Sunday, July 30, 2006

A Letter From Chomsky and Others on the Recent Events in the Middle East

Wednesday 19 July 2006

The latest chapter of the conflict between Israel and Palestine began when Israeli forces abducted two civilians, a doctor and his brother, from Gaza.

An incident scarcely reported anywhere, except in the Turkish press.

The following day the Palestinians took an Israeli soldier prisoner - and proposed a negotiated exchange against prisoners taken by the Israelis - there are approximately 10,000 in Israeli jails.

That this "kidnapping" was considered an outrage, whereas the illegal military occupation of the West Bank and the systematic appropriation of its natural resources - most particularly that of water - by the Israeli Defence (!) Forces is considered a regrettable but realistic fact of life, is typical of the double standards repeatedly employed by the West in face of what has befallen the Palestinians, on the land alloted to them by international agreements, during the last seventy years.

Today outrage follows outrage; makeshift missiles cross sophisticated ones. The latter usually find their target situated where the disinherited and crowded poor live, waiting for what was once called Justice. Both categories of missile rip bodies apart horribly - who but field commanders can forget this for a moment?

Each provocation and counter-provocation is contested and preached over. But the subsequent arguments, accusations and vows, all serve as a distraction in order to divert world attention from a long-term military, economic and geographic practice whose political aim is nothing less than the liquidation of the Palestinian nation.

This has to be said loud and clear for the practice, only half declared and often covert, is advancing fast these days, and, in our opinion, it must be unceasingly and eternally recognised for what it is and resisted.

Tariq Ali
John Berger
Noam Chomsky
Eduardo Galeano
Naomi Klein
Harold Pinter
Arundhati Roy
Jose Saramago
Giuliana Sgrena
Howard Zinn
Agent Orange 'caused gene damage'

New Zealand troops who served in the Vietnam War suffered significant genetic damage from exposure to Agent Orange, a study suggests.
The Crime of Lebanon and Palestine
By Stephen Lendman

The fate of the corrupted neoliberal model may be what's now at stake.
That model is already unraveling in Latin America where Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is proving his alternate Bolivarian participatory democracy is overwhelmingly popular and working.
It's based on a government serving the people by providing essential social services, especially to the poor and desperate ones most in need of it.
"The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence.
Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do."
Samuel P. Huntington
From My Lai to Haditha:
The Recurring Horror of U.S. War and Occupation

On November 19, 2005, U.S. Marines stormed into the village of Haditha and murdered 24 people in cold blood.

It started at 7:15 a.m. Nine-year-old Eman Waleed was at home with her family when she heard explosions. An IED (improvised explosive device) had just exploded nearby and killed a U.S. Marine. She then heard gunshots: the Marines had started a rampage of revenge by killing four people who had been nearby the spot where the roadside bomb went off.

Click here:
Read more

NoWar Newsletter (from South Australia)

CLICK HERE for the official newsletter of
NoWar (SA)
Issue 1, 3 July 2006


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Letter to the Prime Minister of Australia,
from citizen Ted Craill

Email Edward H Craill at:

From: E. H. Craill
41 Minkie Avenue
GPO Box 36 Mitchell Park. SA
Australia 5043

To: The Prime Minister of Australia
The Hon. J.W. Howard
Sydney 2000
Australia 5043


Dear Prime Minister.

On the evening news, broadcast on ABC Channel 2, on July 22, you claimed the right of Israel to defend against those whom you choose to label ‘terrorist’.

The issues here are; the capturing of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian forces and the capturing of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah. Leaders of both Palestinian and Hezbollah forces have offered to release their prisoners in exchange for release of prisoners held by Israel.

Such an exchange could have averted the bloodshed and suffering heaped on the Palestinian and Lebanese people by Israel and that which Hezbollah now inflicts on Israel.

Your condemnation of Palestinian and Hezbollah forces for taking prisoners contrasts with your lack of protest to Israel for taking and holding Palestinian prisoners. This is a blatant and unacceptable double standard.

On the matter of terrorism; it seems you have a capacity to ignore the thousands of Palestinians driven from their homes and land by Israel. The ongoing atrocities by Israel against Palestinians are testimony to who are the real terrorists in the Middle East.

While your rhetoric suggests Palestinians and their allies are terrorists the facts are far more eloquent in describing the true situation. Your double standard and your blinkered view on terrorism disgrace Australia.

Recently I produced and published an article The Moses Legacy’. This I have sent to all members of the House of Representatives who had e-mail addresses. While some have acknowledged receipt of the work, none have challenged the argument that I put forward that Israel represents a continuation of terrorism that extends back to the time of Moses. I enclose a copy of the work and look forward to receiving your comments.

A further matter that also troubles me is your claim that getting rid of Saddam Hussein justified the invasion of Iraq even though Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, had no links with terrorist organisations or had anything to do with the 9/11 attack on America.

The Hussein regime had to deal with Kurdish and Shiite Militias loyal to Iran during the Iran-Iraq war. Furthermore, the ethnic and religious divisions in Iraq were a factor that could undermine the integrity of the country.

The potential for violence, which we witness in Iraq today, was held in check by the Hussein regime. Any future Iraqi administration faced with the responsibility of maintaining order in Iraq will, no doubt, need to impose discipline no less rigorous than that of the Hussein regime.

Yours respectfully
E. H. Craill

The Moses Legacy
By Ted Craill

A reading of the fifth book of Moses, Deuteronomy, tells how peace-loving Jews were set on a course of murderous terrorism that has persisted down through the ages. According to Moses, God ordered the Jewish people to wage war against Sihon, the Amorite King of Heshbon, and his people. Fearful of the consequences of war, the Jewish people refused to do battle. This, according to Moses, angered God.

Faced with the problem of peace-loving Jews, Moses had to wait for their generation to die out, during which time he indoctrinated the succeeding generation with a theist ideology directed to psychological preparation for war. Moses describes the urging and battle that followed as if he were God’s voice.

“Rise ye up, take your journey, and pass over the river Arnon: behold, I have given into thine hand Sihon the Amorite King of Heshbon, and his land: begin to possess it, and contend with him in battle. This day I will begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations that are under the whole heaven, who will hear report of thee, and tremble, and be in anguish because of thee. (Bible: the fifth book of Moses, Deuteronomy, 2. 24, 25.

Moses continues; “But Sihon King of Heshbon would not let us pass by him: for the Lord thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into thy hand, as appeareth this day. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before thee: begin to possess, that thou mayest inherit his land. Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz. And the Lord thy God delivered him before us, and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people. And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain: only the cattle we took for prey unto ourselves, and the spoil of the cities that we took. (Deuteronomy 2. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35.).

Triumphant, Moses then used the winning formula of god-inspired aggression against King Og, who ruled the people of Bashan. According to Moses, God demanded… “and thou shall do unto him (King Og) as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites” The slaughter of the people of Bashan followed, the men, the women and the little ones, all were utterly destroyed and, as with the sacking of Heshbon, Jews enriched themselves with plundered cattle and other spoils of war.

Jews, however, found there was no absolute guarantee of ongoing victories in their rampage of genocide and plunder. Instead of instilling dread into “all nations that are under the whole heaven”, they became more despised than feared. Above all, the fortunes gained from god-inspired war ultimately proved to be rather thin. Instead of Jews ruling over lands supposedly promised by God, they found themselves subjects of the Roman Empire. While some Jews realised the benefits from trade and security within the Roman Empire, others, the zealots, rankled that they, whom God has chosen to cleanse the world of inferior races, were held in check by pagan Rome.

Zealots were members of a Jewish sect noted for its uncompromising opposition to polytheist Rome and the pagan religion it espoused. From Encyclopaedia Britannica; “The Zealots were an aggressive political party whose concern for the national and religious life of the Jewish people led them to despise even Jews who sought peace and reconciliation with the Roman authorities”. “Extremists among the Zealots turned to terrorism and assassination and became known as Sicarii (dagger men). They frequented public places with hidden daggers to strike down persons friendly to Rome”. Zealot’s fanaticism and terrorism led to war with Rome which ended in defeat of the Jews at Masada and the loss of a homeland. This setback to Jewish aspirations for conquest and plunder was addressed late in the 19th century with the formation of the Zionist movement.

Zionists proclaimed the goal of creating a Jewish state in Palestine, the ancient homeland lost through Jewish religious bigotry and terrorism. The Jewish Diaspora out of Palestine did not end the adherence of Jews to a belief that a god favoured them above all races. In order to thrive in lands where they were often not welcome, Jews would draw more heavily on the human potential to succeed than would their non-Jewish contemporaries. The hostility of non Jews and the administrations of Jewish religious leaders ensured a fertile recruiting environment for Zionists. Jews who work hard to succeed in the advancement of their adopted country are worthy of sincere appreciation. Jews who pay allegiance to Zionism before allegiance to their adopted country are otherwise considered.

Zionists have exploited every avenue in pursuit of their objective. Through Jewish control of information media they are able to influence political life in many advanced industrialised countries. American Jewish scholar and writer, Murray Friedman, draws attention to the role of Jewish-controlled media in America and the part it played in the conversion of American Jewish Communists to the extreme right wing position in American politics. They are the Neoconservatives. Friedman unashamedly credits pro-Israeli, Jewish neocons for successfully urging American President, George W. Bush, to invade Iraq. Iraqis now pay dearly for their support of the Palestinians in their struggle to reclaim land expropriated by the Israelis. (Murray Friedman: The Neoconservative Revolution: Jewish Intellectuals and the Shaping of Public Policy).

With the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, the race-supremacist ideology of Moses again manifested its power to incite aggression and terrorism. The Israeli invasion of Lebanon, and the massacre and rape of unarmed civilian refugees at Sabra and Shatila in September, 1982, by forces under the command of Ariel Sharon, is testimony to the dehumanised nature of hardline Zionist Jews. The legacy of Moses is genocide; the bloodshed and suffering of innocents in war, and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians forced of their land and into the misery of life in refugee camps. Through a lapse in their vigilance, this legacy bestows on American people the costs of arming Zionists, fighting their wars and suffering the burden of ignominy for Zionist crimes. However, the worst of the Moses legacy is, perhaps, the dehumanising of inherently peaceful Jews who otherwise might have served humanity better.

Ted Craill
Dr Helen Caldicott: Nuclear Power is Not the Answer to Global Warming or Anything Else

As the heat of conflict increases in the Middle East, so does the aggression of powerful nations, and no matter what any better knowing should tell us, some nations may well see fit to consider resorting to nuclear weapons to assert their dominance - believing in and asserting the false notion of such dominance.

We've already had a small foretaste of the nuclear arm wrestle between the Western world and North Korea, Iran, Pakistan and India - and no surprise should follow if Israel - traditionally nicely protected by most western governments, if not supplied with weapons - also would consider nuclear weapons.

At home in Australia, the Prime Minister has started to "sell" his opinion on nuclear energy and the notion of Australia as an "energy superpower" at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia lunch in Sydney.

In his address Mr Howard was happy to vilify his opponents by creating yet another one of his infamous one-liners, talking about those in the anti-nuclear movement as "sacrificing rational discussion on the altar of anti-nuclear theology".

So it seems timely that we hear an authoritative voice. And, as we often do at Project SafeCom, we combine a promotion to our members, supporters, friends and other contacts of an excellent new book with our ongoing need to self-fund our operations.

Dr Helen Caldicott: Nuclear Power is Not the Answer to Global Warming or Anything Else

A debate "we have to have"?

Most of us know the approach, heard this week in the Sydney address of our Prime Minister well by now: you create a one-liner everyone can repeat, even in the pub under the influence of alcohol, you repeat the line often enough so all of the media are dutifully reporting and repeating the line, and soon "the majority" will largely agree with your view.

We all also should know by now that "the facts" are largely irrelevant in this game where the PM plays with opinions, a game where he creates "majority opinions".

So, if we indeed "have to have" the debate about nuclear energy once again - as if the debate was not conclusively conducted in the 1980s - then let's have it.

We're happy to bring you one of the world's authoritative voices on nuclear energy, Dr Helen Caldicott, with her latest book:
Nuclear Power is Not the Answer to Global Warming or Anything Else

For details, reviews and to order, visit:

"In this revealing examination of the costs and consequences of nuclear energy, world-renowned antinuclear spokesperson Helen Caldicott uncovers the facts that belie the nuclear industry propaganda: nuclear power contributes to global warming; the true cost of nuclear power is prohibitive, with taxpayers picking up most of the tab; there's simply not enough uranium in the world to sustain nuclear power over the long term; and the potential for a catastrophic accident or a terrorist attack far outweighs any benefits."

For details, reviews and to order, visit:

"In a world where dark and dangerous forces are threatening our planet, Helen Caldicott shines a powerful light. This much-needed book reveals truths that confirm we must take positive action now if we are to make a difference."

"In a world torn apart by wars over oil, many politicians are increasingly looking for alternative sources of energy-and their leading choice is often nuclear. Among the myths that have been spread over the years about nuclear-powered electricity are that it does not cause global warming or pollution (i.e., that it is "clean and green"), that it is inexpensive, and that it is safe.

But the facts belie the barrage of nuclear industry propaganda:

• Nuclear power contributes to global warming
• The real costs of nuclear power are prohibitive (and taxpayers pick up most of them)
• There's not enough uranium in the world to sustain long-term nuclear power
• Potential for a catastrophic accident or terrorist attack far outweighs any benefits.

"Nuclear Power is Not the Answer to Global Warming or Anything Else

For details, reviews and to order, visit:

"Trained as a physician, and - after four decades of antinuclear activism - thoroughly versed in the science of nuclear energy, the bestselling author of Nuclear Madness and Missile Envy here turns her attention from nuclear bombs to nuclear lightbulbs. As she makes meticulously clear in this damning book, the world cannot withstand either."

"The world's leading spokesperson for the antinuclear movement, Dr. Helen Caldicott is the co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, and the 2003 winner of the Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize. She divides her time between Australia and Washington, D.C., where she recently established the Nuclear Policy Research Institute."

Dr. Helen Caldicott has the rare ability to combine science with passion, logic with love, and urgency with humor


Helen Caldicott has been my inspiration to speak out

Nuclear Power is Not the Answer to Global Warming or Anything Else

Dr. Caldicott is one of the most articulate and passionate advocates of citizen action to remedy the nuclear and environmental crises

The time to take Caldicott's measured and wise words to heart is now

Declaration: Project SafeCom is an Incorporated Association in Western Australia. Since the days of the TAMPA stand-off in 2001, it has been able to support its full-time unsalaried operations. Since January 2006 it also operates from premises in South Fremantle. Project SafeCom does not receive public funding, but supports its work through memberships, donations, public events, and from the sale of books through its website.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Venezuela To Offer Asylum For American Military Deserters Fleeing Illegal Wars.
By Sorcha Faal

July 7, 2006

Kremlin sources are reporting today that Venezuela's Foreign Minister, Ali Rodriguez, has finished preparing a report for President Chavez that will be released to the world upon the Venezuelan Presidents upcoming visit to Russia and which will announce that their South American nation will become the first to offer sanctuary and asylum to American Military Soldiers fleeing the United States Internationally condemned and illegal war in Iraq. .....

For full details of this important story:

Another reason for the Bush regime's demonisation of Chavez, and their wish for "regime change"?.... Beware of the black propaganda campaign against Venezuela & Chavez!

Tomgram: Sandy Tolan, Déjà Vu in Gaza

On the one hand, there's the madness of devolving Iraq where dead bodies and
sectarian bloodletting are now the daily norm; on the other hand, there's the eternal madness of the never less than devolving Israeli/Palestinian situation.

There, last week, the Israeli government functionally declared Ariel Sharon's unilateral policy of a no-negotiations withdrawal from Gaza a failure and moved back in, launching its latest round of mayhem.

This round added up to a massive collective punishment against the people of Gaza, the further degradation of their already desperately impoverished living conditions, an attempt to bring down any version of a Palestinian government, and the imprisonment of ministers and legislators of the elected one.

This wide-ranging operation was explained as a measured response to the kidnapping of a single Israeli soldier and to some inept Qassam rocket attacks -- or as the Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy put it recently:

"Israel is causing electricity blackouts, laying sieges, bombing and shelling, assassinating and imprisoning, killing and wounding civilians, including children and babies, in horrifying numbers, but ‘they started.' They are also ‘breaking the rules' laid down by Israel: We are allowed to bomb anything we want and they are not allowed to launch Qassams."

(According to the Jerusalem Post, the captured soldier's father, Noam Shalit, criticized the government for its response, saying that "it was 'delusional' that the state of Israel would attempt to reestablish its deterrence at the expense of his son.")

Such Israeli tactics are, by now, visibly a kind of madness to whoever cares to look.

As in Iraq, those on both sides who want to push the situation to the next level only bolster extremists, creating a hopeless situation for everyone else and planting a potential bumper crop of further seeds of bitterness.

The government of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert,
Jonathan Steele of the Guardian points out, wants (as did Ariel Sharon) "to undermine every moderate Palestinian by showing them up as powerless."

As Juan Cole summed up the situation recently in a piece at Salon:

"The actions of… Olmert seem intended to create a failed state in Gaza and the West Bank, thus rendering the Israeli claim that 'we have no one to talk to' a self-fulfilling prophecy and allowing Israel to continue with its unilateral, annexationist policies, free of the need to even pretend to negotiate. This shortsighted "strategy," which both the United States and, to a slightly lesser degree, the strangely docile Europeans have signed off on, is a recipe for continued hatred, extremism, bloodshed, injustice and festering grievances."

Sometimes as events rush on, it's important to look back, to consider history.

As September 11th was a date of great significance to Chileans -- on that day in 1973, a military coup backed by the Nixon administration overthrew the government of Salvador Allende -- but one of no significance to Americans (until, of course, 2001), so July 11 is a day of no importance to us, but an anniversary of abiding significance to many Palestinians -- and one we should know more about.

Journalist Sandy Tolan has spent the last years writing
The Lemon Tree, An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East -- a book focused on a single stone house in Ramla, a town that was once an Arab community and is now a Jewish one.

His focus was on the two families, Arab and Jewish, that have successively inhabited the house -- and on the complex and difficult friendship that formed between a member of each family.

It is a moving book that the distinguished Israeli historian Tom Segev has called, "a powerful account of Palestinians and Israelis who try to break the seemingly endless chain of hatred and violence. Capturing the human dimension of the conflict so vividly… Tolan offers something both Israelis and Palestinians all too often tend to ignore: a ray of hope."

Now, when we find Israelis and Palestinians in an even more desperate place on that "endless chain," Tolan takes a moment to remind us of how deep the abyss of pain and resentment is by focusing on the part of the story we almost never hear about -- the Palestinian one -- and an anniversary few of us have ever considered.


The Palestinian Catastrophe, Then and Now

By Sandy Tolan
Click here to read more of this dispatch.

A Letter From Lebanon

Please note: This letter from Lebanon was written on just the 3rd day of the Israeli attack, which has greatly escalated, and is killing hundreds of innocent people. It was forwarded to me.

"To all my friends,
please do bear with me and read this e-mail summarizing the attack on Lebanon.

Israel has launched a fierce attack on Lebanon three days ago claiming that it wanted to rescue two of its soldiers that were kidnapped by Hezbollah (the Lebanese resistance group).

These soldiers were kidnapped in order to be traded with 3 Lebanese detainees that were imprisoned by Israel.

These prisoners are still held for more than 15 years now without any trial, and are being detained in the worst possible living conditions contrary to the Geneva law for war prisoners (it should be noted that Israel is holding 9000 Arab detainee with 200 of them being children).

What have been pictured by Israelis as an act to rescue its soldiers turned out to be a savage act to destroy Lebanon. All of Lebanon from extreme South to extreme North is under siege.

Israel has blocked our air, sea and land space. It has bombed our only international airport and destroyed our remaining internal airports. It had blocked all our naval ports and had destroyed practically most of Lebanon's important bridges. Not only that, even the roads that links us to Syria (the only border country other than Israel) have been demolished as well.

In all, Lebanon has been isolated from the world!!!

We are left alone facing the Israeli bombs and airplanes (especially that the US has put an embargo on the Lebanese army to buy and obtain air defense missiles).

Where should I start?

International news agencies are not showing the atrocities taking place in Lebanon; they are conveying different messages to the international community.

The real deal is: the Israelis are targeting civilians.

So far they have killed 92 citizens. In addition to those slaughtered, hundreds were injured most of them children. The Israelis are targeting schools, mosques, parks, playgrounds, houses.

We will not forget the house targeted in the Dweir region (South of Lebanon), where a whole family of 12 (10 of them children aged between 7 and 12) were killed during their sleep.

We will not forget the truck that was bombed by Israeli airplanes and killed 21 citizens (most of them women and children) who were escaping the Israeli artillery.

These are not a "one of its kind attack" - the same has been happening in different regions of Lebanon, whole families are being killed.

How can we forget, how can we not object?

Do we sit in silence like the free world who claims to cherish humanity and the right to live???

Do we sit and take it all in the name of "the right of Israel to defend itself" (President Bush's Speech in Germany yesterday)????!!!!

However we are not standing still.
The Lebanese with all their factions are fighting back, fighting for their right to live!!!
The resistance is striking back.

Yesterday night, the resistance destroyed an Israeli warship that was pounding our beloved Beirut. The fight continues for now.

The situation can be summarized in one Sentence: Goliath fighting David and this time we are David.

With our strong will to stand firm and resist we will not bow to this vicious Israeli army equipped with every possible weapon known in the world (of course supplied abundantly by what is called the free world or the West)!!!

I am sending this mail and currently living under the line of fire. No where to go, Israel is pounding Lebanon from land, air and sea (actually I can see the warships from my balcony)!!!!!

All infrastructures is destroyed, no one is safe anymore!!!!! I am ok so far just bought food, water and Gas for my family as these necessities will be harder to get in the upcoming days due to the embargo (all ports are bombarded so there is no way for aid to reach, water and electricity facilities are being destroyed as well).

When you read this mail, please pray for Lebanon, pray for Peace, and let your surroundings know what this terrorist country called Israel is doing!!!!!!!

Maybe the International community will finally wake up and do something about it! Not enough words can describe the savagery of the attack.

Yours Sincerely,