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Saturday, August 05, 2006

Military court to hear Iraq rape case:

A U.S. military court will convene in Baghdad on Sunday to decide whether to court-martial four U.S. soldiers for the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the killing of her family in March.

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Cease Fire Now!

By Jerry LandayWhen dreams fall apart, humans often respond with rage, hysteria, hopelessness, and fear. How many more will find false comfort in the preachments of dangerous demagogues, who offer certitude by finding scapegoats? How many will seek solace in radical religious frenzy, pronouncing wrathful judgment on America while rooting out "the godless"?

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Mexican Court Orders Partial Recount

Mexican Electoral Court Nixes Full Recount of Disputed Presidential Vote, Orders Partial Count

The Associated Press

MEXICO CITY - Mexico's top electoral court on Saturday rejected a full recount in the disputed presidential election, ordering a partial count instead, angering leftist protesters camped in the capital demanding a new vote-by-vote tally over their fraud allegations.

Dozens of supporters of candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador pushed against the gate of the Federal Electoral Tribunal as its session ended, chanting: "If there is no solution, there will be a revolution!" One forced his way through, waving a Mexican flag and yelling "Bandits!"

In Mexico City's central plaza, where thousands of protesters have been camped out for a week demanding a new count of the July 2 election, chants of "vote-by-vote" drowned out the judges' statements as the session was broadcast live on a large TV screen.

"This is very bad. It's a total fraud," said Edelbira Cervantes, a 46-year-old government employee. "The people will solve this problem in their own way."

The silver-haired Lopez Obrador, who is known for giving passionate, confrontational speeches, planned to speak in the Zocalo on Saturday evening, his aides said.

Before the judges met, a spokesman for his Democratic Revolution Party, Gerardo Fernandez, warned against a partial recount, arguing that a full tally was the only way to end allegations of fraud and doubts about the country's electoral system.

But the electoral court voted unanimously to order a partial recount of nearly 12,000 polling places about 9 percent of the more than 130,000 nationwide and called for electoral judges to oversee the process. Lopez Obrador's representatives walked out of the session in protest.

The recount will begin Wednesday and was expected to last five days. The number of votes cast varied from one polling station to the next so it was not clear what percentage of the total of more than 41 million votes would be recounted.

German Martinez, a legal aide to ruling party candidate Felipe Calderon, applauded the ruling, saying the judges "made the correct decision." An official count gave Calderon an advantage of less than 0.6 percent, or about 240,000 votes.

The court has until Sept. 6 to declare a president-elect or annul the elections.

Lopez Obrador said fraud and dirty campaign practices resulted in his rival's slim margin, arguing that a full recount would show that he won and threatening intensified protests if officials order anything less.

Some of the leftist's supporters have said they may block access to Mexico City's international airport. More federal police have been assigned to guard the facility.

"People are willing to give their lives for this situation," said 46-year-old teacher Miguel Angel Morales, who was protesting in the main square, or Zocalo.

Since the election, Lopez Obrador has called President Vicente Fox a "traitor to democracy" and electoral officials "criminals," and even accused some of his own party officials of taking bribes to plot against him.

In the tribunal's session on Saturday, chief justice Leonel Castillo argued that Mexico's political parties had a chance to raise concerns when the results were first counted at polling places on election day or when the tally sheets were added up during the following week. During the official tally, which has yet to be certified by the court, authorities can recount votes only if there is evidence of irregularities or fraud.

Castillo cautioned against straying from electoral laws, saying recounts should be conducted "exclusively and only" when there are obvious problems.

"We all want certainty ... and that's what we have with these results," Castillo said.

Lopez Obrador's supporters seized control of Mexico City's cultural and financial heart on Sunday, setting up protest camps on the elegant Reforma Avenue and in the Zocalo and snarling traffic. Braving nearly nightly rainstorms and flooding, they have refused to leave despite pleas from Fox.

However, Cesar Nava, the general-secretary of Fox and Calderon's National Action Party, said the situation was under control.

"We believe that the country is calm and there is no reason why a small amount of discontent should spread," Nava told reporters.

The election has divided the nation along class and social lines.

Lopez Obrador has promised to govern for the poor, while Calderon has the backing of the nation's growing middle and elite classes, many of whom want to protect the new homes and cars they have been able to purchase with falling interest rates.

Associated Press Writer Mark Stevenson contributed to this report.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Copyright © 2006 ABC News Internet Ventures

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Justice Is Dead, If You’re Born an Arab

Lubna Hussain

I still feel a shudder of deja-vu at the irony with which I wrote last week about the 'generosity’ of the US government’s gift of 2,000 rolls of plastic sheeting to the Lebanese as it rushed precision guided missiles to its henchmen in Israel. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that my macabre analogy would become a self-fulfilling prophecy. But there it was right before my eyes. A picture of a series of tiny bodies wrapped in plastic sheets so magnanimously donated by Uncle George and Aunti Condi, callously murdered by the very weapons they had so eagerly equipped the Israelis with. The names of little Mehdi aged seven and Abbas aged one were scrawled in black ink on labels identifying the victims of the US-sponsored Israeli genocide of innocent Lebanese civilians. (I wonder if the felt tip pens and labels were included in the humanitarian aid packages as a gesture of thoughtfulness? What a touching detail!)

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Today in Iraq

Hundreds of thousands of Shiites chanting "Death to Israel" and "Death to America" marched through the streets of Baghdad Friday in a show of support for Hezbollah militants battling Israeli troops in Lebanon. The demonstration was the biggest in the Middle East in support of Hezbollah since the Israeli army launched an offensive July 12 after a guerrilla raid on northern Israel. The protest was organized by radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose political movement built around the Mahdi Army militia has been modeled after Hezbollah. Al-Sadr summoned followers from throughout the Shiite heartland of southern Iraq to converge on Baghdad for the rally but he did not attend 8...) Iraqi government television said the Defense Ministry had approved the demonstration, a sign of public anger over Israel's offensive and of al-Sadr's stature as a major player in Iraqi politics...

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VIDEO | Murtha on Patriotism and the Cost of the War

I have decided that the majority of American do not even understand the meaning of the word PATRIOTISM, They are to busy sitting on their couches watching FAUX news, and respecting the cowards, that roam the White House, As you can see in six years what a fine upstanding job they have done, Sept 9/11 total failure. Iraqs Illegal War and occupation total failure, New Orleans Katrina total failure, Complicity with Israels crimes and occupations in Palistine and Lebanons total failure.

An Interview by Geoffrey Millard and Scott Galindez

In Part 2 of our interview with Congressman John Murtha, we ask him about the attacks on his patriotism, the cost of the war, and his opposition to permanent bases in Iraq.

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US Troops "ROOTOUT" Another Iraqi Terrorist "Iraq's youngest martyr"

If he could only talk, what would he say?
"Iraq's youngest martyr"

IT warning:
More Pictures Below ---- NAUSEOUS CONTENT.
August 10th, 2005
Mosul, Iraq
A pregnant, 40 years old Iraqi woman was shot by US military on August 10th, 2005 in the city of Mosul, northern Iraq, while in front of her house. The woman, who was in her 32nd week of pregnancy, was hit in her abdomen and collapsed immediately. As usual, US troops looked carelessly and walked away, not offering any help or medical care.

Bystanders then took the woman to the ER at the Republican Hospital in Mosul. The ER medical team performed a C-section in an attempt to save the fetus, but he was dead as the bullet had penetrated his chest and exited from his back.


The world is safer now, as another terrorist or maybe a potential aide to Zarqawi was terminated.

Great job guys in uniform. Your country is proud of you.

An Iraqi medical association on September 7, 2005 submitted the Article and pictures. The original title of the article translates:

"The youngest Iraqi martyr: US occupation troops kills an 8 months old fetus in the womb"

It was published in its original Arabic text in Iraqi League (www.iraqirabita.org). Translated the article into English by IraqTunnel.com

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Israeli baby-killers

How curious that this aspect of the Israeli raid on Baalbeck hasn't been reported in the American media: 29-year-old mechanic [Mohammed Salloum] was driving to another hospital on Tuesday night with his wife Nisrine, who was 34 weeks pregnant and suffering contractions. Their 18-month-old daughter, Nour, was also in the car. Nisrine was killed by fire from a helicopter gunship. Her unborn son was blasted from her womb and died beside her on the road. A Lebanese writer on CounterPunch has an even more detailed, and gruesome, version of the story...

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LEBANESE HOLOCAUST Lebanon: Israel wages war of starvation

Associated Press

Israel is waging a "war of starvation" on Lebanon's civilians in an effort to force the government to agree to Israel's demands, Lebanese President Emile Lahoud said in a statement issued Friday. His comments came after Israeli warplanes bombed bridges and roads in Christian neighborhoods north of Beirut, killing five civilians and making travel between suburbs increasingly difficult. Missiles struck the country's main north-south highway - its primary artery to the outside world, through Syria in the north. "The Israeli enemy's bombing of bridges and roads is aimed at tightening the blockade on the Lebanese, cutting communications between them and starving them," Lahoud said...

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Iraq Atrocities HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN YET? out of sight out of mind

Bad Apples from a Rotten TreeMilitary Training and Atrocities

The mounting revelations of war crimes in Iraq have ripped the mask of democracy and nation-building off of a fatigued and wearied Uncle Sam, revealing the true face of U.S. imperialism. At least thirty U.S. servicemen are being prosecuted or are under investigation for the murder of Iraqi civilians. Twenty-one year old Steven Green, who served in the 502nd Infantry Regiment, was charged with the gang rape and murder of a fourteen-year old Iraqi girl in Al-Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad. The accused, with the assistance of five other soldiers, allegedly premeditated the attack and carried it out in broad daylight. After a drinking bout, the soldiers changed out of their uniforms and Green covered his face with a brown skivvy undershirt to avoid detection as they entered the woman's house to commit the crime. After the sexual assault, they murdered her and poured a flammable liquid over her body to destroy the evidence. Afterwards, Green shot the victim's parents and sister in the head, execution-style. The soldiers made a pact to never discuss the incident...

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LEBANESE HOLOCAUST US-Israeli war aim is to annihilate Lebanon

World Socialist Web Site Editorial Board

The sharp escalation of the attacks against Lebanon Friday have made it abundantly clear that the objective of this US-Israeli war of aggression is to demolish Lebanon as an independent and sovereign country. The war is aimed at transforming the country into an occupied territory controlled by the US and Israel, perhaps through the medium of a NATO "peacekeeping" force. The destruction of Lebanon is being carried out quite deliberately, and with very definite designs. For Israel, it is yet again a matter of annexation of more territory. And for Washington, it is the preparation of new and even bloodier wars, directed in the first instance against Syria and Iran...

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Panic in Detroit

Kurt Nimmo

In Dearborn, Michigan, Arab demonstrators are holding up portraits of Sheik Hassan Nasralla, "chanting his name and Hezbollah," according to the Detroit Free Press. "We find any support for murderous terrorist organizations like al-Qaida or Hezbollah very disappointing, if not disturbing," Eric Straus, chief of the counterterrorism unit at the U.S. attorney’s office in Detroit, told the newspaper. "Our office’s No. 1 priority is preventing another terrorist attack," reports the Associated Press. Of course, Hezbollah is not "al-Qaeda," the infamous CIA-ISI made-to-measure terror group. Hezbollah is a legitimate resistance group, completely legal under international law, minus its stupid rocketing of Israeli settlements. But then we shouldn’t expect the U.S. attorney’s office to admit this. It should come as no surprise Nasralla and Hezbollah would find support in Detroit’s Arab community, or for that matter among Arabs and Muslims anywhere...

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Israel Is a Failed Colonial Project: No to U.S.-Israeli War Crimes Against the
The Marxist-Leninist Daily

TML reiterates its condemnation of the Canadian government's support of the crimes Israel is committing against the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples. It calls on members and supporters to mobilize rank-and-file workers and broad sections of the people to bring to power in Canada an anti-war government which upholds the right of all nations to their sovereignty and opposes the use of force to settle conflicts. Such a government must demand the enforcement of the Palestinian people's right to build a modern nation-state that can come to an accommodation with all people living in the Palestinian homeland, free of the constant threat posed by the foreign military base in their midst known as Israel. Such a government must also hold Israel to account for its violation of more than 70 United Nations resolutions, beginning with Resolution 273 which made Israel's membership to the UN conditional on its implementation of Resolution 181 which defined the borders of partitioned Palestine and Resolution 194 which proclaimed the Palestinian refugees' inalienable right of return. Since 1949, Israel has refused to implement Resolution 273. In other words, Israel is a rogue state and the Canadian government's position in support of Israel is in complete violation of international rule of law...

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LEBANESE HOLOCAUST A City Lives On With Its Ill-Fated Charm

Dahr Jamail

The poster on the corniche near the American University campus in Beirut has become justly well known. It shows a Muslim woman in full black abaya walking next to a slender woman in a bikini. Together, they're the face of Beirut. Again this weekend Israeli jets bombed the Muslim areas of Beirut, 'Hezbollah strongholds' as Israel sees them. It also bombed a bridge in the Christian area of the city in recent days. But attacks on a Christian area are rare; Beirut is not quite one in getting shattered...

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LEBANESE HOLOCAUST Switching off Life Support.

Felicity Arbuthnot

...Protocol 1 defines inhumanity's limits in conflict, making specific, through listing examples, principles that were and are inherent in many human rights and humanitarian law instruments. Though signatury to the 1949 Geneva Convention, the State of Israel refused and continues to refuse to sign the Additional Protocol, which essentially is prohibiting genocide. A unique irony for a country whose people have suffered one, within historically recent memory. US Commander in Chief, President Bush is famous for not reading (last known attempt : 'My Pet Goat', to a group of school children, pictured with him holding it upside down), Prime Minister Blair, QC., would seem to have the attention span of a gnat and seemingly has not found the time - and Israel's leaders clearly don't care. So much for the Protocol 1, which Israel has, not signed; the US (whose missiles and bombs rain down on Palestine and Lebanon) has signed but not ratified. Thus Israel gives itself "legal" license to do exactly what is prohibited in the Convention. That it can does not mean that it can forever get away with it...

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US Troops: Civil War In Iraq Has Already Begun...

McClatchy Newspapers Tom Lasseter August 4, 2006 at 09:25 PM

While American politicians and generals in Washington debate the possibility of civil war in Iraq, many U.S. officers and enlisted men who patrol Baghdad say it has already begun.

Army troops in and around the capital interviewed in the last week cite a long list of evidence that the center of the nation is coming undone: Villages have been abandoned by Sunni and Shiite Muslims; Sunni insurgents have killed thousands of Shiites in car bombings and assassinations; Shiite militia death squads have tortured and killed hundreds, if not thousands, of Sunnis; and when night falls, neighborhoods become open battlegrounds.


Lieberman Abandons "Get Out The Vote" Ground Operations...

The New York Times Nicholas Confessore August 5, 2006 at 09:26 AM

With only three days left to reverse the course of the Democratic primary race, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman is scaling back on the ambitious ground operation that his supporters had hoped would pull him past his challenger, Ned Lamont, in Tuesday's election, people affiliated with the campaign said.

Mr. Lieberman, slipping badly in recent polls, still has solid organizational support. Major unions are planning phone banks on his behalf. Firefighters are taking the day off to drive older voters to polling stations. Black churches are distributing literature focusing on some of the historically most reliable Lieberman supporters, in the belief that the more Democrats show up to vote, the better his chances are.


Journalism Educators Blast Bush Admin's "Anti-Press Policies"...

Editor & Publisher August 5, 2006 at 12:31 PM
READ MORE: George W. Bush, Iraq

Attendees at the annual convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) in San Francisco on Friday passed a resolution condemning "anti-press policies" taken by the Bush administration in recent years. It was described as the first such resolution against a president since the Vietnam war era.

Policies that members of the leading group of journalism academics asked the White House to abandon included tight restrictions on the flow of information, "staged town meetings," refusal to allow photos of coffins returning from Iraq, "massive reclassification of documents," attempts to consolidate media, use of "bribes" to columnists and distribution of uncredited video news releases, and "using the courts to pressure journalists to give up their sources and to punish them for obtaining leaked information."


State GOP Sen. Joins Dems: "The Moderate Republican No Longer Has A Voice

Good for you, at las a Lady with balls to take the bastards on.

Associated Press Tim Talley August 5, 2006 at 10:28 AM

Republican state Sen. Nancy Riley, complaining there is no room in her party for moderates, switched to the Democratic Party Thursday and threw a new obstacle at GOP hopes of taking control of the Senate for the first time in state history.

Riley, flanked by a half dozen Democratic Senate leaders, announced her change in party allegiance while criticizing Senate Republicans for what she said was their "lack of compassion for people" and for ignoring her and other political moderates.


Mideast Resolution Emerges:

I think myself that the people of Lebanon, will tell the world to go to hell, and the United Nation to go to Hell with their Resolution, it is a 1000 innocent dead to late, and a Country gutted with American WMDS. they are now 80% of the population behind Hezbollah.
ISRAEL-LEBANON CRISIS DAY 24: “It Does Not Say Immediate Cessation Of Violence”…Grants Israel Right To Defend Itself…Thousands Of British Protesters Demand Cease-Fire… Israeli Naval Commandoes Renew Attack On Tyre… Israel Extends Strikes Beyond Beirut...

Associated Press August 5, 2006 at 11:00 AM
READ MORE: Israel, John Bolton, Lebanon

The United States and France reached agreement Saturday on a U.N. Security Council resolution aimed at ending the fighting between Israel and Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said.

Bolton refused to comment on the text, but an official with knowledge of the document said the draft calls for a "full cessation of violence" between Israel and Hezbollah, but would allow Israel the right to launch strikes if Hezbollah attacks it.


LEBANESE HOLOCAUST Heavy bombardment reported in south Lebanon

Israel has launched its heaviest bombardment of southern Lebanon since its offensive began, carrying out 250 air raids and firing some 4,000 shells on the region, police say.


Posted: 12:50 AEST
Israel renews raids on Lebanon as UN talks continue

Lebanon has suffered more Israeli air strikes, a day after jets killed at least 40 civilians and Hezbollah rockets hit deep inside Israel, as world powers edged slowly toward a deal to end hostilities.


Posted: 17:03 AEST

Israel raids near Tyre, Hezbollah fires rockets

Helicopter-borne Israeli commandos raided near the southern Lebanese city of Tyre, where seven people were killed, as world powers inched towards a deal to end Israel's 25-day-old war with Hezbollah.


Posted: 18:44 AEST

Hezbollah 'repels' Israeli commandos

The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah says it has repelled a raid by Israeli naval commandos on the coastal city of Tyre.


Posted: 21:31 AEST

Heavy bombardment reported in south Lebanon

Israel has launched its heaviest bombardment of southern Lebanon since its offensive began, carrying out 250 air raids and firing some 4,000 shells on the region, police say.


Iran bans Nobel laureate Ebadi's rights group

Iran has banned a human rights group headed by Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi and vowed to prosecute its continued activities.


Seattle Post / Was 9-11 an 'inside' job?

Well What do you know is this a first?
Thursday, August 3, 2006

Was 9/11 an 'inside job'?


More than a third of the American public suspects that federal officials assisted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could go to war in the Middle East, according to a new Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll.

The national survey of 1,010 adults also found that anger against the federal government is at record levels, with 54 percent saying they "personally are more angry" at the government than they used to be.

Widespread resentment and alienation toward the national government appear to be fueling a growing acceptance of conspiracy theories about the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.


Hezbollah Militiamen Talk of Victory

Hezbollah militiamen talk of victory' We’re better fighters than the Israelis,’ one says

By Anthony ShadidThe Washington PostUpdated: 6:52 a.m. ET Aug 3, 2006

We are waiting," said Jamal Nasser, a burly man in civilian clothes. "We are here, and we're not going anywhere."

Three weeks into its war with Israel, Hezbollah has retained its presence in southern Lebanon, often the sole authority in devastated towns along the Israeli border. The militia is elusive, with few logistics, little hierarchy and less visibility. Even residents often say they don't know how the militiamen operate or are organized. Communication is by walkie-talkie, always in code, and sometimes messages are delivered by motorcycle. Weapons seem to be already in place across a terrain that fighters say they know intimately.

"On the ground, face to face, we're better fighters than the Israelis," said Hajj Abu Mohammed, a bearded, 44-year-old militiaman in the small village of Srifa, whose walkie-talkie crackled and cellphone rang with a Hezbollah anthem.

Hezbollah admits to having suffered losses, but in the fighting so far, it has demonstrated its detailed planning since the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000, ending an 18-year occupation. Fighters appear to exercise a great deal of autonomy, a flexibility evident along the region's back roads: ammunition loaded in cars, trucks in camouflage, rocket launchers tucked in banana plantations.

Analysts say the militia could probably hold out a month without serious resupply. Fighters and supporters suggest that time is their advantage in a war that most suspect won't have a conclusive end. In conversations in southern Lebanon, the militia's supporters seem most adamant in trying to deprive either Israel or the United States of political gains from the military campaign.

"We'll never submit to oppression, whatever the force applied, whatever the time it takes," one of the group gathered in Jwayya said Tuesday. "You won't find any difference between 21 days and 121 days. The difference is solely a matter of time."

But Abu Ali framed this struggle in broader terms, drawing on the deep anger among many in southern Lebanon over lack of support from Arab governments and, more sharply, the perception that the United States has encouraged the Israeli attacks.

"We're now fighting a war against America, not just Israel," he said. "We see these are American decisions being carried out." Asked what that meant, he paused, then answered: "There are no borders to our self-defense."

Along the streets into Jwayya, the destruction was everywhere -- from cratered roads to collapsed buildings.

"They'll destroy and we'll rebuild," he said.


Concern mounts that this is a war Israel is not going to win

Jonathan Pearlman in Jerusalem
August 2, 2006


AS HEZBOLLAH'S missiles continue to rain across the Galilee, the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, faces growing concerns that Israel may be on the verge of losing the war.

In a blunt televised pledge on Monday night, Mr Olmert warned that a ceasefire would be premature and insisted Israel would continue fighting to eliminate Hezbollah's long-term military threat.

Unlike his first national speech on the conflict two weeks ago, which paved the way for diplomatic efforts, this address sounded like a fresh declaration of hostilities.

But the slowness of the campaign and the inability to prevent Hezbollah firing Katyusha rockets has forced Israel to flip the traditional course of war in which combat precedes diplomacy.

The prominent Israeli analyst Zeev Schiff , whose daily commentaries are allegedly delivered in Arabic each morning to Hezbollah's leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, yesterday accused the Government of failing to achieve its aims and mishandling the campaign.

As Schiff pointed out in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, in the first Lebanon war in 1982, Israeli ground troops had seized all of southern Lebanon within 48 hours. This time, it has taken three weeks to defeat a handful of Hezbollah strongholds within a few kilometres of the border.

Schiff predicted the war would last "much longer" and the ground campaign would have to be rapidly expanded to pave the way for the entry of an international force.

Amid fears of repeating the errors of its ill-fated, large-scale invasion in 1982, Israel has insisted its ground incursions did not target Hezbollah's rocket launchers and were limited to preventing cross-border attacks.

Although Israel says it has reduced Hezbollah's long-range missile capability, killed several leaders and reduced the group's presence at the border, its air campaign has not ended the threat to residents in northern Israel. On Sunday, Hezbollah fired a record 140 rockets across the Galillee.

The advancement of the ground campaign as far as the Litani River would return Israel to the security zone it occupied until 2000 and mark a serious reversal from the Government's initial announcement that there would be no big ground invasion.

From the outset Israel has repeatedly insisted that the war will take an unspecified number of "weeks". It mantained that line yesterday as the war neared the one-month mark.

While Israel has been careful to avoid fears that this campaign will be associated with the ill-fated first Lebanon war, there are increasing comparisons with the 1973 Yom Kippur war, which caught the Israeli Army off-guard, caused heavy losses and lasted about three weeks. That war was perceived to have ended in a stalemate and restored confidence to Israel's Arab neighbours after their resounding defeat in the Six Days War in 1967.

After the 1973 war, the army's chief-of-staff, David Elazar, was forced to resign. In recent days, the present chief-of-staff, Dan Halutz, has been photographed attending hospital for abdominal pains. If the war ends now, these images may come to signify a much deeper and more comprehensive weakness.

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Bush Seeks Retroactive Immunity From US War Crimes Prosecution

by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse

Thu Aug 03, 2006 at 09:41:03 AM PDT

Now that the Bush team faces possible prosecution for war crimes under US law, the team is quietly changing the law to provide a "legal escape hatch." The recent US Supreme Court decision in Hamdan removed a potential defense from war crimes prosecution that the Bush team had been relying upon. So now the Decider is quietly changing this US law to exempt himself and other officials from criminal prosecutions that may not occur until the next administration. One thing for sure -- Bush is not much of a planner for wars, natural disasters, and terror attacks -- but he sure does plan years in advance to save his own hide.

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Ending The Neoconservative Nightmare

Ending The Neoconservative Nightmare
By Daniel Levy

Witnessing the near-perfect symmetry of Israeli and American policy has been one of the more noteworthy aspects of the latest Lebanon war. A true friend in the White House. No deescalate and stabilize, honest-broker, diplomatic jaw-jaw from this president. Great. Except that Israel was actually in need of an early exit strategy, had its diplomatic options narrowed by American weakness and marginalization in the region, and found itself ratcheting up aerial and ground operations in ways that largely worked to Hezbollah's advantage, the Qana tragedy included. The American ladder had gone AWOL.

More worrying, while everyone here can identify an Israeli interest in securing the northern border and the justification in responding to Hezbollah, the goal of saving Lebanon's fragile Cedar Revolution sounds less distinctly Israeli. Perhaps an agenda invented elsewhere. As hostilities intensified, the phrase "proxy war" gained resonance.

In 1996 a group of then opposition U.S. policy agitators, including Richard Perle and Douglas Feith, presented a paper entitled "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm" to incoming Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The "clean break" was from the prevailing peace process, advocating that Israel pursue a combination of roll-back, destabilization and containment in the region, including striking at Syria and removing Saddam Hussein from power in favor of "Hashemite control in Iraq." The Israeli horse they backed then was not up to the task.

Ten years later, as Netanyahu languishes in the opposition, as head of a small Likud faction, Perle, Feith and their neoconservative friends have justifiably earned a reputation as awesome wielders of foreign-policy influence under George W. Bush.

The key neocon protagonists, their think tanks and publications may be unfamiliar to many Israelis, but they are redefining the region we live in. This tight-knit group of "defense intellectuals" - centered around Bill Kristol, Michael Ledeen, Elliott Abrams, Perle, Feith and others - were considered somewhat off-beat until they teamed up with hawkish well-connected Republicans like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Newt Gingrich, and with the emerging powerhouse of the Christian right. Their agenda was an aggressive unilateralist U.S. global supremacy, a radical vision of transformative regime-change democratization, with a fixation on the Middle East, an obsession with Iraq and an affinity to "old Likud" politics in Israel. Their extended moment in the sun arrived after 9/11.

Finding themselves somewhat bogged down in the Iraqi quagmire, the neoconservatives are reveling in the latest crisis, displaying their customary hubris in re-seizing the initiative. The U.S. press and blogosphere is awash with neocon-inspired calls for indefinite shooting, no talking and extension of hostilities to Syria and Iran, with Gingrich calling this a third world war to "defend civilization."

Disentangling Israeli interests from the rubble of neocon "creative destruction" in the Middle East has become an urgent challenge for Israeli policy-makers. An America that seeks to reshape the region through an unsophisticated mixture of bombs and ballots, devoid of local contextual understanding, alliance-building or redressing of grievances, ultimately undermines both itself and Israel. The sight this week of Secretary of State Rice homeward bound, unable to touch down in any Arab capital, should have a sobering effect in Washington and Jerusalem.

Israel does have enemies, interests and security imperatives, but there is no logic in the country volunteering itself for the frontline of an ideologically misguided and avoidable war of civilizations.

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Ambassador claims shortly before invasion, Bush didn't know there were two sects of Islam

Christian AvardPublished:
Friday August 4, 2006

New to RAW STORY? Be sure to check out our front page for all the latest-breaking news. Latest: Raw acquires Republican campaign plan for summer recess...]

Former Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith is claiming President George W. Bush was unaware that there were two major sects of Islam just two months before the President ordered troops to invade Iraq, RAW STORY has learned.

In his new book, The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created A War Without End, Galbraith, the son of the late economist John Kenneth Galbraith, claims that American leadership knew very little about the nature of Iraqi society and the problems it would face after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

A year after his “Axis of Evil” speech before the U.S. Congress, President Bush met with three Iraqi Americans, one of whom became postwar Iraq’s first representative to the United States. The three described what they thought would be the political situation after the fall of Saddam Hussein. During their conversation with the President, Galbraith claims, it became apparent to them that Bush was unfamiliar with the distinction between Sunnis and Shiites.

Galbraith reports that the three of them spent some time explaining to Bush that there are two different sects in Islam--to which the President allegedly responded, “I thought the Iraqis were Muslims!”

Research by RAW STORY has confirmed a surprising lack of public statements from the president regarding the branches of Islam, but did uncover at least one mention of their existence. A fact sheet released by the White House in December of 2001 does indeed use the term Sunni to describe a Lashkar-E-Tayyib, "the armed wing of the Pakistan-based religious organization, Markaz-ud-Dawa-wal-Irshad." Other mentions, not originating from the White House, were common in government documents and proceedings, as well as in media coverage of the middle east.

Other reports also place Bush announcing newfound knowledge of the differences between Muslim groups shortly before entering the Iraq war.

In an interview with RAW STORY, Ambassador Galbraith recounted this anecdote from his book to exemplify “a culture of arrogance that pervaded the whole administration.”

“From the president and the vice president down through the neoconservatives at the Pentagon, there was a belief that Iraq was a blank slate on which the United States could impose its vision of a pluralistic democratic society,” said Galbraith. “The arrogance came in the form of a belief that this could be accomplished with minimal effort and planning by the United States and that it was not important to know something about Iraq.”

The Bush Administration’s aims when it invaded Iraq in March 2003 were to bring it democracy and transform the Middle East. Instead, Iraq has reverted to its three constituent components: a pro-western Kurdistan, an Iran-dominated Shiite theocracy in the south, and a chaotic Sunni Arab region in the center.

Galbraith argues that because the new Iraq was never a voluntary creation of its people--but rather held together by force--America’s ongoing attempt to preserve a unified nation is guaranteed to fail, especially since it’s divided into three different entities.

“You can’t have a national unity government when there is no nation, no unity, and no government,” said Galbraith. “Rather than trying to preserve or hold together a unified Iraq, the U.S. must accept the reality of Iraq’s breakup and work with the Shiites, Kurds, and Sunni Arabs to strengthen the already semi-independent regions.”

Galbraith further argues that the invasion of Iraq destabilized the Middle East while inadvertently strengthening Iran. One of the administration's intentions in invading Iraq was to undermine Iran, but instead, the Iraqi occupation has given Tehran one of its greatest strategic triumphs in the last four centuries.

Once considered to be Iraq’s worst enemy, Iran has now created, financed and armed the Shiite Islamic movements within southern Iraq. Since the Iraqi Parliamentary elections of 2005, the Shiites have made considerable political gains and now have substantial influence over the country’s U.S.-created military, its police, and the central government in Baghdad. In addition, Iraq is developing economic ties with Iran that Galbraith believes could soon link the two countries’ strategic oil supplies.

Galbraith says that, “thanks to George W. Bush, Iran today has no closer ally in the world than the Iraq of the Ayatollahs.” As a result, he argues, sending U.S. forces into Iraq, has in effect, made them hostage to Iran and its Iraqi Shiite allies and left the U.S. without a viable military option to halt Iran’s drive to obtain nuclear weapons.

A seasoned diplomat, Galbraith served as the first U.S. ambassador to Croatia, where he negotiated the 1995 Erdut Agreement that ended the Croatian war.

Galbraith fears the United States may have lost the war on the very day it took Baghdad. “The American servicemen and women who took Baghdad were professionals--disciplined, courteous, and task-oriented,” said Galbraith. “Unfortunately, their political masters were so focused on making the case for war, so keen to vanquish their political foes at home, felt certain that Iraqis would embrace American-style democracy, yet they were so blinded by their own ideology that they failed to plan for the most obvious tasks following military victory.”

Galbraith believes that the Bush Administration’s effort will only leave the U.S. with an open-ended commitment in circumstances of uncontrollable turmoil. In the end, he believes, America’s most important objective is to avoid a worsening civil war.

“There is no easy exit from Iraq,” said Galbraith. “The alternative, however is to continue the present strategy of trying to build national institutions-displaced in the 2003 invasion-but how can you do that where this now is no longer an existing nation?”

Link Here

A new massacre, and some new ways of looking at it.

Lenin's Tomb

So, Israel has committed another massacre, this time pounding 33 farmers into the dust and wounding twenty more as they engaged in provocative fruit-picking activity. The new ways of looking at it? First of all, let's not forget that Hezbollah is firing some unguided missiles into Israel. The BBC doesn't. It's front page explains: "An Israeli air raid near the Lebanese-Syrian border kills at least 28, as Hezbollah fires 40 rockets into Israel." Meanwhile, lots of news outlets have a brand new angle: "Israel Severs Lebanon Road Link to Syria" says ABC News. Ditto says the Houston Chronicle. So, how come we never heard or saw the headline: "Hamas severs bus" with the reminder "as Israel continues to brutally occupy Palestine"? Israel expands Lebanon bombing, remarks CBS rather vaguely. The New York Times prefers to be very slightly more specific: Israel expands strikes north of Beirut. Threat to attack Tel Aviv says The Australian, appearing to miss the point entirely...

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LEBANESE HOLOCAUST Israeli baby-killers

Eli Stephens, Left I on the News

August 4, 2006

How curious that this aspect of the Israeli raid on Baalbeck hasn't been reported in the American media:

29-year-old mechanic [Mohammed Salloum] was driving to another hospital on Tuesday night with his wife Nisrine, who was 34 weeks pregnant and suffering contractions. Their 18-month-old daughter, Nour, was also in the car.

Nisrine was killed by fire from a helicopter gunship. Her unborn son was blasted from her womb and died beside her on the road.

A Lebanese writer on CounterPunch has an even more detailed, and gruesome, version of the story:

Inside the car that rushed out of the hospital area and that was chased and filmed by the Israelis were a man and his wife, eight-months pregnant. The first rocket hit the back of the car. The two passengers leave the car screaming for help. The helicopter makes a U-turn and shoots again. The man manages to escape, the woman doesn't. A little bit later, the neighbors rush to the car and find her dead, with an exploded belly and the fetus projected outside.

Think this will turn George Bush and his right-wing fetus-worshipping friends against the Israelis? Nah, me neither.

Incidentally, there's a lot more interesting information in the first linked article, which is written by a reporter for The Australian who visited the scene. First, the totally predictable outcome:

Members of Nisrine's large extended family say her death has turned them and their neighbours into passionate and permanent haters of Israel, filled with the sort of venom that is likely to poison generations to come.

"We all support Hezbollah but until now none of my relatives is a member, let alone a fighting member," said her 21-year-old cousin Mohammed, home on holidays from his studies in France.
"How do you think we will all respond now?"

And second, as you may have heard Israel is excusing this particular atrocity on the grounds that this wasn't a hospital at all, but a Hizbollah headquarters, and claiming that the fact that the hospital was empty is proof of that assertion. It was, but not because it isn't a hospital:

Dar al-Hekma hospital [is] an Iranian-funded facility that had sent its patients to other hospitals at the start of the conflict for fear that it would be bombed because of its Iranian connections.

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Malcom Lagauche

When the word came out that Cuban President Fidel Castro was hospitalized and he had turned over the responsibilities of the government to his brother, Raul, the Bush administration began salivating. Within minutes of the announcement, the vultures in Washington began planning for a new "democratic" Cuba. There are already plans in motion for Cuba, but some now have been accelerated while others have been modified because of the unforeseen illness of Fidel Castro. Let’s look at what the Bush administration is stating. According to Al-Jazeera News of August 3, 2006, Bush stated: We have repeatedly said that the Cuban people deserve to live in freedom … We will support you in your efforts to build a transitional government in Cuba committed to democracy, and we will take not of those, in the current Cuban regime, who obstruct your desire for a free Cuba. The inference in Bush’s statements is that Cuba is no longer under the rule of its revolutionary government. And, be wary of the portion of his statement that the administration is looking at people in the current regime who may not want to change the Cuban system. This smacks of a replay of de-Ba’athification...

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Syria's Christians rally behind Hizbollah

Khaled Yacoub Oweis, Reuters

Seventy-seven-year-old Mona Muzaber lights a candle for Hizbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah at the Orthodox Church of the Cross in the center of Damascus. "I love him. I never felt Nasrallah was a religious zealot. He is a patriot who doesn't seek personal gain," she said. "I light a candle daily for him to remain under God's protection." Israel's offensive against Lebanon has brought Christians in neighboring Syria closer to Nasrallah, a Shi'ite Muslim, reviving Arab nationalist feelings and blurring sectarian divisions...

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Find the clues

lished by Antony Loewenstein August 4th, 2006 in Israel

Hizballah: the Arab popular dimension.

Meanwhile, the only reason Israel is losing the current war, according to the Jerusalem Post, is due to Western media anti-Semitism.

It clearly has nothing to do with this.

Link Here

It's about annexation, stupid!

Kaveh L Afrasiabi

Officially, Israel's ground invasion of Lebanon is an act of self-defense against Hezbollah's threat, aimed at creating a security buffer zone until the arrival of a "multinational force with an enforcement capability". But increasingly, as the initial goal of a narrow strip of only a few kilometers has now been extended up to the Litani River deep in Lebanon, the real motives behind Israel's invasion are becoming crystal-clear. It's about (de facto) annexation, stupid. This is a war to annex a major chunk of Lebanese territory without necessarily saying so, under the pretext of security buffer and deterrence against future attacks on Israel. Already, since the Six Day War, Israel has annexed the Sheba Farms, considered part of the Syrian Golan Heights, although the government of Lebanon has long complained that the 25-square-kilometer area was a part of Lebanon. Now the Israeli army is sweeping the area south of the Litani River as a temporary occupation...

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Lebanese Victims of Israeli Attack on Qana Probably Killed by US Weapons US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation Renews Calls for US Investigation

Democracy in Action

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation released information today that the Lebanese victims of Israel's attack on Qana were probably killed with US weapons. On Sunday, July 30, Israel attacked an apartment building, which was being used as bomb shelter, in Qana, Lebanon, killing 57 civilians, including 37 children. According to the Washington Post, a bomb fragment found at the Qana bombing site read "For use on MK-84, Guided Bomb BSU-37/B". MK-84's are free-fall unguided bombs; Boeing-produced Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM's) are attached to MK-84's to convert them into GPS-guided "smart" bombs...

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Petty officer held in secret for 4 months:

A petty officer has been in the Norfolk Naval Station brig for more than four months facing espionage, desertion and other charges, but the Navy has refused to release details of the case.

Link Here

US troops 'war criminals' says prosecutor:

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting, they are the soldiers Georgie and his thugs want in Americas military to do his dirty work, and the world at large knows it.

A MILITARY prosecutor branded four US soldiers who have been accused of murdering Iraqi prisoners "war criminals" on Friday and demanded they face a court martial.

Link Here

6 Marines Charged in Iraq torture case:

It details incidents where Marines are accused of extracting information from suspected insurgents, or "high-value individuals." - "The charges are going to be about the nature and method with which these Marines obtained information," Casas said. "It will probably be that they used physical force."

Link Here

Summer of Goodbyes...

Baghdad Burning

... I'll meet you 'round the bend my friend, where hearts can heal and souls can mend...

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Residents of Baghdad are systematically being pushed out of the city. Some families are waking up to find a Klashnikov bullet and a letter in an envelope with the words “Leave your area or else.” The culprits behind these attacks and threats are Sadr’s followers- Mahdi Army. It’s general knowledge, although no one dares say it out loud. In the last month we’ve had two different families staying with us in our house, after having to leave their neighborhoods due to death threats and attacks. It’s not just Sunnis- it’s Shia, Arabs, Kurds- most of the middle-class areas are being targeted by militias.

Other areas are being overrun by armed Islamists. The Americans have absolutely no control in these areas. Or maybe they simply don’t want to control the areas because when there’s a clash between Sadr’s militia and another militia in a residential neighborhood, they surround the area and watch things happen.

Since the beginning of July, the men in our area have been patrolling the streets. Some of them patrol the rooftops and others sit quietly by the homemade road blocks we have on the major roads leading into the area. You cannot in any way rely on Americans or the government. You can only hope your family and friends will remain alive- not safe, not secure- just alive. That’s good enough.

For me, June marked the first month I don’t dare leave the house without a hijab, or headscarf. I don’t wear a hijab usually, but it’s no longer possible to drive around Baghdad without one. It’s just not a good idea. (Take note that when I say ‘drive’ I actually mean ‘sit in the back seat of the car’- I haven’t driven for the longest time.) Going around bare-headed in a car or in the street also puts the family members with you in danger. You risk hearing something you don’t want to hear and then the father or the brother or cousin or uncle can’t just sit by and let it happen. I haven’t driven for the longest time. If you’re a female, you risk being attacked.

I look at my older clothes- the jeans and t-shirts and colorful skirts- and it’s like I’m studying a wardrobe from another country, another lifetime. There was a time, a couple of years ago, when you could more or less wear what you wanted if you weren’t going to a public place. If you were going to a friends or relatives house, you could wear trousers and a shirt, or jeans, something you wouldn’t ordinarily wear. We don’t do that anymore because there’s always that risk of getting stopped in the car and checked by one militia or another.

There are no laws that say we have to wear a hijab (yet), but there are the men in head-to-toe black and the turbans, the extremists and fanatics who were liberated by the occupation, and at some point, you tire of the defiance. You no longer want to be seen. I feel like the black or white scarf I fling haphazardly on my head as I walk out the door makes me invisible to a certain degree- it’s easier to blend in with the masses shrouded in black. If you’re a female, you don’t want the attention- you don’t want it from Iraqi police, you don’t want it from the black-clad militia man, you don’t want it from the American soldier. You don’t want to be noticed or seen.

I have nothing against the hijab, of course, as long as it is being worn by choice. Many of my relatives and friends wear a headscarf. Most of them began wearing it after the war. It started out as a way to avoid trouble and undue attention, and now they just keep it on because it makes no sense to take it off. What is happening to the country?

I realized how common it had become only in mid-July when M., a childhood friend, came to say goodbye before leaving the country. She walked into the house, complaining of the heat and the roads, her brother following closely behind. It took me to the end of the visit for the peculiarity of the situation to hit me. She was getting ready to leave before the sun set, and she picked up the beige headscarf folded neatly by her side. As she told me about one of her neighbors being shot, she opened up the scarf with a flourish, set it on her head like a pro, and pinned it snuggly under her chin with the precision of a seasoned hijab-wearer. All this without a mirror- like she had done it a hundred times over… Which would be fine, except that M. is Christian.

If M. can wear one quietly- so can I.

I’ve said goodbye this last month to more people than I can count. Some of the ‘goodbyes’ were hurried and furtive- the sort you say at night to the neighbor who got a death threat and is leaving at the break of dawn, quietly.

Some of the ‘goodbyes’ were emotional and long-drawn, to the relatives and friends who can no longer bear to live in a country coming apart at the seams.

Many of the ‘goodbyes’ were said stoically- almost casually- with a fake smile plastered on the face and the words, “See you soon”… Only to walk out the door and want to collapse with the burden of parting with yet another loved one.

During times like these I remember a speech Bush made in 2003: One of the big achievements he claimed was the return of jubilant ‘exiled’ Iraqis to their country after the fall of Saddam. I’d like to see some numbers about the Iraqis currently outside of the country you are occupying… Not to mention internally displaced Iraqis abandoning their homes and cities.

I sometimes wonder if we’ll ever know just how many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis left the country this bleak summer. I wonder how many of them will actually return. Where will they go? What will they do with themselves? Is it time to follow? Is it time to wash our hands of the country and try to find a stable life somewhere else?

- posted by river

Another 24 killed by car bombs in Mosul:

Insurgents detonated a series of car bombs in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul today, killing at least 24 people, including a senior policeman.

Link Here

Roadside bomb kills couple en route to maternity hospital:

In the early hours of the morning, a roadside bomb killed a pregnant Iraqi woman and her husband as they raced to hospital to deliver her child.

Link Here

US forces trying to prevent mass rally in support of Lebanon :

The US occupation forces attempted to prevent Iraqi demonstrators from reaching Baghdad for participation in public protests on Lebanon, scheduled for tomorrow, by opening fire on the bus that was taking them from Najaf to the capital. One demonstrator was killed and 16 injured.

Link Here

Iraqi protesters march in support of Hezbollah:

Hundreds of thousands of Shias marched through the streets of Baghdad chanting "Death to Israel" and "Death to America" on Friday in support for Hezbollah.

Link Here

'Outrage' at 'morally unconscionable position'

It is no longer tenable to claim “I didn't know” about crimes against humanity.

by The Jewish Women's Committee to End the Occupation
August 3, 2006

The Jewish Women's Committee to End the Occupation is a voice for peace in the Middle East along with other Jewish and Palestinian women's groups in North America and Israel.

We in Canada are outraged that the Canadian Government and media again choose a morally unconscionable position and stand by silently while Israel perpetrates a massacre of civilians in Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon. It is a repeat of Sabra and Shatilla, of the massacre at Qana in 1996, with the world leaders looking on.

After World War II at the Nuremburg tribunal, Nazis attempted to exonerate themselves by claiming that they did not know about the genocide. It is no longer tenable to claim “I didn't know” about crimes against humanity. There is ample witnessing and documentation of genocides in Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Rwanda, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala and now in the Middle East.

We know from Israeli historians themselves about the ethnic cleansing of indigenous Palestinians in 1948, and we know from Israeli NGOs and journalists of the current massacre of civilians and destruction of the societal infrastructure and physical environment of the Palestinian people.

The language of propaganda and war is twisted so that aggressor appears to be victim. Language is sadistic when a “military operation” is called “Summer Rain” as a whole people are deprived of water in the intense heat of summer. Language is terrifying when Israel calls the current attack on Gaza “Samson's Pillars” — Samson in myth was the biggest suicide terrorist of all — purportedly killing 3000 people when he committed suicide by tearing down the temple pillars.

We fear that Israeli crimes against humanity will persist when even speaking about them entails accusations of anti-Semitism.

Will Canada collude with state terrorism or will Canada adhere to the rule of law with respect to the illegalities of occupation and the physical and psychological tormenting and murdering of civilians? We call on Canada to call for an immediate ceasefire, observed by the U.N. and not NATO, and for the immediate restoration of aid to the democratically elected Palestinian government.

In a just world, Israel would make reparations, just as Germany did to Jewish people.

Elizabeth Block
Smadar Carmon
Judy Deutsch
Sue Goldstein
Rachel Gorman
Reena Katz
Deborah Mandell
Jill Rogin
Susan Starkman
Esther Vise
Naomi Binder Wall
Judith Weisman for the Jewish Women's Committee to End the Occupation

Link Here

Justice Is Dead, If You're Born an Arab:

I still feel a shudder of deja-vu at the irony with which I wrote last week about the 'generosity' of the US government's gift of 2,000 rolls of plastic sheeting to the Lebanese as it rushed precision guided missiles to its henchmen in Israel.

Link Here

Friday, August 04, 2006

Ground to a Halt

Evidence of the broad nature of Hezbollah's resistance to Israeli occupation can be seen in the identity of its suicide attackers.

By Robert Pape

Israel has finally conceded that air power alone will not defeat Hezbollah. Over the coming weeks, it will learn that ground power won't work either. The problem is not that the Israelis have insufficient military might, but that they misunderstand the nature of the enemy.

Link Here

Bombing is backed by most American voters

From Tom Baldwin in Washington ISRAEL's military campaign in southern Lebanon is still being backed by most American voters, according to a survey published yesterday that shows public opinion in the US once again sharply at odds with views in Europe.

Link Here

For Israel, innocent civilians are fair game

Peter Bouckaert
International Herald Tribune

Israel's claims about pin-point strikes and proportionate responses are pure fantasy.

Link Here

Blood on his hands

By John Kampfner

Blair knew the attack on Lebanon was coming but he didn't try to stop it, because he didn't want to. He has made this country an accomplice, destroying what remained of our influence abroad while putting us all at greater risk of attack.

Link Here

NOW | Reporters vs. the White House

Is the press failing its responsibility to the truth? This time on NOW.

Link Here

Israeli strikes kill 40 civilians

By Lin Noueihed in Beirut
August 05, 2006 06:48am

ISRAELI air strikes killed at least 40 civilians in Lebanon overnight and Hezbollah launched its longest-range rocket attack of the war as world powers tried to overcome their differences on how to end the fighting.

One Israeli air strike hit a farm near Qaa, close to the Syrian border in the Bekaa Valley where workers, mostly Syrian Kurds, were loading plums and peaches on to trucks, local officials said.

They said 33 people were killed and 20 wounded.

Television footage showed bodies of what appeared to be farm workers lined up near the ruins of a small structure in fruit groves. Strewn nearby were fruit baskets.

"I was picking peaches when three bombs hit. Others were having lunch and they were torn to pieces," said Mohammad Rashed, one of the wounded. Syria's official news agency said 17 of the dead were Syrian workers, five of them women.

"The air force spotted a truck that was suspected to have been loaded with weapons cross from Syria into Lebanon on a route that is routinely used to transport weapons," an Israeli military source said. "The truck entered into a building and remained inside for an hour, then left and returned to Syria."

He said that when the truck left, the building was attacked.

It was one of the deadliest air strikes in 24 days of war. An air raid in the town of Qana on Sunday killed up to 54 civilians, Lebanese officials say. Human Rights Watch says it has confirmed 28 dead in that attack with 13 people missing.

Several Hezbollah rockets landed in or near the Israeli city of Hadera, about 80 km from the Lebanese border, the deepest rocket attack of the war so far. Hezbollah said in a statement that it had fired Khaibar 1 rockets at Hadera, partly in response to the Israeli attack on Qaa.

The United States and France inched closer to a deal on a UN resolution calling for an end to the fighting. Once they reach agreement, which officials said could happen over the weekend, a Security Council vote could be held within 24 hours.

"There are still some issues that we have not resolved, but I think we have come a little bit closer this morning. We will keep working on it," US Ambassador John Bolton said.

Another air strike on a house in the front-line Taibeh village in south Lebanon on Friday killed seven civilians and wounded 10, a security source said. The source said the civilians had sheltered in the house during fierce battles.

Israeli aircraft destroyed four bridges on the main coastal highway north of Beirut, disrupting efforts to aid civilians displaced or trapped by the conflict in Lebanon.

Fighting raged in the south as Israeli troops tried to expand seven small border enclaves they control.

Hezbollah guerrillas fired more than 100 rockets into northern Israel, killing three people and wounding several, medics said. Rockets killed eight Israelis on Thursday.

Hezbollah fighters killed three Israeli soldiers with an anti-tank missile near Markaba, Israel's army said. Al Arabiya television said five Israeli soldiers had been killed. Israeli media said seven Hezbollah guerrillas also died in the battle.

The bombing of bridges in the Christian heartlands north of Beirut cut off the coastal highway to Syria, which the United Nations called its "umbilical cord" for aid to Lebanon.

The bridge at Maameltein, north of Beirut, was split by a huge crater. Further north, another bridge lay in the valley it once spanned.

"The whole road is gone," said Astrid van Genderen Stort of the UN refugee agency. "It's really a major setback because we used this highway to move staff and supplies into the country."

Israel said it had destroyed the bridges to prevent Syria from re-arming Hezbollah, which is also backed by Iran.

The European Commission said Israeli bombing of routes north of Beirut had made it harder to deliver humanitarian aid.

More than 150 Israeli air strikes hit south Lebanon and artillery pummelled border areas as Hezbollah tried to stop new Israeli incursions near Markaba and the coastal town of Naqoura.

Hezbollah said its fighters had destroyed eight Israeli tanks and an armoured troop carrier in fighting around the southern villages of Markaba, Aita al-Shaab and Taibeh.

Israel has put more than 10,000 troops into Lebanon and says it has carved out a zone containing 20 villages up to seven km from its border. The defence minister has ordered the army to prepare for a possible push further north.

At least 727 people in Lebanon and 74 Israelis have been killed in the conflict, ignited by a cross-border raid in which Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers on July 12.

US Assistant Secretary of State David Welch will visit Beirut today for talks with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, Lebanese political sources said.

Once a UN resolution is agreed to halt the fighting, a second resolution is envisaged a week or two later setting down conditions for a permanent ceasefire.

Israel has also launched an offensive in the Gaza Strip to recover another captured soldier and stop Palestinian rockets. Its forces killed three Palestinians in the Strip overnight.

Link Here

Making the Rubble Bounce in Lebanon

Kurt Nimmo

According to a report posted on the Reuters site, Israel has threatened to "destroy Lebanon’s infrastructure if Hizbollah fires rockets at Tel Aviv as Hizbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah threatened on Thursday, a senior Israeli defense source told Israel’s Channel One television." Excuse me, but it seems Israel has already done a mighty effective job of destroying Lebanon’s infrastructure. I guess the 60 bridges and 70 roads destroyed, the taking out of Beirut’s airport, the destruction of power plants, the fuel tanks and gas stations bombed, the food warehouses, dams, schools, television and radio stations, churches, mosques, hospitals, ambulances, and the thousands and thousands of homes targeted and destroyed are not, according to the Israelis, part of Lebanon’s critical infrastructure. In essence, what Israel is saying here is that if Tel Aviv is touched by Hezbollah’s tinker-toy rockets they will make the rubble bounce in Lebanon...

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GIs describe comrades killing blindfolded Iraqis U.S. soldiers testify during military hearing of 4 troops accused of murder


Two American soldiers Thursday described in gruesome detail how their comrades allegedly killed three blindfolded Iraqi detainees, one of whom was covered in brain matter and another who spit blood during his dying moments. The soldiers testified during a military hearing to decide if the four soldiers should face a military court-martial on murder charges for allegedly killing the Iraqis after detaining them in a house on May 9 near Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad. Cpl. Brandon Helton testified that he was the last man off the helicopter that brought a group of soldiers to a marshy island outside Samarra in search of suspected al-Qaida operatives. By the time he reached the house, the Iraqis had been detained, he said...

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GI Special 4H3: A Soldier Questions The Mission - August 3, 2006

Thomas F. Barton

President Bush came and sat by the side of Sergeant Brian Fountaine, a 24-year-old tank commander from Dorchester, a gung-ho soldier who had lobbied to be deployed a second time.

Now Fountaine was among the wounded at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, his legs amputated below the knees after an explosion June 8 ripped apart the Humvee in which he was riding.The president chatted about the sergeant's beloved Red Sox, but made no reference to the war, the soldier said.

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Israeli air raids kill 40 civilians in Lebanon

Alistair Lyon, Special Correspondent

Israeli air strikes killed at least 40 civilians in Lebanon and a Hizbollah rocket barrage into Israel killed three people on Friday as world powers tried to agree on a resolution to halt the fighting. One air strike hit a farm near Qaa, close to the Syrian border in the Bekaa Valley where workers, mostly Syrian Kurds, were loading plums and peaches on to trucks, local officials said. They said 33 people were killed and 20 wounded. An Israeli army spokesman said air strikes in the area had targeted two buildings that military intelligence had showed were used by Hizbollah to store weapons. But television footage showed bodies of what appeared to be farm workers lined up near the ruins of a small structure in fruit groves. Strewn nearby were fruit baskets...

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Spontaneous human explosion


Watching the Democrats spin the Israeli massacre of the Lebanese people is like watching a spectator to an altercation between a 200-pound man and a six-year-old girl. The man keeps knocking the girl down, but she gamely gets up, only to be knocked down again. Gradually, as she struggles more and more to get up, it becomes apparent that he is killing her. Nevertheless, the spectator, Mr. Democrat, claims to be completely oblivious to what is going on, as witness his series of comments: * She must have done something to provoke him; * Look, she held up her arm to defend herself, it’s obviously a fair fight; * These issues are too complicated for any outside observer to understand; * We have to let them work out their own problems (although the man is using American brass knuckles supplied with the approval of Mr. Democrat); * There are thousands of years of conflict behind this, and we have no role to play; * It all comes down to 'He said, she said’; who knows who is right and who is wrong? Of course, the analogy is faulty, as we would have to add that the 200-pound man’s brother, Mr. Israel Lobby, is standing beside Mr. Democrat handing him one hundred dollar bills, and whispering, "You won’t get any more unless you support the man"...

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A list of UN Resolutions against "Israel"

Action for UN Renewal

Here is a list of UN resolutions that Israel has not complied. As far as I know they have ignored every single resolution. But the situation is far worse than would at first appear, it involves the serious distortion of the official Security Council record by the profligate use by the United States of its veto power. (See Table) Israel’s, defiance goes back to its very beginnings. This collection of resolutions criticizing Israel is unmatched by the record of any other nation...

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As Hizbullah Fights the Zionist Invaders, their Lebanese Invasion Stalls

John Brown, Savage Justice

Even before Monday's "daring but apparently fruitless raid" - to quote the the Financial Times - aimed at a hospital in the strategic Bekka Valley, concerned voices among the pro-imperialist media lamenting the poor performance of the Zionist invaders continue to make themselves heard. Writing in The Wall Street Journal on 1 August, Bret Stephens, a member of publication's editorial board, wrote the following: Israel is losing this war....

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Hassan Nassrullah's Speech Highlights: If Israelis Attack Beirut, Hizbullah Will Attack Tel Aviv


The following is a summary of the main points of a speech made by the Hizbullah leader, Shaikh Hasssan Nassrullah, which was aired by Al-Manar TV and several TV stations around the world today, Augsust 3, 2006.I. Battlefield: 1. Hizbullah resistance fighters are still fighting the Israeli invading forces all over south Lebanon after 23 days of hostilities. This has been the real surprise for the Israeli leaders who expected to occupy south Lebanon and destroy Hizbullah in few days. 2. Hizbullah destroyed two Israeli naval warships, one off Beirut coast, the other off Saida coast. On both cases, Israelis denied the Hizbullah story. The first one was later confirmed. The Israelis are still in denial to hide the facts from their people about the second. 3. Hizbullah fighters follow a guerilla warfare. They do not keep geographical territory. Their goal is attacking the enemy quickly, then disappearing quickly, so the war can last forever or until the enemy leave south Lebanon...

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"It is US hypocrisy, at its worst"

Imad Khadduri, Free Iraq

..."As Israel's bombing of Lebanon continues unabated into its fourth consecutive week, the United States says it stands ready to provide food, medicine and humanitarian assistance to the thousands of internally displaced Lebanese caught in the crossfire. But Washington has also decided to accelerate the supply of lethal weapons to Israel - "perhaps intended to kill the very Lebanese the United States is planning to feed and shelter", said one Arab diplomat at the United Nations. "It is US hypocrisy at its worst," he said"...

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An Evolution that Would Blow Darwin’s Mind: Of Moral Regression, Heartland Extremism, and Solidarity against the Wicked Witch

Jason Miller

...Profits, property, and power trump humanity in the sociopathic value systems of the vicious malefactors at the helm of the United States. Witness the willful neglect leading to the tragic death and diaspora of tens of thousands of Black Americans in New Orleans. Consider the slaughter of over 100,000 Iraqi civilians, the liberal distribution of depleted uranium throughout Iraq’s countryside, the wanton destruction of much of Iraqi infrastructure, the death of over 2600 American military personnel in Iraq, the sacrifice of almost 3,000 American civilians in the Neocon’s Pearl Harbor on 9/11, the torture of human beings, and the suspension of basic justice for those suspected of "terrorism". Their willful refusal to employ the power the United States clearly has to enforce an immediate cease-fire in Lebanon provides yet another overt example of Neocon moral bankruptcy. The United States has deliberately stymied UN intervention efforts to give Israel time to finish destroying Lebanon with funding and equipment we furnished...

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First Senior GOP Member Calls For Iraq Troop Withdrawal Within Six Months…

ISRAEL-LEBANON CRISIS DAY 23:Hundreds Of Thousands March In Iraq: “Death To America,” “Death To Israel”... Israel Severs Road Linking To Syria…King Of Jordan: Conflict Has Weakened Middle East Moderates… Rice Signals Possible Compromise… Hezbollah Threatens to Strike Tel Aviv… Iran President: Destroy Israel And Middle East Crisis Will Be Solved…

Lincoln Journal Star DON WALTON August 4, 2006 at 01:52 PM

The United States needs to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq within the next six months, Sen. Chuck Hagel said Thursday, rather than ratcheting up its military commitment now.

With Iraq exploding in sectarian violence and "moving closer and closer to a straight-out civil war," Hagel said, the Bush administration's decision to transfer nearly 5,000 additional U.S. troops into Baghdad is "only going to make it worse for us."

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