zaterdag 11 november 2006
'Is there not something worthy of perpetuation in our Indian spirit of democracy, where Earth, our mother, was free to all, and no one sought to impoverish or enslave his neighbor?'
Charles A. Eastman, Ohiyesa (Winner), Wahpeton Dakota (Eastern Woodland Sioux), 1858-1939. Physician, autobiographer, legend re-teller, essayist, lecturer.
Charles Alexander Eastman is unique among Indian writers, whether storytellers or oral historians. He was raised traditionally, as a Woodland Sioux, by his grandmother, from 1858 - 1874, until he was 15. He thus gained a thorough first-hand knowledge of the lifeways, language, culture, and oral history. His father (thought to have been hanged at Mankato, Minnesota) reappeared and insisted he receive the white man's education, Educated at Dartmouth and Boston University medical school, Eastman became a highly literate physician, who was the only doctor available to the victims of the Wounded Knee massacre in 1890 -- a major historical event, often described as "ending the Indian wars". Other Indian writers of this period were either entirely acculturated -- had never lived the traditional life of their people or been educated out of their native knowledge -- or were not literate, and were able to provide only "as told to" materials, through the filters of interpreters and non-Indian writers. Eastman had the lifeways and historical events experiences, and he did not need the literary filters of translators and white anthropologists or collectors.
'Dirty Water Kills 5,000 Children a Day· Sanitation the key to saving millions of lives· UN urges governments to ensure supplies for all.
by Ashley Seager
Nearly two million children a year die for want of clean water and proper sanitation while the world's poor often pay more for their water than people in Britain or the US, according to a major new report.
The United Nations Development Programme, in its annual Human Development report, argues that 1.1 billion people do not have safe water and 2.6 billion suffer from inadequate sewerage. This is not because of water scarcity but poverty, inequality and government failure.
The report urges governments to guarantee that each person has at least 20 litres of clean water a day, regardless of wealth, location, gender or ethnicity. If water was free to the poor, it adds, it could trigger the next leap forward in human development.
Many sub-Saharan Africans get less than 20 litres of water a day and two-thirds have no proper toilets. By contrast, the average Briton uses 150 litres a day while Americans are the world's most profligate, using 600 litres a day. Phoenix, Arizona, uses 1,000 litres per person on average - 100 times as much as Mozambique.
"Water, the stuff of life and a basic human right, is at the heart of a daily crisis faced by countless millions of the world's most vulnerable people," says the report's lead author, Kevin Watkins.
Hilary Benn, international development secretary, said: "In many developing countries, water companies supply the rich with subsidised water but often don't reach poor people at all. With around 5,000 children dying every day because they drink dirty water, we must do more."
Many countries spend less than 1% of national income on water. This needs to rise sharply, as does the share of foreign aid spent on water projects, the UNDP says. It shows how spending on clean water and sanitation led to dramatic advances in health and infant mortality in Britain and the United States in the 1800s.'
Lees verder: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/1110-12.htm
'Cleric Details CIA Abduction, Torture.
Milan - In an account smuggled out of prison, a radical Muslim cleric has detailed how he was kidnapped by the CIA from this northern Italian city and flown to Cairo, where he was tortured for months with electric shocks and shackled to an iron rack known as "the Bride."
Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, wrote an 11-page letter describing his 2003 abduction at the hands of the CIA and Italian secret service agents. He somehow transferred the document out of Egypt - where he remains in custody - and into the hands of Italian prosecutors who are investigating his disappearance.
The Milan public prosecutor's office on Thursday confirmed the authenticity of the letter, the existence of which was first reported by the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera.
The document has been submitted as evidence to defense attorneys representing 25 CIA officers, a US Air Force officer and nine Italian agents who have been charged with organizing the kidnapping of Nasr, an Egyptian national, in February 2003.
A copy of the document, handwritten in Arabic, was obtained by The Washington Post. Undated, it reads like a homemade legal affidavit, outlining how Nasr was seized as he was walking to a mosque in Milan, stuffed into a van and rushed to Egypt in a covert operation involving spies from three countries.
"I didn't understand anything about what was going on," Nasr wrote. "They began to punch me in the stomach and all over my body. They wrapped my entire head and face with wide tape, and cut holes over my nose and face so I could breathe."
Upon his arrival in Egypt hours later, he said, he was taken into a room by an Egyptian security official who told him that "two pashas" wanted to speak with him.
"Only one spoke, an Egyptian," he recalled. "And all he said was, 'Do you want to collaborate with us?' " Nasr said the other "pasha" appeared to be an American. His captors offered a deal: They would allow him to return to Italy if he agreed to become an informant. Nasr said he refused. As a result, he said, he was interrogated and physically abused for the next 14 months in two Cairo prisons.
Italian prosecutors charge that the CIA and the Italian military intelligence agency known as Sismi collaborated to kidnap Nasr, who was known for preaching radical sermons in Milan and railing against US policies in Afghanistan and the Middle East. According to prosecutors, the abduction thwarted a separate Italian police investigation into Nasr's activities and jeopardized a surveillance operation concerning other radicals in Milan.'
Lees verder: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/111006R.shtml
Oorlog is niet iets abstracts. Dit is oorlog. Een oorlog die door de Nederlandse regering gesteund via door de economische, militaire en politieke steun aan Israel. Dit is waar premier Balkenende het in feite over heeft wanneer hij zijn steun aan Israel verdedigt. Een gruwelijk voorbeeld van het resultaat van een Israelische terreuraanval. Ditmaal een foto uit Libanon.
Jennifer Loewenstein is a Visiting Research Fellow at Oxford University's Refugee Studies Centre. She has lived and worked in Gaza City, Beirut and Jerusalem and has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, where she has worked as a free-lance journalist and a human rights activist. She can be reached at: email@example.com
Nightmare in Beit Hanoun
In CounterPunch schrijft zij:
'How Gaza Offends Us All.
By JENNIFER LOEWENSTEIN
An opened jaw with yellowed teeth gaped out of its bloodied shroud. The rest of the head parts were wrapped in a plastic bag placed atop the jaw and nostrils, as if to be close to the place to which it once belonged. The bag was red from the pieces that were stuffed inside it. Below the jaw was a human neck slit open midway down: a fleshy, wet wound smiling pink and oozing out from the browned skin around it, the neck that was still linked to the body below it. Above him, in the upper freezer of the morgue lay a dead woman, her red hennaed hair visible for the first time to strange men around her. More red plastic wrapped around an otherwise absent chin. She was dead for demonstrating outside a mosque in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza where more than 60 men sheltered during the artillery onslaught by Israeli tanks and cannons.
Most of the others still had their faces intact. They lay on their silver morgue trays stiffly as unthawed frozen food. One man had a green Hamas band tied around his head; he looked like a gentle shepherd from some forgotten, pastoral age. Another's white eyes were partially opened, his face looking out in horror as if he'd died seeing it coming. Then a muddy, grizzled blob on the bottom left tray, black curls tangled and damped into its rounded head and blessedly shut eyes. A closer look revealed a child, a boy of 4: Majed, out playing his important childhood games when death came in like thunder and rolled him up in a million speckles of black mud. The other dead had already been taken away.
Muslim burials take place quickly, a god-send to the doctors, nurses and undertakers who, at the hospitals and morgues, desperately need the space for next batch of casualties who would sleep on the same sheets, same steel-framed beds, in the same humid heat, in the same close, crowded, grief-stricken rooms, often on the floors, with the same tired, unpaid attendants doing their rounds without the proper supplies to help them if they were still alive. And some would die on the operating table like the young man gone now to the Kamal Adwan hospital morgue when his wounds became too much for his body to bear. Two young girls preceded him earlier the same day. Blessed are they who leave this human wasteland washed and shrouded for a quiet, earthy grave.
Today the hospitals will be filled beyond capacity again when the 18 civilian dead from a pre-dawn attack on Beit Hanoun -- women, men and children blasted out of their sleep into human chunks -- roll out of the ambulances and into the freezers of Shifa or Kamal Adwan hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip. How dare they sleep in their houses at night when the tanks are barking out commands.
Do you believe this was an accident? that an international investigation will ever take place? Like after Jenin? Like after Dan Halutz and his 2000 pound bomb which was dropped on an apartment building in Gaza City killing 15 people, 9 of them women and children? Like after the siege of Jabalya in the fall of 2004? Like after Operation Rainbow in Rafah? Like after Huda Ghalia's family was blasted into nothingness during an outing on a Gaza beach? Will US eyes, glued to their glaucousy TV screens to find out which marketed candidate won the corporate-managed midterm elections, ever know that that another massacre of Palestinians took place?'
Lees verder: http://www.counterpunch.org/loewenstein11092006.html
Dr. Elias Akleh is an Arab writer of Palestinian descent, born in the town of Beit-Jala. Currently he lives in the US.
'War on IranUnleashing. Armageddon in the Middle East.
By Dr. Elias Akleh11/10/06 "Information Clearing House"
In mid 1970s the American Power Elite drew a “Grand Plan” to control and to monopolize global oil and nuclear energy resources, for he who controls energy resources determines the fate of nations. The base of this “Grand Plan” is the invasion of energy rich countries to directly control their resources, and to create subservient governments that would exploit their own people as cheap labor to harvest energy for the United States.The collapse of the Soviet Union had created a window of opportunity for the United States to ensure and to affirm its global superiority through expansion and controlling energy resources without any real opposition. The attacks of 911 were necessary requirements for the Bush administration to wage a “global war against terror” that would serve as a cover up for American hegemony. President Bush borrowed Mussolini’s fascist motto of “If you are not with me, you are against me” and turned it into “You are either with us or with the terrorist” to terrorize weaker nations into accepting American expansions. Part of the “Grand Plan”, which deals with the Arab World (Middle East) and South East Asia, was handed down to the Bush/Cheney administration for execution. The invasions and destructions of Afghanistan and Iraq are just the beginning. Iran, Syria, and Lebanon are next. Controlling Iran is very important to the American administration. Iran sits on a lake of oil and has large deposits of uranium that, when mined and refined, could make Iran a super global power. Controlling Iran leads to the containment of China (America’s greatest competitor), who depends heavily on Iranian oil to satisfy its growing hunger for energy. Geographically Iran makes the shortest and the most economical route for Kazakhstan’s oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea ,north, to the Persian Gulf south with all the oil-tankers traffic. Iran also fits perfectly within the line of American hegemony in South East Asia. Listening to Bush’s speeches – especially his speech to the United Nation last September 2006- one can detect his “enthusiasm” for “spreading democracy and freedom” into the “despotic Middle East” with Iraq as an example. The Bush/Cheney administration started its overt aggression against Iran immediately after 911 attacks. Bush described Iran as one of the “axis of evil” sponsoring “terrorist” groups such as the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas, who are in reality defending themselves against Israeli aggression. After the American invasion of Iraq the American administration accused Iran of instigating a civil war in Iraq by supporting Shiites against Sunnis, and of opening its borders wide for terrorists to enter Iraq. The administration is accusing Iran of building a nuclear bomb, and is continuously threatening its government to abandon its nuclear “ambitions” or else face dire consequences including nuclear strikes (a paradox of using nuclear weapon to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons). Condoleezza Rice, the Secretary of State described Iran as a “central bank for world terrorism” that is threatening the stability of the Middle East.American media had joined the administration into demonizing Iran and its government. Iran is described as a fundamentalist theocracy, who seeks to revive the glory of ancient Persian Empire by establishing an Islamic “Caliphate” in the Middle East. Iran’s leaders are portrayed as extremists, who hate Americans for their freedom, and want to build nuclear bomb to attack the US. Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is described as an irrational, violent, mad Hitler-like anti-Semite, who hates Jews, denies the Holocaust, and wants to wipe Israel off the map. Ahmadinejad’s visit to the US last September (2006) to give a speech at the UN was received with a cold shoulder by the US. American officials in the UN and the American media boycotted his speech, while NBC’s Brian Williams and Newsweek’s Lally Weymouth interviewed him only to corner him about the Holocaust and wiping Israel off the map.'
vrijdag 10 november 2006
Ik moet mijn atelierruimte in de Van Gendthallen per 10 december verlaten. De huur is mij opgezegd, omdat een vriend van mij, die mijn atelierruimte even mocht gebruiken voor een gemeenschappelijk project,
een klein vuurtje had ontbrand ter droging van een werkstuk. Ik wist dat niet, maar het wordt mij wel aangerekend, omdat het gebruik van vuur in deze oude las(!)hallen van Stork geen vuur gedoogd wordt.
Door het helpen van een vriend, ben ik nu de pineut.
Wie kan mij helpen aan:
1) een plek waar ik mijn wandplastieken veilig kan ophangen en bewaren. Het mag ook in een gebouw zijn waar ze voor langere tijd tentoon worden gesteld. Hiertoe zal ik wel enige duidelijke voorwaarden
2) een atelierruimte van 60-100 m2 , met goede ventilatie, waar ik voortaan kan werken en mijn materiaal, en eventueel ook mijn werkstukken, kan opslaan. Per 1 december graag. Het hoeft niet in Amsterdam te zijn, het mag ook buiten de stad (in een cirkel van ongeveer 50 km), overal waar ik welkom ben.
Ik zit echt in de puree en ik zal het erg op prijs stellen, als je met een persoonlijke mail of met een telefoontje op mijn verzoek reageert.
Met vriendelijke groet;
Zie ook: http://www.robschrama.nl/
'Members of the European Parliament hold a press conference to discuss the findings of their delegation to Palestine. (David Lundy)
MEPs Call For An International Force To Stop The Killing In Gaza And For An End To The Occupation Press Release, Members of European Parliament, 9 November 2006 (Van Electronic Intifada)
We, the undersigned Members of the European Parliament, recently returned from a fact finding mission to Israel and Palestine, are shocked and appalled by what we have seen and experienced in Gaza.Due to economic sanctions, almost all public institutions have shut down. The hospitals are overcrowded and receive neither money nor sufficient medicine. The public employees have not been paid for months. The doctors told us that some deadly injuries are not caused by traditional weapons but most likely by new experimental chemical weapons. More amputations than ever are necessary. They have not had the time to examine the dead bodies yet as they are busy dealing with the wounds of those who have survived.
The closure of Rafah and Karni crossing for people and goods has turned Gaza into an open air prison. Recently, Gaza has seen horrible carnage.
We call upon Israel to stop the violation of human rights and repeated breaches of the Geneva Convention.
We call for a complete ceasefire by Israel, an immediate withdrawal of troops from Gaza and an end to the military incursion in the West Bank.
We strongly object to the description by Israel of those it has killed as “terrorists”.
We call and insist that the EU should review the association agreement and consider imposition of sanctions on Israel unless it ceases the killing of civilians and the violation of human rights, thus complying with article 2 of the association agreement.
We urge Hamas and Fatah and all the democratic Palestinian forces, even under these circumstances, not to stop their efforts to form a Unity Government as already agreed on the document of national reconciliation which recognizes the 1967 borders of the state of Palestine and Israel and to take every possible measure to halt the firing of Qassam rockets.
We call upon the EU to open dialogue with all the Palestinian national institutions and to put pressure on the Israeli government to release the tax revenues confiscated from the Palestinian government.
We ask the UN and the quartet to send international forces to protect the Palestinian and Israeli civilian populations, while calling for an international conference with all the parties involved reaching a comprehensive and just peace for the area.
MEP Luisa Morgantini (Italy), GUE/NGLMEP Vincenzo Aita (Italy) GUE/NGLMEP Allesandro Battilocchio (Italy), N.I.MEP John Bowis (UK), EPP-EDMEP Chris Davies (UK), ALDEMEP Jill Evans (UK), GREEN/EFAMEP Hعlne Flautre (France), GREEN/EFAMEP Gyula Hegyi (Hungary), PESMEP Miguel Portas (Portugal), GUE/NGLMEP Karin Resetarits (Austria), ALDEMEP Alyn Smith (UK), GREEN/EFAMP Norman Paech (Germany), Die Linke'
'Palestinians seek U.N. action on Israeli "terrorism.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - A Palestinian official accused Israel on Thursday of "state terrorism" in an attack in Gaza that killed 18 civilians and said Israeli apologies for such incidents were insincere and no longer acceptable.
"This is terrorism, this is state terrorism," Palestinian U.N. Observer Riyad Mansour told an emergency Security Council meeting. "These are war crimes for which the perpetrators must be held accountable under international law."
But an Israeli diplomat insisted Wednesday's deadly shelling in Beit Hanoun had been accidental. Israel was "deeply saddened" by it and doing its utmost to avoid a repetition, Israeli envoy Daniel Carmon said. "Although the Palestinian civilians killed in this incident may have been killed by Israeli fire, they are in fact the victims of Hamas terrorism," Carmon added, referring to the militant movement heading the elected Palestinian government, which refuses to recognize Israel or renounce violence.
"If Qassam rockets stopped sailing out of Gaza into Israel, the incident in Beit Hanoun would never have happened," he said.
The council met at the request of the 22-member Arab League, the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference and the 116-nation Non-Aligned Movement after what Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert referred to as "a technical failure," but which Palestinian leaders have called a massacre.'
Nu eens opletten of de Nederlandse regering het Palestijns verzoek gaat steunen.
Democracy Now bericht:
'The president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Michael Ratner, is heading to Germany today to file a new case charging outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with war crimes for authorizing torture at Guantanamo Bay. [includes rush transcript]
Would Rumsfeld stepping down leave him open to prosecution? In 2004, the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a criminal complaint in Germany on behalf of several Iraqi citizens who alleged that a group of U.S. officials committed war crimes in Iraq. Rumsfeld was among the officials named in the complaint. The Iraqis claimed they were victims of electric shock, severe beatings, sleep and food deprivation and sexual abuse.
Germany's laws on torture and war crimes permits the prosecution of suspected war criminals wherever they may be found. Now, the president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Michael Ratner, is returning to Germany to file a new complaint. Michael Ratner joins us in our firehouse studio.
Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
AMY GOODMAN: Michael Ratner joins us in our studio here in New York. Former CIA analyst Mel Goodman and journalist Bob Parry are still in Washington. Michael, why are you headed to Germany in the next few days?
MICHAEL RATNER: Thank you for having me on this issue, Amy. One of the shocking things really so far about the coverage of Rumsfeld’s resignation, there's not a word in any of it about torture. And here, Rumsfeld is one of the architects of the torture program of the United States. I mean, we have those sheets of paper that went to Guantanamo that talk about using dogs and stripping people and hooding people. We have one of our clients, al-Qahtani, who was in Guantanamo. Rumsfeld essentially supervised that entire interrogation, one of the worst interrogations that happened at Guantanamo. He actually authorized a rendition, a fake rendition of al-Qahtani, where flew him -- put a -- blindfolded him, sedated him, put him on an airplane and flew him back to Guantanamo, so he thought he would be in some torture country. So here you have Rumsfeld, one of the architects, not a word about it.
AMY GOODMAN: How do you know that he personally supervised it?
MICHAEL RATNER: There’s actually documents out there, that there’s part of the log that comes out. The log was published of his interrogation. And then there’s a report called the “Schmidt Report,” which was an internal investigation, in which there are statements in there about Rumsfeld being directly involved in the interrogation of al-Qahtani. So this guy has committed -- without any question, this guy has committed war crimes, violations of the Geneva Conventions.
Now, what do we do now? Well, we went to Germany before. Germany dismissed the earlier case on Rumsfeld, partly for political reasons, obviously. Rumsfeld said, “I’m not going back to Germany as long as this case is pending in Germany.” He had to go to the Munich Security Conference. They dismissed the case two days before. What they said when they dismissed it, what they said was, we think the United States is still looking into going up the chain of command, essentially, and looking into what the conduct of our officials are.
In fact, now, two years later, look where we are. One, he has resigned, so any kind of immunity he might have as a vice president [sic] from prosecution is out the window. Secondly, of course, as, you know, a little gift package to these guys, you know, our congress with the President has now given immunity to US officials for war crimes. They basically said you can’t be prosecuted for war crimes. That’s in the Military Commission Act. Now, that immunity, like the immunities in Argentina and Chile during the Dirty Wars, does not apply overseas.
So, now you have Germany sitting there with -- there’s no longer an argument the US can possibly prosecute him, because within the US, he’s out. So you have Germany sitting there with a former Secretary of Defense and basically in an immunity situation in the United States. So the chances in Germany have been raised tremendously, I think, and the stakes for Rumsfeld, not only in Germany, but anywhere that guy travels, he is going to be like the Henry Kissinger of the next period.
JUAN GONZALEZ: But then, what would you have to do? You would have to re-file the case before -- is it before an international court in Germany or in German courts?
MICHAEL RATNER: We’re actually going on Tuesday. We’re re-filing it in German courts under their law, which is universal jurisdiction, which basically says a torturer is essentially an enemy of all humankind and can be brought to justice wherever they’re found. So we are going to Germany to try and get them to begin an investigation of Rumsfeld for really a left-out part of this picture, which is the United States has essentially been on the page of torture now for five years.
AMY GOODMAN: Mel Goodman, as you listen to this, have you ever seen this, an American official concerned about going abroad -- you mentioned, Michael, Henry Kissinger -- but because they could be prosecuted? And how possible do you think this is, as a former State Department and CIA analyst?
MELVIN GOODMAN: Well, I think the record is quite clear. War crimes have been committed. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld combined to sponsor the memos by John Yoo and Jay Bybee and others to sanction torture. CIA officials have committed war crimes. DOD officials have committed war crimes. If you look at the three decisions of the Supreme Court -- Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, Rasul v. Bush -- clearly laws have been broken, serious laws have been broken. And now the Congress is trying to rewrite the laws to launder these charges against these people.
But the ultimate question is, will any international body take on these charges, take on these cases, and really operate against high-level American officials? And I guess I have my doubts that this will be done. But I think what Michael Ratner is doing is important to at least establish the record of this pattern of torture and abuse, secret prisons, renditions and extraordinary renditions. I think it’s unconscionable what America has done in the name of the so-called war against terrorism over the last several years. And, of course, the war against terrorism is now the mantra of this administration, and Bob Gates incorporated it a few times in his very brief remarks yesterday, upon receiving this nomination. So this is a very important issue. I’m not optimistic that a court will take it on, but I think it’s very important to get the record out there for all to see what has been done in the name of the United States. This has been unconscionable behavior.'
'The Israeli army Invaded Bet-Hanoun
And killed 50 Palestinians.
In revenge, Palestinians launched Qassam rockets at Askalon.
In revenge, The Israeli army committed A massacre in Bet Hanoun.
In revenge… Until when?
Until the end of the occupation!
Ad published in Haaretz, November 10, 2006
Blood on the flag The most eloquent expression to the feelings of the hundreds of demonstrators was given by a middle-aged woman, who held in her hands the national flag with a large stain of blood. The demonstration was organized spontaneously, only a few hours after it became known that the Israeli artillery had caused a horrible massacre at Bet-Hanoun in the Gaza Strip. The "Peace Now" movement was the first to take the initiative, and was immediately joined by Gush Shalom, the Women's Coalition for Peace, Anarchists for Peace and the Meretz and Hadash parties. The protest took place in front of the Ministry of Defense in Tel-Aviv. Click here to read the full report
To deal with Gaza As the Russians are Dealing with Chechnya - That is the proposal of the new Deputy Prime Minister, Avigdor Liberman. In Chechnya the Russians Are committing terrible war crimes, Wholesale murder and destruction. The whole world condemns them. Please meet: The new friend of Amir Peretz And Ehud Olmert.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Against the Blockade of Gaza!'
Voor de Nederlandse politiek is het geen echt issue in deze verkiezingstijd, maar wel voor organisaties die voor de mensenrechten opkomen, zoals Amnesty International. Ik kreeg de volgende email van Amnesty:
'PERSBERICHT AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL 10 NOVEMBER 2006. DE DOODSTRAF: TEGEN OF TOCH EEN BEETJE VOOR?
De Nederlandse regering is al jarenlang een uitgesproken tegenstander van de doodstraf. Overal en altijd. Amnesty International heeft dan ook met grote verbazing kennis genomen van de recente uitspraken van premier Balkenende, minister Bot en minister Verdonk over de doodstraf. Zo stelde Premier Balkenende in Buitenhof op 5 november jl de doodstraf voor Saddam Hoessein 'terecht' te vinden. Als je voor uitzonderingen pleit dan ben je eigenlijk gewoon vóór. Een dergelijke reactie is niet alleen moreel ongepast, het is in strijd met zowel Nederlands als internationaal beleid en het doet schade aan de rol van Nederland als fervent tegenstander van de doodstraf. Hieronder vindt u de brief van Amnesty International aan de heer Balkenende als reactie op zijn uitspraken.
Mr. dr. J.P. Balkenende
Ministerie van Algemene Zaken
2500 EA Den Haag
8 november 2006
Standpunt Nederlandse regering inzake doodstraf
Geachte heer Balkenende,
Wij hebben met bevreemding en teleurstelling kennis genomen van enkele uitspraken die u deed in het programma Buitenhof van zondag 5 november. In een reactie op de aan Saddam Hoessein opgelegde doodstraf stelde u deze straf “terecht” te vinden. U stelde ook dat “de doodstraf iets is waarvan Nederland zegt ‘dat kan eigenlijk niet’”, maar uw standpunt was duidelijk en u heeft dit ook niet herroepen in de dagen die op de uitzending volgden. Ook uitspraken van de ministers Bot, die in de Volkskrant van 6 november jl. werd geciteerd, en minister Verdonk, die in het programma Pauw en Witteman van 6 november een reactie gaf, hebben ons hogelijk verbaasd.
Onze verbazing is meerledig. Ten eerste kunnen wij uw opstelling moeilijk rijmen met artikel 90 van de Nederlandse Grondwet, noch met het Nederlands buitenlands beleid. Zo staat op de website van het ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken dat “Nederland een uitgesproken tegenstander is van tenuitvoerlegging van de doodstraf waar ook ter wereld”. In de Notitie ‘Mensenrechten in het buitenlands beleid’ van 2001 is de afschaffing van de doodstraf één van de hoofdthema’s.
Ten tweede zijn uw uitspraken in strijd met EU- en Raad van Europa-beleid en standaarden inzake dit onderwerp. Het meest opvallend vinden wij de discrepantie tussen uw uitspraken en de EU-voorzittersverklaring d.d. 5 november jl. Daarnaast zijn uw uitspraken niet in lijn met de EU-richtlijnen voor beleid inzake de doodstraf in derde landen, die de EU in 1998 heeft aangenomen en de afgelopen jaren – naar wij hebben begrepen – veelvuldig heeft aangewend in EU-démarches jegens derde landen. Dat de EU dit onderwerp zeer serieus neemt, wordt ook duidelijk uit het feit dat het Zesde Protocol bij het Europees Verdrag tot Bescherming van de Rechten van de Mens (EVRM), inzake afschaffing van de doodstraf, behoort tot het ‘acquis’ waaraan staten die lid willen worden van de EU zich moeten committeren. Zij moeten in dit kader onmiddellijk een moratorium invoeren en het protocol ratificeren. Kandidaatlidstaten van de EU worden tevens beoordeeld op grond van de ‘Kopenhagencriteria’, waaronder een criterium inzake naleving van mensenrechten. Gezien deze eisen aan nieuwe EU-lidstaten mag van de huidige lidstaten een krachtig en eenduidig standpunt inzake de doodstraf worden verwacht.
Ten derde zijn uw uitspraken niet in lijn met belangrijke VN-verdragen en resoluties, zoals het VN-Verdrag inzake Burgerrechten en Politieke Rechten, dat duidelijke beperkingen oplegt aan het opleggen en uitvoeren van de doodstraf alsmede het Tweede Facultatieve Protocol bij dit Verdrag, dat gericht is op afschaffing van de doodstraf. De VN-Mensenrechtencommissie – onlangs omgevormd tot een Mensenrechtenraad – heeft sinds 1997 breed gedragen resoluties aangenomen inzake afschaffing van de doodstraf; resoluties die Nederland altijd steunde.
Uw uitspraken in Buitenhof zijn niet alleen in strijd zijn met Nederlands, EU- en VN-beleid, maar geven ons inziens ook een verkeerd signaal af aan andere staten en doen afbreuk aan de Nederlandse geloofwaardigheid en invloed op het gebied van de afschaffing van de doodstraf.
Tot slot vrezen wij dat uw uitspraken ons niet de indruk geven dat Nederland zich momenteel opstelt als internationale voorloper op mensenrechtengebied. Zoals wij in de afgelopen periode verschillende malen met de minister van Buitenlandse Zaken en zijn ambtenaren bespraken, maken wij ons zorgen over de terughoudende opstelling die de Nederlandse regering de afgelopen periode heeft ingenomen inzake nieuwe mensenrechtenstandaarden. Nu zelfs een klassiek mensenrechtenonderwerp – waarvan wij dachten dat het Nederlandse standpunt overduidelijk was - door u als minister-president ter discussie wordt gesteld en niet eenduidig wordt uitgedragen, vragen wij ons sterk af of Nederland op dit moment alsook in de toekomst wel als een ‘lead nation’ op mensenrechtengebied kan worden beschouwd. Ook vragen wij ons af wat nu het officiële regeringsstandpunt is inzake de doodstraf. Wij hopen dat u de hierboven genoemde internationaal-rechtelijke argumenten inzake de doodstraf (opnieuw) de doorslag zult laten geven in de Nederlandse standpuntbepaling inzake dit onderwerp.
Voor Amnesty International’s analyse en aanbevelingen inzake het (verdere) verloop van de rechtszaken tegen Saddam Hoessein verwijs ik u graag naar het bijgaande persbericht. Wij dringen er op aan dat de Nederlandse regering de aspecten met betrekking tot de oneerlijke procesgang, zoals geschetst in dit persbericht, zal betrekken in haar standpuntbepaling inzake de rechtszaken tegen Saddam Hoessein.
Wij grijpen deze gelegenheid aan om u attent te maken op een ander hierbij gevoegd document, getiteld ‘Kies voor Mensenrechten’; een pleidooi om Nederland weer ‘lead nation’ te maken op mensenrechtengebied.
Wij sturen een afschrift van deze brief aan minister Bot, minister Verdonk en betrokken ambtenaren van het ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken.
Wij danken u voor uw aandacht en hopen spoedig een antwoord op deze brief te mogen ontvangen.
· Persbericht Amnesty International d.d. 5 November 2006: Iraq: Amnesty International deplores death sentences in Saddam Hussein trial (AI Index: MDE 14/037/2006).
· Amnesty International, afdeling Nederland: Kies voor Mensenrechten! September 2006.
 Minister Bot wordt in deze krant op pagina 1 als volgt geciteerd ‘Het is een rechtsgang die correspondeert met onze eigen, westerse rechtsgang’.
 Minister Verdonk zei in dit programma aan de ene kant tegen de doodstraf te zijn, maar aan de andere kant te menen dat de rechtsgang in een ander land moet worden gerespecteerd. Zij zei desgevraagd ook dat Nederland niet als EU-voorzitter Finland had moeten reageren.
 Notitie inzake het mensenrechtenbeleid. Mei 2001. Vergaderjaar 2000-2001, 27 742, nr.2, pagina’s 26-28.'
Ik kreeg van Anke Polak van het Humanistisch Vredeberaad deze email opgestuurd:
'Het Midden-Oosten beleid moet
Kies op 22 november voor duurzame vrede
* Het Israëlische beleid is al 60 jaar lang gericht op verdrijving van de Palestijnen en de verwoesting van hun samenleving ten behoeve van een uitsluitend Joodse staat (politiek Zionisme).
* Israël vormt een permanent gevaar voor de Arabische buurlanden en Iran. Met Irak is- met dank aan de VS en de EU - inmiddels afgerekend. Syrië en Iran bevinden zich in de gevarenzone. Libanon is Israëls meest recente slachtoffer. Dit beleid bedreigt de politieke stabiliteit in de wereld.
* Israël onttrekt zich aan het internationale recht, waaronder aan 39 resoluties van de Veiligheidsraad.
* Israël discrimineert grote delen van de eigen bevolking.
* Op wereldschaal is dit optreden rampzalig voor de onderlinge relaties tussen burgers en leidt tot scherpe toename van discriminatie van Joden en Moslims.
Nederland en het internationale recht
* Nederland pretendeert pal voor het internationale recht te staan; de Grondwet zegt in Artikel 90 niet voor niets: "De Regering bevordert de Internationale Rechtsorde"; Den Haag is De Juridische Hoofdstad van de Wereld, een eretitel. Dat schept verantwoordelijkheden.
* Die verantwoordelijkheden worden niet waar gemaakt in het Midden-Oosten conflict. De Regering schendt de Grondwet! Meest recent legde de Regering het oordeel van het Internationaal Gerechtshof van 2004, dat onder andere de illegale muur moet worden afgebroken, naast zich neer.
Nederland, de EU en duurzame vrede
* Israël is tot stand gekomen dankzij de steun van de wereldgemeenschap. De wereldgemeenschap, en dus ook de EU, is mede verantwoordelijk voor de gevolgen daarvan.
* Israël moet zich, net als ieder ander lid van de Verenigde Naties, houden aan het internationale recht en alle resoluties van de Veiligheidsraad uitvoeren.
* De EU - en dus ook Nederland - moet de Israëlische schendingen van het internationale recht niet langer gedogen en zeker geen steun verlenen aan deze misdaden.
* Israël moet de militairen en de kolonisten onmiddellijk en volledig terugtrekken uit alle in 1967 bezette gebieden.
* Zo niet, dan hoort de EU aan Israël sancties op te leggen.
* Zo ja, dan zal de EU zich tot het uiterste inspannen om samen met de betrokken partijen te komen tot een duurzame vredesregeling op basis van het internationale recht, met veiligheidsgaranties voor alle partijen.
Zo hebben de partijen zich in het verleden opgesteldNederland moet eindelijk eens de moed hebben om een rechtvaardig Midden-Oosten beleid te voeren. Kies op 22 november de partij en de kandidaat die zich duidelijk inzetten voor duurzame vrede in het Midden-Oosten.
Kijk op: http://ilps.science.uva.nl/verkiezingen/search.php
Kies op 22 november voor duurzame vrede.'
donderdag 9 november 2006
'Tomgram: Plebiscite on an Outlaw Empire
Outlaw Empire Meets the Wave.
5 Questions for Our Future.
By Tom Engelhardt
The wave -- and make no mistake, it's a global one -- has just crashed on our shores, soaking our imperial masters. It's a sight for sore eyes.
It's been a long time since we've seen an election like midterm 2006. After all, it's a truism of our politics that Americans are almost never driven to the polls by foreign-policy issues, no less by a single one that dominates everything else, no less by a catastrophic war (and the presidential approval ratings that go with it). This strange phenomenon has been building since the moment, in May 2003, that George W. Bush stood under that White-House-prepared "Mission Accomplished" banner on the USS Abraham Lincoln and declared "major combat operations have ended."
That "Top Gun" stunt -- when a cocky President helped pilot an S-3B Viking sub reconnaissance Naval jet onto a carrier deck and emerged into the golden glow of "magic hour light" (as his handlers then called it) -- was meant to give him the necessary victory photos to launch his 2004 presidential reelection campaign. As it turned out, that moment was but the first "milestone" on the path to Iraqi, and finally electoral, hell. Within mere months, those photos would prove useless for anyone but liberal bloggers. By now, they seem like artifacts from another age. On the way to the present "precipice" (or are we already over the edge?), there have been other memorable "milestones" -- from the President's July 2003 petulant "bring ‘em on" taunt to Iraq's then forming insurgency to the Vice President's June 2005 "last throes" gaffe. All such statements have, by now, turned to dust in American mouths.
In the context of the history of great imperial powers, how remarkably quickly this has happened. An American President, ruling the last superpower on this or any other planet, and his party have been driven willy-nilly into global and domestic retreat a mere three-plus years after launching the invasion of their dreams, the one that was meant to start them on the path to controlling the planet -- and by one of the more ragtag minority rebellions imaginable. I'm speaking here, of course, of the Sunni insurgency in Iraq, of perhaps 15,000 relatively lightly armed rebels whose main weapons have been the roadside bomb and the sniper's bullet. What a grim, bizarre spectacle it's been.
The Fall of the New Rome
But let's back up a moment. After such an election, a bit of history, however quick and potted, is in order -- in this case of the post-Cold War era of U.S. supremacy, now seemingly winding down. In the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, to be followed by the relatively violence-free collapse of the Soviet Union, there was a brief moment of conceptual paralysis among leadership elites in this country, none of whom had even imagined the loss of the "Evil Empire" (in President Ronald Reagan's famous Star Wars-ian phrase) until it suddenly, miraculously evaporated. In this forgotten moment, we even heard hopeful mutterings about a "peace dividend" that would take all the extra military money that obviously was no longer needed to defend against a missing superpower and use it to rebuild America.
A mighty country, soon to be termed a "hyperpower," straddling the globe alone and without obvious enemies -- that should have been a formula for declaring victory (as many Cold Warriors promptly did) and acting accordingly (which none of them did). It should have been the moment for the Long Peace.
But in an enemy-less world, there was a small problem called the Pentagon (and the vast military-industrial complex that had grown up around it). So, while the peace-dividend-that-never-was vanished in the post-Cold-War morning fog, some new, prefab enemies did make their appearances with startling speed. They essentially had to.
These new dangers to our country were termed "rogue states," an obvious step or two down from a single Evil Empire. They were, in fact, so relatively weak militarily that you needed to pile them up into a conceptual heap to get an enemy that would keep an empire and its global network of bases in military restocking mode. Not too many years down the line, the Bush administration would indeed pile three of them up in just this way into the gloriously labeled "axis of evil"; this was that old Evil Empire rejiggered for midget powers (or alternatively the Axis powers of World War II shrunk to Mini-Me standards).
Back in 1990, Saddam Hussein, our former ally in a Persian Gulf struggle with Iran for regional supremacy, invaded Kuwait and, voilà!, you had the first Gulf War. His military, already weakened by its eight-year bloodletting with Iran, was not exactly a goliath for a superpower to reckon with; but Americans took a tip from the dictator (who liked to see images of himself puffed to gigantic proportions everywhere in his land), blew his face was up to Hitlerian size, and stuck it on every magazine and in every TV news report in town ("Showdown with Saddam"). His genuinely evil-dictator face took the place of a whole nuclear-armed Evil Empire, while American troops slaughtered helpless Iraqi conscripts, burying them alive in their own trenches or wiping them out from the air on the aptly named "Highway of Death" out of Kuwait City.
Not so long after, in 1992, under the aegis of then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, a small group of unknown Defense Department staffers -- Paul Wolfowitz, I. Lewis Libby, and Zalmay Khalilzad – unveiled a new draft Defense Planning Guidance, a document for developing military strategy and planning Pentagon budgets. It was the first such since the Cold War ended and, leaked to the New York Times, it was denounced as an extremist vision and buried. As the website Right Web describes it, the document "called for massive increases in defense spending, the assertion of lone superpower status, the prevention of the emergence of any regional competitors, the use of preventive -- or preemptive -- force, and the idea of forsaking multilateralism if it didn't suit U.S. interests."'
Lees verder: http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=138154
'Australia suffers worst drought in 1,000 years.
Depleted reservoirs, failed crops and arid farmland spark global warming tussle.
Australia's blistering summer has only just begun but reservoir levels are dropping fast, crop forecasts have been slashed, and great swaths of the continent are entering what scientists yesterday called a "one in a thousand years drought".
With many regions in their fifth year of drought, the government yesterday called an emergency water summit in Canberra. The meeting between the prime minister, John Howard, and the leaders of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Queensland was told that more than half of Australia's farmland was experiencing drought.
David Dreverman, head of the Murray-Darling river basin commission, said: "This is more typical of a one in a 1,000-year drought, or possibly even drier, than it is of a one in 100-year event." He added that the Murray-Darling river system, which receives 4% of Australia's water, but provides three-quarters of the water consumed nationally, was already 54% below the previous record minimum. Last month it recorded its lowest ever October flows. Inflow this year was just 5% of the average.
The drought is likely to affect drinking water supplies to many areas. Sydney's largest reservoir is now 40% full and many small rural towns in east Australia face shortages within a month.
It is also expected to have a serious impact on crops. Last week, the government forecast its lowest wheat crop for 12 years, a 62% decrease on last year. Yesterday the agriculture minister Peter McGauran announced the allocation of more than A$200m (£80m) to help businesses which service drought-stricken farmers, in addition last month to the A$910m in payments for 72,000 farmers affected by drought.
The drought has set off a fierce political debate in Australia about climate change. The country has maintained, with the US, a sceptical stance on the issue, and Mr Howard has refused to sign Australia up to the Kyoto agreement. However, polls suggest he is increasingly out of step with public and scientific opinion and the drought has forced him to demonstrate concern.
With an election due within a year and the environment emerging as a big political issue, Mr Howard last month announced several "green energy" projects. He now concedes that climate change is taking place but argues that the Kyoto process is flawed because it does not include the big polluters - India, China and the US. But last week new UN figures showed that Australia's emissions of greenhouse gases were the highest per capita in the west, apart from Luxembourg, and that they had grown by 1.5 tonnes a head since 1990.
Australia now emits almost as much carbon and other greenhouse gases as France and Italy, which each have three times its population.'
Lees verder: http://www.guardian.co.uk/australia/story/0,,1941942,00.html
Charles Sullivan is a photographer, free lance writer and social activist living in West Virginia. He welcomes your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Information Clearing House schrijft hij:
'Voting in the absence of Choice Too many Americans harbor the illusion that we live in a democracy simply because we have the right to vote. But let us be clear about something: voting matters only where real choices are allowed. It is universally understood that special interest money runs the American political system and thus defines what the choices will be. So we are left to choose between candidates who are financed by special interest money, which any fool can see, is no choice at all. The system is purposely designed to require enormous expense from its participants. According to the very mainstream USA Today, the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics predicts that $2.6 billion will be spent on Congressional races this year alone, which thus precludes any third party candidate, as well as ordinary people, from all but token participation. It requires big money to win political office and big money comes from the deep pockets of corporate America. In effect, special interest money has rendered the political process as we know it null and void by restricting our choices to candidates that have been pre-chosen for us by corporate America. The choice is more illusory than real. Plutocrats and workers have nothing in common. People of ordinary means can no longer ascend to the presidency or even Congress. The composition of both the state and federal governments are very different from the socio-economic demographics of the populations they are supposed to represent, and it is no accident. Regardless where you look the rich are represented and the great majority is excluded. So if the Democrats wrest control of the government from the hands of the Republicans, it will be because conservative Democrats won some important races, precluding any progressive mandate from coming into play. On the whole the nation will remain well to the right of center, and certainly will not progress toward the left. The bulk of the corporate money will reverse direction and flow from the Republicans into the coffers of the Democrats. The corporations will retain control. One can cast protest votes, as I often do, for candidates who do not accept special interest money, but they are rarely, if ever, contenders. It requires huge sums of money to get media exposure, and to get on state ballots, yet alone contend for the prize. The system is designed to preclude challenges to the status quo, which leaves us to choose between Republicrats fielded by corporate backers.'
De International Herald Tribune van vandaag:
'Excerpts from a speech made in Tel Aviv by David Grossman, the Israeli writer, on the 11th anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
The death of young people is a horrible, outrageous waste. But no less horrible is the feeling that the state of Israel has, for many years now, criminally wasted not only the lives of its sons and daughters, but also the miracle that occurred here - the great and rare opportunity that history granted it, the opportunity to create an enlightened, properly functioning democratic state that would act in accordance with Jewish and universal values.
A country that would be a national home and refuge, but not only a refuge. It would also be a place that gives new meaning to Jewish existence. A country in which an important, essential part of its Jewish identity, of its Jewish ethos, would be full equality and respect for its non-Jewish citizens.
Look what happened. Look what happened to this young, bold country, so full of passion and soul. How Israel aged through infancy, childhood and youth into a permanent state of irritability and weakness and missed opportunities.
How did it happen? When did we lose even the hope that we might some day be able to live different, better lives? More - how is it that we continue to stand aside and watch, mesmerized, as madness and vulgarity, violence and racism take control of our home?
And I ask you, how can it be that a people with our powers of creativity and regeneration, a nation that has known how to pick itself up from the dust time and again, finds itself today - precisely when it has such great military power - in such a feeble, helpless state? A state in which it is again a victim, but now a victim of itself, of its fears and despair, of its own shortsightedness?
One of the harsh things of this last war was the realization that in these times there is no king in Israel. That our leadership is hollow, both our political and military leadership.
Today, Israel's leadership fills the husk of its regime primarily with fear and intimidation, with the charade of power and the wink of the backroom deal, with haggling over all that is dear to us. In this sense, they are not real leaders; certainly not the leaders that a people in such a complicated, disoriented state need.'
woensdag 8 november 2006
'Saddam's Unindicted Co-Conspirator: Donald Rumsfeld.
By Norman Solomon t r u t h o u t Perspective.
Saddam Hussein has received a death sentence for crimes he committed more than a year before Donald Rumsfeld shook his hand in Baghdad. Let's reach back into history and extract these facts:
· On December 20, 1983, the Washington Post reported that Rumsfeld "visited Iraq in what US officials said was an attempt to bolster the already improving US relations with that country."
· Two days later, the New York Times cited a "senior American official" who "said that the United States remained ready to establish full diplomatic relations with Iraq and that it was up to the Iraqis."
· On March 29, 1984, the Times reported: "American diplomats pronounce themselves satisfied with relations between Iraq and the United States and suggest that normal diplomatic ties have been restored in all but name." Washington had some goodies for Saddam's regime, the Times account noted, including "agricultural-commodity credits totaling $840 million." And while "no results of the talks have been announced" after the Rumsfeld visit to Baghdad three months earlier, "Western European diplomats assume that the United States now exchanges some intelligence on Iran with Iraq."
· A few months later, on July 17, 1984, a New York Times article with a Baghdad dateline sketchily filled in a bit more information, saying that the US government had "granted Iraq about $2 billion in commodity credits to buy food over the last two years." The story recalled that "Donald Rumsfeld, the former Middle East special envoy, held two private meetings with the Iraqi president here," and the dispatch mentioned in passing that "State Department human rights reports have been uniformly critical of the Iraqi President, contending that he ran a police state."
· Full diplomatic relations between Washington and Baghdad were restored 11 months after Rumsfeld's December 1983 visit with Saddam - who went on to use poison gas later in the decade, in actions which scarcely harmed relations with the Reagan administration.
· As the most senior US official to visit Iraq in six years, Rumsfeld had served as Reagan's point man for warming relations with Saddam. In 1984, the administration engineered the sale to Baghdad of 45 ostensibly civilian-use Bell 214ST helicopters. Saddam's military found them quite useful for attacking Kurdish civilians with poison gas in 1988, according to US intelligence sources. "In response to the gassing," journalist Jeremy Scahill has pointed out, "sweeping sanctions were unanimously passed by the US Senate that would have denied Iraq access to most US technology. The measure was killed by the White House."
These are facts that the public should know about the current defense secretary of the United States.'
Lees verder: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110806L.shtml
Norman Solomon's latest book, War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death, is out in paperback. For information, go to: www.warmadeeasy.com.
Ik kreeg deze email gestuurd:
'Original Message -----
From: "Stop Oorlog" <email@example.com>
Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2006 7:07 PM
Subject: 9 November: Protest op Dam tegen Israelische staatsterreur.
Protest op Dam tegen Israelische staatsterreur Donderdag 9 november 18.30 uurDam, Amsterdam Met sprekers vanuit o.a. de Palestijnse Gemeenschap Nederland, Een AnderJoods Geluid, Nederlands Palestina Komitee en Internationale Socialisten Vanmorgen vroeg zijn in Gaza Palestina minstens 20 burgers omgekomen doorIsraelische raketaanvallen op een woonwijk. Op 1 november, direct na detoetreding van de extreem-rechtse partij van Lieberman, Yisrael Beitenu,viel Israël Gaza binnen, in het dorp Beit Hanoun. Hiervoor werd alsargument aangevoerd, dat Israël een einde wil maken aan de'raketaanvallen' vanuit Gaza op Israël; de genoemde 'raketten' zijnzelfgemaakte metalen vuurpijlen die zelden slachtoffers of serieuze schadeaan hebben gericht. De disproportionaliteit van het Israelische geweld, dat in het tijdsbestekvan nog geen week, al aan meer dan 70 Palestijnen het leven heeft gekost,het merendeel hiervan ongewapende burgers, spreekt boekdelen. Het is deste gevaarlijker dat de veranderde samenstelling van het Israelischekabinet, de achtergrond vormt van dit uiterst agressieve optreden. Nederland laat het extremistische optreden van de Israelische regeringkritiekloos passeren. Deze houding is uiterst zorgelijk, en legitimeertIsraël om verder te gaan. Juist door het feit, dat de ultra-rechtsepartij Yisrael Beitenu met Lieberman op het punt van het gebruik van grofgeweld tegen Palestijnen echt geen aanmoediging behoeft, zijn wij vanmening dat Nederland met haar zwijgzaamheid de verkeerde boodschap aan dewereld, en aan de Israelische regering stuurt. Zwijgen is ook hiermedeplichtigheid; vreemd vanuit het land dat zich vaak wil opstellen alspromotor van internationaal recht. Aan ons protest tegen deze politiek van de Nederlandse regering geven wijuiting op donderdag 9 november om 18.30 uur, op de Dam te Amsterdam. Juistop deze dag van de Kristallnacht-herdenking tegen fascisme roepen weiedereen die zich zorgen maakt op om zich aan te sluiten. Wij verzoekendeelnemers aan de manifestatie, een kaars of een zaklamp mee te nemen,zodat een sereen en serieus protest kan worden geuit tegen deze gang vanzaken, die een ernstige schending vormt van de mensenrechten. http://www.stopoorlog.nl'
'Letter: Switzerland must act on Gaza even as others choose silence.
Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 8 November 20068 November 2006
H.E. Ms Micheline Calmy-Rey
Federal CouncillorFederal Department of Foreign Affairs
Via email: generalsekretaer at eda.admin.ch.
Dear Minister Calmy-Rey,
This morning, Israeli occupation forces shelled a civilian area near Beit Hanoun in the north of the Gaza Strip, killing nineteen people, of whom at least eight are children, and four women. Eleven of the dead are from a single family. Over forty people were wounded.This morning's massacre brings to at least 73 the number of Palestinians killed since November 1 including at least 16 children and six women, and to over 300 the number injured. Two of the dead were Red Crescent medics tending to the injured.I am not an ambassador, a minister, or an elected official. I have no standing to appeal to your conscience except as a human being. I do so now with all the will I can muster to urge your government immediately to reconvene the Conference of the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention urgently to consider measures to enforce this Convention and end the grave and mounting breaches being perpetrated by Israel, the Occupying Power, in the Gaza Strip.Since June 26, Israeli occupation forces have killed over 360 Palestinians in Gaza, over half of whom are non-combatant civilians. There is clear and mounting evidence that the Israeli political and military leaders act knowingly, wilfully and indiscriminately when they carry out these killings. Indeed they boast that they make no distinction between civilians and combatants.According to B'Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization, Israel's prime minister Ehud Olmert told the Israeli parliament on October 30 that in the previous three months, the Israeli military has killed 300 "terrorists" in the Gaza Strip. According to B'Tselem's investigation, Israeli occupation forces did indeed kill 294 Palestinians in Gaza between June 26 and October 27. However, over half of those killed -- 155 people, including 61 children –- did not participate in the fighting when they were killed. On November 5 the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) stated, "Israeli occupying forces have deliberately attacked and targeted unarmed civilians as well as PRCS ambulances and medical teams. On November 3, 2006, Israeli forces targeted and killed two members of PRCS medical teams, while they were attempting to evacuate a victim killed by Israeli fire in Beit Lahia area."PRCS reported that "Beit Hanoun Hospital continues to be under siege by Israeli tanks and armored vehicles, which prevent medical teams and victims from reaching the hospital," and it called "upon the states parties to the Geneva Conventions, the UN Secretary General, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and international organizations of human rights" to act. It was heartening when Switzerland previously convened the Conference of the High Contracting Parties several years ago, though disappointing that it was adjourned without substantial action. I respectfully remind you that the Conference declaration issued by the Swiss Federal Government on 5 December 2001 stated:"The participating High Contracting Parties call upon the Occupying Power to immediately refrain from committing grave breaches involving any of the acts mentioned in art. 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, such as wilful killing, torture, unlawful deportation, wilful depriving of the rights of fair and regular trial, extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly. The participating High Contracting Parties recall that according to art. 148 no High Contracting Party shall be allowed to absolve itself of any liability incurred by itself in respect to grave breaches."The statement adds that the participating High Contracting Parties "welcome and encourage the initiatives by States Parties, both individually and collectively, according to art. 1 of the Convention and aimed at ensuring the respect of the Convention, and they underline the need for the Parties, to follow up on the implementation of the present Declaration."Unfortunately no follow up action has been taken by any states parties to the Convention. If under the present circumstances no country moves to fulfill its obligations under this Convention, it is the clearest evidence possible that the regime of international law, so painstakingly built, and which I learned about with awe when I visited the Red Cross Museum in Geneva, is impotent and worthless to those who are most in need of its protection.I urge you to act forthwith, with the force of the law, with the moral authority that you enjoy, and with the courage it will take knowing that you would be doing so even as all the others who have the power and responsibility to act choose silence and complicity.With highest regards,Ali AbunimahAli Abunimah is co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of "One Country - A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse" (Metropolitan Books, 2006)'
Israel/Occupied Territories: Amnesty International delegate visits scene of Gaza Strip killings.
The killing this morning of 18 civilians in the Palestinian town of Beit Hanoun, victims of Israeli shelling, was an appalling act, Amnesty International said today. The organization called for an immediate, independent investigation and for those responsible to be held accountable. It said previous Israeli investigations, such as that carried out into the killings of a Palestinian family on a beach in the Gaza Strip last June, had been seriously inadequate and failed to meet international standards for such investigations, which must be independent, impartial and thorough.Those killed, most of whom were asleep in their beds when their homes were struck by shells fired by Israeli forces, included eight children. An Amnesty International delegate who visited the scene of the killings shortly after the attack was told that 15 of the victims were killed in the first strike and that three others were killed by a second shell as they raced to help the dead and injured. “This terrible act follows a renewed upsurge in killings of Palestinians since Israel forces launched their latest military operation into the Gaza Strip on 2 November,“ said Malcolm Smart, Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa programme. “Israeli actions during this entire operation have been marked by nothing less than reckless disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians, over 20 of whom had been killed even before this morning’s tragedy.”In all, before today’s deaths, more than 53 Palestinians were killed during the Israeli military siege of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, and many more were wounded. Two ambulance workers were among the civilians killed. Dubbed “Autumn clouds”by the Israeli army, the operation began on 2 November and continued until 7 November when Israeli forces redeployed outside the town. Israeli authorities said they mounted the operation in an attempt to prevent Palestinian armed groups firing home-made Qassem rockets at Israeli towns and villages near to the Gaza Strip. Most of the dead were killed in Beit Hanoun, which was kept under siege throughout the six days, but others were killed as a result of Israeli military strikes in the surrounding area. Amnesty International condemns all attacks on unarmed civilians and is calling on the Israeli authorities to establish independent investigations into every incident in which Palestinian civilians were killed or injured by Israeli forces, and to bring to justice those responsible for human rights violations.As Israeli forces began their siege of Beit Hanoun, one senior officer, Lieutenant Colonel Yarom, said that troops had been instructed to avoid causing civiliancasualties. Four days into the operation, in face of a rising toll of deaths and injuries among Palestinian civilians, Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared:“Those Palestinians who have been wounded were mostly armed, but, to our regret,they are using innocent people as human shields, resulting in the injury ofuninvolved civilians as well”. The information gathered by Amnesty International delegates currently in the Gaza Strip contradicts this, however, and indicates that at least half of those killed, including at least two women and several children, were unarmed bystanders not involved in the confrontations. The pattern is the same for those injured as a result of Israeli force air strikes and artillery shelling. Those killed or injured as a result of Israeli attacks include:Ramzi al-Ashrafi, 16, was killed and seven other children were injured on the morning of 6 November when an Israeli shell exploded close by the bus on which they were travelling to school along a busy road between Beit Lahia and Jabalya, north of Gaza City. Najwa Khleif, a 20-year-old teacher who was also in the bus, sustained severe brain injuries. Doctors treating her in the intensive care unit of Gaza City’s main hospital told Amnesty International that she was in critical condition. The bus was hit apparently in a failed strike by Israeli forces on a vehicle believed to belong to a Palestinian armed group. However, the attack was carried out at a busy intersection during the morning rush hour, when it could be expected that the streets would be busy with adults and children making their way to work and school. The shell which killed Ramzi al-Ashrafi and injured others in the school bus, fell near a kindergarten although, fortunately, without causing further deaths or injuries there.Ala’ Mansour al-Khdeir, an 11-year-old girl, one of two children who were wounded by Israeli fire on 4 November when they were returning home from a morning at school in Beit Lahia. She was struck by a bullet which entered the left side of her head and travelled to the left side of her neck, where it remains lodged, and remains seriously ill. Her mother told Amnesty International that Ala’was near home in the Sayafa area of north-west Gaza, an area where there has been frequent Israeli army shelling in recent days, when she was wounded. The other child, a boy, was also seriously injured.Ibtisam Masoud, 44, was killed and ten other women, including Tahrir Shahin, a 37-year-old mother of seven, were injured by Israeli fire during a women’s demonstration on the morning of 3 November at the entrance of Beit Hanoun. Tahrir Shahin, whose leg had to be amputated, told Amnesty International from her hospital bed in Gaza city that she and other women were unarmed and standing less than 100 meters from the Israeli tanks which fired at them: “Ours was a peaceful demonstration, we were all women, there were no men, no militants, no weapons. We were just women standing in front of tanks. We did not think the Israeli soldiers would shoot us, but they fired indiscriminately”.Heba Rajab, 20, a volunteer with the Palestinian Centre for Democracy and Conflict Resolution, and Sou’ad Abu Najem, 43, a mother of eight, both sustained serious gunshot wounds to their legs and hands in the same incident. They said they had seen Israeli soldiers taking aim at the women demonstrators from the tops of their tanks. The women were demonstrating in response to a call by a Hamas party member of the Palestinian parliament to help break the siege by Israeli forces of a mosque in which members of Palestinian armed groups were reported to be sheltering, surrounded by Israeli forces. However, the women were shot before they could approach the mosque.Ahmad al-Madhoun, 42, and Mustapha Habib, 26, both volunteer emergency ambulance workers with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS), and a third man who was assisting them, were killed in an Israeli air strike on the evening of 3 November as they were evacuating the body of a man killed in an earlier air strike. Iyad Yousef Abu al-Ful, the ambulance driver accompanying them, told Amnesty International: “Ahmad and Mustapha were about 20 meters from the ambulance and were about to load the body of a dead man on the stretcher; I had just got out of the ambulance and was beginning to move towards them when a missile struck at the spot where they were. I got back into the ambulance and called for help. I cannot get out of my mind the sight of my colleagues killed while they were doing their duty”. The medical rescue team was in an open field near Beit Lahia. It was dark but the ambulance should have been clearly visible from the emergency light on its roof. The other victim had directed the ambulance crew to the body of his friend, who had been killed earlier in unclear circumstances.Palestinian ambulances have been frequently attacked and dozens have been hit by Israeli strikes in recent years. During the siege of Beit Hanoun, emergency rescue workers faced increased obstacles and delays in carrying out their duties due to the virtually continuous curfew imposed by Israeli forces. Israeli tanks controlled the access to Beit Hanoun hospital and delayed the passage of ambulances in and out of the hospital, as well as into and out of the town.Zahir Mustapha Shabat, 32, was shot and seriously injured and his cousin, Mazen Shabat, was killed by Israeli soldiers in the evening of 4 November when they were returning home after they had both been released from three days’ detention by the Israeli army. He told Amnesty International from his hospital bed, shortly after he was moved from the intensive care unit: "After three days in detention the soldiers released us and gave us a paper, which they said we could show if we got stopped by other soldiers on our way home, about 1.5 to 2 km from the place where we were detained. They told us that they had coordinated with the tanks in the area and that we would have safe passage home but when we got about 150 meters from my house soldiers jumped out of the house of one of my relatives and fired on me and my cousin, Mazen, Shabat. Mazen was killed and I was seriously injured in the abdomen and back."'
We may quarrel with men sometimes about things on this earth. But we never quarrel about God. We do not want to learn that.'
Chief Joseph. Nez Perce.
De Asia Times bericht:
'Dollar poised for a dip.
Making short-term predictions about the US dollar is notoriously difficult. So why do we say the dollar may fall after Tuesday's mid-term elections in the United States? Once we know what the future composition of Congress will be, the markets can shift focus from the excitement of the moment to what may lie ahead. We believe we have just seen the beginning of a more pronounced slowdown that will likely push us into recession. The reason we are more negative than many economists is that high levels of consumer debt make the economy much more interest-rate-sensitive than in past economic cycles. An area where this is particularly apparent is in the housing market, as consumers in the US, a so-called ownership society, have massive levels of debt accumulated in their homes. Given that only short-term interest rates have risen, only the most speculative homeowners with adjustable rate mortgages should have been affected. But in a world where the speculators have driven up prices, the speculators are also dragging the entire market down with them as the housing bubble deflates. If and when long-term rates reflect that we may be heading into an inflationary or stagflationary environment, the fallout for the housing market could be severe, as higher long-term rates squeeze masses of homeowners who need to refinance their mortgages in the months and years ahead. For now, market commentators try to grab on to every bit of good news released. The "best" news seems to come from corporations that are involved in the option-backdating scandals: these companies do not report their balance sheets while they investigate their wrongdoings. Wall Street loves them, as revenue is the only reliable number released - and US executives have become experts at generating top-line growth.'
Dit stuur ik via email als open brief aan de NRC:
Uw krant bericht vanavond:
''Tientallen doden bij actie Gaza.
Door onze correspondent.
Gazastad, 8 nov. Bij Israëlische acties in de bezette Palestijnse gebieden zijn de afgelopen 24 uur zeker 32 Palestijnen gedood. Tanks vuurden vanochtend vroeg op huizen in Beit Hanoun in de Gazastrook en daarbij kwamen 18 bewoners, onder wie een gezin, om het leven. De meeste slachtoffers, vrouwen en kinderen, sliepen toen hun huizen werden beschoten…Het Israëlische leger motiveert de acties met het argument dat de beschietingen met Qassam-raketten gestopt moeten worden. Bij de Israëlische kuststad Ashkelon sloegen gisteren vier Qassams in. De raketten van amateuristische makelij richtten lichte schade aan. Ook Sderot werd bestookt.''
Lees verder: http://www.nrc.nl/buitenland/article536397.ece
Mijn vraag is simpel: waarom noemt u deze terreur aanslag 'Israelische acties'? Ik vraag dat omdat u een soortgelijke aanslag, waarbij burgers gedood worden maar begaan door Palestijnen, ogenblikkelijk terecht een 'terroristische' daad noemt. Als collega van u heeft dit onderscheid mij altijd verbaasd, vooral ook omdat u zelf stelt dat de NRC een krant is die de nuance zoekt. Met welke nuance hebben we hier te maken? Voor het internationaal recht is in beide gevallen sprake van een misdaad. U heeft kennelijk een ander criterium dan het internationaal recht. Welke is dat?
In afwachting van uw antwoord,
Stan van Houcke.'
'Weer 18 doden in de Gazastrook, "een tragische vergissing" aldus Israel,
jawel en die 53 die er aan voorafgingen de afgelopen week? Dit alles levert
opnieuw een voorbeeld van disproportioneel geweld zoals in de afgelopen
zomer in Libanon (inclusief de `vergissing' in Kana) en in Gaza. Hoeveel
doden hebben de Palestijnse `raketten' eigenlijk veroorzaakt? Volgens ons
Nederland lag afgelopen zomer dwars in de EU, samen met Engeland, en
blokkeerde een oproep tot een staakt het vuren ten gunste van het
Amerikaanse groene licht voor het Israelische geweld. Bot laat het weer
afweten. Vanochtend was hij te horen in de Ochtenden, maar geen woord van
Morgen, 9 november, is ook de eerste dag van een internationale week tegen
We hebben het in het NPK en in overleg met de PGN vandaag even gehad over
de wenselijkheid om vandaag nog naar de Dam te gaan. Het wordt morgen. Om
meer mensen de gelegenheid te geven aanwezig te zijn is het tot morgen
uitgesteld. Het wordt een korte, spontane picket. Op de Dam dus,
waarschijnlijk om 18.00 uur precies. Let op het definitieve bericht!
geef het alvast door,
'Syria urges UN sanctions for Israel ‘state terrorism’(AFP) 8 November 2006.
DAMASCUS - Syria called for UN sanctions against Israel for its act of ‘state terrorism’ after 18 Palestinians were killed, including women and children, when Israeli shells slammed into their Gaza homes on Wednesday.
‘Syria is following with great concern the reports of Israel’s barbaric aggression against the Gaza Strip, especially the massacre this morning in Beit Hanun,’ a foreign ministry spokesman said.
‘We strongly condemn the state terrorism of Israel,’ he said in a statement.
‘This savage attack is a challenge to the international community ... that must be vehemently condemned,’ he said. ‘The UN Security Council must stop these massacres and punish Israel for its repeated crimes.’
Amid widespread condemnation of the deaths in the town of Beit Hanun, Israel’s Defence Minister Amir Peretz ordered a halt to all artillery fire in the Palestinian territory pending an inquiry, a senior Israeli official said.'
'Beckett 'concern' over Gaza deaths.
Press Association Wednesday November 8, 2006 12:48 PM
Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett has expressed her "deep concern" over Wednesday's Israeli strike on the Gaza strip which killed at least 22 Palestinians.
Mrs Beckett said she was "gravely disturbed" by the civilian deaths, which included women and children, and it was "hard to see" how the action in the town of Beit Hanoun could be justified.
She said: "I extend my condolences to the families of those killed and the injured."
She continued: "The British Government has repeatedly expressed its deep concern over mounting casualties and civilian suffering in Gaza in recent months, and raised these concerns with the government of Israel.
"Israel must respect its obligation to avoid harming civilians. It is hard to see what this action was meant to achieve and how it can be justified.
"Continuing rocket attacks by Palestinian militants are also unacceptable. I call on all sides to meet their obligations under international humanitarian law and to do their utmost to avoid harming civilians, especially children."
Israeli tank shells are reported to have crashed into a residential suburb of Beit Hanoun in the early hours on Wednesday.
Reports have put the number of dead at 18 - including 10 children - but a Foreign Office spokesman said their representatives on the ground believed it was at least 22 with many others injured.
Israel has ordered a halt to artillery attacks while the incident is investigated.'
En nu opletten wat de Nederlandse politici gaan doen en hoe de Nederlandse commerciele massamedia deze terreurdaad gaan noemen.
Ook opletten hoe het CIDi dit terrorisme nu weer gaat goedpraten. http://www.cidi.nl/
Het interview kunt u hier beluisteren onder de rubriek interviews: http://webdisk.planet.nl/houck006/default.aspx
Geoffrey Millard kunt u ook beluisteren in deze filmdocumentaire: http://iraqforsale.org/press.php
Meer over de Iraakse veteranen kunt u hier lezen: http://www.ivaw.org/
Meer over generaal Smedley Butler: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler
11/6/2006 3:00:00 PM GMT
“The problem lies in the unwillingness to recognize that your own terrorism is terrorism” -Noam Chomsky.
As the U.S. crucial congressional elections draw near, the debate over the U.S. President’s decision to invade Iraq and his so-called “war on terror” gets heated.
The American academic Noam Chomsky who has been the foremost critic of America's imperial adventures for more than three decades here tackles the roots of terrorism and the role of the U.S. and the British governments in fighting or spreading it.
Excalibur (Ex): How important is an understanding of the role of states such as the U.S. and the UK when examining the question of terrorism?
Chomsky (Ch): It depends on whether we want to be honest and truthful or whether we want to just serve state power ( . . . ) We should look at all forms of terrorism.
I have been writing on terrorism for 25 years, ever since the Reagan administration came in 1981 and declared that the leading focus of its foreign policy was going to be a war on terror. A war against state directed terrorism which they called the plague of the modern world because of their barbarism and so on. That was the centre of their foreign policy and ever since I have been writing about terrorism.
But what I write causes extreme anger for the very simple reason that I use the U.S. government's official definition of terrorism from the official U.S. code of laws. If you use that definition, it follows very quickly that the U.S. is the leading terrorist state and a major sponsor of terrorism and since that conclusion is unacceptable, it arouses furious anger. But the problem lies in the unwillingness to recognize that your own terrorism is terrorism. This is not just true of the United States, it's true quite generally. Terrorism is something that they do to us. In both cases, it's terrorism and we have to get over that if we're serious about the question.
Ex: In 1979, Russia invades Afghanistan. The U.S. uses the Ziaul Haq regime in Pakistan to fund the rise of militancy. This gives Zia a green light to fund cross-border terrorism in Kashmir. Now we allegedly have some of those elements setting off bombs in Mumbai. Clearly, these groups are no longer controlled by any government.
Ch: The jihadi movements in their modern form go back before Afghanistan. They were formed primarily in Egypt in the 1970s. Those are the roots of the jihadi movement, the intellectual roots and the activist roots and the terrorism too.
But when the Russians invaded Afghanistan, the Regan administration saw it as an opportunity to pursue their Cold War aims. So they did with the intense cooperation of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and others ( . . . ) so the Reagan administration organized the most radical Islamic extremists it could find anywhere in the world and brought them to Afghanistan to train them, arm them.
Meanwhile, the U.S. supported Ziaul Haq as he was turning Pakistan into a country full of madrassahs and fundamentalists. The Reagan administration even ( . . . ) kept certifying to Congress that Pakistan was not developing nuclear weapons, which of course they were, so that U.S. aid to Pakistan could continue. The end result of these U.S. programs was to seriously harm Pakistan and also to create the international jihadi movement, of which Osama bin Laden is a product. The jihadi movement then spread ( . . . ) they may not like it much but they created it. And now, as you say, it's in Kashmir.'
Lees verder: http://www.aljazeera.com/cgi-bin/review/article_full_story.asp?service_ID=12132
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