Sunday, January 31, 2010

"Together We Can End This Occupation"

Jody McIntyre writing from Beit Hanoun, occupied Gaza Strip

The Israeli military recently dropped hundreds of leaflets warning Palestinian residents from the village of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip not to travel within 300 meters of the border -- the distance of Israel's so-called "buffer zone." In response, local activists marched to and nonviolently demonstrated inside the "buffer zone" against the illegal action. The Electronic Intifada contributor Jody McIntyre recently spoke with demonstration organizer Saber Zanin.

Jody McIntyre: Can you tell us about yourself?

Saber Zanin: My name is Saber Zanin. I am 31 years old, living in Beit Lahiya, in the northern Gaza Strip. I am a Palestinian who loves life, peace, justice and equal rights for all.

I come from a poor family, around 20 of us in all, from Beit Hanoun. In November 2006, our house, the house I lived in my whole life, was completely destroyed by Israeli air strikes, and then by a tank which came to finish the job. We don't know why they chose to target our home, but this is an example of the collective punishment we face living in Gaza.

I had the idea to create a group of volunteers, to work together in the local community, to resist Israel's occupation through nonviolent methods, and to encourage others to do the same. In September 2007, the "Local Initiative" was formed. Rather than relying on governmental institutions or foreign agencies, we work in a personal capacity, and rely on ourselves for everything we need. Altogether the group now consists of around 60 young men and women, from 17-35 years of age, and although we have no political affiliation, we all agree on socialist principles of helping those most in need, and on each individual's freedom to express their own views.

The group works with all sections of society: women, children, people with disabilities and teenagers. In particular, we give priority to the farmers and residents working and living in the so-called "buffer zone." As a group, we visit the residents and offer them aid brought by charities to Gaza (although this is small in amount, and limited in effect) for nothing in return, and we accompany the farmers who continue to work on their land, despite regularly being shot at by the Israeli military for doing so. We also work with the young kids in their area, taking them presents, playing games with them and making parties for them, as well as practicalities such as not going out onto the street in certain areas.

The people living in the "buffer zone" are the foundation of the Local Initiative. If there are any farmers who want help working on their land, we will go to help them. We have also organized protests against Israel's wall in the occupied West Bank and the "buffer zone."

We are always looking for ways to encourage others to join us in our popular resistance against the occupation, and as part of this we try to teach the local community about the human rights they possess: the right to freedom of expression, the right to live freely, the right to an education, to work, to health care, and to a home. We want people to know about their rights so that when they are taken away from them, they will fight for them.

JM: As someone who used to participate in armed resistance against the occupation, what made you adopt nonviolent resistance?

SZ: Any occupied people have the right to resist, and Palestinians are occupied by the Israelis. It is our fundamental right to resist against this occupation. I used to participate in armed resistance, but armed resistance isn't everything. I am convinced that popular resistance, and protesting against the occupation through nonviolent methods, can actually achieve more than armed resistance, by gaining the sympathy and support for our struggle from people around the world. When we go to protest against Israel's wall in the occupied West Bank, as they do in the villages of Bilin and Nilin, and now here in Beit Hanoun in Gaza as well, we have international activists marching with us, and the whole world is watching. Our demonstrations are nonviolent, so the Israeli army has no excuse to shoot at us and to kill us. I believe that this is one of the noblest ways of protesting against the occupation.

Last week, the Israeli military dropped hundreds of leaflets near the "buffer zone," instructing residents not to go within 300 meters of the border. We reject this illegal de facto land grab, and in response organized a march to the "buffer zone" on Monday [11 January]. The march was under the slogan: "With popular resistance, we challenge the decisions of the Israeli occupiers." We protested against the occupation through nonviolent means.

We will now be marching to the "buffer zone" every Monday. We will not be intimidated by the Israeli army's threat, and we will never give up until the occupation is over.

JM: How can people living abroad support your struggle?

SZ: As we move into the new year, the Local Initiative is in urgent need of funds, in order to continue supporting the families living in the "buffer zone," and to purchase materials in order to document the ongoing crimes of the Israeli occupation forces.

We truly hope that activists from around the world will support us. They could also write in the media against Israel's crimes, organize demonstrations outside the Israeli embassy -- some governments have even expelled the Israeli ambassador! In the UK an arrest warrant was issued for Tzipi Livni for the war crimes she committed against the people of Gaza, and this should serve as an inspiration for others to follow. Together, we can end this occupation.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

They Hear and Cheer Cindy Sheehan in Pakistan

Part of an article from a daily newspaper in Pakistan; whole article here:
Dispelling all the notions over the controversy, it seems that drone has become a decisive weapon in America's failing wars in South Asia, especially Pakistan and Afghanistan. President Obama has deployed three times more drones in illegal attacks on civilians than the former Bush/Cheney administration. However, regardless of the real forces that rule America, the reality is that drones kill far more civilians than Taliban or militants: hardly surprising when weapon systems are remotely controlled and depend upon half-cooked intelligence provided by the notorious CIA agents. Washington's love for gimmicks and media presentations allowed an imprudent military to release footage of a drone's-eye view of attacks until some smart military lawyer realised the footage could be used in war crimes trials! But, the US troops enjoy the impunity over the slaughtering of ant-like humans scurrying for cover as the drones launch hellfire missiles to blow people and buildings to smithereens. The block-heads in the military and CIA thought it was a great propaganda stunt at the time until it became evident that drones killed 10 times more civilians than the combatants. Wedding parties were the favourite targets in Afghanistan and FATA area in Pakistan. Even the "ground footage" of innocent men, women and children lying dead and dismembered did not curtail the use of drone-footage in the media. It is widely known that the drones have the lowest known enemy kill ratio of any weapon deployed in today's wars, but that little fact doesn't reduce or eliminates their use. In a typical Orwellian inversion, Obama has tripled the use of drones in the present conflict zones. That's the reason why entire populations mobilize against the invaders that indiscriminately slaughter innocent civilians. Over six million people have fallen prey to CIA's covert and overt operations around the world since its inception in 1947. The war against terrorism is being fought to grab the natural resources and the markets of other countries. The two genocides committed by Indonesia against its own people in 1965 and then against the people of East Timor in 1975, were sanctioned by the US government and aided by the CIA. The way CIA carries out its operations probably shows that all the US presidents worked under its sway rather than controlling it. Interestingly, the CIA and Pentagon personnel that fly drone missions from thousands of miles away from the blood-drenched front are obliged to obtain clearance from superiors before launching missile strikes. But, the personnel controlling the predators may not see or smell the blood and guts as graphically as a direct confrontation, because very few have the stomach required for killing the women and children and facing future indictments for war crimes. Already a group led by anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan rallied last Saturday near the CIA headquarters and former Vice President Dick Cheney's home in northern Virginia o protest the use of unmanned drones for attacks on al-Qaeda and Taliban targets.

"Haitians Dying by the Thousands as US Escalates Military Intervention"

Are they setting up a new Gaza in Haiti, copying their Zionist buddies? Read the whole article and see what you think. Linda Article continues at this link
Thousands of Haitians are dying every day for lack of medical care and supplies, according to a leading humanitarian aid group. Meanwhile, the Pentagon has announced that it is expanding the US military presence in the country, maintaining Washington’s priority of troops over humanitarian aid.

The US-based medical aid group Partners in Health has warned that as many as 20,000 Haitians may be dying daily due to infections such as gangrene and sepsis that have set in, as the majority of the injured receive no medical care or are treated in facilities that lack the most basic supplies.

"Tens of thousands of earthquake victims need emergency surgical care now!!!," the organization said in a statement posted on its web site. "The death toll and the incidence of gangrene and other deadly infections will continue to rise unless a massive effort is made to open and staff more operating rooms and to deliver essential equipment and supplies."

Partners in Health has worked in Haiti for more than 20 years. Its co-founder, Dr. Paul Farmer, is the deputy United Nations envoy to Haiti and a senior professor of public health at Harvard University.

While Haitian officials and other organizations have claimed the Partners in Health figure is too high, it is indisputable that Haiti confronts a disaster that could equal or even eclipse that of the quake itself because of the delays in the provision of health care to hundreds of thousands of sick and injured people.

The New York Times Thursday quoted Dr. Eduardo de Marchena, a University of Miami cardiologist overseeing one field hospital in Haiti, who provided a similarly grim prognosis. "There are still thousands of patients with major fractures, major wounds, that have not been treated yet," he said. "There are people, many people, who are going to die unless they’re treated."

As the Times reported, "In the squatter camps now scattered across this capital, there are still people writhing in pain, their injuries bound up by relatives but not yet seen by a doctor eight days after the quake struck. On top of that, the many bodies still in the wreckage increase the risk of diseases spreading, especially, experts say, if there is rain."

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Port-au-Prince General Hospital is continuously besieged by more than 1,000 patients waiting for surgery. "Armed guards in tanks kept out mobs," the newspaper reported. It added, "At any given moment, thousands of injured, some grievously, wait outside virtually any hospital or clinic, pleading for treatment."

CNN’s Karl Penhaul reported from Port-au-Prince General Hospital, where US paratroopers have taken up positions. He said that Haitians questioned why so many US troops were pouring into the country. "They say they need more food and water and fewer guys with guns," he reported.

He also indicated that American doctors at the hospital seemed mystified by the military presence. "They say there has never been a security problem here at the hospital, but there is a problem of getting supplies in." He added, "They can get nine helicopters of troops in, but some of the doctors here say if they can do that, then why can’t they also bring with them IV fluids and other much needed supplies."

Friday, January 22, 2010

Open Letter to Carlos Santana from "1948 LEST WE FORGET"


Date: 22 January 2010 17:38:47 GMT
Subject: Santana's proposed gig In Israel

Dear Carlos,

We understand that you are scheduled to perform in Israel this coming summer. This is news that will make definite political and entertainment headlines. We are interested in the former.

We are writing to you to add our name to those Latino and human rights organisations to ask you not to perform in Israel for the following reasons:

1. We say it openly: Israel is an Apartheid State which has illegally occupied and abused more than 4 million Palestinians in The West Bank and East Jerusalem. Whether or not one believes that this is where it all stops, it is very clear that this occupation and abuse started not only in the West bank and East Jerusalem, but also in 1948 when Israel ethnically cleansed a whole nation before it was even declared a State. Over 750,000 Palestinians were kicked out, their homes demolished, their properties stolen and their land occupied. These Palestinians were not a fighting bunch (although, a few of them took up primitive arms to defend themselves and their families against the zionist underground - not unlike many Latin American countries did throughout their histories), but they are people made up mainly of innocent fathers, mothers and children, not unlike any simple people around the world. This illegal Israeli occupation of a whole Palestinian nation continues to this day as we write you this appeal.

2. Since we became aware of your work in the 1960's we got hooked not only to your music but also to your beliefs in issues related to justice for the underdogs. They were one and the same. Your admirable stance not only Latino issues but also on social, humanitarian and political issues throughout the world has been unequalled. These issues, as you well know, are intertwined and inter-connected. We love your music because it is a product of all your feelings which reflect those of millions of people around the world. For the last 60 odd years, we have followed you everywhere and bought every album you produced (in vinyl, cassettes, CDs and DVDs).

3. We are not writing to lecture you on such issues because you are aware of them. It will take a whole dossier to outline Israel's abuse of human rights and its contravention of UN Resolution since its inception. We trust that you and your advisors are fully aware of them.

4. It has been just over a year since Israel launched the most criminal attack on Gaza, a blockaded piece of land less than half the size of Cuba, killing over 1400 innocent people a third of them children. The weapons they used and the chemicals they sprayed on schools, houses, factories, mosques and farm land, can only be equalled by the ferocity of WW2 machines of destruction. The Gazans were blockaded from all sides with nowhere to escape.

With all this in our minds (and yours), we cannot see how anyone can perform, let alone sit and listen, to a humane, talented and universal group like Carlos Santana in a State like Israel. How can you do that while Gaza is starving only a few kilometers away. Would you have performed in Apartheid South Africa even under the banner of 'Bridges of Music'? How can you accept to sing and play in Israel, when Gaza children are starving and dying.

We are confident that you will not lend your support, through performing in Israel, to a State that violates the most basic rights of Palestinians, whether they are children or adults.

If you do, then you will disappoint a whole generation of us, who looked up to you and to your music as a source of inspiration for everything that is human, universal and spiritual.

If you do, then there will be no reason for us to continue to own your music.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"Humanity Cannot be Divided": Gaza Shows Solidarity with Haiti

The relatives of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails gather symbolic donations in solidarity with earthquake-stricken Haiti, 18 January 2010. (Wissam Nassar/MaanImages) (via Electronic Intifada)
"We have been living a man-made disaster actually for the past 62 years," said Palestinian parliamentarian Jamal al-Khudari, a chairman of the Gaza-based Committee to Break the Siege. "We would like to send out a message of solidarity to the people of Haiti, who are now facing a natural disaster. Despite the harsh conditions Gaza people live under here -- the Israeli blockade and military actions -- people here sent symbolic assistance to their brothers and sisters in Haiti."

The committee collected a a symbolic amount of food and some cash donations for earthquake-stricken Haiti, where tens of thousands have been killed and countless others were injured and displaced.

Here in Gaza, the Israeli occupation's measures -- including the blockade that has been imposed for more than two and a half years now -- have had their own devastating impact.

"As a humanitarian worker here, I can say that it has been really amazing to see that some needy people including women and children wanting to deliver food, toys, clothes and cash to disaster-affected people in Haiti. The scene in front of the office for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Gaza was really amazing," Gaza City resident Hussam al-Madhoun told The Electronic Intifada.

However, for some in Gaza, the lack of attention paid by the "international community" to their plight leaves a bitter taste.

Fatima al-Helou, a mother of three children, expressed her full solidarity for those currently suffering in the impoverished island but added, "I think that the world that is now supporting the Haiti region, should also help Gazans get rid of a three-year-old Israeli siege on Gaza. Humanity cannot be divided. I definitely sympathize with those currently suffering in Haiti, but I also call upon the international community to help me, for I am suffering as well."

Since June 2007, Israel has enforced a nearly hermetic closure of Gaza's border crossings, preventing the free movement of both people and goods, only opening the border intermittently. According to international aid agencies, Israel has allowed only 42 trucks of raw building materials into the coastal enclave during 2009, despite that several thousand homes, governmental buildings, schools and mosques were destroyed during Israel's attack on Gaza last winter. More than 1,400 were killed and thousands more were injured during the three-week-long attack.

Israel's siege has had a devastating impact on Gaza's economy. Ninety-five percent of local industries in the region have been forced to shut down, the unemployment rate has risen to more than 60 percent, while more than 80 percent of Gaza's 1.5 residents are dependent on food aid.

Despite Gaza's own dire situation, there are those anxious to show their solidarity and empathy with Haiti.

Yaser al-Yazji, a lawyer with the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, said, "We hope to collect [donations] as best as we can to help the people of Haiti. We do feel sad for the people of Haiti as they have been killed or displaced, the way we are being affected by the Israeli occupation. As earthquakes kill or displace thousands of people, the Israeli occupation does the same to us."

Rami Almeghari is a journalist and university lecturer based in the Gaza Strip.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"What Massachusetts Got Right" -- Robert Scheer

The president got creamed in Massachusetts. No amount of blaming this disastrous outcome on the weaknesses of the local Democratic candidate or her Republican opponent's strengths can gainsay that fact. Obama's opportunistic search for win-win solutions to our health care concerns and our larger economic problems is leading to a lose-lose outcome for the president and the country.

The two issues that mattered on Election Day were the economy, which Obama has sold out to Wall Street--as quite a few disgruntled voters pointed out--and his plea to save health care reform, which the voters who had backed him for the presidency with a huge majority now spurned. It is significant that it was the voters of Massachusetts who have now derailed the Democrats' efforts to revamp the country's health care system by denying them the necessary 60th vote in the Senate, for these voters know the subject well.

The federal proposal is based on their own state's model requiring people to obtain health insurance without the state doing anything to effectively control costs through an alternative to the private insurance corporations. Lacking a public option, the cost of health care in Massachusetts, already the highest in the nation at the time of the plan's implementation, has spiraled upward. Services have been curtailed, and many, particularly younger people, feel they are being forced to sacrifice to pay for a system that doesn't work.

Instead of blindly following the failed Massachusetts model, Obama should have insisted on an extension of the Medicare program to all who are willing to pay for it. He squandered the opportunity to bring about meaningful health care change that the public would have supported had it been kept simple and just. Instead, Obama gave away the store to medical profiteers. They, in turn, hopelessly muddied the waters with well-funded scare advertising tactics that principled leadership on Obama's part could have thwarted.

A mere seven months ago, The New York Times/ CBS poll found that 72% of Americans "supported a government-administered insurance plan--something like Medicare for those under 65--that would compete for customers with private insurers." Even half of those identified as Republican said they would back such a public plan, as would three out of four independents and 90% of Democrats. Instead of heeding that call by endorsing a serious extension of Medicare, along with increased subsidies for those who could not afford it, Obama played to the conservatives in Congress--and they rolled him.

If he wasn't prepared to make a breakthrough in health care, and that meant a reform program that would begin sooner rather than later, he should have put it on a back burner. The furor over a very unsatisfactory plan drew attention from the far bigger crisis concerning the meltdown of the nation's economy. By accepting and indeed expanding the Bush administration's strategy of throwing money at Wall Street, Obama ceded the populist label to the Tea Party Republicans who now pretend that a banking mess brought about by their radical deregulatory philosophy is not of their making.

It is the economy, stupid, and the sooner Obama grasps that, the better for his and the nation's prospects. A new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll finds that "Americans ranked job creation and economic growth as their clear top priority for the federal government, well above national security and deficit reduction. Health care, Mr. Obama's top domestic priority in 2009, now ranks fourth, closely trailing the deficit and government spending."

Of course, the public is right. In the midst of the worst economic crisis in 70 years, why waste enormous political capital battling to pass a health care plan that is modeled on a proven failure in Massachusetts, as voters there clearly registered? Meanwhile, the president has dropped the ball in the effort to make bankers act responsibly by forcing them to forego outrageous bonuses and help homeowners stay in their homes.

Again quoting the message of that Wall Street Journal/NBC poll: "The president's focus on health care amid heightened job concerns could be hurting his ratings. At the one-year mark of his presidency, 35% of Americans said they were 'quite' or extremely' confident he had the right priorities to improve the economy, down from 46% at midyear." The Journal noted that a majority disapproved of the government's response to the financial crisis, adding, "The related problem for Mr. Obama is the public's lingering anger about the bailouts of 2008 and 2009, which helped boost bank profits even as unemployment grew--a toxic political problem."

To salvage his presidency, Obama must reverse course and make solving the "toxic political problem" of Wall Street greed that's bankrupting the country his highest priority.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"DRONES KILL KIDS" -- Cindy Sheehan

I have become increasingly distressed about the expanded use of drones in the USA's War OF Terror--as I oppose "manned aerial vehicles" that target and kill civilians--I find "unmanned aerial vehicles" particularly morally reprehensible.

This past Saturday, about 175 people joined us at CIA HQ in Langley, VA for a protest against the CIA's usage of this deadly drone technology in North-West Pakistan that has been responsible for killing over 100 times more civilians than "suspected" al Qaeda or Taliban militants. After a story came out from the Associated Press that said we were out there protesting the fact that CIA drones targeted the "al Qaeda and Taliban," (AP printed a "clarification) I have received dozens of emails attacking me for supporting "terrorists" over the lives of our military.

First of all, we DO protest the fact that the CIA is involved in, not "para-military" missions, but full-on military missions in Pakistan. Violating sovereign territory and assassinating whomever the CIA (in collaboration with the Pakistani government and the ISI) feels it should murder, is wrong no matter how false US patriots want to spin it. Barack Obama has green-lighted the expanded CIA program but wasn't there an outcry from the faux-gressives when we learned that Cheney wanted to used the CIA as his own death squad?

We know that there has always existed at least two systems of justice in the United States, but since 9-11, what many of us believed was a semi-transparent system of laws that offered at least some bare protection to the accused has now been replaced with an arbitrary code of behaviors that has tacit approval of most Americans, because "they" are keeping us "safe."

Overt, extra-judicial and extra-legal killings by the Central Intelligence Agency are NOT okay. My inbox piled up with hate mail telling me that I am a "moron" (among the nicer things) because the CIA Drone Program "saves the lives of American troops." Really? Because American troops are now invading and occupying the Swat Valley of Pakistan? When did that happen? No, the CIA Drone Program is just a more expeditious way for the assassins to murder people. This program has saved not one American troop, yet I am sure the terror it spreads and the revenge factor flying drones over people's heads and dropping Hellfire missiles on them foments have been major impetus for widespread hatred of the US.

Many of my hate mails (in direct response to the AP story) also tell me that the use of drones could have saved my son's life. Let's dissect this argument. Firstly, what could have saved Casey's life would have been if the US never invaded and occupied Iraq in the first place. After years of manned bombings where not one US troop was killed, but thousands of Iraqis were, the country was decimated and devastated. George Bush and his administration thought a new invasion, one that went right up to Saddam's doorstep would be a "cakewalk." Bush estimated that not one American life would be lost and Rummy estimated that the misadventure would cost "$50 billion" paid for by the very people we were slaughtering by pillaging their oil fields. Now after a few trillions dollars and over a million US and Iraqi dead, do we really think that our government uses drones to "minimize" the loss of life? Life is cheap to the US War Machine and I would like to know exactly the point in time when our government became "pro-life."

Even though we do oppose the CIA using drones on anyone--or anything--the overwhelming reason we went out to CIA HQ was the mere fact that innocent people get caught between the CIA's drug/war lords and its goals of destabilization and democracy destruction.

For about every 20 misspelled, angry emails I get from false US patriots, I get one heartfelt email from a Pakistani thanking us for caring about them. It's about time someone did.

Author's Bio: Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan, who was KIA in Iraq on 04/04/04. She is a co-founder and President of Gold Star Families for Peace and the author of two books: Not One More Mother's Child and Dear President Bush.

"Haiti: An Unwelcome Katrina Redux" -- Cynthia McKinney
President Obama's response to the tragedy in Haiti has been robust in military deployment and puny in what the Haitians need most: food; first responders and their specialized equipment; doctors and medical facilities and equipment; and engineers, heavy equipment, and heavy movers. Sadly, President Obama is dispatching Presidents Bush and Clinton, and thousands of Marines and U.S. soldiers. By contrast, Cuba has over 400 doctors on the ground and is sending in more; Cubans, Argentinians, Icelanders, Nicaraguans, Venezuelans, and many others are already on the ground working--saving lives and treating the injured. Senegal has offered land to Haitians willing to relocate to Africa.

The United States, on the day after the tragedy struck, confirmed that an entire Marine Expeditionary Force was being considered "to help restore order," when the "disorder" had been caused by an earthquake striking Haiti; not since 1751, 1770, 1842, 1860, and 1887 had Haiti experienced an earthquake. But, I remember the bogus reports of chaos and violence the led to the deployment of military assets, including Blackwater, in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. One Katrina survivor noted that the people needed food and shelter and the U.S. government sent men with guns. Much to my disquiet, it seems, here we go again. From the very beginning, U.S. assistance to Haiti has looked to me more like an invasion than a humanitarian relief operation.

On Day Two of the tragedy, a C-130 plane with a military assessment team landed in Haiti, with the rest of the team expected to land soon thereafter. The stated purpose of this team was to determine what military resources were needed.

An Air Force special operations team was also expected to land to provide air traffic control. Now, the reports are that the U.S. is not allowing assistance in, shades of Hurricane Katrina, all over again.

On President Obama's orders military aircraft "flew over the island, mapping the destruction." So, the first U.S. contribution to the humanitarian relief needed in Haiti were reconnaissance drones whose staffing are more accustomed to looking for hidden weapon sites and surface-to-air missile batteries than wrecked infrastructure. The scope of the U.S. response soon became clear: aircraft carrer, Marine transport ship, four C-140 airlifts, and evacuations to Guantanamo. By the end of Day Two, according to the Washington Post report, the United States had evacuated to Guantanamo Bay about eight [8] severely injured patients, in addition to U.S. Embassy staffers, who had been "designated as priorities by the U.S. Ambassador and his staff."

On Day Three we learned that other U.S. ships, including destroyers, were moving toward Haiti. Interestingly, the Washington Post reported that the standing task force that coordinates the U.S. response to mass migration events from Cuba or Haiti was monitoring events, but had not yet ramped up its operations. That tidbit was interesting in and of itself, that those two countries are attended to by a standing task force, but the treatment of their nationals is vastly different, with Cubans being awarded immediate acceptance from the U.S. government, and by contrast, internment for Haitian nationals.

U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral James Watson IV reassured Americans, "Our focus right now is to prevent that, and we are going to work with the Defense Department, the State Department, FEMA and all the agencies of the federal government to minimize the risk of Haitians who want to flee their country," Watson said. "We want to provide them those releif supplies so they can live in Haiti."

By the end of Day Four, the U.S. reportedly had evacuated over 800 U.S. nationals.

For those of us who have been following events in Haiti before the tragic earthquake, it is worth noting that several items have caused deep concern:

1. the continued exile of Haiti's democratically-elected and well-loved, yet twice-removed former priest, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide;

2. the unexplained continued occupation of the country by United Nations troops who have killed innocent Haitians and are hardly there for "security" (I've personally seen them on the roads that only lead to Haiti's sparsely-populated areas teeming with beautiful beaches);

3. U.S. construction of its fifth-largest embassy in the world in Port-au-Prince, Haiti;

4. mining and port licenses and contracts, including the privatization of Haiti's deep water ports, because certain off-shore oil and transshipment arrangements would not be possible inside the U.S. for environmental and other considerations; and

5. Extensive foreign NGO presence in Haiti that could be rendered unnecessary if, instead, appropriate U.S. and other government policy allowed the Haitian people some modicum of political and economic self-determination.

Therefore, we note here the writings of Ms. Marguerite Laurent, whom I met in her capacity as attorney for ousted President of Haiti Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Ms. Laurent reminds us of Haiti's offshore oil and other mineral riches and recent revivial of an old idea to use Haiti and an oil refinery to be built there as a transshipment terminal for U.S. supertankers. Ms. Laurent, also known as Ezili Danto of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN), writes:

See rest of article here:

Single Payer on the March at MLK Event in Seattle

Picture by Susan Fried, Super Single Payer Supporter

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Shooting People Looking for Food?

People gathered around two men shot in the head and left for dead on the main boulevard in the Delmas neighborhood. One of the men was still breathing. Bystanders said that the two men had been caught stealing and had been killed by the Haitian police, but this could not be confirmed.

NyFreakin Times

"Hasn't Haiti Suffered Enough?" -- Stop Me Before I Vote Again

I don't think I need to say very much about the decision to have Clinton and Baby Doc Bush take an interest in the relief efforts.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"Help Haiti: The Unforgiven Country Cries Out" -- Chris Floyd

This excerpt is cut from the mid-point of Chris Floyds article, which gave me an idea. Let's hope we can take a lesson from the people of Haiti. Next time there is an election, let's try to keep the participation rate under 10%, like they did! Linda J.
Scant hours after the earthquake hit, televangelist Pat Robertson was on the air, declaiming to his millions of viewers that the reason Haiti was stricken by this disaster -- and has been suffering grievously for 200 years -- is because the Haitians "swore a pact with the devil" in order to win their freedom from their French colonial overlords the early 1800s.

And while such vomitious expulsions are to be expected from this well-wadded, politically-wired, virulently extremist mullah (once aptly described in these pages as a "dictator-coddler, blood diamond merchant, Jew-hater and milkshake shiller") this time there is a very tiny grain of truth to be found in the splattered mass of Robertson's upchucking. The Haitians have indeed been cursed for 200 years, and the curse does indeed go back to their liberation. But pace Robertson, the source of this curse is not metaphysical. As I noted in a piece written in 2004:
Exactly two hundred years ago, Haitian slaves overthrew their French masters -- the first successful national slave revolt in history. What Spartacus dreamed of doing, the Haitian slaves actually accomplished. It was a tremendous achievement -- and the white West has never forgiven them for it.

In order to win international recognition for their new country, Haiti was forced to pay "reparations" to the slaveowners -- a crushing burden of debt they were still paying off at the end of the 19th century. The United States, which refused to recognize the country for more than 60 years, invaded Haiti in 1915, primarily to open it up to "foreign ownership of local concerns." After 19 years of occupation, the Americans backed a series of bloodthirsty dictatorships to protect these "foreign owners." And still it goes on.

Indeed it does. The 2004 piece detailed Washington's latest long, bipartisan squeeze play on Haiti, which culminated in a coup engineered by the Bush Administration -- the second time in which a U.S. president named George Bush had ousted the democratically-elected Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from office. It is tale worth telling again:

Although the [2004] Haiti coup was widely portrayed as an irresistible upsurge of popular discontent, it was of course the result of years of hard work by Bush's dedicated corrupters of democracy, as William Bowles of Information Clearinghouse reports. Bushist bagmen funded the political opposition to President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, smuggled guns to exiled Haitian warlords, and carried out a relentless strangulation of the county, cutting off long-promised financial and structural aid to one of the poorest nations on earth until food prices were soaring, unemployment spiked to 70 percent, and the broken-backed government lost control of society to armed gangs of criminals, fanatics and the merely desperate. Meanwhile, Haiti was forced to pay $2 million a month on debts run up by the murderous (U.S.-backed) dictatorships that had ruled the island since the American military occupation of 1915-1934. ...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

U.S. Okays Starvation of Gazans
January 12, 2010

WASHINGTON — The United States Tuesday voiced its support for a wall being built by Egypt to block a network of tunnels stretching out from the Gaza Strip, arguing it would stop arms smuggling.

"We believe that weapon-smuggling should stop and that measures taken to stop that weapon-smuggling should be, could be carried out, yes," said State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid.

The vast network of tunnels from Gaza to Egypt, constructed in the sandy earth to bypass a crippling Israeli blockade, has become an economic lifeline for the Palestinians.

The network has weathered Israeli air strikes and Egyptian attempts to flood tunnels with water and gas, but there are accusations that they are used to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip run by Islamic Hamas militants.

Citing national security, Egypt is now building an underground iron wall in a new bid to tighten its porous Sinai border with the restive Palestinian territory.

Cairo -- which states support for Palestinians and has long mediated between both Israel and Hamas and among Palestinian factions -- has only implicitly admitted constructing the iron barrier and has provided no details on its size.

Media reports, however, said it would be 30 meters (100 feet) deep and 10 kilometers (six miles) long.

But Duguid stressed Washington also supported "greater access for humanitarian supplies to get into Gaza.

"There are established channels for that, and those established channels should not be hindered by Hamas or any party in Gaza."

Egypt at the weekend banned aid convoys bound for the Gaza Strip from traveling across Egyptian territory after activists clashed with police.

Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit told the government newspaper Al-Ahram that members of one convoy led by British MP George Galloway committed "criminal" acts on Egyptian soil on their way to Gaza.

"Egypt will no longer allow convoys, regardless of their origin or who is organizing them, from crossing its territory," Abul Gheit said.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"The Death of Liberalism in the United States" -- Shamus Cook

Part of article below; read whole article (which I recommend since there is some cheering news at the end) at:
It’s no exaggeration to say that President Obama was the Democrats’ last chance to maintain some level of political legitimacy in the eyes of working class Americans. Now, after a year of solid pro-corporate policies, it’s obvious Obama has failed; and with him the Democratic Party.

Well-known “liberals” are beginning to denounce Obama’s polices, but not the Democrats as a whole. Instead, these esteemed liberals are promoting “real progressive Democrats,” i.e. the Democrats who are used as props by the leadership of the party, and completely ignored by the corporate media. The Democrat-promoting liberals are a mixed bunch, ranging from university professors to television personalities. Their ideology has moved distinctly to the right over the decades, to conform to the general rightward movement of the U.S. political/economic establishment.

And yes, liberals and many “progressives” do constitute a wing of the political establishment — they do not propose measures that would overhaul our economic and political system, but only minor reforms to make things less blatantly exploitative. Sometimes, real reforms — like single payer health care — are proposed, but quickly abandoned so that the Party agenda can be pursued (corporate health care and corporate welfare).

By never advocating a solid revamping of the economic system, liberals are inevitably pushed into supporting the status-quo, a system where large corporations dominate society, and consequently massive inequality and social misery is produced.

Indeed, the corporate “elephant in the room” is rarely mentioned by liberals. They might occasionally denounce “corporate influence,” while proposing absolutely nothing concrete to address the problem. They, of course, would never mention that, while large corporations exist with their tremendous wealth and control of elections, the media and politicians will inevitably fall into servitude or corruption.

At times, liberals may resort to using radical language to gain populist credentials. For example, “We need to demand that our economic system works for Main Street, not just Wall Street.” Of course this demand, under our current system, is fantasy. Our economic system (capitalism) is set up to meet the needs of rich investors (capitalists) — nothing is built, no jobs are created, unless rich owners are guaranteed a stable and large profit. Demanding that this system “works for Main Street” is either incredibly na├»ve, or more likely, an incredibly deceptive distraction. Distractions, of course, serve the interests of the status-quo.

Mainstream liberals are notorious distraction servers. For example, they advocate “moderation,” and denounce “extremism,” even as society is clearly torn between economic extremes: the majority of working and poor people versus a tiny elite of very wealthy. The economic/political status quo is obviously broken, but to liberals, “extreme measures” must not be taken.

Most Americans, however, are now looking to the right and left of the two-party system, where more concrete, “radical” solutions are being proposed. Therefore, members of the Republican Party are jumping ship to more radical right-wing parties, or — in Ron Paul’s case — about to jump ship.

The Democrats, too, are losing members. Cynthia McKinney and Cindy Sheehan have abandoned the corporate-owned Democratic Party, while long-time liberal Chris Hedges and others have denounced the two-party system. But in contrast to the far-right, those who look left of the Democrats are not given spotlights in the corporate-owned media.

Some distraction techniques used by notable liberals appear more radical. Such is the demand of “peace” from the government, while not explaining the inevitability of war under the current economic system. The U.S. government — represented by the two-party system — is tightly wedded to the interests of large corporations. War will thus continue, since war equals incredibly large profits for a multitude of giant corporations, who depend on the cheap raw materials and markets that the U.S. military guarantees them abroad, not to mention huge engineering and construction corporations that help "rebuild" a country the U.S. recently destroyed.

Another radical-sounding distraction is the bemoaning over the morality of war, of ignoring the social crisis, etc., as if morality played absolutely any role in the minds of the profit-hungry corporations who dominate the government. Shaming the corporate elite will continue to produce zero changes in their policies.

As the economic situation deteriorates, mainstream liberals have had to reach for other distractions, including the “war on terror,” the war against immigrants, and the war on drugs or crime. Any tactic to drag people’s attention away from Wall Street and the corporations in general is being deployed.

Today’s liberals in Congress stand to the right of Nixon era Republicans: they shamelessly bail out Wall Street, wage war in the Middle East to fight “terrorism,” without ever explaining why terrorism exists. If the U.S. military would stop invading and occupying Middle East countries, while propping up dictatorships in the region — Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen,Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. — terrorism would cease to exist.

The basis for the Democrats' giant leaps to the right has been the deteriorating position of the U.S. corporate elite. In the post-World War II era, the U.S. ruling class ruled the world uncontested (minus the Soviet states). Now, the natural processes of capitalism have re-created the competitors who were destroyed in World War II, while spawning new challengers to America’s economic/political hegemony — China, India, Brazil, etc. As a result, the wages of U.S. workers have been under unrelenting attack with the outcome that people now work more but are paid less.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

"Obama's Yemeni Odyssey Targets China"--Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar

Below are the ending paragraphs to this intriguing, and frightening, perspective on U.S. foreign policy. Read whole article here:
The existential questions with which the Pakistani elites are grappling are apparent. They are seeking answers from Obama. Can Obama maintain a balanced relationship vis-a-vis Pakistan and India? Or, will Obama lapse back to the George W Bush era strategy of building up India as the pre-eminent power in the Indian Ocean under whose shadow Pakistan will have to learn to live?

US-India-Israel axis
On the other hand, the Indian elites are in no compromising mood. Delhi was on a roll during the Bush days. Now, after the initial misgivings about Obama's political philosophy, Delhi is concluding that he is all but a clone of his illustrious predecessor as regards the broad contours of the US's global strategy - of which containment of China is a core template.

The comfort level is palpably rising in Delhi with regard to the Obama presidency. Delhi takes the surge of the Israeli lobby in Washington as the litmus test for the Obama presidency. The surge suits Delhi, since the Jewish lobby was always a helpful ally in cultivating influence in the US Congress, media and the rabble-rousing think-tankers as well as successive administrations. And all this is happening at a time when the India-Israel security relationship is gaining greater momentum.

United States Defense Secretary Robert Gates is due to visit Delhi in the coming days. The Obama administration is reportedly adopting an increasingly accommodative attitude toward India's longstanding quest for "dual-use" technology from the US. If so, a massive avenue of military cooperation is about to open between the two countries, which will make India a serious challenger to China's growing military prowess. It is a win-win situation as the great Indian arms bazaar offers highly lucrative business for American companies.

Clearly, a cozy three-way US-Israel-India alliance provides the underpinning for all the maneuvering that is going on. It will have significance for the security of the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula. Last year, India formalized a naval presence in Oman.

All-in-all, terrorism experts are counting the trees and missing the wood when they analyze the US foray into Yemen in the limited terms of hunting down al-Qaeda. The hard reality is that Obama, whose main plank used to be "change", has careened away and increasingly defaults to the global strategies of the Bush era. The freshness of the Obama magic is dissipating. Traces of the "revisionism" in his foreign policy orientation are beginning to surface. We can see them already with regard to Iran, Afghanistan, the Middle East and the Israel-Palestine problem, Central Asia and towards China and Russia.

Arguably, this sort of "return of the native" by Obama was inevitable. For one thing, he is but a creature of his circumstances. As someone put it brilliantly, Obama's presidency is like driving a train rather than a car: a train cannot be "steered", the driver can at best set its speed, but ultimately, it must run on its tracks.

Besides, history has no instances of a declining world power meekly accepting its destiny and walking into the sunset. The US cannot give up on its global dominance without putting up a real fight. And the reality of all such momentous struggles is that they cannot be fought piece-meal. You cannot fight China without occupying Yemen.

Friday, January 08, 2010

"Israeli Detention of Palestinian Activists Must End" -- Amnesty International Press Release

The Israeli authorities must immediately release, or bring before a fair trial, three Palestinian human rights activists detained in Israel following their protests against the construction of the West Bank fence/wall, Amnesty International said today.

In a letter sent to Ehud Barak, Israeli Defence and Deputy Prime Minister on Thursday, Amnesty International expressed concern that Jamal Juma’, Abdallah Abu Rahma and Mohammed Othman were prisoners of conscience, held for legitimately voicing their opposition to the fence/wall.

“These men have all been involved in campaigning against the building of this construction, much of it on the land of the occupied West Bank, and we fear that this is the real reason for their imprisonment,” said Malcolm Smart, Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme. “If this is the case they must be released immediately and unconditionally.”

Jamal Juma’ is the co-ordinator of the “Stop the Wall” campaign and a prominent human rights activist. He was arrested by the Israeli authorities on 16 December 2009. He has not been formally charged with any offence since his detention and information relating to his arrest has not been shared with his lawyer.

A military court in Israel yesterday extended Jamal Juma’s detention for another six days.

Jamal Juma’ is being held under military law, which allows him to be tried without charge or trial for interrogation for up to 90 days. As someone who holds a Jerusalem ID card, according to Israeli law his case should be handled under the country’s civil, not military, legal system. Since his arrest he has only been permitted limited access to his lawyer.

Abdallah Abu Rahma, head of the “Popular Committee Against the Wall” in the village of Bil’in, was arrested on 10 December 2009. He has been charged with three offences: incitement, stone-throwing, and possession of arms.

Amnesty International understands the possession of arms charge relates to Abdallah Abu Rahma collecting used M16 bullets, and empty sound and gas grenades, employed by Israeli forces to disperse demonstrators against the wall, and exhibiting them in Bil’in museum to raise awareness of Israeli practices against protestors.

Mohammed Othman, a volunteer with the “Stop the Wall” campaign, has been detained continuously since 22 September 2009. He was arrested on his return from Norway, after meeting activist groups there campaigning against the fence/wall and is being held without charge or trial in Israeli administrative detention.

The International Court of Justice ruled in an advisory opinion in 2004 that the construction of the fence/wall on the territory of the occupied West Bank is contrary to international law and should be dismantled. Israel has ignored the ruling.

“These three men are all well known for their defence of the human rights of Palestinians. In the unlikely event that there are genuine grounds to prosecute these men, they should be charged with recognizable criminal offences and brought promptly to trial in full conformity with international fair trial standards,” said Malcolm Smart.

Public Document

For more information please call Amnesty International's press office in London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566 or email:

International Secretariat, Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW, UK

Thursday, January 07, 2010

"No Army, No Prison and No Wall Can Stop Us" -- Abdallah Abu Rahmah

Free Abdallah Abu Rahmah

To all our friends,

I mark the beginning of the new decade imprisoned in a military detention camp. Nevertheless, from within the occupation′s holding cell I meet the New Year with determination and hope.

I know that Israel’s military campaign to imprison the leadership of the Palestinian popular struggle shows that our non-violent struggle is effective. The occupation is threatened by our growing movement and is therefore trying to shut us down. What Israel′s leaders do not understand is that popular struggle cannot be stopped by our imprisonment.

Whether we are confined in the open-air prison that Gaza has been transformed into, in military prisons in the West Bank, or in our own villages surrounded by the Apartheid Wall, arrests and persecution do not weaken us. They only strengthen our commitment to turning 2010 into a year of liberation through unarmed grassroots resistance to the occupation.

The price I and many others pay in freedom does not deter us. I wish that my two young daughters and baby son would not have to pay this price together with me. But for my son and daughters, for their future, we must continue our struggle for freedom.

This year, the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee will expand on the achievements of 2009, a year in which you amplified our popular demonstrations in Palestine with international boycott campaigns and international legal actions under universal jurisdiction.

In my village, Bil’in, Israeli tycoon, Lev Leviev and Africa-Israel, the corporation he controls, are implicated in illegal construction of settlements on our stolen land, as well as the lands of many other Palestinian villages and cities. Adalah-NY is leading an international campaign to show Leviev that war crimes have their price.

Our village has sued two Canadian companies for their role in the construction and marketing of new settlement units on village land cut off by Israel’s Apartheid Wall. The legal proceedings in this precedent-setting case began in the Canadian courts last summer and are ongoing.

Bil’in has become the graveyard of Israeli real estate empires. One after another, these companies are approaching bankruptcy as the costs of building on stolen Palestinian land are driven higher than the profits.

Unlike Israel, we have no nuclear weapons or army, but we do not need them. The justness of our cause earns us your support. No army, no prison and no wall can stop us.


Abdallah Abu Rahmah
From the Ofer Military Detention Camp

This letter from Bil′in′s Abdallah Abu Rahmah was conveyed from his prison cell by his lawyers. Please circulate widely.

[GazaFriends] Break the siege on Gaza, let them live in peace and dignity

As Israeli F16s attack northern, Western, Southern and Middle Gaza tonight,
doing extensive damage, the Palestinians of Gaza are, once again, terrorized by
American bombs and Israeli genocidal policies. Viva Palestina is still there,
and the Gaza Freedom March has just finished.

For those of us, Palestinian, International and Israel who are continuously
outraged, we can still make our voices heard. Watch this video and see what
happened around the world on December 31, 2009 as Supporters marched on
December 31, 2009 and January 1, 2010 to demand of their governments, "Break
the siege on Gaza, let them live in peace and dignity"

The famous song you hear, Va pensiero by Giuseppe Verdi was first performed in
1842 when the Northern part of Italy was under the thumb of the Austrian
empire, occupied as Palestine is today. It is a song about the plight of the
Jews as they are assaulted, conquered, and subsequently exiled from their
homeland by the Babylonian King Nabucco (Nebuchadnezzar).

The song has become a plaintive cry for freedom for all occupied people and is
dedicated to the Palestinian fight for justice, from the Occupied West Bank to
besieged Gaza.

Watch for the Free Gaza announcement of a flotilla of boats to go to Gaza in
the spring.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Viva Palestina Breaks the Siege of Gaza!

Press Release

6th January

Viva Palestina Break the siege of Gaza!

After days of pressure imposed by the Egyptian authorities the Viva Palestina Convoy have 'triumphantly' entered Gaza this evening!

Despite being attacked by Egyptian riot police at the port of Al Arish last night, the 'strong willed' convoy of humanitarians from all over the world carrying much needed medical aid to the people of Gaza went ahead and was greeted with cheers from hundreds of well-wishers carrying flowers, warm smiles and chanting Viva Palestina!

Having agreed to Egyptian demands, the convoy of 500 people re-routed their journey from Aqaba in Jordan (some seven days ago), after receiving guarantees of a safe passage to Gaza. The recent actions of the Egyptian police are shameful.

Earlier today at the Rafah border violence broke out as hundreds of Palestinians began throwing stones across the border at Egyptian security forces, who then fired back at the protesters. This was in retaliation to the way the activists were treated by Egyptian police.

Viva Palestina convoy leader Kevin Ovenden says - We are all emotional to see that all of Gaza are out to greet us! - Our Viva Palestina convoy is symbolic! It shows the Palestianian people just how much the people of the West do care. We come in peace to deliver humanitarian aid and we hope that our convoy (and convoy's like ours) will help to build pressure on the Israeli government to break the siege.

The convoy aimed to cross the Rafah border into Gaza on 27 December 2009, to mark the first anniversary of the beginning of Israel’s 2008/9 land and air assault on Gaza, which killed 1,400 Palestinians in three weeks.

The Viva Palestina convoy is partnered with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and departed London on December 6 2009 and have travelled nearly 5,000 miles. The convoy has received a phenomenal support (since departing London), through it's route, Europe, Turkey, Syria and Jordan.
For further information on the Viva Palestina Gaza Aid Convoy visit

Scrumptious Middle Eastern Food for Your Next Party

Sunday, January 03, 2010

"Mubarak is no Abdul Nasser and Galloway is No Salah Eddin, But ‘Israel’ Is the Problem" -- Yousef Abudayyeh
I think he may have a point here. Linda J.
January 2, 2009

It’s a fact that most of the Arab people everywhere believe that their Arab rulers are corrupt to the core and that for them to stay in power they need to be in bed with the US, which always works against the Arab people’s aspiration for freedom and democracy. The misery and oppression that most of Arab people live under is a direct result of this unholy relationship and alliance.

It’s also a fact that the Zionist state that was implanted into the Arab World body more than 62 years ago, is fully supported by the US, the EU and many in the so-called World Community, even though this rogue body is illegal and does not abide by any of the international laws and resolutions.

I know of no Arab person, and certainly, no Arab Palestinian, who is not grateful for the support our people and struggle for liberation and freedom get from Internationals, be it vocal or material .The fact is, many Internationals were killed, wounded or jailed by the Zionist rogue state, simply because they were standing in defense of a defenseless people. These people will always be etched in our memory and history and one day soon, when Palestine is liberated from the River to the Sea, will be honored as true freedom fighters. All through our struggle, many from pretty much everywhere on this globe joined – with no preset conditions – our march for freedom and they gave it their all.

What these freedom fighters had, which many in the current supporters of Palestine lack, is the true understanding of our struggle, which is really very simple to understand: Our homeland is colonized by a foreign force, and our people due to this colonization were forced to flee their homes and homeland, and have been scattered all over the map for more than 6 decades, but for not one moment did they gave up their dream of going back to Palestine. For not one moment did they believe that they will never liberate Palestine, even though, they can understand the huge odds against them. If the true supporter of the struggle understands this, then our struggle will become that much easier.

Without understanding that 'Israel’ is the core problem in the Arab World, and trying to fashion methods to cripple this colonizing body, all will fail. It’s crucial for all the Internationals who are working in support of Palestine to work against the Zionist colonizers of Palestine. This work should start by forcing their respective governments to stop any kind of support of 'Israel’, and should continue by facing the Zionists. Doing it face to face in defense of the defenseless Palestinians, like many did and are still doing on the ground in colonized Palestine.

That’s why it’s hard to understand why anyone would want to send medical supplies in a break the siege effort through Egypt, and not cut through the borders from Lebanon or Jordan, (which is closer), and be in direct contact with the rogue state that is imposing the siege on the Palestinian people in the first place. Egypt and Jordan and Saudi Arabia, etc., are implicated in much more than enforcing the siege, but the address for imposing that siege and committing war crimes is 'Israel’. Why the Internationals are not doing this is beyond anyone’s understanding. It’s the only method that will guarantee the collapse of the siege and the collapse of the state that is imposing it.

So unless these Internationals believe that they can export revolution into Egypt, so the traitor Mubarak Regime can collapse and the border between Gaza and Egypt then can be cracked open, I for one can not see the reason for not tackling the core problem, i.e., 'Israel’ head on, unless they believe that a heart disease can be treated by putting a band aid on it.
Please visit

Yousef Abudayyeh is a long time activist, founding member of the National Council of Arab Americans, a member of the coordinating committee of the Beirut meeting, member of Al-Awda, the right of Return Coalition and National Coordinator of the Free Palestine Alliance, USA. Married with two children and lives in San Diego ,California USA

First Protest Against CIA Drone Attacks at Langley, VA

Notice of this protest DELETED by Facebook
From Cindy Sheehan:

On January 16th, 2010 from 1 pm to 4 pm activists will descend upon the home of the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Virginia to protest the immoral, illegal, and inhumane use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs--also known as drones).

Speaking at this event will be:
- Cindy Sheehan (world renowned U.S. anti-war/peace activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee)

- Cynthia McKinney (former six term member of the U.S. House of Representatives and former Green Party candidate for President of the United States)

- Ann Wright (retired United States Army colonel and retired official of the U.S. State Department, known for her outspoken opposition to the Iraq War. She is most noted for having been one of three State Department officials to publicly resign in direct protest of the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.)

- Kathy Kelly (U.S. peace activist, pacifist and author, a three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, one of the founding members of Voices in the Wilderness, and currently a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence)

- Debra Sweet (Brooklyn-based director of World Can't Wait)

- Bruce Gagnon (coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space)

- Joshua Smith (anti-war/peace activist, analyst and coordinator)

- David Rovics (musician)

By some reports the current implementation and planned operational expansion of the strike-capable drone programs in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan have to date yielded up to 33% civilian (non-combatant) deaths. To any sane and honorable person this statistic alone should prove that the "actionable intelligence" and robotic delivery vehicle do not yield a proper basis and/or method for credible attack. The primary and proven case against drone attacks is that they pose a public danger that can only be deemed as indiscriminate bombing. On the day of the event, activists will demand that the United States and its allies adhere to the protection of civilians (non-combatants) in international armed conflicts in accordance with the multiple existing conventions, protocols and customary international laws. These same activists will, of course, also demand an end to the wars and occupations currently under way and an immediate withdrawal of all troops and contractors.


The Seattle Times, published a photo of the remote control killing computers in Tucson with this caption in December: "Members of the 214th Reconnaissance Group fly a Predator aircraft drone in support of ground troops in Iraq and Afghanistan from Davis-Monthan Air Base in Tucson, Ariz., earlier this year. The CIA's covert program uses drones over Pakistan." See photo and read more about remote controlled killing from Tucson:

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Gaza Freedom March ... in Seattle, 1/2/2010

Voices of Palestine was joined by Palestine Solidarity, Jewish Voice for Peace, and activists from as far away as Olympia in solidarity with the Gaza Freedom Marchers and the people of Palestine.

Overpass bannering -- Interstate 5 and Olive Way.

Marching down Pine to Westlake Mall.

At Westlake Plaza Park, leafletting and discussion.

End the Siege on Gaza Now!