Privatization in Canada’s Health Care System is Killing People

March 22 2012

Poor hospital cleaning revealed as major problem

‘Some hospitals are a real freaking disaster’

The health of hospitalized Canadians and their visitors is being seriously put at risk by hospitals that have cut corners in cleaning budgets to a Marketplace investigation has revealed.

The program took hidden cameras inside 11 hospitals in Ontario and British Columbia. What they found in many of them were surprisingly inadequate cleaning regimens – in short, dirty hospitals that could make you sick.

In many hospitals, Marketplace staffers applied a harmless gel to places that many people would touch – hand rails, door handles, light switches, elevator buttons.

DIRTY HOSPITALS

The full story, Dirty Hospitals, can be seen on CBC-TV’s Marketplace tonight at 8 p.m., 8:30 in Newfoundland.

The gel glows when seen under an ultra-violet light. But most of the time – and this was true in every hospital where Marketplace carried out gel tests – the gel was still there more than 24 hours later, meaning the surfaces had not been cleaned at all.

The program talked to cleaners, supervisors, nurses, doctors, and hospital administrators to get a handle on what has become a major problem at Canadian health-care facilities – a shocking number of hospital-acquired infections.

While Canadians love to crow about their first-rate health-care system, it also leads in one area that doesn’t get the same glowing reviews.

About 250,000 Canadians come down with life-threatening infections while in hospitals every year. That’s the highest rate in the developed world. As many as 12,000 people a year die.

Denise Ball’s husband Gary became one of those statistics last year.

He was admitted to Niagara General Hospital for treatment of pancreatitis. While there, the 63-year-old retired school teacher contracted C. difficile – a life-threatening superbug that is all too common in Canadian hospitals. It ended up playing a role in his death a few months later.

Denise Ball remembers the cleaning regimen in her husband’s room was less than adequate, saying the cleaners would spend only 10 minutes on a room everyone knew was infected with C. difficile. She says a proper cleaning would have taken much longer.

“This has to stop,” she says. “This is Canada.”

More with less

Time and again, hospital insiders told Marketplace that cleaners were being asked to do more with less. “We used to have one person to one wing of a hospital to clean,” one cleaner said. “Now, we have three floors to clean.”

A cleaning supervisor at one hospital told Marketplace host Erica Johnson that it’s “common practice” for cleaners not to change the cleaning solution in the bucket when mopping up. “They just don’t have the time,” the supervisor said.

‘Some hospitals are a real freaking disaster.’—Infectious disease expert Dr. Michael Gardam

Sometimes there aren’t enough cleaning supplies. A nurse, whose identity Marketplace protected, said she’s seen a cleaner mopping common areas after having mopped the rooms of infected patients because she didn’t have enough mops to change. “She’s just cross-contaminated the whole area, so there’s no area that was actually clean.”

Sometimes, only one cleaner would be on staff in an entire hospital during night shifts. “That kind of day-night difference is very common, and it makes no sense,” says Dr. Michael Gardam, an infectious disease expert at the University Health Network in Toronto.

Gardam has seen enough in his time looking at hospital cleaning practices to know that some hospitals are worse than others – much worse. “Some hospitals are a real freaking disaster,” he told Marketplace.”They’ve been told to actually cut their number of housekeeping staff by outside auditors who are trying to help them balance their budgets.”

In recent years, many hospitals have cut the portion of their budget that is devoted to cleaning. Sometimes, they’ve done that by contracting out cleaners or their management.

C. difficile outbreaks common

It’s not like we haven’t seen the devastating results of hospital-acquired illness. Newscasts and newspapers have been filled with stories of hospitals under quarantine because of C. difficile outbreaks. In the last decade, outbreaks have hit hospitals in most provinces. A huge outbreak in 2003 and 2004 led to as many as 2,000 deaths in Quebec.

Last year, there were outbreaks in at least 10 hospitals across Ontario alone. One of the worst was the Niagara Health System in Ontario. More than 100 cases were diagnosed and the infection was a factor in the deaths of 37 patients, including Gary Ball, the patient mentioned earlier in the story.

The man appointed by the Ontario government to get the Niagara outbreaks under control, Dr. Kevin Smith, denies that hospitals have been cutting back on cleaning. “I think they’re experimenting with new models of cleaning,” he says.

When informed that workers in the Niagara hospital system told Marketplace that they still don’t have the time or resources to do an adequate cleaning job, he says, “I haven’t heard that message,” saying “everybody” feels rushed in health care these days.

The outbreaks are officially over in the Niagara Health System. But when Marketplace showed Smith several areas where researchers had applied test gel in three hospitals he supervises, most of the surfaces showed no evidence of cleaning. The ultra-violet light showed uncleaned hand rails outside an isolation room, uncleaned support rails in a public washroom and uncleaned hand rails in a ward with highly contagious patients.

“I’m obviously very disappointed to see that. That is a less than optimal cleaning opportunity. We need to fix it,” Smith said.

There’s something else that some observers think is helping to drive the pressure to skimp on cleaning. In Ontario and British Columbia, for example, hospitals are given bonuses for turning over beds quickly – hundreds of extra dollars each time a hospital gets a patient out of a room before a certain time. More money is dangled for quickly transferring a patient from the emergency ward to a room. Hospital CEOs, already well-paid, receive bonuses that depend, in part, on reducing wait times.

While the goal of such rewards may be admirable, critics say the actual effect has been to speed up cleaning to an unhealthy degree.

“They just don’t get it,” says Denise Ball. “And maybe until one of their loved ones that went in healthy and … a few months later … they’re going to their grave. Maybe that’s what will wake them up.” There is a video at the Source

Related Stories

8 tips to ensure you won’t get a hospital-acquired infection

FAQs: What is C. difficile?

Opportunistic superbug present in most hospitals

Since the cleaning services have been privatized, the problems began.

The ones now doing the cleaning are not trained well. Poorly paid and over worked. They have to much to do and not enough time.

It is actually costing Canada more to use private companies.

A lesson leaned the hard way. Remember:

About 250,000 Canadians come down with life-threatening infections while in hospitals every year. That’s the highest rate in the developed world. As many as 12,000 people a year die.
The Ontario Ombudsman is the only provincial watchdog in Canada restricted from investigating and resolving issues/complaints in hospitals, long-term care, children’s aid. And there are serious issues that are not being resolved. Please check out how Ontario compares to the rest of Canada:

http://www.ombudsman.on.ca/About-Us/The-Ombudsman-s-Office/Who-We-Oversee/MUSH-Sector.aspx

Please download a copy of this petition and speak to your MPP about expanding the mandate of the Ombudsman to ensure the public is protected and issues of mistreatment, abuse, poor care are addressed properly in these institutions.

http://ontariocfa.com/documents/ombudsman_petition.pdf

http://ontariocfa.com/

Pass this on to all your Canadians friends.

Don’t let Harper privatize any more in Health Care and the privatization that has taken place, must be reversed to save lives. The life you save may be your own.

Update March 27 2012

CBC’s ‘dirty hospital’ report sparks changes

Niagara health authority ends relationship with private U.S. cleaning company Aramark

March 26, 2012

A CBC investigation into unsanitary conditions at the nation’s hospitals has sparked a change in policy by Canada’s biggest health authority and a flood of email messages from concerned viewers.

With hidden cameras, including Canada’s first hidden camera glow-gel test, the consumer show Marketplace visited several hospitals in Ontario and British Columbia, secretly applying a harmless gel to high-touch surfaces, then returning 24 hours later to see whether the gel had been removed, which would indicate the surface had been cleaned.

The program revealed many instances where cleaning had not been carried out, and that sparked a response from the Niagara Health System (NHS), the biggest in the country, whose hospitals have suffered a recent Clostridium difficile outbreak. It has decided to end its relationship with the private U.S. cleaning company Aramark.

NHS authorities wouldn’t specify why they made the move, but did tell CBC News they will be adding “the equivalent of 18 new full-time cleaning positions.” It has been suggested that Aramark was at least partly to blame for the C. difficile outbreaks.

“They made decisions around staffing levels,” Eoin Callan of the Service Employees International Union told CBC News. “They made decisions around what was cleaned, what was not cleaned — how frequently things were cleaned. And they also had an incentive to use cheaper diluted cleaning chemicals that were not as effective because it allowed them to pad their profit margins.”

Ontario Minister of Health Deb Matthews wouldn’t talk on camera, but told Marketplace: “We expect our hospitals to make the best decisions to protect patient safety in their communities.”

The NHS decision may be good news for those awaiting a hospital stay, but cold comfort to people such as Ken Hough, who returned home three weeks ago after a stay at St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital in St. Thomas, Ont.

“You really wouldn’t believe it, unless you’ve seen it,” Hough told Marketplace reporter Erica Johnson, describing rooms where he says dirty bandages and plastic needle covers littered the floor.

The bathroom was the worst, he said.

“Feces on the back of the toilet,” he recalled. “You’d go in to use it, and you’d pivot. I put on rubber gloves to use the toilet seat and just thought, no, I’m not doing this.”

Emails from across the country echoed Hough’s observations.

“The waste baskets in the bathroom were overflowing,” an email from Vancouver read. It took “three days to clean up vomit,” a Calgary viewer wrote. And an email from Winnipeg described “feces left on the floor” for days.

About one-third of hospitals in Ontario outsource their janitorial services, CBC News has learned, and that figure is higher in British Columbia and some other provinces. With files from the CBC’s Erica Johnson Source

That is good news for a change. Now if they could get all the hospitals cleaned up.

With the number of deaths and those who got sick, because of the filth, there were no savings.

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US, NATO and Rebel war crimes in Libya

Here are few reports on War Crimes and Crimes against humanity. There will be more coming out in the near future and I am sure there will be many.

Rense & Susan Lindauer – NATOs Libyan War Crimes

Aug 1, 2011

NATO Committing War Crimes In Libya – Ex US Congresswoman Jun 15, 2011

GOING ROGUE: NATO’s War Crimes in Libya

By Susan Lindauer, former US Asset covering Libya at the United Nations

June 7th, 2011

It’s a story CNN won’t report. Late at night there’s a pounding on the door in Misurata. Armed soldiers force young Libyan women out of their beds at gun-point. Hustling the women and teenagers into trucks, the soldiers rush the women to gang bang parties for NATO rebels—or else rape them in front of their husbands or fathers. When NATO rebels finish their rape sport, the soldiers cut the women’s throats.

Rapes are now ongoing acts of war in rebel-held cities, like an organized military strategy, according to refugees. Joanna Moriarty, who’s part of a global fact-finding delegation visiting Tripoli this week, also reports that NATO rebels have gone house to house through Misurata, asking families if they support NATO. If the families say no, they are killed on the spot.  If families say they want to stay out of the fighting, NATO rebels take a different approach to scare other families. The doors of “neutral homes” are welded shut, Moriarty says, trapping families inside. In Libyan homes, windows are typically barred. So when the doors to a family compound get welded shut, Libyans are entombed in their own houses, where NATO forces can be sure large families will slowly starve to death.

These are daily occurrences, not isolated events. And Gadhaffi’s soldiers are not responsible. In fact, pro-Gadhaffi and “neutral” families are targeted as the victims of the attacks. Some of the NATO tactics may have occurred in hopes of laying blame on Gadhaffi’s door. However the attacks are back firing.

Flashback to Serbia

The events are eerily reminiscent of Serbia’s conflict in the Balkans with its notorious rape camps— Except today NATO itself is perpetrating these War Crimes—as if they have learned the worst terror tactics from their enemies.

Their actions would be categorized as War Crimes, just like Serb leader, Slobadon Milosevic—except that NATO won’t allow itself to face prosecution. According to NATO, International Law is for the other guy.

NATO is wrong. So long as NATO governments provide the funding, assault rifles, military training, ground advisers, support vehicles and air power, they are fully responsible for the actions of their soldiers in the war zone. Libya’s rebels are not a rag tag fighting force, either. Thanks to NATO’s largesse, financed by U.S. and British taxpayers, they’re fully decked out in military uniforms, parading through the streets with military vehicles for all the people to see.

And they do see. In Washington, Congress likes to pretend that America has not become involved in the day to day actualities of military planning. However refugees have observed U.S, British, French and Israeli soldiers standing by as rebel soldiers attack civilians.

“Rape parties” are the most graphic examples of NATO’s loss of moral control.  One weeping father told the fact-finding delegation how a couple of weeks ago NATO rebels targeted seven separate households, kidnapping a virgin daughter from each pro-Gadhaffi family. The rebels were paid for each kidnapped girl, just as they are paid for each Libyan soldier they kill— like mercenary soldiers. They hustled the girls into trucks, and took them to a building where the girls were locked in separate rooms.

NATO soldiers proceeded to drink alcohol, until they got very drunk. Then the leader told them to rape the virgin daughters in gang bang style. When they’d finished raping the girls, the NATO leader told them to cut the breasts off the living girls and bring the breasts to him.  They did this while the girls were alive and screaming. All the girls died hideous deaths. Then their severed breasts were taken to a local square and arranged to spell the word “whore.”

The grieving father spoke to a convention of workers, attended by the global fact-finding delegation.  He was openly weeping, as all of us should. NATO’s offenses in Libya are as terrible and unforgivable as Syria’s castration and mutilation of the 13 year old boy that shocked the world. Yet so long as NATO’s the guilty party, the western media has looked the other way in distaste.

Some of us are paying attention— We can see that NATO has gone rogue in Libya. And the Libyan people themselves consider it unforgivable. Last week, 2000 Tribal Leaders gathered in Tripoli to draft a Constitution for the country, as demanded by the British government. Notoriously, British warships and U.S. drones pounded the streets of Tripoli with bunker bombs and missiles for days and nights close to where the Tribal Leaders were meeting. From Tripoli, it felt awfully like the British were trying to stop the Libyan people from bringing this Constitution to life.

Tribal Leaders Condemn British Aggression

Here’s what those 2,000 Tribal Leaders had to say about British aggression, in a statement approved unanimously on June 3. Sheikh Ali, head of the Tribal Leaders, delivered it to Joanna Moriarty and other members of the global fact finding mission:

“The Libyan people have the right to govern themselves.  Constant attacks from the skies, at all hours of the day have completely disrupted the lives of the families of Libya. There has never been any fighting in Tripoli, yet we are bombed every day. We are civilians and we are being killed by the British and NATO. Civilians are people without guns, yet the British and NATO protect only the armed crusaders from the East by acting as their attack army. We have read the UN resolutions and there is no mention of bombing innocent civilians. There is no mention of assassinating the legitimate authorities in all of Libya.”

“The Libyan People have the right to select their own leaders. We have suffered occupation by foreign countries for thousands of years. Only in the last 41 years have we Libyans enjoyed property ownership. Only in the last 41 years have we seen our country develop. Only in the last 41 years have we seen all of the Libyans enjoy a better life, and know that our children will have a better life then we have had. But now with the British and NATO bombings of our country, we see the destruction of our new and developed infrastructure.”

“We leaders see the destruction of our culture. We leaders see tears in the eyes of our children because of the constant fear from the “rain of terror” in the skies of Libya from the British and NATO bombings. Our old people suffer from heart problems, increased diabetes and loss of vigor. Our young mothers are losing their babies every day because of the stress of the British and NATO bombings. These lost babies are the future of Libya. They can never be replaced. Our armies have been destroyed by the British and NATO bombings. We cannot defend ourselves from attacks from anyone.”

“As Tribal Leaders of Libya, we must ask why have the British and NATO decided to wage this war against the Libyan people? There are a small percentage of dissidents in the east of Libya that started an armed insurrection against our legitimate authority. Every country has the right to defend itself against armed insurrection. So why cannot Libya defend itself?”

“The Tribal Leaders of Libya demand that all acts of aggression, by the British and NATO, against the Libyan People stop immediately. June 3, 2011″

Does that sound like NATO’s got a winning strategy? If so, they should think again. Even if Gadhaffi falls, NATO has no hope of eliminating the entire tribal structure of the Libya, which embraces all families and clans. Instead NATO is losing the battle for the hearts and minds of the people with every missile that smashes into another building.

Tribal Backlash

The Libyan people are fighting back. This report arrived from Tripoli today. It is not edited, and describes a backlash in tribal warfare from the City of Darna in the East, where the rebellion is supposed to be strongest:

“People found the body of Martyr Hamdi Jumaa Al-Shalwi in Darna  city eastern Libya. His head was cut off and then placed in front of the headquarters of the Internal Security Dernah. That was after being kidnapped from a checkpoint complex Herich. In response to this Al-Shalwi family erected a funeral tent to receive condolences in which the green flag [of Libya] was raised. After the funeral the whole city of Darna rose up with all its tribes which include:- the Abu Jazia family, Al-Shalwi family, The Quba families, Ain Marra families. After that, Al-Shalwi family and Bojazia tribe attacked the headquarters of the Transitional Council and shot all the rats (rebels) and green flags were raised. Furthermore, the son of Sofian Qamom was killed, also two members of Al- Qaeda got killed by residents of the city of Darna. The flag of the Libyan Jamahiriya was raised above Darna after the clashes.”

CNN has reported none of this. The corporate media continues to lull Americans into false confidence in the progress of the Libyan War. Americans are way out of the loop as to the failures of the War effort. As a result, Libyans are losing trust in the potential for friendships with the West. An unlikely champion might restore that faith. Right now a team of international attorneys is preparing an emergency grievance on behalf of the Tribal Leaders and the Libyan people. The International Peace Community could contribute substantially to restoring Libya’s faith in the West by supporting this human rights action. Indeed, the Libyan people and Tribal Leaders deserve our support. Together we must demand that NATO face prosecution for War Crimes, citing these examples and others.

NATO governments must be required to pay financial damages to Libyan families, on par with what the U.S. and Britain would demand for their own citizens under identical circumstances. The world cannot tolerate double standards, whereby powerful nations abuse helpless citizens. The International Geneva Conventions of War must be enforced, and equal force of the law must be applied.

The Fight for Misurata

Though attacks are widespread, some of the worst abuses are occurring in Misurata. The City has the only mega port in Libya, and handles transportation for the country, including the largest oil and gas depots. NATO will stop at nothing to take the City.

Refugees report that the Israeli Star of David flag was draped over the largest Mosque in Misurata on the second day of fighting, actions guaranteed to humiliate and antagonize the local population.

NATO forces have cut off food and medical supplies throughout Libya. But the seas are plentiful with fish in Mediterranean waters. Brave fishermen have taken their boats out of port, trying to harvest fish for the hungry population. To break their perseverance, American drones and British war planes steadily fire missiles on the fishing boats, deliberately targeting non-military vessels to chase them out of the waters.

Yet for all of its superior fire power and tactical advantages, NATO still appears to be losing. According to the fact-finding delegation, reporting today, many rebels have left Misurata and have taken boats back to Benghazi.  The big central part of Misurata is now free and under central military control.  The Libyan people shot down two helicopter gunships near the town of Zlitan. And although Al Jazeera played a grand story about a major uprising against Ghadafi in Tripoli, one of the Tribal leaders’ wives lives on the street that claims to be the center of the demonstration, and declared that she saw no crowds out of her window. Buses pictured in Al Jazeera video do not run in Tripoli.

One has to ask: What kind of society does NATO think it’s creating, if in fact Gadhaffi can be deposed—which looks very unlikely? Have Washington and London learned nothing from their failure in Iraq? The cruelty and debasement of NATO’s forces is already fueling profound hatreds that will continue for the next generation.

Who could be proud of such “allies?” Not the Libyan people, surely.

NATO soldiers are no better than thugs. Anyone else would be labeled terrorists. Most worrisome, NATO’s actions are guaranteed to have serious consequences for long term political stability in Libya. Vendettas are forming between tribes and family clans that will carry over for decades. It is extremely short-sighted and self destructive.

NATO should take this warning to heart: Its soldiers are not legal-proof. The International Peace Community is already taking action to uphold Libya’s natural rights at the United Nations. Many of us in the International Peace Community shall defend Libya’s women. And we shall demand War Crimes prosecution and major financial damages against NATO governments, on behalf of the people.

Nobody’s fooled by NATO’s story that Gadhaffi’s the guilty party. We know that Washington, Britain, France, Italy— and Israel are the real culprits.

The murdered women of Misurata shall have justice. NATO can count on it.

Source

More Proof of rebel atrocities after Gaddafi troops found dead, mutilated in mass grave

Jul 23, 2011

A mass-grave of alleged pro-Gaddafi soldiers has been discovered in a rebel-controlled area in Libya, according to British newspaper The Telegraph. The location was swiftly bulldozed after the discovery, suggesting an attempt to cover-up the killings. The bodies were reportedly mutilated, adding to the recent concerns of human rights abuses by rebels. Such crimes are being swept under the carpet to support NATO’s cause in the region

NATO & Rebel War Crimes in Sirte, Libya (WARNING GRAPHIC FOOTAGE)

NATO Supports Black Genocide in Libya

Daily NATO War Crimes in Libya

July 29 2011
 By Stephen Lendman

Among them is waging war on truth, Western managed news calling lawless imperial wars liberating ones. No wonder John Pilger says journalism is the first casualty of war, adding:

“Not only that: it has become a weapon of war, a virulent censorship (and deception) that goes unrecognised in the United States, Britain and other democracies; censorship by omission, whose power is such that, in war, it can mean the difference between life and death for people in faraway countries….”

In their book, “Guardians of Power,” David Edwards and David Cromwell explained why today’s media are in crisis and a free and open society at risk. It’s because press prostitutes substitute fiction for fact. News is carefully filtered, dissent marginalized, and supporting wealth and power substitutes for full and accurate reporting.

It’s a cancer, corrupting everything from corporate-run print and broadcast sources, as well as operations like BBC and what passes for America’s hopelessly compromised public radio and TV. They put out daily managed and junk food news plus infotainment, treating consumers like mushrooms – well-watered and in the dark.

During wars, in fact, they cheerlead them, reporting agitprop and misinformation no respectable journalist would touch.

On the Progressive Radio News Hour, Middle East/Central Asia analyst Mahdi Nazemroaya, in Tripoli, said some journalists also perform fifth column duties, collecting intelligence and locating targets to supply NATO bombing coordinates, notably civilian targets called military ones.

In a July 28 email, he said tell listeners that “NATO is trying to negotiate with the government in Tripoli.” More on that below. He added that they’re also “planning a new stage of the war against the Libyan people through (predatory) NGOs and fake humanitarian missions.” A likely UN Blue Helmet occupying force also, paramilitaries masquerading as peacekeepers Gaddafi controlled areas won’t tolerate.

NATO, in fact, calls civilian targets legitimate ones, including one or more hospitals, a clinic, factories, warehouses, agricultural sites, schools, a university, one or more mosques, non-military related infrastructure, a food storage facility, and others.

Notably on July 23, a Brega water pipe factory was struck, killing six guards. It produces pipes for Libya’s Great Man-Made River system (GMMR), an ocean-sized aquifer beneath its sands, making the desert bloom for productive agriculture, and supplying water to Libya’s people.

The previous day, a water supply pipeline was destroyed. It will take months to restore. The factory produced vital pipes to do it, a clear war crime like daily others. Moreover, the entire GMMR is threatened by a shortage of spare parts and chemicals. As a result, it’s struggling to keep reservoirs at a level able to provide a sustainable supply. Without it, a humanitarian disaster looms, very likely what NATO plans as in past wars.

On July 27, AFP said that:

“NATO warned that its warplanes will bomb civilian facilities if (Gaddafi’s) forces use them to launch attacks.” At the same time, a spokesman said great care is taken to minimize civilian casualties.

NATO lied. Daily, it’s attacking non-military related sites to destroy Libya’s ability to function in areas loyal to Gaddafi. Earlier, in fact, a spokesman claimed there was “no evidence” civilian targets were hit or noncombatants killed, except one time a major incident was too obvious to hide. Reluctantly it admitted a “mistake,” covering up a willful planned attack, knowing civilians were affected.

Libya (satellite) TV calls itself “a voice for free Libya….struggling to liberate Libya from the grip of the Gaddafi regime….” In fact, it’s a pro-NATO propaganda service, reporting misinformation on air and online.

On July 25, it headlined, “No evidence to support Gaddafi’s allegations that civilian targets were hit,” when, it fact, they’re struck daily.

Nonetheless, it claimed only military sites are bombed, saying Tripoli-based journalists aren’t taken to affected areas, “suggesting NATO’s gunners are hitting military targets, at least in the capital.”

In fact, corporate and independent journalists are regularly taken to many sites struck. Independent accounts confirm civilian casualties and non-military facilities bombed. Pro-NATO scoundrels report managed news, complicit in daily war crimes.

On July 28, Libya TV claimed “captured Gaddafi soldiers say army morale is low,” when, in fact, most Libyans support Gaddafi. Millions are armed. Gaddafi gave them weapons. They could easily oust him if they wish. Instead, they rally supportively, what Western media and Libya TV won’t report.

Moreover, captured soldiers say what they’re told, likely threatened with death or torture if they refuse, especially in rebel paramilitary hands, under NATO orders to terrorize areas they control.

As a result, civilian casualties mount, up to 1,200 or more killed and thousands wounded in pro-Gaddafi areas, many seriously as war rages. In addition, unknown numbers of combatant casualties on both sides aren’t known, nor is the civilian toll in rebel held areas.

Nonetheless, daily sorties and strikes continue. Since mid-July alone through July 27, they include:

  • July 14: 132 sorties and 48 strikes
  • July 15: 115 sorties and 46 strikes
  • July 16: 110 sorties and 45 strikes
  • July 17: 122 sorties and 46 strikes
  • July 18: 129 sorties and 44 strikes
  • July 19: 113 sorties and 40 strikes
  • July 20: 122 sorties and 53 strikes
  • July 21: 124 sorties and 45 strikes
  • July 22: 128 sorties and 46 strikes
  • July 23: 125 sorties and 56 strikes
  • July 24: 163 sorties and 43 strikes
  • July 25: 111 sorties and 54 strikes
  • July 26: 134 sorties and 46 strikes
  • July 27: 133 sorties and 54 strikes

Daily patterns are consistent. However, information on numbers and types of bombs, as well as other munitions aren’t given. Instead, misinformation claims a humanitarian mission protects civilians – by terrorizing, killing, and injuring them, solely for imperial aims. It’s why all US-led wars are fought, never for liberating reasons.

The entire campaign is based on lies. It’s standard war time procedure, to enlist popular support for campaigns people otherwise would reject.

In fact, no humanitarian crisis existed until NATO arrived. Moreover, in paramilitary controlled areas, Amnesty International confirmed only 110 pro and anti-Gaddafi supporter deaths combined, most likely more of the former than latter as rebel cutthroats rampaged through areas they occupy. Currently, the numbers of dead and injured civilians are many times that amount, largely from NATO attacks.

NATO, in fact, is code language for the Pentagon, paying the largest share of its operating and military budgets. Except for Germany and Britain, other members pay small shares, most, in fact, miniscule amounts.

Since NATO began bombing on March 19, daily attacks inflicted lawless collective punishment against millions in Gaddafi supported areas. Affected is their ability to obtain food, medicines, fuel and other basic supplies, exposing another lie about humanitarian intervention.

On July 25, OCHA’s fact-finding team said Tripoli contained “pockets of vulnerability where people need urgent humanitarian assistance.” Medical supplies are running low. The last major delivery was in January, and concerns are increasing about the “unsustainable food supply chain for the public distribution systems, especially as Ramadan approaches (on or around August 1 to about August 29) and the conflict persists.”

Moreover, “Libyan oil experts warned that fuel stocks could run out in two weeks.” Public transportation costs have tripled. Food prices have also soared. Tripoli residents experience electricity cuts, and clean water supplies are endangered.

Before conflict erupted, Libyans had the region’s highest standard of living and highest life expectancy in Africa because Gaddafi’s oil wealth provided healthcare, education, housing assistance and other social benefits. Imperial war, of course, changed things. Libyans now hang on to survive.

Seeking an End Game

On July 26, UPI headlined, “NATO seeks urgent exit strategy in Libya,” knowing this phase of the war is lost. Nonetheless, future strategies and campaigns will follow.

For now, however, “NATO is seeking an urgent exit strategy (to end) fighting and decide the future of (Gaddifi), even if that means letting him stay in the country though out of power, it emerged Tuesday after British and French foreign ministers met in London.”

In tribal Libya, Gaddafi’s power, in fact, is far less than reported, social anthropologist Ranier Fsadni saying:

“Gaddafi’s feeling for tribal Libya is certainly one factor that explains how he has managed to rule the country for so many years. (However), (t)here is no tribal office giving a single man a monopoly of institutional power at the apex….Several factors account for his longevity in power,” including sharing Libya’s oil wealth.

UPI said diplomacy is driven by a failed military campaign. As a result, “(i)ntense mediation efforts are underway at different levels at the United Nations and Europe, in African, European and Middle Eastern capitals and Russia.”

Neither side is commenting, but some observers think operations may wind down in weeks, based on an unannounced face-saving solution, despite continued destabilization and future conflict planned. It’s similar to Balkan and Iraq war strategies, a combination of tactics until Washington prevailed.

Libya faces the same end game, though years could pass before it arrives. As a result, Libyans can expect continued hardships. When imperial America shows up, that strategy persists until it prevails, no matter the pain and suffering inflicted. Source

Human rights investigations

Evidence-based, independent and rigorous investigation of human rights abuses

Libyan rebel ethnic cleansing and lynching of black people

 July 7, 2011 by HRI Mar

Further specific evidence has emerged that there is a strong racist element within the rebel forces, including at command level, and it is the stated intention of these forces to ethnically cleanse areas they capture of their dark-skinned inhabitants.

Racism amongst the rebels including at command level

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, journalist Sam Dagher pointed out the obvious fact that the Libyan war is aggravating ethnic tensions in that country. The article talks about the fate of Tawergha, a small town 25 miles to the south of Misrata, inhabited mostly by black Libyans, a legacy of its 19th-century origins as a transit town in the slave trade:

Ibrahim al-Halbous, a rebel commander leading the fight near Tawergha, says all remaining residents should leave once if his fighters capture the town.  “They should pack up,” Mr. Halbous said. “Tawergha no longer exists, only Misrata.”

Other rebel leaders are reported as:

“calling for drastic measures like banning Tawergha natives from ever working, living or sending their children to schools in Misrata.”

In addition, according to the article, as a result of the battle for Misrata:

nearly four-fifths of residents of Misrata’s Ghoushi neighborhood were Tawergha natives. Now they are gone or in hiding, fearing revenge attacks by Misratans, amid reports of bounties for their capture.

Amid allegations of black mercenaries and stories of mass rape by the inhabitants of Tawergha, Sam Dagher reports on further evidence of the racism amongst the rebel forces:

Some of the hatred of Tawergha has racist overtones that were mostly latent before the current conflict. On the road between Misrata and Tawergha, rebel slogans like “the brigade for purging slaves, black skin” have supplanted pro-Gadhafi scrawl.

The racial tensions have been fueled by the regime’s alleged use of African mercenaries to violently suppress demonstrators at the start of the Libyan uprising in February, and the sense that the south of the country, which is predominantly black,  mainly backs Col. Gadhafi.

This information has already been publicised, in the WSJ and also in the Black Star News. Bryan Chan of the Los Angeles Times reports visiting a prison in Benghazi, where terrified black men were paraded for the cameras (with Human Rights Watch silently taking notes). One man bravely protested he was just a guest worker and the guards presented a Gambian passport as proof he was a Gaddafi operative. Chan’s Libyan interpreter asked:

“So what do you think? Should we just go ahead and kill them?”

There is a lot of horrific video footage clearly showing public lynchings in Benghazi (link to graphic description of some of the footage). including at the rebel HQ, beheadings of blindfolded prisoners and interrogation of prisoners, including in hospitals.

The myth of black mercenaries leads to lynchings

Other evidence of the massacres of black people, which include the lynchings and murder of black soldiers of the Libyan army, guest workers from other African countries and dark-skinned Libyan civilians include a report from the BBC on 25 February which cited a Turkish construction worker as saying:

“We had 70-80 people from Chad working for our company. They were cut dead with pruning shears and axes, attackers saying: ‘You are providing troops for Gaddafi.’ The Sudanese were also massacred. We saw it for ourselves.”

On 27th February Nick Meo of The Telegraph reported from Al-Bayda that he had been shown mobile phone footage of a ‘captured mercenary‘ (presumably he means black person with a uniform) lynched from a street lamp as well as a ‘black African hanging on a meat hook.’

Amnesty International crisis researcher, Donatella Rovera spent the period from 27 February to 29th May in Misrata, Benghasi, Ajabiya and Ras Lanouf. Yesterday she was interviewed by Austria’s ‘The Standard’ and had this to say on the subject:

“We examined this issue in depth and found no evidence. The rebels spread these rumours everywhere, which had terrible consequences for African guest workers: there was a systematic hunt for migrants, some were lynched and many arrested. Since then, even the rebels have admitted there were no mercenaries, almost all have been released and have returned to their countries of origin, as the investigations into them revealed nothing.”

Who spread the myth and why?

So what accounts for the widespread popularity of this myth? It is, to be frank, an example of highly successful propaganda, appealing to the basest of racial stereotypes. The myth was highly important in gaining consent for the operation in Libya, in order to cover up and justify the massacres  of black people taking place.

In account after account, the mercenary myth is used to justify the imprisoning and killing of black people and this process continues today.  Given the background of racial tension in Libya, including the October 2000 race riots which led to the killings of 200 people with 1000s forced to flee, the consequences of the spreading of this propaganda were entirely predictable and constitute incitement to commit atrocities.

The myth of black mercenaries was spread by certain political leaders including members of the National Transitional Council in Benghazi, British Defence Minister Liam Fox and NATO spokesperson Oana Longescu .

According to Amnesty, allegations of “African mercenaries” have led to the lynchings

The viagra myth

On the viagra myth beloved of the ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, Donatella Rovera had this to say:

“No one really took that seriously did they? On the 21 March, after the first air strikes on Gadaffi’s troops outside Benghazi, a young man who worked in the media centre presented us with many boxes of the potency drug. He claimed to have found them in the destroyed tanks. The vehicles had been completely burnt out, but the packaging looked brand new. I can not believe that anyone took him seriously.”

NATO enabling human rights abuses

So is NATO actually “protecting civilians” – or is it rather supporting rebels, some of whom who intend to harm dark-skinned Libyans and ethnically cleanse areas over which they take control?

The information contained in this post, is widely known and has been reported in the Independent and other newspapers, so NATO can not claim ignorance of the facts.

As this is being written, the”brigade for purging slaves and black skin,” is advancing on Tawurgha, supported by NATO strikes from the air and on the ground by Special Forces. A rebel commander has declared the intention is to wipe the town off the map and we have already seen the lynchings of black people and the driving out of black people from Ghoushi.

By continuing to escalate the conflict in Libya, allowing the arming and supporting the rebel side, providing bombing support to enable them to advance and refusing to implement a cease-fire as demanded by the United Nations and African Union, NATO is enabling serious abuses of human rights and NATO officials will certainly be held to account. Source

‘We Were Raped, Robbed By Libyan Rebels’

Michael Olugbode

28 October 2011

Maiduguri — Thirty days in the desert after fleeing the crisis-torn Libya, 450 Nigerians yesterday arrived Maiduguri, Borno State, with tales of rape, torture and loss of their personal effects to the fighters opposed to the regime of late Col. Muammar Gaddafi. Source

Mainstream Media’s Coverage Disturbing

By Arthur Chatora

13 October 2011


The mainstream media’s conspicuous silence about the racially motivated human rights abuses perpetrated against black Libyans and immigrants, by the NATO-backed Transitional National Council (TNC) forces in Libya, is disturbing.

Similarly, the high civilian casualties of the current intense fighting in the city of Sirte seems, to a large extent, to be underplayed. Yet organisations such as Human Rights Watch have acknowledged that civilian abuses have continued and called on forces on both sides that are fighting in Sirte to minimize harm to civilians and treat all prisoners humanely.

This biased media coverage raises questions about the credibility of media organisations and their agenda. Is it because the presence of widespread evidence of racially motivated human rights abuses committed by the TNC forces raises moral and ethical questions that challenge the validity of the notion of a “humanitarian war”? The responsibility assumed by NATO and the TNC forces to protect civilian lives from abuse by Gaddafi forces is also questionable, as it appears this mandate does not seem to extend to the protection of black Libyans and African immigrants.

It seems clear that although the United Nations (UN) has acknowledged that war crimes have been committed on both sides, the mainstream media has been preoccupied with covering human rights violations allegedly committed by Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s forces while ignoring those committed by the NATO-backed forces. This is a dissimulation strategy, which demonstrates that the Libyan conflict is being waged on different fronts. A snap content and discourse analysis shows that various media reveal an inherent ideological bias in coverage of the war.

From the inception of the Libyan conflict, a range of organisations within different segments of the media, have generally assumed a narrative that is pro-rebels and anti-Gaddafi in their coverage of the war. The media’s ideological position is the one informed by the dichotomy of “us” (NATO and TNC forces) and “them” (Gaddafi forces), emanating from the fundamental humanitarian reasons and justifications given by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to implement the UN Security Council Resolution 1973, adopted to protect civilians from violence and abuses by the Gaddafi regime.

From the outset of the armed conflict, rebel groups earned a reputation as “freedom fighters” or “liberators” working with NATO on a humanitarian mission to protect civilians from violence and abuses. Consequently, some media organisations assumed this ideological position in their coverage of the war, framing the rebels as “pro-democracy liberators” while constructing Gaddafi’s forces as ‘human rights violators’.

Leading media institutions have been producing and articulating these discourses that are in line with representing a binary narrative that supports the position that NATO and the Libyan TNC forces have a humanitarian responsibility to protect civilians’ lives while Gaddafi forces have been primarily constructed as human rights violators.

Sections of the media have continued to dissimulate narratives of racial human abuses committed by rebel forces because such representations are not congruent with or contradict a pre-defined ideological position that constructs rebel forces and their allies as human rights custodians. Thus, such human rights violations and civilian abuses are not afforded media prominence and attention. The dissimulation of unfavourable narratives relates to the concept of symbolic annihilation whereby the media denies a marginalised or minority social group(s) a voice through under-representation or non-coverage in the media.

There have been several cases and evidence of racial violence against black Libyans and African immigrants that have been reported by humanitarian organisations but these cases have rarely been covered by mainstream media organisations. For example, Amnesty International recently released a detailed 107-page report entitled The Battle for Libya: Killings, Disappearances and Torture whose contents show evidence of racial abuses. The report focuses on among other issues, the human rights abuses being committed against black Africans, by both the Gaddafi and the TNC forces.

Similarly, in August 2011 the UN High Commissioner for Refugees issued a strong call for sub-Saharan Africans to be protected in Libya after reports emerged from Tripoli of people being targeted because of their race. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, AntÃ’nio Guterres, urged restraint from rebel forces and Libyan civilians adding that, Africans especially, have been particularly vulnerable to hostility or acts of vengeance.

The UN has documented several cases of rebels torturing migrant workers in rebel-held areas but these cases have rarely found coverage in mainstream media. More evidence of human rights violations has continued to emerge following the recent publication of a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report on the arbitrary detention of black-skinned people in Tripoli. In a statement Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director of Human Rights Watch categorically and unequivocally stated that, “The NTC should stop arresting African migrants and black Libyans unless it has concrete evidence of criminal activity. It should also take immediate steps to protect them from violence and abuse.” Similarly, Fred Abrahams, the special advisor at Human Rights Watch recently called on military leaders in Sirte from both sides to make sure that their forces protect civilians or at least allow them to flee the combat zone.

It in interesting to note that despite widespread evidence of such racial abuses perpetrated by the NTC forces, it appears mainstream media organisations have not been willing to represent a narrative that does not conform to its set ideological position and agenda. What has become evident where the reports of racial abuses have reached mainstream media is the framing of a narrative that portrays the victims as “African mercenaries,” despite the availability of adequate evidence to prove that many of the victims were not mercenaries.

Amnesty International reports that, “the allegations about the use of mercenaries proved to be largely unfounded” but this has remained an unknown fact to the public. This revelation demonstrates the media’s complicity in the human rights violations. Therefore, mainstream media organisations have concealed gross abuses that could have been exposed and stopped by not representing and speaking against such human rights violations.

The lack of adequate exposure and coverage of the rebels’ racial violations by mainstream media corroborate the assertion that the media is not serving the public but it is serving power and in the process it has abandoned professional media ethics and standards. Source

Throughout most of Gaddafi’s rule, Libyan citizens enjoyed free health care, free education and free electricity and water. Car purchases for every citizen were 50% subsidized by the government. Gas in Gaddafi’s Libya was $0.14 per liter. Under this ‘brutal dictator’, the mother of every newborn child received $5,000. All these, and many other social benefits under Gaddafi, make the supposedly socialist systems of France and other European nations look like predatory capitalist regimes. Today, with Gaddafi gone, Libya’s generous social benefits and the formerly high standard of living of its citizens are under serious threat from the new pro-Western puppet regime.

Gaddafi was also instrumental in establishing the African Union. He invested heavily and generously, to the tune of $6 billion, in many other African nations. Throughout Africa, hospitals, schools, hotels and roads bear Gaddafi’s name as a sign of gratitude to the ‘brutal dictator’. Libyan investments have helped to connect most of Africa by telephone, television, radio broadcasting, etc. Many major African companies, in which Gaddafi had invested via the ‘Libya Arab Africa Investment Portfolio’, now face financial ruin as Libyan oil money is diverted to the West under Libya’s new rulers. Source

Africans nor Libyans will benefit from Libya’s oil. The poorest continent on the planet. Now it goes to the WEST, the EU and ISRAEL ???????????

So tell me who wants to keep Africa poor?

How many of those rebels were from NATO/US/ISRAEL. I bet they were death squads.

I bet the majority were not from Libya at all.

How sick is that. This was not just an attack on Libya this was an attack on all of Africa. This yet another murderous, bloody, slaughter so the  Rich can steal from the poor.

Bloody thieves should be all locked up in jail.

53 Bodies found in a Sirte hotel

Oct 25, 2011
“Some had their hands tied behind their backs when they were shot, said Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch said in a statement. This requires the immediate attention of the Libyan authorities to investigate what happened and prosecute those responsible.
Those preparing the bodies said they believed most of the victims were residents of Sirte, some of them Gaddafi supporters. “ Source

Libya, UN Security Council ends mandate for international military operations

If you have the urge to leave a message at youtube for the UN

This is the link

They may not post your comment but they will get the message. So lets see if they believe in free speech.

There will be an investigation into Gaddafi and his sons deaths. Done by the Libyans in power.  NTC well that should be fair and impartial I bet.

This is from the Daily Press Briefing 26 October 2011 and guests: Barbara Crossette and Richard Kollodge on “The State of the World Population 2011” (UNFPA)

Israel and Libya: Preparing Africa for the “Clash of Civilizations”
Introduction by Cynthia McKinney
By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Third of Four Installments on Libya: Israel and Libya

October 11, 2011

Once again, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya peels away the veneer of legitimacy and deception enveloping the U.S./NATO genocide currently taking place in Libya. In his first article, Nazemroaya exposed the mechanism by which the world came to “know” of the need for a humanitarian intervention in the Libyan Arab Jamahirya and U.S./NATO admissions of targeted assassination attempts against the Leader of the 1969 Libyan Revolution, Muammar Qaddafi. In his first of these four installments since his return from Libya, Nazemraoya makes it clear that there never was any evidence given to the United Nations or the International Criminal Court to warrant or justify United Nations Resolutions 1970 and 1973 or current U.S./NATO operations inside Libya.
In his second article detailing this very sad story, Nazemroaya exposes the relationships between the major Libyan protagonists/NATO collaborators and the U.S. Congress-funded National Endowment for Democracy. Incredibly, when leading Members of Congress publicly proclaimed repeatedly that they did not know who the Libyan “rebel” NATO collaborators were, select so-called rebel leaders were political intimates with stakeholders at the National Endowment for Democracy. The leaders of the National Transitional Council, contrived to appear highly influential to publics in former colonial capitals, have very little influence or support inside Libya, and can be likened to a Hamid Karzai type of morally bankrupt neo-colonial authority that presides over and gives a fig-leaf of “legitmacy” to those outsiders whose objective is the total destruction of recalcitrant citizens who demand self-determination over their own communities and country. Nazemroaya also exposes that, despite its Global War on Terror, the U.S. government actually financed Libyan terrorists and criminals wanted by INTERPOL.

In this, his third of four installments, Nazemroaya removes the U.S./NATO fig leaf and what he reveals are the abhorrent, obnoxious, inhumane, and cynical machinations of the pro-Israel Lobby that is the only political force that seems to be able to command the mightiest of militaries and the strongest of leaders to act in ways that threaten the peace and tranquility of their own political parties and national security of their own governments. Indeed, by its policy to support Israel, no matter how belligerent its policies, the United States has eroded its own national interest, as warnings from U.S. military leaders continue to point out.

In fact, my own personal experiences with the pro-Israel Lobby inside the United States demonstrate Israel’s intense interest in Africa. I have written about my experience with “the pledge” to support Israel that is forced on every candidate for the U.S. Congress; refusal to sign it, as I did, means not one dollar of the millions expended each election cycle in campaign contributions and can ensure the most vicious media demonization as the major descriptor of the un-cooperating candidate. The demonization of Alabama’s first Black Member of Congress since Reconstruction, Earl Hilliard, in his 2002 re-election campaign, with specific regard to his visits to Libya, immediately come to mind. Weeks later, many of the New York contributors against his re-election, reappeared in my own opponent’s campaign coffers. While I was portrayed in letters to supporters of the pro-Israel Lobby as anti-Israel, I will continue to believe that it was my very real activities in Africa that the pro-Israel Lobby found most threatening. From land reform to blood diamonds to various warnings I sent to certain African oil-producing countries to support for African self-determination and against artificial efforts to create divisions in Cote d’Ivoire, Zaire/Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Sudan, I found an incredible interest in all things African on the part of the pro-Israel Lobby.

In fact, I was invited to lease my “Black” face to these very interests and get arrested in front of the Sudan Embassy to sow the very “Black versus Arab” narrative being tragically created in Libya which Nazemroaya describes so thoroughly in this current text. I note here that some Blacks inside and outside of the U.S. Congress did choose to accept this particular invitation and get arrested. My representative was present at the meeting where these activities were planned, finance was arranged, and actions put in motion. This was a purposeful manipulation of U.S. policy and more importantly, of the despicable behaviors in Sudan that led to human rights abuses and crimes against humanity. My own legislation to de-list corporations from the U.S. stock exchange that aided or abetted or engaged in any way in human rights abuses in Sudan was deemed by guardians of the pro-Israel agenda inside the Congress to be an unacceptable answer to the very real abuses taking place in that country.

Additionally, while I was in prison in Israel, the point of the mostly African female prisoners on my Ramle Prison cell block was that they were adherents of “the wrong religion.” The purging of Christians inside Israel is a fact. The scribblings on the wall of my Israeli holding room in another prison complex before my release made it clear that those Christians being deported were not wanted in Israel and they felt that it was because of their religion. Israel’s recent push, despite its non-Jewish residents, to identify itself as a “Jewish state” is telling.

While in Libya, I met many Africans who said that they chose to live there because of the pan-Africanism of the policies of the Libyan Jamahirya. In fact, while at an “Africans in the Diaspora Conference” there in January/February of 2011, I personally witnessed, along with a delegation of others from the United States, Muammar Qaddafi pledge $90 billion to a “United States of Africa” that would work together to build the Continent and counter the efforts to penetrate and recolonize it. Blacks in the United States who struggled for dignity, self-determination, and against U.S. oppression and imperialism during the 1960s and 1970s have a relationship with Muammar Qaddafi and the Jamahirya government that goes back decades. At the 29-stops of my Libya Truth Tour, I met many U.S. citizens who reminded the audiences of the contributions of Muammar Qaddafi and the Jamahirya government against British imperialism in Northern Ireland. Continental Africans attending these Tour-stops reminded audiences of Muammar Qaddafi’s support for Nelson Mandela and Africans struggling to rid the Continent of Apartheid at a time when Israel shared an alliance with that government. They also noted the Jamahirya government’s current support for many development projects throughout the Continent and for the budget of the African Union, itself. Therefore, many alarmed observers have pointed out that the U.S./NATO attack on Libya is actually an attack on all of Africa. Nazemroaya eloquently makes this point while revealing the underlying motives for the “uber-violence” that we see in Libya and that is opposed by large majorities of voters in NATO member states, if reported polling results can be trusted.  What comes to my mind is how anyone who identifies with the peace community could support such an attack on Libya, especially while the people of Libya valiantly resist NATO domination.

Nazemroaya makes the essential point: “An attempt to separate the merging point of an Arab and African identity is underway.” The Voice of America has exposed the psychological aspects of its brutal intervention and hints at the mindset of the U.S./NATO Libyan pawns; several stories suggest that the “new” Libya will turn more toward its Arab identity than its African identity. And U.S./NATO successful imposition of the psychological chains of identity denial are the most longlasting of chains. While in Tunisia, I actually came face to face with the fruits of this project when a taxi driver born in Tunisia told me that he was not African! Muammar Qaddafi drove home to all Libyans that Libya, as its geography dictates, is an African country. It seems ludicrous on its face to have to reiterate such a fact except for the racism, brainwashing, and psychological underpinnings of current U.S./NATO policy and its colonial antecedents that Nazemroaya exposes.

Finally, Walter H. Kansteiner has moved in and out of various positions within the foreign policy apparatus of the United States government and has been the voice for exactly the policies described by Nazemroaya. Among Kansteiner’s positions are stints as Africa Director at the State Department and National Security Council Director for African Affairs during the Presidency of George Herbert Walker Bush and Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs during the Presidency of George W. Bush. During these stints, Mr. Kansteiner was in a position to initiate the balkanization of Africa that we now see reaching fruition on the Continent. I was forced to write a

Cynthia McKinney, 10 October 2011.

Cynthia McKinney is a former U.S. Congresswoman who served in two different Georgia federal districts in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2003 and from 2005 to 2007 as a member of the U.S. Democratic Party. She was also the U.S. Green Party presidential candidate in 2008. While in the U.S. Congress she served on the U.S. Banking and Finance Committee, the U.S. National Security Committee (later renamed the U.S. Armed Services Committee), and the U.S. Foreign Affairs Committee (later renamed the U.S. International Relations Committee). She also served on the U.S. International Relations subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights. McKinney has conducted two fact-finding missions to Libya and also recently finished a nationwide speaking tour in the United States sponsored by the ANSWER Coalition regarding the NATO bombing campaign on Libya. Source

Israeli Death Squads to Infiltrate Egyptian Protests

February 2 2011

The office of israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered their counterpart in the Egyptian government, Omar Suleiman, also head of Egyptian intelligence, to send death squad units, the groups of militant zionist murderers who wear Arab civilian clothes also known as “mistaaravim”, to infiltrate the protesters in Egypt in order to assassinate the leaders of the opposition and the revolutionary movement who take part in the protests against the dictatorial regime of Hosni Mubarak and his thugs. Source

Would Netanyahu hesitate to send Death Squads into Libya, a country Israel so desires to be in. I think not. For all we know they were with the Anti- Gaddafi protesters.

NATO’s War on Libya is Directed against China: AFRICOM and the Threat to China’s National Energy Security

by F. William Engdahl

September 25 2011


MAP above. Africom’s regional interests. Copyright Stratcom 2011


The Washington-led decision by NATO to bomb Gaddafi’s Libya into submission over recent months, at an estimated cost to US taxpayers of at least $1 billion, has little if anything to do with what the Obama Administration claims was a mission to “protect innocent civilians.” In reality it is part of a larger strategic assault by NATO and by the Pentagon in particular to entirely control China’s economic achilles heel, namely China’s strategic dependence on large volumes of imported crude oil and gas. Today China is the world’s second largest importer of oil after the United States and the gap is rapidly closing.

If we take a careful look at a map of Africa and also look at the African organization of the new Pentagon Africa Command—AFRICOM—the pattern that emerges is a careful strategy of controlling one of China’s most strategically important oil and raw materials sources.

NATO’s Libya campaign was and is all about oil. But not about simply controlling Libyan high-grade crude because the USA is nervous about reliable foreign supplies. It rather is about controlling China’s free access to long-term oil imports from Africa and from the Middle East. In other words, it is about controlling China itself.

Libya geographically is bounded to its north by the Mediterranean directly across from Italy, where Italian ENI oil company has been the largest foreign operator in Libya for years. To its west it is bounded by Tunisia and by Algeria. To its south it is bounded by Chad. To its east it is bounded by both Sudan (today Sudan and Southern Sudan) and by Egypt. That should tell something about the strategic importance of Libya from the standpoint of the Pentagon’s AFRICOM long-term strategy for controlling Africa and its resources and which country is able to get those resources. 

Gaddafi’s Libya had maintained strict national state control over the rich reserves of high quality “light, sweet” Libyan crude oil. As of 2006 data Libya had the largest proven oil reserves in Africa, some 35%, larger even than Nigeria. Oil consessions had been extended to Chinese state oil companies as well as Russian and others in recent years. Not surprisingly a spokesman from the so-called opposition claiming victory over Gaddafi, Abdeljalil Mayouf, information manager at Libyan rebel oil firm AGOCO, told Reuters, “We don’t have a problem with Western countries like the Italians, French and UK companies. But we may have some political issues with Russia, China and Brazil.” China and Russia and Brazil either opposed UN sanctions on Libya or pressed for a negotiated settlement of the internal conflict and an end to NATO bombing.

As I have detailed elsewhere,1  Gaddafi, an old adherent of Arab socialism on the line of Egypt’s Gamal Nasser, used the oil revenues to improve the lot of his people. Health care was free as was education. Each Libyan family was given a state grant of $50000 towards buying a new house and all bank loans were according to Islamic anti-usury laws, interest free. The state was also free of debt. Only by bribery and massive infiltration into the tribal opposition areas of the eastern part of the country could the CIA, MI6 and other NATO intelligence operatives, at an estimated cost of $1 billion, and massive NATO bombing of civilians, destabilize the strong ties between Gaddafi and his people.

 Why then did NATO and the Pentagon lead such a mad and destructive assault on a peaceful sovereign country? Clear is that one of the prime reasons was to complete the encirclement of China’s oil and vital raw material sources across northern Africa.

Pentagon alarm over China

Step-by-step in the past several years Washington had begun to create the perception that China, which was the “dear friend and ally of America” less than a decade ago, was becoming the greatest threat to world peace because of China’s enormous economic expansion. The painting of China as a new “enemy” has been complex as Washington is dependent on China to buy the lion’s share of the US Government debt in the form of Treasury paper.

 In August the Pentagon released its annual report to Congress on China’s military status. 2 This year the report sent alarm bells ringing across China for a strident new tone. The report stated among other things, “Over the past decade, China’s military has benefited from robust investment in modern hardware and technology. Many modern systems have reached maturity and others will become operational in the next few years,” the Pentagon said in the report. It added that “there remains uncertainty about how China will use its growing capabilities… China’s rise as a major international actor is likely to stand out as a defining feature of the strategic landscape of the early 21st century.”3

In a matter of perhaps two to five years, depending on how the rest of the world reacts or plays their cards, the Peoples’ Republic of China will emerge in the controlled Western media painted as the new “Hitler Germany.” If that seems hard to believe today, just reflect on how that was done with former Washington allies such as Egypt’s Mubarak or even Saddam Hussein. In June this year, former US Secretary of the Navy and now US Senator from Virginia, James Webb, startled many in Beijing when he told press that China was fast approaching what he called a “Munich moment,” when Washington must decide how to maintain a strategic balance, a reference to the 1938 crisis over Czechoslovakia when Chamberlain opted for appeasement with Hitler over Czechoslovakia. Webb added, “If you look at the last 10 years, the strategic winner has been China.” 4

 The same massively effective propaganda machine of the Pentagon, led by CNN, BBC, the New York Times or London Guardian will get the subtle command from Washington to “paint China and its leaders black.” China is becoming far too strong and far too independent for many in Washington and in Wall Street. To control that, above all China’s oil import dependency has been identified as her Achilles Heel. Libya is a move to strike directly at that vulnerable Achilles heel.

China moves into Africa

The involvement of Chinese energy and raw materials companies across Africa had become a major cause of alarm in Washington where an attitude of malign neglect had dominated Washington Africa policy since the Cold War era. As its future energy needs became obvious several years ago China began a major African economic diplomacy which reached a crescendo in 2006 when Beijing literally rolled out the red carpet to heads of more than forty African states and discussed a broad range of economic issues. None were more important for Beijing than securing future African oil resources for China’s robust industrialization.

 China moved into countries which had been virtually abandoned by former European colonial powers like France or Britain or Portugal

Chad is a case in point. The poorest and most geographically isolated African countries, Chad was courted by Beijing which resumed diplomatic ties in 2006.    

In October 2007 China’s state oil giant CNPC signed a contract to build a refinery jointly with Chad’s government. Two years later they began construction of an oil pipeline to carry oil from a new Chinese field in the south some 300 kilometers to the refinery. Western-supported NGO’s predictably began howling about environmental impacts of the Chinese oil pipeline. The same NGOs were curiously silent when Chevron struck oil in 2003 in Chad. In July 2011 the two countries, Chad and China celebrated opening of the joint venture oil refinery near Chad’s capital of Ndjamena. 5 Chad’s Chinese oil activities are strikingly close to another major Chinese oil project in what then was Sudan’s Darfur region bordering Chad.

Sudan had been a growing source of oil flows to China since cooperation began in the late 1990s after Chevron abandoned its stake there. By 1998 CNPC was building a 1500 km long oil pipeline from southern Sudan oilfields to Port Sudan on the Red Sea as well as building a major oil refinery near Khartoum. Sudan was the first large overseas oilfield project operated by China. By the beginning of 2011 Sudan oil, most all from the conflict-torn south, provided some 10% of China’s oil imports from taking more than 60% of Sudan’s daily oil production of 490,000 barrels. Sudan had become a point of vital Chinese national energy security.

According to geological estimates, the subsurface running from Darfur in what was southern Sudan through Chad into Cameroon is one giagantic oil field in extent perhaps equivalent to a new Saudi Arabia. Controlling southern Sudan as well as Chad and Cameroon is vital to the Pentagon strategy of “strategic denial” to China of their future oil flows. So long as a stable and robust Ghaddafi regime remained in power in Tripoli that control remained a major problem. The simultaneous splitting off of the Republic of South Sudan from Khartoum and the toppling of Ghaddafi in favor of weak rebel bands beholden to Pentagon support was for the Pentagon Full Spectrum Dominance of strategic priority. 

AFRICOM responds

 The key force behind the recent wave of Western military attacks against Libya or more covert regime changes such as those in Tunisia, Egypt and the fateful referendum in southern Sudan which has now made that oil-rich region “independent” has been AFRICOM, the special US military command established by the Bush Administration in 2008 explicitly to counter the growing Chinese influence over Africa’s vast oil and mineral wealth.

In late 2007, Dr. J. Peter Pham, a Washington insider who advises the US State and Defense Departments, stated openly that among the aims of the new AFRICOM, is the objective of protecting access to hydrocarbons and other strategic resources which Africa has in abundance … a task which includes ensuring against the vulnerability of those natural riches and ensuring that no other interested third parties, such as China, India, Japan, or Russia, obtain monopolies or preferential treatment.” 6

In testimony before the US Congress supporting creation of AFRICOM in 2007, Pham, who is associated with the neo-conservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies, stated:

 “This natural wealth makes Africa an inviting target for the attentions of the People’s Republic of China, whose dynamic economy…has an almost insatiable thirst for oil as well as a need for other natural resources to sustain it…China is currently importing approximately 2.6 million barrels of crude per day, about half of its consumption; more than 765,000 of those barrels—roughly a third of its imports—come from African sources, especially Sudan, Angola, and Congo (Brazzaville). Is it any wonder, then, that…perhaps no other foreign region rivals Africa as the object of Beijing’s sustained strategic interest in recent years…

Intentionally or not, many analysts expect that Africa—especially the states along its oil-rich western coastline—will increasingly becoming a theatre for strategic competition between the United States and its only real near-peer competitor on the global stage, China, as both countries seek to expand their influence and secure access to resources.”7

 It is useful to briefly recall the sequence of Washington-sponsored “Twitter” revolutions in the ongoing so-called Arab Spring. The first was Tunisia, an apparently insignificant land on north Africa’s Mediterranean. However Tunisia is on the western border of Libya. The second domino to fall in the process was Mubarak’s Egypt. That created major instability across the Middle East into north Africa as Mubarak for all his flaws had fiercely resisted Washington Middle East pollicy. Israel also lost a secure ally when Mubarak fell.  

 Then in  July 2011 Southern Sudan declared itself the independent Republic of South Sudan, breaking away from Sudan after years of US-backed insurgency against Khartoum rule. The new Republic takes with it the bulk of Sudan’s known oil riches, something clearly not causing joy in Beijing. US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, led the US delegation to the independence celebrations, calling it “a testament to the Southern Sudanese people.” She added, in terms of making the secssion happen, “the US has been as active as anyone.” US President Obama openly supported seccession of the south. The breakaway was a project guided and financed from Washington since the Bush Administration decided to make it a priority in 2004. 8          

Now Sudan has suddenly lost its main source of hard currency oil revenue. The secession of the south, where three-quarters of Sudan’s 490 000 barrels a day of oil is produced, has aggravated economic difficulties in Khartoum cutting some 37% off its total revenues. Sudan’s only oil refineries and the only export route run north from oilfields to Port Sudan on the Red Sea in northern Sudan. South Sudan is now being encouraged by Washington to build a new export pipeline independent of Khartoum via Kenya. Kenya is one of the areas of strongest US military influence in Africa.9

The aim of the US-led regime change in Libya as well as the entire Greater Middle East Project which lies behind the Arab Spring is to secure absolute control over the world’s largest known oil fields to control future policies in especially countries like China. As then US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is reported to have said during the 1970’s when he was arguably more powerful than the President of the United States, “If you control the oil you control entire nations or groups of nations.” Source

 Yes people it is definitely about oil. Absolutely not about Human Rights.

In the link below there is also a lot of information you may not know about.

Now ask yourself are the US lead NATO forces making the world a safer place, or are they just killing in their path, for control of the oil?

If any of the NATO countries think they will come out well at the end of all this they too are dead wrong the US will take them out last after they have worn out their usefulness just like all the other Allies the US has done away with.

How stupid they all are, the US and their best friends,  always eliminates it’s allies one way or the other.

Seems the EU is going bankrupt.

Well who is behind all the Banking problems children?

Your being eliminated as I write this you just fail to see it.

Borrow from the IMF or World Bank children and you will enslaved like other countries.

They want you to borrow, they want you to go bankrupt, they want cheap slaves to work for ever, to serve them.

Being a member of NATO will not protect you, any more then being a member of the EU or UN for that matter.

Those who are blindest, are those who refuse to see the truth.

The Libya American’s never saw on Television

The Darfur Deception

America’s War in the Horn of Africa: “Drone Alley” – a Harbinger of Western Power across the African Continent

US Military Confirms Washington’s Secret New War in Somalia Despite Official Denials

by Finian Cunningham
October 29, 2011

US military sources have confirmed that the Obama administration is engaged in a new war in the famine-hit Horn of Africa region.

The disclosure in the Washington Post [1] comes only days after other prominent Western media outlets, including the New York Times and the Financial Times, carried denials from the US government that it was involved in directly supporting Kenyan forces that invaded Somalia on 16 October.

Global Research first reported on 19 October [2] the lethal use of US drones in attacks on various locations across southern Somalia in a coordinated air campaign to assist the advance of Kenyan ground troops deep into Somali territory held by Islamic insurgents. We reported that US drones began attacking Somali targets days before the Kenyan army began its incursion, and have continued in a pattern that indicates American air power is being used to pave the way for ground forces as they advance towards the southern port city of Kismayu – the main stronghold of the Al Shabab insurgents, which the US government accuses of having links with Al Qaeda.

It is believed that scores of Somali fighters and civilians have been killed over the past two weeks by US unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that have attacked several cities and towns, including Qoqani, Afmadow and Kismayu. Global Research also reported on 26 October [3] that French naval forces had joined the bombing campaign – again despite official French denials carried in Western media – and that the conclusion from these military developments was clear: Washington and Paris are now engaging in a secret new war in East Africa ¬– a region where up to 12 million people are at risk of starvation from years of drought and Western-induced conflict.

On 27 October, the Washington Post cited US military officials confirming the deployment of attack and surveillance drones in “a rapidly expanding US-led proxy war against an al Qaeda affiliate in East Africa”. The UAVs – also known as Reapers or Hunter Killers – are believed to be operated from a site in southern Ethiopia, Arba Minch, as well as from US bases in Djibouti and the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean.

The WP report states: “The [US] Air Force has invested millions of dollars to upgrade an airfield in Arba Minch, Ethiopia, where it has built a small annex to house a fleet of drones that can be equipped with Hellfire missiles and satellite-guided bombs. The Reapers began flying missions earlier this year over neighboring Somalia… The location of the Ethiopian base and the fact that it became operational this year, however, have not been previously disclosed.”

This disclosure of US military operations in Somalia amounts to an admission that Washington is at war.  However, the Washington Post, while stating “rapidly expanding US-led proxy war”, does not highlight the legal implications of that startling admission, concentrating its reportage on technical and logistical issues that are providing “support for [US] security assistance programs”.

Iranian news channel Press TV – citing civilian eyewitnesses and Kenyan and Somali military officials – has been one of the few media outlets that has consistently reported the almost daily lethal US drone attacks in southern Somalia since the Kenyan invasion. However, even Press TV has not drawn the explicit conclusion that this amounts to war.

While the other Western news media, including the BBC, Reuters and the New York Times, had earlier reported increased US drone activity in Somalia between June and September, these outlets appeared to have dropped coverage of the deadly attacks being reported since and just before 16 October.

Following the disclosure in the Washington Post, the BBC on 28 October seemed to resume its coverage, with the headline: “US flies drones from Ethiopia to fight Somali militants”.  The BBC, as with the WP, does not view this as an act of war, and stressed that the “remotely-piloted drones were being used only for surveillance” – contrary to evidence on the ground.

As well as playing down the fact of US-led war in Somalia, the mainstream media now seem to be crafting a new narrative for the military offensive. The initial pretext for the Kenyan ground invasion faithfully repeated in the Western media was the “hot pursuit” of kidnap gangs allegedly belonging to Al Shabab. It is true that there has been a spate of kidnappings of Western holidaymakers and aid workers from Kenyan territory by gangs suspected to originate inside Somalia. However, there is no proof that Al Shabab has been involved and indeed the militant group has denied any involvement.

Now it seems that the rationale being given for the Kenyan invasion and Western “technical support” has subtly morphed into an extension of the “war on terror”.  Al Shabab has been waging an insurgency against the Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu, which was installed in 2009 with the support of US and other Western governments as a bulwark against the Islamists. The TFG has only managed to maintain a tenuous grip on power thanks in part to Washington’s military and economic support and to the presence of thousands of African Union troops from Uganda and Burundi.

Al Shabab is on Washington’s terror list and is accused of having links to Al Qaeda. However, many Western analysts do not consider Al Shabab to be a regional threat. The Council on Foreign Relations, the Washington-aligned think-tank, estimates that the group has only a few hundred hardcore combatants and that its alleged links to Al Qaeda may be no more than rhetorical. Nevertheless, the militants have prevented the pro-Western TFG from gaining control of the country. In that way, the group has thwarted Washington and Western geopolitical dominance of the strategically important East African maritime territory.

This would seem to be a more plausible explanation for the US/French/Kenyan war in Somalia. Namely, the assertion of Western geopolitical control, rather than “war on terror” and certainly not the hot pursuit of kidnap gangs. That gives the real meaning behind the “constellation of US drone bases” being operated in the region – to strike any African country when and where required. Currently, Somalia (and Yemen) is in the firing line. But the entire region appears being turned into a “drone alley”. It is perhaps only a matter of time before reports emerge of drone activity in Sudan, Eritrea, Uganda and elsewhere. The recent deployment of US Special Forces in Uganda and other Central African countries is also a harbinger of this strategic force projection.

The bigger picture to this is, as John Pilger noted previously in Global Research, a “modern scramble for African resources” by Western powers, which have in recent years watched enviously the growing influence of China in the region. This neo-imperialist scramble for Africa is consistent with NATO’s conquest of Libya. The close collaboration between the US and France in the bombing of North Africa is now being rolled out in East Africa.

It also marks a new era of lawlessness by Western powers. Not only can President Barack Obama personally order the assassination of individuals with his penchant for “hunter killer” drones. Evidently from developments in Somalia, Commander-in-Chief Obama is no longer obliged to notify the US Congress or the American people of their country’s engagement in new wars. Nor is he obliged to even seek a phony UN mandate. Not so long ago such abuse of power would be sure grounds for impeachment. Source

Racist murders in Libya at the hands of rebel forces

Libya: Rebels Create Humanitarian Disaster, Then Blame it on Qaddafi

Why NATO Murdered Gaddafi

The ‘rebel’ assassination of Muammar Gaddafi: a NATO operation from A to Z

Photo of the day: Killings of blacks in Libya

NATO Rebels democracy and justice 02.11 Benghazi, NATO Crimes In Libya

It’s time for the true war criminals to be prosecuted.

Posted by PC War Crimes

October 21st, 2011

The Nuremberg Tribunal condemned a war of aggression in the strongest terms: “To initiate a war of aggression . . . is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” It held individuals accountable for “crimes against peace”, defined as the “planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing….” When the United Nations General Assembly unanimously affirmed the Nuremberg principles in 1946, it affirmed the principle of individual accountability for such crimes.

Barack Hussein Obama, David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy and Stephen Harper have breached the Geneva Convention with the willful planning, preparing and initiating of a war of aggression against Libya.  Libya did not attack the United States, France, the UK, Canada or any other foreign state.  Libyan leaders have only killed foreign paid mercenaries.  Mercenaries are not protected by the Geneva Convention.  Any leader of any country can kill any and all mercenaries who are actively  participating in acts of rebellion, revolt, sabotage, or any other act that seeks to overthrown the government.

If foreign mercenaries were to enter Canada and try to overthrow the government of Canada by acts of violence including rebellion, revolt, sabotage or armed attacks then the Canadian government would be legally permitted to use lethal force to either capture or eliminate the threat.  That is exactly what has happened in Libya.  Foreign mercenaries were paid by the United States government (through the CIA) and the Israeli government (through the Mossad) to infiltrate Libya to overthrow Muammar Gaddaffi.  Foreign paid and controlled mercenaries were ordered to use violence to overthrow the Libyan government.  For the sake of national security Gaddaffi ordered a crackdown against the violence initiated by the CIA / Mossad mercenaries who entered his country illegally to overthrown his government.  Gaddaffi forces have killed only foreign mercenaries (people not protected by the Geneva Convention).  It is French, United States, British and Canadian forces who are killing Libyan civilians in their illegal war of aggression against Libya.

Barack Hussein Obama, David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy and Stephen Harper have willfully participated in a common plan to launch an unprovoked armed attack against the territorial integrity and political independence of Libya.  News media reports from Canada, the U.S. and Europe unequivocally demonstrates that all the elements of a war crime are present.

Harper claims the UN has authorized the use of force against Libya.  The UN Security Council can never authorize the use of force by any UN member state against any other nation state.  UN Charter Article 2 Section 4

All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

The UN Charter Article 2 Section 7 specifically forbids its members from participating in the kind of aggression that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has willfully planned for, prepared for and initiated against Libya.

Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter Vll.

In 1974, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a definition of aggression. It defined aggression as necessarily being the act of a State, and described the specific actions of one State against another which constitute aggression. In its work on the draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind, the United Nations International Law Commission, echoing the Nuremberg Tribunal, also concluded that individuals could be held accountable for acts of aggression. The Commission indicated the specific conduct for which individuals could be held accountable — initiating, planning, preparing or waging aggression — and that only those individuals in positions of leadership who order or actively participate in the acts could incur responsibility.   Barack Hussein Obama, David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy and Stephen Harper can be held accountable for “initiating, planning, preparing or waging aggression” against the sovereign state of Libya and its people.  UN Resolution 1973 does not authorized the use of force against Libyan civilian infrastructure nor its elected leaders.  Use of force was unlawfully authorized (resolution is a violation of the UN Charter Article 2 Section 4 and 7) for the purpose of protecting civilians and civilian populated areas and no ‘foreign occupation force of any form is permitted.’

Barack Hussein Obama, David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy and Stephen Harper have not only prepared for and planned for a war of aggression against Libya and its civilian population it has and continues to launch air strikes that has destroyed civilian infrastructure and killed unknown numbers of civilians who were residing or working in those targeted and destroyed civilian buildings.

The United States, France, the UK nor Canada are not and can not become a safe haven for persons who willfully commit war crimes, crimes against humanity or other reprehensible acts regardless of who they might be, and when or where they commit their heinous and cowardly acts of aggression and assault against any civilian and any civilian population.

Under Canada’s War Crimes Program, war criminals and those responsible for crimes against humanity are not welcomed in Canada, whether the crimes were committed during World War II or more recently.

Having ratified the Geneva Convention, Canada incorporated its principles into domestic law through the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act. Under this domestic law, the RCMP can investigate government officials.  Stephen Harper and Peter MacKay can be put on trial in Canada for war crimes, crimes against humanity and murder.

It’s time to insist that the true war criminals be prosecuted, regardless of who they are.  It’s time for the heads of states of the United States, France, the UK and Canada to be formally charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity.  To try them and hold them accountable for the crimes they have feloniously, willingly, and willfully committed against the Libyan people. They have unlawful killed thousands of Libyan civilians with malice aforethought.  They are criminals.  Criminals must be held accountable for their crimes and they must be punished for their crimes.  Barack Hussein Obama, David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy and Stephen Harper are not above the law.  They are all accountable to the law.

Poll Results as of September 17, 2011

Should US, French, UK and Canadian heads of state be indicted for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Libya?

  • Yes (57%, 4,067 Votes)
  • No (29%, 2,087 Votes)
  • Only Obama and Sarkozy (14%, 960 Votes)

Total Voters: 7,114

The majority (57%) agree that Barack Hussein Obama, David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy and Stephen Harper should be indicted for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Libya?

Source

This has nothing to do with Libya but it still is a good thing.

Will these two ever be sent to prison, probably not. They should however if found guilty, be in prison for the rest of their lives.

We really do have to start locking these people up or wars will never end.

Bush and Blair to be Tried for War Crimes in Kuala Lumpur

2011 October 24

By David Swanson

KUALA LUMPUR, 20 October 2011 – On November 19-22, 2011, the trial of George W Bush (former U.S. President) and Anthony L Blair (former British Prime Minister) will be held in Kuala Lumpur. This is the first time that war crimes charges will be heard against the two former heads of state in compliance with proper legal process.

Charges are being brought against the accused by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (KLWCC) following the due process of the law. The Commission, having received complaints from war victims in Iraq in 2009, proceeded to conduct a painstaking and an in-depth investigation for close to two years and in 2011, constituted formal charges on war crimes against Bush, Blair and their associates.

The Iraq invasion in 2003 and its occupation had resulted in the death of 1.4 million Iraqis. Countless others had endured torture and untold hardship. The cries of these victims have thus far gone unheeded by the international community. The fundamental human right to be heard has been denied to them.

As a result, the KLWCC had been established in 2008 to fill this void and act as a peoples’ initiative to provide an avenue for such victims to file their complaints and let them have their day in a court of law.

The first charge against George W Bush and Anthony L Blair is for Crimes Against Peace wherein:

The Accused persons had committed Crimes against Peace, in that the Accused persons planned, prepared and invaded the sovereign state of Iraq on 19 March 2003 in violation of the United Nations Charter and international law.

The second charge is for Crime of Torture and War Crimes against eight citizens of the United States and they are namely George W Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo. wherein:

The Accused persons had committed the Crime of Torture and War Crimes, in that: The Accused persons had wilfully participated in the formulation of executive orders and directives to exclude the applicability of all international conventions and laws, namely the Convention against Torture 1984, Geneva Convention III 1949, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Charter in relation to the war launched by the U.S. and others in Afghanistan (in 2001) and in Iraq (in March 2003); Additionally, and/or on the basis and in furtherance thereof, the Accused persons authorised, or connived in, the commission of acts of torture and cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment against victims in violation of international law, treaties and conventions including the Convention against Torture 1984 and the Geneva Conventions, including Geneva Convention III 1949.

The trial will be held before the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, which is constituted of imminent persons with legal qualifications.

The judges of the Tribunal, which is headed by retired Malaysian Federal Court judge Dato’ Abdul Kadir Sulaiman, also include other notable names such as Mr Alfred Lambremont Webre, a Yale graduate, who authored several books on politics, Dato’ Zakaria Yatim, retired Malaysian Federal Court judge, Tunku Sofiah Jewa, practising lawyer and author of numerous publications on International Law, Prof Salleh Buang, former Federal Counsel in the Attorney-General Chambers and prominent author, Prof Niloufer Bhagwat, an expert in Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and International Law, and Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi, prominent academic and professor of law.

The Tribunal will adjudicate and evaluate the evidence presented as in any court of law. The judges of the Tribunal must be satisfied that the charges are proven beyond reasonable doubt and deliver a reasoned judgement.

In the event the tribunal convicts any of the accused, the only sanction is that the name of the guilty person will be entered in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals and publicised worldwide. The tribunal is a tribunal of conscience and a peoples’ initiative.

The prosecution for the trial will be lead by Prof Gurdial S Nijar, prominent law professor and author of several law publications and Prof Francis Boyle, leading American professor, practitioner and advocate of international law, and assisted by a team of lawyers.

The trial will be held in an open court on November 19-22, 2011 at the headquarters of the Al- Bukhary Foundation at Jalan Perdana, Kuala Lumpur.
 Source

Hillary Clinton knew of Qaddafi ‘White Flag’ truce:
US drone fired at Qaddafi convoy after negotiated truce
Washington, DC

October 27 2011

Libyan Leader Muammar Qaddafi was traveling under a negotiated “White Flag” truce last Thursday in an agreement to leave Libya. More claims from sources inside Misrata, Libya that the Libyan National Transitional Council did in fact agree to allow Qaddafi and his convoy safe passage out of Libya. Source

NATO’s 26,000 sorties, including 9,600 strike missions, destroyed, water, schools, hospitals, food, and many other necessities needed by civilians.  They also killed many civilians. These are War Crimes.

November 5 Update

War Crimes – Rape and Murder of Gaddafi’s Female Bodyguards

NATO: Indictment for breach of international law in the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. The military and political leaders of NATO are hereby accused of the following crimes committed in the Libyan campaign of 2011, in which the systematic breaches of international law are underlined. Go to site below for the rest.

The law case of the century: Indictment against NATO military and political leaders

As I find new crimes they will be posted here.

UN Member States Must Demand Action Against NATO War Crimes

By Shenali Waduge

October 13, 2011

Why & how is it that international laws & international bodies & international public figures paid to maintain peaceful co-existence keep silent while even endorsing repeated NATO bombings that have killed thousands of innocent men, women & children & destroyed public & private property in a show of supremacy & arrogance over the nations they have targeted? NATO war crimes extend from Yugoslavia, to Iraq, to Afghanistan & now Libya. Why are international laws being manipulated to pressurize nations politically less powerful yet bountiful in natural resources or placed in influential economic routes? This simply explains why nations are invaded in the present context & how NATO has become above the law.

Were there terrorists in power plants, electricity grids, water supply networks? Were there terrorists among shops, universities & schools, stores, hospitals, farms & markets? These have been key targets of NATO in its endless bombing campaigns which totally violate its own Charter & the UN Charter. So if Justice is quiet what is the use of the International Criminal Court at The Hague? If the ICC is a tool, a manipulative organism that twists legal principles it is time the rest of the world knew about these duplicities, ambiguities & double standards & demand that it either stops the double standards or these members vote for another alternative.

NATO in Yugoslavia

The International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia formed in 1993 was only a means to justify Western intervention in the Balkans. It has no links to the International Court of Justice based in The Hague. The Tribunal is made up of US influenced appointees so will NATO crimes in Kosovo be investigated? Was it a surprise when the Tribunal branded President Milosevic a war criminal & the US is against the establishment of any international court that can charge US military & political personnel with war crimes?

What NATO is accused of is violating the UN Charter– it is a violation to attack a sovereign nation that was innocent of any aggression. NATO’s Charter Article 1 & 7 has also been violated – NATO is supposed to function as a “DEFENSIVE organization, & only committed to force if ONE or MORE of its members are attacked! NATO Treaty in fact recognizes the UN Security Council to maintain international peace & security. NATO’s violation of the Hague Convention Article 22 & 23, Geneva Convention Article 19, Nuremberg Principle VI a,b,c & the US Constitution Article 1 Section 8, Clause II is for “killing & injuring a defenseless population through Yugoslavia”.

The usual excuse is given as “humanitarian” intervention & that was what the Clinton administration used, incidentally Mussolini used it to invade Ethiopia to save them from slavery & Hitler used it to occupy Sudetenland to save Germans.

If the US used the Nuremberg principles to charge Germany for “starting an unprovoked war” shouldn’t the US be charged on similar grounds?

On 22 September, 2000 in the District Court of Belgrade, the President of the Court handed down guilty verdicts against government leaders of NATO countries for “war crimes”. These defendants were Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schroeder, Robin Cook, George Robertson, William Cohen, Hubert Vedrine, Alain Richard, Gerhard Schroeder, Joschka Fischer, Rudolf Scharping, Javier Solana and Wesley Clark. The sentence was for 20 years in a Yugoslav prison & thus arrest warrants were issued upon all charging each for crimes against humanity & breaches of international law, inciting an aggressive war, war crimes against civilians, use of weapons banned under international law, violating Yugoslavia’s territorial sovereignty & attempting to murder Slobodan Milosevic, President of Yugoslavia between March 24 & June 10, 1999.

Former US President Bill Clinton was sent a verdict on April 18th, 2001 sentencing him in absentia to 20 years in prison for “crimes against civilians”.

The entire West is not as inhuman as we think. The Commission of Inquiry of the International Action Coalition charged in 1999 Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright, William Cohen for violating the Geneva Convention, the UN Charter, the Nuremberg Principles, Helsinki Accords & the US Constitution. The 19 charges included starting a war, deliberate targeting of civilians infrastructure & violating & destroying peacemaking role of the UN. One of the main arguments was that despite the Yugoslav parliament agreeing to NATOs demand of autonomy & armed UN peacekeepers in Kosovo why it was bombed! Instead of the mass graves that was similar to the WMD in Iraq, there were perhaps just 200 dead persons – the 100,000 dead Albanians that NATO & US were promoting as grounds to attack was just a lie.

NATOs air strikes in Serbia killed over 2000 civilians & wounded more than 7500. NATO has owned up to only 460 civilian deaths. The dead included farmers, city dwellers, reporters, diplomats, people traveling in public transport, patients in hospitals, the elderly & even children. That is the human factor – what about the enormous damages to the environment as a result of these NATO bombings – poisoning water supplies, loss of electricity that affects hospitals & other emergency requirements? There is evidence that some Spanish pilots refused to drop bombs on non-military targets.

Another accusation against NATO was the bombing of all bridges across the international waterway through Eastern Europe – the River Danube. Some of these bridges were bombed while civilians were on them. All that NATO leaders said were that the incidents were “accidents”. This clearly violates the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12th August 1949 & the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol 1) – 8th June 1977.

NATO strategy was to destroy the whole infrastructure of Yugoslavia – that was why it targeted public services, rail & road networks, waterways. The objective was always to detach Kosovo.

If one were to read the book (The White Book) published by the Yugoslav Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NATO crimes in Yugoslavia, the book will reveal the damage caused by NATO bombings & lists 400 civilian deaths & over 40 incidents involving civilian fatalities.

If NATOs actions were illegal under its own treaty, in particular since aggressive military action was taken without UN mandate the killings that ensued were war crimes.

What is clear is that the US & UK Governments deliberately waged war against Yugoslavia by building a propaganda campaign that would be internationally welcomed & accepted by their countrymen.

On 5th January 2000, Yugoslav Government stepped up pressure to indict NATO country leaders – US President Bill Clinton & UK Prime Minister Tony Blair for crimes against humanity in Yugoslavia in 1999. This followed a submission for instigating proceeds before the International Court of Justice in April 29, 1999 & ICC setting a deadline for legal action on 30th June 1999 & Yugoslavia meeting that deadline on 5th January 2000. “Yugoslavia demands that the Court declare these countries responsible for the violation of major international obligations, which ban the implementation of force against countries, interference into their internal affairs or the violation of their sovereignty, as well as other international obligations. The indictment also included the demand for confirming the responsibility of these countries for their failure to prevent the genocide against the Serb people and other non-Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija, in which way they violated the obligations stemming from U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244 and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide Crimes . . . Yugoslavia is also demanding that the Court instruct all countries, which are being sued to pay compensation for all the damages inflicted”.

NATO war crimes in Iraq

The Geneva Conventions are clear “Civilians shall not be the object of attack.” According to the UN Security Council resolution, military forces were tasked with expelling Iraqi forces that invaded Kuwait. That task involved 88,000 tons of bombs that killed civilians & killed more civilians through the destruction of power grids, food, water treatment, sewage systems. US soldiers used napalm to incinerate entrenched Iraqi soldiers. US soldiers dropped fuel-air explosives, cluster bombs that use razor-sharp fragments to shred people. Depleted uranium were used to penetrate tanks causing long term health hazards, the economic embargoes have killed as many as 1million Iraqis.

Why did the US & its allies deliberately destroy Iraq’s water supply & not repair it? Why did these western nations repeatedly bomb infrastructures for flood control, municipal & industrial water storage, communication towers, irrigation & hydroelectric power? (8 multi purpose dams, 7 major pumping stations, 31 municipal water & sewage facilities were destroyed). These have nothing to do with Saddam or his supporters – these are services needed for the people of Iraq.

They were bombed to create – waterborne diseases which have killed thousands of Iraqi civilians & the bombs & weapons used have caused radiation poisoning as a result of depleted uranium shells.

Article 54 of the Geneva Convention states “it is prohibited to attack, destroy or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population” – including foodstuff, livestock & drinking water supplies & irrigation works”.

Why were these acts not treated as war crimes under the Geneva Convention & does this not constitute genocide by US & allies?

NATO war crimes in Afghanistan

If NATO has committed war crimes in Iraq & Yugoslavia, should we be surprised to read of NATO war crimes in Afghanistan? Indiscriminate bombings killing unarmed civilians have only been answered with an “apology” by NATO. The presence of US & NATO troops in Afghanistan was similar to that which took place in Yugoslavia – without any proof a country has been taken over. Indiscriminate bombings mean rebuilding projects being handed over to profit-driven private corporations. The irony is that the Afghan government are compromising the welfare of its own citizens for its own financial benefits. This has caused a rise in Pashtun nationalism & indirect support for the Taliban. Thus it has been easy to pass blame for NATO killings on the Taliban while civilian deaths keep piling, infrastructure continues to be bombed & anarchy prevails throughout Afghanistan.

NATO in Libya

NATO’s Libya operation followed the UNSC Resolution which NATO has violated seen through its presence on ground, bombing of civilian structures. Greatest violation is by NATO taking sides which is illegal, illegal too is the murder or attempt to murder government officials with no formal declaration of war. NATO is also using cluster bombs & depleted uranium which is also illegal. NATOs violations in Libya are many & what we would like to know is why is the ICC silent?

In the case of Libya, the ICC has no jurisdiction for Libya never ratified the Rome Treaty nor has the US. However, under international laws a Head of State has immunity. So if ICC does not question the US & its crimes against humanity why should ICC question Libya when the UN Security Council cannot refer to the ICC according to its Statute? ICC has been considering action against Georgia since 2008, against Guinea since 2009 & against Colombia since 2006 but the ICC took just 3 days to find Libya guilty.

The NATO countries participating in air strikes in Libya include France, UK, US, Canada, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands & Italy. What excuse does NATO have for bombing a Downs Syndrome School, the University of Tripoli, the man-made waterway irrigation system which supplies most Libyans with drinking water, bombing a hospital killing over 50 many of whom were children, bombing villages killing civilian population – is this not genocide & can the ICC continue to watch doing nothing?

The sinister campaign to take over Libya was by first projecting to Gaddafi that the US “deeply valued the relationship between the United States & Libya” (2009) This was because British Petroleum, Exxon Mobil, Halliburton, Chevron, Conoco, Marathon Oil & industrial giants like Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Dow Chemical & Fluor signed investments & sales deals with Libya. The US State Dept awarded a $1.5m grant to train Libyan civilian & government security forces in 2009. Many of these “trainees” are now leading the NATO-backed “rebel forces”.

Thus, the pretence of being a “friend” to Gaddafi by the US since 2009 was to get Gaddafi to agree to allow foreign presence in Libya.

For months now NATO has been pounding Libya. Over 30,000 air & missile assaults on mostly civilian infrastructure was expected so too was the “rebel uprising” for they had been already trained to rise against Gaddafi. NATO also bombed Libyan airports, ships, energy depots, ports & highways, warehouses, hospitals, waterplants & civilian homes. NATO was able to garner diplomatic support inclusive of the Arab League, NATO took services of hired mercenaries in Qatar. Libyan assets were frozen amounting billions of dollars. Economic sanctions were imposed by NATO cutting off Libya’s income from oil sales.

International media also controlled by western imperialists were relaying images that portrayed rebels waving rifles & shouting against Gaddafi. These rebels entered towns that had been devastated by NATO air attacks! What these rebels did was to rob homes, banks & destroy public institutions on the instructions of NATO. Going against Gaddafi does not equate to ruining infrastructure & destroying property that is used by one’s own people!

NATO wanted Libya to be destroyed. Like NATO destroyed Yugoslavia & Iraq. NATO wanted to ensure Libya had to be “reconstructed” because all these contracts would eventually go to profit-making western companies!

Incidentally, Libya is a country that had boasted the highest per capita income & standard of living in Africa.

What took place in Libya is a message from the imperialists for other nations in North Africa, Asia & Latin America. US-NATO are already engaged in colonial wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen & Somalia. What about the fall of Mubarak of Egypt & Ben Ali in Tunisia while uprisings in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Morocco, Algeria were all associated with movements demanding end to EU-US & Israeli domination of the region & would have caught their intelligence by surprise.

NATO provided the money to silence the “people’s march to democracy” & the situation in Egypt is far worse than during Mubaraks reign! In Bahrain the West called for “reform” while continuing to arm the Bahraini royal family as seen in the NATO backed Saudi invasion of Bahrain to support the royal dictatorship. In Yemen, the West continued to support the Ali Saleh regime. Nevertheless, NATO is apparently providing support to Islamic fundamentalists in a move to overthrow Bashar Al-Assad.

What did Libya do to anger the West? Did the West not like its pursuance of pro-African agenda which had funded an independent regional bank & communications system designed to bypass IMF & World Bank control?

What has ensued is that like in Iraq & Afghanistan there is likely to be a dominating US-NATO present that is looking towards a military offensive in Iran & Syria. Sub-Saharan Africa may like to remember Gaddafi’s generous aid, grants & loans that helped these nations from IMF, World Bank. Who will remember Gaddafi’s development programs, construction projects that offered many jobs to sub-Saharan African immigrant workers. Despite all these maneuvers, China is still bracing ahead over its western counterparts.

July 22, 2011 is the date when NATO hit the Libyan water supply pipeline. Days later NATO hit the pipeline factory producing pipes to repair it. Both incidents could not have been accidents. NATO went on to target civilian water supply network that supplied water to 70% of Libyan population. Nevertheless, the truth will emerge just like Libya is now revealing how it funded French President Sarkozy’s election campaign & the numerous secret meetings Tony Blair held with Gaddafi & there must surely be more in the Pandora’s box which is why the West is in a haste to bump of Gaddafi as they did to Osama & Saddam – all previous friends of the West.

It is certainly time that UN member states stood up against aggression by Western neo-imperialism. Member states must demand a probe into all the atrocities by NATO & demand that these nations steering NATO be charged with war crimes. Russia & China need to champion this cause.

With only 28 nations making up the NATO alliance, the UN has 53 African member nations & 48 Middle-East & Asian nations & 12 nations in South America. It is opportune for these non-NATO members to make a voice within the UN & demand that NATO be investigated for all of its war crimes & be charged for every war crime committed. Source

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

Now they want to go to war with Iran based on fabricated evidence.

It is time for the world to say no to more War.

Don’t believe the spoon fed garbage being fed to you by the US media. It is all a lie, just like all the other lies they have told you.

The US government and NATO Leaders will lie. They have been lieing to you all a long.

So how gullible are you?

Recent

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

Wall Street and Greek protests spread to Brussels

Wall Street/Washington Protesters an Inspiration to Behold

7/7: An Historical Analysis – Tom Secker on GRTV

Land Grab in Ugamda leaves 20,000 homeless

Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, asking the UN Palestinian ‘freedom’

Cost of war to Libyans about $200 Billion

Over 800 Bodies Dumped in Libyan Cemetary by Rebels

The International Hearings into the Events of September 11 2001

Hospitals in Haiti to be shut down due to lack of funds

By Dr. Sanjay Gupt

July 12 2010

It was hard to know what to expect a half-year after the Haiti earthquakes. Driving through the town of Port Au Prince a few days ago, rubble seemed to have been merely swept off the streets, and into alleyways. Debris and garbage had simply shifted around the city, more out of sight, but still present. It was like a college kid, knowing his parents were coming to visit, sweeping things under the rug and throwing things into closets. Things were frighteningly familiar.

I looked out the window, expecting to see the most awful and indelible images that I remembered during the first days after the earthquake. The bodies stacked high, in front of homes with parents searching frantically for a place for their dead children. At that time, children were seen everywhere, doing the same for their deceased parents. Thankfully, those images are for the most part gone.

In medicine, we think of things in the acute phase: stop the bleeding. The intermediate phase: recovery and follow up. And, in the chronic phase, it is about rehabilitation and building up. The acute phase is coming to an end, but without adequate resources and money, the intermediate phase will never happen. Talking to large relief organizations, it seems they are planning for the long-term chronic rehabilitation of the country, which may explain why only a small percentage of the money donated has actually been put to use. (see the breakdown here by organization). The concern, though, is that rehabilitation cannot happen, unless the resources are there to let the patients, and the country adequately recover.

For a while, there was a venting of compassion. At General hospital, the largest public hospital in Haiti, there was at one point too many doctors and too many supplies. People saw the need, and they opened their pocket books and booked their flights. I was often asked, “what can I do to help?” I said “wait 6 months, because too many people will forget, yet the need will still be there.” When I visited General hospital yesterday, there was hardly anything happening there. The operating tables that were donated looked desolate, and the rooms were empty. A handful of diligent Haitian nurses, who haven’t been paid in months, were trying to do the best they could with hardly any resources.

The largest private hospital in the city, which serviced the small percentage of Haitians that could pay for their health care, has chains on the doors and is shut down for business. Six months later, the need is still here, and in many ways, things are worse than ever.

It is true that clean water now exists in many places, and the predicted widespread outbreak of disease hasn’t happened. There are food distribution stations in many of the larger camps, and even schools that are starting up this summer. It is also true that many amputees are now walking around the rough roads of Port Au Prince with newly obtained prosthetic legs. But, too much has remained the same.

I saw a 6 month old girl, born just before the earthquake, who lay dying at Bernard Mevs hospital. She developed an infection, that untreated, turned into meningitis. Her head became large, as fluid had started to build up inside her brain, a condition known as hydrocephalus. She didn’t receive antibiotics in time, and now she was beyond treatment. The same stupid story. Six months later. Needless deaths, despite the generosity of millions all over the world. Source

Haiti: Key data on earthquake emergency relief published by MSF

Living conditions remain dire for thousands of Haitians

Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Published 08 July 2010

Six months after the January 12 earthquake in Haiti, the international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has published a report describing the organization’s largest ever emergency response. The report also describes the dire living conditions of Haitians today and provides an explanation of MSF’s commitment in years to come.

MSF’s medical work in Haiti has evolved during the past six months, from an emergency response to a wider range of medical and relief activities. “Haitians were the first to respond to this disaster and we have reinforced their effort with a massive aid intervention. Today, medical provision for Haitians has improved, and is certainly more accessible than before the earthquake, allowing poor people to receive proper health care,” explains MSF Head of Mission Stefano Zannini, who was already in Port-au-Prince when the earthquake killed and/or injured hundreds of thousands and left over a million people without shelter.

However, the situation for many Haitians is still hugely precarious, while frustration grows among people who are disappointed with the pace of rehabilitation. “There is a staggering gap between the enthusiasm and promises for aiding the victims of the earthquake in the early weeks, and the dire reality on the ground after half a year,” adds Zannini.

MSF’s report publishes figures on the scale of its relief intervention. Up to May 31, in the first 138 days following the disaster, MSF staff treated more than 173,000 people and performed over 11,000 surgical procedures. More than 81,000 Haitians received support to help them cope with their psychological trauma. MSF brought in almost 27,000 tents and distributed more than 35,000 relief kits.

In the report, MSF describes some of the choices which had to be made in the first few weeks following the earthquake. For example, the extremely high number of injuries forced teams to focus almost exclusively on the stabilisation of patients and emergency surgery at the expense of other crucial activities. Finding locations for temporary medical facilities was done in haste as there was little time for more in-depth assessments.

An extraordinary number of foreign aid workers had to be brought into the country quickly; two months after the earthquake MSF had over 350 international staff in Haiti, since many Haitian health workers were also victims of the earthquake. This put a huge strain on MSF’s human resources and management capacity. MSF was eventually able to reduce the number of foreign workers, as more Haitians were hired to work in the organization’s facilities. By the end of May, 93 percent of MSF staff-members on the ground were Haitians.

MSF also reports that, up to May 31, around C$120 million was received in donations from the public earmarked for Haiti relief. The organization spent $70 million by that same date, including more than $14 million on surgery, $5 million on maternal health (MSF helped deliver 3,700 babies) and over $11 million on shelter. MSF foresees that, by the end of the year, it will have spent around $118 million on assistance to the Haitian population.

Although there are uncertainties around the speed of reconstruction and the extent to which other organizations will still provide health care, MSF commits to continue working for the victims of the earthquake in years to come.

“Health care was already fragile in Haiti before January 12,” says Dr. Unni Karunakara, the International President of MSF. “The earthquake destroyed much of the medical services that were available. It will take many years before the country is back on its feet. MSF is determined to play our part in rebuilding health care for Haitians and will dedicate our staff and means to this task as required.”

Source

Venezuela’s Chavez Forgives Haiti’s Debt

Haiti: The Miracle and the Nightmare

Could the Earthquake in Haiti be man made, the answer is Yes

Published in: on July 12, 2010 at 6:04 pm  Comments Off on Hospitals in Haiti to be shut down due to lack of funds  
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Update on Haiti Earthquake January 19 2010

January 19 2010

It’s believed the Haiti earthquake may claim as many as 200,000 lives – and leave 3 million homeless. This video is at one of the hospitals.

There could be as many as 2 million orphans

Haiti’s Orphan Airlift Takes 53 Kids to Pittsburgh

The tykes were taken to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh where 53 beds were waiting for them, each with a teddy bear on it.

Rendell said that of the 53 children, 47 already have agreements for adoption and the other six children were in the process of adoption.

Haitian adoptions in limbo for Canadian families

A Regina couple says their plan to adopt two Haitian teenagers is shrouded in doubt after last week’s devastating earthquake, which damaged the youngsters’ orphanage and cut off the couple’s ability to communicate with the lawyer who was working on their case.

A List of  Options for donating to the Haiti quake relief Many have links to your country of origin. Please choose one and donate today.

They have become the most vulnerable victims of Haiti’s devastating earthquake. Before the catastrophic events almost half of the population was under 18-years-old.

Many now have been left bewildered, bruised and lonely.

In these ruins of a school the children had come to learn. It was here too they were fed their main meal of the day. Now they are hungry and abandoned.

A woman explains: “I have nothing for them my pocket, not even plain rice to help these children to live, there is nothing, nothing.” “I have nothing I am going to boil up mint tea with some salt.”

In the fog of figures emerging from Haiti it is reckoned that before the quake there were 380,000 children living in orphanages. Such scenes suggest there will be a dramatic rise in those numbers. A woman holding a child says: “Her parents are dead. I will look after her.”

Protection is critical. The UN is setting up a mission on the ground to do just that, protection against trafficking, kidnapping and sex abuse.

Julie Bergeron, UNICEF: “It would be very easy for certain people to be involved, trafficking these children, especially as they do not have birth certificates. There are many children who will go from here as their parents will always believe they are dead.”

In a field hospital in Port-au-Prince the medical team have saved the life of a five-month-old baby. He has no name, just a number. No one knows who the boys family is or if they are alive. What will happen to him when he has been treated. Such are the now daily dilemmas for the children of this quake. Source

// Haiti earthquake

One in a million: the girl in a tartan dress who symbolises the orphan crisis facing Haiti

Wyclef and Evry, two-year-old orphans at the Foyer de Sion home in Pétionville Photo Independent

9-year-old Wideline Fils Amie lost both her parents in the Haiti earthquake Photo Independent

By Guy Adams in Port-au-Prince

January 20 2010

Her name is Wideline Fils Amie. She is nine years old. Both her parents are dead, and her only possession is the red tartan dress on her back. For the past week, she’s been living and sleeping in the indescribably filthy back-yard of the Foyer de Sion orphanage in Pétionville. When you ask how she is feeling, Wideline whispers two words, through her broken teeth: “hungry” and “scared”.

Eighteen boys and girls, aged two to 15, are holed-up behind the tattered two-storey building in the hills just outside Port-au-Prince. Their food reserves consist of three bags of rice, three bags of beans, a few yams, and half a bottle of orange cordial. As of yesterday morning, they hadn’t a single drop of drinking water left. And a week after the earthquake that flattened their city, the orphanage has not received a single batch of aid.

“I don’t know why,” says Pascale Mardy, the orphanage’s manager. “We have almost nothing left. When the earthquake happened, I had $100 in my pocket to buy food. Now I have spent the last dollar, so we are down to one meal a day. We are in trouble.”

It’s the same story across Port-au-Prince, where a dysfunctional aid effort is still only slowly creaking into action. Huge reserves of supplies sit on the runway of the city’s airport. For the entire story go HERE

Israel’s compassion in Haiti can’t hide our ugly face in Gaza
By Akiva Eldar
January 18 2010

Who said we are shut up inside our Tel Aviv bubble? How many small nations surrounded by enemies set up field hospitals on the other side of the world? Give us an earthquake in Haiti, a tsunami in Thailand or a terror attack in Kenya, and the IDF Spokesman’s Office will triumph. A cargo plane can always be found to fly in military journalists to report on our fine young men from the Home Front Command.

Everyone is truly doing a wonderful job: the rescuers, searching for survivors; the physicians, saving lives; and the reporters, too, who are rightfully patting them all on the back. After Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon became the face we show the world, the entire international community can now see Israel’s good side.

But the remarkable identification with the victims of the terrible tragedy in distant Haiti only underscores the indifference to the ongoing suffering of the people of Gaza. Only a little more than an hour’s drive from the offices of Israel’s major newspapers, 1.5 million people have been besieged on a desert island for two and a half years. Who cares that 80 percent of the men, women and children living in such proximity to us have fallen under the poverty line? How many Israelis know that half of all Gazans are dependent on charity, that Operation Cast Lead created hundreds of amputees, that raw sewage flows from the streets into the sea?

The Israeli newspaper reader knows about the baby pulled from the wreckage in Port-au-Prince. Few have heard about the infants who sleep in the ruins of their families’ homes in Gaza. The Israel Defense Forces prohibition of reporters entering the Gaza Strip is an excellent excuse for burying our heads in the sand of Tel Aviv’s beaches; on a good day, the sobering reports compiled by human rights organizations such as B’Tselem, Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel on the situation in Gaza are pushed to the newspapers’ back pages. To get an idea of what life is like in the world’s largest prison, one must forgo “Big Brother” and switch to one of the foreign networks.

The disaster in Haiti is a natural one; the one in Gaza is the unproud handiwork of man. Our handiwork. The IDF does not send cargo planes stuffed with medicines and medical equipment to Gaza. The missiles that Israel Air Force combat aircraft fired there a year ago hit nearly 60,000 homes and factories, turning 3,500 of them into rubble. Since then, 10,000 people have been living without running water, 40,000 without electricity. Ninety-seven percent of Gaza’s factories are idle due to Israeli government restrictions on the import of raw materials for industry. Soon it will be one year since the international community pledged, at the emergency conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, to donate $4.5 billion for Gaza’s reconstruction. Israel’s ban on bringing in building materials is causing that money to lose its value.

A few days before Israeli physicians rushed to save the lives of injured Haitians, the authorities at the Erez checkpoint prevented 17 people from passing through in order to get to a Ramallah hospital for urgent corneal transplant surgery. Perhaps they voted for Hamas. At the same time that Israeli psychologists are treating Haiti’s orphans with devotion, Israeli inspectors are making sure no one is attempting to plant a doll, a notebook or a bar of chocolate in a container bringing essential goods into Gaza. So what if the Goldstone Commission demanded that Israel lift the blockade on the Strip and end the collective punishment of its inhabitants? Only those who hate Israel could use frontier justice against the first country to set up a field hospital in Haiti.

True, Haiti’s militias are not firing rockets at Israel. But the siege on Gaza has not stopped the Qassams from coming. The prohibition of cilantro, vinegar and ginger being brought into the Strip since June 2007 was intended to expedite the release of Gilad Shalit and facilitate the fall of the Hamas regime. As everyone knows, even though neither mission has been particularly successful, and despite international criticism, Israel continues to keep the gates of Gaza locked. Even the images of our excellent doctors in Haiti cannot blur our ugly face in the Strip. Source

Related

Update on Haiti Earthquake January 18 2010

Haiti’s dead are being buried in Mass Graves

How Haiti’s Quarter Million Slaves Will Survive The Quake

Recent

Israel floods Gaza villages, displacing a hundred families

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

Spanish lawmaker’s photo used for bin Laden poster

Published in: on January 19, 2010 at 9:11 pm  Comments Off on Update on Haiti Earthquake January 19 2010  
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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

 

 

Aid Workers Protest Restricted Access to Gaza

January 27 2009

Aid agencies have been protesting about their restricted access to Gaza since the 18 January ceasefire, stressing that the full opening of crossing points is crucial for the delivery of humanitarian aid.

“It is unacceptable that staff of international aid agencies with expertise in emergency response are still not given full access into Gaza, and that the crossings are not fully operational for humanitarian and commercial goods,” said Charles Clayton, chair of the Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA), which includes 75 agencies.

A recent CARE survey found that 89 percent of Gazans had not received humanitarian assistance since 27 December, underscoring the clear need, according to CARE, for more aid and humanitarian workers in Gaza.

CARE officer Juliette Seibold in Jerusalem told IRIN by phone on 26 January that eight of their staff members were still waiting for permits to enter to Gaza.

“If the ceasefire is holding, then any blockage of humanitarian access is unacceptable,” said Clayton.

The Israeli authorities are permitting 100-120 trucks to enter Gaza per day, according to the head of UNRWA (the UN agency for Palestinian refugees) in Gaza, John Ging.

However, “to meet the daily needs, hundreds of trucks are required,” he said, adding: “This is the same approach that led to this conflict. We need a change of policy regarding the crossing points. If they remain closed it will lead to more violence.”

Construction materials and spare parts are vital to repair damaged schools, hospitals, water and sewage systems, and power lines, but “these commodities are not available on Gaza’s market,” Oxfam spokesperson Sara-Eve Hammond, based in Jerusalem, told IRIN by phone, “and the Israeli authorities are waiting for specific donor requests to allow their entry.”

Source

Hamas has wanted the blockade  ended a long, long, time ago. Maybe the Aid Agency’s will now understand their frustration and anger with Israel. Seems they have the same problems with Israel.  Palestinians deserve better treatment then Israel imposes on them.. No one should have to live the way they have been forced to live.

Israeli aircraft strike Gaza Tunnels-Residents Again on Jan 28

Army rabbi ‘gave out hate leaflet to troops’,Israel: ’We Could Destroy All European Capitals’

Public gives £600,000 to Gaza appeal before broadcasts are aired/Information, If you want to Donate

Information Wanted by the International Criminal Court/ UN: Falk Likens Gaza to Warsaw Ghetto

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

“Exterminate all the Brutes”: Gaza 2009

“Exterminate all the Brutes”: Gaza 2009

January 20, 2009
By Noam Chomsky

On Saturday December 27, the latest US-Israeli attack on helpless Palestinians was launched. The attack had been meticulously planned, for over 6 months according to the Israeli press. The planning had two components: military and propaganda. It was based on the lessons of Israel’s 2006 invasion of Lebanon, which was considered to be poorly planned and badly advertised. We may, therefore, be fairly confident that most of what has been done and said was pre-planned and intended.

That surely includes the timing of the assault: shortly before noon, when children were returning from school and crowds were milling in the streets of densely populated Gaza City. It took only a few minutes to kill over 225 people and wound 700, an auspicious opening to the mass slaughter of defenseless civilians trapped in a tiny cage with nowhere to flee.

In his retrospective “Parsing Gains of Gaza War,” New York Times correspondent Ethan Bronner cited this achievement as one of the most significant of the gains. Israel calculated that it would be advantageous to appear to “go crazy,” causing vastly disproportionate terror, a doctrine that traces back to the 1950s. “The Palestinians in Gaza got the message on the first day,” Bronner wrote, “when Israeli warplanes struck numerous targets simultaneously in the middle of a Saturday morning. Some 200 were killed instantly, shocking Hamas and indeed all of Gaza.” The tactic of “going crazy” appears to have been successful, Bronner concluded: there are “limited indications that the people of Gaza felt such pain from this war that they will seek to rein in Hamas,” the elected government. That is another long-standing doctrine of state terror. I don’t, incidentally, recall the Times retrospective “Parsing Gains of Chechnya War,” though the gains were great.

The meticulous planning also presumably included the termination of the assault, carefully timed to be just before the inauguration, so as to minimize the (remote) threat that Obama might have to say some words critical of these vicious US-supported crimes.

Two weeks after the Sabbath opening of the assault, with much of Gaza already pounded to rubble and the death toll approaching 1000, the UN Agency UNRWA, on which most Gazans depend for survival, announced that the Israeli military refused to allow aid shipments to Gaza, saying that the crossings were closed for the Sabbath. To honor the holy day, Palestinians at the edge of survival must be denied food and medicine, while hundreds can be slaughtered by US jet bombers and helicopters.

The rigorous observance of the Sabbath in this dual fashion attracted little if any notice. That makes sense. In the annals of US-Israeli criminality, such cruelty and cynicism scarcely merit more than a footnote. They are too familiar. To cite one relevant parallel, in June 1982 the US-backed Israeli invasion of Lebanon opened with the bombing of the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila, later to become famous as the site of terrible massacres supervised by the IDF (Israeli “Defense” Forces). The bombing hit the local hospital – the Gaza hospital — and killed over 200 people, according to the eyewitness account of an American Middle East academic specialist. The massacre was the opening act in an invasion that slaughtered some 15-20,000 people and destroyed much of southern Lebanon and Beirut, proceeding with crucial US military and diplomatic support. That included vetoes of Security Council resolutions seeking to halt the criminal aggression that was undertaken, as scarcely concealed, to defend Israel from the threat of peaceful political settlement, contrary to many convenient fabrications about Israelis suffering under intense rocketing, a fantasy of apologists.

All of this is normal, and quite openly discussed by high Israeli officials. Thirty years ago Chief of Staff Mordechai Gur observed that since 1948, “we have been fighting against a population that lives in villages and cities.” As Israel’s most prominent military analyst, Zeev Schiff, summarized his remarks, “the Israeli Army has always struck civilian populations, purposely and consciously…the Army, he said, has never distinguished civilian [from military] targets…[but] purposely attacked civilian targets.” The reasons were explained by the distinguished statesman Abba Eban: “there was a rational prospect, ultimately fulfilled, that affected populations would exert pressure for the cessation of hostilities.” The effect, as Eban well understood, would be to allow Israel to implement, undisturbed, its programs of illegal expansion and harsh repression. Eban was commenting on a review of Labor government attacks against civilians by Prime Minister Begin, presenting a picture, Eban said, “of an Israel wantonly inflicting every possible measure of death and anguish on civilian populations in a mood reminiscent of regimes which neither Mr.Begin nor I would dare to mention by name.” Eban did not contest the facts that Begin reviewed, but criticized him for stating them publicly. Nor did it concern Eban, or his admirers, that his advocacy of massive state terror is also reminiscent of regimes he would not dare to mention by name.

Eban’s justification for state terror is regarded as persuasive by respected authorities. As the current US-Israel assault raged, Times columnist Thomas Friedman explained that Israel’s tactics both in the current attack and in its invasion of Lebanon in 2006 are based on the sound principle of “trying to `educate’ Hamas, by inflicting a heavy death toll on Hamas militants and heavy pain on the Gaza population.” That makes sense on pragmatic grounds, as it did in Lebanon, where “the only long-term source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civilians — the families and employers of the militants — to restrain Hezbollah in the future.” And by similar logic, bin Laden’s effort to “educate” Americans on 9/11 was highly praiseworthy, as were the Nazi attacks on Lidice and Oradour, Putin’s destruction of Grozny, and other notable attempts at “education.”

Israel has taken pains to make clear its dedication to these guiding principles. NYT correspondent Stephen Erlanger reports that Israeli human rights groups are “troubled by Israel’s strikes on buildings they believe should be classified as civilian, like the parliament, police stations and the presidential palace” – and, we may add, villages, homes, densely populated refugee camps, water and sewage systems, hospitals, schools and universities, mosques, UN relief facilities, ambulances, and indeed anything that might relieve the pain of the unworthy victims. A senior Israeli intelligence officer explained that the IDF attacked “both aspects of Hamas — its resistance or military wing and its dawa, or social wing,” the latter a euphemism for the civilian society. “He argued that Hamas was all of a piece,” Erlanger continues, “and in a war, its instruments of political and social control were as legitimate a target as its rocket caches.” Erlanger and his editors add no comment about the open advocacy, and practice, of massive terrorism targeting civilians, though correspondents and columnists signal their tolerance or even explicit advocacy of war crimes, as noted. But keeping to the norm, Erlanger does not fail to stress that Hamas rocketing is “an obvious violation of the principle of discrimination and fits the classic definition of terrorism.”

Like others familiar with the region, Middle East specialist Fawwaz Gerges observes that “What Israeli officials and their American allies do not appreciate is that Hamas is not merely an armed militia but a social movement with a large popular base that is deeply entrenched in society.” Hence when they carry out their plans to destroy Hamas’s “social wing,” they are aiming to destroy Palestinian society.

Gerges may be too kind. It is highly unlikely that Israeli and American officials – or the media and other commentators – do not appreciate these facts. Rather, they implicitly adopt the traditional perspective of those who monopolize means of violence: our mailed fist can crush any opposition, and if our furious assault has a heavy civilian toll, that’s all to the good: perhaps the remnants will be properly educated.

IDF officers clearly understand that they are crushing the civilian society. Ethan Bronner quotes an Israeli Colonel who says that he and his men are not much “impressed with the Hamas fighters.” “They are villagers with guns,” said a gunner on an armored personnel carrier. They resemble the victims of the murderous IDF “iron fist” operations in occupied southern Lebanon in 1985, directed by Shimon Peres, one of the great terrorist commanders of the era of Reagan’s “War on Terror.” During these operations, Israeli commanders and strategic analysts explained that the victims were “terrorist villagers,” difficult to eradicate because “these terrorists operate with the support of most of the local population.” An Israeli commander complained that “the terrorist…has many eyes here, because he lives here,” while the military correspondent of the Jerusalem Post described the problems Israeli forces faced in combating the “terrorist mercenary,” “fanatics, all of whom are sufficiently dedicated to their causes to go on running the risk of being killed while operating against the IDF,” which must “maintain order and security” in occupied southern Lebanon despite “the price the inhabitants will have to pay.” The problem has been familiar to Americans in South Vietnam, Russians in Afghanistan, Germans in occupied Europe, and other aggressors that find themselves implementing the Gur-Eban-Friedman doctrine.

Gerges believes that US-Israeli state terror will fail: Hamas, he writes, “cannot be wiped out without massacring half a million Palestinians. If Israel succeeds in killing Hamas’s senior leaders, a new generation, more radical than the present, will swiftly replace them. Hamas is a fact of life. It is not going away, and it will not raise the white flag regardless of how many casualties it suffers.”

Perhaps, but there is often a tendency to underestimate the efficacy of violence. It is particularly odd that such a belief should be held in the United States. Why are we here?

Hamas is regularly described as “Iranian-backed Hamas, which is dedicated to the destruction of Israel.” One will be hard put to find something like “democratically elected Hamas, which has long been calling for a two-state settlement in accord with the international consensus” — blocked for over 30 years by the US and Israel, which flatly and explicitly reject the right of Palestinians to self-determination. All true, but not a useful contribution to the Party Line, hence dispensable.

Such details as those mentioned earlier, though minor, nevertheless teach us something about ourselves and our clients. So do others. To mention another one, as the latest US-Israeli assault on Gaza began, a small boat, the Dignity, was on its way from Cyprus to Gaza. The doctors and human rights activists aboard intended to violate Israel’s criminal blockade and to bring medical supplies to the trapped population. The ship was intercepted in international waters by Israeli naval vessels, which rammed it severely, almost sinking it, though it managed to limp to Lebanon. Israel issued the routine lies, refuted by the journalists and passengers aboard, including CNN correspondent Karl Penhaul and former US representative and Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney. That is a serious crime — much worse, for example, than hijacking boats off the coast of Somalia. It passed with little notice. The tacit acceptance of such crimes reflects the understanding that Gaza is occupied territory, and that Israel is entitled to maintain its siege, even authorized by the guardians of international order to carry out crimes on the high seas to implement its programs of punishing the civilian population for disobedience to its commands – under pretexts to which we return, almost universally accepted but clearly untenable.

The lack of attention again makes sense. For decades, Israel had been hijacking boats in international waters between Cyprus and Lebanon, killing or kidnapping passengers, sometimes bringing them to prisons in Israel, including secret prison/torture chambers, to hold as hostages for many years. Since the practices are routine, why treat the new crime with more than a yawn? Cyprus and Lebanon reacted quite differently, but who are they in the scheme of things?

Who cares, for example, if the editors of Lebanon’s Daily Star, generally pro-Western, write that “Some 1.5 million people in Gaza are being subjected to the murderous ministrations of one of the world’s most technologically advanced but morally regressive military machines. It is often suggested that the Palestinians have become to the Arab world what the Jews were to pre-World War II Europe, and there is some truth to this interpretation. How sickeningly appropriate, then, that just as Europeans and North Americans looked the other way when the Nazis were perpetrating the Holocaust, the Arabs are finding a way to do nothing as the Israelis slaughter Palestinian children.” Perhaps the most shameful of the Arab regimes is the brutal Egyptian dictatorship, the beneficiary of most US military aid, apart from Israel.

According to the Lebanese press, Israel still “routinely abducts Lebanese civilians from the Lebanese side of the Blue Line [the international border], most recently in December 2008.” And of course “Israeli planes violate Lebanese airspace on a daily basis in violation of UN Resolution 1701” (Lebanese scholar Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, Daily Star, Jan. 13). That too has been happening for a long time. In condemning Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 2006, the prominent Israeli strategic analyst Zeev Maoz wrote in the Israeli press that “Israel has violated Lebanese airspace by carrying out aerial reconnaissance missions virtually every day since its withdrawal from Southern Lebanon six years ago. True, these aerial overflights did not cause any Lebanese casualties, but a border violation is a border violation. Here too, Israel does not hold a higher moral ground.” And in general, there is no basis for the “wall-to-wall consensus in Israel that the war against the Hezbollah in Lebanon is a just and moral war,” a consensus “based on selective and short-term memory, on an introvert world view, and on double standards. This is not a just war, the use of force is excessive and indiscriminate, and its ultimate aim is extortion.”

As Maoz also reminds his Israeli readers, overflights with sonic booms to terrorize Lebanese are the least of Israeli crimes in Lebanon, even apart from its five invasions since 1978: “On July 28, 1988 Israeli Special Forces abducted Sheikh Obeid, and on May 21, 1994 Israel abducted Mustafa Dirani, who was responsible for capturing the Israeli pilot Ron Arad [when he was bombing Lebanon in 1986]. Israel held these and other 20 Lebanese who were captured under undisclosed circumstances in prison for prolonged periods without trial. They were held as human `bargaining chips.’ Apparently, abduction of Israelis for the purpose of prisoners’ exchange is morally reprehensible, and militarily punishable when it is the Hezbollah who does the abducting, but not if Israel is doing the very same thing,” and on a far grander scale and over many years.

Israel’s regular practices are significant even apart from what they reveal about Israeli criminality and Western support for it. As Maoz indicates, these practices underscore the utter hypocrisy of the standard claim that Israel had the right to invade Lebanon once again in 2006 when soldiers were captured at the border, the first cross-border action by Hezbollah in the six years since Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon, which it occupied in violation of Security Council orders going back 22 years, while during these six years Israel violated the border almost daily with impunity, and silence here.

The hypocrisy is, again, routine. Thus Thomas Friedman, while explaining how the lesser breeds are to be “educated” by terrorist violence, writes that Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 2006, once again destroying much of southern Lebanon and Beirut while killing another 1000 civilians, was a just act of self-defense, responding to Hezbollah’s crime of “launching an unprovoked war across the U.N.-recognized Israel-Lebanon border, after Israel had unilaterally withdrawn from Lebanon.” Putting aside the deceit, by the same logic, terrorist attacks against Israelis that are far more destructive and murderous than any that have taken place would be fully justified in response to Israel’s criminal practices in Lebanon and on the high seas, which vastly exceed Hezbollah’s crime of capturing two soldiers at the border. The veteran Middle East specialist of the New York Times surely knows about these crimes, at least if he reads his own newspaper: for example, the 18th paragraph of a story on prisoner exchange in November 1983 which observes, casually, that 37 of the Arab prisoners “had been seized recently by the Israeli Navy as they tried to make their way from Cyprus to Tripoli,” north of Beirut.

Of course all such conclusions about appropriate actions against the rich and powerful are based on a fundamental flaw: This is us, and that is them. This crucial principle, deeply embedded in Western culture, suffices to undermine even the most precise analogy and the most impeccable reasoning.

As I write, another boat is on its way from Cyprus to Gaza, “carrying urgently needed medical supplies in sealed boxes, cleared by customs at the Larnaca International Airport and the Port of Larnaca,” the organizers report. Passengers include members of European Parliaments and physicians. Israel has been notified of their humanitarian intent. With sufficient popular pressure, they might achieve their mission in peace.

The new crimes that the US and Israel have been committing in Gaza in the past weeks do not fit easily into any standard category – except for the category of familiarity; I’ve just given several examples, and will return to others. Literally, the crimes fall under the official US government definition of “terrorism,” but that designation does not capture their enormity. They cannot be called “aggression,” because they are being conducted in occupied territory, as the US tacitly concedes. In their comprehensive scholarly history of Israeli settlement in the occupied territories, Lords of the Land, Idit Zertal and Akiva Eldar point out that after Israel withdrew its forces from Gaza in August 2005, the ruined territory was not released “for even a single day from Israel’s military grip or from the price of the occupation that the inhabitants pay every day… Israel left behind scorched earth, devastated services, and people with neither a present nor a future. The settlements were destroyed in an ungenerous move by an unenlightened occupier, which in fact continues to control the territory and kill and harass its inhabitants by means of its formidable military might” – exercised with extreme savagery, thanks to firm US support and participation.

The US-Israeli assault on Gaza escalated in January 2006, a few months after the formal withdrawal, when Palestinians committed a truly heinous crime: they voted “the wrong way” in a free election. Like others, Palestinians learned that one does not disobey with impunity the commands of the Master, who continues to prate of his “yearning for democracy,” without eliciting ridicule from the educated classes, another impressive achievement.

Since the terms “aggression” and “terrorism” are inadequate, some new term is needed for the sadistic and cowardly torture of people caged with no possibility of escape, while they are being pounded to dust by the most sophisticated products of US military technology – used in violation of international and even US law, but for self-declared outlaw states that is just another minor technicality. Also a minor technicality is the fact that on December 31, while terrorized Gazans were desperately seeking shelter from the ruthless assault, Washington hired a German merchant ship to transport from Greece to Israel a huge shipment, 3000 tons, of unidentified “ammunition.” The new shipment “follows the hiring of a commercial ship to carry a much larger consignment of ordnance in December from the United States to Israel ahead of air strikes in the Gaza Strip,” Reuters reported. All of this is separate from the more than $21 billion in U.S. military aid provided by the Bush administration to Israel, almost all grants. “Israel’s intervention in the Gaza Strip has been fueled largely by U.S. supplied weapons paid for with U.S. tax dollars,” said a briefing by the New America Foundation, which monitors the arms trade. The new shipment was hampered by the decision of the Greek government to bar the use of any port in Greece “for the supplying of the Israeli army.”

Greece’s response to US-backed Israeli crimes is rather different from the craven performance of the leaders of most of Europe. The distinction reveals that Washington may have been quite realistic in regarding Greece as part of the Near East, not Europe, until the overthrow of its US-backed fascist dictatorship in 1974. Perhaps Greece is just too civilized to be part of Europe.

Were anyone to find the timing of the arms deliveries to Israel curious, and inquire further, the Pentagon has an answer: the shipment would arrive too late to escalate the Gaza attack, and the military equipment, whatever it may be, is to be pre-positioned in Israel for eventual use by the US military. That may be accurate. One of the many services that Israel performs for its patron is to provide it with a valuable military base at the periphery of the world’s major energy resources. It can therefore serve as a forward base for US aggression – or to use the technical terms, to “defend the Gulf” and “ensure stability.”

The huge flow of arms to Israel serves many subsidiary purposes. Middle East policy analyst Mouin Rabbani observes that Israel can test newly developed weapons systems against defenseless targets. This is of value to Israel and the US “twice over, in fact, because less effective versions of these same weapons systems are subsequently sold at hugely inflated prices to Arab states, which effectively subsidizes the U.S. weapons industry and U.S. military grants to Israel.” These are additional functions of Israel in the US-dominated Middle East system, and among the reasons why Israel is so favored by the state authorities, along with a wide range of US high-tech corporations, and of course military industry and intelligence.

Israel apart, the US is by far the world’s major arms supplier. The recent New America Foundation report concludes that “U.S. arms and military training played a role in 20 of the world’s 27 major wars in 2007,” earning the US $23 billion in receipts, increasing to $32 billion in 2008. Small wonder that among the numerous UN resolutions that the US opposed in the December 2008 UN session was one calling for regulation of the arms trade. In 2006, the US was alone in voting against the treaty, but in November 2008 it was joined by a partner: Zimbabwe.

There were other notable votes at the December UN session. A resolution on “the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination” was adopted by 173 to 5 (US, Israel, Pacific island dependencies). The vote strongly reaffirms US-Israeli rejectionism, in international isolation. Similarly a resolution on “universal freedom of travel and the vital importance of family reunification” was adopted with US, Israel, and Pacific dependencies opposed, presumably with Palestinians in mind.

In voting against the right to development the US lost Israel but gained Ukraine. In voting against the “right to food,” the US was alone, a particular striking fact in the face of the enormous global food crisis, dwarfing the financial crisis that threatens western economies.

There are good reasons why the voting record is consistently unreported and dispatched deep into the memory hole by the media and conformist intellectuals. It would not be wise to reveal to the public what the record implies about their elected representatives. In the present case it would plainly be unhelpful to let the public know that US-Israeli rejectionism, barring the peaceful settlement long advocated by the world, reaches such an extreme as to deny Palestinians even the abstract right to self-determination.

One of the heroic volunteers in Gaza, Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert, described the scene of horror as an “All out war against the civilian population of Gaza.” He estimated that half the casualties are women and children. The men are almost all civilians as well, by civilized standards. Gilbert reports that he had scarcely seen a military casualty among the 100s of bodies. The IDF concurs. Hamas “made a point of fighting at a distance — or not at all,” Ethan Bronner reports while “parsing the gains” of the US-Israeli assault. So Hamas’s manpower remains intact, and it was mostly civilians who suffered pain: a positive outcome, according to widely-held doctrine.

These estimates were confirmed by UN humanitarian chief John Holmes, who informed reporters that it is “a fair presumption” that most of the civilians killed were women and children in a humanitarian crisis that is “worsening day by day as the violence continues.” But we could be comforted by the words of Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, the leading dove in the current electoral campaign, who assured the world that there is no “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza, thanks to Israeli benevolence.

Like others who care about human beings and their fate, Gilbert and Holmes pleaded for a ceasefire. But not yet. “At the United Nations, the United States prevented the Security Council from issuing a formal statement on Saturday night calling for an immediate ceasefire,” the New York Times mentioned in passing. The official reason was that “there was no indication Hamas would abide by any agreement.” In the annals of justifications for delighting in slaughter, this must rank among the most cynical. That of course was Bush and Rice, soon to be displaced by Obama who compassionately repeats that “if missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that.” He is referring to Israeli children, not the many hundreds being torn to shreds in Gaza by US arms. Beyond that Obama maintained his silence.

A few days later, under intense international pressure, the US backed a Security Council resolution calling for a “durable ceasefire.” It passed 14-0, US abstaining. Israel and US hawks were angered that the US did not veto it, as usual. The abstention, however, sufficed to give Israel if not a green at least a yellow light to escalate the violence, as it did right up to virtually the moment of the inauguration, as had been predicted.

As the ceasefire (theoretically) went into effect on January18, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights released its figures for the final day of the assault: 54 Palestinians killed including 43 unarmed civilians, 17 of them children, while the IDF continued to bombard civilian homes and UN schools. The death toll, they estimated, mounted to 1,184, including 844 civilians, 281 of them children. The IDF continued to use incendiary bombs across the Gaza Strip, and to destroy houses and agricultural land, forcing civilians to flee their homes. A few hours later, Reuters reported more than 1,300 killed. The staff of the Al Mezan Center, which also carefully monitors casualties and destruction, visited areas that had previously been inaccessible because of incessant heavy bombardment. They discovered dozens of civilian corpses decomposing under the rubble of destroyed houses or removed by Israeli bulldozers. Entire urban blocks had disappeared.

The figures for killed and wounded are surely an underestimate. And it is unlikely that there will be any inquiry into these atrocities. Crimes of official enemies are subjected to rigorous investigation, but our own are systematically ignored. General practice, again, and understandable on the part of the masters.

The Security Council Resolution called for stopping the flow of arms into Gaza. The US and Israel (Rice-Livni) soon reached an agreement on measures to ensure this result, concentrating on Iranian arms. There is no need to stop smuggling of US arms into Israel, because there is no smuggling: the huge flow of arms is quite public, even when not reported, as in the case of the arms shipment announced as the slaughter in Gaza was proceeding.

The Resolution also called for “ensur[ing] the sustained re-opening of the crossing points on the basis of the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access between the Palestinian Authority and Israel”; that Agreement determined that crossings to Gaza would be operated on a continuous basis and that Israel would also allow the crossing of goods and people between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The Rice-Livni agreement had nothing to say about this aspect of the Security Council Resolution. The US and Israel had in fact already abandoned the 2005 Agreement as part of their punishment of Palestinians for voting the wrong way in a free election in January 2006. Rice’s press conference after the Rice-Livni agreement emphasized Washington’s continuing efforts to undermine the results of the one free election in the Arab world: “There is much that can be done,” she said, “to bring Gaza out of the dark of Hamas’s reign and into the light of the very good governance the Palestinian Authority can bring” – at least, can bring as long as it remains a loyal client, rife with corruption and willing to carry out harsh repression, but obedient.

Returning from a visit to the Arab world, Fawwaz Gerges strongly affirmed what others on the scene have reported. The effect of the US-Israeli offensive in Gaza has been to infuriate the populations and to arouse bitter hatred of the aggressors and their collaborators. “Suffice it to say that the so-called moderate Arab states [that is, those that take their orders from Washington] are on the defensive, and that the resistance front led by Iran and Syria is the main beneficiary. Once again, Israel and the Bush administration have handed the Iranian leadership a sweet victory.” Furthermore, “Hamas will likely emerge as a more powerful political force than before and will likely top Fatah, the ruling apparatus of President Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority,” Rice’s favorites.

It is worth bearing in mind that the Arab world is not scrupulously protected from the only regular live TV coverage of what is happening in Gaza, namely the “calm and balanced analysis of the chaos and destruction” provided by the outstanding correspondents of al-Jazeera, offering “a stark alternative to terrestrial channels,” as reported by the London Financial Times. In the 105 countries lacking our efficient modalities of self-censorship, people can see what is happening hourly, and the impact is said to be very great. In the US, the New York Times reports, “the near-total blackout…is no doubt related to the sharp criticism Al Jazeera received from the United States government during the initial stages of the war in Iraq for its coverage of the American invasion.” Cheney and Rumsfeld objected, so, obviously, the independent media could only obey.

There is much sober debate about what the attackers hoped to achieve. Some of objectives are commonly discussed, among them, restoring what is called “the deterrent capacity” that Israel lost as a result of its failures in Lebanon in 2006 – that is, the capacity to terrorize any potential opponent into submission. There are, however, more fundamental objectives that tend be ignored, though they too seem fairly obvious when we take a look at recent history.

Israel abandoned Gaza in September 2005. Rational Israeli hardliners, like Ariel Sharon, the patron saint of the settlers movement, understood that it was senseless to subsidize a few thousand illegal Israeli settlers in the ruins of Gaza, protected by the IDF while they used much of the land and scarce resources. It made more sense to turn Gaza into the world’s largest prison and to transfer settlers to the West Bank, much more valuable territory, where Israel is quite explicit about its intentions, in word and more importantly in deed. One goal is to annex the arable land, water supplies, and pleasant suburbs of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv that lie within the separation wall, irrelevantly declared illegal by the World Court. That includes a vastly expanded Jerusalem, in violation of Security Council orders that go back 40 years, also irrelevant. Israel has also been taking over the Jordan Valley, about one-third of the West Bank. What remains is therefore imprisoned, and, furthermore, broken into fragments by salients of Jewish settlement that trisect the territory: one to the east of Greater Jerusalem through the town of Ma’aleh Adumim, developed through the Clinton years to split the West Bank; and two to the north, through the towns of Ariel and Kedumim. What remains to Palestinians is segregated by hundreds of mostly arbitrary checkpoints.

The checkpoints have no relation to security of Israel, and if some are intended to safeguard settlers, they are flatly illegal, as the World Court ruled. In reality, their major goal is harass the Palestinian population and to fortify what Israeli peace activist Jeff Halper calls the “matrix of control,” designed to make life unbearable for the “two-legged beasts” who will be like “drugged roaches scurrying around in a bottle” if they seek to remain in their homes and land. All of that is fair enough, because they are “like grasshoppers compared to us” so that their heads can be “smashed against the boulders and walls.” The terminology is from the highest Israeli political and military leaders, in this case the revered “princes.” And the attitudes shape policies.

The ravings of the political and military leaders are mild as compared to the preaching of rabbinical authorities. They are not marginal figures. On the contrary, they are highly influential in the army and in the settler movement, who Zertal and Eldar reveal to be “lords of the land,” with enormous impact on policy. Soldiers fighting in northern Gaza were afforded an “inspirational” visit from two leading rabbis, who explained to them that there are no “innocents” in Gaza, so everyone there is a legitimate target, quoting a famous passage from Psalms calling on the Lord to seize the infants of Israel’s oppressors and dash them against the rocks. The rabbis were breaking no new ground. A year earlier, the former chief Sephardic rabbi wrote to Prime Minister Olmert, informing him that all civilians in Gaza are collectively guilty for rocket attacks, so that there is “absolutely no moral prohibition against the indiscriminate killing of civilians during a potential massive military offensive on Gaza aimed at stopping the rocket launchings,” as the Jerusalem Post reported his ruling. His son, chief rabbi of Safed, elaborated: “If they don’t stop after we kill 100, then we must kill a thousand, and if they do not stop after 1,000 then we must kill 10,000. If they still don’t stop we must kill 100,000, even a million. Whatever it takes to make them stop.”

Similar views are expressed by prominent American secular figures. When Israel invaded Lebanon in 2006, Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz explained in the liberal online journal Huffington Post that all Lebanese are legitimate targets of Israeli violence. Lebanon’s citizens are “paying the price” for supporting “terrorism” – that is, for supporting resistance to Israel’s invasion. Accordingly, Lebanese civilians are no more immune to attack than Austrians who supported the Nazis. The fatwa of the Sephardic rabbi applies to them. In a video on the Jerusalem Post website, Dershowitz went on to ridicule talk of excessive kill ratios of Palestinians to Israelis: it should be increased to 1000-to-one, he said, or even 1000-to-zero, meaning the brutes should be completely exterminated. Of course, he is referring to “terrorists,” a broad category that includes the victims of Israeli power, since “Israel never targets civilians,” he emphatically declared. It follows that Palestinians, Lebanese, Tunisians, in fact anyone who gets in the way of the ruthless armies of the Holy State is a terrorist, or an accidental victim of their just crimes.

It is not easy to find historical counterparts to these performances. It is perhaps of some interest that they are considered entirely appropriate in the reigning intellectual and moral culture – when they are produced on “our side,” that is; from the mouths of official enemies such words would elicit righteous outrage and calls for massive preemptive violence in revenge.

The claim that “our side” never targets civilians is familiar doctrine among those who monopolize the means of violence. And there is some truth to it. We do not generally try to kill particular civilians. Rather, we carry out murderous actions that we know will slaughter many civilians, but without specific intent to kill particular ones. In law, the routine practices might fall under the category of depraved indifference, but that is not an adequate designation for standard imperial practice and doctrine. It is more similar to walking down a street knowing that we might kill ants, but without intent to do so, because they rank so low that it just doesn’t matter. The same is true when Israel carries out actions that it knows will kill the “grasshoppers” and “two-legged beasts” who happen to infest the lands it “liberates.” There is no good term for this form of moral depravity, arguably worse than deliberate murder, and all too familiar.

In the former Palestine, the rightful owners (by divine decree, according to the “lords of the land”) may decide to grant the drugged roaches a few scattered parcels. Not by right, however: “I believed, and to this day still believe, in our people’s eternal and historic right to this entire land,” Prime Minister Olmert informed a joint session of Congress in May 2006 to rousing applause. At the same time he announced his “convergence” program for taking over what is valuable in the West Bank, leaving the Palestinians to rot in isolated cantons. He was not specific about the borders of the “entire land,” but then, the Zionist enterprise never has been, for good reasons: permanent expansion is a very important internal dynamic. If Olmert is still faithful to his origins in Likud, he may have meant both sides of the Jordan, including the current state of Jordan, at least valuable parts of it.

Our people’s “eternal and historic right to this entire land” contrasts dramatically with the lack of any right of self-determination for the temporary inhabitants, the Palestinians. As noted earlier, the latter stand was reiterated by Israel and its patron in Washington in December 2008, in their usual isolation and accompanied by resounding silence.

The plans that Olmert sketched in 2006 have since been abandoned as not sufficiently extreme. But what replaces the convergence program, and the actions that proceed daily to implement it, are approximately the same in general conception. They trace back to the earliest days of the occupation, when Defense Minister Moshe Dayan explained poetically that “the situation today resembles the complex relationship between a Bedouin man and the girl he kidnaps against his will…You Palestinians, as a nation, don’t want us today, but we’ll change your attitude by forcing our presence on you.” You will “live like dogs, and whoever will leave, will leave,” while we take what we want.

That these programs are criminal has never been in doubt. Immediately after the 1967 war, the Israeli government was informed by its highest legal authority, Teodor Meron, that “civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention,” the foundation of international humanitarian law. Israel’s Justice Minister concurred. The World Court unanimously endorsed the essential conclusion in 2004, and the Israeli High Court technically agreed while disagreeing in practice, in its usual style.

In the West Bank, Israel can pursue its criminal programs with US support and no disturbance, thanks to its effective military control and by now the cooperation of the collaborationist Palestinian security forces armed and trained by the US and allied dictatorships. It can also carry out regular assassinations and other crimes, while settlers rampage under IDF protection. But while the West Bank has been effectively subdued by terror, there is still resistance in the other half of Palestine, the Gaza Strip. That too must be quelled for the US-Israeli programs of annexation and destruction of Palestine to proceed undisturbed.

Hence the invasion of Gaza.

The timing of the invasion was presumably influenced by the coming Israeli election. Ehud Barak, who was lagging badly in the polls, gained one parliamentary seat for every 40 Arabs killed in the early days of the slaughter, Israeli commentator Ran HaCohen calculated.

That may change, however. As the crimes passed beyond what the carefully honed Israeli propaganda campaign was able to suppress, even confirmed Israeli hawks became concerned that the carnage is “Destroying [Israel’s] soul and its image. Destroying it on world television screens, in the living rooms of the international community and most importantly, in Obama’s America” (Ari Shavit). Shavit was particularly concerned about Israel’s “shelling a United Nations facility…on the day when the UN secretary general is visiting Jerusalem,” an act that is “beyond lunacy,” he felt.

Adding a few details, the “facility” was the UN compound in Gaza City, which contained the UNRWA warehouse. The shelling destroyed “hundreds of tons of emergency food and medicines set for distribution today to shelters, hospitals and feeding centres,” according to UNRWA director John Ging. Military strikes at the same time destroyed two floors of the al-Quds hospital, setting it ablaze, and also a second warehouse run by the Palestinian Red Crescent society. The hospital in the densely-populated Tal-Hawa neighbourhood was destroyed by Israeli tanks “after hundreds of frightened Gazans had taken shelter inside as Israeli ground forces pushed into the neighbourhood,” AP reported.

There was nothing left to salvage inside the smoldering ruins of the hospital. “They shelled the building, the hospital building. It caught fire. We tried to evacuate the sick people and the injured and the people who were there. Firefighters arrived and put out the fire, which burst into flames again and they put it out again and it came back for the third time,” paramedic Ahmad Al-Haz told AP. It was suspected that the blaze might have been set by white phosphorous, also suspected in numerous other fires and serious burn injuries.

The suspicions were confirmed by Amnesty International after the cessation of the intense bombardment made inquiry possible. Before, Israel had sensibly barred all journalists, even Israeli, while its crimes were proceeding in full fury. Israel’s use of white phosphorus against Gaza civilians is “clear and undeniable,” AI reported. Its repeated use in densely populated civilian areas “is a war crime,” AI concluded. They found white phosphorus edges scattered around residential buildings, still burning, “further endangering the residents and their property,” particularly children “drawn to the detritus of war and often unaware of the danger.” Primary targets, they report, were the UNRWA compound, where the Israeli “white phosphorus landed next to some fuel trucks and caused a large fire which destroyed tons of humanitarian aid” after Israeli authorities “had given assurance that no further strikes would be launched on the compound.” On the same day, “a white phosphorus shell landed in the al-Quds hospital in Gaza City also causing a fire which forced hospital staff to evacuate the patients… White phosphorus landing on skin can burn deep through muscle and into the bone, continuing to burn unless deprived of oxygen.” Purposely intended or beyond depraved indifference, such crimes are inevitable when this weapon is used in attacks on civilians.

It is, however, a mistake to concentrate too much on Israel’s gross violations of jus in bello, the laws designed to bar practices that are too savage. The invasion itself is a far more serious crime. And if Israel had inflicted the horrendous damage by bows and arrows, it would still be a criminal act of extreme depravity.

Aggression always has a pretext: in this case, that Israel’s patience had “run out” in the face of Hamas rocket attacks, as Barak put it. The mantra that is endlessly repeated is that Israel has the right to use force to defend itself. The thesis is partially defensible. The rocketing is criminal, and it is true that a state has the right to defend itself against criminal attacks. But it does not follow that it has a right to defend itself by force. That goes far beyond any principle that we would or should accept. Nazi Germany had no right to use force to defend itself against the terrorism of the partisans. Kristallnacht is not justified by Herschel Grynszpan’s assassination of a German Embassy official in Paris. The British were not justified in using force to defend themselves against the (very real) terror of the American colonists seeking independence, or to terrorize Irish Catholics in response to IRA terror – and when they finally turned to the sensible policy of addressing legitimate grievances, the terror ended. It is not a matter of “proportionality,” but of choice of action in the first place: Is there an alternative to violence?

Any resort to force carries a heavy burden of proof, and we have to ask whether it can be met in the case of Israel’s effort to quell any resistance to its daily criminal actions in Gaza and in the West Bank, where they still continue relentlessly after more than 40 years. Perhaps I may quote myself in an interview in the Israeli press on Olmert’s announced convergence plans for the West Bank: “The US and Israel do not tolerate any resistance to these plans, preferring to pretend – falsely of course – that `there is no partner,’ as they proceed with programs that go back a long way. We may recall that Gaza and the West Bank are recognized to be a unit, so if resistance to the US-Israeli annexation-cantonization programs is legitimate in the West Bank, it is in Gaza too.”

Palestinian-American journalist Ali Abunimah observed that “There are no rockets launched at Israel from the West Bank, and yet Israel’s extrajudicial killings, land theft, settler pogroms and kidnappings never stopped for a day during the truce. The western-backed Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas has acceded to all Israel’s demands. Under the proud eye of United States military advisors, Abbas has assembled `security forces’ to fight the resistance on Israel’s behalf. None of that has spared a single Palestinian in the West Bank from Israel’s relentless colonization” – thanks to firm US backing. The respected Palestinian parliamentarian Dr. Mustapha Barghouti adds that after Bush’s Annapolis extravaganza in November 2007, with much uplifting rhetoric about dedication to peace and justice, Israeli attacks on Palestinians escalated sharply, with an almost 50% increase in the West Bank, along with a sharp increase in settlements and Israeli check points. Obviously these criminal actions are not a response to rockets from Gaza, though the converse may well be the case, Barghouti plausibly suggests.

The reactions to crimes of an occupying power can be condemned as criminal and politically foolish, but those who offer no alternative have no moral grounds to issue such judgments. The conclusion holds with particular force for those in the US who choose to be directly implicated in Israel’s ongoing crimes — by their words, their actions, or their silence. All the more so because there are very clear non-violent alternatives – which, however, have the disadvantage that they bar the programs of illegal expansion.

Israel has a straightforward means to defend itself: put an end to its criminal actions in occupied territories, and accept the long-standing international consensus on a two-state settlement that has been blocked by the US and Israel for over 30 years, since the US first vetoed a Security Council resolution calling for a political settlement in these terms in 1976. I will not once again run through the inglorious record, but it is important to be aware that US-Israeli rejectionism today is even more blatant than in the past. The Arab League has gone even beyond the consensus, calling for full normalization of relations with Israel. Hamas has repeatedly called for a two-state settlement in terms of the international consensus. Iran and Hezbollah have made it clear that they will abide by any agreement that Palestinians accept. That leaves the US-Israel in splendid isolation, not only in words.

The more detailed record is informative. The Palestinian National Council formally accepted the international consensus in 1988. The response of the Shamir-Peres coalition government, affirmed by James Baker’s State Department, was that there cannot be an “additional Palestinian state” between Israel and Jordan – the latter already a Palestinian state by US-Israeli dictate. The Oslo accords that followed put to the side potential Palestinian national rights, and the threat that they might be realized in some meaningful form was systematically undermined through the Oslo years by Israel’s steady expansion of illegal settlements. Settlement accelerated in 2000, President Clinton’s and Prime Minister Barak’s last year, when negotiations took place at Camp David against that background.

After blaming Yassir Arafat for the breakdown of the Camp David negotiations, Clinton backtracked, and recognized that the US-Israeli proposals were too extremist to be acceptable to any Palestinian. In December 2000, he presented his “parameters,” vague but more forthcoming. He then announced that both sides had accepted the parameters, while both expressed reservations. The two sides met in Taba Egypt in January 2001 and came very close to an agreement, and would have been able to do so in a few more days, they said in their final press conference. But the negotiations were cancelled prematurely by Ehud Barak. That week in Taba is the one break in over 30 years of US-Israeli rejectionism. There is no reason why that one break in the record cannot be resumed.

The preferred version, recently reiterated by Ethan Bronner, is that “Many abroad recall Mr. Barak as the prime minister who in 2000 went further than any Israeli leader in peace offers to the Palestinians, only to see the deal fail and explode in a violent Palestinian uprising that drove him from power.” It’s true that “many abroad” believe this deceitful fairy tale, thanks to what Bronner and too many of his colleagues call “journalism”.

It is commonly claimed that a two-state solution is now unattainable because if the IDF tried to remove settlers, it would lead to a civil war. That may be true, but much more argument is needed. Without resorting to force to expel illegal settlers, the IDF could simply withdraw to whatever boundaries are established by negotiations. The settlers beyond those boundaries would have the choice of leaving their subsidized homes to return to Israel, or to remain under Palestinian authority. The same was true of the carefully staged “national trauma” in Gaza in 2005, so transparently fraudulent that it was ridiculed by Israeli commentators. It would have sufficed for Israel to announce that the IDF would withdraw, and the settlers who were subsidized to enjoy their life in Gaza would have quietly climbed into the lorries provided to them and travelled to their new subsidized residences in the West Bank. But that would not have produced tragic photos of agonized children and passionate calls of “never again.”

To summarize, contrary to the claim that is constantly reiterated, Israel has no right to use force to defend itself against rockets from Gaza, even if they are regarded as terrorist crimes. Furthermore, the reasons are transparent. The pretext for launching the attack is without merit.

There is also a narrower question. Does Israel have peaceful short-term alternatives to the use of force in response to rockets from Gaza. One short-term alternative would be to accept a ceasefire. Sometimes Israel has done so, while instantly violating it. The most recent and currently relevant case is June 2008. The ceasefire called for opening the border crossings to “allow the transfer of all goods that were banned and restricted to go into Gaza.” Israel formally agreed, but immediately announced that it would not abide by the agreement and open the borders until Hamas released Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured by Hamas in June 2006.

The steady drumbeat of accusations about the capture of Shalit is, again, blatant hypocrisy, even putting aside Israel’s long history of kidnapping. In this case, the hypocrisy could not be more glaring. One day before Hamas captured Shalit, Israeli soldiers entered Gaza City and kidnapped two civilians, the Muammar brothers, bringing them to Israel to join the thousands of other prisoners held there, almost 1000 reportedly without charge. Kidnapping civilians is a far more serious crime than capturing a soldier of an attacking army, but it was barely reported in contrast to the furor over Shalit. And all that remains in memory, blocking peace, is the capture of Shalit, another reflection of the difference between humans and two-legged beasts. Shalit should be returned – in a fair prisoner exchange.

It was after the capture of Shalit that Israel’s unrelenting military attack against Gaza passed from merely vicious to truly sadistic. But it is well to recall that even before his capture, Israel had fired more than 7,700 shells at northern Gaza after its September withdrawal, eliciting virtually no comment.

After rejecting the June 2008 ceasefire it had formally accepted, Israel maintained its siege. We may recall that a siege is an act of war. In fact, Israel has always insisted on an even stronger principle: hampering access to the outside world, even well short of a siege, is an act of war, justifying massive violence in response. Interference with Israel’s passage through the Straits of Tiran was part of the pretext for Israel’s invasion of Egypt (with France and England) in 1956, and for its launching of the June 1967 war. The siege of Gaza is total, not partial, apart from occasional willingness of the occupiers to relax it slightly. And it is vastly more harmful to Gazans than closing the Straits of Tiran was to Israel. Supporters of Israeli doctrines and actions should therefore have no problem justifying rocket attacks on Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip.

Of course, again we run into the nullifying principle: This is us, that is them.

Israel not only maintained the siege after June 2008, but did so with extreme rigor. It even prevented UNRWA from replenishing its stores, “so when the ceasefire broke down, we ran out of food for the 750,000 who depend on us,” UNRWA director John Ging informed the BBC.

Despite the Israeli siege, rocketing sharply reduced. The ceasefire broke down on November 4 with an Israeli raid into Gaza, leading to the death of 6 Palestinians, and a retaliatory barrage of rockets (with no injuries). The pretext for the raid was that Israel had detected a tunnel in Gaza that might have been intended for use to capture another Israeli soldier. The pretext is transparently absurd, as a number of commentators have noted. If such a tunnel existed, and reached the border, Israel could easily have barred it right there. But as usual, the ludicrous Israeli pretext was deemed credible.

What was the reason for the Israeli raid? We have no internal evidence about Israeli planning, but we do know that the raid came shortly before scheduled Hamas-Fatah talks in Cairo aimed at “reconciling their differences and creating a single, unified government,” British correspondent Rory McCarthy reported. That was to be the first Fatah-Hamas meeting since the June 2007 civil war that left Hamas in control of Gaza, and would have been a significant step towards advancing diplomatic efforts. There is a long history of Israel provocations to deter the threat of diplomacy, some already mentioned. This may have been another one.

The civil war that left Hamas in control of Gaza is commonly described as a Hamas military coup, demonstrating again their evil nature. The real world is a little different. The civil war was incited by the US and Israel, in a crude attempt at a military coup to overturn the free elections that brought Hamas to power. That has been public knowledge at least since April 2008, when David Rose published in Vanity Fair a detailed and documented account of how Bush, Rice, and Deputy National-Security Adviser Elliott Abrams “backed an armed force under Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, touching off a bloody civil war in Gaza and leaving Hamas stronger than ever.” The account was recently corroborated once again in the Christian Science Monitor (Jan. 12, 2009) by Norman Olsen, who served for 26 years in the Foreign Service, including four years working in the Gaza Strip and four years at the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, and then moved on to become associate coordinator for counterterrorism at the Department of State. Olson and his son detail the State Department shenanigans intended to ensure that their candidate, Abbas, would win in the January 2006 elections – in which case it would have been hailed as a triumph of democracy. After the election-fixing failed, they turned to punishment of the Palestinians and arming of a militia run by Fatah strong-man Muhammad Dahlan, but “Dahlan’s thugs moved too soon” and a Hamas pre-emptive strike undermined the coup attempt, leading to far harsher US-Israeli measures to punish the disobedient people of Gaza. The Party Line is more acceptable.

After Israel broke the June 2008 ceasefire (such as it was) in November, the siege was tightened further, with even more disastrous consequences for the population. According to Sara Roy, the leading academic specialist on Gaza, “On Nov. 5, Israel sealed all crossing points into Gaza, vastly reducing and at times denying food supplies, medicines, fuel, cooking gas, and parts for water and sanitation systems…” During November, an average of 4.6 trucks of food per day entered Gaza from Israel compared with an average of 123 trucks per day in October. Spare parts for the repair and maintenance of water-related equipment have been denied entry for over a year. The World Health Organization just reported that half of Gaza’s ambulances are now out of order” – and the rest soon became targets for Israeli attack. Gaza’s only power station was forced to suspend operation for lack of fuel, and could not be started up again because they needed spare parts, which had been sitting in the Israeli port of Ashdod for 8 months. Shortage of electricity led to a 300% increase in burn cases at Shifaa’ hospital in the Gaza Strip, resulting from efforts to light wood fires. Israel barred shipment of Chlorine, so that by mid-December in Gaza City and the north access to water was limited to six hours every three days. The human consequences are not counted among Palestinian victims of Israeli terror.

After the November 4 Israeli attack, both sides escalated violence (all deaths were Palestinian) until the ceasefire formally ended on Dec. 19, and Prime Minister Olmert authorized the full-scale invasion.

A few days earlier Hamas had proposed to return to the original July ceasefire agreement, which Israel had not observed. Historian and former Carter administration high official Robert Pastor passed the proposal to a “senior official” in the IDF, but Israel did not respond. The head of Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency, was quoted in Israeli sources on December 21 as saying that Hamas is interested in continuing the “calm” with Israel, while its military wing is continuing preparations for conflict.

“There clearly was an alternative to the military approach to stopping the rockets,” Pastor said, keeping to the narrow issue of Gaza. There was also a more far-reaching alternative, which is rarely discussed: namely, accepting a political settlement including all of the occupied territories.

Israel’s senior diplomatic correspondent Akiva Eldar reports that shortly before Israel launched its full-scale invasion on Saturday Dec. 27, “Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshal announced on the Iz al-Din al-Qassam Web site that he was prepared not only for a `cessation of aggression’ – he proposed going back to the arrangement at the Rafah crossing as of 2005, before Hamas won the elections and later took over the region. That arrangement was for the crossing to be managed jointly by Egypt, the European Union, the Palestinian Authority presidency and Hamas,” and as noted earlier, called for opening of the crossings to desperately needed supplies.

A standard claim of the more vulgar apologists for Israeli violence is that in the case of the current assault, “as in so many instances in the past half century – the Lebanon War of 1982, the `Iron Fist’ response to the 1988 intifada, the Lebanon War of 2006 – the Israelis have reacted to intolerable acts of terror with a determination to inflict terrible pain, to teach the enemy a lesson” (New Yorker editor David Remnick). The 2006 invasion can be justified only on the grounds of appalling cynicism, as already discussed. The reference to the vicious response to the 1988 intifada is too depraved even to discuss; a sympathetic interpretation might be that it reflects astonishing ignorance. But Remnick’s claim about the 1982 invasion is quite common, a remarkable feat of incessant propaganda, which merits a few reminders.

Uncontroversially, the Israel-Lebanon border was quiet for a year before the Israeli invasion, at least from Lebanon to Israel, north to south. Through the year, the PLO scrupulously observed a US-initiated ceasefire, despite constant Israeli provocations, including bombing with many civilian casualties, presumably intended to elicit some reaction that could be used to justify Israel’s carefully planned invasion. The best Israel could achieve was two light symbolic responses. It then invaded with a pretext too absurd to be taken seriously.

The invasion had precisely nothing to do with “intolerable acts of terror,” though it did have to do with intolerable acts: of diplomacy. That has never been obscure. Shortly after the US-backed invasion began, Israel’s leading academic specialist on the Palestinians, Yehoshua Porath – no dove — wrote that Arafat’s success in maintaining the ceasefire constituted “a veritable catastrophe in the eyes of the Israeli government,” since it opened the way to a political settlement. The government hoped that the PLO would resort to terrorism, undermining the threat that it would be “a legitimate negotiating partner for future political accommodations.”

The facts were well-understood in Israel, and not concealed. Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir stated that Israel went to war because there was “a terrible danger… Not so much a military one as a political one,” prompting the fine Israeli satirist B. Michael to write that “the lame excuse of a military danger or a danger to the Galilee is dead.” We “have removed the political danger” by striking first, in time; now, “Thank God, there is no one to talk to.” Historian Benny Morris recognized that the PLO had observed the ceasefire, and explained that “the war’s inevitability rested on the PLO as a political threat to Israel and to Israel’s hold on the occupied territories.” Others have frankly acknowledged the unchallenged facts.

In a front-page think-piece on the latest Gaza invasion, NYT correspondent Steven Lee Meyers writes that “In some ways, the Gaza attacks were reminiscent of the gamble Israel took, and largely lost, in Lebanon in 1982 [when] it invaded to eliminate the threat of Yasir Arafat’s forces.” Correct, but not in the sense he has in mind. In 1982, as in 2008, it was necessary to eliminate the threat of political settlement.

The hope of Israeli propagandists has been that Western intellectuals and media would buy the tale that Israel reacted to rockets raining on the Galilee, “intolerable acts of terror.” And they have not been disappointed.

It is not that Israel does not want peace: everyone wants peace, even Hitler. The question is: on what terms? From its origins, the Zionist movement has understood that to achieve its goals, the best strategy would be to delay political settlement, meanwhile slowly building facts on the ground. Even the occasional agreements, as in 1947, were recognized by the leadership to be temporary steps towards further expansion. The 1982 Lebanon war was a dramatic example of the desperate fear of diplomacy. It was followed by Israeli support for Hamas so as to undermine the secular PLO and its irritating peace initiatives. Another case that should be familiar is Israeli provocations before the 1967 war designed to elicit a Syrian response that could be used as a pretext for violence and takeover of more land – at least 80% of the incidents, according to Defense Minister Moshe Dayan.

The story goes far back. The official history of the Haganah, the pre-state Jewish military force, describes the assassination of the religious Jewish poet Jacob de Haan in 1924, accused of conspiring with the traditional Jewish community (the Old Yishuv) and the Arab Higher Committee against the new immigrants and their settlement enterprise. And there have been numerous examples since.

The effort to delay political accommodation has always made perfect sense, as do the accompanying lies about how “there is no partner for peace.” It is hard to think of another way to take over land where you are not wanted.

Similar reasons underlie Israel’s preference for expansion over security. Its violation of the ceasefire on November 4 2009 is one of many recent examples.

An Amnesty International chronology reports that the June 2008 ceasefire had “brought enormous improvements in the quality of life in Sderot and other Israeli villages near Gaza, where before the ceasefire residents lived in fear of the next Palestinian rocket strike. However, nearby in the Gaza Strip the Israeli blockade remains in place and the population has so far seen few dividends from the ceasefire.” But the gains in security for Israel towns near Gaza were evidently outweighed by the felt need to deter diplomatic moves that might impede West Bank expansion, and to crush any remaining resistance within Palestine.

The preference for expansion over security has been particularly evident since Israel’s fateful decision in 1971, backed by Henry Kissinger, to reject the offer of a full peace treaty by President Sadat of Egypt, offering nothing to the Palestinians – an agreement that the US and Israel were compelled to accept at Camp David eight years later, after a major war that was a near disaster for Israel. A peace treaty with Egypt would have ended any significant security threat, but there was an unacceptable quid pro quo: Israel would have had to abandon its extensive settlement programs in the northeastern Sinai. Security was a lower priority than expansion, as it still is. Substantial evidence for this basic conclusion is provided in a magisterial study of Israel’s security and foreign policy by Zeev Maoz, Defending the Holy Land.

Today, Israel could have security, normalization of relations, and integration into the region. But it very clearly prefers illegal expansion, conflict, and repeated exercise of violence, actions that are not only criminal, murderous and destructive but are also eroding its own long-term security. US military and Middle East specialist Andrew Cordesman writes that while Israel military force can surely crush defenseless Gaza, “neither Israel nor the US can gain from a war that produces [a bitter] reaction from one of the wisest and most moderate voices in the Arab world, Prince Turki al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia, who said on January 6 that `The Bush administration has left [Obama] a disgusting legacy and a reckless position towards the massacres and bloodshed of innocents in Gaza…Enough is enough, today we are all Palestinians and we seek martyrdom for God and for Palestine, following those who died in Gaza’.”

One of the wisest voices in Israel, Uri Avnery, writes that after an Israeli military victory, “What will be seared into the consciousness of the world will be the image of Israel as a blood-stained monster, ready at any moment to commit war crimes and not prepared to abide by any moral restraints. This will have severe consequences for our long-term future, our standing in the world, our chance of achieving peace and quiet. In the end, this war is a crime against ourselves too, a crime against the State of Israel.”

There is good reason to believe that he is right. Israel is deliberately turning itself into perhaps the most hated country in the world, and is also losing the allegiance of the population of the West, including younger American Jews, who are unlikely to tolerate its persistent shocking crimes for long. Decades ago, I wrote that those who call themselves “supporters of Israel” are in reality supporters of its moral degeneration and probable ultimate destruction. Regrettably, that judgment looks more and more plausible.

Meanwhile we are quietly observing a rare event in history, what the late Israeli sociologist Baruch Kimmerling called “politicide,” the murder of a nation — at our hands.

Source

Shoot Then Ask, Israeli Soldiers Told

Gaza (6) A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Outcry over weapons used in Gaza

Unusually Large U.S. Weapons Shipment to Israel: Are the US and Israel Planning a Broader Middle East War?

The State of Israel: Since its Creation

Israel Navy ships turn back “Spirit of Humanity” carrying Gaza humanitarian aid

Israel ‘rammed’ medical aid boat Dignity headed to Gaza

79 % of the time: Israel caused conflicts not Hamas

US Veto Blocks UN Anti-Israel Resolution

Israel Used Internationally Banned Weaponry in Massive Airstrikes Across Gaza Strip

700 Israelis arrested for protesting against war

Israel’s ‘Crimes Against Humanity’

Israel killing their own by Using Deadly Weapons of Mass Destuction against Gaza

Gaza Families Eat Grass as Israel Blocks Food Aid

There are more stories on Gaza in the Archives

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Israel Hits another “United Nations” Building in Gaza


Israel is so sorry for yet another hit on the UN.

Right and I have land on Mars for sale. I have a bit of real-estate on Pluto too any buyers?  So we are all suppose to swallow their propaganda are wee.  Crying “wolf” is becoming a real pass time for Israeli leaders.

I guess we all have ” Really %$#@@$@  stupid”  written across our foreheads too.

un-building-hit-by-israel-jan-15-2009-ap-hatem-moussaSmoke rises from the United Nations headquarters after it was hit during Israeli bombardment of Gaza City, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009. Photo: AP / Hatem Moussa

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert apologized Thursday for the shelling of a UN compound that brought “very sad” consequences, but he insisted that Israeli forces were firing back at militants who shot at them first.

“It is absolutely true that we were attacked from that place, but the consequences are very sad and we apologize for it,” he said.

“I don’t think it should have happened and I’m very sorry.”

A senior Israeli commander, who spoke to The Associated Press under condition of anonymity prior to Olmert’s public remarks, said militants shot anti-tank weapons and machine guns from inside the UN compound on Thursday.

Israel’s apparent counter-attack set the compound on fire, destroyed food supplies and forced hundreds of refugees to flee the area.

UN officials said it was “nonsense” that militants had been firing from inside the compound.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is meeting with Israeli officials in Israel Thursday, has demanded an investigation into the incident.

“I conveyed my strong protest and outrage to the defense minister and foreign minister and demanded a full explanation,” Ban said.

During a meeting with Ban on Thursday, Olmert said the shelling was a “sad incident,” but he blamed the militants.

Earlier Thursday, the UN chief said that Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak told him the attack on the UN compound was a “grave mistake.”

Barak also reportedly said Israel would pay extra attention to protecting UN facilities.

A UN employee, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said 700 Palestinians had just sought shelter in the compound Thursday morning.

“These were people who were scared. They rushed into the nearest UN facility,” he told The Associated Press.

UN spokesman Chris Gunness says at least three people were wounded.

The compound houses the UN Works and Relief Agency, which distributes food aid to hundreds of thousands of Gazans.

Meanwhile, Israeli ground troops have moved deep into Gaza City, engaging in close-combat fighting with Hamas.

“People are very, very nervous, there is very heavy fighting,” CTV’s Tom Kennedy reported Thursday from Jerusalem.

Israeli forces kill Hamas leader

Israeli forces also killed the top Hamas security official in the Gaza Strip on Thursday.

Hamas interior minister Said Siam died when Israeli forces attacked his brother’s home after receiving word that he was inside.

The raid killed Siam, his brother, and his brother’s family.

Both Hamas and Israeli military officials confirmed his death.

Siam is believed to have presided over thousands of Gaza Strip security agents and to be among Hamas’ top five leaders in the region.

Raids put media at risk

Also on Thursday, Israeli shells struck a hospital, five high-rise apartment buildings and a building used by media outlets.

“The feed point that we at CTV use to get images out of Gaza, that is now burning,” Kennedy said.

Several reporters were reported injured.

The Foreign Press Association demanded that Israel stop its attacks on buildings housing reporters.

Amani Abu Ramadan, a Canadian who lives in Gaza, said the situation is really bad.

“It’s absolutely crazy in Gaza right now,” Ramadan told CTV’s Canada AM on Thursday.

“I can’t get in contact with many of my family members in Gaza because of the phones that are down.”

She said getting to the Erez border crossing, where many Canadians were evacuated from Gaza Strip earlier this month, is “near fatal.”

“The Israelis are shooting at anything that is moving on the main highways or even on the side streets that might be like a small mini-bus, or a micro-bus, or a taxi,” she said.

“Even they’re shooting at ambulances and television crews.”

Since the Israeli offensive began on Dec. 27, about 1,100 Palestinians have been killed, including about 550 civilians.

Thirteen Israelis have also died. Israeli military reported 14 firings of rockets into Israel on Thursday.

Truce negotiation

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said his country has sent an envoy to Cairo for truce talks with Egyptian mediators.

Regev says envoy Amos Gilad will be negotiating the “parameters of the end game” with the mediators.

“The Israeli government is saying that diplomatic efforts pushing towards a ceasefire now have momentum,” Kennedy said.

Israel, which launched the offensive against Hamas in Gaza on Dec. 27, wants a total stoppage of Palestinian rocket fire into southern Israeli towns.

Regev said Gilad will not be meeting with Hamas envoys in Egypt.

Egypt is pushing both Israel and Hamas to accept a 10-day truce to allow time for a more comprehensive accord to be negotiated.

Israel has also dispatched a senior diplomat to Washington to discuss international guarantees that Hamas will not rearm its militia, reports The Associated Press.

In Israel, Ban met with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Thursday.

“We have some elements now in place which may allow a cease fire to come fairly soon,” he told a news conference. “I hope so, but that depends on the political will of the Israeli government.”

He said a complete truce agreement was not necessary to halt the fighting.

“You can discuss terms and conditions later, my demand is to cease firing immediately,” he said.

“I’m well aware that rockets have been fired at Israeli civilians for years from Gaza,” he said. “I have always condemned these as acts of terrorism and said they must cease.”

un-workers-and-firefighters-jan-15-ap-hatam-moussaUnited Nations workers and Palestinian firefighters work to try and put out a fire and save bags of food aid at the United Nations headquarters after it was hit in an Israeli bombardment in Gaza City, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009. Photo: AP / Hatem Moussa

Source

Egypt is pushing both Israel and Hamas to accept a 10-day truce to allow time for a more comprehensive accord to be negotiated.

Or is it it will take that long for the “Weapons of Mass Destruction” to be delivered to Israel. They may be running short after all. The US is in the process of sending them more.

Israel is lieing as usual. They broke the ceasefire on “November 4 2008”. That is when the war really began. Seems the media failed to inform people of that fact. I guess they were too busy with  the Financial Crisis to mention it.

Israel has “Weapons of Mass Destruction” supplied by the US. They are targeting anything and everything. They are totally destroying Gaza for Natural Gas no less. They should be treated, as the war criminals they are. When some say bombs are raining down, they are coming down like rain. Pouring rain. Like a Tsunami.

The after math will also hit the Israelis, as the pollution, from the Weapons will also make them sick and die as well. Nothing like murdering your own for Natural Gas and Bloodthirsty Power over others, weaker then yourself. Those in Gaza are in a massive “Gas Chamber” of death.  No escaping the “Prison Compound” they are trapped in either.

The wind blows and it goes right next door to Israel . Their soldiers will die  from it too. How stupid they are not to foresee the after math of death. Cancers and other illness, will run ramped. That I can guarantee.

How blind are those who live in Israel?

Israelis shell hospitals and UN HQ

Three hospitals and a UN complex are bombed as Israelis push further into Gaza.
children-pay-the-price-jan-15-2009More than 300 children have been killed in Israel’s continuing assault, UN says. Children ‘paying price of Gaza war’

Bin Laden urges jihad against Israel

January 15 2009: CAIRO – Osama bin Laden urged Muslims to launch a jihad against Israel, seeking to harness anger over the Gaza offensive with a new message posted on the Internet yesterday. The Al Qaeda chief vowed to open “new fronts” against the United States and its allies beyond Iraq and Afghanistan and also criticized Arab leaders, accusing most of them of being allies of the United States and Israel. The White House dismissed the call to jihad, saying it reflects bin Laden’s isolation and shows he is trying to remain relevant at a time when his ideology and mission are being challenged. Bin Laden spoke in a 22-minute audiotape posted on Islamic militant websites where Al Qaeda usually issues messages. The authenticity of the tape, bin Laden’s first since May, could not be independently confirmed. Source

How George W Bush, is that “Bull Shit”.

They could at least get a new Script.

This tells me the Americans are of course,  behind this attacks on Gaza.

Bin Laden is in all likelihood, dead. He had a kidney disease, for which he needed dialysis. Odds of him still even being alive, are extremely, small to say the least.

There have been a number of times the Americans, have fabricated videos or tapes of him.

This too is probably BS. Seems Bin Laden pops up when the US is looking for “support” and to instill “fear”  in people. What propaganda. They have beat this to death more times then not. To a point of nausea.  They should put their Bin Laden, propaganda in a Museum where it belongs.

It is an antique scenario after all.

Bush defends foreign policy in final legacy tour
January 15 2009: “The war, launched without UN authorization, undercut US credibility abroad and contributed to a resounding victory by Obama against John McCain”.

“Bush also made clear that he sees his failed effort to broker peace between Israeli and the Palestinians in his final year as not completely in vain, despite a 3-week-old Israel-Hamas war in Gaza with no end in sight.” Source

He is also the one supplying “Weapons of  Mass Destruction” to Israel.

Broker peace my foot. Broker more war, would be more like it. Bush loves war, as does his weapons making, profiteering,  friends and those who invest in Weapons companies, who also stand to make a tidy profit. The more war the more Profit. $$$$$$$$$$$. Daddy must be so proud of his Son.

Israel will do anything for the US. Heaven forbid they didn’t get all that Aid money and “Weapons of Mass Destruction”.

The US and Israel are worse then Saddam could ever imagine being.  

Bush is a war criminal like his Israeli counter parts are and both should be treated as such. Exterminating, over a million people in Iraq is a crime.

Israel is doing the same thing.

Shoot Then Ask, Israeli Soldiers Told

Gaza (6) A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

US delivering more “Weapons of Mass Destruction” to Israel

79 % of the time: Israel caused conflicts not Hamas

Israel rains fire on Gaza with phosphorus Shells/Targets UN School

Israel killing their own by Using Deadly Weapons of Mass Destuction against Gaza

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Published in: on January 15, 2009 at 9:09 pm  Comments Off on Israel Hits another “United Nations” Building in Gaza  
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Gaza hospital overwhelmed by dead and wounded

image Palestinians carry the bodies of three toddlers Ahmed, Mohamed, and Issa Samouni, who according to Palestinian medical sources were killed in an Israeli strike, during their funeral in Gaza City, Monday, Jan. 5, 2009.

January 6 2009

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Wailing in grief, Salah Samouni banged his head against a wall inside the hospital morgue where the bodies of his three young nephews lay on the floor Monday.

After 10 days of a relentless Israeli assault, Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest, is overwhelmed. Bodies were crowded two to a morgue drawer, and some — like 3-year-old Issa, 4-year-old Mohammed and 5-year-old Ahmad — were on the floor.

Shifa’s shabby halls echoed Monday with the sounds of people screaming and the wail of ambulance sirens. Many of the wounded were being treated in hallways by harried doctors and nurses running on little sleep. The hospital was powered by emergency generators after shelling damaged power lines.

Since Israel began a ground offensive Saturday, most of the dead and wounded arriving at Shifa are civilians, as Israel’s offensive shifts from airstrikes to artillery shelling and fighting close to densely populated areas.

Israel says it is targeting only the Hamas militants who control Gaza in an attempt to halt seven years of rocket fire at Israeli communities. But the 550 Palestinians who have been killed include at least 200 civilians, according to Dr. Moaiya Hassanein of the Gaza Health Ministry.

On Monday, 20 children between the ages of 2 and 15 were killed, he said. Since the military offensive began Dec. 27, three Israeli civilians and two soldiers have been killed.

Nurse Ahmad Abdul Salam, 34, red-eyed and smelling of sweat, his clothes stained with blood, said he couldn’t sleep. “When my shift ends, I help my colleagues. These are our brothers and friends who are being harmed,” he said.

The hospital’s most gruesome scene was in its morgue, where blood pooled on the floor and refrigerators meant to hold 35 bodies were crammed with 70, laid side-by-side in drawers.

Lying on a gray mat on the floor, the three Samouni brothers appeared baby-faced and almost as though they were asleep, except for a large bandage wrapped around Issa’s head.

The children’s father was also killed in what relatives said was an Israeli strike on a house in eastern Gaza City where the family had fled to escape fighting nearby.

Relatives wept Monday and one man screamed for help for other family members he said were buried under the rubble of the house. “For God’s sake, rescue them!” he pleaded.

No militants were seen at Shifa. Israel says its forces have killed dozens of Palestinian gunmen, but Hamas has not listed its casualties and it is unclear where militants are being treated or where their bodies were taken.

Shifa has been powered by generators since power completely cut out in Gaza City three days ago. Israel has not replenished Gaza’s power station with industrial fuel since fighting began, and airstrikes have badly damaged power lines.

U.N. health official Mahmoud Daher said the generators were meant only as an emergency backup and he feared they would break down with the constant use, imperiling some 70 people hooked up to lifesaving equipment.

Throughout the day, exhausted medics rushed in with the wounded and the bodies of the dead.

Mohammed Salman, 26, a volunteer medic washing blood from the inside of an ambulance, said he had treated people with horrific injuries, including headless children and a woman whose stomach had been torn open.

The woman screamed, “Leave me and save my children,” he said, and burst into tears.

Israeli aircraft have hit three ambulances in Gaza since the campaign began, killing seven medics, according to Gaza health officials.

A medical building owned by a relief organization not connected to Hamas was also bombed, said Daher. He said the building was destroyed, along with an ambulance, three mobile clinics and donated medicines.

The Israeli army says it has no records of any of those strikes.

Raed Arini, a Shifa hospital official, said he has stopped filling out the space on death certificates that says “reason for death.”

“The reason for death is the Israeli army,” he said, as medics rushed in with more wounded people.

Source

Israeli Forces Surround Gaza City

Gaza City January 5 2009

Families in fear of being killed by the Israelis
are leaving their homes gathering in schools and other locations
together with their children and relatives in the surrounded Gaza City
Photo ” name withheld” – PalestineFreeVoice Images

By Hiyam Noir

January 6 2009 1.26 am
Gaza – On Saturday before noon, Israeli tanks and troops launched a ground invasion in the northern Gaza strip, as Israeli air crafts escalated its assault on Gaza Strip.The Israelis said the assault might take “many long days”, as thousands of more Israeli reservists were drafted. As Israeli tanks and infantry crossed into northern Gaza, reports of fierce fighting between Hamas forces and Israeli troops began, Hamas warned the Israelis that if they would trespass Palestinian territories, they would face a “black destiny”.

Hours earlier, heavy assault from Israeli artillery along the border, intended to clear mines or roadside bombs for the invasion. The ground offensive followed a day of heavy air,  sea and artillery bombardment of Gaza that left at least 50 Gaza residents, including children, dead and dozens injured, when an Israeli missile strike a mosque in Beit Lahiya, as worshippers were praying inside. The invading Israeli forces also attacked the American school in northern Gaza,  a security guard was killed there.

Since the Israeli ground invasion on Saturday early morning,  members of the Palestinian resistance has been detained during clashes with the invading Israeli military. The Israelis have abducted dozens of Palestinian fighters and other residents across the border for interrogation. As many as 100 Palestinians have been abducted during recent Israeli invasion.

The Israelis considers Gaza residents “illegal” combatants:)). Same tactics were used in the West Bank ,during a manhunt in the last years of the second Intifada, when the Israeli occupant listed the Palestinian resistance on what was called a ” wanted list”..and abducted members of Al Qassam Brigades, Al Aqsa Brigades and Islamic Jihad and other groups, attempting to retrieve information that sometimes lead to the capture of other members of the resistance.

The death toll, as the Israeli massive assault on Gaza entered its second week,more than 550 Palestinians are counted dead,7 Israelis are killed by Hamas rocket fire. Khaled Meshaal the exiled leader of Hamas has rejected a ceasefire in Gaza ,until the Israelis have agreed to end its three-year blockade of Gaza, which has caused economic infrastructural collapse and a widespread suffering.Meshaal said in a televised address that Hamas organization had been contacted by European and Arab countries about a ceasefire and Egypt,the same people who together with Mahmoud Abbas ( Fatah) locked the borders to Gaza, says it has now resumed its talks with Hamas.
Just after midnight, on Tuesday morning sources tell that the Israelis have declared Gaza City as ” partially besieged”. Israeli ground troops and snipers, backed by artillery of tanks, bulldozers and Apache helicopters have encircled Gaza City and cut the Gaza Strip in two. The inhabitants have with their families and relatives left their homes, to stay in schools and in other locations.

The air in Gaza hospitals is thick of grievance, the morgues are crowded with corpses of hundreds of slain’ Palestinians.Tormented, brutalized bodies lay lined up on the floor, in hospital corridors this Monday evening. Some poor souls share the place in the morgue drawers, the little body of a 4 year old girl and a 12 year old boy are wrapped in blood stained sheets, their cold tiny bodies are covered in blankets.

The Al Awda Hospital and Kamal Edwan hospital in the northern parts of Gaza Strip have no space left for all the dead. The hospitals can not take the situation any more, in one week a disaster is imminent. Just before noon on Monday, a patient waiting in Al Awda hospital emergency room, was injured from falling large chokes of glass from the windows, which exploded after an Israeli air strike nearby, also in front of the Al Awda hospital a police car was shelled.

In Al Shefa hospital in Gaza City, burnt corpses,  collected pieces of body parts, lies there in a morgue overwhelmed by cruel dead, after the Israelis relentless missiles and bombs pondering across the city and the densely populated refuge camps in the area. Many children are killed, some are lying there on the cold floor,  surrounded by parents and relatives stricken by grief.

Since the Zionist Israel began its ground offensive on Saturday, most of the dead and wounded arriving at the Shefa hospital are civilians, as the Israeli offensive change from airs trikes to artillery shelling and the clashes between the courageous Palestinian resistance and the Israeli military, continued close to densely populated areas.

Traumatized people scream in agony, many of the wounded are treated in hallways, by nurses and doctors in distress, deeply affected by the heavy burden of responsibility and fear, tired to their bones, having not enough of sleep, the extremely horrible consequences of the Israelis terror have taken its weighty toll on them too.

Emergency generators gives the Gaza Strip hospitals power, after Israeli missile attacks have targeted and destroyed the power lines. In northern parts of Gaza Strip the towns and villages only receive approximately 1.5 hour/24 of electricity. Another problem that is devastating the Gaza Strip population, the banks and money transfer offices have been closed for the 5th consequent day.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, the Israelis have killed over 100 children in Gaza Strip, in the past 3 days of massive assault. On Monday, 23 children between the ages of 2 and 15 were killed, the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza said. 10 people from 2 families including 6 children, where killed in the Eastern parts of Gaza. The Israeli predators claim they only target Hamas fighters and rocket launching sites.

That is a big fat lie, the Israelis do not even allowed Palestinian medical crews in ambulances to recover the bodies of dead and injured people, only the Red Cross is allowed into the areas. However the Red Cross ambulances have also been shelled in the Israeli bombardment.Israeli aircraft have shelled three ambulances in Gaza, since the terror campaign began, killing seven Palestinian medics,  according to Gaza hospital sources.

On Monday, more than 50 Gaza residents has been killed in Beit Hanoun. On Sunday, Israeli warplanes bombed a house in Beit Hanoun, where Palestinians were mourning the death of a paramedic who was killed on Saturday, many people were wounded in this attack. A medical building owned by a relief organization was also bombed, the building was destroyed, along with an ambulance and three mobile medical clinics.Israeli artillery killed four people and wounded 16 others in a market in Al-Bureij Refugee Camp late on Monday. These killings bring the number of Palestinians killed on Monday to 50 people including children.

Earlier a man was killed on Monday by Israeli ground forces in the Atatra neigh borhood in Beit Lahia, in northern Gaza Strip. Two corpses has also been transferred from Jabaliya Refugee Camp to Kamal Edwan Hospital.A Hamas commander, Rafat Salman was killed earlier, and his home destroyed by heavy artillery shelling in the north eastern parts of Gaza Strip, This is where the resistance is strong. Israeli ground troops have failed to enter the center of the town. Palestinian fighters of all fractions, have together resisted, defending the northern frontier with heavy machine gunfire, launching projectiles and setting off explosive charges against invading Israeli predators.

On Monday night, Israeli troops had encircled Gaza City after approaching from four directions, afraid to be killed if invading the central parts of the city, where many unexpected surprises are waiting. Meanwhile Israeli warplanes continue to pound from the air the central parts of the city. A major confrontation is taking place in the area, a fierce battle between the Palestinian armed resistance and the Israeli military have raged the northern outskirts of Gaza City. So far it appears that resistance groups other than Al Qassam Brigades, the Hamas armed branch, including Al Quds Brigade (Islamic Jihad), and Al-Aqsa Brigades ( Fatah ) are involved in the battle in the front lines. It is possible the Al Qassam Brigades with an army of 20.000 soldiers are awaiting in the last lines, the confrontations with the Israeli army.

Source

Beit Lahia Families Seak Safety In UNRWA Schools

January 6 2009
By Hiyam Noir

Beit Lahia January 6 2009
Photo ” name withheld ”
PalestineFreeVoice Images

BEIT LAHIA – After Israeli ground invasion of Gaza Strip, Palestinian families in Beit Lahia has found safety in UNRWA schools. More than 50 people including 17 children have been killed by Israeli air strikes and artillery fire in less than three days in the Beit Lahia area.  The people in this northern town and the surrounding area, have only access to electric power during 1.5 of 24 hours.

Local Mosques, schools and other public buildings, pharmacists, hospitals, homes, markets, farmland, police cars, ambulances and private cars has been targeted, bombed and destroyed by the Zionists. The Palestinian resistance, Good Bless them, held the northern frontier of Gaza Strip stationed in and around of Beit Lahia, where the resistance is strong, defending courageously the little town in spite of heavy Israeli bombardments.

Source

Will the world do nothing to stop Genocide in Gaza?

An Open Letter From Jewish Youth in Canada – Support of Gaza

Foreign Press still banned from Gaza/Israel attacks Media Building in Gaza City

Gaza wounded die waiting for ambulances

War on Gaza – Timeline: June 19 2008 to January 3 2009

Published in: on January 6, 2009 at 4:55 pm  Comments Off on Gaza hospital overwhelmed by dead and wounded  
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Bank billions at risk from Wall Street Fraud

December 15 2008

By Kelly Macnamara

Banks lined up today to reveal billions in potential losses as a result of alleged fraud by Wall Street investment manager Bernard Madoff.

The Royal Bank of Scotland – 58 per cent owned by the taxpayer – said £400 million was at risk in the hedge funds invested with 70-year-old Madoff, who was arrested last week after police said he admitted a £33 billion scheme to defraud investors.

Spanish bank Santander, which owns Abbey and the savings business of Bradford & Bingley, said its potential exposure was more than £2 billion, while HSBC could reportedly lose up to £668 million.

Nicola Horlick, who manages Bramdean Alternatives, which had 9 per cent of its funds invested with Madoff’s scheme, said the case raised serious questions about the regulatory system in the US.

She said it had been given a “clean bill of health” by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“I think now it is very difficult for people to invest in things that are meant to be regulated in America because they have fallen down on the job,” she told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

“All through the credit crunch this has been apparent. This is the biggest financial scandal, probably, in the history of the markets.”

She said that, even if Bramdean Alternatives was forced to write off its entire investment in Madoff’s scheme, it would still only be down 4 per cent on the year while the stock market had fallen 35 per cent.

According to court documents, Madoff – a former chairman of New York’s Nasdaq stock exchange – told his employees that his operations were “all just one big lie” and “basically, a giant Ponzi scheme”.

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment vehicle which pays very high returns to existing investors paid for by money put into the scheme by newcomers.

Madoff’s arrest will raise questions about the effectiveness of regulatory authorities, which failed to notice the scam.

Hedge fund giant Man Group, said: “Based on information available to date, it appears that a systematic and comprehensive fraud may have been committed, evading a range of structural controls.”

The company, which said it had approximately 360 million US dollars (£239 million) of exposure, added that Madoff Securities was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which monitors investment funds.

Madoff Securities was also a member of five self-regulatory organisations, including US independent securities regulator Finra and the Nasdaq.

The FBI said members of Madoff’s own family turned him in after he confessed his fraud to them.

A criminal complaint filed with a court in Manhattan said he told senior employees of his firm before his arrest that he had blown more than £33 billion with fraudulent financial moves.

The list of victims of the alleged fraud ranges from giant financial institutions to tiny local foundations.

Museums, hospitals, a Jewish youth charity in Boston and pensioners are all thought to be among the alleged victims.

Harvey Pitt, a former chairman of the SEC, said the fact that foundations and charities could lose out is the “real tragedy”.

“There were a lot of very sophisticated people who were duped, and that happens a great deal when you’ve had somebody decide to be unscrupulous,” he said.

Reports from Florida to Minnesota in the US included ordinary investors who gave Madoff their money. Some had been friends with him for decades, others were able to invest because they were a friend of a friend.

They told stories of losing everything from £26,500 to an entire nest egg worth well over £670,000.

Other financial institutions with potential exposure include Nomura, Japan’s largest securities company, which has £204 million invested with Madoff.

Switzerland’s Reichmuth & Co said the private bank had £218 million of exposure. It told investors that they “sincerely regret” being affected.

French bank BNP Paribas estimated its exposure Madoff’s fund could lead to £311 million in losses.

HSBC’s exposure could reach 1 billion US dollars (£668 million), according to the Financial Times.

The banking giant’s exposure is understood to have come from loans it made to clients, who invested around £500 million of their own funds in Madoff’s venture.

Under the typical terms of these deals, it is thought HSBC would be reimbursed before its clients if the US authorities recover any funds.

Madoff is on £6.6 million bail.

The assets of Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities were frozen last Friday in a deal with US government regulators and a receiver was appointed to manage the firm’s financial affairs.

Source

Victims of record $91bn fraud speak out

December15 2008

From a Jewish youth charity in Boston to major banks as far afield as Zurich, the list of investors who say they were duped in one of Wall Street’s biggest Ponzi schemes are streaming forward.

Around the world, investors who sunk cash into veteran Wall Street money manager Bernard Madoff’s investment pool spent the weekend calculating how much exposure they might have. The 70-year-old Madoff, well respected in the investment community after serving as chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market, was arrested Thursday in what prosecutors say was a $50 billion scheme to defraud investors.

One thing was clear in the fallout from his arrest: The alleged victims span from the super rich, to pensioners and powerful financial institutions, to local charities. Some investors claim they’ve been wiped out, while others are still likely to come forward.

“There were a lot of very sophisticated people who were duped, and that happens a great deal when you’ve had somebody decide to be unscrupulous,” said Harvey Pitt, a former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, a regulator in charge of monitoring investment funds like the one Madoff operated.

“It isn’t just the big investors,” he said. “There’s a lot of charitable and foundation money involved in this, which is the real tragedy.”

Charities across the country are expected to be directly affected by the collapse of Madoff’s investment fund. The assets of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC were frozen Friday in a deal with federal regulators and a receiver was appointed to manage the firm’s financial affairs.

One of the largest financial scams to hit Wall Street has investors wondering if they’ll ever get their money back.

In Boston, the Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation, a charity that financed trips for Jewish youth to Israel, said on its website Sunday that the money for its operations was invested with Madoff.

“The money needed to fund the programs of the Lappin Foundation is gone,” it said. “The foundation staff has been terminated today.”

New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg, one of the wealthiest members of the Senate, entrusted his family’s charitable foundation to Madoff. Lautenberg’s attorney, Michael Griffinger, said they weren’t yet sure the extent of the foundation’s losses, but that the bulk of its investments had been handled by Madoff.

Lautenberg’s foundation handed out more than $765,000 to at least 100 recipients in 2006, according to the most recent listing on Guidestar, which tracks charitable organization filings.

The foundation helps support a variety of religious, educational, civic and arts organizations in New Jersey and elsewhere, and its contributions range from a gift of than $300,000 to the United Jewish Communities of MetroWest New Jersey to a $2,000 donation to a children’s program at the Hackensack Medical Center.

Reports from Florida to Minnesota included profiles of ordinary investors who gave Madoff their money. Some had been friends with him for decades, others were able to invest because they were a friend of a friend. They told stories of losing everything from $40,000 to an entire nest egg worth well over $1 million.

They join a list of more powerful investors that have come forward, all worried about the extent of their losses. The roster of names include Philadelphia Eagles owner Norman Braman, New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon and J. Ezra Merkin, the chairman of GMAC Financial Services, among others.

Beyond US hedge funds, more corporate names disclosed exposure to Madoff. Late Sunday, some of Europe’s biggest banks acknowledged they, too, were exposed to Madoff’s investment fund.

Switzerland’s Reichmuth & Co. said the private bank has $327 million at risk. It told investors that they “sincerely regret” being affected.

Other banks such as Spain’s Grupo Santander SA, Europe’s second-largest banking consortium, and France’s BNP Paribas are also left with billions of dollars in exposure, according to media reports. Both banks could not immediately be reached for comment.

Source


Cameron calls for probe into financial crisis

By Daniel Bentley

December 15 2008

Cameron has challenged Gordon Brown to call an immediate general election
David Cameron accused Gordon Brown of a “failure of moral leadership”

David Cameron called today for a thorough investigation into the causes of the financial crisis, insisting that City executives should be prosecuted for any criminal wrongdoing.

Pledging a “day of reckoning” for those behind the turmoil, the Tory leader said rooting out the culprits was essential to restore confidence in the financial services sector.

He also accused Gordon Brown of a “failure of moral leadership” for not urging the authorities to probe scandals in the City.

In a speech at Thomson Reuters in Canary Wharf, home of thousands of City workers, Mr Cameron said the rich and well-connected should not be protected from the law.

While claiming the Government was most to blame for the financial crisis, he said Labour’s “economic policy mistakes” were compounded by “irresponsible” behaviour in the City.

He went on: “Doctors who behave irresponsibly get struck off. Bankers who behave irresponsibly should face professional consequences.

“And, for sure, if anyone is found to have behaved criminally they must be prosecuted.

“Of course, this requires clear evidence of wrongdoing. But that doesn’t mean we should sit on our hands and say it’s all a failure of regulation.”

The Conservative leader said there was evidence of mortgage fraud, “possible” insider trading and other misconduct investigated but not prosecuted by the Financial Services Authority.

“To send out the right message about our country’s values to help stop this crisis from happening again and to help restore the City of London’s reputation I believe it is now vital that investigations are vigorously pursued to their appropriate conclusion,” he went on.

“And the fact that the Prime Minister has not been urging our authorities to pursue financial wrongdoing, like in America, is in my view a failure of moral leadership.”

Mr Cameron said there was a lack of will in Britain to see justice done “at the highest level”, either from the Government or the FSA.

“The FSA and the Serious Fraud Office should be following up every lead, investigating every suspect transaction,” he said.

“And the Government should be urging them on, because we need to make it 100% clear – those who break the law should face prosecution.”

In the US, large financial institutions were being investigated by the FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Tory leader said.

“We all know there was poor decision-making and some reckless activity in the City of London,” he added.

“But we do not know if there was wrongdoing and the nature of any wrongdoing, because we haven’t examined the issue thoroughly in the way the Americans are doing.”

He called for a bigger levy on the City to pay for the “best possible staff” for the FSA, which in turn had to force firms to hold more capital to offset high risks.

Mr Cameron added that the City would not recover from the financial crisis unless it regained confidence, and that meant holding those responsible to account.

“In the good times, some people working in the financial services industry paid themselves vast financial rewards – salaries and bonuses beyond the comprehension of most of us,” he said.

“Now, when it’s all gone wrong, they have been bailed out by the taxpayer.

“Nurses and cleaners and teachers and many millions of others, working in every part of our economy, they will foot this multibillion-pound bill.

“Well, on behalf of the taxpayer, on behalf of the nurse on £20,000 a year, on behalf of the cleaner on the minimum wage, on behalf of working families worrying this Christmas like never before about what next year will bring, I say it is fair and reasonable that those responsible are held to account for their behaviour and that we show clearly that, in this country, there is not one rule for the rich and a different rule for everybody else.”

He said that more than a million people who work in the financial services industry had had their names blackened by the crisis.

“It’s in their interests too that we make sure we root out any wrongdoing that may have happened, whoever is involved, however high or well-connected they may be,” Mr Cameron added.

Source

An investigation what an after thought.

That would have been my first thought.

Starvation slams Haiti: Kids dying after 4 storms ravage crops, livestock

December 7 2008

BY JACQUELINE CHARLES

BAIE D’ORANGE, Haiti

The slow road to death runs high above the scenic coastline, past the crumbled bridges and buried rivers. It traverses a jagged trail passing green slopes and red fertile dirt before arriving here: an isolated mountain village where little Haitian girls dream of eating rice and the doctor is a three-hour walk away.

This is the place where children, suffering from stunted growth, look half their age, where struggling mothers cry that their half-starved babies with the brittle orange hair — evidence of malnutrition — neither crawl nor walk.

“He doesn’t cry, ‘Manman.’ Or ‘Papa,’ ” says Christmene Normilus, holding her malnourished 2-year-old son, Jean-Roselle Tata.

Emergency intervention
In the past month, international aid workers and doctors have airlifted 46 children on the brink of death from this southeastern village and neighboring communities to hospitals in Port-au-Prince, and elsewhere in the south.

The emergency intervention came after it was reported that 26 children from the Baie d’Orange region had died from severe malnutrition in the wake of the four successive storms that devastated Haiti in less than a month this summer.

But long before the deaths and hospitalizations plunged this poverty-stricken nation into the global spotlight amid fears of storm-related famine, the people of this farming community already were battling hunger.

Proud, they reluctantly admit that it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to feed their children, many of whom already suffer from chronic malnutrition.

Their story is repeated throughout the countryside, where a lack of roads, potable water and public-health facilities, as well as deforestation, already had Haiti’s rural poor living in life-threatening misery before the four back-to-back storms washed out more roads, killed livestock and wiped out crops.

“We can’t give our children what they need,” said Jilesca Fulcal, 37, a mother of seven who recently sought medical care for her 2-year-old son, Jean-Samuel Jules. “There is no food. No work for the people. The children can’t live like that. The children are suffering in their mothers’ arms.”

In recent weeks, the United Nations World Food Program has delivered food to the region, taking care to treat the children who are severely malnourished. But with many parts of the hilly hinterland accessible only by foot and horseback, residents say some people still have no access to the food.

Unseen suffering
Unlike Port-au-Prince, where Haiti’s crushing poverty is visible in the crowded slums and on the streets, the misery here is through what visitors don’t see: the eight- to 10-hour walk for water because there are no rivers, able-bodied young men toiling in the fields, the daily struggle to find food — including three hours to walk 12 miles on a rugged road to see the doctor.

“What’s happening in Baie d’Orange is the result of poor political decision-making that has happened over several years,” said Fednel Zidor, the government delegate for the southeast, who has gone on the radio to bring attention to the community’s plight. “No one paid any attention to it.”

Source

A bit of history.

January 7 2005

Photos: © 2005 Haiti Information Project – A UN armored personnel vehicle rolls through Delmas 2 in Bel Air. Five people were killed on January 5 when the UN entered the pro-Lavalas neighborhood under the pretext of cleaning the streets of garbage. Although the UN force took advantage of several photo opportunities to show their public works projects yesterday, their only duty on January 5 was to enter the roiling slum on heavily armed patrols. ©2004 Haiti Information ProjectOn October 28, 2004, the Haitian police entered the slum of Bel Air and shot these four young men execution style. Now that the UN controls Bel Air, members of Aristide’s Lavalas party demanded the UN stop the police and the former military from committing more murders in their communities. Some residents decided to leave Bel Air after the UN assumed control of the streets on January 5, 2005. Although the UN claims responsibility for security, members of Lavalas accuse the multinational force of allowing the Haitian National Police  to execute armed raids in poor neighborhoods where support for ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide remains strong. Despite UN claims of having entered Bel Air with force on January 5th to clear the streets of trash, other than a few carefully planned photo opportunites with the Associated Press, there was little evidence of progress the next day.

A UN armored personnel vehicle rolls through a nearly deserted street in the neighborhood of Bel Air. Residents claim five persons were killed on January 5, 2005 when the UN invaded the slum with hundreds of Brazilian troops under the guise of street cleaning and civic improvement projects

UN occupies Bel Air in Haiti
Port au Prince, Haiti Hundreds of Brazilian soldiers and special units of the Haitian National Police stormed the pro-Aristide neighborhood of Bel Air in the early morning hours of January 5. Residents were surprised and frightened by the armed incursion as gunfire broke out. Witnesses reported that five persons were killed as the operation unfolded.

Bel Air is a slum in the capital of Port au Prince that has served as a launching site for demonstrations demanding the return of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Aristide was ousted last February 29th amid charges he was kidnapped by U.S. Marines and remains in exile in the Republic of South Africa. The Bel Air slum had been under siege by police since violence erupted last September 30th after police opened fire on unarmed demonstrators.

Following the military operation, UN peacekeepers were seen providing photo opportunities to the press as they fixed a few water pipes and cleared the carcasses of burned out vehicles blocking the road. One resident who refused to give their name fearing reprisals stated, “Do you think we want to live like this? We are more afraid of the police coming in here and killing everyone than we are of the rats and the garbage. Those wrecked cars were our security because it stopped the police from coming in here at night and shooting us. Now that the UN has opened the door for them we don’t know what is going to happen to us. Look what they did in Cite de Dieu yesterday.”

The UN incursion came one day after Haitian police were accused of committing another deadly raid in a neighborhood close to Haiti’s National Theater. In Cite de Dieu the police reportedly killed six people including a 16 year-old girl and later justified the slaughter claiming they were bandits.

An unidentified representative of Aristide’s Lavalas party commented on the situation, “If the UN is really going to provide security to our communities then they must stop the police from murdering our citizens. We all want peace but you cannot blame people for wanting to defend themselves while the UN allows the police to commit murder and fill the jails with political prisoners. They must stop the police and the former military from murdering our citizens.

“Last October 28th the police executed four young men they thought were Lavalas and the UN did nothing to stop them.

“The UN cannot on one-hand say they are bringing security while on the other they claim to be assisting the police as they kill us, beat us and arrest us. It is a contradiction they must resolve or there will never be peace. They must control the police and stop the killing! They must support us in releasing all the political prisoners filling our jails!

“For now, it appears the UN are equally responsible for this partisan campaign to exterminate Lavalas that is clearly meant to silence our opposition to the coup of February 29, 2004.”

Source

San Francisco Bay Area Journalist Kevin Pina Held in Haiti

by Leisa Faulkner
September 12, 2005

Reporter Kevin Pina opened his family home to me last month in Port au Prince, Haiti when violence closed the orphanage where I usually stay to do human rights work. Tonight, Kevin sleeps in a jail cell like those I visited in Cap Haitian just weeks ago. He has become part of the story he risks his life daily to tell.

UN works to squash followers of Aristide in Haiti Port-au-Prince, Haiti Corralling residents and kicking down doors, heavily armed troops of the UN and the Police Nationale de Haiti invaded several neighborhoods of Cite Soleil one day after an alleged attack on the headquarters of the mission of the Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul. Jan 9

Deaths reported as UN enters Haiti slum Port au Prince, Haiti Sustained and heavy gunfire erupted in the pro-Aristide slum of Cite Soleil at about 3 a.m. this morning and was followed by an incursion into the area by hundreds of Brazilian and Jordanian troops of the United Nations. – Dec 14 2004

Tearing up the Charter: UN’s Erosion Continues in Haiti Flashpoints Radio’s Dennis Bernstein interviews Kevin Pina and Brian Concannon. Oct 18 2004


Council On Hemispheric Affairs

Aiding Oppression in Haiti: Kofi Annan and General Heleno’s Complicity in Latortue’s Jackal Regime Dec 16 2004

Haiti’s Ship Sails on Without a Captain and With a Very Disreputable Crew: Kofi Annan, Roger Noriega, Colin Powell and Lula of Brazil have much to answer for failing to implement the UN’s Stabilization Mission – Dec 9

Brazil’s Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti: Doing God’s or Washington’s Work? -Dec 6

Oh, When All is Looted & Pillaged, Your Hunger Will Remain
February 28 2004
When President Bush took to the airwaves on Wednesday of this week, touting his Haitian counter-exodus measures, my suspicions of a repeat of 1991s coup d’etat were confirmed. The Coast Guard is to establish a wet line-of-defense, protecting the Cuban Shangri-La of Miami from boatloads of greasy, AIDS infected, odiferous Haitians. A carte blanche gifted to the water patrol units, granting cutter vessels total amnesty from any outcry resulting from dubious repatriation practices. The message was clear; this country will not tolerate another influx of non-European immigrants, especially those who defied our French brethren 200 years past.

Canada The Coup Coalition
March 7 2004
It looks like Paul Martin is already putting his mark on foreign affairs, with a shameful pandering to America in this. It was interesting to watch the hesitation in Foreign Affairs as the old hands working to save democracy in Haiti got the rug pulled out from under them by what Jamaica is already calling “new Canadians” – not meant to imply an improved version. I guess the business at any price types in the Liberal party have finally gotten their way.
So Americans, have no fear, or minor annoyance anyway – Canada will once again help hold the bag for you while you fill it with the corpses of anyone who dares to oppose your God given right to tell everyone else in the world how to manage their economy and live their lives.

Operation Enduring Sweatshop Another Bush Brings Hell to Haiti
March 10 2004

This week, the Bush administration added another violent “regime change” notch to its gunbelt, toppling the democratically elected president of Haiti and replacing him with an unelected gang of convicted killers, death squad leaders, militarists, narcoterrorists, CIA operatives, hereditary elitists and corporate predators – a bit like Team Bush itself, in other words.

Hidden from the Headlines
Haiti After the Coup The Final Chapter Has Yet To Be Written

When Hidden from the Headlines was first published in August 2003, we wrote: Since the election of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2000, the United States has moved to sabotage Haiti’s fledgling democracy through an economic aid embargo, massive funding of elite opposition groups, support for paramilitary coup attempts, and a propaganda offensive against the Aristide government. Hidden from the headlines for years, this campaign has now become an open effort to destroy a popularly elected, progressive government.

And I am sure the Sanctions they were under also helped them into extreme poverty as well.

Haitian children died from severe malnutrition

Poverty crushing the People of Haiti /History on Sanctions

Save the Children has served the needs of some of Haiti’s poorest children and families since 1985. Today, through advocacy, by reinforcing government social services and supporting community-based development programs in protection, education, health, food security, livelihoods and humanitarian relief, we are improving the lives of some 425,000 children and adults in urban and rural communities in six provinces and 33 districts. To better serve the great needs of children and best use the vital resources of our donors, Save the Children recently merged programs and activities with other members of the International Save the Children Alliance who also have programs in Haiti.

Challenges for Children

Of all the nations in the Western Hemisphere, none faces greater challenges to improve the lives of its children than Haiti. In addition to its poor development indicators, Haiti is the country most affected by HIV/AIDS outside of sub-Saharan Africa, which aggravates the well-being of children whose health is already compromised by poverty and inadequate access to basic health care.

Improving the health, education and food security of poor children and women.
Improving the health, education and food security of poor children and women.

Numbers at a Glance

  • Average life expectancy in Haiti is 52 years.
  • Under-5 mortality rate is 120 per 1,000 live births.
  • Some 3.8 percent of the population is believed to be HIV positive, among them 17,000 children.
  • Some 500,000 girls and boys are out of school and some 300,000 children live in domestic servitude.

Our Response

Protection: In urban areas, including the capital of Port-au-Prince, Save the Children supports welcome centers for street children that provide food and shelter, education and health programs and counseling and play opportunities. Centers offer scholarship assistance so that children can attend school and provide on-site lessons to prepare children for formal schooling. Save the Children also supports children’s rights through direct local interventions and national advocacy. Through a network of children’s clubs, we educate girls and boys on their rights, offers recreational youth activities and endorse positive civic participation.

Education: Save the Children implements a rural education program in over 200 community, government and mission schools. Through it, we reach over 22,000 students in Haiti’s Central Plateau, Southeast and Artibonite regions. We advocate for state recognition and more resources for the country’s growing network of community-run schools. We also pilot school readiness programs for pre-school girls and boys to increase their chances for later educational success.  Primary children benefit from our school health and nutrition activities, receiving de-worming medication, iodine, iron supplementation and hygiene training, all of which help them stay in school. Innovative radio learning programs further extend the reach of our educational initiatives. And, Haiti is also part of Save the Children’s Rewrite the Future campaign to support education in conflict-affected countries.

Community Health: In partnership with the Ministry of Health, Save the Children provides quality primary health care to mothers and young children in the Artibonite and Central provinces. We help prevent and treat malaria, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases. We also train health care workers, invest in health infrastructure and medical equipment and develop community-based health committees to promote local participation and community well-being. In addition, we vaccinate children, provide them with supplemental vitamins and micronutrients, promote the benefits of breastfeeding and address childhood illnesses such as diarrhea. Save the Children projects also increase access to potable drinking water and oral re-hydration therapies. Reproductive health activities promote family planning, pre- and post-natal visits, safe deliveries and sexual education.

HIV/AIDS: Save the Children implements an HIV/AIDS program which has been greatly scaled up over the past year. Its goals are to improve access to prevention services and testing and counseling, mobilize community support for orphans and vulnerably children, improve the management of antiretroviral treatment programs and develop a coordinated system of care in the Artibonite, Central, Western and Nippes provinces. Activities include: mobilizing communities to assist persons living with and affected by HIV/AIDS; prevention of mother-to-child transmission; and promotion of safer sexual practices among youth. We help form local support groups and health committees and organize public awareness campaigns such as weekly radio broadcasts. Save the Children also leads a consortium of other organizations which is expanding HIV/AIDS programs into disadvantaged rural areas.

Food Security: Save the Children helps improve the nutritional status of children in eight districts in the Central and Artibonite provinces. We monitor children’s nutrition, provide food to pregnant and lactating women, children under age 2 and malnourished children; improve community health and nutrition practices and promote improved agricultural production and marketing to bolster local economic growth.

Humanitarian Relief: Save the Children provides humanitarian relief and child-centered assistance for children and families affected by natural disasters. Over the past five years, we also have conducted community-based disaster preparedness and mitigation activities.

Sponsorship: In Haiti, Save the Children sponsors are one of our most important resources. Through this support, we improve the lives of thousands of children every year by providing primary education and school health and nutrition programs in the Maïssade district in the Central Plateau. We are currently exploring expansion possibilities to other regions.

Looking Forward for Children

Save the Children continues to integrate its protection, education, primary health care, HIV/AIDS prevention and food security programs, while promoting household economic growth activities in communities. We also plan to broaden our impact through expanded geographic coverage in both urban and rural areas and increase our advocacy work for children’s rights.

More Teachers Help Make a Difference for Mona

Like many children from the community of Maissade, Mona began attending the local public school when she was 6. She is now in 3rd grade, but despite good attendance and health, Mona did not pass the tests that would have promoted her to the next grade. Save the Children learned that the school Mona attended had six classrooms managed by only one director and one teacher.

Save the Children responds to the shortage of teachers in public schools by training and placing new teachers in classrooms. In partnership with a local university and the Ministry of Education, high school graduates receive intensive teacher training followed by an assignment to a classroom that previously had no teacher.

The increased teacher-student ratio has made a difference in the quality of learning for Mona. She passed all of her exams; many girls just like Mona are advancing to the next grades.

Loudouide and Friends: A Chance to Attend School

“Because of Save the Children, all the children in my community can go to school and I am happy about that.”

Loudouide and her family live in a remote part of Maïssade District, an eight-hour drive from the capital of Port-au-Prince. In a country where half a million children do not go to school because their families cannot afford to send them, and only 2 percent finish secondary education, Loudouide and her village friends are benefiting from a golden opportunity – a chance to attend school.

Thanks to our community schools initiative, there has been a 20 percent increase in the number of children attending school in the areas where we work. In a country where nearly one person in every two is illiterate, this presents a life-changing opportunity for children such as Loudouide and her friends, their families and community.

Donate now to support Save the Children’s work in the U.S. and around the world

Large sections of Haiti’s population, particularly in the capital, Port-au- Prince, live in precarious conditions due to poverty, neglect, urban violence and lack of access to basic healthcare. Violence continues, especially in Martissant, where MSF treated over 200 gunshot injuries. An MSF survey between January 2006 to July 2007 showed that nearly one in four deaths in Martissant was related to violence.

Violence and conflict
Since December 2006, MSF has operated an emergency health center in Martissant, a neighborhood characterized by daily violence and a lack of medical facilities. Every day, patients are referred from the emergency health center to the other hospitals where MSF works. MSF established a number of mobile clinics in the heart of the Martissant neighborhoods, with medical teams offering primary healthcare to some 400 patients a day.

At the end of 2007, MSF handed over its project in the slum of Cité Soleil, where the security situation has improved, to the Ministry of Health. The project started in July 2005 to guarantee access to care for victims of the violence. The ongoing presence of MSF teams, even during the most intense fighting, resulted in 72,000 consultations at the primary health center of Chapi and 32,000 at Choscal hospital, where more than 13,000 patients were hospitalized. However, since April the situation has got better, with no patient with a bullet wound seen at the Tuscaloosa hospital and people in the neighborhood no longer living in fear and isolation.

MSF continued to provide medical and surgical care at its Trinite trauma center in Port-au- Prince, admitting more than 14,000 patients compared with 11,000 in 2006. The number of admissions for gunshot wounds fell from 1,300 in 2006 to 500 in 2007, although the number of victims of stab wounds, rape and beatings continued to rise. In total, 2,847 patients were admitted for violence-related trauma.

Throughout the year, MSF medical teams focused on improving quality of care, working to perfect the recently introduced surgical technique of orthopedic internal fixation. A total of 205 patients benefited from this technique, which sharply reduced their length of stay in hospital.

MSF also operates a physical rehabilitation center where patients needing specialized post-operative treatment can receive physiotherapy and psychological care.

In June, MSF increased its capacity to treat victims of sexual violence in the capital, offering comprehensive psychological and medical treatment. The program treated 242 victims between July 2006 and June 2007. Awareness campaigns emphasizing confidentiality and the need to seek treatment within 72 hours resumed in July in the shantytowns and city center.

Maternal health needs
Maternal mortality rates in Haiti are the highest in the western hemisphere (approximately 630 women die for 100,000 births), mainly due to eclampsia. The insecure urban slum environment where many women live limits their access to healthcare as physical and sexual violence, extortion and common crime are serious threats.

In 2006, the emergency maternal Jude Ann hospital was opened in Port-au-Prince, the only hospital in Haiti to offer free emergency obstetric care. By the end of 2007, over 13,000 women had given birth here. MSF also started providing services in fixed clinics in selected slum communities, with ante- and post-natal care and a referral service in the three slums of La Saline, Pelé Simon and Solino. Mental health services will be added in 2008.

MSF has worked in Haiti since 1991.

More Reports or to Donate

Repression in the Dominican Republic

Resistance rises in the Dominican Republic

Emmanuel Santos looks at state repression in the Dominican Republic and the spreading resistance.

A march against police repression in San Francisco de Macoris

A march against police repression in San Francisco de Macorís

A SERIES of social struggles in the Dominican Republic are challenging the increasingly repressive regime of President Leonel Fernández.

On October 21, a 48-hour strike to protest the high cost of living and lack of electricity, health care facilities and infrastructure investment paralyzed San Francisco de Macorís, the third largest city in the country. The strike, organized by the Alternative Social Forum (FSA), had a huge economic impact and led to street protests in adjacent towns.

Police SWAT teams were dispatched to put down the strike. Officers shot at protesters indiscriminately, wounding 20 people during violent street clashes. More than 50 people were arrested.

The death of two teenagers shot by police shocked the entire country. Then, four people were wounded when police interrupted the funeral of one of the murdered teens.

But this was not the first time innocent people faced the wrath of the local police. In fact, the police in San Francisco de Macorís have a history of carrying out extrajudicial executions against poor youth. In 2004, Rafael Guillermo Guzmán Fermín, was removed from his post as police commander because of protests.

Fermín had led a death squad that hunted for young people at night. Locals nicknamed his gang of uniformed assassins “Los Cirujanos” (the surgeons) because many of those shot became paraplegic.

But Fermín’s career wasn’t ended after his removal from local office. Last year, Fermín was named chief of police by President Fernández, whose government is instrumental in legitimizing repressive measures to fight crime under the guise of the so-called “war on drugs.” In the meantime, new media revelations implicate upper echelons of the military in the drug trade.

Under a “democratic security policy” put in place with the aid of the U.S. and Colombia, police and undercover units are conducting raids in poor neighborhoods, killing Black youth and criminalizing the poor.

In San Francisco de Macorís, complaints about police brutality had reached a crescendo before the strike October 21. The local governor, a member of the ruling party, was forced to ask government authorities to transfer the entire police department. On October 23, however, a massive demonstration in the city sent a loud message to the government in one of the biggest demonstrations against police brutality in recent memory.

For a moment, the strike had the potential of spreading nationwide. But a section of the FSA, the left-wing Broad Front of Popular Struggle (FALPO), opened a dialogue with the government and negotiated a truce. FALPO’s willingness to make a deal with the government has to do with its recent decision to participate in local elections, leading it to set aside its more radical politics.

Moreover, the government has already had some success in co-opting the opposition. A deal signed between the bosses and the main labor unions freezes salaries for two years.

But agreements and negotiations are unlikely to bring an end to the rising social struggle in the Dominican Republic. So far this year, public sector doctors from the Dominican Medical Association (CMD) have struck ten times to demand a salary increase. Their actions are giving confidence to other union workers and the unorganized.

Fernández is trying to divide the union through both co-optation and violence. On every occasion, CMD marches have been dispersed by tear gas and brutal police force. In early October, SWAT teams and police forcefully removed doctors during a hunger strike in the Health Department headquarters. Additionally, displaced hurricane victims join in with those affected by constant blackouts to organize protests regularly.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

THIS CRACKDOWN is part of broader shift to the right by President Fernández. During the recent presidential campaign, he declared himself the political heir of former right-wing strongman Joaquin Balaguer to appeal to conservative voters, and fill the political vacuum left by Balaguer after his death in 2002.

Between 1966 and 1978, Balaguer’s U.S.-backed reign of terror wiped out the left and the labor movement while opening up the economy to foreign multinationals in an employers’ offensive that continues to this day. And like his predecessors, Fernández embraces anti-Haitian racism and social conservatism to push forward the employer’s offensive.

In August, Fernández announced new cuts in food subsidies and a freeze on infrastructure investment including roads, schools and hospitals so as to reduce the deficit and guarantee the payment of the foreign debt.

As the effects of the world financial crisis destroy jobs and wages, ordinary people in many parts of the country demand solutions to their problems in the form of strikes while Fernández escalates repression in manner not seen since the 1970s. However, this is not having its intended effect and instead, is creating a backlash against his government.

A key focal point of the resistance is the scandal over fake milk used in the government’s school breakfast program. A media uproar pressured the government to transfer the Minister of Education to a less visible cabinet position: that of women’s affairs. The fact that an arrogant, corrupt government official was put in charge of this department highlights the government’s low regard for women’s rights.

But the battle was far from over. Lácteos Dominicanos (Ladom), the milk supplier, sued two veteran independent journalists, Huchi Lora and Nuria Piera, for their role in breaking the milk scandal. A court ruling allowed Ladom’s lawyers to enter the journalists’ office to get unedited footage related to the scandal. This infuriated journalists and left activists who denounced it as nothing more than a typical intimidation tactic to silence independent media.

The court ruling was far from the only attack on the media, however. A new wave of violent attacks against independent journalists erupted after a cameraman was shot in August. Many journalists have become more reluctant to cover politics because of fear of reprisals.

But on September 23, some 300 people marched to protest the court ruling on the milk scandal as well as the climate of fear that has made it more difficult for journalists to do their work in recent months. This was the first time in many years that journalists marched against state repression and censorship.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

WHILE CRACKING down on the press and protesters, the government and the far right has ramped up its attacks on the traditional scapegoat in Dominican politics: Haitian immigrants. Between September 2004 and June 2008, more than 65,000 Haitian immigrants have been deported, all this under Fernández’s watch.

On July 14, Gysselle Baret Reyes, a Dominican married to a Haitian immigrant, was kidnapped by two men and a woman for several hours. During her ordeal, her assailants poured acid on her left arm. They also questioned her about her family and her ties with Emildo Bueno Oguis, a Dominico-Haitian who is conducting a legal battle against the government to demand a birth certificate so he can travel to the U.S. and reunite with his American-born wife.

The attack on Reyes was in retaliation for her appearance on public television where she denounced government authorities for denying birth certificates to her children. This is typical: the Dominican government refuses to grant citizenship rights to thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent.

Anti-immigrant rhetoric serves to justify border militarization under the banner of fighting the drug trade, terrorism and human trafficking and national sovereignty.

Under the U.S. Merida Initiative, more military aid is on the way to upgrade the Dominican army, which will be to conduct more raids and deportations against Haitian immigrants. Furthermore, meetings between the Dominican government and the Brazilian-dominated UN military occupation forces in Haiti have fostered closer links with the Brazilian military, which is inflicting a brutal repression against followers of former Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide.

This attack on immigrants is part of an employers’ offensive that instills fear in Haitian immigrants and prevents them from organizing in unions. Still, immigrants are fighting back. Early this year, 120 immigrants mutinied while on route to Haiti. And immigrant rights marches in the border provinces have taken place.

If President Fernández gets his way, anti-Haitian measures will be enshrined in a proposed new constitution that would grant him additional powers and allow him to be re-elected indefinitely.

The new constitution contemplates, among other things, defining marriage as “a union between a man and a woman” and strengthening what are already harsh anti-abortion laws.

But perhaps the main target of the constitution is Haitians. According to the new constitution, children of undocumented immigrants would not be granted citizenship. No other immigrant group, other than Haitians, has been subject to these segregationist laws.

Even without the constituional changes, Dominico-Haitians constantly find their legal status threatened. Last year, Sonia Pierre, an immigrant rights activist, came under attack by a small right wing party, part of the governing coalition, which tried to seek a court ruling to annul her citizenship under the grounds that her parents were undocumented Haitian immigrants.

But she scored an important victory against the right and the government when activists launched a campaign to defend her, setting a legal precedent that opened the door to future legal battles.

Yet if the Dominican can’t strip Haitians’ rights through legal means, it’s prepared to use violence to intimidate them. Recently, Haitian immigrants were subjected brutal attacks at the same time strikes and protests were taking place in many parts of the country.

In the city of Neyba, two Haitian immigrants were murdered by Dominicans after a Dominican was supposedly killed by a Haitian immigrant. Other violent attacks followed in the town of Guayubín, where 30 houses belonging to Haitian immigrants were burned by a mob after a Haitian was suspected of murdering a Dominican man.

As usual, racist violence against Haitian immigrants remains unpunished because local authorities are behind the attacks. In fact, the mayor of Guayubín is accused of being one of the organizers of the latest violence.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media spread racist ideas about Haitians, who are portrayed as drug dealers, delinquents and rapists. Both politicians and the Catholic Church whip up racist frenzy by blaming Haitian immigrants for crime, “stealing” jobs from Dominicans and spreading disease.

But contrary to mainstream media propaganda, Haitians and Dominican live side by side in poor neighborhoods, and are more integrated than ever before in their workplaces. Though, many ordinary Dominicans embrace racist ideas about Haitians, they’re not responsible for spreading racism and organizing violence against immigrants. The blame for those atrocities rests with the government and the employers.

The more recent attacks led to the deportation of some 500 Haitian immigrants under the pretext of “protecting their lives.” In any case, the same army and police that are responsible for suppressing labor struggles and murdering Black Dominican youth can’t be expected to protect the lives of Haitian immigrants. As of this writing, the town of Navarrete is under military occupation after street protests exploded in protests.

The resistance to Fernández’s repression provides a new opportunity to challenge the government’s divide-and-conquer tactics. Working-class unity between Haitians and Dominicans will be crucial to rebuild the labor movement and the left in order to challenge racist violence and fight for better working conditions and wages for everyone.

Source

‘Peace won’t cost the earth’ but it might save the environment

November 24 2008

By John Tomlinson

Essentially human beings cannot afford war. Nor can we continue to breed like rabbits. The imprint of humans on this planet is getting close to a tipping point which, once reached, will result in massive disruption, destruction, significant loss of life and, inevitably, in vast civil unrest.

Currently, environmental jargon wavers between “climate change” and “global warming”: neither expression is inherently frightening. It is possible to imagine a George W. Bush, Mark Latham, Pauline Hansen or Sarah Palin saying something like “Well, in principle, I think global warming in winter would be a good idea but I don’t think we could afford to do it for everybody in the world”.

Whether people choose to speak about global warming or climate change they are using a metaphor to highlight or deny the impending environmental catastrophe that awaits us if we continue to mine, pollute, pillage and exploit the natural environment.

I don’t pretend to know what the tipping point of the coming environmental crisis is. It may happen when there are ten billion people struggling to survive on this planet. It could be when we have released so much carbon dioxide into the oceans that plant and animal plankton, which ultimately sustain all forms of life in the sea, can no longer survive because of increased acidity. It could be in five years, 25 years, 100 years or more: or when we’ve heated the earth by another degree, two degrees or five degrees. It could be from something else that we are doing which scientists have yet to identify as the cause of major environmental damage. What I do know is that most of us won’t know we’ve reached it until well after we’ve passed the point of no return.

Human beings may, however, be able to change their patterns of behaviour enough to avert this impending disaster. Some of the things which need to change are, in the first instance to:

eliminate hunger and malnutrition from all parts of the world;

share income more equitably between countries and between people;

condemn racism in all its forms;

stop population growth and then work to decrease the world’s population;

attempt to resolve disputes between countries and promote peace;

aim for a fair settlement of intra-country disputations;

promote antiviolence strategies in cities, towns and villages everywhere;

work to enhance just solutions between groups and individuals;

actively pursue sustainable environmental practices; and

place justice and honour at the centre of all our dealings.

By eliminating hunger and malnutrition and promoting greater income equality we make it easier to curb population expansion, civil disputation and war.

Racism festers where there is great inequality particularly between indigenous people and colonisers. Both economic and social justice, are more easily obtained in more egalitarian societies. When sections of a society have to be aggressive merely to survive, violence between minority and dominant populations is likely to develop.

Egalitarian and sharing societies extinguish such potential flare-ups. If all are obtaining some benefit from the sharing of resources it is easier to implement sustainable environmental practices because the benefits of over-exploitation are no longer going to a handful of greedy people. The majority know that, in the long term, they are protecting the interests of all by ensuring sustainable use of natural resources.

Each of us has the capacity to start working towards building a more equal, inclusive and sharing society. We can start today, by word and deed, to help build a more egalitarian society. We can work with our friends, our work mates, our unions, sporting clubs, professional associations, social agencies, church groups and our neighbours to build a better world. As we engage in this civic project we benefit personally from being surrounded by a safer and stronger community which acts justly and promotes individual autonomy.

But in the short term military forces will be seen by many of our friends and neighbours as necessary for their protection. So we will need to explain why we can no longer afford to maintain military forces at anything beyond a sufficient force to repel an aggressor from our shores.

During the Cold War, Russia and the US amassed sufficient nuclear weapons to eliminate life as we know it many times over. The Americans used Agent Orange to defoliate large environmentally important parts of Indo China. Considerable numbers of Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian children continue to be born with extreme deformities, as a legacy of these chemical weapons. Similar herbicides are being supplied by the US to defoliate poppy crops in Afghanistan and coca crops in Columbia. Land mines and cluster bombs are blowing up poor people in many parts of the world for decades after conflicts have finished. Depleted uranium is causing the deaths of babies and children in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It is not only the combatants and civilians of invaded countries who become the casualties of war. Many members of the invading forces return home disfigured, drug addicted, poisoned by chemicals, mentally scarred and physically disabled. In some ways the soldiers who get killed are the lucky ones in the inglorious situation where countries send their troops off around the world to wage war.

The homes, hospitals, sewerage treatment works, schools, factories and commercial buildings that get destroyed during wars all have to be replaced after the strife subsides, requiring further impositions on the environment. The families whose child, mother, father, or other relative is killed are not as easily rebuilt. As Warner (1996) says (in T H White’s The Once and Future King in an “Afterword”):

War was a ruinous dementia. It silenced law, it killed poets, it exalted the proud, filled the greedy with good things, and oppressed the humble and meek; no good could come of it, it was hopelessly out of date. Nobody wanted it. (Unfortunately, no one had passionately wanted the League of Nations either.)

While countries are spending vast sums on defence equipment there are more socially or environmentally useful expenditures which are foregone. This money could have been used to improve civic amenities in the home country or provided as foreign aid to help build a more peaceful world. The time wasted training troops to maim and kill could be better spent by employing them engage in some socially or environmentally useful tasks at home or abroad.

Apart from the overt environmental destructive nature of war, there is the environmental cost of just keeping the defence forces mobile. In 2007 Sohbet Karbuz noted in the Energy Bulletin that:

As of September 30, 2005 the US Air Force had 5,986 aircraft in service. At the beginning of 2006 the US Navy had 285 combat and support ships, and around 4,000 operational aircraft (planes and helicopters). At the end of 2005, the US Army had a combat vehicle fleet of approximately 28,000 armored vehicles (tracked vehicles such as Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles). Besides those the Army and the Marine corps have tactical wheeled vehicles such as 140,000 High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles. The US Army has also over 4,000 combat helicopters and several hundred fixed wing aircraft. Add all those also 187,493 fleet vehicles (passenger cars, busses, light trucks etc) the US Department of Defense (DOD) uses. The issue is that except for 80 nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers, almost all military fleet (including the ones that will be joining in the next decade) run on oil.

He went on to point out that (excluding fuel obtained overseas at no cost, used by contractors, or used in rented or leased vehicles) the Pentagon still managed to use 320,000 barrels of oil per day in 2006.

If we want to keep the world environmentally healthy then we certainly can no longer afford such profligate military consumption of carbon products. We just need to convince our fellow citizens that it is better to have a world at peace rather than one in pieces, because as Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote “the real and lasting victories are those of peace, and not of war.”

Source

War is killing the Planet

It pollutes everything.

Air, Water, Earth and leaves a trail of Death for future generations.

You cannot save the world using war.

War is the worst form of pollution on Earth.

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

Landmine Treaty Ignored, 5,400 killed or injured in 2007

EU member states urged to sign, ratify, implement cluster bomb ban treaty

In Zimbabwe Doctors and Nurses beaten by police during peaceful protest

By Tichaona Sibanda

November 18 2008

About one hundred health workers were injured on Tuesday, some of them seriously, after heavily armed riot police baton-charged their peaceful protest march in central Harare.

The health workers from Harare, Parirenyatwa and Chitungwiza hospitals had just embarked on a peaceful procession towards the Ministry of Health offices, to express concern against the total collapse of the health delivery system.

Dr Simba Ndoda, one of the protest organizers and a victim of the police brutality, told us the authorities went to extremes in dealing with the unarmed health workers. He said over one thousand health workers, including doctors, nurses, radiographers, administrators and pharmacists, had gathered at Parirenyatwa hospital for the protest march.

However hundreds of police in riot gear deployed outside the hospital and cordoned off all link roads. They stopped the health workers and unleashed a baton charge, which left dozens of members of the health fraternity injured.

The police flushed out leaders of the protest march and manhandled them before dragging some of them to waiting police vehicles. Unconfirmed reports say a number of protesters were hauled off to different police stations.

‘This was supposed to be a peacful demonstration. We were unarmed. We only had our uniforms and stethoscopes. We tried to reason with the police so that we could proceed with the march but like a lightining bolt they just set upon us, without warning and savagely beat us, inflicting serious injuries on many of our compatriots,’ Dr Ndoda said.

The strike action comes amid the failure of the government to contain the spread of cholera, which has so far killed hundreds of people, due to lack of medicines and drugs. The protesters were also demanding that the government review their salaries, which are not enough to even provide food for a family. ‘Enough is enough’ and ‘Pay health workers properly’ were some of the banners carried.

The country’s health system, once among the best in Africa, collapsed under the weight of the world’s highest inflation rate, officially estimated at 231 million percent, but believed to be over 5 quintillion percent. Most hospitals are now unable to provide even basic medicines.

Dr Ndoda said conditions at state hospitals were ‘traumatising,’ explaining that he had personally seen some of his patients ‘die unnecessarily’ because of lack of drugs, medicines and basic equipment.

‘It is very disturbing. There are no drugs, no equipment and now there is no manpower. The country’s three major referral hospitals have been closed and the government has still not said a word about it.

So how are the ordinary citizens without money going to survive? Asked Dr Ndoda. He said the protest was also meant to show their outrage at the lack of political will by the government to resolve the health crisis.

The Zimbabwe Doctors for Human rights strongly condemned the manhandling and ruthless thrashing of health workers at the hands of the police.A doctor who asked not to be named said it was strange the government had resources to deal with a peaceful march, but was doing nothing about the cholera pandemic that threatened the lives of up to 1.4 million people.

A statement from Doctors without Borders said the whole country is at risk if cholera continues to spread unchecked. Officially state media reports that only 73 people have died of the disease, but independent estimates put the figure closer to one thousand. Many tens of thousands have fallen ill.
In Beitbridge, cholera has killed 36 and 431 have been hospitalised at the border town since last week. Beitbridge medical officer Taikaitei Kanongara said they expected the number of victims to rise.

Source

Police violently disrupt  Protest

November 18, 2008

The police before they charged.

By Raymond Maingire

HARARE – Anti-riot police on Tuesday violently disrupted a protest march by hundreds of disgruntled workers from Harare hospitals as they sought to register with the authorities  their mounting concern over the collapse of Zimbabwe’s health delivery system.

The police blocked a peaceful march by more than 700 hospital workers who attempted to leave Parirenyatwa Hospital to present a petition to the Minister of Health, Dr David Parirenyatwa at his offices at Mukwati Building in the city.

The marchers comprised doctors, nurses, nurse aids and general workers from Harare, Parirenyatwa and Chitungwiza hospitals.

According to Dr Simba Ndoda, the secretary general of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association, there were representatives from Chinhoyi and Kadoma hospitals, which have also been forced to close down due to the crisis.

Relating the incident over the phone, Dr Ndoda said the police descended on the marchers in the hospital grounds and assaulted them.

“The police beat us thoroughly,” he said, “They stopped us as we were about to exit the grounds of Parirenyatwa and they beat us up and followed right into the nurses’ homes.

“As I am speaking, we are in hiding at Harare Hospital. We hear police are looking for us.”

He said police had initially informed the protestors not to proceed with the march “for political reasons” as they feared it had potential to grow into fully blown riots by disgruntled Zimbabweans.

Said Dr Ndoda, “We had asked for approval to go ahead with the march but the police denied us permission, citing political reasons. The police said they feared some people would join the march and the situation would become uncontrollable.

“We wanted people to now the real reasons why doctors are on strike. The State media is quick to misinform the public that doctors are insensitive to the plight of ordinary people who are dying in their thousands in hospitals because of the strike by doctors.

“We wanted people to know that while we have genuine reasons to go on strike because of perennially poor working conditions, it is still not possible for us to perform our duties as there is nothing to use.”

According to Dr Ndoda, almost 99 percent of Zimbabweans rely on government hospitals.

Primrose Matambanadzo, Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights co-coordinator said Tuesday’s march was more than a strike by hospital workers.

“This was more than a strike,” she said.

“A strike is where you stop going to work for one simple reason. This time we are decrying the total collapse of the whole health system.

“This is an issue where we have all reasons to be concerned. We cannot continue to watch helplessly while patients die in thousands.

“Doctors have been on strike for weeks but nothing is being done to address the situation.”

She said an earlier meeting with the permanent secretary of health to register their concerns did not bear any fruit as nothing was done to address the situation.”

By the time of going to press, there were no official reports of any arrests or casualties.

But baton-wielding anti-riot policemen continued to cordon off the whole Parirenyatwa hospital premises late into the afternoon. Police trucks were patrolling the grounds.

Zimbabwe’s government hospitals stopped operating nearly three weeks ago due to a strike by doctors over poor working conditions.

Critically ill patients have been turned away ever since. An emergency room is in operation at Parirenyatwa hospital.

Mpilo hospital, Bulawayo’s biggest hospital also closed last Wednesday, citing similar reasons.

Thousands of patients are being referred to private hospitals which charge for their services in US dollars.

Efforts to obtain comment from the Minister of Health Dr Parirenyatwa were fruitless.

But government still maintains the health situation in the country is still under control as the country’s central bank is being tasked to procure scarce drugs from abroad.

Source

Half of the Zimbabwe population faces starvation

Sierra Leone: A mission for MSF(Doctors Without Borders)

British study links IMF loans to tuberculosis

This if from July 21 2008 but seems to be relevant even now.

LONDON

Austerity measures attached to International Monetary Fund (IMF) loans may have contributed to a resurgence in tuberculosis in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, researchers said on Tuesday.

Governments may be reducing funding for health services such as hospitals and clinics to meet strict IMF economic targets, the British researchers said.

The study, published in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Medicine, found that countries participating in IMF programmes had seen tuberculosis death rates increase by at least 17 percent between 1991 and 2000 — equivalent to more than 100,000 additional deaths. About one million new cases were recorded during the same period.

Nations that received money from other institutions with less restrictive economic conditions attached had seen a nearly 8 percent drop in tuberculosis death rates, David Stuckler and colleagues at the University of Cambridge said.

“IMF lending did not appear to be a response to worsened health outcomes; rather, it appeared to be a precipitant of such outcomes,” they wrote.

But an IMF spokesman questioned whether the study took into account the instability following the break-up of the Soviet Union, and said it takes time for the disease to develop so the mortality rates could be linked to something previously.

“If the IMF had not stepped in to help the post-communist countries, the declines in health spending would likely have been more pronounced and disease generally more severe,” IMF spokesman William Murray said in an email.

Tuberculosis is an infectious bacterial disease typically attacking the lungs that kills an estimated 1.6 million each year around the world.

The emergence and spread of drug-resistant germs makes treating it much harder and could make the disease even deadlier. Parts of the former Soviet Union are some of the hardest hit by drug-resistant TB.

The researchers used a statistical model to compare tuberculosis rates for 21 post-Communist countries along with the timing and length of IMF loans to other lending programmes.

Even when considering population changes, war, inflation and other factors that can lead to new cases, the researchers found that rising TB rates correlated closely to when IMF funding began.

The size of a loan and length of time a country participated were also important, according to the study that analyzed IMF programmes in the region and TB rates between 1991 and 2000.

“We tested a lot of competing explanations and none could account for the patterns,” Stuckler said in a telephone interview. “We are not saying the IMF loans are the only determinant but they help explain some of the patterns.”

(Reporting by Michael Kahn; Editing by Maggie Fox and Sami Aboudi)

Source

Published in: on November 17, 2008 at 7:57 am  Comments Off on British study links IMF loans to tuberculosis  
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