Saturday, December 30, 2006

MidEast Dispatches: Execution Begins to Deepen Divisions

In this dispatch, independent American journalist Dahr Jamail writes about Iraqi reaction to Saddam's execution, and that it appears already to be generating even more sectarianism.

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

Execution Begins to Deepen Divisions

*Inter Press Service*

Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily

*BAGHDAD, Dec. 30 (IPS) - New divisions appear to be opening up between Iraqi political and religious leaders following the execution of Saddam Hussein Saturday.*

Former president Saddam Hussein was hanged at an army base in the predominantly Shia district of Khadamiya in northern Baghdad outside of Baghdad's Green Zone just before 6am local time.

The execution of the 69-year-old former dictator was witnessed by a representative of Prime Minster Nouri al-Maliki and a Muslim cleric among others.

The execution appears already to be generating more sectarianism, which has already claimed tens of thousands of lives in the war-torn country. Sectarian divisions have opened up primarily between Shias and Sunnis, who follow different belief systems within Islam.

Several Shia leaders, particularly those of Iranian origin, say the execution would be a blow to resistance against the Iraqi government by Saddam loyalists. In Baghdad's sprawling Shia slum, the Sadr City, where most of the three million inhabitants are loyal to the Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, people danced in the streets while others fired in the air to celebrate the execution.

National security advisor Mouaffaq al-Rubaii, a Shia, declared that "we wanted him to be executed on a special day."

Celebrations in Kurdish areas were no expression of unmixed joy, even though Kurds were persecuted more than any other group under Saddam's regime.

"The world ignored Saddam's crimes when he committed them," Azad Bakir, a 35-year-old engineer in the northern Kurdish city Arbil told IPS on phone. "But we are committing the same crime again by executing him like this."

And few Sunnis were cheering Saddam's death. A senior member of the Islamic Party who asked not to be named said the timing of the execution at the start of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha would prove a grave mistake. The festival marks the end of the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca.

Muhammad Ayash, a spokesman for the Association of Muslim Scholars, a leading Sunni group, said Saddam had served his country well, and had been punished for the wrong reasons.

"He was executed for the good things he did such as fighting the U.S. aggression against the Arab nation," Ayash told IPS. "He stopped the dark Iranian plans in the area, and helped Palestinians survive the continuous Israeli crimes."

In predominantly Sunni cities like Beji, Ramadi and Saddam's hometown Tikrit, people fired shots in protest and swore to avenge the execution of the "legitimate president" of Iraq.

The execution may not bring the end to violence across Iraq that some Iraqi government leaders expect. At least 68 people were killed in bombings after the execution Saturday.

So far 2,998 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq, including 109 just this month, according to the website Iraq Coalition Casualty Count.

The resistance to occupation is expected to continue. A spokesman for the Al-Mujahideen Army resistance group in Ramadi told IPS that his group saw Saddam Hussein simply as the leader of the Ba'ath Party who was "a helpless man in jail when we conducted our heroic operations against invaders."

The spokesman, who refused to give his name, added: "We praise his bravery in facing death, but his death will not increase or decrease our carefully planned actions until the U.S. invaders and their allies leave our country."

Across Iraq, Saddam seems to have won respect for the calm with which he went to his execution. And that could increase sympathy for him and his family.

A close friend of Saddam Hussein's daughters in Amman in Jordan spoke with IPS on condition of anonymity. She said that when the daughters got news of the execution, "they cried of course, but then they praised God for having such a great father who faced death with such courage and faith."

A friend of Saddam's oldest daughter Raghad told IPS: "The family's only concern now is to receive the body for burial in a dignified way suitable for a martyr and a national hero."

(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

These MidEast Dispatches are republished on my site with the kind permission of Dahr Jamail.

Bush Silences a Dangerous Witness

George W. Bush may have felt a thrill of vindication as he went to bed with visions of Saddam Hussein dangling at the end of a rope, but Bush achieved something more important for the Bush Family legacy.

He silenced a unique witness who, if given the opportunity, could have testified about the roles of George H.W. Bush and other top U.S. officials in aiding and abetting Hussein's crimes against humanity.

By making sure that Hussein never appeared before an international tribunal, Bush kept those Bush Family secrets safely tucked away.

For the full story of the troublesome testimony that Hussein might have delivered if not sent to the gallows, go to

BREAKING: Saddam Hussein Executed at US Base in Baghdad

Baghdad - Former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, who rose from humble beginnings to build the Arab world's most ruthless dictatorship but whose fall unleashed a turbulent era for his nation and the world, was executed early Saturday morning in Baghdad, according to Iraqi state television.

Hussein, 69, who demanded a cultlike devotion from his people and built monuments to proclaim his own greatness, was hung around 6 a.m. local time (10 p.m. Friday EST) in the American-controlled Green Zone in central Baghdad. Hussein was executed before a small group of observers, including some who had been tortured by his regime.
Read more:

Friday, December 29, 2006 headlines: 'Here are the Christians', Cindy Sheehan, more...

These are a few of today's headlines from

William Fisher | Here Are the Christians!
William Fisher writes: "If religious extremism doesn't really represent the views of most Christians, the more progressive forces within Christianity - and Judaism and Islam - need to become as unified and aggressive and determined as those who have sadly become the public faces of these great faiths by hijacking. They need to do more to organize nationally, to raise substantial funds, and to be much more proactively media savvy."

The New York Times | The Rush to Hang Saddam Hussein
The New York Times writes: "Toppling Saddam Hussein did not automatically create a new and better Iraq. Executing him won't either."

Defense Secretary Is Wary of Adding More Iraq Troops
With President Bush leaning toward sending more soldiers to pacify Iraq, his defense secretary is privately opposing the buildup.

Cindy Sheehan to Ramp Up "Peace Surge" After Arrest Thursday
"Peace Mom" Cindy Sheehan was arrested Thursday for blocking a road near President Bush's ranch. Sheehan said she plans to become more "confrontational" and that it's time to "ramp up" peace efforts with a "peace surge." The five protesters, including Dede Miller, Gerry Fonsecca, Carl Rising-Moore and Jeri Reed, were arrested on misdemeanor charges of obstructing a roadway. The group is expected to be bonded out of the McLennan County Jail today.

Medea Benjamin | Let's Toast to Ten Good Things About 2006
Medea Benjamin writes: "As we close this year on the low of a devastating conflict in Iraq and a president contemplating sending yet more troops to fight and die in an unwinnable war, let us not forget that it was a year of many positive gains for the progressive movement. Here are just ten ..."

Return of Warlords as Somali Capital Is Captured
Somali government forces and their Ethiopian allies were wresting back control over Mogadishu as Islamist fighters, surrounded and outgunned, fled in convoy early in the morning towards the southern port city of Kismayo.

Ed Pilkington | The "Untouchables" of US Science
Ed Pilkington writes, "George Bush issued a presidential decree banning the use of federal funds for research on new human embryonic stem cell lines.... Dr. Eggan and his team were able to carry on their work only because Harvard was committed to it and wealthy enough to fund it privately. But overnight, the ban turned them into the equivalent of dogs suspected of carrying rabies. Everything they did or touched, from high-tech equipment down to paperclips and the electricity used in the building, had to be quarantined from federally funded labs around them."

VIDEO | Army Targets Truthout for Subpoenas in Watada Case
In a case that cuts right to the heart of the First Amendment, a US Army prosecutor has indicated he intends to subpoena Truthout Executive Director Marc Ash, a Truthout reporter, and two of the nonprofit news organization's regular contributors, to authenticate news reports they produced and edited earlier this year that quoted an Army officer criticizing President Bush and the White House's rationale for the Iraq War.

NOW: A Detainee's Revelations
British citizen Moazzam Begg, who spent three years in captivity at American detention facilities in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, gives NOW a rarely seen intimate view of a detainee's life inside the prisons of the "war on terror."

A Bad Year for Empire by Jim Lobe (IPS Dec 22)

Jim Lobe reviews the many failures and defiance of US foreign policy by global actors from Iraq to Afghanistan, Lebanon, North Korea, Iran, Russia, China, Africa- re Darfur and Somalia etc, Latin America and even in US where voters "handed Democrats control of both houses of Congress in mid-term elections in which Iraq and foreign policy, by virtually all accounts, played the decisive role."

Lobe notes that a battery of polls in both the run-up to the election and immediately afterward found that that a large majority of US citizens believe the administration's belligerent unilateralism had made the United States -- as well as the rest of the world -- less, rather than more, safe.

He concludes:

Whether the implications of these findings, as well as the elections results -- not to mention the foreign policy balance sheet of 2006 -- will be absorbed by Bush and his senior policy-makers in 2007, however, remains very much in doubt.

CHALLENGES 2006-2007:
A Bad Year For Empire

by Jim Lobe
Inter Press Service
December 22, 2006

WASHINGTON - For those who believed that the precise and overwhelming demonstration of U.S. military power in Afghanistan and Iraq would "shock and awe" the rest of the world -- and particularly Washington's foes and aspiring rivals -- into accepting its
benevolent hegemony, 2006 was not a good year.

Not only has Washington become ever more bogged down -- at the current rate of nearly three billion dollars and 20 soldiers' lives a week -- in an increasingly fragmented and violent Iraq whose de facto civil war threatens to draw in its neighbours, but a resurgent Taliban has exposed the fragility of what gains have been made in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led military campaign ousted the group five years ago.
Read more here.

The Troops Don't Defend Our Freedoms

This is another brilliant analysis by American 'citizen Hornberger', revealing and excoriating the tyrannical state of the union.

The Troops Don’t Defend Our Freedoms

How often do we hear the claim that American troops “defend our freedoms”? The claim is made often by U.S. officials and is echoed far and wide across the land by television commentators, newspaper columnists, public-school teachers, and many others. It’s even a common assertion that emanates on Sundays from many church pulpits.

Unfortunately, it just isn’t so. In fact, the situation is the exact opposite — the troops serve as the primary instrument by which both our freedoms and well-being are threatened.

Let’s examine the three potential threats to our freedoms and the role that the troops play in them:
Read the rest of this commentary by Jacob G. Hornberger here. (The Future of Freedom Foundation)

MidEast Dispatches: Saddam Execution Set to Destabilise Iraq Further

Dahr Jamail writes that Saddam's execution will further destabilise Iraq.

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

Saddam Execution Set to Destabilise Iraq Further

*Inter Press Service*

Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily

*BAGHDAD, Dec. 29 (IPS) - Former dictator Saddam Hussein is due to be executed next month in a move that could bring more instability in an increasingly violent and chaotic occupation.*

The execution is to follow a decision by a court of appeal Dec. 26 to uphold the death sentence for Saddam. Under present Iraqi law, execution must be carried out within 30 days of confirmation of the order.

Chief judge Aref Shahin said following confirmation of the death sentence: "From tomorrow, any day could be the day of implementation."

Saddam is also in the midst of another trial over charges of genocide and other crimes during a 1987-1988 military crackdown on Kurds in northern Iraq. An estimated 180,000 Kurds died during the operation.

That trial has been adjourned until Jan. 8. Saddam's co-defendants in that case are likely to face trial if he is executed.

Saddam was convicted last month for ordering the killing of 148 Shias in Dujail town in 1982 in revenge for an assassination attempt against him. He was sentenced to death by hanging.

The completion of the nine-month trial that saw 39 court sessions, through which three defence lawyers and a witness were murdered, will most likely inflame Iraq's political divide further.

Hashim al-Ubaydi's son was sentenced to death by a 'revolution court' of the Saddam regime. But he is not pleased to see that Saddam Hussein will be executed in the present circumstances.

"I was an opponent of Saddam and his policies, but I support putting him through a real national court away from occupation influence. I cannot forgive or forget that my son was executed, but as an Iraqi nationalist I cannot accept to see the president of my country put to trial in such a ridiculous way by invaders and their tails."

Many Iraqi leaders say the timing of the trial and execution will enlarge the cracks between already divided Iraqis.

The Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS), the leading Sunni group, whose members were listed on Saddam's most wanted list prior to the U.S.-led invasion and occupation, has expressed deep concern about the consequences of an execution.

AMS secretary-general Dr. Harith al-Dhari rejects suggestions that Saddam was a leader of Sunnis. He says 35 of the 55 most wanted persons by U.S. occupation authorities following the invasion were Shias.

Confirmation of the verdict has given rise to celebrations as well.

Some say the execution should be made a festive occasion. "Saddam must be executed at the first day of Eid (the Muslim Holiday)," a leader of the Shia Sadr Movement told reporters. "We demand live broadcast of the execution."

Others will not be celebrating even within Kurdistan. "I hate Saddam and always wished him the death he deserved for his attitude against my Kurdish nation," Sardar Herki from Sulaymaniya in northern Iraq told IPS on phone. "I still wish him death -- but together with his successors who killed half the population of Iraq and arrested the other half."

Compared with the present scenario, many Iraqis have begun to see the Saddam days as a "golden time", a political science teacher told IPS. A report in the medical journal Lancet says more than 655,000 Iraqis have died unnaturally as a result of the occupation.

"Iraqis would have not objected so much if the situation had been improved by Saddam's executors," the teacher said. "His time was certainly not a golden time, but Iraqis felt proud of his policies against Iranian and American arrogance and greed. He managed to feed his people and provide them with security and basic services despite all the wars they fought, and the UN sanctions against Iraq."

The defence team has objected to the verdict, and continues to campaign against it.

"The whole court procedures were illegal right from the beginning," Khalil al-Dulaimy, chief of Saddam's defence team told reporters in Baghdad. "Mr. President Saddam Hussein is a prisoner of war and he should not be handed over to his opponents by international law, and the international community must press the U.S. authorities not to do so."

International human rights organisations are asking for suspension of the death sentence, while arguing that Saddam was denied a fair trial. Human Rights Watch has reported that the trial was marred by political interference.

In a statement that seems to warn of impending violence and increasing political divide, the Ba'ath Party, formerly led by Saddam, has threatened it would target U.S. interests anywhere if he was executed.

"Our party warns again of the consequences of executing Mr. President and his comrades," said a statement that appeared on a website known to represent the party. "The Ba'ath and the resistance are determined to retaliate, with all means and everywhere, to harm America and its interests if it commits this crime."

(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

MidEast Dispatches: More Troops but Less Control in Iraq

In this dispatch, American independent journalist Dahr Jamail writes about more US troops to be deployed in Iraq in the new year and the worsening effect this will have on that country.

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

More Troops but Less Control in Iraq

*Inter Press Service*

Dahr Jamail and Ali Al-Fadhily

*BAGHDAD, Dec. 28 (IPS) - More U.S. troops are expected to be deployed in Iraq in the New Year. Despite obvious rethinking, there is no decision on withdrawal of occupation forces.*

The presence of troops may be raised just for their own protection. According to a Pentagon report, U.S. and Iraqi forces are facing close to 1,000 attacks a week now. U.S. forces comprise more than 90 percent of the "coalition of the willing" in Iraq.

According to the White House, 49 countries joined that coalition at the time of the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003. That number has shrunk to 32, after countries like Italy and Canada withdrew troops this year.

Britain is expected to withdraw its 7,500 troops next year, after pulling out 1,300 earlier this year.

Whatever the numbers, the vital question is whether U.S. troops will continue to do next year what they have been doing this year.

Under the increasing number of attacks and the escalating chaos, it has apparently become U.S. military policy to bulldoze or bomb houses whenever attacks are launched on their patrols. This is particularly the case in places like Fallujah, Samarra, Siniya, Ramadi and other Sunni dominated areas. Sectarian conflict has roared between Shias and Sunnis, who follow different beliefs within Islam.

This year has shown how the U.S. military is dealing with sectarian violence. While it carried out collective punishment in cities like Fallujah and Ramadi, it has ignored Shia death squads. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki leads a Shia-dominated government.

Many Sunnis believe the U.S. military has long been favouring Shia politicians and their militias.

"They are just pretending they are concerned about sectarian war, and they are trying to convince the world that they are dealing with it seriously," Yassir Mahmood of the Beji city council told IPS. Beji is located 200 km north of Baghdad in an oil-rich area where attacks on U.S. troops are commonplace.

Sunnis are concerned how far U.S. forces will take that tilt next year. "They (the U.S. military) lifted their checkpoints around Sadr City in Baghdad saying it was ordered by Maliki," Mahmood said. "Yet, when it comes to our Sunni areas they increased killing of innocent civilians."

Most of the victims of death squads are Sunnis, whose bodies are found on the streets of Baghdad every day. Many bodies show signs of torture, particularly holes drilled into them, and wounds and deformation caused by acid.

U.S. forces ignore such killings, and carry out their own, in moves to crush Sunni resistance. And they are looking for reinforcements to carry out this job. Since the middle of December, the Bush Administration has been discussing sending an additional 20,000-50,000 troops to Iraq in a "temporary" move. There are currently 141,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, with at least 5,000 U.S. "advisors".

The U.S. military is also reported to be considering a major offensive against Muqtada Sadr, the Shia cleric the U.S. administration says is impeding the functioning of the Iraqi government.

But under the increasing attacks, the military itself feels unsafe. U.S. troops are now going for fewer but larger bases in Iraq. From more than 100 bases earlier, the U.S. now has 54.

The bases are becoming like forts within which the U.S. forces stay. Camp Anaconda in Balad, just north of Baghdad, is an air base with more than 20,000 soldiers, less than 1,000 of whom ever leave the base, according to local reports. About 250 aircraft are located at this base.

The situation in southern Iraq is also becoming difficult, with signs of fighting between the two largest Shia militias, the Badr group and Sadr's Mehdi Army.

"The Shia-Shia fight will be destructive," Dr. Ghassan al-Atiya, a liberal Shia in London told IPS. "With all parties armed and longing for ruling the rich southern region of Iraq, the whole Gulf area will explode, and a real civil war will be a certain consequence."

Through the occupation, each time the U.S. has increased troop levels, there has been a corresponding increase in attacks on the forces, and consequently an increase in civilian casualties. Or, troop levels have been increased in response to rising attacks. By either pattern, next year could get much worse.

(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

Happy New Year 2007!

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
National Office in Washington DC: 202-544-3389
New York City: 212-694-8720
Los Angeles: 323-464-1636
San Francisco: 415-821-6545
Chicago: 773-463-0311

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Toronto: Just Say No to War: Moss Park Vigil, Tuesday, January 2, 12 noon

Just Say No to War!
For Peace With Justice in 2007
Homes not Bombs monthly vigil
Turn Moss Park Armoury into Non-Profit, Affordable Housing
Tuesday, January 2, 12 noon
Corner of Jarvis and Queen Street East, Toronto

As a symbol of Canada's military, Moss Park Armoury represents a theft from the poor to pay for Canada's bloated war budget (upwards of $20 billion annually) while people die on the streets of this neighbourhood for lack of decent housing.

As a war training camp, Moss Park Armoury represents a failure of imagination. By arming young people and training them to kill, we send a clear message: the only way to win is to be the one with the most violence, the biggest gun. We teach our children that this is the wrong kind of behaviour in our school yards, yet we turn around and show ourselves to be hypocrites on the world stage.

We are calling on the government of Canada to use the billions currently spent on blowing up people and homes halfway around the globe for affordable housing units, civilian jobs, and programs to meet the many social needs of people here in Canada and abroad.

Those currently employed as soldiers should not be placed in the impossible position of kill or be killed. Those who have, through no fault of their own, fallen to the bottom of this country's cruel economy, should not have to beg for food or shelter: these things are guaranteed rights that the government of Canada has chosen to deny to them.

Enough is enough. Canada should build homes, not blow them up. Join us the first Tuesday of every month at 12 noon in front of the armoury.

Homes not Bombs,

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Update from Grand River December 26, 2006

This is Six Nations spokesperson Hazel Hill's latest update from the reclamation site:


It has been a few weeks since I last updated everyone and I have had people e-mailing wondering what is happening.

Before I begin, I need to ask that those of you who forward and post this to your blogs, PLEASE do not change it. I have had radio stations slandering me, discrediting me, only to find out that they had been duped and someone had sent them a "so-called update", that had been drastically changed painting me out to be a racist etc. I write what I SEE, and while it may not be journalistically or grammatically correct, it is MY thoughts and MY feelings. The message is being received and understood by everyone else who reads them, so there is no need to change them. Perhaps this would also account for the Crown representatives who have been complaining about my updates to our Haudenesonne delegates. They do not
like my updates and are concerned that they could be construed as coming from the "negotiations". So as a matter of clarification, when I update the people, which IS what my job is, I update based on looking at things from the Eagles perspective. It is not from a politicians perspective, and it is not from the Chiefs or delegates perspective. It is from the perspective of one who can bring herself away from the table of discussions and look onto the situation and look beyond the words that are
being said, and look at the actions of the Crown and from that, put on paper the words from my heart and from my instincts, of what is really going on. So for the federal government to have made issue with my updates, not just once, but several times, tells me that I AM DOING MY JOB! One thing I made clear at the beginning of my attending the meetings is that I report to the PEOPLE. There is no such thing as confidentiality when it comes to the Haudenesonne. Our people counsel in honesty and
openness and that is how we will continue. For us to state otherwise, will only lend to question what it is that we have to hide. I report to the Clanmothers and Chiefs on what I am doing, and answer any questions that they have, and I will continue to do so. My obligation is to the People, and to keep them informed. These updates are for all of the Haudenesonne who are spread across Turtle Island and cannot attend
meetings or council to be updated. They are for the millions of Onkwehonweh across the world who are reading and watching and counting on the Haudenesonne to uphold their responsiblities to Creation in order to help bring about Justice for all the Onkwehonweh. More importantly, my updates are for the Creator. To do what I believe is what is the highest good of ALL concerned. Not in the interest of any individual or Nation. This is about the PEACE that was intended for ALL. I have been put on
this earth to answer only to the Creator and to do the job that he set me on this earth to do. It is not for any one to question, it is between me and the Creator, and while some may not appreciate my perspective or my thoughts, OH WELL, cause I am not here to please anyone either.

Having said that, the first thing I have to take issue with, IS the Federal representatives reason for taking issue with my updates. Their concern was with my use of the word Genocide and how I refer to their actions as "the continuance of the genocidal practices of the Crown". Well, HELLLLOOOO! Spot it you got it I say. Perhaps they took issue with the fact that it is the TRUTH, and while they might not like it, it is a FACT. One of their legal representatives is apparently Jewish and
felt that my use of the word was inappropriate becuase of the suffering of the Jews at the hands of Hitler. Well as a matter of clarification, Hitler studied the Onkwehonweh and while I have been told that he liked how our people lived and how our law worked, he also seen how Western Civilization treated the Onkwehonweh, and he modelled the treatment of the Jews after THAT and so YES!, Geneocide is an ugly word, but no one people can take ownership of the word, and those that do, need to study a bit more of where it comes from and how it even became a word in the english
dictionary in the first place. It came from the treatment of the Onkwehonweh by those who invaded our homelands and tried to wipe us out for their own benefit and gain. So as far as I'm concerned, the Crown IS continuing with its genocidal practices because of its insistance on thinking it has some sort of governance over our people, which they do not; and by their refusal to uphold the Treaties to which their ancestors swore to, which they are obligated to do. You can't just have it your way. They want us to acknowledge all of the agreements and treaties that
benefit their people, but the moment we remind them that that Silver Covenant Chain can rattle in both directions, they close their eyes and ears. Well, our people are tired of it, and we are not going to tolerate it any longer. The Crown needs to ensure that the representatives that they send to the table to talk, are one's that have the ability to make a decision, not one's that are there to bide time while they try to figure out a way to get out of it. Barbara McDougal herself told Teka reporter Jim Windell that she is not there to negotiate or make decisions. So
again, what is it that the taxpayers are paying these big dollars for??????????? For the last ten months they have been dancing around and talking about everything BUT the issue at hand. The Land. We've talked about blockades, fences, buffer zones, governance, 4-wheelers, flashing lights and flags. When are we going to get to the heart of everything. You stole our land, we've proven it. What is there to negotiate? We took it back and there is nothing to talk about other then when are you giving the rest back. Or do we have to come and take that too? When have you
ever seen a car thief negotiate with the owner over when and how to give it back. This whole process is ridculous! All I know is that the People are getting tired of being led down the garden path once again and in July when the barricades came down, we gave our delegates a few months to deal with it. It has been well past a few months and it is time that the Crown representatives remembered that the delegates that have been chosen to sit at the table with them are exactly that, delegates. I have heard our delegates remind the Crown representatives that they can only hold the
people back for so long. I know that the PEOPLE are definitely not happy about the apparent lack of good will on the part of the Crown, and if the people so choose, we may have to send in more convincing delegates to get the message across.

And talk about messages. Gary McHale has been on a campaign to prove that there is a two-tiered justice system when it comes to the Native people and he has finally proven himself right. He is a walking talking evidence of the two tiered justice that exists within Canada's so called democracy and its treatment of native people. He has been weebling in and out of the reclamation situation by holding marches, demonstrations, and setting up his web page campaign to try and undermine our people's position, and to get out his propoganda. His latest venture was using the Canadian Troops with his flag campaign. Well, he got what he wanted. He proved
that there IS a two-tiered justice. Gary was arrested and released WITHOUT condition. Every single "Native" person that was arrested with respect to the reclamation of OUR lands near Caledonia, had the condition "not to return to Douglas Creek" as part of their release. If the Crown's agents of the Courts really wanted Gary McHale to go away and stop interfering in what is NONE OF HIS BUSINESS, they could have easily directed him with the same conditions as our people have been given. Stay away from Douglas Creek. I guess the Crown doesn't want him to stay away because with the Gary McHales of the world, there is no guarantee of
PEACE, and he has been given a "get out of jail free card" to allow him the freedom to continue to manipulate and undermine the Peace by instigating trouble. Good job Gary, thanks for proving our point.

Along side of Gary McHale are the homeowners who claim that the "Native's from the Site" broke into their home and vandalized it. They have Mayor Trainer of Caledonia and MP Toby Barrett going on national television, and in their house of commons blaming our people for the vandalism and continuing with their claims that there is no peace within Caledonia, and that they are constantly being terrorized. It does'nt take a genious to figure out that perhaps there is some dirty pool going on with this
so-called break in. First of all, if there was truly a break-in and vandalism, WHY would you compromise the evidence by inviting CH TV Channel 11 in to take footage, and have half the neighbourhood in there trapsing through and eliminating any chance of the police being able to do a thorough investigation because you've compromised the crime scene. Also, if it was one of our people from the site, there should be alot of mud in the crime scene and foot prints leading to and from the house as they
claim the 'individuals' ran out the back when they got home and went into the reclamation site. Our men did our own invesitation and can clearly see there were no footprints leading to or from the house from the site, and for all of those who came to the site when the homeowners had the media and their supporters there claiming the natives had broken in, calling us names and holding signs that read "Peaceful People my Ass", everyone who was on the site had their shoe sizes enhanced by a couple of
sizes from the mud that caked on their shoes from walking in the field next to the house, so don't tell me that anyone from the site did this. It was a staged set up, and poorly done I might add. They're either stupid or think we are. Our people are fully prepared to co-operate with the police to ensure that this is investigated thoroughly because we know it wasn't any of our people from the site, and we know a set up when we see one. This is the same crap that was pulled in Kanesetake during 1990 trying to use the media as a negotiating tool and to play out their
political bs at the expense of the Onkwehonweh. In this particular case, it has been alleged that the homeowners want to be bought out and the government won't answer to their demands for an outrageous amount of money. It is also been alleged that the three times they claim that the "natives from the site" stole their Canadian flag off of their lawn, they were seen by police removing the flag itself, and then calling in a false police report. I think that the politicians who are supporting these
slanderous accusations against our people need to think about who and what they are supporting (unless they are part of the plan) because at this point, perhaps we should go ahead and jump into the boat and into their court system with charges of slander against our people and sue them for everything they got, including their homes that are sitting on land that already belongs to us. The only terroristic action that is happening near Kanesthaton, is that brought on when the instigators from outside try to come in and insite trouble, or when the politicians who think they are doing something for their people, continue with their lied filled
campaigns based on slanderous gossip and who are both supported and allowed to report it as facts by irresponsible news media. So, a message from our people, go ahead and continue with your plots of deception, keep on trying to prove to the world that we are an evil people as your latest blog "faces of evil" tried to imply, because when you live and answer to the Creator, you live without fear. We have nothing to hide. We have simply stated the facts. The land is ours. The road which you hang your flags on is ours. The business which you are claiming millions of dollars of losses on, is a result of the racism and hatred shown against our
people that has caused our people not to shop in your stores anymore. It is not a result of barricades and it isn't based on fear from the outside townspeople coming in to shop, because they continue to come to Six Nations. It is your own doing. It is your mayors doing. It is because you did not understand or respect the fact that the Haudenesonne, whom you want the army brought in to eliminate, are the very people who supported and kept your business running by our spending our money in your

I also wanted to touch on the whole "faces of evil" thing. There was a recent blog which was allegedly started by the same individual from London Ontario who supports Gary McHale and who apparently scanned different pictures of our people and our supporters to create a little video depicting so-called "faces of evil". I didn't get to watch it because by the time I tried to view it, it had been shut down. But the whole thing about our people being evil was started a few months ago within our own community by the elected chief and his political advisor after the band
council voted to stop paying the salary of this particular legal advisor and took him out of his position. ( Note however, that the individual is still out there speaking on behalf of the Six Nations, and still wanders around the band administration building as any other employee even though he supposedly was taken off payroll........what gives!? ) It was an attempt at a smear campaign to undermine the position of the people at Kanehstaton, it was done out of anger to try and get our people to stop supporting the site, and somehow try to stop the movement of the people at forcing the crown to deal with our only true government, the Haudenesonne.
The people, through our traditional council. As a matter of fact, it was implied that our traditional council was evil. It was an ill fated attempt to smear some of the people who supported us financially. It was and continues to be used as a tool by those who want to discredit the Haudenesonne in order to perpetuate the fraud of the crown in its insistance at dealing with the illegal entity known as the elected band council. I understand that there was something out there with my own name
attached to it, that an individual was calling me evil. I don't know because I didn't read it, I was only told about it. It doesn't matter. What matters is that it is right in line with what has been prophescized. That we, the Haudenesonne, would be called evil. That we would referred to as the "666" which apparently one of the article's was referring to the "6-6-6 Nations". I have been told by many elders in the past, that this time would come, and that those who truly work for the Creator would clearly be separated from those that don't. I guess that time is now, and
those individuals are showing themselves.

Finally, I want to talk about this holiday season in particular and how deeply it has effected me. For many years, I have struggled with Christmas, and have tried to teach my children the truth about this season, and how I see it. That for the Christian people, it is a time to celebrate Christs birth, and to enjoy Peace on Earth. And yet, for the Onkwehonweh, this is something that we are suppose to live our life by. Every day. Not just one day of the year. Just like many of the other
Christian/Calendar holidays. Mothers Day, Fathers Day etc. Why would you only honour your mother and father on one day of the year. So why do we only acknowledge this person, Christ, who gave his life for your sins, only one day of the year. In our teachings, He was known as the Peacemaker, and the Kaienerekowah, this Great Law, is the Law or Message of Peace that he brought to help us to live our life by. It is symbolized by the Great White Pine Tree with an Eagle sitting at the top.

I'll share with you this story I was told and then I will explain why. I was told that when the Peacemaker came and our people accepted the Peace, He then told us that He was going to go across the great big waters and deliver this same message to the people over there. He left instructions for our people to cut a notch out of the Great White Pine every day, and if one day that Pine was to bleed, we would know that those people did not accept the Peace and that they had killed Him. So every day, our people cut the notch out of the tree, and finally, there came a day when that
Pine did bleed. Our people were angry and set out to build a big raft and were going to go across those great waters and kill the people that had killed our Peacemaker. But while they were building this raft, the Peacemaker returned to them in spirit and told them not to go across to kill those people. He reminded them of the Peace that we had accepted. He showed them the holes in his hands and feet, and the crown of thorns on his head and he warned our people that there would come a time when those
people would come across the waters to our homelands and it was up to us if we welcomed them and helped them. He also warned our people to beware of the man carrying the black book.

This is something that has never left my mind. It was not the book itself that he warned us of. It was the man who carried the black book, and just like anything written, it can be changed and manipulated to control people. And like everything else in the battle of good vs. evil, right handed twin vs. left handed twin, everything that was good that the right handed twin did, the left handed twin has to undermine. So too has this message of Peace been undermined. This celebration of Peace, that was given to all people, was never intended to be commercialized, nor was it intended only to be acknowledged only one day out of the year. The Eagle,
representing the Onkwehonweh who have the responsiblity to uphold that peace, that rests on top of the Great Tree; was replaced by the Star of David, and the Message of Peace has been replaced by commercialization and the giving of presents. It has become something that is used to further the stress and hardship of the people by putting pressure on parents to go into debt to buy presents for their children based on what?! On Peace? No wonder statistics show that Christmas time has the highest rate of suicide because we are buying into the fraud and continue to teach our
children this fraud. So when I was on my way home from town on Christmas Eve with my daughter, and I had just hung up the phone with my husband who was at the site at Kanehstaton, and I was thinking of the people at the site, who weren't at home with their families enjoying foods and celebrations, but who were there on that site maintaining our position and upholding the Law that Creator gave to us, my tears began to fall. When she asked if I was ok, I told her how I felt. How hypocritical I felt because how I know that this whole Christmas Season is just a fisaude, and
that those people who were at the site were doing exactly what the Creator intended for us to do and what we are obligated to do and how this Peace that we speak of isn't suppose to be only acknowledged one day of the year, and that it isn't about presents, and that even though my tree at home has an Eagle on it rather than a Star, am I truly upholding what the Creator intended by continuing that fisaude. I cried alot of tears that night. But my tears were not for the people at the site, they were for the rest of us. Again, just MY thoughts. And while everyone at
Kanehstaton knows my heart and my spirit is with them even when I can't be, I want to acknowledge all of them who are staying on the site full time, and I want the rest of the world to know that those individuals have my deepest respect because of their committment and dedication to the Onkwehonweh, to our Sovereignty, to the Kaierenekowah and to the Creator. I am truly inspired by you all! Nya Weh Kowah!

For now, that is it for my update. I was asked to give some thought about the new year, and perhaps share some of what I envision for the Onkwehowehonweh. What I envision is a time of change for the Onkwehonweh. I can see the Unity and Peace growing and the Haudenesonne slowly taking back their responsiblities and rightful place in the Governance of the People, and I see the People, knowing it is OUR responsiblity, making sure that this is what happens. I see the Crown finally recognizing that it is the People who are the government and that they can continue to try and manipulate individuals and the elective system, but they will never
manipulate nor dictate to the Onkwehonweh. I know for myself, and in speaking with some of the women who are part of the "negotiations" both band council as well as traditional, we are committed to having more community meetings and updating the people so they are more directly involved with what is going on.

My biggest message is to all of our supporters. For it is with all of you that recognition must be given. When I stood with the Women & Clanmothers in that circle and we sent out the message to re-kindle the Fire of Peace back in April, and I look at how far our message of Peace has reached, and how truly amazing times that we are in and what an impact that this is having on the World, It is all of you that we have to thank. So Nya Weh Kowah to all of you who accepted that Peace and who share that Message with others. Nya Weh to all of those who have supported Kanehstaton
through your financial donations, through your encouraging words, and through your prayers. All of you are greatly appreciated and thought of in our prayers as well.

In Love, Light and Peace,


Carter: US "Prime Culprit" in Nuclear Proliferation

By Sherwood Ross
t r u t h o u t | Guest Contributor

Friday 22 December 2006

Ex-President Carter warns: Bush betrays Reagan goals.

Former President Jimmy Carter says by "rejecting or evading almost all nuclear arms control agreements negotiated during the past 50 years, the United States has now become the prime culprit in global nuclear proliferation."

In his book Our Endangered Values (Simon & Schuster), Carter leaves no doubt he has that Great Proliferator, George W. Bush, in mind -even though he doesn't call him that or mention him by name. Just as damning, though, Carter quotes an article by ex-defense secretary Robert McNamara in last year's May/June Foreign Policy: "I would characterize current US nuclear weapons policy as immoral, illegal, militarily unnecessary and dreadfully dangerous." And that indictment can be laid at the feet of only one hombre.

President Bush voiced his "preventive war" doctrine in September 2002, and then gave the world a glimpse of first-strike by invading Iraq. He also poured billions into America's ugly germ-warfare labs, morphing them into aggressive postures. And he's the first man in Rome when it comes to renewing the dread nuclear arms race. You wonder where the outcry was from stalwart Republicans when Bush decided to resume nuclear arms development. After all, it was President Reagan's noblest achievement to strike a deal with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to rid the planet of thousands of nukes.

....Read the rest of this Guest Contribution here.

The UN’s Christmas present to Haiti

Urgent action alert from the Haiti Action Committee - December 24, 2006

The UN’s Christmas present to Haiti -- A pre-dawn, heavy-caliber assault on the men, women and children of Cite Soleil

In the early morning of Friday, December 22nd, starting at approximately 3 a.m., 400 Brazilian-led UN occupation troops in armored vehicles carried out a massive assault on the people of Cite Soleil, laying siege yet again to the impoverished community. Eyewitness reports said a wave of indiscriminate gunfire from heavy weapons began about 5 a.m. and continued for much of the day Friday -- an operation on the scale of the July 6, 2005 UN massacre in Cite Soleil. Detonations could be heard for miles, AHP reported.

Initial press accounts reported at least 40 casualties, all civilians. According to community testimony, UN forces flew overhead in helicopters and fired down into houses while other troops attacked from the ground with Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs). People were killed in their homes. UN troops from Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Bolivia took part in the all-day siege, backed by Haitian police. UN soldiers once again targeted the Bois Neuf and Drouillard districts of Cite Soleil -- scene of the July 6th massacre.

While reports are still coming in, this is what we do know right now:

* A Reuters photographer "counted 9 bodies, and eyewitnesses counted 4 others dead. As many as 30 people were wounded, humanitarian workers said. All of the casualties are believed to be civilians." (Reuters)

* One Haitian human rights observer personally counted at least 17 dead bodies on the ground. This eyewitness also reported:
+ A woman 6-months pregnant was shot in the stomach, killing the unborn child.
+ A man and his 8-year-old boy were in their beds when a helicopter rained bullets into their house, wounding both.
+ A man named Jacquelin Olivier was killed in his bed when bullets pierced the walls. He leaves a wife and 3-year old boy.

* "The foreigners came shooting for hours without interruption and killed 10 people," said Bois Neuf resident Johnny Claircidor, quoted by Reuters. "They came here to terrorize the population," Cite Soleil resident Rose Martel told Reuters, referring to UN troops and police. "I don't think they really killed any bandits, unless they consider all of us as bandits."

* Agence Haitienne de Presse (AHP) said Cite Soleil "residents report very serious property damage and there are concerns that a critical water shortage may now develop because water cisterns and pipes were punctured by the gunfire."

* "Local residents say the victims were ordinary citizens whose only crime was that they live in the targeted neighborhood." (AHP)

UN soldiers block Red Cross vehicles from coming to aid the wounded
-- According to Pierre Alexis, the Haitian Red Cross co-ordinator for Cite Soleil, the UN soldiers prevented the Haitian Red Cross from treating children injured during the assault. Alexis said that many children were suffering serious injuries, but that UN soldiers blocked Red Cross vehicles from entering Cite Soleil. AHP reported that "residents were outraged that [UN] soldiers refused to allow medical care...for people they had injured." Despite this, St. Catherine's Hospital in Cite Soleil reported receiving many wounded.

Why this latest assault on the people of Cite Soleil? -- UN occupation authorities in Haiti claim it is part of their fight against "bandits" and "kidnappers," scapegoating the 300,000 residents of Cite Soleil. However, it is widely known throughout Port-au-Prince that kidnappers are coming from all sectors, including corrupt police officials and the wealthy. Does the UN lead military assaults on affluent neighborhoods where kidnappers are known to operate? Of course not.

A more plausible explanation comes from grassroots activists in Cite Soleil. They argue that this is "punishment" for their ongoing protests demanding an end to the UN occupation, restoration of full democracy, return of President Aristide, and the release of political prisoners. Additionally, the people of Cite Soleil have been vigorously protesting the December 3rd municipal elections, in which there were widespread allegations of fraud and many from the popular neighborhoods were prevented from voting.

Just recently, on December 16th, the people of Cite Soleil led a massive protest throughout Port-au-Prince marking the anniversary of Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s first election as president in 1990. [They marched despite the UN shooting up the district the night before, in what was widely viewed as a UN attempt to intimidate the populace on the eve of the march.] In the week following the march, tensions continued to escalate, culminating in the December 22nd assault by UN forces under Brazilian command.

Enough is enough! Join us in denouncing the ongoing UN terror attacks on the Haitian people!

Now is the time for people in the US and throughout the world to step up our solidarity efforts with the people of Haiti. Our protests, calls and letters after the UN massacre in Cite Soleil on July 6th, 2005 -- and the many UN attacks since then -- need to be updated, expanded, intensified. Demand an end to the UN’s repeated, brutal assaults on this besieged community.

Email or fax the UN official below. Keep it brief.

*** Denounce the massive, heavy-caliber assault on the citizens of Cite Soleil by UN occupation forces on Dec. 22, 2006.

*** Demand reparations for the victims and their families.
*** Demand prosecution of the UN officials, commanders and soldiers responsible for this latest UN atrocity in Haiti.

TO: Edmond Mulet, UN Special Representative in Haiti -- fax 011-509-244-3512

cc to: Thierry Fagart, UN Human Rights chief in Haiti --
fax 011-509-244-9366

cc to: Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights -- fax 011-41-22-917-9011

For more information: 510 483 7481 or email and

MidEast Dispatches: When Iraqis Gave Up on Government

This is today's dispatch from independent American journalist Dahr Jamail. He writes about the fragmented, ineffectual government in Iraq and the dire outlook for 2007.

As all of Dahr's dispatches, this is reprinted here with the journalist's kind permission.

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

When Iraqis Gave Up on Government

*Inter Press Service*

Dahr Jamail and Ali Al-Fadhily

*BAGHDAD, Dec 27 (IPS) - The Iraqi government headed by Prime Minister Noori al-Maliki, like earlier governments assigned by U.S. occupation authorities in Iraq, appears to have killed Iraqi dreams of a brighter future.*

General elections Dec. 15, 2005 brought in a government that was supposed to listen to Iraqis all over the country. It was called a unity government because the cabinet was formed to include ministers from all ethnic and sectarian backgrounds after months of negotiations in the parliament.

"This is a unity government that no one should object to," al-Maliki told reporters recently in Baghdad. "All of the powers in parliament should take part in improving security and services in order to achieve success."

Maliki condemned groups such as Jabhat al-Tawafuq and The Iraqi Front for National Dialogue, along with other political groups who have been critical of the government.

Jabhat al-Tawafuq comprises three leading Sunni groups: the Iraqi Islamic Party, the Iraqi People's Conference and the National Dialogue Council. Their platform is based on national unity and ending the occupation.

The Iraqi Front for National Dialogue also stands for ending the occupation, rebuilding government institutions and improving the economic and security situation.

But opposition leaders blame Maliki for denying them a role within government, undermining his claim that there is indeed a unity government.

"We are not really in the government," Tariq al-Hashimi, leader of the Islamic Party, and one of Iraq's two vice-presidents told IPS earlier. "Maliki and his coalition never gave us any real role in the government, and our ministers' actions are therefore paralysed."

Hashimi's group, like other Sunni groups and also some moderate Shia groups, are nearly voiceless in the feeble Iraqi government.

The dominant Shia coalition was formed in accordance with advice from Iranian-born Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the revered Shia cleric who lives in Najaf in the south. This coalition of Shia parties was formed to secure power against a list of secular parties led by former interim prime minister Iyad Allawi who formed 'The Iraqi List'.

The power of the Shia coalition forced reluctant Sunnis to participate in the elections by banding together with their own list in order to win the votes of Sunnis. The entire political process was divided along religious and sectarian lines, and along ethnic lines because the Kurdish list included all of the Kurdish parties.

Given this background, few Iraqis are surprised that their government is fractured and fragmented, and at odds with itself.

"This government will definitely lead the country into disaster," Dr. Salih al-Mutlaq, leader of The Iraqi Front for National Dialogue told IPS earlier. "The country will slide into civil war if this sectarian attitude remains, and that is why we decided not to participate in this government."

Former prime minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, with the support of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, took over April 7, 2005. But Jaafari was rejected by all other groups, and also by some parties within the Shia coalition for his failure to lead the country.

Maliki was then assigned the job of prime minister on condition of fair distribution of in the cabinet amongst winners, and fair treatment to all Iraqis regardless of their religious or ethnic identity.

"Things only got worse, and this government and parliament won the title of the worst in the history of Iraq," Thafir al-Ani from al-Tawafuq told IPS. "The whole system needs to be changed, or else the country will be divided into small states, and the catastrophe will be too vast to be corrected."

Al-Ani cited recent polls to say that more than 90 percent of Iraqis are angry with the government. People continue to blame the government for everything going wrong from the high level of violence to lack of employment and of water and electricity.

One of the darkest clouds of illegitimacy over the Iraqi government is the alignment of top officials with the Sadr Movement, which has been accused of backing most of the sectarian death squads that are now the leading cause of death in Iraq.

"This government failed on all the promises it made to Iraqis, and so all Iraqis want it changed," Muhammad Basher al-Faidhy, spokesman for the Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars told IPS. "They are sorry they ever took part in the elections. Our Association warned Iraqis that this government would be the worst ever. They simply cannot get rid of death squads because they are their major ally."

Most Iraqis see no future for Maliki's struggling government, which barely controls the so-called Green Zone in Baghdad where its offices are located. The rest of the country is fragmented, and the economy and infrastructure are in ruins.

"They are going down despite the huge support they are getting from the U.S. administration," Iraqi analyst Maki al-Nazzal told IPS. "They are faced by an international denial after their resounding failure in facing the deteriorating security situation and the comprehensive collapse in services and reconstruction."

On the other hand, the Sadr movement finds itself in a strong enough situation to turn away from al-Maliki and his Dawa Party. Sadr leaders are now calling for early elections, and they are confident of winning without other support, says their spokesman Hassan al-Zarqani.

"It seems that the United States have chosen the wrong ally once more," Zarqani told IPS. "So they will have to reconsider yet again." Sadr had recently pulled his representatives from the government, but they came back.

Meanwhile, another crisis has arisen. Grand Ayatollah Sistani announced last week that he will not support a U.S.-backed plan to build a coalition across sectarian lines. The plan would have sought to marginalise Muqtada al-Sadr by dividing the Shias.

Resistance to the occupation is rising, on the streets and politically, as support for the government falls. Not a promising start to 2007.

(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

MidEast Dispatches: Children Pick Their Christmas Toys

In this MidEast Dispatch, independent American journalist Dahr Jamail writes about the children of Iraq: the psychological affects caused by the violent and chaotic occupation of their country. Iraq's children face a tragic present and a bleak, emotionally-scarred, uncertain future.

This dispatch is republished here with Dahr's kind permission.

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

Children Pick Their Christmas Toys

*Inter Press Service*

Dahr Jamail and Ali Al-Fadhily

*FALLUJAH, Dec 25 (IPS) - Ahmed Ghazi has little reason to stock Christmas toys at his shop in Fallujah. He knows what children want these days.*

"It is best for us to import toys such as guns and tanks because they are most saleable in Iraq to little boys," Ghazi told IPS. "Children try to imitate what they see out of their windows."

And there are particular imports for girls, too, he said. "Girls prefer crying dolls to others that dance or play music and songs."

As children in the United States and around the world celebrate Christmas, and prepare to celebrate the New Year, children in Iraq occupy a quite different world, with toys to match.

Social researcher Nuha Khalil from the Iraqi Institute for Childhood Development in Baghdad told IPS that young girls are now expressing their repressed sadness often by playing the role of a mother who takes care of her small daughter.

"Looking around, they only see gatherings of mourning ladies who lost their beloved ones," said Khalil. "Our job of comforting these little girls and remedying the damage within them is next to impossible."

Hundreds of thousands of children have faced trauma of some sort. And for others, the lack of a normal life is trauma enough.

Just a lack of entertainment is developing into a serious problem. There are only 10 cinemas in Baghdad, and two dilapidated public parks. These are no longer safe for children.

Children do not go out much to play, and they are not sure of home any more. The United Nations estimates that more than 100,000 Iraqis are fleeing the country every month. The number of Iraqis living in other Arab countries is now more than 1.8 million. There are in addition more than 1.6 million internally displaced people within Iraq.

The group Refugees International says that the increasing number of people fleeing Iraq means that this refugee crisis might soon overtake that in Darfur. And children suffer most from leaving, and they suffer most where they go.

"Homeless children are inclined to be rough, and isolated from their new neighbourhood and new school colleagues," Hayam al-Ukaili, a primary school headmistress in Fallujah told IPS. "They do not mix in with their new atmosphere as they should. It is as if they feel it is imposed upon them, and they simply reject it."

Teachers and social workers say children have begun to nurse a strong hatred of the United States. No more is the United States the image of a good life.

"Children have lost hope in the United States and the Iraqi government after the situation has only worsened every day," Abdul Wahid Nathum, researcher for an Iraqi NGO which assists children told IPS in Baghdad (he did not want the organisation to be named).

"Their understanding of the ongoing events is incredible," he said. "It is probably because the elder members of the family keep talking politics and watching news. Talking to a 12-year-old child, one would be surprised by the huge amount of news inside his head, which is not right."

"Children are the most affected by the tragic events," Dr. Khalil al-Kubaissi, a psychotherapist in Fallujah told IPS. "Their fragile personalities cannot face the loss of a parent or the family house along with all the horror that surrounds them. The result is catastrophic, and Iraqi children are in serious danger of lapsing into loneliness or violence."

The difficulties of children have become particularly noticeable this year. "The only things they have on their minds are guns, bullets, death and a fear of the U.S. occupation," Maruan Abdullah, spokesman for the Association of Psychologists of Iraq told reporters at the launch of a study in February this year.

The report warned that "children in Iraq are seriously suffering psychologically with all the insecurity, especially with the fear of kidnapping and explosions."

The API surveyed more than 1,000 children throughout Iraq over a four-month period and found that "92 percent of the children examined were found to have learning impediments, largely attributable to the current climate of fear and insecurity."

With nearly half of Iraq's population under 18 years of age, the devastating impact of the violent and chaotic occupation is that much greater. Three wars since 1980, a refugee crisis of staggering proportions, loss of family members, suicide attacks, car bombs and the constant threat of home raids by occupation soldiers or death squads have meant that young Iraqis are shattered physically and mentally.

As early as April 2003, the United Nations Children's Fund had estimated that half a million Iraqi children had been traumatized by the U.S.-led invasion. The situation has degenerated drastically since then.

A report issued by Iraq's Ministry of Education earlier this year found that 64 children had been killed and 57 wounded in 417 attacks on schools within just a four-month period. In all 47 children were kidnapped on their way to or from school over the period.

(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

Boyle Interview: Impending Police State in America

Info Clearing House - Dec 23, 2006

Impending Police State in America

Interview with Professor Francis Boyle

Francis A Boyle says 9/11 was allowed to happen, war on terror is facilitating the downfall of The Republic, concentration camps are in place and US citizens are the targets.

Alex Jones was joined on air this week by a leading American professor, practitioner of and expert on international law to discuss his detailed knowledge of the cover up of the 2001 anthrax attacks, which he is adamant were perpetrated by criminal elements of the US government in an attempt to foment a police state by killing off opposition to hardline post 9/11 legislation.

Dr Franics A. Boyle literally helped write the law with regards to terrorism, as he was responsible for drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 that was passed unanimously by both Houses of Congress and signed into law by President Bush Snr.

Professor Boyle teaches international law at the University of Illinois, Champaign. He holds a Doctor of Law Magna Cum Laude as well as a Ph.D. in Political Science, both from Harvard University. He has also served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International (1988-1992), and represented Bosnia- Herzegovina at the World Court.

The professor started off by explaining the motivation behind the October 2001 anthrax attacks:
...Read this article here.

Omega-News Collection 23. December 2006

Climate set to go from bad to worse
http://freepage. stories/3097929/

Leading German Researcher: Oceans Warming and Rising
http://freepage. stories/3099632/

Climate change: So where has all the snow gone?
http://freepage. stories/3076598/

Oceans May Rise Up To 4 ft 7 in By 2100
http://freepage. stories/3074621/

The Last Tide Could Come at Any Time, Then These Islands at the End of
the Earth Will Simply Vanish
http://freepage. stories/3097454/

New Brunswick's Coastline Victim Of Global Warming
http://freepage. stories/3079265/

China's River Dolphin Declared Extinct
http://freepage. stories/3083704/

Nature responds to warming signs
http://freepage. stories/3097984/

Climate Change vs Mother Nature: Scientists Reveal That Bears Have
Stopped Hibernating
http://freepage. stories/3097435/

The Year the World Woke Up
http://freepage. stories/3093073/

http://omega. topics/Vote+ USA+2004/
http://freepage. topics/USA/

Iraq War
http://omega. topics/Irak- Krieg/
http://freepage. topics/Iraq+ War+-+Irak+ Krieg/

Is Iran next?
http://omega. topics/Is+ Iran+next/
http://freepage. topics/Is+ Iran+next/

http://omega. topics/RFID/

EMF-Omega-News 23. December 2006
http://omega. stories/3099809/

http://www.buergerw start.html
http://groups. group/emf- omega-news/

Missile Defense: U.S. on Collision Course with Russia

23 Dec. 2006
Ballistic Missile Defense: U.S. on collision course
with Russia
By Martin Sieff
Published Dec/15/2006

U.S. plans to deploy ABM systems in Central Europe

By Martin Sieff
UPI Senior News Analyst

http://wpherald. com/articles/ 2612/1/Ballistic -Missile- Defense-US- on-collision- course-with- Russia/US- plans-to- deploy-ABM- systems-in-Central-Europe.html

New Video for Sale on Conversion Talk

The Necessity of the Conversion of the Military Industrial Complex
Video of Bruce Gagnon's Speech at Chautauqua, N.Y.
The Global Network now has for sale a new one-hour video of a speech by Bruce Gagnon at the Chautauqua Institution on July 4, 2006.
The video, produced by Snowshoe Films, has been created for airing on local cable TV stations and for showing to local groups.
In the talk Gagnon discusses the U.S. occupation of Iraq, the use of space technology to direct modern warfare, Bush's new offensive national space policy directive, and a transformative vision of economic conversion for ending America's addiction to militarism and endless war.
The talk was hosted by the Chautauqua Society for Peace and Social Justice. The video ends with bonus coverage of footage of Gagnon being interviewed on two different radio shows while at Chautauqua.
The video sells for $13 (includes s/h).
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 729-0517
http://space4peace. blogspot. com (our blog)

Puerto Rico: Latin America Calls for Independence as Congress Considers Change

By Juan Antonio Ocasio Rivera

joboriken@aol. com

December 20, 2006


Simon Bolivar, the Great Liberator of the Americas, landed in Vieques, Puerto Rico in 1816; Puerto Rico formed part of his dream of regional integration after independence of all Latin American countries were eventually won.

The case of Puerto Rico once again has reached climactic levels of activity and attention around the world, only to be ignored once again by mainstream US media.

In late November, the United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, which actually governs American territories like Puerto Rico, held hearings on the political status of the island, with a particular focus on the report issued last year by a White House working group on the issue (http://nylatinojour puerto_rico_ x/essay/puerto_ rico_bearing_ her_chains_ 3.html).

The report outlined some possible permanent status options, namely statehood and independence (which included a sub-option of free association) . It invalidated the usefulness and relevance of Puerto Rico 's current status, saying it was a temporary territorial status that eventually had to be changed.

Reducing the issue to the three traditional status options no longer seems to interest some Senators. Instead, this hearing was dominated by the report's contention that Puerto Rico 's current status is only temporary, that its creation was not an act of self-determination, and that something must be done to end this territorial status. The report contends that Puerto Rico is merely a territory of the United States and even claims that the US can legally cede or give Puerto Rico to another nation.

Some in Congress are keenly aware that Puerto Rico is a colony and must be decolonized. However, they miss the mark thinking that the people must choose between independence and statehood.

How can one militarily invade a country and then ask its people what they want their future to be while they remain in occupation of that country, having violently and brutally manipulated political public opinion for decades? Fear and dependency will be the only salient factors in the outcome of that vote, not pride, dignity, and national self interest.

While these hearings were occurring, the first International Congress to support Puerto Rican Independence was coming to a close in Panama , the newest member of the United Nations Security Council. This historic meeting featured government and other political representatives from 30 countries all over the world, with a particularly strong representation from Latin America (http://www.independ topicos/panama/ cpi_panama_ nov06.html# ingls).

The countries of Latin America have now realized and come to terms with the fact that Puerto Rico 's inability to gain its national independence and languish in a colonial state is an issue that strikes close to home and is one that is an affront to their own sovereignty. They are finally reclaiming the archipelago as one of their own, the last bastion of colonialism in the hemisphere that needs to be moved towards freedom and democracy. To that end, these leaders and countries have committed themselves to taking a more direct and active role in advocating for and promoting the decolonization of Puerto Rico and in pressuring the United States to allow this to occur.

As part of his opening remarks, the President of Panama, Martin Torrijos, declared, “the full incorporation of Puerto Rico into the family of the Latin American and Caribbean republics has been present for over a century in the discourse of almost all political and ideological trends in our Americas .” He remarked as well that Latin America’s dreams of an independent Puerto Rico go back via a moral and cultural debt to Simon Bolivar (http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/ Simon_Bolivar) and Jose Marti (http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/ Jose_Marti), but that until now the region has not known how to honor that debt, having been absent from that debate all this time. He exclaimed, “Puerto Rico is a Latin American and Caribbean nation…we cannot be indifferent to that discussion nor absent from it. On the contrary, we must be an active part of an adequate solution.” He declared as well that “Puerto Rico is the only Latin American nation that remains under colonial rule” and that the solution to this problem is an issue of principle and should be a continental priority. In the end, the Panamanian President expressed the will of the overall Congress by declaring that all of Latin America would offer its good offices, encourage this agreement/solution and be a guarantor of its fulfillment and sustainability.

With all this talk of independence, it is clear that the Senate of the USA still does not understand, naturally as the island's colonial master, that statehood cannot and should never be an option for decolonization. It is wrong morally and it is a violation of international law.

The only true decolonization is the reversal of the act of violent colonization and conquest and that is freedom and independence. Independence is an inalienable right and to think that there could possibly be any legitimacy in a colonized people surrendering that right under any circumstance is not only abominable, but in this case criminal.

To rest totally upon the public opinion of the electorate in Puerto Rico is erroneous and would be a tragic mistake. Ours is a people who have experienced the following violations, indicative of the brutality and abusive nature of colonialism: the forced and secretive sterilization of 30% of Puerto Rican women, the experimentation on Puerto Rican lands and forest with Agent Orange and other biological weapons, the test on Puerto Ricans lands of radioactive depleted uranium weapons, the highly brutal campaigns of repression against the independence movement, including surveillance, harassment, incarceration, bombings, torture, assassinations, and interference in electoral processes (designed to undermine any support for any change in the status quo), the attempted cultural genocide via our educational system, the forced migration of millions of Puerto Ricans to the US, the illegal expropriation of lands by the military for weapons storage and target practice all over the island but especially on Culebra and Vieques leading to human suffering and cancer and severe environmental destruction, the unjust incarceration of our freedom fighters/political prisoners, and the inexcusable political neglect that is part and parcel of the current Commonwealth system that leaves our people powerless to enact any meaningful policy initiatives to combat the very serious social ills present on the island.

The violence and manipulation engaged on against the people has produced the division that we witness today and the fear and dependency also seen today. As our movement works to overcome those colonially-manufact ured dynamics, the rest of Latin America is moving towards self-determination and multi-national unity.

Latin America will not allow Puerto Rico to be swallowed up by the United States . Congress will likely be and has historically been reluctant to incorporate a true Latin American nation with a history of violent nationalist struggle into their midst, especially now that the Latin American bloc of nations has formally expressed its consideration of Puerto Rico as a sister nation and called for her independence.

Additionally, Puerto Ricans both on the island and in the US will fiercely resist statehood as they have historically resisted the immoral and demoralizing powerless status of colonialism known as the Commonwealth, a colonialism that the UN has classified as a crime and an impediment to world peace.

As Latin America moves to reclaim her forgotten sister nation, the US Senate engages in futile and unnecessary banter in its own chambers. The hearing is a case in point for Puerto Rican anti-colonialists which highlight their inability to make status changes unless authorized by Congress. The hearing is an exercise in seeking permission to become who we want to become, and the Senate will grant or not grant that permission, while the FBI continues to scare us into confusion with its violent attacks on the independence movement. This is a recipe for disaster and embarrassment.

The Senate should recognize the harm done to Puerto Rico and in particular to its political pubic opinion and begin a process of rectifying the economic dependence they fostered in order to facilitate a transition towards sovereignty.

They could conceivably work in partnership with this Latin American Congress for Puerto Rico’s Independence and with the UN's Decolonization Committee to move this process forward, showing good faith, responsibility, and thus highlight international collaboration and diplomacy at work. Let us remember that this Committee has consistently called for the US to initiate self-determination and independence for the island since the 1970s.

In an ideal world, the Senate and the Executive would also free the remaining Puerto Rican Political prisoners (http://www.proliber index.html) and order their secret police, the FBI, to cease all repression against the independence movement. Actually, under UN guidelines, the US should completely pull out of the island and allow the UN to oversee the Decolonization process so the people can freely make a decision without coercion. They could do these things.

Or they can continue to be viewed as bulwarks of colonialism, of imperialism, arrogant in their rejection of law and order, abusive and indifferent to the human rights of the people they so often violently attack and invade. They will continue to feel the verbal assault that has accompanied their disastrous foreign policies and a new pressure from a recently reborn Latin American bloc of nations.

To do otherwise, to push for a vote between independence and statehood or even a vote between independence, statehood, and Commonwealth, would be a waste of time that would:

- be manipulated by the dominant political parties in Puerto Rico with their lobbyists in Washington and with their histories of corruption, all with an eye toward remaining in power of local government and its budget

- further stratify and divide the people and an electorate traumatized by violence, political repression, and hunger - and enamored by federal grants, credit, and consumerism.

The result would be a pathetic display of circus-like competition with no option winning a clear overwhelming majority. Then Congress would again blame our division for their inaction, again shirking responsibility for the actions of its government in the terrorizing and division of Puerto Rico .

Freedom and democracy must reign in Puerto Rico . Choosing between freedom and continued colonialism (Commonwealth) and entrenched colonialism (statehood) is not democracy. Statehood for Puerto Rico would still be a colonial status, because it would mean annexing an entire nation after having invaded it. Statehood is not decolonization; it is the final stage of American colonialism and an inherently brutal and violent act.

The historic Latin American Congress is indeed an advance for the liberation of the island, as was the recent meeting of the Movement of Non-Aligned Nations, which also fully declared its support for Puerto Rico 's self-determination and independence.

While the Senate lines its pockets with Puerto Rican taxpayer money (even though island residents don't pay federal taxes), the archipelago languishes in a powerless colonial condition that prevents it from addressing its very serious issues of violent crime, drug trade, immigration, economic dependence and growth, environmental destruction, land use and development, drug and alcohol addiction, education, natural resource use and protection, and family violence and mental health.

It is time for America to think outside the box and see independence as the only true empowering option. It is also time for Puerto Ricans to shed the self-defeating artificial fears which have taught them that independence means starvation and failure.

Congressional release of the territory would not be a colonial act. It would be an act of reconciliation and an act that would validate the heroic struggle of the Puerto Rican freedom movement and of basic international human rights.

For freedom lovers around the world, it would mean the consummation of the dreams of the great liberator Simon Bolivar, who 180 years ago held a summit in Panama to promote his vision of an integrated nation of Latin American countries. This great nation included Puerto Rico in its vision. It is what the progressive governments of Latin America are talking about today, and it is what the US Senate will be forced to deal with tomorrow.

They have a chance now to make it right, if they truly believe in freedom and democracy. To do otherwise would be to further disgrace themselves, their people, and the ideals which framed their Republic.

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Check out: www.september23. org

"Hacer es la mejor manera de decir" - Jose Martí

"I have been frequently asked if i believed i would see the independence of my country. Systematically i answer that i have already seen it. Whoever fights with all he has for the independence of Puerto Rico lives independence, is free, is sovereign, is independent, as all our people will be on the day of victory." - Comandante Juan Antonio Corretjer (1908-1985), September 23, 1978

"Nosotros iremos hacia el sol de la libertad o hacia la muerte; y si morimos, nuestra causa seguirá viviendo. Otros nos seguirán." - Augusto Sandino

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