Opinion » Columnists
Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

New Year’s Message

As we pass from 2006 into 2007, it is fundamental that we take advantage of this victorious moment for the forces which defend well-being among the citizens of the world, who defend a welfare state which protects and gives opportunities to the oppressed and to continue giving our support to movements which in 2006 began to lay a solid foundation for a New World Order.

We entered the Third Millennium full of hope, illuminated and enchanted by the special moment and Christians or not, we all supported the Millennium Development Goals, to reduce endemic poverty by 2015.

What followed was a catastrophe, but fortunately a short-lived one. Firstly bin Laden, another monster created by Washington, then the President of the United States of America, in a puerile, knee-jerk reaction, sent the world half a step back into a period of Darkness: a few, but long, years of concentration camps, torture, depravity, slaughter of innocents, destruction of civilian structures with military equipment, breach of all the laws in the book, of the UN Charter, of the Geneva Conventions, and a unilateralist and egotistical policy with a total disrespect for the human condition, followed by Washington, which understood that saving its frontiers and fortunes from some imaginary foe gave it the right to fight illegal wars across the globe without any casus belli.

However, now more than ever, the year 2006 shows us clearly that these policies can never win and showed us peremptorily that for those who follow such policies, the only result for their evil practices is total, unqualified defeat and utter humiliation.

Latin America is no longer Washington’s back yard

Latin America followed a centre-left path in several elections, spelling an end to right-wing regimes. The great exception was in Colombia, where the fascist regime of Alvaro Uribe rules a country where 71 Trade Unions members have been murdered in just 11 months. Washington can no longer claim that Latin America is its back yard. Pinochet is dead, Operation Condor is dead. The times of fascism, in which pro-Washington regimes followed murderous policies which oppressed their peoples are dead. The resources of this continent belong solely and exclusively to its peoples, the peoples of Latin America, not to Washington.

Fidel Castro, Man of the Year

Fidel Castro leaves 2006 as Man of the Year, if not the Century, because his vision (while he fought alone, solitary and isolated at times and at others in extreme difficulty due to the cruel and inhumane blockade maintained by Washington, trying to suffocate the model) was right all along: now he can see, finally, that he is no longer alone, neither is he isolated, nor is he solitary because the peoples of the rest of Latin America affirm themselves as the guardians of their own destiny, they know what they want and expect their leaders to provide for their future, not Washington’s.

The world media begins to finally publicise the many humanitarian initiatives by Fidel Castro’s Cuba in developing nations, without Havana gaining a penny in return, and the Cuban model shines as an example of social development in many areas. Therefore Fidel Castro will know that not only has he been a success in his own country, but fundamentallty, has led Latin America by example to its freedom and has been the guardian of the Bolivarian flame for all these decades. Never again will Latin America come under the influence of imperialist powers, and let this be the legacy of Fidel Castro.

African solutions for African problems

Africa demonstated loud and clear this year that the African Union can solve the continent’s problems with the aid but not the intrusion of the international community. The rules of engagement of military contingent and sphere of operations in the Darfur conflict were highlighted in the partnership agreement with the UNO and together, they made the greatest electoral campaign in history in the DR Congo, where the election of Joesph Kabila was a great victory for those who follow the path of diplomacy and peace and provided a good lesson for resolving other crises. To note, the enormous crisis not only in Darfur but also in Chad and Central African Republic, but also the causes of these conflicts, namely bad practices during colonial times which favoured the interests of certain groups over others, creating imbalances. However, there is a process of dialogue between the Government in Cartum and the rebels, there is a restoration of order in large areas of Chad and the stage is set for social progress in CAR next year.

Iraq, the neo-com cemitery

It brings no pleasure to announce that in 2006, Iraq was the cemitery and final resting place for the neo-conservatives, neo-colonialists, neo-imperialists and all those who follow unilateralist policies abroad, because so much suffering was involved on all sides. Iraq proved clearly that a people cannot be beaten through the force of arms, it proved that the individual has powers over the state through intelligence and flexibility in powers of organization. US military might is reduced to a handful of military bases where its soldiers sit shaking in fear or enormous military convoys around the periphery of cities, because they are too scared to engage the people they came to “save”.

They never won the war and now they have lost the peace. The result is that with every day that passes, we see 180 degree turns in US eternal policy. First they insulted Iran and Syria, calling them terrorist states and saying they would never negotiate, now they are part of the picture. Bush stated that his team would stand until the end. Weeks later Rumsfeld crashed off the stage. They said they would stay in Iraq indefinitely, now they set a hasty exit date for 2007. They said the job was done, then they said it wasn’t, they said they had enough men to do the job, now they want to send how many more young American boys to their deaths? More American soldiers, greater resistance, more civilian casualties.

However, let us remember that the real victims of this horrendous mistake have been mainly the Iraqi civilians, who cannot leave their homes without fearing for their lives, the women have lost all the rights they gained under Saddam Hussein, the Curds fight to have the Sharia Law taken out of their constitution after it was put there by the pro-Washington puppet regime. Far from being a secular state, which it was under the Ba’athist Government, Iraq has slid under the control of political islamists, a far more radical state than ever before, where the people are more oppressed and where the extremists and terrorists can now for the first time operate at will. Let the year 2006 bear witness to the monumental failure by Washington to listen to those who predicted this outcome, including in these pages four years ago.

We hope that 2007 will be a year of more dialogue, more debate, more discussion, the fundamental precepts of democracy and less bullying, blackmail and belligerence. If the Middle East crisis is the most serious one at present, it would appear that the answers to a lot of questions reside there. If the Americans leave the area, then a balance of power can be restored because with no Americans, there is no call for a Resistance and anyway, what influence do the Americans exert in Iraq today? The chaos is caused by their being there, not the question of them leaving.

However unpopular it is to say it, and while few heads of state seem to have the courage to speak up, the question of Israel continuing to occupy lands that do not belong to it remains the focal point for action by extremists/terrorists/freedom-fighters/heroes/activists or militants, whatever label one cares to give them. Is the Middle East crisis that difficult to solve? Or is it the fact that while nobody dares to put pressure on Israel, there will never be a solution to this crisis? If Israel commits itself to the original frontier set out by the UNO in 1947, and makes a serious approach to settle with the Palestinians for the loss of their possessions, it ceases to violate international law and takes away therefore any cause behind any terrorist activity.

Wishing all our readers a Happy New Year, may it bring you all the very best of everything which gives you lasting and sincere happiness and comfort.

Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY

PRAVDA.Ru

Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.

Capitalism reduced Indonesian cities to infested carcases

Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.

Capitalism reduced Indonesian cities to infested carcases
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