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~ Gesticht àls Gesticht ter Voorkoming v/d Maatschappelijke Randdebiliteit ~

~ HÉT "progressief" Orgaan Der "Hangmatsocialisten" ~
Gesticht àls Gesticht ter Voorkoming v/d Maatschappelijke & Politieke Randdebiliteit

01-08-2010
Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Wie is er fout, de burgemeesters of de "zigeuners"?????
Klik op de afbeelding om de link te volgen We vragen ons nu toch wel stilaan af hoe lang dat spelletje “zigeunerpesten” nog zal duren. Je kan moeilijk iedereen verplichten zich te settelen in een “bel-étageke”, laat staan een replicafermette of -pastoorswoning of een sociaal appartement want van dat laatste zijn er al veel te weinig...Al sinds de Middeleeuwen trekken hier zigeuners door het land en nu vinden sommige burgemeesters het nodig om voor de pers te verklaren dat eventueel dan maar het leger moet worden ingezet en blablaba.... Met klapstoeltjes komt Janneke en Mieke zich vergapen aan hun illegale standplaatsen. Illegaal, doodgewoon omdat er bijna geen plaatsen zijn waar deze mensen een tijdje kunnen verblijven. Niemand wil ze in zijn gemeente een plaats geven. In Dour waar er dan toch tenminste wat tijd wordt gegeven om te verblijven, op voorwaarde de eerste twee jaar niet meer terug te komen spreekt de burgemeester over de criminaliteitspiek in zijn gemeente tijdens de vorige doortocht. Werden er daders opgepakt toen? Bijlange niet...wij dachten dat iedereen onschuldig was tot het tegendeel wordt bewezen...behalve voor zigeuners.
Nu is er weer een groep opgedoken in De Pinte die daar werd verjaagd en naar Zottegem moest uitwijken waar ze 1 nacht mogen blijven maar mits grondige controle en telling van de keukens (?????) en met de vraag met welke voertuigen ze zijn gekomen....tja, te voet zijn ze niet gekomen natuurlijk...

http://www.standaard.be/artikel/detail.aspx?artikelid=DMF20100801_075

DE PINTE - Een deel van de woonwagenbewoners die zondagnamiddag uit Pecq vertrokken, zijn zondagavond aan de Bevegemse Vijvers in Zottegem neergestreken.
De groep stond eerder op de middag in De Pinte, maar kreeg er van de burgemeester de vraag om voor 21 uur te vertrekken.
De groep zigeuners aan het jeugdverblijfscentrum Moerkensheide in De Pinte vertrok kort nadat de politie met hen onderhandelde. De groep, met een 30-tal caravans, streek even later neer aan de Bevegemse Vijvers in Zottegem. Burgemeester Herman De Loor (SP.A) kwam ter plaatse en gaf de groep toelating om de nacht op de parking door te brengen.
'Maandag moet de lokale politie uitzoeken wie er precies staat en met welk soort voertuigen ze gekomen zijn', zegt de Zottegemse burgemeester.
'Ons gemeentelijk reglement bepaalt dat er op die plaats vijftien caravans mogen staan. Een telling van het aantal keukens zal onder meer bepalen of dat er teveel zijn of niet'. Maandagmiddag, na een evaluatie met de lokale politie, zal de burgemeester beslissen of en hoe lang de zigeuners mogen blijven.


We willen er aan herinneren dat er sinds 2005 een omzendbrief bestaat van Marino Keulen over het aanleggen van woonwagenterreinen...de zogenaamde “omzendbrief pleisterplaatsen”...wel hoe ver staat het met de uitvoering van deze omzendbrief, waarde burgemeesters???? Wie gaat er eigenlijk in de fout, de zogenaamde zigeuners of de onwillige burgemeesters???

Je krijgt van ons het linkje naar de omzendbrief gratis voor niks cadeau!


http://www.vmc.be/uploadedFiles/VMC/Thema/Woonwagenterreinen/OMZENDBRIEF%20PLEISTERPLAATSEN%20juni%202005.pdf


en er is meer: sinds 1998 blijkt er al een brochure te bestaan over de zelfde problematiek maar we slagen er maar niet in de hand te leggen op dit document want alle linkjes geven enkel een foutmelding....maar we zoeken verder.

01-08-2010 om 00:00 geschreven door Vorser-Raadgever  

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Categorie:Een uitgesproken "Grr#!!♪♫@||#♫♪☻"-Kitokojungle-Opinie !!
28-07-2010
Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.De Noord-Koreaanse torpedo ...een verhaal helaas met echte slachtoffers
Klik op de afbeelding om de link te volgen Onlangs was er nogal wat heisa over het tot zinken brengen van een Zuid-Koreaans oorlogsschip zogezegd door een torpedo afgevuurd door  een Noord-Koreaanse onderzeeër. Sindsdien zijn er daar alle dagen militaire oefeningen gehouden door beide kampen en kwam er nogal wat schoon volk de grens bezoeken...
Wij vonden een raar verhaal op de site van COUNTERPUNCH

The Sinking of the Cheonan and Its Political Uses

By GREGORY ELICH

Much has been written about the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan, and the evidence is widely regarded as clearly pointing to North Korean culpability. In the Western press, the case has generally been presented as solid and irrefutable. The tragedy is seen as one more example of North Korean perfidy.  Yet, doubts persist.

Following the sinking of the corvette Cheonan on March 26, the government of South Korea established the Joint Military-Civilian Investigation Group (JIG) to investigate and determine the cause of the sinking. Two months later, on May 20, the group completed its report and issued a press release outlining its conclusions. In its press release, the JIG firmly announced, "The evidence points overwhelmingly to the conclusion that the torpedo was fired by a North Korean submarine. There is no other plausible explanation."   

The JIG concluded that the Cheonan was sunk by a "shockwave and bubble effect" from an explosion set off by a homing torpedo, which caused "significant upward bending" of the center keel. A bubble jet effect is created when an explosion takes place underwater and creates a dramatic change in pressure, resulting in the formation of a strong column of water that strikes its target with great power. In addition to the upward bending of the stern and bow sections at the point of severance, the JIG found "water pressure and bubble effects" on the bottom of the hull, and the ship's wires had been cut with no sign of heat.

Furthermore, survivors reported "that they heard a near-simultaneous explosion once or twice," water splashed on the face of a sailor at the port-side, and a sentry  stationed on the shore observed a "pillar of white flash" rising about 100 meters for two to three seconds. No fragmentation or burn injuries were found on the bodies of the sailors who were killed, and seismic waves were detected at eleven stations. (1)

All of this evidence is consistent with the JIG's conclusion that a shockwave and bubble jet effect from a exploding torpedo was the cause of Cheonan's sinking. (2) As further damning evidence, components of a torpedo were brought up by a two fishing trawlers in the proximity of the site of the sinking. The components appeared to match that of a diagram the South Korean military had in its possession of the North Korean CHT-02D torpedo. Inside the propulsion system of the torpedo were written with blue magic marker ink in Hangul characters "1 beon" (number 1 ). This was similar to a North Korean training torpedo that the South Korean Navy had obtained seven years before, in which there was written "4 ho" (unit 4). According to one expert on North Korea, "North Korea does not frequently use the term beon." (3) However, it cannot be said that infrequent usage rules out the possibility.

The evidence appeared inarguable, yet from the first it was apparent that there was a troubling lack of transparency in the JIG's approach, typified by the secrecy surrounding the investigation. The report itself remains concealed, and the public is expected to accept on faith that the JIG's conclusions and brief explanations are backed by the evidence.

Various alternative causes of the sinking were briefly addressed by the South Korean Ministry of Defense. (4) The possibility of a floating contact mine was rightly dismissed due to the lack of signs of a contact explosion. However, most modern non-contact mines rely on creating a shockwave and bubble jet effect to sink ships. In general, the Ministry of Defense considers the possibility of a sea mine having caused the explosion as "unlikely," given the maritime conditions and fast currents in the shallow waters around Baengnyeong Island where the Cheonan sank. Moored mines are rarely used in deeper waters, where currents and swells are stronger than they are closer to shore. According to Retired Rear Admiral Chris Bennet of the South African Navy, "Their major use is therefore limited almost exclusively to coastal or territorial waters." (5) In other words, it is in areas such as around Baengnyeong Island where moored mines are best suited. But the South Korean Navy's "detailed search" of the seabed failed to locate the anchor that a moored mine would have needed. No details were given to indicate the extent of the search beyond that one phrase.

Bottom mines rest on the seabed and are ideally suited for deployment in shallow waters, but the JIG dismissed the possibility of such a mine striking the Cheonan because it "cannot split a ship when detonated at a depth of 47 meters." That was the depth of water at the location where the torpedo components were retrieved. However, when it sank, the Cheonan had been sailing in waters that were no deeper than 30 to 40 meters. (6) According to the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law, "bottom mines tend to work in relatively shallow water (less than 164 feet)."  That translates into just under 50 meters, well within the range necessary to have struck the Cheonan. (7) However, the JIG calculates the distance of the explosion as just three meters from the Cheonan's gas turbine engine. (8) If the JIG's calculation of the explosion distance is correct, then that would preclude the possibility of a bottom mine.

There is another type of mine, one which the JIG did not address in its summary of findings. That is the rising mine, which is similar to a bottom mine in that it sits on the seabed. Where it differs is that it contains an acoustic sensor, and when a ship approaches, the mine is programmed to float upwards and explode at a set distance beneath the hull. In essence, the result would be the same as a non-contact torpedo, creating a bubble jet effect. In shallow water, such mines tend not to be moored, hence there would be no anchor. (9) There is also the torpedo mine, which when detecting an approaching ship, opens up and fires a torpedo at its target. (10) This possibility, too, was not mentioned in the JIG's summary.

The centerpiece of the case against North Korea is without doubt the torpedo fragments retrieved by trawlers. At the JIG press conference announcing the results of its investigation, a diagram said to be that of the CHT-02D was displayed. It was not until over one month later, after critics had pointed to discrepancies between the diagram and the torpedo fragments, that the JIG admitted that it had shown a diagram of the wrong torpedo, the PT-97W. This was said to have been caused by a "mix-up by a staff member while preparing for the presentation." (11) That such a mistake could be made is indicative of a careless attitude concerning evidence.

This was not the only point of confusion. One day before the JIG's final results were announced, a Korean government official was quoted as saying that investigators had determined that North Korea sank the Cheonan with a Chinese-made torpedo, as Chinese characters were written on the torpedo fragments collected from the site. It was said that the torpedo was thought to be a YU-3G, the type North Korea had imported from China more than twenty years ago. (12) One day later, nothing more was said of the matter, and now it was claimed that the torpedo fragments originated from a North Korean-built CHT-02D, with a Korean word written in blue ink. It is true that at one time Hanja (Chinese) characters were incorporated into general usage in Korea, but that practice has long since passed, and not since 1949 have they been used in North Korea. (13) Because the JIG's report remains shrouded in secrecy, it is impossible to know whether or not Chinese characters were truly found on torpedo fragments. If so, that would be at variance with a report that U.S. intelligence had traced the propulsion system on the found torpedo to its manufacture two years ago at a North Korean factory. (14)

It should also be mentioned that the information South Korea had on the CHT-02D was obtained from an export catalogue, as the weapon is among those that North Korea sells abroad. In other words, the torpedo apparently has buyers, and therefore the source of manufacture does not automatically correspond to ownership. So, was the torpedo a Chinese-made YU-3G or a North Korean-made CHT-02D? Or perhaps something else altogether? It is a CHT-02D, the JIG now asserts, without addressing the discrepancy in its claims.

Traces of RDX, a high explosive chemical commonly used in torpedoes and mines, were found on the Choenan's smokestack, stern, and in sand taken from the seabed. South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-young dismissed speculation that the RDX was residue from naval drills that had been conducted in the past in the area. Although one South Korean government source claimed that RDX is not used in mines, this was contradicted by the Defense Minister (15). Indeed, RDX has been used in naval mines since the Second World War. (16)

While the presence of RDX would be consistent with a torpedo attack, it cannot on its own be considered as proof of that. Consider that when Canadian authorities intercepted the Princess Easwary as it was transporting illegal immigrants, swabs taken from the ship showed traces of RDX. No torpedo or mine had struck the Princess Easwary. Its past history of gun-running meant that the mere presence of explosives had been enough to leave a residue. (17) The Cheonan, as a military vessel, routinely carried explosives and engaged in naval exercises. Among the Cheonan's armaments were six Mark 46 torpedoes, two Otobreda 76 mm guns, two 40 mm Bofors guns, and twelve Mark 9 depth charges. (18) Both torpedoes and depth charges utilize RDX, and the bursting charge of projectiles fired by Bofors contain RDX. (19) Certainly, explosions from test-fired depth charges would have spread RDX around rather liberally.

It is a striking anomaly that none of the 58 surviving sailors of the Cheonan witnessed a rising pillar of water, without which it is difficult to imagine that a bubble jet effect explosion could have taken place. (20) Perhaps all of those on deck perished during the incident. That might account for this oddity, although it does seem unlikely, given that most of the casualties were said to be of those who were below deck. There is, of course, the shore-based observer who reported seeing a pillar of water, but one would feel more comfortable with his veracity were it backed by other witnesses. Indeed, the Korean organization People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy reports that survivors who spoke at the JIG press conference said they saw no pillar of water. Those who spoke included port-side lookouts, who would have been hard-pressed to miss such a significant sight. (21)

The recovery of torpedo fragments in the vicinity of Cheonan's sinking appears persuasive. It is a strong point in support of the South Korean government's argument. Yet, it is not such an unusual event for torpedoes and components of torpedoes to be found underwater. All sorts of things get dumped at sea, including, it seems, dangerous weaponry. A live torpedo was inadvertently pulled up in a fishing net more than two years ago off the British coast, as was one off the coast of Rhode Island in 1985. (22) In a survey covering the period of March 2002 through February 2003, the British Royal Navy reported that "at least 15 items of explosives ordinance or their components had been recovered in the nets of fishing vessels operating in coastal waters around the British Isles." Among the ordinance recovered were "torpedo components." It was also noted that some items had been "dispersed from their original dumping or loss positions by water movements." Oceanographic factors "can lead to quite substantial movements of large munitions." In the 15-year period ending in 2000, German fisherman reported to officials in Lower Saxony having found a total of more than 11 tons of munitions, while Dutch fisherman net an average of ten explosives per year. (23) The torpedo recovered by South Korea may have been associated with the sinking of Cheonan, but it could also have been dumped at sea, or test fired during military exercises at some point in the past.

It should also be noted that the Cheonan was sunk in disputed waters. After the Korean War, the U.S. unilaterally drew the Yellow Sea border between the two Koreas with a line that curved sharply northward to North Korea's disadvantage, rather than in a straight line, as existed with the East Sea border and which would have been common practice. (24) The area has been the site of periodic naval clashes between the two Koreas, and it is not unusual for North Korean vessels to cross over this line that it does not recognize.

The JIG did conduct a simulation to demonstrate how a bubble jet effect would have impacted a ship's hull. it is an indication of the predetermined approach the JIG adopted that the simulation was not completed until after its report was finished and results were announced. Although a bubble jet effect is capable of severing a ship in two, the JIG's simulation failed to do more than deform and cause a small break in the hull. (25)

What tied the recovered torpedo fragments to the sinking of the Cheonan was not only its proximity to the site of the sinking, but also a chemical analysis of adhered substances on both the torpedo and the Cheonan's hull that were shown to be identical. (26) Two Korean-American physicists, Seung-Hun Lee and J.J Suh, managed to obtain a copy of one section of the JIG's secret report, in which it was stated that the compounds were a result of an explosion. These compounds were indeed the same on both the torpedo and the ship, the physicists concluded, but the data were not consistent with the conclusion that they had formed during an explosion. The samples, they asserted, "have nothing to do with any explosion, but are most likely aluminum that has rusted after exposure to moisture or water for a long time." Korean-Canadian geologist Panseok Yang determined that the spectroscopic analysis of the compounds reported by the JIG closely matched that of gibbsite, a mineral formed under intense weathering conditions, and often found in clay deposits. (27)

When a South Korean congresswoman asked the JIG to release its samples, only two out of the three were made available. The JIG claimed that they had used up all of the third sample, yet the spectroscopic and X-ray analyses done are non-destructive. Seung-Hun Lee and Panseok Yang observed that either the JIG had completely mishandled the samples or they were intentionally hiding them. (28)

The South Korean Ministry of Defense rejected their conclusions, pointing out that the physicists' laboratory tests did not fully replicate conditions during an explosion, and were thus invalid. (29) The physicists argued that their results were "consistent with previous scientific studies." In their experiments they had scaled down both the weight of the explosive and the weight of the water in a metal container to retain the proportion equivalent to that of a torpedo. Full access to the JIG's data and objective analysis would do much bring us closer to the truth, whichever direction it leads, but Seung-Hun Lee finds that the JIG's report contains "several serious self-contradicting aspects and their interpretations have serious flaws, to say the least." (30)

The propulsion unit of the torpedo was severely corroded, an apparent result of the coat of paint having been burnt away by the heat of the explosion. It seems odd that the "number 1" written in Korean by a blue magic marker would survive intact. The boiling point for ink is less than half that of paint, so it would be more vulnerable to loss. (31) One cannot be sure that the handwriting was not added later by South Korean military officials for enhanced dramatic effect when presenting their evidence.

In the opinion of Seung-Hun Lee, "The government is lying when they said this was found underwater. I think this is something that was pulled out of a warehouse of old materials to show to the press." (32)

It seems that the JIG's investigation was something of a rush job, intended to be completed in time to give a boost to the South Korean ruling party in local elections. Among the members of the JIG were a small number of representatives from the opposition Democratic Party, one of whom, Shin Sang-cheol, felt disappointed that members of the team were not given  briefing materials or basic information such as the navigation course record and other data. What struck  Shin was that the investigation began with the premise that there had been a torpedo attack, and during his time on the team no effort was made to examine other possibilities. (33)

With the South Korean military's mind made up before it began, little effort needed to be wasted on analysis. According to one anonymous South Korean military source, "If you leave out the time spent moving the torpedo, removing water and dust, and writing a report, the whole examination [of the torpedo components] only lasted about three days. The government has invited distrust by being excessively greedy." In that span of time, the JIG was not able to even determine how long the torpedo had been corroding underwater. (34)

Shin Sang-cheol was quickly booted out of the JIG for not singing the same tune as the military authorities. With years of experience as a ship navigator and as a shipbuilding inspector at various Korean shipyards, he was not entirely without expertise. He sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in which he included maritime maps of the waters around Baengnyeong Island. These, he pointed out, are marked by shallow waters and rock fields. It was his contention that the Cheonan had run aground, backed out, and then collided with some object. Among the indications Shin cited as evidence were deep scratches on the hull and propeller blades bent forward; that is, toward the direction of the point where the ship split in two, rather than away from it. Perhaps not surprisingly, Shin is being sued for libel by the South Korean military. (35)

Shin's theory, however, does not seem particularly more convincing than that of the South Korean military. The JIG ruled out the possibility of running aground as the ship's sonar remained undamaged. Shin counters, correctly, that a hull can run aground at one point while another is unaffected. But it could be that the ship's propellers were damaged when the stern hit bottom after the Cheonan split in two. Or indeed, the damage to them may have resulted from some previous incident. It is far from certain that Shin's theory accounts for what actually happened to the Cheonan. The JIG's summary points out that there are no signs of collision on the Cheonan, and the hull damage does appear more consistent with that of an external explosion than of a collision. But the possibility of a collision did merit consideration. What is perplexing is that none of the various explanations that have been put forward quite seem to fit the totality of evidence.

One's already low level of confidence in the South Korean military's sincerity was undermined when it was revealed that it had deliberately fudged initial reports on the sinking of the Cheonan. The Naval Operations Command reported that the sinking occurred at 9:15 PM (which was later corrected to 9:22 PM) and that there was the sound of an explosion. The Joint Chiefs, however, altered the time to 9:45 PM and omitted mention of an explosion in order to cover up their slow responsiveness. Then the Ministry of Defense botched the release of thermal observation device recordings by using those from thirteen minutes after the sinking, while ignoring recordings taken from just three minutes afterwards. It was also eventually revealed that the on-duty Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was drunk that night, and only arrived at command control headquarters at 10:42 PM, where he managed to stay awake at a meeting for ten minutes before falling asleep. (36)

That high-ranking military officers would so causally lie and distort facts during a moment of crisis does not encourage confidence in their reliability to objectively analyze data and come to a considered conclusion in the investigation into the sinking of the Cheonan. Certainly not when political pressure to reach a predetermined conclusion would have been so intense. Interestingly, the investigators who probed into the military's mishandling of its initial response to the sinking of the Cheonan revealed only a portion of the problems they had found. Information which they considered militarily sensitive was excluded. (37) That would seem to imply that additional distortions or misrepresentations had taken place.

The South Korean military believes that it was a North Korean Yono (Salmon) class midget submarine that fired a torpedo at Cheonan. Of limited range, midget submarines must be ferried and launched by larger submarines. They can operate in shallow waters, unlike their larger counterparts. Even so, the waters around the sinking were too shallow even for a midget submarine, so it is thought that it had to have been operating from much farther away, in deeper waters. South Korea did track the departure of a Yono-class submarine and its mother ship from a North Korean port days before the sinking of Cheonan, as well as their return to base days after the incident. For the JIG, that constituted direct evidence of North Korean responsibility, although logically speaking, this is not in fact direct causal proof any more than a man would be proven guilty of murder simply because he was away from his  home at the moment the murder took place. The most that could be said of the submarine tracking is that it is suggestive of a possible connection.

Oddly, the Cheonan's sonar failed to detect anything unusual, but a South Korean military source pointed out that the ship's sonar "is an old model with a limited range, so there's a strong possibility that it failed to detect the torpedo which was launched from far away." (38) That may be true, but one must add that sooner or later a torpedo fired from long-range distance would approach closely enough to be detected. Kim Jong-dae, editor-in-chief of D&D, a defense journal, observes, "A submarine is supposed to be difficult to detect militarily, but most torpedoes can be detected. It is doubtful they would have been completely unable to detect the launch." (39)

No one would call the JIG's investigation a model of transparency.  It was led by South Korea, who chose the nations that would participate: the U.S., Great Britain, Australia and Sweden. On the Multinational Combined Intelligence Task Force, Canada replaced Sweden. Aside from Sweden, what all of these nations share is a uniformly hostile attitude towards North Korea. Sweden, according to CBS News, was "a reluctant partner in blaming the North Koreans." (40)

Unquestionably, the South Korean government is sincere in its belief that a North Korean submarine fired a torpedo at the Cheonan. But in one sense that is the problem. So convinced was the JIG, that the team had a set of blinders on during the investigation, so that only one outcome was possible. And nothing would seem amiss if, whether knowingly or blindly, evidence was fudged or ignored to strengthen that case, as that would not change the overall facts as the team perceived it.

The report itself remains secret, and all requests for it to be made public have been rejected. A copy did go to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who pronounced the evidence against North Korea "overwhelming." If the evidence is truly so convincing, it would only help South Korea's case for it to be made publicly known. Or could it be the case that the evidence falls short of Clinton's assessment? South Korean legislators have not seen the report, nor have they been given access to even partial information of relevance. Assemblyman Choi Moon-soon of the opposition Democratic Party comments, "We asked for very basic information - interviews with surviving sailors, communication records, the reason the ship was out there." But no information was forthcoming from the government. (41)

North Korea vehemently denies the accusations being made against it. As the accused, North Korea is an interested party. It feels it has the right to see the evidence supporting the charges. North Korea asked on two occasions to send its own inspection team to operate under the joint control of both South and North Korea in order to conduct an investigation, but its requests were turned down by the South Korean government. North Korea sent a similar suggestion to the United Nations, only to be rebuffed by the United States, who indicated that the case against North Korea was already proven. Instead, the U.S. pushed hard for the strongest language in a UN Security Council statement, and attempted to browbeat China into going along. China, though, held firm in the interests of peace, ensuring that a more moderate UN statement resulted. With the U.S. and South Korea committed to taking a hard line, even North Korea's proposal to reopen talks on denuclearization was snubbed.

China, which has received a modicum of information from South Korea, remains unconvinced. "I have to say the majority of Chinese policymakers and academics feel that the Cheonan report does not hold water," remarks international studies scholar Zhu Feng. (42)

In order to bolster its case, South Korea agreed to allow a team of Russian naval military experts to visit and analyze the evidence. For the first time, there would be an objective assessment of evidence. There was good cooperation during the visit, and then the Russians returned home where they spent several weeks in analyzing the data. Russia, however, was in a delicate position when it came to publicizing its determinations. Openly backing Seoul would only encourage attempts by the U.S. to ratchet up tensions in the region, whereas dissenting from the JIG's conclusion could strain relations with South Korea, an important trading partner. So it was not surprising when it was announced that Russia would not publicize its own report.

There have been various leaks and comments made to the media which gave a fair indication of the Russian team's evaluation of the evidence, clearly regarded as inconclusive. Russia supplied its report to the U.S. and China, but not to the South Koreans, apparently in a bid to avoid antagonizing them. But it did not take long for South Korea to be apprised of the results, no doubt by the U.S. Whereupon the Russian ambassador was called to the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and given a heated reception.

According to a South Korean diplomatic source, "The Russian investigation team's primary interest was in whether North Korea, which had been unable to produce its own torpedoes until 1995, suddenly was able to attack the Cheonan with a state-of-the-art bubble jet torpedo." It has been pointed out that this technology is possessed only by a small number of countries, and the weapon has been successfully used only in test firings on stationary targets. (43)

If a North Korean source speaking on condition of anonymity in Hanoi is to be believed, Russia informed North Korean officials that it did not trust the results of the JIG investigation. "The Russian delegation said if the truth is revealed, then South Korea and the United States could be caught in an awkward position," an apparent reference to the manipulation of evidence. (44)

Yet there was still much that the Russian team was unable to determine. It sent requests for further information, but so far South Korea has failed to respond. "We still have some questions regarding the results of this work to which we have not received clear answers," Naval Commander Vladimir Vysotsky said. Whether or not answers would be supplied, he added, "doesn't depend on us." (45)

In an explosive recent development, the South Korean newspaper Hankyoreh obtained a copy of a Russian documented summarizing their investigators' findings. The Russians agreed with the JIG that the Cheonan sank as a result of a non-contact external explosion. Commenting on the propeller blades that were bent forward, the Russians noted that remnants of a fishing net were tangled around the right screw axle. They posited that while the Cheonan was sailing close to shore the ship touched bottom, damaging the propellers, and became entangled in a fishing net. As a result of the net and damage, the Cheonan "must have experienced restrictions in its speed and maneuvers." No definitive determination could be made as to the cause of the explosion, but the Russians felt that the most likely explanation was that as the Cheonan struggled to maneuver to deeper waters, it struck a non-contact sea mine. "The area of the ship's accident is at risk of ocean mines, which is indirectly proven by the fact that the docking locations and voyage paths are restricted to the west seacoast of the Korean Peninsula." (46)

As for the recovered torpedo components, the Russian investigators reported, "It may be possible that the presented torpedo part was made in North Korea, but the ink mark is inconsistent with the normal standards of marking (the locations and the method of the mark). Visual examination of the torpedo part indicates that the torpedo had been in the water for more than six months." In other words, long before the Cheonan sank. "We do not conclude that this particular torpedo was launched to and impacted on the Cheonan ship." (47)

The South Korean Ministry of Defense dismissed the possibility of sea mines being present around Baengnyeong Island, saying that it had disabled all of the mines that it had laid in the area. A retired South Korean admiral, however, testified that sea mines were present, and that if the sheath of the leading wire were removed on a mine, then the voltage going through the Cheonan would have been enough to set it off. (48)

It is interesting to compare the U.S. response to Cheonan's sinking with its reaction to the Israeli attack on a ship bringing aid to the Gaza Strip, in which several unarmed civilians were shot dead by soldiers storming aboard. Whereas in the case of the Cheonan, culpability remains uncertain and evidence is contradictory, there was no ambiguity about the Israeli action. It was an unprovoked attack on a ship operating in international waters. There was no question as to who attacked the ship. In response to that incident, U.S. officials worked behind the scenes to prevent the UN Security Council from giving the go-ahead for an investigation into the attack. U.S. officials argued that instead Israel should investigate its own action. U.S. Ambassador Alejandro Wolff saved his harsh criticism for those who had been delivering aid, calling their effort "neither appropriate nor responsible." (49) Punishment for Israel is swift in coming. The proposed U.S. 2011 budget calls for $3 billion in aid to be provided to Israel. (50)

Contrast that with U.S. plans for North Korea. That nation is quite likely correct when it claims that it had nothing to do with the Cheonan's fate. But who needs an ironclad case when there are geopolitical goals to be achieved? The U.S. and South Korea launched large-scale joint military exercises in the East Sea, including the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, and for the first time U.S. F-22 stealth fighters flew in Korean airspace. The war games were clearly intended to be intimidating.

There are plans afoot for the possible deployment of an advanced airborne communications network on the Korean Peninsula, which would enable U.S. troops to overcome the limitations of communication in the mountainous terrain prevalent in North Korea. (51)  Also on the U.S. drawing board is an expansion of psychological warfare against North Korea, including the use of internet technology, leaflets and radio broadcasts. (52)

More importantly, as political commentator Stephen Gowans puts it in a nice turn of phrase, "The United States has announced that it is adding a new tranche to the Himalaya of sanctions it has built up since 1950 against North Korea." (53) The U.S. State Department and Department of Treasury plan to expand the list of businesses and organizations subject to sanctions, freeze bank accounts, work with various foreign governments to stop North Korean trading companies from doing business on the allegation that they are involved in illegal operations, impose travel restrictions, and implement a host of other measures. (54) Approximately 100 bank accounts linked to North Korea are to be frozen. "The U.S. has continued to consult the banks and will likely induce them to quietly close the accounts," a diplomatic source revealed. (55)

It is planned that the effort will induce foreign banks to stop doing business with North Korea, and thereby deny that nation the possibility of engaging in normal trade. According to a source speaking on condition of anonymity, the larger Chinese and other foreign banks dealing with North Korea could be adversely impacted, as all of their transactions are processed through the U.S. "This means that for everyone dealing with North Korea, it will become difficult for them to send money from the North." (56)

As a consequence of blacklisting North Korean organizations and individuals, a diplomatic source says, the U.S. will suspend ties with any banks dealing with them. "Think of Citibank or Bank of America suspending business ties with Bank of China or Bank of Shanghai. That will be a great burden to China." (57) There is debate within the Lee Administration as to how hard a line to pursue against North Korea. There are many who want to use the opportunity to topple the North Korean government, while those who favor dialogue are concerned that a harsh approach "could give rise to severe disorder." According to one South Korean source, "If the government decides to continue sanctions for more than six months even after the G20 summit, it could be interpreted as an important strategic choice to actively pursue regime change in the North." (58) Leaving aside the question of the inevitable hardship and misery for the North Korean people that would ensue from tightening the screws, there could be a heightened risk of conflict between the two Koreas if the situation deteriorates out of control.

The assertion that the North Korean accounts to be targeted are linked to illegal operations is reminiscent of similar efforts by the George W. Bush Administration, when North Korean accounts engaged in legitimate business were closed and banks throughout the world were threatened with harsh financial consequences if they continued to allow North Korea to conduct normal international financial operations. All that was done under the unproven (and in some cases clearly disproven) contention that the accounts were connected with illegal activities. The intent was to dry up North Korea's access to foreign currency, and thus its ability to import essential items such as food, spare parts and machinery.

Indeed, even before June the U.S already began freezing North Korean accounts held in foreign banks around the world. According to an unnamed diplomatic source, "The moves should be interpreted as a part of new sanctions on the North to hold it responsible for the sinking of the Cheonan." U.S. diplomat Robert Einhorn plans to visit a number of countries in an attempt to pressure them to enforce sanctions against North Korea. (59) It is not difficult to imagine the effect on the people of North Korea. Already existing sanctions have caused a shortage of raw materials, says Korean economic analyst Cho Boo Hyung, which has led to reduced output. And a decrease in food production will trigger negative economic growth. Cho feels that sanctions could produce another famine in North Korea, comparable to that of the 1990s. (60)

President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea has also seized the opportunity presented by Cheonan's sinking to further his goals. As a long-time opponent of the Sunshine Policy of his two predecessors, Lee never hid his ambition to dismantle all of the progress that had been made in recent years with relations between the two Koreas. No sooner had Lee taken office than he announced that he had no intention of observing the agreement signed by former President Roh Moo-hyun that set up a joint fishing area in the disputed waters at the Northern Limit Line, and which included measures to discourage military clashes there. Several economic agreements that had been reached were put on hold.

Once the JIG had announced the results of its investigation, Lee outlined a new policy with his northern neighbor. "From this moment," he said, "no North Korean ship will be allowed to make passage through any of the shipping lanes in the waters under our control, which has been allowed by the Inter-Korean Agreement on Maritime Transportation." In addition, "Trade and exchanges between the Republic of Korea and North Korea will also be suspended." Relations between the two Koreas have deteriorated to their lowest point since the period of military dictatorships in South Korea, and U.S. sanctions will only exacerbate tensions.

Did a North Korean submarine fire a torpedo at the Cheonan? I do not know, but it seems improbable. If it was a torpedo that sank the Cheonan, then it certainly was not the one that the JIG put on display. It would have been foolhardy for the North Korean government to order such a strike. It had nothing to gain, and absolutely everything to lose by such an act. It may be that a rogue commander ordered the attack as revenge for an incident near Daecheong Island the previous November, when South Korean ships chased a North Korean patrol boat, firing on it and sending it up in flames, thereby causing the deaths of several sailors. That attack, incidentally, failed to elicit any concern whatsoever from the same U.S. officials who so sternly pontificate on the unacceptability of allowing the sinking of Cheonan to go unpunished.

While reviewing the evidence, it began to appear to me that the most likely cause of the Cheonan's sad fate was having had the misfortune to inadvertently sail into the path of a sea mine, and this feeling has only been strengthened by the reports of the Russian investigation team's findings. Given the fast-moving currents in the waters near Baengnyeong Island, it may be that over time a rising mine gradually migrated from where it had been initially deposited, so that its position was unexpected. That is just speculation, of course, and other possibilities exist.  A broad-based international investigation needs to take place, and its results made fully public. The 46 sailors who lost their lives when the Cheonan sank deserve the truth, whatever it may be. As do the peoples of both Koreas, whose future is intertwined in so many ways. But geopolitical considerations guarantee that no such international probe will take place. Tensions are likely to remain high as long as South Korean President Lee remains in office. No conceivable change in U.S. administrations will bring about an improvement in the security environment on the Korean Peninsula, but the 2012 election in South Korea might. That is something to hope for.

Gregory Elich is on the Board of Directors of the Jasenovac Research Institute and on the Advisory Board of the Korea Truth Commission. He is the author of the book Strange Liberators: Militarism, Mayhem, and the Pursuit of Profit.

NOTES

(1)   "Investigation Result on the Sinking of ROKS 'Cheonan'," Ministry of National Defense, Republic of Korea, May 20, 2010.
       

(2)  The video at this site illustrates the impact of a bubble jet effect explosion on ships:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oUNt47G-08

(3) "Questions Raised Following Cheonan Announcement," Hankyoreh (Seoul), May 21, 2010.

(4)  "Investigation Result on the Sinking of ROKS 'Cheonan'," Ministry of National Defense, Republic of   Korea, May 20, 2010. Much later, a video, photographs, diagrams and further details were appended to the May 20 press release.   

(5)  Chris Bennet, "Mine Warfare at Sea," African Security Review, Vol. 7, No. 5, 1998.

(6)  "How Did N. Korea Sink the Cheonan?", Chosun Ilbo (Seoul), May 22, 2010.

(7)  "Strait of Hormuz: Assessing Threats to Energy Security in the Persian Gulf," The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law.

(8)  "Investigation Result on the Sinking of ROKS 'Cheonan'," Ministry of National Defense, Republic of Korea, May 20, 2010.       

(9) http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-068.htm

(10) http://www.freepatentsonline.com/3811379.html

(11)  "Cheonan Investigators Presented Wrong Torpedo Diagram,"  Chosun Ilbo (Seoul), June 30, 2010. Kim Deok-hyun, "Investigators Admit Using Wrong Blueprint to Show N. Korean Torpedo That Attacked Cheonan," Yonhap (Seoul), June 29, 2010.

(12)  "N. Korea Used Chinese-Made Torpedo in Attack on S. Korean Ship: Source," Yonhap (Seoul), May 19, 2010.

(13)   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanja

(14)  "U.S. Pinpoints Where Torpedo that Sank the Cheonan was Made," Chosun Ilbo, July 23, 2010. "NK Torpedo Produced in Gaecheon 2 Years Ago: Sankei," Korea Times, July 22, 2010.

(15)  Chang Jae-soon, "Defense Chief Confirms Explosive Chemical Found in Sunken Ship," Yonhap (Seoul), May 10, 2010. "Torpedo Explosive Detected in Sunken Ship: Official," Yonhap, May 7, 2010.

(16) http://www.answers.com/topic/explosive-material Jung Sung-ki, "Defense Chief Confirms Explosive Residue Found on Sunken Ship," Korea Times, May 10, 2010.

(17) Walter Jayawardhana, "Canadian Authorities Tell Immigration and Refugee Board that LTTE Ship Contained Traces of High Explosives Like RDX," LankaWeb, November 25, 2009.
"Canadian Officials Find Three More Traces of Explosives on Tamil Ship," Colombo Times, November 24, 2009.

(18) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ROKS_Cheonan_(PCC-772)

(19) http://www.answers.com/topic/explosive-material        http://www.wwiiequipment.com/

http://www.janes.com/articles/Janes-Ammunition-Handbook/

(20)  Jung Sung-ki, "Investigators Point to Air Bubble," Korea Times, April 25, 2010.

(21)  Junghye Kwak, Huisun Kim, Taeho Lee, "The PSPD's Stance on the Naval Vessel Cheonan Sinking," People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy Issue Report IR-20100601, Seoul.

(22) "Navy Detonates Torpedo Caught in Fishing Nets," Defence News, January 29, 2008.
"Navy Detonates Torpedo Caught in Fishing Nets," UPI, December 18, 1985.

(23)  J. Beddington and A.J. Freng, "Munitions Dumped at Sea: A Literature Review," Imperial College London, June 2005.

(24)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Limit_Line

(25)  Seunghun Lee, J.J. Suh, "Rush to Judgment: Inconsistencies in South Korea's Cheonan Report," The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, July 12, 2010.

(26) Seunghun Lee, J.J. Suh, "Rush to Judgment: Inconsistencies in South Korea's Cheonan Report," The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, July 12, 2010.

(27) "Investigation Result on the Sinking of ROKS 'Cheonan'," Ministry of National Defense, Republic of   Korea, May 20, 2010. Specifically mentioned in the detailed section appended to the May 20 press release.
       
(287) Seunghun Lee, J.J. Suh, "Rush to Judgment: Inconsistencies in South Korea's Cheonan Report," The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, July 12, 2010.

Seung-Hun Lee, "Comments on the Section 'Adsorbed Material Analysis' of the Cheonan Report Made by the South Korean Civil and Military Joint Investigative Group (CIV-MIL JIG),"
http://arxiv.org/vc/arxiv/papers/1006/1006.0680v2.pdf

Seung-Hun Lee, Panseok Yang, "Were the 'Critical Evidence' Presented in the  South Korean Official Cheonan Report Fabricated?"  

(29)  Seung-Hun Lee, Panseok Yang, "Were the 'Critical Evidence' Presented in the South Korean Official Cheonan Report Fabricated?", 

(30)  Shin Joo Hyun, "Ministry of Defense Responds to Cheonan Claims," Daily NK, June 23, 2010.

(31)   Seung-Hun Lee, "Comments on the Section 'Adsorbed Material Analysis' of the Cheonan Report Made by the South Korean Civil and Military Joint Investigative Group (CIV-MIL JIG),"     

(32) Seunghun Lee, J.J. Suh, "Rush to Judgment: Inconsistencies in South Korea's Cheonan Report," The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, July 12, 2010.

(33)  Barbara Demick, "Doubts Surface on North Korea's Role in Ship Sinking," Los Angeles Times, July 23, 2010

(34)  Junghye Kwak, Huisun Kim, Taeho Lee, "The PSPD's Stance on the Naval Vessel Cheonan Sinking,"  People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy Issue Report IR-20100601, Seoul.

(35)  Lee Yong-inn, "Questions Linger 100 Days after the Cheonan Sinking," Hankyoreh (Seoul), July 3, 2010.

(36)  S.C. Shin, "Letter to Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State for PCC-722 Cheonan," May 26, 2010.For a clear view of the Cheonan's propellers.

(37) "Cheonan Probe Says Military Made Grave Errors," Dong-A Ilbo (Seoul), June 11, 2010.

"Uncovering the Truth About the Cheonan," Hankyoreh (Seoul), June 11, 2010. "Wide-Ranging Incompetence and Cover-ups Took Place Night of Cheonan Sinking, Audit Reveals,"
Hankyoreh (Seoul), June 11, 2010.

(38)  Ser Myo-ja, "Military Found Inept, Lying in Responding to Cheonan," JoongAng Ilbo (Seoul), June 11, 2010.

(39)  "How Did N. Korea Sink the Cheonan?", Chosun Ilbo (Seoul), May 22, 2010.

(40)  "Questions Raised Following Cheonan Announcement," Hankyoreh (Seoul), May 11, 2010.

(41)  "South Korea to Unveil Evidence of North Sinking Navy Ship," CBS News, May 19, 2010.

(42)  Barbara Demick, "Doubts Surface on North Korea's Role in Ship Sinking," Los Angeles Times, July 23, 2010.

(43)  Sunny Lee, "China Has Different View on Cheonan," Korea Times (Seoul), July 18, 2010.

(44)  Lee Yeong-in, "Government Protests Russia's Conflicting Cheonan Finding," Hankyoreh (Seoul), July 10, 2010.

(45)  Yoo Jee-ho, "N. Korea Warns 'Physical Response' Against South - U.S. Military Drills," Yonhap (Seoul), July 23, 2010.

(46)  "Russian Specialists Have Questions on S. Korean Corvette's Sinking - Navy Commander," Interfax (Moscow), July 24, 2010.

"Russian Experts Unable to Give Answers on Cheonan Sinking - Navy Commander," RIA Novosti (Moscow), July 24, 2010.

(47)  Colum Lynch and Debbi Wilgoren, "U.N. Calls for Impartial Probe of Israeli Raid," Washington Post, June 1, 2010.

(48)  "Lee Administration Response to Russian Investigation Report," Hankyoreh (Seoul), July 28, 2010.

(49)  Colum Lynch and Debbi Wilgoren, "U.N. Calls for Impartial Probe of Israeli Raid," Washington Post, June 1, 2010.

(50)  Danielle Kurtzleben, "Despite Rift, Israel Gets More U.S. Aid Than Iraq," U.S. and World News Report, July 6, 2010.

(51)  Jung Sung-ki, "US to Deploy Airborne Network in South Korea," Korea Times (Seoul), July 2, 2010.

(52)  Michael Sheridan, "Clinton to Wage Digital War on Kim for Sinking Ship," Sunday Times (London), May 23, 2010.

(53)  Stephen Gowans, "The Real Story on North Korea and its Healthcare," What's Left, July 21, 2010.

(54)  "U.S. to Impose Sanctions on N. Korea in 2 Weeks," Chosun Ilbo (Seoul), July 23, 2010.

(55)  "US to Freeze 100 N. Korean Bank Accounts," Dong-A Ilbo (Seoul), July 23, 2010.

(56)  Kim Ji-hyun, "'Chinese Banks Cannot Escape U.S. Sanctions'," Korea Herald (Seoul), July 26. 2010.

(57)  Hwang Doo-hyong, "U.S. Closely Watching Front Companies North Korea Uses to Evade Sanctions: State Dept.," Yonhap (Seoul), July 27, 2010.

(58) "'Stronger Action on NK Aims for Regime Change'," Dong-A Ilbo (Seoul), July 26, 2010.

(59)  Kang Chan-ho and Ser Myo-ja, "U.S. Froze North Korean Bank Accounts Since June," JoongAng Ilbo (Seoul), July 23, 2010.

(60)  Steve Herman, "Sanctions Expected to Harm North Korean Economy," Voice of America, July 23, 2010.


28-07-2010 om 23:08 geschreven door Vorser-Raadgever  

0 1 2 3 4 5 - Gemiddelde waardering: 0/5 - (0 Stemmen)
Categorie:Een uitgesproken "Grr#!!♪♫@||#♫♪☻"-Kitokojungle-Opinie !!
Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Kredietkaarten geven geld van de armen aan de rijken....
Klik op de afbeelding om de link te volgen een Amerikaanse situatie misschien, maar het stemt toch tot nadenken....

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/28/credit-cards-transfer-mon_n_660768.html


Credit cards do more than drain money from your wallet -- they may actually create an "implicit money transfer" from the poor to the rich, according to a new study from the Boston Federal Reserve.
The study, titled "Who Gains and Who Loses from Credit Card Payments? Theory and Calibrations", suggests that, as card use becomes more frequent, merchants have raised their prices to compensate for card-processing charges. (Hat tip to the WSJ)
As a result, the study suggests, the poor -- who usually lack access to reward-paying credit cards -- end up paying more for everyday goods.
Over the last two decades, the paper notes, the percentage of households using credit cards has remained stable at around 75 percent. But total card-spending has jumped from nine percent to 15 percent. The increased use of cards drives up fees paid by merchants, who raise prices to cover the costs of the cards.
As card-using households make more and more purchases with credit cards and jump to take advantage of card rewards programs, "cash-using" households bear the brunt of higher prices without any of the benefits of cards.
Here's more from authors Scott Schuh, Oz Shy and Joana Stavins:
On average, each cash-using household pays $151 to card-using households and each card-using household receives $1,482 from cash users every year. Because credit card spending and rewards are positively correlated with household income, the payment instrument transfer also induces a regressive transfer from low-income to high-income households in general.
The authors suggest a few approaches policy makers could take to mitigate the damage caused by credit cards, including allowing merchants to adjust prices based on whether a purchase is made by cash or credit, a practice that is currently against the law.



en voor de echt geïnteresseerde lezertjes zit er een gedetailleerde studie bij op de hierboven vermelde site van de Huffington Post of je gebruikt het actieve linkje in de tekst...

28-07-2010 om 22:53 geschreven door Vorser-Raadgever  

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Categorie:Een uitgesproken "Grr#!!♪♫@||#♫♪☻"-Kitokojungle-Opinie !!
27-07-2010
Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Nieuw olielek
Klik op de afbeelding om de link te volgen Het ene lek is nog niet gedicht of er is al een ander...


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/27/louisiana-oil-geyser-20fo_n_660874.html

NEW ORLEANS - (AP) Oil is spewing from a damaged well north of a bay where officials have been fighting the spill from the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Coast Guard says a tow boat called Pere Ana C. hit the wellhead near Mud Lake early Tuesday. No injuries were reported.
The Coast Guard did not know who owns the small well or how much oil has leaked. But a sheen has been spotted in the lake. Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts says oil is spewing from the wellhead.
Coast Guard Lt. Brian Sattler says a helicopter has been dispatched to survey the area, which is accessible only by boat.
Mud Lake is part of a network of bayous and lakes north of Barataria Bay, an ecologically sensitive coastal estuary where authorities have been fighting waves of oil from the Gulf spill.

27-07-2010 om 22:48 geschreven door Vorser-Raadgever  

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Categorie:Een uitgesproken "Grr#!!♪♫@||#♫♪☻"-Kitokojungle-Opinie !!
Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Jan De Nul baggert verder in Panama... tegen Suntracs
Klik op de afbeelding om de link te volgen Nu een uitstapje naar het exotische Panama waar onze nationale trots namelijk de baggeraar Jan De Nul actief is in een consortium dat verwikkeld was in een hevig sociaal conflict. Ter verdediging van onze baggertrots mag wel worden gepreciseerd dat hij daar niet de hoofdverantwoordelijke van het consortium is...maar een woordje uitleg is hier toch wel op zijn plaats want vrijheid van organisatie ligt ons hier nauw aan het hart en moet een grondwettelijk recht zijn in alle staten. Spijtig genoeg merken we dat de verdedigers van “flat tax” meestal niet erg opgezet zijn met dit soort rechten voor de meerderheid “kleine verdieners”...


Hevig sociaal conflict en bloedige repressie op Panamese werf van Jan de Nul

Via de Internationale vakbond van Bouw- en Houtwerknemers (BWI - Engelse afkorting) werd ACV bouw – industrie & energie de voorbije dagen op de hoogte gebracht van een hevig escalerend sociaal conflict in Panama.

De aanleiding van het conflict is tweeërlei. Enerzijds is er de goedkeuring van de nieuwe nationale Wet nr. 30. Deze wet wil het recht op vereniging en het recht op staken en betogen aan banden leggen met forse straffen. Anderzijds is er het sociaal conflict op werven van het consortium ‘Bouwgroep verenigd voor het Kanaal’ (Grupo Unidos por el Canal).

Hoofdaannemer in het tijdelijke consortium is het Spaans bedrijf ‘Sacyr Vallehermoso S.A.’. Ook het Belgische baggerbedrijf ‘Jan De Nul’ maakt deel uit van dat consortium. Zo kon ‘Jan de Nul’ mee lucratieve contracten in de wacht slepen voor de verbreding en verdieping van het Panamakanaal en de bouw van het nieuwe sluizencomplexen.

Op de werven van het consortium brak begin juli een staking uit. De Panamese bouwvakkers, lid van de vakbond ‘SUNTRACS’, legden het werk neer om te protesteren tegen de loon- en arbeidsvoorwaarden. Eisen van de stakers zijn: meer loon, betalen van overuren, hygiënische was- en slaapgelegenheden, veilige werkomstandigheden. De staking werd massaal opgevolgd. Na 4 dagen gingen alle arbeiders echter opnieuw aan het werk omdat gedreigd werd alle stakende werknemers te ontslaan. Tijdens de actie werden alle toegangen tot de werven gecontroleerd door politie en moesten werknemers zich identificeren, dit met de bedoeling de stakingsleiders te kunnen arresteren. De volgende dagen werden meerdere vakbondsverantwoordelijken van ‘SUNTRACS’ aangehouden. Een aantal van hen bevinden zich nog steeds in de gevangenis.

Het conflict over Wet nr 30 en het sociaal conflict op de werven van het Panamakanaal raakten op een bloedige manier met elkaar vermengd. Ook al omdat de repressie van de regering tegenover de stakers en vakbondsverantwoordelijken een voorproefje lijkt van wat de nieuwe wet zal brengen. De voorbije 2 weken kwamen tijdens protesten al 9 arbeiders om het leven, honderden raakten gewond. Tegelijk werden minstens 300 betogers en stakers gearresteerd.

De Internationale vakbond van Bouw- en Houtwerknemers (BWI) volt de zaken op de voet en coördineert de internationale syndicale reactie.

Te midden van al deze gebeurtenissen wil ACV bouw – industrie & energie haar grote bezorgdheid kenbaar maken. Daarom zal ACV ACV bouw – industrie & energie actief deelnemen aan de internationale campagne van de BWI om de repressie een halt toe te roepen en werknemers te steunen in hun strijd voor waardig werk. ACV bouw – industrie & energie zal ook deelnemen aan de solidariteitsmissie van de BWI die eind augustus ter plaatse de feiten gaat natrekken. ACV bouw – industrie & energie ondersteunt de vraag van de BWI om een zo snel mogelijk een officiële IAO-delegatie naar Panama te sturen.

Ondertussen roept ACV bouw – industrie & energie de Panamese regering op om met hoogdringendheid het geweld te stoppen en de anti-syndicale Wet nr. 30 onmiddellijk in te trekken. Daarentegen vraagt ACV bouw – industrie & energie dat de Panamese regering en het consortium van werkgevers de internationale normen inzake het recht op vereniging, syndicale vrijheden en het recht op staken ten volle zouden eerbiedigen.

ACV bouw – industrie & energie zal zo snel mogelijk een onderhoud vragen met de directie van het Belgische bedrijf ‘Jan de Nul’ –als lid van het consortium– om haar standpunt in deze zaak te kennen.

ACV bouw – industrie & energie zal ook contact opnemen met de Panamese ambassadeur in Brussel om protest aan te tekenen tegen de gang van zaken en zal aan de Belgische Minister van Buitenlandse Zaken, Steven Vanackere, vragen hetzelfde te doen.

Ten slotte wenst ACV bouw – industrie & energie haar solidariteit te betonen met de protesterende bouwvakkers, omdat ‘waardig werk’ de beste garantie is voor ‘waardig leven’.



http://www.bwint.org/default.asp?Index=2828&Language=EN

ACT NOW! Panama: Anti-union repression and arrest of SUNTRACS leaders


"Once again, the BWI has forwarded a strong protest message to the president of Panama protesting at the government's anti-union repression of SUNTRACS leaders - Sindicato Único de Trabajadores de la Construcción y Similares -, members of our International," said Carlos Salguero, regional representative of the BWI Latin America and Carribbean office. The police arrested SUNTRACS leadership and members on 10 July 2010 while the trade union held a meeting in a hotel in the city of Panama. Among the union's demands, wages, working conditions at the Panama canal site and the adoption of check off system for trade union fees.

According to information received by the BWI, the striking workers were also protesting against the decision by the Government of Panama to impose Law 30, which undermines fundamental rights, such as the right to strike and freedom of association. Law 30 also penalises workers who take their protests to the streets, an offence which can result in up to two years in prison.

According to the latest news, the government has called a cabinet meeting, which is expected to adopt further repressive measures, such as arrest warrants against specific trade union leaders. The suspension of fundamental rights is also a possibility.

In letters to the authorities of Panama, the BWI firmly condemned the violent repression of the strike movement and urged the President of Panama to take concrete measures to order an investigation into the deaths to find out how they happened as quickly as possible, identify those responsible and apply the relevant penal and administrative measures.

In its campaign, the BWI also demands the immediate repeal of the controversial Law 30, which creates a climate of violence that led to the events of 10 July and the persecution of construction workers. Please ACT NOW and sign our online campaign hereunder.

http://www.laprensasa.com/2.0/3/309/763453/America-in-English/Union-slams-firing-of-10-Panama-Canal-workers-breakdown-in-talks.html


PANAMA-CANAL/STRIKE

Union slams firing of 10 Panama Canal workers, breakdown in talks

09 de julio de 2010Ampliar fotografía

Panama City, Jul 9 (EFE).- A union denounced a Panama Canal contractor's decision to dismiss 10 workers and its apparent refusal to participate in talks to resolve a labor dispute.

"At this moment there are no signs. Talks have stagnated," said Marco Andrade, one of the Suntracs construction-workers union's representatives in talks with the Grupo Unidos por el Canal consortium, which was awarded a $3.1 billion contract to build a third set of locks for the international waterway.

"They (the consortium) didn't tell us anything; they just didn't show up," Andrade said, adding that the GUPC is "seeing if it can solve this problem by force."

The Suntracs representative said the consortium on Thursday fired 10 workers involved in the construction of the third set of locks and that police have been deployed to the area.

A spokesman for the GUPC consortium, which is led by Spanish construction firm Sacyr Vallehermoso, confirmed the dismissals and told Efe "there was no strike, that's the wrong term; instead there was an illegal work stoppage" and the Labor Ministry authorized the firings because those individuals had stopped working for six days.

"After an illegal work stoppage, we are legally authorized to proceed to fire" (workers), the spokesman said.

He added that the consortium acknowledges its lack of compliance with Panamanian labor law in some instances - violations that workers have denounced - and is working to resolve those issues.

The strikers began protesting Saturday to press for a salary hike, a solution to a lack of transportation for workers and more sanitary working conditions, among other demands.

The GUPC spokesman, meanwhile, said construction work on the third set of locks has resumed on the Pacific side, although he did not did not indicate why the consortium was no longer taking part in the negotiations.

Suntracs and executives from the four companies that make up the GUPC consortium said Wednesday that progress had been made in the talks and that there was a willingness among the different parties to reach an agreement.

In addition to Sacyr, the other members of the GUPC consortium - whose project is the most important component of a canal-expansion plan - include Italy's Impregilo, Belgium's Jan de Nul and Panama's Constructora Urbana.

Andrade said the workers will continue their strike until an accord is reached that meets their demands for better working conditions and a salary increase.

Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli said Thursday that the GUPC has not complied with some labor laws but that those problems were being resolved.

Andrade, meanwhile, also denounced the continued incarceration of 28 union members who were arrested Saturday in the Caribbean city of Colon during a protest in support of the strikers.

He said Suntracs will evaluate what actions to take to pressure for their release.

The goal of the canal-expansion plan, which encompasses several projects and is estimated to cost a total of $5.25 billion, is to double the waterway's annual capacity from 300 million tons to 600 million tons.

The canal, designed in 1904 for ships with a 267-meter (875-foot) length and 28-meter (92-foot) beam, is too small to handle the "post-Panamax" ships that are three times as big, making it necessary for some time to expand by building the new set of locks.




Canal expansion strike enters sixth day with 28 workers in jail
Thursday, 08 July 2010 07:18
More than 500 workers engaged on the most important part of the widening of the Panama Canal, remain on strike after five days. Another group of 28 all members of the Construction workers Union (SUNTRACS) are being held in a Colon prison.The strike by more than 500 workers in the area of Gatun, where works has started on the third set of locks yesterday reached its fifth day work stoppage to demand better wages, working conditions, safety, transportation and other needs that have, in the eyes of the union,been violated by the four nation Consortium that got the multi million contract.
The strikers who stopped work on Saturday have warned that their actions will not stop despite the threats of layoffs and pressures from the Ministry of Labor and Workforce Development and representatives of the consortium, said SUNTRACS leader, Eustaquio Méndez.
Twenty eight workers detained on Monday by the National Police during the protest in Puerto Escondido remain in jail.Mendez said :"We repudiate these repressive measures against our colleagues whose individual rights have been violated”
Meanwhile, the legal defense teamof SUNTRACS has file a writ habeas corpus in the corresponding instance to prevent the workers being transferred to Nueva Esperanza prison.
Commentators have noted that the strike and detention of workers could affect not only work on the canal, but also the future of the US-Panama Free Trade agreement (FTA), already opposed by Union groups in the U.S. because of what they consider repressive labor laws.


http://nyc.indymedia.org/es/2010/07/111637.html


July 13, 2010 09:13AM EDT [general.addtranslation] [article.get_as_pdf] [ insert language bar ]
General Strike begins in Panama today after last week's massacre
A General Strike has begun against a vicious anti-union law.
Por El José Alcoff
Last month President Martinelli passed Ley 30 (Ley Chorizo) attacking unions, environmental safeguards and defending police who murder. Against protests and strikes, he has let his national police shoot hundreds of people leaving six dead, and has gone on a national manhunt for dozens of top union leaders. Today, the social movements seek to turn the tide with a general strike.
Keywords:
Panama- Antonio Smith was a member of the Cambio Democratico party. Last year, he campaigned for Ricardo Martinelli for President. As a twenty-five year old bananero (banana worker) and leader in his militant union, his loyalties were first with his co-workers and his community in Changuinola, Bocas del Toro.

When Martinelli's government passed Ley 30 last month, so-called the Chorizo Law, outlawing closed shop unions, criminalizing street blockages, offering impunity to police, and allowing the permanent replacement of striking workers, Smith followed his union and other movements in outrage. The bananeros went on strike, took the streets, and joined national demonstrations.

On Thursday of this past week, police fired into a crowd of about seven thousand workers in Bocas. One hundred and twenty-three were wounded, according to mainstream newspaper La Prensa. Smith and another bananero were among up to killed.

In the ensuing days, forty-seven of those casualties had to be transferred to bigger cities that could deal with those wounds. Up to five other people were killed, a journalist was among those wounded, Bocas towns were shut down, and a morning round-up arrested some three hundred union leaders and others across the country. Militants from across labor and the left, not so much taking a card from a Greek or Thai playbook as revealing their own style, burned down a bank, blockaded more streets, and took a few police captive who have since been released. A general strike starts today.

"This is war. Anything can happen now," says Cesar Santos, a Marxist based in David, in the province of Chiriqui, just south of Bocas del Toro.

Martinelli Comes to Town

How did Martinelli, a white, ultra-conservative grocery chain magnate come to be president on such a ethnically mixed, traditionally defiant isthmus? He campaigned in favor of flat taxes. He pushed a neo-liberal agenda far out of line with most Panamanians' thinking and experience. He was called the Loco because of his hot temper and bipolar disorder. And his main supporters actually took on that label, with shirts and bumper stickers declaring "Los Locos Somos Mas", one of which I randomly have in my possession thanks to a conservative aunt.

The Panamanian left is strong, but it has no electoral organ, and so the spectrum of parties comes in a variety of different hues of right wing. On the left of that right wing was the last President, Martin Torrijos, son of a former dictator and running under that military regime's Partido de la Revolucion Democratica. Torrijos organized for free trade agreements and privatizations, kept a tempered foreign policy, was socially moderate, and began a re-militarization of the national police and coast guard in a country whose US-imposed 1990 constitution refuses it the right to have a military. He also began to escalate the repression of SUNTRACS, the 40,000 member Marxist construction union which often serves as the focal point of radical movements here. Three members were gunned down by police or goons between late 2007 and early 2008.

Martinelli, socially conservative and more stridently libertarian, campaigned in part on a platform against the surveillance and militarizing legislation championed by Torrijos. He campaigned against corruption as well, as all Panamanian candidates do, which always means a crackdown on the corruption of your predecessor so as to put your own cronies and systems of graft in place. Low voter turnout helped, and he brought together a coalition of ego-centered far right parties (some with pro-fascist histories) that culminated in his election victory.

And the man who owns his own racing horse stable was off, cutting the relationship with Venezuela, sending Cuban doctors who provide free medical aid packing, and lending diplomatic support to the coup d'etat and ensuing regimes in Honduras. He tampered with the judiciary in ways not uncommon by local standards, and reneged on his promises to demilitarize Torrijos' reforms. His appointments and chosen candidates in local elections have been mired in corruption scandals.

Perhaps most astoundingly, Martinelli reopened the gates for the United States military. Panama had been the home of US troops from an 1846 treaty all the way to 2000. Many decades of struggle, in the streets and by those in the presidential palaces forced the United States abdication of the Panama Canal Zone and its sixteen bases. This is a point of pride for most citizens, one that Martinelli reversed last year opening at least four locations to naval bases in a meeting with President Barack Obama.

Ley Chorizo

Chorizo can be prepared using the scraps of pork left over in facility, molded together and placed either into an intestine or an artificial casing, and seasoned. It is popular across the Spanish speaking world, as long as people don't need to watch how it is prepared and exactly what goes into it. Think of a hot dog or sausage made of ground leftovers that can be eaten whole or reground for any recipe. It tastes good, don't it? But you don't want to know what went in it.

That's how the resistance movements in Panama characterize two new laws recently passed by the National Assembly after being ground and molded together by conservative President Ricardo Martinelli. The legislators didn't bother to read them, and they quickly passed them the way a hungry child might devour chorizo.

Ley 30, also known as the "9 laws in 1", covers a myriad of concerns. It begins with a part acquiescing to joint demands by airline workers and businesses. It then tailspins into such an extreme assortment of changes that even both the airline pilots union and business groups have joined the moderate and radical factions of the left to order the law repealed. The Ley Chorizo:
• ends environmental impact studies on projects that are in the 'social interest', public or private, that include highways, hydroelectric dams, strip mines, and anything else it deems worthy.
• bans mandatory dues for workers in union shops. This is known as closed shops in US labor parlance, and they are now banned, effectively turning Panama into a "right to work" (under union busting conditions) state.
• allows employers to fire striking workers and permanently hire scabs. Employers and scabs are then granted police protection during scabs. Strikers are not afforded the same protection, though they are the ones typically slain.
• criminalizes street blockades, which are an almost daily occurrence in Panama, with sentences of years in prison.
• protects police from prosecution or pre-trial incarceration for murder and other charges.
Its sister Chorizo law offers concessions for strip mining, and provides for 'transparency' guidelines for non-profit organizations operating in Panama that will effectively shutter many of them. Ley 30 as passed on June 12th, and resistance was immediately planned. Its sister was passed a couple of weeks later.

Waking the Sleeping Giant

The Panamanian leftist social movements had perhaps not been so challenged since the killings of SUNTRACS workers in 2007, or Torrijos' attempt to privatize social security which was partly defeated by struggle involving a one month general strike. They have slowly begun to put aside long held divisions, and as usual led largely by the more radical elements they have had summits and marches to begin the battle cry.

Environmentalists hit the streets in the thousands in what the Panama News says was the biggest protest in their history, accompanied by union workers, militant students, indigenous activists and others. Then the radical unions of the CONUSI labor federation, and the rank and file within the moderate CONATO federation, hit the streets, themselves accompanied by the environmentalists and feminist groups.

At the end of June, large marches and a one day general strike were held. To keep militancy apace, different unions took their own strike actions. Workers on the Canal expansion went on strike, and the government attempted to impose that forty-eight of them were fired for striking on the Canal. The foreign corporation that had the contract later worked out a settlement and rehired all of the workers on its own.

The banana workers, using a dispute over wages, began a strike at the beginning of the month that led to street blockages and other militant activity in the predominantly indigenous and Afro-Panamanian province of Bocas del Toro, on the other side of the country from the capital. Four thousand workers with the SITRAPBI banana union were joined in solidarity by three thousand workers of the banana cooperatives who had their own grievances.

The repression had already begun in the streets, and radical leaders in the capital like Genaro Lopez of SUNTRACS were quick to place the ominous national atmosphere at the blame of Martinelli. International letters of solidarity began to come in from Catalan, and workers were preparing barricades. The workers knew that the state was ready to escalate its violence, but they didn't know by how much.

On Thursday, July 8th, bananeros marched on a Bocas highway they had blockaded. National Police arrived on the scene in armor, and began shooting teargas. They then fired buckshot into the crowd, and other cops fired from a helicopter. Dozens fell. Antonio Smith took his last breaths. Protesters set fire to government cares amid the gas. When the smoke had cleared, local doctors were calling it a humanitarian crisis and begging the Red Cross for assistance.

The government admits at least one other unnamed banana worker died, but the radical umbrella of social movements FRENADESO puts the death toll at six. La Prensa says that at least an eight month old baby and an elderly protester died, both of asphyxiation from tear gas. One hundred and twenty-three people were wounded, and twenty were added to that figure the next day. Eighteen were initially in critical condition, and forty-seven had to be moved to a hospital all the way in the capital because of probably permanent damage to their eyes, according to La Prensa.

Workers began their retaliation. They burned down the Global Bank and are said to have begun ransacking other major businesses. Reminiscent of militant resistance in San Salvador Atenco, Mexico, workers took three or four police hostage, who were released two days later. Labor and movement leaders returned to meetings to attempt to come together so that they could hit the streets united. Members of the Naso and Embera indigenous nations have mobilized their people to join the protests in Bocas fully aware of a possible second massacre.

People took to the streets across the country that Friday, and police fired back. A journalist was among those wounded, keeping in line with Martinelli's recent arrest of three reporters under Panama's draconian laws against attacking public officials. Another reporter, this one from mainstream newspaper Panama America, was detained and strip searched for taking pictures of police, while 70-year old reporter Carlos Nunez remains in custody despite heart problems.

This past Saturday, Kaosenlared.net reports that three hundred movement leaders across the country were arrested, the very same number of communists arrested the night of the 1968 military coup. This included not just radicals like the Chiriqui leader of SUNTRACS, but leaders in the less polarizing social security union, and many other unionists and radicals, arrested at a large meeting or in the hospitals where they lay wounded. Most were released within hours around the same time as the siege on their hotel was ended, but others are still being held, and SUNTRACS' second-in-command Saul Melendez is on the run for incitement charges, a government ploy he last defeated during the previous president.

Meanwhile, back in Bocas del Toro, the epicenter of the conflict in Changuinola has been cut off from the outside world. Police blockade the streets and control the airport, and tourists have been evacuated. Few have internet, but those that did were able to leak information to their friends in David or the capital. Martinelli tried to tell the world his government had negotiated a settlement to end the banana strike and postpone Ley Chorizo for three months, but this hasn’t postponed today’s general strike. Guillermo Puga, a union leader in the CTRP there did an interview last night saying the situation is still dire in Bocas.

Radical labor federation CONUSI and their moderate brethren in CONATO have called a national general strike for Tuesday. These same groups are calling a boycott on Martinelli’s Super99 grocery chain and his Assembly ally Varela’s liquor brands, and some are speculating that the wrath of the citizenry will lead to more than one Super99 burning to the ground.
Panama is in its wet season, where when it rains, it pours. Anti-labor and environment laws that even scare business lobbyists towards the opposition have bred organized disatisfaction. That has been met with brutal repression. Now the resistance to Martinelli, who is eyeing changing the constitution to give himself a second term, is uniting often disparate elements, and they are quite clear that no state terror will make them back down.

(Much of the news of this was gleamed from a combination of business press sources, Kaosenlared.net, ThePanamaNews.com, Bananamarepublic.com, and personal interviews with reporters and activists across Panama. Imprecise numbers are given where there are conflicting reports.)

José Alcoff is a Panamanian-American free lance reporter and organized based in Brooklyn. He will be in Panama soon, and can be contacted at
 
http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=2010071504062617



Tuesday, July 27 2010 @ 08:00 AM UTC
Panama: Strikes and protests force climbdown on anti-strike laws
Thursday, July 15 2010 @ 04:06 AM UTC
Contributed by: WorkerFreedom
Views: 218A ten-day strike by banana plantation workers in Panama has come to an end after the government agreed an package of concessions that included the suspension of its anti-strike legislation, Law 30.
Strikes and protests force climbdown on anti-strike laws
A ten-day strike by banana plantation workers in Panama has come to an end after the government agreed an package of concessions that included the suspension of its anti-strike legislation, Law 30.
The strike by over 4000 banana plantation workers began on July the 2nd after workers at the Bocas Fruit Company had the portion of their pay used to pay their union subs withheld by the company in line with the recently introduced law. As the protests spread, they were joined by around 2000 independent banana growers.
Protests by plantation workers in the Bocas del Toro province on the 9th of July led to street fighting with police, who were ordered in by president Ricardo Martinelli. Demonstrators burned down a bank and several other businesses were attacked, while roadblocks were set up around the Atlantic city of Changuinola. The rioting has led to the death of two workers at the hands of police – named as Antonio Smith and Fernán Castillo - and the wounding of more than 100 more. Over 115 workers were arrested, while demonstrating workers took four police officers hostage. Union official Rafael Chavarria has claimed that the situation is much worse than the government version of events, and that a further four protesters were killed.
27-07-2010 om 22:23 geschreven door Vorser-Raadgever  
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Categorie:Een uitgesproken "Grr#!!♪♫@||#♫♪☻"-Kitokojungle-Opinie !!
26-07-2010
Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.WIKILEAKS een voorbeeld hoe het wel kan!
Ze hebben weer eens toegeslagen de Wikileaks...en hoe!
Lees er meer over hieronder in de Huffington Post:


             
       
                   
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/26/wikileaks-founder-on-afgh_n_659014.html       











                                        WikiLeaks Founder On Afghan War Diary: Evidence Of War Crimes In Leaked Documents                                    




                                

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon said Monday it was trying to assess the damage caused by the leak of some 91,000 classified documents on the Afghanistan war.
The documents are described as battlefield reports compiled by various military units that provide an unvarnished look at combat in the past six years, including U.S. frustration over reports Pakistan secretly aided insurgents and civilian casualties at the hand of U.S. troops.
                                   
Wikileaks.org, a self-described whistleblower organization, posted 76,000 of the reports to its website Sunday night. The group said it is vetting another 15,000 documents for future release.
Col. Dave Lapan, a Defense Department spokesman, said the military would probably need "days, if not weeks" to review all the documents and determine "the potential damage to the lives of our service members and coalition partners."
The White House says it didn't try to stop news organizations who had access to secret U.S. military documents from publishing reports about the leaks. However, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said it did ask Wikileaks – through reporters who were given advanced copies of the documents – to redact information in the documents that could harm U.S. military personnel.
It was not clear whether Wikileaks decision to withhold 15,000 of its files was related.
The Pentagon declined to respond to specifics detailed in the documents, including reports of the Taliban's use of heat-seeking anti-aircraft missiles.
"Just because they are posted on the Internet, doesn't make them unclassified," Lapan said.
The Pentagon says it is still investigating the source of the documents. The military has detained Bradley Manning, a former Army intelligence analyst in Baghdad, for allegedly transmitting classified information. But the latest documents could have come from anyone with a secret-level clearance, Lapan said.
   
   
       
Story continues below
                     
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange promised on Monday that the release of documents – one of the largest unauthorized disclosures in military history – was just the beginning.
Assange told reporters in London that he believed that "thousands" of U.S. attacks in Afghanistan could be investigated for evidence of war crimes, although he acknowledged that such claims would have to be tested in court.
Assange pointed in particular to a deadly missile strike ordered by Taskforce 373, a unit allegedly charged with hunting down and killing senior Taliban targets. He said there was also evidence of cover-ups when civilians were killed, including what he called a suspiciously high number of casualties that U.S. forces attributed to ricochet wounds.
The Defense Department declined to respond to specifics contained in the documents, citing security reasons.
But Lapan said that coalition forces have made great strides in reducing the number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan.
White House national security adviser Gen. Jim Jones said the release of the documents "put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk," while Pakistan dismissed the documents as malicious and unsubstantiated.
Pakistan Ambassador Husain Haqqani said the documents "do not reflect the current on-ground realities." Islamabad's ministry of foreign affairs issued a similar statement, defending Pakistan's intelligence agency, the ISI, against allegations it has supported insurgent networks.
"The people of Pakistan and its security forces, including the ISI, have rendered enormous sacrifices against militancy and terrorism," the ministry wrote.
NATO refused to comment on the leak, but individual nations said they hoped it wouldn't harm current operations in Afghanistan.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said there has been significant progress recently in building up the Afghan state "so I hope any such leaks will not poison that atmosphere."
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle warned about possible "backlashes" and urged all sides in Afghanistan to work toward national reconciliation.
Rep. Ike Skelton, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said the documents reflect his view that U.S. war strategy was adrift last year, before President Barack Obama's decision to retool the war plan and add tens of thousands of U.S. forces.
Skelton, D-Mo., warned Monday that the documents are outdated and "should not be used as a measure of success or a determining factor in our continued mission there."
U.S. government agencies have been bracing for the deluge of classified documents since the leak of helicopter cockpit video of a 2007 fire fight in Baghdad. That was blamed on Manning, the 22-year-old Army intelligence analyst who was charged with releasing classified information earlier this month.
Manning had bragged online that he downloaded 260,000 classified U.S. cables and transmitted them to Wikileaks.org.
Assange on Monday compared the impact of the released material to the opening of East Germany's secret police files. "This is the equivalent of opening the Stasi archives," he said.
He also said his group had many more documents on other subjects, including files on countries from across the globe.
"We have built up an enormous backlog of whistleblower disclosures," he said.
Assange said he believed more whistle-blowing material will flood in after the publicity about the Afghan files.
"It is our experience that courage is contagious," he said.
___
Associated Press reporters Raphael Satter in London, Kimberly Dozier in Washington, Kirsten Grieshaber in Berlin and Robert Burns in Washington contributed to this report.

26-07-2010 om 22:38 geschreven door Vorser-Raadgever  

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Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.UPS-Turkije een voorbeeld hoe het NIET moet
Klik op de afbeelding om de link te volgen Vandaag maken we een uitstapje naar een bij de Belgen zeer populaire vakantiebestemming namelijk Turkije. Maar eerst wippen we even binnen bij onze ollandse vakbondscollega's van het FNV waar ze het hebben over UPS, je weet wel het koeriersbedrijf met die rare bruine ijskarachtige voertuigen...ze houden er daar rare praktijken op na bij UPS-Turkije maar houden het wel erg stil!

http://www.fnvbondgenoten.nl/nieuws/actueel/ups_21_07_10/


Misstanden bij UPS Turkije
Bij vervoersbedrijf UPS in de Turkse vestigingen worden werknemersrechten niet gerespecteerd. Ondanks intimidatie van UPS staken werknemers al tweeëneenhalve maand.
Op UPS-vestigingen in steden als Istanbul en Izmir zijn nogal wat misstanden. Werkdagen van vijftien uur zonder pauze, inhoudingen op het salaris als prestaties niet gehaald worden en in de kantine in Istanbul één theelepeltje voor 2.500 werknemers.

Intimidatie
De mensen van UPS Turkije willen lid worden van de vakbond TÜMTIS. Dan kunnen ze samen iets aan die misstanden doen.
UPS maakt het mensen echter vrijwel onmogelijk lid te worden van TÜMTIS.

Ontslagen
Ben je lid, dan word je geïntimideerd en bedreigd. De kans is groot dat je ontslagen wordt, alleen maar omdat je lid bent. Dat is al meer dan honderd mensen overkomen. Daarmee schendt UPS een mensenrecht.
 
UPS speelt het ontslag zo, dat je ook geen recht op een uitkering hebt. Families van ontslagen mensen zitten zonder geld en met honger thuis.
 
Geweld tegen TÜMTIS-demonstranten
Desondanks lukte het UPS-werknemers in opstand te komen. Er is een staking aan de gang die nu al meer dan tweeëneenhalve maand duurt.
 
UPS gebruikt zelfs geweld om die protesten te breken. Zo is een manager met zijn auto ingereden op protesterende UPS-medewerkers. En heeft een onderaannemer van UPS heeft geschoten op protesterende werknemers.
 
Hoe reageert UPS?
Niet. In de rest van Europa probeert UPS de misstanden, het conflict en het geweld dood te zwijgen. Er is geen officiële mening over de problemen in Turkije. Immers, er iets over zeggen, is hetzelfde als erkennen dat er een probleem is!


Steun je Turkse collega’s
Binnenkort start FNV Bondgenoten een tweede actie om je Turkse collega’s te steunen. Je kunt daaraan vanuit huis een steentje aan bijdragen. Duitse en Belgische bonden doen ook mee.




ITF condemns shootings and further dismissals at UPS in Turkey
2 July 2010


The ITF has denounced a reportedly violent attack against employees of global delivery firm UPS, as well as further sackings and intimidation.
Speaking yesterday from the picket line outside UPS’s offices in Istanbul, Turkey – where workers represented by ITF-affiliated union TÜMTİS are staging a protest against the dismissal of 119 UPS employees - Mac Urata, ITF inland transport section secretary condemned the latest reported attacks. It is believed, he said, that shots were fired.
Urata commented: “Unbelievably the attacks – which have been reported to include sackings and intimidation – today became even worse. In Izmir this morning shots were fired, allegedly by a manager of the UPS subcontractor, who the trade union believes was forcing workers to resign their union membership at the office of a notary public. Thankfully no one was wounded, and the perpetrator is reported to be in the hands of the police, at least for now.”
“Meanwhile, the continuing complaints about the injustice of the treatment of the members of the ITF-affiliated TÜMTİS union appear to be falling on deaf ears, with further layoffs apparently imminent. They have got worse, rather than better; following the return of UPS Turkey’s manager from the company’s head office in Atlanta, USA, last week, 30 workers were promptly laid off.”
Mac Urata is at the Istanbul protest with Eduardo Chagas, general secretary of the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) as part of an international solidarity effort. Others attending the picket line protest also include UNI Global Union. The dispute became international in April 2010 after TÜMTİS appealed to the ITF for international support, following the sackings of UPS Turkey workers apparently in connection with their carrying out trade union activities.
The ITF will call on UPS’s head office to intervene immediately; the ETF will also be raising the matter with the European Parliament. Both organisations will jointly contact the Turkish prime minister on the issue.
Watch a video clip direct from the picket line: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIhS_uqgeaU
http://www.handyshippingguide.com/shipping-news/shots-fired-as-freight-parcels-service-unrest-continues_1893




05 July 2010
Shots Fired As Freight Parcels Service Unrest Continues  
Dispute with Union Turns Ugly in Turkey Whilst Bahrain Simmers


TURKEY – BAHRAIN - A dispute which has rumbled on at depots in Ankara, Izmir and Istanbul since April is still in deadlock according to transport union association International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) which represents the interests of over four and a half million staff as members of fifty nine major unions. In a conflict which has been little reported 33 UPS employees were allegedly sacked for encouraging union membership at the parcel shipping group’s terminals.
Following an outcry 24 were reinstated but the situation worsened and a further 70 plus staff were dismissed in May prompting mass rallies by Dutch and German union sympathisers at the Turkish picket line in Istanbul on the 5th and 6th June. By last week the number of staff dismissed by UPS had apparently reached 119 and, according to the ITF, relations have got steadily worse following the return of the UPS depot manager from a visit to company headquarters in Atlanta after which 30 workers were dismissed.
In the latest development last week, shots were apparently fired, allegedly by a manager of the UPS subcontractor who the trade union believes was forcing workers to resign their union membership at the office of a notary public. Speaking from the picket line outside the UPS Turkey offices in Istanbul, Mac Urata, secretary of the ITF’s Inland Transport Sections, confirmed the shooting and said:
“Thankfully no one was wounded, and the perpetrator is reported to be in the hands of the police, at least for now. We will once again be speaking to UPS head office to ask them to intervene immediately with their subsidiary in Turkey, while our colleagues in the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) will also be raising the matter with the European Parliament, and jointly we will do the same with the Prime Minister of Turkey.”
Despite requests from the Handy Shipping Guide we have received no response from UPS regarding the dispute.
In the meantime the Arabic press report that a four month long dispute at rival parcel carriers DHL is beginning to worsen. Union officials employed at the company’s facility in Bahrain say they wore yellow armbands for ten days last month to express their dissatisfaction with pay levels. They then switched to red armbands as a visible warning to the company that the situation was becoming more serious.
DHL are adamant that all their staff are fairly treated and insist that, having paid an across the board average salary increase in April and extended medical and other benefits by the 27th June, the employees have no cause for complaint. The union admit the concessions made include staff family health benefits, transport expenses and a heat allowance but state these do not answer their primary grievance of low pay and poor conditions. A strike is now mooted to begin with a fortnight having already been postponed from the 18th June whilst talks continued. It is to be hoped that ongoing negotiations will resolve the matter. Photo: Picket Line at UPS Istanbul






26-07-2010 om 22:01 geschreven door Vorser-Raadgever  

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