Dear Followers, Friends, fellow Workers:

I have just begun a new blog/zine called
Chirot Zero Zine A Heap of Rubble--
Anarkeyology of hand eye ear notations
the blog is more exusively concerned than this one with presenting essays, reviews (inc. "bad reviews") , Visual Poetry, Sound Poetry, Event Scores, Manifestos, Manifotofestos, rantin' & raving, rock'roll, music all sorts--by myself and others--if you are interested in being a contributor, please feel free to contact me at
as with this blog, the arts are investigated as a part of rather than apart from the historical, economic, political actualities of yesterday, today, & tomorrow
as with al my blogs--
contributions in any language are welcome

Free Leonard Peltier

Free Leonard Peltier
The government under pretext of security and progress, liberated us from our land, resources, culture, dignity and future. They violated every treaty they ever made with us. I use the word “liberated” loosely and sarcastically, in the same vein that I view the use of the words “collateral damage” when they kill innocent men, women and children. They describe people defending their homelands as terrorists, savages and hostiles . . . My words reach out to the non-Indian: Look now before it is too late—see what is being done to others in your name and see what destruction you sanction when you say nothing. --Leonard Peltier, Annual Message January 2004 (Leonard Peltier is now serving 31st year as an internationally recognized Political Prisoner of the United States Government)

Injustice Continues: Leonard Peltier Again Denied Parole

# Injustice continues: Leonard Peltier denied parole‎ - By Mahtowin A wave of outrage swept the progressive community worldwide at the news that Native political prisoner Leonard Peltier was denied parole on Aug. ... Workers World - 2 related articles » US denies parole to American Indian activist Leonard Peltier‎ - AFP - 312 related articles » # Free Leonard Peltier 2009 PRISON WRITINGS...My Life Is My Sun Dance Leonard Peltier © 1999. # Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance - by Leonard Peltier, Harvey Arden - 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages Edited by Harvey Arden, with an Introduction by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, and a Preface by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark. In 1977, Leonard Peltier... - # Leonard Peltier, American Indian Activist, Denied Parole And Won't ... Aug 21, 2009 ... BISMARCK, ND — American Indian activist Leonard Peltier, imprisoned since 1977 for the deaths of two FBI agents, has been denied parole ... - Cached - Similar - #

Gaza--War Crime: Collective Punishment of 1.5 Million Persons--Recognized as "The World's Largest Concentration Camp"

Number of Iraquis Killed Since USA 2003 Invasion began

Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator

US & International Personnel losses in Iraq &Afghanistan; Costs of the 2 Wars to US

Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America's War On Iraq: 4,667

Number Of International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered In Afghanistan : 1,453


Cost of War in Iraq


Cost of War in Afghanistan

The cost in your community

flickr: DEATH FROM THIS WINDOW/DOORS OF GUANTANAMO--Essays, Links, Video-- US use of Torture

VISUAL POETRY/MAIL ART CALL Cracking World’s Walls & Codes Concrete & Virtual

Cracking World’s Walls & Codes Concrete & Virtual

No Sieges, Tortures, Starvation & Surveillance
Deadline/Fecha Limite: SinsLimite/ongoing
Size: No limit/Sin Limite
No Limit on Number of Works sent
No Limit on Number of Times New Works Are Sent
Documentation: on my blog
David Baptiste Chirot
740 N 29 #108
Milwaukee, WI 53208

Miss Universe Visits Guantanamo: 'A Loooot Of Fun!'

Miss Universe Visits Guantanamo: 'A Loooot Of Fun!'

The current 'Miss Universe' Dayana Mendoza (formerly Miss Venezuela) and 'Miss America' Crystal Stewart visited US troops stationed in Guantanamo Bay on March 20th, the New York Times reports. Here's Mendoza's account of the visit from her pageant blog last Friday. She says the trip "was a loooot of fun!"

This week, Guantánamo!!! It was an incredible experience...All the guys from the Army were amazing with us. We visited the Detainees camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how the recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting. We took a ride with the Marines around the land to see the division of Gitmo and Cuba while they were informed us with a little bit of history.

The water in Guantánamo Bay is soooo beautiful! It was unbelievable, we were able to enjoy it for at least an hour. We went to the glass beach, and realized the name of it comes from the little pieces of broken glass from hundred of years ago. It is pretty to see all the colors shining with the sun. That day we met a beautiful lady named Rebeca who does wonders with the glasses from the beach. She creates jewelry with it and of course I bought a necklace from her that will remind me of Guantánamo Bay :)

I didn't want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Abu Ghraib Revisited: Interview and Visit with Lynn

Interview: She's home from jail, but Lynndie England can't escape Abu Ghraib ff">


What happens in war happens'
In 2004, photographs of abuses at Abu Ghraib shocked the world. Seven people were charged, but the face of the scandal will always be Lynndie England, the 21-year-old private grinning at the camera. Emma Brockes meets her

* Emma Brockes
o Emma Brockes
o The Guardian, Saturday 3 January 2009 o Article history

Lynndie England

US army private first-class Lynndie England in 2005. Photograph: LM Otero/AP

The road to Fort Ashby, West Virginia, runs through Mineral County, an area of freezing grey farmland and barrack-style bungalows, where the sign outside the bar - "Hunters welcome" - has an unnerving effect on the passing non-hunter. In Cindy's coffee shop, customers speculate on the whereabouts of a lost cow and tell a weird Republican joke about the noise a chicken makes when its head is cut off: "Barack-Obama!, Barack-Obama!" Lynndie England has lived in Fort Ashby since she was two, but when she appears, suddenly, in the car park, her outline is crooked with self-consciousness. She grew her hair for a while, but people recognised her anyway, so she cut it short again.

The last time journalists came to Fort Ashby in any number, they upset residents by portraying it as "a giant trailer park". There are two bars, two banks, a fire station, a school and a bookshop - the woman who runs the latter says, "I've no sympathy for what she did, but people behave differently in war than they do in their chairs at home, watching it on TV."

It is almost two years since England returned home after serving half of a three-year sentence for maltreating prisoners at Abu Ghraib. In mid-December, a report by the Senate armed services committee concluded that, contrary to the US government's assertion that a few "bad apples" were to blame for abuses at the prison, responsibility ultimately lay with Bush officials, including the defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, for policies that "conveyed the message that physical pressures and degradation were appropriate treatment for detainees". (A spokesman for Rumsfeld rejected the findings as "unfounded allegations against those who have served our nation".

Whatever the official findings, the face of the scandal will always be that of the then 21-year-old Private Lynndie England. She wasn't the only woman soldier in the photographs - Sabrina Harman and Megan Ambuhl were both court martialled for their roles - but England was the most arresting looking, like a 14-year-old boy who shouldn't have been there in the first place. Her legal defence, that she was unduly influenced by Specialist Charles Graner, the father of her child and the only soldier still serving time for abuses at Abu Ghraib, was compounded outside the courtroom by assumptions about her background; that she came from a place where people didn't know better.

England is now 26 and spends her days looking for a job, caring for her son and trying to avoid running into people she went to high school with. In the frigid air outside the coffee shop, she talks to her lawyer, Roy, and looks away when I approach. Roy is a Gulf war veteran and assistant county prosecutor who, since her release, has acted as England's chaperone and press agent. Roy suggests we drive in convoy to the bar where hunters are welcome and where the interview will proceed.

After her release, England moved back in with her parents. Her sister, Jessie, lives with her family in the trailer opposite. England and her four-year-old son, Carter, sleep in a single bed customised from the bunk beds she and Jessie slept on when growing up.

"Everybody always wants to know about the trailers," Roy says. Although it's midday, the windows in the bar are shuttered and in a couple of hours the patrons will be drunk enough to come over to England and start offering their opinions. Roy shrugs: "For the most part, it's just low-income housing."

"Well, you know what?" England says. "In New York - I've never been to New York, but I've heard people say - there's apartments there where people pay $1,500 a month for something smaller than a trailer. We only pay $200. And they look down on us. It's like, you're stupid."

Her attempts to find a job have so far been unsuccessful. Most of the fast-food joints in the area won't employ felons, and when she goes for an administrative job, she makes it to the second interview before word gets back that the staff would feel uncomfortable working with her.

Her mother works at a manufacturing plant on a shift that finishes at 11.30pm; her father is a maintenance man on the railway, doing nightshifts from 11pm-7am. Her brother, Josh, is a corrections officer at the local prison.

"Isn't that funny?" Roy says and grins. He looks at England.

She is still loath to go out in public. For the first few months after the story broke, England shopped late at night to avoid being recognised. "I was nervous about going into Cindy's and meeting you all this morning. I was sitting there waiting for Roy to turn up." I ask if she got much hate mail and she says that, yes, while she was in jail, fan mail addressed to The England Family, Fort Ashby, piled up at her parents' home. "I opened all of them. I still have them. They came from all over the world. A lot of mail actually came from overseas: Germany, England, France." She smiles and then looks doubtful, as if she has perhaps said the wrong thing.

George Washington took his troops through Mineral County in 1755, and the fort he built still stands, opposite the primary school. It's a historic area, with a proud Appalachian culture that locals resign themselves to being misunderstood. Hunting is a big feature - England shot her first squirrel at the age of 13. I ask what she did with it and she looks at me as though I'm slow. "Put it in a stew." As a felon, she is prohibited from owning or using a gun again. "That pissed me off; made me so mad." What she liked about hunting, she says, was "the going out, being in the woods. Time to think, being out in nature. I love it. Now I can't do that."

The circumstances in which England and her fellow soldiers of the 372nd Military Police Company found themselves in October 2003 are well known by now. They were posted to Iraq from Kuwait earlier that year and first stationed at Al Hillah, 60 miles south of Baghdad. In the autumn of 2003, they were moved to Abu Ghraib, the prison where inmate numbers had swelled from 700 in the summer to 3,000, and then to 7,000 without anything like the necessary gain in staff. Janis Karpinski, the commanding officer in charge of the prison and 14 others in Iraq, described the situation as "understaffed, overwhelmed and harried".

It would be the testimony of England, Graner and the five other soldiers identified in the photos that when they arrived at the prison, the abusive practices - keeping inmates naked, making them wear female underwear and crawl on the floor - were already established in some form as part of pre-interrogation "softening up" techniques approved by military intelligence officers. In the Taguba report, the official inquiry into abuse at Abu Ghraib, Karpinski was criticised for her poor leadership and demoted from brigadier general to colonel, but no officer higher in rank than a sergeant was convicted of wrongdoing. Karpinski said she knew nothing about the abuse and that those parts of the prison had been removed from her control and handed to military intelligence. She called England an "impoverished, undereducated young woman" whom it was absurd to blame for acting independently. She suggested she had latched on to Graner as a protector and "father figure".

England's sense of persecution is so advanced at this stage that the question of whether or not she is contrite has almost no meaning. In the most notorious photo, she holds a leash with a naked man crawling out of his cell on the end of it. In another, she makes the thumbs up sign behind a human pyramid. In another, she grins at a naked prisoner as he is forced to simulate masturbation.

After the photos came out, people looked at England's childhood for some kind of explanatory episode, an early demonstration of cruelty, or else evidence that she had herself been abused. While Graner, the ringleader and the man who took some of the photos, has had three court orders secured against him by his ex-wife for alleged domestic violence, England, 10 years his junior, barely had a backstory at all. She was, she says, only in trouble at school once, when a boy in her science class talked her into writing a letter making fun of the teacher. "And I apparently left it on the floor in the classroom. She knew the handwriting. I was, like, he made me do it."

She says her mother once hit her so hard with a table tennis bat that it broke, but considers that normal for West Virginia. "I mean, yeah, we were brought up right. If we were out of line, we got spanked. We got privileges taken away. We had to do chores, dishes. Mow the grass."

In her trial, it came out that as a young child England was diagnosed with "selective mutism" and had a learning disability, but she graduated along with the rest of her class. "I was friends with everyone. You get to the teenager thing and you're starting to get into your little groups and stuff, and I was friends with everybody. Each group - goths, alternative - I had friends in every group." A former teacher of England's at Frankfort High said there was only one word to describe her presence in his classroom: "Invisible."

England's first job out of school was as a cashier, and then for nine months she worked at the local chicken factory. She worked in "spray down" and evisceration - "when the blood is let out and they go through the steamer, get the feathers out and clean 'em, all by hand" - and then in marination. "Regular seasoning, garlic and onion. Every time I smell that now..." She makes a face. "Can you imagine a 200-gallon tank?" It paid $9 an hour, with an extra 50 cents for marination, and after three months she was promoted to the role of trainer. "I liked the work, because I could do it well," she says.

Roy interrupts: "They have such a turnover there, that if you can stick it out, you rise quickly."

England looks annoyed. "What are you saying?"

"I'm just saying that if you stick it out..."

"I was good at my job," says England.

At some point she noticed that some of the rules were being broken - when people dropped meat, say, they'd put it back on the conveyor belt. She told her manager, who said he'd look into it. "And a month later, when nothing had changed, I quit."

Whistle-blowing at a chicken factory does not, of course, contradict the basic principles of chicken processing in the way that whistle-blowing in the army might conflict with the training that precedes it. "In war, you don't rat on your buddies. There were only seven of us charged, but believe me, there were a lot more behind the pictures. But we didn't rat anybody out."

She is keen to emphasise how well she got on with Iraqis in the early part of her deployment. "We'd go to the ice-cream shop, we'd hang out there with the locals, learn about their customs, and they were interested in ours. A lot of the stuff was really cool."

When she got to Abu Ghraib, she was assigned to administrative duties and had no cause to be in the cellblocks, except that she was hanging out with Graner. She found the scene down there odd. "When we first got there, we were like, what's going on? Then you see staff sergeants walking around not saying anything [about the abuse]. You think, OK, obviously it's normal." Graner, too, was initially disturbed, and is on record as having raised some objections. "When he first started working on that wing, he would tell me about it and say, 'This is wrong.' He even told his sergeant and platoon leader. He said he tried to say something. But everyone is saying it's OK to do it and getting pats on the back."

There have been suggestions that they wouldn't have treated the prisoners that way if they had been white. England looks extravagantly outraged. Roy says, "That's the first time I've heard that. One of the guys convicted was African-American. I don't remember any overt racism. You're in a war, and you're the good guys and they're the bad guys, and that's how most Americans see the world. And those were the bad guys."

Most of the people in Abu Ghraib were released without charge. Karpinski estimated that 90% of detainees in the prison were innocent. Before England can comment, Roy says, "In the pyramid, all the guys had been rounded up after rioting and shooting an American guard. There were some others who were released, but these guys were bad guys. They may not have been the insurgents, but they'd done some things they shouldn't have done."

England says, "They were screaming, we fucking hate you, we're gonna kill you, blah blah."

Did she see any women prisoners? "At one point we had four. Oh my God, this one, she was crazy. They had to take her to the loony bin. We called her the wolf lady coz she had all this hair." She starts laughing. "She was screaming and whatever."

Did she see any photos with women prisoners in them?

Roy says, "The only thing I know is that someone got in trouble because he had had some contact with one of them."

England snorts and says, "His dick had some contact."

It was in Al Hillah that England and Megan Ambuhl got into the habit of hanging out with Graner when he was on duty and they weren't. At other times, they'd watch DVDs and drink: "Raw drink. They were selling it cheap. We would get like a fifth of whisky, 10 bucks. I was like, get the fuck out of here! I'll tell you what, you could not drink it straight. So what we would do is buy grape soda and mix it in, and after one cup you'd be like ... it was not regular whisky, I tell you. Crazy."

At this point Ambuhl was seeing another soldier in the company and the two of them, with England and Graner, effectively double dated. I say Ambuhl was smart to keep herself out of most of the photos. England snaps: "She didn't plan that. It just happened. She wasn't clever. She's a pothead. She was just there. She wasn't in a lot of photos because she didn't want to be. She would just walk away." At this point a man from the bar staggers over and says to England, "Good going! Damned good thing! When you were in Abu Ghraib, you shoulda cut 'em all off." He makes a castrating motion with two fingers.

England says, "Shit, I don't - " She grins awkwardly. "Thanks."

Roy looks at me and says, "Did you understand that?"

Yes, I say.

"I want that in the interview. She gets that all the time."

England looks depressed.

Why didn't she walk away from the photos? "I didn't want them. But he was so persistent. Go on! Just for me! If you loved me, you'd do it. I'm like, gee, OK just take the damned picture."

There were other pictures Graner took, of him having anal sex with her, of her simulating sex with a drunk, passed out soldier. She says he wasn't ever violent, just manipulative. "They said in the trial that authority figures really intimidate me. I always aim to please. They said that one of the reasons Graner easily intimidated me was because I saw him as an authority figure. So I was really compliant."

Her mother was furious that England was naive enough to have been influenced by Graner. "She used to be a really nice person, really loving. That's gone. The whole thing with me totally destroyed that." Does she feel guilty about that? She looks sulky. "It's her own fault. I mean for real, she reacted like it was happening to her. She was, like, you don't know how I feel. I said, 'How d'you think I feel?' I said, 'This is happening to me.'"

Her father, 49, hasn't spoken publicly. "He didn't tell us how he was feeling. But he took his feelings out in another way and we won't go there." She looks at Roy.

Like what? Did he break something?

She starts laughing. "Yeah. He pretty much broke up a 30-year marriage." While England was in prison, it came to light that her father had been conducting a 17-year affair with a local woman. "My mum's the one who broke her hand on his face. He never hit her after she beat the hell out of him. She took a baseball bat to him and he caught it and took it, but he never hit her."

They got divorced - "Roy was my mum's lawyer" - but are back together again now. What's the atmosphere like in the trailer? England sighs. "I'm glad I'm on medication."

It was only during Graner's trial that England found out that all along he had been two-timing her with Ambuhl. The two of them are now married. (Graner recently asked for a DNA test to prove that Lynndie's son is his, having always denied it. "I said in an interview that he'd never see Carter, so just coz I said that, he probably thought, 'Oh, I'll see him. I'll get visitation rights.' To prove me wrong.")

Graner was sentenced to 10 years. When she was serving her own sentence, did it change her view of how she'd treated the prisoners in Iraq? Did she feel more sympathy for them?

She shakes her head. "I mean, I had a lot of time to think about it after the trial and what I'd learned. Thinking back ... I don't want to say I matured more, but I realised that I was so naive and trusting. But what happens in war, happens. It just happened to be photographed and come out. Of course, a lot of people said if you guys had just shut up or killed them, there wouldn't have been any trouble. I could think of it like that, but ... I mean, I don't even know how to describe it. They were the enemy. I don't want to say they deserved what they got, but they ... um." There is a long pause. "They ... This is my problem. I can't think of words."

England was told by a psychologist that she is a "visual", not a "verbal" person, and has a heightened "visual analytical system". "He said he had never seen that. Maybe 100 kids in the US have this ability. That's one of the reasons I was so good at the chicken plant, coz it's so visual. You're looking for bruises, or feathers or blood. That's why I moved up so quick. I was good with the visual stuff. Hand-eye coordination. Grading everything. That's why I was a trainer so fast. I didn't know anything of that till my trial."

She has a lot of nightmares. She is on antidepressants, for which the military pays at the moment and which she's worried she won't be able to afford after her official discharge. "I probably need to be on something for the rest of my life."

It is England's rather than Graner's face that will be remembered. The photographer invites England to accompany him for photos, but she is reluctant; she lingers at the table and fidgets. Roy jokes, "How about I find you a hood and some wires?"

England laughs, mirthlessly. "You know me too well." We do some shots and then go outside, while Roy stays in the bar. England talks about hunting. We walk on some derelict land behind the bar and look out at the trailer park. She talks about her childhood. "We ran and jumped and cursed, just because we could," she says, in that odd mocking tone. Afterwards, we go back to the bar and England stands, deflecting interest, waiting for permission to leave.

ICH: Ground Invasion of Gaza--Videos, Articles--Mosque Bombed during Prayers--Withholding Medecines--Journalist Still Banned

Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered Since The U.S. Invaded Iraq "1,297,997"


Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America'sWar On Iraq 4,221

The War And Occupation Of Iraq Costs

See the cost in your community


Israel Bombs Mosque In Gaza Kills Eleven

By Al Jazeera

At least 11 Palestinians, including one child, have been killed after Israeli forces struck a mosque during prayers in the town of Beit Lahiya, north of Jabaliya in the Gaza Strip.


Live Video Report From Gaza

Al Jazeera English & Press TV - Iran

Live Video Coverage Of Israel's Attack On Gaza.


The True Story Behind this War Is Not The One Israel Is Telling

By Johann Hari

To understand how frightening it is to be a Gazan this morning, you need to have stood in that small slab of concrete by the Mediterranean and smelled the claustrophobia.


US Weapons 'Killing Innocent Civilians' in Gaza

By David Edwards and Muriel Kane

As Israeli warplanes continue to bomb Gaza, attention is turning to the role of American-made weapons in the deadly attacks, which have now killed over 400 and wounded 2000, including many civilians.


Israel Needs its Usual Friends to Help Again

Daily Star Editorial

Israel needs help again. It needs reasonable people who share the faith of most of Israel's citizens to rescue them - and their Arab neighbors - from a degenerate political class that is leading all of us to disaster. Specifically, it is moderate Jewish Americans who can be the most helpful by taking back control of the so-called "Israel lobby" from the zealots who have made it the swamp of militaristic racism that it is.


Bush a "Total Failure" Says Former Iraqi PM

By Scott Horton

Former U.S.-installed Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has denounced the policies of President George W. Bush as an "utter failure" that gave rise to the sectarian venom that ravaged his country... Allawi found fault with American management of Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 as well as the government of present Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki...


Child killed by Israeli tank fire in Gaza:

A Palestinian child was killed by Israeli tank fire in the Gaza Strip late Saturday, becoming the first victim of a ground offensive against the Hamas stronghold, medics said.


462 Palestinians killed, 2300 wounded in 8 days of Israeli offensive on Gaza: official:

The chief of emergency and ambulance services in the Palestinian health ministry, told reporters that the death tolls include 76 children and 38 women, and among the injured, 600of them are in critical conditions.


30 Israelis soldiers killed or wounded:

Hamas says that five Israeli soldiers have been killed and 25 wounded while it says that the Palestinian resistance is ready to fight a long battle.§ionid=351020202


Israel bars ICRC entering Gaza:

For a second day running, Israeli authorities have barred a Red Cross medical team from entering Gaza to help treat residents injured in bombings.§ionid=351020202


Israel bans foreign journalists from entering Gaza:

Despite court order to let them in


Bush calls for pressure on Hamas:

"I urge all parties to pressure Hamas to turn away from terror, and to support legitimate Palestinian leaders working for peace," Bush said in his weekly radio address.


U.S. Branch of Amnesty Calls on Rice to Drop "Lopsided" Stance:

The U.S. section of Amnesty International sent an "urgent" letter Friday to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, calling on her to end what it called Washington's "lopsided response" to the ongoing Israeli air strikes on Gaza that have reportedly killed more than 400 Palestinians, including scores of unarmed civilians.


Barak warns Lebanon:

On Saturday, the Secretary General of Hezbollah, Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, addressed a crowd of Lebanese supporters in a videoconference, saying that "Our brothers in the resistance in Palestine know that it is by inflicting the biggest possible losses on the Israeli enemy during the ground confrontation that they will win the battle,"§ionid=351020202


Arabs increasingly accuse Egypt of being complicit in Israel's war on Gaza :

As the Palestinian death toll pushes past 420, much of popular anger throughout the Arab world has been directed at Egypt - seen by many as complicit in the Israeli campaign.


Egyptian authorities clamp down on Gaza protests:

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a U.S. ally who fears the rise of militant Islam in his country, has kept the Gaza border crossing in the town of Rafah sealed even as television images show bloodied Gazans being carted away from blast sites.


Protests around the world over Gaza attacks:

Protests were held in Britain, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Turkey as the Israeli offensive entered its second week, and before Israel confirmed ground forces had entered Gaza.


Iran's security chief meets Hamas, Jihad leaders in Damascus over Gaza:

They discussed "the serious situations in Gaza Strip due to the continuing Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people, and the Arab and Islamic movements needed to stop this aggression and liftthe siege," said Syria's official SANA news agency.


Syrian president meets Iran's security chief over Gaza:

The two sides discussed "means for the Islamic countries to move and take practical measures to compel Israel to immediately stop the massacres committed against the Palestinian people and ways to open the crossings and break the siege imposed on Gaza Strip," said the report.


Turmoil could spark air strike against Iran:

Iran's open support for Hamas, coupled with US and Israeli accusations that Tehran has supplied it with weapons, could harden Israeli public opinion in favour of military strikes against Iran whose nuclear programme is seen as an "existential" threat to the Jewish state.


UK Guardian: GAZA DIARY-A Palestinian in Gaza chronicles life under Israeli bombardment


Gaza diary

Do Israel pilots feel happy killing innocent women and children?

A Palestinian in Gaza chronicles life under Israeli bombardment

The aftermath of an Israeli missile strike on Rafah refugee camp in Gaza

Palestinians survey the aftermath of an Israeli missile strike on the Rafah refugee camp in Gaza. Photograph: Khalil Kamra/AP

Saturday 27 December

I go to visit friends in the Block J neighbourhood in Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip. While I am in a friend's house, my phone rings. It's a friend from Gaza City, calling for a chat. Suddenly I hear the sound of an explosion at his end. At the same time I hear an explosion in Rafah too. Just outside, somewhere near. My friend says: "Fida, they are attacking nearby." I say: "They are attacking here too."

I run into the street and everybody is running, children and grown-ups, all looking to see if their relatives and friends are alive. It is the time for children to go to school for the second shift, after the first shift finishes at 11.30am.Naama is aged 13. This is what she tells me: "I was sitting in the classroom with my friends when the attack happened. We were scared and we ran out of our school. Our headmaster asked us to go home. We saw fire everywhere."

People are looking at the remains of a police station. There are still bodies under the wreckage. It is scary because the attack isn't over, and from where we are we can see an Israeli airplane attacking another police station.

At the hospital, I speak to a wounded police officer, aged 39. "We were at the police station," he said. "The Israeli planes came and suddenly the building collapsed on us. I saw four dead bodies near me. They were in pieces. Outside there were more bodies. Everyone was shouting. I lost consciousness and then found myself in hospital."

Later I am at home with my family. We've just received a phone call on our land line. It's the Israeli defence ministry, and they say that any house that has guns or weapons will be targeted next, without warning and without any announcement. Just to let you know, we don't have any weapons in our house. If we die please defend my family.

Sunday 28 December

I wake up at 7am after an Israeli F-16 attack. Our house is shaking. We all try to imagine what has happened, but we want to at least know where the attack was. It is so scary. We try to open the main door to our flat, but it's stuck shut after the attack. I have to climb out of the window to leave the house. I am shocked when I find out our neighbour's pharmacy was the target. It is just 60 metres from our house. They targeted a pharmacy. I still can't believe it.

Om Mohammed says: "They [Israeli forces] attack everywhere. They have gone crazy. The Gaza Strip is just going to die ... it's going to die. We were sleeping. Suddenly we heard a bomb. We woke up and we didn't know where to go. We couldn't see through the dust. We called to each other. We thought our house had been hit, not the street. What can I say? You saw it with your own eyes. What is our guilt? Are we terrorists? I don't carry a gun, neither does my girl.

"There's no medicine. No drinks, no water, no gas. We are suffering from hunger. They attack us. What does Israel want? Can it be worse than this? I don't think so. Would they accept this for themselves?

"Look at the children. What are they guilty of? They were sleeping at 7am. All the night they didn't sleep. This child was traumatised during the attack. Do they have rockets to attack with?"

Monday 29 December

The Israeli army is destroying the tunnels that go from Rafah into Egypt. For the past year and a half the Israeli government has intensified the economic blockade of Gaza by closing all the border crossings that allow aid and essential supplies to reach Palestinians in Gaza. This forced Palestinians to dig tunnels to Egypt to survive. From our house we can hear the explosions and the house is shaking.At night we can't go out. No one goes out. If you go out you will risk your life. You don't know where the bombs will fall. My mother is so sad. She watches me writing my reports and says: "Fida, will it make any difference?"

Before the attack started we got some food aid from the EU. It's not much, but it's enough, we're not starving. But some of our friends have nothing. My mum warns me: "Fida, don't leave the house, it's too dangerous outside." Then she goes out to share our food with the neighbours who have nothing.

Wednesday 31 December

11.40pm: a powerful air strike somewhere nearby. I was sleeping but the blast wakes me up. I see my mum looking from the window. She points at one of the refugee camps. "The attack was there," she said.

I went back to sleep – not because I don't care, but because I can't deal with it. If the attack was really aimed at one of the camps that means hundreds are going to be injured or even killed, the houses destroyed. I really can't imagine it.

Thursday 1 January

In the morning I get up early and call a friend who lives in Alshabora camp. He confirms the attack had hit there and I go to meet him.

It looks like an earthquake. Many houses have been damaged, and many people have been wounded. The people who had escaped injury were trying to clean the place up – they have nowhere else to go. But the biggest shock is when I ask about the target. It was the children's playground.

"We heard a strong explosion happen, but with all the smoke and the dust we couldn't see well, and the electricity was off," I am told by a small child.

"We saw everything fall down – the window broke on us. We went downstairs, and people were saying that the playground's been targeted. This park is not a member of Hamas, it's a park for playing. It's for civilians – so why did they attack it?," asks one 12-year-old girl who lives nearby.

The target was a civilian area – but there was no warning, not one phone call from the Israeli army to tell civilians to beware.

I visit the main hospital in Rafah. There are so many injured people, most of them children. In one ward, I meet four children aged five or six. They are in deep shock. They can't speak, they just look at you.

Only one child could say his name: "Abdel Rahman". That's all he can say. Otherwise, he just stares. He's five. His ear was wounded by shrapnel, his head is covered by bandages.

There is a 16-year-old girl also suffering from shrapnel injuries. Three of her brothers were killed; all her family were injured. She looks like a zombie and says nothing at all. Her mother is dying in the intensive care unit.

The hospital manger, Abu Youssef Alnajar, gives the statistics for 1 January: two dead – a young man aged 22 and a woman aged 33; 59 injured – 16 children, 18 women and the rest old people. Most of them had been sleeping when the bombs dropped.

I go back home and the first thing I do is take a shower. I feel really upset after what I have seen. As always I am trying to cope with the situation but sometimes it is too much to deal with.

A short message to the pilots in the Israeli F-16s: does it make you feel happy to kill Palestinian children and women? Do you feel it's your duty? Killing every child and woman, man and teenager in Gaza? I don't know what exactly you feel, what exactly you think, but please think of your mother and sister, your son and daughter.

Friday 2 January

I am in the hospital again. An ambulance crew has been called out to help an injured man somewhere near the ruins of the old Gaza airport. He's a civilian, one of the bedouin who tend their sheep in that area. Four shepherds saw an explosion and went to investigate – when they arrived at the scene there was a second bomb and they were injured. An ambulance managed to rescue three of the men. But one of their friends is still there, bleeding.

The ambulance crew are afraid to go back for him. The wounded man is just 50 metres away from the green line so they are afraid the Israeli soldiers will target them.Outside there are still planes in the air. I have just heard a big explosion on the border area.

• Fida Qishta is a freelance Palestinian television producer and writer based in Gaza's southern township of Rafah

Gaza diary: Do Israel pilots feel happy killing innocent women and children?

This article was first published on at 13.35 GMT on Saturday 3 January 2009. It was last updated at 14.26 GMT on Saturday 3 January 2009.

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ACTION ALERT: Spy for Israel

ACTION ALERT: Spy for Israel

Posted: 03 Jan 2009 12:14 PM CST

Yesterday Aljazeera Arabic TV showed the leaflet which Gazans awoke to find scattered everywhere by the terrorist Israeli air force.

After a long search for a copy of the leaflet, I finally found it on Ma'an News (a Palestinian news agency). The leaflet gave me an idea for action that might help our people in Gaza a little. Let's read this leaflet first then follow the action.

The leaflet reads:

59468_200x150To the residents of the Gaza Strip,

Take responsibility for your fate!

If you wish to provide help and assistance to your people in the sector, call the number below to provide us with the needed information. The projectile launchers and the terrorist elements pose a threat to you and your families.

The power to stop the massacre is in your hands.
Don't hesitate!

We will be glad to receive any information you have and it is not necessary to give us your personal information.

Your anonymity is guaranteed.

Call us at the following number:

Or you can e-mail us at: to provide us with any information on the terrorist factions.

Note: To protect your safety, we ask you to be secretive when you call us.

Head of the Israeli Defense Forces

It is clear that these Israeli terrorist pamphlets are marketing the blind insane destruction services of Israel to anyone who is WILLING to advise them of a target. In other words, to Spy for Israel!

These are the desperate and bankrupt measures (referring to 'Targets Bank' the IOF is supposed to attack) that this terrorist gang has reached. Note that they themselves understand that they engage in massacres, and that their actions are premeditated. They also offer no guarantees of safeguarding the informants.

As you notice in the pamphlet, they ask Gazans to call 02-583-9749, therefore for those outside of Palestine that's +972-2-583-9749. Also they left an email to contact them:

So, what can be done? Simply, I encourage everyone to call above mentioned number (from your land line, mobile phone, Skype, etc.) and say in Hebrew "Atem Poshim, tafsiku laharog palestinayim, Palestien Meshuchreret, Aza meshuchreret."

The above is an oral Hebrew translation of: "You are Criminals. Stop Killing Palestinians. Free Palestine. Free Gaza."

Alternatively, use the above mentioned email (for your privacy, read below) and attach one of the following photos or album link to show them the result of their war crimes in Gaza.

Photos (click to enlarge):

gaza-war-crime-6 gaza-war-crime-5

gaza-war-crime-3 gaza-war-crime-2

gaza-war-crime-1 gaza-war-crime-7

Photo album:


Your privacy:

For privacy reasons, we don't want the IOF to record your email, IP address, ISP, country, etc and track you down and maybe hack your PC or something worse. Therefore, don't use your original email account to contact them. To overcome this, you can send them ANONYMOUS emails. This way they can't track you or find any info about the sender (you).

There are two ways to send an anonymous email.

(1) The easy way:

All you need to do is go to the following address and register for a new email account. I suggest you create a completely random pseudonym (username). It will take you only 5 sec. to register and start sending emails (you don't have to give any personal info and they will not record any info about you, e.g. IP address etc. More: )

Go here to register and send your email:

(2) The hard way:

Create and use your own anonymous email by using reliable remailers and GnuPG. This method is for high-tech wizards who like to do it the hard way:
Here is a step-by-step tutorial:

Update: As indicated by Shaltaf here, the anonymous email service won't allow you to attach a file unless you upgrade to the paid version. Fair enough! You still can paste the link of the album mentioned above (and few strong words of your liking).

Update 1:
A clearer version of the same leaflet found on Facebook (Hat tip: Omar):

Update 2: As indicated by Shaltaf here, the anonymous email service won't allow you to attach a file unless you upgrade to the paid version. Fair enough! You still can paste the link of the album mentioned above (and few strong words of your liking).

US Tax Dollars at Work--Breaking News -- Israeli Defence Official Confirms Ground Forces Have Entered Gaza

Photos of the day

Posted: 03 Jan 2009 02:13 PM CST

Israeli Ground Attack Begins:
This screen grab taken around 7:00pm (GMT), on January 3, 2009 from Sky News shows Israeli terrorist soldiers as they enter the Gaza strip near the town of Beit Lahiya. Israeli ground troops have entered the Gaza Strip eight days after the terrorist Jewish state launched its massive offensive war crimes on Gaza.

This is the starting signal of yet unseen-like war crimes during the days to come of Israel terrorist attack on Gaza.

More War crimes:



Earlier this evening: The bodies of two Palestinian children killed in a terrorist Israeli air strike on the Ibrahim al-Maqadna mosque in Jabalia, lie next to each other in the mortuary of a hospital in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip on January 3, 2008. At least 16 Palestinians, including four boys, were killed today when the terrorist Israeli air raid struck a mosque during prayers in the northern town of Jabalia. More than 450 Palestinians killed and 2800 injured. (Photo 1 credit: MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images, photo 2 credit:REUTERS/Ismail Zaydah)

Vittorio Arrigoni - Eyewitness from Gaza

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Vittorio Arrigoni - Eyewitness from Gaza

Posted: 03 Jan 2009 01:41 AM CST

By Vittorio Arrigoni
6:05 PM, Marna house, Gaza city

gaza2411An acrid smell of sulphur fills the air while the sky is shaken by earth-shattering rumbles. My ears are now deaf to the explosions while my eyes are all out of tears from all the corpses. I stand in front of Al Shifa hospital, Gaza's main hospital, and we've just received Israel's terrible threat that they intend to bomb its under construction wing. This would be nothing new, as Wea'm hospital was bombed just yesterday, along with a medicine warehouse in Rafah, the Islamic university, which was also destroyed, along with various mosques scattered along the Strip. Not to mention many CIVILIAN structures.

Apparently, they can no longer find "sensible" targets, the air force and the navy is killing time targeting places of worship, schools and hospitals. It's another 9/11 every single hour, every minute around here, and tomorrow is always a new day of mourning, always identical to the previous one. You notice the helicopters and airplanes constantly overhead, you see a flash, but you're already a goner and it's too late to take flight. There are no bunkers against the bombs in the Strip and no place is really safe. I can't contact my friends in Rafah, not even those who live North of Gaza City, hopefully because the phone lines are overloaded. Hopefully. I haven't slept in 60 hours, and same goes for every Gazan.

Yesterday three other ISM members and I spent the entire night at the al Awda hospital in the Jabalia refugee camp. We were there because we were fearing the much dreaded ground raid that never happened. But the Israeli tanks are posted all along the Strip's border, and their corpse-hungry creaks will apparently form a funeral march tonight. Around 11:30 PM a bomb fell about 800 metres from the hospital, the shock wave blow several windows apart, injuring the injured. An ambulance arrived, then they blew up a mosque, thankfully empty at that time. Unfortunately, though it actually has nothing to do with bad luck but with the criminal and terroristic will to massacre civilians, the Israeli bomb has also struck the building adjacent to the mosque, which was also destroyed. We watched as the tiny bodies of six little sisters were pulled out of the rubble - five are dead, one is in life-threatening conditions. They laid the little girls out on the blackened asphalt, and they looked like broken dolls, disposed of as they were no longer usable.

This wasn't a mistake, but a voluntary, and cynical horror. We're at a toll of 320 dead, more than a thousand wounded and, according to a doctor at Shifa, 60% of these are destined to die in the next few hours or days, after a prolonged agony.There are many missing, and for the last two days despairing wives have been searching for their husbands or children in hospitals, often to no avail.

The morgue is a macabre spectacle. A nurse told me that after hours of searching, a Palestinian woman recognised her husband from his amputated hand. All that's left of her husband, and the wedding band on her finger from the eternal love they had sworn one another. Out of a house inhabited by two families, very little has remained of their bodies. They showed their relatives half of one bust and three legs.

Right now, one of our Free Gaza Movement boats is leaving the port in Larnaca, Cyprus. I spoke to my friends on board. They've heroically amassed medicine and steeped it everywhere in the boat. It should reach the port of Gaza tomorrow around 8:00 AM. Here's to hoping that the port will still exist after another night of endless bombing. I'll be in touch with them for the entire night. Please, someone stop this nightmare.

Choosing to remain silent means somehow lending support to the genocide unfolding right now. Shout out your indignation, in every capital of the "civilised" world, in every city, in every square, covering our own screams of pain and terror. A slice of humanity is dying in pitiful in a useless listening.

MAIL ART CALL from Linea Infinita Multimediale e Artestudio Morandi


Emilio Morandi: Visual Poetry for "Cracking Walls & Codeso of Prisons Virtal and Concerete--Gaza-Guantanamo-AbuGhraib-The Globe"

ICH: Gaza/Israel Articles & Videos & Obama AIPAC Speech

Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered Since The U.S. Invaded Iraq "1,297,997"


Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America'sWar On Iraq 4,221

The War And Occupation Of Iraq Costs

See the cost in your community

Israel Rejects Ceasefire, Hits PM Office
Iranian Students attack UK Embassy
By Juan Cole
Compelling video of Tuesday's bombardment from the cell phone of one of their correspondents in Gaza.
Civilians Take Brunt of 7th Day of Attacks On Gaza
By Nidal al-Mughrabi
One missile killed three Palestinian children aged between eight and 12 as they played on a street near the town of Khan Yunis in the south of the strip. One was decapitated.
The Reality In Gaza

4 Minute Video

A doctor from Norway details the reality of Israeli attacks on Gaza.
Israeli Violates International Humanitarian Law
By Prof. Richard Falk
United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories
The Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip represent severe and massive violations of international humanitarian law as defined in the Geneva Conventions, both in regard to the obligations of an Occupying Power and in the requirements of the laws of war.
The Politics of An Israeli Extermination Campaign
Backers, Apologists and Arms Suppliers
By James Petras
Israel's totalitarian vision is driven by the practice of a permanent purge of Arab Palestine informed by Zionism, an ethno-racist ideology, promulgated by the Jewish state and justified, enforced and pursued by its organized backers in the United States.
Israel Has No Intention of Granting a Palestinian State
If Hamas Did Not Exist
Let us get one thing perfectly straight. If the wholesale mutilation and degradation of the Gaza Strip is going to continue; - if the cowardly, obsequious and supine Arab States are going to stand by watching their brethren get slaughtered by the hour while the world's bullying Superpower eyes them threateningly from Washington lest they say something a little to their disliking; then let us at least tell the truth why this hell on earth is taking place.
Norman Finkelstein: Israel Seeking Arab Obeisance
By Press TV
Israel wants to reestablish what it calls its deterrence capacity. That is a technical term that the Israelis use. It basically means to restore the fear of Israel among the Arab states in the region.
The Real Goal of the Slaughter in Gaza
By Jonathan Cook
Hamas cannot be defeated, so it must be brought to heel.
We Must Adjust our Distorted Image of Hamas
By William Sieghart
Gaza is a secular society where people listen to pop music, watch TV and many women walk the streets unveiled.
More Oddities in the U.S. "Debate" over Israel/Gaza
By Glenn Greenwald
Is there any other position, besides Israel, where (a) a party's voters overwhelmingly embrace one position (Israel should not have attacked Gaza) but (b) that party's leadership unanimously embraces the exact opposite position (Israel was absolutely right to attack Gaza and the U.S. must support Israel unequivocally)?
Letter to Bush on Gaza Crisis
By Ralph Nader
Dear George W. Bush,
Fatalities in Gaza are already over 400 and injuries close to 2000 so far as is known. Total Palestinian civilian casualties are 400 times greater then the casualties incurred by Israelis. But why should anyone be surprised at your blanket support for Israel's attack given what you have done to a far greater number of civilians in Iraq and now in Afghanistan?
What Became of Western Morality?
By Paul Craig Roberts
Financial interests, the military-security complex, and the Israel Lobby are the powers that rule America. They are buttressed by neoconservatives and Christian Zionists and by the patriotic hubris that America is the main force for good operating in the world.
In Case You Missed It
Obama's Speech at AIPAC
Audio and Transcript
I want you to know that today I'll be speaking from my heart, and as a true friend of Israel. And I know that when I visit with AIPAC, I am among friends. Good friends. Friends who share my strong commitment to make sure that the bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable today, tomorrow and forever.

seguimos vivos boek861 2009

Date: Sat, 3 Jan 2009 07:51:05 +0100
Subject: seguimos vivos boek861 2009

!!En el 2009 el boek861 sigue vivo¡¡
después de múltiples peripecias y gracias al trabajo exhautivo de Jaume Bobet hemos conseguido salir a flote una vez más
y ademas hemos aumentado nuestras posibilidades con las edición del Boek Visual de la mano de Eduardo Barbero
con nuevas ideas, proyectos e iniciativas
Un abrazo para todos
César / Boek861

It's the same Hotmail®. If by "same" you mean up to 70% faster. Get your account now.

YES, WE CAN STOP THE BLOODSHED: Links to Petitions and Events To Tell US Leaders to Stop Bloodshed in Gaza-Israel

Links to contact members of the current and soon to be US Government

to say




Just Foreign Policy News
January 2, 2009

Just Foreign Policy News on the Web
If you're having trouble reading the email version, try the web version:

Write Now to Save Lives in Gaza
Urge US officials to support an immediate ceasefire and lifting the blockade on Gaza -
Write to President-elect Obama:
Write to President Bush and Congress:
Calling Out Bush's War in Gaza
The Bush Administration provided the weapons, knowing what they would be used for.
The Gaza War is Completely Stoppable
American Jews Call for Immediate Ceasefire, End of Gaza Blockade

Emergency Conference Call &
More Action to Take on Gaza

Through six days of attacks on the occupied Gaza Strip, Israel has killed at least 430 Palestinians and injured at least 2,250 with U.S. weapons in violation of U.S. law. Israel now stands ready to invade the Gaza Strip with troops at any moment.

Israel's attacks come on top of a brutal siege of the Gaza Strip, which has created a humanitarian catastrophe of dire proportions for Gaza's 1.5 million Palestinian residents by restricting the provision of food, fuel, medicine, electricity, and other necessities of life.

Make no mistake about it-Israel's war and siege on the Gaza Strip would not be possible without the jets, helicopters, ships, missiles, and fuel provided by the United States. Additional troubling details continue to emerge about the misuse of U.S. weapons by Israel:

* Israel is dropping GBU-39 small diameter bombs on the Gaza Strip. According to weapons experts, these bombs contain uranium oxide and have left behind radioactive contamination in places such as Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan. In September 2008, Boeing received a $77 million contract to transfer 1,000 of these bombs to Israel.

* On December 30, the Israeli navy intentionally rammed a boat in international waters which was carrying medical supplies to the Gaza Strip, nearly causing it to sink. The passengers of The Dignity included doctors and recent Green Party Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney. In July 2008, the United States signed a contract to transfer $1.9 billion of naval combat ships to Israel.


Find out what you can do to take action by clicking here. Action steps include:

* Participate in a US Campaign emergency conference call on Monday, January 5 at 9PM Eastern. To RSVP and get call-info, send your name and organizational affiliation (if any) to us by clicking here.

* Join one of nearly 150 protests in the United States against Israel's attacks.

* Download resources and sign up for organizing packets to educate and organize people in your community to end U.S. military aid to Israel.

* Contact the President and set up meetings with your Members of Congress.

* Download talking points for getting our message into the media.

* Step up the pressure on President Elect-Obama and the new Congress by signing our open letter and by coming to DC for Inauguration Day and our Feb. 1-2 Grassroots Advocacy Training and Lobby Day.

* Make a tax-deductible contribution to us so that less of your taxes go to Israel's war machine.


Humanitarian implosion in Gaza.
Urge Secretary Rice to help end the civilian bloodshed!

Dear david,

It may be a new year, but the bloodshed in Gaza this past week is a clear reminder that there's no time to wait to protect human rights in 2009.

Since December 27, these horrific attacks on Gaza have caused over 400 Palestinian deaths and 2000 injuries. Rocket fire by armed Palestinian groups, including Hamas, has taken the lives of 4 Israelis and caused several dozen injuries. Amnesty International condemns the violence on both sides and calls on both parties to abide by international law and policies.

The U.S. government cannot continue this lop-sided blame on Hamas for the crisis. Ask Secretary Rice to urgently express deep concern about Israel's disproportional response and its policies which have brought the Gaza Strip to the brink of humanitarian disaster.

Civilians in Gaza, already trapped in disgraceful humanitarian conditions, are victims of Israeli air strikes and intensified attacks. Israeli blockades of humanitarian supplies continue to deny Palestinians the food and medical supplies they desperately need.

Join Amnesty International in calling for Secretary Rice to:

  • Pressure Israel and Palestinian armed groups to cease attacks on civilians
  • Demand an end to Israel's disproportional response
  • Urge Israel to open the crossings to let humanitarian aid in

Together we can help lift Gaza out of this crisis.


Curt Goering
Senior Deputy Executive Director
Amnesty International USA