NYCLAW Antiwar Digest
Fri Aug 1, 2008 10:35 am (PDT)
End the Occupation of Iraq — Bring the Troops Home Now
Labor for Palestine
Subscribe to NYCLAW Listserv
CANADIAN SOLDIERS KILL 2 CHILDREN
Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan opened fire on a speeding car, which they feared was about to attack their convoy, and killed a 2-year-old boy and his 4-year-old sister, officials said Monday. . . . NATO commanders have said they take reasonable precautions to prevent civilian deaths and have blamed militants for endangering innocents.
BOMBS AND STARVATION GENERATE RESISTANCE
“My husband and son were killed by the American bombs in Helmand province and I brought my daughter in law and grandchildren to Kabul since radio programs were talking about humanitarian programs but we found none and are stranded begging to survive. My granddaughter age 7 starved to death last week. I hate these people.”
CIA BLOWBACK KILLS US TROOPS
It was the ISI, backed by millions of covert dollars from the C.I.A., that ran arms to guerrillas fighting Soviet forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s. It is now American troops who are dying in Afghanistan.
OCCUPATION = PIPELINE PROTECTION TROOPS
As the perceptive writer Kevin Phillips notes, U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan — and Iraq — have become “pipeline protection troops”. . . . [W]e are not fighting “terrorists” but a medieval tribal people who just want to be left alone. This is an ugly little war about oil and gas, not freedom, democracy, or woman’s rights.
SHOALS AHEAD FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA
No one has ever gained long-term control over this crucial zone of transit. . . . U.S. policy also at the same time spawned both Al-Qaeda and the Taliban — a classic case of blowback for the United States.
U.S. TALKS TO IRAN TO LEGITIMIZE ATTACK
“This way they will be able to say they tried everything,” one official speculated. “This increases America’s chances of gaining more public support domestically as well as the support of European nations which are today opposed to military action.”
DEMOCRATS BACK ATTACK
[C]ongressional leaders authorized up to $400 million for increased efforts to destabilize Iran’s government. . . . [H]ow in the world does the representative of perhaps the most antiwar city in the country sign off on the United States doing this to another nation?
DESPITE THE EVIDENCE, ISRAEL STILL WANTS TO ATTACK
Israeli officials were concerned in December when a key U.S. intelligence report concluded that Iran had abandoned an effort to build a nuclear bomb.
ISRAEL IS THE REAL DANGER
Thanks to unlimited US support, Israel is two full military generations ahead of its enemies, and even further advanced in electronic warfare and command and control. . . . Given these facts, we can see how false are claims trumpeted by the west that Iran is a dangerous military power that is about to eradicate Israel. The facts are quite the reverse.
LIES AND BLUSTER ABOUT NUKES
Israel possesses between 60 and 80 nuclear bombs. . . . Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s insistence that Iran enriches its own fissile material, and the guessing game he is playing with Israel, the atomic energy agency and the UN security council is irresponsible and staggeringly dangerous. But if I were in his position I might be tempted to do the same.
MILITARY COVERED-UP ATTACK ON CIVILIANS
The American military admitted Sunday night that a platoon of soldiers raked a car of innocent Iraqi civilians with hundreds of rounds of gunfire and that the military then issued a news release larded with misstatements, asserting that the victims were criminals who had fired on the troops.
AIR FORCE ESCALATES CIVILIAN CASUALTIES
For the first time in Iraq, the Air Force is flying missions this month with the new Reaper, a large remotely controlled vehicle that carries not only advanced surveillance sensors, but also bombs and missiles comparable to those on top-of-the-line piloted fighters. . . . Aerial bombardment increases the risk of accidental civilian casualties, however.
U.S. KILLING MORE CIVILIANS
The American military said Thursday that soldiers had killed three unarmed people during an operation northwest of Samarra on Wednesday, and injured a fourth. . . . The killing is part of a spate of American military shootings of Iraqi civilians in recent months.
100 CITIZENS ARRESTED IN NEW OFFENSIVE
[M]any Iraqis believe that this campaign has no difference from others that targeted and harmed ordinary civilians.
U.S. HOLDS REUTERS CAMERAMAN WITHOUT CHARGES
No charge has ever been filed against the cameraman. . . . The military contends that under the U.N. mandate governing the presence of foreign forces in Iraq it can detain anyone considered a security risk indefinitely.
DE-HYPING THE SURGE
No, sorry, AP. The US toll was at an “all-time low” before the invasion, when the number was zero. Unfortunately for the Iraqis, even then their toll wasn’t zero, since the decade-long embargo, not to mention the continued bombing in the “no-fly” zones, took lives by the tens of thousands every month.
DEMOCRATS SAY IRAQIS MUST PAY
Democratic leaders in Congress are pushing the administration to pressure the Iraqi government to fund its own infrastructure projects through rising oil revenue.
The sectarian civil war between Sunni and Shia, which was at its height between the end of 2005 and the first half of 2007, has ebbed. This is not so much because of the surge, but because there is nobody left to kill. . . . Obama’s foreign policy remains committed to the pursuit of U.S. interests in the Middle East and beyond, in collaboration with allies when possible and without their approval whenever it’s deemed necessary.
There is only one way to achieve genuine “force protection” for the American soldiers in Iraq: withdraw them, all of them, and end the war crime they have been sent to perpetrate. Neither Barack Obama nor John McCain will do this. The Democratic-controlled Congress will not do it. The bipartisan foreign policy establishment will not do it. All of them are happy to swallow — and repeat — the lies they are told about the war.
CONSPIRACY TO KILL IRAQIS?
These men and women in Washington knew that their war and occupation would kill Iraqis. In fact, they counted on this fact in the hope that they would achieve their goals of destroying the government of Saddam Hussein and replacing it with one willing to do Washington’s bidding.
CAMPAIGNS’ IRAQ STANCES ARE SIMILAR
In recent days, McCain has said he could support withdrawal over 16 months — the timetable proposed by Obama — provided “conditions” were right. Obama has said that he would “adapt” his withdrawal timeline should “things drastically worsen as we’re drawing down.” Both advocate leaving a residual U.S. force in Iraq, although neither has specified the size of such a force or where it would be based.
LET’S NOT GET OUT AND SAY WE DID
A “flexible timeline” is not a timetable. Redeployment of some or even all “combat troops” is not withdrawal. Limited Iraqi sovereignty is not sovereignty. Continuing the occupation is not ending it.
ARMY KILLS MORE CIVILIANS
As in the past, the army sought to subdue the militants by raking the area with fire from helicopter gunships and shelling suspected insurgent positions, a tactic that local officials say is putting civilians in grave danger. The seven-member family, including women and children, was killed before dawn Thursday in the village of Deolai, police said. Nearly three dozen other civilians were reported hurt, including a group of about 25 workers who were harvesting peaches in an orchard, according to residents.
ISRAELIS KILL PALESTINIAN BOY AT PROTEST
Ahmad Hussam Musa, 12. . . . was resting under a tree after the demonstration when he was shot in the head. . . . Also on Tuesday, an Israeli battalion commander suspected of ordering a soldier to shoot a rubber bullet in the foot of a bound and blindfolded Palestinian in the Naalin area three weeks ago was placed on leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the military police. Israeli military officials said the episode, which was captured on video, indicated a command failure.
SECOND PALESTINIAN TEENAGER SHOT BY ISRAELI ARMY WITHIN HOURS
It is the third incident this month in which Israel’s military appears to have deliberately targeted a resident of Ni’ilin, where protests against Israel’s West Bank barrier and violent clashes occur almost daily. . . . However, the border police will not investigate. “It’s not our responsibility to investigate things like that,” the spokesman said.
ISRAELI ATTACKS ON WALL PROTESTS HAVE KILLED BEFORE
At least 11 other Palestinians have died protesting against Israeli’s apartheid wall. Their names are:
PALESTINIANS OCCUPATION’S VIOLENCE ON VIDEO
In a graphic and hard-hitting film Peter Beaumont speaks to Palestinians filming abuse from settlers and Israeli armed forces.
TEAR DOWN THE WALL
Palestinians do not fight to re-route the Wall but to tear it down.
AT 45%, GAZA UNEMPLOYMENT IS HIGHEST IN THE WORLD
Nearly 95 percent of all factories operating in Gaza have been closed down in recent years, says the report. Israel’s year long economic blockade on the coastal territory and repeated closure of electricity and fuel sources have also contributed to the humanitarian crisis.
SAILING AUGUST 5 TO BREAK GAZA SIEGE
Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein is one of those who has courageously agreed to go aboard. . . . Naim Franjieh, survivor of the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe), will join Hedy on the boat : “My parents fled Palestine in 1948 when I was three years old,” he says “I want to be there, on the boat, to tell the people of Gaza they are not forgotten by those of us who have left.”
BREAKING THE GAZA SIEGE, BY BOAT
One way or another we intend to open Gaza to unrestricted international access. If we are unable, we will demonstrate that Israel still occupies Gaza despite its claim to the contrary. We will no longer be idle while those in power continue to blame the victim.
P.A. ‘TSUNAMI’ HITS HAMAS AND ALLIES
With almost the entire West Bank leadership of Hamas in jail, the PA and Israel have now taken aim at what is widely seen as a crucial source of the group’s political strength: the tight network of schools, orphanages, clinics, charities and businesses run by the Islamists.
P.A. ACTS ON BEHALF OF U.S./ISRAEL
European donor governments as well as Lieutenant-General Keith Dayton, the US officer overseeing security sector reform for the Palestinian Authority, is aware of what’s happening. . . . [M]any in Nablus see Fatah’s relationship with the Israelis as one of collusion more than competition. . . . “They’re trying to turn the PA into a security sub-agent like the Vichy government (in occupied France).”
DOES P.A. STAND FOR JUDENRAT?
The Palestinian people. . . . never dreamt of a ‘Judenrat’ of quislings and collaborators that would arrest, torment, torture and even murder Palestinians in order to receive a certificate of good conduct from the occupiers of our country and their guardian-allies in Washington.
WHY A CULTURAL BOYCOTT IS NECESSARY
It is clear that even cultural dialogue with the Israeli establishment has only proven to normalize the occupation. Tutu once declared, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Now is not the time to be neutral, nor the time to be reticent; it is the time to act.
LETTER TO MERCEDES SOSA
Don’t let your voice be sullied with collaboration with this oppression! Don’t sing in Israel! Don’t fail the struggle for freedom and equality in Palestine! Don’t betray the people whose struggle echoes so closely the struggles of the people of Latin America!
BOYCOTT THREAT PROMPTS ISRAELI ACADEMICS TO SPEAK UP
One prominent Hebrew University professor has warned that the regulations — which include barring Palestinian students from courses “that could be used against the State of Israel” — will help campaigners in Britain and elsewhere seeking to impose a boycott of Israeli academia.
WHAT DOES THE ISRAELI “PEACE CAMP” REALLY STAND FOR?
Members of the Israeli peace movement, including “Peace Now” and many scholars, have criticized Israel’s conduct in the occupied territory seized in 1967, but they do not accept the position that Israel was responsible for the refugees’ suffering, and they do not criticize the essence of Zionism. They support the government policy of denying the Palestinian refugees’ right of return.
THREE DIMENSIONS OF FREEDOM
At its core, Israel’s oppression of the people of Palestine encompasses three major dimensions: denial of Palestinian refugee rights, including their right to return to their homes; military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), with massive colonization of the latter; and a system of racial discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel, partially resembling South African apartheid. A just peace would have to ethically and practically redress all three injustices as a minimal requirement of relative justice.
END OF THE TWO-STATE SOLUTION
Negation, denial and imprisonment have run their course. The future should be built on affirmation, cooperation, and the constitution of a democratic and secular state that guarantees the rights of Israelis and Palestinians, of Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike.
US TEACHES TORTURE
Called the Merida initiative, or Plan Mexico, the move follows a similar blueprint to the widely criticised, and ultimately failed, Plan Colombia.
MUGABE’S BIGGEST SIN
[F]or Washington there are always “good dictators” and “bad dictators.” The difference is whether the given dictator serves US national interests or not. Mugabe clearly is in the latter category.
MONEY FOR WAR
WHITE HOUSE PREDICTS $482 BILLION DEFICIT
The deficit . . . does not reflect the full cost of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the potential $50 billion cost of another economic stimulus package, or the possibility of steeper losses in tax revenues if individual income or corporate profits decline.
WAR AT HOME
SUCKING UP TO THE BANKERS: A BIPARTISAN LOVEFEST
[B]oth of our leading presidential candidates are scrambling to enlist not only the big-dollar contributions but, more frighteningly, the “expertise” of the very folks who advocated the financial industry deregulations at the heart of this meltdown.
GUANTANAMO: IT ONLY LOOKS LIKE A TRIAL
“Where else in the world is someone being prosecuted for a crime who is already serving a life sentence and will continue to serve one if he’s acquitted?”
IMMIGRANTS: COERCED INTO CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS
Advocates, immigration lawyers and translators question the deal offered to the Postville workers, who were told they could either plead guilty to aggravated identity theft, with a minimum two-year sentence, or accept a reduced charge and spend a year or less in jail. The lesser charge also would require the workers surrender more of their legal rights.
POLICE VIOLENCE: NYPD COP SHOWN CLUBBING CUFFED VET, TAKING CALL, THEN GOING ON THE ATTACK AGAIN
Harvin said he told the cop he served 3 1/2 years in the 101st Airborne Division, including six months in Iraq. . . . It didn’t matter to him. He said I was a disgrace.”
VETS: BANK WON’T PAY DEATH BENEFITS
Just days after their son was killed by a Taliban rocket while serving in Afghanistan, Steve and Joy Retmier went to Downey Savings and Loan in Hemet to deposit two government bereavement checks to help pay for his funeral. But once inside, they said, a teller put a hold on the checks for 10 days until they could be authenticated. The funeral was in five days.
HIS FATHER’S HERO
“I think my son is a hero,” Erich continued. “There are many Iraqis who were not killed because of what he did, and many GIs whose lives were saved because of it. He made a tremendous service to his country by standing up and bearing witness to the ‘bait-and-kill’ war crimes.”
WHY HE RAN
“I’d be willing to go to prison because I know I did the right thing, and I can sleep at night and my conscience is still good.”
ACTIVISTS WANT PORTLAND TO BE A SANCTUARY FOR AWOL SOLDIERS
15,000 servicemen and -women are AWOL.
ANTI-WAR VETERANS NOT DOWN WITH MCCAIN/OBAMA WAR PLANS
[IVAW] is pushing for a complete withdrawal, not the ones advocated by presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama, which would leave troops in or around Iraq to fight al-Qaida.
WHY THEY SPEAK OUT
[B]ecause of what they’ve experienced, they believe staying silent would make them complicit in a war that has killed some 4,100 U.S. soldiers and as many as 1.2 million Iraqis.
STOP WAR ON IRAN: AUGUST 2 MASS MARCH IN NYC
Assemble 12 p.m. at Times Square
WHERE OBAMAISM SEEMS TO BE GOING
“Well, that’s what they all have to do to get elected,” reflect nothing better than denial of the grim reality that we can’t expect anything from them or make any demands of them. After all, how can we hold them accountable once they’re in office if we can’t do it when they’re running, when we technically have something we can withhold or deliver?