Saturday, July 31, 2010

UPDATED: New Zinn Book The Bomb & Earlier BREAKING News: Howard Zinn: 400 pages just released

See Reader Supported News


I suggest you also go to DemocracyNow! and Firedoglake
More soon...

Occupied Palestine: Home Demolitions, Dispossessions and Residency Rights Revoked

Palestinian Family Members Saying Goodbye
(Watch Electronic Intifada)

UPDATE Just in from Dr. Mazin of Palestine:
Palestinian sources revealed a letter sent by Obama that outlines carrots and sticks approach to get Mahmoud Abbas to go to direct and endless negotiations so as to keep the disastrous Oslo cover for the occupation going a few more years. This revealed once and for all that Washington is indeed Israeli-occupied territory. Despite our political differences, we can only feel pity for Abu Mazen whose two open choices are both bad: a) negotiate while Israel continues to colonize and ethnically cleanse what remains of the occupied areas and thus lose what little credibility remains among the Palestinian public, OR b) insist on reference to International Law (and thus a settlement freeze) and lose hundreds of millions in funding and lucrative positions of power over the now de facto self-rule areas. In either case there will be no end to the occupation and no real or sovereign Palestinian state in the foreseeable future.

Will he choose a third route that preserves dignity and self-respect and give up the charade of Oslo and its trappings that he started (and convinced Arafat to follow for years until Israel killed him when he hesitated)? (there are ways to do this since an agreement signed under duress and especially one that violates basic international law is null and void anyway and does not remove the rights of native people even when someone representing them signs it). Will PLO reclaim its name sake as Palestine Liberation Organization or degenerate into the Palestinian Leftover Officials? Will the Palestinian people realize that they hold the keys to their own future and that salvation will not come from anyone else?

We lost our friend Art Gish, a longtime active volunteer member of Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron. Art was 70 years old and died in a farming accident with his tractor in Athens, Ohio. Art was a graduate of Manchester College and Bethany Theological Seminary. He is the author of The New Left and Christian Radicalism (Eerdmans, 1970), Beyond the Rat Race (Herald Press. 1972), Living in Christian Community (Herald Press, 1979), and Hebron Journal: Stories of Nonviolent Peacemaking (Herald Press, 2001). Art Gish has been part of Christian Peacemaker Teams in Hebron since 1995, getting in the way of Israeli military and settler violence against Palestinian civilians. http://rosemarieber 07/29/christian- peacemaker- art-gish- dies-at-70/

Art is survived by his wife Peggy Gish (herself an activist in Iraq and Palestine and author of “Iraq: A journey of hope and Peace” ). For an interview of Art and Peggy by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now, please go to here We will miss this gentle man who acted on his principles. He is an example for us to follow! You can purchase his book on Hebron from the Mennonite Publishing Network: here

One year has passed since the death of Shafiq Al-Hout, a principled Palestinian leader: A video biography ‘It all started in Jaffa’ is here here And Text biography here

The missing media headlines this week: Israeli forces killed 1 worker, injured 4 protesters and 1 journalist, abducted 21 civilians, conducted 25 major incursions, continued to fire at farmers, etc http://ifamericansk sit/missingheadl ines.html

The US Army reported that 32 soldiers committed suicide in June. Dozens of others were killed. Wikileaks published US documents that basically should make every American question the illegal wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet, the US media conveniently ignores all this and obediently publish the lies of their Zionist masters instead of exposing those who profit from wars and mayhem.

Preparations for WWIII? Crashed Israeli helicopter drilled perilous strikes on Iran-style mountain tunnels http://www.debka. com/article/ 8940/

The Israeli government extended for two more decades the closure on the information from 50 and 60 years ago that shows it had committed ethnic cleansing, war crimes, crimes against humanity, deception and lies (and ofcourse still doing it). See ‘A state afraid of its past’ by Haaretz here (make sure links are intact)

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
A Bedouin in Cyberspace, a villager at home
GO here
Professor, Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities
Chairman of the Board, Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People, or GO here

KEEP WATCHING STEPHEN LENDMAN (who writes about Palestine/Israel nearly each day)

Article on Occupied Palestine...
Saturday, July 31, 2010
by Stephen Lendman

Daily, Israeli oppression continues - demolishing homes, dispossessing occupants, and revoking residency rights, three of its many crimes under international law, Israel spurning it with impunity.

On July 22, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) reported mass Jordan Valley Al Farisyie village demolitions, displacing 107 people, including 52 children. Targeted were 26 residential tents, 22 animal shelters, seven taboun clay ovens, eight kitchens, 10 bathrooms, four water tanks, and an agricultural equipment shed - in all, 74 structures illegally bulldozed, family homes and belongings destroyed along with large quantities of food and animal fodder.

Many families weren't warned or present, so lost everything under rubble, Israel displacing Palestinians to make way for Judaization, area residents on their own, abandoned and unaided.

In July, three other communities were affected:

-- Fasayile al Fuga where a family home of nine, including seven children and a 10-month old infant, was destroyed;

-- Bardala where evacuation and demolition orders were issued; and

-- Ras Ar Ahmar where 13 homes and dozens of animal shelters were bulldozed after declaring the area a Closed Military Zone.

The Jordan Valley comprises about 30% of the West Bank, Israel continuing demolitions, dispossessions, land theft, and appropriation of water resources, annexing areas for Jews, collectively punishing its residents by declaring large areas Closed Military Zones, ordering entire villages evacuated in defiance of international law, hundreds of residents affected, half of them children.

On July 7, Haaretz writer Mijal Grinberg headlined "More than 800 protest Bedouin house demolitions in front of the Knesset," saying they erected a tent city after arriving in 17 buses to petition the government to "stop destroying homes."

Arab MKs and Hadash Party member Dov Hanin joined them, demanding this stop and accommodation with Bedouins reached, Israeli citizens denied their rights.

They rightfully claim ownership to 800,000 dunams of land, about 200,000 acres - around 6% of southern Israel's Negev desert. Israel, however, doesn't recognize them, saying about 75,000 Bedouins live in unrecognized villages, their public funding and services denied. More on that below.

Still, in recent years, 11 unrecognized villages were legalized. But another 36 are in limbo, their homes subject to demolition and land confiscated. In 2007, the government destroyed 110 homes. A-Sira is slated for demolition, its residents petitioning Israel's High Court to prevent it. Some lost their homes earlier. Others hope to save theirs. All Palestinians fear they're next - dispossession for Judaization, ongoing throughout East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Bedouin areas.

On July 27, Ma'an News reported that all Al-Araqib homes, fruit orchards and olive trees were destroyed, another unrecognized Bedouin village in southern Israel. At 4:30AM, 1,500 police arrived, including special riot forces, mounted officers, helicopters and bulldozers, awakening residents to evict them after an 11-year trial and court battle, residents winning to no avail. Israel dispossessed them anyway.

About 300 people were affected, police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld saying all "were told ahead of time they had to leave," a planned forest to replace them, their homes from before Israel's creation lost, their rights denied, Hamas spokesman Abdul Latif Al-Qanoua saying:

"The occupation has continued the destruction of Palestinian villages in the Negev for more than 40 years," a policy similar to East Jerusalem and the West Bank, "clear(ing) out Palestinian villages and towns" to Judaize them.

Many Gazans have Negev and other area roots, lost when Israel was declared a state. Al-Araqib village peace activists called the demolitions an "act of war, such as is undertaken against an enemy," saying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Bedouins a threat, "giv(ing) legitimacy to the(ir) Judaize it."

"Unrecognized" Palestinians - Israeli Citizens Without Rights

This writer's earlier article discussed them, accessed through the following link:

Around 150,000 are affected, living mainly in the Negev in the south and Galilee in the north, nonpersons, according to Israel. Considered internal refugees, they're unrecognized because they fled during Israel's "War of Independence," then couldn't return when it ended.

Today, their villages are denied essential services, including clean drinking water, electricity, roads, transport, sanitation, education, healthcare, postal and telephone service, refuse removal and more because under Israel's Planning and Construction Law they're illegal.

As a result:

-- only residents with wells have clean drinking water;

-- the few health services available are inadequate;

-- many homes have no bathrooms, their residents prohibited from building them;

-- only villages with generators have enough electricity for lighting, nothing else;

-- villages aren't connected to the main road network;

-- some are fenced in, denying residents access to their traditional lands;

-- in the north, one school only accommodates children able to attend; and

-- when demolitions are ordered, residents at times must do it or be fined and face a year in prison; some others must pay when Israeli bulldozers are used.

With no constitution, Israel is governed by its Basic Laws, the Human Dignity and Freedom one authorizing the Knesset to overturn laws contrary to the right to dignity, life, freedom, privacy, property, and freedom to leave and enter the country. It states:

"There shall be no violation of the life, body or dignity of any person. All persons are entitled to protection (of these rights, and) There shall be no deprivation or restriction of the liberty of a person by imprisonment, arrest, extradition or otherwise."

Yet no Basic Law guarantees equality, afforded only Jews, not Arabs, including Israeli citizens.

East Jerusalemites' Residency Status Revoked

In late April, the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights (JCSER) reported that in 2008, Israel's Interior Ministry revoked the residency status of 4,672 Jerusalemites, another 229 losing theirs in 2009, and since the early 1990s, about 30,000 legal residents were affected, expelled from their homes, banished from their city.

Further, another 165,000 Jerusalemites are at risk since they live east of the Separation Wall, separating them from the West Bank. JCSER also said municipality authorities "admitted for the first time that Israel got rid of 55,000 Jerusalemites in the last years due to the separation wall and that they lost their right to reside in the city."

The statistics "only include those living in the East of Jerusalem's Sho'fat refugee camp, Ras Khmis, Ras Shihadeh and al-Salam neighborhoods." However, another 70,000 in al-Bareed, Kafr Aqab and Samiramees face the same threat, Israel ethnically cleansing the city to Judaize it, remove the Arab presence, destroy their historic landmarks, and claim the entire city as Israel's capital, denying Palestinians that right for a future state.

In late July, JCSER reported that from January 2009 - June 6, 2010, Israel's Interior Ministry revoked the residency rights of 721 Palestinians, including 108 from January - June 6, 2010. It also said from June 1967 - mid-June 2010, 86,226 (14,371 families) were affected, many more expected under a ruthlessly oppressive policy.

In addition, thousands of family reunification requests are rejected out of hand as well as thousands more applications to register newborns in the city, Israeli-provided numbers as follows:

-- from January 2009 - July 6, 2010, reinstated residency rights of only 95 Palestinians were approved; and

-- from January 2009 - July 15, 2010, only 280 family reunification requests were allowed, many others pending, few at most to be permitted.

According to JCSER head, Ziad Al Hammoury, the reality on the ground is much worse than Israel reports - hundreds of East Jerusalemites losing their residency rights, hundreds more families prohibited from reunifying, their children not recognized as Jerusalemites, and hundreds of others studying or working abroad lost their ID cards at border crossings.

Israel's policy especially escalated after Palestinian Jerusalem legislators lost their status, all others in the city now at risk, despite being designated "permanent residents" in 1967.

However, in 1974, the law changed to let the Interior Minister strip residency rights from Palestinians with foreign citizenship or believed to be "a threat to national security," a provision potentially affecting anyone for any reason or none at all. Then in 1988, another amendment let the Interior Minister deny residency to Palestinians who lived in Gaza or the West Bank for seven years, and since 2003, the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law prohibits family unifications without Interior Ministry permission, very seldom granted.

Combined, these policies ruthlessly deny Palestinians their legal rights in their own land, incrementally being stolen to Judaize it.

A Final Comment

On July 28, Haaretz writer Amira Hass headlined "The Palestinian Authority is imprisoning Gazans," saying:

In the West Bank, the Mahmoud Abbas coup d'etat government that calls for an "end (to) the blockade on Gaza, in practice aids in imprisoning the Gazans by preventing them from holding valid Palestinian passports" - acting as Israel's enforcer.

"Not only does (Fatah) refuse to (provide) passports, (but) its general intelligence service even intervenes" to veto applications. Abbas security forces also "continue to arrest (and imprison for extended periods with no charges or trial) people identified with Hamas," Palestine's legitimate government, one Israel doesn't recognize, Fatah endorsed to control the West Bank, with generous funding to do it.

"These are the same security authorities that have won praise from the occupier for the quiet they've achieved," giving Israel more latitude to demolish homes, dispossess residents, expel them, arrest children, prevent free expression and movement, and kill anyone called a threat.

Fatah's collaboration compounds their suffering for their corrupt self-interest, profiting handsomely as a result.

A final note. On July 29, published Providence Knolls and Tania Kepler's article titled, "Villagers Rebuild Razed Bedouin Village," accessed through the following link:


They reported villagers, Palestinians, Israeli and international volunteers rebuilt Al-Araqib one day after Israel bulldozed it, and residents plan to build "more than what was destroyed, in an attempt to prevent future demolitions." Asking international help to survive, village spokesperson, Dr. Awad Abu Freih, said "We want our voice to be heard around the world." Is Israel listening?

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


posted by Steve Lendman @ 3:01 AM
Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Little Girl Named Asan Bibi and Why some journalists say Wikileaks is good

Asan Bibi, 9, sits on a bench as burn cream is applied to her at Mirwais Hospital, Kandahar, Afghanistan. She, her sister and mother were badly burned when a US helicopter fired into their tent in the middle of the night, 10/13/09. (photo: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) How can we keep forgetting and ignoring?

See Reader Supported News Often "The Good of Wikileaks" by John Cory here

29 July 2010

(REMEMBER all the Civilians and others who were burned when fired upon by US and allies. Haven't we seen enough "collateral damage" yet?)

NewYorker UPDATE: WIKILEAKS: We have met the enemy and he is us. (Reader Supported News)

photo: Getty Images)
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs
facing WikiLeaks firestorm, 07/26/10.

Off Site report from The New Yorker Sunday August 7, 2010 here

Update: Also see Stephen Lendman here for Friday, July 30, 2010 Damage Control: Downplaying WikiLeaks Revelations "Truths are too disturbing to conceal, downplay them, change the subject, and blame others, not responsible Washington officials and key allies, culpable politicians and media misinformation masters suppressing and misreporting the facts, their well-oiled spin machine counterattacking WikiLeaks - revelations too sensitive to explain, a potential game-changer otherwise, so pundits and reporters duck them./Above all, WikiLeaks "Afghan War Diaries" are a powerful indictment of wars, their true face, the mindless daily slaughter and destruction too disturbing to reveal...One day after their release, following the Senate's passage days earlier on top of $130 billion already approved this year, the House overwhelmingly passed a $60 billion supplemental spending bill, including $37 billion for America's wars, mostly for 30,000 additional troops in Afghanistan. Obama tripled the force since taking office, now around 100,000 and increasing by about 2,000 a month, their numbers exceeded by private military and other contractors, making the annual cost per US soldier $1 million and rising, reason enough to end both wars and bring them home...A day after the WikiLeaks release, (Obama/Admin) ignored old promises, evaded indictable war crimes evidence and a deepening unwinnable quagmire, urging the House authorize more supplemental funding, then engaged in contradictory, deceitful damage control saying:

"While I'm concerned about the disclosure of sensitive information from the battlefield that could potentially jeopardize individuals or operations, the fact is these documents don't reveal any issues that haven't already informed our public debate about Afghanistan. Indeed, they point to the same challenges that led me to conduct an extensive review of our policy last fall."

Instead of withdrawing as earlier promised, he plans escalation, the same Vietnam misjudgment, force levels there reaching 540,000 in December 1969, yet not enough to win, resulting in drawdowns, withdrawal and defeat, now repeating in Afghanistan, then Iraq no matter each country's troop level. Mindless of history, Obama added:

"We've substantially increased our commitment there, insisted upon greater accountability from our partners in Afghanistan and Pakistan, developed a new strategy that can work and put in place a team, including one of our finest generals, to execute that plan. Now we have to see that strategy through," no matter its illegality and futility, what he and Pentagon brass know but won't say, what Congress and the media won't address, supporting a killing machine in violation of US and international law, explained in this writer's July 28 article, accessed through the following link - GO here

Deceitful Media Misinformation

Released in advance to the Guardian, Der Spiegel, and New York Times, the "paper of record" collaborated with White House officials to sanitize it, clearing it in advance before publishing. Its Washington bureau chief, Dean Baquet, confirmed that he and two reporters (Mark Mazzetti and Eric Schmitt) "did in fact (tell them) what we had," Obama officials "prais(ing) us for the way we handled it, giving them a chance to discuss it, and for handling the information with care. And for being responsible."

Responding to readers, Times editor Bill Keller wrote:

"The administration, while strongly condemning (the release), did not suggest (we not) write about them. On the contrary, in our discussions....while challenging some of (our) conclusions....thanked us for handling the documents with care (read sanitizing disturbing truths), and asked us to urge WikiLeaks to withhold information that could cost lives. We did pass along that message."

In addition, he concealed daily war crimes, including mass civilian deaths, many willfully committed. Also, Task Force 373, death squad assassins killing suspected insurgents, cold-blooded murder The Times suppresses, collaborating with imperial lawlessness.

Instead, it focused on "Pakistan's Double Game," a July 27 editorial "confirm(ing) a picture of Pakistani double-dealing that has been building for years," saying "If Mr. Obama cannot persuade Islamabad to cut its ties to, and then aggressively fight, the extremists in Pakistan, there is no hope of defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan," The Times, of course, supporting the Afghan and Iraq wars.

For many decades, it's suppressed disturbing truths, functioning like a propaganda ministry, masquerading as real news, commentary and analysis - why WikiLeaks gave the Guardian and Der Spiepel its documents for more accurate reporting if three papers, not one, had them.

A wise decision given The Times history of supporting privilege, backing corporate interests, knowingly ignoring CIA efforts to topple elected governments, letting the Agency use its correspondents as covert assets, turning a blind eye to electoral fraud, and promoting imperial wars.

In the run-up to attacking Iraq, its star reporter, Judith Miller, by-lined daily Pentagon handouts, scamming the public as a complicit Bush administration agent, a weapon of mass destruction against truth and real journalism by transmitting lies, deceit and agitprop, standard New York Times fare.

For months in 2004, it also concealed the Bush administration's illegal domestic spying program, delaying its report until after the November election, and in 2000 endorsed Bush v. Gore, the first time in US history that the High Court ignored electoral fraud, annulled the popular vote (and final Electoral College count), installing its own preferred candidate over the winner.

The Wall Street Journal is unapologetic about supporting corporate interests, and under Rupert Murdoch the lunatic fringe, neocon extremism, and imperial wars, its July 29 editorial titled "WikiLeaks 'Bastards'" ... Read rest at above links.

...Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

here posted by Steve Lendman

WikiLeaks Reveals the Enemy ... and It's Us
By Lawrence Davidson, Reader Supported News
29 July 2010


There is the old argument put forth by the National Rifle Association that it is not guns that kill, it is the people who pull the trigger. This, of course, is at best a half-truth. What does the NRA think guns are manufactured for? The downing of clay pigeons? Nonsense. They are made to kill and maim. Be the targets men or lesser animals, be they used in the course of defense or offense, guns are designed and manufactured to inflict deadly harm.

One can say the same thing for armies. They are not put together for marching in parades. They are designed to kill and maim on a large scale. You can change the name of that part of the government that manages professional carnage from the Department of War to the Department of Defense (as the US government did in 1949) but it makes no real difference. Once the military is engaged, the inevitable consequence (and the consequence clearly known to those who run the show) is mayhem. Ask anyone who has gone through basic training about the amount of effort given to learning how not to kill civilians. It will not be insignificant or irrelevant because, unless the fighting is in a desert or on the moon, it is virtually impossible within the framework of modern warfare not to kill non-combatants. Ask a platoon leader what priority he gives to assuring that his targets are not civilians. If the answer is an honest one it will be a rare event when such a consideration even approaches the standard priorities of achieving the mission while "taking care of your men." You might say that this is just how war is. Historically speaking this is true. In terms of ethics it is a flat out indefensible position.

Just how indefensible was revealed this week by the courageous work of WikiLeaks, a website that has carried on the work begun by Daniel Ellsberg when he leaked the Pentagon Papers during the Viet Nam War. This week saw the release of 92,000 records detailing the bloody savagery of American military action in Afghanistan. If one is old enough, this revelation brings on a disturbing episode of deja vu. For those who lived through Viet Nam know that what these records reveal is nothing new. It has all happened before. No doubt it will all happen again. In fact, it must happen again and again as long as war is waged as it is now.

That is why one can only feel nausea when the professionals, from military spokesmen, to "embedded" journalists, to politicians talk of "collateral damage," as if the pulverized bodies of civilians that the US military (and all similar armies the world over) leaves in its wake are somehow accidents. They are not. No matter what the so-called "rules of engagement," the nature of the weapons used and the training of the average enlistee (which emphasizes ever more ruthlessness as one is brought into "special forces") guarantees these civilian deaths. In the modern age of warfare their fate follows like 2+2=4.

Thus, it is significant, and so revealing of our national mentality, that the savagery revealed in the leaked reports is not what most of our leaders are focusing on. Rather, it is the accusation that the reports suggest that the war is being lost. Thus, from the White House to Congress, to the media talk shows, their defense is that this is old data, reflecting the state of the war prior to the president's introduction of a new strategy and a surge in troop strength. While I believe that the war in Afghanistan is, just like Viet Nam, an unwinnable affair, this sort of debate misses the point of these revelations. It is not about winning or losing. It is about utter destruction. It is about the tens of thousands of human beings who have already irredeemably lost this war.

In the United States, war is a massive industry. We ignored Dwight Eisenhower's warning about the growing military-industrial complex and so this vast interlinked network is now one of the foundations of the US economy. The vested interests involved here are of every class and every ethnicity. To rapidly dismantle this complex risks depression for the nation. To come to a clear recognition of this situation is like looking into the abyss. Indeed, the vast majority of people will refuse to look. And they will support the hunting down of those who have invited them to look (Julian Assange, co-founder of WikiLeaks, is now a wanted man). The government will label them traitors, put them in prison and throw away the key.

Frederic Nietzsche tells us the parable of the death of god. A madman shows up in a town one day and proclaims the death of god and identifies the murderers as we the people. The implication here is that the modern age is what really did god in. Moderns have ceased to pay anything but lip service to god and so he, she or it is really just a dead idol. We can extend the parable to ethics. The people at WikiLeaks are the madmen who have come to town to tell us that we have no ethics; that our pitiful claim to be civilized is just an act of self-delusion because the nature of modern warfare has murdered ethics. By the way, in Nietzsche's story the messenger is simply dismissed as insane. As noted above, the WikiLeaks people will have a much rougher time of it.

Finally, on Armistice Day in 1948, a colleague of Dwight Eisenhower, General Omar Bradley, made a speech in which he said "The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience....." It was not a particularly original observation, for in one form or another it has been said many times before and many times since. The implication is that tomorrow will probably look very much like today. And so it will. As a wise swamp possum once observed, "We have met the enemy ... and he is us."

Lawrence Davidson is a professor of Middle East history at West Chester University in Pennsylvania, and author of the works listed below.

Contributing Editor: Logos: A Journal of Modern Society & Culture

"Foreign Policy Inc.: Privatizing America's National Interest"

"America's Palestine: Popular and Offical Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood"

"Islamic Fundamentalism"

Thursday, July 29, 2010

REPORTS from/about GAZA, US, Israel and Palestine

Bibi - photo credit to Readers Supported News
Contact Scott Galindez at RSN

For Academic Reports from BOTH Israelis and Palestinians, GO to BitterLemons dot org

Thursday, July 29th, 2010 - 15:06

Tutu: I fully support boycott of Israeli products

South African Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu said on Wednesday that he supports the Olympia Food Co-op’s boycott of Israeli products.

The Olympia Food Co-op, located in Olympia, Washington, the hometown of the International Solidarity Movement activist Rachel Corrie who was killed seven years ago in Gaza, announced last week that no Israeli products would be sold at its two grocery stores in the city.

“I, Desmond Tutu, fully support and endorse the Olympia Food Co-op’s boycott of Israeli products,” Tutu said in a statement. “The Olympia Food Co-op has joined a growing worldwide movement on the part of citizens and the private sector to support by non-violent tangible acts the Palestinian struggle for justice and self-determination.”

Tutu also encouraged other cooperatives, grocers and businesses to boycott Israeli goods.

Many international figures and organizations have realized the amount of injustice practiced by Israel on Palestinian people, especially after the savage Israeli attack on Mavi Marmara aid ship which was heading to break Gaza siege on 31st of May 2010, caused of death of 9 Turkish activists.

Israeli attack condemend by huge mas and international community and called on Israeli occupation to end unreasonable siege imposed on Palestinians since 4 years and still causing fatal impacts on Palestinian life.

Report above published here

Below are updated reports for today, yet first, just a little review...

Here is the blog I followed from the amazingly courageous young journalist during the horrific Gaza tragedy: here he reports on Gaza today...what has changed? here I have many posts from this time credited to him and his likewise brave and excellent journalist father during that time in archives of oneheartforpeace...

Here is a piece from Sameh Akram Habeeb's father:
"Who Is Responsible for Gaza blight?" By Dr. Akram Habeeb (Writing from the Occupied Gaza Strip)

As a Gazzan who is not affiliated to any political party; yet much concerned about what is taking place in my hometown, I meticulously track every piece of news related to the ongoing horrendous carnage which is perpetrated by the Israelis against the innocent civilians in Gaza. I was shocked when key staff of Bush’s outgoing Administration hold the Palestinian side in particular responsible for the recent onslaught in Gaza. I was also more devastated when some European officials and even few Arab leaders implicitly hold the same opinion. I am not sure though whether these officials do represent the voice and the good will of their peoples.
Rest of Article during the Israeli Occupation and massacre - find in archives here

Let's keep watching the photos and reading reports from two GAZZANS: Sameh Akram Habeeb, journalist from Gaza, who along with his father,Dr. Akram Habeeb, covered the Gaza atrocities on the ground as they were occurring...

Credit for all above photos go to Sameh Akram Habeeb and his site:

Report, The Electronic Intifada, 28 July 2010

By Adie Mormech, Live from Palestine, 27 July 2010

By Mel Frykberg, The Electronic Intifada, 27 July 2010

By Jonathan Cook, The Electronic Intifada, 27 July 2010

DISCLAIMER: The items below are largely from CLICK here

Along with perusing & offering this newer source, APPAF, I hope to add other sources of such news. One I have come to respect is and while I haven't yet read much from him on Palestine/Israel, I highly value articles I've read by Stephen Lendman and now plan to read/listen to him on Palestine/Israel as well.

SEE list of STEPHEN LENDMAN sites end of this post...

This following newsletter claims to provide (some of) what the American public needs to learn about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict which follows the Admonitions of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson:

"Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people" - John Adams - Second US President

"Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty." Thomas Jefferson

Visit website GO here and send you their feedback and/or comment below.

APPAF editors add: "Please don't forget that Palestine is as much of an American problem as it is a Palestinian and an Israeli problem."

From J Street: Oppose Ros-Lehtinen's Irresponsible Anti-Peace Letter

CommonDreams: A Peaceful Boycott Should Not be a Crime by Yifat Susskind

PAKISTAN Daily: Barack Obama: America s First Jewish President

Haaretz: Arab reps ignore Abbas proposal to continue indirect talks

The Christian Science Monitor-Truthout: Breakthrough? Abbas Gets Arab Backing to Enter Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks by: Joshua Mitnick

Haaretz: U.S. 'encouraged' by Arab support for direct Israeli-Palestinian talks

VOA: UN Presses for Direct Israeli-Palestinian Talks

CS Monitor: For biased critics of Israel, even its defensive actions violate human rights By Jeffrey Robbins

Jerusalem Post: ADL accepts Oliver Stone's 2nd apology. Director had complained about Jewish influence in US media By GIL HOFFMAN (But he said it loud and clear)

From "Senator George McGovern": Please help keep a peace champion in Congress today

ICH: "The Real Terrorist Was Me" Speech By War Veteran

AlterNet: Democrats Take on Supreme Court's Giant Sell-Out of Our Democracy to Corporations. Wake Up America

Irish Times: Dunnes urged to boycott Israeli goods PAUL CULLEN

Haaretz: Ateret Cohanim takes over Muslim Quarter residence, leftists say move 'to sandbag talks'By Nir Hasson

Haaretz: Is Peres trying to convince Palestinians to refuse direct talks?

SEE the following from Palestine via CLICK here

FT: West Bank leader eyes home stretch to freedom By Tobias Buck in Ramallah

Exclusive Intifada Interview with Archbishop Theodosios

Haaretz: Abbas resisting direct talks with Israel, despite Obama pressure (Palestinians now caved in)

Guardian: Israeli settlers evict Palestinian family from their home of 70 years Takeovers have created dozens of Jewish 'outposts'in the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem's Old City in recent years

JPost: Palestinians in Gaza invest $20m. in new resorts

NOTE: For the above items from Palestine and for plenty more OP-ED via CLICK here

Other sources on this topic (of course there are infinite sources - a few more to be added here or in new post):

Steve Lendman Radio

SteveLendmanBlog GO here

Author's Page for Stephen Lendman. GO here

A list of columns and Opinions written by Stephen Lendman GO here and reach him via

During the Gaza tragedy I followed on my blogsite during that time. You will find plenty of photos in my archived articles from that time which you can't dismiss as necessary business by Israel...

Also see:

Save Gaza: January 2009
Dec 30, 2008 The Untold Story here

UPDATED: HEADS UP: Current US Admin. Wants Cover for FBI's Illegal Domestic Surveillance

April 15, 2010
AP file photo
of FBI Director Robert Mueller
testifying on Capitol Hill
Washington April 15, 2010.

UPDATE FBI Access to email and web records raises fears here

Just four words involves our US President. These words are key to the latest civil rights concern today — “electronic communication transactional records”. This concern or grab for quick cover is added to the latest concern: Recently, the Justice Department has been investigating whether hundreds of FBI agents cheated on a test of new rules allowing the bureau to conduct surveillance and open cases without evidence that a crime has been committed.

Mueller was also scheduled to testify on July 28, 2010, where new guidelines and the cheating scandal were expected to come up. (see article end of this post)

Now the US Administration wants an Email Spying Cover and Expansion? Is Facebook Next?

NEW items just in here here and here

Short Intro below to even further concerns refer to the following article just out this am here Again, like other recent items, surprisingly from the Wash Post!

Obama Administration Goes for Domestic Surveillance Power Grab

By: emptywheel Thursday July 29, 2010 6:04 am FireDogLake dot com

The White House wants to add just four words to the law that empowers the government to collect information on you w/o a warrant. But it would represent a huge expansion of the what the government could (legally) collect on you.

The administration wants to add just four words — “electronic communication transactional records” — to a list of items that the law says the FBI may demand without a judge’s approval. Government lawyers say this category of information includes the addresses to which an Internet user sends e-mail; the times and dates e-mail was sent and received; and possibly a user’s browser history. It does not include, the lawyers hasten to point out, the “content” of e-mail or other Internet communication.But what officials portray as a technical clarification designed to remedy a legal ambiguity strikes industry lawyers and privacy advocates as an expansion of the power the government wields through so-called national security letters. These missives, which can be issued by an FBI field office on its own authority, require the recipient to provide the requested information and to keep the request secret. They are the mechanism the government would use to obtain the electronic records.

Make no mistake. This is one of the most important pieces of civil liberties news in a long time. The Obama Administration is asking Congress to sanction the collection of internet records without a warrant that has been going on–the kind of shit they used to do without a warrant, until people expressed their opposition.

But then Democrats took over and now they want legal sanction and now–voila, a request that presumably provides cover.

Go read this article. (Top of this post) I’ll have more to say about it, but for the moment, Julian Sanchez makes sense.

NOTE: One Heart Blogger here - Also see this RELATED article of deep concern and watch to observe how the President's request for cover and the recent questioning of FBI director, Mueller, will be be received? Mueller was also scheduled to testify on July 28, 2010, Let's see where new guidelines and the cheating scandal are leading. GO here for Intro and for Mueller in his own words yesterday, July 28th, GO here and here

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

UPDATED: The Freedom Flotilla Attack & World Opinion

UPDATE: Thursday, July 29, 2010
Investigating the Freedom Flotilla Attack

Investigating the Freedom Flotilla Attack - by Stephen Lendman

On June 2, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) approved formation of an international committee (like the Goldstone Commission) to probe the Flotilla attack, saying it will include lawyers and international law and human rights experts, its findings to be presented in September (during the Council's three week session in Geneva) after visiting Gaza and contacting Israel, Turkey, Greece, and the Freedom Flotilla coalition.

HRC's panel includes:

-- Desmond de Silva, a UK lawyer and former chief prosecutor for the Sierra Leone Special Court investigation into widespread killings there;

-- Karl Hudson-Phillips, a former International Criminal Court (ICC) judge and former Trinidad and Tobago attorney general and parliament member; and

-- Malaysia's Mary Shanthi Dairiam, active in gender equality issues, including on the UN Development Program's gender equity task force.

In emergency session, the HCR criticized Israel's "outrageous attack on aid ships attempting to breach a blockade on the Gaza Strip," calling it "piracy, (an) act of aggression, (a) brutal massacre, (an) act of terrorism, (a) war crime, (a) crime against humanity -unprovoked....unwarranted....atrocious, (and) brutal," calling activists "peaceful...innocent...noble...unarmed, (and) defenseless," setting the tone for what's to come, HRC president Sihasak Phuangketkeow saying:

"This is not about finger-pointing. It's about establishing the facts of what took place because the incident was a humanitarian tragedy and it's in the interests of everyone. So I'm hopeful and I'm urging all the parties concerned to render their full cooperation, because it is in their interests and it's in the interests of the international community as a whole."

posted by Steve Lendman @ 2:57 AM

July 28, 2010 and earlier

Jewish attitudes towards Israel are shifting Wednesday, 28 July 2010 13:45

A Free World a Free Press

A war of the worlds

US War/Occupation and it's Deeply Disturbing Character

Find one set of interviews referring to the recent leaks is at DemocracyNow! here

Rick Rowley, a filmmaker, recently back from Afghanistan...responded to the recent leaks:

“[One] thing that these documents do is they put flesh on a process that we’ve been tracking, along with reporters like Jeremy Scahill, for some time, of a transition to what some people call a special forces war, an entirely covert and classified war that’s conducted with DRONE strikes and MIDNIGHT raids and targeted ASSASSINATIONS, where everything is CLASSIFIED, there are (few) media embeds, and there’s very little accountability. I mean, I think that is the trajectory that this war is taking right now.”

Rowley and others put much emphasis on the activities of super-secret units... In addition, while much of what these secret units have been doing in Afghanistan centers on (more or less) targeted assassinations -- which often go awry and kill many civilians--their missions are "kill or CAPTURE," in which an as-yet undetermined number of targeted persons are taken prisoner and shipped into an entirely unaccountable oblivion. As Rick Rowley put it:

Rowley also said that when we abandon the nation-building project, which everyone recognizes is an abject failure, the new form, paradigm, the war is going to take (includes) ...the majority of the kinetic action, the military calls it, the majority of the people killed and captured, are done by special forces. So there is no real information about them at all. It’s all entirely secret...many more (then have been released) aren’t made public. These documents that were released, you know, they occasionally cover—in slant ways cover special forces operations, but all of that stuff is a different level of classified...

To those who want to paint one-sided character of the people of Pakistan, here are a variety of items for a 2nd look - the US military choices have certainly not made life easier for Pakistan...

READ especially The ISI - America's Favourite Scapegoat here

Here's an item with 200 plus comments from earlier with many differing points of view to indicate the struggle with the "several enemies" which are each and all causing havoc here

Other references from US MSNBC here

Here are some sites new to me yet worth following on Wiki-leaks, Working Class, Muslims of all kinds for Peace and what they're reading:

The American Muslim dot org:
here home page and for July 28

Aletho News Jul 28, 2010

Canadian Dimension editorial with Twenty-Two Reasons Why American Working People Hate the State here

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

UPDATE: US VOTES TUESDAY (or soon): Pakistan, Afghanistan- War Supplemental, Toothpaste & Related

For RESULTS and PENDING on yesterday (Tuesday's) Vote go to We must NOT give up on seeking to End War Funding and War/Occupation. Keep on Keeping on.

UPDATE NOON on the Toothpaste Vote:

The DISCLOSE Act is up for a crucial procedural vote this afternoon.

But as of right now, we still don't have the votes we need to curb unlimited corporate spending in elections. That's because Republicans are pledging to block this commonsense legislation from even getting an up-or-down vote.

If we don't pass the DISCLOSE Act, the Supreme Court's disastrous Citizens United decision will stand unchecked -- allowing corporations (including foreign companies and government contractors) to secretly spend millions of dollars for or against candidates for public office.

So make sure you sign our petition before the vote, and make sure your friends are aware that 80% of Americans oppose the Citizens United decision, which unleashed unbridled corporate spending in elections.1

Thank you for taking action.


Chuck Schumer

National Call-In Days - Monday 26th –Wednesday 28th:

US National Call-In Days Through – Wednesday 28th (But plz call-in
House Legislators Tuesday if at all possible) Capitol Switchboard:
(202) 224-3121 Plz: Call Your Congressional Legislators and others in
your State or US at large at (202) 224-3121.

IN A NUTSHELL: PLZ Ask HOUSE legislators to Vote: 1) NO on Supplemental $33 Billion Funding for yet MORE War & 2) YES to House Resolution HCR 301 TO WITHDRAW US MILITARY FROM PAKISTAN.

ASK for your Legistors in House/Senate - Then ask for the likeliest Representatives/Senators in your State and beyond. BE sure to say you represent (number of adult residents in your family or household..UPS # of votes to defund war and related legislation)

AGAIN: Plz: Call Your Congressional Legislators and others in
your State or US at large at (202) 224-3121.

In SENATE sign our petition at Then call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to ensure your SENATORS support the DISCLOSE Act (S. 3295). (To vote with the Disclose Act would DIS-allow corporations (including foreign companies and GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS) to secretly spend millions of dollars for or against candidates for public office.

PLZ cut/paste above AND GET OUT THE WORD! Or SIMPLY refer your lists/contacts to TOP item for TUESDAY

A little more explanation below:

TODAY (NOW) ON THREE VOTES - two in the House and one in the Senate (If you get here in time & want to help change devastating US Policies which help keep the Oil Crusades & designs for ongoing Empire mentality going suggestions as follows). For each of these there are references to follow...


Pull U.S. Troops Out of Pakistan

The House is expected to debate and vote on Tuesday on a privileged resolution (HCR 301) introduced by Congressmen Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul to remove U.S. forces from Pakistan. The resolution directs the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove the United States Armed Forces from Pakistan. On this one we want to ask for Yes votes.

Call Congress (202) 224-3121.


Tuesday Vote Expected on War Escalation Funding

Here's where the hypocrisy hits the highway. On July 1st, 162 congress members voted to require a withdrawal plan and end date for the occupation of Afghanistan, and 100 voted to fund only withdrawal, no continuation of war, while 25 voted to simply stop dumping any money into this war.

Now all of them must vote yes or no, probably on Tuesday, on whether to fund a major escalation of the war in Afghanistan. URGENT NOTICE: this $33 billion is to add 30,000 troops plus contractors to the war.

...The House will likely now vote on the Senate version of the war escalation supplemental. (Could mean the unusual)straightforward vote in which yes means yes more war, and no means no.

Whether we block the bill or not, we will now be able to identify clearly and unambiguously the war supporters and war opponents....

Our message is simple:

Vote no on funding this escalation of war, regardless of whether it's a procedural vote, and regardless of any good measures attached to it. If you vote yes, plan on getting a different job in January.

...toll-free number to call your representative: 1-888-493-5443, or use the standard number (202) 224-3121.

THIRD: "Toothpaste" vote REMINDER just in from Senator Russ FIENGOLD:

The DISCLOSE Act is up for a crucial procedural vote tomorrow afternoon...

Please click here to sign our petition at

Then call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to ensure your SENATORS support the DISCLOSE Act (S. 3295).

If we don't pass the DISCLOSE Act, the Supreme Court's disastrous Citizens United decision will stand unchecked -- allowing corporations (including foreign companies and GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS) to secretly spend millions of dollars for or against candidates for public office.

So pick up the phone and let your Senators know that you're one of the over 25,000 citizens who have signed the petition. And make sure they're aware that 80% of Americans oppose the Citizens United decision, which unleashed unbridled corporate spending in elections.1

Thank you for taking action -- and urging my colleagues to do right by the American people tomorrow afternoon.


Russ Feingold
United States Senator

On Thurs, Apr 26, 2010, Sens. Patrick Leahy, Chuck Schumer, & Russ Feingold wrote "Vote for toothpaste":

...We are part of a group of senators fighting to rein in the increased influence of special interest money this decision will unleash and save our electoral process.

To combat the new, unregulated corporate influence over elections, we just unveiled the DISCLOSE Act -- because Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections.

But without your support, our legislation is never going to win the day -- we need to build support all around the country, and we need your help to do it.

...As President Obama has said, the Supreme Court has given "a green light to a new stampede of special interest money."

But this decision doesn't just affect elections. It has the potential to change the very way we live in America.

Think about it: When you buy toothpaste now, the money you spend can be used directly for television ads attacking people that you believe in without you even knowing...

We all have to get in this battle, and we all have to fight it from every angle.

...To rein in the new powers the Supreme Court has given corporations to spend unlimited funds to influence elections, we have come up with a package of reforms that should greatly limit the damage:

* Make CEOs and other leaders take responsibility for their ads by appearing on-camera to deliver the same "I approved this message" disclaimer that political candidates must make.
* Enhance funding disclosures so the American people can follow the money.
* Keep foreign countries and entities from determining the outcome of our elections.
* Alert shareholders and group members to where money goes.
* Keep taxpayer money from being spent on political ads.
* Keep special interests from drowning out the voices of the people.
* Make sure corporations can't "sponsor" a candidate.

...together, we can do this.


Chuck Schumer
U.S. Senator
Patrick Leahy
U.S. Senator
Russ Feingold
U.S. Senator

END of the THREE VOTES LIKELY SOON...regardless of outcome, DON'T QUIT on these and check out WHO VOTES FOR WHAT in US CONGRESS. Time is well-past for CITIZENS to take back the BEST our Nation may still have to offer her citizens and the world at large...which AIN'T WAR and Scheming Contractors!

REFERENCES HERE (I am providing URLS both easy to use by email, cut & paste or for easy live click on blogsite):


Video of Congressman KUCINICH DISCUSSING BOTH the first two WAR-RELATED votes described FOR THE HOUSE MENTIONED ABOVE CLICK here

SEE David Swanson and Dennis Kucinich who were on Lila Garrett's radio show on Monday.

ARCHIVES/resources from CLICK here

Resolutions passed at the National Peace Conference should now be posted or should be ASAP at CLICK here

Please help us inform you of activities in your town by logging in at or CLICK here

For Background on earlier Congressional voting on War Funding and various related items see or CLICK here

GO to or CLICK here for earlier posting here on No More Crusades: War funding is no longer automatic Tuesday, July 6, 2010. (Tom Hayden in The Nation). Reps. Barbara Lee, Jerrold Nadler, Maxine Waters and John Conyers or GO to item posted in Huff Post for July 22, 2010 | 04:55 PM (EST) THE SORROWS OF WAR Over 1000 American Troop Suicides By Tom Hayden American soldier suicides... or CLICK here


Sunday, July 25, 2010

NO on $33 Billion War Funding// YES to HCR # 301 (To pull US Troops from Pakistan)

PLZ ASK HOUSE LEGISLATORS TO VOTE NO ON THE $33 BILLION supplemental bill to escalate the war in Afghanistan.

PLZ ASK HOUSE LEGISLATORS TO VOTE YES ON TUESDAY TO HCR 301 to remove US forces from Pakistan. here

Finally a Vote on War Funding This Week

On the House calendar for this week is a vote on a $33 billion supplemental bill to escalate the war in Afghanistan. The Senate did not accept the House version (passed without a vote on July 1st). The House will likely now vote on the Senate version or something close to it. This will likely mean something QUITE UNUSUAL: a straightforward vote in which yes means yes more war, and no means no.

Whether we block the bill or not, we will now be able to identify clearly and unambiguously the war supporters and war opponents. They will need to be punished and rewarded while they're home for August and at the polls in November. If the majority of Democrats vote against the war funds, we will be able to point out that opposition from the President's own party. And the closer we come to defeating the bill the more we will have to build on as the peace movement joins with the labor and civil rights movements this fall.

Our message is simple:

Vote no on funding this escalation of war, regardless of whether it's a procedural vote, and regardless of any good measures attached to it.

FCNL (See Friends Committee for National Legislation for thorough updates on war-related issues) has a toll-free number to call your representative: 1-888-493-5443, or use the standard number (202) 224-3121.

Pull U.S. Troops Out of Pakistan

The House is expected to debate and vote on TUESDAY on a PRIVILEGED RESOLUTION(HCR 301) introduced by Congressmen Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul to remove U.S. forces from Pakistan. The resolution directs the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove the United States Armed Forces from Pakistan. On this one we want to ask for YES votes.

More info.

Call Congress (202) 224-3121.


Six Facts No War Supporter Knows

Video of Congressman Kucinich discussing both of the votes described above: here

David Swanson and Dennis Kucinich will be on Lila Garrett's radio show on Monday.

Get resources from here

What Happened in Albany, Cleveland, Las Vegas

...They can all be watched online here for those who missed them:
National Peace Conference
PDA Conference
Netroots Nation

Resolutions passed at the National Peace Conference will be posted ASAP at here

On August 28th the peace movement will join with the movements for jobs, economic justice, and civil rights to march in Detroit, Mich., and Washington, D.C., to launch campaigns for Jobs, Justice, and Peace that will build to a massive March on Washington on October 2nd.

Mark your calendars and get ready!


Please help us inform you of activities in your town by logging in at

Then click on "My account", on "Edit", and on "Personal Information," and type in your state and zip code.

You can subscribe to emailed reports by registering here

Friday, July 23, 2010

US National Assembly to End the US Wars & Occupations

Plz. Consider finding some ways to support this urgent and UNITED event! US National Assembly to End the US Wars & O

Maximizing US Calls to Representatives NOW: Ask for "NO" Vote

Sent by a UNITED number of US Peace/Justice groups nationwide - the text here comes from UFPJ United for Peace & Justice...

The Senate just passed the 2010 Supplemental Spending bill, taking out the education funding and other useful things the House had added,

This means the House will be voting again on the Supplemental maybe as early as Monday. UFPJ will be working with other national groups to maximize calls to Representatives asking for a "No" vote.

The issue is clear. Nine years into the war, the Administration still lacks clear goals, a coherent strategy or any "exit plan."

Three week ago, 162 members of the House supported an Amendment calling for a time-table for withdrawal. here There is no time-table and the administration seems more muddled than ever in explaining its intentions. We need quick and effective pressure from the grass-roots supporting members of Congress, who are willing to act responsibly by voting "No"on the war-funding.

Congressional Switchboard: 202-224-3121.

Any feedback on your calls, please send


David Swanson (frequent coordinator of daily action toward peace & justice) is the author of "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union" or CLICK here

Also click at here


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Protesting the US Mosque as Post Founding Fathers America

JULY 21, 2010 12:53 PM

Last week protestors poured into the streets of Murfreesboro, TN to voice their displeasure at a proposed new mosque just outside of the city in central Tennessee. Some of the protestors were very clear on why they were opposed to a mosque in their neighborhood. “We’re at war with these people,” said one woman. Local political figures likewise did not mince words. Lou Ann Zelenik, a congressional candidate said Muslims aimed to “fracture the moral and political foundation of Middle Tennessee."

In a television news report, local Channel 5 reported on a small Muslim community in a rural part of the state. The reporter seemed shocked to find the there were no signs of “anti-American activity” or “flag desecration”. Nor, he told us, were there “reports from neighbors complaining of unexplained gunshots or explosions.”

This animosity towards and suspicion of Islam is by no means restricted to Tennessee. Mosques across America are being attacked at a startling rate. In the past few months, mosques in Iowa, Florida, Georgia, New York, have been targeted with physical attack.

Over the last few years, I have visited to over 100 mosques throughout the country for field work research which resulted in the book Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam and a film by the same name by world renowned scholar Akbar Ahmed. We found that these occurrences were far too common. I would estimate that over half of the mosques we visited have been targeted in one way or the other—sometimes with aggressive actions like windows being broken or arson. Sometimes more passive actions are taken like complaints over parking issues, or threatening letters. Some mosques protect themselves by hanging no sign or image indicating that the building is even in use.

In Columbia, Tennessee, about 50 miles due west of Murfreesboro, last year we met Daoud Abudiab, director of the local Islamic Center, and heard the remarkable story of his community.

The community of 55 people had purchased the building and were proud of their adopted home in this idyllic small town. The mosque was the only one within a wide radius at the time and Muslims from other small towns in the area came to worship there. It was the center of all community life.

Abudiab was awakened by a call from the fire department one morning in early 2008. The town’s only mosque was ablaze. Three individuals, from a group called the Christian Identity Movement, had broken in and spray-painted several swastikas and the words “white power, we run the world”. They then torched the mosque with Molotov cocktails.

A small vigil in the town was organized by local Muslims but hardly any non-Muslims one attended. Daoud was disheartened. Since it was rare to hear a condemnation of the attack, Daoud’s children asked him if all Christians hated them. One of his children was mocked in school, called a terrorist and teased mercilessly. The victim of terrorism was himself, accused of being a terrorist.

Yet in the midst of the silence, one man stood up against the tide of anti-Islamic sentiment. Reverend Bill Williamson of the local Presbyterian Church offered money and a key to his church to the Muslim community. He brought Daoud and others from the Muslim community to a room that he had set aside for them to use for meetings and prayers. He even offered to remove any symbols or pictures which might offend.

Presumably, Williamson was drawing his compassion from Christ. Others without that same set of beliefs could look to further into history, to the namesake of the county directly west of Murfreesboro, Franklin. Benjamin Franklin so strongly believed in religious pluralism that he offered financial support to the construction of a large new hall in Philadelphia that would provide a pulpit to members of all faiths, “so that even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.” Franklin was not alone among the Founding Fathers in welcoming Muslims. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams, professed similar beliefs. Adams even placed the Prophet of Islam alongside Confucius and Socrates as one of the world’s great thinkers.

Islam was commonly seen as a violent religion during the founding fathers time as well. But they saw through the distortions and went to the original text. When they did, they saw a religion that they believed would make a great contribution to America and enrich their vision of freedom for all. To the founding fathers, this vision was the very essence of the America they had created.

Most Muslims see the resistance of the mosque developments in Tennessee, Manhattan and Brooklyn as a simple case of Islamophobia. The detractors, for their part, have cited more banal reasons for their opposition. Whatever the mechanics of the conflict, the principals could look to the founding fathers for inspiration and guidance. While they may not always provide easy or lucid answers for the issues we face today, on the freedom of religion and worship, they showed remarkable clarity.

Jonathan Hayden is a research assistant with The Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University’s School of International Service

Find Comments (and an earlier posting) here

Also for Discussion: How might even Thomas Jefferson's approach to Islam inform our US policies today? here

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Deficit Doves By Amy Goodman

U.S. Air Force / Master Sgt. Jeremy Lock


Deficit Doves

Posted on Jul 20, 2010

By Amy Goodman

Getting out of the red is the new black. Deficit hawks have swooped down on the U.S. budget. This week, they attacked unemployment benefits.

Ultimately, they are going after Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, the venerable programs once considered untouchable “third rails” of U.S. politics. These have been replaced by a new third rail, the defense budget. To really deal with annual deficits and a surging national debt, we are going to need to cut military spending.

We need some deficit doves.

First, let’s call it what it is: the war budget. The government formed the Department of War in 1789, and only in 1949 renamed it the Department of Defense. The war budget President Barack Obama recently sent to Congress, for fiscal year 2011, is $548.9 billion, with an additional $33 billion, which is the 2010 supplemental that is currently being debated in Congress, and $159.3 billion more “to support ongoing overseas contingency operations, including funds to execute the President’s new strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” Recall, “overseas contingency operations” is how the Obama administration rebranded the “global war on terror.”

This is just the publicly available war budget. There is also a “black budget,” kept secret, for clandestine operations that former Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair revealed was about $75 billion. As The Washington Post exposed this week, the post-9/11 security state has grown into a massive, unmanageable and largely privatized “enterprise.”

Over 2,000 for-profit firms and over 850,000 people with top-secret clearance are engaged in military and intelligence activities, ostensibly for the U.S. government, with seemingly little or no oversight.

Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., has submitted a bill, H.R. 5353, called “The War Is Making You Poor Act.” Grayson, with a few Republicans and a number of progressive Democratic co-sponsors, wants to force Commander in Chief Obama to run his two wars with “only” the $548.9 billion base budget. The $159.3 billion saved would be turned into a tax break, making the first $35,000 of income tax-free, and anything left over would be directed to paying down the national debt. The bill is in committee now and may generate genuine bipartisan support. Grayson, when introducing the bill, highlighted a fact worth repeating: The U.S. war budget is greater than the military spending of every other nation on Earth, combined.

Meanwhile, at the National Peace Conference to be held in Albany, N.Y., this weekend, people are targeting the military budget. Students are organizing around the connection between war expenditures and education budgets that are being slashed, sparking protests at campuses nationwide. Another effort, called “Bring Our War Dollars Home,” promotes action at the city council and statehouse level, along with grass-roots campaigns to pressure members of Congress to stop funding war.

The cost of the Iraq war was estimated by Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, with his colleague Linda Bilmes, at $3 trillion, calculating not only hard, current costs, but also the cost to society of caring for wounded veterans, and the long-term costs of having so many families disrupted by caring for their injured loved ones, or having a breadwinner killed in action. And that’s just Iraq. As of May, the monthly cost of the war in Afghanistan surpassed, for the first time, the cost of war in Iraq.

Stiglitz was one of the many economists who said the economic stimulus package (at $787 billion) was too small. He argues that deficit spending, when done wisely, creates long-term returns for an economy.

Conversely, he wrote recently, “Deficits to finance wars or give-aways to the financial sector ... impos[e] a burden on future generations.”

Economist Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research says President Obama’s Deficit Commission, formally the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, is a major cause for concern. The co-chairs are former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson and Democrat Erskine Bowles, who is on the board of Morgan Stanley, one of the bailed-out Wall Street firms. Baker told me: “Both are on record saying they want to cut Social Security. This should have people very, very worried. That isn’t a balanced commission.”

Cutting Social Security isn’t the answer. Cutting war spending, and bringing the troops home, is. This is the job for the deficit doves.

Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column.

Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 800 stations in North America. She is the author of “Breaking the Sound Barrier,” recently released in paperback and now a New York Times best-seller.

© 2010 Amy Goodman

Distributed by King Features Syndicate

U.S. Air Force / Master Sgt. Jeremy Lock
Truthdig is A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion. Editor, Robert Scheer. Publisher, Zuade Kaufman.
Copyright © 2010 Truthdig, L.L.C. All rights reserved.
Web site development by Hop Studios

Monday, July 19, 2010

Three US Christian activists from Witness Against Torture Visit Uyghur Muslims

AN OCEAN IDYLL and peace at last: Salahidin Abdulahat, left, and Khaleel Mamut, Uyghur Muslims freed from Guantánamo Bay last year swam in Bermuda on Sunday. Mr. Abdulahat said his first-ever ocean swim was "the happiest day of my life." Justin Maxim, NYT Photo Credit

Let's support (other) triple-victimized Uyghurs (notice that journalists and others differ in spelling of this name yet I'm using Uyghers because that's how it's spelled in some of the Human Rights sites on their behalf)

“One of the many things that has impressed me in our conversations with these men, whom the Bush administration repeatedly labeled as the ‘worst of the worst,’ is their gentleness and compassion. While these men fiercely criticize the rationalizations behind their detention, they have expressed NO resentment towards their captors, but rather have focused solely on the imperative to release the remaining Uighur detainees at Guantánamo.” Excerpt from Release below...

FIVE Uighurs remain in Guantánamo - Plz Support these double-victimized courageous Muslim men.

American Anti-Torture Activists Visit Former Guantánamo Prisoners in Bermuda

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, July 19, 2010

Contact: Matt Daloisio, 201-264-4424,
Luke Hansen, 605-407-2799,

New York City — Three Christian activists from Witness Against Torture traveled to Bermuda on Friday, July 16, 2010 to meet with four Uyghur men who were detained in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba for more than seven years.

(The Uyghur ethnic group primarily resides in western China)

The Bush administration conceded that the men are not “enemy combatants,” and in October 2008 a federal judge ordered their release. Eight months later, four Uyghurs were resettled in Bermuda. Other Uyghur detainees were resettled elsewhere while five Uyghurs remain in Guantánamo.

The purpose of the delegation to Bermuda is to build relationships with the Uyghurs, seek their counsel concerning further advocacy for both current and former Guantánamo prisoners, and to bring a message of atonement and reconciliation from the American people to the former prisoners. “In the United States, public discourse on Guantánamo is mainly informed by various perspectives from the military, politicians and the U.S. public,” says John Bambrick, a Chicago youth minister. “We
have come to Bermuda to seek the perspectives of men who have
experienced Guantánamo firsthand.”

“The Uyghur men in Bermuda, like us, are people of faith,” says Jeremy Kirk, a Ph.D. student in social ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. “We are practicing our Christian faith by seeking connection with our Muslim brothers, in whose detention and abuse we have participated as U.S. taxpayers and citizens.”

On Saturday, the three activists visited the Uyghurs’ apartment, shared a meal and swam in the ocean with the former prisoners, and swapped stories about family and religious faith. The Uyghur men shared some of their experiences of being in Guantánamo and discussed their gratitude for and challenges associated with resettlement. (They are very grateful to the Bermudan Government’s support and hospitality.) On Sunday, the activists will speak with the Uyghurs in further detail about their experiences at Guantánamo and the conditions currently faced by the men
who remain in detention. Luke Hansen, who is studying to become a Jesuit priest, states, “One of the many things that has impressed me in our conversations with these men, whom the Bush administration repeatedly labeled as the ‘worst of the worst,’ is their gentleness and compassion. While these men fiercely criticize the rationalizations behind their detention, they have expressed no resentment towards their captors, but rather have focused solely on the imperative to release the remaining Uyghur detainees at Guantánamo.”

The delegation to Bermuda included:

John Bambrick, 31, works as a Catholic youth minister in Chicago and is a member of the White Rose Catholic Worker. He earned his B.A. at Marquette University in 2001 and his M.A. in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University Chicago in 2008.

Luke Hansen, S.J., 28, is part of the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). In May, Luke earned an M.A. at Loyola University Chicago. His thesis is titled, “Countering Terrorism with Justice: A Catholic Response to Policies of Indefinite Detention in the Fight Against Terrorism.”

Jeremy Kirk, 32, is a Ph.D. student in social ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where he studies interfaith response to crisis and liberation theology. He has worked as an organizer with various environmental and human rights groups.

All three are members of Witness Against Torture, a grassroots organization that formed in December 2005

By the way, the group releasing this report along with sister groups - Creative Voices for Peace and Christian Peacemakers - have been pioneers among US and world-wide peace activists in seeking attention for and the ending of use of DRONES in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. SEE item just in today "Drones Lend Dangerous Silence to War"
NOTE: What about "sharing this heart-warming and current "Peace Piece" with inter-faith groups and others to show how the "One Heart of Us All" might work in unison world-wide to provide justice, peace and a safe place to be for many others already cleared detainees/prisoners but nowhere to go and petition for justice for others still behind bars?

For more updates and history GO to Uyghurs in Gitmo at the UHRP site here and see both Cage Prisoners dot com and Andy Worthington dot co dot uk for plenty more details.

Current mainstream news report here

Earlier item at Dawn dot com here AP" After eight years in U.S. military custody and were resettled in Bermuda. The former detainees' attorneys say the men were picked up by mistake in Pakistan and should never have been kept in the detention facility in Cuba."

The four freed Uyghurs toured the historic district of St. George in Bermuda on a Sunday soon after arrival on the island and had ice cream. They have been greeted with hospitality by the island's residents. Justin Maxim photographer NYT Read More from this early news report and more photos early after the Uyghers arrival GO here

"Early (in their residency) on this idyll island, the Uyqhurs praised Bermuda for showing courage in the face of potential Chinese pressures that, in their view, powerful European countries had failed to muster. The men were among a larger group of Uyghurs (pronounced WEE-gers) who had fled what they called Chinese persecution of Muslims in western China and spent part of 2001 in a Uighur camp in Afghanistan. They fled, apparently unarmed, when the Americans bombed the camp, and were later turned in to the authorities by Pakistani villagers in return for an American bounty." NYT/AP

Years into their captivity, American officials concluded that the men should not be considered enemy combatants. Although a court ordered their release, it was delayed by the inability to find a host country and a court reversal that prevented their move to American soil." Let's change that by encouraging communities world-wide to accept cleared detainees. Plz write/petition the US Government to release the other four Uyghurs.

At least three Human Rights Groups applauded Bermuda's hospitality to the four Uyghers here

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui Case: Concern for Qazi Anwar's Safety

Pak Supreme Court Lawyer supporting Dr. Aafia receives threats
Sunday, 18 July 2010 10:18

July 16, 2010


ISLAMABAD: President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), Qazi Anwar, has said that he is receiving threats from the government.

“A message has been delivered to my nephew in the United States that I am on the hit list of the government,” he told newsmen at a press conference along with Dr. Fauzia Siddiqi Friday. He said he would definitely attend the lawyer’s convention in Gujrat on Saturday if he survived.

The SCBA President said the he would announce a schedule to hold protests against Dr Aafia’s detention in US. The lawyers, he said, would start a nation-wide protest movement if the government did not take concrete measures to secure Aafia’s release.

UPDATED: Darkness in America: Lynne Stewart's Resentencing

Photo from Justice for Lynne Stewart

Just added July 18-19 2010: Info for Media and Address for those wishing to send cards/letters to Lynne or to call her husband/lawyer:


Another Eye Witness here

Read earlier article by Dr. Marjorie Cohn of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law here

Watch for more items to be added...

Gets 10 years imprisonment for doing her job honorably, ethically.
by Stephen Lendman
Friday, 16 July 2010

Forgotten were Judge Koeltl's October 2006 comments, calling Lynne's character "extraordinary," saying she was "a credit to her profession," and that a long imprisonment would be "an unreasonable result."

Describing Lynne Stewart, one of this writer's previous articles said the following:

"She worked selfishly, tirelessly, and heroically for 30 years as a human rights champion, defending America's poor, underprivileged, and unwanted - people never afforded due process and judicial fairness without an advocate like her. She knew the risks, yet took them courageously until bogusly indicted on April 9, 2002 for:

* "conspiring to defraud the United States;
* conspiring to provide and conceal material support to terrorist activity;
* providing and concealing material support to terrorist activity; and
* two counts of making false statements."

Detailed information can be gotten from this writer's previous articles:

* Lynne Stewart's Crime of Courage, Honor and Resisting Tyranny
* Lynne Stewart's Long Struggle for Justice
* Lynne Stewart: Heroic Human Rights Lawyer Jailed
* Updating Lynne Stewart's "Love Struggle"
* Updating Lynne Stewart's "Love Struggle:" Part II

A brief timeline was as follows:

* indicted on April 9, 2002;
* on February 10, 2005, convicted on all counts;
* on October, 17, 2006, sentenced to 28 months;
* on November 17, 2009, a US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit three-judge panel upheld the conviction, shamelessly accusing Lynne of "knowingly and willfully making false statements," redirecting her case to District Court Judge John Koeltl for resentencing, instructing him to consider enhancements for terrorism, perjury, and abuse of her position as a lawyer - an outrageous mandate intimidating Koeltl to comply;

* on November 19, 2009, Stewart jailed was at MCC-NY, 150 Park Row, New York, NY; and
* on July 15, 2010, Stewart resentenced to 10 years imprisonment for doing her job honorably, ethically, and admirably with distinction for 30 years.

New York Times writer John Eligon headlined, "Sentence Is Sharply Increased for Lawyer Convicted of Aiding Terror," saying:

After her sentence, a "collective gasp went up from (her) supporters, who packed the broad, high-ceilinged courtroom....followed by a few shrieks and sobs; some held their hands over their mouths."

Allowed to speak, Lynne said:

"I'm somewhat stunned, Judge, by the swift change in my outlook. We will continue to struggle on to take all available options to do what we need to do to change this. I feel like I let a lot of my good people down," after which supporters shouted, "We love you!"

Stewart added:

"Over the last eight months, prison has diminished me. Daily, I confront the prospect of death."

So does her husband, Ralph Poynter, calling it "a death sentence," - a shocking miscarriage of justice, symbolizing America's descent to hell, its moral remnants lost, its democracy a convenient illusion, its despotic reality ruthless, corrupted, brutish and merciless, favoring power over populism under a Constitution political philosopher Sheldon Wolin describes as "conscripted to serve as (its) apprentice rather than its conscience."

On July 16, New York Law Journal's Mark Hamblett headlined, "Lynne Stewart Gets a New 10-Year Prison Sentence," saying:

Koeltl imposed a longer sentence, saying "comments by Stewart in 2006, including a statement in a television interview that she would do 'it' again and would not 'do anything differently' influenced his decision....indicat(ing) the original sentence 'was not sufficient' to reflect the goals of sentencing guidelines."

Forgotten were Koeltl's October 2006 comments, calling Lynne's character "extraordinary," saying she was "a credit to her profession," and that a long imprisonment would be "an unreasonable result," citing "the somewhat atypical nature of her case (and) lack of evidence that any victim was harmed...."

Calling terrorism enhancement "dramatically unreasonable (because it grossly) overstate(d) the seriousness of (her) conduct (and would equate her with) repeat felony offenders for the most serious offenses including murder and drug trafficking."

He did consider Stewart's age (70), her health (poor), her distinguished career representing society's disadvantaged and unwanted, and the unlikelihood she'd commit another "crime."

"But (he) clearly got the message from the 2nd Circuit," and complied, his own career perhaps on the line otherwise.
The American Bar Association's Model Code of Judicial Conduct

Updated in February 2007, its preamble calls for:

* "An independent, fair and impartial judiciary," calling it "indispensable to our system of justice, (composed of) men and women of integrity;
* Judges all times (ensure) the greatest possible public confidence in their independence, impartiality, integrity, and competence;
* The Model Code....establishes standards (of) ethical conduct, (including) overarching principles of judicial ethics (and fairness), consistent with constitutional requirements, statutes, other court rules, and decisional law, and with due regard for all relevant circumstances;" above all, the truth, not a corrupted prosecutorial version of it, the kind sending innocent people to prison, including society's best, none better than Lynne.

Mark the date - July 15, 2010, a day of infamy, activist/writer Elaine Brower saying "The Veil is Lifted, The Gloves Are off," Stewart's lynching showing America's true face - cruel, unfair, lawless and debauched, a nation no longer fit to live in.
A Final Note

Jeff Mackler, West Coast Director of the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee, reports she'll "serve her sentence in Danbury, Connecticut's minimum security prison....a brilliant and dedicated fighter sacrificed on the altar of an intolerant class-biased system of repression and war."

A giant among us, she won't be forgotten, a Supreme Court appeal expected, despite little chance for compassion or judicial fairness, qualities absent in the Roberts court.

Stephen Lendman credit to his site

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at

Also visit his blog site at - GO here and listen to The Global Research News Hour on Mondays from 11AM to 1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national topics. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.