Country Report No. 14/148: Second review under the policy support instrument (PSI); staff report, etc:
+ IMF Country Report No. 14/147: Poverty reduction strategy paper (PRSP) - progress report:
+ Letter of Intent, Memorandum of policies, etc:


China Military Official Blasts U.S. 'Hegemony' at Shangri-La Conference
Hagel Accuses Beijing of 'Destabilizing, Unilateral Actions'


China asserted a bold vision of itself as the pre-eminent power in East Asia, sparring with the U.S. at a meeting of the world's top defense officials and inflaming tensions with its less-powerful neighbors.

Beijing's stepped-up rhetoric illustrated its view that U.S. power in the region is waning even as China's more-aggressive approach appears to be bringing other nations together to counter its growing military and economic sway.

At the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore over the weekend, a top Chinese military official issued an unusually robust riposte to U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who criticized China's "destabilizing, unilateral actions" in the South China Sea, including deploying an oil-drilling platform in disputed waters, among other moves.

Lt. Gen. Wang Guanzhong, the Chinese military's deputy chief of general staff, fired back on Sunday, saying Mr. Hagel's speech was "full of hegemony, full of words of threat and intimidation," and part of "a provocative challenge against China."

Other Chinese officials at the meeting were similarly blunt in their assessment of the U.S.
"The Americans are making very, very important strategic mistakes right now," Maj. Gen. Zhu Chenghu said in an interview. "If you take China as an enemy, China will absolutely become the enemy of the U.S.," he said.

He went on to tell a Chinese-language broadcaster that U.S. power was declining.

China is feeling increasingly comfortable with the idea that it is Asia's top power, or at least should be treated as an equal of the U.S., and it is engaging in displays to show that the U.S. can do little or nothing to stop it despite America's greater military firepower, according to several experts.

"China is very significantly upping the ante here," said Hugh White, a professor of strategic studies at the Australian National University. "What we're seeing is a steady and sharp increase in the overtones of the strategic rivalry."

Another analyst, who asked not to be named for fear of offending China, said it was remarkable how much other countries' impressions of China had shifted in the space of just a few years.

"You could say, now [the Chinese are] behaving more like a great power,they're behaving with a sense of entitlement, a sense of exceptionalismthe way the Americans have done, and the British before them, as if the rules don't apply to them."

But China also risks overplaying its hand by speaking out so forcefully against the U.S. and its allies.

"China's position is not as strong as it thinks it is," said Rory Medcalf, director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Australia. Not only do China's more-aggressive actions encourage other countries to band together to counter China's rise, they also make it easier for the U.S. to justify its continued military role in the region, he said.

Some U.S. officials have said privately they hope that China's actions in the South China Sea and its tough language will push America's allies to strengthen ties with one another, and smaller nations to seek stronger ties with the U.S.

But the strategic equation is changing rapidly as China's economic and military power grows. Deepening trade and economic ties between China and its neighbors mean that many Asian countries can't afford to challenge China.

Several weeks ago, a Chinese state-run oil company moved a drilling rig into waters also claimed by Vietnam, sparking riots against Chinese and other businesses in Vietnam, and triggering criticism from Washington and Tokyo about what they see as Beijing's growing disregard for international law.

China defended its actions as normal activities in its own sovereign territory.

Other actions by China that have angered the region include the seizure of the Scarborough Shoal, a disputed area in the South China Sea that is also claimed by the Philippines, in 2012, and a construction project in the disputed Spratly Islands. China has also repeatedly sparred with Japan over rights to disputed East China Sea islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.
Despite region-wide concern over these perceived incursions, few nations in the region have the military or economic wherewithal to risk angering Beijing.

The tit-for-tat at the Shangri-La Dialogue was unusual in its frankness. It kicked off on Friday night, when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe used his speech to denounce unilateral efforts to alter the strategic status quo in Asia, in remarks clearly aimed at China.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, remarked that the Pacific region was becoming less stable because of "coercion and provocation" by China.

China's Gen. Zhu said charges of destabilizing actions by China were groundless. Gen. Zhu accused Mr. Hagel of hypocrisy in his assessment of the region's security landscape, suggesting that in his view "whatever the Chinese do is illegal, and whatever the Americans do is right."

The "Chinese are not so stupid" as to believe that Washington wants to work with China, or that the U.S. government is truly neutral when it comes to territorial disputes between China and American allies, he said.

China's military remains far less powerful than that of the U.S., but its investments in enhanced surveillance and missile-weapons systems means it would be more capable of deterring U.S. advances in the region in the event of a military conflict.

China's military strategists have long seen their country as being hemmed in militarily by a network of U.S. bases and alliances in Asia that are mostly legacies from World War II and the Cold War.
Since the global financial crisis in 2008, many Chinese military officers have perceived an opportunity to use the country's economic strength to change that dynamic. Those officers, and many civilian analysts, also expect that the U.S. would be reluctant to become embroiled in another conflict after extricating itself from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In his speech on Sunday, Lt. Gen. Wang, China's top military delegate at the meeting, said Mr. Hagel's speech was designed to "create trouble and make provocations."

Nevertheless, he said, China is committed to peaceful development and observes proper processes in handling territorial disputes.

"China has never taken the first step to provoke troubles," the general said in comments that he said were deviations from his prepared remarks. "China has only been forced to respond to the provocative actions by other parties."


Sisi and the Palestinians


Ramallah, West Bank — The Palestinian cause has always had deep ties to Egypt, which has historically been the largest and most powerful Arab state. As such, it has played the most significant and influential role in defining the Arab world’s position on Palestine, both regionally and internationally.

When relations between Egypt and Palestinian leaders have been good, like during the era of Gamal Abdel Nasser, Egypt has played a central role and provided support. When relations have deteriorated, as they did under Anwar al-Sadat and again over the past two years, Egypt’s influence has diminished.

When Egypt is internally stable, it is externally active, which benefits the Palestinian cause. However, when it becomes preoccupied with its internal affairs and turns inward, then Egypt’s regional and international roles recede, as do its desire and ability to support the Palestinian cause.

Since the outbreak of the Egyptian revolution in 2011, Egypt has been consumed by its internal affairs, which has left it incapable of having any real influence on regional or international affairs.

The situation has been exacerbated by the increasing influence of non-Arab states like Iran and Turkey, which has led to a decline in the diplomatic power and effectiveness of Arab states. These days, most Arab governments are trying to deal with their own people, and grappling with revolutions and civil wars. The Palestinian cause has fallen by the wayside, and Palestinians have been left to face Israel alone, something they cannot do.

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s election as the new Egyptian president has given Palestinians a sliver of hope that their cause will return to the forefront of Arab affairs — or that, at least, there will be a slight adjustment in the balance of power with Israel. This has nothing to do with any value judgments about the Egyptian revolution. It is a purely pragmatic stance, based on the fact that Mr. Sisi’s election will influence Palestinian affairs in three significant ways.

First, this election may mark the return of stability to Egypt, a stability that is important to Palestinians and to future support of the Palestinian cause. Mr. Sisi is not only supported by the army but also by a large swath of the Egyptian population that desires a return to stability, security and normalcy. This won’t happen quickly, but its consequences will accumulate quickly.

Any new president of Egypt, in order to prevent protesters from taking to the streets, will need to bring the country out of its current decrepitude, modernize its infrastructure, update its education and stimulate its economy.

Second, achieving stability in Egypt is necessary for Egypt to compete with the new regional powers that have usurped its place. If successful, the Egyptian presidential election will have a positive effect on calming the rough waters of Arab politics. Egypt is a strong, central state, and if it begins to stabilize, this will have a positive influence on its Arab neighbors in places like Libya, Syria and Lebanon, and even Iraq. Piecing together the fragments of the current Arab political scene is a crucial step in ending non-Arab actors’ interference in regional affairs. In the near future, Egypt, with the support of the Gulf states, could play a central role in achieving this.

Finally, Egypt will not be able to rise to its former regional grandeur, the sort it enjoyed under Nasser, until it liberates itself from its absolute surrender to the United States, which has, since Sadat, transformed it into nothing more than a satellite in America’s political orbit — so much so that by the end of the Mubarak era, it appeared to be merely following America’s orders.

It appears that Mr. Sisi will have different relations with the United States than his predecessors did. While continuing to maintain Egypt’s strong ties to America, there are signs that he plans to steer Egypt toward a more independent foreign policy; his recent trip to Russia is one indication.

If all of this happens and Egypt manages to avoid a new cycle of violence, then the situation in Palestine could also start to improve.

Palestinians will need to repair the relationship that was frayed during the period in which Hamas was being accused of interfering in internal Egyptian affairs (this led to growing Egyptian mistrust and negative sentiment towards Palestinians in general). This popular mistrust led the Egyptian authorities to take measures against the Gaza Strip, including destroying the hundreds of tunnels that made up Hamas’s central lifeline in Gaza. Egypt’s actions, in addition to other factors like the drying up of political and financial support to Hamas have produced results, the most significant of which may be the internal Palestinian reconciliation that brought an end to the bitter seven-year separation. In short, Hamas learned its lesson.

The end of the Palestinian political schism also marks a return to normal with Egypt. The Palestinian Presidential guard is taking over control of the border between Gaza and Egypt, which will lead to more Palestinian control over security and enable Egypt to better deal with security in the Sinai Peninsula.

As a result, the Palestinian cause could once regain the strong regional and international ally that it so desperately needs. No one expects Mr. Sisi to renege on the peace treaty with Israel, since that has become important to Egypt’s own national security. However, it is expected that there will be a cold peace with Israel, and that Egypt will take a strong and proactive role in confronting Israeli settlement expansion in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

High Palestinian expectations are linked to Egypt’s internal stability. Some will materialize; others are sheer hope. But if Mr. Sisi’s Egypt refuses to shy away from confronting Israel, as Egypt did during the Mubarak era when it was firmly under the American thumb, that will be a great boon for the Palestinian cause.


Scotland united with GlobalSouth Consensus, england with the empire consensus

Sukant Chandan
Sons of Malcolm
02 june 2014

There is generally a consensus in the 'west' right across the political spectrum from far left to far right and everything in between: this consensus is in support of the colonial matrix of power which encapsulates neo-colonialism's impact on everything, one can see this most clearly in the fact how this consensus was manifest in the nato attack on Libya and how the same wanted that on Syria.

However, within the 'west', there are contradictions, the greatest of which is arguably manifest in Scotland right now (as well as Ukraine, if one can call Ukraine a country in the 'west', indeed, this contention is part of what is violently defining the opposing sides there: alas I digress!). Interestingly SNP in Scotland, like Sinn Fein in Ireland, like Sortu in Basque Country are broadly (with contradictions) outside of this consensus, instead they are more closer to the GlobalSouth consensus.

What is this GlobalSouth consensus (called by the enemy - the 'west - sometimes as the "Beijing Consensus")? It is PRO-immigration, against militarism and for peace and win-win mutually respectful relations with the world or 'positive neutrality', it is against neo-liberal economics and is aligned with the GlobalSouth.

So the Scottish peoples who have been at once the victims of english colonialism and partially the beneficiaries of it are now showing the world that around half of them want out of the colonial consensus of the west, and would rather join the GlobalSouth consensus. This is a historic development that requires much analysis and reflection.

From this london-based, Indian/SouthAsian born loyalist to the GlobalSouth, Scotland and the SNP have been an inspiration for all the victims of english colonialism across the world. We wish them the best in their quest for Liberation, and in so doing their quest is our festival of seeing the most dirty, rapacious, devlish political union - the united kingdom - teetering on a cataclysmic historic crisis.


Syrian President Supports Korean People in Their Struggle for National Reunification

Pyongyang, May 31 (KCNA) -- Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad on May 29
had a talk with the DPRK government economic delegation led by
Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam which participated in the 9th
meeting of the DPRK-Syria Joint Economic Committee.

The president said that the friendly relations between the two
countries provided and developed by President Kim Il Sung and leader
Kim Jong Il together with President Hafez Al-Assad are growing
stronger under the care of the respected H.E. Kim Jong Un.

He referred to the fact that the hostile forces are intensifying the
sanctions and blockade against the DPRK and committing vicious
provocations against it.

He said that the tough stand taken by the Korean people under the
leadership of Kim Jong Un is startling the world.

He stressed that the Syrian leadership and people positively support
the Korean people in their struggle to reunify the country.

Present there were the minister of Culture who doubles as chairman of
the Syrian side to the DPRK-Syria Joint Economic Committee and the
DPRK ambassador to Syria.

Algerian PM Hopes for Korean People's Success in Their Efforts for Prosperity Pyongyang

May 31 (KCNA) -- Abdel Malik Sellal, prime minister of
Algeria, had a talk with the DPRK government delegation headed by
Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong which took part in the conference of
foreign ministers of the NAM at the Cabinet building on May 29.

Present there were the general director for Asia and Oceania of the
Foreign Ministry of Algeria, advisor to the prime minister's office
and the DPRK ambassador to Algeria.

The prime minister said the Algerian government appreciates the
sincere efforts made by the DPRK government to ensure peace and
security on the Korean peninsula and reunify the country independently
and peacefully without foreign interference and expresses support and
solidarity for them.

It is the will and steadfast stand of the government and people of
Algeria to continue developing the bilateral friendly relations with a
long history and tradition, he noted.

He expressed the will to strive to boost cooperation between the two
countries in the economic field in close touch with each other.

He said he was pleased that everything is going well in the DPRK under
the wise leadership of H.E. Kim Jong Un, wishing the Korean people
bigger achievements in their efforts for the country's prosperity.

DPRK FM Meets Foreign Ministers of Different Countries

Pyongyang, May 30 (KCNA) -- DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong, head of
the DPRK government delegation to the conference of foreign minister
of the Non-Aligned Movement being held in El Djazair, Algeria
respectively had talks with the foreign ministers of Namibia,
Venezuela, Iran and Egypt, minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional
Cooperation of Burkina Faso and the minister of Foreign Affairs and
Trade of Brunei Darussalam during the conference.

He also respectively met the minister of State for Foreign Affairs of
Uganda, vice-minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, state secretary for
the Ministry of External Affairs of India, vice-minister of Foreign
Affairs and Expatriates of Syria, vice-minister of Foreign Affairs of
Cuba, vice-minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, ambassador of
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Mongolia, special envoy
of the foreign minister of Sweden and representatives of Singapore,
Gambia and Angola to the UN and discussed issues of developing
bilateral relations.