• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

zaterdag 13 mei 2006

Martelen 41

Common Dreams bericht: 'Rice, Rumsfeld Block Access to Secret Detainees: International Red Cross. GENEVA - The United States has again refused the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) access to terrorism suspects held in secret detention centers, the humanitarian agency said on Friday. The overnight statement was issued after talks in Washington between ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger and senior officials, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.
"Mr. Kellenberger deplored the fact that the U.S. authorities had not moved closer to granting the ICRC access to persons held in undisclosed locations," the Geneva-based agency said.
Kellenberger said: "No matter how legitimate the grounds for detention, there exists no right to conceal a person's whereabouts or to deny that he or she is being detained." The former senior Swiss diplomat said that the ICRC would continue to seek access to such people as a matter of priority. The main objective of his annual visit this week was for the ICRC to be granted access to "all persons held by the U.S. in the context of the fight against terrorism, an issue he first raised with the U.S. government over two years ago," the agency said. ' Lees verder:

Irak 75

Het verhaal van een moeder van een dode Amerikaanse soldaat. 'A Somber Mother's Day Weekend in DCA. Report by Geoffrey Millard and Scott Galindez. This Mother's Day will not be a time of joy for the almost 2,500 mothers who have lost their son or daughter in Iraq. Many of those mothers will be in Washington, DC, participating in a weekend full of activities ranging from a silent march to a 24-hour vigil. TruthOut's Geoffrey Millard and Scott Galindez are in Washington and will be sending in video reports throughout the weekend.' Zie: http://www.truthout.org/multimedia.htm

Nederland en Afghanistan 71

De Boston Globe bericht: 'Widows Reach Beyond 9/11 to Aid Afghans. KABUL, Afghanistan - The two Massachusetts women walk down a fly-infested alley where sewage from mud huts drains onto the dirt walkway. In a tiny backyard, they find two dozen chickens, five children -- and one Afghan war widow. Patti Quigley of Wellesley and Susan Retik of Needham -- whose husbands were killed in the Sept. 11 attacks -- decided to use the financial support they received afterward to help war widows in Afghanistan, where the Al Qaeda planners of the terrorist strikes found harbor. Yesterday, they met for the first time one of the recipients of their donations -- an Afghan mother who now has a small chicken farm. The Americans, their heads wrapped in scarves out of respect for local tradition, peppered her with questions: How many chickens do you have? How many eggs do you get? What do you do with the money? She answered: The chickens produce 10 eggs a day. The family eats some of them and sells the rest. She buys food and school supplies with the money. Retik then asked what she had traveled across the world to learn: Is your life better because of this program? The woman, whose small home has dirt floors and drapes for doors, answered honestly: ''It's OK, but not great," said Ahqela, who has only one name and says she is 35, but looks far older. Her husband died in Afghanistan's civil war in the 1990s. ''I can at least buy some things with this money." Quigley and Retik were both pregnant when hijacked jets carrying their husbands crashed into the World Trade Center in 2001, and met after the attacks. Retik saw an Oprah Winfrey show on Afghan women soon after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, and the two widows decided to help Afghan women. ''The differences were so stark between what we were receiving and what they had," said Retik, 38, who has a son, 8, and two daughters, 6 and 4. ''We already had everything we could want," said Quigley, 42, who has two daughters, ages 10 and 4.
Quigley's remarks were amplified last night by her sister, Ann Marie Crafts, who expressed pride in her sister and said that the trip has a deep meaning for the two women. ''The way that I see it mostly is that she and Susan get so much support from their family and their community, and they saw that other women weren't getting the same thing," Crafts said by phone from her home in Chelmsford.' Lees verder:
Of: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0512-06.htm

Hirsi Ali 6

Naar aanleiding van de uitzending van Zembla over Hirsi Ali/Magan schreef ik afgelopen donderdag dat zowel mevrouw Ali/Magan als minister Verdonk in politieke moeilijkheden kunnen komen: 'Aan de hand van de Wet op het Nederlanderschap kan minister Verdonk de naturalisatie nietig verklaren, zelfs al zou ze daardoor statenloos worden. Verdonk heeft dit de afgelopen tijd al in meerdere gevallen gedaan,' aldus een mij bevriende emeritus hoogleraar. Zie: http://stanvanhoucke.blogspot.com/2006/05/hirsi-ali-3.html Vandaag bericht het dagblad Trouw:
'Twijfel over status Hirsi Ali.
"Liegen is reden om iemand Nederland uit te zetten."
van onze verslaggevers.
VVD-kamerlid Ayaan Hirsi Ali bezit waarschijnlijk ten onrechte het Nederlanderschap. Dit volgt uit jurisprudentie van de Hoge Raad uit 2005 over een zaak van een Iraaks gezin. De Hoge Raad verwierp in november 2005 een beroep van een Iraaks gezin, dat na een beslissing van de Haagse rechtbank de Nederlandse nationaliteit was kwijtgeraakt. De ouders hadden valse namen en geboortedata opgegeven bij hun verzoek om naturalisatie. Volgens naturalisatie-expert prof. René de Groot moet minister Verdonk (vreemdelingenzaken en integratie) ’ogenblikkelijk’ een onderzoek instellen naar het Nederlanderschap van Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Volgens de Maastrichtse hoogleraar is niet uit te sluiten dat Hirsi Ali identiteitsfraude pleegde bij het aanvragen van de Nederlandse nationaliteit. De Hoge Raad bepaalde in 2005 dat een naturalisatiebesluit waarin valse persoonsgegevens zijn opgenomen, niet rechtsgeldig is.
In het tv-programma ’Zembla’ herhaalde Hirsi Ali donderdagavond dat zij bij haar komst naar Nederland, begin jaren ’90, een valse naam opgaf en loog over haar geboortejaar. Hirsi Ali heet eigenlijk Hirsi Magan.' Lees verder:
article314924.ece/Twijfel+over+status+Hirsi+Ali+++ Intussen heeft de geloofwaardigheid van de 'liberale' volksvertegenwoordigster een forse deuk opgelopen, tenminste als we afgaan op de percentages van het radioprogramma Stand.nl. want 70 procent is het eens met de stelling: 'Ayaan Hirsi Ali heeft haar politieke geloofwaardigheid verloren.' Een opmerkelijk percentage gezien het feit dat haar claque van oudere heren onmiddellijk in de media hun woede over de Zembla-uitzending ventileerden.
Gedwongen door haar achterban is de populist Verdonk in het nauw gebracht. RTL-Nieuws meldt nu: 'Minister Verdonk van Integratie gaat de naturalisatie van Kamerlid Hirsi Ali toch onderzoeken. De minister laat de 'aspecten van de naturalisatie bekijken', aldus een woordvoerder. Gelogen. VVD-lid Hirsi Ali geeft al jaren toe te hebben gelogen om een verblijfsvergunning te krijgen. In een uitzending van Zembla donderdag verklaarden familieleden bovendien dat zij destijds niet tegen haar zin was uitgehuwelijkt en dat zij niet bang was voor haar familie. Dat had Hirsi Ali wel altijd beweerd. Naar aanleiding van die uitzending stelden Kamerleden, onder wie Hilbrand Nawijn, vragen over de kwestie. Verdonk zei vrijdag dat Hirsi Ali niets te vrezen heeft. Of dat nu wel het geval is, wilde de woordvoerder niet zeggen.'

Big Brother 13

De Amerikaanse onderzoeksjournalist Greg Palast schrijft: 'THE SPIES WHO SHAG US. The Times and USA Today have Missed the Bigger Story. I know you're shocked -- SHOCKED! -- that George Bush is listening in on all your phone calls. Without a warrant. That's nothing. And it's not news. This is: the snooping into your phone bill is just the snout of the pig of a strange, lucrative link-up between the Administration's Homeland Security spy network and private companies operating beyond the reach of the laws meant to protect us from our government. You can call it the privatization of the FBI -- though it is better described as the creation of a private KGB.

For the full story, see "Double Cheese With Fear," in Armed Madhouse: Who's Afraid of Osama Wolf and Other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War." ********************

The leader in the field of what is called "data mining," is a company, formed in 1997, called, "ChoicePoint, Inc," which has sucked up over a billion dollars in national security contracts.
Worried about Dick Cheney listening in Sunday on your call to Mom? That ain't nothing. You should be more concerned that they are linking this info to your medical records, your bill purchases and your entire personal profile including, not incidentally, your voting registration. Five years ago, I discovered that ChoicePoint had already gathered 16 billion data files on Americans -- and I know they've expanded their ops at an explosive rate. They are paid to keep an eye on you -- because the FBI can't. For the government to collect this stuff is against the law unless you're suspected of a crime. (The law in question is the Constitution.) But ChoicePoint can collect if for "commercial" purchases -- and under the Bush Administration's suspect reading of the Patriot Act -- our domestic spying apparatchiks can then BUY the info from ChoicePoint.
Who ARE these guys selling George Bush a piece of you? ChoicePoint's board has more Republicans than a Palm Beach country club. It was funded, and its board stocked, by such Republican sugar daddies as billionaires Bernie Marcus and Ken Langone -- even after Langone was charged by the Securities Exchange Commission with abuse of inside information.
I first ran across these guys in 2000 in Florida when our Guardian/BBC team discovered the list of 94,000 "felons" that Katherine Harris had ordered removed from Florida's voter rolls before the election. Virtually every voter purged was innocent of any crime except, in most cases, Voting While Black. Who came up with this electoral hit list that gave Bush the White House? ChoicePoint, Inc.' Lees verder: http://www.gregpalast.com/detail.cfm?artid=502&row=0

Martelen 40

De American Civil Liberties Union bericht: 'ACLU Seeks Justice For Khalid El-Masri, Victim of CIA Policy of Extraordinary Rendition. Widely Publicized CIA Kidnapping of German Citizen is No "State Secret," ACLU Charges, Fights U.S. Government's Attempt to Dismiss Case.
ALEXANDRIA, VA -- The American Civil Liberties Union argued its case on the illegal abduction and detention of Khalid El-Masri today before a federal court in Alexandria. The ACLU said El-Masri is an innocent German citizen who was victimized by the CIA's policy of "extraordinary rendition." In today's hearing the CIA argued that the case must be dismissed because of the danger that 'state secrets' may be exposed. "By the CIA's reasoning, the entire world can discuss this case, newspapers can write about it, foreign governments can investigate it, but the court has no role," said Ben Wizner, the ACLU staff attorney who presented arguments this morning. "The idea that the court must close its eyes and ears to common sense, and protect the nation from disclosure of information that the whole world already knows, is simply absurd." The landmark lawsuit charges that former CIA Director George Tenet violated U.S. and universal human rights laws when he authorized agents to abduct El-Masri, beat him, drug him and transport him to a secret CIA prison in Afghanistan. The corporations that owned and operated the airplanes are also named in the case. The CIA continued to hold El-Masri incommunicado in the notorious "Salt Pit" prison in Afghanistan long after his innocence was known. Five months after his abduction El-Masri was deposited at night, without explanation on a hill in Albania, never having been charged with a crime. According to the ACLU the government has been invoking the state secrets argument with more regularity in an effort to avoid the exposure of illegal and immoral practices, including, most recently, in an effort to dismiss suits challenging illegal NSA wiretapping. Yet in this case, the ACLU argues that all the information is already public. Recently, a special committee of the European Parliament issued an interim report concluding that the CIA has on several occasions illegally kidnapped and detained individuals in European countries. The report also found that the CIA detained and then secretly used airlines to transfer persons to countries like Egypt and Afghanistan, which routinely use torture during interrogations. Members of the European investigative committee have been in the United States for several days to meet with the ACLU and Members of Congress. A parliamentary inquiry into El-Masri's kidnapping is also currently ongoing in Germany. The ACLU has also called on a United Nations human rights investigative body, the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, to conduct a full investigation into the United States' "extraordinary rendition" program. Background and briefs on the case are online at: www.aclu.org/rendition' Zie ook: http://www.jinxmagazine.com/cia_torture.html

vrijdag 12 mei 2006

Mike Davis

Tom Engelhardt interviewt de Amerikaanse auteur Mike Davis. 'Humanity's Ground Zero.
Tomdispatch Interview: Mike Davis, Turning a Planet into a Slum (Part 1). Mike Davis, whose first book about Los Angeles, City of Quartz, burst into bestsellerdom and put him on the map as this country's most innovative urban scholar, has since written about everything from the literary destruction of LA to Victorian holocausts of the 19th century and the potential avian flu pandemic of our own moment. He has most recently turned his restless, searching brain upon the global city in a new book, Planet of Slums, whose conclusions are so startling that I thought they should be the basis for our conversation. We create a makeshift spot in the living room, my tape recorders between us, and begin. Davis has in him something of the older, nearly lost American tradition of the autodidact. In a tribal world, he would certainly have been any tribe's storyteller of choice. Midway through our interview, which is largely an inspired monologue, we are suddenly interrupted by weeping from elsewhere in the house. Casey has awoken from her nap upset. He quickly excuses himself, returning moments later with a collapsed, still sniffling, dark-haired little girl in pink pants and shirt on his shoulder. Under his ministrations she perks up, then sits up, then begins to talk, hardly less volubly (though slightly less comprehensibly) than her father. Soon she is seated inside the large plastic house, engaging both of us in a game of "big bad wolf." When she wanders off, perhaps twenty minutes later, he turns back to me and, before I can cue him on the interview (I've just checked his last words), he picks up in mid-sentence exactly where he left off and just rolls on. Tomdispatch: I was hoping you would start by telling me how you came to the subject of the city. Mike Davis: I came to the city by the most parochial path, which was studying Los Angeles, and I came to LA because, having been a Sixties new leftist and having invested a lot of time in studying Marxism, I thought radical social theory could explain just about anything. But it struck me that the supreme test would be understanding Los Angeles. Maybe I shouldn't say this, but almost everything I've written about other cities has grown, at least in part, out of my LA project. For instance, investigating the tendency toward the militarization of urban space and the destruction of public space in Los Angeles has led me to explore similar trends as a global phenomenon. Interest in suburban Los Angeles got me considering the fate of older suburbs across the country and then the emergent politics of edge cities. So, in this consistently parochial way, the world emerged from Los Angeles which, in my original project, was a mosaic of about 450 individual pieces. Let me explain: Back in the 1950s, when county welfare agencies were worried that war veterans moving into new suburbs had no sense of place, it did this big study of how many actual life-worlds there were in Greater Los Angeles and came to the conclusion that people lived in about 350 communities -- small towns, neighborhoods, suburbs. (Now, there are maybe 500 of these.) Behind my strategy for doing Los Angeles lay the thought that each of these constituent pieces had an entirely local, totally eccentric story to tell about itself, but also refracted some important aspect of the larger whole. I literally believe I could spend several lifetimes telling a story in each of these places about Los Angeles; so that was my methodology. I suppose in the process I only became an urbanist because people started calling me that. I've never actually considered myself a historian, sociologist, political economist, or urban theorist.' Lees verder:
http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=82655 En deel 2: http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=82790

De Oorlogsstaat 51

De Guardian bericht: 'US in Secret Gun Deal. Small arms shipped from Bosnia to Iraq "go missing" as Pentagon uses dealers. The Pentagon has secretly shipped tens of thousands of small arms from Bosnia to Iraq in the past two years, using a web of private companies, at least one of which is a noted arms smuggler blacklisted by Washington and the UN. According to a report by Amnesty International, which investigated the sales, the US government arranged for the delivery of at least 200,000 Kalashnikov machine guns from Bosnia to Iraq in 2004-05. But though the weaponry was said to be for arming the fledgling Iraqi military, there is no evidence of the guns reaching their recipient. Senior western officials in the Balkans fear that some of the guns may have fallen into the wrong hands. A Nato official described the trade as the largest arms shipments from Bosnia since the second world war. The official told Amnesty: "Nato has no way of monitoring the shipments once they leave Bosnia. There is no tracking mechanism to ensure they do not fall into the wrong hands. There are concerns that some of the weapons may have been siphoned off." European administrators in Bosnia, as well as NGOs working to oversee the stockpiling and destruction of weapons from the Bosnian war of the 1990s, are furious that the Pentagon's covert arms-to-Iraq programme has undermined the disarmament project. "It's difficult to persuade people to destroy weapons when they're all holding back and waiting for Uncle Sam to arrive with a fistful of dollars," said Adrian Wilkinson, a former British officer overseeing a UN disarmament programme in former Yugoslavia.
The international administration running Bosnia repeatedly sought to impose an arms export moratorium, but under US pressure it was suspended several times to enable the arms shipments to go ahead. The British government is funding a programme to destroy 250,000 small arms, a legacy of the Bosnian war, but the project is faltering because people are reluctant to surrender weapons that might mean money. Nato and European officials confirm there is nothing illegal about the Bosnian government or the Pentagon taking arms to Iraq; the problem is one of transparency and the way the arms deals have been conducted. "There are Swiss, US and UK companies involved. The deal was organised through the embassies [in Bosnia] and the military attaché offices were involved. The idea was to get the weapons out of Bosnia where they pose a threat and to Iraq where they are needed," the Nato official said. Mr Wilkinson said: "The problem is we haven't seen the end user."' Lees verder: http://www.guardian.co.uk/armstrade/story/0,,1773106,00.html Of:

Westers Terrorisme 9

Het verzet tegen de Westerse terreur in het Midden Oosten neemt almaar toe. Zelfs militairen beginnen hiertegen te protesteren: 'WEST POINT GRADUATES AGAINST THE WAR.

"When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war." (2)
"I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its stupidity. War settles nothing." (3)
"Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels - men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion." (4)
"If all that Americans want is security, they can go to prison. They’ll have enough to eat, a bed and a roof over their heads. But if an American wants to preserve his dignity and his equality as a human being, he must not bow his neck to any dictatorial government." (5)

Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th President of the United States
(1953-1961)' Zie: http://www.westpointgradsagainstthewar.org/

Big Brother 12

Net als tijdens Nixon wordt op grote schaal progressieve Amerikanen en Europeanen afgeluisterd in de zogenaamde strijd tegen het terrorisme. Democracy Now bericht: 'Three Major Telecom Companies Help US Government Spy on Millions of Americans. USA Today has revealed the National Security Agency is secretly collecting the phone call records of millions of Americans with the help of AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth. For the customers of these companies, it means that the government has detailed records of calls they made to family members, co-workers, business contacts and others. One source told the paper that the NSA is attempting to create the world's largest database -- big enough to include every call ever made within the nation's borders. USA Today has revealed the National Security Agency is secretly collecting the phone call records of millions of Americans with the help of AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth. For the customers of these companies, it means that the government has detailed records of calls they made to family members, co-workers, business contacts and others. One source told the paper that the NSA is attempting to create the world"s largest database -- big enough to include every call ever made within the nation”s borders. This spy program is far more expansive than what the White House has acknowledged. Last year, President Bush admitted he had authorized the NSA to eavesdrop — without warrants — on calls and e-mails of people suspected of having links to terrorists. On Thursday, President Bush discussed the NSA”s spy operations but did not directly address the report in USA Today that the NSA was creating a database of phone call records. President Bush: "Today there are new claims about other ways we are tracking down al Qaeda to prevent attacks on America. I want to make some important points about what the government is doing, and what the government is not doing. First, our intelligence activities strictly target al Qaeda and their known affiliates. Al Qaeda is our enemy, and we want to know their plans. Second, the government does not listen to domestic phone calls without court approval. Third, the intelligence activities I authorized are lawful and have been briefed to appropriate members of congress, both Republican and Democrat. Fourth, the privacy of ordinary Americans is fiercely protected in all our activities. We're not mining or trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans." On Capitol Hill, Pennsylvania Republican Arlen Specter - Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee - announced he would call officials from AT&T, Verizon and Bell South to appear before the panel for questioning. Meanwhile there have been a number of other developments about the NSA's spy program. On Wednesday the Justice Department announced it had to close an investigation into the NSA”s domestic spy program because the NSA had refused to grant investigators security clearances.' Lees en luister verder: http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/05/12/1353225

Big Brother 11

De Washington Post bericht: 'Extent of Administration's Domestic Surveillance Decried in Both Parties. The Bush administration has secretly been collecting the domestic telephone records of millions of U.S. households and businesses, assembling gargantuan databases and attempting to sift through them for clues about terrorist threats, according to sources with knowledge of the program. The "call detail records" enable U.S. intelligence agencies to track who calls whom, and when, but do not include the contents of conversations, the sources said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the program. The companies cooperating with the National Security Agency dominate the U.S. Telecommunications market and connect hundreds of billions of telephone calls each year. Intelligence analysts are seeking to mine their records to expose hidden connections and details of social networks, hoping to find signs of terrorist plots in the vast sea of innocent contacts.
Fresh disclosures yesterday in USA Today about the scale of domestic surveillance -- the most extensive yet known involving ordinary citizens and residents -- touched off a bipartisan uproar against a politically weakened President Bush. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) vowed to haul telephone companies before his committee under oath to ferret out details the Bush administration refuses to supply, and more than 50 House Democrats signed a letter demanding a criminal investigation by a special counsel. Bush made an unscheduled appearance before White House reporters and sought to shape perceptions about the surveillance while declining to acknowledge that it is taking place. He said that "the intelligence activities I authorized are lawful," but specified no source of statutory or constitutional authority. He denied forcefully that his administration is "mining or trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans," saying, "Our efforts are focused on links to al-Qaeda and their known affiliates." Neither Bush nor his subordinates denied any factual statement in the USA Today report, which said AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and BellSouth Corp. have provided customer calling records to the NSA since shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Together those companies serve about 224 million conventional and cellular telephone customers -- about four-fifths of the wired market and more than half of the wireless market. According to data provided by the research group TeleGeography, the three companies connected nearly 500 billion telephone calls in 2005 and nearly 2 trillion calls since late 2001.' Lees verder:

Westers Terrorisme 8

Fares Audeh throws a stone at an Israeli tank. Nine days after this picture was taken, he was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers.

Het misdadig Europees-Amerikaans beleid waarbij getracht wordt de Palestijnse bevolking het leven zo zuur te maken dat ze niet langer meer Hamas steunen, veroorzaakt een humanitaire ramp. Tot nu toe zwichtten de Palestijnen niet voor de Westerse terreur. De Washington Post bericht: 'Out of Money but Not Resources . With Aid Cut Off, Palestinians Turn to Each Other to Get By. BEIT IKSA, West Bank -- At the end of last month, a crowd gathered in the town hall here to take part in an unusual act. About 75 people, all employees of the Palestinian Authority, were getting paid. Like the rest of the 150,000 Palestinian civil servants, the teachers, bureaucrats and policemen here had not received a paycheck for nearly two months, the result of a freeze in international aid following Hamas's victory in January legislative elections. But this village has a patron, a native son who prospered in the United Arab Emirates. Although he has returned to his birthplace only a handful of times since leaving with his family following the 1967 Middle East war, over the years Zuhair Jubran has remembered his village in trying times, few more so than now. With the government unable to make payroll, Jubran decided he would. Each public employee, including teachers from neighboring villages who work in Beit Iksa's boys and girls schools, has started receiving a monthly salary of $325 from Jubran's private accounts. As their government withers without international aid, Palestinians are tailoring modest lives to desperate times. Bartering, borrowing and doing without, thousands of people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are improvising their way through a deepening financial crisis with help from native sons, virtual strangers and each other.' Lees verder: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/11/AR2006051102089.html

Hirsi Ali 5

Ich Klage An. Ik heb net even geluisterd naar NOVA van gisteravond waarin het VVD-Kamerlid Hirsi Ali of Hirsi Magan, zoals ze in werkelijkheid heet, vertelt dat ze achter het standpunt van haar partij staat dat de grenzen hermetisch gesloten blijven, want 'ik deel de opvatting dat de integratie niet zal slagen als de emigratie niet wordt beperkt. Ik deel die opvatting omdat er een grens zit aan hoeveel migranten een welvaartstaat kan absorberen en tegelijkertijd een welvaartstaat blijven,' aldus de liberale volksvertegenwoordiger die zelf loog om van de welvaartstaat te kunnen profiteren. Ook toen zat er kennelijk 'een grens... aan hoeveel migranten een welvaartstaat kan absorberen,' maar daar trok Hirsi Magan zich toen niets van aan. Opportunisten waaien met elke wind mee. De rest van de Derde Wereld zal moeten lijden om de opportunisten en poseurs hun spelletje te laten spelen. Ondertussen kan minister Verdonk haar naturalisatie weer intrekken, omdat ze valse informatie heeft verstrekt. Dat heeft Verdonk al meermaals gedaan. Zie: http://stanvanhoucke.blogspot.com/2006/05/hirsi-ali-3.html Eens kijken hoe de politici elkaar de bal toespelen. Mevrouw Ali wacht rustig af in New York, waar ze aan haar carriere werkt. Het zou aardig zijn als de luie parlementaire pers eens onderzoekt hoeveel dagen ze in het Nederlandse parlement aanwezig is geweest het afgelopen jaar. Uit welingelichte kringen weet ik dat ze meermaals in New York verblijft in het appartement van haar agente.

Hirsi Ali 4

In een terloops zinnetje meldt Trouw vanochtend over de onthullingen betreffende Hirsi Ali in Zembla gisteravond: 'In de reportage wordt nog eens uit de doeken gedaan en geeft Hirsi Ali nogmaals toe, dat zij bij haar komst naar Europa de autoriteiten leugens heeft verteld, uit angst om niet te worden toegelaten.' Hoe nu? Wist Trouw dat haar hele verhaal vanaf haar jeugd van a tot z gelogen was? Waarom heeft de krant dit nooit verteld? Paste het niet in het ideologisch kader? Of in de anti-Islam hetze?

De Bush Bende 10

De Guardian bericht: 'Putin Lashes Out at 'Wolf-Like' America· Response to Cheney attack feeds war of words· US 'eats and listens to no one', warns president. Relations between the US and Russia sank to the lowest point in a decade yesterday when Vladimir Putin harshly rebuked Washington for its criticism last week and compared the US to a hungry wolf that "eats and listens to no one". Mr Putin, stung by an attack from Dick Cheney, the US vice-president, used his annual state of the nation address to denounce US expansionism and military spending. He also questioned Washington's record on democratic rights. Although he refrained from mentioning the US by name, it was clear that the "wolf" in question referred to Washington
The deterioration in relations is risky for the US at a time when it is trying to persuade Russia to support a United Nations resolution against Iran over Tehran's nuclear programme. The acrimony will also encourage senior US Republicans such as John McCain to renew calls for Mr Bush to boycott this year's meeting of the Group of Eight, the world's wealthiest countries, which is scheduled to be held in Russia for the first time. The war of words is a long way from the optimism with which George Bush said, after his first face-to-face meeting with Mr Putin in 2001, that he had looked into the Russian president's soul and liked what he saw. Mr Cheney, reflecting Washington's growing disenchantment, told a conference in Vilnius, Lithuania, last week that Russia was sending "mixed signals" over democracy, as well as using its energy resources to "intimidate and blackmail" neighbours. Mr Putin, in his speech, noted that the American military budget was 25 times the size of Russia's and said the US had turned its home into a castle. "Good for them," the Russian president said, looking up from his notes, directly at his audience, "but this means we must make our own home strong and reliable. Because we see what is happening in the world. We see it." He added, in what appeared to be a reference to the US-led invasion of Iraq and its approach to Iran: "As they say, 'comrade wolf knows whom to eat. He eats without listening and he is clearly not going to listen to anyone'." He accused the US of hypocrisy over its criticism of Russia's patchy human rights record. "Where is all this pathos about protecting human rights and democracy when it comes to the need to pursue their own interests?"' Lees verder: http://www.guardian.co.uk/russia/article/0,,1772175,00.html?gusrc=rss Of:

donderdag 11 mei 2006

Klimaatverandering 34

De Washington Post bericht: 'It's Only $300 Billion. If we can fund the war in Iraq, why can't we fund the Kyoto Protocol? For the United States, the cost of the Iraq war will soon exceed the anticipated cost of the Kyoto Protocol, the international agreement designed to control greenhouse gases. For both, the cost is somewhere in excess of $300 billion. These numbers show that the Bush administration was unrealistically optimistic in its prewar prediction that the total cost would be about $50 billion. And the same numbers raise questions about the Bush administration's claim that the cost of the Kyoto Protocol would be prohibitive, causing (in President Bush's own words) "serious harm to the US economy." With respect to the Iraq war, careful estimates come from Scott Wallsten, a former member of the President's Council of Economic Advisers who is now at the American Enterprise Institute. Writing at the end of 2005, Wallsten estimated the aggregate American cost at about $300 billion. With the costs incurred since then, and an anticipated appropriation soon, the total will exceed $350 billion. With respect to the Kyoto Protocol, the most systematic estimates come from William Nordhaus and Joseph Boyer of Yale University. Writing in 2000, they offered a figure of $325 billion for the United States, designed to capture the full costs of compliance over many decades. This staggeringly large figure helped support Kyoto skeptics in the Bush administration and elsewhere, who argued that the benefits of the agreement did not justify its costs. For the world as a whole, the comparison between the Iraq war and the Kyoto Protocol is even more dramatic. The worldwide cost of the war is already much higher than the anticipated worldwide cost of the Kyoto Protocol - possibly at least $100 billion higher. The worldwide cost of the war now exceeds $500 billion, a figure that includes the cost to Iraq (more than $160 billion) and to non-American coalition countries (more than $40 billion). For the Kyoto Protocol, full compliance is projected to cost less than $400 billion, because the United States would bear most of the aggregate costs.' Lees verder: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/09/AR2006050901502.html Of:

The Fog of War

Bij Information Clearing House kunt u 1 van de meest fascinerende documentaires bekijken die ik de afgelopen jaren heb gezien: 'The Fog of War. Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara. Errol Morris's Oscar-winning 2003 documentary .This brilliant work by director Morris is the stuff of life. And death. It arouses the most basic moral and immoral questions of being human through an enormously complex and yet simple man, Robert Strange McNamara. It seems no coincidence, his middle name, as we get to know him in all his cleverness and contradictions. Morris subtly illuminates, literally through McNamara's eyes, what it means to have power over life and death.' Lees verder:

Howard Zinn 4

Information Clearing House: 'Howard Zinn - You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train. This is a must watch video. This acclaimed film looks at the amazing life of the renowned historian, activist and author. Following his early days as a shipyard labor organizer and bombardier in World War II, Zinn became an academic rebel and leader of civil disobedience in a time of institutionalized racism and war. His influential writings shine light on and bring voice to factory workers, immigrant laborers, African Americans, Native Americans and the working poor.' Zie: http://informationclearinghouse.info/article12987.htm

Hirsi Ali 3

Het TV-programma Zembla berichtte vanavond: 'VVD WIST DAT AYAAN HIRSI ALI HAAR VLUCHTVERHAAL HEEFT VERZONNEN. Het VVD-Tweede-Kamerlid Ayaan Hirsi Ali heet in werkelijkheid Ayaan Hirsi Magan. Ze vervalste haar geboortedatum bij haar komst in Nederland en verzon een verhaal om hier asiel te krijgen. Ook vertelt ze een heel ander verhaal over haar huwelijk dan haar ex-man, haar broer en een tante die bij haar bruiloft aanwezig waren. Hirsi Ali beweert dat ze is uitgehuwelijkt, anderen ontkennen dat. Een en ander blijkt uit de ZEMBLA-aflevering ‘De heilige Ayaan’. ZEMBLA ging op onderzoek uit in Nederland en Canada, reisde af naar Kenia en Somalië en sprak met mensen die Ayaan goed gekend hebben maar daar nog nooit over vertelden. En ZEMBLA ontdekte tegenstrijdigheden in het levensverhaal van Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Ayaan heeft de eerste zeven jaar van haar leven in Somalië gewoond. Het gezin Magan ontvluchtte het land voor de burgeroorlog begon; de vader was een oppositieleider tegen dictator Siad Bare. Nadat het gezin kort in Saudie-Arabië en Ethiopië heeft gewoond, verhuist het naar Nairobi (Kenia). Daar krijgt Ayaan met haar familie een vluchtelingenstatus. Ze wonen er twaalf jaar. De school van Ayaan werd betaald door de VN-vluchtelingenorganisatie UNHCR. In 1992 komt Ayaan via Duitsland in Nederland terecht. Ze is nooit duidelijk geweest over haar vluchtverhaal: ‘Ik dacht als ik nu de waarheid vertel, dan weet ik: ik word teruggestuurd naar Duitsland. Want de regels waren heel erg helder als je asiel aanvraagt in Nederland: dan heb je eerst een gesprek met iemand van vluchtelingenwerk. Die gaat je helemaal voorbereiden.’ Doordat ze haar achtergrond heeft verzwegen, heeft zij in Nederland onterecht een verblijfsvergunning gekregen. Volgens internationale afspraken kun je niet in twee verschillende landen een vluchtelingenstatus krijgen; Ayaan kreeg een status in Kenia en in Nederland. Omdat Kenia volgens het ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken een veilig land was, moesten Somalische asielzoekers die uit Kenia kwamen naar dat land worden teruggestuurd. Ajaan Hirsi Ali in ZEMBLA: ‘Ik heb hele verhaal verzonnen hoor. Ik heb ook niet verteld dat ik Ayaan Hirsi Magan heet, maar Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Ik heb niet verteld dat ik geboren ben in 1969 maar dat ik in 1967 geboren ben.’ Hirsi Ali zegt dat ze de VVD-leiding heeft geïnformeerd over haar verzonnen verhaal voordat zij gepresenteerd werd als kandidaat-Kamerlid. De partij bevestigt dat dit niet als een probleem werd gezien. Hirsi Ali zegt in ZEMBLA dat haar vader haar heeft uithuwelijkt aan een Somalische man in Canada. Zij zou tegen het huwelijk geweest zijn en ook op de dag zelf niet aanwezig zijn geweest. In ZEMBLA zegt Osman Quare (haar ex-man): ‘We waren verliefd op elkaar en zij was aanwezig op het huwelijk.’ En haar tante Faduma Osman (die aanwezig was op het huwelijk) zegt: ‘Ze was aanwezig en ze was heel gelukkig, ik heb haar niet horen klagen.’ Haar broer Mahad vertelt: ‘Ayaan was aanwezig, haar man was aanwezig en ook mijn vader. Het was een grote gebeurtenis.’ Ayaan blijft echt bij haar verhaal: ‘Ik was niet aanwezig en ik weet waar ik was.’ Zie: http://omroep.vara.nl/tvradiointernet_detail.jsp?maintopic=424&subtopic=4177 Een vooraanstaande Nederlandse jurist en emeritus hoogleraar internationaal privaatrecht die het programma had gezien vertelde mij zojuist dat het VVD-Kamerlid Ayaan Hirsi Magan en haar partijgenote minister Rita Verdonk in ernstige politieke moeilijkheden kunnen komen, aangezien het kamerlid is genaturaliseerd op grond van valse gegevens, zoals ze zelf toegeeft. Aan de hand van de Wet op het Nederlanderschap kan minister Verdonk de naturalisatie nietig verklaren, zelfs al zou ze daardoor statenloos worden. Verdonk heeft dit de afgelopen tijd al in meerdere gevallen gedaan, aldus deze jurist.

Nederland en Afghanistan 70

The father of one of the Italian soldiers killed in combat in Afghanistan collapses as coffins are off-loaded in Rome. A roadside bomb killed two Italian soldiers and wounded four in Afghanistan on Friday. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing, symptomatic of their intensified campaign against foreign troops and the government in recent months.

De Washington Post bericht: 'Bomb Kills Two Italian Peacekeepers in Afghanistan. Kabul - A roadside bomb killed two Italian peacekeepers and wounded four in Afghanistan on Friday and the Taliban claimed responsibility. Taliban insurgents have intensified their campaign against foreign troops and the government in recent months with a wave of roadside and suicide bombings, attacks and assassinations. The latest blast hit one of a two-vehicle Italian convoy on a main road 16 km (10 miles) south of Kabul. The troops had been on their way to help an Afghan police vehicle that had hit a mine. "This tragic incident will not affect our total determination and commitment to this mission," the new British commander of the NATO force, Lieutenant General David Richards, said in a statement. Violence in parts of Afghanistan is at its worst since the Taliban were ousted from power in 2001. Twenty foreign soldiers have been killed this year. Italy has some 1,775 troops in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. It handed over command of the force to Britain on Thursday. A Taliban official, Abdul Raouf, claimed responsibility. Speaking by telephone, he said the Italians had been hit by a remote-control bomb. Italy is still recovering from last week's killing of three soldiers in Iraq by a roadside bomb which struck their convoy southwest of Nassiriya. "The issue of the price paid by our soldiers for peace and stability is one of the biggest issues, perhaps the biggest one in our country right now," Italy's incoming prime minister, Romano Prodi, told reporters. The security situation in Afghanistan was "very serious," he said.' Lees verder:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/05/AR2006050500726.html Of:

woensdag 10 mei 2006

De Oorlogsstaat 50

Democracy Now bericht: 'We speak with James Carroll, one of Boston's best known writers. A decade ago he won the National Book Award for his memoir "An American Requiem: God, My Father and the War that Came between Us." He is also a prize-winning columnist for the Boston Globe. He has just published a new book titled "House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power." In the book Carroll examines the growth of the military industrial complex since World War II and his personal connection to the Pentagon. He grew up in a military family. His father was a three-star general and the first director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He oversaw the agency throughout much of the Vietnam War. But Carroll took a different path becoming a vocal opponent of the War and a writer. For the past six years he has been researching the history of the Pentagon and what he calls the "disastrous rise of American power."
AMY GOODMAN: You talk about the “disastrous rise” of American power. Talk about the trajectory from then to now.
JAMES CARROLL: Well, “disastrous rise” is a phrase -- it’s a polemical phrase, I acknowledge that. It's a phrase, though, that I get from Eisenhower in his famous military-industrial complex speech. He was, of course, talking about the military-industrial-political-academic-economic complex, labor, all of the great pillars of American life were recruited into, conscripted, you could say, into the power of this military machine centered in the Pentagon. At the crucial turning points of American history since World War II, again and again decisions have been made all too easily in favor of war and against creating structures of peace. It happened at the end of the war with the decision, the unnecessary decision to use the atomic bomb. It happened immediately after the war with the unnecessary militarization of the contest with the Soviet Union and so forth. At each of these crucial points, America misperceived the world and made decisions to protect against a threat that was more imagined than real.
AMY GOODMAN: Why do you feel it wasn't necessary to drop the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
JAMES CARROLL: Well, obviously, it's a complicated question about which historians are still in argument. My conclusion is that the issue of unconditional surrender was the blinder that prevented American leaders at that crucial moment of fully taking in the messages they were getting from Japan. Japan was all but defeated in the spring of 1945. We had savaged 60 Japanese cities with firebombing. There were signals from the Japanese that they wanted to surrender, and we were willfully blocked in taking those signals in, especially under the leadership of Secretary of State Burns, and the irony is that we re-asserted our demand for unconditional surrender at the crucial point, the Potsdam Declaration at the end of July, yet again saying “unconditional surrender.” All the Japanese wanted by then was assurances about the emperor, which we refused to give them. When the Japanese did surrender after Nagasaki, they still didn't surrender unconditionally. They included a condition about the emperor, which at that point we accepted. My conclusion is: If we had accepted the condition on the emperor – the emperor was a divine being to the Japanese. They couldn't tolerate the thought that what happened to Mussolini and Hitler would happen to him. If we had accepted that condition ahead of the atomic bombings, there would have been no need for those bombings. That's the conclusion I came to.' Lees verder: http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/05/10/1345217

Jim Tarbell

Afgelopen maandag interviewde ik de Amerikaanse schrijver en programmamaker Jim Tarbell over zijn boek 'Imperial Overstretch. George W. Bush & the Hubris of Empire' dat hij samen met de Amerikaanse historicus Roger Burbach schreef. 19 jaar geleden definieerde de Britse historicus Paul Kennedy in zijn boek 'The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers' het begrip imperial overstretch als volgt: 'the nation overextends itself geographically and strategically: if, even at a less imperial level, it chooses to devote a large proportion of its total income to "protection," leaving less for "productive investment," it is likely to find its economic output slowing down, with dire implications for its long-term capacity to maintain both its citizens' consumption demands and its international position. Already this is happening in the case of the USSR, the United States, and Britain.' Sindsdiens heeft dit proces zich in mindere of meerdere mate voortgezet en heeft zich nu zelfs versneld. De Sowjet Unie is ineen gestort en de Verenigde Staten is op weg daar naar toe. Dat is de centrale thesis van Jim Tarbell's boek. Het interview met hem kunt u hier beluisteren: http://webdisk.planet.nl/houck006/default.aspx

Big Brother 10

Truthout bericht: 'FBI Targets SOA Watch Activists. Declassified FBI files reveal years of surveillance of SOA watch by FBI's Counterterrorism Division. The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Georgia last week released new evidence that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is conducting counterterrorism investigations into School of the Americas Watch. As we've seen time and again when the FBI targets social change organizations, the files demonstrate a clear attempt to stifle political opposition. In the released documents, the FBI noted that "the [SOA Watch November vigil] has grown dramatically over the past several years." The FBI elevated its concern to "priority" level and subjected SOA Watch to "counterterrorism" surveillance. The Bureau monitored the media attention that the annual November vigil and the trials of people arrested for nonviolent civil disobedience received, and agents noted which court tactics had chilling effects on people's decisions to participate in civil disobedience. Nothing in the FBI files justifies counterterrorism as a basis for the spying. In fact, the FBI never identifies any criminal activity outside of public civil disobedience, and they consistently describe the SOA Watch Vigil as "peaceful." These files unmask the political nature of the actions of the FBI, an agency that has a long history of being used as "political police," targeting groups in the United States who are working for social change. When congressional investigations, political trials and other traditional legal methods of repression failed to counter the growing movements of the 1950s, '60s and '70s, the FBI moved outside the law. They used secret and systematic methods of fraud and force, far beyond mere surveillance, to sabotage constitutionally-protected political activity. The purpose of "COINTELPRO," the FBI's domestic counterintelligence program, was, in FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's own words, to "expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit and otherwise neutralize" specific groups and individuals.
The FBI's targets in this period included the American Indian Movement, the Communist Party, Black Nationalist groups, and many social justice activists, including Martin Luther King and Cesar Chavez. According to Brian Glick, in War at Home, COINTELPRO used a broad array of methods, including infiltration; psychological warfare from the outside (false media stories, forged correspondence); harassment through the legal system; and extralegal force and violence (in the case of radical Black, Puerto Rican and Native American activists, these attacks, including political assassinations, were so extensive, vicious, and calculated that they can only be accurately called a form of official "terrorism"). But COINTELPRO tactics are clearly not a thing of the past. In September of 2005, 72-year-old Filiberto Ojeda Rios, a leading figure in the fight for Puerto Rican independence, was killed by the FBI in a raid that coincided with the Grito de Lares, the annual pro-independence celebration of the 1868 anticolonial revolt in Puerto Rico. Ojeda Rios was wanted by the FBI for his role in a 1983 bank heist.' Lees verder: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/050906B.shtml

dinsdag 9 mei 2006

De Oorlogsstaat 49

De Amerikaanse vredesactiviste Barb Guy schrijft in de Salt Lake Tribune: 'There Is Nothing Divine About a Bomb Test . The first I heard of Divine Strake was last month. I was standing a few feet from the Nevada Nuclear Test Site where the experiment will happen. Corbin Harney, a Western Shoshone elder, winkingly gave me permission to enter the U.S. government-run, restricted-access site as his guest, since, if you believe the treaty the government signed, his people still own the land. I declined his invitation - I didn't have time to go to jail. Still, he and I stood together, holding hands, our heads bowed in prayer, or in respect for the prayers of others, as a religious service was held in the nuclear dust. This Catholic mass welcomed the Shoshone spiritual leader, a Jewish man wearing a tallit and reading from the Torah, a Mennonite, an Episcopal priest, a Jesuit priest, a Zen priest, a Methodist minister, an elderly nun in microfleece pants and sneakers, a former Marine officer, a hibakusha (Japanese survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bomb), my husband Chris, and me. It was a fine American exercise in people of many faiths coming together, talking through difference, wishing for peace, and petitioning our government. Divine Strake is the code name for a massive non-nuclear test planned for June 2. An explosion of 700 tons of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil - ANFO - will send a mushroom cloud perhaps 10,000 feet into the Nevada sky. This gigantic experimental blast will use 280 times the amount of ANFO that demolished Oklahoma City's Murrah Federal Building in 1995, killing 168 people and damaging or destroying more than 300 buildings. Some experts worry the test is a precursor to developing a nuclear bunker-buster bomb. I suppose reasonable people can disagree about whether to test, but Utahns, downwind from so many nuclear tests that were supposed to be safe, yet turned out to be deadly, can be forgiven if they're wary. After Sept. 11 nearly five years ago, some Americans began to wonder why people in other countries hate us. They don't all hate us, of course, but suddenly many Americans were shocked at the image of ourselves we saw reflected in infuriated eyes. Historically, America has enjoyed international goodwill, never more so than on Sept. 12, 2001. But that has slipped through our fingers. A strake, by the way, is a metal strap that holds boats or planes together. Odd. But what makes me go nuclear is the use of "Divine" in the name. I've really had it with the Bush administration positioning things like they were ordered up by God. And this isn't the first time. There are at least nine other divine tests on the books, including Divine Warhawk and, to really prove the point, Divine Hates.' Lees verder:
http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/ci_3791081 Of: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/050906K.shtml

Irak 74

Democracy Now bericht: 'LA Times Baghdad Bureau Chief: "[More People] Are Dying Violently Now Than At Any Time Since The U.S.-Led Invasion." Borzou Daragahi reports from Baghdad on the latest political developments and the rising violence in Iraq. In the latest bloodshed out of Iraq, more than 30 people were killed in separate bombings and shootings Monday, including at least a dozen men apparently taken to Sunni neighborhoods of Baghdad and killed execution-style. We turn now to Iraq where Prime Minister-designate Nouri al-Maliki has said he expects to be able to form a national unity government within the next two days. Maliki said the cabinet was "90 percent" ready and that nominations for the key posts in the cabinet have been submitted by Shia, Sunni and Kurdish groups. They included the ministries of defense, interior, oil, finance and foreign affairs. While Maliki did not reveal any names, he said the candidates for the powerful ministries of interior and defense would go to figures free of any ties with militias. Shiite militias have been blamed for hundreds of execution-style killings across Iraq. Sunni leaders say the Interior ministry is heavily infiltrated by militiamen who have been complicit in the death squads. In the latest bloodshed out of Iraq, more than 30 people were killed in separate bombings and shootings Monday, including at least a dozen men apparently taken to Sunni neighborhoods of Baghdad and killed execution-style. Meanwhile, two employees of an Iraqi television station were found shot dead after being abducted by men dressed as police officers. Over the weekend, 51 bodies were found in the capital. All of the dead were handcuffed, blindfolded and shot in the head and abdomen.' Lees verder: http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/05/09/1415215

Martelen 39

Democracy Now bericht: 'Chicago's Abu Ghraib: UN Committee Against Torture Hears Report on How Police Tortured Over 135 African-American Men Inside Chicago Jails. For nearly two decades a part of the city’s jails known as Area 2 was the epicenter for what has been described as the systematic torture of dozens of African-American males by Chicago police officers. In total, more than 135 people say they were subjected to abuse including having guns forced into their mouths, bags places over their heads, and electric shocks inflicted to their genitals. Four men have been released from death row after government investigators concluded torture led to their wrongful convictions. Extraordinary rendition. Overseas prisons. Abu Ghraib. Guantanamo Bay. Practices and places that have become synonymous with the abuse of detainees in US custody are getting renewed attention at the United Nations this week, where the UN Committee Against Torture is holding hearings on U.S. compliance with its international obligations. But there is one name expected to arise this week that few people in this country will have heard about – and it’s the one that’s closest to home. It’s called Area 2. And for nearly two decades beginning in 1971, it was the epicenter for what has been described as the systematic torture of dozens of African-American males by Chicago police officers. In total, more than 135 people say they were subjected to abuse including having guns forced into their mouths, bags places over their heads, and electric shocks inflicted to their genitals. Four men have been released from death row after government investigators concluded torture led to their wrongful convictions. Yet the case around Area 2 is nowhere near a resolution -- to date, not one Chicago police officer has been charged with any crime. The most prominent officer, former police commander Jon Burge, was dismissed in the early 1990s. He retired to Florida where he continues to collect a pension. Today, a special prosecutor is now in the fourth year of an investigation. Just last week, a group of Chicago police officers won a court ruling to delay the release of the prosecutor’s preliminary report.' Lees verder:

Israelisch Expansionisme 15

Gershom Gorenberg is the author of The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977. In American Prospect schrijft hij: 'Olmert is at best a recovering right-winger, and his plan for withdrawal carries the baggage of his past. It involves imposing a border on the Palestinians rather than negotiating one, and keeping a chunk of the West Bank under Israeli rule. At first glance, the obstacle to negotiations is the Hamas government in the Palestinian Authority, which refuses to recognize Israel. But even if moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas manages to reassert control, don’t expect real peace talks. Sharon and Olmert made no effort to negotiate with Abbas before Hamas won the Palestinian elections in January. In 2003, when Olmert first announced his backing for a pullout, he made clear that he did not expect agreement with the Palestinians, and that Israel would have to set borders on its own. The Gaza pullout demonstrated the price of that approach. There was no peace agreement, and no orderly turnover of authority in the area Israel left. A negotiated pullout would have boosted Abbas’s authority. Instead, Palestinian public opinion interpreted the withdrawal as a victory for Hamas’s terror attacks. But past diplomatic experience also shows that a negotiated agreement would place the border between Israel and independent Palestine very close to the Green Line, the pre-1967 boundary between Israel and Jordan. Olmert rejects that possibility. He hasn’t said exactly where he would put the line. But the best indication is the security barrier that Israel is building in the West Bank. Indeed, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Olmert’s closest political ally, has said publicly that the barrier “will have implications” for the border.' Lees verder: http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=11464

Danny Schechter

Danny Schechter, the news dissector, schrijft: 'May 9, 2006.
Crisis Alert: Bush Numbers Fall Again. Posted by Danny @ 5:25 am Print Email this Post
Mediachannel Seeks Webmaster. Scroll to end of blog.WAR CLOUDS IN THE SKYMASSAOUI NOW SAYS HE LIEDDEBATING THE MEDIA SHIFT. As readers know, I usually save the best of the many letters I receive for last, but today I will break that format because sometimes people see news in the making. In this case Ethel Steadman in Virginia Beach, home of Pat Robertson’s University and not far from the the Norfolk naval bases sends along a Mall sighting that has to be taken seriously even though it has yet to be reported:
”FYI, the fighter jets at Oceana NAS in Virginia Beach are doing touch-&-go practice landings night and day, so I can almost guarantee that we'll start bombing Iran soon and very soon. You can't hear yourself think at nearby Lynnhaven Mall -- and this has been going on for several weeks.
“Again, thanks for all you do, you amazing guy!”
More amazing than me are all the citizens of this country who can see whats happening and are willing to speak out about it.
Reuters reports:
“President George W. Bush's approval rating fell to 31 percent in a USA Today/Gallup Poll released on Monday, the lowest recorded in the survey and a drop of three percentage points in a single week. Bush's approval rating, at 34 percent a week ago, tumbled on declining support from conservatives and Republicans.' Lees verder: http://www.newsdissector.org/blog/2006/05/09/crisis-alert-bush-numbers-fall-again/ Een president in het nauw maakt rare sprongen. Zijn almaar dalende populariteit kan veranderen in stijgende populariteit als Iran wordt gebombardeerd.

Aanval op Internet

De vrijheid van internet is de neoliberalen al langere tijd een doorn in het oog. Democracy Now bericht: 'The House is expected to vote this week on the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act of 2006. We take a look at the various aspects of the bill with University of Illinois professor and Free Press co-founder Robert McChesney. This week, the House is expected to vote on Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act of 2006. The COPE bill would permit phone and cable companies to operate Internet and other digital communications service as private networks, free of policy safeguards or governmental oversight. The bill would effectively end what is known as "net neutrality" which is the concept that that everyone, everywhere, should have free, universal and non-discriminatory access to all the Internet has to offer. The COPE bill would permit Internet service providers like AOL to charge fees for almost every online transaction and to prioritize emails based on the senders' willingness to pay. Another provision of the bill would cut back the obligation of cable TV companies to devote channels to public access and fund the facilities to run them. And the COPE bill would replace local cable franchises with national franchises. The companies contend that this will create competition and lower fees but consumer groups and activists are concerned that it will take control and oversight away from local government as well as cut channel capacity for public, educational and governmental access channels or PEGs. The COPE Act would also permit providers to not provide service to low-income communities that they believe would be less profitable to serve.
AMY GOODMAN: We're joined right now by Professor Bob McChesney. Bob McChesney runs Free Press. He is a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, co-founder of Free Press. His books include Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communications Politics in Dubious Times. Welcome to Democracy Now!
ROBERT McCHESNEY: Pleasure to be here, Amy.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you explain this bill and where it stands now?
ROBERT McCHESNEY: Well, in one sense, the bill is extraordinarily complicated. There are different versions in the House and Senate, and the nuances get tricky, because we have these enormous lobbies fighting it out to get the best deal for themselves. But in a general sense, the way that I understand it is that the phone companies and the cable companies, which provide internet access to 98% of Americans and almost all businesses, are viewing -- you know, they are companies that were set up by the government. They're not free market companies. Their entire business model has been based on getting monopoly license franchises from the government for phone and cable service and then using it to make a lot of money. And they’re using their political leverage now to try to write a law basically which lets them control the internet.' Lees verder: http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/05/08/1352255

Martelen 38

William Fisher has managed economic development programs in the Middle East and in many other parts of the world for the US State Department and USAID for the past thirty years. He began his work life as a journalist for newspapers and for the Associated Press in Florida. Go to The World According to Bill Fisher for more. In Truthout schrijft hij: 'Defending the Indefensible. After years of ignoring the United Nations panel charged with oversight of the Convention Against Torture (CAT) - a centerpiece of international human rights law - the US government turned up at a meeting of the group in Geneva with a delegation of more than two dozen lawyers and other officials to affirm that the US is "absolutely committed to uphold its national and international obligations to eradicate torture" and that "there are no exceptions to this prohibition." That's what I call chutzpah! The government's theory must be that the more lawyers you bring to Geneva, the easier it will be to bob and weave your way around those pesky questions people keep asking about Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Guantanamo, renditions and secret prisons in Eastern Europe. Especially if your delegation doesn't include anyone from the CIA. Heading this delegation of representatives from the departments of State, Defense, Justice and Homeland Security, is State Department legal adviser John B. Bellinger III. With an absolutely straight face, Bellinger told the Committee Against Torture that despite instances of abuse in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the US has not systematically mistreated prisoners and remained committed to a global ban on torture. But members of the panel referred to a report by investigators for the European Parliament who said last month they had evidence that the CIA had flown 1,000 undeclared flights over Europe since 2001, in some cases transporting terrorist suspects abducted within the European Union to countries known to use torture. Bellinger said he could not answer questions about intelligence-related activities, but asserted that the allegation that those planes carried terror suspects was an "absurd insinuation." He added that in cases where the government has "rendered" prisoners to countries with poor human rights records, it has sought assurances that they will not be tortured.' Lees verder: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/050906Z.shtml

Nederland en Afghanistan 69

De Times bericht: 'Woman MP is attacked in a blow for democracy. BOTTLES were thrown, insults traded and chairs knocked over in the bedlam. This was no bar-room brawl, however. It was the scene in the Afghan parliament on Sunday when a woman MP dared to stand up to a male colleague. Malalai Joya, 28, interrupted a former warlord as he praised the holy warriors — or Mujahidin — of Afghanistan during a debate to mark the anniversary of their defeat of communism. She declared that there were “two types of Mujahidin — one who were really Mujahidin, the second who killed tens of thousands of innocent people and who are criminals”.
This was a step too far for the parliament’s Islamic extremists and former warlords, who are still getting the hang of democracy. They leapt from their seats and rushed towards her. They hurled abuse and water bottles. Punches were thrown. Even women MPs joined in. Moderate MPs had to form a protective ring around Mrs Joya as she was hurried from the chamber. “My supporters heard one MP tell someone to wait by the door and knife me as I walked out,” she said. Omid Yakmanish, a television cameraman, was hit as he filmed the uproar, and dropped his camera. He said: “The MP (Al-haj Khyal Mohammad Husaini, from Ghazni) said in an interview, ‘I have the right to beat people up if I want to’.” The session was adjourned. Mrs Joya told The Times yesterday: “There are two problems for these people: firstly, that I am a woman and, secondly, that I believe in democracy. They don’t believe in democracy. They don’t believe in women’s rights.” She went on: “I have lots of threats. I have had people call me to threaten me, and in Kabul have to stay in a different house every night. I don’t feel safe. I’m never scared because I tell the truth and I believe in the truth and in democracy. They can kill me but they cannot kill my voice.” The episode was another embarrassment for the Western nations who invaded Afghanistan to overthrow the Taleban regime and install democracy.' Lees verder:

maandag 8 mei 2006

Het Neoliberale Geloof 5

De New York Times bericht: 'America's "Near Poor" Are Increasingly at Economic Risk, Experts Say. Anaheim, Calif. - The Abbotts date their tailspin to a collapse in demand for the aviation-related electronic parts that Stephen sold in better times, when he earned about $40,000 a year. He lost his job in late 2001, unemployment benefits ran out over the next year and he and his wife, Laurie, along with their teenage son, were evicted from their apartment. They spent a year in a borrowed motor home here in the working-class interior of Orange County, followed by eight months in a motel room with a kitchenette. During that time, Ms. Abbott, a diabetic who is now 51, lost all her teeth and could not afford to replace them. "Since I didn't have a smile," she recalled, "I couldn't even work at a checkout counter." Americans on the lower rungs of the economic ladder have always been exposed to sudden ruin. But in recent years, with the soaring costs of housing and medical care and a decline in low-end wages and benefits, tens of millions are living on even shakier ground than before, according to studies of what some scholars call the "near poor." "There's strong evidence that over the past five years, record numbers of lower-income Americans find themselves in a more precarious economic position than at any time in recent memory," said Mark R. Rank, a sociologist at Washington University in St. Louis and the author of "One Nation, Underprivileged: Why American Poverty Affects Us All." In a rare study of vulnerability to poverty, Mr. Rank and his colleagues found that the risk of a plummet of at least a year below the official poverty line rose sharply in the 1990's, compared with the two previous decades. By all signs, he said, such insecurity has continued to worsen. For all age groups except those 70 and older, the odds of a temporary spell of poverty doubled in the 1990's, Mr. Rank reported in a 2004 paper titled, "The Increase of Poverty Risk and Income Insecurity in the U.S. Since the 1970's," written with Daniel A. Sandoval and Thomas A. Hirschl, both of Cornell University. For example, during the 1980's, around 13 percent of Americans in their 40's spent at least one year below the poverty line; in the 1990's, 36 percent of people in their 40's did, according to the analysis. Comparable figures for this decade will not be available for several years, but other indicators - a climbing poverty rate and rising levels of family debt - suggest a deepening insecurity, poverty experts and economists say.' Lees verder: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/08/us/08poverty.html?_r=1&oref=slogin Of:

Iran 45

De Independent bericht: 'Russia says UN plan for Iran is 'first step to war.' Russia will seek the removal tonight of the core of a UK-sponsored draft United Nations resolution on Iran because it fears that it could pave the way to unilateral military action to curb the Iranian nuclear programme. A bruising battle looms in New York at a dinner of foreign ministers of the five UN Security Council veto-holding members, plus Germany, over UN plans to compel Iran to abandon uranium enrichment. The high-stakes talks at the Waldorf hotel will be the first official duty for Margaret Beckett, who replaced Jack Straw as Foreign Secretary on Friday, and could result in an embarrassing climb-down for Britain. British and US officials have said the core of the draft text is its placement under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which provides for possible sanctions and military enforcement. John Bolton, the US ambassador to the UN, said last week when Britain, France and the US tabled the draft: "The fundamental point is for Russia and China to agree that this is a threat to international peace and security under Chapter VII."
But faced with heated Russian and Chinese objections to the Chapter VII provision at ambassador level, Mr Bolton was saying by Saturday night that he had asked the two countries to come up with another way of making the resolution's demands mandatory.' Lees verder:
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/politics/article362745.ece Of: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/050806M.shtml

Iran 44

Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, President-elect of the National Lawyers Guild, and the US representative to the executive committee of the American Association of Jurists. She writes a weekly column for t r u t h o u t. Deze week schrijft ze: 'Bush Setting up Attack on Iran.Now that the mission - whatever it was - has not been accomplished in Iraq, Bush is setting up a potentially bigger disaster in Iran. Last month, Seymour Hersh revealed that the US military is making preparations for an attack on Iran. Recent events confirm Hersh's report. The Bush administration is stepping up the pressure on the Security Council to pass a resolution that the US will use to justify an invasion. John Bolton, the US ambassador to the United Nations, is pushing Council members to vote on a resolution next week. Hersh wrote, "There is a growing concern among members of the United States military, and in the international community, that President Bush's ultimate goal in the nuclear confrontation with Iran is regime change." A former defense official who still advises the Bush administration told Hersh that the military planning is grounded in the belief that "a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government." This reasoning is counter-intuitive. Iranians who become the victims of US aggression are much more likely to rally around the Islamic fundamentalist regime in Iran and fight to expel the foreign infidels. "Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups," Hersh learned from current and former American military and intelligence officials. One of the military proposals calls for the use of bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapons against underground nuclear sites. That would mean "mushroom clouds, radiation, mass casualties, and contamination over years," a former senior intelligence official informed Hersh. A Pentagon adviser said the Air Force would strike many hundreds of targets in Iran, 99 percent of which have nothing to do with nuclear proliferation. It would not just be Iranians who take the hits, the Pentagon adviser told Hersh. "If we go [into Iran]," he said, "the southern half of Iraq will light up like a candle." Our troops in Iraq would be at risk of retaliation from Iran and the Muslim world, according to the Washington Post. Mohammad Ebrahim Dehghani, an Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander, said Tuesday that in response to an invasion of Iran by the United States, Iran's first target would be Israel. Once again, Team Bush is whipping the media - and its consumers - into a frenzy of fear, this time against a nuclear Iran. Two weeks ago, Condoleezza Rice said that Bush administration officials "have to be concerned when there are statements from Iran that Iran would not only like to have this technology but would share it, share technology and expertise." Rice also said, "We can't let this continue." Never mind that Western nuclear scientists said last month that Iran lacks the skill, material and equipment to fulfill its immediate nuclear ambitions, the New York Times reported.' Lees verder: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/050806Z.shtml

De Dollar Hegemonie 9

De Amerikaanse onafhankelijke journalist Mike Whitney schrijft: 'The Last Gasp of the Dollar? Iran bourse opens next week. If one day the world's largest oil producers demanded euros for their barrels, "it would be the financial equivalent of a nuclear strike.” Bill O'Grady, A.G. Edwards commodities analyst.

“Everybody knows the real reason for American belligerence is not the Iranian nuclear program, but the decision to launch an oil bourse where oil will be traded in euros instead of US dollars….The oil market will break the dominance of the dollar and lead to a decline of global
American hegemony.” Igor Panarin, Russian political scientist.

Overnight the story of Iran’s proposed oil bourse has slipped into the mainstream press exposing the real reasons behind Washington’s ongoing hostility towards Tehran. Up to this point, analysts have brushed aside the importance of the upcoming oil-exchange as a Leftist-Internet conspiracy theory unworthy of further consideration. Now, the Associated Press has clarified the issue showing that an Iran oil bourse “could lead central bankers around the world to convert some of their dollar reserves into euros, possibly causing a decline in the dollar’s value”. Currently, the world is drowning in dollars, even a small movement could trigger a massive recession in the United States. There’s nothing remotely “conspiratorial” about this. It is simply a matter of supply and demand. If the oil bourse creates less demand for the dollar, the value of the dollar will sink accordingly; pushing energy, housing, food and other prices higher. Oil has been linked to the dollar since the 1970s when OPEC agreed to denominate it exclusively in dollars. This provided the US a virtual monopoly which has allowed it to run huge account deficits without fear of crippling interest rate hikes. As Bill O’ Grady of A.G.Edwards said, “If OPEC decided they didn’t want dollars anymore, it would be the end of American hegemony by signaling the end to the dollar as the sole reserve currency.” “If the dollar lost its status as the world’s reserve currency, that would force the United States to fund it massive account deficit by running a trade surplus, which would increase inflationary pressures.” (Associated Press)' Lees verder: http://informationclearinghouse.info/article12960.htm

Het Amerikaans Imperium 4

TomDispatch bericht: 'The Wide War. How Donald Rumsfeld Discovered the Wild West in Latin America. By Greg Grandin. How fast has Latin America fallen from favor? Just a decade ago the
Clinton administration was holding up the region as the crown jewel of globalization's promise: All is quiet on "our southern flank," reported the head of the US Southern Command, General Barry McCaffrey, in 1995, "our neighbors are allies who, in general, share similar values." "The
Western Hemisphere has a lot to teach the world," said McCaffrey's boss Secretary of Defense William Cohen two years later, "as the world reaches for the kind of progress we have made."
Today, with a new generation of leaders in open rebellion against Washington's leadership, Latin America is no longer seen as a beacon unto the world but as a shadowy place where "enemies" lurk. "They watch, they probe," Donald Rumsfeld warns of terrorists in Latin America; they look for "weaknesses." According to the new head of Southcom General Bantz Craddock, the region is held hostage by a league of extraordinary gentlemen made up of the "transnational terrorist, the narco-terrorist, the Islamic radical fundraiser and recruiter, the illicit trafficker, the money launderer, the kidnapper, [and] the gang member." "Terrorists throughout the Southern command area of responsibility," Craddock's predecessor warned, "bomb, murder, kidnap, traffic drugs, transfer arms, launder money and smuggle humans." Problems that Clinton's Pentagon presented as discrete issues -- drugs, arms trafficking, intellectual property piracy, migration, and money laundering, what the editor of Foreign Policy Moisés Naín has described as the "five wars of globalization" -- are now understood as part of a larger unified campaign against terrorism.
The Pentagon's Wide War on Everything in Latin America.
Latin America, in fact, has become more dangerous of late, plagued by a rise in homicides, kidnappings, drug use, and gang violence. Yet it is not the increase in illicit activity that is causing the Pentagon to beat its alarm but rather a change in the way terrorism experts and
government officials think about international security. After 9/11, much was made of Al Qaeda's virus-like ability to adapt and spread through loosely linked affinity cells even after its host government in Afghanistan had been destroyed. Defense analysts now contend that, with
potential patron nations few and far between and funding sources cut off by effective policing, a new mutation has occurred. To raise money, terrorists are reportedly making common cause with gun runners, people smugglers, brand-name and intellectual-property bootleggers, drug
dealers, blood-diamond merchants, and even old-fashioned high-seas pirates." Lees verder:

zondag 7 mei 2006

Noam Chomsky 8

Een paar dagen geleden vond ik een verloren gewaande videotape terug van een interview dat ik veertien jaar geleden in Brussel had met Noam Chomsky. Een lang interview dat op beeldband werd vastgelegd door cameraman en programmaker Frans Bromet. Geen van de Nederlandse zenders bleek er destijds belangstelling voor te hebben. Noam Chomsky was geen bekende voor de Hilversumse omroepchefs. Luisterend naar Chomsky's woorden viel me opnieuw op hoe actueel en helder zijn analyses zijn. Vandaar dat ik het interview nu op mijn audioblog heb gezet. De onderwerpen zijn het begin en het einde van de Koude Oorlog en de drastische ingrepen die de zogeheten globalisering heeft op zowel de Westerse maatschappijen als de samenlevingen in de Derde Wereld. Aanleiding van het interview was de toen bij uitgeverij Epo verschenen Nederlandse vertaling van zijn boek 'Necessary Illusions,' waarover de Amerikaanse uitgever schreef: 'What role do the media play in a capitalist democracy? Based on the Massey Lectures, delivered in Canada in November 1988, Necessary Illusions argues that, far from performing a watchdog role, the "free press" serves the needs of those in power. With this book, Chomsky rips away the mask of propaganda that portrays the media as advocates of free speech and democracy:
In short, the major media are corporations "selling" privileged audiences to other businesses.... Media concentration is high, and increasing. Furthermore, those who occupy managerial positions in the media...belong to the same privileged elites, and might be expected to share the perceptions, aspirations, and attitudes of their associates, reflecting their own class interests as well. Journalists entering the system are unlikely to make their way unless they conform to these ideological pressures, generally by internalizing the values.... Those who fail to conform will be weeded out...
-- from the Massey Lectures
This book applies the propaganda model Chomsky has developed with Edward Herman to media coverage of the diplomatic process in Central America and the Middle East, human rights issues, terrorism, and other topics, revealing the crucial function of the media and educated elites in limiting democracy in the United States.
Rigorously documented, Necessary Illusions is an invaluable tool for understanding how democracy functions in the United States.
Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor of Linguistics at MIT and author of many books on U.S. foreign policy, including The Political Economy of Human Rights (with Edward S. Herman), The Fateful Triangle, On Power and Ideology, and The Culture of Terrorism.'

Het interview met Noam Chomsky deel 1 en 2 kunt u hier beluisteren: http://webdisk.planet.nl/houck006/default.aspx