Red Reading

EU climate change breakthrough? At the Spring Summit last week, EU governments agreed to reduce greenhouse gases emissions by at least 20 percent by 2020 (compared to 1990 levels). While more drastic cuts are needed, the new pledge is a step in the right direction, after years of political indifference. The summit conclusions, however, lack concrete policy measures for how to achieve the emission targets, whereas there are worrying references to nuclear energy, biofuels (for which a 10% minimum binding target for
the transport was agreed) and other pseudo-solutions. To achieve genuine reductions in CO2 emissions, radical policy changes are inescapable, on a broad range of issues from transport, over energy to international trade. To achieve the needed policy transformation, the European Commission and EU governments would have to stand firm against vested interests lobbying to preserve the status quo.

Yet in a major test case of its commitment to seriously tackling CO2, the European Commission has bowed to an intensive lobbying campaign by the automobile industry and watered down its proposals for reducing emissions from cars. This does not bode well for the Commission’s ability to act in the public interest and take the difficult decisions needed to halt climate change. Read the new CEO briefing

Genocide, Worthy and Unworthy - 'It may seem odd to speak of a worthy-genocide establishment, with Richard Holbrooke and Samantha Power as notable members, but we are living in the Kafka era, when major genocidists and their friends and allies can get very passionate and even win Pulitzer Prizes for their denunciation of some genocides and “problems from hell” while actually facilitating, ignoring and apologizing for others,' writes Edward S.Herman on Z-Net. 'Worthy genocides are those mass killings carried out by bad people, notably U.S. enemies and targets, and they receive great attention and elicit much passion; the unworthy ones are carried out by the United States or one of its client states, and they receive little attention or indignation and are not labelled genocides, even where the scale of killings greatly exceeds those so designated, obviously based on political utility. As the United States is an aggressive superpower that has been “projecting power” and opposing popular and revolutionary movements on a global scale since World War II, a very good case can be made that the unworthy genocides that it has carried out or supported have been predominant over the past half century—that it has been the source of more “problems from hell” than any other state.' Read the rest of 'Richard Holbrooke, Samantha Power, and the “Worthy-Genocide” Establishment' (Kafka Era Studies Number 5) On ZNet you can alro read Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, "Marlise Simons and the New York Times on the International Court of Justice Decision on Serbia and Genocide in Bosnia: A Further Study in Total Propaganda Service," Freethought Solidarity Bulletin #9

This bulletin, edited and produced by Fred Whitehead, Kansas City, Kansas, U.S.A., for the International Committee to Protect Freethinkers (ICPF) is available free of charge FRE from The latest issue contains reports from Bangladesh, Egypt and Syria, as well as this item:

"Following the dramatic rejection of the proposed European Constitution by voters in the Netherlands and France, proponents have regrouped. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has furthered the effort to include God in the text. Resisting this, a group of politicians and others have produced The Brussels Declaration, calling for government neutrality in matters of religion. However, the leading French Freethinkers organization La Libre Penseé has declined to endorse this Declaration, stating among other things that it does not acknowledge the extent to which churches already and presently receive a great deal of government funding. This critique is available as a link via the IHEU website."