Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Selves and Others

Tuesday, November 15th, 2005

Mother Jones
Policymakers on Torture Take Note-Remember Pinochet
Addington, Yoo, Gonzales, and others should think carefully about their
travel plans.
by Philippe Sands

This article first appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle (www.sfgate.com).
Before embarking on international travels, David Addington and others who are
said to be closely associated with the crafting of the Bush administration's
policy on the interrogation of detainees would do well to reflect on the fate
of Augusto Pinochet.
The Chilean senator and former head of state was unexpectedly arrested during
a visit to London on Oct. 16, 1998, at the request of a Spanish judge who
sought his extradition on various charges of international criminality,
including torture.
The House of Lords-Britain's upper house-ruled that the 1984 convention
prohibiting torture removed any right he might have to claim immunity from
the English courts and gave a green light to the continuation of extradition
As counsel for Human Rights Watch, I participated in that case. This allowed
me to witness the case firsthand. It also gave me the opportunity to chat
with Pinochet's advisers, and one conversation in particular has remained
vividly at the forefront of my mind. (...)

-> http://www.motherjones.com/commentary/columns/2005/11/torture.html


Democracy Now!
Former U.S. Army Interrogator Describes the Harsh Techniques He Used in
Iraq, Detainee Abuse by Marines and Navy Seals and Why "Torture is the Worst
Possible Thing We Could Do"

by Tony Lagouranis

With deep remorse, former U.S. Army interrogator Specialist Tony Lagouranis
talks about his own involvement with abusing detainees in Iraq and torture
carried out by the Navy Seals. He apologizes to the Iraqi people and urges
U.S. soldiers to follow their conscience. Lagouranis returned from Iraq in
January and until now had given no live interviews. But Lagouranis says he
now feels it his duty to speak out about what he witnessed in Iraq: His use
of harsh interrogation techniques on prisoners in Iraq including dogs, sleep
deprivation, prolonged isolation and dietary manipulation. How Navy SEALS
induced hypothermia by using ice water to lower the body temperature of
Serving in Fallujah and going through the clothes and pockets of some 500
dead bodies to try and identify them.
The corpses on men, women and children in Fallujah, which had been lying in
the streets for days and had been "eaten by dogs and birds and maggots," were
then stacked up in a warehouse where U.S. soldiers ate and slept.

-> http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/11/15/1632233


The Raw Story
Exclusive: More than 13,000 being held by coalition in Iraqi prisons; Less
than 2% have been convicted

by Larisa Alexandrovna

As more and more Iraqis have been detained and released, the insurgency has
intensified. The number detained has more than doubled in the last year and a
half; the number of attacks has also more than doubled over the same period.
Recent documents leaked to RAW STORY reveal that as of Nov. 8, coalition
forces in Iraq held 13,514 in Iraqi prisons. The documents also reveal the
grim landscape of Iraq's internment system, in which just two percent of
those detained been convicted. A UN report has confirmed the basic figures.
A slide created by Detainee Operations at US Central Command (CENTCOM),
provided to RAW STORY, reveals that 13,514 detainees are currently held
inside coalition-run internment camps throughout Iraq. The figure represents
a huge spike from March 2004 - when just 5,673 were reported held, according
to a source familiar with the documents. (...)



Haiti Action

by David Welsh and Nora Barrows-Friedman

Flashpoints Radio's Nora Barrows-Friedman interviews Dave Welsh, Haiti
Action Committee
Flashpoints: The paltry coverage of the situation in Haiti these days mainly
consists of speculation and U.S. response to the upcoming elections, which
many people ion Haiti believe will be a total and complete sham. Meanwhile,
vicious attacks on Haitians continue unabated by the United Nations forces
and the death squads. Two days ago the Cite Soleil neighborhood in Port au
Prince was attacked by the UN forces. Joining us to talk about this is Dave
Welsh. Welsh, an activist with the Haiti Action Committee, just returned from
a fact-finding delegation [to] Haiti. Dave Welsh, welcome back to
Welsh: It's good to be here.
Flashpoints: First of all, tell us what happened in Cite Soleil two days ago,
talk about these attacks by the UN so-called "peacekeeping" forces.
Welsh: I was on the phone with a Haitian human rights worker yesterday
(Wednesday, November 10th) and Tuesday, and he told us that there were three
attacks that took place on Tuesday (November 9th). One was at midnight at two
in the morning, the second was at seven in the morning, and the third was at
four in the afternoon. And these attacks were with tanks, with cannons
mounted on them, and when I say they are tanks, they are armored personnel
carriers, except they don't have treads, so they are just like tanks
otherwise. And they had helicopters also firing. The toll, according to this
human rights worker was fifteen wounded and two dead. There was a young woman
of twenty-three, who was killed, and a man in his early forties was killed,
and fifteen were wounded. (...)

-> http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=55&ItemID=9128


Dissident Voice
Trying to Look the Reality of Female

by Sam Husseini

Reports have it that Sajida al-Rishawi, an Iraqi woman, attempted to blow up
wedding celebrators, passerbyers and herself at the Radisson Hotel in Amman
last Thursday. The Associated Press is reporting that her brother Thamer
al-Rishawi "was killed during a U.S. assault on Fallujah in April 2004, when
an air-to-ground missile hit his pickup as he was driving wounded people to a
hospital, according to Ramadi residents speaking on condition of anonymity
for fear of retribution from militants."
There are lots of reasons to doubt virtually every bit of information one
gets from the mainstream media, particularly in situations like these --
including the implication that the above-cited sources do not fear
retribution from U.S. militants and their proxies. But if the AP's words bear
a resemblance to the actual facts, this case would have some similarities to
the that of Hanadi Jaradat. (...)

-> http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Nov05/Husseini1115.htm


Wag the Dog
Crisis Scenarios for Deflecting Attention from the President's Woes
by Michael T. Klare

In the 1998 movie Wag the Dog, White House spinmeister Conrad Brean seeks to
deflect public attention from a brewing scandal over an alleged sexual
encounter in the White House between the president and an all-too-young Girl
Scout-type by concocting an international crisis. Advised by a Hollywood
producer (played with delicious perversity by Dustin Hoffman), Brean "leaks"
a fraudulent report that Albania has acquired a suitcase-sized nuclear device
and is seeking to smuggle it into the United States. This obviously justifies
an attention-diverting military reprisal. The press falls for the false
report (sound familiar?) and all discussion of the president's sex scandal
disappears from view -- or, as Brean would have it, the "tail" of
manufactured crisis wags the "dog" of national politics.
As Brean explains all this to the White House staff in the film, American
presidents have often sought to distract attention from their political woes
at home by heating up a war or crisis somewhere else. Now that the current
occupant of the White House is facing roiling political scandals of his own,
it stands to reason that he, too, or his embattled adviser Karl Rove (not to
speak of his besieged Vice President, Dick Cheney) may be thinking along such
lines. Could Rove -- today's real-life version of Conrad Brean -- already be
cooking up a "wag the dog" scenario? Only those with access to the innermost
sanctum of George Bush's White House can know for sure, but it is hardly an
improbable thought, given that they have done so in the past. (...)

-> http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=36399


International Socialist Review
UPS buys Overnite
Clear and present danger
by Joe Allen

Originally published in the International Socialist Review #42, July-August
In early May, United Parcel Service (UPS) announced that it was buying
Overnite Transport for $1.25 billion. Wall Street and the business press
greeted this announcement with great applause and soaring stock prices.
UPS, known to most people by its familiar brown trucks and "What can Brown do
for you?" commercials, is already the world's largest parcel delivery
company. It is one of the largest private sector unionized employers in the
United States, with the Teamsters representing nearly 215,000 of its workers,
making it the largest Teamster employer in the United States. The Teamsters
have lost nearly a million members since the late 1970s. (...)

-> http://www.selvesandothers.org/article12229.html


Editor & Publisher
Kristof Proposes Two-Year Pullout in Iraq

by Greg Mitchell

The New York Times columnist says today we should pull "at least" half of
our troops out of Iraq by the end of 2006 with the rest to follow by the end
of the following year. Also, we should by then get rid of all of our military
bases there. "All the Iraq options are bad," he declares. "But this is the
least bad."
(November 15, 2005) -- In his Sunday column for The New York Times, Nicholas
Kristof said he had a notion about how to solve our Iraq problem. One hangup:
He won't let us in on it until his next column, on Tuesday. Oh well, we've
waited this long.
All Kristof would say on Sunday is that he opposes both Bush's
stay-the-course plan as well as an "immediate" withdrawal. This, of course,
is simply knocking down straw men. Bush's strategy has been thoroughly
discredited, and hardly anyone calls for bringing the troops home
immediately, in time for Thanksgiving or even Christmas. (...)



Scott Ritter Tells the Complete Story Why We're in Iraq
It Begins with the CIA's Conspiracy to Undermine the UN and Overthrow Saddam
by Scott Ritter

Interview Conducted by BuzzFlash Senior Editor Scott Vogel.
The foundation of our involvement in Iraq is corrupt. You can't build
anything positive from this corrupt foundation. If you want to speak of
solving the Iraq problem, we have to go back to how we got into this mess to
begin with. ... The same people who deceived us getting into Iraq are
deceiving us on a daily basis about what's going on in Iraq, and we can't
ignore this.
There is a shocking truth behind the invasion of Iraq, which Scott Ritter
reveals in Iraq Confidential: The Untold Story of the Intelligence Conspiracy
to Undermine the UN and Overthrow Saddam Hussein (a BuzzFlash premium). Scott
Ritter was a top UN weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 through 1998,
frequently serving as the chief inspector. That gives him direct knowledge of
what happened in Iraq, historical context for interpreting what happened, and
-- another key -- independence from domestic politics, because the UN
employed him, not our own executive branch. Those are powerful keys to
understanding the mess the U.S. finds itself in today, and telling the truth
about it. Before working for the UN, Ritter was a major in the U.S. Marines
and a ballistic missile adviser to General Schwarzkopf in the first Gulf War.
In this unadorned, plain speaking interview, Scott Ritter tells BuzzFlash
readers just what got us into Iraq the second time.
[November 15, 2005]

-> http://www.buzzflash.com/interviews/05/11/int05045.html


Asia Times
Afghan drug problem solved, praise the laudanum

by Ramtanu Maitra

Washington needs Afghanistan's warlords and the warlords need the opium
trade, which is why one "democratic success" the US has brought to the
country is the mushrooming of opium production to 87% of the world's total.
And to disarm those who might perversely see this as a political
embarrassment, there's a simple proposal on the table: legalize the opium
production for "medicinal purposes".
Reports indicate the West is now working toward a "solution" to the opium
explosion in Afghanistan, namely the licensing of legal opium production for
medical purposes.
The formal proposal was floated in September by the Senlis Council, a French
think tank on narcotics. The council's study was conducted in partnership
with Kabul University as well as academic centers in Europe and North
America, such as Ghent University, Lisbon University and the University of
The proposal comes in the wake of a general admission by Washington, its
adjunct in Kabul and the United Nations that eradication of drugs in
Afghanistan cannot be accomplished by the warriors against terror.
Touching a sensitive chord, however, Afghanistan's Counter-Narcotics Minister
Habibullah Qaderi questioned the timing of the Senlis report. "We don't want
to confuse the Afghan people, because while the government on the one hand
wants to control and stop cultivation, we are talking about licensing."
What Qaderi did not say was that the West, being unable to eradicate opium,
is moving to repackage Afghanistan's uncontrollable scourge as a legalized
and regulated industry, to be included along with elections among the
"democratic successes" in that benighted land. (...)

-> http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/GK16Ag01.html


The Independent
Afghanistan: The war with no end

by Justin Huggler

British troops have come under attack in Kabul and Nato forces were targeted
in two co-ordinated suicide car bombings in which at least four people died.
The attacks took place as ministers revealed that units are preparing to
extend Britain's role in Afghanistan when it takes command of the
international peacekeeping operation next year.
John Reid, the Secretary of State for Defence, told Parliament that Britain
faced a "prolonged" involvement in the country. But MPs warned last night
that British troops faced being mired in a long-term military commitment to a
country in the grip of a growing insurgency. (...)

-> http://news.independent.co.uk/world/asia/article327097.ece


The Guardian
The US used chemical weapons in Iraq - and then lied about it

by George Monbiot

Now we know napalm and phosphorus bombs have been dropped on Iraqis, why
have the hawks failed to speak out?
Did US troops use chemical weapons in Falluja? The answer is yes. The proof
is not to be found in the documentary broadcast on Italian TV last week,
which has generated gigabytes of hype on the internet. It's a turkey, whose
evidence that white phosphorus was fired at Iraqi troops is flimsy and
circumstantial. But the bloggers debating it found the smoking gun.
The first account they unearthed in a magazine published by the US army. In
the March 2005 edition of Field Artillery, officers from the 2nd Infantry's
fire support element boast about their role in the attack on Falluja in
November last year: "White Phosphorous. WP proved to be an effective and
versatile munition. We used it for screening missions at two breeches and,
later in the fight, as a potent psychological weapon against the insurgents
in trench lines and spider holes when we could not get effects on them with
HE [high explosive]. We fired 'shake and bake' missions at the insurgents,
using WP to flush them out and HE to take them out."
The second, in California's North County Times, was by a reporter embedded
with the marines in the April 2004 siege of Falluja. "'Gun up!' Millikin
yelled ... grabbing a white phosphorus round from a nearby ammo can and
holding it over the tube. 'Fire!' Bogert yelled, as Millikin dropped it. The
boom kicked dust around the pit as they ran through the drill again and
again, sending a mixture of burning white phosphorus and high explosives they
call 'shake'n'bake' into... buildings where insurgents have been spotted all
week." (...)
[page 31 | Comment & Debate]

-> http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,5673,1642831,00.html


The Independent
The fog of war: white phosphorus, Fallujah and some burning questions

by Andrew Buncombe and Solomon Hughes

The controversy has raged for 12 months. Ever since last November, when US
forces battled to clear Fallujah of insurgents, there have been repeated
claims that troops used "unusual" weapons in the assault that all but
flattened the Iraqi city. Specifically, controversy has focussed on white
phosphorus shells (WP) - an incendiary weapon usually used to obscure troop
movements but which can equally be deployed as an offensive weapon against an
enemy. The use of such incendiary weapons against civilian targets is banned
by international treaty.
The debate was reignited last week when an Italian documentary claimed Iraqi
civilians - including women and children - had been killed by terrible burns
caused by WP. The documentary, Fallujah: the Hidden Massacre, by the state
broadcaster RAI, cited one Fallujah human-rights campaigner who reported how
residents told how "a rain of fire fell on the city". Yesterday,
demonstrators organised by the Italian communist newspaper, Liberazione,
protested outside the US Embassy in Rome. Today, another protest is planned
for the US Consulate in Milan. "The 'war on terrorism' is terrorism," one of
the newspaper's commentators declared. (...)

-> http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article327094.ece


The Independent
'I treated people who had their skin melted'

by Dahr Jamail

Abu Sabah knew he had witnessed something unusual. Sitting in November last
year in a refugee camp in the grounds of Baghdad University, set up for the
families who fled or were driven from Fallujah, this resident of the city's
Jolan district told me how he had witnessed some of the battle's heaviest
"They used these weird bombs that put up smoke like a mushroom cloud," he
said. He had seen "pieces of these bombs explode into large fires that
continued to burn on the skin even after people dumped water on the burns".
As an unembedded journalist, I spent hours talking to residents forced out of
the city. A doctor from Fallujah working in Saqlawiyah, on the outskirts of
Fallujah, described treating victims during the siege "who had their skin
melted". (...)

-> http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article327136.ece


The Independent
An attempt to excuse the inexcusable

An accusation of the utmost seriousness has been levelled against the US
military. Evidence has emerged that appears to show that the US military used
white phosphorous bombs against civilians in the Iraqi city of Fallujah in
November last year. If this turns out to be true, a war crime has been
The photographic evidence, broadcast last week by the Italian state
broadcaster Rai, is horrendous. The station has obtained pictures from
Fallujah that show corpses with horrific burns. The victims' flesh has
dissolved, but often the clothes are left intact. This is consistent with the
use of white phosphorus on humans. The evidence is supported by testimony
from a former US soldier who claims to have been warned during the assault on
Fallujah that white phosphorous bombs - or "Willy Pete" as it is known in
military jargon - was to be used.
The Pentagon and the US State Department do not deny that white phosphorous
bombs have been used in Iraq. But they claim that phosphorous was used simply
to illuminate enemy positions in Fallujah. This is contradicted by the
photographic evidence that shows people burnt to death in their homes. Also
contradicted is the US military claim that these bombs did not hit civilians;
the photographs plainly show the corpses of women and children. A full,
independent inquiry ought to be convened to investigate the matter. (...)

-> http://www.selvesandothers.org/article12227.html


Selves and Others

Monday, November 14th, 2005

Free Trade, Free Guns

by Frida Berrigan

President George W. Bush's foiled trip to Mar del Plata to attend the Summit
of the Americas put Latin America in the spotlight. Bush was hoping to push
his controversial free trade agenda, but the trade talks failed and the
president was met with violent and widespread protest. Before the spotlight
of media attention leaves Latin America, it is essential to underline that
Bush's free trade policy has gone hand in hand with rising U.S. military aid,
training and arms sales to the region.
U.S. military aid, training and arms sales to the region have all increased
sharply since the beginning of the war on terrorism and threaten to
exacerbate conflict, empty national coffers and sidetrack development
In 2000, U.S. military aid through Foreign Military Financing totaled $4.7
billion to more than 100 nations, with an almost microscopic fraction-0.07
percent-going to countries in Latin America. By 2006, overall spending on
Foreign Military Financing actually decreased to $4.5 billion. But Latin
America's share of that total has increased by more than 3,400 percent to
$122 million. (...)

-> http://www.tompaine.com/articles/20051114/free_trade_free_guns.php


Electronic Intifada
Of transplants and transcendence: Questioning social and symbolic categories
in Israel

by Laurie King-Irani

"What is more perplexing and amazing? Four dehumanized individuals blowing
themselves and sixty other people to bits, or the wondrous lesson in humanity
shown by a family that would not have been blamed for seeking revenge, but
who instead repaid murder with magnanimity by donating the organs of their
son, a non-Jew, to Israelis? The minds of murderers, whether Jewish,
Christian or Muslim; American, Israeli or Arab, are much easier to understand
than the actions of Ahmed Khatib's family. Unlike suicide bombers or IDF
snipers, Ahmed's family violated the grammar of the conflict and exposed the
arbitrariness and barbarity of erecting walls, whether actual or
metaphorical, between human beings."

-> http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article4296.shtml


Fallujah Revisited

by Dahr Jamail

Nearly a year after they occurred, a few of the war crimes committed in
Fallujah by members of the US military have gained the attention of some
major media outlets (excluding, of course, any of the corporate media outlets
in the US).
Back on November 26, 2004, in a story I wrote for the Inter Press Service
titled 'Unusual Weapons' Used in Fallujah, refugees from that city described,
in detail, various odd weapons used in Fallujah. In addition, they provided
detailed descriptions such as "pieces of these bombs exploded into large
fires that burnt the skin even when water was thrown on the burns."
This was also mentioned in a web log I'd penned nine days before, on November
17, 2004, named Slash and Burn where one of the descriptions of these same
weapons by the same refugee from Fallujah said, "These exploded on the ground
with large fires that burnt for half an hour. They used these near the train
tracks. You could hear these dropped from a large airplane and the bombs were
the size of a tank. When anyone touched those fires, their body burned for
On December 9th of 2004 I posted a gallery of photos, many of which are
included in the new RAI television documentary about incendiary weapons
having been used in Fallujah.
Like the torture "scandal" of Abu Ghraib that for people in the west didn't
become "real" until late April of 2004, Iraqis and journalists in Iraq who
engaged in actual reporting knew that US and British forces were torturing
Iraqis from nearly the beginning of the occupation, and continue to do so to
this day.
All of this makes me wonder how much longer it will take for other atrocities
to come to light. Even just discussing Fallujah, there are many we can choose
from. While I'm not the only journalist to have reported on these, let me
draw your attention to just a few things that I've recorded which took place
in Fallujah during the November, 2004 massacre.
In my story "Fallujah Refugees Tell of Life and Death in the Kill Zone"
published on December 3, 2004 there are many instances of war crimes which
will, hopefully, be granted the attention they deserve. (...)

-> http://dahrjamailiraq.com/weblog/archives/dispatches/000317.php


Village Voice
Deaths by Torture Don't End Questioning

by Ward Harkavy

Far from Abu Ghraib, some answers about the Bush regime's conduct are buried
at the World Bank
Why fight it? Let's follow the Pentagon's rules for interrogation at Abu
Ghraib. Let's quit hemming and hawing and start unraveling the Bush regime's
threads of misconduct.
And we need to make sure that we round up all the suits, including those at
the World Bank.
While Dick Cheney and the rest of George W. Bush's handlers circle the wagons
at the White House, and the vise president's non-gay daughter, Liz Cheney,
and her friend Shaha Ali Riza agit the prop over at the State Department,
Riza's boyfriend, Paul Wolfowitz, is battening down the hatches at the World
Bank. Over at one of the planet's most powerful financial institutions, the
chief architect of the Iraq debacle is building a bunker to rival the one he
helped construct at the Pentagon.
The latest speculation inside the World Bank revolves around how long it will
be before investigators come knocking on Wolfowitz's newly reinforced doors
to quiz him about the Iraq debacle, Abu Ghraib, Plamegate, and other
scandals. (...)

-> http://villagevoice.com/blogs/bushbeat/archive/002061.php


Canada should insist rule of law applies to teen

by Linda McQuaig

When top White House aide Scooter Libby was indicted for perjury, George W.
Bush was quick to point out that "(i)n our system, each individual is
presumed innocent and entitled to due process and a fair trial."
It's reassuring that the president is aware of perhaps the most basic
principle in western law: the presumption of innocence and the right to due
But it's disturbing - to say the least - that he only applies it selectively.
In the name of fighting the "war on terror," the White House has played fast
and loose with the principles underpinning western democracy and the rule of
Among other things, it has put terror suspects - including Toronto teen Omar
Khadr - beyond the reach of international legal safeguards set out in the
Geneva Conventions.
Khadr, charged with murder by the U.S. military in connection with a 2002
firefight in Afghanistan, has been consistently denied legal protections
while being held under horrific conditions for three years at the notorious
U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay. (...)

-> http://www.rabble.ca/columnists_full.shtml?x=43752


Chomsky Answers Guardian

by Noam Chomsky

This is an open letter to a few of the people with whom I had discussed the
Guardian interview of 31 October, on the basis of the electronic version,
which is all that I had seen. Someone has just sent me a copy of the printed
version, and I now understand why friends in England who wrote me were so
It is a nuisance, and a bit of a bore, to dwell on the topic, and I always
keep away from personal attacks on me, unless asked, but in this case the
matter has some more general interest, so perhaps it's worth reviewing what
most readers could not know. The general interest is that the print version
reveals a very impressive effort, which obviously took careful planning and
work, to construct an exercise in defamation that is a model of the genre.
It's of general interest for that reason alone.
A secondary matter is that it may serve as a word of warning to anyone who is
asked by the Guardian for an interview, and happens to fall slightly to the
critical end of the approved range of opinion of the editors. The warning is:
if you accept the invitation, be cautious, and make sure to have a tape
recorder that is very visibly placed in front of you. That may inhibit the
dedication to deceit, and if not, at least you will have a record. I should
add that in probably thousands of interviews from every corner of the world
and every part of the spectrum for decades, that thought has never occurred
to me before. It does now. (...)
[November 13, 2005]

-> http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=21&ItemID=9110


The Origins of the Guardian's Attack on Chomsky
Kulturkrieg in Journalism: Using Emotion to Silence Analysis
by Diana Johnstone

Last Halloween, The Guardian ran an attack on Noam Chomsky that amazed many
readers who had considered The Guardian to be one of Britain's more serious
newspapers. The attack took the form of what Alexander Cockburn described in
his article on this CounterPunch website as a "showcase interview"--"a
showcase for the interviewer's inquisitorial chutzpa". In this art form, the
interviewee is simply the prey for the interviewer who plies him with trap
questions and then rewrites the whole thing to make him look like an idiot
compared to her clever self.
The interviewer was a young Oxford graduate named Emma Brockes who is making
a name for herself in the genre. Ms Brockes obviously had scant familiarity
with Chomsky's work. For all one can tell, her sole background preparation
for this assignment was an article written by her colleague Ed Vulliamy and
published by the Balkan Crisis Report of International War and Peace
Reporting (IWPR, an outfit heavily subsidized by NATO governments) on August
27, 2004. Vulliamy's article, "We Must Fight for Memory of Bosnia's Camps",
calling for monuments to perpetuate the memory of the 1992 Bosnian Serb
detention camps which he visited as a reporter (but not, of course, the
Muslim and Croat camps which he did not visit), includes an attack on me
which is echoed very precisely by Ms Brockes, even to misspelling my name in
the same way. (...)

-> http://www.counterpunch.org/johnstone11142005.html


Democracy Now!
Did Former Marine Jimmy Massey Lie About U.S. Military Atrocities in Iraq? A
Debate Between Massey and Embedded Reporter Ron Harris

by Jimmy Massey and Ron Harris

Did former U.S, marine Jimmy Massey lie or exaggerate about killing
civilians in Iraq to the media? Ron Harris, a reporter embedded with Massey's
battalion says Massey's claims are not credible. We host a debate with Massey
and Harris.
Jimmy Massey is a 12-year veteran of the U.S Marine Corps who participated in
the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Before going to war, Massey was a Marine
recruiter and boot camp drill instructor. But his experiences in Iraq caused
him to have a change of heart. After he was honorably discharged in December
of 2003 he vehemently spoke out against the war, and help found Iraq Veterans
Against the War. Massey also confessed to participating in and witnessing
atrocities while in Iraq and these accounts were published in newspapers and
magazines across the country.
Massey also made international headlines in December of 2004 when he
testified on behalf of war resister Jeremy Hinzman at a refugee hearing in
Canada. At the time, Massey told Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board "I do
know that we killed innocent civilians." He then recounted how US forces once
fired up to 500 rounds of ammunition into four cars filled with civilians
after they failed to stop at a checkpoint. On the next day, he said he
witnessed Marines shooting dead four unarmed Iraqi demonstrators. Massey has
written an autobiography titled "Kill, Kill, Kill" that was recently
published in France.
Earlier this month, Ron Harris a reporter at the St. Louis Dispatch who was
embedded with the Marines, wrote a series of articles claiming that Massey
lied or exaggerated his claims. Harris writes that statements from Massey's
fellow Marines, Massey's own conflicting accounts and the five journalists
who were embedded with Massey's unit, discredit his allegations.
Following the article by Ron Harris, the editorial page editor of the
Sacramento Bee - one of the first newspapers to publish Massey's story in May
2004 - says they should have looked more into the credibility of the story.
David Holwerk writes, "We should have done more to check the truth of
Massey's charges before deciding whether to publish them" he goes on to write
that running the story, "raises serious questions about The Bee's
Meanwhile, columnist Michelle Malkin writes, "Jimmy was Michael Moore, Cindy
Sheehan and John Kerry all wrapped up into one tidy, soundbite-friendly
package -- a poster boy for peace topped off by a military uniform and
tattoos to boot. But like a lot of the agitators who pose as well-meaning,
good-faith peace activists, Jimmy Massey was something else: A complete
Massey has responded with an article posted on the Web. He sticks by his
account of atrocities in Iraq and accuses Ron Harris of retaliating against
him for calling attention to what he says was his inaccurate reporting while
embedded in Iraq.

-> http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/11/14/1447248


Japan Focus
Family Ties: The Tojo Legacy

by David McNeill

The granddaughter of Japan's wartime leader Tojo Hideki has become one of
his staunchest public defenders since emerging from obscurity a decade ago.
But exactly who is she and why has she come in from the political cold?
Contrary to those who put Tojo in the small club of World War 2 monsters
along with Hitler and Mussolini, she says the man who ordered the Pearl
Harbor attack led a "war of freedom" in Asia. "He was defending his country
against foreign aggressors. His greatest crime was that he loved his
In another time or place, Ms. Tojo might be considered a harmless relic, or
have opted to remain living anonymously under her real name, Iwanami Toshie.
But 60 years after the end of World War II, this tiny woman with impeccable
manners and the air of a retired school teacher is one of the most toxic
figures in a growing historical revisionist movement that is again pulling
Asia apart. (...)
[November 10, 2005]

-> http://japanfocus.org/article.asp?id=445


Democracy Now!
LA Times Fires Longtime Progressive Columnist Robert Scheer

by Robert Scheer

The Los Angeles Times newspaper last week announced that it was firing
longtime columnist Robert Scheer. Scheer has been at the Times for 30 years
and was one of the most progressive voices at the paper. In recent years, his
columns took on the Bush Administration and its justifications for the
invasion of Iraq.
Last week, the Los Angeles Times Newspaper announced that it was firing
longtime columnist Robert Scheer. Scheer has been at the Times for 30 years
and was one of the most progressive voices at the paper. In recent years, his
columns took on the Bush Administration and its justifications for the
invasion of Iraq. Scheer believes that his firing was because of ideological
In a posting at the Huffington Post blog, he wrote "The publisher Jeff
Johnson, who has offered not a word of explanation to me, has privately told
people that he hated every word that I wrote. I assume that mostly refers to
my exposing the lies used by President Bush to justify the invasion of Iraq.
Fortunately sixty percent of Americans now get the point but only after tens
of thousand of Americans and Iraqis have been killed and maimed as the
carnage spirals out of control. My only regret is that my pen was not sharper
and my words tougher."
The Times also fired Michael Ramirez, a Pulitzer-Prize winning conservative
staff cartoonist.

-> http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/11/14/1447244


UK Watch
UKWatch Interview with Eric Herring - Part One

by Alex Doherty and Eric Herring

The following is an interview with Dr Eric Herring, senior lecturer in
international relations at the University of Bristol. Dr Herring is co-author
of ‘Iraq in Fragments: The Occupation and Its Legacy' (2005), and a
co-founder of NASPIR - the Network of Activist Scholars of Politics and
International Relations. He is an advisor to UKWatch.
Alex Doherty: ‘You've written a lot about sanctions era Iraq, what kind of
state was the country in before the Anglo/American invasion?
Eric Herring: That's worth looking at a number of levels. One of the things
the Americans hoped for when they moved in was that they would effectively
inherit a functioning state. The Americans actually believed that when they
invaded they would be able to install Chalabi as the new prime minister, that
the Iraqi people would turn out to applaud and throw flowers, and that there
would be an army, a police force and a functioning bureaucracy.
The reality of the Iraqi state before the invasion was, you could use the
phrase, that it was very external to society. Meaning that society had very,
very low loyalty to it. It had very low loyalty to it because this was a
dictatorial state that could rely on revenue sources - it didn't actually
need to rely on the people that much. Another aspect of it was what is known
as ‘the shadow state' - where, especially under the sanctions, aside from the
formal state structures there were the real networks that actually ran
things, that were loyal personally to Saddam. Of course it wasn't just the
Ba'ath party but also these more personal networks that existed alongside the
state. And what it meant was that the state itself had been hollowed out by
Saddam's power manoeuvrings and his efforts to deal with the sanctions and so
it was a state that did not have popular loyalty. (...)

-> http://www.ukwatch.net/article/1187


Foreign Policy In Focus
Libby Indictment May Open Door to Broader Iraq War Deceptions

by Stephen Zunes

The details revealed thus far from the investigation that led to the
five-count indictment against I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby seem to indicate that
the efforts to expose the identity of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame
Wilson went far beyond the chief assistant to the assistant chief. Though no
other White House officials were formally indicted, the investigation appears
to implicate Vice President Richard Cheney and Karl Rove, President George W.
Bush's top political adviser, in the conspiracy. More importantly, the probe
underscores the extent of administration efforts to silence those who
questioned its argument that Iraq constituted a serious threat to the
national security of the United States. Even if no other White House
officials ever have to face justice as a result of this investigation, it
opens one of the best opportunities the American public may have to press the
issue of how the Bush administration led us into war.
Spurred by the Libby indictment, the Downing Street memo, and related British
documents leaked earlier this year, some mainstream pundits and Democratic
Party lawmakers are finally raising the possibility that the Bush
administration was determined to go to war regardless of any strategic or
legal justification and that White House officials deliberately exaggerated
the threats posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq in order to gain congressional and
popular support to invade that oil-rich country. Democratic Senate leader
Harry Reid stated for the first time on October 28, the day of the
indictment, that the charges raise questions about "misconduct at the White
House" in the period leading up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq that must be
addressed by President Bush, including "how the Bush White House manufactured
and manipulated intelligence in order to bolster its case for the war in Iraq
and to discredit anyone who dared to challenge the president."
Indeed, even prior to the return of United Nations inspectors in December
2002 and the U.S. invasion of Iraq four months later, it is hard to
understand how anyone could have taken seriously the administration's claims
that Iraq was somehow a grave national security threat to the United States.
And, despite assertions by administration apologists that "everybody" thought
Saddam Hussein possessed chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction
(WMD) and an advanced nuclear program immediately prior to the March 2003
invasion, the record shows that such claims were strongly contested, even
within the U.S. government. (...)

-> http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/2925

Aftershock Looms For Substance Abuse in Gulf Coast

by Valerie Kremer

As the focus of relief efforts of Hurricane Katrina shifts from crisis mode
to examining short-term stability and rebuilding, substance abuse has fallen
under the radar, making thousands of residents uneasy about the future of a
now exacerbated addiction problem. Inadequate funding and scarce resources
are at the top of the list of obstacles for addiction-focused health care
professionals, counselors, and those providing substance abuse services. The
most alarming realization is that the worst is yet to come. (...)

-> http://www.selvesandothers.org/article12204.html

Declarations of Independance

by Muhammed Asadi

A common argument used by the supporters of U.S. hegemony in the world, runs
as follows: the U.S. as a human society has "human" shortcomings, the faults
that every person displays, it might not be perfect (they say) but it is
still "better" than most other societies around the globe. There are several
problems with this line of argumentation. First, it erroneously assumes that
societies are mere sums of individuals that inhabit them, problems of
societal structure might not be problems of individual members that inhabit
that structures. Such reasoning confuses public issues, things that have to
do with social structure and institutions that transcend individuals, with
personal troubles of individual character. Take the example of marriage:
Inside a marital relationship, personal problems might exist between the
couple which may lead to divorce, but when almost half of all marriages
attempted end in divorce in a society, it has to do with the social
institution of marriage and family, how it is changing and how other
institutions are affecting or causing such change, in short it is a issue
involving social structure. (...)

-> http://www.selvesandothers.org/article12202.html


San Francisco Bay View
Attacks on the poor in Martissant and Gran Ravine
‘Little Machete Army,' police collaborators, suspected of resuming terror
by Lyn Duff

On Oct. 26, a group of armed men assaulted civilians in the Martissant and
Gran Ravine areas of Port-au-Prince, the latest in a series of targeted
attacks on the two neighborhoods, which are heavily populated and
impoverished and known to be sympathetic to the pro-democracy movement.
It was just after 9 p.m. in the evening when a group of about 20 armed men
began shooting into the central market in Gran Ravine. One witness says the
shooters "picked off" one or two people, before "riddling" the area with
Shortly after, a family was assaulted in their home, purportedly by the same
group, a community leader told the Bay View. (...)
[November 02, 2005]

-> http://www.sfbayview.com/110205/attacks110205.shtml


New Statesman
Why Blair backs a brutal regime

by Michela Wrong

A regime hailed as progressive by Tony Blair has shot women and children in
the streets and detained thousands
Watching western governments engage with Africa is like watching a doctor
trying to bully a perfectly sane individual into a straitjacket. "It's for
your own good," smiles the doctor. "You'll thank me in the end." For a while
the man allows himself to be coaxed, until, registering the implications, he
scatters his minders with a few well-aimed blows and heads for the open air.
The chasm of understanding between supposed benefactor and reluctant patient
has been at its most gaping in the Horn of Africa this week. In the Ethiopian
capital, a regime that has been hailed by Tony Blair as an example of
progressive African government has shot women and children in the streets,
detained thousands, and rounded up the opposition leaders who accuse it, with
ample justification, of rigging elections in May. Embarrassingly, the forces
involved in these abuses were trained by British police officers, at British
taxpayers' expense.
At Ethiopia's border with Eritrea, in the meantime, troops and armour are
massing on both sides in possible preparation for a war over a badly defined
colonial frontier. A new conflict, which might allow the leaders of each
nation to rally evaporating domestic support, would undoubtedly claim more
lives than the 90,000 lost in the 1998-2000 war. (...)
[page 22 | columns]

-> http://www.newstatesman.com/200511140011


New Statesman
Colonialism in the Paris suburbs
Suburban Paris has been treated as if it were a far-flung colony to be easily
by Darcus Howe

What strikes me about the historic events unfolding in France is that those
in authority are behaving like rabbits caught in the headlights, stunned by
the depth and range of the revolt. They offer nothing constructive - only a
curfew (Jacques Chirac) and descriptions of the insurrectionists as "scum"
(Nicolas Sarkozy).
The Daily Mail's Melanie Phillips would have us believe that the youth of the
French suburbs have been stirred to insurrection by some obscure mullah who
wants an autonomous Islamic state within the borders of France. The
television pictures showing the participants in the revolt defy this
We are told by others that the French model of integration has failed. Yet
the French state has never in the past 25 years enunciated a model through
which immigrant communities may develop. If there was a policy at all, it was
one of neglect. At first immigrants came as seasonal labour, and it seemed to
the French authorities that there was no possibility of permanent settlement.
It was labour at its cheapest: there was no expenditure on servicing families
and only makeshift housing. (...)
[page 28 | columns]

-> http://www.newstatesman.com/200511140014


The Telegraph
'Army wanted an officer on trial over Iraq. They picked my husband'

by Thomas Harding

The wife of an Army colonel facing court martial over the death of an Iraqi
in his regiment's custody says he was charged because Army chiefs and
politicians wanted officers on trial alongside their men.
Louise Mendonca, speaking out for the first time in her 41-year-old husband
Jorge's defence, writes in The Daily Telegraph today that she feels "impelled
to speak now for the sake of my future sanity and my marriage". (...)



The Black Commentator
What's the Matter with What's the Matter with Kansas
Why Liberal Whites Worry Black Progressives
by Tyrone Simpson

Frank's misperception of race relations in his home state particularly
stings at the viscera because it attempts to write black grievances only out
of the cultural war.
The most compelling evidence that half of the nation's electorate has raised
arms against the other in what author Thomas Frank refers to as "The Great
Backlash" comes not necessarily from pop pundits hired to encourage the
revolt like Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter, but from the testimony of a less
polished commentator like John Rocker, the once brazen Atlanta Braves relief
pitcher who was impelled by a heated sports rivalry to voice the rage
ostensibly responsible for the ascendancy of our present president. In a 1999
interview with a Sports Illustrated reporter, Rocker made clear that his
antipathy toward the New York Mets went beyond the distaste that develops
between athletic antagonists to a complete revulsion for his opponents'
sponsoring city and the degenerate culture that it fostered and contained.
[November 10 2005 | Issue 158]

-> http://www.blackcommentator.com/158/158_think_race_and_kansas_simpson.html


The Guardian
Riots are a class act - and often they're the only alternative

by Gary Younge

France now accepts the need for social justice. No petition, peaceful march
or letter to an MP could have achieved this
'If there is no struggle, there is no progress," said the African American
abolitionist Frederick Douglass. "Those who profess to favour freedom and yet
depreciate agitation are men who want crops without ploughing up the ground;
they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the
awful roar of its many waters ... Power concedes nothing without a demand. It
never did and it never will."
By the end of last week it looked as though the fortnight of struggle between
minority French youth and the police might actually have yielded some
progress. Condemning the rioters is easy. They shot at the police, killed an
innocent man, trashed businesses, rammed a car into a retirement home, and
torched countless cars (given that 400 cars are burned on an average New
Year's Eve in France, this was not quite as remarkable as some made out).
[page 31 | Comment & Debate]

-> http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1641867,00.html


New Statesman
America's new enemy

by John Pilger

Latin Americans have spent the past few years finding their voices. Now they
may have the strength to defy their northern neighbour.
I was dropped at Paradiso, the last middle-class area before La Vega barrio,
which spills into a ravine as if by the force of gravity. Storms were
forecast and people were anxious, remembering the mudslides of 1999 that took
20,000 lives. "Why are you here?" asked the man sitting opposite me in the
packed jeep-bus that chugged up the hill. Like so many in Latin America, he
appeared old, but wasn't. Without waiting for my answer, he listed why he
supported President Hugo Chavez: schools, clinics, affordable food, "our
constitution, our democracy" and "for the first time, the oil money is going
to us". I asked him if he belonged to the MVR (Movement for the Fifth
Republic), Chavez's party, "No, I've never been in a political party; I can
only tell you how my life has been changed, as I never dreamt."
It is raw witness like this, which I have heard over and over again in
Venezuela, that smashes the one-way mirror between the west and a continent
that is rising. By rising, I mean the phenomenon of millions of people
stirring once again, "like lions after slumber/In unvanquishable number",
wrote Shelley in The Mask of Anarchy. This is not romantic; an epic is
unfolding in Latin America that demands our attention beyond the stereotypes
and cliches that diminish whole societies to their degree of exploitation and
expendability. (...)
[pages 12-14 | cover story]

-> http://www.newstatesman.com/nscoverstory.htm


The Guardian
US on sidelines as Latin American voters prepare to redraw continent

by Dan Glaister

There was a telling moment during the Mar del Plata summit of the Americas
in Argentina earlier this month. As the 34 leaders walked to the seaside spot
chosen for their group photograph, they chatted and joked among themselves.
But while they strolled in groups, one leader walked alone: the US president.
George Bush's isolation was more than symbolic. It was borne out by the
failure of the summit to rubberstamp the US-backed creation of a south
American trade zone. Both President Bush's isolation and the failure of the
latest US-inspired trade plan for the continent highlight a question
preoccupying US policy-makers and Latin American leaders: is the region
drifting away from the influence of its northern neighbour?
Between now and the end of 2006, 11 presidential elections will be held in
Latin America. The political changes and challenges that ensue could see a
continent redrawn. (...)
[page 25 | International]

-> http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1642089,00.html

Criminal State
The Coup - 1963
by Christian Mohn

People who were born in the United States before the year 1963 are living in
a different country than those born after 1963. The Criminal State was
formally ushered in that year with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The
subsequent political acts that have followed, be they wars on foreign soil or
the final removal of democracy from a hollowed-out republic could be
considered as stemming from that event. (...)

-> http://www.selvesandothers.org/article12188.html


The Guardian
Iraq's president predicts troops out next year

by Richard Norton-Taylor

Talabani suggests British handover by end of 2006
UK defence secretary more cautious on pullout
The Iraqi president predicted yesterday that Iraqi troops could replace
British soldiers in the country by the end of next year, in what is the most
optimistic assessment yet of the ability of his own forces to take
responsibility for the security of the country.
Jalal Talabani, the Kurdish leader running for re-election next month, said:
"We don't want British forces forever in Iraq. Within one year, I think at
the end of 2006, Iraqi troops will be ready to replace British forces in the
General Sir Mike Jackson, the head of the army, said Mr Talabani's prediction
of a British departure by the end of 2006 was "well within the range of what
is realistically possible". However, a senior British defence source,
speaking on condition he would not be named, described the president's
remarks as being made "more in hope than expectation".
John Reid, the defence secretary, was also more cautious. He insisted: "We
will stay in Iraq until the job is done." But he added: "That job will be
done when the Iraqis themselves are capable of taking their own security into
their own hands, and that handover is something that could begin in parts of
Iraq in the course of the next year."
Privately, British and American commanders in Iraq are concerned about the
lack of progress in building up a national Iraqi security and police force, a
problem compounded by the infiltration of the Iraqi police by Shia militia in
British-controlled southern Iraq. (...)
[page 17 | International]

-> http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1641763,00.html


The Independent
Iraqi President says British troops could pull out next year

by Kim Sengupta

in Baghdad
British troops could leave Iraq in just over a year, the country's President,
Jalal Talabani, said in the clearest indication yet of a timetable for
withdrawal from the conflict.
Mr Talabani's statement yesterday was immediately backed by Britain's
Secretary of State for Defence, John Reid, and General Sir Mike Jackson, the
head of the Army, as a feasible exit schedule.
The timescale tallies with contingency plans drawn up by the Ministry of
Defence for extracting the British force of about 8,000 from Iraq as the
military prepares for greater commitment in Afghanistan. (...)

-> http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article326899.ece


The Guardian
Depleted force ill at ease over Iraq war

by Audrey Gillan

Civilians who signed up to serve in the TA speak for the first time about
why they have handed in their kit for good
Former Territorial Army soldiers have spoken out about how the Iraq war has
compelled them to leave the service. An average of 500 men and women a month
have left since October 2003, causing a crisis for both the TA and the
regular army, which it increasingly supports.
Speaking to the Guardian, the former part-time soldiers gave a wide range of
reasons for leaving - from financial, to family, to frustration, to lack of
medical or mental health treatment - but Iraq was the key factor. More than a
quarter of the total required force has resigned - 13,400 - since April 2003.
The current strength of the TA is 35,500, the lowest since it was founded in
1907. The required strength is 41,610. The problem, it seems, from those
tracked down by the Guardian, is with retention of personnel rather than
recruitment, though a £3m television advertising campaign brought in fewer
than 600 candidates.
The TA supplies about 10% of the British forces in Iraq: 1,350 reservists
have been mobilised for a second tour and 775 are currently serving in Iraq.
Five members of the TA have died in Iraq since the invasion and many more
have been seriously injured. Two TA soldiers are suing the Ministry of
Defence for medical negligence after what they claim was a lack of treatment
when they returned home. (...)
[pages 8 - 9 | UK News]

-> http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,1642038,00.html


The Guardian
Senate vote to cut Guantánamo Bay prisoner rights faces challenge

by Gary Younge

Decision denies detainees access to federal courts
Democrat vows to stand by founding principles of US
The US senate's decision to deny detainees at Guantánamo Bay the right to
challenge their detention in a US court could be overturned this week,
following protests from senators, civil rights groups and former military
The senate voted 49-42 on Thursday to effectively reverse a 2004 supreme
court decision that extended the writ of habeas corpus to prisoners in the US
military camp in Cuba. The debate took less than an hour and the measure was
tacked on to a bill on the military budget.
Lindsey Graham, a Republican senator, argued that his proposal was intended
"to correct the balance", causing terror suspects to be treated as "enemy
combatants" rather than as potential criminal defendants.
"For 200 years, ladies and gentlemen, in the law of armed conflict, no nation
has given an enemy combatant, a terrorist, an al-Qaida member, the ability to
go into every federal court in this United States and sue the people that are
fighting the war for us," Mr Graham told the senate.
In an interview with Knight Ridder, Mr Graham later added: "We've been
chicken, to be honest, but now we're trying to bring some clarity to the
legal confusion." (...)
[page 24 | International]

-> http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1641803,00.html


The Guardian
Ethnic minority youngsters getting better jobs, study says

by Mian Ridge

Young people from ethnic minority families are transcending Britain's class
system and beating their working class white peers into well-paid jobs,
according to a report.
New generations of Indian, Chinese, Caribbean and African families are
sailing ahead in the employment market, largely thanks to the encouragement
of their parents, research funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has
People from Indian working class families are the most successful, said
Lucinda Platt, from the University of Essex, who tracked the employment of
140,000 people in England and Wales over 30 years from the 1960s.
Using data from the Office for National Statistics, she found that 56% of
people from Indian working class families took up professional or managerial
roles in adulthood, while only 43% of those from white, non-immigrant
families went into such jobs. Among youngsters from Caribbean families, the
figure was 45 %.
Ms Platt suggested it was the tendency of migrant parents to encourage and
expect their children to do well at school that lay behind the success of
these groups when it came to getting jobs. (...)
[page 13 | UK News]

-> http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,1641952,00.html


The Guardian
Call for free condoms to combat spread of HIV in prisons

by Eric Allison and Paul Lewis

Prisoners should be supplied with free condoms and given access to a
needle-exchange system in an effort to combat soaring rates of hepatitis C
and HIV among inmates, a report says today.
The study, published by the Prison Reform Trust and the National Aids Trust,
reveals that rates of hepatitis C and HIV in prisons are 20 times and 15
times higher respectively than in the public.
The survey of prison healthcare managers across the UK found a third of
prisons had no HIV policy, one in five had no hepatitis C policy and more
than half had no sexual health policy. Prison healthcare, the report authors
say, is "substandard" and many prisoners have no access to condoms,
disinfecting tablets, clean needles or healthcare information.
The director of the Prison Reform Trust, Juliet Lyons, said: "Courts sentence
people to custody not to inadequate healthcare, but the prison population is
marked by poor health. (...)
[page 16 | UK News]

-> http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,1641838,00.html

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Selves and Others

Wednesday, November 9th, 2005

Iraq Analysis Group
Fire Bombs in Iraq: Napalm By Any Other Name

by Iraq Analysis Group

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: The following briefing regarding the use of the
incendiary weapon MK-77 was first published in March of 2005. It is again
presented due to current articles talking about the use of incendiary devises
by the US military.
Iraq Analysis Group (March 2005)
This briefing examines the continuing use of incendiary weapons ("napalm") by
the US military in Iraq. While the UK government has attempted to downplay or
deny the use of incendiaries in Iraq, US officials have been forced to admit
using the MK-77 incendiary, a modern form of napalm. The UK is party to an
international convention banning such weapons where they may cause harm to
civilians. In Iraq, UK forces are part of a coalition which does not adhere
to internationally agreed standards of warfare. (...)

-> http://www.selvesandothers.org/article9437.html


Electronic Iraq
Cold Comfort

by Greg Rollins

"The driver is afraid," our Iraqi friend said, "but I guarantee that by the
end of the day his opinion will have changed." The driver was nervous about
going to Fallujah, a city that the Multinational Forces have attacked heavily
over past couple years. The driver believed that the people in Fallujah
(Sunni Muslims) were all fanatics, militants, supporters of Saddam. Still,
the driver went with a couple members from CPT and several Iraqis from Muslim
Peacemaker Teams who wanted to talk to people from Fallujah. After the driver
had been there for the day, he was shocked that the people from Fallujah were
nothing like he expected.
All cultures or countries demonize people. It is racist and dangerous, but in
Iraq it is especially precarious. It contributes a lot to the already intense
violence that paralyzes the country. Many Iraqis write each other off by
sayings things like "They are not educated... they are poor... they are from
the north...from the south...they are Sunni...Shi'a...Kurdish...Palestinian."
The list goes on. (...)

-> http://electroniciraq.net/news/2191.shtml


In These Times
Islam Needs Radicals

by Mark LeVine

George W. Bush. Tony Blair. Silvio Berlusconi. Jacques Chirac. Along with
most every Western leader, pundit and policymaker, they are frantically
searching for the "moderate Muslims" who can save Islam from itself and
improve relations with the West.
The problem is that there's no such thing as a moderate Muslim, at least the
way these decision makers define the term. Look at whom they call moderate:
President Bush often cites Jordan's King Abdullah and Morocco's King Muhammad
as the epitome of modern, moderate Muslim leaders. But a glance at the
Amnesty International reports on their countries, or those of other so-called
moderate regimes, reveals them to be anything but moderate in the way they
treat their citizens. In fact, their level of repression and censorship for
the most part is equal to or greater than at any time since 9/11. (...)

-> http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2378/


Democracy Now!
Robert Fisk on Torture: "We Have Become the Criminals...We Have No Further
Moral Cause to Fight For"

by Amy Goodman and Robert Fisk

We speak with veteran war correspondent Robert Fisk of the London Independent
about the U.S. abuse of prisoners in Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and rendition to
other countries as well as the role of journalists in a time of war.

-> http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/11/09/1538226


Democracy Now!
The Roots of Civil Unrest in Europe: Robert Fisk and Behzad Yaghmaian on
Post-Colonial Muslim and Arab Immigrants

by Amy Goodman, Behzad Yaghmaian and Robert Fisk

As the civil unrest in France approaches the end of the second week, we look
back at a critical moment in French history that is still being felt today:
the country's colonial rule of the North African nation of Algeria. We speak
with British journalist Robert Fisk about the French rule of Algeria and the
country's war of independence and with Iranian-born author and professor
Behzad Yaghmaian, who spent two years traveling in the Middle East and Europe
following migrants from Muslim countries.

-> http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/11/09/1538216


Blair Defeated on Terror Laws
A Despised Leader Suffers His First Loss
by Tariq Ali

For the first time since he was elected Prime Minister in 1997, Tony Blair
was just defeated in a vote in the British Parliament. The issue was the
so-called 'war against terrorism'. Blair had insisted that the police be
given extra powers to hold people in detention for 90 days before being
charged and brought before a court. These were the laws of apartheid South
Africa. These were the laws of 'preventive detention' enforced by the British
Empire in the colonies. These were the laws Blair wanted to apply to British
citizens. Forgotten was habeas corpus and the rights of the 'free-born
Englishman.' Even the Conservative Party, which has slavishly supported Blair
on Iraq, regarded this as an unwarranted and unnecessary display of
authoritarianism. And enough Labour Members of Parliament voted against their
leader to reject Blair's measures by 322 votes to 291--a bigger than expected
majority of 31. (...)

-> http://www.counterpunch.org/tariq11092005.html


Why Paris Is Burning

by Mark LeVine

Americans should be very concerned about the violence that has swept across
France the last two weeks. The riots, and the deeper problems they have laid
bare, are a microcosm of the larger struggles of Muslims across the Muslim
majority world to integrate into a globalized order from which they have been
marginalized for decades, even centuries.
While unusual in their scope, the riots are in not unprecedented. A similar
"intifada of the cities" broke out 15 years ago in response to the same
conditions in the banlieues, or suburban ghettos, where a lack of educational
and employment opportunities and dismal housing conditions created, in the
words of then-Paris Mayor Jacques Chirac, a "reign of soft terror" that left
young people with little choice but "to revolt."
The state could maintain its policy of trying to keep the order while
band-aiding the endemic problems, but for how long? (...)

-> http://www.tompaine.com/articles/20051109/why_paris_is_burning.php


Rage in the Banlieue
Paris is Burning
by Diana Johnstone

Montmartre, Paris.
The furious youth in the French suburban housing blocks known as the banlieue
are expressing themselves by setting cars on fire. And not only cars:
schools, creches, sports centers. So far, they are not using words, at least
not audibly. So everyone else is free to speak for them, or against them, and
offer his or her verbal interpretation of what these actions mean, or should
mean. Since these interpretations differ sharply, there is a polarizing
debate going on as to what this is really about and what should be done about
it. (...)

-> http://www.counterpunch.org/johnstone11092005.html


Democracy Now!
As France Uses Colonial-Era Law To Impose Curfews, a Look at the Plight of
Immigrant Youth in Europe

by Julia Wright and Naima Bouteldja

The French government has declared a state of emergency in response to the
youth-led uprising that began nearly two weeks ago, and has spread to over
300 towns and cities across the country as well as Brussels and Berlin. We go
to Paris to speak with French-born journalist Naima Bouteldja and
French-American activist Julia Wright about how the current civil unrest is
rooted in decades of social discrimination.
Under the emergency laws, the government can implement curfews, carry out
house searches and ban public meetings. The French newspaper Le Monde
criticized the government's decision to invoke laws that were originally
drawn up 50 years ago to quell the independence movement in the former French
colony of Algeria. The paper's editors wrote "exhuming a 1955 law sends to
the youth of the suburbs a message of astonishing brutality: that after 50
years France intends to treat them exactly as it did their grandparents." One
of the last blanket curfews in Paris was imposed solely on Algerians in 1961.
This led to mass protests and a severe crackdown by the French police. On
October 17. 1961 police killed as many 200 pro-independence Algerians in what
is now known as the Paris Massacre. Police were accused of throwing Algerian
demonstrators into the River Seine after they had been beaten unconscious.
Over the past two weeks the police have not resorted to such force but there
have been mass arrests. Since the uprising began police have detained more
than 1,500 people, many of them of Arab or African descent. In recent days
over 300 towns and cities have been affected by the unrest including the
Belgian city of Brussels and the German city of Berlin. On Tuesday night,
youths threw firebombs at police and set cars ablaze in the French city of
Toulouse just as Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy was visiting the area.
Over the past two weeks an estimated 6,000 cars have been set ablaze.

-> http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/11/09/1538211


Encircling Ramallah: The IDF tars a road

by Amira Hass

The bisecting that Israel is carrying out undermines natural economic ties,
without which any talk of development is an act of deception.
Tarring a road, building an elevated traffic island as a lane divider,
leveling an area and cleaning it - there is no reason for these to take up a
single line in the newspaper. Tarring a road, as common sense would have it,
means using taxpayers' money for their benefit, a service that goes without
saying, that is part of the ongoing contract between citizens and the
But when this tarring takes place on a road north of Bir Zeit, and the one
executing it is the Israel Defense Forces, which also grabbed under GOC order
dozens of dunams belonging to several Palestinian families, and commandeered
one family's home in its absence, then we're dealing with an ongoing contract
of another sort. It is a contract between the state authorities and the
Jewish citizens of Israel which permits them to use Palestinian land and
property to the detriment of the Palestinian public.
The tarring is under way right now, and it deserves more than a line in the
paper. But the problem is that even 50 lines, and even were these to appear
on the front page, would not put a stop to this evil plunder. (...)

-> http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=643181


The Guardian
Europe faces 'fear of all things foreign'

by Simon Tisdall

Watching the French riots with a mixture of trepidation and schadenfreude,
Europe's rulers have arrived at two conclusions. One is that the violence is
a peculiarly French affair, the product of colour blind republicanism and
bungling by an out-of-touch elite. The other is it will not happen here. Both
conclusions are questionable.
"The conditions in France are different from the ones we have here - we don't
have giant apartment blocks," said Germany's foreign affairs adviser Wolfgang
Schäuble. Appearing to blame French police tactics, Tony Blair said Britain
was different, too. When opposition leader Romano Prodi suggested Italy could
be next, he was accused of being alarmist.
But problems of discrimination, youth unemployment - half of the detained
French rioters are under 18 - racial prejudice, religious intolerance, and
xenophobia induced by fear of terrorism and globalisation are entrenched in
most European countries, said Aurore Wanlin of the Centre for European
Reform. And they have potential to cause more explosions. (...)
[page 17 | International]

-> http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldbriefing/story/0,15205,1637289,00.html


The Guardian
France is clinging to an ideal that's been pickled into dogma
Britain is in no position to lecture, but the French model of colour-blind
integration gives racism a free hand
by Jonathan Freedland

Paris is in flames and it's more than a city which is burning. The
presidency of Jacques Chirac, already battered, is being consumed before our
eyes. The French political class, shaken by the No vote in May's referendum
on the European constitution and the rejection of the Paris bid for the 2012
Olympic Games, is feeling the ground tremble. Not since 1968 has there been
such a widespread and sustained challenge to the French state.
But the greatest threat of all is to an idea, one that has held firm since
the first days of the Republic. If that idea is now shrivelling in the flames
of Lille and Toulouse, the heat will be felt far beyond France: it will reach
even here.
The riots themselves are not hard to fathom; several French commentators have
said the only mystery is why they didn't break out 15 years earlier. If you
corral hundreds of thousands of the poor and disadvantaged into sink estates
and suburbs in a misery doughnut around the city, expose them to unemployment
rates of up to 40%, and then subject them to daily racial discrimination at
the hands of employers and the police, you can hardly expect peace and
tranquillity. Cut public spending on social programmes by 20% and you will
guarantee an explosion. All you have to do is light the fuse. (...)
[page 31 | Comment & Debate]

-> http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,5673,1637189,00.html


The Guardian
Don't be duped by yet another dodgy dossier

by Gareth Peirce

MPs should resist the stampede to allow 90-day detentions and look at what
police did or did not do to stop the 7/7 attacks
Any MPs who hold misgivings about supporting an invasion on the basis of a
dossier later discovered to have been utterly misleading ought now to be
demanding a proper, transparent investigation into what the police did and
did not do that might have prevented the bombings in London of July 7; and
they ought to treat with extreme caution the "dossiers" prepared to support
90-day detentions.
The leader of the opposition, in the immediate aftermath of the bombings,
asked for just such an inquiry. Were that to have been conducted, the present
stampede, with justifications for numbers of days of detention plucked out of
the air, could not possibly be happening. While some reports have hinted at
police incompetence and failure to arrest those involved in advance of the
bombings, these are likely to be only the tip of the iceberg. A far-reaching
inquiry might well show that not one second of additional time for
interrogations would have been needed to redress a complete failure to use
any of the powers already in police hands. All that is needed is for MPs to
say: "Pause for a moment, let us have a proper, truthful explanation."
As a starting point for its justification, the police dossier revisits the
ricin case, in which a number of innocent men were acquitted - an outcome
intensely disliked by the police. Now they claim that had they had 90 days,
or perhaps 29, or maybe 19, the outcome would have been very different, and
that "the suspect who fled the country while on bail and who eventually
proved to have been a prime conspirator would have stood trial in this
country". The police held that suspect for two days. It was their decision to
release him. Where does the need for 90 days come from? (...)
[page 32 | Comment & Debate]

-> http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1637162,00.html


World Socialist Web Site
Iraq murder court-martial collapses

by Niall Green

The court-martial of seven British soldiers accused of murdering an
18-year-old Iraqi man has collapsed. The trial judge ruled that there was
insufficient evidence for proceedings to continue.
So unserious was the British military's treatment of the alleged murder that
the outcome was a foregone conclusion. Judge Advocate General Jeff Blackett,
presiding at the trial, criticised the Royal Military Police Special
Investigation Branch (SIB), which was in charge of investigating the
incident, for making "serious omissions" in their investigation.
Blackett stated that the Military Police had failed to search for hospital
records related to the case and had not established whether there was a
register in which the deceased's burial may be recorded. The SIB negligence
included delays in interviewing witnesses and defendants. The British army
investigators also failed to take crucial DNA samples or take possession of
the deceased's clothes before evidence on them became tainted. (...)

-> http://www.wsws.org/articles/2005/nov2005/iraq-n09.shtml


The Independent
US criticised for use of phosphorous in Fallujah raids

by Andrew Buncombe

A leading campaign group has demanded an urgent inquiry into a report that US
troops indiscriminately used a controversial incendiary weapon during the
battle for Fallujah. Photographic evidence gathered from the aftermath of the
battle suggests that women and children were killed by horrific burns caused
by the white phosphorus shells dropped by US forces. (...)

-> http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article325757.ece


World Bank: Use 3 routes for people, cargo between Gaza and West Bank

by Akiva Eldar

The World Bank technical team examining the provision of a "safe crossing"
between the Gaza Strip and the areas of the West Bank controlled by the
Palestinian Authority has recommended that convoys carrying passengers and
cargo operate on three routes connecting the Strip to the southern, central
and northern West Bank several times a day, according to a report recently
sent to the Palestinian Authority. The report, which details the proposed use
of bus, cargo truck and passenger vehicle convoys, is expected to come up in
discussions between Middle East Quartet envoy James Wolfensohn and Israeli
and Palestinian security officials. Both Israel and the PA accept, in
principle, the major points raised in the report, a copy of which has been
obtained by Haaretz.
According to the World Bank report, three routes are needed because of the
restrictions Israel imposes on movement within the West Bank. It recommends
that the routes be located away from built-up and heavily trafficked areas
whenever possible and suggests that convoys of trucks carrying goods could
also be used for travel between Palestinian areas and Ben-Gurion
International Airport, as well as the Ashdod and Haifa ports. (...)

-> http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=643171


Saddam's lawyers boycott trial

by Ammar Al-Alwani

RAMADI, Iraq (Reuters) - Lawyers for Saddam Hussein and his aides severed
all contact with the court trying the former Iraqi president on Wednesday
after the second murder of a member of the defense team since the trial began
last month.
The judge said the court was considering its response.
Attorneys representing Saddam and seven co-accused on charges of crimes
against humanity considered a second day of hearings set for November 28 to
be "canceled and illegitimate", lead counsel Khalil al-Dulaimi told Reuters.
Interviewed in the Sunni Arab rebel stronghold of Ramadi, west of Baghdad, he
said he felt personally threatened and renewed demands for the United Nations
to intervene to stop the trial following Tuesday's killing of lawyer Adil
al-Zubeidi. (...)



The Independent
Calls to move Saddam trial after second lawyer killed

by Kim Sengupta

in Baghdad
Fresh doubts have been raised over the trial of Saddam Hussein after a second
defence lawyer was murdered in Baghdad.
Adel al-Zubeidi, representing the former vice-president Taha Yassin Ramadan,
was shot dead, and Thamir al-Khuzaie, a fellow member of the defence team,
was wounded in an ambush.
This was the second killing of lawyers who were acting for Saddam and seven
other defendants. Saadoun al-Jananbi was killed last month just days after
appearing in the special court trying the case in the Iraqi capital. Defence
lawyers said afterwards that they may boycott the proceedings until they are
provided with adequate security. (...)

-> http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article325753.ece


Pacific News Service
Chalabi's Return -- After Fallout With U.S., Former Iraqi Exile Plays All

by William O. Beeman

Editor's Note: Never mind that former Iraqi exile Ahmad Chalabi was
convicted of embezzlement and mislead the U.S. about weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq. The savvy politician has remade himself, still has
significant support in Washington and may become Iraq's prime minister.
ChalabiLike a bad penny, Ahmad Chalabi is again turning up, and miraculously
the United States is set to back him as prime minister of Iraq in the
upcoming Dec. 15 elections for the first "real" government in the country.
His visit to Washington is scheduled for November 7-12.
Never mind that Chalabi was convicted of embezzlement, that he was accused of
misleading the United States on the issue of weapons of mass destruction
prior to the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, or that he guaranteed a
loving welcome for U.S. troops from Iraqis, who he claimed would be grateful
and ecstatic to be rid of Saddam Hussein. Never mind either that he was
receiving $300,000 a month for some time to provide unspecified services for
Viceroy Paul Bremer's interim government, or that he led the
de-Baathification effort to purge Iraq of his political enemies. (...)
[November 08, 2005]


My imaginary advice to the President

by Jack Glasner

November 8, 2005
De profundis clamavi
Respectfully and reluctantly I take this opportunity to write to you. I am
sure that you are aware that your rating with the American people on the
majority of issues (rightfully so, or not) has dropped. Be it from Stem cell
to Social Security, nominations to the Supreme Court, or the war in Iraq etc.
I take this opportunity to illuminate some thoughts. Obviously chances that
you will read this letter are remote; nevertheless, I fervently hope you
might. (...)

-> http://www.selvesandothers.org/article12105.html

Sent on November 10, 2005 at 01:01 CET
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