zaterdag 17 juni 2006

De Oorlogsstaat 67

De Amerikaanse historicus Gabriel Kolko schrijft in CounterPunch: '"The Demons of Greed are Loose."
Why a Global Economic Deluge Looms

People who know the most about the world financial system are increasingly worried, and for very good reasons. Dire warnings are coming from the most "respectable" sources. Reality has gotten out of hand. The demons of greed are loose.
What is that reality? It includes a number of factors. Alone they would be exceedingly serious; combined, they are very likely to be lethal.
First of all, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been undergoing both a structural and intellectual crisis. Structurally, its outstanding credit and loans have declined dramatically since 2003, from over $70 billion to a little over $20 billion today, leaving it with far less leverage over the economic policies of developing nations--and even less income than its expensive operations require. It is now in deficit.1
A large part of the IMF's problems are due to the doubling in world prices for all commodities since 2003 -- especially petroleum, copper, silver, zinc, nickel, and the like -- that the developing nations traditionally export. While there will be fluctuations in this upsurge, there is also reason to think it may endure because rapid economic growth in China, India, and elsewhere has created a burgeoning demand that did not exist before, when the balance-of-trade systematically favored the rich nations.
The U.S. has seen its net foreign asset position fall as Japan, emerging Asia, and oil exporting nations have become far more powerful over the past decade, and have increasingly become creditors to the U.S.2 As the U.S. deficits mount, with its imports being far greater than its exports, the value of the dollar has been declining -- 28 per cent against the euro from 2001 to 2005 alone.
Equally important, the IMF and World Bank were severely chastened by the 1997-2000 financial meltdowns in East Asia, Russia, and elsewhere, and many of the two institutions' key leaders lost faith in the anarchic premises, descended from classical laisser-faire economic thought, which guided policy advice until then. "{O]ur knowledge of economic growth is extremely incomplete," many in the IMF now admit, and "more humility" on its part is now warranted.3
Worse yet, the whole nature of the global financial system has changed radically in ways that have nothing whatsoever to do with "virtuous" national economic policies that follow IMF advic. These are ways the IMF cannot control. The investment managers of private equity funds and major banks have displaced national banks and international bodies such as the IMF, moving well beyond the existing regulatory structures and they have "reintermediated" themselves between the traditional borrowers, both national and individual, and markets. They have deregulated the world financial structure, making it far more unpredictable and susceptible to crises. They seek to generate high investment returns, which is the key to their compensation, and they take mounting risks to do so. Lees verder:

De Israelische Terreur 32

Inter Press Service bericht: 'Caterpillar Pressured Over "Weaponised Bulldozers."

WASHINGTON - The parents of a U.S. peace activist who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer built by the global machinery giant Caterpillar confronted the company Wednesday for the first time and urged shareholders at its annual meeting to end sales of "weaponised bulldozers to Israel".
Cindy and Craig Corrie, parents of the late Rachel Corrie, attended the meeting as proxy voters on behalf of Jewish and Christian institutional investors who have filed a resolution asking for greater corporate accountability from Caterpillar. Activists supporting the parents who lost their daughter in 2003 say that the company sells machinery to the Israeli army in violation of its corporate accountability pledge and knowing full well that the equipment will be used for the destruction of Palestinian homes and farms. "We are part of a growing movement for corporate responsibility in the United States," said Matt Gaines of the STOP CAT campaign in a telephone interview from outside the shareholders' meeting in Chicago. "Getting the U.S. government to take action on this issue has been very, very difficult, even though we are still working on it. But we are taking it directly to the corporations involved that are sponsoring, aiding or abetting war crimes," he said. Caterpillar has become the poster child for U.S. companies that are being targeted in divestment drives for their role in human rights abuses by the Israeli army in occupied Palestinian land. It has said in the past that it bears no responsibility for how its products are used by clients. Spokespersons from the company were not immediately available for comment on Wednesday. Rachel Corrie was killed in the town of Rafah while she and other members of the International Solidarity Movement were trying to stop the demolition of a Palestinian house in the Gaza Strip on Mar. 16, 2003.

Caterpillar, Inc. built the nine-tonne bulldozer that ran over Corrie, a 23-year-old college student from Olympia in Washington State. Her death made international headlines and triggered widespread condemnation. Israeli courts have yet to prosecute anyone for the incident.' Lees verder:

vrijdag 16 juni 2006

De Oorlogsstaat 66

De neoliberale ideologie kost veel geld door oorlogen, belastingvoordelen voor de rijken en bezuinigingen op onderwijs, volkshuisvesting en gezondheidszorg. De Washington Post bericht: 'Crisis Seen in Nation's ER Care
Capacity, expertise are found lacking.

Emergency medical care in the United States is on the verge of collapse, with the nation's declining number of emergency rooms dangerously overcrowded and often unable to provide the expertise needed to treat seriously ill people in a safe and efficient manner.
That's the grim conclusion of three reports released yesterday by the Institute of Medicine, the product of an extensive two-year look at emergency care.
Long waits for treatment are epidemic, the reports said, with ambulances sometimes idling for hours to unload patients. Once in the ER, patients sometimes wait up to two days to be admitted to a hospital bed.
As a system, US emergency care lacks stability and the capacity to respond to large disasters or epidemics, according to the 25 experts who conducted the study. It provides care of variable and often unknown quality and depends on the willingness of doctors and hospitals to lose large amounts of money.
Fixing the problems is likely to cost billions of dollars and will require the leadership of a new federal agency, which Congress should create in the next two years, they wrote.
"This is a crisis that could jeopardize everyone in this room, and all their loved ones," A. Brent Eastman, a surgeon and chief medical officer of the ScrippsHealth hospitals in San Diego, said at a daylong conference on the reports, which were prepared by the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine.
"There is just such a gap between what the public knows, or thinks it knows, and the reality. And it is getting worse," said Robert B. Giffin, the Institute of Medicine staffer who headed the study.
The reports - on hospital ERs, on pediatric emergency care and on pre-hospital care given by ambulance services - were embraced by the 24,000-member American College of Emergency Physicians, and its president said that the endorsement was telling.
"What other industry says, 'Hey, look at us, our whole system is broken'?" said the group's president, Frederick C. Blum, a physician in Morgantown, W.Va.
Two key steps for improving emergency care are regional planning and creating a standard way to measure outcomes, so that low-quality ERs and ambulance services can be identified and fixed, the committee wrote.
Emergency medical care is a legal right for all Americans. Under a law enacted in 1986, emergency rooms must evaluate and stabilize anyone who shows up. That requirement - bolstered by physicians' ethical duty to treat the ill - has made hospital emergency departments subject to unique pressures.
From 1993 to 2003, the US population grew by 12 percent but emergency room visits grew by 27 percent, from 90 million to 114 million. In that same period, however, 425 emergency departments closed, along with about 700 hospitals and nearly 200,000 beds.' Lees verder: Of:

Iran 54

Tom Engelhardt schrijft: 'Michael Klare on Playing Chess with Iran.

Since the British imperial moment of the late nineteenth century, the image of much of the world -- especially Central Asia and the Middle East -- as but a set of pawns in a "Great Game" on a geopolitical "chessboard" where the great powers of whatever era are at play has been a commonplace. Many have died in one version or another of this "game," which, if you don't happen to be in an office in London or Washington or Moscow thinking strategic thoughts, has always had such a distinctly unplayful aspect to it, but the image persists.
In our time, that "chessboard" was revived by Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security adviser to President Carter, who made it the title of a 1997 book, The Grand Chessboard, American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives. It has since been picked up by the Bush administration whose key officials, thinking such grand thoughts, had little doubt that, a decade after the Soviet collapse, the U.S. would have its way in the energy-rich former SSRs of Central Asia. Now, with Iraq acting as the geopolitical equivalent of a black hole, sucking all U.S. attention its way, other powers turn out to be capable of playing the game too; and new, still not fully coherent power blocs, are slowly coalescing to thwart Washington's desires.
As historian Immanuel Wallerstein wrote recently about the leftward shift in Latin America, State Department officials "are quite aware that their voice is no longer heard with the respect and fear it once was." Just this week in Asia, where perhaps the greatest tectonic shifts have been taking place, the energy-rich Russians and the energy-eager Chinese are hosting a meeting of a five year-old group, the Shanghai Cooperative Organization (SCO), which we ordinarily hear little about. But it's no less significant for that. To it belong the coming power in Asia and what's left of the fallen superpower of the Cold War era as well as the ‘stans of Central Asia that were once its possessions.
Representatives of other countries are also in attendance in Shanghai, trying to detect the shape of the New Asia and of our new world of scarcer energy resources -- the President of Pakistan, an important Indian oil and gas minister, and Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He is but one of many key figures in the world of energy resources -- including that close American ally, the Saudi king -- who are increasingly migrating toward Beijing (or Shanghai) for audiences. Ahmadinejad is eager to move Iran from observer status to membership in the Shanghai organization.
Not welcome: the United States. For the last two years, SCO members have even been conducting joint military exercises and they may someday become "a corral of countries capable of countering Western influence." After all, the organization's founding charter calls for it to be the foundation stone of "a new international political and economic order."' Lees verder:

De Israelische Terreur 31

Op de bovenste foto ziet u Israelische agenten die opereren als Hamas strijders.
Palestinian terrorists, courtesy of The Mossad. The Israeli secret service should teach its operatives to take off their jewellery first: e.g. the Star of David necklace. Notice too the white skin and designer-brand sunglasses -- worn, perhaps, to conceal blue eyes -- and the brand new M-16, paid for by generous U.S. taxpayers, as a U.S. correspondent assures us. A real Palestinian terrorist carries an aged AK-47 (Photo: Reuters.)

Op de onderste foto ziet u een Westerse hulpverlener die door een Israelische scherpschutter is doodgeschoten. 21-year-old Tom Hurndall spent 9 months in a coma before dying from gunshot wounds to his head. He was shot by an Israeli soldier when he tried to bring Palestinian children to safety.

Ondanks het feit dat de Nederlandse commerciele media tenminste acht correspondenten in Israel hebben, wordt hierover niet of nauwelijks bericht. Israel heeft een bevolking van zes miljoen mensen, van wie 20 procent Palestijns is. De Nederlandse commerciele media hebben daarentegen in de hele Arabische wereld met een bevolking van bijna 300 miljoen slechts 2 correspondenten.

USA TOday bericht: 'Hamas Spokesman: Group Is Ready to Restore Cease-Fire
Gaza City, Gaza Strip - The Islamic militant group Hamas said Thursday it is ready to restore its cease-fire with Israel several days after calling it off to protest a deadly explosion on a Gaza beach.
But Ghazi Hamad, spokesman for the Hamas-led Palestinian government, said the offer was conditional on Israel accepting the Palestinians' demand "to stop their aggression."
"This is very clear for us. We are interested to keep the situation and quit, especially in the Gaza Strip," Hamad said. "We are ready to do it, but (only) if the Israeli side has a strong intention to respond positively to the call ... to stop their aggression."
Hamas called an end to the February 2005 truce Friday after eight Palestinian beachgoers were killed in an explosion the Palestinians blame on Israel. The Israeli army says it was not involved in the blast.
Hamas fired several dozen rockets toward southern Israel over the weekend, but in recent days there has been a lull.
Israeli officials said Thursday the cessation is due to threats against Hamas. Israeli officials earlier this week threatened to begin killing Hamas leaders, including Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, if the rocket fire continued.
The Islamic Jihad militant group, which has never accepted the truce, fired five rockets toward Israel on Thursday.
Hamas, which opposes the existence of Israel, has killed hundreds of Israelis in 4 1/2 years of violence.' Lees verder: Of:

De Israelische Terreur 30

John Pilger schrijft: 'The war on children.

The most vulnerable people in Gaza are suffering the worst acute mental and physical trauma as a result of Israel's actions: almost half the population is under 15. "Information Clearing House"

-- -- Arthur Miller wrote, "Few of us can easily surrender our belief that society must somehow make sense. The thought that the state has lost its mind and is punishing so many innocent people is intolerable. And so the evidence has to be internally denied." Miller's truth was a glimpsed reality on television on 9 June when Israeli warships fired on families picnicking on a Gaza beach, killing seven people, including three children and three generations. What that represents is a final solution, agreed by the United States and Israel, to the problem of the Palestinians. While the Israelis fire missiles at Palestinian picnickers and homes in Gaza and the West Bank, the two governments are to starve them. The victims will be mostly children. This was approved on 23 May by the US House of Representatives, which voted 361-37 to cut off aid to non-government organisations that run a lifeline to occupied Palestine. Israel is withholding Palestinian revenues and tax receipts amounting to $60m a month. Such collective punishment, identified as a crime against humanity in the Geneva Conventions, evokes the Nazis' strangulation of the Warsaw ghetto and the American economic siege of Iraq in the 1990s. If the perpetrators have lost their minds, as Miller suggested, they appear to understand their barbarism and display their cynicism. "The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet," joked Dov Weisglass, an adviser to the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert. This is the price Palestinians must pay for their democratic elections in January. The majority voted for the "wrong" party, Hamas, which the US and Israel, with their inimitable penchant for pot-calling-the-kettle-black, describe as terrorist. However, terrorism is not the reason for starving the Palestinians, whose prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, had reaffirmed Hamas's commitment to recognise the Jewish state, proposing only that Israel obey international law and respect the borders of 1967. Israel has refused because, with its apartheid wall under construction, its intention is clear: to take over more and more of Palestine, encircling whole villages and eventually Jerusalem. The sniper's wound The reason Israel fears Hamas is that Hamas is unlikely to be a trusted collaborator in subju- gating its own people on Israel's behalf. Indeed, the vote for Hamas was actually a vote for peace. Palestinians were fed up with the failures and corruption of the Arafat era. According to the former US president Jimmy Carter, whose Carter Centre verified the Hamas electoral victory, "public opinion polls show that 80 per cent of Palestinians want a peace agreement with Israel".' Lees verder:

Zie ook de documentaire: 'John Pilger: "Palestine is Still the Issue" Part I
Why Has This Documentary, Never Been Broadcast On U.S. Media ?
Twenty-five years ago, I made a film called Palestine Is Still The Issue. It was about a nation of people - the Palestinians - forced off their land and later subjected to a military occupation by Israel. An occupation condemned by the United Nations and almost every country in the world, including Britain.
But Israel is backed by a very powerful friend, the United States. So in 25 years, if we're to speak of the great injustice here, nothing has changed. What has changed is that the Palestinians have fought back.
Stateless and humiliated for so long, they've risen up against Israel's huge military machine, although they themselves have no arm, no tanks, no American planes and gun ships or missiles.
Some have committed desperate acts of terror, like suicide bombing. But for Palestinians, the overriding, routine terror, day after day, has been the ruthless control of almost every aspect of their lives, as if they live in an open prison. This film is about the Palestinians and a group of courageous Israelis united in the oldest human struggle - to be free. Continued
See Also: ITC vindicates Pilger documentary
PART II - PART III - Pilger Interviews Dori Gold
Pilger Interviews Dori Gold' Zie:

donderdag 15 juni 2006

Amerikaanse Oorlogsmisdaden 25

Op de bovenste foto ziet u Amin, een vluchteling uit Fallujah, die gewond raakte tijdens de Amerikaanse aanval op de stad en een soldaat een granaat in het huis van zijn familie gooide. Een granaatscherf zit in zijn lichaam, vlak naast een nier. Op de onderste foto ziet u een vader die tijdens de Amerikaanse inval in Fallujah op zijn woning paste uit angst voor plunderaars, maar die door het Amerikaanse leger vermoord werd. Hij werd volgens de onafhankelijke Amerikaanse journalist Dahr Jamail na het vertrek van de Amerikanen door zijn familie geidentificeerd.

Via Truthout kunt u kijken naar een gesprek met de onafhankelijke Amerikaanse filmmaker Mark Manning: 'Caught in the Crossfire. The Untold Story of Fallujah A Film by Mark Manning

Independent filmmaker Mark Manning was the only Westerner to travel to Fallujah un-embedded, and he lived with the refugees of Fallujah and experienced life from their point of view, returning with them to their destroyed city after the siege by the United States. Unknown to any authorities, he recorded what he saw. He went through the checkpoints, witnessed the devastation of thousands of homes, shops and mosques, and documented the horrors of the siege as recounted by those who survived inside the city during the battles. The people of Fallujah asked him to tell their story to the world, and he is now fulfilling that request with the release of Caught in the Crossfire.
Shot from November 2004 to April 2005 inside the city of Fallujah, Caught in the Crossfire details the conditions experienced by civilians as they endured the violent clashes and consequences of Operation Phantom Fury and became refugees outside the eyes and care of the international community. Zie: Hier kunt u de film bestellen.
Meer beelden van Fallujah en Irak kunt u hier zien:

De Nederlandse regering steunt het Amerikaanse geweld in Irak en Afghanistan. We kunnen straks niet zeggen dat we van niets geweten hebben.

De Oorlogsstaat 65

Alternet: ' The Marine Who Saw Too Much.

A former lance corporal explains why he intentionally failed a drug test to avoid going back to war-torn Iraq.The following text is an excerpt from Peter Laufer's new book, Mission Rejected: U.S. Soldiers Who Say No to Iraq (Chelsea Green, 2006).

Recruiters convinced a listless Californian named Daniel to join the Marines. On September 11, 2001, he was taking classes at a junior college near San Jose while holding down two jobs: managing a PurWater store and squeezing fruit at a Jamba Juice stand.
His patriotism combined with the recruiters' sales pitches convinced him to drop out of school two units short of his associate's degree. By the next summer he was in boot camp. When we meet, the 23 year-old ex-Marine asks me to restrict my identification of him to his first name; he's fighting the Veterans Administration for benefits and the Marines for an honorable discharge, and he fears publicity may hurt his case.
Daniel is slouched in his chair when we first start talking. He's wearing a camouflage baseball cap with the image of a Canada goose on its front. His black T-shirt carries the legend POW-MIA you are not forgotten. His forearms are covered with tattoos. His blue jeans are well faded and his black cowboy boots well worn.
"I decided my country needed me and I was pretty fit," he says about his decision to join the Marines after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. "I decided to go do my part. I wasn't sure what branch until I walked into the recruiting office and a Marine Corps office was before all the other ones. They kind of pulled me in, told me all their jarhead jargon, and filled my head with a whole bunch of good stuff. I was sold quickly."
Daniel speaks fast, with a slight twang and the hint of a stutter. He says his childhood stutter returned as a symptom of his combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder.
By February 2003, Daniel was trained as a radio operator and was the proud owner of a brand new Dodge Ram 1500 truck. A week after he bought the truck, he was told he was being deployed to the Middle East. "There goes my truck payments," he remembers thinking. But he parked the pickup and managed to keep the payments current while he saw the other side of the world. "It was a pretty scary time," Daniel says about his three months on a ship, patrolling Kuwaiti waters during the initial U.S. assault on Iraq.
Rotated back to the States, Daniel hopped back into the Dodge and unwound. "Came back over stateside, happy to be back. Spent all my money and had a good time. Early in 2004 we was back in the desert. This time I went directly into Iraq." He found himself on an assault boat, patrolling for "insurgents." His unit saw action in the toughest neighborhoods throughout much of 2004, often beaching the boat and joining forces with land-based troops in hot spots like Fallujah. "Pretty scary, that's all I've got to say about that," Daniel says regarding Fallujah, his speech turning percussive. "You never know when it's your time to go. Explosions from mortars going off all around you. Shots fired. You try to keep your head up. Trust the guy next to you. That's about it."
Fighting in the war flipped Daniel's political beliefs. "I came back very anti-Bush. I used to be a Republican before I joined the military. Not any more." His experiences on the ground, he says, convinced him he'd been lied to. The Iraqis "are a defeated people," he says, not a threat to America. "It's a third-world country. These people walk around with no shoes, nothing. These guys are working for a dollar a day. The military would pay the village people to come on base and build sandbags so that they can be more comfortable in their tents and pay them a dollar a day, and these guys will work making seven dollars a week just to feed their family."' Lees verder: Of:

Terrorisme 3

De Toronto Star bericht: 'War on Terror Called Failure.

Another 9/11 "inevitable," experts conclude. Washington's diplomatic efforts rated 1.8 out of 10.
Washington is failing to make progress in the global war on terror and the next 9/11-style attack is not a question of if, but when. That is the scathing conclusion of a survey of 100 leading American foreign-policy analysts.
In its first "Terrorism Index," released yesterday, the influential journal Foreign Affairs found surprising consensus among the bipartisan experts.
Some 86 per cent of them said the world has grown more, not less, dangerous, despite President George W. Bush's claims that the U.S. is winning the war on terror.
The main reasons for the decline in security, they said, were the war in Iraq, the detention of terror suspects in Guantanamo Bay, U.S. policy towards Iran and U.S. energy policy.
The survey's participants included an ex-secretary of state and former heads of the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency, along with prominent members of the U.S. foreign-policy establishment.
The majority served in previous administrations or in senior military ranks.
"When you strip away the politics, the experts, almost to a person, are very worried about the administration," says Joe Cirincione, vice-president of the Center for American Progress, the Washington think-tank which co-sponsored the survey.
"They think none of our front-line institutions is doing a good job and that Iraq has made the terror situation much worse."
The findings will be picked up immediately by politicians and policy-makers, he adds: "Just about any one of these people saying this would make news. When the opinions come together, it really carries weight."
Almost 80 per cent of the analysts said widespread rejection of radical Islamic ideologies is crucial if terrorism is to be eradicated, but that goal requires "a much higher emphasis on its non-military tools."' Lees verder:

Neoliberale Globalisering

Le Monde bericht: 'Reinventing Globalization.

Nine thousand kilometers! That's the total average distance covered by a shot of milk, fruit, and plastics before they're transformed into a container of yogurt and find their way into your refrigerator. In thirty years, global shipping volume has tripled while road transport in France has jumped 43% in less than fifteen years. The globalization of reciprocal trade is such that international trade represents a third of global production.

Will we be able to maintain this rhythm over the next thirty years? Not very likely. These long trips, voracious in their use of fuel, are only possible because transportation cost is barely reflected in the final price of a container of yogurt, for example. The heralded increases in oil costs due to the exhaustion of reserves and global warming linked to CO2 emissions are going to force us, experts believe, to take a new look at the global flow of merchandise in the next thirty to forty years.

In the scenario where the price per barrel goes from 70 to 180 dollars, as the Conseil général des ponts et chaussées [French "General Council for Bridges and Roads"] envisions in a report on transport in 2050, the logistical situation is likely to be profoundly changed. Diesel fuel represents 20% of the costs for a transport company that clears a 4% profit. We see that if the fuel price variable is affected, the whole economic model teeters. "We don't pay a fair price for energy," reasons Thierry Raes, in charge of the energy and transport sector in the PricewaterhouseCoopers consulting firm. "There's a very perverse logic at work. Globalization's collateral damage - social and environmental - is only very partially taken into account."

The aberrations are easily discernible in daily life. Pears from Argentina can be purchased by a distributor for less than those produced in the European Union. Chinese strawberries have become ultra-competitive, although when they're sold in France, they demand twenty times the equivalent in gasoline of a strawberry from Périgord. "Between a quarter and half the weight of a pair of blue jeans is given off as CO2 by virtue of the product's outsourcing," points out Alain Morcheoine, Director of the agency for the environment, "Ademe."

These aberrations are all the more untenable given that global energy consumption will increase 65% from now to 2025, from - most notably - China and India's economic catch-up. If the Chinese purchased as many cars as Europeans tomorrow, their energy consumption would be one billion tons equivalent of oil a year, or as much as the United States, Japan and Europe today.' Lees verder: Of in het Frans:,1-0@2-3234,36-781854,0.html

De Oorlogsstaat 64

De Amerikaanse listserver Justwatch bericht: 'Marine sorry for song about killing Iraqis.

A Marine seen in an Internet video singing about killing members of an Iraqi family says the song was a joke.

Cpl. Joshua Belile, 23, apologized and said the song was not tied in any way to allegations that Marines killed 24 unarmed civilians in Haditha last year.

"It's a song that I made up and it was nothing more than something supposed to be funny, based off a catchy line of a movie," he said in Wednesday's Daily News of Jacksonville.

In the four-minute video called "Hadji Girl," a singer who appears to be a Marine tells a cheering audience about gunning down members of an Iraqi woman's family after they confront him with automatic weapons.

Maj. Shawn Haney, a Marine spokeswoman, said Wednesday the Marine Corps was looking into the matter. "The video, which was posted anonymously, is clearly inappropriate and contrary to the high standards expected of all Marines," she said in a statement.

Belile did not return a call Wednesday from The Associated Press.

He said his buddies pushed him on stage with his guitar while he was in Iraq in September and someone posted it on the Internet. It has since been removed.

Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the video should be investigated by the Pentagon and Congress.

"We welcome Cpl. Belile's apology," he said.'

Eerder had Joshua Belile geschreven:

'Wow I am seeing myself on the internet! This is an awfully weird experience. My name is Joshua Belile and this is a song I wrote and performed many times while aboard Al Asad Airbase in Iraq. If you want to check out more stuff my band and I have done you can check out my myspace at or my band's sites at or

Take care everyone,

Cpl Josh Belile
U.S.M.C. '

Deze mensen worden naar Irak gestuurd om er de mensenrechten en de westerse democratie te verspreiden. Wow!

Irak 92

De Independent bericht: 'The number of soldiers diagnosed with psychiatric problems brought on by the stress of service in Iraq has dramatically escalated since the beginning of the war, according to new figures from the Ministry of Defence.
In 2005, the military authorities were notified of 727 cases of troops with psychiatric disorders brought on by their period in Iraq - an average of 60 each month, or two every day.
The figure is nearly 10 per cent of the total British military presence in Iraq. It includes 66 troops who developed such serious mental problems that they had to be airlifted out for treatment back home.
It is also a sharp increase on official statistics released four months ago, which revealed that 1,333 servicemen had needed treatment in the first two and a half years after the outbreak of the Iraq war, an average of around 40 a month.
These can be added to the total of at least 6,700 British casualties in Iraq, including 113 killed and 4,000 who injured or ill enough to need to be flown out for treatment.
Tom Watson, the Armed Services minister, revealed in the Commons last night in a written answer to the Tory MP Philip Dunne that the Defence Analytical Services Agency had been notified of 727 personnel in 2005 alone who had been examined for suspected mental health problems and were "subsequently identified as having a psychiatric disorder related to their service in Iraq".' Lees verder:

Waar zouden deze mannen gek van zijn geworden? Het doodschieten en mishandelen van burgers? Of van iets anders?

Irak 91

Inter Press Service bericht: 'RIGHTS: Iraq Exodus Ends Four-Year Decline in Refugees.

An exodus of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis escaping growing violence in their homeland last year increased the total number of refugees around the world to some 12 million, according to the World Refugee Survey 2006 released here Wednesday by the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI). That total marked a reversal of a four-year trend of declining numbers of refugees. From 2001 to the end of 2004, the total number of people who crossed international borders in search of a safe haven from persecution or war fell from nearly 15 million to 11.5 million, according to the report. "The increase is largely due to 650,000 more Iraqi refugees who have fled to Jordan and Syria," said USCRI's president, Lavinia Limon. "Although some Iraqis may be fleeing generalised violence, individuals and groups are targeted on the basis of political affiliation, professions, ethnic, or religious differences -- the definition of a refugee." Moreover, she said that protections for fleeing Iraqis appear to be deteriorating, as Syria has begun to require residency permits, forcing many refugees to live underground, while Jordan has failed to so far to grant refugee status to Iraqis and is turning many back at the border. The erosion of such protections, according to the report, is typical of what is happening in many countries around the world, as governments increasingly erect barriers to prevent people fleeing persecution and conflict from entering their territory and force those who have arrived to return home.' Lees verder:

Amerikaanse Oorlogsmisdaden 24

Een kind dat tijdens de Amerikaanse aanval op Fallujah gedood werd. Over Amerikaanse oorlogsmisdrijven schrijft William Rivers Pitt Hij is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of two books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know and The Greatest Sedition Is Silence.

'There is going to be a debate today on the floor of the House of Representatives regarding Iraq. Is it within the realm of possibility to categorize a debate on the floor of the House as a war crime? Is that too much of a stretch? Leveling a war crime accusation is deadly serious business after all, and not to be bandied about like some meager political football. Given what is expected to take place today in Washington, unfortunately, such a categorization is worth considering.
What is a war crime anyway? Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention defines war crimes as, "Willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person, compelling a protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile power, or willfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial, taking of hostages and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly."
How many of these definitions have been met by the United States during our ill-fated adventure in Iraq and during this so-called "War on Terror" as a whole?
Willful killing? Check: see Fallujah, Haditha, etc.
Torture or inhuman treatment, including willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health? Check: see Abu Ghraib.
Unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person? Check: see Guantanamo and the secret "rendition" of prisoners for interrogation to nations that practice torture as a matter of daily business.
Willfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial? Check: see Guantanamo again.
Extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly? Check: see much of Iraq, specifically its former petroleum industry.
But all this happened during the invasion and occupation, and many of these despicable activities have been papered over by dubious legal findings generated by Attorney General Gonzales. How does a debate on the floor of the House of Representatives rise to the level of a war crime?
Simple. Awareness that war crimes are being committed, combined with a lack of action to stop those war crimes by an individual or entity holding a position of leadership, is as bad as the crime itself.
Major Darwyn O. Banks of the US Air Force, whose April 2001 research paper on information warfare titled, "Mitnick Meets Milosevic," notes the following: "While there are no claims Milosevic personally committed any such crimes, he is culpable under the principles of command responsibility and direct responsibility. The former alleges Milosevic's foreknowledge of such crimes without acting either to prevent the commission thereof or to punish the perpetrators. The latter form of responsibility implies that he authorized, planned, instigated and/or ordered the unlawful acts. These indictments against the former Yugoslav president, then, highlight the primary categories of the law of armed conflict."
Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution endowed Congress with the power to make war. To be sure, that power has been slowly but surely usurped by a series of presidents, but the basic principle remains. At a minimum, if the legislative branch is going to surrender its constitutional responsibilities regarding our formidable war powers to the executive branch, they should at least attempt to exert a degree of oversight once the bullets start to fly.
This Republican congress has not done this to any degree whatsoever. They rolled the whole process down the hill to 1600 Pennsylvania, provided political and legal cover for the White House every time something went wrong, wrapped themselves in as many American flags as they could find, and stapled themselves to this president who, by his own words, goes to work every day with war on his mind. Thus it has been for the last three years and 87 days.' Lees verder:

woensdag 14 juni 2006

De Bush Bende 16

De Amerikaanse onderzoeksjournalist Greg Palast schrijft: 'Keeping Iraq's Oil in the Ground.

World oil production today stands at more than twice the 15-billion a-year maximum projected by Shell Oil in 1956 - and reserves are climbing at a faster clip yet. That leaves the question, Why this war?
Did Dick Cheney send us in to seize the last dwindling supplies? Unlikely. Our world's petroleum reserves have doubled in just twenty-five years - and it is in Shell's and the rest of the industry's interest that this doubling doesn't happen again. The neo-cons were hell-bent on raising Iraq's oil production. Big Oil's interest was in suppressing production, that is, keeping Iraq to its OPEC quota or less. This raises the question, did the petroleum industry, which had a direct, if hidden, hand, in promoting invasion, cheerlead for a takeover of Iraq to prevent overproduction?
It wouldn't be the first time. If oil is what we're looking for, there are, indeed, extra helpings in Iraq. On paper, Iraq, at 112 billion proven barrels, has the second largest reserves in OPEC after Saudi Arabia. That does not make Saudi Arabia happy. Even more important is that Iraq has fewer than three thousand operating wells... compared to one million in Texas.
That makes the Saudis even unhappier. It would take a decade or more, but start drilling in Iraq and its reserves will about double, bringing it within gallons of Saudi Arabia's own gargantuan pool. Should Iraq drill on that scale, the total, when combined with the Saudis', will drown the oil market. That wouldn't make the Texans too happy either. So Fadhil Chalabi's plan for Iraq to pump 12 million barrels a day, a million more than Saudi Arabia, is not, to use Bob Ebel's (Center fro Strategic and International Studies) terminology, "ridiculous" from a raw resource view, it is ridiculous politically. It would never be permitted. An international industry policy of suppressing Iraqi oil production has been in place since 1927. We need again to visit that imp called "history."
It began with a character known as "Mr. 5%"- Calouste Gulbenkian - who, in 1925, slicked King Faisal, neophyte ruler of the country recently created by Churchill, into giving Gulbenkian's "Iraq Petroleum Company" (IPC) exclusive rights to all of Iraq's oil. Gulbenkian flipped 95% of his concession to a combine of western oil giants: Anglo-Persian, Royal Dutch Shell, CFP of France, and the Standard Oil trust companies (now ExxonMobil and its "sisters.") The remaining slice Calouste kept for himself - hence, "Mr. 5%."
The oil majors had a better use for Iraq's oil than drilling it - not drilling it. The oil bigs had bought Iraq's concession to seal it up and keep it off the market. To please his buyers' wishes, Mr. 5% spread out a big map of the Middle East on the floor of a hotel room in Belgium and drew a thick red line around the gulf oil fields, centered on Iraq. All the oil company executives, gathered in the hotel room, signed their name on the red line - vowing not to drill, except as a group, within the red-lined zone. No one, therefore, had an incentive to cheat and take red-lined oil. All of Iraq's oil, sequestered by all, was locked in, and all signers would enjoy a lift in worldwide prices. Anglo-Persian Company, now British Petroleum (BP), would pump almost all its oil, reasonably, from Persia (Iran). Later, the Standard Oil combine, renamed the Arabian-American Oil Company (Aramco), would limit almost all its drilling to Saudi Arabia. Anglo-Persian (BP) had begun pulling oil from Kirkuk, Iraq, in 1927 and, in accordance with the Red-Line Agreement, shared its Kirkuk and Basra fields with its IPC group - and drilled no more.
The following was written three decades ago:
Although its original concession of March 14, 1925, cove- red all of Iraq, the Iraq Petroleum Co., under the owner- ship of BP (23.75%), Shell (23.75%), CFP [of France] (23.75%), Exxon (11.85%), Mobil (11.85%), and [Calouste] Gulbenkian (5.0%), limited its production to fields constituting only one-half of 1 percent of the country's total area. During the Great Depression, the world was awash with oil and greater output from Iraq would simply have driven the price down to even lower levels.' Lees verder:

De Oorlogsstaat 62

De International Herald Tribune zet het allemaal nog even op een rijtje:
'Image of U.S. falls again
By Brian Knowlton International Herald TribunePublished: June 13, 2006
WASHINGTON As the war in Iraq continues for a fourth year, the global image of America has slipped further, even among publics in countries closely allied with the United States, a new global opinion poll has found.

Favorable views of the United States dropped sharply over the past year in Spain, where only 23 percent now say they have a positive opinion, down from 41 percent in 2005, according to the survey, which was carried out in 15 nations this spring by the Pew Research Center. In Britain, Washington's closest ally in the Iraq war, positive views of America have remained in the mid-50s in the past two years, still down sharply from 75 percent in 2002.

Other countries where positive views dropped significantly include India (56 percent, down from 71 percent since 2005); Russia (43 percent, down from 52 percent); and Indonesia (30 percent, down from 38 percent).

In Turkey, a NATO ally of the United States, only 12 percent said they held a favorable opinion, down from 23 percent last year.

Declines were less steep in France, Germany and Jordan, while people in China and Pakistan had a slightly more favorable image of the United States this year than last.

The ebbing of positive views of the United States coincides with a spike in feeling that the war in Iraq has made the world a more dangerous place. This perception was shared by majorities in 10 of the countries surveyed, including Britain, where 60 percent said the world had become more dangerous since Saddam Hussein's removal from power in 2003.

Over the past year, support for the U.S.-led fight against terrorism also declined again, Pew found.

The latest declines came after a year in which anti-American sentiment had slightly receded, aided by good feeling over U.S. aid for tsunami victims and political progress in Iraq.

Many respondents distinguished between their largely negative feelings about President George W. Bush and their feelings about ordinary Americans. Majorities in 7 countries polled had favorable views of Americans, led by Japan, at 82 percent, and Britain, at 69.

But only in India and Nigeria did majorities express confidence in Bush. In Spain, just 1 in 14 respondents registered confidence in him, as did only 1 in 33 in Turkey, an important NATO ally.

After a tumultuous year in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the fight against terrorism is now backed by more than 50 percent only in Russia and India, while support has virtually collapsed in Japan, the poll found. In Spain, deeply affected by the March 2004 bombings in Madrid, a scant 2 in 10 people back the U.S.-led fight.

Pessimism about the future of Iraq was widespread. The polling, by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, was conducted in April and May this year - before the completion last week of the Iraqi government, or the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.

All groups except Americans and Germans saw the U.S. presence in Iraq as posing a greater threat to world peace than the threat posed by Iran, which is pursuing a uranium enrichment program that the United States and other Western countries view as a prelude to developing its own nuclear weapons. Russians held that view by a 2-to-1 margin, and even the British did so by a narrow margin.

"Obviously, when you get many more people saying that the U.S. presence in Iraq is a threat to world peace as say that about Iran, it's a measure of how much Iraq is sapping good will to the United States," said Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center.' Lees verder:

De NRC kwalificeert onmiddellijk weer in een summier bericht: 'Het anti-Amerikanisme in de wereld neemt weer toe. Dat blijkt uit de jaarlijkse enquête van het Pew Research Center onder 16.710 burgers in vijftien landen.' Anti-Amerikanisme? Wat is dat? Een besmettelijke ziekte? Spreek uit: Anti-Nederlandisme, anti-Lichtensteinisme, Anti-Groot Brittannieisme etcetera! Anti-Amerikanisme heeft meteen een negatieve connotatie, alsof kritiek op de Amerikaanse buitenlandse politiek onterecht is omdat het een totale afwijzing van de Verenigde Staten zou zijn. Net zo'n verwerpelijke neiging als, ik noem maar wat, anti-semitisme. Dat kwalificeren door de Nederlandse pers is een nationale kwaal.

Terrorisme 2

De Independent bericht over de aanhouding van twee Britten die abusievelijk werden verdacht van terreur: 'Mohammed Abdulkahar tells the story of terror raid that backfired.
'I just thought: one by one they're going to kill us.'

At about four o'clock in the morning, I was woken by screams that I had never heard before. My younger brother was screaming and, from upstairs, from my room, I could hear him screaming, so I got out of bed. I just had my boxer shorts on and a T-shirt. It was dark and I assumed a robbery was happening. As I made the first step down the stairs, my brother was still screaming and I turned round to look at the stairs. As soon as I turned round, I saw an orange spark and a big bang. I flew into the wall and I slipped down.
I was on the floor. I looked on my right, on my chest, and saw blood coming down my chest and saw the hole in my chest. At that moment, I knew I was shot. The first thing I was thinking was that an armed robbery was taking place. As I went down, I saw an object flying in my face, so I put my hand over my face. At that moment, I did not know what object it was, but I know now it was the gun.
He tried to hit me over the face with it. I saw the shotgun in my chest and I was begging 'Please, please I cannot breathe'. He just kicked me in my face and kept on saying 'Shut the fuck up'. I said 'Please, I cannot breathe'. One of the officers slapped me over the face. He was saying 'Just shut the fuck up, stay there, stay there'.
At that moment, I thought they were either going to shoot me again or shoot my brother, so I lay there and I heard them say 'Secure the room, secure the room'. One of the officers grabbed my left foot and dragged me down the stairs.
My head was banging down the stairs. He turned me around toward the front door and he threw me on the pavement. One of the men gave me a tissue and put it on my chest and put pressure on it. At that point, I knew it was the police because I saw police vans parked outside. Until that moment, I still did not know they were the police. They never said a word about police.
I heard them bringing my mum out. She was screaming and crying. I just thought, 'One by one they're going to kill us'. I was just shouting 'I ain't done nothing'. I was worrying about my brothers, everyone. At that time, I thought I was going to die and thinking of everything at the last minute.' Lees verder:

Irak 90

Truthdig bericht: 'The Many Faces of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
A Dig led by Nir Rosen
Editor’s note: With the death this week of terrorist mastermind Abu Musab al Zarqawi, many experts are predicting that the Iraqi insurgency will find itself crippled and leaderless. But according to Nir Rosen, one of the only Western journalists to have reported extensively from inside the Iraqi insurgency, the ideologies that propelled Zarqawi into his leadership role will soon find another champion, and the sectarian conflict engulfing the country will continue to worsen. Who was Zarqawi? What drove him to his murderous ends? And what can we learn from his death? Rosen, who has spent the last three years covering the Iraqi conflict, lays out some answers.

Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the “Sheikh of the Slaughterers,” is dead. So dies an American myth—that of the “most wanted man” in Iraq. But other myths persist: that Zarqawi’s death will have positive consequences; or that “victory,” whatever that might mean, is possible in Iraq in the wake of Zarqawi’s death… Zarqawi's death was the greatest advertisement for his cause. He had already succeeded in provoking the civil war, the final spark being the Feb. 22 bombing of the Shia Askari Shrine in Samarra, north of Baghdad. Zarqawi sought martyrdom and direct entry to paradise by fighting the infidels in Iraq. And in the eyes of his supporters, he succeeded --proving to aspiring jihadis around the world that Iraq is the place to go to if you want to enter paradise as a martyr slain by the infidels.' Lees verder:

Wouter Bos

Kijkt u even naar dit geestige filmpje. 'Watch an original animated short by Mr. Fish on the Democratic party’s new secret weapon for winning back the hearts and minds of the American public.' En vraag u dan af waar de PVDA nu eigenlijk voor staat, ik bedoel Wouter Bos, het gezicht en de stem van de Nederlandse sociaal democraten. Waar staat hij voor? Ik bedoel met betrekking tot de ware vraagstukken van onze tijd: Oorlog en Vrede, Klimaatverandering, de groeiende kloof tussen Rijk en Arm in de wereld. Laat u het mij even weten.

Het Nederlandse Staatshoofd 2

Waarom vergadert het Nederlandse staatshoofd, koningin Beatrix, niet met Al Gore over de gevaren van de klimaatverandering, in plaats van met een gangster als Henry Kissinger over het voortbestaan van het neoliberalisme, dat de klimaatverandering alleen maar versnelt? Common Dreams bericht:
'Gore to Train 1,000 to Spread Word about Climate.
by Timothy Gardner

NEW YORK - Al Gore hopes to train 1,000 messengers he hopes will spread out across the country and present a slide show about global warming that captures the essence of his Hollywood documentary and book.
The former vice president, a Democrat, said on Monday that by the end of the summer he would start a bipartisan education campaign to train 1,000 people to give a version of his slide show on global warming featured in the film "An Inconvenient Truth" and book of the same name.
"This moment cannot be allowed to pass," Gore told reporters in New York. "I have seen and heard times before when the awareness of the climate crisis has peaked and then a few months later it's gone. I think this time is different, but I have to say I'm not certain of that."
The book is an expanded version of the film. Both are based on a slide show he has given more than 1,000 times over the past 30 years on the dangers of global warming. He says climate change is a crisis that has become a moral issue.
Most scientists believe carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases trap the sun's heat in the atmosphere leading to stronger storms and rising sea levels that could swamp low-lying islands by 2100.
Gore said all the profits from his film and the book will be donated to train the messengers. He said the carriers of the message will give the slide show at high schools and rotary clubs in the United States and around the world.
Gore said on Monday, as he has consistently, that he had no plans to run for president in 2008. He added that he would continue to give the slide show even as the messengers give their versions of it.' Zie:

De Britse journalist en hoogleraar Christopher Hitchens heeft in het boek 'De Zaak Henry Kissinger,' in de Nederlandse vertaling verschenen bij de Arbeiderspers, beschreven welke misdaden Kissinger begaan heeft. Hij concludeert dat Kissinger gerechtelijk vervolgd zou moeten worden 'wegens overtredingen tegen het geschreven, ongeschreven en internationaal recht, waaronder medeplichtigheid aan moord, ontvoering en marteling.' En dat allemaal op grote schaal. Net zoals het Nederlandse staatshoofd niet met Holleeder in een besloten bijeenkomst vergadert, zou ze dat ook niet moeten doen met Kissinger. Kennelijk geldt voor koningin Beatrix dat er twee soorten recht zijn.

dinsdag 13 juni 2006

Iran 53

De New York Times bericht: 'Nonaligned Nations Prepare to Back Iran.

Vienna, Austria - Western countries at a 35-nation U.N. meeting pushed Tuesday for consensus on the need for Iran to freeze uranium enrichment, but diplomats said that most nonaligned countries were preparing to endorse Tehran's right to continue the work.
The diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were divulging confidential information, said the 16 International Atomic Energy Agency board members from the Nonaligned Movement were likely to issue a joint statement at odds with Western efforts on enrichment.
The language would be similar to a statement issued last month by foreign ministers of nonaligned nations in Malaysia, the diplomats told The Associated Press.
That declaration "reaffirmed the basic and inalienable right" of all countries to develop, produce and use atomic energy "for peaceful purposes, without any discrimination and in conformity with their respective legal obligations."
Iran says it has a right to enrich uranium for purposes of generating electricity under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The United States and its allies assert the claim is a cover for attempts to develop a nuclear weapons program.
When asked Monday if Iran would suspend enrichment for the sake of negotiations, Iranian spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham repeated the government line that enrichment is Iran's "obvious right."
With the group statement decidedly favoring Iran, the United States and its allies were focusing on key nations with clout among nonaligned countries - such as Brazil, India and Argentina - that have sided with them in the past. They are urging them to put pressure on Iran in individual statements to accept an offer for talks on its nuclear program, said the diplomats.' Lees verder: Of:

De Bush Bende 15

Op de bovenste foto ziet u Colleen Graffy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, lid dus van de Bush Bende. Op de onderste foto ziet u zomaar een willekeurige onbekende dode Irakees, die volgens Colleen druk bezig is met een in haar woorden 'goede campagne om aandacht te trekken.'

In Truthout schrijft de onafhankelijke William Fisher: 'And the Oscar Goes To ...

You can only be bemused by the title of the lady at the US State Department who called the suicides of three prisoners a "good PR move to draw attention."
Her name is Colleen Graffy, and her title is Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy. That's Public Diplomacy.
Her official State Department bio says Ms. Graffy "coordinates efforts with Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes."
One has to wonder if she coordinated her suicide remarks with Ms. Hughes, the longtime Bush spinmeister whose job it is to "win hearts and minds" for America throughout the world, and especially in the Muslim world.
My brain tells me she didn't consult Ms. Hughes, but my gut tells me it's not beyond the realm of possibility. That's because since President Bush asked Ms. Hughes to take on this impossible job, she has also suffered from foot-in-mouth disease.
Like telling upper-class Saudi women that they ought to be able to drive cars, only to hear that, thank you very much, they'd much rather use their drivers.
But the Graffy gaffe takes the foot-in-mouth malady to a whole new level. In fact, if there were an Oscar for the dumbest remark made since 9/11, this lady's words would rank right up there with "bring it on" and "Mission Accomplished."
And even if she doesn't go home with the award, I predict her words will become as iconic as Rummy's comments that "stuff happens," "you go to war with the army you have," and all the people at GITMO are "the worst of the worst."
But wait - there's more. Apparently not content with one foot in her mouth, Ms. Graffy stuck the other one in as well. She told the BBC the suicides were part of a strategy and "a tactic to further the jihadi cause," but taking their own lives was unnecessary. The three men did not value their lives or the lives of those around them, she said.
Then she went on to explain that the three detainees had access to lawyers, received mail and had the ability to write to families, and so had other means of making protests. She said it was hard to see why the men had not protested about their situation.
Evidently she hadn't heard about the hunger strikes and the many previous suicide attempts.
We don't know a lot about these three men. They may indeed have been among the "worst of the worst.Ó One, we have since learned, was scheduled to be released but hadn't yet been told. And none of them were among the ten - out of close to 500 prisoners - who have ever been charged with a crime or had a trial.' Lees verder:

Amerikaanse Oorlogsmisdaden 23

De onafhankelijke Amerikaanse journalist Dahr Jamail schrijft: 'Another US Cover-Up Surfaces.

Baghdad - In the wake of the Haditha massacre, reports of another atrocity have surfaced in which U.S. troops killed two women in Samarra, and then attempted to hide evidence of their responsibility.
Among the innumerable such cases people speak of, this one too has now come to light.
According to an earlier account, Nabiha Nisaif Jassim, a 35-year-old mother of two, was killed in firing along with her 57-year-old cousin Saliha Mohammed Hassan on May 30 when they were being transported to Samarra General Hospital for Nabiha to give birth.
What was not reported, according to an Iraqi human rights investigator who spoke with IPS on condition of anonymity, was that both women were shot in the back of the head by U.S. snipers.
"I investigated this incident myself, and both of these women were shot from behind," said the investigator. "Nabiha's brains were splattered on her brother who was driving the car, since she was in the back seat."
The U.S. military said soldiers fired on the car after it entered a "clearly marked prohibited area near an observation post" after failing to stop despite "repeated visual and auditory warnings." The U.S. military said in a statement that "shots were fired to disable the vehicle."
The brother of the pregnant woman, Redam Nisaif Jassim, who was driving the car, told IPS that he neither saw nor heard any warnings by the U.S. military. Two men who witnessed the incident from a nearby home also said they saw no signs of any warning.
"These kinds of killings by the Americans happen daily in Iraq," said Jassim, "They gave no warning to us before killing my cousin and sister. Of course we know they have no respect for the lives of Iraqis."
The U.S. military claims the incident is being investigated.' Lees verder: Of:

De Bush Bende 14

Op de bovenste foto ziet u Elizabeth Cheney, de dochter van Dick Cheney, die beiden hetzelfde gewelddadig beleid voorstaan. Op de onderste foto ziet u het resultaat van hun ideologische opvattingen. De onafhankelijke Amerikaanse onderzoeksjournalist Robert Dreyfuss schrijft: 'Since 2005, Dick Cheney's daughter Elizabeth has held a powerful position guiding Middle East policy. And like father, like daughter: Liz is a key player in the push for regime change in Iran and Syria. At the very heart of U.S. Middle East policy, from the war in Iraq to pressure for regime change in Iran and Syria to the spread of free-market democracy in the region, sits the 39-year-old daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney. Elizabeth "Liz" Cheney, appointed to her post in February 2005, has a tongue-twisting title: principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs and coordinator for broader Middle East and North Africa initiatives. By all accounts, it is an enormously powerful post, and one for which she is uniquely unqualified.
During the past 15 months, Elizabeth Cheney has met with and bolstered a gaggle of Syrian exiles, often in tandem with John Hannah and David Wurmser, top officials in the Office of the Vice President (OVP); has pressed hard for money to accelerate the administration's ever more overt campaign for forced regime change in both Damascus and Teheran; and has overseen an increasingly discredited push for American-inspired democratic reform from Morocco to Iran.
With the unspoken support of her father, Cheney has kept a hawk's eye on Iraq policy within the department, intimidating opponents of the neoconservative axis within the administration. And, less visibly, according to former officials who've worked with her, she has made her influence felt in choosing officials, selecting (or blocking) the appointment of ambassadors and other foreign service officers, and weighing in on other bureaucratic battles at the department.
Now, according to the Financial Times of London, Cheney is coordinating the work of a new entity called the Iran-Syria Operations Group. The unit was established "to plot a more aggressive democracy promotion strategy for those two 'rogue' states," reported the Times. In February, the State Department announced that Cheney would oversee a $5 million program to "accelerate the work of reformers in Syria," providing grants of up to $1 million each to Syrian dissidents.' Lees verder:

Het Nederlandse Staatshoofd

Welke banden heeft het Nederlandse staatshoofd, koningin Beatrix, met de van oorlogsmisdaden beschuldigde Henry Kissinger, adviseur van multinationals? In een email van Danny Schechter trof ik dit bericht aan: 'THE B-WORD: SHADOWY GROUP MEETS IN CANADA.

AFP: ”The world's political elite, top thinkers and powerful business folk gathered here for an annual, ultra-secretive Bilderberg conference as heavy security kept conspiracy theorists and curious onlookers at bay.
Global luminaries such as former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, US banker David Rockefeller and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands were greeted at the airport by limousine drivers holding single-letter "B" signs late Thursday, said local reports.
"They were quickly whisked away to the Brook street Hotel in a serene suburb of Ottawa for three-day talks on oil markets, security concerns tied to Iran's nuclear ambitions, terrorism, and immigration, the Ottawa Citizen reported.
"Conspiracy theorists who follow the group accuse it of plotting world domination at its informal annual gatherings.' Heeft u iets ervan vernomen via de Nederlandse commerciele media? Speciaal uitgekozen 'betrouwbare' journalisten, die de 'partijlijn' volgen, worden uitgenodigd op voorwaarde dat ze er niet over zullen berichten. Maar toch, die andere journalisten kunnen toch wel berichten dat ze weer bij elkaar zaten. Of moet ook dat geheim blijven. Of beschouwt men het als normaal dat in een democratisch bestel een kleine selecte elite van invloedrijke en schatrijke mensen bij elkaar komt om over de toekomst van de Westerse democratie te praten?

De Israelische Terreur 29

De Israelische journalist Danny Rubinstein schrijft in Haaretz: 'We came, we shelled, we killed

The bloodshed on the Gaza beachfront late last week was not the result of a tragic error. It was clear to everyone that in the exchanges of fire in the narrow Gaza Strip, where the population density is among the highest in the world, it was just a matter of time before an entire family was hit. The Palestinian response was also known in advance. More and more attacks - and the number of Israeli victims that can be expected in the near future - will only be determined by luck, for better or worse. It is a known fact that there is no military solution to the overall Palestinian-Israeli conflict. But now it is becoming increasingly clear that there is no military solution for putting an end to the Qassam rocket attacks. The Israel Defense Forces has struck at the rocket-launching crews and their commanders; it has destroyed the bridges and the roads leading to the launching areas; it has carried out what it calls "exposure" activities and has destroyed farmland; it has bombed the launching sites, over and over. The army has dispersed fliers warning the population and threatening to destroy entire neighborhoods and towns. And let us also remember the IDF's "war on the lathes" that targeted the metalworking shops in Gaza. Dozens of Palestinian lathes were bombed and destroyed due to the suspicion that they were being used to manufacture rockets. None of this helped. On the contrary: There are many more rockets and missiles in Gaza today than in the past. The know-how, the means and the capabilities to launch them against targets in Israel have only improved and become more sophisticated. And there is no doubt that the continued deterioration of the security situation will only sharpen Palestinian martial skills and broaden their activity in this area. We can even assume that sooner or later, in the absence of a diplomatic option, the motivation, the means and the know-how for launching missiles will also reach the West Bank.' Lees verder:

De Israelische Terreur 28

De Birmingham News bericht: 'Divestment a stand for equality in Israel

As an American Jew who has spoken out against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza for many years, I have been regularly smeared as a "self-hating Jew" and worse.
It little matters that the "radical" ideas I advocated 25 years ago are now common policy: that Israel withdraw from the territories it occupied in 1967, that a viable Palestinian state be established, and that security be assured for all. On Thursday in Birmingham, the Presbyterian Church will decide if it will take a stand on the conflict, and it must prepare itself for attacks. It is indeed fitting for this discussion to take place in Birmingham, a city where decades ago, church leaders risked much to take a stand for equal rights.
In its 217th General Assembly Conference, Presbyterian Church leaders will deliberate on whether to call for some form of selective divestment from Israel in response to Israel's continuing occupation of Palestinian land and ongoing human rights abuses. This is an urgent question for all Americans. We are indirectly implicated in these abuses, whether we are aware of it or not.
This year, $2.5 billion in aid will be sent to Israel, the most to any country, and the bulk of it goes to the Israeli military. In addition, American businesses continue to invest in Israel, particularly in military weapons systems.
If you wonder why so many people in the Middle East hate American foreign policy, just look at the "special relationship" between Israel and the U.S. government and American business. People in the Middle East know that Israel's human rights abuses - including land seizures, home demolition and segregation of non-Jews in the occupied territories - would not be possible without unconditional support from the United States.
In 2004, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church passed a resolution to investigate selective divestment of holdings in multinational corporations doing business in Israel. Divestment - in which churches and other institutions withdraw investments from companies that profit from human rights abuses - has worked in the past, especially during the movement against South African apartheid. Such nonviolent, material action can work now.
But the Presbyterian Church is facing pressure to pass resolutions that would overturn its previous commitment to divestment. If it does support divestment, the church will be attacked. Organizations that support Israeli policies will say the church is one-sided, aiding extremists and anti-Semitic.
Moral vision demands courage in the face of pressure, and Presbyterians will have to steel themselves. They will doubt themselves, and they will search their hearts. Many will succumb to the pressure. Wisdom and courage are not easy under those conditions.
But if Presbyterians - and all Americans - regard the conflict with honest eyes, they will see the moral imperative clearly, and they will see the parallels to other injustices they have confronted before. Calling Israeli expansion "settlements" seems benign, for example, but if we understand them to be in reality "segregated housing projects," they suggest dynamics we understand and have rejected. Israel's separation wall, maze of arbitrary checkpoints, assassinations and other abuses condemned by international law are uncomfortably similar to other relics of past injustices, like South Africa under apartheid.
Presbyterians will be told to focus their attention on other bloody conflicts, such as in Darfur. They should indeed speak out against all injustices - but not to the exclusion of the one conflict in which American taxpayers, businesses and churches have been so deeply implicated.
They will be accused of condoning Palestinian outrages, and they will need the wisdom to know that condemning Israeli policies is not turning a blind eye to terrorist violence. They will also need the courage to stick to their love of justice and peace and take a stand.
All Americans seeking an end to violence in the Middle East should pray the Presbyterian Church will find that courage.

Hilton Obenzinger is a writer who teaches advanced writing and American literature at Stanford University. E-mail him at

De Volkskrant 4

De journaliste Amira Hass van de Israëlische kwaliteitskrant Ha'aretz, die in tegenstelling tot de Nederlandse correspondenten op de Westoever woont, interviewde Israelische militaire sluipschutters die in bezet gebied kinderen doodschoten. Een van hen vertelde haar: 'Wanneer de officieren te velde de scherpschutters opdracht geven te vuren, dan is de intentie om het hoofd te raken, want als hij schiet, doet hij dat om te doden… Meestal doodt het… Twaalf jaar en ouder mogen we neerschieten,' aldus de Israëlische militair. Hij gaf overigens toe dat het moeilijk is om leeftijden te schatten. 'De richtlijnen… veranderen elke dag, soms zelfs meermalen per dag. Wanneer er aan Israëlische zijde doden vallen, mogen wij meer schieten.' Over het aantal Palestijnse doden zei hij: 'Zes per dag is normaal, het kunnen er ook veel meer zijn.' Het alleen verwonden van kinderen wordt doorgaans als ondoeltreffend beschouwd, want 'verwondingen hitsen de gemoederen veel meer op.' Zie ook:

Sinds het begin van de Tweede Palestijnse volksopstand, 28 september 2000 zijn volgens de mensenrechtenorganisatie Defence for Children International 746 Palestijnse kinderen door het Israelische leger en joodse kolonisten vermoord. Op dit moment zitten 388 kinderen in Israelische gevangenissen, sommigen van hen worden gemarteld. Zie:

Ik meld dit omdat de commerciele media maar te vaak vanuit onuitgesproken aannames berichten, zoals dat Israel een fatsoenlijk leger heeft en de joodse natie een democratische rechtstaat is, die geen Palestijnse burgers vermoordt. Die meestal verborgen veronderstelling blijkt ook weer uit een 'analyse' van de Volkskrant correspondent in Israel, Alex Burghoorn, die schrijft: 'De 11-jarige Huda Ghaliya heeft haar vader en vijf broers en zussen verloren bij de explosie op het strand van de Gazastrook, vermoedelijk veroorzaakt door een afgezwaaide granaat.' De cursivering is van mij. Hoezo vermoedelijk? Waarop berust deze veronderstelling? Het kan ook zijn dat - zoals in het verleden meermaals gebeurd is - de Israelische regering een gewelddadige reactie van de Palestijnen probeert uit te lokken. Leest u het werk van de Israelische 'nieuwe historici' er maar op na. Het kan ook zijn dat er in de buurt waar het projectiel ontplofte iemand was voor wie deze moordaanslag was bedoeld, net zoals de Israelis een flatgebouw bombardeerden met talloze burger doden als gevolg, louter en alleen omdat er een Hamas functionaris in zat. Het kan van alles zijn. We weten het niet. Maar wat ik uit directe ervaring wel weet is dat veel journalisten elkaar napraten. Over die 'afgezwaaide granaat' van Alex had ik al gisteren gelezen in de New York Times, en de Herald Tribune en de grote persbureau's. Dus schrijft de correspondent dat klakkeloos na, want de journalistiek gaat uit van talloze veronderstellingen die bij nader onderzoek op niets zijn gebaseerd.

Het is een paar uur geleden dat ik dit schreef. Het is nu 17.33 uur en ik las net bij de BBC:
'Beach deaths "not Israel's fault"
Palestinian PM Ismail Haniya visited the wounded in hospital
An Israeli military inquiry into the deaths of eight Palestinians on a Gaza beach is close to deciding Israel was not responsible, media reports say.
The explosion was initially blamed on Israeli shelling near the area where a family was enjoying a picnic.
The internal probe is based on TV film of the aftermath and shrapnel taken from injured being treated in Israel.
Correspondents say the findings will not be conclusive and are likely to be dismissed by the Palestinians.
Friday's civilian deaths, including three young children, sparked worldwide condemnation of Israel, which was accused of using gunboats stationed off the Gaza coastline to shell the beach.
The militant group Hamas, which heads the Palestinian government, ended an informal ceasefire and fired dozens of home-made rockets at Israel, causing panic and several injuries. ' Lees verder:

Hoe kan nu de Israelische 'afgezwaaide granaat' van Alex Burghoorn ineens zijn veranderd in een Palestijnse mijn? Waar kreeg Alex en zijn Amerikaanse collega's de informatie over een afgezwaaide granaat vandaan? Op wat berustte zijn vermoeden? Wie heeft hem wat ingefluisterd?

Duidelijk is in elk geval dat de beelden van de vermoorde familie de wereld zijn rondgegaan en niet gunstig waren voor de Israelische propaganda. Zie:

Gruwelijke beelden, dus ligt het voor de hand dat het Israelische leger de Palestijnen nu maar al te graag de schuld geven voor het vermoorden van hun eigen mensen. En met journalisten als Alex kom je daar ook nog mee weg. Die lepelt klakkeloos de Israelische legerberichten op, net als vele van mijn collega's die in Israel zijn gestationeerd.

Martelen 50

De New York Times: 'Deaths at Guantánamo.

The news that three inmates at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, hanged themselves should not have surprised anyone who has paid attention to the twisted history of the camp that President George W. Bush built for selected prisoners from Afghanistan and antiterrorist operations. It was the inevitable result of creating a netherworld of despair beyond the laws of civilized nations, where men were to be held without any hope of decent treatment, impartial justice or, in so many cases, even eventual release.

It is a place where secret tribunals sat in judgment of men whose identities they barely knew and who were not permitted to see the evidence against them. Inmates were abused, humiliated, tormented and sometimes tortured. Some surely are very dangerous men, committed to a life of terrorism and deserving of harsh justice. But only 10 of the roughly 465 men at the camp have been charged with crimes. The others, according to senior officers who served there, were foot soldiers of the Taliban or men who just happened to live in a country invaded by the United States after the 9/11 attacks.

Inmates at Guantánamo Bay have tried seeking help from the American courts, and one case has reached the Supreme Court. But most of these appeals were thwarted by claims of national security. Any new appeals will fall under a shocking new law that deprives the inmates of the centuries- old right to challenge their imprisonment. Government lawyers have even tried to use that law retroactively, to dismiss all pending appeals.

Guantánamo and other American detention centers have sparked outrage around the world, deeply harming America's image as the defender of humanity against just these sorts of abuses. Last month a UN panel called for the prisons to be shut down. The administration's response to all of this has been defiance.

When dozens of inmates went on hunger strikes last year, the authorities strapped them into metal "restraint chairs" and ordered doctors to force-feed them. Military officials said they did this only to inmates on the brink of death, but The New York Times has reported that the restraint chair was used on all hunger strikers, regardless of their condition.

Medical groups were overwhelmingly appalled by this practice, but the Pentagon issued new rules this month reaffirming that military doctors can be ordered to force-feed prisoners. The only role for psychiatrists at Guantánamo seems to be to help prepare prisoners for interrogation.

So it was not surprising in the least when inmates attempted suicide. Twenty-three tried to kill themselves over eight days in August 2003, but the military covered it up for 18 months. Now, three inmates have succeeded. Camp officials say one was a mid- or high-level Al Qaeda operative. One was captured in Afghanistan (doing what, we don't know), and the other was from something the camp commander, Rear Admiral Harry Harris Jr., called a splinter group.

Harris's response was as appalling as the suicides. "I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us," he said. The inmates, he said, "have no regard for life, neither ours nor their own."

These comments reveal a profound disassociation from humanity. They say more about why Guantánamo Bay should be closed than any UN report ever could.

The news that three inmates at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, hanged themselves should not have surprised anyone who has paid attention to the twisted history of the camp that President George W. Bush built for selected prisoners from Afghanistan and antiterrorist operations. It was the inevitable result of creating a netherworld of despair beyond the laws of civilized nations, where men were to be held without any hope of decent treatment, impartial justice or, in so many cases, even eventual release.

It is a place where secret tribunals sat in judgment of men whose identities they barely knew and who were not permitted to see the evidence against them. Inmates were abused, humiliated, tormented and sometimes tortured. Some surely are very dangerous men, committed to a life of terrorism and deserving of harsh justice. But only 10 of the roughly 465 men at the camp have been charged with crimes. The others, according to senior officers who served there, were foot soldiers of the Taliban or men who just happened to live in a country invaded by the United States after the 9/11 attacks.

Inmates at Guantánamo Bay have tried seeking help from the American courts, and one case has reached the Supreme Court. But most of these appeals were thwarted by claims of national security. Any new appeals will fall under a shocking new law that deprives the inmates of the centuries- old right to challenge their imprisonment. Government lawyers have even tried to use that law retroactively, to dismiss all pending appeals.

Guantánamo and other American detention centers have sparked outrage around the world, deeply harming America's image as the defender of humanity against just these sorts of abuses. Last month a UN panel called for the prisons to be shut down. The administration's response to all of this has been defiance.

When dozens of inmates went on hunger strikes last year, the authorities strapped them into metal "restraint chairs" and ordered doctors to force-feed them. Military officials said they did this only to inmates on the brink of death, but The New York Times has reported that the restraint chair was used on all hunger strikers, regardless of their condition.

Medical groups were overwhelmingly appalled by this practice, but the Pentagon issued new rules this month reaffirming that military doctors can be ordered to force-feed prisoners. The only role for psychiatrists at Guantánamo seems to be to help prepare prisoners for interrogation.

So it was not surprising in the least when inmates attempted suicide. Twenty-three tried to kill themselves over eight days in August 2003, but the military covered it up for 18 months. Now, three inmates have succeeded. Camp officials say one was a mid- or high-level Al Qaeda operative. One was captured in Afghanistan (doing what, we don't know), and the other was from something the camp commander, Rear Admiral Harry Harris Jr., called a splinter group.

Harris's response was as appalling as the suicides. "I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us," he said. The inmates, he said, "have no regard for life, neither ours nor their own."

These comments reveal a profound disassociation from humanity. They say more about why Guantánamo Bay should be closed than any UN report ever could.' Lees verder:

Nazi Crimes of the Self Proclaimed Jewish State Sulaiman Ahmed @ShaykhSulaiman NEVER FORGET WHAT THEY DID 11:59 a.m. · 15 jun. 202...