Muslim in Suffer

Bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem. Assalamu\’alaikum Warohmatullahi Wabarokatuh!

Archive for January 12th, 2007

9/11 : Torture Inc. Americas Brutal Prisons

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 12, 2007

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Torture Inc. Americas Brutal Prisons

By Deborah Davies

Savaged by dogs, Electrocuted With Cattle Prods, Burned By Toxic Chemicals, Does such barbaric abuse inside U.S. jails explain the horrors that were committed in Iraq?

They are just some of the victims of wholesale torture taking place inside the U.S. prison system that we uncovered during a four-month investigation for Channel 4 . It’s terrible to watch some of the videos and realise that you’re not only seeing torture in action but, in the most extreme cases, you are witnessing young men dying.

The prison guards stand over their captives with electric cattle prods, stun guns, and dogs. Many of the prisoners have been ordered to strip naked. The guards are yelling abuse at them, ordering them to lie on the ground and crawl. ‘Crawl, motherf*****s, crawl.’

If a prisoner doesn’t drop to the ground fast enough, a guard kicks him or stamps on his back. There’s a high-pitched scream from one man as a dog clamps its teeth onto his lower leg.

Another prisoner has a broken ankle. He can’t crawl fast enough so a guard jabs a stun gun onto his buttocks. The jolt of electricity zaps through his naked flesh and genitals. For hours afterwards his whole body shakes.

Lines of men are now slithering across the floor of the cellblock while the guards stand over them shouting, prodding and kicking.

Second by second, their humiliation is captured on a video camera by one of the guards.

The images of abuse and brutality he records are horrifyingly familiar. These were exactly the kind of pictures from inside Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad that shocked the world this time last year.

And they are similar, too, to the images of brutality against Iraqi prisoners that this week led to the conviction of three British soldiers.

But there is a difference. These prisoners are not caught up in a war zone. They are Americans, and the video comes from inside a prison in Texas

They are just some of the victims of wholesale torture taking place inside the U.S. prison system that we uncovered during a four-month investigation for Channel 4 that will be broadcast next week.

Our findings were not based on rumour or suspicion. They were based on solid evidence, chiefly videotapes that we collected from all over the U.S.

In many American states, prison regulations demand that any ‘use of force operation’, such as searching cells for drugs, must be filmed by a guard.

The theory is that the tapes will show proper procedure was followed and that no excessive force was used. In fact, many of them record the exact opposite.

Each tape provides a shocking insight into the reality of life inside the U.S. prison system – a reality that sits very uncomfortably with President Bush’s commitment to the battle for freedom and democracy against the forces of tyranny and oppression.

In fact, the Texas episode outlined above dates from 1996, when Bush was state Governor.

Frank Carlson was one of the lawyers who fought a compensation battle on behalf of the victims. I asked him about his reaction when the Abu Ghraib scandal broke last year and U.S. politicians rushed to express their astonishment and disgust that such abuses could happen at the hands of American guards.

‘I thought: “What hypocrisy,” Carlson told me. ‘Because they know we do it here every day.’

All the lawyers I spoke to during our investigations shared Carlson’s belief that Abu Ghraib, far from being the work of a few rogue individuals, was simply the export of the worst practices that take place in the domestic prison system all the time. They pointed to the mountain of files stacked on their desks, on the floor, in their office corridors – endless stories of appalling, sadistic treatment inside America’s own prisons.

Many of the tapes we’ve collected are several years old. That’s because they only surface when determined lawyers prise them out of reluctant state prison departments during protracted lawsuits.

But for every ‘historical’ tape we collected, we also found a more recent story. What you see on the tape is still happening daily.

It’s terrible to watch some of the videos and realise that you’re not only seeing torture in action but, in the most extreme cases, you are witnessing young men dying.

In one horrific scene, a naked man, passive and vacant, is seen being led out of his cell by prison guards. They strap him into a medieval-looking device called a ‘restraint chair’. His hands and feet are shackled, there’s a strap across his chest, his head lolls forward. He looks dead. He’s not. Not yet.

The chair is his punishment because guards saw him in his cell with a pillowcase on his head and he refused to take it off. The man has a long history of severe schizophrenia. Sixteen hours later, they release him from the chair. And two hours after that, he dies from a blood clot resulting from his barbaric treatment.

The tape comes from Utah – but there are others from Connecticut, Florida, Texas, Arizona and probably many more. We found more than 20 cases of prisoners who’ve died in the past few years after being held in a restraint chair.

Two of the deaths we investigated were in the same county jail in Phoenix, Arizona, which is run by a man who revels in the title of ‘America’s Toughest Sheriff.’

His name is Joe Arpaio. He positively welcomes TV crews and we were promised ‘unfettered access.’ It was a reassuring turn of phrase – you don’t want to be fettered in one of Sheriff Joe’s jails.

We uncovered two videotapes from surveillance cameras showing how his tough stance can end in tragedy.

The first tape, from 2001, shows a man named Charles Agster dragged in by police, handcuffed at the wrists and ankles. Agster is mentally disturbed and a drug user. He was arrested for causing a disturbance in a late-night grocery store. The police handed him over to the Sheriff’s deputies in the jail. Agster is a tiny man, weighing no more than nine stone, but he’s struggling.

The tape shows nine deputies manhandling him into the restraint chair. One of them kneels on Agster’s stomach, pushing his head forward on to his knees and pulling his arms back to strap his wrists into the chair.

Bending someone double for any length of time is dangerous – the manuals on the use of the ‘restraint chair’ warn of the dangers of ‘positional asphyxia.’

Fifteen minutes later, a nurse notices Agster is unconscious. The cameras show frantic efforts to resuscitate him, but he’s already brain dead. He died three days later in hospital. Agster’s family is currently suing Arizona County.

His mother, Carol, cried as she told me: ‘If that’s not torture, I don’t know what is.’ Charles’s father, Chuck, listened in silence as we filmed the interview, but every so often he padded out of the room to cry quietly in the kitchen.

The second tape, from five years earlier, shows Scott Norberg dying a similar death in the same jail. He was also a drug user arrested for causing a nuisance. Norberg was severely beaten by the guards, stunned up to 19 times with a Taser gun and forced into the chair where – like Charles Agster – he suffocated.

The county’s insurers paid Norberg’s family more than £4 millions in an out-of-court settlement, but the sheriff was furious with the deal. ‘My officers were clear,’ he said. ‘The insurance firm was afraid to go before a jury.’

Now he’s determined to fight the Agster case all the way through the courts. Yet tonight, in Sheriff Joe’s jail, there’ll probably be someone else strapped into the chair.

Not all the tapes we uncovered were filmed by the guards themselves. Linda Evans smuggled a video camera into a hospital to record her son, Brian. You can barely see his face through all the tubes and all you can hear is the rhythmic sucking of the ventilator.

He was another of Sheriff Joe’s inmates. After an argument with guards, he told a prison doctor they’d beaten him up. Six days later, he was found unconscious of the floor of his cell with a broken neck, broken toes and internal injuries. After a month in a coma, he died from septicaemia.

‘Mr Arpaio is responsible.’ Linda Evans told me, struggling to speak through her tears. ‘He seems to thrive on this cruelty and this mentality that these men are nothing.’

In some of the tapes it’s not just the images, it’s also the sounds that are so unbearable. There’s one tape from Florida which I’ve seen dozens of times but it still catches me in the stomach.

It’s an authorised ‘use of force operation’ – so a guard is videoing what happens. They’re going to Taser a prisoner for refusing orders.

The tape shows a prisoner lying on an examination table in the prison hospital. The guards are instructing him to climb down into a wheelchair. ‘I can’t, I can’t!’ he shouts with increasing desperation. ‘It hurts!’

One guard then jabs him on both hips with a Taser. The man jerks as the electricity hits him and shrieks, but still won’t get into the wheelchair.

The guards grab him and drop him into the chair. As they try to bend his legs up on to the footrest, he screams in pain. The man’s lawyer told me he has a very limited mental capacity. He says he has a back injury and can’t walk or bend his legs without intense pain.

The tape becomes even more harrowing. The guards try to make the prisoner stand up and hold a walking frame. He falls on the floor, crying in agony. They Taser him again. He runs out of the energy and breath to cry and just lies there moaning.

One of the most recent video tapes was filmed in January last year. A surveillance camera in a youth institution in California records an argument between staff members and two ‘wards’ – they’re not called prisoners.

One of the youths hits a staff member in the face. He knocks the ward to the floor then sits astride him punching him over and over again in the head.

Watching the tape you can almost feel each blow. The second youth is also punched and kicked in the head – even after he’s been handcuffed. Other staff just stand around and watch.

We also collected some truly horrific photographs.

A few years ago, in Florida, the new warden of the high security state prison ordered an end to the videoing of ‘use of force operations.’ So we have no tapes to show how prison guards use pepper spray to punish prisoners.

But we do have the lawsuit describing how men were doused in pepper spray and then left to cook in the burning fog of chemicals. Photographs taken by their lawyers show one man has a huge patch of raw skin over his hip. Another is covered in an angry rash across his neck, back and arms. A third has deep burns on his buttocks.

‘They usually use fire extinguishers size canisters of pepper spray,’ lawyer Christopher Jones explained. ‘We have had prisoners who have had second degree burns all over their bodies.

‘The tell-tale sign is they turn off the ventilation fans in the unit. Prisoners report that cardboard is shoved in the crack of the door to make sure it’s really air-tight.’

And why were they sprayed? According to the official prison reports, their infringements included banging on the cell door and refusing medication. From the same Florida prison we also have photographs of Frank Valdes – autopsy pictures. Realistically, he had little chance of ever getting out of prison alive. He was on Death Row for killing a prison officer. He had time to reconcile himself to the Electric Chair – he didn’t expect to be beaten to death.

Valdes started writing to local Florida newspapers to expose the corruption and brutality of prison officers. So a gang of guards stormed into his cell to shut him up. They broke almost every one of his ribs, punctured his lung, smashed his spleen and left him to die.

Several of the guards were later charged with murder, but the trial was held in their own small hometown where almost everyone works for, or has connection with, the five prisons which ring the town. The foreman of the jury was former prison officer. The guards were all acquitted.

Meanwhile, the warden who was in charge of the prison at the time of the killing – the same man who changed the policy on videoing – has been promoted. He’s now the man in charge of all the Florida prisons.

How could anyone excuse – still less condone – such behaviour? The few prison guards who would talk to us have a siege mentality. They see themselves outnumbered, surrounded by dangerous, violent criminals, so they back each other up, no matter what.

I asked one serving officer what happened if colleagues beat up an inmate. ‘We cover up. Because we’re the good guys.’

No one should doubt that the vast majority of U.S. prison officers are decent individuals doing their best in difficult circumstances. But when horrific abuse by the few goes unreported and uninvestigated, it solidifies into a general climate of acceptance among the many.

At the same time the overall hardening of attitudes in modern-day America has meant the notion of rehabilitation has been almost lost. The focus is entirely on punishment – even loss of liberty is not seen as punishment enough. Being on the restraint devices and the chemical sprays.

Since we finished filming for the programme in January, I’ve stayed in contact with various prisoners’ rights groups and the families of many of the victims. Every single day come more e-mails full of fresh horror stories. In the past weeks, two more prisoners have died, in Alabama and Ohio. One man was pepper sprayed, the other tasered.

Then, three weeks ago, reports emerged of 20 hours of video material from Guantanamo Bay showing prisoners being stripped, beaten and pepper sprayed. One of those affected is Omar Deghayes, one of the seven British residents still being held there.

His lawyer says Deghayes is now permanently blind in one eye. American military investigators have reviewed the tapes and apparently found ‘no evidence of systematic abuse.’

But then, as one of the prison reformers we met on our journey across the U.S. told me: ‘We’ve become immune to the abuse. The brutality has become customary.’

So far, the U.S. government is refusing to release these Guantanamo tapes. If they are ever made public – or leaked – I suspect the images will be very familiar.

Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo – or even Texas. The prisoners and all guards may vary, but the abuse is still too familiar. And much is it is taking place in America’s own backyard.

Deborah Davies is a reporter for Channel 4 Dispatches. Her investigation, Torture: America’s Brutal Prisons, was shown on Wednesday, March 2, at 11.05pm.

source:
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article8451.htm

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

9/11 Blood Meridian: Bush’s High Crimes of Torture and War

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 12, 2007

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

9/11 Blood Meridian: Bush’s High Crimes of Torture and War

Chris Floyd, Atlantic Free Press

guantanamo5.jpg

January 10, 2006

If you want to see the depravity and filth that festers in the core of the Bush Administration made plain , read the story below. The regimen of torture and suffering being inflicted on captives in Bush’s War of Terror is not some sort of aberrant overreaction to concerns about national security and public safety: these specifically designed, deliberately induced tortures are the expression of the President’s deepest desires and clearly stated wishes. Just as the war of aggression in Iraq is his war, these crimes against humanity are his crimes. They are happening because he wants them too.

The only possible response of a sane society to the depredations of this man is his impeachment and removal from power. There is no other course of action for any responsible, patriotic member of Congress to take. Unfortunately, the American Establishment has clearly gone insane — so deranged from decades of bloated power and privilege that it can no longer act even to save itself from the general ruin that Bush is bringing upon the country. Unfortunately, there are very, very few responsible, patriotic members of Congress.

Witness the empty bluster behind the latest Democratic “opposition”: in the face of Bush’s imminent escalation of the war — with a “surge” that cannot possibly succeed in doing anything but increasing the bloodshed and hatred in the other nation he has ruined — they are offering a “series of symbolic votes” that “would do nothing in practical terms” to stop or even hinder this insane course, as the NY Times reports. The ever-hapless hairpiece hero, Joe Biden, believes this witless flapping of arms will “demonstrate to the president that he’s on his own” — a realization that will somehow “spark real change.”

But Bush already believes he is on his own — and he likes that way. He has already asserted that he will continue his course in Iraq even if he is deserted by everyone but his wife and dog. And his little mouthpiece, Tony Snow, has just announced that the President is an autocrat who cannot be restrained by any action of Congress whatsoever: “The President has the ability to exercise his own authority if he thinks Congress has voted the wrong way.” (Via Cenk Uygur by way of Steve Gilliard.)

“Symbolic votes” won’t stop Bush. Even substantive actions — such as cutting off funding — will not stop him. He will clearly provoke a constitutional crisis and continue the war (and the tortures in his gulag) by any means necessary. He is probably willing to attempt to overthrow the government altogether with a military coup if he feels he is being thwarted in his “sacred duty as Commander-in-Chief to protect the nation,” which, in his mind, means waging aggressive war, torturing people, spying on us all and looting the treasury on behalf of his cronies. The only possible way to derail his destructive and criminal course is impeachment.

But how will that happen with the weak reeds and blathering hairpieces now in charge of Congress? What will it take to light a fire under them and force them to do what they are legally and morally bound to do — uphold the Constitution? Will they really let Bush go on and on, in slaughter and torture, escalating the war crime in Iraq and very likely launching a new war against Iran?

If the past five years is any indication, the answer is yes, they will. Consider that most leading Democrats are even more hawkish in their saber-rattling at Iran than the Bush Administration, which is even now methodically preparing for war with Tehran, either via a direct U.S. strike or else in reaction to the inevitable Iranian response to an attack by Israel. How can the bellicose Democrats object when Bush puts blood and iron to their rhetoric? A strike on Iran would be the perfect way to “restore bipartisan unity on the Hill.”

Yet we live in hope and die in despair, as Brother Edsel always says. So keep pounding the drum: impeach, impeach, impeach. Make it so loud that one day it might even pierce the hairpiece of Joe Biden, and convince the cowardly lions of Congress to do their duty. The alternative is too ghastly to contemplate — although that grim reality may well be thrust upon us. But for God’s sake, let’s not go down without a fight.

Guantánamo’s Lost Souls (Guardian). By American lawyer George Brent Mickum.

Excerpts: The day after tomorrow marks the confluence of two ignominious anniversaries. The first is the five-year anniversary of the opening of the notorious prison camps run by the US at the Guantánamo naval air station in Cuba. In the five years since the US started shipping prisoners from around the world to Guantánamo, approximately 99% have never been charged with any transgression, much less a crime. Approximately 400 prisoners, characterised by the Bush administration as “the worst of the worst”, have been released without charge, many directly to their families. That any prisoners have been released is due almost entirely to the outrage of the civilised world.

Thursday is also the start of my clients’ fifth year of captivity around the world: Bisher al-Rawi and Jamil el-Banna…Bisher and Jamil have withstood various forms of physical torture during their five years as prisoners. Both have suffered numerous beatings (Bisher suffered broken ribs and perhaps a broken foot because of beatings by guards, though both injuries went untreated – despite Bisher’s requests for medical assistance), stress positions, temperature extremes, extreme sleep deprivation, death threats, threats to family and, at various times, starvation and being denied water that was fit to drink.

It pains me to report that, at the start of his fifth year in prison, the once healthy and extremely articulate Bisher is failing. He is no longer able to withstand the most insidious form of torture being used by the US military: prolonged isolation combined with environmental manipulation that includes constant exposure to temperature extremes and sleep deprivation…

What the British government knows and the British public needs to know is that Bisher’s treatment is designed to achieve a single objective: causing an individual to lose his psychological balance and, ultimately, his mind. Every aspect of Bisher’s prison environment is controlled and manipulated to create constant mental instability. The damage to Bisher’s psyche is not unexpected. The ravages of extended isolation and sensory deprivation leave no marks, but they destroy the mind…

Bisher al-Rawi is, slowly but surely, slipping into madness. British officials have long been aware of Bisher’s treatment. To my knowledge, they have done nothing to intercede on his behalf. They have done nothing to end his torture and constant mistreatment. They have done nothing to address the constantly changing list of spurious, new allegations that the military is uses to justify continued imprisonment.

Among the latest new allegations: the military alleges that Bisher received terrorist training in Bosnia and Afghanistan. British officials know these charges are false beyond conjecture. Bisher has never been in Bosnia and has signed an affidavit to that effect. The only time Bisher has been in Afghanistan was when the CIA rendered Bisher and Jamil there aboard CIA Gulfstream V-N379P out of the Republic of the Gambia to Cairo, Egypt, where the aircraft refuelled, then went on to the notorious Dark Prison. The reports Bisher and Jamil have given us have matched exactly the flight logs of CIA flights we have obtained. In the Dark Prison, Bisher and Jamil spent weeks underground, encased in total darkness, chained to a wall and shackled in leg irons, starved, and assaulted 24 hours a day with cacophonously loud noise before being transferred to Bagram….

Until last March the British government adamantly refused to intercede on behalf of any of the British residents still interred at Guantánamo….That changed suddenly when the government asked for Bisher’s return on non-humanitarian grounds, belatedly conceding that Bisher had worked for MI5. Unfortunately for Bisher, this long-overdue admission, and the British government’s request for his immediate repatriation, coincided with Bisher being thrown into isolation. He remains there more than nine months later, with no end in sight.

Bisher’s world is a cell 6ft by 8ft in Camp V, where alleged “non-compliant” prisoners are incarcerated. After all these years and hundreds of interrogations, Bisher finally refused to be interrogated further. Despite the fact that Guantánamo officials have publicly proclaimed that prisoners are no longer required to participate in interrogations, Bisher is deemed to be non-compliant and hence is tortured daily….

Solitary confinement is but a single aspect of the torture that Bisher endures on a daily basis. While in isolation, Bisher has been constantly subjected to severe temperature extremes and other sensory torments, many of which are part of a sleep deprivation program that never abates. Frequently, Bisher’s cell is unbearably cold because the air conditioning is turned up to the maximum. Sometimes, his captors take his orange jumpsuit and sheet, leaving him only in his shorts. For a week at a time, Bisher constantly shivers and is unable to sleep because of the extreme cold. Once, when Bisher attempted to warm himself by covering himself with his prayer rug, one of the few “comfort items” permitted to him, his guards removed it for “misuse”. On other occasions, the heat is allowed to become so unbearable that breathing is difficult and labored. For a week at a time, all Bisher can do is lie completely still, sweat pouring off his body during the day when the Cuban heat can reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and the temperature inside Camp V is even higher.

Bisher is allowed no contact with fellow prisoners. Bright lights are kept on 24 hours a day. Bisher is given 15 sheets of toilet paper per day, but because he used his sheets to cover his eyes to help him to sleep, his toilet paper – considered another comfort item by his beneficent constabulary – has been removed for “misuse”. Accordingly, he is no longer receives his daily ration of 15 sheets of toilet paper. Imagine being in the position of having to make a choice between using your tiny allotment of toilet paper for the purpose for which it was intended or using it to sleep, and then having it removed altogether…

Changes of clothing take place at midnight when prisoners are given a single, thin cotton sheet. Prisoners are unable to sleep until close to 1am. They are awakened at 5am, when each is required to return his sheet. All of Bisher’s legal documents and family photographs were seized from him last June and have never been returned.

If Bisher spends four more months in the conditions I have described, the man I met in September 2004, who was healthy, articulate, thoughtful and humorous, will in all likelihood no longer exist. He will probably slip into a madness that is permanent. If that comes to pass, Britain must recognise and accept the grave culpability it bears…

The Bush Administration, of course, continues to deny that the United States uses torture, prating endlessly about the Administration’s humane treatment of the prisoners and its robust compliance with the Geneva Conventions. It long ago defined away torture in the now infamous “Torture Memo” commissioned by now Attorney General Alberto Gonsales. But thousands of pages of memoranda generated by FBI field agents at the prison camps in Guantánamo and released pursuant to Freedom of Information Act litigation belie the Administration’s hollow assertions and paint a grim and accurate picture…

These memoranda expose in detail only some of the “torture techniques” employed by the military. They document abuses that include “strangulation, beatings, [and] placement of lit cigarettes into the detainees ear openings” (document 4911 entitled Urgent Report). Mamdouh Habib, a former prisoner at Guantánamo who was rendered first to Egypt for unmentionable torture before being transferred to Guantánamo, arrived there without fingernails and bleeding from the ears and nose where cigarettes had repeatedly burned him. Habib, one of the few prisoners actually charged by the military, was summarily released to his home in Australia once the extent of his abuse was exposed. But before placing Habib on the aircraft that would eventually take him home, military officials could not resist one last gratuitous torture: they told him he was being transferred back to Egypt! Among the horrors I have been exposed to in this case, this particular story haunts still.

These FBI memoranda also document efforts by the military to cover-up the abuses. Document number 3977 is a memorandum entitled “Impersonating FBI at GTMO”. It informs FBI superiors in Washington, DC that military interrogators at Guantánamo are impersonating the FBI when torturing prisoners. It goes on to state: “These tactics have produced no intelligence of a threat neutralisation nature to date and [the Department of Defense, Criminal Investigation Task Force] believes that [the torture] techniques have destroyed any chance of prosecuting this detainee. If this detainee is ever released or his story made public in any way, DOD interrogators will not be held accountable because these torture techniques were done [by] the ‘FBI’ interrogators. The FBI will be left holding the bag before the public.”

If I alone were making these claims, I would expect at least some readers to doubt the reliability of my account. But FBI field agents wrote these documents. The FBI withheld them until a US court ordered their production. Notably, no one in the Bush Administration or the military has questioned the veracity of these FBI accounts. Thus, there is no debate regarding the authenticity or accuracy of the information contained in these documents.

But if corroboration is needed, the FBI accounts are confirmed by the International Committee of the Red Cross, which reports that the methods used at Guantánamo have, over time, become “more refined and repressive” than those witnessed by the Red Cross on previous visits. Red Cross officials are on record stating that military interrogators seek to make detainees dependent upon them through “humiliating acts, solitary confinement, temperature extremes, use of forced positions”. They confirm that prisoners are exposed to loud and incessant noise and music and were subjected to “some beatings”.

The Red Cross also reports that interrogators not only used psychological and physical coercion, but also enlisted the participation of medical personnel in what the report called “a flagrant violation of medical ethics”. Doctors and other medical personnel work directly with military officials at Guantánamo, conveying data about prisoners’ “mental health and vulnerabilities”. The Red Cross reports these medical professionals become part of the torture and interrogation machine. Their chief function is not the medical care of prisoners, but assisting interrogators in extracting information. As a result, prisoners no longer trust doctors and others to whom their treatment is entrusted.

It should come as a surprise to no one that the Red Cross concluded that “[t]he construction of such a system, whose stated purpose is the production of intelligence, cannot be considered other than an intentional system of cruel, unusual and degrading treatment and a form of torture.”

…Almost a hundred prisoners that we know of have died in US custody; 33 of these deaths are formally classified as homicides by the military. Not since the second world war, when the US imprisoned American citizens of Japanese descent, has this country experienced such a constitutional nadir. If the world is to fight this war on terror, morality must not be allowed to become collateral damage. The time is long past for the British government to demand Bisher’s and Jamil’s immediate return. Paradigms of innocent suffering, they will remain wraiths that hover above the political and moral landscape, constantly reminding us that the destinies of those who would wage just war and those against whom that war is waged are mingled.

source:
http://www.atlanticfreepress.com/content/view/645/81/

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

LIVE FROM PALESTINE : A NATION OF HOMELESS PEOPLE

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 12, 2007

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

LIVE FROM PALESTINE : A NATION OF HOMELESS PEOPLE

DesertPeace

home-demolition.jpg

January 10, 2007

Twenty one Palestinian homes were demolished yesterday by Israelis…. Why??? Because they were there. No other reason!

The occupier considers the residents of this particular area as ‘trespassers’…Does that sound right??? The OCCUPIER considers the RESIDENTS as trespassers!!!

It is winter here…. 21 Bedouin families are without shelter… this despite “the recommendation of the Knesset Interior Committee to stop razing the homes until an alternative housing solution has been found for the residents.” So who authorised it? Are we living in an anarchistic society? Is anyone answerable to this horrendous travesty of justice?

Someone should be….

But, we are talking about Palestinians… a people without rights, without proper representation, and now, without homes…

The following is from HaAretz…. it briefly describes the ugly situation….

A NATION OF HOMELESS PEOPLE

Gov’t razes 21 Bedouin homes built on state land in Negev By Mijal Grinberg, Haaretz Correspondent

The Interior Ministry and the Israel Land Administration on Tuesday raised 21 Bedouin homes built on government land in the Negev.

This is the second time that homes in the Al-Twail village have been raised in recent weeks. Residents of the village had rebuilt the homes that were destroyed in the last round of demolition.

Seventeen of the 50 homes in the village were knocked down last month, leaving 12 families without living arrangements.

The Land Administration considers the residents trespassers and is refusing to help them find a new housing solution. The residents dispute the government’s claims, saying the houses were built on land they own.

The demolition of the homes in Al-Twail was carried out against the recommendation of the Knesset Interior Committee to stop razing the homes until an alternative housing solution has been found for the residents.

source:
http://desertpeace.blogspot.com/2007/01/live-from-palestine-nation-of-homeless_10.html

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Palestine 2007: Genocide in Gaza, Ethnic Cleansing in the West Bank

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 12, 2007

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Palestine 2007: Genocide in Gaza, Ethnic Cleansing in the West Bank

Ilan Pappe, The Electronic Intifada

palestinian_boy_sits_behind_his_brother_body_body_of_fourteen_men_who_are_awaiting_burial_in_rafah_photo_by_mohammed_saber.jpg

January 11, 2006

On this stage, not so long ago, I claimed that Israel is conducting genocidal policies in the Gaza Strip. I hesitated a lot before using this very charged term and yet decided to adopt it. Indeed, the responses I received, including from some leading human rights activists, indicated a certain unease over the usage of such a term. I was inclined to rethink the term for a while, but came back to employing it today with even stronger conviction: it is the only appropriate way to describe what the Israeli army is doing in the Gaza Strip.

On 28 December 2006, the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem published its annual report about the Israeli atrocities in the occupied territories. Israeli forces killed this last year six hundred and sixty citizens. The number of Palestinians killed by Israel last year tripled in comparison to the previous year (around two hundred). According to B’Tselem, the Israelis killed one hundred and forty one children in the last year. Most of the dead are from the Gaza Strip, where the Israeli forces demolished almost 300 houses and slew entire families. This means that since 2000, Israeli forces killed almost four thousand Palestinians, half of them children; more than twenty thousand were wounded.

B’Tselem is a conservative organization, and the numbers may be higher. But the point is not just about the escalating intentional killing, it is about the trend and the strategy. As 2007 commences, Israeli policymakers are facing two very different realities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In the former, they are closer than ever to finishing the construction of their eastern border. Their internal ideological debate is over and their master plan for annexing half of the West Bank is being implemented at an ever-growing speed. The last phase was delayed due to the promises made by Israel, under the Road Map, not to build new settlements. Israel found two ways of circumventing this alleged prohibition. First, it defined a third of the West Bank as Greater Jerusalem, which allowed it to build within this new annexed area towns and community centers. Secondly, it expanded old settlements to such proportions so that there was no need to build new ones. This trend was given an additional push in 2006 (hundreds of caravans were installed to mark the border of the expansions, the planning schemes for the new towns and neighborhoods were finalized and the apartheid bypass roads and highway system completed). In all, the settlements, the army bases, the roads and the wall will allow Israel to annex almost half of the West Bank by 2010. Within these territories there will be a considerable number of Palestinians, against whom the Israeli authorities will continue to implement slow and creeping transfer policies — too boring as a subject for the western media to bother with and too elusive for human rights organizations to make a general point about them. There is no rush; as far as the Israelis are concerned, they have the upper hand there: the daily abusive and dehumanizing mixed mechanisms of army and bureaucracy is as effective as ever in contributing its own share to the dispossession process.

The strategic thinking of Ariel Sharon that this policy is far better than the one offered by the blunt ‘transferists’ or ethnic cleansers, such as Avigdor Liberman’s advocacy, is accepted by everyone in the government, from Labor to Kadima. The petit crimes of state terrorism are also effective as they enable liberal Zionists around the world to softly condemn Israel and yet categorize any genuine criticism on Israel’s criminal policies as anti-Semitism.

On the other hand, there is no clear Israeli strategy as yet for the Gaza Strip; but there is a daily experiment with one. Gaza, in the eyes of the Israelis, is a very different geo-political entity from that of the West Bank. Hamas controls Gaza, while Abu Mazen seems to run the fragmented West Bank with Israeli and American blessing. There is no chunk of land in Gaza that Israel covets and there is no hinterland, like Jordan, to which the Palestinians of Gaza can be expelled. Ethnic cleansing is ineffective here.

The earlier strategy in Gaza was ghettoizing the Palestinians there, but this is not working. The ghettoized community continues to express its will for life by firing primitive missiles into Israel. Ghettoizing or quarantining unwanted communities, even if they were regarded as sub-human or dangerous, never worked in history as a solution. The Jews know it best from their own history. The next stages against such communities in the past were even more horrific and barbaric. It is difficult to tell what the future holds for the Gaza population, ghettoized, quarantined, unwanted and demonized. Will it be a repeat of the ominous historical examples or is a better fate still possible?

Creating the prison and throwing the key to the sea, as UN Special Reporter John Dugard has put it, was an option the Palestinians in Gaza reacted against with force as soon as September 2005. They were determined to show at the very least that they were still part of the West Bank and Palestine. In that month, they launched the first significant, in number and not quality, barrage of missiles into the Western Negev. The shelling was a response to an Israeli campaign of mass arrests of Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists in the Tul Karem area. The Israelis responded with operation ‘First Rain’. It is worth dwelling for a moment on the nature of that operation. It was inspired by the punitive measures inflicted first by colonialist powers, and then by dictatorships, against rebellious imprisoned or banished communities. A frightening show of the oppressor’s power to intimidate preceded all kind of collective and brutal punishments, ending with a large number of dead and wounded among the victims. In ‘First Rain’, supersonic flights were flown over Gaza to terrorize the entire population, succeeded by the heavy bombardment of vast areas from the sea, sky and land. The logic, the Israeli army explained, was to create pressure so as to weaken the Gaza community’s support for the rocket launchers. As was expected, by the Israelis as well, the operation only increased the support for the rocket launchers and gave impetus to their next attempt. The real purpose of that particular operation was experimental. The Israeli generals wished to know how such operations would be received at home, in the region and in the world. And it seems that instantly the answer was ‘very well’; namely, no one took an interest in the scores of dead and hundreds of wounded Palestinians left behind after the ‘First Rain’ subsided.

The bar set continually higher: Palestinians pass by a pool of blood after the Israeli shelling of a residential area in Beit Hanoun in the northern of Gaza Strip in which at least 18 people were killed, 8 November 2006. (MaanImages/Wesam Saleh)

And hence since ‘First Rain’ and until June 2006, all the following operations were similarly modeled. The difference was in their escalation: more firepower, more causalities and more collateral damage and, as to be expected, more Qassam missiles in response. Accompanying measures in 2006 were more sinister means of ensuring the full imprisonment of the people of Gaza through boycott and blockade, with which the EU is still shamefully collaborating.

The capture of Gilad Shalit in June 2006 was irrelevant in the general scheme of things, but nonetheless provided an opportunity for the Israelis to escalate even more the components of the tactical and allegedly punitive missions. After all, there was still no strategy that followed the tactical decision of Ariel Sharon to take out 8,000 settlers whose presence complicated ‘punitive’ missions and whose eviction made him almost a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, the ‘punitive’ actions continue and become themselves a strategy.

The Israeli army loves drama and therefore also escalated the language. ‘First Rain’ was replaced by ‘Summer Rains’, a general name that was given to the ‘punitive’ operations since June 2006 (in a country where there is no rain in the summer, the only precipitation that one can expect are showers of F-16 bombs and artillery shells hitting people of Gaza).

‘Summer Rains’ brought a novel component: the land invasion into parts of the Gaza Strip. This enabled the army to kill citizens even more effectively and to present it as a result of heavy fighting within dense populated areas, an inevitable result of the circumstances and not of Israeli policies. With the close of summer came operation ‘Autumn Clouds’ which was even more efficient: on 1 November 2006, in less than 48 hours, the Israelis killed seventy civilians; by the end of that month, with additional mini operations accompanying it, almost two hundred were killed, half of them children and women. As one can see from the dates, some of the activity was parallel to the Israeli attacks on Lebanon, making it easier to complete the operations without much external attention, let alone criticism.

From ‘First Rain’ to ‘Autumn Clouds’ one can see escalation in every parameter. The first is the disappearance of the distinction between civilian and non-civilian targets: the senseless killing has turned the population at large to the main target for the army’s operation. The second one is the escalation in the means: employment of every possible killing machines the Israeli army possesses. Thirdly, the escalation is conspicuous in the number of casualties: with each operation, and each future operation, a much larger number of people are likely to be killed and wounded. Finally, and most importantly, the operations become a strategy — the way Israel intends to solve the problem of the Gaza Strip.

A creeping transfer in the West Bank and a measured genocidal policy in the Gaza Strip are the two strategies Israel employs today. From an electoral point of view, the one in Gaza is problematic as it does not reap any tangible results; the West Bank under Abu Mazen is yielding to Israeli pressure and there is no significant force that arrests the Israeli strategy of annexation and dispossession. But Gaza continues to fire back. On the one hand, this would enable the Israeli army to initiate more massive genocidal operations in the future. But there is also the great danger, on the other, that as happened in 1948, the army would demand a more drastic and systematic ‘punitive’ and collateral action against the besieged people of the Gaza Strip.
Ironically, the Israeli killing machine has rested lately. Even relatively large number of Qassam missiles, including one or two quite deadly ones, did not stir the army to action. Though the army’s spokesmen say it shows ‘restraint’, it never did in the past and is not likely to do so in the future. The army rests, as its generals are content with the internal killing that rages on in Gaza and does the job for them. They watch with satisfaction the emerging civil war in Gaza, which Israel foments and encourages. From Israel’s point of view it does not really mater how Gaza would eventually be demographically downsized, be it by internal or Israeli slaying. The responsibility of ending the internal fighting lies of course with the Palestinian groups themselves, but the American and Israeli interference, the continued imprisonment, the starvation and strangulation of Gaza are all factors that make such an internal peace process very difficult. But it will take place soon and then with the first early sign that it subsided, the Israeli ‘Summer Rains’ will fall down again on the people of Gaza, wreaking havoc and death.

And one should never tire of stating the inevitable political conclusions from this dismal reality of the year we left behind and in the face of the one that awaits us. There is still no other way of stopping Israel than besides boycott, divestment and sanctions. We should all support it clearly, openly, unconditionally, regardless of what the gurus of our world tell us about the efficiency or raison d’etre of such actions. The UN would not intervene in Gaza as it does in Africa; the peace noble laureates would not enlist to its defense as they do for causes in Southeast Asia. The numbers of people killed there are not staggering as far as other calamities are concerned, and it is not a new story — it is dangerously old and troubling. The only soft point of this killing machine is its oxygen lines to ‘western’ civilization and public opinion. It is still possible to puncture them and make it at least more difficult for the Israelis to implement their future strategy of eliminating the Palestinian people either by cleansing them in the West Bank or genociding them in the Gaza Strip.

Ilan Pappe is senior lecturer in the University of Haifa Department of political Science and Chair of the Emil Touma Institute for Palestinian Studies in Haifa. His books include, among others, The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (London and New York 1992), The Israel/Palestine Question (London and New York 1999), A History of Modern Palestine (Cambridge 2003), The Modern Middle East (London and New York 2005) and his latest, Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2006).

source:
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article6374.shtml

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Somalia : another war “Made in USA”

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 12, 2007

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Somalia : another war “Made in USA”

MOHAMED HASSAN, WPB

This is a war of the USA against all the peoples of the Horn of Africa
This is not a war between Ethiopia and Somalia

The US policy in the region is leading to a long-term instability of the whole area and to genocide. One can be sure that the peoples of the region will unite in a broad anti-imperialist front and realize finally brotherly relations between all nationalities living there.

To understand what is happening in the Horn of Africa, the nature of the TPLF-regime of Zenawi Meles in Ethiopia that sent its troops into Somalia last month must first be explained.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) was created in 1975. In its first manifesto it said its main objective was to create the Independent republic of Tigray. This is a narrow nationalist and racist approach that makes language the first factor to unite or divide people. There was opposition to this narrow vision within the TPLF itself as well as within the other organisations and fronts that fought against the Mengistu regime, the dictatorship of that time.

The mainstream idea was that Tigray was part of Ethiopia and there was no reason to claim independence for Tigray. The main objective for the liberation struggle in Ethiopia was to create a new Ethiopia based on equality of nationalities and brotherly relations with all neighboring countries. After 50 years of war this very rich region inhabited by poor people desired a new start and the beginning of a developing economy.

Zenawi Meles is a great demagogue and a liar. He uses Marxism-Leninism today and tomorrow he will use Buddhism. The day after he will read a few books and be the champion of Hinduism against Buddhism. He hid his narrow Tigray-nationalist agenda of TPLF and created the Marxist Leninist League of Tigray to gain control of the TPLF and eliminate all opposition against his narrow racist ideology within it.

In the eighties when the struggle against the Mengistu dictatorship became stronger he also created the EPRDFF which was a larger front of different organisations representing different nationalities living in Ethiopia, under the leadership of the TPLF. Meles pretended to unite Ethiopian nationalities in the struggle for the liberation of Ethiopia, but all the time its real objective was the creation of a greater Tigray, that controls the other nationalities and regions in Ethiopia.
Once the Mengistu-regime fell, a transitional government was formed. The EPLF (Eritrean People Liberation Front) from te neighboring country Eritrea that was occupied by Ethiopia, convinced all the other organisations who were members of this government that it was better to give military control of the country to the army of TPLF. When Zenawi saw that in the regional elections of 1992 the Omore liberation front won they began eliminating its members from the government and the OLF left the government. Instead of following a policy of integration of the different nationalities, Zenawi followed a policy of “divide and rule” against all the other nationalities in Ethiopia.

Today Zenawi’s unbelievably narrow and reactionary dream of “a greater Tigray” has become reality. The population of Tigray is only 6% of the Ethiopian population (76 million) and Tigray is a poor region, situated at 800 km from the capital Addis Ababa. But it is Tigrzay-people who control 99% of public services and 98% of trade.

All opposition and protest is brutally repressed and the rule of the TPLF/EPRDF is maintained by narrow racist nationalist policies that divide the different Ethiopian nationalities.

In reality this is a very dangerous situation first of all for the Tigray people itself. I know many people from Tigray who have lived their whole lives in Addis Ababa and who flee the country, because they fell themselves more and more hated each day by their neighbors of whom the overwhelming majority are non Tigrway.

At the same time the regime is very weak and depends completely on the support of the USA.

The May 2005 elections were a big defeat for the EPRDF. The official results published a month after the elections put the EPRDF in a minority position of 45%. The EU observers confirmed the defeat of the EPRDF. However the official election committee did an “investigation” and finally gave 60% to the EPRDF. The leaders of the main opposition parties were put in jail and many people were killed.

In the past year, the opposition inside Ethiopia has become more radical. In August 2006, a group of high-ranking officers led by General Kamal Galchuu joined the Oromo Liberation Front. In the Orome area a real intifadah started up and a few months ago, the OLF launched an appeal to all opposition groups to join the united front ADF (Alliance for Democracy and Freedom).

The USA is pleased with the situation because this way it has a puppet that completely depends on its financial, political and military support. The Ethiopian state is becoming more and more a CIA-led state that is very isolated.

The conflict with Eritrea

In fact the military capacity of the EPRDF in the eighties was relatively weak. It was its close relationship with the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) that was militarily strong that made victory over the dictator Mengisthu in 1991 possible. It was the troops of the EPLF that liberated the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. But the EPLF was a liberation movement of a neighboring country, Eritrea, that had been occupied by Ethiopia since 1952 and was annexed in 1962. And the objective of the EPRF was to liberate Eritrea from the Ethiopian occupation. So it formed a close alliance with the EPRDF/TPLF to topple the Ethiopian government. Once this was done, the EPLF took over the administration of Eritrea and organized in Eritrea a referendum in 1993 where more then 98% of Eritreans voted for independence. While in Ethiopia a transitional government was formed led by EPRDF/TPLF.

The EPLF held on to its ideals of a liberation movement that wanted to develop its country for the interest of its people. So it followed a policy based upon self-reliance, mobilising the population, installing national structures, refusing outside interference via Western NGOs and controlling foreign trade. The EPLF also followed a policy based on national integration and cohabitation of the 9 Eritrean nationalities and the two religions (Christian and Muslim).
This was just the opposite of the policy Zenawi followed in Ethiopia that was based on privatisation, foreign donors and the policy of International institutions such as the IMF and the WB.

Confronted with this difference, Eritrea decided in 1997 to stop using the Ethiopian pound and chose to have its own currency, the Nakfa.

From then on, there were many provocative acts and killings of Eritrean officers and soldiers at the border that triggered off a war, which lasted from 1998 to 2000.
It was a catastrophic war; on the Ethiopian side 135.000 soldiers died. In fact the Ethiopians lost the war and were forced to accept the Algiers agreement in 2000.

The agreement included three phases:

  1. A commission of the International Court in The Hague would decide on the territorial dispute and the exact location of the border.
  2. Another commission of the International Court would decide on the claims of the two parties for confiscation or damage to property of citizens thate were confiscated by the other side.
  3. Finally a commission of the African Union would decide on the question which country started the war and should have the responsibility to compensate for the immense damage that was caused by the war.

The two first commissions have already concluded in favor of the Eritrean position and claims. It is almost certain that the third commission will condemn Ethiopia, because the Ethiopian government accused Eritrea of starting the war by an air-attack against the city of Adi-Grat and occupying the village Badima. This story of Eritrean jets bombing this city was a lie; once the commission examines this story, the truth will be crystal clear. What is more: the first commission already decided that Badima was Eritrean territory.

So there is a sword of Damocles hanging above the government of Zenawi Meles. Until now the African Union, under pressure from the USA, postponed the foundation of the third commission. But sooner or later, this third commission will be formed.

The very risky war against Somalia

The extremely fragile position of the Meles-regime can explain its offensive to attack Somalia last December. Indeed, by attacking Somalia under pretext of attacking “the allies and even members of Al Qaeda” Zenawi wants to position himself as a friend of the U.S. and Bush’s strong man in the Horn of Africa in the US global war against Islamic terror. But this is a very risky operation.

First of all, Ethiopia and Somalia have had a long history of animosity and wars. For the Somalis the Ethiopian invasion is an aggression of an archenemy. It could be compared to a military intervention by Germany in Belgium or France. Somalis are one people, have one language and one religion. The only factor that is dividing them is the clans. Confronted with a foreign occupation force, however, they can unite and deal heavy blows. It was the Americans themselves who experienced this in 1993. At that moment they had sent 30.000 marines to the country in a military operation called “Restore Hope”. But soon they had to withdraw because of their losses and the fact that the dead corpses of American soldiers were dragged through the streets in front of the cameras.

Second, the Somali people are tired of the chaos and destruction of 16 years of a warlord regime. However it is just the same warlords who have been protected and brought to power again in Mogadishu by the Ethiopian army. The warlords were hated before by all Somalis for their corruption. Now they will be despised as traitors and stooges for the number one enemy of the Somali people, Ethiopia.

Third, The overwhelming majority of Somalis saw the Islamic Courts as a stabilizing factor. This support of the Islamic Courts was not a support for international terrorists. Most jihadists do not speak Somali and few speak Arabic. They stand out too much with their different eating habits and clothing. When the population helped the Islamic Courts to defeat the warlords in a few weeks time and then to liberate practically the whole country in six months, it was because they were tired of the anarchy, the pillage of the warlords. You must know that since 1991, 3 million Somalis have left the country and the Somali diaspora are often modern secular people who try to help their country in spite of the warlords’ corruption. And they are very ingenious at doing that. For example, in spite of all the chaos, Somalia is one of the only African countries where every village has good telephone communication facilities. There is an informal banking system (1 billion $ a year). There are five private airways and so on. A large number of Diaspora Somalis were willing to return to Somalia, and rebuild the country, once peace and security were ensured. When Somali businessmen went to the American embassy in Nairobi to invite them to come to Somalia and see for themselves that there were no Al Qaeda members in the Islamic Courts, the Americans refused. They will never forget nor forgive the USA and their puppet Ethiopia for bringing Somalia back to the reign of terror and chaos of the warlords. And in their eyes it is crystal clear that the talk about Al Qaeda’s presence in Somalia is nothing else then the excuse, the lie that must justify the war. Just like the lies about the weapons of mass destruction of Saddam used to justify the aggression against Irak.

Fourth, all Somalis are aware of the fact that in the sixteen years of anarchic rule by the warlords, there was never any initiative of the “International Community” to intervene in Somalia. However, just when the Islamic courts brought order and stability, they saw in November last year the UN Security council under the instigation of the USA vote the resolution 1752 that opened the door for the Ethiopian intervention that brought back the terror and anarchy they had just chased away. So the only way the common Somali can see this invasion is that of an aggression against the Somali people and nation.

Fifth, The invading soldiers of Zenawi in Somalia are largely from his Tigray Christian tribe. These soldiers do not speak the Somali language; once deep inside Somalia, they will be exposed to attacks by the locals. But also in Ethiopia itself, Zenawi needs these men back as soon as possible because he needs them to confront the growing revolt in his own country. It is true; the Americans are negotiating with Uganda and Nigeria to deliver 8000 troops to replace the Ethiopian army. But who will pay for this operation and will these poor governments take the risk of being sucked into the swamp of a guerilla war? Certainly the different neighboring countries such as Kenya and Uganda take high risks because there are many Somali refugees living in Kenya who will not forget nor forgive a Kenyan engagement on the side of Ethiopia.. The Ugandan economy largely depends on the Kenyan harbor of Mombassa, but near this harbor there is a city Lamui where Somalis are in the majority… So it may well be that Zenawi’s troops will be forced to stay too long in Somalia and that they will be sucked into a swamp that will be fatal for the TPLF/regime.

What is the role of the Americans in this war?

The Zenawi regime is a rogue force used in the hands of American imperialism in the region. Since Antony Lake, Clinton’s national security advisor, indicated Ethiopia as one of the four countries (the others were Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt) that are decisive for the defense of American interests in Africa, the government of Zenawi has had all the support it needed.

The Ethiopian army is at present being reformed as a local mercenary force in the service of the Americans that can be used against any country in the region. On one of the American army’s websites, Stars and Stripes (http://www.estripes.com/), one could read on 30 December the testimony of one of the sixty American instructors who are training Ethiopian soldiers. Sgt. 1st Class Bill Flippo is an instructor based at Camp Hurso near in the city of Dire Dawa, Ethiopia. He says; “I feel that what I’m doing now is really helping to fight the war on terror,” Flippo said. “The knowledge we are giving to these soldiers is what they will use if they go and fight in Somalia, Eritrea or wherever.”

Many observers note that the invasion of Somalia by Ethiopia was not only encouraged, and protected by the USA, but even paid by USA-money. And after the first successes, American military participated directly with the Ethiopian army in the hunt for leaders of the Islamic courts.

What are the American interests in the region?

There is the presence of oil and gas reserves. Since 1986, four big oil transnational corporations received permission for the first time from the Somalian president Siad Barre to search for oil. And they found important reserves.
But most of all : Somalia has a very strategic location. It has a coast of 3300km. This is the largest coastline in Africa. One part of this coastline is just in front of the most important region in the world for the moment, the Middle East.
Another part of the coastline faces the Indian Ocean. You must know that before the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century, there was considerable traffic between India and Africa that passed by harbors on this coast. 10% of the words of the Somali language are words of Indian origin.

The Emir of the Indian State of Kudjrad had bodyguards that came from the Horn of Africa. In the Somali harbors there were also Somali who spoke Chinese. They were called “Abanas”. They were translators between the Chinese and businessmen from the African hinterland.

This century the historical wheel is turning again towards the emerging countries of China and India. Chalmers Johnson, author and president of the Japan Policy Research Institute, cites Javed Burki, a former vice-president of the World Bank’s China Department who predicts that by 2025 China will probably have a GDP of $25 trillion in terms of purchasing power parity and will have become the world’s largest economy followed by the US at $ 20 trillion. (http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=2259)

This year we also saw important efforts from China to increase its trade with Africa. China urgently needs oil and other minerals for its rapidly developing economy. And Africa can respond to that need. So the Horn of Africa has become a very strategic place for the next twenty years.

Since the Bush-government cannot control the whole world, they prefer a policy of deliberately destabilizing the whole region for many years, rather than letting it become a wealthy region that can play a key-role in the increasing trade relations between Africa and the new emerging economies of Asia.

There are Somalis living in different neighboring countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti. Somali nationalism has ignited and this war will extend into places like Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya, known until now mostly as a safari destination for Western tourists.

The peoples of the region are becoming mature. They see what is happening and their first reaction is that of horror. If the Bush agenda of destabilizing and genocide continues, anti-imperialist feelings will increase and people will unite to defend their homes and countries.

* Mohamed Hassan is the son of a member of the resistance against the regime of emperor Haile Selasie. He was born in Addis Ababa in 1958.
1972-1974 : active in the student movement against the emperor Haile Selassie.
1974-76: after the revolution in 1974 he was elected to the local council in Addis Ababa.
1976: spent a year in Somalia.
1977: spent seven months in South-Yemen and traveled in 1978 -1980 to Egypt, Sudan, Syria, Irak, Saudi-Arabia and Lebanon. In 1981 he arrived
in Belgium where he studied languages and public administration sciences.
1982: cofounder of an NGO “Somali Ogaden Comitee”, which helped Somalian
Ethiopians in the diaspora.
1991: studies and doctorate in pedagogy at the VUB-university of Brussels.
1992-1994: after the revolution he returned to Ethiopia and became a diplomat in the embassies of Brussels, Beijing and Washington. In 1994 he left the diplomatic service because he disagreed with government policy. In 1995 he returned to Brussels and worked as a pedagogue in the Regionaal Integratie Centrum. Since 2000 he has collaborated with the bilingual publication Etudes Marxistes / Marxistische studies, where he has published articles such as Nation and nationalism (in nr 49), Saudi Arabia and Wahabism and The Muslim Brothers in Egypt (in nr 61).
In 2003 he wrote a book L’Irak face à l’Occupation (Iraq eye to eye with the occupation) with David Pestieau on the war in Iraq that has been published in French, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, German and Turkish.

source:
http://www.uruknet.de/?p=m29698&hd=&size=1&l=e

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

US Terrorize The World – 22 Dhul-Hijjah 1427 H (12.1.07)

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 12, 2007

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Who Rules America?

In the broadest and deepest sense, understanding how the US political system functions, the decisions of war and peace are taken, who gets what, how and why, requires that we address the question of ‘Who rules America?’
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article16140.htm

===

9/11 : Shaped Charges and the World Trade Center Collapses

Here’s what demolition experts use in steel framed buildings, the linear shaped charge … It generates around 3,000,000 psi pressure … at a speed in excess of 27,000 feet per second … There are over 1000 different types of explosive … With the use of delays we can control … where the debris lands … vibration … noise level.
WMV video download (680kB)

The job of a shaped charge is to cut steel H-beams. “The way we do this is by cutting the beam at an angle which through a series of beams cut at the same angle will tend to make the building shift over and ‘walk'”
WMV video download (670kB)
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/wtc_charges.html

===

9/11 : The Israeli Spy Ring

Prior to 9/11, the FBI had discovered the presence of a massive spy ring inside the United States run by the government of Israel. This seems a harsh gratitude from a nation which obtains 10% of its annual budget from the American taxpayer, $3+ billion a year. Over the years, American taxpayers have been required to send Israel more than four times what the US spent to go to the moon.
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/spyring.html

===

9/11 : A voice from Gitmo’s darkness

A current detainee speaks of the torture and humiliation he has experienced at Guantanamo since 2002.

JUMAH AL-DOSSARI is a 33-year-old citizen of Bahrain. This article was excerpted from letters he wrote to his attorneys. Its contents have been deemed unclassified by the Department of Defense.

Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba – I AM WRITING from the darkness of the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo in the hope that I can make our voices heard by the world. My hand quivers as I hold the pen.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article16138.htm

===

9/11 : Guantanamo detainee speaks of the torture and humiliation he has experienced since 2002

I AM WRITING from the darkness of the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo in the hope that I can make our voices heard by the world.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article16138.htm

===

Blood Meridian: Bush’s High Crimes of Torture and War

If you want to see the depravity and filth that festers in the core of the Bush Administration made plain , read the story below. The regimen of torture and suffering being inflicted on captives in Bush’s War of Terror is not some sort of aberrant overreaction to concerns about national security and public safety: these specifically designed, deliberately induced tortures are the expression of the President’s deepest desires and clearly stated wishes. Just as the war of aggression in Iraq is his war, these crimes against humanity are his crimes. They are happening because he wants them too.
http://www.atlanticfreepress.com/content/view/645/81/

===

9/11 : Torture Inc. Americas Brutal Prisons

Video : Savaged by dogs, Electrocuted With Cattle Prods, Burned By Toxic Chemicals, Does such barbaric abuse inside U.S. jails explain the horrors that were committed in Iraq?
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article8451.htm

===

9/11 : Guantánamo inmates ‘driven insane’

Prisoners held at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp in Cuba are being driven insane by a tightening of conditions and the situation of their indefinite detention without trial, according to lawyers and rights activists involved with the US camp.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/1945c100-a0e4-11db-acff-0000779e2340.html

===

9/11 : Guantanamo Unclassified: Prisoner # ISN 940: 8 Minute Video

Adel Hamad, husband and father, aid worker and teacher, has been detained at Guantanamo Bay since 2003.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article16139.htm

===

9/11 : CIA says it cannot reveal interrogation method documents

The CIA cannot reveal “alternative interrogation methods” used on terrorists because doing so would cause exceptionally grave damage to national security by telling enemies how the agency gathers intelligence, the government has told a judge.
http://www.zeenews.com/znnew/articles.asp?aid=347142&sid=WOR

===

SOMALIA AND IRAQ SHARE SIMILAR FATES

You may ask, “What does Somalia have to do with Iraq?” The answer is, “Plenty.” In 1993, the United States, under the guise of a “humanitarian” mission, invaded and occupied Somalia. As with Iraq, the world’s leading military superpower used its weapons to kill innocent people in their own country. Also, the United States demonized Somalia leader Mohamed Aidid much in the same way in which it discredited Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Aidid and the forces which were allied to him fought the U.S. presence, eventually leading to the U.S. decision to leave Somalia.
http://www.uruknet.de/?p=m29693&hd=&size=1&l=e

===

Slaughter on Haifa Street

Set aside the sheer irony that the United States is fighting with heavy weapons, helicopters and F-15s less than a mile from the Green Zone in Baghdad. What happened this week in the Haifa Street area of Baghdad is this: the sectarian, Shiite-run puppet government of Iraq enlisted the United States in an escalation of its own bloody ethnic cleansing of west Baghdad.
http://robertdreyfuss.com/blog/2007/01/slaughter_on_haifa_street.html

===

Warplanes strike Baghdad Sunni strongholds

Fierce fighting engulfed central Baghdad yesterday as Iraqi forces, backed by American airpower, carried out assaults on resistance strongholds, raiding houses and exchanging fire with insurgents.

The sound of explosions boomed across the city throughout the day as Iraqi soldiers struggled to seize a cemetery used as a training ground and organising base by Sunni Muslim resistance groups. The cemetery lies next to Haifa Street, a notorious haven of insurgents loyal to the regime of Saddam Hussein.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/01/10/wterror310.xml

===

“I’m Scared Out of My Mind” – Live From Iraq

Active Duty Army Sgt. Speaks Out Against War Escalation – Audio and transcript

“Any troops increase over here – they will just be more sitting ducks, more targets.”
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article16142.htm

===

Bush’s new strategy – the march of folly

George Bush dare not see these armies of the past, their ghosts as palpable as the phantoms of the 3,000 Americans ­ let us forget the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis ­ already done to death in this obscene war, and those future spirits of the dead still living amid the 20,000 men and women whom Bush is now sending to Iraq.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article16136.htm

===

100,000 mercenaries, the forgotten “Surge”

What is striking about the current debate in Washington – whether to “surge” troops to Iraq and increase the size of the U.S. Army – is that roughly 100,000 bodies are missing from the equation: The number of American forces in Iraq is not 140,000, but more like 240,000.
http://www.alternet.org/bloggers/lando/46429/

===

Gates looks to add 92,000 troops to military

Goal could cost $15 billion; more reserve units to be cycled back into Iraq
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16576547/

===

Text of President Bush’s address on Iraq

Text of President Bush’s address on Wednesday, as prepared by the White House.
http://www.ludingtondailynews.com/news.php?story_id=34536

===

More American soldiers seeking to flee to Canada, group says

A surge in the number of calls from American troops during the past week has prompted a Canadian war resistance group to ask for help in housing soldiers fleeing the U.S.

“We have noticed an uptick since the summer, but this is much more intense,” said Lee Zaslofsky, co-ordinator of the War Resisters Support Campaign, a Canada-wide organization.
http://www.thestar.com/News/article/169992

===

3,000 British troops to pull out of Iraq by May

Tony Blair will announce within the next fortnight that almost 3,000 troops are to be cut from the current total of 7,200, allowing the military to recover from four years of battle that have left it severely overstretched.
http://tinyurl.com/uh3zg

===

Tuesday: 120 Iraqis, GI Killed; 34 Foreigners Killed in Plane Crash

In Iraq today, at least 120 people were killed or found dead and another 18 were injured during violent attacks. At least 34 more were killed during a plane crash. Also, one American soldier was shot dead in Diyala province.
http://www.antiwar.com/updates/?articleid=10295

===

Wednesday: 126 Iraqis, 3 GIs Killed; 73 Iraqis Wounded

At least 126 Iraqis were killed or found dead today and another 73 were wounded in violent acts across the country. Attacks were light in Baghdad where combined U.S. and Iraqi forces had been conducting raids. Also, the U.S. military reported that two American soldiers died from combat wounds yesterday in Anbar province, one soldier was killed by an explosive device in Fallujah; the death of a fourth soldier had already been reported yesterday.
http://www.antiwar.com/updates/?articleid=10302

===

Iraq: At least 14 killed in ongoing U.S. occupation

Five off-duty policemen were killed in Khadra in eastern Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said.
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L11540014.htm

===

Iraqi Resistance Report for events of Wednesday, 10 January 2007.

  • Resistance bomb destroys US Humvee near al-Karmah at noon Wednesday.
  • US forces raid houses in al-Fallujah Wednesday morning arresting 30 local residents.
  • Resistance bombards US camp in as-Saqlawiyah Wednesday morning.
  • Resistance fighters battle US troops Tuesday night in hour-long engagement in al-Fallujah.
  • Palestinians in Iraq call on Hamas to stop ignoring the murders of Palestinians by pro-Iranian gunmen.
  • Resistance mortars blast Jaysh al-Mahdi headquarters in Baghdad Wednesday evening.
  • Two American soldiers reported dead after Resistance ambush in southern Baghdad suburb of ad-Durah Wednesday morning.
  • Four puppet police die in Resistance ambush in Baghdad midday Wednesday.
  • Resistance sharpshooter kills puppet “Shock Troop” soldier in southern Baghdad Wednesday.
  • Two US troops reported killed in Resistance bombing in Baghdad’s al-A’zamiyah Wednesday morning.
  • Resistance fighters ambush puppet “National Guards,” in Samarra’ killing three Wednesday morning.
  • US air attacks kill seven civilians near Balad Ruz Tuesday night.
  • Resistance attacks large force of puppet “Installation Protection” police killing 20 near al-Khalis Wednesday morning.
  • Resistance sharpshooter kills two puppet “Shock Troops” in al-Hasway Wednesday morning.
  • Resistance bomb destroys US Humvee near al-Hillah.
  • Resistance bomb destroys US Humvee in al-Yusufiyah Wednesday morning.
  • Resistance blasts joint US-Iraqi puppet base with mortars Tuesday afternoon.
  • Puppet police arrest 10 civilians near Kirkuk at dawn Wednesday.

http://www.albasrah.net/pages/mod.php?mod=art&lapage=../en_articles_2007/0107/iraqiresistancereport_100107.htm

===

“Civilians were killed in Paktika”, says Taliban spokesman

KABUL: Purported Taliban spokesman Mohammad Hanif said Thursday the allied forces killed the civilians in Paktika crackdown; they were not Taliban militants.

Taliban spokesman said that the movement’s fighters were not involved and claimed the dead were all civilians, adding that the allied forces are supplying wrong information in this connection.

Taliban spokesman said that activities against foreign allied forces and their supporters in Afghanistan are still on the rise unabated and these activities would continue until the complete withdrawal of allied forces from the country.
http://www.thenews.com.pk/update_detail.asp?id=15953

===

Bad communications to blame for 60 Afghan civilian deaths

Poor communications between NATO occupation forces and Afghan authorities were to blame for the deaths of civilians killed last October by alliance warplanes during a battle with insurgents, a NATO spokesman said on Wednesday.
http://tinyurl.com/yx4924

===

Palestine 2007: Genocide in Gaza, Ethnic Cleansing in the West Bank

On this stage, not so long ago, I claimed that Israel is conducting genocidal policies in the Gaza Strip. I hesitated a lot before using this very charged term and yet decided to adopt it. Indeed, the responses I received, including from some leading human rights activists, indicated a certain unease over the usage of such a term. I was inclined to rethink the term for a while, but came back to employing it today with even stronger conviction: it is the only appropriate way to describe what the Israeli army is doing in the Gaza Strip.
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article6374.shtml

===

LIVE FROM PALESTINE~~ A NATION OF HOMELESS PEOPLE

Twenty one Palestinian homes were demolished yesterday by Israelis…. Why??? Because they were there. No other reason!

The occupier considers the residents of this particular area as ‘trespassers’…Does that sound right??? The OCCUPIER considers the RESIDENTS as trespassers!!!

It is winter here…. 21 Bedouin families are without shelter… this despite “the recommendation of the Knesset Interior Committee to stop razing the homes until an alternative housing solution has been found for the residents.” So who authorised it? Are we living in an anarchistic society? Is anyone answerable to this horrendous travesty of justice? Someone should be….

But, we are talking about Palestinians… a people without rights, without proper representation, and now, without homes…

The following is from HaAretz…. it briefly describes the ugly situation….
http://desertpeace.blogspot.com/2007/01/live-from-palestine-nation-of-homeless_10.html

===

On tape: Palestinians harassed in Hebron ‘cage’

(VIDEO) Tape obtained by B’Tselem shows heated argument between Palestinian family in Hebron and woman Jewish settler; quarrel just one example of suffering we endure on daily basis, head of Palestinian family tells Ynet. Settlers’ spokesman: Claims exaggerated
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3350480,00.html

VIDEO – The Abu- Aisha family in Hebron has been suffering at the hands of their neighbors from the nearby Jewish settler community of Tel-Rumeda for a along time now. A video filmed by 16-year-old Raja Abu Aisha and obtained by B’Tselem depicts a confrontation with a woman resident of the “Ramat Yishai” neighborhood in Tel-Rumeda.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=W2AaDg7-zD0

Montreal Muslim News Network – http://www.montrealmuslimnews.net

===

Palestinians suffering from Israeli occupation: HRW

The Palestinian territories are suffering under an international aid freeze, coupled with Israel withholding PA’s customs duties, that has effectively wiped out 75 percent of the PA budget, the US-based rights group said Thursday.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070111/wl_mideast_afp/usrightshrwisraelpalestinian

===

Israeli PM expected to face criminal investigation

Olmert expected to face criminal investigation in Bank Leumi sale

The Justice Ministry is expected to announce the opening of a criminal investigation against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert next week. The probe will focus on the state’s sale of a controlling interest in Bank Leumi.
http://mparent7777-2.blogspot.com/2007/01/israeli-pm-expected-to-face-criminal.html

===

Somalia : another war “Made in USA”

This is a war of the USA against all the peoples of the Horn of Africa. This is not a war between Ethiopia and Somalia

The US policy in the region is leading to a long-term instability of the whole area and to genocide. One can be sure that the peoples of the region will unite in a broad anti-imperialist front and realize finally brotherly relations between all nationalities living there.
http://www.uruknet.de/?p=m29698&hd=&size=1&l=e

===

Somali elders say about 100 killed in US, Ethiopian air strikes

Clan elders and residents in occupied Somalia have said that about 100 civilians were killed this week in US and Ethiopian air strikes on suspected Al-Qaeda targets in the region.
http://www.afp.com/english/news/stories/070111113936.f6y1j65g.html

===

U.S. special forces in occupied Somalia

U.S. and Somali officials said Wednesday a small American team has been providing military advice to Ethiopian and Somali forces on the ground.
http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2007/01/11/military/9_06_101_10_07.txt

===

Somalia: New Hotbed of Anti-Americanism

The U.S. foreign policy blundering has created a new violent hotbed of anti-Americanism in the turbulent Horn of Africa by orchestrating the Ethiopian invasion of another Muslim capital of the Arab League, in a clear American message that no Arab or Muslim metropolitan has impunity unless it falls into step with the U.S. vital regional interests.
http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/11-01-2007/86327-somalia-0

===

Russia protests U.S. action in Somalia

U.S. Charge d’Affaires in Moscow Daniel Russel was called in to the Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday to give explanations on the American air strikes inside Somalia.
http://www.hindu.com/2007/01/12/stories/2007011200381800.htm

===

DICTATORSHIP : British academic pinned to the ground and thrown in jail by U.S. police – for jaywalking

They don’t have much time for jaywalkers in the United States. But a British historian never thought it could get you pinned to the ground by five policemen and thrown into jail for eight hours.

Note to anyone even contemplating coming to the US from abroad for any reason these days: just teleconference and don’t come to the US – it won’t be nearly so potentially hazardous to your health or dignity.
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23381238-details/British%20academic%20pinned%20to%20the%20ground%20and%20thrown%20in%20jail%20by%20U.S.%20police%20-%20for%20jaywalking/article.do

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »