Sunday, September 30, 2007

BURMA / MYANMAR : Military Junta Cracks down on Protesters & THE CANADIAN CONNECTION

Aung San Suukyi
Elected as leader for Burma but ousted by military Junta - she has been under house arrest for over eleven years- she also received a Nobel Peace Prize

Above: Monks in Burma/ Myanmar lead massive demonstrations against the oppressive anrti-democratic Military Junta

Website Canadian Friends of Burma

By now most people are aware of the massive protests in Burma/ Myanmar led by thousands of Buddhist monks & that the Military Junta has cracked down on the peaceful demonstrations killing hundreds of demonstrators or just citizens who happen to get in the way of the army .The oppression by the Junta over the last twenty years has led to the death of thousands of Burmese people & the destruction of some 3,000 villages as a form of cultural genocide & to make way for strip-mining by mining companies some of which are run by Canadians .

The Canadian investors only concern is the return on their investment , human rights & such are not their concern & this doesn't just apply to the Canadian owners but also to Canadian shareholders & the federal & provincial governments who refuse to insist that Canadian companies operating outside the country should be bound by the same regulations as those operating within our borders . It is difficult to get those in power in our own country to take a vigorous stand against the Junta in Burma & to also chastise & admonish Canadian companies operating in Burma since we are now ruled by the Neocons whose only principle by which they live is that of " Profit" by whatever means available & to hell with concerns over such things as ethics , morality or Human Rights & such so for them it is business as usual . Prime Minister Stephen harper might make a speech about the rights of the people in Burma but will he then back it up with sanctions & force Canadian owned companies to do the right thing - but don't hold your breath -

Here are some video clips about the oppression & protest in Burma:

Jim Carrey-Call to action on Burma and Aung San Suukyi

Silencing Burma
In memory of all those who perished under the rule of the Junta
from The Power of Speech

Burmese army atrocities:
BBC report from Newsnight - June 2005 - details some of the tactics the army in Burma uses against their own people. Concludes with an interview with Labour MP Vera Baird who argues that part of what is going on is a form of slow cultural Genocide-

A Burmese army officer speaks out for the country
( from Democratic Voice Of Burma )

And from the website
Canadian Friends of Burma

Canadian Connection:

Mining Investment

Mining investment provides Burma's military regime with its largest source of legal income and Canadian mining companies are in the thick of it. The Canadian mining company Ivanhoe Mines, which is in a 50/50 joint venture with Burma's ruling junta, operates the biggest foreign mining venture in Burma. In addition, there are about four or five other Canadian junior mining companies doing business in Burma, all of whom inevitably support the regime through their business there. (Click here for list)

CFOB is particularly concerned about the Ivanhoe Mines project called the Monywa Copper Mine. Monywa (pronouned Mo-yu-ah) is a city located in Sagaing Division in the North-West part of Central Burma close to the mine site. Environmental damage is often an outcome of copper mining and the Monywa project is no exception.
The Impact of Mining Investment
Environmental degredation

The Monywa project is an open pit mine, which is the most destructive form of mining. It involves clearing standing vegetation and forests, diverting drainage systems, destabilizing topography which causes mountain collapse, and affecting water tables, loss of topsoil, drainage patterns (irrigation, aquamarine life, etc...). Moreover, once an open pit mine is dug, the area cannot be restored for future use. Ivanhoe Mines conducted their own environmental assessment of the Monywa mine (link)

Canadian Investment in Burma

For the year 2005-2006, CFOB is working on a vigorous campaign to stop all Canadian investment in Burma. At the moment there are several Canadian companies active in Burma, providing the regime with a substantial amount of revenue to purchase weaponry used to brutally supress the people of Burma.

CFOB's postion towards investment in Burma is in accordance to that of Burma's elected MPs from the NCGUB and the NLD, which is that all foreign investment from Burma should be withdrawn until democracy is restored.

CFOB will be working with Canadian NGOs and labour unions to campaign to remove all Canadian investment from BUrma. CFOB will petition all Canadian companies linked to Burma and will lobby the Government of Canada to remove all Canadian investment in Burma, which is linked to Burma's military government.

And check out blog:
ko htike's prosaic collection

also see article(s) on Burma at Human Rights Watch Burma: End Attacks on Protestors, Account for Monks
UN Envoy to Burma Should Press for Concrete Action During His Visit

In its meetings with visiting United Nations envoy Ibrahim Gambari, Burma s military government should pledge to end violence against peaceful protestors, account for hundreds of monks arrested this week, and allow access by independent observers to places of detention, Human Rights Watch said.

Burma s military government has shown contempt for the aspirations of the tens of thousands of people who have bravely taken to the streets demanding change, said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. But if the government does not cooperate with an envoy sent by the UN Security Council, it risks unprecedented international isolation.

Human Rights Watch urged the government to provide information to Gambari, on the many reported human rights abuses committed during the course of the protests, including:

* An accurate accounting of the number of individuals killed by the security forces. The government has admitted to 10 deaths, but credible reports suggest there have been many more;
* The number of individuals arrested and their whereabouts, including members of the 88 Generation of Students arrested at the beginning of protests in August, members of the opposition National League of Democracy, and other activists; and
* The whereabouts and conditions of the hundreds of monks apparently detained in the morning hours of Thursday, September 27.

Human Rights Watch also called on the government to end its newly imposed restrictions on mobile phones and the internet, which are critical to the dissemination of accurate information about events in Rangoon and elsewhere.

take care,

Friday, September 28, 2007

Fascism is Fun- video/ Kate Bush/ Bombing Iran

We often hear how in our society people's lives are so busy that they don't have time to make themselves better informed on the various important issues so here is an instructive video from Australia which allows people to not have to worry about all these pesky issues from terrorism, war, refugees, torture , renditions, global warming , racism because who really cares unless it affects you personally so let your leaders do the thinking for you ; it saves you time & shifts all responsibility on those leaders relieving you of worry or any feelings of guilt:

( from DIVX STAGE6 )

and here's a lovely bit of music by Kate Bush about all those who can't wait to fight for Jesus & capitalism to ensure the rich stay rich & the poor know their place - oh you mean like in Iraq or El Salvador or Vietnam ah well it's all just a bit of fun til you get your legs blown off -

Army Dreamers - Kate Bush
( from DIVX STAGE6 )

And here's a piece from The Real News Network which shows how even the American Universities have fallen into line with the Bush Regime's Propaganda war to attack Iran - they are using Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's dubious & lamentable opinion on the Holocaust to prove how dangerous he is to Israel - but when it comes to Israel according to informed sources & objective translators it has been repeated many times now that he believes that he wishes not for the obliteration of Israel but for a change in its government to a government that is more moderate & open to improving the conditions of the Palestinian People & Arabs within Israel's borders & a real dialogue with other Middle Eastern Nations rather than just threatening to attack those nations & even possibly dropping nuclear bombs on them -

In the end none of this matters as the Bush Regime, the Neocons , the Radical Religious Right & Hilary Clinton are determined to bomb Iran into submission as they have done to Iraq & Lebanon & are threatening to do to Syria -


Real News analyst Aijaz Ahmad talks with Senior Editor Paul Jay about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent visit to Columbia University in this two-part interview.

Based in New Delhi, Aijaz Ahmad is a Senior Editorial Consultant and political commentator for the Indian newsmagazine, Frontline. He has taught Political Science and written widely on South Asia and the Middle East.

Take care,

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Blackwater Mercenaries Act With Impunity- KILLERS FOR HIRE

Before going to the issue of Blackwater it is once again disturbing but not surprising that Hilary Clinton has now joined the other Democrats in condemning MOVEON.ORG for their piece on General Petraeus or Betrayus - Edwards & Obama also condemned so Freedom of Speech is going the way of the Dinosaurs since the people are not to question or make accusations of those in power whether those elected or those in the military or Pentagon & I wonder does this also apply to any company or multi-national that is working closely with government agencies whether it is Blackwater or Halliburton or Enron so what's so wrong about a little bit of McCarthyism so will they next designate & all other groups critical of Bush & his dirty war as Terrorists as in giving aid & comfort to the the Enemy-

Since the incident on Bloody Sunday in Iraq last week the spotlight has been finally focused on Blackwater & the other Killers for Hire working for the US Government , the Pentagon & Private Foreign owned Businesses operating in Iraq- These Mercenary Armies are just another negative aspect of the American Bloody Occupation of Iraq & these Mercenaries have been a focus of a lot of Iraqi anger over this foreign occupation of Iraq-

Inside America's private army with extended bonus scenes from Robert Greenwald's documentary "Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers"

Blackwater report From CBS - note how the report is slanted in the end in favor of Blackwater because these Killers For Hire face real danger on a daily basis whereas I guess most Iraqis are living care-free lives in the American Made Utopia in which they live- of course our intrepid reporter here probably still believes that there were WMDS & Saddam & Al Qeada were linked & that only about ten thousand Iraqis have died throughout this conflict- it never occurs to her that there is something wrong in Iraq when you need thousands of Private Guards to protect American officials in Iraq- & she never questions why it is that these mercenaries are permitted to shoot at civilian vehicles on a public highway in Iraq - again this report is also a criticism of any who dare question US policy in Iraq or the Bush Regime or the Generals in its pay -

Maliki insists Blackwater must pay for shootings Ewen MacAskill in Washington
Monday September 24, 2007
The Guardian

note:that the Guardian article still reports only eleven deaths rather than the confirmed number 28 dead & dozens wounded-

and from The Independent 23/09/07 The real story of Baghdad's Bloody Sunday

Six days ago, at least 28 civilians died in a shooting incident involving the US security company Blackwater. But what actually happened? Kim Sengupta reports from the scene of the massacre :

... The shooting on Sunday, by the guards of the American private security company Blackwater, has sparked one of the most bitter and public disputes between the Iraqi government and its American patrons, and brings into sharp focus the often violent conduct of the Western private armies operating in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, immune from scrutiny or prosecution.

Blackwater's security men are accused of going on an unprovoked killing spree. Hassan Jabar Salman, a lawyer, was shot four times in the back, his car riddled with eight more bullets, as he attempted to get away from their convoy. Yesterday, sitting swathed in bandages at Baghdad's Yarmukh Hospital, he recalled scenes of horror. "I saw women and children jump out of their cars and start to crawl on the road to escape being shot," said Mr Salman. "But still the firing kept coming and many of them were killed. I saw a boy of about 10 leaping in fear from a minibus, he was shot in the head. His mother was crying out for him, she jumped out after him, and she was killed. People were afraid."

At the end of the prolonged hail of bullets Nisoor Square was a scene of carnage with bodies strewn around smouldering wreckage. Ambulances trying to pick up the wounded found their path blocked by crowds fleeing the gunfire.

Yesterday, the death toll from the incident, according to Iraqi authorities, stood at 28. And it could rise higher, say doctors, as some of the injured, hit by high-velocity bullets at close quarter, are unlikely to survive.

With public anger among Iraqis showing no sign of abating, the US administration has suspended all land movement by officials outside the heavily fortified Green Zone.


The REAL Story of Blackwater's Bloody Sunday in Baghdad by markthshark Sat Sep 22, 2007


for more from DEMOCRACY NOW! Blackwater:
The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary

Jeremy Scahill is the author of the new book "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army." interviewed by Amy Goldman .. about how new lawsuits and congressional efforts are challenging Blackwater's role as the Bush administration's leading private security force, from Iraq to Afghanistan to New Orleans.

BBCNEWS -Iraq shootout firm loses licence

Iraq has cancelled the licence of the private security firm, Blackwater USA, after it was involved in a gunfight in which at least eight civilians died.

The Iraqi interior ministry said the contractor, based in North Carolina, was now banned from operating in Iraq.

The Blackwater workers, who were contracted by the US state department, apparently opened fire after coming under attack in Baghdad on Sunday.

Thousands of private security guards are employed in Iraq.

They are often heavily armed, but critics say some are not properly trained and are not accountable except to their employers.

The interior ministry's director of operations, Maj Gen Abdul Karim Khalaf, said authorities would prosecute any foreign contractors found to have used excessive force.

"We have opened a criminal investigation against the group who committed the crime," he told the AFP news agency.

Iraqis angry at Blackwater shooting
By Hugh Sykes SEPT. 19,2007

As many as 20,000 private security contractors are working in Iraq
US security firm Blackwater says it acted "lawfully and appropriately" after its convoy was "violently attacked by armed insurgents" in Baghdad earlier this week.

Blackwater security guards then opened fire in a busy Baghdad square.

Eyewitnesses and recovering victims of the shooting - in which 11 Iraqi civilians died - say the Blackwater account is wrong.

Asked by the BBC if anyone shot at the convoy, an Iraqi policeman, speaking anonymously, answered unequivocally: "No."

Two men shot and wounded in the incident corroborated the policeman's account.

And the Bush Regime felt the need to send one of it's minions to placate the Iraqis & prove that the Bush & the Neocons have souls but they don't fool the Iraqis one bit -even soulless Condi Rice had to make one of her standard empty apologies to the Iraqis in order to appear to be shocked by this latest incident as if The Bush Regime gives a damn about the Iraqi people since all Condi worries about is how to cover up for the Bush Regime's ineptness & its callousness -Otherwise she is concerned with other important matters such as how to get all that oil out of the ground & increase America's power in the Middle East & what company she can become CEO for after she leaves the White House- though she can always return to the Green Zone & play the piano a bit of Rachmaninov or maybe a bit of Wagner which would be more apropos while Bhagdad burns & a million bodies are now stacked up as Homage to the American Empire- don't expect her to roam around the streets outside the Emerald City she might just get her Prada shoes dirty -

ABC NEWS Iraq: Video Shows Blackwater Overreacted -Official: 'On the Tape, There Was Nobody Shooting at the Blackwater Guards'

...The Blackwater shootings have become a major source of friction between the U.S. and Iraqi governments.

Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice called Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to apologize after the Sept 16 incident, but Maliki is still furious, and on Sunday he said it was "a serious challenge to the sovereignty of Iraq," and, "cannot be accepted."

...There are 20,000 to 30,000 private security contractors in Iraq guarding the U.S. embassy and other civilian agencies. There have been numerous incidents of Iraqis being shot dead by these contractors, and the private forces are widely resented across the country for their often trigger-happy behavior.

What infuriates Iraqis most is that the contractors are not subject to the Iraqi legal system, nor do they seem to fall under U.S. law. There is no record of any foreign contractor being prosecuted for the killing of an Iraqi civilian

NOTE: other sources put the figure at over 100,000 mercenaries who have contracts in Iraq as we see in the next article -
and from GULFNEWS: BETRAYAL BY BLACKWATER By Mayada Al Askari, Staff Writer September 24, 2007

...Little do Iraqis know that there are more than 130,000 private military contractors in Iraq, raising the number of US military existence from the 130,000 plus soldiers to 260,000.

Little do Iraqis know that even the Fallujah incident of 2004 - where Blackwater USA contractors were hanged and burnt from the iron bridge - is believed by Iraqi officials to be a muscle and money war between Blackwater USA and other security firms, wanting to demarcate their territories for contracts and money. So what else is this war about for mercenaries?

When and if the US army is asked about Blackwater USA's affiliation, the response will be like the one I received from both Lieutenant Colonel Holly Silverman, a US Military official in the region, and Captain Vic Beck, US Navy Chief, Media Operations, Multi-National Force-Iraq.

Both said that Blackwater USA was a privately contracted company and had no affiliation with the US military.

So who does Blackwater USA do business with? The US State Department, with contracts reaching $715 million in Iraq.

Can Condoleezza Rice be wanting a private army for her State Department now? Well, as almost everyone has a mini militia in Iraq today, staying in vogue is very tempting.

US troops in Iraq make anywhere between $28,000-$40,000 annually, while Blackwater USA boys make the sum monthly, tax exempted.

They are the Fed Ex service of peace and stability as described by the man who established the company, Eric Prince. He also defines his firm as the most comprehensive professional military, law enforcement, security, peacekeeping and stability operations company in the world.

And now for something really scary: an ad for Blackwater realy scary: kids playing with all kinds of toys-

"Blackwater USA's Defensive Driving Course prepares the private military contractor with the driving skills necessary to survive an attack while on the road."

Watching this clip one can imagine what is the appeal for those who would join Blackwater or some other Private Army besides making a lot of money if one survives but they offer the chance to take part in wild car chases & blowing up things with the latest in High Tech weaponry so they can live out their wildest Macho Fantasies -

Take care,

Monday, September 24, 2007


First off here is a bit of good news for those who haven't bought into the Neocon or, Radical Religious Right's propaganda & world view who see everything in terms of power & hard currency & religious conversion ...Another organization The Real News Network has been created recently which is independent of major corporations or government interference & so may be able to give its viewers more in depth fact based journalism based on informed opinion & not merely Neocon Spin-
So check out their website for more information

" The Real News is a non-profit news and documentary network focused on providing independent and uncompromising journalism. Our staff, in collaboration with courageous journalists around the globe, will investigate, report and debate stories on the critical issues of our times.

We are member supported and do not accept advertising, government or corporate funding."


"Everybody with an IQ above room temperature is on to the con act of our media. They are obeying bigger, richer interests than informing the public -- which is the last thing that corporate America has ever been interested in doing." GORE VIDAL

Here's an example of the sort of reporting you will find at The Real News Network:
The outrage expressed by Iraqi citizens & its government over more questionable killings by Blackwater Mercenary contractor in Iraq is being downplayed by much of the media but not at The Real News -



One of the problems with these privatize militias or mercenaries operating under contract from the United States is that they seem to operate in some vague legal shadow-land to whom are they answerable the United States claims these groups have immunity as private contractors or some suggest they are accountable to the Iraqi Puppet Regime but this does not seem to be the case & does the Great Decider Emperor Bush know the answer well apparently not as this video illustrates:

More on Blackwater next time or later today-

- Oh by the way did you notice The Pope is avoiding meeting with Condi Rice does this mean the Pope & the Vatican may begin speaking out more on the immoral occupation of Iraq by the United States & their wanton disregard for human life especially those of the Iraqi citizenry or the use of extraordinary renditions , the suspension of Haepeus Corpus & the use of torture or would that be asking too much of the Pontiff or is he like the American Radical Religious Right more interested in spiritual matters & not the terrible existence of people's lives even when those horrifying circumstances were caused needlessly by a so called Christian Nation America that is which sees itself as in a desperate struggle between good & evil in which all non Christians are seen as agents of the Anti-Christ or Satan Himself & therefore must be destroyed or at least subjugated & will learn to bow down before the will of the New Caesar/Emperor/TSAR i.e. Emperor George w. Bush -Lord of the world or even Sovereign & Emperior of all of Christendom--Maybe Georgie is in competition with the Pope to be the New Pontiff of what he & his Evangelical friend would regard as the True Church of Jesus Christ - anyway just a thought-


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Bush Ofended by MOVEON.ORG General Betraeus comment

First off we have a video from informing the nation that pulling out 30,000 troops next spring is just a reduction in troop levels to what they were before the surge-

It is because of the popularity of such videos by that Bush has used their ad on General Petraeus to have them publicly condemned since free speech is allowed in America only if you support Bush & his War in Iraq- The ad as such I think is rather mild & innocuous considering deadly catastrophe Iraq occupation has become-
It also upsets Bush that now has over three million members & yet he still calls it a far left fringe group even though over 60% of Americans disapprove of the War but lets not allow reality to upset Bush's well constructed fantasy world- Betrayul of Trust ad

Anyway the war & occupation in Iraq continues and the body count is now said to be as high as one million dead Iraqis - meanwhile billions of dollars of money funnelled to contractors in Iraq have gone missing while the mercenary organization Blackwater is in trouble for another incident in which they over-reacted & killed a number of Iraqi civilians & Blackwater has been accused of selling arms to terrorists groups & anti-American groups in Iraq & the Iaqi Government has tried to have the Blackwater mercenaries thrown out of Iraq and in the meantime the crisis of over two million Iraqi Refugees continue-but the most important issue for Bush & the Republicans & the Neocons is that of calling General Petraeus General Betraeus to the extent that the Senate passed a resolution condemning & we wonder if the next move is to outlaw & other groups critical of the Bush Regime-

I urge anyone who has not bought into the Bush Regime's Propaganda to visit to check it out & decide whether to support this important group -
for more details go to The

Senate Condemns "General Betray Us" Ad
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate voted Thursday to condemn an advertisement by the liberal anti-war group that accused the top military commander in Iraq of betrayal.

The 72-25 vote condemned the full-page ad that appeared in The New York Times last week as Gen. David Petraeus, the top military commander in Iraq, testified on Capitol Hill. The ad was headlined: "General Petraeus or General Betray Us? Cooking the books for the White House."

The ad became a life raft for the Republican party as the war debate kicked into high gear. With several Republicans opposed to President Bush's war strategy, GOP members were able to put aside their differences and rally around their disapproval of the ad.


But it appears that General Petraeus ' nickname of General Betraeus pre-dates the ad by a couple of years according to the website Democratic Underground.Com Didn't Invent BetrayUs- The Troops Did!


.....the origins of the nickname "Betrayus".

Many people are falsely assuming that "Betrayus" was a clever rhyme made up by for the New York Times ad. Which I think is a key assumption for this ad controversy to work for the republicans.

And that assumption is false. The nickname did not originate with

I clearly remember reading Petraeus's nickname on various military forums/comment threads over two years ago. I remember it so because I thought it was very clever and suitable nickname. In the past couple of months, I have also started seeing the nickname used on progressive blogs and comments.


Here's a comment from 2005:

FromBLACKFIVE: Generals of yesterday and today

I don't know GEN Petraeus personally...but when I was in the "Devil Brigade" folks called him "Colonel Betrayus". He came up with things like the "Devil button" (button your BDU collar up to the top when on jumps) and the "Devil grip" (special name for keeping your trigger finger out of the trigger well) which sounded hokey to most of the troops at the time.

Can any other All American paratroopers out there expand on my comment?

Posted by: TBone | November 19, 2005 at 10:52 AM


Update: Terre in the comments has a great find:

From the Times Online

Americans doubt ‘General Betraeus’ over troop surge (8/19/07):

AFTER being hailed as King David, the potential saviour of Iraq, the US commander General David Petraeus is facing a backlash in advance of his report to Congress in September on the progress of America’s troop surge.

Critics, including one recently retired general, are privately calling him "General Betraeus" on the grounds that he is too ambitious to deliver a balanced report on the war.

Lawrence Korb, a defence official under Ronald Reagan who is now at the Center for American Progress, a Democratic think tank, said Petraeus was regarded as "the most political general since General (Douglas) Mac-Arthur", a reference to the second world war hero who was touted as a possible president.

and more at:

A must see Countdown Special Comment : The President of Hypocrisy
Keith Olbermann criticizes Bush for distracting the public by acting outraged by a ad refering to Gen. Petraeus as Gen. Betrayus

And here's the spokesman for on hardball defending the Petraeus ad:

Take care ,

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Link To This Site Are Appreciated


Link To This Site Are Appreciated


If George Bush was able to interfere in Scooter Libby's case then he has the power & authority to take some positive action to guarantee that Justice is done which should lead to acquittals with apologies & possibly a few of those authorities involved investigated at the least & possibly removed from their positions of authority or even charged with unlawful confinement or other such criminal charges -The chances of doing the right -thing though are rather slim since it would mean that the White Majority would have to shed themselves of their most cherished prejudices - ie that anyone arrested by the police must be guilty of something especially if they are Black or Hispanic , and that Judges & prosecutors are above reproach & always obey the law & never act on personal prejudices or biases or bigotry & that Blacks & Hispanics are far more violent than whites & further that teens especially have become more violent than they used to be even though the numbers show a decrease in violent crimes on a yearly basis since 1993-

Here's a couple of videos I grabbed off of YouTube about the Jena6

Jena Six-a photo story

The next video is the first part of a documentary from Democracy Now!
the rest of it is available on YouTube -

The Case of The Jena six- Racism in Louisiana
From Democracy Now part one

To put the story in context it should be noted that the United States has the highest incarceration rate compared to any other country & that there is a great disparity between the sentencing of blacks & Hispanics compare to white males - whites are more often as not given lesser sentences than blacks or hispanics -


The United States is the world's leader in incarceration with 2.1 million people currently in the nation's prisons or jails -- a 500% increase over the past thirty years. These trends have resulted in prison overcrowding and state governments being overwhelmed by the burden of funding a rapidly expanding penal system, despite increasing evidence that large-scale incarceration is not the most effective means of achieving public safety.


July 18, 2007
The Sentencing Project: Examines Racial, Ethnic Prison Disparity in New Report

A new analysis by The Sentencing Project provides a regional examination of the racial and ethnic dynamics of incarceration in the U.S., and finds broad variations in racial disparity among the 50 states. The report, Uneven Justice: State Rates of Incarceration by Race and Ethnicity, finds that African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six (5.6) times the rate of whites and Hispanics nearly double (1.8) the rate.

A new analysis by The Sentencing Project provides a regional examination of the racial and ethnic dynamics of incarceration in the U.S., and finds broad variations in racial disparity among the 50 states. The report, Uneven Justice: State Rates of Incarceration by Race and Ethnicity, finds that African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six (5.6) times the rate of whites and Hispanics nearly double (1.8) the rate.

The report also reveals wide variation in incarceration by state, with states in the Northeast and Midwest exhibiting the greatest black-to-white disparity in incarceration. In five states - Iowa, Vermont, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Wisconsin - African Americans are incarcerated at more than ten times the rate of whites.

"Racial disparities in incarceration reflect a failure of social and economic interventions to address crime effectively and also indicate racial bias in the justice system," stated Marc Mauer, Executive Director of The Sentencing Project. "The broad variation in the use of incarceration nationally suggests that policy decisions can play a key role in determining the size and composition of the prison population."

The report extends the findings of previous analyses by incorporating jail populations in the overall incarceration rate and by assessing the impact of incarceration on the Hispanic community, representing an increasing share of the prison population. The state figures for Hispanic incarceration also reveal broad variation nationally. Three states - Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania - have a Hispanic-to-white ratio of incarceration more than three times the national average.

And from Alternet here is a pertinent article Jena Six Case Shows Black Teens Get Short End of Stick By Earl Ofari Hutchinson, New America Media. Posted September 18, 2007.It is time we examine why a black teen is six times more likely to be tried and sentenced to prison than a young white, even when the crimes are similar.

and see:
Jena Ignites a Movement
By Jordan Flaherty, Left Turn. Posted September 21, 2007.
On the ground at the Jena protest on Sept. 20, one got the sense that Jena could be the beginning of a larger movement for racial justice.

and on Alternet from Pam's HOUSE BLEND:
Neo-Nazi Group Publishes Addresses and Phone Numbers of Jena Six Families
Posted by Pam Spaulding at 9:20 AM on September 22, 2007. White supremacist William A. White is trying to stir up violence by posting lynching threats alongside their contact info.

...In what is not a surprising, but sad development, a white supremacist organization is being monitored by the FBI. William A. White is trying to stir up violence by posting addresses and phone numbers of the Jena 6 family on his web site, proclaiming: "Lynch the Jena 6." He operates out of Roanoke, Virginia:

William A. White also listed some of the defendants' telephone numbers, urging his readers to "Get in touch, and let them know justice is coming."

The review came as protesters gathered Thursday in Jena, the site of racial unrest since last summer. After a black student asked the school for permission to sit under a tree where white students traditionally gathered, three nooses were found hanging from the tree. Months later, the Jena Six were charged with beating a white student.

On his Web site, White complained of "agitators" who were demanding acquittals.

A posting Thursday afternoon that contained contact information for the six youths was headlined: "Addresses of Jena 6 N-----s; In case anyone wants to deliver justice."

In a second item, White was quoted as saying: "If these n------s are released or acquitted, we will find out where they live and make sure that white activists and white citizens in Louisiana know it ... in order to find someone willing to deliver justice."

The Southern Poverty Law Center has details on the other sites and groups fomenting violence in light of the march and search for justice in Jena. Take the bleatings at the neo-Nazi Vanguard News Network:

"I think a group of White men with AK rifles loaded with high capacity magazines should close in on the troop of howler monkeys from all sides and compress them into a tight group, and then White men in the buildings on both sides of the shitskinned hominids shall throw Molotov cocktails from above to cleanse the nigs by fire," wrote "NS Cat" on VNN. Another poster fantasized about a terrorist attack in Jena today: "Wouldn't that be sweet? Gosh darn, wouldn't that be sweet? Good LORD wouldn't THAT be SWeeeeEET? Boom, Boom, no more Coon! Well? A White man can dream can't he?"

As former White House press secretary Tony Snow said on an October 2003 edition of Fox News Sunday

"Here's the unmentionable secret: Racism isn't that big a deal any more. No sensible person supports it. Nobody of importance preaches it. It's rapidly becoming an ugly memory."

Southern Poverty Law Center -Jena Rally Sparks White Supremacist Rage - While thousands of peaceful marchers descended on Jena, La., white supremacists were issuing threats and calls for violence.

take care,

Friday, September 21, 2007


The horror of the Jena 6 case is that The System Is Not Broken It is working exactly How Most White Americans Expect It to- gord

It is sad how little coverage the Jena 6 case has gotten in the Canadian Press & media - even the CBC has barely covered the case though they did a number of stories on Muslim Canadian women wearing the full veil or burqas as Islamophobia takes hold in our country which is just another form of racism 0r, religious intolerance , nativism, & the belief in the Status Quo -

Sam Cooke - A Change is Gonna Come

Billie Holiday- Strange Fruit
This song should remind us that a noose hung over a tree in the front of a school or in the town square fills one with fear & terror & repulsion - maybe there are still those who don't get it - that is is a symbol of hatred - & the Jena 6 case shows us that there are still those whites in America who believe that the outlawing of lynching was a plot by the US Federal government against the South -

alternet blogs
Jena Six: Thousands to Rally for Justice Posted by Pam Spaulding at 6:09 AM on September 20, 2007.

Pam Spaulding: Elizabeth Edwards, David Bowie, Chris Dodd and thousands of other supporters have rallied to their cause.

Elizabeth Edwards spoke today at a send-off rally in Columbia, SC for those departing by bus to the rally in Jena. John Edwards released this statement:

"As someone who grew up in the segregated South, I feel a special responsibility to speak out on racial intolerance. To measure our progress in the fight against racism, today our nation looks to Jena, Louisiana. Americans of all races are traveling to Jena because they believe that how we respond to the racial tensions in Jena says everything about who we are as a nation.

"When a 'white tree' stands outside a public school, marking a place where white students sit but black students are not welcome, there is something so wrong that the right words are hard to find. When children have learned to intimidate each other with age-old, hateful symbols of racial terror, we are reminded that we cannot take progress for granted. And we must turn to the larger truth: that we still have two criminal justice systems in this country -- largely defined by race and class.

"Fortunately, we also still have in this country the desire for racial justice, understanding and tolerance. I am hopeful that justice will be served, these young Americans can look to the future, and the community of Jena will find peace."

And as this next article points out when white kids are treated unjustly by police & the courts it is news but when those kids are black it is often ignored by the media who are complicit in these racist attitudes:

Susan Madrak By The Color Of Their Skins September 20, 2007

...I was shocked when a Taser incident involving a white college student was given so much attention this week with so little context: Namely, that minorities

It's not so important when it happens to black people because of the unspoken assumption most white people are still privileged to hold: "They must have done something to deserve it."

I know better. I grew up in a working-class, blue collar Philadelphia neighborhood. The boys in my neighborhood (including my own brothers) were forever being beaten up by cops; it was a fact of life. I know that whatever rationale the cops claimed, they really beat them up for some variation on the same reason: Because I can and there's nothing you can do about it. "Deserved" it? Yeah, if you can call not being able to read a cop's mind and know just how quick of a hair-trigger he had that minute a crime. Excuse me, officer, but have you gotten laid recently? Any money troubles? Kids okay?

And so white people - people who never had to worry about real-life police brutality - just tune it out. It doesn't seem logical to them, that cops and elected officials would simply treat a black kid differently for no reason other than the color of their skin. After all, they're always so polite to them.

The legacy of Southern Racism is still alive at the core of Southern American culture:

Huffington Post Byron Williams: Old-Fashioned Southern Justice in the Modern South
September 20, 2007

After a two-day trial, in which Bell's public defender called no witnesses, the all-white jury originally found him guilty of aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated second-degree battery for his role in the beating of a white male classmate who participated in last year's racial incident. The victim spent roughly one hour in a local hospital.

Bell and five of his fellow African American high school students, ranging from 15 to 17 years of age, are facing lifetimes behind bars for a schoolyard fight incident. In total, these young men could be sentenced to up to 100 years in prison, with charges of attempted murder.

Bails were set from $70,000 to $138,000; and coming from low-income families has resulted in these six young men languishing behind bars when the should be enjoying their final years of adolescents.

This case centers on a tree. Not just any tree, but a tree at the high school, known as the "white tree," which was symbolically labeled for white students only.

According to reports, an African American student, new to the area, asked permission from school administrators to sit under the infamous tree. Permission was granted, and the next day three nooses, draped in the school's colors, were hanging from the tree.

The school's principal recommended expulsion for the three white students responsible. The school superintendent overruled the expulsion and gave the students a three-day suspension for "an adolescent prank."

A school prank, perhaps. I am more accustomed to rolls of toilet paper on someone's house or car, I would like to think reasonable people could agree that a hung noose on a tree crosses the line of acceptability.

The barbaric legacy of legally sanctioned injustice that courses through the veins of every African American, in particularly those living in the South, makes the nooses hung from the school tree echo with the melodic sounds of Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit."

It is a haunting reminder of a less favorable moment in 20th century American history when black people were lynched on average every three days spanning over a 25-year period.

Thousands from all over the country have descended on Jena in support of these six young men. Their glaring absurdity, however, is but the tip of the iceberg that reaches several fathoms below the surface of justice.

According to the Urban League:

• America presently incarcerates more than 10,000 youth in adult prisons.

• African American men are three times more likely than white men to face jail once they have been arrested in the United States.

• 24.4 percent of African Americans arrested in 2005 ended up in jail, compared with 8.3 percent of white men.

• African American men receive jail sentences on average 15 percent longer than white men convicted of the same crime.

The "Jena 6" case serves as a microcosm of the Urban League's findings. Instead of calling them the "Jena 6" perhaps the "American 6" would be more appropriate.

I know justice is blind but you would think she could see the injustice in this case from miles away.

And once again we see racism is alive & well even if those in power including the media do not wish to speak about it or liberals like to pretend its a thing of the past:

Etan Thomas and Dave ZirinRacism, Hatred and Southern Justice are Alive and Well in Jena, Louisiana September 12, 2007

"Outsiders need to stay away." That's what Billy Fowler of the school board in Jena, Louisiana, said about those who have raised concerns about the sentencing imposed on six African American boys -- ages 15-17 -- facing 100 years in prison.

Outsiders are always what people in the South have called those who challenge racism. But the story of Jena is not an outsider/insider story. It's a story about the worst tradition of what is known as Southern Justice. And like in the days of Jim Crow, it's a story where any shades of grey matter far less than black and white.

The issue by now has become well known: discussed on CNN and in the pages of USA Today. At Jena High School, a black student received permission from school authorities to sit underneath what was known as "the white tree" (remarkable that he felt he had to ask!) The next day, in retribution, three nooses hung from the branches, threats that they would soon be harvesting "strange fruit."

In protest black students collectively decided to sit under the tree. This a bold and beautiful act in the spirit of the best traditions of the '60s. They refused to comply with racist terror, even when those threats are as drastic as being lynched for simply not staying in your place.

And just like in the old South, the state made clear which side it was on. The town DA, Reid Walters, actually had the audacity to threaten only the black students, telling them that he had the power to ruin their lives with the stroke of his pen if they continued to make trouble.

Tensions escalated over the course of the semester. Two black students were beaten by a white student while another group of black students were threatened with a shotgun by a former classmate. Surprisingly, none of the white students or former students were punished in any way for these incidents.

But the following Monday when a white student was beaten up by six black classmates, they were immediately arrested and charged with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder, charges that would put them in jail for 100 years without parole. The Jena 6 ranges in age from 15-17. The white student spent three hours in a hospital emergency room and required no further medical care.

Mychall Bell was the first student tried. He was represented by a public defender that called no witness, and was quickly convicted by an all-white jury, white judge, and now faces up to 22 years in prison.

Recently, in response to a public outcry about the case, prosecutors have announced that charges against Shaw and Jones had been reduced to lesser felonies. But the need to be heard on this continues. Two other students, Robert Bailey Jr. and Bryant Purvis, still await trial for attempted murder. Bell's conviction has been allowed to stand even though the judge ruled he had been improperly convicted in an adult court when he should have been tried as a juvenile. Shaw and Jones still face years in prison.

As Billy Hunter, the head of the National Basketball Player's association, said:

"The situation in Jena, Louisiana is abominable and rotten to the core. The actions of the District Attorney demonstrate that "racism and bigotry are live and well in Jena ." As a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California and Assistant Chief in the S.F. District Attorney's Office, it is my opinion that the District Attorney's has severely overcharged the case revealing his bias against the six black Jena youth. His actions should serve as a wake-up call for all Americans who believe in an impartial and fair criminal justice system."

This is a case that should outrage any individual regardless of the color of their skin. When the justice system can be a direct symbol of racism, injustice and terror, the very moral fiber of our society is threatened. This is not a time for neutrality. Insiders and so-called outsiders will be marching in Jena on September 20th. We will also be circulating a statement in the world of sports for those who choose to support the efforts to have the charges against the Jena 6 dismissed. The simple truth is that when it comes to issues of basic justice, there are no such thing as "outsiders."

The symbols of racism like a burning cross or men clad in white hoods & the lynch-mobs noose are seen as trivial by many whites while Blacks in America feel repulsion & fear & can be terrorized by these symbols of hatred but then again the Bush Regime isn't interested in Home Grown terrorists such as the White Supremacists -

Trey Ellis:The Jena 6 Case is History Written in Lightning September 19, 2007

What white Southerners still fail to realize is their complicity in some of the most vicious and effective terrorism the world has ever seen. Lynchings were only the most visible and brutal embodiments of a system to terrorize the black minority. A noose is a symbol the way a swastika is a symbol. A noose hanging from a tree in that context is an almost unimaginably vicious act. Those white teens, instead of being ashamed of their terrorist ancestry, reveled in the evil. The adults who are charged with the education of all the students deemed it merely a prank.

The scariest part of this ordeal is that you know these boys are the relatively lucky ones for whom publicity might spare them. How many other black lives are still thrown away at the whim of our broken justice system?

take care,

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Let me reiterate the number of Iraqis who have died as a result of the American invasion & occupation of Iraq is now estimated at about 1.2 million while the Bush Regime claims it is no more than seventy thousand or less but then again they don't do body counts & our Prime Minister Harper believes whatever ever Bush & the Neocons tell him -
Meanwhile some two million Iraqis have fled their country & now constitute one of the worst Refugee Crisis in decades while the United States & Canada do little or nothing to help these refugees -

Anyway I believe Canada's role in helping Iraqi Refugees is inadequate & a disgrace for our nation-
We have stood by while the Americans have laid waste to a country which they had no right to invade & occupy unilaterally-
We have stood by silently as thousands are incarcerated without due process, without charges being laid - without being told of their crime
we have stood by while Americans torture , kidnap people who are sent to secret prisons around the world -
If these actions were those of the former Soviet Union Canadians would insist the government speak out -
We have stood by as we slowly but inevitably become a satellite state of the United States - like Poland or Hungary to the Soviets

We fear passing legislation that might upset the Bush Regime IE legalization of Marijuana
We standby in silence as the American Neocon disease infects our body politic as Conservatives prepare us for privatized Health Care & privatized Schools run by Corporations-
As a nation we are indeed now a second rate Banana Republic controlled by Washington & Halliburton & a hundred other corporations
But most Canadians don't care as they dream of becoming the 51st state of The United States while others long for the good old days when we belonged to the British Empire

And here in Canada politicians & the people of Canada are more worried & all in a lather as it were about Muslim Women wearing the Nigab or Burga when going to vote -Stephen Harper made this into his cause celeb of the year but did he bother to admonish in public the Bush regime for the slaughter in Iraq or the American forces use of torture & renditions & secret prisons - no of course not - Harper like most Canadians have an unfounded belief in the righteousness of whatever the Americans do - & what we are told is that each must support Harper because he supports the troops in Afghanistan where everything is falling apart as Al Qeada has been revived & the Opium production is at an all time high - one can only assume that in Afghanistan a lot of palms are being greased to keep the Heroin flowing & some of those palms are quite likely American & Canadian.

see for instance article in Mar. 16, 2007 No special treatment for Iraqi refugees:Federal government rejects call to open the doors to those fleeing war-torn country

The federal government plans to treat refugee claims by Iraqis on a case-by-case basis despite calls by the United States and the United Nations for countries to open their doors to those fleeing.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has said the hundreds of thousands of people leaving Iraq represents the largest population movement in the Middle East in 60 years and the U.S. has promised to resettle 7,000 fleeing Iraqis referred by the agency. Ellen Sauerbrey, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for migration and refugees, has called on Canada to make Iraqi refugees "a priority in their resettlement policy, because this is an area of tremendous need and vulnerability."

But Canada has indicated it has no plans to change its approach to those seeking refugee status. Marina Wilson, a spokesperson for the federal department of Citizenship and Immigration, says it will continue to treat their cases individually and was unaware of any plans to set up a program specifically for Iraqis.

Immigration Minister Diane Finley has declined to be interviewed on the matter, but a spokesperson for her office indicated Canada is expecting "additional" referrals from the UNHCR this year. None have materialized so far, however.

Last year, only 177 Iraqi claims of refugee status made it to Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board. Neighbouring Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, on the other hand, have been swamped with people fleeing the war.

"We need to fast-track the process to bring some Iraqis here to Canada," Hani al-Ubeady, an Iraqi refugee who now works as a refugee-resettlement worker in Winnipeg, told The Globe and Mail. "The victims of this whole war are Iraqi civilians and those civilians have no refuge to escape this violence but to escape Iraq.

"Life for them in Syria and Jordan is unbearable. It is very hard for them, getting [residency] permits, and is a strain financially."

and check out article Dec. 3, 2006 by Ricard Marcus at BC BLOGCRITICS MAGAZINE REFUGEES FROM IRAQ by Richard Marcus

Everyday we can count on at least one if not more stories about Iraq in the pages of our newspapers. Whether debates on when the troops will be withdrawn or recitations of the latest casualty figures, it remains the dominant story across the media. But amidst everything else one aspect of the story is being ignored.

According to figures kept by the United Nations High Commission On Refugees (UNHCR) between January and mid November of 2006 about 425,000 Iraqis have been displaced from their homes. At mid-year the displacement rate had reached the level of 50,000 people a month...

According to one immigration lawyer in Canada those wishing to apply for refugee status in Canada are far better off getting to the country one way or another, even if illegally, and filling their application here. Even though Canada has accepted over 80% of those who have been referred by UNHCR as refugee applicants that means is no longer viable.

Working in favour of those who do make it to Canada illegally is the fact that since 2003 Canada has introduced a policy of "no return" for those already over here. The situation in Iraq is considered so extreme that no one will be sent back even if their application is refused at first hearing. This way they are at least guaranteed safety and a chance to appeal the decision.

Canada doesn't have the most unblemished record in the world when it comes to treatment of refugees in general. Depending on the government in power qualifications for approval can change at random. But it seems like even the Conservative Party of Canada can show compassion on occasion. Allowing the no return policy to stand after they took power has probably saved quite a few lives.

I have no idea why the United States is refusing to allow Iraqis to claim refugee status in their country, it's the least they can do for the people whose lives they have turned upside for the last three years. Sure declaring them as refugees would be to admit that the country is pretty much uninhabitable in places, but isn't it a good thing to show a little compassion at the expense of face?

and check out article at ScrippsNews " Iraq refugees find few opened doors in Canada" By ESTANISLAO OZIEWICZ March 16, 2007

Despite urgent entreaties from Washington and the United Nations refugee agency, the Canadian government is giving no indication it is willing to fling open its doors to refugees fleeing war-torn Iraq.

AND :from The Star.comHelp sought for Iraq's refugees UN members asked to open doors and donate funds Apr 17, 2007 Nicholas Keung IMMIGRATION/DIVERSITY REPORTER

Displaced Iraqis have spilled mostly into neighbouring countries that are finding it difficult to handle the influx without international support, said UNHCR Canadian representative Jahanshah Assadi.

The UN has raised only half of its $60 million goal for 2007, a figure that includes $2.5 million pledged by Canada. The funds will help internally displaced Iraqis as well as those who have fled to Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Iran and Turkey.

Jalal Saeed, chair of the Federation of Iraqi Refugees in Canada, points out Iraqis didn't create this mess. The international community, especially those who have backed the war in Iraq, have an obligation to help, he said.

"Iraq is a jungle right now. There's no rule. Everybody big is eating up the small ones," said the 67-year-old Guelph man, who fled Saddam's Iraq in 1998.

And from Canadian Council For Refugees 16 April 2007 "Canada urged to resettle more Iraqi refugees"

Montreal. As governments gather in Geneva to discuss the world response to the crisis facing Iraqi refugees, the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) and Iraqi community organizations in Canada today called on the Canadian government to resettle more Iraqi refugees.

“The ongoing daily violence in Iraq has forced many, many people to flee threats to their lives,” said Elizabeth McWeeny, CCR President. “We are dismayed that Canada has so far opened its door to only a very few Iraqi refugees, even though many Canadians have come forward with offers of sponsorship. There is an enormous crisis facing Iraqi refugees, but from the Canadian government there is nothing but deafening silence.”

The CCR, the Iraqi Community Centre (Montréal), Iraqi Federation of Refugees (Guelph), Iraqi Minorities Refugee Advocacy, Salam Social Club, Iraqi Chaldean Refugee Community (Toronto), Asmaro Chaldean Society (Windsor), Babylonian Ethnic Society and St. Maratken Community Society Inc are concerned Canada has given no indication of any specific commitments to respond to the crisis facing Iraqi refugees. Worse, the Canadian government rejects about half of the Iraqis currently in Syria or Jordan applying as privately sponsored refugees. The Canadian government has failed to announce any target for the resettlement of government-assisted Iraqi refugees.

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 2 million Iraqis have sought refuge in nearby countries, primarily in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. In addition, an estimated 1.9 million people are displaced internally within Iraq...

...One easy way for the Canadian government to respond would be simply to work with the many organizations in Canada who have already indicated an interest in resettling Iraqi refugees. Under Canadian immigration law, Canadian organizations or groups of individuals can apply to privately sponsor refugees in need of resettlement, in return for an undertaking to assist them on arrival in Canada. Many organizations have applied to sponsor Iraqi refugees, but have been shocked by the high refusal rate by Canadian visa officers. Refused Iraqis include families that have endured death threats and kidnappings. For example, one refused family had had a young daughter kidnapped and killed. Many of those refused are from minority groups known to be particularly at risk in Iraq.

Last year it is estimated that only a few hundred Iraqi refugees were resettled to Canada (Citizenship and Immigration Canada has not made statistics available). In contrast to past years, the government has not even made public its target resettlement numbers by region for 2007.

Few Iraqi refugees are able to make the journey to Canada in order to make a refugee claim here: in 2006, only 179 claims by Iraqis were referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board (out of a total of 22,873 claims). Those who do make it face a long wait for a hearing, which in some cases means prolonged separation from family members living with daily risk of violence in Iraq.

UN conference pledges help for Iraqi refugees
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
CBC News

Other countries must help Iraq's neighbours handle the cost and high volume of refugees fleeing the country's ongoing violence, the head of the UN refugee agency says.

Delegates from 60 countries at the UN's two-day conference on Iraqi refugees agreed Wednesday to step up efforts to help the estimated four million people displaced from their homes, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres told reporters.

Millions of Iraqi refugees need world's help: UN
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
CBC News

The world isn't doing enough to help Iraqis displaced from their homes by fighting and violence, the United Nations refugee agency says.

More than two million Iraqis have fled to neighbouring countries while an equal number have left their homes but remain within Iraq, which has a total population of about 27 million.

And as we discover in an article at Islam In Europe December 23, 2006 Sweden: Top address for Iraqi refugees

"Countries neighbouring Iraq remain, however, their preferred destination. At the beginning of November, there were more than 700,000 Iraqi refugees in Jordan, at least 600,000 in Syria and 100,000 in Egypt, the UNHCR said."



Iraq: Draft UN resolution fails to address human rights and humanitarian crisis
Amnesty International today expressed deep concern that a draft resolution before the Security Council to expand the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) fails to acknowledge and address meaningfully the grave human rights and humanitarian situation in the country that have rightly been highlighted by the most senior UN officials.

In June, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasized the growing number of detainees resulting from intensified security operations and the UN's chief humanitarian official has stressed that Iraq is now witness to the largest population displacement in recent history in the Middle East.

"The draft resolution is completely silent on the gross human rights abuses taking place on a daily basis in Iraq, and on the deepening humanitarian crisis in the country," said Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

"The Security Council must strengthen the current text to express its deep concern about continuing grave human rights abuses and their dire humanitarian consequences," said Irene Khan. "The Security Council must take account of the sectarian and other killings of civilians by both armed groups and government forces, the continuing detention of thousands of Iraqis without charge or trial by the US-led Multinational Force and Iraqi security forces, the widespread reports of torture, the sharp rise in the use of the death penalty and other gross abuses."

"The least the Security Council can do is to call on all parties concerned to halt and prevent further human rights abuses, to protect civilians including internally displaced persons and other vulnerable groups, and to put an end to impunity. We call on the Security Council to strengthen UNAMI's mandate and resources to monitor, promote and protect human rights. The vague and inadequate human rights provisions in the current draft must be substantially revised to give UNAMI a clear mandate to monitor, analyze, help protect and publicly report on human rights in Iraq," said Irene Khan.

"The Security Council must also address the Iraqi refugee crisis, including the urgent need to provide humanitarian assistance to the more than two million internally displaced persons," said Amnesty International's Secretary General.

And check out :

From ALTERNET: Iraq Death Toll Rivals Rwanda Genocide, Cambodian Killing Fields By Joshua Holland, AlterNet. Posted September 17, 2007

Greenspan Iraq oil confession & One Million Iraqi deaths Sept. 17,2007, By Gideon Polya at MEDIA WITH CONSCIENCE

And from The Guardian:
Greenspan admits Iraq was about oil, as deaths put at 1.2m Peter Beaumont and Joanna Walters in New York Sunday September 16, 2007 The Observer

And from BBC NEWS: BBC NEWS Sept.17,2007 Iraq shootout firm loses licence -Iraq has cancelled the licence of the private security firm, Blackwater USA, after it was involved in a gunfight in which at least eight civilians died.

also see for controversy over Burga :
AHMED ISMAIL:Islamophobe Geert Wilders in new bid to ban burqas
July 13th, 2007

take care,

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Anyway here is a clip of Laura Bush talking about Iraqi Refugees in which she makes the false claim that United States has taken in more refugees than all the other countries combined:

Video from Thik Progress: THINK PROGRESS

To begin with lets start with the lies by the Bush administration on how it is supposedly welcoming large numbers of Iraqi Refugees & is giving large amounts of aid to countries like Jordan & Syria to help them take care of the Iraqi Refugees in those countries-

Laura Bush :

And from Think Progress June 20, 2007
( how do we get people to realize the truth about what Americans are or are not doing - but facts mean nothing in our Fantasy style society

Laura Bush & Iraqi Refugees

Laura Bush Falsely Claims That ‘Many’ Iraqi Refugees Have Been Welcomed Into The U.S.

... during an interview with First Lady Laura Bush, CNN highlighted World Refugee Day and the effect that the war in Iraq has had on the number of refugees around the world. CNN reported Iraqis “who were helping the Americans or even helping their own country” are now targeted and must seek “refuge in other nations, as well as the United States.”

Bush responded saying, “Obviously we’re especially concerned about the Iraqi refugees.” She added, “We welcome many of those refugees, both from Iraq and Afghanistan into the United States.”

The First Lady is greatly exaggerating the administration’s policy. As the Baltimore Sun notes today, “as of May, only 69 Iraqis had entered the United States” this fiscal year. In total, the United States has “resettled fewer than 500 Iraqi refugees” since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Meanwhile, the situation in Iraq has become “the world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis.” Syria alone is hosting “1.4 million Iraqi ‘guests’” and Iraqi refugees have become increasingly desperate, some even resorting to prostitution. In total, there are more than two million Iraqi refugees.


BUSH: Sure, in Lebanon and Syria and Jordan, and then here. And I think Americans would be proud to know that we welcome to our country more refugees than all the rest of the nations combined. And obviously we’re especially concerned about the Iraqi refugees, people who are there who are trying to build their government, trying to build a stable country, which is what our goal is, as well, who have left because of terror, really, because of the chance of violence and the fear of violence.

We welcome many of those refugees, both from Iraq and Afghanistan into the United States. We also spend about $80 million a year working with refugees, Iraqi refugees in the camps in Lebanon.

It's all about the Spin & not about the Reality - THE EMERALD CITY FANTASY OR FOLLIES - The AMERICAN People & their empty headed Faux Political Pundits at FOX NEWS & CNN & THE LADIES AT THE VIEW CHOOSE FANTASY OVER REALITY as the UGLY AMERICAN TRASHES THE MIDDLE EAST and so it goes:

Iraqi Refugee Crisis- BBC AUG. 30, 2007

Reality vs Spin on Iraqi OCCUPATION
ON KETH OLBERMANN - Aug. 30, 2007

Aug. 31, 2007 Keith Olbermann

also see at Refugees International related articles :Iraqi Refugees: Donor Governments Must Provide Bilateral Assistance to Host Countries 16/07/07

and : Press Release: Refugees International Urges Greater Assistance To Iraqi Refugees During Gen. Petraeus Testimony 09/11/2007

and Iraq: U.S. Response to Displacement Remains Inadequate

As the conflict in Iraq intensifies, it is no longer possible to ignore its devastating effects on Iraqi civilians. In January 2007 the UN finally recognized that the death of tens of thousands of Iraqis and the displacement of four million others in Iraq and the region constitute a humanitarian crisis. This recognition represents a major step for the organization which until then had been working under the assumption that the situation in Iraq was conducive to reconstruction and development.

and : Press Release: U.S. Call for Assistance to Iraqi Refugees Must Lead to Greater Action
08/29/2007 U.S. Call for Assistance to Iraqi Refugees Must Lead to Greater Action :Assistant Secretary of State Sauerbrey says U.S. has a “moral obligation” to provide assistance to Iraqi refugees

Washington, DC – Refugees International applauds the statements made yesterday by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Ellen Sauerbrey urging increased assistance to Iraqi refugees. While announcing that the U.S. will provide $30 million to help educate Iraqi refugee children in the region, Ms. Sauerbrey stated that America has a “moral obligation” to aid Iraqi refugees. Specifically, she said that the U.S. must “provide the assistance necessary to help people continue to be in the region for when the day comes that Iraq is a stable country and people will have a home to return to.”

The U.S. Department of State announced that it has provided a total of $183 million for displaced Iraqis this fiscal year, but with more than 4.2 million Iraqis forced out of their homes, this equals less than $45 per person for the entire year. Refugees International is also concerned that most of this funding has gone to UN agencies, and that the U.S. has provided almost no funding to the governments that are trying to provide housing, health care and education to the massive influx of refugees.

“If the United States wants to see a stable Iraq, it must take the lead in providing assistance to the governments that are struggling to provide services to Iraqi refugees, so that the unrest that has displaced them does not spread across the region,” said Sean Garcia, an advocate for Refugees International. “We are pleased that Ms. Sauerbrey is saying we have a ‘moral obligation’ to help Iraqis, but without offering substantially more bilateral funding she is giving empty words.”

And check out :

From ALTERNET: Iraq Death Toll Rivals Rwanda Genocide, Cambodian Killing Fields By Joshua Holland, AlterNet. Posted September 17, 2007

Greenspan Iraq oil confession & One Million Iraqi deaths Sept. 17,2007, By Gideon Polya at MEDIA WITH CONSCIENCE

And from The Guardian:
Greenspan admits Iraq was about oil, as deaths put at 1.2m Peter Beaumont and Joanna Walters in New York Sunday September 16, 2007 The Observer

And from BBC NEWS : BBC NEWS Sept.17,2007 Iraq shootout firm loses licence -Iraq has cancelled the licence of the private security firm, Blackwater USA, after it was involved in a gunfight in which at least eight civilians died.

Take Care,