Earthquake in Italy

 

A  6.2-magnitude earthquake followed by a series of aftershocks has hit central Italy.

The worst hit towns were believed to be Accumoli, Amatrice, Posta and Arquata del Tronto, a spokesman for the Italian fire department Luca Cari told Reuters.

The tremor was felt across Italy, from Bologna in the north to Naples in the south. There have been dozens of aftershocks.

Strong shockwaves were felt as far as the capital Rome, more than 100 miles from where the quake first struck at around 3.30am local time.

From all reports I have read, 120 have died, that they know of and many are still missing.

Italy earthquakeA man cries looking at what’s left of his home after a deadly earthquake rattled Amatrice, Italy. Photo: Getty Images

Italy earthquake general imageA general view of Pescara del Tronto after the quake. (Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)

Italy Worst hit area

I have added a number of News sites below. All have photo’s and video of the devastation.

Some have some of the same photo’s, but they all have different things as well. No two are the same.

 

Italy earthquake: Death toll rises to at least 120
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37171953
Earthquake in Italy: ‘At least 120 dead including many children’ as ‘apocalyptic’ 6.2 magnitude quake leaves towns in ruins
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/24/italy-earthquake-at-least-73-dead-including-many-children-as-apo/
‘This used to be my home’: Italians in shock after devastating earthquake
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/24/italy-earthquake-rescue-teams-dig-through-rubble-as-death-toll-rises
Italy earthquake throws spotlight on lax construction laws
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/24/italy-earthquake-throws-spotlight-on-lax-construction-laws
Italy earthquake: Magnitude 6.2 quake strikes near town of Norcia, bringing down buildings and killing at least 120
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/earthquake-italy-natural-disaster-buildings-collapse-six-dead-a7206691.html
Dozens dead, hundreds hurt in earthquake devastating Amatrice, 2 other towns Wednesday
Has Drone footage showing the devastation from Italy quake
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/italy-earthquake-survivors-1.3733605
At least 120 dead as shallow 6.2 quake shakes Rome, devastates towns in central Italy
https://www.rt.com/news/356904-italy-earthquake-rome-felt/
Daily mail has a lot of pictures and video as well
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3755722/Italy-rocked-6-1-magnitude-earthquake-centered-near-capital-Rome.html

Last post

Plastic is killing us and our wild life.

Published in: on August 24, 2016 at 8:51 pm  Comments Off on Earthquake in Italy  
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Acknowledge the Gaza Genocide

We must recognize the atrocities being committed in Gaza as Genocide.  Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide is clear:

“In the present Convention, genocide means any [emphasis added]of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part [emphasis added], a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

There is little argument and ample evidence that Israel’s actions against the people of Gaza in particular, and Palestine as whole, constitute the term genocide.  Israel’s onslaught on Gaza over the years and the indiscriminate killings (Article 2a) and the terrorization of children, the young and the old (mental harm) with the constant bombardment, bulldozers, and drones (Article 2b), the media has been apt at hiding the horrific effects of the blockade – the deliberate infliction of condition of life calculated to bring about physical destruction in whole or in part (Article 2c).

According to Article 3 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, persons committing genocide or complicity in genocide shall be punished “whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.”

Sir, at every turn, genocide has been ignored only to be acknowledged after the fact.   As Secretary General of the United Nations, you are obliged to put a stop to the ongoing genocide and punish the perpetrators.  If the call to duty, the voice of conscience, and the voices of the signatories to this petition is not heeded, then it is incumbent upon you to resign from your post.

“When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.”

Go HERE to sign the Petition to Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

 

Then we also have this one directed at the US

With the toll in Gaza surpassing 1,500 deaths, 8,200 wounded, and 180,300 civilians displaced, we are devastated– but more determined than ever to keep pressure on the US to end its unconditional support for Israel. 

If you’re sick of your tax dollars funding the ongoing violence between Israel and Palestine, call on the US government to immediately end all arms shipments to Israel.

How can the US purport to be a fair mediator when we are sending billions of dollars worth of weapons to one side of the conflict? A report by Amnesty International shows that just between January and May of this year, the US has sent $62 million worth of munitions to Israel, including nearly $27 million for “rocket launchers”, $9.3 million in “parts of guided missiles” and nearly $762,000 for “bombs, grenades and munitions of war”. 

This is atrocious. We should be using that money for diplomacy and rebuilding the lives of Palestinians that have been shattered from decades of violence. The people of Gaza are in desperate need of clean water, healthcare, food, building materials for their homes, and other basic necessities. But unless the blockade of Gaza is lifted, access to these crucial items will continue to be restricted by Israel.  You can help by making a direct donation to Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) today.

“There isn’t a single family in Gaza which hasn’t been touched by direct loss,” said Pernille Ironside, the head of the Unicef office in Gaza. “The impact that has on the ability of children to cope cannot be overstated.”

It’s up to us to push our government to stop the cycle of bloodshed. Join us to call for an immediate arms embargo on Israel now.

 

And of course for Canadians

Man from Newfoundland wants Prime Minister Charged for Advocating Genocide against The Palestinians!

This is the Harper petition.

http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/intlcrimcourt-arrestharper-for-advocating-genocide

Anyone who supports Genocide/War Crimes  should never be a leader or any part of any government of any country. They are criminals. The worse kind. Mass Murder is a crime.

Related

The Truth about Gaza 2014

‘An Israel-free zone’: UK MP says Bradford doesn’t want Israeli goods, services or visitors

Pass this on to all your friends.

Let them know we will not tolerate Genocide any longer.

Never Ask Me About Peace Again

 

By Asmaa al-Ghoul
A first-hand account of the aftermath of an Israeli strike that killed nine members of the author’s family.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39350.htm
What if the Children Dying in Gaza were Jews?
By Robert Bonomo
Let’s do a thought experiment and imagine that the Arabs had gotten the better of the Israelis in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and after years of conflict, all that was left of Israel was the Gaza strip.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39348.htm
What Led Israel to Stop the Assault?
Norman Finkelstein
Hamas Needs to Be Recognised
By Jimmy Carter, Mary Robinson

 

Unity between Fatah and Hamas is currently stronger than it has been for many years. As Elders, we believe this is one of the most encouraging developments in recent years and welcome it warmly.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39352.htm

 

Israel Flagged as Top Spy Threat to U.S. – Snowden/NSA Document
By Jeff Stein
Israel was identified by the NSA as a security threat in several areas, including “the threat of development of weapons of mass destruction” and “delivery methods”
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39342.htm

 Israeli court and state rule that children’s deaths too controversial to publicise

In other words, hide the truth from the citizens of Israel.

Recent

‘Secret serum’: Experimental Ebola drug used to treat 2 US aid workers

Lest we all forget this was done to an innocent child.

So as a reminder of just how low anyone can go this is the lowest.

Not one main stream media would touch this story.

Hundreds of us asked. Why was it, they would not respond to a unscrupulous thing like this?

So in the end we bloggers got the word out.

So in your wanderings if you see another child being used for this purpose take screen shots share with like minded people so you have loads of witnesses and after a week or two be sure to get the word out one way or the other.

US/Israeli Charity uses little Palestinian Childs photo to raise money for Israel’s Hungry

Published in: on August 8, 2014 at 2:46 am  Comments (1)  
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The Truth about Gaza 2014

Blockading the Truth: Obama’s Big Lie About Gaza
By Chris Floyd
July 27, 2014 “ICH” –  (1) It is simply a lie that Israel’s slaughter in Gaza is a response to an “unprovoked attack” by Hamas. Not only is it a lie, it is a transparent, brazen lie, whose falsehood is glaringly apparent to anyone who had given even a cursory look at coverage of the Israeli government’s response to the murder of three Israeli teenagers in June.
At that time, we were told in many news reports about an Israeli “crackdown” in Gaza, including mass arrests, military operations and, finally, the killing of six Hamas members. It was after these operations and these killings — which were clear breaches of a ceasefire which Hamas had been honoring for 19 months — that Hamas began its retaliation against Israel’s unprovoked attacks.
(And no, the murder of the teenagers was not a “provocation” by Hamas, which disclaimed all connection to the crime. It was almost certainly carried out a rogue clan which has often — conveniently — staged provocations whenever it seems that some small movement toward peace might be made, and has been a thorn in Hamas’ side for a long time. What’s more, as Max Blumenthal reported, the Israeli government knew the teenagers had been murdered almost immediately, and who the likely culprits were; but the Netanyahu regime chose to wage a worldwide campaign of mendacity — and torment the boys’ parents — by claiming they might still be alive, and launching “search” missions for them.)
These are all undisputed facts. The narrative that dominates the Washington media and political discourse — “plucky Israel attacked without motive by demonic foes” — is, again, an obvious lie. But that has not stopped it from being repeated endlessly, all across the political spectrum and in every form of media, day after day after day.
It is impossible that Barack Obama does not know these undisputed facts. Standing at the apex of history’s most all-pervasive intelligence system — and receiving daily digests of news reports on volatile areas like the Middle East — he of all people knows that the Hamas rocket fire was a response to an Israeli military action, an Israeli violation of a long ceasefire.
It is also impossible that a majority, if not all, of the 100 U.S. Senators who voted to endorse the Israeli slaughter in Gaza — including stalwart “progressives” like Al Franken and “socialist” Bernie Sanders — did not know the truth when they cast their ballots. It is impossible that the editors and reporters of the nation’s leading media organizations do not know these facts — which they themselves reported only a few weeks ago.
Yet day after day after day, from the commanding heights of our “culture” (if the debased goon show of our public discourse deserves such a word), the Big Lie thunders forth. What’s more, Obama is putting his money (or rather, our money) where his mendacious mouth is, tacking $225 million for Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile defense system into a bill ostensibly meant to deal with the influx of child immigrants. Obama and the Senate Democrats are making political pawns out of these children — most of whom are fleeing Central American hellholes created in no small part by decades of bipartisan military and political backing for repressive oligarchs. (Including, of course, Obama’s support for an oligarch-militarist “regime change” coup in Honduras early in his presidency.) With the new money for Israel’s military, the Democrats hope to sucker the Republicans into voting for the emergency immigration bill (from which they cut $1 billion — hey, you don’t want to coddle those kids!), or else put them in a political bind if the immigrant-hating GOP votes against the bill: “You aren’t supporting plucky little Israel!”
A very cynical ploy, yes, but no matter: even if it fails and the children are left to languish, some other way will be found to get the money to Israel and, most importantly, show the world that America fully supports the massacre — more than 800 Palestinians killed so far, including whole families, refugees at a UN shelter, patients in hospitals and other prime military targets.
Eight hundred dead — and Obama gives the IDF a $225 million bounty. Maybe when the death count reaches a thousand, he’ll buy Netanyahu a pony or something.
2. James Marc Leas lays out the timeline leading up to the operation in this succinct marshaling of the facts in CounterPunch. You should read the whole thing, but here are a few excerpts:

The July 8 ITIC report also divulged why Hamas launched its first rocket fire at Israel in more than 19 months on July 7: On that night Israeli forces had bombed and killed 6 Hamas members in Gaza. The ITIC report includes a picture of the six Hamas members. Thus, a report from an authoritative Israeli source described the provocation for the resumption of rocket fire: Hamas rocket fire began only after Israeli forces had engaged in nearly a month of military operations in violation of the ceasefire agreement and had killed 6 Hamas members in Gaza. …
The facts show that Israeli forces had to work quite hard to get Hamas to end its cease-fire. The killing of the six Hamas members was not an isolated event. Israeli forces and settlers had gone wild on the West Bank starting on June 12 after the kidnaping of three Israeli teens. Israeli forces had also attacked 60 targets in Gaza during those three weeks of June. Then, on the night of July 7, 2014, the Israeli Air Force had attacked approximately 50 more “terrorist targets” in the Gaza Strip, as described in the ITIC report.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported on July 3:

Israel’s military operations in the West Bank following the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers have amounted to collective punishment. The military operations included unlawful use of force, arbitrary arrests, and illegal home demolitions. … Giving more details, several of the weekly reports from the Palestine Center for Human Rights (PCHR) indicate that Israeli forces and settlers killed 11 Palestinians and wounded 51 during 369 incursions into the West Bank between June 12 and July 2 and that Israeli forces raided hundreds of houses on the West Bank each week.

110 bombing raids, a military incursion, 17 killings, mass arrests — all before Hamas fired a single rocket. This is what Obama — and every single member of the United States Senate — call an “unprovoked attack.” They say it with a straight face — nay, with long, somber, pious faces — but they know it’s a lie.
3. But let us imagine, just for a moment, that their deceitful narrative was true. What if Hamas just woke up one fine, clear peaceful morning and said, “Hey, let’s start firing missiles at Israel, fellas! Won’t that be a hoot?” The fact is that even in that scenario, it would not be an “unprovoked attack,” but a legitimate act of self-defense.
How do we know this? Because one of Israel’s most honored statesmen told us so. As Jonathan Schwarz notes, Abba Eban, one of the founding fathers of Israel, used his renowned eloquence to defend Israel in the UN from charges of aggression for striking first in the 1967 Six-Day War. Rising to address the global body — where he had once served as vice-president of the General Assembly — Eban put forth his case. The surprise attack was justified, he said, because Egypt had blockaded an Israeli port:

The blockade is by definition an act of war, imposed and enforced through armed violence. Never in history have blockade and peace existed side by side. From May 24 onward, the question who started the war or who fired the first shot became momentously irrelevant. There is no difference in civil law between murdering a man by slow strangulation or killing him by a shot in the bead. From the moment at which the blockade was imposed, active hostilities had commenced and Israel owed Egypt nothing of her Charter rights. If a foreign power sought to close Odessa or Copenhagen or Marseilles or New York harbour by the use of force, what would happen? Would there be any discussion about who had fired the first shot? Would anyone ask whether aggression had begun?

As Schwarz points out — and which the entirety of the American political-media establishment perpetually fails to point out — Gaza has been subject to a stringent and ruinous blockade by Israel since 2007. As noted here the other day:

Israel has imprisoned the people of Gaza in a stateless limbo while carefully controlling almost every aspect of their lives, including what medicines they can have, what manufacturing and building materials they are allowed and even, at times, how much food they are allowed to eat to keep the population weakened but just above malnutrition levels. This brutal regimen in daily life is of course punctuated with regular night raids, bombings,  kidnappings, “disappearings” and almost weekly civilians deaths at the hands of Israeli overseers. This has gone on year after year.

Eban said Israel was justified in retaliating with military force when Egypt had blockaded a port for a few weeks. How much more justified would the Palestinians be in retaliating against a total blockade — by land, sea and air — that has lasted almost eight years?
I don’t agree with lobbing missiles into cities. I believe it’s wrong. But I also realize that I have the great luxury of pondering these moral and legal and philosophical questions at my leisure, in comfort and safety. I haven’t seen my family half-starved, my children’s growth stunted, my friends and relatives blown to bits. I haven’t been trapped in stateless limbo, with no passport, no freedom, no opportunity, under threat of violent death or arbitrary arrest every moment of my life. I don’t know what I would do if that was my reality. I don’t know what I’d do if I saw my loved ones suffer that way, year after year. I might somehow hold on to the ideal of non-violent resistance — or I very well might not.
But I do know that by the terms of the world’s great and good — who speak portentously of the “laws of war” and analyze in great detail the “justifications” for violent conflict — the Palestinians have a right to resist the “slow strangulation” of the blockade … and the “shot in the head” (and the missile in the crib) that they are now being subjected to. By Abba Eban’s own reasoning, from the very first day of the Israeli blockade of Gaza, “the question who started the war or who fired the first shot became momentously irrelevant.”

http://chris-floyd.com

See also

Hamas not complicit in teens’ kidnap: Israeli police: The Israeli Police Foreign Press Spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, appears to have falsified the Israeli government’s claim that Hamas was responsible for the killing of three Israeli settler teens in June

Five Israeli Talking Points on Gaza—Debunked: Israel claims that it is merely exercising its right to self-defense and that Gaza is no longer occupied. Here’s what you need to know about these talking points and more. Source

 

As par usual Israel started war again.

They are responsible for the entire problem.

Then they and the US lie about it all.

Just like the lies in the Ukraine.

Killing people into submission is not the way to go.

It is called Extermination, Genocide etc.

And who supports them both???????

About the Ukraine and some truth there as well.

http://scgnews.com/flight-mh17-what-youre-not-being-told

Published in: on July 28, 2014 at 4:02 pm  Comments (1)  
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Ashley Smith Death has been ruled a Homicide

Angela Mulholland, CTVNews.ca Staff
December 19, 2013

The death of New Brunswick teen Ashley Smith at a federal prison in Kitchener, Ont., has been ruled a homicide by the jury at a coroner’s inquest.

The verdict came down Thursday after jury members at the inquest listened to nearly 11 months of testimony from prison guards, psychiatrists and Smith’s own family about the teen’s final year of life in prison before her death in October 2007.

Though homicide verdicts at coroner’s inquests are neutral findings not determining liability, it is an indication that Smith’s death was neither a simple suicide nor an accidental death, but rather other persons contributed to her death.

Along with their ruling of homicide, the five-member jury released several recommendations for preventing future similar incidents, including that Smith’s story be used a case study for front-line workers of the Correctional Service of Canada.

They also recommended that all female inmates be accessed by a psychologist within 72 hours of admission to any penitentiary or treatment facility, to assess any mental health issues

Smith, 19, choked herself to death in her cell at the Grand Valley Institution in Kitchener, Ont., six years ago using a cloth strip. Guards who videotaped her death testified that they did not intervene in time to save Smith’s life because they were under strict orders from prison management not to enter her cell.

For almost a full year, the jury listened to thousands of hours of testimony and reviewed hundreds of exhibits as they heard about the teen’s treatment while in federal custody.

They watched several shocking videos, including images of a hooded Smith being duct-taped to her airplane seat, guards in riot gear restraining and pepper-spraying her and injecting her with sedatives against her will, and finally, the video of Smith turning blue and dying on the concrete floor of her segregation cell after strangling herself.

The videos also helped reveal how ill-equipped prison staff were in coping with Smith, who had a long history or self-harm and appeared to suffer from severe borderline personality disorder

The videos became key to the inquest, although it took several years of in-fighting to get them released.

The Correctional Service of Canada, along with the Grand Valley Institution, fought for years to keep the videos out of public view, while the Smith family insisted the images were crucial to the inquiry.

Presiding coroner Dr. John Carlisle eventually ordered the videos be screened.

Smith was first incarcerated at age 15 after she was given a 90-day sentence for throwing crab apples at a postal carrier, but a number of escalating in-custody incidents kept her behind bars until her death. In the 11 months leading up to her death, Smith was transferred 17 times between nine different federal institutions.

The inquest heard several bits of stunning evidence, including that the Grand Valley warden and deputy demanded that reports into incidents involving Smith be falsified, in order to play down the amount of force that was used against her. Source

Teen choked to death in prison cell at Grand Valley Institution in 2007

CBC News Posted: Dec 19, 2013

Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) failed her.

  • Within 72 hours of admission to a federal institution, all female inmates be assessed by a psychologist to determine whether self-injurious behaviour exists.
  • Female inmates receive support from female psychologists and support workers.
  • The CSC ensure nursing services are available on site for inmates at all times.
  • There be adequate staffing of qualified mental health staff at every women’s institution.
  • The CSC expand the scope and terms of psychiatrists’ contracts to enable them to perform duties in a meaningful way.
  • A federally operated treatment facility for high-needs, high-risk women be created.

    An Ontario coroner’s jury in Toronto has ruled the self-inflicted choking death of Ashley Smith in her segregated prison cell was a homicide.

    ​Smith, 19, originally from Moncton, N.B., was imprisoned at the Grand Valley Institution in Kitchener, Ont., when she died in 2007.

    She had tied a piece of cloth around her neck while guards stood outside her cell door and watched. They had been ordered by senior staff not to enter her cell as long as she was breathing.

    Presiding coroner Dr. John Carlisle read the jury’s findings Thursday afternoon, concluding, “May she rest in peace, and may God bless her memory.”

    The five-woman jury made dozens of recommendations after hearing evidence from more than 80 witnesses in almost 11 months of testimony.

    Among the recommendations was that there be no requirement for staff to seek authorization prior to intervening in crisis situations.​

The recommendations include:

  • Smith’s death be used as a case study to demonstrate how health care and the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) failed her.
  • Within 72 hours of admission to a federal institution, all female inmates be assessed by a psychologist to determine whether self-injurious behaviour exists.
  • Female inmates receive support from female psychologists and support workers.
  • The CSC ensure nursing services are available on site for inmates at all times.
  • There be adequate staffing of qualified mental health staff at every women’s institution.
  • The CSC expand the scope and terms of psychiatrists’ contracts to enable them to perform duties in a meaningful way.
  • A federally operated treatment facility for high-needs, high-risk women be created.
  • Decisions about clinical management of inmates be made by doctors, not CSC staff.
  • Inmates must have access to an independent patient advocate system
  • Indefinite solitary confinement for prisoners be abolished.
  • Until indefinite solitary confinement is abolished with CSC, its use must be restricted to no more than 360 hours.
  • Meetings between prisoners and support staff should not happen through food slots (something that happened frequently with Smith.)
  • Prison staff be allowed to refuse orders without fear of reprisal.
  • Prison staff at all levels be personally responsible for everyone’s right to life.
  • Female inmates be accommodated in regions closest to family and supports.

Hoped for homicide verdict

Smith’s mother, Cora-Lee Smith, was not in Toronto for the reading of the verdict.

However, Julian Falconer, lawyer for the Smith family, said the verdict was “a clear statement that those in charge caused Ashley’s death.”

Falconer said they will call on authorities to reopen the criminal investigation into who issued the order not to go into Smith’s cell.

“They are a law unto themselves. The leadership is terribly tainted. You have to lop the head off correctional service and start over. And the auditor general has a job to do. We expect him to do it,” he said.

Kim Pate, executive director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies — a group that works with female inmates — had hoped the jury would return a verdict of homicide.

“Many staff members have reported that she did advise them that she knew what she was doing was dangerous, but she also knew it was their job to save her,” said Pate.

“So it is very clear that a combination of the order not to intervene that was sanctioned, seemingly right up to national headquarters of Correctional Services Canada, combined with the impact that had on staff, is really a major contributor to her death.”

Homicide is defined as the killing of a human being due to the act or omission of another.

Pate said a homicide verdict would not mean any criminal or civil responsibility, but would only categorize Smith’s death.

Meanwhile, Steven Blaney, federal minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, said in a statement, “My thoughts and prayers go out to Ms. Smith’s family. I’ve asked my officials to review carefully the jury’s recommendations.”

In the last year of Smith’s life, the mentally troubled teenager was shuffled 17 times between nine institutions in five provinces. Source

Related

This from 2012

Canada: Coroner’s Inquest of Ashley Smith’s death in Prison
Published in: on December 19, 2013 at 8:49 pm  Comments Off on Ashley Smith Death has been ruled a Homicide  
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Millions in farm subsidies given to dead US farmers

I really felt this needed to be shared

July 31 2013

Millions of dollars have gone to farmers years after their death as part of various farm safety net programs under the US Department of Agriculture, according to a recent government audit.

Federal auditors who poured through the USDA’s crop insurance, disaster assistance and conservation programs have found that $36.6 million were disbursed to deceased recipients, according to the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The GAO report points to the biggest offender as the USDA’s Risk Management Agency, which disburses crop insurance, as having issued $22 million in subsidies one or two years after a recipient’s death.

The report has been released ahead of meetings in the House and Senate to hammer out a farm bill that may expand subsidies like crop insurance, and casts doubts on the Agriculture Department’s ability to weed out waste, fraud and abuse.

The GAO itself states that findings “may call into question whether these farm safety net programs are benefiting the agricultural sector as intended.”

Though the funds improperly doled out to the deceased farmers represent a fraction of the $20 billion in annual federal subsidies for farm incomes, as the Los Angeles Times reports, the report also comes at a critical juncture for Congress as both parties spar over the total cost of a pending $1 trillion farm bill. And if segments such as crop insurance do increase as expected, then the USDA’s inability to detect waste or fraud may only increase accordingly.

For its part, the department of agriculture is not disputing the GAO’s findings, though it has taken exception to claims that it did not have sufficient controls in place to detect improper payments, according to the New York Times.

Environmental activists, who oppose federal subsidies that, for example, encourage an artificially inflated production of corn – with implications into the popularity of GMO crops and the widespread use of high-fructose corn syrup – point to government waste as indicating a need for reforms.

“Not only are unlimited crop insurance subsidies flowing to the largest and most successful farm businesses, they are now going to deceased policyholders,” said Scott Faber, vice president of the Environmental Working Group in a statement issued Monday.

“At a time when some lawmakers want to cut off funding for the hungriest children, we find out today the federal government has spent $22 million over four years to lavish insurance subsidies to individuals who are no longer alive,” added Faber.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) opposes what it deems “bloated” farm subsidies that produce ultimately harmful incentives to plow up wetlands, grasslands and marginal lands, or place any emphasis on soil health. As RT recently reported, corn subsidies combined with a growing deficiency in GMO corn has resulted in greater use of pesticides.

According to a recent report published by the journal Food Policy cited by EWG US farm subsidies ultimately “have negligible impact on the prices paid by consumers for food. EWG cites other evidence that even the total elimination of US farm programs “would have a very modest effect on farm prices and production” of subsidized crops such as corn and wheat.

Though the debate over whether the currently gargantuan sum doled out by the federal government in the form of the farm bill is fair, is ongoing, this latest disclosure of funds making their way to deceased individuals only provides more ammunition to critics of government waste.

Both EWG and a slew of advocacy organizations that are concerned over everything from GMOs to pesticide use argue that crop insurance programs in particular have been transformed from their original intent, which was to compensate farmers from weather-caused crop losses, to a virtual guarantee of farm income.

GAO auditors are now suggesting that the USDA implement use of the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File to identify payments made to dead individuals. According to the GAO, agencies under the department of agriculture are currently utilizing an incomplete version of that data, and thus failing to identify deceased recipients.
Source

If there is one thing the US Government does really well it is waste money. Their accounting is just horrid.

I wonder if they ever found the trillions lost as reported the day before 9/11 and If I remember correctly they lost and\other trillion or so latter, as well as all the money lost on contractors during the Iraq war?

Recent

Canada: Railway Disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec Part 2

 

Najaf: A toxic “health catastrophe” – US weapons blamed for Iraq’s birth defects

 

Canada: Aboriginal children were used in government experiments

Syria: A few Insights

Syrian rebels have issued a ban on women using make up or wearing “immodest dress” in a neighborhood in the city of Aleppo. Critics have blasted the move as another attempt by Islamists to impose Sharia in rebel-controlled territory.

The fatwa (an order based on Sharia law) was issued by the Islamic law council in Aleppo’s Fardous neighborhood.

Muslim women are banned from leaving the house in immodest dress, in tight clothing that shows off their bodies or wearing makeup on their face. It is incumbent on all our sisters to obey God and commit to Islamic etiquette,” the statement on the Fardous council’s Facebook page says as cited by Reuters, which reports that Aleppo residents have confirmed the news.

Some of the comments showed support for the ruling, arguing there was nothing wrong in requiring that people follow “certain etiquette in public“. Critics lashed out at the Islamist-led rebels for abusing their power.

The women’s clothing fatwa has been viewed as the latest example of Islamic radicalism growing within rebel-controlled Syrian areas.

A video released a few days ago features public beheadings of alleged Assad loyalists.

The executed men were Christians according to some media reports, with one of the dead being a priest. Various local sources have accused Jabhat al Nusra – the Al Qaeda-affiliated radical Islamist group opposed to Syrian President Bashar Assad– of carrying out the killings.

At the beginning of June a teenage boy in the northern city of Aleppo was allegedly executed for blasphemy in front of his family by an al-Qaeda-affiliated opposition group.

But European MP Nick Griffin, who was in Damascus with a fact-finding delegation in June, argues Syrians are not going to accept the implementation of harsh Sharia laws.

We’ve been able to talk with ordinary Syrians at all sorts of different levels. Something that comes out from all those people who we speak to is that Syria wasn’t perfect, but it was a secular and tolerant state where no one even cared if someone was Sunni or Shia or Christian or Jewish,” Griffin told RT after his visit.

Imposing Sharia could backfire against the anti-Assad forces as the most recent events in Egypt suggest. The 2011 revolt saw Islamists come to power in the North African state and attempt to push through a Sharia constitution. The move eventually sparked an even greater uprising, with millions now in the streets protesting the “islamization” of their country.

All [Morsi] has done is introduce or he tried to introduce that fundamental constitution that would turn Egypt into a Sharia state. Most Egyptians don’t want that. They want to have their religion in private, but not to have the state dictate to them exactly what it is going to look like,” political analyst and author William Engdahl told RT.

Source

The Vatican has confirmed the brutal beheading of a Catholic priest by Syrian rebels.

Under Assad Christians had religious freedom, but the Rebels persecute them.

Syrian Rebels Massacre Christian Village Report from May 20 2013 Many of the Rebels are not from Syria, but come from other countries

Syrian rebels execute teenage boy for ‘heresy’

From May 31 2013

Turkish security forces found a 2kg cylinder with sarin gas after searching the homes of Syrian militants from the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Nusra Front who were previously detained, Turkish media reports. The gas was reportedly going to be used in a bomb.

The sarin gas was found in the homes of suspected Syrian Islamists detained in the southern provinces of Adana and Mersia following a search by Turkish police on Wednesday, reports say. The gas was allegedly going to be used to carry out an attack in the southern Turkish city of Adana.

On Monday, Turkish special anti-terror forces arrested 12 suspected members of the Al-Nusra Front, the Al-Qaeda affiliated group which has been dubbed “the most aggressive and successful arm” of the Syrian rebels. The group was designated a terrorist organization by the United States in December. For the rest go HERE

Then of course we have a Rebel cutting out the heart of a Soldier and eating it. You can do a google search to get that one.

These are the things Death Squads do. So are there Death Squads in Syria?  Look for those masked Rebels and you will find the answer.

Well do a bit of research and then decide.  Start HERE for a bit of History on US interventions

“The Salvador Option For Syria”: US-NATO Sponsored Death Squads Integrate “Opposition Forces”

You’re not familiar with the ‘Salvador Option’? Well, remember in the 1980s, when all those fiery, irrationally passionate Latinos and their wacky hippy allies advanced the unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that the CIA was orchestrating bands of marauding assassins and torturers in El Salvador against the left-wing FMLN guerrillas, as well as Catholic clergy and innocent civilians? For the rest go HERE

During civil wars in which the US does not want to be seen getting its hands dirty in Latin America, the superpower loans Israel money at a very good rate, and then Israel uses these funds to do the “dirty work”. In this regard, in Latin America at least, Israel has become the hit-man for the US. For the rest go HERE

 HERE is a search of Death Squad uses by the US

Under the “Leahy Law,” named after Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, the U.S. government is not allowed to fund foreign military units who have committed gross human rights violations with impunity.

That being said, how many countries, have the US helped finance/fund their military, that commit Human Rights violations with impunity?

What makes it even worse is the American people fund the US Gov, who in turn fund Human rights violates. The US itself violates Human Rights, on many levels.

How the US has affected those in Afghanistan and the World.  Addiction and death.  This helps people does it?

Afghanistan, Heroin, Addiction, Death

How the US and other help pollute, other countries with Radioactive DU.

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

US, NATO and Rebel war crimes in Libya

Recent

Anti-War Activists Targeted as ‘Domestic Terrorists’

Iraq War Veterans “Last Words”

California man faces 13 years in jail for scribbling anti-bank messages in chalk

Secret tax-haven names released to public

Who protects you from TSA Abusers?

Published in: on July 2, 2013 at 4:10 pm  Comments Off on Syria: A few Insights  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Canada: Coroner’s Inquest of Ashley Smith’s death in Prison

Updated November 3, 2012

Public opinion I do believe has motivated a few changes.

Government won’t interfere in Ashley Smith inquest, Harper says

Even though Prime Minister Stephen Harper concedes the treatment of Ashley Smith while in custody was “unacceptable,” he says his government is not in a position to interfere with the coroner’s inquest called to look into the New Brunswick teen’s death.

Corrections told to to ‘co-operate fully’ in Ashley Smith inquest at link below

Parliamentary secretary calls videos of ill teenager’s custody ‘completely unacceptable’

Corrections Canada to drop Ashley Smith inquest challenge

Lawyers for Corrections Canada have told Ashley Smith’s family they are dropping their challenge to the scope of an Ontario coroner’s inquest into the circumstances of her death.

What are Torture methods used on Ashley.

If you take the time to read the articles and watch all the videos

This is what you find. There may be a few missing bit most of it is there.

She was beaten by a guard. Head pounded into the floor.

After someone reported it they too were intimidated, threatened and had their tires slashed. Etc. So not only was Ashley intimidated and threatened, so were people who worked there who wee willing to come forward.

Ashley was-

Intimidated

Shamed, she was stripped naked and left that way for some time.

Shunned, Isolated/Solitary confinement with absolutely little human contact or the lack of anything to do.  No mental stimulation makes matters even worse for anyone.

Prisoners who are isolated for prolonged periods of time have been known to experience “depression, despair, anxiety, claustrophobia, hallucinations, problems with impulse control, and/or an impaired ability to think, concentrate, or remember, increased risk of suicide, PTSD, visual and auditory hallucinations ,hypersensitivity to noise and touch, insomnia and paranoia, uncontrollable feelings of rage and fear, distortions of time and perception”

She was in Solitary Confinement for the majority of her stay in all the Prisons.

In rooms with nothing. She was lucky to get a small blanket. She slept on the hard floor. Just a room with a toilet and sink, 4 walls and a video camera.

Pharmacological –She was given drugs against her will.

Ridiculed her- like “Are you dead Yet! Stand out.

Threatened her-“I will Duck tape your face!” as said to her on the Plane while being transferred.

Being pepper sprayed or threatening to do so. Both were done to her.

Being threatened with more drugs shoved into her.

Those are just a few.

Lights were left on 24 hours a day/Sleep deprivation

Being tied up for hours on end in a certain positions- often

Defecting or urinating herself, with no choice and left that way for hours. This happened when in the Wrap as they called it.

Also while being transferred by plane after being Duck taped up, with the 2 spit screens over here head.

There were probably many times she had this happen which have not come to light as of yet.

Being trapped in a room filled with pepper spray with no way out

These are all forms of torture.

Just imagine how you would feel if these thing happened to you..

Number of prisoners harming themselves triples in five years: reports from 2012 check the links Below.

There are more Ashley’s in the prison system it seems. The numbers are growing.

Suicide attempts, self-harm rising in Canada’s prisons-Aboriginal offenders account for 45% of all incidents, ombudsman’s report finds

From 2009

Risk of prison suicides ‘unacceptably high’: ombudsman

Mental health issues overlooked in Canada’s prisons: report

By Allison Cross, December 19, 2009

OTTAWA — The number of inmates who died in Canadian jails as a result of homicide, suicide, accident or drug overdose increased this year, as prisoners with mental-health issues continued to be denied the treatment they need, according to a report by Canada’s prison watchdog.

The Government cannot say they do not know, there is a growing problem.

But obviously they can.

Toews ignores facts, evidence

October 26, 2012

A couple of  paragraphs from the story
Days before Public Safety Minister Vic Toews told Winnipeg reporters in July that the federal government’s tough-on-crime agenda hadn’t brought on an “influx of new inmates,” he received a report from Canada’s correctional investigator saying the exact opposite.

Not only did the June 26 report by Howard Sapers clearly state “in recent years, corrections has seen significant growth,” but it said that the prison population shot up by 6.8 per cent between March 2010 and March 2012.

————————————————————

A criminal justice system that appears by design to target the mentally ill, racially marginalized and socially disadvantaged is a symptom of a sick society.

Since 36 per cent of those entering prison are identified at admission as requiring some form of psychiatric or psychological care, and 63 per cent are there because of substance abuse, it would seem wiser to expend efforts to deal with those issues before victims are created than to into overcrowded jails people who need help for their illnesses.   Read more

The affects of Solitary Confinement

Psychiatric Effects of Solitary Confinement

The Health Effects of Solitary confinement

Solitary would enhance her wanting to harm herself.

Many people cut themselves because it gives them a sense of relief. Some people use cutting as a means to cope with a problem. Some teens say that when they hurt themselves, they are trying to stop feeling lonely, angry, or hopeless. Some teens who hurt themselves have low self-esteem, they may feel unloved by their family and friends, and they may have an eating disorder, an alcohol or drug problem, or may have been victims of abuse.

 

Teens who hurt themselves often keep their feelings “bottled up” inside and have a hard time letting their feelings show. Some teens who hurt themselves say that feeling the pain provides a sense of relief from intense feelings. Cutting can relieve the tension from bottled up sadness or anxiety. Others hurt themselves in order to “feel.” Often people who hold back strong emotions can begin feeling numb, and cutting can be a way to cope with this because it causes them to feel something. Some teens also may hurt themselves because they want to fit in with others who do it. Source

Self Harm is also a cry for help.

A way to alleviate Psychological pain they feel.

It helps to calm themselves.

Among other things.

They are often victims of abuse.

Research has been done on Self Harming.

Here is one I found and there are probably many many more who have also done research into this problem.

This approach may have been much better, then what they did to Ashley.

Helping Those Who Hurt Themselves

By Tracy Alderman, Ph.D.
The Prevention Researcher,
The year 2000,

If you work with youth, it?s likely that at some point you will come in contact with someone who self-injures. This article is intended to provide some support, advice, and education to those who have students or clients who engage in activities of self-inflicted violence.

What You May Feel

Shock and Denial
Because self-inflicted violence (SIV) is a secretive behavior, it can be shocking to learn that someone you know is a self-injurer. You may not have noticed many of the signs of SIV, such as a refusal to wear shorts or short sleeved shirts, even on the warmest of days. You probably gave no thought to the frequent “accidents” or the numerous bruises and cuts on the arms and legs of a student which were always accounted for by a logical source. Self-inflicted violence lends itself to secrecy quite well ? it usually takes place in isolation and the results can be concealed with relative ease. Also, most people are often eager to ignore or deny many of the tell-tale signs of this behavior. Thus, when you find out about the self-injurious behavior, it is shocking.

Denial is related to the shock. At times, denial is appropriate, useful and necessary. However, with self-inflicted violence denial is detrimental. People who injure themselves are in a great deal of psychological distress. To deny this distress will communicate that you are not interested, not able to help, or do not understand their SIV behaviors. When you are confronted with the self-injurious behaviors it is important you do not deny the reality and implications of the situation. Although this may be difficult, responding to the SIV, rather than denying its existence, is necessary in order to aid those individuals who are injuring themselves.

Anger and Frustration
Anger is a common response when learning of an individual’s self-injurious behaviors. There are many reasons for this. First, anger may stem from the deception which often surrounds SIV. Many individuals who hurt themselves lie about the causes of their injuries. Deception is used as a way of reducing feelings of shame and warding off possible reactions of anger, disgust or rejection from others. However, when the deception is discovered it often produces those very same feared reactions.

Additionally, believing that the self-inflicted violence was not necessary may also anger you. Watching individuals do things to physically damage themselves is frustrating. You may be inclined to scold them or force them to stop hurting themselves. Frustration stems from our inability to control the behaviors of others.

Self-injury, as opposed to many other self-damaging behaviors, usually produces visible, physical evidence. This evidence forces us to realize the extent of our helplessness in changing the individual’s behaviors, causing us frustration and anger.

Empathy, Sympathy and Sadness
Empathy is often a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it allows you to be more helpful while also causing you to feel similar sadness and psychological pain as the individual with whom you are dealing. Individuals who engage in self-inflicted violence experience enormous psychological distress. It is essential to understand the immense nature of this distress providing support and assistance. However, by doing so, you run the risk of allowing that person’s inner world to penetrate you. The result of our inability to remain detached is that you may feel some of their sadness and pain.

We may also feel sad for the individual who is performing self inflicted violence. However, feeling sympathetic towards others, may cause you to see them as figures worthy of our pity. In many ways, this is condescending. While empathy is helpful, sympathy is not. Individuals who hurt themselves may view their SIV as a positive action, an action which helped them to survive. Being sympathetic, you may see their SIV as a negative and pitiful behavior, an act of desperation. Thus, sympathy is not a particularly useful.

Guilt
Self inflicted violence often provokes feelings of guilt for those who are close to the individuals performing these behaviors. You may feel as if you did something wrong which caused this person to self-injure. Perhaps you may think you weren’t the best teacher, parent, or friend. Guilt can be a useful emotion, but in the case of SIV, it is often not appropriate, necessary, or useful.

It is more helpful to surpass these feelings and focus your energy in a more positive and useful direction. Talk with the self injuring student and find out how you can be helpful at this point in time. Wallowing in your own guilt will keep you immobilized instead of becoming an active and helpful participant.

What You May Think

A variety of thoughts commonly accompany the knowledge that someone you know is performing SIV. Some of the more common are:
* It’s all my fault.
* I can fix this.
* You’re nuts!
* This changes our whole relationship.
* You’re not who I thought you were.
* You’re doing this to manipulate me.

Considered objectively, many or all of these thoughts are erroneous and could easily negatively influence your feelings. It is important to be aware of your thoughts so you can prevent them from influencing negative emotional responses which could damage your relationship with the self injurer.

What to Do and Not Do

We don’t like to see others in pain. It is almost instinctual that we try to end another’s misery. When we see students or clients injuring themselves, we begin to understand the enormity of their psychological pain and it is only natural that we want to help. However, without the proper education and training, helping could do more damage than good. This section will provide some ideas of what you should and should not do when trying to assist those individuals who are injuring themselves.

Talk About Self Inflicted Violence
As mentioned previously, SIV is surrounded by shame and secrecy. SIV exists whether you talk about it or not. Ignoring something does not make it disappear. The same is true with self inflicted violence: it will not go away by pretending it does not exist.

Avoiding SIV has several negative effects. First, it reinforces and strengthens the feelings of shame attached to this behavior. Individuals engaging in SIV may get the idea that the behavior is so shameful that even talking about it is taboo. Thus, the secrecy and feelings of shame surrounding self inflicted violence are strengthened.

When communication is decreased, feelings of isolation and alienation, the same feelings which often precede an act of self injury, are increased. Not talking about SIV, may actually increase the likelihood that the self-injurer will hurt themselves again. Silence makes a very powerful statement.

Talking about self inflicted violence is essential. Openly discussing SIV helps those who are hurting themselves. By addressing the issues of self injury you remove the secrecy which surrounds it and reduce the shame attached. You are encouraging a connection between you and the self injurer. The mere fact that you are willing to discuss SIV helps to create change.

You may not know what to say to the individual who is performing acts of SIV. Fortunately, you don’t have to know exactly what to say. By acknowledging that you want to talk, even though you’re not sure how to proceed, you are opening the channels of communication.

Here are some questions you might want to use to facilitate the discussion.
* How long have you been hurting yourself?
* Why do you hurt yourself?
* How do you hurt yourself?
* When and where do you usually injure yourself?
* How often do you injure yourself?
* How did you learn to hurt yourself?
* What is it like for you to talk with me about hurting yourself?
* Does it hurt when you injure yourself?
* How open are you about your self injurious behaviors?
* Do you want to change your SIV behaviors?
* How can I help you with your SIV?

It is necessary to talk about SIV so that the person who is engaging in these activities feels more supported, less isolated, and more connected. Simply talking about SIV will help to decrease the individual’s need for self injurious behaviors.

Be Supportive
Talking is one way to provide support, however, there are numerous other ways to show your support to another. One of the best ways to determine how you can best offer support is to directly ask the self-injurer how you might be helpful. In doing so, you might find that your idea of support is vastly different from how others view it. Knowing what kind, and when to offer support, is necessary.

A key component in being supportive is to keep your negative reactions to yourself. This is not to say that you should not, or will not, have judgments or negative reactions to SIV. However, you must conceal these beliefs and feelings while you are being supportive. Later, when you are not offering assistance, you may release and express these thoughts and emotions.

Be Available
Most individuals who injure themselves, will not do so in the presence of others. Therefore, the more you are with those individuals who hurt themselves, the less opportunity they will have to inflict self harm. By offering your company and your support, you are actively decreasing the likelihood of SIV.

Many people who hurt themselves have difficulty recognizing or stating their own needs. Therefore, it is helpful for you offer the ways in which you are willing to help. This will allow your students to know when and in what ways they are able to rely on you.

Don’t Discourage Self Injury
Typically, when we are told that we can’t or shouldn’t engage in a given behavior, it is for a good reason. However, these reasons take on much more meaning and relevance if they are self-determined. The consequences of our behaviors help us to determine what we should or should not do. Rules, should?s, shouldn’ts, dos and don’ts, limit us and restrict our freedom. When we maintain the right to choose, our choices are much more powerful and effective.

It is both aversive and condescending to tell an individual to not self-injure. As mentioned previously, SIV is a method of coping, and it is often used as a final attempt to relieve emotional distress. Most individuals would choose to not hurt themselves if they could. Although SIV produces feelings of shame, secrecy, guilt and isolation, it continues to be utilized as a method of coping. Because some individuals engage in self injurious behaviors despite the many negative effects is a clear indication of the necessity of this action to their survival.

When you tell someone to stop something, you are inserting a barrier to communication. This barrier will likely increase the secrecy around self inflicted violence. Even a casual comment indicating that your students should stop hurting themselves, runs the risk of damaging the communication and relationship which exists between you. Self-injurers will continue to injure themselves as long as they need to. Your directives will not change this. However, the amount of secrecy and shame experienced because of these actions might change significantly.

Additionally, some individuals who injure themselves may have an adverse reaction to your demand of cessation. By imposing your limits on others, you are creating an atmosphere for failure. Thus, in order to feel control, some who self injure will increase their SIV behaviors in order to feel as if they have choice and control over these actions.

Although it may be incredibly difficult to witness someone’s fresh wounds, it is important that you offer support, and not limits, to that individual.

Recognize the Severity of the Person’s Distress
Most people don’t self injure because they are curious about what it would be like to hurt themselves. Instead, most SIV is the result of high levels of emotional distress with few available means to cope. Although it may be difficult for you to recognize and tolerate, it is important to realize the extreme level of emotional pain individuals experience surrounding SIV activities.

Open wounds are a fairly direct expression of emotional pain. One of the reasons why individuals injure themselves is so that they transform internal pain into something more tangible, external and treatable. The wound becomes a symbol of both intense suffering and of survival. It is important to acknowledge the messages sent by these scars and injuries. An ability to understand the severity of the self-injurer?s distress and empathize appropriately will enhance your communication and connection. Do not be afraid to raise the subject of emotional pain. Allow the youth to speak about his/her inner turmoil rather than express it through self-damaging methods.

Get Help For Your Own Reactions
At some point in our lives, most of us have had the experience of feeling distressed by our reactions to someone else’s behavior. Al Anon and similar self help groups were created to help the friends and families of individuals dealing with problems of addiction and similar behaviors. At this point in time no such organizations exist for those coping with SIV behaviors. However, the basic premise upon which these groups were designed clearly applies to the issue of self inflicted violence. Sometimes the behavior of others affects us in such a profound manner that we need help in dealing with our reactions.

Entering psychotherapy to deal with your responses to SIV is one such way to handle the reactions which you may find to be overwhelming or disturbing. You may also ask friends or colleagues for support or speak with a religious counselor.

In conclusion, dealing with those who self injure can be tremendously difficult. Your own reactions and responses can make all the difference in helping those who are hurting themselves. Remember, you don’t need to be perfect ? you just need to be willing to learn, grow, and be honest with yourself and those who you’re helping. Source

There is a lot of information on how to deal with these types of behavior other then what was done to Ashley.

There are no excuses that are acceptable from Doctors, Guards or the Government.

The treatment of Ashely is unforgivable considering all the knowledge available to all concerned.

I have not found any reports about further trials, other then the one for throwing the crab apples. How did a 1 month sentence get turned into years in a prison and death of young woman?

Are those in the prison system Judge, Jury and Crown Attorney.

As I said I have not found any information on any further trials. What happened to innocent until proven guilty and the right to stand before a court to plead your case? It seems that is thrown out the window when you enter the Prison system.

Who decided that Ashley must stay in prison?

She should have been released after 1 month. Not kept there for years.

Have Canadian prison become like Guantanamo Bay in Cuba? There are a few similarities unfortunately. Well if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, looks like a duck and acts like a duck. It’s probably a duck.

So many questions and so few answers.

Here is another Report from Fifth Estate on Ashely

Fifth Estate Out of Control

This one I moved up so they are together.

Behind the Wall: the fifth estate’s award-winning doc on the Ashley Smith case

Both are well done and extremely informative.

The other 3 videos are below in the October 31 Update

Updated October 31, 3012

Link to some videos released below. Both are must watch videos. They wore gas mask. Full body Armour etc.

In and out of youth jail since she was 14 for disturbing the peace in her Moncton neighbourhood — playing chicken in the streets with traffic, pulling fire alarms, making harassing telephone calls and breaching probation —She also threw crab apples at a postman and stole a CD.

There may be a couple of other things I missed, but she was not a hardened criminal, by any scene of the word.

She may have been a bit of a problem child, but she did not deserve to die the way she did. There is certainly a lot that needs to be brought to the forefront. She wasn’t even, what I would call a criminal, just a kid who needed direction. I have come across a few teens who have done many of the same things.  They were not really all that bad either.

At New Brunswick Youth Centre in Miramichi — where she served two-thirds of her sentence in solitary confinement and was sometimes restrained in shackles or a full-body “cocoon” topped off with a hockey helmet in case she toppled over or tried to bite someone — staff levelled more than 500 “institutional” charges against her.

She was transferred 17 times, to different prisons, in 4 different provinces. This 19-year-old woman’s entire time in federal custody; 11 months spent shuttled from one solitary confinement cell to another across the country.

Being in Solitary confinement in of itself, could drive a person insane.

Being out of the province away from her family could also cause a lot of torment to her. She must have been horridly lonely.

Videos show ‘dehumanizing’ treatment of teen Ashley Smith

Corrections Canada had tried to stop videos from being made public

CBC News

Oct 31, 2012

Related Stories

Ashley Smith inquest to see treatment videos
Feds take Ashley Smith ‘death video’ ruling to court
Ashley Smith family lawyer alleges ‘coverup’ of videos

Videos of teenager Ashley Smith taken in the months before she died in a prison cell show the teen was subjected to “degrading and dehumanizing” treatment, her family’s lawyer told a coroner’s hearing in Toronto Wednesday.

Julian Falconer led the hearing through the video clips shot prior to Oct. 19, 2007, the day the New Brunswick teen died from strangulation after tying ligatures to her neck in her cell at Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ont.

Corrections Canada had gone to court to try to block the videos from being made public, but lost the case. Falconer is now fighting to have the videos played in front of a coroner’s jury.

“To people who think this can’t happen in Canada to a mentally ill 19-year-old, you know a picture speaks a thousand words. I’m embarrassed to be Canadian when I look at that video,” the lawyer said outside the hearing.

In one of the videos, the 19-year-old is seen on an RCMP plane being transferred from a correctional service psychiatric facility in Saskatchewan to one in Quebec.

Smith is wearing two mesh hoods to stop her from spitting.

The RCMP co-pilot can be seen duct-taping her hands together and then to her seat. He then threatens to duct-tape Smith’s face if she does not behave.

“This is how the [correctional service] does business in transferring a victim,” Falconer said.

Another video shows Smith tied to a gurney at Joliette Prison in Quebec after she tried to cut herself in her cell. She is surrounded by corrections officers in full riot gear, including shields.

One of the officers places a shield on Smith’s torso while a nurse injects her with a tranquillizer, described by Falconer as a “chemical restraint.” She received five more injections over the next nine hours, the hearing was told.

Another video taken on July 26, 2007, shows half a dozen guards in riot gear entering Smith’s cell at 5:32 a.m. and telling her she had to have two injections in preparation for a transfer to another facility. Smith objects mildly but, surrounded by the guards, she presents her arm for the shots.

Falconer said a correctional service inquiry board had determined Smith agreed to the shots of her “own free will and without force being used.” Falconer pointed out that a psychiatrist had only recommended drugs be administered to Smith if required and said the “abuse” of the rules contributed to her death.

Smith was first incarcerated at the age of 15 for throwing crab apples at a postal worker.

She racked up six years worth of additional time behind bars for infractions while in youth custody — so many that she eventually ended up serving time in the federal adult prison system.

During the year she spent in federal custody, Smith was transferred 17 times between nine institutions in five provinces.

The correctional service is arguing that presiding coroner Dr. John Carlisle has no jurisdiction to investigate how Smith was treated in prisons in other provinces and that the videos should not be shown to the jury.

The agency is fighting to narrow the scope of the inquest into Smith’s death, claiming the coroner has no jurisdiction to delve into the federal prison system.

Falconer called the position absurd.

“Don’t let them get away with it,” he told Carlisle.

“If you mistreat someone often enough, surely that will affect how they behave.”

Focus of inquest questioned

Carlisle wants a broadly focused inquest that looks, among other things, into how the teenager was treated after repeated episodes of self-harm.

Lawyers for the correctional service and three Ontario doctors involved in Smith’s treatment argued Carlisle’s approach oversteps his legal and constitutional authority.

“This has become an investigation into how [Corrections Canada] treated Ms. Smith, and not an investigation into her death,” correctional service lawyer Nancy Noble said.

Carlisle wants to turn the inquest “into full-blown inquiry into operations and management of [Corrections Canada],” she said.

The agency wants the inquest limited to Smith’s time at Grand Valley Institution, said Lori Pothier, a spokeswoman for Corrections Canada.

The hearing was adjourned until Nov. 13.

The coroner’s inquest is set to officially start with a jury in January.

You must see them to believe it.

For the Videos go HERE and HERE

On April, 12, 2007, the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon prepared to transfer Smith following an alleged assault by a staff supervisor. A staff member reported seeing the supervisor strike Smith’s head against the floor.

Falconer described the decision to transfer her out of the facility where she had been receiving mental health care a “breach of trust.”

“You’re beaten and the way to deal with it is to ship the victim out. . . . This is how Correctional Service Canada does business.”

At 6:27 p.m., Smith boarded the plane en route to Institut Philippe-Pinel, a psychiatric centre in Montreal.

Surveillance video shows guards putting two mesh-and-canvas “spit hoods” on her head — a penal garment used to deal with troublesome inmates.

Smith, though, appears relaxed.

“Make a knot,” a female guard said, instructing a colleague on how to fasten the two hoods around Smith’s neck.

“Does that work?” one guard asked?

“It’s going to work,” another replied.

“We’ll have to cut it after.”

She asks guards to use the washroom, promising to not remove the hood.

Her pleas are ignored.

“You stay calm for a little while and then maybe we’ll talk,” a female guard tells Smith.

“Trust me, I am calm,” Smith says.

She begs guards to stop pushing on her left hand, which looks red and bloated.

“I think she took a dump . . . it smells,” a male guard says.

“That’s great,” another replies.

At 6:33 p.m., the plane’s co-pilot emerges from the cockpit in dark sunglasses; a reel of duct tape in his hand.

“First, tape the two wrists together and then after strap (inaudible) legs,” he says.

“Owwww!” Smith screams, her entire body jerking as the co-pilot works the tape around her arms like a lasso.

“Don’t bite me,” he tells Smith.

Her mouth is concealed behind the black veil; there is not a tooth in sight.

“I’m not!” Smith says.

“It will get worse if you do,” he says.

“How can it get worse?” Smith asks.

“I’ll duct-tape your face,” he replies.

Smith snickers.

“He’s serious,” a female guard says.

On April, 12, 2007, the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon prepared to transfer Smith following an alleged assault by a staff supervisor. A staff member reported seeing the supervisor strike Smith’s head against the floor.

Falconer described the decision to transfer her out of the facility where she had been receiving mental health care a “breach of trust.”

“You’re beaten and the way to deal with it is to ship the victim out. . . . This is how Correctional Service Canada does business.”

At 6:27 p.m., Smith boarded the plane en route to Institut Philippe-Pinel, a psychiatric centre in Montreal.

Surveillance video shows guards putting two mesh-and-canvas “spit hoods” on her head — a penal garment used to deal with troublesome inmates.

Smith, though, appears relaxed.

“Make a knot,” a female guard said, instructing a colleague on how to fasten the two hoods around Smith’s neck.

“Does that work?” one guard asked?

“It’s going to work,” another replied.

“We’ll have to cut it after.”

She asks guards to use the washroom, promising to not remove the hood.

Her pleas are ignored.

“You stay calm for a little while and then maybe we’ll talk,” a female guard tells Smith.

“Trust me, I am calm,” Smith says.

She begs guards to stop pushing on her left hand, which looks red and bloated.

“I think she took a dump . . . it smells,” a male guard says.

“That’s great,” another replies.

At 6:33 p.m., the plane’s co-pilot emerges from the cockpit in dark sunglasses; a reel of duct tape in his hand.

“First, tape the two wrists together and then after strap (inaudible) legs,” he says.

“Owwww!” Smith screams, her entire body jerking as the co-pilot works the tape around her arms like a lasso.

“Don’t bite me,” he tells Smith.

Her mouth is concealed behind the black veil; there is not a tooth in sight.

“I’m not!” Smith says.

“It will get worse if you do,” he says.

“How can it get worse?” Smith asks.

“I’ll duct-tape your face,” he replies.

Smith snickers.

“He’s serious,” a female guard says.

and HERE

Smith, who spent 23 hours a day in isolation wearing little more than an asbestos gown, tied a cloth ligature around her neck on Oct. 19, 2007 after telling a guard she had the urge to “tie up” again. Ordered by managers to not intervene so long as Smith appeared to be breathing, seven correctional officers watched as she strangled herself. Sapers issued a report last year, concluding her death was “preventable.”

Videos in Ashley Smith case will not be blocked

Published on Thursday October 25, 2012

THE CANADIAN PRESS An undated family handout photo of Ashley Smith. She died in an isolation cell at the Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ont., in October 2007.

Diana Zlomislic
Staff Reporter

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Did other inmates die?

From generous girl to ‘caged animal’

PDF: Inmate complaint form

PDF: Inmate complaint form

PDF: Correctional services form

PDF: Inmate complaint form

PDF: Ashley Smith lawsuit

The federal government will not make a last, last-ditch attempt to block graphic prison videos depicting abuses against teen inmate Ashley Smith from being shown at the inquest into her death next week.

The Correctional Service of Canada said it accepts a Divisional Court judge’s ruling on Wednesday dismissing its bid for an emergency stay of the inquest.

A government spokesperson said the prison service is “not only committed to openness and transparency, but the integrity of these proceedings.”

That doesn’t mean the legal battles that have plagued the Smith inquest are over.

Next Wednesday, lawyers will reconvene at coroner’s court in Toronto to argue about the scope of the inquest and the witness list.

Presiding coroner Dr. John Carlisle wants the inquest to examine the 19-year-old woman’s entire time in federal custody; 11 months spent shuttled from one solitary confinement cell to another across the country. She was transferred 17 times before she choked herself to death on Oct. 19, 2007 while a group of guards at Grand Valley Institution in Kitchener, Ont., who were ordered not to intervene unless she stopped breathing, watched.

The coroner, the Smith family and almost every other party with standing at the inquest maintains that the conditions of Smith’s confinement had an impact on her mental state; that her self-harm attempts became more frequent with each transfer.

The inquest’s purpose, to prevent deaths in similar circumstances, cannot be fulfilled, they say, without looking at the entire sequence of events.

But the prison service and a group of doctors who treated Smith in institutions outside of Ontario disagree. They say the coroner’s authority to examine Smith’s life begins and ends in Ontario.

The videos to be played next week offer a glimpse of Smith’s incarcerated life outside of the province. A portion of the footage will show her being duct-taped to the seat of an airplane, forcibly tranquilized, and left lying in a wet gown on a metal gurney for hours without food or water.

This is the second inquest into Smith’s death. The first was derailed after the presiding coroner decided to retire after months of legal wrangling.

“If the Correctional Service wants to be a constructive partner, it would abandon the challenges to the inquest and work with the family to get to the truth,” said lawyer Julian Falconer, representing Smith’s parents who live in Moncton, N.B. Source

They just watched her die. Her death was preventable.

There are a lot of links below. This is a long story and it is far from over.

The first of it all is at the bottom of the page. So for the beginning, go to the bottom and work your way up.

This could happen to anyone. This could happen to your child. We should all be concerned.

Oct 24, 2012

Ashley Smith videos to be shown in court

The inquest into the teen’s death will resume next week with what is expected to be…

Oct 23, 2012

Ashley Smith: Prison videos to be shown in court

“Shocking and disturbing” prison surveillance videos of teenage inmate Ashley Smith…

Oct 16, 2012

Prison service wants Ashley Smith videos kept secret

Federal prison officials are fighting to prevent disturbing videos of teen inmate Ashley Smith duct…

Sep 27, 2012

Doctors fight scope of inquest into Ashley Smith’s death

Doctors who treated a deeply troubled teenager are fighting the scope of a coroner’s inquest into…

Sep 20, 2012

Coroner’s inquest into death of Ashley Smith starts fresh in Toronto

Lawyers submit clients’ applications for standing as inquiry begins anew.

May 09, 2012

Mentally ill female prisoners treated cruelly, inhumanly, report finds

Canada’s treatment of mentally ill female prisoners amounts to “cruel and inhuman..

Jul 19, 2011

Health board criticizes Ashley Smith’s prison treatment before death

A delay-plagued coroner’s inquest into Smith’s death has been put off until September, when it will…

Jun 29, 2011

Embattled Ashley Smith coroner replaced

The embattled coroner at the inquest into the prison death of teen inmate Ashley Smith has been…

Jun 21, 2011

Ashley Smith inquest delayed until September

The high-profile coroner’s inquest into Ashley Smith’s prison death has been delayed once again…

Jun 21, 2011

Star challenges secrecy around teen’s death in jail

The province’s youth ministry and attorney general have deployed an army of lawyers to keep records…

Jun 15, 2011

Ashley Smith inquest may be webcast

Ontario’s chief coroner may webcast an inquest into the death of teen inmate Ashley Smith so the…

Jun 14, 2011

Fifth Estate wins Michener Award for Ashley Smith story

CBC-TV’s investigative program The Fifth Estate has won the 2010 Michener Award for its…

May 30, 2011

Ashley Smith jurors might return June 13

Inquest into teen inmate’s death delayed two weeks, possibly longer, while coroner deliberates…

May 28, 2011

Coroner in Ashley Smith inquest faces barrage of criticism

A bumpy first two weeks at the coroner’s inquest into the death of teen Ashley Smith has some…

May 27, 2012

Ashley Smith inquest delayed

A vague public statement says coroner needs more time to decide contentious issues about release of…

May 25, 2011

Coroner’s decisions under fire at Ashley Smith inquest

A dozen lawyers challenge Dr. Bonita Porter on her order to restrict the public’s access to prison…

May 24, 2011

Ashley Smith inquest: Guards want faces on video blurred

Media lawyers at the Ashley Smith inquest argue that not showing guards’ faces amounts to censoring…

May 19, 2011

Graphic videos show Ashley Smith turning purple in cell

As Ashley Smith’s sentence grew, so did her self-destructive behaviour. The Smith family says her…

May 18, 2011

Ashley Smith guards told ‘If she’s still breathing, don’t enter cell’

The inquest into teen Ashley Smith’s jail death sees the first video of her, shot by guards as they…

May 17, 2011

Ashley Smith charged over 500 times for behaviour in jail, court hears

Guard’s charges, for self-harming, disruptive and violent behaviour in jail, greatly hiked…

May 16, 2011

Prison wants Ashley Smith documents kept secret

The Ashley Smith inquest jury will hear its first witness Tuesday as a detective describes the teen…

May 04, 2011

Exclusive: Ashley Smith’s family settles wrongful death lawsuit

Smith’s family sought $11 million, but the parties would not release details of the settlement…

Apr 27, 2011

Court will not see Ashley Smith tapes

Court ruling on ashley smith tape access.

Apr 18, 2011

Judge weighs release of Ashley Smith prison videos

Superior Court Justice will take week to decide whether prison service should produce controversial…

Apr 15, 2011

Prison chief fights release of Ashley Smith video

Correctional Service of Canada says Ashley Smith’s family is abusing the legal process by demanding…

Mar 31, 2011

Ashley Smith inquest delayed

Jury probing teen’s prison death to hear first witnesses on May 16

Mar 29, 2011

Ashley Smith’s family challenges coroner’s ruling

Ontario Divisional Court to hear arguments on disturbing video evidence in teen inmate’s death

Feb 28, 2011

Ashley Smith jurors barred from stark video

A prison video showing a teen inmate forcefully injected with tranquilizers while strapped to a…

Jan 11, 2011

Ashley Smith inquest delayed until April

More than 100 witnesses are expected to testify at expanded inquest into teen inmate’s death.

Nov 12, 2010

Ashley Smith coroner’s inquest scope expanded

Inquest will probe repeated use of solitary confinement in teen inmate’s death.

Nov 11, 2010

Ashley Smith’s requests for help ignored

Internal prison documents reveal the teen inmate was trying to turn her life around.

Nov 02, 2010

Family calls for RCMP to probe Ashley Smith prison death

Smith’s family wrote two letters in mid-October asking the RCMP to investigate the Correctional…

Sep 06, 2010

Did nine other inmates die like Ashley Smith?

Since Ashley Smith’s death, Canada’s prison watchdog told the Star he has discovered nine similar…

Aug 23, 2010

Ashley Smith’s prison files to be released

The federal prison service has dropped its bid to keep the personal files of a teen inmate who…

Jan 09, 2010

Family boycotts inquest into teen’s death

The family of a teenager who strangled herself in a Kitchener prison cell while seven guards…

Oct 17, 2009

Ashley Smith suicide prompts probe into other prison deaths

The federal prison watchdog is probing two more “troubling” inmate deaths, which he says question…

Not so long ago a women who was pregnant was put in Solitary when she went into labour and had the premature baby, a breach birth, in the cell.

On October 18, Julie Bilotta was reunited with her newborn, whose in an Ottawa jail cell three weeks earlier shocked and angered a city. As Ms. Bilotta laboured, she was ignored and ridiculed by guards. Eventually, she was relegated to solitary confinement where she would birth her baby.

That our justice system failed Ms. Bilotta is beyond debate. The guards at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre (OCDC) were callous and cruel, robbing Ms. Bilotta of the basic dignity all women – innocent, accused or guilty – deserve. Those who ignored her pleas for help deserve whatever comeuppance they receive. That her ordeal will lead to better care for pregnant women at the OCDC is about the only positive aspect that can come out of this ordeal.

Location: Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre

But for all that Ms. Bilotta endured, there is a second victim: her son. Not only was he given inadequate care as he was being born, he was robbed of the basic essentials of life for his first three weeks out of his mother’s womb. Until October 18, her son was not given the benefit of his mother’s touch or his mother’s milk.

Contact, skin-to-skin contact, is vitally important in establishing the mother-child bond, facilitating breastfeeding and offering the much-needed emotional support every child deserves. For twenty long days, this child was robbed of what most of us were afforded during the beginning of our lives.

We do not know if Ms. Bilotta intended to breastfeed her son, but we do know that any such intent has likely been thwarted by our corrections system. A mother is an automated milk-producing system. The breastfeeding relationship must be cultivated in order to stimulate the supply of the mother’s milk and to ensure that the baby “learns” to suckle.

We also know that human milk is the ideal food for newborns. Both the World Health Organization and the Canadian Pediatric Society recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a child’s life. It is further recommended for that breastfeeding continue for at least the first two years of a child’s life. This child has likely been robbed of such a start to life.

The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services needs to fix the problems in Ontario’s detention centres. (Ironically, had Ms. Bilotta been convicted of her alleged crimes and sentenced to prison, she and her baby would have received far better treatment.) The current neglect on display by our government not only unduly punishes people like Ms. Bilotta; it gravely punishes the most innocent among us, newborn babies. Source

The mother and child could have both died. Breach births are very dangerous. No matter what anyone thinks of the mother, she deserved better then what happened to her. Her child absolutely, deserved the best care possible. He committed, no crime whatsoever. o come into the world like that was just unthinkable and certainly not acceptable.

—–

Why Canada’s prisons can’t cope with flood of mentally ill inmates

Kirk Makin

Milton, Ont. — The Globe and Mail

 Jan. 26 2011

The “headbanger” arrived in a police van and wasted little time in earning his nickname. “He would just dive at walls and doors,” smashing into them head-first, Janet Gauthier recalls.

“It is a very traumatic experience,” she adds. “There are cases here that would confound any psychiatric facility.”

But the Maplehurst Correctional Complex, where Ms. Gauthier is deputy superintendent, is not a psychiatric facility: The young schizophrenic is one of the thousands of mentally ill people flooding Canada’s prisons.

“We try to learn from each one of them,” Ms. Gauthier says, but the central lesson is simply that jail is an abysmal place to stuff the sick and demented.

The ritual is never-ending. Offenders who are often disoriented and babbling are disgorged at prison gates, leaving harried staff to gauge how dangerous they are and place them where they are least likely to run afoul of tougher inmates or try to take their own lives.

The mind-bending isolation of a segregation cell brings no peace to a depressed or unhinged mind. Nor does an environment of slamming cell doors, fear and intimidation. Behind bars, effective treatment is rarely more than a promise while reality is a severe shortage of psychiatric professionals and a patient population so diverse it can explode if different kinds of inmate mix.

The cost to society is immense. After clogging cell blocks for months or years, untreated prisoners often are released only to get into trouble all over again.

Recent figures indicate that nearly 35 per cent of the 13,300 inmates in federal penitentiaries have a mental impairment requiring treatment – triple the estimated total as recently as 2004, and far higher than the incidence of mental illness in the general population.

“The numbers are staggering,” says Correctional Investigator Howard Sapers, whose office oversees the operations of Correctional Services Canada (CSC).

Yet, even as correctional officials appeal for saner strategies, the federal government’s much-publicized policies designed to get tough on crime are pouring thousands of new offenders into prisons that are already perilously overcrowded.

“It is a huge problem,” Mr. Sapers says. “The pressures are going to be even more extreme.”

In a report last fall, Mr. Sapers was unsparing in his criticism of CSC’s long-term strategy for treating the mentally impaired more humanely and effectively. A recent infusion of $50-million represented a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shore up facilities for the mentally ill, but the money was mismanaged and poorly targeted, he wrote.

“Funding is delayed to such an extent that, at this pace, it could easily take decades to fully implement.”

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, the government’s law-and-order point man, declined to comment on the situation this week, but CSC spokesman Suzanne Leclerc says the new laws will bloat the system with 4,500 new inmates by 2014.

Thus far, the government has committed $600-million to create 2,552 beds to accommodate them, but Mr. Sapers says the new and renovated cells are “based on existing designs that are inadequate. We are not going to see more common space, more therapeutic space or more treatment capacity.”

Jails are hard-wired to mete out punishment, not therapy, so the mentally impaired often go untreated, sometimes languishing in isolatation 23 hours a day.

Some correctional officials concede that the best they can do is limit the damage. “As long as there is a valid court order, we are required to admit them and take care of them,” says Steve Small, assistant deputy minister of correctional and community services for Ontario. “We do our best, but there are certainly other locations that would be preferable for these types of inmates.”

Cells on suicide watch

Less than an hour’s drive west of Toronto, Maplehurst is a sprawling complex guarded by high fences and overhead mesh (designed to foil slingshot delivery of drugs to inmates in the exercise yard) that primarily houses offenders on trial or waiting out adjournments. About 200 of its 1,200 inmates have a serious mental impairment, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, brain injuries and the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome. Others suffer from dementia or low intelligence and a lack of coping skills. The most floridly psychotic inmates are kept under suicide watch in bunker-like cells.

Unlike staff at a psychiatric facility, guards have difficulty responding instantly to emergencies – such as a recent case in which a schizophrenic became hysteric in the belief that his cell was crawling with mice and snakes. “Staff knew how terrified he was,” Ms. Gauthier recalls. “The look in their eyes was compassion. But they had to force him back in his cell.”

On a 50-man range reserved for the most severe cases, offenders float quietly between their cells and a narrow corridor with tables bolted to the floor. Like a herd of deer, they appear docile, yet leery; most are heavily medicated.

“I used to say that I had never seen anyone as sick as I had seen in hospital forensic units, but I can’t say that any longer,” Ms. Gauthier remarks. “A psychiatric facility has different equipment, a different model. Correctional centres were never set up to be mental-health centres.”

Guards and nursing staff on the mental-health ranges appear genuinely caring, referring to inmates by name and keeping elaborate charts of any change in behaviour that may point toward a suicide attempt or sudden attack. However, they are not always trained in the finer points of mental illness.

“A schizophrenic may think that a guard is the devil and start calling him really foul names,” Ms. Gauthier says. “If he were a healthy person, he would be up for misconduct. One of the challenges is to understand that this is a symptom of an illness.”

Graham Glancy, a forensic psychiatrist who works three days a week at Maplehurst, sounds like a battlefield medic as he describes what it’s like to process patients in 20-minute intervals all day long: “Basically, it’s a matter of medication and management – and trying to drop one little pearl of wisdom on them.”

Some offenders are violent or hallucinate wildly, but exercise their right to refuse treatment. Staff can try to persuade local hospitals to medicate them involuntarily, Dr. Glancy explains, but getting them there requires diplomacy. “You have to be very careful about it. I can only send one or two at a time, or the hospital can get swamped.”

On another range, 50 inmates with brain damage or subnormal intelligence gaze warily at strangers. All they have in common is the fact that, in prison, they’re highly vulnerable. Some are chronic bedwetters. Others are old, scraggly and demented. Some are hulking men, but behave like school kids.

“The developmentally delayed are the forgotten population,” Ms. Gauthier says. “… It is like putting four-year-olds in custody. They cry all day for their mommies. Social workers give them colouring books and crayons.”

She recalls an inmate who arrived clinging desperately to a Beanie Baby, which prison rules didn’t allow in his cell. “He had never been separated from it. He finally let us take a picture of it so he could hold that.”

How did Canada’s prison system turn into a holding tank for mentally damaged individuals?

Many officials trace it to the deinstitutionalization of psychiatric patients over the past 30 years. Patients wound up on the street when neighbourhoods shunned them and social-service agencies failed to provide adequate housing or care. In many cases, their mental state deteriorated, and they turned to crime, everything from the mundane to murder.

“We see people who … felt there was no other way,” says Mr. Small, the assistant deputy minister. “We also see people with mental-health issues who couldn’t even form the intent to commit a crime.”

Treating mentally damaged offenders can be close to impossible in provincial jails, where inmates are on short court remands or serve sentences of less than two years. Longer federal sentences allow time for treatment, but it’s rarely available.

“There are waiting lists for almost every program at every institution,” says Mr. Sapers, the federal investigator. “Although a program may be advertised as being available at a particular institution, it very likely isn’t. This is where it all falls apart.”

If mentally impaired inmates do not get appropriate treatment, they’re unlikely to qualify for early parole, winding up warehoused until their sentences are almost over. Thus, parole officers have little time to help them return to the community. “This leaves them at a higher risk of reoffending,” Mr. Sapers says. “It is a great irony. The cycle is very counterproductive.”

Correctional officials scramble to link the mentally ill with agencies that can provide beds and medical care after they are released, Mr. Small says. But many offenders have wandered far from home or been abandoned by their families, making it an enormous challenge.

To complicate matters more, ex-convicts with mental problems tend to be shunned even by well-meaning agencies. “Once you have been in jail, you have a stigma,” Ms. Gauthier says. “Those beds are closed off, so we end up having to rely a lot on hostels and transition housing.”

Uncertainty on the horizon

Looking ahead to the spike in the penal population, the correction service says it has no idea how many new inmates will require mental-health care. Ms. Leclerc says her department works hard to meet its legislative mandate “to provide every inmate with essential … services” and “reasonable access” to services that aren’t essential, but “will contribute to the inmate’s rehabilitation and successful reintegration into the community.”

In the past five years, she adds, the $50-million has been spent largely on assessing new inmates and helping offenders after they are released. But Mr. Sapers says that money has done little to make treatment or more suitable accommodation available to most inmates.

He says it is urgent that the federal government work more closely with provincial correctional systems and psychiatric hospitals.

If not, Maplehurst’s Ms. Gauthier adds, people like the headbanger will remain caught in a revolving door between jail and the street. “The primary concern is getting medication and the right treatment,” she says. “There was a day when these offenders all would have been in psychiatric facilities. That day is gone. Now, we have incarceration.”

And what has become of the young schizophrenic?

To prevent further damage, he was placed in a special restraining cot and had to wait in his own private hell until the hospital could be persuaded to medicate him. Returned in a much more placid state, he was able to complete his two-month sentence and then released.

For how long is anyone’s guess. Source

Update December 19 2013

Ashley Smith Death has been ruled a Homicide

Other Canadian problems.

Privatization in Canada’s Health Care System is Killing People

Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue Part Three

“Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue Part Two

“Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue

Recent

Japan: Radioactive cesium levels in most fish has not declined

US Election Fraud

US Drones that kill innocent Civilians is Murder – CIA chiefs face arrest

Hay East donations disappoint Ontario farmers

U.S. meningitis cases rise to 64

//

Published in: on October 26, 2012 at 6:20 am  Comments Off on Canada: Coroner’s Inquest of Ashley Smith’s death in Prison  
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The Prison Industry in the United States Costs Taxpayers Billions

 

Just added February 18 2012

The actually cost more and are more of a danger to the public.

A couple of thing from report.

A 1992 study by the New

Mexico Corrections Department showed that guards at a private CCA-run women’s correctional facility were pressured to issue disciplinary infractions to inmates that resulted in prolonging their incarceration out of a desire on the part of CCA executives to maximize quarterly dividends.

Prison-for-profit inmates were more likely to report a lack of structure in their day. The difference stems from the fact that public prisons force its inmates to participate in rehabilitation activities while the prisonfor- profit does little to promote these programs. another benefit to the private prison industry, because rehabilitated offenders do not fill private prison beds and therefore do not generate profits.

There fore private prison promote prisons to re-offend costing tax payer more money in the end.

Sometimes private prison operators are so greedy for revenue-generating human beings to fill their cells that they bribe judges to sentence children to serious jail time for the most minor and trivial of offenses.

The IRS sued CCA in 2002 after its audit of the company suggested it was abusing tax loopholes to avoid paying its share of federal taxes.

Some do not even pay their taxes. So they have to be sued to get them to pay them which cost tax payer more money.

Privatizing prisons remove responsibility from the state’s elected representatives and makes it more difficult for the facilities to be held accountable by the public.

Less Guards  working for less money caused safety issues for the guards, who are also not well trained either.

Not mentioned in the report.

There is also a job lose issue which was not mentioned. There are fewer Guards per capita working in private prisons then in state run ones. Privatization caused job losses.

The less people working the less income tax that is paid. The smaller wages also mean those guards are paying less taxes as well.

There is much more to read ans everyone should understand what has been happening so read the report and be informed.

A report of the Privatization of Prisons in the US

 

So lets start with a report from 2008.

There were only 2 million prisoners then.

The prison industry in the United States: big business or a new form of slavery?

by Vicky Pelaez

March 10, 2008

El Diario-La Prensa, New York

Human rights organizations, as well as political and social ones, are condemning what they are calling a new form of inhumane exploitation in the United States, where they say a prison population of up to 2 million – mostly Black and Hispanic – are working for various industries for a pittance. For the tycoons who have invested in the prison industry, it has been like finding a pot of gold. They don’t have to worry about strikes or paying unemployment insurance, vacations or comp time. All of their workers are full-time, and never arrive late or are absent because of family problems; moreover, if they don’t like the pay of 25 cents an hour and refuse to work, they are locked up in isolation cells.

There are approximately 2 million inmates in state, federal and private prisons throughout the country. According to California Prison Focus, “no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens.” The figures show that the United States has locked up more people than any other country: a half million more than China, which has a population five times greater than the U.S. Statistics reveal that the United States holds 25% of the world’s prison population, but only 5% of the world’s people. From less than 300,000 inmates in 1972, the jail population grew to 2 million by the year 2000. In 1990 it was one million. Ten years ago there were only five private prisons in the country, with a population of 2,000 inmates; now, there are 100, with 62,000 inmates. It is expected that by the coming decade, the number will hit 360,000, according to reports.

What has happened over the last 10 years? Why are there so many prisoners?

“The private contracting of prisoners for work fosters incentives to lock people up. Prisons depend on this income. Corporate stockholders who make money off prisoners’ work lobby for longer sentences, in order to expand their workforce. The system feeds itself,” says a study by the Progressive Labor Party, which accuses the prison industry of being “an imitation of Nazi Germany with respect to forced slave labor and concentration camps.”

The prison industry complex is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States and its investors are on Wall Street. “This multimillion-dollar industry has its own trade exhibitions, conventions, websites, and mail-order/Internet catalogs. It also has direct advertising campaigns, architecture companies, construction companies, investment houses on Wall Street, plumbing supply companies, food supply companies, armed security, and padded cells in a large variety of colors.”

According to the Left Business Observer, the federal prison industry produces 100% of all military helmets, ammunition belts, bullet-proof vests, ID tags, shirts, pants, tents, bags, and canteens. Along with war supplies, prison workers supply 98% of the entire market for equipment assembly services; 93% of paints and paintbrushes; 92% of stove assembly; 46% of body armor; 36% of home appliances; 30% of headphones/microphones/speakers; and 21% of office furniture. Airplane parts, medical supplies, and much more: prisoners are even raising seeing-eye dogs for blind people.

CRIME GOES DOWN, JAIL POPULATION GOES UP

According to reports by human rights organizations, these are the factors that increase the profit potential for those who invest in the prison industry complex:

. Jailing persons convicted of non-violent crimes, and long prison sentences for possession of microscopic quantities of illegal drugs. Federal law stipulates five years’ imprisonment without possibility of parole for possession of 5 grams of crack or 3.5 ounces of heroin, and 10 years for possession of less than 2 ounces of rock-cocaine or crack. A sentence of 5 years for cocaine powder requires possession of 500 grams – 100 times more than the quantity of rock cocaine for the same sentence. Most of those who use cocaine powder are white, middle-class or rich people, while mostly Blacks and Latinos use rock cocaine. In Texas, a person may be sentenced for up to two years’ imprisonment for possessing 4 ounces of marijuana. Here in New York, the 1973 Nelson Rockefeller anti-drug law provides for a mandatory prison sentence of 15 years to life for possession of 4 ounces of any illegal drug.

. The passage in 13 states of the “three strikes” laws (life in prison after being convicted of three felonies), made it necessary to build 20 new federal prisons. One of the most disturbing cases resulting from this measure was that of a prisoner who for stealing a car and two bicycles received three 25-year sentences.

. Longer sentences.

. The passage of laws that require minimum sentencing, without regard for circumstances.

. A large expansion of work by prisoners creating profits that motivate the incarceration of more people for longer periods of time.

. More punishment of prisoners, so as to lengthen their sentences.

HISTORY OF PRISON LABOR IN THE UNITED STATES

Prison labor has its roots in slavery. After the 1861-1865 Civil War, a system of “hiring out prisoners” was introduced in order to continue the slavery tradition. Freed slaves were charged with not carrying out their sharecropping commitments (cultivating someone else’s land in exchange for part of the harvest) or petty thievery – which were almost never proven – and were then “hired out” for cotton picking, working in mines and building railroads. From 1870 until 1910 in the state of Georgia, 88% of hired-out convicts were Black. In Alabama, 93% of “hired-out” miners were Black. In Mississippi, a huge prison farm similar to the old slave plantations replaced the system of hiring out convicts. The notorious Parchman plantation existed until 1972.

During the post-Civil War period, Jim Crow racial segregation laws were imposed on every state, with legal segregation in schools, housing, marriages and many other aspects of daily life. “Today, a new set of markedly racist laws is imposing slave labor and sweatshops on the criminal justice system, now known as the prison industry complex,” comments the Left Business Observer.

Who is investing? At least 37 states have legalized the contracting of prison labor by private corporations that mount their operations inside state prisons. The list of such companies contains the cream of U.S. corporate society: IBM, Boeing, Motorola, Microsoft, AT&T, Wireless, Texas Instrument, Dell, Compaq, Honeywell, Hewlett-Packard, Nortel, Lucent Technologies, 3Com, Intel, Northern Telecom, TWA, Nordstrom’s, Revlon, Macy’s, Pierre Cardin, Target Stores, and many more. All of these businesses are excited about the economic boom generation by prison labor. Just between 1980 and 1994, profits went up from $392 million to $1.31 billion. Inmates in state penitentiaries generally receive the minimum wage for their work, but not all; in Colorado, they get about $2 per hour, well under the minimum. And in privately-run prisons, they receive as little as 17 cents per hour for a maximum of six hours a day, the equivalent of $20 per month. The highest-paying private prison is CCA in Tennessee, where prisoners receive 50 cents per hour for what they call “highly skilled positions.” At those rates, it is no surprise that inmates find the pay in federal prisons to be very generous. There, they can earn $1.25 an hour and work eight hours a day, and sometimes overtime. They can send home $200-$300 per month.

Thanks to prison labor, the United States is once again an attractive location for investment in work that was designed for Third World labor markets. A company that operated a maquiladora (assembly plant in Mexico near the border) closed down its operations there and relocated to San Quentin State Prison in California. In Texas, a factory fired its 150 workers and contracted the services of prisoner-workers from the private Lockhart Texas prison, where circuit boards are assembled for companies like IBM and Compaq.

[Former] Oregon State Representative Kevin Mannix recently urged Nike to cut its production in Indonesia and bring it to his state, telling the shoe manufacturer that “there won’t be any transportation costs; we’re offering you competitive prison labor (here).”

PRIVATE PRISONS

The prison privatization boom began in the 1980s, under the governments of Ronald Reagan and Bush Sr., but reached its height in 1990 under William Clinton, when Wall Street stocks were selling like hotcakes. Clinton’s program for cutting the federal workforce resulted in the Justice Departments contracting of private prison corporations for the incarceration of undocumented workers and high-security inmates.

Private prisons are the biggest business in the prison industry complex. About 18 corporations guard 10,000 prisoners in 27 states. The two largest are Correctional Corporation of America (CCA) and Wackenhut, which together control 75%. Private prisons receive a guaranteed amount of money for each prisoner, independent of what it costs to maintain each one. According to Russell Boraas, a private prison administrator in Virginia, “the secret to low operating costs is having a minimal number of guards for the maximum number of prisoners.” The CCA has an ultra-modern prison in Lawrenceville, Virginia, where five guards on dayshift and two at night watch over 750 prisoners. In these prisons, inmates may get their sentences reduced for “good behavior,” but for any infraction, they get 30 days added – which means more profits for CCA. According to a study of New Mexico prisons, it was found that CCA inmates lost “good behavior time” at a rate eight times higher than those in state prisons.

IMPORTING AND EXPORTING INMATES

Profits are so good that now there is a new business: importing inmates with long sentences, meaning the worst criminals. When a federal judge ruled that overcrowding in Texas prisons was cruel and unusual punishment, the CCA signed contracts with sheriffs in poor counties to build and run new jails and share the profits. According to a December 1998 Atlantic Monthly magazine article, this program was backed by investors from Merrill-Lynch, Shearson-Lehman, American Express and Allstate, and the operation was scattered all over rural Texas. That state’s governor, Ann Richards, followed the example of Mario Cuomo in New York and built so many state prisons that the market became flooded, cutting into private prison profits.

After a law signed by Clinton in 1996 – ending court supervision and decisions – caused overcrowding and violent, unsafe conditions in federal prisons, private prison corporations in Texas began to contact other states whose prisons were overcrowded, offering “rent-a-cell” services in the CCA prisons located in small towns in Texas. The commission for a rent-a-cell salesman is $2.50 to $5.50 per day per bed. The county gets $1.50 for each prisoner.

STATISTICS

Ninety-seven percent of 125,000 federal inmates have been convicted of non-violent crimes. It is believed that more than half of the 623,000 inmates in municipal or county jails are innocent of the crimes they are accused of. Of these, the majority are awaiting trial. Two-thirds of the one million state prisoners have committed non-violent offenses. Sixteen percent of the country’s 2 million prisoners suffer from mental illness. Source

Billions Behind Bars – Inside America’s Prison Industry Part 1-3

Billions Behind Bars – Inside America’s Prison Industry Part 2-3

Billions Behind Bars – Inside America’s Prison Industry Part 3-3

The links below may explain why there are many innocent people in Jail.

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We fabricated drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas, former NYPD detective testifies

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Fourteen Examples of Systemic Racism in the U.S. Criminal Justice System -Prison Corruption

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Powell receives 18-month sentence in prison corruption case

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Judge: Guerra can’t re-indict

The Nov. 17 indictments that a grand jury returned charged Cheney and Gonzales with profiting from private prisons, neglecting conditions and stopping inquiries into assaults/

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From December 2006 7,000 a Year Die in U.S. Prisons

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In 2009:  People

  • On Probation 4,203,967
  • On Parole 819,308
  • In Jail  760,400
  • In Prison 1,524,513

Grand Total  7,225,800

In 2001

  • The average annual operating cost per state inmate in 2001 was $22,650, or $62.05 per day; among facilities operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, it was $22,632 per inmate, or $62.01 per day.
  • In 2001 the average annual cost for state prisons per U.S. resident was $204, up from $49 in 1986.

Executions during 2009   52

Executions during  2010 46

Number of prisoners under sentence of death   3,173

Source

  • One out of 100 American adults are behind bars
  • One out of 32 Americans are on probation, parole or in prison.

This reliance on mass incarceration has created a thriving prison economy. The states and the federal government spends about $74 billion a year on corrections.

I tried to find the cost of the average trial, but couldn’t find much information on it. I imagine it would be  a lot.


From 2002 I did find this on Death Penalty Trials

Counties Struggle With High Cost
Of Prosecuting Death-Penalty Cases

January 9, 2002

By RUSSELL GOLD

When a Utah police chief was shot to death in July after responding to a call about a domestic dispute, tiny Uintah County’s decision to seek the death penalty was easy. “It was a law-enforcement officer in the line of duty,” says county attorney JoAnn Stringham.

Now comes the hard part: paying for the trial. So far, the county hopes to avoid raising taxes on its 25,959 citizens by spreading the as-yet undetermined costs over three fiscal years.

Other counties haven’t been as lucky. Jasper County, Texas, ran up a huge bill seeking a capital-murder conviction of three men accused of killing James Byrd Jr., who was dragged to death in a 1998 case that attracted national attention. (Two were sentenced to death; the third got life in prison.) The cost — $1.02 million to date, with other expenses expected — has strained the county’s $10 million annual budget, forcing a 6.7% increase in property taxes over two years to pay for the trial. County auditor Jonetta Nash says only a massive flood that wiped out roads and bridges in the late 1970s came close to the fiscal impact of the trial.

As a growing number of local governments are discovering, there is often a new twist on an old saying: Nothing is certain except the death penalty and higher taxes.

Just prosecuting a capital crime can cost an average of $200,000 to $300,000, according to a conservative estimate by the Texas Office of Court Administration. Add indigent-defense lawyers, an almost-automatic appeal and a trial transcript, and death-penalty cases can easily cost many times that amount.

The cost, county officials say, can be an unexpected and severe budgetary shock — much like a natural disaster, but without any federal relief to ease the strain. To pay up, counties must raise taxes, cut services, or both.

In research published last summer, Dartmouth College economist Katherine Baicker found that counties that bring a death-penalty case had a tax rate 1.6% higher than those that didn’t. Her statistical examination of 14 years of budget data from all 3,043 U.S. counties showed those with a death penalty also spent 3.3% less on law enforcement and highways. Ms. Baicker’s analysis found that the same pattern of raised taxes and spending cuts hits all death-penalty counties regardless of size.

In Texas, Dallas County is struggling to pay for concurrent cases against six prison escapees accused of killing a suburban policeman last year. Gov. Rick Perry gave the county $250,000 from discretionary funds to help.

The fiscal fallout can linger for years. In Mississippi, Quitman County raised taxes three times in the 1990s and took out a $150,000 loan to pay for the 1990 capital-murder trials of two men that went on for years. Now, the county is having trouble attracting a new tenant to a vacant warehouse because it has higher property taxes than any nearby county. A death-penalty case “is almost like lightning striking,” says county administrator Butch Scipper. “It is catastrophic to a small rural county.”

The issue has become more pressing as death-penalty case costs have pushed higher, says Jay Kimbrough, criminal-justice director for Gov. Perry. Among the causes: DNA tests and appellate-court decisions that require longer jury selection and more expensive defense attorneys.

Now local officials are pressing state governments for relief. In Texas, Jasper County’s experience helped persuade lawmakers last year to expand a program to help counties pay for the “extraordinary costs” of prosecuting capital-murder cases. (The discretionary funds given Dallas County last April were not part of this program.) State Rep. Bob Turner, who sponsored the legislation, says he was worried that smaller counties were “downgrading cases” — pursuing lesser charges rather than the death penalty — “to preclude the tremendous drain on the county budget.” While Mr. Turner says he knows of no specific examples, he says he often heard about the cost pressures during meetings with officials from the 17 mostly rural counties he represents.

A Trial ‘s TallyJasper County,Texas,spent more than $1.02 million bringing death penalty cases against three men for the 1998 murder of James Byrd Jr. A breakdown of expenses:
Court-appointed defense attorneys 28.3%
Telephone, travel and misc 20.6
Salary for extra prosecutors 17.3
Jury, courthouse security, court reporter 15.5
Investigation 15.4
Psychiatric evaluation 2.9

Costs notwithstanding, county officials say they pursue the death penalty when the crime warrants it. “It is very expensive and it is very burdensome on communities, so that gives people pause,” says Arthur Eads, who was the district attorney in Killeen, Texas, for 24 years. But, he says, “I never felt the heat to do it or not to do it because of the money.”

Polk County, in east Texas, was the most recent county to receive state help. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the sentence of Johnny Paul Penry, convicted of fatally stabbing a woman in 1979, and sent the case back to Polk County for a third trial. County officials toted up the likely costs: $250 to $350 per hour for the forensic psychiatrist to review and testify about Mr. Penry’s medical records; $700 to copy his 1,500-page prison record; $20,000 to pay for hotels, meals and mileage for prosecutors, investigators and support staff when the trial is moved to a different county, as expected.

Total estimated cost: at least $200,000. In December, Polk received $100,000 from the state to help pay the bill.

Other states have begun to set up what amount to death-penalty risk pools, allowing counties to pay in annually and receive funds in the event of a death-penalty case. Utah created one of the first such pools in 1997 after “the legislature got tired of bailing out counties,” says Mark Nash, director of the Utah Prosecution Council.

Uintah was one of six Utah counties that didn’t participate in that state’s risk pool. The county, in the northeast corner of the state, had never had a death-penalty case until Roosevelt City police chief Cecil Gurr was shot and killed in July, just a few feet inside the county line.

Now, as the county struggles to pay for prosecuting the case, local officials are convinced the insurance is a good idea. In August, Uintah paid $21,500 to join the state risk pool — for the next death-penalty case. Source

So how much did it cost for all the trials. Do the math.

Executions during 2009   52

Executions during  2010 46

Number of prisoners  sentence of death   3,173

More on the cost of Death Penalty Trials in Washington State and other Goodies.

Documenting the high costs of pursuing the ultimate punishment in Washington state

Prison Legal News

Crime Statistics > Prisoners > Per capita (most recent) by country

Population in China was 1,330,044,544  in 2008 – about 4 times more people live in China then in the United States.

Population in United States was  303,824,640 in 2008

Both populations are a bit higher now.

Think about that when you check the statistics in the link below.

Crime Statistics > Number  of Prisoners  (most recent) by country

Guantanamo detainees must also be included ad the price of keeping them is high as well.

Is it physically possible to hang yourself when bound, masked and gagged.

More on  Guantanamo Bay

Marijuana: Public Enemy #1

by Robert C. Koehler

November 10, 2011

“Play faster!” he cried, wildly, over and over. “Play faster!”

The dame who was tickling the ivories complied, out of control herself. The music revved to a dangerous velocity — oh, too fast for decent, sober, well-behaved Americans to bear — and . . . well, you just knew, violence, madness, laughter were just around the corner. The year was 1936 and, oh my God, they were high on marijuana, public enemy number one.

The scene is from Reefer Madness, arguably the dumbest movie ever made — but smugly at the emotional and ideological core of American drug policy for the last three-quarters of a century. The policy, which morphed in 1970 into an all-out “war” on drugs, has filled our prisons to bursting, created powerful criminal enterprises, launched a real war in Mexico and presided over the skyrocketing of recreational drug use in the United States. The war on drugs just may be a bigger disaster than the war on terror.

“The war on drugs, as it has been waged, has not only failed to curtail drug use; it has become a major public health liability in its own right,” writes Christopher Glenn Fichtner in his comprehensive new book on our disastrous war on a plant, Cannabanomics: The Marijuana Policy Tipping Point (Well Mind Books).

Fichtner, a psychiatrist — he served as Illinois Director of Mental Health for several years — takes a long, hard look at the politics of irrationality and lays out a compelling diagnosis: “essentially, social or mass psychosis.” You can also throw in racism. The war on drugs is simply a race war by another name, fueled by fear of Mexican and African American culture, with the weight of law brought down on African Americans with wildly disproportionate severity:

“. . . during a period when the number of prison sentences for drug-related convictions increased dramatically for all drug offenders,” Fichtner writes, citing Illinois statistics between 1983 and 2002, “it increased for African Americans at roughly eight times the rate of increase seen for Caucasians.”

But reading Cannabanomics kept leaving me with the sense that there was a deeper irrationality to our anti-marijuana crusade than even the racism. For instance, “Examples abound,” he writes, “in which the application of mandatory minimum sentences has led to harsher penalties for marijuana offenses than for violent crimes ranging from battery through sexual assault and even to murder.”

And the violent enforcement of zero tolerance hasn’t been limited to the pursuit of recreational potheads. Those using cannabis medicinally have also been harassed, arrested and sometimes treated with such shocking violence you have to wonder whether the official paranoia about marijuana use — that it leads to mental derangement and violent behavior — is sheer projection.

For instance, early in the book Fichtner relates the story of Garry, a California man who used marijuana to relieve arthritic pain. Despite the fact that this was legal under state law, his house was raided by federal agents: “As he opened his front door, he was greeted by a battering ram and a physical takedown maneuver that left him with a dislocated left shoulder, right hand fractures, blunt head trauma, and a back injury that aggravated the arthritis for which he grew cannabis in his garage in the first place.”

Much of Cannabanomics is devoted to the extraordinary medicinal uses of marijuana, which has been called one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to the human race. It has been used, usually with little if any side effect, to alleviate chronic pain and chemo-induced nausea and relieve the symptoms of a stunning array of illnesses and conditions, including epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cerebral palsy, diabetes, hepatitis C, AIDS, cancer, Tourette’s syndrome, Alzheimer’s. The list goes on.

The herb has been “part of humanity’s medicine chest for almost as long as history has been recorded,” according to Dr. Gregory T. Carter, writing on the NORML website.

In light of this, our war against it — at extraordinary human and economic cost — illuminates a crying need for us to change the way we govern and look after ourselves. Another story Fichtner tells is about an Illinois man named Seth, who had suffered from epileptic seizures most of his life. He reluctantly tried using marijuana — one inhalation a day — because his prescribed medications weren’t helping much, and soon reduced the incidence of grand mal seizures from several per week to one or two per month.

The amazing part of this story, Fichtner notes, is that none of his doctors were willing even to discuss the therapeutic use of marijuana, though they were quick to recommend invasive procedures, including temporal lobe surgery. “. . .we Americans,” he writes, “live in a society in which it is acceptable practice for surgeons to destroy a piece of someone’s brain in order to prevent seizures but where use of marijuana for the same purpose . . . is a criminal offense.”

To my mind, it all smacks of the military-industrial metaphor that rules the American roost. We’re quick to seize on something as the enemy and organize ourselves blindly around its destruction, never stopping to notice that what we’re destroying is ourselves. In the case of the war on drugs, our “enemy” is our greatest ally. Source

Top 3 things YOU need to know about the private prison money scheme:

1) The victims: Private prisons don’t care about who they lock up. At $200 per immigrant a night, this is the “perfect” money scheme.

2) The players: CCA, Geo Group and MTC — combined currently profit more than $5 billion a year.

3)The money: These corporations spend $20 million a year lobbying legislators to get anti-immigrant laws approved and thus more inmates.

Join The Virtual Vigil and Occupation
Shut Down Stewart  http://mycuentame.org/immigrantsforsale/

Roberto Martinez-Medina died in CCA’s Stewart Detention Center in Georgia in 2009.

Medina had been arrested a month earlier for not having a driver’s license.

CCA profited off of Medina’s incarceration, and ensured a greater profit by denying him critical health care.

CCA has gone to great lengths to hush Medina’s death.

Sign the petition to demand an investigation into Medina’s death: http://immigrantsforsale.org
Pedro Guzman spent 19 months at CCA’s Stewart private detention because he missed an immigration order.

Authorities showed no mercy after Guzman explained the court order was sent to an old address.

CCA profited approximately $72,000 from Pedro’s detention.

Guzman’s wife Emily and only son Logan endured a painful and debilitating struggle to survive while they fought for Pedro’s release.

Doesn’t Pedro deserve to be reimbursed for his unjust detention? Tell CCA To Pay Pedro Back: http://tinyurl.com/paypedroback

Immigration detention: fastest growing incarceration system in the U.S.

The Harper Government in Canada wants to create Legislation similar to the Drug offenses in the US. Lets hope Canadians do not get coerced into this. Marijuana is not that bad. It has many uses medically and fewer violent crimes if any are committed because of it. Alcohol is far worse as far as crimes.  Those who use Marijuana are non violent.

If a police officer had a choice of going into a room with 20 Marijuana users or 20 drunk people the room with the Marijuana uses would be a much safer room. Drunk people are much more violent and much more dangerous. Marijuana users would be listening to music and eating. They don’t even bother to argue they just enjoy themselves. Drunk people fight and argue and alcohol is addictive where as Marijuana is not.

So I have to say Harper’s bill is wrong on many counts. If anything Marijuana should be legalized and the Government could regulate it and make profits/taxes on it. Open stores to have it sold etc.

It would eliminate grow ops and many other problems now associated with Marijuana.

If individuals grew their own or buy it from a Government store there would be no need for dealers and all the other problems now faced by police at this time.

Then the police could spend their time looking for dangerous criminals.

It would save a lot of money and make a lot of money.

End of a lot of problems.

Check the link below and get some insight as to how Medical Marijuana helps people and it is safer then many Pharmaceuticals.

It will even get rid of a headache.

The lobby groups who want to prevent the legalization of Marijuana are the Pharmaceutical companies. Not because it is dangerous, but because it would cut into their profits.

Medical Marijuana

The Harper Government in Canada wants to pass some of the similar laws  used in the US. Most pertaining to Drugs.  They are not affective in the US and will not be affective in Canada. The crimes committed in Canada have dropped. There are enough laws to cover all crimes in Canada as it is, so no new laws are necessary.  This will just put people a select group of people in prison longer, no stop crime.  Go to the link below and check it out. If you know any Canadians pass this on to them.  Seems Harper’s  Gov. passes many Bills and Canadians know nothing about them.

Canada: Stop Harper’s cruel crime bill

Legalizing Marijuana  would create a lot of jobs something we all can agree on is needed. Maybe the drinkers would take up smoking Marijuana and make the world a safer place especially for women who are beaten by their drunken spouses.

Hemp growing and use has created many jobs.

Hemp was kept illegal and it is not even a drug because of Oil companies.  If there is one thing oil companies did not want it is Hemp on the market. Finally Hemp is making a comeback.

Hemp is not legal to grow in the U.S. under Federal law all because of the Oil lobby. How foolish American are. Gas can be made from Hemp as can plastics and are better for the environment.

The US government would rather go to war for oil, kill millions while they do it, destroy everything in their path and pollute the land for years to come.

Hemp as fuel is safer to produce then it is to drill for oil.

Hemp does not need Pesticides or Herbicides either.

Ceasefire in the War on Drugs?

CIA Drug Trafficking over 50 years

Why do you think American troops are Guarding the Poppy Fields in Afghanistan? Afghanistan went from no Heroin to tons of Heroin.

Plus the US got their pipeline.

Afghanistan: Troops Guarding the Poppy Fields

Cost of the war on Drugs in US

There have been over 4,000  Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested.

Police Brutality is becoming a growing problem.

Did You Know In the Wealthy United States of America, there were 1.3 million homeless as of December 30 2010. Guess what there are more now. Each year the homeless numbers grow in the US.

Check the link below for more information.

Occupy Wall Street Updates

How the War on Terror Has Militarized the Police

By Arthur Rizer & Joseph Hartman

Nov 7 2011

Over the past 10 years, law enforcement officials have begun to look and act more and more like soldiers. Here’s why we should be alarmed. 

At around 9:00 a.m. on May 5, 2011, officers with the Pima County, Arizona, Sheriff’s Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.) team surrounded the home of 26-year-old José Guerena, a former U.S. Marine and veteran of two tours of duty in Iraq, to serve a search warrant for narcotics. As the officers approached, Guerena lay sleeping in his bedroom after working the graveyard shift at a local mine. When his wife Vanessa woke him up, screaming that she had seen a man outside the window pointing a gun at her, Guerena grabbed his AR-15 rifle, instructed Vanessa to hide in the closet with their four-year old son, and left the bedroom to investigate.

Within moments, and without Guerena firing a shot–or even switching his rifle off of “safety”–he lay dying, his body riddled with 60 bullets. A subsequent investigation revealed that the initial shot that prompted the S.W.A.T. team barrage came from a S.W.A.T. team gun, not Guerena’s. Guerena, reports later revealed, had no criminal record, and no narcotics were found at his home.

Sadly, the Guerenas are not alone; in recent years we have witnessed a proliferation in incidents of excessive, military-style force by police S.W.A.T. teams, which often make national headlines due to their sheer brutality. Why has it become routine for police departments to deploy black-garbed, body-armored S.W.A.T. teams for routine domestic police work? The answer to this question requires a closer examination of post-9/11 U.S. foreign policy and the War on Terror.

Ever since September 14, 2001, when President Bush declared war on terrorism, there has been a crucial, yet often unrecognized, shift in United States policy. Before 9/11, law enforcement possessed the primary responsibility for combating terrorism in the United States. Today, the military is at the tip of the anti-terrorism spear. This shift appears to be permanent: in 2006, the White House’s National Strategy for Combating Terrorism confidently announced that the United States had “broken old orthodoxies that once confined our counterterrorism efforts primarily to the criminal justice domain.”

In an effort to remedy their relative inadequacy in dealing with terrorism on U.S. soil, police forces throughout the country have purchased military equipment, adopted military training, and sought to inculcate a “soldier’s mentality” among their ranks. Though the reasons for this increasing militarization of American police forces seem obvious, the dangerous side effects are somewhat less apparent.

Undoubtedly, American police departments have substantially increased their use of military-grade equipment and weaponry to perform their counterterrorism duties, adopting everything from body armor to, in some cases, attack helicopters.  The logic behind this is understandable. If superior, military-grade equipment helps the police catch more criminals and avert, or at least reduce, the threat of a domestic terror attack, then we ought deem it an instance of positive sharing of technology — right? Not necessarily. Indeed, experts in the legal community have raised serious concerns that allowing civilian law enforcement to use military technology runs the risk of blurring the distinction between soldiers and peace officers.

This is especially true in cases where, much to the chagrin of civil liberty advocates, police departments have employed their newly acquired military weaponry not only to combat terrorism but also for everyday patrolling. Before 9/11, the usual heavy weaponry available to a small-town police officer consisted of a standard pump-action shot gun, perhaps a high power rifle, and possibly a surplus M-16, which would usually have been kept in the trunk of the supervising officer’s vehicle. Now, police officers routinely walk the beat armed with assault rifles and garbed in black full-battle uniforms. When one of us, Arthur Rizer, returned from active duty in Iraq, he saw a police officer at the Minneapolis airport armed with a M4 carbine assault rifle — the very same rifle Arthur carried during his combat tour in Fallujah.

The extent of this weapon “inflation” does not stop with high-powered rifles, either. In recent years, police departments both large and small have acquired bazookas, machine guns, and even armored vehicles (mini-tanks) for use in domestic police work.

To assist them in deploying this new weaponry, police departments have also sought and received extensive military training and tactical instruction. Originally, only the largest of America’s big-city police departments maintained S.W.A.T. teams, and they were called upon only when no other peaceful option was available and a truly military-level response was necessary. Today, virtually every police department in the nation has one or more S.W.A.T. teams, the members of whom are often trained by and with United States special operations commandos. Furthermore, with the safety of their officers in mind, these departments now habitually deploy their S.W.A.T. teams for minor operations such as serving warrants. In short, “special” has quietly become “routine.”

The most serious consequence of the rapid militarization of American police forces, however, is the subtle evolution in the mentality of the “men in blue” from “peace officer” to soldier. This development is absolutely critical and represents a fundamental change in the nature of law enforcement. The primary mission of a police officer traditionally has been to “keep the peace.” Those whom an officer suspects to have committed a crime are treated as just that – suspects. Police officers are expected, under the rule of law, to protect the civil liberties of all citizens, even the “bad guys.” For domestic law enforcement, a suspect in custody remains innocent until proven guilty. Moreover, police officers operate among a largely friendly population and have traditionally been trained to solve problems using a complex legal system; the deployment of lethal violence is an absolute last resort.

Soldiers, by contrast, are trained to identify people they encounter as belonging to one of two groups — the enemy and the non-enemy — and they often reach this decision while surrounded by a population that considers the soldier an occupying force. Once this identification is made, a soldier’s mission is stark and simple: kill the enemy, “try” not to kill the non-enemy. Indeed, the Soldier’s Creed declares, “I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.” This is a far cry from the peace officer’s creed that expects its adherents “to protect and serve.”

The point here is not to suggest that police officers in the field should not take advantage of every tactic or piece of equipment that makes them safer as they carry out their often challenging and strenuous duties. Nor do I mean to suggest that a police officer, once trained in military tactics, will now seek to kill civilians. It is far too easy for Monday-morning quarterbacks to unfairly second-guess the way police officers perform their jobs while they are out on the streets waging what must, at times, feel like a war.

Notwithstanding this concern, however, Americans should remain mindful bringing military-style training to domestic law enforcement has real consequences. When police officers are dressed like soldiers, armed like soldiers, and trained like soldiers, it’s not surprising that they are beginning to act like soldiers. And remember: a soldier’s main objective is to kill the enemy. Source

José Guerena was innocent of any crime and yet the police shot him 60 times.  That say’s a lot about the reality America’s live in now.

Wake up America.  You live in a Violent Police State.

US Lawmakers Corruption “Busted”

Recent

Over 7,000 prisoners are held in Libya

ICC to Probe NATO, NTC War Crimes in Libya War

US, NATO and Rebel war crimes in Libya

The Libya American’s never saw on Television

The Iran you will never see on American Television

Canada: Mohawk Elders looking for mass graves of Children that died in Residential Schools

Deaths in Afghanistan 5.6 million due to war

Farm Groups Want Action On Monsanto

A coalition of family farmers, consumers and other critics of corporate agriculture are calling on the U.S. government to crack down on what they see as unfair consolidation of the nation’s food system into the hands of a few multinationals –particularly Monsanto.

From Reuters

Farm groups call on U.S. to “bust up big ag”

98 Organizations Oppose Obama’s Monsanto Man, Islam Siddiqui, for US Agricultural Trade Representative.

* By Dr. Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, Senior Scientist, Pesticide Action Network, and Katherine Ozer, Executive Director, National Family Farm Coalition

February 22, 2010 Straight to the Source

A large coalition of groups – including the Organic Consumers Association – has been fighting since the fall to block Obama’s nomination of CropLife/biotech industry rep and former pesticide lobbyist, Islam Siddiqui, to the position of Chief Ag Negotiator at the US Office of the Trade Rep. The nomination was approved by the Senate Finance Committee, but is stalled in the Senate. It could go to a Senate floor vote any day now. The coalition sent the following letter to the Senate on February 22, 2010. If you would like to send a letter to your Senator, please click here.

Dear Senator:

The following 98 organizations are writing you to express our opposition to the nomination of Islam Siddiqui as Chief Agriculture Negotiator at the office of the United States Trade Representative. Our organizations— representing family farmers, farmworkers, fishers and sustainable agriculture, environmental, consumer, anti-hunger and other advocacy groups—urge you to reject Dr. Siddiqui’s appointment when it comes up for a floor vote, despite the Senate Finance Committee’s favorable report of his nomination on December 23, 2009.

Siddiqui’s record at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and his role as a former registered lobbyist for CropLife America (whose members include Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont and Dow), has revealed him to consistently favor agribusinesses’ interests over the interests of consumers, the environment and public health (see attached fact sheet). We believe Siddiqui’s nomination severely weakens the Obama Administration’s credibility in promoting healthier and more sustainable local food systems here at home. His appointment would also send an unfortunate signal to the rest of the world that the United States plans to continue down the failed path of high-input and energy-intensive industrial agriculture by promoting toxic pesticides, inappropriate seed biotechnologies and unfair trade agreements on nations that do not want and can least afford them.

The United States urgently needs a trade negotiator who understands that current trade agreements work neither for farmers nor the world’s hungry. With farmers here and abroad struggling to respond to water scarcity and increasingly volatile growing conditions, we need a resilient and restorative model of agriculture that adapts to and mitigates climate change and that moves us towards energy-efficient farming.

The most comprehensive analysis of global agriculture to date, the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) states unequivocally that “business as usual is not an option.” We need a new, sustainable model of biodiverse, ecologically-based agriculture that regenerates soil health, sequesters carbon, feeds communities, protects farmworkers and puts profits back in the hands of family farmers and rural communities. Siddiqui’s track record shows that he favors none of these solutions.

We call on the Senate to reject Islam Siddiqui’s nomination and reorient trade policy to serve the interests of family farmers, farmworkers, consumers and the planet.

Sincerely,

98 organizations who signed on to the letter to the Senate:

Alaska Community Action on Toxics (AK)
AllergyKids (CO)
American Raw Milk Producers Pricing Association (WI)
Beyond Pesticides (DC)
Breast Cancer Action (CA)
California Food and Justice Coalition (CA)
Californians for GE-Free Agriculture (CA)
Californians for Pesticide Reform (CA)
California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CA)
Center for Environmental Health (CA)
Center for Food Safety (DC)
Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment (CA)
Central Florida Jobs with Justice Project (FL)
Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach (NE)
Community Farm Alliance (KY)
Concerned Citizens for Clean Air (OR)
Cornucopia Institute (WI)
Earth Justice (CA)
Equal Exchange (MA)
Fair Trade Coalition (MN)
Family Farm Defenders (WI)
Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (TX)
Farm Worker Pesticide Project (WA)
Farmworker Association of Florida (FL)
Farmworker Justice (DC)
Farmworkers Self-Help (FL)
Food & Water Watch (DC)
Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy (CA)
Food for Maine’s Future (ME)
Florida Immigrant Coalition (FL)
Food Democracy Now! (IA)
Food Systems Integrity (MA)
Florida Organic Growers (FL)
Fresno Metro Ministry (CA)
Friends of the Earth (DC, CA)
Greenpeace US (DC, CA)
Grassroots International (MA)
Growing Power Inc. (WI)
Indigenous Environmental Network (MN) Indiana Toxics Action (IN) Innovative Farmers of Ohio (OH) Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy (MN)
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (IA)
Kids for Saving Earth (MN)
Kentucky Environmental Foundation (KY)
Land Stewardship Project (MN)
Lideres Campesinas (CA)
Maine Fair Trade Campaign (ME)
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners (ME)
Maryland Pesticide Network (MD)
Mississippi Association of Cooperatives (MS)
Missouri Rural Crisis Center (MO)
Mvskoke Food Sovereignty Initiative (OK)
National Family Farm Coalition (DC)
National Farm Worker Ministry (MO)
National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association (DC)
New York Environmental Law & Justice (NY)
Northeast Organic Farming Association Interstate Council (CT)
Northern Plains Resource Council (MT)
Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (ME)
Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (OR)
Oakland Institute (CA)
Ohio Conference on Fair Trade (OH)
Oklahoma Black Historical Research Project (OK)
Oregon Fair Trade Campaign (OR)
Oregon Toxics Alliance (OR)
Organic Consumers Association (MN)
Partners for the Land & Agricultural Needs of Traditional Peoples (WV)
Pesticide Action Network North America (CA)
Pesticide Free Zone (CA)
Pesticide Watch (CA)
Physicians for Social Responsibility/Los Angeles (CA)
Public Citizen (DC)
Rochesterians Against the Misuse of Pesticides (NY)
Rural Advancement Foundation International USA (NC)
Rural Coalition/ Coalición Rural
Safe Alternatives for our Forest Environment (CA)
Science and Environmental Health Network (IA)
Sciencecorps (MA)
Search for the Cause (CA)
Sierra Club (CA, DC)
Small Holders Alliance of Massachusetts (MA)
Student Action with Farmworkers (NC)
The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (CO)
The Safe Lawns Foundation (ME)
The Second Chance Foundation Washington (WA)
Washington Fair Trade Coalition (WA)
Western Organization of Resource Councils (MT)
World Hunger Year (NY)

Siddiqui and CropLife: Statements and Positions

Islam Siddiqui was nominated by US President Barack Obama to the position of Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the office of the US Trade Representative. He is currently Vice President of Science and Regulatory Affairs at CropLife America. CropLife is an agricultural industry trade group that lobbies on behalf of Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and other pesticide and agricultural biotech corporations.

Siddiqui’s statements and positions—both as a public official and as an industry executive— coupled with CropLife America’s consistent record on public policy issues demonstrate a narrow and short-sighted view of American agriculture and trade interests. This viewpoint consistently places the special interests of large agribusiness above the health and welfare interests the broader public, the international community and the environment.

WHAT DOES SIDDIQUI’S POSITION ENTAIL?

Enforcing Trade Agreements

According to the Progressive Government Institute, the Chief Agricultural Negotiator “conducts critical trade negotiations and enforces trade agreements… This includes multilaterally in the World Trade Organization (WTO), regionally in the Free Trade Area of the Americas, and bilaterally with various countries and groups of countries. The ambassador also resolves agricultural trade disputes and enforces trade agreements, including issues related to new technologies, subsidies, and tariff and non-tariff barriers and meets regularly with domestic agricultural industry groups to assure their interest are represented in trade.” The industry groups’ interests will be more than adequately represented, as the WTO’s Doha Round will be a perfect opportunity for the agrochemical industry to push for trade agreements that maintain US subsidies, lower tariffs on chemicals, promote GM crops, and unfairly benefit the agrochemical companies that Siddiqui represents.

Source: http://www.progressivegovernment.org/appointee_data4.php?…

Legislative Influence and Defining ‘Sound Science’

Another part of the job description is that “He or she also coordinates closely with the US government regulatory agencies to assure that rules and policies in international trade are based on sound science.” Siddiqui’s background has always favored “sound science” to mean high-cost, high-input (and high profit, for CropLife’s members) agricultural practices being imposed on developing countries, despite their preferences. Many countries have chosen to ban GMOs on the precautionary principle, including the EU, but Siddiqui will be able to use the trade talks as leverage so that CropLife’s member companies can force their way around those precautions. Siddiqui will also be able to influence the results of the Casey-Lugar Global Food Security Act Bill (which mandates government funding for biotechnology research).

SIDDIQUI AN APOLOGIST FOR AGRICHEMICAL AND BIOTECH INDUSTRIES

Siddiqui Claimed EU Rejection of GMOs was “Denying Food to Starving People”

In 2003, Siddiqui applauded the Bush Administration’s decision to seek an end to the EU’s moratorium on approval of imports of genetically modified crops. Croplife America said the EU’s position had “no scientific foundation” and Siddiqui said, “EU’s illegal moratorium has had a negative ripple effect of creeping regulations and non-science-based decisions, which have resulted in denying food to starving people. The WTO requires that international trade rules be based on sound science, and today’s decision will send that strong message to the EU and other countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.” [Delta Farm Press, 5/23/03]

Siddiqui Compared GMO Acceptance to Accepting “Microwave Ovens”

In 2002, Siddiqui claimed biotech foods have been proven to be as safe as traditionally grown foods. He cited a similar distrust of a new technology many people had when microwave ovens were first introduced; eventually, consumer acceptance of the technology became widespread. [State Department Washington File, 11/25/02]

Siddiqui Criticized EU for Insisting On “Precautionary Principle” On GMOs

In 2002, Siddiqui criticized the European Union’s precautionary principle rationale for rejecting the import of GMOs. Widely recognized in the international community, the precautionary principle allows societies to protect people and the planet when there are uncertainties or unknown risks associated with the introduction or use of a product. Siddiqui said the principle didn’t offer any more real protection to citizens than U.S.- “science-based” regulations and was being used by politicians as a non-tariff trade barrier. [State Department Washington File, 11/25/02]

Siddiqui Called for New Biotech Green Revolution

Statement by Siddiqui this year on new Green Revolution: “What we need now in the 21st century is another revolution, which some people are calling the second green revolution… You need to have use of 21st century technologies, including biotechnology, genetic technology, and all the other technologies, which are being (inaudible), in terms of achieving that.”

Source: “Green Innovation: Can Patents Help Make the World a Bett… April 22, 2009

Siddiqui Rejected Consumer Labeling of GMOs While Working at USDA

As a special assistant for trade at USDA, Siddiqui in 1999 warned Japan that if they implemented mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) it could mislead consumers about food safety and disrupt trade. Siddiqui said, “We do not believe that obligatory GMO labeling is necessary, because it would suggest a health risk where there is none.” He added, “Mandatory labeling could mislead consumers about the safety of these products and require segregation of GMO and non-GMO foods. I fear major trade disruptions and increases in food costs to consumers if Japan requires mandatory labeling.” Siddiqui also said Japan, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), is obligated to find the least trade-restrictive way of achieving its objectives. There are a number of ways other than labeling, such as educational materials and public forums, to provide consumers with information on genetic engineering, he said. [Reuters, 7/27/1999]

Siddiqui is a Former Registered Lobbyist

From 2001- 2003, Islam Siddiqui was a registered lobbyist with CropLife America, which spent just over $2 million on lobbying the federal government in 2008, and just under $1.9 million in 2007 on issues like registering pesticides for use in schools, limiting the Endangered Species Act so that it doesn’t inhibit agricultural pesticide use, revision of EPA pesticide registration fees, and fighting the EPA on restrictions to the use of fumigants.

CROPLIFE AMERICA REGIONAL PARTNER TARGETED MICHELLE OBAMA ORGANIC GARDEN

CropLife America’s Regional Partner Targeted Michelle Obama Organic Garden

CropLife America’s regional partner had notoriously “shuddered” at Michelle Obama’s organic White House garden for failing to use chemical pesticides and launched a letter petition drive defending chemical intensive agriculture and urging Michelle Obama to consider using pesticidies and herbicides. Mid America CropLife Association is listed as a regional partner on CropLife America’s website.

Letter: http://susty.com/michelle-obama-letter-mid-america-cropli…

SIDDIQUI OVERSAW FIASCO OVER USDA’s FIRST PROPOSED ORGANIC STANDARDS

Siddiqui Instrumental in Drafting First Proposed Organic Standards that Would Have Allowed Toxic Sludge, GMOs and Irradiated Food to be Labeled “Organic”

As Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at USDA, Siddiqui oversaw the release of the first-ever proposed federal standards for organics, an accomplishment the White House has cited in support of his nomination. However, these rules created an uproar when USDA overruled recommendations of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and permitted the use of GMOs, irradiation and toxic sludge under the organic label. Only after 230,000 comments flooded into USDA were these standards strengthened. It remains one of the highest outpourings of public sentiment on any government regulation in U.S. history. [Mother Jones]

Siddiqui Admitted USDA Overruled Organics Board Recommendations

Siddiqui justified allowing for possible allowance of GMOs, irradiated foods and toxic sludge under the organics by saying, “we know that [the] Organics Board had recommended against those two items in the organic agriculture. There’s a considerable debate on these issues; it’s a public debate issue. So essentially, the department has felt that we want to open it up, we want to seek comments. And it could be any one of the three choices; either it could be allowed, it could be prohibited, or it could be allowed on a case-by-case basis, especially dealing with GMOs. [Federal News Service, 12/15/07]

Siddiqui Admitted Allowing no GMOs in Organics Would Possibly be “Inconsistent” with Forcing GMOs on EU

Siddiqui explained one of the reasons GMOs were not banned under organic label was because ” … some of the agencies within the U.S. government felt that we will be inconsistent in going to the EU and telling them to not require GMO contents being spelt out in ingredients.” [Food and Drink Weekly, 1/19/98]

CROPLIFE AMERICA SPENT HALF-MILLION TO DEFEAT COUNTY-LEVEL ANTI-GMO INITIATIVE

CropLife Spent $500,000 to Defeat County Ballot Banning GMOs

“In March 2004, CropLife poured funding into a campaign to defeat a Mendocino County ballot initiative – known as Measure H – that would make the country the first to ban genetically engineered crops. In the lead up to the vote, CropLife contributed over $500,000 – more than seven times that of the initiative supporters – to defeat the proposal. [1] Despite the massive campaign against the initiative, the bio-tech industry suffered a humiliating defeat. The measure passed by a margin of 56% to 43%. [2]”

Siddiqui Said “Pleased” by Defeat of Ballot Measures

Siddiqui, on behalf of CropLife America, said he was pleased that voters in three California counties had rejected proposed bans on biotech crop cultivation. “I think you’ll see more counties in California try[proposing a ban]the next time they can get it on the ballot,” he said, adding that similar initiatives are unlikely in other states. [Food Chemical News, 1/3/05]

CROPLIFE AMERICA CONSISTENTLY FAVORS AGRIBUSINESS INTERESTS OVER PUBLIC INTEREST

CropLife Lobbied to Allow Children to be Used for Pesticide Experiments

In August 2005, CropLife America met with Bush Administration officials at the Office of Managment and Budget and EPA to allow for children to participate in pesticide experiments. CropLife America urged certain allowances to be made for chemical testing on children.  Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility criticized the meeting for excluding the perspectives of ethicists, child advocates and scientists. EPA one month later adopted a human testing rule in line with CropLife America’s suggestions. Environmental groups sued the EPA for failing to adequately protect women and children. [Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, 5/30/06]

PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruck commented on the backdoor meeting, “These meeting notes make it clear that the pesticide industry’s top objective is access to children for experiments. After reading these ghoulish notes one has the urge to take a shower. For an administration which trumpets its concern for the ‘value and dignity of life,’ it is disconcerting that no ethicists, children advocates or scientists were invited to this meeting to counterbalance the pesticide pushers.” [Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, 5/30/06]

Supported Use of Human Test Subjects

In 2003, CropLife America expressed pleasure that the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned EPA’s moratorium on using human clinical test data in pesticide risk assessment. The court ruled that EPA’s “previous practice of considering third- party human studies on a case-by-case basis, applying statutory requirements, the Common Rule, and high ethical standards as a guide, is reinstated and remains in effect unless and until it is replaced by a lawfully promulgated regulation.” “We are pleased that the court recognized that EPA’s moratorium constituted a binding regulation issued without notice and the opportunity to comment,” said Jay J. Vroom, head of CropLife America. [U.S. Newswire, 6/3/03]

CropLife America Secured Continued Use Of Banned Ozone-Depleting Pesticide, Methyl Bromide

CropLife America supported the continued use of methyl bromide by farmers in the U.S. despite its supposed ban under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Protocol) and the Clean Air Act (CAA). The Bush administration secured an exemption of the highly controversial chemical in 2006. “By no means is there one product that will fit all the critical uses of methyl bromide today,” CropLife CEO Jay Vroom said. The continued exemptions are needed while research continues on the alternative pesticides, he said, adding, “We’re not there yet, and the American farmer needs to have these tools so we can continue to be have viable exports.” Source: Associated Press, Nov 4, 2006. For more information see the website for the UN Environmental Programme Ozone Secretariat. The PANNA website contains extensive resources and fact sheets on methyl bromide’s use for soil fumigation.

·       Methyl bromide, a powerful ozone depleter used on strawberries, tomatoes, grapes and other crops. The EPA has classified methyl bromide as a Toxicity Category I compound, the most deadly category of substances due to causing neurological damage and reproductive harm. Farmworkers in particular have experienced death, birth defects, blurred vision, nausea, and dizziness as a result of direct exposure to methyl bromide. Methyl Bromide has also been listed as a Class I Ozone Depleter under the Clean Air Act. Methyl bromide is a highly toxic pesticide.

·       From 1982 to 1990, at least 18 people in California died from exposure to methyl bromide. The state Department of Pesticide Regulation also reports at least 148 systemic illnesses, 52 eye injuries and 60 cases of skin damage from methyl bromide. Methyl bromide has also caused birth defects in studies required by U.S. EPA and submitted by the manufacturer.

·       Methyl bromide is toxic to the central nervous system and can damage lungs and kidneys and possibly cause cancer. Direct exposure can lead to headaches, blurred vision, nausea and dizziness. Many farmworkers and residents near fumigated fields have experienced these symptoms. [Pesticide Action Network]

Croplife America Resistant to International Regulations Over Toxic Chemicals

Croplife America has been a driving force to weaken the U.S. position on the Stockholm Convention, a critical effort to regulate the use of toxic “persistent organic pollutants (POPs).” These include the well known chemicals DDT, PCBs and dioxins that have been linked to a host of serious human health problems and environmental concerns. Even at very low levels of exposure, POPs can cause reproductive and developmental disorders, damage to the immune and nervous systems, and a range of cancers. CropLife America has argued that “American sovereignty” concerns should override the treaty if the chemical regulations are stronger than U.S. law. CropLife America explicitly calls for the U.S. to “protect export markets for American produce and farm commodities,” even if they use chemicals that may be outlawed by the POP treaties. [CropLife America Website]

CropLife America Argues for Allowing Usage of Toxic Endosulfans

Croplife America and its international counterpart CropLife International, whom Siddiqui has represented in international negotiations, have continuously argued for a legitimate role for the dangerous POP endosulfan.  However in October 2009, scientists declared that: “endosulfan is likely, as a result of its long-range environmental transport, to lead to significant adverse human health and environmental effects, such that global action is warranted.” The finding sets the stage for a global ban under the Stockholm Convention. Endosulfan is an endocrine disruptor, and low dose exposure while in the womb is linked to male reproductive harm, autism, and birth defects. High dose exposures are acutely toxic, resulting in headaches, nausea and vomiting, seizures, and in extreme cases, unconsciousness and death. [Manila Bulletin, 10/20/09]

CropLife America Withdrew from Landmark UN/World Bank Study on Ag Research (IAASTD) that Highlighted Agroecological Science as Promising Way to “Feed the World”

CropLife Upset Industry Viewpoint Not Allowed to Dictate Findings

CropLife International participated in the UN/World Bank-sponsored International Assessment for Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) for 4 years, before withdrawing in the final days of the process. The IAASTD reports—authored by over 400 scientists and development experts from more than 80 countries, and subjected to two open public review processes—remains the most authoritative study to date on agriculture research and technology. CropLife objected to the measured but lukewarm findings of the IAASTD on “modern biotechnology” and genetic engineering. According to the spokesman for CropLife, their decision to withdraw in the final days was prompted by “the inability of its members to get industry perspectives reflected in the draft reports” —a complaint belied by the fact that IAASTD editors repeatedly offered CropLife a “blank page” to present the industry’s viewpoints. Ultimately, industry authors failed to submit text in time for publication.

The IAASTD concluded that an increase in investments in agroecological practices would be necessary to meet 21st century needs, noting that agroecological, organic, biodiverse and regenerative practices represented highly promising and scientifically robust approaches to feeding the world while also meeting social equity and sustainability goals, particularly under increasing stresses of climate change, water scarcity and fossil-fuel based energy limitations. In contrast, the IAASTD observed that chemical intensive and GMO-based practices were unlikely to meet these goals, had in many cases undermined public health and/or contaminated the environment, and posed severe social equity concerns due to industry concentration, IPR and patent rules. [Bioscience Resource, New Scientist, PANNA]

Prepared by Lindsey Schneider and Vera Glavova, PANNA, with contributions from National Family Farm Coalition. For further information on CropLife: http://www.panna.org/resources/popshttp://www.panna.org/resources/treaties

Pesticide Action Network has worked to replace pesticides with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives since 1982. PANNA is one of five regional facilitating organizations serving a global network of more than 600 civil society groups in over 90 countries who share these goals. For more information, see http://www.panna.org.

Source

Millions Against Monsanto Campaign

Join OCA’s Campaign to Mobilize One Million Consumers to End Monsanto’s Global Corporate Terrorism

Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology

Monsanto sues and sues and sues and…

(Monday, July 14, 2003 — CropChoice guest commentary) — Monsanto and President George Bush have one thing in common. Both have a liking for the “walk softly and carry a big stick” form of public relations. Bush uses his big economic stick to gain the support of various nations in his quest to make the world safe for American corporations. Monsanto also uses a big economic stick – the big stick of the courtroom, to beat up those who fall afoul of its litigious nature. And, like George Bush, Monsanto has been pretty successful with these tactics. After all, the effect of a cluster bomb dropping on the home quarter would not be much more devastating than the effect of being sued by a huge corporation that is willing and able to spend millions to gain its ends.

Monsanto is very determined to defend its position that farmers must buy new seed of its patented genetically modified crops each year. Monsanto has built a whole department to enforce its seed patents and licensing agreements. It has 75 employees and an annual budget of $10 million.

An estimated 400 farmers have received threats of legal action from Monsanto over alleged patent infringement. While Canadian farmers will be familiar with the trials and tribulations of Percy Schmeiser, names like Homan McFarling and Nelson Farms should resonate with American producers. Few of these cases ever get to court because most farmers look at the odds of outlasting Monsanto and simply give in. A clause in Monsanto’s licensing agreement allows Monsanto to take such cases in the U.S. before courts in Missouri. This can add a huge amount to the legal bills of farmers who might be thousands of miles away.

Several of the cases that have gone to court are enough to scare farmers into meek submission to Monsanto’s demands. Homan McFarling was fined $780,000 for growing Roundup Ready soybeans without paying Monsanto’s licensing fee. Tennessee farmer Kem Ralph was fined $1.7 million and sentenced to eight months in jail for a variety of offenses that began with a Monsanto lawsuit.

Monsanto must be pleased with the results of its aggressive legal campaign. So pleased, in fact, it has decided to branch out. Monsanto’s latest foray into the courtroom has it suing a dairy in Maine, alleging that Oakhurst Dairy’s marketing campaign that touts its milk as being free of artificial growth hormones is misleading. Monsanto further claims Oakhurst’s ads and labels are deceptive and disparage Monsanto’s products by implying that milk from untreated cows is better than milk from hormone-treated cows.

Monsanto is the world’s only producer of artificial bovine growth hormone (BGH). This product is banned in Canada and elsewhere because of concerns about its impact on humans and the cows that are injected with it. In the U.S., where BGH is legal, some dairy farmers have captured a niche market by declaring that they do not use it on their cows. The Oakhurst Dairy label is simple enough: “Our Farmers’ Pledge: No Artificial Growth Hormones.” Who would have thought that a simple statement of the truth could have such dire consequences?

Oddly enough, it would not be unexpected if Monsanto were to name the state of Maine as a co-defendant. Maine has a program, the Quality Trademark Seal, which can only be carried on dairy products that are guaranteed free of artificial growth hormones.

Monsanto’s latest legal moves have angered farmers and consumers alike. Oakhurst Dairy defends the right of consumers to know what is in the milk they drink. Farmers who currently produce this milk would lose the ability to differentiate their product if Monsanto’s suit is successful. Other dairies, which make similar claims, will be watching.

Monsanto treads on thin ice with its aggressive litigation. However, it need not fear the same consumer backlash that other companies might face. Monsanto does not sell directly to the average consumer. Rather, its customers are farmers who often have no other place to go if they want to grow certain products. Because of this dependency relationship, farmers cannot afford to stay angry at Monsanto forever. Monsanto, on the other hand, can enjoy the exercise of its brute power with little fear of repercussions. It is a situation that could easily get worse. Source

This type of thing is what destroys farmers and farms. This is not protecting Farming Communities.  Monsanto sues anyone they can.

They even sued a Dairy Monsanto didn’t like their label. Turns out however Hormones in milk does cause health problems.

Monsanto seed contaminated a Canadian farmers field and Monsanto sued him, like it was his fault the wind blew seed into his field. That is how low Monsanto will go.

This also happens in the US as well.

Farmers even have been sued after their fields were contaminated by pollen or seed from a previous year’s crop has sprouted, or “volunteered,” in fields planted with non-genetically engineered varieties the following year; and when they never signed Monsanto’s Technology Agreement but still planted the patented crop seed. In all of these cases, because of the way patent law has been applied, farmers are technically liable. It does not appear to matter if the use was unwitting or if a contract was never signed. Source

Monsanto destroys Farmers. The GM foods may not be safe to consume either. Monsanto has a history of creating things that kill you.

Monsanto Roundup is it safe

Probably as safe as Agent Orange., Another Monsanto product.

Thee are tons of stories out there about Monsanto and it’s unethical practices.

Monsanto’s Roundup Pesticide Killing Wheat

Monsanto also produces the most commonly used broadleaf pesticide in the world, glyphosate–or Roundup. In addition to its inherent toxicity as a chemical pesticide, Roundup has now been found to aid the spread of fusarium head blight in wheat. This disease creates a toxin in the infected wheat, making the crop unsuitable for human or animal consumption. Canada’s wheat industry is currently being ravaged by this disease. At the same time, the widespread use of Roundup has resulted in the formation of “super weeds” — unwanted plants that have developed an immunity to these pesticides. Read study linking Monsanto’s Roundup to Cancer.

Monsanto’s Lobbying in 2009

Conflict of Interest: Ex Monsanto Lawyer Clarence Thomas to Hear Major Monsanto Case  March 9 2010

Related

The GM genocide: Thousands of Indian farmers are committing suicide after using genetically modified crops

They have Lied about the Safety of our Food And Still Do

A message From “Rachel Corrie’s” Mother

Rachel died 7 years ago today March 16 2003

March 16 2010

From Rachel’s Mother

This month, a civil lawsuit in Israel in the case of our daughter Rachel Corrie will converge with the seven-year anniversary of her killing in Gaza. A human rights observer and activist, Rachel, 23, was crushed to death by an Israel Defense Force (IDF) Caterpillar D9R bulldozer as she tried nonviolently to offer protection for a Palestinian family whose home was threatened with demolition. This lawsuit is one piece of our family’s seven-year effort to pursue accountability for Rachel while, also, challenging the Occupation that claimed her life.

On this day, when Rachel’s presence is powerful for many of us, we’re asking all of our friends to support Rachel’s vision of freedom for Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip by participating in what we are calling the International Day of Conscience. Please join her struggle by calling the White House today – this link has all the information you need:

http://tinyurl.com/Corrie4Gaza

Seven years later, Rachel’s memory is still vibrant. I’m writing to you from Israel where we are plaintiffs in a civil case against the state of Israel for its responsibility in her death. In addition to seeking accountability through the Israeli court system, we’re asking all of our friends to support Rachel’s vision of freedom for Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip by participating in a national call-in day to the White House.

I hope I can count on you to:

  • Call the White House at 202-456-1111
  • Urge Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell to visit Gaza and demand that the United States break the blockade of Gaza by providing immediate humanitarian aid and building materials.
  • Tell us about your call. Tracking your calls makes a difference.

You can also make the call tomorrow. Please forward this  to help spread the word.

Thank you,
Cindy Corrie

P.S. Click here to view the trial updates page on the Rachel Corrie Foundation website.

A few Documents from above link.

March 15: Eye Witness Testifies: Israeli Military Investigator Tried to Influence My Statement

English (pdf, 166.24 KB)

Eye Witness Testifies: Israeli Military Investigator Tried to Influence My Statement

    Today, March 15 2010, the Haifa District Court saw the third day of testimony in the civil lawsuit filed by Rachel Corrie’s family against the State of Israel for her unlawful killing in Rafah, Gaza. Rachel was crushed to death on March 16, 2003 by a Caterpillar D9R bulldozer. She had been nonviolently demonstrating against Palestinian home demolitions with fellow members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct action methods and principles. Today’s only testimony came from British citizen Alice Coy, a nurse, who was an eyewitness to the killing. The state spent most of the day trying to establish that contrary to all eyewitness accounts and human rights reports, the Israeli Military had no intention of demolishing homes in the area on the day Rachel was killed.

Ms. Coy testified that:

  • She first visited Israel in order visit Israeli family members.
  • When the Israeli Military interviewed her on April 1st about Rachel’s killing, the soldier who documented her testimony refused to record her statement that she believed the bulldozers were going to destroy civilian homes.
  • She believed the Israeli Military was planning to demolish homes on the day Rachel was killed because the Israeli Military had been demolishing homes on the Philadelphi Corridor in the days and weeks prior, and because they had already begun to demolish a house earlier that day by damaging its porch.
  • She had spoken with many Palestinian families in the area where Rachel was killed whose homes had been demolished by the Israeli Military.
  • She believed the bulldozer driver who killed Rachel could see her.
  • She described her view of her work with ISM as promoting peace for the whole region.

The home Rachel Corrie was protecting, that of Dr. Samir Nasrallah, was in fact demolished by the Israeli Military later that year.

According to an October, 2004 Human Rights Watch report, Razing Rafah: Mass Home Demolitions in the Gaza Strip, between 2000 and 2004, the Israeli Military demolished over 2,500 Palestinian houses in Gaza, nearly two thirds of which were located in Rafah, resulting in more than 16,000 people – over 10% of Rafah’s population – losing their homes. The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, in its 2004 report Through No Fault of their Own, found that contrary to Israel’s claim that prior warning is given before a home is demolished, occupants were given prior notification in a mere 3% of the cases.

The Human Rights’ Watch report further documented that most of the destruction in Rafah occurred along the Israeli-controlled border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt known as the Philadelphi Corridor, the area where Rachel was killed. During regular nighttime raids and with little or no warning, Israeli forces used armored Caterpillar D9 bulldozers to raze blocks of homes, incrementally expanding a “buffer zone” that is currently up to three hundred meters wide.The pattern of destruction strongly suggests that Israeli forces demolished homes wholesale, regardless of whether they posed a specific threat, in stark violation of international law.

The trial will resume on Wednesday, March 17, 2010, at 9 a.m. at the district court in Haifa.

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Rachel Corrie Gets Her Day in Court

Peace activist Rachel Corrie died while protesting in front of a bulldozer trying to destroy a Palestinian home in Rafah in March 2003. Photograph: Denny Sternstein/AP

Friday 26 February 2010

By Robert Naiman

On March 10, in the Israeli city of Haifa, American peace activist Rachel Corrie will get her day in court. Corrie’s parents, Cindy and Craig Corrie, are bringing suit against the Israeli defence ministry for Corrie’s killing by an Israeli military bulldozer in Gaza in March 2003.

Four key American and British witnesses who were present at the scene – members of the International Solidarity Movement – will be allowed into Israel to testify, despite having been barred previously by the Israeli authorities from entering the country. This reversal by the Israeli authorities is apparently due to US government pressure, The Guardian reported. (Three cheers for any US officials who contributed to this pressure. What else could you make the Israeli government do?)

A Palestinian doctor from Gaza, who treated Corrie after she was injured, has not been given permission by the Israeli authorities to leave Gaza to attend. (This would seem to be important testimony concerning the nature of Corrie’s injuries – did US officials exert pressure for his appearance?)

This case isn’t just about accountability for Corrie’s death. It’s a test case for the power of the rule of law in Israel, when the rule of law comes into conflict with the policies of military occupation.

When the rule of law in Israel comes into conflict with the policies of occupation, the rule of law often loses. But it does not always lose, particularly when the rule of law gets a boost from vigorous protest and political agitation. This month, Reuters reported Israel began rerouting part of its “West Bank barrier” near the village of Bilin – the site of many Palestinian, Israeli and international protests – in response to a petition filed in 2007 by Palestinians whose land was confiscated for the project. This was only a partial victory, because it only affected a minority of the confiscated land. But it shows that the rule of law in Israel is not totally impotent against the occupation, particularly when the rule of law is aided by protest and agitation.

It’s also a test case for the power of nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation. It’s commonplace among some poorly informed commenters – Edith Garwood of Amnesty International cited Bono, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and President Obama as recent examples – that Palestinians should “find their Martin Luther King.” But this commentary is foolish and retrograde, as Rahm Emanuel might say. A necessary condition for the ascendance of a King- or Gandhi-type movement in Palestine is that if Palestinian nonviolence activists are killed by the Israeli occupation, the government of Israel pays a significant price for that killing. If the Israeli government can kill an American peace activist and pay little price, what chance do the Palestinian Kings and Gandhis have?

It’s instructive to do a press search on the recent developments in the Corrie case. Searching on Yahoo News, I found Israeli and Palestinian press, Jewish and Arab press, British and Australian press. But outside of The Seattle Weekly – Corrie is from Olympia, and Brian Baird is her representative – I found no general US press. Isn’t it remarkable that we Americans have to read the British press to find out about developments in the case of our compatriot? Isn’t this state of affairs something that Bono, Nicholas Kristof and President Obama ought to reflect on, especially given the fact that they have significant ability to do something about it?

The persistence of Corrie’s case as a thorn in the side of the Israeli occupation authorities recalls the 1960s Costa-Gavras docudrama “Z,” about the political fallout from the assassination by the US-supported Greek government of the Greek parliamentarian and peace movement leader Gregoris Lambrakis. There is a powerful scene in the movie in which one of Lambrakis’ associates visits Lambrakis’ widow to deliver the news that four high-ranking military police officers have been indicted in the killing. On the way to meet her, Lambrakis’ associate passes a group of Greek students painting the letter “Z” on the sidewalk, meaning “he (Lambrakis) lives.” Marveling at the students’ determined activism in the face of mounting repression, Lambrakis’ associate said, “It’s almost as if he were alive.”

They murdered her, and yet she dogs them. It’s almost as if she were alive.

Source

Video History: Gaza Occupation Also 2 Videos with Rachel Corrie Bless her dear Heart- May we all remember her with Love

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Published in: on February 27, 2010 at 6:17 am  Comments Off on Rachel Corrie Gets Her Day in Court  
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Study finds: Iraq littered with high levels of nuclear and dioxin contamination

Images of Iraq War HERE

• Greater rates of cancer and birth defects near sites
• Depleted uranium among poisons revealed in report
By Martin Chulov in Baghdad
January 22 20110

More than 40 sites across Iraq are contaminated with high levels or radiation and dioxins, with three decades of war and neglect having left environmental ruin in large parts of the country, an official Iraqi study has found.

Areas in and near Iraq’s largest towns and cities, including Najaf, Basra and ­Falluja, account for around 25% of the contaminated sites, which appear to coincide with communities that have seen increased rates of cancer and birth defects over the past five years. The joint study by the environment, health and science ministries found that scrap metal yards in and around Baghdad and Basra contain high levels of ionising radiation, which is thought to be a legacy of depleted uranium used in munitions during the first Gulf war and since the 2003 invasion.

The environment minister, Narmin Othman, said high levels of dioxins on agricultural lands in southern Iraq, in particular, were increasingly thought to be a key factor in a general decline in the health of people living in the poorest parts of the country.

“If we look at Basra, there are some heavily polluted areas there and there are many factors contributing to it,” ­she told the Guardian. “First, it has been a battlefield for two wars, the Gulf war and the Iran-Iraq war, where many kinds of bombs were used. Also, oil pipelines were bombed and most of the contamination settled in and around Basra.

“The soil has ended up in people’s lungs and has been on food that people have eaten. Dioxins have been very high in those areas. All of this has caused systemic problems on a very large scale for both ecology and overall health.”

Government study groups have recently focused on the war-ravaged city of ­Falluja, west of ­Baghdad, where the unstable security situation had kept scientists away ever since fierce fighting between militants and US forces in 2004.

“We have only found one area so far in Falluja,” Othman said. “But there are other areas that we will try to explore soon with international help.”

The Guardian reported in November claims by local doctors of a massive rise in birth defects in the city, particularly neural tube defects, which afflict the spinal cords and brains of newborns. “We are aware of the reports, but we must be cautious in reaching conclusions about causes,” Othman said. “The general health of the city is not good. There is no sewerage system there and there is a lot of stagnant household waste, creating sickness that is directly affecting genetics. We do know, however, that a lot of depleted uranium was used there.

“We have been regulating and monitoring this and we have been urgently trying to assemble a database. We have had co-operation from the United Nations environment programme and have given our reports in Geneva. We have studied 500 sites for chemicals and depleted uranium. Until now we have found 42 places that have been declared as [high risk] both from uranium and toxins.”

Ten of those areas have been classified by Iraq’s nuclear decommissioning body as having high levels of radiation. They include the sites of three former nuclear reactors at the Tuwaitha facility – once the pride of Saddam ­Hussein’s regime on the south-eastern outskirts of Baghdad – as well as former research centres around the capital that were either bombed or dismantled between the two Gulf wars.

The head of the decommissioning body, Adnan Jarjies, said that when inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency arrived to “visit these sites, I tell them that even if we have all the best science in the world to help us, none of them could be considered to be clean before 2020.”

Bushra Ali Ahmed, director of the Radiation Protection Centre in Baghdad, said only 80% of Iraq had so far been surveyed. “We have focused so far on the sites that have been contaminated by the wars,” he said. “We have further plans to swab sites that have been destroyed by war.

“A big problem for us is when say a tank has been destroyed and then moved, we are finding a clear radiation trail. It takes a while to decontaminate these sites.”

Scrap sites remain a prime concern. Wastelands of rusting cars and war damage dot Baghdad and other cities between the capital and Basra, offering unchecked access to both children and scavengers.

Othman said Iraq’s environmental degradation is being intensified by an acute drought and water shortage across the country that has seen a 70% decrease in the volume of water flowing through the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.

“We can no longer in good conscience call ourselves the land between the rivers,” she said. “A lot of the water we are getting has first been used by Turkey and Syria for power generation. When it reaches us it is poor quality. That water which is used for agriculture is often contaminated. We are in the midst of an unmatched environmental disaster.” Source

This type of pollution has long term Health afets on the citizens of Iraq.

This type of pollution is a war crime.

This type of pollution is a crime against humanity.

This type of pollution should never be tolerated.

Those responsible should be held accountable.

Children are affected the most as are unborn an new born babies.

If this happened to you or your children would you be thankful to the US and others who invaded your country.

The invasion of Iraq was and still is illegal.

War crimes have been committed and those responsible must be held accountable. Otherwise there is no true justice in the world today.

Over  million died due to the war and many more are dieing due to the pollution left by the invaders.

When war crimes or crimes against humanity are being committed the World must stand up and say No More.  Those responsible must be sent to the Hague for trial.

In the case of Iraq there is more then enough evidence to go forward with a trial. The Holocaust in Iraq must be recognized.

We must never turn a blind eye to these  crimes.

These crimes are no less then any others that have been committed in our world. If these types of crimes were committed by a leader in Africa they surly would be charged and imprisoned.  War criminals should be prosecuted to the greatest extent the law will allow..

Those who pollute are prosecuted are they not?

This was premeditated murder  of over a million people..

This was  deliberate, toxic, deadly, long term, life threatening, cancer causing,  pollution of an entire country.

Why are the ones who planned it and perpetrated the crimes are  still walking free? WHY?

Diplomatic immunity does not apply in this case.  If that were the Case Saddam would not have been tried and hung. Saddam also did not kill over a million people. Anything said of Saddam is ten fold less then what was done to the innocent victims of Iraq by those who planned the war and the aftermath.

For more information on Iraq and other war pollution the link below has a lot of information. It also has information on Health issues.

New information is added to the War Pollution link as I find it.

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

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Published in: on January 24, 2010 at 8:12 pm  Comments Off on Study finds: Iraq littered with high levels of nuclear and dioxin contamination  
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French Gaza Freedom March activist died in Cairo

There is an important update in the Comment section.

Apparently she died of a cardiac arrest.  I am sure however that the cardiac arrest may have been brought on by the stress of what was happening..

Marchers were given a very hard time by officials in Egypt.

Organizers of the Gaza Freedom March report the death of a French citizen (from injuries sustained at the hands of Egyptian security forces during a demonstration in the capital, Cairo.) The Part in Italics is not correct. Note comment at bottom for update on incident

Marie Renee died in the Cairo Hospital. She was traveling with a French delegation of approximately 300 nationals, Ma’an news agency reported.

The French delegates had earlier been camped out on the grounds surrounding the French Embassy in Cairo, reportedly flanked by two lines of Egyptian police.

Hundreds of activists with the Gaza Freedom March are staging continued demonstrations and sit-ins in Cairo to protest the Egyptian government’s refusal to allow them to cross the border into the besieged Gaza Strip.

On Wednesday, Egyptian security allowed 84 of the 1,300 who registered to participate in the Freedom March into Gaza. All were traveling with the Codepink delegation, which organized two earlier trips into the blockaded Palestinian coastal sliver since the Israeli war on Gaza last year.

Another 1,200 activists from about 40 states remained in Cairo after Egypt refused entry for the group because of what they called the “sensitive situation” in the Palestinian territory.

The Gaza Freedom March activists were hoping to march into Gaza on the anniversary of Israel’s 22-day offensive on the territory as a sign of solidarity with its people, carrying with them aid and supplies.

Israel has continued to close all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for more than two years. The illegal Israeli imposed blockade on the Gaza Strip, which has steadily tightened since 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the coastal enclave.

Some 1.5 million people are being denied their basic rights, including Freedom of movement, and their rights to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education. Poverty and unemployment rates stand at approximately 80% and 60% respectively in the Gaza Strip.

Egypt with the Palestinian Authority’s blessings has sealed its borders with the Gaza Strip, effectively cutting off the coastal enclave from the rest of the world.

Source

Marie gave her life to help others. She will be remembered by all of us.

My heart goes out to her friends an family.

Today is a sad day indeed for all concerned.

There needs to be sanctions and more boycotts against Israel.

They continue on their destructive path with no end in sight.

For over 60 years Israel has terrorized innocent people.

The borders have to be opened.  The people of Gaza need our help.

Call on your Governments to do something.  Sanctions I very rarely would recommend but in this case I think they are warranted.

It may even be time for UN and NATO intervention to stop Israels destructive behavior.

No country should sell arms of any kind to Israel or give them any money. All their so called charities should have their funding cut and stopped.

No more money,  no more weapons,  no more tolerating their horrendous behavior. If we don’t stop them now then when?

No Government anywhere should support this type of Apartheid behavior.

All Israeli businesses should be booted out of every country around the world as well.

Enough is enough.

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Doctors report “unprecedented” rise in deformities, cancers in Iraq

Doctors report “unprecedented” rise in deformities, cancers in Iraq
By Larry Johnson

November 16 2009

As we in the news media like to say, violence has “abated” in Iraq.  For example, on Monday it was reported that 16 people – including a member of the country’s main Sunni political party and several of his relatives – were killed by gunmen. And a parked car bomb exploded in a market in Kirkuk, killing five people and wounding seven others.

It’s sad to say that the death of 21 people is not too bad, but this is a country that, since the U.S. invasion, often saw a daily civilian death toll topping 100.

But there is another, more insidious violence that is on the rise and will likely continue to rise for generations to come.

The Guardian.co.uk (has and excellent Video) reports that doctors in Fallujah are dealing with up to 15 times as many chronic deformities in infants and a spike in early life cancers that may be linked to toxic materials left over from the fighting.

The report said, “Neurologists and obstetricians in the city interviewed by the Guardian say the rise in birth defects – which include a baby born with two heads, babies with multiple tumours, and others with nervous system problems – are unprecedented and at present unexplainable.”

Actually, this rise in birth defects has been reported on – by, at least a handful of journalists – for years. Iraqi researchers and doctors – for years – have documented the rise of birth defects and cancer primarily in southern Iraq where most of the fighting took place in the first Gulf War. With the second war in Iraq, it seems obvious that the problem is spreading. Depleted uranium has been singled out as the most likely cause.

Depleted uranium, which is used for armor-piercing shells of various sizes, is a highly dense metal that is the byproduct of the process during which fissionable uranium used to manufacture nuclear bombs and reactor fuel is separated from natural uranium. DU remains radioactive for about 4.5 billion years. Many governments have outlawed the use of DU as weapons. The United States has not.

In 2002 and 2003, I researched the effects of depleted uranium in Iraq for stories in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper.

In the 2002 story:

“Although the Pentagon has sent mixed signals about the effects of depleted uranium, Iraqi doctors believe that it is responsible for a significant increase in cancer and birth defects in the region. Many researchers outside Iraq, and several U.S. veterans organizations, agree; they also suspect depleted uranium of playing a role in Gulf War Syndrome, the still-unexplained malady that has plagued hundreds of thousands of Gulf War veterans…”

At the Saddam Teaching Hospital in Basra, Dr. Jawad Al-Ali, a British-trained oncologist, showed me photo albums he kept of dead and deformed infants that he believed were linked to DU. There were photos of infants born without brains, with their internal organs outside their bodies, without sexual organs, without spines, and the list of deformities went on and on.

In the 2003 story:

“Doctors in Iraq say the number of cancers and birth defects may be devastating.

“‘This is the right time for active support to help prevent the catastrophic effects of the bombing,’ said Dr. Alim Yacoub, dean of the Al Mustansiriya Medical School in Baghdad.

‘“If there isn’t a centralized health plan soon, the consequences could be devastating,’ said Yacoub, the foremost Iraqi authority on the effects of DU. Yacoub has tracked the rise of cancer in Iraq for years, and places the blame squarely on DU.”

An Iraqi scientist, Souad N. Al-Azzawi documented the entire history of DU in Iraq and its devastating effects on the people there, in a presentation to the Kuala Lumpur International Conference to Criminalise War in October. Al-Azzawi, who was forced into exile from Iraq, has devoted many years to her work, at considerable personal risk.

So, the problem isn’t that the rise in cancer and birth defects in Iraq is “unprecedented” or “unexplainable.”  The problem is the United States government, and other governments, won’t do anything about it.

Source

They need help the hospitals nor the Doctors can handle all the patients.

The Americans caused the problems and yet will not help them. The children are in desperate need of much more medical help.

Deformed Babies in Fallujah: Iraq Letter to the United Nations

by Dr. Nawal Majeed Al-Sammarai et al
November 15 2009

Young women in Fallujah in Iraq are terrified of having children because of the increasing number of babies born grotesquely deformed, with no heads, two heads, a single eye in their foreheads, scaly bodies or missing limbs.

Fatima Ahmed was born in Fallujah with deformities that include two heads
In addition, young children in Fallujah are now experiencing hideous cancers and leukaemias. These deformities are now well documented, for example in television documentaries on SKY UK on September 1 2009, and on SKY UK June 2008. Our direct contact with doctors in Fallujah report that:In September 2009, Fallujah General Hospital had 170 new born babies, 24% of whom were dead within the first seven days, a staggering 75% of the dead babies were classified as deformed.This can be compared with data from the month of August in 2002 where there were 530 new born babies of whom six were dead within the first seven days and only one birth defect was reported.H.E. Dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki
President of the Sixty-fourth Session of the United Nations General Assembly
United Nations
New York, NY 10017October 12th 2009Your Excellency,RE DEFORMED BABIES IN FALLUJAH Doctors in Fallujah have specifically pointed out that not only are they witnessing unprecedented numbers of birth defects but premature births have also considerably increased after 2003. But what is more alarming is that doctors in Fallujah have said, “a significant number of babies that do survive begin to develop severe disabilities at a later stage”.  As one of a number of doctors, scientists and those with deep concern for Iraq, Dr Chris Burns-Cox, a British hospital physician, wrote a letter to the Rt. Hon. Clare Short, M.P. asking about this situation. She wrote a letter to the Rt. Hon.Douglas Alexander, M.P. the Secretary of State of the Department for International Development (a post she had held before she resigned on a matter of principle in May 2003 ) asking for clarification of the position of deformed children in Fallujah.She received a reply dated 3rd September 2009 (two days after the Sky TV broadcast of 1st September 2009 ) from a junior minister, deputy to The Secretary of State, Mr. Gareth Thomas MP, Duty Minister, Department for International Development. In his reply he denies that there are more than two or three deformed babies in Fallujah in a year and asserts that there is, therefore, no problem. This is at wild variance with reports coming out of Fallujah. One grave digger of a single cemetery is burying four to five babies a day, most of which he says are deformed.Clare Short passed us a copy of this letter. It bears a remarkable similarity to three other written answers we have received over a four year period, in regard to child health and the use of depleted uranium. All these letters are based on lies and an aim to confuse the recipients. In her autobiography “Honorable Deception?” Clare Short says “The first instinct of Number 10 (Downing Street) is to lie.”We regard the mendacity of Mr. Thomas’s letter, and of the other letters we have received, as extremely serious. These letters do not deal with minor matters of corruption, or taxes, but do deal with the use of armed forces and deadly weapons.

The use of certain weapons has tremendous repercussions. Iraq will become a country, if it has not already done so, where it is advisable not to have children. Other countries will watch what has happened in Iraq, and imitate the Coalition Allies’ total disregard of the United Nations Charter, The Geneva, and Hague Conventions, and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Some countries, such as Afghanistan, will also come to experience the very long term damage to the environment, measured in billions of years, and the devastating effect of depleted uranium and white phosphorous munitions.

If, as we say in our letter to the Duty Minister of the Department for International Development, the UK Government clearly does not know the effects of the weapons it uses, nor, as a matter of policy, does “it do body counts”, how can the UK Government judge whether it is conducting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan according to International Law, especially in terms of “proportionality” and long term damage to the natural environment? How can the UK know about the illegality of the weapons systems it sells on the international market, such as the “Storm Shadow” missile, if the very Department of the Government that is supposed to assess the deaths and medical needs of children and adults in Iraq is not telling the truth.

We request from the United Nations General Assembly the following:

1. To acknowledge that there is a serious problem regarding the unprecedented number of birth defects and cancer cases in Iraq specifically in Fallujah, Basra, Baghdad and Al – Najaf.

2. To set up an independent committee to conduct a full investigation into the problem of the increased number of birth defects and cancers in Iraq.

3. To implement the cleaning up of toxic materials used by the occupying forces including Depleted Uranium, and White Phosphorus.

4. To prevent children and adults entering contaminated areas to minimize exposure to these hazards.

5. To investigate whether war crimes, or crimes against humanity, have been committed, and thereby uphold the United Nations Charter, The Geneva and Hague Conventions, and The Rome Statute of The International Criminal Court.

Please find enclosed a copy of our letter to Mr Gareth Thomas, dated 12th October 2009, and his letter to The Rt Hon Clare Short, M.P. dated 3rd September 2009, and enclosures relating to this matter.

Yours faithfully,

Dr Nawal Majeed Al-Sammarai ( Iraq Minister of Women’s Affairs 2006 -2009)

Dr. David Halpin FRCS (Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon)

Malak Hamdan M. Eng in Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering.

Dr Chris Burns-Cox MD FRCP

Dr. Haithem Alshaibani (Environmental Sciences)

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (Author and Journalist)
Nicholas Wood MA, RIBA, FRGS

Enclosures to follow by surface mail:

1:  Copy of Sky Television Documentary 1 September 2009 “The Deformed Babies of Fallujah”:

2:  Copy of Sky Television Documentary June 2008 “The Deformed Babies of Fallujah”.

3:  Frieder Wagners’s film “Deadly Desert Dust” 2006.

4:  Report by doctors in Fallujah 4 March 2008 ” Prohibited Weapons Crisis”

5:  Film the “Dying children of Iraq”,compiled by Nicholas Wood.

6:  US Army briefing on the use of White Phosphorous in Fallujah on “Shake and Bake Missions”

7:  Report “Who Can Forgive the Crime of using Depleted Uranium Against Iraq and Humanity” by Dr Haithem Alshaibani, September 2009 .

8:  Written Answer by Mr Hilary Benn, Secretary of State, Department for International Development to Parliamentary Question. 10 March 2005.

9:  Letter by Mr Hilary Benn, Secretary of State, Department for International Development to The Independent, 20 January 2007, in reply to the 98 Doctors’ letter to the Prime Minister.

10:  Letter by Rt.Hon. Des Browne, M.P. UK Former Minister of Defence to Rt. Hon. Tony Benn, November 2008

11:  Black Country Coroner’s District ( Sandwell, Dudley.and Walsall: ) Coroner’s Report into death of Stuart Raymond Dyson. 18 September 2009.

12:  Calculations of expected child abnormalities in a city the size of Cardiff or Fallujah using UK statistics , David Halpin FRCS

Letter from Mr Gareth Thomas M.P. Duty Minister, Department for International Development, 3 September 2009 to Rt. Hon. Clare Short M.P.

Source

Sept 1, 2009

By Lisa Holland

Sadness Of Fallujah’s Sick Children

A doctor in Iraq has told Sky News that more and more children are being born with deformities in Fallujah, a city heavily bombed by the US in 2004. Lisa Holland’s report contains pictures of children with severe medical conditions and deformities. Video Here

This is beyond sad. These poor children and parents should never have had to go through this.

The under taker at a Fallujah cemetery  says he buries 4 or 5 newborns every day and most are deformed.

This is compliments of the US invasion.

This is a crime against Humanity and a War Crime to say the very lest.

Words cannot describe, the despair these parents must feel.

This of course happens everywhere the US goes, this is the trail of horror they leave behind. This is caused by the Weapons they used and they sell these weapons to other countries as well.

The soldiers who have been there, can also have children with these types of deformities.

This Video Released in 2007

An award winning documentary film produced for German television by Freider Wagner and Valentin Thurn. The film exposes the use and impact of radioactive weapons during the current war against Iraq. The story is told by citizens of many nations. It opens with comments by two British veterans, Kenny Duncan and Jenny Moore, describing their exposure to radioactive, so-called depleted uranium (DU), weapons and the congenital abnormalities of their children. Dr. Siegwart-Horst Gunther, a former colleague of Albert Schweitzer, and Tedd Weyman of the Uranium Medical Research Center (UMRC) traveled to Iraq, from Germany and Canada respectively, to assess uranium contamination in Iraq

The Hidden Massacre of Fallujah

This is the terrible testimony given by Jeff Englehart, veteran of the war in Iraq. “I have seen women and children burnt bodies – the former U.S. soldier added – phosphorus explodes and it creates a cloud. Whoever is within 150 mt is dead.” Some witnesses have seen a rainfall of burning substances of different colors that were burning people when hit and even those who were not hit had problems breathing”, told us Mohamad Tareq al-Deraji, director of the center for human rights studies in Fallujah.

More pictures of Babies Born in Iraq with Deformities

This is the result of weapons used by the US


What the US didn’t want anyone to know.

Whether it be Napalm,  White Phosphorous or another new Weapon of Mass Destruction the end result it horrifying.

These are the Victims of the US.

This is beyond cruel.

This is beyond a war crime

This is the US inhumanity

Who has and used Weapons of Mass Destruction? Not Iraqis.

How can anyone do this?

This is the true face of war.

Those responsible for this must be held responsible.

Americans must know what their Government did.

Imagine how you would react to this type of horror

How can anyone in the World think this is OK?

How many must die before we Say NO TO WAR?

Is it any wonder they hate Americans?

We also have Children Like this little girl and there are many more like

Mouna.

Mouna’s Story : An Iraqi Girl Struggles to Walk Again

The five-part series  chronicles the story of Mouna, a young girl who suffered severe injuries in Iraq, she learned how  to walk again, on artificial limbs with the help of MSF/Doctors Without Boarders, surgeons and physiotherapists in Amman, Jordan.

It was a very long, painful road for a little girl to travel.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

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Pipelines in the Middle East Afghanistan included/ Maps as well

Why: War in Iraq and Afghanistan

There’s a ticking time bomb in Serbia, where doctors have reported a sharp increase in cancer deaths among locals and claim this could be linked to NATO’s use of depleted uranium shells during the 1999 bombings. NATO bombings: Aftermath takes toll on Serbia, now left with DU Poisoning

Just recently in China which isn’t so far off a baby with two heads was found abandoned. When it comes to war pollution the wind blows and it goes.

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

More Videos on Depleted Uranium

Why: War in Iraq and Afghanistan

Both wars were planned long before 9/11
October 10, 2009
The New American Century

This film goes in detail through the untold history of The Project for the New American Century with tons of archival footage and connects it right into the present.

The film provides solid evidence for the true reasons behind the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, whose unfolding is described in chilling detail in a document called “Project for the New American Century”, published in the year 2,000, that seems to have served as the actual blueprint for such dramatic events

This film exposes how every major war in US history was based on a complete fraud with video of insiders themselves admitting it.

This film shows how the first film theaters in the US were used over a hundred years ago to broadcast propaganda to rile the American people into the Spanish-American War.

This film shows the white papers of the oil company Unocal which called for the creation of a pipeline through Afghanistan and how their exact needs were fulfilled through the US invasion of Afghanistan.

This film shows how Halliburton under their “cost plus” exclusive contract with the US Government went on a mad dash spending spree akin to something out of the movie Brewster’s Millions, yet instead of blowing $30 million they blew through BILLIONS by literally burning millions of dollars worth of hundred thousand dollar cars and trucks if they had so much as a flat tire. “A stunning film.

It should be seen as widely as possible, in cinemas, bars, clubs, at meetings and, of course, through the internet. I’m sure the film will continue to be a source of debate and political education for many years.

Maybe until the war criminals have been brought to trial.” – Ken Loach While Massimo Mazzucco’s first political documentary, GLOBAL DECEIT (2006), focused on the long list of inconsistencies in the official version of the 9/11 attacks, THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY explores the historical, philosophical and economic background that suggests a matrix for such events that is much closer to home than the so-called “Islamic terrorism”.


Shortly before his untimely death, former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told the House of Commons that “Al Qaeda” is not really a terrorist group but a database of international mujaheddin and arms smugglers used by the CIA and Saudis to funnel guerrillas, arms, and money into Soviet-occupied Afghanistan. Courtesy of World Affairs, a journal based in New Delhi, WMR can bring you an important excerpt from an Apr.-Jun. 2004 article by Pierre-Henry Bunel, a former agent for French military intelligence.

Al Qaeda not a terrorist group  –Just a  Database

‘Al Qaeda’: How the Pentagon/ CIA Made an ‘Enemy’

The Israeli Connection


War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity And Genocide In Iraq

Legal Case Filed Against 4 U.S. Presidents and 4 UK Prime Ministers
October 08, 2009

MADRID: Today the Spanish Senate, acting to confirm a decision already taken under pressure from powerful governments accused of grave crimes, will limit Spain’s laws of universal jurisdiction. Yesterday, ahead of the change of law, a legal case was filed at the Audiencia Nacional against four United States presidents and four United Kingdom prime ministers for commissioning, condoning and/or perpetuating multiple war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in Iraq.

This case, naming George H W Bush, William J Clinton, George W Bush, Barack H Obama, Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Anthony Blair and Gordon Brown, is brought by Iraqis and others who stand in solidarity with the Iraqi people and in defence of their rights and international law.

Iraq: 19 years of intended destruction

The intended destruction — or genocide — of Iraq as a state and nation has been ongoing for 19 years, combining the imposition of the most draconian sanctions regime ever designed and that led to 1.5 million Iraqi deaths, including 500,000 children, with a war of aggression that led to the violent deaths of over one million more.

* Destroying Iraq included the purposeful targeting of its water and sanitation system, attacking the health of the civilian population. Since 1990, thousands of tons of depleted uranium have been dropped on Iraq, leading in some places to a 600 per cent rise in cancer and leukaemia cases, especially among children. In both the first Gulf War and “Shock and Awe” in 2003, an air campaign that openly threatened “total destruction”, waves of disproportionate bombing made no distinction between military and civilian targets, with schools, hospitals, mosques, churches, shelters, residential areas, and historical sites all destroyed.

* Destroying Iraq included promoting, funding and organizing sectarian and ethnic groups bent on dividing Iraq into three or more sectarian or ethnic entities, backed by armed militias that would terrorize the Iraqi people. Since 2003, some 4.7 million Iraqis — one fifth of the population — have been forcibly displaced. Under occupation, kidnappings, killings, extortion and mutilation became endemic, targeting men, women and even children and the elderly.

* Destroying Iraq included purposefully dismantling the state by refusing to stop or stem or by instigating mass looting, and by engaging in ideological persecution, entailing “manhunting”, extrajudicial assassinations, mass imprisonment and torture, of Baathists, the entire educated class of the state apparatus, religious and linguistic minorities and Arab Sunnis, resulting in the total collapse of all public services and other economic functions and promoting civil strife and systematic corruption.

* In parallel, Iraq’s rich heritage and unique cultural and archaeological patrimony has been wantonly destroyed.

In order to render Iraq dependent on US and UK strategic designs, successive US and UK governments have attempted to partition Iraq and to establish by military force a pro-occupation Iraqi government and political system. They have promoted and engaged in the massive plunder of Iraqi natural resources, attempting to privatize this property and wealth of the Iraqi nation.

Humanity at stake

This is but the barest summary of the horrors Iraq has endured, based on lies that nobody but cowed governments and complicit media believed. In 2003, millions worldwide were mobilized in opposition to US/UK plans. In going ahead, the US and UK launched an illegal war of aggression. Accountability has not been established.

The persons named in this case have each played a key role in Iraq’s intended destruction. They instigated, supported, condoned, rationalized, executed and/or perpetuated or excused this destruction based on lies and narrow strategic and economic interests, and against the will of their own people. Allowing those responsible to escape accountability means such actions could be repeated elsewhere.

It is imperative now to establish accountability for US and UK war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Iraq because:

Every Iraqi victim deserves justice.

Everyone responsible should be accountable.

We are before immoral and unlawful acts, contrary to the basis on which the international order of state sovereignty and peace and security rests. Whereas the official international justice system is closed before the suffering of those that imperialism makes a target, through this case we try to open a channel whereby the conscience of humanity can express its solidarity with justice for victims of imperial crimes.

Ad Hoc Committee For Justice For Iraq

Press contacts:
Hana Al Bayaty, Executive Committee, BRussells Tribunal

34 657 52 70 77 or +20 10 027 7964 (English and French) hanaalbayaty@gmail.com
Dr Ian Douglas, Executive Committee, BRussells Tribunal, coordinator, International Initiative to Prosecute US Genocide in Iraq

+20 12 167 1660 (English) iandouglas@USgenocide.org

Amanda Nuredin, +34 657 52 70 77 (Spanish) justiciaparairak@gmail.com
Abdul Ilah Albayaty, Executive Committee, BRussells Tribunal

+33 471 461 197 (Arabic) albayaty_abdul@hotmail.com
Web:
www.brusselstribunal.org
www.USgenocide.org
www.twitter.com/USgenocide
www.facebook.com/USgenocide

Source

‘Hush’ over Afghan mission must end

Afghanistan: Troops Guarding the Poppy Fields

(Afghanistan 1) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

US-NATO Using Military Might To Control World Energy Resources

Has Usama Bin Ladin been dead for seven years – and are the U.S. and Britain covering it up to continue war on terror?

The New American Century

Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century,

This is a very detailed report, absolutely amazing how many countries supply weapons to Israel.  Do check it out and please sign the petition of support.

Foreign Arms Supplies To Israel/Gaza and Petition to Support the Goldstone UN Mission Report

Pipelines in the Middle East Afghanistan included/ Maps as well

The so Called Drug Wars fuel the American Prison System. Profit, profit, profit.

You can’t in a million years tell me that the US could not stop the Heroin from coming out of Afghanistan. If the Taliban could irradiate it so to could the US.  The drugs fuel the CIA drug dealing.

The Prison Industry in the United States Costs Taxpayers Billions

 

 

To President Obama: Free Mohammad Othman Now

Free Mohammad Now

On September 22, Mohammad Othman was arrested and detained by Israeli soldiers on the Allenby Bridge Crossing, the border from Jordan to Palestine. He was returning from a trip to Norway, where he was advocating for Palestinian human rights. Ask U.S. President Obama to press for his immediate release.

(If you are not in the U.S., consider joining this action alert. Hold President Obama. accountable for his Cairo speech.)
The letter to Obama

Please tell the Israeli authorities to free Mohammad Othman.

He was arrested and detained by Israeli soldiers on the Allenby Bridge Crossing, the border from Jordan to Palestine. He was returning from a trip to Norway, where he was advocating for Palestinian human rights.

President Obama, in your Cairo speech, you have exhorted the Palestinians to seek a resolution to the violent Israeli/Palestinian conflict through the use of nonviolence.

In fact, Mohammad Othman and many other Palestinians have engaged in peaceful protest against the Israeli occupation for many years, in Bil’in, Nil’in, Jayyous and many other places that have lost their land to the wall and the settlements. Archbishop Desmond Tutu has compared them to Gandhi, who managed to overthrow British rule in India by nonviolent means, and to Martin Luther King, Jr., who took up the struggle of a black woman who was too tired to go to the back of a segregated bus.

And yet, protestors in the Occupied Territories face the same consequences: detention, injury, and even death.

Those that travel abroad to advocate their cause are at risk of being unjustly detained when they come back home. This is what happened to Muhammad Srour — an eye-witness at the UN Fact Finding Mission on Gaza — arrested on his way back from Geneva. This is what is happening to Mohammad Othman right now.

President Obama, you must come true to your words in Cairo and defend the right of Mr. Othman to speak up for Palestinian rights.

Thanks.


Mohammad has not committed any crime.
You can also add your  own comments
Two things I would like to see added are The following.

Defence for Children International has a report on the treatment Children  in Israeli prisons it an extremely disturbing report.

Check http://www.dci-pal.org/english/publ/research/CPReport.pdf

Report by  MachsomWatch.org on adults who were charged and incarcerated check  http://www.machsomwatch.org/files/Guilty.pdf

Seems they just keep throwing you in jail  or other means which may include torture, until you plead guilty.

Click here to send your letter to Obama

You can also go here to send a letter to Obama

http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

You can also call or write to the President:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Phone Numbers

Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461

The choice is yours.

Published in: on October 6, 2009 at 1:14 am  Comments Off on To President Obama: Free Mohammad Othman Now  
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Victims’ families tell their stories following Nato airstrike in Afghanistan

By Ghaith Abdul-Ahad in Kunduz
September 11 2009

Fazel-Muhamad

Fazel Muhamad, 48, holding pictures of family members who were killed in the attack. Photograph: Ghaith Abdul-Ahad

At first light last Friday, in the Chardarah district of Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan, the villagers gathered around the twisted wreckage of two fuel tankers that had been hit by a Nato airstrike. They picked their way through a heap of almost a hundred charred bodies and mangled limbs which were mixed with ash, mud and the melted plastic of jerry cans, looking for their brothers, sons and cousins. They called out their names but received no answers. By this time, everyone was dead.

What followed is one of the more macabre scenes of this or any war. The grief-stricken relatives began to argue and fight over the remains of the men and boys who a few hours earlier had greedily sought the tanker’s fuel. Poor people in one of the world’s poorest countries, they had been trying to hoard as much as they could for the coming winter.

“We didn’t recognise any of the dead when we arrived,” said Omar Khan, the turbaned village chief of Eissa Khail. “It was like a chemical bomb had gone off, everything was burned. The bodies were like this,” he brought his two hands together, his fingers curling like claws. “There were like burned tree logs, like charcoal.

“The villagers were fighting over the corpses. People were saying this is my brother, this is my cousin, and no one could identify anyone.”

So the elders stepped in. They collected all the bodies they could and asked the people to tell them how many relatives each family had lost.

A queue formed. One by one the bereaved gave the names of missing brothers, cousins, sons and nephews, and each in turn received their quota of corpses. It didn’t matter who was who, everyone was mangled beyond recognition anyway. All that mattered was that they had a body to bury and perform prayers upon.

“A man comes and says, ‘I lost my brother and cousin’, so we gave him two bodies,” said Omar Khan. “Another says I lost five relatives, so we gave him five bodies to take home and bury. When we had run out of bodies we started giving them limbs, legs, arms, torsos.” In the end only five families went away without anything. “Their sons are still missing.”

Omar Khan’s small eyes narrowed and his mouth formed a disgusted circle. “The smell was so bad. For three days I smelled of burned meat and fuel.”

Omar Khan was one of 11 villagers the Guardian interviewed about the airstrike. We arrived in the region early this week with the intention of visiting the site of the attack, but the kidnapping of a New York Times journalist and the firefight that preceded his rescue, leaving four people dead, meant the journey there was too difficult. Instead the villagers came into the city to tell us their stories.

We sat around a table in the basement of a hotel, and one by one their accounts of the airstrike – which killed 70-100 people, making it one of the most devastating of the war – spilled out. The villagers said the Taliban had hijacked the fuel tankers at 7pm on Thursday evening and driven them off the main road to Kabul, through Ali Abad district, into their stronghold of Chardarah, to the south-west of Kunduz.

To reach Chardarah they had to ford a shallow river to avoid a bridge garrisoned by the Afghan army. But when they drove the trucks into the water they became stuck, so the Taliban summoned the people in the nearby villages to help.

Jamaludin, a 45-year-old farmer, had been praying in the mosque when he heard the sound of a tractor. “I went home and found that three of my brothers and my nephew had left with my tractor,” he said. “I called my brother to ask him where they had gone. He said the Taliban had asked him to bring the tractor and help them pull a tanker.” Jamaluddin was alarmed. “I asked him what tanker? It wasn’t our business, let the Taliban bring their own tractors. I called him back an hour later. He said they couldn’t get the trucks out and the Taiban wouldn’t let him leave, so I went back to sleep.”

Realising the tankers were stuck, the Taliban decided to siphon off the fuel and asked people to come and help themselves to the ghanima, the spoils of war. There would be free fuel for everyone.

Assadullah, a thin 19-year-old with a wisp of black hair falling on his forehead, got a call from a friend who said the Taliban were distributing free fuel.

“I took two fuel cans with me, I called my brother and a friend and we went. There was a full moon and we could see very clearly. There were a lot of people already there. They were pushing and shoving, trying to reach the tap to fill their jerry cans. We are poor people, and we all wanted to get some fuel for the winter.

“I filled my cans and moved away while my brother was pushing to fill his. I walked for a hundred, maybe two hundred metres.”

It was about 1am on Friday that the aircraft attacked and incinerated the stolen fuel tankers. “There was a big light in the sky and then an explosion,” Assadullah said. “I fell on my face. When I came to, there was thick smoke and I couldn’t see anything. I called, I shouted for my brother but he didn’t answer. I couldn’t see him. There was fire everywhere and silence and bodies were burning.”

He pulled up his long shirt to show me four small shrapnel bruises and two burns on his neck.

Jamaludin woke up at about 1am to start making food. It was Ramadan, and he had to prepare Sehur, the last meal before sunrise. “I called my brother again and told him I could hear lots of aeroplanes in the sky, why wasn’t he back? He said he was bringing some fuel and would be home soon. I hung up and went into the courtyard, and then there was a big fire, like a big lamp in the middle of the sky. I called my brother again and his phone was off. I left home and ran towards the river. The smell of smoke was coming from there.

“When I got there I couldn’t see my brother.I shouted for him. I saw some people carrying injured on their shoulders, then I went back home to pray and wait for the light.”

Jan Mohammad, an old man with a white beard and green eyes, said angrily: “I ran, I ran to find my son because nobody would give me a lift. I couldn’t find him.”

He dropped his head on his palm that was resting on the table, and started banging his head against his white mottled hand. When he raised his head his eyes were red and tears were rolling down his cheek: “I couldn’t find my son, so I took a piece of flesh with me home and I called it my son. I told my wife we had him, but I didn’t let his children or anyone see. We buried the flesh as it if was my son.”

He broke off, then shouted at the young Assadullah, who had knocked at the old man’s house and told his son to come with them there was free fuel for everyone, “You destroyed my home”, Assadu-llah turned his head and looked at the wall. “You destroyed my home,” he shouted again. Jan Mohammad dropped his head again on his palm and rolled it left and right, his big gray turban moving like a huge pendulum, “Taouba [forgiveness],” he hissed. “People lost their fathers and sons for a little bit of fuel. Forgiveness.”

Omar Khan, the village chief, was crying now and looking at the ceiling.

Fazel Muhamad a 48-year-old farmer with seven deep lines creasing his forehead and a white prayers cap, threw two colour passport pictures in front of me, one of a thickly bearded man and the other a young boy. “My cousin and his son,” he said. “Around 10pm, my cousin told me the Taliban were distributing fuel to the people and he was going to get some for the winter. I asked him to stay and not go, there were planes and it was dangerous at night, but he went anyway.

“At one or two in the morning we heard a big explosion and I saw fire coming form the sky. My cousin’s wife came running, she said go look for your cousin, but I waited until I had finished my dawn prayers, no one could eat anything.

“I arrived there and I saw dead bodies, some were in the middle of the river, I walked around looking for him and his son but I couldn’t find him. I went back home and his wife asked me did you see him, is he dead, where is he? I said I couldn’t find him. She was wailing and crying.

“I went again looking for him. There was light now, I picked through the bodies, the Arbabs [village elders] were distributing the flesh, but I didn’t go there. I looked through the ground and I could only see his two feet and his son’s feet. I recognised them because he and his son had henna on their toes.”

Islamu-ldin, a 20-year-old from Issa khail village with tufts of hair sprouting from his cheek, took his turn to speak. He said he ran for three hours to get to the riverbed to look for his brother.

“Our village is far from the river, I searched a lot through the dead, and I found my brother. I recognized him from his clothes. But we only found his upper body, maybe someone took the legs, maybe it just burned to ashes.”

Omar Khan was weeping openly now. A few other men resisted, but their eyes were as red as those of Jan Muhamad, who was babbling and shouting at the young Assadullah again and again.

Saleh Muhamad, a 25-year-old man with thick beard, wanted to get some fuel but no one would give him a lift. His brother and brother-in-law went and he went to sleep, then he heard the explosion. “I waited till darkness ended, then went there. I didn’t find anyone I knew, so I waited for the elders. They gave me two bodies, they looked like my relatives and I came back with them.”

Another village elder said that at least a dozen of the dead were from the Taliban. Although most of them had already left when the explosion happened, the rest stayed trying to keep some order while the villagers shoved and pushed.

“At midnight my brother and nephew went to get fuel. I also wanted to go but I didn’t have a car,” said Saleh Muhamad.

“At one in the morning I went to bed. When I heard the explosion I called my brother but his phone was off … when I arrived at 3am there were dead everywhereI was searching for my brother and nephew but I couldn’t find anyone.

“I had a torch with me and I could see well, but I still couldn’t recognise anyone.” His eyes looked straight through me as he said: “I found one body and took it home and we buried it. It was a full body, with arms and legs. We buried it well.”

Source

There are few words to describe how these people must feel.

They are the innocent  who must suffer the deaths of those they love.

The despair they feel is unimaginable.

So this how the so called, civilized, world helps them?

Below are pictures of some of the injured.

(Afghanistan 5) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Has Usama Bin Ladin been dead for seven years – and are the U.S. and Britain covering it up to continue war on terror?

Published in: on September 15, 2009 at 8:03 am  Comments Off on Victims’ families tell their stories following Nato airstrike in Afghanistan  
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(Afghanistan 9) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Afghanistan HungaryHungarian ISAF medics treat a wounded Afghan policeman at the Hungarian military base in Pul-e-Khumri, Baghlan province of Afghanistan, Saturday, July 11, 2009. Afghan police clashed with pro-Taliban fighters in the near by Baghlan Jalid Friday night. (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)

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AfghanistanA U.S. soldier stands guard as a snuffer dog checks following a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009.  A suicide car bomb attack on a heavily guarded road between the German Embassy and a U.S. military base. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

AfghanistanAn injured U.S. soldier is helped getting out following a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009. A suicide car bomb attack Saturday on a heavily guarded road between the German Embassy and a U.S. military base. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)

AfghanistanA U.S. soldier stands guard following a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009.  A suicide car bomb attack on a heavily guarded road between the German Embassy and a U.S. military base . (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)

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AFGHAN-VIOLENCE/EMBASSYVictims of a blast at the German embassy are driven to a hospital in the back of a truck in Kabul January 17, 2009. A suicide car bomb exploded outside the embassy and a U.S. base in the Afghan capital on Saturday, killing three civilians, witnesses said. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

AfghanistanA wounded U.S. soldier is carried following a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009.  A suicide car bomb attack on a heavily guarded road between the German Embassy and a U.S. military base set the embassy on fire Saturday, killing an Afghan child and wounding 21 people, including five U.S. troops. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)

AFGHAN-VIOLENCE/BLASTPeople carry a wounded U.S. soldier after a blast outside the German embassy in Kabul January 17, 2009. A suicide car bomb exploded outside the embassy and a U.S. base in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Saturday, killing three civilians, witnesses said.    REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

2009_01_17t022811_450x306_us_afghan_violence_blast

AfghanistanAn Afghan officer walks towards a damaged U.S. Humvee armored vehicle after a car bomb suicide attack in Basoud district of Ningarhar province east of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009. The blast left no causalities, said Afghan police officials. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

Armed Forces, Police

(Afghanistan 8 ) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 7) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 6) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Civilians

(Afghanistan 5) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 4) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 3) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 2) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 1) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Published in: on September 9, 2009 at 3:23 am  Comments Off on (Afghanistan 9) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words  
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(Afghanistan 8) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

AfghanistanIn this handout image released by U.S. army, Infantry Soldiers from 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team carry a wounded Stryker Soldier on a litter to be medically evacuated (MEDEVAC) after rolling over an anti-tank mine in Zabul  Province, Afghanistan, Friday, Aug 21, 2009. The MEDEVAC support team based near the same province is from Company C “DUSTOFF”, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade. The team was able to respond to the evacuation of the Soldier within 15 minutes of the incident. The Soldier suffered minor injuries to his back.(AP Photo/US Army)

AfghanistanCanadian soldiers with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) stand outside the provincial council office following suicide attacks in Kandahar province, south of Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday, April 1, 2009. Three Taliban suicide bombers disguised in army uniforms stormed a government office in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday after a fourth detonated a car bomb, officials said. At least 17 people, including the four assailants, died. (AP Photo)

Fallen British SoldierBritish Soldiers grieving their fallen comrade

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Armed Forces, Police

(Afghanistan 9) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 7) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 6) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Civilians

(Afghanistan 5) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 4) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 3) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 2) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 1) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Published in: on September 7, 2009 at 6:04 pm  Comments Off on (Afghanistan 8) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words  
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(Afghanistan 6) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

84577858_PB0013BLAST.JPGKABUL, AFGHANISTAN -February 01:  Afghan and ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) troops examine the scene after a suicide car bomber hit a convoy of foreign troops on the outskirts of the Afghan capital, wounding two Afghan civilians and a French soldier, according to Afghan officials, February 1, 2009 in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Independent Election Commission has postponed the country’s presidential election until August 20th, from late April, for security reasons.  (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

AfghanistanThe wrapped body parts of a lawmaker Dad Mohammad Khan and others who were with him are seen in a blanket on the back of a police vehicle following a roadside bomb in Helmand province south of Kabul, Afghanistan on Thursday, March 19, 2009. The lawmaker who was a vocal Taliban critic in Afghanistan’s insurgency-plagued south was killed Thursday by a roadside bomb, family and officials said. (AP Photo)

AFGHANISTAN ISAF Canadian soldiers of NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) inspect the wreckage of a vehicle used in a suicide car bomb attack targeting a Canadian military convoy in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan, 12 March 2008. A suicide attacker detonated his explosives-filled vehicle targeted at a Canadian military convoy killing an Afghan civilian and wounding four others, including a Canadian soldier, officials said. Around 2, 500 Canadian forces are stationed in the southern province of Kandahar, a strong-hold for Taliban militants, whose government was toppled in late 2001.  EPA/HUMAYOUN SHIAB

Afghanistan

U.S. soldiers inspect near the wrecker of a car used by a suicide bomber in Chaparhar district of eastern Nangarhar province east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, March 21, 2009. A suicide bomber in a car blew himself up at a police checkpoint in Chaparhar district of eastern Nangarhar province where officers were searching cars, killing six people, including five civilians and one policeman, said police spokesman Gafor Khan. The blast also wounded four civilians and a policeman, he said. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

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Pakistan

Rows of destroyed Humvees and military trucks are seen at the Portward Logistic Terminal in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, Dec. 7, 2008. Militants blasted their way into two transport terminals in Pakistan on Sunday and torched more than 160 vehicles destined for U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan, in the biggest assault yet on a vital military supply line. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)

Armed Forces, Police

(Afghanistan 9) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 8 ) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 7) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Civilians

(Afghanistan 5) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 4) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 3) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 2) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 1) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Published in: on September 7, 2009 at 5:58 pm  Comments Off on (Afghanistan 6) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words  
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(Afghanistan 5) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

NATO aircraft opened fire on hijacked fuel trucks in Kunduz, Afghanistan before dawn on Friday September 4 2009, killing as many as 90 people in an incident that could trigger a backlash against Western troops. NATO initially said it believed the casualties were all Taliban fighters, but later acknowledged that large numbers of civilians were being treated in hospitals in the area.

90 victims died and numerous ones were injured.

Below are just a few of the injured.

AfghanistanInjured people by a NATO airstrike are brought to a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, Friday, Sept. 4, 2009. (AP Photo)

Injured ChildSeptember 7 2009 Child being treated in hospital.

AFGHANISTAN/A wounded man is transported in a taxi to a hospital after an airstrike killed scores of people in Kunduz September 4, 2009. REUTERS/Wahdat

AfghanistanA Doctor treats an injured full of burns, of NATO air strike, at a hospital, in Kunduz, Afghanistan, Friday, Sept. 4, 2009.  (AP Photo)

AFGHANISTANAfghan hospital workers carry an injured Afghan villager in hospital after Friday’s NATO air strike  in northern Kunduz September 4, 2009.    REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

AfghanistanRahmatullah, 19, a victim of Friday’ NATO air strike, tries to sit up on his bed in a hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2009. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

AFGHANISTAN/An Afghan doctor in a regional hospital treats a villager injured in Friday’s NATO air strike in northern Kunduz September 4, 2009. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

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AFGHANISTANAn Afghan villager injured lies in hospital after Friday’s NATO air strike on a Taliban target in northern Kunduz September 4, 2009.

AFGHANISTANAfghan police inspect the site of an airstrike in Kunduz September 4, 2009. NATO aircraft opened fire on hijacked fuel trucks in Afghanistan before dawn on Friday. REUTERS/Wahdat

AfghanistanAfghani policemen look at one of two burnt fuel tankers, near Kunduz, Afghanistan, Friday, Sept. 4, 2009.

Afghanistan

Local Afghani people burry their villagers killed in a NATO air strike, in a mass grave  near Kunduz, Afghanistan, Friday, Sept. 4, 2009.

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AFGHANISTAN/Afghans bury some of the victims of an airstrike in a mass grave near Kunduz September 4, 2009.setting off a huge fireball Friday that killed up to 90 people on Friday in northern Afghanistan when NATO aircraft struck hijacked fuel tankers as villagers came to collect fuel, Afghan officials said. REUTERS/Stringer
AfghanistanLocal Afghani people bury their villagers killed in a NATO air strike, in a mass grave  near Kunduz, Afghanistan, Friday, Sept. 4, 2009. (AP Photo)

AfghanistanLocal Afghani people burry their villagers killed in a NATO airstrike, in a mass grave  near Kunduz, Afghanistan, Friday, Sept. 4, 2009. (AP Photo)

Armed Forces, Police

(Afghanistan 8 ) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 7) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 6) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Civilians

(Afghanistan 4) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 3) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 2) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 1) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Published in: on September 7, 2009 at 12:38 pm  Comments Off on (Afghanistan 5) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words  
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(Afghanistan 4) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Injured Child

Injured Child

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Injured Child

Afghanistan ViolenceAn Afghan child, who was  wounded by coalition airstrikes in the Zerko area of Shindand district stands with his father at a hospital in the city of Herat province southwest of Kabul, Afghanistan on Thursday, July 17, 2008.  (AP Photo/Fraidoon Pooyaa)

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19Two American soldiers are escorted a detainee in fob Robinson who is going to be flown back to Kandahar base in a Chinook for further questioning.

18Private Dan Burris of the 82nd Airborne’s 1/508 Parachute Infantry Regiment, Alpha Company, Third Platoon kicks in a door after staging a nighttime air assault into Sangin, Helmand province, the largest air assault in Afghanistan since the beginning of the war, on Thursday, April 5, 2007.

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AfghanistanAfghan demonstrators gather at a demonstration as black smoke billows from burning tires in the background, following a U.S. operation on their village in Qarabagh district of Ghazni, west of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Feb. 2, 2009.  (AP Photo/Rahmatullah Naikzad)

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Afghanistan ViolenceAfghan men surround a child who was  wounded by air strikes as he lays in a hospital after he was transported from Helmand to Kandahar province for treatment on Saturday, July 28, 2007.   (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)

Armed Forces, Police

(Afghanistan 8 ) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 7) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 6) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Civilians

(Afghanistan 5) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 3) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 2) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 1) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Published in: on September 7, 2009 at 11:26 am  Comments Off on (Afghanistan 4) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words  
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(Afghanistan 3) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

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afghan boy in aasad abadAfghan boy in Aasad Abad

air strikes in Ganj Abad of Bala Buluk district, in Farah provin_15

air strikes in Ganj Abad of Bala Buluk district, in Farah provin_16

AfghanistanTala 9, an Afghan girl who was wounded in coalition air strike on Monday night in Bala Baluk district of Farah province recovers in a hospital in Herat, Afghanistan, Saturday, May 9, 2009. A joint U.S.-Afghan investigation has found that civilians were killed during a battle in southern Afghanistan, but officials have not been able to determine how many.(AP Photo/Fraidoon Pooyaa)

APTOPIX AfghanistanHaji Barkat Ullah speaks with her daughter Frishta, 7, who was wounded in coalition air strike on Monday night in Bala Baluk district of Farah province recovers in a hospital in Herat, Afghanistan, Saturday, May 9, 2009. A joint U.S.-Afghan investigation has found that civilians were killed during a battle in southern Afghanistan, but officials have not been able to determine how many. (AP Photo/Fraidoon Pooyaa)

AS AfghanistanAfghan paramedics treat a wounded Afghan boy in a hospital after he was wounded in a roadside bomb in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Saturday, April 18, 2009.  A roadside bomb targeting a police vehicle in Kandahar city killed a woman and wounded five other people including three civilians, said Abdullah Khan, the provincial deputy police chief.(AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)

AFGHANISTAN-DEVOLOPMENTS

A villager looks at an infant boy who died after a military raid in a village in Gurbuz district of Khost province April 9, 2009. U.S. and Afghan forces killed four militants, including two women, and detained three others on Wednesday near Khost city, some 150 km (95 miles) southeast of Kabul, U.S. forces said in a statement. But local residents disputed the military’s account, saying five civilians, a female teacher, her son, brother in-law and two more non-combatants were killed in the raid. Another woman was wounded, they said. REUTERS/Kamal Sadat

AFGHANISTAN/The body of an infant boy who died after a military raid is seen in a village in Gurbuz district of Khost province April 9, 2009. U.S. and Afghan forces killed four militants, including two women, and detained three others on Wednesday near Khost city, some 150 km (95 miles) southeast of Kabul, U.S. forces said in a statement. But local residents disputed the military’s account, saying five civilians, a female teacher, her son, brother in-law and two more non-combatants were killed in the raid. Another woman was wounded, they said. REUTERS/Kamal Sadat

Afghanistan

A wounded Afghan boy, seen, in an ambulance, in Asadabad the provincial capital of Kunar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, April 13, 2009. A NATO operation killed six civilians Monday, including a woman and a young girl, in a mountainous region of eastern Afghanistan, villagers and officials said. But the military alliance said its force killed four to eight militants.(AP Photo)

If it wasn’t bad enough there is a war they also had two earthquaks as well.

AS AfghanistanAfghan villagers pray opposite the bodies of victims of an earthquake, during a funeral in Sherzad district, Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, April 17, 2009. Two earthquakes shook eastern Afghanistan early Friday, collapsing mud-brick homes on top of villagers while they slept and killing at least 21 people. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

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Armed Forces, Police

(Afghanistan 8 ) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 7) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 6) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Civilians

(Afghanistan 5) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 4) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 2) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 1) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

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(Afghanistan 2) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

AFGHANISTAN-CIVILIANS/

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The  bags that are put on prisoners is cruel and inhibits breathing.

injured child 6

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Armed Forces, Police

(Afghanistan 8 ) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 7) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 6) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Civilians

(Afghanistan 5) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 4) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 3) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 1) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words


Published in: on September 7, 2009 at 9:41 am  Comments Off on (Afghanistan 2) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words  
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(Afghanistan 1) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Afghanistan has suffered many casualties.

Many children have been killed and many injured.  Their injuries are extreme.

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injured child 4

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out of tens of civilines killed in jalal abad

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mohammed ullah is injured in panjwaye village by coalitions forcs

These are the pictures you will never see in our mainstream media.

This is the true face of war in Afghanistan.

Armed Forces, Police

(Afghanistan 8 ) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 7) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 6) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Civilians

(Afghanistan 5) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 4) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 3) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

(Afghanistan 2) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words


Afghanistan’s hidden toll: Injured Troops

‘Hush’ over Afghan mission must end

US-NATO Using Military Might To Control World Energy Resources

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Published in: on September 7, 2009 at 9:19 am  Comments Off on (Afghanistan 1) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words  
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Lucky few leave Gaza, Israel planned attacks six months ago

Iranian clerics wearing shrouds chant slogans during an anti-Israeli demonstration after the Friday prayers at Palestine square of Tehran Jan. 2, protesting Israel's continuing bombardment of Gaza.`
Iranian clerics wearing shrouds chant slogans during an anti-Israeli demonstration after the Friday prayers at Palestine square of Tehran Jan. 2, protesting Israel’s continuing bombardment of Gaza.`
Photograph by: Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images

GAZA – They boarded buses in the pre-dawn murk on Friday, lucky foreign passport holders allowed by Israel to escape from seven days of Israeli bombardment in the Gaza Strip.

“The situation is very bad. We are afraid for our children,” said Ilona Hamdiya, a woman from Moldova married to a Palestinian. “We are very grateful to our embassy,” she said in lightly accented Arabic.

Between 350 and 450 foreigners were authorised by Israel to leave Gaza if they wish, via the forbidding concrete corridor that ushers them into Israel’s fortified crossing point and its panoply of security scanners to detect hidden suicide bombs.

Five busloads headed out on the short trip to the border, one of American passport holders and four of mainly East Europeans.

They left behind 1.5 million Palestinians unable to escape the conflict which has killed 414 people since it began last Saturday. Four Israelis have been killed by Gaza rockets.

Gaza city was waking up to another day of Israeli air strikes, flickering electricity and long queues for bread. Aside from the bakeries, the almost deserted streets were cold and dirty, littered with a week’s bombing debris.

Morning air strikes hit six houses. A Palestinian girl of about 14 died apparently of a heart attack, terrified by an explosion which rocked her house, neighbours said.

In the south an Israeli missile killed three children aged 8 to 12, as they played in the street in southern town of Khan Yunis. One was decapitated. At Shifa hospital in Gaza City, doctors could not disguise their anger.

“These injuries are not survivable injuries,” said Madth Gilbert, a Norwegian surgeon unable to save one boy who had both feet blown off. “This is a murder. This is a child,” he said.

At the UN Beach Distribution Centre, teenagers with rickety trolleys and men with horses and carts collected sacks of flour and other food aid from a warehouse replenished the day before by 70 aid trucks allowed in via Israel.

“Only God can get us out of this mess,” said one old man waiting to buy his ration of unleavened loaves.

DIE BEFORE GOD

At Jabalya refugee camp to the north, boys inspected the twisted concrete left by one of the Israeli air force’s latest targets, the so-called Mosque of Martyrs which Israel says was a a hidden arsenal and command post for fighters of the Islamist Hamas group which rules the Gaza Strip.

The air force supplied black and white cockpit video of the strike to underscore the large number of secondary explosions which it said proved its case.

Several mosques that would normally be busy before Friday prayers were still closed in the morning because they had been warned by Israel’s army that they would be bombed.

Nine have been hit since the attack began on Saturday.

“I will pray at home. You never know, they may bomb the mosque and destroy it on our heads,” said one man buying humus from a street stand. Another was defiant: “What better than to die while kneeling before God?” he said.

Gaza markets, normally bustling on a Friday, were deserted.

“It is an adventure to get out of your house to fetch a kilo of tomatoes or something,” said Abu Yasser, a father of four.

“But I must take my chances because my children are not to blame for this and they do not understand why all this is happening,” he told Reuters.

Hundreds of families say they have had telephone calls warning their houses would be bombed, and they have left to stay with relatives or friends. Some of their neighbours have packed up and gone as well, wary of becoming “collateral damage”.

Duct tape has been in heavy demand by Palestinians who tape up their windows hoping to protect against flying glass from the heavy explosions.

Hamas police moved about mostly in plain clothes, with no guns on display. Merchants were warned against war profiteering.

Source

The True Story Behind this War Is Not The One Israel Is Telling

By Johann Hari

December 29 2008
The world isn’t just watching the Israeli government commit a crime in Gaza; we are watching it self-harm. This morning, and tomorrow morning, and every morning until this punishment beating ends, the young people of the Gaza Strip are going to be more filled with hate, and more determined to fight back, with stones or suicide vests or rockets. Israeli leaders have convinced themselves that the harder you beat the Palestinians, the softer they will become. But when this is over, the rage against Israelis will have hardened, and the same old compromises will still be waiting by the roadside of history, untended and unmade.

To understand how frightening it is to be a Gazan this morning, you need to have stood in that small slab of concrete by the Mediterranean and smelled the claustrophobia. The Gaza Strip is smaller than the Isle of Wight but it is crammed with 1.5 million people who can never leave. They live out their lives on top of each other, jobless and hungry, in vast, sagging tower blocks. From the top floor, you can often see the borders of their world: the Mediterranean, and Israeli barbed wire. When bombs begin to fall – as they are doing now with more deadly force than at any time since 1967 – there is nowhere to hide.

There will now be a war over the story of this war. The Israeli government says, “We withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and in return we got Hamas and Qassam rockets being rained on our cities. Sixteen civilians have been murdered. How many more are we supposed to sacrifice?” It is a plausible narrative, and there are shards of truth in it, but it is also filled with holes. If we want to understand the reality and really stop the rockets, we need to rewind a few years and view the run-up to this war dispassionately.

The Israeli government did indeed withdraw from the Gaza Strip in 2005 – in order to be able to intensify control of the West Bank. Ariel Sharon’s senior adviser, Dov Weisglass, was unequivocal about this, explaining: “The disengagement [from Gaza] is actually formaldehyde. It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so that there will not be a political process with the Palestinians… this whole package that is called the Palestinian state has been removed from our agenda indefinitely.”

Ordinary Palestinians were horrified by this, and by the fetid corruption of their own Fatah leaders, so they voted for Hamas. It certainly wouldn’t have been my choice – an Islamist party is antithetical to all my convictions – but we have to be honest. It was a free and democratic election, and it was not a rejection of a two-state solution. The most detailed polling of Palestinians, by the University of Maryland, found that 72 per cent want a two-state solution on the 1967 borders, while fewer than 20 per cent want to reclaim the whole of historic Palestine. So, partly in response to this pressure, Hamas offered Israel a long, long ceasefire and a de facto acceptance of two states, if only Israel would return to its legal borders.

Rather than seize this opportunity and test Hamas’s sincerity, the Israeli government reacted by punishing the entire civilian population. It announced that it was blockading the Gaza Strip in order to “pressure” its people to reverse the democratic process. The Israelis surrounded the Strip and refused to let anyone or anything out. They let in a small trickle of food, fuel and medicine – but not enough for survival. Weisglass quipped that the Gazans were being “put on a diet”. According to Oxfam, only 137 trucks of food were allowed into Gaza last month to feed 1.5 million people. The United Nations says poverty has reached an “unprecedented level.” When I was last in besieged Gaza, I saw hospitals turning away the sick because their machinery and medicine was running out. I met hungry children stumbling around the streets, scavenging for food.

It was in this context – under a collective punishment designed to topple a democracy – that some forces within Gaza did something immoral: they fired Qassam rockets indiscriminately at Israeli cities. These rockets have killed 16 Israeli citizens. This is abhorrent: targeting civilians is always murder. But it is hypocritical for the Israeli government to claim now to speak out for the safety of civilians when it has been terrorising civilians as a matter of state policy.

The American and European governments are responding with a lop-sidedness that ignores these realities. They say that Israel cannot be expected to negotiate while under rocket fire, but they demand that the Palestinians do so under siege in Gaza and violent military occupation in the West Bank.

Before it falls down the memory hole, we should remember that last week, Hamas offered a ceasefire in return for basic and achievable compromises. Don’t take my word for it. According to the Israeli press, Yuval Diskin, the current head of the Israeli security service Shin Bet, “told the Israeli cabinet [on 23 December] that Hamas is interested in continuing the truce, but wants to improve its terms.” Diskin explained that Hamas was requesting two things: an end to the blockade, and an Israeli ceasefire on the West Bank. The cabinet – high with election fever and eager to appear tough – rejected these terms.

The core of the situation has been starkly laid out by Ephraim Halevy, the former head of Mossad. He says that while Hamas militants – like much of the Israeli right-wing – dream of driving their opponents away, “they have recognised this ideological goal is not attainable and will not be in the foreseeable future.” Instead, “they are ready and willing to see the establishment of a Palestinian state in the temporary borders of 1967.” They are aware that this means they “will have to adopt a path that could lead them far from their original goals” – and towards a long-term peace based on compromise.

The rejectionists on both sides – from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran to Bibi Netanyahu of Israel – would then be marginalised. It is the only path that could yet end in peace but it is the Israeli government that refuses to choose it. Halevy explains: “Israel, for reasons of its own, did not want to turn the ceasefire into the start of a diplomatic process with Hamas.”

Why would Israel act this way? The Israeli government wants peace, but only one imposed on its own terms, based on the acceptance of defeat by the Palestinians. It means the Israelis can keep the slabs of the West Bank on “their” side of the wall. It means they keep the largest settlements and control the water supply. And it means a divided Palestine, with responsibility for Gaza hived off to Egypt, and the broken-up West Bank standing alone. Negotiations threaten this vision: they would require Israel to give up more than it wants to. But an imposed peace will be no peace at all: it will not stop the rockets or the rage. For real safety, Israel will have to talk to the people it is blockading and bombing today, and compromise with them.

The sound of Gaza burning should be drowned out by the words of the Israeli writer Larry Derfner. He says: “Israel’s war with Gaza has to be the most one-sided on earth… If the point is to end it, or at least begin to end it, the ball is not in Hamas’s court – it is in ours.”

Source

The video also states that Israel planned the attacks over six months ago.

Live Video Coverage Of Israel’s Attack On Gaza.

If anyone thinks the US cares about Gaza you are wrong.
US gives Israel free rein on whether to invade Gaza

WASHINGTON

January 3 2008

US President George W. Bush, in remarks to be broadcast Saturday, urged all able parties to press Hamas to stop firing rockets at Israel and secure a lasting ceasefire, after a week of heavy Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

His administration meanwhile gave Israel free rein over whether to send ground troops into Gaza, despite growing criticism over its handling of a conflict that has killed at least 436 Palestinians and left 2,290 others wounded.

At least 75 of those killed have been children, according to emergency services inside Gaza.

“The United States is leading diplomatic efforts to achieve a meaningful ceasefire that is fully respected,” Bush said in his weekly radio address, the text of which was released by the White House in advance.

These were his first remarks since the conflict erupted a week ago.

He said “I urge all parties to pressure Hamas to turn away from terror, and to support legitimate Palestinian leaders working for peace,” including Mahmud Abbas, president of the US-backed Palestinian Authority.

He said he has been in contact with Abbas as well as King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah II of Jordan, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel.

Bush, who hands the White House to his successor Barack Obama in just 18 days, blamed Hamas for the latest violence and rejected a unilateral ceasefire that would allow Hamas to continue to attack Israel from the Gaza Strip.

Hamas shared power with the Palestinian Authority for a period after winning parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza in 2006 but the arrangement collapsed and Hamas seized power outright in Gaza in June 2007.

“This recent outburst of violence was instigated by Hamas — a Palestinian terrorist group supported by Iran and Syria that calls for Israel’s destruction,” Bush said.

Bush said the Israeli strikes were in self-defense after Hamas let a six-month ceasefire lapse on December 19 and fired rockets at Israel.

He also accused Hamas of putting Palestinian lives at risk by hiding among them.

White House deputy press secretary Gordon Johndroe earlier said the United States has urged Israel to avoid civilian casualties in their military operations, whether they involve continued air assaults or a ground incursion.

“Those will be decisions made by the Israelis,” he said when asked if Israel would be justified in launching a ground assault.

Israel has thousands of troops massed for a ground offensive on Gaza that would aim to deal a hammer blow to Hamas and re-establish Israel’s military credentials with its other foes, experts said.

After briefing Bush earlier, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Washington sought a “ceasefire that would not allow a re-establishment of the status quo ante where Hamas can continue to launch rockets out of Gaza.”

She added: “It is obvious that ceasefire should take place as soon as possible, but we need a ceasefire that is durable and sustainable.”

Rice has had a flurry of consultations with her counterparts from Israel, Arab countries as well as Russia, Britain and the European Union, officials said. Johndroe added that Rice has also spoken to Obama in the last week.

Asked if she planned to travel to the Middle East to broker an end to the crisis, Rice replied: “I have no plans at this point.”

The Israeli offensive has prompted condemnation from around the world, but particularly from Arab and Muslim countries.

In New York, Amnesty International sent a letter to Rice berating the administration for its “lopsided” support for the Israeli assault and urged it to suspend weapons deliveries to Israel.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was national security adviser for US president Jimmy Carter, told CNN television that Rice’s remarks “clearly show that the US policy right now is completely bankrupt” and the Israeli offensive “will further radicalize the Palestinians.”

He said Obama, whom he supports, will have to make a “fresh start” when he succeeds Bush on January 20.

But the US president-elect has kept silent on the latest phase of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with his aides saying their boss was “monitoring” the situation.

Source

The bottom line is Israel wants all of “What use to be Palestine”.

That has been the plan from the beginning. The US has been helping them do this.
Don’t be fooled by Israel or the US pretending to negotiate anything. They lie. Both have been lieing for years.
This will also lead to the destabilization of the Middle East in general. The on going war is for power and profiteering.
Just a pitty Israel leaders are so blind to the fact, they are being used by the US for their own self serving agenda.
When a county like the US give billions of dollars to a country for weapons, be  suspicious very suspicious. Israel is just doing the dirty work for the US as did Saddam way back when the US helped Iraq, only to attack Iran of course. Somethings are so obvious if you know a bit about history.

U.S. Government Uses Al-Qaeda To Attack Iran
Bush authorizes group formerly headed by alleged 9/11 mastermind to be bankrolled & armed by CIA for covert regime change

May 28, 2007
Paul Joseph Watson & Steve Watson

Recent revelations illustrating the fact that the U.S. government is using a Sunni Al-Qaeda terrorist group formerly headed by the alleged mastermind of 9/11 to carry out bombings in Iran undermines the entire war on terror as a monumental hoax that is being exploited purely to realize a geopolitical agenda.

“President George W Bush has given the CIA approval to launch covert “black” operations to achieve regime change in Iran, intelligence sources have revealed. Mr Bush has signed an official document endorsing CIA plans for a propaganda and disinformation campaign intended to destabilise, and eventually topple, the theocratic rule of the mullahs.””The CIA is giving arms-length support, supplying money and weapons, to an Iranian militant group, Jundullah, which has conducted raids into Iran from bases in Pakistan,” the London Telegraph reported yesterday.

Jundullah is a Sunni Al-Qaeda offshoot organization that was formerly headed by alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Even if you believe the official story of 9/11 to the letter, the fact that Bush has personally authorized U.S. support for this group completely dismantles the facade of the war on terror.

The group has been blamed for a number of bombings inside Iran aimed at destabilizing Ahmadinejad’s government and is also active in Pakistan , having been fingered for its involvement in attacks on police stations and car bombings at the Pakistan-US Cultural Center in 2004.

The U.S. government is arming and directing a Sunni Al-Qaeda group to carry out bombings in Iran and yet Bush has the temerity to grandstand during his Rose Garden speech last week and wave the Al-Qaeda bogeyman to strike the fear of God into American citizens.

“As to al Qaeda in Iraq, al Qaeda is going to fight us wherever we are. That’s their strategy. Their strategy is to drive us out of the Middle East. They have made it abundantly clear what they want. They want to establish a caliphate. They want to spread their ideology. They want safe haven from which to launch attacks. They’re willing to kill the innocent to achieve their objectives, and they will fight us. And the fundamental question is, will we fight them? I have made the decision to do so. I believe that the best way to protect us in this war on terror is to fight them,” Bush said on Thursday.


Arms cache belonging to Jundullah – the Sunni Al-Qaeda terrorist group being funded by the CIA with President Bush’s approval.Bush’s definition of fighting Al-Qaeda is apparently to lend them all the funds, weapons and tactical know how they need to carry out attacks against innocent civilians in Iran, and let us not forget that America’s allies the British have also been caught training insurgents in Iraq to carry out hi-tech bombings that are later blamed on Iran – just as the SAS worked with U.S. special forces to train the KLA in Kosovo , which was also an Al-Qaeda chapter having been financed directly by Bin Laden himself.

But in the world of newspeak and the lowest common denominator propaganda that cloaks the real agenda of the “war on terror”, anyone who rises up against occupation, be it a kid who throws a rock in Baghdad or a car bombing on behalf of an increasingly Shiite-led insurgency, the natural enemies of the Sunni “Al-Qaeda,” are terrorists and are Al-Qaeda members.

A cruel irony exists whereby anyone and everyone who opposes military occupation is smeared as an Al-Qaeda terrorist and yet the only real Al-Qaeda terrorists are being bankrolled, armed and directed by the CIA itself, with Bush’s explicit approval.

Since President Bush didn’t know the difference between Sunni & Shiite Muslims until two months before the invasion of Iraq and the incoming chairman of a congressional intelligence committee said Al Qaeda prominently came from the Shia branch of Islam, we can’t hold out much hope for Joe Public and this is why the simplest propaganda is always the most effective.

They’re the bad guys, we’re the good guys – black and white with no shades of gray.

In reality, Al-Qaeda only exists within intelligence circles coordinated by the highest echelons of the U.S. government, and is being used yet again as a tool for destabilization in nations targeted for regime change by the Neo-Cons.

Jundullah is not the only anti-Iranian terror group that US government has been accused of funding in an attempt to pressure the Iranian government.

Multiple credible individuals including US intelligence whistleblowers and former military personnel have asserted that the government is conducting covert military operations inside Iran using guerilla groups to carry out attacks on Iranian Revolution Guard units.

It is widely suspected that the well known right-wing terrorist organization known as Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), once run by Saddam Hussein’s dreaded intelligence services, is now working exclusively for the CIA’s Directorate of Operations and carrying out remote bombings in Iran of the sort that the Bush administration condemns on a daily basis inside Iraq.

After a bombing inside Iran in March, the London Telegraph also reported on how a high ranking CIA official has blown the whistle on the fact that America is secretly funding terrorist groups in Iran in an attempt to pile pressure on the Islamic regime to give up its nuclear program.

Source

Could it be that the US is using Israel to get a war going with Iran yet again as they did with Saddam in 1980. Are they really telling  Israel they can secure all of what was known as Palestine? Yes to both I would guess.

Never underestimate the nasty deeds of the US.  Gaza is being used to anger everyone and it is to date working very well.

The US wants Iran to help those in Gaza just so Israel will be able to attack them as well.  How much you want to bet I am right?

When Israel rammed the boat going into Gaza with medical supplies, I am guessing they thought it was the one from Iran.  Israel has been itching for a war with Iran as much as the US is and has been for some time.

Gaza is part of a bigger picture I think.

Would I trust either the US or the Israeli Government at this point.

NO absolutely not.

The US has vetoed every resolution brought forth by the UN to resolve the the Israel- Gaza situation.  They have vetoed over 40 anti-Israeli resolutions sought by the council since 1972. Anything the US says at this point is  pure propaganda, lies and BS.

If Hamas Did Not Exist

Ontario man’s Gaza trip an extended nightmare, he is trapped in Gaza

Israel ‘rammed’ medical aid boat headed to Gaza

Leaders Lie, Civilians Die, Israelis-Palestinians

US Veto Blocks UN Anti-Israel Resolution

Global protests against Israel

Israel Used Internationally Banned Weaponry in Massive Airstrikes Across Gaza Strip

Iran preps humanitarian aid ship to Gaza Strip

Israel’s ‘Crimes Against Humanity’

Gaza Families Eat Grass as Israel Blocks Food Aid

Israel Responsible for Genocide by Starvation in Gaza

Israel blocks foreign media from Gaza

U.N.: Israel won’t allow food aid to enter Gaza

Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty

Saturday Jan 3 Reports on: Demonstrations Against Israels attacks on Gaza, January 3, 2009

New Reports on Sundays protests at bottom of the page

Demonstrators hurl shoes at Downing Street in day of global protest against Israeli attacks
January 3 2009

Demonstrators demanding an end to Israeli airstrikes on Gaza hurled their shoes at the gates of Downing Street today during a wave of global protests.

Around 12,000 people took to the streets of the London, including singer Annie Lennox, former model Bianca Jagger and former mayor Ken Livingstone.

Elsewhere in Britain, 2,000 demonstrators marched through Manchester and 500 braved the cold in Edinburgh.

London protest

London: 1,000 pairs of shoes litter the protest route near Downing Street

Paris held the world’s biggest protest, with 25,000 people showing up to condemn the Israeli offensive, which has killed at least 436 Palestinians since December 27th.

The death toll includes 75 children, according to Gaza medics. And almost 2,300 people have been wounded inside the territory.

Four Israelis have been killed by rocket attacks by Hamas, Islamist militants who took over Gaza three years ago.

In Britain, many people were angry at Gordon Brown refusal to condemn Israel’s attacks.

Hundreds of protesters threw shoes at the iron gates of Downing Street residence, in the spirit of an Iraqi journalist who hurled his footware President George Bush with his shoes last year.

Protest

Crowds: at least 12,000 people marched up Whitehall

Around 1,000 pairs littered the streets outside Number 10 with demonstrating singing: ‘Shame on you, have my shoe.’

Zac Sommer, an 18-year-old British-Palestinian student from Essex, said: ‘Britain is quick to condemn Robert Mugabe, but where is the condemnation of Israel? Israel is killing hundreds of people.’

Also outside Downing Street, a firework exploded yards from the gates.

The Metropolitan Police later said they had been forced to contain one group of around 5,000 protesters who left the agreed route between protest between Embankment and Trafalgar Square to the march to head for the Israeli Embassy in Kensington.

Many clashed with officers wearing riot hear and armed with truncheons and gas canisters.

London

Clash: Riot police deal with protesters trying to raid the Israeli Embassy in London

London

Focus point: Around 5,000 people went to the embassy after the march

The demonstrators were kept at a distance of about 20 yards from the entrance of the Embassy but several hurdled the barriers and attempted to make for the entrance.

The atmosphere as darkness fell was noticeably more heated, vocal, and aggressive than the earlier march through central London.

The demonstration in the capital was the biggest of at least 18 organised across the country.

Other rallies were taking place in Glasgow, Exeter, Bristol, Liverpool, Norwich, Hull, Tunbridge Wells, Leeds, Newcastle, Swansea, York, Caernarfon, Bradford and Sheffield.

London

Anger: Protesters gather in Trafalgar Square at the end of the march

London

Support: Annie Lennox, centre, is flanked by George Galloway and Bianca Jagger

Brian Eno

Condemnation: Musician Brian Eno speaks out against the Israeli attacks

Former model Bianca Jagger and singer Lennox have backed the protests, calling on American president-elect Barack Obama to speak up against the bombardment.

Speaking at a press conference in central London, Ms Jagger said: ‘I would like to make an appeal to president-elect Obama to speak up.

‘People throughout the world were hopeful when he was elected and we must appeal to him to ask for the immediate cessation of the bombardment of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.’

Lennox spoke of her shock at watching scenes of the bombing on television.

She said: ‘A few days after Christmas I came downstairs, put the television on, and saw smoke pyres coming from buildings and I was shocked to the core because I was thinking as a mother and as a human being.

Madrid

Madrid: Protesters burn an Israeli flag in the Spanish capital

Paris

Paris: Demonstrators burned cars after a march by 25,000 people

Berlin

Berlin: Some 7000 Palestinian supporters outside the city’s cathedral

‘How was this going to be the solution to peace?’

She said the intervention from Bush blaming Hamas for starting the violence, had not helped the situation.

‘The problem is, from my perspective, they are pouring petrol onto the fire,’ she said.

‘They have to sit down. This is a small window of opportunity just before things kick off.

‘For every one person killed in Gaza, they are creating 100 suicide bombers. It’s not just about Gaza, it’s about all of us.’

Liberal Democrat Sarah Teather said Israel’s military response to the firing of Hamas rockets had been ‘disproportionate’.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam: A man holds up a blood smeared doll

Milan

Milan: Demonstrators carry a simulated body of a Palestinian

‘Anyway, what Israel is doing is counter-productive. No terrorist organisation has ever been bombed into submission,’ the Liberal Democrat MP said.

Police said 8,000 people demonstrated in the central French city of Lyon, 3,000 people protested in the southern city of Nice and 3,800 in Mulhouse in the east.

Two people were arrested as more than 1,000 marched through Amsterdam, condemning the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza and calling for a boycott of Israeli goods, police said.

Hundreds protested in Madrid, carrying signs saying ‘This is not a war but a genocide’.

More than 2,000 people also demonstrated in the Austrian city of Salzburg.

Athens Athens: A woman walks in front of burning barricades during riots after a rally

Source
Photos: ‘Britain – Gaza Siege Demoonstation’
By James Wray
January 3, 2009,

Singer Annie Lennox (C), social and human rights advocate Bianca Jagger (formerly married to Mick Jagger) (2nd R) and British politician George Galloway (L) march through London with thousands of protestors in London, Britain, 03 January 2009. A series of demonstrations took place across Britain against the Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow.  EPA/ANDY RAIN

Singer Annie Lennox (C), social and human rights advocate Bianca Jagger (formerly married to Mick Jagger) (2nd R) and British politician George Galloway (L) march through London with thousands of protestors in London, Britain, 03 January 2009. A series of demonstrations took place across Britain against the Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. EPA/ANDY RAIN
epa01589872 Under the shadow of famous city landmark Big Ben, pro-Palestinian protestors pass through Parliament Square as they participate in a rally  in central London,   03 January 2009. It was one of a series of manifestations across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza,.  EPA/ANDY RAIN  EPA/ANDY RAIN

epa01589872 Under the shadow of famous city landmark Big Ben, pro-Palestinian protestors pass through Parliament Square as they participate in a rally in central London, 03 January 2009. It was one of a series of manifestations across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza,. EPA/ANDY RAIN EPA/ANDY RAIN
Under the shadow of famous city landmark Big Ben, pro-Palestinian protestors pass through Parliament Square as they participate in a rally  in central London,   03 January 2009. It was one of a series of manifestations across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza,.  EPA/ANDY RAIN

Under the shadow of famous city landmark Big Ben, pro-Palestinian protestors pass through Parliament Square as they participate in a rally in central London, 03 January 2009. It was one of a series of manifestations across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza,. EPA/ANDY RAIN
Pro-Palestinian protestors demonstrate in central London, Britain, 03 January 2009. A series of demonstrations took place across Britain against the Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow.  EPA/ANDY RAIN

Pro-Palestinian protestors demonstrate in central London, Britain, 03 January 2009. A series of demonstrations took place across Britain against the Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. EPA/ANDY RAIN
Thousands of protestors march along Whitehall, central London, Britain, 03 January 2009 as part of a series of rally across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza.  The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. In the background is seen the capital landmark Big Ben  EPA/ANDY RAIN

Thousands of protestors march along Whitehall, central London, Britain, 03 January 2009 as part of a series of rally across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. In the background is seen the capital landmark Big Ben EPA/ANDY RAIN
Thousands of protestors march along Whitehall, central London, Britain, 03 January 2009 as part of a series of rally across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza.  The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. In the background is seen the capital landmark Big Ben  EPA/ANDY RAIN

Thousands of protestors march along Whitehall, central London, Britain, 03 January 2009 as part of a series of rally across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. In the background is seen the capital landmark Big Ben EPA/ANDY RAIN
Thousands of protestors bathed in bright sunshine, march through central London,   03 January 2009 as part of a series of demonstrations across the country to protest against  Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow.  EPA/ANDY RAIN

Thousands of protestors bathed in bright sunshine, march through central London, 03 January 2009 as part of a series of demonstrations across the country to protest against Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. EPA/ANDY RAIN

Thousands in Europe Protest Gaza Offensive

January 3 2008

LONDON—Thousands of chanting, banner-waving demonstrators marched in cities across Europe on Saturday to demand a halt to Israeli bombing in the Gaza Strip.

Protests were held in Britain, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain as the Israeli offensive entered its second week.

Israeli Arabs held a protest march and Kuwaitis also took to the streets, a day after bigger Middle East rallies.

In Paris, police said more than 20,000 demonstrators, many wearing Palestinian keffiyeh headscarves, marched through the city centre chanting slogans like “Israel murderer!” and waving banners demanding an end to the air attacks.

Similar protests were planned in some 30 other towns.

London police said more than 10,000 people staged a noisy march and rally to urge an end to an Israeli offensive against Hamas militants that has killed at least 435 Palestinians.

In many European cities people waved shoes—recalling the action of an Iraqi journalist who hurled footwear at U.S. President George W. Bush in Baghdad last month in a symbolic insult.

British demonstrators threw dozens of shoes into the street as they passed the gated entrance to Downing Street, where Prime Minister Gordon Brown lives, and shouted angrily at a line of 40 police officers on guard there.

“Come to get your shoes Gordon,” one woman shouted as other marchers directed chants of “Shame on you” at Brown.

A spokesman said Brown had spoken again to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Saturday and was pressing hard for an immediate ceasefire.

Leading the march were singer Annie Lennox, politicians Tony Benn and George Galloway and comic Alexei Sayle. Demonstrators carried Palestinian flags and placards with slogans such as “End the siege on Gaza” and “Stop the massacre”.

Israel says rocket attacks from Gaza by Hamas Islamists must stop before it halts operations, but the attacks continued on Saturday. Four Israelis have been killed by Hamas rockets since the offensive began.

Anger at Western Reaction

Paul Mukerji, 42, from Birmingham, acknowledged Israel had security reasons but called its action disproportionate.

“The best way for peace for Palestinians and Israelis is to end the occupation,” said Mukerji, who said he had spent six months working with Jewish and Palestinian peace groups.

Ali Saeed, 24, from Luton, said Western governments had failed to condemn Israel’s actions.

“What’s going on in Gaza is not right … It’s not a coincidence that it’s going on Iraq, in Chechnya, in Kashmir. It’s just about going on everywhere. It’s almost a direct insult to every single Muslim,” he said.

Protests were scheduled in a score of other British cities.

Greek police said they fired teargas at protesters outside the Israeli embassy in Athens. Protesters burnt flags and effigies, hurled stones at the embassy and clashed with police during a march by about 5,000 people, they said.

Tens of thousands of people marched in the town of Sakhnin, northern Israel, on Saturday in one of the biggest rallies held by Israeli Arabs in recent years, Israeli media reported. Calling Israeli leaders “war criminals”, the demonstrators demanded an end to the onslaught on Gaza, they said.

Around 3,500 people marched in Berlin and 4,000 in the western city of Duesseldorf, police said.

In the German capital, demonstrators carried pictures of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and one small girl cradled a doll smeared in blood.

Hundreds joined a protest in central Dublin.

“I just thought the fact that 300-400 people would’ve been bombed, would’ve been killed, was extremely wrong,” said Andy Defaoite, a 27-year-old teacher in the Irish capital.

More than 1,000 demonstrators marched through Kuwait City, with banners reading “Gaza will not die” and “We want a free Gaza”.

Another 1,000 marched in Madrid, some calling for sanctions against Israel, equating Zionism with Nazism and chanting slogans like “Israel kills, the world just stands by”.

Police said about 1,500 people marched through Amsterdam.

About 1,000 demonstrators marched through the Italian city of Milan on Saturday, some burning Israeli flags, with a smaller rally in Turin.

People destroy a French policeman’s car, during a demonstration against the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip on January 3, 2009, in Paris. (Olivier Laban-Mattei/AFP/Getty Images)

Protestors stand behind an over-turned car during a demonstration against the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip on January 3, 2009, in Paris. (Olivier Laban-Mattei/AFP/Getty Images)

Some of the thousands of pro-Palestinian supporters fight to get to the Israeli embassy in Athens as Greek riot police stand guard on January 3, 2009, during a demonstration against the Israeli attacks in Gaza. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images)

Protesters opposed to Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip gather near the Israeli Embassy following a demonstration in Trafalgar Square in London, on January 3, 2009. (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)

Source

Another excellent report on the Demonstration in London Here the estimated turnout is 50-60 thousand people.

Israeli ground-forces finally invade Gaza strip after day of increased air strikes

PETER HITCHENS: Will Israel never learn? Each bomb is a gift to its enemies

The World Demonstrated in protest against the war in Iraq and the politicians did not listen.  The War in Iraq is in fact illegal, based on lies.  Will they listen to us now as we say NO AGAIN to Israel killing innocent people in Gaza?

Israel is committing many crimes and we Say NO MORE.

Are they still deaf?

Defending the criminals in the US and Israel who kill innocent people has gone on far to long.

We are fed up with war mongering,  murdering, power hungry, profiteers.

There are a large number of Demonstrations in the US and I will post them if they magically appear anywhere. I can only hope to have a busy evening.
Reports on protests

Sunday Jan 4 Reports: Protests in Canada against Attack in Gaza

Sunday Jan 4 Reports: US protests against Attack in Gaza

Sunday Jan 4  Reports: Protests around the World Against Gaza assault

Reports on Canadian protests below. Approximately  3000 came out to protest in Toronto.

Just added Jan 4th 2009

Saturday Jan 3 Reports:Canadian Protesters march in support of Palestinians

Saturday Jan 3 Reports:US protests against Israels attacks on Gaza

Friday Jan 2 Reports:Muslims around the world protest Gaza assault

December Reports

December 29 Reports:Global protests against Israel

Actions we can take to help Palestinians in Gaza


Published in: on January 3, 2009 at 10:13 pm  Comments Off on Saturday Jan 3 Reports on: Demonstrations Against Israels attacks on Gaza, January 3, 2009  
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Leaders Lie, Civilians Die, Israelis-Palestinians

A Palestinian woman walks past a destroyed Hamas police compound after an Israeli air strike

A Palestinian woman walks past a destroyed Hamas police

compound after an Israeli air strike

An Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip

An Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip

Palestinians carry the wounded to hospital, left, after Israel launched a second day of air strikes on the Gaza Strip

Palestinians carry the wounded to hospital, left, after Israel launched

a second day of air strikes on the Gaza Strip

An explosion is seen after an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip

An explosion is seen after an Israeli air strike in the northern

Gaza Strip

Palestinians look at a destroyed Hamas police compound

Palestinians look at a destroyed Hamas police compound

A destroyed Hamas police compound

A destroyed Hamas police compound

Smoke rises over the main Hamas security complex

Smoke rises over the main Hamas security complex

Smoke rises after an Israel air strike

Smoke rises after an Israel air strike

Palestinian fire fighters extinguish a fire

Palestinian fire fighters extinguish a fire

A Palestinian boy walks past a destroyed al-Shifa mosque

A Palestinian boy walks past a destroyed al-Shifa mosque

Smoke rises after an Israel air strike

Smoke rises after an Israel air strike

A Hamas policeman shouts in front of a burning building

A Hamas policeman shouts in front of a burning building

A Palestinian man inspects the destroyed house of the governor in Gaza City

A Palestinian man inspects the destroyed house of the

governor in Gaza City

A Palestinian man looks at a destroyed building of the Islamic University in Gaza City

A Palestinian man looks at a destroyed building of the Islamic

University in Gaza City

A Palestinian man smokes a cigarette in front of the rubble of a destroyed mosque following an Israeli air strike in the Jabalia refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip

A Palestinian man smokes a cigarette in front of the rubble

of a destroyed mosque following an Israeli air strike in

the Jabalia refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip

Palestinian firemen extinguish fire from a building following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City

Palestinian firemen extinguish fire from a building following an

Israeli air strike in Gaza City

A wounded Palestinian policeman gestures while lying on the ground as other men look for survivors outside the Hamas police headquarters

A wounded Palestinian policeman gestures while lying on

the ground as other men look for survivors outside the

Hamas police headquarters

Palestinians inspect the rubble of the presidential building, the office of president Mahmoud Abbas which is now under Hamas control, after it was destroyed by an Israeli air strike

Palestinians inspect the rubble of the presidential building,

the office of president Mahmoud Abbas which is now

under Hamas control, after it was destroyed by an Israeli air strike

Palestinian inspect a building after it was destroyed by an Israeli air strike

Palestinian inspect a building after it was destroyed by an Israeli

air strike

Fire and smoke rise from a destroyed building as Palestinians carry a victim of an Israeli air strike that targeted Buriej refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip

Fire and smoke rise from a destroyed building as Palestinians

carry a victim of an Israeli air strike that targeted Buriej refugee

camp in the central Gaza Strip

Palestinian civil defence workers use a hose in an attempt to control a fire consuming a building following a fresh Israeli air strike in Rafah town in the southern Gaza Strip

Palestinian civil defence workers use a hose in an attempt to control

a fire consuming a building following a fresh Israeli air strike

in Rafah town in the southern Gaza Strip

Leaders Lie, Civilians Die, and Lessons of History are Ignored

By Robert Fisk

December 29 2008

We’ve got so used to the carnage of the Middle East that we don’t care any more – providing we don’t offend the Israelis. It’s not clear how many of the Gaza dead are civilians, but the response of the Bush administration, not to mention the pusillanimous reaction of Gordon Brown, reaffirm for Arabs what they have known for decades: however they struggle against their antagonists, the West will take Israel’s side. As usual, the bloodbath was the fault of the Arabs – who, as we all know, only understand force.

Ever since 1948, we’ve been hearing this balderdash from the Israelis – just as Arab nationalists and then Arab Islamists have been peddling their own lies: that the Zionist “death wagon” will be overthrown, that all Jerusalem will be “liberated”. And always Mr Bush Snr or Mr Clinton or Mr Bush Jnr or Mr Blair or Mr Brown have called upon both sides to exercise “restraint” – as if the Palestinians and the Israelis both have F-18s and Merkava tanks and field artillery.

Hamas’s home-made rockets have killed just 20 Israelis in eight years, but a day-long blitz by Israeli aircraft that kills almost 300 Palestinians is just par for the course.

The blood-splattering has its own routine. Yes, Hamas provoked Israel’s anger, just as Israel provoked Hamas’s anger, which was provoked by Israel, which was provoked by Hamas, which … See what I mean? Hamas fires rockets at Israel, Israel bombs Hamas, Hamas fires more rockets and Israel bombs again and … Got it? And we demand security for Israel – rightly – but overlook this massive and utterly disproportionate slaughter by Israel. It was Madeleine Albright who once said that Israel was “under siege” – as if Palestinian tanks were in the streets of Tel Aviv.

By last night, the exchange rate stood at 296 Palestinians dead for one dead Israeli.

Back in 2006, it was 10 Lebanese dead for one Israeli dead. This weekend was the most inflationary exchange rate in a single day since – the 1973 Middle East War? The 1967 Six Day War? The 1956 Suez War? The 1948 Independence/Nakba War? It’s obscene, a gruesome game – which Ehud Barak, the Israeli Defence Minister, unconsciously admitted when he spoke this weekend to Fox TV. “Our intention is to totally change the rules of the game,” Barak said.

Exactly. Only the “rules” of the game don’t change. This is a further slippage on the Arab-Israeli exchanges, a percentage slide more awesome than Wall Street’s crashing shares, though of not much interest in the US which – let us remember – made the F-18s and the Hellfire missiles which the Bush administration pleads with Israel to use sparingly.

Quite a lot of the dead this weekend appear to have been Hamas members, but what is it supposed to solve? Is Hamas going to say: “Wow, this blitz is awesome – we’d better recognise the state of Israel, fall in line with the Palestinian Authority, lay down our weapons and pray we are taken prisoner and locked up indefinitely and support a new American ‘peace process’ in the Middle East!” Is that what the Israelis and the Americans and Gordon Brown think Hamas is going to do?

Yes, let’s remember Hamas’s cynicism, the cynicism of all armed Islamist groups. Their need for Muslim martyrs is as crucial to them as Israel’s need to create them. The lesson Israel thinks it is teaching – come to heel or we will crush you – is not the lesson Hamas is learning. Hamas needs violence to emphasise the oppression of the Palestinians – and relies on Israel to provide it. A few rockets into Israel and Israel obliges.

Not a whimper from Tony Blair, the peace envoy to the Middle East who’s never been to Gaza in his current incarnation. Not a bloody word.

We hear the usual Israeli line. General Yaakov Amidror, the former head of the Israeli army’s “research and assessment division” announced that “no country in the world would allow its citizens to be made the target of rocket attacks without taking vigorous steps to defend them”. Quite so. But when the IRA were firing mortars over the border into Northern Ireland, when their guerrillas were crossing from the Republic to attack police stations and Protestants, did Britain unleash the RAF on the Irish Republic? Did the RAF bomb churches and tankers and police stations and zap 300 civilians to teach the Irish a lesson? No, it did not. Because the world would have seen it as criminal behaviour. We didn’t want to lower ourselves to the IRA’s level.

Yes, Israel deserves security. But these bloodbaths will not bring it. Not since 1948 have air raids protected Israel. Israel has bombed Lebanon thousands of times since 1975 and not one has eliminated “terrorism”. So what was the reaction last night? The Israelis threaten ground attacks. Hamas waits for another battle. Our Western politicians crouch in their funk holes. And somewhere to the east – in a cave? a basement? on a mountainside? – a well-known man in a turban smiles.

Source

US Veto Blocks UN Anti-Israel Resolution

Global protests against Israel

Israel Used Internationally Banned Weaponry in Massive Airstrikes Across Gaza Strip

Iran preps humanitarian aid ship to Gaza Strip

Published in: on December 30, 2008 at 7:28 am  Comments Off on Leaders Lie, Civilians Die, Israelis-Palestinians  
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IDB helps, ICE hurts Haiti:Mr. President, are you listening?

IDB helps, ICE hurts Haiti KUDOS TO IDB

The decision by the Inter American Development Bank to offer Haiti an additional $50 million in assistance next year may be the best news that beleaguered Caribbean country has received in a long time. In a nation as poor as Haiti, that extra aid should make a difference in the lives of some of the neediest people.

”Haiti is the most fragile of our member countries,” said IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno when he announced the grant last weekend. “No other nation in Latin America and the Caribbean is as vulnerable to economic shocks and natural disasters. As such, it requires extraordinary assistance from the international community.”

He’s right. Simply giving Haiti more money won’t put it on a stable footing, but the level of destitution is such that the country can’t even begin to think about stability or rebuilding until it can improve its ability to feed and house its people and restart the economy.

That requires foreign aid. Other nations and international organizations should follow the IDB’s example.

ICE: THUMBS DOWN

If the IDB is part of the solution for Haiti, the U.S. government agency that enforces immigration is part of the problem. By any measure, Haiti is ill-prepared to care for more destitute people, yet Immigration and Customs Enforcement — ICE — has resumed deportations after a brief respite because of the devastation wreaked by this year’s storms.

This wrongheaded decision makes no sense at all. The country remains in dire straits, a nation suffering from hunger, misery and a host of associated ills, yet ICE cited ”the circumstances in Haiti” as the basis for resuming deportations.

Six South Florida members of Congress — three Democrats and three Republicans — have appealed to the White House to adopt a more compassionate position. ”Sending Haitian nationals back to Haiti is both inhumane and unsafe,” Republican lawmakers Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said in their joint letter.

Mr. President, are you listening?

Source

Poverty crushing the People of Haiti

Haitian children died from severe malnutrition

Starvation slams Haiti: Kids dying after 4 storms ravage crops, livestock

Haiti’s road to ruin

The Rebirth of Konbit in Haiti

Published in: on December 19, 2008 at 6:25 am  Comments Off on IDB helps, ICE hurts Haiti:Mr. President, are you listening?  
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Fallen Canadian and British Soldiers Come Home

December 18 2008
By Matthew Hickley

UK

The  trees were strung with festive lights and the streets thronged with shoppers.

But Christmas was put on hold in Wootton Bassett today as five young men came home from war.

One thousand people stood silently on the streets to honour the soldiers killed in Afghanistan as their coffins, draped in Union Flags, were driven through the town after arriving at nearby RAF Lyneham.

Funeral

Thousands stood silently in honour of the five dead marines’ funeral took place in Wootton Bassett

Graphic

As those in the crowd clutched parcels and shopping bags, their thoughts were with the men’s families who will endure this Christmas in a haze of grief.

And for ever more, the season of goodwill will be just another reminder of the loved ones lost.

Today’s  tribute honoured five commandos killed in Helmand province in the past week.

Repatriation

The body of Lt Aaron Lewis of 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery being repatriated at RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire


Repatriation

The body of Lt Marine Damian Davies of Commando Logistics Regiment, Chivenor, North Devon, being repatriated

Royal Marines Damian Davies, 27, Sgt John Manuel, 38, and Corporal Marc Birch, 26, were killed in an apparent suicide bomb attack by a 13-year-old Afghan boy last Friday, close to the town of Sangin.

An hour earlier Marine Lance Corporal Steven Fellows, 28, was killed in a roadside bomb attack a few miles away.

And on Monday, Lt Aaron Lewis, 26, a soldier from 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, died near the town of Gereshk when the gun battery he was commanding came under enemy fire.

Repatriation

Coffin

A coffin draped with regimental tie and scarf

Earlier, the men’s families watched as the coffins were unloaded at RAF Lyneham, with full military honours. They were driven through Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire en route to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

The town came to a standstill, with shops closing and members of the public, including many veterans, standing in solemn silence.

Crowds paying respects

Crowds gather to pay their respects as the funeral cortege pass through Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire

Many were in tears as the procession moved through, pausing for a minute’s silence at the town’s war memorial.

Jo Carpenter, 63, a retired civil servant, said: ‘My heart goes out to the families of those young men, especially at this time of year.’

Onlookers

Many onlookers were overcome with emotion

Onlookers

The town centre came to a standstill

A British soldier was killed in Afghanistan after being hit by enemy gunfire. His is the fifth death in three days

This comes as a British officer has warned that it will be ‘business as usual’ over the Christmas period for troops in Afghanistan, where 13 UK personnel have been killed in Helmand Province since the beginning of October .

Lieutenant Colonel Alan Richmond, commander officer of the 1st Battalion The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, currently operating around the town of Garmsir in southern Helmand, said: ‘We are all prepared for there to be no let up.

‘It doesn’t take that many people to mount the asymmetric threat, such as suicide bombings and improvised explosive devices.

‘We are all prepared for this continuing and it will be business as usual for us over the Christmas period.’

Source

UK casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq Names and Pictures

As of today 133 casualties  in Afghanistan

Three fallen soldiers return to a hero’s welcome

December 16 2008

Canada

Military pallbearers carry the casket of Corporal Thomas James Hamilton at CFB Trenton in Trenton, Ont.

Military pallbearers carry the casket of Private John Michael Roy Curwin at CFB Trenton in Trenton, Ont.

Military pallbearers carry the casket of Private Justin Peter Jones at CFB Trenton in Trenton, Ont.

Supporters stand on a bridge in Whitby, Ont., as the hearses carrying fallen soldiers pass along the Highway of Heroes

The bodies of three more Canadian soldiers slain in Afghanistan have been returned to Canadian soil.

A military aircraft carrying Cpl. Thomas Hamilton, Pte. John Curwin and Pte. Justin Jones touched down at CFB Trenton at about noon on Tuesday. All three served with Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, RCR based in Gagetown, New Brunswick.

A motorcade transported their caskets along the Highway of Heroes into Toronto for a standard post-mortem event.

They arrived on the eastern outreaches of Scarborough around 3 p.m. ET. People greeted the motorcade with Canadian flags and yellow ribbons. Some stood silently, and other applauded as the motorcade passed.

The OPP put out a news release Tuesday morning urging people not to pull over to the side of the 401 when they see the motorcade pass.

“Cars parked on the shoulder and people standing on the side of the road are a hazard to traffic on the road and to those who have stopped,” it said.

Instead, they want motorists to pull right off the highway.

Having Canadians gather on the overpasses to show respect for returning fallen soldiers is a growing tradition — one last exercised about a week ago when three other soldiers died.

Cpl. Mark Robert McLaren, Warrant Officer Robert John Wilson and Pte. Demetrios Diplaros, were from the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, based out of Petawawa, Ont. They died on Dec. 5. Their deaths brought Canada’s military death toll in Afghanistan to 100 since 2002. The toll is now 103.

In both incidents, the soldiers died as a result of roadside bombs.

On Tuesday morning in Afghanistan, Lt.-Gen. Michel Gauthier told reporters that two insurgents had been killed while trying to plant roadside bombs on the same stretch of highway that claimed the six Canadian lives.

Source

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