Thursday, March 6, 2014

Fwd: SEP Newsletter: The David Miranda ruling and the attack on press freedom

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From: "Socialist Equality Party" <>
Date: Mar 2, 2014 4:55 PM
Subject: SEP Newsletter: The David Miranda ruling and the attack on press freedom
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World Socialist Web Site

Socialist Equality Party Newsletter

Below is a selection of articles appearing on the World Socialist Web Site last week. Six days a week, the WSWS publishes on all the major political, social and cultural developments. To sign up for the daily newsletter, click here.


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The David Miranda ruling and the attack on press freedom

Julie Hyland
26 February 2014

To appreciate in full the deeply reactionary import of the ruling that David Miranda was detained lawfully at Heathrow airport last August, one need only cite some of the arguments marshalled by the High Court in London.
The formulations employed by Lord Justice Laws, Mr. Justice Ouseley and Mr. Justice Openshaw in their judgement last Wednesday go far beyond this one incident--itself an unprecedented assault on journalistic freedom. They point to the outlawing of any notion of a "free press." On the spurious grounds of "anti-terrorism" and "national security", no one is safe from the reach of a British state determined to cover up its crimes and legitimise those yet to come.
Miranda is the partner of Glenn Greenwald, a former Guardian journalist and close associate of National Security Agency (NSA) whistle-blower Edward Snowden. He had been in Berlin with filmmaker Laura Poitras, who collaborated with Greenwald on his disclosures of mass spying by the NSA and Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). He was en route to Brazil when he was detained by the Metropolitan Police for nine hours and his laptop, phone and encrypted storage devices were seized under the Terrorism Act 2000. (Read more)
Further coverage on NSA spying can be found here.

Coup in Ukraine: A warning to the international working class

Peter Schwarz
25 February 2014

The recent events in Ukraine are a warning to the international working class. Under conditions in which workers lack both a perspective and a party to enable them to intervene independently in political events, the situation in Ukraine has developed in an extremely reactionary direction. What had been unthinkable in Europe since the fall of Hitler's Third Reich in 1945 has come to pass: while the US and Germany ruthlessly and recklessly destabilized the country, fascists became the decisive force on the ground.
The crisis was sparked in November of last year by President Viktor Yanukovych's refusal to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union. This was unacceptable for Washington and Berlin. As Theo Sommer put it in Die Zeit, the issue at stake was "Where should the EU's eastern boundary, and the western boundary of the Russian sphere of influence, be situated?"
The US and Germany systematically supported the pro-EU opposition, which organized the demonstrations against Yanukovych. In addition to Yulia Tymoshenko's Fatherland and Vitali Klitschko's UDAR--two right-wing parties with close ties to the German CDU--the opposition also included the fascist Svoboda party of Oleh Tyahnybok.
The fact that Svoboda employs neo-fascist symbols, agitates against foreigners, Jews, Hungarians and Poles, maintains close relations with the French National Front and is compared to the ultra-right Greek Golden Dawn and Hungarian Jobbik by the World Jewish Congress, has not prevented the foreign ministers of the United States and Germany from publicly embracing Tyahnybok. (Read more)
Further coverage on Ukraine can be found here.

The political lessons of the UAW debacle in Tennessee

Jerry White
27 February 2014

The defeat of the United Auto Workers in a union recognition vote at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee has provoked an outpouring of handwringing and despair from liberal and pseudo-left publications.
Over the last two weeks, the New York Times, the Nation, the American Prospect, In These Times, Labor Notes, Socialist Worker and other publications have characterized the 712-626 vote against recognizing the UAW as a defeat for the VW workers and for American labor more broadly.
According to their narrative, which echoes that of the union leadership, the UAW is a "progressive" organization whose loss is the result of antiunion Republicans playing upon the backwardness of southern workers and manipulating them to vote against their own interests.
This narrative is a reactionary fiction. (Read more)
Further coverage on auto worker issues can be found here.

US and Japanese troops train for war against China

Peter Symonds
28 February 2014

A prominent article in the New York Times last weekend left no doubt about US-Japanese preparations for war or the intended target. Entitled "In Japan's drill with the US, a message for Beijing", the article covered US Marines training Japan's newly-formed amphibious force in "how to invade and retake an island captured by hostile forces."
While the joint exercise, codenamed Iron Fist, is an annual event, Marine Lieutenant Colonel John O'Neal declared that the Japanese troops came this year with "a new sense of purpose." The 250-strong unit--up from just 25 soldiers in 2006--arrived with "their own "Humvees, gear and paraphernalia for retaking islands--or, in Marine parlance, 'amphibious assault with the intent to seize objectives inland'." O'Neal explained that the month-long exercise at Camp Pendleton in southern California was the "largest and most involved operation so far."
The joint exercise was dressed up as defensive in character--a response to what the Times termed the shared "alarm" in US and Japanese military circles "over China's flexing of military muscle." In a speech earlier this month, Captain James Fanell, director of naval intelligence for the US Pacific Fleet, accused the Chinese military of preparing for "a short, sharp war to destroy Japanese forces in the East China Sea" followed by the seizure of the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. (Read more)
Further coverage on US militarism can be found here.


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