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

  • I.F. Stone

vrijdag 24 november 2006

Musee du Quai Branly

Ik ben een paar dagen in Parijs. Ik heb vandaag urenlang Musee du Quai Branly bezocht, het nieuwe museum dat geheel is gewijd aan de kunst en beschaving van Afrika, Oceanie en het continent Amerika. Wat een schitterend museum, het is een ode aan de de mensheid en de enorme verscheidenheid, het is een van de belangrijkste musea die ik heb gezien tijdens al mijn reizen. U kunt er allemaal topstukken zien, meesterwerken uit alle niet Europese beschavingen die hier zijn toon gesteld. een museum waar je gelukkig van wordt. Men ziet er hoe onvoorstelbaar rijk de vormentaal is. Terwijl ik door het - ook architectonisch - schitterende gebouw liep, vroeg ik mezelf af hoe deze culturen zich zouden hebben ontwikkeld als het Europees kolonialisme niet zoveel had vernietigd. Het enige dat ons machtiger maakte was onze technologische voorsprong. Maar qua kunstzinnigheid en innerlijke beschaving waren deze civilisaties de Europese ver vooruit. Alles versierden ze, de eenvoudigste gebruiksvoorwerpen zagen er schitterend uit, terwijl wij nog in het middeleeuwse Europa niet eens een mes en vork hadden. Ik zag ook weer eens hoe schatplichtig de moderne kunst is aan de kunst van Afrika en Oceanie. Ergens is er een oerbron waaruit alle vormen voortkomen en terugkeren. Die oervorm kunt u in dit museum bewonderen. Als u tijd en geld heeft, bezoek dit museum, het verrijkt u.

Zie : http://www.quaibranly.fr/index.php?id=1&L=1

donderdag 23 november 2006

Wouter Bos







De bovenste drie foto's zijn genomen door mijn vriend en collega Wim Noordhoek. Ze zijn gemaakt tijdens het laatste tv-debat voor de verkiezingen en Wim schreef gisterochtend het volgende profetische bijschrift: 'En toen, toch nog, in de nazit, bepaalde Wouter Bos mijn stem. Weg was zijn glimlach. Eindelijk zag hij pips. Straks valt ie nog in slaap, dacht ik. Midden in een volle studio.En ik wist opeens ook, die zegt de politiek vaarwel, vlugger dan men nu denkt.' Zie:
http://boeken.vpro.nl/avondlog/
Ik denk dat Wim Noordhoek gelijk heeft, Wouter Bos is politiek uitgespeeld en het enige dat hem nog rest is te vertrekken. Al die jaren in de oppositie tegen een kabinet van brokkenmakers en toch niet weten te winnen, erger nog, tien zetels verliezen, zegt alles. De oorzaak is simpel: Wouter Bos voerde geen oppositie, omdat hij al die tijd dacht dat de PVDA de grootste partij zou worden als hij maar niks deed. En ondertussen niet teveel het CDA tegen de haren instrijken, want hij moest straks weer met ze regeren. Bovendien had Wim Kok al de koers bepaald toen hij sprak over "de bevrijdende werking van het afschudden van de ideologische veren." Een proces dat al lang op gang was, zoals de concurrent Jan Marijnissen eerder al op wees: 'Wim Kok's "afscheid van het socialisme" in De Rode Hoed in Amsterdam eind 1995 was vooral een herhaling van wat hij zes jaar eerder zei op de Universiteit van Nijmegen. In de aanloop naar de verkiezingen in 1989 vertelde een naar meeregeren hunkerende Kok daar dat zijn partij afscheid had genomen van het streven naar het Grote Doel: "Er is", zei de opvolger van Joop den Uyl, "geen alternatief voor de maatschappelijke constellatie die we nu hebben en dus heeft het geen enkele zin daar naar te streven."' Zie: http://www.janmarijnissen.nl/opinies/De_veren_van_Wim_Kok.html
Al meer dan dertig jaar geleden liet de Braziliaanse socialist Paolo Freire in zijn boek Pedagogie van de Onderdrukten zien hoe de sociaaldemocraten altijd zo snel mogelijk naar de regeringsmacht willen terugkeren en daarvoor al hun idealen inleveren, met als gevolg dat ze nooit een stap verder komen. Sinds de PVDA zijn ideologische veren heeft afgeschud, heeft de 'pragmatische' ideologie van Kok en Bos de partij uiteindelijk verlies opgeleverd. Wouter Bos, de voormalige Shell-employee, is geen politicus maar een bestuurder. Zijn partij bestaat uit ambitieuze mensen die tot de bestuurlijke elite willen behoren. Ze verwachten dat de partij hen aan bestuurlijke banen helpt. 'De lange mars door de instituten,' zo propageerde drie decennia geleden Joop den Uyl, dat was het maximum haalbare voor het westers socialisme. Immers, er was sprake van 'de smalle marges van de democratie.' De parlementaire democratie kan niet de belangen van de grote concerns en banken aanpakken, en kan dus alleen in de marge de uitwassen van het neoliberale kapitalisme bijsturen. Meer doet de PVDA ook niet.
Kennelijk heeft een deel van hun achterban daar nu genoeg van en beseft beter dan hun politieke voormannen dat we aan de vooravond staan van wezenlijke veranderingen en dus besluiten. De ernstige gevolgen van de klimaatverandering, de structurele verslechtering van de economische positie van veel mensen als gevolg van de globalisering waardoor - in de woorden van Nobelprijswinnaar Joseph Stiglitz - westerse arbeiders nu moeten concurreren met arbeiders uit lage lonen landen. De oorlog in het Midden Oosten speelt een rol. En al die tijd dacht de sociaaldemocratische elite dat ze de oude koers van pappen en nathouden kon blijven volgen. Ze is hardhandig wakker geschud. Deze verkiezingen hebben helderheid geschapen. En voor die helderheid is de conservatieve elite altijd bang geweest. Dan wordt er onmiddelijk gesproken van een 'crisis van de democratie.' De eerste reactie van VVD-minister van Financien Zalm op de 'monsterzege' van de SP was dat dit 'slecht is voor het land.' Het land is namelijk niet de veel geroemde democratie, maar de belangen van de economische elite en hun politieke belangenbehartigers en 'het land' is zeker niet de belangen van de mensen die democratisch op de SP hebben gestemd. Zoveel is duidelijk. Vandaar dat de NOS-verslaggever de minister ook niet lastig viel met de vraag wat hij daar nu precies mee bedoelde. De slippendragers van de macht hebben aan een half woord genoeg. Toen het kabinet van Joop den Uyl met vier gematigde hervormingsvoorstellen kwam, waaronder de grondpolitiek om te voorkomen dat de banken gigantische winsten zouden maken met een schaars goed, kreeg de premier een waarschuwingsbrief van negen grote ondernemers (van o.a. Amro, Shell, Philips, Unilever) en was het snel afgelopen met zijn regering. Democratie is leuk voor de mensen, maar het moet natuurlijk niet ten koste gaan van de werkelijke macht. In de praktijk blijken 'de smalle marges van de democratie' nog smaller te zijn dan 'ome Joop' al dacht.
Een deel van de racisten van de Pim Fortuyn-aanhang is naar Wilders overgestapt, waardoor we nu duidelijk kunnen zien waar ze zitten. Een deel van links is vanuit het midden naar links opgeschoven, wat ook een vooruitgang is. En tenslotte: een regering PVDA/CDA is godzijdank onmogelijk geworden, tenzij de sociaaldemocratische elite de partij om zeep wil helpen, wat natuurlijk ook nog kan. Maar toch, de verkiezingsuitslag heeft duidelijkheid geschapen. Er is een proces gaande - een 'vlucht uit het midden' noemt rechts het - die niet snel zal stoppen. Het betekent het einde van de bestuurder Wouter Bos. Ook dat is een vooruitgang. De PVDA zal een politieke partij moeten worden en kan geen louter en alleen bestuurderspartij blijven. Of dat gaat lukken, zullen we de komende maanden zien.

woensdag 22 november 2006

The Empire 61

De Los Angeles Times bericht:

'Part IV Mining Firms Again Eyeing Navajo Land.

Demand for uranium is soaring. But the tribe vows a "knockdown, drag-out legal battle."
Crownpoint, N.M. - When mining companies started calling tribal offices last year, Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr. issued an edict to employees: Don't answer any questions. Report all contacts to the Navajo attorney general.
Decades after the Cold War uranium boom ended, leaving a trail of poisonous waste across the Navajo Nation, the mining industry is back, seeking to tap the region's vast uranium deposits once again.
Companies are staking claims, buying mineral rights and applying for permits on the edge of the tribal homeland. They make no secret of their desire to mine within the reservation as well.
That prospect has turned neighbor against neighbor and touched off legal, political and financial maneuvering far from Navajo lands.
Fifty years ago, a nuclear arms race propelled the search for uranium. Today, the driving force is the quest for new sources of energy. China and India are building nuclear reactors at a rapid pace to fuel their growing economies, and the Bush administration is pushing to expand nuclear energy in this country to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
With demand increasing, the price of uranium has climbed to more than $60 a pound. Six years ago, it was as low as $7.
Mining companies are extracting uranium in Texas, Wyoming and Nebraska, and are taking steps to mine in Colorado.
But Navajo country, covering some 27,000 square miles in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, is the biggest prize of all - "the Saudi Arabia of uranium," in the words of Mark Pelizza, a vice president of Uranium Resources Inc.
A subsidiary of the Texas-based company holds a Nuclear Regulatory Commission license to mine in and around Crownpoint, a crossroads town of 3,000 Navajos that sits on the largest known undeveloped uranium deposit in the U.S.
URI officials are seeking permission to begin mining on a test basis in the nearby township of Church Rock, N.M., in 2008. If results there convince regulators that the project is environmentally sound, the company will be allowed to start operations in Crownpoint.
Mining in both places is expected to yield 42 million pounds of uranium over 20 years - worth more than $2.5 billion at today's prices.
Two Canadian firms - Strathmore Minerals Corp. and Energy Metals Corp. - are also laying the groundwork for mining.
Altogether, the three companies have acquired rights to tens of thousands of acres just outside the reservation's southeast boundary. URI alone has invested more than $25 million.
Mining executives say they plan to extract uranium from underground rock formations through an environmentally benign chemical process. There will be no blasting, no unsightly pits and no lasting contamination, they say.
Unconvinced, the tribal council last year passed a ban on mining or processing uranium in "Navajo Indian country," a term that embraces both the reservation and neighboring communities such as Crownpoint and Church Rock that participate in tribal government.
Federal courts have recognized "Indian country" as extending beyond the reservation's boundaries, but the ban seems destined to be challenged in court.
After the measure took effect in April 2005, mining concerns kept calling the Navajo capital, Window Rock, Ariz., hoping to secure support for their projects. So Shirley signed Executive Order 02-2005, which instructs tribal employees to avoid any "communications with uranium company representatives."
The directive infuriated mining executives. "You tell me, what kind of a democracy is that?" asked John DeJoia, a Strathmore vice president. "They've got tremendous resources out there. They're a very poor nation. That could change."'

Lees verder: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/112206O.shtml Of:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/
la-na-navajo22nov22,0,7024230.story?coll=la-home-headlines

The Empire 60

Alternet bericht:

' CACI: Torture in Iraq, Intimidation at Home.

Dogged by serious allegations of human rights abuses in Iraq, a leading profiteer from the Iraq war engages in intimidation campaigns against journalists in America who seek to expose its practices.
Consider the unique problems faced by the corporate suits at CACI International, a defense contractor whose services have included "coercive" interrogations of prisoners in Iraq - interrogations most people simply call "torture."
Think about the image problems a major multinational corporation faces after becoming inextricably linked with the abuses at Abu Ghraib, a firm whose employees have contributed to the iconic images of the occupation of Iraq - the symbols of American cruelty and immorality in an illegal war. What can a company like that possibly do to protect its brand name after contributing to the greatest national disgrace since the My Lai massacre?
CACI's strategy has been two-fold: its flacks have distorted well-documented facts in the public record beyond recognition, and its senior management has lawyered up, suing or threatening to sue just about every journalist, muckraker and government watchdog who's dared to shine a light on the firm's unique role as a torture profiteer.
Lately, the company's sights have been set squarely on Robert Greenwald, director of Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers, in which CACI plays a starring role. Greenwald has been in a back-and-forth with CACI's CEO, Jack London, and its lead attorney, William Koegel, during "months of calls, emails and letters" in what Greenwald calls a campaign to "intimidate, threaten and suppress" the story presented in the film.
"The threatening letters started early, trying to get us to back off," Greenwald told me. "We refused, and went back at them with a very strong letter saying, 'no, you're war profiteers and we won't be silenced.' Like any bully, they backed down when confronted. No lawsuit was filed- they're a paper tiger."
The story they don't want told is of a federal contractor that, according to the Washington Post, gets 92 percent of its revenues in the "defense" sector. The Washington Business Journal reported that CACI's defense contracts almost doubled in the year after the occupation of Iraq began, and profits shot up 52 percent.
Yet CACI insists it isn't a war profiteer (a subjective term anyway), but was just answering an urgent call in Iraq. In a letter to Greenwald, Koegel wrote: "the army needed ... civilian contractors to work as interrogators" because the military didn't have the personnel, and CACI responded to the "urgent war-time circumstances" and "has no apologies."
But while the firm had experience in electronic surveillance and other intelligence functions, it, too, didn't have the interrogators. Barry Lando reported finding an ad on CACI's website for interrogators to send to Iraq, and noted that "experience in conducting tactical and strategic interrogations" was desired, but not necessary. According to a report by the Army inspector general, 11 of the 31 CACI interrogators in Iraq had no training in what most experts agree is one of the most sensitive areas of intelligence gathering. The 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, which was in charge of interrogations at Abu Ghraib when the abuses took place, didn't have a single trained interrogator.
"It's insanity," former CIA agent Robert Baer told The Guardian. "These are rank amateurs, and there is no legally binding law on these guys as far as I could tell. Why did they let them in the prison?"
That's one of many questions the company doesn't care to have asked. It's common for corporations to be fiercely protective of their brand's image, often obsessively so. That's true of multinationals selling soda pop or accounting services or military intelligence. But a company on a federal contract that rents out interrogators who become involved in a torture scandal that ends up splashed across the cover of Time Magazine - that's the kind of thing that can be a real problem for the PR flacks back at corporate headquarters.
Colonel William Darley with the Military Review wrote of Abu Ghraib's impact:
We have never recovered from the Abu Ghraib thing. And it's likely all the time we're in Iraq, we never will. It will take a decade and beyond. I mean, those pictures, a hundred years from now, when the history of the Middle East is written, those things will be part and parcel of whatever textbook that Iraqis and Syrians and others are writing about the West. Those pictures. It's part of the permanent record. It's like that guy in Vietnam that got his head shot. It's just a permanent part of the history. That will never go away.'

Lees verder:
http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/44506/ Of: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/112106B.shtml

The Empire 59

'The New Domino Theory

America is turning inward in fear of the global capitalist menace.

President Bush arrives in Hanoi today for discussions about regional economic issues. He would do well to discuss frankly America’s fears about the "dominoes" of Asian capitalism.
You may remember the old domino theory of Asian communism. Four decades ago, American policy makers clung to the idea that the big domino of Soviet Communism had toppled China, and the domino of Chinese communism had then toppled North Vietnam. Unless the United States propped up South Vietnam, it was assumed, all of Indo-China would become communist.
Tens of thousands of Americans died in that war before America got out and let the dominoes fall where they may. But then a strange thing happened. Soviet Communism disappeared. China became the fastest-growing big capitalist nation in the world. And Vietnam became one of the hottest markets in Southeast Asia.
The real domino turned out not to be communism, but capitalism.
Yet the capitalist domino seems almost as threatening to America today as the communist one was forty years ago. This week, Republican leaders in the House called off a vote on a measure that would have given Vietnam permanent normal trade relations with the United States. They didn’t think they could get the votes needed to pass it.
Talk about shooting ourselves in the feet. Early next year, as part of its entry into the World Trade Organization, Vietnam will reduce tariffs on foreign goods and open its telecom and financial services sectors to foreign investment. But as things now stand, America won’t benefit from these measures because Congress won’t normalize trade relations with Vietnam.
Why not? Some right-wingers still regard Vietnam as a menace. One Republican congressman said America shouldn’t trade with its "mortal enemies." Republicans from textile-producing states don’t want cheap fabrics from Vietnam. A majority of House Democrats think Vietnam’s labor standards are inadequate.
Maybe Vietnam could do more to convince America it’s no longer a threat. Perhaps its labor standards should be improved. But there’s reason to suspect there’s something more going on here than a vote against trade with that former communist nation.
Congress’s distrust extends beyond Vietnam, to other areas where global capitalism is expanding. Trade bills now pending with several poor countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America are also in jeopardy. Don’t expect the next Congress to look on these trade deals more favorably. Many of the newly-elected members campaigned openly and vocally against free trade.'

Lees verder:
http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=12225

Irak 117



De Guardian bericht:

'Al-Qaida 'planted information to encourage US invasion.'

A senior al-Qaida operative deliberately planted information to encourage the US to invade Iraq, a double agent who infiltrated the network and spied for western intelligence agencies claimed last night.
The claim was made by Omar Nasiri, a pseudonym for a Moroccan who says he spent seven years working for European security and intelligence agencies, including MI5. He said Ibn Sheikh al-Libi, who ran training camps in Afghanistan, told his US interrogators that al-Qaida had been training Iraqis.
Libi was captured in November 2001 and taken to Egypt where he was allegedly tortured. Asked on BBC2's Newsnight whether Libi or other jihadists would have told the truth if they were tortured, Nasiri replies: "Never".
Asked whether he thought Libi had deliberately planted information to get the US to fight Iraq, Nasiri said: "Exactly".
Nasiri said Libi "needed the conflict in Iraq because months before I heard him telling us when a question was asked in the mosque after the prayer in the evening, where is the best country to fight the jihad?" Libi said Iraq was chosen because it was the "weakest" Muslim country.
It is known that under interrogation, Libi misled Washington. His claims were seized on by George Bush, vice-president, Dick Cheney, and Colin Powell, secretary of state, in his address to the security council in February, 2003, which argued the case for a pre-emptive war against Iraq.
Though he did not name Libi, Mr Powell said "a senior terrorist operative" who "was responsible for one of al-Qaida's training camps in Afghanistan" had told US agencies that Saddam Hussein had offered to train al-Qaida in the use of "chemical or biological weapons".
What is new, if Nasiri is to be believed, is that the leading al-Qaida operative wanted to overthrow Saddam and use Iraq as a jihadist base. Nasiri also says that part of al-Qaida training was to withstand interrogation and provide false information.
Nasiri said last night he was later sent to London by his French handlers to infiltrate Finsbury Park mosque and spy on its imam, Abu Hamza, as well as another radical cleric, Abu Qatada.'

Lees verder: http://www.guardian.co.uk/alqaida/story/0,,1950055,00.html

Israelische Propaganda


De Guardian bericht:

'Amir Gissin runs what he calls '"Israel's Explanation Department". Which is why it is surprising to hear him admit that many Israelis think "the whole problem is that we don't explain ourselves correctly".

Last week, as al-Jazeera launched an Arab view of the
world into English-speaking homes worldwide, Gissin was a
man under pressure. At the David Bar Ilan conference on
the media and Middle East, he faced an audience of
Israelis who were unhappy about the way the propaganda
battle with Hizbullah was fought and lost during the war
in the Lebanon. They wanted to know how it could be done
better next time, because most people in Israel seem to
think there will be a next time with Hizbullah soon.

Gissin said the words of his English-speaking spokespeople could not compete with the power of the pictures of civilians killed in the Israeli attack on Lebanese towns like Qana. And the Israeli parliament will not spend the money on an Israeli counterpart to al-Jazeera.

But Gissin was not down-hearted. He declared there to be a
"war on the web" in which Israel had a new weapon, a piece
of computer software called the "internet megaphone".

"During the war we had the opportunity to do some very
nice things with the megaphone community," he revealed at
the conference. Among them, he claimed, was a role in
getting an admission from Reuters that a photograph of
damage to Beirut had been doctored by a Lebanese
photographer to increase the amount of smoke in the
picture. This was first spotted by American blogger
Charles Johnson, who has won an award for "promoting
Israel and Zionism".'

Lees verder: http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1952099,00.htm l

Lex Runderkamp 5


Ik ontving net dit antwoord van Lex Runderkamp:


'Ik volg alle partijen serieus, want ik verdiep me in dit soort zaken vaak al voor ze op zitting verschijnen. Daarom kan ik bij nieuwsontwikkelingen meestal snel live optreden en direkt achtergronden geven. Mijn kennis van de zaak wordt niet veel groter op de dag van het pleidooi. Ook in deze zaak heb ik eerder gesproken met de advocaten. Meestal lees ik het pleidooi nog es aan de vooravond van de gerechtelijke uitspraak. Op die dag zie je welke argumenten van doorslaggevende betekenis zijn geweest.
Ik was kortom niet bij de pleidooien omdat de NOS er op woensdag en donderdag geen verslag van zou doen. Die woensdag waren de Hells Angels belangrijker omdat het OM een verbod gaat bepleiten van de verenigingen. Donderdag werd plotseling het graf van de weduwe Wittenberg geopend. Op 1 december doet de rechter uitspraak in de Samir-zaak. De advocaten zeggen allemaal dat ze vrijspraak verwachten. Het OM gaat voor 15 jaar voor Samir. Als de rechter heeft gesproken moet de NOS uitleggen hoe het er voor staat met de strafrechtpleging in terrorismezaken. Daarvoor mag iedereen doen wat ie wil, tijdschrift, krant, radio, netwerk etc. Maar wij kunnen niet berichten over alle tussenstappen, hoe belangrijk ze verder ook zijn.

Dag






Van: Stan van Houcke [mailto:stan10@planet.nl] Verzonden: woensdag 22 november 2006 14:56Aan: Lex RunderkampOnderwerp: RE: reactie
hallo lex,
het twee-stappen-beleid mag dan wel het gebruik zijn bij het journaal, maar het is daarmee nog geenszins een evenwichtig journalistiek beleid. dat hoef ik jou niet uit te leggen. gebruik is in de journalistiek dat je beide partijen even serieus volgt en het standpunt van beide partijen tot hun recht laat komen. daar is in dit geval geen sprake van. twee dagen pleidooien kunnen niet in een enkele quote worden samengevat. bovendien moet jij als onafhankelijke journalist bepalen wat de strekking van het verhaal van beide partijen was en niet alleen de betrokkene zelf. dus blijft mijn vraag waarom je die twee dagen durende pleidooien niet hebt bijgewoond? En zelfs niet eens een deel ervan.
collegiale groet,
stan van houcke

-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----Van: Lex Runderkamp [mailto:Lex.Runderkamp@nos.nl] Verzonden: woensdag 22 november 2006 14:45Aan: stan10@planet.nlOnderwerp: RE: reactie

Hallo Stan, althans ik neem aan dat ik DE Stan van Houcke aan de lijn heb die ik nog ken uit Amsterdam in de jaren '80?

De afloop van een proces doet het Journaal altijd in twee stappen. We berichten over de strafeis (inclusief eerste reacties van advocaten). Als de rechter 14 dagen later tot een veroordeling komt berichten we over de overwegingen van de rechtbank. Als de rechter tot vrijspraak komt leggen we onze kijkers uit welke argumenten van de advocaten een belangrijke rol hebben gespeeld. In het Samir A.-proces waren zes pleidooien, verdeeld over twee dagen. Daar wilden we niet afzonderlijk verslag van doen. Ik ben vrijdag naar de bunker gegaan om een verhaal te maken over de pleidooien. Samir en z'n medeverdachten zouden ook als laatsten spreken. Dat gaf een mooie journalistieke aanleiding. Centraal zou de vraag staan: wat zijn de beste argumenten van de verdediging om aan te tonen dat Samir en zijn groep ten onrechte beschuldigd worden van voorbereidingshandelingen? Samir is al veroordeeld, stelt Koppe steeds, zonder dat de feiten zijn vastgesteld. Ik wilde hem aan het slot van de zaak daarover laten spreken. Hij wilde dat niet. Klaar. Ik heb 's avonds wel een verhaal in het Journaal gemaakt overigens. Ook bij NOS-radio heb ik de belangrijkste klachten van Samir en zijn verdediging beschreven. De vrouw van Samir A. heeft me daar onverwacht nog voor bedankt. Victor Koppe niet. Kortom, we proberen onafhankelijk te blijven, met iedereen inhoudelijk te praten en sec ons werk te doen.

Lex



Van: Internet Redactie Verzonden: donderdag 16 november 2006 11:02Aan: Lex RunderkampOnderwerp: FW: reactieUrgentie: Hoog
Dag Lex, ik stuur dit mailtje maar even door....

Sandy Verhoeve
Eindredacteur NOS internet
http://www.nosjournaal.nl/



Van: Stan van Houcke [mailto:stan10@planet.nl] Verzonden: donderdag 16 november 2006 10:48Aan: Internet RedactieOnderwerp: reactieUrgentie: Hoog
geachte collega’s,
in verband met het schrijven van een artikel over de berichtgeving met betrekking tot het ‘samir a proces’ heb ik een simpele vraag. waarom was uw verslaggever vorige week woensdag niet aanwezig bij de slotpleidooien van de advocaten van de verdachten? uit een telefonisch gesprek met een van de advocaten, victor koppe, was dit voor hen de druppel die de emmer deed overlopen, met als gevolg dat ze weigerden aan lex runderkamp een reactie te geven. ik verzoek u mij vandaag of morgen hierover te emailen.
vriendelijk groet
stan van houcke'

Lex Runderkamp 4



Ik heb net deze email verstuurd in een reactie op een antwoord van Lex Runderkamp:

'hallo lex,
het twee-stappen-beleid mag dan wel het gebruik zijn bij het journaal, maar het is daarmee nog geenszins een evenwichtig journalistiek beleid. dat hoef ik jou niet uit te leggen. gebruik is in de journalistiek dat je beide partijen even serieus volgt en het standpunt van beide partijen tot hun recht laat komen. daar is in dit geval geen sprake van. twee dagen pleidooien kunnen niet in een enkele quote worden samengevat. bovendien moet jij als onafhankelijke journalist bepalen wat de strekking van het verhaal van beide partijen was en niet alleen de betrokkene zelf. dus blijft mijn vraag waarom je die twee dagen durende pleidooien niet hebt bijgewoond? En zelfs niet eens een deel ervan.
collegiale groet,
stan van houcke

-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----Van: Lex Runderkamp. Verzonden: woensdag 22 november 2006 14:45Aan: stan10@planet.nlOnderwerp: RE: reactie

Hallo Stan, althans ik neem aan dat ik DE Stan van Houcke aan de lijn heb die ik nog ken uit Amsterdam in de jaren '80?

De afloop van een proces doet het Journaal altijd in twee stappen. We berichten over de strafeis (inclusief eerste reacties van advocaten). Als de rechter 14 dagen later tot een veroordeling komt berichten we over de overwegingen van de rechtbank. Als de rechter tot vrijspraak komt leggen we onze kijkers uit welke argumenten van de advocaten een belangrijke rol hebben gespeeld. In het Samir A.-proces waren zes pleidooien, verdeeld over twee dagen. Daar wilden we niet afzonderlijk verslag van doen. Ik ben vrijdag naar de bunker gegaan om een verhaal te maken over de pleidooien. Samir en z'n medeverdachten zouden ook als laatsten spreken. Dat gaf een mooie journalistieke aanleiding. Centraal zou de vraag staan: wat zijn de beste argumenten van de verdediging om aan te tonen dat Samir en zijn groep ten onrechte beschuldigd worden van voorbereidingshandelingen? Samir is al veroordeeld, stelt Koppe steeds, zonder dat de feiten zijn vastgesteld. Ik wilde hem aan het slot van de zaak daarover laten spreken. Hij wilde dat niet. Klaar. Ik heb 's avonds wel een verhaal in het Journaal gemaakt overigens. Ook bij NOS-radio heb ik de belangrijkste klachten van Samir en zijn verdediging beschreven. De vrouw van Samir A. heeft me daar onverwacht nog voor bedankt. Victor Koppe niet. Kortom, we proberen onafhankelijk te blijven, met iedereen inhoudelijk te praten en sec ons werk te doen.

Lex



Van: Internet Redactie Verzonden: donderdag 16 november 2006 11:02 Aan: Lex RunderkampOnderwerp: FW: reactieUrgentie: Hoog
Dag Lex, ik stuur dit mailtje maar even door....

Sandy Verhoeve
Eindredacteur NOS internet
www.nosjournaal.nl



Van: Stan van Houcke [mailto:stan10@planet.nl] Verzonden: donderdag 16 november 2006 10:48Aan: Internet RedactieOnderwerp: reactieUrgentie: Hoog
geachte collega’s,
in verband met het schrijven van een artikel over de berichtgeving met betrekking tot het ‘samir a proces’ heb ik een simpele vraag. waarom was uw verslaggever vorige week woensdag niet aanwezig bij de slotpleidooien van de advocaten van de verdachten? uit een telefonisch gesprek met een van de advocaten, victor koppe, was dit voor hen de druppel die de emmer deed overlopen, met als gevolg dat ze weigerden aan lex runderkamp een reactie te geven. ik verzoek u mij vandaag of morgen hierover te emailen.
vriendelijk groet
stan van houcke

Animal Farm



Vriend en collega Ronald van den Boogaard emailde me dit. Lees het even voordat u gaat stemmen:

‘Ha Stan

Bijgaand stukje is geschreven door mijn vriend Henk Weltevreden. Hij is ook auteur van het boekje Congo Blues. Dat gaat over zijn pleegdochtder Naomi, negen jaar geleden in Nederland geboren. Moeder uit Kongo vluchtte dat land uit, nadat haar man vermoord was. In Nederland werkte zij als hoer en werd diverse malen voor allerlei vergrijpen gevangen gezet. Henk & z'n vrouw hebben zich over dit meisje ontfermd. Zij woont al acht jaar bij hen.

En wat deed Verdonk. Zij wilde dit meisje uitzetten. Terug naar de Kongo, want dat was volgens de Nederlandse ambassade wel veilig. Henk heeft die uitzetting met steun van vrienden , die actie voerden kunnen voorkomen. Hij reisde naar de Kongo en maakte hartverscheurende dingen mee.

Maar het meisje heeft nog steeds geen permanente verblijfsvergunning.

Henk stuurde het boekje naar Verdonk. Haar antwoord: Hartelijk voor uw cd'tje.'

Dit is het bijgaande stukje:

'Animal Farm’
Door Henk Weltevreden
november 2006


Het is donderdag 23 november 2006. De uitslag van onze parlementsverkiezingen. Er blijken 274.124 stemmen ongeldig te zijn. Vooral in Amsterdam heerste fraude. Er liggen dozen met stembiljetten tussen het ochtendvuil op de Stadhouderskade. De rode kruisjes drijven in de Ringvaart in Transvaal en tussen de Amstelsluizen ter hoogte van Carré loopt het langzaam vast. Papier.
Het theater is weer voorbij. Bijna driehonderdduizend mensen hebben te vergeefs gestemd. Balkenende blijft, Bos is woedend en Verdonk wrijft in haar handen. Ook Agnes van Ardennen glimlacht, dit geeft een hoop lucht en het scheelt haar een flinke verantwoording inzake de onlangs niet-beloofde overheidssubsidies.
Zelfs in Weesp en Goes ligt te veel papier op straat op die regenachtige ochtend van 23 november 2006.
Kunt u zich dat voorstellen? Waarom niet, we hebben immers een democratie hier.
In die orde is Congo ook een democratie. Van de 16.937.534 stemmen tijdens de eerste presidentsverkiezingsronde blijken er 993.704 stemmen ongeldig. Wel heeft 70,5 % van de ingeschreven kiezers gestemd in de 50.000 stemcentra op 30 juli 2006. Dat stelt de in Brussel gevestigde onafhankelijke, niet regeringsgebonden International Crisis Group op 2 oktober 2006. Het is een organisatie die haar feiten baseert op veldwerk.
Velen eisen dat Jean Pierre Bemba geen president zal worden, het zou een schande zijn, alleen al op humanitaire gronden. Ook hopen velen dat de volgende president van Congo een rechtvaardiger en een meer open beleid voert dan tot nu toe. Maar met zulke fraude, zoals gesignaleerd door de ICG zijn de geweldvolle schermutselingen in Kinshasa op 11 november absoluut niet te rechtvaardigen maar wel te begrijpen. De gefrustreerde Bembakliek heeft helaas een punt.
Het is vrijdag 24 november 2006. Eind van de middag. Opnieuw zijn er 284 mensen omgekomen in Nederland door veelal politiek geweld. Vandaag vooral in Kerkrade en omstreken, vanaf cafetaria Angelo op de hoek Holzstraat en Aachenerstraat tot aan het riviertje de Wurm. De slachtoffers zijn vluchtelingen in het gemengde naald en loofbos van het Wurmtal, de streek tussen Maubach en Herzogenrath in de Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Ook vandaag slaat men elkaar de koppen in. Een losgeslagen Wildersgroep vergreep zich aan Halsema-voorstanders. Nog meer vrouwen en kinderen op de vlucht. Intimidatie.
Kunt u zich dat voorstellen? Moeilijk. Wij doen het veel rustiger. Wij blijven heel lang hangen bij de Bijlmerramp van zondagavond 4 oktober 1992 met een El Al vrachtvliegtuig. Een tragisch bericht met 43 doden. Het werd een parlementaire enquêtecommissie. Els Borst moest zich verantwoorden. Daar teren de media jaren op. Alle details werden uitgekamd. Om vijf over half zeven ploegde de El Al Boeing zich vrijwel verticaal vliegend met de rechtervleugel naar beneden door twee hoogbouwcomplexen in de Bijlmermeer, precies op het hoekpunt waar de galerijflat Groeneveen overging in Klein-Kruitberg. De cockpit kwam oostelijk van de flats terecht, tussen de gebouwen en het viaduct van metrolijn 53. Op maandagochtend 5 oktober liepen er mannen met witte pakken op de rampplek, aldus Trouw. Ze kwamen uit auto’s met een Frans kenteken. Wie zijn dat, wat betekent dat? Volgens Hanja Maij-Weggen zat er fruit en parfum in het vliegtuig.
We willen alles weten in dit achter dijken verscholen, door reuma verkleumde domineeskinderenland.
Onze herdenkingen smeren we uit, we nemen alle tijd om het te ritualiseren, te stileren, of sterker het te esthetiseren, en dat is maar goed ook. We vragen Jan Wolkers om een glazen kunstwerk te maken Nooit meer Auschwitz, gebroken spiegels, om de verschrikkingen van de holocaust te symboliseren. En terecht.
Hoe zouden we dat doen als we 291 dodelijke slachtoffers per dag hadden in Nederland anno 2006?
In die orde is Congo ook een land. Van de bijna zestig miljoen inwoners sterven er per dag meer dan 1000 mensen aan veelal politiek geweld, en als tragisch neveneffect hiervan vaak ook ziekte en ondervoeding.
‘De Congolese stabiliteit staat na de verkiezingen op het spel,’ stelt Caty Clement, de ICG Centraal Afrika projectmanager. ‘De echte stabiliteit kan pas komen wanneer democratische instellingen zoals rechtbanken, media en parlement echte invloed krijgen en wetten uitgevoerd worden.’
Het is de vraag of Clement hier gelijk heeft. Immers, Congo zit vol corruptie en zakkenvullers, die eerst behoorlijk getraind zouden moeten worden om hun werk goed en rechtvaardig uit te voeren.
Regeringen en organisaties hebben deze Congolese verkiezingen doorgezet, je zou kunnen zeggen door de strot gedrukt van de Congolese bevolking. Via trotse Westerse technologische hoogstand liep iedereen rond met een identiteitskaart met foto. Zelfs de Batwa van het Grote Merengebied, de Pygmeeën kraste hun keuze in de stemlokalen en waren trots dat hun stem via een heuse computer zou worden opgeslagen.
Over het vervoeren van de stembiljetten na het stemmen. De voorzitter van elk stembureau moest die biljetten naar het vergaarcentrum brengen. Maar daar was niemand om dat materiaal in ontvangst te nemen en het veilig op te bergen. Sommige hebben gewoon de boel gedumpt. Chauffeurs hebben hele hopen dozen en stapels biljetten afgeleverd zonder dat er iets georganiseerd werd voor de ontvangst. Veel dozen gingen open en de inhoud lag verspreid over de vloer. Zo was een nieuwe telling onmogelijk geworden. Vooral in Kinshasa was de chaos groot. Dat is democratie in Congo. Dat zijn verkiezingen.
Je wil geen parallel leggen met Irak, het is een andere situatie, maar de intentie van veel landen, de US voorop, om in een ander land de zaken te moeten regelen vanuit het idee zelf het enige juiste mensbeeld en correcte wereldinzicht te hebben, die houding is in Irak uitgelopen op een humanitaire en politieke chaos. Een morele culturele schadepost die lang, veel te lang zal nadreunen.
Hoe zal dat in Congo gaan?
Je hoopt één ding, dat als het fout gaat dat dan de landen en organisaties niet beweren dat Congo het fout heeft gedaan. Je zou ook de verantwoordelijkheid bij jezelf kunnen zoeken.
Op zijn minst.
Het was veel te vroeg die verkiezingen, veel te veel zaken, letterlijk business, stonken nog te hard in Congo. Hoe groot is het westers belang in dit land? Is in de Congo Vrij Staat van Belgische Koning Leopold II uit 1884, die onder zijn hoogste persoonlijke heerschappij koper, diamanten en rubber kapitaliseerde, is in dit rijke land anno 2006 deze ontginning eigenlijk wel gestopt?
De verkiezingsstrategie van december 2005 tot januari 2007 in Congo is vreemd. Je mag eerst kiezen wie de macht krijgt: de president en de partijen in de nationale volksvertegenwoordiging. Pas aan het eind van de rit komen de plaatselijke verkiezingen, maar dan zijn de lakens al uitgedeeld vanuit het centrum van de macht. Wat verandert er met een andere president of nieuwe parlementsleden? De bevolking zwoegt dan domweg verder in hun strijd om hun dagelijks bestaan.
Op zaterdagmorgen 11 november viel de politie van Kinshasa uit naar straatkinderen, de shégués. Maar al de dag ervoor was de spanning in het zakencentrum gevaarlijk opgelopen en haastten de expats en Congolezen zich de kantoren uit en naar huis, bang voor weer een uitbarsting van geweld.
De politie dreigden de shégués op te pakken. De shégués begonnen hen met stenen te bekogelen. De politie kreeg versterking van ons Europese leger EUFOR met ‘blindés’ en vrachtwagens en die dreef de jongeren uiteen. Het escaleerde in een politiek gevecht op straat. Er knalden machinegeweren, werpraketten vlogen door de lucht vlakbij de begraafplaats in de wijk noord Gombe op schietafstand van de residentie van vice-president Jean Pierre Bemba. Kabila versus Bemba. Waar zal dat eindigen?
Krijgt de bevolking van Congo zo nog wel een kans zich uit te spreken over haar belangen in januari 2007?
Leiders in het zadel zijn meestal niet te vertrouwen, waarom in Congo dan wel?
Ik zie opnieuw dat beeld van George Orwell voor me. Animal Farm. Alle beesten zijn gelijk, maar sommige beesten zijn meer gelijk dan anderen.


© Henk Weltevreden
november 2006 '

Nederlandse Leger Martelt 8



De Volkskrant onthult:

'Mariniers frustreerden onderzoek in Zuid-Irak.


Van onze verslaggevers Jan Hoedeman, Theo Koelé.


DEN HAAG - Marechaussees zijn in 2003 in het zuiden van Irak door Nederlandse mariniers onder druk gezet geen aangifte te doen van overtredingen. Mariniers intimideerden en beledigden leden van de militaire politie.
Ten minste één marechaussee is door landgenoten met de dood bedreigd als hij aangifte zou doen. Hij is overspannen teruggekeerd naar Nederland, aldus collega’s.
‘Als je dat doet, knal ik je kop er af’, luidde het dreigement aan het adres van de marechaussee, die een proces-verbaal wilde opstellen. De mariniers hadden invallen gedaan in huizen, hoewel ze daartoe niet bevoegd waren.
Andere marechaussees hebben ‘discriminerende opmerkingen’ van de mariniers te horen gekregen ‘die de gang naar het strafrecht zouden rechtvaardigen’. De kwalificaties van de mariniers waren ‘nazi’s’ en ‘kankerjoden’.
Dit staat in een vertrouwelijke brief van de bevelhebber van de Koninklijke Marechaussee (KMAR) Cees Neisingh, gedateerd 18 november 2003. Uit dat najaar dateren de omstreden verhoren van Iraakse gevangenen, die door experts als martelingen zijn omschreven.
De spanningen tussen de diverse krijgsmachtdelen liepen in die periode hoog op. In een geheim stuk van generaal-majoor Neisingh aan de Chef Defensiestaf (CDS) Luuk Kroon schrijft de bevelhebber van de marechaussee: ‘Gelukkig worden de breuklijntjes uit beeld gehouden bij bezoeken van bewindslieden, Kamerleden, journalisten, CDS en de bevelhebbers.’
De tegenwerking die de Marechaussee ondervond, maakte het moeilijk aangifte te doen. Daarover schreef generaal-majoor Neisingh aan CDS Kroon: ‘Ik meen er goed aan te doen u te berichten dat ik de stellige indruk heb, dat er van goede informatie van de commandanten aan de marechaussee niet altijd sprake is. Het afwegen of iets al dan niet een (strafrechtelijk) onderzoek rechtvaardigt dient door de detachementcommandant KMAR c.q. de hulpofficier van justitie plaats te vinden. Door deze functionaris onkundig te houden, ontbreekt deze zorgvuldige afweging door de KMAR. (*) Het door (lagere) commandanten op voorhand bestempelen van zaken als niet het vermelden waard, kan op langere termijn negatieve terugslageffecten teweegbrengen.’ Daarmee trok Neisingh de waarde van justitieel onderzoek in twijfel.
Minister Kamp verklaarde zaterdag voor de NOS-televisie het volste vertrouwen te hebben in de verslaglegging door de marechaussee en het Openbaar Ministerie. Over de vermoedelijke martelingen zei hij dat het OM de processen-verbaal van de marechaussee heeft gewogen en dat er één conclusie volgde: er zijn geen strafrechtelijk laakbare feiten begaan.
Vandaag schrijft Kamp in een stuk op de Forumpagina van de Volkskrant dat er een maand is gewerkt aan dat onderzoek.'

Lees verder:
http://www.volkskrant.nl/binnenland/article372051.ece/

Mariniers_frustreerden_onderzoek_in_Zuid-Irak

Dit gebeurde allemaal onder een kabinet dat de mond vol had over normen en waarden, maar in de praktijk de normloze en waarden-loze neoliberale ideologie uitvoerde, zowel op het gebied van de buitenlandse politiek als op de binnenlandse. Op wie moet een mens stemmen om er absoluut zeker van te zijn dat deze asociale brokkenmakers niet terugkomen? Niet de PVDA, want die wil alleen met het CDA in zee, niet Groen Links, hoewel ik daar via de stemwijzer op terechtkwam, want die partij zal in de marge blijven. De SP? Ik ben het met een aantal dingen van die partij niet eens. Moet ik strategisch stemmen of met mijn hart? Wat doet u?

dinsdag 21 november 2006

The Empire 58


'Our Own Abu Ghraib.

by Matthew Rothschild.

With all the attention on U.S. torture and abuse of prisoners overseas, we’ve been neglecting to pay attention to one haunting fact: Our country treats some prisoners here at home in a similar way.
Dogs are used on prisoners.
Sexual abuse is commonplace.
Prisoners are held in isolation for months at a time.
Prisoners are shocked with tasers and stun guns while they are handcuffed or even while they are in restraint chairs.
Prisoners, including mentally ill ones, are left in restraint chairs or are shackled to the floor for hours and sometimes days at a time, left to urinate and defecate on themselves.
Two judges in recent days have cast a spotlight on these horrors.
In Michigan, Judge Richard Alan Enslen ordered the state to stop using nonmedical restraints in cells after a twenty-one-year-old mentally ill prisoner, Timothy Joe Souders, died naked and shackled to the cement floor lying in his own urine for four days.
The judge said Souders’s treatment amounted to torture, and he castigated prison officials.
“You are not coat racks who collect government paychecks while your work is taken to the sexton for burial,” he said.
In another case, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that a Wisconsin supermax prison resembled a Soviet “gulag” if the conditions described in a case about inmate Nathan Gillis were accurate.
“Stripped naked in a small prison cell with nothing except a toilet; forced to sleep on a concrete floor or slab; denied any human contact; fed nothing but ‘nutri-loaf’; and given just a modicum of toilet papers—four squares—only a few times. Although this might sound like a stay at a Soviet gulag in the 1930s, it is, according to the claims in this case, Wisconsin in 2002.”
The treatment of our own prisoners should shock the conscience not just of judges but of all of us. We have versions of our own Abu Ghraibs here at home, as Anne-Marie Cusac wrote about in The Progressive in a July 2004 article entitled “Abu Ghraib, USA.”
“When we tolerate abuse in U.S. prisons and jails,” she wrote, “it should not surprise us to find U.S. soldiers using similar methods in Iraq.”
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the ACLU, among others, have documented this abuse time and time again.
We must bring it to a stop.'

Zie: http://www.progressive.org/ Of: http://www.commondreams.org/views06/1119-26.htm

Klimaatverandering 59



'Stubbornly pursuing a course that is destroying the planet Posted by: APR on Nov 21, 2006 - 05:33 AM Environment

By Peter Montague

We are living in a world that is essentially new. Almost everything has changed in the past 50 years. Perhaps we are trying to understand this new world using habits of thought from the old world. Maybe that is why things seem so confusing. Let's consider some of the ways the world has changed since 1950.
In the largest sense, here is the big change of the past 50 years: For aeons, there was a shortage of people and an abundance of nature. We set up all our institutions (churches, corporations, governments, laws, courts, media, schools) to encourage population growth and economic growth (the accumulation of capital assets -- farms, factories, highways, ports, power plants, and so on). Now we find ourselves with a shortage of nature, a superabundance of people, and a glut of capital assets -- more than we know what to do with, really. Because of this fundamental shift, almost everything is different now than it was 50 years ago. But our institutions, our language, and our mental tools have not changed. As a result, we are stubbornly pursuing a course that is wrecking the future.
Let's review some features of our new world:
Trends in the Destruction of Nature
1. More Humans
During the last 50 years, global human population more than doubled, from 2.8 billion people to 6.5 billion (in round numbers). The U.S. Bureau of the Census estimates that global population will reach 9.4 billion by 2050, a 44% increase in 45 years. It might even grow faster than that, doubling in 35 years to 12 billion, but even 9 billion would surely stress the planet's already-stressed ecosystems mightily.
Where will we put 44% more farms (with their fertilizers and pesticides and demand for fresh water), 44% more mines, more roads, highways, parking lots, airports, cars, trucks, buses, ships, trains, planes), more cities, hospitals, prisons, ports? And of course more wastes at every step.
All this will require at least 44% more power plants, which produce their own unique wastes (among them toxic or radioactive sludges, solid residues, and global warming gases).
We're already at a point where we've had to acknowledge there's no place left to throw things "away" -- there is no "away" -- the planet has been thoroughly doused with toxicants. Fog, rain and snow now contain measurable levels of toxic waste.
2. Global warming is upon us
Fifty years ago this seemed a remote theoretical possibility. Today it is a widely-acknowledged problem, looming ever larger the more we learn about it.
The likely consequences of global warming are more intense and more frequent hurricanes, tornadoes and typhoons, more severe and frequent droughts, floods, wild fires, and heat waves; rising sea levels with coastal inundation; more human disease (malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever) and other negative impacts on human health.
The main human contributions to global warming are emissions from automobiles and electric power plants burning fossil fuels. In its authoritative report, World Energy Outlook, the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) projects a 55% annual increase in global carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 unless national policies change pretty quickly. So far, nations have shown little inclination to make the needed changes, least of all the biggest emitter, the U.S.
3. Destruction of ocean productivity
Fifty years ago the oceans seemed unimaginably vast, so huge that humans could not possibly affect them. Yet today we know that humans have managed to...
(a) contaminate every part of the world's oceans with industrial poisons;
(b) pollute vast near-shore ecosystems with excessive nutrients (mainly nitrogen), giving rise to large "dead zones," enormous algae blooms (red and brown tides), contaminated groundwater and massive fish kills;
(c) progressively destroy many of the world's coral reefs; and
(d) exhaust many of the world's fisheries. In November, 2006, a study published in Science magazine predicted the collapse of all ocean fisheries by 2048 unless major changes occur in fishing practices.
4. Fresh water
Water pollution is reducing the useable supply of fresh water in most countries, even as the demand for fresh water is rising. At least 80 countries holding 40% of global population were facing water shortages in 2000. According to the United Nations, by 2025, 2/3rds of the global population is expected to be living in water-stressed regions. In addition, in 2000, 2.4 billion people (40% of the global population) were living without basic sanitation.
Because surface water sources have been depleted or polluted, many countries have started pumping their underground supplies, but nature generally replenishes underground sources only very slowly. Furthermore, underground water supplies are now becoming polluted. In its authoritative report, Environmental Outlook, the OECD said, "Available evidence suggests that there is a trend towards a worsening of aquifer water quality in OECD regions. Once groundwater sources are contaminated, they can be very difficult to clean up because the rate of flow is usually very slow and purification measures are often costly," the OECD says. (pg. 103) Worse, growing water scarcity is already giving rise to conflicts within and between countries -- water wars -- that are likely to increase as time goes on.
5. Forests
Within OECD countries, original "old growth" forests are being cut and replaced by secondary growth and by simple monoculture tree farms, which require artificial fertilizers and pesticides to survive. Thus, although the total area of forests is holding steady in OECD regions, the quality of forested lands, measured by natural habitat and biodiversity, is steadily declining. Some trees may grow quickly but forests take centuries to mature. The prospect for tropical forests is worse. With 37 million acres being cut down each year, "Tropical deforestation is expected to continue at alarming rates over the next few decades," says the OECD. (pg. 125) In the blink of an eye, between 2000 and 2020, the world is expected to lose almost 6% of its total remaining forested land, the OECD says. (pg. 136)
6. Acid Rain
Acid rain, snow and fog, caused by emissions of sulphur and nitrogen oxides, damage forests, soils and fresh water ecosystems. Acid rain "has been identified as an important factor in forest demise," says the OECD (pg. 127), and "Current acid deposition levels in Northern Europe and parts of North America are at least twice as high as critical levels." (pg. 190) In Europe the situation is expected to improve in the next 10 years but elsewhere in the world, it is expected to worsen. Outside OECD countries, both sulphur and nitrogen oxide emissions are expected to increase substantially in the next two decades: "Thus, acid depositions are likely to continue to contribute to acidification of surface waters and soils in these areas and reduce the quality of the most sensitive ecosystems." (pg. 190)
7. Loss of Biodiversity
Humans are relentlessly clearing and plowing up the habitat needed by other creatures, mostly converting it to farmland. Then many of the farmlands themselves are being despoiled by poor irrigation practices (which bring salts up from deep soils and deposit them in the top layers) and by soil erosion. According to the OECD, two-thirds of the world's farmlands have already been degraded to some degree and one- third have been "strongly or very strongly degraded." (pg. 138) Furthermore, half the world's wetlands have already been destroyed. (pg. 136) And the biodiversity of freshwater ecosystems is "under serious threat" with 20% of the world's fresh water fish extinct, threatened or endangered. (pg. 138) Half of all primates, and 9% of all known species of trees are at some risk of extinction, the OECD says. (The United Nations is even less optimistic about the future of primates.) Between now and 2020, biodiversity in OECD countries is likely to degrade further. (pg. 138) The United Nations reports that 24% of all mammals on Earth, and 11% of all bird species, are now considered globally threatened with extinction.
Species are now going extinct at a rate somewhere between 100 and 1000 times as fast as the historical rate of extinction of species. We are shredding Creation.
In addition, ecosystems are being scrambled by invasive species and by the unintentional spread of genetically engineered organisms into the wild.
8. Chemicals are Destroying Wildlife
As global warming melts Arctic ice, polar bears swim toward distant ice flows, which now no longer exist, and they drown. The demise of the polar bear is now predicted for later this century. How do we explain drowning bears to our children?
Fish in much of the fresh water of the U.S. are having their gender changed by exposure to biologically-active chemicals -- including the residues of pharmaceutical products flushed from households into sewage treatment plants, then into streams and rivers. Many male fish are being feminized.
Frogs are disappearing around the world, for a variety of reasons ranging from habitat destruction to excessive ultraviolet radiation (a byproduct of DuPont's destruction of the earth's ozone shield) to pesticides and other industrial poisons.
Chemicals are interfering with all the biological systems that allow wildlife to thrive -- harming their immune systems, their reproductive systems, giving them cancer and a host of other diseases. Sea turtles are endangered by mysterious growths appearing on their faces, making it impossible for them to eat, starving them to death. Killer whales (Orcas) are disappearing from the Pacific Northwest because of Monsanto's PCBs wrecking their reproductive systems. This short list barely scratches the surface.
All of these problems, and more, were studied by a group of 1360 scientists from 95 countries during the period 1999-2005. Their study, called the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, drew three broad conclusions:
1) Of 24 ecosystems they studied worldwide, 60% are being degraded by human activities. "We're undermining our ecological capital all around the world," said Robert Watson, chief scientist of the World Bank.
2) Global degradation is increasing the chances of sudden, drastic changes in ecosystems, such as the collapse of fisheries or the emergence of new diseases from fragmented forests.
3) The pressure on ecosystems is disproportionately harming the poor. The report says healthy ecosystems are essential for alleviating poverty.
In releasing their report, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment scientific board of directors did not mince words:
"At the heart of this assessment is a stark warning. Human activity is putting such strain on the natural functions of Earth that the ability of the planet's ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted," they said.'

Peter Montague is the editor of Rachel's Democracy & Health News
http://www.rachel.org/

Robert Fisk 16



Robert Fisk schrijft:

'A terrible legacy of hatred and death. This is the hell we have bequeathed to the Arab peoples of Iraq.

-- -- So the Ministry of Fear now has a Dowager of Fear, the good Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller who has discovered in the sanctum of MI5 another 30 "terror plots" to terrify us - and an entire generation of plots before the show is over. And how Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara admires her. "I think she is absolutely right that it will last a generation," he announces. Absolutely, indeed. The favourite Blair adverb, always trotted out when he really, truly and of course absolutely believes he is right; which is not the same at all, of course, as actually being right, which needs a lot more than belief to support it.What is this trash? Accepting - which Blair can't do, can he? - that the risk to us is caused by his pusillanimous, mendacious policies in the Middle East (and that of his lord and master in Washington) would cut this latest bulletin from the Ministry of Fear down to a mere couple of years' worth of terror instead of a generation.And note the smarmy way that officials in the Ministry of Fear now try to squeeze in a little bit of truth to take the edge off all those lies. According to Lord Carlile of Berriew QC, the war in Iraq is not to blame for the "terror plots" we are facing. No, "it is now clearly the case that although the Iraq war did not create violent jihad, it has become a convenient excuse for violent jihad". Come again, my good Lord? Now, let me get this right. Iraq has nothing to do with the "terror plots" - this, he says, is "clearly" the case ("clearly" being a notch down the road of lies from "absolutely", which might be pushing Lord Carlile's luck on this occasion). So the threats have nothing to do with Iraq but, er, well, yes, he tells us that they have, because the inventors of the "terror plots" lie to us about the real reasons for their deeds.Note the deceit in this. We are permitted to link Iraq to the "terror threat", providing we do so on the grounds that the perpetrators are lying to us about Iraq. And so what are the real reasons for the plots? Why - Lord Blair again - the answer is they hate our "values", values which Blair cared nothing about when he illegally invaded Iraq. And sometimes, wading through this drivel, I wonder what the Iraqis think of it, those who are paying - in their tens of thousands of lives - for our folly?I am thinking of some real terror in Baghdad, the terror that comes through the letter box or is stuck on to walls. Now here are real terror plots for the Dowager of Fear to get her teeth into, plots to massacre and "cleanse" whole communities from their homes and cities on the grounds of their religious sect. And so let's take a look at some really ferocious terror, collected on the streets of Baghdad and from the front doors of those who are indeed facing a generation of threats, many of them scrupulously collected by local UN officials and put together by my Italian colleague, Mario Portanova, of the Milan magazine Diario. They are printed, not handwritten, and they are poisonous."To the ignoble rejectionists, who sold their religion and community for worldly rewards," begins one note from a Sunni group about its Shia Muslim countrymen. "It is clear that you must be classified among those who have betrayed the covenant of Allah and his Prophet, and are intellectually and actively involved in fighting against the mujahideen [holy warriors]. Therefore we grant you 24 hours to vacate this righteous [sic] district, otherwise punishment and retribution shall be your fate. Allah is greater. Praise and grace be to Allah [signed] The Islamist Army in Iraq."It should be noted that many of these terrible notices of intent to murder are preceded by the first words of the Koran: "In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful." Now here's another threat from the "Day of Atonement Brigades", a Shia group: "To the disloyal Palestinians, declared enemies and Saddamist Baathists, specifically those who reside in the al-Shououn district (of Baghdad). This is a warning that you will be liquidated if you do not move completely away from this district within a 10-day period. Let this be a warning to all, without exception."'

Lees verder: http://news.independent.co.uk/world/fisk/article1993587.ece Of:
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article15669.htm

Danny Schechter 2

Danny Schechter schrijft:

'A Vietnamese friend shared a comment with me from a colleague in Hanoi:
”Bush's visit has been an embarrassment for everyone. Within a few hours of his arrival he was asked about Iraq, and he said that the U.S. would have won in Vietnam if we had "stayed the course" and let "The Generals" fight the war..... His audience was dismayed. The guy is obviously on some heavy meds.”
Clearly he has no idea of what happened in Vietnam, and that the US did not have the option or the ability to stay, as everyone who remembers that mad dash from the roof of the Embassy in former Saigon to that Navy battle group in the South China sea knows. How pathetic.
“History has a long march to it,” he then said, mimicking Mao when he arrived “in-country,” as US soldiers used to say when they were in "the Nam," even after his White House misidentified the country’s red flag on the White House web site, not a place you would ever turn for accurate information anyway. He also traveled there after members of his own party vetoed a bill encouraging trade between our two countries. Supposedly Bush favored the bill but couldn't get it passed. What a further embarrassment.
FOR MORE BUSHISMS:http://www.thenewamericanempire.com/tremblay=1046'

Lees verder: http://www.newsdissector.com/blog/2006/11/20/bombing-in-hanoi-apocalypse-now-2/

Iran 67




Gaat de Bush Bende Israelische huurlingen opdracht geven om Iran te bombarderen?

Haaretz bericht:

'Bush: I would understand if Israel chose to attack Iran

The United States lacks sufficient intelligence on Iran's nuclear facilities at this time, which prevents it from initiating a military strike against them, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has told European politicians and diplomats with whom she has recently met. Rice mentioned three reasons why the United States is currently unable to carry out a military operation against Iran: the wish to solve the crisis through peaceful means; concern that a military strike will be ineffective - that it would fail to completely destroy Iran's nuclear capabilities; and the lack of precise intelligence on the targets' locations. U.S. President George W. Bush and President Jacques Chirac of France met several weeks ago. Bush told his French counterpart that the possibility that Israel would carry out a strike against Iran's nuclear installations should not be ruled out.
Bush also said that if such an attack were to take place, he would understand it. According to European diplomats who later met with Rice, the secretary of state did not express the same willingness to show understanding for a possible Israeli strike against Iran. Nonetheless, Rice did not discount the possibility that such an operation may take place.'

Lees verder: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/789940.html

The Empire 57







Zaterdag 5 augustus van dit jaar schreef ik in mijn dagboek: 'Vanmiddag Naar Oljato geweest. De Trading Post was gesloten en leeg, op wat bakelieten schalen na, zo zag ik door de vuile ramen. In deze buurt is weer een oude uraniummijn in bedrijf genomen.
De dag erna schreef ik: 'Vanmiddag naar Mexican Hat gereden, door een verlaten landschap. Vlak voor Mexican Hat zagen we een meer schitteren, omringd door roodkleurige aarde. Toen we er ernaar toe reden, zagen we dat het een grote oppervlakte was bedekt met grijskleurige stenen. Het bleek een voormalige nucleaire malerij te zijn, die met miljoenen stenen was overdekt om de verspreiding van de radioactiviteit tegen te gaan. (zie foto) Het is zo groot dat men het via Google Earth goed kan zien. Het ligt drie kilometer van de grens waar het Navajo reservaat eindigt. Niet ver hier vandaan, bij Tuba City in Coconino County, ook op Navajo gebied zagen we eerder - naast iets dat leek op waterzuiveringsbassins - een andere uranium malerij. Een jongeman die in Mexican Hat in een hotelwinkel werkt zei desgevraagd: "Nabij Monument Valley Tribal Park achter Goulding’s wordt uraniumerts gedolven. Dat werd vroeger bij Mexican Hat gemalen in die fabriek." Bij toeval liep ik een Nederlander tegen het lijf die met een camper door het gebied trekt, ook hij wist dat er meerdere uraniummijnen in deze streek zijn die de afgelopen zes maanden weer in gebruik zijn genomen. Dat is niet verwonderlijke aangezien de Amerikanen met een nieuwe generatie nucleaire wapens bezig zijn. De oorlogsindustrie moet draaiende blijven. Wonderlijk om vanuit het restaurant van Goulding's over de schitterende verlaten uitgestrektheid van Monument Valley te kijken en te weten dat hier de grondstof wordt gedolven voor massavernietigingswapens. Nota bene in het gebied dat de tekenaar George Herriman vereeuwigde in zijn Krazy Kat.'
Eergisteren meldde de Los Angeles Times:
'A peril that dwelt among the Navajos.

During the Cold War, uranium mines left contaminated waste scattered around the Indians. Homes built with the material silently pulsed with radiation. People developed cancer. And the U.S. did little

Oljato, Utah -- Mary and Billy Boy Holiday bought their one-room house from a medicine man in 1967. They gave him $50, a sheep and a canvas tent.For the most part, they were happy with the purchase. Their Navajo hogan was situated well, between a desert mesa and the trading-post road. The eight-sided dwelling proved stout and snug, with walls of stone and wood, and a green-shingle roof.The single drawback was the bare dirt underfoot. So three years after moving in, the Holidays jumped at the chance to get a real floor. A federally funded program would pay for installation if they bought the materials. The Holidays couldn't afford to, but the contractor, a friend of theirs, had an idea.He would use sand and crushed rock that had washed down from an old uranium mine in the mesa, one of hundreds throughout the Navajo reservation that once supplied the nation's nuclear weapons program. The waste material wouldn't cost a cent. "He said it made good concrete," Mary Holiday recalled.As promised, the 6-inch slab was so smooth that the Holidays could lay their mattresses directly on it and enjoy a good night's sleep.They didn't know their fine new floor was radioactive.Fifty years ago, cancer rates on the reservation were so low that a medical journal published an article titled "Cancer immunity in the Navajo."Back then, the contamination of the tribal homeland was just beginning. Mining companies were digging into one of the world's richest uranium deposits, in a reservation spanning parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.From 1944 to 1986, 3.9 million tons of uranium ore were chiseled and blasted from the mountains and plains. The mines provided uranium for the Manhattan Project, the top-secret effort to develop an atomic bomb, and for the weapons stockpile built up during the arms race with the Soviet Union.Private companies operated the mines, but the U.S. government was the sole customer. The boom lasted through the early '60s. As the Cold War threat gradually diminished over the next two decades, more than 1,000 mines and four processing mills on tribal land shut down.The companies often left behind radioactive waste piles and open tunnels and pits. Few bothered to fence the properties or post warning signs. Federal inspectors seldom intervened.Over the decades, Navajos inhaled radioactive dust from the waste piles, borne aloft by fierce desert winds.They drank contaminated water from abandoned pit mines that filled with rain. They watered their herds there, then butchered the animals and ate the meat.Their children dug caves in piles of mill tailings and played in the spent mines.And like the Holidays, many lived in homes silently pulsing with radiation.Today, there is no talk of cancer immunity in the Navajos.The cancer death rate on the reservation — historically much lower than that of the general U.S. population — doubled from the early 1970s to the late 1990s, according to Indian Health Service data. The overall U.S. cancer death rate declined slightly over the same period.Though no definitive link has been established, researchers say exposure to mining byproducts in the soil, air and water almost certainly contributed to the increase in Navajo cancer mortality.The government has never conducted a comprehensive study of the health effects of uranium mining on the reservation. But individual scientists working on their own have documented sharply elevated cancer rates near old mines and mills. High concentrations of uranium, arsenic and other heavy metals have been found in one out of five drinking-water sources sampled.Particularly toxic were the "hot" houses built with radioactive debris.In every corner of the reservation, sandy mill tailings and chunks of ore, squared off nicely by blasting, were left unattended at old mines and mills, free for the taking. They were fashioned into bread ovens, cisterns, foundations, fireplaces, floors and walls.Navajo families occupied radioactive dwellings for decades, unaware of the risks.Over the years, federal and tribal officials stumbled across at least 70 such homes, records show. The total number is unknown because authorities made no serious effort to learn the full extent of the problem or to warn all those potentially affected.After years of delay, they fixed or replaced about 20 radioactive houses and then walked away from the problem. Navajos continued to use mine waste as construction material, and the homes were passed down from one generation to the next.Not until 2000 did the Holidays learn that their hogan was dangerous. By then, the couple had raised three children and sheltered a host of other kin while the uranium decayed. The resulting alpha, beta and gamma rays were invisible; the radon gas was odorless. But the combination greatly increased the chance of developing fatal lung cancer, according to a radiation expert who sampled air in the hogan.'
la-na-navajo19nov19,0,4003854,full.story?coll=la-home-headlines

maandag 20 november 2006

De Israelische Terreur 124



De BBC bericht:

'Human Shield Deters Israel Strike
The Israelis have called off a planned air attack on a house in Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza after hundreds of Palestinians formed a human shield.
Mohammedweil Baroud said he was warned by Israeli forces to leave his home. He instead ran to a mosque and summoned neighbours to help defend the house.
Mr. Baroud is a commander in the Popular Resistance Committees militant group.
The Israeli army often orders people out of homes ahead of attacks, saying it aims to avoid casualties.
A Hamas commander at the scene said people had gathered to show that the demolition strategy of the Israelis could be defeated.
Meanwhile one person was wounded in a rocket attack on the Israeli town of Sderot.
Hamas said in a statement it had carried out the attack, the Associated Press news agency reported.
Israel often targets the homes of Gaza militants in response to such attacks.
One woman was killed and several injured in an attack on Sderot last week.
Chanting Slogans
The BBC's Alan Johnston in Gaza says it appears that an unprecedented act of defiance by the Palestinians to a particular Israeli tactic has worked.
The Israeli air force often uses night-time helicopter missile strikes to target homes in Gaza which the Israelis say have been used to store weapons or plan attacks on Israel.
Very often the air force telephones a warning 10 minutes before the strike to give the occupants time to escape and keep down casualties, our correspondent says.
But on this occasion, the presence of so many people has made it impossible for the Israelis to carry though their planned air strike.
Hundreds of relatives and neighbours gathered at the house, where about 50 people reportedly climbed onto the roof. Others stood in the street chanting anti-Israeli and anti-American slogans.
Repeat Urged
The Israeli military may have to factor in more such Palestinian protests in future when it targets the homes of suspected militants from the air, our correspondent adds.
An Israeli military spokesman confirmed to Reuters news agency that the raid had been called off because of the Palestinian action.'

Lees verder: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6162494.stm Of:
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/111906A.shtml

Iran 66






Seymour Hersh bericht in de New Yorker:


'Is a damaged Administration less likely to attack Iran, or more?

-- A month before the November elections, Vice-President Dick Cheney was sitting in on a national-security discussion at the Executive Office Building. The talk took a political turn: what if the Democrats won both the Senate and the House? How would that affect policy toward Iran, which is believed to be on the verge of becoming a nuclear power? At that point, according to someone familiar with the discussion, Cheney began reminiscing about his job as a lineman, in the early nineteen-sixties, for a power company in Wyoming. Copper wire was expensive, and the linemen were instructed to return all unused pieces three feet or longer. No one wanted to deal with the paperwork that resulted, Cheney said, so he and his colleagues found a solution: putting “shorteners” on the wire—that is, cutting it into short pieces and tossing the leftovers at the end of the workday. If the Democrats won on November 7th, the Vice-President said, that victory would not stop the Administration from pursuing a military option with Iran. The White House would put “shorteners” on any legislative restrictions, Cheney said, and thus stop Congress from getting in its way.

The White House’s concern was not that the Democrats would cut off funds for the war in Iraq but that future legislation would prohibit it from financing operations targeted at overthrowing or destabilizing the Iranian government, to keep it from getting the bomb. “They’re afraid that Congress is going to vote a binding resolution to stop a hit on Iran, à la Nicaragua in the Contra war,” a former senior intelligence official told me.

In late 1982, Edward P. Boland, a Democratic representative, introduced the first in a series of “Boland amendments,” which limited the Reagan Administration’s ability to support the Contras, who were working to overthrow Nicaragua’s left-wing Sandinista government. The Boland restrictions led White House officials to orchestrate illegal fund-raising activities for the Contras, including the sale of American weapons, via Israel, to Iran. The result was the Iran-Contra scandal of the mid-eighties. Cheney’s story, according to the source, was his way of saying that, whatever a Democratic Congress might do next year to limit the President’s authority, the Administration would find a way to work around it. (In response to a request for comment, the Vice-President’s office said that it had no record of the discussion.)'

Lees verder : http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/061127fa_fact Of:
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/100106H.shtml

De Israelische Terreur 123


De Engelstalige Pakistaanse krant Dawn bericht:
'UN asks Israel to vacate Gaza: US opposes, EU backs resolution.
UNITED NATIONS, Nov 18: The UN General Assembly on Friday voted overwhelmingly to condemn Israel for "indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force" in its military offensive in Gaza which, according to the Palestinian ambassador, threatens to "destroy the entire people."The resolution was passed by a vote of 156 to 7, with six abstentions. The US, Israel and Australia voted against the document while all the European Union members supported it.The resolution "deeply deplores" the Israeli offensive, launched after the June capture of an Israel soldier, and calls on Israel to immediately halt its operation and pull its troops out of the Gaza Strip.The vote came less than a week after the United States vetoed a UN Security Council resolution criticizing Israel for launching a Nov 8 missile strike that killed 18 civilians in the town of Beit Hanoun.Opening the debate on Friday, Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour called for "an end to this rampant Israeli campaign, which intends to destroy an entire people."The Arab League had asked for the session after the US vetoed a similar, but watered-down UN Security Council draft resolution against Israel's actions last weekend, its second veto on the issue this year.In a bitter attack on the member states for holding such a debate, Israel's UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman accused Palestinians of turning the Gaza Strip into a launching pad for terrorist attacks against Israel, allowing the firing of more than 1,000 rockets in the last year.US Ambassador John Bolton said it was ironic the assembly held a special session on the Palestinian question a day after one of its committees passed a resolution stressing the need to avoid politically-motivated and biased human rights resolutions.Reuters adds: Palestinian ambassador Mansour told the assembly that last Saturday's veto by Washington, Israel's closest ally, sent a message to the Jewish state “that it can continue to commit crimes and acts of outright aggression with impunity,”US Ambassador Bolton said the assembly resolution, like the one before the Security Council, was a “one-sided, unbalanced” text that raised questions about the world body's ability to confront global problems.Arab diplomats said they took particular umbrage at Israeli UN Ambassador Gillerman for cautioning delegates a “yes” vote would make them “accomplices to terror.”“The blood of poor innocents will be on your hands,” Gillerman said, even as he acknowledged the attack had been “a tragic accident ... which Israel deeply regrets.”'
Lees verder: http://www.dawn.com/2006/11/19/top1.htm Of: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article15672.htm

De Dollar Hegemonie 13


De oorlog moet door iemand betaald worden.
Bloomberg bericht:
'Rubin, Volcker Say Investors May Avoid Buying Dollars (Update2).

-- Robert E. Rubin, Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton, and former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker said foreign investors probably won't keep increasing dollar holdings, raising the risk of a slump in the currency.

Failure by the U.S. government to shrink its budget deficit may spook the central banks, hedge funds and others who have been buying Treasury notes, Rubin said. Volcker said the U.S. borrowing requirements raise the risk of a ``crisis'' in the dollar as soon as the next two and a half years.

``It seems almost inconceivable that this will continue indefinitely,'' Rubin, who now chairs Citigroup Inc.'s executive committee, said in a videotaped message for a dinner hosted by the Concord Coalition yesterday in New York.

Rubin, 68, who served as Treasury chief from January 1995 to July 1999, helped engineer economic policies that allowed Clinton in 1998 to claim the first budget surplus in almost 30 years. The dollar, measured against the currencies of the largest U.S. trading partners, rose 14 percent under his tenure.

The Arlington, Virginia-based Concord Coalition was founded in 1992 by the late former Senator Paul Tsongas, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and former Senator Warren Rudman, a New Hampshire Republican, to lobby for reducing the fiscal deficit and raise awareness about the cause and consequences of the persistent shortfall.

Dollar's Decline

The U.S. currency has fallen in recent years, in part because of concern America will fail to attract enough capital to finance its borrowing. The Federal Reserve's dollar index has declined 27 percent since December 2001. The dollar is down 7.4 percent against the euro this year and is little changed versus the yen.

``It's incredible people have gone on so long holding dollars,'' Volcker said during a panel discussion at the event. ``At some point, you will get a situation where people have had enough,'' he said. He added that he wasn't ready to ``extend'' a previous prediction of a crisis within two and a half years.'

Iran 65



Het persbureau Agence France-Presse bericht:

'CIA analysis finds no Iranian nuclear weapons drive.

WASHINGTON - A classified draft CIA assessment has found no firm evidence of a secret drive by Iran to develop nuclear weapons, as alleged by the White House, a top US investigative reporter said on Saturday.Seymour Hersh, writing in an article for the November 27 issue of the magazine The New Yorker released in advance, reported on whether the administration of Republican President George W. Bush was more, or less, inclined to attack Iran after Democrats won control of Congress last week.A month before the November 7 legislative elections, Hersh wrote, Vice President Dick Cheney attended a national-security discussion that touched on the impact of Democratic victory in both chambers on Iran policy.“If the Democrats won on November 7th, the vice president said, that victory would not stop the administration from pursuing a military option with Iran,” Hersh wrote, citing a source familiar with the discussion.Cheney said the White House would circumvent any legislative restrictions “and thus stop Congress from getting in its way,” he said.The Democratic victory unleashed a surge of calls for the Bush administration to begin direct talks with Iran.But the administration’s planning of a military option was made ”far more complicated” in recent months by a highly classified draft assessment by the Central Intelligence Agency “challenging the White House’s assumptions about how close Iran might be to building a nuclear bomb,” he wrote.“The CIA found no conclusive evidence, as yet, of a secret Iranian nuclear-weapons program running parallel to the civilian operations that Iran has declared to the International Atomic Energy Agency,” Hersh wrote, adding the CIA had declined to comment on that story.A current senior intelligence official confirmed the existence of the CIA analysis and said the White House had been hostile to it, he wrote.Cheney and his aides had discounted the assessment, the official said.“They’re not looking for a smoking gun,” the official was quoted as saying, referring to specific intelligence about Iranian nuclear planning.“They’re looking for the degree of comfort level they think they need to accomplish the mission.”'

Lees verder: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article15674.htm

The Empire 55

Associated Press bericht:
'Democrats Aim to Repeal Tax Breaks for Big Oil.

Washington - House Democrats are targeting billions of dollars in oil company tax breaks for quick repeal next year. A broader energy proposal that would boost alternative energy sources and conservation is expected to be put off until later.
Hot-button issues such as a tax on the oil industry's windfall profits or sharp increases in automobile fuel economy probably will not gain much ground given the narrow Democratic majorities in the House and Senate.
Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in an outline of priorities over the first 100 hours of the next Congress in January, promises to begin a move toward greater energy independence "by rolling back the multibillion dollar subsidies for Big Oil."
Yet the energy plan being assembled by Pelosi's aides for the initial round of legislation is less ambitious than her pronouncement might suggest.
For the most part, the tax benefits are ones that lawmakers talked of repealing this year when Congress struggled to respond to the public outcry over soaring summer fuel prices and oil companies' huge profits.
Topping the list for repeal are:
· Tax breaks for refinery expansion and for geological studies to help oil exploration.
· A measure passed two years ago primarily to promote domestic manufacturing. It allows oil companies to take a tax credit if they chose to drill in this country instead of going abroad.
Democrats say neither tax benefit should be needed for an industry reaping large profits at today's high crude oil prices.
Over 10 years, the production tax credit saves oil companies $5 billion and the refinery measure and exploration credit a total of about $1.4 billion, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates.
Other oil tax breaks probably will go unchallenged. That includes some passed by Congress only a year ago and others already targeted for repeal this year.'

Lees verder: http://apnews.myway.com/article/20061118/D8LFLBUG0.html Of:
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/111906X.shtml