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MIddle East

Labor News From Huriyet Daily News…

Turkish Unions Strike After Raid June 17, 2013

Five trade unions have launched a nationwide demonstration campaign following the harsh police intervention in Taksim the night of June 15. AA photo

Five trade unions are set to begin today a nationwide demonstration campaign and one-day strike following the harsh police intervention in Taksim the night of June 15, daily Hürriyet has reported.

The Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (D?SK), the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK), the Turkish Doctors’ Union (TTB), the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) and the Turkish Dentists Union (TDHB) have called on workers to take to the streets in a joint decision.

“The ruling Justice and Development Party [AKP] government has launched an offensive against the nation, who refuse to give up their rights and freedoms by staging an insistent resistance,” the group said in a statement.

The members of the unions will stop working on June 17 except for emergency cases and will march to their cities’ centers.

The group has also asked for tolerance because of the disruption and also demanded the support of the people in the squares for a more “egalitarian, free and democratic Turkey.”

The members of the five syndicates that will begin demonstrations as of today could reach “hundreds of thousands,” according to a KESK official.

“We will take the streets using our power of production,” said the general secretary of D?SK, Kani  Beko.

“KESK members will go to their workplaces tomorrow, they will read a statement, and they will take to the streets,” KESK General Secretary ?smail Hakk? Tombul said.


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post script…
Apologies to those who came out last night to see the Iraqi film “Life After the Fall” by Kasim Abid. There were technical difficulties with the tape and it will have to be re-screened later this year. In anycase, next week is the last event of the Festival of Iraqi Culture “We Are Iraqis: Aesthetics and Politics in a Time of War” book reading, signing and discussion.Wed, March 27, 2013 7:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts, 16 Beaver Street (between Broad and Broadway), 4th floor, NYC

We Are Iraqis: Aesthetics and Politics in a Time of War

Omar Souleyman - Leh Jani

[...] Here, classical Arabic mawal-style vocalization gives way to high-octane Syrian Dabke (the regional folkloric dance and party music), Iraqi Choubi and a host of Arabic, Kurdish and Turkish styles, among others. This amalgamation is truly the sound of Syria. The music often has an overdriven sound consisting of phase-shifted Arabic keyboard solos and frantic rhythms. At breakneck speeds, these shrill Syrian electronics play out like forbidden morse-code, but the moods swing from coarse and urgent to dirgy and contemplative in the rugged anthems that comprise Souleyman’s repertoire. -Sublime Frequencies

Several hundred thousand refugees have left the US-backed violence in Syria. BBC says the number should reach 700,000 refugees by the end of 2012. Already Turkey has reached its  limit of 100,000, and in Jordan, that number is expected to climb to 250,000 by the end of the year. This massive displacement of people will undoubtedly do a mix on the music and culture of Syria. As the caption for this video above describes, the music of Omar Souleyman is a kind of geographic finger print of the diverse influences in Syrian Pop Music. How this war will change the music we wont know until the dust settles. Meanwhile, this is not to say another type of Syrian music will not arise from the refugee camps of Turkey, Jordan, or Lebanon. Maybe now as I write, a new tune is being composed. A tune that will develop from it’s extra-specific place to carry message about the Syrian situation. If we really believe in the people and their culture, we would be listening for this new tune instead of the accepting the constant spin and spectacularization of “democracy” in the main stream media.

RT News - United States resumes arms sales to Bahrain, despite human rights abusesRussiaToday reports that United States has publicly announced that it will resume to supply Bahrain with weapons, despite protest by Human Rights Groups and despite the pro-democracy protesters and citizens of Bahrain.

“Washington claims that delivering weapons to Bahrain is crucial for providing security in the region. Bahrain is situated on a strategic island in the Persian Gulf opposite Iran. For more than 60 years it has served as the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet headquarters.”

Continue to new source with video: US restarts Bahrain arms sales amid rights anxiety -RT News. Published: 12 May, 2012, 13:34.


Bahrain protests grow ahead of anniversary - Al Jazeera

Video showing clips from Dec 30th (2011) street protest in Bahrain.

Al Jazeera also had some reporting of the anniversary of the protests in February, earlier this year:

Bahrain protests grow ahead of anniversary
Uploaded by on Feb 3, 2012

A quick youtube search pull up various videos in English and Arabic: http://tiny.cc/bahrain-youtube


Iraq's West Qurna Oil Field

Iraq's West Qurna Oil Field

Just some notes:

• ExxonMobile’s (US)  wikipedia page mentions nothing about it’s contract to develop in Iraq’s West Qurna oil field. Considering this it the second largest oil field in the world after Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar oil field.

• This TIME article headline is at first mislead in that appears that U.S. is shut out of Iraq oil auctions?? When later it mentions that ExxonMobile took 80% stake West Qurna Phase 1. Shut Out as Iraq Auctions Its Oil Fields by Vivienne Walt Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009. It makes me want to research the oil contracts awarded to U.S. Oil companies since the invasion.

• U.S.’s 2nd largest oil company, Chevron was already exploring oil in Iraq‘s Majnoon Oil Fields under the oil exploration contract awarded to Frances Total and Chevron in 2007.

• Finally, where is ConocoPhillips, U.S.’s 3rd largest  oil company?  A little research shows in 2004 Lukoil and ConocoPhillips had formed a strategic alliance in 2004, with ConocoPhillips owning 20% of Lukoil’s shares. In 2007 Lukoil promised ConocoPhillips a share of the West Qurna Oil fields. Lukoil, with ConocoPhillips’s shares at  won the bid in 2009.  So maybe the Time article shouldn’t say U.S.  was “shut-out”completely, as oil contracts in Iraq, despite UN sanctions, are full of holes.

• If you look at the list of largest oil reserves, Libya comes right after Iraq, if you take out the unclean sands oil of Canada and Venezuela. It’s also might seem easier to destabilize under a false premise: WMD (Iraq), a rebel uprising (Libya)?

• Kuwait’s national lines were carved out of Iraq by the British after WWI. Hello BP!

• Kuwait is sandwiched between Iraq and Libya in terms of oil reserve. To no surprise, when Iraq attempted to reclaim Kuwait as the 19th province of Iraq, it only took 5 day for the U.S. forces to intervene. More info Gulf War wikipedia


[photo above of Iraq's West Qurna Oil Field from article "Iraq's West Qurna 1 Reaches Production Milestone" - arabianoilandgas.com]