South News Aug 1 

PLO condemns Jerusalem bombing 

The Palestine Liberation Organisation's UN observer condemned Wednesday's bombing of a market in West Jerusalem and said he did not see how any Palestinian could think such ``criminal actions'' would help the Palestinian cause. 

It was also not the time to try to ``score political points,'' Nasser al-Kidwa told reporters, alluding to calls by Israel for Palestinian President Yasser Arafat to crack down on extremists.

``The Palestinian side at all levels has condemned the bombings which took place today in West Jerusalem. We have established policy in this regard opposing any actions committed against innocent civilians from both sides,'' al-Kidwa said. 

``And frankly, as a Palestinian, I do not see how could any Palestinian see any benefit to the Palestinian people coming out of such criminal actions.'' 

On Wednesday, two men dressed as Orthodox Jews carried pounds of explosives in briefcases into alleys in Jerusalem's main fruit and vegetable market. They blew themselves up about 50 yards apart and killed 13 other people. Some 170 people fell injured in the Mahane Yehuda bazaar. Twin bombs packed with screws and nails, detonating at 1:18 p.m. scattered soot and flesh the length of Tree of Life Street, piling wounded with dead amid crowded alley stalls.

Almost at once hate filled the marketplace, traditionally a bastion of right-wing political sentiment, and demonstrators chanted "Death to the Arabs!" and "Bibi is a traitor!" using a nickname for Netanyahu and recycling the complaint many Israeli Jews had directed at Peres and his slain predecessor, Yitzhak Rabin, for negotiating with Arafat. 

Yasser Arafat, head of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, telephoned Netanyahu to express condolences and granted an uncommon interview to Israel Television in English.

    "I condemn completely these terrorist activities because it is
    against the peace process, against the Palestinians and against
    Israelis, and we will do all [in] our capability to face these terrorist activities,"
    Arafat said. "We hope that Mr. Netanyahu will not give any excuse for these terrorists to use -- those who are against the peace process -- but [will] carry on with the peace process." 

American Broadcasting Corporation's Mike Lee told Good Morning America on July 31.

    "High-ranking Israeli security forces are quoted as saying that
    those two suicide bombers are from an area near Hebron under
    control not of the Palestinian Authority, but the Israeli military
    and civilian officials," Lee said. 

A flier left outside Red Cross offices in Ramallah in the West Bank claimed responsibility on behalf of Issadin Kassam, the military wing of the Islamic group Hamas, and implied a threat to carry out further attacks if Israel fails to release all prisoners "in occupied Palestine" by 9 p.m. Sunday. But Israeli security forces told Israel Television they were unsure of the flier's authenticity, and Abdel Aziz Rantissi, a Hamas leader released by Israel this spring after years of confinement without trial, said in a telephone interview from Gaza that it was not genuine.

 President of the UN General Assembly Razali Ismail said, "I must express shock and horror over the deaths and injuries as a result of the bombing in Jerusalem. Our heart must go to the bereaved and we extend our condolences. "

"Our time is too often punctuated with violence and acts of extremism and destruction. We need to reach out for peace and reconciliation." 

Malaysia attacks on currency speculators

Malaysia renewed its attack on currency speculators Monday July 28. In an opening address to a meeting of leading Asian and Western nations, Malaysian Foreign Minister Abdullah Badawi said it was troubling that Southeast Asian economies "continue to be bedevilled by currency fluctuations caused by hostile elements bent on such unholy actions." 

He said it was the "height of international criminality" that the fate of millions could be subject to the mercyof a few "unscrupulous" traders. "We in ASEAN have resolved to intensify actions to take counter-measures. It is time that we recognize these actions for what they really are, namely villainous acts of sabotage," Abdullah said. 

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has openly accused U.S. billionaire George Soros of leadinga speculative assault after the currencies of Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia in particular came under recent attack. Mahathir, who also accused Soros on Saturday of upsetting other regional currencies, said the American had even used his clout to try to block Burma's entry into the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). 

``He (Soros) was also known as the man who...tried to use his financial clout in the United States to block Myanmar's (Burma) admission into ASEAN,'' Mahathir said. ``It is very difficult to separate the right hand and the left hand and sometimes you don't even know what your right hand is doing. But in this case, it is quite obvious there is a convergence,'' Mahathir said.

US Undersecretary of State Stuart Eizenstat delievered the most comprehensive and authoritative U.S. response to a dispute over Southeast Asia's currency crisis that had been brewing for days. 

"Experience suggests that market movements are not dominated by a small number of currency speculators, let alone one person, who happens to be a U.S. citizen," Eizenstat said in remarks to a closed-door session that were later released by the State Department. "Financial markets detected strains in the economy of one of the ASEAN countries and reacted accordingly." 

ASEAN comprises Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Burma and Laos. Ministers praised the progress ASEAN has made over the past 30 years, including economic cooperation which has boosted the region into one of the world's economic powerhouses. 

World Festival of Youth in Cuba urges UN to hold youth summit 

The President of the Federation of Democratic Youth, French Oliver Meier, has proposed that the United Nations hold a world youth summit. The proposal was put forward during discussions held at the University of Havana on the issue "World Youth and Student Movement." on July 31.

According to the proposal, a world youth summit would come up with a Charter of Rights, calling on the world to mobilize public opinion regarding issues that concern young people. The idea would also help create awareness among governments of the needs and dreams of those who are the future of the world. 

Earlier over 5000 young people from all five continents, together with the Cuban people, had the streets of Vedado resounding with their songs and slogans, in a uniquely colorful and joyful march for solidarity, in the height of a summer afternoon, in opening of the 14th World Festival of Youth and Students.

From the corner of Paseo and 23rd Streets to the stairway of the University of Havana, the stage for the event's opening gala, the young multinational bloc, carrying flowers, placards and flags reminiscent of those unforgettable days of the '78 Festival, wound its way through 12 city blocks. Some 57 world figures were invited to this significant meeting of progressive youth, including writers, painters, Nobel Peace laureates, leaders of foreign political parties, international NGOs and legislators. 

In other Festival news, the Ernesto Che Guevara Solidarity Brigade -- comprised of foreign students -- has proposed that October 8th be proclaimed "International Anti-Imperialist Day," in homage to Cuba's Heroic Guerrilla. Che was captured and executed in Bolivia on October 8, 1967. 

U.S. delegates attending the World Youth Festival in the Cuban capital urged their government to withdraw from the illegally occupied Guantanamo Naval Base and to end its blockade against the island. The leader of the New Columbia Liberation Organization, Edward Burnhart, said that the presence of some 800 U.S. delegates in Cuba is highly appreciated by Cuba since it confirms that U.S. young people do not support Washington's policy of isolation, aggression and hostility against the island. 

Upon their return to the United States, the delegates could face prison sentences or fines of up to 50,000 dollars, as they are challenging a U.S. State Department prohibition to travel to the island. 

Meanwhile at the United Nations States parties to the Biological Weapons Convention agreed on Thursday to meet in Geneva on 25 August 1997 to consider allegations by Cuba that it had been the target of "biological aggression". 

The decision comes following an informal meeting called at Cuba's request after formal complaints by the Government over the appearance of the Thrips palmi plague on the island. The consultative process is carried out in accordance with article 5 of the Biological Weapons Convention. 

Pictures at opening 1Rostrum   2Crowd

US tells Kuwait why gulf war was fought 

By Deirdre Griswold, Workers World News

His message was so crass, so full of imperial arrogance and contempt, that at least one reporter picked up on it and filed a little story from Washington. 

The speaker was Nicholas Burns, the State Department spokesperson. On July 15, at a news briefing, Burns lost his cool when a reporter asked him to comment on a Washington Post story that Kuwait might buy some howitzers from China. 

Everybody remembers Kuwait--the oil-rich monarchy in the Middle East that the U.S. "saved" from Iraq. All for the purest motives, of course. 

"We had a war to liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein," said Burns. "We saved Kuwait. We saved the royal family. And we saved the economy and the structure of the society as Kuwait knows it. "And we assume that Kuwait hasn't forgotten that." 

Translation: "You'd better buy your weapons from us, you miserable flun kies, or your economy and your rule are toast." 

All those phony stories about saving Kuwaiti babies in incubators from vicious Iraqi troops are forgotten, of course. That kind of stuff was invented for the U.S. public, which back in 1991 wanted to know why troops had to be sent overseas in yet another war. 

No, Burns is talking directly to the Kuwaiti rulers--who were put in power by Anglo-U.S. oil interests in the first place. He's reminding them that the war was fought to "save the royal family." 
Of course, even that's a lie. Washington doesn't care about the Kuwaiti royal family any more than it cares about its other puppets. They're just a useful tool of social control while the big oil companies extract mega profits from the Middle East. 

And if they dare even think about spending their money somewhere else, the State Department is right there to remind them to "buy American." 

Isn't that the real role of a Nicholas Burns? To be Number One arms merchant to the world?