• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

zaterdag 7 januari 2006

Duchamp's Urinoir


Alan Riding, cultureel correpondent in Europa van de New York Times werpt de klemmende cultuurfilofische vraag op of ook het met een hamer bewerken van een porceleinen urinoir kunst is als die pisbak zelf een kunstwerk is. Het gaat hier om de urinoir van Duchamp, die volgens de BBC als een 'mijlpaal van het modernisme' wordt gezien. 'If a urinal is art, can hammering it be, too? By Alan Riding. The New York Times. PARIS. A French performance artist was arrested for taking a small hammer to Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain," the factory-made urinal that is considered the cornerstone of conceptual art. The porcelain urinal was slightly chipped in the hammering, which took place Wednesday during the final days of a Dada exhibition at the Pompidou Center. The artist, Pierre Pinoncelli, 77, who urinated into the same urinal and also struck it with a hammer at a show in Nîmes, France, in 1993, has a long record of organizing bizarre "happenings." Police officials said that he once again claimed that his action was also a work of art, a tribute to Duchamp and other Dada artists who had made their name by challenging the very definition of art.' Lees verder: http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/01/06/news/art.php Overigens geeft Riding wijselijk geen antwoord op de door hem opgeworpen vraag.

Trouw en Sharon 2


Dit zijn slachtoffers van Ariel Sharon. Op de bovenste foto ziet u: 'TWO-YEAR-OLD NOOR. Zakaria Hindi carries the body of his 2-year-old niece Noor, at the hospital in the Deir Balah refugee camp in Gaza Strip Saturday July 6, 2002. The baby and her 44-year-old mother Randa Hindi were killed Saturday morning while riding in a taxi in the Gaza Strip by Israeli tank fire.' Misschien dat de zuster van Noor ooit eens een zelfmoordaanslag zal plegen omdat niemand ooit veroordeeld werd voor de moord op haar moeder. Wie zou dan wat willen zeggen over de zuster van Noor? Op de onderste foto ziet u: 'CHILD'S BODY. Palestinian rescue workers pull the body of a child out of rubble on July 24, 2002, after the air attack on a block of buildings in Gaza by Israel.' Wie zou wat willen zeggen tegen de vader en moeder van dit kind? Stel dat de broer van dit slachtoffer ooit een zelfmoordaanslag pleegt omdat niemand ooit veroordeeld werd voor de moord op zijn broer. Wie zou dan wat willen zeggen over die broer? Wie zou uberhaupt iets durven zeggen? Dit is de dagelijkse werkelijkheid achter al die politieke leuzen, al die politieke praatjes, al die politieke woorden van journalisten die Sharon portretteren als een groot leider. Wat tonen die gecorrumpeerde woorden werkelijk? Wat zeggen ze over het hartverscheurende verdriet van de nabestaanden, van bijvoorbeeld een vader die zijn dode kind vasthoudt? Inez Polak schrijft in Trouw over het doodseskader van Sharon: 'Even verlaat hij het leger om aan de universiteit de geschiedenis van het Midden-Oosten te gaan studeren. Hij wordt in 1953 weer teruggehaald en krijgt het bevel over een semi-geheime nieuwe eenheid, die tot taak heeft een einde te maken aan de Arabische infiltraties.' Ze schrijft er niet bij dat de Arabische infiltraties vaak Palestijnen betroffen die naar hun eigen huis probeerden terug te keren nadat de Israelische troepen het land etnisch hadden gezuiverd. Tenminste 670.000 Palestijnen werden zo verdreven in de verwachting dat ze spoorloos zouden opgaan in de verpauperde Arabische massa's elders, zoals destijds in een rapport van de Israelische geheime dienst werd geschreven. Polak zwijgt erover maar schrijft wel met nadruk 'Arabische,' want dat is het gangbare ideologische taalgebruik. Palestijnen komen namelijk uit Palestina en Arabieren komen ergens uit een onbegensde woestijn, die kunnen dus overal in de Arabische wereld leven, althans dat is de officiele gedachtegang van de Israelische machthebbers. Nog een citaat van Polak over het doodseskader van Sharon: 'Commando 101, nog altijd een begrip in Israël, wordt gevormd naar het evenbeeld van zijn leider, bruut, gewelddadig – anderen zeggen ’doeltreffend’ – en opereert meestal in nachtelijke acties aan de andere kant van de bestandslijnen. Zo blaast zijn eenheid de huizen op in een klein plaatsje, Kibje. 69 mensen, meest vrouwen en kinderen, komen om. Sjarons verweer: „We dachten dat de mensen al uit hun huizen waren gevlucht.” En later zal hij zeggen: „Het was oog om oog, soms meer.”' Het staat er allemaal wel, en toch staat het er niet. En dat komt door het taalgebruik en de opbouw en combinatie van de feiten. Zouden Palestijnen hetzelfde hebben gedaan dan zou Inez Polak niet geschreven hebben over een eenheid, maar over een doodseskader, wat het daadwerkelijk ook was. En wat bedoelt ze met "doeltreffend?" Bedoelt ze dat sommige mensen in Israel sympathiseren met terrorisme, met het koelbloedig vermoorden van vrouwen en kinderen? Of bedoelt ze dat het beeld van de brute gewelddadige terrorist genuanceerd moet worden? Dat hij een doeltreffende terrorist was en dus eigenlijk wel goed voor Israel? Per slot van rekening is zijn eenheid 'nog altijd een begrip' in de 'joodse natie.' En wat bedoelt ze met Sharon's citaat "oog om oog, soms meer." Oog om oog ten opzichte van ongewapende vrouwen en kinderen? Inez Polak zou deze onzin van Sharon niet hebben geschreven als de slachtoffers joodse vrouwen en kinderen waren geweest, die bij een terroristische actie op een markt in Tel Aviv door een Palestijnse 'eenheid' waren vermoord. En terecht zou ze dit niet hebben geschreven. Nu we het er toch over hebben: wat betekent het woord eenheid in deze context? De eenheid opereert? Een doodseskader dat opereert? Operaties van commando-eenheden, daar kan ik me iets bij voorstellen, maar sinds wanneer opereert een terroristische bende? Mohammed Atta opereerde aan de andere kant van de bestandslijn? Kennelijk beseft mevrouw Polak niet hoe breekbaar het instrument taal is en hoe zorgvuldig men met taal dient om te gaan. Karl Kraus zei niet voor niets dat de taal de moeder van de gedachte is en niet haar dienstmeid. Voor meer foto's van de Israelische terreur in de bezette gebieden, zie: http://richmond.indymedia.org/newswire/display/2204/index.php

Corruptie in Washington 4



Joe Conason schrijft in een redactioneel commentaar in Truthout over politieke en religieuze fraudeurs: 'Jack Abramoff and his deeply religious right-wing cronies express their "biblical worldview" by swindling Indian tribes and bribing legislators. Verily, mysterious are the ways of the Lord. Let Us Prey. Rarely has the contrast between the rhetoric of the religious right and the behavior of its leaders been so starkly exposed as in the Abramoff scandal. The most obvious example was the manipulation of Christian activists in Louisiana and Texas by Reed, former executive director of the Christian Coalition, who said he was helping them fight gambling when he was actually using them to promote Indian casinos (and to make a few million bucks for himself). That episode alone should have alerted honest Christians to the moral rot within the Republican leadership that professed to represent their interests. But there is of course much more evidence of the religious cynicism of Abramoff and his cronies. Consider the curious figure of Rabbi Daniel Lapin, a self-styled authority on the relationship between biblical morality and modern political life who is also a great pal of Abramoff's and DeLay's. An outstanding example of the bogus religiosity that has enshrouded this gang, Lapin has scarcely received the notice he deserves in the scandal, although he has provided many of the most darkly comical moments as it unfolded during the past year. For those who don't know him, Lapin leads conservative organizations that have brought him alliances with Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Michael Medved, as well as close friendships with DeLay and Abramoff. This particular man of God, vaunted for his scholarly understanding of the Bible and his apologetics for Christian fundamentalism, turns out to have served as a money launderer and fraudster for Abramoff. He was paid by Abramoff's bogus Washington charity, the Capital Athletic Foundation, which passed money along to the wife of California Rep. John Doolittle, among other dubious "charitable" payments. Lapin's own peculiar "religious charity," Toward Tradition, took in thousands of dollars from an online gambling firm, which it then passed along to the wife of DeLay staffer Tony Rudy.' Lees verder: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/010606D.shtml

Trouw en Sharon

Onder de kop 'Sjaron, De bulldozer die zijn karwei niet kan afmaken' publiceert Trouw vandaag een 'portret' van de man die vrouwen en kinderen vermoordde. Het is geschreven door Inez Polak. Enkele citaten: 'In 1956, in de Sinaï-oorlog, besluit hij, tegen de orders in, de strategische Mitlapas te veroveren. Het wordt een van de bloedigste slagen van de oorlog.' De correpondente verzuimt er bij te vermelden dat Sharon bij deze onbesuisde actie op een zinloze manier Egyptische legereenheden provoceerde en zo het leven van veertig van zijn manschappen opofferde. Over de oorlogsmidaad van Sabra en Shatila is Polak nog korter: 'Hij weigerde enige verantwoordelijkheid te nemen voor het bloedbad in de Palestijnse kampen, dat tot zijn aftreden als minister van defensie leidde. „Het waren christelijke falangisten die daar moslims uitmoordden.”' Mevrouw Polak verzuimt te vermelden dat een officiele Israelische commissie Sharon 'persoonlijk verantwoordelijk' hield voor het bloedbad. Door weg te laten, door selectief te berichten, geeft de Trouw-correspondente een vertekend beeld van de Israelische politicus. Sharon's terrorisme en zijn oorlogsmisdaden worden terloops met een enkel zinnetje afgedaan. http://www.trouw.nl/deverdieping/overigeartikelen/article123852.ece/Sjaron+%2F+De+bulldozer++die+zijn+karwei+niet+kan+afmaken+ Daarentegen bericht een onafhankelijke correspondent als Robert Fisk het volgende: 'The subsequent Israeli Kahan commission of enquiry into this atrocity provided absolute proof that Israeli soldiers saw the massacre taking place. The evidence of a Lieutenant Avi Grabovsky was crucial. He was an Israeli deputy tank commander and reported what he saw to his higher command. "Don't interfere," the senior officer said. Ever afterwards, Israeli embassies around the world would claim that the commission held Sharon only indirectly responsible for the massacre. It was untrue. The last page of the official Israeli report held Sharon "personally responsible". It was years later that the Israeli-trained Phalangist commander, Elie Hobeika, now working for the Syrians, agreed to turn state's evidence against Sharon - now the Israeli Prime Minister - at a Brussels court. The day after the Israeli attorney general declared Sharon's defence a "state" matter, Hobeika was killed by a massive car bomb in east Beirut. Israel denied responsibility. US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld traveled to Brussels and quietly threatened to withdraw Nato headquarters from Belgium if the country maintained its laws to punish war criminals from foreign nations. Within months, George W Bush had declared Sharon "a man of peace". It was all over… Sharon's involvement in the 1982 Sabra and Chatila massacres continues to fester around the man who, according to Israel's 1993 Kahan commission report, bore "personal responsibility" for the Phalangist slaughter. So fearful were the Israeli authorities that their leaders would be charged with war crimes that they drew up a list of countries where they might have to stand trial - and which they should henceforth avoid - now that European nations were expanding their laws to include foreign nationals who had committed crimes abroad. Belgian judges were already considering a complaint by survivors of Sabra and Chatila - one of them a female rape victim - while a campaign had been mounted abroad against other Israeli figures associated with the atrocities. Eva Stern was one of those who tried to prevent Brigadier General Amos Yaron being appointed Israeli defence attaché in Washington because he had allowed the Lebanese Phalange militia to enter the camps on 16 September 1982, and knew - according to the Kahan commission report - that women and children were being murdered. He only ended the killings two days later. Canada declined to accept Yaron as defence attaché. Stern, who compiled a legal file on Yaron, later vainly campaigned with human rights groups to annul his appointment - by Prime Minister Ehud Barak - as director general of the Israeli defence ministry. The Belgian government changed their law - and dropped potential charges against Sharon - after a visit to Brussels by US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the man who famously referred on 6 August 2002 to Israelis' control over "the so-called occupied territory" which was "the result of a war, which they won".’ Lees verder: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11479.htm Het is het verschil tussen een Britse onafhankelijke kwaliteitskrant en een Hollands christelijk dagblad. De eerste laat een professionele journalist berichten die in het Midden Oosten is gestationeerd, de laatste een inwoonster van Israel die een emotionele binding met de 'joodse natie' heeft en daardoor onmogelijk neutraal kan blijven. Het is journalistiek onfatsoenlijk van Trouw om zo zijn lezers te informeren. Zie over de selectieve berichtgeving van Trouw ook http://stanvanhoucke.blogspot.com/2005/12/trouw-misschien-wel.html

Fisk en Sharon



Op de bovenste foto ziet u orthodoxe joden van Naturei Karta uit New York die de doden herdenken van de Palestijnse vluchtelingenkampen Sabra en Shatila. http://www.nkusa.org/ De BBC World Service omschrijft de slachting, waarvoor Ariel Sharon mede verantwoordelijk was, als volgt: 'On 16 September 1982, under the watchful eye of their Israeli allies who had encircled the area, Lebanese Christian militiamen entered Beirut's Sabra and Shatila refugee camps bent on revenge for the assassination of their leader Bashir Gemayel. There followed a three-day orgy of rape and slaughter that left hundreds, possibly thousands, of innocent civilians dead in what is considered the bloodiest single incident of the Arab-Israeli conflict.' Volgens de Palestijnen zijn bij dit bloedbad 3000 tot 3500 burgers vermoord. De Britse correspondent van de Independent Robert Fisk schrijft in zijn boek 'De Grote Beschavingsoorlog' : 'Sharon's involvement in the 1982 Sabra and Chatila massacres continues to fester around the man who, according to Israel's 1993 Kahan commission report, bore "personal responsibility" for the Phalangist slaughter. So fearful were the Israeli authorities that their leaders would be charged with war crimes that they drew up a list of countries where they might have to stand trial - and which they should henceforth avoid - now that European nations were expanding their laws to include foreign nationals who had committed crimes abroad. Belgian judges were already considering a complaint by survivors of Sabra and Chatila - one of them a female rape victim - while a campaign had been mounted abroad against other Israeli figures associated with the atrocities. Eva Stern was one of those who tried to prevent Brigadier General Amos Yaron being appointed Israeli defence attaché in Washington because he had allowed the Lebanese Phalange militia to enter the camps on 16 September 1982, and knew - according to the Kahan commission report - that women and children were being murdered. He only ended the killings two days later. Canada declined to accept Yaron as defence attaché. Stern, who compiled a legal file on Yaron, later vainly campaigned with human rights groups to annul his appointment - by Prime Minister Ehud Barak - as director general of the Israeli defence ministry. The Belgian government changed their law - and dropped potential charges against Sharon - after a visit to Brussels by US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the man who famously referred on 6 August 2002 to Israelis' control over "the so-called occupied territory" which was "the result of a war, which they won".Rumsfeld had threatened that NATO headquarters might be withdrawn from Belgian soil if the Belgians didn't drop the charges against Sharon... Sharon was forever, like his Prime Minister Menachem Begin, evoking the Second World War in spurious parallels with the Arab-Israeli conflict. When in the late winter of 1988 the US State Department opened talks with the PLO in Tunis after Arafat renounced "terrorism", Sharon stated in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that this was worse than the British and French appeasement before the Second World War when "the world, to prevent war, sacrificed one of the democracies". Arafat was "like Hitler who wanted so much to negotiate with the Allies in the second half of the second world war...and the Allies said 'No'. They said there are enemies with whom you don't talk. They pushed him to the bunker in Berlin where he found his death, and Arafat is the same kind of enemy, that with whom you don't talk. He's got too much blood on his hands."Thus within his lifetime Sharon was able to bestialise Yasser Arafat as both Hitler and bin Laden. The thrust of Sharon's argument in those days was that the creation of a Palestinian state would mean a war in which "the terrorists will be acting from behind a cordon of UN forces and observers". By the time he was on his apparent death bed yesterday that Palestinian "state", far from being protected by the UN, was non-existent, its territory still being carved up in the West Bank by growing Jewish settlements, road blocks and a concrete wall.Largely forgotten amid Sharon's hatred for "terrorism" was his outspoken criticism of Nato's war against Serbia in 1999, when he was Israeli foreign minister. Eleven years earlier he had sympathised with the political objective of Slobodan Milosevic: to prevent the establishment of an Albanian state in Kosovo. This, he said, would lead to "Greater Albania" and provide a haven for - readers must here hold their breath - "Islamic terror". In a Belgrade newspaper interview, Sharon said that "we stand together with you against the Islamic terror". Once Nato's bombing of Serbia was under way, however, Sharon's real reason for supporting the Serbs became apparent. "It's wrong for Israel to provide legitimacy to this forceful sort of intervention which the Nato countries are deploying... in an attempt to impose a solution on regional disputes," he said. "The moment Israel expresses support for the sort of model of action we're seeing in Kosovo, it's likely to be the next victim. Imagine that one day Arabs in Galilee demand that the region in which they live be recognised as an autonomous area, connected to the Palestinian Authority..."' http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11479.htm Zie voor interview met Fisk: http://home.planet.nl/~houck006/fisk.html

vrijdag 6 januari 2006

NRC en Sharon


Vandaag publiceert NRC/Handelsblad een column van Charles Krauthammer van de Washington Post: 'Sharon was een historische figuur van een enorm omvang, die diende in elke oorlog die Israël voerde vanaf zijn oprichting in 1948, die Israël bijna in zijn eentje redde met zijn gewaagde oversteek van het Suez-kanaal in de Jom Kippoer-oorlog van 1973, en nu de politieke links-rechtsimpasse had doorbroken waardoor Israël verstoken bleef van strategische ideeën om in de wereld na Oslo zijn koers te vinden. Sharon heeft Israël de enige rationele strategische uitweg gewezen. Maar helaas was hij pas halverwege met zijn land toen hij zelf werd weggenomen. En hij heeft, anders dan indertijd Mozes, geen Jozua nagelaten.' http://www.nrc.nl/opinie/article123529.ece Geen woord over het terrorisme en de oorlogsmisdaden van Sharon en Israel's expansionisme ten koste van de Palestijnen. Die spelen geen rol in de beschouwingen van deze pro-Irael lobbyist, die de Guardian of Zion Award ontving van Israel's Bar-Ilan Universiteit voor zijn "support of the Jewish State in print over the years." Zijn loyaliteit met Israel is zo groot dat hij de 'joodse staat' onvoorwaardelijk steunt en iedere Amerikaan die dit niet doet onmiddellijk criminaliseert. Zo schrijft Chris Moore van AntiWar.Com: 'While Krauthammer proudly brandishes his Israeli patriotism (a quick glance at archives of his writing will reveal a firm commitment to both glorifying Israel and agitating against its critics), he has little tolerance for American patriots like General Scowcroft, whose primary concern is for the lives of American soldiers – soldiers Krauthammer would use as robots in pursuit of his grandiose Middle Eastern vision. To Krauthammer, those who hesitate to risk the lives of Americans in order to invade and occupy faraway Islamic countries deemed a "threat" by hyperactivist ideologues are themselves a threat to "decency" and civilization... And therein lies the insanity, paranoia, and irrationality that mark neoconservative thought. Those who oppose them are not only wrong, but evil. If you disagree with neocon-formulated government policies, you must have wicked ulterior motives. If you put the lives of American soldiers before some abstract vision of a socially engineered Middle East, you are selfish. And no one is beyond reproach. Even those who have patriotically served their country like Scowcroft become sinister subversives if they break with the neocon party line.' http://www.antiwar.com/orig/cmoore.php?articleid=7894 Krauthammer behoort tot de extremisten onder de Amerikaanse neoconservatieven, die eisten dat Irak werd bezet omdat het goed voor Israel zou zijn. Een argument dat in Washington algemeen bekend was, zoals duidelijk werd uit de opmerking van senator Ernest Hollings dat 'With Iraq no threat, why invade a sovereign country? The answer: President Bush's policy to secure Israel,' waarbij hij 'deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, neoconservative hardliner Richard Perle, and former psychiatrist and Charles Krauthammer' aanwees als belangrijke pleitbezorgers van de Iraakse bezetting. Krauthammer was 'one of the neocon media architects of the Iraq war, who used his prominent Post column to disseminate pro-war propaganda (not unlike the New York Times' Judy Miller), he should be defensive. In April of 2002, for example, he wrote: "Time is running short. Saddam has weapons of mass destruction. He is working on nuclear weapons. And he has every incentive to pass them on to terrorists who will use them against us. … We must not be diverted from our supreme national objective: defeating and destroying those who did Sept. 11 and those planning the next Sept. 11."' Nu weet iedereen dat het allemaal propaganda was, leugens, mediabedrog. Desondanks besluit NRC de beweringen te publiceren van deze rechtse propagandist die graag optreedt als commentator in Fox News, waar geen enkele poging meer wordt gedaan om onafhankelijk te zijn. De reden waarom de NRC deze man inhuurt, is onduidelijk. Misschien komt het voort uit het een soort provinciaals minderwaardigheidscomplex. Misschien hoopt men op die manier voor vol te worden aangezien, net zoals de Volkskrant graag pronkt met de al even rechtse pro-Israel lobbyist Thomas Friedman. Misschien denkt men daarmee de almaar dalende oplagecijfers te stoppen. Een onafhankelijke stem komt intussen niet aan bod, terwijl die er wel degelijk is. Bewust doen deze kranten mee aan het verpreiden van levensgevaarlijke propaganda onder het mom daarmee een publiek debat te voeren.

Ariel Sharon 3

De man die zijn leven lang terrorisme als een effectief wapen zag, wordt nu op 77-jarige leeftijd in een ziekenhuisbed door toegewijde artsen kunstmatig in leven gehouden. Toen ik veertien jaar geleden de Israelische auteur Amos Oz vroeg uit welke diepte Ariel Sharon was opgerezen, antwoordde hij: ‘Zijn volk is niet met een of ander moreel schoonmaakmiddel besproeid maar met Zyclon-B.’ De mens leert niet van de geschiedenis, zo was zijn impliciete boodschap. Een dag later zag ik hoe gelijk Oz had toen voor mijn ogen een Palestijns kind werd doodgeschoten door een Israelische scherpschutter. De moord bewees niet alleen dat ‘nooit meer Auschwitz’ een holle frase was, maar ook hoe betrekkelijk de Verlichtingsgedachte is dat de mens door kennis leert. Tijdens diezelfde reis liet een in Nederland opgeleide Palestijnse arts mij in het grootste Palestijnse ziekenhuis in Oost Jeruzalem stervende kinderen zien die door Israelische militairen met hoge snelheidskogels waren neergeschoten. Naderhand vertelde een andere Israelische schrijver, Avraham Yehoshua, me hoe in 1956 Sharon als commandant bevelen negeerde en zo veertig van zijn manschappen de dood instuurde door tijdens een onbezonnen actie het Egyptische leger zinloos te provoceren. Sharon is altijd een extremist geweest die in de Holocaust een rechtvaardiging zag om terreur te bedrijven tegen de Palestijnse burgerbevolking en om daarvoor en passent zijn eigen soldaten en zijn eigen burgerbevolking op te offeren. Zijn politiek heeft Israel niet veiliger gemaakt voor de joods-Israelis. Integendeel, door beleidsbepalers als hij heeft de Israelische bevolking de kans niet gehad om een andere weg te vinden naar vrede en rechtvaardigheid. Het zal generaties kosten om de diepe trauma’s te genezen die zijn geweld heeft veroorzaakt. Het was zijn lot om een gewelddadige leven te leiden zeggen zijn ideologische vrienden. Zijn vijanden stellen dat het zijn eigen keuze was. Wie zal het zeggen? Even waar is dat terroristen niet worden geboren, maar geschapen. Naar de hel met hem, denken de nabestaanden van al zijn slachtoffers. Lees verder: http://www.zpub.com/un/wanted-as.html en http://www.indictsharon.net/ en http://www.counterpunch.org/sharon.html

Nederland en Afghanistan 18

Common Dreams heeft een bericht overgenomen uit de Financial Times: 'US Plans Afghan Jail for Terror Suspects. The US government has plans to build a high-security prison in Afghanistan to hold terror suspects, including some who would be transferred from the controversial US naval base at Guantánamo Bay. The site selected for the jail is Pol-e-Charki, a rundown prison near Kabul dating from the Soviet era. Some of the base’s prison facilities have recently been refurbished as part of a European Union-financed criminal justice reform programme backed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The transfer of prisoners of Afghan origin from Guantánamo to Afghanistan is intended to take pressure off the US administration, which continues to face strong international criticism for holding detainees without trial or other legal recourse. The administration is eager to return as many detainees as possible to their home countries, while bringing what it considers the most dangerous ones to trial before US military tribunals. According to estimates by Amnesty International, the human rights group, about 750 people have been detained in Guantánamo since January 2002, many of them of Afghan origin. As of August an estimated 510 detainees were still held, with 167 prisoners released and, according to the US defence department, a further 67 moved to the custody of other governments. Under an agreement announced by the US administration last August, 110 Afghan detainees were to be repatriated from Guantánamo initially to be detained together with about 350 others held without trial at Bagram air base in Afghanistan. The prospect of terrorist suspects being held under indefinite detention in Afghanistan could fuel concerns about their treatment at a time when the Afghan judicial system is in its infancy. Human rights groups have made allegations of mistreatment of detainees in Afghan jails.' Zie:
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0105-06.htm

Ariel Sharon 2

Het verschil tussen enerzijds een Britse kwaliteitskrant die werkt in een angelsaksische journalistieke traditie en anderzijds 'misschien wel de beste krant van Nederland' die in een christelijke journalistieke traditie werkt, het verschil tussen The Guardian en Trouw. 'A brutal soldier who came to know the limits of force. Ian Black. Friday January 6, 2006. Ariel Sharon was only 25 when he first attracted attention and controversy - and at the very highest level. It was October 1953, and the young army officer was summoned by David Ben-Gurion, Israel's then prime minister. Lieutenant Sharon had just commanded a raid against a West Bank village called Qibya, a reprisal for the murder of an Israeli woman and two children. Uproar had broken out after his men dynamited 45 houses and killed 67 Palestinian men, women and children, many of them buried under the rubble. The operation bore the hallmarks of a distinctive and brutal style. Qibya was one of many bloody episodes in Sharon's lifelong war with the Arabs. Elevated to the status of national hero, he spent his formative years fighting, disobeying orders and attracting admirers and enemies.' Lees verder: http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,1680409,00.html En: 'Tragische uitschakeling Sjaron stelt Israël voor ongekende krachtproef... Comateuze Sjaron laat vacuüm achter... De omvang van het vacuüm dat Sjaron achterlaat is moeilijk in te schatten...' http://www.trouw.nl/ Het is het verschil tussen zakelijke berichtgeving en belijdende verkondiging, tussen een 'brutal style' van een terrorist die oorlogsmisdaden beging en de 'tragische uitschakeling' van de leider van god's uitverkoren volk, die 'een moeilijk in te schatten vacuum achterlaat.’ Voor meer over Sharon's terrorisme lees CounterPunch: 'Sharon's history offers a monochromatic record of moral corruption, with a documented record of war crimes going back to the early 1950s. He was born in 1928 and as a young man joined the Haganah, the underground military organization of Israel in its pre-state days. In 1953 hewas given command of Unit 101, whose mission is often described as that of retaliation against Arab attacks on Jewish villages. In fact, as can be seen from two terrible onslaughts, one of them very well known, Unit 101's purpose was that of instilling terror by the infliction of discriminate, murderous violence not only on able bodied fighters but on the young, the old, the helpless.'
http://www.counterpunch.org/sharon.html

donderdag 5 januari 2006

John Pilger 3


John Pilger schrijft in Truthout: 'The Quiet Death of Freedom. On Christmas Eve, I dropped in on Brian Haw, whose hunched, pacing figure was just visible through the freezing fog. For four and a half years, Brian has camped in Parliament Square with a graphic display of photographs that show the terror and suffering imposed on Iraqi children by British policies.The effectiveness of his action was demonstrated last April when the Blair government banned any expression of opposition within a kilometre of Parliament. The High Court subsequently ruled that, because his presence preceded the ban, Brian was an exception. Day after day, night after night, season upon season, he remains a beacon, illuminating the great crime of Iraq and the cowardice of the House of Commons. As we talked, two women brought him a Christmas meal and mulled wine. They thanked him, shook his hand and hurried on. He had never seen them before. "That's typical of the public," he said. A man in a pin-striped suit and tie emerged from the fog, carrying a small wreath. "I intend to place this at the Cenotaph and read out the names of the dead in Iraq," he said to Brian, who cautioned him: "You'll spend the night in cells, mate." We watched him stride off and lay his wreath. His head bowed, he appeared to be whispering. Thirty years ago, I watched dissidents do something similar outside the walls of the Kremlin. As night had covered him, he was lucky. On 7 December, Maya Evans, a vegan chef aged 25, was convicted of breaching the new Serious Organised Crime and Police Act by reading aloud at the Cenotaph the names of 97 British soldiers killed in Iraq. So serious was her crime that it required 14 policemen in two vans to arrest her. She was fined and given a criminal record for the rest of her life. Freedom is dying. Eighty-year-old John Catt served with the RAF in the Second World War. Last September, he was stopped by police in Brighton for wearing an "offensive" T-shirt, which suggested that Bush and Blair be tried for war crimes. He was arrested under the Terrorism Act and handcuffed, with his arms held behind his back. The official record of the arrest says the "purpose" of searching him was "terrorism" and the "grounds for intervention" were "carrying placard and T-shirt with anti-Blair info" [sic]. He is awaiting trial. Such cases compare with others that remain secret and beyond any form of justice: those of the foreign nationals held at Belmarsh prison, who have never been charged, let alone put on trial. They are held "on suspicion." Some of the "evidence" against them, whatever it is, the Blair government has now admitted, could have been extracted under torture at Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib. They are political prisoners in all but name. They face the prospect of being spirited out of the country into the arms of a regime which may torture them to death. Their isolated families, including children, are quietly going mad. And for what? From 11 September 2001 to 30 September 2005, a total of 895 people were arrested in Britain under the Terrorism Act. Only 23 have been convicted of offences covered by the Act. As for real terrorists, the identity of two of the 7 July bombers, including the suspected mastermind, was known to MI5 and nothing was done. And Blair wants to give them more power. Having helped to devastate Iraq, he is now killing freedom in his own country.' http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/010506L.shtml

Corruptie in Washington 3

De neoliberale corruptie waarbij men van de armen steelt om aan de rijken te geven kent vele bijverschijnselen. Bijvoorbeeld de haat tegenover allen die links zijn, progressief of neutraal, maar gewoon fatsoenlijk. William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of two books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know and The Greatest Sedition Is Silence. In Truthout citeert hij de corrupte Bush-aanhanger Jack Abramoff: '"It is not our job to seek peaceful coexistence with the Left. Our job is to remove them from power permanently."- Jack A. Abramoff. All of official Washington is at this moment waiting with bated breath for the avalanche. Jack Abramoff, the disgraced super-lobbyist, has made a plea agreement in the massive prosecution against him and his cronies. Every talking head who has spoken on the subject has stated bluntly that the fallout from this plea deal will almost certainly result in the largest scandal to hit the capital in decades. The questions, of course, are straightforward: Who is involved? Who took money from this guy? Who is on his pad? Most significantly, who did Abramoff name when he decided to sing to the prosecutors? Republicans, nervous about the bad noise to come, have attempted to paint this as an equal-opportunity crime. To wit, the Democrats are into Abramoff as deeply as the GOP. The facts, however, do not bear this out. According to campaign donation information gathered by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, the following officeholders and candidates have received political donations from Abramoff since 2000...' En dan volgt een lange lijst namen eindigend met: 'George W. Bush (R). Notice anything similar? Each and every name listed, each and every PAC, has an (R) after it. The Center for Responsive Politics does not have one Democrat - not one - listed as having received a donation from Jack Abramoff. The amounts given to the Republicans listed above amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars. In extremis, Republicans have taken to bandying about the name of Byron Dorgan, Democratic Senator from North Dakota, as evidence that this Abramoff thing is a two-party scandal. Dorgan received $67,000 from Native American tribes represented by Abramoff - not from Abramoff himself - and has since returned the money. Furthermore, he got the money before the tribes had any dealings with Abramoff. In short, Dorgan's so-called involvement in the matter is a red herring. As for Mr. Bush, he has given the Abramoff money he received to charity, according to the White House. DNC Chairman Howard Dean pegged the total amount Bush received from Abramoff at $100,000. Abramoff attended three Hannukah receptions at the Bush White House - Hannukah? What happened to fighting the War on Christmas? - but Bush denies knowing him. "The president does not know him and does not recall meeting him," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan. "It is possible that he could have met him at a holiday reception or some other widely attended event." Heh. Sounds like what we heard from Bush about Kenny "Boy" Lay. It is going to be an interesting year.' http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/010506Z.shtml

Ariel Sharon



De Australische journalist John Pilger zei over de rol van een verslaggever: 'I've always had a very strong sense of justice and injustice. It's one of the themes that a journalist should address in his or her work. I believe passionately that journalism is about lifting rocks, and not accepting the official line. One of the increasing problems in the world of "spin doctoring" is that the official line is being packaged and "marketed" so effectively that it's becoming more and more dificult to resist it, but resist it we must.' Grofweg gesteld zijn er twee soorten journalistiek. Bij de meest gangbare laten journalisten de machtigen vertellen wat de waarheid is en hoe de werklijkheid eruit moet zien. Bij dit soort journalisten verklaren de machtigen altijd iets, terwijl de machtelozen beweren, of in het geheel niet aan het woord komen. Bij de andere soort journalistiek staat niet de autoriteit centraal, maar de 'gewone mens.' De minst gangbare vorm laat de achterkant van de officiele versie van de werkelijkheid zien, dus de werkelijkheid zoals die zich manifesteert in het dagelijks leven van de 'gewone mens.' Let u de komende tijd eens op wie wat bericht over Ariel Sharon. Een groot staatsman zal de gangbare journalistiek u vertellen, in navolging van de spindoctors. Daarentegen zal een onafhankelijke journalist die Sharon's biografie heeft bestudeerd melden dat hij een terrorist, een oorlogsmisdadiger, een slecht mens was. Doet u eens een lakmoesproef.

Iran 6



Dit is Mohammed Mossadeq die door Time in 1951 tot 'Man van het Jaar' werd gekozen vanwege 'his moral integrity and courage to stand up to the British and despite all the odds continue his campaign for nationalizing Iranian Oil. However, Time is amazed that Mossaddegh had not been dealt with by the British and the US.' Maar Iran werd niet voor lang met rust gelaten. 19 augustus 1953 werd de democratisch gekozen Iraanse premier tijdens een CIA-coup afgezet omdat hij de Iraanse olie had genationaliseerd. Tot dan toe was de olie in handen van het Westen geweest. Zie: http://web.mit.edu/taalebi/www/soscof/oilNationalization/ Dit wetende is het interessant te lezen wat de Amerikaanse auteur Tom Engelhardt en de Amerikaanse hoogleraar Michael T. Klare al op 12 april vorig jaar schreven: 'Oil, Geopolitics, and the Coming War with Iran. While our media is filled with stories on the Bush administration and Iran, they almost invariably focus on the Iranian nuclear program (or European negotiations and U.S. non-negotiations about the same). You could read our press for weeks at a time – if you didn't stray onto the business pages – and not be aware that Iran sits on a sea of oil and natural gas. In fact, I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that, for long stretches, a typical newspaper reader or prime-time TV news viewer, or, for that matter, an NPR listener, would have just about no way of knowing that our world runs on oil. Of course, our local gas stations are informative enough on the subject these days, so this reality is lost on few people. Still, the sort of piece that hit the front page of the British Financial Times the other day – IMF warns on risk of "permanent oil shock" – is not normally a front-page commonplace for us. This has a certain importance when, in the British and Israeli press and on the Internet, rumors and reports abound that either the Bush administration or the Israeli government (in coordination with Bush officials) or both are planning air attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities as early as this June (with hopes of an oil-regime change in Tehran); or when the Washington Post reports on months of Iranian air-space infringement and air-defense testing on the part of American unmanned aircraft, and Seymour Hersh reports on American Special Forces (or Kurdish agents) moving in and out of Iran, again possibly in preparation for future attacks. (By the way, an interesting counter-argument against the likelihood of an Israeli attack on Iran appeared in the Asia Times recently.) It's strange that, when it comes to news articles on Iran, oil plays just about no role whatsoever; that, as was true with Iraq before the invasion of 2003, it is little short of a taboo subject. Fortunately, we have Michael Klare, whose book Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Dependency on Imported Oil (as I've said before) is an indispensable volume for understanding our moment. Below, Klare does what should be done in our mainstream press – he seriously considers the role of Iran's oil and natural gas reserves, and other energy-related matters in the Bush administration's Iran planning.' Lees verder: http://www.energybulletin.net/5277.html Inmiddels bericht het nieuwsagentschap UPI: 'German media: U.S. prepares Iran strike. The Bush administration is preparing its NATO allies for a possible military strike against suspected nuclear sites in Iran in the New Year, according to German media reports, reinforcing similar earlier suggestions in the Turkish media.The Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel this week quoted "NATO intelligence sources" who claimed that the NATO allies had been informed that the United States is currently investigating all possibilities of bringing the mullah-led regime into line, including military options. This "all options are open" line has been President George W Bush's publicly stated policy throughout the past 18 months.But the respected German weekly Der Spiegel notes "What is new here is that Washington appears to be dispatching high-level officials to prepare its allies for a possible attack rather than merely implying the possibility as it has repeatedly done during the past year."The German news agency DDP cited "Western security sources"to claim that CIA Director Porter Goss asked Turkey's premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan to provide political andlogistic support for air strikes against Iranian nuclear and military targets. Goss, who visited Ankara and met Erdoganon Dec. 12, was also reported to have to have asked for special cooperation from Turkish intelligence to help prepare and monitor the operation.The DDP report added that Goss had delivered to the Turkish prime minister and his security aides a series of dossiers, one on the latest status of Iran's nuclear development and another containing intelligence on new links between Iran and al-Qaida.' Zie: http://www.upi.com/SecurityTerrorism/view.php?StoryID=20051230-112208-8968r Ik ben benieuwd welke achtergrond-informatie de Nederlandse massamedia de komende tijd gaan geven. Ik hoop niet dat opnieuw de nadruk weer komt te liggen op de bekende propaganda zoals we die voor de Irak-bezetting kregen en zoals die nu weer gegeven wordt: 'bringing the mullah-led regime in line' en 'new links between Iran en al-Qaida,' en meer van dit soort verrukkelijke 'objectieve journalistiek.'

woensdag 4 januari 2006

Nederland en Afghanistan 17

Truthout bericht: 'Washington - In a clumsy effort to sabotage Iran's nuclear program, the CIA in 2004 intentionally handed Tehran some top-secret bomb designs laced with a hidden flaw that U.S. officials hoped would doom any weapon made from them, according to a new book about the U.S. intelligence agency. But the Iranians were tipped to the scheme by the Russian defector hired by the CIA to deliver the plans and may have gleaned scientific information useful for designing a bomb, writes New York Times reporter James Risen in "State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration." The clandestine CIA effort was just one of many alleged intelligence failures during the Bush administration, according to the book. Risen also cites intelligence gaffes that fueled the Bush administration's case for war against Saddam Hussein, spawned a culture of torture throughout the U.S. military and encouraged the rise of heroin cultivation and trafficking in postwar Afghanistan.' Lees verder: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/010406K.shtml Dat laatste moet toch van belang zijn bij de besluitvorming van de Nederlandse regering om nog meer militairen naar Afghanistan te sturen. Laten we nu eens kijken of en wanneer de Nederlandse massamedia deze vraag aan de politici in Den Haag stellen. Ik wed dat geen van hen een vraag hierover zal stellen. De Nederlandse parlementaire pers leest dit soort boeken niet en is er ook niet wezenlijk in geinteresseerd. Maar wie weet.

Corruptie in Washington 2













Altijd en overal zijn er politici te koop, hier in Nederland - zoals de neoliberale Frits Bolkestein http://swpat.ffii.org/players/bolkestein/index.en.html - en zeker ook in de Verenigde Staten waar letterlijk alles om geld draait. Sommige politici zijn duur, anderen weer verbazend goedkoop. Truthout bericht over de Abramoff-affaire: 'Washington - President Bush's re-election campaign will give the American Heart Association thousands of dollars in campaign contributions connected to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the White House said Wednesday, as the government pressed forward with a broad-ranging corruption investigation. White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Wednesday that Abramoff, his wife and the tribal associates that he helped win influence on Capitol Hill donated thousands to the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign. Donations to charities has been the policy in similar situations in the past, McClellan said. Abramoff raised at least $100,000 for President Bush's 2004 re-election effort, earning the honorary title "pioneer" from the campaign. It was unclear how much exactly the campaign would be giving to charity since McClellan referred questions about the matter to the Republican National Committee, which did not immediately return phone calls about it. McClellan said Bush does not know Abramoff personally, although it's possible that the two met at holiday receptions. Abramoff attended three Hanukkah receptions at the White House, the spokesman said.' Lees verder: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/010406I.shtml De Independent brengt een achtergrondartikel over de geinstitutionaliseerde corruptie: 'Lobbying is Washington's grubby secret. Some say lobbying is part of the democratic process. Others claim it is legalised bribery, even corruption. But love it or loathe it, it is the way Washington works. Usually you hear little about the quiet meetings, the lavish lunches and junkets that lubricate American politics. But every once in a while something comes along to open the system to what it hates most: daylight. The case of Jack Abramoff, influence-peddler extraordinaire, is one of those somethings. Once Mr Abramoff claimed to have done nothing illegal, that his only sin was to have been too good at his job. But now his career is in ruins, a jail term of nine years or more beckons - an incarceration that would be even longer but for the plea bargain he reached yesterday with federal prosecutors. For Mr Abramoff only contrition is left: "Words will not ever be able to express my sorrow and my profound regret for my actions and mistakes," he said in court yesterday. As for the two dozen members of Congress and their aides reputedly under investigation, they can only tremble. If Mr Abramoff spills the beans, they may soon be contemplating a similar fate. This is potentially the biggest Congressional scandal of the modern era. It is largely (though not exclusively) Republican, and may mark the beginning of the end of the party's 11-year dominance of Capitol Hill. Lobbying per se is nothing new. The right to "petition the government for a redress of grievances" is enshrined in the first amendment of the Constitution. Back in 1913, Woodrow Wilson said Washington was "swarming with lobbyists ... you can't throw a brick in any direction without hitting one". But the 28th president cannot have imagined how access-peddling would blossom into a $4bn industry. There are 14,000 registered lobbyists, and as many again who are not registered. Between 1998 and 2004, foreign companies spent $620m (£350m) bending ears in Washington.' Zie: http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article336396.ece Of: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/010406J.shtml Op zijn beurt schrijft de columnist Robert Scheer onverbloemd: 'Top Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff is set to sing, and his long list of former buddies in Congress and the Bush Administration are quaking in anticipation of possible indictments stemming from the consummate Beltway hustler's crass reign as the king of K Street. "Casino Jack," a former head of the College Republicans and a "Pioneer"-grade fundraiser for the Bush 2000 campaign, pleaded guilty to three felony counts of conspiracy, mail fraud and tax evasion in D.C. yesterday and is set to appear in Florida today to plead guilty to fraud and conspiracy on separate charges. Abramoff and other defendants also must repay over $25 million to defrauded clients and $1.7 million to the IRS. But most important for the nation is that Abramoff is now detailing the massive web of corruption he spun inside the Beltway which has already snared a top Bush official, procurement chief David H. Safavian, on charges of lying and obstructing a criminal investigation, and reportedly threatens dozens of other D.C. players.
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/010406_abramoff_file/

'Collateral Damage'

De Amerikaanse hoogleraar Michael Schwartz schrijft: 'The New Iraq War Strategy: More Bombings, More Civilian Deaths, Less Likelihood of Success. Commentary on Seymour Hersh's 'Up in the Air. Seymour Hersh’s latest article in the New Yorker is over a month old by now, and therefore would seem a little like old news. But, like so much of his reporting, Hersh’s article contains at least a few nuggets that ripen with time and take on more importance as events play out in Iraq. Two of his key points – one central to the article, the other almost an afterthought – are of particular importance, and worth reviewing as the Iraqis endure yet another chapter in the American effort to crush the resistance. The first of these key themes is the one that was most prominently commented upon. Hersh broke the story – which is now all over the mainstream press – that the U.S. is going to try a new military strategy in Iraq: more intensive air power and less intensive foot patrols. This will involve fewer U.S. offensive operations (like those in western Anbar that involved evacuating whole cities), increased use of Iraqi armed forces in high-resistance areas, and a massive increase in the use of aerial attacks. In the short time since Hersh wrote the article, this new policy has been aggressively enacted. The Washington Post, quoting U.S. military sources, reported that the number of U.S. air strikes increased from an average of 25 per month during the Summer, to 62 in September, 122 in October, and 120 in November. There are several aspects to this new strategy that we need to keep in mind. First, this is an attempt to lessen the strain on U.S. troops – the U.S. military in Iraq is in grave danger of collapsing, as it did in Vietnam. So the new strategy seeks to reduce the number of patrols (which are the most grueling and dangerous missions American soldiers undertake) and compensate with more air raids. The hope is that this switch in emphasis will make it possible for U.S. troops to endure more tours of duty in Iraq. But probably this won’t work. Here is what one military officer told Hersh: "if the President decides to stay the present course in Iraq some troops would be compelled to serve fourth and fifth tours of combat by 2007 and 2008, which could have serious consequences for morale and competency levels."' Lees verder: http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig7/schwartz1.html Het resultaat van de nieuwe Amerikaanse militaire strategie is onmiddellijk merkbaar door nog meer zogeheten 'collateral damage.' Al Jazeera bericht: 'US air attack has killed 14 members of one family in the oil-refining town of Baiji in northern Iraq. An Iraqi security force spokesman for the Joint Coordination Centre, which handles information and is a liaison between US and Iraqi forces, said that the Tuesday air raid destroyed one house, killing the people inside. Another four houses were hit and three people were wounded in the raid on Monday night, he said. "We have this information from the Iraqi police and army in Baiji," said the spokesman, who declined to give his name. The US military had no immediate comment.' Zie: http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/ADA709C4-E277-47A5-939D-DDDA2EEF0CAA.htm

Corruptie in Washington

Al enige tijd bestaat er in de Verenigde Staten ophef over de 'super-lobbyist' Jack Abramoff. De Independent bericht: 'The man who bought off Washington. Lobbyist's guilty plea set to expose bribery scandal at the heart of US political system. Jack Abramoff, the disgraced former Republican super-lobbyist, has agreed a deal with US government prosecutors, opening the way for what could be the biggest political influence peddling scandal in Washington for decades. At a brief appearance yesterday in a federal court, Mr Abramoff pleaded guilty to three sets of charges covering fraud, conspiracy to commit bribery, and tax evasion. According to his lawyers, he is also pleading guilty to two separate fraud charges connected to the purchase in 2000 of a fleet of casino gambling boats in Florida. The convictions could send the lobbyist to jail for five years or more. But that sentence may one day prove a mere footnote to a possible corruption scandal involving as many as 20 congressmen, senators and their aides - mostly Republicans but also including some Democrats - believed to be under investigation by the Justice Department.' Lees verder: http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article336400.ece

dinsdag 3 januari 2006

Sitting Bull



Dit is de legendarische Indianen Opperhoofd Sitting Bull die ooit eens verklaarde: 'The white man knows how to make everything, but he does not know how to distribute it... The love of possession is a disease with him. They take tithes from the poor and weak to support the rich who rule. They claim this mother of ours, the earth, for their own and fence their neighbors away.' In diezelfde tijd, de jaren tachtig van de negentiende eeuw, zei senator Henry Dawes van Massachusetts over het Cherokee volk: 'There is not a pauper in that nation, and the nation does not owe a dollar. It built its own capitol... its schools and hospitals. Yet the defect of the system was apparant. They have got as far as they can go, because they hold their land in common... There is no selfishness, which is at the bottom of civilization.' Dankzij het egoisme van Dawes en zijn blanke medesenatoren nam het Congres vervolgens de 'Dawes Severalty Act' aan, waarbij in drie jaar tijd de Cherokee Indianen een groot deel van hun land kwijt raakten aan blanke kolonisten. Toen het Cherokee volk de Dawes Wet in de rechtbanken aanvocht, nam het Congres in 1898 binnen drie minuten tijd de 'Curtis Act' aan waarbij ondermeer werd bepaald dat inheemse volkeren geen recht meer hadden op hun eigen grond. Inmiddels was er olie op hun land gevonden.

Iran 5

Dit is de bemanning van de Enola Gay, een Boeing B-29 bommenwerper die op 6 augustus 1945 op 9500 meter hoogte een kernwapen boven Hiroshima afwierp. Als gevolg van de vuurstorm en de radioactieve straling kwamen daarbij in totaal 230.000 burgers om het leven. Tot nu toe heeft alleen een Westerse christelijke natie, de Verenigde Staten, een atoombom ingezet. Ruim een decennium later waren de kernwapenmachten Amerika, Frankrijk en Groot-Brittannie direct of indirect betrokken bij de ontwikkeling van een Israelische kernbom. Zie o.a. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4743987.stm Het is dan ook wonderlijk om nu te zien met welke ophef deze drie landen proberen te voorkomen dat Iran een eigen kernwapen ontwikkelt. Vooralsnog trekt Iran zich daar niets van aan. De New York Times bericht: 'Iran said today that it will resume nuclear fuel research, and appeared to toughen its bargaining position on a Russian proposal meant to head off a showdown with the United States and Europe over Tehran's nuclear program. Iranian officials in recent weeks have given contradictory signals about their willingness to accept a compromise in the long-running dispute. Both announcements today represented a swing toward a harder line and could increase the likelihood of confrontation. In a statement, Mohamed ElBaradei, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna said today that he would be seeking more details about the research, which will resume on Monday. He also reminded Iran of the importance of the suspension of nuclear activities as a confidence-building step in the negotiations with Europe over its nuclear program. The announcements today are certain to complicate negotiations among Iran and the three European countries - France, Germany and Britain - that have taken the lead in discussions aimed at curtailing Iran's nuclear potential. In recent weeks, those countries have expressed growing impatience with Iran, raising the prospect that they might refer the matter to the United Nations Security Council for possible sanctions if talks scheduled for this month go poorly.' Lees verder:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/03/international/middleeast/03cnd-iran.html

Howard Zinn 2

Op deze foto ziet u een inslag van een Amerikaanse bom op een Iraakse stad. De Amerikaanse historicus Howard Zinn schrijft in Znet over de verslaving van zijn landgenoten aan grootschalig geweld. 'The war against Iraq, the assault on its people, the occupation of its cities, will come to an end, sooner or later. The process has already begun. The first signs of mutiny are appearing in Congress The first editorials calling from withdrawal from Iraq are beginning to appear in the press. The anti-war movement has been growing, slowly but persistently, all over the country. Public opinion polls now show the country decisively against the war and the Bush administration. The harsh realities have become visible. The troops will have to come home. And while we work with increased determination to make this happen, should we not think beyond this war? Should we begin to think, even before this shameful war is over, about ending our addiction to massive violence, and using the enormous wealth of our country for human needs? That is, should we begin to speak about ending war - not just this war or that war - but war itself? Perhaps the time has come to bring an end to war, and turn the human race onto a path of health and healing. A group of internationally known figures, celebrated both for their talent and their dedication to human rights - Gino Strada, Paul Farmer, Kurt Vonnegut, Nadine Gordimer, Eduardo Galeano and others - will soon launch a world-wide campaign to enlist tens of millions of people in a movement for the renunciation of war, hoping to reach the point where governments, facing popular resistance, will find it difficult or impossible to wage war. It may be an idea whose time has come.' Lees verder:
http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2006-01/03zinn.cfm

Nederland en Afghanistan 16














Nu de Amerikanen de in wapens en heroine handelende krijgsheren van de Noordelijke Alliantie met geweld aan de macht hebben geholpen, zijn onze bondgenoten van plan zich uit Afghanistan terug te trekken om de NATO verder het vuile werk te laten opknappen. De Washington Post bericht: 'U.S. Cedes Duties in Rebuilding Afghanistan. NATO, Other Allies Take On New Roles. KABUL, Afghanistan -- Four years into a mammoth reconstruction effort here that has been largely led, funded and secured by Americans, the United States is showing a growing willingness to cede those jobs to others.The most dramatic example will come by this summer, when the U.S. military officially hands over control of the volatile southern region -- plagued by persistent attacks from Islamic militias -- to an international force led by the NATO alliance. The United States will cut its troop strength by 2,500, even though it is not clear how aggressively NATO troops will pursue insurgents, who have shown no sign of relenting.' Lees verder: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/02/AR2006010201942.html? referrer=email&referrer=email Het kabinet Balkenende wil in opdracht van de Amerikanen nog meer militairen naar Afghanistan sturen om de van oorlogsmisdaden beschuldigde krijgsheren aan de macht te houden. Niet voor niets heeft de Bush-regering de christelijke politicus Jaap de Hoop Scheffer secretaris-generaal van de NAVO laten worden.

Irak 11

Dit zijn de brokstukken van een Iraakse oliepijpleiding die door het verzet is opgeblazen om te voorkomen dat de Amerikanen hun bezetting bekostigen uit de olie-opbrengsten van Irak. Als gevolg van de chaos moet het olierijke land momenteel veel geraffineerde olieprodukten importeren. De export van ruwe olie is afgenomen tot ongeveer de helft van het Irakese capaciteit. De Washington Post bericht: 'Official Had Been on Leave Since Criticizing Government. BAGHDAD. Iraq's oil minister announced his resignation Monday, saying that the government had acted in an authoritarian way in forcing him to take a mandatory leave last month and that its policies were worsening the condition of the country's poor. The raising of oil prices last month was "anti-democratic and lacks foresight," Minister Ibrahim Bahr Uloom said at a news conference…The decision to raise prices, part of a deal to reduce Iraq's foreign debt, had been made in 2004, the official said.' Lees verder: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/02/AR2006010201765.html?referrer=email&referrer=email Truthout bericht: 'Baghdad - Iraq's oil exports hit their lowest level since the war, according to figures released on Monday, heightening a sense of crisis as fuel supplies grow scarce and political leaders struggle to form a government. Iraq exported 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in December, a senior official said - less than any month since exports resumed in mid-2003 after the US invasion and about half the level seen during sanctions under Saddam Hussein. Sabotage is damaging plants and blocking investment, keeping exports at a fraction of targets officials say should be met if Iraq's vast reserves are to provide its people with the prosperity that might draw the sting of civil conflict. The oil official was speaking after Oil Minister Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum announced his resignation in opposition to fuel price rises imposed last month as part of an aid deal with the International Monetary Fund that demands big cuts in subsidies... Uloum's resignation as oil minister came after what looked like an old-style ministerial coup last month, when he was placed on leave against his will and replaced by Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Chalabi. Uloum had opposed the December 19 fuel prices rises, saying they should have been introduced more gradually. The price of premium gasoline went up by 200 percent, with other fuels doubling in price. However, given the level of subsidy, further price rises seem likely under the IMF's strictures. The government remains committed to cutting fuel subsidies further to meet the demands of the International Monetary Fund, which agreed a landmark credit arrangement with Iraq on December 23.' Zie:
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/010206R.shtml

maandag 2 januari 2006

Robert Fisk 4



Znet heeft een artikel van Robert Fisk uit de Independent overgenomen, waarin hij terugblikt op het afgelopen jaar: 'This was the year the "war on terror" - an obnoxious expression which we all parroted after 11 September 2001 - appeared to be almost as endless as George Bush once claimed it would be. And unsuccessful. For, after all the bombing of Afghanistan, the overthrow of the Taliban, the invasion of Iraq and its appallingly tragic aftermath, can anyone claim today that they feel safer than they did a year ago? We have gone on smashing away at the human rights we trumpeted at the Russians - and the Arabs - during the Cold War. We have perhaps fatally weakened all those provisions that were written into our treaties and conventions in the aftermath of the Second World War to make the world a safer place. And we claim we are winning. Where, for example, is the terror? In the streets of Baghdad, to be sure. And perhaps again in our glorious West if we go on with this folly. But terror is also in the prisons and torture chambers of the Middle East. It is in the very jails to which we have been merrily sending out trussed-up prisoners these past three years. For Jack Straw to claim that men are not being sent on their way to torture is surely one of the most extraordinary - perhaps absurd is closer to the mark - statements to have been made in the "war on terror". If they are not going to be tortured - like the luckless Canadian shipped off to Damascus from New York - then what is the purpose of sending them anywhere?And how are we supposed to "win" this war by ignoring all the injustices we are inflicting on that part of the world from which the hijackers of September 11 originally came? How many times have Messrs Bush and Blair talked about "democracy"? How few times have they talked about "justice", the righting of historic wrongs, the ending of torture? Our principal victims of the "war on terror", of course, have been in Iraq (where we have done quite a bit of torturing ourselves).' Lees verder:
http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=40&ItemID=9449 Of:
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/010206E.shtml

Thomas Friedman 5












Thom Meens is de ombudsman van de Volkskrant die - net terug van vakantie - mij het volgende emailt: 'Geachte lezer, De Volkskrant geeft columnisten graag ruim baan, ook als de redactie het gedachtegoed wellicht niet deelt. Dat is nu juist de meerwaarde van columnisten: ze zetten je aan tot denken, of je het er nu mee eens bent of niet. En Friedman is een invloedrijk columnist. Met vriendelijke groet,Thom Meens, Ombudsman redactie de Volkskrant.' Dit is het antwoord op mijn email van dinsdag 27 december 2005. 'Geachte redactie. In mijn weblog werp ik de vraag op waarom Thomas Friedman de ruimte van deVolkskrant krijgt voor zijn gedachtengoed. Die vragen heb ik gemotiveerd, zoals u kunt lezen wanneer u op onderstaande snelkoppeling tikt. Bij deze verzoek ik u vriendelijk mij een reactie te sturen, die ik dan weer in mijn weblog publiceer. Vriendelijke groet. Stan van Houcke.' Leest u mijn stukjes over Thomas Friedman nog eens. U ziet dan dat ik geen antwoord krijg op mijn vraag waarom iemand die volgens mij soms ronduit fascistische gedachten ventileert zoveel ruimte krijgt. Of de ombudsman heeft deze drie stukjes niet gelezen, of hij denkt dat de 'geachte lezer' genoegen zal nemen met een reactie die niet op de aangevoerde argumenten ingaat. Dat Friedman een invloedrijk columnist is komt vooral ook doordat hij zoveel ruimte krijgt voor zijn gedachtegoed, dat is nu juist het punt. Wat bedoelt Thom Meens met de opmerking 'wellicht'? Weet hij niet of de redactie de meningen van Friedman deelt of deelt een bepaalde groep binnen de krant zijn meningen en een ander deel weer niet? Wordt daarover gediscussieerd? Is het een collectief besluit geweest om Friedman's columns over te nemen, of heeft de hoofdredactie dit besluit genomen? Waarom niet ook een columnist gevraagd wiens opvattingen haaks op die van Friedman staan? Ik ken er wel een paar in de angelsaksische wereld. Allemaal onduidelijkheden. Bovendien: de Volkskrant-ombudsman is slim genoeg mijn kwalificatie van Friedman niet te bestrijden, de feiten spreken immers voor zich. Maar door daar niet op in te gaan, omzeilt hij de vraag die ik gesteld heb. Een columnist die bijvoorbeeld hetzelfde zou voostellen om tegen Israel te doen wat Friedman voorstelde om tegen Irak te doen, zou geen ruimte bij de Volkskrant krijgen. En terecht, want mensen die terrorisme prediken houden we het liefst buiten het publieke debat in een massamedium. Dus blijft de vraag onbeantwoord waarom deze neoconservatieve ideoloog zoveel ruimte van de Volkskrant krijgt. Opmerkelijk is ook dat ik antwoord krijg van een ombudsman, een soort bemidelaar, een buffer tussen lezer en redactie. Mijn vraag als journalist was gericht aan collegajournalisten en niet aan een mij onbekende ombudsman wiens criteria mij al even onbekend zijn. Wat is zijn vooropleiding? Wat is zijn opdracht? Wat ziet hij als zijn missie? Ik neem aan dat Thom Meens betaald wordt door de Volkskrant en dat daar zijn allereerste loyaliteit ligt. Heeft zijn visie dan een meerwaarde? Zo ja, welke? Bij een collega-journalist weet ik welke journalistieke criteria gangbaar zijn. Maar bij onbudsmannen weet ik dat niet.

De Smid van Wapse

U ziet hier de smid van Plainfield in de staat Indiana. Hij is een collega van R. Santing, de smid van Wapse in Drenthe. Met een lach in zijn ogen zei de smid van Wapse tegen me: 'Tijd is niks. Druk is ook niks. Als je het druk hebt, doe het dan niet hier.' Een wijze man. Een foto heb ik niet van hem, vandaar die omweg via Indiana. Leuke foto nietwaar? Zo te zien bestonden auto's toen nog niet. Geen mechanisch geluid. Er was alleen stilte en soms het geluid van vogels, kikkers, een eenzame stem... Tijd is niks.

Irak 11


Mede dankzij de verwoede pogingen van onze bondgenoten om de 'hearts and minds' van de Irakezen te winnen, hebben de Amerikanen nu een shiietisch pro-Iran bewind in Bagdad aan de macht geholpen. Het zal dan ook niemand verwonderen dat de regering Bush in de toekomst geen geld meer heeft voor de wederopbouw van Irak. Na het land te hebben verwoest, moeten anderen het weer gaan opbouwen. De Washington Post bericht: 'BAGHDAD -- The Bush administration does not intend to seek any new funds for Iraq reconstruction in the budget request going before Congress in February, officials say. The decision signals the winding down of an $18.4 billion U.S. rebuilding effort in which roughly half of the money was eaten away by the insurgency, a buildup of Iraq's criminal justice system and the investigation and trial of Saddam Hussein. Just under 20 percent of the reconstruction package remains unallocated. When the last of the $18.4 billion is spent, U.S. officials in Baghdad have made clear, other foreign donors and the fledgling Iraqi government will have to take up what authorities say is tens of billions of dollars of work yet to be done merely to bring reliable electricity, water and other services to Iraq's 26 million people.' Lees verder:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/01/AR2006010101072.html?referrer=email&referrer=email

Bush Resigns



Van collega Peter Schumacher opgestuurd gekregen. In feite is het heel vreemd te denken dat dit nooit zal gebeuren. Het zou heel normaal moeten zijn dat in een democratische rechtstaat deze als een criminele organisatie opererende bende zou worden vervolgd.

Al-Ahram

De Engelstalige weekeditie van de meest gezaghebbende Arabische krant Al-Ahram bericht: 'Imperialism and its young admirers. Democracy talk was a sham, and realists in Washington are getting worried as the vacant character of the neo-cons is exposed for what it is: adolescent, dangerous bravado. Apart from the inevitable readjustments necessitated by having become bogged down in a bloody and intractable situation in Iraq, Washington's policy towards the region remains essentially the same. Spreading democracy was not originally one of its aims, and it was not the goal of the Iraqi parliamentary elections, the Palestinian presidential elections or the Saudi municipal elections, which nonetheless have been cheered as the first tender shoots of a democratic future. Following all these elections, violence in Iraq intensified and spread in new directions. In spite of these elections, the US bore down on regimes that were targets for the policy the US secretary of state dubbed "constructive destabilisation". Meanwhile, Washington's allies in the region have become increasingly bolder in making it choose between accepting them with all their corruption and the spectre of radical political Islam.The US still acts as though it is at the beginning of a historic mission in the region, as Britain had in the wake of World War I. Bush showered Sharon with promises in an exchange of letters in April 2004 that have a strong whiff of the Balfour Declaration. Then, as surreptitiously as Sykes and Picot, the US began to draw up plans for dividing the Middle East. Although these British and French colonial architects used their pens and straightedges to carve their map onto countries, Washington is carving up countries along sectarian and ethnic lines.As awry as things have gone in Iraq, the US administration cannot bring itself to look at that disaster in any way other than how it impacts on its popularity ratings or on its allies in the area who are cringing at the prospect of the growing influence of Iran. The destruction of Iraq and the suffering of the Iraqi people acquire importance only from this perspective. Therefore, the American president sat down with his military chiefs on 28 September to ponder a way to lift the morale of the American public, and came up with the ingenious "plan for victory in Iraq". The "plan" is to enable the Iraqis to defend "the freedom they have won" by building an Iraqi army capable of that aim. Then, once the Iraqi army "stands up" America will "stand down", as the US president so eloquently put it. The "victory plan" is reaping yet more bloodshed and more destruction.' Lees verder: http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2005/775/op201.htm Of: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11433.htm

Iran 4


Het Duitse weekblad Der Spiegel bericht: 'It's hardly news that US President George Bush refuses to rule out possible military action against Iran if Tehran continues to pursue its controversial nuclear ambitions. But in Germany, speculation is mounting that Washington is preparing to carry out air strikes against suspected Iranian nuclear sites perhaps even as soon as early 2006. German diplomats began speaking of the prospect two years ago - long before the Bush administration decided to give the European Union more time to convince Iran to abandon its ambitions, or at the very least put its civilian nuclear program under international controls. But the growing likelihood of the military option is back in the headlines in Germany thanks to a slew of stories that have run in the national media here over the holidays. The most talked about story is a Dec. 23 piece by the German news agency DDP from journalist and intelligence expert Udo Ulfkotte. The story has generated controversy not only because of its material, but also because of the reporter's past. Critics allege that Ulfkotte in his previous reporting got too close to sources at Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the BND. But Ulfkotte has himself noted that he has been under investigation by the government in the past (indeed, his home and offices have been searched multiple times) for allegations that he published state secrets - a charge that he claims would underscore rather than undermine the veracity of his work. According to Ulfkotte's report, "western security sources" claim that during CIA Director Porter Goss' Dec. 12 visit to Ankara, he asked Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to provide support for a possibile 2006 air strike against Iranian nuclear and military facilities. More specifically, Goss is said to have asked Turkey to provide unfettered exchange of intelligence that could help with a mission. DDP also reported that the governments of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman and Pakistan have been informed in recent weeks of Washington's military plans. The countries, apparently, were told that air strikes were a "possible option," but they were given no specific timeframe for the operations. Lees verder: http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/0,1518,392783,00.html Of: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/010106Y.shtml Ondertussen blijven extremisten van Likud in Israel, dat zelf tenminste 150 atoombommen bezit, eisen dat Iraanse nucleaire installaties gebombardeerd worden. 'Likud members: Bomb Iran. In conference organized Saturday night by Minister Yisrael Katz, 400 Likud members vote to 'bomb nuclear reactor before it is too late'; party's central committee expected to convene Sunday to approve change in constitution initiated by Likud Chairman Netanyahu. About 400 Likud members, who took part Saturday evening in a conference organized by Agriculture Minister Yisrael Katz in the town of Hod Hasharon, voted by a large majority to "bomb Iran's nuclear reactor before it is too late," in the words of Likud member and Ra'anana Deputy Mayor Uzi Cohen.' Zie: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3193102,00.html

zondag 1 januari 2006

Harper's Magazine Jaaroverzicht



Op deze kaart is in rood aangegeven welk gebied in West-Europa de meest vervuilde lucht heeft. Gemeten aan het gehalte stikstofoxide hangt boven de randstad de meest vervuilde lucht ter wereld. Paul Ford, redacteur van Harper's Magazine schrijft in zijn jaaroverzicht 2005: 'A study showed that 310,000 Europeans die from air pollution each year, and the U.N. predicted that 90 million Africans will have HIV by 2025. An international task force of scientists, politicians, and business leaders warned that the world has about 10 years before global warming becomes irreversible. The U.S. Congress officially ratified President George W. Bush's election victory after a two-hour debate over voting irregularities in Ohio. Terri Schiavo, Johnnie Cochran, Frank Perdue, Mitch Hedberg, Arthur Miller, Saul Bellow, and the pope died, as did the man who wrote the theme song to “Gidget.” An Australian tortoise named Harriet turned 175. General Motors was spending more for health care than for steel, and an increasing number of Americans were heating their homes with corn. El Salvadoran police arrested 21 people for operating a smuggling operation and seized 24 tons of contraband cheese. NASA announced that it wanted to return to the moon.' Lees verder: http://harpers.org/YearlyReview2005.html

Martelen 10




Op de bovenste foto ziet u president George Bush blij de hand schudden van Islam Karimov, sinds 1989 de machtigste man van de Centraal-Aziatische republiek Oezbekistan, eerst als 'communist,' sinds 1991 als 'democraat.' Op de foto eronder ziet u een van de doodgemartelde Oezbeekse slachtoffers van het Karimov-regime. De man, vader van vier kinderen, heeft geen vingernagels meer en is over zijn hele lichaam verbrand door gloeiendheet water. President Karimov is een bondgenoot van het Westen in de strijd tegen 'het terrorisme,' en wordt daarvoor beloond met financiele en militaire steun. Het Westen is op de hoogte van de martelpraktijken in Oezbekistan. http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/12/20/german12337.htm De Britse Independent bericht: 'Ex-Envoy to Uzbekistan Goes Public on Torture. Britain's former ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, has defied the Foreign Office by publishing on the internet documents providing evidence that the British Government knowingly received information extracted by torture in the "war on terror". Mr. Murray, who publicly raised the issue of the usefulness of information obtained under torture before he was forced to leave his job last year, submitted his forthcoming book, Murder in Samarkand, to the Foreign Office for clearance. But the Foreign Office demanded that he remove references to two sensitive government documents, which undermine official denials, to show that Britain had been aware it was receiving information obtained by the Uzbek authorities through torture. Rather than submit to the gagging order Mr. Murray decided to publish the material on the internet. The first document published by Mr. Murray contains the text of several telegrams that he sent to London from 2002 to 2004, warning that the information being passed on by the Uzbek security services was torture-tainted, and challenging MI6 claims that the information was nonetheless "useful". The second document is the text of a Foreign Office legal opinion which argues that the use by intelligence services of information extracted through torture is not a violation of the UN Convention Against Torture.' Lees verder: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/123105C.shtml Of: http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/article335678.ece En: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3944.htm, http://users.pandora.be/quarsan/craig/telegrams.pdf, http://www.bloggerheads.com/

Gelukkig 2006!!!




GELUKKIG 2006!!!

HAPPY 2006!!!