Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Heart of “Terror”

By: Bill Noxid

It’s unfortunate that we are still subjected to non-news in this country. I have no question it is a temporary condition that is running out of time faster than I could have imagined. The world at this point is evolving exponentially. “Revolution” is breaking out all over the planet and our media is as usual focused solely on the plight of one white child.

Without a doubt, everyone in this country should be watching the U.N. General Assembly. You can be sure the rest of the world is. This is just another example of why people in this country can’t understand why the rest of the world doesn’t “agree” with us. In order to have any kind of dialogue or “understanding” at all is it necessary to at least hear the other perspective before you conclude it must be wrong or “insane”. Americans tend to have considerable resistance to such logic.

However the rest of the world is not resistant to this logic and never has been. In fact it’s the only explanation for the current state of the world. Americans have always been given the opportunity to speak and have been given the benefit of the doubt.

As a direct result of the world’s openness and forgiving nature, the United States has been able to maneuver itself ( certainly not by honorable means ) into what “appears” to be the sole position of power on the planet.

Again, this is pure self delusion and the only reason it can and continues to exist is by the deliberate and consistent effort to avoid seeing anything else. Coverage and commentary on the speeches over the last two days is a prime example.

If you’re American, the only thing you know about this two-day event is that George Bush spoke for twenty minutes. He reminded us that 9/11 happened within the first twenty-one seconds of his address ( in case you had forgotten ) and then proceeded to tell us the same thing he has said from the moment this campaign began. The mainstream media’s coverage of this United Nations event has consisted of the same clip of George Bush dozens of times.

What you don’t know if you are an American is that a great many others are speaking as well. In fact as what can be construed as another example of disregard for the International Community as a whole, the president’s tardiness precluded him from being the first speaker as was originally scheduled.

As a result, the first speaker was the representative from Brazil. For those of you who haven’t seen it, I strongly recommend you visit CSPAN and watch it for yourself. It was a beautiful speech to open the new U.N. session with. He made a statement replete with the wishes of the world and offered simple and plausible resolutions to the sufferings of the planet. He spoke of the world’s unified desire to live without oppression and in harmony and was met with a standing ovation when he left the stage. In the first ten minutes of the new session, the U.N. spoke for the world… And then came George…

I won’t regurgitate what George said. He does it just fine for himself and Lord knows he gets enough coverage… But you know what he said. He spoke of the “terrorists” coming to get us. He spoke to the “people” of the countries we have invaded and told them not to believe the “propaganda” that the U.S. is terrorizing them. He told them that “terrorists” live amongst them. He explained that the “peace” they had before they were invaded was not “real peace” and that somehow we were bombing them for their “freedom”.

If you are American, what you don’t know is that George Bush is the only one who holds this opinion. Almost without exception, every other speaker from every other country had a message of peace and unity and freedom from oppression.

The reason for this global disparity in “opinion” is easy to understand. While we in this country continue to cry “terror, terror, terror,” the rest of the world has figured out that they are the “terrorist”. Every time America is in fear of loosing it’s “freedom”, they are the ones who are punished for it. What makes it impossible for Americans to understand is that we have never ( without exception ) been in that position.

The world is tired, and with good reason. We never see it in this country, but the world has been at war for as long as anyone can remember. Oppression has existed for as long as Man has, and we in this country are intentionally oblivious to that fact. We stay oblivious to that reality because to accept it would radically change our way of life and our false opinion of ourselves. Our entire economy is based on slave labor and that should be obvious to anyone who takes five minutes to look. In the event you weren’t aware of it ( for example ), the beans for that five dollar cup of Starbucks coffee you drink were picked by slaves who make two dollars a week. If you have doubts about this reality, I encourage you to look up the things you use on a daily basis. If you find yourself surprised by who, how, and where they are made, it is only because of the denial of which I speak.

So while we in this country continue to defend a false reality, the actual reality of our actions and “way of life” is no longer acceptable to the rest of the world. They have already decided… We as Americans just don’t know it yet. The world is quite tired ( and rightfully so ) of being told the only answer to any problem is bombs… Particularly when American problems are the only ones ever addressed and the bombs are always pointed at them.

This is not a struggle… it is already done. The World has decided. The World is self-aware and has already decided what the future is. We, as Americans, have to graciously accept that. No war will change the nature of this reality. Bombing one more country’s infrastructure will not make us one more friend and it’s time we accept and understand that.

This is not all bad news for the American Dream. As I said before, the World is remarkably forgiving. The World does not want revenge on us. The World doesn’t want to kill us. The World only wants to Live Free. We ( not as Americans but as Global Citizens ) have as much right and are as welcome to this new reality as anyone one else. But certainly it is something that we must join as opposed to demanding as we always do that the rest of the world join us.


Iran's proud but discreet Jews

Although Iran and Israel are bitter enemies, few know that Iran is home to the largest number of Jews anywhere in the Middle East outside Israel.

About 25,000 Jews live in Iran and most are determined to remain no matter what the pressures - as proud of their Iranian culture as of their Jewish roots.It is dawn in the Yusufabad synagogue in Tehran and Iranian Jews bring out the Torah and read the ancient text before making their way to work.

It is not a sight you would expect in a revolutionary Islamic state, but there are synagogues dotted all over Iran where Jews discreetly practise their religion. "Because of our long history here we are tolerated," says Jewish community leader Unees Hammami, who organised the prayers. He says the father of Iran's revolution, Imam Khomeini, recognised Jews as a religious minority that should be protected. As a result Jews have one representative in the Iranian parliament.

"Imam Khomeini made a distinction between Jews and Zionists and he supported us," says Mr Hammami...


Friday, September 22, 2006

Torture reaches new depths in Iraq

Torture in Iraq is reportedly worse now than it was under deposed president Saddam Hussein, the United Nations' chief anti-torture expert said Thursday. Manfred Nowak described a situation where militias, insurgent groups, government forces and others disregard rules on the humane treatment of prisoners.

"What most people tell you is that the situation as far as torture is concerned now in Iraq is totally out of hand," said Nowak, the global body's special investigator on torture. "The situation is so bad many people say it is worse than it has been in the times of Saddam Hussein."

Nowak, an Austrian law professor, was in Geneva to present a report on detainee conditions at the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, as well as to brief the UN Human Rights Council, the global body's top rights watchdog, on the situation of torture in countries around the world.

He said that some allegations of torture in Iraq he received were undoubtedly credible. Government forces were among the perpetrators, Nowak said, citing ``very serious allegations of torture within the official Iraqi detention centres.

"You have terrorist groups, you have the military, you have police, you have these militias. There are so many people who are actually abducted, seriously tortured and finally killed," Nowak told reporters at the UN's European headquarters. "It's not just torture by the government. There are much more brutal methods of torture you'll find by private militias."


UN: Nearly 6,600 civilians killed in Iraq in two months

At least 6,599 civilians were killed across war-torn Iraq in the months of July and August, the United Nations said Wednesday.In July at least 3,590 people were killed and in August 3,009 died in bloody attacks on civilians, according to the UN human rights report.

"The month of July witnessed an increase in the number of security related incidents resulting in an unprecedented number of civilians killed throughout the country," the report said.

"Although the number of killings decreased at the beginning of August, further increases were evident towards the end of the month in Baghdad and other governorates."

The country is in the grip of a bitter conflict between the newly empowered Shiite majority and the ousted Sunni Arab elite that has left thousands dead since February. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on Monday warned that Iraq was on the brink of all-out civil war.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

The World Deserves Better - Than Bush

The World Deserves Better - Than Bush

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No One Dares to Help

The wounded die alone on Baghdad's streets. An offer of aid could be your own death sentence, an Iraqi reporter writes.

Because this account of daily life in Baghdad reveals where the writer lives, his name is not being used to protect his safety. He is a 54-year-old Iraqi reporter in The Times' Baghdad Bureau

On a recent Sunday, I was buying groceries in my beloved Amariya neighborhood in western Baghdad when I heard the sound of an AK-47 for about three seconds. It was close but not very close, so I continued shopping.As I took a right turn on Munadhama Street, I saw a man lying on the ground in a small pool of blood. He wasn't dead...


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Full transcript of President Ahmadi-Nejad's speech to the United Nations

Where is the seat of global justice?

Address by His Excellency Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad. President of the Islamic Republic of Iran before the 61 st Session of the United Nations general assembly.

I emphatically declare that today's world, more than ever before, longs for just and righteous people with love for all humanity

Full transcript

New feature (reader request)

Terrorism News tends to get asked a very high number of repeated questions and we have decided on the idea of including a FAQ to deal with such questions.

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What we are

A short movie about what we are.


Bullets and Bodies In Baghdad

As I was walking back outside, gunfire erupted all around us. It turns out the Ministry of Health FPS had gotten into a firefight with nearby FPS officers from the Ministry of Electricity, which is not run by a al-Sadr supporter. Unfortunately, my crew was caught in the middle.

Read the full article Here

Chirac: Iran should not be referred to Security Council during talks

French President Jacques Chirac today suggested that the international community renounce referring Iran to the UN Security Council during nuclear talks – and that Iran, in return, suspend uranium enrichment.

“I don’t believe in a solution without dialogue,” Chirac said on Europe-1 radio, suggesting that the international community suspend the threat of UN sanctions in exchange for Iran’s suspension of enrichment during negotiations.

“I am not pessimistic,” Chirac said.

“I think that Iran is a great nation and that we can find solutions through dialogue.”

He suggested that both sides set an agenda for talks – and that both make a concession during the negotiations. He said the six nations currently involved in the Iran issue – France, Germany, Britain, Russia, China and the United States first set an agenda for talks with Iran.

“We must, on the one hand, together, Iran and the six countries, meet and set an agenda for negotiations then start negotiations. Then, during these negotiations I suggest that the six renounce seizing the UN Security Council and Iran renounces uranium enrichment during negotiations, “ Chirac said.


Afghanistan body count raises skepticism

NATO's estimate of Taliban killed this month has created skepticism and worry in Afghanistan, with local officials saying that either the militant force has grown bigger than imagined - or too many innocent Afghans are being killed.

NATO says its forces, backed by the Afghan army, have killed more than 500 Taliban militants near Afghanistan's main southern city of Kandahar in Operation Medusa, a sweep launched Sept. 2.

The figures, if accurate, make it the deadliest battle since U.S. warplanes bombed the extremist militia, host of Osama bin Laden, out of power in late 2001.

"If they kill that many, the Taliban must have thousands of fighters on that front," said Mohammed Arbil, a former Northern Alliance commander. In the recent past, Taliban units have been described in terms of dozens or hundreds at most.


A Challenge to Krauthammer's Israel-as-Strategic-Asset Argument

The end of the Cold War should have made the Israel-as-a-strategic-asset paradigm obsolete. But after 9/11 and against the backdrop of the Iraq War, neoconservatives succeeded in marketing the notion that the United States and Israel were now being brought together in a strategic alliance against "Islamo-fascism" and a global intifada.

This alliance would operate in the form of an American sheriff and its Israeli deputy--American hegemony in the region with certain military tasks subcontracted to Israel. Israeli-Arab peacemaking was placed on the policy backburner. The neoconservative message has been that the United States needs to adopt more of the Israeli-tough methods in dealing with Middle Eastern terrorists and Bad Guys (since Arabs only understand force, etc.), which the Americans have been trying to do in Iraq with very little success. In the process, the Bush Administration has strengthened Iran--which, of course, runs contrary to both American and Israeli interests. Now the same sense of irony could be applied to the disastrous outcome of the Israeli military operation in Lebanon, which could help enhance the status of Iran (and Syria) in the region.

So it is not surprising that neocons like Charles Krauthammer are angry and confused. In his unique form of Israel bashing, Krauthammer in a column in The Washington Post blamed Israel for not playing its part as a "strategic asset" of the United States in the Middle East, based on his own America-and-Israel-defeat-the-bad-guys script. Suggesting that America had given Israel the green light to attack Hizballah in Lebanon not as a favor to Israel, but as an act of clear [U.S.] self-interest, Krauthammer explained: "America needs a decisive Hizballah defeat." Hence, it was "Israel's rare opportunity to demonstrate what it can do for its great American patron." The United States "has gone far out on a limb to allow Israel to win and for all this to happen," counting on "Israel's ability to do the job." And "it has been disappointed." It seems that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's "search for victory on the cheap has jeopardized not just the Lebanon operation but America's confidence in Israel as well."

But Israel, as Ha'aretz columnist Doron Rosenblum put it, "was not established in order to be a spearhead against global Islam, or in order to serve as an alert squad for the Western world."Moreover, the neoconservative paradigm would make Israel a modern-day crusader state, an outlet of a global power whose political, economic and military headquarters are on the other side of the world. America's commitment to the security of the Israeli "province" would always remain uncertain and fragile, reflecting changes in the balance of power in Washington and the shifting dynamics of U.S. politics and economics

Read the full article Here

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Breaking : military coup in Thailand

Soldiers have entered Government House and tanks have moved into position around the building in Thailand in what can only be described as a military coup. Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has responded by declaring a state of emergency in Bangkok.

Mr Thaksin who is currently out of the country attending the United Nations in New York stated that he had removed the chief of the army and had ordered troops to cease any attempts to "move illegally".

It appears that conflict is imminent as two separate army factions have now declared their allegiance. One side backing the prime minister and the other side backing a rebel army chief.

More information as it breaks from the BBC