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

  • I.F. Stone

zaterdag 19 april 2008

Robuust Optreden Taliban



Bij een robuuste actie van de Taliban gisteren werden twee Nederlandse militairen gedood en twee zwaar gewond. Onder de de doden is de zoon van de Commandant der Stijdkrachten, de 23-jarige Dennis van Uhm, zijn portret ziet u hier. Door de robuuste actie met een bermbom vloog een open terreinwagen de lucht in en raakten de vier slachtoffers zwaar verminkt. Volgens de Volkskrant is de "Politiek ontzet na verlies militairen." Nederland is geschokt door de robuuste actie, zo laten de commerciele massamedia ons weten. Robuust dus. Telkens viel dat woord in het verleden zodra het om door Nederlandse militairen gedode Taliban strijders ging en soms ook door Nederlandse militairen gedode Afghaanse burgers. Waarom wordt het woord ROBUUST nu niet gebruikt? U en ik weten dat. Omdat het een misselijk makend eufemistisch woord is, gebruikt door corrupte politici en onnadenkende militairen, om zo de werkelijkheid te verhullen, om zo dapperder te lijken dan ze zijn. Misschien kunnen mijn collega journalisten degenen die dit woord gebruiken de volgende keer eens vragen wat ze precies met robuust bedoelen. Misschien een bombardement waarbij ook onschuldige mensen aan flarden worden gerukt? Zeg dat dan ook. En laat de Nederlandse politiek dan net zo ontzet zijn over de dood van Afghanen, vooral als ze onbewapende burgers zijn. Een dergelijke medeleven verwacht ik zeker van een poepchristelijke minister van Defensie die rotsvast ervan overtuigd is dat de mens door God is geschapen. Welk recht heeft Eimert van Middelkoop om voor God te spelen en mensen te laten doden, al dan niet op Gods rustdag? Vraag het onze rentmeester van God op aarde eens, beste collega's. Dat is jullie taak, daar worden jullie voor betaald. Jullie worden toch niet betaald om propaganda te bedrijven?

En nu ik toch bezig ben en mijn collega's deze vraag niet durven stellen, stel ik hem maar. Beste Eimert, de mens wikt en God beschikt. God op zijn troon in de hoge hemel, en jij hier op de verdoemde aarde. Jij beschikt nu over over leven en dood van anderen. Op welk recht baseer jij je als christen? Op welk heilig geschrift? Niet op de bijbel van de tien geboden, want daar staat expliciet dat wij en dus ook jij Eimert juist niet mogen doden. Vanwaar dus jouw hovaardij, die ijdele daden? Hoe heb jij het Goddelijke recht op het doden verkregen? Ik zag in de Volkskrant naast de portretten van de twee gesneuvelde militairen de volgende kop: "Uitbraak van bof in Bijbelbelt," het gebied waar jouw achterban woont, christenen die weigeren hun kinderen te laten vaccineren. Gods wegen zijn ondoorgrondelijk en zelden aangenaam is altijd het stille devies geweest van de orthodoxen, zoals jij. Als je aanstaande zondag de Heere prijst en God looft, daar vooraan in jouw godshuis, moet het bij nadere beschouwing toch lijken alsof de gesneuvelde militairen die uiteindelijk onder jouw bevel stonden en je achterban die jij vertegenwoordigt, ineens gestraft worden voor jouw ijdelheid, jouw hybris, de aloude Griekse hoogmoed, het recht dat jij je toegeeigend hebt om het schepsel Gods te laten doden. Vergeet niet Eimert dat jouw Augustinus nog eens heeft gewaarschuwd voor de hoogmoed: hij citeert immers uit Sirach 10:12-13, "Hoogmoed begint wanneer de mens de Heer verlaat, zijn hart zich verwijdert van hem door wie hij gemaakt is. Hoogmoed begint met zonde, wie zich daarin verliest loopt over van gruwelijkheden…" Ik zou zeggen Eimert, de zonde van het moorden, het zesde gebod: Gij zult niet doodslaan! Denk daar morgen over na, terwijl de dominee zijn preek geeft.

vrijdag 18 april 2008

The Empire 372


Zouden politici beseffen dat oorlog mensen gek maakt? Of zouden ze zelf zo gek zijn dat ze dat niet kunnen beseffen? Of domweg dat niet interessant vinden?
'300,000 Vets Have Mental Problems, 320,000 Had Brain Injuries
By Pauline Jelinek
The Associated Press

Washington - Some 300,000 U.S. troops are suffering from major depression or post traumatic stress from serving in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and 320,000 received brain injuries, a new study estimates.
Only about half have sought treatment, said the study released Thursday by the RAND Corporation.
"There is a major health crisis facing those men and women who have served our nation in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Terri Tanielian, the project's co-leader and a researcher at the nonprofit RAND.
"Unless they receive appropriate and effective care for these mental health conditions, there will be long-term consequences for them and for the nation," she said in an interview with The Associated Press.
The 500-page study is the first large-scale, private assessment of its kind - including a survey of 1,965 service members across the country, from all branches of the armed forces and including those still in the military as well veterans who have left the services.
Its results appear consistent with a number of mental health reports from within the government, though the Defense Department has not released the number of people it has diagnosed or who are being treated for mental problems. The Department of Veterans Affairs said this month that its records show about 120,000 who served in the two wars and are no longer in the military have been diagnosed with mental health problems. Of the 120,000, approximately 60,000 are suffering from PTSD, the VA said.
Veterans Affairs is responsible for care of service members after they have left the service, while the Defense Department covers active duty and reservist needs. The lack of information from the Pentagon was one motivation for the RAND study, Tanielian said.
The most prominent and detailed military study on mental health that is released is the Army's survey of soldiers at the warfront. Officials said last month that it's most recent one, done last fall, found 18.2 percent of soldiers suffered a mental health problem such as depression, anxiety or acute stress in 2007 compared with 20.5 percent the previous year.
The Rand study, completed in January, put the percentage of PTSD and depression at 18.5 percent, calculating that approximately 300,000 current and former service members were suffering from those problems at the time of its survey, which was completed in January.
The figure is based on Pentagon data showing over 1.6 million military personnel have deployed to the conflicts since the war in Afghanistan began in late 2001.
RAND researchers also found:
· About 19 percent - or some 320,000 services members - reported that they experienced a possible traumatic brain injury while deployed. In wars where blasts from roadside bombs are prevalent, the injuries can range from mild concussions to severe head wounds.
· About 7 percent reported both a probable brain injury and current PTSD or major depression.
· Only 43 percent reported ever being evaluated by a physician for their head injuries.
· Only 53 percent of service members with PTSD or depression sought help over the past year.
· They gave various reasons for not getting help, including that they worried about the side effects of medication; believe family and friends could help them with the problem, or that they feared seeking care might damage their careers.
· Rates of PTSD and major depression were highest among women and reservists.'


De Israelische Terreur 355

In the Nuseirat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip a young boy stands against a wall decorated with Hamas graffiti at the funeral of Hamas fighter, Munzir Abu Howeshl, who was killed a day earlier in an Israeli airstrike, 12 April 2008. (Wissam Nassar/MaanImages)

'No peace without Hamas
Mahmoud al-Zahar,
The Electronic Intifada,

US President Jimmy Carter's sensible plan to visit the Hamas leadership this week brings honesty and pragmatism to the Middle East while underscoring the fact that American policy has reached its dead end. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice acts as if a few alterations here and there would make the hideous straitjacket of apartheid fit better. While Rice persuades Israeli occupation forces to cut a few dozen meaningless roadblocks from among the more than 500 West Bank control points, these forces simultaneously choke off fuel supplies to Gaza; blockade its 1.5 million people; approve illegal housing projects on West Bank land; and attack Gaza City with F-16s, killing men, women and children. Sadly, this is "business as usual" for the Palestinians.Last week's attack on the Nahal Oz fuel depot should not surprise critics in the West. Palestinians are fighting a total war waged on us by a nation that mobilizes against our people with every means at its disposal -- from its high-tech military to its economic stranglehold, from its falsified history to its judiciary that "legalizes" the infrastructure of apartheid. Resistance remains our only option. Sixty-five years ago, the courageous Jews of the Warsaw ghetto rose in defense of their people. We Gazans, living in the world's largest open-air prison, can do no less.The US-Israeli alliance has sought to negate the results of the January 2006 elections, when the Palestinian people handed our party a mandate to rule. Hundreds of independent monitors, Carter among them, declared this the fairest election ever held in the Arab Middle East. Yet efforts to subvert our democratic experience include the American coup d'etat that created the new sectarian paradigm with Fatah and the continuing warfare against and enforced isolation of Gazans.Now, finally, we have the welcome tonic of Carter saying what any independent, uncorrupted thinker should conclude: that no "peace plan," "road map" or "legacy" can succeed unless we are sitting at the negotiating table and without any preconditions.Israel's escalation of violence since the staged Annapolis "peace conference" in November has been consistent with its policy of illegal, often deadly collective punishment -- in violation of international conventions. Israeli military strikes on Gaza have killed hundreds of Palestinians since then with unwavering White House approval; in 2007 alone the ratio of Palestinians to Israelis killed was 40 to 1, up from 4 to 1 during the period from 2000 to 2005.Only three months ago I buried my son Hussam, who studied finance at college and wanted to be an accountant; he was killed by an Israeli air strike. In 2003, I buried Khaled -- my first-born -- after an Israeli F-16 targeting me wounded my daughter and my wife and flattened the apartment building where we lived, injuring and killing many of our neighbors. Last year, my son-in-law was killed.'

donderdag 17 april 2008

I Shot JFK


Ik heb net bijna twee uur lang gekeken naar de documentaire I shot JFK, naar aanleiding van deze email:


'Wil jij hier eens naar kijken:


Mvg
Wim Dankbaar'


Zeer de moeite waard. Kijkt u er eens naar.

dinsdag 15 april 2008

De Israelische Terreur 354

Palestinians watch an Israeli excavator destroying a Palestinian house in a village in the West Bank. Photograph: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty images

'Area C strikes fear into the heart of Palestinians as homes are destroyed
Israelis defend rules that reject 94% of non-Jewish building applications
In the end it came down to a single-page letter, written in Hebrew and Arabic and hand-delivered by an Israeli army officer who knocked at the front door. The letter spelt the imminent destruction of the whitewashed three-storey home and small, tree-lined garden that Bassam Suleiman spent so long saving for and then built with his family a decade ago.
It was a final demolition order, with instructions to evacuate the house within three days.
If Suleiman was in any doubt about the Israeli military's intentions he had only to look outside his back door where large piles of rubble and broken concrete mark the remains of the seven of his neighbours' houses that were demolished in the same way last year.
"How would you feel when you've spent 20 years finishing your life's project?" said Suleiman, 38, a teacher. He began moving his furniture out after the letter, from the civil administration of Judea and Samaria, the defence ministry department responsible for the Israeli-occupied West Bank, came on January 31. Now there are just a couple of plastic chairs in his front room and in the hallway the carpets are rolled up and ready to be moved. Clothes are piled on the floor and the shelves are empty, save for a stack of documents charting the story of the impending demolition. His brother, Husam, has already left the ground floor flat but the new washing machine and fridge stand still wrapped in plastic. Suleiman, his wife and two children wait for the bulldozers.
"Everything I did in my life was for what's now inside this house and now it's going to be destroyed," said Suleiman. "It's very hard for me to find somewhere else to live."
The Israeli authorities argue that Suleiman's house was built in a part of the West Bank known as area C, a designation from the era of the Oslo Accords which means Israel has full military and administrative control. In order to build, a Palestinian must apply for a permit from the Israeli authorities. If there is no permit - as in Suleiman's case - the building is liable for demolition.
Illegal
Area C covers 60% of the West Bank, home to around 70,000 Palestinians. It is also the area in which most Jewish settlements, all illegal under international law, are built. Compelling statistical evidence shows that while it is extremely hard for Palestinians to obtain building permits, settlements continue to grow rapidly.
Research by the Israeli group Peace Now found that 94% of Palestinian permit applications for Area C building were refused between 2000 and September 2007. Only 91 permits were granted to Palestinians, but 18,472 housing units were built in Jewish settlements. As a result of demolition orders 1,663 Palestinian buildings were demolished, against only 199 in the settlements. "The denial of permits for Palestinians on such a large scale raises the fear that there is a specific policy by the authorities to encourage a 'silent transfer' of the Palestinian population from area C," Peace Now said.'

Howard Zinn 14


New Voices performance, May 5, in Portland, Oregon, with Viggo Mortensen and others

New book from Howard Zinn: A People's History of American Empire

Animated video of People's History of American Empire (voiceover by Viggo Mortensen)

Four recent Howard Zinn articles

An important new non-profit launched to promote Voices of a People's History

Voices of a People's History now on Facebook

Video trailer for The People Speak is now available!

Four Upcoming Howard Zinn Appearances


New Voices performance, May 5, in Portland, Oregon, with Viggo Mortensen and others
Monday, May 5, 2008, at 7:30 pmPortland, OregonFirst Congregational Churchhttp://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001ilKZzXE7vuQfG_e7YZKJo9FIsg1a0YHr_IzLKfZOzMxXQgqARnaW_SPBV86KLiiRp9dyrZZpJnibbkk-K-LvJmowZL6QCT8qp9Ep_9ZAio8O88eYB76j4A==1126 SW Park, Portland, OR
Featuring readings by Viggo Mortensen, performance poet Staceyann Chin, war resister Camilo Mejía, singer Shontina Vernon, Portland student activist Sarah Levy, editor and author Anthony Arnove, and other fine actors and activists.
Voices of a People's History of the United States, edited by Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove, is the long-awaited primary-source companion to Howard Zinn's best-selling A People's History of the United States. It features the words of rebels, dissenters and visionaries from our past -- and present.
The performance is sponsored by the Illahee Lecture Series and is a benefit for Voices of a People's History of the United States, a 501c3 created to encourage civic engagement and to further history education by bringing the rich stories of dissent and activism in the United States to life through public readings. (More info at http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001ilKZzXE7vuRvTyjDoaEsyn4gSpVRnIk0l-UaZmONbYRle2WxHAK1Vi7VP6HbCTYHj0nlX1fvCdBG3sr8k6LBDpm-el2V3ldO0zUT_6hRzx9m6xoCA3DHAw==.)
For more information, contact Illahee:Box office phone: 503-222-2719email: info@illahee.orgweb: http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001ilKZzXE7vuQVWFnAMjXXvSR6unGByb6bvmnbWDLr6lzsSC7YM6V1IJE-4_NZ9PtIV5NQwliMSkf66KihZE2ATs025QxRo7AwVII2CZX9E4LHw2BR-ZwPjns3aT68qwQoTickets: $20, $10 for students
New book from Howard Zinn: A People's History of American EmpireA People's History of American EmpireBy Howard Zinn, Paul Buhle, Mike KonopackiAdapted from the bestselling grassroots history of the United States, the story of America in the world, told in comics form.http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001ilKZzXE7vuThOFVfbiVgGzNt8_r1D8DLN7puZjf3OlSEEE-C2oRo1d3INTl6jb4N0oFZ0SeSDfGY3axFAd5lViCgYgFcwXJWIDW0UwW2oU5TcS_TSHmckVmx_adhN6lZDSJRuK67PK3lAck6MhKuQXRPj2Bhk5EYSince its landmark publication in 1980, A People's History of the United States has had six new editions, sold more than 1.7 million copies, become required classroom reading throughout the country, and been turned into an acclaimed play. More than a successful book, A People's History triggered a revolution in the way history is told, displacing the official versions with their emphasis on great men in high places to chronicle events as they were lived, from the bottom up.Now Howard Zinn, historian Paul Buhle, and cartoonist Mike Konopacki have collaborated to retell, in vibrant comics form, a most immediate and relevant chapter of A People's History: the centuries-long story of America's actions in the world. Narrated by Zinn, this version opens with the events of 9/11 and then jumps back to explore the cycles of U.S. expansionism from Wounded Knee to Iraq, stopping along the way at World War I, Central America, Vietnam, and the Iranian revolution. The book also follows the story of Zinn, the son of poor Jewish immigrants, from his childhood in the Brooklyn slums to his role as one of America's leading historians.Shifting from world-shattering events to one family's small revolutions, A People's History of American Empire presents the classic ground-level history of America in a dazzling new form."At the heart of this wide-ranging comics indictment of American Empire are the terrific human stories of those who have resisted -- including wonderful autobiographical episodes from author Howard Zinn's own courageous and inspiring life."--Joe Sacco, author of Safe Area GorazdeSee the Boston Globe review:"No ordinary comic book"March 27, 2008http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001ilKZzXE7vuQUFQ7Pww33wH8ZeISXW3mXXrEbqnwx40bja4vFOAth5ye8jxWrjExJX6eOye0qIrdIFUpetc-TV7tqVQo2TOdyFZKvgPYUcQOZ8EaeABQXtKdqirRxF1L5IkRn4cu2Xb1sHX2Z6EpcEeZ-SDUlcFBh2iYMFlkIBDoTTlrAjPgY3qmFHdMVJ4CK7xCWtCqbgLk=Author Biographies:Howard Zinn, author of numerous acclaimed histories, taught history at Spelman College and Boston University, and has received the Lannan Literary Award, among many others. A People's History of the United States was a finalist for the 1980 National Book Award. He lives in Massachusetts.Mike Konopacki has collaborated on five collections of cartoons, and his work is regularly syndicated. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.Paul Buhle is a senior lecturer in history at Brown University and the editor of the Encyclopedia of the American Left, among other books. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
Animated video of People's History of American Empire (voiceover by Viggo Mortensen)
Watch "Empire or Humanity? What the Classroom Didn't Teach Me about the American Empire," an animated video, based on Howard Zinn's new cartoon book, A People's History of American Empire, with voiceover by Viggo Mortensen:http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001ilKZzXE7vuRO5rmthYpdrdA1sh7vbUhsdKWqzbefgRaPefrBo8x6nd8eswKdczF18GY4GVhja0Gx1MwwHkc8ZMcBdIak71xdP9jt5giO4GZsObxsX_5jIB21Rtbti8huAt this link you can also view "Growing Up Class-Conscious," an autobiographical section of A People's History of American Empire.Note that the video "Empire or Humanity?" is based on an essay of the same name by Howard Zinn, also available at tomdispatch.com:Empire or Humanity?What the Classroom Didn't Teach Me About the American EmpireBy Howard Zinnhttp://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001ilKZzXE7vuS9Ruf8-T1TLX4neYXLLiDJLbw8N5a9LtSKvGYgwlF2nxZD8fRXBaBBncZo8s2eZjmDGM1loFi95My3cH70S8G34BOtW_-AKX4_UWufVc5hvR2ogp9jVDpkmBZCKz68pnDrNMMIIvSpc8UCOHd7W9j0ArxPMbn5I6I=And do sign up for our friend Tom Engelhardt's invaluable list at http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001ilKZzXE7vuSksj2Hw4vtiLorB1v1bHt3C2-JUBFDNXjcoQq_WX0EqJsKVEmJZF5ts-koP2eFujTjgJI-LecdGBniax1UyXKw2B5nu9TBb3YR15G3AIzcKg==
Four recent Howard Zinn articles
Four recent Howard Zinn articles "Beyond the New Deal"The NationApril 7, 2008http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001ilKZzXE7vuQ4gb-06TOmlE3oC3pkY2tnDwXujHJ-yoJe5PzELAH1plngCZR9CRKU7FiCAh0tDW3YKaMOv2E4JRf_VqWx8Dl4SgIab8Dw7TFzqNfZTajmKCsPff2YWqMB8YrikR1NLuje4D4DZic8eA=="Empire or Humanity? What the Classroom Didn't Teach Me About the American Empire"Tomdispatch.comApril 1, 2008http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001ilKZzXE7vuRO7V6CTFPlKrGY7-axAogquQLa02jN2OZryJ844bQ9oRWhwWJ81Yi41uPlYqKG79eHe9rM63GVkCmEJ76WPTKQU4J96GRDIwcNp46nhwa6UGVKtdmINuvMT4iB6LUTGC8="Locura electoral"La Jornada (Mexico)March 9, 2008http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001ilKZzXE7vuRhFNyS6kO5pgMA-n2RHcr-votIrLRGSqf_K--drDlRjOv87HqAW8eESw1TVPuTLQ2GNSGdhvs4chiBfKTP0Tc7ZH9g997jWXy_etZqlOXuOlCTJa4dSU7m2_-GEqUGRzAcbNBb09zr7cB2BZyT8HThD1MhTnKRHm6tPhhp-xTAmELRo4gxIiiBlaEC1jE10aMi6Ek9o9vFdg=="Election Madness"The ProgressiveMarch 2008http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001ilKZzXE7vuSQrdoXsEGTvBD4qEFzs_aoJ4wAncnuwkDZizf9vZ_WzB9lDSH_TDiitLrg6Ke6mmN_-OL_3loxX7Y8-O5aKQ8i4FcVnh9QTlh371viUs5O128bKrdQwXqs4qIupTSo7h4=
An important new non-profit launched to promote Voices of a People's History
A new nonprofit -- Voices of a People's History of the United States -- has been launched and awarded a $50,000 challenge grant from the Lannan Foundation! (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001ilKZzXE7vuQryctBkmFd-XGACZVUqJec9yQIITuG_8yqIQpc4WPPBwNLVMojfzv2klLUzLE3GIWcpPiNN7b_YGnldphBZ0RZb2UUoAhrBmSBL5nX9Itsyw==)
After three and a half years touring the country with dramatic readings and special performances from the book Voices of a People's History of the United States, we've launched a new non-profit organization of the same name to carry on the work in a systematic way and to raise funds to bring this inspiring work to every school, town hall, community theater, and public space in the country.
Howard Zinn is on the board of directors of Voices of a People's History of the United States and there's a Teachers Advisory Board of public high school and college teachers to help guide the programs. Other advisory board members include civil rights leader Julian Bond and artists such as writers John Berger and Arundhati Roy, film directors Paul Haggis and John Sayles, actors Mark Ruffalo and Marisa Tomei, and South African poet Dennis Brutus.
Any donation to Voices is tax-deductible and will be matched one to one by a generous donor who has given us our first challenge grant.
We are also looking for in-kind donations and pro bono support in launching our web site and creating an infrastructure for the organization. Laptops anyone? Low-rent office space in New York? Top flight graphic design or web hosting? Let us know!
The goal of Voices of a People's History of the United States is to encourage civic engagement and to further history education by bringing the rich stories of dissent and activism in the United States to life through public readings of primary-source materials -- letters, poems, speeches, songs, courtroom arguments.
Voices seeks to make known the great range of voices from U.S. history, including those of women, African Americans, immigrants, and laborers, and in doing so, to educate contemporary audiences about the role of ordinary citizens in shaping our nation's story. Voices works to remind people of the eloquence of ordinary people, as well as extraordinary and well-known figures from our history.
By involving celebrated actors and public figures in readings, we hope to inspire audiences to delve more deeply into historical texts and also to see history as a lively, relevant, and contemporary subject, not just a matter of books sitting on the library shelf.
But rather than rely on professional actors alone, Voices also arranges for readings combining actors with students and activists to engage at all levels of the dramatic and educational process, from selecting texts, to interpreting them, to adding new voices to the performances.
In doing all of this, Voices hopes to help develop a truly participatory citizenry.
Checks can be made payable to "Voices of a People's History of the United States" or "VPHUS" and sent to:
Voices of a People's History of the United States130 West 25th StreetRoom 12ANew York NY 10001-7472 Inquiries about Voices can be faxed to 212-366-6868, mailed to the address above, or e-mailed to peopleshistory[at]mac[dot]com.

Voices of a People's History now on FacebookBe our friend at: http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001ilKZzXE7vuRkiFPfEWoAKXQhJehLuN30KBjvod4BJI4XsyRvMoo6inQWxQKapsSqmtTusYydRmypC4G6gtxHB6dGZAaJarfNAWz23L43KWchwRRF51i3BlBzWo0z-tsaL9LiEXzBREd-FgKw4bomhUHlrFBk42XT6-5Dx9p-570=
Video trailer for The People Speak is now available! Click on the following link:
http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001ilKZzXE7vuRiJpHRnGNMmjnQd6qSMDgy5o7_Iup4_fnvUHP9hGccnBtiZ-_fpRq1ohciHiFbBaWsHazO4IjsaoXk9BCGqAJvQlaN65hQemPNr3jBCNwVxBbcZWx1M48Idk9ydAoXtBL9NianZ40S4A==

Voedsel

'World Bank President Proposes “New Deal” for Food Aid

World Bank President Robert Zoellick said he supports greater reliance on cash or vouchers instead of commodity aid as part of a "New Deal" for global food policy. He made the comments during a speech he delivered Wednesday at the Hilton hotel in Washington, D.C.
Speaking a week before the International Monetary Fund and World Bank spring meetings in Washington, Zoellick also urged the United States, European Union, Japan, and other industrialized nations to supply the $500 million in additional food supplies that the United Nations World Food Programme has desperately requested. In urban areas across the developing world, rapidly growing food prices and demand are creating "a perfect storm" of hunger and desperation, according to the agency.
"The World Bank Group estimates that 33 countries around the world face potential social unrest because of the acute hike in food and energy prices," Zoellick said. "The realities of demography, changing diets, energy prices and biofuels, and climate changes suggest that high-and volatile-food prices will be with us for years to come."
Staple food costs have risen by as much as 80 percent since 2005. Rice last month hit a 19-year high, and the real price of wheat was at a 28-year high, Zoellick said. Riots are already breaking out in Egypt, Côte d'Ivoire, and elsewhere.
Internationally, the punishing food prices are a result of the growing demand for meat and dairy in China and India, and the preference for wheat rather than rice or maize among the emerging urban middle classes of many developing countries. Rising oil prices are encouraging biofuel production on valuable farmlands. Climate change has triggered local and regional drought, especially on Australia's wheat fields, as well as extreme floods. The depreciating dollar is also hurting efforts by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to deliver food and other aid.
Many economists agree that one solution lies in granting poorer nations income support in the form of cash or vouchers to help purchase local commodities, rather than flooding developing world food markets with international food. In his speech, Zoellick noted that, "a shift from traditional food aid to a broader concept of food and nutrition assistance must be part of this New Deal." He advocated customizing financial support based on local needs, and perhaps supporting national feeding programs or public works development in exchange for food.'


De Israelische Terreur 353

'Profile: Child Detainee Report

To mark the occasion of Palestinian Prisoner’s Day on 17 April, DCI/PS will be launching its report on Palestinian Child Prisoners held in Israeli detention. The report focuses on 2007 figures and trends, and will be available both online and in hard copy from 17 April 2008.

In 2007, some 700 Palestinian children (under 18) were arrested by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank. Of these, around 30 children were held in administrative detention – imprisonment without charge or trial. As in previous years the overwhelming majority of those arrested were boys (98.9%). Of the three girls imprisoned during the course of the year, one was subsequently released in February 2008, but another girl was arrested in the same month. Therefore, the number of girls currently detained by Israel remains three.
At any given point during 2007, there were 310-416 Palestinian children held in Israeli prisons and detention centres in Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territory. These figures are similar to those for 2006 (340-420). As of 31 March, there were 324 Palestinian children held in Israeli prisons and detention/interrogation centres, and 13 held under administrative detention orders (10 more than at the end of February).
The number of children arrested in 2007 and the first three months of 2008, brings the total number of Palestinian children arrested by Israeli forces since the beginning of the second Intifada (September 2000) to over 6,000.
Palestinian child prisoners routinely face violations of their human rights during arrest, interrogation and imprisonment. They are exposed to physical and psychological abuse, amounting to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and sometimes torture. The vast majority of them are denied prompt access to a lawyer and often denied contact with their families and the outside world.
Children in detention routinely face substandard, often inhumane conditions of detention and are frequently denied access to adequate medical care and suitable education services.
Recommendations
1. Israel should immediately raise the age of adulthood contained in the Military Courts from 16 to 18, as is the case under Israeli domestic legislation.
2. Israel should immediately ensure its compliance with the UN Convention against Torture and thoroughly investigate all allegations of abuse of Palestinian detainees and bring those responsible for such abuse to justice.
Addameer, DCI/PS and Health Work Committees will hold a press conference in Ramallah for Palestinian Prisoners Day.'


De Commerciele Massamedia 119

'MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

MEDIA ALERT: EXTRA ZERO

An Exchange With The Independent’s John Rentoul


In the wake of the July 7, 2005 London bombings, the Independent’s John Rentoul commented:

“A Muslim friend of mine in the East End of London says that the sense of victimisation and injustice goes so deep among his fellow religionists that he sometimes despairs. 'This all goes back to the burning of The Satanic Verses,' he says. It was in 1988 that we should have realised that we were up against a culture - he doesn't like the term 'Muslim community' - that tended to irrationalism and self-pity. Salman Rushdie did not create that culture, but he provided a focus for it and fed its sense of grievance.

“The Iraq issue serves much the same purpose today.” (Rentoul, 'Islam, blood and grievance,' The Independent, July 24, 2005)

According to Rentoul, then, the invasion of Iraq and the mass slaughter that followed was feeding irrational self-pity in Muslims. He added:

“The worst succour that the anti-war left in Britain can give to the terrorists, however, is to entertain the idea that there is a moral equivalence between the deliberate killing of civilians and the casualties of military action in Iraq. Of course, people who think the war was unjustified feel passionately about civilian deaths. But let us get two things straight. First, even Iraq Body Count, an anti-war campaign, puts the total attributable to coalition forces at under 10,000, rather than the figure with an extra zero that is the common misconception of anti-war propaganda. And second, the purpose of the invasion of Iraq, whatever you think of George Bush's motives, was not to kill civilians.”

Noam Chomsky commented on the recurring theme of “moral equivalence” in a rare BBC interview:

"The term moral equivalence is an interesting one. It was invented, I think, by Jeane Kirkpatrick [former US ambassador to the United Nations] as a method of trying to prevent criticism of foreign policy and state decisions. It is a meaningless notion, there is no moral equivalence whatsoever." (BBC Newsnight interview with Chomsky, May 21, 2004; http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/3732345.stm)

Rentoul’s “extra zero that is the common misconception of anti-war propaganda” had of course been provided by the 2004 Lancet study of mortality in Iraq, which estimated that 100,000 more Iraqis had died since the March 2003 invasion than would have been expected had the invasion not occurred. We were to believe that the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School, Columbia University, Baghdad's Al-Mustansiriya University, and The Lancet (and its peer-reviewers) - the organisations behind the 2004 study - were all anti-war propagandists.

It is easy to understand why Rentoul would be so perturbed, now, by the suggestion that an additional “extra zero” should be added to the 100,000 figure - because it is now likely that one million Iraqis have died as a result of the war.'

maandag 14 april 2008

De Nieuwe Reporter 2


De Nieuwe Reporter omschreef Carl Bernstein als volgt:
'Overal waar hij verscheen, vielen de mensen in bewondering aan de voeten van de halfgod van de journalistiek. Halfgod, omdat hij de eer moet delen met die andere grootheid: Bob Woodward.'
Mooi zo, en wat zei de halfgod: 'En dus herhaalde de goeroe het nog maar eens: “The best obtainable version of the truth”! Daar moet een journalist aan werken. “Dat is altijd de standaard geweest in de journalistiek en ik hoop dat het ook zo zal blijven, ook op internet.”'

Toemaar, het kan niet op. Daarom ter ontnuchtering de realiteit zoals ik die waarneem:
Al in de jaren twintig van de vorige eeuw had de befaamde Amerikaanse columnist Walter Lippmann geschreven dat journalisten als ‘gespecialiseerde klasse’ de taak hebben om de ‘gemeenschappelijke belangen… die voor het overgrote deel de publieke opinie ontgaan’ zo te presenteren dat ze door de massa aanvaard werden, waarbij natuurlijk de ‘gemeenschappelijke belangen’ vooral de rijken dienden. Met andere woorden: de media moesten de visie van de machtigen propageren. De toonaangevende Lippmann, een fervent adept van de imperialistische presidenten Theodore Roosevelt en Woodrow Wilson, was uiterst sceptisch over de mogelijkheid van een ware democratie in een complexe moderne samenleving. Het gewone volk kon zijn eigen belangen niet zomaar gaan formuleren, want dan zou het een chaos worden. ‘Het publiek moet zijn plaats weten,’ zodat ‘verantwoordelijke mensen… niet gestoord door het gestamp en het gebrul van een verbijsterde kudde’ hun beleid kunnen bepalen. De enige ‘functie’ in een democratische samenleving van ‘onwetende en bemoeizuchtige buitenstaanders’ was die van ‘geïnteresseerde toeschouwers.’ Zij mochten tijdens verkiezingen hun stem geven aan - door coöptatie gekozen – beleidsbepalers en verder niets. Om dit proces mogelijk te maken moest de pers worden gebruikt. Zij was verantwoordelijk voor ‘het fabriceren van consensus… een zelfbewuste vaardigheid en standaard instrument van een regeringen die namens het volk besturen.’ Keer op keer onderstreepte Lippmann het belang dat journalisten de juiste ‘reflexen’ ontwikkelden en voldoende ‘geconditioneerd’ zouden worden waardoor ‘de aandacht van de media natuurlijk voor een belangrijk deel gestuurd’ kon worden ‘door de politieke machten.’ Hij besefte de propagandistische waarde van een gecontroleerde pers, die er diep van doordrongen is dat ze ‘moet… kiezen.’ Als lid van Wilson’s Commissie voor Publieke Informatie, speciaal in het leven geroepen om de oorlogspropaganda te coördineren, was hij erin geslaagd de sentimenten zo te bespelen dat de Amerikaanse bevolking deelname aan de Eerste Wereldoorlog uiteindelijk accepteerde. Maar niet alleen Lippmann, die onder president Wilson als assistent van de minister van Oorlog diende, was zo negatief over de wenselijkheid van een echte democratie. Het was de heersende opvatting in brede kringen van de Amerikaanse elite. Zo verklaarde Robert Lansing, minister van Buitenlandse Zaken onder president Wilson, dat de grote massa van de bevolking ‘onwetend en geestelijk onvolwaardig’ was en dus via de pers in de juiste richting gemanipuleerd moest worden. En ook Reinhold Niebuhr, hoogleraar Praktische Theologie uit New York, de ‘officiële theoloog van het establishment,’ waarschuwde voor ‘de domheid van de gemiddelde mens… het proletariaat,’ die niet de rede volgde maar het geloof en daarom door de media gevoed moest worden met ‘emotioneel krachtige oversimplificaties,’ die dienden om de ‘noodzakelijke illusie,’ in stand te houden. De illusie dat de VS een echte democratie was, waarbij iedere burger in alle vrijheid de politieke koers van zijn land bepaalt. Volgens deze vooraanstaande adviseur van degenen die ‘de verantwoordelijkheden van de macht onder ogen zien,’ moest dit een ‘noodzakelijke illusie’ blijven, wilde tenminste de economische en politieke elite ongestoord haar werk kunnen doen, wat in de praktijk neerkwam op het uitbuiten en onderdrukken van het ‘proletariaat’ dat wereldwijd ‘onwetend en geestelijk onvolwaardig’ was. Het volk moest door de media gedisciplineerd worden en gedirigeerd, anders zou de Westerse beschaving ten onder gaan, zo vreesde Niebuhr. Het resultaat van deze strategie is niet uitgebleven, want ondanks of beter nog dankzij de overvloed aan massamedia is de constatering van de Britse auteur John Berger correct dat ‘er grote delen van de… arbeiders en middenklasse bestaan die zich niet helder kunnen uitdrukken als gevolg van de grootscheepse culturele deprivatie. De middelen om datgene wat ze weten te vertalen in gedachten is hen ontnomen… Ze bezitten geen voorbeelden die ze kunnen volgen, waarbij woorden ervaringen duidelijk maken.’ Een avondje televisie kijken en men weet wat Berger bedoeld. ‘Wat kan er, uitgezonderd halve waarheden, grove simplificaties of onbenulligheden, overgebracht worden aan dat halfgeletterde massale gehoor, dat… overal de voorstelling mag bijwonen?’ zo schreef de hoogleraar George Steiner, die aan Yale en Oxford doceerde. Op zijn beurt noemt de auteur Milan Kundera journalisten ‘termieten van de reductie,’ die ‘over de hele wereld dezelfde simplificaties en clichés uit[strooien], waarvan mag worden verwacht dat ze door de meerderheid zullen worden aanvaard, door allen, door de hele mensheid.’ Iedereen die deze consensus verbreekt, iedereen die weigert de rol van propagandist te spelen, vormt per definitie een bedreiging en moet dan ook met alle wapens bestreden worden.
Zo, na al die praatjes van een 'goeroe' staan we nu weer met beide benen op de grond. Theo Dersjant schreef het verhaal en mijn advies aan hem is: daal af naar de aarde, en interview volgende keer kritisch! Wat zou er nu toch nieuw zijn aan De Nieuwe Reporter? Dat ze indirect door de overheid worden gesubsidieerd?

zondag 13 april 2008

Irak 248

'A US war at the polls
By Ali Gharib

WASHINGTON - With the head of the occupying forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus, and US ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker delivering a progress report to the US Congress this week, Iraq has been thrust back into the US public consciousness, along with all the political divisions the issue engenders.

What the George W Bush administration hails as a "success" has indeed yielded a marked drop in violence, with civilian deaths down by half. However, the US occupation's larger counter-insurgency strategy - often identified as the "surge" but going well beyond the escalated troops numbers that refers to - fails to
address the very Iraqi political reconciliation it is meant to bring about, many observers say.

The myth of the "calm" - a scant 600 innocent lives ended violently in a month - in Iraq was shattered two weeks ago when an intra-Shi'ite power struggle turned bloody, exposing Bush's strategy as a mere band-aid covering up the festering wounds of Iraqi societal strife.

"That's essentially where we are right now. Violence is down on the surface, but a lot is boiling underneath," Michael Ware, a correspondent for CNN who reports extensively from inside Iraq, said at a forum on Iraq at the Center for American Progress last week.

While Bush claims that his Iraq policy is not beholden to public opinion polls in the US, it is increasingly difficult to view the respective aspects of the US strategy as doing anything more than reducing violence now to quell domestic dissent against the war at the cost of deferring further strife until a new administration takes power in Washington next January - giving Bush political cover to disown more widespread fighting that could destabilize what little order has been imposed since the aftermath of Iraq's invasion in 2003.

The recent violence, when Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered Iraqi troops to confront factions of anti-US Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al Sadr's Mahdi Army militia with US air support, in fact reveals further divides and puts on ready display the dissolution of what was a delicately and loosely unified Shi'ite political bloc.

While the control of the so-called "special groups" of the Mahdi Army assaulted by the national government are considered by Petraeus and the administration to be rogue, criminal elements of the cleric's militia, the large-scale operations are a sign of factionalized Shi'ite infighting between Maliki and Muqtada - evidenced by the fact that negotiations, through the Iranians, between Muqtada and envoys of the two ruling-coalition Shi'ite parties, including Maliki's Da'wa party, finally brought the hostilities to an end.

But Shi'ite power struggles are the lesser of the buried sectarian tensions that loom large over the future of a peaceful Iraq. Head-butting persists between the ruling majority Shi'ite sect and Sunni groups being brought into the fold by the US Army, which are perhaps the most delicate arrangements of the surge strategy - and amongst the most important in reducing the levels of violence.'

Lees verder: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JD12Ak05.html

Irak 247




'Who stole Iraq's pricelesss treasures?
Five years ago, as the tanks rolled in, history's most priceless treasures vanished from Iraq. What really happened still confounds world experts. Now, for the first time, Britain's leading authority on Iraq archeology and a witness to the devastation, delivers his verdict
John Curtis
Five years ago, the world stood by while the Iraq Museum in Baghdad was sacked and looted. And it still beggars belief. It was abundantly clear before the invasion that the cost of removing Saddam was going to be very high, but few people could have predicted how high the price would be in terms of deaths and the country’s cultural heritage.
I certainly wasn’t prepared for the newspaper headlines that screamed “Iraq Museum Looted” when Neil MacGregor, the director of the British Museum, and I arrived back at Heathrow from a trip to Tehran on April 13, 2003. I had been a regular visitor to Iraq since 1970, and during the 1980s had directed archeological excavations at eight different sites in the north of the country. During this time, I had formed many close friendships and come to have a deep love for this fascinating, welcoming but troubled country. Like many people, I was bitterly opposed to the war, but this was chiefly on humanitarian grounds. It had not occurred to me that the coalition forces would be so careless with cultural heritage that they would not even bother to post a guard at the museum after their tanks had penetrated the heart of Baghdad. To hear that the museum had been looted, therefore, was deeply shocking.
The source of my dismay is evident: as an archeologist and historian, I’m aware of what is at stake. But why should anyone else care? Iraq is rightly referred to as the cradle of civilisation. It is where writing was invented, the first cities appeared, and Mesopotamia – the land between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates – was home to Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians. The Iraq Museum was one of the richest museums in the Middle East, if not the world, and housed a magnificent collection of treasures from ancient Mesopotamia. Others around the world shared my sense of outrage, so it was only natural that a press conference at the British Museum that had been arranged long before, to mark the museum’s 250th birthday on April 15, should be completely taken over by the Iraq Museum crisis. Tessa Jowell, then secretary of state for culture, struggled to answer the probing questions about why such a disaster could have been allowed to happen. But neither she nor anybody else had any answers. More significantly, as the conference was breaking up, Channel 4 News managed to set up a satellite phone link in Baghdad to my old friend Donny George, the director of research at the Iraq Department of Antiquities, and I was able to speak with him directly. I was the first person outside Iraq he had been able to speak to.'