Zebra 3 Report by Joe Anybody
Sunday, 24 February 2008
A Call Out by Joe Anybody For Solidarity Towards Peace
Now Playing: Stand Up - Get Active - List Of Joe Anybody Video Links All Right Here
Hello One n All,Have I been busy?
Well let’s just say …I am not sleeping my Life Away
So who am I voting for …well let me say so far Ralph Nader is the “only” kind of possible hope the Nation has And he announced he is running…. Seems no one else running, really cares about what is important, so he has to “give the people some representation”
That’s not why I send this email updateIt is sent to alert, brag, and beg for activism for the peace movement Who doesn’t want peace you say?Let me reply …. If you do “Step Forward … Step up…. You are being summoned!”This is a call to action By your friendly neighborhood average “joe anybody”
I have been working to end this war 24-7 I am calling out for help!Everyone that is reading this email , I am asking for you to do something for me…well for peace actually!Which in turn will influence many others, actually the “more you engage” this will create an even bigger impact and influence! You and me all need to do something for promoting “peace” and “ending this war”
I am asking for one major effort …. Be it any kind of action or endeavor, what ever you choose will be fine …make the effort to challenge this war and the acceptance of it The theme is (Same as is in the 5 year anniversary march theme which is coming up in 20 days)“World With Out War” – “Stop The War Bring The Troops Home Now” What I am really asking is for everybody who is reading this to do something to extra … something more than what you may already be doingOn March 15 a Hugh rally and march is going on in Portland in the Park Blocks outside of my work In commemoration and in solidarity I am seriously asking you all to “ramp this up” and start “demanding Peace Now!”
Come on down on the 15th to Portland or start a rally vigil march in your area Look around things are going on, join a peace group , make a sign, talk to your neighbors!!Engage …network….. plug in……. do something to make change !
Did you know March 20 is a “Student Walk-Out Day across America?”
This is a good bold necessary statement I support 100%Organize …engage …resist war and Imperialism! If you choose to sit idle or as a spectator you will be ….sad to say “condoning this blood bath, waged by these neocons in charge at the moment”
Millions are now dead and its continuing every minute… soon more and more it will be people we know as we do now ….who are the victims of this illegal war….!Get up …. Get Out ….. Stand for what you know is rightYou can not just read about what the corporate press keeps telling you… they will convince you the surge is working or terrorist want to get you…. They will Lie to you, they will tell you 911 had something to do with Iraq, etc!
They are lying and have been lying all along about this WMD war…..they serve the military complex and the war profiteers…..
Your country and Constitution has been “high jacked”The fourth amendment is disappearing before your eyes (PS the government is reading this email without a warrant) I working 24/7 on being a peacemaker….. I am asking for and calling for Solidarity… I am calling out or re-enforcements I need your help …… I need you all to also ask for help with your own Families and friends ….. the request is to help promote and encourage peace and stop the killing!
Spend one minute looking at the horrors of this occupation in IraqAnd you better do something other than escape it … you have to …. I ask you as a favor to me, lets help those families who are being killed, and those soldiers who are dieing for lies
I think you all understand my message For an example of one thing to do could be in helping with….On March 9 the Iraq Body Count Flag Display will be coming to Portland for a couple weeksIt will take days to put flags into the PSU lawn that will represent all those that have died from this illegal occupationI will be their filming it through out the day as well as helping with the thousands of flags that need to be put into the earth
The Veterans will be putting in the “red flags” …. I bet that will be a sight to bring a man to his knees!Will you, or can you stop in to help with this powerful display (it is stated as being non-political)It will be up for a few weeks Will you write a letter to your editor about ending this war? …Will you call your Senator?
Will you please do something, to help try to end the occupation, or Impeach the criminals that are doing this to the world, families across the globe?I have personally talked with and filmed refugees begging for help and the madness to stop….. I can hear them ….. I ask …can you….? Anyway …I have lots to do …so I will be moving on
Please hear my call for Solidarity Check my website out often …..especially the Video Tracker this page:www.joe-anybody.com/id104.html Every single video I make goes up there on that tracker page
Also there is my blog page “The Zebra3 Report”: http://zebra3reporttripod.com/zebra3report/Many times it is just important topics I copy paste to here that I feel need to be passed alongMany times its letters like this that I will post on that page or my thoughts and opinions It is constantly updated
My home page is as you all should know is: …. www.joe-anybody.com it changes all the time as well
My ID “mission page” is here: www.joe-anybody.com/id1.html
This Link here will show you every YouTube video I ever made and the latest ones are always on topThese video are all under 10 minutes (the max limit) I now have over 150 YouTube video’s online(This link is the good one to see my recent uploads to YouTube so be sure to keep it handy)http://www.youtube.com/user/zebra334
I have some of the same video on Youtube also on this website called BlipTV (all under 10 min)http://joeanybody.blip.tv/
And then I also have put some of the same video over here on MetaCafe as well (all under 10 min)http://www.metacafe.com/channels/Joe+Anybody/
My oh My … I do have a Myspace ..but don’t use it too much but it is here:www.myspace.com/joecouldbeanybody
Of Course I also Post on Portland Indy Media as my main news outlet www.portland.indymedia.org
And, there is www.PDXpeace.org that gets a health dose of my videos and good peace related info
That’s where I read and then filmed the student led Peace March that goes on weekly here in Portland
The longer videos all go onto Google the latest list is at the bottom of this page….Some of these people who I have filmed are spectacular …. Take a look !! Speaking of spectacular I filmed a 24 hour Peace Vigil in Sandy Oregon and stayed there 21 hours I missed the first few hours because I was at the weekly Pioneer Square Peace march and filming it
Also I cam home from the 24 hr vigil to upload to YouTube what was going on “right now” then head back out to join them
Stephan came out and joined me around that time for about an hour as well around 5 amYou should really see some of these COLD wet videos I filmed (I’m still editing them too and its been over a month) Thanks for reading this far.Sorry for my rambling and also lack of partaking in non-political involvements…. I am super busy trying to stop a war …..seriously!!!
Please do something to meet my challenge, to bring peace to our worldIf you have anything you want published in this realm on my website or “help with” let me know ….or if you have any ideas “lets do it!”I am promoting Peace and Justice…. If I don’t who will ?
No Justice …No Peace!
Just came back (yesterday) for this event titled “People of Color Against The War” .. This is the first clip I have edited <so far> from that day…but man this Reverend Dr Haynes is one heck of an empowering speaker, you got to hear this!
Oh by the way every Thursday I skip lunch to film the Impeachment Vigil We are on week 30 ..its been going on for over 210 days (we all show up on Thursdays at noon) to encourage our House Rep Earl Blumenauer to support the Impeachment Hearings …. (He doesn’t listen)I have filmed every one except the very first one that The Lone Vet has organizedShow up on Thursday’s from 12 – 2 at his Portland Office if you want to help urge him (Earl) to honor the Constitution and his oath he took.
Videos from that Impeachment vigil are all here for your enjoyment
____________This is My Google Video List of all my video’s over 10 minutes in length _____________
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 11:49 PM PST
Updated: Monday, 25 February 2008 12:00 AM PST
Tuesday, 19 February 2008
A message to Iranians: In response to the New York Times
Now Playing: Propaganda - NY Times - And The Iranian People
A message to Iranians:
In response to the New York Times
A repost to Z3 Readers by Kuros Yalpani, Munich/Germany, CASMII
A short February 4th, 2008 editorial in the New York Times (NYT) insert of the German "Süddeutsche" newspaper, entitled "How to Deal With Iran," criticizes the U.S. administration for not being resolute in its approach to Iran, i.e. not making a "grand gesture" to Iran, a code phrase for coercing Iran into a compromise, the details of which casually undisclosed. Furthermore, the editorial criticizes the other powers, Europe, Russia, China and the Arab states, for not enforcing sanctions against Iran, even though they have no legal basis. Finally, the editorial concludes with the following remedy "... send a strong message to the Iranian 'people' about the folly of their leaders."
In spite of the flagrantly arrogant tone of the editorial, one must be mindful of its message, albeit not the one explicitly stated. Judging by its tone, the editorial is directed primarily at the elite policy makers close to the Iranian issue, who presumably read the NYT. Furthermore, since the editorial is not credited to a specific author, it does not reflect any particular author's view, rather the NYT's doctrinal views.
Since the NYT is arguably aligned with the primary goals of U.S. foreign policy, the article reflects these interests.
Most importantly, it reveals that U.S. foreign policy is directed at the Iranian people and not just its leadership, as media propaganda and U.S. administration officials (including George Bush) to date consistently claim. Iranians in general seem to have agreed with their leadership on the legitimacy of the Iranian atomic program. Furthermore, given the unfolding catastrophes resulting from U.S. interventions in neighboring countries, Iranians are not keen to assist a U.S. military intervention in their own country. Nor are they responding in an effective manner, from the vantage point of U.S. policy makers, to U.S. demands for a regime change. Necessarily, the NYT propaganda is shifting gears from promoting a war against the Iranian leadership to advocating a war against the Iranian people.
While the U.S. propaganda has shifted gears, actual U.S. foreign policy has always been a policy of plain old imperial conquest, in this case, about subjugating the Iranian people, no matter how it is masked as being against the Iranian regime. This "dual" approach in foreign policy is clearly by design and is an attempt, so far unsuccessful, to co-opt Iranians against their own national interests. As admitted by the former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, it worked in 1953, in the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Mossadegh.
It would be a mistake though to think that this particular episode of U.S. foreign policy is limited to Iran and to the current historical era. Every U.S. intervention in history caused civilian causalities by design and was directed against the respective people: beginning with the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans (estimated 20,000,000+ killed), commencing with the kidnapping of African Americans (80,000,000+?) from their continent, their enslavement and dispossession in an Apartheid state, the Mexican War of 1845 (as a result of which Mexico lost 40% of its territory), the declaration of the Monroe Doctrine (a flagrant manifesto dated 1823) in order to subjugate Central and South America for the next 200 years, the sinking of the USS Maine to justify the war with Spain, the war on the Korean peninsula, the murder of 800,000+ individuals after the U.S.- orchestrated coup against the democratically elected government of Sukharno, the national hero of Indonesia, the Indochina wars, and all of the since World War One ongoing wars and interventions in the Middle East, to name just a few well known cases.
Due to the distances involved in history and huge advances in technology, it is very difficult to compare the U.S. Empire to any previous empire. Nonetheless one can draw parallels between the effects of U.S. foreign policy and the conquest of previous empires, e.g. the empire of the Mongols or the Nazi Regime.
A few days after the fall of Baghdad, American soldiers were seen plundering priceless treasures in Baghdad's museums, among many of these, "the mask of Ur," which presumably will never be returned to their rightful owners, the people of Iraq, the descendants of the Mesopotamians. Events in U.S. history have consistently taught us that these acts are a design of their instigators, in this case a coalition of Western elites. It is also an attempt to erase the collective memories of the subjected peoples, thereby more easily coercing them into subjugation.
Western media skillfully mask all such pillages and all the killings of wholly uninvolved people, portraying them as "collateral damages."
Because there is such a stark contrast between the brutality of U.S. foreign policy and the spinned, clean-cut and complex media portrayal, it is very hard for most, not directly involved, observers to make the connection between these two systems. Occasionally, I see old footage of Nazi propaganda news reels and I must confess that from today's vantage point and compared with today's standards, they seem quite crude! I wonder if 50 years from now our descendants will not think the same of today's modes of justifying wars of aggression.
In light of the shift in the NYT propaganda and the re-doubling of efforts of the U.S. and their allies to impose sanctions on Iranians for their defiance, Iranians, concerned citizens and activists world-wide ought to stand united in informing the world public opinion about the real motives of the U.S. and no longer give in to its historic demand.
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 6:10 PM PST
Monday, 18 February 2008
The Hub (Rodney King's Children)
Now Playing: Putting Cameras into the hands of Human Rights Activists
Rodney King's Children
Human rights activist Sam Gregory on fighting oppression with video cameras
Over the last few years, a brave group of Arab activists has circulated footage of Egyptian cops striking, lashing, and even raping detainees. The torture videos, which had been filmed by the policemen themselves, prompted protests both inside and outside the country. They also prompted censorship: YouTube temporarily shut down the dissident blogger Wael Abbas' digital video channel after the company received complaints about the violent clips.
The channel can now be viewed on YouTube again. Much of its footage can also be seen on a website called The Hub, which is what YouTube would look like if it had been designed by Mohandas Gandhi. The site first appeared in pilot form in 2006, and a beta version launched in December 2007; over 500 pieces of media—videos, audio clips, photo slideshows—have been uploaded to it since its debut. The offerings range from raw footage of a massacre in Guinea to a detailed documentary about forced labor in rural Brazil. Most are accompanied by further information on the issues examined and on ways to take action against the abuses.
The site was created by Witness, a Brooklyn-based group founded by the pop star Peter Gabriel in 1992. Conceived in the wake of the Rodney King beating, the group first focused on getting cameras into the hands of human rights groups around the world and then on training them in the most effective ways to use those tools—creating, in Gabriel's phrase, a network of "Little Brothers and Little Sisters" to keep an eye on Big Brother's agents. Now Witness wants to move that community of camera-wielding activists online.
Gabriel serves as the group's celebrity face and as chairman of the board, but he stays out of the organization's day-to-day operations. Those decisions are made by people like program manager Sam Gregory. A human rights activist since he first joined Amnesty International in his teens, the U.K.-born Gregory became a student filmmaker at college, where he "was always trying to find a way to combine" his two interests. In addition to his managerial work, Gregory, 33, has co-produced videos about human rights issues in Burma, the Philippines, Argentina, Indonesia, and the United States.
Managing Editor Jesse Walker met Gregory at the DIY Video Summit at the University of Southern California, where Gregory gave a presentation about The Hub; Walker interviewed him via phone in mid-February.
reason: How did Witness get started?
Sam Gregory: Peter Gabriel had been traveling the world with the Amnesty human rights tour in the late '80s. He repeatedly encountered activists who were saying, "We've experienced this abuse, we've heard these stories of abuses, and we have no ways of responding." He had been carrying a Hi-8 camera with him, and it struck him that if those activists had access to cameras they would be able to document what was happening around them and share it in a way that would be totally different from the typical text-based approach.
The Rodney King incident brought that idea home. You had this example of an amateur, George Holliday, on the balcony of his apartment filming a graphic instance of abuse and receiving massive news coverage. That gave the impetus to start the organization. What we learned over the first four or five years was that the promise that Rodney King represented couldn't be realized just by providing cameras to human rights groups. In the absence of technical training, they couldn't produce video that would be used by news organizations and they couldn't craft the stories that would engage audiences.
We also found it was challenging to reach the right audiences. For example, it's very hard for most human rights activists to get mass media coverage. Their issues are either censored by their governments or not considered newsworthy or are hard to represent in just a single snapshot—they're more structural or deeper than just a single image of, say, police brutality. Similarly, trying to use the video as evidence did not work. It's challenging to get it into court, and the Rodney King experience taught us that video evidence can be turned either way—in the Rodney King case, used in the defense as well as the prosecution of LAPD officers.
reason: Were there any notable successes in that first period?
Gregory: There was footage that got into the news media, but it wasn't a successful period in terms of creating real change. I'm trying to think of what was especially effective in those first few years. I'm actually hard pressed to put my finger on an example.
So we learned to think more strategically about what kind of training you provided to groups, how you helped them tell stories, and, most importantly, where you tried to place that material. We train them to develop something called a video action plan, which is essentially a strategic communications plan around video. They'll say, for example, "We're trying to persuade this UN committee to recognize that the government is not reporting the whole story on this issue." And we'll say, "This is how you might think about crafting videos so you'll be able to persuade that committee of the truth of your side of the story." Or they might be doing community organizing—to give a concrete example—around child soldiers in eastern Congo. They faced a problem in terms of persuading parents not to let their children be voluntarily recruited. They needed to find a way to show the impact on the children and present a range of voices explaining the damage without pointing the finger at the parents so they just feel guilty, but instead giving them an option to find alternatives for their children.
reason: How do you get the video in front of those parents? I assume this stuff isn't aired on Congolese TV.
Gregory: The idea at the root of our work is that the voices that need to be heard are the ones closest to the violations. It's not a centralized vision, and all our work derives from the agency of those locally based human rights groups. At any given time we're working with around 13 groups around the world—our core partners—on a range of issues. They'll come to us with a campaign and a strategy that they already have in place.
The group in the Congo, a group called Ajedi-ka, was already doing village meetings all around this area affected by voluntary recruitment. What they were doing with the video is bringing it into that setting: They're bringing a TV, they're bringing a generator, literally just carrying it there.
In other settings you take a different approach. In a high-tech setting, you might carry a video around on an iPod. On Capitol Hill we'll get a screen up and do a much more traditional showing. But the root of it is always the human rights groups themselves thinking about how to use it as a tool to complement what they've done before, and not assuming that video is a magic bullet that will get people to react. It has to be within this context of options for people to take action.
reason: How do you train the people?
Gregory: We train them initially around how to film. We're not trying to make human rights workers into filmmakers, but we give them the tools to be mediamakers within their work. It's media literacy: Just as they can write a written report, they should be able to pull out a camera and film. Alongside that we develop this video action plan.
Usually there's a process after that where we receive footage from them and we provide feedback. We'll say everything from "Maybe you should put that person a little bit to the right in the frame" to "Have you thought about whether you're getting the right testimonies in order to persuade the audience you want to reach?" Typically, at least in the first instance, groups will come to Witness to edit. We do that partly so they can tap into a range of experiences here. In a lot of the relationships, as time moves on, we train them how to edit on their own. So, for example, a group we've work ed with on the Thai-Burma border that secretly travels into Burma to document atrocities there—they produce all their videos in the villages on the border. At this point we're really just a strategic consultant to them.
reason: Did you have any notable successes during that period after you rethought your approach and before you launched The Hub?
Gregory: I would highlight Ajedi-ka. We worked with them first on that campaign around child soldiers, and they've seen a decline in voluntary recruitment in communities where they've been doing work. They then identified a need to reach a completely different audience, to communicate with people at the International Criminal Court, which was making a decision about what to investigate in the Congo. We worked with them to develop a video that spoke to the impact on children of being involved in conflict. The organization did private screenings with senior members of the International Criminal Court, and that helped push the court to prioritize that issue. The first arrest warrant they issued in their investigation was for a warlord, and it was specifically on the child soldier issue.
Another example is in Mexico, where a group called Comisión Mexicana has been looking at murders of young women in Ciudad Juarez. You've had this pattern of murders of young women, failures by the local police to investigate, and choices to arrest and torture scapegoats. We worked on a video that found a very powerful individual story that spoke to the broader pattern. It was the story of a young woman who disappeared shortly before she was due to go to university. She's never been found, but the police two weeks later arrested her uncle, accused him of the murder, and tortured him into confessing. So this one story wrapped together both the murders and the abuse of power.
They used this video to lobby Congress here in the U.S. but also showed it to the attorney general's office in Mexico and to local politicians there, and as a result of that the young man who had been arrested was released.
reason: What were they lobbying for in Congress?
Gregory: They were lobbying for a House statement that Mexico should do more to investigate these murders. I wouldn't place much emphasis on that, but you can use it in human rights advocacy. For example, recently we've done a lot of screenings around Burma with the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in D.C.—again, trying to bring those voices of people driven from their villages directly into a committee room in Washington. You can sometimes see the boomerang effect of that.
reason: What did you think of the way the Burmese atrocity footage was used at the beginning of the new Rambo movie?
Gregory: The people we work with inside Burma are tremendously excited that the Rambo movie came out, because it's another way of focusing attention on the crisis. I think it was effective. I have some concerns about how you then go into, essentially, a Hollywood revenge fantasy. But I think it was important that people knew that this was a real situation, and I think it is important to think about how this accesses other audiences that might not know about Burma.
reason: Most of the examples that you've given so far have involved one form or another of narrowcasting. Do you still make an effort to get something out to a mass audience like that?
Gregory: We absolutely do think about how you reach out to a broader audience. In fact, some of our footage appeared in the opening credits of Rambo.
We try to build media attention when we think it's complementary to the advocacy goals. We don't assume that media attention will work. The experience of many of the groups that we've worked with is that the way they're represented in the media doesn't represent either them or their communities well and can be counterproductive. So we try to find opportunities where we can help navigate how it's covered and retain the advocates' point of view. Certainly with The Hub we're thinking about how the media gets access to a broader range of grassroots footage.
reason: How do you police the clips on The Hub for accuracy?
Gregory: We don't police heavily. We made a decision early on that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of every clip. But when we look at clips, we look for red flags, such as someone being exposed to a risk by being seen, or graphic sexual violence that's not in a human rights context. If it's something we're not sure about, we'll try to contact the user who uploaded it and ask more questions. If there's a big question mark in our minds we won't upload it.
We're trying to move to a more community-based model of assessing human rights footage. We've seen success in a number of instances. There was a case from the Ivory Coast where collective intelligence helped identify falsification of footage around a shooting of civilians there.
reason: But nothing goes up until you've approved it. It's not like YouTube.
Gregory: At the moment, nothing goes up until we've approved it. In the long run, I think we'd like to move to a situation where more material can go directly up. We'd like to trust more to the community to assess that material, but right now we've got to build that community.
reason: What are some of the other differences between what you do and YouTube?
Gregory: One key area is the issue of security. We are very aware that people may be uploading from situations where the government is watching the Internet and there may be potential repression. So when someone tries to upload to the site they're given an indication of the security risks. We provide ways to upload safely and securely. Once they upload, we don't hold onto their IP address, so if someone tries to obtain that information either legally or illegally we are unable to identify where users are based.
Another element is editorial control. We're trying to tap into a participatory community of human rights activists rather than leave it in the hands of a corporation. That's an important difference.
Another element is that the pages are designed to provide space to contextualize and act around the footage. We're building a number of advocacy options into the site, so people can find ways to generate online or offline action. If you look at the Shoot on Sight clip from Burma, for example, the video itself is quite self-contained, but the underlining material gives more information, gives the statistics, gives more background about what's been happening, and gives ways to act.
One of the functionalities that will launch shortly is an ability to download the clips, so people can use them in the kind of offline settings that are particularly common outside the global North. Perhaps there's only one connection to the Internet, so what you want to do is download it and take it into a communal setting.
We're definitely encouraging people to port the media out. We want them to share it, to embed it in their blogs, and to take it offline, in a community setting or on a mobile phone.
reason: Are there projects outside of Witness that have influenced what you're doing?
Gregory: I think the Amnesty International Unsubscribe Me campaign, which shows six minutes of someone going through a stress position, is an interesting one to look at, in terms of how you use the vaudevillian characteristics of something like YouTube and turn it around for human rights purposes.
reason: The definition of human rights activism gets kind of hazy around the edges sometimes, and you'll often see groups with very broad political agendas. There are also times when people in different parts of the community have had very different ideas about, say, whether to call for military intervention. Do you accept clips from groups with different analyses? How do you deal with those tensions?
Gregory: We don't have any particular focus in terms of human rights issues. We define human rights very inclusively, so we include economic, social, cultural, political, and civil rights. We wouldn't typically take two core partners that have dueling perspectives, but we're open to groups that are on the edge and leading. We worked, for example, with the Revolutionary Association of Women in Afghanistan under the Taliban when they were definitely not the mainstream of human rights activism there. We don't necessarily go for the middle-of-the-road groups.
In the context of The Hub, there's a clear set of community guidelines in terms of how people should act on the site. So advocating violence or posting hate speech or slurs will violate the terms. But we don't legislate a particular point of view, and in fact we encourage different points of view on how to address human rights violations.
We also, in some cases, will contextualize clips that have a public service value, even though they may be a piece of hate speech. If we were to receive footage similar to, say, the incitement to violence by the Rwandan government during the Rwandan genocide, I think there would be a strong reason to feature that on The Hub, but then to put a comment around it. So there is a place where we might editorialize, to explain why something is there.
reason: How does the site deal with informed consent?
Gregory: The overall framework we've set is to think about informed consent in a victim- and survivor-focused model. That means making sure that someone who is filmed is doing it voluntarily, that they understand the risks, that they understand how it's going to be used, and that they're competent to agree, so it's not someone who for reasons of mental disability or age or trauma is incapable of making an appropriate decision. Often oppressive governments will hunt down people who are featured in human rights material. People should be aware of the risks, and they should be aware that any piece of media, once it's out there, can be seen by their worst enemy.
We recognize that we can't impose that standard on people uploading to The Hub. So we emphasize that people shouldn't just think about consent as something legalistic. It's not a legal question whether someone in Burma is filmed and faces risk. They're never going to sue you. You should think about it in a much deeper way that centers on the safety and security of the person filmed as much as the person filming.
reason: The site includes clips of beatings in Egypt that were filmed by Egyptian police officers themselves. How often does that kind of footage appear on the site?
Gregory: There's quite a lot of it. One piece of footage that surfaced in the pilot project was something that became known as squatgate. Police officers in Malaysia used a cell phone to film the humiliation of a young woman who had been arrested. They forced her to strip and to squat in a jail cell. Similar to the Egyptian footage, that escaped from the closed circle of police officers sharing it among themselves and sparked a national outcry in Malaysia around police misconduct.
reason: Do you worry about consent issues in that context?
Gregory: We do. In fact, with the Egypt videos, we made a decision not to show the most grotesque of them, which included the sodomization of one of the detainees. And in the squatgate example we decided not to post that video because it had been seen so widely, and the woman involved specifically requested to me, "Please don't circulate this anymore."
In the case of the Egyptian footage, the people involved said they really wanted people to know about what was happening. When we can get that kind of cue from the people in the material, that helps.
reason: What other approaches have the clips taken?
Gregory: One of the primary modes is witness journalism. Clips filmed by the right people in the wrong place. We have a clip, for example, from a group in Cambodia that is recording forced evictions in Phnom Penh.
Another genre is advocacy videos—videos that speak to a particular audience and push for a particular change in policy, behavior, or practice. Most of the videos from Witness are in that mode, including the videos I talked about from the Congo.
And I think there's a third kind of video: more traditional documentaries that follow a story in a human rights context but don't necessarily have an explicit call for action. It sort of splits into two. For example, we have footage from Al Jazeera on The Hub. So that's a news story. And there's a video that explains the history of West Papua under Indonesian control. That's more of a documentary.
The important elements for us are to go beyond a space where footage is viewed to think about how you create a human rights community around it and how you turn that visual media into action. It's not OK just to see scenes of misery. In fact it can be deeply draining and frustrating both for the people creating it and the people watching it. You have to think about ways to contextualize and ways to act.
Discuss this story at reason's Hit & Run blog.
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 5:09 PM PST
Friday, 15 February 2008
Southern Poverty Law Center & Jailing The Young People of America
Now Playing: Children in Prisons Report - Portland TriMet moves to jail youths
plans to jail youth in the Portland Oregon area for
minor crimes read more here on
"portland indy media"
* * *
New Project Seeks Justice
for Vulnerable Children
Z3 Readers the following article I copied (link below)
and it is related to "jailing the youth"
Darius was only 9 when he was locked up. For two months, he languished in a juvenile facility — alone, frightened. He missed his 10th birthday party. He missed Thanksgiving. He missed his stepfather's funeral.
His offense: He had threatened a teacher with a plastic utensil.
Unfortunately, Darius's early introduction to the juvenile justice system is not that uncommon.
Across America, countless school children — particularly impoverished children of color — are being pushed out of schools and into juvenile lock-ups for minor misconduct that in an earlier era would have warranted counseling or a trip to the principal's office rather than a court appearance.
The problem is particularly acute in the Deep South, where one in four African Americans live in poverty.
The children and teens most at risk of entering this "school-to-prison pipeline" are those who, like Darius, have emotional troubles, educational disabilities or other mental health needs.
But rather than receiving the help they need in school, these vulnerable youths are being swept into a cold, uncaring maze of lawyers, courts, judges and detention facilities, where they are groomed for a brutal life in adult prisons.
"Our juvenile prisons and jails are overflowing with children who simply don't belong there," said SPLC President Richard Cohen. "These are the children who desperately need a helping hand. Instead, we're traumatizing and brutalizing them — increasing the risk that they'll end up in adult prisons. It's tragic for the children and bad for the rest of us, because it tears apart communities, wastes millions in taxpayer dollars and does nothing to reduce crime."
To attack this problem, the Southern Poverty Law Center has launched a multi-faceted new initiative, called the School-to-Prison Reform Project. Based in New Orleans, the project is seeking systemic reforms through legal action, community activism and lobbying to ensure these students get the services — both in school and in the juvenile justice system — that can make the difference between incarceration and graduation.
Nationwide, almost 100,000 children and teens are in custody. Black youths are vastly over-represented in this population; they are held in custody at four times the rate of white youths, according to the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. Students with disabilities that would qualify them for special education services are also grossly overrepresented. Some studies suggest that as many 70 percent of children in juvenile correctional facilities have significant mental health or learning disabilities.
Many very young children end up in the juvenile justice system because schools do not provide the services they need. Steve Liss photo.
"These are the children left behind," said Ron Lospennato, an SPLC lawyer who heads the new project. "They are paying a heavy price because of short-sighted policies based mainly on fear and myths. Someone must be there to catch them before they fall through the cracks."
The pipeline begins in the classroom, where black students are disproportionately affected. Nationally, black students in public schools are suspended or expelled at nearly three times the rate of white students, according to a Chicago Tribune analysis of U.S. Department of Education data.
The state with the worst disparity is New Jersey, where black students are almost 60 times as likely as white students to be expelled for serious infractions. Many other states also had striking gaps in discipline rates. In Alabama, a state where more than a third of all public school students are African American, black students are expelled five times as often as whites.
Once a black student is pushed into the juvenile justice system, the pipeline takes another tragic turn. The proportion of black youths within the system grows at each stage — from arrest through sentencing — until this group, which represents only 16 percent of the nation's youth population, accounts for 58 percent of the youths admitted to state adult prisons.
"The vast majority of children caught up in the juvenile justice system have not committed violent crimes and do not deserve to be sent to prison," Lospennato said. "And what most people don't know is that thousands of non-violent kids get locked up for months even before their cases are heard."
Students in special education are especially at risk of being pushed into the pipeline.
"Often these students are simply acting out of frustration because they can't keep up with the others, and they're not getting the help they need in class," said Jim Comstock-Galagan, founder and executive director of the Southern Disability Law Center, which has partnered with the SPLC on the School-to-Prison Reform Project.
Poverty makes the situation worse, because a family may not have the resources needed to successfully demand the special school services that can prevent an outburst of misbehavior. It also means a detained child might find her fate in the hands of an overworked and underpaid public defender who has little or no training in the field of juvenile law.
Cohen noted the importance of basing the project in New Orleans, where Hurricane Katrina exposed the country's racial and economic disparities.
"In opening the New Orleans office, we are sending a message, loud and clear, that the key to addressing these inequities is ensuring all children receive the education they deserve and are guaranteed under federal law," Cohen said.
The project grew out of the SPLC's legal work representing children with disabilities in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. SPLC won key victories
The project has already won key victories for many school children in Mississippi and Louisiana. Settlements reached with school systems in Louisiana's Jefferson, East Baton Rouge and Calcasieu parishes, for example, will ensure that quality special education services are provided to thousands of students. The settlements also have provisions that will enhance school experiences for all children, not just those with emotional or learning disabilities.
As for Darius, the SPLC won his release from juvenile detention and helped him receive mental health treatment near his home and special education services at school. A program to help strengthen family relationships was part of the treatment.
"There are thousands of children like Darius whose lives can be saved if we reform this broken system," Cohen said. "That's what this project is all about."Editor's note: Darius' name has been changed to protect his identity.
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 12:22 PM PST
Updated: Friday, 15 February 2008 12:23 PM PST
Tuesday, 12 February 2008
No Torture Here (We are blocking your inquiry)
Now Playing: CIA kidnapped then tortured ..... the wrong guy for 5 months
Senate to Examine
"Tool for Cover-Up"
February 07, 2008 11:18 AM
Despite all but admitting it kidnapped and interrogated the wrong guy, the Bush administration shut down the alleged victim’s civil suit against it by declaring the his ordeal to be a state secret that could not be discussed in court.
For civil liberties advocates, the derailment of German citizen Khaled El-Masri’s claim against the CIA is one of the administration’s more egregious misuses of a power known as the state secrets privilege. It allows the administration to petition a judge to dismiss a case on the grounds that it could disclose information that is vital to national security.
Judges can overrule the administration’s concerns, but experts on the matter say they rarely do. And that’s how alleged victims like El-Masri, who says CIA agents kidnapped him, held for five months and beat him, forever lose their day in court.
It’s the kind of vital constitutional question that Americans and the media rarely fail to ignore. But the Senate Judiciary Committee next week is going to take a closer look at the power -- what Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., has called "a tool for cover-up" -- as well as a bipartisan bill that backers hope will guide judges in considering future state secrets claims.
A Justice Department official will testify at the hearing, slated for Feb. 13, and is expected to defend keeping the authority as broad as possible. He will be joined by several legal scholars. Both the panel's chairman, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and its ranking member, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., are sponsors on the state secrets reform bill, along with Kennedy. It should be interesting.
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 6:08 PM PST
Updated: Tuesday, 12 February 2008 6:09 PM PST
Thursday, 7 February 2008
Afgan Journalist ordered - "Put to Death"
Now Playing: Sentenced to death: Afghan who dared to read about women's rights
By Kim Sengupta writing for "The Independent"
Thursday, 31 January 2008
Sentenced to death: Afghan who dared to read about women's rights
A young man, a student of journalism, is sentenced to death by an Islamic court for downloading a report from the internet. The sentence is then upheld by the country's rulers. This is Afghanistan – not in Taliban times but six years after "liberation" and under the democratic rule of the West's ally Hamid Karzai.
The fate of Sayed Pervez Kambaksh has led to domestic and international protests, and deepening concern about erosion of civil liberties in Afghanistan. He was accused of blasphemy after he downloaded a report from a Farsi website which stated that Muslim fundamentalists who claimed the Koran justified the oppression of women had misrepresented the views of the prophet Mohamed.
Mr Kambaksh, 23, distributed the tract to fellow students and teachers at Balkh University with the aim, he said, of provoking a debate on the matter. But a complaint was made against him and he was arrested, tried by religious judges without – say his friends and family – being allowed legal representation and sentenced to death.
The Independent is launching a campaign today to secure justice for Mr Kambaksh. The UN, human rights groups, journalists' organisations and Western diplomats have urged Mr Karzai's government to intervene and free him. But the Afghan Senate passed a motion yesterday confirming the death sentence.
The MP who proposed the ruling condemning Mr Kambaksh was Sibghatullah Mojaddedi, a key ally of Mr Karzai. The Senate also attacked the international community for putting pressure on the Afghan government and urged Mr Karzai not to be influenced by outside un-Islamic views.
The case of Mr Kambaksh, who also worked a s reporter for the Jahan-i-Naw (New World) newspaper, is seen in Afghanistan as yet another chapter in the escalation in the confrontation between Afghanistan and the West.
It comes in the wake of Mr Karzai accusing the British of actually worsening the situation in Helmand province by their actions and his subsequent blocking of the appointment of Lord Ashdown as the UN envoy and expelling a British and an Irish diplomat.
Demonstrations, organised by clerics, against the alleged foreign interference have been held in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, where Mr Kambaksh was arrested. Aminuddin Muzafari, the first secretary of the houses of parliament, said: "People should realise that as we are representatives of an Islamic country therefore we can never tolerate insults to reverences of Islamic religion."
At a gathering in Takhar province, Maulavi Ghulam Rabbani Rahmani, the heads of the Ulema council, said: "We want the government and the courts to execute the court verdict on Kambaksh as soon as possible." In Parwan province, another senior cleric, Maulavi Muhammad Asif, said: "This decision is for disrespecting the holy Koran and the government should enforce the decision before it came under more pressure from foreigners."
UK officials say they are particularly concerned about such draconian action being taken against a journalist. The Foreign Office and Department for International Development has donated large sums to the training of media workers in the country. The Government funds the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) in the Helmand capital, Lashkar Gar.
Mr Kambaksh's brother, Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi, is also a journalist and has written articles for IWPR in which he accused senior public figures, including an MP, of atrocities, including murders. He said: "Of course we are all very worried about my brother. What has happened to him is very unjust. He has not committed blasphemy and he was not even allowed to have a legal defence. and what took place was a secret trial."
Qayoum Baabak, the editor of Jahan-i-Naw, said a senior prosecutor in Mazar-i-Sharif, Hafiz Khaliqyar, had warned journalists that they would be punished if they protested against the death sentence passed on Mr Kambaksh.
Jean MacKenzie, country director for IWPR, said: "We feel very strongly that this is designed to put pressure on Pervez's brother, Yaqub, who has done some of the hardest-hitting pieces outlining abuses by some very powerful commanders."
Rahimullah Samander, the president of the Afghan Independent Journalists' Association, said: "This is unfair, this is illegal. He just printed a copy of something and looked at it and read it. How can we believe in this 'democracy' if we can't even read, we can't even study? We are asking Mr Karzai to quash the death sentence before it is too late."
The circumstances surrounding the conviction of Mr Kambaksh are also being viewed as a further attempt to claw back the rights gained by women since the overthrow of the Taliban. The most prominent female MP, Malalai Joya, has been suspended after criticising her male colleagues.
Under the Afghan constitution, say legal experts, Mr Kambaksh has the right to appeal to the country's supreme court. Some senior clerics maintain, however, that since he has been convicted under religious laws, the supreme court should not bring secular interpretations to the case.
Mr Karzai has the right to intervene and pardon Mr Kambaksh. However, even if he is freed, it would be hard for the student to escape retribution in a country where fundamentalists and warlords are increasingly in the ascendancy.
How you can save Pervez
Sayed Pervez Kambaksh's imminent execution is an affront to civilised values. It is not, however, a foregone conclusion. If enough international pressure is brought to bear on President Karzai's government, his sentence may yet be overturned. Add your weight to the campaign by urging the Foreign Office to demand that his life be spared. Sign our e-petition at www.independent.co.uk/petition
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 4:30 PM PST
Monday, 4 February 2008
Montel Williams - Anti-War statement to FOX news - now he is out of a job
Now Playing: Montel Williams tells FOX news they are not reporting truthon war - gets laid off
FOX NEWS HATES THE TRUTH - MONTEL TOLD TO PACK HIS BAGS
For just over three minutes on Saturday morning, TV talk show host Montel Williams owned the hosts of Fox and Friends. A former Marine and Naval officer, Montel lectured the stunned hosts on the stupidity of spending air time on the death of Heath Ledger, rather than covering the war in Iraq. It was a spectacle rarely seen on live cable television, as Montel exposed and condemned both tabloid "news" shows and much of American culture for what they have each become: shallow and greedy.
Three minutes into this awkward segment on Fox, one host cut off Montel in order to go to a commercial. Montel did not return after the break. Four days later, after 17 years as a television host, Montel lost his job. Variety reported on Wednesday that the
Fate of "The Montel Williams Show" was sealed when key Fox-owned stations opted not to renew it for the 2008-09 season.
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 4:04 PM PST
Thursday, 31 January 2008
poopey water at your tap .... well its purified ....
Now Playing: Toilet toTap - California Water Systems
It's Time To Drink Toilet Water
Recycling sewage is safe and efficient,
.....so why aren't we doing it?
Posted Friday, Jan. 25, 2008, at 7:33 AM ET
How do you feel about ....Drinking "clean recycled TOILET water?
I found the Original Article here: http://www.slate.com/id/2182758/
Officials in Orange County, Calif., will attend opening ceremonies today for the world's largest water-purification project, among the first "toilet-to-tap" systems in America. The Groundwater Replenishment System is designed to take sewage water straight from bathrooms in places like Costa Mesa, Fullerton, and Newport Beach and—after an initial cleansing treatment—send it through $490 million worth of pipes, filters, and tanks for purification. The water then flows into lakes in nearby Anaheim, where it seeps through clay, sand, and rock into aquifers in the groundwater basin. Months later, it will travel back into the homes of half a million Orange County residents, through their kitchen taps and showerheads.
It's a smart idea, one of the most reliable and affordable hedges against water shortages, and it's not new. For decades, cities throughout the United States have used recycled wastewater for nonpotable needs, like agriculture and landscaping; because the technology already exists, the move to potable uses seems a no-brainer. But the Orange County project is the exception. Studies show that the public hasn't yet warmed to the notion of indirect potable reuse (IPR)—or "toilet-to-tap," as its opponents would have it. Surveys like one taken last year in San Diego show that a majority of us don't want to drink water that once had poop in it, even if it's been cleaned and purified. A public outcry against toilet-to-tap in 2000 forced the city of Los Angeles to shut down a $55 million project that would have provided enough water for 120,000 homes. Similar reluctance among San Diego residents led Mayor Jerry Sanders to veto the city council's approval in November of a pilot program to use recycled water to supplement that city's drinking water. (A similar plan failed once before in 1999.)
But San Diego is in the midst of a severe water crisis. The city imports 90 percent of its water, much of that from the Colorado River, which is drying up. The recent legal decision to protect the ecosystem of the San Joaquin Delta in Northern California—San Diego's second-leading water source—will reduce the amount coming from there as well. Add to that rising population and an ongoing drought, and the situation looks pretty bleak: 3 million people in a region that has enough water, right now, for 10 percent of them.
We don't have enough water where we need it; if we don't learn to deal with drinking toilet water, we're going to be mighty thirsty. Only 2.5 percent of the water on Earth is freshwater, and less than 1 percent of that is usable and renewable. The Ogallala Aquifer—North America's largest, stretching from Texas to South Dakota—is steadily being depleted. And Americans are insatiable water consumers—our water footprint has been estimated to be twice the global average (PDF).
The ocean provides another source of potable water. Large-scale treatment of seawater already occurs in the Middle East, Africa, and in Tampa Bay, Fla. Construction of the largest desalination plant in the western hemisphere is supposed to begin this year in Carlsbad, Calif., which would convert 300 million gallons of seawater into 50 million gallons of drinking water each day. Taking the salt out of ocean water sounds like a good idea, but it's economically and environmentally far more expensive than sewage-water recycling. Orange County water officials estimate desalinated water costs between $800 and $2,000 per acre-foot to produce, while its recycled water runs about $525 per acre-foot. Desalination also uses more energy (and thus produces more greenhouse gas emissions), kills tiny marine organisms that get sucked up into the processing plant, and produces a brine byproduct laced with chemicals that goes back into the ocean.
What desalination doesn't have, though, is the "yuck" factor of recycled sewage water. But seawater, like other sources of nonrecycled water, is at least as yucky as whatever comes through a toilet-to-tap program. When you know how dirty all this water is before treatment, recycling raw sewage doesn't seem like a bad option. Hundreds of millions of tons of sewage are dumped into rivers and oceans, and in that waste are bacteria, hormones, and pharmaceuticals. Runoff from rainwater, watering lawns, or emptying pools is the worst, sending metals, pesticides, and pathogens into lakes, rivers, and the ocean. The water you find near the end of a river system like the Colorado or the Mississippi (which feeds big cities like San Diego and New Orleans) has been in and out of municipal sewers several times.
Whatever winds up in lakes and rivers used for drinking is cleaned and disinfected along with the rest of our water supply. Still, a recent analysis of San Diego's drinking water found several contaminants, including ibuprofen, the bug repellent DEET, and the anti-anxiety drug meprobamate. No treatment system will ever be 100-percent reliable, and skeptics who worry that pathogens in sewage water will make it past treatment and into our drinking water should worry about all drinking water, not just the water in a toilet-to-tap program. The fact is, supertreated wastewater is clean enough to drink right after treatment. It's been used safely this way (in a process known as direct potable reuse) for years in the African nation of Namibia. The EPA has conducted research in Denver and San Diego on the safety of direct potable reuse and found recycled water is often of better quality than existing drinking water. And although putting water into the ground, rivers, or lakes provides some additional filtering and more opportunities for monitoring quality, the benefits of doing it that way are largely psychological. In its 2004 report (PDF) on the topic, the EPA concluded that Americans perceive this water to be "laundered" as it moves through the ground or other bodies of water, even though in some instances, according to the report, "quality may actually be degraded as it passes through the environment."
Despite the public's concerns, a few U.S. cities have already started to use recycled wastewater to augment drinking water. In El Paso, Texas, indirect potable reuse supplies 40 percent of the city's drinking water; in Fairfax, Va., it supplies 5 percent. Unless we discover a new source of clean, potable water, we're going to have to consider projects like these to make wastewater a reusable resource. The upfront costs for getting a system in place and educating the public may be steep, but it would save us the expense—both economic and environmental—of finding another river or lake from which we can divert water.Eilene Zimmerman is a San Diego-based journalist who writes about business and political and environmental issues. Her work appears in the
New York Times, the
San Francisco Chronicle,
Fortune Small Business, Salon.com,
Christian Science Monitor, and other publications.
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 7:03 PM PST
Updated: Monday, 4 February 2008 4:06 PM PST
Monday, 21 January 2008
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr "A Time To Break Silence"
Now Playing: Declaration of Independence from the War in Vietnam
Over the past two years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of Vietnam, many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. At the heart of their concerns this query has often loomed large and loud: Why are you speaking about the war, Dr. King? Why are you joining the voices of dissent? Peace and civil rights don’t mix, they say. Aren’t you hurting the cause of your people, they ask. And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live.
In the light of such tragic misunderstanding, I deem it of signal importance to try to state clearly why I believe that the path from Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, the church in Montgomery, Alabama, where I began my pastorage, leads clearly to this sanctuary tonight.
I come to this platform to make a passionate plea to my beloved nation. This speech is not addressed to Hanoi or to the National Liberation Front. It is not addressed to China or to Russia.
Nor is it an attempt to overlook the ambiguity of the total situation and the need for a collective solution to the tragedy of Vietnam. Neither is it an attempt to make North Vietnam or the National Liberation Front paragons of virtue, nor to overlook the role they can play in a successful resolution of the problem. While they both may have justifiable reasons to be suspicious of the good faith of the United States, life and history give eloquent testimony to the fact that conflicts are never resolved without trustful give and take on both sides.
Tonight, however, I wish not to speak with Hanoi and the NLF, but rather to my fellow Americans who, with me, bear the greatest responsibility in ending a conflict that has exacted a heavy price on both continents.
Since I am a preacher by trade, I suppose it is not surprising that I have seven major reasons for bringing Vietnam into the field of my moral vision. There is at the outset a very obvious and almost facile connection between the war in Vietnam and the struggle, and others, have been waging in America. A few years ago there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor - both black and white - through the Poverty Program. Then came the build-up in Vietnam, and I watched the program broken and eviscerated as if it were some idle political play thing of a society gone mad on war, and I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic, destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.
Perhaps the more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. It was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and to die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population. We were taking the young black men who had been crippled by our society and sending them 8000 miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in Southwest Georgia and East Harlem. So we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools. So we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would never live on the same block in Detroit. I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor.
My third reason grows out of my experience in the ghettos of the North over the last three years - especially the last three summers. As I have walked among the desperate, rejected and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through non-violent action. But, they asked, what about Vietnam? They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today, my own government.
For those who ask the question, “Aren’t you a Civil Rights leader?” and thereby mean to exclude me from the movement for peace, I have this further answer. In 1957 when a group of us formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, we chose as our motto: “To save the soul of America.” We were convinced that we could not limit our vision to certain rights for black people, but instead affirmed the conviction that America would never be free or saved from itself unless the descendants of its slaves were loosed from the shackles they still wear.
Now, it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war. If America’s soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read “Vietnam.” It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over.
As if the weight of such a commitment to the life and health of America were not enough, another burden of responsibility was placed upon me in 1964; and I cannot forget that the Nobel Prize for Peace was also a commission, a commission to work harder than I had ever worked before for the “brotherhood of man.” This is a calling that takes me beyond national allegiances, but even if it were not present I would yet have to live with the meaning of my commitment to the ministry of Jesus Christ. To me the relationship of this ministry to the making of peace is so obvious that I sometimes marvel at those who ask me why I am speaking against the war. Could it be that they do not know that the good news was meant or all men, for communist and capitalist, for their children and ours, for black and white, for revolutionary and conservative? Have they forgotten that my ministry is in obedience to the One who loved His enemies so fully that He died for hem? What then can I say to the Viet Cong or to Castro or to Mao as a faithful minister of this One? Can I threaten them with death, or must I not share with hem my life?
And as I ponder the madness of Vietnam, my mind goes constantly to the people of that peninsula. I speak now not of the soldiers of each side, not of the junta in Saigon, but simply of the people who have been living under the curse of war for almost three continuous decades. I think of them, too, because it is clear to me that there will be no meaningful solution there until some attempt is made to know them and their broken cries.
They must see Americans as strange liberators. The Vietnamese proclaimed their own independence in 1945 after a combined French and Japanese occupation and before the communist revolution in China. Even though they quoted the American Declaration of Independence in their own document of freedom, we refused to recognize them. Instead, we decided to support France in its re-conquest of her former colony.
Our government felt then that the Vietnamese people were not “ready” for independence, and we again fell victim to the deadly Western arrogance that has poisoned the international atmosphere for so long. With that tragic decision, we rejected a revolutionary government seeking self-determination, and a government that had been established not by China (for whom the Vietnamese have no great love) but by clearly indigenous forces that included some communists. For the peasants, this new government meant real land reform, one of the most important needs in their lives.
For nine years following 1945 we denied the people of Vietnam the right of independence. For nine years we vigorously supported the French in their abortive effort to re-colonize Vietnam.
Before the end of the war we were meeting 80 per cent of the French war costs. Even before the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu, they began to despair of their reckless action, but we did not. We encouraged them with our huge financial and military supplies to continue the war even after they had lost the will to do so.
After the French were defeated it looked as if independence and land reform would come again through the Geneva agreements. But instead there came the United States, determined that Ho should not unify the temporarily divided nation, and the peasants watched again as we supported one of the most vicious modern dictators, our chosen man, Premier Diem. The peasants watched and cringed as Diem ruthlessly routed out all opposition, supported their extortionist landlords and refused even to discuss reunification with the North. The peasants watched as all this was presided over by U.S. influence and then by increasing numbers of U.S. troops who came to help quell the insurgency that Diem’s methods had aroused. When Diem was overthrown they may have been happy, but the long line of military dictatorships seemed to offer no real change, especially in terms of their need for land and peace.
The only change came from America as we increased our troop commitments in support of governments which were singularly corrupt, inept and without popular support. All the while, the people read our leaflets and received regular promises of peace and democracy, and land reform. Now they languish under our bombs and consider us, not their fellow Vietnamese, the real enemy. They move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into concentration camps where minimal social needs are rarely met. They know they must move or be destroyed by our bombs. So they go.
They watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their crops. They must weep as the bulldozers destroy their precious trees. They wander into the hospitals, with at least 20 casualties from American firepower for each Viet Cong-inflicted injury. So far we may have killed a million of them, mostly children.
What do the peasants think as we ally ourselves with the landlords and as we refuse to put any action into our many words concerning land reform? What do they think as we test out our latest weapons on them, just as the Germans tested out new medicine and new tortures in the concentration camps of Europe? Where are the roots of the independent Vietnam we claim to be building?
Now there is little left to build on, save bitterness. Soon the only solid physical foundations remaining will be found at our military bases and in the concrete of the concentration camps we call “fortified hamlets.” The peasants may well wonder if we plan to build our new Vietnam on such grounds as these. Could we blame them for such thoughts’? We must speak for them and raise the questions they cannot raise. These too are our brothers.
Perhaps the more difficult but no less necessary task is to speak for those who have been designated as our enemies. What of the NLF, that strangely anonymous group we call VC or communists? What must they think of us in America when they realize that we permitted the repression and cruelty of Diem which helped to bring them into being as a resistance group in the South? How can they believe in our integrity when now we speak of “aggression from the North” as if there were nothing more essential to the war? How can they trust us when now we charge them with violence after the murderous reign of Diem, and charge them with violence while we pour new weapons of death into their land?
How do they judge us when our officials know that their membership is less than 25 per cent communist and yet insist on giving them the blanket name? What must they be thinking when they know that we are aware of their control of major sections of Vietnam and yet we appear ready to allow national elections in which this highly organized political parallel government will have no part? They ask how we can speak of free elections when the Saigon press is censored and controlled by the military junta. And they are surely right to wonder what kind of new government we plan to help form without them, the only party in real touch with the peasants. They question our political goals and they deny the reality of a peace settlement from which they will be excluded. Their questions are frighteningly relevant.
Here is the true meaning and value of compassion and non-violence, when it helps us to see the enemy’s point of view, to hear his questions, to know of his assessment of ourselves. For from his view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers who are called the opposition.
So, too, with Hanoi. In the North, where our bombs now pummel the land, and our mines endanger the waterways, we are met by a deep but understandable mistrust. In Hanoi are the men who led the nation to independence against the Japanese and the French, the men who sought membership in the French commonwealth and were betrayed by the weakness of Paris and the willfulness of the colonial armies. It was they who led a second struggle against French domination at tremendous costs, and then were persuaded at Geneva to give up, as a temporary measure, the land they controlled between the 13th and 17th parallels. After 1954 they watched us conspire with Diem to prevent elections which would have surely brought Ho Chi Minh to power over a united Vietnam, and they realized they had been betrayed again.
When we ask why they do not leap to negotiate, these things must be remembered. Also, it must be clear that the leaders of Hanoi considered the presence of American troops in support of the Diem regime to have been the initial military breach of the Geneva Agreements concerning foreign troops, and they remind us that they did not begin to send in any large number of supplies or men until American forces had moved into the tens of thousands.
Hanoi remembers how our leaders refused to tell us the truth about the earlier North Vietnamese overtures for peace, how the President claimed that none existed when they had clearly been made. Ho Chi Minh has watched as America has spoken of peace and built up its forces, and now he has surely heard the increasing international rumors of American plans for an invasion of the North. Perhaps only his sense of humor and irony can save him when he hears the most powerful nation of the world speaking of aggression as it drops thousands of bombs on a poor, weak nation more than 8000 miles from its shores.
At this point, I should make it clear that while I have tried here to give a voice to the voiceless of Vietnam and to understand the arguments of those who are called enemy, I am as deeply concerned about our own troops there as anything else. For it occurs to me that what we are submitting them to in Vietnam is not simply the brutalizing process that goes on in any war where armies face each other and seek to destroy. We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for our troops must know after a short period there that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved. Before long they must know that their government has sent them into a struggle among Vietnamese, and the more sophisticated surely realize that we are on the side of the wealthy and the secure while we create a hell for the poor.
Somehow this madness must cease. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam and the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home and death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop must be ours.
This is the message of the great Buddhist leaders of Vietnam. Recently, one of them wrote these words: “Each day the war goes on the hatred increases in the hearts of the Vietnamese and in the hearts of those of humanitarian instinct. The Americans are forcing even their friends into becoming their enemies. It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat. The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism.”
If we continue, there will be no doubt in my mind and in the mind of the world that we have no honorable intentions in Vietnam. It’ will become clear that our minimal expectation is to occupy it as an American colony, and men will not refrain from thinking that our maximum hope is to goad China into a war so that we may bomb her nuclear installations.
The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve. It demands that we admit that we have been wrong from the beginning of our adventure in Vietnam, that we have been detrimental to the life of her people.
In order to atone for our sins and errors in Vietnam, we should take the initiative in bringing the war to a halt. I would like to suggest five concrete things that our government should do immediately to begin the long and difficult process of extricating ourselves from this nightmare:
1. End all bombing in North and South Vietnam.
2. Declare a unilateral cease-fire in the hope that such action will create the atmosphere for negotiation.
3. Take immediate steps to prevent other battlegrounds in Southeast Asia by curtailing our military build-up in Thailand and our interference in Laos.
4. Realistically accept the fact that the National Liberation Front has substantial support in South Vietnam and must thereby play a role in any meaningful negotiations and in any future Vietnam government.
5. Set a date on which we will remove all foreign troops from Vietnam in accordance with the 1954 Geneva Agreement.
Part of our ongoing commitment might well express itself in an offer to grant asylum to any Vietnamese who fears for his life under a new regime which included the NLF. Then we must make what reparations we can for the damage we have done. We must provide the medical aid that is badly needed, in this country if necessary.
Meanwhile, we in the churches and synagogues have a continuing task while we urge our government to disengage itself from a disgraceful commitment. We must be prepared to match actions with words by seeking out every creative means of protest possible.
As we counsel young men concerning military service we must clarify for them our nation’s role in Vietnam and challenge them with the alternative of conscientious objection. I am pleased to say that this is the path now being chosen by more than 70 students at my own Alma Mater, Morehouse College, and I recommend it to all who find the American course in Vietnam a dishonorable and unjust one. Moreover, I would encourage all ministers of draft age to give up their ministerial exemptions and seek status as conscientious objectors. Every man of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest.
There is something seductively tempting about stopping there and sending us all off on what in some circles has become a popular crusade against the war in Vietnam. I say we must enter that struggle, but I wish to go on now to say something even more disturbing. The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit, and if we ignore this sobering reality we will find ourselves organizing clergy, and laymen-concerned committees for the next generation. We will be marching and attending rallies without end unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy.
In 1957 a sensitive American official overseas said that it seemed to him that our nation was on the wrong side of a world revolution. During the past ten years we have seen emerge a pattern of suppression which now has justified the presence of U.S. military “advisors” in Venezuela. The need to maintain social stability for our investments accounts for the counterrevolutionary action of American forces in Guatemala. It tells why American helicopters are being used against guerrillas in Colombia and why American napalm and green beret forces have already been active against rebels in Peru. With such activity in mind, the words of John F. Kennedy come back to haunt us. Five years ago he said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken, by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investment.
I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. When machines and computers, profit and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.
A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution of values will soon look easily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: This is not just.” It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America and say: ” This is not just.” The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: “This way of settling differences is not just.” This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from re-ordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from molding a recalcitrant status quo until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood.
This kind of positive revolution of values is our best defense against communism. War is not the answer. Communism will never be defeated by the use of atomic bombs or nuclear weapons. Let us not join those who shout war and through their misguided passions urge the United States to relinquish its participation in the United Nations. These are the days which demand wise restraint and calm reasonableness. We must not call everyone a communist or an appeaser who advocates the seating of Red China in the United Nations and who recognizes that hate and hysteria are not the final answers to the problem of these turbulent days. We must not engage in a negative anti-communism, but rather in a positive thrust for democracy, realizing that our greatest defense against communism is to take: offensive action in behalf of justice. We must with positive action seek to remove those conditions of poverty, insecurity and injustice which are the fertile soil in which the seed of communism grows and develops.
These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and out of the wombs of a frail world, new systems of justice and equality are being born. The shirtless and barefoot people of the land are rising up as never before. “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light.” We in the West must support these revolutions. It is a sad fact that, because of comfort, complacency, a morbid fear of communism, and our proneness to ad just to injustice, the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world have now become the arch anti-revolutionaries. This has driven many to feel that only Marxism has the revolutionary spirit. Therefore, communism is a judgment against our failure to make democracy real and follow through on the revolutions that we initiated. Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism.
We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace in Vietnam and justice throughout the developing world, a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.
Now let us begin. Now let us re-dedicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful, struggle for a new world. This is the calling of the sons of God, and our brothers wait eagerly for our response. Shall we say the odds are too great? Shall we tell them the struggle is too hard? Will our message be that the forces of American life militate against their arrival as full men, and we send our deepest regrets? Or will there be another message, of longing, of hope, of solidarity with their yearnings, of commitment to their cause, whatever the cost? The choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwise we must choose in this crucial moment of human history.
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 9:36 PM PST
Updated: Monday, 21 January 2008 9:39 PM PST
Monday, 14 January 2008
Terrorism Report From The FBI
Now Playing: Justification Attempts & the FBI war on Terror
The following article I found on Portland Indy Media
Jan 14 2008
Amazing. Bush's FBI
|Rarely do we get to see a fascist, terrorist regime attempt to justify its outrageous behavior and its equally outrageous budgets. |
| http://www.fbi.gov/publications/terror/terrorism2002_2005.htm |
This is amazing. Absolutely amazing!
The Bush regime came out with a "report" about what it thinks "terrorism"
was over the years of 2002 through 2005 and it's a profoundly informative
and telling document. What's ironic is that it's an _official_ document
by the fascist regime, one they _intended_ to have released in to the
every-more-aware public, not something that was leaked by whistleblowing
insiders who actually take their jobs to protect Americans seriously.
The intent of the document is to justify the Bush regime's crimes against
American citizens under the guies of "fighting errorism" however if you
step through this thing you'll find that a tally of the claims that the
regime makes shows that roughly ONE THIRD of the unevidenced claims could
conceivably be considered to be "acts of terrorism" or "planned terrorism."
Justification of the regime's crimes against us is closely related to the
justification and excuses of this regime's BUDGETS. This regime's FBI's
budgets skyrocketed under the fiction that money was needed to protect
American citizens from vague, illdefined, non-existant "terrorists" -- and
of course even before the Bush regime law enforcement experts outside of
the FBI have long noted that the FBI's personnel, budgets,a nd equipment
could be cut to roughly one third of what it actually is and still effect
the agency's charter without ANY ADVERSE IMPACT in the agency's ability
to fight crime.
This document is something one would expect to see come from the
typewriters of the Third Reigh of from Stalin's Soviet Union. The document
and its claims have all of the credibility -- and often the laghable and
obvious falsehoods -- that the old Pravda used to carry, and for the same
If you haven't fully encountered this fascist regime's official
justifications for some of its crimes against humanity and its treason
against America, this document is a good place to start. It's some 80
sheets long if printed to paper but it's probably worth at least a
Foremost in this fascist regime's civil, Constitutional, and Human
Rights abuses are "thought crimes" for which the regime assigned the
label "terrorism." Among some of these gross violations of American's
basic rights are spewers of right-wing extremist hatred -- which lends
another layer of ironic flavor to the document -- which this regime
frequently has gone after just like the old COINTEL PRO activities
that the Church Committee supposedly put a stop to.
Some of the right-wing extremist groups that employ hate speech are
groups that nearly all Americans find disgusting however their activities
of speech are putatively protected rights in the OLD AMERICA whereas
under this regime -- probably to show that they arrest their own types
and are "being fair" -- thought crimes and speech are some how "terrorism."
Another major aspect of core fascism in this document is the
re-labeling of simple, mundane crimes as "terrorism" or "terrorist
threats" -- such as simple tresspass, minor vandalism, graffitti, CIVIL
DISOBEDIENCE, all the way up to relatively minor and ACTUAL offenses
like arson, petty theft, and using a public address system after noise
What we see in this document is a fascist State claiming that it has
the right to violate every law, every freedom, every liberty, and every
right of all citizens at any time. What we see here is a fascist State
trying to label virtually EVERYTHING "terrorism" so that it can excuse
its treason against us.
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 10:54 PM PST
Updated: Monday, 14 January 2008 10:56 PM PST
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