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Archive for May 8th, 2008

Adnan Buyung, Yang Konon Katanya Beradab dan Menjunjung Tinggi HAM

Posted by musliminsuffer on May 8, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

08/05/2008 13:28 WIB

Adnan Buyung Diultimatum 1×24 Jam

Baban Gandapurnama – detikcom

Bandung – Alumi Jabar mengultimatum 1×24 jam kepada Adnan Buyung Nasution untuk meminta maaf kepada umat Islam, khususnya Ketua Komisi Fatwa MUI Pusat KH Ma’ruf Amin terkait pernyataanya di radio BBC Indonesia yang dinilai menghina Islam.

Ultimatum ini disampaikan Koordinator Aliansi Umat Islam Indonesia (Alumi) Jabar Hedi Muhammad di Masjid Istiqomah Bandung, Jalan Citarum, Kamis (8/5/2008). “Kita akan senang kalau Adnan meminta maaf daripada kita melaporkannya kepada penegak hukum, walaupun Adnan sudah mencemarkan nama baik Ma’ruf Amin,” ujar Hedi.

Bila dalam 1×24 jam Adnan tidak mengindahkan ultimatum Alumi, kata Hedi, pihaknya tidak akan tinggal diam. Namun Hedi tidak menjelaskan lagi apa yang akan dilakukannya.

“Kami meminta Presiden SBY untuk mempertimbangkan kembali keberadaan Adnan Buyung Nasution sebagai Watimpres. Karena kami nilai sosok Adnan tidak mencerminkan budaya Indonesia. Adnan sendiri sudah berupaya menggagalkan SKB Ahmadiyah,” tandasnya.

Hedi mengungkapkan dalam siaran radio BBC Indonesia pada Rabu (7/5/2008), Adnan menyebut Ma’ruf tidak punya harga diri, tak tahu malu, dan menerbitkan fatwa yang kacau balau.

“Bila dalam 1×24 jam Adnan tidak mengindahkan ultimatum kami, kami tidak akan menerimanya dan tidak akan tinggal diam. Selain itu, presiden SBY mempertimbangkan kembali keberadaan Adnan Buyung Nasution sebagai Watimpres,” kata dia.

Pernyataan Buyung, kata Hedi, akan memeperkeruh suasana dan merusak kerukunan beragama. Selain itu, pernyataan tersebut akan menimbulkan keresahan di masyarakat.

“Ulama bisa diartikan sebagai simbol umat Islam. Namun dengan apa yang dikatakan Buyung terhadap MUI khususnya Ma’ruf, jelas-jelas menghina MUI dan Islam, sebab Ma’ruf seorang ulama. Adnan buyung sudah menghina Islam,” jelasnya. ( ema / asy )

Source :
http://www.detiknews.com/index.php/detik.read/tahun/2008/bulan/05/tgl/08/time/132830/idnews/936119/idkanal/10

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

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Kedudukan Lembaga Fatwa dan Kebatilan Pendapat

Posted by musliminsuffer on May 8, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Kedudukan Lembaga Fatwa dan Kebatilan Pendapat

www.hidayatullah.com, Rabu, 07 Mei 2008

Para ulama salaf dalam beberapa kitab menyebut kedudukan “fatwa” mulzim (wajid diikuti). Terutama menyangkut akidah seperti Ahmadiyah. Hanya saja, di lapangan perlu kekuatan politik

Oleh: Thoriq*

“MUI sesat, bubarkan MUI,” begitu kata sebagian orang. Bahkan dalam laporan terbaru Mei 2008, Majalah Mingguan TEMPO, memintah para ulama (dalam hal ini MUI) segera meminta maaf kepada penganut Ahmadiyah. Boleh jadi, baru kali inilah dalam sejarah, sebuah media -bukan otoritas ulama- meminta sebuah lembaga yang di dalamnya terhimpun kalangan ahli hukum Islam & ulama-ulama fikih meminta maaf (dengan bahasa lain mengaku salah) kepada Ahmadiyah yang oleh ijma’ ulama sedunia dinyatakan “sesat”.

Umpatan, kecaman bahkan hujatan terhadap otoritas ulama memang marak akhir-akhir ini. Lebih-lebih, setelah media massa (yang umumnya tak pak paham hukum-hukum Islam) memberi tempat kepada mereka-mereka yang juga tak paham hukum-hukum Islam “mengecam” MUI.

Ketidakpahaman media yang paling “mengerikan” -lebih-lebih-menganggap, semua tokoh Islam adalah ahli dalam hukum Islam (fikih). Bisa dipahami jika banyak polarisasi dan kesemrawutan pendapat yang ujungnya akan membingungkan masyarakat. (Baca juga tulisan, “Benarkah Semua Pendapat Boleh Diikutil?”
(www.hidayatullah.com <http://hidayatullah.com/> , 02 Oktober 2006).

Sekedar contoh kecil. Sungguh musykil, ketika media massa berpijak pada pendapat kepada Prof. Dr. Ahmad Syafii Ma’arif, Dr. Musdah Mulia bahkan termasuk nama seperti Adnan Buyung Nasution dan Ade Armando.

Dengan segala rasa hormat, dan permintaan maaf saya kepada nama-nama yang saya sebut tadi, semua orang paham siapa dan apa latar belakang mereka. Buya Ahmad Syafii, begitu para simpatisannya memanggil, memang bekas pemimpin Muhammadiyah. Namun beliau adalah ahli dibidang sejarah Islam. Bukan fikih. Musdah Mulia sarjana S1 nya bidang Adab dari IAIN Alauddin, Ujung Pandang . Sementara S2 dan S3 bidang studi sejarah dan pemikiran politik Islam. Tak ada sangkut-pautnya dengan masalah hukum Islam atau bidang fikih.

Adnan Buyung, dikenal lulusan hukum konvesional (umum). Sedang Ade Armando justru berlatar belakang komunikasi. Anehnya, nama yang terakhir ini dalam tulisan terbarunya di Majalah Madina berjudul, “Preman Berjubah, Pemerintah dan Ahmadiyah”, Ade Armando “membela” Ahmadiyah terhadap segala ancaman “preman berjubah”. Tentu saja yang dimaksud “preman” itu adalah umat Islam penolak Ahmadiyah.

Istilah “preman berjubah” pertama kali dikemukan Ahmad Syafii Maarif dalam kolom Resonansi di Republika. Padahal yang juga memfatwakan Ahmadiyah sebagai kelompok di luar Islam adalah organisasi perkumpulan ulama Islam Internasional, Majma Fiqh Al Islami, dan sudah lebih dari 48 buku yang dikarang oleh para ulama untuk menjelaskan kesesatan kelompok ini. Sedangkan di Pakistan masalah ini sudah final, bahwa ahmadiyah di luar masyarakat Muslim.

Dan Dr. Zein An Najah, pakar fikih dari Al Azhar menyatakan bahwa hingga saat ini, tidak ada satupun ulama di dunia yang menyatakan bahwa Ahmadiyah termasuk golongan Muslim. Ribuan ulama dunia Islam secara tidak langsung oleh Ade Armando, Musdah Mulia atau Syafii Maarif adalah “preman berjubah”. Oh hebat benar orang-orang ini.

Yang jelas, keberanian tokoh-tokoh ini mengomantari masalah-masalah yang sudah disepakati ulama adalah “keberanian” nekad yang cukup memalukan. Sebab, masalahnya, ia bukanlah orang-orang yang memiliki keahlian dan tidak otoritatif dalam hukum Islam.

Kedudukan Fatwa

Kedudukan fatwa dalam Islam sangatlah penting dan tidak bisa dengan mudah diabaikan, apalagi digugurkan. Karena sangat pentingnya dengan keberadaan fatwa dalam Islam, sampai-sampai beberapa ulama berpendapat diharamkan tinggal di sebuah tempat yang tidak terdapat seorang mufti yang bisa dijadikan tempat bertanya tentang persoalan agama (Lihat Kitab Al Bahr Ar Ra’iq 6/260, Al Furu’ 4/119, Al Majmu’ 1/47, Kasyaf Al Qana’ 4/177).

Maka dari itu, wajib bagi penguasa untuk memperhatikan sarana-sarana penting guna mempersiapkan para mufti dalam rangka menciptakan kemaslahatan bagi masyarakat, sekaligus melarang bagi mereka yang tidak mempunyai keahlian dalam berfatwa. (Lihat Al Majmu’ 1/ 69, I’lam Al Muwaqqi’in 4/214, Al Faqih wa Al Mutafaqqih 2/55, Al Ahkam Al Sulthoniyah, 55).

Karena sangat pentingnya bahwa mufti di hadapan umat memiliki posisi seperti halnya nabi di hadapan umat, karena mufti memberi kabar dari Allah Subhana wa ta’ala seperti nabi. Oleh karena itu, mereka dinamakan ulil amri yang mana ketaatan pada mereka disejajarkan dengan taatnya seorang hamba kepada Allah dan RasulNya. Dalam Al Qur’an surat An Nisa’ 59 Allah berfirman: “Wahai orang-orang yang beriman, taatlah kalian kepada Allah dan taatlah kalian kepada Rasul beserta ulil amri dari kalian” (Lihat Kitab Al Muwafaqat 4/178-179).

Imam Al Qarafi sendiri menyatakan bahwa mufti dihadapan Allah ibarat kedudukan eoarang penerjemah di hadapan hakim, yang menerjemahkan keputusan hukum, tanpa mengurangi dan menambahnya, sedangkan qadhi adalah “aparat” untuk melaksanakan putusan itu (Lihat, Kitab Ihkam fi Tamyizi Al Fatawa min Al Ahkam, 30).

Tampaknya, para penentang fatwa kirang memahami dengan baik pentingnya fatwa dan mufti dalam Islam. Hingga “amat ringan” dalam melontarkan pernyataan-pernyataan yang berkesan “merendahkan” otoritas keilmuan para ulama.

Majma’ Fiqh dan Kebatilan Berpendapat

Prof. Dr. Wahbah Az- Zuhaili, ulama anggota Majma’ Fiqh Al Islami, dalam Kitab Al Fiqh Al Islami wa Adillatuh (8/5082) mengutip keputusan Fatwa Majma’ Fiqh Al Islami tentang masalah Al- Qadiyaniyah

Disebutkan, Majelis Majma Fiqh Al Islami dari Munadzamah Al Mu’tamar Al Islami dalam pertemuan muktamar ke 2 di Jeddah, 10-16 Rabi’ Tsani 1406 H/22-28 Desember 1985, setelah melihat dengan seksama istifta’ (permohonan fatwa) yang diajukan kepadanya (Mejelis Majma’) dari Majelis Al Fiqh Al Islami di Cape Town Afrika Selatan, mengenai kedudukan Al-Qadiyaniyah dalam pandangan hukum, begitu pula kelompok yang lahir darinya, yaitu Al-Lahuriyah (Lahore), dari segi kedudukan mereka. Apakah mereka sebagai bagian dari kaum Muslim atau bukan.

Atas dasar hal itu, anggota Al- Majma melakukan studi berkenaan dengan masalah ini, tentang Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Al-Qadiyani, yang muncul di India beberapa waktu lalu, dan kepadanya dinisbatkan ajaran Al-Qadiyaniyah dan Al-Lahuriyah.

Setelah melakukan penelitian dengan seksama tentang informasi yang menyangkut kedua kelompok ini, serta setelah meyakini bahwa Mirza Ghulam Ahmad telah mengaku mendapat kenabian, bahwa ia adalah utusan yang “diberi wahyu”, dan informasi ini diperoleh dari buku-bukunya yang mengklaim bahwa sebagian isinya adalah wahyu yang telah diturunkan kepadanya, dan sepanjang hidupnya ia menyebarkan klaim ini, dan mengajak kepada manusia dalam buku-buku serta ucapannya untuk berkeyakinan mengenai kenabian dan kerasulannya, sebagaimana ia juga mengingkari banyak ajaran agama yang sudah diketahui kelazimannya seperti jihad.

Dan setelah Al Majma’ mempelajari keputusan yang dikeluarkan oleh Al Majma’ Fiqh Makkah Al Mukarramah dalam masalah yang sama. Maka Al Majma’ memutuskan:

Pertama, bahwa yang diklaim oleh Mirza Ghulam Ahmad tentang kenabian dan kerasulan serta turunnya wahyu kepadanya merupakan pengingkaran secara terang-terangan terhadap apa yang telah ditetapkan secara qath’i yakin dalam agama, bahwa risalah kenabian telah ditutup oleh Sayiduna Muhammad shalallahu alaihi wasalam, dan tidak turun wahyu kepada seseorang setelah beliau. Dan klaim Mirza Ghulam Ahmad telah menyebabkannya dan mereka yang satu keyakinan dengannya menjadi murtad, keluar dari Islam. Adapun Al-Lahuriyah, mereka juga sama dengan Al-Qadiyaniyah secara hukum, yaitu murtad, walapun mereka mensifati bahwa Mirza datang di bawah syariat Nabi Muhammad shalallhu alaihi wasallam.

Kedua, mahkamah non Islam atau hakim non Islam tidak boleh mengeluarkan keputusan tentang Islam atau murtad, apalagi terhadap hal-hal yang menyelisihi ijma’ umat Islam. Hal itu dikarenakan penghukuman murtad atau Muslim tidak diterima, kecuali datang dari kaum Muslim yang mengetahui dengan seksama hal-hal yang bisa membuat seorang menjadi Muslim atau keluar dari Islam, dan mengetahui hakikat Islam dan kekufuran, serta menguasai hal-hal yang telah ditetapkan oleh Al-Quran, Sunnah dan ijma.

Karenanya, jika ada penguhukuman yang dikeluarkan dari mahkamah ini (mahkamah non syar’i) maka dianggap batil. Dengan demikian, kedudukan fatwa yang dikeluarkan para ulama adalah benar dan mulzim (wajib dilaksanakan) bagi kaum Muslim (bukan non-Muslim), karena fatwa ini berkenaan dengan aqidah, bahkan bisa dihukumi kafir, apabila meyakini kebenaran Ahmadiyah. Hanya saja, setelah keluarnya fatwa, diperlukan kekuatan politik dan hukum sebagai alat. Itulah tugas pemerintah. Bukan wilayah ulama lagi.

Tapi jika ada sebagian orang mengatakan kedudukan fatwa (dalam contoh kasus MUI soal Ahmadiyah) tidak wajib dilaksanakan oleh kaum Muslim, bisa dipastikan, ia memang banyak paham kedudukan fatwa dalam hukum Islam. Saya kira, penulis dan semua umat Islam sependapat untuk dilarang melakukan pengrusakan atau pembunuhan terhadap pihak lain. Tetapi mencemooh ulama dan mengatakan fatwa tak wajib diikuti, adalah tindakan bathil. Lebih-lebih yang mendukungnya adalah jahil. Wallahu a’lam

* Penulis alumni Fakultas Syariah Al-Azhar, Mesir

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

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Western Democracy Is Bullshit

Posted by musliminsuffer on May 8, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

The hugely rich pull the strings

By David Rothkopf

WASHINGTON: We didn’t elect them. We can’t throw them out. And they’re getting more powerful every day. Call them the superclass.

At the moment, Americans are fixated on the political campaign. In the meantime, many are missing a reality of the global era that may matter much more than their presidential choice: On an ever-growing list of issues, the big decisions are being made or profoundly influenced by a little-understood international network of business, financial, government, cultural and military leaders who are beyond the reach of American voters.

In addition to top officials, these people include corporate executives, leading investors, top bankers, media moguls, heads of state, generals, religious leaders, heads of terrorist and criminal organizations and a handful of important cultural and scientific figures. Each of these roughly 6,000 individuals is set apart by their power and ability to regularly influence millions of lives across international borders. The group is not monolithic, but none is more globalised or has more influence over the direction in which the global era is heading.

Doubt it? Just look at the current financial crisis. As government regulators have sought to head off further market losses, they’ve found that perhaps the most effective tool at their disposal is what the president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank described to me as their “convening power” their ability to get the big boys of Wall Street and world financial capitals into a room or on a conference call to collaborate on solving a problem. This has, in fact, become a central part of crisis management, both because national governments have limited regulatory authority over global markets and because financial flows have become so large that the real power lies with the biggest players such as the top 50 financial institutions that control almost $50 trillion in assets, by one measure nearly a third of all assets worldwide.

Most major companies are both bigger and more global today, which effectively makes them able to pick and choose among various governments’ regulatory regimes or investment incentive programmes. They play officials in country X against those in country Y, gaining leverage that makes the old rules of trade obsolete. The world’s biggest corporations, such as Exxon or Wal-Mart, have annual sales (and thus financial resources) that rival the gross domestic product of all but the 20 or so wealthiest nations. The top 250 companies in the world have sales equal to about a third of global GDP (these are very different measures, but they give a rough sense of relative size).

Major media organisations such as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which is effectively controlled by a single individual, touch far more people each day than any national government can. Just a few weeks ago, Italian media billionaire Silvio Berlusconi once again used his extraordinary resources to win election as prime minister, which will give him a seat at G-8 summits and other global conclaves. Even global terrorist organisations such as Al Qaeda or Hezbollah have both the ability, through their international networks, and the will to project force more effectively on an international level than all but a handful of governments.

The people who run these big international organisations can have much more power over key aspects of your daily life and over global trends than most officials in Washington are likely to have, except in the most extreme circumstances. They can affect investments and job creation, shape culture and influence lawmakers. The Federal Reserve Bank has played a critical role in the financial crisis, but it couldn’t have intervened successfully without a financial leader like Jamie Dimon, chief executive of J.P. Morgan Chase, which stepped in to purchase the failing investment bank Bear Stearns.

The rise of the global superclass signals the latest evolution in the age-old tale of the few who corner the market on power. There have always been elites. But this contemporary group is very different from those that preceded it. Study these 6,000 or so individuals, and you’ll find that unlike past aristocrats who inherited their wealth, many Bill Gates, for instance, or Warren Buffett have built their fortunes over their lifetimes. Many more come from the worlds of business, finance and media than in the past.

In a world with only two kinds of international institutions weak and dysfunctional the members of this superclass are filling a power vacuum when it comes to influencing decisions about transnational issues such as financial-market regulation or climate change. (Many countries voted for the Kyoto accords on global warming, but it took just Exxon and a handful of other oil companies to successfully lobby the White House to opt out and undercut the entire initiative.) In so doing, they raise real questions about the future of global governance. Will the global era be more democratic or less so? Will inequality continue to grow, as it has for the past three decades of this group’s rise, or recede? Will the few dominate because the government mechanisms that traditionally represent the views of the many are so underdeveloped on a global scale?

One distinguishing characteristic of the superclass is the concentration of extreme wealth in the hands of so few. Inequality has always existed in the world, but the international trend toward leave-it-to-the-market policies of the past 25 years has resulted both in great growth worldwide (what superclass member Martha Stewart might call “a good thing”) and in growing inequality (not so much, as superclass member Jon Stewart might say). Today, the world’s more than 1,100 billionaires have a net worth that’s roughly double that of the bottom 2.5 billion people on the planet. The richest 10 per cent of adults worldwide own 85 per cent of global wealth, while the poorest half only barely one per cent. The world’s almost 10 million millionaires have seen their wealth double to nearly $37 trillion over the past 10 years.

Growth is taking place, but it is disproportionately benefiting the few. And there’s a sense that the issue of class conflict, confined not too long ago to the ash heap by our (premature) celebration of the “end of history” after communism’s fall, remains with us.

A backlash is inevitable. Are these elites especially talented? Hard-working? Lucky? Some are all of these things. But conspiracy theories don’t hold water in a group whose members are so diverse and self-interested. Still, when their self-interests align to cause them to act together, they can be hard to resist. They often get their way and thus often get much more than the rest of us. And that leads to angry reaction. “When a CEO is making more in 10 minutes than an ordinary worker’s making in an entire year … something is wrong, something has to change,” Sen. Barack Obama declares on the stump. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton chimes in that “it is wrong that somebody who makes $50 million a year on Wall Street pays a lower tax rate than somebody who makes $50,000 a year.”

The next US president will still be the most powerful person in the world because of his or her control of the nation’s unparalleled military might and influence over our economic and political resources. But that influence is on the wane, for a number of reasons: the relative decline in the power of national governments; the relative rise in the power of others in the world’s fastest-growing places; US trade and fiscal deficits; and a third, geopolitical deficit arising from both damaged national prestige and what might be characterized either as Iraq fatigue or as having learned from the mistakes of the past several years.

None of this makes the decision that US voters will make in November less important. Government still offers the average citizen the best means of counterbalancing the superclass or redressing growing inequality. And governments will have to play a key role in shaping the new regulatory frameworks and governance mechanisms that will be essential to a more balanced distribution of power in the global era. But what it does mean is that “change” isn’t just a slogan in this year’s campaign. It’s a reality that will redefine the landscape of power worldwide for US presidents of the future.—Dawn/ The LAT-WP News Service © The Washington Post

Rothkopf, a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is the author of ‘Superclass: The Global Elite and the World They Are Making’.

source: http://www.dawn.com/2008/05/06/int14.htm

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

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Islamophobia : Storming of Illinois ‘Mosque’ Sends Wrong Message

Posted by musliminsuffer on May 8, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

CAIR: Storming of Illinois ‘Mosque’ Sends Wrong Message

Posted 5/6/2008 3:29:00 PM

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/6/08) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today said an emergency preparedness drill in Illinois, in which a fake “mosque” was stormed by law enforcement authorities, sends the “wrong message” that all Islamic houses of worship may be potential security threats.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said officials from almost 30 government agencies participated in the drill Thursday in Irving, Ill., targeting a community facility that had been re-named the “Irving Mosque” for the purposes of the exercise. In the exercise, officers from the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEAS) stormed the “mosque” using an armored car. One “hostage” was hooked up to an explosive device and the “suspects” in the “mosque” released nerve gas.

SEE: Irving Hosts Emergency Test Drill (Journal-News)
http://www.thejournal-news.net/articles/2008/05/06/news/news01.txt

“The use of a fake ‘mosque’ in this type of drill sends the wrong message to law enforcement officials who may now view mainstream institutions, such as Islamic houses of worship, as potential security threats,” said Ahmed Rehab, executive director of CAIR’s Chicago chapter (CAIR-Chicago). “Officials must be trained in dealing with hostage-taking and responding to chemical, biological or bomb attacks. We are only questioning the wisdom of linking the American Muslim community and its institutions to such incidents.”

Rehab noted that FBI Director Robert Mueller recently cited cooperation from American Muslims in maintaining national security. At a congressional hearing in April, Mueller said: “And every opportunity I have, I re-affirm the fact that 99.9 percent of Muslim-Americans or Sikh-Americans, Arab-Americans are every bit as patriotic as anybody else in this room, and that many of our cases are a result of the cooperation from the Muslim community in the United States.”

Last month, CAIR’s chapter in Pennsylvania (CAIR-PA) called on police training officials in that state to offer a Muslim perspective in a mandatory police training class because of concerns that the class may present stereotypical views of Islam and Muslims.

SEE: Penn. Muslims Seek ‘Balance’ in Police Training on Islam
http://www.cair.com/ArticleDetails.aspx?mid1=777&&ArticleID=24681&&name=n&&currPage=1

CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

CONTACT: CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab, 202-870-0166, E-Mail: arehab@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: arubin@cair.com


www.montrealmuslimnews.net

===

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

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PALESTINE REMEMBERED ~~ 60 YEARS OF DIGNITY AND JUSTICE DENIED

Posted by musliminsuffer on May 8, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

PALESTINE REMEMBERED ~~ 60 YEARS OF DIGNITY AND JUSTICE DENIED

Artwork by Ismail Shammout
Yarmouk Refugee Camp, Jordan. UNRWA archive
Palestinian Refugee Camp, 1949. UNRWA archive
Ein Al Hilwe, Lebanon 1996 (Tineke d’Haese, Oxfam-Solidarité)
Artwork by Mustafa Al Hallaj
Bisan 1937. PalestineRemembered.com
Flight over the wall. Photo by Giorgio Palmera
College De Freres, Jerusalem, 1930s
Shatila Refugee camp, Lebanon, 1999 Badil
Baq’a refugee camp, Jordan. UNRWA archive
Palestinian children, 1930s
Artwork by Tayseer Batniji
A Pioneering women photographer from Nazareth
Mieh Mieh Refugee Camp, Lebanon. UNRWA archive
Palestinian Refugee Displacement, Ramleh, 1948. UNRWA archive
Artwork by Nabil Anani
The rest of this essay can be read HERESource
The Nakba – 60 Years of Dignity and Justice Denied
By Ingrid Jaradat Gassner and Hazem Jamjoum

This appears in the May 2008 issue of This Week in Palestine

At the beginning of the 20th century, most Palestinians lived inside the borders of Palestine, which is now divided into Israel and the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. At that time, Palestine was one of several Arab territories that were part of the Ottoman Empire, and the indigenous Arab population aspired for independence and sovereignty.

There was good reason for optimism because the British High Commissioner in Egypt had promised that Britain would support Arab independence in exchange for support of the Allied war effort to bring down the Ottoman regime (MacMahon-Hussein correspondence),i and US President Woodrow Wilson had announced his doctrine of self-determination for the post-World War I order.ii Moreover, the victorious states of the First World War appeared to abide by these promises. The Anglo-French Declaration (1918), for example, stated that the goal was

“…the complete and final liberation of the peoples who have for so long been oppressed by the Turks, and the setting up of national governments and administrations deriving their authority from the free exercise of the initiative and choice of the indigenous populations.”

This and the doctrine of self-determination were subsequently enshrined in the Covenant of the League of Nations (1919).iii In 1919, the Allied Powers members of the League of Nations decided to establish a temporary “Mandate System” in accordance with the Covenant of the League of Nations to facilitate the independence of these territories. The August 1920 Treaty of Sèvres between the Allied Powers and Turkey affirmed that Palestine

“be provisionally recognised as an independent State subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone.iv

Some 25 years later, however, the Palestinian people had lost Palestine. By the time the first Arab-Israeli war ended in 1949 with cease-fire agreements between Israel and Arab states, more than 500 Palestinian villages, with a land base of more than 17,000 km2, were depopulated.v In total, 750,000 – 900,000 Palestinians, representing half of the pre-war Arab population of Palestine or 85 percent of those in the territory that became the state of Israel, were displaced.vi Most of them became refugees; of the roughly 150,000 Palestinians who remained in those parts of Palestine that became the state of Israel on 14 May 1948, approximately 30,000 were internally displaced persons. An estimated two-thirds of Palestinian refugee homes inside the new state of Israel were destroyed; the remaining third were expropriated and occupied by Jewish settlers.vii Israel had effective control over 78 percent of British Mandate Palestine, including areas that had been allocated to the Arab state under the 1947 UN partition plan.

On 11 May 1949, the UN General Assembly approved Israel’s membership in the United Nations without conditions. For the purpose of the United Nations and its dominant member states, Palestine and the Palestinian people had disappeared. “They had become an indistinct mass of refugees – not a nation, not a political entity, only a problem, and not a major one at that.”viii

This is what Palestinians refer to as Al-Nakba, meaning The Catastrophe.

The idea of transferring the indigenous population out of the country had played a key role in political Zionism from its early days, simply because most Palestinian Arabs were unwilling to part with their land and resisted Zionist colonisation.ix The Zionist movement and its colony in Palestine, however, did not have the power to acquire territory by force and implement a massive forced population transfer until late 1947, when both were made possible for the first time with the support of the international community (see Box 1).

“We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our own country. The property owners will come over to our side. Both the process of expropriation and removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.”

(Theodor Herzl, Diaries)

“If I was an Arab leader, I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel, it’s true. But two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They see only one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?”

(David Ben-Gurion to Nahum Goldmann,
president of the World Jewish Congressxi)

source : http://desertpeace.wordpress.com/2008/05/05/palestine-remembered-60-years-of-dignity-and-justice-denied/

===

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

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IF YOU INVADE SOMEONE’S COUNTRY, SHOULD YOU NOT EXPECT THE INHABITANTS TO FIGHT BACK?

Posted by musliminsuffer on May 8, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

IF YOU INVADE SOMEONE’S COUNTRY, SHOULD YOU NOT EXPECT THE INHABITANTS TO FIGHT BACK?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008
I’ve just got time for a quick comment today… well, more of an observation. I read this in today’s New York Times: “As American strikes on Shiite fighters in Baghdad have widened, Iran has suspended talks with the United States on Iraqi security, with the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Monday citing the continued offensive as the reason. The American forces have been responding to fire from Shiite militias in the Amel neighbourhood in western Baghdad.”
The bit that gets me is where it says: ‘American forces have been responding to fire from Shiite militias…’ It doesn’t occur to the Americans that it is they that are in a foreign country killing its inhabitants and that it is actually the inhabitants that are responding to invasion and occupation. If the US had been invaded by Iraq, would Americans have behaved any differently? Or if Australia was invaded by Iraq, would Australians not be fighting back – even if the Iraqi invader had seen to the demise of John Howard!

source: http://lataan.blogspot.com/2008/05/if-you-invade-someones-country-should.html

===

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

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Fighting intensifies across Afghanistan

Posted by musliminsuffer on May 8, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Fighting intensifies across Afghanistan

By James Cogan

7 May 2008

Fighting is escalating in Afghanistan as weather conditions improve for combat operations by both the US-NATO occupation force and the Afghan guerillas fighting to drive them from the country.

The 2,300 troops of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which only arrived in Afghanistan seven weeks ago to reinforce the NATO-commanded International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), were hurled last week into a major assault on insurgent strongholds near the town of Garmser in Helmand province. The guerillas in that area are primarily supporters of the Taliban Islamic fundamentalist movement, which was overthrown by the 2001 US invasion.

The operation, codenamed “Azada Wosa” or “Be Free” in Pashtun, has considerable tactical importance for the occupation forces. Garmser is believed to be one of the main assembly points for Taliban fighters moving from mountain bases along the Afghan-Pakistan border to link up with insurgent units across the rebellious ethnic Pashtun provinces of southern Afghanistan. It is also a key transit route for the smuggling of Afghan opium and heroin to Pakistan, one of the principal ways in which the insurgency finances itself. British troops, who are responsible for NATO operations in Helmand, have fought desperate battles to hold a base in the town, but have been unable to either control it or prevent Taliban movements.

The US marines, many of whom are veterans of fierce fighting in the Iraqi city of Ramadi during 2006, have spent the past week trying to dislodge Taliban fighters from positions along Garmser’s main road using air strikes, artillery and mortar barrages and machine gun fire. No American troops have been reported killed-in-action. There are no confirmed reports on Afghan casualties.

According to Taliban sources cited on May 2 by Asia Times Online, the insurgents have offered only minimal resistance to the US operation. Their strategy is to bottle up hundreds of the newly-arrived American troops attempting to secure Garmser, while they concentrate on attacking occupation forces further north.

Taliban guerillas have had six to eight weeks of suitable weather to prepare offensives of their own. The boldest thus far was the April 27 attack by three guerillas on a military parade in the Afghan capital Kabul presided over by US-backed president Hamid Karzai. A member of parliament was killed and 11 people injured. On Sunday, a government army officer and Kabul police captain were arrested on suspicion of assisting the assassination attempt.

A series of other attacks have taken place over the past 10 days that have pushed total US/NATO fatalities this year to 56—21 American, 9 British, 9 Canadian and 17 from other countries that have troops participating in the occupation.

Australian commando Jason Marks was killed and four others wounded by small arms fire in Uruzgan province on April 27 when Afghan fighters ambushed Australian troops as they assembled for an attack on an alleged Taliban position. Air strikes had to be called in to extricate the Australians. The same day, insurgents attacked a US/Afghan army base in the eastern province of Kunar, near the Pakistan border. They were driven off by artillery and air strikes.

On April 28, clashes between Taliban and US troops took place in Nimroz province and Ghazni province, with no reported American casualties. Another Australian soldier was wounded during a firefight in Uruzgan.

Two American troops were killed in separate incidents on April 29. Jonathan Yelner, a 24-year-old member of an Air Force maintenance unit, was killed by a roadside bomb planted outside the huge US air base at Bagram, in central Afghanistan. Army sergeant David McDowell, 30, was killed by guerilla small arms fire near Camp Bastion, the main NATO base in northern Helmand province.

Also on April 29, a suicide bomber detonated explosives among members of a government opium poppy eradication team in the province of Nangarhar. Eighteen people were killed and at least 31 wounded. On April 30, one Czech soldier was killed and four others wounded by a roadside bomb in Logar province. Czech forces only assumed command over ISAF’s “Provincial Reconstruction Team” in Logar on March 28.

A Fijian-born British soldier, Ratu Babakobau, was critically wounded on May 2 when his vehicle struck a mine in northern Helmand. He was declared dead on arrival at the Camp Bastion hospital. Three other British troops and one Afghan were wounded.

On May 5, a civilian helicopter contracted by the US military was hit by small arms fire in Kunar province and forced to make an emergency landing. There were no reported casualties. Yesterday, one Canadian soldier was killed and another wounded during a clash with insurgents in Kandahar province.

In virtually every engagement with Afghan guerillas, the US and ISAF forces rely on air support from helicopter gunships or fighter-bombers to avoid casualties. Attacks on alleged Taliban targets are also overwhelmingly carried out by aircraft. As many as 10 air attacks are carried out every day in Afghanistan. In many cases, civilians are killed or maimed by these indiscriminate bombings, fueling hatred for the occupation and creating fresh recruits for the insurgency.

The dependency on air power underscores the fragility of the US/NATO hold on Afghanistan. Some 64,000 foreign troops are attempting to occupy a country the same size as Iraq but which has a far more rugged terrain and a largely rural population. The US-funded and equipped Afghan National Army consists of less than 70,000 personnel and has no independent air support or logistical systems. By way of comparison, the failed Soviet occupation of Afghanistan during the 1980s involved 108,000 troops at its peak, along with over 300,000 pro-Moscow Afghan government troops and police.

Like the Soviet forces, the far smaller US-led occupation only controls the main cities and selected strategic positions. The Taliban and other insurgent groups are able to operate largely unhindered across large parts of the countryside. The insurgents are also assisted by divisions within the NATO-commanded International Security Assistance Force, which has responsibility for security in all of the country except the eastern provinces, where some 14,000 US troops operate independently of NATO.

ISAF is made up of approximately 50,000 troops from 40 different countries, with many national contingents consisting of only a few hundred personnel. The inevitable command and logistical difficulties arising from its diverse composition are compounded by various national caveats placed on the use of troops. More than a third of the ISAF personnel, including the large contingents of German, French, Italian, Spanish and Turkish troops, are not permitted to deploy into southern Afghanistan, where the insurgency is most active. American, Canadian, British, Dutch and Australian troops are bearing the brunt of the fighting.

Demands by the US, British and Canadian governments that the major European powers both lift these limitations and send additional troops to Afghanistan have been largely ignored. In the wake of the NATO summit in Bucharest during April, France announced an extra 700 troops for the eastern provinces to free up US forces to fight in the south. Georgia, which is seeking NATO membership, has promised to send 500 troops. Small numbers of troops are being sent by Croatia, Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania. The Bush administration ordered an additional 3,500 US marines to Afghanistan in January. The total reinforcements, however, fall far short of the 7,000 to 8,000 extra troops that NATO commanders declared that they urgently needed at the beginning of the year.

The US attempt to subjugate the Afghan people and turn the country into a pliable client state in Central Asia has dragged on now for over six-and-a-half years. So far, it has cost the lives of more than 800 American and NATO troops and tens of thousands of Afghans. The estimated financial cost of the occupation was over $120 billion at the end of 2007. However, very little aid has been provided to end the appalling social conditions facing the majority of the population.

The war has no end in sight. The unstated position in Washington—one shared by both Republicans and Democrats—is that tens of thousands of American troops will be killing and dying in Afghanistan for the next decade or more. The New York Times reported over the weekend that the Bush administration is considering ordering an additional 7,000 US soldiers to Afghanistan in 2009 due to “growing resignation that NATO is unable or unwilling to contribute more troops”. Such a deployment would move American troop numbers in Afghanistan to over 40,000 and further escalate the death and destruction.

source: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/may2008/afgh-m07.shtml

See Also:
Anti-Karzai attack in Kabul shakes US puppet government
[29 April 2008]

===

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

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Amnesty Intl: Ethiopian troops commit atrocities in Somalia

Posted by musliminsuffer on May 8, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Amnesty Intl: Ethiopian troops commit atrocities in Somalia

Amnesty Intl: Ethiopian troops in Somalia slit throats of civilians, gouged eyes, gang raped

MALKHADIR M. MUHUMED
AP News

May 06, 2008 05:42 EST

A leading human rights group on Tuesday accused Ethiopian troops in Somalia of killing civilians and committing atrocities, including slitting people’s throats, gouging out eyes and gang-raping women.

In a new report, Amnesty International detailed chilling witness accounts of indiscriminate killings in the Horn of Africa country and called on the international community to stop the bloodshed.

Ethiopia’s government said the report was unbalanced and “categorically wrong.”

The London-based rights group said testimony it received suggested all parties to Somalia’s conflict have committed war crimes. But it singled out Ethiopian troops, who are in the country to back Somalia’s U.N.-sponsored government, for some of the worst violations.

Somalia’s shaky transitional government invited Ethiopian forces into the country to help it battle Islamic insurgents. Somalia has been torn apart by years of violence between the militias of rival clan warlords.

The rights group said it obtained scores of reports of killings by Ethiopian troops that Somalis have described as “slaughtering like goats.” In one case, “a young child’s throat was slit by Ethiopian soldiers in front of the child’s mother,” the report says.

Ethiopia’s Information Minister Berhanu Hailu said the report was “totally unfounded.”

“Normally when they report they do not balance it out. They have to go and see the reality for themselves. They shouldn’t report from abroad saying this is happening,” he told The Associated Press in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.

Amnesty said some 6,000 civilians were reported killed and more than 600,000 were forced to flee their homes in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, last year.

“The people of Somalia are being killed, raped, tortured. Looting is widespread and entire neighborhoods are being destroyed,” Michelle Kagari, Amnesty’s deputy director for Africa, said in a statement from Nairobi that accompanied the report.

The report quotes testimony from some 75 witnesses as well as scores of workers from non-governmental organizations. People are identified only by their first names to protect them from retaliation.

In one testimony, Haboon, 56, said her neighbor’s 17-year-old daughter was raped by Ethiopian troops. The girl’s brothers tried to defend their sister, but the soldiers beat them and gouged their eyes out with a bayonet, Haboon was quoted as telling Amnesty.

“The testimony we received strongly suggests that war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity have been committed by all parties to the conflict in Somalia and no one is being held accountable,” Kagari said.

Somalia has been mired in chaos since 1991, when warlords overthrew longtime dictator Mohamed Siad Barre and then turned on each other. Last year, Islamist militants took control of most of southern Somalia, including Mogadishu. Troops from neighboring Ethiopia deployed in December 2006 and ejected the Islamists from the capital.

But since then, Mogadishu has been caught up in a guerrilla war between the government and its Ethiopian allies and the Islamist insurgents.

Amnesty urged the U.N., African Union and others to act to halt the violence.

Source: AP News

===

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

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Somalia: a victim of Bush’s recklessness

Posted by musliminsuffer on May 8, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Somalia: a victim of Bush’s recklessness

How the West ended Somalia’s brief flirtation with stability

By Matthew Carr

02/05/08 “First Post” — – One of the forgotten battlegrounds of George Bush’s ‘war on terror’ jumped sharply into focus yesterday, with the announcement that a pre-dawn US missile strike had killed the Islamist militia leader Aden Hashi Ayro and at least 10 other people in the town of Dusamareb in Somalia.

The Americans claim Ayro was a key al-Qaeda figure in East Africa. There is no way of objectively assessing these claims, but his assassination is certain to fuel the ongoing conflict in a country that Oxfam recently described as Africa’s worst humanitarian crisis.

To much of the Western public, violent mayhem has long been synonymous with the failed state depicted in Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down. But the violence that is currently ripping Somalia apart is a direct consequence of the Bush administration’s reckless military adventurism and the Manichean fantasy world of the 21st century’s terror wars.

The present conflict can be traced to Christmas Day 2006, when the Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi invaded Somalia in order to topple a grassroots Islamic movement, the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC).

During their six-month ascendancy in the south of the country, the Islamic Courts earned themselves some kudos amongst the war-weary Somali population, who were prepared to tolerate their literalist interpretation of Sharia in exchange for the freedom to walk the streets without being robbed, shot or raped by warlord militias.

It was a period in which many analysts, such as John Prendergast, a former Clinton official, saw ‘the beginnings of governance’ after nearly two decades of relentless civil war.

However, the xenophobic Zenawi regime did not regard the triumphant Islamists in Somalia with any enthusiasm. Nor did the Bush administration, which saw the Islamic Courts as an incipient Taliban and accused its leaders of sheltering “half a dozen or less” al-Qaeda leaders and an unknown number of lesser operatives.

The UIC denied these allegations and even made some conciliatory overtures to the West, but these efforts were not reciprocated. Instead the Bush administration gave what one US official called a ‘yellow-green light’ to an invasion that the Zenawi regime presented as its own ‘war on terror’.

From its bases in Kenya and Djibouti, the Pentagon’s newly-created Africa Command also provided military support for the invasion, in the form of special forces and helicopters. In January 2007 US helicopter gunships carried out ‘rinse and repeat’ attacks on fleeing refugees near the Kenyan border, who were believed to include al-Qaeda terrorists.

The main casualties in these attacks appear to have been nomads and their livestock, though few people were counting. But the Islamists appeared to have been routed and Ethiopia promptly set about establishing a puppet government, headed by the warlord Abdullahi Yusuf. Since then, resistance to Ethiopian occupation has grown exponentially and Somalia has sunk ever deeper into a vortex of violence. More than one million people have been displaced, thousands have been killed and the country’s fragile food supply once more placed in jeopardy.

Was all this done in order to eliminate “half a dozen or less” al-Qaeda operatives who may never have been in the country in the first place? Did the US hope to gain access to Somalia’s rich oil fields? Or was the Bush administration so blinded by its association between ‘Islamism’ and ‘terror’ that it chose to shoot first and ask questions later?

We cannot know what the Islamic Courts might have become had the US engaged them diplomatically or offered aid instead of rinse and repeat free fire zones. But the consequences could hardly have been much worse than they are now.

In its bloody attempt to rescue Somalia from ‘fundamentalism’ the US and its Ethiopian proxy have paved the way for the violent political fragmentation in which al-Qaeda thrives. While Western politicians dream of further humanitarian interventions elsewhere, it is salutary to pause and reflect on the catastrophe inflicted on yet another country that had to be destroyed before it could be saved.

source: http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/32457,opinion,somalia-a-victim-of-bushs-recklessness,2

===

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

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Mercenary

Posted by musliminsuffer on May 8, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Mercenary

If you learned that the man in this photo — a professional assassin — was the head of security at one of our nation’s most vulnerable nuclear facilities, would it trouble you? Or would it sound like one hell of a story?

If you learned that the man in this photo -- a professional assassin -- was the head of security at one of our nation’s most vulnerable nuclear facilities, would it trouble you? Or would it sound like one hell of a story?Related Links:
• Read the transcript of an interview with William Clark, a/k/a. “Zeke.”
• Listen to audio clips of an interview with Zeke.

The Palisades Nuclear Plant in Covert, Michigan, is real. It produces 778 megawatts of electricity, and the electricity keeps the lights burning for about half a million residents. The nuclear reactor inside the nuclear plant is also real. It gets really hot, and anyone driving on Interstate 196 on his way to Grand Rapids or St. Joe can see thin clouds of steam rising from its cooling towers, as constant a presence as the weather. The steam is real; it’s water from Lake Michigan, pumped in to keep the reactor cool. The nuclear power plant is on the shore of Lake Michigan, right next to the tourist town of South Haven and about eighty miles from Chicago as the crow flies. Lake Michigan is real, definitely, though it comes off as an illusory ocean, offering the horizon as its only boundary. South Haven is real, too, although it empties out in the cold of winter. And Chicago? As real as the millions of people who live there, and the strange American fervor they generate. Chicago is so damned real, and so damned American, that it’s hard to imagine an American reality without it — it’s hard to imagine an American reality if, say, a terrorist attack on Palisades Nuclear contaminated the big lake for the next thousand years or so and emptied out Chicago, not to mention St. Joe and South Haven and Covert.

Which is why it’s a good thing that the security manager at Palisades Nuclear for the last year and a half is real, too, with real qualifications for the job. His name is William E. Clark, and he has been in the Army, he’s been a cop, he’s done some contracting work for the Department of Energy, he’s gone to Kosovo on a diplomatic mission, and after Katrina, he worked for Blackwater, the security company, outside New Orleans. He started at Palisades in early 2006. He has a new house and a new wife and has told people, “I would shed blood to keep this job.” As a statement of determination, this is reassuring…but what if he means it as a statement of fact? What if William E. Clark has told people — told me — that he has in fact shed blood many times, in many places, over the course of many years? What if William E. Clark says that he worked for Blackwater in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as in New Orleans and killed so many people that he considers himself a cold-blooded murderer? What if he says that his job as the security manager of a nuclear plant on Lake Michigan is both a reward for all the killing he’s done and a means for keeping him quiet about it?

The guilt is real. The shame is real. He is not proud of the things he’s done, although that doesn’t stop him from talking about them. He’s not proud of what he had to do in Vietnam, his son says. He’s not proud of having to kill someone in New Orleans, his ex-wife says. He wakes up with nightmares, his new wife says, because he’s starting to see the faces of the human beings he once saw through the rifle scope. And so this story represents his attempt to come clean. He is a bad person, he says, but he wants to be a good person — he wants to be thought of as a good person. He wants to be purified, shriven. He is telling his story because he knows it will destroy him. He is telling his story because he knows it will set him free.

He has kept stuff, over the years, because he knows that nobody will believe him. He has kept the stubs from all the boarding passes, the keys from all the hotel rooms. There are hundreds of them, and he keeps them in thick wads and piles. He has kept a business card for one of his aliases, Zeke Senega, a reporter for The Irish Times in Dublin. He has kept his passports, including the diplomatic one that was required for the work he did for the State Department. And he has photographs. He has a folder full of photographs from what he calls an “operation” in Iraq — an operation that ended with two jihadists slumped dead in the front seat of an Opel, their car windows spiderwebbed with the ghosts of two precision gunshots. He also has a photo album, which he calls the Book. The Book is not very different from a lot of photo albums — it is a record, in snapshots, of the places he’s been and the people he’s met — except that the mostly unsmiling men staring at the camera are usually wearing camouflage and armed to the teeth. And in the middle of the Book, there is one photo, black-and-white and larger than the rest, of William E. Clark cradling a rifle to his chest in what appears to be a jungle. He does not seem to be posing, and indeed he looks a little sick — his mouth slightly slack and his long face droopy with exhaustion. And yet when he remembers the circumstances of the photo, he relishes them: “That picture was taken in El Salvador in 1996. I wasn’t supposed to be there. Nobody was. Suddenly this UPI photographer shows up, taking pictures. I said, ‘If you don’t put that camera down and give me the film, I’ll shoot you. I’ll kill you and get away with it. Because I don’t exist.’ ”

Somewhere along the line, Bill Clark from Tulare, California, became Zeke, the “shooter” in his prized photograph, above.

The volunteer is real — so real that her name cannot be disclosed, nor any identifying details. She is one of the Americans who volunteered their time after Hurricane Katrina flooded the Gulf Coast in 2005. She worked at a makeshift shelter where people were very sick and couldn’t be evacuated. There were drugs at the shelter, a store of narcotics, to keep the sick people comfortable. There had to be protection, and Blackwater USA supplied it, through a government contract. The volunteer was happy that Blackwater was there, because she kept hearing stories of what was happening in New Orleans — its descent into lawlessness. It was a very scary time. In fact, one night one of the Blackwater contractors at the shelter said he had received intelligence to the effect that a New Orleans gang had found out about the drugs at the shelter and was on its way. He assured her that she would be safe, because he had just come from Iraq, and after what he’d been through there with the jihadists, he wasn’t about to be scared by American lowlifes. He was a senior member of the Blackwater team, and he made sure that if anyone so much as even parked around the block from the shelter, there was a Blackwater contractor in his face. Nothing happened that night, and nothing ever happened, for she had her own personal protector.

His name was William E. Clark, but he told her to call him what everyone called him — Zeke. She was struck by the apparent contradictions in him. He made her feel secure, but he seemed so terribly wounded, both literally and metaphorically. He had a problem with his neck, an injury that occasionally caused him to pass out. When she asked him how he got it, he told her that he couldn’t say, that he was prohibited from saying. Little by little, though, it came out, because secrets come to light during the night shift, and stories get told in the dark. He’d done terrible things for his country. He’d had to do terrible things, but that was because of his willingness to do them. He wasn’t so willing anymore. He was doing the worst thing someone like him could do: He was growing a conscience. No, worse than that: He was talking about it. He was talking to her. He had never talked to anyone about the terrible things he’d done, not even his wife of thirty years. He felt safe with the volunteer, as she felt safe with him.

He scared her a little, of course. She had never met anyone like him. He showed her how to use one of his guns. She had never fired a gun before and was surprised how much she liked it. But she also felt that he was watching her. He even said that he was. He would call her on her cell phone, in the middle of the night, when she couldn’t see him. “I’m sick of just watching you,” he would say and describe everything she was doing, so that she knew she was being watched. It was obsessive, and once they came together, they came together obsessively. She was in thrall to him, as he was in thrall to his stories and his terrible past. She didn’t know whether to believe his stories, but when she got home, he sent her videotaped footage of people being executed in what he said was Iraq. There were voices on the video, and one of them sounded exactly like Zeke’s.

Death is real. Its reality is unsurpassed, and the people at the disaster-relief conference in Houston last July were on intimate terms with it. They were morticians, they were forensic anthropologists and forensic dentists, they worked suicide hotlines, and they handled the public relations when airplanes went down. Now they were all standing up and saying who they were and where they came from and why they were interested in doing work that few people wanted to do — why they wanted to take care of the dead left behind by mass disasters. As the attendees were introducing themselves to one another by both name and profession, a man stood up and said, “My name is William Clark, and I’m a designated marksman for Blackwater.”

He stood out as soon as he stood up. He was lean and he was lanky, with his face and everything else about him aligned on a vertical axis — he had a full head of springy hair rising straight up off his scalp in a kind of modified brush cut and a Fu Manchu mustache bracketing his rabbity front teeth. There was an arrogance in his military bearing and a desire to shock secreted in the monotonal nonchalance of his voice. I was one of the people who gave him the reaction he was looking for, and when I asked him if I could speak with him, he seemed as though he’d been waiting for me to ask the question.

We met in a small room away from the main auditorium and away from the other attendees of the conference. I was well aware of Blackwater and its reputation as a private security company whose armed contractors had changed the rules of engagement in Iraq and elsewhere, even in New Orleans. I was also well aware of the reputation its contractors had for not talking, and so I was surprised when William Clark sat down and, in the same manner he used when he was introducing himself in the auditorium — a manner at once matter-of-fact and challenging — he started not only talking but confessing. Yes, he said, he was one of them — a “merc,” or mercenary, for Blackwater. He was a sniper. He had been a countersniper for the security details assigned to protect Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan and Paul Bremer, the former American proconsul, in Iraq. He did overwatch, which meant he sat up on rooftops and shot people who looked dangerous. “Hey,” he said, “thirty-seven Al Qaeda and twenty-one Baathists can’t be wrong.” At first, he was blithe on the subject of killing, saying that the Blackwater contract was “perfect for a guy like me — a thousand bucks a day, and you get to kill people legally.” Then he said that he must be “missing a chromosome or something — I don’t have the moral firewall that keeps normal people from killing.” He had met people doing body-retrieval work when he was in New Orleans for Blackwater, and when they told him what they did, he said, “You’re a taker-outer? That’s funny — I’m a putter-inner. Maybe we can work together.” It was a joke, of course — the kind of bitterly defensive joke he liked to make — but then he’d started giving the matter some thought. He was fifty-three years old. He was old for the kind of life he led, the life, in his words, of “an operator,” “a shooter,” “a trigger puller.” In effect, he had given his life to take lives, and it had cost him almost everything, including, he said, as he held up his left hand and displayed a denuded ring finger, his thirty-year marriage. He was trying desperately to adjust to civilian life, but a lifetime habit of chasing headlines didn’t die easily. He was at the conference because he was hoping that maybe there was a way to chase headlines without having to kill anybody.

False IDs and other work tools on Zeke’s kitchen counter

I called the number he gave me a few days later and asked for William Clark.

“Who?” a voice said.

“William Clark.”

“Who is this?”

I told him I was the reporter he met at the disaster-relief conference. “Oh, yeah,” he said. “I remember. You just threw me off, asking for William.”

“Your name isn’t William?”

“It is. But everybody calls me Zeke. The only person who doesn’t is my mother, and she calls me Billy.”

In April, Palisades Nuclear was bought by another firm, and Zeke’s future status was unclear. He told a colleague at the plant that he was going abroad again. He said he had to go to Afghanistan to “counsel” someone who had displeased the government. By “counsel,” he meant “kill,” and he asked if he could borrow the colleague’s gun. The colleague wondered why Zeke would want a gun, when he already had so many. “Plausible deniability,” Zeke said.

Find this article at: http://www.esquire.com/features/mercenary0607

===

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Neocons Admit that “War On Terror” Is a Hoax

Posted by musliminsuffer on May 8, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Neocons Admit that “War On Terror” Is a Hoax

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Key war on terror architect Douglas Feith has now confirmed Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Wesley Clark in admitting that the so-called War on Terror is a hoax.

In fact, starting right after 9/11 — at the latest — the goal has always been to create “regime change” and instability in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Lebanon so as to protect Israel. And the goal was never really to destroy Al Qaeda.

As reported in a new article in Asia Times:

Three weeks after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld established an official military objective of not only removing the Saddam Hussein regime by force but overturning the regime in Iran, as well as in Syria and four other countries in the Middle East, according to a document quoted extensively in then-under secretary of defense for policy Douglas Feith’s recently published account of the Iraq war decisions. Feith’s account further indicates that this aggressive aim of remaking the map of the Middle East by military force and the threat of force was supported explicitly by the country’s top military leaders.

Feith’s book, War and Decision, released last month, provides excerpts of the paper Rumsfeld sent to President George W Bush on September 30, 2001, calling for the administration to focus not on taking down Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network but on the aim of establishing “new regimes” in a series of states

***

General Wesley Clark, who commanded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization bombing campaign in the Kosovo war, recalls in his 2003 book Winning Modern Wars being told by a friend in the Pentagon in November 2001 that the list of states that Rumsfeld and deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz wanted to take down included Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan and Somalia [and Lebanon].

***

When this writer asked Feith . . . which of the six regimes on the Clark list were included in the Rumsfeld paper, he replied, “All of them.”

***

The Defense Department guidance document made it clear that US military aims in regard to those states would go well beyond any ties to terrorism. The document said the Defense Department would also seek to isolate and weaken those states and to “disrupt, damage or destroy” their military capacities – not necessarily limited to weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Where does Israel come in?

Well, the Asia Times article continues:

Rumsfeld’s paper was given to the White House only two weeks after Bush had approved a US military operation in Afghanistan directed against bin Laden and the Taliban regime. Despite that decision, Rumsfeld’s proposal called explicitly for postponing indefinitely US airstrikes and the use of ground forces in support of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance in order to try to catch bin Laden.

Instead, the Rumsfeld paper argued that the US should target states that had supported anti-Israel forces such as Hezbollah and Hamas.

***

After the bombing of two US embassies in East Africa [in 1988] by al-Qaeda operatives, State Department counter-terrorism official Michael Sheehan proposed supporting the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance in Afghanistan against bin Laden’s sponsor, the Taliban regime. However, senior US military leaders “refused to consider it”, according to a 2004 account by Richard H Shultz, Junior, a military specialist at Tufts University.

A senior officer on the Joint Staff told State Department counter-terrorism director Sheehan he had heard terrorist strikes characterized more than once by colleagues as a “small price to pay for being a superpower”.

And if “terrorist strikes” were a “small price to pay for being a superpower”- and that is the reason that the U.S. government refused to disrupt the alleged planners of the 9/11 attacks – doesn’t that add weight to the claim that the U.S. government intentionally allowed the 9/11 attacks to occur? In other words, doesn’t this statement by a senior officer of the Joint Chiefs of Staff tend to prove that 9/11 was intentionally allowed to occur as the “New Pearl Harbor” which would allow America to act like “a superpower” and re-make the Middle East in its own (and Israel’s) image?

This is not an unreasonable question, especially given that Feith, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and most of the other key architects of the “war on terror” were part of the Project for a New American Century and its plea for a “New Pearl Harbor” to justify expansion of American militarism and regime change in the Middle East.

And remember that many of the key members of PNAC and architects of the “war on terror” had previously created the “Clean Break” strategy for Israel, which called for a policy of war and regime change against Israel’s enemies.

The war on terror was never intended to be about fighting terrorism. As even Newsweek has now admitted, the war on terror is a hoax.

source: http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2008/05/neocons-admit-that-war-on-terror-was.html

===

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

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A LITTLE TERRORIST: ENJOY YOUR HANDIWORK USA

Posted by musliminsuffer on May 8, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Death Made In America
Wondering if your conscience is still anesthetized

Mohammed Daud Miraki, MA, MA, PhD
Exclusive To Rense.com
Mdmiraki@ameritech.net
4-29-6
A LITTLE TERRORIST: ENJOY YOUR HANDIWORK USA
I took this photo on the last day of my journey: one the triplets
Afghanistan is has become the disaster words could not describe, hence, I decided to illustrate this disaster via these photos of babies born deformed.
On many occasions, I pointed out that we need funds to build a research institute and the linked monitoring stations. Unfortunately, majority of you simply brushed off my request. I wonder if these photos could elevate your humanity that has been overwhelmed by your comfortable life and materials desires.
Again, it is up to you, to do whatever you think is human; that should not be too difficult. The funds for the research institute are very small price you have to pay after all your tax dollars have created this disaster. Whether you like it, admit or deny it, it does not absolve you from the indirect complicity in these war crimes.
If everyone visiting this web site pays the amount they spend on soft drinks in a month, we would have the funds to build our research facility:
AMERICAN DEMOCRACY IN ACTION-“FREEDOM IS ON THE MOVE” RIGHT? YOUR GOVERNMENT is CRIMINAL BUT YOU ARE equally RESPONSIBLE.
YOU MIGHT SAY, “THAT’S LIFE WHAT COULD I DO” PAY FOR THE RESEARCH FACILITY-A TOTAL COST OF FIVE MILLION DOLLARS-PEANUTS COMPARE TO THIS PAIN.
I HOPE YOU COULD EAT TONIGHT AND LOOK AT YOUR CHILDREN AND SAY IT IS OKAY TO REMAIN INDIFFERENT. I WOULD NOT BE SURPRISED AFTER ALL IT IS OKAY-YOU HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT, RIGHT? You had everything to do with it, your tax dollars paid for their misery!!!
HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF YOUR CHILDREN WERE BORN LIKE THIS?
FROM THE AMERICAN GIFT (URANIUM MUNITIONS) THAT KEEPS ON GIVING
HORRORS UNLIMITED: MADE IN USA
The parents of this child do not give a damn about your freedom BS or some other garbage
OUR CHILDREN WOULD BE BORN THIS WAY FOR EVER THANKS TO THE URANIUM MUNITIONS USED BY YOUR ARMED FORCES PAID FOR BY YOUR TAX DOLLARS.
OH A FEW MINOR DETAILS ABOUT SITUATIONS IN AFGHANISTAN:
URANIUM MUNITIONS
Due to the use of massive amount of uranium munitions used by the US forces in the initial bombing and subsequently, massive amount of congenital deformities occur all over Afghanistan. The rate of various cancers has gone up significantly. Leukemia and esophageal cancers are very high among children. According to doctors at maternity and children hospitals in Kabul, the rate of various congenital deformities have increased by many folds since the US invasion. In fact, the magnitude of man made isotopes was established by the Uranium Medical Research Center after their investigators made to trips to Afghanistan and collected urine and soil samples. They established that the rate of man made isotopes was gone up 2000 times in some subjects located near the bombed areas.
Since uranium used in the weapons have a half-life of 4.5 billion years, the US forces ensured that generations of Afghans suffer from cancers and deformities. This is certainly not development. In fact, it is the biggest crime ever committed by anyone in the history of humanity.
RECONSTRUCTION
There has been a lot of talk of reconstruction and rebuilding, but this issue could only be understood if one compares the substance against the rhetoric and the large amount of money allocated for the so-called reconstruction. Of all the whooplas made of reconstruction, the US and its client regime has only inaugurated the truck route-highway-between Kabul and Kandahar. This hallmark of achievement that the US brags about was completed 40 percent during the Taliban government. While the highway is inaugurated, it still needs significantly additional work to remain intact. The inauguration of the highway was a political ploy aimed to convince the critiques that the reconstruction has been going smooth. It is hardly so.
When I entered Afghanistan from Pakistan, the lack of achievement was evident. For the past three years, there have been construction efforts underway to pave the road from Torkham, the entry point from Pakistan to Afghanistan, to the city of Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the Pakistani contractors are more interested to have their tea breaks rather than to do any rebuilding. I brought up this issue with the authorities in Kabul, but to avail.
After reaching Jalalabad, I was further surprised to see the roads in the city with massive potholes, unpaved roads, hence, tremendous amount of dust blown in every direction. The reason for the lack of work in Jalalabad, as is the case almost every where in Afghanistan, corrupt officials eager to make money than to worry about the welfare of the people.
If a Mayor is appointed to a town or city, the would be mayor has to pay $40,000 bribe since he would be making more than $400,000 in selling government land to the highest bidder.
The magnitude of corruption is not limited to a province, but rather officials in the central government in Kabul are equally complicit in massive corruption and inefficiency which I would discuss shortly. Since the main road to Kabul is under construction for the past three years-we had to take a mountain pass called Lataband, which is a very rugged mountain terrain with huge rocks and massive potholes widespread for miles on. Once I reached Kabul, I stopped complaining about the Lataband road-after all Lataband is a mountain pass-Kabul the capital city lacked paved roads with exception of very few. The government in Kabul has not done anything of substance whether it pertains to infrastructure, housing, sanitation or drinking water. These are the essential elements of survival in any city. There are several reasons for the lack of progress. Some of the reasons are fundamentally flawed while others are bureaucratic hurdles and corruption. The fundamental flaws are situated in the free market approach superimposed on Afghanistan. There are two aspects of the free market that impedes the reconstruction of basic infrastructure in Kabul, one is the idea that money spent has to be invested with a return in mind, second, basic development should be contracted to private sector. Both of these issues have impeded the rebuilding of infrastructure.
In the first half of the 20th century, the Afghan government asked for a loan from the US government to build basic infrastructure-paved roads in Kabul, the government and the bank refused the loan on the ground that building roads in Kabul is not profitable investment. The government in Kabul at that time, argued that for any profitable enterprise to succeed basic infrastructure has to be built. So there is very little amount allocated for rebuilding basic infrastructure. It is worth noting that part of the blame goes to the international reconstruction aid as it is dispersed in such a way that some amount is allocated to the government in Kabul while the rest goes to the countless NGOs. Since the first problem, namely investment with a profit in mind, does not materialize in the construction of roads, efforts are made to resolve that problem through contracting out construction of roads to private sector. Thus, contracting out roads to private sector would mean money for contractors, hence, compensate for the lack of profitability associated with paving roads. This created another problem.
Once a road is contracted out, the private contracting firm resort to delaying tactics associated with feasibility study and other related issues in order to fatten its return. This delayed tactic does not serve peoples’ needs and the roads remain unpaved. For example, the road from Kabul’s airport to the presidential palace was contracted out three years ago it was still not built. This practice of contracting out projects adds to unemployment. Had the government adopted a different method, perhaps by hiring local laborers and using machinery, the chronic unemployment would be reduced, thus, people would have some food on the table.
Three weeks ago, Karzai announced that the road in the Dasht-e-Barchi area repaired and built. The allocated funding is $10,000000 ten million dollars. This is an outrage. Ten million dollars could repair all the roads in the capital, Kabul if only the function is taken over by the ministry of public works.
The Free Market Nonsense:
In order to please the US administration, the regime in Kabul advocated the notion of ‘free market’ as if this would become a panacea for the national economy. On the contrary, the so-called free market scheme had been tried in the past-the 1930s– that resulted in fruitless consumerism of imported goods, which otherwise would have been produced domestically. Moreover, the consumption of luxuries received more priority than investment in productive sectors of the economy. A handful of businessmen and investors became rich while the rest of the country remained poor and destitute. Today, in the post-Taliban Afghanistan, the consumption of goods such as television sets and satellite dishes are more important than worrying about clean water and proper schooling. After all, as long as capitalism had brought the culture of corruption and entertainment, other necessities become secondary. Meanwhile, people with money import these goods, pocket their profits and leave. The desire of the installed regime to collect custom duties contributes to the perpetuation of underdevelopment.
Corruption also plays a significant role in the continuation of import than investment in productive infrastructure. For example, for the past 2-3 years over 100,000 tons of cement is imported while the construction plans of four cement factories collect dust. The official reason is that the country does not have a mining law. This year alone 380,000 tons of cement is imported this year alone. The question is how long does it take to formulate a mining law; it has been three years. The profit margin for dealers has skyrocketed while the long-term development prospects have waned down with every imported bag of cement.
AMERICAN CRIMES AND ORGANIZED CRIMES
With the collapse of Taliban, a very profitable, yet nasty sector of the economy has risen to new heights. Organized crime is an extension of what used to be warlords and their armies of bandits. With the warlords and other officials of the Northern Alliance occupying official positions, their former foot soldiers are equipped with new weapons and Toyota trucks, Landcruisers, with only one aim to kidnap people from diverse backgrounds for large sums of money. Once the money is secured, the government officials, who are also leading these bandits, keep 80 percent for themselves and 20 percent for their men.
The Italian aid worker, who was kidnapped in Kabul in broad daylight, was a victim of these organized bandits. After she was released, the government claimed that it secured the release of the aid worker through negotiation, but the truth is otherwise. The kidnappers received 5 million dollars. Those poor souls that can not afford paying ransoms end up dead.
Other groups of criminals kidnap children for money as well as for their organs. This is an epidemic that people sought Talibans’ assistance for in the mid-1990s, however, it appears that this is no longer an issue for the US occupation force and their puppets after all when it comes to crimes what could be more criminal that using WMD against civilian population. The US forces have used uranium weapons against the people of Afghanistan, and continue to commit crimes that dwarf what the organized criminals are doing. The followings are some of the examples of the brutality of the US forces in Afghanistan:
Rape and Murder by the US forces
In the Bagrami area of Kabul, the US forces assaulted a small enclave of nomads. The US forces flew over this enclave and saw nomad women near their tents. They landed their helicopter and kidnapped these women by gunpoint. Subsequently, the US soldiers flew away with these women to some location, where these women are gang-raped. After these women were raped and died in the process, the soldiers flew them back to the community from where they were kidnapped. However, this time the helicopter did not land, instead, the women were thrown down from the helicopter. This is not unique for the US forces since they committed similar crimes in Vietnam. American forces are too much of cowards to have landed because they knew they would be shot in revenge.
Another incident occurred when a US helicopter spotted an old shepherd grazing his animals. The shepherd was 70 years old but this did not appear to matter to the US forces. The helicopter landed and raped the old man. His relatives told me that on the one hand we are furious about the crime committed by these beasts, but on the other hand we are curious “what kind of rotten people Americans are.”
In another incident, a truck driver was driving his truck north from the Kabul, passing the US base in Bagram when the US patrol stopped him. In the passenger seat of the truck a young boy was sitting. This young man wanted to learn driving a truck, but tragically for him, the Americans noticed him and asked him to step out. The young man stepped out and the soldiers took him away from the truck and gang raped him. When the boy returned to the truck, he was crying and furious. Later that day, he committed suicide. This is another gift of the US’s democracy.
In the American military base Bagram, north of Kabul, 15 translators while working for the US forces were gang raped by the very forces for which they worked. Although I have no sympathy for those that work for the US forces, however, no one should be subjected to such extreme cruelty. One of the translators said,
“Around 25 to 30 American soldiers enter the area where we were sleeping and started raping us. I was conscious until to the third soldier started raping me and then lost consciousness.” (Hamid-translator for the US forces, June 2005)
In Badakhshan province, the US soldiers had taken forty (40) women and extracted their teeth for oral sex. One member of the parliament, who is a close supporter of Karzai, said:
“The issue of these women treated in such a miserable way was about to get some publicity, however, the US officials made sure that this does not happen.” (Parliament member–I can not reveal his name)
In another incident, the US forces were searching local houses between JalaAbad and Kabul, when they entered and tried to search the house, they came across the woman of the house, since she was very beautiful, the soldiers decided to take her to the US base. The husband was not at home. When he returned from Peshawar, he went to get his wife. He told his wife,
“To me you are now my mother and sister, I can not touch you any more, but tell me if they have violated your dignity? ‘They raped me by force, I was conscious for the first three men, then lost consciousness’.” (The husband whose name I can not reveal his name. He joined Taliban afterward and I do not blame him.)
A young man committed suicide in the Laic-e-Mariam in KairKhana area after the Americans in an NGO raped his sister.
These are some of the very few examples of the many crimes committed by the US forces in Afghanistan, but unfortunately, the coward officials of the puppet regime call it reconstruction. To add insult to injury, the two American soldiers, who murdered two detainees at Bagram airbase, received only 2 and 3 months in jail for crime ruled homicide by the US medical examiners. The two detainees were beaten at their legs while hanging from the ceiling until their legs “pulverized”. The term “pulverized” was used by the medical examiner to articulate the magnitude of the fatal injury and the inhumane way of murdering. When one of the victims asked for water, the soldier poured water over his face; subsequently, the poor man died. This is American reconstruction of Afghanistan.
Life for Ordinary People
There is absolutely no hope for the Afghans. The billions of dollars of development aid did not benefit ordinary Afghans. Abject poverty is the rule of the day. Orphans and widows roam the streets to make a living. The NGOs and foreign advisors enjoy life to the fullest. They are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars, enjoy luxury vehicles and houses, while ordinary Afghans die from homelessness, hunger and disease.
In light of the London donor conference, which would amount to nothing considering the legacy of so-called reconstruction in Afghanistan; it is prudent to make some points.
It is a tragedy of immense proportion that no one even dare to address the abomination that is called life with inevitable demise at every corner resulting from the massive amount of uranium munitions used by the American forces and their allies. Our so-called Afghans self-sold surrogates are more than happy to jump on the bandwagon and express their gratitude for the token thrown at our people when in fact their entire existence is put in question by the massive use of weapons of mass destruction. Let the progress of the Bonn agreement tell the children of Tora Bora and Shah-e-Kot suffering from Leukemia and Esophageal cancers, or the massive number of sudden abortions occurring among women and animals in those areas.
Another legacy is the corruption of bribery and sheer robbery by the officials of this puppet regime eager to make dollars. Unfortunately, they do not even accept Afghan currency but rather demand dollars. According to an Afghan commission, the amount of bribes paid in Afghanistan ranges from 20 Afghani to 15,000000 Dollars. In a country where an experience medical technologist is paid $40/month, the millions of dollars paid in bribe point to the magnitude of profit individuals and companies expected to enjoy.
Abject poverty is every where and hopes of revival are no where. The billions of dollars donated went into the pockets of NGOs and powerful government officials, while the poor remains poor.
Another problem is Americanization of the system, namely whole sale firing of professionals with decades of experience under the pretext of making hospitals and offices efficient. The truth is the US wants to implement capitalism in Afghanistan and bring open market when in fact no has food to eat or money to pay for healthcare. The shortage of physicians and health technicians is ignored for the sake of this garbage called free market. Now there are no private companies to hire these professionals with decades of experience. It would have been nice if other opportunities existed, but there are none.
Today in Afghanistan, there are a few very rich and the rest extremely poor thanks to the United States of America.
Afghan Resistance and US losses:
The Afghan resistance fighters consist of Pashtuns, entirely. The East, Southeast, South and Southwest, West and part of Central area of Afghanistan are the most volatile. The US forces have lost a lot of soldiers there. In fact, ordinary Afghans used to wondered about the US losses and started to believe a myth that the soldiers that are killed in Afghanistan must come from orphanages in the US, hence, their death is not missed by anyone. To the Afghans, it does not make sense when so many soldiers lose their lives and yet there has not been any outrage on the part of the families of those soldiers. Thus, ordinary Afghans started this myth that the soldiers that are killed in Afghanistan are from orphanages since this was the only rational explanation they could find.
Before going to Afghanistan, different sources claimed that American dead were kept refrigerated on board ships in the Arabian Sea and at US bases in the Middle East. When I went to Afghanistan, many people within the Afghan Ministry of Defense told me similar stories that American dead are stored in refrigerated containers on board ships and at the US bases in the Middle East. In fact, one translator, who was working with the US forces, told me that he had seen refrigerated containers filled with dead US soldiers. The following two incidents should give a glimpse into the US losses and lies about those losses there.
Around June 12, 2005, an Afghan resistance fighter rammed an explosives laden vehicle into the US military convey in Kandahar. The result was severe losses for the US military. Initially, the media reported that five American soldiers were killed, then later that figure was abandoned and replaced with only four wounded. However, the truth was completely different. An eyewitness, Haji Habib told us an entirely different account of the losses:
“A suicide bomber slammed his vehicle into the US convey. The vehicle must have been full of powerful explosives because the explosion was really loud and shattering. After the dust and smoked settled, I counted the charred bodies. There were 39 charred bodies. The American cleanup team came with cranes and picked the destroyed armored vehicles and dead bodies before anyone could take photographs.” (Haji Habib: June 14, 2005-my first trip)
In another incident around the 22nd of May 2005, the US forces lost 75 soldiers along with three tanks and three armored vehicles in Helmand province in Southwestern Afghanistan. This occurred when the US unit went to the province and arrested a former Mujahideen commander. The eyewitness, a translator, who witnessed and counted the dead bodies at Kandahar airport after being transported from Helmand described the operation as follows:
“The Americans went to Helamd to arrest a former commander. When they arrested him, his villagers and former Mujahideen fighters blocked the retreat of the US forces. The US forces fired at the men standing in their way, killing six of them. Since the rest of the fighters had already taken positions, the Americans were bombarded with RPG-7 grenade-launchers and heavy machinegun fire. In the firefight, the arrested commander was also martyred but also 75 American soldiers were killed, three of their tanks and three armored vehicles were also destroyed. When the American reinforcement arrived, all the Mujahideen fighters were long gone. Instead, the US helicopters bombed civilian areas.” (Abdul Ali-eyewitness to the fight)
At the end of February 2006, in Uruzgan province an American convey was ambushed and 29 American soldiers were killed, while officially they admitted only four. These are just few of the many unreported losses of the US soldiers in Afghanistan.
FINAL NOTE
For those of you who would make the argument that we were attacked by Bin Laden and the Taliban refused to hand him over even though we refused to show his involvement, here is a piece of information revealed by Vice President Cheney. His answer to a question from the Tony Snow Show via telephone, and the link below is that of the White House:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/03/20060329-2.html
Q: I want to be clear because I’ve heard you say this, and I’ve heard the President say it, but I want you to say it for my listeners, which is that the White House has never argued that Saddam was directly involved in September 11th, correct?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: That’s correct. We had one report early on from another intelligence service that suggested that the lead hijacker, Mohamed Atta, had met with Iraqi intelligence officials in Prague, Czechoslovakia. And that reporting waxed and waned where the degree of confidence in it, and so forth, has been pretty well knocked down now at this stage, that that meeting ever took place. So we’ve never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden [sic] was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming. But there — that’s a separate proposition from the question of whether or not there was some kind of a relationship between the Iraqi government, Iraqi intelligence services and the al Qaeda organization.
So the US bombed Afghanistan and killed tens of thousands of people and turned the country into a uranium hellhole on a hunch?
Obviously so, and that is why, they could never produce an ounce of proof of his complicity in the attacks.
SEE IF YOU COULD EXPLAIN THAT TO HIS PARENTS
IF YOU WANT TO DONATE GO TO: www.afghandufund.org
Or
http://www.ihcenter.org/groups/afghandufund.html
Mohammed Daud Miraki, MA, MA, PhD
Director Afghan DU & Recovery Fund
www.afghandufund.org
My contact: mdmiraki@ameritech.net
Update
Dr. Mohammed Daud Miraki
mdmiraki@ameritech.net
5-1-6
Hello Jeff,
For the past few days, I have been going through hell receiving rotten and hate-filled email from some of the sick and stupid people in America.
They make fun of the babies…and they curse Islam and I and my family.
Now I know why many Afghans view Americans no longer as ‘civilians’…and often describe them as legitimate ‘military targets’ anywhere in the world. How tragic. How sad.
What has happened to America’s soul?
Kind Regards,
Mohammed

source: http://www.rense.com/general70/deathmde.htm

===

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

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From Guantanamo to Iraq – the shame of America

Posted by musliminsuffer on May 8, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

From Guantanamo to Iraq – the shame of America.

Layla Anwar, Arab Woman Blues II – Silent Reflections…

May 3, 2008

Two things have marked the downfall of America . Guantanamo and the occupation of Iraq.

When I say downfall, I don’t just mean your dollars, I mean you moral downfall, collective downfall from any grace you might have had or attempted to salvage after a bloody history of murder, mayhem and oppression of other peoples. Your examples are too many to mention.

It has never ceased to amaze me, that you — the United Sates of America, only 200 years old, was able to create so much suffering to other nations, nations way older and more noble than you. Or maybe I should use the word destroy instead.

You created so much suffering and you destroyed so much. And like any ” People of the Lie” to use a Scott Peck book title, you are totally oblivious to the REAL and GRAVE consequences of your collective actions. Oblivious to the depth of meaning that your collective actions will bear in the future. Not just economically and politically but also morally and yes, spiritually as well.

I’ve spent a few hours watching and re-watching videos on Sami Al-Hajj’s release from Guantanamo. You may also watch them —

here, and here and also here.

Sami Al-Hajj has been detained in Guantanamo for over 6 years, with NO trial. Force fed, tortured, humiliated, left in isolation…He was only a cameraman for God’s sake.

He said that you people have more respect for the rats and the iguanas than for human beings. He said that till this day, detainees are kept naked in their cells and he added that you are guilty of every single violation any person can commit.

This Guantanamo business have been going on for 8 years now. All happening in your name, under a government you voted for twice. I still can’t get over that last bit.
Some of you also have the audacity to continue defending this government of yours.
And others who are so called “liberals” are hoping for a huge change with more deceitful candidates like Clinton and Obama.

In Iraq, you have followed the same pattern of rationalizations and denial. Tomorrow if the number of not 1 million but 5 million Iraqis dead because of your actions are thrown in your face, you will not budge and you will persist in your ways.

I finally discovered with you people, that you are not interested in facts and truth. What you are interested is in perpetuating a lie. People of the Lie, indeed.

This is honestly very sickening for an outsider looking in. Forget politics, oil, economics, geo strategies and the “war on terror”…just suspend them for a minute and look at yourselves in the mirror. Can you really say to yourselves that you are proud to be an American ?

If I were you, I’d either change my nationality or go bury myself in shame…I would keep walking in the shadows of walls, not wanting anyone to discover my true identity.

In all honest objectivity, you have absolutely nothing to brag about. Whatever accomplishments you may have reached on either a collective or an individual level, in the improvement of your own society or personal lives, you have totally lost on the outside.

I am not just saying this to irk you, but you are really tremendously disliked every where. Wrong, not disliked, but held in contempt. A deep contempt.

I don’t blame the outside world, after all you have not stopped praising yourselves as being the greatest democracy and nation on earth.

And here I am not referring to technological or scientific achievements…again suspend Matter for a minute if you can…

What a disaster you have brought upon yourselves, what a shame and what a pity.

A truly sad lot.

source: http://www.albasrah.net/pages/mod.php?mod=art&lapage=../en_articles_2008/0508/from_guantanamo_060508.htm

===

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

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