zaterdag 10 juni 2006
Defence for Children International bericht: 'Israeli shells kill five children on Gaza beach.
Seven members of one family, including five children, were killed when Israeli artillery shelled a beach packed with picnickers in northern Gaza on 9 June. Dozens more civilians were injured in the incident which occurred in broad daylight as families relaxed on the beach on Friday.
The five children killed have been identified as: Haytham Ghalia (5 months old) Hanadi Ghalia (1 and a half years old)Sabreen Ghalia (5 years old)Ilham Ghalia (15 years old) Aliya Ghalia (17 years old)
The children's father – Ali Ghalia – and his wife were also killed in the attack.
Eyewitnesses described how a barrage of shells, fired from the direction of an Israeli military gunship stationed just offshore, rained down on the beach-goers, killing members of the Ghalia family outright and wounding at least forty other people, including 12 children. Many of those taken to hospital sustained critical injuries and medical sources say the death toll could rise further.
Israeli government sources however claimed that the shells which hit Sudaniya beach east of Beit Lahiya did not come from the gunship, but were more likely to have been fired by Israeli ground forces. The Israeli military said it “regretted the harm done to innocent civilians”.
Since Israel pulled out from the Gaza Strip last summer, the Israeli military has embarked on a systematic and sustained shelling campaign, particularly of the northern Gaza Strip, ostensibly to prevent Palestinian militants from firing homemade rockets towards southern Israel. The Israeli artillery has fired thousands of shells each month this year around the northern Gaza towns of Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahiya, killing one Palestinian child and injuring at least a dozen others. In addition, thousands of Gazan children have been left traumatized by the sonic booms caused by Israeli military aircraft deliberately breaking the sound barrier while flying at low altitude over the Gaza Strip.
Defence for Children International/Palestine Section (DCI/PS) views with extreme concern the growing list of child fatalities in Gaza resulting from Israel's disproportionate use of force, which is not justified by military necessity nor gives due concern to the safety of protected persons, including children.
We call on the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention to hold Israel accountable to its international humanitarian law obligations.' Zie:
http://www.dci-pal.org/english/display.cfm?DocId=496&CategoryId=1 Nederland steunt Israel economisch, politiek en militair, en boycot tegelijkertijd de Palestijnse bervolking. Die boycot er vanwege terreur, niet van Israel, in feite wordt de 'joodse staat' er zelfs voor beloond, maar vanwege Hamas. Zodra de Palestijnen zich verzetten tegen de Israelische terreur worden ze gestraft door het Westen.
Baghdad - US officials have altered their account of the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, saying he was alive and partly conscious after bombs destroyed his hideout, and an Iraqi man raised fresh questions about the events surrounding the end of Iraq's most-wanted militant.
The man, who lived near the scene of the bombing, told AP Television News on Friday that he saw US soldiers beating an injured man resembling al-Zarqawi until blood flowed from the victim's nose.
When asked about the man's allegations, military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said he would check. In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Jeffrey Gordon said Saturday he was unaware of the claim.
"We frequently receive allegations which prove to be unsubstantiated," Gordon said.
The Iraqi, identified only as Mohammed, said residents put a bearded man in an ambulance before US forces arrived. He said the man was found lying next to an irrigation canal.
"He was still alive. We put him in the ambulance, but when the Americans arrived they took him out of the ambulance, they beat him on his stomach and wrapped his head with his dishdasha, then they stomped on his stomach and his chest until he died and blood came out of his nose," Mohammed said, without saying how he knew the man was dead.
A dishdasha is a traditional Arab robe.
A similar account in The Washington Post identified him as Ahmed Mohammed.
No other witnesses have come forward to corroborate the account of a man resembling al-Zarqawi being beaten. US officials have only said al-Zarqawi mumbled and tried to roll off a stretcher before dying.
On Thursday, the US military said al-Zarqawi was killed outright when two 500-pound bombs were dropped on his hideout.
But on Friday, the military said al-Zarqawi survived the bombing, which tore a huge crater in the date palm forest where the house was nestled just outside Baqouba, northwest of Baghdad.
Iraqi police reached the scene first and found the 39-year-old al-Zarqawi alive.
"He mumbled something, but it was indistinguishable and it was very short," Caldwell, a spokesman for US-led forces in Iraq, said Friday.
Iraqi police pulled al-Zarqawi from the flattened home and placed him on a makeshift stretcher. US troops arrived, saw that al-Zarqawi was conscious and tried to provide medical treatment, the spokesman said.
"He obviously had some kind of visual recognition of who they were because he attempted to roll off the stretcher, as I am told, and get away, realizing it was the US military," Caldwell told Pentagon reporters via videoconference from Baghdad.' Lees verder:
vrijdag 9 juni 2006
Op de website: http://www.peterbreedveld.com/archives/00000474.html las ik een reactie van 'Rinus Duikersloot: Het verwijt racisme lijkt te werken in het geval van Martin Bril. Hij schreef 26 mei in de Volkskrant over de problemen in Amsterdam Slotervaart met Marokkaanse jongeren een column die hij inmiddels verwijderd heeft van zijn eigen weblog maar nog wel te vinden is op het het log over Ayaan. Hij schreef vandaag een column met de titel Optimisme als plicht waarin hij min of meer spijt betuigt over zijn eerdere column. Zou hij geschrokken zijn van de kritiek van schrijver Herman Franke die het in de Volkskrant omschreef als 'een xenofobe hetze van de grofste soort' en van de kritiek van Stan van Houcke die het op zijn weblog ook als racisme omschrijft.' Website Martin Bril: http://www.martinbril.nl/ Martin Brils' stukje staat dus nu alleen nog maar op een website die wonderlijk genoeg nog steeds ayaan hirsi ali weblog heet. Het staat daar mooi geparkeerd, zo'n verhaaltje hoort daar ook thuis. De reactie van Rinus Duikersloot bewijst hoe fout zulke columns zijn. Hij schijnt niet te beseffen wat Martin Bril wel beseft, namelijk dat je dit soort tendentieuze nonsense niet moet opschrijven al was het maar om te voorkomen dat je je in no-time in een volstrekt verkeerd gezelschap bevindt.
'Van: Stan van Houcke [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Verzonden: dinsdag 30 mei 2006 8:18
Aan: TR Lezers
Onderwerp: RE: Vraag/reactie op dagblad Trouw - doorgegeven via internet
geachte mevrouw bosman
er is een misverstand ontstaan. ik wil helemaal met een brief in uw
ik wil antwoord op mijn vraag, zodat ik -als journalist- uw reactie op
weblog kan plaatsen.
stan van houcke
Van: Bosman, Andrea [mailto:A.Bosman@Trouw.nl] Namens TR Lezers
Verzonden: maandag 29 mei 2006 20:59
Onderwerp: RE: Vraag/reactie op dagblad Trouw - doorgegeven via internet
Hartelijk dank voor uw ingezonden brief. Wij krijgen dagelijks vele
reacties en dat stellen we zeer op prijs. Vanwege de tamelijk beperkte
ruimte moeten we een scherpe selectie maken. Op zaterdag hebben we een
hele pagina voor de lezers, daar is ruimte voor rond de twintig brieven.
Door de week plaatsen we een stuk of vier brieven per dag op onze
Podiumpagina. Het aantal reacties van lezers is echter een veelvoud
We beoordelen de inzendingen aan de hand van een aantal criteria. Hoe
korter en puntiger de brief, hoe liever, 250 woorden is wel het maximum.
Onze voorkeur gaat uit naar brieven die rechtstreeks reageren op stukken
in de krant. Al te veel uitleg van een probleem hoeft de brief niet te
bevatten, wel een duidelijke mening. We hechten er veel waarde aan dat
de brieven begrijpelijk zijn geschreven.
U kunt ervan uitgaan dat als uw brief de komende twee weken niet in
Trouw verschijnt, die helaas ter zijde is geschoven. Dat kan ook
gebeuren met brieven die wel voldoen aan onze criteria. Dan is er gewoon
Tot onze spijt ontbreekt het ons aan tijd met u over ons oordeel van
gedachten te wisselen, maar we gaan ervan uit dat we u op deze manier
voldoende op de hoogte te hebben gesteld van onze werkwijze. Wij
proberen ons werk zorgvuldig te doen, ook omdat we begrijpen dat het een
teleurstelling is als de inspanningen van de schrijvers niet met een
plekje in de krant worden beloond.
Komt uw brief wel in de krant, dan kunt u verzekerd zijn van een groot
Van: Venekamp, Job Namens TR Redactie
Verzonden: zondag 28 mei 2006 19:30
Aan: TR Lezers
CC: Welgraven, Co
Onderwerp: FW: Vraag/reactie op dagblad Trouw - doorgegeven via internet
Van: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Verzonden: zaterdag 27 mei 2006 10:34
Aan: TR Redactie
Onderwerp: Vraag/reactie op dagblad Trouw - doorgegeven via internet
Subject: Vraag/reactie op dagblad Trouw - doorgegeven via internet
Data entered from: http://www.trouw.nl/service/contact/article10947.ece
krantenredactie: Correcties op verhaal
opmerkingen: Naar aanleiding van de terrorisme kaart: Hier is sprake van
een kolossale omissie van Trouw en de Clingendael promovendus, een fout
die iedere mediaconsument ogenblikkelijk in het oog springt, namelijk:
De Verenigde Staten staat er niet op en ook niet het Verenigd
Koninkrijk! Wat een blunder, dat proefschrift zal onmiddellijk in de
prullebak verdwijnen, tenzij het niet drastisch gecorrigeerd wordt.
Welke definitie van terrorisme wordt door de Clingendael promovendus
gehanteerd en door Trouw? Als onafhankelijke journalist gebruik ik zelf
de definitie zoals die beschreven staat in het Amerikaanse Leger
Handboek, waarbij terrorisme omschreven wordt als 'het bewust geplande
gebruik van geweld of dreiging van geweld om doelen te bereiken die
politiek, religieus, of ideologisch van aard zijn.' Zie ook:
http://home.planet.nl/~houck006/filosofie2.html En zelfs bij een
oppervlakkige beschouwing van de Amerikaanse en Britse buitenlandse
politiek ontkomt geen waardenvrije !
wetenschapper aan de conclusie dat het beleid van beide landen
ruimschoots onder deze definitie valt. mijn vraag aan u is: welke
definitie hanteert Trouw?
BAGHDAD - An Iraqi doctor who was in Haditha during a deadly U.S. raid last year says there are many more stories like that in Haditha that are yet untold.
The Pentagon admitted last week that U.S. Marines killed 24 civilians -- including a 66-year-old woman and a four-year-old boy -- in the Western Iraqi town last November. Before that, the military had maintained the civilians were killed by a roadside bomb.
"There are many, many, many cases like Haditha that are still undercover and need to be highlighted in Iraq," Dr. Salam Ishmael, projects manager with the organisation Doctors for Iraq, and former chief of the junior doctors in Baghdad's Medical City Hospital told IPS.
In Haditha itself, he said, the U.S. military cut electricity and water to the entire city, attacked the hospital and burned the pharmacy.
"The hospital has been attacked three times. In November 2005 the hospital was occupied by the American and Iraqi Army for seven days, which is a severe breach of the Geneva Conventions," he said.
"In one of these attacks, the U.S. soldiers used live ammunition inside the hospital. They handcuffed all the doctors and destroyed the entire contents of the medical storage. It ended with the killing of one of the patients in his bed."
The Iraqi Red Crescent reported at the time that nearly 1,000 families had been forced to flee their homes in Haditha following the launch of the U.S.-led military operation.
The Pentagon has responded to allegations of a massacre at Haditha by withdrawing the concerned soldiers from Iraq and investigating them for criminal misconduct. Authorities also say they will launch a new round of "ethical training" for American troops before they are sent overseas.
Joseph Hatcher served in the western Iraqi town of Dawr from February 2004 until March last year. He said his cultural training before deployment consisted of a three-hour class and a pamphlet he was given.
"It's just here's where you are on a map, because you'd be surprised how many people don't know that," Hatcher told IPS. "The only language training we received was a hand-out flip book type flyer which was how to say things like 'go down on your hands and knees' and 'don't resist'. We didn't learn how to make any kind of conversation."
During his time in Iraq, Hatcher took part in many house-to-house raids similar to the one in Haditha. He said none of the members of his unit spoke Arabic, and usually they went in without a translator.
"We would use very little language at all in house raids," he said.. "You point a barrel of a gun at somebody and pull them to the ground. It's fairly standard. There's no way to know if you're getting anyone of value.. You just arbitrarily raid an entire block."
Salam al-Amidi worked as translator for the U.S. military in the northern city of Mosul, which has been controlled by insurgents for over a year. He said he was the only translator for more than 5,000 U.S. troops.
He said the U.S. military relies mostly on paid informants in deciding which houses to raid.
"Maybe that person wanted revenge on that family and came and told us that he saw someone selling weapons. We would just go to that house at three in the morning, we'd break the door, and break everything in the house."
The Washington Post reported Monday that Marines went to the home of a 52-year-old disabled Iraqi, took him outside and shot him four times in the face. Like the killings in Haditha, the involved Marines are being investigated. All eight have been removed from Iraq and are being held at Camp Pendleton in California.
Increasingly, though, politicians are arguing that military justice is not enough.
"The test will be whether the leadership in the Department of Defence and the Administration does not try to confine these incidents in small compartments but looks to see if this is part of a large systemic problem," Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island said on Fox News Sunday.'
First news stories about the My Lai massacre (picked up from an army publicity release), March 1968: The New York Times labeled the operation a significant success: "American troops caught a North Vietnamese force in a pincer movement on the central coastal plain yesterday, killing 128 enemy soldiers in day-long fighting." United Press International called it an "impressive victory," and added a bit of patriotic color: "The Vietcong broke and ran for their hide-out tunnels. Six-and-a-half hours later, 'Pink Village' had become 'Red, White and Blue Village.'"
The New York Times, November 21, 2005: "The Marine Corps said Sunday that 15 Iraqi civilians and a Marine were killed Saturday when a roadside bomb exploded in Haditha, 140 miles northwest of Baghdad. The bombing on Saturday in Haditha, on the Euphrates in the Sunni-dominated province of Anbar, was aimed at a convoy of American Marines and Iraqi Army soldiers, said Capt. Jeffrey S. Pool, a Marine spokesman. After the explosion, gunmen opened fire on the convoy. At least eight insurgents were killed in the firefight, the captain said."
Knight Ridder, March 21, 2006: "Questions about the incident [at Ishaqi] focus on diverging U.S. military and Iraqi police accounts of the raid, which happened around 2:30 a.m. on March 15 on a house about 60 miles north of Baghdad. Both sides and neighbors agree that U.S. troops were involved in a firefight with a suspected member of al-Qaida in Iraq. But the U.S. account gave the death toll as four and said the house collapsed from the heavy fire it took during the fighting. The al-Qaida suspect was found alive in the rubble and arrested, the U.S report on the incident said. Iraqi police, however, contend that U.S. troops gathered 11 people in the house into a single room and executed them, before destroying the house as they left the area."
Charlie Company, which had suffered 28 casualties in its first months in the area without ever seeing the Vietnamese enemy, was bent on revenge when, on March 16, 1968, it entered the sub-hamlet of My Lai 4, known to the soldiers as "Pinkville," on the Battambang Peninsula in Quangnai Province. Looking for the reputed "headquarters" of the 48th Vietcong Battalion, they found only women, children, infants, and old men, none resistant, many finishing breakfast. Almost all were slaughtered, upwards of 500 human beings.
At Haditha, we know that, in the phrase of the soldier who first reported the My Lai massacre, "something rather dark and bloody" - and, it seems, criminal - happened. It started with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, a "feral" unit, living in a "Lord of the Flies" encampment (as described by British journalist Oliver Poole who paid it a frightening visit), on its third tour of duty in Iraq. It had already been in some of the darkest, bloodiest, most feral fighting of the counterinsurgency war - the destruction of much of the city of Fallujah in November 2004. After watching a company member die from a roadside bomb that November day a year later, some of the unit's soldiers evidently massacred 24 Iraqi civilians who happened to be living nearby in the town of 90,000 in the heartland of the Sunni insurgency. A My Lai-style cover-up followed.' Lees verder:
De Nederlandse regering steunt de Amerikaanse militaire bezetting van Irak.
De Washington Post bericht: 'Father of Beheaded Man Blames Bush, Not Zarqawi.
Philadelphia - Michael Berg, whose son Nick was beheaded in Iraq in 2004, said on Thursday he felt no sense of relief at the killing of the al Qaeda leader in Iraq and blamed President Bush for his son's death.
Asked what would give him satisfaction, Berg, an anti-war activist and candidate for U.S. Congress, said, "The end of the war and getting rid of George Bush."
The United States said its aircraft killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the insurgent leader who masterminded the death of hundreds in suicide bombings and was blamed for the videotaped beheading of Nick Berg, a U.S. contractor, and other captives.
"I don't think that Zarqawi is himself responsible for the killings of hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq," Berg said in a combative television interview with the U.S. Fox News network. "I think George Bush is.
"George Bush is the one that invaded this country, George Bush is the one that destabilized it so that Zarqawi could get in, so that Zarqawi had a need to get in, to defend his region of the country from American invaders."
Berg said Bush was to blame for the torture of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.
"Yeah, like George Bush didn't OK the torture and death and rape of people in the Abu Ghraib prison for which my son was killed in retaliation?" he told his Fox interviewers.
In a telephone interview with Reuters from his home in Wilmington, Delaware, the father said: "I have no sense of relief, just sadness that another human being had to die."' Lees verder: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/08/AR2006060800342.html Of:
De Nederlandse regering steunt de boycot tegen de Palestijnse bevolking.
CNN bericht: 'Pentagon sources say some of the most incriminating evidence against Marines under investigation in the deaths of civilians at Haditha is a set of photographs taken by another group of Marines who came along afterward and helped clean up the scene.
CNN is the first news organization to examine those images. They were snapped before an aspiring Iraq journalist videotaped the aftermath of the November 19 deaths. That video convinced Time magazine to pursue the story earlier this year.
Pentagon sources say the 30 images of men, women and children are some of the strongest evidence that, in some cases, the victims were shot inside their homes and at close range -- not killed by shrapnel from a roadside bomb or by stray bullets from a distant firefight, as Marines had claimed. (Watch what the new images show about the civilian deaths -- 2:51)
Senior Pentagon officials have said a probe into the November deaths tends to support allegations that Marines carried out an unprovoked massacre after one of their comrades was killed by a roadside bomb. The military is investigating both the deaths and a possible cover-up.
The Marines originally reported that Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas and 15 Iraqi civilians were killed by a roadside bomb in Haditha, a town on the Euphrates River in northwestern Iraq that was the scene of heavy fighting in 2005. They later added that eight insurgents were killed in an ensuing gun battle.
The Marine photographs are evidence in a criminal probe, and only investigators and a few very senior officials have access to them.' Lees verder:
En na eerst de zaak in de doofpot te hebben gestopt verklaren de autoriteiten nu dat ze ernstig verontruust zijn over de Amerikaanse oorlogsmisdaden. Zie: http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/06/07/marine.investigation.ap/
De Britse Guardian bericht: 'Why Israel's capture of Eichmann caused panic at the CIA Information that could have led to Nazi war criminal was kept under wraps.
On May 23 1960, when Israeli prime minister David Ben-Gurion announced to the Knesset that "Adolf Eichmann, one of the greatest Nazi war criminals, is in Israeli custody", US and West German intelligence services reacted to the stunning news not with joy but alarm.
Newly declassified CIA documents show the Americans and the German BND knew Eichmann was hiding in Argentina at least two years before Israeli agents snatched him from the streets of Buenos Aires on his way back from work. They knew how long he had been in the country and had a rough idea of the alias the Nazi fugitive was using there, Klement.
Even though German intelligence had misspelled it as Clemens, it was a crucial clue. The Mossad effort to track Eichmann had been suspended at the time because it had failed to discover his pseudonym. They were ultimately tipped off by a German official disgusted at his government's failure to bring the war criminal to justice.
Embarrassment Washington and Bonn failed to act on the information or hand it to the Israelis because they believed it did not serve their interests in the cold war struggle. In fact, the unexpected reappearance of the architect of the "final solution" in a glass box in a Jerusalem court threatened to be an embarrassment, turning global attention to all the former Nazis the Americans and Germans had recruited in the name of anti-communism.' Lees verder:
PARIS (AFP) - A Council of Europe report said 14 European countries colluded in or tolerated the secret transfer of terrorist suspects by the United States, but Washington dismissed the report as thin on facts.
"It is now clear -- although we are still far from establishing the whole truth -- that authorities in several European countries actively participated with the CIA in these unlawful activities. Other countries ignored them knowingly, or did not want to know," the report said.
It listed Sweden, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Britain, Italy, Macedonia, Germany and Turkey as countries "responsible, at varying degrees ... for violations of the rights of specific persons."
Seven other countries "could be held responsible for collusion -- active or passive": Poland, Romania, Spain, Cyprus, Ireland, Portugal and Greece.
Drawn up by Swiss parliamentarian Dick Marty, the report identified a "spider's web" of landing points around the world used by the US authorities for the practice of "extraordinary rendition" -- the undercover transfer of security suspects to third countries or US-run detention centres.
"The United States ... actually created this reprehensible network. But we also believe to have established that it is only through the intentional or grossly negligent collusion of the European partners that this 'web' was able to spread also over Europe," it said.' Lees verder:
donderdag 8 juni 2006
Toen ik een puber was wist elke jongen dat katholieke meisjes het best in bed waren, ze waren seksueel het minst geremd. Dat kwam omdat ze, voordat ze met je in bed stapten, bij meneer de pastoor langsgingen om hun zonde alvast op te biechten waardoor ze tijdens de daad geen last meer hadden van hun 'geweten.' Katholieken zijn altijd veel soepeler omgesprongen met de moraal. Volgens de protestanten waren ze dan ook opportunisten. En zo komen we automatisch bij de Volkskrant, die tot voor enkele decennia geleden de krant voor katholiek Nederland was, dus uitermate flexibel zodra het om het geweten ging, en een schoolvoorbeeld van journalistiek opportunisme.
Dit nu is een illustratie van wat tendentieuze berichtgeving heet. Want wat heeft de huidige Volkskrant te maken met het katholieke opportunisme waaruit het dagblad voortkomt? Inderdaad, helemaal niets, het is er met de haren bijgesleept omdat ik de Volkskrant wilde stigmatiseren.
Het wonderlijke is nu dat de Volkskrant zelf van deze tendentieuze manier van berichtgeving gebruik maakt in een artikel over mensen die de officiele lezing van 11 september aanvechten, overigens met een vracht aan redelijke argumenten en daarbij gesteund door deskundigen van naam en faam. Desondanks schrijft de Volkskrant-journalist Peter Giesen: 'De makers van een andere website, ditkannietwaarzijn.nl, organiseren bijeenkomsten in het land, waar 11 septemberongelovigen elkaar kunnen ontmoeten. Onlangs kwamen ruim honderd belangstellenden naar spiritueel centrum De Roos aan het Amsterdamse Vondelpark, waar je normaal gesproken mantra's kunt zingen of een cursus "tenen lezen" volgen.' Et voila, tenen lezen? Dat moeten wel een stel idioten zijn. Maar wat heeft dat met 11 september te maken? Helemaal niets tenzij men deze mensen wil stigmatiseren als een stel gekken. Het hele artikel is ook een verzameling meningen. Op feiten gaat Peter Giesen niet in, want de Volkskrant is de feiten allang ontstegen en houdt zich slechts nog met meningen bezig. Is de Volkskrant dan toch katholiek gebleven?
Vijf weken geleden schreef ik het volgende: 'Bou Berkenbosch wees me op het volgende: Deze week gaat de discussie op Zapruder niet langer over 11 september, maar over DU. http://www.vkmag.com/zapruder/ Op deze site las ik een reactie op een stukje van de Volkskrant-ombudsman, waarin hij ondermeer schreef: "Nog één keer 11 september. Eerst maar een excuus aan de lezers die ik min of meer had beloofd deze week te schrijven over de Volkskrant als spreekbuis voor de VVD (of niet): mijn stuk over de vele waarheden rond 11 september heeft zo veel reacties losgemaakt, dat ik er niet omheen kan daar nogmaals aandacht aan te besteden. De honderden reacties komen overigens voor het overgrote deel van gelovers in de complottheoriën die rond 11 september de ronde doen." Vervolgens stelt de ombudsman Thom Meens 'niet tot de gelovers' te behoren. Zie: http://www.volkskrantblog.nl/bericht/47600 En dat laatste is een wonderlijke veronderstelling, die men wel meer aantreft bij mensen die er blind van uitgaan de nuchterheid zelve te zijn. Ik heb hem dan ook geschreven: "geachte heer meens. ook u gelooft in een complot, alleen dat is de officiele versie van de werkelijkheid, namelijk dat een groep van negentien arabieren, van wie enkelen later nog bleken te leven, zonder veel ervaring vier vliegtuigen hebben gekaapt en vervolgens drie ervan in grote gebouwen hebben gevlogen, met een vakmanschap die volgens piloten adembenemend is. het staat u vrij in dat complot te geloven, maar ook dat complot is alles behalve geloofwaardig voor een onafhankelijke journalist.de vraag is dan ook waarom u de ene complottheorie wel accepteert en de andere afwijst.u zult daar ongetwijfeld goede redenen voor hebben, maar misschien kunt u die wereldkundig maken.
stan van houcke."
Ik ben benieuwd of ik een antwoord krijg.' Nee dus, nooit meer iets van gehoord. Overigens, ik kies geen partij, maar ik vind wel dat een onafhankelijke journalist ongerijmdheden in officiele rapporten serieus moet analyseren. Lees verder: http://stanvanhoucke.blogspot.com/2006/05/thom-meens.html
The women of Basra have disappeared. Three years after the US-led invasion of Iraq, women's secular freedoms - once the envy of women across the Middle East - have been snatched away because militant Islam is rising across the country.
Across Iraq, a bloody and relentless oppression of women has taken hold. Many women had their heads shaved for refusing to wear a scarf or have been stoned in the street for wearing make-up. Others have been kidnapped and murdered for crimes that are being labelled simply as "inappropriate behaviour". The insurrection against the fragile and barely functioning state has left the country prey to extremists whose notion of freedom does not extend to women.
In the British-occupied south, where Muqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army retains a stranglehold, women insist the situation is at its worst. Here they are forced to live behind closed doors only to emerge, concealed behind scarves, hidden behind husbands and fathers. Even wearing a pair of trousers is considered an act of defiance, punishable by death.
One Basra woman, known only as Dr Kefaya, was working in the women and children's hospital unit at the city university when she started receiving threats from extremists. She defied them. Then, one day a man walked into the building and murdered her.' Lees verder:
The Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, an opponent of all kinds of attacks on civilians and a persistent voice for Israeli-Palestinian co-existence, wrote: 'We have to understand - not justify - what gives rise to this tragedy ... Palestinian people are in love with life. If we give them hope - a political solution - they'll stop killing themselves.'57 The following are lines from his poem 'Martyr':I love lifeOn earth, among the pines and the fig treesBut I can't reach it, so I took aimWith the last thing that belonged to me.For Rami Elhanan, an Israeli graphic designer, the sacrifice by a Palestinian of 'the last thing that belonged to me' caused the death of his fourteen-year-old daughter, Smadar. There is a home videotape of Smadar that is difficult to watch. She is playing the family piano, and throwing her head back and laughing. She has long hair, which she cut two months before she died. 'It was her way of making a statement of her independence,' Rami told me with a smile. 'Her brothers used to tease her because she was such a good student. But she knew what she wanted. She wanted to be a doctor, and she loved to dance.'58On the afternoon of September 4, 1997, Smadar and her best friend, Sivane, had auditions for admission to a dance school. Smadar had argued that morning with her mother, Nurit, who was anxious about her going to the centre of Jerusalem to buy books she needed for school. 'I was worried about the increase in suicide bombings,' said Nurit. 'But I didn't want to row, so I let her go.'Rami was in his car when he turned on the radio at three o'clock to listen to the news and heard reports of a suicide bombing in Ben Yehuda shopping precinct. Three Palestinians had walked into the crowd and turned themselves into human bombs. There were nearly two hundred injured, and several dead. Within minutes, Rami's mobile phone rang. Nurit was crying. She had received a call from one of their son's friends, who had seen Smadar making her way into the Ben Yehuda mall shortly before the bombs went off. For hours, Rami and Nurit toured hospitals, looking for her. 'Finally,' he said, 'a policeman gently suggested we go to the scene of the bombing, where we were referred to a morgue.'59Their 'descent into darkness', as Rami describes it, was also the beginning of an inspirational campaign for peace. I have not met anyone like Rami, and the interview I conducted with him in the sunny sitting room of his Jerusalem home moved me deeply. Sometimes, solutions to apparently intractable political problems seem closer at hand when there is a Rami Elhanan engrossed in them, saying the unsayable.'It's painful to acknowledge, but it really is quite simple,' he said. "There is no basic moral difference between the soldier at the checkpoint who prevents a woman who is having a baby from going through, causing her to lose the baby, and the man who killed my daughter. And just as my daughter was a victim [of the occupation], so was he."' Lees verder:
woensdag 7 juni 2006
Een open brief aan de zanger Sting:
'A Stinging Tribute to an Apartheid State. An Open Letter to Sting Urging him to Cancel his Israel Gig.
Today, Palestinians commemorate the 39th anniversary of Israel’s illegal occupation. At a time of unprecedented Israeli repression and violations of human rights, when Israel is relentlessly pursuing the construction of its colonial Wall and settlements, both declared illegal by the International Court of Justice at the Hague in July 2004, we, representatives of Palestinian civil society , urge you to cancel your planned performance in Israel. We feel particularly disappointed because of your otherwise bright record of supporting just peace and human rights in our region and in other conflicts. You are among those who refused on principle to perform in South Africa during apartheid. Isn’t Israel’s own form of apartheid as worthy of your boycott?Mainstream Israeli and international media are reporting that Israel is launching a major public relations campaign highlighting its key place in the international arts scene. Your visit, and regardless of your intentions, will be viewed by Palestinians as contributing to the deceptive image of Israel as a "normal" state, thereby legitimizing its racism and colonial oppression. In fact, we view every international artist, academic or intellectual who visits Israel without condemning its illegal military occupation and colonization of Palestinian land as acquiescent in its oppression of the Palestinians.For any art to communicate love, hope and peace, as yours does, it cannot float above a land of apartheid walls, racism, indiscriminate killings, uprooted olive trees, demolished homes and other horrific infringements of international law, pretending not to see, hear or touch the injustice beneath. Otherwise, it would become an art in collusion with oppression; an art that perpetuates injustice. Just this last week, the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) in Britain and the Canadian Union of Public Employees in Ontario joined the growing movement advocating effective sanctions against Israel until it fully complies with international law and fundamental principles of human rights. Increasingly, international civil society’s opposition to Israel’s occupation and other forms of oppression is inspired by and looking akin to the anti-apartheid movement that brought down the racist regime in South Africa. It is indeed high time for people of conscience the world over to isolate Israel, not to embrace it, in order to promote peace with justice and equality for all, irrespective of ethnicity or religion.We sincerely hope that you shall cancel this performance in Israel. If contracts and other legal obligations render such a cancellation prohibitively difficult, we urge you, at the very least, to take a moral and public stand against Israel’s occupation, denial of refugee rights and racial discrimination. Please do not let your good name be associated with complicity in human rights violations. You -- and we -- deserve better.Acting Steering CommitteePalestinian Campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel (BDS)Contact: PACBI info@BoycottIsrael.ps --------------------- The Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is endorsed by over 170 Palestinian union, association and other civil society organization. The Call and the list of signatories can be found at: http://www.pacbi.org/boycott_news_more.php?id=66_0_1_10_M11
Personal website: http://www.monabaker.com/Resources for Translation Studies:http://www.monabaker.com/tsresources/ Click here to visit Birzeit's Right to Education Site: http://right2edu.birzeit.edu/Click here to endorse the Palestinian Call for Boycott:http://www.academicsforjustice.org/petition/
What is fueling the campaign now sweeping the U.S. to “Stop Genocide in Darfur”? Campus organizations have suddenly begun organizing petitions, meetings and calls for divestment. A demonstration was held April 30 on the Mall in Washington, D.C., to “Save Darfur.”
Again and again it is said that “something” must be done. “Humanitarian forces” and “U.S. peacekeepers” must be deployed immediately to stop “ethnic cleansing.” UN troops or NATO forces must be used to stop “genocide.” The U.S. government has a “moral responsibility to prevent another Holocaust.”
Outrage is provoked by media stories of mass rapes and photos of desperate refugees. The charge is that tens of thousands of African people are being killed by Arab militias backed by the Sudanese government. Sudan is labeled as both a “terrorist state” and a “failed state.” Even at anti-war rallies, signs have been distributed proclaiming “Out of Iraq—Into Darfur.” Full-page ads in the New York Times have repeated the call.
Who is behind the campaign and what actions are they calling for?
Even a cursory look at the supporters of the campaign shows the prominent role of right-wing evangelical Christians and major Zionist groups to “Save Darfur.”
A Jerusalem Post article of April 27 headlined “U.S. Jews Leading Darfur Rally Planning” described the role of prominent Zionist organizations in organizing the April 30 rally. A full-page ad for the rally in the New York Times was signed by a number of Jewish organizations, including the UJA—Federation of NY and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.
But it wasn’t just Zionist groups that called it. The rally was sponsored by a coalition of 164 organizations that included the National Association of Evangelicals, the World Evangelical Alliance and other religious groups that have been the strongest supporters of the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq. The Kansas-based evangelical group Sudan Sunrise helped arrange buses and speakers, did extensive fund raising and co-hosted a 600-person dinner.
This was hardly an anti-war or social justice rally. The organizers had a personal meeting with President George W. Bush just before the rally. He told them: “I welcome your participation. And I want to thank the organizers for being here.”
Originally the demonstration was projected to draw a turnout of more than 100,000. Media coverage generously reported “several thousands,” ranging from 5,000 to 7,000. The rally was overwhelming white. Despite sparse numbers, it got wide media coverage, focusing on celebrity speakers like Academy Award winner George Clooney. Top Democrats and Republicans gave it their blessing, including U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer and New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine. Corzine, by the way, spent $62 million of his own money to get elected.
The corporate media gave this rally more prominence than either the anti-war rally of 300,000 in New York City on the day before or the millionfold demonstrations across the country for immigrant rights on the day after.
U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton, former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell, Secretary of State Condo leezza Rice, Gen. Wesley Clark and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have all argued in favor of intervention in Sudan.
These leading architects of imperialist policy often refer to another model when they call for this intervention: the successful “humanitarian” war on Yugoslavia that established a U.S./NATO administration over Kosovo after a massive bombing campaign.
The Holocaust Museum in Washington issued a “genocide alert”—the first such alert ever issued—and 35 evangelical Chris tian leaders signed a letter urging President Bush to send U.S. troops to stop genocide in Darfur. A special national curriculum for students was established to generate grassroots support for U.S. intervention.
Many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) have embraced the campaign. Liberal voices such as Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, Rabbi Michael Lerner of TIKKUN and Human Rights Watch have also pushed the campaign to “Save Darfur.”' Lees verder: http://www.workers.org/2006/world/darfur-0608/
In de eerste eeuw voor christus typeerde de Romeinse geschiedschrijver en politicus Gaius Sallustius Crispus de mentaliteit van de elite in Rome aldus: 'Toen rijkdom eenmaal in ere was geraakt en vanzelf gevolgd werd door roem, invloed en politieke macht, verloor voortreffelijkheid haar glans, werd armoede een bron van schande en kreeg integriteit de schijn van opzichtige afkeuring. En zo, vanwege de rijkdom, deden bij de jongeren genotzucht en inhaligheid gepaard met arrogantie hun intrede: het was niets dan roven en potverteren, achteloos omgaan met eigen bezit en de zinnen zetten op dat van anderen, te grabbel gooien van eigen eer en eerbaarheid, van goddelijke en menselijke normen, zonder enig respect of ontzag voor wat dan ook.' Het is of Sallustius onze tijd beschrijft, alsof hij niet Rome maar Washington op het oog heeft.
Fourteen European states colluded with the CIA in secret US flights for terror suspects, a report by Europe's human rights watchdog is due to conclude.
The document will be presented to the Council of Europe by Swiss MP Dick Marty after a seven-month inquiry.
An advance copy seen by the BBC says there is also evidence to support suspicions that secret CIA camps are or were located in Poland and Romania.
The two countries have strongly denied the allegation in the past.
The BBC's Tim Franks in Paris, where the report will be issued, says the charges are potentially explosive - but the difficulty remains in securing the proof.
The US admits to picking up terrorism suspects but denies sending them to Arab nations to face torture.' Lees verder: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/5054426.stm
dinsdag 6 juni 2006
For more than seven decades, civilized nations have adhered to minimum standards of decent behavior toward prisoners of war - agreed to in the Geneva Conventions. They were respected by 12 presidents and generations of military leaders because they reflected this nation's principles and gave Americans some protection if they were captured in wartime.
It took the Bush administration to make the world doubt Washington's fidelity to the rules. And The Los Angeles Times, reporting yesterday on a dispute over updating the Army rulebook known as the Field Manual, reminded us that there is good reason to worry.
At issue is Directive 2310 on the treatment and questioning of prisoners, an annex to the Field Manual. It has long contained a reference to Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which covers all prisoners, whether they meet the common definition of prisoners of war or are the sort of prisoners the administration classifies as "unlawful enemy combatants," like suspected members of the Taliban or Al Qaeda.
Article 3 prohibits the use of torture and other overt acts of violence. But Mr. Bush's civilian lawyers removed it from the military rulebook over the objections of diplomats and military lawyers. Mr. Bush has said he does not condone torture, but he has also said he would decide for himself when to follow the ban on torture imposed by Congress last year. Removing the Geneva Conventions from Army regulations gives the world more cause for doubt.
Article 3 also prohibits "outrages on personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment." (Remember the hooded man, the pyramids of naked prisoners?) The Pentagon says the new rules require humane treatment, but that is not much comfort, since the Bush team has shown that it does not define humane treatment the way most people do.' Lees verder:
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/060606M.shtml Degrading America's Image? Het is de NYT kennelijk ontgaan dat dit imago al tenminste drie decennia ernstig beschadigd is. Van Midden Amerika, waarover de krant in de jaren tachtig uiterst tendentieus berichtte, tot aan Afrika en Azie. Vanwaar ineens die bezorgdheid?
Het neoliberalisme is een systeem van roofbouw dat alles op zijn weg vernietigt. Ooit zei chief Seattle: 'All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the children of the earth.'
En een andere Indiaan, Wovoko, verklaarde: 'You ask me to plow the ground. Shall I take a knife and tear my mother's bossom? Then when I die she will not take me to her bosom to rest. You ask me to dig for stones! Shall I dig under her skin for her bones? Then when I die I cannot enter her body to be born again.' Via Thruthout kunt u kijken naar een korte film over landschapsverwoesting. 'Almost Level, West Virginia. A Film by Rebecca MacNeice.
As the destruction of America's Appalachian Range accelerates in the mad rush for cheap energy, activist Doris "Granny D" Haddock and former Congressman Ken Hechler act as our tour guides as we fly over regions of mind-boggling devastation. Truthout filmmaker Rebecca MacNeice is aboard a SouthWings flight. SouthWings provides flyovers of mountain top removal sites to promote conservation through aviation.' Zie: http://www.truthout.org/multimedia.htm
Noam Chomsky - the renowned linguist and political analyst - was in New York Monday where he gave a press conference at the United Nations. Democracy Now! was there to capture Chomsky's two-hour exchange with reporters. We play an excerpt of the press conference where Chomsky talks about the current political climate in Latin America. [includes rush transcript]
Noam Chomsky - the renowned linguist and political analyst - was in New York Monday where he gave a press conference at the United Nations. Democracy Now! was there to capture Chomsky's two-hour exchange with reporters. Chomsky is professor of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is author of dozens of books, including his latest "Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy." We go now to an excerpt of Monday's press conference. Chomsky was asked to give his take on the current political climate in Latin America. NOAM CHOMSKY: Now remember, the U.S. is a global power, so you can't just look at one region. You have to look at what's going on everywhere. So if we go back, say, to the last intelligence projection of the Clinton administration, National Intelligence Council, year 2000, their projection for the next 15 years, they -- just keeping to energy, but there's a lot more. They took it as a matter of course that the United States would control Middle East oil. They don't discuss that much. And then they say the United States, though it will control Middle East oil, because that’s a lever of world control, nevertheless it, itself, will rely on what were called more stable Atlantic Basin resources, meaning West African dictatorships and the western hemisphere. That's what the U.S. will rely on.
Well, what's been going on in Latin America since then significantly threatens that. For the first time in its history, first time since the Spanish colonization, Latin America is moving towards a degree of independence and also a degree of integration. The history of Latin America -- Latin America is very sharply split between a tiny rich elite and huge poverty, and the rich elite have been the only active ones politically. They were oriented towards the colonial power. So that's where they ship their capital. That's where they have their second wealthy homes, you know, send their kids to school, this whole business. Very little integration internal to Latin America. I mean, even the transportation system shows that. It's beginning to change. They are moving towards a degree of independence and towards a degree of integration.
And the United States is terrified. Just keeping to oil alone, it means that the energy resources -- I mean, the major energy producer in the hemisphere is Venezuela. The U.S. kicked the British out under Wilson, Woodrow Wilson. It’s known as Wilsonian idealism. They kicked the British out as soon as the oil age began, because they knew that Venezuela had enormous oil resources. That meant supporting a bunch of utterly brutal dictators, while Venezuela became by 1928 the leading oil exporter in the world. It’s remained very high. Venezuela is now going towards independence, and the United States is frantic. That's why you have this hysteria about Chavez. It’s not because he's attacking anyone or anything like. It's hysteria because he's not following orders. It’s kind of like Serbia, but much more serious, because this is a big energy producer.' Lees verder:
Report: $50 Million Spent in 2000-2005.
Over 5 1/2 years, Republican and Democratic lawmakers accepted nearly $50 million in trips, often to resorts and exclusive locales, from corporations and groups seeking legislative favors, according to the most comprehensive study to date on the subject of congressional travel.
From January 2000 through June 2005, House and Senate members and their aides were away from Washington for more than 81,000 days -- a combined 222 years -- on at least 23,000 trips, according to the report, issued yesterday by the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity. About 2,300 of the trips cost $5,000 or more, at least 500 cost $10,000 or more, and 16 cost $25,000 or more.
"While some of these trips might qualify as legitimate fact-finding missions," the study said, "the purpose of others is less clear." In addition, the lawmakers' financial reports that disclose the details of the trips are routinely riddled with mistakes and omissions.
Lawmakers and their staffers were treated to $25,000 corporate-jet rides and $500-a-night hotel rooms, the study showed. Lawmakers accepted thousands of costly jaunts -- one worth more than $30,000 -- to some of the world's choicest destinations: at least 200 trips to Paris, 150 to Hawaii and 140 to Italy.
"Congressional travelers gave speeches in Scotland, attended meetings in Australia and toured nuclear facilities in Spain," the study reported. "They pondered welfare reform in Scottsdale, Ariz., and the future of Social Security at a Colorado ski resort."' Lees verder:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/05/AR2006060501496.html?referrer=email En: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/06/washington/06travel.html?_r=1&oref=slogin En natuurlijk voor wat hoort wat. De New York Times bericht: 'Ex-Official Testifies He Provided "Insight and Advice" to Abramoff.
WASHINGTON, June 5 — A former White House budget official acknowledged Monday that he had provided "a lot of insight and advice," including government information not available to the public, to the lobbyist Jack Abramoff in 2002.
But the former aide, David H. Safavian, testified that he had not violated ethics rules in accepting the lobbyist's invitation for a golfing trip to Scotland that summer.
Mr. Safavian insisted in testimony in federal court here that he had not lied to government investigators when he was asked about the golf trip, although he acknowledged giving them inaccurate information about some contacts with Mr. Abramoff, a former lobbying partner.
Mr. Safavian, who is charged with lying about his relationship with Mr. Abramoff and the circumstances of the golf trip, attributed the inaccuracies to a faulty memory, a claim that brought expressions of disbelief from prosecutors.' Lees verder: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/06/washington/06safavian.html
Is de situatie in Nederland door onze immer wakkere politieke pers al onderzocht?
Het persbureau Agence France Presse bericht: 'US Won't Compensate Vietnam's Agent Orange Victims: Rumsfeld.
The United States won't compensate Vietnam's Agent Orange victims but will offer advice on dealing with the wartime defoliant, a US official said during a visit by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
When Rumsfeld met Defence Minister Pham Van Tra and military officials, the Vietnamese side had raised the issue of dioxin exposure and contamination from Agent Orange, the senior official said on the sidelines of the visit.
"What we can do is make scientific information available, historical archival information we might have, ... technical advice on how to deal with the situation," the official said.
"We're ready to do more. We agreed to sit down at the expert level and see what we can do," he said.
US forces widely sprayed Agent Orange, which contained the lethal chemical dioxin, in southern Vietnam during the conflict to deprive enemy guerrillas of forest cover and destroy food crops.
Vietnam says millions of its people have suffered a range of illnesses and birth defects as a result of the use of the chemical.
A New York court last year rejected a Vietnamese lawsuit against US chemical giants Monsanto and Dow Chemical, who manufactured the herbicide during the war. The Vietnamese side has appealed.
In April, visiting US Secretary of Veterans Affairs James Nicholson was pressed by Vietnamese journalists on why the United States compensates its own veterans for health defects linked to the chemical, but not Vietnam's.' Zie: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0605-03.htm
De auteur Oek de Jong wees me op het schitterende boek 'Macht zonder Grenzen. Rome en zijn Imperium,' van Fik Meijer, hoogleraar oude geschiedenis aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Meijer beschrijft uiterst helder hoe en waarom de Romeinen hun rijk opbouwden. 'Ze waren zich ervan bewust dat een militaire confrontatie met deze rijken (buiten Italie. svh) risico's met zich meebracht, maar een weg terug was er niet. Daarvoor hadden ze zich te zeer ingesteld op oorlogvoering en de materiele beloningen die daaruit voortvloeiden.' Militarisme en oorlogvoering als bewuste keuze. Onlangs zei de Amerikaanse geleerde Chalmers Johnson tegen me: 'De Verenigde Staten heeft tenminste 725 Amerikaanse militaire bases buiten het eigen grondgebied. In 2001 waren meer dan 250.000 Amerikaanse militairen in 153 landen gestationeerd, verspreid over de gehele wereld, en als we het burgerpersoneel erbij tellen dan was dat aantal meer dan een half miljoen. Dit militarisme is een manier van leven, waaraan we gewend zijn geraakt en dat gevestigde belangen heeft. Het schept banen en dat is ook één van de kenmerkende eigenschappen van het Militair Keynesianisme. Bekend is dat de werkgelegenheid één van de belangrijke aspecten was in de planning na de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Een belangrijke ideoloog van de Koude Oorlog Paul Nitze, directeur van de afdeling Policy Planning van het ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken, vreesde net als veel toenmalige beleidsbepalers in het begin van de jaren vijftig dat de grote depressie van de jaren dertig zou terugkeren als de Verenigde Staten volledig demobiliseerde. Ze gingen ervan uit dat de economische depressie alleen dankzij de oorlogsproductie was overwonnen en dat op een andere manier volledige werkgelegenheid buitengewoon moeilijk zo niet onmogelijk zou zijn. En dus werd er op gigantische schaal in bewapening geïnvesteerd. Tussen het begin van de Koude Oorlog en het einde van de jaren negentig werd meer dan vijf biljoen dollar uitgegeven aan alleen al nucleaire wapens. Geen enkele daarvan werd ooit gebruikt. Het is een schoolvoorbeeld van de gedachte van de econoom John Maynard Keynes dat regeringen werk moeten schappen, zonodig door het begraven van geld in oude mijnschachten en vervolgens het weer te laten opgraven. Bewapening is een moderne equivalent hiervan.' Zie ook: http://stanvanhoucke.blogspot.com/2006/04/chalmers-johnson-3.html
After years of ardent support for the Iraq war, Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman could become that conflict's first big political casualty in a Democratic primary race fueled by rising anti-war anger.
Lieberman, the party's vice presidential nominee in 2000, faces a growing challenge from a political neophyte who has rallied Democrats angered by the senator's enthusiastic backing of the war and willingness to support Republican President George W. Bush on other issues.
Challenger Ned Lamont's underdog bid to unseat Lieberman in Democratic-leaning Connecticut could offer an early gauge of the intensity of anti-war sentiment ahead of November's midterm elections, along with a measure of the influence of the Internet activists and bloggers who have flocked to his cause.
"Senator Lieberman has cheered on the president every step of the way when it comes to the invasion of Iraq, and he is too quick to compromise on core Democratic principles," Lamont, a businessman and former Greenwich town selectman, told Reuters.
"He's wrong on the big issues of the day and he is not challenging the Bush administration," added Lamont, who qualified for the August 8 primary ballot by winning 33 percent of the delegates at the state party convention last month.
Lieberman, who has not faced a tough re-election race since entering the U.S. Senate 18 years ago, has been stirred by the challenge, stepping up his state schedule and launching a television ad attacking Lamont for votes he cast in Greenwich.' Lees verder:
http://today.reuters.com/news/newsarticle.aspx?type=politicsNews&storyid=2006-06-05T194636Z_01_N05315322_RTRUKOC_0_US-LIEBERMAN.xml Of: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/060506T.shtml
De Guardian bericht: 'Desert Cities Are Living on Borrowed Time, UN Warns.
Climate change threatens conditions for 500 million. But report points to huge solar energy potential.
The 500 million people who live in the world's desert regions can expect to find life increasingly unbearable as already high temperatures soar and the available water is used up or turns salty, according to the United Nations.
Desert cities in the US and Middle East, such as Phoenix and Riyadh, may be living on borrowed time as water tables drop and supplies become undrinkable, says a report coinciding with today's world environment day.
Twentieth-century modernist dreams of greening deserts by diverting rivers and mining underground water are wholly unrealistic, it warns.
But the report also proposes that deserts become the powerhouses of the next century, capturing the world's solar energy and potentially exporting electricity across continents. For instance, a 310-square mile area of the Sahara could, with today's technology, generate enough electricity for the whole world.
The problem now facing many communities on the fringes of deserts, says the UN environment programme report, is not the physical growth of deserts but that rising water tables beneath irrigated soils are leading to more salinisation - a phenomenon already taking place across large tracts of China, India, Pakistan and Australia. The Tarm river basin in China, it says, has lost more than 5,000 square miles of farmland to salinisation in a period of 30 years.
The report suggests that Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia have used water from the desert very unwisely. Rather than growing staple crops such as wheat or tomatoes, it suggests that precious water should be used only for high value crops such as dates and fish farming.
The mining "fossil" water, laid down many millions of years ago, was once believed to have the potential to green deserts, but is now not thought to be a solution - except in Libya, where opinion is divided as to whether supplies may last 100 or 500 years.
But the greatest threat to people and wildlife living anywhere near deserts is climate change, which is already having a greater impact on desert regions than elsewhere. The Dashti Kbir desert in Iran has seen a 16% drop in rainfall in the past 25 years, the Kalahari a 12% decline and Chile's Atacama desert an 8% drop.' Lees verder:
maandag 5 juni 2006
With Paulson's appointment as Treasury secretary, the firm is supreme in matters political and economic.
WHAT IS it about Goldman Sachs? President Bush's nomination last week of Henry M. Paulson Jr., Goldman Sachs' chairman and chief executive, to replace John W. Snow at the Treasury Department has refocused attention on what has become, quite simply, the most influential company on the planet.
Goldman Sachs alums now run the White House bureaucracy (in new Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten), , the state of New Jersey (Gov. Jon Corzine) and the New York Stock Exchange (Chief Executive John Thain). Not since John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil — and maybe not even then — has one firm exerted such muscle over national economic and fiscal policy. Goldman Sachs' reach has expanded in part because the people who run the firm have done it enormously well. The company's 40% profit margins make it a superpower, and its soaring share price and generous bonus policies have helped turn hundreds of its 24,000 employees into millionaires. But that in itself doesn't explain Goldman Sachs' allure. Most Wall Street firms are making buckets of money, and lots of executives hitting middle age feel compelled to punch the public-service clock. Nor is the company without faults. Goldman Sachs has become so dominant — particularly in investment banking and trading — that it increasingly finds it hard not to step on its own toes. Critics howled, for instance, when Goldman Sachs represented both sides in the New York Stock Exchange's purchase of electronic rival Archipelago, which Goldman Sachs also owned a stake in. These same skeptics are looking warily at Goldman Sachs extending its influence into Europe now that Thain, a former president of the firm, plans to expand the exchange's reach into Europe in a $10-billion deal.' Lees verder:
De Los Angeles Times bericht: 'Army Manual to Skip Geneva Detainee Rule. The Pentagon's move to omit a ban on prisoner humiliation from the basic guide to soldier conduct faces strong State Deptartment opposition.
Washington - The Pentagon has decided to omit from new detainee policies a key tenet of the Geneva Convention that explicitly bans "humiliating and degrading treatment," according to knowledgeable military officials, a step that would mark a further, potentially permanent, shift away from strict adherence to international human rights standards.
The decision culminates a lengthy debate within the Defense Department but will not become final until the Pentagon makes new guidelines public, a step that has been delayed. However, the State Department fiercely opposes the military's decision to exclude Geneva Convention protections and has been pushing for the Pentagon and White House to reconsider, the Defense Department officials acknowledged.
For more than a year, the Pentagon has been redrawing its policies on detainees, and intends to issue a new Army Field Manual on interrogation, which, along with accompanying directives, represents core instructions to U.S. soldiers worldwide.
The process has been beset by debate and controversy, and the decision to omit Geneva protections from a principal directive comes at a time of growing worldwide criticism of U.S. detention practices and the conduct of American forces in Iraq.
The directive on interrogation, a senior defense official said, is being rewritten to create safeguards so that all detainees are treated humanely but can still be questioned effectively.
President Bush's critics and supporters have debated whether it is possible to prove a direct link between administration declarations that it will not be bound by Geneva and events such as the abuses at Abu Ghraib or the killings of Iraqi civilians last year in Haditha, allegedly by Marines.
But the exclusion of the Geneva provisions may make it more difficult for the administration to portray such incidents as aberrations. And it undercuts contentions that U.S. forces follow the strictest, most broadly accepted standards when fighting wars.' Lees verder:
The laugh of fate: The state waging a broad international campaign for a boycott is simultaneously waging a parallel campaign, no less determined, against a boycott. A boycott that seriously harms the lives of millions of people is legitimate in its eyes because it is directed against those defined as its enemies, while a boycott that is liable to hurt its academic ivory tower is illegitimate in its eyes only because it is aimed against itself. This is a moral double standard. Why is the boycott campaign against the Palestinian Authority, including blocking essential economic aid and boycotting leaders elected in democratic and legsal elections, a permissible measure in Israel's eyes and the boycott of its universities is forbidden?
Israel cannot claim the boycott weapon is illegitimate. It makes extensive use of this weapon itself, and its victims are suffering under severe conditions of deprivation, from Rafah to Jenin. In the past, Israel called upon the world to boycott Yasser Arafat, and now it is calling for a boycott of the Hamas government ? and via this government, all of the Palestinians in the territories. And Israel does not regard this as an ethical problem. Tens of thousands have not received their salaries for four months due to the boycott, but when there is a call to boycott Israeli universities, the boycott suddenly becomes an illegitimate weapon.
Those calling for a boycott of Israel are also tainted
with a moral double standard. The National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education ?(NATFHE?) in Britain and the Canadian Union of Public Employees in Ontario, which have both decided to boycott Israel, did not act similarly to protest their own countries' war crimes and occupations ? the British army in Iraq and the Canadian army in Afghanistan. Nonetheless, the handful of human rights advocates and opponents of the occupation in Israel should thank these two organizations for the step they have taken, despite their flawed double standards. Lees verder: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/722364.html
De voormalige plaatsvervangend burgemeester van Jeruzalem Meron Benvenisti schrijft in Haaretz: 'Those who plot to expel Mohammed Abu Tir from his home justifiably earned the condemnation and disgust.
It's been less than two weeks since the High Court of Justice issued its ruling maintaining the deprivation of the rights of Palestinians to reunify their families, and we already have the decision that Palestinian MPs from Hamas, living in Jerusalem, will be expelled if they don't resign within 30 days. The suspicious will find a connection between the two decisions and wonder if the government is deliberately attempting to try the public and legal system's patience for evil acts bordering on racism, as preparation for even more brutal steps. According to the reactions so far, there have been no firm demands for an end to this cruelty and the government can continue on its merry way; the security excuse serves as an effective fig leaf from any domestic criticism and foreign criticism can always be rejected as forms of anti-Semitism. Seemingly, there is no connection between the prevention of family unification and the threat of expulsion; but the two matters touch on basic perception of the status of Palestinians in their homeland: It's no accident that both issues fall within the realm of "entry to Israel," whether preventing it or stripping it. The Israelis, children of immigrants, who in the best case are only separated by a generation from the status of refugees - uprooted and expelled - impose on native Palestinians the status of foreigners, of living in a country to which they do not belong, forcing them to fight for the right to live in their home, and exposing them to an expulsion decree or banning their "entrance" on the grounds that they "do not belong." Not many years have lapsed since the Jewish yishuv fought for its legitimacy and was forced to defend itself from the argument that it was a collection of immigrants taking over a country they did not own, until the situation was reversed; now it is the Palestinian nation that has to fight for the collective legitimacy that this is their homeland and that they are not some collection of foreigners breaking into a country that is not theirs, and nothing but a gang of terrorists. The Palestinians seeking family reunification and the right to live in Israel are rejected because they are aliens and their presence here "could change the face of Israeli society." The Jerusalemite MPs, like all the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, never asked for their status as permanent residents; it was imposed on them. In 1967, Israel conquered East Jerusalem and sought to annex the territory without annexing the inhabitants. The legal trick invented for the purpose imposed on the 70,000 Arabs of East Jerusalem the status of "permanent resident" as if they were new immigrants who had not yet been naturalized as citizens. But in this case, it wasn't the Arabs who emigrated to Israel, but Israel that emigrated to them. Under the conditions that prevailed at the time, it was a liberal approach, even if it was a contravention of international law, since on the one hand, their status as Jordanian citizens was not stripped from them - and it was important to them since the Jordanian kingdom was their economic, administrative, family and educational centers - and on the other hand, the "permanent residency" gave them the right to enjoy the benefits of Israel's welfare system, freedom of movement and relatively broader freedom of speech than existed in the occupied territories. It wasn't a favor being done by the Israeli occupiers, because the alternative - granting them Israeli citizenship as happened to the Arabs of the Triangle annexed in 1949 - was worse; and leaving them without any status in Israel would contradict the pretensions of "unifying the city" and would have perpetuated the occupation in it.' Lees verder: http://www.palestinechronicle.com/story-060106234712.htm
The construction of Maskiot comes at a time when Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert seeks U.S. backing for eventually annexing parts of the West Bank as part of a plan to set Israel's eastern border with or without Palestinian consent.
The Palestinians and Israel's settlement watchdog group Peace Now say the Maskiot construction amounts to a new attempt to push Israel's future border deeper into the West Bank. "It's about grabbing land," said Yariv Oppenheimer of Peace Now.
Otniel Schneller, an Olmert adviser, confirmed Israel is building in additional West Bank areas to ensure they are not included in the lands given to the Palestinians. He said Israel needs to keep the Jordan Valley, where Maskiot is located, as a security buffer against Islamic militants based in Iraq, Iran and elsewhere.
Olmert has said that if efforts to resume peace talks fail, as expected, he would annex large Jewish settlement blocs in the West Bank and draw Israel's final borders by 2008. A separation barrier Israel is building in the West Bank is to serve as the basis for the future border.' Lees verder: http://www.miftah.org/Display.cfm?DocId=10448&CategoryId=5