militarism | terrorism | security
The Philippines and the European Union yesterday started talks in Manila for a general framework on bilateral cooperation that is requisite for a free trade agreement. The talks, which could take as long as two years to complete, will dwell on a wide variety of issues — from peace, security and human rights, to protection of intellectual property and workers rights.
The recent war in Gaza has served to highlight the European Union’s relations with Israel. Although the genocide in Gaza has embarrassed many EU officials, there are no signs that the European Union is going to suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement signed in 2004.
Two conflicting statements about EU-Israeli relations were delivered Jan. 14, as the number of Palestinians, about one-third of them children, killed in Gaza continued to climb. The European Commission’s envoy in Jerusalem claimed that a proposed ’upgrading’ in relations with Israel cannot "proceed business as usual." Yet his statement was soon contradicted by the foreign minister of the Czech Republic, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency.
The European Union and Israel have put negotiations on upgrading their ties on hold due to the war in the Gaza Strip, an EU envoy said on Wednesday.
"The EU-Israel Association Agreement should be suspended until Israel complies with international law. It was only last week that I personally met with the fishermen whose boats were illegally water-cannoned and fired upon by Israeli gunboats as they peacefully fish in Gaza waters."
In Colombia, thousands of indigenous people are staging a week long march. Marchers plan to march through 70 miles of Colombia’s countryside. They say they want to change economic policies that are impoverishing their nations. And they reject the presence of US corporations on their lands. Manuel Rueda joined the march as it passed through Colombia’s Cauca Province.
On October 13, 12,000 indigenous Colombians marched onto the Pan-American highway in Cauca, and refused to lift their blockade until their demands for land, liberty, and life were met by the state. The resulting clashes between protesters and police killed at least two indigenous Colombians, and wounded at least 70 more. This week the indigenous rights groups will march to Cali, the third-largest city in Colombia, to press their demands.
The New Zealand defence industry is renewing calls for a free trade agreement with the United States, which would allow New Zealand companies to compete for a slice of US military contracts.
At a certain level, I must admit, I almost felt sorry for Colombian President Alvaro Uribe last week. His high-profile visit to Washington was unexpectedly shortened because it became readily apparent that members of the US Congress were not really interested in hearing his last ditch effort to get them to approve the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, FTA.
The US free trade agreement and the state and paramilitary violence in Colombia are part of the same project
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos share a joint op-ed in the New York Times shamelessly trading off the apparent hostage rescue operation to shill for the pending US-Colombia free trade agreement.
Colombia’s dramatic rescue of hostages held for years by a rebel group probably won’t lead to quick approval of a U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement that has been snagged for months in the U.S. Congress.
Recent remarks by Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez on the civil war in Colombia and Ecuador’s decision not to join the Alternativa Bolivariana de las Americas (ALBA) solidarity based cooperation initiative shows progressive leaders are taking stock on Latin American integration.
The United States and Canada have chosen to promote Colombia as an aggressive and heavily militarized bulwark against anti-imperialism in the region — an Israel of the Andes.
Many Canadians may never know the difficulties of people resisting the military imposition of an economic model that is ultimately intended for the entire planet, or for ’our Mother Earth’ as the indigenous peoples in Cauca call it. Many Canadians may not know the extent to which they are kept in the dark through the entrenched telling and retelling of the "Canada the good" mythology. It’s time to wake up, eh?
NAFTA was meant to deliver timely, unfettered access to Canada’s biggest trading partner. Instead, delays are longer, costs are higher, and business models are breaking down, Barrie McKenna writes
In the past week the Bush administration has unearthed a "national security" justification for passage of the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement that can’t be allowed to stand.
The European Union is considering new steps to deepen its cooperation on scientific research with Israel, despite admitting that previous funds earmarked for that purpose have gone to firms operating illegally in the Palestinian territories.
Critics of CAFTA say it was no coincidence that the anti-terrorism legislation was enacted six months after the trade agreement. Update on the case against the Suchitoto 13.
Designed to shore up the United States’ weakening position as a global hegemon, the SPP’s primary goals are to link economic integration of the three NAFTA countries to US security needs; deepen U.S. access to oil, gas, electricity, and water resources throughout the continent; and to provide a privileged-and institutionalized-role for transnational corporations in continental deregulation. The stakes for labor, the environment, and civil liberties in all three countries couldn’t be higher. Yet because of the SPP’s reliance on executive authority to push the agenda, many of the SPP’s initiatives remain virtually invisible, even to many activists.