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As we watch the Gaza bloodshed with horror, appalled at how the crisis is spiraling further out of control, one thing is clear -- this violence will only lead to further civilian suffering and an escalation of the conflict.
There must be another way. Over 280 are dead so far in the Gaza Strip and hundreds more injured -- rockets are striking Ashdod deep inside Israel for the very first time, and the sides are mobilising for invasion. A global outcry has begun, but it'll take more than words -- the immediate violence won't end, nor will wider peace be secured, without firm action from the international community.
Today, we're launching an emergency campaign which will be delivered to the UN Security Council and key world powers, urging them to act to ensure an immediate ceasefire and address the growing humanitarian crisis -- only with robust international oversight and action can civilians on all sides be protected and real steps be taken toward a wider peace. Follow this link now to sign the emergency petition and send it to everyone you know:
by Paul Craig Roberts
The title of my article comes from the sermon of the Episcopal Bishop of Washington DC, John Bryson Chane, delivered on October 5, 2008, at St. Columba Church. The bishopâ€™s eyes were opened to Israelâ€™s persecution of Palestinians by his recent trip to Palestine. In his sermon he called on â€œpoliticians seeking the highest office in [our] landâ€ to find the courage to â€œspeak out and condemn violations of human rights and religious freedom denied to Palestinian Christians and Muslimsâ€ by the state of Israel.
Bishop Chaneâ€™s courage was to no avail. As Justin Raimondo reported (Antiwar.com, 27 December), when Americaâ€™s new leader of â€œchangeâ€ was informed of Israelâ€™s massive air attack on the Gaza Ghetto, an area of 139 square miles where Israel confines 1.4 million Arabs and tightly controls the inflow of all resources--food, medicine, water, energy--Americaâ€™s president-elect Obama had â€œno comment.â€
According to the Jerusalem Post (26 December), â€œat 11:30 a.m., more than 50 fighter jets and attack helicopters swept into Gazan airspace and dropped more than 100 bombs on 50 targets. . . . Thirty minutes later, a second wave of 60 jets and helicopters struck at 60 targets . . . More than 170 targets were hit by IAF aircraft throughout the day. At least 230 Gazans were killed and over 780 were wounded . . .â€
As I write, news reports are that Israel is sending tanks and infantry reinforcements in preparation for a ground invasion of Gaza.
"When you lose your life, you lose everything, and we're so ever grateful and ever mindful of the degree of commitment our soldiers have serving our country."
by Ramzy Baroud
Itâ€™s incomprehensible that a region such as the Gaza Strip, so rich with history, so saturated with defiance, can be reduced to a few blurbs, sound bites and reductionist assumptions, convenient but deceptive, vacant of any relevant meaning, or even true analytical value.
The fact is that there is more to the Gaza Strip than 1.5 million hungry Palestinians, who are supposedly paying the price for Hamasâ€™s militancy, or Israelâ€™s â€˜collective punishmentâ€™ whichever way the media decide to brand the problem.
More importantly, Gazaâ€™s existence since time immemorial must not be juxtaposed with its proximity to Israel, failure or success in â€˜providingâ€™ a tiny Israeli town - itself built on conquered land that was seen only 60 years ago as part of the Gaza province - with its need for security. Itâ€™s this very expectation that made the killing and wounding of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza a price worth paying, in the callous eyes of many.
These unrealistic expectations and disregard of important history will continue to be costly, and will only serve the purpose of those interested in swift generalizations.
The R2P is a doctrine that seeks to "justify" third party interventions within sovereign states that are deemed "failed," that is to say the national government no longer possesses either the will or ability to safeguard the basic rights of the citizenry.
In the post-9/11 world, R2P as a philosophy has been embraced by the United States and its allies as a conveniently placed stepping-stone towards the "regime change" brought to Iraq in 2003, and later attempted by the Israeli Defense Force in Lebanon in 2006. It has also been suggested as a necessary means to protect the citizenry of Zimbabwe and the Sudan, and might be, in a stretch, used to legitimize the ongoing U.S.-assisted overthrow of the Islamic Courts in Somalia.
by Danny Schechter (Author of Plunder)
This is the time of the interregnum, the week between Christmas and the New Year, in the period between the end of the Bush disaster and the beginning of the Obama ascendancy.
It is a quiet time, a slow week (except for wars and coups, of course) and a moment for reflection before we cheer more for the passing of the last year then the coming of the next. The Zogby Poll found, â€œAmericans are overwhelming glad to say goodbye to 2008 but are somewhat unsure of the future. Americans are guardedly optimistic about 2009, but just as many feel that the coming year will be worse or the same as 2008.â€
by David Swanson
Dear President Elect Obama; on his third day in office President Grant revoked two pardons that had been granted by President Andrew Johnson. President Nixon also undid a pardon that had been granted by President Lyndon Johnson. There may be other examples of this, as these two have somewhat accidentally come up in a discussion focused on numerous examples of presidents undoing pardons that they had themselves granted, something the current president did last week. (See http://pardonpower.com ). In 2001, President George W. Bush's lawyers advised him that he could undo a pardon that President Clinton had granted.
Much of the discussion of this history of revoking pardons deals with the question of whether a pardon can still be revoked after actually reaching the hands of the pardonee, or after various other obscure lines are crossed in the process of issuing and enforcing of the pardon. If President Bush issues blanket pardons to dozens of criminals in his administration for crimes that he himself authorized, he will probably -- with the exception of Libby -- not even name them, much less initiate any processes through which they are each formally notified of the pardons. He will be pardoning people of crimes they have not yet been charged with, so the question of timing is something you are unlikely to have to worry about (except perhaps with Libby).
Please come out rain, snow or shine to demonstrate your outrage and our collective humanity in response to the latest massacre of Palestinians. At least 200 Palestinians have been killed and over 800 injured in the latest Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip, while the threat for further bloodshed still hands heavily as air strikes continue. This is the single largest massacre in Gaza since Israel illegally occupied Gaza in 1967, many among the dead are civilians and the numbers keeps mounting.
US Consulate (1075 West Pender)
Gather on HASTINGS side (corner Thurlow)
Saturday morning started as usual but dramatically changed by 11AM. Sixty Israeli F16s bombarded around 100 police stations, civil and governmental offices across Gaza Strip. The bombardment which simultaneously took place left (at the time of writing)160 people killed and around 3 hundred wounded. A number of wounded are expected to die while many corpses still lie under the rubble of buildings.
Palestinian victims were an amalgam of policemen and civilians who were visiting police stations for civic affairs. Al Jawazat police station witnessed the bloodiest Israeli attack in which around 70 were killed, mostly policemen. The victims of Al Jawzat were holding a graduation ceremony for new young police groups.
Information Clearing House Newsletter
News You Won't Find On CNN
December 27, 2008 - Special Report - Slaughter In Gaza
The accomplice to the crime of corruption is frequently our own indifference" : Bess Myerson
"The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society." -- Thomas Jefferson to P. Dupont, 1816
"Bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression." -- Thomas Jefferson: 1st Inaugural, 1801
Slaughter In Gaza
More Than 200 Killed As Israel Drops 100 Tons Of Bombs In Gaza City
The BBC Video Report
Israeli F-16 bombers have pounded targets across the Gaza Strip, killing more than 200 people, according to local medical workers. Click to view
Israeli Attack on Gaza, Kills 205
Israeli warplanes have carried out a massive airstrike on the Gaza Strip
By Press TV
Video footages showed the bodies of dead people including men, women and children on Gaza streets.
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At least 4.2 million Iraqis were displaced. These included 2.2 million who were displaced within Iraq and some 2 million refugees, mostly in Syria (around 1.4 million) and Jordan (around half a million). In the last months of the year both these neighbouring states, struggling to meet the health, education and other needs of the Iraqi refugees already present, introduced visa requirements that impeded the entry of Iraqis seeking refuge. Within Iraq, most governorates barred entry to Iraqis fleeing sectarian violence elsewhere.'
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