"News Fit to Transmit in the Post Cassini Flyby Era"
GatesofHell * 911Iraq * Soldier * KerryVenezuela
27 March 2004"..O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers
to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their
smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead;
help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks
of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste
their humble homes with a hurricane of fire.."
- Mark Twain
from The War Prayer1) "Opening the Gates of Hell" - Israel Assassinates Yassin
- - "The man who knew too much" by Robert Fisk2) Bush 911-Iraq Debacle - Running Scared
- - FBI Translator: 'We Knew 9/11 Attacks Were Coming'
- - September 11 Should Have Been Stopped
- - Silent Genocide
- - Voting Paper Trail Advocate Dies In 'Tragic Accident'3) US soldier refuses return to Iraq
- - Democracy Now! - The Peace Candidate: Kucinich4) Why John Kerry Must Retract his Position on Venezuela
The above Mark Twain quote is a scary reminder of the predominant belief that "God is on our side!" Item one is on the Israeli government's assassination of the Hamas spiritual leader, Sheik Ahmed Yassin. This illegal institutional killing by the government of Israel can only make matters worse. The second part of this opening item is on Mordechai Vanunu, the whistleblower standing up to the test of time in declaring the danger of Israel's development of nuclear weapons. Vanunu is scheduled to be released from prison later this month. Item 2 is another place where Mark Twain would have a field day trying to make sense or satire on the Bush 9/11-Iraq connection, or manipulation. Thank goodness for Richard Clarke setting the record straight that these actions made the world less safe. Also in this item are tell-tale signs of the impending nature of September 11, 2001, known in advance. The "Silent Genocide" article in this item is on the use of depleted uranium shells and their after-affects. Could Mark Twain imagine such missile shell devastation in the warped mentality of humankind? In this second item, too, is a story on the untimely death of an effective advocate for a paper trail for electronic voting machines. The article in item 3 offers a powerful story of a soldier. He tells his story of what war is like in Iraq and why he has become a conscientious objector. Following that is a Democracy Now interview with Dennis Kucinich. This peace candidate addressed 100,000 activists in NYC on March 20. The final item is an analysis / article on why John Kerry should retract his position on Venezuela. Please check these resources, and consider signing the petition to lobby the Senator and presidential candidate. The people must stand united for real democracy, and not a foreign policy for big oil and US military interests.
I object to violence
because when it appears to do good,
the good is only temporary;
the evil it does is permanent.
1) "Opening the Gates of Hell" - Israel Assassinates Yassin
- - "The man who knew too much" by Robert Fisk
"Opening the Gates of Hell" - Israel Assassinates Hamas Leader Yassin
Monday, March 22nd, 2004 -- Democracy Now!
Israeli forces assassinated Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of the Palestinian group Hamas, as he was returning from a mosque in Gaza City. Tens of thousands of Palestinians took to the streets in response. The following are reports from Democracy Now! with Dr. Mustafa Barghouti of the Palestinian National Initiative and Neve Gordon of Ben Gurion University.
AMY GOODMAN: We go first to Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative, President of the Palestinian Medical Relief Committee, joining us on the phone from Ramallah. Welcome to Democracy Now!.
MUSTAFA BARGHOUTHI: Thank you.
AMY GOODMAN: It's good to have you with us, your response to the assassination?
MUSTAFA BARGHOUTHI: I think this is a very serious attack in many ways. First of all, this is a consolidation of the assassination policy that Israel has been following, which is considered by international law as a crime. In this case, it's extra judicial killing in which the Israeli Prime Minister makes himself the prosecutor, the judge, and the executer at the same time and he imposes his own law, and he runs the assassination himself. In this particular case, it has been reported that he himself ran the operation of the assassination. If a Prime Minister in a country that claims to be a democracy gets himself involved in such an act of assassination, then what kind of democracy are we talking about? The other aspect is that with this attack, Israel has assassinated 325 Palestinians, half of them, 160, are civilian non-combatants who happened just to be bystanders, including about five of those who were killed this morning. The other aspect of this attack is the political aspect. This is a very dangerous move. It is like a serious provocation to prevent any possibility of cease-fire in the area, any possibility of any movement for real peace. It exposes the reality of what Sharon was speaking about when he spoke about withdrawal from Gaza. This means we are not heading for peace, but we are heading for more conflicts, more violence and one more time Sharon has proven that he is capable of undermining any possibility for making things better or quieter in this area. I think what has happened today will carry very serious impacts in the future, not only on the stability here in the occupied territories, but in the whole region, and it raises the big question, which is how can we have security or peace in this region without ending the Israeli military occupation, and without the international community making some effort to restrain the government of Sharon and making him understand that there is something called international law that must be respected.
AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi is Secretary General of the Palestinian national Initiative. We are also joined by Neve Gordon at Ben Gurion University in Negev. Welcome to Democracy Now!. Professor Gordon, your response?
NEVE GORDON: Well, I walked into class this morning. It's the politics of human rights. I asked my students if anyone feels safer now that Sheikh Yassin has been assassinated. Not one of them raised their hand. In fact, most of them feel much less safe today than they felt yesterday. Because they know from past experience that after each active aggression by Israel, there is the likelihood that the Palestinian Hamas will retaliate. What I think -- I'd like to in a way connect with what Mustafa just said about the protests yesterday with the 31 people wounded, because I do think it's connected to the assassination of Yassin. What we have been seeing for the past month in the occupied territories is that the Palestinians have moved to grassroots non-violent resistance around the fence and the separation wall that Israel is building. The way Israel is reacting to this non-violent resistance is exactly what happened yesterday, people are coming and are lying down in front of the bulldozers, are lying down where the root of the fence will be built, Palestinians, international and a few Israelis and the military beats them, shoots at them and as Mustafa said, yesterday a person was wounded. So, we see an attempt to change the character of the intifada, which has been a violent intifada to a non-violent, grassroots popular mobilization. This act that happened early this morning of assassinating Sheikh Yassin is just one other way of Israel resisting this non-violent intifada, because what is clear will happen and has already happened today in Ramat Gan, with the lone Palestinian that managed that enter and to attack a few Israelis, that there will be retaliation. What Sharon is actually doing, what we see here, is basically the subjugation of the political to the military. Again, Barghouthi said that Sharon was authorized this killing. According to Israeli radio, he not only authorized this killing but he commanded over this killing. Sharon is seeing himself again as a soldier, and basically allowing the military values and the military way of seeing the world to control the Israeli political realm and the political has been relegated to a secondary status. So, there's no diplomacy, there's no negotiation, and there will be no way out of this bloody conflict, so long as the military option is the basic option, is the favored option.
AMY GOODMAN: The French Foreign Minister de Villepin has condemned the assassination. The United States has simply called for calm and restraint on all sides. Mustafa Barghouthi, what difference does it make how the U.S. responds?
MUSTAFA BARGHOUTHI: It is different. I don't think that Israel would have behaved in this manner in it didn't feel that it is protected by the United States. And that it has the heaven of being able to act and function and feel at the same time impunitive to international law and impunitive to all of these violations of human rights. It is the United States that is the government of States, the country that is capable of restraining Israel more than anybody else. And if the United States at least condemns these kinds of attacks and tells Israel they are not acceptable, then the whole situation -- the whole situation would be different, but this is not happening up to now. I totally agree with Neve Gordon when he said that when the Israeli army shoots even Israeli peace activists like Ethan Lewenski and attacks these non-violent actions, which we are trying to organize. We are trying to take the Palestinian struggle into the diction of non-violent, mass popular actions, when Israel does these kinds of attacks, it practically strengthens the extremism and pushes the area into violence. And when the international community fails to respond to Israeli attacks, it strengthens the opinions of those Palestinians who feel we are alone, we are isolated, where nobody is with us. There is no respect to international law and that by itself, of course, strengthens the extremists. But I am not pessimistic. I believe that there is a whole great change everywhere in the world, including in the United States. All people need is access to information. Access to the truth. They are entitled to knowing the truth. And your radio and other stations help people get the truth. If they get the true, I am sure that the United States like the Europeans will simply take the stance of supporting the right of the Palestinian people to be free, to be dignified, to get rid of this terrible occupation, which has cost so many lives on the Palestinian and Israeli side.
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Or link to the complete transcript via the web @ Democracy Now!http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/03/22/1536208
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =- - "The man who knew too much"
by Robert Fisk
Published by The Independent. UK.
He was drugged, kidnapped and locked up for 18 years
after revealing Israel's nuclear secrets to the world.www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5938.htm
"On 21 April, when Vanunu is released,
we shall find out if the water is going to overflow -
and whether Vanunu will cross the red line painted
so ominously on the floor at the instruction of the authorities."
2) Bush 911-Iraq Debacle - Running Scared
- - FBI Translator: 'We Knew 9/11 Attacks Were Coming'
- - September 11 Should Have Been Stopped
- - Silent Genocide
- - Voting Paper Trail Advocate Dies In 'Tragic Accident'
The Bush Administration Fears Voters Will Believe Richard Clarke's Allegations"
by Philip James
The swiftness and ferocity of the Bush White House's attack on Richard Clarke tells you two things: his story may be largely true, and the Bush administration is terrified that the American people will believe it.
The central allegation - that Mr Bush was so obsessed with going after Saddam Hussein that he openly challenged his counter-terrorism adviser to find a link between September 11 and Iraq the day after the attacks took place - is serious.
It threatens the fundamental platform of the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign: that you are safer with them than you are with the Democrats.
The White House did not let a single news cycle go by before questioning that the alleged encounter between the president and Clarke had ever taken place, assigning dark motives to a man who has served four presidents, three of them Republicans.
But you don't have to be Bob Woodward to check Clarke's story out. There were other witnesses to this meeting, one of whom spoke to me.
"The conversation absolutely took place. I was there, but you can't name me," the witness said. "I was one of several people present. There was no doubt in anyone's mind that the president had Iraq on his mind, first and foremost."
This former national security council official was too terrified to go on the record - he knows how vengeful this administration can be.
He remembers the late night phone call former treasury secretary Paul O'Neill received just before he published The Price of Loyalty, his account of how the Bush White House set its sights on Iraq from day one. He was about to discover the price of disloyalty to this administration..
..Some have come forward, risking the ire of the Bushies. Many more are considering it, weighing their conscience alongside their sense of self-preservation. Several who are talking are doing so on the condition of anonymity.
But, as this campaign heats up, some will rethink and go on the record. It is becoming clear their silence might ensure that the Bush White House gets away with the central lie of its tenure - the blanket denial that it abandoned the war on terror to pursue an unrelated, pre-selected Iraq agenda.
The louder the Bush administration proclaims that it is the only qualified protector of national security, the more offensively that rings in the ears of those who know the truth. Sooner or later - and certainly before November - that truth will out.
For the complete article, see:Running Scared by Philip James
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =- - FBI Translator: 'We Knew 9/11 Attacks Were Coming'truthout.org/docs_04/032704A.shtml
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =- - September 11 Should Have Been Stopped
By William Rivers Pitttruthout.org/docs_04/032504A.shtml
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =- - Silent Genocide
"After the Americans destroyed our village and killed many of us, we also lost our houses and have nothing to eat. However, we would have endured these miseries and even accepted them, if the Americans had not sentenced us all to death."
"..We're waging war-plus in Afghanistan and Iraq - in effect, nuclear war, with our widespread use of depleted-uranium-tipped shells and missiles. This is no secret. DU, with its extraordinary penetrating power and explode-on-impact capability, helps assure our military dominance everywhere we go. But people like Jooma Khan and his grandson reap its toxic legacy.."
"The Pentagon's response to such charges is denial, denial, denial. And the American media is its moral co-conspirator."
For the article, see: "Silent Genocide" by Robert C. Koehler
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =- - Voting Paper Trail Advocate Dies In 'Tragic Accident' onlinejournal.com/evoting/031904Fitrakis/031904fitrakis.html
3) US soldier refuses to return to Iraq
- - Democracy Now! - The Peace Candidate: Kucinich
US soldier refuses return to Iraq:
gives examples of what it's really like
"When I saw with my own eyes what war can do to people, a real change began to take place within me," he said in the statement to Citizen Soldier. "I have witnessed the suffering of a people whose country is in ruins and who are further humiliated by the raids, patrols, curfews of an occupying army. My experience of this war has changed me forever."
He continued: "I also learned that the fear of dying has the power to turn soldiers into real killing machines. In a combat environment it becomes almost impossible for us to consider things like acting strictly in self defense or using just enough force to stop an attack.... People would ask me about my war experiences, and answering them took me back to all the horrors—the firefights, the ambushes, the time I saw a young Iraqi dragged by his shoulders through a pool of his own blood, the time a man was decapitated by our machine gun fire and the time my friend shot a child through the chest."
US soldier refuses to return to Iraq
By Jeff Riley
24 March 2004
A Florida National Guard soldier returned to his base of deployment at Fort Stewart, Georgia, to face charges for desertion after refusing to return to duty in Iraq to serve as, in his words, "an instrument of violence" in an "oil-driven war." The incident has provoked disquiet within the military establishment, feeding concern over the morale of US occupation troops.
Staff Sgt. Camilo Mejia, a 28-year-old native of Nicaragua, turned himself in to military authorities at Hanscom Air Force Base, outside of Boston, on March 15, seeking conscientious objector status. He spent five months on the run after serving in Iraq from April 2003 until last October, when he came home on two-week's leave and refused to return for redeployment October 16. Among his reasons for going AWOL, he said, were his witnessing of incidents in which Iraqi civilians were killed by US troops.
Mejia is one of about 7,500 troops who fail to return to their units each year from a force of about 1.4 million. There have been about 600 soldiers who have gone AWOL from obligations in Iraq in particular, but he is believed to be the first to give himself up. Hours before handing himself over, Mejia gave a press conference at the Peace Abbey in Sherborn, Massachusetts.
He issued a statement to the press, in which he declared: "I'm saying no to war. I went to Iraq—I was an instrument of violence— and now I've decided to be an instrument for peace. My conscience—I could not continue to do the things that I was doing in Iraq. This war, I'm completely against it because it's an oil-motivated war. I don't think that any soldier who ever signed to be in the military, signed to go halfway across the world to invade and occupy a nation to take their oil or any other natural resource.... We were all lied to when we were told that we were looking for weapons of mass destruction or we were going to fight terrorism."
Mejia is now awaiting a decision from commanding officers on the charges that he will face. If his application for CO status is denied, he faces a court-martial that could carry a sentence of five years imprisonment for desertion and an additional five years for "missing a movement to avoid hazardous duty." This would be followed by a dishonorable discharge that would end all benefits for the eight-year veteran and possible deportation.
Referring to the potential penalties for his action, Mejia stated, "I'm prepared to go to prison because I'll have a clear conscience.... Whatever sacrifice I have to make, I have to go there."
Camilo Mejia moved from Nicaragua to the US when he was 18 to live with his mother, Maria Castillo. He is the son of Carlos Mejia Godoy, the renowned singer from Managua and former cultural minister for the Sandinista government, whose music and poetry symbolized the struggle of the Nicaraguan people against US military intervention in that country.
Mejia joined the military one year after arriving in the US. He later explained that he did so because "I wanted to be part of this nation, and the military was at the very heart of the United States. I was very young and was just starting to form my identity, values and principles."
He served three years of active Army duty and was a National Guard infantryman for five years, which helped to pay his college tuition. He was entering his final semester as a psychology student at the University of Miami when his unit, C Company, 1-124 INF of the 53rd Infantry Brigade, was called up for pre-mobilization combat training in Fort Stewart.
Mejia described training at Fort Stewart, where he served as a squad leader, in terms of a sped-up assembly line "merely intended to make our unit deployable." He explained: "A soldier is not supposed to deploy if he or she doesn't pass a physical exam. I knew a soldier whose hearing had been impaired after many years' service in the artillery. But this didn't matter; they checked the `pass' box for hearing on his medical form. Another requirement was that we qualify with our rifles. After several attempts at the firing range, many soldiers still couldn't qualify but they were all judged to be qualified.."
..In turning himself in, Mejia was accompanied by both his mother and Private Oliver Perez, who served in the military with him in Iraq. Perez described Mejia as "a brave leader" and insisted that he should not be prosecuted. "I fought next to him in many battles," he said. "He is not a coward." Concern that Mejia's action may strike a chord with a wider layer of troops presently in Iraq presents the Pentagon with a quandary. As Tod Ensign of Citizen Soldier pointed out, Mejia's actions represent a "test case that will have broad impact on other objectors or potential objectors.... [T]hey risk him becoming some sort of martyr to the antiwar movement." On the other hand, if Mejia is treated with leniency and granted conscientious objector status, it could encourage other soldiers to follow suit. In the wake of Mejia's turning himself in, the US military command in Iraq reported that two US Army medics have applied for CO status. The two notified the army of their request on February 9. They asked to be honorably discharged from the military because the idea of killing is "revolting" to them, a US military spokesman said.
For the complete article, see: US soldier refuses to return to Iraq
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =- - Democracy Now! - The Peace Candidate: Kucinich
Monday, March 22nd, 2004
Reported by Democracy Now!
Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich explains why is staying in the race for his party's nomination. He talks about the continuing war in Iraq, the 9-11 commission and Israel's assassination of Sheik Ahmed Yassin in Gaza.
Only one presidential candidate attended one of the mass protests marking the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the US invasion of Iraq. It wasn't George W Bush and it wasn't John Kerry. It was Ohio Congress member Dennis Kucinich. He addressed more than 100, 000 people at the large protest in New York City on Saturday. This weekend Kucinich issued a statement saying that he will not drop out of the race for the Democratic nomination. Kucinich said he is committed to ensuring that a peace platform is adopted by the Democrats ahead of November's elections.
For the article, audio, video and transcript, link:www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/03/22/1536217
4) Why John Kerry Must Retract his Position on Venezuela
The Democratic candidate for President of the United States, John Kerry, published a statement on his web site this past March 19, setting forth his position on the political situation in Venezuela. johnkerry.com/pressroom/releases/pr_2004_0319d.html
In this declaration, Kerry relies on inaccurate information and repeats views identical to those of the Venezuelan opposition to democratically-elected President Hugo Chavez.
We examine below Kerry's statement in more detail:
Kerry urges President Chavez to allow the recall referendum against his mandate to occur. The reality is that the President has no legal means, to either impede or permit a recall referendum. It can only be achieved if those requesting the referendum collect the number of valid signatures required by the regulations.
The Senator states that, "the international community cannot permit President Chávez to subvert this process, as he has tried to do up until now." Nevertheless, Kerry does not specify how the President has tried to subvert this process. Kerry conveniently omits the fact that it was President Chávez who proposed to include the possibility of these referenda in the new Constitution that was drafted by a Constitutional Assembly elected by popular vote. Chávez has called for a review of signatures collected by the opposition because, as per numerous credible reports, there appears to have been substantial fraud committed during the signature drive. What is so terrible about denouncing fraud and calling for an investigation of hundreds of thousands of petitions filled out by the same handwriting? Kerry surely would expect the same type of investigation to occur if there were evidence of fraud in any electoral process he was a part of.
As it stands, those whose signatures appear on petitions that were filled out by the same handwriting will soon have the chance to confirm their identity and intention to sign the petition requesting a recall referendum. It is the opposition that has opposed this process. Chávez has repeatedly stated that he will respect whatever decision is made by the nation's electoral authorities regarding a referendum.
Kerry states that Chávez has undermined democratic institutions with extra-judicial measures that include politically-based arrests in order to consolidate his power. Kerry omits the fact that Chávez has won two presidential elections by large margins and that the political parties supporting Chávez control the National Assembly because voters overwhelmingly chose to elect those party representatives.
For the complete article, see: venezuelanalysis.com/articles.php?artno=1140Sign the petition asking Kerry to retract his statement at
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Related Links: Kerry Statement on Venezuela Senator Kerry, You Are Wrong on Venezuela A Rebuttal to Senator Kerry's Statement on Venezuela Kerry says Bush is soft on Chávez Kerry Attacks Venezuela's Chavez Why John Kerry Must Retract his Position on Venezuela
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