May 9, 2003
Miscellaneous Subjects #183: Various News Worthy of Attention and Action
Since there is much catching up to do, this has unfortunately to be a three-part compilation.
Have a good weekend ;-)
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
P.S. I'm preparing a special Meditation Focus for Wesak on Thursday, May 15 at 8:36 p.m. PDT (03:36 Friday, May 16 UT). It will be networked next Monday - hopefully.
This compilation is archived at
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."
- Albert Einstein - See more quotes at: http://GreatestQuotes.com
1. Feedback on Meditation Focus #87: Nurturing Peace on Earth
2. KUCINICH TO FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE
3. Dennis Kucinich on the Department of Peace
4. KUCINICH STOOD UP TO THE ENRON OF HIS DAY
5. National Teleconference with Dennis Kucinich
6. Publishers for Peace - Iraq on the Edge
7. Your Children and TV Violence
8. Help Bhutan get Solar Power
9. Dictator's Collusion In The Iraq 'War'
10. Broad Domestic Role Asked for C.I.A. and the Pentagon
11. Winter of discontent
12. AMINA LAWAL SET TO BE STONED ON 3RD JUNE
13. ISM Volunteers Told That They Will Be Shot in Head
14. British Journalist Killed by Israeli Troops in Gaza Strip
15. Israeli Army Raids ISM headquarters... and "License to kill" in Gaza
SUGGESTED ACTIONS TO TAKE:
Oppose The Development Of New U.S. Nuclear Weapons
Say No To New U.S. Nuclear Weapons: For months, the Bush Administration has said the reason for the war against Iraq was to make the world safer by stopping Iraq from building weapons of mass destruction. The U.S. confrontation with North Korea is escalating for the same reason: halting North Korea's nuclear weapons program. If the Administration is so concerned about halting nuclear proliferation, why is it proposing to develop new nuclear weapons for its own arsenal?
May 29, 2003: Second International Day of Action Against Depleted Uranium
Last year saw the First International Day of Action Against Depleted Uranium, with actions taking place in six different countries. This year the day is expected to be even bigger after the outrageous recent use of depleted uranium by Britain and the US in Iraq. The use of depleted uranium in the first Gulf War was a disaster which has led to massive increases in childhood cancers and birth deformities in Iraq and the suffering of soldiers from both sides through Gulf war syndrome. To use depleted uranium again in Iraq is completely irresponsible of the British and US Governments and gives the lie to assertions of looking after our troops. It will ensure that the environment in Iraq will be polluted for decades to come and that the effects of this war will linger long after the fighting stops. CLIP
The Militarization of Space - the history, present and future of the military uses of space
Say No to Star Wars
PENTAGON'S MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY STAR WARS PLANS UNDER REVIEW - PUBLIC COMMENTS DUE BY JUNE 12 - PUBLIC COMMENT TALKING POINTS:
1) The cost of Star Wars research, development, testing and production will bankrupt the country. There are currently more pressing needs such as health care, education, child care and social security.
2) Star Wars will destabilize the world, create a new arms race in space, and only make life more insecure for the public.
3) Who is the enemy? Today it is the U.S. that leads the world with weapons of mass destruction and a global conventional military second to none.
4) Star Wars is being driven by the aerospace corporations who stand to make massive profits by successfully promoting an arms race in space.
5) Missile defense has nothing to do with "defense" but is in fact part of a larger effort on the part of the Pentagon to "control and dominate" the Earth and space.
Ramsey Clark: Removing An Imperial President Committing High Crimes
National Press Club Invites Ramsey Clark On May 12
From Ramsey Clark: Your vote to impeach is important. It reminds Americans that the Constitution provides the means for removing an Imperial President and officials who commit high crimes. It informs the rest of the world that Americans recognize that the U.S. war of aggression against Iraq violated the Nuremberg Charter which ranks war of aggression first among Crimes Against Peace. For more on the impeachment campaign, visit http://www.votetoimpeach.org
Stop The FCC
On June 2, the Federal Communications Commission is planning on authorizing sweeping changes to the American news media. The rule changes could allow your local TV stations, newspaper, radio stations, and cable provider to all be owned by one company. NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox could have the same corporate parent. The resulting concentration of ownership could be deeply destructive to our democracy. When we talk to Congresspeople about this issue, their response is usually the same: "We only hear from media lobbyists on this. It seems like my constituents aren't very concerned with this issue." A few thousand emails could permanently change that perception. Please join us in asking Congress and the FCC to fight media deregulation at:
ACLU Warns Against Domestic Spying Role For CIA (May 2)
Urges Congress To Reject Flawed Bush Proposal
Need Inspiration? This website includes 4000 Ideas for Peace and Decide To poems
Bush Catches Flak on Carrier Flight
Rove Exploits The Military (May 3)
President Bush's political adviser Karl Rove used taxpayer money to stage a rousing campaign event on the warship USS Abraham Lincoln on Thursday. Sailors returning from Iraq, who deserve sincere respect and appreciation, instead were used as props in a shameless exploitation of their service to our country. They were the backdrop for Bush, swaggering in full flight gear, to jet in for a tailhook landing on the Lincoln and later give a substance-free speech to the nation in front of a banner reading "Mission Accomplished."
Police State: The Patriots Code Of Silence
It is highly likely that, as the police state spreads an even more insipid net of ridiculous, freedom destroying laws and regulations, more and more of us are going to wind up running afoul of the law. This pains me deeply because many of you, like me, used to be considered the salt of the earth, but now with our Constitutionally minded, liberty loving ways, we are very soon going to be labeled "Enemies of The State".
September 11 Showdown
Bush May Invoke 9/11 Executive Privilege And Secrecy (by Tom Flocco, May 3)
Proof of prior knowledge of the September 11 attacks is continuing to trickle out of the purportedly "leak-proof" White House, as more corroborative chickens of 9/11 are coming home to roost -- even as President Bush is considering invoking executive privilege to keep the clamps on evidence that could alter the political landscape for the nation's conquering "top-gun."
U.S. Blocking The Unveiling Of Congress' Sept. 11 Probe (May 6)
But Part Of The Information Is On The Web Or In Other Reports - Washington - The Bush administration and the nation's intelligence agencies are blocking the release of sensitive information about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, delaying publication of a 900-page congressional report on how the terrorist assault happened. Intelligence officials insist the information must be kept secret for national security reasons. But some of the information is already broadly available on the Internet or has been revealed in interim reports on the investigation, leading to charges that the administration is simply trying to avoid enshrining embarrassing details in the report.
Livingstone Attacks President Bush (May 8)
London Mayor Ken Livingstone has launched an astonishing attack on US President George W Bush, calling him "corrupt". Mr Livingstone made his attack during an address to schoolchildren in a debate on the Iraq war. He said he would get as much pleasure from Mr Bush being forced out of office as he had done from the downfall of former Iraq leader Saddam Hussein.
Iranians Enriching Uranium, US Says (May 9)
The Bush administration is calling for the UN's nuclear agency to declare Iran in violation of the non-proliferation treaty amid suspicions that it is secretly enriching uranium.
Bush Targets Iran (May 9)
Washington - U.S. President George W. Bush shifted targets yesterday, saying that Iran must be stopped from developing nuclear warheads. "One of the things we must do is work together to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," the President said. He made the statement only weeks after the United States waged a war to topple the Iraqi regime, and in the midst of a standoff with North Korea - another "axis of evil," terrorist-supporting, rogue state - over its nuclear-weapons program.
The Two Faces Of Rumsfeld (May 9)
- 2000: Director Of A Company Which Wins $200m Contract To Sell Nuclear Reactors To North Korea - 2002: Declares North Korea A Terrorist State, Part Of The Axis Of Evil And A Target For Regime Change - Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, sat on the board of a company which three years ago sold two light water nuclear reactors to North Korea - a country he now regards as part of the "axis of evil" and which has been targeted for regime change by Washington because of its efforts to build nuclear weapons
Ritter Blasts Bush's War (May 5)
Ex-weapons inspector and former Marine Scott Ritter is calling for regime change in Washington. Scott Ritter may be the Bush reelection team's worse nightmare. The former UN chief weapons inspector in Iraq and card-carrying Republican is barnstorming America with a blunt message: George W. Bush's war on Iraq was waged on a "bodyguard of lies." "We need regime change, and we need it quick," Ritter told a gathering of peace activists in New Jersey on Sunday. "George W. Bush does not have the right to represent the American people, if he told a lie. And he told a whopper."
The Oil Grab Begins? (May 8)
Our current fearless leaders would have us believe that men who hop from the world of government to the world of business and back maintain an unassailable, conflict-of-interest-free separation between the two. Whatever happens, they assure us, whatever rules change after industrialists get into office, whatever contracts are awarded to government officials' former companies, it's simply a matter of merit and coincidence.
U.S. to Propose Broader Control Of Iraqi Oil, Funds (May 9)
UNITED NATIONS, May 8 -- The Bush administration circulated a draft resolution among key Security Council members today calling for the elimination of more than a decade of international sanctions on Iraq and granting the United States broad control over the country's oil industry and revenue until a permanent, representative Iraqi government is in place.
Halliburton Admits Giving Bribes in Nigeria
Taliban Appears To Be Regrouped And Well-Funded (May 8)
A New Hierarchy Of Leaders Has Emerged Across Parts Of Afghanistan - Kabul, Afghanistan - As the fiery chief justice of the Taliban's Supreme Court, Abdul Salam shook the world once, proclaiming the right to execute foreign aid workers accused of converting Afghans to Christianity. Today, not only is Justice Salam back, talking to a foreign reporter for the first time since the Taliban fell a year and a half ago, but he says the Taliban are back as well. Regrouped, rearmed, and well-funded, they are ready to carry on guerrilla war as long as it takes to expel US forces from Afghanistan.
Over £1 Billion To Be Invested In UK Wind Industry
London, England - May 2, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The future energy landscape laid out in the UK government's recently published white paper received a significant boost with the recent release of latest statistics from the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA). At the end of the first twelve weeks of 2003, planning permission has been awarded for a further ten new wind projects totaling 567 MW.
Report: Women, Children Bear Brunt Of War
Washington (AP) - Mothers and children are the ones who bear the brunt of war whether injured, displaced, traumatized or killed, according to a report by Save the Children released Tuesday. Men may be the combatants, but women and children endure a torturous existence, and not enough is being done to protect them from war-related violence, exploitation and abuse, the report said.
Afghan Massacre - Convoy Of Death
Thousands of Afghan prisoners were killed while travelling in sealed containers on their way from Konduz to a prison at Sheberghan. The bodies of the dead and some who survived were then buried in a mass grave at nearby Dasht Leile. US special forces were closely involved and in charge at the time. Were they involved in a war crime? The Pentagon denies the events. The eyewitnesses tell what happened.
Rocket Fuel Residues Found in Lettuce (in Wall Street Journal)
The Bush administration has imposed a gag order on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from publicly discussing perchlorate pollution, even as two new studies reveal high levels of the rocket-fuel component may be contaminating the nation's lettuce supply. (...) Perchlorate pollution in drinking water has become a major concern in some 20 states across the country, after an EPA recommendation last year that found perchlorate in drinking water poses dangers to human health, particularly to infant development, in concentrations above one part per billion. The Pentagon and several defense contractors, who face billions of dollars in potential cleanup liability for perchlorate pollution, vehemently oppose that EPA health-risk assessment, arguing perchlorate is safe in drinking water at levels 70 to 200 times higher than what the EPA says is safe. CLIP
Lessons in Death, Born in the USA (May 5)
Young American men are the most violent group in the industrialized world. In 1992, after the first Gulf War, the homicide rate for American men between 15 and 24 was 37.2 per 100,000. Thats ten times higher than the next country on the list, Italy, and 60 times higher than England. Homicide is now the second leading cause of death among young American men. Why do they kill so often? The comparison to European countries suggests that part of the answer has to do with lax gun control. Easy access to guns in this country ensures that violence will more often be deadly. But as Michael Moores film Bowling for Columbine shows, the problem isnt just guns -- its guns plus the readiness to use them on other people. Which means that we need to look at what American boys are learning that inclines them to kill. CLIP
NOTE: In connection to this above make sure to review "Your Children and TV Violence" #8 below.
Date: 7 May 2003
From: Camille Pierce firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Meditation Focus #87: Nurturing Peace on Earth
Your personal reflection on Meditation Focus #87 which discusses Nurturing Peace on Earth helps many of us better understand the reasoning for any type of formal and/or informal disagreement between humans. In your words:
"May all humans realize that peace is the only way to create a better future for all and to ensure security and justice wherever armed conflicts have destroyed human lives... May the Spirit of oneness growing in every heart dissolve the barriers between all cultures and nations so that one day soon the national boundaries that divide our globe and the prejudices they represent are no more..."
- Jean Hudon
I'm reminded of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s words, "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all (people) are created equal. I have a dream..." I too dream of a day when people of all financial incomes, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, age, and all education levels will be clustered together. Rather than being but in personal/collective "sub-classifications".
As one with a disability, I'm all too aware of emotional barriers such as injustice, inequality and prejudice. There are so many cultural and disabling divisions in our world today. Social divisions that are often in our own backyard. King, Jr. reminds us that our precious freedom gives us the ability to express ourselves in a manner we so choose. As life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, grows in our hearts and minds, I hope that nations and people will live together...work together...laugh and cry together.
I look for the day when social and personal boundaries will cease to exist. I dream of a day when our world will be united in peace and thanksgiving. I dream of the day when peaceful negotiations are more effective than armed conflict(s). My heart and mind strongly believes that when any human life is destroyed, emotional scars will surely linger.
May peace prevail on Earth,
Amer. Psych. Assoc. Grad Student; Articles I've written: www.shpm.com/; *Seizure Disorders: A Psychosocial Assessment* http://www.athealth.com/Consumer/FArticles/Pierce.html
A first use of nuclear weapons by the United States should be unthinkable.
- Senator Dianne Feinstein
NOTE FROM JEAN: I received this comment from Dennis Kucinich's office: "Dennis led the effort against the Patriot Act and continues to oppose it. As President he is committed to leading the effort to repeal the Patriot Act. - The Campaign."
Date: 5 May 2003
Subject: KUCINICH TO FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE
From: Kucinich Campaign email@example.com>
DENNIS KUCINICH: THE PROGRESSIVE CHOICE
Here is the closing statement of Congressman Kucinich at the first presidential debate of the campaign -- May 3, Columbia, South Carolina:
I began my career in public life in 1967. I've been a councilman, a mayor, a state senator and now a congressman. As a candidate for President, I offer a different vision for America, one which separates me from the other candidates.
I am the only candidate for President who will take this country away from fear and war and tax giveaways, and use America's peace dividend for guaranteed health care for all, ending health care for profit. I am the only candidate who will stop the privatization of social security and bring the retirement age back to 65.
As President, I will cancel NAFTA and the WTO, restore our manufacturing jobs, save our family farms, create full employment programs, create new jobs by rebuilding our cities and schools. As President, I will repeal the Patriot Act to regain for all Americans the sacred right of privacy in our homes, our libraries, our schools.
This is a grassroots campaign to take back America. Join me from your cities, your towns, your farms and your campuses. Join me at Kucinich.US and let's take back America for the people.
Want to cast an early vote for Kucinich? Click on http://democrats.com/primary and cast your ballot. To vote, you'll need to register with Democrats.com, the largest independent community of Democratic activists, where you can meet and mobilize with other progressive Democrats to build a principled party standing for peace and justice.
Democrats' First Presidential Debate Shows Party Fissures (May 4)
COLUMBIA, S.C., Nine Democratic presidential candidates battled tonight over the war in Iraq and over how to provide health care insurance for all Americans, in a debate that highlighted deep fissures in the party that several candidates warned could endanger its chances of winning back the White House. It was the first time these candidates have met in debate, and it almost instantly turned into a squabble that revealed strong - and in one case apparently personal - differences in this crowded field, on national security and domestic policy.
Forwarded by BONNIE MANDELL-RICE firstname.lastname@example.org> on May 7
Dennis Kucinich on the Department of Peace
As we stand on the threshold of a new millennium, it is time to free ourselves, to jettison our illusions and fears and transform age-old challenges with new thinking. We can conceive of peace as not simply the absence of violence but the active presence of the capacity for a higher evolution of human awareness, of respect, trust, and integrity. Of peace, wherein we all may tap the infinite capabilities of humanity to transform consciousness and conditions that impel or compel violence at a personal, group, or national level toward creating understanding, compassion, and love. We can bring forth new understandings where peace, not war, becomes inevitable. Can we move from wars to end all wars to peace to end all war?
Citizens across the United States are now uniting in a great cause to establish a Department of Peace, seeking nothing less than the transformation of our society, to make non-violence an organizing principle, to make war archaic through creating a paradigm shift in our culture for human development for economic and political justice and for violence control. Its work in violence control will be to support disarmament, treaties, peaceful coexistence and peaceful consensus building. Its focus on economic and political justice will examine and enhance resource distribution, human and economic rights and strengthen democratic values.
Domestically, the Department of Peace would address violence in the home, spousal abuse, child abuse, gangs, police-community relations conflicts and work with individuals and groups to achieve changes in attitudes that examine the mythologies of cherished world views, such as 'violence is inevitable' or 'war is inevitable'. Thus it will help with the discovery of new selves and new paths toward peaceful consensus.
The Department of Peace will also address human development and the unique concerns of women and children. It will envision and seek to implement plans for peace education, not simply as a course of study, but as a template for all pursuits of knowledge within formal educational settings.
Violence is not inevitable. War is not inevitable. Nonviolence and peace are inevitable. We can make of this world a gift of peace which will confirm the presence of universal spirit in our lives. We can send into the future the gift which will protect our children from fear, from harm, from destruction.
Date: 6 May 2003
Subject: KUCINICH STOOD UP TO THE ENRON OF HIS DAY
From: Kucinich Campaign email@example.com>
Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has recently faced attacks from George Will and other conservative pundits over his tenure as Mayor of Cleveland. The truth is that the stand Kucinich took was a profile in political courage, and his stand has been fully vindicated by events and even by those who opposed him at the time. As is typical, George Will and those who dominate American punditry haven't gotten the news. Please CIRCULATE THIS WIDELY, and help set the record straight when you see misinformation in the media.
AS CLEVELAND MAYOR, KUCINICH'S FIGHT TO SAVE PUBLIC POWER
Dennis Kucinich was elected Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, in 1977 at age 31, the youngest person to lead a major U.S. city. He was elected on a promise that he would not sell off or privatize the beloved and trusted city-owned power system, though Cleveland was deeply in debt.
Cleveland Magazine offered this summary: "Kucinich refused to yield to bankers who gave him a choice -- Sell the Municipal Light System to the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co. or the city will go into default. The mayor said no."
When Kucinich refused to sell Muny Light, the banks took the unprecedented step of refusing to roll over the city's debt, as is customary. Instead, they pushed the city into default. It turned out the banks were thoroughly interlocked with the private utility, CEI, which would have acquired monopoly status by taking over Muny Light. Five of the six banks held almost 1.8 million shares of CEI stock; of the 11 directors of CEI, eight were also directors of four of the six banks involved.
By holding to his campaign promise and putting principle above politics, he lost his re-election bid and his political career was derailed. But today Kucinich stands vindicated for having confronted the Enron of his day, and for saving the municipal power company. "There is little debate," wrote Cleveland Magazine in May 1996, "over the value of Muny Light today. Now Cleveland Public Power, it is a proven asset to the city that between 1985 and 1995 saved its customers $195,148,520 over what they would have paid CEI."
When Kucinich re-launched his political career in the mid-1990s, it was on the strength of having saved public power. His campaign symbol was a light bulb. "Because he was right!" was his campaign slogan when he won his seat in the state senate in 1994. The slogan that sent him to Washington two years later was "Light Up Congress."
In 1998, the Cleveland City Council issued a commendation to Dennis Kucinich for "having the courage and foresight to refuse to sell the city's municipal electric system."
Our country needs a President who will stand up against -- and not with -- today's Enrons. A President who puts the public interest before private profit. Such a candidate is Dennis Kucinich, a rare elected official whose political career has been devoted to winning victories against corporate power on behalf of workers, consumers, the poor and the environment. He battles for the people, and he wins.
Help spread the word about the Kucinich for President Campaign by making a donation https://www.kucinich.us/contribute.php. For background on the campaign http://www.kucinich.us/
Date: 6 May 2003
Subject: National Teleconference with Dennis Kucinich
From: Kucinich Campaigninfo@kucinich.us>
National Teleconference: A Town Hall Meeting with Rep. Kucinich GET CONNECTED !
When: On Saturday, May 24, Northern California Kucinich for President volunteers are hosting an exciting National Town Hall Meeting Teleconference with Rep. Kucinich, and we're inviting you to join in from your living rooms, community centers, town halls and union halls -- wherever you can gather. From 5:00 to 8:00 PM, PDT, Rep. Kucinich will be on stage at the Cowell Theater in San Francisco.
What: The program will include a special video produced for this event, a talk by Rep. Kucinich and questions from the audience. A campaign fundraising appeal will also be part of the program.
Who: The audience includes YOU, wherever you are! You and your friends can be linked by speaker phone to the Cowell Theater, so you can hear Dennis speak and ask questions directly. You'll also have your own videotape to watch simultaneously with others around the country. We are especially interested in linking with people in those states whose primaries and caucuses fall earliest in 2004.
How: The teleconference can accommodate a limited number of linked areas, so we need to hear back from you by Friday, May 9, if you want to participate. The number of questions we can take will be limited by time; everyone linked will hear all the questions and answers. The technology required to host a gathering is a speaker phone with a mute or "privacy" button and VCR with screen. If you decide to use a larger venue to accommodate more people, we'll provide you with information on the necessary technology. Cost: You will incur long distance phone charges between your location and the conference call-in number, which will be within the continental U.S. As soon as we give you the call-in number, your long-distance carrier can estimate charges for the call. Purchasing a speaker phone from a Radio Shack store or online is quite reasonable.You can ask for donations to cover expenses and contribute any extra to the campaign.
We suggest you invite people who may not already be familiar with Dennis as a Presidential candidate, as this will be a wonderful chance to hear his thoughts on many important issues and thoughts that reveal his honesty, integrity and vision for America and our world. Remember that this is the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, and keep in mind your time zone relative to California time when scheduling your event. Food appropriate to the time of day would probably be a welcome addition!
What We Will Provide: - Videotape on Rep. Kucinich, 15-20 minutes long, addressing current campaign issues - Suggested "script" for event, with synchronized schedule - Teleconference guidelines, tips and access information
What You Need to Provide: - A group of interested people - A setting conducive to telephone listening using speaker phone or stereo equipment - Speaker phone with mute feature and a long-distance connection free of "call waiting" tones - Materials about Dennis Kucinich, ordered from Cleveland Campaign headquarters. Call Jessica at (866) 413-3664 or email Jessica@kucinich.us -- give quantity and delivery address, and say they're for the National Teleconference on May 24.
By Friday, May 9, contact Nancy Hawthorne at (415) 460-1786, cell (415) 606-8330 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org Please put "TELECONFERENCE" in the subject line. Include your name, mailing address, phone(s) and email address. Also indicate if you need help with the technology.
All other information will be supplied when your participation as a linked site is confirmed.
Please join us in this powerful opportunity to build support for Dennis's candidacy! Make this a true celebration of Memorial Day by helping to create a future that fulfills the dreams of all who came before us in service of our country. And, please, forward this message to anyone you think might be interested.
AN AMAZING INITIATIVE FROM A LONG-TIME ERN SUBSCRIBER...
Date: 06 May 2003
Subject: Publishers for Peace - Iraq on the Edge
From: Margo Baldwin email@example.com>
Publishers for Peace publish IRAQ ON THE EDGE to be distributed free at bookstores. You may request a copy of the book by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or at http://www.chelseagreen.com (click on Publishers For Peace) as well as http://www.electroniciraq.net/news/734.shtml, the Voices in the Wilderness site. This site fully explains the Publishers for Peace coalition. American photojournalist, Thorne Anderson worked with Voices in the Wilderness to produce the electronic version of "Iraq on the Edge" and Chelsea Green publisher, Margo Baldwin formed Publishers for Peace which has funded the print version, to be distributed FREE to bookstores.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, VT
Contact: Margo Baldwin, 802-295-6300, ext 102 email@example.com
INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS RELEASE IRAQ BOOKLET TO GIVE AWAY NATIONWIDE AT INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORES STARTING MAY 1.
In an unprecedented political move for an industry group, a coalition of independent book publishers has formed Publishers for Peace in order to cooperatively publish and distribute Iraq on the Edge, a powerful photo-essay on the effects of the war on Iraq, which will be distributed free at independent bookstores nationwide starting May 1, 2003.
Even though the Bush Administration claims that the war is now "winding down," reading Iraq on the Edge belies that fact. It shows that an American led war on the people of Iraq has been going on for many years and will continue even after all the bombing has stopped. While this booklet was originally produced to help stop the recent US/UK invasion, reading it now, in the disastrous aftermath of a month of high-tech warfare, is even more poignant and powerful. Which of these ordinary Iraqis are now dead? Which of these beautiful buildings are now utterly destroyed? Which of these children will bear the brunt of our radiation from depleted uranium and increasingly toxic modern warfare? How is it possible that we, the most powerful nation on Earth, have conspired to create even more misery and suffering for these people? Are they really our enemies?
Iraq on the Edge was written and photographed by American photojournalist Thorne Anderson, who is currently at work in Baghdad. His work emphasizes the impact of conflict on civilian populations. For the past seven years he has been based in the Balkans covering conflicts and culture in Yugoslavia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Albania, and Bulgaria. His work has also taken him to Tunisia, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Israel, and the Palestinian Territories. Andersons photographs have been published in a wide range of international books, newspapers, and magazines including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Toronto Globe and Mail, The Guardian (London), Time, Newsweek, and Stern, among others.
Anderson produced Iraq on the Edge with Voices in the Wilderness (http://www.vitw.org), a US/UK group that has been working to end the economic sanctions against the people of Iraq. Voices coordinates the Iraq Peace Team (http://www.iraqpeaceteam.org), a constant presence of volunteers in Iraq working in solidarity with the people of Iraq and with the millions of people around the world who are now speaking out against the use of war, deprivation, starvation, and disease for political or material gain. The Iraq Peace Team continues to maintain a presence in Baghdad, having stayed throughout the recent attacks, and is doing what it can to help the Iraqi people as well as to report back as events unfold.
Publishers for Peace was organized by Margo Baldwin, Publisher of Chelsea Green Publishing, who originally contacted Thorne Anderson in February 2003, after reading one of his essays that was circulating on the internet. She asked whether hed be interested in doing a photojournalistic treatment as a quick antiwar book. Incredibly, he had just completed such a booklet for Voices in the Wilderness (500 copies were originally printed), and he and Baldwin quickly agreed that she would organize a cooperative publishing effort to reprint the booklet for free distribution through independent bookstores.
Baldwin contacted her network of independent publishers and others in the book industry and was able to raise enough money for a first printing of 25,000 copies. Overall, there were more than 60 publishers, authors, bookstore owners, and others who contributed, including publishers Chelsea Green, South End, Context, Ausable, Devenish, Jenkins, Invisible Cities, City Lights, Seven Stories, Common Courage, Curbstone, and many others (see list on inside cover). In addition Friesens of Manitoba, Canada, agreed to print the booklet at a discounted price, while Consortium Book Sales and Distributors of St. Paul, MN, stepped forward to handle distribution to bookstores and libraries. Thus it is a total industry-wide effort on the part of publishers, printer, distributor, booksellers, and others to get this important book out to the American people. It is hoped that demand for Iraq on the Edge will enable subsequent printings.
For more information on Publishers for Peace or to request a copy of Iraq on the Edge, contact Margo Baldwin at Chelsea Green (contact info below).
For bookstore orders of Iraq on the Edge, contact Consortium at 800-283-3572.
For information on Voices in the Wilderness and the Iraq Peace Team, contact Bitta Mostofi at 773-784-8065.
Publishers for Peace
c/o Chelsea Green Publishing
Gates-Briggs Bldg., P.O. Box 428
White River Junction, VT 05001
802-295-6300, Fax 802-295-6444
Your Children and TV Violence
Parents also have a role to play
Protecting your children is not the sole responsibility of the federal and provincial governments. Every home also has a family government. Parents must protect their children against shows, games and movies that can damage their imagination. There is no shame in protecting your child against the horrors of television. You can supervise and limit your child's television watching, both in terms of quantity and quality. Some shows have a beneficial influence on children, while others only stifle them.
The School board urges parents and the general public to contact decision-makers. Proudly demand that the government protect your children during the hours they are most likely to be watching. Play with your child watching television or playing video games.
Reading and exercise are much more rewarding than television.
Television does not have a place in your child's bedroom.
Don't eat in front of the TV.
Set a limit on your child's weekly television watching (suggested maximum: seven hours).
You have to right to forbid your children from watching certain shows and playing certain video games.
Many horrific advertisements are shown during the late afternoon or at suppertime. Television is not a baby-sitter.
Your children know shows that teach fear, vulgarity and violence. Talk to them. You'll be amazed.
Watch the shows your child watches. Observe their reactions, question them and tell them what you think of these shows.
This is what health professionals have to say on TV violence:
"Television violence exerts an undeniable influence on all children. While it does not turn all children into criminals and is not the only driving force at work, studies all point to the same conclusion: the risk to a growing number of children will someday affect the quality of life and the safety of society as a whole."
In our modern world, school is not the only place where your child gains knowledge. Television and video games take up the majority of children's leisure time, 20 hours a week on average. Children's programming serves up (three to six times) more violence than other types of shows. Already you can see a problem. In 1994, faced with a growing public backlash, broadcasters committed to regulating their programming. The result? In 2001, two researchers found that:
the number of acts of violence shown on private networks in the province of Quebec had jumped by 432%. Furthermore, over 80% of all acts of violence were now being broadcast before 9:00 pm.
Television violence has consequences. Among other things, it stifles imagination, promotes fear, inhibits learning, causes behavioural problems, diminishes social skills, and contributes to the rising crime rate.
According to scientific studies
Children exposed to violence on television and in video games are more likely to exhibit violent behaviour.
In some children, consumption of television violence at an early age can have life-long consequences.
There is a direct link between aggressive behaviour and consumption of television violence.
Television violence desensitizes children to real violence and suffering.
TV violence makes violence socially acceptable, normal, and inevitable. It promotes passivity in the face of aggression. It causes people to demand repressive security measures from the authorities.
Some recent studies reveal that video games may be worse than television, because they condition children to act without thinking.
Horror movies cause fears, and even life-long phobias in children. Children who do not react with fear while watching horror movies are actually finding reassurance by hiding their anxiety. This anxiety comes out when children are given the chance to express themselves. Tv violence is
The specific negative aspects of tv violence are known and proven.
In a joint memorandum submitted to the American Congress (June 2000), doctors, paediatricians, psychologists and psychia-trists said that "at this time, well over 1000 studies ( ) point overwhelmingly to a causal connection between media violence and aggressive behavior in some children. The conclusion of the public health community, based on over 30 years of research, is that viewing entertainment violence can lead to increases in aggressive attitudes, values and behavior, particularly in children."
Protecting children against television violence.
It's an urgent responsibility! Regulating television violence does not restrict artistic freedom any more than forcing shippers of dangerous goods to avoid some tunnels and to slow down in a school zone restricts their freedom to ship. These policies have been put in place to protect the public. To protect our children, the government must regulate broadcasting of violent programming. This responsibility cannot be left solely to the parents. Parents cannot monitor their child constantly.
Driving on public roads is subject to laws that, FIRST AND FOREMOST, are aimed at protecting our children. There are laws regulating the manufacturing of cribs. Does anyone think that such laws restrict the artistic freedom of the craftsman? Who would dare argue that this type of responsibility lies with the parents? The safety of your children should not take a back seat to the free-dom of broadcasters, but it does, because broadcasters refuse to recognize this fact.
This is irresponsible behaviour from an industry that uses violence as a marketing tool. The government must guarantee the protection of the most vulnerable members of our society, YOUR CHILDREN. Broadcasters must promote the health and safety of children. This responsibility is shared between broadcasters and parents, and school can also do its part to help.
What are we doing to our children when we bombard them with violent programming when we know they are watching?
- This whole document has been taken from a flyer distributed by the School Board of Montreal (Commission scolaire de Montréal). You may either obtain a copy of this flyer or get the French version as well as a petition against TV violence from Jacques Brodeur BrodeurJa@csdm.qc.ca> - 3737, rue Sherbrooke Est, 3 ème Ouest, Montréal, QC, Canada, H1X 3B3
Date: 07 May 2003
Subject: Help Bhutan get Solar Power
From: Raja Choudhury firstname.lastname@example.org>
Please forward this to your list and contacts as it is a very good cause and the donation sweepstakes could lead to an adventure in Bhutan.
The Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF - http://www.self.org), based in Washington DC, is working to power a brighter 21st century by helping rural villagers in developing countries improve their lives through clean, renewable PV energy and modern communications. For details of their work in South Africa, Brazil, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ladakh, Bhutan, India, the Solomon Islands, and with the Navaho Nation in the US, see http://www.self.org
SELF's projects are shaped by local people, particularly women, whose gains can most enhance a community's health, education, economy, and environment.
To help with their core financing, Geographic Expeditions (one of the world's leading adventure travel companies) has given SELF a generous donation. By contributing just $5.00 (and you can enter as many times as you like) to the Solar Electric Light Fund, you could win a trip for two (including the air-fare) to Bhutan, while helping SELF bring renewable energy to developing nations.
Nestled in the stunning Himalayas, Bhutan is the world's last Tibetan Buddhist kingdom, and a biodiversity hotspot. The winners will experience ancient monasteries, primeval forests, and remarkable wildlife in a land where the provocative development goal is Gross National Happiness.
Please pass this around to your friends. SELF's Executive Director, Bob Freling, is a good personal friend, and SELF is a very well-respected and important NGO.
Dictator's Collusion In The Iraq 'War'
By Parviz Esmaeili
The Tehran Times
Note -- This is the first story to point in the direction of possible/probable answers to a number of key questions about the US-UK Zionist subjugation of Iraq. When the Iraqis failed to blow a single bridge -- a classic and mandatory defensive military strategy -- suspicions arose immediately. Aside from a handful of oil wellhead fires in the South, there was no effort to torch Iraq's oil assets by Saddam. The repeated deployment of the regular Iraqi army and the Guard into exposed areas in the desert -- and certain death by total US and UK airpower and carpet bombing -- is also equally bizarre in a military sense. What happened to the deadly Russian Kornet wire-guided antitank missiles which surprised the 'Coalition' in the South? And now the 'obliteration' of Saddam and sons can only be 'confirmed' by 'DNA' on the word of possibly a single person in a lab somewhere ... how potentially convenient. And then there is the remarkably and surprising ease with which Baghdad was taken. There are many things to ponder in the weeks ahead, and high-level collusion is certainly at the top of list. This article begins the search for possible answers. Nothing much is as it seems. - Ed.
Almost 10 days ago, there was a halt in U.S.-British operations in Iraq. However, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the chief of the U.S. Central Command, General Tommy Franks, in their interviews with the media never elaborated on the issue, but instead tried to mislead world public opinion in order to hide a greater secret decision from them.
Suspicions rose on the same day when U.S. troops, that had been stopped at the Euphrates, immediately were able to advance toward the heart of Baghdad without any significant resistance by Iraqi forces. Nobody asked why Tikrit, that was once called the ideological heart of Saddam's government and the last possible trench of the Iraqi army, was never targeted by U.S. and British bombs and missiles. Or why when the elite Iraqi forces arrived in eastern Iraq from Tikrit, the pace of the invaders advancing toward central Baghdad immediately increased. Also, it has been reported that over the past 24 hours, a plane was authorized to leave Iraq bound for Russia. Who was aboard this plane?
All these ambiguities, the contradictory reports about Saddam's situation, and the fact that the highest-ranking Iraqi officials were all represented by a single individual -- Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed al-Sahhaf -- and the easy fall of Baghdad shows that the center of collusion had been Tikrit, where Saddam, his aides, and lieutenants from the Baath Party had been waiting for al-Sahhaf to join them so that they could receive the required guarantees to leave the country in a secret compromise with coalition forces.
This possibility was confirmed by the Al-Jazeera network, which quoted a Russian intelligence official as saying that the Iraqi forces and the invaders had made a deal. The Russian official told Al-Jazeera that the Iraqi leaders had agreed to show no serious resistance against the U.S.-British troops in return for a guarantee that Saddam and his close relatives could leave Iraq unharmed.
The question now is whether the U.S. would prefer Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to be dead or wants him alive to be tried. There may even be a third alternative that the White House is looking for. It seems that U.S. officials would welcome a solution where Saddam was found, either dead or alive.
First of all, the White House hawks and U.S. President George W. Bush would definitely not be saddened to hear that reports claiming that Saddam was killed, which were highlighted by the U.S. media on Tuesday after a missile attack on an underground restaurant in Baghdad, have been verified.
This is because they do not want the Iraqi people to ever find out about the secrets of the clandestine political cooperation between the U.S. and Iraq. On the other hand, Saddam's death would mean that the weak Iraqi regime has been completely defeated, and this may to some extent satisfy Washington's feeling of militarism.
However, an inactive, defeated, and exiled dictator can definitely be beneficial to the White House, provided that he is under Washington's control. Look at what happened to Mullah Muhammad Omar and Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. Is there any sign that the U.S. is interested in finding them and wiping them out? One should know that these two, as U.S. henchmen over the past decade, provided enough pretexts for the White House to dominate Afghanistan, even though they are still at large. This automatically justifies the U.S. presence in Afghanistan.
Therefore, Washington benefits from its inability to find the Taleban and Al-Qaeda leaders. The same holds true with Saddam, and the U.S. failure to find Saddam, or Washington's efforts to withhold news of his death, provide the best pretext to stay in Iraq.
Secondly, in the event that Saddam survives the U.S.-British attacks on Iraq, the White House will have to devise new policies and approaches to make the best use of this. There is no doubt that Saddam knows many of the secrets of U.S. strategy in the region over the past three decades. If he were put on trial in an international and open court, he might reveal much evil about the U.S. that would expose the real image of the White House hawks to the world. This is the reason why the Fox news network has taken the lead in reminding the world that an international tribunal would lack the authority to put the Iraqi president on trial, given that neither Iraq nor the U.S. have joined the International Criminal Court. Fox has thus proposed three alternatives to deal with Saddam in case he saves his skin in the U.S.-led attacks: living underground, changing his identity, or travelling to the beautiful beaches of Guantanamo! Needless to say these alternatives will make Saddam harmless for the White House, even if he is not of any use to the U.S.
These stances clarify the fact that the rumor on the possibility of Saddam seeking political asylum in Syria is only a red herring because any attempt by the Iraqi president to flee the country without coordinating with the U.S. is absolutely impossible. Therefore, if there had been any kind of compromise between the U.S. and Saddam, the Iraqi president would take refuge wherever the White House ordered him to.
Even dictators have to respect a hierarchy. A minor dictator like Saddam is like a puppet that has danced for a lifetime to the tune of a certain major dictator like the U.S. and cannot act on his own. Saddam did whatever the White House wanted him to do for years. Therefore, the simple answer to the question "Where is Saddam?" is nothing but "Wherever the U.S. desires!"
Forwarded by "Mark Graffis" email@example.com>
Broad Domestic Role Asked for C.I.A. and the Pentagon
May 2, 2003
By ERIC LICHTBLAU and JAMES RISEN
WASHINGTON, May 1 - The Bush administration and leading Senate Republicans sought today to give the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon far-reaching new powers to demand personal and financial records on people in the United States as part of foreign intelligence and terrorism operations, officials said.
The proposal, which was beaten back, would have given the C.I.A. and the military the authority to issue administrative subpoenas - known as "national security letters" - requiring Internet providers, credit card companies, libraries and a range of other organizations to produce materials like phone records, bank transactions and e-mail logs. That authority now rests largely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the subpoenas do not require court approval.
The surprise proposal was tucked into a broader intelligence authorization bill now pending before Congress. It set off fierce debate today in a closed-door meeting of the Senate Intelligence Committee, officials said. Democrats on the panel said they were stunned by the proposal because it appeared to expand significantly the role of the C.I.A. and the Pentagon in conducting domestic operations, despite a long history of tight restrictions, officials said.
After raising objections, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California and other Democrats succeeded in getting the provision pulled from the authorization bill, at least temporarily, Congressional officials said.
In a closed vote, the committee passed the bill unanimously without the proposal. But Senator Pat Roberts, the Kansas Republican who is chairman of the intelligence committee, indicated to panel members that he wanted to hold further hearings on the idea, officials said.
There was some disagreement over exactly how the provision originated. Several Senate aides active in the debate said that Senator Roberts had included it in the authorization bill. But a senior Congressional official said the Bush administration had initiated the proposal and that Senator Roberts had not objected.
A C.I.A. official said the provision had come from the Bush administration, after the White House's Office of Management and Budget signed off on it. The official said that Congressional leaders had asked the Bush administration whether there were any additional powers needed to help combat terrorism. The administration responded with the proposal to give the C.I.A. and military the power to use the national security letters, the official said. Another Congressional official said the move came at the urging of the C.I.A. The White House had no comment last night.
Because the F.B.I. now has primary responsibility for domestic intelligence operations, the C.I.A. and the military must currently go to the F.B.I. to request that it issue a national security letter to get access to financial and electronic records.
The Bush administration believes that giving the C.I.A. and the military direct authority to demand the records would cut down on the lag time in the process and give those organizations more flexibility to combat terrorism, according to the senior Congressional official.
Administration officials played down the significance of the proposal, maintaining that it would not give the C.I.A. or the military access to any information that they cannot already get through the F.B.I. But Democrats and civil liberties advocates said they were alarmed by the idea that the C.I.A. and the military could begin prying into Americans' personal and financial records.
They said that while the F.B.I. was subject to guidelines controlling what agents are allowed to do in the course of an investigation, the C.I.A. and the military appeared to have much freer reign. The F.B.I. also faces additional scrutiny if it tries to use such records in court, but officials said the proposal could give the C.I.A. and the military the power to gather such material without ever being subject to judicial oversight. Timothy Edgar, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, called the proposal "dangerous and un-American."
Mr. Edgar said that "even in the most frigid periods of the Cold War, we never gave the C.I.A. such sweeping and secret policing powers over American citizens."
A Congressional Democratic aide said the measure appeared to go well beyond even hotly debated anti-terrorism measures that the Justice Department has been considering in past months. "This is a very odd and very far-reaching idea that came out of nowhere," said the aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "It raises a whole series of questions about what the C.I.A.'s mission has really become."
Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the C.I.A. and the military have assumed greater authority overseas over what were once law enforcement terrorism investigations, and the traditional lines between domestic and overseas operations have become increasingly blurred. A new terrorism center, led by the C.I.A., started operation today in an effort to better coordinate the activities of different federal agencies. Civil liberties groups said they were worried it would give the C.I.A. authority to conduct domestic operations.
The proposal to allow the C.I.A. and the Pentagon authority to demand domestic records comes at a time when both Democrats and Republicans have voiced growing concerns about the government's expanded powers to fight terrorism.
New figures released today also showed that the Justice Department is relying with increasing frequency on secret warrants that allow the officials to go to a secret court to get approval for surveillance and bugging warrants in terrorism and espionage investigations without notifying the target.
Attorney General John Ashcroft said in an annual report that the Justice Department used secret warrants a record 1,228 times last year, - an increase of more than 30 percent over the year before. The court that governs the warrants did not turn down any of the Justice Department's applications, officials said.
New Powers to Snoop Sought: Domestic access for CIA, Army (May 3)
The Nation's Daily Outrage: Two-Front Rumsfeld (April 29)
Brace yourself. The Defense Secretary is pushing a 205-page Bill through Congress that would -- take a deep breath:
* Strip Defense Department employees of their unions, whistleblower protections, annual pay raises, and rights to appeal disciplinary actions;
* Let the Defense Secretary dole out no-bid, no-oversight, no-accountability contracts worth billions (one observer calls it "the Halliburton Bill of Rights");
* Exempt the military from environmental and wildlife protection rules on more than 23 million acres of American lands;
* Free the Pentagon from dozens of requirements it report to Congress.
Dissing Congress seems only fair. As long as the Pentagon is offering contempt to taxpayers, the environment and its own workers, why should it pretend it respects our elected representatives? Especially since Congress doesn't respect itself: Rumsfeld's bill is moving up Capitol Hill with a bullet. It was being discussed this morning at a House subcommittee hearing, and soon could make its way into the front pages.
From: "Cathy Buckle" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Winter of discontent
Date: 3 May 2003
Dear Family and Friends,
It has gone deafeningly quiet in Zimbabwe this week. The usual early morning revving of a multitude of engines as people start their cars for work has been reduced to only one or two. The country has now completely run out of petrol and diesel and even the recent 320% increase in the price of fuel has done nothing at all to improve supplies. According to the government run National Oil Company of Zimbabwe which has been riddled with corruption scandals, no supplies at all have entered the country for the last week and none is in the pipelines either. Zimbabwe has no foreign currency with which to pay for imported fuel and at last our suppliers have said - no money, no fuel. This all sounds like a bit of a predictable disaster but the effect it is already having on our daily lives is enormous. We simply can't go anywhere any more, twice weekly trips to the supermarket have become once a fortnight and even that is a pretty wasted trip because, with no petrol, there are hugely reduced deliveries and so less and less food to buy- especially in small towns like Marondera. Something as simple as collecting post is also a waste of time. Aside from the fact that postage went up from Z$30 to Z$100 for a local letter last week, and aside from the fact that the government just fired 3000 postal workers for having joined in the nationwide stay away, there is no post to collect as it's all stuck in Harare with no petrol to distribute it. All week in our little town there have been rumours of a petrol tanker heading our way. Suddenly a deserted petrol station looks like a huge public occasion as literally hundreds of cars converge and park in massive lines along the road. Six or eight hours later everything gets back to normal and everyone disappears as it becomes clear that it was just another rumour and there isn't any petrol. Schools re-open again next week and Richie and I will be cycling to school. He's delighted at the idea, which he sees as a huge adventure but I suspect he'll change his mind fairly quickly as winter moves in and fingers and toes freeze!
Petrol is not the only topic causing rumours, there is also much talk this week that President Mugabe is about to step down. The Presidents of South Africa, Malawi and Nigeria are due in Harare in the coming days and there is much speculation about the real purpose of their visit. Certainly Zimbabwe is teetering on the edge of complete collapse now, there is little left for the government to seize, loot or control, there is no fuel and very little food and the population seems to have found both its voice and its courage. After the latest hugely successful three day national strike, people are champing at the bit for a huge push that would see the desperately needed changes to our governance. Neither the opposition MDC nor the trade unions are prepared to say what or when the next call for public action will be but it seems inevitable that it will be very soon as people have simply had enough. We've had enough of being hungry, had enough of rocketing inflation, had enough of not being able to afford anything, had enough of being pushed around and had enough of being scared. I am certainly not alone in feeling that the beginning of the end is now only weeks away.
For me the most amazing thing that happened this last week was when the Harare Mayor was suspended from his duties by Home Affairs Minister Chombo. The MDC Mayor, Elias Mudzuri was overwhelmingly and democratically elected and has become the hero of Harare. He has consistently spoken out against mis-governance, he has been harassed, intimidated and even imprisoned for standing up for the people of Harare so his suspension is undoubtedly a huge mistake and will make the restless population of the capital city even more willing to stand up for themselves.
Zimbabwe had shuddered to a stop. All eyes will be upon President's Mbeki, Obassanjo and Muluzi. We hope and pray they do not let us down again because we have had enough. Winter is coming and it will be a long hard winter of discontent.
Until next week, with love,
Mbeki Will Tell Mugabe That Regime Must Change (May 5)
Three African presidents will fly to Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, today in the most serious attempt so far to persuade Robert Mugabe to step down. Thabo Mbeki, President of Zimbabwe's powerful neighbour South Africa, will be joined by Bakili Muluzi of Malawi and the Nigerian leader, Olusegun Obasanjo. They are now said to accept that Mr Mugabe's departure is the only possible starting point for resolving the Zimbabwe crisis.
From: "Ms.Louise Sullivan" email@example.com>
Date: 6 May 2003
Subject: AMINA LAWAL SET TO BE STONED ON 3RD JUNE
The Nigerian Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence for Amina Lawal, condemned for the crime of adultery on August 19th 2002, to be buried up to her neck and stoned to death. Her death was postponed so that she could continue to nurse her baby. Execution is now set for June 3rd.
If you haven't been following this case, you might like to know that Amina's baby is regarded as the 'evidence' of her adultery. The father denied everything when he realised the trouble he was in.
Amina's case is being handled by the Spanish branch of Amnesty International, which is attempting to put together enough signatures to make the Nigerian government rescind the death sentence. A similar campaign saved another Nigerian woman, Safiya, condemned in similar circumstances.
By March 4th the petition had amassed over 2,600,000 signatures.
It will only take you a few seconds to sign Amnesty's online petition.
Go to the web page http://www.amnistiaporsafiya.org/
Enter your first name in the space marked "nombre", last name ("apellidos"), county ("provincia"), country, and In the drop down box pick Reino Unido (United Kingdom). Then click on "Seguir" and go to the second page. There you have the option of entering your email address if you wish to receive follow-up information. In any case, be sure to click on "aceptar" to have your name added to the petition list. Please sign the petition now, then copy this message into a new email and send it to everyone in your address book.
Forwarded by "Mark Graffis" firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: President, USA Exile Govt. (email@example.com)
Subject: ISM Volunteers Told That They Will Be Shot in Head
Forwarded with Compliments of Government of the USA in Exile (GUSAE): Free Americans Resisting the Fourth Reich on Behalf of All Species.
Alison Weir wrote:
It appears from this message that Israeli soldiers are now being authorized to shoot nonviolent international human rights workers in the head. This is an extremely disturbing escalation, and one that it is essential we expose and oppose. Please ask your local media to cover this story.
I'll Shoot You In The Head
April 28, 2003
On this morning of April 28, 2003, we learned the details of how a French civilian was 'detained' by a soldier yesterday in Asira Valley, just outside of Nablus. His detention consisted of being handcuffed, blindfolded, having a gun placed right by his head, being put in a Jeep, driven to a nearby settlement, being interrogated and released without arrest or charge. The message is clear, we are not wanted in Asira Valley, a checkpoint where ISM has worked for several months, watching villagers being terrorized by a combination of foot soldiers, soldiers in jeeps and in troop carriers. Often the villagers are held for hours, with no access to toilets, water or shade from the sun or rain. Often they are made to return back the way they come from---either from the village, or from Nablus. Many times they become aware of the presence of soldiers when shots are fired by the snipers on the hills, their uniform making it difficult to spot them in the greenness of spring.
Internationals have spent many hours staying with detained persons, negotiating on their behalf, phoning Human Rights Organizations and the Army command; to question some of the more obscure and inexplicable decisions that the seemingly omnipotent soldiers on the spot make.
Many times villagers are held for hours and released, their bags unchecked. Many of the soldiers have no support vehicles, they know they are dealing with an unarmed, frustrated civilian population. Many times they have told us it is a Closed Military Zone: it is not. Many times they have threatened us with arrest. Until yesterday they have not followed through. Many times they have shot at us: we have regarded these as warning shots and have stayed.
Now, things are different! We decided that a group of us would go and picnic in the valley. We needed to assert our right to be there. Someone has to monitor the daily misery that is inflicted on the civilians of Asira.
With our stash of hummus, foul, falafels, oranges, bananas, pita and water we catch the service taxi to Sabatash at the top of the hill. There we meet a number of Palestinians who want to go down into the valley with us. They know there are soldiers there. They know people have already been detained and refused permission to go home.
We trek down the hill, a raggletaggle band of 3 Brits, 3 Italians, a South African, A medical volunteer from the Medical Relief Committee and Palestinian men and women.
All seems quiet as we approach the house in the valley. Then one of the local women points; the soldiers are there, skulking in the bushes in front of the house. Slowly we walk up to them. The "nasty" one comes out and greets one of the Internationals by name. "Why do you come here?", he asks. "You know that I told you I will arrest you if you do. Yesterday I arrested one of your friends from France".
Two Internationals attempt to engage with him, they tell him that it is not a closed military area, that we have come to have a picnic, that we are peaceful. "Go back to Nablus," he demands. We assert our right to be there. We bear passports that request that we be allowed to proceed without Let or Hindrance. We tell him that under Israeli Law we can be there.
"Fuck the Israeli Government", he tells us. It is getting bizarre, a soldier from an illegal occupying army who has no respect for the government that he serves. He turns his attention to the Palestinians. He takes their IDs, pockets them and motions to them to go into the bushes. His friend is standing in the bushes. They are detained. We ask why, no answer. We have taken the opportunity to get out the food and to start eating. We are not talking to them, we cannot see the detained persons, we are merely a token presence, having a picnic.
"If you don't leave' I will call for jeeps and you will be arrested like your friend. Then you will be deported like him." We tell him that we are prepared to be arrested and that the Frenchman was not deported but is now back in Nablus. The news doesn't seem to please him. He talks in his radio and then goes into the bushes where we cannot see him. We carry on eating. After a few minutes two shots sound out. We cannot see him, but we can hear where they are coming from. One of the group gets up to go look. The soldier emerges from the bushes, gun pointed straight at our group.
"IF YOU DO NOT LEAVE, I WILL SHOOT YOU IN THE HEAD," he tells us. I think of Brian Avery, my 24-year-old American friend, in a hospital in Haifa, shot for no discernible reason. I think of Tom Hurndall, a 21- year-old activist from the UK, lying in a hospital in Beer Shee'va, his brain damaged by a sniper's bullet while he tried to direct a child out of the line of fire in Rafah.
We cannot risk another shot in the head over a picnic. We tell him we need our friend, the medical relief volunteer who is in the group of detained. He just tells us to leave, training his gun on us the whole time. We are prepared to be arrested, we are prepared to resist a deportation, but not this, not now. So we gather up our things, and start moving back up the hill to the point where we can get phone reception. We start phoning embassies and the media centre.
After about 15 minutes, the medical volunteer emerges from the bushes, holding his ID. He has been released. He tells us that before the soldier shot at us, he radio'd the base in Hebrew and said that we would not leave, and that he wanted to shoot at us. When he finished the call, he turned to his fellow soldier and said "I will shoot one of them in the head or the eyes."
The world has sat back and allowed Israel to kill Palestinians under the guise of "security", no probing questions have been asked, no sanctions imposed as they kill men, women and children with impunity. Now it seems that peaceful activists (the soldier checked neither our IDs nor our bags, so it seems he knew this!) are legitimate game for these soldiers who are here in defiance of so many UN Resolutions.
Will the international community allow Israel to threaten and shoot at picnicking citizens from its own countries? Will they raise no fuss, ask no questions, impose no sanctions?
I fear the answer is yes.
For more information contact: Duncan 067 628 519
ISM Media Coordinator
BeitSahour, Occupied Palestine
Forwarded by "Mark Graffis" firstname.lastname@example.org>
British Journalist Killed by Israeli Troops in Gaza Strip
May 3, 2003
Agence France Presse
British television journalist James Miller died after being shot by Israeli troops in the southern town of Rafah in the Gaza Strip. An Israeli army spokesman expressed "regret" at the death, but pointed out that the man had "taken great risks by being in a virtual war zone." Miller, 35, was hit as he was filming a stand-up segment as part of a documentary he was making on the army's destruction of hundreds of homes of militants in the Palestinian territories.
A photo handed out May 3, 2003 shows freelance British cameraman James Miller a day before he was killed by Israeli gunfire in the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip.
He was struck in the back of the neck, said Ali Mussa, director of the hospital in Rafah, near the Israeli-Egyptian border.
After receiving first aid at an army post near where the shooting took place, Miller was evacuated to the Soroka hospital in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba by an army helicopter, military officials told AFP. They said Israeli soldiers were operating in the area to bust a weapons smuggling ring operating from Egypt to the Palestinian sector. The Israeli troops were in a house close to the border, where they had found a tunnel exit, when they came under fire from small arms and rocket-propelled grenades.
After returning fire the soldiers searched the area and came across a woman waving a white flag and who pointed out the journalist lying wounded in the street.
His death brings to 3,207 the number of people killed since the Palestinian intifada, or uprising, broke out in September 2000, including 2,419 Palestinians and 729 Israelis. He is also the fourth journalist killed by Israeli troops during that period.
The most recent death was that of Nazeh Daruwazi, a 42-year-old cameraman for the US news agency Associated Press, killed as he was covering clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli soldiers in the West Bank city of Nablus.
On March 16, a 23-year-old peace activist from the United States was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer in the Gaza Strip as she was acting as a human shield to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian house. The Israeli daily Haaretz reported Friday that authorities are considering expelling foreign peace activists acting as human shields.
Top Israeli brass and foreign ministry officials met this week to discuss the means of expelling the activists, the newspaper reported. A foreign ministry spokesman confirmed that meetings had been held but said no decision had yet been reached.
"We discussed the issue of these so-called pacifists, who are in closed military zones where they are not allowed and are putting their own lives at risk," the spokesman told AFP.
Dead cameraman 'carried white flag' (May 4)
Israeli soldiers who killed a British television cameraman, James Miller, in southern Gaza could have been in no doubt about his identity as a journalist, according to witnesses. They said yesterday that he was shot at close range while in a group carrying a large white flag and shouting repeatedly that they were journalists.
Autopsy Indicates Cameraman Was Killed By Israelis (May 9)
The findings of an Israeli autopsy released yesterday indicate that an award-winning British television cameraman killed last week was shot dead by Israeli soldiers - and not by Palestinian gunmen, as the Israeli army has suggested. The Independent has seen television footage of the incident, which shows that claims by the Israeli army that there was a "massive" exchange of fire at the time are untrue.
Israel Cracking Down on Foreign Peace Activists (May 2) http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=574&ncid=574&e=4&u=/nm/20030502/wl_nm/mideast_activists_dc_2
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel plans to step up the arrest and deportation of pro-Palestinian foreign peace activists and will try to block new "human shields" from entering the country, Israeli security sources said on Friday. The International Solidarity Movement (ISM), which has posted dozens of foreign activists in West Bank and Gaza Strip combat zones, condemned the move as an attempt to allow Israeli "atrocities" against Palestinians to go unchecked. (...) A spokesman for the ISM said at least 30 of its members had been deported by Israel since last year, while several others had deportation orders overturned in Israeli courts. Hundreds of suspected activists have been turned away on arrival at Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion International Airport, under government directives, since the uprising began in September 2000, Israeli officials said.
Uri Avnery: The Evil Wall
(...) The sole consideration that dictates its path is the settlements. The wall twists like a snake according to a simple principle: most of the settlements must remain on the western side of the wall, i.e. eventually to be absorbed into Israel. (...) Indeed, the foul smell of "transfer" hovers over the wall. Its location leaves whole Palestinian villages on the western side - trapped between the wall and the Green Line. The inhabitants will not be able to move, to find a livelihood, to breathe. Other villages like Mas'ha, will remain on the eastern side of the wall, but their land, on which their livelihood depends, will be on the western side. There are places, like the town of Kalkiliya, which will be almost completely surrounded by a loop of the wall, leaving only a small opening to the West Bank. One of the purposes of the wall is, without a doubt, to make the lives of the inhabitants hell, in order to convince them by and by to go away. It is a kind of "creeping transfer". Like the terrifying bulldozer pushing before it rocks and lumps of earth, so the occupation pushes before it the Palestinian population - always eastwards, always out. CLIP
Israelis Gun Down Palestinian Toddler (May 8)
Occupied Jerusalem, An 18-month-old Palestinian toddler was killed by Israeli Army fire in the Gaza Strip yesterday, as the Palestinian prime minister flatly rejected Israel's new condition for peace talks.
Date: 9 May 2003
From: LESLEY WHITING email@example.com>
Subject: Israeli Army Raids ISM headquarters... and "License to kill" in Gaza
Have just received this rather disturbing news. (see below) A couple of days earlier, Israeli has announced a new policy requiring all internationals entering Gaza to sign a document that states that the Israeli army will not be held in any way responsible for the shootings or death of internationals in Gaza, and that the person entering has absolutely no connection to ISM. I find this disclaimer of responsibility very sinister, particularly after the shooting of activist Tom Hurndall (now braindead) the British journalist who was killed and even most recently the UK Embassy convoy carrying Tom Hurndalls parents was fired on (no-one injured). I believe it is , in effect, targeting ISM activists with a sort of "license to kill", without any kind of accountability. I wonder if its a coincidence that today the ISM activists inTulkarem reported that they are on high alert, since the IDF have again invaded the refugee camp and ordered the UNRWA school to be emptied and opened to the military (exactly the same steps as they took last month when around 1500 men were rounded up and transported out of the camp with orders not to return for 3 days - in what looked to many like a "rehearsal" for a transfer operation).
INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT
May 9, 2003
ISRAELI FORCES RAID ISM OFFICE
[Beit Sahour, Occupied Palestine] Israeli forces raided the ISM office this morning, confiscating equipment and material and snatching three women. At 12:30pm on Friday, May 9, approximately 20 military vehicles, army jeeps and a large armored personnel carrier (intended for many arrests) surrounded the ISM media office in Beit Sahour. Dozens of soldiers, border police and civilian police officers raided the ISM office, confiscating all computers, not only in the ISM office but in the nearby office of the Palestinian Centre for Rapprochement. Files, CD, and photos were all pillaged, while soldiers broke equipment and damaged office space. Israeli forces kidnapped Palestinian volunteer, Fida, American volunteer, Flo, and a worker with Human Rights Watch visiting the office. At the time of this writing, Fida has been released, and the internationals seem to have been moved to the office of the Israeli Ministry of Interior, most probably for deportation.
The Israeli government has declared an open war on international peace and human rights workers. Israeli forces are doing everything in their power to specifically prevent the nonviolent resistance to their military rule. The stepped-up harassment of internationals and journalists in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is nothing short of a further attempt to shield from the international community the brutality of daily Israeli military actions against the Palestinian people.
The ISM, however, has no plans to leave the Palestinian areas nor to reduce our actions or our efforts. We need your help. Please protest:
In the US: Contact your congressperson, the State Department and the White House using this link.
Also call the State Department and demand action. STATE DEPARTMENT 1- 202-647-5150
For UK, Please call THE FOREIGN OFFICE 020 7008 1500
Also Contact your MP ad Prime Minister
For Israel Contact Israeli Minister of Interior
Tel: +972-2-629- 4701; Fax: +972-2-629-4750
Israeli Foreign Minister, Silvan Shalom Fax: +972-2-5303704
Defense Minister, Shaul Mofaz Fax: +972-3-6916940, 6976990 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Prime Minister Ariel Sharon fax: (+972-2) 566-4838 or 651-3955 or 651-2631
For Canada: Minister of Foreign Affairs Bill Graham, House of Commons, Ottawa ON K1A 0A6; Fax 613-996-3443
Everyone, Contact the Israeli embassy in your country
See our website: http://www.palsolidarity.org for more ways to help or get involved.
For more information, please call: +972-2-277-4602