NYCLAW Antiwar Digest
Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:39 am (PDT)
End the Occupation of Iraq — Bring the Troops Home Now
Labor for Palestine
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US BOMBS KILL CIVILIANS DURING PRAYERS
“Last night, around 2 a.m. some people were attending a holy Koran recitation in Shindand district when Americans started bombing. Tens of civilians were killed.”
OCCUPATION AIRSTRIKE KILLS 95 CIVILIANS
[I]ncluding 50 children — in a village in western Afghanistan. . . . one of the deadliest airstrikes on civilians in nearly seven years of war. . . . “[T]here were no Taliban.”
IN WAKE OF US MASSACRES, AFGHANS ATTACK PUPPET FORCES
[F]ollowing the deaths of scores of civilians in an air attack by US-led coalition forces on Friday. . . . [h]undreds of angry villagers have reportedly attacked Afghan soldiers with stones who were bringing aid to the families of those killed in the attack.
RESISTANCE ASSAULTS U.S. BASE
Taliban insurgents mounted their most serious attacks in six years of fighting in Afghanistan over the last two days, including a coordinated assault by at least 10 suicide bombers against one of the largest American military bases in the country, and another by about 100 insurgents who killed 10 elite French paratroopers.
RESISTANCE TO EMPIRE IS A NATIONAL TRADITION
[T]his looks increasingly like a city under siege as the Taleban start to disrupt supply routes, mimicking tactics used against the British in 1841 and the Soviets two decades ago.
SOLDIERS’ DEATHS GENERATES FRENCH ANTIWAR SENTIMENT
“There are families suffering who must be cursing Sarko for having sent young guys out there to act the big guy in front of his friend Bush.”
RESISTANCE KILLS 12 AT U.S. BASE ON AFGHAN INDEPENDENCE DAY
The first attacks came on Afghanistan’s Independence Day, commemorating liberty from the British Empire in 1919.
WAR ALREADY LOST
“The U.S. is now losing the war against the Taliban.”
12,000+ ADDITIONAL US TROOPS TO AFGHANISTAN — WITH BOTH CANDIDATES’ SUPPORT
The Pentagon will be sending 12,000 to 15,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, possibly as soon as the end of this year, with planning underway for a further force buildup in 2009. . . . Both major U.S. presidential candidates have called for putting a greater military emphasis on Afghanistan, and it now appears that whoever wins the election will inherit a growing war already underway.
US PROPS UP WARLORDS
If the USA leaves, the warlords will loose power because they have no base among our people. The people of Afghanistan will deal with these warlords once US troops leave Afghanistan.
AFGHAN WOMEN JAILED FOR BEING VICTIMS OF RAPE
Two-thirds of the women in Lashkar Gah’s medieval-looking jail have been convicted of illegal sexual relations, but most are simply rape victims — mirroring the situation nationwide. . . . [V]iolent attacks against women, usually in a domestic setting, are at epidemic proportions.
US-BACKED RAIDS INFLAME DIYALA
Since late July, Diyala has been the focus of a major security operation, involving 30,000 members of the Iraqi security forces, backed by American troops, which has resulted in hundreds of arrests.
ACCORD ISN’T REALLY ABOUT WITHDRAWAL
Even if the goal of withdrawing combat troops by 2011 is realized, the accord does leave open the possibility that American military trainers and support forces could remain in Iraq after that time. It is unclear whether the accord provides for semipermanent military bases in the country, and what role the United States would play in providing air and naval support for Iraq.
SADRISTS DENOUNCE U.S.-IRAQ DEAL
They held up banners reading “The dubious agreement means a permanent colonization of Iraq” and “Iraq is not a U.S. colony.”
IRAQIS CRITICIZE PHONY “WITHDRAWAL” PLAN — WANT US OUT NOW
“The government that came with this occupation does not represent us,” said a woman who gave her name as Um Mohammed, adding that her father was detained by U.S. forces for a year before being released without charge. “We don’t want any financial agreement, any political agreement, any security agreement with them. We don’t want anything to do with them.”
IRAQIS: AND TAKE YOUR OIL COMPANIES WITH YOU
After the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, many Iraqi and U.S. officials, along with many Iraqi oilmen, pushed for opening the fields to competitive bidding. . . . Since the invasion, however, several attempts at inviting foreigners in have withered. After wresting control of its oil resources from Western powers decades ago, many Iraqis are still loath to see foreign companies back.
BIDEN: IT’S NEVER TIME TO CUT WAR FUNDING
“The power of the purse is useless because it presents us with a Hobson’s choice,” Biden cautioned on Oct. 10, 2002. “We have our fighting men and women in place, and we are told, by the way, the president will not take them home, so let’s cut off the support for them so they have no guns, no bullets, no ability to fight a war. And no one is willing to do that.”
ON IRAQ, BIDEN IS WORSE THAN MCCAIN
More than the Blackwater killings, more than US efforts to forcibly privatize Iraq’s oil, it was the Biden idea of splitting Iraq into three pieces that galvanized Iraqi Arab nationalists. . . . Obama makes it impossible for himself to criticize McCain’s pre-2003 Iraq bloodlust by selecting a bloodthirsty Democrat as his running mate.
BIDEN: ANTIDOTE TO HOPE
[Obama has] invited one of the Democrats who jumped on the pro-war bandwagon to be vice president. . . . Joe Biden is Obama’s latest offering to show that he might talk a good game, but he won’t put a toe outside of the Democratic Party mainstream.
WEEKLY REPORT ON ISRAELI HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
RIGHTS ADVOCATES DEFY ISRAELI BLOCKADE OF GAZA
The human rights advocates, ranging in age from 22 to 81 and coming from about a dozen countries, set sail from Cyprus on Friday morning to make a symbolic stand against what they called Israel’s “illegal” and “immoral” siege of Gaza. . . . At the seaport, Naama Abu Hamda, 59, said she had come to thank the activists. “We are encouraged by their courage,” she said, “unlike the Arab governments,” who she said had cooperated with the Israeli embargo.
HUGE WELCOME FOR GAZA BLOCKADE RUNNERS
As the boats docked in Gaza City’s tiny port, children swarmed around the vessels and leaped into the water in joy, while thousands of cheering people looked on from the shore. Palestinian flags on one of the boats snapped in the wind, activists waved to the crowd, and the slogan “End Occupation” was written in large letters on its side. . . . “They are very brave, they are very strong, I am proud of them,” said Samira Ayash, a 65-year-old retired school teacher who came to watch.
RELEASE LEAVES 11,000 POLITICAL PRISONERS BEHIND
About 11,000 Palestinians will remain in Israeli prisons. . . . Ghazi Hamad, a Hamas official in Gaza, told Al Jazeera that he welcomed the prisoner release but criticised Israel was using it as a political tool by only releasing Fatah supporters from the West Bank.
ETHIOPIANS FEEL BRUNT OF ISRAELI RACISM
The Israeli government’s decision to halt immigration from Ethiopia prompted angry scenes in Jerusalem. . . . “There’s racism everywhere [in Israel] — against Filipinos, and against Yemenis”. . . . [Ethiopians] complained of their lack of prospects in a country that simply “sees us as no better than the Arabs”.
US MISSILES AND TROOPS WILL BE DEPLOYED IN ISRAEL
American military personnel are expected to man the new radar system which will be based in the Negev desert in southern Israel.
BIDEN: I AM A ZIONIST
“Imagine our circumstance in the world were there no Israel. How many [US] battleships would there be? How many troops would be stationed?”. . . . He also called comments about Israel’s connection to the war in Iraq “insulting”.
TRUCE BARELY EASES GAZA EMBARGO
Since the ceasefire began, the fighting with Israel has died down, but the strict sanctions remain. Most of the one-and-a-half million people living in Gaza are now reliant on food aid, and are unable to enter or leave the strip.
WORKERS PROTEST DAILY STRIP SEARCHES NEAR JENIN
Dozens of Palestinian workers, who go to work in Israel every morning and come back in the afternoon, rallied on Sunday near the checkpoint where they are strip-searched by Israeli border security each morning before work.
FATAH IS MAIN SOURCE OF INTRA-PALESTINIAN REPRESSION
Fatah’s efforts to eradicate Hamas’s political influence in the West Bank are more systematic than anything done by Hamas against Fatah in the Gaza Strip.
US-EU-ISRAEL-PA COORDINATE JOIN REPRESSION
The continuous illegal raids by the Israeli occupation and the Palestinian Authority are coordinated by the US air force criminal Lt. Gen. William Fraser and Lt. General Keith Dayton, the US coordinator for the genocide against Palestinians. . . . The role of the Israeli military is to arrest the political opponents of the PA and to close their charities.
EGYPTIAN WORKING CLASS KEY FOR PALESTINE TOO
[Striking Egyptian workers] were confronting Mubarak’s police and Mubarak’s tanks and Mubarak’s troops, using rocks. And all throughout, people can always draw parallels between what’s going in Egypt and what’s going on in Palestine. If Egypt falls, the entire Middle East is gonna fall. We have the biggest working class in the region with a long, militant history of industrial struggle.
FROM A PALESTINIAN PERSPECTIVE
[F]rom where the Palestinians are sitting, under the yoke of occupation, the picture looks very different from the one Zionism’s supporters would have the world believe.
A POET FOR THE PEOPLE
During the 1948 war, the seven-year-old Darwish and his family had been driven from his birthplace, the village of al-Birwa. Birwa has long been forgotten by the rest of the world. Like more than 400 other Palestinian communities, it was destroyed by the Israeli army to prevent its inhabitants from returning to their homes inside the new Jewish state. Judeidi, one of a few dozen survivingPalestinian villages inside Israel, was as close as the Darwishes could get. Today Birwa lies beneath two Jewish farming communities, Yasur and Achihud.
PALESTINE POPULAR CONFERENCE MEETS IN CHICAGO
Under the slogan “Reclaiming Our Voice, Reasserting Our Narrative,” hundreds of Palestinians living in the U.S. gathered in Chicago Aug. 8-10 for the first Palestine Popular Conference.
JEWISH YOUTH JAILED FOR REFUSING TO SERVE ON ‘MORAL GROUNDS’
Udi Nir, 18, of Herzliya, was arrested on Tuesday, the day after his draft date, in a quick response from the army to his refusal to enlist on “moral grounds.” Appearing before a military judge on Thursday, Nir was sentenced to 21 days in prison.
RESISTANCE IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN BLOCKED US IN GEORGIA
The United States, bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan, has little appetite for an armed confrontation with Russia either, as demonstrated by the swiftness with which the Bush administration ruled out a military response to the Georgia-Russia fighting.
NATO IN GEORGIA WOULD HAVE MEANT BROADER WAR
It’s a sobering thought that, if George W Bush had had his way and Georgia had been a member of Nato, we would now be at war with Russia.
PUPPET MASTERS BEHIND GEORGIA PRESIDENT SAAKASHVILI
Saakashvili was brought to power in a US-engineered coup run on the ground by US-funded NGO’s, in an application of a new method of US destabilization of regimes it considered hostile to its foreign policy agenda.
CANDIDATES AGREE WITH U.S. POLICY IN GEORGIA
[T]he anti-Russian views of presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain hardly differ from those of Bush.
DEAL FOR US MISSILES AND TROOPS IN POLAND
[A]n American Patriot missile battery is to move from Germany to Poland, and at least temporarily this would be operated by American military personnel. Under the agreement, Poland would host 10 missile interceptors, intended to shoot down a small number of ballistic missiles.
NATO’S BRUTAL RECORD IN YUGOSLAVIA
The Nato attack had been fraudulent. . . . At a 1999 Kosovo “peace” conference in France, the Serbs were told to accept occupation by Nato forces and a market economy, or be bombed into submission. It was the perfect precursor to the bloodbaths in Afghanistan and Iraq.
BIDEN PUSHED US WAR IN YUGOSLAVIA
He has called his new adversary, presumed Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a “personal and close friend”. . . . In 1998, he worked with McCain on a resolution to push the Clinton administration to use all available force to confront Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, a move designed to force the president to use ground troops if necessary against Serb forces in the former Yugoslavia.
WHY NOT SIMPLY ABOLISH NATO?
In the United States, both the Republicans and the Democrats see the old NATO transformed into this new offensive military alliance as a good (neocon) idea to promote American interests around the world, as well as those of its close allies, such as Israel.
US-BACKED FORCES KILL CIVILIANS
Ethiopian forces in Somalia have killed at least 46 civilians after a roadside bomb ripped through their military convoy, residents said.
US TERRORISM GENERATES RESISTANCE
[S]ome worry a more radical agenda in Somalia has been aided by U.S. counter-terrorism efforts during the last two years, including half a dozen airstrikes against suspected terrorist targets that often killed civilians. . . . “I’m telling you, the more Americans move against us, the more popular we become.”
US-BACKED MILITARY ATROCITIES SOAR
The number of civilians killed by the Colombian armed forces has soared, activist groups allege, with many of the abuses committed by army units that had been vetted by the State Department. . . . [and] [b]acked by more than $4 billion in U.S. military aid since 2000.
WAR AT HOME
FBI PLANS BROADER POWERS
A Justice Department plan would loosen restrictions on the Federal Bureau of Investigation to allow agents to open a national security or criminal investigation against someone without any clear basis for suspicion.
NATIONAL GUARD SENT FROM IRAQ TO NOLA
“We’re not here to make friends”. . . . The sergeant, for example, constantly looks left and right. “I’ve been doing that ever since Iraq.”
ONE PROTEST, 52 ARRESTS AND A $2 MILLION PAYOUT
The city has agreed to pay $2,007,000 to end a lawsuit brought by 52 people who were swept up in a mass arrest along a Midtown sidewalk during a protest against the invasion of Iraq.
BLACKS DEBATE CIVIL RIGHTS RISK IN OBAMA’S RISE
“If Obama becomes the president, every remaining, powerfully felt black grievance and every still deeply etched injustice will be cast out of the realm of polite discourse.”
SOLDIER WHO DESERTED TO CANADA DRAWS 15-MONTH TERM
[A]about 200 American troops had fled to Canada because of moral objections to the war. About 40 troops who left their units after refusing to fight in Iraq have been sentenced to military prisons as a result.
IRAQI WAR VETS’ GROUP IN OKLAHOMA CITY TO PUSH FOR WAR’S END
Several members of Iraq Veterans Against the War called Monday for the immediate withdrawal of American troops in Iraq, full benefits for returning veterans and reparation for Iraqis. Their national tour will take them to eight military installations and to next week’s Democratic National Convention being held in Denver.
INKED UP AT CAMP LEJEUNE, AND A NEW CHAPTER ON THE WAY
The night ended on a high note as we announced the formation of the new Camp Lejeune chapter of IVAW– the second chapter that’s been created during this tour.
SUPPORT IVAW’S 2008 BASE TOUR
The costs for IVAW’s State of the Union Base Tour are substantial. You can help out with donations to cover some of the expenses below.
IVAW’S PROUD HERITAGE
The members of the IVAW house are the newest incarnation of a long tradition of anti-war activism by US military veterans. They are the tattooed, web-savvy descendents of the Spanish-American war veterans who decried US torture of Filipino rebels at the turn of the 20th century, and the shaggy-haired Vietnam vets who tossed away their medals in protest.
LATINO PLATFORM CALLS TO END IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN WARS
A coalition of Hispanic groups offered its recommendations for both party’s platforms Thursday, including calls to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
THE ANTIWAR MOVEMENT AND THE “GOOD WAR”
Those forces in the antiwar movement that don’t include opposition to the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan are at risk of being made irrelevant by the dedication of increasing amounts of U.S. military firepower and personnel to the “good war”. . . . But during the last year, UFPJ has done very little to rectify this “silence”. . . . If IVAW doesn’t address the despair, anger and disillusionment of U.S. soldiers deployed to Afghanistan, vets and active-duty troops will go elsewhere for a way to express their antiwar views.
REPORT FROM DAY 1 @ THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION
Today, thousands of activists from across the country rallied at the State Capitol and marched through the streets of Denver to kick off a week of protests during the Democratic National Convention.
IN DENVER, SOME PROTESTERS ALSO OPPOSE AFGHAN WAR
“The Democrats are an imperialist party, too. The war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan are both the wrong wars. . . . If the US wants to stop terrorism, they should stop participating in it.”
MASS PROTESTS SET FOR BOTH POLITICAL CONVENTIONS
Massive demonstrations on the most important issues affecting the people of this country and the world will coincide with, and in some cases directly challenge, these conventions.