maandag 31 december 2007
'Shell gaat banen schrappen'
Gepubliceerd: 31 december 2007 11:43 Gewijzigd: 31 december 2007 11:45
Londen, 31 dec. Shell is van plan duizenden banen te schrappen om de kosten te drukken en de bedrijfsstructuur te vereenvoudigen. Dat meldden diverse Britse media.
Het zou met name gaan om 3600 banen bij de informatietechnologiedivisie. Het olieconcern wil een groot deel van de it-activiteiten uitbesteden. Shell zou ook streven naar banenreducties bij andere onderdelen, waaronder de financiële afdeling. Bij het concern, actief in 130 landen, werken 108.000 mensen.'
Lees verder: http://www.nrc.nl/economie/article876554.ece/Shell_gaat_banen_schrappen
Aldus de NRC/Handelsblad. Wat de kwaliteitsredactie verzuimt te melden is de context. En die is deze: Shell maakt de vele jaren vele miljarden winst voor de aandeelhouders. De aandeelhouders willen niet dat die winsten besteed worden aan grootscheepse investeringen in alternatieve energiebronnen die het voortbestaan van de mensheid niet in gevaar brengen. In diezelfde jaren van winst heeft Shell steeds meer op personeelskosten bezuinigd, al duizenden banen zijn zo verdwenen. Shell is dus nu weer'van plan duizenden banen te schrappen om de kosten te drukken en de bedrijfsstructuur te vereenvoudigen.' Wat bedoeld wordt is dat die miljardenwinsten nog steeds niet voldoende zijn. Winst kent in het kapitalisme geen maximum. Kapitalisten zijn onverzadigbaar. Zoals bekend is hebzucht een psychologische stoornis, die behandelbaar is, als de patient maar realiseert dat hij aan een stoornis lijdt. Onze samenleving is inmiddels zo ziek dat een stoornis als een verworvenheid wordt aangeprezen. En als zodanig wordt het verkocht door mijn collega's die zich als voetvolk van de neoliberalen gedragen. Dat heet vrijheid van meningsuiting. Ook dit bedrog behoort tot het domein van de pathologie.
AIDA REFUGEE CAMP, BETHLEHEM,
31 December 2007 (IRIN) -
Behind a luxurious five-star hotel and close to Bethlehem, yet unknown to most visitors who converged on nearby Manger Square for the recent Christmas mass, residents of Aida refugee camp - home to nearly 5,000 people - say their lives have been adversely affected by the Israeli restrictions on movement, in particular the Barrier built around the city. "I worked in Israel for over 15 years," Muhammed, aged 44, registered with UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, told IRIN. "It's been two years now since I lost my permit. At first I snuck into Israel through valleys and other illegal ways, but now, with the wall completed, I can't get in at all." All Palestinians from the occupied Palestinian territory require an Israeli-issued permit to enter Israel. Israel credits the Barrier for the cessation of suicide bombings, while officials note that some of the last bombers came from Bethlehem. Palestinians say the wall and fence structure "strangles" the city. Unemployment compounded by travel restrictions "When I worked in Israel, I was making close to a US$1,000 a month," Muhammed said. Now, he does odd construction jobs in the camp. "I don't make enough money like this. We only buy the essential things for the home." Without his wife's salary as a teacher, they would not be able to afford even the basics. That is the case of Harbi, aged 41, also a refugee. His wife does not have a job and he has not been able to get work in Israel for the last eight months: "My problem is that I am an unskilled labourer, so there are no jobs for me in the West Bank," he told IRIN. Unemployment is a widespread problem in the territory. Israel's internal West Bank checkpoints also mean travelling is difficult, affecting a worker's ability to take a job in another city. "My brothers give me money for food and clothing. I have no [independent] income at all. I got one food aid package this year from the UN," said the father of five. His youngest daughter, aged two, has asthma. While UNRWA covered 80 percent of the medicines' costs, he had to ask his brothers for the rest. "Without my brothers, I don't know what I would do," Harbi said. The need for permits began in 1991, during the first Gulf War following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and the first `intifada’ (Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation). The restrictions became tighter several years later, following the Oslo Accords, and were further intensified at the start of the second uprising in September 2000. The wall, completed in the Bethlehem region in recent years, sealed the area off from neighbouring Jerusalem. Day in the life of a labourer "I wake up every day at 0230am," Adnan, a 41-year-old labourer, told IRIN. "By 3am, I leave the house and 10 minutes later I'm at the checkpoint. I wait at the checkpoint until maybe 0530 or 0545am, when they open it." http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?ReportID=76052
De joods-Israeli's van Zochrot die blijven opkomen voor de rechten van de Palestijnen:
'Tour and Signposting in Al-Malha
On Friday, December 28, 2007 we held a tour in the Palestinian village Al-Malha in Jerusalem.A large part of the village with it's houses and alleys, but without it's Palestinian residents, still stands in the heart of Malha neighborhood in Western Jerusalem.About 100 people took part in the tour, some of them refugees of Al-Malha, whom came from neighboring Sharfat, the village they moved after the expulsion in July 1948. The refugees told us about life in the village before the occupation and we learned about the fighting that took place in the area in the war of 1948.We passed through the village's alleys and the refugees pointed out the names of owners of still existing houses. We overlooked the area standing on the hill-top "Al-Ras", nearby the mosque and the cemetery. Before 1948 the villagers overlooked their olive groves and flock from here. Today, in addition to the houses of the new Jewish neighbohood, "Teddy" soccer stadium, Malha shopping-mall, the Technologic Campus and other new buildings are seen from here.We posted a sign marking the Palestinian cemetery, next to "Ort-Minkoff" high-school. Another sign, bearing the inscription "Al-Malha village - 1948", was posted at the entrance of the village in the beginning of the tour. Someone made sure it would be extracted before the tour came to an end.We handed out the booklet "Remembering Al-Malha" which was produced for the event. It is the 23rd booklet in a series of booklets produced by Zochrot, commemorating the villages and towns existing before the Nakba.'
The single, strong parent in this case was a desperate State Department – with John Negroponte as the ghoulish go-between and Gordon Brown as the blushing bridesmaid – fearful that if it did not push this through both parties might soon be too old for recycling. The bride was certainly in a hurry, the groom less so. Brokers from both sides engaged in lengthy negotiations on the size of the dowry. Her broker was and remains Rehman Malik, a former boss of Pakistan’s FIA, who has been investigated for corruption by the National Accountability Bureau and who served nearly a year in prison after Benazir’s fall, then became one of her business partners and is currently under investigation (with her) by a Spanish court looking into a company called Petroline FZC, which made questionable payments to Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Documents, if genuine, show that she chaired the company. She may have been in a hurry but she did not wish to be seen taking the arm of a uniformed president. He was not prepared to forgive her past. The couple’s distaste for each other yielded to a mutual dependence on the United States. Neither party could say ‘no’, though Musharraf hoped the union could be effected inconspicuously. Fat chance.
Both parties made concessions. She agreed that he could take off his uniform after his ‘re-election’ by Parliament, but it had to be before the next general election. (He has now done this, leaving himself dependent on the goodwill of his successor as army chief of staff.) He pushed through a legal ruling – yet another sordid first in the country’s history – known as the National Reconciliation Ordinance, which withdrew all cases of corruption pending against politicians accused of looting the national treasury. The ruling was crucial for her since she hoped that the money-laundering and corruption cases pending in three European courts – in Valencia, Geneva and London – would now be dismissed. This doesn’t seem to have happened.
Many Pakistanis – not just the mutinous and mischievous types who have to be locked up at regular intervals – were repelled, and coverage of ‘the deal’ in the Pakistan media was universally hostile, except on state television. The ‘breakthrough’ was loudly trumpeted in the West, however, and a whitewashed Benazir Bhutto was presented on US networks and BBC TV news as the champion of Pakistani democracy – reporters loyally referred to her as ‘the former prime minister’ rather than the fugitive politician facing corruption charges in several countries.
She had returned the favour in advance by expressing sympathy for the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, lunching with the Israeli ambassador to the UN (a litmus test) and pledging to ‘wipe out terrorism’ in her own country. In 1979 a previous military dictator had bumped off her father with Washington’s approval, and perhaps she thought it would be safer to seek permanent shelter underneath the imperial umbrella. HarperCollins had paid her half a million dollars to write a new book. The working title she chose was ‘Reconciliation’.
As for the general, he had begun his period in office in 1999 by bowing to the spirit of the age and titling himself ‘chief executive’ rather than ‘chief martial law administrator’, which had been the norm. Like his predecessors, he promised he would stay in power only for a limited period, pledging in 2003 to resign as army chief of staff in 2004. Like his predecessors, he ignored his pledge. Martial law always begins with the promise of a new order that will sweep away the filth and corruption that marked the old one: in this case it toppled the civilian administrations of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. But ‘new orders’ are not forward movements, more military detours that further weaken the shaky foundations of a country and its institutions. Within a decade the uniformed ruler will be overtaken by a new upheaval.
Dreaming of her glory days in the last century, Benazir wanted a large reception on her return. The general was unhappy. The intelligence agencies (as well as her own security advisers) warned her of the dangers. She had declared war on the terrorists and they had threatened to kill her. But she was adamant. She wanted to demonstrate her popularity to the world and to her political rivals, including those inside her own fiefdom, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). For a whole month before she boarded the Dubai-Karachi flight, the PPP were busy recruiting volunteers from all over the country to welcome her. Up to 200,000 people lined the streets, but it was a far cry from the million who turned up in Lahore in 1986 when a very different Benazir returned to challenge General Zia ul-Haq. The plan had been to move slowly in the Bhuttomobile from Karachi airport to the tomb of the country’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, where she would make a speech. It was not to be. As darkness fell, the bombers struck. Who they were and who sent them remains a mystery. She was unhurt, but 130 people died, including some of the policemen guarding her. The wedding reception had led to mayhem.'
Weird, isn't it, how swiftly the narrative is laid down for us.
Benazir Bhutto, the courageous leader of the Pakistan People's Party,
is assassinated in Rawalpindi attached to the very capital of
Islamabad wherein ex-General Pervez Musharraf lives and we are told
by George Bush that her murderers were "extremists" and "terrorists".
Well, you can't dispute that.
But the implication of the Bush comment was that Islamists were
behind the assassination. It was the Taliban madmen again, the
al-Qa'ida spider who struck at this lone and brave woman who had
dared to call for democracy in her country.
Of course, given the childish coverage of this appalling tragedy
and however corrupt Ms Bhutto may have been, let us be under no
illusions that this brave lady is indeed a true martyr it's not
surprising that the "good-versus-evil" donkey can be trotted out to
explain the carnage in Rawalpindi.
Who would have imagined, watching the BBC or CNN on Thursday, that
her two brothers, Murtaza and Shahnawaz, hijacked a Pakistani
airliner in 1981 and flew it to Kabul where Murtaza demanded the
release of political prisoners in Pakistan. Here, a military officer
on the plane was murdered. There were Americans aboard the flight
which is probably why the prisoners were indeed released.
Only a few days ago in one of the most remarkable (but typically
unrecognised) scoops of the year Tariq Ali published a brilliant
dissection of Pakistan (and Bhutto) corruption in the London Review
of Books, focusing on Benazir and headlined: "Daughter of the West".
In fact, the article was on my desk to photocopy as its subject was
being murdered in Rawalpindi.
Towards the end of this report, Tariq Ali dwelt at length on the
subsequent murder of Murtaza Bhutto by police close to his home at a
time when Benazir was prime minister and at a time when Benazir was
enraged at Murtaza for demanding a return to PPP values and for
condemning Benazir's appointment of her own husband as minister for
industry, a highly lucrative post.'
zondag 30 december 2007
WOUNDED KNEE, Lakota (formerly South Dakota)- December 27 - Thirteen days and 287 miles ago, 44 people mounted horses and began the Memorial Chief Big Foot Ride in honor of Si Tanka (Chief Big Foot) and his unarmed band of Mniconjou and Hunkpapa refuges who were slaughtered by U.S. Calvary in 1890 at Wounded Knee.
But while these 44 riders began their journey under the shadow of U.S. Treaty, their numbers will swell to over 100 and end under the protection of a free and sovereign Lakota Nation.
The ride began on December 15th in Standing Rock, the anniversary of Sitting Bull's death, and has traveled through fierce snowstorm and cold, the same conditions faced by the 357 mostly women, children and elder men at Wounded Knee Creek 127 years ago.
"The purpose of the ride is to ride the spirit trail of Chief Big Foot," said Tegihya Kte also known as Garry Rowland, leader of the riders and recent delegate of the Lakota Freedom effort in Washington D.C.. "The Tree of Life died in Wounded Knee in 1890, and the ride was begun to mend the Sacred Hoop."
Riders ranging in age from 10 to 65 travel the footsteps of their Ancestors, along the way offering prayer for the women, children, the Elders, and the conditions the Lakota people are forced to live under today. For the children, the ride is also a powerful introduction to the sacred relationship between the Lakota and the horse and the courage their Ancestors took during their 13 day walk from the site of Sitting Bull's assassination to Wounded Knee.
"My sons and now my grandsons have participated in the ride," shared Tegihya Kte. "They ride for our future and the self-determination of our people."
The self-determination of the Lakota now takes on powerful meeting as the Lakota Freedom Delegation traveled to Washington D.C. and withdrew the Lakota from their treaties with the United States Government. The ride becomes an outward expression of sovereign Lakota rights and spirituality.
Tegihya Kte said, "We don't want the government telling us what to do, we want to be free."
Lakota Freedom delegate and Cante Tenza leader Canupa Gluha Mani (Duane Martin Sr.) agreed, "The Lakota withdrawal in Washington D.C. brings real protection for our people today, exactly the real protection Big Foot sought for his people then."
We are the freedom loving Lakota from the Sioux Indian reservations of Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana who have withdrawn from the constitutionally mandated treaties to become a free and independent country. We are alerting the Family of Nations we have now reassumed our freedom and independence with the backing of Natural, International, and United States law. For more information, please visit our new website at http://www.lakotafreedom.com.
Dit las ik op de blog yelamdenu:
pretentie te spreken namens "het volk".
Er is niets nieuws onder de zon.''Er is geen enkel fundamenteel onderscheid tussen het antisemitisme van de 19e, en eerste helft van de 20e eeuw in Oost- en West-Europa, en de manier waarop Geert Wilders tegen moslims aankijkt.
Beide zijn gebaseerd op een volslagen karikaturaal beeld van joden, resp. moslims, en beide uiten zich in verbale agressie, onredelijkheid, zeer lange tenen, het verdachtmaken van de Talmud, resp. de Koran, als zouden deze gevaarlijke inspiratiebronnen zijn, het stellen van vernederende eisen aan joden, resp. moslims, om acceptabel gevonden te worden...'
Lees verder: http://yelamdenu.blogsome.com/2007/12/29/geert-wilders-is-een-antisemiet/
Deze tekst stond ook op www.nujij.nl Een van de reacties erop was deze:
'Sinds wanneer is Wilders een Jodenhater? Dit slaat echt helemaal nergens op.'
Dit soort reacties ziet men wel meer. Dat komt omdat algemeen wordt aangenomen dat het christelijke antisemitisme na de holocaust is verdwenen. Die veronderstelling is onjuist. Het antisemitisme is ondergronds gegaan en duikt als een veenbrand weer op, nu in de vorm van de haat tegen de islam. En de islam wordt weer onmiddellijk gekoppeld aan de Arabieren. De haat tegen de joden mag dan wel niet meer expliciet zichtbaar zijn onder een aanzienlijk deel van de bevolking, maar de haat tegen de ander is nooit verdwenen. Alleen is de Arabier nu de ander. Op de islam, de Arabier, die net als de jood een semiet is, wordt nu de haat geprojecteerd. Zo mobiliseert Geert Wilders de eeuwige haat en rancune tegen de ander. Hij gebruikt dezelfde technieken als de nationaal-socialisten gebruikten tegen de joden, het criminaliseren en stigmatiseren van een groep mensen. De fout van de enkeling wordt gepresenteerd als de fout van de groep. Of Geert Wilders nu een antisemiet is, is in wezen niet zo belangrijk, hij gedraagt zich als een antisemiet.
In 2004 schreef ik in het tijdschrift De Humanist het volgende: 'Ed van Thijn verklaarde onlangs in het Amsterdams Stadsblad over de toenemende polarisatie: ‘Dit is de prijs die je betaalt voor een welbewuste verharding; het is een doodlopende weg. Die bewuste verharding tegen de islam moet stoppen. Er zijn mensen die in die context afgelopen jaren alle remmen hebben losgegooid – Theo van Gogh was daar een van. Met alle gevolgen van dien: een verruwing van de samenleving die we niet zouden moeten willen. Het gaat niet om de vrijheid van meningsuiting, het gaat om de beschaafde omgang daarmee... als je elkaar… op hoge toon de maat gaat nemen, en van hele bevolkingsgroepen roept dat ze achterlijk zijn, dan gaat dat gisten, dan voelen mensen zich in de hoek gezet. Sommige groepen gaan zich afwenden… Het is een historisch macabere vergelijking dat we op 9 november de Kristallnacht uit 1938 zouden herdenken toen er op diezelfde dag een islamitische basisschool in de brand ging.’ Dat de holocaust een exclusief Westers fenomeen is, beseft de moslim gemeenschap in Nederland maar al te goed. Dit soort historische kennis bezit ze wel degelijk en is ondermeer de reden van een aanzienlijke dosis scepsis over de westerse aanspraak op superioriteit. Maar dat inzicht moet nog doordringen tot een groot deel van de autochtonen.'
By Salah Nasrawi 12/29/07
"HuffingtonPost" -- -
CAIRO, Egypt — Osama bin Laden warned Iraq's Sunni Arabs against fighting al-Qaida and promised to expand the terror group's holy war to Israel in a new audiotape Saturday, threatening "blood for blood, destruction for destruction."Most of the 56-minute tape dealt with Iraq, apparently al-Qaida's latest attempt to keep supporters in Iraq unified at a time when the U.S. military claims to have al-Qaida's Iraq branch on the run.The tape did not mention Pakistan or the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, though Pakistan's government has blamed al-Qaida and the Taliban for her death on Thursday.But bin Laden's comments offered an unusually direct attack on Israel, which has warned of growing al-Qaida activity in Palestinian territory. The terror network is not believed to have taken a strong role there so far."We intend to liberate Palestine, the whole of Palestine from the (Jordan) river to the sea," he said, threatening "blood for blood, destruction for destruction.""We will not recognize even one inch for Jews in the land of Palestine as other Muslim leaders have," bin Laden said.In Iraq, a number of Sunni Arab tribes in western Anbar province have formed a coalition fighting al-Qaida-linked insurgents that U.S. officials credit for deeply reducing violence in the province. The U.S. military has been working to form similar "Awakening Councils" in other areas of Iraq.White House spokesman Tony Fratto said bin Laden's tape shows that al-Qaida's aim is to block democracy and freedom for all Iraqis."It also reminds us that the mission to defeat al-Qaida in Iraq is critically important and must succeed," Fratto said. "The Iraqi people _ every day, and in increasing numbers _ are choosing freedom and standing against the murderous, hateful ideology of AQI. And we stand with them."In the audiotape, bin Laden denounced Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha, the former leader of the Anbar Awakening Council, who was killed in a September bombing claimed by al-Qaida."The most evil of the traitors are those who trade away their religion for the sake of their mortal life," bin Laden said.Bin Laden said U.S. and Iraqi officials are seeking to set up a "national unity government" joining the country's Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds."Our duty is to foil these dangerous schemes, which try to prevent the establishment of an Islamic state in Iraq, which would be a wall of resistance against American schemes to divide Iraq," he said.The authenticity of the tape could not be independently confirmed. But the voice resembled that of bin Laden. The tape was posted on an Islamic militant Web site where al-Qaida's media arm, Al-Sahab, issues the group's messages.The tape was the fifth message released by bin Laden this year, a flurry of activity after he went more than a year without issuing any tapes. The messages began with a Sept. 8 video that showed bin Laden for the first time in nearly three years. The other messages this year have been audiotapes.'
Lees verder: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18968.htm Of:
'The Post-Bush Regime: A Prognosis
By Richard K. Moore
Global Research, December 27, 2007
In order to understand anything about American political affairs, it is necessary to have some understanding of who it is that really makes the decisions behind the scenes, and what their interests are. In this way we have some hope of identifying the hidden agendas being served by government actions and programs, and some hope of identifying the longer-term strategies that are in play.
It turns out‹and informed people should already know this‹that the U.S. is essentially owned and managed by a small clique of wealthy families‹the ones who own and control the Federal Reserve. The Rockefellers are the obvious and well-known members of this clique, but there are others less well-known, not all American, and some whose identity remains to this day a carefully guarded secret. We don¹t even know exactly who it is that¹s running the show.
Such has been the nature of our Œdemocracy¹ since 1913, when the Federal Reserve Act was snuck through Congress during Christmas recess, by the same folks who funded Woodrow Wilson¹s campaign and who became the private owners of the new all-powerful central bank. The first major initiative of these folks, the ancestors of our current ruling clique, was to finance both sides in Europe during World War I, and then to connive the entrance of the US into the war just in time to tilt the balance to the side favored by the clique‹the same pattern that later characterized World War II.
From that point forward American policy-making has been firmly in the hands of the original Federal Reserve clique and its descendents. The mainstream media is also under the thumb of the same clique, so that public opinion is never allowed to interfere with fundamental clique objectives. The media can be used to support sitting Presidents, or to undermine them, depending on which best enhances those objectives. No President who has turned on these people has survived long in office, as we saw most recently in the case of JFK. The tentacles of the clique reach also into the top echelons of all the Intelligence services and the Pentagon, and into those influential globalist forums, such as the WTO, the Trilateral Commission, and the Bilderbergers.
Bush and the neocons have been mere tools-of-the-day for this clique. The neocons happened to be promoting a package that appealed to the clique, that promised to advance some of its objectives. In selecting the neocons to be the drivers behind a new administration, the clique was by no means adopting the neocon philosophy, nor were they buying into the whole PNAC package. They were simply employing a convenient tool that was aligned tactically with clique interests for the time being. Any such tool can be discarded whenever its behavior becomes counter-productive, or when a better tool comes along. There is always a Plan B in the wings for any tool that might go rogue or go sour.
Bush, who has probably never even read the PNAC agenda, was selected for entirely different reasons. Knowing that the agenda would be highly unpopular, the clique decided that defending it logically would be very difficult, even with complete control over the media. An articulate and intelligent President would look like a fool if he tried to defend the insane policies. So, our clique slyly figured, why not put someone up there who is obviously a fool, right through his whole little soul, so that the public will believe they are struggling against the foolishness of one man, and have no understanding of what¹s really going on. Of course Bush, being clueless on all matters apart from golf, looting, cocaine, and womanizing, would need to be kept far away from any role in running the White House. Hence the need for Cheney, the shadow real president, who leaves all the photo ops to Bush, who stays out of the public eye himself, and who carries the Black Armageddon Box with him everywhere he goes, something only official Presidents have done in the past.
This was the project that went operational in the form of Bush¹s initial Presidential campaign. The ducks were all lined up for launching a major imperialist venture, the preparations for 9/11 were well underway, and no power on Earth was going to stop the Bush Show. Of course Bush The Clueless was going to win, no matter how much vote fixing and media lying was required, or how many Supreme Court Justices were needed to accomplish the task. As a last resort they wouldn¹t have hesitated to off Gore, one of their own boys, if it was the only way to open the path for their current man, a tactic they used earlier with Bobby Kennedy. Of course now that we have Diebold machines, all of this can be accomplished by a single computer command message, specifying which candidates are to get which percentage of votes in each precinct. Exit polls have been abandoned since they provide hard statistical evidence of the systematic fix.
The neocons have accomplished much for their elite puppeteers, and have been given in return free reign to loot at will, funneling all those billions for the Iraq War into their own corporate coffers and investment portfolios. They for their part have established the foundations of a fascist state in the US and Canada, secured Iraq¹s oil reserves, built permanent forward mega-bases in Iraq, successfullly destabilized Iraq and prepared it for balkanization, secured pipeline routes in Afghanistan, restored the profitable opium trade, and made progress toward achieving the first-strike capability that will be needed when the time comes to take on Russia and China. Quite a bundle of major achievements in a very short time indeed. But to our clique, the question always is, ³What have you done for me lately, Sunshine?²'
Lees verder: http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7693
zaterdag 29 december 2007
' Worms infect more poor Americans than thought
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Roundworms may infect close to a quarter of inner city black children, tapeworms are the leading cause of seizures among U.S. Hispanics and other parasitic diseases associated with poor countries are also affecting Americans, a U.S. expert said on Tuesday.
Recent studies show many of the poorest Americans living in the United States carry some of the same parasitic infections that affect the poor in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, said Dr. Peter Hotez, a tropical disease expert at George Washington University and editor-in-chief of the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Writing in the journal, Hotez said these parasitic infections had been ignored by most health experts in the United States.
"I feel strongly that this is such an important health issue and yet because it only affects the poor it has been ignored," Hotez said via e-mail.
He said the United States spent hundreds of millions of dollars to defend against bio-terrorism threats like anthrax or smallpox or avian flu, which were more a theoretical concern than a real threat at present.
"And yet we have a devastating parasitic disease burden among the American poor, right under our nose," Hotez said.
He noted a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, presented in November, found that almost 14 percent of the U.S. population is infected with Toxocara roundworms, which dogs and cats can pass to people.'
Lees verder: http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSN2526656920071226
En als de commerciele massamedia in Nederland hier nu eens over berichten, en niet nagenoeg al hun aandacht zouden besteden aan de polder, dan zou de massa hier beter geinformeerd zijn en intelligentere keuzes kunnen maken.
OUR MONITORING DESK
EARLY next year, US special forces are expected to vastly expand their presence in Pakistan, as part of an effort to train and support indigenous counter-insurgency forces and clandestine counter-terrorism units, according to American defence officials involved with the planning, reports Washington Post.These Pakistan-centric operations will mark a shift for the US military and for US-Pakistan relations. In the aftermath of Sept 11, the US used Pakistani bases to stage movements into Afghanistan. Yet once the US deposed the Taliban government and established its main operating base at Bagram, north of Kabul, US forces left Pakistan almost entirely. Since then, Pakistan has restricted US involvement in cross-border military operations as well as paramilitary operations on its soil.But the Pentagon has been frustrated by the inability of Pakistani forces to control the borders or the frontier area. And Pakistan’s political instability has heightened US concern about extremists there.According to Pentagon sources, reaching a different agreement with Pakistan became a priority for the new head of the US Special Operations Command, Adm Eric T Olson. Olson visited Pakistan in August, November and again this month, meeting with President Pervez Musharraf, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Tariq Majid and Lt Gen Muhammad Masood Aslam, commander of the military and paramilitary troops in northwest Pakistan. Olson also visited the headquarters of the Frontier Corps, a separate paramilitary force recruited from Pakistan’s border tribes.Now, a new agreement, reported when it was still being negotiated last month, has been finalised. And the first US personnel could be on the ground in Pakistan by early in the new year, according to Pentagon sources.US Central Command Commander Adm William Fallon alluded to the agreement and spoke approvingly of Pakistan’s recent counter-terrorism efforts in a recent interview. “What we’ve seen in the last several months is more of a willingness to use their regular army units,” along the Afghan border, Fallon said. “And this is where, I think, we can help a lot from the US in providing the kind of training, assistance and mentoring based on our experience with insurgencies recently and with the terrorist problem in Iraq and Afghanistan, I think we share a lot with them, and we’ll look forward to doing that.”
It’s an ancient tradition derived
De Guardian bericht:
As the US economy heads south, food banks are experiencing severe shortages - just as the number of Americans reliant on them is rising
There's a debate raging in America as we head toward a new year: are we or aren't we in a 1970s-style recession, one involving a stalled economy combined with strong inflationary pressures?
The measures are ambiguous. The housing market is about as deep in the hole as it has ever been, but jobs are still being created - albeit at a snail's pace. The stock market's gone all squirrelly, but depending on the day Wall Street is still capable of delivering stockholders a triple-digit Dow Jones gain. Inflation is rearing its ugly head, largely driven by the upward march of oil prices, and the dollar's lost getting on for 20% of its value in the past couple years. But at the same time consumer spending is pretty robust (albeit sustained, increasingly, by a holiday season reliance on credit cards rather than on refinanced homes and lines of credit tied to house values).
But there's one measure that's not in the slightest bit ambiguous: hunger in America is on the march.
Throughout the 2000s, year in and year out - with the exception of one blip downward in 2005 - the number of hungry people has been increasing. By 2006, the US department of agriculture estimated that 35.5 million Americans worried about how to put food on the table, and over 11 million actually went hungry at times.
Actually, let me rephrase that: in 2006, the US government decided not to call these 11 million people "hungry". Instead, in an Orwellian slight of hand, they were deemed to have "very low food security". Saying there are hungry people in the country, people with bellies rumbling, people who go to bed at night unfed, children whose only hot meal is the lunch they get weekdays at school, might actually result in anger - anger that the richest country on earth is so badly failing its poorest citizens. By contrast, saying there are "food insecure" people tamps down that emotion rather well
No thanks to the government and its language manipulation, until the current economic turmoil threw more people into poverty and reduced the ability of many others to donate to charities, in many instances it actually was true that people were worrying more about hunger than actually experiencing it as a chronic condition of life. The reason was that until this year private charities - churches and food banks, in particular - were doing a pretty good job of throwing up safety nets for all these "food insecure" individuals. Swallow your pride, stand in line at a food bank and ask for free food, and like as not you were going to go home with a box of food large enough to tide you over until your next pay check or welfare payment. A year ago, when I reported on hunger in Sacramento, the city I have lived in for the past three years, the food banks were doling out incredible quantities of food, both fresh and canned, to needy people citywide.
Recently, however, as the broader economy has headed south, the amount and quality of food being donated to food banks has fallen off - just when the number of people reliant on these institutions is rising. And, according to researchers in Georgia and elsewhere, the hungry are not exclusively the unemployed and homeless, but also working, even middle-class folks. Increasingly, people who over-extended themselves to buy houses are finding themselves trapped by the collapsing housing market and unable to raise the cash to feed their families.'
vrijdag 28 december 2007
'In So Many Cases, Democracy Rises from Catastrophe, Naomi Klein Argues
By John Freeman
The Cleveland Plain Dealer
According to economists in the University of Chicago school of thought, free-market ideas spread across the planet in a series of natural if sometimes painful historic developments. And the unprecedented (and highly lucrative) access Western capital enjoyed to these emerging markets is essential to kick-starting democratic reform.
In this towering polemic, Naomi Klein demolishes this narrative, arguing that the evidence tells a different story. Skipping across several decades and numerous U.S. administrations of both parties, Klein shows how the free-market ideas associated with Milton Friedman have spread often through catastrophe (as in Thailand, post-tsunami, and in New Orleans, post-Katrina) and at the point of a gun (as in Chile in 1973 and Iraq today).
Klein, a journalist whose book, "No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies" was translated into 28 languages, argues here that the violence necessary to foster such free-market reforms will only increase.
Many decades ago, Marxist historian Walter Rodney labeled a similar phenomenon "the underdevelopment of Africa," describing a deliberate molding of developing economies by imperialism to serve its own needs. Today, Klein calls it "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism." She takes her cue from the role shock and awe, in all forms, plays in getting the local populace to cooperate: book-burning, bombing, widespread arrests and roundups - even torture.
Readers of Howard Zinn's "A People's History" will recognize an ideological stance at work here. But Klein is not simply a woman with a bullhorn. A fierce writer whose prose has the metaphorical gusto of Susan Sontag's in its best moments, Klein manages to weave a narrative out of a large variety of historical events that is equal parts cultural commentary and investigative journalism.
Her most powerful segments deal with events of recent years. Take, for instance, her ability to encapsulate the mess that is Iraq. Among other things, "The Shock Doctrine" shows how the growing role of civilian contractors, Abu Ghraib, the insurgency, and the constant, spooky presence of Halliburton in so many recent projects (which include the building of Guantanamo and the reconstruction of New Orleans) all stem from the shock doctrine.
For instance, in describing how so much money gets spent and so little done in Iraq, Klein creates this daisy-chain sentence. "The big contractors set up offices in the Green Zone, or even Kuwait City and Amman, then subcontracted to Kuwati companies, who subcontracted to Saudis, who, when the security situation got too rough, finally subcontracted to Iraqi firms, often from Kurdistan, for a fraction of what the contracts were worth."
Klein reminds us that, contrary to his public statements, Dick Cheney will profit enormously from his continued association with Halliburton. Here is why this book, angry as it is, deserves such a wide audience. It reminds us that the purpose of government is to serve the most people as best it can. Under the shock doctrine, Klein argues, the opposite occurs: One class of people comes up with the plan, another does the fighting, and a third, way at the bottom, deals with the fallout.
If you accept this assessment, it's not hard to see why such policies earn what the CIA calls "blowback."
Freeman is president of the National Book Critics Circle.'
donderdag 27 december 2007
woensdag 26 december 2007
and whose shepherds mislead them.
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced,
and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully as hero
and aims to rule the world with force and by torture.
Pity the nation that knows no other language but its own
and no other culture but its own.
Pity the nation whose breath is money
and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.
Pity the nation -- oh, pity the people who allow their rights to erode
and their freedoms to be washed away.
My country, tears of thee, sweet land of liberty.
-- Lawrence Ferlinghetti
dinsdag 25 december 2007
maandag 24 december 2007
By Paul Krugman
The New York Times
Monday 24 December 2007
Once upon a time, back when America had a strong middle class, it also had a strong union movement.
These two facts were connected. Unions negotiated good wages and benefits for their workers, gains that often ended up being matched even by nonunion employers. They also provided an important counterbalance to the political influence of corporations and the economic elite.
Today, however, the American union movement is a shadow of its former self, except among government workers. In 1973, almost a quarter of private-sector employees were union members, but last year the figure was down to a mere 7.4 percent.
Yet unions still matter politically. And right now they're at the heart of a nasty political scuffle among Democrats. Before I get to that, however, let's talk about what happened to American labor over the last 35 years.
It's often assumed that the U.S. labor movement died a natural death, that it was made obsolete by globalization and technological change. But what really happened is that beginning in the 1970s, corporate America, which had previously had a largely cooperative relationship with unions, in effect declared war on organized labor.
Don't take my word for it; read Business Week, which published an article in 2002 titled "How Wal-Mart Keeps Unions at Bay." The article explained that "over the past two decades, Corporate America has perfected its ability to fend off labor groups." It then described the tactics - some legal, some illegal, all involving a healthy dose of intimidation - that Wal-Mart and other giant firms use to block organizing drives.
These hardball tactics have been enabled by a political environment that has been deeply hostile to organized labor, both because politicians favored employers' interests and because conservatives sought to weaken the Democratic Party. "We're going to crush labor as a political entity," Grover Norquist, the anti-tax activist, once declared.
But the times may be changing. A newly energized progressive movement seems to be on the ascendant, and unions are a key part of that movement. Most notably, the Service Employees International Union has played a key role in pushing for health care reform. And unions will be an important force in the Democrats' favor in next year's election.
Or maybe not - which brings us to the latest from Iowa.
Whoever receives the Democratic presidential nomination will receive labor's support in the general election. Meanwhile, however, unions are supporting favored candidates. Hillary Clinton - who for a time seemed the clear front-runner - has received the most union support. John Edwards, whose populist message resonates with labor, has also received considerable labor support.'
Lees verder: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/24/opinion/24krugman.html?ref=opinion Of: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/122407N.shtml
Net zoals onder andere de Nederlandse regering de drugsbaronnen van Afghanistan aan de macht houdt, zo steunt Washington met belastinggeld Pakistaanse gangsters. De New York Times bericht:
'US Officials See Waste in Billions Sent to Pakistan By David Rohde, Carlotta Gall, Eric Schmitt and David E. Sanger The New York Times
Monday 24 December 2007
Islamabad, Pakistan - After the United States has spent more than $5 billion in a largely failed effort to bolster the Pakistani military effort against Al Qaeda and the Taliban, some American officials now acknowledge that there were too few controls over the money. The strategy to improve the Pakistani military, they said, needs to be completely revamped.
In interviews in Islamabad and Washington, Bush administration and military officials said they believed that much of the American money was not making its way to frontline Pakistani units. Money has been diverted to help finance weapons systems designed to counter India, not Al Qaeda or the Taliban, the officials said, adding that the United States has paid tens of millions of dollars in inflated Pakistani reimbursement claims for fuel, ammunition and other costs.
"I personally believe there is exaggeration and inflation," said a senior American military official who has reviewed the program, referring to Pakistani requests for reimbursement. "Then, I point back to the United States and say we didn't have to give them money this way."
Pakistani officials say they are incensed at what they see as American ingratitude for Pakistani counterterrorism efforts that have left about 1,000 Pakistani soldiers and police officers dead. They deny that any overcharging has occurred.
The $5 billion was provided through a program known as Coalition Support Funds, which reimburses Pakistan for conducting military operations to fight terrorism. Under a separate program, Pakistan receives $300 million per year in traditional American military financing that pays for equipment and training.
Civilian opponents of President Pervez Musharraf say he used the reimbursements to prop up his government. One European diplomat in Islamabad said the United States should have been more cautious with its aid.
"I wonder if the Americans have not been taken for a ride," said the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Lawmakers in Washington voted Thursday to put restrictions on the $300 million in military financing, and withheld $50 million of that money until Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice certifies that Islamabad has been restoring democratic rights since Mr. Musharraf lifted a state of emergency on Dec. 16. The measure had little effect on the far larger Coalition Support Funds reimbursements.'
Lees verder: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/24/world/asia/24military.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin Of:
'Zaak-Eric O. beïnvloed door maatjesgeest
"De waarheid raakt bij mariniers ondergeschikt aan de groepsregels."'
Aldus Trouw. Verbaast u dit? Mij ook niet. De waarheid ondergeschikt aan andere belangen? Dat is in de politiek ook zo, en in het dagelijks leven. En daarom is de enige juiste conclusie uit deze waarheid als een koe dat men geen oorlog moet beginnen. Want oorlog voeren is niets anders dan moorden. Of wist men dit nog niet? En wat men zeker niet moet doen is pathologische gevallen als Eric O. een wapen geven.
'De cultuur bij het korps mariniers werkt het afleggen van valse verklaringen in de hand. Dat ontdekte militair juriste Annelies Wesstra. De zaak-Eric O. is een voorbeeld.
Luitenant-ter-zee 3 Annelies Wesstra werkt als militair juriste bij de Koninklijke marine. Zij schreef de scriptie ’De militaire getuige: maatjesgeest of in de geest van de waarheid?’ Ze heeft naar aanleiding van de zaak Eric O. literatuurstudie gedaan naar de invloed van de cultuur en organisatie van de krijgsmacht op het waarheidsgehalte van verklaringen van militaire getuigen.
Die vraag is actueel door het opduiken van geluidsopnamen waaruit valt op te maken dat getuigen mogelijk valse verklaringen hebben afgelegd. De directe commandant van O. pleitte hem voor de rechtbank vrij van schuld aan de dood van een Irakees, maar verklaarde later dat hij O. de hand boven het hoofd heeft gehouden om de reputatie van het korps mariniers niet te schaden. Het in oktober afgeronde onderzoek van Wesstra bevestigt dat mechanisme. Elite-eenheden als het Korps Mariniers hebben een sterk ontwikkelde cultuur om de vuile was niet buiten te hangen. Dat kan leiden tot afwijkende normen. De wettelijke plicht om ’de gehele waarheid en niets anders dan de waarheid’ te spreken, raakt er ondergeschikt aan de informele regels van de groep. „Door een combinatie van zwijgen en het sluiten van de gelederen en de neiging van direct leidinggevenden om eventuele misstanden intern af te doen, kan niet meer van zichtbaarheid van gedrag en transparantie gesproken worden”, aldus Wesstra.'
zondag 23 december 2007
'Lakota group secedes from U.S.
Political activist Russell Means, a founder of the American Indian Movement, says he and other members of Lakota tribes have renounced treaties and are withdrawing from the United States.
"We are now a free country and independent of the United States of America," Means said in a telephone interview. "This is all completely legal."Means said a Lakota delegation on Monday delivered a statement of "unilateral withdrawal" from the United States to the U.S. State Department in Washington.The State Department did not respond. "That'll take some time," Means said.Meanwhile, the delegation has delivered copies of the letter to the embassies of Bolivia, Venezuela, Chile and South Africa. "We're asking for recognition," Means said, adding that Ireland and East Timor are "very interested" in the declaration.Other countries will get copies of the same declaration, which Means said also would be delivered to the United Nations and to state and county governments covered by treaties, including treaties signed in 1851 and 1868. "We're willing to negotiate with any American political entity," Means said.The United States could face international pressure if it doesn't agree to negotiate, Means said. "The United State of America is an outlaw nation, we now know. We've understood that as a people for 155 years."Means also said his group would file liens on property in parts of South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming that were illegally homesteaded.The Web site for the declaration, "Lakota Freedom," briefly crashed Thursday as wire services picked up the story and the server was overwhelmed, Means said.Delegation member Phyllis Young said in an online statement: "We are not trying to embarrass the United States. We are here to continue the struggle for our children and grandchildren." Young was an organizer of Women of All Red Nations.Other members of the delegation include Rapid City-area activist Duane Martin Sr. and Gary Rowland, a leader of the Chief Big Foot Riders.Means said anyone could live in the Lakota Nation, tax free, as long as they renounced their U.S. citizenship. The nation would issue drivers licenses and passports, but each community would be independent. "It will be the epitome of individual liberty, with community control," Means said.'
Sanford, North Carolina -
"Maybe finaly I can get some peace," said the 20-year-old, misspelling "finally" but writing in a neat hand.
His parents didn't find out about the note for well over a year, and only then when it showed up in a government envelope in his father's rural North Carolina mailbox.
The one-page missive was among hundreds of pages of documents the soldier's family obtained and shared with The Associated Press after battling a military bureaucracy they feel didn't want to answer their questions, especially this: Why did Jason Scheuerman have to die?
What the soldier's father, Chris, would learn about his son's final days would lead the retired Special Forces commando, who teaches at Fort Bragg, to take on the very institution he's spent his life serving - and ultimately prompt an investigation by the Army Inspector General's office.
The documents, obtained by Freedom of Information Act requests filed by Chris Scheuerman, reveal a troubled soldier kept in Iraq despite repeated signs he was going to kill himself, including placing the muzzle of his weapon in his mouth multiple times.
Jason Scheuerman's story - pieced together with interviews and information in the documents - demonstrates how he was failed by the very support system that was supposed to protect him. In his case, a psychologist told his commanders to send him back to his unit because he was capable of feigning mental illness to get out of the Army.
He is not alone. At least 152 U.S. troops have taken their own lives in Iraq and Afghanistan since the two wars started, contributing to the Army's highest suicide rate in 26 years of keeping track. For the grieving parents, the answers don't come easily or quickly.
For Jason Scheuerman, death came on July 30, 2005, around 5:30 p.m., about 45 minutes after his first sergeant told the teary-eyed private that if he was intentionally misbehaving so he could leave the Army, he would go to jail where he would be abused.
When the call came out over the unit's radios that there had been a death, one soldier would later tell investigators he suspected it was Scheuerman.
Scheuerman spent his early years on military posts playing GI Joe. The middle child, he divided his time after his parents' divorce between his mother's house in Lynchburg, Va., and his father's in North Carolina where he went to high school.
He was nearly 6 feet tall and loved to eat. His mother, Anne, said sometimes at 10 p.m. she'd find him defrosting chicken to grill.
Likable and witty, he often joked around - even dressing up like a clown one night at church camp, said his pastor, Mike Cox of West Lynchburg Baptist Church. But he had a quiet, reflective side, too, and sometimes withdrew, Cox said.'
'So what have we done to them
by Nehemia Shtrasler
December 20, 2007
An old Jewish joke tells of a devoted mother who briefs her son before he sets out to battle: "Kill a Turk and rest," she advises. But the son asks: "And what happens if in fact the Turk tries to kill me?" She opens her eyes wide in surprise: "Why would he want to kill you? What have you done to him?" This is exactly the kind of self-righteousness that accompanies our attitude toward the Palestinians. It is evident in the reports on the television, radio and in the newspapers -- which paint only a partial picture of the conflict. Because when considerations of ratings and just plain cowardice determine coverage, the information the public gets is biased. In this way an extremist public opinion is created, which believes that all of the justice is on our side only, because "what have we done to them?" Last Wednesday, the media reported the severe rocket attack on Sderot. Twenty rockets landed on the city and Mayor Eli Moyal resigned on live radio. The broadcasts, on all three television channels, were dramatic. Reporters interviewed furious residents who demanded immediate and harsh military action in the Gaza Strip. One of the Qassams hit the home of Aliza Amar, and she was taken in moderate condition to Barzilai Medical center in Ashkelon.
It is clear that the situation in Sderot and the Gaza-envelope locales is very difficult and is deserving of comprehensive coverage. However, the story also has other angles -- which the television channels are not presenting at all. None of the channels saw fit to remind its viewers that several days prior to the attack on Sderot, the Israel Defense Forces had begun an extensive action in Gaza, the second largest since the disengagement. Last Tuesday, the day before the barrage on Sderot, three people were killed in Gaza by a tank shell fired into a house southeast of Khan Yunis. Two more were killed by a bomb dropped by a plane on their car and another "met his death" in the area of Beit Hanoun. According to the IDF, all of the dead were terror activists, members of the Islamic Jihad. A total of 13 people were killed in the action and 40 were arrested for interrogation. The Islamic Jihad announced that it would take revenge and the following day the barrage of rockets landed on Sderot. The connection is clear. But it doesn't film well. To talk about Arabs "avenging" their dead really does not serve the ratings. It is much easier and popular to show only one side of the story, the suffering of Sderot's inhabitants. That way the story becomes simple: bad and irrational Arabs who are firing on us for no reason.'
Lees meer over dit college over zionisme: http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=107&ItemID=14546
zaterdag 22 december 2007
As Wall Street reels, Bush welcomes money from abroad
Headshot of Barrie McKenna
December 21, 2007
WASHINGTON -- George W. Bush has opened the door wide for foreign companies, including Chinese-owned ones, to help rescue U.S. banks from the subprime mortgage mess.
"I'm fine with capital coming in from overseas to help bolster financial institutions," the U.S. President said yesterday, a day after a Chinese government agency agreed to invest $5-billion (U.S.) in troubled broker Morgan Stanley.
"I think the world that is open for investment and trade is a world that will lead to overall prosperity."
Mr. Bush added that he's looking at "all options" to keep the United States from slipping into a recession.
The world's largest economy expanded at an impressive 4.9 per cent annualized clip in the third quarter, according to a final U.S. Commerce Department estimate. But economists said a severe housing slump, a continuing freeze-up in parts of the credit market and growing consumer angst is already weighing heavily on the economy.
Most economists aren't forecasting an outright recession - defined as two consecutives quarters of economic contraction - for the United States.
During what is likely his last news conference of 2007, Mr. Bush similarly insisted the economy is fundamentally healthy, in spite of the housing downturn and the spike in energy costs.
"My view of the economy is that the fundamentals are strong," Mr. Bush told reporters at the White House. "Like many Americans, I'm concerned about the fact that Americans see their costs going up. I know Americans are concerned about whether or not their neighbour may stay in their house."
Mr. Bush's apparent invitation to foreign investors isn't a complete surprise. Recent investments by sovereign wealth funds in Citigroup and Bear Stearns have been greeted with surprisingly little fuss in Washington.
That wasn't the case in 2005, when state-run China National Offshore Oil Corp. abandoned a takeover of California oil firm Unocal amid protestations from key members of Congress and the administration.
There was also a political backlash in 2006 when Dubai Port World, a United Arab Emirates-owned company, acquired several key U.S. seaports.'
Saturday 22 December 2007
The review was conducted earlier this month after the disclosure that in November 2005, the C.I.A. destroyed videotapes documenting the interrogations of two Qaeda operatives.
A seven-page memorandum prepared by Philip D. Zelikow, the panel's former executive director, concluded that "further investigation is needed" to determine whether the C.I.A.'s withholding of the tapes from the commission violated federal law.
In interviews this week, the two chairmen of the commission, Lee H. Hamilton and Thomas H. Kean, said their reading of the report had convinced them that the agency had made a conscious decision to impede the Sept. 11 commission's inquiry.
Mr. Kean said the panel would provide the memorandum to the federal prosecutors and congressional investigators who are trying to determine whether the destruction of the tapes or withholding them from the courts and the commission was improper.
A C.I.A. spokesman said that the agency had been prepared to give the Sept. 11 commission the interrogation videotapes, but that commission staff members never specifically asked for interrogation videos.
The review by Mr. Zelikow does not assert that the commission specifically asked for videotapes, but it quotes from formal requests by the commission to the C.I.A. that sought "documents," "reports" and "information" related to the interrogations.
Mr. Kean, a Republican and a former governor of New Jersey, said of the agency's decision not to disclose the existence of the videotapes, "I don't know whether that's illegal or not, but it's certainly wrong." Mr. Hamilton, a former Democratic congressman from Indiana, said that the C.I.A. "clearly obstructed" the commission's investigation.
A copy of the memorandum, dated Dec. 13, was obtained by The New York Times.
Among the statements that the memorandum suggests were misleading was an assertion made on June 29, 2004, by John E. McLaughlin, the deputy director of central intelligence, that the C.I.A. "has taken and completed all reasonable steps necessary to find the documents in its possession, custody or control responsive" to formal requests by the commission and "has produced or made available for review" all such documents.
Both Mr. Kean and Mr. Hamilton expressed anger after it was revealed this month that the tapes had been destroyed. However, the report by Mr. Zelikow gives them new evidence to buttress their views about the C.I.A.'s actions and is likely to put new pressure on the Bush administration over its handling of the matter. Mr. Zelikow served as counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from 2005 to the end of 2006.
In an interview on Friday, Mr. McLaughlin said that agency officials had always been candid with the commission, and that information from the C.I.A. proved central to their work.
"We weren't playing games with them, and we weren't holding anything back," he said. The memorandum recounts a December 2003 meeting between Mr. Kean, Mr. Hamilton and George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence. At the meeting, it says, Mr. Hamilton told Mr. Tenet that the C.I.A. should provide all relevant documents "even if the commission had not specifically asked for them."'
DEMOCRATIC LUNTZ, DAILY KOS -
Hillary Clinton voted to let our military
continue to use cluster bombs in areas with concentrated civilian
populations, despite the thousands of innocent children who have died or
been handicapped due to picking up unexploded cluster bomblets. This
vote was cast in September 6, 2006 on an amendment to the Defense
Appropriations act by Senator Dianne Feinstein.
Senator Feinstein's own description of the amendment from the
"The human death toll and injury from these weapons is felt every day,
going back decades. Innocent children think they are picking up a play
toy in the field and suddenly their arm is blown off. . . Our amendment
would prevent any funds from being spent to purchase, use, or transfer
cluster munitions until the rules of engagement have been adopted by the
Department of Defense to ensure that such munitions will not be used in
or near any concentration of civilians, be it permanent or temporary,
such as inhabited parts of cities or villages or in camps or columns of
refugees or evacuees. . .
"They are intended for attacking enemy troop formations and armor,
covering approximately a .6-mile radius. In other words, their swath is
over one-half mile. Yet in practice they pose a real threat to the
safety of civilians when used in populated areas because they leave
hundreds of unexploded bombs over a very large area and they are often
inaccurate. They end up in streets and cities where men and women go to
work and do their shopping. They end up in groves of trees and fields
where children play. They end up in homes where families live. And in
some cases, up to 40 percent of cluster bombs fail to explode, posing a
particular danger to civilians long after the conflict has ended.'
Lees verder: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/12/21/151841/41/822/425303
vrijdag 21 december 2007
Prof.mr. P. F. van der Heijden Rector Magnificus en Voorzitter CvB
Mw.prof.dr. M.C.E. van Dam-Mieras Vice-Rector Magnificus CvB
Drs. H.W. te Beest Vice-Voorzitter CvB
Geacht College van Bestuur,
In verband met het schrijven van een boek over Palestina voor uitgeverij Atlas in Amsterdam verzoek ik u vriendelijk maar dringend een antwoord te geven op enkele vragen die ik na deze aanleiding aan u zal stellen.
Deze week ontving ik de volgende email:
‘Geachte heer Van Houcke,
Het CIDI organiseert/sponsort aan de universiteit Leiden samen met een universitair docent verschillende collegereeksen die met Israël te maken hebben (de kwantumfysica interesseert het CIDI wellicht niet).
U ziet in onderstaand doorgestuurd mailtje wat er de komende tijd op het programma staat.
Ik heb als student Hebreeuws/jodendom een aantal van de colleges bijgewoond. Het laatste college werd door prof. Shavit afgesloten met de mededeling dat anti-zionisme het bekende antisemitisme is maar dan in moderne gedaante. Niet verrassend, wel weinig academisch. Een andere spreker maakte tussen neus en lippen door melding van de kwaadaardigheid van dhr. Ahmadinejad. Ook stelde de dame van het CIDI nu en dan sturende vragen aan een spreker (als het 'nodig' was), bijv. in de strekking, "maar voor de volledigheid moet ik daar ook bij vertellen dat de moefti van Jeruzalem heel goed bevriend was met Adolf Hitler." (dit is geen letterlijk citaat, maar het komt er op neer). Het is zeer waarschijnlijk dat de sprekers, met name degene die helemaal uit Budapest kwam aanzetten speciaal voor deze gelegenheid, door het CIDI betaald werden om te komen.
Voor de volledigheid, de meeste tekst die werd voorgedragen waren vrij standaard inzichten, ik heb niets gehoord dat ik niet elders had kunnen horen, en er werden geen Israëlische vlaggen opgehangen o.i.d.
Maar desondanks (en propaganda die als zodanig herkenbaar is werkt ook niet zo goed :) ).
Mijn vraag aan u is of u als journalist belangstelling hebt voor het uitzoeken van de vraag of dit zomaar kan in Nederland, dat een propaganda-instituut van een niet onomstreden staat zich bezig houdt met colleges geven aan een naar verluid onafhankelijke instelling als de univ. te Leiden.
Heeft het CIDI wellicht een officiële erkenning als onderwijsinstituut?
Als de Iraanse ambassade, of de Fatah, of nog leuker, de 'politiek tak van de' Hamas, een collegereeks over Gaza of Iran zou medeorganiseren (zo de mensen die dat willen doen al een visum krijgen) volgen er Kamervragen en hysterische taferelen in ons geliefde laagland (dat is althans mijn vermoeden), een stortvloed aan waarschuwende artikelen van de laaglandse neocons, Leon de Winter roept het einde van de beschaving uit in een Duitse krant, en dan zwijg ik nog van wat onze eigen blonde überfascist allemaal zal uithalen.
Ook vraag ik me af of Pfizer, J&J of Bayer zomaar colleges mogen betalen en medeorganiseren aan het LUMC, AMC of Erasmus MC, of Philips of GE aan de TU Delft (maar misschien mag dat allang en heb ik onder een steen geleefd?).
In verband daarmee, vraag ik me af hoe dit, puur juridisch, zit.
Met vriendelijke groeten, en bij voorbaat hartelijk dank,’
Tot zover de email. Ik heb de feiten gecheckt en zag dit op de website van het CIDI:
Centrum Informatie en Documentatie Israel > Colleges
CIDI (i.s.m. de Universiteit Leiden) - Algemeen
De collegeserie 'zionisme: 100 jaar later' is nu te beluisteren via internet!
Ga naar http://www.cidi.nl/, en klik op de banner rechts ('luister en lees: collegeserie over zionisme online'). Op de pagina vind je een geluidsopname van elk college. Ook kun je kijken naar de powerpointpresentatie die Prof. Hofmeester gebruikte voor haar college, en is het volledige transcript van het college van Prof. Miller hier te lezen. Binnenkort zal ook het transcript van het college van Pof. Shavit aan de site worden toegevoegd. Je ontvangt daarover t.z.t. nog bericht.
Daarnaast attendeer ik je graag op het volgende: van 9 januari tot en met 26 maart, organiseert het CIDI de collegereeks 'Israelische buitenlandse politiek'. De reeks wordt dit jaar voor de twintigste achtereenvolgende keer gehouden en is elk jaar een succes. Mis het niet en meld je aan! In overleg met je faculteit zijn studiepunten voor de reeks verkrijgbaar. Bijgesloten vind je een poster met een overzicht van alle colleges.
Nog bedankt voor je gemotiveerde deelname aan de collegeserie over zionisme! Mocht je nog vragen hebben, bezoek dan onze website, bel 070-3646862 of mail mij op firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vriendelijke Groeten en tot ziens,
Tuvit Shlomi CIDI
Colleges Israelische buitenlandse politiek
Woensdagochtenden 9 januari - 26 maart 2008, 10.00 - 12.30 uur
* Studenten kunnen studiepunten voor het college krijgen *
CIDI organiseert per 9 januari 2008 de jaarlijkse interuniversitaire collegereeks over de Israelische buitenlandse politiek. Deze colleges zijn bedoeld voor studenten en toehoorders met een bijzondere interesse voor Israel en het Midden Oosten. Voor studenten is de collegereeks gratis, toehoorders betalen 130 euro (Vrienden van CIDI 100 euro). Meer achtergronden over de colleges vindt u in het .doc bestand dat u hier kunt downloaden.
Het programma (dat u hier in .pdf formaat kunt downloaden) ziet er als volgt uit:
9 januari Historische achtergronden van de staat IsraelDrs. C.J. van Horzen (docent Erasmus Universiteit)
16 januari Politieke ontwikkelingen sinds de stichting van de staat Israel W.R.F. Kortenoeven (Midden-Oosten specialist, researcher CIDI)
23 januari Internationaal terrorisme en de juridische (on)mogelijkheden Prof. dr. U. Rosenthal (hoogleraar Universiteit Leiden)
30 januari De Arabische perceptie van het Israelische buitenlandse beleid Drs. R.H. Hoff (docent School voor de Journalistiek Utrecht)
6 februari Israel en Nederland Prof. dr. F. Grünfeld (hoogleraar Universiteit Maastricht en Universiteit Utrecht)
13 februari De rol van internationale organisaties bij het Israelisch-Palestijns conflict Drs. D.A. Leurdijk (Instituut Clingendael)
20 februari De toegang tot water in het buitenlandse beleid van Israel Drs. H.W.H.A. Donkers (docent Universiteit Nijmegen)
27 februari Europa en Israel Dr. A. Pijpers (Instituut Clingendael)
6 maart (donderdagavond van 19:30 – 22:00) De psychologie van het vredesproces Dr. J. Meijers (psycholoog, verbonden aan de Hebreeuwse Universiteit Jeruzalem)
12 maart Arabische en islamitische opvattingen over het Israelisch-Palestijns conflict Prof. dr. J.J.G. Jansen (hoogleraar Universiteit Utrecht)
19 maart Amerika en Israel Drs. W. Post (Amerika deskundige)
26 maart Het Israelische beleid ten aanzien van vredesopties Drs. R.M. Naftaniel (directeur CIDI)
Locatie: Rabin Centrum voor Cultuur en Educatie (CIDI-gebouw), Den HaagOpgave en inlichtingen: 070 - 3656862 of e-mail: email@example.comStudenten gratis, toehoorders €130,- (Vrienden CIDI €100,-)
Tot zover het CIDI. Mijn vragen aan u zijn deze:
Ook over de werkwijze van de CIDI-medewerkers valt het nodige op te merken. Ik zag dat op 16 januari het volgende college gepland stond:Politieke ontwikkelingen sinds de stichting van de staat Israel W.R.F. Kortenoeven (Midden-Oosten specialist, researcher CIDI)
Met betrekking tot W.R.F. Kortenoeven: dit schreef het CIDI na de - volgens Amnesty en Human Rights Watch - Israelische schendingen van de mensenrechten en het oorlogsrecht in 2006 in Libanon:
Wim Kortenoeven vervangt Ronny Naftaniel, die de directeur is van het CIDI en anders altijd het woord voert. Maar die is met vakantie. Nu zit hij op Naftaniels kamer - op een bovenverdieping in de Haagse binnenstad - en probeert ervan te maken wat ervan te maken valt.Hij stuurt de hele week al e-mails terug naar de mensen die het CIDI gemaild hebben. Hij verwijst hen naar een Libanese website, http://www.libanoscopie.com/, waarin wordt gezegd dat Hezbollah de aanval van Israel heeft uitgelokt door zelf een raket op het dak van het flatgebouw te plaatsen. En dat er eerst invalide kinderen naar dat flatgebouw waren gebracht. "Ik kan niet nagaan of dat waar is", zegt hij. "Maar ik vind dat mensen dit moeten weten."Hij verwijst ook naar http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/, een website waarop foto's van de puinhoop na de aanval met elkaar worden vergeleken. Foto's van een reddingswerker met een dood meisje, steeds op een andere plek en op een ander tijdstip, in andere kleren soms en tussen andere mensen. Doesn't Hezbollah have anyone else the media can photograph, staat erbij.Soms helpen die e-mails, zegt Wim Kortenoeven.'
Ik merk tevens op dat het CIDI zich nooit publiekelijk distantieert van de grootschalige Israelische schendingen van het internationaal recht en van talloze VN- resoluties. Integendeel zelfs. Het CIDI kweekt regelmatig een bepaalde sfeer en bedrijft hetze tegen landen die door Israel gezien worden als vijanden van de ‘joodse natie’.
Een recentelijk voorbeeld van CIDI propaganda is dit:
Lees verder: http://www.cidi.nl/
Ik zag dat de Universiteit Leiden al eerder betroken was bij ‘colleges’ over Israel:
Woensdag 7 februari 2007 Ontstaansgeschiedenis van de staat Israël Deze inleidende lezing is bedoeld om de toehoorders een globaal idee te geven van de ontstaansgeschiedenis van de staat Israël. Er wordt een overzicht gegeven van de verschillende factoren die hebben bijgedragen tot de oprichting. Daarbij worden historische, ideologische en demografische aspecten belicht. De lezing begint bij de voorlopers van de Zionisten en komt via de verschillende immigratiegolven tot de moderne tijd. De belangrijkste VN-resoluties komen kort aan bod maar de nadruk ligt op de tijd voor 1948.Spreker: Dr. Hannah Neudecker, universitair docent aan de opleiding Hebreeuws/ Aramees (TCMO) van de Universiteit Leiden.
19.30 uur – 21.00 uur
Kamerlingh Onnes Gebouw, Zaal C131 Steenschuur 25 te Leiden
Woensdag 21 maart 2007Israël en het internationale recht Vanwege de conflictueuze relatie tussen Israël en haar buurlanden zijn vele aspecten van deze relatie aan VN-resoluties en verdragen gebonden. De meest belangwekkende internationale afspraken worden in deze context kort besproken. Hierbij zal aandacht worden gegeven aan de mogelijkheden en beperkingen van het internationale recht, de verschillen in benadering van een populatiegroep of een officiële staat en de grootste uitdagingen voor de verdere ontwikkeling van het internationale recht. Ook zal de spreker dieper ingaan op het advies dat het Internationaal Gerechtshof heeft uitgebracht aan de Algemene Vergadering van de VN over de (on)rechtmatigheid van de bouw van de muur in de bezette gebieden.Spreker: Prof.dr. Peter Kooijmans, emeritus hoogleraar internationaal recht aan de Universiteit Leiden, oud-minister en voormalig rechter bij het Internationaal Gerechtshof in Den Haag.
19.30 uur – 21.00 uur
Kamerlingh Onnes Gebouw, Zaal C131 Steenschuur 25 te Leiden
Begrijp ik nu goed dat de studenten hier ook studiepunten voor krijgen?
Ik constateer dat er op het collegelijstje sprake is van een overtegenwoordiging van de pro-Israel lobby. Denkt u hiermee het wetenschappelijk niveau recht te doen? Is dit een waarheidsgetrouwe afspiegeling van de uiteenlopende standpunten over Israel? Mag ik er vanuit gaan dat de Universiteit Leiden ook samenwerking voorstaat met het Nederlands Palestina Komitee?
Dan tenslotte nog dit: 'In 1998, John Dugard was appointed as Chair in Public International Law at Leiden University in the Netherlands and as Director of the advanced LLM programme in Public International Law.'
Mijn vraag is tenslotte hoe de Universiteit Leiden in zee kan gaan met een ‘pro-zionistische lobby organisatie’ die propaganda bedrijft voor een land dat door een van uw voormalige hoogleraren bestempeld werd als een 'bedreiging... van de internationale orde'?
In afwachting van uw antwoord,
stan van houcke'