IN THIS ISSUE
1) War and Peace and the Police State in our Midst
2) Urgent Petition–signatures still needed
3) Top Lies on Iraq
4) U.S. “Double-Dealing Diplomacy, North Korea and Japan/北朝鮮ミサイル危機と日本
5) Japan at a constitutional and political crossroads
6) SINGAPORE: Crackdown Underway on Satirical Blogging
7) The United States and the Japanese Mengele: Payoffs and Amnesty for Unit 731
8) Legitimizing Palestinian Bantustans9) Omiting Palestinian deaths
10) MEDIA ALERT: BLAMING THE VICTIM IN GAZA
11) Uri Avnery: THE REAL aim is to change the regime in Lebanon and to install a puppet government
12) The American Left and the Middle East: The Case of the Nation Magazine, II.
13) What Does Israel Want?
14) Race and Gender
15) Hip Hop’s Betrayal of Black Women
16) The Gay Rights Movement Has Hit a Brick Wall
17) LINK SECTION: Israel and Palestine links
WAR & PEACE AND THE POLICE STATE IN OUR MIDST
The War on Civil Liberties Continues
How to Spot a Terrorist: State and local law enforcement agencies have been eager to join in the terrorism investigation game with the availability of large amounts of federal money. Soon after 9/11, local officials in DeKalb County outside Atlanta, set up what they described as the nation’s first local department of Homeland Security. The county quickly obtained almost $12 million in federal grants to fight terrorism. A police intelligence unit was established……In one of the more bizarre episodes in a continuing saga of paranoia and silliness, the state of Texas issued a pamphlet alleged to help the public identify potential terrorists. Some characteristics people were advised to watch for were: the purchase of baby formula or beer, the wearing of Levi jeans, carrying identifying documents such as a driver’s license and traveling in the company of women and children. This quickly narrowed the range of terrorist suspects to about 80 percent of all men in the state.
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IF YOU SIGNED, PLEASE ASK YOUR FRIENDS TO SIGN TOO!
イラクの状況を変えるためにー皆様へお願い: Please join the Iraq Hope Network in signing a petition calling for an immediate end to the suffering of people in Iraq that is resulting from the violent and illegal tactics presently being employed by the U.S. military. The petition will be delivered to President George W. Bush, with a copy to the U.S. Embassies in Tokyo and Baghdad.
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Top Lies About Iraq from the Bush Administration
(1) Iraq was a “grave and gathering threat”
(2) Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction” programs after the early 1990sv
(3) Iraq had “ties to Al Qaeda” and 9/11
(4) Our invasion of Iraq was to support “Security Council resolutions”
(5) Our invasion of Iraq was to “promote democracy”
(6) It is better to “fight them there” than on our streets
(7) If the lies were true, then we would have been justified in invading Iraq
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d States and the Japanese Mengele: Payoffs and Amnesty for Unit 731 Scientists
Everyone has heard of Auschwitz, but what about Pingfan? This Japanese germ warfare headquarters and laboratory in Manchuria, northern China, did not hold as many victims, but atrocities committed there were physically worse than in the Nazi concentration camp, and lasted much longer…..
Dr. Ishii Shiro…was the chief of Japan’s well financed, scientifically coordinated and government approved biological warfare program from 1932-45….and supervised deliberate infection of thousands of captives with deadly diseases. He also conducted grotesque surgeries, but the unique medical specialty of Ishii and his surgical team were dissections, without anesthetic, on an estimated 3,000 live, conscious humans……In exchange for cooperation from the Japanese side, the horrific war crimes of Unit 731 were suppressed by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman was quoted by Reuters on April 19, 2006, as saying: “The government is not in possession of materials that tell us about the activities of this unit. If we do find some materials, we would accept it as a solemn fact of history.” The Japanese government, then, does not currently view Dr. Ishii Shiro’s atrocious programs as historical truth….Critics accuse the Chinese government of manipulating historical issues to foster nationalism and bolster the regime’s domestic legitimacy, while scoring easy points against Japan in the global arena of public opinion. But it was Japan, not China, which carried out the biological terror of Unit 731 and continues to evade accountability for it today—with more than a little help from its American ally.
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Legitimizing Palestinian Bantustans
How much money are we forced to pay to support the Occupation? When will people realize that Palestinians are not facing a humanitarian crisis, but a political attack on their lives? How can we continue to shun our responsibilities to uphold Palestinian rights and international law?
…The Occupation might want to “converge” or to “disengage,” but it is doing so in pursuance of racist and colonial interests to ensure all that remains for Palestinians are enclaves without sovereignty. “Disengagement” from Gaza resulted in social and economic suffocation, continuous shelling and killings of “liberated” people within their prison walls. It shows that redeployment of settlers cannot be equated with liberation and justice.
More on Palestine Israel
As Brian Dominick,editor of THE NEW STANDARD, notes: “The quality of journalism on this story has declined rapidly, as the initial acknowledgement of asymmetry and the preponderance (near exclusivity) of civilian suffering in Lebanon has given way to the need for apparent “balance” (parity). The latest ridiculousness is dutiful identification of who supplies Hezbollah’s missiles without ever noting who supplies Israel’s missiles. I can’t really recommend any of the links I’m finding (except IPS) at this point; if you see good coverage (not commentary), please bring it to my attention. “ Meanwhile, here are a few stories:
Omiting Palestinian deaths
On June 28, CBS Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer turned to CBS reporter Bob Simon for analysis of the current Israel-Palestine crisis. What Simon offered, however, was a familiar scenario that puts the blame squarely on the Palestinian side….From the start of the Intifada in September 2000 through March 17, 2002, the three major networks’ nightly news shows used some variation of the word “retaliation” (“retaliated,” “will retaliate,” etc.) 150 times to describe attacks in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. About 79 percent of those references were to Israeli “retaliation” against Palestinians. Only 9 percent referred to Palestinian “retaliation” against Israelis.
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MEDIA ALERT: BLAMING THE VICTIM IN GAZA
From MEDIA LENS (UK): “In the last six months, approximately 80 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza due to Israel artillery firing… There have been exactly eight Israelis killed in the last five years from the Kassam missiles. Again, we have a huge disproportion, a huge discrepancy.” (’AIPAC v. Norman Finkelstein: A Debate on Israel’s Assault on Gaza,’ June 29, 2006)…..The extent of media bias is exemplified by the New York Times which reported July 3: “for all the pyrotechnics, the [Israeli] operation has been relatively restrained”. (Ian Fisher and Steven Erlanger, ‘Israel steps up Gaza raids in bid to free soldier,’ New York Times, July 3, 2006). This represents the view of Western journalists numbed to the suffering the West and its allies consistently heap on impoverished Third World people. To merely inflict intense suffering on hundreds of thousands of people, rather than to kill them, is “relatively restrained” for elite media executives…On the BBC’s July 3 Newsnight programme, anchor Jeremy Paxman reported breaking news that a Palestinian had been killed and two wounded in an Israeli airstrike in Northern Gaza. Paxman then went on to interview an Israeli government spokesman, Mark Regev. Regev said: “Our preference, our chosen policy preference, is that he [Shalit] is released and this can end peacefully.” Paxman said not a word in response about the death he had just reported, about the five other deaths, or about people dying because of the attack on the power station.
Uri Avnery: THE REAL aim is to change the regime in Lebanon and to install a puppet government. That was the aim of Ariel Sharon’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982. It failed. But Sharon and his pupils in the military and political leadership have never really given up on it. As in 1982, the present operation, too, was planned and is being carried out in full coordination with the US. As then, there is no doubt that it is coordinated with a part of the Lebanese elite. That’s the main thing. Everything else is noise and propaganda. See also Uri Avnery: “Stop That Shit”
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The American Left and the Middle East: The Case of the Nation Magazine, II.
Perhaps you have not heard the news because the western news has not been reporting it. Perhaps you have seen the pictures because the western news is not printing the pictures (the media has access to the pictures, but is choosing not to print them)…. People have protested in Australia and in Germany. Protest in the United States, as well! Protest in solidarity with the Lebanese people—who are standing united in the face of this aggression. The division is from the politicians, but not from the people. Protest in solidarity with the Palestinian people—who have been standing strong for decades in the face of Israeli aggression. We Americans, you Americans, have a particular responsibility: these weapons that are being used to massacre and destroy are paid for by US taxpayer dollars, and supported by George Bush and an acquiscent Congress.
What Does Israel Want?
Alternative routes for the conflict are not even raised in Israel, not even by the Zionist left. No one mentions commonsensical ideas such as an exchange of prisoners or a commencement of a dialogue with the Hamas and other Palestinian groups at least over a long ceasefire to prepare the ground for more meaningful political negotiations in the future. This alternative way forward is already backed by all the Arab countries, but alas only by them. In Washington, Donald Ramsfeld may have lost some of his deputies in the Defense Department, but he is still the Secretary. For him, the total destruction of the Hamas and Hizballah – whatever the price and if it is without loss of American life – will ‘vindicate’ the raison d’être for the Third World Theory he propagated early on in 2001. The current crisis for him is a righteous battle against a small axis of evil – away from the quagmire of Iraq and a precursor for the so far unattained goals in the ‘war against terror’ – Syria and Iran. If indeed to a certain extent the Empire was serving the proxy in Iraq, the full fledged support President Bush gave to the recent Israeli aggression in Gaza and Lebanon, shows that may be pay off time has come: now the proxy should salvage the entangled Empire.
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Hip Hop’s Betrayal of Black Women
Unlike men, women in hip-hop don’t speak in a collective voice in defense of themselves. The pressure on women to be hyper-feminine and hyper-sexual for the pleasure of men, and the constant threat of being called a bitch, a ho—or worse, a dyke—as a result of being strong, honest, and self-possessed, are real within hip-hop culture and the black community at large. Unless women agree to compromise their truth, self-respect, and unity with other women and instead play dutiful daughter to the phallus that represents hip-hop culture, they will be either targeted, slandered, or ignored altogether. As a result, female rappers are often just as male-identified, violent, materialistic, and ignorant as their male peers.
The Gay Rights Movement Has Hit a Brick Wall
The gay rights movement has hit a brick wall. Yes, we have same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. Yes, the Supreme Court overturned state anti-sodomy laws. Yes, gay characters are all over mainstream TV. Still, after 35 years of slow, incremental progress, we are at a decisive crossroads. Simply put: to bring about social change—dependent on truly transforming hearts and minds—we need to reassess what kind of a movement we want it to be….While the aim of the fight for privacy was to keep the government out of people’s bedrooms (a good thing), it also perpetuated the idiotic and incorrect idea that homosexuality was a completely separate aspect of a person’s identity. The “privacy” argument was attractive to mainstream culture because it kept gay people invisible. But the downside was that it also continued the social isolation of gay people, removing them from the public sphere. A right to privacy is no help to the openly queer high- school student who is forbidden by school administrators from forming a gay-straight alliance or wearing a gay T-shirt in the hallways. The right to privacy is of no use to the gay man who is visibly living with HIV/AIDS or to the lesbian couple with kids facing discrimination in school or housing.