International Solidarity News

Welcome, I am your host Julian Ichim and you are listening to The Daily GRRR! International Solidarity News on 100.3fm, CKMS in Waterloo, Ontario. Soundfm.ca on the web, today is Dec. 14th, 2014.

We are broadcasting from the centre of the Haldimand Tract, the occupied Grand River Territory of the Six Nations (Haudenosaunee).

The Daily GRRR! is a project of the Grand River Media Collective; and is supported by the Community Radio Fund of Canada and CKMS.

Today’s feature is John Finucane speaking at the JFTC2 Panel Discussion 2014

 

We will begin today with headlines:

The Daily GRRR! HEADLINES for Dec. 14th, 2014

1. Nine Colombian FARC Rebels Killed in Military Bombing

2. U.S. Senate Report on CIA Torture

3. Info Picket for Craigavon Two

4. Rejecting International Law and Palestinian Rights: The Peace Process Industry

1. Nine Colombian FARC Rebels Killed in Military Bombing Nine guerrilla fighters from the leftist group of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were killed on Monday in a military attack that included bombing, official sources reported.

The Colombian military attack against the rebels comes days after the peace negotiations were resumed in Havana, Cuba. They had been suspended by President Juan Manuel Santos after FARC guerrillas detained general Ruben Dario Alzate and two other persons accompanying him. This was one of the greatest crisis the peace talks have been through since they began November 2012.

Despite the resolution of the crisis and the restart of the peace process after the release of Alzate, the Military Forces killed nine guerrilla fighters during an operation backed by the Air Force and the Army in the southeastern department of Meta.

President Santos announced the news via his Twitter account, adding that four FARC members had been “captured” during the military operation.

Since the beginning of the peace talks, the government has systematically rejected the FARC’s proposal for a bilateral cease-fire, claiming the rebels would take advantage of the truce to regroup and reorganize, while the guerrilla leaders argue that the measure is inherent of a peace process.

A new cycle of the negotiations started on Friday, with the arrival of the fifth and last delegation of victims, composed of social leaders of Afro-descendant communities.

On Sunday, the Colombian government and the FARC also committed themselves to address the sexual aspect of the 50-years conflict they are attempting to put an end to in Cuba.

Six women specialists of gender issues arrived in the Cuban capital in order to provide recommendations to both parties that could then be included in the peace agreements, according to sources close to the negotiators quoted by Cuban press agency Prensa Latina.

Proposals from other feminist organizations should also be conveyed to the negotiations.

“We find crucial the adoption of mechanisms that could guarantee the full satisfaction of rights, as well as their major role in the achievement of peace and national reconciliation,” emphasized the FARC delegation on Monday.

On September 11, the negotiators of both parts set up a sub-commission of gender in a bid to include better issues related to sexual violence during the conflict, especially against women and the LGBT community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender).

This is the very first time in history that peace talks would include gender issues in the final agreements.

2. U.S. Senate Report on CIA TortureKey Points of the Senate Report on Torture:

The CIA's use of its enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.
The CIA's justification for the use of its enhanced interrogation techniques rested on inaccurate claims of their effectiveness.
The interrogations of CIA detainees were brutal and far worse than the CIA represented to policymakers and others.
The conditions of confinement for CIA detainees were harsher than the CIA had represented to policymakers and others.
The CIA repeatedly provided inaccurate information to the Department of Justice impeding a proper legal analysis of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program.
The CIA has actively avoided or impeded congressional oversight of the program.
The CIA impeded effective White House oversight and decision-making.
The CIA's operation and management of the program complicated, and in some cases impeded, the national security missions of other Executive Branch agencies.
The CIA impeded oversight by the CIA's Office of Inspector General.
The CIA coordinated the release of classified information to the media, including inaccurate information concerning the effectiveness of the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques.
The CIA was unprepared as it began operating its Detention and Interrogation Program more than six months after being granted detention authorities.
He CIA's management and operation of its Detention and Interrogation Program was deeply flawed throughout the program's duration, particularly so in 2002 and early 2003.
Two contract psychologists devised the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques and played a central role in the operation, assessment, and management of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program. By 2005, the CIA had overwhelmingly outsourced operations related to the program.
CIA detainees were subjected to coercive interrogation techniques that had not been approved by the Department of Justice or had not been authorized by CIA Headquarters.
The CIA did not conduct a comprehensive or accurate accounting of the number of individuals it detained, and held individuals who did not meet the legal standard for detention. The CIA's claims about the number of detainees held and subjected to its enhanced interrogation.
The CIA failed to adequately evaluate the effectiveness of its enhanced interrogation techniques.
The CIA rarely reprimanded or held personnel accountable for serious and significant violations, inappropriate activities, and systemic and individual management failures.
The CIA marginalized and ignored numerous internal critiques, criticisms, and objections concerning the operation and management of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program.
The CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program was inherently unsustainable and had effectively ended by 2006 due to unauthorized press disclosures, reduced cooperation from other nations, and legal and oversight concerns.
The CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program damaged the United States' standign in the world, and resulted in other significant monetary and non-monetary costs.

3. Info Picket for Craigavon Two Join us to take a stand and demand justice for two people who currently jailed for the simple crime of being Irish Republicans.We will be handing out flyers and information about the case to raise awareness and demand justice for the Craigavon Two. Saturday at 11 at Kitchener Farmers Market

4. Rejecting International Law and Palestinian Rights: The Peace Process IndustryIt’s now 21 years since Oslo I Accord and 23 years since the Madrid Conference. What’s commonly referred to as ‘the peace process’ between the state of Israel and the Palestinians has been underway for quite a while. While the media in the EU and the US tends to lament, or sometimes joke about, the apparently unfortunate fact that this “conflict” has not been formally resolved, it is perhaps worthwhile to recall what the Israeli-PA diplomatic process is about - and what it is not about.

Although virtually all of the media pundits and politicians praised the Oslo process since the very beginning, it is probable that very few of them had read the agreement. What is more important than the fact that the content of Oslo was rarely cited in detail, however, is that the entire diplomatic endeavor was practically never judged in terms of international law.

The framing for the Western media discourse was not what each party was entitled to in terms of the law. Instead, the media chose to assume a framing which was not only detached from the legal rights and obligations of both parties but devoid of any meaningful political or legal context whatsoever.

If nothing else, the point of departure was at least simple: Israel will continue to reject international law; Israel proposes a preposterous deal for the co-opted Palestinian leadership and both regimes begin to pursue the arrangements without taking the public opinion of the Palestinians into account.

After the signing of Oslo, while the Western reaction was a combination of euphoria and Nobel Peace Prizes, the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories was not so promising. Israel had just subdued a Palestinian uprising with vicious violence and repression. And complete impunity and Western complicity.

Let us take a look at one of the most prominent forms of Israel’s dispossession of the Palestinians in the occupied territories: the settlement infrastructure. B'Tselem - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, not known for being a politically radical organization, could not mince words when describing Israeli actions in the territories:

"Israel has created in the Occupied Territories a regime of separation based on discrimination, applying two separate systems of law in the same area and basing the rights of individuals on their nationality. This regime is the only one of its kind in the world, and is reminiscent of distasteful regimes from the past, such as the Apartheid regime in South Africa.

Under this regime, Israel has stolen hundreds of thousands of dunam of land from the Palestinians. Israel has used this land to establish dozens of settlements in the West Bank and to populate them with hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens. Israel prohibits the Palestinians as a group from entering and using these lands, and uses the settlements to justify numerous violations of the Palestinians' human rights, such as the right to housing, to earn a livelihood, and the right to freedom of movement. The drastic change that Israel has made in the map of the West Bank prevents any real possibility for the establishment of an independent, viable Palestinian state as part of the Palestinians' right to self-determination."

Furthermore, in The Israeli Settlements from the Perspective of International Humanitarian Law, the Palestinian human rights organization Al Haq emphasizes that

"The Israeli settlements in the occupied territories and the accompanying practices fall according to the rules and regulations of International Humanitarian Law within the list of practices considered as war crimes. In addition, settlement practices, pursuant to the rules and regulations of International Law, fall within the practices described as international crimes because of the clear violations to various international principles, specifically the right of nations to self-determination and basic human rights, in addition to the clear violation of the principles and fundamentals of the United Nations Charter."

Notwithstanding the blatant criminality of Israel’s settlement infrastructure, Israel went its merry way with expanding the settlement project after the beginning of Oslo. Indeed, Israel has more than doubled the settler population within the territories since Oslo. What merits emphasis, however, is that this settlement expansion did not violate the Oslo peace process.

Besides the Israeli settlement enterprise, what did Oslo say about the right of return of Palestinian refugees? Conveniently dubbing the plight of the Palestinian refugees one of the “final status issues” to be resolved in the future, nowhere in the Oslo agreement does Israel depart from its rejection of this right. But consider what the world’s most prestigious human rights organizations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have to say on the matter.

In 2000, Human Rights Watch, "called on Israeli and Palestinian leaders engaged in final-status negotiations to uphold the right of return for Palestinian refugees as part of a comprehensive solution to the Palestinian refugee problem."

The following year, in 2001, Amnesty International asserted, " calls for the recognition of the right of those who are forcibly exiled to return to their country. The right to return to one’s own country is based in international law and is the most obvious way to redress the situation of those who are in exile."

In short, what is still referred to as “the peace process” purposefully does not call for a withdrawal of settlers from the occupied territories nor that Israel should enforce the right of return of Palestinian refugees. Malcolm X once put forth that “You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” But "the peace process" in Israel-Palestine was probably not named after that quote.

You are listening to the International Solidarity News edition of The Daily GRRR! Today is Dec. 14th 2014 and my name is Julian Ichim and we are now moving into the feature portion of our broadcast.

Feature: John Finucane speaking at the JFTC2 Panel Discussion 2014

This was the The Daily GRRR! for Dec. 17th 2014. We are on weekdays from 9-10am on 100.3fm CKMS in Waterloo region, and http://soundfm.ca on the web.

Check out all our past shows and other Grand River Media Collective work on our webpage http://grandrivermc.ca

The Daily GRRR! is supported by the Community Radio Fund of Canada and CKMS.

Stay tuned in for more Grand River Radical radio after we close the podcast with a song, here is Band with "Song".

Thanks for Listening.

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