Saturday, August 12, 2006  

Ha! Score one for the nipper!

Theft during veep visit linked to Iowa teens

August 11, 2006

Two teenage boys face theft charges for allegedly possessing radios and other equipment belonging to a White House agency.

The 13 year old and 14 year old, both of Bettendorf, were charged with second-degree theft and were under juvenile court supervision, court officials said.

Court documents said the White House Communications Agency reported the items missing in July, less than a week before a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney.

Two radios were recovered from the 13 year old not far from his home on July 30. The teen, who told authorities he found the items, also provided officials with two earpiece/wrist microphone combinations, according to the documents.

Another handheld radio and seven earpiece/microphone attachments were found in the 14-year-old's bedroom the same day, court documents show.

It wasn't clear how the equipment, valued at $10,000, was stolen or where it was taken from.

Capt. Steve Brauer said the teens were charged only with possessing the equipment, not with taking it.

He said he could not explain why one of the affidavits says that the crime of theft was committed July 17, the day of the vice president's visit.

A Secret Service spokesman and an official from the White House Communications Agency both declined comment.


Protect non-violent civil demontrations

I am printing this e-mail in full from Doris Bittar because a)I don't know how to do a follow post so if someone knows- please tell me how! and b) I think reading this in full is important. IM(H)O: a "democracy" doesn't do this kind of thing...
Dear Friends,

It is imperative that you are aware that a special convoy of "Internationals" from the International Solidarity movement not become targets of Israeli shelling as they cross into South Lebanon to bring peace, food and supplies to those who remain in the South. They are demonstrating in a non-violent way that all hostilities should end and the Lebanese be allowed to return to their homes. Among the most notable of these brave individuals are Huwaida Arraf and her husband, Adam Shapiro. Here is a message from Huwaida below that was sent to yesterday. Don't forget to contact officials in the list below to insure that harm does not come to these brave people who are forging new and non-violent ways of ending the siege and counter attacks. Doris

From Huwiada:

I haven't written much since arriving in Lebanon, and we're afraid this
will be short. It is now hours before our convoy to the south of Lebanon
takes off. Our eight days here have been sad, frustrating, infuriating,
and inspiring all at the same time. As many of you know, I came here as
part of a small group, which included my husband, Adam, to explore the
utility of establishing an international civilian presence in Lebanon to
support the people of Lebanon in confronting Israeli aggression against
their country. After a week of lots of debate, organizing, politicking
and arguing, we held our final preparation meeting at a café called Taa
Marbouta. This is a café that was due to open on July 20th, but because
of the attack on Lebanon, the owners changed their plans and instead
converted the café into a relief center. In the same building, which
still has a brothel on the 4th floor, there are 5 other floors of Lebanese
citizens from the south forced to flee by Israeli bombardment and
destruction of their homes. Tonight, well over 100 people came to
participate in the final preparations, receive instructions, and pick up
the rations of food and medicine that we will carry to villagers in the
south. While not much in terms of sustainable relief, this effort is
meant as a political act to reject Israel's efforts to impose its will and
challenge the international community's complicity in the suffering of the
Lebanese people.

Every night we hear the bombing by F-16 fighter jets, unmanned aircraft
and missiles fired from unseen Israeli ships off the coast as the bombs
smash into Beirut and its suburbs. Last night Israeli rockets brought
down 3 apartment buildings in the Shayyah suburb of Beirut. While these
buildings were empty, because Israel had warned the residents to leave the
day before, is this not terrorization? Israel seeks to absolve itself of
responsibility for the death of innocent civilians by dropping leaflets on
entire villages, towns and cities telling people to leave or die.
we consider this humane? Many of the 900,000 Lebanese civilians forced to
flee their homes in the south and southern Beirut don't have homes to go
back to now. Over 1,000 Lebanese civilians who did not or could not flee
have been killed. Monday night the Shayyah neighborhood was hit without
warning - one building took a direct hit causing an adjacent building to
collapse. Over 20 dead bodies were pulled from the rubble. I think that I
have become somewhat immune to devastation. Last week we were in Al-Dahiya
suburb of Beirut - normally home to tens of thousands of mostly poor
Lebanese. Many of these residents first moved to Beirut as a result of the
Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. As I walked through the rubble and
looked down streets of destroyed buildings, I was reminded of the remnants
of the Jenin refugee camp in Palestine, also reduced to rubble by Israel
back in 2002. For pictures of Al-Dahiya, see:

While the situation here in Lebanon differs from our experience in
Palestine - aerial bombardment of the country versus occupation soldiers
brutalizing people on the ground - the aggression I've witnessed is the
same, the destruction of lives and livelihood is the same, the war crimes
committed are the same, and the impunity with which Israel carries this
all out is the same.

A few hours ago we learned that the Israeli military hit a convoy leaving
Marjayoun (in the south) under UN 'protection', killing three. It had
received Israeli permission to move. The people here do not have any
reason to believe that Israel will not hit a purely civilian convoy
carrying relief. Indeed, UN workers have been killed by Israeli strikes,
ambulances have been hit, and civilian homes have been targeted. But this
initiative tomorrow represents the resolve of Lebanese civilians to reject
Israel's dictates and stand up for their country and their people. We are
all going knowing full well that Israel might hit us. And yet, one thing
that we agreed upon is even if we are hit and suffer casualties, this
campaign continues. If the convoy can continue on the same day, it will,
if it cannot, we will reorganize and advance again another day.

We reject, on principle, any kind of coordination with the Israeli
military, but we've done as much as we can to make it known to Israel that
this is a civilian convoy. On CNN this morning I reiterated our plans and
asked, in the face of this civilian act of resistance, "what will Israel

Tonight a journalist asked me, "aren't you scared?" I answered honestly,
"no." I really don't think about it. While this is a dangerous initiative,
I believe that doing nothing is more dangerous. The United States, instead
of backing an immediate ceasefire that could have saved hundreds of
innocent lives, expedited a weapons transfer to Israel. For the past 4
weeks, the United Nations has been paralyzed; every day innocent civilians
are being killed. When governments and international bodies fail to act,
average civilians must. And so I am honored to be part of this convoy. I
am heartened by the love and dedication of the dozens of civilians from
all over the world who traveled to Lebanon answering our call to join the
civilian resistance; I am strengthened by the tens of thousands that will
be demonstrating all over the world tomorrow; and I am proud to have
worked with amazing people that are the spirit of Lebanon that will not be

The convoy of internationals who are traveling from Beirut to South Lebanon with food and other necessary humanitarian supplies is probably leaving as I write this.

The practice of the Israeli Air Force is to apologize *after* bombing such convoys even though permission had been granted for such movement. In the latest bombing of such a convoy, 43 people were killed. (Actually, no apology has been offered for that one yet -- as if it mattered.)
Please contact appropriate officials, listed below, informing them again of this convoy, stating that they themselves will be held accountable if the convoy is bombed. The convoy has been well announced. Several posts have appeared on this mid-east news group, for instance, including the latest letter from Huwaida.

Please call. Peoples' lives are in imminent danger.

New York Israel Consulate General (212) 499-5000
Houston Israeli Consulate (713) 627-3780
San Francisco Israel Consulate (415)-844-7500
Los Angeles Consulate General (323) 852-5500
MidWest Israel Consulate General (312) 297-4800
Boston Israel Consulate General (617) 535-0200
Miami Israel Consulate General (305) 925-9400
Israel Emabssy Washington DC Political Department
Tel: (202)364-5581/2
Fax: (202)364-5490
New York Israel Consulate General (212) 499-5000
Houston Israeli Consulate (713) 627-3780
San Francisco Israel Consulate (415)-844-7500
Los Angeles Consulate General (323) 852-5500
MidWest Israel Consulate General (312) 297-4800
Boston Israel Consulate General (617) 535-0200
Miami Israel Consulate General (305) 925-9400
Israel Emabssy Washington DC Political Department
Tel: (202)364-5581/2
Fax: (202)364-5490

U.S. Citizens, Internationals and Lebanese risk safety to bring
humanitarian aid to devasted Southern Lebanon.

U.S. Press contact based in Lebanon:
Ali Tonak
961 70 150 247

Lebanon Contact:
Rasha Salti
+961 3 970855

On August 12, at 7 am, Lebanese from throughout the country and
international supporters who have come to Lebanon to express
solidarit y will gather in Martyr's Square in Beirut to form a civilian
convoy to the south of Lebanon. Hundreds of Lebanese and international
civilians will express their solidarity with the inhabitants of the
heavily destroyed south who have been bravely withstanding the assault
of the Israeli military. This campaign is endorsed by more than 200
Lebanese and international organizations. This growing coalition of
national and international non-governmental organizations hereby
launches a campaign of civil resistance for the purpose of challenging
the cruel and ruthless use of massive military force by Israel, the
regional superpower, upon the people of Lebanon.

August 12 marks the start of this Campaign of Resistance, declaring
Lebanon an Open Country for Civil Resistance. August 12 also marks the
international day of protest against the Israeli aggression.

"In the face of Israel's systematic killing of our people, the
indiscriminate bombing of our towns, the scorching of our villages,
and the attempted destruction of our civil infrastructure, we say No!
In the face of the forced expulsion of a quarter of our population
from their homes throughout Lebanon, and the complicity of governments
and international bodies, we re-affirm the acts of civil resistance
that began from the first day of the Israeli assault, and we stress
and add the urgent need to act!," said Rasha Salti, one of the
organizers of this national event.

After August 12, the campaign will continue with a series of civil
actions, leading to an August 19 civilian march to reclaim the South.
"Working together, in solidarity, we will overcome the complacency,
inaction, and complicity of the international community and we will
deny Israel its goal of removing Lebanese from their land and
destroying the fabric of our country," explained Samah Idriss, writer
and co-organizer of this campaign.

"An internation al civilian presence in Lebanon is not only an act of
solidarity with the Lebanese people in the face of unparalleled
Israeli aggression, it is an act of moral courage to defy the will of
those who would seek to alienate the West from the rest and create a
new Middle East out of the rubble and blood of the region," said
Huwaida Arraf, co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement and
campaign co-organizer. "After having witnessed the wholesale
destruction of villages by Israel's air force and navy and having
visited the victims (so-called displaced) of Israel's policy of
cleansing Lebanese civilians from their homes," continued Arraf, "it
is imperative to go south and reach those who have stayed behind to
resist by steadfastly remaining on their land."

Israel has been indsicrimately bombing civilian targets and the convoy
recognizes that they place their life in peril by trying to bring aid
to the thousands that are dying of hunge r, thirst and lack of medical
care in Southern Lebanon as a result of Israel's relentless bombing


Are you ready

for a painting smackdown????!!!! (say what?)

Luchador Poetry & Art Brings You Poems and Piledrivers in August

By Michael Klam

Let's get ready to RUMBLE. You've never seen anything like this:

Live painting smackdown, anyone? Luchadores --wrestlers-- fighting it out with paintbrushes on a blank canvas? Nacho Libre meets Van Gogh in a schizophrenic battle of colors?

"What?" you say. Well, listen here dear fans of wrestling and poetry, Victor Payan and Sandra Pocha Pe?a of Aztec Gold TV and Tequila Mockingbird Productions will be putting on a bit of literary madness at Poetry & Art on Wednesday, Aug. 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the museum.

Expect to see: the spontaneous creation of a painting by two luchadores in a good old chromatic smackdown, a battle between good and not so good; video clips of interviews by Lou Chalibre, El Host Enmascarado, with the likes of cartoonist Sergio Aragones of Mad Magazine fame, infamous poet/performance artist Guillermo G?mez Pe?a, and actor Jack Black; a Lucha-Novela, in which audience members are enlisted to don masks and enact a scene, via cue cards, of an original luchador skit; and a lucha-related art exhibit.

There will be food, nachos, salsa, guacamole and mariachi music throughout (well, maybe just a little mariachi music). Connect 3 with Ginger Placek will also be back to show and discuss painting and photography and perhaps even Aztec jewelry.

Our resident P&A musician, Zuri Waters, will fill the void with Latino sax. Er...As always, there will be open mic to follow the Aztec Gold feature. As you know, Poetry & Art, the San Diego Art Institute's quarterly museum series, gives artists an opportunity to express themselves in a variety of forms and styles. The free speech event reveals the diversity and importance of the region's artists.

The audience will hear poetry and prose in dialogue with painting, photography, sculpture, music and dance. The featured artists, in this case, the wrestlers, serve not only as entertainment but also as inspiration for developing artists.

So smack on your tights. Don your favorite luchador mask. Bring your poems and paintings on Wednesday, Aug. 16. And step up to the mic.



LA is on fire!

Wed night, get you to LA for a very funny evening courtesy of Cafe Fais-do-do (although I don't think you'll be napping during this one) (thanks Jordan!)


A PSA for Lebanon

A group of New York-based artists created this PSA. Click here to view.


Cool exchange

Sushi has this really cool thing going on on Saturday. Nancy Nisbet has gone on the road with her "Exchange Project" - exchanging things and stories through out the US, Canada and Mexico. Come exchange a thing and a story Sat at 2635 Logan Ave (Barrio Logan) from 4-7 pm.


A letter from

Lebanese musician and cultural treasure, Marcel Khalife:

UNESCO soundly designated you as UNESCO Artists for Peace, chosen from among the top artists and creative individuals in present times, and based on your devotion to your work, the transmission of your experiences to the global level as a sign of originality, innovation, and constant venturing into the unknown, and on the popularity and high acclaim you have earned in your respective countries. UNESCO also made the right choice when it adopted art as a message and a messenger, realizing its vital role in developing great human values.

More perfect is the UNESCO’s choice to define the message as being ‘for peace’. Art is the synonym of peace: peace with one’s self and with others. It is man’s biggest demand today, when need is great for internal calm and security, and for a deep sense of the principal values that maintain the human being within. Even greater is the need to humanize relationships among mankind, to reinstate these relationships on the basis of tolerance, love, fairness, and dignity, and to forsake violence, bigotry, coercion, persecution, and occupation.

Your selection to carry this massage did not occur by chance, for they are the same values UNESCO asked you to represent that you devoted your art to defend.

I, the undersigned, Marcel Khalife,

Implore you as a colleague and holder of the same title, UNESCO Artist for Peace, not to turn a blind eye to the mass misery brought on by Israeli military forces to Lebanon and the Lebanese people, and to Palestine and the Palestinian people. Nothing justifies our art other than to speak for those who cannot speak. This is the cause for which we dedicated our efforts, and the cause that endorsed our voices. We only wished to take it as far as we can, and vowed to release our work as songs of love for, and unity with, the victims of persecution everywhere, regardless of their race, religion, color or national belonging.

In these decisive moments that my countrymen are living, I expect your objective understanding of the human cause at hand. Let us keep it within sight. Let us relieve the burden of the daily killing taking place before the eyes of the ‘civilized’ world. I hope you are following on television, along with the whole world, the horrors that are taking place. Let us loudly express our utter rejection to the killing my people are subjected to by the Israeli occupation forces.

Dear UNESCO Artists for Peace,

Let us bring happiness to people, and relieve them of the destructive anguish of war. Let us bring joy that allays sadness, hope that defeats despair, greenery that stops aridness, a horizon that leads to the unknown, a whisper that radiates love, and a meaning that re-defines the cause yet again should it be lost in the ensuing chaos.

My friends,
We find in you what remains in human sense. Be the hope that saves us from the loneliness of death, bringing back the meaning of things. Be a cure in an age when salt is rubbed into wounds poked by the super powers. Be the voice of protest to old wounds that never healed. Be a roaring anger, magnificently composed, unruffled by people’s rage, and unyielding to the temptation to escape the question with an obscure, prepared answer. Carry the password “Human Dignity” without fuss or loll, and take it to a new stage of struggle against occupiers and their masters. Always remember, should this sourness fall in our throats, remember!

My friends,

Joining us in solidarity means that we do not despair under the daily hammering of our people, that we stand in the face of malice, brace ourselves with those whom we address, and safeguard our humanness with love. It means that we protect the beauty upon which we established our homeland.

UNESCO Artists for Peace,

Let us stand together and give concerts for the benefit of Lebanon and Palestine. Let them be covenants of love and communication. Let us join in a declaration of faith, at a time when mankind and life are controlled by war lords and greed.

We do not want to believe that the world has changed and lost its meaning, and that its politics have turned into absurdity, although the malicious Israeli policies attest to relative success of the debauchery machine in manufacturing such a world. The United States’ remorseless rulers, with their systematic, steady, and malevolent crimes, with their indifferent brutality, and merciless contempt that disregards the United Nations and international law, wear the alleged mask of a force defending good in the world! The international community, in turn, maintains silence in the face of this criminality, turning a blind eye to the crimes of the “leader of the free world!”

We need not go far. The U.S. invasion of Iraq is nothing but a blatant act of international terror, revealing absolute contempt for international law.

How were those rulers able to reach that far? How did this group of prejudiced, ignorant hypocrites in possession of destructive weapons usurp democracy and freedom, and spread chaos everywhere, branding every form of resistance with “terrorism”?

My friends,

Let us return to our belief that all that’s human is never crushed under the feet of war, that beauty always rises again from the ashes, that hatred is short lived, and froth always disappears. Let us not compromise our values at a time of war. Let us, instead, face up to life, renewal, and resistance, and open a window to vent a region strangled by war.

The Lebanese people choose resistance, a confrontation they realize is harsh, but understand its greatness and nobility: they rise against an Israeli army that seeks to destroy their lives. Under such circumstances, when forced to guard their sleep, their breath, and the pound of flour with iron and blood, they are beset with spontaneous solidarity that recreates itself and provides endurance. With this endurance, their home will become home again, trees will grow from the soil again, and flowers will show their colors. Their endurance exposes the arrogance of the aggressor, with its repeated bombings and massacres. It exposes, at the same time, the extent of the general failure of the Arab regimes, without exception, to react to what is happening in Lebanon and Palestine.

The desertion of Lebanon by the Arab leaders is one aspect of their collusion with Israel. Further, their oppression of their people is one part of their responsibility for the general collapse. The near total Arab silence in response to the war being waged in Lebanon and Palestine is horrific, and seeks to undermine the will to resist, and to push in the direction of despair and surrender.

Today, as the Israeli enemy pounces on our children, flowers, streets, songs, happiness and love for our land, we call upon all nations to aid our people to return to their homes, to protect them, and provide them with all means necessary for a dignified life.

My friends,

Let us actually get involved in the inescapable rebellion against hatred and destruction. Let us answer the pertinent questions, and express the important causes of the world. Let us create the incentives that could change the present reality, for what is the value of an artist who is not true to the cause of freedom and human liberty? What is the value of an artist who is not rebellious? Civilization was born in a moment of rebellion.

Marcel Khalife


Current ceasefire terms

From Haaretz this morning (thanks Ibrahim):1. Calls for a full cessation of hostilities based upon, in particular, the immediate cessation by Hezbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations;

2. Upon full cessation of hostilities, calls upon the government of Lebanon and UNIFIL (The UN Interim Force in Lebanon) as authorized by paragraph 11 to deploy their forces together throughout the south and calls upon the government of Israel, as that deployment begins, to withdraw all of its forces from southern Lebanon in parallel;

3. Emphasizes the importance of the extension of the control of the government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory in accordance with the provisions of resolution 1559 (2004) and resolution 1680 (2006), and of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, for it to exercise its full sovereignty, so that there will be no weapons without the consent of the government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the government of Lebanon;

4. Reiterates its strong support for full respect for the Blue Line (separating Israel and Lebanon);

5. Also reiterates its strong support, as recalled in all its previous relevant resolutions, for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized borders, as contemplated by the Israeli-Lebanese General Armistice Agreement of 23 March 1949;

6. Calls on the international community to take immediate steps to extend its financial and humanitarian assistance to the Lebanese people, including through facilitating the safe return of displaced persons and, under the authority of the government of Lebanon, reopening airports and harbors, consistent with paragraphs 14 and 15, and calls on it also to consider further assistance in the future to contribute to the reconstruction and development of Lebanon;

7. Affirms that all parties are responsible for ensuring that no action is taken contrary to paragraph 1 that might adversely affect the search for a long-term solution, humanitarian access to civilian populations, including safe passage for humanitarian convoys, or the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons, and calls on all parties to comply with this responsibility and to cooperate with the Security Council;

8. Calls for Israel and Lebanon to support a permanent cease-fire and a long-term solution based on the following principles and elements:

* full respect for the Blue Line by both parties,

* security arrangements to prevent the resumption of hostilities, including the establishment between the Blue Line and the Litani River of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11, deployed in this area

* full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), that require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of July 27, 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state

* no foreign forces in Lebanon without the consent of its government

* no sales or supply of arms and related materiel to Lebanon except as authorized by its government
* provision to the United Nations of all remaining maps of land mines in Lebanon in Israel's possession

9. Invites the Secretary-General (Kofi Annan) to support efforts to secure as soon as possible agreements in principle from the government of Lebanon and the government of Israel to the principles and elements for a long-term solution as set forth in paragraph 8, and expresses its intention to be actively involved

10. Requests the secretary-general to develop, in liaison with relevant international actors and the concerned parties, proposals to implement the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), including disarmament, and for delineation of the international borders of Lebanon, especially in those areas where the border is disputed or uncertain, including by dealing with the Shaba Farms area, and to present to the Security Council those proposals within thirty days

11. Decides, in order to supplement and enhance the force in numbers, equipment, mandate and scope of operations, to authorize an increase in the force strength of UNIFIL to a maximum of 15,000 troops, and that the force shall, in addition to carrying out its mandate under resolutions 425 and 426 (1978)

a. Monitor the cessation of hostilities

b. Accompany and support the Lebanese armed forces as they deploy throughout the south, including along the Blue Line, as Israel withdraws its armed forces from Lebanon as provided in paragraph 2

c. Coordinate its activities related to paragraph 11 (b) with the government of Lebanon and the government of Israel

d. Extend its assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to civilian populations and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons

e. Assist the Lebanese armed forces in taking steps towards the establishment of the area as referred to in paragraph 8

f. Assist the government of Lebanon, at its request, to implement paragraph 14

12. Acting in support of a request from the government of Lebanon to deploy an international force to assist it to exercise its authority throughout the territory, authorizes UNIFIL to take all necessary action in areas of deployment of its forces and as it deems within its capabilities, to ensure that its area of operations is not utilized for hostile activities of any kind, to resist attempts by forceful means to prevent it from discharging its duties under the mandate of the Security Council, and to protect United Nations personnel, facilities, installations and equipment, ensure the security and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel, humanitarian workers, and, without prejudice to the responsibility of the government of Lebanon, to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence

13. Requests the secretary general urgently to put in place measures to ensure UNIFIL is able to carry out the functions envisaged in this resolution, urges member states to consider making appropriate contributions to UNIFIL and to respond positively to requests for assistance from the force, and expresses its strong appreciation to those who have contributed to UNIFIL in the past

14. Calls upon the government of Lebanon to secure its borders and other entry points to prevent the entry in Lebanon without its consent of arms or related materiel and requests UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11 to assist the government of Lebanon at its request

15. Decides further that all states shall take the necessary measures to prevent, by their nationals or from their territories or using their flag vessels or aircraft,

(a) the sale or supply to any entity or individual in Lebanon of arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, whether or not originating in their territories, and

(b) the provision to any entity or individual in Lebanon of any technical training or assistance related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of the items listed in subparagraph (a) above except that these prohibitions shall not apply to arms, related material, training or assistance authorized by the government of Lebanon or by UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11

16. Decides to extend the mandate of UNIFIL until 31 August 2007, and expresses its intention to consider in a later resolution further enhancements to the mandate and other steps to contribute to the implementation of a permanent cease-fire and a long-term solution

17. Requests the secretary-general to report to the council within one week on the implementation of this resolution and subsequently on a regular basis

18. Stresses the importance of, and the need to achieve, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, based on all its relevant resolutions including its resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973

19. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.


A little light reading...

If you have some free time, Donkephant has an amazing analysis going on of the documents from the 9/11 Commission. Just momd-boggling.


I LOVE this! I "borrowed" it from Sanoua (a very nice blog from Morocco, btw- check it out). It reminds me of the early days of SOS Racisme...


March in LebanonTODAY

Lebanon Solidarity is leading a civilian caravan TODAY from Marytrs' Square in Beirut to the South, with supplies for the victims of the bombing. Radioactive San Diego has an interview link. You can listen here.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006  


The new edition of Al Jadid is out! What??????? You don't have a subscription? You live overseas? Check out the new edition and if you like what you see, order on line! Did you click on the link yet? Did you? Huh, did you?
(ps: disclaimer- I wrote something in it- but regardless- it's a damn good read!)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006  

Dear Condaleeza Rice...

Mohamed al-Husseini had left New York for a holiday with his young wife and infant child - they were safe in the centre of Beirut - because he wanted to see his family home and talk to the relatives he grew up with.

Dear Ms. Rice,

Mohamed Al-Husseini lives in New York, drives a taxi for a living, contributes to the American economy and has an American-born child. That is, apparently, almost all he has left because an Israeli missile killed his child's grandparents, much of his child's extended family and destroyed most of his extended family's home.

Mohamed Al-Husseini pays taxes that paid for the drone that targeted the house that was hit by the missiles that Mohamed Al-Husseini's taxes paid for.

As did my taxes.

Mohamed Al-Husseini contributes towards your salary.

As do I.

What I want to know is what are you doing about the use of bombs the US sold that are being used to kill the relatives of US tax payers?
What, as our employee, are you doing?

I do not find your decision to play the piano in Malaysia appropriate. Nor do I find your comment about a "sustainable" ceasefire acceptable.

Neither your comment nor your musical talent saved Mohamed Al-Husseini's family. Nor the Israelis who died in Haifa, nor the children of Tyre, nor the people of Qana.

Nothing you have done up to now has saved anyone.

Now our taxes pay to close the road in and out of South Lebanon. Our taxes pay to prevent humanitarian aid from getting through. Our taxes pay for civilians fleeing for their lives to get straffed. Our taxes pay for people to be entombed in their own houses.

So, I ask you: What are you doing?


Paying for sex is...

paying for sex, be the purchaser female or male:
"If he doesn't perform, he doesn't get to eat. End of story," she told me. How sad: young men having to perform like studs for a plate of rice and peas. That is exploitation, not fun. Admittedly, many of the women are vulnerable and lonely, and are taken for a ride by some beach boys. I heard many stories of women being robbed at the end of their holiday, or being treated like dirt once they had run out of money. Unless we face up to what is going on in resorts such as Negril, there will be more hurt and exploitation.

Rich white women buying poor black men - often young enough to be their grandsons - creates a distorted sense of masculinity and racial identity. Beach boys told me they "never had black girlfriends" because they could not afford to "date for free". They saw white women only as meal tickets in need of sexual servicing. Many of the women told me that the beach boys were the only black people they spoke to during their holidays. All admitted they would not sleep with black men back home, so this is hardly breaking down racial barriers. If anything, white women buying black men is perpetuating racist stereotypes and widening the gap between tourist and local, rich and poor.

Interesting comment on the sex trade in Jamaica between Industrial world women and Third World men. I'veread the same thing goes on with weathy Asian women as well.
read the (sorry) remains

Monday, August 07, 2006  

The Itch to Snitch...

For more than five weeks, Ouassif said, he was told to wait while a Moroccan intelligence agent promised to resolve the U.S. Embassy's concerns. When they finally met again, Ouassif recounted, the agent asked him to attend the mosque near his family home in Casablanca and spy on some prominent Islamists.

And then he told him that was just the start.

"We also need your help in America," Ouassif recalled the agent saying.

To any Moroccan who lived in France during the 80's, this sounds right out of the Surete's playbook.
And now, it's part of the NSA's. Lucky us.
read the rest


Joe Lieberman...

now you see him now you don't...
Mr. Lieberman said that while he believed his vote to authorize the war in 2002 was correct, he now felt a “heavy responsibility” to end the war quickly. He said he wanted to withdraw American troops “as fast as anyone,” yet insisted that leaving Iraq now would be a “disaster” that could worsen the sectarian violence there. And while President Bush may share that view, he added, Connecticut voters were free not to.

How magnanimous.

What the hell is wrong with him? What is with the I'm anti-war but pro-bombing run stance?

It would b a disaster if some Bush wannabe gets in, but a H. Clinton/Lieberman ticket would be the death of us- neo-Republicans in Dems clothing.

the rest

Sunday, August 06, 2006  

NOW do you get it?

Kill anything that moves.

Henry stepped outside the hut and saw a small crowd of women and children. Then the shooting began.

Moments later, the 19 villagers lay dead or dying.

Iraq? Nope.
Vietnam(read the rest )
This is what happens when a country does not hold its soldiers to the Geneva Conventions and the treatment of civilians.

And it has happened again
And a note to those people protesting holding the soldiers accused of killing civilains in Iraq in the brig at Camp Pendelton- SHUT UP.
Maybe they did and maybe they didn't, but the fact remains they are accused of some horrific crimes against people (that's right, Iraqis are people- ain't you surprised) and, personally, I don't want then running around in the civilian population here.
And as for your protest that US soldiers are dying from ieds, etc.,surprise, surprise- it's called occupation- look it up- you might want to learn this word- and that's what happens-occupied populations resist. That said, US troops do not, I repeat, do not have the right to shoot people in their homes, beat them to a pulp, rape young women and burn their bodies, kill people and cover it up.

That's criminal activity. And here in the US, which you suggest they are protecting by engaging in such activity- these are considered crimes against society which earn long sentences.


Charity has to begin somewhere...

Hezbollah paid for his wife’s Caesarean section. It brought olive oil, sugar and nuts when he lost his job and even covered the cost of an operation on his broken nose.

(the rest )

This is one of the reasons Hezbollah is so popular. Charity which affords a level of dignity. For some reason the West and Lebanon were unable or unwilling to learn from the example of the FIS in Algeria who used assistance to buy popular good will on their rise to power.

This is hardly new. Missionaries knew that to convert a population, you would be more successful if you help them out rather than harrangue them over how they were going to hell if they didn't get with the program.

Unfortunately, this level of charity is the flip side of a state derelict in its duty towards its citizens. And therein lies a message to those who would create/like to see moderate states in the Middle East, and the message is this:

- assist the people
- provide basic civic services in a timely manner
- give the people a voice
- don't stand in the way of democratic movements

This seems rather simplistic, I know, but time after time, it has been shown that religious institutions step into the void left by the State and the upper classes. These institutions are driven by a religiously-inspired desire and obligation to help, but some also have political aspirations and eventually reach into the social and political fabric.

Many people who wouldn't normally walk the path of the religious self-righteous do so because their faith and belief in the State has been so shaken and their personally needs are so great.

Maybe instead of training the Lebanese Army (what a concept! Such a brilliant move in Iraq- just telegraphs- hi! we think martial law and military coups are just dandy- thanks! F-ing morons...), maybe the US needs to get together with a few semi-moderate Middle Eastern states and acceptable European allies(and by acceptable, I mean to Lebanon) and work on providing re-building money, State assistance programs and NGO's that will be able to step into the enormous breach that will be horrifically apparent after the attacks stop.

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