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The bitter price of militarism: US casualties mount in Iraq and Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 31 October 2006

A sniper shot a US military policeman yesterday morning in Baghdad. The soldier died from his wounds shortly afterward. His name, his age and his hometown have not yet been released. His death, like those of so many American soldiers, was not considered newsworthy enough to warrant a story in the US media.

Mexican government launches bloody assault on Oaxaca protesters

By Rafael Azul, 31 October 2006

Thousands of federal riot police invaded Oaxaca on Sunday to crush an oppositional movement that has held control of the southern Mexican state for several months. The significance of this police operation goes beyond the Oaxaca protests, which have been driven by growing poverty and inequality. It is a warning to the nation’s working class that Mexico’s ruling elite is willing resort to naked violence and repression. The defense of the Oaxacan protesters requires the mobilization of working people throughout Mexico.

Tense takeover battle for Spain’s Endesa energy company

By John Vassilopoulos, 31 October 2006

The longstanding dispute over the takeover of Spanish energy company Endesa exploded again last week, after the European Commission sent the Spanish government a formal notice over the latter’s refusal to lift the conditions it imposed on the €27 billion takeover bid by German energy giant EON. A successful bid by EON, the world’s largest privately owned energy provider, would turn the company into the world’s biggest utility and allow it access through Endesa into Spain, Italy, France and Latin America.

Sri Lankan peace talks collapse amid intensifying civil war

By K. Ratnayake, 31 October 2006

Talks between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Geneva last weekend broke up without agreement on any issue, including the convening of another round. The collapse of talks will inevitably lead to a further expansion of a war that has already cost thousands of lives this year.

Mill closures devastate Canada’s forest industry

By Brian Knight, 31 October 2006

Domtar Inc. and Abitibi-Consolidated, two of the largest players in the Canadian forest industry, announced October 10 and 11 that they will be closing eight sawmills.

Prime Minister Maliki vents grievances against Washington

By Joe Kay, 31 October 2006

Mounting tensions between the Bush administration and Washington’s hand-picked head of government in Baghdad, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, came to a head at a meeting last Friday between Maliki and the US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 31 October 2006

Latin America

Mass abstention in Bulgaria’s presidential election

By Markus Salzmann, 31 October 2006

Low voter turnouts have characterised the two rounds of Bulgaria’s presidential elections held in October. A low turnout held in mid-October meant no candidate received enough votes to win outright in the first round. In a second runoff ballot held on October 29, the incumbent Georgi Parvanov, supported by the Bulgarian Socialist Party, emerged victor against his main rival, the leader of the far-right Ataka (Attack), Volen Siderov.

Russia moves toward military conflict with Georgia

By Vladimir Volkov, 30 October 2006

During his October 25 nationally televised “talk with the Russian people,” President Vladimir Putin confirmed the intention of his regime to defend the provincial autonomous administrations of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia in the event of military action against them by the Georgian government.

“Our campaign offers the only alternative to the profit system”

By Bill Van Auken, 30 October 2006

The following is a speech delivered by Bill Van Auken, the Socialist Equality Party candidate for US Senate from New York, to a public meeting in Buffalo, New York on October 19.

Michigan SEP candidate addresses high school, college students

By our reporter, 30 October 2006

Socialist Equality Party congressional candidate Jerome White spoke to hundreds of Michigan high school and community college students last week, explaining the need for young people to take up a political struggle for socialism against war, the attacks on democratic rights and the growth of social inequality.

Spanish protests demand affordable housing

By Marcus Morgan, 30 October 2006

Street demonstrations were held in major Spanish cities this month to protest the lack of affordable housing, especially for young people looking for a first home.

Protests demand immediate withdrawal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan

By a WSWS reporting team, 30 October 2006

On Saturday, October 28, demonstrations were held in 37 communities across Canada to demand the immediate withdrawal of all Canadian troops from Afghanistan.

Australia: Management ignored danger warnings at Beaconsfield gold mine

By Terry Cook, 30 October 2006

Fresh and damning evidence has emerged that the owners and management of the Beaconsfield gold mine ignored warnings of a potential disaster not long before the tragedy earlier this year that killed one miner and trapped his two companions underground for two weeks.

Public meeting to be held in Paris

By , 28 October 2006

The struggle against the First Job Contract (CPE) earlier this year brought into sharp relief the collision between the needs of young people and workers and the interests of the French ruling elite over the most fundamental of social questions: the right to a secure job.

Hungary: The controversy over the heritage of the 1956 Revolution

By Peter Schwarz, 28 October 2006

In his famous essay The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, Karl Marx describes how men, when entering an uncertain future, seek to costume themselves in the time-honoured trappings of the past. When they are occupied with revolutionizing things and creating a more progressive society, they conjure up the spirits of past heroes. When social development moves into reverse, when society regresses, conjuring up the past degenerates into farce.

Revealing what?

By Gabriela-Sylvia Zabala and Ismet Redzovic, 28 October 2006

The Book of Revelation, Australian director Anna Kokkinos’s second feature film, is a faithful adaptation of a novel by the same name, written by Rupert Thomson.

Rifondazione Comunista mobilizes for Italy’s military intervention in Lebanon

By Marianne Arens, 28 October 2006

Rifondazione Comunista, the Italian “Party of Communist Refoundation,” is exerting all of its influence to facilitate an Italian military intervention in Lebanon. The national secretariat of the party, which has been part of the centre-left government led by Romano Prodi since April 2006, has welcomed the Italian mission in Lebanon. On October 17, party deputies voted in the Senate in favour of the bill to dispatch Italian troops.

Letters from our readers

By , 28 October 2006

The following is a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.

Hillary Clinton, Dick Cheney champion torture on eve of election

By Bill Van Auken and SEP candidate for US Senate from New York, 28 October 2006

Back-to-back statements by the most prominent figures in both the Democratic and Republican parties endorsing the use of torture make it clear that the unprecedented assault on democratic rights and the government’s recourse to criminal methods will continue after the November 7 midterm elections, no matter which party is victorious.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 28 October 2006

Asia

Protests demand Canadian troops out of Afghanistan

By the Socialist Equality Party (Canada), 27 October 2006

The following statement has been issued by the Socialist Equality Party (Canada) for distribution at the protests that are being held this Saturday, October 28, in cities across the country to demand the immediate withdrawal of all Canadian troops from Afghanistan. We encourage WSWS readers and supporters to download the PDF version of this statement and to distribute it as widely as possible.

Grisly photos expose real nature of Germany’s “peace mission” in Afghanistan

By Stefan Steinberg, 27 October 2006

On October 25, the German tabloid Bild published photographs showing German soldiers in Afghanistan desecrating a human skull. The photos, taken in 2003, show members of a military unit from Bavaria on patrol outside the Afghan capital Kabul posing with a human skull and attaching the skull to the hood of a military vehicle. In one case an unidentified soldier is shown holding the skull next to his exposed penis.

Australia’s new sedition laws and the case of Brian Cooper

By Mike Head, 27 October 2006

Australia’s last sedition case, in 1960-61, sheds light on why the Howard government has inserted revamped sedition laws into its “anti-terrorism” legislation. The largely unknown case illustrates the wide scope for sedition prosecutions to be used to victimise, intimidate and jail political dissidents.

Freedom of speech under continuing attack in Turkey

By Sinan Ikinci, 27 October 2006

Last week, a court in Istanbul began hearings against the Turkish publisher, editors and translator of the book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media by Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman. The charges related to Article 301 and Article 216 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK).

Deepening crisis of US occupation regime in Iraq

By Patrick Martin, 27 October 2006

President Bush’s press conference Wednesday was dominated by the worsening position of the US occupation regime in Iraq and its impact on US politics only two weeks before the midterm congressional elections. Bush faced sharper questioning than usual from the normally docile press corps, as well as public criticism from within his own party.

Germany: Siemens-BenQ and the role of the unions

By Dietmar Henning, 27 October 2006

At a works meeting last week, the insolvency administrators of phone manufacturer BenQ Mobile announced the immediate dismissal of nearly 2,000 of the approximately 3,000-strong workforce. The redundancy notices were dispatched straight away and workers were told not to come to work the following week.

Workers Struggles: Europe and Africa

By , 27 October 2006

Europe

The passive voice

By David Walsh, 27 October 2006

This is the third in a series of articles on the recent Vancouver International Film Festival (September 28-October 13).

India’s policy on Special Economic Zones under fire

By Jake Skeers, 27 October 2006

Only eight months ago, when the Indian government’s Special Economic Zones (SEZ) legislation commenced, it was touted as a lever to modernise India’s infrastructure and economy for the coming decades. Today, business and political commentators are already branding the SEZ law a failure.

Hungary 1956: A revolution against Stalinism

By Sybille Fuchs, 26 October 2006

This month marks the fiftieth anniversary of one of the most seminal episodes in the postwar history of Eastern Europe—the bloody suppression of the Hungarian Revolution by Soviet tanks. We are reprinting here the second and concluding part of an article dealing with the historical and political background to the popular uprising against the Stalinist bureaucracy, which was first published in the International Workers Bulletin, the printed forerunner of the World Socialist Web Site, in February of 1997. The original German version appeared in December 1996 in the German newspaper Neue Arbeiterpresse.

Illinois SEP candidate Joe Parnarauskis participates in debates

By Tom Carter, 26 October 2006

Over the past week, Joseph Parnarauskis, the SEP candidate for state Senate in Illinois’ 52nd District, participated in two major debates. On Friday, October 20, Parnarauskis debated Democratic candidate Mike Frerichs and Republican candidate Judy Myers on WILL Channel 12 TV. Then, on Monday, October 23, Parnarauskis again debated his opponents on WDWS AM 1400.

Sri Lankan police forced to begin inquiry into murder of SEP supporter

By our reporter, 26 October 2006

Amid a growing campaign to demand the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the murder of Sivapragasam Mariyadas, a supporter of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP), the Inspector General of Police in Sri Lanka has been compelled to commence an investigation into his death.

Australian government revives book banning

By Mike Head, 26 October 2006

With the assistance of the state Labor governments, the federal Australian government is carrying out overt political censorship of books. So far, two Islamic volumes have been banned and preparations are underfoot to tighten censorship laws by agreement with the states.

By James Cogan, 26 October 2006

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New York Times calls for more troops in Iraq

By Joe Kay and Barry Grey, 26 October 2006

On October 24, the New York Times published an extended editorial (“Trying to Contain the Iraq Disaster”) laying out its proposals for salvaging the US occupation of Iraq. The commentary expressed at once the perplexity and gloom within the US ruling elite over its prospects in Iraq, and its determination to intensify the violence and terror against the Iraqi resistance.

Active-duty US troops voice opposition to the Iraq war

By Joanne Laurier, 26 October 2006

More than 100 serving members of the US military have to date sent “Appeals for Redress” to members of Congress, urging “the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq.”

Australian government gets its way at Pacific leaders’ summit

By Rick Kelly, 26 October 2006

The 16-member Pacific Islands Forum concluded its annual meeting on Tuesday in Fiji, after re-electing Australia’s Greg Urwin as the organisation’s secretary-general and issuing a joint communiqué satisfying all Canberra’s demands. While the Forum’s opening day was marked by denunciations of the Howard government’s arrogance and belligerence, its closure saw the Pacific Island governments fall into line.

Declaração do SEP alemão: luta contra cortes de empregos e de benefícios exige perspectiva socialista internacional

By Declaração do Socialist Equality Party (Alemanha), 26 October 2006

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Soldados norte-americanos e de civis iraquianos continuam morrendo

By Joe Kay, 26 October 2006

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Spain: new capitulation by the Socialist Party to the Catholic Church

By Paul Stuart, 26 October 2006

On September 22, Spain’s Socialist Party (PSOE) Vice President María Teresa Fernández de la Vega put the finishing touches on an agreement that continues state financing for the Catholic Church, despite the 1978 Spanish constitution formally separating church from state. Earlier Socialist Party President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero gave his “full understanding and support” to Pope Benedict XVI, whose September 12 speech in Germany asserted that Christianity was based on reason, whereas Islam was spread by violent means.

Germany: Court ruling on Berlin budget deepens social divisions

By Peter Schwarz, 25 October 2006

The Süddeutsche Zeitung compared a ruling handed down last week by the German Constitutional Court on Berlin’s budget to the use of a wine-press to crush grapes. Journalist Heribert Prantl wrote that the judgement presses “Berlin (and likewise other poor states in the Federal Republic) to undertake even more cost-cutting measures.” He forgot to add that the grapes being pressed in this case are the growing ranks of poor and socially deprived German citizens.

The Ground Truth: the cruel fate of Iraq war veterans

By Clare Hurley, 25 October 2006

The Ground Truth: After the Killing Fields, directed by Patricia Foulkrod, limited theatrical release September 2006 and available on DVD

Hungary 1956: A revolution against Stalinism

By Sybille Fuchs, 25 October 2006

This month marks the fiftieth anniversary of one of the most seminal episodes in the post-war history of Eastern Europe—the bloody suppression of the Hungarian Revolution by Soviet tanks. We are reprinting here the first of a two-part article dealing with the historical and political background to the popular uprising against the Stalinist bureaucracy, which was first published in the International Workers Bulletin, the printed forerunner of the World Socialist Web Site, in February of 1997. The original German version appeared in December 1996 in the German newspaper Neue Arbeiterpresse.

New York’s Clinton-Spencer debates—a reactionary charade

By Bill Van Auken, 25 October 2006

The back-to-back debates held last weekend between New York’s Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton and her Republican opponent, the right-wing former mayor of Yonkers, John Spencer, were a political charade, summing up everything that is reactionary about the political monopoly exercised by the two-party system.

Former British home secretary admits calling for bombing of Al-Jazeera

By Chris Marsden, 25 October 2006

More evidence has emerged indicating that Qatar-based Al-Jazeera TV was a target for deliberate bombing by the Bush administration.

Rice returns empty-handed from North East Asia

By John Chan, 25 October 2006

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s four-day visit to Japan, South Korea, China and Russia last week to press for action over North Korea’s nuclear test on October 9 has proved to be another demonstration of the crisis of American foreign policy.

Australian Labor leader spells out pro-business agenda

By Terry Cook, 25 October 2006

Addressing a massive rally against the Howard government’s draconian industrial relation laws in June, Labor leader Kim Beazley promised that if Labor won the federal election next year he would “tear up John Howard’s unfair laws (WorkChoices) and put in place laws that protect hard working Australians.”

Baghdad press conference outlines plans for intensified US war

By James Cogan, 25 October 2006

The press conference delivered last night in Baghdad by US ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and commanding US General George Casey spelt out the main lines of the Iraq “change of course” formulated in the White House and Pentagon. Over the coming weeks and months, the Bush administration intends to unleash a reckless intensification of violence in an attempt to salvage US interests from the catastrophe it now confronts.

Sri Lanka’s state-owned television censors drama series

By Panini Wijesiriwardane, 24 October 2006

Censorship of filmmakers, artists and writers is escalating in Sri Lanka in line with the Rajapakse government’s intensification of its war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Brother of Pat Tillman denounces Iraq War and Bush administration

By Patrick Martin, 24 October 2006

The brother of professional athlete turned soldier Pat Tillman, who was killed in a “friendly fire” incident in Afghanistan, has made a public denunciation of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Bush administration’s attacks on democratic rights.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 24 October 2006

Latin America

Australian Education Minister declares SIEV X history resource is “political propaganda”

By our reporters, 24 October 2006

“The Sinking of SIEV X: A Case Study for Secondary Schools” was launched last Thursday in Canberra, marking 5 years to the day since 353 refugees—more than two thirds of them women and children—perished in the region’s worst sea disaster since World War II. Politicians and media outlets conducted a virtual boycott of the event, held in the Main Committee Room at Parliament House, with the study under immediate fire from the Howard government and the Murdoch press.

Toxic waste dumping in Ivory Coast

By Barry Mason, 24 October 2006

In September eight people died and over 80,000 had to seek medical treatment for symptoms including vomiting, nosebleeds and breathing difficulties in Abidjan, the main city of the West African country of Ivory Coast. The cause of the deaths and medical problems was the dumping of toxic waste at around 14 sites around the city.

New York Times “military analysis” foreshadows US bloodbath in Baghdad

By Barry Grey and Joe Kay, 24 October 2006

In the midst of intensive strategy sessions between the Bush administration and military commanders and urgent calls from politicians and media commentators for a “change of course” in Iraq, the New York Times has published a “military analysis” that lays bare the core of the various schemes being discussed to salvage the American occupation of the country.

SEP candidate for US Senate from New York interviewed on ABC TV in Rochester

By , 24 October 2006

A televised interview with Bill Van Auken, Socialist Equality Party candidate for US Senate, was broadcast Friday evening in Rochester, New York. The television station, ABC’s Channel 13 WHAM, aired Van Auken’s interview little more than an hour prior to the first debate between Democratic incumbent Senator Hillary Clinton and her Republican challenger John Spencer, which was held at the University of Rochester.

Canberra presses its agenda at Pacific Islands Forum

By Rick Kelly, 24 October 2006

The annual three-day meeting of the 16-member Pacific Islands Forum commenced on Monday in Fiji, amid aggressive efforts by the Australian government to remove the Solomon Islands government and place growing pressure on Papua New Guinea (PNG). Canberra intends to bully the tiny Pacific states into accepting its plans for political and economic reform which will augment its domination over the region.

Germany: Mass demonstrations against social and welfare cuts

By By our reporters, 24 October 2006

An estimated 200,000 workers, their families and young people took to the streets in five major German cities (Berlin, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Dortmund and Munich) Saturday to protest against the social and welfare cuts imposed by the previous Social Democratic Party (SPD)-Green Party government and the current grand coalition government of the conservative parties—Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU)—and the SPD.

Israel used chemical weapons in Lebanon and Gaza

By Jean Shaoul, 24 October 2006

Israel has admitted using phosphorous bombs during the war against Lebanon last summer, just days after being accused by an Italian television documentary programme of using dense inert metal missiles, which are highly carcinogenic, against the Palestinians in Gaza in July and August.

Belgium: Losses for ruling coalition as far right make gains

By Paul Bond, 23 October 2006

Last week’s municipal elections in Belgium revealed a deepening political crisis across the country. The parties of the national ruling coalition of Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt fared badly ahead of next year’s federal elections.

North Korean nuclear test opens up political divisions in South Korea

By Adam Haig, 23 October 2006

North Korea’s nuclear test on October 9 has fuelled a sharp political debate in South Korea. Despite considerable US pressure, South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun has indicated that his government will continue to pursue its so-called Sunshine policy aimed at ending tensions and opening up North Korea to investors. The opposition Grand National Party (GNP), however, has demanded the imposition of tough economic penalties and South Korea’s participation in the provocative US-led plans for the interception and search of North Korean ships.

The case of Curt Weldon: Republican congressman targeted after criticizing 9/11 cover-up

By Patrick Martin, 23 October 2006

A series of FBI raids only three weeks before the November 7 election have dealt a blow to the political fortunes of Republican Congressman Curt Weldon. Federal agents raided the homes of Weldon’s daughter and a close political supporter on October 16, allegedly looking for evidence of an influence-peddling scheme involving the congressman and a Russian oil company.

Australian athlete supported American civil rights struggle

By Margaret Rees, 23 October 2006

Thirty eight years ago, on October 16, 1968, the medals ceremony at the Mexico Olympics was converted into a symbolic demonstration of the struggle against oppression.

Strike by US and Canadian Goodyear workers in third week

By Shannon Jones, 23 October 2006

The strike by some 15,000 members of the United Steelworkers against Goodyear Tire and Rubber at 16 facilities in the US and Canada is in its third week with no negotiations scheduled. No talks have taken place since the walkout began October 5.

Not everything, but certainly something

By David Walsh, 23 October 2006

This is the second in a series of articles on the recent Vancouver International Film Festival (September 28-October 13)

Demands for Iraq “course change” grow louder in Washington

By James Cogan, 23 October 2006

The tremendous political and military crisis confronting the US occupation of Iraq is plunging the American ruling elite into perplexity and even panic. A broad consensus is developing in Washington that the Bush administration’s policies since March 2003 have produced a debacle, and desperate steps must be taken to protect US interests.

SEP candidate in Michigan addresses public forums

By Larry Porter, 23 October 2006

Jerome White, Socialist Equality Party candidate for Congress in the 12th district of Michigan, addressed several groups during the past week, emphasizing the SEP’s opposition to the war in Iraq and the one-sided war big business has launched against the living standards of the workers in his district.

Australian police raid office of Solomon Islands PM

By Rick Kelly, 21 October 2006

Australian police yesterday raided the office of Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare. The highly provocative action, which follows the arrest of the country’s immigration minister last Wednesday, underscores Canberra’s determination to remove the Sogavare government and re-establish its neo-colonial domination over the region. As the crisis in the Solomons has developed, the Howard government has made clear that it is prepared to use force against its political opponents.

What we see and what we do not yet see

By David Walsh, 21 October 2006

This is the first in a series of articles on the recent Vancouver International Film Festival (September 28-October 13)

A socialist program to end the war in Sri Lanka

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 21 October 2006

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) condemns the Sri Lankan government’s military offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) that has already claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians and driven many more from their homes. The new war serves the interests of the ruling elites in Colombo and is directed against the vast majority of the population—Tamil, Sinhala and Muslim alike.

India’s prime minister pledges to accelerate neo-liberal ”reform”

By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones, 21 October 2006

Within hours of the Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government reviving Indira Gandhi’s populist cry of “Garibi Hatao” (Banish or Eliminate Poverty) as its main slogan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other leading government figures were pledging before big business audiences that the UPA will accelerate the implementation of neo-liberal reforms.

New York Times editor touts role of establishment press in “war on terror”

By Barry Grey, 21 October 2006

The executive editor of the New York Times, Bill Keller, delivered a lecture on October 16 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor entitled “Editors in Chains: Secrets, Security and the Press.” Keller was presented to the audience of several hundred faculty, students and area residents as a spokesman for the liberal values of freedom of the press and open debate against the Bush administration and its policies of secret government and press censorship.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 21 October 2006

Asia

Britain: Thames Water sell-off means higher prices and job losses

By Socialist Equality Party (Britain), 21 October 2006

This article is available as a PDF leaflet to download and distribute

SEP candidate for US Senate wins support at Buffalo New York forum for disabled

By our reporter, 21 October 2006

Wednesday and Thursday Bill Van Auken, Socialist Equality Party candidate for US Senate from New York, took his campaign to Buffalo where he addressed an SEP campaign rally of students and workers near Buffalo State College.

India’s Congress Party revives discredited “Garibi Hatao” slogan

By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones, 21 October 2006

India’s Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has decided to revive the populist electoral slogan “Garibi Hatao” (eliminate poverty), first popularized by Indira Gandhi during the 1971 parliamentary elections, in the hope that it can provide political cover for a new wave of neo-liberal reforms.

Statement of German SEP: Fight against job and welfare cuts requires an international socialist perspective

By Socialist Equality Party (Germany), 21 October 2006

The following statement is being distributed at nationwide demonstrations in Germany against welfare cuts on October 21.

SEP candidate in California speaks at public forums

By Joe Lopez, 20 October 2006

The Socialist Equality Party’s candidate for the US House of Representatives from California’s 29th District, John Burton, addressed meetings during the past week in Pasadena and Altadena, speaking on the Iraq war and the policies and program of the Socialist Equality Party.

A devastating indictment of the former SPD-Green government

By Ulrich Rippert, 20 October 2006

Stark figures from a still unpublished study by the Friedrich Ebert Institute (Friedrich Ebert Stiftung—FES), which has close ties to the Social Democratic Party (SPD), were revealed last weekend. The statistics immediately unleashed a torrent of debate. The FES report bears the headline “Society during the reform process” and makes clear that mass poverty is growing rapidly in Germany.

Letters from our readers

By , 20 October 2006

The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site.

NATO continues slaughter of civilians in Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 20 October 2006

Twice in a matter of a few hours on Wednesday, the NATO-commanded International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) occupying Afghanistan fired missiles into civilian dwellings, killing as many as 26 men, women and children. The deaths underscore the fact that ISAF’s counter-insurgency operations are being conducted with murderous disregard for the local population, which is overwhelmingly hostile to foreign military forces.

WSWS interviews: Sri Lankan soldiers oppose return to war

By our correspondents, 20 October 2006

As the civil war in Sri Lanka escalates, the military is carrying out a massive recruiting campaign in the press and electronic media. The government is making an explicit communal appeal, declaring that it is the duty of heroes to defend the “Sinhala motherland” against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East and Africa

By , 20 October 2006

Europe

Turkey: A new military intervention in the making

By Sinan Ikinci, 20 October 2006

Two weeks ago the high command of the Turkish military, with the full support of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, launched a new campaign against the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. The campaign takes place within the context of US war preparations against Iran and a general increase of anti-Islamic propaganda in all Western countries. Without offering the slightest support for the reactionary AKP government, one must recognize that this military intervention represents a genuine threat to the Turkish population.

Blair joins the attack on Britain’s Muslims

By Chris Marsden, 20 October 2006

Prime Minister Tony Blair has placed himself at the head of an ongoing and sinister campaign against Britain’s Muslim minority.

A fresh look at Mozart—Part 2

By Verena Nees, 20 October 2006

This is the second of a two-part series. (SeePart 1)

US military and Iraqi deaths soar amidst preparations for major offensive

By Joe Kay, 19 October 2006

Ten US troops died on Tuesday in Iraq and at least one more on Wednesday, bringing the monthly death toll for October up to 70. At the current rate, US casualties for the month will be the highest since November 2004, and the third highest since the invasion in March 2003. The latest surge in casualties brings the total US death toll to at least 2,786.

The US Supreme Court minority in Hamdan: executive rule in the “state of exception”

By Richard Hoffman, 19 October 2006

This is the third and final part of a three-part analysis. Part 1 was published on Tuesday October 17 and Part 2 on Wednesday October 18.

Vote “No” on Michigan Ballot Proposition 2!

By of Jerome White and Socialist Equality Party candidate for US Congress in Michigan’s 12th District, 19 October 2006

The following statement was issued by Jerome White, the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate for US Congress in Michigan’s 12th District, on Proposition 2, the so-called Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, which will appear on the state ballot November 7. The measure calls for amending the Michigan constitution “to ban affirmative action programs that give preferential treatment to groups or individuals based on their race, gender, color, ethnicity or national origin for public employment, education or contracting purposes.”

A fresh look at Mozart—Part 1

By Verena Nees, 19 October 2006

This is the first of a two-part series.

Military conflict escalates in Sri Lanka after two major LTTE attacks

By Sarath Kumar, 19 October 2006

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) carried out two major attacks against the Sri Lankan military in the past three days, raising the danger of a further escalation in the open civil war that has erupted since late July.

Putin and the murder of Anna Politkovskaya

By Patrick Richter, 19 October 2006

More than a week after the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, there is still no definite evidence to indicate who was responsible. However, when one poses the question of who stood most to benefit from silencing a prominent and courageous opponent of the terror being carried out in Chechnya, then the answer is the ruling clique surrounding President Putin and his governor in Chechnya, Ramsan Kadyrov.

Five years since Australia’s SIEV X tragedy: the official cover-up continues

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 19 October 2006

Five years after Australia’s worst maritime disaster, in which 353 asylum seekers, including 150 children, drowned, not one of the fundamental questions raised by the terrible tragedy has been answered.

Alleged Toronto terror plot included two police agents

By David Adelaide, 19 October 2006

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Fifth Estate and the Globe & Mail, the “Toronto terror cell” arrested in June for allegedly plotting massive acts of terrorism against Canadian targets included not just one, but two Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) moles. This second Muslim man in the pay of Canada’s security forces is said to have been involved in the accused terrorists’ alleged efforts to construct powerful explosives.

SEP campaign reaches students in New York

By , 19 October 2006

The Socialist Equality Party campaign of Bill Van Auken for the United States Senate is gaining a wide audience among workers, students and young people in New York. Van Auken is challenging Senator Hillary Clinton.

Britain: legislation on equality for gays blocked

By Chris Marsden, 19 October 2006

Britain’s ongoing campaign to demonise Muslims has for the past few days centred on the suspension of Aishah Azmi from her post as a young teaching assistant at a Church of England school in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. Kirklees Council, her employer, had asked Azmi to take off her veil in class because they said children had difficulty understanding her during English lessons.

Citing torture, lawyers for Jose Padilla argue case should be dismissed

By Joe Kay, 18 October 2006

Lawyers for José Padilla filed a motion October 4 asking a US District Court to throw out charges against Padilla on the grounds that he has been tortured while in the custody of the US military. Padilla is a US citizen who spent 42 months, mainly in solitary confinement, at a US Navy brig after being arrested in Chicago and declared an “unlawful enemy combatant” by the Bush administration.

A sign of crisis: two major Sri Lankan parties to form a grand coalition

By K. Ratnayake, 18 October 2006

The decision of the two main Sri Lankan parties—the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and opposition United National Party (UNP)—to establish an alliance is a sign of the island’s deepening political crisis amid a renewed civil war.

For an immediate end to the Iraq occupation, bring the troops home now!

By , 18 October 2006

The following statement was recorded by the Socialist Equality Party candidate for US Senate from New York Bill Van Auken for the Department of Defense Information Center. Established under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, the center carries personal audio messages from candidates for federal office and for governor from each state directed to military personnel stationed overseas and other US citizens residing abroad.

Gillo Pontecorvo, Italian director of The Battle of Algiers, dead at 86

By , 18 October 2006

Gillo Pontecorvo, the Italian filmmaker best known for directing Battle of Algiers (1966), died October 12 at a hospital in Rome at the age of 86. The cause of death was not immediately revealed, but the director had suffered a heart attack in recent months.