Saturday, August 26, 2006

MNN's Appeal to Supporters

Kahentinetha Horn of Mohawk Nation News is appealing to supporters for help in the struggle at the Six Nations reclamation site.


MNN. Aug. 25, 2006. This is a request from the Men and Women’s Councils of the Six Nations Reclamation Site. We are asking you, our brothers, sisters, friends and allies, to reach into your pockets to help those of us who are in need.

On February 28th 2006 we repossessed our land formerly known as “Douglas Creek Estates” [near Caledonia Ontario] to stop the continued illegal encroachment on our territory. It is now almost 6 months later. We have held steadfast, despite many attacks from the courts, governments, Ontario Provincial Police, US ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) and state sponsored hate groups. Our Six Nations Confederacy Chiefs and Clan Mothers continue to carry out the will of the People, to repossess our property through peaceful means. We are going nowhere but here!

Talks with Canada and Ontario are continuing despite the attempt of one renegade judge to interfere. There’s tons of money on the other side. We don’t have a cent. We have been able to stay here despite redneck renegades and the bureaucratic machine that tried to steamroll us. This is an important time. They want to starve us out but things are changing fast. If we can hold our own for a while longer, we may be able to show them a path to a peaceful solution.

TO STAY HERE WE URGENTLY NEED MONEY. We are going to stay and protect “Kanenstaton”, our repossessed land. The cold weather and winter are coming.

We would greatly appreciate your making donations to the Six Nations through the MNN Mohawk Nation News website at the “Donate” link using PayPal;

or send checks to Janie Jamieson, RR#6, Hagersville (Ontario, Canada) N0A 1H0;

or deposit directly into Bank of Montreal account: transit #3752 Account #3011-285.

Contact Hazel at 519-445-0719, 519-865-7722, 905-517-7006.

MNN Mohawk Nation News has been here since day one and we will always be here. If you want to know more about what’s been going on, visit our website at


Kahentinetha Horn

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VIDEO | GI War-Resistance Grows: Sgt. Ricky Clousing Turns Himself In

A Film by Sari Gelzer and Geoffrey Millard

On Friday, August 11, Army Sgt. Ricky Clousing, who had been AWOL from his unit for a year, held a press conference the morning before he was to turn himself in to military authorities at Fort Lewis. Surrounded by press and veterans attending the Veterans for Peace Convention, Clousing spoke of the fervor of 9/11 that influenced him to join the Army, and the regret he felt once he was deployed and witnessed what he termed "the larger picture of the daily devastation of occupation." Among those who spoke in support of Ricky was Joshua Casteel, a conscientious objector and former interrogator at Abu Ghraib prison.

Watch it here on

Grand River Update August 25th, 2006

Six Nations spokesperson Hazel Hill sends her latest update on the situation at the reclamation site.

Good Morning from Grand River!

Well, there are a few things that have happened since my last up date. First, the appeal against Justice Marshall's ruling was heard on August 22nd, and the actual appeal was put over until September 25th and 26th. There was a ruling as far as the negotiation process, and the threat of contempt against the Federal and Provincial governments was lifted in order that the negotiations could continue. And for the record, before everyone jumps all over me for the use of the word......'negotiations' in my writings it is strictly intended to mean 'talks'............our Haudenesonne delegation do understand that the land is NOT negotiable. Ok, thank you for letting me say that. I get just as frustrated over words and I know there is so much concern by the Onkwehonweh people that even using those words will lead us into the trap. While I can't speak for everyone, I believe that the people's eyes are wide open, and that again, nothing that is decided at the main table talks is legal until it goes back to the people and the men and women's council fire for ratification and concensus. That has been understood from the beginning of our relcamation and nothing has changed that fact.

Now, as far as the contempt against the people however, and whether Marshall's entire ruling should be stayed, there is a court date set for today, and reason's will be given on what specifics I don't know, but it will be in respect to Marshall's ruling of August 8th.

The side table dealing with Kanenhstaton got right back to work on the 23rd as scheduled, and the Crown's historian gave an oral presentation on their understanding of some of the transactions with respect to the land, and later in the afternoon a video of Chief Cleveland General was shown which described an understanding that has been handed down from our ancestors with respect to our land, and how it was intended to be protected. For example, when leased for farming, how "plows depth" was always the intended use, as opposed to sales. Six Nations research expert Phil Monture then gave a brief outline of the understanding from Six Nations perspective and showed quite clearly how you can't take a document such as the 1841 surrender, and accept it as verbatum without looking at the rest of the history at the example of this is the fact that Samuel Jarvis who was the superintendent of Indian Affairs at that time, was also a shareholder in the Grand River Navigation Company and that alone was a breach of trust. Ultimately Jarvis was looking after HIS interests alone, and not that of the Six Nations. It was also evident that the only interests that were being protected were that of the white squatters, and not the Six Nations who were the title holders......a comment was made that this practice still continues to this day. Anyway, there is alot of discussions to take place with respect to the lands at Kanenhstaton, and this is not going to happen in a short period of time.

The main table discussion began yesterday and basically the presentation from all of the side tables was given.

The side table which I am involved with, the Archaeology/Improvements is scheduled to resume on Tuesday, August 29th at which time we will hopefully have the walkabout with potential archaeologists, and have interviews take place later on in the afternoon. The goal is to have the archaeological study done as soon as possible to confirm exactly what is/was on the lands at Kanenhstaton. The Education side table is being reviewed to make sure the focus is on communication and education within educational facilities as well as government offices etc., along the Grand River Tract to provide the History of the Six Nations from our perspective and have an on-going dialogue in the hopes of preventing future displays of the racial discrimination that has occurred since the reclamation. The reaction that has been shown is evident of the need to provide this information because many people within Caledonia who might have recently moved into the area, do not have the same understanding and knowledge as the residents whose families have been here for generations and who understand the land rights of the Six Nations. Another of the side tables is the Consultation side table and unfortunately, I don't have anything to report on that one, other than there are people who are working to ensure that the Haudenesonne are being respected and that any future developments must come through the Six Nations people and our council. Again, another area that will be difficult, but if the willingness and respect is there on the part of the communities and townships along the Grand, then there will be no need for future reclamations to prevent major developments on our land base.

Oh, and rest assured, the focus of the reclamation has not been sidelined by any of these side tables. Some people feel the old divide and conquer tactic is being used to try and break us down through these side tables. We are remaining at Kanenhstaton until the land comes back into the Six Nations name, according to original title and not according to the Indian Act. If the Crown's representatives are honest and forthright in their intentions, we will arrive at that goal through the peaceful process now underway. They were very quick to give Caledonia funding for their so-called losses, (what did it take, 3 months?) and we are only now getting to the real deal as far as the Six Nations are concerned.........the land.(we've only been waiting a couple of hundred years) Money is not an issue. If it was, our people would have taken Ken Hewitt up on his offer when he told one of our men that they (CCA) have an open cheque book from the government, and we could be part of it............what do they have to do to keep their money coming.................keep creating diversions to try and get the world to look at the Onkwehonweh people as the criminals and terrorists they are trying to paint us to be. It is not going to happen. Meantime, the school board is putting up a temporary 8' fence between the school yard and the north side of the site so that the parents will feel that their children are safe when school resumes next week. We have already indicated to the feds and the province that that is their choice. We will continue to make plans as far as Kanenhstaton as we see fit, and whether it be playgrounds, parks, or flower gardens, the choice and action will be taken by the people, and not decided in any meeting.

So, I guess in a nutshell that's about it for now. The main table talks will resume on September 11th and in the meantime, the side table's will be working hard to get through all of the paperwork and or responsiblities that arise during these next couple of weeks. I will be doing my best to keep everyone informed as to what is happening and if there are any changes.

In Peace, Light and Love,


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Friday, August 25, 2006

Canada's Shame

Thanks to Thomas Walkom, National Affairs Columnist of the Toronto Star, for raising the issue of Canada's poor. Poverty is not merely something that inflicts developing nations -- it is an ever-increasing tragedy of 'rich' Canada, and our shame.

The cost of living has increased tremendously in the last two decades while social assistance has declined, making those receiving 'benefits' subsist at far below the poverty level. Politicians of all parties make promises that fall far short after they are elected, and poverty is ignored. The voting public doesn't realize that the average person is but a pay cheque or two away from poverty themselves.

A society is measured by how it responds to the plight of its less fortunate, and Canada falls far behind most developed nations. Poverty must be eradicated here at home before Canada is able to address poverty on a global scale. We need to show our elected politicians they must respond because we care. The escalation of poverty will cause a much higher price: the dissolution of a civil culture.

In closing his article,Thomas Walkom cites a question asked by the National Council on Welfare: "Have both governments and the Canadian public turned their backs on the poorest of the poor?" Let our conjoined Canadian voices and votes reply with a resounding "NO!"

Read Thomas Walkom's article: "In rich Canada, welfare worsens".

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Iraq Dispatches: "The World Just Sat By," An Interview with Dahr Jamail

By: Christopher Brown

August 23, 2006

Dahr Jamail is an award-winning, independent journalist who reported live from Baghdad for eight months beginning in 2003. He is considered one of the best sources on the War in Iraq. Recently, he returned to The Middle East, to Syria. While in Damascus, the conflict between Israel and Hizbollah began. Jamail left immediately for Beirut and sent daily dispatches from his Iraq-dispatches website. I received the chance to speak to Jamail about what he saw during this 34-day conflict in the middle East.

*Christopher Brown:*
Dahr Jamail, it seems that in the media, this whole conflict’s narrative started when Hizbollah captured two Israeli soldiers and killed several others, when in fact this was not the case.

Can you speak about this?

*Dahr Jamail:*
Yes it’s very clear and it’s quite well documented that there were meetings between Cheney and Netenyahu out in California over a year in advance of this. Also, other documented truth we could look to would be The Project for the New American Century (PNAC). Anyone can get online, go to that website and read their plans for the Middle East and it states very clearly there as well as in another document called a clean break, a similar document to the PNAC where they talk about
redrawing the lines in the Middle East and how they are going to go about it. Iraq is the first step, the next step will be Lebanon; and then the next step Iran, and then after that Syria. It is mentioned and well documented in those sources that Israel would be going into Lebanon.

Now also other things we could look at is this is simply what occurred by the Hizbollah’s operation in early July, as the pretext is simply a fabrication. Because in reality these types of skirmishes on the border between Israel and Hizbollah, were a regular occurrence. Hizbollah had fired rockets into Israel; they had attacked Israeli troops before. So why did they wait for this particular time to launch this massive collective punishment war of aggression against Lebanon? There are several factors that all point really clearly that this was a policy that they were waiting to enact and simply waiting for the right pretext to justify what they did.

As the conflict mounted in the region, we here in the West received information in regards to Israeli suffering by rockets fired by Hizbollah and interviews with many innocent Israelis who had to hide out in bomb shelters. But only rarely did we get any first hand accounts about innocent Lebanese victims and they’re troubles. Could you speak more on the corporate media’s lack of fairness and accuracy regarding this conflict?

Yes that is a really good point. The media coverage of this war of aggression by Israel against Lebanon, I would say, is almost as bad as the media coverage that is happening in Palestine, in Gaza, and the West Bank. Where it’s so incredibly biased. I would go so far as to say that the coverage of this war was even worse than the corporate media coverage that I’d seen of the US invasion of Iraq. It is off the charts in terms of its bias and omissions in things along those lines and we can cite example after example. For example, all the assumptions, the heavily biased assumptions, Western corporate media makes that Hizbollah is a terrorist organization. Well, they’re only referred to as a terrorist organization by the US, Israel, and the UK. Whereas in all of the Middle East, including in Lebanon, a country where they have their base, they are seen as a legitimate political party, a grassroots organization that employs over a quarter of a million people fully
engaged in infrastructure projects like hospitals, schools and social welfare programs.

And now after the Israeli aggression against Lebanon, Hizbollah enjoys over 90% support from the people of Lebanon, which is really off the charts compared to the number prior to this invasion, which was around 40 or 50%. That means that now, and this of course is not being broadcast in the corporate media, Hizbollah is enjoying the majority support of the Christians, The Druze, and Sunni Arabs. Whereas prior to
this there was only a minority support from these groups.

Then we can just look at the coverage of the casualties; I bring up Hizbollah being referred to as a terrorist organization over and over in the corporate media. When we simply look at the statistics. We have over 1,300 Lebanese killed by the Israeli war of aggression, over 90% of those civilians. And then we look at the other side where roughly 150 Israelis died over 50% of those were soldiers. So just looking at that
statistic alone, whose is the terrorist organization, or more specifically who is the terrorist state?

And now, throughout the Middle East, Israel is being seen as the terrorist state rather than Hizbollah being in any way as a terrorist organization. And now, even in Lebanon, Hizbollah is being seen as the rightful defenders of Lebanon against Israeli aggression. And this is being underscored again with Israel breaking the ceasefire agreement by the UN when they launched a commando raid into the Bekka Valley, which
was fought off by Hizbollah. Israel lost at least one soldier.

But, nevertheless, Israel, once again, broke the truce agreement; the UN resolution that they initially had been quite happy with; a resolution that even prompted Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to call President Bush, after the UN resolution was penned up and backed by the US, and thank him for keeping Israeli interests in mind.

But that clearly wasn’t good enough for Israel. We’ve seen time and time again Israel doesn’t have any regard for international law. And how is this being portrayed in the coverage? Where is the talk of war crimes? Where is the talk of the Geneva Conventions being broken time and time again by Israel when they’ve hit civilians; they’ve hit medical infrastructure, they’ve hit the ambulances and really don’t even try to hide this. Where is that in the coverage of this conflict?

You mentioned the casualties of the Lebanese people. Although Hizbollah controls the South, Israel’s bombing campaign extended far into the North of the country as well. Could you talk about what you saw on the ground while covering this conflict?

Yes. There are two really important points. The first is; this wasn’t just an attack on Southern Lebanon and Southern Beirut where Hizbollah is known to have the majority of its support, but it was the collective punishment of the entire country. Really, something that just amazed me in Lebanon watching the entire country being bombed into pre-industry while the World just sat by and the UN and European
countries just sat and watched and really didn’t do anything to stop them from carrying out this war crime.

We’re talking about the Northern Border being hit; the city of Byblos being hit which is a predominately Christian city; the cities up in the mountains, which are the Christian and Druze areas of Lebanon being hit repeatedly; over 70 bridges being bombed; over 80 roads being bombed; milk factories, pharmaceutical plants, paper factories all being bombed; total collective punishment. Where all of Lebanon’s ports as well as airports were bombed, electrical structure all of this being bombed. Every one of these a violation of the Geneva Convention, and every one of these fits the definition of collective punishment.

And then if we look at the targeting, the deliberate targeting, of civilians I was really horrified to see pretty quickly, from reporting from Lebanon, that this deliberate targeting of civilians and medical infrastructure, it wasn’t something that was happening here and there. I quickly saw that this was a pattern: The pattern was that people would try to huddle in their homes from Israeli bombs, and if they were lucky enough not to have their homes bombed, Israeli warplanes were leafleting
villages telling people to leave. Then when they got in they’re cars to leave; while flying white surrender flags, holding pillowcases or sheets out the windows so as not too be bombed, they were being hit.

And then when the Lebanese Red Cross or the Lebanese Civil Defense ambulances tried to reach these people, they were being bombed. And then often times, secondary ambulances were sent help the first ambulances that were hit, they too were being bombed. This is something that I can speak to after interviewing people in Qana the day after the massacre there that killed 37 children and 24 other adults, who were very much elderly people.

That attack occurred at 1am, and the Lebanese Red Cross, from the nearby city of Tyre, who tried to reach them, got the first call at 5am and dispatched two ambulances, they were nearly bombed and had to turn back. So they waited until about 7am and tried again, and they were nearly bombed again and were kept away from Qana and had to turn back.

And they weren’t allowed to reach Qana until 9am. So because of them being kept away, which were the exact words used by the Red Cross people that I interviewed; people who were in those ambulances who said; 'We were kept away by the Israeli military. And if we had been allowed to reach there when we first received the call, maybe we could have saved the lives of a few more people.’

And this was the type of story I ran into repeatedly from those civilians and Red Cross workers. They felt they were being attacked deliberately, civilians home were being destroyed; they were outraged; 'Why are they hitting civilians? If they want to attack Hizbollah, okay. But why are they hitting civilians?’ and this is what I was hearing the entire time I was there.

The US and Israel constantly stated that Syria and Iran needed to stop sending weapons to Hizbollah. And the corporate media picked up this refrain. But there was no mention from any Western country, or Middle Eastern country for the US to stop sending munitions to Israel. What are your thoughts on this?

This double standard and this bias, and I would go so far as to call it this hypocritical racism, I think this falls under the "coverage" of this war; why weren’t media outlets asking the question; 'Well if Israel and the US are accusing Iran and Syria of supplying Hizbollah, then what position are they in to do so?’

They are the ones who are supplying Israel with their fighter jets. Israel has the second largest fleet of F-16s on the planet second only behind the US. Israel has been the single largest recipient of US foreign aid since the early 1970s every single year. Right now, they are receiving over 2 billion dollars, and possible over 3 billion dollars every single year, either in grants, direct aid, or military hardware in the form of: F-16s, cluster bombs, jet fuel, tanks, laser guided weapons, white phosphorus weapons, all this was used very extensively in Southern Lebanon, and sometimes even in Southern Beirut.

The hypocrisy is really hard to understand. No media outlets in the West, none of the major ones that I know of, have ever criticized the US for supplying this unbridled financial, political and economic support for Israel. While certainly Hizbollah is using rockets from Iran, and is probably getting other aid from Syria as well. But the bottom line is that Israel is getting direct military aid unquestioned from the US as well as helpful political and diplomatic aid from the EU by their silence. And none of this is ever questioned.

You speak about the silence that permeated World leaders and their governments had about Israel’s onslaught upon the Lebanese people. Why was it that the folks in Congress here in the US condoned Israel’s right to defend itself but never spoke of Lebanon having the same right after it became clear that this was not about rescuing two soldiers, but more about bombing all of Lebanon?

Where was the outcry of the disproportionate use of force from Congress concerning Israel actions?

Well I think this is when we have to look squarely at the fact that the US government and most of the US media is so heavily influenced by Jewish lobby groups like AIPAC. And it’s long past time that people in this country look squarely at this and see that their politicians are essentially owned by these Jewish lobby groups. This is not my opinion, this is fact.

Anyone can get online, do a little bit of research and pull up US politicians and which lobby groups they’re taking campaign contributions from and I challenge anyone to find more than a handful of politicians, and I mean single digits, who have not taken some aid from Jewish lobby groups. And we are talking about Republicans and Democrats alike. Everyone is being financed by them and therefore everyone is beholden to them and the lobbyists pull the right strings the politicians move in
the right direction.

And those directions are in complete compliance with whatever the wishes of the State of Israel might be at the time. And that’s why, during the first week of this war in Lebanon, that there was something like a moment of silence in the US Congress. Where all the politicians stood up and had a moment of silence for poor little Israel. Poor little Israel, the only nuclear power in the Middle East; poor little Israel, with the fourth most powerful army in the World, only second to that technologically is the United States it’s supplier, its Grandparent if you will, as far as military support.

And this is the problem: that we have a government that will not act in the best interests of the United States. They act, instead in this entangled relationship of: What are the best interests of the State of Israel? And that trumps anything else, even following international law; even following the best policy for the United States, as opposed to what’s the best policy for Israel. And if the United States gets entangled in this mess and loses standing in the eyes of the World powers by its unbridled alliance for Israel, then that’s okay.

And that is what is going on and that is where light has to be shown and has to be criticized heavily and we need massive reform there. And of course the calls that will come out will be: 'well that’s anti-Semitic, that’s anti-Israel.’ Well, we just need to be prepared for that, those will come.

And it’s not anti-Semitic because in reality this alliance of violence is detrimental to both the security of the US and Israel. This policy we’re watching is complete insanity and at the end of the day it is really going to jeopardize the existence of the State of Israel, not Iran, not Lebanon, not Hizbollah, not Hamas but this lunatic policy of this unbridled, this complete disregard for international law, this in the end is going to jeopardize the existence to the State of Israel far more than any perceived threat that could exist. And any US politician that doesn’t agree with that, and act appropriately, and make appropriate changes, they probably shouldn’t be in office.

At the beginning of the war, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz enjoyed approval ratings in the 90s from the Israeli public. But since it’s conclusion, those ratings have dropped to below 50% for both men.

Reserve soldiers sent a letter to Olmert questioning the purpose of this war. Other soldiers acknowledge that Hizbollah resistance fighters fought bravely in the face of superior fire power.

Faced with very low approval ratings and an upcoming mid term election in November, President Bush claimed victory for the State of Israel. Is the US public buying any of this, or is Bush and Co., merely grasping at straws?

Well, we have to look at the actions and what happens on the ground as opposed to rhetoric and the propaganda coming out of the US and Israeli governments, especially regarding this situation. And if we simply look at the facts; Israel stated goals for this war against Lebanon were:

1. To pressure the Lebanese people and the Lebanese government to turn against Hizbollah. To disarm them and push them away from the border with Israel. That was one stated goal. Clearly a dismal failure over 90% of the Lebanese and most of the Lebanese government support Hizbollah now more than ever before. And certainly have no intention of disarming them or moving them away from the border with Israel.

2. To disarm Hizbollah and that, of course, did not happen and the UN appears unlikely to make strides in that direction and that of course means that most people in Lebanon don’t want Hizbollah to disarm either. This is probably the only thing keeping Israel from occupying Southern Lebanon at this point.

3. To have they’re prisoners released. And they are no closer to having that happen then they were before they started dropping bombs over Lebanon from North to South and East to West.

If anyone is stupid enough to look at those killed by each side as an indication of who won, that is really going to be misleading. Because clearly Israel killed over 1,000 civilians in Lebanon as if that is some sort of a victory. But if we look at that statistic, over 50% of the people that Hizbollah killed in South Lebanon were Israeli combat soldiers, not civilians. I think that is the more important statistic.

And really the most important indicator we should probably look at is perception in the Middle East and around the World as to who won this. And I think that one of the solid indicators of who people think won this is what was cited in the Israeli press; less than 50% of Israelis approve of the job Olmert is doing where less than two weeks ago his approval rating was around 90%.

That shows that even the people of Israel are very much aware of the fact that Israel lost this war; they did not come close to achieving their directive; and instead they have turned everyone in the Middle East against them; they have shown the true face of Israel; that it’s a State that is willing to sponsor terrorism to kill civilians on a massive scale, and still not achieve it’s goals.

And in fact now, I feel that Israel and their own security are in much greater danger now than they were before conflict. This myth of Israel having this all-powerful undefeatable military is gone. Just like what happened to the US in Iraq. Where a few thousand people with Kalishnakovs and RPGs can bog down the most powerful military on the planet and are winning that war; well the same thing happened in Israel.

At the height of their ground invasion, the last 24 hours of their ground invasion into Southern Lebanon, they lost 40 troops in 24 hours. And they did leave Lebanon with they’re tail between their legs. And it really just shows that this shock and awe air campaign is really useless in a guerrilla war. They can drop tens of thousands of bombs on Southern Lebanon and they still can’t get in there and hold one city, even six miles into the country.

So it’s really shown their military is not capable of protecting their own civilians; they are not successful at waging an invasion against another country; and now at the end of all of it, Israeli citizens feel that less secure now then they did before this ever occurred. And I think that that should be the strongest indicator, especially when we look at the stated goals of Israel at the beginning of this war.

Currently there is a fragile cease-fire in place. Is it your opinion that this will hold or what do you feel is in store for the future?

I don’t think this cease-fire will hold because of what we have spoken of Israel encroaching into Lebanon again. At a time of their own choosing and completely unprovoked. We can talk about that present tense. Already this cease-fire has failed and at any time Israel might…maybe even as we speak…they could be breaking this cease-fire agreement again. And I think that’s why it will fail.

Because Israel has complete disregard for UN resolutions. We only have to look them breeching, I’m not sure how many, UN resolutions regarding what’s going on in the occupied territories. We need to remember that the first one to break this cease-fire was Israel and there may come a point when Hizbollah does respond and then the corporate media will begin to place the blame squarely on Lebanon’s shoulders.

I’m going to use a crude analogy to get my point across; I used to play basketball and I was always taught that if you ever get fouled, don’t foul you’re opponent back.

Because the one who responds is usually the one who is going to get caught. And I think it’s kind of the same thing here. It is critical that Hizbollah not respond if they can at all avoid it. Because the media is so biased and the international community is so biased; if they do respond we could have another repeat of what we just saw now and probably something much worse and more sustained. Because I really don’t see Israel leaving this aside and not doing anything. They will continue to provoke until Hizbollah responds and then we will again see an all out war.

(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 Iraq Dispatches **
** Visit the Dahr Jamail Iraq website **
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Toronto: Jewish Women to End the Occupation, August 26th!

Jewish Women to End the Occupation

Saturday August 26 2006 at 6:30 pm (to 9:00 pm)
TARIC Islamic Centre
99 Beverly Hills Drive, North York


6:30- Welcome by Br. Haroon & Mohammad Shokr
6:45 - Judith Weisman
7:15 - Naomi Binder Wall
7:45 - Questions and answers period
Maghrib Prayer
8:20- Snacks and socialization with the guest group

The Jewish Women’s Committee to End the Occupation
(JWCEO) was established in 1989 in response to the
first Intifada (Uprising) in Palestine. They are
against the military violence of Israel against
Palestinians and call for an immediate end of
Israeli’s war on terror which includes killing of
adults and children, house demolition, illegal arrest
and detentions, mass unemployment, and the building of
Apartheid Wall.

The group has been active inside the Jewish community
and with many Arab and anti-war activists to speak out
against Israeli brutality against Palestinians. They
hold vigil in front of the Israeli Consulate in
Toronto every Friday from 5-6pm. They work towards
divestment from Israeli products. They speak publicly
at demonstrations, rallies, panels and conferences.
They also stand in opposition to the annual Israeli
Day parade in Toronto.

Please join us on August 26 to listen to speeches by
members of the JWCEO and meet with the group.

Tomdispatch: Rasha Salti on Life under the Bombs

With a truce in Lebanon shakily in place but challenged by small incidents almost every day, it's just another tenuous week in the Middle East. The 33-day war may be provisionally over, but it probably has not ended -- and the scale of the destruction in Lebanon should not be forgotten. With that in mind, Tomdispatch offers 11 excerpts from an on-line diary of those 33 days of war as experienced by Rasha Salti -- one skilled writer's eloquent instant-portrait of what it feels like to be on the ground in the Middle East right now.

A 37-year-old freelance Lebanese writer and independent curator, Salti has shuttled back and forth between Beirut and New York City over the past several years. Her April 2005 diary of the 30th anniversary of Lebanon's bitter civil war, written against the backdrop of the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Harari, was published by Middle East Report Online. Later that year, she served as the director of the Cinemaeast Film Festival before returning to the U.S. She moved back to Beirut on July 11, the day before the Hezbollah capture of two Israeli soldiers triggered an all-out war that devastated much of her country. She wrote these daily digests to her friends in the U.S.

"The media look for the breaking news obviously. They look for the stories, but when they find a story, they don't find an ordinary story, one that appeals. I write about the mundane, the everyday," Salti told Reuters in the midst of the war. "People see a human being, not a reporter doing the job, or an ideologue defending an idea. I get positive responses, people that become sympathetic to our plight as Lebanese." The following then are excerpts from her online diary of the siege, edited by Sandy Tolan, the author of the recently published The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East. Tom.

Siege Notes

By Rasha Salti (from Beirut)


I am writing now from a cafe, in West Beirut's Hamra district. It is filled with people who are trying to escape the pull of 24-hour news reporting. Like me. The electricity has been cut off for a while now, and the city has been surviving on generators. The old system that was so familiar at the time of the war, where generators were allowed a lull to rest, is back. The cafe is dark, hot, and humid. Espresso machines and blenders are silenced. Conversations, rumors, frustrations waft through the room.

I am better off here than at home, following the news, live, on-the-spot documentation of our plight in sound bites.

Click here to read more of this dispatch.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Hamilton: Truth Commission Community Meetings, August 28th


Truth Commission Community Meetings for Ogwehoweh

Have you experienced discrimination during the Kanehstaton crisis?

Please come and have your voice heard

What: The Truth Commission is holding meetings with Community members to explore discriminatory acts experienced by Community members during the Kanehstaton crisis. Individual appointments will be pre-arranged

Who: Legal counsel will be available for advice and to assist the people on an individual basis. Legal counsel for the IoriwiioTruth Commission: Katherine Hensel, Aaron Deltor and Beverly Jacobs.


Monday, August 28, 2006

1:00pm- 7:00pm

Where: De dwa da dehs nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre

678 Main St. East, Hamilton, Ontario

*Traditional healers and counsellors will be available for support

Caution: If you have criminal charges relating to the Kanehstaton, another date will be arranged for you - please contact Beverly Hill to make arrangements to meet with the Commission

For more information and/or to make an appointment contact:

Beverly Hill, Coordinator

(519) 445-4714 or Toll Free 1(866) 862-7466 @Six Nations Polytechnic Office

Winnipeg March Against Israel's War on Gaza, August 26th!

Peace in Lebanon while Gaza burns:
Since June 25, Israeli forces have killed more than 200 Palestinians in the occupied territory of Gaza – almost all civilians, including 46 children - and injured more than 800 civilians with gunfire, including 232 children, leveled homes, destroyed the main power plant for the water supply, forced close to one million people on emergency food relief, and imprisoned much of the Palestinian Authority’s elected government.

March against
Israel’s war
on Gaza !
Harper must condemn Israel’s aggression!
Stop the humanitarian disaster !
Build solidarity with the Palestinian people !
End Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories !

Sat., August 26, 2:00 p.m.
at Central Park
(Carleton & Cumberland)
for a march to City Hall

Organized by Peace Alliance Winnipeg Information or to help: (204) 792-3371

Israel/Lebanon: Evidence indicates deliberate destruction of civilian infrastructure

News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International

Israel/Lebanon: Evidence indicates deliberate destruction of civilian infrastructure

Amnesty International today published findings that point to an Israeli policy of deliberate destruction of Lebanese civilian infrastructure, which included war crimes, during the recent conflict.

The organization's latest publication shows how Israel's destruction of thousands of homes, and strikes on numerous bridges and roads as well as water and fuel storage plants, was an integral part of Israel's military strategy in Lebanon, rather than “collateral damage” resulting from the lawful targeting of military objectives.

The report reinforces the case for an urgent, comprehensive and independent UN inquiry into grave violations of international humanitarian law committed by both Hizbullah and Israel during their month-long conflict.

"Israel’s assertion that the attacks on the infrastructure were lawful is manifestly wrong. Many of the violations identified in our report are war crimes, including indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks. The evidence strongly suggests that the extensive destruction of power and water plants, as well as the transport infrastructure vital for food and other humanitarian relief, was deliberate and an integral part of a military strategy," said Kate Gilmore, Executive Deputy Secretary General of Amnesty International.

The Israeli government has argued that they were targeting Hizbullah positions and support facilities and that other damage done to civilian infrastructure was a result of Hizbullah using the civilian population as a "human shield".

"The pattern, scope and scale of the attacks makes Israel's claim that this was 'collateral damage', simply not credible,” said Kate Gilmore, Executive Deputy Secretary General of Amnesty International.

"Civilian victims on both sides of this conflict deserve justice. The serious nature of violations committed makes an investigation into the conduct of both parties urgent. There must be accountability for the perpetrators of war crimes and reparation for the victims.”

The report, Deliberate destruction or 'collateral damage'? Israeli attacks against civilian infrastructure, is based on first-hand information gathered by recent Amnesty International research missions to Lebanon and Israel, including interviews with dozens of victims, officials from the UN, Israeli Defence Force (IDF) and Lebanese government, as well as official statements and press reports.

The report includes evidence of the following:

Massive destruction by Israeli forces of whole civilian neighbourhoods and villages;

Attacks on bridges in areas of no apparent strategic importance;

Attacks on water pumping stations, water treatment plants and supermarkets despite the prohibition against targeting objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population;

Statements by Israeli military officials indicating that the destruction of civilian infrastructure was indeed a goal of Israel’s military campaign designed to press the Lebanese government and the civilian population to turn against Hizbullah.

The report exposes a pattern of indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks, which resulted in the displacement of twenty-five percent of the civilian population. This pattern, taken together with official statements, indicates that the attacks on infrastucture were deliberate, and not simply incidental to lawful military objectives.

Amnesty International is calling for a comprehensive, independent and impartial inquiry to be urgently established by the UN into violations of international humanitarian law by both sides in the conflict. It should examine in particular the impact of this conflict on the civilian population, and should be undertaken with a view to holding individuals responsible for crimes under international law and ensuring that full reparation is provided to the victims.

To see the report: Deliberate destruction or 'collateral damage'? Israeli attacks against civilian infrastructure,please go to:

Take Action on the Lebanon/Israel conflict:
Attacks on civilians need immediate investigation

All AI documents on Israel/Occuppied Territories:

All AI documents on Lebanon:

Lebanon video clip in English:

You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main text is not altered in any way and both the header crediting Amnesty International and this footer remain intact. Only the list subscription message may be removed.
Past and current Amnesty news services can be found at
Visit for information about Amnesty International and for other AI publications. Contact if you need to get in touch with the International Secretariat of Amnesty International.

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Five Years On: Bail Support Plea for Secret Trial Detainees

Five Years On: As Guantanamo Bay North is Down to Three Detainees, An Appeal for Bail Funds from the Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada

Where were you five years ago, in August, 2001? And what's happened in your life since? Imagine that you have been sitting in a Canadian jail cell all this time, held without charge on secret "evidence" neither you nor your lawyer is allowed to see. You are fighting deportation to torture.

Your family struggles to get by in poverty.

Five years is a long time. Five years of this type of treatment is an unimaginable eternity.

It was in August, 2001 that we first heard the name Mahmoud Jaballah, a much-loved school principal who had been arrested on a secret trial security certificate in 1999, but cleared by the Federal Court of Canada after seven months of incarceration. But when he was coming out of school one August afternoon in 2001, he was seized by heavily armed RCMP agents who threw him to the ground, handcuffed him, and rushed him off in a black van with tinted windows.

Jaballah was arrested even though CSIS, Canada's spy agency, would later admit that it had no new "evidence" against Mr. Jaballah, only a "new interpretation" of the old "evidence" which had already been dismissed as not credible by the Federal Court.

It was Mr. Jaballah's arrest that spurred the formation of the Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada. We could not have imagined at that time that five years later, Mr. Jaballah would still be in jail, separated from his beloved wife and six children, nor that another man whose name we would shortly learn, Mohammad Mahjoub, who had been in jail without charge since June, 2000, would still be behind bars as well, separated from his wife and three children.

Eight weeks after Mr. Jaballah's arrest, Hassan Almrei would be picked up under the secret trial certificate as well and spend the next four years and three months in solitary confinement. He too remains behind bars. Subsequently, Mohamed Harkat and Adil Charkaoui would also be arrested and detained, though both are now with their families under ridiculously draconian bail conditions. And Mourad Ikhlef would be arrested and quickly deported under secret evidence to Algeria. His fate is unknown.

Over the past five years, there has been a continuous campaign of nonviolent resistance to these arbitrary detentions. The issue is now on the national stage thanks in large part to a seemingly endless series of long-distance walks, sit-ins, vigils, sleep-outs at the jails, 24-hour vigils against torture, support actions for hunger strikes that have lasted as long as 79 days, educational fora, theatrical presentations that have compared the current situation with Kafka's The Trial, creative efforts to try and support the families of the detainees, vigilance inside the courts, and national days of action.

While groups as varied as the United Nations Human Rights Committee, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and MPs of all parties have weighed in with their opposition to security certificates, perhaps most importantly, the detainees and their families have spoken out publicly, calling for justice.

And while our combined efforts have stopped CSIS in its tracks -- the spy agency has not been able to issue a security certificate in over 3 years after issuing between 2 and 3 per year from 1991-2003 -- we still have a long road ahead, with three men seeking bail and all five still fighting deportation to torture.

But perhaps most pressing is the need to get these men home to their families and to end the nightmare of indefinite detention. These men may well be fighting these never-ending battles five years hence, but at least, with your support, they may be doing it from the relative comfort of their homes and the loving proximity of their wives and children.

And so, an appeal from our hearts to yours. We need to raise money for bail for Mr. Mahjoub, Mr. Jaballah, and Mr. Almrei.

Many of you have taken part in vigils, have fasted in support, have written letters, have donated before to help the families and meet our campaign costs. The men, their families, and members of this campaign deeply appreciate your commitment, passion, and generosity over the past five years.

We need to return these men to their loved ones. Any amount you can afford, from $50 to $5,000 or more, would be appreciated beyond words. If you live in the Greater Toronto Area or southern or central Ontario, and own property or long-term investments (GICs, mutual funds) with significant equity, you can also provide a surety. A surety means that instead of putting forward cash, you would promise to pay an amount pledged only if terms of the bail were breached. For example, if you own a house with equity of $250,000, you could offer a surety of $10,000 or $20,000 or more.

If you can help us, please send a cheque to Homes not Bombs (marked "bail" in the memo portion of the cheque) and mail it to P.O. Box 73620, 509 St. Clair Ave. West, Toronto, ON M6C 1C0. If you can provide a surety based on property or investment, call 416-651-5800 or email

Arbitrary, indefinite detention without charge, solitary confinement, hundreds of humiliating strip searches, physical separation from your loved ones, and the psychological punishment of never knowing when this nightmare will end -- all of these constitute a national shame.

Imagine this for five, six, seven years of your life. And now ask yourself what you would be willing to do to end this human rights disaster. Or as Hassan Almrei once asked, what would you want others to do if YOU were in this horrific place?

We hope this fall that the remaining detainees will be able to have their applications for bail heard by the Federal Court: your financial support now will help us build strong bail packages.

Thanks for all of your support and activity over the past five years.


Matthew Behrens
Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Six Nations Update, Augus 21

Six Nations spokesperson Hazel Hill sends this update from the Grand River:

Update from Grand River August 21, 2006

Sago from Grand River. This week has been a successful week with our youth camp activities. The camp, now known as ROOT CAMP (Reclaiming Our Onkwehonweh Traditions Camp) has had an attendance of around 25 eager young men and women who are participating in the activities. It is open to young men and women from Six Nations and the ages while geared toward 14 years and up, has had others a few years younger attending as well. The co-ordinators of this camp are Carmen Thomas and Andrea Curley and they have been doing an excellent job of facilitating and organizing. The first week's activities included Storytelling about Creation and Relationships by Pete Isaacs, an Introduction to Art with on-site logo/mural ideas and painting and drawing presented by Tonia Hill. Norma General and Gerry Burning were in to discuss men's and women's roles, Scott Hill presented Lacrosse Teachings for Men, Wendy Hill was in to speak more about roles and responsiblities of men and women, and Beading was taught by Kim Smith. The youth also enjoyed a full body contact game of rugby (the day after a good rain, and they had a blast!), and they have also went into the bush to cut their own sticks for a game of dingballs.

One of the highlights of the week was the preparation of traditional foods which included duck, bison, and deer meat that they prepared and invited the community in to enjoy. Brian Skye did the hands on cooking lesson with them and it wasn't long before they got in there and took right over. There have also been many sessions where they have been encouraged to share their own stories of who they are and why they are here. For this session, Andrea and Carmen held talking circles for them to participate in. I am really proud of the youth as well as the facilitators as they are all working very hard and everyone is looking forward to this week's events. Nya Weh to all of our helpers who came in to share with the youth as well. It is much needed and appreciated and it is our hope that while this camp is only sheduled for 15 days, the youth are already asking that it continue after that time.

As far as the site itself, obviously all are concerned with tomorrow's court date at which time the Ontario government's appeal to Justice Marshalls ruling will be heard. The court has appointed James O'Reily to offer his perspective on what he believes the issues are with respect to the Six Nations, but the people have made it very clear that he is not representing the Haudenesonne, nor is he speaking for any of the Six Nations. Basically, he is there at the request of the court to try to explain why the court should allow the process of Nation to Nation dialogue to continue rather than upholding Marshall's ruling, which ultimately is calling for the OPP to come in and remove the people from the site, and henceforth, eliminating the possibility of a peaceful resolution. There is a lot of discussion taking place regarding the possibilities should the appeal process be denied, but until then, there is nothing to report. Our delegates will proceed to the talks on Wednesday as has been originally scheduled. I will do an update tomorrow evening to let all know what happens with respect to the appeal, and until then, I ask that all of our supporters continue to pray for Unity, Peace, Light and Love and Justice for Creation......after all, that is what we are all here for isn't it?


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Algerians Languish at Guantanamo, Caught in a Legal Trap

In 2004, Bosnian prosecutors and police formally exonerated six men after a lengthy criminal investigation. Last year, the Bosnian prime minister asked the Bush administration to release them, calling the case a miscarriage of justice. The detainees and their lawyers say they are caught in a trap, that the Pentagon knows the men are not guilty but is unwilling to let them go free because that would be an acknowledgment of a grave error.

Read TruthOut article here.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Community Forum on National Security, August 26!

A Community Forum on National Security, Arbitrary Arrests and the Criminalization of Dissent in Canada

WHEN: Saturday, August 26, 2006 – 5.30 pm to 8:30 pm

WHERE: Scarborough Civic Centre, Community Room 1 & 2

- March 2006 - present: Ongoing attacks on indigenous communities at Six Nations

- May 2006: African-Canadian men, allegedly “gang members”, arrested, later released

- June 2006: Ban on LTTE, arbitrary searches of Tamil community members

- June 2006: Muslim men arrested, accused of being “terrorists”

- What are the links between these events?

- Why has there been a rush to judgment? Where is the principle of innocent until proven guilty?

- How is this leading to profiling of entire communities as criminal, and creating a climate of increased racism and intolerance?

Come out to share your experiences and strategize about what we can do as affected communities. Join us in our struggle

- to build links between ourselves

- to resist the climate of fear-mongering, intimidation and growing racism

- to assert our human and civil rights, and our refusal to be made into second-class citizens


• Zainab Amadahy

Member, Indigenous Caucus, Coalition in Support of Indigenous Sovereignty

• Avvy Go

Lawyer and community activist

• Tariq Amin-Khan

Forum of Progressive Pakistani-Canadians

• Grace-Edward Galabuzi

Professor, Ryerson

• Hazem Jamjoum

Canadian Arab Federation

Organized by: Community Initiative for Human Rights and Justice & Tamil Resource Centre


For more information: 416-979-5000 x 6602

Toronto: Public forum on Palestine/Lebanon, August 25th

Public forum and film screening ~~~
Friday - August 25, 2006 @ 7pm (FREE!!!!)
100 St. George Street (Sidney Smith Hall)
Room 2135
University of Toronto

Report backs from Palestine and Lebanon by:

* Sawsan Kalache (Tadamon, Montreal)
* Stefan Christoff (Electronic Intifada, Montreal)
* Ahmad Shokr (Arab Students' Collective)


Featuring a special screening of Randa Chahal Sabbag's critically acclaimed


* Sawsan Kalache is a member of Tadamon! Montreal based collective working to build solidarity with movements for social and economic justice in Lebanon. Sawsan is from Lebanon and witnessed the first weeks of the Israeli military assault on the country.

* Stefan Christoff is a social activist from Montreal who is also a member of Tadamon! Montreal. Stefan recently returned from Lebanon where he witnessed and reported on the Israeli military attack on Lebanon while reporting for the Daily Star the Middle East's largest English daily and the Electronic Intifada.

* Ahmad Shokr is an organizer with the ASC in Toronto. Ahmad recently returned from Palestine where he worked with the Yafa Cultural Center in the Balata refugee-camp and the Ramallah-based Addameer - Prisoners' Rights Support Group.


ABOUT 'Souha Surviving Hell' :

The subject of Chahal Sabbag's latest film is the charismatic Souha Beshara, whom many call the "fianceìe du Liban." In 1989 at the age of twenty-one, Souha - a devoted communist - agreed to attempt the assassination of Lebanese General Antoine Lahad, who was collaborating with the Israeli Army in the South of Lebanon. Lahad survived, but Souha was quickly arrested and thrown in the Khiam prison where she spent ten years for the attempt on Lahad's life. Conditions in Khiam were horrific, and Souha endured six of those years in solitary confinement.

Chahal Sabbag follows Souha in the months following her release, as she tirelessly travels Lebanon - speaking about her experiences at Khiam and searching out others who were imprisoned there. And despite all she suffered in Khiam, Souha is a survivor who shares her story with a sense of hope for the future-both her own and that of Lebanon.


For more information contact the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid
(CAIA) at or visit us at

Toronto Benefit for Six Nations: Linking the Struggles with the Mapuche peoples in Chile


The Women's Co-ordinating Committee Chile - Canada


Featuring: Music, poetry, speech, and

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN TORONTO, the exclusive premiere of the MAPUCHE documentary, directly from Chile: "THE PILLAGING: THIS LAND IS OURS" (English subtitles included

When: Saturday, September 9th at 7:30 pm.

Where: The George Ignatieff Theatre - 15 Devonshire Pl in U of T
(l block east of St.George, south of Bloor)

For more information: call (416) 489-7040 or email:

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Iraq Dispatches: Interview With Ray McGovern, Part 1

This is Part 1 of independent journalist Dahr Jamail's interview with Ray McGovern, whom he met during the Veterans for Peace National Convention in Seattle. McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 years and is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

In this first installment of the short interview series for Truthout, Dahr asked McGovern what he thought of the fact that Israel had been planning their attack on Lebanon for well over a year.

It is republished here with the kind permission of the journalist.

Interview With Ray McGovern, Part 1

By Dahr Jamail
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Monday 21 August 2006

During the Veterans for Peace National Convention in Seattle, I conducted an interview with Ray McGovern. McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 years and is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

In this first installment of this short interview series for Truthout, I asked McGovern what he thought of the fact that Israel had been planning their attack on Lebanon for well over a year.

*Ray McGovern:*
The most important thing, from our perspective, is to determine what role the US government played. It's very clear that the US government not only gave the green light to the Israelis, but actively encouraged them to do what they are doing now, and then blocked diplomatic efforts to prevent them, to halt them, or to have an immediate cease-fire. That much is clear. You can even read Charles Krauthaumer, who says precisely that: that we are proud that we not only gave the permission, but we encouraged them to do precisely what they are doing.

Now, the question arises, why? What in God's name would possess our so-called neo-con leadership to persuade this new fledgling Israeli government, which represents in my understanding a right-wing fringe of the Israeli people and not at all the Israeli people as a whole, just as our government represents the extremist right wing of the Republican Party? These so-called neo-conservatives who pretty much mounted and successfully waged a putsch of our government early in this administration, what in God's name do they have in mind?

The tactics they used seem to be identical to the invasion of Iraq. We called it "shock and awe." Well, a lot of the Lebanese, as well as the world populace, are shocked and awed quite enough, thank you very much, by what the Israelis are doing. It's incredible that we would see that they would take out the infrastructure of a whole country as a way of "retaliating" against the capture of two Israeli prisoners of war, the capture of them, rather than the kidnapping of two Israelis.

So, obviously this thing was planned well in advance, and the timing really gives me great pause, because this was a situation where there were glimmers of hope that the neo-cons in our government were taking a back seat to more enlightened and more flexible policy, specifically vis-à-vis Iran. It looks very much to me, from what the president, Condoleezza Rice and others have said, that this could be used, and may
be designed to be used intentionally, to go after the Iranians and the Syrians on the pretext that they were the ones who really put Hezbollah up to this, as well as Hamas in Gaza. And now we really have to go to the source and destroy the authors of this.

That sounds extreme, but we're dealing with people who ... well, in my days in government, were widely known as "the crazies." I kid you not. This was the case from the very top levels of government, and I can speak personally of that, down to the lowest analysts in the CIA.

I'd come in on a Monday morning and somebody would say, "Hey Ray, guess what the crazies did on Friday afternoon." And I'd know exactly what the allusion was to. It would be [Paul] Wolfowitz, it would be [Richard] Perle, it would be that whole coterie of folks. Now, to his great credit the first President Bush had the good sense to keep close to him people with good sense. General Brent Scowcroft, his National Security Advisor, Jim Baker, his Secretary of State, and they told him, "Mr. President, you can't get rid of the crazies because the right wing of our party would be up in arms, so let Perle and Wolfowitz hang around at the middle reaches of the Pentagon, but for God's sake don't let them get this country into trouble." And he did. And he listened. And when Wolfowitz came out with that crazy report in 1992 that foreshadowed all this business, the Defense Policy Review, and someone leaked that to the New York Times, Baker and Scowcroft went right into the president's office and said to the first President Bush, "You've got to disavow this right away." Which he did.

Now, imagine our surprise, those of us who knew about the crazies, when we found them in the key policy-making positions. Not only they, but the likes of convicted felon Elliot Abrams, who is running our policy toward the Middle East right out of the White House as Deputy National Security Advisor, right now as we speak.

So it seems to me what has happened here is that they have, together with the infamous Cheney/Rumsfeld cabal, of which Colonel Wilkerson, Colin Powell's Chief of Staff often speaks, Cheney/Rumsfeld and this coterie of neo-conservatives plus Elliot Abrams, who fits that category, had decided, "Well, we're going to input the rest of that famous study that several of them wrote back in 1996, called, 'A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm'."

Why do I mention that? I won my intelligence spurs as an analyst of Soviet affairs. We used to take very seriously reading Pravda and the ideological visionary statements that came out of the Soviet Union. Karl Marx, Lenin and all of the rest of them. They had to be taken seriously and often we found very conclusive clues as to what they had in mind.

So, it's not a big effort to go and put PNAC in your URL line and download some of the documents from the Project for the New American Century and the "Clean Break" study, and you will see that all of this was very well presented to Netanyahu when he was elected Israeli premier. In the first instance, it was too radical even for Netanyahu, and that's saying something.

Well, this is the policy that is being implemented now. You can read it, it's in the text: "We will go after Lebanon. We will find a pretext which will justify us going after Lebanon big time. Next, Iran. Next, Syria." And of course Iraq came in the preceding paragraphs. The plan is laid out there. Anyone who doesn't take that seriously dismisses it at their own peril.

I see this as the first step, having encouraged Israel, and the supreme irony is that this young Israeli government doesn't seem to realize that this is hardly in the long-term interests of Israel. It's hardly even in the medium-term interests of Israel. Israel cannot survive without making peace with its neighbors. It cannot survive if it takes up the sword every time it pleases, because the US is not going to survive in that area either. Witness what's happening in Iraq, to which very little attention is being paid.

The bottom line here, in my view, is that both the US and the Israelis are in perilous circumstances now. That they will be run out of the Middle East in the next couple of years. That is exaggerating, but my point is that their policies are failed policies. Unless Israel changes its tune, and decides that shock and awe is not going to work over the long term, I fear for Israel's future because I'm concerned about that. And of course I'm concerned about the US GIs we have in Iraq.

The whole situation seems terribly sad, terribly unfixable, and terribly dangerous insofar as this: if the plan is to use what's happening in Lebanon as a pretext, of which these PNAC documents really speak, if that's what's afoot here and we're going to say Iran is behind all of this and we have to go to the source and prevent Iran from supplying rockets to Hezbollah and so forth, then the Israelis, whether with or
without our permission this time, take some shots at Iran from the air and our blue-suited generals decide we can bomb the heck out of their suspected nuclear sites and go ahead and do so, then we will have WWIII. Then we will have Iran wrecking the economy of the western world by hitting the oil heads in the Gulf or blocking the Straight of Hormuz. The Iranians can retaliate, and it seems idiocy, it seems just craziness for the US to be thinking about going after Iran.

These policy-makers are so naïve, they have no concept of what this will do to the Chinese, or even the Russians. The Chinese have long term oil deals with Iran. They're not about to as they would put it, "sit idly by" and watch us do this to Iran. They have all kinds of potential to hurt us and to hurt us very badly. And they will, if we start to attack Iran.

Not only that, but if you're worried about the price of gasoline, you might want to invest in the company that's building new meters for the pumps because they are going to have to add another digit. It's not going to be nine dollars a gallon anymore; it's going to be ten dollars a gallon. You don't have to trust McGovern for that - listen to what the Saudi ambassador is saying about that, listen to what the Saudi foreign minister is saying. So, for Americans who don't really care very much
about what is happening in Lebanon, even though they know what is happening, well they ought to look to their pocketbooks at least and think that if this is part of a long-term strategy to go after Iran, and the economic consequences for our country are going to be so severe that we're going to have to pay ten dollars a gallon for our gasoline, maybe then the self-interested Americans will wake up and say, "The morality of this doesn't bother us much, but hey, please don't do it because we don't want to have to pay $10 per gallon."

That's not cynical, I'm sorry to say, that's real. Because Americans really haven't been affected by this war, and Americans really haven't been informed about this war. In Vietnam we had photos, we had journalists who were not embedded or in bed with the government. That was a huge difference between that situation and the one which exists now.

I like to refer to what my four-year-old granddaughter said when she saw me on TV. When it was all over she went to my daughter and said, "Mommy, that was grandpa. That means the other people are real too." Now, that's sort of cute on the surface, but think about what that means. If you don't know someone in the picture, the other people aren't real too. And we're deprived even of the pictures of the carnage that's going on in Iraq, and now in Lebanon. And we have to fess up to that and realize that unless we get our hearts involved in this, as well as our minds, we're not going to be able to stand up and do our duty as American patriots and face down this situation and say to our government, "Enough. Enough. No more carnage. Bring our troops home from Iraq. And reign in this Israeli government that is using your helicopter gun ships, your fighter-bombers, your tanks, etc."

Because if only for self-enlightened interest, you have to remember, folks, that there are 1.3 billion Muslims out there and they are watching this every night on Al Jazeera and some of the other Middle Eastern outlets and they are mightily, mightily disturbed at this. And the actions of our government have put our position in the Middle East and in other Muslim countries back to the likes of when we did the Crusades.

*Dahr Jamail:*
Next week, McGovern discusses US policy regarding Iran, a US/Israel "mutual defense treaty" and the security ramifications for Israel.

(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 Iraq Dispatches **
** Visit the Dahr Jamail Iraq website**
** Website by **

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New Videos and Updates on Six Nations Land Claim Struggle

The Autonomy & Solidarity website has uploaded five more videos of interviews with people involved in the Six Nations reclamation.

They include: an interview with Jan Watson talking about a recent incident where Caledonians armed with baseball bats and iron bars confronted people on the reclamation site and their supporters; Doreen Silversmith giving a report back from her visit to the UN, Native Youth Movement member YoungBlood talking about his involvement in the reclamation and Six Nations supporter and trade union activist Lindsay H. talking about her work with the group "Community Friends for Peace and Understanding with Six Nations".

Autonomy & Solidarity

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Teen campers united by religious differences

With all the bad news inundating us daily, it was refreshing and uplifting to read about something wonderful. It is an article in today's Boston Globe about Camp IF.

Camp Interfaith - or IF - was founded four years ago by the Anti-Defamation League of New England, a Jewish organisation that tries to eradicate anti-Semitism. It is a camp for Jewish, Christian, and Muslim teen-agers, most of them from Massachusetts, and it is dedicated to providing a more personal understanding of religious differences. Campers play together and talk openly about their beliefs. Five times daily, starting at 4:45 am, Muslim campers pray together. Jews hold prayer services three times a day, and Christians gather for one or two services. The services are open to all.

Thursday was Judaism Day, when in-between relay races and dips in the pond, Jewish campers unrolled the scrolls of the Torah and taught the basics of their faith. Yesterday during their campfire gathering, Christian teens explained the significance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the notion of salvation through Christ. Islam Day sparked a debate about the war in Iraq, the recent fighting between Israel and Hezbollah, and the breakup of the alleged British bomb plot.

"In the dining hall, on the tennis court, by the pond, the campers asked: What is jihad? Is the United States making things worse in Iraq? Does Islam condone suicide bombings?"

"With a glittering pond behind him and sunlit pines overhead, Murat Bulur, 15, spread a fringed carpet by a campfire pit made of stones and prepared to pray. Eighty teenagers -- Jews, Christians, and other Muslims -- watched, transfixed, as he knelt and faced Mecca.

Then Usamah Suhrawardy, 15, dressed in a white robe and white cap, passed around song sheets and led the campers in song. ``Allah, there is only one God," the campers sang, quietly at first and then more boldly, as they learned the tune and lyrics. ``And Mohammed is his messenger.
This was Islam Day at Camp IF, a chance for the Muslim campers to explain a religion that some of the Jewish and Christian campers knew only through televised images of war, terrorism, and strife in the Middle East."

The dining hall at Camp IF serves kosher food for Jews and halal for Muslims.

"In the dining hall, on the tennis court, by the pond, the campers asked: What is jihad? Is the United States making things worse in Iraq? Does Islam condone suicide bombings?"

Rather than let such questions tear them apart, the campers said that being allowed to ask them and wrestling with the answers brought them closer together.

``Coming to the camp, all I knew about Islam was what's portrayed in the media," said Vincent Maniscalco, 16, a Catholic camper from Danvers. ``So coming here was just a mind-blowing experience. And learning about Judaism, Unitarian Universalism, learning all about these different religions helped strengthen my faith, brought me closer to who I call God, and brought me closer to people of other faiths."

For the teens attending Camp IF in Wilmot, New Hampshire, this unusual camp is a life lesson: they will carry the values learned there for the rest of their life. Instead of letting differences keep them apart, they are learning to celebrate the similarities that unite them. These are valuable lessons indeed.

If these teens can carry their message back to their parents and families, many more will learn and benefit from their experience. Perhaps in time, suspicion, bigotry and mistrust of those with different religious beliefs will be eradicated.

Our world needs many more Camp IF's. The youth are our future. Imagine if more of them attended such wonderful camps! How much better our world would be.

...Read full article here.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Tomgram: Schwartz, 7 Facts Making Sense of Our Iraqi Disaster

[Note for Tomdispatch readers: Make sure not to miss today's LA Times installment on American war crimes in Vietnam, A Tortured Past (and the sidebar article), that Nick Turse has co-written. These are explosive pieces. Also a reminder: Tomdispatch is on a slower schedule this month and so the next post won't be up until perhaps Wednesday. Tom]

The single most basic fallacy underlying the present American catastrophe in Iraq is the belief that the U.S. can somehow solve that country's problems, however extreme and intractable they may seem; that, in short, we are part of the solution in Iraq, not part of the problem. Once you're thinking that way, it's always a matter of setting the latest incorrect or inept tactics right, or of changing a policy that has been incompetently put into operation by unprepared administrators wielding too few resources too poorly.

But the belief in the power of the United States to solve problems for others -- by force -- reflects a deep-seated imperial mind-set that exists not just in the Bush administration, but among its mainstream critics as well. You can see it everywhere, if you care to look. You can note it in the way, as things continue to devolve in Iraq, the military and its various internal critics have been bobbing and weaving from one set of counterproductive counterinsurgency tactics to another (each time claiming that the previous set had somehow overlooked basic insurgency doctrine or the lessons of Vietnam). The latest of these is a modified version of the old (failed) Vietnam "ink blot" strategy in which we pull troops back to Baghdad, a city now evidently in utter, violent disarray, to nail down at least some of the capital's neighborhoods (while denuding troop strength in areas of Sunni Iraq where the insurgency rages).

Or consider the latest in Bush administration thinking. In a superb front-page New York Times piece last week, Bombs Aimed at G.I.'s in Iraq Are Increasing, reporters Michael R. Gordon, Mark Mazzetti and Thom Shanker offered impressive evidence that, since the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Sunni insurgency against the Americans and allied Iraqi forces has only heightened. Perhaps most striking were the final paragraphs of the piece, meant only for news junkies and buried deep inside the paper (reinforcing my sense that the imperial press can sometimes most profitably be read from back to front):

"Yet some outside experts who have recently visited the White House said Bush administration officials were beginning to plan for the possibility that Iraq's democratically elected government might not survive.

"'Senior administration officials have acknowledged to me that they are considering alternatives other than democracy,' said one military affairs expert who received an Iraq briefing at the White House last month and agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity.

"'Everybody in the administration is being quite circumspect,' the expert said, ‘but you can sense their own concern that this is drifting away from democracy.'"

Click here to read more of this dispatch.

War Times/Tiempo de Guerras

Special free print issue of War Times/Tiempo de Guerras coming soon!

In the last few weeks, war, occupation, death and destruction have dangerously intensified in the Middle East. The U.S. government has encouraged Israel’s devastation of both Lebanon and Gaza. Three thousand civilians are dying by violence each month in Iraq. Almost a million Iraqis are living as refugees in neighboring countries. The mainstream press offers its unquestioning approval of U.S. and Israeli moves, while condemning – or ignoring – the widespread opposition of the Arab world.

This one-sided news coverage reminds us of the early days of the U.S. "War on Terror" and of the buildup for the war in Iraq. In those times few media voices were raised to oppose the Bush Administration's designs. We face a similar situation today. Once again we must look to the alternative press to pierce the official story; to expose the bias and racism involved; and to paint a realistic picture of the active wars in the Middle East, their causes, and their implications for the future.

We first began publishing War Times/Tiempo de Guerras, a free, bilingual tabloid newspaper, in the spring of 2002. Then as now, we saw the need to demonstrate that it is possible - and necessary - to oppose the Bush Administration's war agenda. With the development of a national peace movement and the burgeoning of multiple internet-based resources, the need for a print publication declined. In fall of 2004, we ceased the paper publication. We have continued to maintain our website ( and to produce downloadable leaflets and a monthly email newsletter.

But now we are taking War Times out of "retirement" and preparing a special print issue to appear in September. This free, bilingual issue will vividly portray the horrors of the wars as they are lived by all who live in affected places, including IRAQ, Lebanon, and the Occupied Territories. It will discuss the history and implications of the U.S.-Israeli alliance, explain how there is no 'might makes right' military solution to the problems of the region, and offer concrete ideas for peace action. It will be available after September 14.

Thanks to the generous support of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, the Center for Third World Organizing, Global Exchange, and the Kendra Alexander Foundation, we plan to print a minimum of 100,000 copies. We will of course make the issue contents available on our website and to our email list. But the printed version will allow organizers, teachers, activists, and all peace-loving people to provide the issue for free to their neighbors, colleagues, students, members, friends and families. We hope it will be a contribution to peace with justice in the Middle East.

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