|Progressive Calendar 08.13.06||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2006 15:10:47 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 08.13.06 1. KFAI/Indian 8.13 4pm 2. Iran prez/TV 8.13 6pm 3. Vets4Peace 8.13 6pm 4. Arabic classes 8.14 10am 5. Spirit progs 8.14 6:30pm 6. Pentel/Provencher 8.14 7pm 7. Cuba after Castro 8.14 7:30pm 8. Battered women 8.14-15 Worthington MN 9. Democracy Now - Nader & Tasini on Lieberman & Hillary 10. Paola Manduca - New & unknown deadly weapons used by Israeli forces 11. Stephen Zunes - Why the Dems have failed Lebanon --------1 of 11-------- From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at] spottedeagle.org> Subject: KFAI/Indian 8.13 4pm KFAI's Indian Uprising, August 13, 2006 BRUCE ELLISON, FORMER ATTORNEY FOR POLITICAL PRISONER LEONARD PELTIER interview by Daniel Gautreau (www.danieltv.com), June 26, 2006. Ellison speaks about his involvement with the Peltier trial and the American Indian Movement, government oppression, human rights, activist resistance and self-determination issues. He was a member of the Wounded Knee Legal Defense/Offense Committee and witnessed the Reign of Terror on the Pine Ridge Reservation during the 70¹s. Ellison is a criminal defense lawyer based in Rapid City, S.D. He has also worked with the Innocence Project of Northwestern University. See http://www.danieltv.com/movies/interview_bruce_ellison.mov. Peltier address: Leonard Peltier #89637-132, USP Lewisburg, PO Box 1000, Lewisburg, PA 17837. Peltier's official website is http://www.leonardpeltier.net/. * * * * Indian Uprising is a one-half hour Public & Cultural Affairs program for, by, an about Indigenous people broadcast each Sunday at 4:00 p.m. over KFAI 90.3 FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul. Producer and host is Chris Spotted Eagle. KFAI Fresh Air Radio is located at 1808 Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis MN 55454, 612-341-3144. --------2 of 11-------- From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Iran prez/TV 8.13 6pm President Amadinejad of Iran: Interview on "60 minutes" Sunday, August 13, 6pm. WCCO, Channel 4 TV in your home. You've heard about him through many corporate media filters, sometimes suspect translations and the White House and neo-con agenda. Now hear what Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had to say in an interview with Mike Wallace in Tehran. The Iranian leader comments on President Bush's foreign policy, the lack of relations between Iran and the United States, and on Hezbollah, Lebanon and Iraq. --------3 of 11-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Vets4Peace 8.13 6pm Sunday, 8/13, 6 pm, chapter 27 Veterans for Peace, St. Stephens school basement, 2123 Clinton Ave S, Mpls. 612-821-9141. --------4 of 11-------- From: Mizna <mizna-announce [at] mizna.org> Subject: Arabic classes 8.14 10am We are extending the registration for our Intensive Arabic II classes scheduled to begin Monday! Please register today. Go here to register: http://www.mizna.org/classes/classes-language2.html Arabic Language II Summer Intensive: Daily August 14-18 10am-2:30pm Instructor: Antoine Mefleh Max Class Size: 12 Teenagers - Adult Arabic Language II is for students with a basic introductory knowledge of Arabic and designed to continue to develop skills in spoken and written language. Students will work with the instructor and other classmates in practicing their knowledge of both spoken and written Arabic through in class exercises as well as written materials. All materials provided by instructor. About the Instructor Antoine Mefleh has over twenty years experience teaching Arabic language. Currently teaching in the Minneapolis Public Schools, he has also taught at the Berlitz language school in Edina, and St. Maron's Catholic Church in Minneapolis. Antoine has served as a translator and interpreter for Hennepin County, the University of Minnesota, U.S. District courts, among other places. A native of Lebanon, he is the current president of the Lebanese club of Minnesota and holds degrees from Universities in Minnesota, Lebanon and France. About Mizna Mizna is a forum promoting Arab culture that values diversity in the community and is committed to giving voice to Arabs through literature, art, and community events. Mizna is a forum for Arab American art. Visit our website at http://www.mizna.org --------5 of 11-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Spirit progs 8.14 6:30pm Monday, 8/14, conversation at 6:30, meeting at 7 pm, monthly meeting of Network of Spiritual Progressives, Plymouth Church, 1900 Nicollet Ave, Mpls brucelissem [at] aol.com --------6 of 11-------- From: PRO826 [at] aol.com Subject: Pentel/Provencher 8.14 7pm Hi Greens, The Pentel/Provencher campaign for Governor/Lt. Governor will meet regularly at the Wolves Den, 1201 E. Franklin Ave in Minneapolis every Monday evening from 7-9pm. Help is needed to stuff envelopes for a mass mailing for fundraising. If our campaign is able to fundraise $35,000 by the end of August, we will be eligible for state funds of $42,000. Call Tori at 612-824-8492 if you can help with phone banking or other volunteer opportunities. --Danene Provencher GPM Lt.Gov candidate --------7 of 11-------- From: Kelly O'Brien <obrie136 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Cuba after Castro 8.14 7:30pm U of M Panel to Discuss Cuba After Castro Monday, August 14, 7:30pm Professors August Nimtz and Enid Logan and others Institute for Advanced Study, University of Minnesota Nolte Center, 315 Pillsbury Drive SE, east bank campus Free and open to the general public Directions/Parking: http://www.onestop.umn.edu/Maps/NCCE/ FFI: Institute for Advanced Study, 612-626-5054 A mix of academic and community activists will convene on Monday, August 14 at 7:30 p.m. to discuss the future of Cuba in light of Fidel Castro's questionable health. "Cuba After Castro" will take place at the Nolte Center on the U of M east bank campus, and is sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Study. This event is free and open to the public. Confirmed panelists include U of M political science Professor August Nimtz, U of M sociology professor Enid Logan, graduate student Melisa Riviére, and activists Joe Callahan and Terrell Webb. Panelist bios: August Nimtz, Jr. is a professor of political science at the University of Minnesota. Professor Nimtz's research interests include African politics, urban politics, social movements, political development and Marxism. His publications include Marx and Engels - Their Contribution to the Democratic Breakthrough, Islam and Politics in East Africa, and essays on Marxism, and the politics of socialist transformation in the Caribbean and South Africa. Recently taught classes include "Cuban Revolution Through the Words of Cuban Revolutionaries" and "Che: In His Own Words." Enid Logan is an assistant professor of Sociology at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on conflicts between church and state and on questions of race and ethnicity in twentieth-century Cuba. In preparation for her doctoral research Melisa Riviére worked in Havana, Cuba as a team documentarian in conjunction with the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry working on a film titled Revolutionary Cubanas. She is now a MacArthur Ph.D. scholar in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota developing research on the four elements of hip-hop in Cuba and Puerto Rico. As an activist she continues her solidarity work producing self-financed and donation based video production for Cuban artists and taking much needed materials to the Cuban hip hop movement in Havana. Joe Callahan is a member of Minnesota Cuba Committee and Venceremos Brigade, a group that sends annual work brigades to Cuba in solidarity with Cuban socialism. He recently returned from Cuba, where his delegation met with Ricardo Alarcon, the head of Cuba's National Assembly. Terrell Webb is an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota and was part of the Venceremos Brigade delegation that recently met with Alarcon. -------8 of 11-------- From: erin [at] mnwomen.org Subject: Battered women 8.14-15 Worthington MN Monday, August 14 and Tuesday, August 15: Battered Women's Legal Advocacy Project Cosponsored by the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women and the Family Law Section of the MN Bar Association. Held in Worthington: The 2006 Session of New Laws. Day 1: New State and Federal Statutes and Case Law. Day 2: Enhancing Your Practice and A Team Approach to Meeting the Legal Needs of Battered Women. Various fees depending on your profession. More info Dori 612/343-9845. www.mcbw.org. --------9 of 11-------- Democracy Now: Nader & Tasini on Lieberman & Hillary AMY GOODMAN:Three-term Senator Joe Lieberman lost Connecticut's Democratic primary last night in one of the most closely-watched races in the country. He was defeated by Ned Lamont, a wealthy a telecommunications executive who has run largely on an anti-Iraq war platform. Lamont won with 52 percent of the vote to Lieberman's 48%. Voter turnout was close to 40 percent, nearly twice the norm for a primary. The race drew national attention as a measure of public sentiment over the Iraq war. Lieberman is only the fourth incumbent senator to lose his party's nomination since 1980...To run as an independent, Lieberman must file petitions with 7,500 valid signatures by the end of the day on Wednesday. Ned Lamont will face Republican Alan Schlesinger in November, a former state legislator seen as little threat. In his victory speech, Lamont said he would push for a withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. We speak with Ralph Nader, he ran for president twice as a third party candidate - in 2000 and 2004. He is also the most prominent consumer advocate in the country. AMY GOODMAN: Lieberman publicly conceded the Democratic primary Tuesday night shortly after 11:00 p.m. He promised his supporters to run for a fourth term as an independent candidate. SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN: Tomorrow morning, our campaign will file the necessary petitions with the Connecticut Secretary of State's office, so that we can continue this campaign for a new politics of unity and purpose. If the people of Connecticut are good enough to send me back to Washington as an independent Democrat, I promise them I will keep fighting for the same progressive new ideas and for stronger national security. That's who I am. AMY GOODMAN: Senator Lieberman, speaking to his supporters Tuesday night. To run as an independent, he must file petitions with 7,500 valid signatures by the end of today. Ned Lamont will face Republican Alan Schlesinger in November, a former state legislator seen as little threat. In his victory speech, Lamont said he would push for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. NED LAMONT: We have 132,000 of our bravest troops stuck in the middle of a bloody civil war in Iraq, and I say it's high time we bring them home to the hero's welcome! CROWD: Bring them home! Bring them home! Bring them home! NED LAMONT: It's time we fix George Bush's failed foreign policy. President Kennedy said it so well. As President Kennedy has said, "We never negotiate from fear, but we should never be afraid to negotiate." As your senator, I'm going to make sure we have the strongest army on the face of this earth, but I also know that America's strongest when we work in concert with our allies, when we stay true to our values and we deal with the rest of the world with respect! With respect! AMY GOODMAN: Ned Lamont, Democratic Senate candidate for Connecticut, speaking last night, his victory address. As we turn now to Ralph Nader. He was an independent candidate for president. You have welcomed Joseph Lieberman to the ranks of third parties, Ralph Nader. RALPH NADER: Yes. I think that his entry as an independent candidate will diminish some of the chronic opposition by the Democrats to anybody who expresses their First Amendment right and runs as an independent or a third party candidate, like a Green candidate. AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about the success of Ned Lamont, talk about this whole campaign, as you speak to us today from Connecticut? RALPH NADER: Well, I think it's a testament to word of mouth, Amy. This whole campaign started without any expose, without any major 60-minute program, without any ecological disaster that the Democrats have ignored. It started in small towns around the state, with people talking to one another in the post office, meeting in living rooms, and that developed an aura of possibility that caught the attention of Ned Lamont. And, of course, it helped that he had lot of money to spend and he had some good campaign managers. But basically, it's a testament to the power of the word of mouth, which historically has always been the generic source of progressive movements, whether it was in the farmer populist days or in the labor union organizing days. And I think that's a message throughout the country for progressives. This Lamont victory is certainly going to give a lot of morale boost to beleaguered progressives in the Democratic Party to try their hand at challenging incumbents or running for various offices at the local, state and national level, and I think in New York State, it should bring more people to rally to Tasini's campaign against Hillary Clinton in the Senate Democratic primary there. I expect to see some activists and celebrities, maybe Jesse Jackson, maybe a number of others around the country now to come to his candidate support. AMY GOODMAN: Ralph Nader, Jesse Jackson wrote a piece in the Chicago Sun-Times saying, "Joe Lieberman has been in the Senate for 18 years. He's a leader of the Democratic Leadership Council, the money wing of the party. He became the party's vice presidential nominee, even as he championed the DLC's "triangulating" politics, pushing off of the Democratic Party base to demonstrate his "independence" by embracing key elements of the conservative agenda - championing the war in Iraq, attacking affirmative action, pushing capital gains tax cuts that benefit only the very wealthy." Can you talk about Senator Lieberman saying, while he agreed with the Bush administration over the Iraq war, that he has taken a progressive stance on many other issues? RALPH NADER: Well, Senator Lieberman would have lost even bigger last night if Lamont's people actually expanded their criticism of Senator Lieberman as big business's favorite Democratic senator, not just George Bush's favorite Democratic senator. The most aggressive, cruel and insensitive business lobby and the most powerful in Washington is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and they have enthusiastically endorsed Senator Joseph Lieberman, one of only two Democratic senators they've endorsed out of 46 Democratic senators. And they have given him the highest cumulative score in their ranking of any Democratic senator in the Northeast, and for good reason. He has supported the U.S. Chamber of Commerce positions, not only on capital gains tax cuts, he supported NAFTA and WTO and CAFTA, which have depleted jobs here, high-paying jobs here in Connecticut. He has supported the Chamber's drive to weaken the rights of injured workers and consumers and defrauded investors from having their full day in court against the perpetrators of their misery. He has supported the Exxon-Cheney energy bill, that notorious energy bill that was signed into law last year that subsidized big oil's profiteering, weakened environmental standards in a variety of ways and made sure that there were no further advances in fuel efficiency for motor vehicles. And here in Connecticut, like everywhere else, they're paying $3.40 - $3.50 a gallon, and it's going up. So he hasn't done anything on that. And then, finally, on the labor issue, he's not been outspoken on the minimum wage like Senator Kennedy. He has not pushed for labor law reform to give workers a chance to organize. He has not gone after OSHA because of its weak enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health laws. 58,000 American workers die every year, according to OSHA, from worker-related diseases and trauma. So, in many, many ways, including never challenging the military budget - that's the Chamber of Commerce position, as well - never really in 18 years advancing universal health insurance. That's a Chamber of Commerce provision. So, you know, the question I ask Joe Lieberman is, is he going to repudiate publicly the Chamber of Commerce's endorsement and campaign support - lots of money from businesses in his campaign - and is he going to challenge the Chamber of Commerce's drive all over the United States in hundreds of campaigns, working overtime to undermine his own Democratic Party and its more progressive candidates? Well, calls to four Lieberman offices in Washington and Connecticut last week received no answer to the question: Joe Lieberman, are you going to reject the Chamber of Commerce's endorsement of you? So, he goes around, including this morning, saying he's a progressive Democrat and a progressive independent Democrat. So I think the struggle is going to be between the progressive Democrats and the corporate Democrats, who for years have dominated the party and has had Joe Lieberman as one of their charter members. AMY GOODMAN: We're talking to Ralph Nader, himself an independent presidential candidate in 2004. Now, Joseph Lieberman says he'll run against the Democratic Party's pick for senator of Connecticut. Again, Ned Lamont has won the Democratic primary in Connecticut, a case that is a primary that has been closely watched around the country. When we come back from break, Ralph Nader will stay with us, and we'll be joined by Jonathan Tasini. He's challenging Hillary Rodham Clinton here in New York for her Senate seat. [break] AMY GOODMAN: The Connecticut primary race is seen as a measure of voter sentiment around the Iraq war, and it's being watched around the country, perhaps no place more than right here in New York, where Democracy Now! broadcasts from, with the New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. As Lamont gained in popularity and clearly looked like he was moving towards victory, Hillary Rodham Clinton was becoming more talkative about the Iraq war. Last week, at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, she questioned Rumsfeld and said that she thought he should resign. Senator Lieberman said he had said that two-and-a-half years ago. Well, we are staying on the line right now from Connecticut with Ralph Nader, an independent presidential candidate in 2004. Again, Joseph Lieberman has announced he will run for the Senate seat that he has held for 18 years as an independent against Ned Lamont and the Republican. And we're joined in our New York studio by Jonathan Tasini. He is challenging Hillary Rodham Clinton for her Senate seat. We invited Hillary Rodham Clinton on today's broadcast. Her office did not respond to our call. Jonathan Tasini, Ralph Nader just mentioned the issue of money. How do you compare yourself to Ned Lamont, who just won in Connecticut? JONATHAN TASINI: Well, I'm not a multimillionaire, that's for sure. Ned Lamont was, I guess, fortunate enough to have been a cable executive, was able to spend more than $4 million of his own money. We rely on individual donors and small donors all across the state and, frankly, all across the country, and I think that's really the essence of democracy. One of the things that wasn't pointed out and, I think, you know, Ralph pointed out before, it's not an inconsequential thing in this victory that Ned Lamont was able to spend $4 million. That's the way you get on television. That's the way you can advertise. But we've had an amazing grassroots campaign that got us on the ballot, so I'm very proud of the kind of campaign we've been running. AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to ask you about the coverage of your campaign and read a quote. The local Time Warner station in New York, NY1, has refused to set up a debate between you and Senator Clinton, because you haven't spent enough money in your campaign. We invited NY1 to join us on today's program, but they declined. The station's public relations manager, Edward Pachetti, though, sent us this statement outlining their position. He said, "NY1 News is producing the most ambitious series of political debates and town hall meetings this election season. As part of the staging of these events, NY1 established criteria to identify which candidates would be invited to participate in these events. The criteria are that a candidate must poll at least five percent (including margin of error) in a recognized independent poll and would need to have spent and/or raised $500,000. All candidates who have met these criteria have been invited to participate." That's the statement of NY1, which is owned by Time Warner. What are your poll numbers, Jonathan Tasini? JONATHAN TASINI: Well, we're actually at 13%, which is pretty extraordinary. That's actually the number that Ned Lamont was at several months ago, when Joe Lieberman was leading that race by 55 points. And the reason we're, I think, at that number is we've had an amazing grassroots campaign. To get on the ballot in New York, which is one of the most difficult states to get on the ballot, you need 15,000 signatures. We were able to gather 40,000, which means we have an enormous amount of support from the grassroots. And I find that criteria that NY1 is putting out is appalling. It is anti-democratic. It amounts to essentially censorship. It takes and values money over the power of people and grassroots. I hope that NY1 changes, might we actually ask your listeners and your viewers to call NY1. You can go to our website tasinifornewyork.org and get all that information. But we need to pressure NY1 now to hold a debate between myself and Hillary Rodham Clinton, because voters deserve to see our positions side-by-side before they go to the ballot box. AMY GOODMAN: Now, interestingly, NY1's parent company, which is Time Warner, has contributed - is one of the top contributors to Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign, contributed - what? - $100,000, was number six of the top ten. JONATHAN TASINI: Yes, that's correct. It's amazing. AMY GOODMAN: Newsday today also, in an editorial comment, says that NY1 should reconsider its criteria. You've been dealing with this for years, Ralph Nader. Your response. RALPH NADER: I think the Time Warner Corporation should be in trouble under the 1934 Communications Act. I know that Time Warner owns over-the-air radio and TV stations, and this - NY1 is a cable, Amy. Is it a cable station? AMY GOODMAN: Yes, NY1 is cable in New York. RALPH NADER: So, overall, this company's responsible, under the 1934 Communications Act, "to perform in the public interest, necessity and convenience." Those are the words in the act. And for this corporation, whose executives are giving to Hillary Rodham Clinton money, to have a means test to say that Jonathan Tasini has to raise $500,000 - do you know that you have to raise only one-third of that running for president in order to qualify for matching funds under the federal law? And so, they put the bar very high. They should have no right as a corporation, which is not a human being, not a person, to determine that kind of access. The only criteria that's justifiable is whether the candidate is on the ballot. If the candidate is a ballot-qualified candidate, that should bring that person into any of the debates. JONATHAN TASINI: I completely agree with Ralph and, in fact, the League of Women Voters has a debate scheduled on September 6, which I've agreed to attend and Hillary Clinton has not, and the criteria they're using is exactly what Ralph says, which is getting on the ballot, which, in fact, in New York State is a very difficult thing. And I want to say, I don't even think the polling number is right the way to go. Their criteria at NY1 is 5%. I'm at 13%. But If somebody came to the debate and was running as another candidate in this race, I would stand up for their right, if they were legally on the ballot, to be in this debate, whether they had 5% or not, whether they had raised $500,000, because democracy is about the ability to go out there, talk to people, get them to sign your petitions. It's an amazing grassroots effort. And I think, frankly, that the Clinton campaign does not want to debate us. Putting aside the NY1 issue just for a moment, I call on Hillary Clinton to agree to the set of debates that we've proposed in a letter just a couple of weeks ago. I'm happy to debate her on this program, anywhere that she would agree to do that. I think we should debate multiple times on the Iraq war, on the Middle East, on her relationships to corporate power, her support for free trade agreements like NAFTA. The voters deserve to know where she stands. She cannot run and hide from the voters in New York. AMY GOODMAN: She called for Rumsfeld's resignation this past week. JONATHAN TASINI: Yes, but that's like - you know, that's like hitting a piñata. That was easy. I hope the debate in this election comes down to the following: whether the war was run ineffectively, inefficiently, which is her argument, and whether this war should have happened or not, because I believe the voters will then support my position, which is this war was illegal and immoral, we should withdraw immediately - not Hillary Clinton's position, which is essentially, well, we should have had 500,000 troops there or bombed Iraq even harder. That's her argument, that the Bush administration has bungled this war. I hope we get to debate the differences on that issue. AMY GOODMAN: Have you seen her changing as a result of the Connecticut primary? JONATHAN TASINI: Well, there's no question that she took that - the attempt - she challenged Rumsfeld, because of the race in Connecticut. And let's remember, Bill Clinton crossed the border to go campaign for Joe Lieberman. Remember, Joe Lieberman was the man who came to the Senate floor and condemned Bill Clinton for his affair with Monica Lewinsky. There is no love lost between them. The only reason that Bill Clinton crossed this border to go to Connecticut was this race here in New York, because they worry that I am where the voters are, and I know that from the polling. I know that from talking to people on the streets, that the majority of voters support my position, not Hillary Clinton's. AMY GOODMAN: And, of course, beyond your position here in New York, if Hillary Rodham Clinton has her eye on the presidency, in terms of the whole country, and the sentiment around it. RALPH NADER: Also, I might add, Amy, there needs to be a debate on the war in Iraq and on the war in Lebanon after the primary, and I'm sure that NY1 and the Democratic politicos are going to try to freeze out third party antiwar candidates like Howie Hawkins of the Green Party from Syracuse, who is running against Hillary Rodham Clinton for the U.S. Senate, a very accomplished civic organizer, a Teamster, a writer, and just the kind of person who can present, after the primary's over, a continuation of this public debate. So I really hope the people in New York State will rise up for a vigorous debate and not give Hillary Rodham Clinton a free ride. AMY GOODMAN: Jonathan Tasini, what about the war in Lebanon? What is your view right now on the conflict? JONATHAN TASINI: Well, just a little background for your viewers. My father was born in what was then Palestine, fought in the Israeli underground. A cousin of mine was killed in the 1973 War. My step-grandfather was murdered by a Palestinian who was taking revenge for the massacre that Baruch Goldstein conducted against the Muslim worshippers that very day. So I felt the cost of war in a very personal way. And I have been very saddened by Israel's response. I believe Hezbollah did break the law, international law, and at the same time, I think that the Israeli response was, particularly the bombing campaign in Beirut, was disproportionate. I often hearken back, startlingly enough, to Ariel Sharon, who, when the Israeli businessman was kidnapped some time ago, rather than conduct a war, he actually engaged in negotiations and freed prisoners that Israel had kept, and there was no war between Hezbollah and Israel at the time. Why could we not negotiate? And the United States was the only country that did everything possible to prevent a ceasefire. Condoleezza Rice was sent by George Bush to Rome to scuttle that ceasefire, and Hillary Rodham Clinton stopped just short of saying, "Let the bombs fall." She abrogated her responsibility as a leading figure in the Democratic Party and, I believe, fanned the flames of violence in the Middle East. AMY GOODMAN: Ralph Nader, you are a Lebanese American. RALPH NADER: Well, first I want to say, I've rarely seen a more compassionate and brave candidate for a public office in this country on this issue than Jonathan Tasini, and he needs to be not only commended, but supported for this. He represents the best of the peace movement in our country. Given the background that he's just described, he could very easily have become a hawk. Second, I think this is a massive high-tech terror war by the Israeli government against an innocent Lebanese people and their livelihood and infrastructure. Hezbollah was engaged in a number of skirmishes with the Israeli Army over the last six years. Israel, of course, violated the Lebanese border far more, airily and navally and on land, than Hezbollah did. But that lethal skirmish was turned into a catastrophic war by the Israeli government against the innocent, defenseless people of Lebanon, in three stages of state terrorism. First, direct strikes against residential areas, against wheat silos, against highways, water systems, power stations, hospitals, schools, the vehicles fleeing with refugees. We've seen it all on TV. The second stage of Israeli state terrorism is deliberately impeding the rescue of the injured people, bombing, for example, ambulances on their way to the hospital, cutting off roads, preventing medical supplies and hospital workers from reaching the terrified injured in the remnants of the bleeding families. We saw Doctors Without Borders trying to manually convey across the Litani River, after the last bridge was destroyed, medical supplies. And the third stage of Israeli state terrorism is direct strikes against rescue workers or injured people; for example, hitting at hospitals, ambulances, medical supplies, etc. You know, these are not just impeding rescue by blockading the whole country, which has now only six days left of fuel, including hospitals, but also going after rescue operations. So I would recommend, in addition to a ceasefire, in addition to withdrawal of combatants, in addition to an international peace force, I would recommend an immediate international rescue operation, because thousands of people are going to die and get sick and get injured from the consequences of what has already been done in Lebanon in the blockade of any entry of supplies. It's hard to find a situation anywhere in the world where, after the devastation by one all-powerful party to a conflict of innocent civilians and their entire public services throughout a defenseless country, that this powerful agent anywhere in the world would be allowed to block relief efforts. And that's what has to be done right now: relief efforts. It's not enough that Israel has created an environmental disaster by blowing up oil depots that have contaminated the entire coast of Lebanon, but they also blew up 400 little fishing boats in a port north of Beirut and destroyed the livelihood of these people. So, we really have to ask ourselves, in settling the core problem between the Palestinians and the Israelis - and that is what the core problem is; if that was settled, you wouldn't hear about Hezbollah - who's the most powerful of the adversaries? Who is the occupier and the colonizer of whose land? And who has the all-out support of the most powerful country in the world, the U.S. government? And we know the answers to that. It's Israel, and it's Israel who should have responded in June, as Gideon Levy pointed out and others in Haaretz, to the agreement between Hamas and Fatah, the Palestinian arm, who agreed to seek a permanent settlement with the Israeli government, in terms of a two-state solution. AMY GOODMAN: We're going to go to Israel in a minute. We're going to hear from people who are refusing to serve in the Israeli military. But Jonathan Tasini, ten seconds, last comment. JONATHAN TASINI: Well, there's an enormous amount of violence in the region. We need a ceasefire. There have been civilian casualties on all sides, and it's horrifying. It must stop. I'm going to continue arguing the points in this campaign. I urge people to help us and support our campaign and go to our website tasinifornewyork.org. AMY GOODMAN: And we will link at democracynow.org. Jonathan Tasini, thank you for joining us, a New York Senatorial candidate in the Democratic primary. He is taking on Hillary Rodham Clinton. Ralph Nader, former independent presidential candidate, speaking to us from Connecticut. --------10 of 11-------- New and unknown deadly weapons used by Israeli forces 'direct energy' weapons, chemical and/or biological agents, in a macabre experiment of future warfare by Professor Paola Manduca The Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) - Aug 7, 2006 http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=MAN20060807&articleId=2918 By now there are countless reports, from hospitals, witnesses, armament experts and journalists that strongly suggest that in the present offensive of Israeli forces against Lebanon and Gaza 'new weapons' are being used. New and strange symptoms are reported amongst the wounded and the dead. Bodies with dead tissues and no apparent wounds; 'shrunken' corpses; civilians with heavy damage to lower limbs that require amputation, which is nevertheless followed by unstoppable necrosis and death; descriptions of extensive internal wounds with no trace of shrapnel, corpses blackened but not burnt, and others heavily wounded that did not bleed. Many of these descriptions suggest the possibility that the new weapons used include 'direct energy' weapons, and chemical and/or biological agents, in a sort of macabre experiment of future warfare, where there is no respect for anything: International rules (from the Geneva Convention to the treaties on biological and chemical weapons), refugees, hospitals and the Red Cross, not to mention the people, their future, their children, the environment, which is poisoned through dissemination of Depleted Uranium and toxic substances released after oil and chemical depots are bombed. Right now, the Lebanese and Palestinian people have many urgent and impellent problems, yet many people believe that these episodes cannot and must not pass ignored. In fact several appeals have been launched to scientists and experts with a view to investigating the issue. With the intent of responding to such appeals, we have set up a team to investigate the testimonies, the images, and possibly the material evidence that delegations and NGOs will be able to bring from the affected areas. We want to offer support to the health institutions of Lebanon and Palestine, which ask constantly for help and external verification and monitoring, and we are examining all available materials in order to formulate hypotheses which can be verified or disproved. We ask for the active participation of our (Italian) scientific institutions, and, following the request from medical personnel in the conflict area, we are requesting that the UN set up an international independent verification and investigation committee, with a view to facilitating entry into the conflict zone, as well as collecting material and testimonies directly in the field, and undertaking inquries and verifications concerning the various claims regarding these new kinds of weapons of mass destruction being used by Israeli forces in Lebanon. We request that such investigating teams be set up immediately, and that procedures be defined and implemented with a view to supporting future investigations. Of particular concern is the issue of how to collect and store samples from the different theatres, with a view to preserving important information regarding the various impacts of these weapons. We ask that the international committee have access to all sources of information, that it be fully operational, while abiding by relevant investigative procedures, including cross-checking of information between different laboratories. The international committee is to report to the competent authorities, including the Human Rights tribunals and international courts, if appropriate.. As people and as scientists, we are offering our time and expertise in order to reach an understanding of the underlying facts, in the belief that a perspective of justice, equity and peace among people can be reached only with the respect of the rules defined up to now within the international community of nations. The issue pertains to the behavior of the parties in an armed conflict. We ask that the respect of these rules be verified in the context of the present conflict. We invite scientists to contribute to this effort by offering their specific competences. In particular we seek collaboration of toxicology experts, pharmacologists, anatomy pathologists, doctors with an expertise in trauma and burns, chemists. They can reach the working group at the E-mail address: nuovearmi [at] gmail.com Paola Manduca, Professor of.Genetics, University of Genova, Italy [Imagine the outrage in ruling circles in America and Israel if one suggested testing these new weapons on ruling class husbands, wives, sons and daughters. Ruling class bodies with dead tissues and no apparent wounds; 'shrunken' corpses; heavy damage to lower limbs that require amputation, which is nevertheless followed by unstoppable necrosis and death; extensive internal wounds with no trace of shrapnel, corpses blackened but not burnt, and others heavily wounded that did not bleed. Imagine them lying around this way at the country club, at corporate headquarters, on yachts and in mansions. If we don't like even thinking of "equal outcome" justice, then we must end ruling class society by a drastic overhaul; until we do, they will kill at will. Why is pacifism one-way? We've not supposed to do violence to them, but we put up with and vote for two corporate parties that support violence to all but the rich. See next article. -ed] --------11 of 11-------- Why the Dems Have Failed Lebanon by Stephen Zunes Foreign Policy in Focus - Aug 9, 2006 http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/3423 The Bush administration's unconditional support for Israel's attacks on Lebanon is emblematic of the profound tragedy of U.S. policy in the region over the past five years. The administration has relied largely on force rather than diplomacy. It has shown a willingness to violate international legal norms, a callousness regarding massive civilian casualties, a dismissive attitude toward our closest allies whose security interests we share, and blatant double standards on UN Security Council resolutions, non-proliferation issues, and human rights. A broad consensus of moderate Arabs, Middle East scholars, independent security analysts, European leaders, and others have recognized how - even putting important moral and legal issues aside - such policies have been a disaster for the national security interests of the United States and other Western nations. These policies have only further radicalized the region and increased support for Hezbollah and other extremists and supporters of terrorism. The Democratic Party could seize upon these tragic miscalculations by the Bush administration to enhance its political standing and help steer America's foreign policy in a more rational and ethical direction. Instead, the Democrats have once again overwhelmingly thrown their support behind the president and his right-wing counterpart, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Supporting the Israeli Offensive Soon after Israel began its offensive on July 12, House Republican leader John Boehner, along with House International Relations Committee Chairman Henry Hyde, introduced a resolution unconditionally supporting Israel's military actions and commending President Bush for fully supporting the Israeli assault. Despite reports by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that Israel (and, to a lesser extent, Hezbollah) were committing war crimes in attacking civilians, the resolution praised Israel for its longstanding commitment to minimize civilian loss and even welcomed Israel's continued efforts to prevent civilian casualties. The resolution also claimed that Israel's actions were in accordance with international law, though they flew in the face of longstanding, universally recognized legal standards regarding the use of force and the treatment of non-combatants in wartime. Despite such a brazen attack against the credibility of reputable human rights groups and the UN Charter that limits military action to legitimate self defense, Rep. Tom Lantos signed on as a full co-sponsor. Lantos is the ranking Democrat on the International Relations Committee and likely to chair the committee should the Democrats win back the majority in November. Even more alarmingly, all but fifteen of the 201 Democrats in the House of Representatives voted in favor or the resolution. In supporting the Republican-authored resolution, Pennsylvania Democrat Allyson Schwartz invoked the September 11 tragedy and insisted that the United States had a moral obligation to stand by Israel on the side of democracy and freedom versus terror and radicalism since to do otherwise would undermine our national security. Democratic Congressman Robert Wexler of Florida praised Israel's efforts to eradicate this global threat and insisted that Syria and Iran should be held responsible for the violence. Even though the Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israel began only after Israel started bombing civilian areas of Lebanon, Democratic Congressman Rush Holt of New Jersey insisted that the killings of these Israeli civilians took place despite every attempt by the Israeli government to demonstrate their genuine commitment to peace. One reason for such broad Democratic support for the resolution may stem from the fact that the Arms Control Export Act forbids arms transfers to countries that use American weapons for non-defensive purposes, such as attacking civilians. Thus, in order to protect the profits of politically influential American arms merchants, the Democrats joined with Republicans in supporting language in the resolution claiming that Israel's actions were legitimate self-defense. The Senate endorsed by a voice vote a similar resolution unconditionally supporting Israel's military offensive. Introduced by Republican Senate leader Bill Frist, the resolution was co-sponsored by Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and the majority of Senate Democrats, including Barack Obama and Dick Durbin of Illinois, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein of California, Russell Feingold of Wisconsin, Edward Kennedy and John Kerry of Massachusetts, Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell of Washington, Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez of New Jersey, and Barbara Mikulski and Paul Sarbanes of Maryland, among others. The Democrats' support for the Bush administration's defiance of the international community was most clearly articulated by Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York, another co-sponsor of the resolution, who claimed that the European community and others who called on Israel to show restraint believed that Israel should not be given the ability to defend herself and that those who advocated any other course than that pursued by the Bush administration and Israeli government would constitute an appeasement of Hezbollah. Hillary Takes the Lead Yet another Democratic co-sponsor of the Senate resolution was Hillary Rodham Clinton, a front-runner for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2008. Speaking at a rally in New York City in support of the Israeli attacks against Lebanon, she praised Israel's efforts to send a message to Hamas, Hezbollah, to the Syrians [and] to the Iranians, because, in her words, they oppose the United States and Israel's commitment to life and freedom. Clinton's statements were challenged by her opponent in the Democratic primary for Senate, union activist Jonathan Tasini, who pointed out that Israel has committed acts that violate international standards and the Geneva Conventions, citing reports by a number of reputable human rights organizations, including the Israeli group B'Tselem. Clinton's spokesperson dismissed Tasini's concerns about Israeli violations of international humanitarian law as beyond the pale. Tasini, a former Israeli citizen who has lost close relatives in the Arab-Israeli wars and Palestinian terrorism and whose father fought and was wounded in the Israeli war of independence, correctly observed that Hezbollah's actions violate international law as well. He argued that his criticism of Israel's policy of collective punishment and attacks on civilians comes from the perspective of being a friend of Israel, citing the Jewish tradition of Tikkun Olam, or repairing the world. Facing vicious attacks from Clinton supporters for his liberal views, Tasini has called for a debate with his opponent to demonstrate how her unconditional U.S. support for Israeli militarism actually threatens Israel's security interests. The Anglo-Saxon Protestant Clinton, who - like the vast majority of the overwhelmingly WASP Democratic Party leadership - has never lost a relative to the region's violence, has thus far refused the challenge. Democrats Attack Maliki The perversity of the Democrats' Middle East policies can be illustrated in their reaction to the visit to Washington in July by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Maliki's government, primarily through its Interior ministry, has been responsible for the ethnic cleansing of thousands of Sunni Arabs in Baghdad and elsewhere and the massacre of hundreds more. Amnesty International and other reputable human rights groups have documented gross and systematic human rights violations by Maliki's government, including torture and ill treatment, arbitrary detention without charge or trial, and the excessive use of force resulting in countless civilian deaths. With so much blood on Maliki's hands, one would think that at least some Democrats would have chosen to protest or even boycott his speech before a joint session of Congress on July 26. Yet few concerns were aired. However, once the Iraqi prime minister criticized Israel's attacks on Lebanon, only then did the Democratic leadership decide to speak out against the Iraqi prime minister. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi stated that unless the Iraqi Prime Minister disavows his critical comments of Israel it is inappropriate to honor him with a joint meeting of Congress. Given that the leaders of America's most important allies have also made critical comments about Israel's offensive, very few foreign dignitaries will be given such an honor in the coming years if the minority leader's recommendations are followed. The Democrats' offensive against Maliki may have been part of a broader campaign to oppose discontent within their own ranks regarding criticism of the Israeli offensive. For example, Democratic Congressman Rahm Emanuel of Illinois declared that the Iraqi prime minister's comments inflicted hate upon another democracy, linking criticism of a particular Israeli policy with hate against Israel (an important warning, given that he heads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.) Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Pennsylvania claimed that Maliki, in criticizing Israel's attacks against civilian targets in Lebanon, had condemned Israel's right to defend itself against terrorism, an apparent effort to equate criticisms of Israeli war crimes with denying Israel's legitimate right to self-defense. Senator Schumer claimed that Maliki's criticisms of the Israeli destruction of Lebanon's infrastructure and the large-scale killings of Lebanese civilians raised questions as to which side is he on in the war on terror, thereby insinuating that those who oppose Israeli attacks against civilians are supporters of al-Qaida. Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean, in a speech on July 26, went so far as to insist that Maliki was an anti-Semite, perhaps as a warning to party liberals that anyone who dared criticize any policy of America's top Middle Eastern ally would be subjected to similar slander. Ironically, 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry defended his support for the Iraq war by claiming that sacrificing American lives to defend the Iraqi government was worthwhile in part because it's important for Israel. In other words, the Democrats want it both ways: condemning the Iraqi government for being anti-Israel while justifying the ongoing U.S. war in Iraq because the Iraqi government is pro-Israel. Behind the Democrats' Hawkish Stance The decision by Democratic members of Congress to take such hard-line positions against international law and human rights does not stem from the fear that it would jeopardize their re-election. Public opinion polls show that a sizable majority of Americans believe U.S. foreign policy should support these principles. More specifically, only a minority of Americans, according to a recent New York Times poll, support President Bush's handling of the situation or agree that the United States should give unconditional support to Israel in its war on Lebanon. Nor is it a matter of Democratic lawmakers somehow being forced against their will to back Bush's policy by Jewish voters and campaign contributors. In reality, Jewish public opinion is divided over the wisdom and morality of the Israeli attacks on Lebanon. More significantly, the vast majority of Democrats who supported the resolution came from very safe districts where a reduction in campaign contributions would not have had a negative impact on their re-election in any case. Perhaps more important than pressure from right-wing political action committees allied with the Israeli government to support the Bush administration's backing of the Israeli attacks has been the absence of pressure from the liberal groups who oppose such policies. For example, MoveOn not only continues to work for the re-election of many prominent Democratic hawks who backed Boehmer's resolution, but has not even sent out an alert to its supporters to contact their representatives and senators to protest their defense of Israeli attacks or to support proposed House resolutions calling for a cease-fire. And while Peace Action, the country's largest peace group, has called on its supporters to encourage their elected officials to back a cease-fire, its political action committee turned back efforts to rescind endorsements of incumbents who supported the House resolution. This reticence contrasts with other foreign policy issues related to international law and human rights from U.S. intervention in Central America during the 1980s to Iraq today. In these other cases, liberal groups made it a priority to hold their elected representatives in Washington accountable for backing administration policy. However, it appears that if the victims of such policies are Lebanese or Palestinian civilians, there arewith some notable exceptionsfew organized protests heard on Capitol Hill. With so little pressure from progressive groups, elected representatives have little inclination to withdraw support for administration policy toward Israel and its neighbors. In reality, the Democrats' support for Israeli attacks against Lebanon is quite consistent with their support for the U.S. invasion of Iraq. In both cases, Democrats rushed to the defense of right-wing governments that have run roughshod over international legal norms, that have gone well beyond their legitimate right to self-defense, and that have taken an incredible toll in innocent civilian lives. For example, when President Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq in 2003 in violation of the UN Charter, only eleven House Democrats voted against a resolution that reliance by the United States on further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone could not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq. If such an overwhelming majority of Democrats believe that the United States invading a country disarmed of its offensive military capabilities, overthrowing its government, and indefinitely occupying its territory is an act of self-defense, it would be quite easy for them to believe the same about Israel's assault against its northern neighbor. Indeed, to this day, despite not finding any weapons of mass destruction, an overwhelming majority of Democrats in both houses of Congress continue to support funding the war despite polls that show a growing majority of Americans now oppose it. In other words, the Democratic Party's support for Israel's attacks on Lebanon is quite consistent with its disdain for international law and human rights elsewhere and its defiance of public opinion on other foreign policy issues. It is not, therefore, something that can simply be blamed on the Zionist lobby. Rather, it indicates that the Democrats' worldview is essentially the same as that of the Republicans. This ideological congruence calls into question whether the increasingly likely prospect of the Democrats regaining a majority in Congress in November will make any real difference on the foreign policy front. Many supporters of human rights and international law are debating whether to continue to support the Democratic Party or instead support the Green Party or other minor parties that embrace such principles. The tragic misdirection in U.S. foreign policy in recent years cannot be blamed on the Bush administration alone. [Stephen Zunes is Middle East editor for Foreign Policy in Focus. He is a professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco and the author of Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism (Common Courage Press, 2003).] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments
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