Saturday, July 22, 2006

Rice: No Immediate Ceasefire

How much more bloodshed - more innocent civilian lives - will it take for the Bush administration to wake up to what is really going on in the Middle East with their complicity? Are Arab lives considered unimportant compared to the lives of Israelis?? Are these fools totally blinded by the Zionist lobby in the U.S.?? This crisis would have ended before it claimed hundreds of Lebanese lives and oblitetared Lebanon had those criminals in the White House called for a ceasefire. Yet, as I write this, the Bush administration is rushing a delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel, which some military officers see as a sign of a longer campaign ahead. (NYT)

Meanwhile, the UN is calling for a ceasefire, but it has been neutered by the U.S. and rendered useless, and the U.S. has resisted international pressure to pressure its ally Israel to stop the fighting. The Bush administration cares nothing about the world community. Is it any wonder that anti-American sentiment is rapidly growing worldwide? But this does not faze the belligerent U.S. armchair warhawks and their bellicose cowboy leader.

Condoleezza Rice has rejected the "false promise" of an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah. The US secretary of state also defended on Friday her decision not to meet Hezbollah or Syrian officials when she visits the region soon.
Full Story

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Rice on Middle East "Birth Pangs"

While 'birth pangs' are painful and definitely not comfortable, how can they compare with the carnage caused by Israel's bombs on Lebanon??? Yet, the absurd, unfeeling Condi seems to think they are similar. How can that woman sleep at night???

Rice sees bombs as birth pangs
Condoleezza Rice has described the Israeli bombing of Lebanon as a part of the "birth pangs of a new Middle East" and said that Israel should ignore calls for a ceasefire. "This is a different Middle East. It's a new Middle East. It's hard, We're going through a very violent time," the US secretary of state said.
Full Story

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Toronto: Six Nations Benefit Concert July 30th!

Benefit Concert in Support of the Six Nations Land Reclamation of Kanenhstaton: The Protected Place

In this night of celebration, the Afrikan community declares solidarity with the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island in their struggle against a legacy of colonialism.

Come out and enjoy the musical styling of: Diggn; Roots, d'bi young, LAL and Waleed Kush. And dance till you drop to dj Boogeyman!

July 30, 6:30pm
Trane Studio
964 Bathurst St.
$5-$100+ at the door

Co -sponsored by: Toronto Women's Bookstore and the Trane Studio

We are also looking for donations of craft items to sell at the event with all profits going to Six Nations. If you are able and would like to contribute craft items please contact Janet Romero at or

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Iraq Dispatches: Lebanese Refugees Crowd Damascus

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** Visit the Dahr Jamail Iraq website **
** Website by **

Lebanese Refugees Crowd Damascus

*Inter Press Service*
Dahr Jamail

*DAMASCUS, Jul 20 (IPS) - Syrian capital Damascus is being flooded with refugees. The devastation in Beirut is beginning to show in another capital.*

The disaster response director at the Damascus headquarters of the Red Crescent, Raed al-Tollin, told IPS that while he does not have exact figures, their shelter has been deluged with refugees since the crisis began.

"The citizens of Syria are helping with water, food and beds," he said. "Already we are lodging refugees in schools, cathedrals, college dormitories and anywhere else we can find for them."

One of the biggest difficulties at the moment is lack of baby food, Tollin said. "So far we are managing to cope with this crisis, but we don't know how much more to expect. Eventually, at this rate, we could run out of everything.."

Tollin said he and his 150 volunteers would continue to do all they can to help the refugees "until we are out of everything or have completely exhausted ourselves."

A 22-year-old volunteer at the headquarters, Ramez al-Rowaz, said the centre is running out of beds and supplies for the growing number of refugees.

The United Nations has said that at least 900,000 Lebanese have been displaced by the Israeli bombing. Lebanon has a population of 3.8 million.

"We are trying to prepare ourselves for a long crisis," Rowaz told IPS while handing a loaf of bread to a family that had just arrived from southern Lebanon. "Now there are orphanages and schools taking people, but the problem is how long can they stay at the schools, especially when classes begin again."

Rowaz said she had to assist more than 100 people Wednesday to find lodging. Some of the first people to have arrived were fleeing tourists, but now it is mostly Lebanese families.

"The journey to the border, which used to take two to three hours is now taking 10-12 hours," Rowaz said. "We have aid stations at the borders that are doing everything they can to help these suffering people."

Hassan Hamdan, a 60-year-old man who left southern Lebanon Wednesday, described a scene of total devastation.

"The Israelis are bombing everything; buildings, civilian homes, the water, electricity, all is destroyed now," he told IPS. "Even the Red Cross there was bombed by these murderers. Then they bombed near the UN building, near my destroyed home."

Article 48 from the 1949 Geneva Conventions states the need to protect the civilian population.

"In order to ensure respect for and protection of the civilian population and civilian objects, the Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives and accordingly shall direct their operations only against military objectives."

Israeli bombing of the civilian infrastructure of Lebanon is a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions. That makes Israeli actions a war crime.

Hamdan said the Israeli attacks were not killing any of the Hezbollah resistance fighters, but were focused on the civilian infrastructure.

"They shredded our city," he said. "They thought this would turn us against Hezbollah, but now everyone is with Hezbollah. How could they be otherwise?"

Diala Hayda, another volunteer for the Red Crescent at the headquarters building in Damascus, told IPS that many of the refugees she is assisting were so desperate to leave that they left everything behind.

"So many are arriving here with only the clothes they wear and whatever money they had in their wallet," she said, "So of course they are desperate and angry."

Countless refugees are headed for shelters all over Damascus. At a centre set up by the Syrian Personal Relations Association, a non-governmental organisation, refugee Walid al-Hammad described scenes of utter destruction caused by Israeli bombings.

"They have cut the roads to pieces and are bombing everywhere," he told IPS. "We left yesterday, with our six kids and our neighbours -- we ran for our lives. Nothing is left of where we lived. Our city is demolished, yet they aren't killing any resistance fighters."

Affaf, a 21-year-old mother holding her one-month-old baby, fled Baalbek city in the Beka Valley of Lebanon.

"Baalbek is destroyed and they cut our water and electricity," she said. "They are bombing only civilians, so now most Lebanese are with Hezbollah."

Since the Israeli attacks on Lebanon began, more than 330 Lebanese, the vast majority of them civilians, have been killed. The death toll in Israel is 25, 13 of them civilians.

(c)2006 Dahr Jamail.
All images, photos, photography and text are protected by United States and international copyright law. If you would like to reprint Dahr's Dispatches on the web, you need to include this copyright notice and a prominent link to the website. Website by photographer Jeff Pflueger's Photography Media . Any other use of images, photography, photos and text including, but not limited to, reproduction, use on another website, copying and printing requires the permission of Dahr Jamail. Of course, feel free to forward Dahr's dispatches via email.

More writing, commentary, photography, pictures and images at

Note: Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches are republished on my site thanks to the kind, explicit permission of the journalist.

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Message from Vancouver World Peace Forum 2006


Inspired by a new generation of peace activism, we, the members of the International Association of Peace Messenger Cities, so designated by the General Assembly of the United Nations. in association with Mayors for Peace and its affiliates in the Greater Vancouver Regional District, on the occasion of the World Peace Forum 2006, meeting in our 19th General Assembly, call on cities and communities around the world to work together to end war and build a peaceful, just and sustainable world.

Meeting in Vancouver, a Peace Messenger City, a microcosm of global diversity in peoples and cultures, and the site of the 2010 Olympics games, IAPMC representatives call urgent attention to the fact that global militarism today constitutes a serious threat to cities, communities and indeed the planet itself.

Global militarism is reflected in escalating nuclear tensions, caused by the failure of the signed obligation of Article 4 of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty of 1970 to negotiate for the abolition of nuclear weapons by the Nuclear Weapons States, thus creating the atmosphere for the proliferation of nuclear weapons by other nations. Rising military budgets are distorting the world economy, denying local governments the finances necessary for cities and communities, for health, housing, education, transportation and other social needs. Violence between peoples are increasing, manifested through violence against women and through racism. Raging wars, invasions and continued occupations of are aggravating international tensions. The authority of the United Nations is being undermined.

Global militarism has arisen in conjunction with the "War on Terror". As Peace Messenger Cities, we condemn all forms of terrorism as fundamental breaches of international law. But war is not the answer. Indeed the "War on Terrorism" has become a breeding ground for more terrorism, risking further escalation and the potential for global catastrophe.

Cities have a long history of dealing with the effects of war. Peace Messenger Cities has played an important role in the nuclear abolition and disarmament movement. Today, we call on local governments, in an appropriate and effective manner, to work with community partners to make the world's citizens aware of the dangers of global militarism. This is the responsibility of municipal leadership who have sworn to provide for the good and welfare of their citizens.

We salute the international partners we have met with in Vancouver,.committed to the common cause of peace, embracing all the sectors of the human family–women, youth, educators, lawyers and physicians, environmentalists, political leaders, indigenous peoples, faith-based peoples...

We especially endorse the continuing efforts and policies of Abolition 2000, with its 2000 worldwide affiliates, for the mobilization of the global community and the United Nations for the abolition of nuclear weapons. There can not be sustainable development for cities without peace.

We reiterate our call for the General Assembly of the United Nations to follow through on Resolution 59/71 mandating a Special Session for Disarmament 4 as an introduction to an international Decade for Disarmament.

We call upon all organizations devoted to peace to support this Call by creating a global demand that the United Nations face the issue of disarmament, a founding issue of the Charter of the United Nations.

We urge the approaching Olympic Games in Vancouver to become the spur for the declaration of a ceasefire of all conflicts throughout the world in the tradition of the Olympic Games itself and for the United Nations to continue in that spirit to deal forcefully with the issues of sustainable development and meaningful assistance to the developing world, as a necessary basis for peace itself.

History will mark this gathering of activists, from cities and communities, as a critical contribution to an accelerated struggle for peace and justice.

We salute the people of the greater Vancouver region for their commitment to peace and their support making our Assembly possible.

General Assembly
International Association of Peace Messenger Cities
June 26, 2006
Vancouver, Canada

Alfred L. Marder:

Alfred Lambremont Webre, JD, MEd
ICIS-Institute for Cooperation in Space
3339 West 41 Avenue
Vancouver, B.C. V6N3E5 CANADA
TEL: 604-733-8134
FAX: 604-733-8135

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The Untermensch Syndrome: Israel’s Moral Decay

"In the land claimed holy and promised the madness of humankind persists, extending the perpetual violence and oppression of the weak by the powerful. Palestine today tells a story of human evils past and present, of the worst actions capable of being manifested by the human phenomenon. Lands ancient and strategic, crossroads and focal points of man’s brief history, once more seem engulfed by competing claims and boiling hatreds...", writes international affairs analyst Manuel Valenzuela in this compelling essay.

Manuel Valenzuela is a social critic and commentator, international affairs analyst and Internet columnist. His articles as well as his archive can be found at his blog, as well as at other alternative news websites from around the globe. Mr. Valenzuela welcomes comments and can be reached at He is also author of "Echoes in the Wind", a novel made available at most online book sellers. (I had bought the book from and enjoy reading it.)

The Untermensch Syndrome: Israel’s Moral Decay

The labeling as anti-Semitic of anyone critical of the state of Israel’s policies in the continued destruction of Palestinian identity and the increasing domination into American foreign policy no longer has the sting of threat or intimidation it once mastered. For too long this masquerade has been used to silence those opposing anything Israel, shouted at anyone disseminating truth and seeking justice. Like the boy who cried wolf, this charade has lost its power or hypnotic control, and today only serves to breed more anger and resentment against the apologists and smear mongers protecting the cancerous tentacles of Zionism and the crimes against humanity it spawns.

A once powerful marketing tool used to sequester valid criticism and deny truth to millions has been eroded thanks to its overlords’ continued over abuse and labeling of the term ‘anti-Semite’ to anyone even remotely critical of anything associated with Israel and the tentacles of Zionism. To criticize Christianity does not make one anti-Christian. To criticize Islam does not make one anti-Muslim or anti-Arab, just as uncovering truths about the Bush administration does not make one anti-American or unpatriotic. To speak truth about any government in the world does not make us racist or xenophobic to the people of that nation. Why then should criticism of Israeli and/or her government’s policies subject us to false labeling and acts of intimidation whose only purpose is to silence truth into submission and hijacking justice from ever emerging and being served?

The time has come to stop bending over to the dictates of intimidation and scare tactics used by Israel’s protectors, defenders and apologists. The time has come to say “Never Again” to such fictional libel and slander whose only purpose is the continued subjugation of truth and awakening. The labeling of “anti-Semite” does not bother us, nor does it stop us from writing truth to justice and reality to intimidation because we refuse to be frightened into submission and silenced into acquiescence by a mechanism we know to be false.

Our convictions, search for truth and want for justice supercedes the trash invented to protect the malfeasance ruining humanity and the crimes perpetrated against our fellow human beings. The time has come to stand up and be heard, refusing to believe the smears and the labels, instead living life in truth, devoid of veiled threats and intimidation tactics whose power over us continues to erode thanks to its incessant overuse and abuse. So smear if you must, defenders, appeasers and apologists of human wickedness, continue to blindly believe in the majesty of a fiction you know to be false, ensuring your daily complicity in the crimes against humanity being committed by those you protect and defend.

We are above your labels, above your intimidation and smear tactics, following the path of truth in the voice of our writings and in the convictions of humanity. If pursuing truth, fighting criminality and awakening justice makes us anti-Semites, then guilty we are. If seeing the dehumanization, exploitation and utter destruction of the Palestinian people makes the voices of reason anti-Semitic, then guilty we stand. To defend the humanity of other Semitic people is to defend humanity itself. To speak out against injustice and dehumanization makes us human, to defend it makes you complicit.

An Unbearable Likeness of Being

Here we are, living in the first decade of the 21st century, and still the violent animal in the human condition exists, thriving inside our carnal passions and still primitive mammalian brains, oozing out of humanity to release the demons of evil that only homo sapiens are capable of wielding.


Click here to read rest of this article.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

From Israel to Lebanon

These are some pictures showing the devastation and carnage caused by Israel's bombs on Lebanon. I did not put the more graphic pictures up here. To see those, click on the headline above, then decide for yourself if Israel's response was 'measured' or excessive. WARNING - THE PHOTOS ARE HIGHLY GRAPHIC AND SHOULD NOT BE VIEWED BY CHILDREN!!

** Click this link to see more pictures:

*** And here:

From The Lebanese People To The So Called “Civilized” World
"Thank You"

The Nazi bombing of London in 1941 - The Israeli bombing of Lebanon in 2006

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UFPJ Action Alert: Emergency Action Needed to Stop Israel's War!

This action alert is from United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), calling for the Bush administration to support a U.N. Security Council resolution for an immediate ceasefire in the present Middle East conflict and to urge negotiations to resolve all disputes. There is also an emergency letter to US Ambassador Bolton on Lebanon and Gaza.

Dear all,

As talk of a full scale Israeli ground invasion of begins, it’s even more important that we take action to save lives now. At a meeting of the Security Council today, United Nations General Secretary Kofi Annan called for an "immediate cessation of hostilities and a far greater and more credible effort by
Israel to protect civilians and infrastructure." He reported that over 300 Lebanese have been killed and more than 600 wounded -- mainly civilians, about one third of them children.

Yesterday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki condemned the Israeli aggression and called on the world to take action. Today, a peace action was called in
Beirut by women's groups and other non-governmental organizations, while the Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora said his country has been "torn to shreds."

Our voices must be raised to end the Bush administration’s stonewalling at the U.N.!

We want to thank those who have responded by signing onto the letter and others who have sent in suggestions for how to strengthen it. Please review the updated version below. If you or your organization have not signed on, please do. If you signed on to the draft letter yesterday, please contact us to confirm your signature.

The deadline for having your organization’s name on the letter is Friday, July 21, at
12 Noon EDT. Please email to have your organization listed. For more information, call the UFPJ national office at 212-868-5545.

Please join United for Peace and Justice and other peace and justice activists to deliver the letter on Friday, July 21, at
4 PM. We will meet at the U.S. Mission to the U.N. at 140 East 45th Street (between Third and Lexington Avenues).

We call for the Bush administration to:

  • Support a Security Council resolution calling for an immediate and unconditional cease-fire.

  • Urge negotiations now to resolve all disputes, including the release of prisoners on all sides, with the goal being a comprehensive just and lasting peace in the region based on the implementation of international law.

  • Put an end to US blocking of UN action to resolve the crisis.

Take care,

Leslie Kielson

Judith Le Blanc
UFPJ National Co-chairperson

Dear Ambassador Bolton,

On behalf of United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), the largest antiwar coalition in the United States, we want to express our concern over the escalating crisis between Israel, Lebanon, and Palestine and urge you to support a Security Council resolution calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire.

We are gravely concerned about the loss of life on all sides. We condemn all attacks on civilians, and call for the release of political prisoners and POWs held on all sides in this conflict.

Hezbollah's crossing of the Israeli border to capture two soldiers may have violated the 1949 Armistice between Israel and Lebanon. But it is important to note that Hezbollah attacked soldiers, not civilians. In addition, as the New York Times recognized on July 19, Hezbollah did not fire rockets into Israeli cities until after the Israeli army began bombing civilian areas of Lebanon.

The Israeli government could have chosen to engage in serious negotiations for a prisoner exchange, as they have so many times before. As recently as 2004, in a German-orchestrated swap, Hezbollah exchanged a kidnapped Israeli civilian and the remains of several Israeli soldiers killed in combat in Lebanon, for over 400 Palestinian, Lebanese, and other Arab prisoners.

Instead, the Israeli government chose to escalate what would have remained one of many common border skirmishes into a war. They have been deliberately shelling civilian areas and civilian infrastructure in both Lebanon and Gaza. Israel's attacks were and are clearly disproportionate in their use of force. They constitute acts of collective punishment against the Lebanese and Palestinian populations -- extremely serious violations of international law.

While the world is crying out for global intervention to stop the bloodshed, we are outraged by the response of the Bush administration. Instead of using its influence on Israel to stop the devastating attacks on the Lebanese and Palestinian populations, Washington has supported and enabled such attacks through supplying war planes, missiles, jet fuel, financing, and political support. This, in violation of both international and domestic law -- specifically, the U.S. Arms Export Control Act. And instead of rallying the international community to stop further bloodshed, it has blocked UN efforts to call for an immediate ceasefire.

We urgently call on the Bush administration to work with international partners to broker an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and commence negotiations to peacefully resolve all aspects of the crisis, with the goal being a comprehensive just and lasting peace in the region based on the implementation of international law.

We look forward to hearing your response.

Help us continue to do this critical work: Make a donation to UFPJ today.

To subscribe, visit

Read more here:

Tomgram: Karen Greenberg on Bush's Redacted Reality

Imagine a government in which the names of those who worked as key aides in the office of the second (if not, arguably, the first) most important official in the country were not available. Oh gosh, there is such a government -- and it's ours. Journalist Robert Dreyfuss set out to do a report for the American Prospect magazine on the various individuals Vice President Cheney had gathered to help him run the most powerful vice-presidency in American history -- functionally, his own shadow National Security Council -- and when he called, asking for those names and their positions as well as possible interviews with them, here's what ensued:

"His press people seem shocked that a reporter would even ask for an interview with the staff. The blanket answer is no -- nobody is available. Amazingly, the vice president's office flatly refuses to even disclose who works there, or what their titles are. ‘We just don't give out that kind of information,' says Jennifer Mayfield, another of Cheney's ‘angels.' She won't say who is on staff, or what they do? No, she insists. ‘It's just not something we talk about.' The notoriously silent OVP [Office of the Vice President] staff rebuffs not just pesky reporters but even innocuous database researchers from companies like Carroll Publishing, which puts out the quarterly Federal Directory. ‘They're tight-lipped about the kind of information they put out,' says Albert Ruffin, senior editor at Carroll, who fumes that Cheney's office doesn't bother returning his calls when he's updating the limited information he manages to collect."

We're talking, of course, about the official to whom no major media outlet assigns a regular reporter, because the Veep's office releases, with great determination, no news to cover. Dick Cheney is, in this way, the poster boy for the Bush administration's most essential "sunshine" policy -- if at all possible, offer nothing to anyone, any time, anywhere, for any reason.

Such examples of Bush administration secrecy can be multiplied more or less in the direction of the infinite. Stories of information suppression of all sorts are legion, but sometimes one image is worth a thousand examples of what's being kept from us. In this case, the image comes from Karen J. Greenberg, co-editor of The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib, who follows the endless stream of investigations and reports that have come from inside the U.S. government and the military in response to the plethora of scandals about torture, abuse, mistreatment, kidnapping, secret prisons, and the like. Tom

The Color of "Transparency" Is Black

By Karen J. Greenberg

Imagine my disappointment. Two long-awaited Pentagon reports on detainee policy had finally reached public view: the Jacoby Report on Afghanistan and the Formica Report on Iraq, available as a result of Freedom of Information Act suits, like thousands of other pages of government reports on the war on terror. As the co-editor of The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib, a collection of the memos, reports, and interview logs related to Bush administration detainee policy, I was naturally eager to see those parts of the story that were unfortunately still classified at the time of the book's publication in December 2004.

Both reports promised to contain new information about detainee policy. In June of 2004, Brigadier General Charles H. Jacoby, Jr. had submitted the results of his investigation into detainee operations and standards of detainee treatment in Afghanistan. In November of that year, Brigadier General Richard P. Formica had delivered his findings on command and control questions and allegations of detainee abuse in Iraq. Lieutenant General Richard Sanchez, Commander of the Multinational Force in Iraq and the military officer connected to the interrogation unit at Abu Ghraib, had commissioned Formica to determine whether or not U.S. forces in Iraq were in compliance with Department of Defense guidelines on detainee treatment.

Click here to read more of this dispatch.

Bus from Hamilton to Toronto this Saturday, July 22 for antiwar demo!

On Saturday, July 22, thousands of people will demonstrate in Toronto against the war
BE PART OF THEM! By being on the bus leaving City Hall at 11AM
The Canadian Peace Alliance, the Canadian Arab Federation, and others
Call upon YOU to be part of this protest
Help show Canada what you think of Stephen Harper’s unconditional support of the war, and Bush’s rejection of Lebanon’s calls for ceasefire!


$10 round trip
Call 905-387-5538 to reserve a space today!
Sponsored by McMaster Muslims for Peace and Justice, McMaster Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights, November 16 Coalition

Paradise Lost: Elegy for Beirut

In this impassioned, poignant piece, award-winning Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk laments the destruction of Beirut: the "Paris of the East", the jewel on the azure Mediterranean. Clearly, Fisk loves this city and its friendly, handsome people. He is aghast and dismayed at the destruction of Beirut once again, a city that has been demolished many times and rose again and again like the mythical phoenix.

Robert Fisk is the Independent's award-winning Middle East correspondent. He cannot accept emails, but letters may be sent c/o Foreign Desk, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS

Paradise Lost

Robert Fisk's Elegy for Beirut

The Independent
July 19, 2006

Elegant buildings lie in ruins. The heady scent of gardenias gives way to the acrid stench of bombed-out oil installations. And everywhere terrified people are scrambling to get out of a city that seems tragically doomed to chaos and destruction. As Beirut - 'the Paris of the East' - is defiled yet again.

In the year 551, the magnificent, wealthy city of Berytus - headquarters of the imperial East Mediterranean Roman fleet - was struck by a massive earthquake. In its aftermath, the sea withdrew several miles and the survivors - ancestors of the present-day Lebanese - walked out on the sands to loot the long-sunken merchant ships revealed in front of them.

That was when a tidal wall higher than a tsunami returned to swamp the city and kill them all. So savagely was the old Beirut damaged that the Emperor Justinian sent gold from Constantinople as compensation to every family left alive.

How does this happen to Beirut? For 30 years, I've watched this place die and then rise from the grave and then die again, its apartment blocks pitted with so many bullets they looked like Irish lace, its people massacring each other.

I lived here through 15 years of civil war that took 150,000 lives, and two Israeli invasions and years of Israeli bombardments that cost the lives of a further 20,000 of its people. I have seen them armless, legless, headless, knifed, bombed and splashed across the walls of houses. Yet they are a fine, educated, moral people whose generosity amazes every foreigner, whose gentleness puts any Westerner to shame, and whose suffering we almost always ignore.

They look like us, the people of Beirut. They have light-coloured skin and speak beautiful English and French. They travel the world. Their women are gorgeous and their food exquisite. But what are we saying of their fate today as the Israelis - in some of their cruellest attacks on this city and the surrounding countryside - tear them from their homes, bomb them on river bridges, cut them off from food and water and electricity? We say that they started this latest war, and we compare their appalling casualties - 240 in all of Lebanon by last night - with Israel's 24 dead, as if the figures are the same.

And then, most disgraceful of all, we leave the Lebanese to their fate like a diseased people and spend our time evacuating our precious foreigners while tut-tutting about Israel's "disproportionate" response to the capture of its soldiers by Hizbollah.

I walked through the deserted city centre of Beirut yesterday and it reminded more than ever of a film lot, a place of dreams too beautiful to last, a phoenix from the ashes of civil war whose plumage was so brightly coloured that it blinded its own people. This part of the city - once a Dresden of ruins - was rebuilt by Rafiq Hariri, the prime minister who was murdered scarcely a mile away on 14 February last year.

The wreckage of that bomb blast, an awful precursor to the present war in which his inheritance is being vandalised by the Israelis, still stands beside the Mediterranean, waiting for the last UN investigator to look for clues to the assassination - an investigator who has long ago abandoned this besieged city for the safety of Cyprus.

© 2006 Independent News and Media Limited

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Canadian Peace Alliance: Lebanon & Gaza Action Events

Call to Action – Saturday, July 22, 2006

July 17, 2006

The Canadian Peace Alliance is demanding that the government of Canada call for an immediate end to the Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza. This escalating conflict may destabilize the entire region and result in a larger war.

Israel’s actions have now killed eight Canadians and hundreds more Lebanese and Palestinians. Stephen Harper’s refusal to condemn these attacks is shameful. We are calling on peace loving groups and individuals to protest against these attacks and the Harper government’s actions this Saturday July 22, 2006.

The Israeli assault on Lebanon is targeting civilians and vital infrastructure resulting in a humanitarian disaster. Each day we hear of more attacks on civilian neighborhoods in Beirut with dozens of innocent people killed.

The situation in Gaza is even worse with infrastructure in a shambles. Recent reports from the Director of Public Relations at Gaza City’s Al Shifa Hospital, Dr. Juma Al Sakka, and the Palestinian Ministry of Health have confirmed that Israel is using chemical weapons against the Palestinian people in Gaza. According to Dr. Al Sakka, "These Israeli bombings are entering the body and fragmenting, causing internal combustion leading to up to fourth degree internal burns, exposing the bone, and affecting the tissue and skin." The international community must condemn this brutality.

The United States is using this escalating conflict to further demonize Iran and Syria. Just as the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan are part of a broader campaign, led by the United States government and transnational oil corporations, to assert control over the Middle East and Central Asia, the current conflict in Palestine and Lebanon is being used by the US to justify military aggression against other sovereign states in the area. George Bush was unable to sell yet another bill of goods about weapons of mass destruction in Iran to the global population so he is now using Iranian support for Hezbollah as the smoking gun he needs to justify intervention against Iran.

Canada has thus far been shameful in its support for the aggressive Israeli and US position. By voting against key UN humanitarian resolutions and cutting off funding to the Palestinian Authority after the Hamas victory, the Conservative government of Stephen Harper is showing that it is the willing tool of US ambitions from Afghanistan to Palestine. We in Canada must demand in the name of humanitarianism and Canada's historic diplomatic role that our government reverse its shameful support for US and Israeli aggression.

No to US and Canadian intervention in the Middle East.

End Israel’s Attacks on Gaza and Lebanon!

For more info see:

NOTE**** This is an incomplete list. Many other groups in Canada are organizing. If you or your group are planning an event please let us know at

Events Listings

Hamilton, ON


Saturday, July 22, 2006

1) Hamilton Demonstration: 1pm demonstration at King & James St, Hamilton (in front of Jackson Square). Brings banners, whistles, drums…

2) Buses to Toronto Demonstration: leaving City Hall, Hamilton at 11am. Contact (905) 387-5538 for more details.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 from 3:30-5:30pm:
Vigil and leafleting from 3:30pm-5:30pm at King & James, in front of Jackson square.

Saturday, July 29, 2006 at 4pm:
Open Forum Discussion & Speakers "What Can the Canadian People Do". Location TBD.

Kitchener/Waterloo, ON


"Globalization and Imperialism in Latin America and the Middle East: The common struggle of different peoples".
Thursday 20th, 6:30 pm, RCH 305. University of Waterloo.

A. Scarlet Quiroz, Vice-consul of Venezuela in Toronto.
B. Susan Howard Azzeh, Palestinian rights activist; founding member "Building a national voice for Palestinian Canadians"; Chair, Niagara Palestinian Association ( )
C. Rami, President, Students for Palestinian Rights - Waterloo.

2- PROTEST outside Kitchener City Hall, Saturday July 22, 5:00 pm. "Stop Israeli Aggression. End the Gaza Invasion. End the Lebanon Attacks". Peaceful rally for supporting peace and solidarity with the Palestinian people who live under Israeli siege in the Gaza strip and the Lebanese people.

Contact: Alex Psarreas 519-500-3330.

London ON

Rally Against the Attacks on Gaza and Lebanon
Saturday July 22 John Labatt Centre - 99 Dundas St

Montreal, PQ

1. PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATION against the Aggression against Lebanon

Tuesday, 18 July, 5pm
Dorchester Square, at 1155 Metcalfe (corner of Metcalfe and René-Lévèsque)
Called by: University Lebanese Association.
Contact: Wissam Moussa, tel. 514 586 4415,

2. SOLIDARITY CHAIN (info-picket with images of the atrocities) prior to US fireworks
Wednesday, 19 July, gathering at 8pm
Place Jacques Cartier, Vieux Montréal
Called by: Association des jeunes libanais musulmans

Contact: Youssef Hariri, tel. 514 887-7156,

Friday, 21 July, 12pm to 1pm
NW corner of Peel and René-Levesque

Called by: Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU)
**Also, SPHR is planning a rally on this day; details to be confirmed.

Contact (PAJU): Daniel Saykaly, tel. 514 961 3928,
Contact (SPHR): Nasser Abukhdeir, tel 514 991 5146,

Starting after the PAJU vigil, continuing until the rally the following day.
Corner of Peel and René-Lévèsque

Called by: Various groups

Contact: Aaron Lakoff, tel 514 985 2085,

5. INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION in solidarity with people in Lebanon and Gaza
Saturday, 22 July, 2pm

Gather at corner of Peel and René-Lévèsque

Called by: Canadian Muslim Forum

Contact: Mohamed Kamel, tel 514 863 9202,

As increasing numbers are displaced and wounded and civilian infrastructure is destroyed, there will be a huge need for well-directed funds to provide basic survival to people in Lebanon and Gaza. A crisis working group, Relief Center - Spears, has formed in Beirut to support refugees coming into the city:
We will be fund-raising to help with the relief effort and possibly others (to be confirmed).
Contact: Lara di Tomaso, 514 695 0319,

To let the government know that many people are outraged by their support for Israeli war crimes, one or more call-in days will be organised. In addition, flyers will be distributed at all events, urging people to call in to PM Stephan Harper and Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay.

Contact: Nasser Abukhdeir, tel 514 991 5146,

MASS RALLY Saturday, July 22 - 1:00pm
Israeli Consulate - 180 Bloor Street West - (west of Avenue Road, north side of Bloor)

For more info contact

Canada’s vote against the resolution condemning the Israeli attacks, adopted by the U.N. Council on Human Rights in Geneva, is disgraceful, and does not reflect Canadian opinion. We call on the government of Canada to publicly condemn the attacks and to call for an end to the unjust and illegal occupation of Palestinian territories.

Send a letter calling for an end to the Israeli assaults on Gaza and Lebanon to:
Stephen Harper -
Peter McKay -

Bloggers of Ontario Unite!

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