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

  • I.F. Stone

zaterdag 18 maart 2006

Rachel Corrie 2







Richard Corrie was een Amerikaanse vredesactiviste die door het Israelische leger werd vermoord. Het toneelstuk 'My name is Rachel Corrie' kan niet in New York worden opgevoerd. Harper's Magazine onderzoekt waarom niet. 'Too Hot for New York. The slim book that was suddenly the most controversial work in the West in early March was not easy to find in the United States. Amazon said it wasn't available till April. The Strand bookstore didn't have it either. You could order it on Amazon-UK, but it would be a week getting here. I finally found an author in Michigan who kindly photocopied the British book and overnighted it to me; but to be on the safe side, I visited an activist's apartment on Eighth Avenue on the promise that I could take her much-in-demand copy to the lobby for half an hour. In the elevator, I flipped it open to a random passage: "I can't cool boiling waters in Russia. I can't be Picasso. I can't be Jesus. I can't save the planet single-handedly. I can wash dishes." The book is the play My Name Is Rachel Corrie. Composed from the journal entries and e-mails of the 23-year-old from Washington State who was crushed to death in Gaza three years ago under a bulldozer operated by the Israeli army, the play had two successful runs in London last year and then became a cause celebre after a progressive New York theater company decided to postpone its American premiere indefinitely out of concern for the sensitivities of (unnamed) Jewish groups unsettled by Hamas's victory in the Palestinian elections. When the English producers denounced the decision by the New York Theatre Workshop as "censorship" and withdrew the show, even the mainstream media could not ignore the implications. Why is it that the eloquent words of an American radical could not be heard in this country--not, that is, without what the Workshop had called "contextualizing," framing the play with political discussions, maybe even mounting a companion piece that would somehow "mollify" the Jewish community? … Corrie's words appear to have had more impact than her death. The House bill calling for a US investigation of her killing died in committee, with only seventy-eight votes and little media attention. But the naked admission by a left-leaning cultural outlet that it would subordinate its own artistic judgment to pro-Israel views has served as a smoking gun for those who have tried to press the discussion in this country of Palestinian human rights. Indeed, the admission was so shocking and embarrassing that the Workshop quickly tried to hedge and retreat from its statements. But the damage was done; people were asking questions that had been consigned to the fringe: How can the West condemn the Islamic world for not accepting Muhammad cartoons when a Western writer who speaks out on behalf of Palestinians is silenced? And why is it that Europe and Israel itself have a healthier debate over Palestinian human rights than we can have here?' Lees verder:
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060403/weiss

Demonstratie tegen de Oorlog

Net als in vele andere stedene in de wereld demonstreerden vanmiddag in Amsterdam in de ijzige kou enkele honderden mensen tegen de oorlog in Irak.
En tegen de Nederlandse troepenzendingen naar Afghanistan.
En tegen de geplande oorlog tegen Iran.
Ik zag slechts 1 parlementslid, Harry van Bommel van de SP, die ook een toespraak hield. Betrekkelijk veel oudere mensen ook. Er demonstreerden zelfs enkele Amerikanen.

De Nederlandse Terreur

Na al het liegen en bedriegen tegenover onze naieve parlementsleden komt nu toch de aap uit de mouw. De NRC bericht: 'Nederlandse hulp bij arrestaties in Afghanistan. Door optreden van Nederlandse special forces in Zuid-Afghanistan zijn ten minste tweemaal Talibaan- of Al-Qaedastrijders in Amerikaanse detentie terechtgekomen. Tot nu toe had het ministerie van Defensie alleen bekendgemaakt dat twee Afghanen die bij een schietincident met Nederlanders gewond waren geraakt, zich in Amerikaanse hechtenis bevinden. Het lot van de gevangenen is niet duidelijk. De Tweede Kamer is over de arrestaties niet volledig geïnformeerd. De Amerikaanse mensenrechtenorganisatie Human Rights Watch stelt dat „Nederlandse troepen hiermee het risico lopen dat ze handelen in strijd met de mensenrechten. We hebben Europese landen vaak met het vingertje zien wijzen. Dat ze intussen heimelijk hun medewerking aan deze praktijken verlenen, is zeer teleurstellend’’, aldus S. Zia-Zarifi, directeur onderzoek van het bureau Azië van Human Rights Watch. De betrokkenheid van de Nederlandse commando’s bij arrestaties ligt gevoelig, omdat de regering verschillende keren bezwaar heeft aangetekend tegen schending van het internationale humanitaire recht door de VS in de oorlog tegen het terrorisme. Minister Kamp (Defensie, VVD) meldde de Kamer in januari dat Nederlandse commando’s betrokken waren geraakt bij een ,,schietincident’’. Daarbij werd één Afghaan gedood en raakten twee gewond. Na Kamervragen van GroenLinks gaf Defensie toe dat de twee door de VS gevangen zijn genomen. Uit onderzoek van deze krant blijkt echter dat bij het schietincident nog vier andere Afghanen betrokken waren. Zij hebben zich aan de Nederlanders overgegeven, waarna ze in Amerikaanse hechtenis zijn beland.' Lees verder:
http://www.nrc.nl/binnenland/article252264.ece Dit gebeurt namens ons. We weten inmiddels hoe verdachten in Amerikaanse gevangenschap gemarteld kunnen worden. Nederland handelt zo in strijd met het internationaal recht, het oorlogsrecht, de mensenrechten. Vanmiddag om 13.00 uur kunt u op het Amsterdams Museumplein tegen deze terreur protesteren. Zie ook: http://www.hrw.org/

De Volkskrant



Na drie jaar oorlog doet de Volkskrant een rondje langs de velden. Het resultaat is opmerkelijk te noemen: 'Peiling: Wat hebben de Amerikanen in drie jaar in Irak bereikt? Op 20 maart 2003 vielen Amerikaanse en Britse troepen Irak binnen. Hoe zien Irakezen in Nederland hun land drie jaar na het begin van de oorlog? Shlimo Haddad van de Dutch Asyrian Society: ‘We mogen blij zijn dat de Amerikanen en de Britten nog in Irak zitten! Het zou echt een chaos zijn als ze er niet waren. Shi’ieten, soennieten, Koerden, iedereen wil de baas zijn. En als die elkaar niet bestrijden, doen de mensen dat binnen hun eigen groep. Een oplossing voor het geweld willen ze niet. Ze profiteren ervan. Iedereen in Irak wil eigen baas zijn en doet maar wat.’ Faisal Nasser van het Iraaks Platform Nederland: ‘De Irakezen worden geplet tussen de slechte omstandigheden en de daden van terroristen. De aanslagen, de chaos en de dagelijkse onveiligheid zijn verwoestend voor de moraal. En soms lijken ook de Amerikanen dit niet te kunnen stoppen.’ Haddad: "Spijt van de oorlog? Er is in Irak geen oorlog geweest. Een dictator is verdreven. De echte oorlog is wat mij betreft aanstaande. Geloof speelt een grotere rol dan de democratie. Bijna dagelijks worden doorgesneden lijken en met kogels doorzeefde lichamen op straat gevonden."' Misschien had de Volkskrant Shlimo Haddad moeten vragen waaraan die volgens president Bush 30.000 Irakese doden dan wel zijn gestorven? Volgens onafhankelijke bronnen is het aantal Irakese doden na de Amerikaanse inval zelfs boven 100.000 gestegen. En die 1856 bij gevechtshandelingen gesneuvelde Amerikaanse militairen? Hoe zijn die om het leven gekomen? Zie: http://www.antiwar.com/casualties/ Maar toch geen oorlog? We mogen verdomd blij zijn dat de Amerikanen en Britten en Salvadoranen en al die andere voorvechters van democratie en olie nog in Shlimo's land zitten. Ondertussen vindt hij het kennelijk zelf verstandiger in Nederland te wonen, als ik tenminste op de Volkskrant afga. Hij is van de Dutch Asyrian Society, een geheime organisatie neem ik aan, tenzij het hier een Assyrische organisatie betreft, maar dat spel je dan weer niet met slechts 1 's'. Misschien kan de krant Irakezen in Irak ook eens interviewen om te kijken wat zij van de zegeningen van de Amerikaanse bezetting vinden, want nu lees ik tot mijn grote schrik dat volgens Faisal Nasser 'soms ook de Amerikanen' het geweld 'niet [lijken] te kunnen stoppen.' Soms en lijken dus. Er is eigenlijk niet zoveel aan de hand begrijp ik, zolang je mensen maar laat aankwekken.

De Armen en Berooiden

Common Dreams bericht: 'Poorest Nations Hit Hardest by WTO Agenda, Study Finds. WASHINGTON - According to "Winners and Losers" by Sandra Polaski, a researcher with the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the so-called Doha Development Round, which launched the current trade World Trade Organisation talks, will not actually generate development benefits for poor nations as initially promised. “There are both net winners and net losers under different scenarios, and the poorest countries are among the net losers under all likely Doha scenarios," says the study. While critics of the 149-member World Trade Organisation (WTO) have long argued the same point, the findings of the report bolster their position even as the world's richest nations aggressively pursue new markets. The 116-page study is based on unemployment models in developing countries that separate agricultural labour markets from urban unskilled labour markets. Polaski, a former State Department trade official, worked with a team headed by Zhi Wang, a renowned statistical modeler who also previously worked for the U.S. government. She discussed their conclusions in Washington on Wednesday. Polaski's main finding is that free trade will produce only modest gains at the global level, on the order of a one-time rise in world income of between 40 to 60 billion dollars, or an increase of less than 0.2 percent of current global gross domestic product (GDP). The report says that the adjustment costs to which countries expose themselves when they commit to the free trade policies promoted by the industrialised nations could in fact be greater than the benefits.' Lees verder: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0316-03.htm

Wapen Handel

De Independent bericht: 'Embargoes on Global Arms Trade Have Been Total Failure, Says UN.
All United Nations arms embargoes have been breached with impunity, with only a handful of the weapons traffickers responsible for the trade in death ever facing prosecution, according to a report. Despite the UN naming hundreds of companies - including those in Britain - for allegedly violating embargoes imposed on countries engaged in bloody conflicts and repression, the system for bringing them to book has abjectly failed. The report, by leading human rights groups, presented to the UN Security Council today, asks for urgent measures to control the proliferation, including agreement on an international arms trade treaty. The call for reform is backed in a letter by, among others, the Nobel laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jody Williams and Oscar Arias; the former UN high commissioner for human rights Mary Robinson; the actors Helen Mirren, Christopher Ecclestone and Tony Robinson; the author and activist Arundhati Roy; Lt-Gen Romeo Dellaire, who led UN forces during the Rwanda genocide, and the Albert Schweitzer Institute. "Today, millions of people around the world are living in fear of armed violence," the letter says. "They have good reason to be afraid. Most victims of armed violence are not uniformed soldiers, nor even fighters, but ordinary men, women and children.
"In 2006, the world can make the first step towards bringing the arms trade under control, by starting negotiations on an international arms trade treaty. "What we are calling for is not revolutionary. It simply consolidates countries' existing and emerging obligations under international law into a universal standard for arms sales. But it has the power to save hundreds of thousands of lives."The dossier, by Oxfam International, Amnesty International and International Action Network on Small Arms describes how companies and individuals have been involved in illicit transactions in weapons.' Lees verder:
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/politics/article351535.ece Of: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0316-05.htm

VN Mensenrechten





Common Dreams bericht: 'U.N. Creates New Watchdog Over U.S. Opposition... Since the United States has no veto in the General Assembly, the resolution was adopted by an overwhelming majority. The U.S. opposition couldn't block the establishment of the new Human Rights Council. "With the exception of the usual additions of two tiny dependent island-states, the United States and Israel stand alone in defying virtually the entire world's support for the new Human Rights Council," says Phyllis Bennis, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies. As the work of selecting the first group of members for the new Council begins, each candidate state must agree to being vetted before membership as well as being examined fully at some point during its three-year term, she said. "The United States, despite its opposition to the Council, has claimed it will 'work with' the Council, and we can anticipate it will expect to win a seat in the first term," Bennis told IPS. But such an effort should be rejected, she said, as countries evaluating human rights records keep in mind the continuing patterns of U.S. human rights violations both within the United States itself and internationally, where U.S. military or political officials are in power. "No country with such a record of torture, secret detentions, 'extraordinary renditions,' rejection of the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC), denial of due process and generations of capital punishment, even for minors and the mentally disabled -- all as a matter of official policy -- should be allowed to serve on the new Human Rights Council," said Bennis, author of "Challenging Empire: How People, Governments and the U.N. Defy U.S."' Lees verder: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0316-04.htm Een gesprek met Phyllis Bennis kunt u hier beluisteren: http://stanvanhoucke.blogspot.com/2006/03/phyllis-bennis.html

De Oorlogsstaat 30

Ik hoop dat iemand van onze wakkere parlementsleden in de gaten houdt hoeveel ons avontuur in Afghanistan kost, want voor de Verenigde Staten blijven de kosten gigantisch stijgen. Common Dreams: 'U.S. War Spending to Rise 44% to $9.8 Bn a Month, Report Says. U.S. military spending in Iraq and Afghanistan will average 44 percent more in the current fiscal year than in fiscal 2005, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service said. Spending will rise to $9.8 billion a month from the $6.8 billion a month the Pentagon said it spent last year, the research service said. The group's March 10 report cites "substantial'' expenses to replace or repair damaged weapons, aircraft, vehicles, radios and spare parts. It also figures in costs for health care, fuel, national intelligence and the training of Iraqi and Afghan security forces -- "now a substantial expense,'' it said. The research service said it considers "all war and occupation costs,'' while the Pentagon counts just the cost of personnel, maintenance and operations. The House approved emergency funding that includes the military spending last night by a vote of 348-71. The measure authorizes $72 billion for war costs and almost $20 billion for hurricane relief. The Senate is expected to pass it next month. Congress already has approved $50 billion in supplemental war funding for the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, after spending $100 billion last year. To date, Congress has approved about $337 billion for the wars since Sept. 11, 2001.' Lees verder: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0317-01.htm

Trouw Misschien Wel 2

De internet-editie van Trouw bericht vanochtend: 'Irak / Actie Samarra vooral symbolisch. Van onze redactie buitenland. De Amerikaanse actie bij de Iraakse stad Samarra is een ’routine-operatie’ tegen opstandelingen, en niet de grote luchtoperatie die donderdag was aangekondigd. De operatie ’Zwermer’ ging gisteren zijn tweede dag in, en beperkte zich tot een aantal dorpen buiten Samarra. Daar zoekt het Iraakse leger samen met Amerikaanse soldaten naar strijders van Al-Kaida en Iraakse soennitische milities. Daarbij zijn dertig mensen vastgezet. Zes wapenopslagplaatsen zijn ontdekt, maar leiders zouden zijn ontkomen. De Amerikanen hadden de actie aan de vooravond van de derde verjaardag van de Amerikaanse invasie gepresenteerd als ’de grootste luchtactie sinds april 2003’. Maar behalve dat er vijftig helikopters zijn ingezet om soldaten in te vliegen, lijken hevige gevechten uit te blijven. ' Zie: http://www.trouw.nl/hetnieuws/wereld/article252025.ece/Irak+/+Actie+Samarra+vooral+symbolisch+
Hoe weet Trouw dit allemaal? Geen enkele bronvermelding. Geen enkele correspondent ter plaatse. Alle informatie regelrecht uit de koker van het Amerikaanse leger, propaganda die via persbureau's in zwaar beveiligde enclaves in Bagdad verder over de wereld wordt verspreid door journalisten ter plaatse die de enclave niet durven te verlaten zonder begeleiding van zwaar bewapende huurlingen of het zwaar censurerende Amerikaanse leger. Net als het NOS-Journaal kent ook Trouw de elementaire regels van de journalistiek niet. Dat is niet echt verwonderlijk gezien de uitspraken van Frits van Exter, hoofdredacteur van de protestants/christelijke krant. In een interview met ‘Extra,’ een kritisch maandblad over de massamedia, verklaarde hij: ‘De aandacht van de media [ wordt] natuurlijk voor een belangrijk deel gestuurd… door de politieke machten… Dat geldt voor de nationale politiek, maar natuurlijk ook voor de internationale politiek… Het heeft voor een deel te maken met de vluchtigheid van het medium. Deels ook volgen de media elkaar, sommige zijn dominanter, en andere lijden aan kuddegedrag… Als je volgend bent, dan betekent dat als een autoriteit, of iemand die gekozen is om een bepaald gezag uit te oefenen, zegt “ik vind dit een belangrijk onderwerp, daar gaan we nou es wat aan doen,” dat je dat ook bekijkt. De dingen waar hij (sic) het niet over heeft, die volg je dus minder… het werkt voor een deel reflexmatig. Reflexen zijn het, je bent daar geconditioneerd in.’ En hoewel het woord autoriteit vrouwelijk is, blijft voor protestanten de autoriteit altijd een man, dus HIJ, zoals Van Exter zegt. 'Dat is het gevaar, het geconditioneerd zijn.' Inderdaad, onze Frits heeft helemaal gelijk. Lees verder: http://www.extra-media.nl/nummer20/index.html?Interview%20van%20Exter.html

vrijdag 17 maart 2006

TV Nieuws uit het Midden Oosten

Via de website van de Amerikaanse journalist Dahr Jamail kunt u naar vertaalde nieuwsuitzendingen uit het Midden Oosten kijken, gebracht door het programma Mosaic van het niet commerciele televisienetwerk Link TV: 'Mosaic features selections from daily TV news programs produced by national broadcasters throughout the Middle East. The news reports are presented unedited and translated, when necessary, into English. Mosaic includes television news broadcasts from selected national and regional entities listed on the right. These news reports are regularly watched by 280 million people in 22 countries all over the Middle East. Mosaic: Selected TV World News from the Middle East, Thu, 16 Mar 2006 Segments include:--- American occupation forces lunch wide military operation near Samarra --- 1 boy killed, 6 injured in clash between protestors and Kurdistan alliance forces --- British public figures call for international investigation on British, US war crimes in Iraq --- Russian Foreign Minister: nuclear negotiation between Russia and Iran will resume --- Security Council meets on Iran nuclear file--- Palestinians refugees in Lebanon express disappointment over passed resolutions.' Zie: http://dahrjamailiraq.com/mosaic/mosaic.php?id=214&con=256

Het failliete Amerika 11



De New York Times bericht: 'Senate Approves Budget, Breaking Spending Limits. Washington - The Senate narrowly approved a $2.8 trillion election-year budget Thursday that broke spending limits only hours after it increased federal borrowing power to avert a government default. The budget decision at the end of a marathon day of voting followed a separate 52-to-48 Senate vote to increase the federal debt limit by $781 billion, bringing the debt ceiling to nearly $9 trillion. The move left Democrats attacking President Bush and Congressional Republicans for piling up record debt in their years in power. Despite calls by Republican deficit hawks to hold the line, Senate Republicans joined with Democrats to approve more than $16 billion in added spending for social, military, job safety and home-heating programs, exceeding a ceiling established by President Bush. In separate action, the House advanced $92 billion in war spending and hurricane recovery money. Even with the added money, the Senate approved the $2.8 trillion budget by only 51 to 49 with five Republicans defecting. Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana was the sole Democrat to back the budget after winning agreement for a new $10 billion effort for levee rebuilding and coastal protection to be paid for out of oil royalties and other sources. Her vote saved Vice President Dick Cheney from having to break a tie. The White House and Senate Republican leaders sought to put the best face on the budget outcome, with Joshua B. Bolten, director of the Office of Management and Budget, crediting Republicans for "navigating difficult waters" in winning approval. Mr. Bolten said the administration would work to eliminate the added spending and restore the benefit cuts sought by the White House.' Lees verder:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/17/politics/17spend.html?hp&ex=1142658000&en=c77e916f9818f6cb&ei=5094&partner=homepage Of: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/031706O.shtml

Iran 18


De Independent bericht: 'Bush Threatens Force to End Iran's Nuclear Threat. The United States sent a clear message to Iran yesterday that if all attempts fail at a diplomatic solution to the current stand-off, it is prepared to use force to end Tehran's perceived nuclear threat and its role as a fomentor of international terrorism. Offering a robust reaffirmation of the Bush administration's doctrine of pre-emptive action to deal with threats to national security, the latest four-yearly National Security Strategy published by the White House declares that the US "may face no greater challenge from a single country than from Iran". Tehran's suspected military nuclear programme is only part of the problem. More generally, the 49-page document says that Iran endangers regional stability with its threats against Israel, its sponsorship of terrorism, its disruptive influence in Iraq and its efforts to thwart a Middle East peace settlement.
Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman, described the revised strategy yesterday as "an update of the document of 2002". Like its predecessor, it contends the US has the right to strike first at a potential attacker, "even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place" of that attack. The United States "cannot afford to stand idly by as grave dangers materialise". The 2002 strategy was unveiled six months before the invasion of Iraq. This one leaves no doubt that the focus now is on Iran - whose current sins, as catalogued in the 2006 document, are eerily similar to the accusations against Saddam Hussein's regime four years ago. The overall tone of the document, issued on the very day that the US launched what is billed as the biggest anti-insurgent offensive in Iraq in three years, is if anything even more sweeping and assertive than its predecessor. The current plunge in President George Bush's popularity, fuelled by growing disillusion with the Iraq war, seems to have had little impact. The war on terror was not over but already, the strategy claims, "America is safer" - even though that assertion is contradicted by almost every recent opinion poll here.' Lees verder:
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article351712.ece Of: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/031706L.shtml

Philip Freriks 4



Gisteravond was mijn favoriete dyslecticus Philip Freriks weer goed op dreef. Na een reeks verrukkelijke versprekingen zei hij zonder blikken of blozen over de Amerikaanse luchtaanvallen in Irak: 'De bedoeling is om soennitische opstandelingen uit te schakelen. De Amerikanen kammen de omgeving uit van de stad Samarra. Daar verbergen zich veel soennitische opstandelingen die de afgelopen weken tientallen aanslagen hebben gepleegd.' Hoe hij dat allemaal weet is een godsraadsel. Geen enkele journalist kan in Irak vrij rondreizen. Alleen zwaar gecensureerde verslaggevers kunnen er onder begeleiding van het Amerikaanse leger rondkijken. Alles is van horen zeggen. Desalniettemin beweert Freriks van alles en nog wat met een pedante stelligheid waarvan je steil achteroverslaat. Dit bericht komt regelrecht uit de propagandakoker van het Amerikaanse leger. Kan er dan echt niemand bij het NOS-Journaal deze malloot op zijn step de elementaire regels van de journalistiek bijbrengen? En kan hij wat minder gnuivend het nieuws presenteren?

De Verloren Oorlog

















Remi Kanazi schrijft voor de politieke website www.PoeticInjustice.net. Hij woont in New York City en is een Palestijns Amerikaanse freelance journalist. In Information Clearing House schrijft hij: 'Accepting Reality: America Lost the War in Iraq. America has lost the war in Iraq. The chance for victory vanished long ago with the hearts, minds, arms, legs and lives of the Iraqi people. The insurgence hasn’t won; rather the American government never obtained the formula to win. America, led by war-bent hawks (Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz) entered this war with many interests. Among them, the control of a major supply of Mideast oil, military bases, reconstruction contracts for cronies (i.e. Halliburton and Bechtel), a new ally/puppet in the region, securing Israeli dominance, showcasing new products for the arms community, and the greater concept of making Baghdad a haven for US corporate expansion (thereby planting a McDonalds and Starbucks on every street corner). In this excess of interests, the US neglected a major factor in the equation—the Iraqi people. Every time another suicide bomber enters the marketplace, Iraqis are reminded of the utter failure and incompetence of the US government. Nonetheless, those war-bent hawks couldn't pass up the idea of a cheap war coupled with a swift victory. What they didn't realize (or refused to listen to) was that after decades of heartbreak and struggle under Saddam Hussein, the last thing Iraqis needed was to get "liberated" for an era of struggle under US occupation.The Iraqi people know what to expect from occupation. They remember the 1982 Israeli siege of Beirut, the 22 year Israeli occupation of Southern Lebanon, and the 38 years of oppression that continues to plague the lives of Palestinians. Iraqis also witnessed the US bombing campaign of 1991, the reneged US support of a postwar Shia uprising, and the sanctions that left Iraqi women and children forgotten. While the West mainly erases these events from their minds, the people of the Middle East, and more specifically Iraqis, must endure the consequences of these events. If the Bush administration interviewed my father, a 59 year old, Christian Republican Arab doctor living in the US, they would have realized, “Arabs don't like to be occupied.” Arabs—be it Sunni, Shia, Coptic, Orthodox or Maronite—don't want to be invaded by a Western force capable of bombing Baghdad to oblivion. Nevertheless, many Muslim and Christian Arabs in the Middle East send their children to Western schooling and profoundly appreciate Western Culture. As James Zogby—president of the Arab American Institute—pointed out on CNN, Americans can see the integration of US based multinational food chains and stores in Saudi Arabia. More than 70 McDonalds and 32 Pizza Huts spread across the country, while a 69,000 sq ft Chuck E. Cheese opened in Jeddah in 2001, with bumper cars, a bowling alley and a new ice rink. There is thirst for American culture within Saudi society, without the aggression and ramifications of US foreign policy.' Lees verder: http://informationclearinghouse.info/article12348.htm

Amerikaanse Doodseskaders










Dit zijn de lijken van vier Amerikaanse nonnen die in 1980 door het Salvadoraanse leger in koele bloede werden vermoord. Deze militairen werden door de Verenigde Staten opgeleid en gefinancierd om het terreurbewind in El Salvador in het zadel te houden. Daarbij verloren tenminste 75.000 burgers het leven en raakten 300.000 kinderen en volwassenen invalide. Momenteel strijden troepen uit El Salvador in Irak voor 'de verspreiding van de democratie en de mensenrechten' en zijn dus strikt genomen onze bondgenoten in het Midden Oosten. In januari 2005 berichtte Newsweek: '''The Salvador Option.'' The Pentagon may put Special-Forces-led assassination or kidnapping teams in Iraq. What to do about the deepening quagmire of Iraq? The Pentagon’s latest approach is being called "the Salvador option"—and the fact that it is being discussed at all is a measure of just how worried Donald Rumsfeld really is. "What everyone agrees is that we can’t just go on as we are," one senior military officer told NEWSWEEK. "We have to find a way to take the offensive against the insurgents. Right now, we are playing defense. And we are losing." Last November’s operation in Fallujah, most analysts agree, succeeded less in breaking "the back" of the insurgency—as Marine Gen. John Sattler optimistically declared at the time—than in spreading it out. Now, NEWSWEEK has learned, the Pentagon is intensively debating an option that dates back to a still-secret strategy in the Reagan administration’s battle against the leftist guerrilla insurgency in El Salvador in the early 1980s. Then, faced with a losing war against Salvadoran rebels, the U.S. government funded or supported "nationalist" forces that allegedly included so-called death squads directed to hunt down and kill rebel leaders and sympathizers. Eventually the insurgency was quelled, and many U.S. conservatives consider the policy to have been a success—despite the deaths of innocent civilians and the subsequent Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages scandal. (Among the current administration officials who dealt with Central America back then is John Negroponte, who is today the U.S. ambassador to Iraq. Under Reagan, he was ambassador to Honduras. There is no evidence, however, that Negroponte knew anything about the Salvadoran death squads or the Iran-Contra scandal at the time. The Iraq ambassador, in a phone call to NEWSWEEK on Jan. 10, said he was not involved in military strategy in Iraq. He called the insertion of his name into this report "utterly gratuitous.")' Lees verder: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6802629/site/newsweek/ Amnesty International schrijft over het door Washington gefinancierde terrorisme in El Salvador het volgende: 'During the counter-insurgency campaigns, women, children and the elderly often fell victim to death squads. Most men and many women who were unburdened by children or elders were able to escape, hide in the hills and join the guerillas for safety. more...
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, women organizers and activists were routinely silenced through torture, disappearances and extrajudicial killings. Women union leaders who were protesting economic exploitation in factories were targeted as well as political activists. Female members of a teachers’ union were arrested, tortured and raped in the mid-1980s for protesting teachers’ low salaries. While in prison, the women suffered extreme physical abuse and starvation as well.' Lees verder: http://www.womenwarpeace.org/elsalvador/elsalvador.htm

donderdag 16 maart 2006

Irak 48



Net als in Vietnam schakelen de Amerikanen over op grootscheepse bombardementen, nu de grondoorlog in Irak zo goed als verloren is. Het Amerikaanse persbureau Knight Ridder bericht: 'US Military Air Strikes Significantly Increased in Iraq. Baghdad - American forces have dramatically increased air strikes in Iraq during the past five months, a change of tactics that may foreshadow how the United States plans to battle a still-strong insurgency while reducing the number of US ground troops serving here.
A review of military data shows that daily bombing runs and jet-missile launches have increased by more than 50 percent in the past five months, compared with the same period last year. Knight Ridder's statistical findings were reviewed and confirmed by American Air Force officials in the region. The numbers also show that US forces dropped bombs on more cities during the last five months than they did during the same period a year ago. Air strikes hit at least 11 cities between Oct. 1, 2004, and Feb. 28, 2005, but were mostly concentrated in and around the western city of Fallujah. A year later, US warplanes struck at least 22 cities during the same months. The spike in bombings comes at a crucial time for American diplomatic efforts in Iraq. Officials in Washington have said that the situation in Iraq is improving, creating expectations that at least some American troops might be able to withdraw over the next year. On Monday, President Bush stopped short of promising a withdrawal. But he said he expects that Iraqi government forces will control more of Iraq, allowing US forces to carry out more targeted missions. "As more capable Iraqi police and soldiers come on line, they will assume responsibility for more territory - with the goal of having the Iraqis control more territory than the coalition by the end of 2006," Bush said. "And as Iraqis take over more territory, this frees American and coalition forces to concentrate on training and on hunting down high-value targets, like the terrorist (Abu Musab al) Zarqawi and his associates." There are risks to a strategy that relies more on aerial bombings than ground combat patrols. In the town of Samarra, for example, insurgents last month were able to spend several hours rigging explosives in the dome of a Shiite shrine that they later destroyed, in part because American troops patrolled less. The shrine's destruction triggered a week of sectarian violence that killed hundreds. US soldiers interviewed in Samarra three weeks earlier said patrols in the city had been scaled back because the number of troops had been reduced by two-thirds. Air strikes also risk civilian casualties, driving a wedge between American forces and Iraqis, Iraqis say. Osama Jadaan al Dulaimi, a tribal leader in the western town of Karabilah, a town near the Syrian border that was hit with bombs or missiles on at least 17 days between October 2005 and February 2006, said the bombings had created enemies. "The people of Karabilah hate the foreigners who crossed the border and entered their areas and got into a fight with the Americans," al Dulaimi said. "The residents now also hate the American occupiers who demolished their houses with bombs and killed their families ... and now the people of Karabilah want to join the resistance against the Americans for what they did."' Lees verder:
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/031506A.shtml

Breken met Bush




De demonstratie en dodenherdenking 'Breken met Bush - niet
meer doden' die het Platform tegen de 'Nieuwe Oorlog' a.s.
zaterdag in Amsterdam organiseert mag zich van verschillende
kanten in een toenemende ondersteuning verheugen. De
demonstatie begint op 18 maart om 13.00 uur op het Museumplein; na een demonstratieve optocht door Amsterdam zal om 15.30 uur op hetzelfde Museumplein de dodenherdenking van start gaan waarbij met name stilgestaan zal worden bij de tienduizenden burgerslachtoffers in Irak en Afghanistan en de ruim 100 journalisten onder hen. De demonstratie en dodenherdenking vinden plaats in het kader van het internationaal actieweekend van 18 tot 20 maart; drie jaar na het begin van de Amerikaans-Britse invasie in Irak. In bijna 250 verschillende steden wereldwijd, de helft in de Verenigde Staten zelf, wordt gedemonstreerd tegen de Amerikaanse oorlogspolitiek in het algemeen en de aanhoudende militaire en economische bezetting
van Irak. Juist deze week werd bekend dat de regering Bush inderdaad van plan is om in ieder geval een aantal legerbases in Irak te handhaven om vandaaruit de olieproductie te controleren. De bestrijding van het hand-over-hand toenemende geweld in het land, waarbij we volgens sommigen aan de vooravond van een burgeroorlog staan, mag het nog nauwelijks
functionerende Iraakse leger opknappen. Dat westerse militairen in Irak zitten om de veiligheid van de Irakezen te waarborgen is dus een fabeltje. In de Nederlandse context protesteren we daarnaast tegen de Nederlandse steun aan de Amerikaanse oorlog in Afghanistan en
tegen de schijnbaar Europese instemming met de dreigementen ten aanzien van Iran. Eerder deze week zijn de kwartiermakers naar de Zuid-Afghaanse provincie Uruzgan afgereisd, terwijl
juist ook de afgelopen weken duidelijk werd dat het gewapend verzet tegen buitenlandse militaire aanwezigheid in deze regio sterk toeneemt en dat, tegen eerdere toezeggingen in,
Nederlandse militairen in Afghanistan wel degelijk medeverantwoordelijk zijn voor de Amerikaanse schendingen van het internationaal (oorlogs)recht. Onder het motto 'beter ten
hele gekeerd.' roept het Platform de Nederlandse regering op om af te zien van de uitzending van de Nederlandse troepenmacht zolang het nog kan. Breken met Bush: niet meer doden.
Dat geldt ook voor de toenemende oorlogsdreiging ten aanzien van Iran. In dit verband werkt het Platform tegen de 'Nieuwe Oorlog' nauw samen met het onlangs opgerichte breed platform
van 'Iraniërs tegen de oorlog'. Sinds een jaar voltrekt zich een confrontatie met het Iraanse regiem. Deze is gebaseerd op de valse bewering dat Iran bijna beschikt over een kernwapen.
Hiermee wordt de aanloop naar de Irak- oorlog in 2002-2003 herhaald. De inspecteurs van het Internationaal AtoomEnergieAgentschap (IAEA) hebben verklaard dat er geen bewijs is dat er aan kernwapens wordt gewerkt in Iran. Het streven van de Iraanse oppositie om op vreedzame wijze tot een ander regiem te komen, wordt door deze valse bewering systematisch onderuit gehaald. De harde uitspraken van de Iraanse regering dienen om haar binnenlandse zwakte te
verbergen. Maar hoe harder de zogenaamde nucleaire dreiging, hoe gemakkelijker het wordt om de Iraanse oppositie neer te slaan. Wil die oppositie een kans hebben om verandering te
bewerkstellingen, dan moet het Westen, de VS en EU voorop, ophouden met het escalatieproces. Dit draagt immers het risico in zich dat er een oorlog uitbreekt. Bovendien stuurt het neo- conservatieve deel van de Amerikaanse regering nog steeds aan op oorlog.' Lees verder:
http://www.platformtegendenieuweoorlog.nl/

Collateral Damage?

Het resultaat van het gewelddadig ingrijpen van onze bondgenoot in de zogeheten 'war on terror.' 'Operation Enduring Freedom' kent nu in feite voor het merendeel alleen nog maar 'Collateral Damage.' Het persbureau Reuters bericht: 'Iraq: U.S. military kills five children, two men and four women. Eleven members of an Iraqi family were killed in a U.S. raid on Wednesday, police and witnesses said. The U.S. military said two women and a child died during the bid to seize an al Qaeda militant from a house.Television pictures showed 11 bodies in the Tikrit morgue -- five children, two men and four women. A freelance photographer later saw the bodies being buried in Ishaqi, the town 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad where the raid took place.The U.S. military said in a statement its troops had attacked a house in Ishaqi early on Wednesday to capture a "foreign fighter facilitator for the al Qaeda in Iraq network"."Troops were engaged by enemy fire as they approached the building," U.S. spokesman Major Tim Keefe said. "Coalition Forces returned fire utilising both air and ground assets."There was one enemy killed. Two women and one child were also killed in the firefight. The building ... (was) destroyed."Keefe said the al Qaeda suspect had been captured and was being questioned. Major Ali Ahmed of the Ishaqi police said U.S. forces had landed on the roof of the house in the early hours and shot the 11 occupants, including the five children."After they left the house they blew it up," he said.' Lees verder:
http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsarticle.aspx?type=worldNews&storyid=2006-03-15T143959Z_01_COL544311_RTRUKOC_0_UK-IRAQ-RAID.xml Of: http://informationclearinghouse.info/article12341.htm

Land of the Free. Home of the Brave!

De New York Times bericht: 'WASHINGTON (AP) -- Wisconsin Sen. Russell Feingold accused fellow Democrats on Tuesday of cowering rather than joining him on trying to censure President Bush over domestic spying. ''Democrats run and hide'' when the administration invokes the war on terrorism, Feingold told reporters. Feingold introduced censure legislation Monday in the Senate but not a single Democrat has embraced it. Several have said they want to see the results of a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation before supporting any punitive legislation. Republicans dismissed the proposal Tuesday as being more about Feingold's 2008 presidential aspirations than Bush's actions. On and off the Senate floor, they have dared Democrats to vote for the resolution. ''I'm amazed at Democrats ... cowering with this president's numbers so low,'' Feingold said. The latest AP-Ipsos poll on Bush, conducted last week, found just 37 percent of the 1,000 people surveyed approving his overall performance, the lowest of his presidency. Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., tried to hold a vote Monday on Feingold's resolution but was blocked by Democrats. He said Tuesday that Feingold should withdraw the resolution because it has no support. ''If the Democrats continue to say no to voting on their own censure resolution, then they ought to drop it and focus on our foreign policy in a positive way,'' Frist said in a statement. Feingold's resolution condemns Bush's ''unlawful authorization of wiretaps of Americans within the United States without obtaining the court orders required'' by the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The only president ever censured by the Senate was Andrew Jackson, in 1834, for removing the nation's money from a private bank in defiance of the Whig-controlled Senate.' Lees verder: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/national/AP-Feingold-Censure.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin Of:http://informationclearinghouse.info/article12351.htm

Irak 47


De San Francisco Chronicle bericht: 'Ordinary Iraqi families getting ready to fight. They're stockpiling weapons, food and fuel. Baghdad -- Om Hussein, wrapped in her black abaya, lists the contents of the family's walk-in storage closet: three 175-pound cases of rice, two 33-pound cases of cooking fat, six cases of canned tomatoes, three crates of assorted legumes, a one-month supply of drinking water, frozen chicken livers in the freezer. And in the garage, jerry cans filled with fuel are piled floor to ceiling. Om Hussein, who was reluctant to give her full name, and her Shiite family are preparing for war. They've stocked up on food. They bought a Kalashnikov rifle and a second car -- so that there is space for all 13 members of their extended family should they need to flee in a hurry.
"We are afraid of what will happen in the coming days," she says. "Maybe there will be a monthlong curfew, or maybe fighting in the streets will force my family to stay in the house for days at a time." In the past week, President Bush has tried to assure Americans that Iraq has stepped back from the brink of civil war. "Iraqis have shown the world they want a future of freedom and peace," he told the Foundation for Defense of Democracies on Monday. Few Iraqis, however, share Bush's view that the crisis has been averted. They are readying themselves for the worst, fleeing likely flash points, stockpiling weapons and basic foodstuffs, barricading their neighborhoods, and drawing lines in the sand delineating Sunni and Shiite territory. Since the golden dome of a revered Shiite shrine in Samarra was reduced to rubble last month, the country's long-simmering sectarian feud has flared into the open with unprecedented brutality.' Lees verder:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/03/15/MNG6MHOD1T1.DTL

De Dollar Hegemonie 6



Information Clearing House bericht over de Dollar Hegemony: 'Global Economic Hegemony: A New Kind of Warfare? An Interview with Dr Krassimir Petrov,Ph.D (Teaches Macroeconomics, International Finance & Econometrics at the American University in Bulgaria). Afghanistan, Iraq and now Iran and potentially Syria on the cards for a military intervention, I was intrigued to find out what exactly is driving the neo-conservatives in the echelons of power at the Whitehouse and the few coalition allies to the U.S. to continue their strategy of potential military strikes despite what is universally accepted has been a disastrous foreign policy in Iraq. I interviewed Dr. Krassimir Petrov who has recently wrote an article titled “The Proposed Iranian Oil Bourse” to enlighten me on this subject. The interview focused on two articles, namely the one cited above and by W.R. Clark titled “Petrodollar Warfare: Dollars, Euros & The Upcoming Iranian Oil Bourse.” The response is a combination of statements from the articles and Dr. Krassimir Petrov’s own opinions on the questions asked. The questions were framed as a result of what the authors have highlighted is the setting up of a proposed Iranian Oil Bourse due to become operational from March 2006. The word “bourse” refers to a stock exchange for securities trading, and is derived from the French Stock Exchange in Paris. The Tehran Government has plans to begin competing with New York’s NYMEX and London’s IPE using a Euro based international oil trading mechanism. You may ask, why is this of any significance?Well, in the year 2000, Iraq had decided that it was no longer going to accept dollars for oil being sold under the UN’s Oil For-Food Program and decided to switch to the Euro as Iraq’s oil export currency. The result was a military strike by the U.S. and it’s allies and subsequently in ample time the dollar was restored as Iraq’s oil export currency. The authors feel that this was one of the main reasons for attacking Iraq to maintain the U.S. dollar as the monopoly currency for the critical international oil market. What this signifies is that without some sort of U.S. intervention and if the Iranian oil bourse goes ahead, the Euro is going to establish a firm foothold in the international oil trade market. Under the rubric of what is seen as the potential nuclear threat of Iran in future years, W.D. Clark states in his article that given the U.S. debt levels and taking into consideration the neo-conservative project of U.S. global domination, Tehran’s intentions “constitute an obvious encroachment on dollar supremacy in the crucial international oil market.” With international pressure mounting on the Iranian Government, it was under these circumstances that I posed the questions to Dr. Krassimir Petrov.' Lees verder:
http://informationclearinghouse.info/article12346.htm

Arundhati Roy 2



De Indiase schrijfster Arundhati Roy wierp tijdens een speech in San Francisco de volgende vraag op: 'When language has been butchered and bled of meaning, how do we understand "public power"? When freedom means occupation, when democracy means neo-liberal capitalism, when reform means repression, when words like "empowerment" and "peacekeeping" make your blood run cold - why, then, "public power" could mean whatever you want it to mean. A biceps building machine, or a Community Power Shower. So, I'll just have to define "public power" as I go along, in my own self-serving sort of way. In India, the word public is now a Hindi word. It means people. In Hindi, we have sarkar and public, the government and the people. Inherent in this use is the underlying assumption that the government is quite separate from "the people." This distinction has to do with the fact that India's freedom struggle, though magnificent, was by no means revolutionary. The Indian elite stepped easily and elegantly into the shoes of the British imperialists. A deeply impoverished, essentially feudal society became a modern, independent nation state. Even today, fifty seven years on to the day, the truly vanquished still look upon the government as mai-baap, the parent and provider. The somewhat more radical, those who still have fire in their bellies, see it as chor, the thief, the snatcher-away of all things. Either way, for most Indians, sarkar is very separate from public. However, as you make your way up India's social ladder, the distinction between sarkar and public gets blurred. The Indian elite, like the elite anywhere in the world, finds it hard to separate itself from the state. It sees like the state, it thinks like the state, it speaks like the state. In the United States, on the other hand, the blurring of the distinction between sarkar and public has penetrated far deeper into society. This could be a sign of a robust democracy, but unfortunately, it's a little more complicated and less pretty than that. Among other things, it has to do with the elaborate web of paranoia generated by the U.S. sarkar and spun out by the corporate media and Hollywood. Ordinary Americans have been manipulated into imagining they are a people under siege whose sole refuge and protector is their government. If it isn't the Communists, it's al-Qaeda. If it isn't Cuba. it's Nicaragua. As a result, this, the most powerful nation in the world - with its unmatchable arsenal of weapons, its history of having waged and sponsored endless wars, and the only nation in history to have actually used nuclear bombs - is peopled by a terrified citizenry, jumping at shadows. A people bonded to the state not by social services, or public health care, or employment guarantees, but by fear.' Lees verder:
http://www.democracynow.org/static/Arundhati_Trans.shtml

woensdag 15 maart 2006

NRC Propaganda



Eerst de feiten. Op dit moment gaat 93 procent van het Amerikaanse federale budget bestemd voor internationale betrekkingen naar de militairen en slechts 7 procent naar het ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken. In 153 van de 189 VN-lidstaten zijn Amerikaanse militairen gestationeerd. De Verenigde Staten heeft geen militair-industrieel complex maar is er 1. De militairen vormen de grootste bureaucratie binnen de Amerikaanse regering. De VS heeft een permanente oorlogs economie. Zie: http://www.bear-left.com/original/2003/0309permanent.html De gerespecteerde en gematigde Amerikaanse geleerde Chalmers Johnson schrijft: 'The only truly common elements in the totality of American foreign bases are imperialism and militarism - an impulse on the part of our elites to dominate other peoples largely because we have the power to do so, followed by strategic reasoning that, in order to defend the newly acquired outposts and control the region they are in, we must expand the areas under our control with still more bases.' Dit is geen radicale opvatting van een groepje extreem linkse extremisten, maar een onder vooraanstaande Amerikaanse intellectuelen algemeen geaccepteerde zienswijze. Of ze nu links of rechts zijn, in brede kringen gaat men ervan uit dat de VS nu een imperium is dat alleen via militaire bases in stand kan worden gehouden. Zo moeten wereldwijd de hulpbronnen onder het beheer van de Amerikaanse concerns worden gehouden. Dat moet de NRC volledig zijn ontgaan, want de krant die de nuance zegt te zoeken blijft onverstoorbaar de propaganda van de Bush-regering nakwaken, in de overtuiging dat dit als zoete koek zal worden geslikt door de lezers. De redactie buitenland speelt de onnozele August wanneer ze schrijft: 'VS willen in Irak mogelijk bases houden. De Verenigde Staten willen mogelijk een permanente militaire aanwezigheid in Irak houden om de gematigden in de regio te versterken tegen extremisten en de oliestroom te beschermen. (beschermen tegen wie? toch niet tegen de Amerikaanse oliemaatschappijen! svh) Dat heeft generaal John Abizaid, de hoogste Amerikaanse commandant in het Midden-Oosten en Centraal-Azië (Centcom), gisteren gezegd in het Huis van Afgevaardigden. Abizaid zei dat dit zal moeten worden uitgewerkt met de komende Iraakse regering. Eind vorige maand verklaarde brigade-generaal Mark Kimmitt op een persbriefing van het State Department nog dat het „ons beleid op dit punt” was dat „we geen permanente basis in Irak houden”. (dit is in strijd met de officiele rapporten geschreven voor de bezetting van Irak. Zie o.a.: http://home.planet.nl/~houck006/oorlogomolie.html svh) Kimmitt is adjunctdirecteur strategie en planning van Centcom. Over de huidige Amerikaanse sterkte zei Abizaid gisteren dat als in Irak een regering van nationale eenheid wordt gevormd „er naar mijn mening elke reden is te geloven [...] dat we tegen december 2006 de omvang van de macht aanzienlijk verder kunnen verminderen”. Minister van Defensie Rumsfeld liet gisteren doorschemeren dat het aantal Amerikaanse militairen in Irak, nu 133.000, de komende dagen mogelijk enigszins zal toenemen in verband met de massale toestroom van pelgrims naar heilige steden ter gelegenheid van religieuze feestdagen. Overigens zit de vorming van een regering van nationale eenheid in Irak nog muurvast.' Door het klakkeloos overnemen van deze uitspraken, zonder ze in een historisch kader te plaatsen, steunt de krant de propaganda. Lees verder: http://www.nrc.nl/buitenland/article248930.ece

Israelisch Expansionisme 7



Vorige week vrijdag schreef ik dit stukje: 'De Volkskrant berichtte vanochtend: ''Israël zal uiterlijk in 2010 de definitieve grenzen van de joodse staat vaststellen tenzij Hamas Israël erkent en afziet van geweld. Dat heeft waarnemend premier Ehud Olmert donderdag gezegd in een interview met The Jerusalem Post. Het is voor het eerst dat Israël een deadline noemt voor het vaststellen van de definitieve grenzen.'' Zie: http://www.volkskrant.nl/buitenland/article243192.ece Kennelijk gaat de Volkskrant ervan uit dat haar lezers zo onnozel zijn dat ze zich niet zullen afvragen waarom een land dat sinds 1948 bestaat pas over vier jaar laat weten waar zijn grenzen liggen, dus 62 jaar na dato. Om de Volkskrant-redactie al vast een beetje op weg te helpen: 'In 1938, Ben-Gurion made it clear of his support for the establishment of a Jewish state on parts of Palestine ONLY as an intermediary stage, he wrote: "[I am] satisfied with part of the country, but on the basis of the assumption that after we build up a strong force following the establishment of the state--we will abolish the partition of the country and we will expand to the whole Land of Israel." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 107, One Palestine Complete, p. 403) Ben-Gurion emphasized that the acceptance of the Peel Commission would not imply static borders for the future "Jewish state". In a letter Ben-Gurion sent to his son in 1937, he wrote: "No Zionist can forgo the smallest portion of the Land Of Israel. [A] Jewish state in part [of Palestine] is not an end, but a beginning ..... Our possession is important not only for itself ... through this we increase our power, and every increase in power facilitates getting hold of the country in its entirety. Establishing a [small] state .... will serve as a very potent lever in our historical effort to redeem the whole country." (Righteous Victims, p. 138) In August 1937, the 20th Zionist Congress rejected the Peel Commission proposed partition plan because the area allotted to the "Jewish state" was smaller than expected. On the other hand, the concept of partitioning Palestine into two states was accepted as a launching pad for future Zionist expansions, and to secure unlimited Jewish immigrations. In September 1938, Ben-Gurion explained why he advocated partitioning the country NOW, and to accept the Peel Commission's proposal: "The ONLY reason that we agreed to discuss the [Peel commission proposed] partition plan," Ben-Gurion wrote Moshe Sharett, "is mass immigration. Not in the future, and not according to abstract formula, but large immigration now." (Shabtai Teveth, p. 184) And in October 1938, he wrote to his children that : "I don't regard a state in part of Palestine as the final aim of Zionism, but as a mean toward that aim." (Shabtai Teveth, p. 188)In September 1937, he stated to a group of American Jewish labor leaders in New York:"the borders [of the Jewish state] will not be fixed for eternity." (Shabtai Teveth, p. 188)… Soon after the U.N. Proposed Partitioning Palestinian in November 1947, Ben-Gurion urged his party to accept the partition because it will never be final, "not with regard to the regime, not with regard to borders, and not with regard to international agreements." (Simha Flapan, p. 32)Similarly, even most left wing parties reaffirmed their commitment to the complete redemption of Biblical "Eretz Yisrael," the United Hebrew Labor (Ahdut Haavodah) stated:"partition is the best or shortest way of realizing greater Zionism" and declared that its members would "not cease to strive for the integrity of the homeland." (Simha Flapan, p. 33)When Pinhas Rozen, who became Israel's first Israeli Justice, demanded that Israel's Declaration of Independence should cite the COUNTRY'S BORDERS, Ben-Gurion objected, and both exchanged the following points: ROZEN: "There's the question of the borders, and it CANNOT BE IGNORED."BEN-GURION: "Anything is possible. If we decide here that there's to be no mention of borders, then we won't mention them. Nothing is a priori [imperative]."ROZEN: "It's not a priori, but it is a legal issue."BEN-GURION: "The law is whatever people determine it to be." (1949, The First Israelis, p. xviii) Ben-Gurion clearly never believed in static borders, but dynamic ones as described in the Bible. He stated during a discussion with his aides: "Before the founding of the state, on the eve of its creation, our main interests was self-defense. To a large extent, the creation of the state was an act of self-defense. . . . Many think that we're still at the same stage. But now the issue at hand is conquest, not self-defense. As for setting the borders--- it's an open-ended matter. In the Bible as well as in our history, there all kinds of definitions of the country's borders, so there's no real limit. Bo border is absolute. If it's a desert--- it could just as well be the other side. If it's sea, it could also be across the sea. The world has always been this way. Only the terms have changed. If they should find a way of reaching other stars, well then, perhaps the whole earth will no longer suffice." (1949, The First Israelis, p. 6) It has been customary among all Zionists leaders to use the Bible to justify perpetrating WAR CRIMES. Regardless of the methods used to build the "Jewish state", the quote above is a classical example how the Bible is used to achieve political objectives. During the course of the 1948 war, Yigal Allon submitted a detailed plan to Ben-Gurion for the military conquest of the West Bank, arguing that the Jordan River would provide the best strategic border. He believed that a substantial part of the Palestinian population would flee east because of the military operations, he stated: "Our offensive has to leave the way open for the army and the refugees to retreat. We shall easily find the reason or, to be more accurate, the pretexts, to justify our offensive, as we did up to now" (emphasis added). (Simha Flapan, p. 114) When Israel signed the armistice agreements with Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, Ben-Gurion stated: "The November 29[, 1947 U.N.] decision had given the Jewish state 14,920,000 dunums; now we have 20,662,000 dunums in our control. While the UN has not yet recognized our borders, Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, and Lebanon have done so." (Simha Flapan, p. 49) In other words, Israel managed to expand its borders 38% more than the area allotted to the "Jewish state" by 1947 UN GA partition plan. It should be noted that 60% of the Israelis soldiers were killed in action, were killed in offensive actions in the areas conquered beyond areas allotted by the UN to the "Jewish state." (Simha Flapan, p. 198-199).' Lees verder:http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Famous-Zionist-Quotes/Story695.html Vooral ook het boek van de Israelische auteur en vredesactivist Simha Flapan is onthullend. Het heet 'The Birth of Israel. Myths and Realities.' Warm aanbevolen voor mijn immer wakkere collega's van de Volkskrant. Zijn boek verklaart ook het feit waarom Israel geen grondwet heeft. In een grondwet moet namelijk staan waar de grenzen precies liggen waarbinnen de constitutie van kracht is. Bovendien wordt duidelijk waarom ook in de ontafhankelijkheidsverklaring met geen woord wordt gerept over de grenzen. Naar een zo groot mogelijk Israel streeft al meer dan een halve eeuw zowel de Israelische linkse Arbeiderspartij als het rechtse Likoed. In hun beleid gingen en gaan ze nog steeds uit van het adagium 'dunam for dunam' oftewel hectare voor hectare totdat uiteindelijk het ideaal van het Eretz-Israel op gestolen Palestijns gebied is bereikt. Een dergelijke politiek is natuurlijk extremistisch en stuit onvermijdelijk op gewapend verzet. Dat spreekt voor zich, maar de Westerse commerciele media zwijgen hierover. In hun ogen is Hamas alleen maar een extremistische organisatie en Israel niet. Het interesseert ze niet dat dit pure propaganda is. Een serieuze journalist zou zich moeten afvragen wie de afgelopen halve eeuw de ware extremisten zijn geweest.' Zie:
http://stanvanhoucke.blogspot.com/2006/03/israelisch-expansionisme-5.html Ik heb dit opgestuurd naar de Volkskrant-redactie met de vraag waarom men geen aandacht besteedt aan deze achtergronden, geen aandacht heeft voor de vraag waarom Israel nooit zijn grenzen heeft bepaald. Zolang dit feit buiten beschouwing blijft, kan men onmogelijk spreken van evenwichtige verslaggeving. Ik heb nog geen reactie ontvangen. Ik hou u op de hoogte.

Het Israelisch Terrorisme 3



De beelden doen denken aan dictaturen, aan fascistische staten, aan terreur. En de Europeanen kijken gelaten toe, zoals ze tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog gelaten toekeken en zoals ze gedurende het Joegoslavie-bloedbad gelaten toekeken. Daarna, ja daarna richtten ze tribunalen op om de wreedheden, de oorlogsmisdaden en de misdaden tegen de menselijkheid te veroordelen. Zo houden ze hun geweten schoon. Maar nu, nu kijken de Europeanen er naar en zien ze hoe joden de Palestijnen behandelen zoals ze zelf ooit eens de joden behandelden. De in Martinique geboren Franse zwarte dichter en denker Aimee Cesaire vatte het zo samen: 'The colonizer, who in order to ease his conscience gets into the habit of seeing the other man as an animal, accustoms himself to treating him like an animal, and tends objectively to transform himself into an animal... They thought they were only slaughtering Indians, or Hindus, or South Sea Islanders, or Africans. They have in fact overthrown, one after another, the ramparts behind which European civilization could have developed freely.' En zo gedraagt ook een aanzienlijk deel van de joods-Israelis zich nu als beesten. Het is het lot van de slachtofferist. En de Europeaan? Die begaat de misdaad van de onverschilligheid. Die doet mee of kijkt de andere kant op, zoals hij altijd al gedaan heeft. En dat heet de Westerse beschaving.

Marcel Gauchet


De Franse intellectueel Marcel Gauchet is directeur van de Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales en hoofdredacteur van het tijdschrift "Le Débat." Le Monde stelde hem de volgende vraag: 'The West Is Blind to the Impact of Globalization on the Economy and on Morals. You described a "disenchanted" world in the 1980s: doesn't the brutal return of religion to the international political scene surprise you? No. I was surprised, as everyone was, by the Islamic Revolution in Iran, but since then, I have continued to think that we're not anywhere near the end of the surprises produced by the "departure" of religion, which is accelerating in the West - the case of the United States being atypical - and the reactivation of religious identities in the rest of the world, especially the Islamic world. I insist: it's not a "return" of religion in good and due form that we are witnessing, but rather a revival of identities with a religious character.
Europeans' problem is that they can no longer understand what religion means in societies where it still maintains a structural power. They've forgotten their own past. For them, religion has become a system of individual and private beliefs. Now the rest of the world does not operate that way. It also is not spared the "departure" of religion which accelerates with globalization. But this "departure" of the religious organization of the world, destroyed by urbanization, Western-style economism, liberal thought, technical efficiency and consumption cohabits with an aspiration to rediscover traditional religion. So we end up with a revival that can also be explained by the failure of previous forms of modernization ... Yes. Forced Westernization, development, Arab nationalism, Pan-Arabism, socialism: all that failed. What's left? Religious identity, the collective conscience ordered around the inheritance of a tradition. Push this recovery movement to the end and you've got fundamentalism, so that it's no longer a matter of rediscovering habitual religiosity, but rather the truth of sources hijacked by the corruption of the present. The pretext/affair of the caricatures of Mohammed has demonstrated the immense resentment felt by populations that feel despised, abandoned by history, in a situation of perpetual failure in relation to a West that does not measure how the penetration of its ways of doing things and of thinking is destructive to the existing social order, notably in this Islam that, as much as a faith, is a way of life. The West is blind to the impact of globalization of the economy and customs, to how it disaggregates the traditional family and violently changes the relationship between men and women and between generations. We're talking about an existential uprising. How do you explain Westerners' "blindness?" From the First World War to the end of decolonization, Europeans experienced a moment of crisis in their good conscience as dominators. They tried to understand other cultures and civilizations that they had trampled on for a long time. Today, that questioning is over. Overall, they are reconciled with their history. They no longer have any imperial pretension; they are in favor of peaceful coexistence of cultures; they celebrate diversity; but they're not very interested in what isn't their own.
Moreover, the failure of the socialist revolution project and the Soviet Bloc's crumbling imposed the idea that democracy is an impassable system and that market capitalism had been tested and proven. This consensus about the operation of our societies does not promote relativism regarding the rest of the world. There's no other way to be modern ... Those who don't yet enjoy the good fortune of possessing democracy, freedom of speech, the market, and human rights must urgently acquire them!' Lees verder, in het Frans: http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-3232,36-749810,0.html Of in het Engels: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/031406H.shtml

Howard Zinn 3

De Amerikaanse historicus Howard Zinn schrijft: 'Lessons of Iraq War start with U.S. history. On the third anniversary of President Bush's Iraq debacle, it's important to consider why the administration so easily fooled so many people into supporting the war. I believe there are two reasons, which go deep into our national culture. One is an absence of historical perspective. The other is an inability to think outside the boundaries of nationalism. If we don't know history, then we are ready meat for carnivorous politicians and the intellectuals and journalists who supply the carving knives. But if we know some history, if we know how many times presidents have lied to us, we will not be fooled again. President Polk lied to the nation about the reason for going to war with Mexico in 1846. It wasn't that Mexico "shed American blood upon the American soil" but that Polk, and the slave-owning aristocracy, coveted half of Mexico. President McKinley lied in 1898 about the reason for invading Cuba, saying we wanted to liberate the Cubans from Spanish control, but the truth is that he really wanted Spain out of Cuba so that the island could be open to United Fruit and other American corporations. He also lied about the reasons for our war in the Philippines, claiming we only wanted to "civilize" the Filipinos, while the real reason was to own a valuable piece of real estate in the far Pacific, even if we had to kill hundreds of thousands of Filipinos to accomplish that. President Wilson lied about the reasons for entering the First World War, saying it was a war to "make the world safe for democracy," when it was really a war to make the world safe for the rising American power. President Truman lied when he said the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima because it was "a military target."And everyone lied about Vietnam - President Kennedy about the extent of our involvement, President Johnson about the Gulf of Tonkin and President Nixon about the secret bombing of Cambodia. They all claimed the war was to keep South Vietnam free of communism, but really wanted to keep South Vietnam as an American outpost at the edge of the Asian continent. President Reagan lied about the invasion of Grenada, claiming falsely that it was a threat to the United States. The elder Bush lied about the invasion of Panama, leading to the death of thousands of ordinary citizens in that country. And he lied again about the reason for attacking Iraq in 1991 - hardly to defend the integrity of Kuwait, rather to assert U.S. power in the oil-rich Middle East. There is an even bigger lie: the arrogant idea that this country is the center of the universe, exceptionally virtuous, admirable, superior. If our starting point for evaluating the world around us is the firm belief that this nation is somehow endowed by Providence with unique qualities that make it morally superior to every other nation on Earth, then we are not likely to question the president when he says we are sending our troops here or there, or bombing this or that, in order to spread our values - democracy, liberty, and let's not forget free enterprise - to some God-forsaken (literally) place in the world. But we must face some facts that disturb the idea of a uniquely virtuous nation. We must face our long history of ethnic cleansing, in which the U.S. government drove millions of Indians off their land by means of massacres and forced evacuations. We must face our long history, still not behind us, of slavery, segregation and racism. And we must face the lingering memory of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is not a history of which we can be proud.' Lees verder:
http://progressive.org/media_mpzinn030806 Of: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/031406D.shtml Een interview met Howard Zinn kunt u hier lezen: http://home.planet.nl/~houck006/zinn.html En hier beluisteren.
http://www.vpro.nl/programma/madiwodo/afleveringen/14609152/

Iran 17
















De Amerikaanse onderzoeksjournalist Robert Dreyfuss schrijft: 'Deja Vu All Over Iran. Comedians might be forgiven for making jokes that President Bush is talking about drawing down U.S. forces in Iraq because he needs them next door in Iran. It isn’t, however, so far off the mark. The pieces are falling into place for Operation Regime Change II, this time in Iran. You’d think, given how badly it went the first time, and how utterly unpredictable a showdown with Iran would be, that the Bush administration would have at least changed its m.o.—but no. Shaking his head in New York, where he was attending United Nations Security Council discussions on Iran, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said bluntly: “It looks so déjà vu.” He ridiculed the idea of sanctions on Iran as useless and ineffective, and he called the U.S. push for a showdown over Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program a “self-fulfilling prophecy.” He’s right. Even John Bolton, the neoconservative saber-rattler who represents the United States at the U.N., agrees. Said Bolton, when asked about Lavrov’s comment: “If that is déjà vu, then so be it, but that is the course we are on in an effort to get Iran to reverse its decision to acquire nuclear weapons.” So let’s look precisely at what course that is. In the past few weeks, we’ve seen the Bush administration create a brand-new Office of Iranian Affairs at the State Department, which looks suspiciously like a step toward creating the Iraq war planning office at the Pentagon called the Office of Special Plans. No word yet on whether the Department of Defense plans to create a parallel Office of Iranian Affairs, but it can’t be far behind. So that’s déjà vu, for sure. The United States is pressing the U.N. to sanction Iran, to be more aggressive in shutting down a nuclear program that, so far at least, the International Atomic Energy Agency has not been able to find, exactly. Even the least charitable among us might forgive the U.N.’s diplomats, including Lavrov, for being suspicious of the Bush administration when it pledges to take Iran to the U.N. Security Council and to abide by the result. In 2002, the Bush administration took Iraq to the UNSC, got the IAEA inspectors invited back in, began pressing for further U.N. action—and then gave up the whole thing and invaded Iraq unilaterally. So that, for sure, sounds like déjà vu.' Lees verder:
http://www.tompaine.com/articles/2006/03/14/deja_vu_all_over_iran.php Of: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/031406B.shtml

dinsdag 14 maart 2006

Dr. Pieter Tans



Vanochtende berichtte de BBC World Service: 'Sharp rise in CO2 levels recorded. US climate scientists have recorded a significant rise in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, pushing it to a new record level… The chief carbon dioxide analyst for Noaa says the latest data confirms a worrying trend that recent years have, on average, recorded double the rate of increase from just 30 years ago. "We don't see any sign of a decrease; in fact, we're seeing the opposite, the rate of increase is accelerating," Dr Pieter Tans told the BBC. The precise level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is of global concern because climate scientists fear certain thresholds may be "tipping points" that trigger sudden changes. The UK government's chief scientific adviser, Professor Sir David King, said the new data highlighted the importance of taking urgent action to limit carbon emissions. "Today we're over 380 ppm," he said. "That's higher than we've been for over a million years, possibly 30 million years. Mankind is changing the climate."' Lees verder: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4803460.stm U kunt ook naar de site van NOAA gaan, de US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, waar de in Groningen afgestuurde fysicus Pieter Tans werkt als chief scientist van de Global Monitoring Devision, onderdeel van The Earth System Research Laboratory. Zie: http://www.cmdl.noaa.gov/ Vanavond interviewde ik dr. Tans over de aanzienlijke stijging van het broeikasgas CO2 in de atmosfeer waardoor er nu een nieuwe record hoogte is bereikt. U kunt er hier naar luisteren: http://webdisk.planet.nl/houck006/default.aspx onder interviews. Het gesprek is in Engels aangezien Pieter Tans al 28 jaar in de VS woont en alle termen waarmee hij dagelijks werkt in het Engels zijn en hij niet alle termen in het Nederlands weet.

Irak 46

Terwijl extra Nederlandse troepen zich opmaken om naar het front in het Midden Oosten te vertrekken, beginnen de voorbereidingen voor de terugtrekking van Amerikaanse militairen uit de olieregio. Ondertussen is vandaag het plafond voor de Amerikaanse buitenlandse schuld opnieuw verhoogd, nu de buitenlandse schuld van de VS is opgelopen tot meer dan acht biljoen dollar. Een schuld van meer dan acht maal een miljoen maal een miljoen, en een schuld die elke dag weer met ruim 3 miljard dollar toeneemt. De Verenigde Staten zit financieel-economisch op het niveau van een bananenrepubliek. Alleen zolang het buitenland bereid is om de Amerikaanse oorlogen militair en/of financieel te steunen kan het imperium in stand worden gehouden. Dat wil zeggen zolang bijvoorbeeld de Nederlandse pensioenfondsen en de Chinese staat geld aan de VS blijven lenen kan de reus op lemen voeten overeind worden gehouden. De Washington Post bericht: 'Bush Sets Target for Transition In Iraq. Country's Troops to Take Lead This Year. President Bush vowed for the first time yesterday to turn over most of Iraq to newly trained Iraqi troops by the end of this year, setting a specific benchmark as he kicked off a fresh drive to reassure Americans alarmed by the recent burst of sectarian violence. Bush, who until now has resisted concrete timelines as the Iraq war dragged on longer than he expected, outlined the target in the first of a series of speeches intended to lay out his strategy for victory. While acknowledging grim developments on the ground, Bush declared "real progress" in standing up Iraqi forces capable of defending their nation. "As more capable Iraqi police and soldiers come on line, they will assume responsibility for more territory with the goal of having the Iraqis control more territory than the coalition by the end of 2006," he said in a speech to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. "And as Iraqis take over more territory, this frees American and coalition forces to concentrate on training and on hunting down high-value targets like the terrorist [Abu Musab al-] Zarqawi and his associates."' Lees verder: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/13/AR2006031300785.html?referrer=email&referrer=email

Rachel Corrie




Dit is Rachel Corrie die door het Israelische leger werd vermoord. Angela Godfrey-Goldstein, de Action Advocacy Officer van The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) in Jerusalem stuurde me de volgende email: 'Rachel Corrie was 23 years old when she was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer on March 16, 2003. She was working with others trying to protect the home of a Palestinian pharmacist from demolition in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Palestine. “My Name is Rachel Corrie” is a powerful one-woman show based entirely on the writings that Rachel left behind, telling her story from the time she was a small child, leading up to the days before her death. The play, edited by Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner from Rachel’s diaries and emails, was produced by the Royal Court Theatre in London. Starring Megan Dodds, it played to sold out audiences and wide acclaim. “My Name is Rachel Corrie” was scheduled to open at the New York Theatre Workshop on March 22nd. It has been postponed indefinitely, sparking much debate. Director Alan Rickman said, “Rachel Corrie lived in nobody’s pocket but her own. Whether one is sympathetic with her or not, her voice is like a clarion in the fog and should be heard.” Rachel’s mother Cindy wonders, “Why are people so afraid of Rachel’s words?” We ask the same question and are determined to give people the opportunity to hear those words. The “Rachel’s Words” initiative is made up of a broad spectrum of groups and individuals who believe that Rachel’s words and her message of human rights and justice should be heard. We hope that Rachel’s Words will open the door for other equally important and silenced voices. We resist the pervasive climate of fear and challenge to free speech that is increasingly prevalent in our society. Rachel wrote about issues that concern us all. People must have the opportunity to hear her message and decide for themselves what they think. Nobody’s agenda should stand in the way of that.
Click here for the growing list of endorsements and add your name or your groups name to this list of support for Rachel’s Words! ' Lees verder: http://www.rachelswords.org/about/ 'Please come to a reading of Rachel Corrie's words at The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions' activists' centre, DAILA (4 Shlomzion Hamalka Street, West Jerusalem), by ICAHD Advocacy Officer, Angela Godfrey-Goldstein, Thursday March 16th @ 12.30 noon. This is part of worldwide solidarity against "postponement" of the Royal Court Theatre's production in New York. A multitude of such readings will take place in Basra, Cairo, Montreal, Kosovo, Nigeria, America etc. As of today, 40 groups and over 250 individuals have endorsed the initiative from dozens of cities in countries all over the world, including Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Nigeria, Palestine, Thailand, UK, USA……. You can endorse the initiative and read more about it at http://www.rachelswords.org/ Readings will be available in video on Electronic Intifada's video website http://www.electronicintifada.net/ edited into a video montage to be shown at a March 22nd event at Riverside Church in Manhattan; video footage of people reading Rachel’s words from Rafah, Afghanistan, Iraq and New Orleans—underscoring the important point that there are many silenced voices in the world and that, through this one woman’s words, we hope to acknowledge all of them. The list of places where people are planning actions and expressing support continues to grow! New York, Jerusalem, Iowa, Seattle, Taos, Chicago, Connecticut, Vermont, Detroit, Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Jersey, Germany, Montreal, Minneapolis, Boston, Kansas, Florida, Texas, Kansas, Louisville, St. Louis, Portland, OR, Amsterdam, Surinam, Madrid, Spain, Egypt and Oaxaca, Mexico.' Meer over Rachel Corrie:
http://www.rachelcorrie.org/

Klimaatverandering 25

De Independent bericht: 'Climate change 'irreversible' as Arctic sea ice fails to re-form. Sea ice in the Arctic has failed to re-form for the second consecutive winter, raising fears that global warming may have tipped the polar regions in to irreversible climate change far sooner than predicted. Satellite measurements of the area of the Arctic covered by sea ice show that for every month this winter, the ice failed to return even to its long-term average rate of decline. It is the second consecutive winter that the sea ice has not managed to re-form enough to compensate for the unprecedented melting seen during the past few summers. Scientists are now convinced that Arctic sea ice is showing signs of both a winter and a summer decline that could indicate a major acceleration in its long-term rate of disappearance. The greatest fear is that an environmental "positive feedback" has kicked in, where global warming melts ice which in itself causes the seas to warm still further as more sunlight is absorbed by a dark ocean rather than being reflected by white ice.' Lees verder: http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article351135.ece