Saturday, July 29, 2006

U.S. Troops Repositioned In Iraq

The U.S. command confirmed Saturday it is sending about 3,700 troops from elsewhere in Iraq to Baghdad to try to quell violence in the capital, as reported in this CBS News article. But I'm somewhat confused, as further in the article the troop numbers are increased:

The U.S. plan calls for moving up to 5,000 additional American troops with armored vehicles and tanks into the capital. Some critics believe the move will undermine confidence among Iraqi forces and expose more U.S. soldiers to attacks.

Read full CBS article here.

However, I like Andy Borowitz's Yahoo News version better. He talks of a 'shell game' and it is funny:


In a bold attempt to confuse Iraqi insurgents, the U.S. will move 10,000 troops from southern Iraq to the north, and will then move 10,000 other troops from northern Iraq to the south, the Army chief of staff confirmed today.

Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker said at a Pentagon briefing today that the plan, called Operation Shell Game by the Army brass, was the Army's best bet for leaving Iraqi insurgents scratching their heads.

"This is the largest mobilization, re-mobilization and mobilization in U.S. military history," Gen. Schoomaker said. "We believe that the Iraqi insurgents won't know what hit them -- or, what didn't hit them."

In order to move the army units from the south to the north while moving an equal number of units from the north to the south, the U.S. military logged onto early Friday morning, Gen. Schoomaker said.

While some military experts praised Operation Shell Game as a clever strategy to perplex the Iraqi insurgency, critics of the plan wondered aloud whether the Pentagon is increasingly trying to confuse the American people as well.

Gen. Schoomaker, who paused a full 10 seconds in an earlier press briefing when asked if the United States was winning the war in Iraq -- only to answer, "I don't think we're losing" -- sought to clarify his position in today's press conference: "Right now I would have to say the war in Iraq is a tie."

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Liberal Hopefuls Give Views on Middle East Crisis

After 13 years in power, the Liberal party, and especially the 11 candidates vying for the leadership, find themselves having to watch the escalating Middle East crisis from the sidelines. In this Toronto Star article, 10 of 11 candidates for party leadership tell how they would respond as PM to unfolding events.

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African nations form biofuel group

Finally some good news: Thirteen of Africa's poorest nations have joined forces to become global suppliers of biofuels - fuel produced from organic material or plant oils. In a meeting in Senegal on Thursday, they formed the African Non-Petroleum Producers Association (PANPP), aimed at developing alternative energy sources.
Full Story

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MSF: Humanitarian corridors 'an illusion'

An international medical charity has said that Israel's promised humanitarian aid corridors in south Lebanon are an illusion and that rockets have landed close to its teams two days in a row. "It's a kind of humanitarian alibi because in effect there is no real humanitarian access in the south," said Christopher Stokes of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) or Doctors Without Borders.
Full Story

Friday, July 28, 2006

UFPJ: Next Steps on Iraq and Middle East Crisis

This is an update from the anti-war group United for Peace and Justice about their latest activities regarding Iraq and the Middle East:

Please forward widely!

Dear Friends,

Earlier this week, we reached out to you asking for your help in placing an ad in a major Iraqi newspaper. With our open letter to Prime Minister al-Maliki requesting a meeting with him, we hoped not only to bring attention in the U.S. to the Iraqi peace proposals, but also to make an important connection with the Iraqi people. Thanks to your generosity, the ad ran in Assabah Al-Jadid on Tuesday, July 25 (we will post a PDF of the ad on our website as soon as we receive it).

While al-Maliki did not meet with us, we did receive very positive feedback from Iraq. In fact, five Iraqi parliamentarians have contacted us to see if a meeting between them and a few representatives of the U.S. antiwar movement could be organized next week in Jordan. While we are not yet certain this meeting will happen, the fact that they reached out to us is an indication that more direct contact between the people of the U.S. and Iraq can be organized. We know that ending the U.S. occupation of Iraq and supporting Iraqis in the long-term project of rebuilding their nation will only be hastened by such people-to-people connections.

One of the obstacles in pulling together the meeting in Jordan is the funds needed to fly people there. It is very expensive and any contributions you can make to help cover such costs would be very helpful. If the meeting in Jordan does come together, we will certainly let you know what happened. We also want to acknowledge the hard work and leadership that CODEPINK: Women for Peace, a member group of UFPJ, has been putting into this effort.

On another front, we want to bring you up to date on our letter to John Bolton, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, about Israel's horrific attack on Lebanon.

We were moved and encouraged by the positive response to our call for signatures on our emergency letter to John Bolton last week. Endorsements from more than 300 organizations and individuals poured in within 24 hours, and they keep coming.

We delivered the letter and that first batch of signatures to the U.S. Mission to the U.N. on Friday, July 21. Two hundred concerned individuals like you stood in the pouring rain, chanting, "Stop the killing, stop the crimes, from Lebanon to Palestine!" and "Stop bombing! Start talking!" Finally, a representative from Bolton's office came outside and accepted the letter from Leslie Cagan, UFPJ National Coordinator, and representatives from Jewish, Arab, Muslim and other peace groups. Your voices were heard! While Bolton is still blocking efforts in the U.N. to achieve a ceasefire, your action helped draw greater public attention to the Bush Administration's obstruction of international efforts to achieve an immediate ceasefire and to keep this rapidly escalating humanitarian crisis from worsening.

Of course, the violence in the Middle East continues and there are no indications that Israel's massive assault on Lebanon and Gaza is letting up. We must keep up the pressure for an immediate, unconditional ceasefire and massive humanitarian aid. We will be delivering the additional signatures to the letter as the list grows, but it is critically important that throughout the country we make our voices heard.

UFPJ and some of our allies have tentatively planned a nationally coordinated campaign in early August to pressure Congress to stop allowing the Bush Administration to send military and economic aid for Israel's war. As our plans are finalized, we will keep you posted.

We also encourage UFPJ member groups and allies to organize emergency actions all over the country; as many are already doing. Please check our online calendar to find an event near you. If you are organizing an action, please post it on our calendar so others can join you.

Now is the time for the antiwar movement to speak out loudly and clearly: U.S. support for the Israeli assaults in Lebanon and Gaza must come to an end, just as the U.S. occupation of Iraq must end!

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

To subscribe, visit

Canada's Leading Role in Advanced War Technology

Most Canadians consider Canada a 'peace-keeping' nation, unaware that the country is actually one of the world's leading producers and exporters of advanced war technology as this article illustrates:

Canadian Military Components used in Israel's War Against Lebanon
By Richard Sanders, coordinator, Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT) and editor of COAT's magazine, Press for Conversion!

Few Canadians realize that their country is one of the world's leading producers and exporters of advanced, war technology. Such is the power of the long-prevailing mythology that Canada is a great, global force for peace.

However, many of Israel's most-deadly, US-made weapons systems--now being used to great effect in air strikes against Lebanon--would not be able to function without hundreds of crucial, high-tech, electronic components supplied by Canadian war industries, and subsidized unwittingly by Canadian taxpayers. Here are three examples:

AH-64 "Apache" attack helicopter
Click above for a list of a 12 Canadian war industries that have provided parts and/or services for AH-64s.
Prime Contractor: Boeing (CPP investment = $71 million)

F-15 "Eagle" tactical fighter/bomber
Click above for a list of 21 Canadian war industries that have provided parts and/or services for F-15s.
Prime Contractor: Boeing (CPP investment = $71 million)

F-16 "Fighting Falcon" multi-role fighter/bomber
Click above for a list of 18 Canadian war industries that have provided parts and/or services for F-16s.
Prime Contractor: Lockheed Martin (CPP investment = $27 million)

The above links to original research by the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade, also contain data on these weapons delivery systems, such as:
* their use in dozens of previous wars, invasions, regime changes and bombardments, etc.
* their use in entertaining children during "performances" at Canadian "air shows," and
* Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) involvement. (In 2001 and 2002 alone, the CCC brokered $7.5 million in Canadian exports for AH-64s, F-15s and F-16s.)

Canadian War Industry Subsidies to Political Parties
Canadians might be dismayed if they were ever to learn that both the Liberal and Conservative Party (and its predecessors) have received millions in political donations from war industries. Click the link above for a list of known donations from Canadian war-industries to these political parties between 1993 and 2002. Included are about 15 corporations that have exported parts and services for US AH-64s, F-15s and/or F-16s:
AlliedSignal Aerospace, Atlantis Aerospace, Bristol Aerospace, CAE, CMC, Devtek, DRS Flight Safefty and Communications, DY4, Elcan, Heroux, Litton, Magellan and Rockwell International of Canada.

Canadian Government Subsidies to War Industries
Over the last three decades, Canadian war industries have received about $5 billion in grants and unrepaid loans from the Canadian government, thanks to such programs as Industry Canada's Technology Partnerships Canada (formerly known as the Defence Industry Productivity Program). Click the link above for a list of such Canadian military industries, including about 25 that have exported parts and/or services for US AH-64s, F-15s and/or F-16s:
AlliedSignal Aerospace, Atlantis Systems, AWSM Enterprises, BAE Systems, Bristol Aerospace, Cercast, CMC Electronics, Derlan Aerospace, Devtek, DRS Flight Safefty and Communications, Fag Bearings, Fleet Industries, Garrett Canada, Haley Industries, Heroux-Devtek, Honeywell ASCA, Hypernetics, IMP Group, Litton Systems Canada, Magellan Aerospace, Menasco, Rockwell International of Canada, Virtual Prototypes and West Heights Manufacturing.

Canada Pension Plan Investments in War Industries
Many Canadians would also despair if they were to somehow find out that the Canada Pension Plan has invested billions of dollars in hundreds of war industries, including many of the world's top weapons makers. Among the war industries--in which millions of Canadians are forced to invest their pension funds--are the US prime contractors overseeing production of AH-64s, F-15s and F-16s and the weapons that they "deliver."

CPP Investments in Prime Contractors making Weapons aboard AH-64s, F-15s and F-16s
The above link provides a detailed list of about 115 different missiles and bombs deployed by weapons delivery systems in which major Canadian components can be found. Of the 73 weapons systems listed here--whose corporate, prime contractors could be determined--59 were built by US war industries in which the CPP now has investments. The tables below list the weapons aboard US AH-64s, F-15s and F-16s, that are built by war industries in which the CPP has investments.

AH-64 weapons Prime Contractors
AGM-114 "Hellfire" Rockwell International
AGM-122 "Sidearm" Motorola
AIM-9 "Sidewinder" Lockheed Martin and Raytheon
AIM-92 "Stinger" Lockheed Martin and Raytheon
Hydra-70 Lockheed Martin

F-15 weapons Prime Contractors
AGM-88A "HARM" Raytheon and Texas Instruments
AGM-65 "Maverick" Hughes (now General Motors) and Raytheon
AGM-130 Rockwell Int'l
AGM-158 "JSSM" Raytheon
AIM-7 "Sparrow" Raytheon
AIM-9 "Sidewinder" Lockheed Martin and Raytheon
AIM-120 "Slammer" Hughes (now GM) and Raytheon
CBU-87 "CEM" Aerojet General and Honeywell
CBU-89 "Gator" Aerojet General and Honeywell
CBU-97 "SFW" Textron Defense Systems
GBU-28 "Bunker Buster" Lockheed Martin and National Forge
GBU-10, -12, -16 "Paveway II" Texas Instruments
GBU-15 Rockwell Int'l
RIM-7M "Sea Sparrow Raytheon and General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin)

F-16 weapons Prime Contractors
AGM-88A "HARM" Raytheon and Texas Instruments
AGM-65 "Maverick" Hughes (now General Motors) and Raytheon
AGM-158 "JSSM" Raytheon
AIM-7 "Sparrow" Raytheon
AIM-9 "Sidewinder" Lockheed Martin and Raytheon
AIM-120 "Slammer" Hughes (now GM) and Raytheon
CBU-87 "CEM" Aerojet General and Honeywell
CBU-89 "Gator" Aerojet General and Honeywell
RIM-7M "Sea Sparrow Raytheon and General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin)

Prime Contractor
CPP investments (in millions of $Cdn)
(Most recent data available from CPPIB, March 31, 2006)
Boeing $71
General Motors $3
Honeywell $34
Lockheed Martin $27
Motorola $43
Raytheon $20
Rockwell Automation/
Rockwell Collins
Texas Instruments $65
Total $282

Read more here:

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Tide of Arab Opinion Turns to Support for Hezbollah

At the onset of the Lebanese crisis, Arab governments slammed Hezbollah for recklessly provoking a war. Now, with hundreds of Lebanese dead and Hezbollah holding out against the vaunted Israeli military for 15 days, the tide of public opinion across the Arab world is surging behind the organization, transforming the Shiite group's leader into a folk hero. The Saudi royal family and King Abdullah II of Jordan, "are scrambling to distance themselves from Washington. Even Al Qaeda, run by violent Sunni Muslim extremists normally hostile to all Shiites, has gotten into the act, with its deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, releasing a taped message saying that through its fighting in Iraq, his organization was also trying to liberate Palestine".

An outpouring of newspaper columns, cartoons, blogs and public poetry readings have showered praise on Hezbollah while attacking the United States and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for trumpeting American plans for a "new Middle East" that they say has led only to violence and repression.

Read about it on Truthout here.

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Tomgram: Air War, Barbarity, and the Middle East

Degrading Behavior

The Middle East and the Barbarism of War from the Air
By Tom Engelhardt

Barbarism seems an obvious enough category. Ordinarily in our world, the barbarians are them. They act in ways that seem unimaginably primitive and brutal to us. For instance, they kidnap or capture someone, American or Iraqi, and cut off his head. Now, isn't that the definition of barbaric? Who does that anymore? The eighth century, or maybe the word "medieval" -– anyway, some brutal past time -- comes to mind immediately, and to the mass mind of our media even faster.

Similarly, to jump a little closer to modernity, they strap grenades, plastic explosives, bombs of various ingenious sorts fashioned in home labs, with nails or other bits of sharp metal added in to create instant shrapnel meant to rend human flesh, to maim and kill. Then they approach a target -- an Israeli bus filled with civilians and perhaps some soldiers, a pizza parlor in Jerusalem, a gathering of Shiite or Sunni worshippers at or near a mosque in Iraq or Pakistan, or of unemployed potential police or army recruits in Ramadi or Baghdad, or of shoppers in an Iraqi market somewhere in that country, or perhaps a foreigner on the streets of Kabul and they blow themselves up. Or they arm backpacks or bags and step onto trains in London, Madrid, Mumbai, and set them off.

Or, to up the technology and modernity a bit, they wire a car to explode, put a jihadist in the driver's seat, and drive it into -- well, this is now common enough that you can pick your target. Or perhaps they audaciously hijack four just-fuelled jets filled with passengers and run two of them into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and another into a field in Pennsylvania. This is, of course, the very definition of barbaric.

Now, let's jump a step further into our age of technological destruction, becoming less face-to-face, more impersonal, without, in the end, changing things that much. They send rockets from southern Lebanon (or even cruder ones from the Gaza Strip) against Israeli towns and cities. These rockets can only vaguely be aimed. Some can be brought into the general vicinity of an inhabited area; others, more advanced, into specific urban neighborhoods many tens of miles away -- and then they detonate, killing whoever is in the vicinity, which normally means civilians just living their lives, even, in one recent Hezbollah volley aimed at Nazareth, two Israeli Arab children. In this process, thousands of Israelis have been temporarily driven from their homes.

In the case of rockets by the hundreds lofted into Israel by an armed, organized militia, meant to terrorize and harm civilian populations, these are undoubtedly war crimes. Above all, they represent a kind of barbarism that -- with the possible exception of some of those advanced Hezbollah rockets -- feels primitive to us. Despite the explosives, cars, planes, all so basic to our modern way of life, such acts still seem redolent of ancient, less civilized times when people did especially cruel things to each other face to face.

The Religion of Air Power

Click here to read more of this dispatch.

Iraq Dispatches: Israelis Accused of Using Illegal Weapons

According to several reports, the Israeli military is using illegal weapons: cluster bombs and white phosporous against Lebanese civilians, writes Dahr Jamail in this report from Lebanon.

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** Visit the Dahr Jamail Iraq website **
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Israelis Accused of Using Illegal Weapons

*Inter Press Service*
Dahr Jamail
BEIRUT, Jul 28 (IPS) - The Israeli military is using illegal weapons against civilians in southern Lebanon, according to several reports.*

U.S.-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said this week that Israel had used cluster bombs in civilian areas of Lebanon, in clear violation of international law.

The group said cluster bombs killed a civilian and injured 12 others in Blida village in the south of Lebanon last week. Cluster bombs disperse hundreds of tiny shrapnel-filled 'bomblets' that are "unacceptably inaccurate and unreliable", and should not be used in civilian areas, HRW said.

Lebanese doctors, aid workers and refugees are reporting that the Israeli military has used the incendiary weapon white phosphorous in civilian areas, also in violation of the Geneva Conventions.

Dr. Bachir el-Sham at the Complex Hospital in Sidon in the south of Lebanon told IPS in a telephone interview that he has received civilian patients injured by incendiary weapons.

"We are seeing people that are all blackened, with charred flesh that is not burned by normal bombs and flames," he said. "I am sure this is a special bomb. They are using incendiary weapons on civilians in the south. We are seeing these patients."

The doctor also told IPS that the Israelis are again using suction bombs, which they used heavily during the Lebanese civil war.

"They are using suction bombs that implode our buildings," he added, "With implosive bombs...instead of the glass blasted out, it is inside the building. These kill everyone inside the building. There are rarely survivors when they use these bombs."

Bilal Masri, assistant director of the Beirut Government University Hospital (BGUH) had told IPS earlier that "many of the injured in the south are suffering from the impact of incendiary white phosphorous."

Wafaa el-Yassir, Beirut representative of the non-governmental organisation Norwegian People's Aid, told IPS that several of her relief workers in the south had reported assisting people hit by incendiary weapons.

"The most important thing is that we have an investigation for the Israelis' use of banned weapons," she said. "They have used phosphorous in Nabatiyeh and cluster bombs in Dahaya district of Beirut."

She also told IPS that a doctor at the Bint Jbail hospital, in the small city near the southern border of Lebanon where much of the fierce fighting has taken place, had told her agency that he was certain that white phosphorous had been used against civilians there.

Zacharia al-Amedin, an 18-year-old refugee being treated for lacerations from bomb shrapnel told IPS, "I was in a village near Tyre, and the Israelis were dropping incendiary bombs all around us, even though there weren't fighters near us. So many civilians were hit by these weapons."

The Lebanese ministry of interior has officially said that the Israeli military has used this weapon.

President Emile Lahoud said recently on French radio: "According to the Geneva Conventions, when they use phosphorous bombs and laser bombs, is that allowed against civilians and children?"

An Israeli military spokesman told Reuters news agency, "Everything the Israeli defence forces are using is legitimate." International law requires that the military distinguish between combatants and civilians. Incendiary weapons and cluster bombs when used in areas where there may be civilians contravene international humanitarian law.

"We are a country of humans, not animals," Sham told IPS. "Real people are dying here. You must ask this of the world, to please help."

(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 DahrJamailIraq 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

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Iraq Dispatches: Death Toll Could Be Twice the Official Figure

In this dispatch from Lebanon, independent journalist Dahr Jamail reports that the Lebanese death toll could be closer to at least 750 so far -- according to doctors, aid workers and refugees -- placing the numbers at almost twice the official figure. Among the reasons cited for this great discrepancy are the numerous bodies still buried beneath the rubble of bombed buildings.

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

Death Toll Could Be Twice the Official Figure

*Inter Press Service*
Dahr Jamail

*BEIRUT, Jul 28 (IPS) - Lebanese doctors, aid workers and refugees are all reporting that the official number of dead in Lebanon is far lower than the actual.*

"I think that the real number is at least 750 dead so far," Dr. Bachir el-Sham at the Complex Hospital in Sidon city told IPS in a telephone interview. Sidon is 43 km south of Beirut, and just north of Tyre. This region has seen the worst of the Israeli bombing.

Sham said that by co-ordinating casualty figures with other hospitals and clinics in the south, he believes that an average of 40 civilians are being killed by Israeli air strikes each day.

"One day we had 100 dead. The authorities in Beirut can only estimate -- we never have official statistics about anything in Lebanon," he said. "Regarding the number of dead, we can say for sure that by the numbers we're seeing down here, it is at least 750, if not more."

One reason the real number will be higher is that "so many people are buried in the rubble," he said.

As in Dahaya district of southern Beirut, both Sidon and Tyre have had large numbers of civilian apartment buildings bombed to the ground, many with entire families in them.

"When you have a building demolished, how many people are under the rubble? Who can say? But we know there are many."

Bilal Masri, assistant director at the large Beirut Government University Hospital in Beirut, also told IPS that the official number was far too low.

"We have had several reports from the south that there are many bodies buried under buildings, or left in cars that were hit by Israeli rockets," he said.

Ghadeer Shayto, a 15-year-old girl being treated at the Beirut hospital for wounds she suffered during an Israeli rocket attack while fleeing her village Kafra near Bint Jbail, said she had seen many dead on her way to Beirut.

"On our way out we passed so many civilian cars which had burnt bodies in them," she said, weeping. "They were burnt, and left there because nobody could come to take the bodies away." Bint Jbail is the southern town that has seen the most intense fighting between Israeli troops and Hezbollah fighters.

She said the bus in which they were leaving had hoisted white flags, but it was hit by a rocket. "My brother and cousin were killed, and the rest of us are wounded."

Abdel Hamid al-Ashi, father of two, saw similar sights as he fled Bint Jbail.

"I had to walk 10 kilometres to a small village to find a taxi, and along the road I saw many bodies rotting in the sun," he told IPS. "There were also cars which had been rocketed which were full of bodies."

Many patients and refugees reported seeing bodies along the way when they fled. Under continuing air strikes, no aid teams have been able to rescue anyone or retrieve the bodies.

In Dahaya district of Beirut about a fifth of all buildings have been totally demolished. There was a strong smell of rotting corpses at many of those sites that this correspondent visited.

Volunteer workers are also reporting that the officially declared toll is too low.

"Several of our relief workers who tried to help in Dahaya have reported to us that many families are buried under the rubble there," Wafaa el-Yassir, a representative of Norwegian People's Aid-Lebanon told IPS at her office. "And we have similar reports from Tyre and Sidon."

"The number of dead is as much as 800 by now," she added. "And probably even more, but it will take some time to find all of the bodies."

Ahmad Halimeh, with the non-governmental organisation Popular Aid for Relief and Development who is now working primarily to aid war victims in Beirut and southern Lebanon, said that "in my experience you can always at least double the initial figure, and we are seeing the same thing happen again now. So the number is at least 800, and will be more over time as we continue to gain access to these areas that have been destroyed."

There is little doubt that the real death toll is far higher than the official one. The question remains, by how much?

(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 DahrJamailIraq 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

(Dahr Jamail's dispatches are republished on my site with the kind permission of the journalist.)

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Lebanon/Israel: Urgent need for arms embargo on Israel and Hizbullah

News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International
AI Index: MDE 01/002/2006 27 July 2006

Lebanon/Israel: Urgent need for arms embargo on Israel and Hizbullah

As civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict in Israel and Lebanon, Amnesty International called for an immediate arms embargo on both Israel and Hizbullah.

Amnesty International is gravely concerned about the continuing transfer of weapons from the US, via the UK, as information emerged that a UK airport is being used by USA cargo planes on their way to deliver munitions to Israel.

"The pattern of attacks and the extent of civilian casualties show a blatant disregard of international humanitarian law by Israel and Hizbullah," said Irene Khan, Amnesty International Secretary General.

"Direct targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure and launching indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks amount to war crimes."

"Governments supplying Israel and Hizbullah with arms and military equipment are fuelling their capacity to commit war crimes. All governments should impose an arms embargo on both sides and refuse permission for their territories to be used for the transfer of arms and military equipment."

UK media have reported that two chartered Airbus A310 cargo planes filled with GBU 28 laser-guided bombs containing depleted uranium (DU) warheads and destined for the Israeli airforce landed at Prestwick airport, near Glasgow. The planes landed for refuelling and crew rests after flying from the US this past weekend.

Other reports claimed that the USA has requested that two more planes be permitted to land in the UK en route to Israel in the next two weeks. The reports said the aircraft will be carrying other weapons, including bombs and missiles.

"The UK government should refuse permission for its sea and air ports to be used by planes or ships carrying arms and military equipment destined for Israel or Hizbullah," said Ms Khan as Amnesty International wrote to the UK's Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett. The organization also called on the UK to suspend the sale or transfer of all arms and military equipment to Israel.

"It is ridiculous to talk about providing humanitarian aid on the one hand, and to provide arms on the other. In the face of such human suffering in Lebanon and Israel, it is imperative that all governments stop the supply of arms and weapons to both sides immediately," stated Ms Khan.

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Iraq Dispatches: "War is the total failure of the human spirit."

In this dispatch from Beirut, independent journalist Dahr Jamail writes about the infamous Sabra refugee camp, where in 1982 Lebanese Christian militiamen massacred hundreds of innocent Palestinians. Dahr's impassioned words compellingly show the effect this tragic war is having on the Lebanese people and also on fellow journalists, and himself...

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"War is the total failure of the human spirit."

Mother Jones Website
News: Daily Dispatches from the War-Torn Lebanese Capital [Lebanese Journal]
By Dahr Jamail

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Ah, the joys of reporting on a shoe-string budget! I've been working the last few days with a freelance photographer from Holland, Raoul. It's always helpful to team up—both for the companionship and to split costs. Sometimes it's necessary, working in a war zone in a foreign country where you don't speak the language well enough to get by on your own, to hire a driver, interpreter, and fixer. So costs add up fast, on top of the hotel, feeding, and phones, which are always necessary.

Thus, Raoul and I once again hit the streets after deciding to split the costs of a driver. Not a professional driver, mind you, but one we hired on the cheap. This means he wasn't used to working for journalists.

He arrived late—long after the time we were supposed to meet the person we'd hoped to interview, so we jumped in the car and asked him to step on it.

Nadim, the driver, a skinny 29 year-old college grad who, like so many Lebanese, is without a regular job, slowly made his way over to the infamous Sabra refugee camp, where in 1982 Lebanese Christian militiamen massacred hundreds of innocent Palestinians.

My eyes dart back and forth between my watch and the road, as driving here always entails the obstacle course of scooters, women walking with children in tow, the odd dump truck hogging the entire road, and loads of other cars. Even though so many residents have long since fled Beirut, traffic is alive and well in many districts of the capital city.

Suddenly Nadim pulls over and opens his door. While he's halfway out of the car he barks, "I have to eat."

I hold my hands up and spin around to find Raoul doing the same. "What can we do?" he asks. We stare at Nadim as he waits patiently at a bread stand while I continue to glance at my watch, watching the minutes tick off.

Five ticks later Nadim is back and lowering himself back into his seat. "I was hungry," he says, turning the ignition.

Luckily for us, the guy we're here to interview, Ahmad, a co-founder of the NGO Popular Aid for Relief and Development (PARD), meets us with a smile near his office. We pay Nadim, coldly thank him for his time, and let him know we won't be needing his services again. (Raoul and I agree to use a taxi service later for the return leg.)

Ahmad Halimeh, is one of those people who is always smiling, and always busy as hell. He brings us tea and we talk in his office. He says, "Our NGO, originally designed to serve the Palestinian refugees here in Sabra camp with health and education services, is now 90 percent engaged in working to bring relief to the war refugees from the south."

With a staff of 20 volunteers and a few office workers, PARD is offering its medical services to over 100 families who were displaced from their homes in south Beirut and southern Lebanon. They are running a mobile clinic which is currently in the south, and also managing to find shelter for many of the families.

Our time with Ahmad highlights the dual nature of war—that it simultaneously brings out the worst in some human beings and the best in others. Ahmad and his organization are a bright spot in the darkness that has engulfed Lebanon, as the Israeli government has obtained a sort of eternal green light from the U.S. to carry on as long as it deems necessary.

"War is the total failure of the human spirit," says British journalist Robert Fisk, which I think encapsulates it better than just about anything I have heard.

But war forces humans to survive under seemingly impossible circumstances, and in these conditions some strive to help others when barely capable of helping themselves.

We talk with Ahmad for a couple of hours and then tour the camp where so many hundreds of innocent civilians were slaughtered in 1982.

Later in the afternoon I met up with my friend Hanin, a Swedish journalist of Palestinian descent, who'd just returned from two days in Sidon, 20 miles south of here.

"The bombs are everywhere, and there are thousands of families there with nothing and nowhere to go," she tells me. She was clearly traumatized after seeing bodies scorched by white phosphorous, and others cut to shreds by what were most likely cluster bombs.

After seeing similar atrocities in Iraq, I tell her what I knew of PTSD, and that she needs to get some sleep then start talking about what she saw.

"I spent time with a little girl who told me her brother and father were killed," she says, beginning to cry, "And the girl asked me if my brother and father were alive. I told her, yes, they were." She drops her head in her hands and weeps.

War is indeed the total failure of the human spirit. And unfortunately, the decrepit, despicable stench of this war is everywhere you turn in Beirut. And I wonder and wish and ask myself why people like Ahmad aren't allowed to govern. Instead they have to pick up the pieces generated by those who do.


Originally posted on Mother Jones website:

(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

(Dahr Jamail's dispatches are posted on this site with the kind permission of the journalist.)

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Iraq Dispatches: "Everything in my life is destroyed now,so I will fight them."

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

"Everything in my life is destroyed now, so I will fight them."

Mother Jones Website
News: Daily Dispatches from the War-Torn Lebanese Capital
By Dahr Jamail

July 26, 2006

"I am in Hezbollah because I care," the fighter, who agreed to the interview on condition of anonymity, told me. "I care about my people, my country, and defending them from the Zionist aggression." I jotted furiously in my note pad while sitting in the back seat of his car. We were parked not far from Dahaya, the district in southern Beirut which is being bombed by Israeli warplanes as we talk.

The sounds of bombs echoed off the buildings of the capital city of Lebanon yesterday afternoon. Out the window, I watched several people run into the entrance of a business center, as if that would provide them any safety.

The member of Hezbollah I was interviewing—let's call him Ahmed—has been shot three times during previous battles against Israeli forces on the southern Lebanese border. His brother was killed in one of these battles. It's been several years since his father was killed by an air strike in a refugee camp.

"My home now in Dahaya is pulverized, so Hezbollah gave me a place to stay while this war is happening," he said, "When this war ends, where am I to go? What am I to do? Everything in my life is destroyed now, so I will fight them."

That explains why earlier in the day, when driving me around, he'd stopped at an apartment to change into black clothing—a black t-shirt and black combat pants, along with black combat boots.

A tall, stocky man, Ahmed seemed always exhausted and angry.

"I didn't have a future," he continued while the concussions of bombs continued, "But now, Hassan Nasrallah is the leader of this country and her people. My family has lived in Lebanon for 1,500 years, and now we are all with him. He has given us belief and hope that we can push the Zionists out of Lebanon, and keep them out forever. He has given me purpose."

"Do you think this is why so many people now, probably over two million here in Lebanon alone, follow Nasrallah?" I asked.

"Hezbollah gives you dignity, it returns your dignity to you," he replied, "Israel has put all of the Arab so-called leaders under her foot, but Nasrallah says 'No more.'"

He paused to wipe the sweat from his forehead. The summer heat in Beirut drips with humidity. During the afternoon, my primary impulse is to find a fan and curl up for a nap under its gracious movement of the thick air here.

Earlier he'd driven me to one of the larger hospitals in Beirut where I photographed civilian casualties. All of them were tragic cases… but one really grabbed me-that of a little 8 year-old girl, lying in a large bed. She was on her side, with a huge gash down the right side of her face and her right arm wrapped in gauze. She was hiding in the basement of her home with 12 family members when they were bombed by an Israeli
fighter jet.

Her father was in a room downstairs with both of his legs blown off. Her other family members were all seriously wounded. She lay there whimpering, with tears streaming down her face.

I think I won Ahmed's trust after that. I walked out the car, got in and sat down. He asked me where I wanted to go now.

Ahmed put his hand on my shoulder and said, "This is what I've been seeing for my entire life. Nothing but pain and suffering."

A photographer from Holland who was working with me was able to respond to Ahmed that maybe we could go have a look at Dahaya.

Ahmed had told me that it was currently extremely dangerous for a journalist to try to go into Dahaya. Before, Hezbollah had run tours for people to come see the wreckage generated by Israeli air strikes. All you had to do was meet under a particular bridge at 11 a.m., and you had a guided tour from "party guys" (members of Hezbollah) into what has become a post-apocalyptic ghost town.

A couple of days ago I went there, without the "party guy" tour. A friend and I were driven in by a man we hired for the day to take us around. I was shocked at the level of destruction—in some places entire city blocks lay in rubble. At one point we came upon the touring journalists, all scurrying to their vehicles. Everyone was in a panic.

"What's going on?," I asked our driver. "A party guy who is a spotter said he saw Israeli jets coming," he responded, while spinning the van around and punching the gas as we sped past the journalists lugging their cameras while running back to their drivers.

While driving we were passed by several Hezbollah fighters riding scooters. Each had his M-16 assault rifle slung across his back and wore green ammunition pouches across his chest.

Ahmed told me he'd captured two Israeli spies himself. "One of them is a Lebanese Jewish woman, and she had a ring she could talk into," he explained as new sweat beads began to form on his forehead, "Others are posing as journalists and using this type of paint to mark buildings to be bombed."

I doubt the ring part, and also wonder about the feasibility of paint used for targeting, but there are no doubt spies crawling all over Beirut. In Iraq, mercenaries often pose as journalists, making it even more dangerous than it already was for us to work there.

Nevertheless, war always fosters paranoia. Whom can you trust? What if they are a spy? What are their motives? Why do they want to ask me this question at this time? These types of questions become constant I my mind, and so many others in this situation where normal life is now a thing of the past. I think they are some sort of twisted survival mechanism.

We drove back near my hotel and parked again. People strolled by on the sidewalks. Ahmed said, "I will never be a slave to the United States or Israel."


This web log originally posted on Mother Jones Website

(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 DahrJamailIraq 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

(Dahr Jamail's dispatches are posted here with the kind permission of the journalist.)

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Iraq Dispatches: Fractured Govt Leads Devastated Country

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

Fractured Govt Leads Devastated Country

*Inter Press Service*
Dahr Jamail
BEIRUT, Jul 27 (IPS) - Amidst the rapidly worsening situation in Lebanon, the government finds itself too weak and divided to deal either with the Israel or with Hezbollah.*

In turmoil since the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri in February 2005, the government of this tiny country of 3.8 million has been struggling to overcome internal factions. That is despite free and fair legislative elections which brought in a new parliament last summer.

"Our government can help solve this crisis as much as it has helped with so many of our main issues," a businessman in downtown Beirut told IPS. "And that means they can accomplish exactly nothing."

Divided along the lines of the fractious population of Lebanon, the government is split primarily on its Syria policy. An inability to bridge this divide has left the government severely weakened as the war grinds into its third week.

Israeli war planes continue to bomb southern Lebanon. At least nine Israeli soldiers were killed in fierce fighting with Hezbollah Wednesday while attempting to take control of the southern Lebanese border town Bint Jbail. Thirteen Israeli soldiers were injured. Hezbollah are believed to have lost 30 men in the battle.

Israeli commanders had claimed earlier that Bint Jbail had been captured. So far at least 18 Israeli soldiers have been killed.

Faced with such fighting, to which it is more a spectator, the government simply cannot meet Israeli demands to control Hezbollah. Hezbollah fighters most likely outnumber the Lebanese Army. And it is widely known that many in the army are themselves Hezbollah members.

Hezbollah has a large following, estimated to be as many as two million Shias, who revere Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. That means that close to 60 percent of the population follows the Hezbollah leader's every word. Hezbollah can exert enormous pressure on the fractured government.

The government is weakly positioned partly because it was set up with parliamentary representation in proportion to sects based on a 1930s census. Following the end of French colonial rule in 1943, the top government posts were allocated to particular religious groups.

The president must be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim and the speaker of the parliament a Shia Muslim.

The Shia part of the population was far smaller then than today, leading now to disproportionate political representation that has added to the instability and divide.

At present, a Christian-Sunni alliance holds the majority in Parliament, though the two together are outnumbered in the general population.

The position is similar to that in Iraq, where people are invited to vote along sectarian lines, only deepening the divide.

Lebanon's President Emile Lahoud theoretically controls foreign policy and national security. In reality, he is seen as a pawn of Syria, and as little more than a figurehead.

Prime Minister Fouad Siniora has won little respect in domestic issues, and has found little success on international ones. Nabih Berri, the speaker of the parliament, is widely believed to be pro-Syria and pro-Hezbollah.

The 128-member parliament is split into three main groups.

The largest coalition, Tayyar al-Mustaqbal (Future Tide), is anti-Syrian and led by Rafik Hariri's son Saad. It is heavily backed by the United States.

The Amal party, with the second highest number of seats, is widely supported by Hezbollah and is the main Shia party in the country. The third and smallest group, the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), is led by Michel Aoun, a former prime minister who returned from exile in 2005. The FPM is popular among Christians.

To cap it all, the government faces a 2 billion dollar damage to infrastructure. And income from tourism has dried up. The government continues to call for ceasefire, but it has little means to enforce it. It waits for the rest of the world to do something about the country.

(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 DahrJamailIraq 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

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The Galloping Beaver: Casus belli - Did Israel pull a fast one?

The Galloping Beaver wrote an excellent post about the possible reason for Israel's attack on Lebanon and the U.S.' part in this scenario:

The Galloping Beaver: Casus belli - Did Israel pull a fast one?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

RALLY & MARCH - Saturday July 29 - Toronto


Israel out of Lebanon and Palestine!
No to NATO occupation!
End Bush - Harper war drive!

Saturday, July 29
Israeli Consulate
180 Bloor Street West

(west of Avenue Road, north side of Bloor)

*** Saturday's demonstration will include a rally and a march which will end at the United States Consulate, 360 University Avenue. Parking for buses and cars picking up demonstrators at the end of the rally is available behind Toronto City Hall, east of University Avenue on Armoury Street, opposite the US Consulate.

Between ten and fifteen thousand people marched last Saturday through the streets of Toronto to oppose Israel's bombing campaign of Lebanon and Gaza and to condemn Stephen Harper's whole-hearted support for war. But that was only the first step. This Saturday, we need to march again.

Israel's onslaught against Lebanon and Palestine has only intensified, despite mounting pressure from world leaders for an immediate cease-fire. Official numbers suggest hundreds have been killed. The real number killed is likely in the thousands. Nearly one million people in Lebanon have been made homeless. Four United Nations observers - inlcuding one Canadian - have been killed by indiscriminate Israeli bombs. CSIS harassment of the Arab and Muslim community has been stepped up.

Join us in the streets yet again to show that the anti-war movement is not going away. In fact, we're getting bigger. And we'll keeping marching until the bombing stops.

Organised by
Canadian Arab Federation

Endorsed by
Palestine House
Muslim Unity Group - Toronto
Jewish Women's Committee to End the Occupation
Toronto Coalition to Stop the War
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid

For more information or to endorse, please e-mail

Canadian Arab Federation
Phone: 416-493-8635 or 416-879-6766

Toronto Coalition to Stop the War

TCSW is Toronto's city-wide anti-war coalition, comprised of more than fifty labour, faith and community organisations, and a member of the Canadian Peace Alliance. 416-795-5863

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A letter from Chomsky and others on recent ME events

A letter from Chomsky and others on the recent events in the Middle East (July 19, 2006):

The latest chapter of the conflict between Israel and Palestine began when Israeli forces abducted two civilians, a doctor and his brother, from Gaza. An incident scarcely reported anywhere, except in the Turkish press. The following day the Palestinians took an Israeli soldier prisoner - and proposed a negotiated exchange against prisoners taken by the Israelis - there are approximately 10,000 in Israeli jails.

That this "kidnapping" was considered an outrage, whereas the illegal military occupation of the West Bank and the systematic appropriation of its natural resources - most particularly that of water - by the Israeli Defence (!) Forces is considered a regrettable but realistic fact of life, is typical of the double standards repeatedly employed by the West in face of what has befallen the Palestinians, on the land alloted to them by international agreements, during the last seventy years.

Today outrage follows outrage; makeshift missiles cross sophisticated ones. The latter usually find their target situated where the disinherited and crowded poor live, waiting for what was once called Justice. Both categories of missile rip bodies apart horribly - who but field commanders can forget this for a moment?

Each provocation and counter-provocation is contested and preached over. But the subsequent arguments, accusations and vows, all serve as a distraction in order to divert world attention from a long-term military, economic and geographic practice whose political aim is nothing less than the liquidation of the Palestinian nation.

This has to be said loud and clear for the practice, only half declared and often covert, is advancing fast these days, and, in our opinion, it must be unceasingly and eternally recognised for what it is and resisted.

Tariq Ali
Russell Banks
John Berger
Noam Chomsky
Richard Falk
Eduardo Galeano
Charles Glass
Naomi Klein
W.J.T. Mitchell
Harold Pinter
Arundhati Roy
Jose Saramago
Giiuliana Sgrena
Gore Vidal
Howard Zinn

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MNN What goes 'round comes around...

The article below, about Six Nations women title holders and wind-mills on the Haldimand Tract, was written by Kahentinetha Horn, MNN Mohawk Nation News.


MNN. July 27, 2006. Last January we were called by a Mohawk resident from the community of Tyendinaga who lives at the source of the Grand River. He told us about a huge business development. The "Melancthon Wind Mill Farm" was being built on Haldimand Tract land without the knowledge of the owners, the Six Nations. They want to use our wind to make energy for sale to non-native people.

Two Women Title Holders from Akwesasne and Kahnawake then sent out an objection to this invasion of Kanien’ke:haka/Mohawk territory by a corporation, the Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. Along with this we attached a map, the Haldimand Proclamation and the “Mohawk Manifesto” with all the laws and precedents to support our objection.

It showed clearly their incursion onto our land is illegal. Canadian Hydro Developers contacted us to “have a chat and a coffee”. On June 20th we sent out another notice to have a formal meeting with an agenda. Beforehand we wanted all the information on this project such as financials, projections, plans and so on. They knew that their publicly traded company was soliciting funds for a project on land they did not own.

We asked them to obey the laws under the Kaianereh’ko:wa, the Constitution of Canada and the Charter of the United Nations. We told them to stop this encroachment immediately. Canada must abide by the international law principle that there can be no development on Indigenous land without consulting and getting the consent of the Title Holders.

On July 25th in the Orangeville Banner Canadian Hydro Developers ran a media spin calling it, “Wind Farm phase 2 delayed”. The article states that a longer than expected provincial approval process for phase 2 of the Malancthon Wind Project will push the start-up date for construction back roughly a year [or forever]. They are hoping to build 88 more turbines. The delay they say is the result of the Ministry of Environment, the residents and other “stake holder” complaints [that’s us!].

The company will have to pay out $10 million in capital costs. According to Ann Hughes, Executive Vice President of Canadian Hydro Developers, “It will still be viable. We are very much committed to working through the process”. Is she referring to talking to the Indigenous land owners, the Six Nations, and discussing why they are putting their development on our land without asking us? Thanks Ann. We’ll see you at our table.

This apparently is one of several developments backed by the Ontario government. We say, “Thanks for the windmills. Now we can sit down and talk about what we’re going to give you out of it, if we want to. The windmills are on our property. It’s ours! You’ll just have to keep your hands off them and talk to us about it.

They say they are confident the project will go ahead. They just don’t get it, do they? I’d like to see how they’d react if someone started building windmills in their back yard! They know that they belong to us now. They just want a piece of the action. So we’ll think about it. That’s what we'll talk about.

They can’t seize anything on Indian territory, which is all of Canada. They should have made a deal with us beforehand. This Johnny-come-lately deal-making is not the proper way to do business with us.

Are they throwing us into their bag of “environmental concerns”. We’re more than that! We’re the landlords! They hope it will be resolved. Nothing is going to change the fact that this is Six Nations land and it is not for sale.

On October 25, 1784, General Frederick Haldimand pledged Britain’s protection for the Rotino’shon:ni people on a tract of land within our traditional domain extending six miles deep on either side of the Grand River running from its mouth in Lake Erie to its source, “to them and their posterity forever”. This promise has not been honored. It’s mostly been breached. Encroachment is just not legal!

Canada has allowed most of our land and resources to be stolen through illegal land transfers and fraud. Dozens of cities and towns have been established on our land without our consent.

We have had enough! Now they’re stealing another of our resources, our wind. They never brought this over from Europe, did they?

We demanded that Canadian Hydro Developers cease and desist immediately. They are trespassing on our territory. We noticed that the Consumers Gas Company has also pulled back its construction of a pipeline near the windmills. As well, a new huge subdivision project has disappeared like the wind. What gives?

Now they have to consult with us to ask for our consent to do anything. No doubt about it, all governments, corporations, their agents, assigns and developers now have to respect the Guswentha/Two Row Wampum Agreement and engage in nation-to-nation dialogue with us. Canada, Ontario and Canadian Hydro Developers do not supersede this constitution-to-constitution relationship between nations. So stop violating our jurisdiction.

In Canada we took an action in the Supreme Court of Canada – Kanion’ke:haka Kaianereh’ko:wa Kanon’ses:neh v. Attorney General of Canada and Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario, Court File: 05-CV-030785. That’s the basis of our objection.

There is one good sign. They’ve decided to meet with the traditional Confederacy representatives of Six Nations. Let’s hope they realize that signatures to any agreement are worthless unless they have been ratified by our people as a whole. In the old agreements they always asked if they got the consent of all the people.

Kahentinetha Horn

MNN Mohawk Nation News

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Stop U.S. Complicity in Attacks on Civilians in Middle East

The CCR is charging US complicity in attacks on civilians in the disastrous ME conlict by rushing additional weapons to Israel in contravention of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), which requires that "weapons provided by the U.S. be used for a nation’s internal security or legitimate self-defense, and prohibits sales or deliveries if a nation fails to comply".

In its 40 year history, the Center for Constitutional Rights has been a leading advocate of human rights and international law in the U.S. and abroad. In the current conflict taking place in Lebanon, Palestine, and Israel, the absolute prohibition on attacks against civilians under international law is being violated by all parties. U.S. law, specifically the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), requires that weapons provided by the U.S. be used for a nation’s internal security or legitimate self-defense, and prohibits sales or deliveries if a nation fails to comply.

Israel is using U.S. supplied weapons to attack civilians and civilian infrastructure, not for purposes authorized under U.S. law. The current conflict has already killed hundreds of civilians and wounded more than 1,000 – nearly a third of whom are children – as well as destroyed billions of dollars worth of civilian infrastructure. Rather than stopping the supply of weapons to Israel, as required by law, the United States Government is reportedly rushing additional weapons to Israel – an unlawful act that will render the U.S. complicit in the death of innocent people.

Today we sent an official letter to President Bush and Secretary of State Rice calling on them to comply with the AECA and stop delivering weapons to Israel. Now we need your help to ensure Congress holds the Administration accountable. Please take action today!


Bill Goodman, Legal Director, the Center for Constitutional Rights

To read our letter to President Bush regarding the AECA, click here.

Mel Hurtig Warns of Nuclear Holocaust



Canadian author and nationalist Mel Hurtig will be the featured speaker at this year’s commemoration of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki taking place at Toronto City Hall on August 9.

The commemoration is organized by the Toronto Hiroshima Day Coalition. 140,000 Japanese were killed in the first American atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. In Nagasaki 74,000 were killed and another 75,000 injured on August 9, 1945 when the U.S. dropped the second atomic bomb on that city.

In his speech in Toronto on August 9, Mel Hurtig warns that the world is sleepwalking towards an inevitable cataclysmic nuclear holocaust unless urgent steps are taken to reverse the recent sharp deterioration in international cooperation to curtail the deployment of nuclear weapons and to stop American plans to weaponize space.

“The continuing proliferation of nuclear materials along with the likelihood that terrorists will acquire and use them, plus the recent plans by the U.S., Russia and China to upgrade their nuclear weapons and delivery systems, and the weakening or abandonment of important anti-nuclear agreements are a guaranteed recipe for disaster,” Hurtig says.

At present there are 31,000 nuclear weapons in existence. The U.S. has 10,000, Russia 20,000, China 400, France 350, the United Kingdom 200, Israel 200, India 95, Pakistan 50 and North Korea an unknown number. The average U.S. warhead has a destructive power 20 times that of the Hiroshima bomb. Russia and the U.S. each have 2,000 nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert ready to be launched on 15 minutes’ warning, greatly increasing the risk of an accidental nuclear launch. Collectively, the nuclear powers have spent more than $12 trillion to develop and maintain their nuclear arsenals.

The Toronto Hiroshima Day Coalition is organizing two events on August 6 and 9 to commemorate the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. A thirty minute program starting at 6 pm during the IRIE Music Festival at Nathan Phillips Square on August 6 will feature dub poet Clifton Joseph, the Yakudo Traditional Japanese Drummers, the reading of the Toronto Peace Message from Mayor David Miller, and the reading of the Peace Message from Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba by a granddaughter of a Hiroshima survivor.

On August 9, the Nagasaki commemoration will take place near the Peace Garden on Nathan Phillips Square from 6:30 to 9 pm with Phyllis Creighton as MC. The program begins with Origami paper cranes folding and storytelling for children, the Yakudo Drummers, the reading of the Toronto Peace Message and the Peace
Message from Nagasaki Mayor Iccho Itoh, featured speaker Mel Hurtig (author of Rushing to Armageddon), Shakuhachi bamboo flute playing by Bonchiku Hoshi, a reading of Kurihara Sadako’s poem, “Bring Forth New Life,” and Yusuke Tanaka singing “Don't Let It Happen Again”. There will also be announcements from
Mayors for Peace and the recent World Peace Forum in Vancouver. Dub poet Clifton Joseph, student Yuki Otsuji and the Raging Grannies will also contribute to the program. The evening closes with a Lantern Ceremony
accompanied by bamboo flute playing by Bonchiku Hoshi.

The Toronto Hiroshima Day Coalition has been organizing commemorations at Toronto City Hall on August 6 and 9 for over a decade. A coalition of peace and community organizations, its members include Physicians for Global Survival, Science for Peace, Voice of Women, the Canadian Friends Service Committee, the Older Women’s Network, the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto, and others.

Mel Hurtig is an Officer of the Order of Canada and has been awarded honourary degrees by six Canadian universities. Among his many other awards and honours are the Lester B. Pearson Man of the Year Peace Award, the Speaker of the Year Award, the Royal Society of Canada’s Centenary Medal, and, on two occasions, the Canadian Book Publisher of the Year award. He has been Chairman of the Board of the Canadian Booksellers Association, the National Chairman of the Committee for an Independent Canada, and is the founder and former Chairman of the Council of Canadians. Mel Hurtig also founded and published The Canadian Encyclopedia. He is the author of several bestselling books including The Betrayal of Canada, Pay the Rent or Feed the Kids, his autobiography At Twilight in the Country, The Vanishing Country and his latest book Rushing to Armageddon: The Shocking Truth About Canada, Missile Defence and Star Wars, which the Globe and Mail review called "perhaps the most important book published in Canada this year." In 2004, Mel Hurtig was named one of the top 100 Albertans of the past century.


For further information or to arrange interviews:

Mel Hurtig: 604-684 8433;

Hiroshima Day Coalition:

Anton Wagner, Anton Wagner Productions, 416-863 1209; fax: 416-863 9973

Phyllis Creighton, Science for Peace: 416-481 7647;

Sid Ikeda, Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre: (Home) 416-447 0986 or cell no.
416 452 9765

Israel holds Canadian professor accused of being Hezbollah spy

The family of a professor accused of being a Hezbollah spy says the Canadian government has abandoned them as they try to learn more about his fate.

Six Nations July 25 update

Six Nations spokesperson Hazel Hill sent this July 25 update from the Grand River:

Update July 25, 2006

Hey from Grand River!

Well we've certainly had our share of things lately. Not sure where to start. It has been a task this past week, more near the end of the week and into the weekend. Some of our young folks found themselves in situations that weren't good.

Wednesday nite a few of the youth from Six Nations went into Caledonia for a slice of pizza. They ended up in a situation with a few kids from Caledonia and to make a long story short, police were called, and quite a few I might add, both from Six Nations and the OPP. No arrests were made, but it added to the tension of the people on both sides. We went down to help calm the situation and brought our people back to the site. Our kids are angry and frustrated. First, they are feeling the frustration of being targeted for the colour of their skin, and while ANYONE should be able to go ANYWHERE for a slice of pizza, the sad truth of it is that our kids are right. Here we were trying to explain to them why, although they are absolutely right that they should not be discriminated against because of their race, that it would be best for them to just stay out of Caledonia. Go for pizza somewhere else. Then they are frustrated because they don't see anything happening with respect to the negotiations. All they know is that our people have been giving and giving, and yet they don't see anything coming back.

It is hard no matter what age you are, to feel like it is always our people who give in and the government continues to play their games. Our youth have seen the compromises we have made in the name of peace, and so that Caledonia people feel safe. We even went so far as to lend the OPP what we call a buffer zone on the northern perimeter of the lands along the residential area and school area way back in May, when every weekend there was a mob of Caledonia people threatening the peace and trying to incite a fight, and yet the Citizens Alliance group continues to fear monger throughout the newspapers and on tv saying they are afraid and portraying us to be the violent people, continually spreading their lies about us having weapons and terrorizing the neighbourhood. Boy, do i understand how frustrated our youth are because I'm just as frustrated knowing the truth, and listening to the propaganda being spouted.

To make matters worse, on Friday night, apparently the youth from Caledonia had called on some of the Six Nations youth to fight at the Caledonia arena. Unfortunately, we were not made aware of any of this till after the fact, and while thankfully no one was hurt, several of our kids were thrown in jail. Some later released to their parents, but as of tonight, one young Mohawk man is still being held over till Wednesday, when he will be released with an assurety. Why they held him till Wednesday is not known, but we have arranged to have someone go and sign for him to bring him home. I am also unaware if any of the Caledonia youth were charged or if it was just Six Nations youth, but we do have some of our women seeking legal advice and will be following up on the discrimination that is being shown toward our people on all aspects.

Even Justice Marshall in his court yesterday, is still trying to hang on to some fictional power over this whole land reclamation when common sense should tell him that his part was over the day Henco was bought out, and when you really look at it, the OPP did enforce his injunction on April 20th, so that should have ended things then. Some people have a problem with me-ism and I'm afraid that perhaps Mr. Marshall needs to take a look at exactly what it is that he is trying to say. Is it simply the fact that his contempt of court order has not been enforced, or does it run deeper into his inner concience and the fact that the land that he resides on does in fact fall within the Haldimand tract, and that perhaps it is not the foundation of society that he is worried about, but something a little more personal? The way I look at it, when one puts it out to Creation that the law of the land must be upheld, one must be prepared for Creation to respond and also one must be prepared to accept exactly what that will mean.

Anyway, as I was saying, the youth are frustrated, but on a positive note, the women have been taking hold of their responsibilities in trying to work with them. Not condoning any negative behaviours, but definitely validating their hurt and their anger. Definitely trying to help them to work through those hurts and help them take and utilize that energy to a more positive energy and helpful one for the highest good of everyone. We talked about what they would like to do. We talked about letting them paint a mural on our storage building, maybe work on cleaning up an area, building rock gardens planting trees etc. Trying to get them to look at what they would like to see done at the site, in some way that they could be part of, but that also would reflect who we are as a people, and who they are as individuals. You know, it really is sad for me to watch all of this being played out because I know that no matter how hard we work at trying to help our young people, to try and educate them about our behaviours and setting good examples; yesterday I was reminded of how other cultures don't. I have been placed on a committee to deal with the archeaology and landscaping of the site. It was only our first meeting and the one thing I can't get out of my head is the fact that the province would like to see something done to beautify the place prior to school going back in in September. The message basically is, let's do something....plant trees, build a fence or something, so that the Caledonia people don't have to look at the Indians anymore. To make matters worse, even the Board of Education is talking about building a fence. My message to the province was to "tell them to go ahead. They're the ones who have to live with that decision and they have to look at what it is they are teaching their children". Again, the mentality of some, certainly not a message that I would support. And as far as the youth involved with the fights this past weekend, and the racial comments that they throw at our children, it is not the youth that are to blame. The young ones that are making racial comments were not born with them, they have been taught them and it is their parents that need to look at that.

In the meantime, we will continue to work with our youth in a positive manner. We're working toward positive influence and building stronger nations, by helping them to see that they have every right to be proud of who they are as Onkwehonweh people, and with respect to our relationship with all of Creation. That they are a part of the future, a future that will be stronger for the stand that we are taking, a future that holds promise because our traditional council is taking back its responsiblities, and that the Haudenesonne people have once again stood strong, in the name of peace, to protect that peace for all of the Onkwehonweh nations of the world, and we have taken our Law, and are holding on to it standing strong and steady, before the Creator, and acknowledging our responsiblities to that law, and believing and respecting in the process that was laid out for us, and that in spite of all of the attempts by Canada to undermine our authority, and to threaten violence in the name of peace, this land reclamation is something they should be proud of because we are being peaceful, we are upholding and respecting our law, and we are upholding our responsiblities to our future generations. And that my friends, is something we all should be proud of. Nya weh for your continued support!

In Love, Light and Peace,

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