Opinion » Columnists
Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

2006 – Review of the Year

We take a look back over the main events of this year, in which once again the unilateralism in international relations followed by the Washington Axis reared its ugly head, creating crises which descended from the sublime to the absurd. In Africa, to praise, the electoral process in DR Congo, however, horrific spirals of violence continued throughout the year in Darfur, Chad and Central African Republic. Yet great victories were also heralded this year – the forces of reason proved without doubt that only through dialogue can we achieve progress – the forces of the Axis of Evil (it is now very clear what these are) are more and more contested, more and more humiliated. 2006 was also a great victory for women’s rights.

January

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia became the first woman President in Africa. She took office on 16th in Liberia while in Bolivia Evo Morales became the first indigenous President of this country and Hamas won the democratic general election in Palestine, causing a headache for those who like to preach, but not practise, democracy.

Two assassination attempts in Iran, one successful (against the Commander of the Republican Guard, Ahmad Kazemi, in a strange air crash on 9th) and one unsuccessful (against President Ahmadinejad in Ahvaz on 24th). Interesting start to the year.

In Pakistan, a massacre by the USA with precision weaponry (so much so that they even bombed the wrong country) against Damadola, a village where 18 people were slaughtered in their homes. Bullseye! In Tel Aviv, a suicide bomber set the tone of the year in the Middle East with an attack which injured 32 people. The spiral of violence began early.

This was also the month of the controversial and childish Mohammed cartoons, an unnecessary raw provocation at a time when more tact and maturity were advisable.

February

G8 Finance Ministers meeting in Moscow, this year when the Russian Federation presides over the G8. Hamas was invited to Moscow for discussions and in Jamaica, the country’s first woman PM was elected – Portia Simpson-Miller.

The European Parliament and the UNO declared the Guantanamo concentration camp illegal and asked Washington to close it. A telephone call between President Bush and PM Blair in 2003 was leaked in a memo which revealed that both leaders agreed to attack Iraq even without a UN Resolution and that the Americans planned to provoke a war situation using a falsely marked U2 spy plane. In the end the Americans opted for Colin Powell’s “magnificent foreign intelligence” which turned out to be a sexed-up British intelligence report – namely a 19-year-old thesis copied and pasted from the Internet.

March

Zionist massacre in Gaza, responding to rocket launches into Israeli territory and US massacre in Iraq, 11 civilians being targeted with military equipment by the Americans. Wimming hearts and minds through shock and awe tactics.

In Moscow, Sergei Lavrov tried to push Hamas towards a political solution, reiterating the need to solve the crises in the Middle East through a peaceful, negotiated and political settlement. President Lukashenko was re-elected President of Belarus, with 82.6% of the vote and Viktor Yanukovich won the Parliamentary elections in Ukraine.

Slobodan Milosevic died mysteriously in The Hague after having been kidnapped and imprisoned illegally by NATO forces. In Chile, Michele Bachelet became this country’s first woman President.

April

Marcos Pontes, Brazilian cosmonaut, arrives at the ISS, aboard a Russian spacecraft.

In Hungary, the Socialist Party won the general election while in Italy, Berlusconi lost to Romano Prodi’s Centre-Left alliance, in the month when President Ahmadinejad announced that Iran had managed to enrich Uranium.

The crisis in Nepal began due to unnecessary force from the security forces

May

Girija Prasad Koirala was appointed the new PM in Nepal, ending the grave crisis and limiting the King’s autocratic powers.

Evo Morales nationalized the Bolivian gas sector.

The UN Commission against Torture told the USA that Guantanamo is a breach of international law. Torture, in the third millennium. In the USA, in the Khaled el-Masri case, a court in Alexandria, Virginia, decided to throw out the case because it could provoke a serious crisis in the USA’s international relations. The US authorities had been accused of kidnapping and torturing this citizen without any reason. Condoleezza Rice announced a 180-degree turn in US foreign policy, saying that there could be negotiations with Iran

In the referendo in Montenegro, 56% of the population voted for a split with Serbia

Alvaro Uribe was re-elected in Colombia after a campaign using the manipulation of fear.

June

Zionist massacre on Gaza beach (denied by Israel but confirmed by independent witnesses and spokespersons). 7 civilians massacred as they enjoyed a day in the sun.

Amid unrest in East Timor, President Xanana Gusmao asked for and received the resignation of the incompetent PM, Mari Alkatiri.

The murderous Israeli incursion into Gaza began after the kidnapping of Israeli soldier

Gilad Shalit and the continued launching of rockets into Israeli territory.

In Iraq, official statistics claimed that 6,025 civilians had been murdered since the beginning of the year.

In Cape Town, South African, the 16th World Economic Forum took place.

July

Israeli military helicopters attacked the Office of Palestinian PM, Ismail Haniyeh – an act of state terrorism. After various outrages, the E.U. advised Israel against the abusive use of force in Gaza. Days later, Israeli forces destroyed the building of the Palestinian Foreign Ministry, in Gaza.

The War in Lebanon began after the capture of two Israeli soldiers inside Lebanese territory (but not on Israel’s maps). Three other soldiers were killed in the incident and five more, before Israel launched a full-scale attack. 4 UN observers were murdered by Israeli armed forces after telephoning ten times warning that their post was coming under attack.

One year after Gleneagles, Bono stated that the international community was not living up to its promises to help developing countries. Fradique de Meneses was re-elected President of Sao Tome and Principe, the Angolan Government and FLEC, Cabinda Freedom Forces, signed a definitive peace deal.

From 15th to 17th was the G8 Summit in St. Petersburg, where the question of energy security, education and the fight against infectious diseases were discussed.

In Iraq, four US soldiers accused of murdering civilians said they had received orders from superiors to murder all military-age males.

On 31st, Fidel Castro temporarily handed power over to his brother, Raul, due to illness.

August

General John Abizaid (USA) referred to the situation in Iraq as a civil war. US soldiers tried for raping a 14-year-old and slaughtering her entire family to cover up evidence were tried.

In Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovich was nominated PM

After the ceasefire in the Lebanon, Amnesty International (AI) condemned Israel for committing war crimes by targeting civilian structures and for the immoral use of cluster bombs.

President Ahmadinejad of Iran challenged George Bush to a televised debate but the US President refused.

September

AI also condemned Hezbollah for targeting Israeli civilian targets.

In Hungary, protests began due to the Government having lied during the election campaign. In Thailand, PM Thaksin Shina Watra was ousted in a military coup.

In Transdnistria, the vast majority of the population voted in favour of integration into Russia and separation from Moldova.

October

The Georgian authorities committed an act of state terrorism and kidnapping, capturing four Russian army officers. In Russia, a new Left party was launched – Fair Russia, led by Sergey Mironov and encompassing Russia Life Party, Rodina, and the Russian Pensioners Party.

The DPR Korea successfully tested a nuclear device.

In Brazil, President Lula was re-elected with 61% of the vote.

John Hopkins, of Bloomberg School of Public Health, stated that 655.000 iraqis had died as a result of the invasion. In Afghanistan, NATO massacred 14 civilians in Kandahar in an air attack with precision weaponry. Bullseye!

November

Saddam Hussein (or the one they say is Saddam Hussein) was sentenced to death by hanging for signing 148 death warrants. George Bush signed 152 as Governor of Texas, however…

Daniel Ortega, who beat the Contras/Fascists supported by the USA 20 years ago, is back as the President of Nicaragua and Saddam Hussein won the US mid-terms (The Republicans lost their position of dominance in both Houses of Congress). Rumsfeld fell.

In Gaza, another Zionist massacre, this time a whole family of 14 persons. The philosophy seems to be, today a child, tomorrow a terrorist, so...

In a referendum in South Ossetia, 99 per cent of the population votes for separation from Georgia. Saakashvili’s regime must be popular! The Socialists won the Netherlands election and in Nepal, PM Prasad signed a peace agreement with Maoist leader Prachanda.

December

Felipe Calderon was elected President of Mexico.

In Africa, Marc Ravalomanana was well placed for re-election in Madagascar.

The Iraq Study Group described the situation in this country as “serious and deteriorating” and in his final speech as Secretary-General of the UNO, Kofi Annan criticised the Bush regime severely for human rights abuses and unilateralism.

Muhammad Yunos, Bangladeshi economist, won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in micro-credit and his stance that fighting terrorism begins with fighting poverty.

This is the path we must follow in the New Year. Time and again throughout 2006, the same names come up, involved in massacres, skulduggery, war crimes, human rights abuses and the like. Strange how those who used to complain about others seem to have roofs made of glass. Someone said 2,000 years ago that those who cast the first stone...

Let us remember this in 2007 and try to forge a more balanced and fair world, ruled by law and not the chimera and whim of a clique of corporative elitists.

Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY

PRAVDA.Ru

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