Wednesday 23rd of January 2019

No More Middle Ground

 

By Katherine Juestel

These haven't been good days for Bush and his pack of lap dogs. It certainly has not been good for his stated goal of spreading democracy through the Middle East. The main problem here is that the man is either totally oblivious to the fact that his decisions and his actions have caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in the region, from Iraq to Afghanistan to Lebanon and all areas in between, or he really believes that all of these people deserve to die.

Bush continues to insist that Israel's battle with Hezbullah is part of a wider struggle against terrorism. He blindly refuses to lay blame equally on both sides, even as he professes to mourn the loss of "innocent life" both in Israel and Lebanon. Bush continues to insist that "Israel is exercising its right to defend itself," a right he continues to deny the Iraqi people, the people of Lebanon, and the Palestinians who have been the target of systematic genocide for nearly 60 years.

While the majority of the civilized world loudly
condemns the excessive force exercised by Israel, Bush continues to play God with peoples lives, not only in the Middle East, but also in his own country where he has seized upon the right to ignore domestic law with as much impunity as he does International laws. And in the process he is dragging Australia and Her people deeper and deeper into the same quagmire of fear and hate and death, bringing the collective hatred of a larger and larger alliance of enemies down upon all of our heads.

"Not In Our Name" was the cry of those who opposed the invasion of Iraq. "Not In Our Name" will you kill innocent children and women and elderly peoples who had nothing to do with any attacks on any citizens of the countries who became part of the "coalition of the willing". But it seems that Bush and Chaney and Rumsfeld and their poodle partners Blair and Howard have succeeded in muting those voices by gagging the opposition and the formerly objective media while letting loose the likes of Coulter and Limbaugh and Drudge and Murdock to plaster the print and electronic media with lies and distortions and cover ups and massive amounts of distractions such as "when will Howard resign", the price of bananas, which actor is cheating on their spouse or what some actor said while in being arrested for driving drunk.

Once again the term "anti-Semitism" is being bantered about in an attempt to silence the voices crying out for the killing to stop. Once again the guilt of one generation is being used to silence another and to justify the crimes committed by the descendants of one group of those who died in the Holocaust.

Could it be that Bush revels in the God-like powers he has, in the life and death decisions he makes, just as he did when he was governor of Texas and presided over the record number of executions that occurred in Texas under his watch?

Bush and those who serve him are true serial killers, mass murderers no different from the mass killers who preceded them. They stand beside Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussain and Melosavitch.

Bush has either deliberately set out to bring about another world war, or he has seriously miscalculated in his stance in Iraq and on the Israel-Hezbullah violence. By allowing Israeli violence against Lebanese citizens to continue unabated, the tide of world opinion against both Israel and the United States has swelled and has fanned support across the Arab world for Hezbullah.

By the United States continued slaughter of the people of Iraq, and it's continued threats against Iran, and it's
unwavering support and continued arming of Israel it has helped to forge alliances between many countries who have, until now, had little to do with each other. With each innocent life lost Hezbullah and other organizations of it's type gain more and more recruits, each dedicated to the destruction of Israel, the United States and their allies.

Already the violence has begun to overflow into our own region, even into our own country as the attacks on Synagogues and Mosques become more and more frequent. Our country is becoming more and more polarized as such issues the right of people to hold dual citizenship and the rights of those who do to be rescued from a war zone or their right to fight for their other country dominate talk back radio and blogs in all major newspapers and many smaller local ones. The wars that are occurring thousands of kilometres from our shores are tearing our own people apart, causing friends and neighbours to turn on each other. How long before the bombs begin to explode in our own back yards?

The madness must come to an end, one way or the other. Either the killing has to stop or the nuclear weapons must be deployed and life as we know it must end. There is no longer any middle ground left.


killing people is like squashing an ant

 
July 30, 2006 10:55 PM ET

WASHINGTON Steven Green, the former U.S. soldier accused of raping and murdering an Iraqi girl and members of her family compared killing people in Iraq to "squashing an ant," in an interview with a reporter about a month before the attack.

Writing in Sunday's Washington Post, Andrew Tilghman, a former correspondent for the military paper Stars and Stripes, said he interviewed Green several times in February south of Baghdad.

"I came over here because I wanted to kill people," he quoted Green as saying. "The truth is, it wasn't all I thought it was cracked up to be. I mean, I thought killing somebody would be this life-changing experience. And then I did it, and I was like, 'All right, whatever.'

"I shot a guy who wouldn't stop when we were out at a traffic checkpoint and it was like nothing," Green was quoted as saying. "Over here, killing people is like squashing an ant.

"I mean, you kill somebody and it's like, 'All right, let's go get some pizza.'"

Green is under arrest in Kentucky for the March 12 murders of the Iraqi girl and three of her relatives. He was honorably discharged from the military for a "personality disorder," has pleaded not guilty.

Tilghman said Green saw the war in Iraq as pointless. "I just want to go home alive," he quoted the soldier.

Downer Suffering Stage Fright- Karoake Korea Over.

That's the question that the Canberra Times asked, but you have to wonder which particular stage Alex was running from.  The King of Karaoke has played a different role for Condi in more ways than one.  It  might be that the only way for Downer not to appear like a twit next to Dr Rice was to be invisible.

Take a bow … Alexander Downer has entered the building.

Photo: AP

secret places, secret crimes .....

‘A United Nations rights panel Friday demanded the immediate closure of any secret U.S. detention facilities and said Washington should grant the international Red Cross access to captives.

The United States "should only detain persons in places in which they can enjoy the full protection of the law," said a 12-page report by the U.N. Human Rights Committee. "It should also grant prompt access by the International Committee of the Red Cross to any person detained in connection with an armed conflict."

making us safer .....


‘US citizens suspected of terror ties might be detained indefinitely and barred from access to civilian courts under legislation proposed by the Bush administration, say legal experts reviewing an early version of the bill.

A 32-page draft measure is intended to authorize the Pentagon's tribunal system, established shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks to detain and prosecute detainees captured in the war on terror. The tribunal system was thrown out last month by the Supreme Court.

the princess of darkness .....

‘After being one of the most inept national security advisers in the nation's history, Condoleezza Rice is now earning the same grade as secretary of state.

Her description of the conflagration in Lebanon as the "birthpangs of a new Middle East" was about as callous as it gets, matched only by Bush's remark that the conflict represents "a moment of opportunity." The 400 Lebanese who have died, an overwhelming number of them civilian and many of them children, were not feeling any birthpangs. They were feeling deathpangs.

"aussie tony" & the value of loyalty ....

‘The media magnate Rupert Murdoch is expected to offer Tony Blair a senior role in his News Corporation empire when he stands down as Prime Minister.

Allies of Mr Blair insist he has made no decisions about his plans when he leaves Downing Street - almost certainly next year. But some friends say a seat on the board of News Corp could tempt the outgoing Prime Minister, as it would dovetail neatly with the lucrative United States lecture circuit. Mr Blair's popularity at home may be waning, but he remains big box office in America. His close relationship with Mr Murdoch will be highlighted tomorrow when he addresses the annual gathering of News Corp's executives and senior journalists from around the world.

Petition To Australian Prime Minister John Howard

 

To:  Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Members of Australian Parliament

 

We, the undersigned Citizens and Residents of Australia and the World, stand together to condemn the atrocities being committed by the Israeli military against the peoples of Lebanon, and call on Prime Minister John Howard and his Government to stand together with us and call for an immediate cease fire by BOTH sides of this conflict.


The brutal bombing and invasion of Lebanon is an act of Israeli state terrorism, Israel’s indiscriminate bombing if civilian targets in Lebanon is a serious violation of Human Rights, and constitutes another terrifying example of the heightened reliance on military force by both Israel and the United States in their ongoing struggle for hegemony in the Middle East.


Hundreds of civilians have been killed in Lebanon including many children, and scores are missing. The number of refugees is estimated at more than half a million and rising. The attacks on Lebanon’s infrastructure – power stations, factories, bridges, and ports – will take decades to rebuild. The people of Lebanon are already weary from reconstructing their country after years of civil war and the last ruinous Israeli invasion in 1982. Israel has proven that it has no concern for the lives of the innocent by its attack on UN outposts, Red Cross convoys and fleeing civilians.


There is no military solution to the current crisis. War and occupation threaten all life in the region and around the world—and will never bring security to anyone. We call for an immediate cease-fire against Lebanon.


Given the vacuum of political leadership from the governments of the world in the face of U.S. and Israeli intransigence, we feel it is incumbent on ordinary citizens to organize and support peaceful means for bringing economic and political pressure on Israel to end its assault on Lebanon and also on the Palestinian territories. It is urgent that individuals and non-governmental groups apply such means until Israel fully complies with international law and respects the fundamental human rights of all people.


While we unequivocally condemn the killing of civilians in Israel, it must be recognized that Israel's destructive and expansionist policies are primarily to blame for the perpetual "Middle East crisis.” To call Israeli atrocities in Gaza and Lebanon simply a “disproportionate response” helps justify Israeli war crimes by making Israel the victim and obscuring both the short and long-term sources of this catastrophic violence.


We call on Mr Howard to demand an immediate end to the assault on civilians and the destruction of Lebanon, as we realize that by his silence in this matter he makes each and every Australian complicit in the deaths of innocents and the destruction of a country.



Please sign this petition by clicking on the link below.

http://www.petitiononline.com/30072006/petition.html


BREAKING NEWS: Israel Strikes Refugee Shelter

 

CNN
    
Israeli airstrike bombs refugee shelter; Between 20 to 65 feared dead. Details soon.

 

 

Captain Tony's Mutiny

 

It seems that Aussie Tony is facing a full scale rebellion by his own front bench over the crisis in Lebanon. Jack Straw, Tony's former Foreign Secretary and now Leader of the Commons, has issued a statement in which he said that while he grieved for innocent Israelis killed by Hezbulla rockets, he also mourned the "10 times as many innocent Lebanese men, women and children killed by Israeli fire", and warned that Israel's over zealous actions "risked destabilizing the whole of Lebanon".

Prior to Blair's meeting with Bush over the crisis, one minister after another called on Blair to distance himself from Bush's stand on Israel, and called on him to publicly criticize Israel for scale of death and destruction in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. According to one Minister, not one of Aussie Tony's front benchers offered him any support on this issue.

Foreign Minister Kim Howels issued a statement saying that is was "
very difficult to understand the kind of military tactics used by Israel", going on to state, "One of the many serious worries I have is that a continuation of such tactics by Israel could destabilise the already fragile Lebanese nation."

Even Blair's closest confidants have urged him to "place distance" between himself and Bush on this issue.

Cabinet in open revolt over Blair's Israel policy 

UN Call for Truce

 

"There is something fundamentally wrong with a war where there are more dead children than armed men. That has to stop. There has been too much suffering in Lebanon, in northern Israel and in Gaza -- which is becoming the forgotten conflict in the Middle East."

 From correspondents in United Nations

July 29, 2006
 
The UN has called for a 72-hour truce in the Middle East

UN humanitarian coordinator Jan Egeland has made an urgent appeal for a 72-hour truce between Israel and Hezbollah to allow casualties to be removed and food and medicine to be sent into the war zone.

Mr Egeland said he had proposed the truce to the UN Security Council overnight and would approach Israel and the Lebanese group, Hezbollah, to agree to the humanitarian cessation of hostilities.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has made repeated calls for a permanent cessation of hostilities and moves toward a full ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah. This has so far been rejected.

Mr Egeland said: "I will again go back to the parties, to the Israelis, to the Lebanese, and ask for at least a 72 hour start of this cessation of hostilities so that we can evacuate the wounded, evacuate children, the elderly, the disabled from the crossfire in southern Lebanon."

He said hospitals and clinics would be resupplied and "emergency medical assistance" would be given to the wounded and food delivered to the tens of thousands of displaced.

Mr Egeland has just returned from a mission to Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories.

The conflict, which erupted July 12, has left more than 600 dead in Lebanon alone, according to Mr Egeland, and hundreds of thousands have fled their homes in south Lebanon.

Mr Egeland said that at least one third of the casualties were children and that the overall toll would rise because many bodies were buried under rubble in isolated villages.

"The truce would be a period in which we can get generalised access to the people and that those who want to escape can escape in safety," Mr Egeland said, estimating that many thousands of people still wanted to get out of the conflict zone.

Mr Egeland said he also wanted to set up a communications link to the isolated villages "where we have basically lost contact due to the fighting and due to the destruction of roads and bridges."

The UN coordinator said the humanitarian crisis in the region was "dramatic" though relief efforts are being stepped up despite some reports of humanitarian convoys being attacked.

"There is something fundamentally wrong with a war where there are more dead children than armed men. That has to stop. There has been too much suffering in Lebanon, in northern Israel and in Gaza -- which is becoming the forgotten conflict in the Middle East."

At least 145 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier have died since Israel launched a massive offensive in late June to recover a soldier captured by Gaza militants and halt rocket fire from the coastal strip.

Mr Egeland said UN agencies and other groups had the capability to send 20,000 tonnes of supplies into Lebanon over the next month but that there must be a halt to the fighting.

He said the United Nations had raised $US15 million ($19.5 million) of the $US150 million ($10.5 million) it needs for operations in Lebanon. He added that he had no plans to return to the region straight away.

Israel is losing its war in Lebanon?


Published by Antony Loewenstein July 29th, 2006 in Israel

Robert Fisk, The Independent, July 27:

Is it possible - is it conceivable - that Israel is losing its war in Lebanon?

From this hill village in the south of the country, I am watching the clouds of brown and black smoke rising from its latest disaster in the Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil: up to 13 Israeli soldiers dead, and others surrounded, after a devastating ambush by Hizbollah guerrillas in what was supposed to be a successful Israeli military advance against a “terrorist centre”.

To my left smoke rises too, over the town of Khiam, where a smashed United Nations outpost remains the only memorial to the four UN soldiers - most of them decapitated by an American-made missile on Tuesday - killed by the Israeli air force.

Indian soldiers of the UN army in southern Lebanon, visibly moved by the horror of bringing their Canadian, Fijian, Chinese and Austrian comrades back in at least 20 pieces from the clearly marked UN post next to Khiam prison, left their remains at Marjayoun hospital yesterday.

In past years, I have spent hours with their comrades in this UN position, which is clearly marked in white and blue paint, with the UN’s pale blue flag opposite the Israeli frontier. Their duty was to report on all they saw: the ruthless Hizbollah missile fire out of Khiam and the brutal Israeli response against the civilians of Lebanon.

Is this why they had to die, after being targeted by the Israelis for eight hours, their officers pleading to the Israeli Defence Forces that they cease fire? An American-made Israeli helicopter saw to that.

Meanwhile, Iraq’s Prime Minister displays a modicum of independence on Israel’s war in Lebanon and he’s labelled an “anti-Semite” by the Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean (heading a party on the road to irrelevance). “We don’t need to spend $200 and $300 and $500 billion bringing democracy to Iraq to turn it over to people who believe that Israel doesn’t have a right to defend itself and who refuse to condemn Hezbollah”, he said.

What an ungrateful little puppet. 

be gentle .....

 
Howard asks Israel to keep Australians safe Prime Minister John Howard has urged his Israeli counterpart to keep in mind the safety of Australian citizens in southern Lebanon.

The moves comes as the Jewish state calls up 15,000 reservists, amid widening divisions on how to solve the crisis in the war-torn region.

Mr Howard had a 20-minute telephone conversation last night with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. He says Mr Olmert called him to express his thanks for Australia's diplomatic support.

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