Tuesday 19th of February 2019

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.


BREAKING NEWS: Israel Strikes Refugee Shelter


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.

a decent profit .....

27 July 2006



But what about the other end, what about the other end, what about any chance of any sort of regulation?


Well you mean price control?


Well I mean it's biting into the back pocket of virtually every Australian.

embarrassing values .....

‘Unfortunately, politics has replaced justice in the case of David Hicks.

David has been detained for four and a half years without trial, and has been in isolation for the past four months. He sits in a concrete room for 23 hours a day. He is allowed one book per week and one hour outside his cell for exercise in what best could be described as a large dog kennel, and to shower.

I will visit him shortly to see if there is any improvement in his living conditions since the recent announcement that part of the Geneva Conventions will apply to David. We have tried in the past to get David working on his high school certificate which is something that David has put his heart into. The conditions that he is kept in make this difficult to accomplish.

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