Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ending Violence: Ways we can ALL make a difference now!

A Way to Stop the Violence
An OpEd by David Swanson on how we can end the scourge of violence. Please read, share, and ask newspapers to publish:
An action you can take in 20 seconds to push for serious gun control in the United States:
A great way to give your friends and loved ones great things to talk with you about:
Choose any book below and have i t signed by the author to you or to a person you plan to give it to.  It will be signed and mailed to you right away.
When you donate $20 or more at using credit card or paypal, or by check to the address below, just indicate which book you'd like, where to send it, and how to inscribe it.  For $40 pick two books.  For $50 pick three.  For $60 pick four! For $70 pick five!! For $100 pick ten!!
Send questions to

Tube World (2012) -- the brand new children's book made even more timely by Hurricane Sandy.  It's received an enthusiastic initial response.
The Military Industrial Complex at 50 (2012) -- the most comprehensive collection available explaining what the military industrial complex is, where it comes from, what damage it does, what further destruction it threatens, and what can be done and is being done to chart a different course.
When the World Outlawed War (2011) -- named by Ralph Nader as one of the six books everyone should read.  A key book to understanding the tradition of Armistice Day, which is fast approaching.
War Is A Lie (2010) -- widely praised best-selling classic. "There are three insightful books I've read that explain how and why no good can come of the current U.S. reliance on military force and war in seeking its desired 'Pax Americana': War Is A Racket by General Smedley Butler; War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning by Chr is Hedges, and War Is A Lie by David Swanson." — Coleen Rowley, former FBI special agent, whistleblower, and Time magazine person of the year.
Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union (2009) -- "There have now been many books written which chronicle the imperial, lawless presidency of the Bush era, but Swanson’s superb new book -- Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union -- is one of the very few to examine how we can recover from it and reverse its pernicious trends." --Glenn Greenwald
You'll save us all time and trees if you use a credit card or paypal, but you can also send a check to
David Swanson
707 Gillespie Ave
Charlottesville VA 22902 
Also go to the following sites to find out more ways:
and be sure to read & add to the comments

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Learning a nonviolent lifestyle in Kabul by John Dear (Christian Peacemaker)

Older Kabul man smelling a flower

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has nominated John Dear for the Nobel Peace Prize.

 |  t
...the following diary notes are being sent from Kabul, Afghanistan, where we have limited electrical power and internet connection.  I offer them to share my heartbreaking, extraordinary experience so far in war-torn Afghanistan.

Dec. 3: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The flight from Atlanta to Dubai lasted almost 14 hours, and I'm exhausted but excited to be going to Kabul to meet the Afghan Peace Volunteers, a diverse community of students ages 15 to 27 who practice peace and nonviolence. I made it through customs without any trouble, collected my luggage, changed some money and caught a taxicab across Dubai to the other terminal, where I now have an eight-hour wait for my 4:20 a.m. flight to Kabul. In the distance, I see the famous skyscrapers of this wealthy city, a kind of Mid-East Las Vegas and oil center. But my thoughts are set on impoverished, war-torn Afghanistan and the hope of its peacemaking youth who invited me to visit them.
Dec. 4: Kabul
We set off in the dark over the resorts and the sea toward the unknown. I was wide awake and excited, even though I hardly slept for two days. At 6 a.m., orange light appeared along the horizon. Then all of a sudden, a giant ball of bright orange light popped up, shedding light below over hundreds of miles of majestic mountains.
Sunrise over Afghanistan! The enormous mountains went on forever, and we flew for almost an hour before the small valley of Kabul appeared below. So my first impression of Afghanistan was staggering, majestic beauty, the likes of which I've never seen. Five hundred miles of the Alps. Snow-covered mountains as far as the eye can see.
I immediately thought of Jesus' commandment, "Love your enemies," which has been so much on my mind and heart these last few months as I've prepared for this trip. There, he connects love for enemies with the sunrise: "Love your enemies, then you will be sons and daughters of your heavenly God who makes the sun rise on the good and the bad." What a consolation!
I thought, too, of Gandhi's declaration: "A nonviolent person sees the whole world as a family, and so he fears no one and no one fears him." I want to embody that Gandhian spirit of nonviolence on this trip, to see everyone I meet as my very sister and brother.
I would like to look at Kabul and the Afghan people through the eyes of the God of peace, the eyes of the nonviolent Jesus, with the vision of love. As the plane approached, I felt only love for these suffering people, who are loved unconditionally, infinitely, nonviolently by the God of peace. What a waste that we live in fear and hatred of one another, that we allow terror, war, drones, greed and poverty to continue, that we don't end this global violence, turn from centuries of war, institutionalize justice, equality and nonviolent conflict resolution, and live together in peace.
Lonely Planet ranks Afghanistan 173 out of 178 nations in terms of wealth, marking it one of the poorest nations on earth. It is also considered the most corrupt nation on earth and has the second-highest infant mortality rate. A recent U.N. report states that chronic malnourishment in Afghanistan is now on par with the worst places in Africa. There are about 31 million people in Afghanistan, and 68 percent of them are under 25.
Five million people live in Kabul. From the air, it looks like a city of low brown buildings surrounded by brown walls and brown roads with no trees and no water. But as the plane approached the runway, the towering mountains around us disappeared, and we entered a heavy yellow/brown layer of pollution. Kabul, one of the poorest places on the planet, is also one of the most polluted. One can barely breathe here, another legacy of war.
I made it through customs again, caught a bus out of the airport, and was met by the smiling faces of the young Peace Volunteers and, of course, Hakim, the charismatic 43-year-old medical doctor who is the friend and mentor of the Afghan Peace Volunteers and one of the world's great peacemakers.
We piled into a cab and took off across the city. What a hair-raising experience! Thousands of cars speeding at 65 mph. No lights, no stop signs, and no rules. Everyone yelling and speeding and cutting in front of one another. And children walking right through it all!
Sure enough, someone cut in front of our cab. Our driver exploded in rage and took off after him through the sea of speeding cars. Suddenly, I was in "The Bourne Supremacy." They sped next to each other, yelled and grimaced-- and then, as if on cue, they both turned their cars right into one another and -- crash! We smashed into the other car. The left side-view mirror was torn off, and the whole left side of the cab was damaged. But we were hit harder, so the taxi lurched forward and hit a bike, throwing the biker off into the air, and then ran over the bike. We stopped, everyone yelled at each other, the biker got up, shook off the dust, picked up his flattened bike, then everyone took off again into the sea of angry traffic.
It was then, as everyone caught their breath and recovered from the shock, that Hakim turned to me and said with a smile, "Welcome to Afghanistan!"

Read rest of Part I at the original site:

Why I am Going to Afghanistan

Other items on & or by John Dear:

From Afghanistan people: We do not want war 

Dear on Drones

Pax Christi

John Dear's New Book: "Lazarus, Come Forth!" John Dear's ground-breaking new book, "Lazarus Come Forth!," explores the story of the raising of Lazarus in the Gospel of John, chapter 11, and suggests that Lazarus represents "humanity" stuck in the culture of death, and that Jesus represents "the God of life" calling humanity out of the tombs, out of the culture of violence and war, into "the new life of resurrection peace." This book invites us to carry on Jesus' liberating work by obeying his commandments--to take away the stone that keeps us trapped in our violent culture of war, to call each other out of the tombs, to unbind one another and to set each other free to live in peace and nonviolence. 

John Dear S.J. is a Jesuit Priest, Peace Activist, Organizer, Lecturer, Retreat leader, and author/editor of 28 books on peace and nonviolence, including Living Peace, published by Doubleday. 

Wounded Afghan Children

The two photos above can be found:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Reflections on Empires, War and History...

For photo credit see below *

I'm reading (and listening on tape to) a book called "Birds Without Wings" by Louis De Bernieres.

The following is quite an engaging (and an historical, philisophical) interview with the author.

Surprisingly, I like the interviewer's comments as well as those by De Bernieres.  Here's an excerpt:

“ wrote about empires, war and history...

Where does it all begin? History has no beginnings, for everything that happens becomes the cause or pretext for what occurs afterwards and this chain of cause and pretext stretches back to the Paleolithic age.

When the first Cain of one tribe murdered the first Abel of another.

All war is fratricide, and therefore there is an infinite chain of blame that winds its circuitous route back and forth across the path and under the feet of every people and every nation, so that a people who are the victim of one time become the victimizers a generation later, and newly liberated nations resort immediately to the means of their former oppressors.

The triple contagions of nationalism, utopianism, and religious absolutism effervesce together into an acid that corrodes the moral metal of a race, and shamelessly and even proudly performs deeds that it would deem vile if they were done by another.” And these themes are constantly reiterated in the book, nobody is innocent, no one is pure, or totally good.You get these great big ideas which sound terribly noble and even patriotic but which actually produce a fantastic amount of evil. That’s what I hated. I hate it when people do evil things in the name of big ideas.

LdB: And nobody is really bad either.

Find the full interview  GO here:

Below find other references for the sake of reflection on these warring/crusader themes.  You will find other such items on this blogsite.

(I am sharing some items of which I need more study & of which I have no opinion at this time -- so my disqualify that I fully support these items yet record them for this blog's attempt to help create a little more mindfulness around the wars still going on which appear to be disguised attempts at fanning crusader sort of flames.)

The Crusade Mentality:

Historiography of the Crusades (leaving these easier (I hope) to send on:

The Taking of Jerusalem:


What are the true facts about Saladin after his victory?
* Although what we see today in Palestine/Israel is not exactly a crusade of the same sort as those in history, there is still here some remarkable food for thought which relates to earlier times.

* Find the photo I posted above here: -- along with the interesting new research mentioned in this article.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Francis A. Boyle on Palestine and International Law...

Palestine at the UN/ A Legal Intifadah/ Francis Boyle

Professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law and author of Palestine, Palestinians, and International Law,
Francis A. Boyle said today: "This can be the start of a 'Legal Intifadah' by Palestine against Israel:

1. "Palestine can join the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court and file a Complaint with the ICC against the illegal settlements and settlers, who are committing war crimes;

2. "Palestine can join the Statute for the International Court of Justice, sue Israel at the World Court, and break the illegal siege of Gaza;

3. "Palestine can join the Law of the Sea Convention and get its fair share of the enormous gas fields lying off the coast of Gaza, thus becoming economically self-sufficient;

4. "Palestine can become a High Contracting Party to the Four Geneva Conventions [this deals with the laws of war];

5. "Palestine can join the International Civil Aviation Organization and gain sovereign, legal control over its own airspace;

6. "Palestine can join the International Telecommunications Union and gain sovereign legal control over its own airwaves, phone lines, bandwidths."
For Table of Contents and moreinformation on this title:
ISBN: 0932863-93-0 / 978-0-932863-93-5
$14.95 / 123 pp. / 2011

For Table of Contents and more information on this title:

For the past three decades, Francis A. Boyle has
provided the leadership of the Palestinian people with advice, counsel, and representation at all stages of the Middle East Peace Process.

View other Clarity Press titles on the Middle East



FRANCIS A. BOYLE is a leading American expert in international law. He was responsible for drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, the American implementing legislation for the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. He served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International (1988-1992), and represented Bosnia-Herzegovina at the World Court. He served as legal adviser to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East peace negotiations from 1991 to 1993.

In 2007, he delivered the Bertrand Russell Peace Lectures. Professor Boyle teaches international law at the University of Illinois, Champaign and is author of, inter alia, The Future of International Law and American Foreign Policy, Foundations of World Order, The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence,Palestine, Palestinians and International Law, Destroying World Order, Biowarfare and Terrorism, Tackling America's Toughest Problems, and The Tamil Genocide by Sri Lanka.

He holds a Doctor of Law Magna Cum Laude as well as a Ph.D. in Political Science, both from Harvard University.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

GAZA: Huge Loss for a BBC Arabic Correspondent

Jihad Misharawi carries his son’s body at a Gaza hospital. (AP)

Yahoo News
Jihad Misharawi, a BBC Arabic correspondent who lives in Gaza, tragically became part of the story he's been covering on Wednesday, when an Israeli airstrike killed his 11-month-old son.

A chilling photo showing Misharawi carrying his son's body through al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City was published by the Associated Press and printed on the front page of Thursday's Washington Post.

According to Paul Danahar, the BBC's Middle East bureau chief, Misharawi's sister-in-law was also killed in the the airstrike that hit his home in Gaza. Misharawi's brother was also seriously wounded, Danahar said.

"This is a particularly difficult moment for the whole bureau in Gaza," BBC World editor Jon Williams wrote in a memo to colleagues. "We're fortunate to have such a committed and courageous team there. It's a sobering reminder of the challenges facing many of our colleagues."

At least 10 Palestinians, including Hamas military chief Ahmed al-Jabari, were killed during the Israeli airstrikes on Wednesday, Palestinians officials said.

Israel launched the operation targeting militants in response to successive days of rocket fire coming out of Gaza. Hamas, meanwhile, warned Jabari's assassination "had opened the gates of hell."

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Important Updates on Gaza (Beit Sahour)

Be sure to notice the qualifiers & concerns about the Hamas securities rights abuses below...see that all the Palestinian issues are not based on Islam while some certainly are...

I am leaving the links as they are for easier cut/paste/sending this post on (plz do!)


Post blogged at

Today, Jewish settlers came to Beit Sahour to look over the area they want to build the new settlement/colony on. Last night, settlers tried to burn a Palestinian family home in Tequa. This week, Israeli ministers give speeches that says they support new settlements and expanding existing colonial settlements. The Jewish state's finance minister even admitted doubling the financial support for these settlements built on stolen native Palestinian lands. The last few days there was an escalation of the Israeli bombing raids in Gaza.

US-made airplanes, paid for by US taxpayers, and painted with the star of David, were used to kill several Palestinian civilians and at least two Palestinian militants (extrajudicial assassinations).

Israeli occupation forces are threatening more strikes and
more colonialism. Many Palestinians were relieved to see Obama win the US presidency and some 80% of Arab Americans voted for him. But Obama said nothing about these atrocities since his election.

The US position is what it is and will change only when more Americans are made aware of the Zionist damage to US public and economic interests.

The Israeli position is also predictable until more Israelis can transcend their brainwashing. What is less understandable and more disturbing is that we still hear the same rhetoric from the two "Palestinian authorities" which have no authorities and whose terms in office expired nearly three years ago: Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank. Some "leaders" of these factions reserve their most bitter verbal and even physical attacks against the other faction or anyone who might question the status quo.

Hamas "security" beat women in Gaza protesting for unity and Fatah
"security" regularly arrest and imprison Hamas activists in the West Bank or even normal ordinary citizens who they suspect are not agreeing to their policies. This included one of my own students who missed important lectures as he was being questioned by fellow Palestinians.

Absent a reasonably responsible leadership that puts the Palestinian cause ahead of factional and financial interests, this leaves most Palestinians desperate and frustrated. Decent people are in all Palestinian factions but they are afraid to speak out within their own faction. But then again, I say the Palestinians need to stop looking for salvation from current leaders, from Obama, from the Arab Spring or from anyone else.

The 1936 uprising started when the young people took to the streets despite the bickering Nashashibis vs Husseinis of that era. It is time to do what young people have always done: depend on themselves unencumbered by the baggage carried by the older generation. I see this spirit in the young when I browse facebook pages in Palestine. We need to only put our own necks out and also help our children show courage to liberate us all from the corruption that has become like an illness spread among families and among factions. History will not be kind to those of us who join the corruption nor will it be kind to those who are apathetic and sit and wait.

*Relevant links for today:*

Kairos Palestine: Christians of the Holy Land ask you to act this

What Zionism means to Uri Zakheim

Israel is responsible for "price tag" attacks, not just a few settler
extremists Philip Bato

Israel Doubles West Bank Settlements Budget

Palestinian Fighter killed In Gaza, Seven Palestinians Killed Since
Saturday Evening

The Rothschild family wealth was critical in the formation of Israel.
Money still directs interests of wealth Zionist leaders who profit while poor Israelis and millions of Palestinians suffer. For a background on the family, see

Still having "joyful participation in the worries of this world" and
inviting you to come visit us in Bethlehem, the birthplace of the prince of peace

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
HumanRights newsletter
This message was sent to To unsubscribe, visit:

By sheepgamer1, Uri Zackhem| 2 videos

Watch All

Monday, November 12, 2012

On US Armistice Day 2012, let's remember Rumi's timeless teaching

Let us seek the peace with which this poet/teacher gifted the world...

"Rumi was born to native Persian speaking parents,[17][18][19] likely in the village of Wakhsh,[2] a small town located at the river Wakhsh in Persia (in what is now Tajikistan). Wakhsh belonged to the larger province of Balkh (parts of now modern Afghanistan and Tajikistan), and in the year Rumi was born, his father was an appointed scholar there."

Perhaps it's not of naught that Rumi once lived in Afghanistan and we find ourselves today looking at the ways of men at war vs those of peace in the backdrop of such a poet as this...

"In the Mevlevi tradition, samāʿ represents a mystical journey of spiritual ascent through mind and love to the Perfect One. In this journey, the seeker symbolically turns towards the truth, grows through love, abandons the ego, finds the truth and arrives at the Perfect.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
― Rumi

'The seeker then returns from this spiritual journey, with greater maturity, to love and to be of service to the whole of creation without discrimination with regard to beliefs, races, classes and nations.In other verses in the Masnavi, Rumi describes in detail the universal message of love:The lover’s cause is separate from all other causes Love is the astrolabe of God's mysteries."

Many resources are available on similar texts about/from Rumi yet today I am using this for the excerpts above due to the pertinent references to Afghanistan here and quotes here

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
― Rumi

Here is another recent expression of Rumi's message " clamour and rancour and without malice and bitterness. It was sweet and pure as if gushing forth from a mountain spring; and it was love of a man mellowed with spiritual contemplation; and of a man who had experienced vagaries of life and tasted the bitterness of exile. So, it was not exclusive, disdainful and full of spite for others.

'Recurring interminably in Rumi’s poetry, Muhammad’s path has been held as an emblem of spiritual journey. Maulana has described it as a path that could illuminate the ultimate reality of Allah.

'Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had to weed away nettles of murderous vendettas, inequity, pride and avarice to set the contours of a new way leading to Allah. Breaking apart the linear and biologically determined ties between parents and children, he created community bonds on the basis of compassion, justice, tolerance and eschewal of worldly desires. Prophet’s (pbuh) whole life was a shining emblem of this righteous path.

'Persecuted by rich, powerful Quraish cheftains, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) found refuge in Medina and established a confederate of different communities on the principles of mutual respect and tolerance. At the time of the Prophet’s (pbuh) victorious march into Mecca, not a single drop of blood was shed, no house was set ablaze and no one was forced to convert to Islam.

'A year later, during Hajj pilgrimage, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) had the realisation that his earthly existence was nearing an end, which would mark a new beginning and terminate one part of history. He also had the realisation that history had the tendency to repeat itself in cycles and cruelty of past could recur. So, in his last sermon, he enjoined;

“Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you,” and “Do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.”

'Rumi understood the necessity of a righteous path to live a purposeful and dignified life. Maulana and his family had experienced displacement and exile and journeyed through unfamiliar lands to reach their final destination in Konya.

'He also understood that despite the impermanence, uncertainty and mortality inherent in human life, it had to be lived according to a divine plan...

'The verses of Maulana a way of inner reality and the other of outer form; one is a way of clemency and the other of mercilessness; and one is a way of inclusion and the other of exclusion. Finally, the rhythm of Maulana’s verses subdued ...inner clamour...

"Come, come whoever you are.

Come even though you have,

Broken your vows a thousand times,

Come, and come yet again,

Ours is not a caravan of despair." '

Find the above here

Find related references here -- be sure to see the top footnote "Can Rumi Save us Now?" from "The San Francisco Chronicle" here ;

Along the same lines, plz refer to Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010): "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear is by suspicion, but he who fears is not grown up in love." 1 John

A crazy "no more crusades" story or what?

I have not much idea yet what all this means...yet I like some of the humor & want to post it here for a record to read much more thoroughly later...

...if for no other reason than that it refers to "no more crusades" sort of story...

GO here

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Reaping what we sow?

Military Stats Reveal Epicenter of U.S. Drone War

By Noah ShachtmanEmail Author
November 9, 2012 |
4:00 am |

Forget Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and all the other secret little warzones. The real center of the U.S. drone campaign is in plain sight — on the hot and open battlefield of Afghanistan.

The American military has launched 333 drone strikes this year in Afghanistan. That’s not only the highest total ever, according to U.S. Air Force statistics. It’s essentially the same number of robotic attacks in Pakistan since the CIA-led campaign there began nearly eight years ago. In the last 30 days, there have been three reported strikes in Yemen. In Afghanistan, that’s just an average day’s worth of remotely piloted attacks. And the increased strikes come as the rest of the war in Afghanistan is slowing down.

The secret drone campaigns have drawn the most scrutiny because of the legal, geopolitical, and ethical questions they raise. But it’s worth remembering that the rise of the flying robots is largely occurring in the open, on an acknowledged battlefield where the targets are largely unquestioned and the attending issues aren’t nearly as fraught.

“The difference between the Afghan operation and the ones operations in Pakistan and elsewhere come down to the fundamental differences between open military campaigns and covert campaigns run by the intelligence community. It shapes everything from the level of transparency to the command and control to the rules of engagements to the process and consequences if an air strike goes wrong,” e-mails Peter W. Singer, who runs the Brookings Institution’s 21st Century Defense Initiative. (Full disclosure: I have a non-resident fellowship there.) “This is why the military side has been far less controversial, and thus why many have pushed for it to play a greater role as the strikes slowly morphed from isolated, covert events into a regularized air war.”

The military has 61 Predator and Reaper “combat air patrols,” each with three or four robotic planes. The CIA’s inventory is believed to be just a fraction of that: 30 to 35 drones total, although there is thought to be some overlap between the military and intelligence agency fleets. The Washington Post reported last month that the CIA is looking for another 10 drones as the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) become more and more central to the agency’s worldwide counterterror campaign.

In Pakistan, those drones are flown with a wink and a nod, to avoid the perception of violating national sovereignty. In Yemen, the robots go after men just because they fit a profile of what the U.S. believes a terrorist to be. In both countries, people are considered legitimate targets if they happen to be male and young and in the wrong place at the wrong time. The White House keeps a “matrix” on who merits robotic death. Congress (outside of the intelligence committees) largely learns about the programs through the papers.

None of these statements is true about the drone war in Afghanistan, where strikes are ordered by a local commander, overseen by military lawyers, conducted with the (sometimes reluctant) blessing of the Kabul government, and used almost entirely to help troops under fire. The UAVs aren’t flown to dodge issues of sovereignty or to avoid traditional military assets. They’re used because they work better — staying in the sky longer than traditional aircraft and employing more advanced sensors to make sure the targets they hit are legit.

Find plenty of stats, etc. here

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

EVERY EGG MATTERS: No more bloody crusades...HOWEVER....

See High Above

by Malena Morling

You step outside
into the early morning
in autumn—

And at the exact same instant
a scrap of paper
floats over—

High in the blue
blustery library
of the air—

You look up
and you see it rushing
and lifting

even higher
into the transparent layers
of the sky—

And at once,
you know
it is a message—

A message
that there is no message.
The scrap of paper

is just a scrap of paper!
It is weightless
and free—

The world is just
the world—
And you are exactly

who you are—
Also floating now
high inside

the invisible
balloon of
another moment.


HEY everyone, RIGHT after a friend of mine sent me the above poem,

This item on edible foods showed up...Not exactly a scrap of paper with a message, the sender said, "This is a truly inspiring (and done with humor) 13-min TED talk by Pam Warhurst regarding the empowerment of people and small actions that can charge the world" -- and a great educational opportunity here

Imagine if the people added Sociocracy (aka Dynamic Self Governance) to optimize the collaboration and kindness. Also, imagine if after all the devastation of hurricane Sandy, that communities rebuild with these ideas.

love and blessings,
SO, RIGHT AFTER THESE BLOODY ELECTIONS, there are some really positive messages flowing in...maybe not for any of us to exactly copy...however...don't you feel this energy that may help us all? If nothing else, what a relief to imagine what YOU & I and all our little & big groups could do with a little imagination...


A few more related links...plz add your own suggestions in the comments below...

More Edible Gardens/Ideas here here

I found the image from a boat at this site via Teresa's blogsite: "Teresa Carey's Sailing Simplicity and the Pursuit of Happiness Blog

... and the other photo was taken in Winnipeg Oct 2012 found here

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh's recent letter (Palestinian Peace Work)

Returning from the USA (letter just out 1 November, 2012)

Our hearts and minds are with the people in the Eastern USA (including many friends) as they recover from the devastation of hurricane Sandy. I just returned to Palestine after a trip to the USA though not to the affected areas. I gave 15 talks in 8 days (links to videos of two of these talks below) and engaged in a number of informal and formal meetings that could help bring joint collaborative efforts between Palestinian and American academic institutions. Trips like this are stressful physically but with occupation and colonization continuing back home, are also emotionally stressful to be away. But I also met remarkable and dedicated people and will never forget the kindness of the people in Minnesota (hospitality, meetings on short notice, interest). I talked on a range of subjects from bat research (yes!) to water issues to history to human rights.

I came back to find messages and phone calls from colleagues and friends about settler attacks, about new building of colonial Jewish settlements on Palestinian land, about theft of Palestinian olives, about homes demolished, and about new arrests. However, I also find goodness in the harvest season, the anticipation of spring, and new births and new projects. Little pleasures like pictures of a young hedgehog in the yard of a friend tell us life goes on. It is good to be home and great to be among people who work day and night for justice and peace. It is also good to be back doing science, feeding animals, and preparing lectures in genetics and immunology.

On a related note, I was harassed upon entering the US in Minneapolis airport by US Security officials (almost missing my connecting flight to Fargo). I will pursue this legally to find out if it was done at the behest of Israel or was simply profiling of an Arab American citizen. Ten years ago, something similar happened to me and I pursued it and got an acknowledgment that it was forgery-related unjust inquiries (see my summary of that at

Examples of lectures I gave in Minnesota (total hundreds of people)

-At Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

-Joseph Thompson Lectureship hosted by Concordia

Remarkable video and photographs from Gaza

Israel is an apartheid state (no poll required): A new Ha'aretz poll indicates a majority of Jewish Israelis favour apartheid - but that's nothing new.

Religious leaders ask Congress to condition Israel military aid on human rights compliance

Presbyterian Church(USA)’s Parsons, others see ‘troubling,consistent pattern of disregard’ by Israel government for U.S. policies

We Welcome You to Palestine

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sacrificing Worry and Fear (Instead of Time)

Peaceful Lake By Bob Ross*

Sometimes when I do a combination of mindfulness walking and meditative reading just what I am needing seems to pop up and finds a place right away in my life and soul.
This was one of those days.

Recognizing I was worrying too much (and at a loss over just how to pray) about the recent storm (and for loved ones and friends who were or may be in the "path" of Sandy) -- and noticing as well that I was fretting a bit too often about some personal issues, I decided to look up 'fear' in a marvelous book: "Discovering Choices" every single entry was incredibly helpful. I especially loved p. 139 about how someone who'd been terrified of people came to appreciate people and being with them and even wrote: "There is pure joy in being with someone who isn't afraid of growing spiritually" ... Then I turned to another richly helpful book and although I only looked up one page in that one on fear (seemingly by accident) I found this gem which really spoke to me:

I suspect that if I reclaimed all the minutes, hours, and days I've sacrificed to worry and fear, I'd add years to my life. When I succumb to worry, I open a Pandora's box of terrifying pictures, paranoid voices, and relentless self-criticism. The more attention I pay to this mental static, the more I lose my foothold in reality. Then nothing useful can be accomplished.

To break the cycle of worry and fear, I'm learning to focus all my attention on this very moment. I can turn away from destructive thoughts and concentrate instead on the sights and sounds around me: light and shadows, the earth beneath my feet, the pulse of everyday living -- all pieces of the here-and-now. These bits of reality help rescue me from "what ifs" and "should haves" by anchoring me in the present.

Prayer and meditation...are other sources of serenity that bring me back to this moment.

As I shut out the noise, I am more receptive to my Higher Power's will, and therefore much more able to work m way through difficult times.

Today's Reminder:
This day is all I have to work with, and it is all I need. If I am tempted to worry about tomorrow's concerns, I will gently bring my mind back to today.

"The past has flown away. The coming month and year do not exist. Ours only is the present's tiny point." Mahmud Shabistar

Note on Mahkud Shabistari -- he is shockingly contemporary -- yet look him up to be surprised here

(From "Courage to Change" Reading for January 10)

* The code for the image of the lake above is:

Friday, October 26, 2012

26 October 2012 Prayers & Greetings

Photo of the Cordoba Mosque of Spain and more info found here Morning Light in Cordoba Mosque Below

On such a day as this -- 26 October -- I want to greet my Muslim friends and All People of Faith everywhere in this special way:

May Allah’s blessing light your way, strengthen your faith and bring joy to your heart as you praise and serve Him today, tomorrow and always. Hajj (Eid) Mubarak

May we each and ALL serve Love in a mindful soulful heartfelt way on this very special day.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Hildegard of Bingen

picture found at Wikipedia showing Hildegard writing down her visions

Just this month, an explosively-creative, self and divinely-taught woman became one of only four Doctors of the Church.

Although some have written that she would reject women's liberation as we practice it today, her fearlessness went beyond most of our's. She said what she prayerfully found needed to be said. And she did what she knew needed doing -- despite the fact she was a woman.

She wrote and spoke widely concerning social justice -- the duty of seeking with all our heart and soul the freedoms and opportunities for all to have the opportunity to develop the divinely-appointed potential at the heart of each and all -- no matter our background.

Hildegard spoke about the natural world as infused at the center through and through with beauty and energy and entrusted to our care -- not to be wrecked but rather to be held sacred for the benefit of the many.

If a Pope or an Emperor needed a rebuke, she rebuked them.

Her work is STILL seen as completely contemporary as well as expansive.

To this day, Hildegard of Bingen brings art, science, and religion together and offers us a way to see all three as vitally connected. They each provide spiritual and practical insights in her theology.

She uses expressions which are more natural to non-western traditions -- thus providing a helpful bridge to riches and spiritual giants outside the usual avenues of theology and art for much of the world. (About which we would do well to understand sooner rather than later -- even if only in small measure.) For example, Hildegard's use of metaphor, symbols, visual imagery, parables and various sorts of artistic means of communication goes beyond pat expected words and helps God make all things new. As Flannery O'Conner indicated in metaphor of her dramatically different work -- yet similar role -- to the deaf (the writer) must shout and to the blind (the artist) must write large.

May we be nurtured by the fact that Hildegard's humility, rather than underplaying her feminine role, reminded her world then and our world now that sometimes God through the Spirit does give VISIONS and teachings to unexpected people. We can be sure that the Divine school can be truly effective -- even with those who've not been privileged to receive a traditional education.

"O God, by whose grace your servant Hildegard, kindled with the fire of your love, became a burning and shining light in your Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love, and walk before you as children of the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever."

In a letter to the Monk Guibert, 1176, she said: "The marvels of God are not brought forth from one's self. Rather, it is more like a chord, a sound that is played. The tone does not come out of the chord itself, but rather, through the touch of the Musician. I am...the lyre and harp of God's kindness."

Friday, October 19, 2012

Where are the Wellsprings? Where are the Walls?

Photo Credit: Jewish Journal

Anat Hoffman Leader of Reform (find out more about Hoffman and her recent torturous arrest below)

CATCH the universal concerns echoing so clearly across our religious institutions and even our cultural/national practices and fears -- sometimes it's women, sometimes it's someone else our power-mongers wish to dispose of or use as an example -- someone else to torture and thus create fear of taking a stand...No More Crusades of violence and power-grubbing...let's reform our entire world with such examples of non-violent acts of courage -- chosen with care of course...let's support those who are leading the way...

Just in:
From the Western Wall to the Western Well (Shalom Center)

The Email came; I read: "FYI for those who have not heard about the recent arrest of Anat Hoffman [an Israeli woman who has led the effort for women to pray freely at the Western Wall] for chanting the Shema out loud at the Western Well.”

Says the Sh'ma, "God is One." Unless you are a woman. Then God is probably not Two, or Three, or even Ten (as in the Kabbalistic imagery of the Sfirot). God is as splintered as the s^h^a^r^d^s of a broken wine-glass after the wedding.

Not surprising: The Rabbis taught that our Covenant with the One is a Marriage. The Wedding was at Sinai.

So--------- arrest a One who Proclaims the One, and the glass is truly shattered — not to affirm the marriage but to destroy it.

Rereading, I see the email report said “at the Western Well.” “Well,” not Wall. Ah, maybe that’s the problem. Maybe we need a Western Well! Like Hagar’s. And Rivka’s. And Rachel's. And Tzipporah’s. And Miriam’s.

Maybe the problem is marrying State Power — the power to arrest — to Male Overlordship. On second thought, maybe they don’t need to be married — each is, both are the same domineering life-process. Maybe the State Power that arrests and invades and calls itself Jewish is as much about Overlordship as those who beat up women yet call themselves Torah-true?

Ahhhh, maybe that’s what the Levitical prohibition is about: “No Overlording Alpha Male shall marry an Overlording Alpha Male as if he were marrying a woman who wants to chant the Unity at a sacred place. The result is liable to be the "Violence Alliance.”

Sh’sh’sh’sh’shma! Hush’sh’sh’sh’sh in order to listen to the Wellspring’s mmmmmurmmmurrrring: “I am your long-lost sister Hajrrrr: Drink me. I am your long-lost sister Tzipporaaaahhhhhhh: Drink me. I am your long-lost sister Mmmirrryammm: Drink me.”

All those trouble-making women. Tzipporah and Miriam would have been dragged away, shrieking the Sh’ma into the night, if they had dared to chant it at the Western Wall. Better they should find a Western Well instead.

Why are we still pretending that there is a Jewish government in charge there? Maybe Anat Hoffman is the real Prime Minister of a Jewish country that is defined by wellsprings, not by Walls?

Sh’sh’sh’sh’shalom -- Arthur
Please strengthen our transformative work by donating here.
See us on Facebook
Share this email with your friends. Encourage your friends to subscribe!

The Shalom Center
6711 Lincoln Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19119
United States
web: email: tel: (215) 844-8494

Read more about Anat Hoffman here Find a report on the recent arrest and inhumane treatment here

Sunday, September 16, 2012

From Ben-Ghazi to Yom Kippur (Read Genesis 25)

"Let us of the various Abrahamic communities gather as a society at the Well of the Living One Who Sees Me, to make sure that we can see each other in the light cast by the Holy One Who is the Breath of life."

On Yom Kippur, synagogues should read the story in Genesis 25 of reconciliation between Ishmael and Isaac, and for weeks and months synagogues, churches, and mosques should visit each other en masse to break the cycle of fear and hatred and violence between the Abrahamic communities that broke into murder in Ben-Ghazi, Libya, as it did weeks ago in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. (Blogger here at nomorecrusades: why don't the rest of us do the same? Christians seeking peace and reconciliation and other Peace gatherings of all types?)

... “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

As we absorbed the news of a dreadfully disgusting film casting contempt on Islam and the resulting vile murders of four American foreign service officers, I began to think again about the Torah stories we are about to read for Rosh HaShanah.

For they are ancient stories about fear, anger, and estrangement between different branches of the same family. They presage the fear, anger, and estrangement between the Abrahamic families today – and yet they lead toward love and healing. What can we learn from them?

Rosh Hashanah traditionally begins with a profoundly disturbing story: Abraham and Sarah insist that Hagar (a name that means “the stranger” in Hebrew), who has been Abraham’s second wife and the mother of his first son, Ishmael, leave the family. Sarah says that Ishmael has been “making laughter” (in Hebrew, mitzachek) at her son Isaac (in Hebrew, Yitzchak), whose name means “Laughing One.” (en 21: 1-19)

One way to understand the story is that the two boys are so much like each other, though not identical – Making laughter/ Laughter – that they are clouding each other’s identities, and must separate for the health of them both, even though the separation is painful.

But the story gets more painful. Abraham, who has been reluctant to expel Hagar and Ishmael from the family, sends them into the wilderness with a jug of water. But it runs out, and Hagar, fearing her son will die, begins to cry.

The Holy One Who is the Interbreathing of all life becomes visible to her. As her eyes open, she sees that her tears have themselves watered a wellspring -– the Well of the Living One Who Sees Me –- and not only are their lives saved, but they become the forebears of a great nation: the Arabs and Islam.

Abraham’s other son, Isaac, in Jewish understanding becomes the forebear of the Jewish people.

Here pauses the story as we read it on the first day of Rosh HaShanah. On the second day, we read how Abraham takes his other son, Isaac, up a mountain-top, preparing to make him a burnt-offering to God, who he thinks has asked this of him. At the last moment, the compassionate aspect of God intervenes to spare Isaac.

In the Bible, the story of these two endangered brothers continues into a passage that has traditionally been read on a regular Shabbat but not on the sacred special days when synagogues are filled with spiritually thirsty and responsive Jews.

I believe the completion of the story should be read aloud in every synagogue on Yom Kippur. It is a story of reconciliation, which is what Yom Kippur is all about. And just as the story of estrangement presages the vituperative video and the violent response of the last several days, this tale of reconciliation should be our teaching for next week, next year, next generation.

It appears in Gen. 25: 8-11. Abraham has died and his two sons come together to bury him, the most dangerous person in both their lives. It seems they have forgiven him, and now they reconcile with each other. For Isaac goes to live at the very Well of the Living One Who Sees Me that has been life-giving water for Hagar and Ishmael.

At last, the two brothers can fully see each other.

The pattern in which contempt and hatred toward Islam leads to hatred of the West and to violence that is likely to lead to still more hatred of Islam is now well under way.

Indeed, the making of the vituperative film seems likely to have been deliberately calculated to stir the violence that happened. Why else dub it into Arabic?

The pattern and the theory of how to deal with it is no surprise:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

How do we take this teaching into reality? How do we interrupt this lethal pattern?

The US government tried to prevent disaster by publicly decrying the film before violence erupted. Good! But not enough. What needs to happen at the grass roots of our society?

Some democratic countries have tried to outlaw hate speech – like the outlawry of Holocaust denial and of Nazi-like speech in many European countries. I do NOT recommend that for the USA, where our form of experiment in democracy has taken the direction of — “Bad speech? More speech! Better speech!!”

But there is another approach: the conscious and deliberate mobilization of public opinion to oppose and disallow hatred of Islam. “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

I am suggesting that if we put the story of Ishmael-Isaac reconciliation front and center before the Jewish community on Yom Kippur — followed by full discussion of what that means now— and figure out ways to do analogous discussions in churches and mosques, we can go much further into building the kind of public atmosphere in which vituperative speech and violent action against Islam is deeply and fully opposed.

This desire did not just arise for me in the last few days, though they have strengthened it. In 2006, I put a great deal of energy into working with leading Muslim and Christian teachers as co-authors to write and find a publisher (Beacon Press) for a book called The Tent of Abraham: Stories of Peace and Hope for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, with a preface by Karen Armstrong. I know it has been used, especially in churches, to stimulate the kind of discussion I have suggested. I hope it will be used in synagogues and mosques and wherever spiritual seekers and pursuers of peace gather.

But even “good speech” is not enough. It would be ideal for congregations-full of Jews and Christians, in the coming week after Rosh Hashanah, to come to mosques to share their revulsion toward the vile attack on Islam in the video. Already, Major Muslim American organizations have condemned the murderous violence in Libya and elsewhere. Still, here too words are not enough. It would be ideal for American Muslims to visit churches and synagogues with the same intent: seeing each other fully.

It is not just video that we must atone for. The number of physical attacks on mosques and Muslims has been multiplying among us. They include the “mistaken” murders of Sikhs by someone who thought they were Muslims. (Did you think only Libyans could kill people out of “religious” fear and hatred?)

So we should visit each other. If not this week, the week after. And the weeks and months after that.

Let us of the various Abrahamic communities gather as a society at the Well of the Living One Who Sees Me, to make sure that we can see each other in the light cast by the Holy One Who is the Breath of life.

Shalom, salaam, peace!

If you'd like to share your views on this question publicly, please click here

Blessings for the year ahead, for all of us --


The Shalom Center
6711 Lincoln Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19119
United States
web: email: tel: (215) 844-8494

Saturday, September 15, 2012

With Update 17 SEP '12 - The Tragedy & Face of Indefinite Detention (a call for peaceful action!)

RULING by Judge Katherine Forrest here

NOTE FOR ACTIONS: A recent Amnesty blog suggests we each act on these travesties helped by a recent ruling. (PLZ find Amnesty urls near the end and one at the VERY END of this long post -- updated twice --FOR ACTION GUIDANCE FROM AMNESTY) There has been a BREAKTHROUGH thanks to Judge Katherine Forrest in New York. We MUST put an end to the abuse and intimidation of all US prisoners. We suddenly have more legal channels to work with then usual. (See end of this post for some guidelines.)

UPDATE: We Won—For Now by Chris Hedges

Posted on Sep 17, 2012

Chris Hedges

In January I sued President Barack Obama over Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorized the military to detain U.S. citizens indefinitely, strip them of due process and hold them in military facilities, including offshore penal colonies. Last week, round one in the battle to strike down the onerous provision, one that saw me joined by six other plaintiffs including Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg, ended in an unqualified victory for the public. U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest, who accepted every one of our challenges to the law, made her temporary injunction of the section permanent. In short, she declared the law unconstitutional.

Almost immediately after Judge Forrest ruled, the Obama administration challenged the decision. Government prosecutors called the opinion “unprecedented” and said that “the government has compelling arguments that it should be reversed.” The government added that it was an “extraordinary injunction of worldwide scope.” Government lawyers asked late Friday for an immediate stay of Forrest’s ban on the use of the military in domestic policing and on the empowering of the government to strip U.S. citizens of due process. The request for a stay was an attempt by the government to get the judge, pending appeal to a higher court, to grant it the right to continue to use the law. Forrest swiftly rejected the stay, setting in motion a fast-paced appeal to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and possibly, if her ruling is upheld there, to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Justice Department sent a letter to Forrest and the 2nd Circuit late Friday night informing them that at 9 a.m. Monday the Obama administration would ask the 2nd Circuit for an emergency stay that would lift Forrest’s injunction. This would allow Obama to continue to operate with indefinite detention authority until a formal appeal was heard. The government’s decision has triggered a constitutional showdown between the president and the judiciary.

“This may be the most significant constitutional standoff since the Pentagon Papers case,” said Carl Mayer, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs.

“The administration of President Obama within the last 48 hours has decided to engage in an all-out campaign to block and overturn an order of a federal judge,” said co-lead counsel Bruce Afran. “As Judge Forrest noted in her opinion, nothing is more fundamental in American law than the possibility that journalists, activists and citizens could lose their liberty, potentially forever, and the Obama administration has now lined up squarely with the most conservative elements of the Republican Party to undermine Americans’ civil liberties.”

The request by the government to keep the law on the books during the appeal process raises a disturbing question. If the administration is this anxious to restore this section of the NDAA, is it because the Obama government has already used it? Or does it have plans to use the section in the immediate future? READ the REST of Hedge's article r contributor) with a CLICK here and/or PRINT here
END Report

ALSO see: OPPOSING VIEWS: US itching to overturn detention ban here OR go to HUFFPOST for 2,700+ fb likes and for 930 comments (which usually have some interesting leads) GO here

Also just out from Glenn Greenwald's tweet: Hidden Causes of the Muslim Protests here -- not unrelated when we consider the kind of activism which sometimes seems to get folk locked up with the key thrown away. We often feel helpless in the West yet what about becoming more aware of all the ways we may allow provocation such as the ongoing existence of Gitmo with so many prisoners who've actually been free yet there are no places, evidently, for them to be allowed to go? What about all those who are being held for years without trial? What about the many drone strikes still being sent to 'keep us safe' when they are so likely to kill civilians and help recruiters among extremists on the ground?

An earlier statement from the Center for Constitutional Rights (by same title) has been made into this NYTimes article.

September 14, 2012
The Face of Indefinite Detention

BEFORE he died on Sept. 8, Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif had spent close to 4,000 days and nights in the American prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. He was found unconscious, alone in his cell, thousands of miles from home and family in Yemen.

Eleven years ago, he found himself in Afghanistan at the wrong place and the wrong time. It was an unusual set of events that took him there. Years earlier Mr. Latif had been badly injured in a car accident in Yemen. His skull was fractured; his hearing never quite recovered. He traveled to Jordan, seeking medical treatment at a hospital in Amman; then, following the promise of free medical care from a man he met there, journeyed to Pakistan, and eventually to Afghanistan.

Like so many men still imprisoned at Guantánamo, Mr. Latif was fleeing American bombing — not fighting — when he was apprehended by the Pakistani police near the Afghan border and turned over to the United States military. It was at a time when the United States was paying substantial bounties for prisoners. Mr. Latif, a stranger in a strange land, fit the bill. He was never charged with a crime.

The United States government claims the legal authority to hold men like Mr. Latif until the “war on terror” ends, which is to say, forever. Setting aside this troubling legal proposition, his death and the despair he endured in the years preceding it remind us of the toll Guantánamo takes on human beings.

Adnan Latif is the human face of indefinite detention.

In the landmark 2008 case Boumediene v. Bush, the Supreme Court ruled that Guantánamo detainees were entitled to “meaningful judicial review” of the legality of their detentions, via the writ of habeas corpus — a constitutional check obligating the government to demonstrate a sufficient factual and legal basis for imprisoning someone. The Boumediene decision, in principle, ought to have given hope to Mr. Latif and men like him.

And it was under such principle that two years later, a United States District Court judge hearing Mr. Latif’s habeas corpus petition ordered him released, ruling that the accusations against him were “unconvincing” and that his detention was “not lawful.” By that time, Mr. Latif had been cleared for release from Guantánamo on three separate occasions, including in 2009 by the Obama administration’s multiagency Guantánamo Review Task Force.

Nevertheless, the Department of Justice appealed the district court’s decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit — which has ruled in the government’s favor in nearly every habeas corpus appeal it has heard. The appellate court reversed the trial judge’s release order, effectively ruling that evidence against detainees must be presumed accurate and authentic if the government claims it is.

A strong dissenting opinion criticized the appellate court majority for not just “moving the goal posts,” but also calling “the game in the government’s favor.”

But Mr. Latif didn’t see it as a game. He was dying inside. Like other men, he had been on a hunger strike to protest his detention. After losing the appeal of his case, he told his lawyer, “I am a prisoner of death.”

Three months ago, the Supreme Court declined to hear the appeals of Mr. Latif and six other detainees, who pleaded for the court to restore its promise of meaningful review of their cases.

But what is unsaid in all of the court rulings is that Mr. Latif was imprisoned not by evidence of wrongdoing, but by accident of birth. In Guantánamo’s contorted system of justice, the decision to detain him indefinitely turned on his citizenship, not on his conduct.

With Mr. Latif’s death, there are now 56 Yemenis who have been cleared for release by the Guantánamo Review Task Force since 2009 but who remain in prison. President Obama, citing general security concerns, has imposed a moratorium on any and all transfers to Yemen, regardless of age, innocence or infirmity.

It is fair, and regrettable, to assume that some of these detainees will die there as well.

Mr. Latif, after all, was the ninth man to die at Guantánamo. More men have died in the prison camp than have been convicted by a civilian court (one) or by the military commissions system in Guantánamo (six). In 2006, Salah al-Salami, a Yemeni, and Yasser al-Zahrani and Mani al-Utaybi, both Saudis, were the first men to die at Guantánamo. Their deaths were called suicides, even though soldiers stationed at the base at the time have raised serious questions about the plausibility of the Defense Department’s account. (Full disclosure: the Center for Constitutional Rights represents the families of two of the men who died.)

According to the government, three more detainees committed suicide and two others died of natural causes. There has been no independent investigation into any of the deaths, however; there has been no accountability for a range of constitutional and human rights violations at Guantánamo.

The government has not yet identified the cause of Mr. Latif’s death, but it is Guantánamo that killed him. Whether because of despair, suicide or natural causes, death has become an inevitable consequence of our politically driven failure to close the prison — a natural byproduct of the torment and uncertainty indefinite detention inflicts on human beings.

The case of Adnan Latif should compel us to confront honestly the human toll of the Guantánamo prison — now approaching its 12th year in operation. We can start this reckoning by releasing the 86 other men at Guantánamo who the United States government has concluded no longer deserve to be jailed there.

Baher Azmy is the legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Find the original statement by the same title from 11 Sep 2012 at Center for Constitutional Rights here

Find the url for the NYTimes article here

Yet another OP Ed on this solitary death in NYTimes Sunday GO here and see more in a post several days ago with Adnan Latif's heart-breaking poem on this oneheartforpeace site "Tragic Injustice". Also find one on 12 September from the Executive Director of Amnesty I/USA here

Too late for Adnan; What about for others?

What happens next? The case against indefinite detention in the NDAA–-Judge Katherine Forrest due to the suit by journalist Chris Hedges, Professor Noam Chomsky and others–could go all the way to the Supreme Court. It would be interesting to see how the Court would rule, especially given that opposition to indefinite detention does not divide along party lines. Protest against the NDAA has brought Republicans and Democrats together, because indefinite detention is a blatant assault on human rights.

And that’s why President Obama and Congress should change course and work together to repeal the detention provisions in the NDAA—Sections 1021 and 1022—and ensure that anyone accused of a crime is charged and fairly tried, or released. If you agree, then let your Senators know— they’ll be working on the 2013 NDAA later this year: OR GO here

This RECENT RULING may make a difference but we MUST get behind this effort NOW. FIND the above and more on Judge Katherine Forrest's recent 112 page ruling at this AmnestyUSA blog -- GO here

Speak OUT against Indefinite Detention NOW. HOW TO MAKE your voice count? FIND GUIDELINES at AMNESTY USA BLOG here
GO often to this blog for updates: SEND this active blog to others as OR CLICK here

SEE the 112 page ruling by Katherine Forrest available by pdf link -- it's in the public domain -- ask a lawyer for it or simply GO to for Sep 12, 2012 HEDGE vs OBAMA and see the high profile folk who initiated this ruling. CLICK here

Read, Study, Quote IT USE IT --SPEAK ABOUT IT while this window is still open.

(* Katherine Bolan Forrest is an American lawyer and judge, serving on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.)


FOR those who want to STUDY/WRITE/TALK about this shameful CASE in depth, you may find the following helpful...

"Hope Dies at Guantanamo". The Jurist. Archived from the original on 2012-09-11. "The tragic case of Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif hit a dead end when the US Supreme Court issued an order refusing to hear his case last week. Latif, a Yemeni man, has been imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay since January 2002, after being detained while traveling to seek medical treatment."
"U.S. military reviews 'enemy combatant' use". FIND in The JURIST by Jurist Contributing editor, MARJORIE COHN (co-writer of perhaps the quite recent definitive book with legal corroboration on the US and torture) Professor of Law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. San Diego, CA GO here evidently originally pbl. 2012-06-20

Joe Wolverton (2011-11-14). "D.C. Court of Appeals Overturns Release of Gitmo Prisoner". New American. Archived from the original on 2012-09-13. "In an opinion streaked with black marks of redaction, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned the release order previously entered for Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif."

Benjamin Wittes (2011-11-09). "Latif: A Very Big Deal". Lawfare.

"Judge orders longtime Gitmo detainee released for lack of evidence". CNN. 2010-08-17.

Yemeni psych patient ordered freed - Guantánamo - Archived 15 February 2011 at

Tom Ramstack (2008-09-23). "Federal court won't hear plea for blanket". Washington Times. "While the Supreme Court's decision in Boumediene gives [Latif] the right to challenge the fact of his confinement, it says nothing of his right to challenge the conditions of his confinement."

Thomas F. Hogan (2008-09-22). "Guantanamo Bay Detainee Litigation: Doc 471" (PDF). United States Department of Justice.

"Guantanamo prisoner who died challenged his confinement, was rebuffed by Supreme Court". Newser. 2012-09-11. Archived from the original on 2012-09-11. "The Guantanamo Bay prisoner who died over the weekend was well-known in legal circles. The prisoner's lawyer identifies him as Adnan Latif, a 32-year-old from Yemen who has been held without charge at the U.S. base in Cuba since January 2002."

"New abuse claims at Guantanamo". Al Jazeera. 2009-04-17. Archived from the original on 2009-04-17

"US says a prisoner has died at Guantanamo; investigation pending into cause". Washington Post. 2012-09-10. Archived from the original on 2012-09-10. "Wells Dixon, a lawyer who has represented a number of Guantanamo prisoners, said the sense of despair among prisoners overall seems to have worsened since the Supreme Court announced in June that it would not review the way courts were handling the men’s individual challenges to their confinement."

Ben Fox (2012-09-10). "Ninth prisoner dies at Guantanamo". Seattle Times. "He was the ninth prisoner to die at the facility since it was opened in January 2002 to hold men suspected of terrorism or links to al-Qaida and the Taliban. The military has said two of those deaths were by natural causes and six were declared suicides."

"Another prisoner dies in Guantanamo". New Zealand Herald. 2012-09-11. Archived from the original on 2012-09-10. "The prisoner's name and nationality were not released. But US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release his identity, said he was from Yemen."

Another Desperate Letter from Guantánamo by Adnan Latif: “With All My Pains, I Say Goodbye to You” Andy Worthington A Cry for Help from Guantánamo: Adnan Latif Asks, “Who Is Going to Rescue Me From the Injustice and the Torture I Am Enduring?” Andy Worthington Guantánamo Is “A Piece of Hell That Kills Everything”: A Bleak New Year Message from Yemeni Prisoner Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif by Andy Worthington // Who Are the Remaining Prisoners in Guantánamo? Part Three: Captured Crossing from Afghanistan into Pakistan Andy Worthington, September 22, 2010


President Obama and Congress should change course and work together to repeal the detention provisions in the NDAA—Sections 1021 and 1022—and ensure that anyone accused of a crime is charged and fairly tried, or released. If you agree, then LET YOUR SENATORS KNOW what we need repealed -- they’ll be working on the 2013 NDAA later this year: