Democracy now | 28/02/2011
Here is a transcript from democracynow.org website whose correspondent, Anjali Kamat has spent in liberated zones in the Eastern Libya for five days and returned to Egypt to report for a prestigious non-profit news channel in America. She has personally spoken several Libyans who took part in the uprising against their autocratic ruler Co. Moummar Gaddafi. Amy Goodman is one of presenters of the news channel.
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AMY GOODMAN: As the uprising continues in Libya, more areas have fallen into the hands of pro-democracy protesters, but Colonel Muammar Gaddafi retains control of the capital Tripoli. On Sunday, protesters had taken control of Zawiyah, a city 30 miles from Tripoli, but pro-Gaddafi forces are surrounding the area.
On Saturday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously imposed sanctions in the form of travel bans and asset freezes on Gaddafi and his family. The U.N. resolution also called for referring Gaddafi to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
In a telephone conversation with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, President Barack Obama said Gaddafi should leave.
AMBASSADOR SUSAN RICE: Resolution 1970 is a strong resolution. It includes a travel ban and an assets freeze for key Libyan leaders. It imposes a complete arms embargo on Libya. It takes new steps against the use of mercenaries by the Libyan government to attack its own people. And for the first time ever, the Security Council has unanimously referred an egregious human rights situation to the International Criminal Court. As President Obama said today, when a leader’s only means of staying in power is to use mass of violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. In an interview with Serbian television Sunday, a defiant Gaddafi repeated his message that he will stay in Libya. Speaking via telephone from his Tripoli office, he again blamed foreigners and al-Qaeda for the uprising that’s threatening his 41-year rule. He also condemned the United Nations Security Council for imposing sanctions on him and launching a war crimes inquiry.
Monthly Review (MRZine) | 24/05/2010
Ousama Hamdan is the top Hamas leader in Lebanon and a member of the Hamas politburo.
(Manuela Paraipan is an independent foreign policy analyst. This interview was first published in “openDemocracy” on 24 May 2010 under a Creative Commons license).
Manuela Paraipan: How do you see European engagement in the area and what do you think are the main challenges for the international community in dealing with the region?
Ousama Hamdan: Most of the time, Europeans support American policies, although I believe they understand the region better than the Americans. And that is important. If you want to deal with the region you have to understand it. There is a difference between dealing with the facts as they are and dealing with them as you might wish them to be — or, to put it from a political perspective, attempting to divide the region before dealing with it. That can only create more problems, including breakdowns in communication.
Some look to the Arab ‘moderate countries’. . . . I don’t believe in ‘moderate’ or ‘hardline stances’ in politics. Every nation is out for its own benefits. What is moderate for me is hardline for others. And vice versa. The issue is, how to deal with other people? If you want to control them — that instigates new problems. Now, if you want to deal with them in order to create stability in the region, then you have to treat them as part of the region, and understand what they need and what they want. This is one of the major challenges that the peace process faces.
Until now, no one has asked the Palestinians what they want. Throughout its period as negotiators, the PLO accepted the conditions laid down, and faithfully implemented what was dictated to them by the international community — in fact mainly the United States, especially after the demise of the USSR. But what happened? Nothing. They found themselves confronted by more problems than ever before.
From ‘Monthly Review’ | December 2009
John Bellamy Foster Interviewed by Max van Lingen
John Bellamy Foster is the editor of the socialist magazine Monthly Review and teaches sociology at the University of Oregon. He has written on numerous subjects, from political economy to Marxist theory. This year Foster published The Ecological Revolution: Making Peace with the Planet.
Max van Lingen is a student of political philosophy and modern history at the University of Amsterdam and a journalist for the Dutch monthly The Socialist. A shortened version of this interview appeared in Dutch in the December issue of The Socialist. The entire interview appeared in Dutch on the website of the International Socialists: <http://www.socialisme.nu>.
Consciousness about climate change has increased enormously; however, it also seems as if there is a lack of criticism of business and government actions. Instead, it appears as if people are thinking: it doesn’t really matter why people act, as long as they act.
I think people on the left often try to be “practical,” which they interpret as somehow trying to accommodate themselves to the status quo, so as to make minor improvements. Often this is a kind of desperation to effect change. However, Copenhagen is already a dead deal before it begins. The United States and the other leading powers have indicated that there will be no binding agreements, no significant changes and no non-market solutions.
James Hansen, arguably the world’s greatest climate scientist, has called the latest U.S. climate legislation passed by the House “worse than nothing” in that it locks in a “temple of doom.” The changes, if we are to avoid planetary collapse, need to be much more massive and need to come from below. Hansen himself has called for mass “civil resistance” and has been arrested while protesting mountain top removal coal mining. Continue reading