GREG PALAST SPEAKS ON KATRINA– TWO YEARS LATER

“They wanted them poor niggers out of there.”
New Orleans two years after

by Greg Palast

[Thurs August 30] “They wanted them poor niggers out of there and they ain’t had no intention to allow it to be reopened to no poor niggers, you know? And that’s just the bottom line.”

It wasn’t a pretty statement. But I wasn’t looking for pretty. I’d taken my investigative team to New Orleans to meet with Malik Rahim. Pretty isn’t Malik’s concern.

We needed an answer to a weird, puzzling and horrific discovery. Among the miles and miles of devastated houses, rubble still there today in New Orleans, we found dry, beautiful homes. But their residents were told by guys dressed like Ninjas wearing “Blackwater” badges: “Try to go into your home and we’ll arrest you.”

These aren’t just any homes. They are the public housing projects of the city; the Lafitte Houses and others. But unlike the cinder block monsters in the Bronx, these public units are beautiful townhouses, with wrought-iron porches and gardens right next to the tony French Quarter.

Raised up on high ground, with floors and walls of concrete, they were some of the only houses left salvageable after the Katrina flood.

Yet, two years later, there’s still bars on the windows, the doors are welded shut and the residents banned from returning. On the first anniversary of the flood, we were filming this odd scene when I saw a woman on the sidewalk, sobbing. Night was falling. What was wrong?

“They just messing all over us. Putting me out our own house. We come to go back to our own home and when we get there they got the police there putting us out. Oh, no, this is not right. I’m coming here from Texas seeing if I can get my house back. But they said they ain’t letting nobody in. But where we gonna go at?”

Idiot me, I asked, “Where are you going to go tonight?”

“That’s what I want to know, Mister. Where I’m going to go – me and my kids?”

With the help of Patricia Thomas, a Lafitte resident, we broke into an apartment. The place was gorgeous. The cereal boxes still dry. This was Patricia’s home. But we decided to get out before we got busted.

I wasn’t naïve. I had a good idea what this scam was all about: 89,000 poor and working class families stuck in Homeland Security’s trailer park gulag while their good homes were guarded against their return by mercenaries. Two decades ago, I worked for the Housing Authority of New Orleans. Even then, the plan was to evict poor folk out of this very valuable real estate. But it took the cover of a hurricane to do it.

Malik’s organization, Common Ground, wouldn’t wait for permission from the federal and local commissars to help folks return. They organized takeovers of public housing by the residents. And, in the face of threats and official displeasure, restored 350 apartments in a destroyed private development on the high ground across the Mississippi in the ward called, “Algiers.” The tenants rebuilt their own homes with their own sweat and their own scraps of cash based on a promise of the landlords to sell Common Ground the property in return for restoring it.

Why, I asked Malik, was there this strange lock-out from public housing?

Malik shook his dreds. “They didn’t want to open it up. They wanted them closed. They wanted them poor niggers out of there.”

For Malik, the emphasis is on “poor.” The racial politics of the Deep South is as ugly as it is in Philadelphia, Pa. But the New Orleans city establishment has no problem with Black folk per se. After all, Mayor Ray Nagin’s parents are African-American.

It’s the Black survivors without the cash that are a problem. So where New Orleans once stood, Mayor Nagin, in connivance with a Bush regime more than happy to keep a quarter million poor folk (i.e. Democrats) out of this swing state, is creating a new city: a tourist town with a French Quarter, loose-spending drunks, hot-sheets hotels and a few Black people to perform the modern version of minstrel shows.

Malik explained, “It’s two cities. You know? There’s the city for the white and the rich. And there’s another city for the poor and Blacks. You know, the city that’s for the white and rich has recovered. They had a Jazz Fest. They had a Mardi Gras. They’re going to have the Saints playing for those who have recovered. But for those who haven’t recovered, there’s nothing.”

So where are they now? The sobbing woman and her kids are gone: back to Texas, or wherever. But they will not be allowed back into Lafitte. Ever.

And Patricia Thomas? The middle-aged woman, worked sweeping up the vomit and beer each morning at a French Quarter karioke joint. Not much pay, no health insurance, of course. She died since we filmed her – in a city bereft of health care. New Orleans has closed all its public hospitals but for one “charity” make-shift emergency ward in an abandoned department store.

And the one bright star, Malik’s housing project? The tenants’ work was done this past December. By Christmastime, they received their eviction notices – and all were carried out of their rebuilt homes by marshals right after the New Year, including a paraplegic resident who’d lived in the Algiers building for decades.

Hurricane recovery is class war by other means. And in this war of the powerful against the powerless, Mr. Bush can rightly land his fighter plane in Louisiana and declare that, unlike the war in Iraq, it is, indeed, “Mission Accomplished.”

***************

This report is based on Greg Palast’s film, Big Easy to Big Empty: The Untold Story of the Drowning of New Orleans. You may purchase a copy of the DVD, watch an excerpt or read the new chapter on New Orleans in Palast’s New York Times bestseller, Armed Madhouse: From Baghdad to New Orleans – Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild.

YOU CAN HELP THE VICTIMS OF BUSH/KATRINA

Watch the video…. then sign the petition below.

Sign the petition

12,703 signers

We, the undersigned, urge the United States Senate to pass Senator Dodd’s Gulf Coast Recovery Bill of 2007 (S1668) to assist the Gulf Coast region in rebuilding the infrastructure lost after the Katrina and Rita disasters.

Passage of this bill is an important step towards returning the Gulf Coast residents to their homes.

function DoValidation() { if (getCookie(“petition701″)==”true”){ alert(“You’ve already signed this petition.”); return false; } var now = new Date(); /* fixDate(now); now.setTime(now.getTime() + 365 * 24 * 60 * 60 * 1000); setCookie(“petition701″,”true”,now); */ return true; }

First Name *
Last Name *
Email *
Zip Code

To sign Petition, go to THIS link…

NEW ORLEANS TODAY~~ TWO YEARS AFTER KATRINA

A national disgrace

What killed over 1,000; totally destroyed the homes of 250,000; and rendered hundreds of thousands homeless?

Not Hurricane Katrina.

Is was the collapse of the federal levees.

Poorly designed, poorly built, underfunded.

The Bush Administration knew the levees had the potential to fail and did nothing. They did nothing during the catastrophe. And they’ve done nothing since to make good on their promises to help the people there rebuild.

Could you be impacted by the collapse of a levee? Millions of Americans depend on federally managed levees – and the ones in California are in even worse condition that the ones in New Orleans were.

The following videos speak for themselves…. and speak volumes.

Source (Partial)

THE LOBBY GETS ITS WAY AT DePAUL UNIVERSITY

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

A Catholic University seems to be taking its directives from AIPAC and other groups associated with the infamous Lobby. Freedom of Spech and the right to an education are no longer options in certain areas.
Slowly the remaining freedoms of the American people are being eroded away by the same forces that have denied freedom to the entire nation of Palestine for the past 60 years…. what will it take for Americans to wake up and take a stand against these enemies of freedom? How long will America put up with this before there is a backlash never before seen in the history of the country…. a backlash that will evoke cries of antisemitism from the very forces that are anti everything and everyone else.
ENOUGH ALREADY! LET FREEDOM RING!!…. STARTING IN THE CLASSROOM!
The following AP report from Fox News talks about the situation at DePaul University…

DePaul University Cancels Class Taught By Professor Critical of Israel

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Associated Press

CHICAGO — DePaul University canceled the one remaining class taught by a controversial professor who has accused some Jews of improperly using the legacy of the Holocaust.

Norman Finkelstein, whose work led to a long-running public feud with Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, says he may respond by committing civil disobedience when classes resume Sept. 5.

Finkelstein, 53, was denied tenure in June after six years on the DePaul faculty, but he was permitted to teach for the one year remaining on his contract.

On Friday, however, the university e-mailed students saying that Finkelstein’s sole political science course had been canceled. By Monday, the books for the course had been pulled from the DePaul bookstore’s shelves.

Finkelstein’s most recent book, “Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History,” is largely an attack on Dershowitz’s “The Case for Israel.” In it, Finkelstein argues that Israel uses the outcry over perceived anti-Semitism as a weapon to stifle criticism.

/**/

Dershowitz, who threatened to sue Finkelstein’s publisher for libel, urged DePaul officials to reject Finkelstein’s tenure bid in June.

The American Association of University Professors is preparing a letter to the university protesting Finkelstein’s treatment as a serious violation of academic ethics, the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.

Finkelstein told the newspaper that he planned to wage his own campaign against the administration.

“I intend to go to my office on the first day of classes and, if my way is barred, to engage in civil disobedience,” Finkelstein said. “If arrested, I’ll go on a hunger strike. If released, I’ll do it all over again. I’ll fast in jail for as long as it takes.”

After he was denied tenure, Finkelstein, a son of Holocaust survivors, posted a letter on his Web site explaining the school officials’ reasons, including Finkelstein’s “deliberately hurtful” scholarship along, lack of involvement with the school and tendency for public clashes with other scholars.

“In the opinion of those opposing tenure, your unprofessional personal attacks divert the conversation away from consideration of ideas, and polarize and simplify conversations that deserve layered and subtle consideration,” school President Dennis Holtschneider wrote in a letter dated June 8. DePaul at the time verified the letter was authentic.

Denise Mattson, the university’s associate vice president for public affairs, released a statement saying Finkelstein was on administrative leave with full pay for the academic year.

“Administrative leave relieves professors from their teaching responsibilities. He was informed of the reasons that precipitated this leave last spring,” the statement said.

MORE ASS KISSING….. THIS TIME IN JERUSALEM…..


I can’t believe I just wrote that heading….. but I can’t think of a more fitting one.
The two most redundant ‘leaders’ in the Middle East just started another meeting…
This time on the ‘turf’ of the Israeli Prime Minister. He and former President Kapo Abbas met to ‘discuss’ peace’ and how to keep ‘putting the gears’ to the duly elected government led by Hamas….
Let them dream on….. as long as these two are behind closed doors, less Palestinians will be killed during that time… that alone makes the meetings worthwhile.

The report from YNet follows…..

Abbas and Olmert on Tuesday (Photo: Amos Ben Gershom)

Abbas meets Olmert at PM residence

Israeli prime minister, Palestinian president meet ahead of US-sponsored international conference. ‘I wish for peace,’ Abbas says

Ronny Sofer

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met at the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem Tuesday, three weeks after their meeting in Jericho.

Olmert also thanked the Palestinian president for freezing the funds of 100 associations affiliated with the Hamas organization.

Before the meeting began, Abbas signed the prime minister’s guestbook for the first time since the two began meeting to discuss the US-sponsored international conference on Israeli-Palestinian peace scheduled to take place in November.
“It is my honor to meet the prime minister in his home. I hope and wish for the peace between us to move forward, and for both peoples, Israelis and Palestinians, to see the peace we are aspiring for,” Abbas wrote.

The one-on-one meeting will likely the last about two hours, after which Olmert and Abbas are expected to schedule several more meetings ahead of the US-sponsored international conference.

IN MEMORIAL ~~ MAX ROACH 1924-2007

America lost another one of it’s greats last week with the passing of Max Roach.
He will be remembered not only for his music, but for being a committed activist, working endlessly to bring about radical changes to the American society.

Maya Angelou remembering Max Roach at Riverside Church on Friday at the funeral of the great jazz legend had the following to say to the thousands of mourners in attendance….

Family, family, family, when great trees fall, rocks on distant hills shudder, lions hunker down in tall grasses, and even elephants lumber after safety. When great trees fall in forests, small things recoil into silence, their senses eroded beyond fear. I have come to sing a song of praise to the courage of black men, in general, black American men, in general, and Max Roach, in particular.
I was the only parent of a young man, a young black man. James Baldwin, John Killens, Julian Mayfield, and Max Roach offered themselves to me as my brother, my brother friends. I was young and quite mad. And so were they. But they were brave enough to be brothers to an African American woman — that’s no small matter — an African American woman who has opinions and is not loathe to tell anybody her opinion at any time, loudly.

Max Roach and the other men I have mentioned dared to say to me things like, “Listen, what you said to your son — he was eleven — what you said to him last week wasn’t all that swift. In fact, that was dumb. You’re raising a black boy in a white country where — poor boy in a country where money is adored, where black is hated, and man — where a man is no small matter. It’s a difference between being an old male born with certain genitalia — you can be an old whatever that is, but to become a man, and an African American man, is no small matter. Help yourself.”

And then, on the other hand, he would call me from New York to California and say, “Girl, I’m so proud of you. I saw you on television. You were brilliant. I’m so proud to be your brother.”

Thanks to Max Roach and African American men, there are some single women who dare to be mothers, dare to be sisters, dare to be lovers, dare to be citizens.

Thanks to Max Roach, all forty years ago, his then-wife Abbey Lincoln, Rosa Guy and I decided we were going to storm United Nations. And we put it to some men. They said, “Don’t be silly.” And we said we’d get the African American — the Harlem community to come down there to United Nations. They said, “Don’t be silly. Those people have never been to Times Square.” Max Roach said, “Do it” — not only “Do it,” “I’ll go with you.” And we went. And Harlem turned up down at United Nations, and we made an international statement. Max Roach.

Max Roach encouraged me to marry a man, a South African freedom fighter who was at United Nations, who was madder than I was. Max Roach said, “He’s good for you. He’ll teach you a thing or two.” He taught me three or four things.

I have wept copiously after losing Max Roach. I also laugh uproariously, because he dared to love me without any sexual innuendos, without any of that, just loved me, told me I was brilliant, much like my own brother. He told me I was brilliant, smarter than most people. He also told me I wasn’t as smart as he was, which was true, which was true.

When great trees fall, it is wise, I think, for us to praise the ground they grew out of.

It is such a wonderful thing to look at his friends and family, to see great names here, great artists, who loved Max Roach, because he had the courage to love us. And so, I’m glad to say we had him. We are bigger and better and stronger, because Max Roach was my brother.

About Maya Angelou…
Maya Angelou Maya Angelou
Inaugural Poet

Maya Angelou is hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary literature and as a remarkable Renaissance woman. Being a poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director, Dr. Angelou continues to travel the world making appearances, spreading her legendary wisdom.

A mesmerizing vision of grace, swaying and stirring when she moves, Dr. Angelou captivates her audiences lyrically with vigor, fire and perception. She has the unique ability to shatter the opaque prisms of race and class between reader and subject throughout her books of poetry and her autobiographies.

Dr. Angelou has authored twelve best-selling books including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and her current best-seller A Song Flung Up to Heaven.

In 1981, Dr. Angelou was appointed to a lifetime position as the first Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University.

In January 1993, she became only the second poet in U.S. History to have the honor of writing and reciting original work at the Presidential Inauguration.

Source

THE DREAM IS STILL ALIVE~~ WE SHALL ALL BE FREE ONE DAY

Forty four years today a demonstration took place in Washington D.C…. a demonstration that literally shook the foundations of the system… a demonstration of people against racism led by the greatest of the great; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The speech that he gave that day is only second in fame to the one given by President Lincoln in Gettysburg 100 years or so earlier. A speech that today is still remembered by those who heard it and one that will continue to be heard by millions. The speech can be heard in it’s entirety in the following video.The words are as valid today as they were 44 years ago.

Text of the speech…

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

MORE ‘WISDOM’ FROM THE MORONIC ‘SAGES’ OF JUDAISM

It appears that in at least two cases, the retirement of a Chief Rabbi in Israel leads to instant senility. From racist epithets to calls of wiping the Palestinians off the face of the earth, we have now reached a situation where the secular soldier is the new target of attack. Instead of reinforcing the COMMANDMENT of THOU SHALT NOT KILL, he justifies the deaths of these soldiers by saying it was due to their lack of belief. As a man of the cloth he should be talking about peace and brotherhood, not the nonsense he is sputtering.

In his weekly ‘sermon’, Ovadia Yosef once again proves that he is a senile old man that should no longer be listened to. The pain he inflicted on the families of the soldiers in question is totally unnecessary, they have already suffered enough with their losses.

The following article from YNet speaks of this…

Rabbi Yosef: Soldiers killed in war because they didn’t observe mitzvot

‘It is no wonder that IDF soldiers are killed in war; they don’t observe Shabbat, don’t observe the Torah and don’t pray every day,’ Shas’ spiritual leader says during weekly sermon

Dani Adino Ababa

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef said Saturday that IDF soldiers were killed during the Second Lebanon War because they didn’t observe mitzvot (commandments of the Jewish law), Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

In his weekly sermon, delivered just two weeks after Israel marked the war’s first anniversary, Shas’ spiritual leader said, “It is no wonder that soldiers are killed in war; they don’t observe Shabbat, don’t observe the Torah, don’t pray every day, don’t lay phylacteries on a daily basis – so is it any wonder that they are killed? No, it’s not.

“God have mercy on them (soldiers) and make them become newly religious – then they will all live a good life in peace,” Rabbi Ovadia said.

During his sermon the rabbi mention last week’s Parsha, “Shoftim”, which states: “What man is there that is fearful and faint-hearted? Let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart melt as his heart” (Deuteronomy 20: 5-8) – meaning, fearful soldiers should return to their homes during times of war or danger.

According to Rabbi Yosef, today such soldiers would be “placed in a military prison by their commanding officers”.

The rabbi continued to say that “when soldiers believe and pray, God helps them during the war. (These soldiers) don’t get killed.”

Responding to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s comments, Meretz chairman Yossi Beilin said, “Instead of spewing out drivel and hurting the bereaved families, the rabbi should call on yeshiva students to enlist in the army.”

TURNING IRAQ INTO VIETNAM

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

The following is a brilliant analysis of America’s two greatest blunders; the war in Vietnam and the war in Iraq. The comparisons are unbelievably frightening….

It is taken from the weekend edition of CounterPunch.

Bush’s Killing Fields

Turning Iraq into Vietnam

By MARJORIE COHN

Desperate to shore up support for continuing his unpopular war on Iraq, George W. Bush drew an analogy with Vietnam when he addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars. “The price of America’s withdrawal [from Vietnam] was paid by millions of innocent citizens,” Bush declared. But he overlooked the four million Indochinese and 58,000 American soldiers who paid the ultimate price for that imperial war. And the myriad Vietnamese and Americans who continue to suffer the devastating effects of the defoliant Agent Orange the U.S. forces dropped on Vietnam. The 10 years it took to end our war there claimed untold numbers of lives.

Bush cited the “killing fields,” referring to the more than one million Cambodians who died after we pulled out of Vietnam. He failed to mention that if Richard Nixon had ended the war by 1969, as the antiwar movement was demanding, the war wouldn’t have extended into Cambodia. Secret U.S. carpet bombing of Cambodia destroyed that country, enabling Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge to come to power. Nixon, too, had warned of a bloodbath in Vietnam to justify continuing his war.

Contrary to the picture Bush painted, Vietnam is a unified, stable country that doesn’t threaten the region; it has become a trading partner of the United States.

In his desperation to rationalize the death and destruction he is wreaking in Iraq, Bush credited the United States with the great progress South Korea and Japan have made. He didn’t say that the people of North and South Korea seek to reunify their country but the United States stands in the way. And Bush neglected to add that his government is pressuring Japan to repeal Article 9 of its Peace Constitution which now forbids the aggressive use of military force.

George Bush also reiterated that Iraq is “the central front” of the war on terror. But for his invasion, war and occupation of Iraq, however, al Qaeda wouldn’t be there.

Bush claimed “our troops are seeing this progress that is being made on the ground.” Perhaps the President didn’t read the elegant op-ed that seven infantrymen and noncommissioned officers penned in the New York Times last week. “The claim that we are increasingly in control of the battlefield in Iraq is an assessment arrived at through a flawed, American-centered framework,” they wrote. The soldiers noted the two million Iraqis in refugee camps and close to two million more who are internally displaced. “Four years into our occupation, we have failed on every promise, while we have substituted Baath Party tyranny with a tyranny of Islamist, militia and criminal violence.”

The only reason we stayed in Vietnam as long as we did was to avoid the U.S. superpower from being perceived as the “loser.” American involvement in Vietnam finally ended because our soldiers refused to fight, our people took to the streets in record numbers, Nixon was weakened by his impending impeachment, and the North Vietnamese–unlike the government in the South–won the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people.

Congress has no more will to end the Iraq War than it did the Vietnam War. It was one year after our troops came home that Congress finally cut the funding for all support of the South Vietnamese government; Nixon didn’t veto the bill because he needed insurance against impeachment. There is no substantial support in Congress or among the leading presidential candidates to bring all the troops home and disband the mega-bases Bush has built in Iraq.

Resistance to the Iraq War will continue to grow within the military. Like the Vietnamese, the Iraqis will be instrumental in ending Bush’s war. The soldiers pegged it in their op-ed: Iraqis “will soon realize that the best way to regain their dignity is to call us what we are–an army of occupation–and force our withdrawal.”

Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and president of the National Lawyers Guild. She is the author of Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law

VOICES FROM HELL

The book contains 22 poems from
Guantanamo inmates

Against all odds and attempts of censorship, a book of poetry has just been published. Not just an ordinary book of poetry, but one written by inmates of the infamous Guantanamo prison facility.

It should prove to be quite an interesting addition to the fight against terrorism… U.S. Terrorism that is….

The following report from AlJazeera reports on this….

The Poets of Guantanamo

By Tom Ackermann

It has been over five years since the US began locking up prisoners at its military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The about 355 detainees have never been brought to trial, so not much has been heard from inside the jail.

But a book of poems written by Guantanamo inmates has been published, revealing some of their innermost thoughts.

A poem by Moazzam Begg, one of 17 Guantanamo detainees whose work is gathered in the slim volume:

Freedom is spent, time is up –
Tears have rent my sorrow’s cup;
Home is cage, and cage is steel,
Thus manifest reality’s unreal.

Some of the poets, like Begg and Martin Mubanga, have been released.

‘A special risk’

Most, however, like Sami al-Hajj, a cameraman for Al Jazeera, are still detained indefinitely.

Marc Falkoff, who represents 17 Yemenis at Guantanamo, collected the poems with the help of other defence lawyers.

At first, the poets were denied regular use of paper and pen, some resorting to scratch their words with pebbles onto Styrofoam cups.

For years, the Pentagon refused to declassify any of the writing.

They described poems as “a special risk”, because they could contain coded messages.

The passages in Poems from Guantanamo were cleared before the Pentagon realised they would wind up in a book.

Falkoff, who is also the editor of the book, said the Pentagon has refused to clear any additional poems in the last year or so.

He said: “We believe that they’ve made an effort just to keep this book from coming into print.”

Commander JD Gordan, a Pentagon spokesman, said the detainees “have attempted to use this medium as merely another tool in their battle of ideas against Western democracies”.

The 22 poems in the book were approved only in their English versions, and translated only by security-cleared linguists.

“The result is that we have workmanlike translations that are not ideal. This of course is due to the Pentagon’s restrictions,” Falkoff said.

Expression

The poets, like in this excerpt of Death Poem by Jumah al-Dossari, a 33-year old Bahraini, speak of love and suffering:

Take my blood,
Take my death shroud and
the remnants of my body.
Take photographs of my corpse at the grave, lonely.

Other Guantanamo inmates have used poetry to express their anger with the US government that holds them captive.

Falkoff said: “There’s some strong language, though, and I did not excise that. It’s included in here.”

An excerpt from Humiliated in the Shackles, by al-Haj, reads:

America, you ride on the backs of orphans,
And terrorize them daily.
Bush beware.
The world recognizes an arrogant liar.

Whatever their artistic merit, Falkoff says the poems shed light on the prisoners’ humanity, and give the outside world rare insight into their hopes and fears.

IN MEMORIUM~~ AARON RUSSO 1943-2007

AARON RUSSO 1943-2007

We The People Radio Network is sad to announce the passing of our dear friend Aaron Russo. He was a true leader and his gentle approach to film making made his classic “America, From Freedom To Fascism” one of the best films ever to bring awareness to the American public. We were honored to work with him and proud of the fact that he chose “We The People Radio Network” as the most honest broker to interface with “truly” activist groups and people. As you may or may not know, Aaron turned over his “Restore the Republic” organization to Gary Franchi, National Director, and Sam Ettaro, National Media Director, who are both broadcasters on this radio network. Their launch of Republic Magazine and our partnership with them in the advancement of the independent media is the legacy that Aaron wanted to go forward and we intend to make these things come to pass in his memory. He warned us to be wary of people who would try to criticize our efforts to create a new media for the purpose of uniting all Americans. We will resect his wishes and advice and make his dream come true. Godspeed Aaron Russo, we love you and will miss you forever!


Aaron Russo’s Bio

Born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, producer Aaron Russo began promoting rock and roll shows at local theaters while still a high school student. He then worked for his family’s undergarment business, where in 1963, he designed the first ladies bikini under wear. Five years later the twenty four year old entrepreneur opened his own nightclub in Chicago called the Kinetic Playground which became a driving force in the music business, where Aaron helped create the careers of many legendary performers, such as Led Zeppelin. Aaron was responsible for bringing them to America for the first time. He also promoted some of the 60’s most successful rock acts, including The Who, Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane.

In 1972, Russo began his seven year partnership with Bette Midler, who became a superstar during his management of her career. In 1975 he produced the Tony award- winning “Clams on the Half-Shell Revue,” which starred Bette Midler and Lionel Hampton. At the time it was the most successful ten-week broadway revue in history, grossing more than $1.8 million. While serving as Midler’s manager, Russo created and managed the Manhattan Transfer. Later his roster would include such personalities as David Keith, Frederic Forest, Susan Sarandon and other notable clients.

When Russo turned to producing feature films, his production of “The Rose”, introduced Bette Midler to motion picture audiences. Midler received an Academy Award nomination as best actress. “The Rose” is considered by many to be the classic rock n’ roll film. Russo also produced “Trading Places,” starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, which has become a Christmas classic, and “Teachers,” starring Nick Nolte, Morgan Freeman, and Ralph Macchio.

Over the past years, Russo has received numerous awards for his achievements. They include a Grammy, a Tony, an Emmy for producing the best television special of the year “OL’ Red Hair is Back,” starring Dustin Hoffman and Bette Midler, plus many gold and platinum records. To date his films have been nominated for six Academy Awards, as well as seven Golden Globes. His films have won three Golden Globes, as well as the Image Award.

He is now writing, producing, and directing a new feature film/documentary titled “America…From Freedom To Fascism”. The film is an expose of the Internal Revenue Service, and proves conclusively there is no law requiring an American citizen to pay a direct unapportioned Tax on their labor. The film is very provocative and is receiving standing ovations at its previews.

In 1996 Russo made a political video entitled “Aaron Russo’s Mad as Hell”, which was a hit throughout America. He was asked by the people of Nevada to run for governor and he made the decision to do so. The powers that be in Nevada scoffed at his decision to run for governor but were very surprised when he finished second with nearly thirty percent of the vote, beating the sitting lieutenant governor. In January of 2004, he declared his candidacy for the Libertarian Party’s nomination for President of the Untied States. At the Convention in May, Russo won the first two ballots, but not a majority. He was defeated on the third and final ballot. He then channelled his energy into writing/directing America: From Freedom to Fascism (View Video Below).

Watch videos HERE

Source

OUTRAGE GROWS IN CASE OF ISLAMIC SCHOOL’S PRINCIPAL

JFREJ Takes a stand in support of Debbie Almontaser and Khalil Gibran International Academy

JFREJ Takes a stand in support of Debbie Almontaser and Khalil Gibran International Academy

For Immediate Release

August 23, 2007

Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ) on Debbie Almontaser’s Resignation and the targeting of the Kahlil Gibran International Academy

As parents, students, teachers, New Yorkers, and Jews, we are outraged by the series of events that have culminated in Debbie Almontaser’s resignation as principal of the Kahlil Gibran International Academy. We are particularly disturbed that Mayor Bloomberg, Joel Klein, the Chancellor of the Department of Education, and Randi Weingarten, the President of the United Federation of Teachers, bowed to right-wing pressure and did not strenuously resist and condemn the unjustified attacks on Ms. Almontaser, which fed on and fostered anti-Arab and anti-Muslim prejudice. We call for Debbie Almontaser to be reinstated to her position as principal if that is what she wishes, and for full support for the Kahlil Gibran International Academy.

After 9/11, Ms. Almontaser was a key partner with JFREJ on a series of community-building events to build greater understanding between Muslims and the broader community. She stood out to us in her fervent desire to learn about other communities and put forward a clear vision of a Muslim commitment to peace and justice for everyone.

In failing to strongly defend Ms. Almontaser, Mayor Bloomberg, Chancellor Klein, and Ms. Weingarten have helped to undermine the Kahlil Gibran International Academy?s mission before it even opens and have contributed to the very problems it seeks to address. These actions also contributed to an atmosphere of fear among educators that weakens their ability to serve the children of New York City.

The Kahlil Gibran International Academy was created to teach Arab culture, Arabic, and Middle Eastern history. Since the announcement of the school?s opening in March of 2007, it has been repeatedly targeted by right-wing media outlets for scrutiny and criticism. Ms. Almontaser’s ostensible offense, in responding to a question about the phrase “Intifada NYC” on a T-shirt made by Arab Women Active in the Arts and Media (AWAAM), was to seek to educate. This was a trick question posed by the New York Post. Ms. Almontaser responded honestly and thoughtfully, trying to keep the focus on the school that she and many others hope will increase mutual understanding within our diverse city. She should not have felt compelled to resign.

The tactics used to attack Ms. Almontaser have been used against members of every minority and/or oppressed group, including Jews, in one context or another. They bring to mind the way that prominent African-Americans are periodically pressed to respond publicly to remarks and opinions of other Blacks in a way that white public figures are never pressed. The objective is to create a political loyalty test that members of minority or oppressed groups may be required to pass at any moment or be subject to savage attack.

Those who exploit Middle East tensions to create and exacerbate suspicion in our city are enemies of New Yorkers of all ethnicities, nationalities and religions. We reject the effort by The Sun, the New York Post, and their allies to whip up hysteria by attacking Ms. Almontaser and, through her, the Kahlil Gibran International Academy. We reject their attempts to demonize language and limit the political discourse in public life. We are disturbed that the Mayor, Chancellor, and UFT president capitulated to their pressure. When a similar situation of anti-Arab race-baiting arose in the NYC Human Rights Commission, the Mayor stood by Commissioner Omar Mohammedi. We are disappointed that Mayor Bloomberg did not do the same in this situation.

Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ) urges Chancellor Klein to re-appoint Ms. Almontaser to her position as principal, if she wishes to be reinstated. We call on Mayor Bloomberg, Chancellor Klein, and Ms. Weingarten to fully support the Kahlil Gibran International Academy and to work with Muslim and Arab communities and all communities in New York that to break down fear and ignorance, and to build bridges, in the manner that Debbie Almontaser and her colleagues are seeking to do.
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Jews for Racial and Economic Justice engages Jews to pursue and win racial and economic justice in partnership with Jewish and allied people of color, low-income and immigrant communities in New York City. JFREJ’s letter to Mayor Bloomberg, Chancellor Klein, and UFT President Weingarten is posted at www.jfrej.org.

Take Action to support KGIA!

Letters to the Editor– We need to act now to support the Khalil Gibran International Academy. Those opposed to having an Arabic language school in New York are launching yet another episode of vicious attacks against the school and its supporters.

Please write a quick letter to the editor today expressing your support for KGIA. Some points to make:

1. State why a school like this is so important.

2. Name the specific opponents of the school.

3. Articulate how they use misinformation and lies.

4. Call on public officials to not rely on mis-information as truth (DOE Chancellor Klein, UFT President Weingarten and Mayor Bloomberg.)

Below is a list of email addresses and links for letters to the editors at various outlets. There isn’t much time so please keep your letters concise, 2-4 paragraphs–they will be edited down anyway.

New York Post Letters to the Editor

Fox News Letters to the Editor

New York Times

Send letters to the editor to region@nytimes.com For recorded instructions, call (212) 556-1831.

Daily News

Send letters to the editor to voicers@edit.nydailynews.com.

Please include your full name, address and phone number. (This information will be used for verification purposes only).

New York Sun

Send letters to the editor to editor@nysun.com Letters must include the writer’s name, address and phone number.

The Jewish Week
Send letters to the editor to
gary@jewishweek.com
Letters must include the writer’s name, address and phone number.

To Robin

AMERICA’S ‘MOST PROTECTED’ NAZI MAY BE DEPORTED SOON

In another case of ‘it’s never too late for justice to be served’, America’s ‘most protected’ nazi might soon be deported. Justice just might be served as his punishment gets carried out. It’s never too late.

Details of this can be read below….

John Demjanjuk, accused of concealing his Nazi past, arriving at the federal building in Cleveland for an immigration hearing in 2005. (AP)

Ex-Nazi guard John Demjanjuk may be deported from U.S. soon

By The Associated Press

After a 30-year international court fight to stay in the U.S., a man accused of concealing a past as a Nazi concentration camp guard could be out of options if a single pending ruling goes against him, his attorney said.

“If we lose it, we’re sort of at the end of the road, and the Justice Department is going to try and deport him. That’s my guess,” said John Broadley, John Demjanjuk’s lawyer.

Demjanjuk’s case is the second longest Nazi prosecution in the Justice Department’s records The department first brought charges seeking to revoke Demjanjuk’s citizenship and deport him on Aug. 25, 1977. He is now 87.

In July, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals received final briefs on whether the nation’s former chief immigration judge, Michael Creppy, had authority to rule in 2005 that Demjanjuk can be deported to the Ukraine, or as an alternative to Germany or Poland.

Broadley’s argument is that Creppy was an administrator who should have appointed an immigration judge to hear Demjanjuk’s case, rather than handle it himself. Broadley wants Demjanjuk’s deportation order tossed out and a whole new hearing held.

The appeals court has not indicated when it will rule.

Creppy had refused to consider Demjanjuk’s long-held argument that he was a prisoner of war forced into labor camps, and not a Nazi guard. Creppy relied on a U.S. district judge’s decision in 2002 and affirmed on appeal in 2004 that Demjanjuk had been a Nazi guard at Sobibor and other Nazi death or labor camps.

Meanwhile, Demjanjuk and his wife live in a Cleveland suburb with a No Trespass sign in their front yard. Demjanjuk’s family has guarded his privacy and consistently denied media attempts to interview him.

“It’s very difficult to imagine the pressure and the energy needed to wage this struggle for all these many years, but he’s never wavered,” said Rev. John Nakonachny, pastor at St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, where Demjanjuk and his wife are parishioners.

Demjanjuk, who born in the Ukraine, was initially accused of having been the sadistic, murderous Nazi guard Ivan the Terrible, notorious for torturing doomed men, women and children as he forced them to gas chambers.

He was extradited to Israel in 1986, eventually convicted of crimes against humanity in a globally watched trial and sentenced to death by hanging. But Israel’s Supreme Court overturned the conviction in 1993, largely on evidence from the former Soviet Union that another Ukrainian was the brutal Treblinka guard.

Demjanjuk’s U.S. citizenship that was revoked in 1981, was restored in 1998 and revoked again in 2002.

“Getting Demjanjuk finally removed from the United States remains the government’s intent,” said Eli Rosenbaum, director of the Justice Department’s Nazi-hunting Office of Special Investigations.

Rosenbaum refused to say what plans may have been made regarding Demjanjuk’s deportation.

We can only send him to a country that will accept him, Rosenbaum said. I would point out, though, that when Demjanjuk was released from prison by the Israeli supreme court in 1993 and was understandably eager to leave Israel, the one country in the world that offered him a visa was the Ukraine.

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE FOR JUSTICE TO BE SERVED

The crimes were committed 43 years ago in this case, but finally justice has been served. There will be those that will say ‘he is old now, just let him be…’ To them I say…. NO WAY!

His victims never lived to see the age he arrived at, they were only 19 when their lives were ended… and why, for being the wrong colour! Those were the times we lived in…. everything must be done to insure those times never return.
As old as these criminals might be, they must be made to pay for their crimes… without mercy.
AlJazeera had this special report on the situation…

Ex-KKK man jailed for life in US


Seale will appeal his sentence of three life
terms for his role in the killings [AP]

A US court has sentenced a 72-year-old former member of the Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist group, to three life prison terms for his role in the 1964 killings of two black men.
James Seale was sentenced on Friday in Jackson, Mississippi after being convicted in June of kidnapping and conspiracy in the killings of Henry Dee and Charles Moore.
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“This case is an outstanding example of our ongoing, vigilant efforts to prosecute racially-motivated crimes to the fullest extent of the law, regardless of how many years have passed,” Alberto Gonzalez, US attorney general, said.
Seale’s lawyer said he will appeal against the convictions.
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A former police officer, Seale was arrested in 1964 but was released after police said they lacked sufficient evidence to prosecute him.
Seale was believed dead for years until Thomas Moore, brother of Charles Moore, located him in southern Mississippi while investigating his brother’s murder.
Men drowned
Dee and Moore, both 19, were kidnapped in 1964 while hitch-hiking in Mississippi and taken to a forest, where Seale aimed a shotgun towards the men while his companions attacked them.
The teenagers were driven to a tributary of the Mississippi river, attached to heavy weights and thrown alive into the water from a boat, prosecutors said.

Charles Moore was one of two men killed in an
attack by the Klansmen 43 years ago [AFP]

Their bodies were recovered during a search for three other civil rights activists later that year.

Mississippi lies at the heart of the so-called “deep South” that was long associated with hangings and other violent attacks on blacks by the KKK and other white supremacist groups.
The main prosecution witness in the case against Seale was Charles Marcus Edward, another former Klansman who was involved in the attack on Dee and Moore.
Edward, who was granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony, told the court that Seale admitted he killed the men.
Lenard Wolf, a former agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said during the trial that Seale was unmoved by the investigators’ belief that he was involved in the killings.
“We know you did it, you know you did it, the Lord above knows you did it,” Wolf told Seale, according to the testimony.
“Yes, but I’m not going to admit it; you are going to have to prove it,” Seale answered.
Violent campaign
While Seale was not charged with murder, the indictment claimed the abductions resulted in the deaths of Dee and Moore.
“While this sentence can never repair the suffering and loss brought by these heinous acts of racial violence, it will hopefully bring some closure to the families of Henry Dee and Charlie Moore who have waited decades for justice,” said Wan Kim, US assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.
A string of federal prosecutions across the US has attempted to address crimes during the 1950s and 1960s by white supremacists.
The KKK waged a violent campaign against the black community and against the struggle for civil rights for African-Americans in the southern US, where racial segregation was in place.
In many cases, such groups were supported by local law enforcement and judicial authorities, while black Americans had few legal protections.

FOXMAN’S POLITICAL LIFE ‘ON THE LINE’

It seems that the anti Foxman sentiments are growing way beyond the anti zionist circles such as ours, his own members are questioning his future role in the ADL…
And not even over a ‘Jewish issue’, but an Armenian one…. this could prove interesting. I’d love to see that bastard unemployed.
The following article from today’s Forward will bring you up to date on this….
Armenian Genocide Debate Exposes Rifts at ADL

It has been a long, hot, difficult summer for Abraham Foxman. Faced with the fight of his professional life, the indefatigable director of the Anti-Defamation League was forced into a rare and reluctant retreat by the unlikeliest of adversaries: an ethnic minority charging one of the world’s most famous Holocaust survivors with suppressing recognition of a genocide.

For weeks, Foxman, 67, faced mounting criticism for refusing to back Armenian Americans in their quest to pass a congressional resolution recognizing as genocide the World War I-era massacre of Armenians at the hands of their Ottoman rulers. But after insisting that the ADL and the United States should not risk inciting Turkey, Israel’s most important Middle Eastern ally, by labeling the episode as genocide, he made a hasty — if less than contrite — retreat this week in the face of a potential mutiny from fellow Jews.

“I didn’t make a mistake,” Foxman said Tuesday in an interview with the Forward. He added: “No Armenian lives are under threat today or in danger. Israel is under threat and in danger, and a relationship between Israel and Turkey is vital and critical, so yeah, I have to weigh [that].”

The ADL worked to head off a full-blown public relations crisis with a carefully worded statement, released August 21, that did not endorse the congressional resolution but confirmed that the “consequences” of the actions of the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians were “tantamount to genocide.” But several observers within the organization’s leadership told the Forward that even if the effort proves successful, the saga would likely leave behind lingering questions about Foxman’s maverick leadership style as well doubts about the group’s fundamental mission.

“Are we an organization of principle? Are we an organization that will stand up for what’s right and wrong? Or are our principles put through some kind of filter that involves Israel’s self-interest?”, said a member of ADL’s national executive committee who requested anonymity. There is “that subtext here.”

Some saw the brouhaha as a matter of chickens coming home to roost for Foxman, who has served as the ADL’s director since 1987. Over the years, Foxman has charged an array of foes with misrepresenting Jewish history and fomenting antisemitism, including Mel Gibson, Jimmy Carter, Louis Farrakhan and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran. “There’s a huge irony here,” said Jonathan Sarna, a professor of Jewish history at Brandeis University. “The Armenian community is using all the strategies we invented to deal with Holocaust denial.”

Although a dispute over the Armenian genocide has simmered within some Jewish circles for years, ADL’s recent controversy commenced last April, when Foxman told the Los Angeles Times that he opposed a resolution, proposed by Congressman Adam Schiff and co-sponsored by 29 out 43 Jewish members of Congress, to officially recognize the Armenian massacres of 1915-1923 as a genocide.

“The Turks and Armenians need to revisit their past,” Foxman told the newspaper. “The Jewish community shouldn’t be the arbiter of that history. And I don’t think the U.S. Congress should be the arbiter, either.”

Although officially the ADL did not take a position on the bill, along with B’nai B’rith International, the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs, all four groups have said publicly that historians, not lawmakers, should settle the debate over the 1.5 million Armenian deaths. Earlier this year, the groups passed along to congressional leaders a letter from Turkish Jews opposing the resolution.

But ultimately, Foxman and the ADL, which was founded to combat antisemitism in 1913, confronted the bulk of public opposition. The issue erupted last week when the town council of Watertown, Mass.— home to one of the country’s oldest and largest Armenian communities — voted to withdraw from an ADL-run anti-discrimination program. With other area towns poised to follow suit, ADL’s New England regional board, one of the organization’s most influential and moneyed, issued a statement backing the congressional resolution, and the board’s professional head, regional director Andrew Tarsy, publicly disavowed Foxman’s position.

Tarsy was summarily fired last Friday, resulting in the cascade of events — including the resignations of two regional board members, condemnation of the ADL by such prominent Jews as Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz and a public rift with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, which organized a petition campaign among the area’s Jewish groups — that forced Foxman and the ADL’s national leadership to change course.

As of press time, the ADL had not announced whether Tarsy would be reinstated. In speaking to the Forward, Foxman — who is slated to release a book, “The Most Dangerous Lies: The Israel Lobby and the Myth of Jewish Control,” next month — remained almost defiantly unapologetic.

“We’ve never denied that there was a massacre, we [just] didn’t engage in the g-word,” Foxman said. “Now, they’ve insisted on the g-word. Fine.” He added: “If my going public and saying this was a genocide can bring unity to the community, and can make the Armenian community feel that they’re being heard, then I did it.”

The national director said he personally had believed that the Armenian tragedy constituted genocide before saying so publicly, but that his reversal was motivated by a concern for Jewish welfare. “I’m saying it sincerely. I still don’t think it’s our issue, but so many people believe it is our issue… I said okay,” Foxman said.

He added: “I saw what this was doing to the unity of the Jewish community at a time we need unity. Israel is under threat. European Jewry, Latin American Jewry are under attack. In America, we’re being attacked as disloyal. This is not a time for Jews to be attacking each other over an issue that is really not central.”

Armenian American leaders welcomed the ADL’s updated position but deemed it far from a full victory.

“This is a current-day issue,” said Anthony Barsamian, director of public affairs for the Armenian Assembly of America. “Speaking about genocide in Turkey will get you killed. Last fall, I traveled to Turkey and met with Hrant Dink, who was then the editor of the [Turkish-Armenian newspaper] Agos, and he was assuring me that this was an issue for Turks and Armenians within Turkey, and three months later, he was assassinated.”

Within the ADL, Foxman’s critics also seemed unlikely to be fully placated. Although Foxman is widely credited within the organization as a master tactician equally adept at handling world leaders and big-time donors, his detractors have long resented what they see as his propensity to unilaterally adopt positions, as when he lobbied for a pardon for financier Marc Rich in the final days of the Clinton administration. In 2001, Foxman angered leaders in Los Angeles when he unexpectedly fired the director of the ADL’s Pacific Southwest region.

“This is déjà vu,” said Joel Sprayregen, a longtime critic of Foxman who is a former national vice chair of the ADL and honorary chair of its Chicago region. “To many of us, it seems, here he does it again.”

‘FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE MUSLIMS…. THEN THEY CAME FOR THE JEWS…’

Who will be the next target if the American school system? Last week a Muslim school principal was forced to resign from New Yorks first Islamic Academy, being replaced by a non Arabic speaking zionist, now we see the Hebrew language banned in the first Hebrew language charter school in the United States…

Let’s see how long it takes for the ADL to alter their position on church-state separation and scream antisemitism in this instance…

Interesting developments in the school system, Muslim schools that are forbidden to teach Islam and Jewish schools that are forbidden to teach Judaism…. is this what we call Democracy?

The following report from the Associated Press (via HaAretz) deals with this latest situation….

U.S. school stops Hebrew classes for promoting Judaism
By The Associated Press
The first Hebrew language charter school in the United States was ordered to temporarily suspend Hebrew classes on Wednesday, while officials determine whether teachers are advocating the Jewish faith.

Broward Schools Superintendent James Notter sent a letter to officials at the Ben Gamla Charter School in Hollywood, Florida, on Wednesday advising them to halt Hebrew classes until the school board could further examine the curriculum.

“If it comes up in the course of conversation, that is one thing but if it comes to promoting religion or proselytizing, we don’t want it to happen,” said Keith Bromery, a spokesman for the Broward schools.

While charter schools are generally publicly funded, they differ from regular public schools in that they are autonomous and not bound by some of the rules governing other schools. In addition, they are expected to far surpass regular public schools in terms of quality of education.

Ben Gamla is in its first week of operation as the U.S.’s first Hebrew-language charter school, but school founder Peter Deutsch, a former Democratic congressman, said he told teachers Thursday to halt the classes. He said he shared Notter’s aim to ensure religion does not enter a publicly-funded school.

“His goal and my goal are really exactly the same,” Deutsch said.

The ban on Hebrew will extend at least until September 11, when the board next meets. Until then, time that would have been spent on language instruction will be used teaching Israeli geography and Jewish history and culture.

A similar debate has echoed in New York over the establishment of the city’s first Arabic-themed public school. Critics of the Khalil Gibran International Academy have argued that it will promote extremism and is akin to a madrassa or Islamic religious school. Supporters deny those allegations, maintaining that opposition to the school is based on anti-Arab bias. The school is scheduled to begin operations next month.

Deutsch said he believes the Florida school has every right to continue Hebrew classes, but decided to stop them to ease concerns. Both he and school board member Eleanor Sobel, in whose district Ben Gamla is located, have described their efforts as bending over backwards for one another.

Ben Gamla presented its curriculum to the board for a third time Tuesday, but Sobel said it still had religious overtones.

“We’re going into the fourth round now and maybe that’s what it takes to get it right,” she said.

Ben Gamla, which has about 400 students in kindergarten through eighth grades, has generated controversy since it was proposed. Students follow state curriculum, but also were to take a Hebrew language course, and one of their core subjects – math or physical education, for example – was to be taught bilingually as well.

School officials ran into tough opposition at Broward County School Board meetings when proposing Hebrew textbooks that included passages criticized as being too religious. Even the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Federation of Broward County have expressed church-state separation issues.

Ben Gamla hopes to expand further in South Florida and to open schools in New York and Los Angeles. It takes its name from a Jewish high priest, serves kosher food, and its director is a rabbi. Without Hebrew classes, though, Deutsch said its most central component is missing.

“It is kind of crazy – the only Hebrew-English charter school in America doesn’t teach Hebrew,” he said.

AMERICA MAKING THE WORLD SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
Actually, Democracy isn’t necessary if there are no people left…

Click HERE to see their accomplishments in Iraq…
The photos are very graphic… do not view if you are weak at heart, they are truly the bloodiest photos published to date.

Thanks to the Truthseeker for preparing this page.

A TALE OF TWO CITIES~~ WARSAW AND GAZA

Both images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
Many times I ask myself what the Jewish people learned while living in Eastern Europe during World War Two. The answer I come up with is so different from what is actually happening today to Palestinians living under the occupation of Israel. An occupation so similar to the nazi occupation of Europe, with one big difference, the victims of yesterday are the oppressors of today.

Is this the lesson that was meant to be? I think not! When we say ‘Never to forgive, never to forget’, does that not mean never to let it happen again TO ANYONE? That’s how I see it…. But instead, what happened in Warsaw is now happening in Gaza.

The following essay is an Editorial that appeared on MWC News yesterday, it’s a definite must read…

The article referred to below about Gaza by Sonja Karkar can be found HERE.

Can You Hear the Cries from Warsaw?

(A Revisionist News Report)
By Wilhelm A. Koch

[Author’s note: While rummaging through my grandfather’s trunks, I came across this article from the AP (Austrian Press). It appears that some people still had feelings for those suffering under the boots of the SS as they were being systematically corralled and/or liquidated as Nazi Germany took total control of occupied Poland. I provide it to our readers since an article by Ms. Sonja Karkar published in Counterpunch this past week had a similar title portraying the plight of the Gaza Palestinians, hardly, one might add, an apt comparison, although Oona King, a British MP, gave a speech to her Parliament in 2003 suggesting a like comparison, for which she was rightfully castigated, I might add.]
Warsaw, AP, September 16, 1941

No one seems to hear the cries from Warsaw enough to act, despite the reports that talk about imminent economic collapse, dangerous food shortages, total aid dependency and impending humanitarian disaster. Neither the cries nor the reports appear in the headlines or news alerts in our mainstream media. And, while the statistics make shocking reading when they do emerge, it is the cries that we should be hearing because they come from people like us–real flesh and blood people who bleed, feel pain and grieve. They are the cries that give rise to the statistics, the cries of Jews no less human and no less vulnerable than any one of us would be as prisoners of Germany’s merciless occupation.

For all the recent news about the infighting that has gripped internal Jewish politics, particularly between those the German authorities placed as puppet regimes to govern in the ghetto and the resistance fighters, there is no mistaking under whose suffocating matrix of control, the Jews are actually forced to live. Germany has threatened the Jews right to exist on their own land since it was created and it has no more disengaged from Warsaw than it has from Lotz or the other German controlled ghettos. Instead, Germany has made a prison of Warsaw and completely sealed it off from the rest of Poland and the outside world. Deeming it a place too dangerous to visit, Germany likes to portray the Jews as a violent people whose acts of resistance threaten Germany’s existence and necessitate the punitive measures that the SS takes against them. However, according to international law, resistance is a legitimate response of an occupied people and collective punishment by an Occupying Power against a civilian population is prohibited. The outrage in all this is the world’s acquiescence to Germany’s suppression of the Jews and the oppressive force it uses to reduce them to a sub-human existence. This cuts to the core of our humanity and it is simply not enough to say, “there but for the grace of God go I”.

Grim as the facts and figures are, they can never make us feel the agony of the mother who does not have a grain of rice left to feed her starving children, the desperation of the father who cannot get his sick child through the closed border crossing for treatment in Egypt, the terror of the child who wets the bed every night wondering if the soldiers will come again to ransack the house, the constant fear of schoolchildren knowing that even school is no haven from soldiers’ bullets and mortar fire, the despairing distress of families who are not even given time to save their belongings as tanks come to tear down their homes, the desolation of thousands of people with no jobs to go to, the helplessness of thousands more who have received no wages for months and the wretchedness of the starving families who depend on the jobless and the unpaid. An entire population is in shut down–more than a million stories of agonising pain and overwhelming grief. But, no one is hearing the cries.

The shortages are getting worse by the day. Food is running out, fuel is running out, medicines are running out. There has been almost no electricity since Germany shut down the Warsaw ghetto’s only power source. Without electricity, water cannot be pumped. Without fuel, sewage cannot be pumped and the sewage is spilling out onto the streets contaminating the meagre water supplies left. The stench of open sewage hangs over every neighbourhood increasing the risk of disease and contagion. Running water is a luxury few have now, most having to queue to buy it. Children go out with plastic bottles and buckets to get their rations of water when and if supplies arrive. There is no refrigeration for fresh foods and in any case no fresh food is available. Even a staple like wheat is running out as the 600 tons of wheat needed daily is not getting through the SS controlled commercial crossing gate. Wherever one looks, there are faces of despair, but the very human cries from the depths of all this misery are not being heard.

Hospitals are overflowing with wounded people from Germany’s aerial attacks and mortar shelling. Operating equipment is unusable as generators can no longer run without fuel. There are no medicines for the heart patients, diabetics, cancer sufferers and so many others. Doctors, nurses and health care workers are stretched to the limit trying to save lives and stop the pain when their own situations are desperate at home. Essential services can no longer cope with the demand. People are dying in their homes because they cannot get critical health care. Children are literally wasting away from malnutrition as they try to survive on a daily diet of bread and tea. Extreme hunger has driven many to scavenging the rubbish tips to find what they can to feed their families. And everywhere one looks, the greyness of dying has dulled the lifeblood of the people and still no one hears the cries of the sick and the wounded, the starving and the homeless and the keening sounds of people mourning their dead.

The list of impossible deprivations is about as awful as anyone wants to imagine. And with that come the daily, even hourly humiliations and indignities as Jews are pushed, prodded and targeted by Germany’s soldiers, bombs, tanks, gun ships, warplanes and armed helicopters–an awesome military line-up against a population that has nothing even comparable to fight back. This tiny teeming piece of Jewish land has been reduced to a gigantic penitentiary in which the entire one and a half million Jews is permanently incarcerated. And, it is in this violent unforgiving world that Germany continues to indiscriminately punish the people, their cries only muffled by the firing of mortar shells and the explosion of bombs dropped from the sky.

Amidst all this chaos, the effects of the sanctions are painfully obvious. One by one, factories and businesses have closed, government services have folded and jobs have become non-existent. So draconian are the sanctions and closures that the Jews in Warsaw are likely to become one hundred per cent aid-dependent indefinitely. It is almost impossible now for an economy that had shown some promise before the imposition of sanctions, to recover. The lush market gardens that produced an abundance of fruit and vegetables lie dry and fallow without water while those first crops intended for export markets ended up rotting on trucks as they waited in long queues for clearance to leave the ghetto, and none ever did. Nothing can get into the ghetto either except for the most basic food aid, forcing many factories, unable to produce without the necessary materials, to shut their doors. Without supplies, businesses have also been forced to close, plunging both shop and factory owners into penury along with the rest of the population.

The deliberate ruination of the Jewish economy and the gradual disintegration of their society are entirely man-made. As the eye takes in the bombarded landscape, it is hard to imagine that the old Warsaw was once a wealthy and important trading place where proud and dignified people welcomed travellers who came by land and sea. It is hard to imagine that its capital–Warsaw City–was really once a beautiful metropolis with wide roads and parks, swaying palm trees and an expansive seascape. Over the years, hospitals, universities, schools and municipal council buildings have added a modern layer to one of the world’s oldest cities, developing and expanding despite Germany’s occupation. But all that has been destroyed and nobody seems to care what will happen to the shadows of people merging into the rubble. The worst of it is that Germany is supported – even praised – for what it is doing in the name of security when by any other name it is purely and simply ethnic cleansing. Even those who resist, the students who formed the White Rose Movement for example, are not seen as legitimate resisters to an occupying force, but terrorists that must be exterminated. And with every moment of our silence, we acquiesce and give support to the atrocities that are being committed in our name.

As the siege on the Jew’s life in the Warsaw ghetto tightens further, nobody recalls the ethnic cleansing that forced these people to leave their homes and businesses to live in this over-populated place only to have their homes and businesses confiscated, nobody asks what Germany plans to do with the Jews. For more than a year, various bodies have warned about the imminent collapse of the ghetto’s economy and social order. The list is formidable–the World Bank, Oxfam, UNRWA, CARE International, the World Food Program, B’Tselem, World Vision, UNOCHA, Amnesty International, ECOSOC to name a few, but nothing has been done other than to provide basic food aid. Germany, on the other hand, has only increased the pressure by refusing to open border crossings between the ghetto and the outside world, refusing the transfer of funds and monetary aid and refusing to allow international NGOs to operate their assistance programs in this ghetto. Its acts of violence have not ceased either. Rumours of a large-scale German military operation which were already circulating well before the resistance ousted the puppet regime forces in the ghetto, is more than likely still on the table. It will only be a matter of time before Germany will act to quell any eruption from this suffocating mass of humanity, no doubt citing a security threat as is Germany’s wont. The action then is likely to be just as merciless as it was last year when Germany’s bombers strafed the ghetto landscape targeting everything in sight–cities, villages, farmlands, schools, hospitals, government buildings, roads, bridges and essential services and the civilian population that could find no refuge anywhere and could not even flee out of the walled ghetto.

Despite all the warnings and evidence on the ground, the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto continue to slide dangerously towards a humanitarian disaster and world governments have done absolutely nothing to stop it. There has not been a word of censure against Germany and the international community’s craven silence will only embolden the Nazi state to continue its cruel, punitive actions against the Warsaw ghetto’s already traumatised and dying people. We can choose to hear their cries or ignore them, but we certainly cannot say that “we did not know”.

William Cook, A contributing editor of MWC News, is a professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California and author of Tracking Depception: Bush’s Mideast Policy

BLOGGERS BEWARE……. BE AFRAID….. VERY AFRAID

Image by David Baldinger
I was made to feel so important this evening when I checked my visits on the Site Meter….
There were multiple visits from…..
Domain Name sunbursthospitality.com ? (Commercial)IP Address 65.118.213.# (AMER ISRAEL PUBLIC AFFAIRS COM)ISP Qwest Communications

Yup…. that’s right, AIPAC!

Then…. a really special guest….
Domain Name (Unknown) IP Address 63.162.143.# (DeptHomelandSecurity)ISP SprintLocation

Homeland Security!!
They were apparently doing a Google Search of AIPAC and were directed to my Blog…

DesertPeace: AIPAC’S DOLLAR$ AT WORK~~ DESTROYING PALESTNIAN FARMSdesertpeace.blogspot.com/2007/08/aipacs-dollar-at-work-destroying.html – 22k -

Don’t these people have anything better to do than check my blog? Is this what Americans are paying taxes for? Sheesh!!!!!

So remember folks…. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU
It’s so good to know that our message is reaching the enemy…. perhaps they too might have a change of heart one day if they read the truth.

AIPAC MEETS WITH OPPOSITION IN THEIR WAR AGAINST FREEDOM

The zionists have literally been getting away with murder the past 60 years or so… with hardly a word of opposition to their domestic schemes aimed at strengthening their grip on public institutions, the New York City Board of Education, in particular.

But finally there seems to be a public outcry to their motives and international publicity as well. I’m speaking of the case of the Islamic school principal that was forces to resign last week…. a case, that like no other in history, has challenged the ziofascistic attempts to Judaise the Islamic school in question, attempts that they will not be able to get away with.

The following article and video from today’s AlJazeera brings us up to date on the situation…


New York Arab school under fire

Critics have been attacking the school while activists of all faiths and races have been voicing their support

New York City’s first-ever Arab cultural school has come under a cloud of controversy even before welcoming its first student.
The Khalil Gibran International Academy, one of several so-called dual-language schools in New York run by the local authority, plans to teach the Arabic language and Arab culture.
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But opponents claim it is really attempting to promote radical Islam and they are trying to stop it from opening in September.
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The school is named after a Lebanese Christian poet who wrote his best work while living in New York, but that has not stopped critics – calling themselves the Stop the Madrassa coalition – who say the school will promote a radical “Islamist agenda”.
‘Blueprint for extremism’
Dov Hikind, a state assemblyman, said the school’s children could be “indoctrinated” and warned that the “establishment of an Arab school is a misguided and dangerous idea”.
“It will not, as suggested, be a hope for peace; it is a blueprint for anti-Israel and anti-US extremism,” he said, charging that the school has been endorsed by “radical” groups.
Supporters of the school say such comments are racist.
“Unless we all send a clear message that racist comments associating Arabic language and culture with terrorism will not be tolerated, we will continue to hear them again and again,” the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee said this week.
The school will not teach Islam and the interim principal, Danielle Salzberg, is Jewish. So far about 45 have signed up for the first semester and the majority of them are not of Arabic decent.
Deborah Howard, who was part of the team that designed the curriculum, said: “It’s a public school – we all know that public school can’t be faith based. There’s nothing about it that has to do with Islam.
“It’s Arabs, Arab culture, culture of the Middle East. The focus is dual language; the goal is that every child graduates fluent in Arabic.
The Stop the Madrassa coalition – backed by anti-immigration and pro-Iraq war groups – has been making trouble for the school in the right-wing press.
Debbie Almontaser, the founder and originally designated principal of the school, was attacked for speaking out against US policy in the Middle East, and finally resigned for failing to condemn the use of the highly charged word “intifada” on a T-shirt.
Critics say that “intifada” is a political statement supporting the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation, but supporters say the word was simply meant in literal sense of “shaking off”.
Community support
Community activists of all faiths and races are voicing their support for the school.
Rabbi Michael Feinberg of the Greater NY Labour and Religion Coalition, said: “It represents a vision of tolerance of community understanding – that’s what NY is about, should be about – what the academy is based on.”
Mona Eldahry of Arab Women Active in the Arts and Media, said: “What’s happened with this situation is a great deal of misinformation – about the school, Debbie, and Arab organisations in our community.
Proponents say that is exactly why a school promoting Arab cultural understanding is needed in New York.

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