Examining the Wounds of Gaza

The Wounds of Gaza
by Drs. Ghassan Abu Sittah & Swee Ang
Last week, British medical journal 'The Lancet' released the preliminary findings of two clinicians exploring the weapons used against the civilian population of Gaza during Israel's 23 day military assault.
As horrific the images of the destruction of Gazan's life, limb, and civil infrastructure are, what Doctors Ghassan Abu Sittah and Swee Ang discovered is by magnitudes greater. It is an atrocity for the ages.

Utilizing both conventional and experimental weapons, Israeli actions constitute crimes against humanity the like of which has not been seen since America's contamination of large swathes of South East Asia with Agent Orange.
Contrary to Geneva and all subsequent conventions on the treatment of civilians in war zones, Israel's targeting of Palestinians with chemical and nuclear material-laden weapons, the effects of which persist both in the environment and in the bodies of the survivors at the cellular level, is truly a new order of criminality that demands redress from both the United Nations and the world community at large.

Pacific Free Press has a policy of publishing only author approved articles, but on rare occasions urgency and the great portent of a piece make it too important to be belayed by such niceties. So it is, with apologies to the authors, we present you with, 'The Wounds of Gaza.' - ed.
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Freeing Gilad: Innocents and Illusion

Gilad Shalit: The Grand Illusion
by Gilad Atzmon
A few days ago, Noam Shalit, the ‘Father of’ slammed the Hamas for holding his son for no real reason. Miraculously, he managed to forget the fact that his son Gilad was actually a combatant soldier who served as a post guard in a concentration camp and was captured in a fortress bunker overlooking Gaza.

Father Shalit called upon Hamas to: “stop holding us as hostages of the symbols of yesterday's wars". He also claimed that the Hamas is engaged in no less than 'imaginary resistance'. Seemingly, these are some very bold statements from a father who is supposed to be very concerned with his son’s fate.
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Case Study in Political Paranoia

Targeting the RNC Welcoming Committee: A Case Study in Political Paranoia
by Tom Burghardt
Political repression comes in all shapes and sizes: from the beat cop smashing the head of a demonstrator to the bureaucrat adding a name to a watch list. While the former has an immediate and shocking effect, the latter, more insidious and far-reaching in its probable consequences to the individual, is less amenable to redress. Once indexed, always indexed.

Certainly one of the more sinister trends in America today are the multiplicity of partnerships among state security agencies and their analogues in the corporate world. Indeed, many CIA or FBI officers upon retirement join the highly-lucrative and unaccountable world of corporate spying. Nowhere are these revolving-door relationships more toxic to a democracy than in the area of political intelligence.
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U.N. Body Condemns Canadian Racism

Canada's Universal Periodic Review at the UN - The situation of aboriginal peoples is denounced by 35 states
The image of Canada, as the great defender of human rights does not hold water when it's a matter of First Nations' rights. Two days ago, within the scope of Canada's Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council, the representative of the Canadian government was unable to defend and justify Canada's numerous acts of negligence towards the First Nations.
Out of 47 countries who interrogated the representative of Canada, some 35 of them raised profound concerns for the fate of Canada's Aboriginal Peoples.

Numerous countries, including Austria, Mexico and Norway strongly criticized Canada, and enjoined it to reconsider its decision of not supporting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted in 2007. Canada was among the four countries to vote against the document. Later on, Canada  remained silent when Denmark asked questions about a letter signed by one hundred lawyers from Canada who were questioning its reasons for not supporting the Declaration.
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Unhappy Returns: Coming Full Circle in Iraq

Full Circle
by Dahr Jamail
Among things that have not changed in Iraq is one that I hope never changes. After a four-year-long absence, each of my meetings here with former friends and fresh acquaintances seems to suggest that adversity has taken its toll on everything except Iraqi hospitality and Iraqi generosity. I am awestruck to find the warmth of the Iraqi people miraculously undiminished through grief, loss and chaos.

I first met A (name withheld) in 2004 during my second trip to Iraq. He had accompanied Sheikh Adnan, a mutual friend, when the latter came to visit me in Baghdad. Several visits had followed. The two men would come to my hotel laden with delicious home-cooked meals, of which the first morsel had to be eaten by me, as per their custom. Their visits and the times we spent together brought me an experience of love and brotherhood, the type of which I had rarely known before. More significantly, those occasions had healed and sustained me as I grappled with the guilt and raw horrors of the occupation the government of my country had subjected their land to.

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You, Me and the Security Prosperity Partnership

You, Me and the SPP
by Paul Manly
Paul Manly’s latest film ‘You, Me, and the S.P.P: Trading Democracy for Corporate Rule’ will premiere at 7pm on Thursday, February 5th in the main drama theatre in building 310 at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo. It is also scheduled to screen at the World Community Film Festival in Courtenay on February 7th and at the World Community Film Festival in Vancouver at Langara on February 14th and in other cities as part of the traveling World Community Film Festival. Manly starts the film with random interviews on the street with two questions “Have your heard about the SPP, the Security Prosperity Partnership?” and “Have you heard about TILMA the Trade Investment Labour Mobility Agreement?”
None of the people he asks have heard anything about these two agreements and so his next question is why not? Unable to obtain interviews with any government ministers responsible for these agreements or with any other proponents, Manly sets out to find out what all the silence is about and what these agreements will mean to the citizens of Canada.
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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Paul Manly, J9, Riki Ott, Zoe Blunt Feb. 9, 2009

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook
This week: Nanaimo filmmaker Paul Manly asking, "What have you heard about the SPP?"; Victoria Street Newz publisher, Janine Bandcroft watching Victoria's shelter crisis; Salmon fisher, marine biologist, environmental defender, and author, Riki Ott on the long fight for justice in the wake of the Exxon Valdez disaster and the introduction of the 28th amendment to the constitution of the United States: the separation of corporation and state; and Victoria-based activist and writer, Zoe Blunt on this week's 'The Joy of Dissent and Speaking Truth to Power' event.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, 104.3 cable, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://GorillaRadioBlog.blogspot.com

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America Latina: Dirty Business, Dirty Wars

Dirty Business, Dirty Wars: U.S.-Latin American Relations in the 21st Century      
by Cyril Mychalejko     
Much is being made across the political spectrum in the United States about Washington's waning influence in Latin America. The region has seen an emergence of left and center-left presidents voted into office, many as a result of budding social movements growing democracy from the grassroots.
Some pundits and analysts are suggesting that this phenomenon is occurring because of the Bush Administration's perceived neglect of the region. Rather, what is happening is blowback from Washington's continued meddling in the economic and political affairs of an area arrogantly referred to as the United States’ "backyard."
Latin America's growing unity in rejecting the Washington Consensus remains fragile in the face of U.S. opposition. Washington has been quietly using the war on drugs, the war on terrorism, and a neo-cold war ideology to institutionalize a militarism in the region that risks returning us to the not so far off days of "dirty wars."
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Thankful: What Real Jews Feel Towards the Muslim People

Something To Tell The World!
by Rabbi Weiss
Animated message from Rabbi Weiss, expressing what a real Jew feels towards the Arab and Muslim people of the world!
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Families of Cole Survivors Not Alone in Wait for Justice

Families of U.S.S. COLE Sailors Unhappy with Delayed Justice Aren't the Only Sufferers
by Sherwood Ross
Truer words were rarely spoken than those uttered by Retired Navy Comdr. Kirk Lippold, the defense advisor to Military Families United, when he said the relatives of the sailors killed and wounded in the attack on the destroyer U.S.S. Cole in Yemen have been waiting eight years for the accused to be tried and that “Justice delayed is justice denied.”
If the phrase isn’t exactly novel maybe that’s because words to that effect appeared in the Magna Carta, a milepost of Western jurisprudence, back in 1215 A.D. The document also enshrined the right to habeas corpus, granting appeal against unlawful imprisonment.
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Meltdown: The Icelandic Economic Example

The Icelandic Volcano Erupts: Can a Hedge-Fund Island Lose Its Shirt and Gain Its Soul?
by Rebecca Solnit
In December, reports surfaced that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson pushed his Wall Street bailout package by suggesting that, without it, civil unrest in the United States might grow so dangerous that martial law would have to be declared. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), warned of the same risk of riots, wherever the global economy was hurting.
What really worried them wasn't, I suspect, the possibility of a lot of people thronging the streets with demands for social and political change, but that some of those demands might actually be achieved. Take the example of Iceland, the first -- but surely not the last -- country to go bankrupt in the current global crash.

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Harper Budget: A Profound Lack for Forestry

Federal Budget - A Profound Lack of Vision for Forestry
by Peter Ewart & Dawn Hemingway
It is ground zero for forestry in this country. Tens of thousands of jobs have been lost, over 200 mills have been closed, and many companies are teetering on the edge of shut down or bankruptcy.  This crisis began long before the current economic downturn, and, as a result, many workers and forestry-based communities in Canada have been facing this grim situation for two or three years, or even longer. They have made repeated calls for assistance over these last several years, but little has been forthcoming from the Federal Government. Now the Government says that, with its new budget, it is ready to take “action.”
Why has it taken so long to respond while thousands of laid-off workers and dozens of forestry communities have been “twisting in the wind” over these last several years? Only Stephen Harper and his government know the answer to that one.  In any case, the Federal Government has now put forth its much anticipated budget. So what is the verdict on it?
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