The Ballad Of Ho Chang : Animation
Length 10 Min's
When the abusive soldiers played with his cell phone, they unknowingly photographed themselves, and their pictures enabled the Military Police investigation unit to locate them. Muhassin's case is apparently the only one to be solved so far, out of eight complaints submitted last week to the Israel Defense Forces by the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem, against soldiers for harassing Palestinians at the checkpoints since the outbreak of the recent Lebanon War. This week, indictments were filed in the regional military court against Sergeant H. and Sergeant Y. Euphemisms were used to describe details of the crime: The accused, while serving as soldiers in the IDF, behaved in a manner unbefitting their rank and status in the army. The Lebanon War, which grabbed all the public's attention for about a month, turned the West Bank into a gray area, prone to the fallout of shame, chauvinism and aggressive vengefulness from the IDF's inability to defeat Hezbollah.
"They kept shouting at me: 'We've caught you, ya maniac, ya Hezbollah.' I don't know, maybe they thought I was a terrorist, they were hitting me all the time, I don't know, they went crazy, I don't understand it, they entered my house and now they're killing me, who will stop them from saying that I wanted to steal a weapon, we know the Jews, we know them well, they think that they can do anything, we live as in a prison, we want to live, we want to live in spite of everything, the Jews talk about peace, what peace, these people like blood, if someone checks their blood type he'll find war, these are people with war in their genes. Afterward they complain that there are terror attacks. Why? From the pressure we live under. If I can't bring bread or milk home, what should I do? There's no way, there's no way."
"Each time the cup fell I was beaten mercilessly, so I tried to stabilize it on my head. When I succeeded, the soldier said: 'Now quiet, quiet, don't move, keep quiet, you bastard.' He aimed his rifle and shot at the cup. The soldiers were rolling with laughter and they applauded. I saw the shot. The soldier was about four meters away. He apparently hit the mark, because the soldiers applauded. I thought it was the end of my life, it's indescribable, I couldn't believe I was still alive, if I were to meet that soldier today I would kill him, I don't care, let them kill me, you only die once."
Vice Premier Shimon Peres voiced Thursday his support for a continuation of the construction projects in the West Bank settlements. Israel cannot be punished twice, the vice premier said, referring to the ongoing Qassam threat to the country on the one hand, and the restrictions imposed on settlers on the other. The settlers' children cannot be stopped from building their homes, Peres added, saying that this issue is one of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's major problems, a problem that preoccupied former Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin, Ehud Barak and Menachem Begin in the past.
More than 600,000 Iraqis have died by violence since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, according to a study released today by researchers at Johns Hopkins University.
The figure is based on surveys of households throughout most of the country. It vastly exceeds estimates cited by the Iraqi government, the United Nations, aid and anti-war groups, and President Bush.
This study is going to have a hard ride. In part it is because many of us in the information business are not statistically literate enough to judge the sampling techniques. Many will tend to dismiss the findings as implausible without a full appreciation of how low the margin of error is this time. Second, it is a projection, and all projections are subject to possible error, and journalists, being hardnosed people, are wary of them.
The New York Times report has already made a serious error, saying that deaths in the Saddam period were covered up. The families interviewed knew whether their loved ones were disappearing in 2001 and 2002 and had no reason to cover it up if they were. The survey established the baseline with a contemporary questionnaire. It wasn't depending on Iraqi government statistics.
Another reason for the hard ride is that the Republican Party and a significant fraction of the business elite in this country is very invested in the Iraq War, and they will try to discredit the study. Can you imagine the profits being made by the military-industrial complex on all this? Do they really want the US public to know the truth about what the weapons they produce have done to Iraqis? When you see someone waxing cynical about the study, ask yourself: Does this person know what a chi square is? And, who does this person work for, really?
Then Anthony Cordesmann told AP that the timing and content of the study were political. But is he saying that 18,000 households from all over Iraq conspired to lie to Johns Hopkins University researchers for the purpose of defeating Republicans in US elections this November? Does that make any sense? And, if Cordesmann has evidence that the authors and editor set their timetable for completion and publication according to the US political calendar, he should provide it. If he cannot, he should retract.