Saturday, November 12, 2005

ACTION: Oppose Canada's Invitation of War Criminal Ariel Sharon


War criminals not welcome here
Monday, November 14
7:00 pm
Metro Hall Square
Downtown Toronto

Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon - viewed by people around the world as a war criminal - was invited to speak at the United Jewish Communities General Assembly in Toronto on Monday, November 14. Paul Martin will also be addressing the gathering.

Ariel Sharon's record of international war crimes is long and well-documented. As Minister of Defence during Israel's invasion of Lebanon, Ariel Sharon was found responsible for the massacre of thousands of Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camp on September 16-18, 1982.

Since then, as Israeli Prime Minister, Sharon has continued to violate international law, presiding over Israel's construction of its illegal Apartheid Wall, expanding illegal Zionist settlements on Palestinian land, implementing the practices of 'home demolition' and targeted assassination of Palestinians, and refusing to recognize the overwhelming opposition of the international community to Israel's abuses of human rights.

Canadians are giving notice to our government that Sharon is not welcome here.

In addition to a legal challenge to deny Ariel Sharon entry into Canada which has been endorsed by 83 organizations across Canada, opponents of Sharon's war crimes have organized a mass demonstration to protest his invitation.

We have come together to form the Coalition Against Israel's War Crimes, a city-wide community-based coalition that represents more than twenty organizations from Toronto's Muslim, Arab and Jewish communities as well as other faith groups, trade unionists, students, peace and human rights campaigners, elected officials and concerned citizens.

For more information or to endorse, please contact us:

Media Liaison:

Khaled Mouammar
Phone: 905-508-0562

Rafeef Ziadeh
Phone: 416-616-4796

The Canadian Jewish News
Internet Edition
November 10,
8 Cheshvan, 5766

Prime Minister Martin to address GA

Staff Reporter

"For the first time in 21 years, the GA is back in Toronto, and local organizers are looking forward to showing off the city to a crowd of up to 3,000 delegates.

The annual General Assembly of United Jewish Communities (UJC) brings together Jewish community leaders from all over North America, as well as Israel. This year, there are also delegates from Great Britain. The mega-meeting will be held at the Toronto Convention Centre from Nov. 13 to 15.

Debbie Kimel, who is co-chairing the GA with Peter Ekstein, said there will be two Toronto booths at the event’s “Global Jewish Marketplace,” which will be open to the public on Saturday, Nov. 12, in the evening. The marketplace will feature Israeli and North American vendors including silversmiths and art galleries, as well as representatives of different organizations. On the Saturday night, there will be entertainment by the Winnipeg-based Sarah Sommer Chai Folk Ensemble.

One of the Toronto booths will showcase a model of the planned northern site of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto’s Jewish Toronto Tomorrow campus in Vaughan.

Kimel, who has been attending the GA for about a decade, said she’s formed “wonderful friendships” and been motivated to contribute more to her community at those meetings. She hopes new leadership will be similarly inspired by Toronto’s GA.

Chair of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Zeev Bielski, another GA veteran, hopes that Israeli delegates will also be inspired. In a phone interview from Ra’anana, where he served as mayor before becoming chair of the Jewish Agency executive earlier this year, he told The CJN that at his first GA some 20 years ago, he was struck by “the beauty of [the] partnership” between Israel and North American Jewish leaders.

Some of this year’s Israeli delegates represent a new phenomenon that has arisen only in the past year or two, said Bielski. It is only recently that Israelis have been able to financially support Jewish causes in Israel in a major way, he said.

“We have to learn a lot from the North American system,” he said, citing the notion of shared responsibility.

Probably the most pressing need today that is addressed with money collected through UJA campaigns – in addition to Operation Promise, a $160 million initiative announced in September and aimed at helping Jews in Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union – is education for Jewish children in Israel and all over the world, said Bielski. Many children in Israel live under the poverty line, he noted.

“Israel is still a growing country, and the government has got so much to look after that we Jewish people all over the world would have to raise more dollars to meet the needs of aliyah, absorption, Jewish education and what we call ‘youth futures.’”

The latter designation refers to a two-year-old project of the Jewish Agency that addresses the educational needs of Jewish children in Israel and in locations such as Russia and South America.

The GA kicks off officially Sunday night with an opening plenary at which Prime Minister Paul Martin is to speak. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has been invited to speak the following night. Other speakers include philanthropist Charles Bronfman; Canada’s Justice Minister Irwin Cotler; David Horovitz, editor of the Jerusalem Post; historian Deborah Lipstadt; and Heather Monroe-Blum, principal and vice-chancellor of McGill University. Ben Stein of Comedy Central and actress Valerie Harper, now playing Golda Meir in a touring production of Golda’s Balcony, are also on the program. Harper is scheduled to perform excerpts from the show."

ACTION: March 18-20, 2006: Protest on 3rd Anniversary of Iraq Invasion


A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition



March 18-20, 2006:
Third Anniversary of the "Shock and Awe" Invasion of Iraq

Saturday, March 18 - Sunday, March 19
Locally-Coordinated Antiwar Protests

Monday, March 20
Youth & Student Day of Resistance to Imperialism


The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition joins with antiwar organizations globally in calling for March 18-20, 2006, to be Global Days of Action. This is the third anniversary of Bush's criminal aggression against the people of Iraq.

On Saturday, March 18 and Sunday, March 19, 2006, locally-coordinated demonstrations will take place in cities and towns across the U.S. and around the world, including in New York City, Washington DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle and many, many more.

* Endorse the March 18-19 locally-coordinated demonstrations:

* List a March 18-19 event in your town or city:

On Monday, March 20, young people will organize acts of resistance in their schools and communities. See below for the statement that was adopted at the November 6 Youth and Student A.N.S.W.E.R. Strategy Meeting held in New York City at Hunter College.

Endorse the March 20 youth and student day of resistance:

List a March 20 youth and student act of resistance in your school or community:

Resources including flyers, posters, stickers, fact sheets, videos and more will be available soon. Contact the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition National Office in Washington DC at 202-544-3389 or for support in your local organizing efforts.



Please take a moment to make a generous contribution to the antiwar movement, as we build off the success of September 24, and organize for the Global Days of Protest March 18-20.



This Call to Action was adopted at the November 6 Youth and Student A.N.S.W.E.R. Strategy Meeting held in New York City at Hunter College.

This is not our war. The Bush administration has sent hundreds of thousands of young people in the armed forces to Iraq to kill and be killed in a war for Empire. Iraq has the second largest oil reserves on earth. It has been targeted for destruction by the imperialists because the Iraqi people dared to nationalize their oil and other natural resources. Every rationale provided by the Bush administration for the war has been exposed as a lie. Iraq possessed no weapons of mass destruction. Iraq had no connection to the events of September 11.

The U.S., on the contrary, has nearly 10,000 nuclear weapons, has a military budget of $500 billion per year, constituting half of all arms production in the world. The U.S. government is the only one in the world that has ever used nuclear weapons, which it did against the civilian cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. More than 100,000 Iraqis have died since March 2003. Their country has been destroyed. Electricity, food, medicine, drinkable water all the things necessary to sustain life are now in a state of ruin. More than 2,000 U.S. soldiers have been killed and 20-30,000 have been horribly wounded. The U.S. government has spent $300 billion to carry out this war of aggression; that comes to more than $200 million every day.

The war and occupation of Iraq cannot be seen in isolation. The U.S. is actively attempting to destroy every government that resists the Empire. People in Iraq, in Palestine, in Haiti, in Venezuela, in Cuba, in the Philippines are resisting but the people of the United States must become their allies. Their resistance is part of the universal aspiration to live free from foreign domination or threats of a military or economic character.

While the Bush administration and Congress allocate limitless resources for their war for Empire, these so-called elected representatives of the people are carrying out massive cutbacks in Medicaid, Medicare, tuition aid, food stamps and other vital social programs. Of the $50 billion in projected cutbacks in the coming fiscal year, more than 1/3 are targeting programs designed to help young people, especially education programs.

This is a racist war. The Bush administration has targeted and demonized Arab and Muslim peoples. It is a racist war too because it constitutes a systematic diversion of resources from African American, Latino and other oppressed communities directly into the coffers of the corporate and banking establishment through the agency of military spending.

While the Bush administration cut hundreds of millions of dollars from flood and hurricane relief and from the restorations of the levees in New Orleans between 2001 and 2005, the same government re-allocated these resources for the so-called "war on terrorism."

Our massive mobilizations will not simply target the Bush administration. Bush and the neo-conservatives share the same fundamental class interests with all sectors of the leadership in the Republican and Democratic Parties. It is naïve and an exercise in misleadership to focus all of the attention of the rising progressive movement against the Bush administration.

Such an orientation implies that the removal of Bush and his replacement by a Democrat will fundamentally alter the imperialist war drive and the assault against working class communities and young people at home. The Republicans and the Democrats alike are the twin parties of the war machine. They share the same corporate and banking contributors, their real constituents are big oil, the big banks and the military-industrial complex.

We have learned the lessons of the civil rights, women's, LGBT, labor, and anti-war movements: Real change comes not as a gift from the politicians but from the sustained mass mobilization of the people. In order to realize the demand "Money for jobs, housing, education, and healthcare, Not for war and occupation" we must create a national grassroots movement.

* From Iraq to New Orleans, Fund People's Needs - Not the War Machine
* Stop the War in Iraq - Bring all the troops home now
* Military Recruiters out of our schools & communities
* End Colonial Occupation from Iraq to Palestine to Haiti
* Support the Palestinian People's Right of Return
* Stop the Threats Against Venezuela, Cuba, Iran & North Korea
* U.S. out of the Philippines - U.S. out of Puerto Rico
* Stop the Racist, anti-Immigrant and anti-Labor Offensive at Home, Defend Civil Rights

Endorse the March 18-19 locally-coordinated demonstrations

List a March 18-19 event in your town or city



Some people feel the Bush Administration is teetering on the edge of a cliff. This may be so, but it's up to a movement of the people to push it off. We will not be satisfied by replacing Bush with another capitalist politician to manage the global war for Empire. Our goal is to build a youth and student movement with a thoroughly revolutionary viewpoint that seeks profound social change.

On Monday, March 20, Youth and Student A.N.S.W.E.R. urges young people in high schools, college campuses, and in our communities to join together in a show of nationwide resistance against the criminal war and occupation of Iraq.

March 20 is not simply a protest, but a clarion call for the newly-emerging youth and student movement to take the next step on the path of building a revolutionary youth movement that identifies the system of capitalism and imperialism as the principal cause of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan; the threats against Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, Korea and elsewhere; the intervention in the Philippines; the ongoing neo-colonial assault against Africa; and the positioning of U.S. troops in 750 installations located in 130 countries spread out across the globe.

Resist Imperialism!

* Endorse the March 20 youth and student day of resistance:

* List a March 20 youth and student act of resistance in your
school or community:


Donate to the antiwar movement:

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
National Office in Washington DC: 202-544-3389
New York City: 212-533-0417
Los Angeles: 323-464-1636
San Francisco: 415-821-6545

Women's Human Rights Bulletin for November, 2005 from Amnesty USA

November 2005

End Violence Against Women by DRC Armed Forces

Armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have committed acts of violence against tens of thousands of women and children. Since signing the December 2002 All-Inclusive Peace Agreement to end the major conflict, former leaders of these armed troops have become part of the current transitional government. But Amnesty International believes that these armed groups retain their military capability and readiness for renewed conflict and continue to commit grave human rights abuses.

Stop the Ordered Flogging of a Woman in the United Arab Emirates
A female domestic worker has reportedly been sentenced to 150 lashes for becoming pregnant outside of marriage in the United Arab Emirates. The woman was sentenced by a Shari'a (Islamic) court of law, after the result of a forced pregnancy test was positive. The ordered flogging violates her right against torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment, and is a form of gender-based violence. Help stop the ordered flogging immediately.


Housing Rights

All over the world, including here in the United States, survivors of domestic violence are forced to choose between escaping their abuser and keeping a roof over their and their children’s heads. The U.S. section of Amnesty International (AIUSA) is beginning a research project on the relationship between domestic violence and lack of adequate housing, due to be released in 2007.
» Read more


Gender-Based Violence Resource

New guidelines for gender-based violence interventions in humanitarian settings have been issued by a coalition of UN agencies, academic institutions, and local and international NGOs. The guidelines are the latest step in an international effort to effectively prevent and respond to sexual violence in emergency settings.
» Learn more
» Read the report (in PDF)

Greece: Out of the Spotlight: The Rights of Foreigners and Minorities Are Still a Gray Area
Amnesty International has released a report detailing the human right’s abuses that occur in Greece against foreigners and minorities. These abuses range from the denial of protection to refugees and the ill treatment of migrants, to the forced eviction of Roma from their settlements and the inadequate protection of minority rights.
» Learn more

United States: Stonewalled: Police Abuse and Misconduct Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People in the United States
Amnesty International has released a report detailing the grave human rights abuses suffered by members of the LGBT community that are perpetuated by law enforcement officials. The report highlights the treatment of LGBT individuals by the police within the larger framework of identity-based discrimination, and demonstrates how the interplay between different forms of discrimination, such as racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia, create the conditions in which human rights abuses are perpetuated.
» Read more

Addressing the Sexual Misconduct of Peacekeepers
Refugees International has released a report addressing the sexual misconduct of UN peacekeeping forces against local women. The report discusses the economic disparities between local women and peacekeeping forces, and correlates these disparities with increased sexual violence towards the women.
» Learn more

The Day I Became A Woman now on DVD
Marziyeh Meshkini's film, The Day I Became A Woman, is now released on DVD. The film details the stories of three women through three generations and represents the courage of women around the world. Buy the film, and a portion of the proceeds will go to AIUSA’s Stop Violence Against Women Campaign.
» Buy the film

Human Trafficking Resource
Human trafficking remains a worldwide problem of epidemic proportion. 80% of trafficking victims are women. Learn more about this global human rights issue and take action.
» Learn more


DC Women's Human Rights Action Team Meeting

The DCWHRAT will meet on Wednesday, November 9th at 7:00 pm at the Amnesty International office (600 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, metro Eastern Market).
» Contact Erica for more information

New York Women’s Human Rights Action Team
The NYCWHRAT will meet on Monday, December 5th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Judson Memorial Church Assembly Hall, 239 Thompson Street, just below Washington Square South.
» Contact Jeanne for more information

16 Days Of Activism Against Gender Violence
Participate in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign from November 25 (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) through December 10 (International Human Rights Day). This year’s theme, "For the Health of Women, For the Health of the World: No More Violence," focuses on highlighting the connections between violence against women and HIV/AIDS.
» Learn more

AIUSA’s 2005 Regional Conferences
AIUSA’s 2005 Southern Regional Conference will take place in Atlanta, GA from November 4-6. The theme of this year's conference is “Demanding Total Respect for Human Rights!” The 2005 Western Regional Conference will be held in San Francisco, CA from November 11-13. The theme of this year's conference is “A Turning Point for Human Rights!” The conferences will have world-renowned speakers and human rights activists and are open to all Amnesty members.
» Learn more

Creating Change Annual Conference
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s 18th Annual Creating Change Conference is being held in Oakland, CA this year from November 9-13.
» Learn more

'Bin Laden Sitting In A Cave Laughing'

This article from details the obfuscations and blatant lies of the Bush Administration, written by an intrepid investigative journalist. Evelyn Pringle is not afraid to mince words; she does not try to blunt the hard edge of reality, as she writes in her closing:
"The fact is, there was no arsenal of weapons and Saddam was no threat, imminent or otherwise. Bush and his band of chickenhawks lied to Kerry, to other members of Congress, to taxpayers, and the world, in order to pull off their grand profiteering scheme."

Now that we know the truth, the whole damn bunch should be tried as war criminals, and once they are convicted and sent to prison, they should be treated every bit as well as they have treated prisoners jailed under their watch over the past 5 years."

Any futher introduction on my part cannot do Ms. Pringle's article justice, so please read on and see for yourself. -- Annamarie


Evelyn Pringle: Bin Laden Sitting In A Cave Laughing
Author: Evelyn Pringle
Published on November 11, 2005, 07:28

"The war in Iraq is a miserable failure, any way you look at it. Retired General Anthony Zinni, former commander of the US Central Command, had it right when he said that by manufacturing a false rationale for war, abandoning traditional allies, propping up and trusting Iraqi exiles, and failing to plan for post-war Iraq, Bush has made the US less secure, instead of safer.

Osama himself could not have created the mess that Bush got us into, even if he had tried and he's probably sitting in his cave laughing his fool head off as we speak.

By launching a war against a country that posed no real threat to anyone, Bush not only sabotaged bin Laden's capture, he destroyed our credibility all over the world. As we recently witnessed with Katrina, by over-extending our forces, Bush has lessened our ability to respond to emergencies at home which means we can logically assume that he has lessened our ability to respond to an actual threat of terror should one arise.

How Did We End Up With Bush Anyways?

During the 2000 presidential campaign, the Republican platform contained the following statements:" Read rest of this article here

Evelyn Pringle is a columnist for Independent Media TV and an investigative journalist focused on exposing corruption in government.

Remembrance Day: " In Flanders Fields" and Saving Flanders Fields

In honour of Remembrance Day, I felt it appropriate to post this article about the Canadian World War One soldier who penned the poem, "In Flanders Fields". As you wear your poppy today, please remember John McCrae, and all those who have given their lives for our country.... I wonder, do the Americans know of him and his poignant, famous poem, penned in the trenches of Flanders? Probably not, as he was not one of 'theirs'...(Update: I have just received the answer to my question about Americans and their knowledge of John McCrae, Flanders Fields and the poppy when I came across no red poppies for us in an American's blog a few minutes ago.)

Please take a moment today to show respect for all those who died and those who fought and survived in both World Wars.

Lest we forget the words to this poem -- or for those who may not have heard them -- I've reprinted the poem here:

"In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow,
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead, short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from fading hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields." -- John McCrae (1872-1918)

Flanders Fields

It's one of the best known pieces of war remembrance, but the poem penned by Canadian John McCrae almost never made it out of the trenches. Yet exactly who convinced him to publish the iconic lament remains a mystery, writes Doug Fischer.

Read full article

Friday, November 11, 2005

Tomdispatch Interview: Ann Wright on Service to Country

Tomdispatch Interview: Ann Wright on Service to Country

[Note to Tomdispatch readers:
This is the fifth in an ongoing series of interviews at the site. The most recent of these were: Cindy Sheehan and Juan Cole (parts 1 and 2 ). This interview also represents the first follow-up at the site to Nick Turse's The Fallen Legion: Casualties of the Bush Administration.]

"A Felon for Peace"
A Tomdispatch Interview with Ann Wright

She's just off the plane from Tulsa, Oklahoma, the cheapest route back from a reunion in the little Arkansas town where she grew up in the 1950s. For thirty years, she and her childhood friends have climbed to the top of Penitentiary Mountain, where the local persimmon trees grow, for a persimmon-spitting contest. ("All in the great spirit of just having fun and being crazy.") She holds out her hands and says, "I probably still have persimmon goop on me!"

We seat ourselves at a table in my dining room, two small tape recorders between us. She's dressed all in black with a bright green over-shirt, a middle-aged blond woman wearing gold earrings and a thin gold necklace. As she settles in, her sleeves pull back, revealing the jewelry she'd rather talk about. On her right wrist is a pink, plastic band. "This one was to be a volunteer in the Astrodome for Hurricane Katrina. I did two days work there, then three days in Covington, Louisiana, the first week after." On her left wrist, next to a watch from another age, are two blue plastic bands: "And this one," she says with growing animation, fingering the nearest of them, "was my very first arrest of my whole life on September 26th in front of the White House with 400 of my closest friends. This is the bus number I was on and this is the arrest number they gave me and then, later on, I had to date it because now I have two." She fingers the second band. "Last week 26 of us were arrested after a die-in right in front of the White House in commemoration of the two thousandth American and maybe one hundred thousandth Iraqi who died in this war. So now," she announces, chuckling heartily, "I'm a felon for peace."

When she speaks -- and in the final g's she drops from words ("It's freezin' in Mongolia!") -- you can catch just a hint of the drawl of that long-gone child from Bentonville, Arkansas. In her blunt, straightforward manner, you can catch something of her 29 years in the Army; and in her ease perhaps, the 16 years she spent as a State Department diplomat. Animated, amused by her foibles (and those of her interviewer), articulate and thoughtful, she's just the sort of person you would want to defend -- and then represent -- your country, a task she continues to perform, after her own fashion, as one of the more out-of-the-ordinary antiwar activists of our moment.

Last August, she had a large hand in running Camp Casey for Cindy Sheehan at the President's doorstep in Crawford, Texas; then again, that wasn't such a feat, given that in 1997 she had overseen the evacuation of 2,500 foreigners from the war zone that was then Sierra Leone, a harrowing experience for which she was given the State Department's Award for Heroism. "That's why I joined the foreign service," she comments, her voice still filled with some residual excitement from those years. "I wanted to go to places you wouldn't visit on vacation." In fact, the retired colonel opened and closed embassies from Africa to Uzbekistan and took some of the roughest diplomatic assignments on Earth, including the reopening of the American embassy in Kabul in December 2001.

On March 19, 2003, the day before the first Cruise missiles were launched against Baghdad, she resigned from the Foreign Service in an open letter sent from the U.S. embassy in Mongolia (where she was then Deputy Chief of Mission) to Secretary of State Colin Powell. In it she wrote, in part:

Click here to read more of this dispatch.


Thursday, November 10, 2005

John Pilger: The Rise of America's New Enemy

From: Information Clearing House

“Soldiers should not be held up as national heroes " - “I would rather be Edison than Hannibal; Peabody rather than Radetzki, Newton rather than Wellington.” Source - Invertarium einer Seele by Bertha von Suttner, the first woman awarded the 1905 Nobel Peace Prize.

"Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience ... Therefore [individual citizens] have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.": The Nuremberg Tribunal 1945-1946.

If a war be undertaken for the most righteous end, before the resources of peace have been tried and proved vain to secure it, that war has no defense, it is a national crime: Charles Eliot Norton


War is the health of the State. It automatically sets in motion throughout society these irresistible forces for uniformity, for passionate cooperation with the government in coercing into obedience the minority groups and individuals which lack the larger herd sense: Randolph Bourne

Charge Him or Release Him

Jose Padilla : U.S. Citizen Imprisoned Without Trial or Charges for 3 Years and 186 Days

The Rise Of America's New Enemy

By John Pilger

While the world looks to Iran and Syria for the next Bush attack, Venezuelans know they may well be next. On 17 March, the Washington Post reported that Feliz Rodríguez, "a former CIA operative well-connected to the Bush family" had taken part in the planning of the assassination of the President of Venezuela.

US denies using 'napalm' on civilians:

THE US military in Iraq denies a report shown on Italian state television saying US forces used incendiary white phosphorus against civilians in an offensive on the Iraqi town of Fallujah last November.

In case you missed it:

U.S. Journalist Reports On Use Of White Phosphorous In Fullajah:

Bogert is a mortar team leader who directed his men to fire round after round of high explosives and white phosphorus charges into the city Friday and Saturday, never knowing what the targets were or what damage the resulting explosions caused.

In case you missed it:

Military Report Confirms White Phosphorous Used In Fullajah:

"WP proved to be an effective and versatile munition. We used it for screening missions at two breeches and, later in the fight, as a potent psychological weapon against the insurgents in trench lines and spider holes when we could not get effects on them with HE. We fired 'shake and bake' missions at the insurgents, using WP to flush them out and HE to take them out."

A name that lives in infamy :

The destruction of Falluja was an act of barbarism that ranks alongside My Lai, Guernica and Halabja

Ukraine to withdraw soldiers from Iraq before December 30:

Ukraine will end the withdrawal of its soldiers from Iraq by December 30, 2005, Ukrainian Defense Minister Anatoliy Gritsenko said.

Any Soldier Will Do:

The Pentagon has been calling up reserve soldiers who are ill or medically unfit to serve. The reservists are serving primarily in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Army reaches low to fill ranks:

The number of new recruits who scored at the bottom of the Army's aptitude test tripled last month, Pentagon officials said, helping the nation's largest armed service meet its October recruiting goal but raising concerns about the quality of the force.

Do Not Serve in this War :

The regime of torture continues because the military provides a shield that keeps the public from intervening. The military is the facilitator of torture; the "enabler" of torture. Without its support the system would fall apart.

Rumsfeld can override Pentagon policy barring torture:

A little-noticed loophole in the directive gives the Defence Secretary or his deputy authority to override the policy.

U.N. Blasts Practice of Outsourcing Torture: Six countries -- the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Sweden and Kyrgyzstan -- have been singled out for violating international human rights conventions by deporting terrorist suspects to countries such as Egypt, Syria, Algeria and Uzbekistan, where they may have been tortured.

Sen. Graham Introduces Amendment to End Habeas for Detainees :

Senator Lindsay Graham is introducing an Amendment to the defense appropriations bill pending in the Senate (S. 1042) that would strip those designated by the Administration as enemy combatants of the ability to seek habeas review in federal courts.

Frist worried about leak, not prisons:

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist says he is more concerned about the leak of information regarding secret CIA detention centers than activity in the prisons themselves

Los Angeles Times Confirms Israeli Evacuation Prior To Bomb Blasts:

Amos N. Guiora, a former senior Israeli counter-terrorism official, said in a phone interview with The Times that sources in Israel had also told him about the pre-attack evacuations.

How the U.S. Helped Create Zarqawi and the Terror Financing Network:

Democracy Now! speaks with Italian writer Loretta Napoleoni, author of "Insurgent Iraq: Al Zarqawi and the New Generation."

Chalabi claims he didn't mislead U.S.:

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said that Chalabi's private appearance today on Capitol Hill should instead be public, and that he should be put under oath "to answer questions about his role in providing false intelligence to the United States ... "

IDF choppers in service of drug cartel:

American officials demand Israel provide explanations for how U.S.-made choppers sold to Israel ended up in service of Columbian drug cartel. Incident may cloud relations between countries

House of Commons, 4:56pm: The moment Tony Blair lost his authority :

Tony Blair's personal authority was badly dented last night when he suffered a humiliating defeat over his plan to allow the police to detain suspected terrorists for up to 90 days without charge.

Foreign policy 'spurs Muslim extremism' :

The group of Muslim advisers hand-picked by the government in the wake of the July 7 bombings has attacked Tony Blair's anti-terrorism plan, just hours after the 90-day detention rule was defeated in parliament.,12780,1639511,00.html


Is US planning an Iraq-style 'regime change' in Syria?:

A new intelligence report, however, says any successor to Assad's regime won't be any friendlier to US.

Information Clearing House is an independent, reader funded news and information service.

Your help is needed to offset the costs associated with site hosting and bandwidth usage. If you find the above articles informative please help by clicking here

Liberty can not be preserved without general knowledge among people." (August 1765) John Adams

Information Clearing House

BuzzFlash Review:"Born Into Brothels"-- an Award-winning Documentary Feature

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Born Into Brothels (DVD)
Winner of the 2005 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature Review (excerpt)

This is a remarkable documentary that squeezes an ounce of hope out of the dismal, seedy life of a Calcutta neighborhood of prostitutes. Seen through the prism of the innocence of children of multi-generational "sex-workers" and through the lenses of their cameras, "Born Into Brothels" offers a scintillating experience of documentary photographs taken by young people within a documentary about them and their squalid social conditions.

At the center of the film is a female photographer who becomes mentor, teacher and advisor to a group of remarkable youth who learn to see the cul-de-sac of their family lives in a different light, by turning the world into art with a camera. Despite its dreary setting, this is not a somber film. In fact, it revels in the opportunity and hope of childhood, even if circumstances often conspire against it being fully realized.

Read the Complete Review >>>

Other Reviews

"A documentary that changed the lives both of subjects and filmmakers, it will reorder the worldview of whoever sees it."
-- Los Angeles Times

"Heroism can come in subtle forms. This is one of them."
-- Washington Post

"Zana Briski's documentary about children growing up in Calcutta's rough and squalid red light district is moving, charming and sad."
--New York Times

"The resilience that shines in the faces of these children, both in the photos and in the movie itself, makes one angry once more about the incredible waste of human potential caused by social and economic injustice."
-- New York Observer

"The specter of long odds and narrow choices shades every frame of the film, yet the tone is often buoyant and legitimately inspirational."
-- Village Voice

"It's beautifully photographed and, thanks to its subject matter, sometimes intensely moving."
-- Chicago Tribune

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Bush Administration and Security / More News from BuzzFlash

BuzzFlash provides honest commentary today in introducing today's digest articles. Here, Buzz asks some valid questions about national security under the Bush Administration, questions every American should be asking. He also has an interview with Larry Beinhart, author of "Wag the Dog", a book review, and more interesting articles. Read on....

"We know this is heretical to say, but we are concerned about the national security of America, so here goes. Isn't it mighty coincidental that when Bush hits rock bottom in the polls, Al-Qaeda suddenly launches a terror attack or the Bush Administration issues an alert? I mean either they need each other to strengthen their political positions, or the Busheviks are being outsmarted by the terrorists at every turn, even with the torture thing going on at full speed ahead.

Don't we need an administration that can outsmart the terrorists and protect our CIA operatives, instead of the other way around?

Isn't that what we need for our national security? Because, right now, we have an inept administration that leaves us more vulnerable with each passing day."

Read further...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Jack Abramoff asked for $9 million in 2003 from the president of Gabon to arrange a meeting with Bush. And the meeting happened. Is Bush the next to fall from the Jack scandal?

A BuzzFlash Interview: Larry Beinhart, Author of "Wag the Dog," Explores 'Fog Facts' - the Vital Facts That Just Get Lost in the Spin

Get the Just Released "Truth and Duty: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power," by Mary Mapes. This was a book that reportedly was almost kept from publication because it reveals how the corporate media so cravenly accedes to the demands of the Bush Administration.

House Republicans, after long hours scrounging for votes to pass their five-year budget that takes from the poor and continues to enrich the bloated wealthy, Wednesday night dropped a provision that would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. 11/10

Report: "The Qaeda group led by America's deadliest foe in Iraq on Thursday claimed bombings that ripped through luxury hotels in Jordan's capital and killed 57 people." You Know, If This is True, We Need a New Team Fighting Terrorism. Because the Terrorists Seem to Outsmart the Busheviks at Every Turn, Don't They? We Need Leaders Who Can Protect Our National Security, Not Undercut It with Their Incompetence.

Winnipeg Youth Gets 1-Day Sentence for Killing Iraqi Refugee as Supreme Court Set to Hear Case

I am outraged at Canada's limp-wristed new law for young offenders who commit heinous, violent crimes, as in the case of the fifteen-year-old Winnipeg teen who viciously beat to death an Iraqi refugee.

Judges in the case cited that there is confusion about the application of the Youth Criminal Justice Act that replaced the Young Offenders Act. This new act focuses more on rehabilitation than punitive measures. While I agree about the merits of rehabilitation for young offenders, the law should not be used as a blanket shield. Shielding young criminals who commit violent acts, especially those who kill an other in cold blood, instead of protecting law-abiding citizens from these acts perpetrated upon them, severely impedes the judiciary from doing its job. Often motivated by pure hatred or racial/gender/sexual orientation bias, these criminals should be judged accordingly. It is my humble opinion that a teen-ager who cold-bloodedly, without provocation, takes the life of an other human being, is beyond 'rehabilitation' and deserves a harsh sentence. What good does a slap on the wrist do?

Every person who watches the evening news knows that youth crime is increasing at an alarming rate, with violent crimes leading the way. In my own area, a facility for adult offenders was transformed into one for young offenders, as they make up the fastest growing segment of the criminal population.

Recidivism can be lowered by humane rehabilitative measures, especially among youths. However, the gravity of the crime should merit punishment accordingly. Ridiculously light sentences serve only to embolden those who are prone to violent behaviour, and will not act as a deterrent. Rehabilitation for these individuals remains a large question mark. The one-day sentence meted out in Winnipeg's "eight-ball case" is a gross aberration and travesty of Canada's judicial system. The Supreme Court of Canada is set to hear this case. I hope they deal with it more judiciously than the Manitoba courts did.

A young offender was convicted of killing 22-year-old Chya Saleh, a Kurdish refugee from Iraq, by hitting him two or three times in the head with a pool ball wrapped in a sock.

Saleh had arrived in Canada six months earlier and was working as a pizza delivery driver when he apparently looked at the killer's sister the wrong way.

What outraged the community was the sentence for the crime: one day.

"When I see somebody has killed a person and walk out of jail, then I say where is the system? Where is the justice that exists," said Ismat Simo, a friend of the victim.

The killer was 15 years old and had already spent four months in jail. The judge said he couldn't impose a longer jail sentence under the law.

On Thursday the Supreme Court will hear that case, and a similar B.C. case, because there's confusion about the application of the Youth Criminal Justice Act that replaced the Young Offenders Act.

Manitoba judges say that under the provisions of the newer act they must focus on rehabilitation, instead of giving out tougher jail sentences....

.....If the Manitoba case is upheld there could be more one-day sentences in other provinces.

If that happens the Youth Criminal Justice Act could very well end up back in Parliament."

Read full story

Book: "Truth and Duty: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power", by Mary Mapes

Your Purchase of this Premium Supports Independent Media! is ADVERTISING FREE because of your purchase.


Truth and Duty: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power (Hardcover)
by Mary Mapes Review (excerpt)

This was a book that reportedly was almost kept from publication because it reveals how the corporate media so cravenly accedes to the demands of the Bush Administration. In this case, we are talking about the "L'affaire" Dan Rather and the Bush National Guard memos.

Mary Mapes was the senior producer on the story that ended up with Dan Rather's untimely retirement from CBS -- and with Mapes being fired.

...a must-read book for anyone interested in a personal account of a corporate media that is no longer beholden to the public or the truth. It's a candid and chilling account from an accomplished professional broadcast veteran. It's the victim's perspective of the slash-and-burn media intimidation politics of the Bush Administration.

Read the Complete Review >>>

About the Author

For twenty-five years, Mary Mapes has been an award-winning television news producer and reporter, the last fifteen of them for CBS News, primarily for The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and 60 Minutes II. In 2004, her last year at CBS, in addition to the George W. Bush National Guard story, she broke the stories of the existence of Strom Thurmond's unacknowledged bi-racial daughter, Essie Mae Washington, and the Abu Ghraib prison tortures, for which she won a Peabody Award in 2005. She began her career at KIRO-TV in Seattle, Washington in 1979. She lives in Dallas, Texas.

Order Your Copy Today and Support >>>

Media Minimizing US and British War Crimes / More Articles

** Here are a few words of wisdom to make us think, from Tom at Information Clearing House:

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it." : George Bernard Shaw

When a whole nation is roaring patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and purity of its heart." : Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion." Thomas Jefferson, September 28, 1820

"Under a government which imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison." : Henry David Thoreau

**Jose Padilla : U.S. Citizen Imprisoned Without Trial or Charges for 3 Years and 183 Days**

News from Information Clearing House:

The media are minimising US and British war crimes in Iraq

The reporting of the Iraqi death toll - both in its scale and account of who is doing the killing - is profoundly dishonest

By George Monbiot

We can expect the US and UK governments to seek to minimise the extent of their war crimes. But it's time the media stopped collaborating. read more

$5,000 for loss of wife and son: how US prices death

By Phil Sands

Hameed Hassan sat in the remains of his car, next to his dead wife, and watched his four-year-old son begin to bleed to death. The family had been on the way to buy clothes in Rawah's small market when the American soldiers opened fire. A helicopter gunship joined in the attack, cutting the car and two of its occupants to pieces.
Read more

Al Qaim October Massacre: Indiscriminate Killing Zone:

This report contains graphic images depicting the reality and horror of war. These are eye-witness accounts from Inside Iraq, on The Brussels Tribunal website.
read more

Blair blames France for Iraq war in reply to diplomat's claims :

Tony Blair has angrily rejected the charge by Britain's former ambassador to Washington, Sir Christopher Meyer, that he could have used his "swing vote" to stop the US going to war in Iraq
read more

Washington elite bring Chalabi in from the cold :

Ahmed Chalabi comes in from the cold today, arriving in Washington to meet senior Bush administration officials for the first time in two years - despite lingering allegations that the Iraqi politician provided bogus pre-war intelligence, and a continuing investigation into whether he passed US secrets to Iran.
read more

Tehran Backing Chalabi as Iraq's Next PM:

Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi deputy prime minister and leader of the Iraqi National Congress (INC) party, has won the conditional support of the Iranian leadership for his decision to contest the elections independently of the "Unified Iraqi Coalition."
read more

Top Secret: Status Of Chalabi Inquiry

Few Signs of Progress Emerge in FBI Case Involving a Possible Leak of U.S. Intelligence
read more

Three Massachusetts congressman now regret war vote:

Three Massachusetts congressmen who voted to give President Bush authorization to go to war in Iraq say they would change their mind if they had to do it all over again.
read more

Wag the Damascus?:

Last year, U.S. intelligence agencies and military planners received instructions to prepare up-to-date target lists for Syria and to increase their preparations for potential military operations against Damascus.
read more

Israel as an Extension of American Empire:

The slogan of the Israeli peace movement, "occupation corrupts," has proven to be true with a vengeance. Israel has become a Sparta, an aggressive country with no moral brakes that endangers its neighbors, peoples of far-away land and, in the end, its own population.
read more

If Cheney's for torture, why not use it on Scooter?: (This is one of my favourites; be sure to read it. -- annamarie)

Here's an idea, and I can't believe I'm the first to come up with this modest proposal, but why doesn't the U.S. government just go ahead and torture Lewis "Scooter" Libby? And not just for that ridiculous name.
read more

'Riots by workers can rock Middle East':

Millions of expatriate workers facing maltreatment and injustice in the Middle East and the Gulf are a time bomb that could unleash riots like those rocking France, an Arab-American activist has warned.
read more

** If you enjoyed the above articles, please subscribe to, and help support, this wonderful news and information site. Information Clearing House is a source of unreported (or under reported) news from around the globe, and the diligent work of one person, who was frustrated and angered at the failure of traditional commercial[mainstream] media to inform the American public, especially as it relates to U.S. foreign policy. It is a non-commercial web site (no advertising, no pop-up windows) and funded solely by readers' donations. This hard-working person is a private individual who is not affiliated with any political party, and does not receive funding from any group. To read more of 'What and Who is Information Clearing House' click here. I strongly urge all those who realise and appreciate the importance of independent media to support this industrious, dedicated individual's effort by your donations, and by spreading the word about the site. You can also sign up for FREE daily email news digests!

Here is the link again: Information Clearing House

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

BuzzFlash Outrage Against Bush's Crimes / Headlines

** Note: The introduction to yesterday's BuzzFlash headlines -- which I receive daily in my inbox -- was so good, voicing its writer's impassioned outrage and evocative imagery, that I wanted to share it with readers here. So I quickly dashed off a letter asking Buzz for permission to repost. His reply just came in. Here's Buzz's astute and succint answer: "repost whatever you want up in Canada. Canada is a nation of sanity and good will in a world gone mad. buzz"

Hence I am now reposting this intro in its entirety, along with the rest of the headlines contained in the email alert, which are well worthwhile reading. BuzzFlash's interpretations are uniquely honest and deserve kudos! I enjoy them immensely, and I am sure you will too!

Also, please inform your friends, family members and pro-democracy advocates of BuzzFlash FREE alerts at: If you are not yet a suscriber, I urge you to subscribe. BuzzFlash is one of the most honestly unabashed voices on the web. -- Annamarie

"As for today's news, we have the Orwellian -- actually, beyond Orwellian -- Bush claim that his administration doesn't torture people (despite all proof to the contrary), but that he needs Congress to let him and his Cheney Busheviks continue torturing people. We guess the people in "What's the matter with Kansas" who support these psychotic Republicans are nodding their heads and muttering, "makes good sense to me."

It shows that we're not just leaving lots of children behind; damn, we've left boatloads of adults behind in the brain game.

On top of that, there is now proof of what we've long suspected and commented on. The Busheviks are performing crimes against the Iraqi civilian population as bad or worse than the ones that the Busheviks keep using to justify their invasion of Iraq: i.e., Saddam gassed some of his own people (with Rumsfeld's nod and wink and the rest of the Republican administration at the time). If these aren't war crimes, what are? How can we continue to allow the barbarians to rule in the White House?

Who will perform fellatio on Bush and Cheney so that we can get them impeached? William Kristol is a good candidate.

This has gotten beyond the revolting stage. We are in a parallel universe of lies, deception and macabre horror.

Who will save the good name of the United States from these horrible people? Who will protect us from the Armageddon they are precipitating to the glee of their fundamentalist base? Who will hold them accountable for their treason and treachery?

Harry Reid had one good day when he forced the Senate into secret session. Is that all we get?

Bush Declares that Al-Qaeda Suspects are So Deviant they Torture Themselves, Give Misinformation to Start Wars, and Then Kill Themselves, But the Bush Administration Has No Role In Any of It. So Bush is Continuing His Campaign, with Cheney, to Ensure that Administration Detainees Have the Right to Torture Themselves. Got It Straight? (BuzzFlash's Interpretation.)

Antiwar Sermon Brings IRS Warning; All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena risks losing its tax-exempt status because of a former rector's remarks in 2004. This is such hypocrisy, when right-wing taliban like Falwell and Robertson spend every waking moment campaigning for their Bush boy.

The Independent reports on US chemical weapon attacks in Iraq: Victims' "skin has been dissolved or caramelised or turned the consistency of leather." That's the freedom we brought to Iraq. Where's the "liberal" New York Times? They buried a story on Sunday about how the Bushevik pre-war claims about Iraq were largely based on a discredited faker who had been tortured to say what Dick Cheney wanted him to say? 11/8

Enough of Bushevism? End Corruption, Cronyism and Incompetence, Support (You can even send an old-fashioned check.)

"You need to be aggressive to get the information you want, but if you treat people inhumanely, they're just going to tell you what they think you want to hear," he said. "They'll do anything just to get the mistreatment to stop, so you get nothing from mistreatment." 11/8

Fight ignorance, read and support BuzzFlash!

ACTION ALERT: Montreal Demonstration December 3rd During Climate Summit

December 3 in Montreal:

The Most Important International Climate Summit to Date; and a Watershed Day of Action for Concerned Citizens in
the USA, Canada and Around the World!

Dear Friends,

On Saturday, December 3rd there will be a major demonstration in Montreal, Quebec calling for action on the accelerating global warming crisis. This demonstration will coincide with the United Nations Climate Conference, widely regarded as the most important international climate summit to date, attended by delegates from over 150 countries. The theme of the march is, "Time Is Running Out, The Time Is Now." Many thousands of people are expected.

A growing number of U. S. residents are planning to head north to be part of this historic action. Others will be organizing local actions in the USA on this day. And there will be actions in at least 28 countries around the world. Hundreds of thousands may well be participating in this International Day of Action to Stop Global Warming.

We are writing to encourage you to think about and talk with others about joining us in Montreal. It’s a surprisingly doable trip, particularly for those who live in the Northeast. We would particularly like to encourage local environmental, campus, peace, community and other groups to explore chartering buses. These buses could leave from places like Boston, New York City, Burlington VT, Hanover NH, or Portland ME, late Friday night, be there for the full day on Saturday and then return that night. This would take care of concerns people might have about accommodations, while affording an exciting opportunity to take part in what promises to be watershed event.

There will be press from the U.S. and from all over the world in Montreal covering the conference and this march, and they need to see us represented in significant numbers demanding that the United States join the world! The U.S. government is not just a Kyoto Protocol deserter; even worse, our government is obstructing efforts by other countries to spur strong action internationally to avert the pending climate cataclysm.

The demonstration will begin gathering at 12 noon. The route is not yet secure but you can get information at The march will begin at 1 p.m., marching to le complexe Guy Favreau just a block away from the Palais de Congres where the U.N. Climate Conference is meeting. From 2:30 on there will be a rally with speakers and creative actions and displays.

The December 3rd March Committee in Montreal is building a broad coalition of environmental, youth, labor and religious groups. We are working closely with them, and we will provide information about where vehicles should go, where they can park, public transportation options, etc.

It'd be great to have buses, vans and carpools coming from all over. Let's make history on December 3rd in Montreal and around the U.S. and the world!

For present and future generations!

Ted Glick, Coordinator, Climate Crisis: USA Join the World!
Tom Stokes, Coordinator, Kyoto and Beyond campaign

For more information on December 3rd: go to, email:, or call (973) 338-5398.
For information on the People’s Ratification petition:;; (413) 243-5665

Tomgram: George Does Ethics in the White House

[Note to Tomdispatch readers: We are in such an age of extremity that perfectly sane people can mistake satire for reality. I've run into this before in my modest attempts at humor (with angry or confused letters to follow), and yet the absurd bubble-extremity of the Bush administration sometimes cries out -- at least so it seems to me -- for a less than sober and analytic response. As today. So consider yourself warned. Tom]

The White House Ethics Lesson
From the Hope Springs Eternal Department

By Tom Engelhardt

We are at -- for the time being at least -- the bargain-basement, fire-sale moment in Bush administration fortunes. The President's approval ratings have entered something close to free-fall; as the least popular U.S. president in Latin American history, he was harried across the Southern continent last week by crowds of protestors and various heads of state who insisted on beginning formal dinners after his normal bedtime; his Vice President is beleaguered; the Vice-Presidential chief of staff indicted; Karl Rove, the President's "architect," under investigation; Tom DeLay part-way down the tubes; Social Security "reform" crumpled in the corner; Senate Majority Leader Frist blindsided by a one-eyed trust; White House counsel Harriet Miers shot down by trusted allies; a seamy lobbying scandal spreading fast; the President coattail-less in Virginia; and uppity Republican Senators insisting on a no-torture amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill -- and that's just where the list begins.

The question for Washington insiders is this: Has the administration reached a "tipping point"? After all these dark months, is there a gleam of light at tunnel's end? As it happens, the first faint glow may have appeared in a story, Pentagon Plans Tighter Control of Interrogation, on the front page of my morning New York Times. Reporters Eric Schmitt and Tim Golden inform us that the Pentagon has suddenly approved a "policy directive governing interrogations as part of an effort to tighten controls over the questioning of terror suspects and other prisoners by American soldiers" -- a decision that will "allow the Army to issue a long-delayed field manual for interrogators that is supposed to incorporate the lessons gleaned from the prisoner-abuse scandals last year."

Some might imagine that, in its timing, a directive issued under the pressure of Vice President Cheney's image-cracking campaign to derail any Geneva Convention-style language in Pentagon documents, fight off Senator McCain's anti-torture amendment, and (at the very least) retain a torture exemption for the CIA might have been purely cosmetic. Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman insisted otherwise to the Times, and in this case the Pentagon should be given the benefit of the doubt.

After all, it takes time to "glean" hard lessons from complex reality, especially when your top officials are out of the information loop. Striking evidence of this came only the other day from Knight Ridder columnist Joseph Galloway (awarded a bronze star for his service in Vietnam), who has regularly attacked Defense Secretary Rumsfeld for his handling of the war in Iraq. Invited to lunch with the Donald and various generals, Galloway found himself besieged by a Pentagon chief eager to get at the hidden truth of things. Rumsfeld almost immediately confronted him. "I'm not hearing anything like the things you are writing about," he told the columnist. What he wanted to know was "why he himself wasn't hearing all the negative stuff about the lack of progress in Iraq and the military grumblings that the writer was picking up on." Those of us outside Washington's Beltway world are at a disadvantage in gauging the depth of Rumsfeld's problems because we can read about "lack of progress in Iraq" any day of the week. Not so him.

It's not surprising then that "lessons gleaned" from the twelve official investigations the Pentagon has launched into the Abu Ghraib scandal and the abuse of prisoners from Afghanistan to Guantanamo were slow to rise to the highest levels of government. Remember, these investigations also represented a documentary traffic jam of monumental proportions, leaving the busy Rumsfeld with the near-impossible task of reading thousands upon thousands of pages of none-too-relaxing reports.

Click here to read more of this dispatch.

** Note: All of Tom Engelhardt's immensely insightful, informative, well-written, intelligent Tomgrams and Dispatches are republished on this site with the kind, explicit permission of the author.

VIDEO | Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre

FOCUS | US Forces 'Used Chemical Weapons' on City of Fallujah

Powerful new evidence emerged yesterday that the United States dropped massive quantities of white phosphorus on the Iraqi city of Fallujah during the attack in November of 2004. The attack killed insurgents and civilians with appalling burns that are the signature of this weapon. A video documentary entitled "Fallujah: the Hidden Massacre," provides what it claims is clinching evidence that incendiary bombs known as Mark 77 - a new, improved form of napalm - were used in the attack on Fallujah. This action is in breach of the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons of 1980, which only allows such use against military targets.

VIDEO | Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre
A Film by Sigfrido Ranucci
WARNING: This video contains graphic and possibly disturbing footage.

DSL | 56K
Windows Media ** For Windows Media and Real Media viewing, please click here
DSL | 56K
DSL | 56K

US Forces 'Used Chemical Weapons' during Assault on City of Fallujah
By Peter Popham
The Independent UK

Tuesday 08 November 2005

Powerful new evidence emerged yesterday that the United States dropped massive quantities of white phosphorus on the Iraqi city of Fallujah during the attack on the city in November 2004, killing insurgents and civilians with the appalling burns that are the signature of this weapon.

Ever since the assault, which went unreported by any Western journalists, rumours have swirled that the Americans used chemical weapons on the city.

On 10 November last year, the Islam Online website wrote: "US troops are reportedly using chemical weapons and poisonous gas in its large-scale offensive on the Iraqi resistance bastion of Fallujah, a grim reminder of Saddam Hussein's alleged gassing of the Kurds in 1988."

Click here to read rest of this article

A Few Words of Wisdom

Here are a few words of wisdom, I thought I'd share. Definitely worth pondering upon, these are sage words indeed. -- Annamarie

"If large numbers of people believe in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech even if the law forbids it. But if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them." ; George Orwell [Eric Arthur Blair] (1903-1950) British author

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.... : Albert Einstein

“Not the faults of others, nor what others have done or left undone, but one's own deeds, done and left undone, should one consider.”: 50th Stanza from the Dhammapada (The Path of Wisdom)

Democracy Now! -- "Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre", a U.S. Broadcast Exclusive

November 8, 2005

= = = = = = = = =


* U.S. Broadcast Exclusive - "Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre" on the U.S. Use of Napalm-Like White Phosphorus Bombs *

Democracy Now! airs an exclusive excerpt of "Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre,"
featuring interviews with U.S. soldiers, Iraqi doctors and international journalists on the U.S. attack on Fallujah. Produced by Italian state broadcaster RAI TV, the documentary charges U.S. warplanes illegally dropped white phosphorous incendiary bombs on civilian populations, burning the skin off Iraqi victims. One U.S. soldier charges this amounts to the U.S. using chemical weapons against the Iraqi people.


* A Debate: Did the U.S. Military Attack Iraqi Civilians With White Phosphorous Bombs in Violation of the Geneva Conventions? *

We speak with a former U.S. soldier who witnessed orders being given to drop white phosphorous bombs over Fallujah; a Pentagon spokesperson in Baghdad who admits such bombs were used but denied they were used as a chemical weapon; and the news director of RAI TV, the Italian TV network that produced "Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre."


* Covering Up Torture? At Pentagon's Request the Washington Post Refuses To
Report on Location Of Secret CIA Jails in Europe *

We speak with Peter Kornbluh of the National Security Archives on the paper's decision to abide by a Pentagon request not to name which European nations house these secret facilities. Kornbluh compares this decision to the New York Times' refusal to report on details of the U.S. invasion of the Bay of Pigs in Cuba in 1961.


* Headlines for November 8, 2005 *

- France Uses Colonial-Era Law To Impose Curfews
- President Bush: "We Do Not Torture"
- Supreme Court To Rule on Guantanamo Military Tribunals
- Canadian Teen At Guantanamo to Face Military Tribunal
- U.S.-Led Assault on Syrian Border Continues
- Iran: Debris From U.S. Spy Planes Found
- IRS Warns Church For Anti-War Sermon
- Record Spending Seen in Many of Today's Race


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Democracy Now!'s daily news summaries are now available in Spanish:

Read Tuesday, November 8, 2005:

To subscribe to these "Titulares de Hoy" by email, send a blank message

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Wednesday, November 9:

* Robert Fisk, veteran Middle East journalist for the London Independent
joins us in our firehouse studio to discuss Iraq, the media and his new book "The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East."

* We take a look at the latest in the ongoing uprising in France being led by immigrant and Muslim youths. The French government has now put in place curfews and emergency measures in an effort to stop the unrest.

Democracy Now!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

AIUSA Promotes "Lord of War"/ plus Arms Control Petition and Info

Do More .... With "Lord of War"

From: Amnesty International USA

As announced earlier, Amnesty International USA is thrilled to promote the film Lord of War, directed by Andrew Niccol and starring Academy Award-Winner Nicolas Cage. The film was released nationally in mid-September. Lord of War is an action drama chronicling the global exploits of a US-based arms broker (Cage) who traffics weapons to dictators and human rights abusers while trying to stay out of the clutches of an intrepid Interpol Agent (Ethan Hawke). AIUSA's collaboration with the film will help advance our US-based action work within the international Control Arms Campaign.

Get involved with actions around the film! Download our AIUSA Lord of War Action Guide from
For orders of "paper copies" of 25 or more action guides, email with your name and mailing address.

Nicolas Cage talks about the deadly impact of the uncontrolled arms trade.

Watch the video: 37 k | 300 k. »

Stop Ruthless Arms Brokers that Fuel Deadly Conflicts
Ruthless arms brokers have been at the center of many of the most disturbing arms deals, including weapons transfers to abusive armed groups and countries under U.N. arms embargoes. Many of these merchants of death remain free and unhindered, and continue to traffic arms to human rights abusers. Urge your Member of Congress to press the Bush Administration to support a strong global agreement on arms brokering to better enforce U.S. law and halt this global threat to human rights. Click here to send an email to Congress. »

Halt Arms Trafficking into the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The profitable and illegal flow of arms to the Democratic Republic of Congo's tragic war continues to pose a major threat to the protection of fundamental human rights in the DRC and the wider Great Lakes region. Please urge the U.S. Secretary of State to encourage compliance with the embargo on the part of Congo's neighboring countries, and to investigate and prosecute the international network of clandestine profiteers who sell these weapons and make their fortunes from Congo's misery. Take action. »

Have You Signed the Million Faces Photo Petition Yet?
The Control Arms campaign is calling on governments to adopt a legally-binding International Arms Trade Treaty and we need your help in persuading governments to answer the call. Sign the Million Faces Photo Petition to demonstrate your support for an International Arms Trade Treaty. To learn more about the Control Arms campaign, which Amnesty International co-leads, visit the website at »


Amnesty, IANSA and Oxfam have just launched a global campaign aiming to stop gun running and control the arms trade - and they need your support now. Simply go to:

I've already signed up and you can see my Face in the Million Faces petition at:

Armed violence wrecks lives by fuelling conflict, poverty, and human rights abuses. The campaign is calling for an international Arms Trade Treaty which will make it harder for arms to get into the wrong hands.

Your support will help us to show that people - like you - around the world are outraged by arms trade abuses, and demand tougher arms controls. Act now at:

Ironweed: A Film Club for Progressives

Do you love movies but struggle to find what you want at the local megaplex or video store? Let's face it: The huge multi-national corporations that are cranking out the Hollywood hits aren't making many great, independent-minded films.

The folks at Ironweed, the new progressive film club, have a solution for progressives looking for independent films. Mother Jones teamed up with them to offer Mother Jones supporters the first opportunity to join this fun new effort to take back the media.

The idea is simple: Sign up for the club, and every month you'll get a DVD in the mail that contains an award-winning independent feature film, a short film, and free extras.

Subscribe now and get a special offer for Mother Jones supporters -- a one-month trial for the cost of shipping (just $2.95), and only $14.95 a month thereafter.

The films are yours to keep. Add them to your library, show them to your friends, or pass them on. If you don't think the films are great, you can cancel with no hassles.

Ironweed takes subscription-based film clubs to an entirely new level, providing resources to help members build and strengthen the progressive movement at the local level.

Just as conservatives have strengthened their movement by tapping into social organizations like churches and civic groups, Ironweed provides a fun and exciting way for progressives to meet new people in their communities and build a vital local network through independent film clubs.

Ironweed sends you films like "Power Trip," the tragicomic film that follows an American company that buys the energy system in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia and sends two bungling Americans to make the Georgians pay for power. The film won the Berlin film Festival, but you can't see it anywhere in America except through Ironweed.

Or "Wetback," the touching award-winner that follows two friends who leave Nicaragua to find their fortune and face the vigilante Minutemen on the Arizona border.

We hope you'll consider becoming an Ironweed charter subscriber. Click here to JOIN NOW.

P.S. Try the Ironweed film Club for a free month for just the cost of shipping. If you don't love it, just cancel -- it's easy.

In France, Early Sign of Alienation was Booing of 'La Marseillaise' Four Years Ago

The problems in France have been brewing for a long time, as evidenced by this article from IndyNews:

November 8, 2005

A football match between France and Algeria provided one of the first warning shots to the French political elite from the heart of the banlieues.

As the band struck up "La Marseillaise" before the friendly match in the Stade de France, in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, the national anthem was booed. But what shocked France was that those who booed were not Algerian fans but French-born second and third-generation immigrants with French nationality. The banlieues had spoken, and the catcalls from the suburbs were telling the government that the country's model of integration had failed.

That incident took place in October 2001, six years after President Jacques Chirac was first elected, having campaigned on a platform of healing the "social fracture" of poverty and exclusion that left millions of citizens out in the cold.

In Aulnay-sous-Bois last Saturday morning, a similar scene was played out in which the elected representatives of the republic were reminded that the "social fracture" is more serious than ever, and that the young Arabs on the estates still feel alienated from a mainstream society which has abandoned them to their own devices.

Read rest of this article here.

Streisand: "If There Was Ever a Time to Impeach, It Would Be Now"

With the latest Zogby poll showing that 53% of Americans now favour impeachment, more celebrities are also speaking up, finally! This time it's Barbra Streisand, whose statement is included here in this update from -- Annamarie



-Barbara Streisand (full statement below)

The tide is turning. With your help we can make history. On July 1, 2005 we reported that 42% of Americans favored impeachment if Bush lied about the war in Iraq. That figure has now increased to 53% according to the latest Zogby poll. 53% of the people said that they agreed with the statement: "If President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachment."

Each person in the movement should be aware that it is the work that everyone has done in the last two years that has led to a sea change in this country. Bush's support has declined dramatically and the call for impeachment is now in the air.

Major personalities, peace organizations, veterans groups, environmental movements, civil rights leaders and labor unionists are starting to demand impeachment. The impeachment movement is growing every day. With your help we can continue to spread the reach and influence of the movement. Click below to support the movement:

We have to keep up the momentum. That's why we are taking out newspaper ads, radio spots and planning for major events that will highlight the absolute need for impeachment. The newspaper ads and radio spots reach millions of people. Please help by making a donation to help in this massive advertising campaign.

More than 300,000 people marched against the war on September 24 in Washington DC. Large marches took place that day in San Francisco and Los Angeles. played a huge role at these demonstrations. The message of impeachment was carried to millions of people. Live coverage of the demonstration on C-Span, Pacifica, Air America as well as major news stories on CNN, ABC, NBC. CBS and in most daily newspapers gave a big boost to the visibility of the impeachment movement.

Now, the movement is announcing that it will help sponsor and promote nationally coordinated demonstrations in cities and towns in all fifty states on March 18-20, 2006, the third anniversary of the start of Bush's criminal war of aggression in Iraq. We are already starting to organize for these locally-coordinated actions.

We urge members and supporters to actively participate in building demonstrations in your local area. We will produce hundreds of thousands of flyers, petitions, bumper stickers, signs, banners and information/fact sheets.

We urge you to donate to help cover the huge expenses with massive street mobilizations. With the help of people all over the country the September 24 mobilizations were a huge success. Bush has the billions from Corporate America, Big Oil and the so-called Christian Right in his corner. The movement needs to be able to count on you to help finance and fund this critical effort to hold government officials for their criminal conduct. We can't do it without your help. To make a donation today click below:


"If there was ever a time in history to impeach a President of the United States, it would be now. In my opinion, it is two years too late ... Shouldn't war be an absolute last resort? We went to war because we were misled. And we should be angry because of the 2,000 American soldiers and the 200 armed coalition forces that have died. We should be livid because of the 15,000 American soldiers that have been horribly maimed and wounded. We should be disgusted because of the 30,000 innocent Iraqi civilians that have been killed and the 20,000 that are wounded after administration officials claimed that the US was going to liberate the Iraqi people. When does it stop? It stops with the indictment and impeachment of this corrupt, power-hungry, greedy group of incompetent leaders. How many more have to die before this happens?"
- Barbara Streisand


VIDEO SPECIAL | Bianca Jagger Speaks to Truthout, Calling for Bush's Resignation

** This just in from t r u t h o u t:

Video Special | Bianca Jagger Speaks to t r u t h o u t

Human rights activist Bianca Jagger lays out the case against George Bush, and calls on the people to demand his resignation.
Today we are launching t r u t h o u t video podcasting.

What is video podcasting? By using iTunes you will be able to subscribe to our podcasts, and when we post a new video your iTunes will automatically download it and have it ready to play the next time you launch your iTunes studio. For those with the latest iPods that support video you can load our video content onto your iPod as well and view it anytime. Video podcasting is the latest advancement from Apple Computers, but you can enjoy it from a Windows PC as well. Just go to and download iTunes 6. You don't need an iPod to view our podcasts - your iTunes will play the video right on your computer.

Once you have iTunes set up and ready to go, subscribe to our podcasts
at and we will provide you with our latest video content.

For full coverage of the CIA identity leak investigation, go to our Special Coverage page: Mr. Fitzgerald Calling.

Bloggers of Ontario Unite!

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