Sunday, August 14, 2005

Greetings friends!
July 27, 2005
Welcome to this general Newsletter.

LONDON BOMBINGSIn the aftermath of the recent London bombings, I have had several emails from friends who were there at the time and survived, one by a miracle and a matter of minutes only. Tragically, one friend was among the innocent dead.

Mike Matshusita, was a former work colleague of mine at Intrepid Travel, until very recently leading trips in Cambodia and Viet Nam, and a kind-hearted friend to all who knew him.

Nothing can undo the past, but we can honour the memory of those who died in various ways. We must strengthen our work to understand and expose the underlying causes of such desperate acts. We must work even harder to build a peaceful world that would see an end to the horrors of war and terrorism. Such horrors are a daily occurrence around the world, but when they strike at someone we know personally we realise how vulnerable we all are.

By assisting charity projects close to Mike's heart, we can continue his good works helping others in need - an honourable tribute to the life of Mike Matsushita. His family have asked that if you would like to express your sympathy, and as a memory to Mike, that you donate to community projects that Mike was supportive of, in particular to support needy children in Cambodia and Vietnam.

Intrepid Travel has established a separate account within The Intrepid Foundation for this purpose. Intrepid will pay all administration costs and match all donations on a dollar for dollar basis. Please take a look at:

Indochina Children's Fund for Mike
There is also a website set up by Mike's friends in Sydney -

From Paul Jay

....But then I received news of the attacks in London.
When I turned on my TV and heard the questions being asked -- and more importantly, not being asked -- by the major networks, it reminded me of the urgent need that drove us to start building Independent World Television in the first place.

I shared some of my thoughts on our blog :

"We live in perilous times..."
Those are the opening words of our Birth of a Network video, and today's attacks in London underscore this message.

Deliberate attacks on civilians are war crimes. All such attacks are violations of international law and basic human rights. None are justified, no matter what the circumstances.
All factors that lead to such attacks must be investigated, revealed, and debated.

To ascribe the cause of terrorist attacks like those in New York, Madrid, and perhaps London to an abstract force called "international terrorism" does not help us understand or respond.
The people behind these attacks have motives, interests, and consciousness that drive them. Whatever one makes of these reasons, to dehumanize the event, to turn people into a demonic force, does not make us safer or solve the underlying problems.

We have a right to understand the complexity of this.
The U.K. and U.S. continue an occupation of Iraq. Canada has troops in Afghanistan. Citizens have a right to know what the objectives of these policies are, and what the real consequences of these policies may be.

Among the many questions that are not fully being asked on television today: to what extent are the foreign policies of our governments contributing to making citizens a target?
Do citizens fully understand and support these policies based on an educated opinion? These are amongst the many questions IWTnews would be asking today.

In times like these, those of us involved in building IWT renew our commitment to the effort.
We hope you will join us.Please join me in the conversation that has already begun on our blog ( ) to talk about how today's events are being covered.

Most importantly, please forward this message on to a few friends, family, and co-workers and ask them to join us in this effort to build the world's first global independent television network:

Sincerely, Paul Jay,Chair, IWTnews
"The injury we do and the one we suffer are not weighed in the same scales."
- Aesop, Fables

A Viler Barbarism

By Tariq Ali
British politicians thought they could press buttons and make war in the Arab world and remain safe themselves. Now they had a reply. In the dominant culture of the West there is a deep-seated belief that the lives of Western civilians are somehow worth more than those living in other parts of the world - especially those parts being bombed and occupied by the West.

It is an insult to the dead to deny the link with Iraq
By Seumas Milne
Tony Blair put his own people at risk in the service of a foreign power. The first piece of disinformation long peddled by champions of the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan is that al-Qaida and its supporters have no demands that could possibly be met or negotiated over; that they are really motivated by a hatred of western freedoms and way of life; and that their Islamist ideology aims at global domination.

Truth Struggling

By John Pilger
Their goal is not security, but greater control.

WW editorial statement
Will the July 7 bombings in London be followed by greater opposition to imperialist war and occupation--which has already cost so many lives and so much suffering in so many countries? Or will the political forces of corporate expansion and empire building in the United States and Britain be able to utilize them to further their aggressive agenda of war and plunder? That is the question now before the progressive movement.

In aftermath of bombings
Debate over Iraq rages in Britain
Anti-war & Muslim groups call solidarity rally

By Deirdre Griswold
July 13—Two opposite reactions have emerged in Britain since the four coordinated bombings on the London transit system on July 7 that killed over 50 people.

Know who your enemy is
By Charley Reese
There are no terrorists anywhere in the world whose goal is the destruction of civilization, Western or otherwise.

Iraq: The War We Are Not Being Shown
By Arianna Huffington
It’s like a pair of blinders has been removed and I’m suddenly seeing for myself what I’ve long known to be the case: just how sanitized a version of the war the American mainstream media are delivering, and how little of even this cleaned-up coverage we get.
By John Catalinotto
The news out of Iraq was more of the same this week, and the signs from Fort Monmouth, N.J., to Sydney, Australia, from the Pentagon to Rome, were that the world's people, including those in the U.S. armed forces, are fed up with the occupation.

25,000 Iraqi civilians killed since invasion of Iraq
Four times as many died at the hands of US-led forces as from suicide bombers and other insurgents, according to a detailed study of the human cost of the conflict.

More Evidence Indicts U.S. at the World Tribunal on Iraq
New evidence on U.S. war crimes and violations of international law was presented at the concluding session of the World Tribunal on Iraq at hearings in Istanbul Sunday.

Index: Testimony From World Tribunal for Iraq
Testimony by - H.C. von Sponeck - Larry Everest - Dahr Jamail - Jim Harding - Phil Shiner
The Tribunal will consist of hearings investigating various issues related to the war on Iraq, such as the legality of the war, the role of the United Nations, war crimes and the role of the media, as well as the destruction of the cultural sites and the environment.

Iran behind gassing of Kurds, Shiite massacre:
Saddam's lawyer
"We have evidence, papers, that the Pentagon produced showing that Iraq did not possess the poison gas in question at that point in time. Iran is the one responsible for the Kurds," he said Tuesday.

Saddam Could Call CIA in His Defence

Bush Tyranny In Iraq Surpasses That Of Saddam
In a close race Bush beats Saddam.
The Evidence File

Incinerating Iraqis: the napalm cover up
By Mike Whitney
Two weeks ago the UK Independent ran an article which confirmed that the US had "lied to Britain over the use of napalm in Iraq". (06-17-05)
Since then, not one American newspaper or TV station has picked up the story even though the Pentagon has verified the claims. This is the extent to which the American "free press" is yoked to the center of power in Washington.

John Yoo: Terrorists Gone Wild
John Yoo, a “visiting scholar” at the neocon criminal organization the American Enterprise Institute, suggests “our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization” as a way to fight against another false terrorist organization, al-Qaeda.

American Terror
More than two years ago, we wrote here of a secret Pentagon plan to foment terrorism by sending covert agents to infiltrate terrorist groups and goad them into action -- in other words, committing acts of murder and destruction.

'Democracy Now'Interview With Seymour Hersh
Hersh's article cites unidentified former military and intelligence officials who said the administration had gone ahead with covert election activities in Iraq that "were conducted by retired CIA officers and other nongovernment personnel, and used funds that were not necessarily appropriated by Congress."

Murder in the Abstract is Still Iniquitous
By Jason Miller
Karl Rove, Bush's master propagandist whom Bush affectionately refers to as "Turd Blossom", rivals the genius of Joseph Goebbels in his ability to manipulate the masses. Preying on the average American's relative ignorance about other cultures and societies, Rove whipped the US populace into a frenzy of fear and lust for revenge after 9/11.

Judge Dread: John Roberts and Enemy Combatants
By Chris Floyd
Four days after he affirmed Bush's autocratic powers, Roberts was duly awarded with a nomination to the Supreme Court. Now he will be sitting in final judgment on this case - and any other challenges to Bush's peremptory commands. This is what is known, in the tyrant trade, as "a safe pair of hands."

Economic Injustice: America's New Leading Export
Here in America, we are living one of the biggest lies perpetrated in human history, and if our ruling plutocracy has its way, the rest of the world will one day enjoy the pleasant fiction that they live in a nation of justice and economic opportunity.

At Venezuela’s initiative
By Berta Joubert-Ceci
Fourteen Caribbean heads of state met at the end of June in the Venezuelan city of Puerto la Cruz, invited by President Hugo Chávez to ratify an energy accord during the First Energy Gathering of Caribbean Heads of State.


References in my last Newsletter to how the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour was not the "unexpected, unprovoked surprise attack" we were always told, certainly provoked some response!

All I am saying is that if the actual event was based on the deception of the American people and Congress (and indeed the whole world), in a conspiracy known to the President and his top advisors, then we should know this. And we should use this knowledge to be more wary in the future. Should we not?

So, what I am simply saying is before you make up your own mind, PLEASE READ THE BOOK:

"DAY OF DECEIT:The Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbour"
By Robert B. Stinnett

(Touchstone, NY, 2001. ISBN 0-684-85339-6)

According to the book, Stinnett served in the US Navy from 1942-46, where he earned 10 battle stars and a Presidential Unit Citation. His book is based on 17 years of research and newly declassified documents. He says the attack was deliberately provoked by 8 specific covert actions, known only to the President and his very top advisors (i.e a "conspiracy"), designed to provoke the Japanese overt attack that would outrage the American public.

According to the book
, the so-called 'secret' Japanese radio codes confirming the imminent attack had already been decoded by the US military, but the Americans at Pearl Harbour were not to be told.

According to the book, Stinnett felt a sense of outrage as he uncovered the secrets that had been hidden for so long, but he also "understood the agonizing dilemna faced by President Roosevelt (which) forced him to find circuitous means to persuade an isolationist America to join in a fight for freedom."

You may also care to type in
Then Search: "Pearl Harbour"
Then click on: "Pearl Harbour - Mother of all Conspiracies"
Then go Search: "Robert B. Stinnett"

Have a look. Lots here, some of it way beyond anything I've been saying, and I'm not even sure I agree with it all on a quick reading, but I think you'll get the idea that there is at least a story here for taking seriously.

Please, if anyone can provide scholarly proof that Stinnett is wrong, let me know!

Organic Gardening Project
at Vietnam Friendship Village

A Winner in Vietnam Innovation Day Contest !

Our organic gardening project was named a winner in the Vietnam Innovation Day contest sponsored by the World Bank. The sponsoring donor is the Canada Fund, which operates under the Canadian Embassy in Hanoi. The award is US$10,000. This is a great step forward. We will be able to expand the project, have more visibility and begin to have access to the world of larger donors. At the same time, we are still dependent upon the generosity of friends which has brought us this far—especially to pay gardeners and staff. So please, friends, continue to support this project (for making tax-deductible donations in the U.S. or Australia, please see below.).....

....The goal is an ecologically and economically sustainable project including organic vegetable gardens, orchards and fish ponds. More particularly, the funded project involves filtration of effluents from septic tanks to turn waste-polluted large fish pond into a healthy pond. That and the small pond will then have the capacity to raise 1.5 to 2 tons of fish per year.

In addition, effluent from bio-gas production from pig manure (from the 30 animals raised at the village), which is now wasted by diversion to a neighboring property, will be saved in a sedimentation tank and used in compost production.

The ecological loop of gardens-fish ponds-animal husbandry is a traditional one in Vietnam and is called VAC (for the Vietnamese words meaning Garden-Pond-Animal Pen).

We have adopted this model and have added two significant criteria: (1) that all cultivation be organic; and (2) that no untreated animal or human waste be fed to fish. All over Vietnam, farmers, consumers and the environment are suffering from use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. In the countryside, children frequently swim in fish ponds into which pathogen-filled animal or human waste has been added.

Adding these criteria requires adequate treatment of effluent, hot-composting of human and animal manure for use in agriculture, and using other food for fish. Our plan is to raise worms which will enrich our compost (after hot-composting, improve soil structure and richness and feed fish).

The usefulness of our model and its potential to influence other sites in Vietnam has brought us the support and collaboration of Dr. Nguyen Hung Long, Director of Environmental Health at the Ministry of Health.

In the near future, our bare bones website, will be developed further. Please check it occasionally for updates.

In the meantime, your help is needed more than ever. This award means more work, less ability for the project coordinator (John Berlow) to raise personal funds through teaching work, and more need to assure consistent funding for his collaborator and asssitant (Vuong Ngoc Quang).

Information for making donations

In the U.S. (tax deductible):Send donations to:

Buddhist Peace FellowshipS.E. Asia Organics ProjectP.O. Box 3470Berkeley, CA 94703
Make checks payable to Buddhist Peace Fellowship and write “S.E. Asia Organics Project” in the memo line

In Australia (tax deductible):Send donations to:

Rainforest Information CentreBox 368, Lismore 2480 NSW(02) 66213294
Make checks payable to Rainforest Information Centre and write “S.E. Asia Organics Project” in the memo line.

Friends of SEAOP mailing list
Seaop website:

From Project SafeCom:

Once again we're able to offer books, written and compiled directly as a result of Australia's harsh asylum and refugee policies and treatment.
The first publication, Another Country, is the result of a thorough collaboration by writers in the Baxter detention centre, PEN Australia, and refugee advocates right around Australia. Published last year as a special and limited, edition of the Southerly magazine, edited by author Tom Keneally and PEN Sydney Convenor Rosie Scott, Another Country is now available as an expanded edition. Another Country was first launched outside the Baxter detention centre in April this year.
The second publication, Following them Home, is a result of the work of David Corlett, who travelled to several countries, amongst them Iran Afghanistan and Pakistan, and connected with asylum seekers removed from Australia or who returned otherwise from our country and our detention centres. Following them Home is essential reading for every refugee agent, advocate or activist!
Another Country, writers in detention (eds Tom Keneally and Rosie Scott), writes Arnold Zable:
"Welcome to 'Another Country', a land out of sight, and mind, for many of us who inhabit the larger country that surrounds it. Its outposts are urban detention centres such as Melbourne's Maribyrnong, and Sydney's Villawood."
"The heart of this country, however, is located far from the cities, in state-of-the-art Baxter detention centre, remote Port Hedland on the north west coast, in distant Christmas Island, or quarantined in Nauru, out of bounds for independent eye witnesses."
"There is, however, a short cut to this 'country', a collection of writing penned within its razor-wire borders."
Full details, including our usual online ordering form:
David Corlett's "Following them Home: The fate of the returned asylum seekers":
One of the things that I found that was almost universal was that the implications of Australia’s detention policies continued to affect people’s lives as they had been returned. People spoke of ongoing sleep difficulties, continuing nightmares, headaches that were persistent. They spoke of, as a result of Australia’s asylum seeker policies, of losing their dignity, of having lost their humanity, and they also spoke of being institutionalised in Australia’s detention regime."
"There was a couple of instances in Iran of people who had been sent back with documents that put them at risk, and they were interrogated as a result of those documents. So there were different experiences of returnees, depending on where they came from, where they were returned to." (author David Corlett on ABC's 'The Law Report')
Full details, including online ordering form:
The Royal Commission petition
We're going well with the petition - this week we hope to cross the 10,000 signatures mark! If you haven't yet downloaded, printed and distributed the petition sheet, please do so: the community places where you can place one is almost endless. Suggestions on the page for the Royal Commission petition:

Jack Smit,
Project SafeCom

PO Box 364, Narrogin WA 6312
Phone 0417 090 130

The Royal Commission petition:

From Hal Muskat<>:Thanks for the newsletter. How bout a prominent link to a page put up by members of SF Vet's Speakers Alliance & Vet's For Peace. It's pages of media links and links for active duty & HS kids & military families, etc.

Excellent free email newsletter about what is really happening in Iraq, and the growing war resistance within the military.

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