Progressive Calendar 08.17.06
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2006 04:26:37 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R     08.17.06

1. NewHope vigil      8.17 4pm
2. Eagan peace vigil  8.17 4:30pm
3. Small is beautiful 8.17 5pm
4. Northtown vigil    8.17 5pm
5. Climate/politics   8.17 7pm
6. AI Wayzata         8.17 7:15pm
7. Iraq/SamiR/SPNN    8.17 8:30pm
8. Battered women     8.17-18 Princeton MN

9. Mpls CC/DptPeace   8.18 _am
10. Nonviolence conf  8.18-20 12noon Luck WI
11. Hip hop wing-ding 8.18-20 12noon
12. Palestine vigil   8.18 5:30pm
13. Harvest fest      8.18 6pm
14. Mexico/film       8.18 7:30pm

15. Stephen Lendman - Mexican electoral fraud wins round one
16. Robert Jensen   - Constraining history/controlling knowledge
17. Stephen Gowans  - Rules for reporting on the war
18. Richard Itani   - It ain't over: what did and didn't happen in Lebanon

--------1 of x--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net>
Subject: NewHope vigil 8.17 4pm

Thursday August 17, 4-6 PM
NW Neighbors for Peace, Carole Rydberg, carydberg [at] comcast.net

Weekly demonstration at the corner of 42nd Avenue N. (Cty. Rd. 9) and
Winnetka in New Hope.  Many signs available ... just bring yourself.
Come and go when you please.


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From: Greg and Sue Skog <skograce [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 8.17 4:30pm

CANDLELIGHT PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest
corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs
and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends
south of the river speaking out against war.


--------3 of x--------

From: Jesse Mortenson <jmortenson [at] Macalester.edu>
Subject: Small is beautiful 8.17 5pm

First and third Tuesdays of the month
8.17 5pm
Cahoots coffeehouse
Selby 1/2 block east of Snelling in StPaul

Limit bigboxes, chain stores, TIF, corporate welfare, billboards; promote
small business and co-ops, local production & self-sufficiency.

http://www.gpsp.org/goodbusiness


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From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com
Subject: Northtown vigil 8.17 5pm

NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5 to 6 pm, at the intersection of Co.
Hwy 10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine.

Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View,
New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park, Fridley,
and Coon Rapids.  We'll have extra signs.

For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or
email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at] aol.com.


--------5 of x--------

From: skogrand <skogrand [at] frontiernet.net>
From: Peter Tharaldson [mailto:pjtharald [at] yahoo.com]
Subject: Climate/politics 8.17 7pm

An invitation to our Meetup on Global Climate Change and what we can do
about it.

IP Candidate Red Nelson, a long-time environmental activist and candidate
for state house district 50A, will be joined by experts on climate change,
energy production, and transportation to discuss what we face and what we
can do about it. Red is a big advocate for "third parties" and what they
can do to bring change. It would be a very good event for Independence and
Green supporters to come together on.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 17TH 7PM
FRIDLEY CRAB HOUSE, 6161 CENTRAL AVE NORTH IN FRIDLEY
(1/2 mile north of 694 on Central Ave (HWY 65)
The Fridley Crab House has a very reasonable and broad menu.


--------6 of x--------

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net>
Subject: AI Wayzata 8.17 7:15pm

There are several local Amnesty International groups in the Twin Cities
area. All of them are welcoming and would love to see interested people
get involved.

AIUSA Group 315 (Wayzata area) will meet on Thursday, August 17th, 7:15
p.m. at St. Luke Presbyterian Church, 3121 Groveland School Road, Wayzata
(near the intersection of Rt. 101 and Minnetonka Blvd). For further
information, contact Richard Bopp at Richard_C_Bopp [at] NatureWorksLLC.com.


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From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: Iraq/SamiR/SPNN 8.17 8:30pm

Also airing on SPNN Channel 15: "Altera Vista" at 8:30pm each Thursday.

- Aug. 17:  "Why the Iraq Occupation Must End Now!," a speech by
Iraqi-American peace activist Sami Rasouli, given 2/16/06, while on return
from Iraq.  Sami is the founder of the Iraqi Muslim Peacemaker Team and
works with Christian Peacemaker Teams in Iraq.


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From: erin [at] mnwomen.org
Subject: Battered women 8.17-18 Princeton MN

August 17-18: Battered Women's Legal Advocacy Project Cosponsored by the
Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women and the Family Law Section of the
MN Bar Association Held in Princeton: The 2006 Session of New Laws. Day 1:
New State and Federal Statutes and Case Law. Day 2: Enhancing Your
Practice and A Team Approach to Meeting the Legal Needs of Battered Women.
Various fees depending on your profession. More info Dori 612/343-9845.
www.mcbw.org.


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From: David Strand <mncivil [at] yahoo.com>
Subject: Mpls CC/DptPeace 8.18 _am

The Minneapolis City Council will be considering a resolution in support
of the Department of Peace legislation next Friday, August 18.

It's on the agenda for the morning meeting. Come on down and show your
support. For more info contact Paul Rozcki at pbsrroz [at] msn.com or Faith
Kidder at faith [at] plethora.net. This is a great opportunity to celebrate a
victory for peace! How did it happen? Below is the story. Please forward.

Kudos to Minneapolis activists Paul Rozycki and Faith Kidder. They
arranged meetings with members of the Minneapolis City Council and Peace
Alliance Executive Director Dot Maver during her recent visit to
Minnesota. As a result of these efforts, Minneapolis Councilmen Cam Gordon
and Gary Schiff have agreed to sponsor a resolution. Councilmen Paul
Ostrow, Scott Benson and Robert Lilligren expressed support during the
series of round robin sessions.


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From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Nonviolence conf 8.18-20 12noon Luck WI

Nonviolence: The Sword that Heals: Nonviolent Peaceforce Youth Conference

August 18-20 Anathoth Community Farm, Luck, Wisconsin. The Nonviolent
Peaceforce youth program is an extension of the Nonviolent Peaceforce for
those who are too young to be out in the field as a member of the
Nonviolent Peaceforce. The youth program aims to offer youth the
opportunity to explore methods of nonviolence, build leadership in those
areas, and strengthen conflict resolution and community building skills to
bring back everyday life situations. These objectives are carried out
through training/conferences, internships, and youth exposure visits.
Participants must be 16 years of age or older and be able to attend the
entire conference. Cost: $35.00 (limited scholarships are available). FFI
and application: 612-871-0005 or email <mhmain [at] csbsju.edu>.

8/18 (noon) through 8/20 (3 pm), Nonviolent Peaceforce sponsors
"Nonviolence: The Sword That Heals," for those too young (16+) to be out
in the field, Anathoth Community Farm, Luck, WI.  $35.  FFI
www.anathothcommunityfarm.org or MHMain [at] csbsju.edu or 612-871-0005


--------11 of x--------

From: Toki Wright <toki [at] yothemovement.org>
Subject: Hip hop wing-ding 8.18-20 12noon

5th Annual Twin Cities Celebration of Hip-Hop:
With MC Lyte, Brother Ali, The Chosen Few, Invincible and others
3 Days of Concerts, Youth Strategy Sessions, Battles, Food, Game Block, and
more

The 5th Annual Twin Cities Celebration of Hip-Hop will be held from Friday
August 18th through Sunday August 20th from Noon to 1:00 PM to 10:00 PM at
First Avenue Nightclub and 8th Street between Hennepin and 1st Avenue.

The event's purpose is to not only showcase some of the nations best
talent in Hip-Hop culture, but to provide youth from across the Midwest
with resources and information regarding the realizing their power in
their communities.  This year YO! The Movement will be working together
with several youth serving organizations from Detroit, Madison, Milwaukee,
and Chicago to bring together youth to make positive changes where they
live through Hip-Hop in Youth Strategy Sessions.

Other activities at the event include; MC Battle, Travitron DJ Battle,
Opening Night Fashion Show and Party, Beatbox Battle, Kids Games, Dance
Exhibitions, Record and Tape Swap Meet, Food, Anti-Violence Discussions,
Visual Art, and more.

** See promotional video at http://www.yothemovement.org/VideoPlay.htm

YO! The Movement is a youth-led and youth-run nonprofit organization based
out of downtown Minneapolis.  The Twin Cities Celebration of Hip-Hop is
done on a limited budget.  If you would like to support the
transportation, housing, and feeding of the youth coming in from other
states please contact YO! to make a donation.

Friday Day pass and Opening Night Party - $7
Saturday Pass - $13, Sunday Pass - $13, 2 Day Pass - $22
For a full list of all acts and activities contact YO! at the number or
email above.


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From: erin [at] mnwomen.org
Subject: Palestine vigil 8.18 5:30pm

Friday, August 18: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom weekly
vigil in solidarity with the people of Palestine. 5:30PM at the intersection
of Summit and Snelling Avenues in St. Paul. For more information contact
651/458-7090.


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From: Elizabeth Dickinson <eadickinson [at] mindspring.com>
Subject: Harvest fest 8.18 6pm

You are invited to the
West Side Youth Farm and Market Projectıs Harvest Festival

August 18
6-8pm
85 E. Page St. (Corner of Robert and Page) across from Humboldt High
School parking lot

Come and celebrate what Youth Farmers have been doing all summer long!
There will be a silent auction for pottery and pictures done by Organic
Arts and Crafts and the Digital Photography focus groups. The Cooking
group will have pickles, jarbread, and salsa to sell. We will have a free
meal for everyone made by Youth Farmers.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact Mary Lee, West Side
Program Director at 952.220.0593.


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From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: Mexico/film 8.18 7:30pm

Minnezapa and Twin Cities Indymedia present:
a discussion screening of...
"Atenco: Breaking the Siege"

THIS FRIDAY, 7:30pm @ Pangea World Theater- 711 West Lake St., Mpls.
THIS MONDAY, 5:30pm @ Resource Center of the Americas-3019 Minnehaha Ave.

On May 3rd and 4th, 2006, as presidential candidates toured Mexico asking
for votes, and as the Zapatista "Other Campaign" traveled the country
building a coalition "below and to the left (where your heart is)",
Mexican state and federal police attacked the municipality of San Salvador
Atenco. Hundreds were arrested and abused, a 14 yr old boy, Francisco
Javier Cortes Santiago, was killed. 45 of 47 women arrested have reported
sexual abuse including rape.

This video analyzes the events in San Salvador Atenco during those first
days of May, 2006 and denounces the violation of the civilian population's
human rights by state and federal police forces. The documentary
deconstructs the mass media's operating methods, which were responsible
for creating a climate of fear and an information blockade on the events
in San Salvador Atenco, in the midst of an especially delicate situation:
the 2006 process of presidential succession in Mexico.

The screening will be followed by a discussion with Gabriel Johnson-Ortiz
of Minnezapa on the Zapatistas, the Other Campaign, and the tragedy of
Atenco.  Film produced by Canal 6 de Julio and Promedios.

(http://twincities.indymedia.org/newswire/display/28219/index.php)


--------15 of x--------

Mexican Electoral Fraud Wins Round One - Round Two Now Begins
Stephen Lendman
http://www.opednews.com

It was no surprise on Sunday that the Mexican Federal Electoral Institute
(IFE) ruled its partial recount of about 9% of the ballots cast in the
disputed presidential election held on July 2 showed ruling National
Action Party (PAN) candidate still the winner. In doing so, the IFE
ignored the clear evidence of election irregularities and blatant fraud
uncovered by losing Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) candidate
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.  The IFE ignored the need for a total ballot
recount Obrador justifiably demanded and instead relied on the small
partial one it chose in areas of known Calderon strength making it
unlikely from the start it would find enough of a change in the final
tally to change the election result. Lopez Obrador aides cited evidence of
overwhelming fraud in at least one-third of the polling stations and that
any failure to do a recount in all of them would show clear IFE bias
toward its announced winner on July 6 and would not be accepted without a
concerted fight. Let the battle begin.

The fraud uncovered so far showed the preliminary vote totals were
manipulated to allow PAN candidate Felipe Calderon to be the winner.  In
addition, three million votes were never counted at first and only in
hindsight were 2.5 million of them added to the totals. Further, 900,000
supposedly void, blank and annulled ballots were declared null, discarded
and never included in the official totals; 700,000 additional votes
disappeared from missing precincts; thousands of voters were denied their
franchise in strong Obrador precincts; there was evidence of ballot
stuffing; and in about one-third of the polling stations only winning
party PAN observers were present allowing ample opportunity for vote
manipulation as has happened routinely in a country known for its history
of electoral unfairness and where political dirty tricks and hardball
tactics may have been invented. It takes no stretch to know it was no
different this time, and Lopez Obrador now demands this injustice be
addressed and corrected.

Obrador promised he will not go gently "into that good night" and will
fight on to be declared the winner of the election it clearly looks like
he won but so far has been denied. He now plans to file new charges of
widespread fraud found during the recount process. The discoveries include
broken seals on some ballot boxes and evidence showing the number of
ballots in ballot boxes differed from the number of blank ballots cast.
Additional evidence will seek to annul the results from thousands of
polling stations Felipe Calderon won by a margin great enough to indicate
significant manipulation of the count was likely. Lawyers for Mr. Obrador
now claim these irregularities alone warrant a full ballot recount, and
Mexico City Mayor-elect Marcelo Ebrard said: "There is now so much
evidence of fraud that the court will have to act."

Part of that evidence is the illegal campaigning ruling PAN President
Vincinte Fox did for Mr. Calderon and the fact that Felipe Calderon
exceeded his legally allowed campaign spending limits. He did it to run
vicious negative advertising through the business-friendly Mexican
corporate media calling Obrador an evil twin of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez,
falsely accusing him of accepting campaign funds from the Venezuelan
President, claiming Obrador was guilty of corruption as mayor of Mexico
City with no evidence to prove it, and of being a "danger" for Mexico.

It was also learned early on that Felipe Calderon's brother-in-law Diego
Hildebrando Zavala wrote the vote-counting software, and it was hacked
during the electoral process. This discovery of a close family member
having control of the computer systems is evidence enough of grossly
improper activity that could easily have resulted in vote count
manipulation to give the electoral victory to the candidate he obviously
favored. Again, it takes no stretch to imagine Mr. Zavala took full
advantage of his ability to decide the outcome.

It should be duly noted and stressed that in Latin America no greater
contrast can be drawn in how elections are run than to compare the
scrupulously honest and democratic process under Hugo Chavez in Venezuela
to the hopelessly corrupted one in Mexico. It wasn't always that way in
Venezuela, but once Hugo Chavez was elected he established
constitutionally by national referendum a system of real participatory
democracy where the Venezuelan people actually have a say in how the
government is run including being the ones to decide in fair, open and
honest elections who will be elected including the President. In Mexico,
it's long been just the opposite. There the interests of wealth and power
control the process and see to it their chosen candidates run the country
for their benefit.

Round Two Now Begins As Lopez Obrador Intends To Fight On

Lopez Obrador made it clear after the July 6 announced results that he
intended to continue fighting for electoral justice and has asked his
supporters to rally in the streets around the country to demand it.
Already major demonstrations have been held in Mexico City's huge Zocalo
plaza. At a recent one as many as a record near-two million turned out to
show their support for their candidate. Lopez Obrador now promises this
will continue, and in a speech Sunday to many thousands assembled in the
Zocalo to hear him he said his campaign for an honest recount will
continue indefinitely in the courts and in the streets. With the many
millions of Mexicans fed up with politics as usual, it now remains to be
seen if their mass-people power can overcome a Mexican tradition of
entrenched wealth and power always having it their way and the people be
damned. It will be an uphill battle, but don't count the people out yet.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
lendmanstephen [at] sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at
sjlendman.blogspot.com.

[Well, this could never happen in America. Stolen elections, yes; a
candidate willing to fight for the people, no way. We're way too backward,
benighted, lazy, misled by cheap religion, childish, brainwashed by little
boxes - we haven't reached the age of responsibility here, and we have a
long way to go. Perhaps Latin America will come up with training programs
for us.  Meanwhile, 1) what's on TV, 2) how soon can we vote for Hillary,
and 3) when will King Jeb be crowned? -ed]


--------16 of x--------

Constraining history/controlling knowledge
By Robert Jensen
August 14, 2006
ZNet Commentary
http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2006-08/13jensen.cfm

One way to measure the fears of people in power is by the intensity of
their quest for certainty and control over knowledge.

By that standard, the members of the Florida Legislature marked themselves
as the folks most terrified of history in the United States when last
month they took bold action to become the first state to outlaw historical
interpretation in public schools. In other words, Florida has officially
replaced the study of history with the imposition of dogma and effectively
outlawed critical thinking.

Although U.S. students are typically taught a sanitized version of history
in which the inherent superiority and benevolence of the United States is
rarely challenged, the social and political changes unleashed in the 1960s
have opened up some space for a more honest accounting of our past. But
even these few small steps taken by some teachers toward collective
critical self-reflection are too much for many Americans to bear.

So, as part of an education bill signed into law by Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida
has declared that "American history shall be viewed as factual, not as
constructed." That factual history, the law states, shall be viewed as
"knowable, teachable and testable."

Florida's lawmakers are not only prescribing a specific view of U.S.
history that must be taught (my favorite among the specific commands in
the law is the one about instructing students on "the nature and
importance of free enterprise to the United States economy"), but are
trying to legislate out of existence any ideas to the contrary. They are
not just saying that their history is the best history, but that it is
beyond interpretation. In fact, the law attempts to suppress discussion of
the very idea that history is interpretation.

The fundamental fallacy of the law is in the underlying assumption that
"factual" and "constructed" are mutually exclusive in the study of
history. There certainly are many facts about history that are widely, and
sometimes even unanimously, agreed upon. But how we arrange those facts
into a narrative to describe and explain history is clearly a
construction, an interpretation. That's the task of historians - to assess
factual assertions about the past, weave them together in a coherent
narrative, and construct an explanation of how and why things happened.

For example, it's a fact that Europeans began coming in significant
numbers to North America in the 17th century. Were they peaceful settlers
or aggressive invaders? That's interpretation, a construction of the facts
into a narrative with an argument for one particular way to understand
those facts.

It's also a fact that once those Europeans came, the indigenous people
died in large numbers. Was that an act of genocide? Whatever one's answer,
it will be an interpretation, a construction of the facts to support or
reject that conclusion.

In contemporary history, has U.S. intervention in the Middle East been
aimed at supporting democracy or controlling the region's crucial energy
resources? Would anyone in a free society want students to be taught that
there is only one way to construct an answer to that question?

Speaking of contemporary history, what about the fact that before the 2000
presidential election, Florida's Republican secretary of state removed
57,700 names from the voter rolls, supposedly because they were convicted
felons and not eligible to vote. It's a fact that at least 90 percent were
not criminals - but were African American. It's a fact that black people
vote overwhelmingly Democratic. What conclusion will historians construct
from those facts about how and why that happened?
http://www.gregpalast.com/detail.cfm?artid=217&row=2

In other words, history is always constructed, no matter how much
Florida's elected representatives might resist the notion. The real
question is: How effectively can one defend one's construction? If Florida
legislators felt the need to write a law to eliminate the possibility of
that question even being asked, perhaps it says something about their
faith in their own view and ability to defend it.

One of the bedrock claims of the scientific revolution and the
Enlightenment - two movements that, to date, have not been repealed by the
Florida Legislature - is that no interpretation or theory is beyond
challenge. The evidence and logic on which all knowledge claims are based
must be transparent, open to examination. We must be able to understand
and critique the basis for any particular construction of knowledge, which
requires that we understand how knowledge is constructed.

Except in Florida.

But as tempting as it is to ridicule, we should not spend too much time
poking fun at this one state, because the law represents a yearning one
can find across the United States. Americans look out at a wider world in
which more and more people reject the idea of the United States as always
right, always better, always moral. As the gap between how Americans see
themselves and how the world sees us grows, the instinct for many is to
eliminate intellectual challenges at home: "We can't control what the rest
of the world thinks, but we can make sure our kids aren't exposed to such
nonsense."

The irony is that such a law is precisely what one would expect in a
totalitarian society, where governments claim the right to declare certain
things to be true, no matter what the debates over evidence and
interpretation. The preferred adjective in the United States for this is
"Stalinist," a system to which U.S. policymakers were opposed during the
Cold War. At least, that's what I learned in history class.

People assume that these kinds of buffoonish actions are rooted in the
arrogance and ignorance of Americans, and there certainly are excesses of
both in the United States.

But the Florida law - and the more widespread political mindset it
reflects - also has its roots in fear. A track record of relatively
successful domination around the world seems to have produced in Americans
a fear of any lessening of that dominance. Although U.S. military power is
unparalleled in world history, we can't completely dictate the shape of
the world or the course of events. Rather than examining the complexity of
the world and expanding the scope of one's inquiry, the instinct of some
is to narrow the inquiry and assert as much control as possible to avoid
difficult and potentially painful challenges to orthodoxy.

Is history "knowable, teachable and testable"? Certainly people can work
hard to know - to develop interpretations of processes and events in
history and to understand competing interpretations. We can teach about
those views. And students can be tested on their understanding of
conflicting constructions of history.

But the real test is whether Americans can come to terms with not only the
grand triumphs but also the profound failures of our history. At stake in
that test is not just a grade in a class, but our collective future.

Robert Jensen is a journalism professor at the University of Texas at
Austin and board member of the Third Coast Activist Resource Center
http://thirdcoastactivist.org/. He is the author of The Heart of
Whiteness: Race, Racism, and White Privilege and Citizens of the Empire:
The Struggle to Claim Our Humanity (both from City Lights Books). He can
be reached at rjensen [at] uts.cc.utexas.edu .

[Hmm, I like it. From now on, your editor is to be recognized as
infallibly good, infallibly wise, and, most important, infallibly
infallible. Since I am infallible, the claim that I am infallible is
itself infallible, necessarily true. I of course may from time to time, if
I feel like it, lie - but it will be a good lie, a true lie, a lie you
must bless and accept into your heart, no questions asked.  -ed]


--------17 of x-------

RULES FOR REPORTING ON THE WAR
By Stephen Gowans
What's Left - August 14, 2006
http://gowans.blogspot.com/2006/08/rules-for-reporting-on-war.html

"At least 20 bombs hit a Beirut suburb in the space of two minutes
yesterday afternoon, almost immediately after the Israeli cabinet had
endorsed the UN's truce plan."

The bombs are thought to have been GB U28 1000-lb bunker busters, rushed
to Israel by the country's arms supplier, the United States, with the
complicity of London, on whose territory US transport planes refuelled.

"The bombs demolished 11 nine-story residential buildings in the Rweis
district of southern Beirut."

"Witnesses reported seeing children playing in the streets in front of the
buildings moments before they were hit." (1)

The ostensible trigger for this carnage - and for the mountains of blasted
and bloodied Lebanese bodies piled up in other equally gruesome attacks -
is that Israel needed to respond, as a matter of self defense, to the
capture of three Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah guerrillas on July 12th.

Were this a legitimate justification - and it most assuredly is not - the
response could not be said to be evenly remotely proportionate to the
alleged cause.

The destruction of apartment buildings, scores of roads, 71 bridges, an
airport, UN convoys carrying food and medicine, drilling rigs, minivans
carrying fleeing civilians, a youth center, more than 400 fishing boats,
refugee camps, hospitals, electricity generation stations, oil tanks
(infrastructure Israel should be compelled to indemnify Lebanon for) and
more than a thousand civilians, cannot be justified as a response to the
capture of three Israeli soldiers.

Especially when Israel, itself, is holding thousands of captured Lebanese.

Especially when the July 12th border skirmish said to trigger the war is
only one of a series of cross-border incidents involving Israel and
Hezbollah, in both directions. (2)

So preposterous is the claim that over a thousand civilians can be killed
and a country laid to waste in retaliation for the capture of just three
soldiers, that it is hardly made anymore.

Instead, Israel's right to defend itself is sanctimoniously - and
misleadingly - invoked.

But it isn't Israel that is being attacked. It's Lebanon.

There were 1,056 civilian deaths on the Lebanese side versus 37 on the
Israeli, from July 12th to August 11th, just before Israel escalated its
assault on Lebanon in an attempt, before the UN Security Council-directed
cease fire kicked in, to consolidate its occupation of its northern
neighbour up to the Litani River. (3)

This is territory Israel's first leader, David Ben-Gurion, and the World
Zionist Organization founder Chaim Weizman, believed should form part of a
Jewish state.

Israel now occupies this territory with the approval of the thieves'
kitchen called the UN Security Council. It can, with the UN imprimatur it
has now been handed, bomb more apartment buildings, attack more convoys,
and kill more civilians, in "self defense."

Hezbollah, on the other hand, ordered to cease all military activity, can
do nothing to drive the invaders from its territory - nothing, that is,
that will have the blessing of the Security Council. Instead, any action
on Hezbollah's part to throw off the invader will be denounced as a
defiance of the Security Council.

It's plain to see whose side the thieves are on.

Three percent of civilian deaths - a pittance in comparison to the number
blasted apart by Israeli bombs and missiles - have come at the hands of
the side the Western media calls the "terrorists," Hezbollah.

The bulk of the civilians killed in this war, 97 percent, have been killed
by Israel - belying Tel Aviv's patent lies about taking pains to limit
civilian casualties, and the absurd claim, which appeared in my morning
newspaper, that "Hezbollah and other like-minded groups...pose the most
immediate threats to our collective health and security." (4)

If you accept that a country that is armed with nuclear weapons,
continually attacks, invades and occupies its neighbors' territories, and
routinely attacks civilians, is more in danger than, what's by comparison,
a lightly armed resistance organization, then this is like saying the most
immediate threat to our collective health and safety is the smallpox
vaccine, and not smallpox itself, because the vaccine will reliably kill
an infinitesimally small fraction of those who receive it.

What's more, the deaths of Israeli civilians came only after Israel
launched its attack on Lebanon, plans for which The San Francisco
Chronicle (5) said were finalized a year ago and shared with US
journalists, diplomats and think tank ideologues.

"The rocketing of the settlements is a reaction, it is not an action,"
explained Hezbollah's leader Sheik Nasrallah. "You attacked our cities and
villages, and at any time you decide to stop your aggression, we will not
hit any settlement or any Israeli city." (6)

Still, the deception, helped along by the frequent invoking of the red
herring of Israel's right to self defense, is that Hezbollah is attacking
Israel. Sure, Israel has a right to self defense, but what does that have
to do with this war? Nazi Germany had a right to self defense too, but
that didn't include invading Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, the
Soviet Union and on and on.

The standard operating procedure, where Israel is concerned, is to turn
the truth on its head. And the chief truth inverter is the Western media.

Rule #1. The "who started it?" rule. It is always the Arabs who attack
first, and always Israel that retaliates in self defense. The current
Israeli assault on Gaza is attributed to the capture (called a kidnapping)
of corporal Gilad Shalit, by a group of Palestinians who tunnelled under
the border and attacked an Israeli watchtower. But the day before Shalit's
capture, Israeli forces crossed into Gaza and captured (that's captured,
not kidnapped) a Palestinian doctor and his brother. Israel has kidnapped
64 Hamas members, including cabinet ministers, mayors and legislators. And
that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Rule #2. The terrorism rule. When Arabs kill Israelis, it's called
terrorism.

Rule #3. The self defense rule. When Israelis kill Arabs, it's called self
defense.

Rule # 4. The reaction of the international community rule. When Israel
kills too many civilians all at once, the West calls for restraint. Israel
pledges it will take care to limit civilian casualties, then goes about
its merry way, blasting apart civilians, blaming the deaths on the
militants. "We had to take out the civilians. They were in the way. But we
didn't mean to."

Rule # 5. The kidnapping rule. Palestinians do not have the right to
capture Israeli soldiers, not even a limited number, not even one or two.

Rule # 6. The war on terrorism rule. Israel has the right to capture as
many Arabs as it wants. There is no limit. Israel doesn't kidnap Arabs, it
arrests them. This creates the impression of legality, and that Israel is
simply carrying out a police action. Legitimate authority arrests
"suspects" and "terrorists." Criminals kidnap.

Rule # 7. The David vs. Goliath rule. When you say Israel, never say
"supported by the US and Britain."

Rule # 8. The destablizer rule. When you say Hezbollah, always add
"supported by Iran and Syria." Iran and Syria are a "destabilizing" force
in the region, in the same manner Venezuela is a destabilizing force in
Latin America. They resist the hegemony of the US and its subalterns.
That's why they're destabilizing.

Rule # 9. Things we don't mention rule. Don't mention the occupied
territories, ignored UN resolutions, or violations of the Geneva
Conventions.

Rule # 10. Amplify the voice of the Israelis and minimize the voice of the
Arabs. Let Israelis speak out as much as possible, so they can explain
rules one through nine. (7)

On Saturday, August 12th, I attended a local demonstration against the
Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Lebanese flags flew. Palestinian flags flew.
Hezbollah flags were nowhere to be seen - though the sight of one or two
or many wouldn't have distressed me. Hezbollah is many things - a
political party, a charitable organization (which covers medical bills,
school fees, and provides essential services that the Lebanese government
doesn't provide), and a militia. It is also a legitimate resistance
organization, one its suits Israel and its backers, for obvious reasons,
to demonize. My local newspaper, part of a large chain owned by an
unabashedly pro-Israeli Jew, fulminated against the protests.

The newspaper reported that "thousands of Lebanese supporters" demanded
the "government call an end to the bombing in Lebanon. Some of the
protestors carried Hezbollah flags, openly flaunting their support for the
organization." (8)

In case it's not clear I support Hezbollah in its fight to drive Israel
from Lebanon, let me flaunt it now.

"The demonstrations," the report goes on, "sparked outrage from the
president of B'Nai Brith...who demanded the federal government crack down
on pro-Hezbollah demonstrations." (9)

There are scores of newspapers in this chain, and somehow the editors, all
reputedly selected for their independence, think the smashing of Lebanon
is a good thing. This calls to mind the old aphorism. The only people who
enjoy a free press are those who own one.

And if the president of the B'Nai Brith has his way, the only people who
will be able to demonstrate are those who openly flaunt their support for
a terrorist state. Certainly not those who openly flaunt their support for
Hezbollah, which, to be fair, wasn't what most of the demonstrators were
doing on Saturday. Not at the demonstration I was at. What most of them
were doing was opposing Israel's war on Lebanon - hardly the same thing.
Significantly, many of these demonstrators would be mortified, if not more
than a little frightened, to think their marching against Israel's attack
on Lebanon had got them tarred as Hezbollah supporters.

Which is precisely the point of the B'Nai Brith president's denunciation -
to scare off opposition to Israel, in the same way the accusation of
anti-Semitism is hurled at anyone who thinks Israel shouldn't be invading
other people's countries, occupying their land, and imprisoning, torturing
and assassinating those who fight back.

Ever mindful that I'm going to irritate the president of the B'Nai Brith
further, let me be clear on what, at the minimum, should happen, and would
happen, in a perfect world.

Israeli forces should withdraw completely and immediately from Lebanon and
Gaza, and all other territory it has occupied since the 1967 war.

All prisoners, including the Hamas legislators and cabinet ministers
Israel kidnapped, should be released.

The United States should stop arming Israel, and running diplomatic
interference for it.

Israeli military leaders should be tried for war crimes.

Israel should pay war reparations to Lebanon and the Palestinian
Authority. A genuinely independent Palestinian state should be
established.

Palestinian refugees, and their descendants, should be allowed, as is
their right under international law, to return to their homes in what is
now Israel. If this means the end of Israel as a state where Jews are in
the majority (because anyone threatening this contrived demographic fact
has been chased out and barred from returning) so be it.

That's what should happen, but won't happen any time soon, because the US
and Britain, the enabler states, will to see to it that it doesn't.

What's more likely to happen is that Israel will become bogged down in a
war of attrition in southern Lebanon. It will continue to bomb apartment
buildings, hospitals, and bridges, and will continue to depopulate the
south, through intimidation, threat and slaughter - something it has done
for many years and has decades of practice at.

Its activities will be sanitized as "self-defense" by the discreditable UN
Security Council, while the legitimate actions of Hezbollah to oust the
brigands from their land will be denounced as terrorism by the same
discreditable organization.

Effective opposition to Israel's outrages will come from three sets of
forces. Hamas and Hezbollah and other resistance organizations on the
ground, the states that support these groups materially, and from
opponents in countries whose governments back, arm and run diplomatic
interference for the terrorist state.

Active support in the West means undermining and disrupting the activities
of the governments, media and public policy apparatus of Western states
which support Israel's annexationist, expansionist and aggressive foreign
policy.

One of the ways to do this is to challenge and debunk the lies and
nonsense used by Israel and its backers to justify the terrorist state's
bad behavior.

The other is to refuse to be bullied into silence.

End Notes:

1. The Guardian, August 14, 2006.

2. Seymour Hersh, "Watching Lebanon," The New Yorker, August 21, 2006;
George Monbiot, "Israel responded to an unprovoked attack by Hizbullah,
right? Wrong," The Guardian, August 8, 2006.

3. The Guardian, August 11, 2006.

4. The Ottawa Citizen, August 14, 2006.

5. July 21, 2006.

6. The New York Times, August 3, 2006.

7. Adapted from "Ten rules for reporting on Middle East conflicts,"
http://www.canpalnet-ottawa.org/Media_bias_Arabs.html .

8. The Ottawa Citizen, August 14, 2006.

9. Ibid.


-------18 of x--------

It Ain't Over:
What Did and Didn't Happen in Lebanon
By RACHARD ITANI
Counterpunch
Aug 16, 2006
http://www.counterpunch.org/itani08162006.html

What didn't happen:

1- Israel did not win the war that it launched against Lebanon and
Hezbollah;

2- The Lebanese did not fall into Israel' s trap, and therefore did not
turn against Hezbollah as a result of Israel's massive bombardment of
Lebanon's infrastructure and mass killing of its civilian population;

3- Hezbollah did not lose the war that Israel launched against it and
Lebanon, nor was its fighting capability daunted or significantly reduced
by a full month of massive Israeli aerial bombardment; indeed, Hezbollah
continued to launch missiles from within the very areas that Israel said
it had occupied, cleaned-up, or mopped-up; did so from behind Israel's
advanced lines; attacked Israeli forces from behind; and forced Tsahal to
beat a retreat from a town that the Israeli army had tried to occupy.

What did happen:

1- The Lebanese rallied around Hezbollah en-masse, instead of turning
against it (yes, including Lebanese Christians) and Israel's rain of death
and destruction has fertilized and nurtured a vast new crop of future
resistors, steeped in animosity against Israel's zionist philosophy, and
in abhorrence against its violent and brutal methodology;

2- Hezbollah inflicted heavy losses on Israel's ground forces, thus
puncturing the myth of the invincible (and grossly mislabeled) Israel
Defence Force (sic) thereby setting the stage to win the inevitable
guerilla war that is sure to follow, which will yet again drive the
Israeli army back where it belongs: on the southern side of Israel's
northern border;

3- Israel's government and armed forces were shown around the world for
the brute and not too smart, war criminals that they have proven to be,
and the US was exposed as a co-conspirator and organizer of the deadly and
destructive assault on a country whose government the US praised as "a
friend of America's," while it plotted to blow it to smithereens.

What will not happen

1- The US and Israel winning the war against Hezbollah;

2- The US and Israel winning a direct war they would launch against Iran,
were they foolish enough to do so in the first place (though Einstein's
two certainties, the one about the infinity of the universe and the other
about the infinity of man's stupidity, somehow come to mind;)

3- The US and Israel perpetuating Israel's "bully-of-the-Middle-East"
status for much longer;

What will happen:

1- The US-Israeli war against Lebanon will restart with a vengeance,
leading to further killing of innocent Lebanese civilians and greater
destruction of Lebanon's infrastructure;

2- Israel's deadly and destructive attacks against the Palestinians in
Gaza will continue unabated, escalating into ever greater levels of
cruelty and violence on the part of the military occupier;

3- Iraq's Shiites will emulate America's anti-British 18th century
revolutionaries, by joining the liberation movement to rid their country
of the Anglo-American, neo-colonial occupation that raped their people and
plundered their resources.

What should happen:

1- Whatever is left of the pitifully named "coalition of the willing"
should leave Iraq, and pay billions of dollars in reparations to the Iraqi
government, allowing it perhaps finally to try holding the country
together and putting a stop to the civil war that's ravaging Iraq,
provided of course that American-British misdeeds have not already
relegated both these possibilities to the realm of Oz and Wonderland;

2- Having sacked their current government, and the one to follow it if it
proves to be composed of similarly-minded idiots, the Israeli people
should declare that their country is abandoning its expansionist and
apartheid policies, in a bid to live in peace, harmony and total
integration with its Middle East neighbors, and should provide concrete
proof of this desire by dismantling Israel's dangerous nuclear program,
and decommissioning the country's existing arsenal of 300+ nuclear
war-heads;

3- Having thrown out George W. Bush ad his Neo-conservative
administration, and Tony Blair and his government of small men and women
who are displaying growing neo-fascist tendencies, the newly elected
American and British governments should deliver Bush and Blair to the
International Criminal Court, to be tried for war crimes, after which they
ought to be rushed to the nearest hospital radiology lab, to check if they
actually had a brain and a heart in the first - and right - place.

What is not likely to happen

1- None of the actions mentioned in "What should happen" above, are likely
to see the light of day;

2- The American people are unlikely to take measures to deter their
government and criminally minded politicians from continuing to plot an
attack against Iran, which these politicians will cynically provoke for
the additional purpose of ensuring their re-election into office, carrying
on with hegemonic policies hatched by dual-loyalty Neocons: dually loyal
to control the Middle East's oil reserves, and to expand Israel's powers
in the service of racial and religious segregation;

3- The British people are unlikely to prevent the cabal of increasingly
neofascists-in-lamb's-clothing that calls itself Her Majesty's government
from continuing to scare them into relinquishing what little is left of
their civil liberties, and into blaming Britain's present and future woes
on "Muslim-born" British citizens and their coreligionists around the
world.

Where this leaves us

Folks, the Israeli-Lebanese proxy war ain't over yet. There's more and
worse to come. As long as the American, Israeli and British governments
and their electorates continue to believe that they can cow people into
subservience ad infinitum through unfettered violence, and as long as they
continue to assert that Western blood is more valuable than Arab, African
or Asian blood, these 19th century throwbacks will continue to cause
mayhem and commit war crimes in the 21st century.

George W. Bush's formulation was right: it's either him, his lapdog Tony,
his Middle East agent Ehud, and their respective cabals, or us, the
civilized rest of humanity.

Faced with a dangerous bunch of neocon criminals, a slobbering poodle, and
an apartheid-minded, neocolonialist whose government is proving to be
barely better than any of the other criminal governments that the Earth
has suffered in the past century, I vote for the rest of us.

There are elections coming up. Throw the bastards out. Don't vote worse,
or equal bastards in.

Otherwise, you're with them, and we remain on this side of the civilized
divide.

[I have here The Book of Dave, just dictated to me by god or a reasonable
facsimile thereof. It vouchsafes unto me that I and my ancestors and
descendents have always been, are now, and shall always be, entitled to
all the land and assets of Ye Seven County Metro Area;  henceforth to be
known and celebrated as the Land of Dave. In the fulness of time (before
2007) any male not named "Dave" must leave the Land (else something bad).
Chosen women will be named "Mngrpple", pronounced "Dave". Oh, what a
promising Land it will be, with none but Daves wherever Daves gaze! -ed]


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