Airport to Nowhere, Waltz with Bashir

Tomgram: Airport to Nowhere, Waltz with Bashir, Part 2
by Tom Engelhardt
A pack of ravenous dogs, a nightmare, a visit from a war-haunted friend, this was how film director Ari Folman's period as an Israeli "grunt" in the 1982 invasion of Lebanon first returned to him. But when he began to search for his own memories of that war, what he found instead was a puzzling, disturbing blank.
Tentatively setting off in pursuit of those missing memories, horrors buried for almost a quarter of a century, he also launched himself on a path that would lead to his award-winning, Oscar-nominated animated film, Waltz with Bashir, and an accompanying graphic memoir of the same title, developed in tandem with it.

The first part of that book -- of his memoir/journey -- appeared at TomDispatch last Saturday. When we left him, a former friend and fellow soldier was just describing his grim landing on a beach in Lebanon in the early days of the invasion. Now, in part 2 of Waltz with Bashir, we pick up the story soon after the seemingly blank landscape of Folman's memory has suddenly, inexplicably, been illuminated by a -- flashback? hallucination? memory? -- of himself rising naked from the sea to step into a war-torn Beirut night.
Read more ...

Sacre Bleu!: Montreal Police Seek to Criminalize its Critics

Wimpy Montreal cops seek god-like status - anti-insult laws to protect their tender egos
by MNN
Montreal police want the city to give the cops the right to crack down on "insult-hurling" citizens "with a blow to their pocketbooks" or cooling our heels in a jail cell.  They don't' want to be called "pigs" and "doughnut-eaters" anymore! 
They want us to salute them and lick their boots. 
We're worried that some insulters could get jail time in the "Swearor's Prison" in Olde Montreal. 
British Police are already enforcing this law even though it's not on the books.  Photos of police harassing the public is going to be a crime there.  
Read more ...

Fallujah Smoldering Yet

Threat of Violence Looms Again Over Fallujah
by Dahr Jamail
The threat of violence hangs over Fallujah again as leaders of the Awakening Council fight for political power through the elections Jan. 31.
Awakening Council leaders Sheikh Ahmad Abo Risha (l) and Sheikh Aifan Sadun. (Photo: Dahr Jamail)

The Awakening Councils were set up and backed by the U.S. military to curb spiralling violence. According to the U.S. military, most of the members recruited were former resistance fighters. Over recent years, they grew to a strength of about 100,000 men, each paid 300 dollars a month.

U.S. aid to the Councils was cut off in October on the understanding that the members would be absorbed into Iraqi government forces. To date, less than a third have been given government jobs.
Read more ...

Israel Challenged on Gaza at World Economic Forum

Shimon Peres at the World Economic Forum: Yet more Disinformation and Lies
by William A. Cook
C-Span provided Americans a chance to view a World Economic Forum debate on Peace in the Mid-East on the 29th from Davos, Switzerland. Americans rarely have an opportunity to view a civilized debate on the crisis in Palestine, but to witness the anger of Israel’s representative at the Forum, President Shimon Peres, was unique indeed.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan presented a carefully detailed analysis of the lead up to and the consequences of the Israeli invasion of Gaza followed by a second logically stated argument against the Israeli government’s action by Amr Moussa, head of the Arab League. Both men  presented their arguments in a calm and deliberate manner that gave strength and credibility to their presentations.
However, President Peres squirmed uncomfortably in his chair as he listened to these arguments and to the audience’s positive reaction to them.
Read more ...

S-O-S AMAZONIA: World Social Forum and Forest Defenders Unite

SOS Amazon! –  “World Social Forum” Lends Indigenous Leaders and Supporters Opportunity to Defend Amazon Rainforest
by Shelley Bluejay Pierce
As world leaders focus on severe economic crisis in their homelands, an estimated 100,000 activists traveled from all over the world to attend the World Social Forum in Brazil.
Led by Indigenous people from all across Latin America, over 1000 participants formed a human banner, using their bodies, to draw attention to the increasingly precarious situation of the Amazon rainforest. The wording was formed around the massive silhouette of an indigenous warrior taking aim with a bow and arrow.  (photo courtesy of Lou Dematteis/Spectral Q.)
Critical environmental impacts in the Amazon rainforest regions brought Indigenous tribal representatives from across Latin America, environmentalists and supporters together for the multi-day event. One full day during the World Social Forum will focus on issues impacting the Amazon rainforest and the resident tribal nations who dwell there.

Prior to constructing the human-banner, Brazil’s leading Amazonian Indigenous organization, COIAB, released this statement:

“With the permission of our ancestors’ spirits, we indigenous peoples are here with our friends from all corners of the earth.  We build this symbol with our bodies as the cry of living beings from this green forest, this planet, for our continuity as humans and diverse creatures. The symbol of the bow and arrow has three meanings: The first, our aim that every man, woman, and child will decide to care for our planet; The second, the position of defending the rights of indigenous peoples, of nature, of the planet, and of our home the Amazon; The third, to send a message to the world so that each of us helps to protect our home, our air, our water, our food. The Datsiparabu ceremony is the purification of our minds, our spirit, our soul, and our hearts. Save the Amazon!”
Add a comment
Read more ...

Volcano of Suffering

A Capped Volcano of Suffering
by Dahr Jamail
A Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, which the US military now uses for most of its patrols in Iraq's Sadr City. Baghdad today, on the eve of provincial elections, feels like it has emerged from several years of horrendous violence, but do not be misled. Every Iraqi I’ve spoken with feels it is tenuous, the still-fragile lull too young to trust.
Photo: Dahr Jamail / t r u t h o u t

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees provides recent statistics showing that more Iraqis continue to flee their country than are returning. Two studies show the number of dead Iraqis to be between 1.2-1.4 million, and the number of those displaced to be nearly five million, or one in six Iraqis.
During 2006 and 2008, scores of bodies were found on the streets of Baghdad and fished from the Tigris River as death squads and sectarian militias raged. All but one of my Iraqi friends and translators have either fled the country, or been killed. It is nearly impossible to meet a family that has not had a family member killed or wounded.
Read more ...

Harper Budget: Breaking the Backs of the Poor

Federal budget – On the backs of unemployed workers
by Peter Ewart
For unemployed workers across Canada, there has to be some cruel irony in the fact that the Federal Government’s entire “Economic Action Plan” that was just announced will cost a bit over $50 billion. This $50 billion in the Plan will be used for everything from bailing out banks, to tax cuts, to home renovations. Indeed, it is the federal government’s recipe for dealing with the current economic crisis that is sweeping across the country.

So, what is the irony about this $50 billion? Well, $50 billion is about the same amount that the federal government has looted from the Employment Insurance fund to use for other purposes. This fund was accumulated as a result of worker and employer contributions – there was no government contribution whatsoever. But that did not stop the federal government from scooping the funds.

An argument can be made that the entire Economic Action Plan has been financed on the back of the unemployed workers of the country. That being said, what is in the Plan specifically for these workers? Not a heck of a lot.
Read more ...

Sea Shepherd Returns

Sea Shepherd Returns to the Southern Ocean for the Whales
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship Steve Irwin has departed Hobart, Tasmania to return to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. The Steve Irwin left the dock in Hobart at 1600 Hours on Wednesday, January 21st, local time.

"It's back into the Whale Wars for us," said 1st Officer Peter Hammarstedt of Sweden.

Hobart welcomed the Steve Irwin very warmly. Tasmanians brought down all the food needed to replenish the pantries of the ship. The dollars and cheques handed over the rail to the crew more than paid for the berth, the pilotage, and port costs.
Read more ...

Seneca Nation Holds on NYS Trade Challenge

by MNN
The colony of New York can only tax its subjects.  The Seneca Nation and other Ongwehonwe are not part of this colony.  The courts agree that the governor's decree is illegal and non-enforceable.  The Senecas say any attempt to interfere with our trade is an affront to our sovereignty.  

On January 25, 2009, the Seneca, our brothers, sisters, friends, allies and supporters gathered at Cattaraugus to affirm that NYS must obey valid laws and agreements.  At this time NYS Governor David A. Paterson began back pedaling because of the resistance and in anticipation of this New York State court ruling made on January 27th 2009.    

The court confirmed that NYS has no right to interfere in Ongwehonwe sovereignty.  Their face saving excuse is that NYS "hasn't created a system to exempt Indians from taxation"!!!  In other words, they remembered a bit of history.  Or maybe they haven't finished making the harnesses they were trying to put around our necks to make us rescue their failed economy.  We stopped them from putting fake taxation remedies on us.    
Read more ...

Obama's Blood Christening

Get Some: Obama's New Hard Line on Afghanistan
by Chris Floyd   
The Obama administration has decided that blood and iron, not hearts and minds, will be the new focus of the American military adventure in Afghanistan. Top Obama officials – anonymous, natch -- used the front page of the New York Times as a conduit for conveying the imperial will to the rabble this week. The basic strategy, it seems, will be the same one that professional nudnik Glenn Reynolds once proposed for the recalcitrant tribes of the Middle East: "more rubble, less trouble."

As we noted here the other day – drawing on a story in the Independent that the Times is just now catching up with – the Obama team is preparing to throw aside Hamid Karzai, the dapper if hapless Washington-picked Afghan president. The NYT uncritically – not to say hilariously – funnels the Obama line that Karzai is being sidelined "because corruption has become rampant in his government, contributing to a flourishing drug trade and the resurgence of the Taliban."

This is pretty rich, even for Washington, where the comedy of hypocrisy never stops.
Read more ...

Canadian Census Challenger Goes on Trial

Lockheed Canadian Census Objector on Trial
by Sandra Finley
The corporatist agenda of privatizing public services means that more and more of the data that was originally handled by various levels of government are now being handled by corporations. When the 2006 Canadian Census was contracted out to the worlds largest military contractor, Lockheed Martin (an American multinational that is subject to the US Patriot Act), Saskatchewan resident Sandra Finley objected and refused to fill out her Census form.
She has been charged under the Statistics Act with failure to comply with the census. If she is found guilty she faces a maximum $500 fine and 3 months in jail. She is trying to get in touch with the 60 other people who have been charged.
Read more ...


by Danny Schechter (Author of PLUNDER)
In the old days, circuses were known for three rings and a side show. The economic debate that got underway this week feels a bit like that. It began in earnest just  as police in Los Angeles announced the dramatic killing of five members of a family by a man distraught after losing his job.  Rest assured: the cavalcade of economic crisis-linked suicides and murders is just beginning.

The sense of real world pain playing out in the background across the world is not very visible in the backrooms of Congress where politicians slap each other on the back while wheeling and dealing with rhetoric that is often warmed over ideology.
Read more ...

Page 936 of 1221