Sunday, July 30, 2006
The clip below came from Bush himself, and I copied it from Think Progress website. We are not addressing the root causes of violence, we are increasing the violence in the world (with the help of other governments with no ability to be moral, decent people - like Israel). We are furthering instability and hatred and violence in the world.
He never mentions what "the other hand" was in this piece. He thinks promoting CALM is a bad plan, he was WAR and CHAOS and VIOLENCE to solve problems. He is a psychopath.
The only "freedom" he is bringing people is the freedom of the grave. The only "democracy" he is bringing them is the democracy of death.
He also admits "they're still out there" which means the terrorist organization that supported 19 GUYS on 9/11 has yet to be found or stopped. He is incompetent on top of being a war-mongerer. I fail to understand how anyone could have voted for this guy, could have ever thought he was a good "Christian" or who even thinks he is funny. My coworkers gave me a birthday card making fun of Bush. They still think he is funny. I am amazed that they are not crying themselves to sleep every night from shame and grief over what their country has become. I am certain that a day will come when they do exactly that.
As broadcast on FAUX News:
BUSH: It’s an interesting period because, instead of having foreign policies based upon trying to create a sense of stability, we have a foreign policy that addresses the root causes of violence and instability.
For a while, American foreign policy was just, Let’s hope everything is calm — manage calm. But beneath the surface brewed a lot of resentment and anger that was manifested on September the 11th.
And so we’ve taken a foreign policy that says: On the one hand, we will protect ourselves from further attack in the short run by being aggressive in chasing down the killers and bringing them to justice.
And make no mistake: They’re still out there, and they would like to harm our respective peoples because of what we stand for. In the long term, to defeat this ideology — and they’re bound by an ideology — you defeat it with a more hopeful ideology called freedom.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
This child is from Lebanon.
Friday, July 28, 2006
Below is a list of security incidents from one day (July 11, 2006) in Iraq. Iraq is slightly bigger than California, and Iraq has a slightly smaller population, but they are a close match. Now, join with me on an imaginary situation, where the Chinese army invaded California to rid the country of California of an evil Governor, Mr. Schwarzenegger. The Chinese military is still there, three plus years after the invasion, but California has held elections and now has a new Governor and cabinet. The California National Guard is being refit and retrained, but they have no Air Force or heavy artillery yet. There are lots of Chinese advisors in the country, but California is awash in violence. The occupying Chinese troops don't know a word of English or Spanish, and have no understanding of the culture or the two primary religions: Catholic and Baptist.
This is a PARTIAL listing of security incidents in California:
-A bomb planted under a fuel tanker exploded between a market and a medical center in the southeastern greater Los Angeles suburb of Whittier exploded, killing two people and wounding 18.
-Gunmen in three cars attacked an Indian import/export company in the upscale Beverly Hills neighborhood in western greater Los Angeles, killing five Californian employees before fleeing.
-Gunmen killed at least 10 people in greater Los Angeles Tuesday in an ambush attack on a vehicle carrying a coffin for burial in the Catholic cemetery in the city of Santa Claria. The attack took place in Glendale, a predominantly Baptist Anglo city.
-California's consul to the Mexican district of Sonora - Andrew Schmidt - was abducted near his home in greater Los Angeles's mostly Catholic district of Long Beach.
-At least five people were killed and 10 others wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside greater Los Angeles's heavily fortified "Green Zone".
-Gunmen stormed the greater Los Angeles offices of a Mexican contracting company and sprayed its employees with bullets, killing eight and wounding one on Tuesday. The attack took place in the western district of Norwalk.
-A car bomb killed three people and wounded seven in greater Los Angeles's central Willow Brook district on Tuesday.
-Gunmen blocked streets in the mostly Baptist area of Inglewood in greater Los Angeles and opened fire on a Baptist church Monday, no casualties reported.
-Nine California National Guard were killed and four wounded on Monday when gunmen attacked them in Monterey, 300 miles north of Greater Los Angeles. A civilian was wounded in the attack.
-Gunmen killed an engineer working for the North Oil Company, along with his driver, while he was heading to work in the northern oil city of Redding.
-Redding police arrested six suspected insurgents during a search and raid operation.
-An IED killed two insurgents as they were planting it on a Chico-Redding road.
-In Eureka, an engineer and an acquaintance in Redding's agriculture authority were killed in a drive-by shooting by militant.
-Police recovered the body of Peter Julian, a California National Guard officer who was kidnapped yesterday in Eureka.
-Three police officers and three civilians were injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) blasted in a police patrol, location uncertain, possibly Eureka.
-Gunmen in a speeding car fired randomly at textile shops in Sacramento, killing two shop owners and wounding four others.
-Clashes between California National Guard and insurgents broke out near the central city of Stockton.
-Lt. John Klingman said 10 policemen who were part of an oil-protection force were killed in the fighting near Sacramento, 45 miles north of Stockton.
-Gunmen opened fire on a California National Guard convoy near Oakland on Monday evening, killing nine soldiers and wounding three.
-Gunmen ambushed a minivan in Roseville, 12 miles northwest of the capital, killing one passenger and wounding five.
-While condemning in public the sectarian death squads that gunned down 40 people on Sunday in a Baptist part of greater Los Angeles, some California Catholic leaders say in private retaliation for Baptist insurgent bomb attacks is understandable.
-The bloodiest such violence yet in the capital has rekindled fears of all-out civil war and posed serious questions over California President Thomas Smith's ability to keep a promise to curb violence by fellow Catholics.
-Catholic leaders, talking privately on Monday, spoke with resignation, saying more bloodshed is inevitable in California's culture of vendetta and that clerical restraint on Catholics is flagging in the face of repeated Baptist bombings. [Insurgents or fundamentalist Baptists claims the bombings, but there is little to prove that the mainstream Baptists are behind these violent events.]
-Visiting the University Hospital in central Greater Los Angeles has long been a routine part of covering the violent events in California. But on Sunday, following an outbreak of fighting between rival Baptist and Catholic gangs in the Riverside area, there were no wounded witnesses to interview, no details to glean about the fighting.
-NGOs devoted to health issues in southern California say that dozens of children have died of relatively common diseases since January due to a lack of medicine. "There are no official statistics about the number of children who have died in San Diego since January," said Mr. Peterson, a senior official in the San Diego Health Department. "But local health department employees and volunteers from some NGOs have collected information suggesting that about 90 children have died as result of the lack of medicine." According to Peterson, this is worse than the same period last year, when some 40 children died for similar reasons.
-Baptist politicians requested assistance from the United Nations as sectarian tensions have dramatically escalated in California. Mr. Atwood, a member of the largest Baptist block in the parliament, the Baptist Accordance Front, said that the United Nations should send peacekeepers to California because "the occupation forces cannot protect the people."
-A bookstore in eastern Greater Los Angeles is getting more customers these days, but they aren't looking for something to read. The owner sells fake IDs, a booming business as Catholics try to hide their identities in hopes of staying alive. Although it's nearly impossible to distinguish between a Baptist and a Catholic by sight, names can be telling. Surnames refer to family and historical roots of the family, while first names are often chosen to honor religious figures revered by one sect but sometimes despised by the other. For about $35, someone with a common Baptist name like Martin Luther could become John or James, a Catholic name that might provide safe passage through dangerous areas.
- Mr. Doug Jones is the mayor with 29 lives. That's the number of assassination attempts he has counted since joining the Monterey government in January 2005. "You see, over there, that is where the suicide bomber tried to kill me," Jones said with a smile as he drove his armored S.U.V. to work. Across the road, where he was pointing, lay the charred shells of a half-dozen automobiles. "Over here," he said after a time, pointing again, "this is where they tried to shoot me." Car bomb, suicide bomber, mortar, gun; in his car, in his house, in a church: insurgents have tried to kill Jones so many times and in so many different ways that he has nearly lost count. But life being what it is in Monterey, Jones probably will need a few more lives to survive until his term expires later this year.
- California's sabotage-prone northern pipeline has been shut down for maintenance, halting crude oil exports from Redding oil fields to Canada, the oil minister said Sunday.
Mr. Moss said the flow is expected to resume in two to three days at an average of 400,000 barrels per day. The pipeline was shut down Friday morning because there was not enough crude at Redding reservoir, an oil official told Dow Jones Newswires on Saturday. Regular insurgent bombings of the crucial northern export pipeline have idled it for all but a few brief periods since the war began.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
PHOTO: Lebanese displaced children sleep at the Sanayeh Gardens public park in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, July 25, 2006, where citizens who fled their houses from different Lebanese towns and villages have been staying, shortly after the beginning of the Israeli offensive on Lebanon. (AP Photo/Hussam Chbaro)
From a Press Conference at the White House:
(For President Bush) -- humanitarian aid to Lebanon. Yet there's also reports that your administration are speeding up delivery of laser-guided missiles to Israel and bunker-buster bombs. And do you see this -- if this is true, do you see it as contradictory? On one hand, you allow Israel to kill people, and civilian, in particular, and on the other hand, you're trying to aid the very people that have been suffering and killed as a result?
PRESIDENT BUSH: No, I don't see a contradiction in us honoring commitments we made prior to Hezbollah attacks into Israeli territory. And I -- like the Prime Minister, I'm concerned about loss of innocent life, and we will do everything we can to help move equipment -- I mean, food and medicines to help the people who have been displaced and the people who suffer.
I, for one, do not believe that he cares one whit for who gets killed, no matter if they are Israelis, Lebanese, Palestinians, Americans, civilians or combatants. Some of the right wing nuts have claimed that our "precision-guided" bombs will save civilian lives!
They are truly sick, sick people.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Monday, July 24, 2006
Saturday, July 22, 2006
(Robert Gauthier / LAT)
Jul 21, 2006
There is a story about this hospital and the mass grave they are making there, and I will post the link sometime next week. Many of the coffins are very short indeed.
Meanwhile, the US is reportedly sending more bombs and fuel to Israel to continue this huge crime, and thereby making the US a legitimate military target for Hezbollah. So, those US Marines loading up US citizens for evacuation had better watch out, I guess, since they could be a target..... from Hezbollah or Israel. Now, wouldn't it be ironic if US taxpayers who were on holiday in Lebanon get killed by bombs paid for and produced by the USA and dropped by Israel....... ironic indeed.
This war going on is a huge war crime.
Friday, July 21, 2006
PHOTO: A destroyed residential building in one of Beirut's southern suburbs. Israel was amassing thousands more reservists on the Lebanese border to stage ground incursions aimed at destroying Hezbollah positions, warning it would not rule out a full-scale invasion despite mounting calls for a ceasefire. (AFP/Layal Najib)
My country has been "torn to shreds," said Fouad Siniora, the prime minister of Lebanon, as the death toll among his people passed 300 civilian dead, 1,000 wounded, with half a million homeless. Israel must pay for the "barbaric destruction," said Siniora. To the contrary, says columnist Lawrence Kudlow, "Israel is doing the Lord's work." On American TV, former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says the ruination of Lebanon is Hezbollah's doing. But is it Hezbollah that is using U.S.-built F-16s, with precision-guided bombs and 155-mm artillery pieces to wreak death and devastation on Lebanon? No, Israel is doing this, with the blessing and without a peep of protest from President Bush. And we wonder why they hate us. "Today, we are all Israelis!" brayed Ken Mehlman of the Republican National Committee to a gathering of Christians United for Israel. One wonders if these Christians care about what is happening to our Christian brethren in Lebanon and Gaza, who have had all power cut off by Israeli airstrikes, an outlawed form of collective punishment, that has left them with no sanitation, rotting food, impure water and days without light or electricity in the horrible heat of July.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, tell us what are the weapons being used? Did you also look at where the weapons that Hezbollah is using comes from?
FRIDA BERRIGAN: Sure. Almost all of the weapons used by Israel are from the United States. There might be a couple French fighter planes that they’re using, but its F-16s made in Fort Worth, Texas; its Apache helicopters; its Sparrow and Sidewinder missiles; it’s all from the United States. So you have this real disconnect between an overemphasis on the supply by Iran and Syria of Hezbollah's weapons and no discussion of the fact that all of the Israeli arsenal is from the United States, and that that is in contravention to U.S. law. to the Arms Export Control Act, which says that U.S.-origin weapons are only to be used for self-defense and for internal security.
JUAN GONZALEZ: And your report indicates that Israel has always been the largest recipient of military aid from the United States, but that that’s actually increased since 2001?
FRIDA BERRIGAN: We’re looking at incredible increases in U.S. military aid and weapons sales to Israel. Military aid stands at about $3 billion a year. That’s about $500 for every Israeli citizen that the United States provides on an annual basis. And then, weapons sales, most recently, since the Bush administration came into power, we’re looking at $6.3 billion worth of weaponry sold to Israel. Israel's relationship with the United States is unique in a number of ways. And one of those ways is that essentially the United States provides 20% of the Israeli military budget on an annual basis, and then about 70% of that money that is given from the United States, from U.S. taxpayers, to Israel is then spent on weapons from Lockheed Martin and Boeing and Raytheon. Most other countries don't have that sort of cash relationship, where they go straight to U.S. corporations with U.S. money to buy weapons that are then used in the Occupied Territories and against Lebanon.
An appeal from an email I received:
CALL, CALL AGAIN, CALL SOME MORE, AND KEEP CALLING
CALL YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS NOW AND DEMAND THEY CALL FOR AN IMMEDIATE CEASE-FIRE IN LEBANON
No student of history can escape the parallels between what is going on in Lebanon now and the start of World War I. The question is, do we have political will, and the sanity, to stop it. Those who are not interested in history are at the mercy of the present, so we might as well review. In 1914, a relatively obscure member of the Austro-Hungarian royal family was assassinated by a bunch of bumbling Serbian extremists when, after the plot had already failed, one of them was given by fate the opportunity of an easy, close up shot. Weapons had been provided to them by a secret society calling itself Black Hand, some of whose members were part of the Serbian government. In response the Austro-Hungarian government delivered to the Serbia government an ultimatum, described by british Foreign Minister Sir Edward Grey as "the most formidable document that was ever addressed from one state to another". The ultimatum was written to be unacceptable on its face, to serve merely as a pretext for war, threatening invasion and collective punishment on Serbia. And even though Serbia AGREED to 9 of the 10 demands, Austria-Hungary still declared war. Because of the various mutual defense commitments, Russia hurriedly mobilized in support of their ally Serbia, the Germans (backing Austria-Hungary) invaded Belgium to stage an attack on the French, who were Russian allies, and Great Britain declared war on Germany because of the violation of Belgian neutrality. Thus it was, within two weeks all of Europe was at war, though the United States did not enter the conflict until a German submarine sunk some of our ships in 1917.
Now let us examine for comparison what is going on in Lebanon today. It is pointless to bicker like five year old children about who "started" it, in a 50 year old conflict that has never stopped smouldering. As an immediate provocation, or excuse for one, members of Hezbollah attacked some Israeli soldiers and kidnapped two, taking them back to Lebanon. Other members of Hezbollah occupy positions in the Lebanese government, and the group has admittedly been supported by militants in Syria and Iran. There are strong parallels here with the Black Hand militants of pre-World War I and their tangential ties to the 1914 Serbian government. But in response, Israel did not just THREATEN to invade and impose collective punishment, they ARE invading and have been bombing Lebanon for a week already. Already over 300 people have been killed there, mostly innocent civilians. Even more devastating have been attacks on civilian infrastructure. Most people in this country have no comprehension of the scale of the destruction. They are well on the way to leveling South Beirut already. For its part Hezbollah has been firing wildly and mostly ineffective rockets at Israel, much like Saddam's willy-nilly anti-aircraft fire during the first Iraq war, though an Israeli ship was hit and damaged. While this military distraction has been going on, violence in Iraq itself has continued to escalate, with report of militants streaming into Baghdad as if to prepare for an even larger offensive.
All of this has nothing to do with Hezbollah, kidnapping, Israel, rocket attacks, self defense, terrorism or anything else. The Bush administration, who is green lighting Israel's every action, is manipulating public opinion at home to escalate this into a nuclear first strike on Iran, to try to regain the dominance lost in Iraq. Until you understand this nothing else will make sense. And in this they have the willing cooperation of Hezbollah and their supporters, who believe they will win the whole game if we do so, and they have our misadventure in Iraq to give them confidence. They are both wrong. Such a conflagration in the Middle East will end human civilization as we have previously known it. BOTH sides will exchange nuclear weapons strikes. The restraint which has kept the nuclear monster in check since 1945 will be vaporized. Perhaps the other side will only be able to muster dirty bombs, or perhaps a revolution in Pakistan will put fully operational warheads in the hands of Islamic militants at once, and this is assuming they have not already acquired some of the many loose nukes out there, or maybe it will take them a while longer to acquire them. But it will happen. That is all unless we find a way to break the cycle of revenge and insanity.
So what will the United States do? Bush apparently believes that all he has to do is smirk his way through the next couple weeks and he'll be back on top as something even bigger and better than a war president. Now he wants to be a "nuclear war president". He will not willingly save us. But if we can get Congress to act there is still hope. There are two resolutions before Congress. The first, H. Res. 921, introduced by John Boehner (R) sides with Israel completely, condemns Hezbollah only, and excuses Israel from any fault or blame in their response to the provocation. The only thing it doesn't do is demand Hezbollah surrender in pink dresses. It is in essence a declaration that the U.S. will support Israel in ANY war of THEIR choosing, much like the kind of pacts that precipitated the cascading declarations of war in World War I. The second, H. Con. Res. 450, introduced by Dennis Kucinich (D) calls on both sides to immediately end hostile actions, and to engage international cooperation to mediate the crisis. The prime minister of Lebanon, a democracy, is pleading for a cease-fire. The U.N. Secretary General is demanding a cease-fire. And only the passage of this second resolution, and a cease-fire, can disrupt the spin of the wheel at the hand of George Bush. The testosterone-fed macho types on Fox news, along with too many of their bar fight mentality supporters, are all gung ho to unleash the nukes. But let us address their primary contemptuous argument, that you can't have a cease-fire because the "terrorists" won't respect it.
At an emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo this last Saturday, moderate Arab governments, some publicly and some privately, were prepared to condemn Hezbollah for the provocation. They might be in a position to pressure Hezbollah in various ways, but they are being undermined by the graphic images of wanton killing and devastation coming out of Lebanon. Though not to minimize the 30 or so Israelis who have been killed so far, most of the actual destruction raining down is by Israel's hand. If this continues much longer there won't be a Muslim population in the Middle East not screaming for Israeli blood. Only a cease-fire can save Israel from itself. They have demonstrated they can launch a military strike any time they choose, and could presumably with impunity resume hostilities any time they would wish. But if moderate Arab governments start falling like dominos to militants in their own populations, any opportunity for diplomacy will be lost forever.
CALL YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS NOW AND DEMAND THEY CALL FOR AN IMMEDIATE CEASE-FIRE IN LEBANON
TOLL-FREE NUMBERS: 888-355-3588 and 800-828-0498
ACTION PAGE: http://www.peaceteam.net/cease-fire.php
Please call your members of Congress in support of the Kucinich resolution, H. Con. Res. 450. We lose nothing by taking a step back from the brink. Otherwise, George Bush will have his World War III. But he still may not go down in history as the nuclear war president, because there may not be any more history when the nuclear fallout clears. Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed to be ours, and forward this message to everyone else you know. If you would like to get alerts like these, you can do so at http://www.usalone.com/in.htm
Dancewater: Yes, I called today…. I called the White House on the way to Ontario Science Center, and then (after seeing an exhibit on the Nuremberg Trials) I called the White House again. I pointed out that the war in Iraq is an illegal war of aggression, and therefore a violation of the Nuremberg Principles, and therefore a violation of the US constitution.
I really do feel that we are in danger of starting off WW3 in the Middle East, but even if an outcome such as this were guaranteed not to start, I would still call. There is a wildfire burning in Israel/Lebanon now, and no matter who is at fault and who started it, the sane thing to do is call for a cease-fire (which Lebanon’s government has done). However, Bush is sending Rice over there and she is calling for an international force to squash Hezballah, which means ruin Lebanon. And many right-wing idiots on our airways are calling for WW3. I may not be effective in my calling, but I will not go to my grave and say “I did nothing to stop it”. I will not be like the “good Germans” of the 1930’s. I hope you will not be like them either.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
PHOTO: Kuwaitis chant in solidarity to Hibollah under an anti-Bush poster in Kuwait city July 18, 2006. (REUTERS/Stephanie McGehee/ KUWAIT) [Imagine! Even the Kuwaitis, one of the two Middle Eastern countries that supported the US invasion of Iraq, are now saying this!]
“The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.” -----George Orwell
“Fire gives birth to ashes.” – Tanzania saying
“Violence begets violence.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
"To raise our country and its people from the morass of racism and apartheid will require determination and effort. As a government, the ANC will create a legal framework that will assist, rather than impede, the awesome task of reconstruction and development of our battered society.
While we are and shall remain fully committed to the spirit of a government of national unity, we are determined to initiate and bring about the change that our mandate from the people demands.
We place our vision of a new constitutional order for South Africa on the table not as conquerors, prescribing to the conquered. We speak as fellow citizens to heal the wounds of the past with the intent of constructing a new order based on justice for all."
The above is from the inauguration speech by Nelson Mandela in 1994. I will never be as wise and as patient and as peaceful as Nelson Mandela, and I will (most likely) never do as much good for the world as he has done. But I do have one thing in common with Nelson Mandela - we share the same birthday.
I think they should say her name! She has a name, and people should know it!
How can anyone look at a picture like this and still support what Israeli government is doing is beyond me.
Death toll now is 210 Lebanonese and 24 Israeli.
Nearly all civilians.
She does not look like a terrorist to me.
I am currently in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The headline in the local paper says "WAR HITS HOME" in big letters, even though the family was from Montreal. What it should have said is "ISRAELI BOMBS HIT LEBANON AND KILLS CANADIANS".
Of course, the bombs and the planes that delivered them were probably made in the USA.
Monday, July 17, 2006
This photo captured me because of the look in the little boy's eyes. His eyes are saying "why are you letting this happen?" and there is no answer to the ignorance and stupity and lack of morals that has led to this result.
The death toll is now 181 dead in Lebanon and 24 dead in Israel. Only 13 of the 181 dead in Lebanon were combatants.
Killing civilians will not make Israel safer. It will do the opposite.
The Israeli government is the bigger killer.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Lot of blame to go around, but the vast majority of it goes to the Israeli government and the US government.
This is clearly reflected in the cold, hard, hateful statistics:
Over 130 Lebonanesse civilians dead so far.
Over 12 Israeli civilians dead so far.
I don't care how many combatants get killed or injured. If they want to pick up a gun and hunt down their fellow human beings, well, the world is better off without them anyway.
The two Israelis soldiers who were captured by the Lebonesse soldiers were inside Lebanon at the time. It was not even a month ago that Israeli airforce was flying over Syria and the government there. They are desperately trying to provoke something, and the civilians of Israeli will (unfortunately) pay a horrible price for this, because some of the other side thinks that revenge and retribution and hatefullness is okay also. Which makes them no different than the Israelis or Americans who feel that way.
Shame on all of them who feel that way, and shame on anyone who cannot or will not see the many sides of this violence.
And shame on anyone who condones violence. It is a shame they are breathing our air, isn't it? May they have visits every night in their dreams from the ones who were innocent and killed or hurt in this violence. Like the little boy above, for example.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Shame on those who could stop this violence but choose not to do so.
Shame on those who try to spread the violence by blaming other countries who are not presently a part of the violence. As usual, the "intelligence" to support these claims is not there: they make it up because they want MORE WAR.
Well, war leads to dead children lying beside the road. Shame on all who promote this. I wish they were there to pick up the bodies. May these children (there are more in pictures I have not shown) visit these war mongerers tonight while they sleep and let them hear their cries and screams for mercy. And may this happen every night, for as long as the war mongerers shall live.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
We cannot violate the treaties we have signed without trashing the US constitution. I told the White House today to take their bloody hands off the US constitution and give it back to me.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
I am currently on vacation, mostly visiting family at this time – and my original hometown is Cincinnati, Ohio. While there, I went on a riverboat cruise on the Ohio River with my sister-in-law and niece and nephew. That is an interesting way to see the city, and to see what is developing along the river front (lots of condos and some big houses). It is also interesting to see how the Ohio side of the river is putting in more and more river front parklands.
A couple of days later, I went to the Theodore Barry International Friendship Park on the riverfront. It is located east of downtown. On this day, there was supposed to be some canoe and kayak races, but I did not see any of that going on (I used to do whitewater kayaking for years). However, this lovely park has many interesting features. They put areas in the park to represent Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Those areas have some plantings native to those areas and some designs that are representative to those areas. They also made a “story circle” which is a Native American tradition where one speaker sits on a rock while the listeners sit in semi-circles around him. The rock is located under a tree, generally a big one that is a landmark. The person sitting on the rock has the floor and will speak for as long as he likes with no interruptions. They also have a “hands of the land” display, with is mounds of earth shaped like two open hands. Lots of area for kids to climb and play within the hands of the land. There is also a Plaza of the Sun and other interesting displays. The whole park is along side the Ohio River, with several nice views of the river.
After seeing this, I went up to the Cincinnati Art Museum, which is FREE. They have an excellent display of local artists up right now, and the usual French Impressionists, which I love to look at again and again. Another great museum in Cincinnati is the Children’s Museum, which is located in Union Station with a couple of other great museums.
Today, I am up in Columbus and we went to COSI, another great museum – this one costs money, however! It is a museum about science, and is well put together to entertain children while teaching them. I got to share this experience with my two lovely nieces!
This blog will mainly be on vacation, with limited posting, until August.
Sunday, July 02, 2006
This is an extraordinary film about the creation of the American corporation, its legal organizational model, its global economic dominance and its psychopathic tendencies, and its incredible ambition to influence every aspect of culture in its unrelenting pursuit of profit.
I recommend the above film, and you can watch it on line HERE.
Saturday, July 01, 2006
The 'IoS' reveals today that more than 60 of the detainees of the US camp were under 18 at the time of their capture, some as young as 14. The notorious US detention camp in Guantanamo Bay has been hit by fresh allegations of human rights abuses, with claims that dozens of children were sent there - some as young as 14 years old.
Lawyers in London estimate that more than 60 detainees held at the terrorists' prison camp were boys under 18 when they were captured.
They include at least 10 detainees still held at the US base in Cuba who were 14 or 15 when they were seized - including child soldiers who were held in solitary confinement, repeatedly interrogated and allegedly tortured.
The disclosures threaten to plunge the Bush administration into a fresh row with Britain, its closest ally in the war on terror, only days after the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, repeated his demands for the closure of the detention facility. It was, he said, a "symbol of injustice".
Whitehall sources said the new allegations, from the London-based legal rights group Reprieve, directly contradicted the Bush administration's assurances to the UK that no juveniles had been held there. "We would take a very, very dim view if it transpires that there were actually minors there," said an official.
One child prisoner, Mohamed el Gharani, is accused of involvement in a 1998 al-Qa'ida plot in London led by the alleged al-Qa'ida leader in Europe, Abu Qatada. But he was 12 years old at the time and living with his parents in Saudi Arabia.
After being arrested in Karachi in October 2001, aged 14, he has spent several years in solitary confinement as an alleged al-Qa'ida-trained fighter.
One Canadian-born boy, Omar Khadr, was 15 when arrested in 2002 and has also been kept in solitary confinement. The son of a known al-Qa'ida commander, he is accused of killing a US soldier with a grenade in July 2002 and was placed top of the Bush administration's list of detainees facing prosecution.
"It would surely be really quite stupid to allow the world to think you have teenagers in orange jumpsuits and shackles, spending 23 hours a day locked up in a cage," a source added. "If it's true that young people have been held there, their cases should be dealt with as a priority."
British officials last night told the IoS that the UK had been assured that any juveniles would be held in a special facility for child detainees at Guantanamo called Camp Iguana. But the US admits only three inmates were ever treated as children - three young Afghans, one aged 13, who were released in 2004 after a furore over their detention.
The row will again focus attention on the Bush administration's repeated claims that normal rules of war and human rights conventions do not apply to "enemy combatants" who were al-Qa'ida or Taliban fighters and supporters. The US insists these fighters did not have the same legal status as soldiers in uniform.
Clive Stafford Smith, a legal director of Reprieve and lawyer for a number of detainees, said it broke every widely accepted legal convention on human rights to put children in the same prison as adults - including US law.
"There is nothing wrong with trying minors for crimes, if they have committed crimes. The problem is when you either hold minors without trial in shocking conditions, or try them before a military commission that, in the words of a prosecutor who refused to take part, is rigged," he said. "Even if these kids were involved in fighting - and Omar is the only one who the military pretends was - then there is a UN convention against the use of child soldiers. There is a general recognition in the civilised world that children should be treated differently from adults."
Because the detainees have been held in Cuba for four years, all the teenagers are now thought to have reached their 18th birthdays in Guantanamo Bay and some have since been released.
The latest figures emerged after the Department of Defense (DoD) in Washington was forced to release the first ever list of Guantanamo detainees earlier this month. Although lawyers say it is riddled with errors - getting numerous names and dates of birth wrong - they were able to confirm that 17 detainees on the list were under 18 when taken to the camp, and another seven were probably juveniles.
In addition, said Mr Stafford Smith, they had credible evidence from other detainees, lawyers and the International Red Cross that another 37 inmates were under 18 when they were seized. One detainee, an al-Jazeera journalist called Sami el Hajj, has identified 36 juveniles in Guantanamo.
A senior Pentagon spokesman, Lt Commander Jeffrey Gordon, insisted that no one now being held at Guantanamo was a juvenile and said the DoD also rejected arguments that normal criminal law was relevant to the Guantanamo detainees.
"There is no international standard concerning the age of an individual who engages in combat operations... Age is not a determining factor in detention. [of those] engaged in armed conflict against our forces or in support to those fighting against us."
The notorious US detention camp in Guantanamo Bay has been hit by fresh allegations of human rights abuses, with claims that dozens of children were sent there - some as young as 14 years old. Lawyers in London estimate that more than 60 detainees held at the terrorists' prison camp were boys under 18 when they were captured. They include at least 10 detainees still held at the US base in Cuba who were 14 or 15 when they were seized - including child soldiers who were held in solitary confinement, repeatedly interrogated and allegedly tortured. The disclosures threaten to plunge the Bush administration into a fresh row with Britain, its closest ally in the war on terror, only days after the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, repeated his demands for the closure of the detention facility. It was, he said, a "symbol of injustice". Whitehall sources said the new allegations, from the London-based legal rights group Reprieve, directly contradicted the Bush administration's assurances to the UK that no juveniles had been held there. "We would take a very, very dim view if it transpires that there were actually minors there," said an official. One child prisoner, Mohamed el Gharani, is accused of involvement in a 1998 al-Qa'ida plot in London led by the alleged al-Qa'ida leader in Europe, Abu Qatada. But he was 12 years old at the time and living with his parents in Saudi Arabia. After being arrested in Karachi in October 2001, aged 14, he has spent several years in solitary confinement as an alleged al-Qa'ida-trained fighter. One Canadian-born boy, Omar Khadr, was 15 when arrested in 2002 and has also been kept in solitary confinement. The son of a known al-Qa'ida commander, he is accused of killing a US soldier with a grenade in July 2002 and was placed top of the Bush administration's list of detainees facing prosecution. "It would surely be really quite stupid to allow the world to think you have teenagers in orange jumpsuits and shackles, spending 23 hours a day locked up in a cage," a source added. "If it's true that young people have been held there, their cases should be dealt with as a priority." British officials last night told the IoS that the UK had been assured that any juveniles would be held in a special facility for child detainees at Guantanamo called Camp Iguana. But the US admits only three inmates were ever treated as children - three young Afghans, one aged 13, who were released in 2004 after a furore over their detention. The row will again focus attention on the Bush administration's repeated claims that normal rules of war and human rights conventions do not apply to "enemy combatants" who were al-Qa'ida or Taliban fighters and supporters. The US insists these fighters did not have the same legal status as soldiers in uniform. Because the detainees have been held in Cuba for four years, all the teenagers are now thought to have reached their 18th birthdays in Guantanamo Bay and some have since been released.
PEACE ACTION: Human rights violations continue at Guantanamo Bay and we need your help now. This past weekend three detainees reportedly committed suicide at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, highlighting the tragic results of extended arbitrary and indefinite detention. With many of the approximately 460 men detained in Guantanamo well into their fifth year of detention, the vast majority without charge or trial, a growing number have resorted to desperate measures such as hunger strikes and suicide attempts. It’s time to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. Send a message to President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld and ask them to: *close the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay and not transfer the lawlessness to another location, *conduct an independent investigation into the deaths of the three detainees, and *end the policy of indefinite and arbitrary detention of alleged terrorism suspects.
Larry Cox, Executive Director, Amnesty International USA
NORTH CAROLINA IS A HUB FOR TORTURE FLIGHTS
Aero Contractors is one of two private companies linked to the United States torture taxi service (extraordinary rendition flights). “While posing as a private charter outfit…., Aero Contractors is in fact a major domestic hub on the Central Intelligence Agency’s secret air service.” – New York Times, May 31, 2005 Aero flies out of two airports in North Carolina: *Global TransPark, Kinston – Governor Easley is the chairman of the board, and it is funded through with North Carolina tax dollars, and *Johnston County Airport – Last fall Rep. Etheridge secured $650K in federal funding towards a $9 million expansion. Aero Contractors is named in a lawsuit filed against the CIA in December 2005 by a German citizen, Khaled el-Masri. El-Masri was seized by the CIA, tortured, and held for five months in Macedonia and Afghanistan in a case of mistaken identity. Mr. El-Masri says Aero provided crews and maintenance for his torture flights. If El-Masri is correct this torture flight originated in Kinston, North Carolina. (New York Times, December 7, 2005) His case has recently been dismissed due to “national security.” He is appealing.
North Carolina should be FIRST IN FLIGHT NOT IN TORTURE.
Stop Torture Now, N.C. Peace Action, Durham Bill of Rights Defense Committee, NC Council of Churches, Catholic Workers, Amnesty, and Triangle CODEPINK have collaborated to bring these issues to the attention of Senator Dole, Governor Easley, the Global Transpark Board of Directors, and the Johnston County Commissioners. At this time no government officials have committed to a moratorium on Aero’s lease or a formal independent investigation of this matter. (For more info go to stoptorturenow.org or call (919) 851-6676)
VIDEO: I Was Tortured
Sister Ortiz relates her personal experiences and tell us that U.S. personnel were present in interrogation and torture rooms,” in Guatemala in 1989 when she was kidnapped, taken to a secret prison and repeatedly raped and tortured by troops commanded by General Hector Gramajo (a CIA asset and graduate of the U.S. Army School of the Americas).